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It will take years to undo what this administration has done


Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

One question I get about my commentaries is: "How do you pick your subject?"

Most of the time I choose medically related subjects. It's not that I don't have strong opinions on other subjects. I suspect people will take me more seriously if they think practicing medicine for nearly forty years gives me some insight not available to non-physicians. I'm entitled to opinions on politics just like everyone else. But should I inflict them on anyone else?

This week's events negate all my plans for a commentary because Iraq sucks all the oxygen out of the room.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are giving testimony to Congress as I write this. Bush has signaled for weeks that he is not going to change strategy. There have been so many leaks about the testimonies I expect there are no real surprises. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have all stated their positions. Nothing is going to change in Iraq policy. There is no Democrat majority to force change let alone to override a veto. There are 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans in the Senate; there are two Independents that caucus with the Democrats and one (Lieberman) votes with the Republicans on Iraq.

This stale mate will continue but in the meantime it produces a curtain that shields the administration and Congress from all the other things many of us would be irate about.

While trumpeting to the base of the Republican party about the need for a small federal government, Bush issued executive orders that make it almost impossible for the states to control a program passed by the Congress specifically to give states that right: the States Children's Health Insurance Program.

In defending the indefensible, the administration claims the Congressional bills in conference committee on the States Children's Health Insurance Program is the first step toward socialism or even communism. This while promoting permanent tax cuts that give over 50 percent of the benefits to people making more than a million dollars a year. He is also promoting "Medical Advantage" plans in place of regular Medicare. This costs 12 percent more than standard Medicare and will hasten depletion of the Medicare Trust. News today outlines failure of the administration to audit Medicare Advantage as required by statute resulting in millions in over payments.

The administration has trumpeted the economy as having produced 8 million jobs during the economic recovery and increases in h .....
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A coming together

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worker. I wasn't looking forward to it but it turned out to be an interesting chat. He was a young man no older than 40 and relatively senior in the inspector r ..... 
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Pawlenty, get'r done!

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

It was a genuine good feeling in the immediate wake of the horrific flooding to see a stream of politicians visiting southeast Minnesota - assessing the damage personally, visiting with officials, and giving assurances to people who had lost everyth ..... 
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Flush Day and other signs of progress

Fri, Sep 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary



The porta-potty is gone from our front yard, leaving only a three foot square patch of dead grass and a strange memory. Last week we celebrated "Flush Day"-the day Rushford residents were told it was okay to flush toilets again. This week af ..... 
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The church ladies and the loaves and fishes

Fri, Aug 31st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

RUSHFORD - Shakespeare said "Some are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them." Betty Culhane belongs to the second group. The recent flood in Rushford resulted in displaced people, who were also, sooner than later, hungry. As the ..... 
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The perfect storm

Fri, Aug 31st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Not many of us would consider the recent rains that brought such devastating flooding to our region, the perfect storm. Most would consider the perfect storm as one that would have brought its 10+ inches of rain, with us making note of only how the ..... 
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Loans to Rushford businesses may not be enough

Fri, Aug 24th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

When asked early last week whether the recent rainfall was a 50 year or 100 year event, Fillmore County Engineer John Grindeland shrugged his shoulders.

"Who can conceive of 17 inches of rain?" Grindeland asked rhetorically.

Call i ..... 
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We all must do our small part to rebuild Rushford

Fri, Aug 24th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Friday, August 18, was a pretty typical day in Rushford. At least for me. I dragged myself out of bed to go walk the high school track. The R-P football team was practicing next door on the practice field by 7:30 a.m. I like watching their practices ..... 
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The bogeyman is gone

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Karl Rove will be departing the White House at the end of August, leaving Washington, our government and the party of Lincoln in tatters. The brains behind George Bush, Rove's take-no-prisoners political tactics set the tone for this presidency, an ..... 
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