Archive for the ‘Al Franken’ Category
Now that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, aka PUC, has issued a certificate of need for the Sandpiper Pipeline project, it’s time to ask an important question. First, here’s what happened:
ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved a certificate of need for the proposed Sandpiper pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to Superior, Wisconsin. While the PUC agreed 5-0 Friday that the $2.6 billion, 610-mile pipeline is necessary, they didn’t foreclose the possibility of rerouting it away from environmentally sensitive lakes, streams and wetlands in northern Minnesota. Enbridge Energy will still have to go through a lengthy review of its proposed route and a proposed alternative.
It’s great that they approved the project but I’m just a little worried about why they’re involved. Their primary responsibility is monitoring public utilities. There’s no doubt that politicians create ‘innovative’ definitions for words but that doesn’t mean a pipeline is a public utility.
There’s no justification for adding the PUC into the regulatory process — except if the goal is to create another hoop for companies to jump through. Then it makes perfect sense. If creating multiple hoops is the goal, then having the PUC review pipeline projects is imperative.
There are multiple agencies that review these types of proposals. Why? Shouldn’t Minnesota create a one-stop shopping center for reviews? Shouldn’t there be a time limit placed on both parties to speed up the review process? That way, companies can’t run out the clock by withholding important information and regulators can’t string companies along with endless amounts of questions.
Streamlining the review process gets important projects approved quickly while still asking the important questions.
There’s a throng of anti-corporation organizations filled with environmental activists attempting to kill the Sandpiper Pipeline project. They thrive off of multiple bites at the apple during the regulatory process. They’re assisted by politicians like Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken, not to mention Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Smith and legislators like Rep. Thissen and Sen. Marty.
These environmentalists will stand in the way of this type of reform. They’ll insist that the process isn’t broken and that it doesn’t need fixing. That’s a fantasy. Any system that requires years to get a project approved isn’t just fractured. It’s broken. Companies should be held accountable but they shouldn’t be required to spend tens of millions of dollars on each step of the regulatory process.
A strong national economy relies on cheap energy. If that’s our goal, which it should be, then it’s time we stepped into the 21st Century.
Sen. Franken’s solution to high home heating prices isn’t a serious proposal:
The Democratic senator’s measure would put in place a coordinated response to growing coal supply emergencies that affect power plants across the country, including in Minnesota. “In Minnesota, we know that our utilities need dependable fuel supplies so they can provide heat to homes and businesses, and prevent rising energy costs for consumers,” Franken said.
The proposed Severe Fuel Supply Emergency Response Act of 2015 would direct the Secretary of Energy to lead the response to coal fuel supply emergencies by:
- Promptly investigating the cause of the fuel shortage and informing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Surface Transportation Board.
- Convening a meeting with stakeholders involved.
- Making written publicly available recommendations for actions that would help alleviate the problems.
If Sen. Franken won’t propose a serious solution that doesn’t create a different crisis, he shouldn’t be a U.S. senator. This isn’t a serious proposal because Sen. Franken is still owned by environmental activists. These environmental activists, along with the Putin administration, don’t want the Sandpiper Pipeline project built. Before progressives start questioning the logic, here’s why the Pipeline is at the heart of the coal shortage problem. Because the Sandpiper Pipeline hasn’t been built, oil from the Bakken is getting shipped via rail to refineries in Superior, WI, and elsewhere. The last I heard there were either 6 or 7 trains dedicated to transporting oil from the Bakken to the refineries in Superior.
That’s led to a railcar shortage that’s affecting the shipping of iron to steel mills in the Rust Belt, the shipping of agricultural products to the Twin Cities in addition to the shipping of home heating products to anywhere in Minnesota.
Sen. Franken knows this. He doesn’t care about creating rail space to transport agricultural products to market or taconite to steel mills. Sen. Franken’s highest priority is to appease the environmental activists. Instead of appeasing theses special interests, he should attempt to represent his constituents. I know that’s a revolutionary concept with Democrats but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring up any other business until the Senate passes the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act:
When Democrats prevented debate on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, they objected to the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment in the bill. Here’s a little history on the Hyde Amendment:
In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions except if a pregnancy arises from incest or rape. It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services and primarily affects Medicaid.
The original Hyde Amendment was passed on September 30, 1976 by the House of Representatives, by a 207-167 vote. It was named for its chief sponsor, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois. The measure was the first major legislative success by the United States pro-life movement after the striking down of anti-abortion laws following the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Congress subsequently altered the Hyde Amendment several times. The version in force from 1981 until 1993 prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions “except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.
Fast forward to the day when the Senate was supposed to pass the bill. Suddenly, Democrats blocked the bill, saying that they were blindsided by the Hyde Amendment being in this 68-page bill. The Hyde Amendment had been part of the bill from Day One.
WASHINGTON – A staffer in Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office was aware of a controversial abortion-related provision in a sex trafficking bill that has ground the Senate to a halt and stalled the nomination of the next U.S. Attorney General. Klobuchar is the primary Democratic cosponsor on the bipartisan bill that would establish a restitution fund for victims of human trafficking with money seized from convicted sex traffickers.
The bill was set to sail through the Senate after a brief debate last week until it suddenly stalled when Democrats announced that it contained what’s known as “Hyde Amendment” language they had been unaware of. The language prevents the use of the seized money to pay for abortions.
Up until now Democrats,
, claimed they were blindsided by the language that was included by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
It’s time for Democrats to give a little. In previous negotiations, they’ve insisted on Republicans caving. I’m happy that Mitch McConnell has locked up the Senate. If the Democrats won’t give on this, why should he give Ms. Lynch an up or down vote?
After getting elected in 2008, President Obama told Eric Cantor that elections have consequences right before President Obama jammed his stimulus bill down our throats. Now that President Obama got his ass handed to him in the 2014 election, President Obama has insisted that elections don’t have consequences. He’s about to find out that they do have consequences.
Technorati: Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, Filibuster, Loretta Lynch, Democrats, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hyde Amendment, Republicans
This week’s Orchids and Onions contains this complaint:
Onions: Of, “I told you so,” to all the Democrat supporters of Obama and his veto of the Keystone Pipeline. Now we have more than 400 union Steelworkers losing their jobs at Keetac because of the lack of demand for steel products. Democrat Sens. Klobuchar and Franken, along with the biggest Democrat of all, President Barack Obama, have once again thrown union workers to the wolves in order to keep their radical environmental buddies happy. Why, please tell us why, aren’t our steelworker union heads not yelling their guts out about this lack of support for union jobs by Obama, Klobuchar, and Franken?
It’s frustrating to see valuable blue collar workers thrown under the Obama/Klobuchar/Franken/environmentalist bus. These people don’t like fossil fuels. They don’t care about the infrastructure that’s needed to safely transport that oil to refineries.
Worst of all, they don’t really support these industrial unions. Admittedly, they’re great at paying lip service to them come election time. Unfortunately for these unions, that stops the day after the election.
Until industrial unions stop supporting Democrats financially, they’ll get shafted by Democrats.
Whether it’s mining unions in northern Minnesota or construction unions across the nation, their financial support of Democrats keeps putting their jobs at risk. Those contributions help Democrats elect more environmental activists to the legislature, Congress and the White House. It won’t change anytime soon if these unions keep supporting these hardline environmentalists.
It isn’t surprising that President Obama hasn’t done a thing to help build the Keystone XL Pipeline. He never will. That’s because he’s a hardline environmentalist.
When St. Amy of Hennepin County, aka Sen. Amy Klobuchar, runs for re-election in 2018, it’s imperative that these industrial unions question why she hasn’t supported them. The union rank-and-file can’t hesitate in telling her that she has a choice. She can either support their agenda or support the environmentalists’ agenda. They need to tell Sen. Klobuchar that their support hinges solely on whose agenda she votes for.
It’s time the industrial unions held the Democrats’ feet to the fire. In fact, it’s time for them to abandon the Democratic Party until the Democratic Party starts supporting their agenda.
Al Franken issued a statement in advance of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech that read like it was written by the administration:
In a statement earlier Monday, (Sen. Al) Franken (D-MN) described the speech as a “partisan spectacle.”
“This has unfortunately become a partisan spectacle, both because of the impending Israeli election and because it was done without consulting the administration,” Franken said. “I’d be uncomfortable being part of an event that I don’t believe should be happening. I’m confident that, once this episode is over, we can reaffirm our strong tradition of bipartisan support for Israel.”
Franken is just one hyperpartisan Democrat who professes undying loyalty to Israel, then essentially calls Prime Minister Netanyahu a partisan. Doesn’t it sound like Franken’s support of Israel is conditional? In any case, the “partisan debacle” Sen. Franken worried about didn’t happen.
Alexis Simendinger’s fantastic article highlights how Prime Minister Netanyahu’s substantive speech changed the parameters through which politicians view the issue. Here’s one thing Ms. Simendinger highlighted from the “partisan debacle”:
Netanyahu denounced the contours of the deal being negotiated in Switzerland as playing into Iran’s hands. He warned the outcome could accelerate a path toward nuclear war in the Middle East because he believes the parameters would strengthen Iran’s capabilities within a decade to create a nuclear weapon with such speed, the world could not intervene.
“Why would anyone make this deal?” Netanyahu asked. “This is a question that everyone asks in our region.” He let the clear rebuke of the president hang in the air. “Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?” he continued. “Well, I disagree. I don’t believe that Iran’s radical regime will change for the better after this deal.”
There’s no question that Sen. Franken recited the Democrats’ script perfectly. Similarly, there’s no question that Prime Minister Netanyahu changed the terms of the debate going forward.
The only “partisan debacle” from yesterday’s speech came from the Democrats. John Yarmuth’s diatribe and Nancy Pelosi’s turning her back on Prime Minister Netanyahu set the Democrats’ highly political tone for the event.
Sen. Franken didn’t attend yesterday’s speech because he’s a partisan hack. He didn’t know that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech would be a “partisan spectacle.” That’s what he initially said but that’s only because that’s what the administration told him. The speech turned into a dissertation on the things Iran’s leaders have engaged in, including sponsoring terrorist organizations like Hezbollah to attacking US soldiers in Iraq with Iranian-manufactured IEDs.
Had Sen. Franken attended the speech, he might’ve learned something. It’s a shame he took the administration’s word that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech would be a partisan speech.
According to this article, freshman Rep. Tom Emmer will attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress:
“With the Iranian nuclear deal approaching, U.S. allied Yemen falling to terrorists, the horrific violence by ISIL threatening regional security and Israeli and US interests, it’s absolutely necessary for Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress on the dire situation in the Middle East. It is imperative for Members of Congress to have open ears and an open mind for us to properly address these threats and their global impact. We must be able to listen to a world leader address the grave circumstances facing an ally in such trying times, regardless of political differences.”
A quick visit to newly re-elected US Sen. Al Franken’s website tells a totally detached view of the world. For instance, here’s Sen. Franken’s view of Iraq:
Senator Franken supports President Obama’s plan to bring our role in the Iraq war to a responsible end. He supports the President’s timetable, which led to the withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq in August of last year.
Senator Franken believes that when President George W. Bush started the war in Iraq, he lost focus on Afghanistan, the real base that Al Qaeda terrorists used to attack us. Because of this, the United States was drawn into a long and costly war, based on misinformation, that didn’t serve our nation’s interests.
Our courageous military finally started turning things around in 2007 with a new aggressive counterinsurgency strategy. In 2008, President Bush joined then-Senator Obama’s proposal for setting a timetable for withdrawing our forces, which improved our political leverage with the Iraqi government.
With the end of the U.S. combat mission on August 31, 2010 Senator Franken believes that America’s main job now to make sure that those who return get what they need, and that it’s now the job of the Iraqi people to build a functioning society for themselves.
As for whether Sen. Franken will attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, that’s anyone’s guess:
Several other members of Minnesota’s delegation were noncommittal. A spokeswoman for DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said Netanyahu’s speech is on the schedule but it hasn’t been confirmed whether he’ll attend the event. A spokesman for Sen. Al Franken said he didn’t have an answer on whether Franken is going.
It’s virtually irrelevant whether Sen. Franken attends the speech. It isn’t like he’ll have original thoughts on the subject. If the Democrats’ leadership wants Sen. Franken offering his opinion, they’ll tell him what it is.
It isn’t like he’s paid attention to national security issues thus far. It’s been such a low priority for Sen. Franken that he hasn’t updated his Iraq webpage since 2010. ISIL has taken over Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and about one-third of Iraq. AQAP (al-Qa’ida of the Arabian Peninsula) has taken over the US embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. ISIL controls half of Syria. In addition to that, ISIL has expanded into Egypt and Libya.
These are major existential threats to Israel, our most trusted ally in the region. Sen. Franken’s response to these proliferating crises has been nonexistent.
There’s an unmistakable trend in the McConnell-Grimes race, a trend best illustrated by this morning’s RCP average of polls:
That’s what a consistently growing lead looks like. None of these polls show Lundergan-Grimes leading. In fact, none of these polls shows Sen. McConnell’s lead inside the polls’ margin of error. There’s nothing in this graphic that suggests any of these are outliers.
This weekend’s developments don’t hint that Sen. McConnell will become the next Senate Majority Leader. This weekend’s polls strongly suggest that Sen. McConnell will be the Senate Majority Leader sooner rather than later.
For instance, Joni Ernst got great news last night. This isn’t good news for Mark Udall:
The trend isn’t Mark Pryor’s friend in Arkansas:
That’s before talking about Montana, South Dakota or West Virginia, which are certainties. That’s before talking about Alaska or Louisiana, where Democrat incumbents appear to be living on borrowed time. To make matters worse for Democrats, that isn’t the full extent of their potential losses. Scott Brown has run a fantastic campaign in New Hampshire. Defeating Sen. Shaheen would be a mild upset but it wouldn’t stun people like his defeat of Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election. Mike McFadden’s run a solid campaign in Minnesota. While defeating Sen. Franken would be a major upset, it’s worth noting that momentum appears to be on McFadden’s side.
Monday, I’ll publish a post about a wave election’s definition. Yes, this year’s election fits that description.
Technorati: Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Bill Cassidy, GOP, Alison Lundergan-Grimes, Mark Pryor, Mark Udall, Mark Begich, Jeanne Shaheen, Al Franken, , Democrats, Election 2014
Britta Arendt’s article tells the story of a fantastic candidate making an impressive closing argument:
With his signature spark of energy, McFadden lit up the room during his stop at the Sawmill Inn as he raced in for a brief visit. “I love to be here in Grand Rapids where there’s the convergence of mining and timber,” said McFadden.
A vote for Mike McFadden is a vote for building pipelines and opening mines. A vote for Al Franken is a vote for more IRS investigations and being the environmental activists’ friend.
It’s a vote against mining and logging jobs. It’s a vote against farmers getting their crops to market.
Most importantly, a vote for Mike McFadden is a vote for the most qualified candidate in the race. Al Franken knows government’s nooks and crannies. Mike McFadden understands health care policy, energy policy, regulatory policy and foreign policy.
It isn’t just that we can do better. It’s that we can’t afford 6 more years of Sen. Franken’s partisanship and not getting important things done. Sen. Franken hasn’t done anything constructive to make PolyMet a reality. He’s done nothing to grow Minnesota’s companies.
That’s because he’s spent too much time doing what he’s told by President Obama, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. That trio don’t have Minnesota’s best interests at heart. They definitely don’t have the Iron Range’s best interests at heart.
If he’s elected, Mike McFadden will hit the ground running in DC. It’s apparent that he’ll find natural allies in the Senate in Ron Johnson, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner.
When asked of his thoughts regarding the proposed federal listing of the long-eared bat as an endangered species because of the threat of the white-nose syndrome which could potentially shut down summer logging and timber operations, McFadden said “It’s a false choice, environment or jobs. I reject that.”
Continuing on the environment topic, McFadden addressed the proposed PolyMet mining project and said, “Science needs to be based on facts not emotions. Extreme environmentalists can cause decisions to be caught up for years in regulatory review and, in the meantime, people lose hundreds of jobs. I am running against someone who has done nothing to expedite the PolyMet project.”
Al Franken is one of the Environmental Left’s best allies. He’s repeatedly gone to bat for them, albeit quietly so he can pretend to be the miners’ friend.
Al Franken won’t fight against environmental extremists because he’s one of them. Mike McFadden will fight against the environmental extremist base of the DFL because he doesn’t owe them anything and because he he’d rather see all Minnesotans prosper than pander for special interest contributions for his next campaign.
Thanks to articles that Michael Brodkorb posted at Minnesota Democrats Exposed in 2008, I’ve known about Al Franken’s disgusting behavior for years. I suspect, however, that there’s a bunch of voters that haven’t heard about Sen. Franken’s disgusting background. Let’s dig into it a little. Here’s what Al Franken said in the 1970s:
He recalled writing a skit called “Seamen on Broadway” that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show “by some preppie so they could take some other preppie’s skit.” Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. “It’s not preppies, cause I’m a preppie myself. I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.” The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn’t stand it any longer. “Put that in, put that in,” Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. “I’d love to see that in The Crimson.”
That’s the ‘before’ Franken. The ‘after’ Franken is ultra politically correct…except when he isn’t:
As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on:
Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”
Franken’s progressive allies will undoubtedly defend Franken with excuses like ‘Lighten up. He’s a comedian. It’s just humor.” Or they might say that he’s changed since his cocaine-using days with SNL:
Franken’s own words/direct quote from pages 108-109:
“There was not as much cocaine as you would think on the premises. Yeah, a number of people got in trouble. But cocaine was used mainly just to stay up. There was a very undisciplined way of writing the show, which was staying up all night on Tuesday. We didn’t have the kind of hours that normal people have. And so there was a lot of waiting ’til Tuesday night, and then going all night, and at two or three or four in the morning, doing some coke to stay up, as opposed to doing a whole bunch, and doing nitrous oxide, and laughing at stuff.
“People used to ask me about this and I’d always say, ‘No, there was no coke. It’s impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs.’ And so that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately, for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs. Comedians and comedy writers and people in show business in general aren’t the most disciplined people, so the idea of putting the writing off until you had to, and then staying up all night, was an attractive one. And then having this drug that kept you awake in an enjoyable way was kind of tempting too. But I only did cocaine to stay awake to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine. That was the only reason I ever did it. Heh-heh.”
Sen. Franken is anything but a serious politician. He’s a deeply flawed person. He isn’t a comedian. He’s got a temper. What he doesn’t have is dignity or character.
I know it’s a high expectation to hope that a Democrat politician to tell the truth about Obamacare but Sunday morning’s free-for-all featuring Al Franken and Mike McFadden was too much. Here’s the video of that part of the debate:
One of the first things Sen. Franken said was that 95% of all Minnesotans are now insured, which is misleading but statistically true. It’s misleading because 93% of Minnesotans were insured in 2012. Another 60% of Minnesotans were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, either through medical assistance, which is Medicaid in Minnesota, or through MinnesotaCare. Based on a population of 5,300,000, that means 97.2% of Minnesotans would’ve been insured or eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. It’s worth noting that it wouldn’t have required spending $160,000,000 on a failed website, too. It would’ve only required an advertising campaign that would’ve cost less than $5,000,000 to highlight these programs.
Another of Franken’s chanting points was that Mike McFadden wants to totally repeal Obama, “which means people with pre-existing conditions” wouldn’t get covered. That’s BS on multiple levels. First, it’s impossible to believe that people with PECs wouldn’t get coverage if 97.2% of Minnesotans were insured or eligible to be insured. I know Minnesota is a healthy state but I’m betting that more than 2.8% of Minnesotans have PECs.
Then there’s the myth that Republicans were unwilling to vote for legislation that would’ve guaranteed insurance for people with PECs. If a bill would’ve been written that guaranteed that people with PECs couldn’t be denied insurance, 95%-99% of House and Senate Republicans would’ve voted for it.
If we were to start over and do health insurance reform right, there’s no question that covering people with PECs would be in the bill.
Next, Franken was questioned about health insurance premiums going up. Predictably, he said that “some people’s rates are going up but some people’s rates are going down”, suggesting that there was just as much a chance of a person’s rates going down as there was of them skyrocketing. That’s extremely dishonest and Sen. Franken knows it. Almost 75% of people will see their premiums go up dramatically while less than 25% of Minnesotans will see their premiums shrink marginally.
Franken said this after McFadden talked about a woman he met in Rochester who told him that her premiums are going up 50% and that her deductibles were increasing by 220%.That’s why McFadden called the ACA a “train wreck.” That’s why Minnesotans are increasingly calling it the Unaffordable Care Act. McFadden added that this woman “had a look of fear and anger” on her face.
One thing that came through clearly was Franken’s dishonesty. His faux outrage was contemptible. Major industry organizations like MAHU, aka Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, have testified under oath to the MNsure board that health insurance premiums are skyrocketing.
If Sen. Franken wants to ignore the truth, then that’s proof that he’ll say anything to get elected. That immediately disqualifies him from elected office. It’s one thing to make statements with statistically accurate information that’s misleading. That happens during a campaign. Franken started by telling outright lies. Those lies were quickly discredited statistically. That didn’t cause him to stop the lies. He’s just continued repeating his refuted lies.
The simple solution to this is to elect Mike McFadden. He’s got a pro-prosperity plan to get Minnesota heading in the right direction. He’s got a plan to do health care reform right. Finally, he’s honest so we won’t have to worry whether he’ll lie to us.
Technorati: Debates, Al Franken, Affordable Care Act, Premium Increases, High Deductibles, MNsure Board, Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, DFL, Mike McFadden, Patient-Centered Health Care, GOP, Election 2014