Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Powerlineblog’s Scott Johnson has a bunch of pointed questions that he’d like to ask Gov. Tim Walz. The bad news is that Gov. Walz isn’t interested in answering difficult questions that doesn’t have a good answer to. The worse news is that the DFL legislature is acting as Gov. Walz’s Praetorian guard. The DFL House won’t untighten the controls so real reporters who would ask difficult questions can ask those difficult questions:

The Washington Free Beacon’s Collin Anderson reports on my exclusion from the daily COVID-19 press briefings by the state authorities in “Minnesota governor stonewalls conservative journalist.” Working on the story, Collin elicited statements from the governor’s office and from the Minnesota Department of Health regarding my exclusion. By contrast, my inquiries have elicited the sound of silence, so we’re getting somewhere.

Collin forwarded the responses to his inquiries for my comments. Walz’s office sent a message explaining that “the Governor’s press conferences are covered by the Minnesota Capitol Press Corps, a dozen media outlets that are credentialed by the Minnesota State Legislature, rent office space in the Minnesota Capitol building, and routinely cover state government.”

What is Tim Walz trying to hide? Why is he afraid of answering difficult questions? If your policies are right, there isn’t a reason to be worried about the questions.

Thus far, though, Gov. Walz has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into every major decision. He hasn’t done things proactively. The DFL governor has been reactive with each major policy reversal.

The fact that Gov. Walz hasn’t made any confident-looking major COVID-19 decisions signals that he wouldn’t want to answer Scott’s questions. That’s because Scott’s questions wouldn’t be softballs, though they might include follow-up questions that were tougher than the introductory questions. Gov. Walz is like the general in this MASH episode:

The general’s famous final words were “Just wait a minute. This is a press conference. The last thing I want to do is answer a lot of questions.” I’m betting heavily that Tim Walz identifies with that general from MASH. It’s one thing to get asked softball questions from KARE11, MPR, the Strib or KSTP. That’s easy. It’s another to take questions from Alpha News or Powerline. Then again, most citizens would ask better questions than the Twin Cities media on the subject of COVID.

Let’s settle this. Scott Johnson and Kevin Roche have done fantastic work on the topic of COVID-19, though that’s been mostly because of their tenacity. It isn’t like Gov. Walz has helped whatsoever.

Two months ago, protesters pushed Gov. Walz into changing policies with their protests. It’s time to push Gov. Walz into other policy changes. Perhaps, we’ll see more capitulations by Gov. Walz like this:

Through consultation with Minnesota faith leaders, the Minnesota Department of Health has developed additional guidance for faith-based communities, places of worship, and services. Starting May 27, places of worship may open at 25 percent occupancy if they adhere to social distancing and other public health guidelines to keep congregants safe.

“I have had many meaningful conversations with faith leaders over the last few weeks,” Governor Walz said. “From a personal and public health perspective, the decision around places of worship has been a challenging one since the beginning of the pandemic. We know large gatherings of people raise the risk of spreading COVID-19. We also know worship is an essential part of many Minnesotans’ lives, including mine.”

GOV. WALZ TRANSLATION: After President Trump pulled the rug out from underneath me, I’ve had to modify my policy. My initial policy didn’t make any sense but now it’s totally indefensible. Churches are now open.

Seriously, Gov. Walz has, once again, gotten dragged kicking and screaming into a decision he didn’t want to make. Perhaps that’s why he doesn’t want to answer Scott Johnson’s and Kevin Roche’s questions.

For those of you who haven’t paid attention to Scott Johnson’s investigation into Gov. Walz’s mishandling (my words, not Scott’s) of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time you started reading his work. This morning, Johnson published a post titled “Why the Minnesota shutdown?“. Included in Johnson’s post is a reply to a question he submitted to MDH, aka Minnesota Department of Health, Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Johnson’s question said “Referring to the 286 total deaths to date, I note that every decedent under age 70 has died in long-term care or similar setting. The youngest person to die outside long-term care was in his 70’s. Why is it necessary to close the schools and shut down the state to protect the at-risk population?” The reply came “from MDH media contact Doug Schultz.” Here’s Schultz’s reply:

We have had deaths in people younger than 70 and certainly many cases in all age groups. It is necessary to take the community mitigation measures we have because all Minnesotans are at risk from COVID 19, as none of us has immunity. Some people, like those in long-term-care and those with underlying health conditions, are far more at risk than others. But if we didn’t reduce transmission in the community as we have with the stay at home order, we would see far more disease circulating and many times more serious cases that would quickly overwhelm our health care system. Then, even less-vulnerable people would not be able to get the care they needed, such as intensive care, ventilators, etc., so we would see far more deaths in people outside of the very frail and elderly. That is what has happened in places like Italy and New York.

Kevin Roche, “the former UnitedHealth Group general counsel and chief executive officer of its Ingenix division”, scrutinized Schultz’s statement. This jumped out at me:

“If we didn’t reduce transmission we would overwhelm the health system.” A flat-out lie. There is absolutely nothing that suggests we couldn’t provide adequate resources to treat those who need treatment.

I’m submitting these statistics to strengthen Mr. Roche’s already strong case:

ICU beds in use: 936
ICU beds: Current 1,244 Available within 24 hrs. — 795 Available within 72 hrs. — 542

Summarization: 936 ICU beds are in use out of 2,581 available. That represents approximately 36% of Minnesota’s ICU beds. In terms of ventilators in use vs. ventilators in inventory, MDH’s case is far weaker:

Ventilators in use: 463; currently in stock — 1,438; surge –1,435; on backorder 888

Summarization: 463 ventilators are in use out of a total 3,761 ventilators in stock or on backorder. That’s before potentially adding the 6,500 ventilators that are in stock but aren’t being used in Florida. That’s before factoring in other states’ ventilators not in use. FYI- 463 in use vs. 3,761 is approximately 12%.

For Mr. Schultz to say “If we didn’t reduce transmission we would overwhelm the health system” is outright dishonesty. It has nothing to do with reality. If a state can run out of ventilators when 12% of a state’s inventory is getting used, then someone needs to get fired.

The Mayo Clinic cut payroll for upper management by $1,600,000,000 recently because they’re at 35% of capacity. Additionally, Mayo just pushed Gov. Walz into an agreement on testing. Gov. Walz said he wouldn’t consider loosening restrictions until 5,000 tests per day could be performed. The next day, literally, Mayo said that they could run 10,000 per day.

Gov. Walz’s administration’s strategy has been to use dishonesty to frighten people into this lockdown. We can’t thank citizen journalists like Scott Johnson and Kevin Roche enough for flushing out the Walz administration’s fear-mongering tactics. They’re doing what the MSM isn’t willing to do.

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of my starting blogging. It’s been lots of work but it’s been so worth it. Whether I’ve written about the Purple Finger Revolution in Iraq, the Orange Revolution in some little country called Ukraine or the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, I’ve become much better informed. In those 15 years, I’ve reported on City Council corruption. I was the Vote No operation when the ISD 742 tried sneaking through the Tech HS bonding referendum of $140,000,000+ I’m proud to say that we defeated that referendum. Although we lost the ‘return match’, at least we made sure the citizens were fully informed.

I’ve covered other issues of corruption too, including the widespread corruption at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and at MNLARS.

Along the way, I’ve met some great people who’ve become good friends. Since I can’t remember each of their names, I’ll just thank my friends and tell each of you that I’ll be in touch soon.

These days, of course, I’m focusing on Adam Schiff’s faux whistleblower, aka CIA snitch, and Schiff’s carefully choreographed impeachment hearings. Right around the corner is the 2020 presidential election. Unlike the Never Trumpers, I expect a positive outcome for the GOP.

For those of you interested in helping defray the costs associated with LFR, leave a comment & I’ll help you through the process of financially helping me.

Ed Rendell is an old-fashioned Clinton spinmeister. Specifically, that means that he doesn’t need verification to make outlandish unsubstantiated statements. He just needs a microphone. Nowhere is that more visible than in this article and interview.

In the interview, Rendell said “I think we got to watch what rolls out in the next month or so. I think there’s more evidence to come and I think as the evidence rolls out, it’s going to become more and more clear that the president not only broke the law here but he abused his power at the detriment of the United States of America.” Rendell also said that “President Trump ‘committed a crime by soliciting the Ukraine government to get involved in the U.S. election.'”

Apparently, Democrats don’t care about the truth. Nothing in the transcript of the call shows that President Trump solicited “the Ukraine government to get involved in the U.S. election.” What’s apparent is that President Trump wanted Ukraine to help investigate a corrupt politician who bragged about getting a prosecutor fired after that prosecutor started investigating the company this corrupt politician’s son worked for at the time.

Here’s a great rule for Democrats to apply. If you don’t want to be investigated, stop being corrupt like Joe Biden and especially Hillary Clinton:

These are people who’ve been swamp critters the vast majority of their careers. Hillary’s career is the personification of the Swamp and the pay-to-play plan. Biden’s story is more about stumbling into corruption. Meanwhile, another corrupt Democrat, Adam Schiff, got protected by the corrupt Democrats in the House when 217 Democrats voted to protect him for lying to Congress. Afterward, Schiff tweeted this:


Friend of LFR Jeff Dunetz replied perfectly with this tweet:


Follow the entire chain of tweets Jeff unleashed on the House Democrats’ Impeachment Chairman. They’re so worth it.

Yesterday morning, I got notified that I’d been suspended from Youtube:

The first paragraph says “We’d like to inform you that due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines (https://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines) your YouTube account Gary Gross has been suspended.”

What a bunch of BS. Here’s reality:

  1. I’ve never created a Youtube video.
  2. Like everyone, I’ve viewed hundreds, if not thousands, of videos.
  3. I’ve left perhaps a half dozen comments on various political videos, none of which were anything close to controversial statements. (The last time I left a comment was more than 3 months ago.)
  4. Of course, as a blogger, I embed lots of videos that others create.
  5. When I appealed the suspension, they rejected it within 15 minutes.
  6. Further, they didn’t offer an explanation of why they rejected my appeal.
  7. They didn’t tell me when the alleged violations happened.
  8. Youtube didn’t give me a first warning telling me that I’d done something wrong. Without that warning, how can I correct my allegedly improper actions?
  9. They just suspended me.

Nothing in my actions suggests that I’ve committed “repeated or severe violations of [Youtube’s] Community Guidelines.”

This is upsetting to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a person that works hard to play by the rules. I’m anything but disrespectful. Now Youtube drops this on me? What prevents them from doing this to anyone? Yes, I’m aware that it’s their platform but that doesn’t mean they can apply their rules unevenly. If they do this to me, they’d better do this to everyone. Better yet, they should just stop suspending people who haven’t done anything wrong.

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has exposed Kamala Harris as a total fraud. The DNC might as well get out the jelly because Kamala’s toast. In this video, Harris stated that she was part of the second class to get bussed:

Perhaps she thought that nobody would research that claim, which is a pretty good bet if the only media was the MSM. Fortunately for truth-seeking Americans, they can rely on the modern-day Pamphleteers, aka bloggers. Enter Mr. Hoft and the gentlemen at Powerlineblog.com. First, Mr. Hoft’s find. This is the Berkeley yearbook from 1963, the year before Sen. Harris was born:

This is the 1964 Berkeley yearbook, the year of Sen. Harris’s birth:

It’s pretty obvious that Berkeley was integrated long before Sen. Harris was that 10-year-old girl in pigtails. Next, enter John Hinderaker and Paul Mirengoff of Powerline blog. Here’s what Mr. Mirengoff wrote:

Harris presents a misleading picture of Berkeley and, implicitly, of her family’s status. A friend who graduated from college there around the time Harris depicts tells me:
Berkeley was not segregated or racist during that era. It was one of the most liberal places in the country. I’d like to learn a lot more about [Harris’] busing. I accept that she took a bus to elementary school, but I don’t think they were busing kids to various neighborhoods for racial reasons in Berkeley in 1971. Makes no sense at all to me. Her mom and dad were PhDs, and she went to India during summers to stay with her mom’s family (see Wikipedia). She makes it sound like they were poverty-stricken…or something.

So much for the issue of bussing being “personal” for Sen. Harris. That’s utter nonsense. Here’s what Mr. Hinderaker, the founder of Powerlineblog wrote on this subject:

What I think is most remarkable about this story is that the Democrats are now nostalgic for busing! Joe Biden is a villain because he opposed it decades ago, while Harris is a heroine…or a martyr…or something, because she participated in it.

But here’s the thing: in the 1970s, everyone opposed busing to achieve racial balance in public schools. Federal courts in urban areas around the country had ordered children to be bused from their homes to faraway schools to achieve a numerical, bean-counting ethnic balance in public schools. The result was a disaster: neighborhood schools were destroyed, student achievement declined, violence erupted, civil disobedience by parents of all races ensued. Finally, as I recall, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order: No more busing!

While this doesn’t change the fact that Biden had a lackluster performance Thursday night, it changes the glow surrounding Sen. Harris’s ‘moment’ in the sun. It’s now established fact that Sen. Harris’s big moment happened because she embellished, otherwise known as lying through her teeth.

Let’s see if the MSM tries propping her up after this.

Yesterday, I called Eric Eskola, the veteran co-host of TPT’s Almanac, to find out what was happening (and not happening) at the Capitol. As always, Eric was well-informed and a gentleman. While I won’t divulge what Eric said, it wasn’t surprising that neither of us expect Gov. Walz and the legislature to finish their work on time. The only question left to answer is when the special session will be called and whether there will be a government shutdown.

During the conversation, I said that the biggest sticking point might be HCAF, aka the Health Care Access Fund. Recent reports suggest that the HCAF gets raided fairly often, with the excess money going into the general fund. I said that one way of bridging the divide is to cut the HCAF rate, put it off-limits to raids for the general fund and to keep these health care programs around.

Eric thought that sounded reasonable, saying that it sounded like the 2 of us had worked out a reasonable compromise that might avert a special session. I replied that it’s easy doing this because there aren’t partisans around, plus no lobbyists making special requests.

Your job, if you choose this assignment, is to guess a) when the special session will be and b) whether we’ll have a real government shutdown. Post your guesses in the comments. The LFR reader who comes closest wins … hmm — my praise in a future post. Good luck.

Today marks LFR’s 14th blogiversary. It’s been challenging. It’s been aggravating. It’s never been dull, though. I’ll keep this short by simply thanking you for consistently reading LFR. That’s the greatest reward I could’ve received.

It feels good to be back in the blogging saddle again after spending the last 2 days in the hospital with back spasms. The good news is that they ran a CT scan and x-rays and didn’t find anything in terms of broken bones or anything out of the ordinary. I was given instructions to not spend as much time in front of the computer so I’ll obey those instructions.

It’s becoming clear how Senate Democrats will attempt to defend vulnerable senators like Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Jon Tester. After President Trump’s campaign rally in Elkhart, IN, Sen. Donnelly issued a statement that said “I don’t work for any president or any political party. I work for Hoosiers, and that will never change.” He added that President “Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were there ‘for politics’ and included statistics on his own voting record, saying he had voted with Trump 62% of the time and had 41 proposals become law since 2013.”

Manchin is trying the same defense in West Virginia, saying that he’s voted with President Trump 60% of the time.

The problem that Sen. Donnelly and Sen. Manchin have is that they both voted against President Trump’s most important pieces of legislation: the Trump-GOP tax cuts and the repeal of Obamacare. Nothing removes the stain of voting against those key pieces of President Trump’s economic plan. President Trump hit Sen. Donnelly hard during this riff:

That’s when Trump said this:

Democrats, like Sleepin’ Joe, say one thing when they’re in Elkhart and then they go to Washington and then they vote for the radical liberal agenda. It never, ever fails. You know, there’s about 12 of them. You think you have their vote. They talk a good game but they always raise their hand for the radical left, of Nancy Pelosi. Always.

Amongst bloggers who’ve been around long enough, that’s sometimes known as ‘Tom Daschle Disease.” There was a blog dedicated to highlighting South Dakota Tom’s statements vs. DC Tom’s statements. Classic. In 2004, that blog contributed mightily to getting John Thune elected. That blog helped defeat Tom Daschle, who was the Senate Majority Leader at the time.

President Trump isn’t a blogger but I’m betting that he’s capable of exposing Joe Donnelly’s 2 faces with ease. Donnelly made the mistake of acting like a moderate to get a ride to Indiana on Air Force One, then voting against President Trump’s signature legislation. Sen. Donnelly is about to find out that crossing President Trump has political consequences. Sen. Manchin’s about to find that out, too.