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The killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the second-most-wanted terrorist, is an important step in America's war against terror, but it should not be viewed as a final step needed to withdraw our troops from Iraq. There is no doubt that Zarqawi was a brutal force in Iraq, directly responsible for stirring an insurgency for which we were ill-prepared and directly responsible for at least two sadistic beheadings of Americans himself.
It always takes time after a legislative session to parse exactly what happened when the smoke clears. This week the attention is on a part of the supplemental spending bill approved last month by lawmakers which allocates $1.5 million to develop a "character education" curriculum which can be adapted by Minnesota public schools. While it's certainly an excellent idea that our children learn and practice common values that will eventually frame their actions as contributing members of society.
One has to wonder about the motives of continuing to push public policy knowing that it will go nowhere. That's the case this week as the U.S. Senate is spending three days this week to debate a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage which won't even get majority support when a vote is finally taken, let alone the 60 votes needed to start the process of amending the U.S. Constitution, which would need two-thirds of the states to approve. So why engage in such a Don Quixote endeavor?
Legislative leaders are slated to meet this week in an effort to resurrect for the fall ballot a constitutional amendment question asking voters to dedicate funding for the outdoors -- or maybe Sparky the sea lion, or maybe Barney the purple dinosaur. That's what became part of the problem lawmakers could not agree upon -- what would be covered by dedicated funding. An original proposal to dedicate a portion of the state's sales tax to game and fish programs eventually grew to also cover zoos and public broadcasting, as well as parks and the arts. Another part of the problem was how much.
The loss of key computer data involving 26.5 million American veterans has given new urgency to the dangers of identity theft. A Veterans Administration analyst apparently took home a laptop with the data on veterans that includes Social Security numbers and may even included phone numbers and addresses.
The Bush administration on Wednesday doled out counterterrorism monies and Minnesota found itself on the short end. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded $1.7 billion in grants to U.S.
A federal report issued Tuesday shows that three out of every four undergraduate college students in Minnesota take out loans for their higher education and that Minnesota ranks third in the nation -- behind New York and Georgia -- in the highest average loan amount at $20,312, a figure $1,000 higher than the national average. Of that, $16,594 is with federal loans, according to the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Also Tuesday, the U.S.
The convictions Thursday of former Enron Corp.
The theft of computer records containing the very personal data of 26.5 million veterans -- virtually all current living U.S.
Any legislative session that does no harm is a good one, and the recently concluded 2006 session ranks among those. But we'd like to venture even further that, as a whole, much good also came out of the session. First and foremost, it finished on time -- even a day earlier. Such as not been the case in recent years, especially in 2005 when lawmakers pushed past the 11th hour into overtime and then even into partial state government shutdown.