Friday, December 08, 2006 

Olson Booted From His Caucus

This morning, Rep. Mark Olson, who faces domestic abuse charges from an incident with his wife, was ejected from the GOP House Caucus. The decision by the other members was unanimous. It is now highly unlikely that Olson will remain in the House rather than resigning.

The GOP is not screwing around here, doing everything possible to distance itself from Olson and his (alleged) conduct. As it says in Polinaut's post, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert has said that Rep. Olson should be removed from the Legislature if he's convicted, and the DFL majority will undoubtedly oblige him. I have to say that I've been fairly impressed with the GOP's handling of this matter, though on the other hand it is a little easier when you're dealing with a heavily conservative district.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006 

The Pill's Price Rising

Due to the Congressional Republicans' 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, more than 100 publicly funded clinics in Minnesota are facing more than 10x price hikes in birth control pills.

For poverty? Make birth control more expensive. For unwanted children? Make birth control more expensive. For abortions? Make birth control more expensive. For crime that results from unwanted children born into poverty? Make birth control more expensive. For more people needing welfare? Make birth control more expensive.

Small investments in key programs can save a government many, many times the amount of that initial investment over a course of years. Ensuring that birth control is affordable is one of those investments. This effect of the 2005 DRA is the very definition of penny wise, pound foolish.

Your 21st century Republican Party: compassionate, anti-poverty, anti-crime, pro-life.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006 

"Car Buyer's Bill of Rights"

Sen.-elect Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) has made his first issue of his first Senate term...used cars.
Sen.-elect Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, says he's concerned that consumers can't return used cars. Latz says he's heard complaints from people who realized they couldn't afford car payments, but didn't realize it until they had already bought the car.
Of all the good things that a DFL Legislature will be able to do, this is not high on my list. Latz may be onto something here, as some used car dealers are known to be less than scrupulous, but there are other issues that are owed some urgency. Even if this issue genuinely needs to be addressed, it and others like it cannot be allowed to distract the Governor and Legislature from the issues that truly cannot wait.

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Monday, December 04, 2006 

Unhappy Decider

As you know, John Bolton resigned today. What you may not know is that the President is "not happy."
"I accepted. I'm not happy about it," Bush said Monday afternoon in the Oval Office, with Bolton at his side. Bush did not name a replacement, and officials offered no timetable for an announcement.
Of course, there is the usual "blame the Democrats" routine as the article goes on. Bolton is already serving, though; why would he need to be approved again?
Bolton got the position in August 2005, appointed by Bush when Congress was in recess.
Oh, that's right. The Senate has been Republican since his appointment, and the new members haven't been seated yet. Bush can blame Senate Democrats all he wants, but his party still (one more month!) occupies the majority there. When is he going to understand that even his own party has left him?

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