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Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money

Pawlenty's order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law.
Playing politics with the peoples health. This move to swear off federal health care money could be worth a lot -- namely, a potential gain of five points in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.

Eric Kleefeld, Talking Points Memo

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) is taking a bold step among Republicans opposed to the new federal health care reform law. As his latest move, Pawlenty has issued an executive order forbidding his state's officials from applying for grant money from the new law.

Pawlenty's order allows only applications for money that are required by law -- which would seemingly mean that this is not a case of nullification, and falls short of such an extreme step -- or approved by the governor's office.

Pawlenty's order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law, such as: "WHEREAS, the Act represents a dramatic attempt to assert federal command and control over this country's health care system, which accounts for one-sixth of our nation's economy, thereby reducing individual freedom for health care decisions."

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Minnesota 2020 Property Tax Report: 2002-2010

Our latest analysis outlines how eight years of regressive “no new taxes” state policy has forced local governments to rely more heavily on property taxes as a source of revenue while also making deep cuts in education, infrastructure and public services.

Jeff Van Wychen, Minnesota 2020

Property taxes in Minnesota have soared since 2002, the product of state policies that have shifted more public costs on to property tax and more of the property tax on to homeowners.  Minnesota 2020 Property Tax Report: 2002-2010 examines the causes of the growth in property taxes and what can be done about it.

The principle culprit behind statewide property tax increases since 2002 is the reduction in revenue the state shares with local governments.  In constant 2010 dollars, state aid to local governments has fallen by $2.6 billion since 2002.  In response, local governments have increased property taxes by $1.7 billion.  However, property tax increases weren't enough to replace lost state aid; therefore, total revenue of Minnesota local governments fell.  In fact since 2002, local government revenues have fallen much more rapidly than state government revenues.

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What Did FDR Really Do for America?

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All those Tea Party people who want austerity, to eliminate Social Security, medicare, unemployment benefits, etc., and who think that all sort of jobs are out there and that unemployed Americans laid off in near record numbers are lazy and undeserving leeches, need a history lesson.

Steven D, Booman Tribune

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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Sometimes its worth taking a moment to remember what America was like the day before FDR's inauguration in 1933. All those Tea Party people who want austerity, to eliminate Social Security, medicare, unemployment benefits, etc., and who think that all sort of jobs are out there and that unemployed Americans laid off in near record numbers are lazy and undeserving leeches, need a history lesson.

And guess what? David Glenn Cox is here to give it to them:

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Let's look at Roosevelt's predecessor, Herbert Hoover. Hoover was strongly against any direct aid to the poor, fearing that the poor would become demoralized. The Republican Congress, likewise, was against any national scheme to aid the poor. The United States was the only industrial power with no system of social security. No system of national unemployment. No minimum wage law, no national labor laws of any kind. No aid for the elderly or the disabled. Looking back at that America it is like looking into almost medieval proportions. [...]

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Before the New Deal, the elderly were the poorest demographic in the country. When you got too old to work, you lived on your savings, and if you didn't have savings you starved or lived on charity or with your children. America was mainly rural then with most people living on farms, so those elderly worked until the day they died. Healthcare existed only for the rich and hospitals were a cash affair except for the "charity ward". If you were sick or injured you went home and you either got better or you died. There was no public health service. Hypothermia was the second leading cause of death for the elderly and pneumonia was the first. In Detroit in 1932 two people an hour died of starvation; in Toledo unemployment was at 70%.

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What FDR Gave Us, David Glenn Cox, OpEdNews.com
Both of my parents lived through the Great Depression. My father was born in 1920, and my mother was born in 1926. My father was raised in a small industrial town, my mother in inner city Chicago. Those of you familiar with Chicago's waterfront might be surprised to learn that children once played in the empty shell of what now is the Museum of Science and Industry. It was dilapidated, hollow, crime was rampant in the area, vegetable gardens were guarded with shotguns, and in a strange dichotomy whole families would sleep on the beaches of Lake Michigan on summer nights to escape the Summer heat.

Understanding Conservatism

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Call it an insurrection if you want, but it's not the GOP who is besieged. It's the entire federal government (and, therefore, the country) that is under assault. The post-war consensus was never agreed to by conservatives. And they're coming to try to uproot eighty years of legislating history. That they won't succeed doesn't mean that we want to witness them try.

BooMan, Booman Tribune

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski


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E.J. Dionne says that the Republicans are experiencing an 'insurrection.' At least metaphorically, maybe they are. Most people are understandably viewing this as a kind cyclical right-wing reaction to both a Democratic president (who happens to be black) and a severe economic downturn, but Dionne makes an important additional point.

The agitation among Republicans is not surprising, given the trauma of the final years of George W. Bush's presidency. After heavy losses in 2006 and 2008, it was natural that GOP loyalists would seek a new direction.

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Primaries Show GOP Extremism, E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
Republicans are in the midst of an insurrection. Democrats are not. This vast gulf between the situations of the two parties -- not some grand revolt against "the establishment" or "incumbents" -- explains the year's primary results, including Tuesday's jarring outcomes in Florida and Alaska.

Deregulation, Market Concentration at the Root of Egg Recall

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  • And this is how we get the circumstance that the FDA cannot even recall foods, and has to hope that corporations do it on a voluntary basis.
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  • Proper levels of funding for the agency have languished
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  • Please ask your senators to make recalling unsafe food mandatory.
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David Dayen, FireDogLake

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Jon Cohn explores the egg recall in greater detail, and comes to a similar conclusion as I did: that it just shows a continuation of e.coli conservatism, particularly the fervor for deregulation that goes back 30 years:

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This is not a story that begins with the administration of George W. Bush. It begins, instead, with the administration of Ronald Reagan. Convinced that excessive regulation was stifling American innovation and imposing unnecessary costs on the public, Reagan’s team changed the way government makes rules.
Prior to the 1980s, agencies like the FDA had authority to finalize regulations on their own. Reagan changed that, forcing agencies to submit all regulations to the Office of Management and Budget, which cast a more skeptical eye on anything that would require the government or business to spend more money. The regulatory process slowed down and, in many cases, the people in charge of it became more skittish.

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There are new egg regulations in place now, implemented this year, but the food safety bill, which would give the FDA authority over recalls, has languished. So has proper levels of funding for the agency.

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Rotten Eggs, Andre Delattre, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG)
Please ask your senators to make recalling unsafe food mandatory.

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