Archive for the ‘Sovereignty’ Category

On this day in 1776, men of great integrity gave us an incredible gift. On July 4, 1776, they gave us the Declaration of Independence. Though it’s 238 years old, we’re still benefiting from these men’s wisdom. They suffered greatly to turn that declaration into reality. This society will be hurt, though, if we don’t appreciate what they gave us. Let’s look at the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

What these incredible men gave this nation is a system of government that prevents another man from becoming our king, legislature and judge.

Eventually, another group of great men wrote our Constitution. The principles listed in the Declaration of Independence became the pillars upon which the Constitution was written. When the Constitution was written, it created 3 co-equal branches of government, the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. They were seperated so nobody could become ultimate ruler.

Later in the Declaration of Independence, they listed their grievances. Here are some of the most noteworthy grievances:

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

Because of these usurpations, this nation’s Founding Father understsood the importance of creating an independent judiciary, a legislature to write laws and a president that is accountable to We The People in executing those laws. They understood that presidents should respect the fact that they are given their “just powers from the consent of the governed.”

That’s the system they created. Unfortunately, we’ve had to deal with corrupt presidents from time to time. This is one of those times. Fortunately, the Founding Fathers gave us a system to deal with these situations. This week and last, the courts pushed back against this corrupt president.

The final paragraph of the Declaration is telling, too:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

This Declaration emphatically said that this nation would be based on the belief that these states would be free and independent, that each of the states had the authority to wage war and negotiate the terms of the cessation of war and to sign treaties with other nations. In the minds of the Founding Fathers, each of the states was its own sovereign nation. In fact, when the Revolutionary War ended, France recognized each of the states as a sovereign nation.

These principles were so important to the Founding Fathers that they pledged their lives, their considerable fortunnes and their sacred honor in fighting for these principles.

Had they lost the war, the signatories understood that they’d be tried and convicted of treason, which would likely be followed by their execution. Despite that risk, they said they’d rather fight for the blessings of liberty than living under King George III’s tyranical government.

Thank God they made the right choice.

Friday night, the trio of David Schultz, Kathryn Pearson & Stacey Hunter-Hecht were guest panelists on Almanac. Predictably, Dr. Schultz bemoaned the fact that Republican moderates were nowhere to be found in the House on immigration.

This isn’t a big thing because Dr. Schultz hasn’t had a new idea in years, possibly decades. Further, Dr. Schultz has been a shill for the DFL for nearly all that time.

The problem with the Senate amnesty bill isn’t that there aren’t enough GOP moderates in the House. The problem with the Senate amnesty bill is that conservatives know it isn’t a solution to the problem it’s meant to fix. I wrote here about the gaping hole in the ‘Border Trickle’ in the Senate Amnesty Bill:

On page 35, line 24 of the new bill, a provision was inserted that says Napolitano–who already believes the border is secure–can decide against building a fence if she chooses not to erect one:

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing, or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing, in a particular location along the Southern border, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the Southern border at such location.

In other words, House conservatives see this as a sham provision. It doesn’t secure the border. It doesn’t fix the problem. Its only purpose was to provide political cover for weak-kneed Senate Republicans.

House Republicans shouldn’t budge from their demand for a real solution to immigration. That means a border fence. That means 5 straight years of enforcing current immigration laws. That means no catch and release. That means implementing E-Verify.

Dr. Schultz’s lamentations about the lack of House GOP moderates is silliness parading as thoughtful policymaking. The Senate Amnesty Bill has a gaping hole in it. Milton Friedman, the late, great economist, was fond of asking where the halfway point between right and wrong was.

When the gap between House conservatives and the Senate Amnesty Bill are this immense, Dr. Friedman’s question should be modified to ask what the halfway point is between a solution and a disaster.

The Senate Amnesty Bill is a disaster. The CBO says that it doesn’t stop illegal immigration, meaning that the Republicans who voted for the Senate bill voted for a bill that will cause us to revisit the issue 5-7 years from now.

If I were advising House Republicans on this issue, I’d advise them to highlight the failure of the Senate bill to fix the problem. I’d send Speaker Boehner and Rep. Trey Gowdy out daily to any TV news program to talk about the need for a real solution. I’d have them pick a fight with Chuck Schumer, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. I’d have them ask why they support a bill that doesn’t fix the problem.

It’s really that simple.

One way the left has quietly, insidiously, killed the American economy is through the dirty tricks it plays with unelected bureaucrats. This op-ed by private property rights attorney Karen Budd-Falen shows how the federal government ignores laws while destroying what’s left of people’s private property rights:

Private landowner Andrew VanDenBerg is at the center of the controversy, including now being vilified by a press release issued by the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office (part of the U.S. Justice Department).

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) guarantees access to private property across federal lands. Although the private landowner is required to file an application explaining the location of such access, that application cannot be denied under ANILCA. According to the Senate Committee reports regarding ANILCA, Congress intended to eliminate the federal government’s discretion in allowing adequate and feasible access to inholdings by “direct(ing) the Secretary to grant the owner of an inholding such rights as are necessary to assure adequate access to the inholding and is intended to assure a permanent right of access to the concerned land across, through or over these Federal lands by such State or private owners or occupiers and their successors in interest.”

The problem with the application system however is that the BLM routinely, and many times intentionally and unreasonably, delays processing such applications, thereby denying access to the private property during the processing. It is more common than not to have an application for access delayed for years, all the while denying access to private property.

Why have laws if the federal government routinely ignores those laws with impunity? Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what should frighten people:

Private landowner Andrew VanDenBerg is at the center of the controversy, including now being vilified by a press release issued by the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office (part of the U.S. Justice Department).

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) guarantees access to private property across federal lands. Although the private landowner is required to file an application explaining the location of such access, that application cannot be denied under ANILCA. According to the Senate Committee reports regarding ANILCA, Congress intended to eliminate the federal government’s discretion in allowing adequate and feasible access to inholdings by “direct(ing) the Secretary to grant the owner of an inholding such rights as are necessary to assure adequate access to the inholding and is intended to assure a permanent right of access to the concerned land across, through or over these Federal lands by such State or private owners or occupiers and their successors in interest.”

The problem with the application system however is that the BLM routinely, and many times intentionally and unreasonably, delays processing such applications, thereby denying access to the private property during the processing. It is more common than not to have an application for access delayed for years, all the while denying access to private property.

Why have federal laws if the federal government routinely ignores those laws, then bullies landowners in their attempt to restrict private property rights? That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. After having BLM bureaucrats ignore him, Mr. VanDenBerg decided to apply a little common sense to the situation:

In complete frustration at the bureaucratic delays and denials, VanDenBerg decided to use an existing road to get to his property. This road, noted as an existing road on the 2005 San Juan National Forest map and known as County Road 33A, has been in existence since 1886. The road was clearly visible on the ground as well as noted on the federal government’s maps. VanDenBerg cut dead fall timber from the roadway and moved it out of the way. Although he followed the tracks of the road and he did not get out of the roadway that has existed for over 125 years, the BLM charged him with civil trespass charges in federal district court.

This seems pretty straightforward. The road is visible from the ground. It’s highlighted on federal maps. Mr. VanDenBerg removed some dead fall timber from the road because the federal government hadn’t maintained the road like they were obligated to do. In most citizens’ eyes, he should get a good citizens award for his efforts. That isn’t what happened, though:

Not wanting to expend the money on a huge and expensive trial, VanDenBerg decided to settle with the BLM. The settlement agreement states that VanDenBerg does not admit to ANY of the claims or assertions put forward by the government and that he is simply reimbursing the federal government for the reclamation of the dead trees he cut. Although he did not want to settle with the federal government, he recognized that the largest law firm in the world, the U.S. Justice Department, represents the federal government and that he would be buried in litigation costs. He thought a settlement agreement would end the matter and that the BLM would process his application so that he could have the access to his private property that he was promised by Congress.

Before the ink on the agreement was barely dry, the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a “press release” that incorrectly labels VanDenBerg as a “trespasser” and claiming his attempt to access his own private property is “unauthorized.” The release also states that VanDenBerg’s actions occurred in a “wilderness.” VanDenBerg had disputed all of those statements. Even the settlement agreement itself noted that these statements are only allegations by the U.S., yet their press release states them as fact.

When asked about the false and misleading statements in the press release (in addition to noting that VanDenBerg denied all of the allegations in the settlement agreement), the U.S. Attorney noted in an e-mail to VanDenBerg’s attorney, “While I realize that you and your client were disappointed in the press release,…it is routine for this office to issue press releases on these kinds of settlements, especially in cases where the conduct is of the kind that we hope to deter in the future.”

At this point, you’re thinking ‘that stinks but at least that isn’t happening in my state’, right? Though the specifics in this article are changed, the goal remains the same:

The report recommends a revitalized EQB, with up to 10 staffers, more than double the current level.

Agriculture Commissioner Dave Fredrickson, chair of the EQB, said the environment will benefit if the board can plan ahead.

“They can look into the future and anticipate problems that we may hit head-on, so rather than react, we can as a board act on some of those important issues,” Fredrickson said.

He cited silica sand mining; the board has been asked to do a broad review called a Generic Environmental Impact Statement on that subject. If the board had more staff, it could proceed.

Why must the EQB exist? Here’s what the EQB is:

The Environmental Quality Board includes the heads of nine state agencies and four citizens.

Does Minnesota government need 9 different agencies to protect the environment? That isn’t likely. In fact, it’s exceptionally likely that most of those oversight agencies were created to placate environmentalists.

Whether the federal or state government is involved in the environment, the goal isn’t to protect the environment. It’s to limit people’s private property rights.

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President Obama’s political decision to rescind the federal government’s pact with Arizona is proof positive that President Obama won’t enforce the federal government’s laws. He’s essentially become the first US Scofflaw-in-Chief. Predictably, Arizona law enforcement is reacting to the Scofflaw-in-Chief’s edict. First, here’s what Gov. Brewer said about the Scofflaw-in-Chief’s decision:

“As though we needed any more evidence, President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people. Within the last two hours, I have been notified the Obama administration has revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law.

“Of course, it is no coincidence that this announcement comes immediately on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of the heart of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law: SB 1070. It’s worth noting that 68 law enforcement entities in 24 states have functioning 287(g) agreements with the federal government. But it appears the only agreements eliminated today were those in Arizona, the state that happens to be on the front lines of America’s fight against illegal immigration. We are on our own, apparently.

“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn, downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our State from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this. Still, the disarmament of Arizona’s 287(g) agreements is a new low, even for this administration.

President Obama has exceptionally thin skin. He also isn’t much into enforcing laws that past congresses have passed and previous presidents have signed into law. Today’s decision to undercut Arizona’s ability to protect its people is the greatest abdication of a president’s domestic responsibilities in the past 25 years.

Arizona is Ground Zero of the immigration battle. Their citizens have been tortured, held hostage or murdered outright. Despite those facts, the federal government has turned a blind eye towards Arizona.

Here’s what Rep. Jeff Flake said:

Mesa, Arizona – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today criticized the Obama Administration’s suspension of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) program in Arizona, which allows local authorities to partner with federal law enforcement agencies to carry out certain immigration enforcement functions. ICE announced today that with the suspension of the 287(g) program, their agents will not respond to a scene in which a person’s immigration status is in question unless that person is a convicted criminal, has been removed from the US previously and reentered unlawfully, or is a recent border crosser.

“Suspending this program will strip our local authorities of critical tools to deal with illegal immigration,” said Flake. “The Obama Administration is effectively broadcasting that unless an illegal immigrant is wanted for a crime, the attention of ICE isn’t warranted.”

President Obama campaigned against President Bush and Bush’s “imperial presidency.” It’s ironic that his administration is selectively, and intermittenly, enforcing the laws on the books. President Obama has become what he campaigned against.

KrisAnne Hall, whom I met at this year’s RightOnline Conference, wrote this brilliant article about Monday’s opinion written by Anthony Kennedy. I found this part particularly compelling:

Not only is this ruling devoid of any appeal to the Constitution, it is very dangerous. It is an aberration of fundamental Constitutional principles and a brazen assault on state sovereignty! Chiefly, Kennedy takes the Supremacy clause of the Constitution, which declares that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and translates that principle into the supremacy of the Federal government over the states. There couldn’t be anything more contrary to our founders’ intent. Let me repeat: this opinion is a monumental assault on the sovereignty of the states.

Article I section 8 clause 4 of the Constitution states that Congress has the power [t]o establish an uniform rule of naturalization. The purpose of the federal government in the case of immigration, as Justice Kennedy appropriately acknowledges is “to be a single voice of the nation for foreign relations.”

This external focus is in line with James Madison’s directive that: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace negotiation, and foreign commerce…”

Justice Kennedy’s ruling allowed President Obama to continue his disastrous, dangerous policies that endanger people. If Justice Kennedy had the final say in the matter, state sovereignty would’ve disappeared midway through his intellectually flimsy opinion.

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Let’s be clear from the outset that when I question the UN’s IPCC report, I’m questioning the agenda behind the headlines. This post by Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard includes a transcript that’s both enlightening and infuriating. Here’s what I’m talking about:

NZZ AM SONNTAG: The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.

OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL: That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capita basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.

NZZ: That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.

EDENHOFER: Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet, and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11,000 to 400, there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.

NZZ: De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.

EDENHOFER: First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

Clearly, in Edehoffer’s thinking, the highest priority of the IPCC is wealth redistribution. Climate control is just a secondary priority.

In fact, the key word in that phrase is control. With that control comes the opportunity for third world corruptocrat enrichment. Notice how Edenhoffer says that “Africa will be the big winner” if “global emission rights are distributed” “on a per capita basis”?

Notice, too, that “the climate summit” isn’t “a climate conference”, that it’s “one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.” Let’s take the blinders off and understand that the IPCC is about redistributing wealth and exercising control over superpower nations like the United States.

The only way to stop these corruptocrats is by defeating Obama in 2012, replacing him with someone who’ll fight for our sovereignty. This crisis isn’t going away just by wishing. It’ll take a serious commitment to the principles laid out in our founding documents.

If other nations make bad decisions, that’s their problem. It isn’t like other nations help us out when we make bad decisions. And we make more than enough mistakes.

The bottom line is this: one of the leaders of the IPCC has admitted that their report isn’t based on the desire to limit pollution. It’s based mostly on wealth redistribution. It’s now our responsibility to expose the UN and the IPCC for being in the wealth redistribution business.

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Chip Cravaack, the GOP-endorsed candidate for the MN-08 House race, got a big boost Monday when he received the Minnesota Farm Bureau PAC’s endorsement:

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation PAC, the political and legislative branch of the Minnesota Farm Bureau, has announced that they endorse Chip Cravaack for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

Cravaack is the only non-incumbent to receive the endorsement from the bi-partisan group that also endorsed Democrat Collin Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District.

“I am honored to receive this endorsement from Minnesota’s farmers and rachers,” Cravaack said. “I recognize the crucial role that these producers play in not only providing food, but in providing jobs as well.”

This race has flown under the radar thus far. It’s time people started paying attention to it because this is a competitive race. While it’s true that Oberstar has a big CoH advantage, I’m certain that that won’t be the determining factor. Money rarely is in wave elections.

Put differently, no amount of money will save a politician that doesn’t have an appealing message. This year, Rep. Oberstar doesn’t have an appealing message.

This is part of the reason why Rep. Oberstar has a stiffer fight than normal:

“Cap-and-trade, which Congressman Oberstar voted for, would be a disaster for Minnesota. It will make our products non-competitive in foreign markets and increase the cost of food,” Cravaack said. “This is the last thing struggling families need.”

In southern and western Minnesota, Cap and Tax will hurt the huge cash crop farmers in the form of high gas prices for their farm equipment. In Minnesota’s Arrowhead, Cap and Tax will hurt Iron Rangers in the form of outrageous home heating bills. In other words, Oberstar’s vote would hurt his constituents.

This issue won’t help Rep. Oberstar either:

Oberstar, DFL-8th District and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, last April authored amendments to the 1972 Clean Water Act. The bill, America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act, attempts to correct two U.S. Supreme Court cases over jurisdiction over waters.

The original bill gave federal jurisdiction over all “navigable” waters, while the Oberstar bill removes that word and defines federal jurisdiction “to all waters that are currently used, were used in the past, may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide,” says Don Parmeter, who is leading an effort to draft alternative legislation.

“This affects northern Minnesota and Minnesota in general, probably more than any other state in the country,” Parmeter said Thursday night to about 35 people who showed up to a forum on the bill at Hungry Bear Conference Center.

“It’s a radical bill, we’ve been fighting it since 2007,” said Parmeter of the National Water and Conservation Alliance, of an earlier version of the Oberstar bill.

“What this bill does, simply, is remove the term navigable from the federal water pollution control act of 1972 and replaces it with waters of the United States,” Parmeter said. “All interstate and international waters, including interstate and international wetlands, and all other waters, including intrastate which is all waters within the boundaries of the state” are included.

This bill would greatly expand federal jurisdiction over wetlands of all sorts, whether they’re state or federal lands. This isn’t surprising in light of the Obama administration’s attempt to control everything possible.

Knowing how important the outdoors is to Iron Rangers, I can guarantee that Oberstar’s bill won’t sit well with them. In fact, the more Chip emphasizes Oberstar’s powergrab, the more Iron Rangers will turn against Rep. Oberstar.

The Arrowhead is littered with gun clubs, sportsmen organizations, fishing tournament organizations and rifle ranges. I’ll bet the proverbial ranch that they won’t take this issue lightly.

This legislation doesn’t stand a chance of becoming law. If it passed the House during a lameduck session, this bill would be killed in the Senate with a filibuster. Once Republicans retake the House, this legislation won’t get so much as a hearing because it violates private property rights.

This paragraph sums things up perfectly:

“This is a very expansive federal authority bill,” he said. “This is not only a controlled waters bill but also a controlled land bill, everything within a watershed.”

Rep. Oberstar is clearly carrying this administration’s water on this issue. (Pardon the pun.) It’s clear that he isn’t listening to his constituents. Rep. Oberstar should be thankful that these outdoorsmen are law-abiding citizens.

Rep. Oberstar should be worried about Cravaack. This Bemidji Pioneer article explains why:

“Small business owners are afraid to invest in their own business to create jobs,” he said. “Miners, when you start talking to them about this cap-and-trade bill and how it’s going to affect the mines, you’ve got their attention.”

The House last year passed a bill calling for cap-and-trade policies to control carbon emissions in which carbon producers would pay to purchase carbon credits from under-producers. Oberstar voted for the bill, which since then has languished in the Senate.

“I really try to talk to just the people, not the unions, but the members of the unions,” says Cravaack, who was a member of a commercial pilots union. “Those are the guys are going to be voting. The union will tell them to vote for jobs, well, I’m all about jobs.”

Cap-and-trade policies will devastate the mining industry, he said.

“The cap-and-trade bill is going to increase electrical costs on mines 40 t0 50 percent,” he said. The average electrical costs of a small open pit mine is $1.6 million, he said. “You add 50 percent to that, it makes our ore non-competitive and those guys are out of work.”

Chip Cravaack gets it. He’s focusing his campaign on the right demographic groups. He’s focusing on issues that get his future constituents’ attention. In doing that, he’s saying with his actions that he understands what they’re going through. He’s telling them that he’s one of them.

Rep. Oberstar hasn’t related to his constituents in years. That matters this year because Washington repeatedly refused to listen to We The People. That’s what fueling the TEA Party movement. When politicians like Rep. Oberstar listen more to the administration than to his constituents, it’s time to hold Rep. Oberstar’s retirement party on the first Tuesday this November.

In any other year, I wouldn’t be writing about this race. This isn’t an ordinary year. It’s a year that’s shaping up to be an historic year, one where Rep. Oberstar’s seat is in play.

Follow this link to contribute to Chip’s campaign. Though it’s an uphill fight, there’s no reason to think he can’t defeat Rep. Oberstar.

This is how to manufacture an upset.

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This Strib article raises questions about SEIU’s radical agenda:

Members of the Service Employees International Union are taking aim at Target because the union contends it is a company that “seeks the business of immigrant families and then support[s] anti-immigrant politicians.”

I’d love seeing SEIU’s proof that Tom Emmer opposes legal immigration. Or is it that SEIU thinks that our borders shouldn’t be enforced?

For that matter, what caused the SEIU to think that Target “seeks the business of immigrant families”? I don’t doubt that Target appreciates it when legal immigrants shop at Target but I’ve never noticed Target actively seeking the business of the immigrant community.

This memo explains alot about SEIU’s views on international lawlessness:

Emmer supports Arizona’s anti-immigrant law and legislation such as English-only bills. In 2007, he voted against the Minnesota DREAM Act, which would have allowed students who came to the state as the children of undocumented immigrants and graduated from Minnesota high schools to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

In 2006, Emmer authored legislation that would pre-natal care to immigrant mothers.

“Target has sought the business of immigrant families across this state – and many of its profits come from the very people Tom Emmer has targeted throughout his career,” said SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo. “We will rally outside of Target on Thursday with a simple message: Corporations who seek the business of immigrant families and then support anti-immigrant politicians will not be tolerated.”

SB1070 isn’t anti-immigrant. It’s anti-illegal immigrant. I’ll bet that SEIU cares about the United States’ sovereignty. If they do, Javier Morillo’s statement certainly sounds like he supports an open borders policy.

This SEIU-AZ statement certainly says that they don’t care about border enforcement:

SB 1070 puts public service jobs at risk

Arizona’s economic health will be better able to withstand boom and bust cycles when it becomes less dependent on sales tax revenues. Until that day comes, however, sales taxes will continue to be a crucial part of our economy. Whatever our opinions on the immigration issue may be, the national and international condemnation of SB 1070 has already led to lost convention and tourism revenues that will further harm our state’s efforts to put this recession behind us.

Nowhere does this statement indicate any concern over enforcing the laws currently on the federal government’s books. The unambiguous message is that they’re only concerned about lost business for the union. In fact, there’s more direct proof that SEIU doesn’t stand for border enforcement. This post says everything about SEIU’s lawless nature:

One of the nation’s biggest labor unions, a major backer of President Obama, is condemning his Department of Homeland Security’s immigration enforcement practices, protesting the use of deportation quotas for agents and expanded workplace audits.

Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president of Service Employees International Union, said SEIU members want DHS “to stop these crazy, irrational policies,” while seeking to turn up pressure on Congress to take up overhaul legislation. SEIU is holding vigils and demonstrations Thursday in Oakland and Sacramento, Calif., and then in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Boston, New York City and Minneapolis Friday.

How many Minnesotans think that enforcing the U.S.-Mexico border is a “crazy, irrational polic[y]”? I’m betting that 3 out of 4 Minnesotans think that enforcing this nation’s laws is both rational and mainstream policy. This SEIU statement is important reading, too:

“CCA is one of the biggest winners of our broken immigration system, taking in billions of dollars in government contracts to detain immigrants and perpetuate today’s failed status quo.” said SEIU Immigration Campaign Director Javier Morillo. “The company recognizes that an enforcement-heavy immigration policy is good for their bottom line and has spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to anti-immigrant politicians who push for enforcement at the expense of real comprehensive immigration reform.”

It appears as though today’s SEIU protest at Target is just part of SEIU’s protests of “enforcement-heavy immigration policy.” SEIU just took this opportunity to cheapshot Tom Emmer’s mainstream position of actually enforcing this nation’s laws. Meanwhile, the SEIU has repeatedly opposed enforcing this nation’s laws.

Morillo has done everything except say explicitly that he opposes the enforcement of this nation’s immigration laws. Yet he’s telling Minnesotans that Tom Emmer’s positions on illegal immigration are outside Minnesota’s mainstream.

We’ll find out this November that Tom Emmer is solidly in Minnesota’s mainstream and that SEIU and Javier Morillo is far outside Minnesota’s mainstream.

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When President Obama gave his speech about the BP oil spill, much was made of his using war terminology. Weeks later, it appears that, like everything else Obama, it was just talk. Actually, it’s pretty obvious that the only war he’s waging in the Gulf is with Gulf state governors, fishermen and environmentalists. Rep. Dan Burton’s op-ed in Human Events highlights some things that the American people need to know about:

On the 65th day of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the crisis continued unmitigated, with hardly any talk of capping, containing, or cleaning the spill. Rather, the headlines on day 65 were about the federal court’s rejection of the Obama Administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

While the President’s legal team mounts their appeal and drafts a new explanation for why we need a “pause” in drilling across the gulf, they should include a chapter about Brazil. Specifically, why the “pause” excludes a multi-billion dollar, U.S. taxpayer-funded loan program designed to assist Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, in drilling off the coast of Brazil in waters deeper than the Gulf of Mexico.

As you might expect, Brazil and Petrobras will benefit substantially from the U.S.-government loans, but the real boondoggle lies within President Obama’s gulf drilling moratorium. If the gulf becomes off-limits, much of its $124 billion offshore drilling industry, and the jobs and technology that come with it, will transfer from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. In fact, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is already making plans to relocate its rigs to Brazil if they are idled by the U.S. drilling ban.

President Obama is helping the economy. Unfortunately, the economy he’s helping with his inaction is Brazil’s. It’s unconscienable that President Obama has declared war on the economies of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. Tourism was already floundering before the oil spill. It’s essentially nonexistent now.

What’s worse is that the Obama administration has done everything in its power to prevent Gulf coast governors from protecting their states’ natural resources by insisting on scuttling Louisiana’s plans to build berms to protect their fragile wetlands. They’ve also grounded skimmers because the Obama administration beached them to make sure they had the requisite number of lifejackets onboard:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has spent the past week and half fighting to get working barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. By Thursday morning, against the governor’s wishes, those barges still were sitting idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

“It’s the most frustrating thing,” the Republican governor told ABC News while visiting Buras, La. “Literally, [Wednesday] morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges.”

Watch “World News” for David Muir’s report from Louisiana tonight.

Sixteen barges sat stationary Thursday, although they had been sucking up thousands of gallons of BP’s oil as recently as Tuesday. Workers in hazmat suits and gas masks pumped the oil out of the Louisiana waters and into steel tanks. It was a homegrown idea that seemed to be effective at collecting the thick gunk.

Experienced executives know that the first thing you do in a crisis is you waive certain rules if they’re getting in the way of a swift response. Unfortunately, we didn’t elect an experienced executive. For that matter, we didn’t elect any type of executive. We elected Barack Obama instead.

What’s become painfully obvious throughout this crisis is that President Obama didn’t take charge, he didn’t waive the Jones Act, he didn’t accept help from the countries that offered to help skim the oil and protect the environment. In short, he failed to live up to his responsibilities.

Just like President Obama can’t plug the well, BP can’t waive the Jones Act or accept help from other nations. If I was BP, I’d file a lawsuit against the federal government for failing to live up to its responsibilities. Had the Obama administration done what other administrations would’ve done, the widespread environmental damage wouldn’t have happened, at least not to this extent.

I empathize with President Obama’s environmental allies. He’s let them down in a big way. They understand that his inaction significantly contributed to the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history.

What’s worse is that, if the moratorium is granted by the courts, the rigs will be shipped to Brazil’s coastal waters, Gulf state workers will lose their jobs and the Gulf states’ economies will be ruined for a decade.

Instead of meeeting with lawyers to soak BP, President Obama should’ve been meeting with engineers and people with solutions to the then-impending environmental catastrophe:

“The Coast Guard came and shut them down,” Jindal said. “You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'”

A Coast Guard representative told ABC News that it shares the same goal as the governor. “We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.

But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

The governor said he didn’t have the authority to overrule the Coast Guard’s decision, though he said he tried to reach the White House to raise his concerns.

“They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible,” he said. But “every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer.”

This is a catastrophe in search for a point person. Thus far, the Obama administration has failed miserably in that respect. Naming Adm. Thad Allen hasn’t improved emergency operations by any significant amount. The Jones Act still hasn’t been waived. Foreign skimmers still haven’t been invited in to any meaningful extent. The Coast Guard still is doing more harm than good.

I haven’t seen proof that the Obama administration will get these things done anytime soon. Each day that his administration’s response to the crisis is found lacking, the less likely it becomes that voters will grant President Obama a second term.

In fact, the longer the Obama administration mishandles this catastrophe, the more likely it is that President Obama will be seen as a failure. It’s also more likely that congressional Democrats will get hurt by his plummeting job approval ratings.

In Alabama Thursday, Gov. Bob Riley said that he’s had problems with the Coast Guard, too. Riley, R-Ala., asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect his shoreline.

The Coast Guard went all the way to Bahrain to find it, but when it came time to deploy it? “It was picked up and moved to Louisiana,” Riley said.

The governor said the problem is there’s still no single person giving a “yes” or “no.” While the Gulf Coast governors have developed plans with the Coast Guard’s command center in the Gulf, things begin to shift when other agencies start weighing in, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s like this huge committee down there,” Riley said, “and every decision that we try to implement, any one person on that committee has absolute veto power.”

I wrote in this post about President Obama’s speech to the nation from the Oval Office. Here’s what President Obama said then:

But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes.

From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history, an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf.

Adm. Allen hasn’t pulled the agencies and bureaucracies together, possibly because President Obama didn’t give him that authority. The EPA and Coast Guard are still operating as though this wasn’t a crisis situation.

If this were an indictment of President Obama’s crisis management, we’d be at the point where President Obama pleads guilty to gross mismanagement and throws himself on the mercy of the court.

This won’t be the last crisis we’ll see before 2016. Based on President Obama’s mismanagement of this crisis and the economic crisis, part of which he’s responsible for creating, I don’t see any rationalization or justifification for his re-election.

He’s in way over his head. What’s worse is that I don’t see him learning from the experience.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

According to MPP’s Joe Bodell, racial profiling is unconstitutional, meaning that the Constitution talks about racial profiling:

Emmer did call Arizona’s new immigration racial profiling law a “wonderful” step in that state’s social progress, and has not yet issued a statement on similar efforts in Minnesota.

On one hand, it’s kind of ridiculous that we have to ask gubernatorial candidates “where do you stand on unconstitutional racial profiling laws?” On the other hand, don’t we deserve to know?

The Constitution doesn’t say anything about racial profiling. First things first: the Constitution deals with the federal government’s structure and responsibilities. PERIOD. If Mr. Bodell wants to argue that the Bill of Rights talks about racial profiling, I’d love to hear Mr. Bodell cite which amendment in the Bill of Rights talks about racial profiling.

Secondly, and more importantly, the Arizona law isn’t about racial profiling. If a law enforcement officer spots someone breaking a traffic law, like speeding or reckless driving, the law enforcement officer will ask for the driver’s license and registration. That’s done whether the person is Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian- or African-American.

If a person doesn’t produce a license or registration, the officer is then trained to ask whether the person is in the country legally. Again, that’s done whether the driver is Swedish, Hispanic, Asian- or African-American. According to the new law, the inquiry ends the minute the driver produces a drivers license.

Why does Mr. Bodell think that’s racial profiling? Better yet, does Mr. Bodell think that’s racial profiling? If he doesn’t, then the next question is whether he’s just saying that in an attempt to put mainstream conservatives like Tom Emmer on the defensive for the campaign or to establish a negative narrative.

It’s just a hunch but I suspect that the DFL is attempting to paint all Republicans as extremists. In following that pattern, the DFL is actually painting itself into a corner much like Jimmy Carter did during the 1980 campaign against Gov. Reagan.

For those of you too young to remember that campaign, Jimmy Carter tried painting President Reagan as unstable, trigger-happy, too unstable to “have his finger on the button.” That wasn’t all that successful prior to their only debate but it got exponentially worse during the debate.

Americans watching that night saw Gov. Reagan as being a positive, upbeat and measured man. Immediately, President Carter’s main argument disappeared.

The DFL is painting a similar picture of Tom Emmer and Dan Severson. That’s to their peril because both men are advocates for reasonable policies. Tom Emmer thinks that government hasn’t been responsive to the people’s needs. Most people share that opinion. They’ve told DFL lawmakers that they’re taxed too much.

Instead of keeping taxes stable, the DFL annually passes tax increase legislation. Annually, Gov. Pawlenty vetoes it and the GOP House sustain Gov. Pawlenty’s veto. Last year, Gene Pelowski, a DFL chairman, took the DFL to the woodshed for passing tax increase legislation.

If anything, moderate DFL legislators are moving in Tom Emmer’s direction. Does that mean they’re extremists, too?

But I digress.

The subject was whether Arizona law enforcement officers should have the authority to protect Arizonans from the Mexican drug cartels’ violence. Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen sent out an email to her constituents on the testimony taken in committee prior to passing Arizona’s law enforcement law:

Rancher Rob Krantz was murdered by the drug cartel on his ranch a month ago. I participated in a senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence, here is just some of the highlights from those who testified.

The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the Arizona/Mexico Border have for years been terrorized and have pleaded for help to stop the daily invasion of humans who cross their property. One Rancher testified that 300 to 1200 people a DAY come across his ranch vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles and property, cutting down his fences, and leaving trash. In the last two years he has found 17 dead bodies and two Koran bibles.

Another rancher testified that daily drugs are brought across his ranch in a military operation. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, 1/2 mile behind are the guards fully armed, 1/2 mile behind them are the drugs, behind the drugs 1/2 mile are more guards. These people are violent and they will kill anyone who gets in the way. This was not the only rancher we heard that day that talked about the drug trains.

One man told of two illegal’s who came upon his property one shot in the back and the other in the arm by the drug runners who had forced them to carry the drugs and then shot them. Daily they listen to gun fire during the night it is not safe to leave his family alone on the ranch and they can’t leave the ranch for fear of nothing being left when they come back.

Does Mr. Bodell want to argue that Arizona law enforcement officers shouldn’t deal with these violent criminals? After all, that’s supposedly the federal government’s responsibility.

If Mr. Bodell wants to argue that it’s illegal for law enforcement officers to protect the citizens they’re sworn to protect or that that’s a view outside the mainstream, I’d love hearing him justify that position.

Just four words on how that’s likely to go: Good luck with that.

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Rep. Keith Ellison has a habit of branding his opponents as fascists. This past weekend, Rep. Ellison was at it again, this time calling the Arizona law “a fascist, racist law“:

The Minneapolis congressman said Congress urgently needs to pass immigration reform in light of Arizona’s new law giving police more rights to detain people whom they suspect are in the country illegally. Borrowing a word normally reserved for Tea Party protests these days, Ellison called the law “fascist.”

“The fact is that we have to fight against these repressive laws in Arizona,” Ellison said. “They want to say that everybody is a criminal. They will stop anybody. We’ve got to stop these fascist, racist laws [inaudibule].”

I expected this from Rep. Ellison because he’s a reliable mouthpiece for the Democrats’ spin even if what he’s saying is utter nonsense and not based in the truth. First things first: Rep. Ellison should invest in a good dictionary and use it daily. Here’s’s definition of fascist:

A reactionary or dictatorial person.

That definition exposes Rep. Ellison’s mischaracterization of Arizona’s law. I’m fairly certain that Rep. Ellison’s mischaracterization was intentional because a lawyer who’s read the law would know that Arizona’s law prohibits racial profiling.

Rep. Ellison’s mischaracterization might also be to deflect attention from the real problem, which is that the federal government’s border enforcement efforts have been pathetic at best.

Let’s hear Rep. Ellison explain how passing new laws will eliminate or even marginally reduce the violence currently happening in Arizona. Let’s hear Rep. Ellison explain why the laws currently on the books aren’t sufficient to stop the rampant violence in Arizona.

Most importantly, let’s hear Rep. Ellison explain why Democrats take campaign contributions, and marching orders, from NCLR, an organization committed to open borders policies.

Is Rep. Ellison’s mischaracterization of the Arizona law intentional? Let’s consider what Pinal County, AZ, Sheriff Paul Babeu told Greta van Susteren about the dramatic uptick in violence in Arizona:

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. All right, what happened?

BABEU: Well, he was out there, found some actual backpacks of marijuana and some other suspicious activity. And now, this is a known corridor for smuggling not only of drugs but of illegals. And so he radioed back to dispatch to call for support, and he continued to track the direction because he’s highly skilled in this as a search-and-rescue deputy.

As he was pursuing these five; he didn’t have them in sight yet; they had realized that somebody was tracking them. And so they left the rear guard behind and took cover and concealment as our deputy approached. This last suspect, who was armed with an AK-47, popped up and started shooting at our deputy, who was in uniform. They clearly knew he was an officer of the law.

And our deputy engaged. He had not only his handgun that he emptied the magazine, he also had his AR-15, which is a semi-automatic rifle that we often carry. And he returned fire, and that’s when he was shot. And he believed that he hit one of the five suspects. There was two AK-47s and they had handguns, as well.

If that’s got your attention, it gets worse:

VAN SUSTEREN: Sheriff, was he alone? I mean, because — I mean, he was — was he out there by himself? You don’t mention anybody else.

BABEU: Yes, he was alone at that time, and this is often…

VAN SUSTEREN: Why? I mean, that’s — I mean…

BABEU: Well…

VAN SUSTEREN: I — you know, in the streets of D.C., where it’s a little different than the desert of Arizona…


VAN SUSTEREN: … the officers work in tandem because of the great danger. And I’m surprised to hear an officer would be or a deputy sheriff would be alone.

BABEU: We haven’t seen this type of aggressive posture against law enforcement before in our county, and this is where it’s reached a level that it is truly concerning, not only to be outgunned, the fact that they would ambush a deputy. This hasn’t happened before.

So now I’ve given direction to all of my deputies that if they’re out in remote areas and they’re doing tracking such as this that there’s at least two deputies. And they’re always to be highly armed with their AR-15, as well as their sidearm, and for us to have other deputies in the area.

So this was something that was highly unusual. We’re not a border county. We’re several counties away, and we’re the last county before, which 80 percent of all the illegals who come into Arizona have to cross through our county. So this is what is most concerning in that we in law enforcement now, we have been calling for Senator McCain, Senator Kyl, for their plan to deploy 3,000 soldiers immediately to secure our border with Mexico.

That there are paramilitary units operating within the United States should shock every American’s senses and infuriate them, too.

Rep. Ellison surely knows that we don’t need additional laws on the books to act against paramilitary units operating within the United States. Rep. Ellison surely knows that we’ve got sufficient laws to prosecute paramilitary units operating within the United States who are committing acts of violence.

Then again, Rep. Ellison has a habit of coddling violent criminals, criminals like Kathleen Soliah and others:

In 2000 he spoke at a fundraiser for longtime fugitive Kathleen Soliah, aka Sara Jane Olson. The text of his speech was posted on a website,, by Minneapolis resident Greg Lang.

Ellison praised Soliah for “fighting for freedom.” At the time, she faced charges of planting pipe bombs under two Los Angeles police cars as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a paramilitary organization whose slogan was “Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people.” Soliah pleaded guilty in 2001. In 2002 she also pleaded guilty to the murder of Myrna Opsahl, a bank customer shot by another SLA member during a holdup. She’s now serving a long prison sentence.

But Ellison’s call to the crowd was broader than a plea to aid Soliah. “We need to come together and free…all the Saras,” he proclaimed.

It’s common knowledge in Minnesota that Rep. Ellison didn’t hesitate in defending Kathleen Soliah’s murder of Myrna Opsahl and the planting of pipe bombs in L.A. Forgive me if I discount Rep. Ellison’s use of the term fascism. It isn’t the first time he’s intentionally used incendiary language.

The nation is reaching a consensus that goes against the Progressive Democrats’ doctrine: that we must secure the border and eliminate the drug cartel-related violence that’s being perpetrated in Arizona. We don’t need new laws for that, just a president who’s willing to get serious about enforcing existing laws.

Unfortunately, thanks to enablers like Rep. Keith Ellison, we don’t have one of those right now.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative