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It’s official. Jim Newberger made it official by announcing his candidacy for the US Senate seat currently held by Amy Klobuchar. There’s no doubt that the media wing of the DFL, aka the Twin Cities Media, will do their best to a) ignore Rep. Newberger and b)promote Sen. Klobuchar’s ‘bipartisan’ accomplishments.

I’ll cut to the chase on this. Sen. Klobuchar’s bipartisan accomplishments are virtually non-existent in terms of major legislation. When it comes to major legislation, Ms. Klobuchar is as partisan as Sen. Franken. Not that she’ll answer this question but I’ll ask it anyway. What has Sen. Klobuchar done to create new, high-paying mining jobs? Here’s another question: Has Sen. Klobuchar fought to increase Minnesota’s pipeline capacity?

The point behind these questions is that Sen. Klobuchar is typical cookie-cutter Metrocrat. She’s never disagreed with Twin Cities environmental activists. The other point behind this is that she’ll never do anything substantive to create lots of high-paying jobs.

Since the start of the Trump administration, she’s voted with Chuck Schumer 100% of the time. She’s voted against every pro-growth economic policy that Republicans have proposed. Before Harry Reid retired, she voted with him 95+ % of the time on major legislation. When Sen. Reid took to the Senate floor to lie about Mitt Romney, a flawed candidate but a thoroughly decent man, Sen. Klobuchar didn’t do a thing to hold Sen. Reid accountable.

Isn’t it interesting that Sen. Klobuchar brags about holding big businesses accountable but she won’t utter a peep when the biggest hitters in her own party lie while disparaging others? There’s no doubt that the Twin Cities Media will protect Sen. Klobuchar from these charges. The question is whether the people will pretend not to notice that Sen. Klobuchar isn’t the moderate she claims to be.

The good news for Minnesotans is that Jim Newberger is a serious legislator that isn’t afraid to tackle the biggest issues. When the North Star Sierra Club announced it would attempt to shut down the Sherco power plants, Jim Newberger didn’t just complain about the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s decision to shut those power plants without a plan to replace them. Jim Newberger got a bill signed into law. Newberger “partnered with Democrats and Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration to give legislative permission for Xcel Energy to convert a coal plant in Sherburne County into a natural gas and renewable energy plant. Dayton, a Democrat, signed the measure into law this year.”

The Sierra Club wanted to shut the Sherco power plants down, which would’ve crippled energy production for Minnesota. Jim Newberger went to work to find a substantive solution. Meanwhile, Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken won the Sierra Club’s support:

Sierra Club has launched a statewide advertising campaign in Minnesota thanking Senators Franken and Klobuchar for sponsoring the “American Energy Innovation Act,” a bill which makes ambitious yet achievable reductions in carbon pollution, repeals centuries-old oil subsidies, and begins to level the playing field for renewable sources of energy. Senators Franken and Klobuchar were key sponsors of the bill, and were joined by many of their Independent and Democratic colleagues in championing the legislation.

In short, Jim Newberger fought for his constituents and energy independence. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken fought for their special interest contributors.

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Don Davis’ article about the Thursday night vote on health care contains quotes from Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar. Specifically, both senators talk about the importance of bipartisanship.

For instance, Sen. Franken said “Tonight’s vote will go down in the history books. But we can’t rest easy; the fight is far from over. My message to Republicans is come back to the table … and work with us in a bipartisan way to improve health care for all Americans. If we want to do this the right way, it’s the only path forward.”

Sen. Franken, the Senate just debated health care. Lots of amendments were offered. Why didn’t you offer amendments to improve the bill? It isn’t like you didn’t have the opportunity. Was it because you didn’t want to defend your proposals on the Senate floor? It’s one thing to insist on bipartisanship. It’s another to not offer any substantive amendments that would fix the ACA.

By comparison, Sen. Klobuchar is quoted as saying “Time to work across the aisle…” Again, Sen. Klobuchar didn’t offer any substantive amendments. She just spewed happy talk about working across the aisle. That sounds nice but it isn’t a solution. Further, it was the Democrats’ ideas that created this crisis. At least she didn’t celebrate like Sen. Franken:

While Americans suffer from limited options and high prices, Sen. Franken and Sen. Warren celebrated. Left unanswered in all this is a simple question that the MSM intentionally hasn’t asked. When iPads first hit the stores, they flew off the shelves. When Microsoft Office first came out, it flew off the shelves. When FedEx first opened, it didn’t take long for Fred Smith to become a billionaire. Here’s the unasked question that Democrats haven’t answered: if Obamacare policies are so good, why is the individual mandate required to get people to buy health insurance policies? Is it because the product stinks? Is it because the product’s price is too expensive?

Democrats have frequently said that the ACA “isn’t perfect.” (That’s understatement.) They’re pretending that it’s only 1-2 minor tweaks away from being a hot-selling commodity. It isn’t. It’s a total mess. Democrats have said that insurance companies are bailing from the exchanges because Republicans are trying to destabilize them. They’re bailing because they’re losing tens of millions of dollars. Thursday night, I sent this constituent email to Sen. Klobuchar:

Sen. Klobuchar, I wish I could say I was surprised that you voted against each Republican health care reform proposal. Unfortunately, your votes were entirely predictable.

On Facebook, you said “We can still put aside partisanship and instead work together on bipartisan solutions that will help every American. That’s utterly insulting. When Democrats passed the ACA, Democrats displayed nothing but partisanship. In fact, Harry Reid didn’t allow Republican amendments to the bill. At the time, I don’t remember you criticizing Sen. Reid for this blatant act of partisanship. Now that Obamacare is a failure and insurance companies are either pulling out of the exchanges or they’re demanding huge premium increases, we’re being told that bipartisanship is a must.

Why do I think that talk of bipartisanship will disappear the minute Democrats retake the majority? Honestly, I don’t care if there’s bipartisanship if either party gets this reform right. Right now, I’ve seen that the Democrats’ plan has failed pretty much everyone except those with pre-existing conditions.

It’s time you admitted that your ideas failed. Further, it’s time for you to move in the Republicans’ direction to solve this crisis. That means voting for Republican ideas. The ACA has caused dramatic spikes in premiums while barely increasing the number of people insured.

In short, you’ve failed. It’s time for you to vote with Republicans. Period.

In summarization, the Democrats’ plan is failing. That’s because Democrats didn’t listen to the consumer on what the consumers wanted. Instead, Democrats told their constituents what they’d be forced into getting. Predictably, that top-down approach has failed. People want to have options. The ACA hasn’t given people the options that they’ve had prior to the ACA.

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This article is rich in reporting Sen. Franken’s and Sen. Klobuchar’s hypocrisy. It quotes Sen. Klobuchar as saying “We can still stop this bill. We can still put aside partisanship and instead work together on bipartisan solutions that will help every American.”

When the ACA was passed, Sen. Klobuchar didn’t criticize Sen. Reid for his pushing the ACA through with only Democrat votes. In fact, Sen. Klobuchar criticized Republicans for not supporting the ACA. Now that it’s a disaster and insurance companies are either pulling out of the exchanges or demanding gigantic premium increases, Sen. Klobuchar insists that senators work together.

Not to be outdone, Sen. Franken is also insisting on bipartisanship, saying “I strongly urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to back off this plan, because there’s still time to come to the table and work with Democrats on real solutions that improve people’s health care. Let’s have an open, bipartisan process under regular order, where we can work together on fixing the Affordable Care Act and do the things the American people actually sent us here to do: expand coverage, lower costs, and improve care.”

Sen. Franken voted for this disaster, too. The truth is that Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted to create this disaster. Now they want Republicans to vote with them on tinkering around the edges of the ACA so that they can blame Republicans. At this point, Republicans should drop ACA reform. Let Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar explain why Minnesotans’ premiums continue going up by thousands of dollars each year.

Republicans should be blamed for not fixing the ACA, though it’s worth noting that it’s virtually impossible to repeal an entitlement. Democrats, however, should be mocked mercilessly for creating this disaster. They inherited a system most people were satisfied with. Democrats were the ones who took a wrecking ball to that system. Thanks to Democrats, Minnesotans’ health insurance premiums have increased by thousands of dollars each year for the past few years.

Sen. Klobuchar, you created this monstrosity that’s hurting Minnesota’s families. Whenever your name is mentioned, here’s hoping you’re forever linked with that disaster.

Minnesota’s senators voted against a proposal that would’ve increased competition on health insurance when they voted against the Cruz Amendment to the Senate health care bill. Only a pair of idiots would’ve voted against the provision, which would’ve let “insurers to sell stripped-down health plans, without maternity care or other benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, if they also sold plans that included such benefits.”

Actually, that isn’t fair; 55 other idiots voted against that provision.

According to this article, “The provision — a version of the Consumer Freedom Option pushed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz — would give insurers more flexibility in the plans they offer in the individual market. It would allow those that sell Obamacare policies to also offer plans that don’t adhere to all of the law’s rules, including those that protect people with pre-existing conditions. In an unusual joint effort, the nation’s two major insurer lobbying groups wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer to say they “strongly oppose” the provision. The amendment was included in a revised version of the plan unveiled on Thursday.”

The amendment would’ve let insurance companies sell policies across state lines, something that insurance company lobbyists passionately oppose. The last thing they want is competition from other companies. Consumers, however, love tons of competition. That’s what drives premiums down.

Both Franken and Klobuchar support the public option, which is essentially single-payer health care. I’d love hearing Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar explain why they support single-payer but oppose private insurers selling insurance policies across state lines. It’s apparent that Democrats think that government will do right by consumers but that insurance companies will shaft consumers.

The question I haven’t heard answered is why they think that. Haven’t Democrats seen corrupt VA bureaucrats cook the books in order to ‘earn’ bonuses? Isn’t that just as corrupt as they accuse insurance companies of being?

Democrats don’t trust insurance companies but they trust government. That’s stupid. I don’t trust either the government or the insurance companies. Why should I? This week, Democrats tried telling the American people that Democrats were on their side. Three days later, they voted against a provision that would’ve helped families by lowering health insurance premiums by increasing competition amongst health insurance companies.

This is something that Republicans should repeat constantly:

The proposed BRCA is a patient-centered, free-market approach that will cut the deficit, lower premiums and increase options. The bill will expand tax-free health savings accounts, give more funding control back to the states, protect pre-existing conditions, and allocate $45 billion to combat the opioid epidemic.

Let the world know that Democrats constantly voted against lower premiums and more options. Let the world know that Democrats voted for less competition, higher premiums and excessive government control. Let the world know that Democrats voted against families, too.

That isn’t standing with families. That’s standing against them. Shame on Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar. They’re shameful frauds.

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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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This MinnPost article poses the hypothetical question of whether Sen. Klobuchar will run for governor in 2018 rather than run for re-election to the US Senate. That’s a good question.

The article describes Sen. Klobuchar as “a political heavyweight”, which is fair considering the fact that she’s won her Senate races fairly handily. I don’t know, though, that she’s unbeatable. In the Senate, she’s co-sponsored lots of meaningless bills with Republicans. So what? She hasn’t distinguished herself as a leader on the biggest issues of the day. In fact, she’s avoided the toughest issues of the day.

There’s another consideration that Democrats haven’t talked about, which is that 2018 promises to be a difficult year for Democrats. There’s a definite possibility that Republicans could win enough seats in 2018 to have a filibuster-proof majority in 2019. If that happens, Sen. Klobuchar’s presidential ambitions immediately disappear forever. I can’t picture Sen. Schumer not pressuring Sen. Klobuchar to run for re-election to prevent that filibuster-proof GOP majority.

I don’t doubt that DFL readers of LFR are questioning my implication that a Republican would win that seat if Sen. Klobuchar ran for governor. That’s fair. Still, if Klobuchar ran for governor, I’d bet big money that a Republican like Pete Hegseth would jump in and defeat the DFL-endorsed candidate fairly handily.

Klobuchar could bridge Minnesota’s rural-urban divide: One of the loudest messages of the 2016 election is that many rural residents don’t feel understood or heard by the political establishments in Washington and St. Paul. In particular, many rural residents were upset by the costs of health care.

Sen. Klobuchar voted for the ACA, which means she’s partially to blame for Minnesota’s skyrocketing premiums and expensive premiums. It’s impossible to vote for that disaster, then insist that you’re blameless in the matter.

The only way she’d have credibility is if she voted with Republicans to repeal and replace the ACA. If she did that, the DFL base would treat her like she’d just proposed building a coal-fired power plant in Minneapolis.

Sen. Klobuchar is a formidable opponent. Still, I don’t want Republicans to think that she’s unstoppable. When she ran in 2006 and 2012, she ran in very pro-Democrat elections. That won’t be the situation in 2018. Further, she was protected by the media from scrutiny. While it’s true that the Twin Cities media will still protect ‘St. Amy of Hennepin County’, Sen. Klobuchar’s nickname, Minnesotans are in a totally different mindset.

I still find it difficult to believe she’ll give up her cushy Senate seat to run for governor.

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Now that Resolution 54 has been defeated and labor leaders are experiencing a mini-Kumbaya moment, it’s time to examine what the Iron Range won yesterday. I’ll return to that in a bit but it’s important to set this up properly.

Rick Nolan apparently gave a speech that set the mood for the vote, saying “Nobody loves the environment more than the Rangers. I don’t want to see the party take a stance against mining or agriculture or manufacturing.”

What’s important to notice about Saturday, though, is that that was a show vote. In yesterday’s setting, Democrats from rural Minnesota had a voice. All parts of the state had a voice. That dynamic changes dramatically in January. Does anyone seriously think that the Sierra Club will suddenly stop demagoguing “sulfide mining”? Will the MCEA stop filing lawsuits aimed at killing PolyMet? Will Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission stop meddling in pipeline construction projects?

The answer to each of those questions is an emphatic ‘NO!’

Most importantly, it isn’t likely that Gov. Dayton’s administration will grant PolyMet the permits it needs so PolyMet can start growing the Iron Range’s economy. The final analysis of Saturday’s vote is this: while Environmental Caucus Chair Veda Kanitz and her supporters claim to have extended an olive branch to the Iron Range yesterday, it isn’t likely that environmental activist organizations like the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, MCEA and Conservation Minnesota will suddenly start fighting fair.

These organizations aren’t mainstream organizations. They’ve got an anti-mining, anti-fossil fuel agenda. It’s worth noting that the DFL, as a political party, still supports shifting to renewable energy. Renewable energy won’t sustain mining operations.

Notice whose names are missing in this paragraph:

While tabling the resolution gained momentum, an impassioned Congressman Rick Nolan, DFL-Crosby, roused the crowd in the auditorium with a plea to truly unite by not taking a stance against the issue. Nolan was speaking on behalf of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Al Franken and Congressman Tim Walz.

Missing from that paragraph are Mark Dayton and Tina Flint-Smith. Their silence is deafening.

The Iron Range won a minor skirmish yesterday. The thrill of that victory will soon fade. Organizations like the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, MCEA and Conservation Minnesota are in this for the long haul. Celebrate now because the battle is just starting.

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If anyone knows the definition of opportunity costs, it’s economists and accountants. Opportunity costs are defined as “the money or other benefits lost when pursuing a particular course of action instead of a mutually-exclusive alternative.” The opportunity costs of MNsure and the ACA, aka Obamacare, are staggering compared with what we could’ve had had Democrats not shut Republicans out of the process.

Whether we’re talking about MNsure’s skyrocketing health insurance premiums or the ACA’s unaffordable deductibles or the shrinking networks of MNsure and the ACA, the opportunity costs are disgusting when compared with the system Minnesotans established years ago. The federal government should’ve moved in Minnesota’s direction. Minnesota shouldn’t have moved in President Obama’s direction. The truth is that Minnesota’s system wasn’t broken. DFL politicians like Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar, then-House Speaker Thissen, State Sen. Bakk and Sen. Lourey treated it like it was dysfunctional.

Too often, the system currently in place is expensive. Prior to the ACA, and directly thanks to Minnesota’s high-risk pool, known as MCHA, aka the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, 93% of Minnesotans were insured. Further, Minnesota’s premiums were some of the lowest premiums in the nation. Finally, it’s noteworthy that half of the people who weren’t insured were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Had those people bought insurance, Minnesota’s uninsured rate would’ve been 3.6% in 2007.

Instead, Gov. Dayton and the DFL became cheerleaders for the ACA, implementing it in 2013. Since then, health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, deductibles have went from being a little high to being prohibitively expensive. At this point, these deductibles make insurance too expensive to use. The system created by President Obama, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Klobuchar, Sen. Franken, State Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen is nearing a financial meltdown. Because of this crisis, Gov. Dayton has issued a proposal that’s designed to win votes, not solve the health care crisis he helped create. Here’s part of his fact sheet:

Why Provide Rebates for Healthcare Premiums?

  1. Any Minnesotan purchasing coverage on the individual market should first go to MNsure to confirm whether they are eligible for federal tax credits
  2. There are 123,000 Minnesotans expected to purchase health coverage on the individual market in 2017, who are not eligible for federal tax credits because of their income
  3. These individuals and families are unfairly shouldering the burden of the health insurers’ 50 percent to 66 percent premium increases in 2017

That’s insulting. These individuals are unfairly shouldering the burden that politicians created. The politicians created a system that was unsustainable. Republicans frequently predicted this outcome. Democrats frequently insisted that Republicans didn’t know what they were talking about. In this instance, reality won. The Republicans’ predictions were right.

What idiot couldn’t predict that young healthy people making modest incomes wouldn’t purchase expensive health insurance policies? It’s the cost-effective decision to make. What idiot couldn’t predict that people with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t be the first to buy health insurance?

Another statement on Gov. Dayton’s fact sheet says “Overall, the Governor’s rebate reduces the 2017 rate increases from an average 55 percent increase to a 16 percent increase.” Later in the fact sheet, it says “he one-time 25 percent health insurance premium rebate would be financed with the approximately $313 million which is scheduled to be added to the existing $1.9 billion Budget Reserves this December.” In other words, President Obama, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar, State Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen demolished a health care system that was working but Minnesotans are paying high taxes to pay for the DFL’s disaster.

What’s worse is that Gov. Dayton’s plan doesn’t fix anything. It’s a stop-gap measure that won’t fix all the things that are wrong with the ACA. Only Chairman Davids’ plan does that.

The DFL doesn’t fix problems. It only creates them, then complains when Republicans don’t help them fix the messes the DFL created. A vote for a DFL legislator is a vote for more problems. A vote for a Republican legislator is a vote for solving problems or a vote for getting it right the first time. The choice is simple.

According to this article, ISIS is taking credit for the stabbing spree at Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud.

This morning, they issued this statement, saying “The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”

ISIS wasn’t the only person issuing a statement Sunday morning. US Sen. Klobuchar issued a statement, saying in part “Everyone should feel safe in their community, whether they’re at school or a movie theater or a shopping mall. Last night that feeling of safety was greatly shaken when an assailant stabbed eight people at the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud. I have visited the mall many times, and I can’t imagine the horror experienced by those visiting and working there. My heart goes out to the victims and all those who were there last night.”

Noticeably missing from Sen. Klobuchar’s statement was a call for knife control legislation. Noticeably missing, too, from Sen. Klobuchar’s statement was her admitting that she supported President Obama’s Iran deal, which transferred $150,000,000,000 to the biggest state sponsor of terrorism.

It’s fitting to care about those who were attacked at Crossroads Mall last night. I don’t have a problem with that. I just wish she was as passionate about stopping terrorists before they commit acts of terrorism. I’d appreciate it, too, if Sen. Klobuchar wasn’t intent on inviting more terrorists into Minnesota:

MONTAGNE: Now, in a letter to the president earlier this year, you joined 13 other senators and cited a number suggested for the U.S. by a major coalition of U.S. refugee groups, 65,000 Syrian refugees. That was their number. That would be a dramatic increase. Do you think that’s a realistic number?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, the U.S., since we sent the letter, has agreed to increase from the around 1,000 mark to 5 to 8,000. And Senator Durbin and I, who led the letter, see this as a positive sign and a good beginning. We’re talking about it over a period of time, the 65,000. And it is actually 50 percent of what the U.N. commission on refugees suggested that we take. That’s usually the ballpark of what our country does.

What type of idiot invites more potential terrorists into Minnesota? Sen. Klobuchar later said that “we have a very intense screening process for these Syrian refugees.”

I wrote here that “Nicholas Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, admitted ‘the intelligence that we have of this particular conflict zone is not as rich as we would like it to be.'”

Now that ISIS has infiltrated Minnesota and the United States, it would probably be wise to shut down the refugee resettlement program for at least a year.

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When KSTP’s Tom Hauser interviewed Sen. Klobuchar, (DFL-MN), Sunday morning, they discussed President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Like an actress reading from a script, Sen. Klobuchar said that Judge Garland is a moderate. That term is interesting because it’s empty. Being the inquisitive type, I sent Sen. Klobuchar a message for clarification. It read “Sen. Klobuchar, you told Tom Hauser that Judge Garland is a moderate. I understand what a political moderate is but I don’t know what a judicial moderate is. I’d appreciate it if you’d explain what your definition of a judicial moderate is. Further, if Judge Garland is a moderate, does that mean Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan are radicals or ideologues? I’d appreciate a quick, substantive reply.”

Sen. Klobuchar’s auto-response said “Thank you for taking the time to e-mail me. This is a confirmation that we have received your message. One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business on behalf of the people of our state. Please continue to visit my website at http://www.klobuchar.senate.gov to follow what I am working on, both in Washington and Minnesota. It is frequently updated with current news and events regarding my work in the U.S. Senate. Additionally, many constituents ask about tracking the progress of legislation. One useful tool is to regularly check my website. Another resource I recommend is the Library of Congress legislative information website, http://thomas.loc.gov. I hope you find this information helpful. – Amy”

Since Sen. Klobuchar hasn’t explained what a judicial moderate is yet, I’ll rely on something that Dennis Prager wrote about Judge Garland:

In a column in The Wall Street Journal, Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, wrote that Garland is so anti-small business and so pro-big labor, that “This is the first time in the NFIB’s 73-year-history that we will weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee.”

What worries the NFIB, she explains, is that “in 16 major labor decisions of Judge Garland’s that we examined, he ruled 16-0 in favor of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board).”

Apparently, a judicial moderate sides with Big Labor 100% of the time. Forgive me if I don’t agree that that’s the definition of a moderate. Forgive me if I think that sounds more like a hardline leftist ideologue. Then there’s this:

Tom Goldstein wrote in the SCOTUSblog that Garland favors deferring to the decision-makers in agencies. “In a dozen close cases in which the court divided, he sided with the agency every time.”

Again, that sounds more like the definition of a leftist ideologue. It doesn’t sound like a centrist/moderate. This is worth checking out, too:

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