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A generation ago, the Democratic Party was a legitimate political party. It isn’t anymore. Today’s Democrats have gone so far around the bend that even lifelong Democrats have started backpedalling … fast. Jim Geraghty’s column illustrates just how foolish the Democratic Party is. What caught my attention is the paragraph that says “The Democratic party’s leaders haven’t changed their methods, either. They denounced Trump and his ‘Deplorables’ and the rest of the Republican party in the most furious terms in 2016, but that didn’t produce the results they wanted. In 2017, Democrats decided to just keep on doing that, but with more profanity.”

Later, Geraghty wrote “After 2016, one might have expected Democrats to reconsider their full embrace of identity politics. Instead they’ve doubled down. Instead of examining why so many voters in so many states rejected their arguments and philosophies, many within the academy and universities greeted 2017 by insisting even more adamantly that freedom of speech is dangerous and that you should be threatened or violently assaulted if you express a view they disagree with. Instead of giving the lecturing speeches at awards shows a break, Hollywood celebrities are becoming even more politically outspoken and strident, and even more openly contemptuous of roughly half their audience.”

Rational people wouldn’t think that Sending rioters to a congressman’s front steps isn’t a way to prove you’re rational, either:

These tactics might help fire up the Democratic Party’s bi-coastal base but they won’t help flip any of the districts or states that they’ll need to retake the House, Senate or the White House. Republicans will increase their margin in the Senate, thereby marginalizing John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul. Republicans will maintain their House majority, too. Most importantly, they’ll have net gains in terms of governorships, state legislators and total control of state governments.

This isn’t because Republicans are doing a great job. I’ve repeatedly said that they aren’t. It’s because Democrats are doing a great job frightening people, either with violence or unaffordable ideas like Medicare for All.

Next November, Democrats will gather somewhere to question what went wrong … again. The Media Wing of the Democratic Party won’t accept the fact that they’re hurting the Democratic Party. The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party won’t figure it out that their policies don’t appeal to many people. Instead, they’ll think that the enthusiasm that their supporters show are proof that they’re on the right track. They’ll be wrong … again.

Ever since Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem, people started asking whether the NFL had a patriotism problem. The truth is that the NFL has a progressive activism problem. Thanks to this article, we now know that some current and retired NFL players “campaigning for racial equality and criminal justice reform wrote a lengthy memo to league commissioner Roger Goodell officially seeking overt league support in their effort, including an endorsement for an activism awareness month.”

Supposedly, the “memo seeks an investment of time and education, political involvement, finances and other commitments from the league. It also sought to have the NFL endorse the month of November as an activism awareness month, similar to the periods of league calendar dedicated to breast cancer awareness and military recognition. It was endorsed by four players: Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, former Buffalo Bills wideout Anquan Boldin and Eagles wideout Torrey Smith.”

NFL ratings are down, most likely due to the fact that people want sports to be a refuge separated from politics. These players’ decision couldn’t come at a worse time for the NFL. In addition to the NFL having a patriotism problem and an image problem, now players are proving that they, like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, have a tin ear politically. President Trump and others have ridiculed celebrities for speaking out politically. After the Emmys last week, which also suffered from terrible ratings, people just want to be left alone. They don’t want to hear celebrities sound like ill-informed progressives, which is what they are.

By comparison, baseball’s image is improving, mostly because it’s stuck to — get this — improving their on-field product. It won’t take long before baseball regains its title of America’s national pastime. But I digress. Back to football’s dilemma.

Everyone’s heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s a proper starting point but I don’t think that applies to this picture:

This was the view at the start of the game:

People won’t be as committed to watching football as long as football players play the part of political proxies. People are already sick of politicians. Why would people get excited about tuning in football if they think a Michael or Martellus Bennett, Marshawn Lynch or Marcus Peters will disrespect America. Americans have already had their fill of people who criticize America.

Deep at the heart of the NFL’s problems is the fact that they’re getting the reputation of being another proxy of the Democratic Party. Roger Goodell certainly hasn’t hidden his political positions. ESPN has frequently sounded like the sports equivalent of the DNC. (Think of Trey Wingo gushing for days about the then-St. Louis Rams drafting Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL athlete.)

If Michael and Martellus Bennett, Marshawn Lynch and Marcus Peters want to be activists, let them quit their day jobs and do it for a living. If they aren’t willing to make that choice, then people should have the right to mock them and/or ignore them.

For years, the DFL has put together a regulatory scheme that hinders industry in the name of environmental safety. Each year, it’s more apparent that environmentalists control these regulatory agencies. This article illustrates the point.

According to the article, “Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership has applied for a certificate of need and a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to construct and operate the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement project. At the direction of the Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Commerce Department is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. ‘The proposed Line 3 project presents significant issues,’ state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a news release. ‘Additional time allows the department to prepare a thorough draft environmental impact statement that provides effective, meaningful public review and comment. The Public Utilities Commission has an important decision to make for Minnesota, and the Commerce Department is committed to providing the best information possible for them to use in the decision-making process.’ Rothman said the time will be used for consultation with tribal governments, additional information gathering, coordination with stakeholders and technical analysis and review.”

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a new pipeline. It’s replacing an existing pipeline that’s been in place for almost half a century. The PUC and Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department know this. Consultation “with tribal governments shouldn’t take much time since this pipeline project is replacing an existing project. Simply put, Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department is intentionally dragging their feet on this project. This PUC document is infuriating.

In the opening paragraph of the document, it says “Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership has applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a certificate of need and a pipeline routing permit for its Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project.” The government shouldn’t be in the business of telling the private sector what’s needed and what isn’t. Determining what’s needed is a subjective process. What’s worse is that it’s especially subject to the lobbying efforts of the environmental activists.

What the PUC, the Commerce Department and the environmental activists haven’t talked about is the fact that transporting oil by pipeline is significantly safer than transporting it by oil train or semis. Why haven’t the PUC, Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department or the environmentalists talked about public safety? The Minnesota Environmental Partnership spent lots of time trying to convince people that the pipeline wasn’t needed. That isn’t their call to make.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have stressed the importance of public input. What Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t proposed is a balance between giving people time to comment and the importance of ruling on the merits of the project. It’s fair to give people time to comment. It’s also imperative to not force companies to wait endlessly for final approval. Dragging out the permitting process is the ultimate proof that Gov. Dayton and the DFL are openly hostile towards construction unions and fossil fuels.

It isn’t like the DFL is hiding their contempt for these companies or for construction unions. It’s there for the world to see.

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Rep. Dan Fabian and Sen. Mark Johnson didn’t mince words in their criticism of Gov. Dayton on his administration’s ruling that the pipeline isn’t needed.

In the opening paragraph of the article, it says the “Department of Commerce’s recent analysis that an Enbridge pipeline project is unnecessary defies common sense, northwest Minnesota legislators said this week.” Then it gets into specifics, saying “Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration is ‘siding with environmental extremism instead of common sense.’ ‘Shutting down this pipeline will have a substantial impact on rural Minnesota’, Fabian said in the statement. ‘Our local counties, school districts and townships will lose critical property tax revenue, and what’s more, jobs will be affected and there will be fewer workers patronizing local businesses like our grocery stores and motels. Plain and simple, bureaucrats in St. Paul are advancing policies that hurt Greater Minnesota.'”

That’s the heart of the matter. The DFL is ruled by environmental extremists who want to totally eliminate the use of fossil fuels. I know that sounds paranoid but it’s based on what the Sierra Club has said publicly. The Sierra Club is even opposed to natural gas:

If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas.

There isn’t much difference between the Dayton administration saying that we don’t need pipelines because our need for oil “isn’t likely to increase over the long-term” and the Sierra Club insisting that natural gas isn’t clean. Neither statement is credible.

The Sierra Club’s hands aren’t clean, either:

Then there’s this:

“I am frustrated the Dayton administration and Department of Commerce are once again dragging their feet on this project and throwing roadblock after roadblock in the way of this critical pipeline replacement,” Johnson said in the statement. “It seems they are more interested in working for special interests instead of supporting citizens, industry and good-paying jobs.”

In late August, Johnson, Fabian, Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, and 50 other state legislators signed a letter of support for the project. “The Department of Commerce’s recommendation to shut down and not replace Enbridge Line 3 is another example of policymakers in St. Paul ignoring common sense and the priorities of Greater Minnesota,” Kiel said in a statement Thursday. “It’s time the Dayton Administration put the people of Minnesota first instead of special interests.”

If the DFL wants to know why they lost the rural vote and is losing ground on the labor vote, this article explains it pretty well. You can’t be pro-laborer while opposing the projects that employ those unionists. The DFL has done a masterful job — if their goal was to alienate construction unions.

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According to this article, Minnesotans should expect DFL anti-pipeline protests to increase. According to the AP’s reporting, “Protests are ratcheting up against Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace its Line 3 crude oil pipeline from Canada to Wisconsin, and against a separate aging Enbridge pipeline under the waterway linking Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. Six protesters were arrested this week near Superior, Wisconsin, where Enbridge began work in June on a 12.5-mile (20-kilometer) segment amid plans to eventually replace Line 3, which carries Canadian tar sands crude from Alberta across North Dakota and northern Minnesota to its terminal in Superior. The protesters briefly shut down construction Tuesday. Opponents of both pipelines plan Labor Day weekend actions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.”

Later in the article, the AP quotes Tara Houska of Honor the Earth as saying “I think we’re seeing things coming to a head, with Enbridge proceeding to construction in Wisconsin and Canada despite lacking approval of the major segment that runs through Minnesota.”

The truth is that the DFL’s anti-pipeline protesters are setting the foundation for a Republican governor in 2018. By attempting to kill the Line 3 pipeline, these DFL protesters are telling construction unions that they aren’t welcome in the DFL anymore. Couple that with Gov. Dayton’s Department of Commerce announcement “that Enbridge hadn’t proved the necessity for replacing Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline” and it’s pretty apparent that the DFL opposes energy infrastructure at a time when the US is becoming a net exporter of energy.

It’s important for union voters to ask a simple question. Why does the political party with Laborer in its name reflexively reject major union construction projects? When the Keystone XL Pipeline project was being proposed, did the Democratic Party fight for those union jobs? Get serious. When the Dakota Access Pipeline, aka DAPL, project was being proposed, where was the DFL? A: They hid. They chose to have Native Americans protest in the hopes of turning public opinion against these pipeline projects. They failed:

As a Republican, I don’t want the protests to end. Each time that the protesters appear on TV, it’s a winning day for the GOP. It’s a winning day because construction unions are realizing that the Democratic party wants their votes, not their agenda.

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Last Friday, I wrote this post about the NFL’s “patriotism problem.” This article serves as a continuation of that theme.

According to the article, “Bennett sat as teammate Justin Britt stood next to him with his hand on his shoulder while another teammate, Thomas Rawls, stood on Bennett’s other side before the game against the Green Bay Packers. Bennett’s brother, Martellus, who plays for the Packers, stood at the end of the Green Bay bench with his right fist in the air.”

What a bunch of losers. These men have made millions of dollars each but they’re refusing to honor the US flag. That’s the definition of a total loser. The article continues, saying “Two weeks ago, Bennett was detained on a Las Vegas street for about 10 minutes by police who were investigating the firing of gunshots in the area. Bennett has alleged that he had been the victim of racial discrimination after being threatened at gunpoint by the police. He said they singled him out for nothing more than being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Police denied the charge and said Bennett was detained briefly because he was spotted running from the police before jumping over a wall. Bennett was handcuffed but police did not arrest or charge him.”

The NFL shouldn’t tolerate this type of disrespect:

At tonight’s Vikings game, there’s a good chance that they’ll honor those killed during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. That tribute will ring more than a little hollow considering how many NFL players apparently hate the United States.

The owners could stop this in an instant. They have the ability to suspend each player. The owners also have the ability to dictate team rules to the players through the head coach. What these ungrateful players haven’t noticed is the fact that what they do on the field on game day is considered work product.

If owners won’t tell players that their mindless protests don’t stop, fans should interpret that as meaning that they’re ok with their players not being patriotic.

Finally, I wonder if these players even understand what their actions mean. I can respect Jim Brown. He’s a patriot. Mike and Martellus Bennett are just a pair of spoiled brats that didn’t put their activism into action. They’re whiners, not problem solvers.

As certain as death and taxes, Democrats have started attacking Jason Lewis a year before he’s re-elected. In her LTE, Rachel Garaghty of Cottage Grove said “Lewis also consistently votes against our values. He voted to strip health care from 28,500 people in Washington and Dakota counties. He voted to loosen restrictions on banks that gamble with our savings and investments. He voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers. Lewis is voting against the very things that keep us healthy, wealthy and happy.”

It isn’t surprising that Democrats’ criticisms of Lewis are dishonest. That isn’t just what Democrats do. It’s who they are. Saying that any Republican has “voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers” is over the top in the extreme.

Later in her LTE, Garaghty said “The people who were brave enough to stand up to Lewis through their peaceful protest were just local moms and dads, grandparents and young people who are rightly concerned about Lewis’ undemocratic tendencies.” That’s utterly dishonest. Jason Lewis’s neighbors called the police. They obviously felt threatened:

But my neighbors saw 20, 25 people, nobody knows the real count, outside. Their daughters were home alone, got scared, called their dad. He called the police, which, by the way, in the suburb I live in, it’s a violation of a city ordinance to what, not to mention trespassing.

Jason Lewis isn’t afraid of debating people. It’s a strength of his. Lewis said he won’t waste his time, though, providing DFL activists the opportunity to create a “spectacle.”

TakeAction Minnesota activists aren’t civic-minded people who want to start a dialogue. They’re hard-core activists who want to create a spectacle. As we’ve seen in the past, if they have to frighten people and trespass to make their point, they won’t hesitate in doing that.

If the St. Cloud Times ever insists that they aren’t biased, I’ll have tons of proof that they are. Their latest editorial is one of their worst anti-truth hit pieces since I started reading their editorials. It didn’t take long for the Times’ bias to surface. The Times’ opening paragraph says “Much to the anguish those who believe in the vision of the United States as a melting pot, President Trump is making good on his campaign theme of aggressively pursuing policies that are not friendly to immigrants.”

It’s dishonest for the Times to say that President Trump is “aggressively pursuing policies that are not friendly to immigrants.” I triple-dog dare the Times to offer proof that President Trump’s policies aren’t friendly to legal immigrants. The Times isn’t that sloppy. This ‘slip’ was intentional. The Times’ intent was to paint Republicans, especially President Trump, as hating immigration. Later, the editors wrote “Citing legal overreach by his predecessor and a desire for comprehensive immigration reform, Trump has given Congress six months to draft a legally binding legislative solution to DACA. It maybe a savvy legal maneuver, but it’s a cruel blow to people who had no say in coming here yet are embracing the American dream. Not to mention the message it sends to the rest of the world.”

It finishes with paragraphs that could’ve been written by the DNC:

Again, there is no doubt Trump’s push to revoke DACA is another punch to the face of immigrants.

For the sake of these 800,000 people and to preserve America as a beacon of hope and freedom for the world, Congress must counter that punch with a legislative solution, ideally one that finally fixes our long-broken immigration system.

In the minds of leftists like the St. Cloud Times, there isn’t any doubt. In the minds of thoughtful, analytical people, there’s no doubt that Republicans, especially President Trump, insist that people coming to the United States must do it legally.

Here’s a question people should ask themselves. Why do Democratic activists, including those in the media, insist on conflating illegal immigration with legal immigration? Further, let’s ask ourselves if people see the US as a “beacon of hope and freedom” because we don’t enforce our laws.

This editorial would disappear if I removed the DFL/DNC talking points from it. When America was great, we believed in enforcing laws. We believed in the First Amendment. We fought for the Bill of Rights. We thought, correctly, that we were the planet’s last, best hope. Somewhere along the way, America’s major institutions stopped enforcing laws and believing in the First Amendment. We started cheap labor flood into the US. We started looking the other direction when presidents created new laws because the law was something we agreed with.

If we continue looking the opposite direction, we won’t be the “beacon of hope and freedom for the world” much longer.

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If there’s anything certain besides death and taxes, it’s that environmental activists will fight against each energy infrastructure project in Minnesota. Enbridge’s Line3 is a perfect example of that. At the behest of his allies in the environmental activist community, Gov. Dayton is dragging his feet rather than approving the construction of the Line3 replacement pipeline. In a statement published on August 9, 2017, Gov. Dayton said “In order to provide the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with the best possible information on which to base its decision, I have directed the Commissioner of Commerce to extend the deadline for publishing its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 Oil Pipeline. According to my order, the Minnesota Department of Commerce will publish its final EIS on Thursday, August 17, 2017, including its responses to the more than 2,860 public comments the Department has received.”

That pipeline EIS must’ve slipped because legislators along the pipeline’s projected path wrote a letter to Gov. Dayton. According to the article, “In a letter to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Commissioner Michael Rothman on Aug. 24, a request was made to move the proposed $3 billion Line 3 Replacement Project forward with no further delays. It was signed by 35 state legislatures, including District 10B Representative Dale Lueck, covering all of Aitkin County and part of Crow Wing County.”

Further, it says “The Department of Commerce held 49 public meetings since Enbridge applied for the Line 3 Replacement project in April 2015. In September and October of 2017, another public comment period will take place with 18 more meetings. In addition, Enbridge held more than 1,200 open houses and question-answer sessions along the project’s preferred route, the existing right-of-way, the alternative routes and in the Twin Cities since 2013.”

Clearly, Gov. Dayton and the Public Utilities Commission aren’t acting in the public’s interest. They’ve morphed into puppets doing the Sierra Club’s and MCEA’s bidding. State Rep. Steve Green called out the DFL and the environmental activists in this LTE:

This pipeline shouldn’t be controversial, but Democrats are protesting the project claiming that it is bad for the environment. The problem is, replacing the pipeline is the best thing to do to protect our environment and citizens. If the existing pipe is allowed to corrode, the oil being transported in that pipe is at a greater risk of escaping into the surrounding land. What is more, transporting oil through a pipeline is far safer than transporting by rail.

This video shows the fight that’s continuing:

In the description is this information:

Indigenous Land Defenders from the Urban Warrior Alliance take direct action at an Enbridge pipeline stockpile near Morden Manitoba. 05/06/17 #NoEnbridge #NoPipelines

Let’s be clear about something. Environmental activists have fought every fossil fuel project in Minnesota for a generation. This isn’t just about the environment. It’s about stifling productivity, efficiency and endangering public safety.

Environutters have been with us essentially all my life and probably longer. Right now, energy experts tell us that the United States is becoming “energy dominant.” At that same point in history, environmental activists are becoming more militant towards pipeline projects.

That begs this question: which side are they on? Keep that question in mind the next time you step into a voting booth. The size of your heating bill depends on it.

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This St. Cloud Times article is about 15 students who walked out of their classes to protest President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA.

According to the article, there was a teachable moment. According to the article, “Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert, who taught civics in Mount Vernon, Iowa, for 22 years, said the demonstration served as a teaching moment. ‘So we had to have a little conversation about what civil disobedience is,’ Schwiebert said. ‘And when you’re doing a protest, that’s what you’re doing. You’re disobeying or disagreeing with a law that is in place. In this particular case, they responded very, very well to it.'”

It’s indisputable that that’s a legitimate teaching moment. Unfortunately, I’m afraid, another teachable moment might’ve gotten missed. Did Superintendent Schwiebert, or any of these students’ teachers, teach the students about why DACA was unconstitutional. Did these teachers tell these students that DACA would’ve been a legitimate law if Congress had passed it and the president had signed it? Did these teachers explain to the students that the Constitution doesn’t permit a president to unilaterally create new benefits for anyone, especially illegal aliens? That’s exactly what happened.

If these students’ teachers didn’t teach them those lessons, why didn’t they? Is it because the teachers are activists first, teachers next?

The protests in Sartell weren’t the only DACA protests in Minnesota:

There’s a simple solution to this situation. Unfortunately, Democrats have nixed that solution:

A top Senate Democratic aide said that the party would be open to agreeing to items such as additional drone operations, fencing and sensors; but not a “presidential vanity project. We are open to security that makes sense,” the aide said, noting that the party had agreed to a similar exchange—albeit on a much larger scale—when it put together a comprehensive immigration reform deal in 2013. That measure included some $40 billion for border security measures.

Republicans should immediately tell Democrats that a major compromise on the Republicans’ part requires a major compromise from Democrats. The compromise that Democrats proposed represents a major compromise from Republicans. It doesn’t represent a major compromise for Democrats.

This is the sort of deal that President Trump criticized on the campaign trail. If he accepts this deal, his credibility as a great negotiator will instantly disappear. President Trump must insist that his wall gets funded in exchange for DACA. Trump should insist that the wall be built so we don’t have to worry about another batch of DREAMers 5-10 years from now.

Border Patrol agents were deployed away from the border by President Obama so they weren’t in position to prevent illegal immigration, drug smuggling or human trafficking. A serious border wall can’t be deployed away from the border once it’s been built.

That’s a politically defensible position because it strengthens Republicans’ campaigns in blue collar districts in the Midwest. If Democrats insist on getting their way with DACA, they’ll get clobbered in the 2018 midterms.