Tina Smith is an inspired choice to succeed Al Franken in the U.S. Senate. She will be a terrific senator and leader. A breath of fresh air. Well done, Gov. Mark Dayton.

Hugh Cameron, Deer River, Minn.

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After reading on the Dec. 13 Opinion Exchange page the lengthy and emotional justification for the Senate Democrats who offered up Al Franken as a feeding frenzy for angry women ("Call for resignation was the proper response to a system needing change"), I realize I am still seething! Of course they went for Al — they knew he wouldn't make a fuss. Not only is he a great senator, he's a good guy who wants the best for all of us. And for the writer of this article and other women "who have silently suffered for years," please don't. Speak up. And also be willing to listen.

Jill R. Davis, St. Paul

Roy Moore is turned away. Are we joyful or barely relieved?

Thank you, Alabama.

Maria Ruud, Minnetonka

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Alternative facts, misogyny, racism, homophobia, abuse of power: you are on notice. We the people are awake and rising against you!

Melinda Erickson, Minneapolis

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Most of the country breathed a sigh of relief when the good folks in Alabama did not elect Roy Moore to the Senate ("Democrat Jones wins in stunning Alabama upset," Dec. 13). When GOP Sen. Richard Shelby said he could not vote for Moore and instead wrote in another Republican, it probably helped some of the people who were struggling with their choice to either not vote at all or to write in another Republican. The Republicans in Washington are breathing easier now that they won't have to welcome Moore to town. The big question for them is will Steve Bannon and his brand of politics finally go away? One can only hope.

Steven Roeder, Coon Rapids

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While I'm as overjoyed as the rest of America that there are enough good, decent people in Alabama to keep Roy Moore out of the Senate, I think the real reason he was disqualified was his total disregard for the Constitution he would swear an oath to uphold — as long as he could ignore that "no religious test" clause and every amendment after the Bill of Rights. It shouldn't have taken a sex scandal to bring him down.

Matt Butts, St. Louis Park

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Dumbest thing ever said by a candidate the day before an election: "If you don't believe in my character — don't vote for me!" (Roy Moore.)

Patrick Coyle, Bloomington

Trumpet player who took a stand earned attention, admiration

Contrary to the assertion by a Dec. 12 letter writer ("Here's what I witnessed at the Rufus Wainwright show"), Manny Laureano deserves all the attention he is getting ("'Center-right' trumpeter on being center of controversy," Dec. 9). Laureano took a brave stand — and a risk as a member of the Minnesota Orchestra — by walking off the stage because he was no longer willing to listen to a left-wing performer, who was paid to sing, not pontificate about politics. Indeed, why did the writer think it was OK for Rufus Wainwright to express his political views, but when Laureano reacted based on his own views, he was labeled unprofessional? Seems like a bit of a double-standard to me.

By the way, what does "everyone in that audience knows who Rufus is and what he believes politically" mean? That anyone who buys a ticket is tacitly agreeing to a political lecture by Rufus? If that is the case, then I won't buy a ticket. And if every concertgoer for every performance by every entertainer — left- or right-leaning — does the same thing to avoid the expected political statement, maybe one day we will once again be able to attend a concert for the intended reason — to enjoy a great performance.


Thank Minnesota's businesses, not its bumbling government

According to the website 24/7 Wall St., Minnesota is the "best-run state." That makes me wonder how much state tax money was spent to get that designation. Yes, Minnesota has a high credit rating, there is low unemployment, median income is above average and 290,000 jobs have been added. I do not believe that the state government should be given credit for this good news (Readers Write, Dec. 13). I believe that the many state industries, businesses, business owners and those who run these businesses should be given this credit. They created the jobs and pay those salaries, not the state.

However, there are things the Minnesota government can and should take credit or blame for. It seems that rarely a month goes by without some kind of a local news media outlet presenting a negative investigative report identifying a state failure. No doubt we would not hear anything about these Minnesota state government failures if it were not for the local news. These reports typically identify the many cases in which one or more of the state departments have not done their job and failed the people. The most recent failures in state government are the reports on elder abuse and the long lines at Driver and Vehicle Services because of internal problems and a computer system DVS had bought and approved for use.

Best-run state, not so much.

Robert Hoyt, Victoria

Now, this is something up with which I will not put

I have given up trying to influence anyone regarding the state of the union, but I can't let the recent article recommending no top sheet on beds go unchallenged ("Ditching the top sheet," Dec. 10). Flimsy excuses such as that it takes a few seconds more to make a bed miss the point. A top sheet protects the blankets from body fluids, thus odor. Sweat is equivalent to diluted urine and is excreted 24 hours a day. Both sheets protect the bedding and mattress from pollution and dust mites. A duvet, because it is twice the material of a sheet, may not get washed every week like a sheet. In an ideal world it would be, but then it takes a lot of time to insert the blanket, so washing may be put off until "next time." Once the blanket is polluted, it will smell from aged body odor. You may not smell it, but your guests may!

Betty Ann Addison, Fridley