Although I find my political views typically align with the Star Tribune Editorial Board, I must object to its June 2 editorial about Samantha Bee, Roseanne Barr and the Trump-era cesspool. While the editors labeled both Bee’s and Barr’s attacks as “disgusting” and “deplorable,” they seemed to give an implicit pass to Samantha Bee’s “lack of decency.”
The editors speculated that Barr has been “emboldened by the president” and that Bee has “undoubtedly been provoked by Trump-era rhetoric on both sides.”
The editors did acknowledge that one consequence of Bee’s slide down to Trump’s level was a drowning out of what was arguably a worthy political commentary. The essential point they missed, in my opinion, was Michelle Obama’s rallying cry of “When they go low, we go high!”
Employing this wisdom, I believe, is necessary for those who want to differentiate themselves from Trump and his ilk. It also will likely be an essential part of this country’s much-needed healing and redemption.
Cory Gideon Gunderson, Lakeville
Officials must speak out against Trump’s attempt to flout the law
No one is above the law, not even the president. The law is greater than any one person, no matter their office.
That Donald Trump is asserting that he cannot be bound by the laws governing all Americans with increasing frequency and blatancy is a red alert, a signal of his brazen, authoritarian ambitions to flout the rule of law (“Trump, lawyers lay out expansive presidential powers view,” StarTribune.com, June 4).
There can be no doubt that the presidency does not imbue him with power greater than that of the law and that any attempt to circumvent the law or its intent, such as pardoning himself or his co-conspirators, is unacceptable and will lead to swift impeachment.
Our representatives must make their voice heard loud and clear, in unison, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and in every other level of government, that the ideas Trump posits of pardoning himself or otherwise being above the law are not only absolutely unacceptable, but absolutely un-American.
America has always been the foe of the tyrant. It must remain so now; any champion of democracy and freedom can afford no less.
Dan Shuman, St. Paul
Why I will never vote for someone with negative ads
As we go into the disgusting campaign ads season, let me tell you who I will be voting for and who I will not. I will vote for the candidate who can intelligently express his priorities and can listen to opposing or alternative positions. I will vote for the candidate whose ads describe him and his views. I will never vote for the candidate whose ads only denigrate his opponent. That tells me more about their character than anything they say about themselves. I will not vote for the candidate who ducks responsibility by accepting ads from others that are only negative. This is the only way I can encourage a return to civility in politics.
Marcia Miller, Minneapolis
MINNESOTA TAX POLICY
We need a special session so state taxes conform to feds
Dear Gov. Mark Dayton:
Please call a special session in 2018 to conform Minnesota taxes to federal laws. With no conformity, Minnesota tax returns will be a lot more complicated next winter. The Minnesota individual tax form is already rather complicated, with two pages required for even the simplest returns. Although I do not prepare taxes professionally, I do volunteer tax returns every winter under the VITA program. We volunteers won’t be able to complete nearly as many returns as usual without federal conformity. Also, this will no doubt require quite a bit of extra time for the Minnesota Department of Revenue to create new tax forms and instructions, as well as much time to fix the inevitable errors that taxpayers make in completing the more complex returns. I think we’d much rather they spent their time doing more audits and helping taxpayers with the already-complex forms.
Even the tax conformity portion of the omnibus bill created by the Republicans this last session would be immensely superior to doing nothing. It is my understanding that this bill decreased the tax rate for the two lowest tax brackets, which I think would be exactly what you want. Based on a recent commentary in the Star Tribune, it appears that opponents of the bill were against it because it didn’t try to do the impossible task of offsetting the decrease in corporate taxes by the federal tax reform act (“Counterpoint: Gov. Dayton made right call in vetoing state tax bill,” Opinion Exchange, May 26). This is especially strange since corporate taxes are heavily regressive per the Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, so decreases in corporate taxes should be favored by the DFL.
My DFL state representative says that you won’t call a special session because it would be filled with political posturing in this election year. And yet the normal procedure in calling a special session is for both parties to agree to exactly what bills will be passed before the session is called. If the Republicans don’t agree to a special session to pass just the tax portion of the omnibus bill, then the resulting lack of conformity is the fault of the Republicans, and they should then be held accountable. Similarly, if the Republicans do agree but renege on the deal. As it stands now, it is the DFL that is responsible for the lack of conformity, because you vetoed the fix — unless you call a special session to create conformity.
Mark V. Anderson, Minneapolis
The writer is a certified public accountant.
Ahem. The thing is, they work.
The commentary “Would that those noxious leaf blowers go the way of the dodo” (June 2) shows how many myths and misconceptions still exist around the leaf blower. They are used for one very important reason: They work. They save labor and time, important to the landscaper who is paid by the job and communities with rigorous zoning on leaf pickup and removal. They save water, helping clean parking lots and other surfaces without having to get out a water hose. Get out a rake anyway, you say? Use a rake if you want or can, but what about people with physical limitations? For example, my 85-year-old mother would be quite challenged with a rake, but she uses her small, electric leaf blower to clear her steps and walkway of debris and leaves. All leaf blowers are as regulated as your automobiles — built to a standard and regulated by the federal government. Today’s gas-powered leaf blowers are 75 percent quieter than those used a decade ago, and manufacturers have reduced emissions by as much as 80 percent. Battery- and electric-powered leaf blowers also are widely available and growing in popularity. Without the leaf blower, certainly in many parts of the country where our beloved trees drop leaves with gusto, we could be buried in tick-infested leaf piles that pose a fire threat and choke our streets and drains. Rakes sound good until you realize not enough rakes exist in the world that could cover the amount of work the trusty leaf blower can do.
Kris Kiser, Alexandria, Va.
The letter writer is president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.