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Saying that this election isn’t like most elections is understatement on steroids. I thought I’d seen everything but I haven’t. Piers Morgan’s op-ed is spot on, which is something that I never thought I’d say.

Then again, I didn’t think I’d hear Piers Morgan say “Yet despite this unprecedented bombardment of mainstream abuse, Trump’s poll numbers keep rising and his chances of becoming President keep increasing. The reason, to me, is obvious: tens of millions of Americans just don’t agree with that withering verdict. They think Trump’s a fiery, flamboyant, super-rich, shoot-from-the-hip buccaneer on a mission to make America great again. They agree with him about illegal immigration, about big Government corruption, about Wall Street greed, about ‘crooked’ Hillary Clinton and most pertinently, about the threat of Islamic terrorism.”

This is an election of opposing factions. That’s indisputable in my estimation. One faction a) is complacent, b) believes in the status quo and c) thinks we’re in a narrative fight with ISIS:

It’s frightening to think that there’s videotape proof that the White House Press Secretary actually said it’s a narrative war and that we’re winning that fight. What’s almost as frightening is that the DC media criticized Donald Trump for calling the bomb that went off in New York City a bomb. What’s almost as frightening is that they didn’t post a single tweet when Mrs. Clinton also called Saturday night’s attack in New York City a bombing.

The reason why people are warming up to Mr. Trump is because he isn’t afraid to call a pressure cooker bomb explosion a bombing. Millennials immediately identified that pressure cooker bomb as a bomb. Then they saw Mrs. Clinton tap dance her way through her solution. I can picture millennials scratching their heads when they heard Mrs. Clinton say “We should also launch an intelligence surge to help identify and thwart attacks before they can be carried out.”

Meanwhile, Trump isn’t afraid to take a little heat to tell people that we can’t keep importing terrorists through the State Department’s refugee resettlement program. It’s like the first rule of holes; if you’re in one, stop digging.

We know that there are refugees here who have gotten radicalized. We know this because, in Minnesota, 3 Somali refugees were convicted of “ISIS-related terrorism charges.” Another 6 Somali refugees accepted plea deals on essentially the same charges.

With acts of terrorism accelerating both internationally and here at home, it isn’t surprising that people are flocking to Donald Trump. They don’t agree with all of Trump’s solutions but they definitely appreciate the fact that he’s willing to call a terrorist attack a terrorist attack, a terrorist a terrorist and an exploded pressure cooker bomb a bombing.

This is where Morgan delivered the kill shot to Mrs. Clinton:

But what neither she nor Obama offers the American people is any kind of plan to combat such attacks. They talk of how awful it all is, but studiously avoid advocating any real action for fear of upsetting or offending people.

The President doesn’t even like using the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’, which is utterly absurd given that’s plainly what it is. In the face of such apparently weak, insipid, mealy-mouthed and frankly meaningless rhetoric, it’s hardly surprising that Trump emerges as a non-PC, no-nonsense voice of reason to many Americans.

Another way of putting it is that Americans want a leader. Mrs. Clinton isn’t a leader. She’s too cautious to be a leader.

The thing that’s selling Trump to the American people is that he’s speaking their language to them. He isn’t tap-dancing his way through a politically correct word salad to not offend someone. If Trump wins, something that’s still in doubt, I think it’ll be because the American people chose a leader.

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The other night at NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, Hillary Clinton potentially offered a glimpse of her debate performances. She potentially offered that glimpse by twisting herself into a pretzel. HRC is prone to that because she’s caught in an impossible situation. She’s caught in an impossible situation because she’s gotten caught lying about sending and receiving classified emails on her private email server.

The impossible situation started with a question that went like this “As a naval officer, I held a top secret, sensitive compartmentalized information clearance and that provided me access to materials and information that was highly sensitive to our war-fighting capabilities. Had I communicated this information not following prescribed protocols, I would have been prosecuted and imprisoned. Secretary Clinton, how can you expect those such as myself who were and are trusted with America’s most sensitive information to have any confidence in your leadership as president when you clearly corrupted our national security?”

Predictably, Mrs. Clinton started her oratorical gyrations, saying “Well I appreciate your concern and also your experience, but let me try to make the distinctions that I think are important for me to answer your question. First, as I said to Matt, you know and I know, classified material is designated. … And what we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked, there were no headers, there was no statement top secret, secret, or confidential. I communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system. I took it very seriously.”

Mrs. Clinton should consider herself fortunate because she lied with that reply. Classified material is supposed to be protected whether it’s got the markings on it or not. Also, we know from Jim Comey’s testimony that there were emails on Hillary’s server that contained classified material. It’s possible that Mrs. Clinton occasionally used “a wholly separate system” to communicate classified materials but she certainly didn’t use that separate system consistently, much less all the time.

Because she’s caught in that impossible position of defending the indefensible, there’s a high probability that she’ll corkscrew herself into the ground in the debates. Those are the types of replies that might create an election-shifting moment.

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This morning, Kellyanne Conway tweeted a link to this article about how Hillary is trying to shift to a more positive-sounding stump speech. The article re-exposes HRC as a liar who’ll say anything to get elected.

For instance, HRC told a black church “that she believes they deserve better than politicians ‘who think they can just show up at election time, say a few nice words and then earn your support.'” Presumably, she wasn’t talking about Democrats, who consistently show up at black churches in October of election years, then disappear for the next 22-23 months.

Democrats show up at black churches preaching that we’re our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers, which is true. The question I’d pepper HRC with, though, is ‘Hillary, what type of Christian lies about what the law is on sending classified and top secret information? Why do you insist that it’s the markings on the documents that make them confidential or top secret? You were told when you joined the Senate Armed Services Committee that the content determined whether the information was confidential or top secret. Do you really expect us to believe that you’re a Godly lady when you’ve repeatedly lied about the emails and how many mobile devices you had. Hillary, did Christ teach us to lie to the families of murdered American patriots?’

The truth is that HRC knows that she isn’t liked and never will be liked. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out that she’s saying these things to soften her image. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she’s been around too long to change her image. For the better part of a generation, large numbers of people, from across the political spectrum, have thought of her as a cold-hearted bitch driven by her quest for power. This is the quintessential Hillary:

She even looks like a cold-hearted bitch.

When Hillary Clinton talks about US national security, people listen. It isn’t that they think she’ll tell the truth. HRC’s honest and trustworthy ratings are worse than an ant’s popularity rating at a mid-summer picnic. Some people will listen to hear what absurd lies she’ll tell. Others will listen so they’ll know what she said once Lanny Davis and other Clinton spinmeisters appear on TV to tell us that she didn’t say what everyone watched HRC say.

Those are probably the good old days. Now, the DFL and other Hillary enablers don’t wait until after she’s gotten caught lying. They’re proactive, telling us nonsense prior to her lying to us. This tweet is a perfect example of Democrats being proactive so they can change the subject once a moderator asks about HRC’s statements. The DFL tweeted “When @HillaryClinton talks about keeping our country safe, she means it.”

After visiting HRC’s website, I feel safe. That’s where I read this comforting thought:

The threat we face from terrorism is real, urgent, and knows no boundaries. Horrific attacks like the ones in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, and San Bernardino have made it all too clear: It is not enough to contain ISIS and the threat of radical jihadism—we have to defeat it.

That’s the hard-hitting policy that we need. I feel safer already. Well, I’d feel safer if it wasn’t for this:

On NBC’s Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd asked Pence about Trump’s policies to ban Muslims from entering the United States. In recent weeks, Trump has said he would ban Muslims from countries with terrorist activity.

When Todd pressed Pence about what countries those would be, Pence changed the subject to Clinton’s Syria policy. “Well, Hillary Clinton wants to increase Syrian refugees to this country by 550 percent,” Pence said. “Donald Trump and I believe that we should suspend the Syrian refugee program.”

It doesn’t make sense to take out ISIS hotspots in Syria, Iraq and Europe, then invite potential ISIS terrorists to the US through our refugee resettlement program. Despite what Pat Kessler reported, it’s still highly possible for ISIS terrorists to infiltrate the US through the refugee resettlement program.

Hillary’s plan to protect the US from ISIS terrorist attacks is essentially killing terrorists in Iraq and Syria while inviting new terrorists into the US. Killing terrorists there, then increasing the number of potential terrorists in the US seems slightly counterproductive. Then again, how can people feel safe watching video like this?

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It isn’t difficult to find articles telling us that the presidential race is essentially finished and that Hillary will be our next president. Thus far, what’s evident is that Mr. Trump has righted himself to a certain extent. That’s mostly attributable to hiring Kellyanne Conway. She’s brought a focus to the campaign that’s been quite noticeable.

The other thing that’s led to this tightening is how pathetic Hillary has looked. I’m reminded of an old song that they played on Hee Haw. The song said “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” While I can’t attribute HRC’s fall to bad luck, I’ll certainly attribute her fall to bad news cycle after bad news cycle. Charles Krauthammer put it perfectly, stating “Look, I don’t think this is really complicated. She’s been in the news. It’s all been bad since the Comey press conference. Every bit of news is always about emails, about the Clinton Foundation, the corruption. That’s the only news we are getting. Of course, it’s her numbers that are declining. Trump has been up and down but he’s been relatively stable and that’s why we are where we are today.”

It’s still far too early to predict anyone as the victor. It’s definitely too early to predict that for Trump, especially, though, because it isn’t clear that he’s passed the commander-in-chief test. If Mr. Trump passes that test relatively soon, then the race will take a different perspective. At that point, if it happens, Trump will become a fully plausible candidate.

Finally, it’s foolish to count on this stretch of terrible news cycles to propel Mr. Trump to victory — yet. It isn’t foolish to think that Hillary isn’t capable to performing terribly. Just remember Hillary’s disastrous book tour a couple years ago.

And now, those words from Charles:

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Republicans should willingly accept the fight that the Democrats have picked on defense spending. Democrats just picked the fight by filibustering the bill that would fund the military, including funding overseas operations against ISIS. If Democrats are willing to shut down the government over fulfilling the Democrats’ special interest allies’ wish list, Republicans should highlight that. If Democrats want to commit political suicide, then it’s Republicans’ responsibility to make them pay for that stupidity.

First, it’s important to know that “Senate Democrats Tuesday blocked for a third time a key defense spending bill, signaling they will not take up any spending legislation outside of an all-inclusive package that incorporates both military and domestic spending.” According to the article, Democrats blocked the bill because “Democratic leaders said they don’t trust the GOP to negotiate in good faith on the remaining domestic spending bills if they agree to the military spending separately.”

It’s time for Democrats to put on their big boy britches and negotiate in good faith. If they won’t fund the military unless they get everything they want for their special interest allies, then they aren’t fit to chair the Senate’s committees. Period. They aren’t fit for those responsibilities because they’re too beholden to the special interests to do what’s right for America.

Sen. Rubio issued this statement:

The federal government’s chief responsibility is to keep Americans safe and provide the resources our military needs to do its job, and it’s a shame Senate Democrats are refusing to do either by blocking this bill for the third time this year.

In addition to funding our military, this bill would also have made it crystal clear to the administration that dangerous terrorists must remain at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. In these last four months of President Obama’s term, we need to do everything possible to stop him from releasing dangerous terrorists to other countries, or bringing them into the U.S. This includes keeping the 18 “forever prisoners“, which an independent board has deemed too dangerous to ever release, right where they are.

This is a fight that Republicans should fight with Democrats. Let the people see that Democrats aren’t ready to chair the important committees that fund this nation’s national security operations. Let the people see that Democrats consistently put a higher priority on political gamesmanship than they put on doing what’s right for our troops.

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In 2010, I supported Tom Emmer’s campaign against Mark Dayton for governor. Had Emmer won that election, I’m convinced that Minnesota would be far better off than it is today. Back then, Tom Emmer was a staunch conservative. Unfortunately, Tom Emmer isn’t the full-time conservative today that he was then.

That’s why he just received the lowest GOP primary vote percentage in a generation. That’s why he “won the primary … with 68.7 percent of the vote.”

Eric Ostermeier, who founded the blog Smart Politics, wrote that “Emmer’s win was the fifth-lowest out of 49 contested primaries since 1964. The only members of Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation to receive less support were DFLers Jim Oberstar in 1980 and 1984, Martin Sabo in 1992 and Gerry Sikorski in 1992.”

A quick look at Emmer’s issues page on national security shows that he isn’t listening to his constituents. Emmer started wrong by teaming with Keith Ellison to form the Somalia Caucus. It went downhill fast after that.

During a July 1, 2015 townhall meeting, Emmer laid the foundation for this primary fight by blowing off constituents who wanted a moratorium on Syrian refugees being resettled in St. Cloud, saying that he’d checked with the State Department and that there weren’t any refugees coming to St. Cloud. Clearly, Emmer was either badly misinformed or dishonest.

The reason why AJ Kern got 26.5% of the vote in this primary is because she fought for US national security. Emmer hasn’t. Here’s hoping that Rep. Emmer’s last day in Congress is January 3, 2019. Central Minnesota doesn’t need a squish who collaborates with Keith Ellison representing the Sixth District.

Polite people are saying that Tim Kaine is a perfect running mate for Hillary, then adding that he’s definitely qualified to be president if, God forbid, anything happened to Hillary. After reading this article, it’s painfully obvious that he’s nothing more than a mouthpiece who reads spin-script well but couldn’t think his way out of a wet paper bag.

Friday morning, Mike Pence appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s show. During the interview, Pence said “The speech last night was nothing new. It was just more of the same, more government, more of the same failed foreign policy” before adding “I mean, you’ve got to hand it to Hillary Clinton last night. She doubled down on their big government, liberal agenda, on a weak foreign policy on the world stage.”

Tim Kaine wouldn’t hear any of that, saying “The thing I thought was great is it set such a contrast with what we saw in Cleveland last week. The Cleveland convention was dark and depressing, and she said it was kind of midnight in America. And her speech was morning in America. It was about the everyday struggles that people have, but the fact that we don’t have a single issue in this country that our people can’t tackle, because we have the greatest pool of just human resources, human capital, human talent that any nation has ever had.”

First, to hear a Democrat say that “we don’t have a single issue in this country that our people can’t tackle” is more than a little bizarre after what we heard 4 years ago in Virginia:

Second, saying that Hillary’s speech was “morning in America” is proof that Democrats haven’t told the truth. ISIS is killing people in France, California and Orlando. Sen. Kaine, does that sound like “morning in America”? Police officers are getting shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Does that sound like morning in America, Sen. Kaine? The governor of Minnesota, who addressed the Convention, accused police officers of racism, saying that Philando Castile would probably still be alive if he was white. Sen. Kaine, is it morning in America when governors accuse Hispanic police officers of racism?

Terrorist attacks are happening in western Europe at a faster rate than ever before. Ditto within the United States, though not at as fast a rate as in western Europe. What part of that sounds like morning in America, Sen. Kaine?

Democrats might settle for that, saying that it’s the new normal. Conservatives reject that foolishness because we can do dramatically better with the right leadership. Stephen Miller nailed it with this statement:

Hillary Clinton says America is stronger together. But in Hillary Clinton’s America, millions of people are left out in the cold. She only stands together with the donors and special interests who’ve bankrolled her entire life. Excluded from Hillary Clinton’s America are the suffering people living in our inner cities, or the victims of open borders and drug cartels, or the people who’ve lost their jobs because of the Clintons’ trade deals, or any hardworking person who doesn’t have enough money to get a seat at Hillary Clinton’s table.

Simply put, Hillary Clinton is an elitist and a snob. Imagine the thinking that went into her statement on national TV that she and Bill left the White House “dead broke”:

I get it that Hillary thinks it’s morning in America. I get it that Sen. Kaine does, too. They’re both living around the Capitol, where everything is going beautifully. Living near DC, which hasn’t experienced the Obama economy, it’s easy to believe that life is fine. Beyond the Potomac, something that Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Kaine aren’t familiar with, things aren’t going nearly that well. Living near the White House explains why they think it’s morning in America. We don’t need a president that’s unfamiliar with flyover country’s hardships. We need someone who understands what people living in the Heartland are dealing with.

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When it comes to presidential acceptance speeches, Hillary Clinton’s speech was as devoid of vision as it was devoid of honesty. When she recognized Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Hillary was in full pander mode. People shouldn’t believe Hillary when she said “You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong. And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.”

Translation into Hillary-speak: I need your votes and if I have to pander a little, it’s worth it. I’ve wanted this office so long and I’ve broken so many promises. What’s one more?

Hillary was back in pander mode again when she said “Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have. We will not build a wall. Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.”

Q1: If we’re so clear-eyed, why can’t this administration admit that Islamic jihadist terrorists are killing people in Orlando, San Bernardino and Nice, France? If we’re so clear-eyed, why do Democrats insist that the solution to these terrorist attacks can be solved with stricter gun control laws? If Democrats are so clear-eyed, how could Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton say that Philando Castile would still be alive if he’d been white?

This is another jaw-dropping statement:

We will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.

It isn’t that I can’t believe Hillary would say this. It’s that I don’t believe that her administration is serious about defeating terrorists. If there’s anything that we’ve learned about Democrats and terrorists, it’s that they pull their punches far too often.

We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world. We have the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had. We have the most powerful military. The most innovative entrepreneurs. The most enduring values.

Mrs. Clinton, if we have the most powerful military, which I think is true, why couldn’t US military assets get there to rescue Christopher Stevens? Mrs. Clinton, our military is the most powerful military in the world but it’s been getting ripped apart by the administration you served in. Why should we trust you to fight for our military when you won’t fight for our diplomats?

This part is jaw-dropping:

Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do. And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.” Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.

Remember this?

Then-candidate Obama sounded awfully narcissistic in saying this:

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.

Now Hillary is preaching the gospel of collectivism. Why didn’t she speak out against President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty executive action? Isn’t our Constitution worth fighting over? After all, she spoke passionately about the Founding Fathers earlier in the speech.

If I wanted to critique Hillary’s entire speech, I’d need to write a Part II, which I’ll do in the morning. Check back then.

The messaging from Joe Biden’s and President Obama’s speeches seems to have been ‘We’re on the right path. Elect Hillary to President Obama’s third term.’ Karl Rove thinks that they missed an opportunity. According to his article in the WSJ, he thinks that Bill Clinton blew it, too. Rove cited a “June 26 Pew Research Center survey found that 24% of Americans are ‘satisfied with the way things are going in this country today’; 71% are ‘dissatisfied.'”

From that, Rove concluded that “President Bill Clinton’s speech Tuesday night didn’t significantly alter this dynamic. Even his political talents couldn’t transform his wife into a “change-agent,” a phrase he repeatedly invoked. If anything, Mr. Clinton reminded voters that Mrs. Clinton has been a political fixture for decades.” It’s pretty difficult for a president who left office 16 years ago to talk about his wife as a change agent. It’s especially difficult considering the fact that he left office but she hasn’t, except to run for president. It’s virtually impossible considering that the elites in the Democratic Party rigged the nominating contest in Hillary’s favor. (It’s impossible to think that the Democratic Party’s insiders would rig a system in the outsider’s favor, isn’t it?)

More than all of that, the truth is that this is going to be a national security election, thanks in part to increased ISIS attacks on western Europe and radicalized Muslims killing people in an Orlando night club. Hillary’s record on national security sucks. The Democrats’ “Birkenstock-and-granola wing” is still living in la-la land by thinking that ISIS won’t really hit us. There’s nothing serious about their thinking, if it can be called that.

The truth is that the Clinton campaign is still stuck too often in a defensive posture. Yesterday’s Trump press conference confirms that. Trump said that he’d appreciate it if Russia would turn over 33,000 emails that Hillary deleted because they were personal and not work-related. Charles Krauthammer exposed the folly of that defense:

Rather than criticizing Trump, the Clinton campaign took the bait:

After Donald Trump’s comments at his press conference today Hillary for America Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan released the following statement:

“This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

I don’t know if that’s technically a Freudian slip or not but it’s essentially admitting that the emails Hillary deleted because they’re personal actually have national security, government-owned emails. If the Russians got Hillary’s yoga schedule or her helping Chelsea with wedding plans, that isn’t a matter of national security or espionage.

For all their supposed experience, that was still a rookie mistake.

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