Archive for the ‘Special Interests’ Category
Longtime readers of LFR know that I haven’t hesitated in highlighting how the DFL is the party of special interests. Lately, I’ve intensified my writings about how Democrats are favoring the environmentalists over the unions. That caught the attention of the Lady Logician, who wrote about Bill DeBlasio’s sucker-punching of the unions in this post:
Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.
He also promised that he wouldn’t change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.
In Minnesota, Democrats are siding with militant environmentalists who hope to kill the PolyMet mining project, which would create tons of union jobs. In NYC, uber-liberal Mayor DeBlasio is siding with animal rights activists and militant environmentalists to kill lots of union jobs. In Washington, DC, the administration has dragged its feet on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, siding with environmentalists over the unions’ interests.
Until now, I’ve thought that the Democratic Party was the special interest party. Tonight, I changed my opinion. That’s because I’ve realized that the Democratic Party, in Minnesota and nationally, is owned by militant environmentalists. The only question left to answer is whether unions will continually side with the Democratic Party.
While it’d be a stretch to say that Republicans love all unions, it’s 100% accurate to say that Republicans are siding with mining unions on the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. Similarly, it’s 100% accurate to say the DFL is tip-toeing through a political minefield while attempting to placate militant environmentalists and the miners’ union.
Honest union workers need to ask themselves why their leadership is constantly selling them out while electing Democratic politicians who talk about how they love unions while stabbing unions in the back. While they’re asking that question, they should ask themselves why they aren’t voting for pro-mining Republicans in Minnesota and pro-union jobs on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Finally, the unions should ask themselves why they’re supporting Democrats that only pay “working families” lip service. It’s time these unions figured it out that today’s Democratic Party is pro-government unions, not private sector unions.
Technorati: Unions, Mining Projects, Keystone XL Pipeline, PolyMet Mining, Twin Metals Mining, Iron Range, MNGOP, Environmentalists, Public Sector Unions, Bill DeBlasio, President Obama, Democrats, DFL, Election 2014
After reading this article, I’m wondering if I’m living the United States or in the former Soviet Union. Seriously, does anyone think that governments should be able to use eminent domain to take private property from a family to build biking hiking trails? That’s what Dakota County is attempting to do:
The county is seeking a “quick-take” condemnation, effectively a compelled sale, of four parcels of land in the park reserve, offering a total of about $2 million.
County commissioners voted in November to take the land, saying the properties are a key part of a planned trail and other features.
What’s more important: private property rights or giving government to take any piece of land to do with it whatever it wants to do? This is stealing. What’s especially appalling is the taking of the land to build biking and hiking trails. What’s worse is that Dakota County is attempting to steal this private property for a questionable project while offering the property owners settlements at far less than fair market value:
Aho said the county hasn’t shown enough progress on other planned improvements besides the trail to demonstrate a need for condemnation.
She also said the county’s offer for the land, $370,000, “drastically undervalued” assets like a marina and 1,000-plus feet of lakeshore.
After WWII, eminent domain was used to buy the land needed to build the interstate highway or other high priority pieces of infrastructure that led to great increases of wealth and prosperity to the masses. Since Kelo v. New London, eminent domain has been used to take property from private property owners and give it to government so it can create parks or bike trails.
What’s upsetting to me is that Dakota County thinks that the perceived wishes of the many are more important than the rights of the individual. They aren’t. First, the community’s wish list shouldn’t rate as a higher priority than a private property landowner’s rights. The thought that the landowner’s rights are getting set aside is disturbing enough. The thought that they’re getting set aside for something as frivolous as a community park is especially upsetting.
Next, it’s worth noting that special interest organizations are likely behind this taking. County commissioners don’t just wake up one morning and say to themselves ‘Hey, let’s create a new park.’ It isn’t a stretch to think that they’re approached by special interest organizations who have an agenda but who don’t live near the proposed takings.
Finally, check out the government’s arrogance:
“There’s a great need for this,” commissioner Kathleen Gaylord said at the meeting. “We do need to move forward. The board has come to the conclusion that it is time to move forward. This is a needed piece of property in order to complete our trail in the Spring Lake Park area and to provide the access to the park that our master plan has envisioned for decades. We’re just coming to the head now. It’s time to move forward.”
The board’s conclusion. The commissioners’ needs. The project’s vision. What’s appalling is that Kathy Gaylord and 5 other commissioners put the government’s wish list ahead of the private property owner’s rights. Apparently, Kathy Gaylord and the other slugs who voted to take this land don’t care about these families’ rights.
Anytime that government puts a higher priority on their projects than they put on individuals’ rights, our nation moves closer to authoritarian rule. That isn’t who we are as a nation.
We The People should reject this type of tyrannical government ASAP.
Technorati: Takings Clause, Fifth Amendment, Kelo v. New London, Constitution, Dakota County Commissioners, Kathleen Gaylord, Special Interests, Moscow on the Mississippi, Authoritarianism, Weaponized Government, We The People, Private Property, Private Property Rights, Life, Liberty and Property
I’ve written this post and this post about Al Franken’s fundraising appeals. Mostly, Franken’s fundraising appeals have been long on Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, the TEA Party and Citizens United. In other words, they’re a collection of the Democrats’ favorite boogeymen.
This morning, I got an email from Jorge Bonilla who is running against Alan Grayson. Here’s part of Bonilla’s fundraising appeal:
We are well over eight months away fron Election Day 2014, yet Alan Grayson is already invoking each and every one of the Left’s boogeymen in his fundraising appeals.
It’s only February, yet Grayson has already issued pro-forma denunciations of Fox News, Sean Hannity, the energy sector, has compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan, and most recently, has smeared our veterans while attacking the eeeeeeevil Koch Brothers.
Of course, such attacks are pure hypocrisy coming from Alan Grayson. The non-partisan and independent Center for Responsive Politics is dedicated to tracking the influence of money in our election process, and they have compiled a list of the largest political donors over the last 25 years.
The scary “Kochtopus” is all the way down at #59. But who occupies most of the top spots? You guessed it…Grayson’s Big Labor buddies. A quick crosscheck with Grayson’s top donor list confirms this inconvenient fact.
Apparently, the Congressman Without Guts feels compelled to insult our intelligence (as well as that of his own individual donor base) by performing this “outrageously tough progressive” shtick, which now includes this Koch theater.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice a pattern developing. Even intellectual midgets like Franken and Grayson could spot it. What’s obvious is that Democrats will go totally negative this election. They’ll criticize the entire panoply of conservative ‘boogeymen’ for this nation’s ills rather than admit that it’s their policies that’ve failed. They’ll do whatever it takes to distract people from the ACA disaster. They’ll insist that they’re pushing back against President Obama and ‘holding him accountable’ for the disastrous performance of HealthCare.gov while criticizing Republicans for wanting to repeal the law that’s causing health insurance prices to jump.
The Democratic playbook for this election is simple. To hold onto the U.S. Senate, Democrats will attempt to portray Republicans as utterly beholden to special interests out to destroy America’s middle class. They’ll do this while accepting money from environmental organizations while pretending to be friends of the private sector unions who want to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Their message will essentially be ‘Don’t vote for Republicans because they’re scary.’ Meanwhile, they didn’t notice that they’re the ‘Scary Characters Party’. While it’s too early to predict the Franken and Grayson races with anything approaching sanity, it isn’t too early to predict that this won’t be a good year for Democrats.
The only thing left to determine is how bad it’ll be.
Technorati: Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Democrat Boogeymen, Karl Rove, TEA Party, Koch Brothers, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Smear Campaign, HealthCare.gov, President Obama, Democrats, Jorge Bonilla, GOP, Election 2014
All of the pundits have hinted that the DFL is one big, happy family. I’m betting that those pundits are stretching things a bit based on this article:
The DFL political establishment on the Range is virtually unanimous in its support, which also has the backing of many in the construction trades, another key DFL constituency. But the controversial project faces stiff and well-coordinated opposition from environmental groups and many DFL lawmakers.
“Clearly this opens up the clash and conflict between those DFLers who value the environment first, versus those who value jobs first. We will all have to answer the question, ‘Whose side are you on?’” Anzelc said. “I think this issue has the potential to divide the DFL convention this summer. The table is set for Democrats running for statewide office to have a real challenging time of it in the ’14 elections.”
Anzelc is partially right. He said this in the context of Gov. Dayton picking Tina Smith as his running mate. This split has been developing since 2009. That’s when Chip Cravaack campaigned hard on the Range and took tons of votes from Jim Oberstar, something that people thought was impossible.
In 2012, ‘normalcy’ was restored when fossilized Rick Nolan defeated Chip. That calm exterior disappeared when Nolan decided to vote for HR761:
Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”
Picking Tina Smith certainly contributed to this division getting exposed but the DFL’s allies have contributed more to this expanding division. Twin Cities Metrocrats are militant environmentalists. They’re passionately opposed to mining. They love harvesting the Iron Range’s votes. They also love stiffing the Iron Range on their highest priorities.
Gov. Dayton’s pick is essentially the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Marlene Pospeck, a former mayor of Hoyt Lakes and a longtime DFL activist, noted that strong turnout on the Range has been critical to many DFL victories in the past, including Gov. Dayton’s narrow victories in the DFL primary and general election in 2010.
“The people in St. Paul need to be aware that if they want to be re-elected, we on the Iron Range hold one of the keys,” Pospeck said.
Still strong for DFL in ’14?
Like Anzelc, Pospeck believes that PolyMet and, more generally, mining, is the principal source of regional conflict within the party. But she said it is not the only one. Another came in 2012, when Mark Phillips was squeezed out as commissioner of the powerful Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). An Iron Range native who previously worked at the IRRRB, Phillips resigned the post after less than a year on the job. The reasons for Phillips’ departure have never been made entirely clear.
Pospeck isn’t issuing an idle threat on this. I wrote this post about Pospeck’s LTE about taking the Iron Range for granted:
For instance, although mining is the lifeblood of our region and provides benefit for the entire state, those in high office in St. Paul have been almost silent in support of this important industry that provides thousands of jobs on the Iron Range.
So when these DFL candidates come north, seeking our votes and making promises they do not intend to keep, let’s carefully assess whether or not they truly support our concerns and intend to effectively address our issues.
It is no longer enough for them simply to carry the label DFL to win our votes. We Iron Rangers must hold their feet to the fire and demand their support for issues important to the Iron Range in return.
It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for the DFL. They can either support the Iron Range or they can start expecting to get a smaller share of the Iron Range vote.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Tina Smith, Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Alida Messinger, Metrocrats, Militant Environmentalists, Marlene Pospeck, PolyMet Mining, Iron Rangers, Rick Nolan, Flip-Flopper, DFL Civil War, Election 2014
Apparently, Al Franken thinks he’s in a competitive race. The first sign that he thinks he’s in a competitive race is that he’s sending out fundraising appeals almost daily. Here’s Sen. Franken’s latest fundraising appeal:
“American Crossroads Preparing to Enter the Game.”
– Roll Call, 2/7/2014
Have you heard of American Crossroads?
It is a super PAC that spent more than $104 million in the 2012 elections. Apparently, they’re getting ready to spend big again.
And the man behind the Crossroads curtain is none other than Karl Rove — who recently called me out by name and pointed to Minnesota as a pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2014.
Crossroads is firing up the attack machine. We need to be ready to fight back. And this month, that means hitting our $200,000 goal. Can you give $5 or more before the deadline?
American Crossroads is one of those groups spawned by Citizens United. And let me tell you, Rove and his pals have a great reason not to like me.
It’s not because they don’t like my jokes. They know I don’t support the special interest, anti-middle class, Karl Rove agenda. I support the protecting Medicare, preserving net neutrality, reversing Citizens United agenda.
I work for families, not super PACs. They may have millions of dollars to spend on attacks, but I’ve got something better: You.
I know you are all committed to strengthening our grassroots efforts. So let’s make sure we’re ready for whatever Rove can throw at us. Give $5 or more toward our $200,000 goal today.
Thank you for your help this month.
I’ll give Franken this: he’s got chutzpah. What other person would whine about Karl Rove’s “special interest, anti-middle class agenda” after voting for every major piece of President Obama’s economic agenda that’s left the nation’s economy struggling? Sen. Franken’s ideological blinders won’t let him admit that Obama’s economic agenda has crippled job growth, stunted economic growth and given special breaks to President Obama’s biggest bundlers. (Think Solyndra, aka taxpayer-subsidized boondoggles.)
For all his whining about Karl Rove’s special interest, anti-middle class policies, Franken has voted for initiatives that’ve left the middle class working part-time or part of the army of chronically unemployed people who’ve been searching for jobs since 2009.
Sen. Franken, why haven’t you supported the Keystone XL Pipeline project? The State Department’s report says environmental impact will be minimal. Is it because you’re beholden to anti-science militant environmentalists? Apparently, you don’t give a damn about blue collar workers who would be put to work building that pipeline.
Sen. Franken, why haven’t you supported the PolyMet precious metals mining project in your own state? Is it because you won’t say no to Minnesota’s militant environmentalists? Is it because you only support blue collar union miners in word, not deed?
That’s the definition of being controlled by anti-middle class special interests. Minnesota deserves better. Minnesota deserves a senator who’ll fight for the middle class.
Technorati: Al Franken, Net Neutrality, Censorship, Citizens United, Special Interests, Solyndra, Militant Environmentalists, Keystone XL Pipeline Project, PolyMet Project, Union Jobs, Democrats, Election 2014
I wrote here that the St. Cloud Times had published my LTE about MNsure’s failings. Predictably, one of the lefty trolls that inhabit the Times’ message board tried taking me to task for what I’d written:
“We can definitely do better than that.”
How’s that for a typical Conservative/Tbagger response? Not a suggestion on how to do it differently – just that it should be done differently. How easy is it to whine and complain? I hope he didn’t strain himself with the thought that went into this.
What a surprise. I thought someone might give a suggestion about what could be done to make it better, but NO! They don’t know how to make it better they just know they deserve more and better. Yeah, sure.
I decided not to respond to this troll’s comments because I didn’t want to deal with her in that setting. That being said, there’s something worth learning from this troll’s snide comments.
Implicit in this troll’s comments is that I have an affirmative responsibility to fix the DFL-created mess. Conservatives should ignore that argument. If they aren’t legislators, they don’t have a responsibility for fixing the DFL’s messes. It’s more than that, though.
While it’s true that it likely was impossible to make MNsure work, it’s also true that Gov. Dayton’s total indifference to MNsure is something that activists and legislators can’t fix this session. We can fix it through next November’s election but that’s a different story.
In the LTE, I highlighted the fact that the DFL co-chairs of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee didn’t hold oversight hearings for almost 4 months. I noted that this was while MNsure was going through a series of crises and while April Todd-Malmlov was taking a 2-week Costa Rican vacation with her lover.
Again, what legislation will fix partisan apathy towards a crisis? Rep. Atkins and Sen. Lourey alone have the authority to call hearings of that oversight committee. The ranking member can call for hearings but that legislator doesn’t have the authority to gavel in an oversight committee hearing.
Again, the remedy is defeating a bunch of DFL legislators next November so that a Republican legislator is picked by the incoming speaker to co-chair the committee.
As for the rest of this troll’s snotty remarks, I won’t respond substantively to them because they aren’t substantive comments. I’d recommend that approach whenever a DFL activist tries getting into a pissing match. That’s what ABM, TakeAction Minnesota, AFSCME and other DFL special interest groups specialize in.
That’s their specialty because they’re incapable of making substantive arguments. The reality is that ABM’s entire arsenal consists of smearing people and making non sequitur arguments.
When it comes to social media, the best response is to not directly respond to the trolls. Instead, it’s better to start your own, substantive argument on MNsure. Highlight the fact that there aren’t any legislative fixes for gubernatorial incompetence. Highlight the fact that there isn’t a legislative fix when the co-chairs of an oversight committee aren’t interested in finding out why the exchange is careening from crisis to crisis without a project manager in place.
It’s time to make the DFL explain why they weren’t interested in correcting MNsure’s overabundance of major mistakes. They created it. They broke it. They ignored it. It’s their responsibility to fix it.
Unfortunately, Minnesota families are hurting thanks to the DFL’s initiatives.
Yesterday, I wrote this post highlighting Paul Thissen’s reaction to my post about how unions didn’t build the middle class. The activists in the MOB, aka the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers, aren’t unlike NATO in that, an attack against one is an attack against all of us. When they saw that Speaker Thissen had taken issue with my post, Mitch Berg and the Lady Logician jumped into the discussion. Here’s how the Lady Logician responded to Speaker Thissen’s tweets:
You misrepresent the smaller gov’t policy stance to mean no govt & that is simply NOT what small gov’t ppl want. No one is arguing against roads & education but when govt gets in2 the minutia of telling ppl what lightbulbs 2 buy or what HEALTHCARE to buy or whether or not they can own a specific type of dog, then we are going to argue.
Here’s Mitch’s response to one of Speaker Thissen’s tweets:
The evidence is, in fact, that gov’t research *follows* corp. innovation. Ditto education. Not other way around.
Mitch wasn’t done schooling Speaker Thissen. Here’s the rest of Mitch’s tweets to Speaker Thissen:
So did gov’t build roads out of pure goodwill? Or did biz pay for them? You’re saying government is the only body that can give us clean water? Record shows that’s untrue. Most municipal water systems in the US *started* as private enterprises. Nearly a quarter still are. The “gov’t brings us all riches” argument is the black/white one. Markets, not politics, deal well with nuance. Either is “private enterprise is lost without government”. Or rather it’s a fallacious place to start the conversation. At best, it’s “assisted” by gov’t. But the idea that prosperity follows infrastructure is utterly ahistorical.
That’s a typical Mitch-slap. Spoeaker Thissen probably didn’t realize conservatives were this principled about free markets and limited government. The reality is that Speaker Thissen didn’t address why he thinks government is equipped to run a complex online health insurance business for the entire state. That’s essentially what MNsure is. (That isn’t just my opinion. It’s what Jim Nobles said on Almanac last Friday.)
Was government responding to free markets when they passed legislation that specified what types of lightbulbs could be used? Why did government inject itself into the discussion as to what dogs were legal in Minnesota? Was there an outbreak of dog violence against people? Or were they just inserting themselves into an issue because they were reacting to one of their special interest allies? I’m pretty certain it’s the latter.
Speaker Thissen’s tweet that questioned whether people could get to their jobs or companies could move their goods without public roads dovetails with President Obama’s now-infamous statement that entrepreneurs didn’t build their companies, that government did. That’s BS. Mitch is right in saying that government might assist entrepreneurs but government isn’t what makes businesses thrive.
The Anything But Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of how twisted leftist thinking is. I wrote here about how MNsure made things worse for one Minnesota family:
This Minnesota family is a young married couple with three children. Until ObamaCare and Dayton’s MNsure came along they shared the cost of their Blue Cross-Blue Shield family health insurance policy 50/50 with the father’s employer. Thanks to ObamaCare, the cost of that policy sky rocketed and is no longer affordable to the family. After endless hours of working with MNsure, here is what resulted.
Without the parent’s consent, MNsure jammed their three children onto government insurance. The children are now covered by Medicaid at no cost to the family or employer, but 100 percent cost to the taxpayers. The father had to go with a single insurance plan from his employer and purchase a separate new policy for his wife. Because of the confusion and disarray at MNsure, neither he nor his wife currently has health insurance ID cards for the insurance they have already paid for.
That’s why limited government conservatives complain about government overstepping their constitutional authority. Additionally, this shows government isn’t capable of running a business.
In other words, government should get its claws out of the things it isn’t qualified to do and focus on the things that constitutions limits it to. Limited government conservatives don’t hate government, even though that’s the propaganda that ABM and other leftist propaganda organizations spread. It’s that we understand that the best decisions for families happen at a family’s kitchen table.
It’s time Speaker Thissen figured that out.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Nanny State, Anything But Affordable Care Act, MNsure, Transportation, Water Treatment Facilities, DFL, Limited Government Conservatism, Free Markets, Entrepreneurship, Capitalism, MNGOP
Earlier today, I wrote this post about whether unions deserve most of the credit for building America’s middle class. Apparently, the DFL is feeling more than a little defensive about what I wrote. It’s apparent because Paul Thissen, the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, responded with 3 defensive-sounding tweets to my post. Here’s Speaker Thissen’s first tweet:
Do innovative cos take advantage of govt basic rsch? Do business & employees benefit from a broadly educated populace?
Here’s Speaker Thissen’s second tweet:
do workers get to jobs and companies move product without public roads? Do middle class economies exist without clean water?
Here’s Speaker Thissen’s final tweet:
your black & white, either/or world view may serve you rhetorically but no one in real world operates by it.
First, let me address the subject of whether “workers get to jobs and companies move products without public roads.” They do in Indiana. While government funds the building of highways through gas taxes in Minnesota, it’s indisputable that that’s an archaic way of funding highway maintenance. Indiana, not Minnesota, is the future of highway funding. PS- Privatization works in improving highways. Indiana’s proof of that.
Next, Speaker Thissen apparently thinks, like many leftists, that Republicans oppose all forms of government. That’s silliness. They’ve read too many of ABM’s smear campaign messages for their own good. (Then again, the DFL are puppets. ABM is their puppeteer.) Minnesota’s Constitution requires funding of public schools so there’s no question about whether taxpayers will fund government schools.
Third, isn’t it possible that Speaker Thissen is living in an either/or, black or white world? Based upon his past actions, there’s no question that Speaker Thissen thinks that the nanny state isn’t intrusive enough. He’s voted for higher taxes on the richest of the rich. He’s voted for middle class tax increases, too, as recently as last May. Those are indisputable facts. He’s voted for legislation that would prohibit people from owning certain types of dogs in Minnesota.
It isn’t that Republicans hate government. It’s that we’ve seen government expand into areas that government shouldn’t intrude into. We’ve seen the DFL elitists in the Twin Cities tell people in northern Minnesota that they don’t have the right to make a living even if they live by Minnesota’s environmental regulations. Yes, that’s what Conservation Minnesota is pushing. Here in central Minnesota, another of the DFL’s environmentalist allies, the Sierra Club, is pushing for shutting down of the Sherco power plants.
There’s no question whether Speaker Thissen will defend these special interest organizations. There’s no question because he’s defended them in the past. Considering his ambitition to succeed Gov. Dayton as governor, and his need for substantial campaign contributions from environmentalists, there’s no question Speaker Thissen will continue defending these black or white organizations.
Finally, let’s cover Speaker Thissen’s question about whether middle class economies exist without clean water. Not that we’d want this but yes, middle class economies have existed without clean water. Ohio’s and Pennsylvania’s middle class thrived with some of the nastiest water in the nation.
Like I said, however, that shouldn’t be the goal we shoot towards. The linkage between clean water and robust job creation is questionable at best. There’s no disputing whether those things can co-exist. They’re co-existing right now. What’s equally indisputable is that the DFL’s special interest allies love moving the goalposts on industries, especially the mining industry, by increasing the regulatory restrictions on Minnesota’s biggest industries.
Last year, Speaker Thissen didn’t hesitate in pushing a bill that limits silica sand mining even though it would kill Minnesota jobs. Here’s what Rep. Pat Garofalo said about the bill:
You’re gonna actually tax an industry out of existence with a tax on silica mining. I actually had a liberal activist say to me they thought that by raising taxes on silica mining, they would somehow impact the fracking in North Dakota. (Laughter in background) Spoiler alert. They’re gonna get the sand from other states. Doesn’t matter. It’s gonna have no impact whatsoever on other states’ ability to do fracking of natural gas and oil but it will kill jobs here. And it’s not business groups saying that. It’s not small businesses saying it.
We’ve heard from the local 49ers. We’ve heard from the local unions. In fact, members, this is how totally delusional this tax increase is: Mark Dayton actually labeled the House DFL silica sand tax “ridiculous.” So when a tax increase is so high that Gov. Dayton labels it ridiculous, you know you’re checked out for lunch.
Speaker Thissen, the question isn’t whether government will exist. The question is whether the DFL will continue to insist on limiting Minnesota’s economic growth through their abuse of Minnesota’s regulatory system. At this point, there’s little disputing whether the DFL will tell the environmentalists no every once in awhile. They won’t.
The only question is whether Minnesotans will reject the DFL’s vision of ever more intrusive government. Let’s hope they answer that question with an emphatic yes this November.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Special Interests, Conservation Minnesota, Environmental Extremists, Environmental Regulations, Nanny State, DFL, Metrocrats, Transportation, K-12 Education, Public Safety, Limited Government
Jeb Bush’s education reform agenda, outlined in this article, starts with the declaration that “The best solution to our nation’s failing educational system is empowering parents.” I don’t disagree with that. It’s that I can’t figure out what empowering parents has to do with implementing Common Core School Standards. Gov. Bush is a big proponent of CCSS.
Consumer choice created the most innovative and powerful economy in the world. Choice makes computers cheaper, images sharper, cars safer, and services faster.
Choice rewards success and weeds out stagnation, inefficiency, and failure.
This is why school choice is critical to the education-reform movement, and why National School Choice Week, which began this Sunday, January 26, is more than just a proclamation. It is a call to action for one of our most cherished principles.
How is it that parents have a say over every aspect of their children’s lives, yet often must delegate the critical decision of where they go to school to political boards and government bureaucracies? This has created an education monopoly that spurns accountability, views innovation as a threat, and prioritizes the job security of employees over the learning of children.
School choice won’t matter if CCSS is adopted because everything will be written at the national level. That means a one-size-fits-all curriculum from coast to coast and border to border.
Text books are already getting ‘adapted’ to fit CCSS. In Bill Gates’ and Jeb Bush’s worlds, adapting text books to that day’s prevailing political correctness is more important than publishing text books that teach students the truth about American history. History books that fit into CCSS’s accepted category preach victimization, not American exceptionalism.
I’m not advocating for only teaching students that America is exceptional. My first criteria is that the truth be told, warts and all, in as great of detail as is applicable to the students’ grade level.
CCSS proponents repeat the mantra that it’s been adopted by state governments. That’s misleading at best. In most instances, it’s been implemented without legislative approval. It was adopted when the executive branch applied for Race to the Top (RttP) funding, effectively bypassing the other political branch of government.
Without people providing checks and balances, systems get corrupted. If you doubt that, how’s HealthCare.gov working out for you? This George Will column highlights why CCSS must be rejected:
At any time, it is more likely there will be half a dozen innovative governors than one creative federal education bureaucracy. And the mistakes made by top-down federal reforms are continental mistakes.
Universalism should be rejected ASAP. That’s because one-size-fits-all approaches a) don’t work and b) aren’t what the people want.
I agree with Gov. Bush that school choice is imperative to improving this nation’s educational system. Unfortunately, his advocacy for CCSS is as counterproductive to school choice as it is detrimental to students.
This LTE is exceptionally defensive sounding:
Some people are making a big deal out of a story about the executive committee of a local DFL party unit coming out against copper-nickel mining jobs and, therefore, workers in Northeastern Minnesota. Some even wonder whether and when the DFL decided to drop the “L” from its coalition (“DFL unit’s resolution opposes copper mining,” Jan. 14).
The resolution was the action of a small minority of extreme folks who apparently don’t believe in the regulatory process that Minnesotans worked together to develop over decades. This was not a reflection of the larger feelings of DFLers across the state or even in the Northland.
I can assure you, as a labor leader in Northeastern Minnesota, that the “L” is alive and well in the DFL and that the party will stand strong for good-paying jobs and working people across our region and state. We hope.
People aren’t questioning that private sector unions support mining. That isn’t the point. In fact, it’s a non sequitur argument. The point the article made, which I wrote about here, is that elitist Twin Cities Metrocrats vehemently oppose mining. That part of the DFL isn’t a tiny minority. They’re the part of the DFL that writes the biggest campaign checks. That’s why they get the preferential treatment from the DFL. Tom Rukavina represented the miners, which he told me in this email exchange. Here’s Rep. Rukavina’s response:
I’m perplexed. I sent an email to the three who voted no, I’m awaiting a reply. Frankly, if Gov Dayton is pissed off at the DNR (hell, Rangers have been pissed off at them forever), he should fire some top dogs over there. But don’t take it out on the good people of the Range who have been mining for 130 years and playing by the rules that some folks now want to change.
Perplexed and pissed off would better describe my reaction. But hey, I’m a has been but I have been wondering why I’m the only member of the Range delegation who seems concerned about this. Perhaps it’s because I’m the only member of the Range delegation who represents the real Iron Range and has never represented any other constituents in my 26 year tenure.
Rep. Rukavina is an old school Iron Ranger. While Metrocrats agreed with his tax and spending policies, they worked tirelessly to undermine his mining policies.
As long as the Metrocrats dominate the DFL, Mr. Olson can talk all he wants about the DFL still supporting Labor’s issues. Their claims will ring hollow in the ears of the unemployed miners.