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To: Larry Jacobs, Walter F. Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota
From: Gary Gross, Uppity Peasant
Subject: The US Constitution

Dr. Jacobs, during your appearance on Almanac this past Friday night, you said that conservatives should be “on high alert” because President Trump didn’t mention the Constitution in President Trump’s Inaugural Speech. While that’s technically true in a narrowly defined way, it isn’t reality.

Early in President Trump’s Inaugural Speech, he stated “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.” Perhaps you didn’t recognize this constitutional principle but I definitely noticed it. I wasn’t alone, either, because that constitutional principle is called federalism.

The Tenth Amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, the things that aren’t affirmative responsibilities of the federal government are sent to the states or the people by the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution.

Dr. Jacobs, it’s time you started reading the US Constitution so you don’t miss obvious constitutional principles like federalism.

Frankly, Dr. Jacobs, I’ll be thrilled if President Trump moves power out of Washington, DC. Based on the articles I’ve read, I think that’s quite possible.

Cory Booker didn’t testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing yesterday. In article after article, TV segment after TV segment, pundits and announcers insisted that Sen. Booker testified. This article is one such article that fits that description.

Caitlin Huey-Burns wrote that “one could almost mark January 11, 2017 as the day the 2020 presidential race began: That was the day New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker took the unprecedented opportunity to testify against colleague Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice for attorney general.”

I watched parts of Sen. Booker’s performance. I couldn’t watch all of it because it was a lightweight’s performance masquerading as a hit job. His emotions appeared contrived or manufactured. His sincerity was totally missing. He didn’t add anything substantive to the confirmation hearing. Mostly, it was an appeal to be the next identity politics warrior for the Democratic Party. (As though they don’t have enough of those already.)

Putting it bluntly, Sen. Booker is superficial and a lightweight. Watch for yourself:

Then there’s this:

But as they settle into life in the minority in Washington, Democrats have the opportunity “to test-drive the opposition,” says Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson. “We don’t have to accept the course of the next four years as a foregone conclusion.”

Still, Ferguson cautions that the trick is to oppose Trump’s agenda because “it is the wrong direction for the country, not … merely for the sake of obstructing.”

Thus far, they’re looking like mean-spirited obstructionists. If they continue with that tactic, it won’t be long before they’ll have to accept the course of the next four years as a foregone conclusion. After 2018, the Democratic Party will be reduced to rubble in the Senate. They’re already rubble in the House. If the Democratic Party doesn’t figure out what the voters told them this election, they’ll be in the wilderness an additional decade. That’s certainly the direction they’re heading.

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Betsy DeVos has the chance of being one of the best secretaries of Education ever. According to this WSJ article, Mrs. DeVos has gone toe-to-toe with the ‘education establishment’ and lived to tell about it. In fact, she didn’t just live to tell about it, she defeated them. In fact, she didn’t just defeat them, she kicked some serious ass.

According to the WSJ article, “Mrs. DeVos is a philanthropist who has devoted years and much of her fortune to promoting school reform, especially charter schools and vouchers. She chairs the American Federation for Children (AFC).”

This year, “AFC was especially successful … as 108 of the 121 candidates it supported won their elections. AFC candidates in Florida won 20 of 21 targeted races. The group’s biggest coup was ousting a scourge of school choice in a Miami-Dade Senate district where Democrats are a majority. The teachers’ union dumped $1 million into the race but still lost.” [Editor’s note: winning 108 of 121 elections is a winning percentage of 89.25%, which certainly qualifies as kicking ass.

It’s especially heartening to see this many school choice advocates getting elected. They’re the future civil rights leaders of the next 15 years. Even more importantly, being seen as school choice advocates will help Republicans in minority communities irrespective of what Randi Weingarten said in this interview:

In Ms. Weingarten’s over-the-top statement, she said “In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America. DeVos has no meaningful experience in the classroom or in our schools. The sum total of her involvement has been spending her family’s wealth in an effort to dismantle public education in Michigan. Every American should be concerned that she would impose her reckless and extreme ideology on the nation.”

This is a perfect illustration of the left’s wanting money out of politics … if the money is spent opposing the left’s monopolies. Mrs. DeVos has spent a portion of her wealth trying to increase educational competition in the hopes of forcing the forces of the status quo into providing a better product. The reason why the minority community likes school choice is because public schools have failed their children too often.

Here’s hoping that Mrs. DeVos carries out President-Elect Trump’s school choice agenda when she’s confirmed.

Regardless of who wins tonight, the inescapable truth is that society’s institutions need rebuilding. No institution needs rebuilding more than journalism, with the justice system close behind. After watching the DC media act like Mrs. Clinton’s campaign communications team, it isn’t a stretch to think that Americans don’t trust the media to tell the truth. The American people are right in thinking that the media isn’t impartial. They’re right in thinking that large parts of the media are the portrait of partiality.

For those of us who’ve been at this awhile, we remember how journalists couldn’t be bothered into checking Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago but couldn’t wait to hop a jet to Wasilla, Alaska to surveil the GOP vice-presidential nominee. It didn’t surprise conservatives when the lefty media tried explaining away JournoList. JournoList officially disbanded but they didn’t disappear. They just changed names and went to work for Mrs. Clinton or the DNC.

We know this thanks to WikiLeaks:

In 2008, ‘journalists’ slobbered all over themselves to help their messiah get elected. In 2016, Dana Milbank wrote a column based on DNC research. I get it that newspapers and networks separate their pundits from their reporters. Frankly, it’s time to start ignoring the blindly partisan pundits. Mr. Milbank fits that description. Ditto with E.J. Dionne, Sean Hannity and Eric Bolling. They contribute nothing valuable to the debate this nation needs to have.

The Obama Justice Department is the most politicized (and corrupt) Justice Department in US history. Between Eric Holder refusing to turn over Fast and Furious documents to Congress, to not prosecuting Lois Lerner for violating American patriots’ civil rights to Loretta Lynch fixing things with Bill Clinton on a secluded air strip so Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t get indicted. That’s without mentioning Eric Holder dropping voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party:

Over the coming days, I’ll go through a list of institutions that need rebuilding. Make sure you tune into these reports.

Right after the Orlando night club bombing, US House Democrats pushed a bill that sounded logical but that would’ve violated Americans’ civil rights. That bill was called No-Fly, No-Buy. During the Pelosi sit-in, Rep. Nolan took to the microphone and said “I represent rural communities in northeastern Minnesota. Everybody in my neighborhood has shotguns and deer rifles – including me. I’m proud to strongly support the Second Amendment. But the fact is, when you’re out duck hunting, you can only have three shells in your gun. Why? To protect ducks! That’s right; we put limits on guns to protect ducks. So why can’t we do the same for our elementary schoolchildren? For our friends and neighbors in places of worship? For our families who want to catch a Friday night movie? For our LGBTQ community who just want to go out for some fun and dancing on a Saturday night? Surely they deserve the same concern and safety that we afford to ducks.”

This is proof that Rep. Nolan is either an idiot or incredibly dishonest or perhaps a little of both. Stewart Mills’ latest videotape highlights what’s wrong with Rep. Nolan’s thinking (if it can be called that):

Here’s a partial transcript of Stewart’s video:

One of his initiatives is called No Fly, No Buy. It sounds simple enough, until you understand that if you find yourself on the secret government no-fly list, they can take away your Second Amendment rights. There’s no evidence that this unconstitutional proposal, based on an arbitrary set of secret government lists, would have prevented any of the recent terrorist attacks here on US soil. No Fly, No Buy is an assault on your constitutional rights. Not only does it violate our Second Amendment. It also violates our Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Government can’t take away our rights without due process. Period. Our Second Amendment rights are just as sacred as our First Amendment rights to free speech, to assembly and to religion.

Rick Nolan’s speech is a display of Rep. Nolan’s apathy towards the Constitution’s protections.

As for Rep. Nolan’s statement that he strongly supports the Second Amendment, the truth is that he protects a liberal’s definition of the Second Amendment. That’s a warped interpretation of the Second Amendment. Further, it’s totally apparent that Nolan isn’t fighting for our Fifth and Fourteenth amendment protections.

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Rep. Rick Nolan, (DFL-MN), thinks Second Amendment activists are stupid. He thinks voters are stupid, too. His quote in this DNT article highlights just what he thinks of voters.

When asked about his support for Nancy Pelosi’s No-Fly-No-Buy legislation, Rep. Nolan said “Why give someone who has sworn allegiance to kill Americans access to guns and ammunition, whereas you wouldn’t with some guy found guilty of writing bad checks?” The problem with Rep. Nolan’s statement is that a significant number of people on that list are honest, law-abiding citizens. Reporters like the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes was put on the list because he bought a one-way plane ticket to Greece. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy was on that watch list, too.

Rep. Nolan’s grandstanding notwithstanding, why would we trust Rep. Nolan to do the right thing when it comes to protecting Americans’ civil rights? It’s one thing to deny terrorists guns. It’s quite another to deny reporters the right to protect their families because an idiot bureaucrat unilaterally puts a law-abiding citizen on a terrorist watch list.

Rep. Jason Metsa, who represents HD-6B in the Minnesota legislature, tried providing Nolan with some political cover.

“Just to blanket him and say Rick Nolan wants to take your guns away is ludicrous,” Metsa said. “I know what he feels about guns; we’ve talked in-depth. There’s no one you would rather have in the hunting shack with you or in the duck blind than Rick Nolan. He’s passionate about the outdoors.”

Either Rep. Metsa isn’t honest or he’s ignorant about what the Second Amendment is about. Perhaps it’s a little of both. Saying that Nolan is “passionate about the outdoors” is irrelevant in determining whether Rep. Nolan will protect law-abiding people’s right to protect their families.

Rick Nolan is a professional politician. He isn’t interested in protecting our civil rights. That’s why he should be rejected by voters in Minnesota’s Eighth District next month.

Rick Nolan has a constitutional problem that can’t be solved. It isn’t that he’s done anything impeachable. It’s that he’s pretzeled himself into an impossible situation to squirm out of. In trying to sound reasonable on the Second Amendment and on terrorists, Nolan’s campaign manager said “suspected terrorists — those who aren’t allowed to fly on a plane with Americans — should not be allowed to purchase dangerous weapons.” The flaw — the gaping inconsistency, actually — with that statement is that there are lots of people on those no-fly lists who’ve done nothing that authorizes the federal government from stripping a person’s right to protect him- or herself.

This is where I often cite the fact that Steve Hayes and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy were accidentally on those no-fly lists and were constantly searched before boarding a plane. Think about the possibility of Ted Kennedy being put on the federal government’s watch list as a potential terrorist. I wasn’t crazy about Sen. Kennedy’s political beliefs but he certainly didn’t do anything to prevent him from protecting his family.

I’d love hearing Rep. Nolan explain what Sen. Kennedy did that would’ve justified the federal government telling him that he couldn’t protect his family in an emergency. I’d love hearing Rep. Nolan explain why Steve Hayes, who hasn’t committed any felonies, should be stripped of his God-given right to protect his family, especially without being afforded his due process rights.

It’s one thing if a person is taken to court to take their gun away because someone accused them of being a risk to themselves or others. That court would weight the evidence, apply the applicable laws, then render a verdict. In that instance, there’d be a finding of fact. There’d be the application of applicable laws and a trial before a judge or a jury of their peers.

If Nolan got his way, the person getting stripped of their right to protect their family would lose their rights because they government said that they couldn’t own a gun. They wouldn’t get an explanation. They wouldn’t’ be tried by their peers. Steve Hayes and Ted Kennedy, theoretically speaking, would’ve lost their rights because of a bureaucrat’s mistake.

Talk about the ultimate civil rights violation. It doesn’t get more egregious than that. Check this out, too:

Here’s the transcript from Mills’ ad:

NARRATOR: On the Second Amendment, there’s a clear choice. Rick Nolan has voted repeatedly to take away our rights, earning a failing grade from the NRA. Stewart Mills will protect our rights.
STEWART MILLS: I’m a lifelong hunter committed to our Minnesota way of life, but the Second Amendment is about more than recreation. First and foremost it’s about protecting our liberties and families. I’m Stewart Mills and I approve this message because I’ll defend the Second Amendment – always.

Here’s what Joe Radinovich, Nolan’s campaign manager, said in response to the ad:

“As an avid sportsman and hunter, Congressman Nolan has always supported responsible gun ownership, almost never misses a hunting opener, and any insinuation that he’s somehow ‘against’ the 2nd Amendment is ridiculous.”

It’s clear that Mr. Radinovich’s understanding of the Second Amendment is as limited as Mr. Nolan’s understanding of it.

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When the ACC decided to move 7 athletic championships out of North Carolina, their statement said “As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”

Franklin Graham’s letter to the ACC highlighted the ACC’s situational commitment to their “collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination.” A different way of putting that would be to say Franklin Graham highlighted the ACC’s hypocrisy. Here’s an example of how Rev. Graham highlighted their hypocrisy:

For example, the football championship game your conference voted to move from Charlotte in December is called the “Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship.” Dr. Pepper and its parent company, Cadbury Schweppes and Carlyle Group, proudly sell their products in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Will the ACC drop its title sponsor? And why isn’t the LGBT community demanding you sever ties with such a “bigoted” corporate sponsor?

This doesn’t have anything to do with a person’s religious beliefs. It’s about highlighting the ACC’s consistent commitment to making money. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money. It’s just that I’d appreciate them not pretending like they’re people of integrity.

Here’s another example:

The NCAA Policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation states, “Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.” This is precisely what supporters of HB2 have been requesting—that people use public restrooms in accordance with their assigned birth gender.

Apparently, the ACC’s leadership and the NCAA’s leadership believe in situational core beliefs. Add that to their core belief in making lots of money.

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When it comes to the networks or the NY Times naming civil rights leaders, they’ll frequently name Jesse Jackson, Jr., Al Sharpton or, occasionally, John Lewis. It’s time to name a new set of civil rights leaders. If I were king-for-a-day, I’d start the list with Alton Sterling’s family. I’d start with Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of his son Cameron.

My heart broke when I read that she said “My family is heartbroken for the officers and their families. We are praying for them, city leadership and the Baton Rouge community. As my son Cameron and I have said from the beginning, all we want is peace. We reject violence of any kind directed at members of law enforcement or citizens. My hope is that one day soon we can come together and find solutions to the very important issues facing our nation rather than continuing to hurt one another” in a printed statement.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to think of Quinyetta and Cameron as the opposites of #BlackLivesMatter and Al Sharpton. Further, I’d argue that Quinyetta and Cameron’s attitude is more like Martin Luther King’s attitude than #BlackLivesMatter and Al Sharpton’s attitude towards MLK. Check out this article about “8 peaceful protests that bolstered civil rights”:

1. Montgomery bus boycott, 1955-56

Lasting just over a year, the Montgomery bus boycott was a protest campaign against racial segregation on the public transit system in Montgomery, Ala. The protest began, on Dec. 1, 1955, after African-American Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. The next day, Dr. King proposed a citywide boycott of public transportation at a church meeting.

2. The Albany movement, 1961

The Albany movement was a coalition formed in November 1961 in Albany, Ga., to protest city segregation policies. Dr. King joined in December, planning only to counsel the protesters for one day. Instead, he was jailed during a mass arrest of peaceful demonstrators, and he declined bail until the city changed its segregation policies.

Read the entire article.

Alton Sterling’s family is calling for peace just like Martin Luther King rejected violence in his march for civil rights. Dr. King was a giant, just like Quinyetta and Cameron are peace-advocating giants at a time when America needs more peace-advocating giants.

On Wednesday, Cameron Sterling made a public plea for peace.

“Protest in peace. Not guns, not drugs, not alcohol, not violence,” he said. “Everyone needs to protest in the right way, with peace. No violence. None whatsoever.”

Let’s pray we find more Quinyettas and Camerons fast. We need them badly.

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I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that Angie Craig is attempting to tie Jason Lewis to Donald Trump. It’s what a hardline lefty like Craig has to do. When I wrote this post, I highlighted Ms. Craig’s issues page.

Ms. Craig’s issue page identifies her quickly as part Pelosi lefty, part Bernie Sanders lefty. For instance, Craig thinks that the federal government isn’t spending enough on higher education, saying “This includes both encouraging public colleges to find ways to lower costs and increase federal funding for the neediest students, providing incentives for states to invest in higher education and keeping tuition down. We can’t continue to saddle our kids with the tens of thousands of dollars of debt as they enter the workforce.”

Spoken like a true utopian. Craig isn’t done with the leftist ideology. Another bit of low-hanging fruit from the Craig ‘issues tree’ comes from her saying “We have to ensure that there are meaningful, good paying jobs for our graduates and more job opportunities for working families. Congress has lost sight of the fundamentals of growing the economy.”

That’s too easy. President Obama has been in office for almost 8 years but it’s Congress’s fault that the economy hasn’t helped people working for small businesses? It wasn’t a GOP Congress that passed the ACA, aka Obamacare. It wasn’t a GOP Congress that waged war against mining jobs with EPA regulations. Hillary Clinton promised to devastate blue collar states:

It was Hillary who said that she’d put lots of coal miners out of work. Ms. Craig seems to turn a blind eye towards that. I’d love to hear Ms. Craig explain how it’s possible to build a “a sustainable economy and create meaningful, good-paying jobs” while intentionally killing other jobs. Perhaps Ms. Craig would like to explain government’s history of picking winners lately. In Ms. Craig’s mind, is Solyndra a success?

Earlier, I highlighted the fact that Ms. Craig blamed the Republican Congress of losing “sight of the fundamentals of growing the economy.” Personally, I think Ms. Craig should be reminded of this:

Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer who took more than $500 million from President Obama’s stimulus then went bust, sticking taxpayers for the loss, lied to federal officials to secure the loan, the Energy Department’s inspector general said in a report released Wednesday.

But the Obama administration goofed too, and may have cut corners in fully vetting the project because of “political pressure” from top Democrats and Solyndra itself, the investigators said in their report, which took four years to complete.

Is Ms. Craig certain that we should trust the federal government in picking investment opportunities? If she is, then I’m pretty certain that she’s wrong for the Second District. Frankly, her ideas don’t make any sense. ‘Craigonomics’ sounds like the same hair-brained foolishness that’s had the economy spinning its wheels the last 8 years.

If Reaganomics is the picture of a thriving economy, which it was, then Craigonomics is the polar opposite of a thriving economy.

Finally, there’s nothing in Ms. Craig’s issues page that talks about civil rights or fighting terrorists. Doesn’t Ms. Craig think that those things are important priorities? If she thinks those things are important, why isn’t she talking about what her solution is to demolishing ISIS?

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