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He has a one-sided view of bipartisanship

Rep. John Kline says he wants to hear President Obama put principles above partisanship (Opinion Exchange, Jan. 27). He claims the president has too often "opted for a go-it-alone strategy," has created ineffective stimulus packages and plans to put the government in control of health care. He would like the president to admit to mistakes in his approach and policies and redeem himself by adopting Republican positions (against the will of the majority of Americans).

How nice of Kline to offer this advice, but where have he and his party been for the past 12 months? It seems like Obama reached out to Republicans early, even asking one to be in his Cabinet as commerce secretary. He met with Republican leaders on several occasions, and met with business leaders in the health and drug industries, seeking common ground.

The results: Republicans turned down the Cabinet post, and business leaders began running untruthful TV ads about the legislation. At that time, more than 60 percent of the population wanted a public option for health care. Then, Republicans upped the ante. They lied about death panels and misrepresented the bills. Some wanted health care to be Obama's "Waterloo." Their goal: Resist everything.

Yet, you have enjoyed public funding of health care your entire life, Mr. Kline -- why won't you share with others?

As an insider among Washington Republicans, maybe Mr. Kline should visit Minnesota more often.



Why fund the Pentagon over domestic programs?

By freezing domestic spending and continuing to increase money for the Pentagon and foreign affairs, President Obama is doing exactly the opposite of what is necessary to help out the American people whom he represents.

If you know anything about the Roman Empire, you'd know that it fell because its military was spread too far and thin. It's the classic example of humanity's struggle with the idea of control -- the harder you try to control something (such as the world), the more it will control you. Like the United States, Rome was the world's shining example of democracy at one point. As its focus shifted from liberty and justice to military and foreign affairs, and its politicians became corrupt, Rome became overwhelmed with the disease of decadence and it was finally overrun.

I voted for Obama in 2008, but he won't be getting my vote in 2012. Sure, he said he'd get us out of Iraq, but he failed to mention that instead of coming home, our troops would jump farther east into another hellhole.



Construction industry needs government help

The banking industry was bailed out a year ago and is now reportedly back to profitability. A significant justification for the bailout was to keep credit available to support operations of small to medium businesses and to finance capital investments.

At the same time, the construction industry has withered as project after project has been canceled or never financed. The state or federal government needs to step in to provide inducements to free up credit from the banks or devise alternative ways to provide access to credit. Too many architectural, engineering and construction firms are now half their former size.

Fifty percent unemployment in one industry needs to be addressed, and providing better access to credit seems the most promising route.



Pawlenty aims to solve it on the backs of students

So the state government is going to delay payments to local schools due to the current administration's inability to head off the foreseen budget crisis. Now, I'm no political expert, but I'm not sure the campaign slogan "the buck stops with the children" will help Gov. Tim Pawlenty's political aspirations.


Barbara johnson

Go to Great Clips and buy some Tide

I would like to suggest that the next time Minneapolis City Council Member Barbara Johnson attends an ice cream social in her ward, she should wear a bib.

Not only has Johnson wasted campaign dollars on a haircut, but now there's precious taxpayer dollars wasted on the debate of such a thing (Star Tribune, Jan. 17).

As a former candidate for the Minnesota House, would I have gotten away with getting Lasik surgery to make my glasses disappear or my teeth bleached for a brighter smile? I didn't do either because I focused on the issues and thought about the hundreds of people who donated their hard-earned money to my campaign to focus on just that, the issues.



A Wednesday editorial incorrectly said that state candidates will be required to file campaign finance disclosure forms electronically beginning in 2012. That requirement has been approved by the state Senate, but awaits action in the House.