I am wondering why the Minneapolis school board has chosen Ed Graff as new superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. He arrives here from the Anchorage, Alaska, School District, which had chosen not to renew his contract because, as reported by the Anchorage Dispatch News, the district requires “ ‘very aggressive goals,’ and in order to achieve those goals, as well as face financial and political challenges, it must find a new leader.” I also wonder how Graff will address the varied challenges of yet another district that requires very aggressive goals.
Judy Gelina, Bloomington
The e-mail point has been made. Aren’t there bigger questions?
OK, so Hillary Clinton should not have used her personal e-mail account for work. That is already established. What does the continuing investigation accomplish? Is it a matter of national security to keep finding more instances of her error? And, of those people who want to continue the investigation and rake her over the coals for this indiscretion, how many have never used a personal e-mail account for a work e-mail, or a work e-mail account for a personal e-mail? Would it not be a better use of time, now, to put resources toward improving the security of federal communications?
Andrea E. Johnson, Lake Elmo
• • •
Hillary Clinton has stated she will appoint Bill Clinton to run the economy if she is elected. Let’s test that premise: How has Bill prepared himself during the 16 years since he was president?
He has given a lot of speeches to Wall Street firms and has earned millions. He has arranged deals with a strange array of donors, some questionable as to character, who have committed multiple millions to his Clinton Foundation. My bet is that these firms and donors believe that Bill owes them and that Bill, too, realizes this.
That is it — no other major accomplishment. It is also apparent to me that his speech, health and stamina have diminished. So, what experience has Bill had in 16 years to equip him to lead a technology-based economy in a world where new challenges arise each day? Well, we must admit that he has had some education in the use of e-mail.
There are hundreds of people who are better equipped to run our economy than Bill is. So, what does this say about the quality of Hillary’s decisionmaking?
Bill Halling, Edina
THE 2016 LEGISLATURE
Line-item veto on all last-minute laws — maybe that would help?
The last-minute craziness at the Minnesota Legislature that passes for making laws — the trading favors rather than finding workable compromises, the voting on spreadsheets rather than reading bills — does not serve us well and reflects poorly on presumably well-meaning representatives. I propose a couple of simple fixes that change the incentives for all involved. First, give the governor line-item veto authority on any bill that is passed in the last 30 days of a legislative session, not just on appropriations bills. Second, give the governor an extra 60 days to read a bill in its entirety before he/she decides whether or not to veto.
Wouldn’t this give the legislators some incentive to a) get things done on a more timely basis, b) ensure that pet projects the governor opposes are part of real compromises that won’t be subject to the line-item veto and c) narrow the scope of last-minute trade-offs to be included in smaller, readable bills?
Rich Urban, Minnetonka
Resources are finite, so cost-benefit is the reality
Don Wright argues that it’s wrong to make cost-vs.-benefit trade-offs when it comes to health care costs (“Don’t jeopardize my health to fix health care,” May 24). While I sympathize with his health problems, I think it makes sense that the government makes such calculations when it is paying for health care. The government has only a finite amount of resources for health care. Suppose that it costs $1 million to add one year to the life of an 80-year-old and $200,000 to add 60 years to the life of a 20-year-old. There is a trade-off. Should the $1 million of taxpayer money be used to add a total of 300 person-years by adding 60 years to the lives of five 20-year-olds? Or should the $1 million of taxpayer money be used to add one year to one 80-year-old’s life?
James Brandt, New Brighton
Here’s a precedent, no?
I offer a simple solution to the long security lines at airports: Have only 60 percent of the passengers go through security. That practice has been working for years with gun sales in Minnesota.
Jerry Dhennin, Coon Rapids
Mr. Trump, I am your better half
A letter to Donald Trump:
I am offering myself as your running mate. We would complement each other. You think you know everything, when in fact you know very little about almost everything, including international affairs and foreign trade and a multitude of other subjects that flow from your mouth. I, on the other hand, know that I know almost nothing about everything, but I graduated from elementary school with pretty good grades and know when not to speak about things that I don’t know.
I don’t read much about the complexities of issues, as you also seem not to do, so we would complement each other in our mutual ignorance. You, on the other hand, know how to verbally excoriate everyone even when it is unkind and wrongheaded, whereas I often speak without thinking, but I say wrong things in a kinder way. On the campaign trail, when you are about to orate in your native Trump-like style, I could be close at hand with a roll of duct tape or a balled-up rag to stuff into your mouth; of course, I would try to be as unobtrusive as possible in those situations.
And finally, when you are pressed to explain the details of seemingly impossible promises and stupid statements and fail to come clean about the absence of supporting detail, I can issue press statements that back up the vacuous statements with words and stuff. I have extensive political experience; I have voted in most elections for many years and have always picked either the winning candidate or the other one. I think we would be good together.
Thomas Wexler, Edina
VEILED ADOLESCENT MUTANTS
Why the secrecy? Maybe they just like to follow the dress code
As I age, mysteries of the universe take up more of my time. Politics, I’ve learned to just tune out. But there is one question that has me totally in a conundrum. It may have some political implications, since this is a political year. (Which ones are not anymore?) I’ve reached out asking for answers. No one seems to know. Why do turtles need to wear masks?
Robert A. Swart, Mankato