If, as Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill once said, all politics is local, I direct your attention from President Bush's speech on Iraq Wednesday to the District of Columbia and its police department. Back in 1989 and 1990, the city of Washington was under orders from Congress to quickly hire 1,800 police officers or lose a substantial amount of federal aid. The city did what it was told -- and crime on the police force went way up. Within four years, the police academy classes of 1989 and 1990 comprised about one-third of the police force.
Avidigm Capital Group took a positive step in deciding to go back to the drawing board on its Spicer condominium proposal. The Lake Elmo-based company declined Wednesday to appeal the Spicer Planning and Zoning Commission's rejection of a height variance for the proposed 13-story condominium. The company wants to develop a condominium where a grain elevator is located, just west of state Highway 23 on Second Avenue. The current elevator is 134 feet in height. Avidigm originally sought a height variance to build up to 190 feet.
If politicians were responsible for the money that they wasted, maybe they wouldn't be so wasteful. Another fine example was the Beechcraft plane that the state of Minnesota bought. Were Beechcraft and Cirrus the only two companies that make small planes? Is Beechcraft a Minnesota-based company? According to Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, also the Minnesota Transportation Commissioner, we (the taxpayers) should chalk it up to a misunderstanding. Maybe we should pay her half her wages and half her benefits and she can chalk it up to bad politics.
President Bush has rediscovered illegal immigration as a political issue. After previously focusing on "welcoming" all who come to America by whatever means, the president spent most of his recent speech in Tucson, Ariz., sounding like Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, who has been the most vocal proponent of sealing U.S. borders to illegal aliens. Ninety percent of the speech was about the president's new "get tough" policy. The rest focused on his "guest worker" program, which is amnesty by whatever name he calls it.
SAN DIEGO -- Democrats, especially those with presidential ambitions, think they're being so clever. They have devised a line of argument they believe will help them benefit politically from President Bush's troubles in Iraq. But it turns out they aren't so clever after all. What they've come up with stands a good chance of backfiring and doing Democratic candidates more harm than good. Even though Iraq seems to be a huge liability for the president and the Republicans, it's possible that the war will eventually hurt the Democrats as much as anyone. That's a shame.
President Bush, speaking before a supportive audience at the U.S. Naval Academy, said Tuesday that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is about to change. Facing growing dissatisfaction on Iraq from within and outside of his political party, Bush all but admitted to mistakes in Iraq Wednesday in his latest defense nearly 2½ years after he declared victory. Bush acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. has suffered setbacks and less than desired results in training Iraqi forces.
A line is forming outside the Iraq confessional. It consists of Democratic presidential aspirants -- Where's Hillary? -- who voted for the war in Iraq and now concede that they made a "mistake." Former Sen. John Edwards recently did that in a Washington Post op-ed article and Sen. Joseph Biden uttered the "M" word Sunday on "Meet The Press." "It was a mistake," said Biden. "It was a mistake," wrote Edwards. Yes and yes, says Cohen. But it is also a mistake to call it a mistake. Both senators have a point, of course.
The Bush administration is partly responsible for declining poll numbers and the growing public disapproval of the war in Iraq. Instead of responding immediately to questions concerning the reasons for the war and the honesty of top-level members of the administration, it allowed these allegations to fester until they became accepted, in many quarters, as fact.
In regard to the marriage amendment issue, I find it ironic that there are those who are asking Sen. Dean Johnson to "be the leader you were elected to be" by letting the people vote. Isn't this a contradiction? How is putting an issue to the vote of the people being a leader? Is our system of government a direct democracy or a representative democracy? If some are so eager to have the people decide, why not get rid of the Legislature altogether?
The significance of the bird flu danger shocked many of the Minnesota business and health care leaders attending a meeting Tuesday in St.