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It’s indisputable that 2 of the 3 biggest losers this election were Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. The DNC picked Mrs. Clinton essentially before their primaries or debates, mostly because they fell in love with her name ID and her fundraising ability. They also picked her out of fear of the Clintons’ retribution.

After another stinging defeat, House Democrats picked Nancy Pelosi to be their leader. Einstein’s cliché said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results. Based on that definition, 134 House Democrats are insane. Salena Zito didn’t mince words in her latest column, saying “One-hundred and thirty-four House Democrats collectively lost their minds last week. That is how many of Nancy Pelosi’s colleagues it took to vote her back into power despite having lost her third consecutive chance at winning back the majority from the Republicans.”

Mrs. Pelosi is referred to as “a prodigious fundraiser.” Apparently, Democrats think that fundraising still win elections. Apparently, Democrats haven’t figured it out that fundraising isn’t the only thing that’s important to campaigns. Mrs. Clinton outspent Donald Trump in Florida by an obscene amount of money. She lost the state by 125,000 votes.

There’s a connection between Mrs. Clinton’s and Mrs. Pelosi’s fundraising abilities and their unflinching support for the environmental activists’ agenda. While it doesn’t make that connection, Holman Jenkins’ article highlights the futility of President Obama’s agenda:

Mr. Obama came in saying fossil fuels were running out and prices were destined to rise, and instead got the fracking revolution, whose related employment boost was arguably a factor in his re-election victories in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yet he couldn’t stop looking this gift horse in the mouth.

Unshrewdly, in the name of satisfying his climate-change constituents, he needlessly launched a regulatory war against coal as cheap natural gas was already doing the job for him. Result: Democrats became the enemy in coal country.

He pandered to his green friends on the Keystone XL pipeline. Result: Mr. Trump is inheriting a rebound in natural gas fracking and an associated infrastructure boom that is just now heating up again in time for an incoming administration to get credit.

Then-candidate Obama insisted that he’d push a cap and trade plan that would make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket”:

Eight years later, Mrs. Clinton openly said that she was going to put lots of coal companies out of business:

At this point, I’m not certain that Democrats displayed insanity in being loyal to the environmental activists in their party. It’s possible they just displayed stupidity. Either way, Democrats won’t connect with the Heartland anytime soon if they don’t disappoint the environmental activists from time to time.

Democrats might lose some of their fundraising ability. Then again, it’s also possible that they might gain an appealing message to campaign on.

When Jill Stein announced her intentions for a recount of the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, most pundits wrote it off as a PR stunt. Tonight, Stein is dropping part of her PR stunt. She’s announced that she’s dropping her lawsuit in Pennsylvania.

According to the article, “The Green Party is dropping its court case seeking a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election. It had wanted to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated. The decision came Saturday, two days before a court hearing in the case. Lawyers for the Green Party-backed voters who filed the case say they can’t afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 p.m. Monday. However, Green Party-backed efforts to analyze election software in scattered precincts are continuing.”

The point of this PR stunt was to a) raise money for the Green Party and b) elevate the Green Party’s profile. They momentarily looked like they were able to raise enough for the recounts. That illusion disappeared when the Pennsylvania judge ordered them to pay a $1,000,000 bond for the recount.

Hans von Spakovsky explains how difficult it would be for hackers to manipulate the election results in this video:

Let’s be clear about this. It’s virtually impossible to manipulate the optical scanners. Why would I think that Ms. Stein’s lawsuit isn’t frivolous?

The perfect Democrat is a toothless Democrat. These days, there’s lots of toothless Democrats in DC. House Democrats have been toothless since January, 2011. Now it’s the Senate Democrats’ turn to feel impotent. They’re feeling impotent because outgoing Democrat Leader Harry Reid went nuclear in 2013. Now that there’s a Republican administration forming, Democrats are finding out that they can complain a lot and little else.

For instance, Sen. Joe Donnelly, (D-IN), said “Tom Price has led the charge to privatize Medicare, and for this reason, I cannot support his nomination” this past week. His statement sounds tough but Price’s confirmation is all but official. Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer would love to stop Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as Attorney General because Sen. Sessions will shut down illegal immigration. Thanks to Sen. Reid invoking the nuclear option, he’s toothless.

The best Sen. Schumer, (D-NY), can do is say that Sen. Sessions will get lots of touch questions during his confirmation hearing. It’s impossible to picture Sen. Sessions worrying much about the hearings. It’s difficult to picture any of Trump’s nominees worrying about the Democrats’ toothless trio:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., seemed to acknowledge that the only real weapon for Democrats is to try to make a good public case against Sessions, and hope the public starts calling for a new nominee. “We’ll be as persuasive as possible in what we say about it, hoping to reach and arouse as many people as possible.”

Good luck with that.

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When I wrote this post about President-Elect Trump’s drain-the-swamp initiative, one of the things I wrote about was the Tomah VA hospital. This article provides more detail on the things that allegedly happened there.

The biggest thing that the Wisconsin Watchdog article talks about is the dentist that infected people with HIV and hepatitis C. What specifically caught my attention is the part where it says “the dentist in question knowingly did not follow VA standards for a year, between October 2015 and this October. A dental assistant blew the whistle on the misconduct. ‘He had a replacement dental assistant, and she noted this particular piece of instrument being used … He brought in his own burs and cleaned them with Virex solution, salt and a wipe, which is nothing we endorse,’ Brahm told the news site. ‘She reported it the next day, Oct. 20, to the dental chief who reported it to senior leadership. We took action Oct. 21.'”

Actually, it isn’t just that the Tomah VA doesn’t endorse what this dentist did. This article gives a more detailed account:

Earlier this week, officials said a dentist at the Tomah VA Medical Center improperly re-used his own dental equipment instead of using the sterilized, disposable tools as VA rules require.

“It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” said Victoria Brahm, acting medical director at the Tomah VA Center in a press briefing earlier this week.

“During all of the orientation, he used our equipment. He used it appropriately, so it was very purposeful from what we found in our investigation that he knew exactly what he was doing, and preferred to use his own equipment against procedure.”

It’s clear that the VA hospital system is one of the biggest swamps of corruption that needs to be drained. Then there’s this:

A current employee who asked not be identified said Brahm “puts on a good face,” but the hospital is “still bad and full of drug abuse and employee abuse.”

“I have even spoken with the director about this and how veterans are harassed in Tomah due to the VA. All that has been said is, ‘There’s still work to be done.’ The same tag line that is always used,” the source said.

Hopefully, the Trump administration takes the VA corruption seriously. This needs to stop ASAP.

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One of the things that Donald Trump campaigned on was draining the swamp in DC. Lots of people question President-Elect Trump’s ability to do that. Former Minnesota State Sen. Ellen Anderson is the latest person to question Mr. Trump’s ability to drain the swamp. I’d tell Sen. Anderson that it all depends on what you classify as swamp. While researching this post, I found this article that offers a definition for draining the swamp. The article says “At its bottom, drain the swamp is a metaphor: If you drain the swamp, you eliminate the mosquitoes (or snakes and alligators, in other iterations) that breed disease. But, ironically, the original disease the expression referred to was the very thing Trump has built his campaign on: big business. Etymologist Barry Popik has traced drain the swamp back to the socialist movement of the early 20th century. In a 1903 letter to the Daily Northwestern, Winfield R. Gaylord, state organizer of the Social Democratic Party, precursor to Eugene Debs’ Socialist Party of America, wrote: ‘Socialists are not satisfied with killing a few of the mosquitoes which come from the capittalist [sic] swamp; they want to drain the swamp.'”

I’d modify that definition because it omits too many things that are ‘diseased’. What person with a heart thinks that the Veterans Administration isn’t diseased and infected? I triple-dog dare anyone to read this article, then tell me the VA doesn’t need a major overhaul. This article should turn people’s stomachs.

As disgusting as the situation is within the VA, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of draining the swamp in DC. This article highlights some of the corruption within the EPA:

Two EPA employees, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Susan Morris, will be taking EPA back to court to expose its treatment of whistleblowers and the impact on public health and civil rights. Senior former and current officials within EPA will be deposed, such as Ray Spears, former Deputy Chief of Staff to three EPA administrators; Rafael DeLeon, former Director of Civil Rights and Human Resources as well as legal advisor to EPA administrators; and Karen Higginbotham, former Civil Rights Director now a special assistant in the Office of the Administrator. The depositions will cover decades of allegations of corruption at the highest levels of the EPA. Corruption that has, no doubt, placed the public and EPA employees in jeopardy.

The cases, scheduled for trial in the spring will demonstrate how EPA senior officials in key positions used their authority to retaliate against employees who raised prohibited personnel practices and warned of dangers to public health. Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo won a significant jury award in her case against EPA a decade ago that resulted in the passage of the 2002 No FEAR Act by Congress. She returned to the agency after her successful case only to face more retaliation and eventual termination of her career.

Progressives have pushed the notion that only big business is corrupt. That’s BS. The truth is that the government is every bit as corrupt.

Here’s hoping that Trump cleans out the corruption in DC. It’s a tall task but it’s something that needs to be finished.

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It isn’t a secret that Democrats aren’t fans of government reform. They’ve been the defenders of the status quo for years. Hillary Clinton was their presidential nominee. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are the faces of Senate and House Democrats. This trio of fossils aren’t mistaken for having fresh ideas. If they don’t want to be politically irrelevant, they need new management and fresh, appealing ideas.

In Minnesota, the DFL is slightly ahead of the game compared with the DNC. Still, they’re too reliant on cronyism. That’s what this article highlights.

Cronyism is the name of the game that Ted Mondale and Michelle Kelm-Helgen played with U.S. Bank Stadium suites. According to multiple reports, “Kelm-Helgen and Mondale, two government employees, control access to two lower-level luxury ‘Norseman Suites’ for all events at the stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The MSFA controls 36 tickets per game and the agency also got a nearly identical number of free parking spaces in the surface lot used by Vikings players.” That’s just the tip of the U.S. Bank Stadium iceberg. There’s more:

Kelm-Helgen and Mondale said they and the four MSFA commissioners use the suites to host potential clients who are looking to rent all or portions of the stadium, which opened in August. But they also acknowledge they regularly invite friends and family to the suites.

The two say they can’t reveal the identities of their guests because that would hinder their marketing efforts. However, they did release the identities of 12 current and former public officials who reimbursed the authority $200 for their tickets to the suite.

Here’s the description of what’s included in the Norseman Suites:

Norseman Lounge Suites
Highly exclusive 10 person Suites located between the 20 yard line and the end line just 36 rows from the field. Each Suite comes with access to the exclusive Lounge directly behind the Suite featuring a private bar and all-inclusive upscale food offerings, VIP parking, other event access, away game trips and much more. (NEWLY DESIGNED, ONLY 15 BUILT)

ABOUT THE NORSEMAN LOUNGE SUITES        
• 36 Rows from the Field
• Side End zone – 20 yard line
• 6 fixed and 4 drink rail chairs with view to the field
• All-inclusive, unlimited beer, wine, high end food and non-alcoholic beverages
• Private/ Elite Lounge access
• 1 Annual Suite Holder Event on the field
• Super Bowl Access
• Away game road trips
• Access to other events
EXCLUSIVE SUITE BENEFITS       
• VIP Parking Passes in a ramp in close proximity to the Stadium
• All-inclusive food and beverage package with a full-service concierge staff
• Participation in Team-arranged away road trips at points during the term of your Suite Agreement (limited to two (2) persons)
• The opportunity to purchase a to-be-determined number of Super Bowl tickets (not Suite tickets) in any year the Vikings participate in the Super Bowl or the Super Bowl is held at the new Stadium

Frankly, it’s disgusting that Kelm-Helgen and Mondale insist that they “can’t reveal the identities of their guests because that would hinder their marketing efforts.” That’s spin for saying ‘giving out that list would be politically embarrassing.’

I’d say that some DFL (sense of) entitlement reform is required.

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This article about President-Elect Trump’s deal with Carrier includes the obligatory ‘this sets a dangerous precedent’ quote. In this article, Steve Weitzner of Silverlode Consulting is quoted as saying “It’s a potentially dangerous policy where you reward a company that threatens to leave. It’s a dangerous precedent. Why wouldn’t every other company make the exact same pitch? In this case, you’re rewarding a company that is actually cutting a lot of jobs in the state.”

If this were done in a vacuum, Weitzner would’ve made a salient point. This isn’t happening in a vacuum, though. This was a stop-gap measure aimed at preventing a single company from leaving. The biggest thing that will incentivize other companies into staying is passing the Trump-Ryan tax simplification legislation. The other biggest thing that will incentivize companies to stay is Trump’s regulatory reforms.

What corporate CEO would have their job if they left a nation with low marginal corporate tax rates, a reasonable regulatory environment and a well-trained workforce? That’s a three-legged stool to build a vibrant economy around. That’s a foundation upon which a thriving economy is built.

Let’s be clear. The questions Weitzner asked are legitimate questions. If the Trump administration wasn’t intent on tax and regulatory reform, the Carrier deal wouldn’t be getting positive reviews. That’s why it’s important to look at this deal in its totality. It’s worth noting that companies will return to the US the minute it looks like President Trump’s tax and regulatory plans are becoming reality.

Finally, imagine a company CEO getting a call from President Trump telling them that their company would get hit with expensive tariffs if they left the US. I can’t imagine that being a pleasant conversation.

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Sen. John Barrasso is one of the experts on health care in the Senate. This past week, Sen. Barrasso delivered this speech on the Senate floor. The most important part of Sen. Barrasso’s speech came when he said “First of all, nobody is talking about taking people off of insurance without a replacement plan in place. We all understand that there needs to be a transition over time. People have already been hurt too much when they lost their insurance and when their rates went up because of Obamacare and the mandates, and the government saying they know better than families across the country. So we’ll be working to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone. That’s why we’re including transition period in a repeal bill that Congress passed last year and sent to the president’s desk. Our goal is to do no harm.”

Shortly thereafter, Sen. Barrasso said “Now, we can increase the use of health savings accounts. This will give more people the chance to actually control how they spend their own money on their health care. We can support innovative insurance plans that pay for prescription drugs that work the best for patients – not just the ones preferred by insurance companies.”

The Democrats, specifically Jonathan Gruber, have tried frightening people into thinking that Republicans want to throw 20,000,000 people off of health insurance. Sen. Barrasso’s speech indicates that Democrats are engaged in outright fearmongering.

Sen. Barrasso is a man of integrity. He’s also a health care expert. He’ll be the Republicans’ health care expert in the Senate. He already is.

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This article highlights the ever-growing fight for the Democratic Party’s soul. Throughout the article, the feuding factions are noticeable. It isn’t until the end that the disagreements boil over.

That’s when Nancy Larson, a member of the Minnesota DFL, is quoted as saying the “brilliant ones at top know better. And they come down and say, ‘This is what you do, this is what you say, this is what you have your candidates do, and don’t stray from this.'”

A couple paragraphs earlier, the article quotes Ted Sadler, a Democratic political operative from Georgia, as saying “People just love it when you show up. But for us, there was zero Democratic action in the 8th Congressional District.”

This indicates why Democrats won’t get out of their fight anytime soon:

In Georgia, Sadler said the party was instead obsessed with driving up turnout in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs at the expense of Democratic-friendly areas in other parts of the state. It was a common refrain among the Democratic strategists interviewed for this story, all of whom said they saw a party that believed it no longer needed rural votes to win elections.

When Democratic officials did show up, Sadler and others said they were ill-equipped for the nuances of a campaign in rural America.

“When they do show up, it’s 22-year-old kids from the Ivy League,” Sadler said. “And they’re telling you what do, as opposed to stopping and listening.”

It isn’t surprising that Democrats lost the Heartland, especially rural America, often by lopsided margins. Democrats kept Nancy Pelosi as their leader in the House. They picked Chuck Schumer as their leader in the Senate. They do whatever Tom Steyer and the Sierra Club order them to do. Democrats are loyal, too, to Silicon Valley and the East and Left coasts.

The thing that the media is missing is that the earth shifted with the last election. In the past, Democrats could get away with saying they’re for high-tech jobs because Republicans didn’t emphasize the importance of blue collar jobs like mining and factory work. The mining industry and manufacturing jobs are getting strangled with regulations. The Democrats don’t know how to talk to those people because, to them, it’s like speaking a foreign language that they’d have to learn against their will.

Finally, the environmental activists’ agenda is the opposite of the mining industry’s agenda. They fit together like oil and water.

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This LTE, written in the form of a resolution, is one of the most idiotic LTEs that the St. Cloud Times has ever published:

This is the only proper response to such stupidity:

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