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This morning, Donald Trump picked Gov. Nikki Haley, (R-SC), to be the US Ambassador to the UN. This afternoon, President-Elect Trump picked Betsy DeVos to be his Education Secretary. The Washington Post describes Mrs. DeVos as a “billionaire and conservative activist” who “has quietly helped change the education landscape in many states, spending millions of dollars in a successful push to expand voucher programs that give families taxpayer dollars to pay for private and religious schools.”

Of course, the article wouldn’t be complete without quoting Randi Weingarten. Ms. Weingarten is quoted as saying “Trump’s pick makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America.”

In picking DeVos, President-Elect Trump is telling conservatives that he will push their school choice agenda. This pick, more than any other pick besides Jeff Sessions as Trump’s AG, signals that Trump’s education agenda aligns with Republicans’ education agenda.

After accepting the nomination to be the US ambassador to the US, Mrs. Haley said “When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed,” Haley said, adding that she will “remain as governor until the U.S. Senate acts affirmatively on my nomination.”

DeVos will likely get the most criticism from Democrats because school choice represents an existential threat to the Democrats’ teacher union special interest allies. I’d think that Haley will sail through for confirmation.

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Briana Bierschbach’s article exposes the DFL’s electoral dilemma going forward. She quotes Ken Martin, the DFL State Party Chairman, as saying “Clearly there were a lot of white, non-college-educated, working-class voters who were frustrated and anxious about their future and they wanted change. We have to figure out how to speak to white, working-class voters in a better way.”

Actually, the DFL’s problem isn’t messaging. The DFL’s problems revolve around geography and policies. Specifically, the DFL is dominated by the Twin Cities environmental activists that can’t relate to outstate Minnesota. What’s worse for the DFL is that these environmental activists don’t want to relate to blue collar workers.

This isn’t just a problem for the DFL. The Democratic Party nationally got routed because they ignored these blue collar workers. Democrats nationally and the DFL locally both have sided with environmental activists on issue after issue. Whether it’s on the Keystone XL Pipeline or the Dakota Access Pipeline nationally or the Sandpiper Pipeline here in Minnesota, the environmental activists always win the fight with the Democrats.

If that pattern doesn’t change, the DFL will continue to get hurt electorally. They won’t admit this in public but the truth is that Donald Trump has changed the political landscape. I’m not calling this a permanent realignment. It’s a significant shift, though, because there’s now a new option available to blue collar Democrats.

This past year, Rep. Thissen told us that the DFL would make up ground in outstate Minnesota with broadband and transit. I wrote that those things wouldn’t help them in outstate Minnesota because they weren’t important to outstate voters. The DFL didn’t identify health care accessibility or health insurance premiums as battleground issues.

Think of it this way: outstate voters that normally vote DFL are drifting away from the DFL because of health care and environmental issues. Suburban voters are drifting, too, because health care prices are expensive. The DFL’s messaging won’t change those realities.

The St. Cloud Times just published my LTE on Minnesota’s MNsure crisis. Check it out and leave a comment if so inspired.

WCCO-TV is reporting that organized protests stopped traffic on I-94 for almost an hour Thursday night. According to WCCO, “more than 3,600 people were expected for the march Thursday night from the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus through the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.” Later in the article, WCCO-TV reported that Robin Wonsley was one of the protest organizers.

Ms. Wonsley is quoted as saying “For 18 months this man has ignited bigotry and racism, Islamophobia, sexism … saying he’s going to implement and bring forth policies that are going to reflect those values and that rhetoric. That is what Americans are afraid of right now.”

This video shows how disruptive these protesters are:

According to this article, Wonsley is a far left lefty:

“We are not defeated right now,” said Robin Wonsley, an organizer with the Socialist Alternative MN group, which helped to set up the protest and spread word about it on Facebook.

Here’s more on Socialist Alternative:

Socialist Alternative is a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day. We are community activists fighting against budget cuts in public services; we are activists campaigning for a $15 an hour minimum wage and fighting, democratic unions; we are people of all colors speaking out against racism and attacks on immigrants, students organizing against tuition hikes and war, women and men fighting sexism and homophobia.

We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires.

We see the global capitalist system as the root cause of the economic crisis, poverty, discrimination, war, and environmental destruction. As capitalism moves deeper into crisis, a new generation of workers and youth must join together to take the top 500 corporations into public ownership under democratic control to end the ruling elites’ global competition for profits and power.
We believe the dictatorships that existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were perversions of what socialism is really about. We are for democratic socialism where ordinary people will have control over our daily lives.

Recently, a memo was sent out talking about the need for SCSU to embrace “diversity and encourage the celebration of multicultural traditions.” The email says that “two Meditation and Prayer Rooms are available on campus to students, faculty, staff and visitors for reflection, prayer and meditation. The rooms, located in Atwood Memorial Center and the Miller Center, are open to all and cannot be reserved.”

While that sounds fine, what LFR has learned is that Semya Hakim, a Human Relations and Multicultural Education professor and adviser to the Muslim Student Association, pushed this initiative. LFR has also learned that SCSU has spent over $11,000 thus far on the prayer and meditation room in Miller Center and that that price will definitely go higher. Prior to Prof. Hakim’s intervention, SCSU showed no signs of caring about religious diversity.

Considering Prof. Hakim’s background as an adviser to the Muslim Student Association and their ties to CAIR, it isn’t exactly a stretch to think that Prof. Hakim wasn’t that worried about the civil rights of people of other faiths.

In this article about CAIR, Hakim said that the definition of Islamophobia is the “extremely strong dislike or fear of Islam and the people who practice it.” Prof. Hakim then said that Jaylani Hussein’s talk would “likely talk about definitions of Islamophobia, incidents that have displayed it and what people can do in response.”

SCSU is running another deficit this year, especially since headcount enrollment dropped another 2.4% this semester. The fact that budgets were cut while this project was approved is disturbing. It’s disturbing that SCSU put a higher priority on displaying their diversity than they put on getting the University’s finances in order. Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising.

It’s unfortunate that the special interests run SCSU. Until it changes, its struggles will continue.

Thus far in this series, I’ve highlighted the fact that the ISD742 School Board hasn’t talked about St. Cloud’s high school enrollment forecasts for the short-, medium- and long-term. They didn’t tell voters that they’ve already purchased the land for a new Tech HS. That wasn’t announced on the District’s website. It was announced this past week on Dan Ochsner’s radio program when a current school board member called into Ox’s show and blurted that information out.

Last year, voters found out in the newspaper that there wasn’t a finalized set of blueprints for people to look at because, according to Barclay Carriar, “with the cost of designing a building, 80 percent of it isn’t going to be designed until after the referendum. And the plans we’ve got now are still tentative.”

Last year, taxpayers didn’t know that the plans were “still tentative.” This year, we didn’t know that the District had already purchased the land where the new Tech HS is supposed to be built at. The next logical question that taxpayers should demand answers to is what other information the School Board hasn’t disclosed. At this point, taxpayers don’t know where the money came from to pay for the Tech HS land. That’s certainly something that we should know. Did the District have enough money tucked away to pay for the land? At this point, taxpayers don’t know.

The thing that taxpayers know, though, is that they aren’t writing any blank checks this year. This isn’t the time when people are trusting politicians. The School Board is asking taxpayers to approve the biggest property tax increase in St. Cloud history without telling taxpayers that they’ve already bought the land for the new high school. That’s terrible because the taxpayers haven’t approved the bonds yet. That tells taxpayers that the School Board is taking them for granted.

Just because the School Board is a rubberstamp doesn’t mean that taxpayers are a rubberstamp. Taxpayers don’t want a canned presentation. They want input from start to finish. That’s something that the School Board isn’t willing to relinquish.

In my estimation, the ISD742 School Board has transitioned from being public servants to being arrogant taskmasters. That’s why the bonding referendum must be defeated. That’s why we need new School Board members elected ASAP.

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Let there be no mistake about what the DFL wants to do. Their goal is to run St. Paul … again. The last time the DFL held the majority in the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate and there was a DFL governor, taxes were raised on small businesses, then partially repealed and property taxes skyrocketed. We were told by Rep. Thissen that the DFL’s House Education Omnibus Finance bill “calls for historic investment in education.” The DFL made that boast before the Princeton School Board raised property taxes by 25.16%. The DFL made that boast before the St. Cloud School Board raised their levy by 14.75%.

Gone is any pretense about finding middle ground. The DFL wants to shove another item from their ideological wish list down Minnesotan’s throats. The DFL isn’t interested in serving the people. The DFL is interested in winning one ideological victory after another. TakeAction Minnesota, an arm of the DFL, stated things quite clearly how they anticipate passing their ideological checklist in this fundraising appeal:

Notice that TakeAction Minnesota named 4 politicians, essentially telling us that they are hard left ideologues, aka true believers. The names of those true believers include the ethically challenged Ilhan Omar, Alberder Gillespie (who wants to be “a powerful, progressive voice for her community on education funding, paid sick leave and other issues”, Zach Dorholt (who voted for forced unionization of in-home child care providers, the tax increases mentioned earlier and for the $90,000,000 Senate Office Building when he was part of the 2013 DFL legislature) and Lindsey Port. Mrs. Port thinks that government should tell businesses what they should do.

The candidates mentioned in TakeAction Minnesota’s fundraising appeal are as hard left and as anti-jobs as they get. They aren’t capitalists, either. This quartet thinks that the government solutions are the best solutions and that private citizens, acting in their own self-interests, are a danger to their social engineering plans.

Minnesotans need to ask themselves this question: do they want legislators that a) ignore the will of the people and b) think that people making their own decisions are a threat to the DFL’s social engineering agenda? If they’d rather make their own decisions, they need to vote for Republicans. It’s that simple.

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If people paid attention, they weren’t surprised that Senate Democrats voted to continue the violence in sanctuary cities. The Democratic Party is quickly becoming known as the political party that doesn’t protect its citizens. It’s quickly becoming the political party that thinks that laws are for other people.

Certainly, Hillary doesn’t think that this nation’s laws pertain to her. After making the case to indict Hillary on multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act, FBI Director Jim Comey essentially said that Hillary Clinton and her senior advisors weren’t subject to this nation’s laws.

Wednesday, Senate Democrats voted to preserve funding for sanctuary cities. According to the article, “The Republican-controlled Senate failed Wednesday to advance efforts to change federal immigration law — including one to cut funding to so-called sanctuary cities” by a vote of 53-44.

Democrats better not say that they’re the party of the little guy. That’s BS. They’re the party that’s a wholly owned subsidiary of La Raza, aka NCLR.

Senate Republicans also failed to get enough votes to advance their proposed Kate’s Law, named after Kate Steinle, who was fatally shot in July 2015, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had multiple felony convictions and was deported several times prior to the incident.

Afterward, Harry Reid spoke:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said they put presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “ant-immigration rhetoric into action. These bills follow Trump’s lead in demonizing, criminalizing immigrant, Latino families,” the Nevada Democrat said before the votes.

The White House also issued this statement:

The bill fails to offer the comprehensive reforms needed to fix the Nation’s broken immigration laws and would impose severe and unprecedented mandatory minimum sentences that would undermine the discretion of federal judges to make sure the punishment fits the crime in each case.

That’s insulting. Kate’s Law imposes mandatory minimum sentences because liberal judges frequently let violent illegal aliens off with a slap on the wrist, if they appear at all.

If the Democratic Party wants the reputation of being unwilling to protect its citizens, then it deserves to get blown out of the water this November. I don’t know what will happen this far out but, from a policy standpoint, Democrats deserve to be trounced. Thus far, they’ve failed to protect Americans. That’s true with terrorists. It’s true with illegal aliens, too.

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Last week, I wrote this post about this St. Cloud Times editorial.

The Times owes the citizens of this community, especially Granite City Baptist Church, an apology for their vile, hate-filled editorial. Throughout their editorial, the Times used words that agitated. It started in the opening paragraph of their editorial when they said “And so it continues — this tour of anti-Islam, anti-immigrant, fear-mongering speakers who parachute in to St. Cloud, spread their messages of hate and misinformation and then (convenient only for them) leave.” It continued, saying that Usama Dakdok’s presentation has “become well-known for his evil schtick about how Islam is a “savage cult” and that Muslims will soon dominate this country.”

The Times instructed people to listen “to local faith leaders, not Dakdok.”

The Times covered the Friday night presentation relatively fairly in their news section. I wrote this article to highlight the vandalism visited upon Granite City Baptist Church prior to Friday night’s presentation. What’s missing is the Times’ editorial telling people to stand with Granite City Baptist Church in denouncing this vandalism.

Perhaps, that’s because the Times’ editorial included this:

Based on news reports, it’s a classic example of Dakdok’s strategy: Pick smaller cities and rural communities where Muslims are new and few (if any) in number and deliver his toxic message. Plus, of course, collect the obligatory free-will offering. Then pack up and leave — quick, before the waves of hate he’s fostered can crest across the community. (And before people can research for themselves his message.)

Faced with such a despicable dump-and-run tactic, this board urges faith leaders across St. Cloud and all of Central Minnesota to speak up again. Use their influential voices, their powerful sermons, their compassionate followers and even the Times Opinion section to refute Dakdok’s divisive message.

The Times spent a bunch of bandwidth talking about Dakdok’s hateful schtick. Now that the protesters have committed an act of vandalism, it’s possible that the Times might want to get this episode behind them. This isn’t a proud moment for the St. Cloud Times or for Mark Jaede. Jaede issued this press release through the SCSU Announce listserv:

The next day, the Times published its hate-filled editorial.

What a surprise.

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When I wrote this article, I included an email sent out to the SCSU community through their Announce listserv. The email was sent by SCSU History Professor Mark Jaede. The email that Prof. Jaede sent out raised awareness of the fact that “Granite City Baptist Church in St. Cloud is sponsoring a presentation by a speaker who tours the country denouncing Islam and warning that Muslims are conspiring to take over America” and that “#unitecloud, an organization that seeks to support immigrants and bring together people from the St. Cloud area of different religious perspectives, is holding a counterdemonstration Friday at 5 pm.”

Then Prof. Jaede added this:

“This announcement is posted consistent with the guidelines for SCSU-Announce which can be found here:

http://huskynet.stcloudstate.edu/policies/announce_discuss.asp

and say in part:

“Examples of acceptable use:

  • Event announcements
  • Items that have been lost or found
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Community opportunities related to the university

As always, any comments, responses, or denunciations should not go to Announce, but should go either to Discuss or to me personally.”Interestingly, Prof. Jaede highlighted “event announcements” and “community opportunities related to the university.” What I’d be interested in hearing is Prof. Jaede’s explanation how a religious event at a church is related to St. Cloud State University. (BTW, the University’s spelling sucks. It shouldn’t be spelled “related to the university” because it’s talking about St. Cloud State University, which makes it a proper noun, which requires a capital letter. But I digress.)

Further, I can’t wait to hear Prof. Jaede’s justification for using government resources to talk about a counterprotest put on by a progressive political organization named #unitecloud. If you visit their missions page, it says “Who is your neighbor?

LGBT, Muslims, Christians, Immigrants, Disabled, Homeless, Poor, Women, Whites, Blacks, and on and on. We all have biases. They influence how we treat each other. You don’t have to agree with your neighbor’s lifestyle to promote a culture of respect. You don’t have to agree on anything to be kind. Our commonality is based in our humanness. Take time to look them in the eye, learn their story, and see how much we all hold in common.”

If that doesn’t sound like a DFL front group, then DFL front groups don’t exist. And I know DFL front groups exist because I’ve exposed more than a few dozen DFL front groups.

I’d love hearing President Potter’s or Prof. Jaede’s justification for using government resources to announce a political protest at a church on the opposite side of town from the University. I’m betting that they’d fumble their way through a justification if I asked them that question without notice.

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