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It was disappointing to read through the top issues on which Minnesota's congressional representatives and U.S. senators are working ("What the delegation is working on," Hot Dish Politics, May 19). While each issue mentioned may help a little on the margins in terms of Americans' quality of life, none of the people we send to Congress are addressing the biggest challenges that will affect all Americans for generations to come.

Is it too much to ask the people we send to Washington to expend at least an ounce of their considerable political capital on the biggest issues facing the nation, such as reforming Social Security and Medicare, providing sufficient resources to combat the drug cartels that are killing tens of thousands of Americans annually, while also dealing both humanely and lawfully with the millions of people who want to immigrate here and addressing the massive deficits we are leaving for future generations? If our military cannot meet its recruiting goals, is that not more important than imposing heavy metal limits in baby food (Sen. Amy Klobuchar) or helping psychiatric hospitals apply for mortgage assistance (Rep. Tom Emmer)?

If our delegation's priorities are so out of whack, why should we re-elect any of them?

Tom West, Hutchinson


Procrastination and inaction

After another messy end of the legislative session ("All that acrimony, so little action," editorial, May 21), perhaps we should change our motto from "L'Étoile du Nord" to "Wait to the last minute and don't get things done." (But Timberwolves player Anthony Edwards' suggestion is a good one too.)

V. John Ella, Robbinsdale


Thank the gods. Thank you to those who registered their horror over being a major city without Uber and Lyft. Thank whomever. Uber and Lyft will stay in Minneapolis and environs. I cannot understand why rideshare issues were seriously considered by powers outside Uber and Lyft themselves, but as a grateful consumer of Uber services, I can now breathe freely again. And I can hold my head high as a resident of a city that offers a service expected nationwide.

Shawn O'Rourke Gilbert, Edina


Our 11th-hour Legislature has once again failed to get its work done in its allotted time. Twenty percent of states — Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — have full-time legislatures. Based on past performances by our elected officials, this may be something we as a state might want to consider. But the probability is that our lawmakers won't get much more done, but they will have a lot more time to do it.

Bruce Lemke, Orono


Several Star Tribune articles on May 21 reviewed the closing outcome of the session, reflecting the work, or lack thereof, accomplished by our Minnesota political representatives. The good, bad and ugly might be summarized in the following: DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman said that "the vast majority of the bills that we passed this year were bipartisan," and gee, you think, isn't that the way government is supposed to work, to represent all the people? It was good to settle the Uber/Lyft saga that was a problem that never should have started in the first place but led to a slight shift in compensation and pricing. Passing funding for emergency medical services, cracking down on straw buyers of guns and fighting copper wire theft were critical, along with clarifying cannabis changes, paid-leave benefits, medical debt and prior authorization requirements.

From my conservative standpoint, it was good that historical horse racing was banned and the expanded Equal Rights Amendment, more sports betting and ranked-choice voting did not pass. The DFL supermajority spent down most of a $17 billion surplus on supposed "priorities" last year, so it was perhaps sweet justice that the bonding bill did not pass. It would make no sense to borrow and spend another billion for projects that should have been part of that spending just because it was a bonding bill year.

Finally, the worst of the session was the DFL ramming through a "monster 1,400 page omnibus" of some mystery of whatever that hasn't been revealed to us in any detail, likely offering some surprises, maybe even to those who were supposed to read it first before voting it through. While omnibus bills may often offer a give-and-take compilation of compromise in a bipartisan government, this was not such a bill. Another issue is that no one needs to face responsibility for such a blended bill, as all excuse it as accepting the good with the bad. Thankfully, voters will soon have the opportunity to choose those working in future sessions, individuals who represent their interests for more of the Minnesota we all want.

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis


This is to heartily agree with the recent editorial request for a special session to pass the "even-year" bonding bill. Each legislator should then focus on the meme, "You had one job!"

William A. Levin, Minneapolis


Wow, it seems to me that we are being governed by a bunch of children. A bonding bill is something that everyone needs, but the children keep adding their own special wants, knowing that there will be a fight in the sandbox. This happens all too often, and the losers are the adults who are tired of these kids fighting over things that they selfishly want. I may be naive, but wouldn't it better to get the big toy that the adults want and separate it from the little toys that the children want?

John Cundy, White Bear Lake


An implausible explanation

A symbol of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was an American flag flown upside down by rioters. Flag etiquette requires that the flag always be flown upright except in cases of extreme emergence. Last week, the New York Times published a picture and article about an inverted flag flown over Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home. A statement by Alito said this resulted from a political argument that his wife had with a neighbor and that he was not in any way involved. This explanation does not fly, as the flag was up for several days when he could have taken it down, demonstrating impartiality ("Alito's upside-down flag, Menendez's gold and the blame-the-wife defense," Opinion Exchange, May 22). Rather it would appear that the justice supported his wife's political position and was showing the neighbors that he had the power to act. The Supreme Court will act on several cases this spring directly involving Jan. 6 insurrection, and it appears that Alito has no intention of recusing himself from these cases.

All U.S. courts, except the Supreme Court, have rules that court officials be strictly impartial or else recuse themselves from a case. This Roberts court has refused to impose ethics rules like the ones lower courts have. Similarly, the divided Congress is also incapable of generating better ethics rules. For those of us who believe the Supreme Court should live by ethical standards, about our only option is to elect a president who will appoint new justices to change the court.

Gary Carlson, Alexandria