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Two months ago, Chip Cravaack submitted a bill that would require cargo pilots to be subject to the same rest rules that airline pilots operate under:

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Chip Cravaack (R-MN) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) introduced H.R. 4350, the Safe Skies Act of 2012. Importantly, the bill would ensure that pilot rest requirements apply to all cargo air operations.

Following the Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash on February 12, 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) developed a rule to address pilot fatigue for passenger flights using extensive scientific study, hearings, and industry feedback. The rule, which requires eight hours of rest between shifts, was finalized on January 4th, 2012. The rule is scheduled go into effect January 14, 2014, but exempts cargo pilots.

“As a former cargo pilot, I understand the importance of a single standard of safety for pilots who share the same airspace and runways with passenger aircraft. I introduced the Safe Skies Act in order to apply the new, common sense standards for pilot rest to cargo pilots as well,” said Rep. Cravaack.

Specifically, the bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to apply the rule relating to flight crew member duty and rest requirements to all-cargo operations in the same manner as they apply to passenger operations.

That bill apparently was stalled but it might’ve received a welcome jolt from an unlikely source:

The original pilot fatigue rule the FAA crafted, which requires airline pilots to have 10 hours of rest between flight duty periods and limits flight time to eight or nine hours during each work period, excluded cargo pilots.

That decision befuddled the Independent Pilots Association, which represents UPS pilots, and Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), a former aviation union official and pilot of both cargo and passenger planes. Cravaack says there’s no difference between flying a plane filled with people or boxes; therefore, there should be one aviation safety standard.

The FAA has since indicated there are errors in its cost-benefit analysis that led to excluding cargo carriers and is taking a second look. Steve Alterman, a spokesman for the Cargo Airline Association, said when the FAA crafted the cargo carve-out, all it took into account was a cost-benefit analysis finding that “the costs so greatly outweigh the benefits by 10 or 15-to-1 that they just couldn’t justify” the rule. Alterman, whose group stands behind the carve-out, expects new information from the FAA within the month. The FAA, required to offer public updates within 60 days of the review, said a second look is under way but declined further comment.

Last week, Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would end what the two call a “loophole” in pilot rest rules, a sister bill to the Safe Skies Act sponsored by Cravaack and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.). The House bill has garnered a diverse if mostly Democratic group of more than 30 co-sponsors since its April introduction. Though it is too early to tell whether Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) will hop on board to move the legislation through committee, IPA public affairs director Brian Gaudet called the Snowe-Boxer bill a “game changer.”

Chip Cravaack is being called extremist by the DFL because they’re desparate. Chip’s legislation pours cold water on the DFL’s accusations.

It’s impossible to take the DFL’s accusations of extremism seriously when Chip’s sensible rulemaking legislation is supported by Sen. Boxer, Rep. Bishop and Sen. Snowe. Sen. Boxer is as left as they get in the Senate and Sen. Snowe is the Republican senator Republicans dislike the most.

That’s good work by Chip. He identified a situation that needed correcting, then proposed legislation to correct it. Now his legislation is gaining solid bipartisan support because it makes sense.

If that’s the DFL’s definition of extremist, then that’s my definition of extremism.

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When I got this picture, my initial reaction was stunned amazement. My lasting reaction, though, was “How fitting.”

What better guest speaker could the DFL find to help John Marty feel moderate?

The reality is that Bernie Sanders’ policies are the most liberal in the U.S. Senate. That’s no small accomplishment considering the fact that the U.S. Senate is home to Patrick Leahy, Al Franken, Chuck Schumer, Dick Blumenthal, Christopher Coons, Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Barbara Mikulski and Babs Boxer.

Sen. Sanders’ appearance at the event will help Lori Sturdevant rationalize talking about John Marty as a moderate. Even then, Sen. Marty will give Sen. Sanders a run for his socialist money.

Let’s remember that Sen. Marty thinks that health care is a community need, on a parallel plain with the police and the fire department.

The only question still unanswered is how they’ll raise money when socialists don’t accumulate wealth. They’re more famous for redistributing wealth.

Sanders and Marty are birds of a feather. The only question remaining is whether the DFL is the rest of the flock.

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If there’s a theme that’s emerging this election cycle, it’s that We The People, through the help of the TEA Party, is turning inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom on its ear.

The conventional wisdom says that Mike Castle was the only Republican who could win Vice President Biden’s U.S. Senate seat in Delaware. The last couple days, outside-the-box analysts like Dick Morris and Newt Gingrich have said that they think Christine O’Donnell can win Biden’s seat.

Glenn Beck framed it perfectly when he questioned the validity of the CW that a self-described Marxist would trounce a fiscal conservative. I’ll admit that O’Donnell wouldn’t have a shot if the economy wasn’t struggling as badly as it’s struggling. It’s time that we figured out that this year isn’t like any other year in U.S. history.

This morning on FNS, Nina Easton pointed out that 6 weeks before the special election, Scott Brown was 25 points behind and was best known for posing nude in a magazine. He was considered an empty suit. Now he’s a U.S. senator.

When Ted Kennedy’s seat is won by a candidate who pledges to be the vote to kill health care, it’s time to discard the old paradigms.

People have never been so starved for honesty. Never have people been this starved for accurate information about specific issues as the times we’re living in. In fact, people are most starved for genuine conservatives who say what they mean and mean what they say.

They want people who campaign as conservatives to govern as conservatives. In case people haven’t noticed, they’re rejecting unprincipled politicians like Arlen Specter, Lindsey Graham and Charlie Crist. In general election polling, they’re rejecting liberals like Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold and Patty Murray.

At no time have I seen more people this informed and demanding that politicians listen to them. When Rick Santelli took to the floor for his now famous rant, people were appalled. That’s what got them informed and engaged.

Here in Minnesota, that’s led to the gubernatorial candidates to not only put together budgets but to have the Department of Revenue score their budgets. Now Sen. Dayton’s budget has been exposed. Even though he’s got 100 percent name recognition, his slide is starting and it’s bound to get worse.

It’s time for the parties to understand that we’re living in a issue-driven political environment. That’s because politicians aren’t trusted, which led people to do their own research.

That’s a huge shift. Prior to Santelli’s rant, politicians didn’t fear the people. They worried about gaining their votes but they didn’t fear the people. After the GOP primaries, they’re now paying attention. After November, we’ll have their undivided attention. Those that won’t listen will be swept away.

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In a just world, I wouldn’t have believed it had Sen. Boxer criticized Carly Fiorina about creating jobs. Since we don’t live in a just world, I shouldn’t be surprised with this NPR article. Here’s what’s rich to me:

“She laid off American workers without a second thought,” Boxer said at the site of a highway transportation project near the Golden Gate Bridge that is partly funded by federal stimulus dollars. “And if she had been in the Senate instead of me, the economic recovery act would not have passed. And these people would not have their jobs,” she said of the construction workers surrounding her.

If Sen. Boxer wants to argue that California is better off because she voted for the failed stimulus bill, that’s her right. The First Amendment certainly lets Sen. Boxer say extremely foolish things. It appears that she’s just exercised that right. Why anyone would willingly tie themselves to the failed Obama/Pelosi stimulus bill is beyond me.

That’s before we start talking about the damage that the Endangered Species Act, legislation that’s under the jurisdiction of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which she chairs, has had on killing jobs in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Sen. Boxer could dramatically improve the employment conditions in the San Joaquin Valley if she wasn’t such a committed environmentalist. Her not lifting a finger has helped drive up unemployment rates in the San Joaquin, a rate that’s been high for well over a year.

The policies that Sen. Boxer enthusiastically supports are crippling California’s economy. It’s my opinion that she’ll be in deep trouble the minute Carly Fiorina starts her advertising blitz highlighting the policies that Sen. Boxer has advocated and the effect that those policies have had on California’s jobs situation.

When Carly’s ad blitz happens, Sen. Boxer’s pathetic career will be exposed for supporting an endless string of radical, anti-capitalist, job-killing causes. In short, I wouldn’t want to be in Sen. Boxers’ shoes.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

When Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina won their primaries, I said that they posed some serious problems for Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer, especially for Jerry Brown. Based on this article, it looks like California Democrats are more than a little worried, too:

Ms. Whitman, a billionaire, has utilized her personal wealth to buy advertising and political support, as Mr. Brown is left to raise money the old-fashion way.

He last campaigned in a major election two decades ago, fueling worry among Democratic strategists that he lacks the energy and drive to win.

With tens of millions spent by Ms. Whitman ($91 million to date), some are asking if the frugality is too much. Democratic insiders say they are concerned that Mr. Brown, who raised $23 million before the primary, began fundraising too late.

“He’s not going to be competitive at the beginning of the campaign; we just have to live with that,” said Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic consultant. “Does that make people nervous in the Democratic Party and Brown supporters? Of course it does.”

The Brown campaign has made frugality a central component of its run. A shoestring staff and a candidate proud of his frugality seems to be a calculated effort by the Brown campaign.

A recent poll showed Whitman leading by six points, which Mr. Brown called “amazing” given their fundraising gap.

“We are confident that the Brown campaign is doing the things that need to be done and we’re in the position we want to be in,” said the Brown campaign “I think that kind of worry is in the DNA of the Democratic Party.”

People shouldn’t pay attention to the Brown campaign’s spin that they’re surprised that they’re only trailing by 6 points at this point. Let’s first remember that this is California, one of the most liberal states in the United States. Second, Jerry Brown is only down 6 points because, until now, Meg Whitman spent most of her money on winning the primary.

I’m just guessing that Ms. Whitman won’t start unleashing her ads against Brown until after Labor Day. When she starts her statewide advertising campaign, I’m betting that she’ll spend part of her time touting her agenda if elected and the rest of her advertising budget reminding California voters of Gov. Moonbeam’s eccentric habits and erratic behavior. I’m betting that she’ll also remind them that Jerry Brown spends money in amounts that would make drunken sailors blush.

I won’t say that this race is over but I’m comfortable saying that Gov. Moonbeam is facing the uphill fight of his life.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

There’s a reason why Bob Shrum has never managed a winning presidential campaign. He’s a tone-deaf true believer. That’s certainly apparent in his latest column, in which he states emphatically this:

Republicans had assumed they were harnessing the energy of the Tea Party movement. Instead, with the ABC-Washington Post poll now registering majority disapproval of the Tea Party, Republicans find themselves in an accelerating march of folly. As a result, they have diminished their moment and will capture fewer seats in 2010.

In Nevada, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid saw his strongest potential opponent impale herself on the far right’s opposition to health reform, proposing to “repeal and replace” it with a barter system of chickens for medical care. Instead, Republicans nominated Sharron Angle, who sounded less weird than Chicken Lady but who is, in fact, decidedly more extreme—determined to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and the Department of Education just for starters. Angle’s now whitewashing all that from her website, but Reid will hold her to it—and likely hold his Senate seat, which should have fallen to Republicans.

Perhaps Mr. Shrum should’ve read Scott Rasmussen’s polling before writing something as foolish as this:

Sharron Angle, following her come-from-behind Republican Primary win Tuesday, has bounced to an 11-point lead over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada’s closely-watched U.S. Senate race.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Nevada, taken Wednesday night, shows Angle earning 50% support while Reid picks up 39% of the vote. Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

As bad as those numbers are, these statistics will make any thoughtful campaign manager start writing a resignation letter:

Despite their hotly-contested primary, Republicans already appear to be solidifying behind Angle who now earns 88% support among voters in her party. Reid draws 68% support from Democrats. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Angle by 10 points.

The Senate Majority Leader only gets two-thirds of his own party in his own state to support him? That’s political death. I’ve thought that it’s kinda impossible to beat your opponent when your own party is abandoning you but that’s just me. What do I know?

From Kentucky, where Senate nominee Rand Paul has pushed the GOP over the ideological edge, to California, where GOP voters pushed their newly minted nominee Carly Fiorina onto an ideological outcropping from which she almost certainly can’t defeat Democrat Barbara Boxer, the party is squandering its best chances for November.

I just watched Hannity interview Rand Paul. I can’t say that I was immediately a Rand Paul fan but, after tonight’s interview, I’m certain that Rand Paul will be an outstanding senator.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina will defeat Sen. Boxer because the three biggest issues facing Californians are jobs, jobs and jobs. Sen. Boxer’s credentials in creating jobs are nonexistent. Sen. Boxer’s only credentials on anything are in the area of global warming and ‘reproductive rights’.

The last I looked, neither issue is skyrocketing to the top of California’s voters priorities list.

On the other hand, Fiorina’s understanding of free market principles and capitalism make her a natural choice for California voters, especially those voters in California’s central valley where the water’s been shut off because the federal government is protecting a minnow rather than helping farmers.

Anyone thinking that Sen. Boxer won’t get pummeled in that part of the state is foolish. What’s foolish, though, is this type of thinking:

Obama’s real danger, and it was Carter’s true weakness in 1980 as well, is a faltering economy. The recovery could stall or plunge into a double-dip recession. That’s why the anemic job numbers for May drove the Dow down, and had to dismay even the most optimistic White House aides.

What recovery? Yes, we had a couple reports say that our economy was expanding. Yes, we had a couple jobs reports that weren’t negative. I didn’t think that those statistics were proof that the economy was expanding, at least not without the government priming the pump with 10s of billions of dollars of printed money, aka debt.

That isn’t a recovery, at least in the traditional sense. If you’d like to argue that it’s a hopeful blip, I might be willing to agree with you. Anything beyond that, though, and I’ll pass.

Bob Shrum should be applauded for being a loyal true believer for the past half century. He shouldn’t be applauded, however, for his grasp of reality because it doesn’t exist.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This video of Carly Fiorina’s interview with Greta van Susteren is extremely illuminating:

To me, there are 3 highlights to the interview, starting with Fiorina saying that, during her time as HP CEO, many things improved, including growing the company from $44,000,000,000 a year in revenues to $88,000,000,000 a year. Another highlight came when she said she’d run on her “record all day long”, saying that this race essentially came down to her results vs. Sen. Boxer’s rhetoric. Finally, when Greta asked if she’d debate Boxer, Fiorina’s reply was a crisp “Anytime, anywhere.” When Greta asked whether Greta could moderate it, Fiorina said she’d love that.

That’s a debate I’d love watching because Greta is a great interviewer who ins’t afraid of asking fair, tough questions, including followup questions.

Frankly, I think Sen. Boxer better be prepared to wage the best campaign of her life. If Sen. Boxer just decides to go negative to cut Fiorina down, she’d better plan on giving a concession speech the first Tuesday in November because Fiorina has the financial wherewithal to both criticize Sen. Boxer’s lackluster record and to highlight Fiorina’s pro-growth agenda.

One thing that I’ve thought from the beginning about Carly Fiorina is that she’s got an engaging personality, something Sen. Boxer doesn’t have. Frankly, during their years in the Senate, I don’t know if Sen. Boxer was the most argumentative or cantankerous or if that honor went to Hillary.

If there’s anything more lacking in Sen. Boxer’s bio than accomplishments, it’s her lack of a personality. That difference, I think, will be apparent the minute the two are compared with each other.

The other thing that makes this a difficult fight for Sen. Boxer is that California is ripe for a senator who’s got a history of creating jobs and growing businesses. With California’s unemployment above 12 percent, there’s bound to be a thirst for a candidate with a vision for putting California on stable financial footing.

The thought that Sen. Boxer fits that job description is laughable. There’s nothing in her bio that says she’s anything more than a reliable liberal who’s championed things like Cap and Trade and other items on the environmental extremists’ wishlist, going so far as saying that global warming is a national security threat.

I know that Ms. Fiorina isn’t a federalist or a down-the-line conservative but she’s representing California, not me. I’m confident that she’ll do a good job in writing legislation that helps create jobs.

More than anything else, that’s the thing Sen. Boxer should worry most about.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

If ever there was a state that needed a change of direction, it’s California. Steven Malanga’s article highlights California’s problem perfectly:

The camera focuses on an official of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California’s largest public-employee union, sitting in a legislative chamber and speaking into a microphone. “We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory,” she says matter-of-factly to the elected officials outside the shot. “Come November, if you don’t back our program, we’ll get you out of office.’”

The video has become a sensation among California taxpayer groups for its vivid depiction of the audacious power that public-sector unions wield in their state. The unions’ political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state’s public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life. Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation’s and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination—high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes—has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state.

California’s budget is filled with trendy niceties that the state simply can’t afford. California’s public union pensions are too burdensome, too. Tom McClintock talked about that during the recall election what seems like a century ago.

That’s why things are looking tougher than normal for California’s Democrats:

Early polls show Brown in a statistical dead heat with Republican Meg Whitman, the billionaire former eBay CEO. In the Senate race, several polls show Boxer virtually tied with Republican former South Bay Rep. Tom Campbell and ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in head-to-head matchups, with Assemblyman Chuck DeVore not far behind. Boxer described her challengers as the most formidable the three-term senator has ever faced.

In other words, the political mood is changing in California. Hopefully that means the new legislature will consider cutting spending next year. This is where the TEA Party movement needs to get involved. Wresting control from the crazy liberals must be a high priority.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The USS Obama has ben taking on water for awhile now. In an effort to help the USS Obama, Ken Blackwell has thrown them a great big anchor. Actually, he uses this article to give the USS Obama a bunch of anchors but that’s another story. Here’s one anchor that Mr. Blackwell gave Sen. Obama:

On the hot-button issue of abortion, last month saw a growing concern over Mr. Obama’s opposition to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which states if an abortion is botched and a live birth results, the baby is entitled to medical care. The federal version of this law unanimously passed the U.S. Senate.

However, when a version of this bill came to the Illinois Senate, Mr. Obama opposed it. When confronted last month with the fact that the federal version of this bill had been supported by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer, Mr. Obama said the he would have supported the federal version. Those suggesting otherwise were lying, he said. Then it was revealed that a second bill was introduced in the Illinois Senate, and this one was identical to the federal version. Mr. Obama opposed that bill as well. He has yet to come up with an explanation on that one.

It takes some doing to get to Ted Kennedy’s and Barbara Boxer’s left on abortion but that’s one thing that Sen. Obama accomplished in voting against BAIPA. Sen. Obama had worked from the start of his Senate career to craft a centrist image. That image disappeared when this information surfaced. It’s one thing to be pro-choice, especially since it’s above senators’ pay grade. It’s another to not be vehemently opposed to infanticide, which is where he’s at.

Here’s another unexpected ‘gift’ from Mr. Blackwell:

Bill Ayers is another stunner. Mr. Ayers bombed a police station and the Pentagon, and recently said he wished he had done more. He is an unrepentant terrorist, but is popular among the ultra-left in Chicago. When Mr. Obama was asked about Mr. Ayers, he implied that he barely knew him.

But once again facts have surfaced. We now know that Mr. Ayers hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Obama. They served for years together on a board with only a few people, and they worked closely on financial matters during those years. Does that sound like someone he barely knows?

Sen. Obama first tried painting the picture that Ayers was just a guy who lived in his neighborhood. Then Sen. Obama tried this defense:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

That defense lasted until the Chicago Annenberg Challenge documents were released. Those documents revealed that they worked together quite closely on a host of issues.

At this point, there’s a significant portion of the electorate that isn’t certain that they trust him. It’s getting late to change those voters’ minds. That’s just another reason why I think Sen. Obama faces an uphill fight the rest of the campaign.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Forty-one Senate Democrats signed a letter to Clear Channel Communications CEO Mark Mays condemning Rush Limbaugh for things he didn’t say. What’s most telling is that Hillary Clinton, who wouldn’t vote to condemn MoveOn.org’s ‘Gen. Betray Us’ ad, and Barack Obama, who wouldn’t vote on the resolution condemning MoveOn.org, signed this condemnation letter against Rush. Here’s what the letter said:

Our troops are fighting and dying to bring to others the freedoms that many take for granted. It is unconscionable that Mr. Limbaugh would criticize them for exercising the fundamentally American right to free speech. Mr. Limbaugh has made outrageous remarks before, but this affront to our soldiers is beyond the pale.

Here’s how Mark Mays responded:

Mr. Limbaugh’s comments have stirred alot of emotion, and I have carefully read the transcript from the episode in question. I hope that you will appreciate that I can not speak with authority as to whom Mr. Limbaugh’s comments were directed, or what was his intent. Only Mr. Limbaugh can speak to those issues, which he has done.

I can say, however, that over the years, Mr. Limbaugh has repeatedly praised the dedication and valor of our brave men and women in uniform. Given Mr. Limbaugh’s history of support for our soldiers, it would be unfair for me to assume his statements were intended to personally indict combat soldiers simply because they didn’t share his own views on the war in Iraq.

Mays’ statement politely said that Reid’s insinuations were absurd. Mays’ pointing out that Rush has a “history of support for our soldiers.” Mays said that that’s the biggest reason why he couldn’t agree with the Senate’s letter. I further suspect that the hyperpartisan tone of the Senate’s letter helped Mays not take their letter seriously.

Here’s the list of Democrats signing the letter:

Harry Reid, Majority Leader
Richard Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader
Charles Schumer, Vice Chairman, Democratic Conference
Patty Murray,
Secretary, Democratic Conference
Daniel Akaka
Max Baucus
Joseph
Biden
Barbara Boxer
Sherrod Brown
Robert Byrd
Benjamin Cardin
Tom Carper
Bob Casey
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Kent Conrad
Christopher Dodd
Byron Dorgan
Dianne Feinstein
Tom Harkin
Daniel Inouye
Edward M. Kennedy
John Kerry
Amy Klobuchar
Mary Landrieu
Frank Lautenberg
Patrick Leahy
Carl Levin
Blanche Lincoln
Bob Menendez
Barbara Mikulski
Bill Nelson
Barack Obama
Jack Reed
Jay Rockefeller
Ken Salazar
Bernie
Sanders
Debbie Stabenow
Jon Tester
Jim Webb
Sheldon Whitehouse
Ron Wyden

Keep this list in mind if you want a list of the liberal senators who are the most intellectually dishonest. They signed this letter knowing that Reid’s diatribe was contrived.

What does that tell you about the types of things that Democrats will attempt turning into a tempest in a teapot?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative