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Todd Purdum’s article has a dishonest title. It’s called “How conservatives learned to hate the FBI.” That’s dishonest and then some.

The honest headline would be “Why conservatives hate corruption.” Democrats, starting with Adam Schiff and Leader Pelosi and other Democrat spinmeisters, have insisted that Republicans hate the FBI and the DOJ. Without question, Republicans hate the things the FBI and DOJ did in obtaining authorization to surveil Carter Page. Without question, Republicans are disgusted with the things that Andrew McCabe did in hiding from the FISA Court the things that should’ve been revealed to the FISA Court.

Since there isn’t an advocate for the ‘defendant’ at a FISA hearing, what’s required is for people representing the government to paint an honest, full and comprehensive picture of their materials that inform them that a person needs further investigation, aka probable cause. Democrats at the FBI painted a dishonest portrait to the FISA Court. Specifically, they didn’t tell the FISA Court judge that they wouldn’t have filed for a surveillance warrant without relying on the salacious details enshrined in the infamous Trump Dossier.

It’s difficult to picture the FISA Court granting a surveillance warrant on the Trump campaign had the Court known that the FBI relied on trash compiled by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. In light of this information, it’s difficult to read the opening paragraph of Purdum’s article:

The aggressive Republican attacks on the FBI are the latest sign, if one were needed, that President Donald Trump has upended the longstanding norms of Washington, as he and his allies in Congress seek to undermine the one institution of government that conservatives have typically seen as a bastion of integrity and law-and-order.

Republicans are rightly upset that the FBI isn’t the impartial organization it once was. Alan Dershowitz exposes the problems in this interview:

Thus far, what has the public seen that suggests that the FBI upper management is honest? They didn’t tell the FISA Court who paid for the compiling of the Trump Dossier. At minimum, that’s disturbing. At maximum, that’s disqualifying.

Finally, I’d challenge Democrats to cite examples of Republicans criticizing rank-and-file FBI agents. Democrats can’t do that because it hasn’t happened. Republicans have criticized the suits running the FBI. Most importantly, they’ve criticized the suits because they’re bitter partisans who didn’t tell FISA judges the whole truth. That can’t happen.

My conservative friends, it’s time to be honest about a few things. It’s time we admitted that the first 6 months of the Trump administration were stressful, sometimes heartbreaking times. When Sen. McCain gave the thumbs-down to eliminating Obamacare, Republicans’ spirits were pretty low. It’s also time we admitted that the past 6 months have improved significantly. The highlight of the first 6 months was confirming Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The past 6 months, though, have been just as consequential to the judiciary.

Since confirming Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the Senate has confirmed 12 highly qualified judges to the appellate courts, the most confirmations in the first year of a president’s term in office since our republic was established. To steal a slightly modified version of Joe Biden’s phrase, it’s a big deal to change the direction of the federal judiciary for a generation or more. Hold that thought, though.

Next, picture Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The thought of a Senate Majority Leader Schumer should frighten conservatives who care about the court more than a Speaker Pelosi. Seriously. Pelosi can’t pass anything that can’t be undone the minute Republicans retake control, most likely in 2020. Sen. Schumer, though, can halt the confirmation of great conservative judges in a heartbeat. Judges like Gorsuch, Willett and others would be flushed down the toilet in a heartbeat because Sen. Schumer would demand ‘consensus’ judges. That’s liberalspeak for liberal judges in the mold of David Souter.

That’s just one thing that should get Republicans fired up. Another thing that should get us fired up is undoing more of the Obama legacy. I don’t have to be the world’s greatest salesperson to convince Republicans that Obamacare and Dodd-Frank were disastrous pieces of legislation. In order to kill those bills outright, we need the House and Senate under GOP control.

Thus far, the MSM has insisted that there’s a blue wave building. I haven’t bought into that, though I agree that there’s an enthusiasm gap favoring Democrats right now. The good news is that Republicans can make that disappear in a heartbeat if they get inspired to turn out and vote for a new wave of GOP senators, congressmen, state legislators and governors. Picture this guy getting sworn in as Minnesota’s next governor:

Whether you support him or not, there’s no disputing that, as a conservative, I’d rather have him as governor as opposed to having her as our next governor:

Making Minnesota great is totally possible. Making America great is possible, too. Now’s the time to realize just how much we’ve accomplished in DC thanks to one-party rule. Now’s the time to realize how much more we could’ve accomplished in St. Paul if we’d had a Republican to go along with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

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The MSM have constantly criticized President Trump, mostly for his tweets but also for his lack of legislative accomplishments. Yesterday, the House and Senate passed the most sweeping tax policy changes in a generation. (Because of a couple provisions that ran afoul of the Senate’s parliamentarian, the Senate had to make a couple changes to the bill before voting on final passage. Because the 2 bills aren’t perfectly aligned, the House will vote this morning on the bill the Senate passed last night.) Once the identical bill is passed in both the House and Senate, it will be sent to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

This article is the first of its kind in the MSM, which has been all-criticism-all-the-time until now. Let’s get started with the things Axios reports President Trump has gotten right. First, Axios reports that “The tax bill passed with almost unanimous Republican support, before the end of the year, and in keeping with mostly mainstream conservative orthodoxy. Trump won a bigger corporate tax break than either Bush ever got, and will sign the most consequential new tax law in 30 years.”

Without question, this is a signature issue that’s worth trumpeting to the world. The economy is already going strong. It’s about to get stronger. While the Berniecrats advocate for stifling tax rate hikes and slow economic growth, President Trump and the Republicans are pushing policies that have consumer confidence soaring, 401(k)s growing, small business enthusiasm increasing and big corporations returning to the United States. It won’t take long for people to notice that their lives just got better. This is another major accomplishment:

Trump has followed through on eviscerating regulations, many of them imposed by Obama. He has revoked 67, and delayed or derailed more than 1,500 others.

This has helped spur economic growth. It’s the single-biggest reason why the economy is robustly growing thus far. All the time that the MSM highlighted that Trump didn’t have any major legislative accomplishments, President Trump worked with Congress to eliminate tons of counterproductive regulations. That’s the single-biggest reason why economic growth took off when he took over from President Obama.

This is the biggest accomplishment for full-spectrum conservatives:

Trump has tilted the court rightward in lasting ways. Justice Neil Gorsuch was a substantial, conservative addition to the Supreme Court. And it wasn’t a one-off: The dozen new U.S. Circuit Court judges he has named is the most during a president’s first year in office in more than a century.

It’s impossible to overstate this accomplishment. President Trump worked with the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society to pull together a ton of highly qualified judicial nominees. In his first year alone, he’s got conservatives thrilled with his nominees. (Noteworthy: For all those criticizing Mitch McConnell, his understanding of Senate procedures and bold decisions have contributed mightily to this accomplishment.)

Before wrapping up this post, I highly recommend you watch the first 2+ minutes of this video:

Isn’t it fun watching Gutfeld stick the shiv into liberals, then giving it a sharp twist?

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The notion of moderation and reasonableness within the Democratic Party died this afternoon when 48 Democrats and independents voted against cloture to proceed to a final vote on Judge Don Willett. Less than a week ago, the American Bar Association, aka the ABA, gave Judge Willett a “Fully Qualified” rating, their highest rating.

That means so-called Democrat moderates Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Jon Tester, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Bill Nelson and Bob Casey voted to prevent a fully qualified judge from getting a seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite these Democrats’ immoderation, Willett will be confirmed. When he is, he will be part of a record class of judicial confirmations in a president’s first year. As good as that is, what’s most impressive is the quality of these judges.

If ‘moderate’ Democrats vote the same way on every Trump-appointed judge as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, where’s proof that the term moderate is anything more than an election ploy? It’s like the term Blue Dog Democrat. It sounds nice but they’re only Blue Dogs until Nancy Pelosi needs them to vote like Keith Ellison.

Republicans should hammer these Democrats for voting against this fully qualified judge:

They voted in lockstep against this highly qualified justice, too:

Judge Timothy Kelly sided with President Trump in the lawsuit brought by Leandra English in her quest to be the Acting Director of the CFPB.

According to the article, “A U.S. District Court judge in Washington on Tuesday handed a big victory to President Donald Trump, ruling in favor of the administration in its bid to install White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Judge Timothy Kelly denied a request by Leandra English, who was named last week as acting director by outgoing CFPB chief Richard Cordray, for a temporary restraining order to block Mulvaney from taking the post. Kelly said there was not a substantial likelihood that the case would succeed on its merits. ‘The administration applauds the Court’s decision,’ White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement. ‘It’s time for the Democrats to stop enabling this brazen political stunt by a rogue employee and allow Acting Director Mulvaney to continue the Bureau’s smooth transition into an agency that truly serves to help consumers.'”

Later in the article, Deepak Gupta, English’s lawyer, said that he’d “have to consult with his client about the next steps. These could either involve seeking a preliminary injunction or requesting a ruling on a permanent injunction, either of which could be appealed to a higher court.”

Based on Judge Kelly’s ruling, Gupta can appeal to his heart’s content but it likely won’t matter. Kelly said “there was not a substantial likelihood that the case would succeed on its merits.” The sky-is-falling-alarmists are already out in force:

It’s BS that the fines levied against the banks went to the people who suffered. That money went into the US Treasury. Sen. Mike Lee didn’t mince words in talking about his opinion of the CFPB:

Don’t be surprised if the CFPB is abolished by the US Supreme Court in the next 3-5 years. It’s just waiting for a lawsuit to be filed questioning its constitutionality.

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This week, I failed to write a Thanksgiving Day post. Consider this my belated Thanksgiving Day post. Mostly, I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for politicians, too, partially because they do some of the dumbest things imaginable. Thanks to this article, I’ve gained a new appreciation for a pair of U.S. senators. Specifically, I appreciate Sen. Grassley, (R-IA), and Sen. Reid, (D-NV).

Before he retired, Harry Reid eliminated the filibuster. President Trump is thanking him all the way to the Supreme Court to the appeals courts. Sen. Grassley took away the Democrats’ hidden filibuster ‘tool’, aka “the blue slip courtesy.”

The article states the “growing rift between [President Trump] and Republican Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Bob Corker alone has made headlines for months.” Those stories have buried something much more important. According to the article, “that story ignores a bigger and longer-lasting development in the federal judiciary. That brings us first to naming the Republican gift giver: Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa. The longtime member of Congress has big time clout as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And Grassley has just used that clout to eliminate one of the final hurdles in the already furious pace of Trump administration judicial appointments to the federal bench.”

The article continues:

Late last week, Grassley decided not to honor a Senate tradition of holding up hearings for judicial nominees who aren’t cleared by their own home state senators. That tradition is known as the “blue slip courtesy” born out of time before nationwide communication technology when a given state’s senators had access to much more information about nominees than their colleagues from the rest of the country. Grassley correctly noted that Democrats were now trying to use the blue slips tradition to replace the filibuster, and he’s having none of that. As recently as last month, the Democrats and much of the news media’s punditry were expecting Grassley, who is no fan of the president, to keep the blue slip tradition in place. But Grassley gave Trump this very special gift instead.

And that brings us to the Democrat who provided the initial generous source of President Trump’s solid triumph: Former Senate Majority Leader, and Democrat, Harry Reid. Reid is a major reason this good fortune has befallen President Trump because Reid was the one who killed the filibuster rule for judicial nominees in 2013. And when he killed it, it was gone for good.

This is why all this matters:

Consider that as of November 3rd, 13 Trump nominees to the courts have been confirmed this year. The big name is Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, but we also have eight new federal appeals court judges, and four new U.S. district court judges. President Trump has now already surpassed the last four presidents’ records for first-year judicial confirmations. And he’s even tied President Ronald Reagan number of appeals court confirmations in year one.

But this isn’t just about sheer numbers, it’s about ideology too. While President Trump and conservatives have diverged in matters of policy several times over the past year, the judicial nomination process is decidedly not one of them. The nominees sent to the Senate from the White House are more conservative and even younger than what we saw during President George W. Bush’s two terms in office.

This wouldn’t be possible if not for Harry Reid’s short-sighted decision to eliminate the filibuster. Thanks Harry. I finally found something that he’s responsible for that I’m thankful for.

Sen. Dave Senjem isn’t happy with the Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling that Gov. Dayton was within his rights to veto the Legislature’s funding. That’s why he’s proposing putting a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot.

Because the legislature decides whether constitutional amendments are allowed on the ballot, Gov. Dayton doesn’t have a say in the matter. Further, this should frighten rural DFL legislators. Republicans should highlight the fact that this constitutional amendment is required because a) Gov. Dayton vetoed the funding and b)the Supreme Court got their ruling badly wrong. The first vote taken by the House will be to override Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s funding. If DFL legislators vote to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto, they’ll be tarred and feathered and it’ll be deserved.

Sen. Senjem made a good point when he said “We’re not co-equal anymore because I believe the precedent has been set that yes, it’s OK for a governor to veto legislative appropriations, and there are no consequences, and I think that puts the Legislature in almost a subservient position.”

The Supreme Court got this wrong. Thanks to that ruling, the legislature has 2 terrible choices. Either they can cave to the governor’s demands or they can stop representing their constituents. Actually, there’s a third option. That third option is to spend down the money appropriated for the operation of the Legislative Auditor’s Office and the Revisor of Statutes’ office.

Spending down the money that’s supposed to run the OLA is terrible because they’re the state equivalent of the IG at the federal level. Should we shut down the office that caught April Todd-Malmlov mismanaging MNsure? Should we shut down the office that caught Ted Mondale and Michelle Kelm-Helgen using luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium to entertain friends, political allies and family?

It’s time to put this constitutional amendment on the ballot. It’s time to shame these Supreme Court justices for getting the decision wrong.

After the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Gov. Dayton’s favor, he tried spinning the situation as best he could, saying “It is time for us all to agree that this dispute has been concluded and resume working together for the best interests of Minnesota.” The legislature quickly said, essentially, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’ They said that because Gov. Dayton negotiated a budget settlement in bad faith. Gov. Dayton pushed this lawsuit in his attempt to intimidate the legislature into caving on tax relief. Thankfully, the legislature didn’t relent. Here’s something worth considering, Gov. Dayton. The legislature worked in the best interest of their constituents. They did their best to enact much-needed tax relief while reforming teacher licensure.

The first thing that the legislature will do when the next session convenes on Feb. 20, 2018 is pass a budget restoring their budget. It will sail through the House and pass the Senate. That’s when things get interesting. Will Gov. Dayton veto that funding, setting up a high-stakes showdown on an override vote? That’s a lose-lose situation for Gov. Dayton. If he vetoes the funding, it’s likely that he’ll get overridden.

That’s because I don’t think it’s likely that outstate DFL legislators will vote to end their political careers to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto. If the DFL legislators vote to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto, they can kiss their political careers goodbye. Republicans should portray each DFL legislator as representing Gov. Dayton first, their special interest allies second and their constituents somewhere down their list of priorities.

If Gov. Dayton signs the appropriation, he will have won a victory in court but lost the PR war. Pyrrhic victories don’t make for great legacies. Either way, Gov. Dayton’s victory will be short-lived.

Top legislative leaders are refusing to make key payments on a new Senate office building, an action that could hurt the state’s credit rating, and they won’t allow the executive branch to use nonpartisan staff to draft proposals. “I am not willing to bail the governor out,” Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Thursday. “He needs to own that.”

This video perfectly explains what Gov. Dayton has done with his line-item veto:

Republicans need to not let Gov. Dayton off the hook. Gov. Dayton is a lame duck governor who must be thinking about what his legacy will be. At this point, a significant portion of his legacy will be shutting down government once and calling special sessions to finish the budget. Will he want to preside over a downgrading of Minnesota’s credit rating, too? That will be on him if he vetoes February’s appropriation funding the legislature.

Each time Republicans have stood up to him over the budget, Gov. Dayton has lost stature while losing the fight. There’s no reason to think he won’t lose this fight, too.

Finally, the Supreme Court disgraced themselves yesterday. They didn’t rule on whether Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto achieved an unconstitutional result, which is the central question. They didn’t rule on that question while pretending to exercise judicial restraint. They exercised judicial cowardice, not judicial restraint. They did that because they didn’t want to hand Gov. Dayton a political defeat.

That’s pathetic. Whatever it is, it isn’t justice.

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When the Minnesota State Supreme Court said that governors couldn’t use part of the state’s constitution to achieve an unconstitutional result, they must not have meant it. Moments ago, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Gov. Dayton’s favor.

According to the article, “The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s operating budget. The state’s high court says Dayton’s veto complied with the law, and that the state constitution does not allow the courts to order funding for the Legislature without an appropriation.”

The article further states that “Thursday’s decision hands Dayton a major legal victory as he seeks to rework costly tax breaks and other measures he signed into law this spring as part of a new state budget.” That’s pro-DFL spin. That sentence should read “Thursday’s decision hands Minnesotans a major legal defeat because they’ll soon be without representation in St. Paul.”

The DFL operatives on the Supreme Court decided that Minnesotans didn’t really have a constitutional right to 3 fully functioning branches of government. That’s one of the things they required in their in initial ruling. In this post, titled “D-Day for Dayton, Supreme Court”, I said that, whether the Supreme Court knew it or not, they were on trial. This morning, they handed down a ruling that essentially said that they’d failed.

I’d love hearing them explain how legislators can represent their constituents without getting paid. I can’t wait to hear them explain how this doesn’t give the governor a weapon in getting everything they want in budget negotiations.

The thing is that I’ll have to wait for those things because they can’t explain those things to me. There isn’t a logical explanation for their actions. Gov. Dayton packed the court. This morning, they repaid him for their appointments.

Now it’s time to throw out the DFL operatives that Gov. Dayton appointed to the Supreme Court. That can be done through the ballot box. Minnesotans, do you really want a governor who essentially has the power of an emperor? I don’t!

Brian Bakst posted a prediction on what will happen next. I agree with him:

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Thursday will be D-Day for Gov. Dayton and the Minnesota Supreme Court. According to Brian Bakst’s reporting, the “Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to deliver its long-awaited decision Thursday in a court case between the governor and Legislature. A notice from the clerk of courts to parties in the case said a decision has been made in the lawsuit regarding Gov. Mark Dayton’s vetoes.”

Bakst continued, saying “If [the] high court invalidates the line-item vetoes, it would cause funding to spring back. If [the] justices uphold the vetoes, it will push the Legislature toward a financial crisis.” That’s true but more than that, if the Supreme Court sides with Gov. Dayton, it will have reversed itself.

In this post, I highlighted the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Dayton, like previous governors, has line-item veto authority. I also highlighted the fact that the Supreme Court said that a constitutional provision (the line-item veto) can’t “be used to achieve an unconstitutional result.” In the Supreme Court’s ruling, they also said that Minnesotans have a “constitutional right to three independent branches of government.”

The Minnesota Supreme Court, whether it realizes it or not, is on trial here. If they rule that the legislature must spend down the money appropriated to the Legislative Coordinating Commission, aka the LCC, they will be violating multiple Minnesota statutes. First, part of the money appropriated to the LCC pays for the operations of the Office of Legislative Auditor, aka OLA. In this post, I wrote “Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles has already expressed concerns about certain functions of his office being suspended – specifically the certification of state financial reports that support the state’s credit rating and the receipt of federal funds.” It’s inconceivable to me that the Supreme Court would rule against funding the OLA simply for those reasons.

I don’t doubt that the DFL operatives in black robes want to justify siding with Gov. Dayton. It’s just that I can’t imagine them saying in their preliminary ruling that you can’t use part of the state constitution to achieve an unconstitutional result. Saying that a governor has the right to temporarily disable the part of the government that represents the people is incomprehensible.

Check in with LFR Thursday for the Supreme Court’s final ruling in this important case.

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