Wednesday, May 30, 2007

DeKlining Leadership

Record deficit,
no fully funded early childhood education, childcare,
lacking affordable healthcare and necessary transportation legislation.
Americans are killing and being killed in Iraq,
no rebuilting New Orleans while trying to rebuilt Baghdad
and oh yeah, still MIA is bin Laden...

...Meanwhile, Kline is busy...not solving these problems but imposing religious mandates through the government...

H.R. 2510 is a bill that reacts in outrage to the news that on the new $1 coins, the phrase In God We Trust is on the edge of the coin. Oh, the horror! It’s “hidden,” screams WorldNetDaily. So Rep. John Kline and colleagues of his have started pushing legislation not just to mandate that 'In God We Trust' appears on every U.S. coin, but to additionally mandate that the phrase must appear on the face of every coin!

Not only does Kline need a refresher class on separation of church and state, he's wasting resources and time on coin phraseology, while missing the chance to address and resolve the series of very serious problems facing our nation today! This is NOT leadership.

What's next? Will Kline squander more time trying to put Reagan next to God on the $50 bill? Wonder if like Reagan, he's consult an astrologer? Et tu Brutus Kline?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kline's Work Record

John Kline has sponsored 15 bills since Jan 7, 2003, of which 10 haven't made it out of committee and 4 were successfully enacted. So in effect Kline has 4 bills to show for since being in office.

As has been pointed out before:

The fact is that in his last term in Congress (2005-6), Kline has collected a compensation over $300,000 and has authored one bill, HR2132, that was signed into law and provides some benefits to military personnel regarding student financial assistance. One bill in two years, for a member of the Majority Party that serves on the House Committee for Armed Services, and the Subcommittee for Military Personnel. Quite impressive work for an elected official that's made four trips to Iraq, and met with hundreds of Minnesota National Guard members and active military. One bill in two years.

Kline must have a dozen people on his congressional staff. Is it their duty to hide, stretch, or distort the truth instead of serving the needs of the constituents of the Second District?

Kline can't fool all the people - all the time...or can he?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Does Kline Support Vigilantes?

Minnesota's Second Congressional Rep. John Kline's NO vote for the Homeland Security Authorization Act brings into question his motives in co-sponsoring a bill that would protect anyone who turns in someone else for suspicous activities. Kline, a Republican, says the passage of his cosponsered bill is an urgent matter.

"The core of our Homeland Security system is reliance on everyday citizens to report suspicious activity," Kline related to the Star’s Katherine Kersten.

But if Homeland security is so important wouldn't have John Kline voted for authorizing $39.8 billion in Department of Homeland Security spending for the 2008 fiscal year? (The House did the Homeland Security Act just last week!).

Could it be that Kline prefers to enforce homeland security through supporting vigilantes citizens as they turn in, report all suspicious black, dark, Arab-looking, non-whites, Jews, Muslims, non-Christians…seems like a law that was made more for Hitler’s Germany America when it had a wild west. If Kline really wants to support Homeland Security then he should voted to support funding the Homeland Security Act, not to allow ‘tin star’ cowboys to determine good and who’s bad. And if someone does act like a vigilante, shouldn't there be consequences to them and legal recourse for the victims?

Again we see Congressman Kline voting to not fund a program with check and balances, while supporting one currently completely devoid of common sense. If Kline wanted to protect a particular class, why not protect whistleblowers like Coleen Rowley (FBI)? Instead he voted against that legislation. Again, why?

Monday, May 14, 2007

John Kline's New Spin In Marketing The War

The number of Iraqi refugees resettled in the United States in April is ONE. The total since the fiscal year started Oct. 1 is 69. At this rate, the State Department will be lucky to match last year’s total of 202. Of those lucky few that have resettle in the United States is interpreter Fadi “Freddie” Fadhil, a young, healthy and educated Iraqi. He resettled and become a citizen thanks to the efforts of his sponsor Lt. Col. Michael Baumann and those that also support the war effort like Congressman John Kline (R- MN).

Since he's been here, Fadi has been paraded around our community venues to sell this war- see here and here. A cynical person might ask how someone who is young and healthy with no ties to relatives in the U.S. is allow to resettle and become a U.S. citizen when so many are denied? The answer is: Fadhil is a tool being used to sell the war.

1 in 8 Iraqis have left their homes, over 2 million Iraqi's are now displaced with most living in acute poverty in counties like Jordan or Syria. As many as 50,000 Iraqis are fleeing their homes each month in a bid to escape the violence that's tearing the country apart. But less than one percent would be welcome in the United States under its current quota system (if they fill the full quota!) You have a better chance of winning at Minnesota state lotto several times over than being allowed in the U.S as an Iraqi.

Which brings us back to a certain young healthy Iraqi who finds himself as a mouthpiece and cheerleader for the failed Iraqi war. If this war was to bring freedom, then why isn't he still in Iraq fighting along side our soldiers for his country? I've heard the argument that it would be dangerous for him, but certainly no less dangerous than for our soldiers? Why is he so special...ah now I see, because he's part of the NeoCon PR....just another spin and lie to come out of this war courtesy of John Kline and his kind.

Friday, May 11, 2007

DeKline To Protect All of the People

U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-MN. is one of the cosponsors of the Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act of 2007. Kline says it's to protect those that speak out but then how do you square that with his vote against the landmark Whistleblower legislation (HR 985)?

Perhaps Kline thinks suspicious activity is only valid when we know the color of their skin or race or religion or maybe this factored into his decision?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

John Kline Votes Against Head Start

Love children? Want the best for them? Of course you do, who wouldn't? So now ask yourself why Congressman John Kline would vote against Improving Head Start Act when the program has been so successful?

Head Start has been the source of more than 30 years of research. Two of the best known studies are the Perry Preschool Study (Barnett, 1995) and the Consortium of Longitudinal Studies (Lazar, Darlington, Murray, Royce & Snipper, 1982). The Perry study found that “. . . one dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education programs by policymakers results in a return of seven dollars in preventative costs associated with incarceration, truancy, school dropout, and teen pregnancy (Stegelin, 2004).

John Kline boost that he's for 'increase federal funding for special needs and low income students', but votes against a program that ensure our children's well being with a financial payback of more than triple it's initial cost in later years. As a member of the Education and Labor Committee Kline's vote is particularly disgraceful. Fortunately the Act passed by a wide margin of 365 to 48 vote.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Vietnam Redux?

John Kline often quoted statement 'we're making progress in Iraq' contrast with reports coming out of Iraq. More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months than in any comparable stretch.

With the surge and Bush sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province, the prospect looms of even higher U.S. casualties. When Kline asserts that 'the victory on the war of terror depends on a victory in Iraq', does that include using false information to justify and 'sell' war to the American public and congress?

"United Nation officials accused Iraq on Wednesday of withholding civilian death figures to try and deflect attention from the escalating violence and worsening humanitarian crisis despite the U.S. -led Baghdad security crackdown." (AP)

The American placed Badhdad spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says there is 'confusion' over the number of casualties. Would his statement be double-speak for 'we did like the numbers so we gave lower figures'? Ali said the system for tabulating casualty figures "is not easy" because "...the number of casualties increased". He specifically cited the numbers from the April 12 suicide attack on the Iraqi parliament. There were eights deaths first reported by U.S. military but then lowered to one by the next day.

Figures seem to be lowered once the U.S. gets them but at least 2,078 people died in Iraq last month, 15 percent more than in February despite a massive security crackdown and surge of troops in Baghdad, the epicentre of violence. Civilian deaths topped the toll with 1,869 Iraqis killed, while another 2,719 civilians were wounded.

But playing with figures isn't the real problem . The problem is that Bush, Congressman Kline and all other cheerleaders for this losing war continue to delude themselves into believing that the problems in Iraq can be solved simply by managing the news through mis-information much like was done Vietnam. The events on the ground in Iraq reflect centuries of deep seated sectarian and ethnic strife. Surge or no surge, our U.S. troops cannot create effective security forces or even provide such security for themselves! Because of this, the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds in Iraq are seeking protection from their own militias.

Bottom line: any functioning government requires, at a minimum, that the people be protected. If it cannot fulfill that task then the government has little chance of being accepted as legitimate. Until that problem is solved Iraq will remain in the throes of a low-grade, but escalating, civil war with U.S. troops in the middle.

Reminds me of the gypsy saying, "Never try to stop a knife fight between brothers; you'll end up dying from knife wounds". America is in the middle of a knife fight we have no business in and can't win. I'm just wondering why Congressman Kline refuses to see the reality of this. Does Kline still want a win in Vietnam so badly that he's reliving events through Iraq hoping for a different ending?

Either way, terrorism is inflicting wounds that are slowly bleeding us to death by financially strapping us to the Iraq war while bankrupting us at home. Again, it's the all too familiar story of Vietnam. Which reminds me of another quote: "Those that don't learn from history, are doomed to repeat it".