President Donald Trump demonstrated true presidential attributes in presenting a rousing State of the Union address, outlining recent accomplishments and plans to improve the lives of all Americans ("'This is our new American moment,'" Jan. 31). He sincerely reached out for participation of all in Congress to compromise for the best package of improvements for our country.

It was so sad to see the Democrats' total lack of enthusiasm as they sat on their hands with bored expressions for most of the presentation. The Democratic response was certainly not reflective of what I saw and heard, as it seemed to be written completely unrelated to Trump's speech. It is time for them to get involved by working for the better America envisioned by our active elected leaders, and not demonstrate their own accusatory word of "deplorable."


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Of what value is the State of the Union speech from a man with no regard for fact or truth?

Record-breaking ice sheets, indeed.

Stephen skoro, Wayzata

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Former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, hit the nail on the head when he said that those members of Congress who chose to not attend the State of the Union address showed a lack of maturity. He said he sat through all of President Barack Obama's State of the Union messages even though he did not agree with several of his statements. By attending, it shows you are listening and you are always hoping you can find some area of agreement and compromise. I would urge all Democrats to find candidates who honor our country's values and the office of the president and are willing to compromise. They should replace those who showed such a lack of respect. All members of Congress need to represent you and the country, and at the present time they are not doing that.


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Trump claims that his 30 percent tariff on Chinese solar cells will create jobs for Americans making solar cells here. To make that result more likely, any tariff proceeds should be dedicated to larger rebates for new solar energy installations. That could save some of the current American jobs installing and maintaining solar equipment.

TIM BARDELL, St. Louis Park


All citizens, regardless of religion, are invited to caucus

The League of Women Voters Minnesota condemns in the strongest terms possible any effort to disparage communities of color or discourage Minnesota's diverse population from attending either the training or the caucuses ("GOPers' post about Muslims criticized," Jan. 31). Fear and bigotry have no place in the building blocks of our democracy. The League of Women Voters encourages all citizens, regardless of political party, religious beliefs, country of origin, or age, to attend a political caucus of their choice Feb. 6.

During the past several weeks several nonpartisan groups, including ours, have held caucus training workshops so that voters can understand the process of selecting candidates and advancing resolutions supporting policy issues. Our democratic process begins with attending a caucus. To suggest that groups "infiltrate" any party's caucus demonstrates a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the political process. All political parties should and must welcome everyone on caucus night. To learn more about caucuses and their locations, please visit

TERRY KALIL, Detroit Lakes

The writer is president of the League of Women Voters Minnesota.


Music shouldn't be political? Mozart would have disagreed

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and editorial cartoonist Lisa Benson claim that music shouldn't involve politics ("Clinton's Grammy 'audition' surprises," Jan. 30). This will come as a heck of a surprise to Mozart, whose opera "The Marriage of Figaro" satirizes the pretensions of the nobility. Or Tchaikovsky, whose "1812 Overture" honors the Russian army's victory over Napoleon.

Or the Hutchinson Family Singers, whose "Eight Dollars a Day" criticized the Mexican War as a fight to extend slavery. Or the Union soldiers who marched singing "John Brown's Body." Or the Confederates who sang "The Bonnie Blue Flag."

Or the Industrial Workers of the World, whose "Little Red Songbook" includes "Courage and Honor to Him Who Is Jailed" and "Parasites in This Fair Country." Or Irving Berlin and two others, whose "Let's All Be Americans Now" encouraged patriotism during World War I. Or E.Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney, whose "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" was regarded by Republicans during the Depression as anti-capitalist propaganda.

Or Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill, whose "Threepenny Opera" critiques capitalism. Or Woody Guthrie, whose "This Land Is Your Land" reminds us whose country this really is. Or Bob Dylan, who asked, "How many roads must a man walk down?" Or Neil Young. Or Joni Mitchell. Or Merle Haggard. And so many more.

Neither Haley nor the cartoonist would have objected if the Grammys had endorsed Trump; they're just whining about opinions other than their own. It looks like they both actually do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.


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Thank you, Jon Bream, for mansplaining Kesha's "histrionic overemoting" performance of "Praying" at the Grammy Awards (Review, Jan. 29). Perhaps you should take a note from the Time's Up movement … talk less and listen more.

KAREN COUNE, Shorewood


Bus and train operators should be able to wear protective masks

Flu season is upon us, and Minnesota is going through a widespread outbreak ("This year's flu season is worst in nearly a decade," Jan. 27). Many of our fellow citizens receive heightened exposure to the flu as a result of their occupations. In particular, the men and women who drive our buses and trains who work in small, crowded and enclosed spaces on a daily basis are exposed to the flu virus, resulting in illness.

While the annual flu season is something we all have to endure, steps to at least lessen exposure could be achieved if bus and train drivers were allowed to wear protective masks while at work. This would help drivers stay healthier and tamp down further spread of the virus. And masks are widely available and not particularly costly. The various transportation companies in the Twin Cities should provide masks to their employees to keep them safe and well.

And if you are a regular user of mass transit, please consider getting an annual flu shot. It protects not only you but those hardworking drivers who get you where you need to go safely and efficiently every day of the year.



Thanks, Met Transit, for supporting the volunteers

Hats off to Metro Transit for offering the entire crew of Super Bowl LII volunteers complimentary transportation on their buses and trains! What a pleasure to jump on without needing to have money ready (did not have to remove our "Bold North" mittens) and enjoy a warm, safe ride.

JOAN MONSON, Golden Valley