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This SC Times editorial signals the end of editorial integrity at the Times. It’s a sad day for St. Cloud with a silver lining. The Times’ Our View editorial used their entire arsenal of gimmicks to prop up President Potter. Here’s one of the Times’ gimmicks:

“The level of trust that exists between the faculty, staff and administration is not what it needs to be to be among the very best.”

With those words, St. Cloud State University President Earl H. Potter III told this Editorial Board on Feb. 21 his administration is about to embark on the most important step in a process aimed at not just strengthening that trust, but improving the workplace culture and character at the university.

Kudos to Potter for taking on this issue. Faculty and staff should make the most of it.

What’s most appalling is that the Times gives President Potter for “taking on this issue” without doing anything more than uttering the words. I call this the Times’ he-said-it-so-it-must-be-true gimmick. It’s apparent that the Times didn’t question President Potter about the on-campus morale.

If the Times had done its research, they’d know that “the level of trust that exists between the faculty, staff and administration” is virtually non-existent. Forget about it not being where “it needs to be to be among the very best.”

Here’s an example of the Times’ “moral equivalance” gimmick:

Of course, the key to improving trust and university morale doesn’t just rest with the administration.

Faculty and staff leaders need to get engaged, too. They must start by demanding accountability of employees who seek anonymity in making potentially damaging claims but offer no proof of what they are saying.

Actually, the fence-mending must start with the administration. The Potter administration has treated the faculty like children who don’t know what they’re talking about. When the Potter administration was asked where they were with the transcript scandal, the administration replied that they didn’t think of it as a scandal, that they thought of it as “data analysis.”

There’s verifiable proof of transcripts unjustly getting altered without the professor’s knowledge. The administration has refused to even talk with the person who has the proof of wrongdoing. The Times ran the MPR article that included the professor’s quote initially. Unfortunately, they’re now insisting that employees are anonymously making accusations that hurt SCSU, then accusing these employees of offering “no proof of what they are saying.”

That’s an outright lie.

The only anonymous person to make stinging accusations against the administration is Silence Dogood. Silence’s articles, which I’m proud to publish here at LFR, are exceptionally well-documented. That’s why I haven’t hesitated in publishing them.

Here’s a promise I’ll make with the Times. I promise that I won’t publish any of Silence’s articles if they’re unsubstantiated. The good news for me is that it’s a promise I haven’t had to worry about because Silence’s articles have consistently been impeccably substantiated.

Here’s another of the Times’ outright lies:

Members of this Editorial Board have had direct experience with these people involving complaints about grading, program closures, etc. Yet in none of those cases have the complainants provided verifiable evidence to substantiate them.

In none of those cases? Phyllis VanBuren’s column, which I wrote about here, was filled with verifiable proof of transcript fraud. Dr. VanBuren’s column was 4 pages long, which is twice the size of other Times Writers Group articles.

What’s interesting is that Dr. VanBuren’s article provides tons of proof that the Times said didn’t exist. The Times needs to decide whethey want to stick with President Potter’s script or if they’d feel more comfortable admitting that the people who’ve spoken up at considerable personal risk are telling the truth.

Based on recent history, I’m betting that they’re sticking with President Potter’s script.

The Times calls on everyone to fix a problem that’s been ongoing for years. What the Times didn’t do is say that the problem was caused by President Potter. The reason why people have spoken anonymously is because President Potter’s style is to use intimidation and bullying to get his way.

This problem didn’t just magically appear. Something triggered it. Though the Times won’t admit it, these difficulties were caused by President Potter’s disgusting behavior.

It’s time for the Times to start doing its job. Accepting a public figure’s statements as undeniable truth without extensively questioning the statements isn’t what news-gathering organizations typically do. Unfortunately for the people of St. Cloud, not questioning public figures is how the Times rolls.

The silver lining is that, here at LFR, questioning public figures while verifying the data is how I roll.

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Longtime readers of LFR know that I haven’t hesitated in highlighting how the DFL is the party of special interests. Lately, I’ve intensified my writings about how Democrats are favoring the environmentalists over the unions. That caught the attention of the Lady Logician, who wrote about Bill DeBlasio’s sucker-punching of the unions in this post:

Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.

He also promised that he wouldn’t change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.

In Minnesota, Democrats are siding with militant environmentalists who hope to kill the PolyMet mining project, which would create tons of union jobs. In NYC, uber-liberal Mayor DeBlasio is siding with animal rights activists and militant environmentalists to kill lots of union jobs. In Washington, DC, the administration has dragged its feet on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, siding with environmentalists over the unions’ interests.

Until now, I’ve thought that the Democratic Party was the special interest party. Tonight, I changed my opinion. That’s because I’ve realized that the Democratic Party, in Minnesota and nationally, is owned by militant environmentalists. The only question left to answer is whether unions will continually side with the Democratic Party.

While it’d be a stretch to say that Republicans love all unions, it’s 100% accurate to say that Republicans are siding with mining unions on the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. Similarly, it’s 100% accurate to say the DFL is tip-toeing through a political minefield while attempting to placate militant environmentalists and the miners’ union.

Honest union workers need to ask themselves why their leadership is constantly selling them out while electing Democratic politicians who talk about how they love unions while stabbing unions in the back. While they’re asking that question, they should ask themselves why they aren’t voting for pro-mining Republicans in Minnesota and pro-union jobs on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Finally, the unions should ask themselves why they’re supporting Democrats that only pay “working families” lip service. It’s time these unions figured it out that today’s Democratic Party is pro-government unions, not private sector unions.

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Yesterday, I wrote this post highlighting Paul Thissen’s reaction to my post about how unions didn’t build the middle class. The activists in the MOB, aka the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers, aren’t unlike NATO in that, an attack against one is an attack against all of us. When they saw that Speaker Thissen had taken issue with my post, Mitch Berg and the Lady Logician jumped into the discussion. Here’s how the Lady Logician responded to Speaker Thissen’s tweets:

You misrepresent the smaller gov’t policy stance to mean no govt & that is simply NOT what small gov’t ppl want. No one is arguing against roads & education but when govt gets in2 the minutia of telling ppl what lightbulbs 2 buy or what HEALTHCARE to buy or whether or not they can own a specific type of dog, then we are going to argue.

Here’s Mitch’s response to one of Speaker Thissen’s tweets:

The evidence is, in fact, that gov’t research *follows* corp. innovation. Ditto education. Not other way around.

Mitch wasn’t done schooling Speaker Thissen. Here’s the rest of Mitch’s tweets to Speaker Thissen:

So did gov’t build roads out of pure goodwill? Or did biz pay for them? You’re saying government is the only body that can give us clean water? Record shows that’s untrue. Most municipal water systems in the US *started* as private enterprises. Nearly a quarter still are. The “gov’t brings us all riches” argument is the black/white one. Markets, not politics, deal well with nuance. Either is “private enterprise is lost without government”. Or rather it’s a fallacious place to start the conversation. At best, it’s “assisted” by gov’t. But the idea that prosperity follows infrastructure is utterly ahistorical.

That’s a typical Mitch-slap. Spoeaker Thissen probably didn’t realize conservatives were this principled about free markets and limited government. The reality is that Speaker Thissen didn’t address why he thinks government is equipped to run a complex online health insurance business for the entire state. That’s essentially what MNsure is. (That isn’t just my opinion. It’s what Jim Nobles said on Almanac last Friday.)

Was government responding to free markets when they passed legislation that specified what types of lightbulbs could be used? Why did government inject itself into the discussion as to what dogs were legal in Minnesota? Was there an outbreak of dog violence against people? Or were they just inserting themselves into an issue because they were reacting to one of their special interest allies? I’m pretty certain it’s the latter.

Speaker Thissen’s tweet that questioned whether people could get to their jobs or companies could move their goods without public roads dovetails with President Obama’s now-infamous statement that entrepreneurs didn’t build their companies, that government did. That’s BS. Mitch is right in saying that government might assist entrepreneurs but government isn’t what makes businesses thrive.

The Anything But Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of how twisted leftist thinking is. I wrote here about how MNsure made things worse for one Minnesota family:

This Minnesota family is a young married couple with three children. Until ObamaCare and Dayton’s MNsure came along they shared the cost of their Blue Cross-Blue Shield family health insurance policy 50/50 with the father’s employer. Thanks to ObamaCare, the cost of that policy sky rocketed and is no longer affordable to the family. After endless hours of working with MNsure, here is what resulted.

Without the parent’s consent, MNsure jammed their three children onto government insurance. The children are now covered by Medicaid at no cost to the family or employer, but 100 percent cost to the taxpayers. The father had to go with a single insurance plan from his employer and purchase a separate new policy for his wife. Because of the confusion and disarray at MNsure, neither he nor his wife currently has health insurance ID cards for the insurance they have already paid for.

That’s why limited government conservatives complain about government overstepping their constitutional authority. Additionally, this shows government isn’t capable of running a business.

In other words, government should get its claws out of the things it isn’t qualified to do and focus on the things that constitutions limits it to. Limited government conservatives don’t hate government, even though that’s the propaganda that ABM and other leftist propaganda organizations spread. It’s that we understand that the best decisions for families happen at a family’s kitchen table.

It’s time Speaker Thissen figured that out.

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Throughout Sean Hannity’s interview with Paul Ryan, it was painfully obvious that Mr. Hannity didn’t grasp the concept that divided government means one or both sides hate the deals they strike. Here’s the video of Hannity’s interview:

Throughout the interview, Hannity kept complaining that conservatives don’t like this deal much. Througout the interview, Chairman Ryan told Hannity that the budget would’ve looked much different had Patty Murray agreed to his budget and President Obama had signed it into law.

It’s unrealistic to think that President Obama would even momentarily contemplate signing such a budget. It’s absurd to think that Harry Reid would let Chairman Ryan’s budget to get a hearing, much less a vote in the Senate. That wasn’t going to happen.

What conservatives have to remember is that winning elections is the only way that the Ryan balanced budget proposal has a chance of becoming law. While Hannity and others kept insisting that Chairman Ryan had forgotten that Congress has the power of the purse, Hannity didn’t understand that Ryan technically had the power of the purse but he didn’t have the power of the purse without there being a steep political price to be paid.

People like Hannity have forgotten that the balanced budgets of the 1990s didn’t happen because John Kasich, Newt Gingrich and President Clinton instantly had a come-to-Jesus moment and they all lived happily ever after. Conservative incrementalism is the only reason we had 4 straight balanced budgets.

It’s important to remember that there’s a huge difference between President Clinton and President Obama. President Clinton had run something before getting elected. He knew the value of being practical when it was required. President Obama never ran anything as challenging as a lemonade stand. He grew up in a radicalized world. President Obama never thought that compromise was a worthwhile thing. He still doesn’t.

Let’s stipulate that the Ryan-Murray plan isn’t a great deal because it isn’t. It’s important for whining conservatives like Hannity to understand that, though it isn’t agreat deal, it’s the best deal available. It’s equally important that consertvatives like Mr. Hannity and others to understand that this deal has significant benefits.

First, there won’t be another shutdown, which means the spotlight stays of the disaster of Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act. That’s a huge win for Republicans. If that’s all that the Republicans got out of this, that’d be enough to chalk this up as GOP victory.

Second, there’s agreement in this legislation that opens up more oil and natural gas exploration. That’s a significant win for the GOP. Most importantly, it’s a major victory for the American people in the form of stabilized home heating bills and gas prices at the pump.

Third, it’s a win for Republicans because Democrats won’t get traction when they accuse Republicans of not having the ability to govern. Instead, Chairman Ryan has stopped the Obama form of governing. That form of governing meant jumping from one crisis and/or deadline to another. That method of operation gave President Obama a major advantage in negotiations because he had the bully pulpit and Republicans had a gun pointed at their head.

People like Erick Erickson need to get their facts straight. He didn’t get his facts straight in this post:

Now, with liberal Senator Patty Murray, Congressman Ryan wants to raise spending today on the promise that Congress will restrain itself ten years from now (or whenever the benchmark will be). It’s a return to pre-sequestration Washington — spending increases today in exchange for promises of spending cuts later.

According to Chairman Ryan, Erickson isn’t close to being right. The offsets in “autopilot spending”, aka entitlements, start immediately. In exchange for some ‘sequestration relief’, Chairman Ryan won some minor changes in entitlement spending.

The Erick Ericksons of the world will never be satisfied with anything other than total, immediate victory. If Republicans want to rebuild credibility in their brand, however, it’s important that they show apolitical people that they can be principled without being obnoxious.

Chairman Ryan’s budget provides that platform for Republicans.

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One of my daily (really, it’s more like several times a day) reads is Jim Hoft’s Gatewaypundit blog. If you aren’t already reading Jim’s blog, you’d better start ASAP. This summer, Jim went through a horrific time healthwise. Thankfully, Jim had a health insurance policy that protected him from a financial disaster. Today, Jim learned that he’s losing the health insurance policy that saved his life.

As a result of Jim’s post asking for America’s prayers, Rush Limbaugh picked up on Jim’s post in this monologue:

There are people with cancer, one of them is Jim Hoft. Jim Hoft is at Gateway Pundit, and he’s out of St. Louis. And he’s got a post.

“Please Pray for Me… I Am Losing My Insurance — In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee.

“Dr. Lee was the surgeon assigned to perform open heart surgery. What was originally scheduled to last four hours ended up lasting twelve. My heart was severely damaged. Dr. Lee later told me the surgery was one of the most difficult of his career. He also said I only had a few days to live without the surgery. Thanks to the excellent insurance I carried I was able to receive life-saving medical treatment at St. Louis University.

“This week I found out I am going to lose my insurance. The company that carried me is leaving the Missouri market. I will have to find something else. I am one of the millions who will be looking for new insurance. God willing, I will be able to keep my doctors at St. Louis University. I trust them. They saved my life. Please pray for me and the millions of working Americans who are going through this same ordeal. Why is our government doing this to us?”

Rush wasn’t done there:

I have, in the Health Care Stack, another story. “Cancer Patient: I’m Devastated Over Obamacare.” It’s by Joan Carrico, a registered nurse. “I had a lot of trouble early on. I didn’t expect my insurance to be canceled, had numerous problems getting onto Healthcare.gov and gave up on the website. Since then, I have received assistance from an agent and a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan representative. I have been stressed and scrambling to find an affordable policy that will ensure that I keep my doctors, chemotherapy drugs, etc. that are literally keeping me alive.

“Over six years ago, I was in a position where I needed to choose an individual health-insurance policy. After much research I chose a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO that I anticipated would be short term. My plan was to return to work as a registered nurse and be eligible for a group policy. But, for the first time in my life, I got really sick. I’ve been battling cancer and fighting for my life for the last six years. So much for my plans. I thank God that I am alive and am eternally grateful to Blue Cross Blue Shield and all my doctors, especially my doctors at University of Michigan (UM), who refer to me as their miracle patient.”

She’s losing hers, too. “What is our government doing to us? Why is our government doing this to us?” This is the root of Obama’s problem. Not everybody has cancer, not everybody’s losing their doctor and their trusted insurance policy and all that. But a lot of people are losing everything. They’ve already lost their jobs. Many of them don’t really have any hope of getting a replacement job at replacement salaries, levels. And now after being promised for three years that they could keep their doctor, keep their insurance, they can’t.

What’s upsetting, besides the fact that people are losing very good health insurance policies, is when cheap politicians like Al Franken won’t even return calls or emails from constituents who’ve contacted him about getting cancellation notices from the health insurance companies. I spoke with a legislator last night who had several of his constituents tell him about Sen. Franken’s shoddy constituent services work on health care. Franken won’t even return calls even though he voted for this wretched piece of legislation without even reading the bill.

“Why is our government doing this to us?” is fast becoming the new battle cry of people of all political persuasions nationwide. At this point, this isn’t a political issue. It’s literally a matter of life and death.

Every American reading this post should email and/or call their senator if that senator voted for the Affordable Care Act. My first instinct is to tell these Americans to read their senators the riot act. My second instinct isn’t much better. Thankfully, I’ve started regaining my composure with the knowledge that I’ll have the opportunity to fire Al Franken next November. The only thing I’d enjoy more than hearing his concession speech would be to watch his reaction as he tries dealing with the exchanges he voted for.

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The first thing I’d like to say to my friends and followers who faithfully read LFR is a simple Thank You. The thought that I’m having a positive impact on the conservative and TEA Party movements is inspiring and humbling to me. Nine years ago today, I created the original LFR via Blogspot. Back then, I chose Common Sense Conservative as the name of the blog.

When the Orange Revolution erupted in the Ukraine, I left a comment on a Ukrainian blog in which I said that “The revolution will be blogged.” I wish I could remember the name of the blog but it escapes me now. I remember that King frequently visited the blog so perhaps he remembers. Minutes after leaving that comment, I decided to change the name of my blog to “Let Freedom Ring Throughout the World”, partially because of the great liberation movement that was afoot at the time, partially because I’m partial to revolutions as a direct result of my being born on the 4th of July.

Speaking of which, I met King as a direct result of the Orange Revolution. Thank God for that. King has been a friend, a mentor in ways he possibly didn’t notice at the time and a fantastic political ally.

King was my first friend in the MOB. Shortly after that, I met Mitch Berg at a MOB event here in St. Cloud. I’m proud to still call Mitch a willing co-conspirator in plotting the restoration of the free world and a true friend.

It wasn’t until that spring that I met Leo Pusateri. The GOP and DFL were doing their end-of-session flyarounds that day. King introduced me to Leo. Minutes later, we decided to form the SCBA, aka the St. Cloud Bloggers Association. Somehow, we lost a member of that elite group along the way.

Throughout the years, LFR has helped the conservative movement by promoting a positive agenda for conservatives to be for. That isn’t to say I haven’t criticized wrong-headed policies. It’s impossible to develop a positive, pro-growth, solutions-oriented agenda until you’ve identified what needs fixing.

I must’ve threatened the progressive powers-that-be because a hacker took LFR down from 2/22/12 through 3/9/12. At the time, I was calling out ABM, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause for their attempt to hijack the redistricting process.

Lately, I’ve written extensively about the corruption, financial mismanagement and enrollment declines at St. Cloud State. In that time, I’ve broken more stories about St. Cloud State than all other news agencies combined. That isn’t bad for a guy who was recently called a “gossip columnist” by a member of the St. Cloud Times. The Times, BTW, is the official stenographer of the Potter administration.

President Potter’s on-campus apologists have called me “an arch-conservative who doesn’t have St. Cloud State’s best interests at heart.” I’ve never hidden my conservatism but I’m a bit confused about the difference between a conservative and an arch-conservative. I’m guessing that arch-conservative sounds more threatening. Oh well.

Be that as it may, much of the information that I’ve written about SCSU is information given to me by a liberal professor who simply got tired of President Potter’s financial mismanagement. President Potter won’t like this but his troubles are far from over.

Another thing I’ve focused on is MnSure, the DFL-created health insurance exchange. Minnesotans should be proud to have the first website that gets weekends and holidays off. With such a target-rich environment surrounding me, there’s little wonder why I write as many posts as I do.

I’ve occasionally stayed up until 6:00 am transcribing testimony from the legislature or reading bills. That’s why I was the first blogger to predict the e-tabs funding mechanism for the Vikings stadium would fail miserably.

Possibly my proudest moment was predicting Chip Cravaack’s victory over Jim Oberstar in 2010, which I did 17 days before the election.

As I enter my 10th year of blogging, I promise to make LFR more prominent, informative and influential than ever before. I hope to do that by doing more first-hand reporting on local and statewide issues. If you see something that doesn’t feel right, feel free to contact me. I’ll gladly help if I’m able.

It’s been a privilege to keep conservatives informed. I’ve covered St. Cloud State, the legislature and the Haditha Marines, almost all of whom were first accused of committing war crimes by Jack Murtha but who eventually had their charges dropped. I’ve been an active participant in the Freedom Movement, starting with the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, then moving onto the Purple Finger Revolution in Iraq, then moving immediately to the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon. Later, I was at the tip of the spear for the start of the TEA Party revolution that led to the biggest landslide in the past century.

What lies ahead is beyond my best guess. I’ll just promise that I’ll continue to make LFR the most informative blog it can be.

Finally, thanks for your support. It’s been a blast.

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Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, Juan Williams made some foolish statements. This video offers proof that he’s become unhinged:

Here’s the partial transcript that shows Mr. Williams has a gigantic partisan blind spot:

WILLIAMS: This is the No Spin Zone. I don’t think you’re part of this right wing horde that’s doing everything, shutting down government, anything to undermine Obamacare so let me give you a straight answer, which is to say that, yes, if you had a plan before March, 2010, which is when the law went into effect, you’re supposed to be able to keep it…

URGENT BULLETIN TO JUAN WILLIAMS: Republicans have used legislative tools to prevent people from being negatively affected by the disaster known as the Affordable Care Act. HealthCare.gov isn’t functioning and likely won’t be anytime soon. People are getting cancellation notices from their insurance companies because Secretary Sebelius wrote a regulation that virtually guaranteed that grandfathered-in policies would be a thing of the past by the end of 2013. People with excellent coverage are getting their cancellation notices. People’s health insurance premiums are skyrocketing. The middle class and young healthy adults are getting hurt the worst.

Thanks to tens of thousands of people signing up for expanded Medicaid, federal deficits will return to Obama’s first term deficit levels. Those were the bad old days during which the only trillion dollar deficits in our nation’s history happened.

What’s worst is that the Affordable Care Act has endangered the life of Edie Littlefield-Sundby, a survivor of Stage IV gall bladder cancer. She isn’t alone in worrying about getting separated from the doctors that’ve saved her life thus far.

Mr. Williams, shame on you for being utterly gullible. Shame on you for not realizing that the Democrats’ spin is nothing more than outright lies. People promising better health insurance prices with better coverages shouldn’t be trusted. If anything, people should run away from them as fast as their feet can take them.

Mr. Williams, would you believe a car salesman if they told you that they could sell you a new, plushed out Cadillac Escalade at a cheaper price than a new Chevy Malibu? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d laugh at the salesman as you ran from that showroom. You’d run because you know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

That’s especially true when the sales pitch comes from a politician.

Mary Katherine Ham put Williams in his place with this response:

MKH: The rule is, first, do no harm. You’re familiar with that in the medical community. Obamacare is doing harm. Right now, people are losing insurance. They’re not able to sign up for new insurance. They’re not able to afford the new insurance plans they’re being offered and they’re not able to get on the website to get the subsidies that Obamacare promised them to be able to afford these unnecessary plans when they liked their plans before.

That’s a lengthy list of substantive criticisms of the Affordable Care Act. First, people are getting kicked off the insurance they liked because the Obama administration thinks they know what’s best for families. That’s extreme arrogance. Next, HealthCare.gov is a disaster. Several IT experts are predicting it won’t be fully operational for another 4-6 months. Third, thanks to HealthCare.gov’s dysfunctionality, people can’t find out if they qualify for a subsidy.

Those are the things that Mary Katherine mentioned in the segment. She didn’t mention that data security is iffy at best. She didn’t mention that HealthCare.gov is sending inaccurate information to insurance companies. She likely didn’t mention those things because of time constraints and because there’s a ton of things that aren’t functioning properly.

It’s sad to think that a journalist is too unhinged to notice basic facts like the list Mary Katherine listed. A journalist’s job is to notice things, then report them to his/her readers. At this point, Williams’ ability to notice things that don’t fit with his ideology is questionable.

Last night, Williams made a fool of himself. We deserve better than that.

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I’ve enjoyed Jim Hoft’s blogging for years. Without question, he’s one of the best bloggers in the nation. That’s why it’s been difficult the last month or so. Jim’s been dealing with a series of serious health issues, which he writes about in this post.

My first thought in reading Jim’s post was ‘Thank God for big miracles.’ While I visited his blog frequently because I love the content, I especially looked forward to updates on Jim’s health. The last couple of updates from his friends said that he’s healing and on the right path. That brought a smile to my face.

This morning’s post, though, was dramatically different. There it was. Something posted by Jim. Just the thought that Jim will recover is great news. This paragraph, though, is inspiring even though Jim talks about a dark time:

Much of late August through September was blurry for me. I was very, very sick. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, but was not sure if I was going to make it. It was such a dark, lonely place. But in the end, prayer won.

In the end, prayer wins indeed. That type of inspiration puts me in a better place fast. Thanks, Jim, for that inspiration. It couldn’t have happened at a better time.

To Jim, I have a simple wish. Continue letting go and letting God. You’ve already done a bunch of that. This isn’t the time to stop. Know that you continue to be in my prayers.

Finally, welcome back. As you note, the fight continues. The good guys, us, need Jim Hoft back in whatver amount you’re physically able to handle. It’s great to have you back.

When I published this post by Silence Dogood, I did it because a) the St. Cloud Times hasn’t written about SCSU’s collapsing enrollment and b) President Potter is using every opportunity to spin St. Cloud State’s declining enrollment.

I wrote last week that President Potter insisted at the first Meet & Confer meeting that enrollment would be down 5% this year compared with last year’s Fall Semester 30-day enrollment report. I knew that wasn’t accurate because I’d written that the Sept. 4th report showed SCSU’s enrollment down by 12%.

If you aren’t Southwest State, which has lots of late enrollees each year, enrollment won’t drop 7 points in a week. It simply doesn’t happen.

A loyal reader of LFR called me last night to talk about enrollment. Specifically, this LFR reader said that he’d spoken with a member of the St. Cloud State University Foundation Board of Trustees. This trustee said that President Potter told him enrollment would be down 3% this year. That’s outright fiction.

It’s possible that the administration could just be off when it says enrollment will be down 5% from last year. If they made a calculation mistake, it’s possible to come up with 5% instead of 8%. It isn’t likely but it’s possible. It isn’t possible to make a calculation mistake and get to a 3% drop in enrollment.

Whether you call that myth or spin, the reality is that a 3% drop in SCSU’s enrollment from last year isn’t possible. To get to that figure, SCSU’s retention of students enrolled at the University would have to be nearly 100%. That’s because incoming freshmen are down 13% and incoming transfers are down 6.35%.

Last year’s enrollment dropped significantly so there weren’t as many students to retain. Subtract a large graduating class and it’s apparent that President Potter’s math is exceptionally fuzzy.

The reason few people beyond the SCSU campus know about SCSU’s plummeting enrollment is because a) they haven’t read this blog or b) the St. Cloud Times hasn’t run any articles about their enrollment. Considering the fact that this will be SCSU’s third straight sharp enrollment drop, shouldn’t the Times have paid attention to this? In this post, I quoted from John Bodette’s article about Gannett’s policy on social media. Among the things he cites are “Seeking and reporting the truth in a truthful way” and “serving the public interest.”

While that’s part of the Times’ policy on social media postings, it’s difficult to picture those things not being part of their code of conduct for reporters.

Back at the start of the year, Times readers were told that they’d read more investigative reporting. That hasn’t materialized. Time’s running out for them to stay faithful to that commitment. (Had they hired me to investigate SCSU, they would’ve already surpassed expectations but that’s another story.)

The truth is that the Times hasn’t been curious about St. Cloud State’s turmoils. They’ve accepted President Potter’s take on things on most issues. They haven’t challenged his statements. The Times’ indifference towards asking tough questions of the administration is the biggest reason why few people know that St. Cloud State’s budget is likely to get cut dramatically next year.

In short, it’s a mystery that needn’t be a mystery.

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Last week’s fiscal cliff deal brought reality crashing down on some unsuspecting people’s heads, according to this delightful, tongue-in-cheek column by Joseph Curl.

Using quotes from a comment thread on DemocratUnderground, Curl’s article shows how uninformed some Democrats were about President Obama’s tax increase. This is a perfect illustration of how uninformed they were:

Some in the thread argued that the new tax, or the end of the “holiday,” which makes it a new tax, wouldn’t really amount to much. One calculated it would cost about $86 a month for most people. “Honeycombe8,” though, said that amount is nothing to sneeze at.

“$86 a month is a lot. That would pay for … Groceries for a week, as someone said. More than what I pay for parking every month, after my employer’s contribution to that. A new computer after a year. A new quality pair of shoes … every month. Months of my copay for my hormones. A new thick coat (on sale or at discount place). It would pay for what I spend on my dogs every month … food, vitamins, treats.”

I’d like to welcome these fools to the Democrats’ middle class squeeze tax increases. This tax increase isn’t likely to change Honeycombe8’s voting habits. I’d be stunned if it did. Still, the Democrats, starting with President Obama and including Sen. Reid and Nancy Pelosi, can’t fight their tax increase fever. With that trio of ideologues, it’s always about ideology, It isn’t about what’s best for America.

Last week, I wrote a 2 part series about how the DFL isn’t the party of the people anymore. (See here and here.) DC Democrats are just as out of step with the people as the DFL is here in Minnesota.

Here’s another dose of reality for the left:

The Twittersphere was even funnier.

“Really, how am I ever supposed to pay off my student loans if my already small paycheck keeps getting smaller? Help a sister out, Obama,” wrote “Meet Virginia.” “Nancy Thongkham” was much more furious. “F***ing Obama! F*** you! This taking out more taxes s*** better f***ing help me out!! Very upset to see my paycheck less today!”

Though the Democrats’ anger is sky-high, that hasn’t led to clear thinking:

Of course, dozens of posters on DemocraticUnderground sought to blame it all (as usual) on President George W. Bush. “Your taxes went up because the leaders need to dig us out of this criminal deficit hole we are in which has been caused because taxes were too low during the Bush years. Everyone has to help by spreading the wealth around a little. Power to the correct people!” posted “Orinoco.”

This is typical Democratic stupidity. Spending has skyrocketed during the Obama administration. Economic growth has lagged, thanks directly to President Obama’s policies. Revenues have dropped because he’s attacked industry after industry.

Let’s repeat this fact: these deficits are the direct result of President Obama’s policies. The ACA is killing jobs by giving small businesses who employ fewer than 50 people an incentive to not hire additional workers. The EPA is killing jobs, too. Last year’s regulations have led to 98 coal-fired power plants to either close their doors or to announce their shutting.

There’s just one thing to say to people who were foolish enough to vote for President who now are upset that he’s raised their taxes: You bought it. Now you’re paying for it. You’re getting what you deserve.

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