Archive for the ‘MOB’ Category

It was 8 years ago today that I started blogging. Rathergate caught my attention but it was the freedom movement that inspired me. The first big subject that I wrote about was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. That’s how I first learned of a certain economics professor at St. Cloud State. I’ve been privileged to call King Banaian my friend since then.

I wrote about the massive protests that gathered in Independance Square, the Purple Thumb elections in Iraq, followed by Hezbollah’s assassination of Rafiq Harriri in Lebanon. Harriri’s assassination triggered the Cedar Revolution.

It’s been fun writing about the TEA Party movement. I’ve even helped put a couple of them together with the help of Leo Pusateri, another important conservative ally in the fight against progressives. As helpful as Leo has been in the fight for conservative principles, I appreciate his friendship the most.

I’ve learned from some outstanding bloggers along the way. Captain Ed’s (that’s what he was called in his pre-HotAir days) posts from CQ were awesome reads. When Ed published his lengthy posts, the thing that stood out for me was the depth and detail of his research.

Mitch Berg’s literary skills still continue to amaze me. Mitch isn’t just a talented writer, either. He’s a topnotch reporter, too.

Early in my blogging career, I learned about the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers. Today, many MOBsters are friends of mine. If you aren’t a MOBster, you should join ASAP. The comradery is great.

Finally, I’d like to thank the people who faithfully read my blog. Over the years, I’ve been amazed at who reads my blog. Sitemeter statistics have shown lots of state legislators read LFR. That’s why I’m proud to say LFR has had a serious impact on the policy debates in St. Paul.

With the DFL now in control, temporarily, of the Legislature and with a DFL governor, I pledge to step up my reporting.

Friday afternoon’s TEA Party at St. Cloud’s Eastman Park was a great success, thanks to a roster filled with great speakers.

The event started off with Michele Bachmann stirring up the crowd of about 200-225 people with a great speech about how important it is to stop the Obama administration’s radical agenda. During her speech, Michele spoke about how the national debt had risen to $13,000,000,000,000 this week. She spoke about how the Obamacare bill is having a dampening effect on job creation. Michele then said that that morning’s jobs report was disappointing, with 411,000 of the 431,000 jobs being created attributed to hiring temp workers for the Census.

After Michele’s speech, King reprised his speech last fall about William Graham Sumner’s Forgotten Man. It was fitting then. It’s more fitting today than it was last September, especially considering how President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Harry Reid and Congressional Democrats ignored the will of the American people for over a year before passing Obamacare.

CPAC blogger of the Year Ed Morrissey delivered an outstanding speech, talking about how disappointing the jobs report was, then talking about how conservative principles like limited government were the only cure for the economy.

RF’s Andy Aplikowski’s speech connected with the audience, too. Andy’s speech was a combination of conservative principles and a call to arms to get lots of fiscal conservatives elected this cycle.

The event was something of a coming out party for Luke Yurczyk. Luke is running for the Stearns County Commission this year. What struck me the most about Luke’s speech was his arguing that LGA cuts didn’t automatically mean higher local property taxes. Luke argued, rightly, that city councils and county commissioners have the option of spending less.

Luke also highlighted the importance of city councils and county commissioners setting smart priorities and spending only on needs when times are tough. This played very well with the audience.

The showstopper of the event was Sanu Patel-Zellinger. First, a little background on Sanu is in order. Sanu moved to the United States in 1990 from India. She arrived here with a suitcase full of clothes and a little money. Twenty years later, she is employed by Best Buy International. In short, she’s experienced the American Dream.

This year, she decided to run for elected office against House Tax Committee Chairlady Ann Lenczewski. If you read the text of Sanu’s speech, I’m certain that you’ll want to contribute to her campaign. Here’s the text of Sanu’s speech:

“I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here today…not just the chance to speak with you but also for the past two decades I have enjoyed living in America.

My name is Sanu. I came to the US in 1991 from India. I got a job at Seagate Technology so I could pay my way through college, which I did, by working during the day and taking night classes.

In 1998, I became a United States citizen. I was as proud as could be to be a United States citizen. In this American Republic I found individual freedom, real freedom and opportunity. Thank you.

Over the years I have met many hardworking and generous Americans. America’s strength and creativity come from the opportunities available to each individual, the freedom to pursue their dreams, and a Constitution that keeps a check and balance on government so we can preserve this. Thank you.

However, there are many things being offered to us today which are not opportunities.

Socialized medicine? No thank you!

Bailouts? No thank you!

Nationalization of private industry? No thank you!

Irresponsible spending with no accountability? No thank you!

This past year I decided to run for State Representative because I feel that we are not being properly represented in government. I am seeing the American Dream being destroyed by out-of-control spending, government debt and never-ending taxation. And I am seeing that many hard working Americans and their children are being punished with taxes to pay for it all.

I am willing to help the vulnerable in society. But I am no longer willing to be punished for being a responsible citizen.

I want to see an end to the misuse of taxpayer funds. I want to see a limited government that lives within a sensible budget just as we all do.

America was started with a great vision, the rights of the individual that cannot be destroyed by any majority.

A country where its people are free.

A country where hard work and personal responsibility are rewarded.

A country that others round the world would like to live in.

A country whose citizens dare to strive for the American Dream. What we have here is precious.

It is time we all stand up for this country of ours and it’s great vision for all generations. It is up to us to preserve this free nation.

It takes only a generation to lose it all. Let us not lose it in our watch. President Obama definitely appears to be campaigning for us conservatives). We need to set the stage so that the American Dream remains in the grasp of all who are willing to work for it.

We have plenty to be proud of here. Let us band together to preserve this land of the free!

This year we have a golden opportunity. Let us seize it!

Let us leave behind a state and country our children and grandchildren will be proud to inherit.

Thank you for coming today. That tells me you care about our country. And I am proud to call you a fellow citizen. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be one of you.

Thank you.”

If you’re inspired by Sanu’s speech, then I strongly recommend you visit her campaign website to find out more about her. It’s my hope that the voters in HD-40B will elect Sanu this November.

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include the thoughts of the crowd that the legislators and candidates were impressive, whether they were talking about U.S. Congresswoman Bachmann, state legislators like Steve Gottwalt and Mary Kiffmeyer, state legislative candidates like King Banaian, Tom Ellenbecker and Sanu Patel-Zellinger or local candidates like Jeff Johnson or Luke Yurczyk. Jeff is running for St. Cloud City Council. Luke is running to be a Stearns County Commissioner.

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This morning at CPAC, Ed Morrissey was given the Blogger of the Year Award, something that Ed’s deserved many times over. Giving the introduction for Ed’s award was none other than RUSH LIMBAUGH!!! Check this introduction out:

I’ve said often that the blogging talent in Minnesota is as good as anywhere in the nation. I stand enthusiastically and unabashedly by that statement. In fact, today, I’m prouder than ever of that fact.

While the first blog I ever read was Powerline, Captains Quarters quickly became my favorite, mostly because of Ed’s great research and analytical skills. I’ve never said this in public before but I will now. Many of the things I’ve incorporated into my blogging are the result of studying Ed’s blogging style.

When Ed was still at Captains Quarters, I loved reading Ed’s long posts because I simply couldn’t find that type of depth of pertinent information anywhere in the Washington Post or the NY Times or on the network news. Frankly, I learned more about DC and the world in half an hour reading Captains Quarters than I got from the newspapers and the network news. In fact, it wasn’t even close.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Ed’s brand of conservatism in this post. To be blunt, the Republican Party, both in Minnesota and nationally, would be alot better off if there were more Ed Morrissey conservatives. There’s nothing reactionary or knee-jerk about Ed’s conservatism. Ed’s brand of conservatism features healthy doses of libertarianism, deep thought conservatism and common sense.

Congratulations, Ed. I can’t think of anyone more deserving. I can’t think of anyone more decent. You give blogging a good reputation.

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Much has been said and written about the DFL’s storyline about Gov. Pawlenty not being willing to compromise. At this point, it’s important that we state clearly what the DFL is saying.
Let’s start with something Larry Haws said in his end-of-session e-letter update:

Since January, the only offers that came from the Governor included significant borrowing, which would have had to be paid back by our children and grandchildren. The House and Senate viewed this as fiscally irresponsible, and preferred a “pay-as-you-go” approach.

Let’s dismantle Rep. Haws’s statement that Gov. Pawlenty’s proposal only “included significant borrowing” by highlighting Cindy’s post outlining Gov. Pawlenty’s compromise:

Yesterday, Governor Pawlenty offered an olive branch to the DFL leadership on the budget. In a letter addressed to the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, the Governor said that he would relent on his opposition to two of the three main sticking points between the the Legislature and the Governor’s office and he would cut in half his request for bonding. In essense he was giving in to the DFL on 2 1/2 of the 3 main issues that the DFL had with the Governor’s budget. The DFL’s response was quick and predictable. Calling it a “false compromise” and a compromise in “word and not in deed” the DFL leadership of the House and the Senated doubled down on their intent to once again drive the state toward a shut-down (as they did in 2005).

That sounds like Gov. Pawlenty was willing to cut his borrowing significantly while conceding on two important DFL points. If Gov. Pawlenty was willing to compromise with the DFL on 2 of their key issues, it can’t legitimately be said that he’s unwilling to compromise.

This is where a little translation is in order. This is speculation but it makes lots of sense. I suspect that when the DFL says Gov. Pawlenty wasn’t willing to compromise, they’re really just not completing the sentence. I suspect what they really mean is that Gov. Pawlenty wasn’t willing to compromise on the DFL’s job-killing tax increases.

During our many conversations, King has often asked the theoretical question of what’s the halfway point between right and wrong. Let there be no mistake: raising taxes while job creation is heading south is just plain wrong.

The other part that needs translating is Rep. Haws’s statement that the DFL preferred a “pay as you go” system. That’s translated into this:

“If we spend money, we’ll balance it with tax increases.”

I’m betting that most people would think of pay as you go budgeting to mean that you’d cut some spending in one part of the budget if you want to spend more in another part of the budget. I’m betting, too, that people wouldn’t think of pay as you go as meaning “Let’s spend more & pay for that spending with tax increases.”

Here’s something else Rep. Haws said that needs translation:

Minnesota’s ability to compete in the 21st century global economy will depend on a highly skilled workforce and an excellent system of public schools.

As I pointed out in this post, Rep. Haws supports the New Minnesota Miracle. That means an additional $1,700,000,000 of new spending on education annually for this biennium. When Rep. Haws talks about a “highly skilled workforce”, what he’s really saying is that we need to spend more money.

That doesn’t mean he’s a proponent of reforms or prioritizing. He made that perfectly clear during the League of Women Voters Education Forum in Sept., 2007:

Let’s start with some of the most memorable quotes from the Forum. The first memorable quote was from ‘Grandpa Larry’ Haws. Steve Gottwalt had just said that we needed to do a better job prioritizing education spending, prompting Larry Haws to say “Maybe we do need to prioritize.”

I was in the audience that day. To say that the audience was stunned when Rep. Haws made that statement is understatement. People I watched had an ‘I can’t believe he just said that” look on their faces. I don’ think it’s a stretch to say that Rep. Haws’s position on education is that just spending more money is the total solution.

While I’m certain that he’d pay lip service to reforms, accountability and prioritizing, I’m equally certain that he wouldn’t act on those things. I further suspect that his DFL colleagues living in outstate Minnesota stake out similar positions without taking action.

The reality is that Rep. Haws can’t go too far for fear that EdMinn wouldn’t help him with his GOT efforts or make campaign contributions.

Finally, I’m betting that this paragraph from Rep. Haws’s e-letter sounds familiar to people all across the state:

As the Governor continues his go-it-alone unallotment approach, please know that as your legislator, I’ll keep working to ensure that the state supports our schools and students as best we can in the face of difficult economic times and a Governor who is unwilling to compromise.

Statements of this type should be shot down quickly. The “go-it-alone” bit doesn’t hold water. Here’s something that Rep. Gottwalt sent to Randy Krebs, the editor of the St. Cloud Times editorial page that instantly dispels that DFL myth:

On May 16th, Rep. Matt Dean attempted to amend SF1566 to provide $100 million for hospitals in FY2011 to help cover GAMC losses. Rather than vote on it, Rep. Tom Huntley “continued” the bill and never took it up again, essentially killing the amendment.

TRANSLATION: The DFL wanted the issue. They didn’t want the solution. The bad news for them is that we won’t let them play that game. MOBsters everywhere should be contesting these statements both in person at townhall meetings, in their posts and in LTEs. Put this information out with whatever method is available.

It’s time to put the DFL on the defensive by exposing their spin. They’re vulnerable to the truth. They’ve shown us their hand. It’s a hand built as solidly as a house of cards. It isn’t a house that can withstand any persistent resistance.

Simply put, it’s a house waiting to be toppled with the facts.

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Speaker Kelliher is insisting in this article that Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of the DFL’s ill-fitted collection of tax increases amounts to Gov. Pawlenty’s vetoing hope amongst the masses. With this being the final week, it’s easy to overlook the drama dripping from Speaker Kelliher’s quote. Here’s what she’s quoted as saying:

“It’s going to be very apparent to people very quickly that what the governor did on Saturday is he vetoed hope,” she said. “He vetoed hope for our schools. He vetoed hope for our hospitals. And he vetoed hope for nursing homes around the state.”

It might be that I’m just out of touch but I’m not sensing the desperation in Minnesotans’ lives following Gov. Pawlenty’s veto. Then again, it might just be Speaker Kelliher’s attempt to put pressure on Gov. Pawlenty. That hasn’t worked all that well in the past, mostly because Gov. Pawlenty is a skilled negotiator. Throw in the fact that the DFL is attempting to defend unpopular policies and it’s easy to understand why the DFL usually gets the short end of things.

The DFL will have a difficult time selling their tax increases. Phil Krinkie’s post explains why:

A recent Minnesota Poll conducted by the Star Tribune found nearly 60 percent of Minnesotans oppose across the board income tax increases and 40 percent of the poll respondents said they believed that the state’s $4.6 billion deficit should be balanced with spending cuts alone. With only 4 percent favoring balancing the budget primarily with tax increases, its clear Minnesota voters aren’t in support of the approach being taken by the DFL legislature.

If 2 in 5 voters polled by the Strib think that the budget should be balanced without taxes getting hiked, then it’s safe to say that there isn’t much appetite for tax increases. Mr. Krinkie throws in this interesting factoid for good measure:

In the aftermath of last year’s veto override, the landscape has changed. Two of the “override six” House Republican legislators decided not to run for re-election. Two others were defeated, one in a primary election, the other in the general election. Of the two who survived the 2008 election, both have stated repeatedly they will not vote to override the Governor this year. Rep. Abeler was recently quoted as saying: “Remember, we had crumbling roads and bridges falling down. There is not that demand this time. I’ll support the Governor.”

If Jim Abeler isn’t ‘flippable’, then talk of an override is just that: talk.

The DFL will pull out all the stops the rest of this session. In fact, they’ll maintain that pressure if the regular session doesn’t provide a solution. That’s why MOBsters should be reminding our GOP legislators that we’ve got their backs if they do the right thing.

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Karen Clark’s legislation offers a glimpse of the insanity of the DFL’s tax increase proposals. Here’s some information into Rep. Clark’s legislation:

An alcohol health and judicial impact fee is imposed on each liquor retailer equal to 2.5 percent of the gross receipts from retail sales in Minnesota of liquor. The fee imposed under this paragraph must be treated as if it is a tax for purposes of all of the provisions of this section.

Here’s most of the taxes included in Rep. Clark’s bill:

In addition to the tax imposed under sections 297G.03, subdivisions 1 and 2, and 297G.04, subdivision 1, an alcohol health and judicial impact fee is imposed upon all distilled spirits, beer, wine, and cider in this state at the following rates:
(1) on distilled spirits, liqueurs, cordials, and specialties regardless of alcohol content (excluding ethyl alcohol), $12.86 per gallon and $3.40 per liter;(2) on wine containing 14 percent or less alcohol by volume (except cider as defined in section 297G.01, subdivision 3a), $.53 per gallon and $.14 per liter; (3) on wine containing more than 14 percent but not more than 21 percent alcohol by volume, $.53 per gallon and $.14 per liter; (4) on wine containing more than 21 percent but not more than 24 percent alcohol by volume, $.53 per gallon and $.14 per liter; (5) on wine containing more than 24 percent alcohol by volume, $.53 per gallon and $.14 per liter; (6) on natural and artificial sparkling wines containing alcohol, $.53 per gallon and $.14 per liter; (7) on cider as defined in section 297G.01, subdivision 3a, $.53 per gallon and $.14 per liter; (8) on miniatures, $.10 per bottle; (9) on fermented malt beverages containing not more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, $6.61 per 31-gallon barrel; and (10) on fermented malt beverages containing more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, $6.61 per 31-gallon barrel.

Rep. Clark better hope that MOBsters don’t hear about this litany of tax increases on adult beverages because MOBsters take that seriously.

On a serious note, the DFL has known for months that they’d try balancing the budget with massive tax increases. This is just the first hint of which specific tax increases the DFL will push.

I’ve heard that legislators are preparing for a special session. While I’m not surprised by that information, I’m upset that the DFL is playing this type of last minute game. This is giving me nightmares of the chaotic final night of the 2007 session. That’s the night that the DFL leadership tried pushing through numerous 500-1,000 page conference reports for omnibus bills without giving legislators the time to read the bills. (Sound familiar?)

That night, the DFL tried overriding Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of the transportation bill. They also rammed through the HHS omnibus bill and the education omnibus bill.

It’s also worth remembering this post from the final day of the 2007 session:

I just talked with Rep. Steve Gottwalt, GOP-St. Cloud, about the progress being made on the budget. What Steve told me is inexcusable & shocking. Steve said that the DFL spent the overnight writing new legislation for several different spending bills. The shocking, & frankly disgusting, thing about that is that they shut Gov. Pawlenty out of the process. From my perspective, there’s only one reason to proceed that way & that’s to try one last time to shove legislation down the GOP’s throat in the hope that they can blame the the special session on the GOP.

I don’t think that the DFL is stupid enough to tell Gov. Pawlenty that he can’t participate in the final negotiations, though I can picture them taking a hardline position on negotiations.

Had the DFL had its act together and had they worked in a good faith manner, we wouldn’t be staring at a special session and we wouldn’t be playing a high stakes, last minute game to see who blinks.

Finally, let’s remember that Tarryl Clark and Speaker Kelliher gave us the DFL’s blueprint early in the session. When Tarryl appeared on At Issue With Tom Hauser, she dropped this hint:

Hauser: You can talk about reform all you want but reform inevitably ends up meaning that some people that are getting state services now won’t be getting them after this reform, whether it be in HHS, whether it be in education, early childhood, any of those things.

Tarryl: Sure, and an estimate, a good estimate would be that maybe we could figure out how to save about $500 million.

Speaker Kelliher’s statement after Gov. Pawlenty’s State of the State Address gave us additional insight into the DFL’s budget plan:

DFLers are pinning much of their hope for short-term relief on a national stimulus package coming out of Washington, suggesting the money can be used to fund infrastructure and construction projects that bring immediate job opportunities. Pawlenty said nothing about the stimulus package in his speech. Previously, while acknowledging that Minnesota sends more money to Washington than it gets back, Pawlenty has been lukewarm about the stimulus package. “That is a tool in the short-term recovery process for Minnesota’s economy,” Kelliher said.

Tarryl telling Hauser that it’d be difficult finding more than $500,000,000 says that the DFL wasn’t looking for cost savings. Steve Gottwalt’s free market-oriented health care reform bill would save $100,000,000 a year if implemented. A spending freeze would cut $3,000,000,000,000 more. Add in the federal stimulus money and you’re within $1,500,000,000 of balancing the budget.

Speaker Kelliher hinting that “DFLers are pinning much of their hope for short-term relief on a national stimulus package coming out of Washington” was another hint that the DFL’s plan wasn’t a well-built plan.

The DFL annual tax increase proposals were inevitable. They’re also DOA the minute they hit Gov. Pawlenty’s desk.

The DFL has had since May, 2008 to put a budget together. They’re still scrambling to put a coherent, appealing budget together. They’ve collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-session, tax-free per diem for hearings but don’t have much of anything to show for it.

Now they’re approaching the deadline. The DFL hasn’t shown signs that they’re able of avoiding a repeat of the 2007 end-of-session trainwreck. God help us all.

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Yesterday, I sent a humorous email to my friend Ed Morrissey about the turmoils of the Boston Globe and the NYTimes. Ed quickly proceeded to highlight the ill will between the Globe and the Times. In his post, Ed makes a number of important points. The opening paragraph, though, needs to be explained from my perspective. Here’s what Ed wrote:

My friend Gary Gross suspects a conspiracy. The Boston Herald reports that the New York Times threat to shutter the Boston Globe has caused a “storm over Morrissey Boulevard,” where the Globe’s offices are located. Has this blogger managed to undermine a Boston institution, albeit owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Paper of Record?

For the record, the only conspiracy I believe in is the VRWC’s attempt to assist in the destruction of institutions like the NYTimes. That said, I don’t think it’ll take much more assistance to topple the NYTimes and send it into bankruptcy.

I’d further add that what little assistance is needed in ushering the NYTimes into the dustbin of history can be provided by my friend Ed Morrissey.

It’s from that perspective that I suggest this deal: High profile bloggers like Ed Morrissey and the Powerline trio push high profile newspapers into oblivion while the talented MOBster bloggers push lesser known papers into the dustbin of history.

I’ll update this post if I hear from Ed and the Powerline trio.

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Thus far, it’s fair to characterize the difference between the Democrats’ solution to the oil crisis and the GOP’s solution is one of short-term vs. long-term. Here’s a quote from Harry Reid on his impending dilemma:

On the Senate side, majority leader Harry Reid has talked about offering Republicans a floor vote on the issue, but he blocked amendments on the “Stop Excessive Energy Speculation” bill, including a proposal to lift the ban on offshore drilling.

“Republicans once again have run away from an opportunity to provide a short-term solution to our energy crisis,” he said after the vote.

He isn’t the only senator with that mindset:

Obama aides say the Democrat supports legislation that would encourage oil companies to drill in offshore areas that are already approved but not used. And aides cite his plan for a $20 billion economic stimulus package that would provide rebates that people could use to pay for gasoline as well as efforts to crack down on oil speculators who drive up prices on the world market.

Reid’s and Obama’s initiatives do little to help consumers and small businesses over the next 5-10 years. It isn’t a stretch to think that they’re really only about bringing relief for the duration of the election season. I further suspect that they know that if they aren’t seen as doing something, they’ll get hurt this election season, especially Sen. Obama.

The good news for Sens. Reid and Obama is that they are doing something. The bad news is that I’m joining forces with the MOB and others in the Right Blogosphere in letting voters know that what they’re doing is playing politics instead of finding solutions to their problems. There’s another bit of bad news heading their direction. We’re going to tell voters WHY the Democrats aren’t seriously trying to find a solution.

The environutters must’ve been upset when they heard about this:

Next Tuesday, a bipartisan working group plans to release a final draft of a comprehensive energy plan that includes the lifting of the ban. The plan locks in 40 percent of royalties from new leases on the outer continental shelf for conservation, research on renewable energy, environmental cleanup, and funding for low-income energy assistance, says David Helfert, a spokesman for Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) of Hawaii, a cofounder of the working group with Rep. John Peterson (R) of Pennsylvania.

Rep. Abercrombie and Rep. Peterson deserve our applause for putting solutions ahead of political gamesmanship. Whiel they’re working on finding a solution, though, Ms. Pelosi, Sen. Reid and Sen. Obama will be doing everything they can to submarine their efforts. Make no mistake about this: If they put this package together, they’ll get it voted on, even if it requires a discharge petition. If that happens, Pelosi, Reid and Obama will be embarassed while Sen. McCain, John Boehner and President Bush will be the big winners politically.

If such a bill passes the House and Reid refuses to take it up, he’ll be seen as the obstructionist who didn’t vote on a solution that 70+ percent of voters want. If that happens, I can see the NRSC’s ads. They’ll say something like “Want to drill? Vote Republican.” Or they might say “Voting Democrat is a vote against Drilling.”

Meanwhile, Sen. McCain would be able to say that he was on the right side of the biggest domestic issue and the biggest national security issue of this election.

All things considered, I’d rather play that hand than Obama’s.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Leo just called me to tell me that his daughter-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a little over an hour ago.

I told Leo to take his time getting back to the political wars & to enjoy exacting his revenge on his son. (Just kidding but grandchildren are sometimes called a “grandparent’s revenge.”) I told him I’d do my best in wallopping liberals until he returned, which drew a definitely positive response.

I’m betting that Leo will post something on this glorious event shortly.

Rumor has it that Mayor Banaian was dancing in front of his TV set for most of the evening. If such rumors are to be believed, it’s likely that Hizzoner was dancing because his beloved Celtics were waltzing their way into the NBA history books with a 131-92 shellacking of the LA Lakers.

Shortly after the buzzer sounded, the camera was on KG because KG was hugging Bill Russell. Because the mic was set loud enough, you could hear a portion of their conversation. KG first said “Man, I hope we made you proud” to which Mr. Russell said “You bet you did.”

To be perfectly honest, I was cheering for the Celtics, too, and not just because of the bet between King and Tony Garcia either. It’s because, at least in the best of times, the Celtics have always carried themselves with a dignity unrivaled in professional baskeetball.

Tuesday night belonged to the Celts’ Big Three of KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Early in the game, KG led the way with his offense, toying at times with Pau Gasol. Frankly, that’s a mismatch that can’t be allowed to happen all night long. KG abused Gasol to the tune of 26 points and 14 rebounds.

The Celts put the game away in the second quarter by outscoring the Lakers 34-15. That gave the Celts a 23 point halftime lead. It’s a lead they never relinquished, mostly thanks to their defensive intensity. Rajon Rondo’s intensity was highlighted all night, though he was just the most visible defensive star.

The Celts’ defense shut down everyone on the Lakers. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom scored 11 points and 12 points respectively. Kobe led the Lakers with 22 points but 9 of those were in the first quarter on long three pointers. The guys that quietly took the Lakers out were KG, P.J. Brown and James Posey. That’s verified by the fact that the Lakers got 2 offensive rebounds the entire game.

This has been an exception sports year for King, especially considering his Red Sox swept the Rockies in the World Series, his Giants ruined the Patriots’ perfect season and now is culminated with his beloved Celts thumping the hated LaLa Lakers in the NBA Finals.

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