Crazy time erupts over ‘Catholic’ collar

Had your coffee? Head clear? Because this one might make you woozy. The DFL office sent out a mailing against a state Senate candidate down around Burnsville with a figure wearing a generic cleric’s collar and a button saying “Ignore the Poor”…to which the state Republican office declared itself outraged that the DFL would so offend Catholics and saying Mark Dayton, who had nothing to do with it, should apologize. Jason Hoppin’s PiPress story says: “The DFL fliers target chaplain Dan Hall of the Capitol Prayer Network, a group that prays for legislative leaders on issues that affect Christians and is aligned with Republicans. He’s challenging state Sen. John Doll, a DFLer representing District 40. In the group’s literature, Hall says, ‘I believe my running has been the Lord’s leading.’ Republicans seized on the DFL response. Sen. Amy Koch of Buffalo said the fliers are anti-Catholic, ‘deeply offensive’ and have no place in Minnesota politics. Sen. Michelle Fischbach of Paynesville said they were ‘completely unprecedented’ and that ‘Mark Dayton should be ashamed of his party.’ Even Gov. Tim Pawlenty got involved, calling it a ‘new low’ in Minnesota politics.”…which, when things are as subterranean as they are, is really saying something.

We can agree, right, that a 40 percent failure rate is too high? That’s the appalling number coming out of a Strib study of recidivism among former Minnesota inmates. Glen Howatt and Pam Louwagie at the Strib report that inflexible, one-size-fits-all guidelines adopted years ago probably aren’t helping. They note: “Retired Appeals Court Judge Jack Davies said he has lobbied for bringing back a parole board. Instead of everyone serving at least two-thirds of his sentence behind bars, Davies believes offenders should be eligible for parole after serving a third of their time. Using ever-improving risk assessment tools, a board could make the decision about who is an appropriate inmate to bring into the community early, he said.” So when would Tom Petters come back?

You never want to say its over until its over. But it’s looking pretty much over, at least for Tom Horner. The latest gubernatorial poll, this one from MPR and the Humphrey Institute, has Mark Dayton ahead of Tom Emmer by 12 percent with Horner waaay back, with 11 percent. Writes Mark Zdechlik, “Dayton has built a broad coalition of support, said University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs, who oversaw the poll. Dayton has the advantage among women and lower-income voters and is holding his own among affluent voters. ‘This election seems to be firming up and at this point Dayton appears to be heading for a victory,’ Jacobs said.” Jacobs adds, “”With Horner’s support so soft, his candidacy could actually implode and then that would free up a good number of voters…We’re seeing that there are more Republicans supporting Horner than Democrats. They may be particularly inclined to head back and support the Emmer campaign in the closing days.” So is Horner’s undoing his inability to offer liberals enough of an alternative to Dayton?

Oh, come on! Give us a break! After a year and more of Tom Petters, Denny Hecker, a half dozen other minor-league scam artists and those debt reduction fraudsters, do we really have to listen to some TV commercial watchdog group tell us General Mills is overselling Cheerios? The Strib’s Mike Hughlett writes, “A national advertising self-regulatory group Wednesday recommended that General Mills stop pairing promotions for its Chocolate Cheerios with ads for its original and Honey Nut Cheerios, saying the practice implies health benefits that aren’t actually shared among the products. The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus looked into the matter after getting a complaint from Kellogg Co., General Mills’ biggest rival in the cereal business. Kellogg complained that General Mills has long promoted the cholesterol-lowering benefits of fiber and whole grain oats in Cheerios, but that Chocolate Cheerios doesn’t have those same health attributes.” And what exactly is the nutritional value of Froot Loops?

If it helps, we are eighth on the Daily Beast’s list of the country’s smartest cities. Says the story, “This year’s methodology is similar to last year’s inaugural list, with a couple weighting refinements, and one major change: as our civic engagement quotient — a proxy of a city’s willingness, and ability, to invest in intellectual culture — we dropped voter turnout in favor of libraries per capita.” How Denver beat us, I can’t imagine. But it’s yet another list where Las Vegas comes up looking pretty grim…and dead last at No. 55.  

We are also, as Jim Buchta writes in the Strib, “the mark down capital of America” when it comes to real estate sellers discounting their properties. In another case where virtually every expert was wrong, home prices across the country and in the Twin Cities continue to stagger along. Says Buchta, “The widely watched Case Shiller analysis said that while the home price index rose 1.7 percent nationwide during August — largely from an afterglow of expired federal tax credits — rising inventory levels caused the market this summer to slip. Meanwhile, pending sales have dropped, while distressed sales — foreclosures and short sales — have increased.” Adding, “According to the latest monthly data from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, the median price of closed sales during September was $166,000, down 2.4 percent from last year and down 12.6 percent compared with 2008. That’s down from a high of about $237,000 in June 2006.” Or, almost where it was before the bubble.

“That exaggeration makes this claim false.” That’s MPR’s PoliGraph truth-testing service, authored by Catharine Richert, take on a Tom Emmer claim in the latest debate. Specifically, Emmer said, “I had somebody approach me yesterday who said, ‘Do you realize that in the federal health care bill that every real estate transaction I’m going to have to pay money into the federal health care bill to pay for it. On every real estate transaction. What else are we going to find out over the next few weeks?” In reality, writes Richert, “… it appears Emmer’s talking about an obscure provision in the law that imposes a 3.8 percent tax on money that’s made from investment income, which can include rental property and home sales. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the tax will bring in $210 billion between 2013, when the levy kicks in, and 2019; the funds will be used to pay for Medicare.

“But the tax comes with some important criteria. First, it only applies to individuals making more than $200,000 annually and couples making more than $250,000 annually. Further, profits on primary residences less than $250,000 for individuals and less than $500,000 for couples are already exempt from taxation.” She adds, “Emmer has blown the impact of the new tax way out of proportion by saying every real estate transaction will be taxed. In fact, it appears relatively few will.” Well, if you add up a lot of “relatively fews,” you eventually get “every.”

Not “false” exactly, but certainly “Not the whole story,” is WCCO’s Pat Kessler’s verdict on Mn Forward’s “Deputy Dave” ad ripping Mark Dayton for trying to run up taxes on simple, hard-working guys like him. Says Kessler, “Deputy Dave Schultz is a bona fide Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff. He’s even featured on the sheriff’s website. It’s what Schultz said about Dayton’s tax plan that should be ticketed for exaggeration. ‘I’ve been a police officer for 20 years’, said Schultz in the ad. ‘My wife is a nurse. Mark Dayton says we’re rich and we should pay higher taxes. He’s wrong’. That’s MISLEADING. According to county records, ‘Deputy Dave’ made $73,989 last year. If his wife is a nurse, she’d have to make $120,000 before the two of them are touched by Dayton’s tax hike.”

It seems musician Roe Pressley (a.k.a. Swee2th) has recorded “An Ode to Michele Bachmann,” and it ain’t flattering. City Pages’ Andrea Swensson offers both the tune and lyric sheet. A sample of the latter: “You don’t believe in evolution and I guess that that’s just fine/I don’t buy into organized religion most the time/But you say if schools teach Darwin, they should teach Creation, too/Your intelligent designer must have given up on you.”

The choices come from diners, not snooty French critics, but Zagat is out with its latest list of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities. The Strib’s Rick Nelson reports that the usual suspects have won again…La Belle Vie, 112 Eatery, Vincent. He solicits comments and — inevitably — one guy grumps, “All these joints look like the kind of places your girlfriend makes you take her, drop a ton of coin, and then have to stop at the Taco Bell drive-thru after you’ve dropped her off because you’re starving!”

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Comments (32)

  1. Submitted by Lora Jones on 10/28/2010 - 09:50 am.

    More than misleading. Deputy Daves wife would have to earn $120,000 PLUS whatever the standard deduction is for a married couple assuming they don’t itemize) AND THEN ONLY whatever amount exceeded $200,000 AFTER deductions would be taxed at the higher rate. We’re talking marginal tax rates here.

    Demagoguery.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/28/2010 - 10:52 am.

    Say Brian? Mind if I make a couple observations?

    First of all, I know it wouldn’t occur to your leftist fans but the decision by the Democrat party to assume that it has the credibility to judge the morality of religious clergy goes beyond “crazy time”, but I suppose prudence guided your choice of headline.

    Second; did you know that the appalling 40 percent failure rate of Minnesota’s criminals to change their ways is actually better than the rate at which Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s public schools fail to graduate their students? Oh, they’re close; SPPS consistently fails about 42% of its high school students, but still….

    ….Say; do you think there’s a link to be made there?

    Finally, county records say ‘Deputy Dave’ made $73,989 last year, but does that include overtime, or is it just base pay.

    You know, Brian, some cops nearly double their base pay working overtime, and others make a nice income working privately as security.

    I understand nurses make a nice bit of extra ching from overtime.

    I’m thinking we still don’t have the whole story, but I understand that “The Glean” doesn’t do investigative journalism…you’re merely an aggregator; you aggregate.

  3. Submitted by Michael Hunt on 10/28/2010 - 11:25 am.

    Love how Swiftee and the others can be outraged when a Religious Figure steps into the political fray, yet have no problem when a Law Enforcement Figure does the same. But that’s what the 12 Step programs say happens when you OD on Tea.

    Frankly, Horner can drop to 1%, or drop out. I’d rather not vote than vote for either of the other two.

  4. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 10/28/2010 - 12:01 pm.

    So the collar is a Catholic thing? That will come as news to my liberal cousin who is a retired Lutheran minister who wore one when he was a street minister in Minneapolis during the 1960s. And to the Methodist minister who officiated at the funeral of my mother–in-law.

    It’s too bad that too many ministers don’t act like Christ but like the worst of his apostles instead.

    @Swiftie

    If county ‘records’ show they paid someone $XX, that would be overtime included.

  5. Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 10/28/2010 - 12:01 pm.

    @Thomas: I don’t know where you get your information but SPPS reported an overall graduation rate of 86.6% in 2009 [http://datacenter.spps.org/Graduation_Rate.html].

    So, where DO you get YOUR information?

  6. Submitted by Cecil North on 10/28/2010 - 12:21 pm.

    I was under the impression that public servants are not supposed to use their office to promote political causes? In any event, it’s troubling to see uniformed law enforcement officers touting ANY political party or candidate. At least while in uniform, such people need to remain politically neutral or undermine public trust.

  7. Submitted by Cecil North on 10/28/2010 - 12:43 pm.

    Not an expert on these things, but the Hatch Act and Minn Stat 211B.09 come to mind ….

  8. Submitted by Cecil North on 10/28/2010 - 12:55 pm.

    Or, maybe this one?

    Minn Stat 387.41:

    Any officer or employee of the sheriff’s department, when operating under civil service in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, who participates in any manner in activities in support of any candidate or party, directly or indirectly solicits, receives, or pays, or participates in any manner in soliciting, receiving, or paying any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any candidate, party, or political purpose, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to suspension or removal.

  9. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 10/28/2010 - 12:58 pm.

    Thomas: well, you’re misinformed. I can tell you from experience that overtime opportunities for nurses are WAY down with the economy. So that nice bit of “ching” to which you refer doesn’t exist.

  10. Submitted by Tim Walker on 10/28/2010 - 01:22 pm.

    So, let me get this straight.

    Conservatives are outraged that Rep. Betty McCollum inadvertently slipped and forgot to say “under God” once while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

    And, simultaneously, they are chastising Democrats for mixing religion and politics.

    I am shocked, shocked, I say, at this bit of hypocrisy from the Grand Old Party.

  11. Submitted by Brian Simon on 10/28/2010 - 01:55 pm.

    “some cops nearly double their base pay working overtime, and others make a nice income working privately as security… I understand nurses make a nice bit of extra ching from overtime.”

    So what. If you’re netting $200K per year, you’re making 4 times the median MN household income. That’s wealthy enough to pay higher taxes. How a job title is relevant is unclear to me.

  12. Submitted by B Maginnis on 10/28/2010 - 02:23 pm.

    Swifty:

    Haven’t seen a carpet bombing that spectacular since the opening scene of Apocalypse Now!

    Kudos, sir.

  13. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/28/2010 - 02:24 pm.

    “Finally, county records say ‘Deputy Dave’ made $73,989 last year, but does that include overtime, or is it just base pay.”
    ———————————————–

    And I would like to ask if Deputy Dave is getting paid for the ad. Those proceeds may really put him over the top income-wise, and send him deeper into his paranoid abyss of financial ruin.

  14. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/28/2010 - 02:33 pm.

    Indeed, we can agree that 40 percent is too high. I don’t have a problem at all with the notion of “paying one’s debt to society” for criminal activity, but in addition to soaking up $25,000 to $30,000 (I don’t know the exact figure, but I’m close) in taxpayer dollars per inmate per year, does the state’s penal system provide educational or job training opportunities, or are the guys (It’s mostly guys, have you noticed?) left with little else to do but plan the next… um… Ponzi scheme, bank fraud, murder, check kiting, etc., etc., ad nauseum? Wouldn’t it be better if we prepared Mr. Petters and Mr. Hecker for other, different, lines of work when they get out?

    Since the story was about recidivism, or repeated crimes after having served time in prison, it’s unlikely that the percentages Mr. Swift is so eager to connect have the direct cause-and-effect relationship to each other that he implies, but I’d not be surprised if there was at least *some* relationship. It’s not exactly a surprise that many a criminal is, in fact, poorly educated. I’m reading that lately, some Libertarian types are encouraging kids who are doing poorly in school to go ahead and drop out. Pardon me while I try to figure out how that will be helpful to anyone in the long run.

    While graduation rates ARE abysmally low – in addition to Mr. Swift’s curiously gleeful mention of graduation, I noted a ‘Strib story a few weeks back about which schools in Minneapolis have National Merit and IB semifinalists, and that’s not a cheery story, either – I assume someone who believes as strongly as Mr. Swift seems to in the concept of “personal responsibility” would understand that graduation is mostly the responsibility of the student.

    The clerical collar issue sounds very much like election time “tempest in a teapot” hysteria, but even if that’s the case, the Democratic Party has as much credibility when it comes to judging the morality of clergy as any other group – Tea Party, Republican Party, Libertarian Party, Looney Tunes Party, etc. More to the point, and as Roger Ebert has written: “We are quick to forgive our own trespasses, slower to forgive those of others. The challenge of a moral life is to do nothing that needs forgiveness. In that sense, we’re all out on parole.” I don’t believe ANY group has earned the authority to be the exclusive judge of morality.

    As for Deputy Dave and his wife, the nurse. I have a relative who’s an ER nurse in the metro area. I’ll be A) very surprised if “Deputy Dave” and his bride make enough to qualify for a higher tax rate; and B) very disappointed if they do, since it could only mean that my relative is being grossly underpaid for her work.

  15. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/28/2010 - 03:13 pm.

    @#’s 6,7,8 – Cecil:
    ———————————————–

    I couldn’t agree more! In fact, I pretty much said the same thing in my comment in Tuesday’s (10/26/10) Glean.

    Glad that I’m not a lone voice crying in the wilderness of MinnPost.

    Thank you for the research.

  16. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/28/2010 - 03:23 pm.

    Thanks for the link Steve. I get my data from the state Dept. of Ed.

    The numbers on the district website do not match the data it reported to the state.

    http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Data/Data_Downloads/Student/Graduation_Rates/index.html

    Grad in 4 years:

    08-09 62 RAMSEY 0625 ST. PAUL PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT 000 ST. PAUL PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT All Students A All Students Graduate 2000 61.37%

    In 5: 63.86%

    In 6: 67.13%

    I’ve got a call into the district for an explaination. If they answer (they know who I am) I’ll post it.

    I encourage you to contact them as well. This discrepency is quite troubling.

  17. Submitted by Ray Marshall on 10/28/2010 - 03:34 pm.

    Yup, the “collar” image could have been a Protestant. But the button the model was wearing states “Ignore the Poor.” Hmmmm. Most of the objectors to the DVD Marriage mailing said that that money should have been used to help the poor. Hmmmm.

    Seems to us that this is aimed directly at Archbishop Nienstedt for the mailing of those DVDs.

    Oh, and there were three mailings in that district, not one.

    The second one showed an angel with a banner, but that could have been Protestant too.

    But the third image was that of a Catholic side altar surmounted by St. Anthony of Padua holding the Baby Jesus. How many statues like that do you find in Protestant churches?

    And if you look in the lower left corner of that image you will see three crutches. Catholics who pray for intercession to saints or the Blessed Mother, or to God Himself for a cure, if they receive one, leave their crutches behind as concrete evidence of prayers granted. That kind of evidence is found in Catholic Churches across in entire world.

    Rumor has it that an employee of the DFL is now in deep hot water with many elected officials.

  18. Submitted by Josh McCabe on 10/28/2010 - 03:45 pm.

    Well Swiftie, it seems to me that if they make that much money, they can certainly afford to contribute at a higher level FOR ONLY THAT PORTION OF THEIR INCOME THAT MIGHT EXCEED THE THRESHOLD. It won’t be that much when all is said and done. It’s also clear they can afford it if you’re right and they would actually qualify to pay more under the proposed new rules. Their jobs under your suggested additional income scenarios would have to be considered really lucrative by most people’s standards, certainly qualifying as more than average. I know that if I made that much, I wouldn’t have a problem giving back to the community that paid me so generously for my skilled work. But it sounds very much like you think that wouldn’t be right. Honestly, Swift… some people might think of this point of view as selfish and short-sighted. I’m pretty sure that isn’t really the case with you, believe it or not, but you DO seem confused about why one might actually welcome a change in the current unfair tax structure. I am surprised you don’t seem to understand that most people you walk past on the street are getting by with a whole lot less money than that and not complaining about it.

    But then, I guess I’m not very sympathetic to the terrible threat of slightly higher taxes this well-off couple faces. I’m busy watching our property taxes climb each year because no one has recently had the backbone to oppose loudly-squealing wealthy interests and tax us all more fairly based on capacity to contribute rather than basing it on who can’t fight back effectively. Some of my neighbors make less than I do and really struggle with those taxes because they are a much larger percentage of their total income Swift. It hurts them more than it hurts you, get it? But by and large they still pay quietly and reliably because they know that schools and roads and the like cost money to maintain, and that we all benefit from community.

    You see, FastOne, taxes are perhaps the most critical expression of community in the world you and I need to share. Stay with me here, I’ll explain. It’s the same concept that led people to congregate in groups in the first place. There is some additional security in life for individuals who participate in communities. It’s a competitive advantage if you believe in that whole evolution thing, or it’s a moral imperative to love thy neighbor if you believe in the teachings of many different religions including Christianity, but however you come to it, taxes are the lifeblood of our community. They are used to educate our children, help people in dire need, keep the sick and injured from dying when they don’t have to, build bridges and maintain them, etc. etc. You have a really hard time with this, don’t you? I’m sorry it’s so difficult for you. Most of us learned this through experience as we’ve lived our lives, and it isn’t spelled out directly at any point, you just have to pay attention. If you still don’t understand how it benefits you to be part of a community, go on out into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on your back and see what happens when you get sick or hungry or old. Self-reliance is a fine thing, but we all need community for true security. Don’t you agree? I know you do, unless you manufactured your own car, built your own house and grew all your own food. Perhaps, FastOne, the real problem is some people just don’t want to pay what most other people would consider a fare share. We will vote and see what the community decides, I guess.

  19. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/28/2010 - 03:58 pm.

    @12 BD..

    You certainly don’t set the bar very high….

  20. Submitted by B Maginnis on 10/28/2010 - 04:00 pm.

    I always love when the lefties use the term “a fair share”.

  21. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/28/2010 - 04:05 pm.

    “Well Swiftie, it seems to me that if they make that much money, they can certainly afford…”

    And there it is.

    Leftists feel themselves qualified to decide every aspect of our lives…how much we should earn; how much we should pay; what kinds of cars we should drive; what we should wear; what we should eat.

    Seems to me a lot of blood has been spilled to keep that sort of domination from washing ashore in this country. But you’re free, of course to dream those happy dreams.

  22. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/28/2010 - 04:15 pm.

    “You certainly don’t set the bar very high….”

    For better headroom, crawling lower should do the trick.

  23. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/28/2010 - 04:33 pm.

    @#22 – ” …the lefties…”

    @#23 – “Leftists …”
    ———————————————–
    You guys probably direct traffic part-time.

    It is also possible that you consider yourselves “the righties” or “rightists.”

    But despite all that, on many occasions, you have been found to be “wrongies.”

  24. Submitted by Josh McCabe on 10/28/2010 - 04:38 pm.

    Heh. My goodness, you certainly are a challenging young fellow, aren’t you Swift? You seem to imply with your wonderfully childlike gotcha statement (“And there it is.”) that I’ve slipped and revealed something I was hiding, or that I hypocritically disinclude myself or ask something of others I will not do myself. Not so. Can you actually debate your point? I’m very interested to see if any sincere and coherent philosophy backs up your tendency to simply attack your opponents verbally or generalize your opponents into “lefties, who always say things I disagree with and must be wrong”. Can you engage with substance and genuine discussion?

    I can and will pay my fair share as determined by the vote-expressed will of the community I live in, and I expect to pay a greater percentage as I gain more wealth. Why wouldn’t you? And additionally, why do you think my point of view (progressive taxation) is something nefarious? Please make your case sincerely if you can, I’ll listen. It seems quite obvious that we have to make judgements about who is able to pay more or less into the community pot if we are to be fair. You do like things to be fair, don’t you Swift? Need I assert to you that we are not all the same, and we don’t all prosper the same? Would you think it makes sense to assume we all have the same capacities or opportunities in life? Seriously. I’d like to hear what basis you think we ought to be taxed on… unless of course you think there shouldn’t be any taxes.

  25. Submitted by Josh Lease on 10/28/2010 - 04:51 pm.

    @#23: Sir, your arguments are nonsensical.

    If you are going to have a system of taxation at all, there must be a decision of how much people should pay. There is a value judgment made regardless of what the result is about how much is too much, or how little is too little. The arguments may differ, but in the end it is the same. We have a tax system in this country, and we must have one in order to continue to function as a nation. Your ranting about horrible liberals attempting to control everyone’s lives does not change this.

    I would also note that bringing up the blood spilled to “that sort of domination from washing ashore in this country” is nothing more than an emotional plea designed to align your argument on the side of good while painting the other side as evil or unpatriotic, without even the slightest shred of evidence for either, or making even the slightest of logical connections.

    You too may believe whatever you wish, but your arguments add little (if anything) to the discussion, and your constant attacks and labeling of any person who disagrees with your opinions suggests you can’t present a coherent argument to convince anyone.

  26. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/28/2010 - 04:52 pm.

    Ray S:

    Minnesota used to run educational programs in the state prison in Stillwater, but Governor Pawlenty decided to cut that expense.

    Which would have made the life of the nephew of a friend of mine quite different. As a very young man, he fell in love and robbed a candy store for money to buy his girlfriend beautiful gifts. When he tried to rob the same store a second time, the clerk naturally recognized him and called the cops. His conviction led to a term of several years in Stillwater.

    While in prison, he was able to study drafting in the then-educational program. Upon his release, a company which does not automatically refuse to hire anyone who’s been in prison gave him a chance to prove himself — which he did, by excelling at his job and ending up as head of a design group.

    Under Governor Tightwad, the chance to use prison time to try to change one’s future went bye-bye.

  27. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/28/2010 - 05:12 pm.

    I’m in favor of a flat tax, spread across the board from everyone that makes $1 to $1 bil.

    Your protestations give lie to your retoric;

    “But then, I guess I’m not very sympathetic to the terrible threat of slightly higher taxes this well-off couple faces.”

    Of course you’re not…it’s not coming out of *your pocket*. It’s a classic example of the “Happy to [have you] Pay” that keeps the ranks of the left manned…

    “I’m busy watching our property taxes climb each year because no one has recently had the backbone to oppose loudly-squealing wealthy interests…”

    Last year, my city council mailed out truth in taxation letters informing us that they planned to hike taxes by the maximum amount allowed by law.

    A few of my neighbors and I presented ourselves before them and demanded an accounting…turns out they didn’t need that much cash after all. I don’t recall any loud squealing being heard from anyone.

    See, all too often, politicians collect money before they even know what they might spend it on..it’s nuts.

    Instead of waiting for someone else to provide some backbone, we used what we were given by God.

    I suggest you try it.

  28. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 10/28/2010 - 08:00 pm.

    The funny thing about this whole discussion is that such a miniscule provision had to be written into a healthcare bill in the first place. No wonder it took over 2000 pages to insure about half of the uninsured.

  29. Submitted by Josh McCabe on 10/29/2010 - 11:13 am.

    Ah, Swift. Swift Swift Swift. We’re not in disagreement about holding our politicians accountable for how they spend tax dollars. That’s a good idea. I doubt anyone here would suggest that we allow politicians to do as they please with no oversight. But they are just people, and most of them are doing the best they can, not trying to steal from you. See, the problem with you “righties” if you’ll pardon my use of a term that generalizes you and your ilk, is that you’d really really like the world to be simple and understandable for you and everyone in it, and it just isn’t. You’d like to be allowed to live in a dream world where you can consume all you want and tell yourself it’s OK for you to have considerably more than others. It makes you angry when someone points out fairness issues you’d rather not face because they reflect on your choices and make you look bad. I understand that isn’t pleasant to contemplate, sir, as I have to face it too. In this country, we all do.

    But the truth about the world we live in is that it’s complicated and messy and difficult to run fairly. You are an idealist, good for you. Meanwhile, many people you might prefer to ignore are in need of solutions… and your assertion that things are really very simple isn’t going to change the fact that it’s actually complicated. You say “don’t tell me what’s appropriate for me to possess”. I say “don’t tell me your materialism doesn’t hurt others”. As a nation, we’ve had this discussion before, in the 1860’s. I’m sure it surprises no one else here that we are still having it today.

    It’s just paranoid and childish to get angry at people discussing the problem at a level you either don’t think is warranted or don’t want to work hard enough to follow. You’re smart enough, that’s clear. But you indulge yourself in silly empty one-liners and delude yourself about the sincerity and merit of the arguments others here are making. You label your opponents elitists and often imply some sort of conspiracy to take your precious stuff away because I suspect you feel disincluded and threatened by what it means for you. I can understand why, too. But there’s no conspiracy here Swift. It’s right out in the open. If most people agree that someone has more than their share, then that’s the way it is and people like me will work hard to take it away. You see it threatens my children’s well-being if we are ridiculously selfish as a nation and make ourselves a target of the rage the rest of the world feels as their children starve. So I will oppose you.

    We currently see the ultimate expression of this “la-la-la I can’t hear you” tendency in the Tea Party movement. It may be a little embarassing for all of us to have to see our ugly side publically displayed, but it’s better to have it out in the open so we can work to fix it. Thanks for your thoughts, Swift, even though I can’t find a lot of common ground with you yet.

  30. Submitted by Chuck Darrell on 10/31/2010 - 11:50 am.

    DFL uses God’s name to mock pastors.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIH1blSM0RM

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