The easiest solution to the St. Cloud airline problem is to extend Northstar commuter-rail service to St. Cloud.
Like Mitt Romney, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were former governors when they ran for president. Neither had foreign-policy experience. They both selected running mates with impressive backgrounds in that area.
President Dwight Eisenhower had a five-star military background. U.S. John McCain, the Republican nominee for president in 2008, served our country bravely and was a POW; his military and foreign-policy expertise are second to none.
President Obama chose for his running mate veteran U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden. President Bill Clinton selected Al Gore, who was a member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee and active on arms-control issues. President Jimmy Carter selected Minnesota's own Walter Mondale, who was active on Vietnam and intelligence issues in Congress.
Paul Ryan is the intellectual Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and appears to be a smart, hardworking public official and rising political star. Had he run for president nine months ago, he would likely now be choosing a running mate with solid credentials relating to intelligence and international affairs.
David Banks ("At last, a clash of credibles," Aug. 15) is correct that neither Romney or Ryan are "clunker candidates," but the GOP ticket easily qualifies for this distinction. National-security and foreign-policy expertise should never be compromised on any presidential ticket.
RON MARIEN, BLOOMINGTON
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The easiest solution to the St. Cloud airline problem is to extend Northstar commuter-rail service to St. Cloud ("St. Cloud woos regional airlines with subsidies," Aug. 14). Issues would need to be addressed, like parking at the St. Cloud Amtrak station, the need for a midday run from St. Cloud to Minneapolis, and transfers from the Target Field Station. But this is how people travel from Chicago's airport to the Loop.
Where are all the anti-transit, anti-taxpayer-funding people now?
ED BURNS, ANOKA
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Every time a doctor evaluates a patient or prescribes a therapy for a serious illness, federally funded medical research plays a key role in the process. Many people with life-threatening conditions such as cancer and heart disease are living longer or being cured. However, the progress that we need to continue to move forward is in jeopardy. The University of Minnesota has been at the forefront of this battle.
Among other federally funded programs, the National Institutes of Health is slated for an 8.4 percent cut if the scheduled across-the-board cuts (known as sequestration) are implemented in January. Deficit reduction will require tough choices, but Congress must use a balanced approach, and cutting medical research should not be an option. Currently, roughly 90 percent of research proposals made by scientists and physicians are rejected for funding by the NIH due to resource limitations. This will only worsen if the NIH budget is further reduced.
Few among us do not have or will not ultimately develop a serious illness, and we all have loved ones facing medical problems. Let your elected officials know if funding for the NIH matters to you. If not now, it eventually will.
DR. GREGORY M. VERCELLOTTI, MINNEAPOLIS
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Though part of the executive branch of government, it is a quasi-independent agency. In other words, while the president appoints agency leaders, subject to Senate approval, he can't tell the FDA which drugs to approve or FEMA whom to help unless he declares a disaster.
And, by law, the amount of damages in Duluth and Rice and Goodhue counties did not merit a disaster declaration. The writer may recall that the same thing happened after a tornado struck north Minneapolis.
Neither can our senators lobby those agencies for disaster assistance or approval of a specific drug, lest they be accused of trying to "game the system" for the benefit of a few (that is, seeking "pork").
Even if they could do so, they'd be fools to advertise it. In any case, I suspect the writer has no intention of voting for Klobuchar this fall, regardless of what the senator does.
KEVIN DRISCOLL, ST. PAUL
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Americans do not lack compassion for their own hungry children (Letter of the Day, Aug. 16). They simply cannot support a system that pays crackheads and high school dropouts to keep producing children as a means of income.
The children are not hungry because of lack of programs. I added up all the benefits a welfare mother of two was eligible to receive, and it came to the equivalent of someone working a $24-an-hour job.
And she gets it all for free, and gets even more with each additional child. She doesn't have to do the work or finish her education. She doesn't have to even take care of the children. The children are hungry because the "parents" use the benefits that are supposed to go to the children for purposes not intended by the program.
The defenders of these programs would stuff the "lack of compassion" thing down the throats of the involuntary contributors to this mess. I think they are the ones who lack compassion by fostering the creation of more and more poor children to be used as a trading commodity by morally bankrupt people who are simply physically able to produce them.
JANET MARVIN, PARK FALLS, WIS.