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Archive for August, 2011

This morning, the Obama/Holder Justice Department announced that it is filing a lawsuit to prevent the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. Setting aside considerations on whether the merger would be a step in the right or wrong direction, this lawsuit brings major complications for Democrats in 2012 and beyond. This statement from the Communication Workers of America union expresses in very certain terms what they think of the DOJ’s lawsuit:

Washington, D.C. — The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to seek to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA is simply wrong.

In today’s sinking economy, where millions of Americans are looking for work, the DOJ has filed suit to block a merger that will create as many as 96,000 quality jobs. In the U.S., where too many Americans, especially in rural areas, don’t have access to the tools of Internet technology, the DOJ is looking to block a plan to build out high speed wireless access to 97 percent of the country.

In a nation where workers’ rights are routinely violated, as occurs everyday at T-Mobile, the DOJ apparently believes that workers should be on their own instead of having a fair choice about union representation.

The DOJ’s action would put good jobs and workers’ rights at the bottom of the government’s priorities. Just yesterday, AT&T announced that it would return a net 5,000 jobs to the U.S. on completion of the merger. That is the kind of corporate responsibility that more employers in the U.S. should demonstrate if we are ever to have an economic recovery.

Instead of acting to block this merger, our government should be looking to support companies that create, keep and return good jobs to the United States.

This is the last thing the Obama campaign can afford at this time. Unions have already signaled that their support of his campaign won’t be as enthusiastic as it was in 2008:

The growing rift between labor and their Democratic allies was on full display Thursday, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that labor groups are planning to scale back their involvement with the Democratic Party in advance of the 2012 elections.

Going forward, Trumka said, the labor movement will build up its own political structures and organizations rather than contribute to and depend on the Democratic Party’s political operation.

This lawsuit will be seen by the CWA as another finger in the eye from this administration. The merger would’ve increased the size of their union as T-Mobile isn’t unionized. The merger would’ve forced T-Mobile’s workers into the CWA. The merger would’ve made the Communication Workers union one of the most powerful unions in the nation.

With unions already disappointed with the Obama administration’s lack of accomplishments on their issues (See Card Check), this lawsuit is just another strike against the Obama administration. It isn’t likely that the unions will vote for the GOP presidential nominee. It’s plenty likely that they’ll be less than enthusiastic in contributing to President Obama’s campaign.

That alone makes the DOJ’s lawsuit to prevent this merger foolish, with the possibility of it being a career-ender for President Obama.

Check back tomorrow for another post on the potential ramifications of the DOJ’s lawsuit on other elections.

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The DFL has an extremist problem. It’s highlighted in this LTE:

Congressman Cravaack tried to force radical measures into the debt-ceiling bill, like the balanced budget amendment, and then voted against the bill. Why?

Now it’s radical to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money? When did it become radical to think that, when faced with a debt crisis, cutting spending is radical? When non-defense discretionary spending is increased by 84% in the 30 months since President Obama’s inauguration, spending must be cut dramatically.

When each of the annual deficits under President Obama are the only deficits in excess of $1,000,000,000,000, dramatic steps must be taken. Token cuts won’t cure the problem. Voting against the debt ceiling bill isn’t extreme. It’s a path that’s perfectly respectable.

The DFL will have difficulty hanging the extremist moniker on Chip, especially if he keeps making statements like this:

“The uncertainty Minnesota working families and aviation employees experienced was completely avoidable. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Reid was more concerned about the airport located within his district than he was about an entire FAA shutdown impacting tens of thousands of FAA jobs and working families across the United States.

It’s unfortunate that some are now pointing fingers, as this dilutes our number one priority of creating sustainable jobs for Minnesotans. I urge Senator Reid and Chairman Rockefeller to complete a long-term FAA bill that can be signed into law to help this troubled economy, instead of a temporary extension.”

Chip Cravaack is pushing for real solutions to real problems facing Minnesotans. I’d love hearing the DFL explain how that’s extreme. Most thoughtful Minnesotans would agree that that’s doing the responsible thing.

On a sidenote, Sen. Reid needs to stop sitting on his thumbs. He’s been a total do-nothing ideologue who’s done everything possible to thwart the Republicans’ attempts to clean up the mess President Obama, Sen. Reid and then-Speaker Pelosi created.

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Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-HD14B, has written an LTE criticizing the GOP legislature for MnSCU’s failures:

The budget agreement Republicans insisted on during our government shutdown levied huge cuts on Minnesota students. Their plan hit MnSCU campuses with a historic cut, scaling back funding to 1999 levels. That means our colleges and universities are being asked to serve 40,000 more students with the same funding that they got in 1999.

What this really says is that there are alot more students in degree programs that shouldn’t be part of any community college or state university. What this says is that alot of money could be saved by eliminating programs like the Social Responsibility Masters Degree program at St. Cloud State or the Ecotourism AAS degree offered at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd.

Eliminating the Social Responsibility Masters Degree program would save St. Cloud State $1,218,000 in salaries alone.

That’s before questioning whether there’s a genuine need for multiple campuses at most of the community colleges or whether there’s a need for the teaching staff and administrative staff. That’s before questioning the justification of universities hiring lobbyists on the public’s dime. Why should taxpayers pay for lobbyists so they can tell legislators that they need more of the taxpayers’ money?

That’s before answering the question of whether MnSCU serves a useful purpose anymore. The chancellor gets paid $360,000 in salary per year. James McCormick, the man who just retired as chancellor, received a $50,000 bonus…after he retired.

Still, Rep. Hosch would have us believe that Republicans are to blame for higher ed’s problems. Republicans aren’t to blame. MnSCU’s decisionmaking has cost Minnesota’s taxpayers millions of dollars.

For decades Minnesota has been an economic leader in part because our students received a great higher education. Our best and brightest used their Minnesota degrees to get Minnesota jobs that drove our economy. That is a big reason why Minnesota has more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any state in the country.

Rep. Hosch’s comparison to the 60’s and 70’s doesn’t fit. Back then, higher education money was spent mostly on things that trained students for careers in engineering, medical research, technology, architecture and other highly needed scientific disciplines.

Those programs still exist. Unfortunately, they’ve been supplemented with programs that don’t prepare students for gainful employment in the private sector.

It’s real simple. If you invest in sciences, math, history and other programs of rigor, the state is rewarded. If the money is spent on junk like Ecotourism and Social Responsibility, taxpayers will get ripped off.

This paragraph is especially irritating to taxpayers:

The good news is we can make better choices. Area legislators insisted on a budget that did not ask the very wealthiest special interests to contribute a penny to our budget solution. Instead they gave our students a bill. This is neither fair nor wise. We need a balanced path forward that recognizes higher education in an economic priority for Minnesota students, families and our future.

What’s aggravating is that the DFL insists that higher education shouldn’t be accountable for their foolish decisionmaking. The days of writing higher education checks, then letting them do whatever they want with that money are over. This winter, the DFL will have a choice to make. They can either fight for the status quo or they can resist Republicans’ attempts to make universities more accountable.

The DFL better choose wisely. Minnesota is watching.

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If there’s anything that comes through loud and clear in this CNN poll, it’s that Gov. Perry’s surge is gaining strength. Let’s look at the Perry surge data:

Aug. 24-25 (without Palin, Giuliani)

Perry 32%
Romney 18%

Aug. 5-7 (without Palin, Giuliani)

Perry 18%
Romney 23%

Mitt’s in a difficult position. He can’t ignore a well-funded Rick Perry lest he look like he isn’t willing to fight for the principles he believes in. Also, if he doesn’t question Gov. Perry, people will question whether he’ll go soft on President Obama.

The other thing to take from this polling is that Gov. Perry has hurt Rep. Ron Paul. Paul went from 14% approval in the Aug. 5 poll to 6% in the Aug. 24-25 poll.

Next Monday, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will square off in the ‘Demint Debate’ in South Carolina. Mitt’s announced that he won’t participate in the debate, which is being seen as a snub to South Carolina.

The Demint debate will be interesting in that it’ll be a possible preview of future debates.

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Ed’s post in response to Jonathan Alter’s article about whether President Obama is a bad president is a fun exercise. My question for Ed is whether there’s a word limit, minimum or maximum, for proving it. First, a little of Ed’s commentary:

First, the basis of the question has it backwards. We’re not required to “prove” that Obama is a lousy President; he’s required to make a case for another four years of the same approach to the voters. Alter starts from a presumption that Obama is somehow entitled to a second term unless we can prove to Alter that he doesn’t. No politician is entitled to office except for the term they win from the voters.

But even arguing on the basis of Alter’s challenge, it’s not hard to answer. He questions whether any President who presides over 9% unemployment is objectively bad enough to fire after one term. Not necessarily; it depends on how one reacts to that level of economic damage and attempts to correct it. I’d argue that Obama deserves to get fired for taking that moment in economic crisis to pass not one but two wide-sweeping regulatory bills that made employment and investment so risky that job creators have their capital on the sidelines. ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank imposed broad and ambiguous authority to the federal government that has produced a “Rule of Whim” mentality in the executive branch, especially ObamaCare, which HHS has enforced by granting waivers to certain insurers, especially to unions, that don’t meet the spending-to-premium ratio that Congress pulled out of a hat.

There Ed goes again. He’s using alot of the material I’d intended to use so I’ll attempt to use a different set of arguments.

First, President Obama’s economic plan is the most central planning-based set of policies I’ve ever seen. The EPA’s mission appears to be to destroy America’s energy production capacity. A president interested in creating jobs would’ve fired EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a year ago. It’s telling that he hasn’t fired her.

Next, a president who’s interested in governing the entire county would put the NLRB on a much tighter leash. He’d overrule Craig Becker and give Boeing the approval to start making plans for building Boeing’s Dreamliner planes. Again, it’s telling that he’s steered clear of that conversation.

Third, President Obama’s foreign policy has been, with a few exceptions, a disaster. He’s cozied up to America’s enemies like Iran and Venezuela while stiffing traditional allies like the British and the Israelis. He wouldn’t even fight for liberty when Iran’s mock elections 2 years ago were protested in the streets of Teheran.

President Obama’s energy policy has been a disaster, too. We’re already paying a price for it. We’ll pay a bigger price for it 5 years from now.

If that isn’t enough to prove that President Obama doesn’t deserve a second term, then we might as well agree that all presidents deserve 2 terms.

No thanks.

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After reading Deepak Chopra’s article in the SF Chronicle, you’d think that America’s best days are ahead and that only President Obama can get us to that better place.
It’s time for Mr. Chopra to put down the peace pipe and return to the land of reality. Here’s part of his article:

Achievement: Life needs to be productive, with a sense of meaning and accomplishment. For decades American achievement was a given; we led the world in accomplishments on all fronts, and American exceptionalism was recognized globally. Now the trend is against us. The rise of China and India, the loss of manufacturing at home, a sudden drop into permanent unemployment for millions of minority and older workers—all these factors make the public feel that the country isn’t moving in the right direction.

Obama has been fulfilling this need by rooting for the American spirit (as every President must, some with greater or lesser success), promising a better future, and offering economic stimulus and jobs programs. He constantly points to a new future of innovation, restored infrastructure, stronger research and development and renewable energy. He doesn’t attack globalism but faces the fact that global competition means that change must come to America.

Mr. Chopra is right. President Obama talks alot about a better future, more jobs at greater incomes, etc. Unfortunately for America, it’s all happy talk, no achievement. What’s worse is that his policies are total failures.

He so wants renewable energy to succeed that he’s delighted to see the EPA take oil and coal offline in many states. (See Jim Hoft’s post for more on that.)

Before President Obama’s inauguration, I wrote that this should be the scariest time in his life. I said that he’d no longer be rated just on his ability to turn a good speech. I said he’d be rated on his results. At this point, his results stinks.

Here’s another delusional outtake from Chopra’s column:

Unity and community: the third basic need is the feeling that you belong, that a greater society wants you and that you are not left behind. To fulfill this need, the President has talked about bipartisanship and the end of crippling divisiveness in politics. Although himself born into a minority, he stands as a potent symbol for overcoming ancient social prejudice. I realize that we are all sick of talking about divisiveness, and everyone recognizes the political contradiction at work around us: voters declare that they are sick of bitter partisanship while constantly sending the most partisan politicians to Washington.

Again, it’s all been happy talk. For each time he’s talked about bipartisanship, he’s ignored the will of the people. Think Obamacare and the stimulus. The American people are tired of the happy talk and getting ignored.

President Obama is a rigid ideologue. The proof of that is how he governed when he had overwhelming majorities in Congress. He didn’t put partisanship aside. His partisanship was so obnoxious that he told Eric Cantor that he’d ram his stimulus through if need be because “We won.” Not a single Republican suggestion was included in the bill.

Had he included some Republican ideas in the bill, the economy would be better. Instead, he’s taking all of the criticism for the predictably underperforming economy.

Chopra apparently lives in the same la-la land of non-reality that President Obama lives in. While we can’t get rid of Chopra, the good news is that We The People will get rid of President Obama in the next election.

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Let me preface this post by saying that I’d be ok with Ron Paul being president if the president wasn’t also commander-in-chief. I agree with Ron Paul’s agenda of limited government that lives within the constraints of the U.S. Constitution.
He wouldn’t be my first choice but I’d be ok with him.

The thing that eliminates him from being a top tier presidential candidate is his perspective on who caused 9/11. This is typical Ron Paul thinking:

At a campaign stop on Saturday in Winterset, one man asked Paul how terrorist groups would react if the U.S. removed its military presence in Middle Eastern nations, a move the candidate advocates.

“Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.

“If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.

“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”

Anyone that thinks that the strain of radical Islam isn’t motivated by their thirst for ushering in a worldwide caliphate hasn’t done their homework. Fortunately, Patrick Poole did his. Read this and tell me if Ron Paul’s theory is solid thinking or insanity:

What Western intelligence authorities know about The Project begins with the raid of a luxurious villa in Campione, Switzerland on November 7, 2001. The target of the raid was Youssef Nada, director of the Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano, who has had active association with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than 50 years and who admitted to being one of the organization’s international leaders. The Muslim Brotherhood, regarded as the oldest and one of the most important Islamist movements in the world, was founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928 and dedicated to the credo, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

The raid was conducted by Swiss law enforcement at the request of the White House in the initial crackdown on terrorist finances in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. US and Swiss investigators had been looking at Al- Aqwa’s involvement in money laundering and funding a wide range of Islamic terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, HAMAS (the Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood), the Algerian GIA, and the Tunisian Ennahdah.

Included in the documents seized during the raid of Nada’s Swiss villa was a 14-page plan written in Arabic and dated December 1, 1982, which outlines a 12-point strategy to “establish an Islamic government on earth”, identified as The Project. According to testimony given to Swiss authorities by Nada, the unsigned document was prepared by “Islamic researchers” associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ron Paul’s theory is that al-Qa’ida plotted 9/11 as a response to the U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia. Those with a willingness to accept verifiable truth, though, are forced to admit that 9/11 had everything to do with a “12-point strategy to ‘establish an Islamic government on earth’, identified as The Project.”

It’s time for Ron Paul to admit he’s been badly wrong about the jihadists for a very long time. If he won’t accept these planning documents as proof that the Muslim Brotherhood is determined to create a worldwide caliphate, then Ron Paul isn’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. PERIOD.

The documents don’t talk about U.S. interventionism in the Middle East. The only thing they talk about is a steely determination to establish a Muslim caliphate that will rule the world.

It’s time for Ron Paul to pull his head out of his ass and accept the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood’s version of radical Islam. If he isn’t willing to admit the truth, then his political career should come to a crashing halt this winter.

We don’t need an ill-informed idiot as commander-in-chief.

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Minnesotans for a Fair Economy is part of the progressive shock troop brigades, which means that they aren’t interested in harassing people equally. This post on their blog proves that:

Leon Whiteman-Cariveau

TakeAction Minnesota joined with our allies from Minnesotans for a Fair Economy at Noon today, chasing Wells Fargo CEO Jon Campbell and the politicians he supports through Wells Fargo PAC, down Nicollet Mall. Banks got billions in bailout money, politicians got $5 million. And all the rest of us got was this crummy economy. Watch, then share it out!

It’s well within TAM’s First Amendment rights to protest Wells Fargo CEO Jon Campbell. In fact, TAM might be surprised that alot of conservatives oppososed TARP, too.

What’s painfully obvious is that TAM and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy don’t treat different bailout recipients the same way. They certainly didn’t create a stink about the UAW getting their bailout from the Obama administration.

It’s painfully apparent that TAM and MAFE have a double standard. If unions get bailout cash, that’s sticking up for the working man. (Nevermind the fact that ‘the working man’ has Cadillac health insurance and a defined benefit pension plan that most middle class people would envy.) TAM and MAFE are fine with that.

The minute that perceived fatcats get bailouts, though, TAM and MAFE are furious. They’ll put a protest together against banking fatcats on a moment’s notice.

The other thing that they’re getting famous for is protesting those they don’t agree with while giving a free pass to politicians they agree with:

The crowd, organized by the community coalition Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and other groups, had followed the politicians and high-dollar donors, who made a last-minute change of venue from the exclusive Spring Hill Golf Club, apparently to avoid facing Minnesotans angry over their job-killing policies.

They watched as a plane flew overhead bearing a banner reading, “Where’s our piece of the pie? JOBS NOW.” The group was joined by puppet versions of Reps. Boehner, Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen, and Kline, who arrived in a limousine.

“These job-killing politicians are pushing radical budget cuts that threaten the jobs of nurses, teachers, and other hardworking Minnesotans,” said Minnesotans for a Fair Economy spokesperson Donna Cassutt. “It’s shameful that Reps. Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen and Kline are more interested in donors willing to pay $10,000 for a round of golf in order to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, while the Twin Cities has the second highest rate of black unemployment among large metropolitan areas in the United States.”

Ms. Cassutt better take off her rose-colored glasses. They’re preventing her from seeing that President Obama’s policies are killing jobs. Obamacare is killing job creation. Ditto with Dodd-Frank, the EPA’s and the NLRB’s regulatory unconstitutional overreach.

In fact, the Obama administration’s EPA is doing more to kill jobs than all of the Republicans’ spending cuts could possibly kill.

TAM and MAFE live in a fact-free world where everything they say should be treated like it’s etched by God’s finger in stone tablets atop Mount Sinai.

Shame on TAM, MAFE and other DFL surrogates for ignoring reality. Shame on them for ignoring that that President Obama’s policies and spending have taken an ailing economy and turned it into a total mess without a direction or purpose.

Despite TAM’s and MAFE’s vehement protests, President Obama is responsible for killing jobs.

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Dane Smith has long been an advocate for progressive policies. Until now, he’s been a sane voice, relatively, for those policies. This editorial raises serious questions on whether he’s finally gone off the deep end.
This section in particular suggests Smith isn’t thinking straight:

Many international models present themselves. T.R. Reid, author of the best-selling book “The Healing of America,”outlines the four basic systems:

» The Bismarck model, found in Germany and Japan, featuring private, competing nonprofit providers and payers;

» The Beveridge model, found in the U.K. and Scandinavian countries, and featuring more classically socialist public ownership of hospitals and clinics;

» A National Health Insurance model, like those in Canada and Korea and Taiwan, combining features of the previous two models, private-sector providers with government as a single-payer;

» And finally, an “out-of-pocket” model, a no-government nonsystem found only in the world’s poor and undemocratic nations, in which the affluent get care and the poor get sick and die.

Smith was doing fine until that last, ill-advised chapter. It appears as though Smith finally snapped. It appears as though he’s now channeling his inner Alan Grayson.

Grayson, defeated after a single term in the U.S. House, is famous for his description of the GOP health care plan:

The Republican health care plan for America: “Don’t get sick. That’s right, don’t get sick. If you have insurance, don’t get sick. If you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick. If you’re sick, don’t get sick.”

The Republicans have a backup plan in case you do get sick. If you do get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you do get sick.

Smith’s model isn’t exactly the same as Rep. Grayson’s. It isn’t significantly different, either. Smith’s model is intellectually dishonest. It’s filled with hyperbole. Based on this article, it’s pure BS:

Emergency room waiting times at some Ontario hospitals are prompting seriously ill people to walk away, sometimes with fatal results, health officials say.

Dr. Sean Gartner says 11 per cent of the people who came to the emergency room at his hospital in Guelph last month ended up leaving without receiving treatment.

A few months earlier, Gartner said an elderly man who left after he became tired of waiting was later found dead.

In February, Patricia Vepari, a 21-year-old engineering student, arrived at a Kitchener hospital emergency room with a fever, sore throat and nausea.

Facing an eight-hour wait, she decided to go home, where she died of an infection.

It’s understatement to say that the Canadian model that Smith is advocating for isn’t all that he’s suggested it is. In fact, it isn’t a stretch to say the Canadian system is a good system until you get seriously ill. Then it’s downright dangerous.

These Canadian ER stories are horrific. They’re the types of stories you’d expect from Third World countries, not from an industrial nation.

Smith would do well to do more research into health care before writing such dangerous, ideology-driven opinions as this.

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Rep. Tina Liebling’s op-ed on Minnesota’s higher education system is in desperate need of correcting. If this were a term paper, Rep. Liebling wouldn’t get a very good grade. Here’s one thing she said that’s objectionable:

Many in my father’s generation were able to attend college only because of the GI Bill, where the federal government paid for the education or job training of returning World War II veterans. Under the GI Bill the sons and daughters of immigrant waiters and miners and farmers greatly expanded the middle class as they became business people, professionals and academics.

It isn’t that the things Rep. Liebling said are incorrect. It’s that Rep. Liebling isn’t painting a complete picture. The difference between the higher education system of the post-WWII era and now is that the programs of 50+ years ago were dedicated to giving students, many of whom were returning veterans, the skills they needed to do a great job for the company that would hire them.

When today’s students graduate with a degree in Ecotourism or Social Responsibility, it’s difficult to picture employers beating a path to their door to hire graduates with those degrees.

What’s needed isn’t ‘investment’ in higher education. What’s needed is beefing up programs that add value to the economy. Resources are finite. They must be spent wisely. Right now, that isn’t happening.

This ill-informed cheapshot statement won’t go unchallenged:

A generation later, when I finished high school, my family could not afford to pay for college. Even so, I was able to attend the University of Minnesota and get a great education. This great academic institution was available to me and many others of my generation because Minnesota invested in our future. Without public investments, the GI bill, subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, and the public support that kept tuition low at public colleges and universities, our state and nation would be just a shadow of its present self. That’s where the Republican and Tea Party policies of today are taking us.

Rep. Liebling’s ill-informed cheapshot at the TEA Party is proof of her ignorance and her willingness to engage in demagoguery. Rep. Liebling’s statement isn’t based on reality.

Apparently, Rep. Liebling’s education didn’t include communication training. Paragraphs shouldn’t be 104 words long. A new paragraph should’ve started with this sentence:

Without public investments, the GI bill, subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, and the public support that kept tuition low at public colleges and universities, our state and nation would be just a shadow of its present self.

Paragraph breaks should be placed where the subject changes. Rep. Liebling’s op-ed on ‘investing’ in higher education would be more credible if her grammar wasn’t this tortured.

This statement must be challenged:

People with college educations are less likely to be unemployed and make $900,000 more in their lifetimes than those with high school diplomas.

This type of generalized statement shouldn’t be allowed to stand without scrutiny. It isn’t difficult to believe that graduates with degrees in engineering, biology, health care-related disciplines and other hard degrees will make more money than someone with a high school diploma.

Students with a degree in Social Responsibility might make a little more than a high school graduate but it’s hardly guaranteed.

The tuition hikes this year continue a troubling trend. It now costs about twice as much to go to college than it did just 10 years ago. This forces many students to borrow thousands of dollars and go deeply in debt.

In 2007, Gov. Pawlenty signed a Higher Education Omnibus Bill that increased spending by $296,000,000. That represents an 11.3% increase. Still, tuition increased.

That’s because the money wasn’t spent wisely. It wasn’t used to solidify degree programs that added value to Minnesota’s economy.

We can’t continue spending money without knowing what we’re getting for the money that’s getting spent.

Let’s hope that Rep. Liebling learns that before she writes another ill-informed op-ed.

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