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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.

Loyal readers of LFR, it’s time once again to host my semi-annual fundraiser. In the past, the money I’ve raised has paid for materials covered by Minnesota Data Practices Act requests as well as routine expenses like internet service or covering city council meetings or, in even-numbered years, candidate forums.

With the St. Cloud Times being afraid to tell the story about refugee resettlement expenses and because of their shrinking commitment to covering local events and politics, their already paltry coverage of the news will shrink even further.

I pride myself on original reporting as well as insightful commentary of the day’s events so I’d appreciate contributions of any size to help defray some of these expenses. To contribute electronically, just click the donate button at the top of the right sidebar. If you want to contribute but don’t want to contribute electronically, email me at gmg425 -at- charter -dot- net.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Last Friday, Gov. Dayton made a point of repeatedly saying that he’d been lied to, saying “in my 40 years dealing with Minnesota government I have never ever been lied to”, adding that “the people of Minnesota have been lied to and the Supreme Court has been lied to about the predicament that my vetoes supposedly put the Legislature in.”

First, it’s undisputed fact that Gov. Dayton’s veto will cause the legislature to run out of money. Gov. Dayton vetoed the appropriation for the biennium, not just until the 2018 session. Next, it’s worth noting that Gov. Dayton said that he’d “never been lied to” in his 40 years of government. That might be but he’s lied to us. Remember this golden oldie? It’s the article about then-Sen. Dayton “closed his Capitol Hill office Tuesday until after the November 2 election, fearing a possible terrorist attack that could harm his staff or visitors.” The thing is that then-Sen. Dayton closed the office despite the fact that the Capitol Police and the Department of Homeland Security denied there being a terrorist threat.

Sgt. Contricia Ford of the U.S. Capitol Police said “There’s no new threat or information pertaining to a threat that’s come in. We continue to advise (people) to take caution … but there’s no new information that we’ve put out.” Further, “Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, added: ‘We have not made a recommendation for any members of Congress to close their offices, and we do not have any specific threat reporting indicating that Washington, D.C., and the Capitol is a target.'”

This happened in October, 2004, right before the presidential election in which terrorism and homeland security were the biggest issues. Let’s remember that then-Sen. Dayton was the only person on Capitol Hill to shut his office. It’s worth noting that he’s the only member of the Senate who claims he got briefed by then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist about this terrorist attack.

I remember that election well. It was right before I started blogging. What I remember clearly is that CBS ran a fake story telling the nation that then-President Bush had gone AWOL while he was serving in the Texas Air National Guard. Powerline blew that story to smithereens the night CBS aired the segment.

For those too young to have experienced the onslaught, the Media wing of the Democratic Party, working in concert with congressional Democrats, tried destroying President Bush’s national security credentials with CBS’s fake story. While it wasn’t proven, people suspected that then-Sen. Dayton tried undermining President Bush’s credibility with his own fake national security story.

The fact that jumps out at me is that everyone on Capitol Hill, whether left, right or in between, denies having received the briefing. Either then-Sen. Dayton has an over-active imagination or he’s a pathetic liar. Either option is a possibility.

The point to the trip down memory lane is to remind people that then-Sen. Dayton was heading for defeat until he retired after a single term. Then-Sen. Dayton wasn’t a trustworthy person. For him now to accuse Republicans of lying to him is utterly laughable.

As you know, last February, I broke my right arm, which led to me spending 3 months in rehabilitation and away from LFR. While my arm is functional, it still isn’t 100%. Still, I’m grateful that I’m returning to the level of productivity that I was known for prior to my ‘year from hell’.

Over the past month, LFR has led the way in holding the ISD 742 School Board accountable. Additionally, I’ve spent time laying out a positive reform agenda that includes reducing the scope of government, especially as it pertains to the Met Council.

For the rest of 2017, I’ll be working on holding DFL front groups like Black Lives Matter and #UniteCloud accountable for their protests. I’ll also spend time exposing the connection between the School Board and special interest organizations. Trust me when I say it’s one of the best-kept secrets in town. It’s my goal to turn those connections into the worst-kept secrets in town.

Meanwhile, I’ll do my best to hold the St. Cloud Times and other media outlets accountable. Finally, LFR will provide information that will help you, the news consumer, the best-informed readers going into next year’s midterm elections.

Thanks for your loyal readership the past 12+ years. If you want to contribute monetarily or forward stories to me, contact me by leaving a comment to this post. I’ll contact you via email.

Today marks LFR’s 12th blogiversary. When I started blogging, social media didn’t really exist to any large extent. Twitter wars hadn’t started. We certainly didn’t have Twitchy chronicling the provocative things people said on Twitter. In fact, Twitter didn’t take off until Nancy Pelosi shut down the House of Representatives rather than vote on the Republicans’ all-of-the-above energy program. In fact, that’s why I wrote this post. John Culberson, a Republican member of the House, used Twitter to get the word out about the Republicans’ protest of Pelosi’s strong-arm tactics. When Pelosi turned off the microphones, Rep. Culberson started texting people to tell them of Ms. Pelosi’s strong-arm tactics. Then he took to Twitter.

I started blogging because the so-called MSM wasn’t interested in supplying important information to the people. I hoped that bloggers would create the competition that would force the MSM to start doing their job. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. If anything, it’s gotten worse. The MSM quickly transformed into the Agenda Media, a phrase I coined years before Rush coined the phrase ‘Drive-By Media’. I still think my phrase is a better fit.

LFR’s pledge to you is that I’ll continue to hold people’s feet to the fire. I’ll continue writing about institutional corruption, whether it’s found at MnSCU headquarters or whether it’s when the Dayton administration rigs union organizing elections.

I’m proud that I’ve helped win several elections, including two State Senate races and one congressional race this year. I’ll pledge to keep pressure on the DFL until they fix Minnesota’s health care crisis, too. They broke it. Unfortunately, they’ve refused to fix it. The good news is that Republicans are prepared to fix it. The incoming Trump administration will do its part. Greg Davids, Matt Dean and others will fix what’s broken with Minnesota’s problems.

During the 2017 session, I hope to expand LFR coverage of the legislative session by taking occasional trips to the Capitol, especially around the deadlines. With Gov. Dayton expecting to dig in his heels, especially on health care, this session will be one of the most eventful sessions in history.

Those trips will cost money so consider this my appeal for sponsorships. If you’re interested in sponsoring these trips, contact me by leaving a comment. I will contact you via email. Consider this the official start of my quarterly bleg.

Some things have changed since I started blogging. Over the next year, LFR will be changing, too. Stay tuned for those developments. What hasn’t changed is the need to hold politicians’ feet to the fire. I’m hoping to do that for another dozen years or more.

Finally, thank you to all of the loyal readers of LFR. I’m proud of the fact that LFR has become one of the legislators’ most read news sources.

Vox has had credibility issues since its inception. That problem isn’t going away anytime soon, thanks to German Lopez’s tweet in which he insists that “Conservative blogger gets upset at violence and riots, demands mass murder, gets suspended from Twitter — and people defend him. Okay.”

As usual, Ed Morrissey is all over this in this post. The difference between Ed’s post and German Lopez’s tweet is that Ed took the time to get the details right. One of those details was to quote Glenn Reynolds, the man who wrote the original tweet. On his own blog, Glenn Reynolds wrote “I’ve always been a supporter of free speech and peaceful protest. I fully support people protesting police actions, and I’ve been writing in support of greater accountability for police for years. But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And blocking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would. ‘Run them down’ perhaps didn’t capture this fully, but it’s Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance.”

When groups of people are attempting to surround a vehicle and there’s been reports of violence, it’s foolish to sit still and hope for the best. Continuing to drive is the best way of staying alive, which would be my highest priority at that moment.

It feels good to finally be home again. Posting has been essentially been nonexistent on LFR because I had a heart attack last Monday. As in Monday, August 1, 2016. The cardiologists say I got lucky because the heart attack was caused by a major blockage of the left descending artery. The cardiologists that I spoke with said that that particular type of blockage is often nick-named widow-maker because it often results in the person suffering the heart attack dying.

There but for the grace of God go I.

The good news is that my heart is better than ever thanks to the fact that the fix was relatively simple. First, they did an angioplasty to remove the blockage, then they placed a stent at the point of the attack. The entire procedure took less than 45 minutes. The angioplasty was done Monday morning. This afternoon, I’m home pecking at my keyboard.

There are some people to thank. First among them is the Lady Logician. She sent out an email to my blogging colleagues, then started praying for me. The Bible says that the “prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” I’m proof of that.

If the Lady Logician needs to be thanked, as she deserves it, my pastor, Art Cotant, deserves that thanks, too. Art visited me twice, praying with me both times, all while empathizing with my situation. In fact, my church family deserves many thanks, including my friend Andrea from the singles group when I first joined First B.

The list of people that deserve my thanks is lengthy. Suffice it to say that I appreciate everyone that prayed for me or called me while I was in the hospital.

There once was a time when Jim Hoft, aka the Gatewaypundit, was widely respected across the conservative blogosphere. That’s in the past and getting further into the past with each and each post. For instance, Jim never would’ve written, much less published, this post. At one point, Jim was part of the post-Breitbart crew. Like other post-Breitbart ‘celebrities’, the quality of Jim’s writing has gone downhill, in my opinion. This post is an example.

Five years ago, Jim wouldn’t have quoted this Trumpbart article. He especially would’ve been smarter than to agree with a statement that says “Following last night’s historic Brexit vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s primary challenger, Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, seems to have taken a page from the playbook of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) with the launch of a new billboard campaign. On Friday morning, Nehlen’s campaign went live with a new billboard in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin that is reminiscent of the distinctive UKIP-style campaign.”

That quote was part of Jim’s article from last night that was titled “DEVASTATING: Paul Ryan’s Opponents Post Billboards That Could Take the Speaker Down”. It’s a foolish headline considering this information

The Washington Free Beacon commissioned a poll of Speaker Ryan’s district. The new polling shows Speaker Ryan leading by 73 points. According to the article, the “survey shows Ryan leading his GOP challenger, businessman Paul Nehlen, by 73 points, 80-7, among those who say they will vote in the Aug. 9 Republican primary in Wisconsin’s first congressional district.”

The Washington Free Beacon commissioned the poll the week after Sarah Palin made the idiotic declaration that Paul Ryan would be ‘Cantored’ because he hadn’t immediately kissed Trump’s ring. Here’s the Nehlen billboard:

I’ll say this: what the billboard lacks in credibility, it makes up for in desperation.

I hope Jim contacts us if he returns to putting a priority on emphasizing reality.

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Friends and frequent readers of LFR. After the 2016 election, LFR will celebrate its twelfth anniversary. To be precise, LFR celebrates its twelfth anniversary on November 19. I’m thankful for that anniversary and to the people who have read LFR.

That will happen in due course. Today, however, is time for my sixth anniversary with Examiner.com. While many of the subjects are the same, the Examiner articles are different in content than my LFR posts. I enjoy the different venues that I get to express my opinions and do my reporting.

If you have the inclination, follow this link to locate my archived Examiner articles. If you want my Examiner articles delivered to your ‘front door’, click on the subscribe button, then enter your email address. Examiner will send you an email notification whenever I publish an article.

In the meantime, here’s the congratulatory email Examiner sent me this morning:

Thanks again for following me on LFR and Examiner.

A little over a month ago, I held my annual fundraising week. To say that I appreciate those people who contributed is understatement. Due to some unusual circumstances, I’m holding a supplemental fundraising drive.

Last night, I wrote my first post on a series about ‘creeping Shariah’. I’ve written about many important issues in the 11 years I’ve operated LFR. None of those issues is as big as this issue. In fact, none are even close in importance.

I’m a strong believer in the old Biblical admonition that “a worker is worthy of his wages.” With most issues, I don’t press my case on this. Most issues, though, are transient. The issue of creeping Shariah isn’t transient. It’s the opposite. It’s existential. The harm that Shariah law can do to western civilization is immense, though CAIR will attempt to minimize Shariah’s impact. I will attempt, through this series, to highlight the potential impact of Shariah.

If you want to contribute to getting this information to the public with a check, leave a comment to this post and I will contact you on how we can make this happen. Otherwise, feel free to contribute by clicking on the Donate button in the upper right hand corner of the page.

As always, thanks for your contributions. Know that they’re definitely appreciated.