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One of the underreported facets of the Charlie Gard story is the potential conflict of interest the Gards’ attorney might have. According to the article “Victoria Butler-Cole, who speaks on Charlie’s behalf in court, is chairman of Compassion in Dying, a sister organisation to Dignity in Dying. The charity campaigns for a change in the law to make assisted dying legal in the UK. Dignity in Dying used to be called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.”

Victoria Butler-Cole essentially lost the initial lawsuit. It’s certainly reasonable to question whether Butler-Cole’s heart was in it. It’s one thing for an American lawyer to represent a client with whom he disagrees with. It’s quite another when that attorney takes on a life-and-death issue like this when they’re an activist for euthanasia. Thank God Connie Yates and Chris Gard weren’t willing to stop fighting for their son.

It was appalling to hear the British court say that it was the government’s responsibility to look out for Charlie Gard. That’s a perfect example for why the United States shouldn’t want to be anything like Europe.

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John Hinderaker’s post about the left’s indoctrination of grade school and high school students is frightening. For years, conservatives have heard stories about how Democrats were indoctrinating students. John’s posts, both on the Powerline website and the Center for the American Experiment’s website, go into frightening detail of how Democrats intimidate and bully conservatives.

In his post on Powerlineblog, Hinderaker quoted a student’s email to the Center for the American Experiment. It said “The day after the election I was texting my mom to pick me up from school and she almost had to!! Every teacher was crying in class, one even told the whole class ‘Trump winning is worse than 9/11 and the Columbine shooting.’ The amount of liberal propaganda that was pushed every single day in class this year was worse than it’s ever been–and you’re bullied by the teachers and every student if you dare speak against it. Yeah its horrible, the teachers can absolutely do whatever they want. The administration will do nothing about it!! The day of the election every single student was in the commons chanting ‘F*** TRUMP’ and the teachers never did anything. A LOT of people are starting to complain and my mom has some friends who are leaving the school district.”

That’s just the first of many emails that John quoted. Here’s another:

A parent describes her daughter being abused in class in an email to a school administrator:

In talking with [my daughter], it came out that yesterday in my 10th grader’s AP World class, [the teacher] called out any Trump supporters and asked them to assure the class that they weren’t racist. Both my husband and I were aghast and we felt strongly that we should say something to you. … Yesterday’s incident in her class really surprised us as it is so completely inappropriate and unprofessional. If you talk with [the teacher] about this, please don’t mention my daughter. She doesn’t want to be identified for fear of retribution.

Talk about paranoid. This teacher had Trump supporters “assure the class that they weren’t racist.” Where does this teacher’s thinking come from? It’s downright paranoid. Shouldn’t schools eliminate teacher candidates who are this paranoid and ill-informed?

Thanks to the good work of the Center for the American Experiment, we know about Edina’s government schools’ corruption.

It’s certain that we wouldn’t have found out through the Pi-Press or the Strib. That isn’t surprising since they agree with the Democrats’ agenda, especially the Strib. Now that we know that this is what our K-12 funding is going towards, it’s time we insist that things change. It’s time that we insist that teachers expressing political opinions in classrooms be terminated immediately with cause. They’re paid to teach, nothing else. It’s time we insist that teachers bullying students based on political beliefs be terminated immediately with cause. There’s no justification for bullying based on a student’s political beliefs.

Check out John’s post at Powerlineblog and his posts at the Center for the American Experiment website. They’re definitely worth reading.

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I’ve literally been saying for years that reporters assigned to DC Echochamber news outlets have mischaracterized people’s actions. I’ve even left open the possibility that these mischaracterizations might’ve been intentional. This Greg Gutfeld monologue cuts to the heart of the matter. In his monologue, Gutfeld notes that “this last weekend we saw countless reporters in Hamburg and elsewhere refer to thuggish clans in black disguises as protesters. These were people destroying property and harming those trying to protect and serve the community. We watched cars burn, businesses looted, and police injured by disguised fascists. And we listened to them being referred to as ‘protesters.'”

When I picture protesters, I picture Martin Luther King staging a peaceful protest. What comes to mind when I see cars burning, I think of the race riots of the late 60s and early 70s. The mask-wearing thugs in Hamburg remind me more of the latter than the former.

It’s time we stopped calling the people in Ferguson, Baltimore and Minneapolis protesters. In Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter activists threw concrete blocks at police officers from a bridge spanning I-94. That isn’t what protesters do. It’s what rioters do. Also in Minneapolis, rioters chanted “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” Again, that’s what rioters do. That isn’t what protesters do.

Then there’s the riot in NYC where the rioters chanted “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.”

That’s before talking about the “hands up, don’t shoot” myth from Ferguson, MO and the riots in Baltimore that were fueled by race hustlers like Al Sharpton. It’s time we stopped thinking of these thugs as civil rights demonstrators. They’re nothing of the sort. They’re low-life street thugs, nothing more.

Gutfeld continued with this:

One CNN headline:
“G20 protesters set street fires, loot stores.”
“Protesters.” No, they’re criminal gangs.
“Street fires.” Otherwise known as “Arson.”

Then he really nailed the violent lefties:

When historians look back at this era, and the decline of the West, the media’s fingerprints will be all over the crime scene. They happily place every act within the identity politic paradigm – paving the road for the lawlessness seen in Hamburg (and elsewhere).

The left still deserves tons of criticism but no more than the media who stoke the tension by ignoring the truth. Then there’s this:

Leftism follows the same script. If your ideas cannot survive debate, what do you do? You advocate for force. Progressivism requires chaotic, violent rage to ensure their toxic ideas persist.

The chance that the MSM will stop following this script is virtually nonexistent. The only option thoughtful people have is to gather their information through non-traditional sources. Right now, that’s people’s best option.

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Gregg Jarrett’s op-ed asks an interesting ethical question of former FBI Director Mueller. Jarrett first noted that the Hill reported that “Comey authored seven memorandums reflecting the contents of his conversations with President Trump and that four of the memos ‘have been determined to contain classified information.'”

Later, Jarrett made the observation that “If this is true and Comey kept these documents in his personal possession upon leaving government service and conveyed some of them to another individual without authorization, then it would appear that he committed multiple felonies under the Espionage Act.” Jarrett didn’t say that Comey had “committed multiple felonies under the Espionage Act.” Jarrett said Comey might’ve done that. In other words, he didn’t sound like a Democrat asserting that Trump had committed treason.

Another point Jarrett made was that “All of his memos are, unquestionably, government property under the Federal Records Act and the FBI’s own Records Management regulations. They were composed by him in the course and scope of his employment as the Director of the FBI. In meeting with President Trump, Comey was not acting as a private citizen. Both Congress and the FBI agree on this obvious point.”

What’s most interesting, though, is these questions:

How can Mueller discharge his responsibilities in a fair, objective and impartial manner? Will the mentor investigate and, if warranted, prosecute his protégé?

This is a charade that only DC insiders would think passes the smell test. Outsiders already think that the fix is in and that Comey will skate.

Let’s get serious about something. Comey’s documents weren’t private documents. They weren’t conversations about their grandchildren. They were work product. Comey let the cat out of the bag when he testified that it was important to get the information out. In fact, the fact that Comey took the documents with him after he was fired indicates that he stole government work product. Whether those documents contained classified information or not, they are work product subject to the Federal Records Act.

On the one hand, Comey is in deep dew-dew. On the other hand, he’s in serious trouble. That’s if Mueller doesn’t rescue him.

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It’s been too long since I’ve heard from Rep. Thad McCotter. He was one of my favorite congressmen because he was a thinker with a sense of humor. Thanks to this article, McCotter is back better than ever.

Whenever Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-CA), would get in front of a microphone, which felt like 4-6 times a day, he’d talk about President Trump’s collusion with Russia. Each time he’d do that, I thought Rep. Schiff was just attempting to keep that fake story going. I thought that the Agenda Media, aka the MSM, dutifully picked up this BS to maintain their good standing as a member of the Democratic Party. The truth is I’m still certain the MSM willingly provides irresponsible coverage of this nonstory.

Let’s be clear about this. The Trump administration and the Trump family haven’t handled this well. They haven’t made the best decisions. That being said, there’s no proof that they’ve committed any crimes. But I digress. McCotter has an interesting take on what’s driving Schiff’s media appearances:

My radio colleague John Batchelor has pegged U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-NY) as “the Pathfinder.” The reason being that, as ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff has been most vocal and visible in trying to divine the truth behind the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia—and, in a fortuitous confluence of circumstances for Schiff, find a path to taking Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat.

Suffice it to say that Rep. McCotter isn’t impressed with Rep. Schiff:

Thanks to the tender mercies of his friends in the media elite, Schiff’s failure to produce any shred of evidence regarding collusion—let alone a crime—has not proven problematic for the Pathfinder. Obviously, the media elite dislikes the president and will brook no facts—or the absence thereof—from getting in the way of a good smearing. The Pathfinder facilitates this mutually advantageous, tawdry political theater by ascribing the “appearance” of the most insidious motivations and actions to President Trump and his campaign in relation to Putin’s Russia; then artfully dodging his lack of evidence with the limp two-step, “I’d love to tell you more, but it’s classified.”

And how the Left-wing applauds and approves! For the media elite, ratings, circulation and “clicks” soar; and the Pathfinder treks ever closer to his coveted senate seat. Yes, their off-Broadway/on-Beltway production of “Trump Done It (Whatever It Was)?” is the smash hit of the post-Obama season.

Whether it’s Susan Page, Julie Pace or Mara Liasson, they keep saying that, unfortunately for the Trump administration, this story isn’t going away.

What they’re really saying is that the liberal media elites, like themselves, aren’t willing to let go of this juicy clickbait of a non-scandal. Let’s be clear about this. The media wing of the Democratic Party is perfectly content to ignore the lack of proof to further the Democrats’ agenda. The bad news for Democrats is that the people don’t trust the media because they’re convinced that the MSM is dishonest and hyper-partisan.

Ergo, in the real world, the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia or the president’s attempts to “obstruct” justice. Sadly for them, Pathfinder Schiff, the Left and their colluders in the media elite have concocted a kitchen sink thriller with a villain—President Trump—and with no plot to pin on him. Russia-gate isn’t a scripted play as much a fundraising dinner theater of the absurd wherein the Democratic Party and the media elite’s Trump Derangement Syndrome is passed off as performance art.

Fortunately, for the future of our free republic (and dinner theater everywhere), the nonpartisan public isn’t buying tickets.

While some people are buying tickets, those who aren’t on the left aren’t.

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My first reaction after reading this article is that Rebecca Otto is a spoiled brat who can’t take no for an answer. Despite the fact that there’s nothing in Minnesota’s constitution that assigns responsibilities to the auditor’s office, Otto insists that the auditor’s office was totally gutted by legislation.

The other reaction I had came after I read DFL Rep. Paul Marquart say “It is basically these three counties defending a state law … for all 87 counties. It is fair to spread [the expense] statewide.” What spinelessness. Why can’t Rep. Marquart criticize Otto? Saying that Otto’s lawsuit is frivolous is understatement. What’s worse is that it’s taxpayer-funded. Despite these things, Rep. Marquart didn’t hesitate in spending taxpayers’ money on the lawsuit.

This is proof that DFL legislators not having the spine to stand up to other DFL politicians. The reason behind the DFL’s silence is because the DFL isn’t for the working people. They’re for the special interests. Period.

I’ve written before that private auditors finish the job faster and cost less than the government auditors from Otto’s office. The DFL defends the government auditors by funding Otto’s lawsuit. I didn’t see Rep. Marquart fighting for taxpayers when this bill was being debated. Now it’s worse:

Now the reimbursement funds are caught up in the larger legal battle between the governor’s office and the Legislature. In a first-ever move in Minnesota, the DFL governor vetoed funding for the Republican-controlled legislature after what he called “last-minute legislative treachery”. The Legislature inserted a provision in a budget bill that would withhold funding for the Department of Revenue unless the governor signed its package of tax cuts.

Not only did Rep. Marquart vote for spending money on the lawsuit but he voted against tax relief for middle-class Minnesotans. I know this because all DFL representatives and senators voted against the tax relief package. Further, the DFL legislators voted against that tax relief after voting overwhelmingly for a bigger tax relief package in 2016, an election year.

This is what a picture of spinelessness looks like:

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Remember when President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize less than a month into his presidency? It’s over 8 years ago but it shows how some awards are totally phony. This article tells a similar story except on a statewide scale. According to the article, “Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto has been warded the 2017 William R. Snodgrass Leadership Award by the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NSAA). Otto was presented the award by current NSAA President Steven Eells, State Auditor of New Jersey. The award is given annually by the organization to ”…recognize individuals who have demonstrated sustained outstanding leadership and notable contributions to state government auditing.”

The article continues, saying “Award winners must have exhibited long-term leadership in a state auditing environment; distinctive leadership and notable accomplishment in state government auditing; innovative thinking and/or creative development of improvements in state government audit programs or techniques; and, recognized leadership and professionalism at the state level.”

If that’s the criteria for winning this award, Otto should’ve told the NSAA that she didn’t deserve it. That’s because the counties that were audited by her office finished too late and cost taxpayers far more than the counties that were audited by private firms. That isn’t my idea of exhibiting “long-term leadership” or “notable accomplishment.” In fact, that’s my definition of failure.

Otto was named by The Institute of Internal Auditors as one of the “15 Most Influential Professionals in Government Auditing” in 2014. She received the NASACT President’s Award in 2014 for her work on the national alliance to transform state government. Under her leadership, the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor received an NSAA Excellence in Accountability Award in 2009 for the special project “Best Practices Review: Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government.”

Instead of wasting time on that “special project”, is it possible that Otto could’ve spent more time making sure audits got finished on time?

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This article highlights Rebecca Otto’s nonstop quest for relevance. It also shows how she doesn’t respect the taxpayers.

First, some history is important. According to the article, “In September, Otto lost in district court, but she appealed to the state Appeals Court, saying that under the state Constitution only the state auditor can decide who audits county books. The state Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling that the legislation was constitutional on a 2-1 decision.”

This wasn’t surprising to constitutionalists. Minnesota’s constitution establishes the office. It doesn’t tell the auditor what to do. In fact, the only office that’s told its responsibilities. That’s the governor’s office. Further, the lt. governor receives their responsibilities from the governor they serve with. Minnesota’s attorney general, secretary of state and auditor get their responsibilities from Minnesota state statute.

Rebecca Otto knows that the auditor’s job is a holdover job meant to help a politician stay in the public eye until they run for higher office. What we’re finding out is that audits are getting done faster and for a cheaper price since they’ve been privatized. Frankly, it’s time to let all audits be privatized.

This article highlights additional parts of Judge Guthmann’s ruling in the Legislature’s lawsuit against Gov. Dayton that don’t sound good for Gov. Dayton.

First, in my post, I highlighted Judge Guthmann’s statement saying that “the public would be irreparably harmed” by being deprived “of a basic constitutional right – a fully functioning Legislative Branch.”

In Judge Guthmann’s injunctive ruling, he wrote “In addition to the parties’ Stipulation that Count I of the Complaint is ripe for decision, the court also finds that the issues presented to the court in Count I of the Complaint are ripe and require a ruling from the court.”

Some Twin Cities pundits have suggested that it’s best that Judge Guthmann order the two sides to sit down and work out their differences. I’ve never agreed with that approach. The constitutional issues are too important. Gov. Dayton’s claims are too reckless. It isn’t possible to reconcile Gov. Dayton’s filings with principles befitting a democracy. If the courts finally rule that Gov. Dayton “has the absolute authority to line-item veto anything for any reason,” it’ll demolish the checks and balances in Minnesota’s constitution.

This article is proof that Rebecca Otto doesn’t understand the constitution. In Brian Bakst’s article, he writes “State Auditor Rebecca Otto will file a petition this week with the Minnesota Supreme Court, asking for review of a law allowing counties to hire private accountants for financial evaluations done. In May, the state Court of Appeals upheld the 2015 law as constitutional in a 2-1 ruling. The majority judges said Otto hadn’t surrendered authority because she retained the power to set standards for audits and could reject audits it found inferior.”

The truth is that Minnesota’s constitution only establishes the office of auditor. The duties and responsibilities of the Auditor are assigned to it by statute. Later in Bakst’s article, he quotes Otto as saying “The courts have affirmed that auditing counties is a core function of this constitutional office, which we’ve been saying all along, and that there is a true controversy here.”

That isn’t being disputed. What’s being disputed is whether those responsibilities were assigned to the auditor’s office through the Constitution or through legislation. A little over 2 years ago, I wrote this post about the auditor’s office. Here’s what I wrote on June 10, 2015:

I’ve read Article V. That’s where the Constitution establishes the office of State Auditor. Nowhere in Article V does it list the auditor’s responsibilities. Article V, Sect. 3 outlines the governor’s responsibilities. That’s the only constitutional officer whose responsibilities are defined in Minnesota’s Constitution.

Since the legislation passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Dayton doesn’t attempt to abolish the State Auditor’s office, there isn’t a constitutional issue. The office is still intact. It’s just that the auditor’s responsibilities have changed. Here’s where things get tricky for the DFL.

Twenty-eight counties currently have the right to hire private auditors. That carve-out isn’t in the Constitution, meaning that changed through the passage of a state statute. If that change can happen through passing a state statute, why can’t other changes happen via state statute?

Those 28 counties have been permitted to hire private auditing companies for quite some time, meaning that Rebecca Otto hasn’t objected to the hiring of private auditors in years. Otto is only selectively opposed to the hiring of private auditors.

Further, from a public policy standpoint, letting counties hire private auditors makes sense. Private auditors do the job quicker and at a less expensive price. Since the auditor’s responsibilities are assigned through statute, not the Constitution, it makes too much sense to not authorize qualified private auditors to perform these audits.

Finally, it’s foolish not to either abolish the auditor’s office as a constitutional office. Wouldn’t it make more sense to move the auditor’s office, the attorney general’s office and the secretary of state’ office into being appointed by the governor? If not, why not?

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