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It’s apparent that Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA), is a little hard of hearing. Yesterday, Sen. Murray took ton Twitter, where Sen. Murray wrote “Democrats could not have been any clearer. We oppose President Trump’s wall. We reject his divisive rhetoric & scare tactics. There is no reason for a shutdown right now. I join Leaders @SenSchumer & @NancyPelosi & my colleagues in calling on GOP to make the right choice.”

She’s right. Democrats couldn’t have been clearer in their opposition to President Trump’s wall. Democrats couldn’t have been clearer in declaring that they really aren’t serious about border security. That’s apparent because Democrats haven’t talked with the professionals that patrol the border day-in, day-out for months and years. That’s apparent after watching this interview:

Brandon Judd is a retired border patrol agent, which means he’s an expert. When Mr. Judd states that “I can tell you that where walls were built, they were extremely effective. Where they weren’t built, illegal immigration was absolutely out of control”, that’s something politicians should pay attention to. Mr. Judd is the expert. They aren’t. When Mr. Judd told Mr. O’Reilly that they surveyed border patrol agents and that “96%” of border patrol agents want the wall because it’s effective, that should’ve settled the issue.

In a fact-based, best-practices world, shouldn’t building the wall be the easiest decision imaginable? Sen. Murray’s argument is that the people that flipped the majority in the House did so as a protest against the wall. Anyone with a memory knows that most of the districts that flipped didn’t flip because of the wall. Those districts mostly flipped because of health care.

I think it’s quite possible for Republicans to win this fight if they put together air-tight arguments like what I’ve put together. When people hear that the experts think that walls work, people will wonder why Democrats aren’t listening to the experts. When people hear that a wall makes the border patrol’s job easier, people will question why we haven’t already built the wall.

Let’s also highlight the fact that Democrats who say that spending $5,000,000,000 on a border wall is spending too expensive didn’t hesitate in spending $5,000,000,000 on a worthless program called Cash-for-Clunkers. The chief differences are that Cash-for-Clunkers was proposed by President Obama, whom Democrats love, whereas the wall was proposed by President Trump, whom Democrats hate.

Finally, here’s a question for Sen. Murray and the Democrats. What’s more important? Passing a bill that gains bipartisan support but doesn’t fix the problem? Or is it more important to listen to the experts and fix the problem ASAP? I’m kinda strange but I’d rather pick listening to the experts and fixing the problem the first time.

Do you understand that, Sen. Murray?

Anyone who’s watched the video of President Trump’s Oval Office ambush of “Chuck and Nancy” knows that opinions on who ‘won’ the first round are as varied as it gets. What isn’t really debatable, though it’s getting debated, is whether walls enhance security and whether Democrats are serious about securing the US-Mexico border.

President Trump noted that Israel’s wall stopped almost 100% of the terrorists’ attacks. Then he noted that illegal border crossings dropped by 95+ percent in areas where the wall got built. After getting ambushed by these verified statistics, Nancy Pelosi reflexively responded like a spoiled brat by mocking President Trump’s manhood, saying “It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him. I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

That’s what I’d expect from a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum. That isn’t what I’d expect from the woman who will likely be the next Speaker of the House. Let me qualify that. That isn’t what I’d expect “from the woman who will likely be the next Speaker of the House” unless that woman was Nancy Pelosi. Then I’d expect it.

That being said, what’s important is whether walls work or whether Democrats are serious about border security. We’ve already verified that walls work. Next, let’s examine whether Democrats are serious about border security. The Democrats didn’t hesitate a split-second in spending $5,000,000,000 for Cash for Clunkers but they’re unwilling to spend $5,000,000,000 for a border wall? It isn’t like Cash for Clunkers was successful. It wasn’t.

Further, does anyone think that Democrats dare defy open border leftists like George Soros, Tom Steyer and other open border special interests? Not a chance. This isn’t about the Democrats displaying fiscal responsibility. This is about Democrats totally obeying their special interest puppeteers. Bill O’Reilly nails it on what’s happening in this video:

Check out what Brandon Judd told Bill O’Reilly on whether walls work:

JUDD: I spent the majority of my career on the southwest border in Tucson, AZ, and I can tell you that where walls were built, they were extremely effective. Where they weren’t built, illegal immigration was absolutely out of control.

Then Judd adds that walls stop approximately 95% of illegal aliens coming in. Later in the interview, Judd replies to Mr. O’Reilly’s question on whether the wall is popular with border patrol agents. Judd replied that they surveyed the border patrol agents and “96% of agents” want the wall.

Simply put, Democrats don’t want the wall even though it’s effective and the border patrol is asking for Congress to fund it. Does that sound like Democrats are serious about border security? Or does it sound like they’re saying the right thing to avoid taking a massive political hit? I’m betting it’s the latter.

If this article is an indicator, Tim Walz’s economic record will be as lackluster as Gov. Dayton’s.

The article states that “Outgoing Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt suggested the state improve at enticing young people into trades and manufacturing — two industries struggling to fill positions. Gov.-elect Tim Walz said some school districts lack the money to properly train an adequate workforce thanks to the state’s over-reliance on local property taxes to pay for schools.”

The thing that DFL politicians haven’t admitted is that more people from all age and income groups are leaving Minnesota than are coming in. There’s a worker shortage because people are leaving Minnesota.

This is also why MnSCU universities are struggling. Until Minnesota starts worrying more about growing the economy with pro-growth economic policies rather than growing government, this problem will persist.

Part of the problem, too, is that environmental activists have successfully lobbied for strangling regulations. Our regulatory regime is so strict that it’s difficult to grow a business. More to the point, it destroys the incentive to even locate here. If you’re thinking about starting or growing a business, do entrepreneurs gravitate towards states with high taxes and outrageous regulations? Or would you gravitate towards states with lower taxes and reasonable regulations?

Apparently, Nancy Pelosi is still obsessed with President Trump’s manhood. This article quotes Ms. Pelosi as saying “It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him. I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

The article also states that “Pelosi told Democrats the Oval Office meeting was a win for their party.” President Trump essentially got Chuck and Nancy to admit that they aren’t interested in the border wall’s effectiveness. After President Trump rattled off how much the border wall has stopped border crossings where it’s been built, Ms. Pelosi insisted that the wall was ineffective and expensive.

That’s odd to hear considering the fact that Israel’s wall has stopped the vast majority of the terrorists’ attacks. As I said in this post, “Any idiot that thinks that the Israelis don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to their security is either stupid or lying. Period.”

This article highlights the Democrats’ priority:

Schumer and Pelosi put out a terse post-meeting statement: “We gave the president two options that would keep the government open. It’s his choice to accept one of those options or shut the government down.”

The truth is that the Democrats’ top priority is keeping the government open while President Trump’s top priority is to stop drug traffickers, Central American gangs and stopping terrorists.

The wall is the right policy. The Berlin Wall worked nearly flawlessly. Israel’s wall? Ditto. Along come Chuck and Nancy talking about President Trump’s wall and it’s suddenly ineffective? Democrats are arguing from a position of weakness. President Trump has the facts on his side. The other part of this is that President Trump understands how important stopping the gangs and the human traffickers are.

It’s worth asking if the Democrats will ever put America’s needs ahead of their ideological goals. At this point, I’m not confident they will.

When it comes to talking out of both sides of their mouth, nobody’s better at it than Nancy Pelosi. At the 6:34 mark of this video, Ms. Pelosi said “I don’t think we should have a debate in front of the press on this but the fact is the House Republicans could bring up this bill and pass this bill, if they had the votes, immediately and set the tone” for the debate:

Later in the meeting with President Trump, Ms. Pelosi said “There are no Republican votes for the wall.” Earth to Ms. Pelosi: here’s breaking news for you — the House already passed the bill that includes $5,000,000,000 for President Trump’s wall. Still later, Ms. Pelosi said “We’re coming in here in good faith to negotiate with you to see how we can keep the government open.”

What a pile of BS. What Ms. Pelosi means by “good faith negotiations” is that she expects President Trump to drop his funding for the wall. She and Sen. Schumer accused President Trump of wanting to shut down the government unless he got what he wanted. The Democrats’ position is just as hardline as President Trump’s. The difference is that President Trump highlighted how effective a border wall is. The difference is that Ms. Pelosi rejected President Trump’s verified facts.

In fact, Ms. Pelosi insisted that Israel’s wall wasn’t effective. Seriously?! Any idiot that thinks that the Israelis don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to their security is either stupid or lying. Period. What’s hilarious is when President Trump interjects that “It’s called transparency, Nancy”, then she replies “It isn’t transparency when we don’t agree on a set of facts.”

Actually, whether both sides agree on a set of facts or not, negotiations held in front of the TV cameras is transparency. The root word for transparency is transparent. The definition of transparent is “having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.” Other definitions for transparent are “manifest; obvious; open; frank; candid.”

What’s more open or candid than a negotiation held in front of TV cameras? Frankly, Ms. Pelosi appears to want these negotiations to be held behind closed doors so she and Sen. Schumer can come out to the TV cameras and mischaracterize what was said behind closed doors.

John Ellenbecker, St. Cloud’s former mayor, is the worst kind of bigot. Like too many leftists, he’s heard things that’ve never gotten said. He’s certain of things that he doesn’t have proof for. This LTE caused lots of comments, including this comment from Mr. Ellenbecker:

the proposed moratorium WAS/IS about excluding people from St. Cloud. The desire to exclude people from St Cloud is based upon bigotry – that is a simple fact. You can delude yourself if you like – but bigotry is bigotry – and it is alive and well and living in those who proposed the moratorium. Bigots aren’t bigots because they disagree with me. Bigots are bigots because of what is in their heart and soul. Rather than arguing with me why not examine why you don’t want Somali Americans residing next to you.

This is simple fact? Forgive me if I’m not persuaded by Mr. Ellenbecker’s allegations. What’s his proof? FYI- Mr. Ellenbecker went to law school. I don’t know if he’s still a lawyer because I’ve heard that he’s had some ethical difficulties. He should be familiar with the concept of presenting verifiable evidence. Apparently, the law school he attended taught him that allegations are verifiable proof.

Here’s how Robert Ahles responded to Mr. Ellenbecker:

You keep making things up. No one mentioned Somali Americans or them residing next to me, next to Dave Bechtold, or next to many community member concerned about the additional taxpayer costs. I’m guessing I’d probably rather live next to a Somali American than next to a John Ellenbecker.

Well played, Mr. Ahles. Stick in the proverbial dagger, then give it a sharp twist or 2.

This isn’t surprising when you think about it. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee insisted that then-Judge Kavanaugh shouldn’t be afforded the presumption of innocence. The Obama administration’s Department of Education sent out a guidance letter instructing universities not to give people who were accused of sexual assault the right to an attorney, the right to cross-examine his accuser or any other due process rights.

Is it any wonder why lots of people don’t think that Democrats care about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights?

When it comes to the issue of refugee resettlement, Mayor Dave Kleis couldn’t be more wrong. Mayor Kleis has said that it’s unconstitutional for the City Council to get involved in resettlement matters. This LTE repeats that belief when it says “Kleis went so far as to call this unconstitutional when former council member Jeff Johnson pushed a similar line. City councils have no business or right to police the free movement of people within the United States, nor do cities set federal immigration policy.”

This mush is misguided at best. Let’s set some things straight. First, the federal government sets immigration and asylum policy. The “United States Refugee Act of 1980” still sets the policy. What Mayor Kleis gets wrong is thinking that city councils and states aren’t allowed any input into how migrant policy is implemented. Over the weekend, someone sent me information of a court case that deals with this. I wrote about that information in this post. Here’s the important part:

According to the press release announcing the lawsuit, Judicial Watch said “In October 2016, Judicial Watch made public 128 pages of documents it obtained from the mayor of Rutland, Vermont, showing a concerted effort by the mayor and a number of private organizations to conceal from the public their plans to resettle 100 Syrian refugees into the small southern Vermont town. The mayor and resettlement organizations shrouded the plan in such secrecy that not even the town’s aldermen were informed of what was taking place behind closed doors.”

Here’s what happened when the mayor and the State Department tried hiding information from that city council:

The aldermen eventually wrote to the U.S. Department of State protesting the plan and opened an investigation into the mayor’s actions.

Looking into refugee resettlement isn’t unconstitutional, especially when Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote into the bill that required the State Department to talk with local units of government before the fact.

That’s called collaboration. That’s the opposite of unconstitutional. It doesn’t require the federal government to relinquish its authority of setting immigration policy. It doesn’t require city councils to be silent ‘victims’ of federal overreach. Instead, it requires both levels of government to work together. I’d love hearing Mayor Kleis explain how that’s unconstitutional.

Finally, what Councilman Johnson proposed was a resolution that proposed a moratorium. He didn’t propose an ordinance requiring a moratorium on the refugee resettlement program. Since when is it unconstitutional for city councilmembers to state their opinions on federal policies?

When it comes to “listening to both sides,” it is quite clear that Brandmire is the one not listening. I suggest he go back and read Kleis’s comments for reference, and review the statements made by council members about previous attempts to limit refugees moving to St. Cloud. There have also been local events that specifically addressed the costs, though it’s clear from his column that cost is not the real issue – culture is.

Councilman Johnson’s resolution dealt strictly with primary resettlement. It didn’t (and couldn’t) deal with secondary resettlement. It would be wise if this person actually paid attention to what was actually discussed instead of worrying about straw-man arguments that were never made.

Last week, I received an email from Sarah Anderson talking about the state budget surplus. Rep. Anderson wrote “Dear Neighbors, today the state budget forecast was released showing a whopping $1.54 billion surplus.” We have another $2.45 billion in the State’s rainy day fund. Despite all this money sitting in Minnesota’s coffers, it’s stunning that the DFL is pushing tax increases.

It’s time to ditch Minnesota’s ‘business model’ and establish new priorities. The achievement gap isn’t closing, at least not compared to what they should be for all the money that’s gotten spent.

Minnesota’s economy isn’t terrible but it isn’t exactly hitting on all cylinders, either. The DFL spent most of the last decade building Minnesota’s government instead of building Minnesota’s economy. In 2013, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature passed the biggest tax hikes in Minnesota history. Since then, the middle class of all age groups have left Minnesota. The only income group that’s increasing their percent in the state are the lowest incomes.

It makes sense. From an education standpoint, Minnesota is mediocre. From a taxes and regulations perspective, Minnesota isn’t competitive. It isn’t close. If the DFL doesn’t admit that their blueprint isn’t working, we’ll quickly turn into a cold California. Why does the DFL think that raising taxes will strengthen the economy?

In 2007, the DFL insisted that spending should be indexed to inflation. Now Melissa Hortman insists that, because spending isn’t tied to inflation, the $1.54 billion surplus is really only $382,000,000. According to Hortman, that’s justification for additional tax hikes.

The moral to this story is that the DFL doesn’t understand a thing about economic competitiveness. They want their tax hikes regardless of whether it hurts or not. This move hurts badly. Throughout the state, people from all income groups (except the poor and the working poor) are leaving for lower-tax states. That’s what’s driving the worker shortage.

Let’s hope Hortman and Walz don’t kill Minnesota’s economic competitiveness entirely. BTW, this is how socialism kills economies. When people lose the ability to make profits, they either leave the state or they stop making what they’d been making.

Reading ISAIAH’s recent email survey certainly makes me question whether they’ve violated the IRS’s prohibitions on 501(c)(3) organizations with regard to political campaigns. In their email, Laura Johnson, ISAIAH’s Lead Organizer, wrote “As we think about 2020, we want to dig in on the things that work and that make honest connections with voters, and stop doing the ones that people hate or that don’t get people engaged.”

Based on this information, it certainly sounds like they’ve overstepped their boundaries:

Some activities that the IRS has found to violate the prohibition on political campaigning include:

  1. inviting a political candidate to make a campaign speech at an event hosted by the organization
  2. using the organization’s funds to publish materials that support (or oppose) a candidate
  3. donating money from the organization to a political candidate
  4. any statements by the organization’s executive director, in his or her official capacity, that support a candidate
  5. criticizing or supporting a candidate on the organization’s website
  6. inviting one candidate to speak at a well-publicized and well-attended event, and inviting the other candidate to speak at a lesser function
  7. inviting all candidates to speak at an event, but arranging the speaking event or choosing the questions in such a way that it is obvious that the organization favors one candidate over the others
  8. conducting a “get out the vote” telephone drive in a partisan manner by selecting caller responses for further follow-up based on candidate preference, and
  9. using the organization’s website to link to only one candidate’s profile.

“Making connections with voters certainly sounds like they’re “conducting a ‘get out the vote’ drive, doesn’t it? It certainly doesn’t sound like they’re conducting a voter registration drive, which is allowed. This confirms my suspicions:

Indigenous, Black, Hispanic and Muslim Minnesotans Partner in GOTV for Day of Action

This is a picture from ISAIAH’s blog. They aren’t trying to hide the fact that they’re engaging in a GOTV operation. As I highlighted earlier, the IRS has long found that GOTV operations as violating 501(c)(3) rules. I don’t know how a case could be more open-and-shut than that.

At a time when there’s major distrust of institutions of government, you’d think that government closest to the people would hold themselves to a higher level of listening to their constituents. That certainly isn’t what’s happening at the ISD742 monthly meetings.

A loyal reader of LFR sent me an email highlighting the fact that the school board welcomes people to their meetings but doesn’t want the public’s input. Contained in the email is a sentence that says “This is a public meeting and any residents are welcome to attend and listen, but there is not a public input session scheduled at this meeting.”

BTW, here’s the email:

I’m not a constitutional law professor but I can’t see how this isn’t a violation of the First Amendment. This judge’s ruling seems to strengthen that belief:

A section of a Virginia school board’s bylaws violates the First Amendment and results in stifled speech, according to a ruling by a federal district judge on April 27. U.S. District Court Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. held that the Virginia Beach School Board’s rule banning personal “attacks or accusations” during public comment periods at board meetings was a form of prior restraint.

The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed last July by David and Nicole Bach, who are parents in the school district. The Bachs claimed that school district officials enacted the provision in retaliation for the Bachs’ criticism of the district’s gifted education program. After the school board imposed the restriction, the Bachs argued that the bylaw stifled their free speech rights. The judge ordered the school board to strike the contested provision from the bylaw, but also allowed the other rules for the public comment portion of meetings to remain.

This is directly on point. Most importantly, it’s an attempt to stifle speech that the school board doesn’t want to hear.

That’s tough. If these politicians don’t want to hear from their constituents, they should resign. If they can’t stand the heat, they shouldn’t be in the kitchen.

The next time that the St. Cloud School Board meets, citizens should insist on giving input. If the board doesn’t permit it, the citizens should notify the school board that they’re filing a lawsuit in federal court claiming that their practices violate their First Amendment rights.

Citizens shouldn’t be stifled by the ruling class. It’s clear that they don’t see themselves as public servants. How sad is that?