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If there’s anything I didn’t expect to hear this session, I wouldn’t have expected Tom Anzelc to criticize Gov. Dayton. That’s exactly what Rep. Anzelc did, though:

Several were skeptical an agreement could be reached in time to avoid a partial government shutdown.

“Historically, governors don’t call a special session unless there is rock-solid agreement among the leadership,” said Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township. “Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and Speaker Daudt have a cordial relationship. But the governor doesn’t seem to be in that triangle. That’s going to make this very complicated.”

Gov. Dayton certainly doesn’t fit into that triangle, though it’s fair to say that he’s admitted that he trusts Speaker Daudt.

To be fair, though, it isn’t accurate to think that Sen. Bakk has suddenly turned over a new moderate leaf. The reason he’s getting along with Speaker Daudt is mostly due to the fact that he’s worried that there’s something to the Republicans’ advantage in outstate Minnesota. A politician’s greatest instinct is to get re-elected. After seeing Paul Thissen get fired as Speaker in 2014, Bakk is doing his best to play to outstate Minnesota as much as possible.

But I digress.

The reality is that Gov. Dayton remains the biggest impediment to these negotiations. That’s why Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk pushed Gov. Dayton aside after spending the last week of the session trying to hammer out a budget deal. After 4 days of intense negotiations, the trio had reached agreement on 2 bills. After they pushed. Gov. Dayton to the side, they finished the other bills in 2 hours.

Now, Gov. Dayton is whining after taking his ill-advised pre-K initiative off the table:

“I’ve given up on my version of pre-k and that’s a huge concession on my part to try to get this resolved, to try to get this wrapped up, to try to give 10,000 public employees that they’re going to have their jobs on July 1st,” Dayton said. “I’ve gone a long ways on this to accommodate their concerns.”

It isn’t a concession considering the fact that legislators of both parties and both bodies of the legislature rejected Gov. Dayton’s proposal. It isn’t a concession considering the fact that school boards across the state oppose it. It isn’t a concession considering it’s hiding more than $3,000,000,000 in property tax increases in it because of the unfunded mandates hidden throughout Gov. Dayton’s bill.

When the Senate, which has a DFL majority, rejects Gov. Dayton’s proposal by a 52-14 margin, that’s a pretty strong indicator that it’s a terrible idea.

Gov. Dayton is opposing the bill because Republicans are demanding a common sense reform in exchange for increased spending:

The House GOP released an offer sheet that put $125 million more in the mix but called for changes to the “last-in, first-out” teacher layoff law.

Simply put, this is a sensible reform. Education Minnesota hates the idea, which is enough to earn Gov. Dayton’s wrath. If you asked parents if they’d want the teachers with the most seniority teaching their children or whether they’d prefer that the best teachers teaching their children, it wouldn’t be a fair fight.

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Sen. Franken’s solution to high home heating prices isn’t a serious proposal:

The Democratic senator’s measure would put in place a coordinated response to growing coal supply emergencies that affect power plants across the country, including in Minnesota. “In Minnesota, we know that our utilities need dependable fuel supplies so they can provide heat to homes and businesses, and prevent rising energy costs for consumers,” Franken said.

The proposed Severe Fuel Supply Emergency Response Act of 2015 would direct the Secretary of Energy to lead the response to coal fuel supply emergencies by:

  1. Promptly investigating the cause of the fuel shortage and informing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Surface Transportation Board.
  2. Convening a meeting with stakeholders involved.
  3. Making written publicly available recommendations for actions that would help alleviate the problems.

If Sen. Franken won’t propose a serious solution that doesn’t create a different crisis, he shouldn’t be a U.S. senator. This isn’t a serious proposal because Sen. Franken is still owned by environmental activists. These environmental activists, along with the Putin administration, don’t want the Sandpiper Pipeline project built. Before progressives start questioning the logic, here’s why the Pipeline is at the heart of the coal shortage problem. Because the Sandpiper Pipeline hasn’t been built, oil from the Bakken is getting shipped via rail to refineries in Superior, WI, and elsewhere. The last I heard there were either 6 or 7 trains dedicated to transporting oil from the Bakken to the refineries in Superior.

That’s led to a railcar shortage that’s affecting the shipping of iron to steel mills in the Rust Belt, the shipping of agricultural products to the Twin Cities in addition to the shipping of home heating products to anywhere in Minnesota.

Sen. Franken knows this. He doesn’t care about creating rail space to transport agricultural products to market or taconite to steel mills. Sen. Franken’s highest priority is to appease the environmental activists. Instead of appeasing theses special interests, he should attempt to represent his constituents. I know that’s a revolutionary concept with Democrats but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

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This story has been bouncing around the internet all week. The progressive left has attempted to use the story to tar Scott Walker. First, here’s what Gov. Walker said:

We signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there.

Naturally, the abortion industry (and that’s just what it is) is outraged:

Walker’s comments drew criticism from pro abortion rights groups. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called his remarks “appalling” and said, “Women are very clear that forced government ultrasounds are not ‘cool.'”

First, it isn’t surprising that one of the leaders in the abortion industry is upset. Wisconsin’s law is probably reducing the number of abortions in that state. That means Planned Parenthood’s income has probably dropped. Couple that with the fact that Gov. Walker dried up funding to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s government funding and it isn’t a stretch to think that Gov. Walker is Public Enemy No. 1 in Planned Parenthood’s eyes. Frankly, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Gov. Walker would occupy the top 5 slots on Planned Parenthood’s Public Enemies list.

This statement is from the Guttmacher Institute:

“Since routine ultrasound is not considered medically necessary as a component of first-trimester abortion, the requirements appear to be a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion,” researchers at the Guttmacher Institute wrote.

The Catholic Education Resource Center responded with this statement:

“The manipulation of language has long been one of the hallmarks of the pro-choice position,” according to an argument on the Catholic Education Resource Center website. “But with ultrasound, words no longer matter so much: The abstract melts into the concrete and the personal. This powerful emotional appeal will continue to grow as 3-D ultrasound enters the mainstream.”

The truth is that Planned Parenthood is upset that this technology is eating into their revenues. Anybody that thinks that Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice USA or NOW cares about anything more than the income from performing abortion procedures is kidding themselves.

These abortionists care mostly about their income and their industry.

Congratulations to Gov. Walker and the Wisconsin legislature for writing and passing the ultrasound legislation and for defunding Planned Parenthood. They’re true pro-life heroes.

There’s no secret that Minnesota environmental activists are trying to stop the Sandpiper Pipeline project that would transport oil from the Bakken oil field across Minnesota to Wisconsin. This article highlights what’s behind the environmentalists’ protests and who’s funding them:

Now the Sandpiper Pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region across Minnesota to Superior, Wis., is meeting similar resistance. As with Keystone, the protesters say they’re concerned student, hiker and Native American grass-roots activists. The facts do not support their narrative.

Putin-allied Russian billionaires laundered $23 million through the Bermuda-based Wakefield Quin law firm to the Sea Change Foundation and thence to anti-fracking and anti-Keystone groups, the Environmental Policy Alliance found. Sandpiper opponents are likewise funded and coordinated by wealthy financiers and shadowy foundations, researcher Ron Arnold discovered.

Several small groups are involved in Sandpiper. But the campaign is coordinated by Honor the Earth, a Native American group that is actually a Tides Foundation “project,” with the Tides Center as its “fiscal sponsor,” contributing $700,000 and extensive in-kind aid. Out-of-state donors provide 99% of Honor’s funding.

The Indigenous Environmental Network also funds Honor the Earth. Minnesota corporate records show no incorporation entry for IEN, and that 95% of its money comes from outside Minnesota. Tides gave IEN $670,000 to oppose pipelines. Indeed, $25 billion in foundation investment portfolios support the anti-Sandpiper effort.

Isn’t that interesting? At the very time that Russia’s economy is tanking because the oil revenues they rely on have shrunk dramatically, “Putin-allied Russian billionaires” reached out to organizations that fund environmentalists to protest the building of the Sandpiper Pipeline project.

In reaching out to the Tides Foundation, these “Putin-allied Russian billionaires” reached out to an old ally. Teresa Heinz-Kerry is a major contributor to the Tides Foundation. Not coincidentally, she’s married to John Forbes Kerry. His current job title is U.S. Secretary of State.

But I digress.

Like most things progressive, the progressives’ attempt to sabotage the Sandpiper Pipeline project is being led by an organization (Tides) that specializes in AstroTurf campaigns. Think of it this way. The party of the little guy is sabotaging a project that would make people’s gas prices cheaper and their home heating bills less expensive. That’s happening because a company supported by one of the wealthiest families in America is funding them.

When she’s campaigning, Elizabeth Warren frequently states that the game is rigged against the average person. When that message caught fire, Hillary adopted the campaign theme of being “everyday Americans” champion. The truth is that the game is rigged against the little guy. One-percenters like Teresa Heinz-Kerry do their utmost to make sure average people pay more.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL certainly haven’t fought against these AstroTurf organizations who’ve protested the building of the Sandpiper pipeline. That’s because they’ve decided to side with environmental activist organizations that are funded by big corporations that don’t give a damn about Minnesota.

T. Becket Adams’ article shows how little hesitation there is with progressives to lie about conservatives’ statements. Check out what Gov. Scott Walker said and what Right Wing Watch published. First, here’s what Gov. Walker said:

In an interview Friday with conservative radio host Dana Loesch, Walker defended a bill that he signed into law in 2013 mandating that women seeking abortions must also be provided with ultrasounds.

The measure, Senate Bill 206, or Sonya’s Law, reads, “This bill requires … that before a person may perform or induce an abortion the physician … [must] perform, or arrange for a qualified person to perform, an ultrasound on the pregnant woman using whichever transducer the woman chooses.”

Walker bragged in his interview with Loesch that he and his team, “defunded Planned Parenthood.”

“We also signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea,” he said.

The Wisconsin governor, who is also the father to two sons, then marveled at the technology behind ultrasounds.

“Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there,” he said. “We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child,” he added.

Right Wing Watch turned that into this headline:

Right Wing Watch, a left-wing watchdog group, was one of the first to take on Walker’s comments, publishing a story Tuesday titled “Scott Walker: Ultrasounds Should Be Mandatory Since They’re ‘A Cool Thing.'”

Here’s a collage of headlines on the subject:

Progressive hardliners don’t care about the truth. They care most about sensationalizing headlines that they can use against Republican candidates. Truth isn’t optional with these thugs. It’s forbidden.

When Marilyn Mosby won an indictment against 6 police officers in the death of Freddie Gray and when Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake watched Baltimore descend into chaos, they became the public face of Baltimore’s political and legal leadership. Now that violence engulfs Baltimore, it’s clear that this disastrous duo deserve the criticism they’re getting.

In most instances, I’d argue that Marilyn Mosby deserves the lion’s share of the blame for Baltimore’s problems. This isn’t like most situations, though. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake first gave the thugs permission to loot stores and destroy buildings. She told police officers to “Let them loot. It’s only property”:

As amazing as that sounds, it’s gotten worse since:

BALTIMORE (AP) — Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire.

“I’m afraid to go outside,” said Perrine, 47. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.”

This explains why the officers aren’t there:

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said last week his officers “are not holding back” from policing tough neighborhoods, but they are encountering dangerous hostility in the Western District. “Our officers tell me that when officers pull up, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any time,” Batts said.

This doesn’t help, either:

At a City Council meeting Wednesday, Batts said officers have expressed concern they could be arrested for making mistakes. “What is happening, there is a lot of levels of confusion in the police organization. There are people who have pain, there are people who are hurt, there are people who are frustrated, there are people who are angry,” Batts said. “There are people, and they’ve said this to me, ‘If I get out of my car and make a stop for a reasonable suspicion that leads to probable cause but I make a mistake on it, will I be arrested?’ They pull up to a scene and another officer has done something that they don’t know, it may be illegal, will they be arrested for it? Those are things they are asking.”

Marilyn Mosby’s hostility towards the police has accelerated the mistrust between City Hall, her office and the police officers. The police officers don’t know whether they’ll get arrested for making a mistake because Ms. Mosby and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will take the thugs’ side or the officers’ side.

Two of the things that are fundamental to city governance is public safety and law enforcement. These ladies are failing to produce on either count. Based on their hostility towards police officers, it’s unrealistic to think they’ll suddenly change their policies and start making the streets safe or prosecuting the thugs that are murdering people.

When I wrote this post about Rand Paul’s foolishness about ISIS, I stuck mostly to highlighting why Sen. Paul’s opinion is dangerous. Today, it’s time to attack the beliefs that form the foundation for that wrongheaded thinking.

Like his lunatic father before him, Sen. Paul thinks that ISIS won’t hurt us if we just leave them alone. That’s projection based on their capital-L Libertarian beliefs. It’s also lunacy that isn’t based in facts.

ISIS’s beliefs are based on a messianic worldview. If ISIS didn’t use the U.S.’s presence in the Middle East as a rationalization for attacking us, then they’d find a different, equally dishonest, excuse to kill people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time.

The proof of this is the fact that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been murdered because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’s beliefs. Their crime wasn’t that they were an occupying force in the Middle East. Their ‘crime’ was that they weren’t, in ISIS’s opinion, Muslim enough. If it wasn’t that, ISIS would find a different excuse to rationalize their actions.

Rand Paul isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief. He sees the world as he wants it to be. He doesn’t see the world as it actually is. That’s President Obama’s fatal flaw. That’s one of Sen. Paul’s fatal flaws, too.

This Our View editorial isn’t worth the bandwidth it’s printed on. It’s time for amateurs and busybodies to stop pretending that they’re policymakers. Listen to this gibberish:

But whatever the legislative machinations that resulted in the final vetoed education bill, Dayton’s determination to fund pre-K is the right way to go.

No it isn’t. It’s a terrible idea. I’m not opposed to early learning. I’m just opposed to poorly designed early learning initiatives. Gov. Dayton’s plan must improve to a poorly designed early learning initiative. It’s expensive, filled with massive property tax increases and unfunded mandates. What part of a $2,200,000,000 statewide property tax increase sounds appealing? FYI- That’s just for the infrastructure, aka adding classrooms. That’s before talking teachers and transportation for these preschoolers.

Whoever wrote this editorial should get paid by the DFL.

Minnesota, allegedly a national leader in public education, has been behind the curve regarding pre-K opportunities. Some districts fund it on their own, others do not, usually because of budget constraints. The governor’s optional state funding plan at least would allow more districts to offer pre-K.

Why does anyone think that public schools are best equipped to handle this responsibility? What proof is there that they public school teachers are trained and equipped to handle this responsibility? Does that type of proof exist?

Assuming that public schools are equipped to handle these responsibilities is taking too much for granted.

Dr. Rolnick is right. Considering the fact that there isn’t a limitless supply of money for this program, shouldn’t we first make sure that the at-risk children get taken care of first?

Maybe the squabbling legislators needed a little break. Maybe a few weeks to consider their failures, and to hear from their head-shaking constituents, will help focus their minds when they return to St. Paul. And maybe that pre-K bill, which is so important to the children and families of Minnesota, will get the OK.

Or perhaps they’ll hear their constituents insisting on not getting another gigantic property tax increase.

At some point, DFL legislators will have a tough decision to make. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to fight for Gov. Dayton and Education Minnesota and accept defeat in their next election or if they’re willing to abandon Gov. Dayton and stand a chance of winning re-election.

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The national media, like the Washington Post, thinks that Carly Fiorina is having a moment. What will they think if Ms. Fiorina’s moment lasts? Imagine their disgust if they had to start reporting that she’s a policy wonk and a great communicator.

Clinton is Fiorina’s foil and chief raison d’etre in the crowded Republican primary field. The only woman among the Republican candidates, she tells crowds that her business background makes her the more accomplished choice to become the first woman president.

And she is having a moment this week, trying to capitalize on Clinton’s frequent reluctance to take questions at her campaign events and on general press grumpiness. Clinton is avoiding questions about Iraq, her family foundation and her record at the State Department, Fiorina said Wednesday. “The Republican Party needs a nominee who will ask these questions on a general debate stage” and answer them from reporters, Fiorina said outside the hotel.

This isn’t a prediction but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms. Fiorina wound up being the fourth (and last) top tier candidate. She’s a great communicator. She’s a policy wonk that’s especially well-versed in explaining the negatives about regulations. The other thing she has going for her is that she can rip on Hillary without coming across as mean. The fact that she’s shadowing Hillary and grabbing lots of free press tells me that she’s a savvy media person, too, which is important.

One thing that’s clear is that Ms. Fiorina isn’t a sliver candidate like Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum or Chris Christie. Earlier this week, Rand Paul made another foolish accusation against his presidential opponents when he accused Republicans of creating ISIS. Statements like that immediately identify him as a fringe candidate. The GOP won’t nominate someone who is to the left of Hillary on national defense.

Rick Santorum doesn’t bring anything special to the field. On the positive side, he’s pro-life. On the negative side, he’s lost like his last half dozen elections, usually by wide margins. Simply put, people won’t take a Johnny One-Note candidate who hasn’t won an election since 2000. He won the Iowa Caucuses in 2012, defeating Mitt Romney by a handful of votes. To tell you how pathetic that is, Mike Huckabee defeated Mitt Romney by almost 11,000 votes and by 9 points. In 2012, Rick Santorum defeated Romney by 34 votes.

When your signature victory is by 34 votes over a candidate who didn’t work the state that hard, it’s a telling sign.

Carly Fiorina is a talented politician with lots of smart. That isn’t just my opinion. It’s shared by Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air, too:

I’m waiting to see some fresh numbers either nationally or in the early primary states which is less than a couple of weeks old. I don’t know how much Fiorina has moved the needle yet – assuming there’s been motion – but she’s picking up a ton of earned media everywhere she goes. And yet again, the way she’s doing it isn’t by starting a private, internecine grudge match such as the one between Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham. She’s taking the battle to Hillary Clinton’s doorstep… literally in this case.

I couldn’t put it better myself, Jazz.

In this Times Our View editorial, the Times is upset because there might be 6 bills voted on during the special session:

Plus, with the indication the session will last only one day, it’s clear their deal-making will be done behind closed doors. How else are you going to get a divided Legislature to approve what could be six bills in less than 24 hours?

Yes, we said six bills — which raises another unsettling development about this special session. Shouldn’t its agenda be limited to the three bills Dayton vetoed?

Apparently that’s not what key leaders are thinking. As of Wednesday, reports indicated a bonding bill, a legacy bill and a tax bill could be taken up, along with the three bills the governor vetoed: the education bill, the environment-agriculture bill and the jobs-energy bill.

There’s nothing unsettling about voting on more bills than Gov. Dayton vetoed, though I’ll admit that I wouldn’t lose a split-second of sleep if we limited most bonding bills to fixing up universities and other public buildings. No, fixing up hockey arenas, civic centers and gorilla cages shouldn’t get a dime.

The truth is that Gov. Dayton pissed an entire week of negotiations away without putting together a budget. Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk broke off talks the last Friday of the regular session and put a budget together in 2 hours. The result of all those wasted hours of negotiations led to the Legacy Act funding bill not appropriating money to projects because they didn’t pass the bill before midnight.

Similarly, the Tax Bill didn’t need to get finished during this session. I suspect that there won’t be a Tax Bill if Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk don’t cough up money for the Republicans’ middle class tax relief.

This hissy fit is befitting of the Times:

Central Minnesotans should be truly astounded by the ineptness displayed on both sides of the aisle in this 2015 session. The state’s 201 legislators, along with Dayton, not only had more than four months to craft a two-year state budget, but they had an extra $1.9 billion to help negotiate their way through any hurdles.

Instead, they followed a path that’s become all too familiar the past decade or so. First, each side staked out its political grounds. Then they all dawdled for a few months while awaiting official budget projections. Finally, a handful of elected officials spent the last few days of the regular session behind closed doors trying to create — ahem — compromises from their original positions.

First off, the Times is careless in its description. The first few weeks of the session, as with all budget sessions, start with picking off easy policy bills, which the governor usually signs. Testimony was taken as a preliminary step to getting into the budget bills. This might be news to the Times but it’s impossible to create a budget until it’s known if there’s a deficit. This time there wasn’t, which posed its own dynamics.

Once the legislature got the February budget projection, they got to work and produced a budget. The lion’s share of the blame that it wasn’t completed on time can be placed on Gov. Dayton’s and Lt. Gov. Smith’s desks. They insisted steadfastly that we fund Education Minnesota’s universal pre-K initiative. That was easily the most ideological fight of the session. The proof is that they’re still haggling over it even though Republicans and Art Rolnick have shown Minnesotans the specific flaws in the Dayton-Smith-Education Minnesota plan.