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Unlike the DFL governor, Republicans haven’t turned a blind eye towards the nursing home crisis. For 7 years, DFL Gov. Dayton hasn’t paid attention to the nursing home crisis. After the Strib published a multi-part series on nursing home abuse, in which some people literally died of neglect, Gov. Dayton appointed a task force to look into the abuse.

Before that panel was appointed, the Strib examined state records. One of the appalling pieces of information was that there were “25,226 allegations of neglect, physical abuse, unexplained serious injuries and thefts last year in state-licensed senior facilities” and that “97 percent were never investigated.” When I wrote this post, I noted something in State Sen. Karin Housley’s statement. In her statement, she said “Instead of taking responsibility for the shortcomings and negligence of his own state agencies, one of the main drivers of this issue, the governor placed the blame wholly on the care providers. Despite a well-documented culture of intimidation and neglect that prevented the governor’s Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) from serving its function, the governor refuses to accept accountability for the failings of the executive branch.”

Despite the DFL owning this crisis, the House DFL campaign committee, tasked with getting DFL legislators elected, issued this propaganda:

The bill fixing this DFL crisis was chief authored by Sen. Housley. The DFL knows that it’s being run through the Senate first. (PS- the bill # is SF3437.) The bill will be passed in the Senate first, then sent to the House, where it will be passed, then sent to Gov. Dayton.

This BS fundraising appeal reveals the DFL’s (lack of) character. The DFL knows that their governor ignored the problem. The DFL knows that Republicans are cleaning up the DFL’s mess. Still, the DFL is pretending like it’s the Republicans’ fault if the DFL’s problems aren’t fixed. Fortunately, Republicans are in the habit of doing the right thing. They’re fixing the DFL’s problem.

This is entirely on Gov. Dayton:

When investigations did happen, often they were essentially botched, with evidence destroyed or tampered with, interviews not conducted, and sometimes police or prosecutors not contacted as required by state law. Sometimes investigations were done by public employees or nursing home employees not trained in criminal investigations.

The legislative branch has nothing to do with the actual investigations. That’s exclusively the executive branch’s responsibility. Period.

This highlights the fact that the Dayton administration, aka Minnesota’s executive branch the past 7+ years, was incompetent. The DFL’s investigations were botched, which placed additional seniors in harm’s way. Now the DFL is attempting to blame Republicans for the DFL’s incompetence!

Finally, it’s important to remember this November that the DFL was both dishonest and incompetent in dealing with this crisis. The DFL will campaign on creating a “Better Minnesota.” That’s BS. If the DFL thinks that this is a picture of “a Better Minnesota”, then it’s obvious that the DFL sees things through rose-colored glasses.

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Apparently, progressives aren’t as altruistic as they pretend while getting interviewed. Recently, the “Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to scrap its plan to move hundreds of homeless people from alongside the Santa Ana River to temporary shelters in three cities.”

According to the article, “ahead of the meeting, a caravan of 22 chartered buses arrived at Santa Ana’s Hall of Administration carrying more than 1,200 Irvine residents who urged the Orange County Board of Supervisors to scrap the controversial plan to create emergency homeless shelters in their community and others.”

The activists must’ve prohibited altruistic people from boarding their buses. It was stunning to hear that the “meeting was packed with residents who oppose putting emergency shelters in their neighborhoods.” People like Angela Liu, of Irvine, who owns a legal services company, who said “I don’t know. They need to put them somewhere, maybe somewhere else in California. I really don’t know where they can go, but Irvine is beautiful and we don’t want to get destroyed.”

“Who cares?” added Abby Moore, a retiree from Laguna Niguel. “This is not our responsibility; we are not elected to handle this crisis. I just don’t want to be near the homeless.”

Meanwhile, the crisis keeps getting worse:

When Tucker interviewed Fabio, Democrats ridiculed both men. That’s why I’m expecting to get ridiculed, too. That’s fine. The homeless crisis in California isn’t getting better. It’s getting worse without an end in sight. Fabio explained why it isn’t getting better when he stated that “5,700 people paid 37% of California’s state income tax.” Further, Fabio stated that the movie industry has left California for all intents and purposes and the middle class is leaving the state thanks to Jerry Brown’s economic ‘leadership’.

Supervisor Lisa A. Bartlett apologized to the affected cities during the meeting. “There has been a lack of clear information and that has caused unnecessary panic,” Bartlett said. “Nothing was approved or built and no homeless were ever relocated to any of the cities.”

That’s what happens when the progressive checklist is followed to a T. California taxes the middle class while protecting criminal aliens. Jerry Brown came close to ruining California during his first time in office as governor. This time, he’s returned, along with supermajorities of Democrats, to finish the job he started when he was nicknamed Gov. Moonbeam and while he dated Linda Ronstadt.

More than anything, California needs another Reagan to save it from the Brown family. Back in 1966, Reagan defeated Pat Brown, Jerry’s father. Unfortunately, California’s insanity returned with a vengeance.

Joe Soucheray’s column is brilliant in that it highlights the fact that, to the public, the old system was working flawlessly.

In the second paragraph of his column, Soucheray wrote “So far, $93 million has been spent to upgrade the MNLARS software. I never had a problem getting my tabs or securing a new title. Did you? I mean, things were going along swimmingly and getting tabs and titles was just part of the contractual bargain we have with the state, like paying taxes or getting a fishing license.” I’m betting that 99% of people would agree with Mr. Soucheray’s statement.

Soucheray dropped the hammer in the next paragraph, saying “But then somebody decided we needed to upgrade the system. Maybe some software salesman in a plaid suit and orange shoes blew through town and they went for his pitch. Now there is a delay in getting tabs and titles. This falls under the rubric of fixing something that apparently wasn’t broken.” Ouch.

A longtime friend once told me when he helped me install my first PC that he preferred “trailing edge technology”. Bruce told me that he liked new technology after the inevitable bugs had gotten fixed. Apparently, though, with MNLARS, their problem is that they haven’t identified the bugs.

Then Soucheray drops the hammer:

Is this one of those deals where somebody’s brother-in-law is getting rich? Probably not. But I cannot think of a boondoggle of this scale that displays so clearly for us the difference in the mindsets between the public and private sectors. Imagine if your private employer told you to upgrade the computer software — you work in your company’s information technology department — that governs the loading of finished products from your loading docks into the waiting trucks.

“OK, boss, will do. What’s my budget?”
Sheepishly, you go back to the boss in a month and tell her you need more money.
“How much more?”
“Another $43 million might do it, but I need $10 million of that right now or I am going to lose this team of sharpshooters I brought on board.”
“You’re fired.”
“Yes, ma’am.”

Yes, incompetence happens in the private sector. That’s why companies go out of business. Either that or they quickly get new management that quickly rights the ship. What doesn’t happen in the private sector is letting the same failed management continue screwing things up without consequence.

Last Friday night, the DFL ‘ladies from La-La-Land’, aka Ellen Anderson and Ember Reichgott-Junge, insisted that Republicans would pay a political price this November if they didn’t appropriate the $10,000,000 immediately and without question. These ladies apparently aren’t bright enough to understand that the people that screwed things up, aka the Dayton administration, get blamed.

This sounds like a reasonable compromise:

Find the old software and reinstall it. That couldn’t possibly cost $93 million or require another $43 million of which $10 million is needed immediately.

I’m betting there are tons of frustrated customers out there that’d be fine with this solution.

Finally, the DFL, aka the Party of Big Government, has proven yet again that they’re incompetent. I wish that was a surprise.

As with most central planning projects, the people directly affected by the project aren’t taken into consideration. That’s certainly the case with Blaine’s rejected solar energy proposal. As with most projects, this was a power play built on the premises that central planners know best and that the uppity peasants should just listen.

That’s certainly the message that comes through loud and clear when it’s written “From the start, City Hall threw its clout behind the proposed field of solar panels with a capacity to power about 760 homes, giving the project an aura of inevitability. ‘It’s an alternative energy and limits the use of coal, which everyone wants,’ Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan said at a December public meeting. ‘It limits the carbon footprint.'”

Nowhere is it written that the neighborhood’s wishes were taken into consideration. Nowhere did the central planners think that renewable energy wasn’t a high priority of the neighborhood. That’s what happens within a bubble.

Homeowners determined there’d never been a big solar farm placed so close to a residential neighborhood anywhere in the country. When residents spot checked zoning regulations in other jurisdictions, they learned that none of the nine cities and three counties allowed big solar farms near residential neighborhoods like theirs.

Yet residents got the feeling city officials were more interested in rubber-stamping the project than in listening to their concerns over safety, aesthetics and property values. “Cities should put their citizens first because that’s who they are there to serve,” said Chris Hildrum, a Blaine resident who led the opposition. “They should not put energy companies, government entities or anything above the people they are there to serve. And when they do that, they create problems for everybody and everything.”

Mr. Hildrum’s statement is blasphemy to central planners. People are subjects unworthy of consideration with central planners. The people aren’t their concern. Here’s proof of that:

Days before city officials were set to amend the city code to allow solar farms in Blaine in late December, residents finally got through to City Councilor Julie Jeppson.

“I’m guessing this is not the last time we’re going to hear about it. So let’s prepare ourselves so when the right opportunities come up so we’re ready for them,” said Jeppson, a supporter of prudent solar development. “So we don’t have these huge miscommunications with neighbors and make them feel like we’re sneaking something under the radar with them. Have it out there, this is our policy, this is how we’re going to uphold it.”

Nothing in those statements indicates that she’s listened to the people.

The DFL hasn’t hidden their support for public employee unions like AFSCME, SEIU and MAPE. That means they’ve supported the things described in this article. What’s outlined in this article, though, seems more like highway robbery than representation.

For instance, “Labor unions in a handful of states have been able to take a portion of [Medicaid payments paid to PCAs] by organizing all the personal caregivers as one bargaining unit. Lawmakers in those states have allowed the practice by implementing policies that classify the caregivers as public employees – but only for the purpose of collective bargaining.”

The previous paragraph describes who these PCAs are, saying “Medicaid funds can be provided to personal caregivers who care for an elderly and disabled individual. The caregiver in most cases is related to their client. It’s a system that allows for personalized treatment and oftentimes it allows families to care for loved ones. But it’s also a system that has enriched unions.”

The unions have enriched themselves to the tune of “$200 million annually from Medicaid funds through personal caregivers.” These aren’t public employees. They’re relatives. The union collects their dues but the relatives don’t get the benefits that the unions bargain for. What part of that sounds justifiable?

Here’s what happened in Minnesota:

The union practice exists in states like California, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, and Connecticut Minnesota lawmakers, for instance, allowed a state union to organize Personal Care Providers (PCA) as a single bargaining unit by passing a law dictating they are state employees simply because they collect Medicaid funds. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton tried to do the same in 2011 through an executive order, but it failed in the courts.

The same bill that allowed unionization of in-home child care providers also authorized the unionization of family-based PCAs. Here’s part of the committee debate on that legislation:

Rep. Mahoney didn’t tell the truth. The union dues get taken out of money paid by government to in-home child care providers and PCAs. With PCAs, that money comes from Medicaid. These aren’t wages. They’re support payments paid to help families provide care for family members who otherwise might be housed in nursing homes or mental institutions. The state is actually saving money as a direct result of this program.

The family member is subsidized to care for family members because they’ve given up their jobs. That’s essentially a reimbursement paid in exchange for helping the state save money. That isn’t a wage.

“Medicaid will pay for homecare services for the elderly and disabled,” Nelsen told InsideSources. “The SEIU and AFSCME, back in the late 90s, when union membership was generally declining saw these workers, and this pool of Medicaid dollars, as a potential organizing opportunity.”

The U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue to an extent during the 2014 case, Harris v. Quinn. The justices ruled that Illinois home care providers couldn’t be forced to pay dues because they weren’t technically state employees. Nelsen argues that unions and state leaders have found ways around those restrictions. “The states and unions have worked hand and glove to design a series of workarounds to the Harris v. Quinn decision, and to keep people paying dues whether they want to or not,” Nelsen said. “There are literally hundreds and thousands of these care providers around the country paying union dues to the SEIU and AFSCME against their will.”

In Minnesota, PCAs have petitioned the government to hold a decertification vote. If it’s held, the largest unionized bargaining unit will be decertified. The vote won’t be close.

When the unionization vote happened for in-home child care providers, it was rejected by a 1,014-392 margin. There’s no reason to think this vote won’t be similarly lopsided.

After reading this article, I thought that this was another instance of regulators running wild. First, let’s establish what happened.

According to the article, it “started in February with some bicycle wheels under a slide, right where they were supposed to be. “They were tucked underneath the slide in my front yard so the kids could access them, because they do things like experiment with physics and roll them down the hill,” Giuliani said. It ended with the first correction orders she had received in 17 years of providing family child care. On top of the 55-hour weeks, the need to pursue training and do paperwork outside of that window and the emotional heft of helping children grow, there’s now a green letter posted at the entrance to Giuliani’s home, where it will echo her faults until 2019.”

Seriously? This is proof that regulators either have too much time on their hands or they have a God complex. The other possibility is that this regulator is trying to pay in-home child care providers for humiliating the union by rejecting union representation. Whatever the regulator’s motivation, this isn’t acceptable. Here’s the ‘scene of the crime’:

That certainly looks dangerous. It’s a good thing that regulators wrote Giuliani up for being a threat to the children she takes care of.

Seriously, what’s required is a culture change amongst regulators. There’s no doubt that Minnesota is overregulated. That’s why companies have either left Minnesota or they’ve expanded elsewhere. That’s why Minnesota will lose a congressional district in the next round of reapportionment in 2021. It’s that simple.

“Guilty until proven innocent,” testified Julie Seidel, membership director of the Minnesota Association of Child Care Professionals, who added the regulatory environment is “burdensome and often unattainable … and is discouraging providers from continuing child care.”

It isn’t just that laws need to be rewritten. It’s that a total culture change is required. Common sense rules have been replaced by God-like declarations. Rather than just writing Ms. Giuliani a fix-it ticket, the regulator insisted on making an example of her.

County licensors also will be required to get additional training on licensing standards, with the goal of shifting from punitive to more constructive and educational licensing inspections. Giuliani countered that’s like “sending a bully at school to sensitivity training and expecting that because they have 90 minutes of training they’re not going to go back and do what they did before.”

It’d be better to just throw out the people who’ve abused their power.

When the American Mining Rights Association, aka AMRA, tried planning an event near Barstow, Calif., the BLM posted Route Closed signs on the trail event participants were scheduled to take. When “AMRA President Shannon Poe caught wind of the BLM scheme”, he called “the BLM office in Barstow and spoke to a guy by the name of Jeff Childers. And Childers, while he presented himself as the manager of the BLM office, was not … but he told me that they put the signs in the roads there and that the roads were now closed as part of the WEMO Plan.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Childers, a multitude of laws were against him. For instance, “the Mining Law of 1872 as amended” makes “blocking access to an active mining claim … illegal.” That isn’t the only statute that the BLM ignored. When Poe spoke with Childers, Poe “explained to Mr. Childers in a rather lengthy—probably a 45-minute call—that they cannot lock and block mining claim owners for a variety of reasons, the first being the Americans with Disabilities Act. Making a 70-year-old man with a fake knee and a fake hip pack in and walk two miles through the Mojave Desert to access his mining claim isn’t just immoral; it is illegal under the ADA as well as under the RS 2477 or Revised Statue 2477 law which states that all roads prior to 1976 must remain open.”

The night before the event, Katrina Symons, the “field manager of the Barstow District Office” of the BLM, met with Mr. Poe:

Symons agreed to meet Poe at his campsite at the Slash X Ranch on Friday, Oct. 13, preceding the outing. When Symons arrived about 5:30 p.m., she met with Poe and two senior members of the AMRA board of directors, Jere and Connie Clements, at a picnic table. “She had Jeff Childers with her and we talked for about 15 minutes about the desert tortoise and how we could protect them — just common sense stuff, and she had a big stack of pamphlets,” Poe said. According to Poe, Symons said the BLM would go a step further and check the roads the miners planned to use for tortoises on the Saturday morning of the outing. “I said, ‘Great. We’ll be out there at 9 o’clock. That’s fantastic! We’ll wait until you guys clear the road, and then we’ll go in.’”

Problem solved. Or, so he thought.

Then, in a shocking turn of events according to Poe, Symons threatened Poe with criminal prosecution, adding she would take photos of his vehicle and license plate once he had driven past the BLM road closure signs.
Poe then asked Symons to explain her sudden about-face change in position, he said. “She said: ‘I’m going to take picture of your truck, fill out an affidavit and send it to our law enforcement division for criminal prosecution,'” Poe said. “So, I said: ‘Last night, Katrina, you told me on the phone—and I have a witness—that you were going to give us unrestricted access,'” Poe said.

Predictably, Symons insists that there’s been a misunderstanding:

Federal misdirection?

“Well, I believe that Mr. Poe misunderstood,” said Symons. “Because, as I understand it, Mr. Poe had sent Mr. Childers a Utah Supreme Court ruling. Mr. Childers had informed him that it was basically a state ruling; it’s not federal—and that BLM will and does comply with the 1872 Mining Law and the associated mining regulations. So, I think that was more of a miscommunication or misunderstanding.” In a follow-up interview Dec. 1, Poe responded that the Utah case involving RS 2477 laws on rights-of-way and the Hicks case are two separate cases, and that the United States v. Steve A. Hicks case is obviously federal.

AMRA appears to know its rights based on federal law. It’s difficult to believe that they’d highlight a tangential state court ruling as the centerpiece of their argument. A state court case might or might not be applicable. The U.S. v. Steve Hicks isn’t just important. It’s on point, too.

Based on AMRA’s detailed understanding of the laws applicable to their mining claims, it’s difficult to believe the BLM’s statements. I’m inclined to believe AMRA’s statements because the BLM’s statements seem to be federal misdirection.

Anyone living in the western United States knows the damage that weaponized government can do to people. While this post isn’t directly related to Bears Ears or other western monuments, westerners won’t have any difficulty recognizing the players involved in this episode involving weaponized government.

According to the article, “On January 19th, 2017, the day before President Trump was sworn in, the previous administration published a 234,328-acre federal mineral withdrawal application in the Federal Register, to restrict for a 20-year moratorium, lands within the Superior National Forest in Northeast Minnesota. This action immediately placed this vast area off limits to future mineral leasing, exploration and potential development for two years while the 20-year withdrawal is being considered. The total withdrawal application boundary spans approximately 425,000 acres, including 95,000 acres of state school trust fund lands. In conjunction with this massive mineral withdrawal, the Obama Administration’s Bureau of Land Management inappropriately rejected Twin Metals Minnesota’s application to renew two hardrock mineral leases in Minnesota’s Superior National Forest – leases that were signed in 1966 and renewed without controversy in 1989 and 2004.”

Another part of the “Congressional Western Caucus (CWC)” press release stated “These bureaucratic decisions could decimate local economies, stifle job creation as well as cause significant harm to K-12 education and mining in Minnesota. These were political, anti-mining and anti-education actions taken by the Obama Administration.” Consider this proof that the Obama administration put a higher priority on weaponizing government to hurt its enemies than it put on helping people and strengthening the economy.

Nobody in their right mind thinks that decimating am entire region’s economy is wise. Nonetheless, that’s what environmentalists are pushing for. They’re pushing for it in the name of preserving pristine lakes and streams but they’re still pushing for decimating the Iron Range’s economy.

Of course, Betty McCollum is outraged:

I spoke with the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the phone yesterday and he reiterated to me directly just how precious the waters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area are and the need for ongoing environmental study. Twenty-four hours later, he broke his word and issued mining leases footsteps from the BWCA to a foreign-owned mining company. Clearly, the numerous assurances I received from Secretary Zinke about protecting the BWCA were worthless and deceitful.

The Trump administration is blatantly dishonest and cannot be trusted. They are determined to sell, exploit, and destroy the American people’s natural treasures like Bears Ears National Monument, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and now our own Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park. For every Minnesotan and American who believes in conservation and values our national resources, the battle lines are drawn.

I’m betting that Zinke and Trump are quaking in their boots. Not. The truth is that the Trump administration is simply letting mining companies mine. As for anti-mining adversaries opposed to applying common sense to these situations, I’ve got this simple question: Considering the fact that environmentalists use products that use the precious metals they’re opposed to mining for, will you make up your mind? Either you’re opposed to using products using precious metals (think iPads and iPhones) or you’re a bunch of hypocrites.

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The Democrats’ non-stop rumor mill is getting pretty annoying. This time, Jackie Speier is the Democrat stoking the mill, insisting that President Trump is about to fire Robert Mueller.

This past Friday, Speier told California’s KQED News “The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on Dec. 22, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller.” Speier continued, saying “We can read between the lines I think. I believe this president wants all of this shut down. He wants to shut down these investigations, and he wants to fire special counsel Mueller.”

What BS. Ms. Speier doesn’t explain why President Trump would need to fire Mueller. Thus far, Mueller’s witch hunt (it isn’t an investigation) hasn’t uncovered anything remotely resembling criminal activity from the campaign. Watch this interview, then ask yourself whether it sounds like Trump is worried or whether Ms. Speier is just interested in stoking the DC Democrats’ non-stop rumor mill:

Here’s the official response from President Trump’s attorney:

“As the White House has repeatedly and emphatically said for months, there is no consideration at the White House of terminating the special counsel,” Cobb said.

Thus far, there’s no reason for President Trump to fire Mueller. Thus far, the biggest thing Mueller’s witch hunt has going for it are tons of gossip from Ms. Speier and Adam Schiff. That’s awfully thin gruel for a grand jury to consider.

It was inevitable that enviroterrorists were bound to shut down the Enbridge Pipeline hearings. It finally happened when DFL-supporting protesters shut down the Duluth hearing.

The foundation for the protest is exposed in the article when it says “Tribal and environmental groups say the project threatens pristine waters where wild rice grows.” The assumption is that every drop of water must be pristine. Implicit in that assertion is that people’s needs must always take a back seat to ‘the environment.’

This article highlighted the enviroterrorists’ tactics when they reported “The evening hearing at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center was marked by one interruption after another despite pleas from Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly. ‘We’ve gotten through 13 hearings without this baloney,’ she said. ‘Now, stop it.'”

These rioters aren’t interested in being reasonable. They’re interested in shutting down infrastructure projects out of spite. It’s time to teach them that treaty rights don’t trump everything else. There’s no reason why those lands shouldn’t be subjected to the takings clause of the Constitution, which says “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Further, under eminent domain the “property need not actually be used by the public; rather, it must be used or disposed of in such a manner as to benefit the public welfare or public interest.”

It certainly can be determined that replacing the existing pipeline with a newer pipeline will increase public safety and protect the environment. This woman isn’t too bright:

Ashland’s Sheila Mitchell said she opposes using oil from Alberta’s tar sands. “I also think it’s ridiculous to be putting a line this close to Lake Superior or any of the Great Lakes,” she said. “Anything in the Great Lakes watershed is a very dangerous proposition.”

There’s already a pipeline there. I read tons of articles each day. Until a couple years ago, I’d never heard of Enbridge. If they’ve been irresponsible, I would’ve heard about it. These enviroterrorists would’ve highlighted the company’s safety record. The PUC would’ve rejected the project immediately.

That hasn’t happened, which tells me that these enviroterrorists are just whining for the sake of whining. This video proves that these enviroterrorists don’t want the public’s voice to be heard:

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