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She isn’t even the Speaker again but Nancy Pelosi is declaring war against President Trump. Rather than attempting to sound a bipartisan tone, “House Democrats’ first order of business in the new Congress will be targeting President Trump’s tax returns, setting the confrontational tone of the lower chamber.”

Democrats want “to get access to Trump’s tax records, with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, saying the request will be made as soon as Democrats officially take control of the House in January. ‘We need to give every major provision of this new tax law scrutiny that Republicans refused to provide last year,” he said. ‘I think it’s important for our oversight to get those tax returns.'”

Talk about wasting time. Democrats aren’t even trying to dress this up as policy-driven. Expect Democrats to howl that President Trump is hiding something when this bill dies in the Senate. The next step is to declare a need for yet another pointless, counterproductive investigation. If/when that investigation is initiated, expect Ancient Elijah Cummings to lead that witch hunt.

Republicans would be wise to highlight vulnerable Democrats’ participation in these investigations. The ads virtually write themselves. Imagine, too, if those Democrats vote for Ms. Pelosi for Speaker after promising not to vote for her.

The phrase being peddled by Democrats is that they “can walk and chew gum at the same time”, meaning that they can investigate President Trump and still pass (supposedly) popular legislation, too. I’m betting otherwise. I’m betting that they’ll spend tons of time investigating trivial things like President Trump’s tax returns while compromising little and notching little in the way of legislative accomplishments.

Frankly, I can’t picture Elijah Cummings, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff or Maxine Waters exercising much investigative restraint.

John Kass’s column highlights the Democrats’ empty immigration plan. Kass’s column opens by saying “if there is one thing worse than that photograph of a little Honduran boy breathing through an oxygen mask after being hit with tear gas on our Southern border, it’s this: Using that image as a sentimental weapon to fend off or obliterate clearheaded immigration policy. But that’s where we are now, aren’t we? The caravan of thousands of Central American migrants is finally at the border.”

President Obama mocked Republicans, hinting that we were paranoid for thinking that impoverished people in a caravan 1,000 miles from our border posed an existential threat. Now that the election is behind us, President Obama has taken his trash-talking off the stage and gone into hiding.

That isn’t surprising. He never won a fight based on persuasion. The few fights he won were won by trash-talking and with his infamous pen and phone. Here’s President Obama with his trash-talking:

If the media ever forced Democrats to debate immigration substantively, the fight wouldn’t last long. Thankfully for Democrats, there’s no chance that the MSM will force them into that fight. Unfortunately for Democrats, I’ll do my best to pick that fight.

If Democrats were ever forced into admitting that the border wall was as much about stopping fentanyl as it is about stopping illegal aliens entering the country, they’d look like idiots. If Democrats were forced into admitting that the people putting these caravans together also traffic in sex slaves and have caused most of the opioid epidemic, they’d instantly lose the fight over border wall funding.

Frankly, that’s why I hope there is a government shutdown on Pelosi’s watch. I want this attention focused on Democrats’ unwillingness to stop the opioid crisis before it starts. I want this attention focused on all of the components of illegal immigration. Finally, I want Republicans highlighting the difference between illegal immigration and legal, by-the-books immigration.

It’s time to have an adult conversation about immigration. Democrats won’t do that unless they’re forced into it.

There’s no question that my councilman, Steve Laraway, wears rose-colored glasses. At least, there isn’t any question about that after reading Mr. Laraway’s recent LTE.

In his LTE, Mr. Laraway sneered down his nose at his constituents, saying “We have just gone through an election season that once again focused on division and negatives about the candidates, their voting record, how they might vote or how poorly they represent their constituents. In the campaign for St. Cloud City Council, we consistently heard how bad things were in St. Cloud. Quite honestly, I love living in St. Cloud. I put together a list of 10 things I love about St. Cloud. This list is not all-encompassing, but are my thoughts. The list includes:”

  1. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens and all the other parks and trails in St. Cloud — top tourist attractions right here;
  2. Entertainment venues such as The Paramount and Pioneer Place;
  3. Our proximity to the Mississippi River, the river brings history and beauty every day;
  4. Outdoor gatherings such as Summertime by George, Fifth Avenue Live and the Cathedral Block Party;
  5. The beautiful and diverse neighborhoods;
  6. The Stearns History Museum and the Great River Regional Library: Both allow us to learn from our past;
  7. The YMCA and Whitney Senior Center;
  8. The St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare;
  9. World-class music options: We can listen to music as varied as the Fabulous Armadillos or the St. John’s Boys’ Choir; and
  10. Higher education: We have access to top-notch higher education opportunities.

First, it isn’t surprising that Mr. Laraway praised CentraCare since he sits on their board. Next, people must wonder what solar system Mr. Laraway is from if he thinks that “we have access to top-notch higher education opportunities.” What Mr. Laraway didn’t mention is that St. Cloud’s economic metrics are terrible.

According to the Census Bureau’s website, the median household income for the state of Minnesota is $63,217 in 2016 dollars. The percent of people in Minnesota living below the Federal Poverty Level, aka FPL, was 9.5%. By comparison, Hibbing’s median household income was $42,004 while 18.2% of its residents lived below the FPL. Sartell, St. Cloud’s neighbor to the north, has a median household income of $71,959 while 4% of its residents live below the FPL.

Sit down before you read this set of statistics. The median household income for St. Cloud was $45,223. An astronomical (and frankly immoral) 23.2% of St. Cloud residents live below the FPL! How dare Mr. Laraway suggest that St. Cloud is a great place to live when one-fourth of its population is living below the Federal Poverty Level. For that matter, Dave Masters should be ashamed of himself for saying that St. Cloud already was a great place to live.

Masters and Laraway are delusional or dishonest. At this point, it’s possible they’re both.

I don’t think I’m outlandish in saying that the Democrats’ economic plan is short on growth and heavy on regulations and socialism.

For instance, the “presumptive incoming speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has vowed to pass this wage floor [$15 minimum wage] in the first 100 hours of the new Congress.” Why would she do this?

Even in wealthy Seattle, which passed a $15 minimum wage in 2014, independent researchers at the University of Washington revealed that entry-level jobs and hours worked fell as a direct consequence. As a result of reduced hours, entry-level wages actually fell by $1,500 a year, on average. A minimum wage increase that reduces wages? Just more proof that you can’t fight economics. If the $15 fallout was this bad in Seattle, think of the consequences to Main Street and entry-level employees in poorer cities such as Shreveport, Sioux Falls and South Bend.

Voting Democrat is voting against pro-growth economic policies. That isn’t to say that all Democrats are illiterate when it comes to economics. My point is that people like Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other progressive/socialist hardliners, where the energy in the Democratic Party is, hate pro-growth policies.

Hardline progressives/socialists see economics upside-down. They don’t get it that cutting taxes increases economic activity. These Democrats don’t understand that cutting regulations increases an entrepreneur’s incentive to start a new business. For that matter, only entrepreneurs notice that regulations prevent new businesses from starting.

This fall, the one thing I thought was missing was that Republicans didn’t make the case in specific enough terms of how voting for Democrats would hurt economic growth. This video is from 3 years ago:

The path to higher wages is through business-friendly policies. President Reagan, as he frequently did, put it best when he said that that you can’t pro-jobs and anti-employer. When President Obama raised corporate taxes, corporations left for other countries. In that instance, ‘fairness’ hurt American workers.

Why shouldn’t we learn that dramatically raising the minimum wage hurts everyone? Seattle’s increase to $15/hr. only increased automation while shrinking working hours. That’s rather counterproductive.

The Democrats’ economic blueprint is a blueprint for stagnation.

I knew from the first moment that Democrat House candidates said that they wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker if they retook the House that they were lying. Now that she’s on the verge of winning the Speakership, I can say ‘I told you so’. All the big talk was for their protection. It wasn’t serious. Here’s another prediction: most of the candidates that said they wouldn’t support Pelosi will be allowed to vote present so they won’t (technically) break their promise.

That’s a scam, too, because voting present doesn’t hurt Pelosi. Pelosi is showing why she’s part of the Swamp. The truth is that Pelosi is what’s wrong with Washington. She’s into what’s next on her political checklist. She isn’t into what’s best for America.

People can’t say that the ACA made America more prosperous or produced more security. Medicare For All won’t either. They’re both items on the Democrats’ ideological checklist. Neither item will make America more prosperous or secure. This explains what happens in the Swamp:

Rep. Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat who has criticized Pelosi for months and vowed repeatedly to vote against her in the new Congress, announced his support for the California Democrat.

“It is likely that Nancy Pelosi is going to be the speaker,” Higgins said in an interview explaining his change of mind. “To be truthful about it, not only is there not a viable alternative, right now there’s not an alternative.”

That was always the case. Saying that you wouldn’t vote for Ms. Pelosi wasn’t honest. It was just a lie, a defensive mechanism, a way to pretend that you were a moderate. Moderates don’t exist in the Democratic Party anymore. They’re moderates only until Nancy needs their votes on something far left wing. Then they snap to attention:

Don’t buy into the notion that the problems encountered during Florida’s recount were systemic or mechanical. That’s the conclusion I reached after I read this investigative article.

I’m being charitable if I say that Broward County’s management is ineffective. I’d call them the ‘county that can’t shoot straight’ but that wouldn’t be accurate. Remember that when the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting happened in Broward County, the deputies refused to enter the building, much less confront the shooter.

Think about this: 2 of the biggest stories this year happened in Broward County, FL. The Parkland shooting and the FL recount highlighted Broward County’s mismanagement. With the Parkland shooting, Sheriff Israel’s ineptitude was highlighted. With the recount, Dr. Brenda Snipes’ ineptitude was highlighted.

That said, Palm Beach County’s recount wasn’t a picture of perfection, either:

“It became evident through the vigorous pace of counting that the machines used for the recount were starting to get stressed,” Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher told reporters last week.

In a further twist, the company behind the Palm Beach machines says official claims that they overheated are false. “The idea that this equipment is at fault is a mischaracterization,” Kay Stimson, vice president of government affairs for Dominion Voting Systems, told RealClearInvestigations. “There were no reports of overheating machines during the recount. We had engineers on the ground there, available 24/7, and they heard nothing from anyone at Palm Beach County.”

This is fantastic news:

Good riddance. As a good friend often says, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.’ By the time the recount finished, pretty much the only people still supporting Dr. Snipes were relatives. Gov. DeSantis will pick Dr. Snipes’ replacement.

When H. Ross Perot talked about NAFTA, he talked about a “giant sucking sound.” Apparently, he was right about that. That isn’t what I’m talking about, though. I’m talking about the last gasps coming from Sen. Nelson’s political career.

According to the Washington Post, “Florida’s two largest counties completed hand recounts in the state’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race on Friday morning, dispatching the meticulous process with startling speed.” Sen. Nelson’s chances were virtually nil at the start of the hand recount so this isn’t startling from a win-or-loss standpoint. The writing was on the proverbial wall.

What this means, though, is that Sen. Nelson’s best counties for gaining votes just disintegrated. By tonight or tomorrow afternoon, Sen. Nelson will be forced to concede. This press availability just makes Sen. Nelson and Sen. Schumer look like blowhards:

It’s impossible to take either man seriously. Sen. Nelson knows that Florida’s governor plays virtually no role in recounts, only entering the picture after the recounts are finished and the Secretary of State has signed the election certificates. Sen. Schumer nodding approvingly while Sen. Nelson was making his asinine statements just makes him look like an out-of-touch partisan.

A judge tossed out one of Sen. Nelson’s lawsuits, too, which is another indicator that Sen. Nelson is running out of opportunities to reverse the voters’ verdict. I suspect pressure is building that will require Sen. Nelson to admit defeat within the next 12-18 hrs.

Lost in all the shouting about Brenda Snipes’ ineptitude and corruption was the fact that Florida completed its gubernatorial recount on time. Lost in the shuffle is the fact that Ron DeSantis is the all-but-official Governor-Elect of Florida. He isn’t officially the Governor-Elect until Florida’s Secretary of State signs the document saying he’s Florida’s next governor.

It’s worth noting, though, before going forward that Broward County missed the recount deadline by 2 minutes even though they completed the machine recount a little after midnight Thursday night. (The deadline was 3:00 pm ET.)

While we’re at this point in history, it’s time to inspect all the flaws in Florida’s election system. The most important thing that must be done is to rewrite the recount laws. For example, in the governor’s race, 8,000,000+ votes were cast. DeSantis’ margin of victory was .41% or 33,000+ votes.

Let’s admit that there isn’t a snowball’s prayer in hell of overturning an election with a margin that big. Further, let’s admit that machine recounts are the most accurate recounts known to man. Finally, let’s admit that, while .41% sounds close, it isn’t when you’re talking about 8,000,000 votes.

I’d even argue that .25% on a statewide race is beyond overturning. In the Florida Senate race, Bill Nelson trails by 12,603 votes or .18%. There isn’t a snowball’s prayer in hell that Nelson will close that gap in any meaningful way.

The lesson is that Florida should rewrite their statewide recount laws to say automatic recounts aren’t triggered unless the margin is less than 1,500 votes. Even then, it’s doubtful that they’d overturn that election.

While we can’t outlaw the term ‘count every vote’, it’s totally acceptable to highlight the fact that nobody opposes the counting of legally cast ballots. Highlight the fact that Democrats can’t provide proof that any vote anywhere hasn’t been counted. Question Democrats on the details. Ask them if any of the ballots in any county in Florida, whether they were absentee ballots, early ballots or ballots cast on ‘Election Day’ weren’t counted.

Finally, Florida and other states should put in place strict rules for interpreting a voter’s intent on undercounts or overcounts. Trying to diving the voter’s intent is as trustworthy as picking winning lottery numbers.

Congratulations to Gov-Elect DeSantis for keeping Florida in Republican control.

Just when I didn’t think Democrats couldn’t get nuttier, they prove me wrong. This time, Sen. Kamala Harris, (D-Calif.), showed her nuts-beyond-belief credentials while questioning Ronald D. Vitiello, who is President Trump’s nominee to become the permanent ICE director.

Here’s the exchange between Sen. Harris and Director Vitiello:

Minutes later Ms. Harris, a California Democrat who’s eyeing a 2020 presidential bid, said there are “many” people who perceive ICE officers as similar to KKK thugs in using violence and intimidation. “I’m very specific about what I’m asking,” she said. “Are you aware that there’s a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?”

“I see no perception that puts ICE in the same category as the KKK,” Mr. Vitiello retorted.

What type of grandstanding jackass thinks that ICE and the KKK are perceived the same way? This isn’t a serious interrogation because ICE is nothing like the KKK. First, the KKK tried striking fear in the hearts of minorities because they wanted the US to stay segregated. Next, the KKK hated the people that they intimidated. They thought that African-Americans were subhuman, which gave the KKK permission to torment them. Finally, the KKK intimidated African-Americans while breaking the law and while hiding their identities.

ICE enforces the law. They don’t hate illegal aliens and they certainly don’t hide their identities. Other than that, they’re nothing like the KKK.

Sen. Harris is disgusting. She’s grandstanding and she knows it. She’s trying to stand out from the other nobodies running for the Democrat presidential nomination.

In this video, Laura Ingraham interviews Judge Ken Starr and former assistant US Attorney Andy McCarthy about Jeff Flake’s bill to ‘protect’ Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

I don’t know what they put in the water in Arizona but something’s making their politicians idiots. It’s also making them ignore the Constitution. Why would a US senator think that he can ‘protect’ an employee of the Executive Branch with a bill that’s only passed by one house of Congress? What Sen. Flake is attempting to do is hold up dozens of highly qualified judges until his bill is debated and voted on.

That’s the definition of negotiating from a position of weakness. Even if he temporarily stops this batch of judges, he can only do so until the new year. After that, he’s no longer a US senator. All President Trump has to do is resubmit these judicial nominees to a larger GOP majority and they’ll sail through. By then, too, the spending bills will have been passed.

Finally, let’s be honest about something important. The Russia collusion scandal will either be ancient history before the 2020 presidential election or the public will have turned against Adam Schiff by then. Every time Democrats, including Sen. Flake, have accused him of wanting to stop Mueller’s investigation, President Trump has said he’ll let the investigation run its course.

I haven’t kept track but I’m betting that this has pattern has repeated itself more than a dozen times. At what point will Democrats and Flake figure it out that they’re seen as blowhards? PS- I’m not even certain that they’ll drop this after Mueller’s report is in their hands.