Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category
This Our View editorial in the St. Cloud Times was intended to sound moderate and reasonable. It isn’t. This is a key sentence in the editorial:
The containment system PolyMet envisions has never been tried on this scale. And should it or other proposed mine systems fail, sulfide-laden waste materials could contaminate watersheds that feed both Lake Superior to the south and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to the north.
Anyone who’s read a map knows this is part of the militant environmentalists’ propaganda. PolyMet is on the south side of the continental divide. Waters on the south side of the divide flow south. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, aka the BWCAW, is on the north side of the divide. It’s physically impossible for PolyMet drainage to reach the BWCAW.
I don’t blame the Times for not being experts on PolyMet issues. I blame them for not doing their homework to be credible. This paragraph doesn’t help the Times’ credibility either:
That debate, already simmering for years, hits new heights Friday when the state releases an 1,800-page environment impact statement about PolyMet Mining’s proposal to create an open pit copper-nickel mine about 10 miles south of Ely.
That’s BS. Here’s what the PolyMet ‘moonscape’ looked like this year:
Conservation Minnesota, the Sierra Club and other environmentalist organizations talk about disturbing the Iron Range’s delicate ecosystems. Does that picture look like a delicate ecosystem? Does it look like pristine wilderness? It definitely doesn’t look pristine by most people’s definition of pristine.
This paragraph is worth examining:
Dominating the rewards are likely 20 or 30 years of jobs and economic growth, mostly for the economically challenged Iron Range. Should PolyMet’s efforts prove successful, a dozen or so other companies stand ready to seek mining permits, furthering that growth and undoubtedly creating trickle-down growth across the state.
If the permits are issued, PolyMet and Twin Metals will become major employers in Minnesota. That isn’t speculation. That’s verifiable fact.
As for “the economically challenged Iron Range”, that’s an understatement. According to this information from the U.S. census data, the median household income for St. Louis County, the heart of the Iron Range, for 2007-2011 is $45,399. That’s a far cry from the statewide average of $58,476. That’s only part of the picture. One in six people in St. Louis County, or 16.0%, lives in poverty.
I’ve written before that precious metal mining isn’t the automatic ecological disaster that militant environmentalists insist it is. This post highlights the fact that it’s quite possible to mine precious metals without destroying the environment:
In 1936, Kennecott constructed evaporation ponds to store and evaporate mine water originating from the Bingham Canyon watershed. Over time, additional ponds were constructed to increase capacity, and the area became known as the South Jordan Evaporation Ponds (SJEP). The ponds were used for mine water until 1965 and for periodic storage of runoff water until 1987. SJEP use was discontinued in 1987.
Studies in the early 1990s concluded that there were elevated levels of heavy metals in the soil where the holding ponds had been located. Kennecott took responsibility for the impacts and agreed to reclaim and remediate the SJEP area. The removal work was undertaken pursuant to an EPA Administrative Order on Consent (AOC).
A massive clean-up operation began in 1994 involving the removal of pond sediment and six additional inches of underlying native soil. The material removed from Daybreak was permanently relocated to the Kennecott Blue Water Repository as part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) clean up. At this time, some sediment, with a low concentration of lead and arsenic but an elevated sulfate concentration were consolidated onsite and capped with topsoil and re-vegetated. In 2001, the EPA issued a Record of Decision stating that the removal action adequately satisfied the remedial objectives and EPA determined that no further action was required. An Operation and Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan) was established to address
further management of the consolidation site.
Pursuant to agreements between the EPA, UDEQ and Kennecott, Kennecott began removing the remaining sediments at the consolidation site under the guideline of the O&M Plan. In 2006, Kennecott, the EPA and the UDEQ entered into an agreement solidifying the unrestricted residential and commercial use clean-up standards for the entire site.
In early 2007, the consolidated pond sediment removal project was completed. In 2008, the EPA and UDEQ issued a Consent Decree for the ground water cleanup efforts.
It’s time for people to ridicule dishonest environmentalist organizations. It’s time to move forward with precious metals mining. It’s time the private sector lifted the people of St. Louis County out of poverty by letting them flourish.
It’s political light years away from the next presidential election season but it isn’t too early to start drafting potential GOP presidential candidates. Atop my list is Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor. Marc Thiessen’s article sums up Gov. Walkers qualifications perfectly:
During the 2012 recall fight in Wisconsin, a group of protesters dressed as zombies disrupted Gov. Scott Walker’s speech at a ceremony for kids participating in the Special Olympics. Walker just ignored the protesters. Afterwards, talk radio host Charlie Sykes told Walker he should have “gone Chris Christie on them.” But Walker wanted to keep the focus on the Special Olympics athletes, saying “it was their day.”
The incident is revealing. Walker and Christie, the New Jersey governor, are friends, and they have both found a way to win in purple states that have not voted for a Republican president in a quarter-century. But they each did it in very different ways.
Christie is moderate in policy, but immoderate in temperament.
Walker is moderate in temperament, but immoderate in policy.
Activists are drawn to Christie’s gruff exterior because they want a fighter. There’s no questioning whether Gov. Christie is a fighter. Still, for all his combativeness, many of his policies are what I’d expect of a New England Republican. That makes Gov. Christie significantly less appealing than Gov. Walker:
Walker is a tea party hero thanks to his courageous stand against the public-sector unions in Wisconsin. Cruz may have “faux filibustered” Obamacare, but Walker faced down 100,000 protesters outside the Capitol in Madison and won. He not only passed his reforms despite unbelievable odds, he became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. He’s both a fighter and a winner, a compelling combination for the conservative base.
Moreover, Walker’s appeal to the right goes beyond collective bargaining. As governor, he passed a raft of other conservative reforms that went virtually unnoticed because of the collective-bargaining fight. He signed legislation enacting voter identification requirements, permitting the concealed carry of firearms, defunding Planned Parenthood, prohibiting any health exchange operating in Wisconsin from covering abortion, reducing taxes, expanding school choice and reforming entitlements. Walker is an across-the-board, unflinching, full-spectrum conservative.
But Walker also has a proven ability to win the votes of moderates and reform-minded independents. While Walker is often portrayed as a “divisive” figure, exit polls in the June 2012 gubernatorial recall election showed that about one in six Walker voters also planned to vote for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “those confounding Obama-Walker voters of 2012…[are] still with us.” Two separate 2013 polls of Wisconsin voters, the paper reported, show that “11% approve of both politicians.”
Put differently, Christie is the bully who supports many liberal policies like gun control and global warming. Gov. Walker has a mental toughness that can’t be questioned. He stared down the thugs in Wisconsin and won the fight for important reforms. Everyone knows about the collective bargaining rights fight. Few noticed that he got other reforms passed, too.
Most importantly, I won’t have to worry whether Gov. Walker will abandon conservatism’s core principles. He won’t. He’ll pick great judges. He’ll feature a positive pro-growth agenda. He’ll be an unapologetic conservative with a lengthy history of conservative accomplishments.
George Will noted another appealing part of Gov. Walker’s in this column:
To fight the recall, during which opponents disrupted Walker’s appearance at a Special Olympics event and squeezed Super Glue into the locks of a school he was to visit, Walker raised more than $30?million, assembling a nationwide network of conservative donors that could come in handy if he is reelected next year.
It’s great that Gov. Walker is a proven fundraiser. He’d need it if he runs against Hillary in 2016. More importantly, though, he understands the value of a strong organization.
In other words, Gov. Walker a) is an unapologetic conservative, b) has a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments, c) can rally the conservative base while still appealing to independents and d) is a prolific fundraiser. That’s quite the trifecta heading into 2016.
If you want to read an article that’s filled with political vindictiveness and terrible writing, I’d recommend this article from the AP’s Laurie Kellman. Here’s Ms. Kellman’s opening
A month after emerging from a government shutdown at the top of their game, many Democrats in Congress newly worried about the party’s re-election prospects are for the first time distancing themselves from President Barack Obama after the disastrous rollout of his health care overhaul.
For people keeping score at home, that opening sentence is 45 words long. Run-on sentences of that length don’t help people focus their attention. English instructors frequently recommend that writers keep sentences to 18 words or less. Here’s how that paragraph would’ve looked had I written it:
After winning the government shutdown, congressional Democrats are worried about their re-election prospects. Now Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Thank God for ‘professional’ writers. Seriously, what person would be interested in the rest of the article after Ms. Kellman’s opening? It gets worse because Ms. Kellman transitions from unprofessional writer to professional political hack:
Cummings, the White House’s biggest defender in a Republican-controlled committee whose agenda is waging war against the administration over the attack in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, a gun-tracking operation and now health care, said he still thinks Obama is operating with integrity.
Chairman Issa’s agenda thus far has been to highlight this administration’s dishonesty and incompetence. When President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ frequent impassioned pleas for more security, they ignored him. As a direct result of their passivity, Ambassador Stevens and 3 other American patriots were executed in Benghazi.
That isn’t “waging war against the administration.” That’s investigating a tragic incident that didn’t need to happen. Investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations isn’t “waging war against the administration.” It’s investigating the abuse of power that’s happened all too frequently with this imperial administration. It’s a legitimate investigation because abuses of power of this scope can’t be tolerated. Period.
Let’s not be naive. There are political consequences for these foolish decisions. Congress is questioning President Obama’s integrity because he isn’t a man of integrity. The American people have noticed. As a result, President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically.
Hillary Clinton’s integrity hasn’t dropped…yet. She left Washington, DC before Greg Hicks’ riveting testimony about what happened that night in Benghazi. There will be a political price to be paid for her passivity and terrible decisionmaking. How high of a price she’ll pay isn’t knowable at this time. Suffice it to say it might be a steep price.
Republican members of Chairman Issa’s committee haven’t editorialized. They’ve asked professional, probing questions. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Their job is to investigate, not to be the administration’s stenographers.
If President Obama’s administration hadn’t made this many major mistakes, Chairman Issa’s committee wouldn’t have been justified in investigating this many things. Because they made this many egregious mistakes, Chairman Issa was obligated to investigate.
If that constitutes an attack in Ms. Kellman’s mind, then it’s safe to say she’s a stenographer, not a reporter.
Democrats have demagogued TEA Party forever, characterizing them as far-outside-the-mainstream. Thanks to the TEA Party movement, a new generation of potential conservative superstars is rising up that will change the face of the GOP. One of those potential conservative superstars is Erika Harold. Reading Ms. Harold’s Issues Page is a breath of fresh air. On taxes and regulation:
In an effort to stem the rise of burdensome regulations, I will support efforts to narrow the scope of the powers delegated to administrative agencies. Additionally, I will support tax reform policies aimed at simplifying the tax code.
On the Constitution:
One of the hallmarks of our democratic system of governance is the respect for individual liberties and the understanding that these enshrined freedoms serve as proper limits on governmental power. Accordingly, I will oppose efforts to abridge the rights enumerated in our Constitution. Drawing upon my experience as a lawyer advising faith-based institutions, I will champion the First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and the freedom of association. I also will support the law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment right to bear arms and will oppose efforts to encroach upon that right.
Sign me up. I’m a fan. In addition to being a Constitution-loving lawyer who loves low taxes and sensible levels of regulation, Ms. Harold once was crowned Miss America in the fall of 2002. In June, Ms. Harold announced that she’s “mounting a Republican primary challenge to Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois.”
Another potential rising star for the GOP is Mia Love. Conservatives are sure to love Ms. Love’s education agenda:
As a mother with three children enrolled in public schools, education is extremely important to me. We need a strong educational system that will allow America to continue in its role as the world’s premier leader in scientific research and technological development. American families want better quality education, lower education costs, and more local control over decisions related to education. In recent years the U.S. Department of Education has expanded the federal role in education to unprecedented levels to the detriment of our children and college students. Utah – not the federal government – knows what is best for Utah’s student. I trust Utah teachers and Utah parents over Washington bureaucrats.
These are my proposals to address the problems surrounding education:
- Return control of schools to local levels
- Support Utah’s teachers by opposing one-size-fits-all federal programs that take flexibility away from innovative teachers
- Eliminate the disparity between Department of Education bureaucrats’ salaries and local teachers’ salaries
- Bring down the cost of college tuition by allowing schools to compete for students and not allowing a federal government takeover of higher education
- Support the right of parents, local school districts, and the state of Utah to develop curriculum and set testing standards
Another potential rising conservative star is Katrina Pierson.
Ms. Pierson isn’t afraid to identify herself as a TEA Party conservative:
Katrina Pierson is a candidate for the United States Congress in the 32nd District in Texas.
She is best known across Texas and the nation as a passionate advocate for freedom. For five years, she has served as a Steering Committee member for the Dallas Tea Party. She is also the Founder of the Garland Tea Party and a member of the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee. Her primary goal as an activist has been to provide citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to protect and advance liberty.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that Ms. Pierson is a passionate, articulate opponent of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare:
There is perhaps no single government program that poses a greater threat to our life, liberty and prosperity than the “Affordable Care Act,” generally referred to as “ObamaCare.” The more the American people learn about ObamaCare, the less they like it—and with good reason. According to the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare is expected to cost our economy upwards of 800,000 jobs. A recent survey of business executives revealed that 71 percent said that ObamaCare is making it harder to hire workers. Every day brings new stories about companies laying off workers or cutting back hours. ObamaCare is the very last thing our struggling economy needs.
If you’re noticing a theme here, it’s that these ladies are a) unapologetic conservatives, b) TEA Party activists and c) minorities. The last I looked at Republicans in Washington, DC, they needed more people who fit these characteristics. Hopefully, that’ll change next November. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if all three of these ladies are sworn in in January, 2015.
Politicians that underestimate the size of what might be called ‘Common Core mom’ vote do so at their peril. There’s a large and growing demographic that will have an impact on congressional and legislative races next year. People who dismiss this growing demographic will be making a major mistake. Joy Pullmann’s article highlights the growing opposition to Common Core and politicians disdain for activists who are pushing back against Common Core elitists.
Common Core lists what several committees convened within two DC-based nonprofits decided K-12 children need to learn in math and English. Although federal influence over testing and curriculum is illegal, the Obama administration has funded two other nonprofits it oversees to make national tests that will measure whether children have learned what these committees wanted. These currently unfinished tests will replace state tests in more than 40 states in 2014-15. In most states, test results influence teacher pay, personnel hiring and firing, school funding, state control over school districts, curriculum, whether students pass their grade or graduate, college acceptance, and more. Basically, Common Core touches everything in U.S. education except bus routes.
The pushback against Common Core has already started:
Common Core opponents include, as entire institutions or representatives from them, the American Principles Project, Americans for Prosperity, the Badass Teachers Association, the Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, Class Size Matters, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Goldwater Institute, the Heartland Institute (where I work), the Heritage Foundation, Hillsdale College, the Hoover Institution, Notre Dame University, the National Association of Scholars, the Pioneer Institute, Stanford University, United Opt-Out, and leaders from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to a coalition of Catholic university scholars and teachers union darling Diane Ravitch. These organizations’ flavors range from constitutionalist to libertarian to liberal. The people making the noise are regular moms, dads, and grandparents, but they’re backed up by organizations with intellectual chops.
The pushback against the pushback has also started:
As a sampling of the disregard politicians have bestowed on thousands of ordinary people agitating against Common Core as it rolls out into schools in advance of the tests, consider the following.
Before one of these hearings in October, Ohio House Education Chairman Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) told reporters Common Core critics “don’t make sense.” He also called opposition a “conspiracy theory.” In Wisconsin the same month, state Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) told a packed audience their hearings were “crazy” and “a show,” and asked, “What are we doing here?” When Michigan’s legislature reinstated Common Core funding after several hearings, State Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw County) said, “[W]e’ve marginalized, quite frankly, the anti-crowd into a very minute number.” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has called opponents a “distract[ing]” “fringe movement.”
Those statements drip with elitist I-know-what’s-best’ contempt for “regular moms, dads and grandparents.” That type of elitist attitude almost automatically leads to a revolt:
Thousands of New York parents and teachers have attended public forums to protest Common Core this fall. At the first of 16 state-sponsored townhalls on the topic, state education Commissioner John King was booed after talking over parents repeatedly and giving the large, angry audience 20 minutes to ask questions after a two-hour presentation. After the meeting, King declared the forum was “co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to ‘dominate’ the questions and manipulate the forum.” So he canceled the rest. After calls for his resignation, King announced new, invite-only forums.
If you think the health care town halls in August, 2009 were spirited, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The people in these audiences are from a much wider political spectrum, meaning they’re drawing from a significantly bigger pool of activists than the TEA Party ever did.
Further, though elitists like Jeb Bush and Arne Duncan think poorly of Common Core opposition activists, that doesn’t mean these Common Core moms votes don’t count just as much as these elitists’ votes count for. It’s worth noting that these activists will show up on Election Night 2014. Every elitist comment from Commissioner King, Gov. Bush or Secretary Duncan just activates these voters more.
In presidential election years, elitists can get away with their snobbishness to a certain extent. In mid-term elections, elitists can’t get away with their snobbishness because blue collar workers make up a bigger percentage of the voters showing up.
Follow this link to find out why Common Core needs to be abolished from schools nationwide.
World famous explorer Will Steger has joined forces with the Sierra Club and local environmental extremists in their attempt to shut down the Becker power plant, aka Sherco 1-2:
Regulators want to hear what citizens think about Xcel Energy’s giant coal-fired power plant in Becker, Minn.
As long as they keep it to three minutes.
As a courtesy to prominent climate activists, the state Public Utilities Commission has set aside time at its Dec. 5 meeting to hear their views on a procedural matter with implications for the future of coal-based electricity in Minnesota.
Polar explorer Will Steger and St. Paul attorney Barbara Freese, author of “Coal: A Human History,” are among the activists who want regulators to consider shutting down the two oldest coal units at Xcel’s Sherco power plant by the end of the decade.
What these militant environmentalists want, though they won’t admit it, are high-priced electricity. They’re also pushing for Minnesota to rely on unreliable energy sources:
Minnesota is on the road to a clean energy future. Our state is on track to get 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025, and this year Minnesota established solar policies that will mean 34 times more solar in 2020 than today.
That’s just part of the Sierra Club’s agenda. They also want to eliminate natural gas:
Natural gas drillers exploit government loopholes, ignore decades-old environmental protections, and disregard the health of entire communities. “Fracking,” a violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations, is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes. If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas.
That’s an important part of the Sierra Club’s agenda but there’s more to it:
Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. The Beyond Nuclear team works with diverse partners and allies to provide the public, government officials, and the media with the critical information necessary to move humanity toward a world beyond nuclear.
That’s right. The Sierra Club, which is the driving force behind shutting down Sherco, essentially wants to eliminate the most reliable forms of energy. Their goal is to replace these reliable energy sources with unreliable energy sources.
There’s nothing centrist about these activists. Solar and other forms of renewable energy aren’t just unreliable. They’re expensive, too. That’s what President Obama meant when he said that, under his cap & trade plan, electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket.” If cap & trade were implemented, the only types of electricity-producing energy would be solar and wind, which are extremely expensive and unreliable.
Simply put, the Next Generation Energy Act should be repealed and Beyond Coal’s petition be ignored. The Sierra Club isn’t a centrist organization. It’s a militant environmentalist organization that’s skilled at putting on a centrist show to promote their extremist agenda.
Technorati: Will Steger, Sierra Club, Next Generation Energy Act, Beyond Coal, Beyond Natural Gas, Beyond Nuclear, Solar Energy, Wind, Cap And Trade, President Obama, Environmental Extremists, Becker Power Plant, Public Utilities Commission
This SC Times editorial says that Republicans share in the blame for the Affordable Care Act’s rollout fiasco:
The problems with the federal government’s health website would not have arisen if Republicans in 36 states had not refused to build their own sites.
First, it’s arrogant to think that the ACA is the right solution to America’s health care problems. With ACA-approved health insurance policies charging significantly more than people’s cancelled policies, with smaller networks included in those policies and with deductibles doubling and sometimes tripling, it isn’t difficult to argue that the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA, is the wrong perscription for fixing America’s health care system.
Next, it isn’t the Republicans’ fault that President Obama picked incompetent and corrupt tech support companies to build HealthCare.gov. Similarly, it isn’t the Republicans’ fault that President Obama, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Henry Chao, CMS’s deputy chief information officer, failed to properly supervise the implementation of the HealthCare.gov portal. I can picture an email exchange between Sebelius and Chao looking like this:
Sebelius: Henry, how’s the building of HealthCare.gov going?
Chao: It’s going well. We’re right on schedule.
Sebelius: Thanks Henry. Now get back to working round the clock on HealthCare.gov.
It’s pretty apparent that Secretary Sebelius didn’t ask detailed follow-up questions. It’s apparent that President Obama either didn’t ask questions of the people building HealthCare.gov or he didn’t ask the right questions of the tech specialists installing the website.
Republicans are receiving campaign funds from the health care industry, and they do not care about millions of minorities and elderly people who do not have insurance.
That’s right. Republicans hate everyone who isn’t a rich entrepreneur. They want air so filthy that it’s unbreathable and air so filthy that it’s undrinkable. According to deceitful Democrats, Republicans a) want black churches burned to the ground and b) want to return America to the Jim Crow era. (Forget the fact that Democrats implemented the Jim Crow laws.) Republicans want to push Granny off a cliff rather than care for her.
In the minds of dishonest progressives, anyone who doesn’t agree with the Affordable Care Act’s provisions hates minorities and the elderly. In these people’s minds, honest policy disagreements don’t exist because Republicans are evil.
Republicans won’t admit that the 14 states that built their own websites are doing fine.
There’s a reason why Republicans won’t agree that the state-run health insurance exchange websites are doing fine. It’s because they aren’t working fine. Like HealthCare.gov, state-run exchanges don’t have a way for people to pay their premiums. Here in Minnesota, MnSure gets weekends and holidays off.
Other than that, the Affordable Care Act is working beautifully.
The reality is that Republicans predicted almost all of the things that’ve gone wrong. They predicted the cancellation notices. They predicted that the exchanges wouldn’t be operational on Oct. 1. They predicted higher premiums for middle class families. They even predicted that young healthies wouldn’t sign up for insurance.
Republicans didn’t predict these things because they hate people. They predicted these things because they recognized the inherent flaws in the Affordable Care Act.
Perhaps, I’m a bit sensitive about the Senate Office Building lawsuit because Jim Knoblach is a friend of mine. Still, it’s puzzling to me as to why conservative activists and organizations haven’t jumped on the Stop the SOB bandwagon.
Jim’s lawsuit has something in it for all different stripes of conservatives. For the liberty movement, Jim’s lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a Tax Bill that does more than address tax policy. In other words, the lawsuit accuses Sen. Tom Bakk of violating the Single-Subject Clause in Minnesota’s Constitution. (Building pork palaces for politicians doesn’t fit with setting tax rates and policies.)
For fiscal conservatives, Jim’s lawsuit highlights the DFL’s propensity for proposing pork projects. Simply put, the proposed Senate Office Building is pure pork. The notion that a new office building is needed is foolish. Taxpayers need to fund politicians’ palaces like Minnesota needs a $4/hr. increase in the minimum wage.
For political candidates, Jim’s lawsuit offers a great opportunity to highlight the fact that Democrats love pork projects, especially pork for pompous politicians. I’d be surprised if 80% of Minnesota’s taxpayers didn’t agree that politicians don’t need to spend $90,000,000 on a building that’s occupied 140 days during each biennium. Further, taxpayers don’t need a palace that includes “a reflecting pool, skylights and a fitness center.”
For GOP political strategists, it’s a fantastic opportunity to prove the DFL is the party of pompous politicians, not the party of the people. Think of the opportunity to paint Sen. Bakk and the DFL legislators who voted for the Tax Bill as pork-loving, tax-raising politicians who are out of touch with Main Street Minnesotans. Frankly, this is a gift that might keep giving, at least until judges rule that Sen. Bakk’s pork project is unconstitutional.
It’s a great opportunity for GOP legislators to push a defunding bill when the session re-opens in February, 2014. If Sen. Bakk bottles up the GOP repeal bill, they can use that against Democrats in their campaigns. If their legislation repeals funding for Sen. Bakk’s pork palace, it will be a stinging defeat for Sen. Bakk.
I understand why the GOP leadership in the Senate hasn’t expressed outrage thus far. Now that Gov. Dayton has criticized the bill he signed, he’s essentially given Senate GOP leadership ‘permission’ to criticize Sen. Bakk on this issue.
Finally, organizations like the Taxpayers League and Minnesota Majority should have a field day with this. It’s right in their wheel house. The great news is that there’s tons of potential political upside. The fantastic news is that there’s virtually no political downside to criticizing Sen. Bakk’s pork palace.
After all, how often do conservsatives get the opportunity to criticize a powerful Democrat for punishing taxpayers twice within a single bill? It’s important to remember that this year’s Tax Bill raised taxes on “the rich”, the middle class and working poor while spending money on palaces for politicians.
Technorati: Tom Bakk, Senate Office Building, Tax Increases, Mark Dayton, Pork Projects, Minimum Wage Increase, Tom Anzelc, Minnesota State Constitution, Single Subject Clause, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Stop the SOB, Taxpayers League, Minnesota Majority, MnGOP, Election 2014
This afternoon, a faithful reader of LFR alerted me to the fact that MnSure will be on the St. Cloud State campus to recruit young healthy adults for MnSure. Here’s what the announcement said:
A number of departments on campus are involved in a partnership to educate students about the Affordable Health Care Act and to assist students who are uninsured (or underinsured) get insured through MNSURE. Rolanda Mason, of the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Task Force and other staff from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid will discuss and answer questions to help students get the right health insurance. Please inform students about the upcoming educational sessions scheduled for November 26 and December 2. More details are listed below.
When it comes to campus advocacy organizations, the Women’s Center is among the most partisan organizations on campus. Think of them as the DFL’s on-campus tentacles. The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Task Force knows that students under the age of 26 can be insured through their parents’ policy. That’s one of the Democrats’ favorite selling points.
What this means is that the DFL is using student-funded organizations on campus to sell health insurance. Like President Obama, the DFL knows that they’re in trouble if they don’t get lots of young healthies signed up through the exchange. The SCSU Women’s Center is complicit in selling that insurance.
The Women’s Center is funded by the taxpayers. Taxpayers have a right to expect the money to not be used for purely partisan purposes. Further, the event notice is condescending. Saying that “health care can be confusing” is the ultimate in condescension. These are college students, not third graders.
Riffing off of that point, these students understand their choices. If students aren’t purchasing health insurance, it’s likely that they don’t like their options. Telling them that the policy they purchase has to have ambulatory care doesn’t make much sense to a healthy 28-year-old.
The problem isn’t that health care can be confusing.” It’s that the options available through MnSure and the Affordable Care Act aren’t appealing. That’s what happens when bureaucracies collide with free market options. Free markets might take time adjusting but they wise up or they go bankrupt. Bureaucracies will take time and they won’t adjust. Unfortunately, they won’t go bankrupt for having stupid, unresponsive ideas. Each year, they know they’ll get a new infusion of cash to tide them over until the next year.
Rather than sending people to college campuses to sell policies kids don’t need and can’t afford, the Dayton administration should spend more time increasing sensible options for students. That way, they can buy a policy that makes sense for them rather than a policy that the government, in their inifinite wisdom, says they need.
The notion that taxpayers should fund an on-campus advocacy group is appalling. That this advocacy organization is helping implement a partisan policy is unjustifiable.
Last night, Clinton consigliere Lanny Davis threw President Obama under the proverbial Clinton bus during his interview with Megyn Kelly. I was astonished that he made this statement at the outset of the interview:
LANNY DAVIS: Well first, I hate the idea that we’re blaming Barack Obama when other people like myself and members of Congress have supported for years this national health care idea. I think we all let the American people down by not thinking through how complicated trying to revolutionize the health care system would be and I think we have to fess up that we messed up and maybe hit the reset button and start to take another look at a more incremental approach that brings Republicans over so this isn’t a partisan issue anymore.
Part of Davis’ statement indicates that he wants Democrats to not get hurt in the 2014 midterm elections. Part of him is willing to accept partial responsibility for approving of the Affordable Care Act. That said, there’s no doubt that the Clintons have a purpose in sending Lanny Davis into this situation.
Their purpose is to get rid of the Affordable Care Act before Hillary’s campaign. The last thing she wants to do is deal with this disaster. By getting out in front of things, she can look more moderate while casting President Obama as a hard-line ideologue. Watch the entire interview here:
The entire interview lasts 5 minutes so it’s well worth your while.