Archive for the ‘Al Franken’ Category
Now that President Trump has picked Judge Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, Democrats face a difficult decision. Within their meeting rooms, they’re asking whether they should fight President Trump’s pick or whether they should try to push Judge Gorsuch enough to please their special interest puppeteers.
It isn’t difficult to figure out which camp Sen. Franken is in. In his statement after the announcement, Sen. Franken said “Long before his election, President Trump promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, who held a deeply conservative view of the Constitution and the Court. In the coming weeks, I will be closely examining Neil Gorsuch’s background, but I have serious concerns about his judicial philosophy-especially on issues like access to justice, corporate accountability, workers’ rights, and women’s health. I was hopeful that the President would have selected someone like Merrick Garland, a consensus candidate lauded by the same Republicans who ultimately refused to hold a hearing on him for nearly a year.”
I wish someone would explain to Sen. Franken that Supreme Court justices aren’t supposed to be legislators. That’s his job, at least for a little while longer. Another perspective is whether Democrats should push Judge Gorsuch a little before caving.
That’s apparently what Sen. Durbin is thinking:
Only 12 days into this administration, we’ve already seen unlawful executive orders blocked by a federal court, and the unprecedented dismissal of an Attorney General for disagreeing with the president. I believe the independence of our judicial system, and especially the Supreme Court, is more critical now than at any time in recent history. That is the context in which I will review this nomination.
I will meet with Judge Gorsuch and support a hearing and a vote for him — both of which were denied to an eminently qualified nominee presented by President Obama. The American people need to know what they can expect from this nominee, and that he will protect our fundamental constitutional rights on issues like voting rights, immigration, privacy, and women’s health. In recent years, the court’s decisions have shifted dramatically toward big money corporate interests at the expense of American workers and small businesses — we need a Court that is on the side of Main Street, not Wall Street. This Supreme Court seat does not belong to President Trump or to any political party. It belongs to the American people, and I will work to make sure their voices are heard in this debate.
This article suggests that Democrats will back off. I’ll believe it when I see it.
This article contains a little wishful thinking. Sen. Franken told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that “no Democrat will vote to confirm Betsy DeVos” and that “Democrats were actively looking for Republicans to vote against her.”
That’s wishful thinking and then some. There isn’t a chance that Republicans will vote against an education secretary that’s a major advocate for school choice. Further, I’m more than a little skeptical that all Democrats will vote against DeVos.
If all 48 Democrats and independents vote against school choice, Republicans will hang that around their necks in 2018. If Democrats play their obstructionist card on DeVos, they’ll get painted as the obstructionists that they are.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in full pander mode to the Democrats’ special interest allies, saying “The President’s decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child who has benefitted from the public education system in this country. Public education has lifted millions out of poverty, has put millions in good paying jobs, and has been the launching pad for people who went on to cure disease and to create inventions that have changed our society for the better.”
What Sen. Schumer omitted is that public schools have destroyed lots of young people’s lives while demolishing their potential. Then he said this:
Betsy DeVos would single-handedly decimate our public education system if she were confirmed. Her plan to privatize education would deprive students from a good public education, while helping students from wealthy families get another leg up. It would deprive teachers of a decent salary, and it would make it harder for parents to get a good education for their kids.
That’s more than a little over-the-top. That’s bordering on outright lying. Nobody thinks that a cabinet secretary can do all that without help from Congress, the Senate, the President and state legislatures.
One of the great things about President-Elect Trump’s cabinet picks is that it’s forcing Democrats to defend the indefensible. Contained in this article is something that’s totally black-white.
The opening paragraph states “Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department, stood firm about her long held beliefs that parents, not the government, should be able to choose where to send children to school, pledging Tuesday to push voucher programs should she be confirmed to lead the nation’s education system.”
Only a union member would disagree with that statement. Parents should have the right to pick the schools their children attend. As for those defending the failed status quo in education, which is what the Democrats are doing, check out Randi Weingarten’s statement about Mrs. DeVos. I don’t think that unhinged is a strong enough word. Weingarten said “She has no connections to public schools,” Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federal of Teachers, told CNN on Tuesday. “What she wants to do is actually drain the public system of dollars it desperately needs.”
Al Franken’s round of questioning was what you’d expect from a political hack like him. This video showed that he was a political hack with a pre-orchestrated script to follow:
Then there’s this:
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, questioned whether DeVos has the “breadth and depth” of knowledge to serve as education secretary. Franken started his turn at questioning by asking DeVos whether she believes in judging children on growth or proficiency. DeVos stumbled on the question and seemingly didn’t know that this was a debate within the education community. “It surprises me that you don’t know this issue,” Franken said, later adding that he is, in fact, “not that surprised that you don’t know this issue.”
Franken then turned to DeVos’ donation to Focus on the Family, an organization that believes conversion therapy for LGBT. Franken directly asked DeVos whether she “still believes” in conversion therapy. “I have never believed in that,” DeVos said, adding, “I fully embrace equality.”
Let’s inventory Franken’s questioning. First, he insisted that the expert wasn’t an expert because she didn’t give into his liberal groupthink. Next, he insults Mrs. DeVos for not being qualified. Finally, Sen. Franken assumed that Mrs. DeVos believed something because she’s a devout Christian.
That’s fair game with Democrats like Sen. Franken. It’s considered bigotry amongst civilized, thoughtful people. Apparently, Sen. Franken isn’t a civilized, thoughtful person. Sen. Franken, like other Democrats, are guilt-by-association people. Check this article out:
DeVos’s stance on LGBT rights is not known—she has declined to comment ahead of the confirmation hearings—but there are, to put it mildly, reasons for concern.
The DeVos family has been the primary funder of some of the most anti-LGBT organizations in the country, to the tune of more than $200 million. Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos, was one of the first mega-funders of the Christian right in the 1970s, and his foundation is now a fixture at The Gathering, the Woodstock of Christian right funders, and a major funder of Focus on the Family. The DeVos Center for Religion and Society at the Heritage Foundation has promoted a quasi-theocratic worldview. And Betsy DeVos’s father, Edgar Prince, was a founder of the Family Research Council.
That’s right. Admit that they don’t know her position on something. Then, in the next breath, attack her because she’s related. Don’t find out for yourself. Just make unsubstantiated assumptions.
Al Franken’s attempt to sink Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as the 84th Attorney General of the United States failed. It failed partly because Sen. Franken is a buffoon. It failed partly because Sen. Franken essentially called Sen. Sessions a liar. Mostly, though, Sen. Franken failed because he attacked Sen. Sessions by basing his questions on an op-ed written by an attorney named Gerald Hebert. Sen. Cruz highlighted the problem with that during his time on the clock.
Sen. Cruz started by saying “It is unfortunate to see members of this body impugn the integrity of another senator with whom we’ve served for years. It is particularly unfortunate when that attack is not backed up by the facts. Sen. Franken based his attack on an op-ed by an attorney Gerald Hebert. There is an irony in relying on Mr. Hebert because, as you well know, in 1986 during your confirmation hearing, Mr. Hebert testified then and attacked you then, making false charges against you then and, indeed, I would note that, after the 1986 hearing, two days later, Mr. Hebert was forced to recant his testimony to say that he’d given false testimony and to apologize for giving false testimony and to say “I apologize for any inconvenience I might have caused Mr. Sessions or this committee.”
Here’s the video of Sen. Franken accusing Sen. Sessions of lying:
Here’s the video of Sen. Cruz utterly dissecting Sen. Franken’s attacks:
Sen. Franken is a disgusting excuse for a human being. As a senator, he’s a joke. Personally, I’d rate him and Gov. Dayton as the worst senators in Minnesota’s history.
I’d finally add that Sen. Sessions will fly through confirmation. The hype surrounding Sen. Sessions’ confirmation has disappeared.
Al Franken’s response to Donald Trump’s ‘Argument for America’ ad is beyond reprehensible. It’s disgustingly dishonest. According to this article, Sen. Franken thinks that Donald Trump’s ad is anti-Semitic. It isn’t. It’s a page out of the Democrats’ dog-whistle playbook.
Here’s the complete transcript of Trump’s ‘Argument for America’ ad:
This is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American people. The Establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. Those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind. The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group that is responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry. The political Establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries all around the world. As the global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities. The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you. The only force strong enough to save our country is us. The only people brave enough to vote out this corrupt establishment is you, the American people. I’m doing this for the American people and the movement and we will take back this country for you and we will make America great again.
I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued this statement:
That’s BS. Some of the “images” in Trump’s ad were of Mrs. Clinton, Janet Yellen, the leaders of the G-8 nations and President Obama. Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros also appeared in the ad. Though they are Jewish, it’s difficult to think of Soros and Blankfein as Jewish. Soros is thought of as the leader of the open borders movement. Meanwhile, Blankfein is known mostly as the CEO for Goldman Sachs.
Thankfully, the Trump campaign responded:
Jason Greenblatt, who co-chair’s Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, accused the ADL of engaging in partisan politics in a message to The Huffington Post. “The ADL should focus on real anti-Semitism and hatred, and not try to find any where none exist,” the statement said. “I am offended and concerned that an institution such as the ADL would involve itself in partisan politics instead of focusing on its important mission.
“Mr. Trump and his campaign have laid out important ideas, a vision and critical policies for our country. The suggestion that the ad is anything else is completely false and uncalled for. Mr. Trump’s message and all of the behavior that I have witnessed over the two decades that I have known him have consistently been pro-Jewish and pro-Israel and accusations otherwise are completely off-base.”
Franken should focus on being a real senator instead of being one of the most dishonest partisans in DC.
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?
- Any Minnesotan purchasing coverage on the individual market should first go to MNsure to confirm whether they are eligible for federal tax credits
- 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
- 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.
It figures that E-Democracy is promoting Al Franken to be Hillary’s running mate. A member of E-Democracy appears to have posted this link of a Politico article, which is accompanied by this commentary “This is not a joke: Hillary needs someone like Franken if she’s going to beat Trump. This is not a joke. Senator Al Franken should be the Democratic Party’s
choice for vice president.”
Sen. Franken is a joke. The thought of Franken being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office will frighten anyone. That aside, it’s entirely fitting. Yesterday, FBI Director Comey called Hillary a liar without using that exact language. Meanwhile, Franken wrote a book about Hillary in 2003. It’s titled “Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.”
The book wasn’t intended to be about Hillary. It’s just that it fits perfectly. In his book, Franken made lots of dishonest statements. Here’s the fact-check of one of Franken’s dishonest accusations. In other words, Hillary lies and Franken swears to it. What could be more fitting from the Democrats’ presidential ticket?
Greg Gutfeld has a theory about Orlando. Unfortunately, it’s a depressing theory. The silver lining to society’s dark cloud is that it’s possible, albeit a longshot, to change things.
The turning point will happen when we answer some important questions in unison. Right now, we’re nowhere close to that point. Don’t think in-the-next-town-over distant. I’m thinking the-next-solar-system-over-then-hang-a-left distant. Gutfeld lays it out with this illustration: “We quarrel about the quarrel. We cannot agree on the fight. And therefore we cannot begin to fight. Instead, we are like that proverbial snake that devours its own tail. Except, we think it’s sushi. But it’s blowfish. You get the idea. We’re dead.”
Then Mr. Gutfeld applies that illustration to the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, saying “How can America defeat ISIS if we have vocal factions believing that we are worse? How can we fight the enemy if a large portion of our population thinks an inanimate object, a gun, caused Orlando?”
Mr. Gutfeld’s logic is indisputable. Yesterday in the Senate, they debated 4 gun control bills. Each bill predictably failed on (more-or-less) party line votes. Last night, I wrote this article to highlight how ideologically blind the Left is about guns and terrorism. In the article, I quote Sen. Franken as saying “I will continue to do everything I can to disarm hate and get these measures passed into law despite today’s setback.” I reject Sen. Franken’s belief that he’s done everything he could to “disarm hate” because he hasn’t done a thing to annihilate ISIS. Greg Gutfeld has another illustration that might break the logjam:
As I said earlier, Dr. Gutfeld’s logic is indisputably correct. Therein lies the bigger problem. The first problem identified is an identification problem: was Orlando a gun problem or a terrorist problem? That’s the first problem but yesterday’s Senate votes expose the bigger problem. It’s impossible to persuade people who don’t apply logic in their decision-making. Picture this hypothetical conversation:
FBI Agent: Did the terrorist have a gun?
Night Club Witness: Al-Qa’ida is on the run. GM is alive but bin Laden is dead.
FBI Agent: Sir, the terrorist called 9-1-1 and pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Night Club Witness: We need more gun control laws.
FBI Agent (getting impatient): Sir, witnesses said the terrorist used an assault rifle. Can you confirm that?
Night Club Witness: The Religious Right is responsible for all the hate speech.
FBI Agent: Thanks for your time.
Here’s the next logical question for gun grabbers: What’s the right number of gun control laws to protect people? 1? 12? 123? What’s the right number of laws that would protect citizens from terrorists? This picture says it all:
As long as we have to deal with logic-resistant Democrats, we won’t be able to defeat ISIS.
The editors of the Mesabi Daily News didn’t pull their punches with Al Franken in this editorial. First, a little background is in order. After the terrorists murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, MDN sent emails to Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Nolan.
Apparently, Sen. Franken’s letter was the only letter that caught their attention. That’s because Sen. Franken said “As the FBI and other law enforcement officials continue to investigate a crime where 14 innocent people lost their lives only days ago, there are still a lot of questions that need answers. There are now reports that one of the suspects pledged allegiance to ISIS, and I believe that this, and all other investigative leads, must be vigorously and fully pursued.”
The editors didn’t treat Sen. Franken gently, saying “Suspects? They were mass murderers who died in a shootout with law enforcement; and they had a pipe bomb factory in their garage. Crime? This was no Bonnie and Clyde bank robbery couple. Franken’s response was so off base from the question, that another email was sent to his staff providing an opportunity to give a direct answer or at least call it terrorism.”
Sen. Franken’s response is predictable. He’s trying to spin things so people won’t notice that President Obama’s policies failed to protect those employees from ISIS-inspired terrorists. You remember ISIS, right? They’re the JV team. Wait. That’s so 2014. They’re “contained.” That won’t work. That’s too Novemberish. They’re the terrorists that didn’t pose an “imminent threat” to the homeland.
Seriously, as upset as the editors have a right to be about Sen. Franken’s response, it’s important to maintain perspective. Sen. Franken is just the politician who’s getting sent out to spin a mess. It’s President Obama that created the mess by pretending that ISIS wasn’t really a threat. The question now is whether ISIS will carry out another successful attack or not.
There’s a situation that’s approaching crisis status here in central Minnesota. The federal refugee resettlement program is out of control because local governments are saying that it’s beyond their control because it’s funded by appropriations from the U.S. State Department. Meanwhile, the State Department is able to say that their funding of the program is limited to 6 months, which means that cities and counties have their budgets exhausted faster by what essentially is a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government.
Bob Enos has taken quite an interest in this program. He’s done tons of research into the subject. He’s attended meetings. He’s spoken out about how cities, counties and school districts have been negatively affected by this State Department program. His ‘thanks’ for that time and leg-work has been criticism.
Enos has focused like a laser on the financial impact these refugees have had on cities, counties and school districts. Recently he addressed the Willmar City Council. This videotape is of his presentation:
Here’s part of what Mr. Enos said:
We’ve been working on an issue that’s become pretty important to us which has to do with the subject of the resettlement of political refugees around the world and how that affects our counties particularly. I don’t know if you’ve had any briefings on this matter but back in November, the coordinator for the refugee resettlement program for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul requested the director of Family Services here at the County to organize a meeting that took place over a couple of days. Twenty people attended from 3 county agencies, the Willmar School District as well as city hall. The Mayor-elect was there. A couple of vice presidents from Jenny O were there. The subject of the meeting had to do with migration of refugees to Kandiyohi County. We’re used to thinking of the refugee issue in terms of those that are leaving the refugee camps in east Africa and winding up on our shores and going out to the cities and the counties.
The big issue lately that we can’t seem to get a handle on very easily, particularly from a financial planning standpoint, and that has to do with the secondary relocation of refugees from other states around the country. The most recent data that we’re seeing now from the State of Minnesota, specifically from the Department of Health, now tells us that of every city and town, the city that is attracting the most refugees is Minneapolis. The city that’s attracting the second-most refugees is Willmar, not St. Paul, not Bloomington, not St. Cloud, Mankato, Worthington. Willmar.
We suspect that, for the most part, most of this has to do with family re-unification but, best guess, there’s a number of factors contributing to this. What we’re seeing is the Somali community, in particular, is such a size and critical mass, that that critical mass is, in and of itself, the primary magnet for refugees coming here from Atlanta, California and Texas. The last time we knew, we were looking at a number roughly of 2,000 or roughly 10% of our population. We know that’s quite conservative.
I’ve been to 2 other meetings subsequent to the meeting held in November. One was held out in St. Cloud and was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services organization, which in Minnesota, is called the # 1 volunteer agency or VOLAG, which is a private contractor with the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services from the federal government to aid in that relocation within the first 6 months that they’re here. That meeting, interestingly enough, had about 35 stakeholders, people that have some part, some incentive, some exposure to the program. There was not a single elected official there from the City of St. Cloud or the county. There were no representatives of the School District and these are the places where we’re seeing the most impact, and, of course, the schools.
The federal contracts that the VOLAGs have, though they’re hardly volunteers, requires that they quarterly have meetings with stakeholders. Those stakeholders are supposed to include members of the community. I would take that a member of the community to be an elected representative and I have not been to a meeting where I’ve seen a city councilman, a county commissioner or anyone of an elected status.
What’s particularly disturbing is that nobody from the St. Cloud City Council, the school district or the Stearns County commissioners attended the meeting hosted by the St. Cloud chapter of Lutheran Social Services. Were they unaware of the meeting? Were they simply disinterested in the meeting? Or didn’t they attend it for a different reason?
That’s just what’s happening now. Minnesota’s U.S. senators Klobuchar and Franken “are advocating that the U.S. participate, along with the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in the relocation next year of 130,000 Syrian Muslim refugees.” Enos then said that “the director of the intelligence division of the FBI testified 2 months ago before Congress that the problem with bringing in refugees from failed states like Somalia and Syria is that there’s no infrastructure for our government to vet those people coming from overseas. There’s no record. There’s no office. There’s no way of knowing what we’re getting when they show up other than the good word and the good faith of the U.N.”
This is unprecedented. It isn’t that the U.S. hasn’t accepted refugees before. It’s that the U.S. hasn’t accepted political refugees from failed nations with substantial populations of terrorists before. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. If ever there was a situation when additional caution is required, this is that situation.
What’s required is a slowdown for multiple reasons. It’s totally justifiable for taxpayers to know the financial impact this ‘federal’ program is having on their property taxes and state government programs. It’s also justified for the federal government to put in place a verification system that doesn’t bring ISIS terrorists to the United States on our dime.
Until these issues are satisfactorily resolved, skepticism will be justified.