Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Warning to Y’All: “Things are not as they appear!”

Our Governor, Tim Pawlenty, is running hard in the “South” to get his name known. Image that! A classless guy from Minnesota selling himself to conservatives in the south!
by Charlie Leck

The Tea Party is gunna’ love this guy!
We have a Governor up here in l’Etoile du Nord (Minnesota) who is already running for President. His main opponent for the Republican endorsement, at this moment, appears to be Sara Palin. Now you, my friends of the opposition party, should understand this: our Governor is not as bad as Palin; that is, he has a modicum of intelligence; however, he is as political as a dirty, rotten politician can be and he is out to advance himself without any frickin’ concern for the great, over-all health of the greater nation. Up here, we call him Tim Poorlenty! He’s a wimpy guy with no spine! Oh, my! Don’t be fooled by the fool!

One of Pawlenty’s greatest talents is his ability to temporize. That is not the quality of a good and decisive leader. It’s not what we want in a President.

In some ways I would hope that he actually got endorsed by the Republicans for the job. Certainly the people of the nation would see through him, but then I wonder if he could fool the whole country the way he fooled this state.

Jesus, God!
Forgive me for turning the sacred into such profanities. In my worst, most horrible nightmares Sarah Palin gets elected President of the United States. Only one tiny tick down on my list of nightmares, Tim Pawlenty, the cagey, slick, wily and totally political Governor of Minnesota gets elected to that high office.

Believe me, friends and readers around the nation, we, in Minnesota, are a compassionate and intelligent people. Somehow, though, through the mysterious and strange processes of politics, Tim Pawlenty got elected as our Governor.

Tim Pawlenty is a poor excuse for a thinker. He has one thing on his mind; that is, advancing the causes of hard-core conservatism and increasing the wealth of America’s wealthiest individuals and corporations. Pawlenty never saw a tax he liked or a spending bill he didn’t hate. It doesn’t matter if it would be helpful to suffering citizens who don’t get the opportunities that people like Pawlenty get; Pawlenty wields the mighty veto with a vengeance.

Up here in the northland, our governor has been basically ignoring us as he runs for higher office by trying to become the hero of the conservative south. He’s been traveling all this winter, speaking to any GOP organization or association that will have him. This isn’t testing the waters, folks; this is plunging far into them.

He did have time to look back at us last week so that he could slap a veto on a bill that was very important to our lowest income residents and those who are experiencing financial troubles in these hard times. The bill he struck down (General Assistance Medical Care or GAMC) would have covered hospital costs for those Minnesotans making under $8,000 per year. Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) – we called it General Hospital in my younger days – cares for an awful lot of the patients who fall into that category. Calculations show that Pawlenty’s veto will cause about a $43 million dollar loss of funds for the hospital and increase its already sizable losses. Now, the facts are that those losses will need to be made up for somehow. Pawlenty understands that he is flipping the state’s most populated county the proverbial bird with his veto.

So, at this moment – I mean this very moment (5:20 AM on a Tuesday morning) – the Minnesota Legislature if trying to find a way, and the votes, to override the Governor’s cruel veto.

The hospital, in an attempt to fight back, has launched an extraordinary web site (Will you Lose?) that has now spread to Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. It makes no sense to so sadly handcuff one our state’s most important institutions. Though lower income residents of Hennepin County depend on this extraordinary hospital for their care, medical personnel from the entire state rely on the institution for training medical practitioners all across the state – therapists, first responders, nurses. Over 20,000 of them took training at HCMC last year. That means the hospital is an important state institution and not just a local facility. For instance, from Congressional District 7, in the far northwest part of the state, HCMC received 1,133 uninsured patients at a cost to the hospital of $1,256,929. From immediately to our east, in the St. Paul area, the hospital rung up just under 4 million dollars in charges by uninsured patients who were sent to it. Just about the same amount of uninsured patients and loses came from Congressional District 1 to the southeast of Minneapolis.

You can add to that an abundance of other services that the hospital provides to every single county in the state. Thousands and thousands of calls come in to the hospital’s extraordinary poison center from every county in the state. These are from people who need rapid information from the hospital in emergency situations. There is no telling how many lives were saved by this vital service.

Enough said.
You can go to the site I referenced above and see more of the indispensable services the hospital offers to counties all around the state.

Pawlenty’s veto was a pernicious act by a Governor too busy running for national office to serve properly the people of his own state.

We can only hope that enough Republicans among Minnesota’s legislators will have the guts to vote for an override of this injurious and foolish veto. However, Minnesota is like most states in the nation right now and members of a party’s caucus are very afraid to cross the aisle on one of these matters because they know they will then lose political and financial support in upcoming elections. Is this the way a Democracy is supposed to work? Have political parties become so dangerous and evil that we ought to think about electorally dismantling them?

If you are a Minnesota reader, please do something to help!
Ask your own legislator and state senator, especially if he/she is a Republican, to stand up and vote to override the Governor’s veto. All of you, go to HCMC’s important web site and make a contribution to its effort to stop this veto.

To those of you outside of Minnesota, watch out!
Tim Pawlenty is coming to a community near you, to win you and your neighbors over with his easy charm and talented tongue. Watch out! As Phaedrus* said: “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”

Here’s a link to a Minnesota Daily (UofMN Student Newspaper) story about Pawlenty’s cruel veto.

*Phaedrus: Plato’s interlocutor. As Plato said of him: “…the state of the continuous state of knowing is Phaedrus, he is not me,….”

Do you remember Robert Pirsig’s extraordinary book of our youthful days, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? “And thus, Phaedrus was gone, only to reappear some six years
later, ghost-like, on a motorcycle trip of father and son.” Oh my, that was a wonderful book from my flat-bellied days.


  1. Remember when Rudy (911) Guiliani wanted to run for president. He was even the GOP front runner at first. A lot of things sunk him, most notably his own megalomania showing, but there was local help, too. A group of NYC firefighters, all of whom had lost someone at Ground Zero, followed him, appeared on the web, in print and on TV and told the truth about him relentlessly. You could be one of the first Minnesotans to fill that role for Pawlenty. And I believe you've made a start right here.

    Thanks from one of the other 49 states.

  2. Right on! In Ohio the expected Republian candidate for governor is from the same cut.