CNN’s Jim Acosta took a verbal beating from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders during this afternoon’s daily press briefing. It started when Acosta said that “journalists make honest mistakes That doesn’t make them fake news.” Ns. Huckabee-Sanders jumped in at that point, saying “When journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them.” Later, Ms. Huckabee-Sanders said that sometimes, journalists own up to their mistakes but that they haven’t done that recently.

One of the mistakes that they haven’t owned up to is CNN’s WikiLeaks story. In that instance, CNN Capitol Hill Correspondent Manu Raju reported that “Donald Trump Jr. had turned over to investigators with the House Intelligence Committee an email from a man named Mike Erickson which provided a link to a batch of DNC documents along with a decryption key.” In that instance, Raju said that the email was dated Sept. 4, 2016. It turned out that the email was dated Sept. 14, 2016.

CNN’s Raju said that, because it was dated Sept. 4, 2016, that proved that the Trump campaign had gotten the email well in advance of WikiLeaks’ public release of those emails on Sept. 13, 2016. Brian Stelter, the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources program, stated that Raju wouldn’t be suspended because he’d followed CNN’s proper vetting procedure:

Stelter said that despite the fact that the “Washington Post first reported that the email from Erickson was dated Sept. 14, 2016 and not Sept. 4, 2016. The Daily Caller obtained and published a copy of the email soon after.” CNN breathlessly pushed this as a monumental break in the Trump-Russia collusion story. It died a slow, painful death.

That brings us to today. Frankly, I thought Sarah let Acosta off easy in this exchange:

By the time the briefing was finished, Acosta looked like a whipped puppy. That’s because Acosta tried portraying CNN as an honest news organization. That’s a fight he’ll lose every time.

Lefties keep saying that President Trump won’t be re-elected because he isn’t popular. I’d argue that these leftists are missing the point of why he’s well on his way of getting re-elected. This WSJ article highlights the fact that President Trump “is getting significantly higher marks in one important area: his handling of the economy.”

After a decade of national economic drought, people are thirsty for prosperity. They don’t care that much about his most outlandish tweets, much to CNN’s chagrin. (They’re annoyed by them but that isn’t a game-changer.) CNN can run one false exclusive after another and it won’t matter.

What the leftie dishonest media haven’t figured out yet is that they hired him to drain the swamp and get the economy humming again. If he gets those things right, he’s their hero. The reason why the Democrats don’t get the same treatment is because they didn’t deliver on the economy. Much like 1992, the people have spoken. With a loud, strong voice, they’ve said that their highest priority is “It’s the economy, stupid.”

With the U.S. unemployment rate holding at a 17-year low, hiring strong and the stock market hitting regular records, Mr. Trump is getting stronger reviews from the public on the economy, with 42% approving and 37% disapproving, according to the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, conducted in late October.

That stands in stark contrast to his overall approval rating, which dropped last week to 32%, the lowest point of his 11-month presidency, according to a Pew Research Center poll. His disapproval rating of 68% in the same survey was also a new high.

President Trump’s economic policies are filling up people’s 401(k)s, which has led to consumer confidences soaring to a 17-year high. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low.

The other thing that people aren’t factoring in is that his approval rating will improve when he signs the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. The other message that the American people are sending is that they don’t have to get a chill running up their leg as long as they trust their president to keep his promises to improve their lives.

Sen. Durbin would have us believe that the call for Sen. Franken’s resignation wasn’t a political calculation. Durbin said “I can tell you it was a painful process because of our personal friendships and relationships with Al and his family. There was no political calculation in here. It was just a painful moment when we made a decision, moved forward on the Democratic side.”

Spare me. The next time that Democrats make a decision where partisan advantage isn’t the primary consideration will be the first time. The biggest reason why people have rejected Democrats is because they’re seen as caring most about partisanship. They aren’t seen as caring about people first. At a time when populism dominates, it isn’t surprising that partisanship is devalued.

Here’s the transcript of John Dickerson’s discussion with Sen. Durbin:

DICKERSON: Let’s — a final question on this, Senator. There’s a criticism that Al Franken was pressured, not because of the specific facts of the case, but Democrats wanted to look good in comparison to Republicans. What is your response?

DURBIN: I can tell you, it was a painful process because of our personal friendships and relationships with Al and his family. There was no political calculation in here. It was just a painful moment when we made a decision, moved forward on the Democratic side. I hope the Republicans will face that reality as well.

Here’s the video of that exchange:

Salena Zito’s column picks apart Sen. Franken while exposing the Democrats’ weakness. First, it can’t help Sen. Franken’s ego if he read Ms. Zito say “His prominence in the Senate was pretty reflective of his previous life. There was a lot of noise, but according to research done by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, his home state newspaper, his legislative career was weak. Of Franken’s 141 pieces of legislation (85 bills, 47 amendments, and nine resolutions) none became law.”

For all of the things written by the Twin Cities media about Franken rolling up his sleeves and going to work, his legacy will be that he was a pervert without any consequential legislative accomplishments. It’ll be interesting to see how Franken’s protectorate will spin that. Later in the article, Ms. Zito wrote “Americans don’t just want members of Congress to be decent people, they also want them to actually do things that benefit them, their communities, and the country; what they don’t want is someone who solely uses their elected offices as a springboard to more power (it was the worst kept secret in Democratic circles that Franken was considering a run for president in 2020). In short, voters want their members of Congress to do something.”

When Democratic senators finally abandoned him this past Wednesday, they established a dangerous double-edged sword that they’ll be judged by. Matt Lewis’ article highlights the Democrats’ predicament:

Sen. Al Franken’s ouster Thursday was a necessary step in order to brand the Democratic Party as the “good” party, and to cast sexual abuse as a Republican problem. We know this because… they admit it. “This is a requirement to be able to look at [women] with a straight face and say we’re the party that cares about them,” Guy Cecil, who heads the liberal Priorities USA and previously served as executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told Politico. “As long as Republicans don’t do that, there’s a very sharp contrast to be drawn.”

The thing is that this strategy won’t work if Democrats don’t live up to their lofty rhetoric. Frankly, it’s impossible for the Democrats to live up to their words.

Friday night on Almanac, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said “you can say whatever you want about the Democratic Party but we’re taking these things head-on because we believe we have to rise to a higher standard so that everyone else has to rise to a higher standard” before setting the bar too high when he said that the DFL “has a very zero-tolerance policy.” Perhaps, that’s why they immediately insisted on Franken’s resignation … after the eighth accuser came forward.

With all due respect, Chairman Martin, that’s spin, not truth. Let’s see the DFL live up to those standards before lecturing Republicans.

This AP article all-but-officially says that U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will pick Al Franken’s replacement. If Gov. Dayton’s pick is approved by Sen. Schumer, then it’s a safe bet that candidate will be Sen. Schumer’s shill for the duration of their Senate career.

The article states that “Dayton’s initial inclination was to pick Smith, a longtime aide and his second-in-command since 2015, to serve as a placeholder until next year’s election, a Democratic official told The Associated Press. The official requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss private deliberations surrounding the appointment before Dayton’s announcement. The official said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has reached out to Dayton and pressured him to instead appoint someone who can use the opportunity as a running start for a 2018 campaign.”

Suddenly, Lt. Gov. Smith is interested in running for re-election if appointed. It essentially cuts Minnesotans out of the process. Shouldn’t Minnesotans, not a partisan New Yorker, pick Sen. Franken’s replacement? The people should have a say. Franken’s replacement shouldn’t be picked by Minnesota’s royal family, then rubberstamped by the people. Picking Lt. Gov. Flint-Smith, or anyone that will run for re-election, hints that we’re just rubberstamps.

This Strib article contains this wishful thinking:

Joe Davis, the executive director of the DFL-aligned Alliance for a Better Minnesota, said a second Senate race will further nationalize the Minnesota election, which can only help the DFL chain Republican candidates to a historically unpopular president. “It’s a chance to put not just one but two checks on Trump’s Washington,” Davis said, referring to the special election as well as DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s re-election. DFLers hope that anti-Trump fervor will trickle down the ballot to the governor’s race and legislative contests.

There’s a better chance that blue collar voters will get out to vote to nullify Gov. Dayton’s rubberstamp appointment. Then there’s this:

State Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, said she is mulling the race and will make a decision early this week. Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, said she remains focused on a potential run for governor and has no interest in the U.S. Senate. State Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, said she is talking it over with family this weekend.

This isn’t a statement of preference. It’s just a statement that Karin Housley would be a fantastic candidate. She’s a skilled legislator. It doesn’t hurt that she’s married to NHL Hall of Famer Phil Housley. Her fundraising ability would be a positive, too. Michelle Benson would be an attractive candidate, too. She knows health care inside and out. She’s a reliable conservative, as is Sen. Housley.

We deserve better than Franken, who is described by Salena Zito as being prominent because “of his previous life.” Ms. Zito added that “there was a lot of noise, but according to research done by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, his home state newspaper, his legislative career was weak. Of Franken’s 141 pieces of legislation (85 bills, 47 amendments, and nine resolutions) none became law.” Finally, there’s this truth:

Americans don’t just want members of Congress to be decent people, they also want them to actually do things that benefit them, their communities, and the country; what they don’t want is someone who solely uses their elected offices as a springboard to more power (it was the worst kept secret in Democratic circles that Franken was considering a run for president in 2020).

Parting question: is Tina Flint-Smith another reliable vote and political nobody? I remember when Minnesota’s senators were difference-makers.

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According to this article, “Edina Public Schools said in an e-mail that it can’t comment on litigated topics, but that the district respects student free-speech rights.” They issued that statement after students filed a lawsuit after “school leaders revoked the Young Conservatives Club’s status as a school-sponsored organization.” The school revoked this organization’s status because “members of the Young Conservatives Club” spoke out against a protest.

The article noted that school “policy mandates that students respect others who protest.” Attorney Erick Kaardal said that policy “violates the Flag Code. Ending the Young Conservatives Club because students spoke out against policies contradicts the free speech guarantee in the First Amendment.”

Mr. Kaardal will win this lawsuit for his student clients because they absolutely have the right to protest against protesters. The school’s policy of being respectful towards protesters is well-intentioned but unenforceable because anti-protesters don’t have to be respectful. As long as the anti-protest protesters aren’t violent or advocate violence, they’re protected by the First Amendment. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is the constitutional equivalent of safe spaces, which is in keeping with the ‘snowflake code’. It’s one thing to wish for respect. It’s quite another to require it.

As for Edina Public Schools’ statement that they respect free speech rights, that’s nice PR fluff but it doesn’t have much to do with reality.

Despite CNN’s ‘week from hell’, CNN isn’t fake news. That’s giving them far too much credit. Calling them a news organization is like calling the National Enquirer or Rolling Stone hard news organizations. At least with them, they don’t pretend to be serious news outlets.

This Daily Caller article highlights one incident where CNN didn’t take their journalism seriously. In the article, it says “CNN misreported key details of an offer made to Donald Trump Jr. last year of a batch of stolen WikiLeaks documents. The story, which CNN published on Friday and covered extensively on TV, was touted as the first evidence that the Trump campaign was given a heads-up about documents stolen from Democrats. But the story appears to have been riddled with errors, while also lacking key context.
Perhaps the most jarring error in the CNN report is the date on which Trump Jr. was sent the email. The network reported that a person named Mike Erickson emailed Trump Jr. and others on the Trump campaign on Sept. 4, 2016, with a link to WikiLeaks documents as well as a decryption key to access them.”

This video shows CNN eating crow:

In the video, the reporter admits that they’d just received a copy of the email that was the basis for their supposed breaking news story. CNN’s admission that they ran a story without verifying their source document is journalistic malpractice. It’s inexcusable, too.

What’s ironic is that CNN’s “article states that its information was based on a read-out of the Trump Jr. email provided by multiple sources, none of who are identified.” CNN never saw the document and they relied on anonymous sources. If that isn’t the definition of journalistic malpractice, there isn’t a definition for that term.

Earlier this week, the DFL announced that Minnesota was running a $188,000,000 deficit for this biennium. The MMB should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such foolishness. The ‘deficit’ report assumes several things that don’t make sense.

First, it assumes that GDP will be 2.2% nationally. No credible economist is forecasting this. Further, we’ve had back-to-back quarters of 3.1% and 3.3% economic growth, with Q4 expected to be even better. The Q3 GDP of 3.3% is particularly noteworthy because that happened despite 5 major hurricanes in the quarter to the Gulf Coast. If not for those hurricanes, GDP likely would’ve topped 4%. The ‘deficit’ disappears with robust economic growth.

Another assumption made in arriving at this deficit projection is that the federal government won’t make its $178,000,000 CHIP program payment. If they make that payment, the ‘deficit’ left would be ~ $10,000,000 regardless of whether we have sustained economic expansion.

Finally, the projected deficit is based on Congress not passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, something that’s virtually guaranteed at this point. The major parties in the House and Senate have said that they’re voting for the bill. The House-Senate conference committee is consolidating the different versions of the bill into a single bill that will be passed, possibly by the end of this week.

Despite these things, Myron Frans was on Almanac Friday night pitching the Dayton administration’s storyline that we might run a deficit:

Sen. Bakk is trying to take a victory lap by saying it doesn’t bring him joy that he was right that the tax cuts were unsustainable. At this point, I haven’t seen proof that tax cuts aren’t sustainable. Sen. Bakk’s policies aren’t based on growing Minnesota’s economy. They’re mostly dictated to him by Twin Cities parasites that hate mining and pipeline infrastructure. In Sen. Bakk’s world (and Gov. Dayton’s), infrastructure projects are viewed as selectively important.

I’d argue that the DFL policy of constantly growing the Rainy Day Fund each time that there’s a surplus hurts Minnesota’s economy. There’s no justification for a Rainy Day Fund balance of $1,600,000,000. I don’t have a problem with maintaining a Rainy Day Fund. I just think there should be a cap on that fund.

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During Friday night’s interview on Almanac, Ken Martin did his best to put Jennifer Carnahan on the defensive on the issue of sexual harassment. During the interview, Chairman Martin insisted that the DFL was into due process. Martin seemed to explain that’s why they initially insisted that Franken subject himself to an Ethics Committee investigation. The problem with Chairman Martin’s story is that the DFL understood that the Senate Ethics Committee “is where serious allegations go to die.”

Further, Chairman Martin repeatedly accused Republicans of waiting forever before calling for Rep. Tony Cornish’s resignation. That’s BS. Chairman Martin said “you can say whatever you want about the Democratic Party but we’re taking these things head-on because we believe we have to rise to a higher standard so that everyone else has to rise to a higher standard.”

Chairman Martin, that higher standard that you’re talking about, does that include waiting until the eighth woman accuses Sen. Franken of grabbing her breast before you call for him to resign? I ask because that’s the truth. Prior to that, the DFL’s position was that Sen. Franken submit to an Ethics Committee investigation. If that’s the DFL standard, I’m certain I wouldn’t call that holding the DFL to a high standard. I’d call that pretty lenient, actually.

Shortly after peddling that garbage, Eric Eskola asked Chairman Martin “Would things have changed for Senate Democrats’ thought on this if Minnesota had a Republican governor who would have picked a Republican to replace Sen. Franken?” Chairman Martin replied “Not for me. As Cathy just said, I’m getting beat up by it but I’m not going to back down. We have a zero tolerance policy. I believe those women who’ve come forward and I think it’s our responsibility to do that so women feel safe to come forward to tell their stories.”

What a bunch of BS. Letting eight women accuse Sen. Franken of kissing them unwantedly or putting his hand on their butt or on their breasts isn’t a zero-tolerance policy. I’d argue that that’s exceptionally lenient. Later, Chairman Martin insisted that the DFL “has a very zero-tolerance policy” that they work hard to uphold.

As for Sen. Franken’s resignation, good riddance. As for Chairman Martin, it isn’t like we didn’t know that he’s a world class spinmeister.

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It’s kinda sickening to watch the media’s coverage of Franken’s demise. This article is about as bad as it gets. It quotes Hamline Professor David Schultz saying “It becomes hard to figure out if he is known as Al Franken the comedian, Al Franken the senator or Al Franken who has to leave the Senate in disgrace because of sexual harassment claims.” Honestly, this isn’t that difficult. Franken’s legacy will be that of a pervert who thought he was funny but was actually just creepy.

Schultz also said “He became noted for issues such as net neutrality, he was a very strong critic of Donald Trump, became an advocate for women’s rights.” Actually, he became known as an obnoxious lefty bombthrower. This might’ve been his most famous moment:

Even after that incident, lefty pundits in Minnesota still wrote about him rolling up his sleeves, learning policy and just keeping his head down while working hard for his constituents. They couldn’t bring themselves to talk about the fact that women on Capitol Hill did everything possible not to get into an elevator alone with him. This article displays the disconnect between Franken and the women he tormented:

Menz said she decided to come forward after she learned of Tweeden’s story and said she hopes sharing her story will help change the culture. She said she felt sorry Franken had to resign. “Instead of being able to own mistakes and move forward and make things right, he’s having to resign,” she said. “I feel sadness that he’s having to leave a job because of the actions that he’s taken, but it’s unfortunate he’s left a wake of women in his path that have had bad interactions with him.

“It isn’t surprising that Franken felt entitled to continue being a jerk. His Twin Cities media protectorate treated him with kid gloves. People like Dr. Schultz kept his personal life out of the spotlight, thereby enabling Franken to be a pervert.

Good riddance.