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If Sarah Palin thinks the Pope is too liberal, wait till she meets Jesus


Now that Gov. Sarah Palin has been here (she was a featured speaker at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 13th Annual Family Banquet) and made her now famous remark that has gone viral on the Internet: “When that note comes due — and this isn’t racist, but — it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to be beholden to a foreign master. Because there is no plan coming out of Washington, D.C., to stop the incurrence of debt.” I did say she was a loose cannon and she did, in my opinion, make a mockery of advances in stemming the tide of racism in America.

Now Palin is attacking the Pope for being too liberal. Wait until she meets Jesus.

Dante Vignaroli
–Des Moines


Thanks for the reminder, Political Mercury

Douglas Burns’ story, “Ike’s House” (Political Mercury, Nov. 14) shed some light on one of America’s greatest presidents. Moreover, we should also remember Eisenhower’s intransigent position in not getting involved in Southeast Asia and Vietnam.

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In Tom Wicker’s book, “Dwight Eisenhower,” he wrote that in January 1954, speaking to the National Security Council, Eisenhower stated emphatically that “he simply could not imagine the United States putting ground forces anywhere in Southeast Asia… bitterly opposed I am to such a course of action… this war would absorb our troops by divisions.” Before his presidency, Eisenhower was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He understood the horrors of war and America’s military machine. President Johnson did not.

President Eisenhower ended the Korean conflict and provided leadership during the post World War II Cold War era. In his farewell speech, he was trying to warn the American people that they needed to remain vigilant. But we weren’t listening then, and we aren’t listening now.

Ray Dominick
–Des Moines


Who’s really paying for the Grand Avenue bridge project delays?

I’ve seen several media references to the belief that the contractors are being fined $5,000 per day for the delays on the bridge construction, but it’s my understanding that the city has no legal standing to actually require the fines to be paid. In other words, assessing is not the same as collecting. So no one is being punished for the delays, aside from the businesses and residents who are quite inconvenienced. I’ve also heard of other cities where constructions delays have hurt businesses, and those cities really did have the authority to collect fines. At least some of the fines were actually channeled to the businesses suffering from the delays. What a concept.

Kathy Olah
–West Des Moines


EDITOR’S NOTE: We looked into this, and here is what the City of Des Moines chief communications officer Amelia Hamilton Morris replied: “The City is not assessing ‘fines, penalties or sanctions’ and would be prohibited by law from imposition of such penalties. The law allows the parties to contract for liquidated damages in certain circumstances when they realize that actual damages will be difficult to calculate precisely. The Grand Ave Bridge over Walnut Creek contract contains a provision for the assessment of liquidated damages in the amount of $5,000 per day for each day that 3 lanes of traffic are not open after site 1 completion date. The City is currently withholding assessed liquidated damages from contractor partial payments. Funds retained from the assessment of liquidated damages are not available for payments to adjoining property owners.”

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