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Jackass Jim Acosta made another spectacle today, questioning White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders about whether she thinks “the press is the enemy of the people.” Rather than answering directly, Huckabee-Sander replied “It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country. Repeatedly, repeatedly the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger.” She then continued, saying “Including your own network said I should be harassed as a life sentence. That I should be choked. ICE officials are not welcomed in their place of worship” before finishing by saying “When I was hosted by the Correspondents’ Association, which almost all of you are members of, you brought a comedian up to attack my appearance and call me a traitor to my own gender. As far as I know, I’m the first press secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection.”

Later, Acosta walked out of the briefing before tweeting this:


Here’s the video of their fiery exchange:

The truth is that Jim Acosta is a spoiled brat with no manners. It’s impossible to take him seriously. Further, his unprofessionalism is obvious to anyone with a functioning brain.

What’s painfully obvious is that this was another attempt to get attention. This was the first time that Acosta talked about the White House Correspondents Dinner fiasco. He didn’t bring it up, either. He spoke to it after Sarah Huckabee-Sanders brought it up along with a lengthy litany of other abuses she’s suffered through. If the media wants to rebuild their credibility, they should stop acting like jackasses. Further, they should stop hiring insulting comediennes for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Nothing says ‘Don’t take me seriously’ like an unfunny, unserious comedian.

The only thing that’s worse is this:

Including your own network said I should be harassed as a life sentence. That I should be choked.

That qualifies as a legitimate reason to say that the press is the enemy of the people. That’s what bitter, hateful people say. That isn’t what a professional with self-respect says. Kicking a reporter out for asking a controversial statement is one thing.

Today’s episode goes far beyond that. That was just mean-spirited unprofessional behavior. Acosta shouldn’t have been allowed to walk out early. He should’ve been kicked out. Then the White House should’ve issued a statement highlighting acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Tim Pawlenty has started running an ad that takes a shot at Gov. Dayton’s incompetence in administering government assistance programs. Before we watch the ad, though, it’s important to note that Pawlenty has listed this issue as a high priority on his campaign’s issues page.

He wrote “Whether it is a driver’s license renewal system that doesn’t work, broken healthcare websites, or childcare providers allegedly defrauding the state of a massive amount of money and sending some of that money to terrorists overseas, state government needs to be held more accountable. Too often, state government is not held accountable and taxpayers are left to pay the price. As just one example, a recent audit from the Office of the Legislative Auditor found the state is paying hundreds of millions in benefits to people not even eligible because state government fails to verify income eligibility. We will properly verify eligibility and use the hundreds of millions currently being wasted to lower health care costs and provide better care to Minnesotans in need. It’s time to hold state government more accountable and put hardworking Minnesotans first.”

Here’s Pawlenty’s ad:

Rating this ad

I consider this ad to be effective. First, Pawlenty ‘narrates’ the ad, in essence telling people what he thinks is important while highlighting what’s wrong with government. Next, he closes by saying that he’d use those savings to lower health care costs for Minnesotans who work hard and obey the law.

Next up is Karin Housley’s first ad:

Rating this ad

I rate this ad effective, too. First, Sen. Housley speaks for herself, which is always the most effective way of getting the message across. Next, she explains her governing philosophy. Simply put, she wants to ‘drain the swamp’ and get government out of the average citizen’s way. She wants government “working for you, not against you.” Finally, she tells voters that she understands “that the best place for your hard-earned money is in your pocket.”

In both cases, the ads were short, concise and about things that Minnesotans care about.

UPDATE: I saw Jeff Johnson’s first ad tonight:

Rating this ad

Johnson’s ad definitely goes after Tim Pawlenty, which is what I’d expect since Johnson first has to win the primary. I thought it was gratuitous for Johnson to say that Gov. Pawlenty “gave us higher spending.” When Gov. Pawlenty started in office, Jim Knoblach chaired the House Ways and Means Committee. It’s foolish to think that there was a massive spending increase at that time because Gov. Pawlenty inherited a $4.2 billion projected deficit from Jesse Ventura. Pawlenty and Knoblach eliminated that deficit without raising taxes. It’s fair, however, to mention the fee increases.

The ad is a bit misleading in that Pawlenty had to battle DFL supermajorities in the 2007 and 2009 budget sessions. That’s when Republicans relied on Gov. Pawlenty to be our goalie.

Overall, the ad is somewhat effective because it’s somewhat misleading.

This Politico article contains some of the best news I’ve seen all day. When I read “the party’s base is demanding Schumer and his colleagues wage a knock-down, drag-out fight”, I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.

Let’s be upfront about this. I don’t expect this to happen. Still, if the Democrats want to imperil their most vulnerable senators, I’ll be happy to see that happen. I’d love to see Republicans pick up 6-7 seats instead of 2-3 seats in the Senate.

Still, if the Democrats’ base insists on a knock-down-drag-out fight, Republicans should smile, then hit these red-state Democrats hard until they’re too toxic to win. In some cases, that shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s important that we remember that this vote isn’t the only thing that senators like Manchin, Donnelly, Tester, Heitkamp and Nelson will be judged on. Tester and Nelson voted against Gorsuch. All of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Don’t think that those votes won’t be included in the GOP’s closing arguments in late October and early November.

Still, how long at-risk Democrats can or should hold out is a complicated political equation that could affect their survival in November. As long as they remain undecided, deep-pocketed conservative groups like the Judicial Crisis Network and Americans for Prosperity will continue pounding them with pro-Kavanaugh ads and activism in their states.

A spokeswoman for JCN said it would pull ads when and if Democratic senators come out in support of Kavanaugh and shift to thanking the nominee’s supporters. Meanwhile, GOP opponents, who expect some of these Democrats to ultimately support Kavanaugh, are hitting them for their supposed indecision.

Organizations like the Judicial Crisis Network are already running ads like this against Democrats:

This is another hard-hitting ad from JCN:

Good luck dealing with that pressure.
UPDATE: Rand Paul has announced that he’s supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The pressure just got a lot more intense for Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, etc.

Robbyn Wacker is the new president at St. Cloud State. Unfortunately, she inherited a disaster. Unfortunately, turning St. Cloud State around keeps getting more difficult each month. What’s most unfortunate is that SCSU is laying off faculty each year. They’ve avoided calling it retrenchment, which requires certain protocols to be followed. Still, it’s getting to the point where the layoffs at the University have gotten to a point where SCSU doesn’t have many open programs left thanks to the growing list of annual budget cuts.

President Wacker’s monthly editorial follows in the tradition of past presidents. In other words, it’s more happy talk that reinforces the notion that ‘higher education is a good thing’ that’s getting more difficult each year because of changing demographics, which produces more competition between universities for students.

Competition isn’t the culprit for why SCSU is having difficulty filling its programs. Based on informal interviews with current faculty, the biggest problems facing the University are incompetence and the lack of an appealing plan. Throughout the years, SCSU has too often tried engaging in rebranding rather than rebuilding. Too often under President Potter, the University spent money stupidly. Longtime readers of LFR are probably tired of hearing me talk about the various foolish spending decisions. I don’t blame them.

This paragraph totally bothers me:

I look forward to continuing to work with the campus, our partners and the community to identify new and creative ways to carry out St. Cloud State’s mission and vision to positively transform students and prepare them to be global citizens of the 21st Century.

It’s time to get rid of significant parts of the administration. Keep the deans and the people who run the offices. Terminate those that don’t fit that description.

Another thing that’s important is getting out of the lease with the Wedum Foundation. The University has probably sent checks above the rent revenues to the Wedum Foundation in excess of $10,000,000. The University can’t afford to keep spending money foolishly like that.

Most importantly, the University needs to restart the Aviation Program immediately. Last week, Minnesota State-Mankato was chosen to be one of 8 universities picked by Delta to train their future pilots. As more airlines need more pilots, they’ll need additional universities to train these future pilots.

Having an aviation program will be an instant student pipeline to those universities. SCSU needs a student magnet right now. An aviation program won’t just attract future pilots. It’ll attract other students who want to major in drone operations or aerial firefighting, too. These are understaffed careers, too. SCSU didn’t just walk away from that program. It ran away from that program. When it was terminated, there were almost 200 students in the Aviation Program.

It’s time for the St. Cloud State president to stop writing these happy talk op-eds. It’s time for them to start writing things that actually attract students in specific programs. Kids obviously aren’t attracted by the happy talk. They get it that there’s better careers at less expensive prices waiting for them in technical schools. They don’t need to hear milquetoast op-eds like this one. They want to be told about a bold new program that offers them a high-paying job upon graduation that pays off their student debt quickly and that helps them earn a healthy middle class living.

Finally, op-eds like these feed the notion that universities are out of touch with students. That needs to stop immediately.

Michael Nutter is the former mayor of Philadelphia. He’s written this op-ed to defend the Philadelphia Eagles football team for not attending the customary Champions Day event at the White House. In his op-ed, Nutter quoted President Trump’s statement, which said in part “(The Eagles) disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

Nutter then said “Here is where the lying begins and ends with Donald Trump — none of the Eagles took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem during last year’s regular season or playoffs.” Technically, Nutter is right. None of the Eagles took a knee a la Colin Kaepernick. Saying that they didn’t protest during the national anthem is another story.

This article proves that Eagles players protested during the Anthem. The title of the article is “Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins explains why he protested during the national anthem.” Instead of taking a knee, here’s what Malcolm Jenkins did:

Does Mayor Nutter really want to base his argument on a trivial technicality? What’s most interesting is that Jenkins didn’t deny protesting:

Last week, prior to this political firestorm, Jenkins’ explained at his locker why he started protesting during the national anthem by raising his fist, and whether he believes the initial message has been lost.
Here is what he had to say:

“I think that is why the demonstrations were in fact very effective. Here we are going into three years later and we are still having conversations about it. Even though it gets confused sometimes, it is still creating that dialogue. I think the reason that we are still talking about it is that we have yet to find a better way to do it. To create this much buzz. Nobody has provided another platform for it to have the same weight so we will continue to figure out what we have at our disposal to bring as much attention to this cause as possible. To continue to stay on message about it being about systemic racism, about our criminal justice system, about police brutality, about lack of education and economic opportunities in our community of color. We will keep repeating that. If you want to talk about the anthem and the anthem is going to bring the cameras to me, so be it.”

My first recommendation to Jenkins is to stop listening to DeMaurice Smith. He thinks like a politician. My second recommendation for Jenkins is to pull his head out of his ass and start working towards a solution. Starting conversations without a goal in mind is just wasting time. Saying ‘we want to start a conversation’ is saying ‘pay attention to us. We don’t have a solution.’ If you want to change society, prepare enough to recommend a solution or a series of solutions.

Putting a fist in the air isn’t a solution. It’s a high-profile temper tantrum. If you want to be taken seriously, do the homework. Do the research. This isn’t kids’ stuff. This is about positively impacting millions of lives who need help.

Finally, I’d recommend to Jenkins to start advocating for African-American athletes to stop giving the Democratic Party 90-95% of their vote. That’s a surefire way of guaranteeing that you’ll be taken for granted. Putting that bloc of votes up for competition increases the politicians’ accountability.

It didn’t take long for Keith Ellison to admit that he’s running for the Minnesota Attorney General job to harass President Trump. Ellison said “It was attorneys general who led the fight against the Muslim ban. I want to be a part of that fight.”

What Rep. Ellison omits from his cheap shot statement is that a) it isn’t a Muslim ban and b) these attorneys general’s cases are flimsier than wet cardboard. The Supreme Court will rule that a) presidents have sole authority to set U.S. foreign policy and b) courts don’t have the intel or authority to set U.S. foreign policy.

What’s clear is that Ellison knows Republicans will maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the foreseeable future and that he’s likely to not be able to impact policy anytime soon. Ellison is an agitator. Being unable to be influential in DC, Ellison left.

GOP endorsed candidate Doug Wardlow didn’t waste time before attacking Ellison:

“Keith Ellison supports open borders, meaning he does not support the laws America currently has in place. How can he be the state’s top law enforcement official if he is unwilling to enforce our immigration laws?”

The thought of Ellison being Minnesota’s chief law enforcement officer is laughable. Ellison is famous for selectively enforcing laws:

Ellison also spoke favorably of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur and expressed his opposition to any attempt to extradite her to the United States from Cuba, where she had fled after escaping prison. “I am praying that Castro does not get to the point where he has to really barter with these guys over here because they’re going to get Assata Shakur, they’re going to get a whole lot of other people,” Ellison said at the event, which also included a silent auction and speech by former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn. “I hope the Cuban people can stick to it, because the freedom of some good decent people depends on it.”

Isn’t that great? The man that wants to be our attorney general wants cop-killers protected. Seriously?

Here’s Assata Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard, in her own words:

That’s who Rep. Ellison fought for. Electing Ellison to be Minnesota’s Attorney General would be spitting in the face of Minnesota’s law enforcement personnel. Ellison has been a defense attorney his entire legal life. Why would we think that he’s capable of enforcing laws, especially when he’s had a history of ignoring laws he doesn’t like?

Minutes ago, Dr. John Palmer announced his candidacy for the St. Cloud City Council’s First Ward seat. Dr. Palmer issued this statement:

Following nearly a year’s worth of attendance at St. Cloud City Council meetings John W. Palmer has decided to seek the Ward 1 City Council seat. John has watched with increasing disgust the behavior of the City Council in general and First Ward Councilman Masters in particular. It has become apparent to John that “We the People” are not listened to and given the respect they deserve. “We the People” created City Government to serve the people, but the Council in general and Councilman Masters in particular seem to have forgotten they are servants of the people.

In addition to fighting to insure the voice of the people is heard and reminding elected officials that they are to be servant leaders, John will bring to the council his considerable skills as a researcher, budget and public policy analyst, constitutionalist, parliamentarian and advocate for doing the right things for the right reasons. John will bring a reform agenda to the City and Council. John wants to make sure that “We the People” have every opportunity to be heard before the Council decides. He also wants to create a path to prosperity for the residents and the city, recognizing that the best way grow things is to create an environment that rewards growth.

An old adage regarding the impact of taxes is: if you want less of something, tax it. Applying this adage to our city means we need to make sure we do not discourage desirable activities (e.g. retails sales, home ownership, business expansion) by taxing these things to the point where people choose to shop and do business elsewhere. John hopes these words taken from the Preamble of the US Constitution come to fulfillment in St. Cloud: …in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…

While reading through this MPR article, I discovered a provocative insight into Gov. Dayton’s thinking. Specifically, I’m talking about when he said “Divided government has not worked well for Minnesota over the last eight years but it has worked better than it did this time.”

This puts the final piece of the puzzle in place to figuring out (to the best that’s possible) Gov. Dayton’s thinking and attitude. Consider these things:

  • In 3 of the 4 budget years, Gov. Dayton either shut government down or pushed things to a special session.
  • In 2015, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt spent an entire week negotiating with Gov. Dayton on a budget agreement without success. After their Friday meeting with Gov. Dayton, they took it upon themselves to fashion a bipartisan budget agreement. An hour later, they’d reached agreement.
  • This year, Gov. Dayton vetoed a standalone bill because it wasn’t part of a bigger bill.
  • Gov. Dayton vetoed other bills because they were too big.
  • Gov. Dayton vetoed a spending bill, saying it didn’t have new money in it even though it had new money in it.

These aren’t the actions of a rational man. They’re either the actions of a man that’s falling apart or the actions of a man who’s playing political games with people’s lives.

It’s impossible to deal with irrational people like this. It’s like trying to predict the flight pattern of butterflies. It’s just simply impossible. These are the people who will get hurt thanks to Gov. Dayton’s irrational vetoes:

Gov. Dayton accused Republicans of putting together bad bills for their campaigns. Sen. Gazelka quickly shot that accusation down:

“Everywhere we turn, somebody is impacted, because in the end we are too stubborn to give in,” said Gazelka, R-Nisswa. It’s unfair, he added, to say Republicans are only interested in their campaigns for re-election, particularly in the Senate, where members are not on the ballot this year. “It feels impulsive, it feels vindictive and it didn’t help anybody in Minnesota,” he said of the vetoes. “I don’t know where we go from here.”

Gov. Dayton made that accusation to put the blame anywhere except on him. Like Gov. Dayton, the accusation is the product of Gov. Dayton’s impulses and his dishonesty.

The budget bill would have used money from the state surplus to help boost school security, take steps to attack the opioid epidemic, begin addressing problems with the elder care system and more. The tax bill authorized $225 million in spending for schools meant to avert layoffs and program cuts in some districts, but Dayton had called it “fake,” because only $50 million of it was new money.

What a blithering idiot. I’m betting those parents and students don’t care whether the money is new or tapped from reserves. They care whether they’ll be safe next fall.

This is another situation where Gov. Dayton insisted on something, then vetoed the legislation whether it took care of the people’s needs. If it met the people’s needs but not his demandments, it got vetoed. Wasn’t the biggest requirement of the job to make the people’s lives better? I don’t recall it being that important to make the politicians happy.

Written by Rambling Rose

Unthinkable. Despicable. Kids learned to “play” the system. Obama “played” the students, teachers and parents. We all lost. Will we stand by again or will we act?

While we all would like a ‘second chance’ when we err, students with the PROMISE plan for school infractions quickly learned that it is a sham that they can (able) and may (no consequences so permission is implicit) exploit. They learned how to play the system for countless second chances. What happened to the expectation of teaching the next generation responsibility and accountability? What happens to an academic program when discipline is absent from the classroom, the school building, the school district?

We have learned the answer—more and more school shootings by mentally disturbed, glory-seeking individuals who have gotten by with other acts of violence in the schools and fear no consequences in those ‘gun-free’ zones. The get-out-of-jail-free card is not restricted to the board game Monopoly. That seems the foundation of the whitewashing discipline program PROMISE.

While Obama promised to heal the racial/ethnic divide in this country, the truth is that he skillfully set up more barriers between groups. One such tool of division and unrest is the PROMISE program. It was instituted “…by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education in 2014, [and] includes a call for schools to ensure that they are not involving law enforcement in routine disciplinary issues. It also put schools on notice that they may be in violation of civil rights laws if their disciplinary policies lead to disparately high discipline rates for students of color, even if those policies were written without discriminatory intent.” With such threats from the federal government, it is not surprising that school districts “embraced” the mandate…often with no public disclosure of those changes unless someone knew to investigate the discipline handbook of their community’s district. But who would look? Until the shooting at the Parkland High School, the public knew little or nothing about the PROMISE program to whitewash students’ infractions.

Following the massacre in February 2018 in one of the Broward County district schools, Parkland High School, people asked if the shooter (name withheld to not add to his notoriety) had ever been arrested, which would have denied him the right to purchase firearms. The suspect was known for violent acts, including the killing of small animals for sport and the vandalism of a school bathroom while yet in middle school. The sheriff’s office had been called to his home dozens of times. Both the school deputy and the FBI received tips that this disturbed individual was planning a school shooting. The school had even recommended an involuntary mental evaluation. But nothing was done by officials to intervene and prevent the tragedy. They were following the Obama directive and needed to protect the image of the school.

In the culture of leniency of PROMISE, violators of the same infraction 10 times are treated as if it were the first offense. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reviewed the district’s discipline policies and reported in early May:

  • “Students can be considered first-time offenders even if they commit the same offenses year after year.
  • The district’s claim of reforming bad behavior is exaggerated.
  • Lenient discipline has an added PR benefit for the district: lower suspensions, expulsions and arrests along with rising graduation rates.”

The district claims a 90% success rate of students not re-offending. However, the Sun Sentinel revealed the real meaning of that claim. Here is the scam that the students have learned to play. “A student can commit a subsequent infraction without being considered a repeat offender, as long as it’s not the exact same violation, in the exact same year. The following year, they start with a clean slate.”

The shooter was suspended some 67 days during a year and a half in middle school and continued to have problems in high school. However, his record didn’t show that. The administrators use the numbers to market their school. They do not want their school to be perceived as dangerous. Parents would not send their children to those schools if the truth were known. Only after tragedy hits the school, does the community learn the awful truth. Their children became the innocent victims of those who have enjoyed endless second chances to whitewash their school records.

How many more innocent students, teachers and school personnel will be sacrificed on the PC altar before the culture of leniency is revoked and personal accountability for personal actions is restored? Although the identity of the first person to make this statement seems to be debatable, its truth is widely repeated, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Who will do nothing? Who will act?

After vetoing the GOP tax conformity bill, Gov. Dayton sent this veto letter to Speaker Kurt Daudt in which he theoretically explained why he vetoed the tax conformity bill. It isn’t as much a governing document as it is a political document.

For instance, early in the veto letter, Gov. Dayton wrote “Late last year, President Trump and Republicans in Congress enacted a federal tax law that overwhelmingly favored large corporations and the richest Americans. The federal tax law cut taxes by 40 percent for corporations, totaling 92 percent of the net total, or $1.35 trillion. Because of these federal tax changes, 300,000 Minnesotans will see a $59 million tax increase next year, if the Minnesota Legislature does nothing to respond.”

What Gov. Dayton didn’t include in his letter is why the federal tax cut was heavy on cutting corporate tax rates. Gov. Dayton didn’t mention that Obama-era tax increases in corporate tax rates had made U.S. companies uncompetitive with other nations’ companies. The likely reason why Gov. Dayton didn’t mention that is because his tax policies have made Minnesota companies uncompetitive.

Here’s Speaker Daudt’s response to Gov. Dayton’s veto:

This is an outright lie:

Unfortunately, this tax bill, like the Federal Tax Law passed last year, prioritizes tax cuts for corporations over real people. Rather than investing in our children’s educations, the GOP has decided that the foreign profits of large, multinational corporations are more important.

I can’t wait until Gov. Dayton is just a bad memory. He’s raised taxes, including on middle income families and the working poor. Now he’s about to raise taxes on the middle class again unless he gets exactly what he wants. He’s turned a blind eye towards vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. He’s dumped millions of dollars into a broken MNLARS system and that still doesn’t work. He’s protected his union allies while imposing harsh regulations on those that oppose the unions. (Think child care workers who voted against unionization.)

It’s accurate to say that he’s been the worst governor in recent Minnesota history. He’s supposedly forgotten important provisions in major bills that he’s negotiated. (Think sales tax on farm equipment repairs in the Tax bill of 2013 and the PSL provision in the Vikings stadium bill.) Now he’s insisting that he didn’t hear about the whistleblower report about the Somali child care fraud. This despite the fact that the whistleblower has repeatedly told reporters that he told people in Gov. Dayton’s inner circle about the fraud.

When he was in the Senate, Dayton was named the worst senator in DC. It isn’t a stretch to think that he’s now added worst governor in Minnesota to his ‘trophy case’.