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We know that there’s two things in life that are guaranteed: death and taxes. Actually, based on this article, there’s apparently a third certainty: that DFL mayors can’t resist raising property taxes.

Preya Samsundar’s article starts by saying “Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges finally revealed her budget plan for 2018 on Tuesday including a proposal for a 5.5 percent property tax levy increase for the upcoming year. Hodges’ budget and the address she gave in presenting it covered a laundry list of progressive talking points and policy plans. The budget has a total price tag of $1.8 billion. Almost $6 million in total will be spent on efforts to use non-fossil fuel sources of energy, improve businesses’ climate effects, and increase energy efficiency in commercial and residential areas of Minneapolis. This is roughly a 60 percent increase compared with the 2014 budget the year Hodges assumed office.”

Hodges knows that she’s in a fight for re-election. That’s likely why she criticized President Trump in presenting her budget:

“Minneapolis is facing a challenge that we couldn’t have conceived of a year ago,” Mayor Hodges said. “Though we are shocked by the damage he does every day of his presidency, we have to anticipate that Donald Trump will remain in the White House through 2020. In the next three and a half years he can wreak untold damage to our country with his authoritarian tactics and his policies of oppression and suppression. Once he was elected, we knew it would be a disaster for our country, but even just six months in, it’s already far more disastrous than we anticipated.” Hodges believes that Trump is coming after “our diversity, our right to vote, our artists, our independent media, our workers” with his policies.

That criticism is just a distraction. Hodges knows that she’ll lose if voters focus on the uptick in violence during her administration. She’s been a disaster since taking over for the equally disastrous R.T. Rybak.

It isn’t that I think Mayor Hodges will lose because she raised property taxes. My point is that the DFL annually promises property tax relief, then falls far short of their promises.

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Anyone who’s watched Amy Walters on Special Report’s All-Star Panel knows that she’s a lefty. Wednesday night, Walters’ leftism came out in a surprising way. The topic of discussion was President Trump’s ‘secret’ second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN’s and MSNBC’s hosts were scandalized by Trump’s and Putin’s second meeting. While she didn’t show it, Ms. Walters said that any meeting between Trump and Putin wouldn’t go well for Trump because Russia interfered in our election.

By admitting that, Ms. Walters essentially said that this event wouldn’t be judged fairly because the media is pushing a hateful, anti-Trump narrative. Apparently, Ms. Walters either doesn’t notice that she isn’t impartial or she’s admitting that she isn’t interested in being impartial. Personally, I’m betting on the latter. She’s already admitted that the MSM’s narrative isn’t fair. Next, Ms. Walters essentially says that the MSM’s partiality is something that the GOP will just have to deal with.

In 2004, Evan Thomas infamously said “There’s one other base here, the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win and I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox. They’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there’s going to be this glow about them, collective glow, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

Since then, the MSM, aka the Agenda Media, has gotten more anti-Republican each election cycle. After talkin about how unfair media coverage is on Trump/Russia, Ms. Walters compared Trump/Russia with FNC’s coverage of Hillary/Benghazi as though they were equal. Seriously?

With Trump/Russia, there’s speculation that Trump colluded with Putin in rigging the election. With Hillary/Benghazi, there’s indisputable proof that Hillary’s decisions got the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three others killed. Thanks to Hillary’s congressional testimony, we also have proof that she lied about a video causing the attack:

Ms. Walters’ comparison isn’t just intellectually dishonest. It’s incoherent.

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Harold Hamilton has an interesting read in this week’s commentary. Each Friday, Hamilton provides a weekly commentary on what’s happening politically in Minnesota. This week’s commentary is about Minnesota’s political alignment.

In the commentary, Hamilton wrote “The first glimmers of realignment began in the 1980s as the DFL became an abortion-on-demand party, causing many lifelong Democrats to migrate to the GOP because of deep seated beliefs regarding the sanctity of life. Next came gun control, as Democrats in the urban core became avowed enemies of law-abiding gun owners. The latest split on social issues has occurred in recent times over the gay marriage issue.”

In his abridged version of Minnesota’s transformation, Hamilton continued, saying “After Minnesota Democrats (and a handful of Republicans) legalized gay marriage in 2013, many rural Democrats lost their legislative seats in the 2014 election. The GOP held these seats in 2016, despite claims by the DFL that the seats were merely “rented.” If those seats are rentals, they are surely long-term leases. After the schism caused by social issues, the DFL suffered a catastrophic breakdown of their coalition over economic the economic issues that have become preeminent in recent elections. Strident DFL objections to mining, pipelines and oil extraction have proven to be the final straw for legions of erstwhile rural DFL voters.”

I’ve written extensively that the DFL has turned into the urban party that’s out-of-touch with rural Minnesota. If the truth is told, the DFL isn’t pro-farmer or pro-labor. They’re pro-hardline environmentalists and pro-government unions. Every 2 years, they make a pitch for the Iron Range but they’re losing their grip on that.

Ken Martin is the state DFL state party chair. When I did a search of YouTube’s videos with Martin in them over the past month, it came back with nothing. That’s understandable since the DFL doesn’t have a message and Martin’s DFL has been on a sustained losing streak. If I was in Chairman Martin’s situation, I’d hide, too.

If the DFL keeps urbanizing, they’ll soon be Minnesota’s minority party for a generation. That’s the trajectory they’re on.

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During Friday night’s Almanac Roundtable, Walter Hudson made a fantastic point about voter fraud. I don’t have Walter’s exact wording but the point Walter made was that people don’t wait until they’re robbed before putting a lock on their doors.

This conversation was made in the context of news that Steve Simon told the Trump administration that they wouldn’t supply them with voter lists. While Democrats insisted that this was important symbolically, it really isn’t. The truth is that anyone can buy those lists. The DFL’s resistance is just an example of how far they’re willing to go to please their special interest activists.

Despite the DFL’s protests that voter fraud doesn’t exist, they’re lying. In the past, Phyllis Kahn has accused her DFL primary opponents of committing voter fraud. Regardless, there are lots of people who are registered in multiple states. President Trump’s commission will identify those people and, hopefully, eliminate them from voter rolls.

Mark Ritchie refused to eliminate these people, saying he didn’t have the authority to update Statewide Voter Registration Systems, aka SVRS. Actually, the Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress in 2002, not only gives secretaries of state this authority. It requires them to “perform list maintenance on their SVRS with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis.”

It’s time to clean up each state’s SVRS and each state’s voting system. It’s time to start incorporating more common sense and accountability into our voting system. It isn’t just implementing photo ID, though. It’s about implementing a system that’s hack-proof, too.

Walter’s points are important and sensible. It’s time to start.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has asked the incoming Trump administration to look into a series of hack attacks that happened over the last year. Secretary Kemp is asking for the investigation to be done by the Trump administration because Kemp thinks the cyberattacks were conducted by the Obama administration.

According to the article, “Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said DHS has made multiple attempts to ‘infiltrate our network,’ including a ‘large attack’ on Nov. 15, which DHS disputes, that prompted him to send a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.”

Kemp thinks that DHS attempted these attacks because “Georgia has been pushing back for months against DHS deliberations over whether to classify electoral infrastructure as ‘critical infrastructure'”, adding that these “scans correspond to key election dates and times when I was speaking out against DHS’ plans.”

If Kemp is right that DHS tried strong-arming Georgia to accept DHS ‘protection’, which is what Kemp is accusing them of, then there needs to be an investigation into who performed the scans and who authorized them. It’s apparent that the Obama administration wanted to strong-arm Georgia, which is disrespectful of the Constitution itself. The Founding Fathers wanted most decisions made close to the voters.

Further, let’s study this. Hackers have accessed federal employees’ personal information, including their social security numbers. Compare that with DHS attempting to penetrate and failing. I love the fact that the feds are incompetent but that the state is competent and prepared. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you:

Saturday afternoon, Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org, appeared on Fox News to talk about the incoming Trump administration. Saying that his presentation was nothing but the typical litany of progressive chanting points is understatement. After the interview, I visited MoveOn.org’s website. What I found was what I expected to find. One interesting thing that I found was this statement supporting Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as House Minority Leader. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I wholeheartedly agree.

Their statement said, in part, “Progressives are also counting on congressional Democrats to express a populist and inclusive vision for the future that speaks to Americans across lines of race, class, and geography—a vision for how we can build a democracy that isn’t run by corporations, and an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top, and a country where all Americans’ rights are respected and equal opportunity is protected. We believe that Nancy Pelosi is best positioned to lead House Democrats in this direction, and support her candidacy for Democratic Leader.”

It’s nice to know that MoveOn.org is working hard to solidify the Republicans’ majority in the US House of Representatives. They’re also working hard to strengthen the Republican Party for the next 4 years. That’s what they’re doing if this statement is accurate:

The DNC must clean house and the new chair must stand up to all efforts by Trump and Republicans to move their harmful and bigoted agenda, which lost the national popular vote. At the same time, the DNC must connect with the grassroots of the party base that wants the party to reject corporate influence and advance an inclusive, progressive agenda that will energize voters and grow our base in 2017, 2018, and beyond. To do this, we need to bring back a real 50-state organizing strategy. Rep. Keith Ellison would be an excellent DNC chair.

FOOTNOTE: Keith Ellison just said that he’s open to leaving Congress if he’s elected as the next chairman of the DNC.

Finally, there’s this:

More than 250 million Americans did not choose Trump. In fact, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The millions of us—MoveOn members and allies—who spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, and defending democracy can be proud of what we did together.

There’s no doubt that MoveOn.org is trying to restore morale after a demoralizing defeat. That’s fine. In college sports, winning the popular vote but losing the election is sometimes called a moral victory. In pro sports, though, it’s still thought of as a defeat.
This is the video of Wikler’s interview:

That communication style is why Democrats lost the last election.
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This morning, Chris Wallace interviewed Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate. Saying that Ms. Stein is eccentric is being kind. I’d rather characterize her as a nutjob. During the interview, she insisted repeatedly that there were 75,000 ballots in Detroit alone where voters filled out all of the races except the presidential races.

That’s a wild, unsubstantiated accusation. According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s website, Detroit voters cast 247,369 votes in the presidential election and 243,019 votes in Detroit’s congressional elections. That’s a difference of 4,350 votes, which is a far cry from 75,000 ballots that weren’t fully filled out.

After hearing an unsubstantiated accusation like that, it isn’t surprising that people think she isn’t credible. And yes, she said 75,000 ballots in Detroit. I DVRed FNS so I rewound the video to make sure that I hadn’t misunderstood what Ms. Stein said.

It’s worth noting that Ms. Stein said “Well, I can tell you, for example, that in Toledo in 2004, there were 90,000 votes that were marked blank, which were discovered not to be blank.” Ms. Stein then said that those votes would’ve been enough to change the outcome of the election.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s statistics, just 220,000 votes were cast in Lucas County. (Toledo is the county seat of Lucas County.)

Here’s the video of Chris Wallace’s interview of Jill Stein:

Reasonable people can disagree on who should’ve won the election. There’s no disputing, though, the fact that Ms. Stein’s accusations aren’t substantiated. The simple truth is that she went on national TV and got her credibility demolished in less than 10 minutes.

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If this article is accurate, and the swelling crowds seem to verify its accuracy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t stand much of a change in the next election. The tip-off, which isn’t much of a secret, is the opening paragraph of this article, which says “According to a poll performed by YouGov market research firm, at least 66% of the respondents said they do not agree with the chancellor’s policy towards refugees, with only 27% support.”

With France getting frequently hit with terrorist attacks and with some terrorist attacks happening in Germany, it won’t be long before German voters fire Merkel and replace her with a pro-border control alternative. It’s virtually inevitable.

Merkel incited this uprising when she said “[Germany] Will give asylum to those who are politically persecuted and we will give protection to those who flee war and expulsion according to the Geneva Refugee Convention,” adding “We can make it.” Never has a politician misread her constituents or failed to do what’s right in recent history more than Ms. Merkel.

These leaders’ statements offer differing perspectives:

Frauke Petry, leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which strongly rejects the refugee inflow into Germany, also criticized Merkel’s policy towards migrants. “…Stop repeating ‘we’ll manage it’ and finally admit your mistake,” she said. The head of the Green Party Cem Ozdemir said that he feels “ashamed” due to “the failure of the world community, of Europe and above all of Germany” to resolve the refugee crisis.

Mr. Ozdemir sounds like a politician. Petry sounds like a patriot who would do what’s right. If the election were held today, I’d bet that Petry would win handily. I’m betting that Germans would pick the true believer in German sovereignty over the politician.

This doesn’t bode well for Ms. Merkel:

Bavaria’s state premier took aim at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy on Saturday, rejecting her “we can do this” mantra just two days after she defended the message following Islamist attacks in Germany.

The comments from Horst Seehofer, whose Christian Social Union is the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s conservatives, exacerbate the chancellor’s difficulty in standing by a policy that her critics have blamed for the attacks and which risks undermining her popularity ahead of federal elections next year.

Five attacks in Germany since July 18 have left 15 people dead, including four assailants, and dozens injured. Two of the attackers had links to Islamist militancy, officials say. “‘We can do this’ – I cannot, with the best will, adopt this phrase as my own,” Seehofer told reporters after a meeting of his party.

The German people aren’t stupid. They’ve noticed that terrorist attacks are increasing. That won’t stop until a new leader is elected.

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This article highlights how special interests acquire political influence. It starts innocently enough, with volunteers gathering “the 2,000 signatures from registered Republican voters that the senator needs to get on the Republican primary ballot.” Because it’s part of Utah’s state statutes, the law has the same requirements for Democrats.

Getting volunteers to knock on doors to collect signatures isn’t corrupt by itself. In fact, if that’s all that was involved, that would be a great way to test citizens’ enthusiasm. Unfortunately, that isn’t what this is about. Far from it, actually.

Knocking on doors is so much easier if you have the address of people who are likely to support you. Why knock on every door in the neighborhood when a friendly special interest group has put together and maintained a list of people who will support you? Apparently, that’s what the Utah Association of Realtors has put together. What’s more, they’re offering incumbents a special introductory price for that list:

Chris Kyler, executive director of the Utah Association of Realtors, said the app his group offers tracks the voter registration file and lets a candidate keep track of which doors have been knocked on and who has signed the petitions.

The idea is that candidates can send out volunteers, or Boy Scout troops or cheerleader squads looking for a fundraising opportunity, with the app to round up the signatures they need.

The Realtors, among the most politically influential groups at Utah’s Capitol, are letting incumbents use the app free of charge. Kyler said they have not decided whether to give the same privilege to challengers or candidates for open seats.

It isn’t surprising that the Utah Association of Realtors is a politically powerful special interest group in Utah. Incumbents can’t afford to get them upset.

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It’s telling that 27% of Democrats think that ‘deniers’ should be prosecuted. It’s frightening, though, that New York State has taken it a step further by investigating Exxon Mobil for refusing to play ball with the popular scientific theory.

According to the NY Times, the “New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.”

This is a serious investigation only in the sense that state attorneys general have subpoena power and the resources to make life miserable for the companies they ‘investigate’. Otherwise, this isn’t a serious investigation. The accurate terminology for what the NY State Attorney General is doing is ‘leading a fishing expedition’. Another term that might be used is that Gen. Schneiderman’s hunting for someone’s scalp, a trophy to brag about during his re-election campaign.

I seriously doubt that Schneiderman can prove anything about the science. If he can’t prove that climate change exists to a judge, then he should lose the entire case because, according to the NY Times, the investigation intends to prove how much climate change “might hurt the oil business.”

The fact that people think the government should prosecute ‘climate change deniers’ should be sufficient motivation to vote out Democrats in 2016 and beyond. These people are nuts and vindictive.