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Ramstad Petitions Bush to Find Iraq Solution

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Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad (MN-03) joined 10 of his fellow GOP Congressmen in a meeting at the White House earlier this week to discuss the war in Iraq with President Bush along with members of his cabinet (Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice) and his political advisers.

Ramstad's delegation voiced their frustration with the Iraqi government's performance as well the administration's current Iraq war policy. The members expressed concerns that the administration has contingency plans if the recent surge in U.S troops fails. One political concern expressed by the Congressmen, some of whom represent moderate, swing districts, is that the Iraq issue continues to damage the Republican Party (a concern echoed this week by Republican presidential candidate John McCain). For example, White House meeting attendees Mark Kirk (IL-10) and Charlie Dent (PA-15) won their 2006 races by just 6 points and 9 points respectively. In total, 35 House Republicans won their races by 10 points or less last November, and the GOP can ill-afford to lose any more ground in next year's House elections.

In February of this year Minnesota's Ramstad joined 16 other GOP Congressmen when the House passed a resolution disapproving of Bush's decision to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

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73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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