Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

Free Speech: A real option or a pipe dream?
By Ramblin’ Rose

The South Dakota legislature passed HB 1087 this session, and last week, the Board of Regents approved three free speech policies for its campuses.

According to the National Review, “The bill, S.D. 1087, requires public institutions of higher education in the state to ‘maintain a commitment to the principles of free expression’ and to foster civil, intellectually diverse environments. It protects student organizations from viewpoint discrimination, requires an annual report to the legislature on campus intellectual diversity and speech suppression, and safeguards the use of outdoor spaces as forums for free speech.”

The bill was not supported by the educational system, including leaders of student government. The governor signed the bill into law in March, 2019.

The modifications approved by the Board of Regents on August 8 and 9, 2019, require:

  1. Funding for student organizations be made in a “nondiscriminatory manner.”
  2. Public universities will provide a report to the executive director of the Board of Regents about the ways in which the institutions are working to “promote and ensure intellectual diversity.”
  3. That report must also include any campus events that “impeded intellectual diversity and the free exchange of ideas.”

Some recent events that precipitated this legislation include:

  1. USD prohibited in 2015 of the viewing of a film on the “honor killing” of women in Islamic cultures as anti-Muslim bigotry.
  2. In 2018, university officials removed an American flag that a SDSU student had hung in his dorm to commemorate family friends who had died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  3. Last February, USD administrators “urged” a change of name for a campus “Hawaiian Day” observance because they determined it was insensitive to indigenous Hawaiians.

Political fights continue around this issue. More than two dozen states have introduced “free speech” legislation (including Minnesota); more than a dozen of those have those bills signed into law (not Minnesota).

As a skeptic, I wonder about the impact that these laws will have on campuses. Since the majority of faculty members and administrators are left-leaning liberals, will they implement the laws? Will they hire conservative faculty? Liberal professors outnumber conservatives across the nation by five to one; in the humanities and social sciences, the disparity is even greater. That affects the research that is approved/allowed and the ideologies presented as “truth” in classes. I know that students must respond as the professors want or their grades are affected. Walking the halls of institutions of higher learning, one hears the left-wing lies presented as valid facts. Students must accept and regurgitate those views or fail the courses. Young minds are susceptible, and many are quickly converted. Brave souls are dismissed or rebuked—students and faculty.

Heterodox Academy, a non-partisan collaborative of more than 2,500 professors, administrators, and graduate students, espouses that “Intellectual diversity (or viewpoint diversity) occurs when members of a community approach problems and questions from a range of perspectives. An open expressive climate exists when members of a community, regardless of their beliefs, perspectives, or other prior commitments, feel equally able to ask questions, share ideas, and otherwise participate in learning and knowledge production without risk of censure.”

I question if legislation can accomplish that when liberalism is so engrained in all levels of education and solidly in control of higher education in every state. Will the First Amendment be honored in education, or will PC dogma continue to dominate?

God help education, learners and teachers express the truth and debate differing points of view with civility.

Recently, Democrats have been peddling the line that diversity is what makes America great. Yesterday, former First Lady Michelle Obama tried peddling that BS on Twitter. I guess I’ve seen that spin one too many times.

Mrs. Obama tweeted “What truly makes our country great is its diversity. I’ve seen that beauty in so many ways over the years. Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there’s a place for us all. We must remember it’s not my America or your America. It’s our America.” If diversity means illegal aliens and refugee ingrates, count me out. That isn’t what makes us great as a nation.

Here’s Mrs. Obama’s tweet:


Diversity might be a net positive but that isn’t automatic by any stretch. When Ilhan Omar makes her now-infamous anti-Semitic comments or Rashida Tlaib co-sponsors the anti-Israel BDS resolution that would destabilize Israel’s economy, that isn’t a positive.

What makes the US great is the Constitution that limits the government’s authority over our lives. What makes the US great is capitalism, coupled with the rule of law. Finally, what makes the US great is our Judeo-Christian faith.

First Amendment or Indoctrination
By Ramblin’ Rose

“Actions speak louder than words.” We have all heard, and probably said, that adage many times. Yet on college campuses, where information is to be exchanged and knowledge acquired, that is not always the case. The news media frequently reports on the cancellation of visit by a conservative or Christian speaker due to protests by “enlightened” leftists. If they do attempt to make their speech, they are frequently attacked, physically and verbally.

Many universities announce comfort toys, therapy dogs, massages in de-stressing spaces for students facing final exams. It seems that Snowflakes do melt. Are these young adults who are learning to develop their own informed decisions or sponges ready to follow the indoctrination of left-wing progressive educators?

In March, 2019, South Dakota’s Republican governor Kristi Noem signed HB 1087. Upon signing the bill into law (effective July 1, 2019) she stated, “Our university campuses should be places where students leave their comfort zones and learn about competing ideas and perspectives…I hope this bill lets the nation know that, in South Dakota, we are teaching our next generation to debate important issues, work together to solve problems, and think independently.”

Diversity? It’s a buzzword that has become a part of the PC vocabulary and had its meaning warped by the Left to be a tool to limit free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment. It now symbolizes ‘inclusivity’ as long as the Left determines who is to be included and which ideologies MUST BE embraced by their exclusive definition of ‘tolerance.’ Anyone who tries to express, or worse, practice conservative and/or Christian values MUST BE silenced. This left-wing ideology emanates from diversity offices housed on almost all postsecondary campuses, promoting social justice causes and requiring students, faculty and staff to attend safe space training, suppression of white-identify workshops, drag shows and a plethora of other perverse topics.

In South Dakota, lawmakers estimate that diversity offices cost about $6 million annually and employ 31 people…without improved results for minority/diverse students.

Native Americans comprise the largest minority in South Dakota. Yet they are still struggling to graduate. What are those diversity programs doing for them? One of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Sue Peterson, asked that question. In her review of report from the state’s diversity office reports, she noted references to safe zone training, social justice training and oversight of university hiring projects. She did not report on assistance to Native American students.

The executive director of the Board of Regents claims that “the role of diversity offices is to prepare students to work among other cultures. Businesses that recruit students want employees who can be sent anywhere in the world and adjust to different cultures.”

Representative Peterson, whom I have not met, and I agree that the director’s statement is hollow, at best, and maybe just closer to a lie.

Doing a search for the characteristics that employers want in their employees, communication is still number one. So why not invest in teaching students the language of the company/country where they hope to work. Then they could communicate with the employer, co-workers (#7 on the list of the top 10 quality and skills sought by employers in prospective employees), and the host community.

If the language program is solid, the professors will use the professional standards of ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). All will use the target language (the one being learned) in order to gain the ability to communicate in the language…not in English. The company will not have to hire interpreters for the employee. (US-based company…Do you want your employees depending on local interpreters who may not have the best interests of your company in mind as they interpret…maybe to the benefit of the host-country administrators?)

Those professional standards also include ‘culture.’ Culture, properly taught, includes “products, practices and perspectives.” Traditionally, only products have been named and the practices of a few holidays mentioned. Rarely were the differing perspectives included. They MUST BE if there is to be transparent communication and deep understanding. (Culture classes are also taught in the target language so that English perspectives does not influence the interpretation.)

Let’s consider two examples.

In March, 2001, China downed a US military plane. They had to apologize but would not. However, someone who knew both the language and the culture (all 3 Ps) offered a face-saving resolution. In Chinese, there is a way to say you are sorry without saying that you are sorry. That was not found in a dictionary or on Google Translator. It came from a thorough understanding of the language and culture.

Not all who speak the same language (standard language, dialects and slang excluded) have the same culture. An international student from Peru told me that she had assumed that all Spanish-speaking peoples, at least in Latin America, shared the same perspectives. She was exposed to differences in a US university. She returned home with a better appreciation of the breadth of her own culture.

The insights to be successful as a tourist or professional in another country will not be attained through the programs offered by the diversity offices on US campuses. The executive director is wrong.

South Dakota is one of 17 states that passed legislation, signed by the governor, to protect the First Amendment. The media has not shared this as news. They reacted (negatively) to President Trump’s Executive Order 13864, signed on March 21, 2019. It decrees it to be federal policy to “…foster environments that promote open, intellectually engaging, and diverse debate.” It also directs this nation’s colleges and universities to protect free speech on campus or lose federal research funding.

The Board of Regents met in late June to determine how to operationalize the new law on July 1. We’re still waiting for a report. Their Facebook page provided a short report related to student organizations but nothing about this policy. Hmmmm.

But our neighbor has taken a brave step.

“Supporters are optimistic that the new South Dakota law will help to foster true intellectual diversity, as opposed to what they decry as the left-wing multiculturalist version of diversity that treats all cultures as equal and pressures students to conform.

The new law, known as HB 1087, prevents colleges from creating so-called free speech zones that limit free speech to a specific area on campus and requires the South Dakota Board of Regents, which administers the state’s six public universities, to file with the governor and state lawmakers a report each year identifying “events or occurrences” that “hinder intellectual diversity.”

After reading this SC Times news article, one paragraph jumped out at me.

Tucked into the fourth paragraph was this information:

But rising costs have upset some student advocates, who say students are unfairly bearing the budget burden.

Let’s run this crisis through the lens of free markets improving things. Student activists apparently think that the product they’re receiving isn’t worth the price that they’re paying. Whether that’s true or not isn’t my decision. That’s for the students, their parents and the university to debate and determine. As an outsider to that debate, I’d suggest that some of the things that must be decided upon are staffing levels for administrators, what degrees are offered and which degrees are better off eliminated entirely.

In the past, the legislature has simply increased funding without getting into a discussion of the business models used by MnSCU. That’s because they haven’t challenged the quality of MnSCU’s ‘leadership’. In the past, they’ve simply acquiesced when leadership personnel decisions were made.

In a private business’s model, people throughout a company’s leadership structure would debate the wisdom of the top management’s decisions and, if it’s required, to recommend course and personnel changes. Further, performance evaluations would be required to objectively measure performance. I remember writing about Chancellor Rosenstone’s performance review in this post:

Trustee Thomas Renier, who on Thursday was elected the new MnSCU board chairman, was part of the committee that evaluated Rosenstone. In the public summary of the evaluation, Renier said Rosenstone excelled at focusing on the key question of what’s best for MnSCU students. Renier also commended Rosenstone’s handling of a new strategic plan for MnSCU, “Charting the Future,” which calls for the system’s colleges and universities to work more collaboratively. “We are extraordinarily enthusiastic about the new and powerful ways in which our colleges and universities have begun to work together under Chancellor Rosenstone’s leadership,” Renier said.

This is what I noted earlier in the post:

It’s been a terrible year at Mankato, too. President Davenport fired head football coach Hoffner in 2013. This May, the Bureau of Mediation Services, aka BMS, ruled that Davenport wrongfully fired Hoffner. Then they ordered Hoffner be re-instated and that he be paid for the year he didn’t coach. The presidents at Metropolitan and Moorhead are ‘retiring’ effective June 30. If they hadn’t accepted retirement, they would’ve been terminated.

It should be noted that the then-outgoing MnSCU board chairman Clarence Hightower said this about Chancellor Rosenstone:

This has been a highly successful year for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities under the Chancellor’s leadership.

Literally millions of dollars were misspent on consultants in an attempt to prop up MnSCU’s image.

The point is that the MnSCU Board of Trustees did a worthless job of managing the management. Without a profit incentive, they have no reason to rock the boat. I encourage parents, students and other taxpayers to step forward and expose the inefficiencies found within MnSCU. Just to name a few inefficiencies expressed through LFR’s pages, there are too many administrators and not enough faculty. There isn’t a commitment to academic excellence, either.

It’s long past time for legislators to step forward and hold MnSCU accountable. It’s also time for citizens to hold legislators and MnSCU accountable. Finally, it’s time to start a discussion amongst ourselves on what We The People expect from our higher education system.

There is a better way to run higher education. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has supplied the model:

An ongoing tuition freeze, now aimed for its seventh and eighth years after getting the formal blessing Friday from Purdue University trustees, came as no surprise. Purdue President Mitch Daniels signaled that intention in February, in what has become an unclimactic expectation on the West Lafayette campus since the former governor arrived on campus in January 2013. A few dollars under $10,000 Purdue’s in-state tuition will stay for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

The increased enrollment is the direct result of President Daniels’ insistence that the school fit its budget into families’ budgets, not the other way around. What a revolutionary idea. As a direct result of Daniels’ high-quality decision-making, Purdue will have its third straight year of record-breaking enrollment.

Now that’s an alternative.

If Democrats aren’t hesitating in calling Republicans heartless bastards, then we might as well wear that lie like a badge of honor. Republicans are trying their best to stop illegal alien children from spending their nights in difficult conditions. Despite those efforts, Republicans are getting called one despicable name after another.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday called into question the nation’s immigration laws, asking ‘What is the point?’ of tracking down fugitives ordered out of the country?” To be fair, here’s what the entire quote says:

“It’s so appalling, it’s outside the circle of human behavior, kicking down doors, splitting up families. In terms of interior enforcement, what is the purpose? What is the point?”

Splitting up ‘families’ is the worst mortal sin a Republican can commit but obeying the laws that Congress passes and the president signs is immoral? What type of tortured logic does Speaker Pelosi employ?

By Ms. Pelosi’s definition, I’m a heartless bastard. By normal people’s standards, I’m a well-adjusted, thoughtful individual. I’d rather be defined by what people outside the beltway think than by people living inside the Beltway.

I actually think that politicians should know history. For instance, when idiots like AOC or Ilhan Omar think that detention centers are the same as Nazi concentration camps, I’m heartless enough to say that stupidity like that should be punished. Better yet, when Rep. Omar lied to the IRS while filing false joint tax returns, people like me think that Rep. Omar should be held accountable.

According to the Beltway intelligentsia, that makes me either a xenophobe or Islamophobe or both. I’d prefer being called a heartless bastard instead. As a Christian, I’m taught that a) everyone is created in God’s own image, b) we should treat others as we’d like to be treated and c) we should love our neighbors unconditionally. Talk about defining a heartless bastard!

Let’s get serious for a minute. I won’t let a bunch of left-wing reprobates lecture me about American values. Speaker Pelosi knows as little about American values as Rep. Omar, which is virtually nothing. I refuse to accept a lecturing from Speaker Pelosi on American values. I didn’t accept President Obama’s lectures about who we were or what American priorities were. I won’t accept lecturing from other hardline progressives who hate America or constantly apologize for America.

If you’ve voted Democrat your entire adult life but you’re starting to question Democrats, it’s time for you to join the #WalkawayCampaign or #TheHeartlessBastardsClub. Better yet, join both. If you’re wondering why you should ditch the Democrats, this heartfelt video should explain things perfectly:

The point is that conservatives aren’t heartless bastards. We just believe in living an orderly life that doesn’t trample on other people’s rights. We just ask that people around us respect our rights too. That isn’t too much to ask, is it?

The first thing I thought when I read this article was that this nutjob must’ve finally gone insane. Then I realized that he’s just a typical socialist and that he’s been making proposals this stupid for decades.

Crazy Bernie is the first Democrat to propose wiping out all student loan debt immediately. This morning, Crazy Bernie will introduce legislation “that would eliminate all $1.6 trillion of American student debt.” That isn’t all. Crazy Bernie will be joined by another crazy socialist in sponsoring the legislation. People shouldn’t be surprised that the legislator that’s carrying the legislation in the House is Rep. Ilhan Omar, (DFL-MN).

Omar’s strong suit isn’t math. Rumor has it that Omar’s specialty is immigration fraud and appealing for leniency for would-be ISIS terrorists. But I digress.

Crazy Bernie plans on paying for this giveaway “with a tax on Wall Street, which his campaign says will generate more than $2 trillion over 10 years. The tax would focus on financial transactions, the report said, such as a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds.” The only question I have is whether Crazy Bernie plans on using those new taxes on other socialist giveaways, too.

According to the article, “The proposal package also includes making public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.” In other words, Crazy Bernie’s initiative wouldn’t require universities, community colleges and trade schools to get their acts together. The Democrats’ plan wouldn’t require universities to stop hiring excessive numbers of administrators while shorting students of professors in classrooms.

What’s worse is that the Democrats’ plan wouldn’t require universities to drop junk degrees that don’t give students the likelihood of getting a high-paying job when they graduate. Simply put, this is the Democrats simply throwing money at a problem without fixing that problem. Most likely, the Democrats’ proposal will make things worse.

Glenn Reynolds has literally written the book on the higher education bubble. He talks about that in this interview:

As usual, the politicians are 5 years late and wrong besides. That means that Democrats are using this proposal to buy young people’s votes. This won’t fix the problem. It might make it worse. What’s worst is that this proposal incentivizes universities to keep doing what they’re doing wrong already.

The good news is that parents and students have figured out a better way of making higher education a better investment. Reformers like former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels are making that possible:

Waiting for Mitch Daniels to pick up a call to his office in West Lafayette, Indiana, you hear a recording of Purdue’s marching band followed by a hard-to-believe statement: “Purdue has frozen tuition at 2012 levels through 2019 for all undergraduate students.”

Daniels, the president of Indiana’s flagship public university, then gets on the phone and says something even more startling: In inflation-adjusted dollars, Purdue costs $4,000 less per year for out-of-state students than it did when he took the job in 2013. In-staters pay nearly $3,000 less, at just under $23,000 this academic year for tuition, room, board and expenses.

While politicians like Crazy Bernie propose programs that don’t fix things, reformers like Mitch Daniels are showing leadership in fixing the problems that politicians created, proving that irony can be pretty ironic.

This NY Times article has a loose affiliation with the truth. Saying that it’s slanted is understatement. Like much of its political ‘reporting’, the article has an obvious agenda. That agenda is intended to vilify President Trump and his supporters. (Shocking, I know, but it’s pretty obvious.)

Having known Dr. Palmer for almost 15 years, I won’t hide my contempt for the NY Times hit piece. Yes, it’s safe to say that that last sentence meant that the gloves just came off. The NY Times’ article pretends to be an authority on John Palmer. That’s laughable. Becoming an authority on Dr. Palmer takes more than the afternoon that the NY Times spent on the interview.

It’s pretty obvious that the NY Times’ article was intended to be a hit piece. Why else would they send a reporter and a photographer to St. Cloud, MN? This wasn’t meant to provide their readers with information. This was meant to slant opinions against Trump supporters. That’s apparent because of what the Times reporter quoted and what he didn’t quote.

For instance, the ‘reporter’ wrote “Mr. Palmer said at a recent meeting he viewed them as innately less intelligent than the ‘typical’ American citizen, as well as a threat.” The NY Times’ reporter interprets Dr. Palmer as saying that Somalis as being “less intelligent” than white Americans.

The fact that the NY Times didn’t quote Dr. Palmer directly is proof that they cut corners. They have the transcript or something close to it. How else would they be able to quote Dr. Palmer saying someone is “less intelligent”?

“The very word ‘Islamophobia’ is a false narrative,” Mr. Palmer, 70, said. “A phobia is an irrational fear.” Raising his voice, he added, “An irrational fear! There are many reasons we are not being irrational.”

In this predominantly white region of central Minnesota, the influx of Somalis, most of whom are Muslim, has spurred the sort of demographic and cultural shifts that President Trump and right-wing conservatives have stoked fears about for years. The resettlement has divided many politically active residents of St. Cloud, with some saying they welcome the migrants.

Newt Gingrich famously said that the United States isn’t a multi-cultural nation, that it’s multi-ethnic. He’s right. As a St. Cloud citizen, I haven’t seen much proof that suggests that the Somali refugees are interested in adopting the principles of the US Constitution. I’ve seen plenty of proof that says Somali refugees receive preferential treatment from St. Cloud law enforcement and other parts of the government.

Dave Kleis, the mayor of St. Cloud and a longtime Republican who now identifies as an independent, has voiced support for the resettlement program, but he has also drawn criticism for not forcefully denouncing groups like C-Cubed, which he refused to discuss in an interview.

It isn’t surprising that Kleis identifies as an independent. The reality is that he’s closer to a Libertarian than anything else. Kleis hasn’t shown leadership on the resettlement issue because he isn’t a leader. He’s argued, incorrectly, that refugee resettlement is a federal issue.

That’s partially true. It’s indisputable that the federal government sets naturalization policy. What’s equally indisputable is the fact that the Refugee Act of 1980 gives city government a role in the process, too:

The Director and the Federal agency administering subsection (b)(1) shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.

(B)The Director shall develop and implement, in consultation with representatives of voluntary agencies and State and local governments, policies and strategies for the placement and resettlement of refugees within the United States.

Kleis insists that this part of US Statutes doesn’t exist. Isn’t it interesting that the people who insist on the government enforce existing laws are getting called Islamophobic while those that ignore the law are considered enlightened? One of those enlightened souls is St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker:


Listen to the loaded language in the NY Times’ article:

Two years ago in St. Cloud, Jeff Johnson, a city councilman, introduced a resolution that would temporarily halt refugee resettlement until a study of its economic impact was completed. The idea arose, Mr. Johnson said, after he spoke by phone with officials from the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, an anti-immigration firm that has gained influence in the Trump era. The resolution was defeated, but its introduction caused significant uproar in St. Cloud, and pushed some residents to form or join opposing community groups.

What a crock of BS. CIS isn’t anti-immigration. It’s anti-illegal immigration. Notice how the NY Times conflates the 2 things as though they were the same thing? These aren’t idiots. They’re intentionally trying to put people like Dr. Palmer and Trump supporters on the defensive. Good luck with that.

The NY Times will undoubtedly use this hit piece to influence voters in their blatant attempt to defeat President Trump. The truth is that there’s a rational basis for distrusting the refugee resettlement program. Part of that rational basis is financial. Another part of that rational basis is religious. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen in St. Cloud, the biggest rational basis for opposing this program is because it’s establishing a 2-tiered system of laws.

I’m not talking about imposing Sharia. I’m talking about health inspections of Somali restaurants getting bypassed. I’m talking about citizens near Lake George calling in neighborhood violence, only to have the police show up 45 minutes later. (For those not familiar with St. Cloud, the SCPD station house is less than 2 miles away from Lake George. There’s no way it should take law enforcement 45 minutes to show up.)

I’ll finish by asking this simple question: does this sound like equal application of the law?

Each budget year, the DFL insists on ‘investing’ more on ‘education’. Each year, the DFL ignores the massive amounts of money essentially thrown into a dumpster by education bureaucrats.

Harold Hamilton’s commentary (If you haven’t subscribed, you should) highlights that waste, citing a St. Paul Pioneer Press article:

A recent article in the Pioneer Press explains that capital improvement projects in the district are experiencing massive cost overruns, even by government standards. There are 18 such projects that are running a collective $180 million over the projected budget of just two years ago.

In what could have been the quote of the week, a former school district official observed, “Every contractor wants to come work for St. Paul Public Schools because it’s frickin’ open checkbook.”

As is so typical in government, it appears that oversight and expertise were woefully lacking in this case.

Then Hamilton cites an example:

Perhaps the most egregious example of the waste is at Humboldt High School, where a $14.4 million project estimate now sits at $48 million, just two years later.

And what are taxpayers getting for their considerable investment in these schools and the district?

  1. At Humboldt, 28% of their students don’t graduate.
  2. Only 19% are proficient in reading.
  3. Only 10% are proficient in math.
  4. A dismal 6.5% are proficient in science.

The legislature should refuse to subsidize this failure and demand strict accountability for both spending and results in the classroom.

That’s theft. The people ‘teaching’ these students are stealing these students’ futures. When 1 out of 20 students are proficient in science, that’s theft. When 9 of 10 students fail at math, that’s theft. That must end ASAP.

Further, Education Minnesota must be made to pay for this theft. Ditto with the administrators who apparently don’t care whether students learn or not. Ditto with the DFL, who keep feeding the broken beast. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this crisis hasn’t been turned around.

The DFL is owned by Education Minnesota. Education Minnesota is anti-competition. That means it’s anti-accountability, too. As long as there’s a DFL governor or a DFL majority in the Minnesota House or Senate, they’ll fight to maintain the status quo even if taxpayers are getting screwed. Education Minnesota’s primary mission is helping raise teachers’ salaries. It isn’t about helping students.

What type of system allows a $14,400,000 project to turn into a $48,000,000 project? You’d have to essentially be comatose to miss that. Whoever missed it should’ve been fired instantly, then ordered to spend time in prison for defrauding taxpayers. Further, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the subcontractors are friends of the person who didn’t detect the massive overruns. It’s difficult to believe that anyone’s that incompetent. It isn’t difficult to think that someone associated with a school district is that corrupt.

The DFL won’t hold these thieves accountable. That’s how the DFL buys votes. The only way to hold the DFL accountable is to restore the Republican majority in the House and maintain the GOP majority in the Senate, then force reforms that would eliminate this type of corruption. That means putting stiff criminal penalties on people who commit this type of graft.

The Democrats have a subtle but major problem on their hands. It isn’t getting covered by the MSM, aka Agenda Media, because covering it might require work, intelligence and thoughtfulness. The MSM is just missing 3 of those qualities.

The Democrats’ subtle but major problem is that Democrats apparently think that some people should be presumed innocent, usually partisan Democrats like Hillary, while others (think Bill Barr or President Trump) shouldn’t be presumed innocent.

Democrats and Robert Mueller think that it’s a prosecutor’s job to state whether a prospective defendant has been “exonerated.” That’s false. Prospective defendants walk into court with the presumption of innocence. That’s a principle that Democrats like Sen. Mazie Hirono, (D-HI), can’t quite grasp. In an interview with MSNBC, Sen. Hirono said that “we aren’t in a court of law. We’re in a court of credibility at this point.” What the hell does that mean?

What’s at stake is the principles of fairness and evidence. Sen. Hirono and other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee did their best to railroad Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. They didn’t want him on the Supreme Court. The Democrats were perfectly willing to lie about Justice Kavanaugh’s history. That’s the definition of the opposite of fair play. Here’s Sen. Hirono doubling down against the principle of the presumption of innocence:

This article lays things out beautifully:

As Attorney General William Barr testified on May 1, the job of the Justice Department, and thus the job of the special counsel, is not to “exonerate.” The job of the Justice Department is to determine whether there is “sufficient evidence to establish an obstruction” and that this “determines whether or not there was a crime.”

Mueller’s job was to make this determination. He declined to make it. But having claimed that they could not make a determination, they did not stop at laying out the facts.

I suspect that Mueller was hoping that he wouldn’t have to testify to Congress. I suspect that’s a pipe dream at this point. I can’t blame Mueller for not wanting to testify. That’d mean having to answer non-softball questions from people like Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Representatives like John Ratcliffe, Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows.

That’s the last thing I’d want to spend a day doing.

This is a problem for Democrats because it tells the nation that they aren’t interested in principled liberalism nor are they interested in fundamental fairness. That’s wrong. Watch how Mike Huckabee and Alan Dershowitz debated:

If the United States can’t return to that debating style ASAP, then we deserve the terrible government we’d get. I can’t put it plainer than that.

Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley both wrote excoriating opinion pieces for The Hill Magazine. Turley’s article is, in my opinion, the harsher of the two. That isn’t to say that Dershowitz’s article pulled any punches.

The hardest hit in Professor Turley’s article came when he said “Last week, I wrote that it has become sacrilegious to question the motives or performance of Mueller. His press conference was the greatest test of such blind faith. Mueller announced that “the report is my testimony” and that he would not answer questions from Congress either, beyond what is already in his final report. From anyone else, such a statement would be denounced as arrogant, evasive, or both. However, many members of Congress and the media accepted it as the gospel according to Mueller.”

I would’ve tried pulling the same stunt if I’d been in Mueller’s position. That being said, I wouldn’t have put myself in that position because I respect the principle of the presumption of innocence. Apparently, so does Prof. Dershowitz:

Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.

Here’s Prof. Dershowitz’s interview with Shannon Bream, herself an attorney:

I’m not an attorney or a constitutional scholar. It doesn’t require one to notice that Mueller went too far with his ‘press conference’ (at which he took no questions). The presumption of innocence applies to everyone. Chairman Nadler, Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats repeatedly say that “President Trump isn’t above the law.” That’s true but, just like other Americans, he’s presumed innocent until the prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Professor Dershowitz and Professor Turley are both Democrats. Both voted for Hillary Clinton. That being said, both put a higher priority on protecting civil rights than they put on political victories. I can’t say that about partisan Democrats like Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, Swalwell, etc. That last bunch are just political hacks.