Readers Write: (Dec. 13): Minneapolis Veterans Home, Democratic intraparty politics, gun violence

  • Updated: December 12, 2013 - 6:29 PM

MVH isn’t perfect, but what works there works as well as anyplace.

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VETERANS HOME

Problems? Yes, but much to admire

How sad to read about ongoing problems at the Minneapolis Veterans Home (“Care at vets home gets new scrutiny,” Dec. 12.) My father, a Pearl Harbor survivor and Purple Heart recipient, lived at the home from 2004 to 2006 and received top-notch care. The staff was attentive, skilled and kind to him and to all of us family members. Among the reasons we chose the Veterans Home was the fact that so many people were “watching” the daily activities. Many veterans organizations (the VFW, Purple Heart chapters, etc.) volunteer regularly, providing activities for the residents. This, in addition to state and federal oversight, is more than most nursing home facilities in the state.

Do I doubt that there are problems there? No. Regular, consistent oversight and review of procedures and staff levels is necessary to ensure the safety of residents.

My heart goes out to all families who have lost a loved one living at the MVH. Any suspicious death warrants a thorough investigation. Management and staff should be held accountable for errors and inadequate care.

However, let’s keep in mind the difficulty of the task, and thank all caregivers in our VA system. They, too, are heroes in this story.

ROBERTA DAGLE BECKER, Minneapolis

 

POLITICS

A populist divide for Democrats? Not really.

The Dec. 12 article concerning the continuing vitality of the Democratic Party (“Ellison takes lead role in giving new life to liberals”) was full of misconceptions. While it is true that the party has both centrist and populist members, this membership is not at odds as we have seen with the GOP and the Tea Party activists on the other side of the aisle.

The article reported that the lack of entitlement cuts in the soon-to-be budget deal is to be celebrated by true progressives and a sign of a widening gap within the party’s rank and file. Such a statement fails to note that recent polls show that the majority of Americans want Social Security protected and that many want the program expanded. While such polling may be considered “populist,” it is hardly radical or overly progressive, which is why the majority of so-called “centrist” Democrats also favor protecting Social Security.

When it comes to the minimum wage, a difference of opinion between the likes of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and the White House is hardly the melodrama that the article attempted to suggest. Raising the minimum wage has been a policy pushed by more liberal Democrats since … well, the New Deal, and it has never created a great rift within the party.

Finally, in 2008, Al Franken defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman in one of the closest elections in U.S. history, so the suggestion that another close election for Franken next year signals a deepening intraparty divide comes off as just silly.

CHRIS NERLIEN, St. Paul

• • •

The article refers to Minnesota as a “purple” state. We have a Democrat as governor, two Democratic senators and a Democratic Legislature (both houses). Five of our eight congressmen are Democrats, and we have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate every time in the last 40 years. When do we graduate to blue?

DAVID FREDERICK, Coon Rapids

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