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In this article, DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin says that “Democrats will focus more on policy as they try to hold Lewis to just one term. ‘It certainly will be a huge target for national Democrats and, of course, for us here at the DFL. It’s still on paper a 50-50 district.'”

That’s a point of contention. Technically speaking, CD-2 should be a 50-50 district in normal times, it isn’t a 50-50 district operationally because the Democratic Party has gone nuts. The DFL isn’t a centrist party anymore. They’ve abandoned blue collar workers and farmers. They’ve gravitated toward top-down-government-knows-best policies like Obamacare. They’re trying to kill the fossil fuel industry. Angie Craig raised lots of money. She ran an aggressive campaign. What happened is that she wasn’t a good fit for the district.

In CD-2, the DFL’s standard-bearer, Angie Craig, promised to expand Obamacare. As a result, she lost after leading going into the final month.

Once Rep. Lewis starts voting for welcome reforms and the results start coming in, he’ll be in a stronger position for re-election. Now that Lewis has gotten sworn in, he’s rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. There’s no reason to think he won’t represent the district well.

That should make Ken Martin plenty sad.

It’s apparent that Democrats are overplaying the CBO’s report on repealing the ACA. It’s apparent after reading this Washington Post article.

That’s apparent based on the opening paragraph of their article, which says “At least 18 million people would lose health insurance in the first year if Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan, estimates a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”

The first telling part is when CBO says 18,000,000 “people would lose health insurance in the first year if Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan.” That sentence alone nullifies the importance of the CBO’s analysis. That’s because Republicans have consistently said that they’d pass the repeal and replace in the same piece of legislation. They’ve also promised to not let anyone get left hanging while transitioning from Obamacare to the new and improved health care system.

This doom and gloom is helping Democrats overplay their hand:

The number of people without insurance would grow to about 32 million within the first decade if congressional Republicans follow a 2015 plan to repeal the health-care law without an alternative, the new report says. It also estimates that health insurance premiums for people buying individual non-group coverage would double within a decade, further complicating GOP promises that people will not lose coverage under their plan.

It’s clear that the new plan to replace the ACA will be significantly different than anything that’s been used before. Further, Democrats are setting themselves up for failure. The only way that the Democrats’ strategy will work is if Republicans totally drop the ball. The chances of that happening with President Trump, Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Price, Speaker Ryan and Sen. John Barrasso leading the push is virtually nonexistent.

Rest assured that President Trump’s first State of the Union Address will include details of what the replace plan will include. I’d expect that legislation will have been submitted by then. Further, I wouldn’t be surprised if the legislation will gotten its first hearings by then. Once President Trump blasts this information out to the nation, the Democrats’ handwringing and demagoguery will put them in God’s little acre — between a rock and a hard place.

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President George H.W. Bush, aka Bush the Elder, wrote a letter to President-Elect Trump recently. Keeping with typical Bush family rules of dignity, President Bush’s letter was filled with patriotism and integrity.

The letter said “Dear Donald, Barbara and I are so sorry we can’t be there for your Inauguration on January 20th. My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same with Barbara. So I guess we’re stuck in Texas. But we will be with you and the country in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country. If I can ever be of help, please let me know.”

It’s apparent that Bush the Elder is the opposite of President Obama. Right until the last minute of his presidency, Bush the Elder’s decisions were about protecting the United States. President Obama’s final decisions have disgraced his already disgraceful foreign policy and national security legacy.

President George H.W. Bush was a great foreign policy president, behind only President Reagan in my lifetime. By comparison, President Obama’s history on national security is second to everyone’s. Bin Laden was killed on his watch. That’s his only national security victory. On the opposite side of the ledger, he traded the Taliban 5 for Bo Bergdahl. He pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq, which led directly to the formation of ISIS. President Obama’s spineless policies towards Syria led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. That led directly to the importation of ISIS terrorists into western Europe and the United States.

But I digress.

Here’s a picture of President Bush’s letter to Donald Trump:

Thanks, Mr. President. You’re a class act.

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This Reuters article is breathtakingly misguided. First, the article is a hatchet job about Betsy DeVos’s confirmation hearing. What’s important to know is that Reuters says “Next Tuesday, the Education Committee will likely approve sending her name to the full chamber when it votes in an executive session. Then, Democrats could block the nomination with a filibuster on the Senate floor.”

Has Reuters been hiding in Saddam Hussein’s rabbit hole hideout the last 4 years? Have they paid attention to the Democrats’ whining the last month? NEWS BULLETIN TO REUTERS: Harry Reid killed the filibuster of presidential cabinet nominees in 2013.

What’s noteworthy about the hearing itself is how bitchy Democrats are. For instance, the Reuters article says “Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, an advocate of tough financial regulation, asked whether DeVos or her children had attended public schools, borrowed student loans or received federal financial help known as Pell grants. ‘You have no experience with financial aid,’ Warren summed up when DeVos answered ‘no.'”

She’s a billionaire who’s contributed millions of dollars to school choice scholarship funds. Why would she then require her children to rack up a pile of student loan debt?

Many were dismayed DeVos would not pledge to carry out rules on sexual assault, for-profit colleges and fair access for students with disabilities, only saying she would review the policies.

TRANSLATION: Democrats are upset that Trump’s pick isn’t a doctrinaire liberal who supports teachers unions. My advice for them is simple: put on your big boy britches. Get over it. You lost. The new president will be taking the nation in a different, more prosperous, direction.

NOTICE TO ELIZABETH WARREN: Keep doing what you’re doing, which is acting like a bitch. You’ve been letting your hostility flood the hearings. It isn’t attractive.

Finally, it’s difficult to trust Reuters as a news organization when they don’t know basic Senate rules. It’s impossible to think of Sen. Warren as a presidential candidate. She’s a bigger bitch than Hillary, which is saying a lot, and she hates anyone who’s been successful.

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. It doesn’t get stranger than President Obama commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning. It’s unforgivable for President Obama to commute the sentence of the soldier “who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks.”

This is further proof that President Obama is the worst national security president of my lifetime by orders of magnitude. He’s worse than Jimmy Carter, which is something I didn’t think I’d ever say.

President Obama has rightfully criticized Russian President Putin for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s computers, though the DNC pretty much left them unprotected. What’s puzzling (and infuriating) about his commuting 28 years (80%) of Manning’s sentence is that Manning’s actions caused the death of American soldiers and intelligence assets.

What’s especially chilling is that President Obama “overruled his secretary of defense to commute the sentence of former Army soldier Chelsea Manning.” President Obama commuted the sentence of a soldier who got American soldiers killed. It doesn’t get more pathetic than that.

President Obama’s commutation of Manning’s sentence is proof that his priorities and thinking aren’t right. Thank God he’s almost irrelevant. The biggest question left is how much more damage he can do to America’s national security in his hours left.

This article highlights what Manning did:

Diplomats are like journalists, doctors and lawyers: their jobs depend on the trust and confidentiality of those with whom they speak. As the US military engages increasingly in civil affairs, soldiers are not much different.

Manning not only burned the sources of hundreds of diplomats, but she effectively dissuaded foreigners from trusting any future American official. The exposure may also have cost lives: Both al Qaeda and the Taliban combed through documents to identify those cooperating with the United States.

This sums her up perfectly:

Make no mistake: Manning was neither an altruistic liberal nor free-speech warrior: She was a narcissist and would-be tyrant who believed rules did not apply to her. She was not motivated by a desire to expose wrongdoing, for she ignored channels used by generations of whistleblowers and instead sought the wholesale exposure of ­government secrets.

This is what a traitor looks like:

One of the great things about President-Elect Trump’s cabinet picks is that it’s forcing Democrats to defend the indefensible. Contained in this article is something that’s totally black-white.

The opening paragraph states “Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, stood firm about her long held beliefs that parents, not the government, should be able to choose where to send children to school, pledging Tuesday to push voucher programs should she be confirmed to lead the nation’s education system.”

Only a union member would disagree with that statement. Parents should have the right to pick the schools their children attend. As for those defending the failed status quo in education, which is what the Democrats are doing, check out Randi Weingarten’s statement about Mrs. DeVos. I don’t think that unhinged is a strong enough word. Weingarten said “She has no connections to public schools,” Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federal of Teachers, told CNN on Tuesday. “What she wants to do is actually drain the public system of dollars it desperately needs.”

Al Franken’s round of questioning was what you’d expect from a political hack like him. This video showed that he was a political hack with a pre-orchestrated script to follow:

Then there’s this:

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, questioned whether DeVos has the “breadth and depth” of knowledge to serve as education secretary. Franken started his turn at questioning by asking DeVos whether she believes in judging children on growth or proficiency. DeVos stumbled on the question and seemingly didn’t know that this was a debate within the education community. “It surprises me that you don’t know this issue,” Franken said, later adding that he is, in fact, “not that surprised that you don’t know this issue.”

Franken then turned to DeVos’ donation to Focus on the Family, an organization that believes conversion therapy for LGBT. Franken directly asked DeVos whether she “still believes” in conversion therapy. “I have never believed in that,” DeVos said, adding, “I fully embrace equality.”

Let’s inventory Franken’s questioning. First, he insisted that the expert wasn’t an expert because she didn’t give into his liberal groupthink. Next, he insults Mrs. DeVos for not being qualified. Finally, Sen. Franken assumed that Mrs. DeVos believed something because she’s a devout Christian.

That’s fair game with Democrats like Sen. Franken. It’s considered bigotry amongst civilized, thoughtful people. Apparently, Sen. Franken isn’t a civilized, thoughtful person. Sen. Franken, like other Democrats, are guilt-by-association people. Check this article out:

DeVos’s stance on LGBT rights is not known—she has declined to comment ahead of the confirmation hearings—but there are, to put it mildly, reasons for concern.

The DeVos family has been the primary funder of some of the most anti-LGBT organizations in the country, to the tune of more than $200 million. Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos, was one of the first mega-funders of the Christian right in the 1970s, and his foundation is now a fixture at The Gathering, the Woodstock of Christian right funders, and a major funder of Focus on the Family. The DeVos Center for Religion and Society at the Heritage Foundation has promoted a quasi-theocratic worldview. And Betsy DeVos’s father, Edgar Prince, was a founder of the Family Research Council.

That’s right. Admit that they don’t know her position on something. Then, in the next breath, attack her because she’s related. Don’t find out for yourself. Just make unsubstantiated assumptions.

This article, written by E.J. Dionne and Joy-Ann Reid, is titled Obama, the orator. It’s a fitting title considering his reliance on speechifying. During his political career, President Obama always could deliver a great speech. It’s what got him elected twice.

What’s amazing, though, was that his oratory didn’t change people’s minds. Obamacare is still just as unpopular as it was the day it was written or the day it was signed. President Obama couldn’t convince a Democratic congress with supermajorities in both houses to pass Cap and Trade.

Dionne and Reid said something that’s worth studying when they wrote “Barack Obama resolutely makes the case for moving forward by referring again and again to the lessons of American history.” Then they mentioned other great orators when they wrote “Over the past century, the list of presidents we lift up as especially gifted speakers is short — Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Obama.”

It’s appropriate that we understand the difference in the wimpy list of accomplishments of President Obama and the lengthy list of accomplishments of President Reagan, then compare their oratory skills. President Obama delivered great speeches but he didn’t change opinions on policies. Here’s something from President Reagan’s farewell speech to the nation:

And in all of that time I won a nickname, “The Great Communicator.” But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation—from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

President Obama’s failed presidency didn’t happen because he wasn’t a good orator. President Obama’s failed presidency happened because he communicated controversial things that the people didn’t want.

President Reagan’s historic presidency happened because he reminded the American people of the foundational principles and priorities first printed in this nation’s founding documents and reaffirmed in speeches throughout the USA’s history. Liberals ridiculed President Reagan for his use of 3″ X 5″ cards during speeches. What they didn’t mention was what was on those cards. President Reagan often wrote a few bullet points on those cards, then emphasized the most important points on the subject of those cards.

President-Elect Trump has a different communication style. Still, he’ll likely be successful because he understands that the U.S. doesn’t need radical transformation, like President Obama talked about. It’s that we just need to apply time-tested capitalist principles again.

Here’s the video of President Reagan’s speech:

This article by Katherine Kersten is another outstanding article from her on the subject of how the Met Council intends to govern cities.

Kersten starts by informing readers that the “council’s vision to transform how the people of the Twin Cities region live and get around has two prongs. First, the Thrive plan will promote compact, high-density housing and ‘transit-oriented development’ (TOD).”

Prior to that, Ms. Kersten explained that mission “creep has been escalating for some time, but under Dayton, the overreach has reached a crisis point. The Thrive plan is a power grab that will impose intrusive, top-down controls on 186 municipalities, neutering the power of local elected officials. The plan, wrapped in vague and noble-sounding goals, imposes a host of new, ideologically driven criteria for municipal development that will give the council the raw power, unchecked by elected representatives, to dramatically remake our region.”

That’s a fancy way of talking about top-down, unelected government dictating the terms of how urban life will work under their vision. The DFL, BTW, is all in on this anti-democratic form of governing. Apparently, the DFL supports any type of government that silences dissent and We The People.

People shouldn’t trust appointed politicians. That’s why Minnesota needs to dramatically overhaul the Met Council. Unaccountable people who weren’t elected (they’re appointed) with the ability to raise taxes, which the Met Council has the authority to do, are anti-democratic. They shouldn’t be respected or tolerated.

Finally, in a just world, they shouldn’t exist.

UPDATE: A loyal reader of LFR sent this video to me:

It’s a great (and frightening) picture of the Met Council’s mission creep and its misguided ‘mission’.

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This article highlights Sen. Warren’s shameless interrogation of Dr. Ben Carson during his confirmation hearing. Dr. Carson is President-Elect Trump’s pick to be the HUD secretary. Sen. Warren apparently thought that her responsibility was to play gotcha games with Dr. Carson or to use the confirmation hearing to smear President-Elect Trump.

Sen. Warren asked Dr. Carson “If you are confirmed to lead HUD, you will be responsible for issuing billions of dollars in grants and loans to help develop housing and provide a lot of housing-related services. Now, housing development is an area in which President-elect Trump and his family have significant business interests. Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar that you give out will financially benefit the president-elect or his family?” Carson said he would “absolutely not play favors for anyone” because he is “driven by a sense of morals and values.”

Not willing to accept Dr. Carson’s reply, Sen. Warren pressed on, asking “Can you just assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?” Again, Dr. Carson replied that “It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American.” He quickly realized the gaffe and fixed the answer in his subsequent statement, “It’s for all Americans, everything that we do.”
“I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” he further clarified. “That is going to be the goal.”

Still unsatisfied, Sen. Warren then said “The reason you can’t assure us of that is because the president-elect is hiding his family’s business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America. And this just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect’s refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust.”

This is sour grapes on Sen. Warren’s behalf. The American people weren’t surprised by the fact that President-Elect Trump is wealthy. They understood that it’d be impossible for him to put his assets in a blind trust the way less wealthy presidents could. It isn’t that they’re giving him a blank check to do whatever he wants. It’s that they’re willing to give him time to earn their trust. After watching this video, it’s pretty apparent that Sen. Warren is considering a presidential run in 2020:

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It isn’t surprising that the AP is reporting that Keith Ellison will miss Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. That’s as surprising as reports that Donald Trump is rich.

What makes this information newsworthy, in my opinion, is Rep. Ellison’s statement on why he isn’t attending. The AP quotes him as saying “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”

Presumably, that’s said after offering the ‘I supported Louis Farrakhan’ exemption. This article hits Ellison right between the eyes, saying “In Ellison’s attempt to distance himself from past actions and move up in the Democratic Party he has said that he has ‘long denounced’ Farrakhan and called him ‘a hater,’ but Muhammad said that this is not the Ellison that he knew. Muhammad said that he met with Ellison personally during his years of association with the Nation of Islam and that there was ‘no question’ that Ellison, who at the time went by Keith Ellison-Muhammad, supported Farrakhan’s work.”

This might be the most lucid thing David Schultz has said as a political commentator:

Schultz says the last time the United States had a significant number of lawmakers boycott the presidential inauguration was in March 1861 when Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office. Schultz adds boycotting Trump is a win-win for Ellison specifically because his district is so overwhelming only democratic and because of his goals to become the next Democratic Committee Chair. “I suspect by boycotting this he integrates himself with the real liberals of the party and with the people who are saying what the Democrats really need to do is fight,” said Schultz.

Democrats come across as petty by skipping the inauguration:

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