Archive for the ‘Liberals’ Category

If this Politico article is accurate, which I think it is, then Jim Oberstar has more difficulties than just Chip Cravaack. Granted, Chip is a formidable difficulty that got more formidable this morning. Here’s another thing that Rep. Oberstar should be worrying about:

Oberstar’s aides say he’s doing everything he needs to do to make sure there’s not a Rep. Cravaack in January 2011.

They count 1,006 volunteers in eight offices, which they contend more accurately reflects Oberstar’s support in his northern Minnesota district. John Schadl, a Oberstar spokesman, said in an email that the congressman has a “great deal of local support.” and it will be “felt on election day when over 500 people hit the streets in a final get out the vote push.”

“They are taking lawn signs, putting up lawn signs, making voter-contact calls, door-knocking, distributing campaign [literature],” Schadl told POLITICO in an e-mail. Moreover, Schadl, says, there are another 527 waiting in the wings to help out in the final run-up to the election.

Schadl shouldn’t know about what a 527 group is doing. That’s called coordination and it’s illegal. I know because I remember having a lengthy conversation after the 2004 election where we talked about the superiority of the Bush-Cheney GOTV operation. The final conclusion was that, since it was all done inside the Bush-Cheney campaign, we didn’t have coordination difficulties. Bush-Cheney 04 controlled the entire process for their campaign.

On more than a few occasions, we talked with people who complained about all the visits from 527’s, unions, the DNC and, last but not least, the KEdwards campaign. Some homes were hit 3-4 times a week, each time by a different group. Had they been allowed to coordinate, they could’ve covered a ton more ground.

That’s the problem. They couldn’t coordinate, at least legally.

I’m not sure legal considerations are a top priority with the Oberstar campaign. I’m not accusing them of willfully breaking the law but I can’t rule it out, either.

The Oberstar campaign has been, at best, dysfunctional. They haven’t had to run a serious campaign in a decade or more. When they noticed that their opponent was someone to be taken seriously, I’m sure that they had to scramble to put an organization together.

What’s probably hampering them the most is that Oberstar’s vote for Cap and Trade has driven many of the steelworkers union guys into the Cravaack camp, where they’re helping Chip’s GOTV operation.

It’s in plain sight that Oberstar is in serious trouble, evidenced by his condescending debate performance. It appears that he’s coordinating his GOTV operation with a 527, which is forbidden.

In short, it doesn’t look like Oberstar is doing much of anything right.

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This morning, the SCTimes endorsed Tarryl Clark. That they endorsed her isn’t surprising. It’s what they said in endorsing her that will make the Times a laughingstock. Here’s a little sample of what they said:

She does it so effectively (and relentlessly) that she’s become a grass-roots tea party heroine even while supporting a public policy agenda that helps entities that are anything but grass roots. Best example: In the wake of America’s financial collapse, do you really think Bachmann’s push to leave Wall Street alone was in the best interests of 6th District voters?

That the Times would say that Michele left Wall Street alone is disturbing enough because it isn’t factual. Michele fought hard to strip out of the bill the provisions that gives the Treasury Secretary the authority to bail out financial institutions without congressional approval.

I’d argue that that’s acting in this district’s, and all other congressional districts’, best interests. Giving that authority to an unelected official lacks the necessary system of checks and balances that prevent the type of corruption that gave us this mess in the first place.

That the Times made this type of statement isn’t surprising. They didn’t do their homework because their minds were made up. Their darling was Tarryl from the outset. In fact, the whole editorial reads like a Tarryl press release.

Here’s how the Times added insult to injury:

In fact, these past four years renew our appreciation for House representation that provided this area with voices like Collin Peterson and Mark Kennedy. Sure, they have their partisan allegiances, but they realized when it was time to set those aside and do what was best for the district, not themselves.

Apparently, the Times thinks that fighting against out of control spending is putting Michele’s agenda ahead of the best interests of the district. Apparently, the Times thinks that fighting against the government takeover of health care is putting Michele’s agenda ahead of the best interests of the district. Apparently, the Times thinks that fighting against giving future Treasury Secretaries the authority to bail out their Goldman Sachs/Wall St. cronies is putting Michele’s agenda ahead of the best interests of the district.

Here’s a sample of what the commenters think of the Times’ endorsement:

Len_Hopkins wrote: And the Saint Cloud Times slips further into the abyss of irrelevancy.

coolcreations101 wrote: This op-ed piece just goes to show how out of step the St Cloud Times is with central Minnesota. Bachmann has done more than most in Minnesota. Thankfully she has opposed the tax and spend liberals in Washington, that alone is enough to get her reelected and it should. The Times should be embarrased for writing this dribble, what a joke some of these dolts have become. There’s a reason liberal rags like the Times are going under.

Myrts1 wrote: I knew the times was liberal; however, after reading this column, I see just how far left they really are….one more step to the left, they may actually circumnavigate all the way to the right……simply amazing

The Times is about to find out that their reckless political musings come with a steep financial price. They could’ve released this endorsement 6 months ago because their mind was made up back then. In fact, it was probably made up 4 years ago.

What’s most shameful is that they didn’t bother doing their research. The things they misstated were things I wrote about months ago. It isn’t like it would’ve been difficult to find out about the FinReg bill.

That they didn’t know this information tells me that they didn’t interview Michele. Had they asked about the FinReg bill, Michele certainly would’ve pointed them to that provision and other objectionable provisions to justify her voting against the bill.

It’s time to stop taking the Times as a serious newspaper. With this level of sloppiness, laziness and prejudice against candidates, there’s no reason to think that their endorsements are informed opinions.

In many readers’ minds, this endorsement is the final straw that forces them to cancel their Times subscription. I can’t say I blame them.

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While progressives insist that voter fraud doesn’t exist, Minnesota Majority is putting troops on the ground to make sure voter fraud doesn’t happen. Because Minnesota Majority is working within Minnesota’s election laws by putting pollwatchers at each voting station, some progressives are lashing out. This Minnesota Progressive Project post is a prime example:

‘Minnesota Majority’ is a far-right activist group of whimpering, conspiracy-obsessed, authoritarian paranoids for whom no tactic for trying to suppress voter turnout, short of outright violence (so far), seems to be too extreme. The group’s sordid history was well documented a while back. They recently announced they’ll place ‘voter surveillance teams’ at polling places. Here’s reality on voter fraud in the state.

And now, they’re offering ‘bounties.’

We are putting a price on the heads of anyone who would attempt to organize people with the intent of cheating in our election,” said Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority. “We’ve received reports of organizers enticing people to vote fraudulently with small financial incentives such as gift cards. We’ve also seen evidence of this illegal practice in the official incident logs from the 2008 election. We will now offer individuals a more lucrative incentive for turning-in these organizers of voter fraud.”

That’s as breathless, not to mention mindless, a bit of of opining I’d ever read. Until I read this:

Let’s be clear. Everything about Minnesota Majority indicates that its purpose is to try to suppress turnout among certain targeted groups of voters, those least likely to vote for the right wing lunatic base candidates preferred by the group. Its tactics include outright threats and open displays of hostility and efforts at intimidation.

This means that Minnesota Majority is a criminal organization.

Where in Minnesota Majority’s statement does it indicate that they want to prevent legal voters from voting? Is MPP saying that when Minnesota Majority says that they’ve “received reports of organizers enticing people to vote fraudulently with small financial incentives” that they’re really saying they’re offering rewards to suppress voter turnout? That’s absurd.

MPP is accusing Minnesota Majority of doing the exact opposite of what they said. These are wild accusations that don’t have even a tiny scintilla of credibility.

It’s time for Minnesotans of all political persuasions to tell MPP that their pattern of spewing the most hateful things imaginable without even a bit of proof isn’t acceptable.

MPP’s accusations are based on pure hatred of anyone they disagree with. MPP is arguing that doing what the law allows is the equivalent of suppressing the vote. What Minnesota Majority is well within the boundaries of Minnesota’s election laws.

It’s instructive that the radical left thinks that making sure that illegal voters don’t vote is voter suppression. You can’t reason with MPP, Mark Ritchie and their like-minded allies. You can only defeat them and wipe them out of office.

That’s the goal.

It’s worth noting that MPP and their allies oppose 80 percent of Minnesotans on the issue of Photo ID. I can’t say that I can prove that they’re doing everything possible to enable voter fraud but it’s curious why they insist that voter fraud doesn’t exist when people have been convicted of voter fraud in the last 9 months.

It’s time for the lying left to stop making these accusations up when they know the truth contradicts them. MPP’s sole purpose seems to be making up the most outlandish statements out of whole cloth, then publishing them as worthy statements.

This time especially, they’ve gone too far. They’ve accused people of criminal behavior without proof. Wild imaginations aren’t proof of anything except a wild imagination.

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According to this Strib article, IP candidate Tom Horner clobbered Sen. Dayton on health care:

Another difference came over health care. Horner slammed Dayton’s proposal for a single-payer health-care system as too expensive and politically unfeasible. “How can that possibly be an answer to health care reform?” Horner asked, noting that a progressive think tank estimates a single-payer system would cost $12 billion to $15 billion.

Here’s what we know:

We know that Sen. Dayton wants to raise taxes on “the rich.” We know that the next governor must balance the budget after what’s expected to be a deficit of almost $6,000,000,000. We know that Sen. Dayton’s numbers don’t add up to a balanced budget. We know that Sen. Dayton has promised to increase education funding “without exception, without excuses” too.

What we don’t know is how Sen. Dayton intends to pay for all these things.

Trying to impose single-payer health care on Minnesota will be wildly expensive. It’s impossible to pay $12,000,000,000 to $15,000,000,000 for single-payer. That would be almost 50 percent of Minnesota’s budget. Anyone thinking that that’s possible should consider the fact that education is the biggest budget item at about 40 percent of the general fund budget. If single-payer is signed into law, education and single-payer will consume almost 90 percent of the current general fund budget.

This isn’t just about Sen. Dayton’s budget. This speaks volumes about his priorities. I haven’t heard anything from Sen. Dayton that suggests that he’s a centrist. The good news is that single-payer is a sop to his hardline activists. The bad news for Sen. Dayton is that single-payer’s cost will turn off the unaffiliated voters he’ll need to win.

I can’t emphasize enough that Sen. Dayton’s budget doesn’t come close to balancing. His tax-the-rich scheme won’t generate the revenue needed to balance the budget, falling at least $2,500,000,000 short. That’s before adding in the additional education funding that Sen. Dayton’s promised “without exception, without excuses” or single-payer health care.

That’s before understanding that Rep. Gottwalt’s Healthy Minnesota Plan would provide better coverage at a much cheaper price. Single-payer isn’t a great thing. Canada is moving away from single-payer. They aren’t changing to a U.S. model, to be sure, but they’re definitely moving away from single-payer.

If we learned anything from his shutting down of his DC office, it’s that Sen. Dayton’s decisionmaking skills aren’t good. If we’ve learned anything abut Sen. Dayton’s budgeting, it’s that it’s part bad math skills, part ideological sops for the DFL’s special interests.

The bottom line is this: Sen. Dayton wasn’t thinking clearly when he said he favored a single-payer plan. His math was fuzzy prior to this declaration. This declaration turns fuzzy math into the rantings of an incoherent politician.

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Based on the left’s reaction, you’d think that Tom Emmer’s op-ed in Sunday’s Strib was utter blasphemy. In reality, Tom Emmer’s op-ed was nothing more than his standing by the federalist principles advocated by this nation’s Founding Fathers:

These days, when people talk about government, they often mean the federal government.

That’s too bad, because there is a reason why America’s Founding Fathers put together a system that recognized the importance and separate roles of the national, state and local governments.

Simply put: In a country as diverse as the United States, it makes no sense to centralize all power thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C. But that is precisely what has been happening for the last 70 years. Things have gone so far that soon bureaucrats in Washington will be making decisions about what and how much health care each individual can get.

It may seem old-fashioned, but I happen to think that the Founding Fathers had the right idea.

Thanks to the Founding Fathers’ clearheaded thinking, they amended the Constitution to include a Tenth Amendment, which essentially says that the federal government should only involve itself in the things that are codified into the Constitution as federal responsibilities. Those things that the Founding Fathers didn’t assign to the federal government as responsibilities were left to state and local government to deal with.

To listen to Eric Black tell it, though, you’d think Tom Emmer’s opinions on the Constitution were without merit:

Emmer favors an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would block federal laws from taking effect in Minnesota unless the congressional enactment was accepted by the Minnesota Legislature and the governor. In fact, the application of a federal law would require an affirmative vote by a two-thirds supermajority of each house of the Minnesota Legislature, and a signature by the governor to take effect in Minnesota.

Yes. Really. As a legislator, Emmer was not the chief author but one of three leading co-sponsors of the proposed amendment. Read it for yourself. The text of the proposed amendment is here. Laws enacted by the Congress to apply to the whole country would not take effect in Minnesota unless they cleared that triple hurdle. And let’s face it, given the current state of American politics, nothing with the least whiff of controversy is going to pass. One third of either house, or a governor by him/herself, could erect a symbolic fence that would prevent the latest laws from Washington from taking effect in Minnesota.

The text of Emmer’s bill said that Minnesotans would be immunized against “any federal laws that exceed the federal government’s enumerated powers” if they approved this amendment to Minnesota’s Constition. In other words, this constitutional amendment would stand opposed to the federal government’s improper power grabs such as those seen in the Obamacare legislation.

That wasn’t the extent of Black’s tizzy:

Presumably, if Minnesota could do this, other states could too. And the system of national laws would become a patchwork of laws that applied in some states but not others.

There is this problem with the idea, though. It is almost surely unconstitutional (federal unconstitutional). It’s hard to imagine that Emmer or the other sponsors think the U.S. Supreme Court would let it stand.

Actually, it isn’t “almost certainly unconstitutional.” The Tenth Amendment deals specifically and directly with this issue:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Black can’t even get this part right:

If I’m wrong about the constitutionality, it’s also pretty hard to see how the United States could continue to function as one nation, if each state was free to pick and choose which national laws they wanted to abide by. I know that Emmer favors a Minnesota opt-out from the provisions of the recent health care law. And it gives me a headache trying to picture the complications if some states were in and some were out. But that possibility pales compared with others that can easily be imagined. If this proposed new level of state nullification was adopted and Congress raised a federal tax, would it be up to each state to decide whether they felt like paying it or not? If Congress enacted a military draft, could those crazy peaceniks in Wisconsin decide it didn’t apply to their boys? Could southern states opt out of civil rights laws?

First, if the Tenth Amendment was applied properly, SCOTUS would rule unconstitutional any federal laws governing things not affirmatively and specifically assigned to the federal government. As such, there wouldn’t be a need for states to opt in or out of federal laws that overstepped the U.S. Constitution’s authority.

Second, the Sixteenth Amendment gives the federal government the authority to levy taxes:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Third, in the case of a military draft, that’s rather simple. Since Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution assigns responsibility for the military to the Executive Branch, the draft would be easily assigned to the federal government.

David Lillehaug’s resply to Emmer’s op-ed is misguided because it misrepresents what the Supremacy Clause is about. Here’s what the Supremacy Clause says:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Here’s Lillehaug’s unpersuasive argument from his op-ed:

In fact, it runs head-on into the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that federal laws “shall be the supreme Law of the Land,” notwithstanding anything in a state’s constitution or laws to the contrary.

This is one of the liberals’ favorite arguments. It’s also as incorrect as incorrect gets. Overlooked by liberals is the clause stating that the laws must be “made in Pursuance” of the U.S. Constitution. The Founding Fathers never envisioned the Supremacy Clause to apply to federal laws that didn’t comply with the U.S. Constitution. In other words, the Supremacy Clause wouldn’t apply to laws if they violated the Tenth Amendment.

The correct interpretation of the Surpremacy Clause was to ensure that international treaties that were ratified were to be treated as the law of the land. Another correct interpretation of the Supremacy Clause was that it made the Bill of Rights the law of the land. It prevented states from writing legislation that violated any of the Constitution’s amendments.

For instance, when Washington, DC wrote a law that banned guns, it was struck down as violating the Second Amendment in the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling:

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, stated, “In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense…We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.”

Simply put, a local government can’t write a law that violates the U.S. Constitution, which is what the DC gun ban did. Similarly, states and cities can’t write laws that strip away any of the federal Constitution’s potections.

What’s insulting is Lillehaug’s tone as exemplified here:

As any fifth-grade student could tell Emmer, a federal law becomes effective throughout the nation when passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution provides, or even hints, that state legislatures and a governor must agree to opt in before a federal law is valid. As a lawyer, Emmer should be presumed to know at least as much about the U.S. Constitution as a fifth-grader.

Perhaps Mr. Lillehaug can explain why the federal government can enact laws that infringe upon a state’s sovereignty without violating the Tenth Amendment. Perhaps he could but I wouldn’t bet on it. Perhaps Mr. Lillehuag should get Janine Turner’s daughter Juliette to teach him about the principles of federalism.

While Juliette isn’t a fifth-grader, she is a mature 12-year-old who has extensively studied the Federalist Papers. That means there’s a good chance she knows more about the constuction of the U.S. Constitution than the esteemed Mr. Lillehaug.

At the end of the day, federal legislators who’ve sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution have done more to mangle it than they’ve done to live within its limits.

Thank God for principled constitutionalists like Tom Emmer, Janine and Juliette Turner. Without them, federal legislators and liberals like Mr. Lillehaug might continue mangling the Constitution.

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Tarryl’s latest statement criticizing Michele Bachmann sounds almost identical to her other statements criticizing Michele Bachmann. According to Tarryl, Michele doesn’t spend time in the district and she doesn’t represent the district:

“Congresswoman Bachmann’s travels this week are like a reverse ‘Beverly Hillbillies’; she starts in Beverly Hills and then heads off to discover Big Oil in Texas,” Zach Rodvold, Tarryl Clark’s Campaign Manager said. “But Beverly Hills is not Blaine, and while her travels to California and Texas help Michele Bachmann, they don’t do a thing for her constituents.”

Last weekend, Bachmann was in Beverly Hills for a campaign appearance alongside the controversial leader of the ‘birther’ movement, Orly Taitz, the second time the two have appeared jointly.

First off, Rodvold’s whining reference to Orly Taitz is foolish because the average voter doesn’t know and doesn’t care who Orly Taitz is. It isn’t like a voter will walk into a voting booth and say “OMG. Michele Bachmann attended a fundraiser with Orly Taitz, I can’t vote for her.” Those that will use that as an excuse are already predisposed to voting for Tarryl.

PERSUASION FACTOR: 0 (meaning it won’t change a single vote.)

Also, talking about Michele’s constituents here in the Sixth District, the reality is that small businesses know that Michele won’t raise taxes on them like Tarryl did. Further, they know that Michele isn’t prone to excessive spending binges like Tarryl is.

During the final weekend push by Michele Bachmann in St. Cloud, Esme Murphy asked if I’d mind answering a few of her questions on why I supported Michele. I willingly agreed to that, saying that Michele’s supporters won’t abandon her because she won’t abandon us on issues like cutting taxes, making it easier for small businesses to flourish, on pushing for a robust domestic, all-of-the-above energy policy that ends our reliance on foreign oil.

I further pointed out that Michele is strong on national/homeland security at a time when we needed to stay ever-vigilant against terrorists. At the time, I didn’t know how important it was; I had no way of knowing how irresponsible this administration would be.

Simply put, the Clark press shop is a one-trick pony. Their press releases sound the same themes over and over again. The typical Clark statement talks about ‘working for the district’, Michele travelling yet again before finishing with a reminder that Tarryl is ‘on our side.’ (Never mind all the times she’s tried killing small businesses with major tax increases. I guess those don’t count.)

Frankly, I could write Tarryl’s statements in my sleep. They don’t require thought, at least not to any great extent. If Tarryl continues with this messaging, then she’ll lose. She’ll lose because her communications won’t change votes.

That’s bad news for Tarryl because her beliefs aren’t a good fit for the Sixth District. Her voting for huge tax increases are utterly disastrous. Her votes against genuine health care reforms won’t endear her to anyone, either.

The only thing that Tarryl Clark’s communications will do is keep liberals in her camp. If that’s Tarryl’s planned path to victory, then she’d best start writing her concession speech because a liberals only path in the Sixth District isn’t a winning path.

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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

House Minority Leader John Boehner has some great advice for President Obama in this statement:

“Out-of-touch Washington Democrats’ problem isn’t the sales pitch for ObamaCare; the problem is ObamaCare itself. No glitzy PR campaign can hide the new health care law’s higher costs, higher taxes, Medicare cuts, and payoffs to Washington special interests. The fact that President Obama is promoting Medicare rebate checks that more than nine out of 10 Medicare beneficiaries will never receive is an indication of just how desperate the White House has become.

“A steady stream of inconvenient truths has tripped up the sales pitch for President Obama’s government takeover of health care since it became law. Analyses by both the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Obama Administration’s own Medicare actuary have confirmed that the new health care law will raise health care costs, not lower them as promised. In recognition of the new law’s crushing impact on job creation, the nation’s leading small business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), has joined with 20 states in a lawsuit against the Obama Administration. Millions of seniors are set to be forced off their current Medicare coverage. Employers bracing for the new law’s higher costs are already signaling that they will have to cut hours, eliminate jobs, or drop employee coverage altogether.

“The sooner President Obama can accept the fact that Americans have rejected his health care law, the sooner we can repeal it and replace it with common-sense reforms that lower costs and protect American jobs.”

It’s painfully obvious that Obamacare is a losing issue for Democrats. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t need a high-priced spin campaign to sell it after it’s become law.

It’s one thing to put a campaign together to get historic legislation passed. If it’s thoughtful, intelligent legislation, it’ll sell itself. It shouldn’t need a 5 year, $125,000,000,000 commitment to sell the legislation after it’s signed into law.

Here in Minnesota, Rep. Paul Thissen wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s St. Cloud Times in an attempt to defend Obamacare. Here’s where Rep. Thissen’s argument goes south:

This month, Minnesota has the chance to move those individuals to Medicaid. Taking the Medicaid option would match our billion-plus with a billion-plus in federal dollars. (We’d also cover about 10,000 more people, but for every additional dollar we’d spend, the state would get back $7.45, a strong return on investment.)

By admitting that these extra 10,000 people would be absorbed by Medicaid, Rep. Thissen is admitting that they’re getting dumped into a program that doesn’t control costs. We know this thanks to this post on the Heritage Foundation’s blog:

How fiscally shaky is Medicaid today? Well, last year Congress used the stimulus bill to give states $87 billion to help them cover rising Medicaid costs. And that doesn’t seem to be enough.

A recent letter from House Democrats encourages their colleagues to give states another $24 billion to help them cover Medicaid costs for another six months. “Without this funding,” the letter says, “our states will be forced to make severe cuts to Medicaid providers and benefits, and the ensuing budget shortfall would have grave consequences for school funding and other essential state programs.”

Why would Rep. Thissen think that putting people in a program whose costs are spiraling out of control is smart policy? That’s before talking about the fact that the $24,000,000,000 isn’t just in addition to the $87,000,000,000. It’s in addition to the $87,000,000,000 appropriation in 2009 plus the $87,000,000,000 added to the Medicaid baseline budget in FY2010.

This information is particularly helpful in deciding whether expanding Medicaid is a good deal for states:

Please recall that the federal taxpayer is required to foot the entire bill for the big expansion that starts in 2014. But after 2016, states will be on the hook to pay their share of a massively larger program.

I wrote frequently and extensively about how Medicaid expansion would hurt states’ budgets. The Democrats’ own letter verifies my worries. It wasn’t the Republicans’ letter that said not throwing money at Medicaid “would have grave consequences for school funding and other essential state programs.”

If Rep. Thissen wants to argue with that assessment, I’m sure he can contact the Democrats that offered that appraisal. If Democrats didn’t think of Medicaid as sacrosanct, beyond review, they might’ve found a sustainable solution to this nation’s health care problems. Because they were chained to the past ‘solutions’ that are now failing, Democrats were chained to the same-old-same-old.

That isn’t a solution. It’s just a tired exercise in ancient ideology.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

According to MPP’s Joe Bodell, racial profiling is unconstitutional, meaning that the Constitution talks about racial profiling:

Emmer did call Arizona’s new immigration racial profiling law a “wonderful” step in that state’s social progress, and has not yet issued a statement on similar efforts in Minnesota.

On one hand, it’s kind of ridiculous that we have to ask gubernatorial candidates “where do you stand on unconstitutional racial profiling laws?” On the other hand, don’t we deserve to know?

The Constitution doesn’t say anything about racial profiling. First things first: the Constitution deals with the federal government’s structure and responsibilities. PERIOD. If Mr. Bodell wants to argue that the Bill of Rights talks about racial profiling, I’d love to hear Mr. Bodell cite which amendment in the Bill of Rights talks about racial profiling.

Secondly, and more importantly, the Arizona law isn’t about racial profiling. If a law enforcement officer spots someone breaking a traffic law, like speeding or reckless driving, the law enforcement officer will ask for the driver’s license and registration. That’s done whether the person is Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian- or African-American.

If a person doesn’t produce a license or registration, the officer is then trained to ask whether the person is in the country legally. Again, that’s done whether the driver is Swedish, Hispanic, Asian- or African-American. According to the new law, the inquiry ends the minute the driver produces a drivers license.

Why does Mr. Bodell think that’s racial profiling? Better yet, does Mr. Bodell think that’s racial profiling? If he doesn’t, then the next question is whether he’s just saying that in an attempt to put mainstream conservatives like Tom Emmer on the defensive for the campaign or to establish a negative narrative.

It’s just a hunch but I suspect that the DFL is attempting to paint all Republicans as extremists. In following that pattern, the DFL is actually painting itself into a corner much like Jimmy Carter did during the 1980 campaign against Gov. Reagan.

For those of you too young to remember that campaign, Jimmy Carter tried painting President Reagan as unstable, trigger-happy, too unstable to “have his finger on the button.” That wasn’t all that successful prior to their only debate but it got exponentially worse during the debate.

Americans watching that night saw Gov. Reagan as being a positive, upbeat and measured man. Immediately, President Carter’s main argument disappeared.

The DFL is painting a similar picture of Tom Emmer and Dan Severson. That’s to their peril because both men are advocates for reasonable policies. Tom Emmer thinks that government hasn’t been responsive to the people’s needs. Most people share that opinion. They’ve told DFL lawmakers that they’re taxed too much.

Instead of keeping taxes stable, the DFL annually passes tax increase legislation. Annually, Gov. Pawlenty vetoes it and the GOP House sustain Gov. Pawlenty’s veto. Last year, Gene Pelowski, a DFL chairman, took the DFL to the woodshed for passing tax increase legislation.

If anything, moderate DFL legislators are moving in Tom Emmer’s direction. Does that mean they’re extremists, too?

But I digress.

The subject was whether Arizona law enforcement officers should have the authority to protect Arizonans from the Mexican drug cartels’ violence. Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen sent out an email to her constituents on the testimony taken in committee prior to passing Arizona’s law enforcement law:

Rancher Rob Krantz was murdered by the drug cartel on his ranch a month ago. I participated in a senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence, here is just some of the highlights from those who testified.

The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the Arizona/Mexico Border have for years been terrorized and have pleaded for help to stop the daily invasion of humans who cross their property. One Rancher testified that 300 to 1200 people a DAY come across his ranch vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles and property, cutting down his fences, and leaving trash. In the last two years he has found 17 dead bodies and two Koran bibles.

Another rancher testified that daily drugs are brought across his ranch in a military operation. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, 1/2 mile behind are the guards fully armed, 1/2 mile behind them are the drugs, behind the drugs 1/2 mile are more guards. These people are violent and they will kill anyone who gets in the way. This was not the only rancher we heard that day that talked about the drug trains.

One man told of two illegal’s who came upon his property one shot in the back and the other in the arm by the drug runners who had forced them to carry the drugs and then shot them. Daily they listen to gun fire during the night it is not safe to leave his family alone on the ranch and they can’t leave the ranch for fear of nothing being left when they come back.

Does Mr. Bodell want to argue that Arizona law enforcement officers shouldn’t deal with these violent criminals? After all, that’s supposedly the federal government’s responsibility.

If Mr. Bodell wants to argue that it’s illegal for law enforcement officers to protect the citizens they’re sworn to protect or that that’s a view outside the mainstream, I’d love hearing him justify that position.

Just four words on how that’s likely to go: Good luck with that.

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Last week, Betty McCollum took to the House floor to decry the violent tones emanating from the TEA Party rallies across the nation. Here’s a transcript of that brief speech:

MCCOLLUM: When members of Congress compare health care legislation to government tyranny, socialism or totalitarianism in the hopes of scoring political points, it’s like pouring gas on a fire of extremism. I don’t want another Oklahoma City to ever take place again. And just as we would not give aid and comfort to al-Qaeda, let us not allow the words of our elected leaders to give comfortable excuses to extremists bent on violence.

First, a number of important points must be made to Rep. McCollum’s speech. First,’s definition of tyranny fits pretty nicely into the health care debate:

oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.

Ignoring the will of the people, writing the final health care bill in Speaker Pelosi’s office with only the inner circle of liberals surrounding her certainly fits the description of oppressive and unjust government. In fact, it fits perfectly.

Second,the only documented and verifiable violence during the health care debate was perpetrated by SEIU thugs. I’d defy Rep. McCollum to provide proof of a TEA Party activist involved in acts of violence.

Third, contrary to Rep. McCollum’s and President Clinton’s opinions, Oklahoma City was caused by President Clinton. Had Janet Reno not invaded the Branch Davidian compound with such an overwhelming show of force, Timothy McVeigh wouldn’t have committed his horrible act of violence:

Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was a United States Army veteran and former security guard who was convicted of detonating a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people, including 19 children under the age of six. It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks,[3] and is referred to as the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh, a militia movement sympathizer, sought revenge against the federal government for the Waco Siege which had ended in the deaths of 76 people exactly two years earlier. He also hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered a tyrannical federal government.

There’s no similarity between the TEA Party rallies and the siege at Waco. The Oklahoma City Bombing happened because the federal government’s siege directly led to the death of 76 civilians. Tim McVeigh didn’t act because of any words that were spoken. Tim McVeigh committed his act of violence because of what the federal government did.

Let’s be clear about this: I’m not justifying McVeigh’s actions. The taking of innocent life isn’t excusable. PERIOD. End of discussion.

Here’s Michele Bachmann’s response to Rep. McCollum:

BACHMANN: Well, apparently it’s hate speech when it’s on the right and it’s not hate speech when it’s on the left so, you know, go figure where that comes from.

The main thing right now is the government takeover of private industry and we’re seeing it in one sector after another. And the worst is this new financial regulation bill where the federal government wants to decide who will get credit in the future in the United States. They want to decide what a bank teller in Peoria, IL will make and they also want to give permanent bailout authority to the federal government and bypass Congress. That is the federal government coming in in a real thuggish way if you will and taking over the board rooms of private industry. This is what makes people very unsure about their government right now.

The Democrats have been singing from a discredited hymnal for over a week now. Anytime a Republican criticizes the Democrats on policy, Democrats either trot out the violence card or the race card. Democrats don’t engage substantively because they know they aren’t on the side of the angels in the substantive debate.

Michele’s next reply totally nails it:

REP. BACHMANN: When people on the right are disagreeing with the Obama administration, that we’re fomenting violence. Well I think that violence is when the Democrat-controlled base, whether it’s President Obama, Harry Reid or Speaker Pelosi, when they feel that their political position of power is being attacked, that’s what they equate violence with. But, as a matter of fact, the First Amendment was written specifically to guarantee freedom of political speech. People have the right to disagree with their government, especially when they see these unprecedented actions that are taking place by this president, putting us in greater debt than we’ve ever seen, increasing taxes to a level that we haven’t seen before, at least what they’re talking about increasing taxes to and this very unprecedented level of the federal government taking over private banks, car companies, insurance companies, the federal government owning over half the home mortgages, taking over the student loan industry, health care, of course the people are reacting.

The First Amendment indeed was ratified so that people could speak out against political leaders when they disagreed. Without that right, there wouldn’t have been a check against the federal government. The Founding Fathers certainly wrote the Constitution to negate the possibility of an all-powerful, tyrannical federal government. They wrote checks and balances into the Constitution for a reason.

Rep. McCollum and the other Democrats singing from this tattered hymnal don’t have any credibility, partially because they stood silent during the anti-war rallies sponsored by CodePink, and other far left organizations when President Bush was hung in effigy, when pictures of President Bush had Hitler mustaches on his face and a bullet hole in his forehead.

The Democrats are playing with fire this time. The Democrats have been portraying the TEA Party participants as knuckle-dragging rednecks, high school dropouts and hardline conservative extremists. That myth was shattered last week when a poll showed that 43 percent of the TEA Party participants identified themselves as independents and 8 percent identified themselves as Democrats.

Steve Hayes put it best here:

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: It’s interesting to watch not only the evolution of the Tea Parties themselves but the evolution of how they are treated by the elite.

Remember when the Tea Parties first started this was a fringe group and they were angry and a bunch of kooks. And then people gradually understood that they were our neighbors, and in the case of Congress, their constituents.

It’s one thing to rail against a faceless extremist. It’s another when a politician rails against his constituents, especially when people know that their neighbor or friend or co-worker is attending TEA Party rallies.

The minute that that faceless extremist becomes a living, breathing person, the sting goes out of the accusations. In fact, that’s where the anti-TEA Party backlash will start.

The Democrats are desperately grasping at straws with this strategy. It’s bound to fire up the TEA Party faithful. That isn’t a good thing for Democrats because the people found at TEA Party rallies look alot like Mainstreet America.

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