Take that 'raise more' idea, apply it widely


I find new GOP chair Pat Shortridge's comments on how to cure the Minnesota GOP debt situation interesting ("Beleaguered GOP picks new head," Jan. 1).

His solution makes sense: "Shortridge said fixing the debt was "pretty simple -- raise more, spend less."

Obviously he thinks just cutting expenses won't get the job done. More money needs to come from supporters, and wealthy individuals will likely be asked to contribute more.

Sounds like a good solution to our national and state money problems as well. So how come the party's elected officials refuse to consider that common-sense approach?

For the sake of consistency, I suggest that Shortridge further slash GOP expenses, ask contributors for less (maybe even return some money-- you know, to improve the economy) and increase the party's debt further, leaving the solution to future Republicans.


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Don't begrudge his financial success in life


A Jan. 2 letter writer complains about Ann Romney's comments regarding riding horseback in the mountains as "patronizing" those in the middle class.

I'm sure the writer must realize that life isn't fair and some people have more skills, better luck or connections, or work harder to achieve their goals. We are equal only in justice, not in economic equality.

Mitt Romney is a businessman (not a politician) and has made his millions through personal effort and, I'm sure, some luck, skills, etc.

Business is what made this country great, and many if not most of the Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are businesspeople and are millionaires many times over. I'm sure many of them have also ridden horses in the mountains.

Being successful is not a crime, and I do not feel patronized when someone is more successful than I am. I've never been on horseback in the mountains, but I have skied there.

Had Ann Romney stated that she and her husband had skied rather than ride horses, would the writer still feel patronized?

I suggest the writer work a little harder, make more money and invest it wisely. Maybe he, too, can ride a horse in the mountains someday.


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Some are persuaded; others are frustrated


Would the Star Tribune please stop scaring readers with fictitious tales of $20 light bulbs ("Lights go down on the 100-watt bulb," Jan. 2)? The most recent Consumer Reports lists nine types of compact fluorescent and halogen l00-watt light bulbs.

The CFL bulbs range from $1.50 to $3.50, and the halogen bulbs range from $2.25 to $5.50. The top-rated CFL 100-watt bulb costs $1.65 and will last 10,000 hours.


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Reading the article about the mandates that are progressively eliminating incandescent light bulbs, I was reminded that I needed to change out a bulb that had burned out in our den.

When I removed the cover from the two-bulb fixture, I found that the incandescent bulb in one socket was still burning brightly while the CFL bulb I had put into the other socket less than a year ago was burned out.

Like all the other CFL bulbs we have tried in the past two years, this bulb's life was much shorter than advertised, always less than a year.

We paid extra for it, must go through additional effort to dispose of it and, during its short life, put up with an inferior bulb that was very slow to give off full brightness when first turned on.

I am a supporter of many "green" initiatives and recognize the need for conservation.

However, I also believe that mandates shouldn't be enacted in industries where the technology is not yet available to effectively support the changes, which appears to be the case in the light-bulb industry.


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Players, please recall: It's not brain surgery


As a high school coach, I often told my athletes that "hot dogs" belong in the concession stand, not on the field of play.

Brain surgeons, after successfully completing a surgery, probably don't shimmy, shake and dance in the operating room.

No, they are paid well to do their job and so they go about the business of doing it.

Pro football players are paid millions to do their jobs. Perhaps it's time for them to realize that what they do to earn those millions is really not that important.

It's not brain surgery, just grown men playing a kid's game in front of an adoring audience for lots of money.

I suggest that the next time a tackle is made or a touchdown is scored, the player walk quietly back to the huddle or the sideline knowing that's what he's being paid to do.

At that moment, the player might also realize that such celebrations should be reserved for those who teach a child to read ... find the cure for a deadly disease ... or help someone in need.