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For years, the DFL has put together a regulatory scheme that hinders industry in the name of environmental safety. Each year, it’s more apparent that environmentalists control these regulatory agencies. This article illustrates the point.

According to the article, “Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership has applied for a certificate of need and a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to construct and operate the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement project. At the direction of the Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Commerce Department is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. ‘The proposed Line 3 project presents significant issues,’ state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a news release. ‘Additional time allows the department to prepare a thorough draft environmental impact statement that provides effective, meaningful public review and comment. The Public Utilities Commission has an important decision to make for Minnesota, and the Commerce Department is committed to providing the best information possible for them to use in the decision-making process.’ Rothman said the time will be used for consultation with tribal governments, additional information gathering, coordination with stakeholders and technical analysis and review.”

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a new pipeline. It’s replacing an existing pipeline that’s been in place for almost half a century. The PUC and Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department know this. Consultation “with tribal governments shouldn’t take much time since this pipeline project is replacing an existing project. Simply put, Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department is intentionally dragging their feet on this project. This PUC document is infuriating.

In the opening paragraph of the document, it says “Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership has applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a certificate of need and a pipeline routing permit for its Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project.” The government shouldn’t be in the business of telling the private sector what’s needed and what isn’t. Determining what’s needed is a subjective process. What’s worse is that it’s especially subject to the lobbying efforts of the environmental activists.

What the PUC, the Commerce Department and the environmental activists haven’t talked about is the fact that transporting oil by pipeline is significantly safer than transporting it by oil train or semis. Why haven’t the PUC, Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department or the environmentalists talked about public safety? The Minnesota Environmental Partnership spent lots of time trying to convince people that the pipeline wasn’t needed. That isn’t their call to make.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have stressed the importance of public input. What Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t proposed is a balance between giving people time to comment and the importance of ruling on the merits of the project. It’s fair to give people time to comment. It’s also imperative to not force companies to wait endlessly for final approval. Dragging out the permitting process is the ultimate proof that Gov. Dayton and the DFL are openly hostile towards construction unions and fossil fuels.

It isn’t like the DFL is hiding their contempt for these companies or for construction unions. It’s there for the world to see.

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Last week, Minnesota’s job creation suffered, losing 6,600 jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “6,600 Minnesotans lost their jobs in August as the state’s unemployment rate increased to 3.8 percent.”

Think of how much better those numbers would look if the Dayton administration hadn’t killed the Sandpiper Pipeline project. Then again, think how those numbers would look if Gov. Dayton’s administration would approve the permits for rebuilding Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline.

For years, Gov. Dayton and the DFL have bragged about how great the Dayton/DFL economy is. They went out of their way to insist that their way was superior to the economies in the red states that surrounded Minnesota. Those chickens are coming home to roost. According to the article, “Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percent in the last year, settling at 3.3 percent, a full half point ahead of Minnesota. Wisconsin and South Dakota have done twice as well as Iowa, dropping 0.8 percent in the last year. Their unemployment rates have settled at 3.4 percent and an astounding 2.3 percent respectively. In Wisconsin’s case, this showing, four times better than Minnesota’s, saw the Badger state overtake the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. In August 2016, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was higher than Minnesota’s, now it is 0.4 percent lower.”

The DFL’s cheap shots at Scott Walker and at North Dakota ring hollow now that their economic policies are working. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s economy is topping off but it’s after Gov. Dayton has missed great opportunities because he’s listened too often to the environmental activists in his party.

Check this out:

Peter Nelson of the Center for the American Experiment explains in this article:

The chart below shows Wisconsin total employment minus Minnesota total employment, which shows employment has been growing far faster in Wisconsin for over four years.  Since February 2013, Wisconsin’s employment lead over Minnesota nearly doubled, growing from 70,108 jobs to 138,383 jobs in June 2017.

This isn’t exactly shocking but Gov. Dayton is promising that his administration won’t put together a package that would attract Amazon to Minnesota.

The article says “Gov. Mark Dayton says any attempt to use state tax dollars to convince Amazon to build a $5 billion headquarters in Minnesota would be “restrained” because of the importance of homegrown competitors Best Buy and Target. Dayton says he called the CEOs at Target and Best Buy last week to reassure them of their companies’ importance to Minnesota. The Star Tribune says the DFL governor says both companies have expressed concern about using tax dollars to lure a competitor to Minnesota. Dayton has asked the Department of Employment and Economic Development to put together a proposal for Amazon.”

In other words, Minnesota likely wasn’t in the running for attracting Amazon so the Dayton administration decided to not put an attractive offer together. Let’s be blunt about something. Yes, Minnesota has a well-trained workforce. So do lots of other states. There was a time when that set Minnesota apart. As often happens, other states studied Minnesota’s blueprint and copied it. Later, they coupled their well-trained workforce with lower taxes and more sensible regulations.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have used that same playbook literally for decades. They haven’t figured it out that other states have put together better blueprints.

The old political axiom is that a year in politics is 50 political lifetimes. That’s certainly been true at times. In 2020, the most applicable cliché might be from late baseball legend Yogi Berra, who once infamously said “It gets late early out there.” After reading Salena Zito’s article, it’s clear that loyalty to President Trump hasn’t diminished. It’s strengthened.

I don’t see Pennsylvanians’ loyalties changing. In fact, I’ll predict right now that President Trump will win Pennsylvania again. If the Democrats don’t flip Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and if they don’t hold Virginia and Colorado, they can’t win. It’s that simple.

Here’s why I think it’s getting pretty late pretty quick out there. Ms. Zito wrote “Almost a year after America sent The Donald to the White House, Moyer is still selling pro-Trump signage. Homes and businesses all over this county, which is mostly registered Democrat, continue to declare their allegiance to the Republican outsider. ‘Last year, when people were asking me to make [signs] for them, I was fairly surprised. Republican political signs really aren’t a big thing for me, and, well, this is a big Democrat area. The signs were everywhere, and everyone wanted one.'”

If there’s anything that pundits should learn from all this, it’s that President Trump’s supporters are exceptionally committed to him because, thus far, he’s kept his promises. Another thing that’s important to remember is that he made a connection with blue collar workers during the campaign, then followed up with them after his inauguration. Then he started eliminating regulations that were holding coal mining companies back.

Democrats still haven’t adjusted to this new reality. They’re still committed to the environmental activist wing of their party. If they don’t adjust to that new reality, Trump will own Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin again. Democrats still haven’t figured out how much damage this did to them in Pennsylvania:

Last year, pollsters were convinced Pennsylvania would swing blue. Evidence of Trump signs, the kind of placards made by Moyer, which dotted rural counties all over the state, was dismissed as anecdotal, not proper scientific data. But Trump’s victory upended that narrative.

I bet against President Trump too often last year. I’ve learned my lesson. With the economy strengthening in battleground states and consumer confidence rising, it’s foolish to bet against President Trump right now.

In 2012, at the RightOnline Conference in Las Vegas, I had a brief conversation with Scott Rasmussen. He said that, though polling numbers often change, the identity of the race often gets set early. I think that’s what’s happening this year. If I’m right, that means that Democrats are falling further behind as we speak.

Here’s hoping that Democrats take Al Hunt’s article seriously. The title of Hunt’s article is “Democrats Need a Message, Not a Program.” It starts by saying “Democrats are in terrible shape. Republicans control all three branches of government in Washington, 34 of 50 governorships, and 68 of the 99 state legislatures. As they plot a comeback, Democrats have one obvious asset: the reckless presidency of Donald Trump. That’s not enough to close such a huge gap. And the battles that have started to rage inside the party over policies to promote and strategies to pursue are mostly missing the point.”

Thanks for the pep talk, Al. There’s nothing that’ll get a crowd excited faster than telling people they’re failing miserably. Hunt went wrong when he said “Most other political-party comebacks also were marked not by some innovative policy agenda but by connective messages and powerful personalities like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Trump. It’s not about ideology or 17-point policy prescriptions.” Hunt is partially right in that political comebacks require a powerful personality to lead them. He’s wrong, though, in saying that it isn’t about ideology or policies.

President Trump won the presidency because he connected on policies with coal miners and other blue collar workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin. Winning those states had everything to do with the policies Trump advocated.

Most other political-party comebacks also were marked not by some innovative policy agenda but by connective messages and powerful personalities like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Trump. It’s not about ideology or 17-point policy prescriptions. State governments also often serve as farm clubs to develop candidates for higher office and national prominence. Before they start quarreling about policy papers, Democrats need to restock their Triple-A teams.

After 8 years of getting pounded at the local level, Democrats don’t just need their Triple-A rosters. It’s that they need to stock their Double-A teams, too, because they’re depleted. It doesn’t help to have this politician as one of the chief faces of the Democratic Party:

With messengers like Keith Ellison, why would anyone think that the Democratic Party is a legitimate political party?

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In 2018, expect the DFL to experience a difficult election season. For years, the DFL, led by Gov. Dayton, has patted themselves on the back profusely for how strong the economy was and how their policies were working, etc. Those days, like Gov. Dayton’s time in office, are slipping away. Last week, I cited this article as showing the DFL’s economic policies aren’t that great.

The article starts by saying “New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that Minnesota was one of only seven states in the country to experience a shrink in its gross domestic product (GDP).” In the next paragraph, it states “In the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, Minnesota’s GDP shrank 0.3 percent. This is the seventh worst mark in the United States, ahead of only Montana, Kansas, Hawaii, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska.” While Minnesota’s GDP shrinks, consumer confidence in President Trump’s policies keeps growing.

As of July 25, 2017, consumer confidence was recorded at 121.1. It was projected to be a still-healthy 116.5.

What’s worse for the DFL’s election chances is that “North Dakota’s GDP increased by 1.6 percent, while Wisconsin’s increased by 2.1 percent in the past quarter. This was the fifth best mark of any state.” Gov. Dayton has frequently talked about how much better Minnesota’s economy was doing than North Dakota’s or Wisconsin’s.

By the time that the conventions end next spring, it’s a distinct possibility that the DFL’s talking point of having a stronger economy than North Dakota or Wisconsin won’t be true anymore. Likewise, it’s possible that Republicans will be able to say that Minnesota’s economy is underperforming compared to the national economy. Consumer confidence was at 98.6 as of Oct. 25, 2016. Since then, consumer confidence has been 15-25 points higher.

Considering the DFL’s difficulties in rural Minnesota, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL and their special interest allies will sink their money into holding the governor’s mansion. If the US economy is doing well and Minnesota’s economy is faltering, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL might have their worst election cycle in a generation.

Tim Walz’s seat in Congress is likely to flip into the GOP column. It’s difficult to picture the DFL defeating Paulsen, Emmer or Lewis in their races. If Minnesota is underperforming the US economy, it’ll be virtually impossible to pin that on Republicans. That makes things plenty difficult for the DFL gubernatorial candidate, especially if their candidate is Tim Walz.

Let’s be blunt about something right upfront. Tim Walz is probably the DFL’s best candidate in a lackluster field of candidates. He isn’t charismatic. He won’t drive turnout. In 2010, Democrats were thirsty because President Obama had just led them to their holy grail of universal health care and because they’d been shut out of the governor’s mansion since 1991.

By contrast, Minnesota Republicans are hungry this cycle. They want unified Republican state government. They don’t just want to hold their majority in the Minnesota House. (The Minnesota Senate isn’t up for re-election.) They’d love to take over control of the congressional delegation, too.

Barry Casselman’s article said that “Trump’s strong showing came in the rural and blue-collar exurban areas, which responded to his antiestablishment message, and in the northeastern Range area, usually a DFL stronghold, where the vote was as much anti-Clinton as it was pro-Trump.” That’s actually wrong. President Trump’s message was a perfect fit for the Iron Range, just like it was in other parts of blue collar America. That President Trump won the Iron Range by 12 points isn’t surprising. Further, the Range was littered with Trump lawn signs all summer long.

Simply put, you can’t explain that away as simply rejecting Hillary.

First-term GOP congressman Jason Lewis in the 2nd District could be vulnerable next year. He represents a swing exurban district.

Jason Lewis will win re-election. Angie Craig has announced that she wants a rematch. The NRCC put together this devastating ad late in the campaign:

After that ran morning, noon and night, Angie Craig became synonymous with ‘toxic waste’. To be fair, the DCCC will dump tons of money into this race. The good news for the good guys is that she’s a bad fit for the district. She’s a crony capitalist who fought for special exemptions for her company while pushing unpopular policies on Minnesota.

Divided state government has produced some epic clashes, the most recent being Governor Dayton’s line-item veto of the entire budget passed by the legislature for the next two years. Republicans have sued the governor over what they assert was his unconstitutional use of the veto. The state supreme court will hear arguments later this month. Voters next year will try to resolve this stalemate.

That’s perplexing. The Minnesota Supreme Court will settle this soon. It won’t turn out well for Gov. Dayton or the DFL.

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Saying that Democrats are doing their utmost to portray themselves as the champions of the nation’s blue collar workers is understatement. Unfortunately for them, the WSJ’s James Freeman exposed Democrats as hypocrites in this column.

Freeman starts by quoting Ms. Pelosi as saying “Too many Americans are struggling with a rigged economy”, before noting that the unveiling of the Democrats’ “Better Deal” con job was held in “Virginia’s 10th congressional district.” Freeman then notes that “If an economist had to pick the one place in America that has benefitted most from a rigged economy, it would probably be Virginia’s 10th congressional district. It includes both a significant number of government employees and a heavy concentration of the lobbyists who are paid to influence them.”

If the Democrats hope to appeal to the blue collar workers that President Trump won over in sweeping Pennsylvania’s, Ohio’s, Michigan’s and Wisconsin’s electoral votes, this won’t work. Nothing says con job like telling blue collar workers that you’re their champion while campaigning in white collar northern Virginia. Nothing says blue collar appeal like Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Freeman ties things together nicely in this paragraph:

This is perhaps instructive as voters in other parts of the country contemplate whether there is anything new in the latest effort to rebrand a party that has for years been at war with the private economy. The Democrats have chosen to take their case today to a community that has witnessed explosive growth in recent decades along with that of the federal budget, regardless of how most of blue-collar America was doing.

Democrats are kidding themselves if they think they’re fooling anyone with this con job. Democrats have a steep uphill fight. Sen. Schumer said this at the kickoff event:

Americans from every corner of this country know that the economy isn’t working for them the way that it should, and they wonder if it ever will again. One party says the answer is that special interests should continue to write the rules and that government ought to make things easier for an already-favored few.

Preaching despair is difficult, like Sen. Schumer tried when compared with what’s written in this article:

A four-month high in U.S. consumer confidence reflects Americans’ sunnier views on both their current situation and outlook, a positive sign for the economy, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday.

Democrats are selling doom-and-gloom at a time when Americans are feeling optimistic. That’s like trying to sell snow tires to Arizona families in August. What’s most alarming is that Democrats haven’t noticed that the people don’t agree with their message.

All this time, Democrats have insisted that they lost because people didn’t know what Democrats stood for. The reality is that they lost because the people didn’t relate to the Democrats’ message. That’s arrogance, not words.

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This article highlights a new ad campaign paid for by the Congressional Leadership Fund. We’re told that the ad campaign features a “33-second ad that includes images of window-smashing and other protester-driven violence surrounding the inauguration. The ad isn’t that imaginative, saying “Radical extremists who destroy buildings, burn cars and divide America. Hollywood celebrities who are blinded by their hatred of the president. Nancy Pelosi and the Washington Democrats answer to them.”

While I don’t have a problem with the ad, I’d take a different direction. I’d show Sen. Schumer saying that Democrats are changing their ways, then asking ‘When did Democrats become fans of increased fracking and oil exploration? When did Democrats become big fans of building pipelines? When did Democrats stop protesting major pipeline projects?’

The point is to highlight the fact that Democrats haven’t changed. They still take orders from the same special interests that’s hurt America’s drive for energy independence. Highlight the fact that Republicans, not Democrats, have championed blue collar mining jobs that help rural America. I’d find a way to use the first part of this video:

I’d highlight the fact that we’re creating good-paying construction jobs under the Trump administration. I’d highlight the fact that the Democrats’ hatred of President Trump won’t let them tell the truth. This op-ed highlights that:

Not a day goes by without another allegation or reckless tweet fueling the dysfunction of a deeply divided Republican Congress that fails to govern while hardworking families across the country are left behind. Mired in controversy, Washington Republicans are unable to uphold the basic bargain they made with the American people when they were elected: to fight to create new good-paying jobs and support sustained economic growth.

Thus far, we’ve had 5 monthly jobs reports during the Trump administration. Thus far, more than 900,000 jobs have been created and the unemployment rate is less than 4.5%. If the economy keeps creating jobs at this pace, the economy will create more than 17,000,000 jobs during President Trump’s time in office.

If Republicans cut taxes and regulations, the economy will create significantly more than 17,000,000 jobs in 8 years.

Let’s not forget that Democrats are the party that loves raising taxes and imposing onerous regulations. In their announcement, Democrats said that they’ll continue to push for a $15/hr. minimum wage. That isn’t how to create jobs.

Democrats haven’t learned anything. Democrats apparently still think that government knows best. Democrats still apparently think that government creates jobs.

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Anyone that thinks Democrats will retake the U.S. House hasn’t read this article. I’m not predicting another defeat for Ms. Pelosi just yet. I’m just not willing to predict it’s a foregone conclusion.

Josh Kraushaar’s article contains the ominous warning that “a new study of last year’s election results underscores the idea that Democrats need to win back working-class Donald Trump voters before they chase moderate Republicans who defected to Hillary Clinton.”

Apparently, Democrats know that they need to win back working-class Donald Trump voters. That’s what’s behind their latest con-job marketing scheme. The Democrats’ latest rebranding scheme is doomed for failure if it relies on “Too many families in America today feel that the rules of the economy are rigged against them. Special interests have a strangle-hold on Washington — from the super-rich spending unlimited amounts of secret money to influence our elections, to the huge loopholes in our tax code that help corporations avoid paying taxes.”

When coal miners hear the term special interests, they immediately think environmental activists. When construction unions hear special interests, they hear environmental activists. Democrats are the party of the special interests. Blue collar workers know that the Democratic Party isn’t interested in fixing things. This is laughable:

By two to one (67% to 33%), for example, Americans believe it is a bigger problem that “huge corporations and billionaires are using their political power to reduce competition, keep wages low, and get special tax breaks” than that “government is imposing too many job-killing regulations on businesses and taxing people too much.”

There’s a quick reply to the Democrats’ study alleging Republicans giving special treatment to “huge corporations and billionaires.” I’d simply ask ‘remember Solyndra?’ They got more than $500,000,000 in guaranteed loans.

There’s more:

“What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?'”

Democrats will have a difficult time posturing themselves as the party fighting the special interests. When environmental activists tell Democrats to jump, Democrats frequently reply ‘how high’ or ‘off what’?

Finally, there’s this:

If the government goes back to putting working families first, ahead of special interests, we can achieve a better deal for the American people that will raise their pay, lower their expenses, and prepare them for the future.

I’d love hearing the Democrats explain how government can put people first. Government doesn’t create wealth or prosperity. Government’s responsibility is to maintain infrastructure, protect the public and get out of the way on the rest of things.

During President Obama’s administration, government told schools which bathrooms kids could use. Government also denied male college students their due process rights or the right to confront their accusers. I’m confident that those students didn’t think government put their interests first. Meanwhile, Republicans fought for and supported coal miners, construction workers and fought for increased pipeline infrastructure. Democrats fought against those things.

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Elizabeth Warren’s go-to line is that the American economy is rigged against the little guy. She’s actually right. Big government, high tax rates and a complicated tax code give the rich too many undeserved advantages. This op-ed, written by Rep. Ron Estes, (R-KS), asks some pointed questions that Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders probably don’t want to answer.

For instance, I’m fairly certain Sen. Warren wouldn’t want to reply when Rep. Estes said “Today’s code is riddled with special interest giveaways that are essentially tax earmarks or “spending” in the tax code, to quote Martin Feldstein, the chief economic adviser to former President Ronald Reagan. Tax earmarks are tax increases on everyone who doesn’t receive the benefit. They keep rates artificially high for everyone to favor the few. Do Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe families should be paying higher rates so that officially recognized Eskimo whaling captains – one beneficiary in today’s code – can pay less?”

Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders have advocated for higher tax rates but they’ve never advocated for cleaning up the tax code. Cleaning up the tax code is important because, the words of “Apple CEO Tim Cook, said on 60 Minutes in 2015, ‘This is a tax code … that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.'”

Rep. Estes said that there’s another important reason for updating the tax code:

In 2016, Americans spent $409 billion simply complying with the IRS code, according to the Tax Foundation.

What a waste of money. That’s money that should’ve been spent on creating jobs. Instead, it was spent on Big Government. Many of these carve-outs were put in place by lobbyists who advocate for the corporations that hired them. Small businesses don’t have the advocates that big corporations have.

Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders love big government. That means their policies lead directly to the policies and conditions that they complain about. Their policies also lead to income inequality. Policymakers should implement tax reform. While that’s happening, reporters should report the progress that’s getting made. Once the bill is signed, though, the MSM should question Democrats about their tax policies. They should specifically ask Sen. Sanders and Sen. Warren why they favor policies that increase income inequality while slowing economic growth in the middle class. They should ask Sen. Schumer why he hasn’t told Democrats to jump on board with tax simplification.

Those are things that might happen in a dream world. Unfortunately, the MSM won’t ask those questions because they agree with Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders. The MSM, aka the Agenda Media, will work tirelessly to protect Democrats. Anyone that thinks the MSM is fair-minded and that they seek the truth isn’t thinking straight. The MSM is mostly corrupt and shouldn’t be trusted.

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