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A good barometer of how good President Trump’s speech was last night is Kamala Harris’ BS-filled statement after President Trump’s State of the Union, aka SOTU, speech.

In her statement, Sen. Harris stated “While I am always willing to work with my colleagues across the aisle, the president’s call for bipartisanship and unity rings hollow. You cannot reject bipartisan plans to improve health care and protect Dreamers or sow hate and division — and then turn around the next day and say you want to work together.”

Last night, Democrats either sat on their hands, booed and hissed or walked out altogether. Yesterday, I wrote this post about what would make for Sen. Schumer’s nightmare scenario. The centerpiece of that post was a quote from Bill McGurn’s WSJ article:

What if Mr. Trump looked up at the gallery full of Dreamers during his address and said, “I have offered a good-faith compromise that would not only resolve your place in America but open to you the precious gift of American citizenship. All I ask is that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi meet me halfway?”

That didn’t happen. Instead, Democrats sat like sourpusses virtually the entire speech. During a speech that lasted 81 minutes and that elicited 110 rounds of applause, Democrats sat. Occasionally, they wore their sourpuss faces. After the speech, Tim Kaine took to Twitter and said:


The thing that Sen. Kaine apparently hasn’t figured out is that elections have consequences. This isn’t a situation where both sides start on equal footing. While you work together, though, one side starts with the advantage of having won the election. That advantage is bigger when the people that won the election have the strong backing of the American people. When it comes to immigration, President Trump is where the American people are.

The Democrats haven’t noticed that, in addition to wanting DACA recipients staying, the American people want the wall built and chain migration ended. If Senate Democrats don’t wise up fast, they’re heading for an historic beating. 2018 won’t be kind to them.

Of all of the polling last night, this poll should frighten Democrats the most:

A full 72% of independents that watched the speech last night approved of President Trump’s speech. The other thing from that poll that should frighten Democrats is that more than 9-in-10 Republicans approve, too.

PS- That doesn’t sound like a blue wave to me.

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While Democrats and Palestinians criticize President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, other nations are announcing that they’re moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

First, “Guatemala courageously decided it would follow the United States’ lead and move its embassy to Jerusalem.” Next, “the Walla news [reported that] Romania and Slovakia are planning to make such a move. Paraguay and Togo are reportedly also considering such a move.”

This is a big deal politically in that Democrats have started criticizing President Trump’s decision. For instance, Bernie Sanders said “There’s a reason why all past US administrations have not made this move, and why leaders around the world have warned Trump against it: It would undermine the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and severely, perhaps irreparably, damage our ability to broker it.”

Dianne Feinstein’s letter said this:

The future of Jerusalem is an issue that should be decided by Israel and the Palestinians, not unilaterally by the United States.

That sentence was contained in this letter:

While Democrats criticized President Trump’s decision, world leaders sided with President Trump. That’s what leadership does. Leadership molds consensus. It doesn’t conform to consensus. President Obama led from behind. President Trump just leads. Period.

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It’s long past time to pose some uncomfortable questions to Democrats. This weekend, President Trump and Comrade Bernie Sanders had a Twitter fight that started with Sen. Sanders saying “Doesn’t it tell us a lot about Republican priorities when the tax breaks for corporations are permanent, while the tax breaks for working families expire at the end of 8 years?”

Let’s look at this from a purely logical perspective. Since Republicans wrote the bill, it’s safe to assume that they wanted to cut taxes for the middle class. That’s obvious because they dropped the marginal tax rates for every income group. Extending this thinking further, it’s fair to argue that the middle class tax cuts weren’t made permanent because of the Senate’s budget rules, not because the Republicans don’t like middle class tax cuts?

It isn’t difficult to make the case that the middle class tax cuts would’ve been made permanent had a dozen Democrats voted with Republicans for the bill. Because Democrats emphatically said no to tax cuts, the middle class tax cuts weren’t made permanent.

Whose fault is that, Bernie?

From there, things went downhill fast:

What we could do with $1.5 trillion:
-Make college tuition-free
-Provide universal preschool
-Repair our crumbling infrastructure
-Fund CHIP for 107 years
-Rebuild Puerto Rico

What an elitist! What people think that everyone needs a degree from a 4-year college? Elitists. President Trump prefers a different approach. He sees the importance of high school grads going to trade schools. He knows that graduates from trade schools will be needed to rebuild this nation’s infrastructure, help the U.S. become energy dominant and add value to the economy.

It’s painfully obvious that Sen. Sanders doesn’t understand how the economy works. He apparently thinks that forcing companies to pay high marginal tax rates will build the economy. We tried that the last 8 years. It failed, with economic growth being virtually stagnant. The Trump Boom is already growing the economy at a robust rate. This Christmas season has been better than expected:

Fueled by high consumer confidence and a robust job market, U.S. retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending. Sales, excluding automobiles, rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year, according to the Mastercard Inc. MA 0.21% unit, which tracks all forms of payment. E-commerce continued to drive the gains, rising 18.1%.

“It started with a bang in the week leading up to Black Friday,” said Sarah Quinlan, a senior vice president of marketing insights at Mastercard. She added that retailers benefited this year from Christmas Day falling on a Monday, giving shoppers a full weekend to scoop up last-minute purchases. Dec. 23 ranked next to Black Friday in terms of spending, according to Mastercard. “Overall, this year was a big win for retail,” Ms. Quinlan said.

The question Republicans should constantly ask is ‘why didn’t Democrats join with us to make middle class tax cuts permanent?’ They had their chance. Democrats blew it.

It’s apparent that Democrats don’t understand that their unanimous vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has painted them into a political corner. Let’s start with by examining the difficult position Sen. Manchin painted himself into.

Sen. Manchin said “he’s repeatedly tried to find areas to reach across the aisle and vote with Republicans for Mr. Trump’s agenda, but said he couldn’t do it this time. ‘There’s some good in this bill. I acknowledge that,’ Mr. Manchin said on West Virginia talk radio, after host Hoppy Kercheval pointed to the tax cuts he said the state’s middle class residents stood to gain.” Why do I think that Sen. Manchin’s constituents will hold it against him for voting against their tax cuts? Why shouldn’t West Virginians, aka Mountaineers, hold it against Sen. Manchin for voting with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the tax cuts?

Later, Sen. Manchin complained that “the bills seemed too skewed toward business, pointing to the permanent nature of corporate tax cuts, compared to the planned expiration of the reductions in the individual rate.” First, I’m reminded of President Reagan’s saying that you can’t be pro-jobs and hate the employer. Apparently, Sen. Manchin didn’t learn that lesson. Next, Sen. Manchin is whining about the Senate’s rules, which he’s repeatedly voted to approve. If the Senate’s rules weren’t so screwed up, the individual tax cuts could’ve been made permanent.

Sen. Manchin’s excuses sound like ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuses than legitimate excuses.

By contrast, Patrick Morrisey, Sen. Manchin’s likely opponent, will be able to vote for eliminating coal industry-hating regulations, great judges and never vote with Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren out of party loyalty. Hint: Anyone that thinks Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren plays well with coal miners should view this video:

Hillary lost West Virginia by 40+ points. What should frighten Sen. Manchin is that it wouldn’t surprise me if Hillary is more well liked than Sanders or Warren.

At a town-hall meeting in Missouri last week, Sen. Claire McCaskill framed her vote against the bill as disappointment that the plan favored corporations. She argued the bill betrayed the principles Mr. Trump had originally proposed. “This isn’t Trump’s bill,” she said at the event in suburban St. Louis. “Trump campaigned on the bill being about you.” But one resident told the St. Louis Public Radio before the event that he didn’t understand her opposition to the bill and hoped she’d explain it more. “I’m having a hard time finding a way that it does not benefit the people of Missouri,” said Dennis Hugo, a 32-year-old, self-described Libertarian.

Finally, there’s this:

In Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, another Democrat, told his voters he met with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence over the tax bill. “From the beginning of this year’s tax reform effort, I’ve been willing to partner with Republicans, Democrats, and President Trump and his administration,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star. “Despite this common ground, the bill produced by Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan was the complete opposite of what the president and I had discussed,” Mr. Donnelly added.

In North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who said last month she was open to voting for the bill, said that the $1.5 trillion in additional deficits piled up by the tax cuts swayed her to vote against it. But some voters in her state don’t see that as a reasonable opposition.

Sen. Heitkamp is gonna have a ton of difficulty peddling that excuse. There wasn’t a tax cut package that wasn’t going to pile up deficits according to the CBO’s scoring. That’s actually the least of Sen. Heitkamp’s worries. She, along with Sen. Donnelly, Sen. Tester, Sen. Baldwin, Sen. Casey and Sen. Brown, voted against significantly reducing the estate tax on farmers’ estates. The full expensing of equipment isn’t insignificant to farmers, either.

In DC, the spin will be that this helps corporations, not working people. In Indiana, Montana and North Dakota, big farms are incorporated. Saying that the Democrats’ messaging doesn’t exactly fit those states is understatement.

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Ed Rogers’ article lays out the 2018 campaign perfectly, saying “The Democrats’ last effort at having something positive to offer voters was a comical failure. Does anyone even remember when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) launched her “A Better Deal” campaign in July? Despite efforts to refresh the platform’s website, it appears that Pelosi has essentially abandoned it altogether. The word “fizzle” doesn’t even begin to capture its non-performance.” The Democrats don’t have a policy agenda. At this point, they’re the political party of identity politics. Period.

By comparison, Republicans have a positive message to run on. According to Ed Rogers’ article, “President Trump and Republicans in Congress have made a positive impact on the economy. Forecasts for the months ahead look good, consumer confidence is up, the repeal of net neutrality will return capitalism to the Internet, stock market advances are contributing to the ‘wealth effect,’ businesses see that the war on regulation has only just begun and, with tax reform on the brink, chief executives and entrepreneurs throughout the country know that an all-around pro-business vibe has taken hold in Washington.”

Other than getting the US economy heading in the right direction and repealing a ton of counterproductive regulations, Republicans haven’t done much. It’s clear that Democrats want to return to the failed policies of the past 8 years. If you ask the average person if they’d prefer more money in their checks or less, they’ll take more. If you asked those people if they’d like having more opportunities at good paying jobs or less, I’m betting that they’ll take more opportunities.

Lately, Democrats have started hinting that the tax cuts won’t guarantee more good paying jobs. I’d turn that around on them and say that the only guarantee we had during the Obama administration was a guarantee of less economic growth and fewer opportunities for upward mobility. The facts speak for themselves. They aren’t pretty.

Newt Gingrich lays things out perfectly in this op-ed:

Writing a good bill is only step one. Communicating the bill effectively, despite falsehoods and distortions in fake news, is the vital second step – and it requires serious commitment. If Republicans reach every person who is helped by this bill, they will win decisively in 2018.

The Democrats who do not vote for this bill will have to explain why they are against reduced taxes, lower unemployment, a simpler tax code and more American job creation. Winning the argument over the tax bill may be the most crucial step toward victory in 2018.

Rogers is right about this:

While the process associated with the tax bill’s formation has not been particularly flattering or well communicated, none of that will matter if it produces a lift to the economy. Voters care about job growth, better wages and feeling economic momentum, not how tax law is formulated.

In the end, people want a strong economy and more money in their paychecks.

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Lately, Sen. Schumer has made a habit of saying that Republicans will rue the day the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes. It isn’t that he actually believes this. It’s that he’s trying to spin a major loss for Senate Democrats into a smaller loss. Seriously, only Bernie Sanders is stupid enough to think that the bill won’t create jobs and get the economy running better.

Sen. Schumer issued a statement that said “Under this bill, the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered, while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs — and Republicans will rue the day they pass this.”

It’s important to remember that that’s coming from a man who tried protecting Sen. Franken by recommending a do-nothing ethics committee investigation. Anyone that’s willing to protect a pervert like Franken isn’t a person whose opinion I’d value. Marco Rubio, a person whose political instincts I value, though not always his policies, has changed his vote from no to yes on the bill.

Implicit in Schumer’s statement is Sen. Schumer’s admission that the bill will pass. That’s a victory for Republicans and the American people. Since President Trump was elected, the economy has surged. GDP is higher. Consumer confidence is soaring. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. Regulations that’ve been cut by this Congress and this administration have taken government’s boot off the economy’s throat. People’s 401(k)s are getting richer.

For all of Sen. Schumer’s whining, people are better off now than they were a year ago. Despite President Obama’s BS, the economy isn’t stronger because the Trump built off the blueprint that President Obama put in place. It’s flourishing because President Trump tore President Obama’s blueprint down, then rebuilt it from scratch. GDP for Q1 2017 was 1.7%. Q3 of 2017 is dramatically different, with GDP up at 3.3% with an asterisk. (That asterisk is that it would’ve been higher if not for 5 major hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast in a single month.)

This is fantastic news:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said Friday that the chamber would vote on the plan Tuesday, with the Senate vote to follow shortly thereafter.

Expect there to be a lavish bill signing ceremony at the White House either Wednesday or Thursday. Sen. Schumer’s spin won’t change the fact that the middle class will see more in their paychecks after the start of the new year.

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Now that Gov. Dayton has officially picked Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith to replace Sen. Franken in the U.S. Senate, it’s time to introduce Ms. Flint-Smith to Minnesotans. That’s the purpose behind Briana Bierschbach’s article attempts to do. Ms. Bierschbach’s article describes Ms. Flint-Smith as “a behind-the-scenes operator in DFL political circles who rose to the lieutenant governor job”, adding that “Smith said she’d decided against running for governor. But now, she plans to serve out Franken’s abbreviated term and run next fall to take his place in the United State’s Senate.”

TRANSLATION: Sen. Schumer essentially ordered Gov. Dayton to pick someone who was willing to do more than serve as a placeholder until this November’s special election. Simply put, Sen. Schumer gave Lt. Gov. Smith a set of marching orders and she complied.

The article continues, saying she “quickly rose within DFL circles and moved on to work on several statewide races, including Walter Mondale’s last-minute bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002 after the death of Paul Wellstone. Shortly after that race, she was recruited to be the vice president of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, leaving that job in 2006 to serve as Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s chief of staff and eventually run his campaign for governor in 2010.”

The truth is that she’s just as hard left as Al Franken. She’s anti-mining and anti-blue collar worker. She hasn’t shown any interest in completing the Enbridge Pipeline. Smith hasn’t lifted a finger to get PolyMet operational. Further, she’s done pretty much what Alida Messenger has told the Dayton administration to do. This video essentially tells Minnesotans that DFL policies have failed Minnesotans:

Listen to this litany of paradoxes:

“I’ve heard stories from families who are working 2 full-time jobs and are still struggling to find a good place to live. Minnesota has some of the best schools but I have talked to moms who are faced with driving 60 miles every day to get their children to a good pre-school. Minnesota has more people with health insurance than almost any other state, yet I have talked with farmers who have lost access to their long-time doctors and can’t afford the health insurance premiums. Minnesota iron ore built this country yet I have talked with Rangers who are worried about the future of their small towns. Minnesota is often named as one of the best states for women yet even here, women still earn less than men and women of color and Native American women have even fewer opportunities. (sigh) We have so much opportunity in this state and in this country but we have so much work to do to make sure that that opportunity is broadly shared.

Let’s go through that list. First, DFL taxes and regulations have killed capital investments, thereby killing jobs. The DFL doesn’t trust in capitalism, which is why there’s an outmigration of people from Minnesota to Iowa, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Georgia. According to the state demographer, this trend isn’t all retirees. It’s prevalent through all age groups.

Next, the DFL’s metro-centric policies have hurt people living in rural Minnesota. Don’t blame this on Republicans. Republicans have fought with Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith for rural Minnesota’s priorities. Next, Lt. Gov. Smith hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet operational. If she gave a damn about the Iron Range, she would’ve fought for the Iron Range. Smith hasn’t fought for the Range because she’s a close friend of Alida Messenger, the most anti-mining DFL activist imaginable. I hope Rangers aren’t fooled by Smith’s faux empathy. Smith doesn’t empathize with Rangers. She’s visited the Range but that was a strictly a photo-op.

Another thing that Smith shouldn’t get away with is her criticism of the ACA/MNsure. She was an integral part of getting that enacted into law as Gov. Dayton’s Chief-of-Staff. It’s indisputable that Smith’s policies have hurt Minnesotans. Finally, Smith was Gov. Dayton’s trusted ally long before he was elected. She isn’t just a trusted ally. She’s the architect of Gov. Dayton’s campaign.

I don’t doubt that Lt. Gov. Smith will try to project an image similar to Sen. Klobuchar’s. That’s smart politics. It’s also exceptionally dishonest. Smith is more of a centrist than them pervert she’s replacing.

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Let’s be clear about something. When Doug Jones won the Alabama special election Tuesday night, he won because Steve Bannon’s candidate did what Bannon’s candidates always do. Bannon’s candidate lost a race that mainstream Republicans couldn’t lose in a million lifetimes. Predictably, Democrats are misreading what tonight’s results mean.

Tuesday night’s victory is the result of a terrible, far-outside-the-mainstream, candidate who thought he had a mandate from God misunderstanding how toxic he’d become. If Democrats think they’ll get to run against a lengthy list of candidates that share the same qualities as tonight’s loser has, they’ll quickly be disabused of that foolish notion.

Martha McSally isn’t a clone of tonight’s loser. Republicans have already recruited top-tier candidates to run against vulnerable incumbents in Missouri, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana and West Virginia. Any thought that this will turn out well for Democrats in 2018 will quickly be dispatched.

The Democrats’ seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation, and a sudden a rush of confidence, to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ago. Democrat Doug Jones’s triumph, the result of a vigorous turnout of the party’s traditional voters and of Republican splintering in a deeply conservative state, sent a thunder clap across the national political landscape that Democrats hope will signify an emerging comeback at the start of the 2018 midterm election campaign.

There’s no disputing that Democrats are feeling exhilarated after tonight’s victory. That thrill of victory won’t last long, though. Republicans will pass the tax reform bill before Jones is seated as Alabama’s junior senator for the next 3 years.

Tonight’s loser refused to admit that he’d lost:

Most likely, tonight’s winner is thrilled. MSNBC certainly is:

The best news of the night for Republicans is up for debate. Arguments could be made that the best thing is that Republicans don’t have to run with Bannon’s loser strapped to their neck. That’s certainly a positive. Another argument that could be made is that mainstream Republicans can now emphasize tonight’s defeat as proof that Bannon’s candidates are losers in primaries, thereby giving top-tier candidates a better shot at winning primaries. Still another argument could be made that the best news is that Republicans rejected sexist pigs even though it hurt their party.

Democrats tried claiming the moral high ground when Al Franken and John Conyers resigned amidst allegations of sexual harassment. It didn’t take long for Republicans, President Trump especially, to highlight that a special election in Michigan would replace Conyers with either his son or his nephew and that Minnesota’s DFL governor would pick a DFL legislator to replace a DFL senator. In other words, Democrats didn’t stand to lose a thing.

Republicans voted their values despite the fact that they lost an important Senate seat. Finally, it’s worth noting that ‘moderate’ Democrats will have to defend their voting in lockstep with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on judges and on cutting taxes. They also have to explain why they threatened to shut down the government.

If I had to give this article a title, I’d give the title ‘You can’t beat something with nothing’. Another title I’d consider is ‘Republicans win while Democrats whine’. Katie Packer Beeson’s article is spot on.

It starts by saying “The Democrats seem to enjoy gloating about the hot mess that is the Republican Party these days. Former GOP presidents warning the president about the people he surrounds himself with; sitting Republican U.S. senators calling the president unstable and unqualified; and a former GOP speaker of the house saying “there is no Republican Party. The president isn’t a Republican.” And Democrats’ friends in the mainstream media have kindly created an echo chamber that makes them think that they are always right and the Republicans are a bunch of sexist, racist, whack jobs. So why aren’t they winning?”

It continued, saying “So when they lost the election, there was a reckoning. The leadership of the Democratic Party was drummed up and new, forward-looking leaders took the reins and offered an alternative to what they saw as the disaster of Donald Trump. Wait, no. That isn’t what happened. Instead, they re-elected Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house. They elected Chuck Schumer as Senate majority [editor’s note: Schumer is minority leader] leader and completely sold out to the New York and California wings of the Democratic Party.”

Then there’s this:

Instead of talking about middle-class tax cuts, they talked about transgender bathroom access. Instead of talking about fixing Obamacare, which was crushing many in the middle class with high premiums and complicated doctor selections, they walked right into the trap of the alt-right and began tearing down Civil War statues.

Democrats still haven’t figured out how to talk to blue collar America. They’re experts at talking to college professors and progressive activists but they’re worthless at talking with factory workers, small businesses and tradesmen. It’s like those people are from another planet. (Perhaps, it’s the Democrats that are from a different planet?)

Look how paralyzed Hillary looks when confronted by a coal miner:

Hillary looked positively petrified. She looked like she would’ve rather been anywhere else in the world than at that roundtable.

What [Democrats] don’t seem to understand is that you can point out your opponent’s weaknesses all day long, but if you don’t provide an alternative, then people will stick with the status quo. I’ve spoken to dozens of Republican women in recent months who have grown disillusioned with the Republican Party, and when I ask why they don’t defect, the answer is always the same: “It’s no better over there.”

Until Democrats learn what animates blue collar workers, they should expect to lose lots of races, at least enough to keep them in the minority for a decade or more.

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To read Politico’s article on the DNC, you’d think they’re in a world of hurt. That’s the only logical conclusion to be reached after reading “The Democratic National Committee is reeling, facing a turnaround that’s proving a much bigger lift than anyone expected as it struggles to raise enough money to cover its basic promises. Many donors are refusing to write checks. And on-the-ground operatives worry they won’t have the resources to build the infrastructure they need to compete effectively in next year’s midterms and in the run-up to 2020.”

It’s tough to read quotes that attempt to paint over the DNC’s difficulties. According to the article, “Donors, small and large, are so over the party,’ said Nebraska party chair Jane Kleeb, summing up the problem facing DNC chairman Tom Perez and his counterparts in the states. Kleeb, who is working on grassroots fundraising efforts for the committee, said she believes the money will come eventually.” That sounds like spin to me. What has Kleeb seen that makes her think that donor enthusiasm will increase? Or is that statement wishful thinking? It’s most likely wishful thinking.

Much of the immediate anxiety centers on the State Party Innovation Fund, a planned $10.5 million competitive grant program that DNC leadership has made available to interested state parties over the next year. The money is meant to pay for organizing, ground operations and other mechanics seen as essential to countering Republican National Committee investments that helped elect Donald Trump and a slew of other Republican candidates in 2016, leapfrogging Democrats in the process.

Desperation is setting in. This video highlights the outlandish statements Perez is becoming famous for:

In Las Vegas, Minnesota party chairman Ken Martin, the president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, went out of his way while speaking to a gathering of state party executive directors to assure them the grant program was on schedule, since the money will be doled out over the course of a year and so doesn’t have to be raised yet, said one Democrat in the room.

All the wishful thinking in the world won’t solve the DNC’s problems. While it’s a stretch to think the DNC is listening to its death knell, it isn’t a stretch to think that they’re in trouble.