Where, oh where, does the actual fault lie?

Business columnist Lee Schafer wrote that Republicans said “they will shut down the whole federal government rather than see funding” go to Obamacare (“Health law already is slowing cost increases,” Sept. 22). But that’s not what they said. Some Republicans don’t want a government shutdown. In fact, the bill passed by the House funds everything for the government except Obamacare. Get your facts straight and be honest.

DALE PROBASCO, Backus, Minn.

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For being such a defender of the Constitution, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz really seems to enjoy degrading the legislative institutions and traditions that have made Congress an effective vehicle for governance for most of American history (“In 21 hours, Cruz talks Obamacare in GOP terms,” Sept. 25). The obvious answer is more debt ceiling fights, the elimination of the filibuster, throwing a fit about every presidential appointee and refusing to negotiate in a divided government. After all, why let tradition get in the way of policy? For that matter, why even have standard legislative practices? After all, conservatism is about repealing Obamacare, not maintaining traditional social institutions. Keep it up, Ted. Let’s cross the Rubicon.


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To a Sept. 26 letter writer: I’m tired of hearing about the incompetence and unpopularity of Congress. It’s not Congress but the Tea Party that’s holding our nation hostage. Unfortunately, a solid block of constituents was created when select Republican governors sabotaged the voting process through “gerrymangling.” Tea Party loyalists are doing exactly what these far right-wing constituents want them to do: Eliminate government by eliminating the ability to govern. Reasonable Republicans need to take back their party and the nation.

OLIVIA FREY, Northfield, Minn.

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If the shoe were on the other foot, the Tea Partiers would be going ballistic about a Canadian-born senator with an eye on a presidential bid in 2016 filibustering. If a Democrat were acting in that manner, they would surely accuse him of being un-American.

And, if the Affordable Care Act is the disaster that the Republicans make it out to be, why don’t they sit down and shut up? That would ease the path for them to retake the majority in the Senate in 2014 and the presidency in 2016. Might it be what they fear most is that the voters will find Obamacare to their liking?

Charles Snyder, Apple Valley

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The GOP has missed a golden opportunity in regard to the budget, debt ceiling and health insurance mandate. Stop the mantra to defund Obamacare. Instead demand the unconstitutional waivers and delays be reinstated and allow the law to go into effect as the law is written. Sit back and watch it fail, then pass legislation to turn the government-run exchanges into privately run exchanges that allow people to purchase insurance across state lines.


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If had a son or daughter at Wesleyan University, I would switch them to basket weaving or anything other than Magna Teter’s world history class. In her Sept. 27 commentary “Those who don’t know history are doomed to misrepresent it” (ironic, eh?), Teter claims that Neville Chamberlain did not use appeasement with Hitler’s Germany. She writes this in response to the comparison by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of allowing Obamacare to happen without taking a stand against it.

Politics aside, the example is spot-on. What amazes me is that a history professor at a prestigious college doesn’t know of Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement in the early days preceding World War II. As prime minister of Britain, he allowed Hitler to goose-step through both Austria and Czechoslovakia. Though (at the insistence of Winston Churchill) he finally declared war on Germany, it was too little, too late, and Poland and France folded like a thin, faulty paper degree in history.


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Explaining to do if new offer is rejected

After reading of the Minnesota Orchestra management’s latest offer to the locked-out musicians and the Sept. 30 deadline upon all of us, I think public opinion for a settlement will now swing to management, and the musicians and their representatives had better have really good reasons if they reject this offer.

Of course they’re not going to get everything they want, but to the public, that six-figure salary plus a $20,000 signing bonus places the musicians, rightly or wrongly, in the same class as professional athletes, with their bloated salaries, signing bonuses, performances bonuses and even body weight bonuses. Members of the public may now certainly view the musicians as pulling down incomes far above most of their own.

I hope that Marilyn Carlson Nelson, who is funding the signing bonuses, will proceed to create a new business model for the orchestra based on public-private partnerships for the long term. There could not be a better leader from the private sector, and she needs to get the governor and the Legislature on board with a plan that can be finalized either in a one-day special session — which costs about $25,000 and would help build confidence in the orchestra’s future (read: another reason for Vanska to stay here) — or the next regular session in 2014.


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I, too, feel better about paying more

I could not agree more wholeheartedly with the writer of the Sept. 27 Letter of the Day who says he is happy to absorb an increase in postal rates. I actually feel guilty paying so little for so much and will be happy when the new rates are established.

ANN P. BURAN, Minneapolis