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Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s literary defense of Al Franken is flimsy, using platitudes instead of logic. For instance, Sen. Feinstein wrote “Senate Republicans have done a head-spinning 180 on the value of the ‘blue slip,’ a 100-year-old tool that gives home state senators the ability to sign off on judicial nominees in their states. This practice ensures that the White House consults senators on lifetime appointments and that nominees are mainstream and well-suited to serve in their states.”

Theoretically, that last statement is true. The details matter, though. Al Franken abused the system by saying that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras was too conservative even though Alan Page, a retired liberal Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, spoke glowingly of Justice Stras’s temperament and intellectual integrity.

Minnesotans who’ve paid attention to this situation know that Sen. Franken was using the blue slip to slow down confirmation of Justice Stras. This wasn’t about making sure President Trump’s nominees were sufficiently mainstream. We knew Justice Stras was because of his ABA rating and because of who endorsed him.

Here’s what Sen. Feinstein is really worried about:

This move would give President Trump free rein to pick whomever he wants and stack our federal courts with young, ideological judges preferred by Washington-based right-wing groups like the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network.

Sen. Feinstein didn’t utter a peep when President Obama worked with Sen. Reid to pack the DC Circuit Court of Appeals with young left-wing ideologues. Now that it’s the Democrats that aren’t getting their way, Democrats are whining. I’ll tell Sen. Feinstein what President Obama told Eric Cantor, which is “Elections have consequences. We won.”

The second false claim is that the blue slip is being abused because senators have never before used it to ensure the White House consults them on judicial nominees.

Sen. Feinstein isn’t telling the whole truth on this. Sen. Franken isn’t using the blue slip to ensure that the Trump administration consults with senators. Sen. Franken is using the blue slip as a one-man veto of conservative judicial nominees. It’s that simple.

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Franken is part of the Resistance Movement. Also, it isn’t a secret that he’s one of the most partisan hacks imaginable.

This LTE has a helpless feel to it that’s sad to see. When the writer says “A quick google search yields a third: Between 20 and 25 percent of mall will close within five years and Credit Suisse estimates that a record 8,600 stores will close this year, according to Money.com. Larson closes by noting ‘ … both will likely yield to something as yet unimagined within our lifetime.’ Allow me to imagine that some of these shuttered malls should be repurposed to house the homeless — ‘The fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is families with children. About two-fifths (41 percent) of the homeless population is made up of families,’ according to the Huffington Post.”

What a blithering idiot. No, let’s not transition these malls into homeless shelters. Let’s fix the problem that President Obama created. Let’s fix the economy so people, families especially, can find good-paying jobs that support families. For eight years, Democrats have whined about income inequality and raising the minimum wage. That’s Bernie Sanders’ economic message. Since then, it’s been co-opted by Elizabeth Warren nationally and Rebecca Otto here in Minnesota.

It’s a recipe for disaster but have Republicans said enough to highlight the fact that Sanders’ message is one of short- and long-term economic disaster? What’s unfortunately happened is that there are too many crony capitalists in the GOP. We need unabashed, full-throated Jack Kemp-Ronald Reagan capitalists.

President Trump is on the right track. He’s already outperforming President Obama by leaps and bounds. Economic growth is returning. Jobs are being created. Consumer confidence is surging. Why isn’t that the Republicans’ message? It’s just a hunch but I’m betting that the GOPe doesn’t want to give up power. I’m betting they’d rather Trump fail than give up their positions of power. (Vin Weber and Paul Manafort fit into that category.)

First, it’s time to stand up to the Weber-Manafort wing of the GOPe. After that, it’s time to obliterate the Sanders-Warren-Otto wing of the Democratic Party. The sooner it happens, the sooner we’ll be able to stop thinking about treating economic symptoms and start fixing economic problems.

That can’t happen fast enough.

A month+ ago, Ed Gillespie didn’t seem to have much of a chance of becoming Virginia’s next governor. This morning, I’m predicting that he’ll win next Tuesday’s election. This article explains why he’s likely to win. The article opens by saying “A television ad depicting supporters of Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie as Confederates who attack children of color has been pulled in the wake of the terror attack in New York City. The Democratic group Latino Victory Fund removed the controversial ad, which showed a pickup truck driver chasing down children of color on Tuesday, Oct. 31.”

This close to an election, polling isn’t reliable because things are fluid. At this point in the campaign, it’s all about Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operations, capitalizing on backlashes and momentum swings. I’d bet the proverbial ranch that the pulled ad is creating an anti-Northam backlash. Cristobal J. Alex, the “president of the LVF,” posted a tweet saying “We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see. We have decided to pull our ad at this time. Given recent events, we will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.”

Alex apparently didn’t learn the first rule of holes, which is that “if you’re in one, stop digging.” This Washington Post editorial states “Ralph Northam would not have run this ad and believes Virginians deserve civility, not escalation,” a spokesman for Mr. Northam emailed us.” Northam didn’t criticize this ad immediately:

Northam’s silence says everything that voters need to know about Northam’s lack of character. Ben Shapiro’s article details the ad, saying “Monday, just days ahead of Virginia’s hotly contested gubernatorial election, the Latino Victory Fund released an ad opposing Republican Ed Gillespie. The ad is uniquely horrifying. It features four minority children, Latino, Asian, Muslim, African-American, running for their lives from a white man driving a pick-up truck. The truck is festooned with a giant Confederate Flag, a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ license plate, and a prominent “Gillespie for Governor” bumper sticker. It runs the children into a dead end, its lights washing out their terrified faces. The children wake up in their beds. We then flash to video of the Charlottesville white-supremacist march, as a voice asks, ‘Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream'”

Don’t be surprised if this causes an anti-Democrat backlash that swamps Northam. In fact, I’d argue that the backlash has already started.

Anyone that watched Tucker Carlson interrogate Rep. Brad Sherman, (D- Calif.), last night probably thinks that Sherman is insane. That’s missing Sherman’s objective. Sherman wasn’t on to debate the issues of the day. His mission was to act like an idiot, which he accomplished, without talking about the Democrats’ Russian collusion problem. Sherman initially talked about the Republicans’ tax reform bill, which doesn’t exist yet, saying that it will kill millions of jobs while exploding the deficit. That’s more than a little strange since Tucker asked him about Hillary’s campaign and the DNC paying for the Russian dossier.

Next, Sherman insisted that Tucker didn’t “have a defense for a Trump impeachment.” When Tucker pointed out that there’s no proof of Trump colluding with the Russians but that there’s proof that the Hillary campaign hired a British spy to compile the fake Trump dossier, Sherman said that he wasn’t interested in impeaching a private citizen.

Sherman is hoping that he’s the topic everyone’s talking about Friday morning around the water cooler. Admittedly, Sherman looked like a pompous jackass who might appear insane. Still, the important thing to remember about the interview is that Tucker queried Sherman about why the Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Fusion GPS to put together a fake dossier against President Trump. On that topic, Sherman didn’t engage, instead insisting on telling Tucker which topics were important and which topics were “nonsense.”

I couldn’t watch the entire interview. Thank God for DVRs, which allowed me to speed through the parts that were unbearable to watch. I’m betting you won’t be able to watch the entire interview, either:

Again, the thing to take from the interview is that Democrats don’t want to talk about the DNC’s increasing PR problem. The other thing you’re allowed to think after watching the interview is this famous movie scene:

This morning’s article highlights how difficult 2018 will be for Senate Democrats. Everyone knows that Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Joe Manchin, Sherrod Brown and Joe Donnelly are vulnerable in 2018. They’ll be fighting a difficult, uphill fight this time.

There’s another tier of Democrats that are vulnerable, though they aren’t considered to be as vulnerable. That list includes Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Tammy Baldwin and Debbie Stabenow. That might be shifting. First, Bill Nelson is in for a dog fight:

Term-limited Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is expected to challenge incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in next year’s Senate race. A new poll from the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida shows Scott trailing Nelson by just a single point, 37 percent to 36 percent, with one in five voters undecided.

Scott holds a much higher job approval rating than does Nelson among voters in the state, 59 percent to 35 percent, which may be attributed to his recent response to Hurricane Irma. A separate poll out this week from Mason-Dixon showed that two-thirds of Floridians gave Scott a rating of “excellent” or “good” for his handling of the hurricane.

Florida isn’t the only state where Democrats might be in a difficult spot. Salena Zito’s article highlights the possibility of Michigan being more competitive than expected:

DETROIT — John James emerges with confidence from a former Detroit elementary school that has been transformed into a charter high school in the northwest side of the city. It is a stride any parent would hope to see in a son or daughter graduating from this school, founded by Jalen Rose, a former NBA player and member of the University of Michigan’s legendary “Fab 5” squad.

Outside the leafy campus of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy High School, parents wait for their children to emerge as a handful of students play on the school’s clay basketball court. James, a member of the school’s board, has just finished a board meeting, to discuss his decision to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

That isn’t all:

James is young, accomplished, black, determined, devout, and the kind of new conservative that the Grand Old Party needs in order to shake up next year’s midterm election cycle. He is at once full of energy, grace, command, and passion. When he tells you he is running on conviction, everything about this young man tells you he is not a poser. “I am called to a life of service. I want to serve my country and my community and my state. When I would come back from Iraq on leave during the great recession, the economic and societal devastation I saw here in my own state floored me,” he said.

To be fair, James is competing against other GOP candidates. Still, he’s the type of candidate that seems straight from Central Casting. If James wins the GOP primary, he’ll have a better-than-expected shot at defeating Debbie Stabenow.

Kimberley Strassel’s latest Potomac Watch article is a devastating indictment of the Democratic Party and opposition research firm Fusion GPS. Strassel’s indictment starts with her writing “To read the headlines, a poor, beleaguered opposition-research firm was humiliated and constitutionally abused this week by partisan Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. Fusion’s lawyers sent a 17-page letter to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, accusing him of misdeeds, declaring his subpoenas invalid, and invoking a supposed First Amendment right to silence. Yet the firm’s founders, the story went, were hauled in nonetheless and forced to plead the Fifth. ‘No American should experience the indignity that occurred today,’ Fusion’s lawyer, Joshua Levy, declared.”

Saying that the Democrats are neck-deep in GPS troubles is understatement. What other explanation is there for the Democrats’ recent behavior? Ms. Strassel reported “But Fusion’s secret weapon in its latest operation is the Democratic Party, whose most powerful members have made protecting Fusion’s secrets their highest priority. Senate Democrats invoked a parliamentary maneuver in July to block temporarily Mr. Browder’s public testimony. Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, has been engineering flaps to undercut and obstruct Mr. Nunes’s investigation. Democrats on the House Ethics Committee have deep-sixed what was meant to be a brief inquiry to clear Mr. Nunes so as to keep him sidelined.”

Those aren’t the actions of people wanting to find the truth. They’re the actions of people wishing to hide their evil actions.

This is telling:

The untold story is the Democrats’ unprecedented behavior. Mr. Rooney had barely started when committee staffers for Mr. Schiff interrupted, accused him of badgering witnesses, and suggested he was acting unethically. Staff do not interrupt congressmen. They do not accuse them of misbehavior. And they certainly do not act as defense attorneys for witnesses. No Democratic lawmakers had bothered to come to the hearing to police this circus.

It’s obvious that Democrats want to benefit from Fusion GPS’s nastiness but they don’t want to get tied to Fusion GPS’s tactics. Ethics charges should be brought against Schiff for not policing his staffers during the hearing. Rep. Schiff’s staffers were the ones that interrupted a sitting Republican congressman while he questioned the witnesses from Fusion GPS. Those staffers should be thrown out of that hearing if they pull another stunt like this.

Finally, there’s this:

Private-sector lawyers also tend not to accuse congressmen of unethical behavior, as Mr. Levy did in his letter to Mr. Nunes. But Fusion’s legal eagle must feel safe. He’s former general counsel to the Senate’s minority leader, Chuck Schumer. He has also, I’m told by people familiar with the committee’s activities, more than once possessed information that he would have had no earthly means of knowing, since it was secret committee business. Consider that: Democratic members of Congress or their staff providing sensitive details of an investigation to a company to which the committee has given subpoenas.

Democrats are acting unethically. It’s time that they get sanctioned for their actions. Finally, it’s time to put a tape together that highlights Fusion GPS’s and Rep. Schiff’s staffers’ actions.

It’s becoming clear that DC Democrats don’t have any intention of offering anything constructive or substantive that will Americans’ lives. It’s obvious because they’re even opposing the Trump tax cuts. It wasn’t difficult to figure out that they’d oppose major repairs to the ACA. I would’ve been surprised if that got a single DC Democrat vote.

Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR), said “The bottom line on this budget is that it’s a right-wing fantasy document that paves the way for a hyper-partisan process on tax reform and trillions of dollars in handouts to big corporations and the wealthy.” Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said “The more people learn about this tax bill, the less they will like it. That’s what led to the demise of health care, ultimately, is that it was unpopular with the American people.” Sen. Bob Casey chimed in, saying “I told the president, I said it was a giveaway to the rich, and there are a series of analyses that prove that. One is from the Center of Budget Priorities that after 10 years of implementation 80 percent of the tax cuts go to the top 1 percent.”

Apparently, Democrats oppose everything proposed by President Trump and the Republicans. There isn’t a single thing that they’ve supported since President Trump took office. They haven’t proposed any substantive alternatives to President Trump’s agenda, either, offering only platitudes and criticisms.

That avalanche of criticism has hurt the Democrats’ reputation. “According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, more than half of Americans think Democrats don’t stand for anything other than being against Trump.” There’s a simple message radiating from that poll question. That message is Democrats care about their base, which cares about regaining power. The Democrats’ message doesn’t say they’re for policies that make people’s lives better.

This video of a Schumer press availability sounds like he’s gone full socialist:

If Democrats want to run on being full-blown socialists who haven’t supported anything positive, that’s their option. Here’s a warning to them, though. If Democrats run as the party that opposes everything and supports nothing, they’d better have their candidates write their concession speeches now because losing frequently is what they’ll be famous for this time next year.

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Sen. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are upset that President Trump has them over a proverbial barrel as they start negotiations on DACA legislation. They’re upset because they’ll lose politically if they agree to President Trump’s demands. If they don’t agree to his demands, they’ll lose politically, too. The biggest of President Trump’s demands is funding to build his border wall.

When Schumer and Pelosi got the news that this was part of President Trump’s demands, they went ballistic, saying “We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.” The definition of reasonable is “agreeable to reason or sound judgment; logical.” Just because the Democrats’ pro-amnesty special interests don’t think building the border wall is reasonable doesn’t mean it isn’t reasonable. Building the wall is exercising sound judgment. Not only that, the American people agree with most of President Trump’s list of demands, often by overwhelming margins. If Pelosi and Schumer want to argue that more than two-thirds of the American people aren’t reasonable, that’s their choice.

Ms. Pelosi’s hinting publicly that Democrats might be willing to shut down the government if they don’t get what they want:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday wouldn’t rule out withholding support for end-of-the-year budget bills, and risk a government shutdown, if President Trump and the Republicans don’t agree to protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. “We have to do it before Christmas, that’s just the way it is,” she said Monday in an interview with The Washington Post.

That’s a major political loser for Democrats on multiple platforms. First, this will alienate blue collar America districts. If the Democrats don’t flip those districts and/or states, they can’t win majorities in either the House or Senate. In fact, it will likely cause them to lose seats in both the House and Senate if Pelosi shuts down the government. Even if they don’t shut the government down, this strategy is foolish. It isn’t difficult seeing every vulnerable Democrat in the House get tied to Pelosi’s statement. Do they really think that they can hide from Pelosi’s statements?

There’s another part of the Democrats’ threats that’s a political loser. By threatening shutting down the government over building the wall, Democrats are essentially admitting that they’re the open borders political party. They can issue statement after statement that they’re for reasonable border security measures. It won’t matter because people think of the wall as true border security. This video should be part of the Trump administration’s campaign to build the wall:

I’d love seeing Schumer and Pelosi fight against that video. It isn’t that they’d win. It’s that it’d be fun watching them attempt to tell people that the wall hasn’t had a positive public safety/national security impact. The statistics speak for themselves. If Democrats want to fight that, that’s their decision.

It just isn’t a reasonable decision.

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When a disgusting person kills people, whether it’s at a mall in Phoenix, a school in Connecticut or a casino in Vegas, Democrats rush to the microphone to offer their one-size-fits-all cure-all, aka gun control. Clueless celebrities get in front of microphones to be the first to criticize Republicans.

This time, Brian Williams was one of the first idiots to a microphone, saying “Why don’t we act? What is the problem? What was it about first graders losing their lives that wasn’t sad enough to result in changes?. When do you believe the American people will have had enough; enough to push back against the edges of the Second Amendment argument enough to say we can live under the Second Amendment but there should be limits?”

The American people will push legislation when it makes sense, not a second before that. They don’t trust Democrats on this issue. Perhaps that’s because of the things people like Trevor Noah say. “Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah accused Republicans of valuing guns more than the lives of Americans. ‘So the people of Las Vegas, I can’t give you thoughts and prayers, I can only say that I’m sorry,’ Noah said. ‘Sorry that we live in a world where there are people who will put a gun before your lives.’ Noah also said Americans prefer blaming Muslims and blacks for mass shootings, rather than the guns themselves.”

What a bigot. First, I’ve yet to find a gun that fires itself. Guns are inanimate objects. Why blame an inanimate object for a human tragedy? Second, when the terrorist attack in San Bernardino or the Fort Hood shooting happened, those tragedies were committed by Muslim terrorists. When people get shot in Chicago, the violence-filled city liberals won’t talk about, it’s frequently the case that African-Americans pulled the trigger. Further, when was the last time people said that white teenagers didn’t commit the crime in Columbine?

It’s BS to insinuate that we don’t gather facts before ascribing blame to specific people. It isn’t Republicans who affix blame to policies without first conducting an investigation. That’s the Democrats’ specialty. They’re more than willing to blame gun laws rather than questioning whether the murderer had mental health issues or a gambling problem or just lived a very dark life.

Then there’s idiots like Rosa DeLauro:

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said Congress already knows what it can do to stop these attacks. “What we need to do now is bring to the floor of the House of Representatives votes on banning assault weapons, banning high-capacity magazines, having background checks,” she said Monday.

The weapon used to kill or injure most of the people in Vegas was an automatic weapon, which is already banned by law. As for background checks, they’re already part of the gun-buying experience. There isn’t a gun-show loophole. That’s a liberal myth. We’ve dealt with the things that Rep. DeLauro demands action on years ago.

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When I wrote this post, I hadn’t heard of Hannah Scherlacher. When I finish writing this post, Sen. Franken will wish he’d never heard of Hannah. In my post, I wrote about Sen. Franken’s reliance on ratings from the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka the SPLC, during Amy Coney-Barrett’s confirmation hearing. To hear Sen. Franken tell it, SPLC is a neutral arbiter of who is qualified to be a federal judge. The truth is that SPLC is a bunch of bottom-feeding low-lifes who have stockpiled tons of cash in accounts in the Caribbean.

Sen. Franken, what part of that sounds legitimate? But I digress.

Hannah’s op-ed questions SPLC’s integrity from a personal standpoint. In her op-ed, Hannah wrote “It’s an understatement to say that I was dumbfounded as to how I ended up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) LGBTQ hate-list — I have never said or done anything to indicate hate for the LGBTQ community. When I called to inquire, SPLC informed me that I am guilty because I did a radio interview with Family Research Council Radio (FRC). I am a program coordinator for The Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform. org. The segment was about socialism, but because FRC holds traditional family values, I was labeled an LGBT-hater just for being a guest on the show. No LGBT topics even came-up.”

Sen. Franken, have you no shame?

What US senator would rely on sloppily-gathered information from a bunch of bottom-feeders like the SPLC? Ms. Scherlacher’s sin was to do an interview with the Family Research Council, an organization whose mission statement states that their “mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview” and whose vision “is a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”

The FRC’s vision and mission earned it a spot on SPLC’s hate map. That’s significant because that map has helped cause physical pain:

Reckless and irresponsible hate-labeling not only stifles free speech and expression, it empowers and emboldens vicious groups and individuals to violently attack people. Consider the 2012 Family Research Council shooting, when a man walked into the organization’s office in Washington, D.C., with 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He planned to kill as many staff members as possible and smear the sandwiches in their faces. He said he chose his target based on SPLC’s Hate Map.

This is more than ironic:

Nowhere is the danger more real than on our college campuses where Antifa, By Any Means Necessary, and other domestic terror groups (which are not found on any SPLC hate list) now feel emboldened to attack conservative students and shut down events under the guise of, ironically, fighting fascism, hate and white supremacism.

Some of the organizations found on the SPLC’s Hate Map are legitimate hate groups. It’s indisputable that the KKK, Holocaust deniers and the Skinheads deserve to be on that map. Being a traditional values Christian shouldn’t land a person on SPLC’s hate map, though.

I’ll close this post with Hannah’s closing argument:

Groups like the SPLC threaten our constitutional rights and the very fabric that makes this nation great. We need to start pushing back. If this trend of bullying and ostracizing anyone with a different opinion continues, we can only expect a chilling, mob-rule effect and the suppression of speech and ideas in this country.

I am calling on SPLC to remove me from this list and stop engaging in the game of identity fear politics. I urge all Americans who have been bullied, silenced, and pushed into a corner by radical groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to push back too.

Amen, Hannah.

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