In response to passage of the health care: I know that history has been made and that the future of this nation has been forever altered.
Many outspoken and courageous presidents have tried to accomplish the task of nationalizing health care, and now President Obama has conquered all odds and put his name in the history books once again.
Only time will tell whether this bill came to be at the right time.
But as of now I can truly say that I will tell my grandchildren of this day -- because they will still be paying for it.
KRISTIN HETHERINGTON, EDEN Prairie
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I have been a Lutheran pastor for more than 60 years. I am opposed to abortion in most cases and am always opposed to using federal funds to support it.
After the health care debates and the events surrounding it, I have never been as ashamed of Republicans as I am today. I cannot understand why there isn't one Republican leader someplace who is for this bill. Even now they are planning ways to kill it in the Senate.
I am surprised at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty for their words and actions. They know full well that Iraq lies pretty much in ruins. Hundreds of thousands have been killed in the name of freedom, and yet the cost of this war and other recent wars have endangered all of our freedoms. And these costs could have given health care to everyone.
I ask them: Where is your love? Where is your faith? Where is your God?
ROBERT S. NELSON, EDINA
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Now after a year of the Obama administration, a new chapter in American history has started: Chapter 7, as in bankruptcy.
MIKE WELLNER, BEMIDJI
So St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is outraged. Here's a news flash for Hizzoner: The current public works debacle ("Public works director resigns," March 23) is the tip of the iceberg in a city shot through with civil-service slackers at every level who believe they're entitled to this incredible and illegal activity.
They do this supported by at least five unions and an arcane set of rules and regulations that protect everyone except those who pay their outrageous salaries, benefits and pensions -- the taxpayers. St. Paul's former Public Works Director Bruce Beese (who conveniently now makes only $111,900 after his resignation) has become a convenient scapegoat for a city out of control. The mayor and the City Council should all resign. This is what you get following decades of all-too-cozy relationships with municipal workers' unions bent on maintaining the status quo at all costs.
Is it any wonder citizens and employers are leaving St. Paul in droves?
JOHN A. FISHER, ST. Paul
Third District Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has sent out several mailings of what must amount to tens of thousands of full-color, glossy brochures. The one I received espoused his political point of view on all four pages. A small, three-question survey took up a third of the last page. Other brochures Paulsen has sent have been similarly laid out.
These expensive mailings are prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense, according to the small print.
When Paulsen's predecessor, Jim Ramstad, sent out mailings, he used one-color, stock paper. The mailings consisted of a constituent survey with several questions, which indicated to me that he actually wanted to hear what I had to say and was also concerned about the expense to the taxpayer.
In order to be consistent in your messaging, Rep. Paulsen, can you please stop wasting taxpayer money and follow Jim Ramstad's good example?
DEBRA A. HOFFMAN, EDEN Prairie
The current military policy states that a service member does not have to disclose his or her sexual orientation; it has supposedly ended the questioning from superiors. Although this may true, someone may be discharged on the spot if they admit to being gay. Also, the laws that prohibit military personnel from asking troops about their sexual orientation have not been well-enforced.
Since 1993, more than 13,500 troops, including many officers, have been discharged based on their sexual orientation. This has cost taxpayers between $250 million and $1.2 billion to investigate, eliminate and replace members. Families are also affected, because someone who has a same-sex partner may not be able to apply for benefits for a dependent for fear of being exposed by an insurance form. Yet they may face criminal charges if they do not apply for benefits for their children.
Support the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which will allow same-sex partners in the military to register children as dependents and which will allow family members to welcome home loved ones from serving overseas without fear of persecution.
JENNIFER LAbelle, New Hope
On Tuesday, the New York Times published this editor's note about a Paul Krugman column that had been excerpted that day in a roundup of health care reform commentary on the Star Tribune's Opinion Exchange page: "The Paul Krugman column on Monday, about the health care bill, quoted Newt Gingrich as saying that 'Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years' by passing civil rights legislation. The quotation originally appeared in the Washington Post, which reported after the column went to press that Gingrich said it referred to Johnson's Great Society policies, not to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.