Archive for the ‘Ron Johnson’ Category

I’m going through the videotape of the Mills vs. Nolan debate. When they debated the issue of pipelines, something stunning happened. It wasn’t surprising. It was that Rick Nolan exposed himself as totally trusting government. Here’s the exchange I’m talking about:

Here’s the key part of the back-and-forth:

NOLAN: When you’re talking about Keystone, the TEA Party Republicans brought a bill before the House of Representatives that exempted Keystone, a foreign corporation, from complying with the EPA, from complying with the Army Corps of Engineers permits for installation and maintenance, for having to post financial assurances for when those accidents inevitably occur. Would you have voted for a bill like that? No. I’m for the Keystone and for Sandpiper but I want it built right. We’ve proven that we have the technology and the know-how to do it right if we have the political will. But we can’t let foreign corporations come in here willy nilly and have their way with us…
MILLS: Well, I keep getting accused of being a TEA Partier but I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate but, nonetheless, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been weaponized against projects such as Keystone and, you know what, after years and years of trying to get it done, if these agencies aren’t looking for how it can be done but trying every reason to get it stopped, you know what, it’s time to get the people to take control of their government from the bureaucracies and the various agencies so we can get projects like Keystone going…

This isn’t surprising but it’s stunning. Rick Nolan’s belief that bureaucracies, especially the EPA, are honest arbiters of all that’s virtuous is stunningly naïve. What justification is there for that other-worldly opinion? Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-WI), has a mini-series on YouTube titled Victims of Government. I’d love seeing Nolan explain how the EPA’s actions in this article aren’t utterly corrupt. Let’s hear him explain how private property owners aren’t getting victimized by the zealots running the EPA. Here’s a story where the EPA showed itself to be weaponized:

[Andy Johnson] and his wife built a small pond on their rural property using the stream flowing through it. They stocked the pond with trout so that their three small children could fish. The pond is an oasis for wildlife such as ducks and geese passing through.

It is precisely the sort of industriousness that reasonable people and zealous stewards of the environment applaud. But the EPA is made up of neither reasonable people nor zealous stewards of the environment.

They are crazed hypocrites greedy for unchecked power and hell-bent on destroying the passions that connect people to the nature surrounding them. Like the Food and Drug Administration in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” the EPA has become the face of absolute power in the hands of blind government bureaucrats.

That is why the faceless henchmen of the EPA have come after Mr. Johnson and his family, charging them with violating federal law and threatening to bankrupt them. These EPA thugs ordered the Johnsons to destroy the pond they built and threatened to fine them $75,000 a day for being in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Stewart Mills is exactly right when he talks about the EPA being an agency that’s looking for ways to stop Keystone and Sandpiper. This is proof that the EPA isn’t interested in common sense. It’s interested in destroying private property rights.

Earlier in that segment of the debate, Nolan talked about supporting the Sandpiper Pipeline project, with this caveat. He wanted the route changed just slightly. Mills said that that’s just a way to delay the project. That would give Nolan’s allies in the environmental movement another opportunity to sabotage the project with attrition litigation. It’s time for the Iron Range to realize that Rick Nolan doesn’t support the miners’ lifestyle. He’s only come out for Keystone once it became politically imperative to say yes to the miners.

Let’s remember that Nolan’s first proposal on PolyMet was to propose a mining institute somewhere on the Range:

Northeastern Minnesota would be home to a major new national research center dedicated to the advancement of minerals research, mining technology and the environment, and is expected to generate several thousand new jobs, under a plan announced today by Rick Nolan, the DFL-endorsed candidate for Eighth District Congress.

The proposal is strongly supported by former Eighth District U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resource Research Institute, NRRI, and the UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering.

At a news conference in Duluth and with press interviews across the Iron Range, Nolan said he will immediately introduce legislation to establish the United States Technical Institute for Mining and the Environment (TIME) upon taking office in January 2013. The exact northeastern Minnesota location for the TIME Center will be selected from proposals developed by the state, municipal and county governments and their private sector partners.

Nolan’s support for the two biggest projects in northern Minnesota has been tepid at best, artificial at worst.

The Iron Range can’t afford Rick Nolan’s naïve belief that the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are honest arbiters of this nation’s environmental laws. He’s standing in the way of one important project after another. He’s the believer in sentences that are always 4 words too long. He’ll never say that he supports PolyMet. Period. It’s always that he supports PolyMet…if it’s done right. He’s never said that he supports the Sandpiper Pipeline project. It’s always that he supports Sandpiper…if it’s done right.

It’s time for the Iron Range to reject Rick Nolan. If they reject his caveated support of all things mining, they will have gotten things right.

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To: Sen. Chuck Schumer
From: Gary Gross, uppity peasant
Subject: TEA Party beliefs, Democrats’ projectionism

Sen. Schumer, In your post for Huffington Post, you accuse TEA Party activists of making “‘government’ the boogeyman.” You then say that the plutocrats running the TEA Party have convinced Americans “that government is the explanation for their ills.” Let’s address those accusations, starting with the last accusation first.

I expect US senators to use verifiable facts to support their accusations. That’s what Tom Coburn, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson, your Senate colleagues, did in putting together their video series. As you know, Sen. Coburn’s series is titled Sequester This, Sen. Lee’s series is titled Cut This, Not That while Sen. Johnson’s series is titled Victims of Government. Their videos provided documented proof of foolish spending and examples of the federal government being used as a weapon against the American people.

Sen. Schumer, it isn’t that plutocrats have convinced TEA Party activists that government “is the explanation for their ills.” It’s that people like Sen. Coburn, Sen. Johnson and Sen. Lee have given people of all political stripes proof that government isn’t working for the people.

Furthermore, government itself is giving people proof that government is creating more problems than it solves. Jim Geraghty wrote this post about how the Anything But Affordable Care Act is hurting young people. Included in Geraghty’s post is this graphiic:

Sen. Schumer, how can say that insurance plans with giant-sized deductibles are affordable? Do you seriously think that 30-year-olds can afford $10,000 annual deductibles? In Vermont, it’s worse by orders of magnitude.

Next, let’s address your first accusation. You’ve accused the TEA Party of turning the government into a boogeyman. That’s interesting considering the fact that Democrats have accused TEA Party activists of hating women and minorities while accusing them of being astroturf organizations. That’s pretty rich coming from a politician making these accusations in front of an audience at the Center for American Progress. It’s rich because CAP is essentially funded by George Soros, the plutocrat that makes his money by manipulating currencies.

You’ve accused the Koch brothers of funding ALEC for their nefarious purposes. Among other things, ALEC has advocated for cutting wasteful spending and pension reform. Considering Sen. Coburn’s citing of the GAO report of tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending and Detroit’s dilemma, I’d argue that those reforms are long overdue. Rather than vilifying ALEC, it’s more appropriate to praise them for wanting government to live within its means.

Of course, that’s if you’re interested in being the taxpayers’ watchdog. At this point, there isn’t much proof of that in your lengthy record.

Sen. Schumer, it’s time you started listening to the American people instead of listening to the DC echochamber. Government is the problem. Limiting its intrusion into our lives is the solution. I could easily triple the size of this letter if I wanted to cite more things that government does poorly. Perhaps I’ll do that in a different post.

Until then, consider the possibility that government, especially under this administration, is a) exceptionally incompetent and b) is too intrusive for the people’s liking.

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DC’s chattering class has been talking about how Sen. Cruz’s talkathon (filibuster?) was all show that hurts Republicans. If I read another quote about how foolish it was, I’ll be ill. Thankfully, Michael Walsh gets it:

After his disgraceful attacks on Cruz, including his reach-across-the-aisle, dog-in-the-manger response today, this should be the end of Senator John McCain as a voice of influence in the Republican party. Ditto his mini-me, Senator Lindsey Graham. Indeed, the entire Old Guard of business-as-usual “comity” fans passeth. When you care more about what the other side thinks, it’s probably time either to switch teams or step down.

This is the difference between the Democrats’ old guard and the GOP’s old guard. Sen. McCain thinks Democrats care about comity. They don’t. Whenever they have a chance to stick the knife in, Democrats (think Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) stick the knife in, give it a twist, then revel that they railroaded the McCains and Grahams of the world.

There is new leadership in the GOP, whether the party wants to admit it or not: Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and the others who stepped into the breach to spell the senator from Texas.

Another person who should be included in that list is Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Sen. Cornyn is another senator who signed his political death warrant during this debate. Keeping him around is fine but he needs to be run out of the Senate GOP leadership team.

Had the old guard been smart, they would’ve embraced Sen. Cruz’s talkathon. Instead, they criticized him. Someone from the old guard even sent Chris Wallace opposition research to do a hatchet job on Sen. Cruz. If they find out who sent the opposition research, that person should be primaried the next time he/she is up for re-election.

The Cruz faction in the Senate, and its allies in the House (whose leadership is now up for grabs) must now press their advantage. The louder the Democrats squawk, the more they are wounded; the one thing they’ve long feared is a direct assault on their core beliefs as translated into actions, and the deleterious effects of Obamacare, just now being felt by the population, are the most vivid proof of the failure of Progressivism that conservatives could wish for.

Carpe diem isn’t just a nice slogan. It should be the TEA Party’s rallying cry now through the first Tuesday in November, 2014. The Democrats’ worst nightmare in 2014 is that they might be forced to defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the PPACA.

The PPACA is so unpopular that, in lots of House districts, Democrats wouldn’t have a chance of winning if the PPACA is the chief issue.

Back in their glory days, the Packers and the USC Trojans were dominant. It wasn’t because they fooled people with their playcalling. When the game was on the line, USC called Student Body Right or Student Body Left. The Packers ran sweeps led by Paul Hornung or Jim Taylor. Everyone knew what was coming. It didn’t matter.

The Democrats know what’s coming. They can’t stop it because they voted for a bill that’s less popular than Wall Street.

This is a great idea:

Make Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin into the faces of the Democratic party and watch the votes peel away from the Left.

Having Reid as the other face of the Democratic Party isn’t bad for Republicans either.

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A number of years back, I heard a joke, part of which I can’t remember. Still, I can remember enough of it to make a point. Historic military figures were looking at the Soviet Union’s military hardware. When the tanks rolled through Red Square, Alexander the Great replied, “If I had had these chariots, I would’ve ruled the entire world.” On his left stood Napoleon Bonaparte. After Napoleon read the current copy of Pravda, he replied “If I had this as the official newspaper, nobody would’ve heard of Waterloo.”

The point of the joke isn’t to get people laughing. It’s to make the point that there’s a more insidious type of Pravda operating inside the United States. For the last 5+ years, I’ve called that operation the Agenda Media. The Agenda Media doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to get people important facts. In their minds, their responsibility is to push their politicial agenda. If that means omitting important facts, that’s what they’re willing to do. This video is a perfect illustration of the Agenda Media’s selective editing:

Thankfully, citizen journalists with cell phones are recording things as they happened. Thankfully, citizen journalists with video cameras are informing people by filming protests like this, then posting the video to Youtube, then reposting the videos to their Facebook page, then posting the links to their videos to Twitter.

There’s a more important point to this. OFA isn’t just about protesting against constitutional conservatives. They’re identifying people in communities who might vote for progressives. Conservatives will show up to counterprotest against OFA. The big question is whether they’ll get into the neighborhoods and identify people that might appreciate the conservative/capitalist message.

Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Coburn, Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul should be the blueprint for Republicans for 2014. They’re picking fights with President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, which is essential to winning elections. They’re framing debates. For instance, Sen. Coburn is highlighting tens of billions of dollars of duplicative spending that should be eliminated in this budget. Sen. Johnson is highlighting how government is used as a weapon against the citizenry. Paul Ryan is fighting for a pro-growth budget that will eventually balance within a decade.

It’s despicable that the Agenda Media would distort what happened at a protest. As despicable as that is, that’s only part of this story. OFA is already identifying potential Democrat voters. Republicans need to start this week at identifying potential conservative voters.

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Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-WI), has introduced a project that illustrates how the federal government ruins lives. It’s called the Victims of Government Project. This video explains how the Army Corps of Engineers ruined a man’s life for trying to prevent flooding in his neighborhood:

The documentation of how the federal government, specifically the Army Corps of Engineers, uses the Clean Water Act as a weapon against private property owners is instructive. It should tell every landowner that the government, including the Interior Department, the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, the Energy Department and other government agencies, are the enemy because militant environmentalists have infiltrated those agencies and departments.

To them, “the environment” is an article of faith. The left’s obsession with controlling people’s lives through regulatory agencies is frightening. The thought that there’s a group of activists that think they have the right, responsibility and authority to tell private property owners what to do is frightening.

Thanks to the Clean Water Act, militant environmentalists have the legislative authority to wreak havoc on private citizens’ lives. By most people’s opinion, Steve Lathrop tried doing a good thing. According to the government’s own recommendations, he did was the government didn’t do. As a result of his taking the initiative what experts said needed to be done rather than waiting through another series of do-nothing studies, Mr. Lathrop got stripped of his wealth.

Predictably, liberal activists aren’t happy with Sen. Johnson. Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now wrote Sen. Johnson. Here’s what he said in his letter:

“Spending your time, and our money, producing YouTube videos doesn’t move us one iota closer to solving any of the challenges facing our nation. In fact it seems the real victims of government are your constituents who were counting on you to work for them in the United States Senate.”

Solving problems is what elected officials are supposed to do. The Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA and the Interior Department use the Clean Water Act to control what private citizens do with their property. This is a problem everywhere in the United States. Regulations and procedures are put into place. Then citizens like Mr. Lathrop follow the permitting procedures of one agency, only to be told that he didn’t comply with another agency’s regulations. Then the process starts again.

Putting a video together that highlights how the federal government destroys families’ lives is the right tool to affect positive change. That’s what Sen. Johnson was elected to do. Especially in this instance, that’s the right thing to do. When families do what the federal government recommends, they should be rewarded. They shouldn’t be punished.

People across the political spectrum should be outraged by the government’s reprehensible conduct. The Army Corps of Engineers’ actions can’t be justified. Their reprehensible actions can only be rationalized.

It’s time that Congress put common sense restrictions on the Clean Water Act. It’s been used as a weapon for far too long.

UPDATE: Follow this link for more information on Sen. Johnson’s Victims of Government Project.

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