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It is puzzling to me that no one seems to be talking about one of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s biggest assets in the presidential campaign, aside from all of the others. The smart, balanced, practical, honest approach she would bring to her role as our country’s leader makes her a candidate independents and moderate Republicans can and will vote for. I know several. No Democrat I know will ever vote for President Donald Trump, and many of his supporters will not do it again, either. Klobuchar is the candidate most likely to win if she is nominated. Keep this in mind, Democrats, in your caucuses and pre-election contests.

Mary Ritten, Minneapolis

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I’m thrilled with Klobuchar’s announcement that she is running. We cannot counter far-right craziness with far-left craziness. Too many of the Democratic candidates are too far left to sway the all-important independent and moderate voter. Klobuchar is respected by many GOP members of Congress and is known as someone who can get things done. It’s time we back a true moderate who walks the walk regarding bipartisanship.

Tom Intihar, Brooklyn Park

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“I am running for every American.” Those were Amy Klobuchar’s words when she announced her presidential run in Minneapolis.

She is proud of all the laws she has authored.

She is not running for every American. There are plenty of us who are fed up with our big government getting bigger. Americans who want a bigger government will support her. Not those of us who want fewer laws and smaller (and less expensive) government.

Craig Anderson, Brainerd, Minn.

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After reading in the Feb. 9 Rash Report (“Can Klobuchar connect with voters’ ‘true north?’ ”) that “compared to [President Donald] Trump and Klobuchar’s GOP colleagues, her record is progressive,” I thought: Really?

For those who call yourselves progressives, do you agree with Klobuchar’s continual voting in favor of aid to Israel (for instance, $38 billion in military aid over 10 years)? Is it also “progressive” to flirt with the First Amendment by voting to allow states to refuse to do business with companies that boycott Israel? (Six other Democratic presidential hopefuls voted otherwise.)

If our “true north” is a picture with all the puzzle pieces, let’s put them all on the table. Do all Klobuchar votes reflect the desired improvement of our societal human condition by reform?

Bruce Berry, Minneapolis

U.S. REP. ILHAN OMAR

Her comments are more than controversial; they’re dangerous

Amy Klobuchar is a welcome addition to the array of Democrats who have entered the presidential campaign. Her moderate views are in sharp contrast with those candidates who have so far announced their intent to run. But I think she cannot remain silent in the face of the constant anti-Semitic statements offered by a politician in her home state (“Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for tweet on Israel viewed as anti-Semitic,” StarTribune.com, Feb. 11). It seems that Rep. Omar has such animosity toward Jewish people that she cannot control her tendency to express the most virulent anti-Jewish stereotypes we have not heard from politicians in the state of Minnesota for many years. Her most recent attack, in which she says that our congressional representatives only support Israel because of the Jewish money they receive, is perhaps the most dangerous, because it brings to mind the 1930s and ’40s, when Minneapolis was called “the most anti-Semitic city in the U.S.” What concerns me is that a member of Congress from this state would consider such conduct to be an acceptable political strategy.

Ronald Haskvitz, St. Louis Park

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There appears to be an orchestrated political and media hit job going on against Omar in response to her courage for speaking out against Israel’s abuse of Palestinians and its disproportionate influence on the U.S. political process. Her recent tweets that gave rise to the latest controversy consist of an opaque attribution of political support for Israel to campaign donations to congressional candidates, and a follow-up response to a question about the source of the money as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I don’t see how it is anti-Semitic to state such basic observable facts that people and groups focused on Israel advocacy make a tremendous amount of campaign donations and that AIPAC is a critical U.S. political conduit to promote the agenda of the Israeli government. These statements are directed at political positions and not adherents to any particular religion. The only flaw that I see in Omar’s tweets is that they are oversimplistic in assessing the breadth of the “conspiracy” to ensure U.S. support for Israel: (1) It is more than just money; it is also a well-funded and organized political network; and (2) there are many organizations other than AIPAC involved.

Jordan Kushner, Minneapolis

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I am, to my ever-increasing distress, a constituent of Rep. Omar. I am also a Jew and a Zionist. As such, I am appalled by her lack of understanding of (1) the history and current reality of anti-Semitism and (2) the history and current reality of Zionism. It is possible to deplore the behavior of the Israeli government without constant anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist outbursts. I certainly disapprove of the Netanyahu regime. But that doesn’t mean I disapprove of the existence of the State of Israel.

I advise Omar to educate herself about anti-Semitism and Zionism so that she may intelligently criticize what is legitimately regrettable and leave the anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist tropes to internet trolls.

Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis

TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT OF 2017

How’s that working out for you?

Unfortunately, I fell victim to the old government shell game by actually believing the rhetoric about the “economic miracle” and “the biggest tax cuts in American history.” (President Donald Trump patting himself on the back last June about the tax reform that was rushed through in 2017.) Last year I did see an increase in my take-home pay and was encouraged about the government doing something to help the middle class. This encouragement came to a screeching halt when I did my taxes last week. My wife and I claim zero deductions, and in comparing our 2017 withholding, 12.5 percent, to our 2018 numbers, 8.7 percent, we will end up paying roughly the same taxes as we did last year, plus a penalty for underpaying our taxes throughout the year. It reminded me of a quote from Miracle Max in “The Princess Bride”: “You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

Bruce Lemke, Orono

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Last year my husband and I had $26,309 in tax deductions, of which $22,000 were state and real estate taxes. This year the tax deduction is limited to $10,000, but the standard deduction for us is $26,600 — so a wash, right? Well, no. We have a pass-through business, so 20 percent of the income from that business is now deductible. But because we lost $12,000 in state and local tax deductions, the first $12,000 of our qualified income deduction is consumed by making up for that loss. So the first — $60,000 of small-business pass-through income does not count toward the business tax deduction. Most small-business owners in Minnesota will be similarly screwed by the “Tax Increase Act of 2017.”

Mary Poppendieck, Eden Prairie

GOOD NIGHT, SWEETHEARTS

A progenitor of sorts

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s especially sad to read of the demise of Sweethearts candy (“RIP Sweethearts, a candy we loved (or loved to hate),” Feb. 10). In the reality of our world, Sweethearts were the forerunner of Twitter: You could say something with limited characters, and someone else would eat your words.

Paul Waytz, Minneapolis