WALL STREET WAITS
must not be postponed
What breeds more cynicism about our politicians and the political process? Shortly after the House failed to pass the $700 billion financial bailout on Monday, House Republican leaders were in front of the media claiming that failure was the fault of Democrats. This is after a 228 (against) to 205 (for) vote where 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans voted against. Seems to me that the split is rather bipartisan in nature.
I find it disheartening to hear our leaders focused more on making political hay than getting to work to solve problems.
PAUL HARPER, MINNEAPOLIS
The legislation to nationalize a wide range of mortgages and securities is silent on two huge issues: which assets the government will purchase and what price it will pay for those assets.
The bill gives the Treasury Department 45 days to decide these issues. Members of both political parties know that by postponing these decisions until after the election, they won't have to face the citizens for at least two or four or six years. For accountability's sake, the public deserves answers to these questions prior to the election -- not after it.
JACK ULDRICH, MINNEAPOLIS; FORMER INDEPENDENCE PARTY CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE
RACE FOR THE OVAL OFFICE
McCain-Palin is the team ready to lead
During Friday night's presidential debate we saw two very distinct visions for our country.
Sen. John McCain is ready to dive into the problems our country is facing with his steady hand on foreign affairs and his understanding that keeping a lid on taxes and allowing American families to keep more of their own money is a recipe for helping grow our economy.
Sen. Barack Obama showed again and again that he is simply unprepared for the presidency by supporting more than $800 billion in additional spending on the American people.
JEANNE SHEEHY, WOODBURY
Debra J. Saunders' Sept. 29 column defends John McCain's attempt to delay last Friday's debate by proclaiming he needed to be in Washington to "prod political leaders to pass a sensible bailout measure." Very noble if McCain actually had a plan but, unless I missed something, I did not hear his contribution when the House leaders met last week. Could this have been a campaign stunt?
Then Saunders attacks Obama for "Bush bashing" and incorrectly states, "George W. Bush is not running for reelection." Oh, yes, he is. John McCain may not look like George W. Bush, but that is where the difference ends. With the entire McCain campaign team comprised of Bush's old speech writers and consultants, we will only have more of the same: poor judgment and weak leadership.
KAREN WATTERS, STILLWATER
As a political independent, I can appreciate the strengths of both the McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden presidential teams.
Each of these candidates is deserving of admiration and respect for their life achievements, often against incredible odds. At the least, they deserve respect for putting themselves and their families through the stress and scrutiny of a presidential campaign.
The one person in this campaign who seems to have received the harshest and most unfair treatment in the media is the same person who seems more like the average American than all the rest: Sarah Palin.
Palin was criticized for not adequately defining the vague and multithronged so-called "Bush Doctrine." She has been negatively judged for entering a presidential race while also being a mother. She has been criticized for not visiting other countries more often. Ego-driven journalists pat themselves on the back for asking often irrelevant ambush questions.
Perhaps Palin has not been answering like a true political pro, deflecting, massaging and dressing it up on a phony silver platter like only a true Washington insider can do. Perhaps she has been too nice in her responses? Perhaps she is not as worldly, not as male and not as experienced on foreign policy topics as the other candidates. So?
None of this means that she would offer any less than those who have served before her in Washington. Americans have elected as president quite a few governors and all of them lacked foreign policy experience. How much worse could Palin do in office than the many more experienced politicians who failed in their handling of conflicts in Vietnam (Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon), Iran (Carter), Kosovo (Clinton), Somalia (Clinton), Iraq (Bush) and North Korea (Bush)?
I find it refreshing that Palin is not a Washington insider and not someone propped up by left-wing Hollywood stars (Obama) or right-wing business leaders (McCain). I like the fact that she came straight out of the mountains and forests of Alaska and that she worked real jobs and dealt with real family challenges.
If there is one shameful aspect of this year's presidential campaign, it is the unfair and undeserving treatment of an average American working mom and successful state governor like Sarah Palin.
CORBY PELTO, PLYMOUTH
For some kids, eighth grade is just too soon
Regarding your Sept. 22 article "Study: 8th-grade algebra may be formula for trouble": Mandating that all eighth-graders take algebra in order to prepare them for advanced math in high school is as rational as mandating that eighth-graders run 6-minute miles in order to prepare them for a marathon later in life. Some will easily be capable of running a 6-minute mile in eighth grade, some will be able to do so in a few years, and others will never be able.
Let's provide eighth-graders with the math courses that they are developmentally ready to comprehend!
PEGGY GLACCUM, EXCELSIOR;
EIGHTH-GRADE MATH TEACHER