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Tuesday night, Jason Lewis won his primary against Darlene Miller and John Howe. Saying that this was expected is understatement. Lewis now heads into the general election against the DFL’s Angie Craig. The DCCC is already spinning Lewis as a rigid ideologue from hell.

Whatever.

Craig’s only hope of winning this election is to make the focus on Jason Lewis. The minute that this becomes a fight between Angie Craig’s progressive agenda and Lewis’ ideas for creating jobs and protecting us from terrorists, this race is over.

Nowhere on Ms. Craig’s issue page, which has a heading of “My Priorities”, does it talk about protecting against terrorist attacks, though it mentions “Slowing the Pace of Climate Change.”

When Ms. Craig talks about veterans care, she’s all about describing the problem:

We owe so much to the brave men and women who volunteer to serve our country in the armed forces. When they come home from their service, they deserve access to every benefit and opportunity they’ve earned. However, so often our veterans are faced with long wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and service-related health problems that aren’t fairly compensated.

A 2014 internal audit by the VA found that more than 120,000 veterans waited at least 90 days for healthcare appointments or never received appointments at all. And as of January 2016, over 82,000 veterans were still waiting for the VA to evaluate their claims for service-connected disability compensation more than 125 days after filing.

Nowhere in that word soup is an identifiable solution. I’m not interested in another cookie-cutter politician that can identify problems but can’t identify solutions.

Jason Lewis is into solving problems. He’s also a principled Constitution-first citizen. It’s time to elect Jason Lewis.

It isn’t a secret that the media has seen protecting President Obama and Hillary Clinton as one of their primary responsibilities. Still, it’s stunning that it’s outdone itself with this Miami Herald editorial.

With regards to absolving Hillary of all wrongdoing, it created a preposterous argument, saying “Yes, it found a series of failings by the national security bureaucracy, but here’s what else it did: Cleared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the absurd accusation that she somehow knew about the attack on the diplomatic compound in Libya before it happened and did nothing about it.” That’s breathtakingly dishonest. I’ve followed this story for almost 4 years. In that time, I’ve never heard anyone accuse Mrs. Clinton of knowing “about the attack on the diplomatic compound before it happened and did nothing about it.”

What has happened is that people accused Mrs. Clinton of not acting on repeated requests from Christopher Stevens for additional security. Then as now, Democrats have insisted that the cables, many of them labeled as urgent, never were brought to Mrs. Clinton’s attention. Then as now, nobody outside of her inner circle believes her. That’s why her honest and trustworthy numbers stink.

This part really stinks:

The GOP-led committee’s desire to find evidence of malfeasance by Ms. Clinton to support all the conspiracy theories surrounding Benghazi went unfulfilled. Had there been real facts to support it, surely this committee would have found it.

First, the thing that sets Benghazi apart from other tragic events is the relative scarcity of conspiracy theories of what happened that night. Next, this article highlights the evidence showing the utter incompetence of Mrs. Clinton and the disinterest shown by President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:

The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I:

  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]

How can a patriotic American read that information and not be infuriated? That the Miami Herald read that and dismissed it says that a) there aren’t any patriots on the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board and b) the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board can’t be trusted to offer insightful, honest opinions about the biggest events of our time. That’s how it can say this with a straight face:

The report, a product of the longest Congressional investigation in memory on possible wrongdoing in the executive branch, longer than Watergate or 9/11, went a bit further and deeper than the earlier ones, but the general outline was already known.

TRANSLATION: This report was far more detailed than the other ‘investigations’ but we the media have already determined the narrative we’re going to push. If it conflicts with the truth, then the truth be damned. It’s the narrative, damn it.

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s interview of Chairman Gowdy. Then tell me his committee didn’t uncover important new information:

If this plethora of new information doesn’t constitute important new information, what would constitute something new and important?

Technorati: Hillary Clinton, Christopher Stevens, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Leon Panetta, Barack Obama, Miami Herald Editorial Board, Media Bias, Trey Gowdy, House Select Committee on Benghazi, Benghazi Report

Yesterday, negotiators from the Minnesota House and Senate theoretically met in the hopes of hammering out a bonding bill agreement. That wasn’t the DFL’s goal. DFL senators, led by Jeff Hayden, blamed Republicans for not getting the bonding bill passed.

The DFL used the same misleading arguments they’ve been using since the DFL Senate sabotaged a bill that had broad bipartisan support. Here’s what’s important to know. The House passed a $1,000,000,000 bonding bill without funding for SWLRT. SWLRT funding wasn’t part of the agreement reached by Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk. Simply put, it didn’t have the votes to pass in the House.

Key questions: Why does the DFL insist on pushing a controversial project that didn’t have the votes to pass? Isn’t that a definition of insanity? Isn’t that what you’d do if you wanted to prevent a bill from passing while blaming the other side for your obstruction?

Another tactic that the FL is using to deflect criticism from Gov. Dayton’s veto of the tax bill is talk about the $100,000,000 drafting error. The minute Gov. Dayton brought it up, Speaker Daudt agreed to fix it the minute a special session was called. Problem solved, right? In Sanityville, yes. In Dayton-DFLville, that molehill turned into a mountain. At least, that’s how some of Twin Cities media are playing it.

Simply put, Gov. Dayton vetoed a tax bill that a) provided tax relief to farmers, small businesses, students will college loan debt, veterans and parents saving for their kids’ college education and b) passed 178-22 in the House and Senate.

Key question: Doesn’t real leadership accept yes for an answer and move onto bonding bill negotiations?

Gov. Dayton and the DFL aren’t about fixing things, though. Their word salad automatically talks about ‘bringing people together’ and ‘making progress’. The DFL never talks about fixing problems. The DFL doesn’t talk about doing the right thing.

There’s a reason for that. The DFL doesn’t want to get to a point where things are running smoothly. The DFL doesn’t want to fix things. If that happened, people might expect that. If that happened, people might notice that they prefer limited government that gets the important things right all the time and worries about peripheral things once they’ve gotten the important things right. The day that that happens is the day that progressives are out of a job.

The DFL’s whining is aimed at one thing: regaining control of the House so they control state government again. Thoughtful people should reject that possibility ASAP. The last time the DFL ran St. Paul, taxes got raised, including property taxes, spending went through the roof and they checked off tons of things from their special interest allies’ wish lists.

As a result, capitol flight accelerated and young, productive, people left the state at a greater rate. If losing the border battle brain drain sounds appealing, vote DFL. If you want statewide prosperity, vote GOP. It’s that simple.

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It isn’t surprising that Donald Trump is an unhinged anti-war liberal with a passion for conspiracy theories. That’s been obvious for months. Saturday night, however, Trump the 9/11 Truther, made his first appearance on a debate stage. As a result of what Mr. Trump said, Medea Benjamin praised Mr. Trump, saying “It felt surreal to hear Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender for President, saying what we at CODEPINK have been shouting to the winds for 14 years now: that Bush and his cronies lied about WMDs, that the Iraq war was catastrophic, and that Bush never ‘kept us safe’ because 9/11 happened on his watch.”

This is a time for choosing for the so-called Republicans who support Trump. These Republicans can’t pretend that they’re patriots. They can’t pretend that they care about protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. They can’t tell us that they support Mr. Trump because they hate political correctness. They can’t even hide behind the fallacy that they support Mr. Trump because “he gets things done.”

The indisputable truth is that the thing bigger than Mr. Trump’s ego is the paranoia that fuels his truther beliefs. Here’s something Mr. Trump said that isn’t getting talked about enough:

TRUMP: How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center — the World — excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.
RUBIO: The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him. (APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And George Bush– by the way, George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn’t listen to the advice of his CIA.

Mr. Trump couldn’t know that President Bush got information from the CIA on bin Laden, much less know whether President Bush refused to act on that intelligence. We know that it’s impossible for Mr. Trump to know this because that’s the type of intelligence that would get an SAP classification. We know that because of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Trump’s supporters need to ask themselves whether they’re supporting him because they thought he was a patriot who would change this nation’s direction or did they support Mr. Trump because they thought he was a liberal anti-war activist that’s praised by far left organizations like Code Pink? Five minutes into this video, Carl Higbie, a former Navy Seal, insists that ISIS will be gone within 2 years:

HIGBIE: I think we see ISIS gone within 2 years. We put 250,000 boots on the ground. I know people that that’s not a popular comment but we do what’s necessary. We set the threshold. We say ‘if you do this, we’ll do this’. You follow through.

Apparently, Mr. Higbie isn’t well-informed. All he has to do is watch this video to be better informed:

Mr. Higbie can forget about a Trump administration that will put 250,000 boots on the ground to defeat ISIS. Trump has repeatedly said that he’d farm US national security out to Putin. Trump said repeatedly that he wants Putin to take out ISIS. Though you can’t trust anything Mr. Trump says from one day to the next, there’s no question that he’s repeatedly said that he wants Putin to do our dirty work with regards to ISIS.

Anyone that supports a presidential candidate that sounds like an anti-war CODE PINK activist one minute, then says he’d get Vladimir Putin to take out ISIS isn’t thinking straight.

On a night when Sen. Rubio exceeded expectations, Gov. Jeb Bush, who finished with 2.8% of the vote in Iowa, sounded totally unlike his dad and his brother. Gov. Bush sounded like a total sourpuss, saying “Speaking of Rubio and Cruz Monday night, Bush said they don’t have the experience to win. And the two other candidates that are likely to emerge in Iowa are two people that are backbenchers that have never done anything of consequence in their life. They’re gifted beyond belief. They can give a great speech. But I think it’s time for us to recognize that maybe what we need is someone who can lead.”

Bush’s supporting super PACs spent almost $25,000,000 attacking Sen. Rubio in the hopes of building Bush up. Rubio far exceeded expectations, finishing with 23.1% of the vote in Iowa. Meanwhile, the guy who thinks we need “someone who can lead” finished a mere 20.3% behind the guy who Jeb thought should wait his turn. That doesn’t sound like a guy who entered the race saying that he wanted to run a joyous race. That sounds like a bitter man who didn’t see this impending defeat coming.

What’s particularly insulting is Jeb’s suggestion that Sen. Rubio is incapable of leading people. Part of leadership is understanding what’s important to people, then offering a vision that inspires them to achieve their goals. If there’s anyone on the GOP side that can do that, it’s Sen. Rubio. Half the battle of leading is directing people to where they already wanted to go. People want to prosper. Sen. Rubio offers that. People want to feel safe from the advances of ISIS. Sen. Rubio certainly passes the commander-in-chief test.

People have tried crippling Sen. Rubio’s campaign by saying he’s an inexperienced first-term U.S. senator. It’s indisputable that he’s a first-term senator but that isn’t a strike against him. When Barack Obama started running for president, the truth is that he was just 2 years removed from being a state senator in Illinois. He spent the first 2 years playing politics and not taking policy seriously.

That isn’t what Sen. Rubio did. Sen. Rubio took his responsibilities seriously on the Intelligence and Armed Services committees. He learned national security issues until he could recite them backwards or frontwards.

The Bush dynasty should go into hibernation. The American people aren’t interested in dynasties.

This Federalist article raises questions about the legitimacy of Trump’s fundraiser. The Federalist is reporting that the website thrown together is really an extension of the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Specifically, they’re reporting that “100% of the money raised on the site goes directly to Donald Trump’s personal non-profit foundation.”

That’s a major problem for multiple reasons. First, Trump has been saying that “100% of your donations will go directly to Veterans needs.” Next and most importantly, the Federalist is reporting “Trump’s non-profit donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than it did to veterans causes.”

To be fair with Trump, I don’t think he’d shaft veterans. That being said, I think it’s entirely appropriate to question his statements. If he’s saying that “100% of the proceeds” are going to veterans, then he’d better live up to that promise. Getting 80% of the proceeds isn’t enough after making that promise. That means if there are administrative costs involved in getting veterans’ organizations the money, Trump should eat those costs. Period.

It would be different if he hadn’t made that statement. Then the regular rules of charities would apply. Trump upped the ante by making this statement. Now he’s obligated to fulfill that obligation.

Finally, the fact that he’s given lots of money to the Clinton Foundation is disturbing and telling. I know what he’s saying now. I know that it doesn’t match up with what he said earlier. That trust factor isn’t there like it is with other candidates. That’s the price you pay when you change positions rapidly.

Earlier today, I wrote this article for Examiner.com. The article centered on whether a detectable anti-Trump trend had started in Iowa. Based on what the reporters on the ground were seeing and the comments from likely caucusgoers, the answer is that there’s definitely an anti-Trump trend happening in Iowa.

Whether we’re talking about reporters covering the campaign for newspapers or magazine columnists appearing on TV or whether it’s voters themselves, people aren’t hesitating in saying they don’t like Mr. Trump’s temperament, calling him unreliable or worse. That isn’t the image candidates want to send during their closing arguments. Since Mr. Trump confirmed that he wouldn’t participate in Thursday’s Fox News/Google GOP debate, Mr. Trump has announced that he’s hosting a fundraiser for veterans and wounded warriors in Des Moines while the Fox News/Google debate is happening.

Trump clearly hopes to earn some good will by hosting an event for veterans. That plan might be backfiring. According to that article, one veterans organization is refusing money raised at the Trump rally. Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA, tweeted “If offered, @IAVA will decline donations from Trump’s event. We need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts.”

The advertising axiom is that there’s no such thing as bad PR. This time, that axiom isn’t playing out like they’d expect. The Trump campaign, specifically Corey Lewandowski, is setting expectations impossibly high:

“When Donald Trump goes to Des Moines and we start raising money for veterans and wounded warriors and we have multiples of millions of dollars raised for these people and the American people tune in because they want to support that and Fox goes back and say they should have had 24 million watching their debate and instead they got 1 million, it’s a disservice to the American people,” Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said today on “Good Morning America.”

Lewandowski also claimed this morning on MSNBC that other campaigns have “asked us proactively” to participate in the event and that “it’s very possible” that other candidates could skip the debate as well.

Mr. Lewandowski isn’t too bright. Setting expectations high like he’s just done is political suicide, especially when you consider the fact that Wounded Warrior Project doesn’t have the greatest reputation:

About 40 percent of the organization’s donations in 2014 were spent on its overhead, or about $124 million, according to the charity-rating group Charity Navigator. While that percentage, which includes administrative expenses and marketing costs, is not as much as for some groups, it is far more than for many veterans charities, including the Semper Fi Fund, a wounded-veterans group that spent about 8 percent of donations on overhead. As a result, some philanthropic watchdog groups have criticized the Wounded Warrior Project for spending too heavily on itself.

I suspect that Iowa voters will nod approvingly at supporting veterans and then getting mad that Trump didn’t attend the Fox News/Google debate. It’s inevitable that Trump will whine about how Fox didn’t treat him fairly but that won’t explain a rapid decline if that happens.

One of the things I like about Greg Gutfeld is that he thinks things through. That isn’t to say that he’s a policy wonk. It just means he thinks about things through the lens of a citizen. He doesn’t think like a politician. Best of all, he doesn’t think like a Democratic politician. The monologue he delivered to open Saturday night’s show is an example of him not accepting the left’s conventional wisdom, aka CW.

Gutfeld opened his show saying “Radical Islam is like your constantly drunk and abusive neighbor. They’re always up to something. They soil your lawn. They try to mount your dog. And the threats — it’s like being stalked by a 7th century heckler. It’s time to reverse this abusive relationship. Counter radical Islamism with radical Americanism. Our scary reply to these rejects. First, let’s end the myth of the ISIS warrior. We see evidence of their cruelty but never of their prowess. They hit soft targets –the unarmed and scared –then they film it to soften up their next prey. These are not brave fighters, just bullies with machetes. What if they were truly challenged by the world’s greatest warriors? And before you say that that’s what ISIS wants, realize that that’s just an excuse for inertia and putting off the inevitable. Does that make me a warmonger? Sure. But it also makes me a global survival monger, too. And to be clear, our military is fine with this. It’s their life’s work to eliminate evil. You don’t feel guilty about the postman delivering your mail, then don’t feel bad about a Marine delivering death.”

Here’s the video of Gutfeld’s opening monologue:

After that monologue, the show shifted to the opening panel, which included Terry Schappert, a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Schappert said that ISIS aren’t great fighters when pitted against fierce warriors, noting that the only armed forces they face were Iraqi soldiers who’d been abandoned by the Obama administration. Schappert then said that ISIS wouldn’t be much of a fight if they faced “the violence that we’d like to visit upon them.”

Schappert made 3 other important points. The first point he made was that ISIS would eventually return after getting humiliated. The next point he made was that ISIS would return with fewer members each time they returned. Finally, Schappert said that “Gitmo isn’t ISIS’s biggest recruiting tool. Winning is ISIS’s biggest recruiting tool.”

There’s no doubt that ISIS is capable of killing people. They shouldn’t be taken lightly like the Obama administration has taken them. Still, they aren’t the battle-tested supermen that the media has made them out to be. I wrote this article to highlight how overrated some of these Middle Eastern warriors have been.

Just like it’s easier to stay in shape than it is to get into shape, it’s easier to keep terrorists down than it is to put down an insurgency after starting fresh.

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If people want to read a good fictional novella, I’d recommend that they read Rand Paul’s op-ed. What Sen. Paul’s op-ed misses in serious policies, it makes up for with sensationalism and old-fashioned BS.

Early in the article, Sen. Paul reveals his goal by talking about Hillary Clinton’s and Marco Rubio’s “liberation foreign policy.” After that, Sen. Paul’s op-ed reads like a letter from an angry child upset that nobody’s paying attention to him. There’s good reason for that. Sen. Paul’s upset that nobody’s paying attention to him. There’s a reason for that. He’s sounding more and more like a not-quite-as-crazy-as-his-dad-noninterventionist.

First, Sen. Paul’s accusations are without merit. He’s basing his statements on a myth. Early in the op-ed, he said “When I forced the Foreign Relations Committee to debate an authorization of military force against ISIS, Senator Rubio and McCain insisted that the new authorization be unlimited temporally or geographically. Basically, they want a war without end against an undefined enemy in an unspecified region of the world.”

I don’t recall Congress putting a time limit on FDR after Pearl Harbor. I don’t recall Congress giving FDR permission to declare war on Japan but not on Germany and Italy. War is, by its chaotic nature, open-ended time-wise. I’d be worried if Sen. Rubio and Sen. McCain agreed to give President Obama an AUMF that had an expiration date. That’s the definition of insanity.

This sounds like a petulant child:

Senator Rubio wrote the President at the time that he saw “no legal reason preventing” him from using his “commander-in-chief” powers to attack ISIS. His letter makes no mention of the Constitutional requirement to seek Congressional authority.

There’s a reason for that. The AUMF that the House and Senate passed gave the president, then George W. Bush, the authority to go after terrorists “with global reach.” ISIS definitely fits that definition.

As we enter into the season of determining the next Commander in Chief, I hope voters will seek out a leader who will learn from history and not pursue a reckless policy that seeks to liberate the world but in reality traps us under a mountain of debt and beguiles us into perpetual war.

I hope that voters will learn from recent history that the terrorists haven’t quit fighting a war against us. Sen. Paul apparently hasn’t figured it out that we don’t quit fighting a war if the terrorists haven’t quit waging war against the United States. That’s the definition of national suicide.

Sen. Paul isn’t concerned with preventing terrorist attacks. The thing that he’s most worried about is “mountains of debt.” It’s time he figured out how to fight the terrorists while reducing the debt.

When it comes to military insightfulness, it’s difficult to pick whether Donald Trump is more devoid of military expertise or whether President Obama is more certain that he’s right when he’s wrong. I wrote this article to highlight the stunning lack of important information that Mr. Trump has. Mr. Trump’s ego easily outdistances his expertise on ISIS. His bombast easily outdistances his honesty.

When it comes to military expertise, Trump’s “I’ll bomb the shit out of them” falls exceptionally short of reassuring a nation that wants its commander-in-chief to actually know what he’s talking about. When it comes to honesty, Trump’s nonexistent group of military advisers leads to the question of whether he’s capable of putting together a cabinet of topnotch national security experts. ISIS and national appear to be an afterthought for Mr. Trump more than a point of emphasis.

As for President Obama, Peggy Noonan’s WSJ column captured things beautifully when she wrote “No commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces can be wholly irrelevant, but to the extent one can be, Mr. Obama is. He has misjudged ISIS from the beginning—they were not, actually, the junior varsity—to the end. He claimed last week, to George Stephanopoulos, that ISIS has been “contained.” “I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” he said just before Paris blew.”

In President Obama’s world, ISIS is either the JV team or they’re contained. In President Obama’s 2012 world, al-Qa’ida was on the ropes and bin Laden was dead. At least then, bin Laden really was dead. Charles Krauthammer’s column is a literary scalpel to the myth that President Obama is a trusted commander-in-chief:

Obama defended his policy by listing its multifaceted elements. Such as, “I hosted at the United Nations an entire discussion of counterterrorism strategies and curbing the flow of foreign fighters.” An “entire” discussion, mind you. Not a partial one. They tremble in Raqqa. And “We have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL.” Yes, and what would we do without Luxembourg?

Mr. Trump and President Obama are thin-skinned narcissists. They think that they know more than what they actually know. President Obama is, by far, the worst president in my lifetime. He’s worse than Jimmy Carter, something I thought impossible until the start of President Obama’s first term.

Mr. Trump thinks he knows things about military strategy but he doesn’t. During his “I’ll bomb the shit out of them” speech in Fort Dodge, IA, he said that he’d blow up the oil pipelines and refineries in northern Iraq. That’s bombast masquerading as military expertise. Northeastern Iraq is controlled by the Kurds. They’ve been US allies since 1991. Why would Trump destroy oil fields, pipelines and refineries run by our allies?

It’s time for voters to replace the fool in the White House with someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. For all of the Trumpians’ talk about him not taking anyone’s guff, there’s scarcely a mention that he knows what he’s talking about.

God help us all.