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That Whirring Sound You Hear…


(Graphic courtesy of Mike McIntee:

…is longtime local Republican operative and paid GOP campaign blogger Michael Brodkorb spinning so hard he could be a rotary engine. He’s trying to preemptively protect his fellow anti-tax Republicans in general, and poor widdle Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty in particular, from those persons out there who are adding up two and two and getting a whole number between three and five in regard to the I-35W disaster.

Jeff Fecke over at Blog of the Moderate Left has the details:

The right-wing blogs, led by chief astroturfer Michael Brodkorb, have been apoplectic about the possibility that someone, somewhere might “politicize” the collapse of the 35W Mississippi River Bridge. Now, let’s leave aside that the amount of time they spent hand-wringing about politicization ultimately amounted to politicizing the issue. The fact is that this is, of course, a political issue. As my good friend Spot says:

But according to Michael Brodkorb, it is just so unfair to blame an administration that has stymied virtually every effort to increase transportation funding. It’s not only fair, Michael, it’s accurate. And now we can see just how penny wise and pound foolish the Pepsodent administration is. The economic wreckage of the bridge collapse will dwarf the cost of just replacing the bridge, on top of the horrific loss of life.

Of course, the right rarely starts screaming about the need for Democrats to be quiet if it’s a time Democrats actually need to be quiet — and now we know why the screams of indignation on the right have been so loud. The Star Tribune is reporting tonight that the Minnesota Department of Transportation knew the Mississippi River Bridge was in dire need of repair…and didn’t act:

Structural deficiencies in the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed Wednesday were so serious that the Minnesota Department of Transportation last winter considered bolting steel plates to its supports to prevent cracking in fatigued metal, according to documents and interviews with agency officials.

The department went so far as to ask contractors for advice on the best way to approach such a task, which could have been opened for bids later this year.

Go read the whole thing. It’s frightening.

And as Jeff points out, do bear in mind that the head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation is none other than Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau, who not only is a GOP operative in good standing, but a confederate of Tim Pawlenty’s in addition to his anointed heir apparent as governor, should by some miracle Pawlenty make it to Blair House as John McCain’s Veep.


We interrupt this post to bring you some silly news: Bush says he’s going to “order” Congress to stay in session until they give him a bill he wants, which he’s apparently legally able to do (at least with the ‘keeping them in session’ part, not necessarily with the legislation part — and Kagro questions whether that’s even possible). To which I say: Go right ahead, George. The DCCC and DSCC are already kicking the RSCC and RCCC’s butts when it comes to fundraising. Your boys and girls need the August fundraising time more than ours do. (Oh, and if you go through with this, guess what? No recess appointments for you! Plus, we get to hold more hearings and maybe even have time to draft articles of impeachment.)

Here’s an ACLU site Firepups can use to tell the Democrats in Congress that sticking around is not only the right thing to do, it helps them and really hurts the GOP. More phone numbers are here:

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

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