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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
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The President and the Congress Should Work Together on Military Intervention


By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In his speech last week outlining his plans to use military force against the jihadists of the Islamic State, President Obama gave Congress only passing mention. “I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL,” he said. “But I believe we are strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together.”

He’s right, of course. But that’s not the half of it.

We live in troubled times, and over the last decade or two our military has been deeply involved somewhere in the world: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria... It’s a long list that will only grow longer as we’re called upon to use force in the future.

Our process for deciding to use force, however, hasn’t caught up with these dangerous times. It has been decades since Congress asserted any meaningful role — pretty much everyone in the country, including most members of Congress, consider military intervention to be the President’s prerogative. Congress has been far too deferential: its members prefer to avoid a potentially difficult political vote, let the President take the lead, and then criticize him if he was wrong.

At the moment, much of the debate in the press and in Washington about the President’s intentions revolves around the legal justifications, which I find slightly amusing. The fact is that presidents always find the legal authority to take whatever action they believe is in the country’s best interest, and they have plenty of cards in their deck: self-defense, national security, protecting Americans, and their constitutional role as commander in chief.

Indeed, there are occasions when the President must act alone. If we’ve been attacked or hostilities are imminent or some emergency presents itself for which force is the only response, we’d expect the President to respond effectively.

But there are powerful political reasons for making the decision to use force abroad a joint one with Congress in all but emergencies.

When our nation must deal with controversial, complicated questions, there is great value to making the President articulate his analysis of the situation and the reasons for his decisions, and to test that thinking beyond close advisors who naturally tend to support him. The best place to do so is in Congress, where fresh eyes and an independent point of view will produce tough questions. Invariably, the result is a refine .....
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Guest commentary: Who has heard of Wells, Minn.?

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Brett Kues I have been told several times by several people, “Now is the time to build a new school because it will never be less expensive than it is if we build right now.” This seems to be the go to line for every person wanting a new sch ..... 
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POET General Managers make their voices heard in Washington

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Preston Commentary

SIOUX FALLS, SD (September 18, 2014) – Chris Hanson, General Manager of POET Biorefining – Preston, traveled to Washington, D.C. September 14-17 to meet with Congressional officials and highlighted the important role ethanol plays in reducing o ..... 
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The Bad Lie

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

I was paging through one of my old issues in Smithsonian (because I’m a nerd, remember) and I came across a full-page advertisement that, well, struck me. Like a baseball bat upside the head, I found myself rendered speechless by what was laid out ..... 
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Harmony Veterinary Clinic acquires Cresco Veterinary Clinic

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Harmony Business Announcements

The doctors and staff at the Harmony Veterinary Clinic are pleased to announce the acquisition of the Cresco Veterinary Clinic in Cresco, Iowa. The Doctors and employees are very excited about this new venture and look forward to extending the same ..... 
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A View From The Woods

By Loni Kemp

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

Peace of Mind I garden for many reasons, such as fresh food, colorful flowers, butterflies and a lovely landscape. Yet increasingly, I find that I am seeking peace of mind. When it happens, the experience is sublime, hard to describe and fleeting. ..... 
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Preston Sets Preliminary Levy

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

By Karen Reisner The Preston City Council at their September 15 meeting unanimously passed a resolution setting the 2015 preliminary levy. The 2015 levy increase may be as much as 6.94 percent. In December when the final levy/budget is approved thi ..... 
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Rushford - Peterson discusses open meeting in preparation for forums

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

Due to several upcoming public forums, the R-P district has sought legal advice on regulations regarding to open meeting law. The district has been advised to follow protocol for published notice, as it does with board meetings, so regardless of whe ..... 
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Chatfield Brass Band Invites New Members

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Chatfield All

The Chatfield Brass (and woodwind) Band invites new members to join the group as they begin their fall rehearsal schedule. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm in the Chatfield Elementary School band room. The first rehearsal is on Thurs ..... 
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