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This article makes me question whether Democrats are dividing themselves into self-destructing camps. According to the article, “The rancor, a spillover from the contentious Democratic presidential primary last year, is aggravating divisions in a state regarded nationally as a lodestar for the liberal cause. Establishment Democrats fear the rhetoric and appetite for new spending could go too far, jeopardizing the party’s across-the-board dominance of state politics.”

That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. According to the article, “when Rendon announced that he would not allow a single-payer health care bill to advance through California’s lower house, tempers boiled over.
The California Nurses Association and other single-payer advocates descended on the Capitol, waving signs with Rendon’s name printed on a knife buried in the back of the California bear. Sanders himself admonished Rendon, and the nurses union said it planned to air radio ads targeting the Democratic speaker.”

The fight didn’t stop there:

“Corporate Dems: Don’t underestimate grassroots taking action on #SinglePayer,” RoseAnn DeMoro, head of the nurses union, said on Twitter.

This video highlights how heated the fight between Berniecrats and moderates has become:

RoseAnn DeMoro, the president of the California Nurses’ Union, tweeted out this picture of Speaker Anthony Rendon:

Anyone that’s paid attention to the news this past month and doesn’t think that the left is capable of unspeakable violence isn’t thinking things through. There’s a significant division between the establishment and the Resistance.

Paul Song, a California physician and former chairman of the progressive Courage Campaign, said of establishment Democrats, “Whether it be single payer, whether it be [campaign finance] … whether it be now moving forward on environmental issues, I think it’s a much more energized, aggressive base that I don’t think they’ve ever faced before.”

The thing that this article didn’t talk much about, though, was whether Democrats would descend into intraparty violence. I’m not ruling it out. The MoveOn activists hate the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) activists.

There’s no reason to think that this fight will end anytime soon. Think of the MoveOn activists as representing Obama and the DLC representing the Clintons. There’s clearly no love lost between those dynasties.

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This morning, Sen. Dick Durbin appeared on Morning Joe ahead of President Trump’s G20 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Being the political hack that he is, Sen. Durbin didn’t waste the opportunity to berate President Trump and rewrite history.

With regards to rewriting history, Sen. Durbin said “He is trying to restore a Soviet empire which is long gone in history. He’s intimidating a lot of his neighbors in a variety of different ways and it really is up to the United States to stand up to stand up to this tyrant.”

What a disgrace. First, the Soviet empire “is long gone in history” because President Reagan rejected the Democrats’ policies. President Reagan believed, as I believe now, that the United States is the only economic and military superpower in the world. The Soviets’ economy isn’t strong enough to support their military ambitions. Next, then as now, a US president is unleashing the US energy sector to drive down Soviet/Russian oil price while starving the Soviet/Russian economy of much needed revenues to keep their economy going.

Third, President Obama didn’t stand up to Putin:

President Obama was a wimp when it came to standing up to Putin. People remember President Obama telling Mitt Romney that the 80s were calling, that they wanted their foreign policy back. Further, people remember the hot mic conversation between President Obama and Putin where President Obama told Putin that he’d have a lot more flexibility after the election.

Those weren’t examples of the US standing up “to this tyrant.” They were examples of Democrats appeasing that tyrant. At this point, I’m wondering what Sen. Durbin is babbling about. Is Sen. Durbin just attempting to spin history? It appears so.

The Democratic Party, like CNN, just isn’t a serious organization anymore. For that matter, Sen. Durbin isn’t a serious person, either.

Tom Emmer’s statement on President Trump’s Cuban policy is as disappointing as it is misguided. In the opening paragraph of Rep. Emmer’s statement, he said “I am extremely disappointed with President Trump’s announcement he is going to ‘roll back’ the progress made in improving our relationship with Cuba. Through today’s actions, his Administration claims that he is honoring a campaign promise and fighting for the Cuban people. Yet, by returning to the failed policy of the past 55 years, the Administration moves no closer to helping improve the human rights situation in Cuba and stands to violate the President’s number one campaign promise and constitutional responsibility- to keep the American people and our homeland safe.”

It’s disappointing to read Rep. Emmer’s statement. As long as one of the Castro brothers is the head of their repressive regime, human rights will be terrible. Period. While it’s likely true that the Obama Cuban policy helped the U.S. (and Minnesota) economically, I question whether it was a significant improvement. The underpinning of true human rights improvements is religious freedom. To that end, this report includes some troubling information:

On August 9, a few days before US Secretary of State John Kerry was to attend a ceremony to mark the opening of the US embassy in Havana, 90 people—including an estimated 50 Ladies in White—were arrested and detained after Sunday mass in the Havana neighborhood of Miramar during a peaceful march against political repression.

During the visit of Pope Francis in September, police detained some 100 to 150 dissidents to prevent them from seeing him. Miriam Leiva, a freelance journalist and blogger and a founder of the Ladies in White, was invited by the Papal Nuncio in Havana to greet the Pope twice, on September 19 and 20, but was detained for several hours each time, preventing her attendance.

Raul Castro’s oppression feels like Fidel Castro’s oppression. For all of Rep. Emmer’s talk about human rights, nothing has changed.

Here’s Emmer’s entire statement:

I am extremely disappointed with President Trump’s announcement he is going to ‘roll back’ the progress made in improving our relationship with Cuba. Through today’s actions, his Administration claims that he is honoring a campaign promise and fighting for the Cuban people. Yet, by returning to the failed policy of the past 55 years, the Administration moves no closer to helping improve the human rights situation in Cuba and stands to violate the President’s number one campaign promise and constitutional responsibility- to keep the American people and our homeland safe.

With today’s directive, the Administration is limiting our opportunities to improve the human rights and religious liberties of the Cuban people, not expanding them. This policy decision will hurt the United States economically, making it harder for our nation’s farmers to access new markets and cutting the knees out from under our travel and manufacturing industries. Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement creates a very real security risk for the American people and our homeland by inviting foreign nations into our backyard to fill a void that today’s announcement is creating.

Today is not the end of this discussion; it is yet another chapter in a long and complex history between the United States and Cuba. My colleagues and I will continue to advocate for human rights and religious freedoms, a more secure hemisphere, and new economic opportunities for American farmers and businesses by improving our relationship with Cuba, not retreating.

The voices of our policy makers must represent the voices of the overwhelming majority of Americans who favor improving our relationship with Cuba. I hope as we go forward, the President will remember he was elected to challenge the status quo – not to be part of it.

We will be on the right side of history and lift this failed embargo.

I wouldn’t bet on congress lifting President Trump’s sanctions. That requires a two-thirds majority in the House and a two-thirds majority in the Senate. The odds of that happening are less than slim.

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Susan Rice’s NYTimes op-ed is like her term as President Obama’s NSA. It’s dishonest, intellectually imprecise and long on bloviating.

For instance, Ms. Rice said “With shocking speed, he has wreaked havoc: hobbling our core alliances, jettisoning American values and abdicating United States leadership of the world.” First, it’s uncertain that Ms. Rice could identify America’s core values. Next, it’s impossible to picture anyone in the Obama administration understanding or exercising leadership on the world stage.

When President Trump brought together more than 50 Arab leaders together in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that was more leadership than the Obama administration did in 8 years in office. When President Trump told those leaders that the days of Iran’s hegemony in the region were over, those leaders breathed a huge sigh of relief. Compare that with the Obama administration’s overtures towards Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, and their releasing $150,000,000,000 to Iran.

That isn’t leadership. That’s 21st century appeasement that Jimmy Carter would be proud of.

And now the president has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, putting us at odds with virtually the entire world. Europe and China stand together on the Paris accord, while the United States is isolated.

Of course, China supports the Paris climate agreement. They don’t have any major obligations for the next 20+ years. They get to continue polluting at obscene rates for the next quarter century. Meanwhile, the U.S. promises to continue cleaning the air. Why wouldn’t China support such an agreement?

Further, China gets to keep building coal-fired power plants for the foreseeable future, thereby gaining a significant competitive advantage economically. It isn’t surprising that we lost ground economically the last 8 years.

That’s the face of dishonesty and appeasement. Listening to her will put you at risk.

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Gov. Dayton’s vindictive side is showing, especially after vetoing the bill that would keep the legislature running. In a stunt that’s thought to be unprecedented, “Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the Legislature’s budget Tuesday, May 30, because of what he called ‘a reprehensible sneak attack, which shatters whatever trust we achieved during the session.'”

Gov. Dayton insisted on Republicans capitulating on 5 major items in exchange for restoring funding for the legislature. The 5 items Gov Dayton is requesting are to reverse tobacco tax breaks, cancel a cut in estate taxes, remove a freeze on statewide business property taxes, take out a provision that prohibits undocumented immigrants from getting driver’s licenses and renegotiate a measure that allows professionals to become teachers easier. In other words, Gov. Dayton wants Republicans to relinquish their biggest legislative victories this session.

Simply put, that ain’t happening, especially issuing the real ID to illegal aliens and removing the freeze on statewide business property taxes.

Gov Dayton isn’t that bright. He thinks he’s got leverage but he doesn’t. The legislature is an essential service. In the past, courts have ruled that essential services must be funded. Further, the DFL is further alienating main street by removing the freeze on statewide property taxes. That’ll piss off lots of small business owners. The DFL is already bleeding those voters. Now, they’ll lose more of those voters.

Gov. Dayton is doing to the DFL what President Obama did to the Democratic Party. He’s shrinking the DFL both numerically and geographically. By the tie the 2018 happens, the DFL will essentially be found only in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth.

As Chair of the LCC, Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) issued the following statement.

“Yesterday, the governor took an unconstitutional step to defund the Legislature, attempting to silence both the House and Senate for the next four years. As I stated earlier, I am disappointed in the governor’s behavior and his decision to veto our operating budget over differences he previously agreed to,” said Speaker Daudt. “The governor has left the Legislature no choice but to seek outside counsel in an effort to defend the people’s voice at the Capitol.

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Since this session of congress started, the Democratic Party has been the Resistance Party. Their special interests have forced them into that identity rather than being the loyal opposition. Part of the Democratic Party’s identity crisis is caused by their lack of new ideas.

When the Democratic Party stopped thinking of fresh ideas, they stopped appealing to people. That’s how they lost PA, MI and WI. This session, it’s impossible to identify the Democrats’ pro-growth policies because they don’t have any.

We’ve just suffered through 8 years of, at minimum, substandard economic growth. Thus far, Democrats haven’t offered a single constructive idea to get America’s economy going again. Their ‘economic package’ thus far has been income inequality and the push for a $15 minimum wage. That isn’t an economic plan. That’s a complaint list.

Another illustration of the Do-Nothing Democrats is how they’ve said that Obamacare “isn’t perfect”. (That’s an understatement.) Still, Democrats haven’t offered a single amendment to fix the bill that they say isn’t perfect. Democrats have rationalized their doing nothing by saying that they won’t offer amendments until repeal is taken off the table. That isn’t an excuse for fixing what Democrats broke in 2009-2010.

Adam Schiff is on TV virtually every day complaining about the fake Trump-Russia scandal. He hasn’t offered a single amendment to fix our ailing economy or our broken health care system. He’s a total whiner.

Why elect Democrats when all they want to do is continue Obama’s economic stagnation?

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If this article is telling the truth, some Obama administration officials likely will be facing substantial jail time.

Circa News is reporting that “More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.”

Further, Circa quotes a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court document that said “Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collections under Section 702,” the unsealed court ruling declared. “The Oct. 26, 2016 notice informed the court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.”

This video is stunning:

Eventually, the FISA Court got so frustrated with the Obama administration that it rebuked them. It’s clear that Obama administration officials should be worried about their legal exposure. This time, Susan Rice’s testimony won’t be off-the-record. This time, it’ll be under penalty of perjury.

Let’s just say I’m thankful I’m not facing Ms. Rice’s situation.

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True to form, Gov. Dayton inexplicably vetoed middle class tax relief that Republicans supported and that the DFL rejected.

In rejecting the Republicans’ bill, Dayton said that the bill’s cuts are “irresponsibly large” and focus “tax relief to some of the most fortunate.” Responding to Gov. Dayton’s veto letter, the Center for the American Experiment replied “The House and Senate agreed to over $1 billion dollars in tax cuts last week, much of it focused on the middle class. The largest chunk—nearly $220 million—went to cut taxes on social security income. The bill also included substantial increases in subtractions and credits for expenses related to child care, education, scholarship program contributions, and student loans.”

The truth is that Gov. Dayton won’t sign a tax bill that demolishes his tax increases from 2013. For all their talk about loving the middle class, the truth is that the DFL loves tax increases exponentially more than they love the middle class. The DFL’s last centrists have either died or switched parties. Gov. Dayton and President Obama are leading the way in making them politically irrelevant.

UPDATE: All 89 DFL legislators (57 in the House & 32 in the Senate) voted against the GOP tax cuts.

Eugene Robinson’s latest article is proof that there aren’t many great strategists left in the Democratic Party. A topnotch political strategist wouldn’t say “In the two weeks since, Trump has only piled outrage upon outrage, as far as progressives are concerned. He took the first steps toward building his ridiculous wall along the southern border, but with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, not Mexico’s. He squelched government experts who work on climate change. He weakened the Affordable Care Act in the hope that it would begin to collapse, which would make it easier for Congress to kill it.”

That’s because they’d know that the ACA started collapsing a year ago. Its collapse is inevitable because it’s terrible legislation. A relatively healthy person is better off not buying insurance because the ACA’s out-of-pocket expenses (premiums plus deductibles) in some states are so high that families are better off paying the penalty rather than buying the insurance. As I’ve written before, the ACA is catastrophic coverage at Cadillac plan prices.

And I can’t help thinking back to 2009. Republicans made an all-out effort to stop the Affordable Care Act. Their motives were purely political; some GOP senators railed against policies they had favored in the past. Ultimately, they failed.  Obamacare became law.

But this losing battle gave tremendous energy and passion to the tea party movement — which propelled Republicans to a sweeping victory in the 2010 midterm election. It is hard not to see an analogous situation on the Democratic side right now.

Democrats haven’t learned the TEA Party lesson, which is that politicians better listen to We The People or else. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi didn’t listen to people and lost 12 seats and 63 seats respectively. Chuck Schumer isn’t listening to the people, either. The chances of Democrats picking up Senate seats is remote at best.

Democrats cannot stop Gorsuch from being confirmed. But they can hearten and animate the party’s base by fighting this nomination tooth and nail, even if it means giving up some of the backslapping comity of the Senate cloakroom. They can inspire grass-roots activists to fight just as hard to win back state legislatures and governorships. They can help make 2018 a Democratic year.

This is delusional thinking. Democrats will lose more governorships and legislative seats because they’re owned by special interests. They haven’t talked about doing what’s best for the people. President Trump constantly talks about putting people first. Democrats reflexively side with environmental activists, which has alienated blue collar union rank-and-file.

Democrats in Illinois haven’t pressured Rahm Emanuel to actually crack down on Chicago’s crime-infested streets. New York City’s City Council hasn’t blasted Bill De Blasio’s sanctuary city policies. In both cities, people don’t feel safe. Former President Obama insisted that terrorism wasn’t a threat while ISIS killed people in shopping malls and at Christmas parties. The Obama administration insisted, too, that the borders were secured. Voters knew that wasn’t true.

Voters won’t vote for the party that won’t protect them. Right now, people don’t trust Democrats to handle the basic government functions. Until that happens, people won’t trust Democrats.

The Democratic Party of Hubert Humphrey, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Scoop Jackson is ancient history. The Democratic Party of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, aka The One-Man Pocket Veto, and (especially) Chuck Schumer can be described succinctly. They party of Obama, Reid and Schumer is all obstruction, all the time.

This article highlights just how unhinged today’s Democratic Party is. The article opens by saying “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Monday predicted that Democrats would launch a filibuster against whoever President Trump picks for the Supreme Court. ‘This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,’ Merkley told Politico. ‘We will use every lever in our power to stop this. … I will definitely object to a simple majority.'”

This isn’t surprising. Democrats are upset because they thought they’d get former President Obama’s third term. They thought they’d win back the majority in the Senate, too, so they could confirm lots of liberal justices. Instead, they nominated a corrupt politician who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead, they gained 2 seats in the Senate when they needed 5.

The important point, though, is that today’s Democratic Party isn’t interested in being public servants who listen to their constituents. Today’s Democratic Party isn’t interested in putting America first. Today’s Democratic Party is mostly about complaining when they don’t get their way. Today’s Democratic Party is about obstruction when people say no to their ideological wish list.

Simply put, Sen. Merkley has passionately and emphatically stated that his fidelity is to the Democratic Party, not the people he was elected to represent or the Constitution he swore an oath to defend.

The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), which has ties to McConnell, quickly sent out emails questioning whether the red-state Democrats would back Merkley’s filibuster.

Of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the group said: “Will he stand with the people of his state who overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump to be able to pick a Supreme Court nominee? Or will he stand with [Sens.] Elizabeth Warren [Mass.], Bernie Sanders [Vt.], and the rest of the Democratic caucus that only cares about its far left base of permanent protesters?”

If Democrats want to filibuster President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, let them. That will expose them as obstructionists who obstruct for the sake of appeasing their political base. Democrats don’t care about this:

Democrats only care about maintaining power.

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