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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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Lots of conservatives appreciate the job that AG Jeff Sessions has done thus far. Thanks to this op-ed on the threats to free speech in the United States, people have another reason to appreciate Gen. Sessions.

One of the most impactful parts of Gen. Sessions’ op-ed came when he wrote “Our legal heritage, upon which the Founders crafted the Bill of Rights, taught that reason and knowledge produced the closest approximation to truth, and from truth may arise justice. But reason requires discourse and, frequently, argument. And that is why the free speech guarantee is found not just in the First Amendment, but also permeates our institutions, traditions and our Constitution. The Federalists against the anti-Federalists, Abraham Lincoln against Stephen Douglas, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. against George Wallace. At so many times in our history as a people, it was speech, and still more speech, that led Americans to a more just, more perfect union.”

Gen. Sessions then wrote “This month, we marked the 230th anniversary of our Constitution. This month, we also marked the 54th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham. Four little girls died that day as they changed into their choir robes because the Klan wanted to silence the voices fighting for civil rights. But their voices were not silenced. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would call them ‘the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity,’ in a eulogy that still should speak to us today. This is the true legacy of free speech that has been handed down to us. It was bought with a price.”

Antifa, the SPLC, By Any Means Necessary and other hard left organizations are trying to silence people. The best way of combatting this modern-day fascism is to insist on more liberty of all kinds. When you hear about warriors like Hannah Scherlacher and others on college campuses, support them to the fullest extent possible. In situations like this, pushing back is an indispensable tool.

This video shows the lengths to which they’ll go to silence people:

I’d strongly recommend you read this article, too. These aren’t people who play by the rules. They’re fascists, which is defined as “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”

It’s clear that Antifa and By Any Means Necessary will use any tools at their disposal.

There isn’t much dispute that Antifa’s tactics are similar to those of a domestic terrorist organization. First Amendment advocates’ arguments just got strengthened thanks to Antifa’s public stalking of the Berkeley College Republicans, aka BCRs.

According to Campus Reform’s article, it’s indisputable that Antifa’s chief tactics are bullying and intimidation. Campus Reform’s article starts with “Conservative students at the University of California, Berkeley have been actively stalked and targeted by a regional Antifa organization known for inciting violence. While the Berkeley College Republicans met at a local restaurant Wednesday evening, Berkeley Antifa took to Twitter to post the exact location of the student group online. “Antifa has taken pictures of me, followed me on the street, and tracked my location using social media. BCR meeting right now inside Eureka at 2068 Center St after drinking with Kyle Chapman and Joey Gibson at Fashy’s, I mean, Pappy’s,’ the Antifa organization tweeted. ‘Inside right now is Troy Worden, Ashton Whitty, Naweed Tahmas, Matt Ronnau, Angelie Castenada, and two others.'”

Lately, the radical Left’s 2 major weapons against free speech are the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka SPLC, and Antifa. Anyone that thinks Antifa isn’t a domestic terrorist organization needs to read this:

In late August, Ashton Whitty, one of the conservative students at the university, was stalked by several Antifa demonstrators who approached her at a gas station and pummeled her vehicle as she fled the scene. “Antifa has taken pictures of me, they’ve followed me on the street, and have tracked my location using social media,” Whitty told Campus Reform. “It’s rather odd why these people would see us as such a priority when we’re just everyday people.”

This video captures what happened to Ms. Whitty:

Antifa’s tactics are different than SPLC’s but their goal is the same: silence conservative voices through any means necessary. This is frightening:

Anyone that thinks the Democratic Party’s hardline lefties are capable of being reasoned with is foolish. Yes, that includes Sen. McCain. He wants to cut deals with people who’ve praised Antifa. Sen. McCain wants to cut deals with senators who’ve relied on the SPLC’s input on judicial nominees.

Anyone that cites the SPLC as a neutral arbiter of judicial nominees is nuttier than a fruit cake. If only I could find someone who’d recently trusted the SPLC:

Sen. Franken actually said that SPLC “tracks hate groups.” Watching the video of the young lady who was labeled by the SPLC as enabling hate for doing an interview with Tony Perkins on the subject of socialism hints that the SPLC doesn’t track hate groups. It is a hate group.

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Democrats have started attacking Education Secretary Betsy DeVos because she’s announced that she’s rewriting the guidance on how universities handle sexual assaults on campus. Lucia Graves’ article starts off with a ridiculous premise, then gets worse after that.

The opening paragraphs to Ms. Graves’ article say “As she announced the rollback of Obama-era rules on campus sexual assault, education secretary Betsy DeVos seemed at times less like the head of the Department of Education than the department of rape apologists. ‘The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” DeVos said in a speech at George Mason University on Thursday afternoon. ‘Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved. ‘It’s notable that the ‘victims’ she seems most worried about aren’t those of sexual assault – they’re ‘victims of a lack of due process.’

What a stunning accusation. Let’s look at what life has looked like for men who’ve been accused of sexual assault during the last few years. Student defendants don’t have the right to an attorney, not that it would do them much good since the defense attorneys haven’t been allowed to cross-examine the accuser. This is the criteria used in convicting these students:

Under 2011 rules that establish a low standard of proof, Kaminer says, “students accused of harassment are to be convicted in the absence of clear and convincing evidence of guilt, if guilt merely seems more likely than not.” And schools are enjoined to “take immediate steps to protect the complainant from further harassment,” including “taking disciplinary action against the harasser” prior to adjudication. So the OCR-DOJ “blueprint” and related rules not only violate the First Amendment guarantee of free speech but are, to be polite, casual about due process.

Perhaps Ms. Graves likes the thought of students getting railroaded, their lives ruined forever. When people don’t have the right to confront their accusers, they’re essentially defenseless. The prosecutor doesn’t have to present evidence proving that an assault happened. The defendant can’t question his accuser’s credibility. The verdict is essentially rendered when the accuser files the complaint.

How would Ms. Graves like it if she was accused of sexually assaulting a man, then not be able to defend herself? Would she be ok with not being able to question her accuser? Would she be fine with having her career ruined by someone who accused her of doing something she didn’t do?

It’s apparent that Ms. Graves hasn’t thought about the impact due process has had. Due process has protected people from dishonest accusers. It’s also made sure that accusers didn’t ruin honest people’s lives.

She didn’t talk about the fact that according to US Department of Justice reports, an estimated 19% of college-age women will suffer attempted or completed sexual assault, but that only 12% of those cases ever get reported – or that only between two and 10% of campus sexual assault accusations are actually false, per the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Those aren’t the victims she seems to care about.

Ms. Lucia, how will taking people’s due process rights lead to more women reporting sexual assault? Further, when sexual assault is defined as “making ‘sexual or dirty jokes’ that are ‘unwelcome’ or disseminate ‘sexual rumors’ that are ‘unwelcome'” that’s expanding the definition of sexual assault.

As certain as death and taxes, Democrats have started attacking Jason Lewis a year before he’s re-elected. In her LTE, Rachel Garaghty of Cottage Grove said “Lewis also consistently votes against our values. He voted to strip health care from 28,500 people in Washington and Dakota counties. He voted to loosen restrictions on banks that gamble with our savings and investments. He voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers. Lewis is voting against the very things that keep us healthy, wealthy and happy.”

It isn’t surprising that Democrats’ criticisms of Lewis are dishonest. That isn’t just what Democrats do. It’s who they are. Saying that any Republican has “voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers” is over the top in the extreme.

Later in her LTE, Garaghty said “The people who were brave enough to stand up to Lewis through their peaceful protest were just local moms and dads, grandparents and young people who are rightly concerned about Lewis’ undemocratic tendencies.” That’s utterly dishonest. Jason Lewis’s neighbors called the police. They obviously felt threatened:

But my neighbors saw 20, 25 people, nobody knows the real count, outside. Their daughters were home alone, got scared, called their dad. He called the police, which, by the way, in the suburb I live in, it’s a violation of a city ordinance to what, not to mention trespassing.

Jason Lewis isn’t afraid of debating people. It’s a strength of his. Lewis said he won’t waste his time, though, providing DFL activists the opportunity to create a “spectacle.”

TakeAction Minnesota activists aren’t civic-minded people who want to start a dialogue. They’re hard-core activists who want to create a spectacle. As we’ve seen in the past, if they have to frighten people and trespass to make their point, they won’t hesitate in doing that.