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There wasn’t much doubt about whether Rick Nolan would sell out the Eighth District on environmental issues. If there was any doubt about whether Rick Nolan was a sellout to the Eighth District, that doubt disappeared when he announced he’s supporting Bernie Sanders for president. There’s a Bible verse that’s forever true. It says that people can’t serve 2 masters.

Rick Nolan isn’t serving 2 masters. He’s just trying to pretend like he’s doing a balancing act. It’ll be difficult for him to pull that off the minute people read Bernie Sanders’ issue page on the environment. Simply put, Sanders’ views of the environment is the opposite of what the Eighth District believes.

For instance, Sanders said that he wants to “protect important watersheds and wildlife areas.” It’s impossible to imagine Bernie not including Superior National Forest, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageur’s National Park in his list of “important watersheds and wildlife areas” he’d want to protect. That certainly means a Sanders administration would prohibit mining.

Nolan issued this statement on his decision:

The Democratic Party is fortunate to have two qualified presidential candidates, both of whom offer substantive solutions to the problems facing Americans. I’ve considered a number of factors in making this decision, including the will of Minnesota caucus attendees, specifically those in the 8th Congressional District. Bernie’s message and his authenticity appeals to voters here, and it appeals to me. I’ll be proud to cast my vote for him in Philadelphia this summer.

Apparently, one of the things Nolan didn’t consider was whether his constituents agreed with Sanders. That wasn’t a high priority for him.

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Based on what his campaign manager just said, Rick Nolan isn’t living in northern Minnesota. Based on Joe Radinovich’s statement, it’s more likely that Nolan’s current neighbors include the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and some unicorns.

After the Tarrance Group released its first poll of the campaign, Radinovich said “The real takeaway from this poll and others we’ve seen is that, despite seemingly favorable conditions for Republicans, Congressman Nolan’s integrity, effectiveness and strong leadership is recognized by voters across the district and is reflected in his strong performance in this and other polls.”

Radinovich’s statements show that the Nolan campaign will rely on class warfare to win again. Radinovich also said “This poll also seems to show that voters remember Stewart Mills III and his support for tax breaks for the wealthy, while also believing that Congress should be ‘putting all options on the table’ when it comes to Social Security. Even in favorable conditions for Republicans, Mills can’t buy a lead.”

The poll that Radinovich is talking about shows some interesting things. For starters, it “has Nolan with 49 percent and Mills at 46 percent.” It also shows this:

The survey also showed 8th District voters supporting both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz over Hillary Clinton — Cruz by 49 percent to 40 percent and Trump 43 percent to 40 percent.

This isn’t good news for Hillary but it isn’t surprising either. This isn’t a tangential issue, either. If Cruz is the nominee and he’s able to maintain this lead, Nolan would have to run 10 points better than Hillary. That’s a daunting task for any candidate.

Put differently, if the presidential race tightens, which is inevitable, to a 5-point Cruz lead, Nolan would have to run 5 points better than Hillary. Another way of looking at it is to say Hillary will be a drag on Nolan.

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When KSTP’s Tom Hauser interviewed Sen. Klobuchar, (DFL-MN), Sunday morning, they discussed President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Like an actress reading from a script, Sen. Klobuchar said that Judge Garland is a moderate. That term is interesting because it’s empty. Being the inquisitive type, I sent Sen. Klobuchar a message for clarification. It read “Sen. Klobuchar, you told Tom Hauser that Judge Garland is a moderate. I understand what a political moderate is but I don’t know what a judicial moderate is. I’d appreciate it if you’d explain what your definition of a judicial moderate is. Further, if Judge Garland is a moderate, does that mean Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan are radicals or ideologues? I’d appreciate a quick, substantive reply.”

Sen. Klobuchar’s auto-response said “Thank you for taking the time to e-mail me. This is a confirmation that we have received your message. One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business on behalf of the people of our state. Please continue to visit my website at http://www.klobuchar.senate.gov to follow what I am working on, both in Washington and Minnesota. It is frequently updated with current news and events regarding my work in the U.S. Senate. Additionally, many constituents ask about tracking the progress of legislation. One useful tool is to regularly check my website. Another resource I recommend is the Library of Congress legislative information website, http://thomas.loc.gov. I hope you find this information helpful. – Amy”

Since Sen. Klobuchar hasn’t explained what a judicial moderate is yet, I’ll rely on something that Dennis Prager wrote about Judge Garland:

In a column in The Wall Street Journal, Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, wrote that Garland is so anti-small business and so pro-big labor, that “This is the first time in the NFIB’s 73-year-history that we will weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee.”

What worries the NFIB, she explains, is that “in 16 major labor decisions of Judge Garland’s that we examined, he ruled 16-0 in favor of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board).”

Apparently, a judicial moderate sides with Big Labor 100% of the time. Forgive me if I don’t agree that that’s the definition of a moderate. Forgive me if I think that sounds more like a hardline leftist ideologue. Then there’s this:

Tom Goldstein wrote in the SCOTUSblog that Garland favors deferring to the decision-makers in agencies. “In a dozen close cases in which the court divided, he sided with the agency every time.”

Again, that sounds more like the definition of a leftist ideologue. It doesn’t sound like a centrist/moderate. This is worth checking out, too:

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Dennis Prager’s latest Townhall article interrupts the Democrats’ narrative that Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, is a moderate.

For instance, for the first time in the NFIB’s history, they will be taking a position against a Supreme Court nominee. In fact, it’s the first time in their history that they’ve taken any position, positive or negative, on a Supreme Court nominee.

Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the NFIB, said they’re making their position known because “in 16 major labor decisions of Judge Garland’s that we examined, he ruled 16-0 in favor of the NLRB.” It’s apparent that Judge Garland’s mind was made up long ago. It’s clear that he’ll consistently favor Big Labor over the Constitution.

The term moderate isn’t relevant when talking about judges. You either interpret laws based on the plain language of the Constitution or you don’t. My thought is that moderate judges don’t exist except in newspapers like the NY Times, the Washington Post or the LA Times. Then there’s this:

“If the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a staunch conservative, is replaced by a moderate-to-liberal Justice Garland, the court would tip to the left on several key issues, like abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gun control, campaign spending, immigration and environmental protection.”

In other words, the very same author who describes Garland as a centrist believes that Garland votes left on essentially every major issue confronting the nation and the Supreme Court.

Based on this information and the Times’ description of Judge Garland, we should assume that centrist/moderate judges agree with liberals on “abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gun control, campaign spending, immigration and environmental protection.” I can’t wait to hear how that’s dramatically different than liberal justices like Sotomayor or Ginsberg.

Republicans should reject Garland. They shouldn’t give him a hearing. They shouldn’t give him a vote on the Senate floor. They give him a Reid-like pocket veto while explaining why Garland is a creature of the left and while highlighting how dishonest the Democrats are in calling Garland a centrist.

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During his stump speeches and during debates, Donald Trump frequently criticizes politicians who are “all talk and no action.” The media, especially shills like Joe Scarborough, Sean Hannity, Andrea Tantaros and Eric Bolling, never question Trump on that statement. If there’s anyone who is all talk and no action, it’s Mr. Trump. What’s worse is that he threatens lawsuits against newspapers, reporters and presidential candidates in his attempt to intimidate them into silence.

Wednesday, Mr. Trump made the mistake of threatening to sue the Cruz campaign. I wrote this post to highlight the incompetence of Mr. Trump’s attorney and Sen. Cruz’s willingness to stand up to Mr. Trump. Jeffrey Goldman, Trump’s attorney, sent a cease and desist letter to Sen. Cruz’s campaign. Not only didn’t Sen. Cruz refuse to cease and desist, Sen. Cruz held a press conference to literally tell Mr. Trump to bring it on, calling Trump’s lawsuit frivolous. In addition to that, Sen. Cruz’s attorneys replied to Mr. Trump, saying ”
As recently as Saturday, February 13, 2016 – four days ago at the Republican Debate sponsored by CBS – Mr. Trump said Planned Parenthood “does do wonderful things.” Planned Parenthood is the leading abortion provider in the country. Being pro-life and supporting Planned Parenthood are incompatible. Moreover, Mr. Trump has recently donated political contributions to many pro-choice candidates and officeholders, including Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, Anthony Weiner, and Rahm Emanuel. Do you, on behalf of your client, deny that these contributions were used to help elect pro-choice candidates to office? Indeed, before the 2008 election cycle, Mr. Trump donated $303,600 to Democrats, many of whom are pro-abortion. Mr. Trump also donated to the New York State Democratic Party, whose platform is pro-choice, and he has donated to pro-choice candidates as recently as 2014. Suffice it to say, there is ample evidence casting grave doubt about the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s campaign claims that he is truly pro-life.”

Since then, Sen. Cruz has taunted Mr. Trump, daring Mr. Trump to file his lawsuit. Mr. Trump is caught between a difficult position. If he files the lawsuit, Sen. Cruz has threatened to personally depose Mr. Trump. That opens all kinds of legal difficulties for Mr. Trump. It’s one thing for Trump to lie about being pro-life on the campaign trail. It’s another to say that during a deposition:

Trump isn’t pro-life in any meaningful way. He’s recently contributed tens of thousands of dollars to staunchly pro-abortion candidates like Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, Anthony Weiner and Rahm Emanuel. I’ve yet to find a pro-life activist who wouldn’t instantly reject contributing to any of those politicians. It’s impossible to find a pro-life activist who would contribute to all of these pro-abortion dirt bags.

Next, Trump’s defense of Planned Parenthood is that Katrina Pierson, his dishonest spokesperson, said that “Mr. Trump has said that Planned Parenthood does do cervical cancer screenings, and that is a good thing when you are a poor, single mom in a neighborhood that doesn’t have access to these other clinics.” That doesn’t even rise to the level of flimsy. There were 669 Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation in 2013. That number was shrinking. The number of cancer screenings provided by Planned Parenthood was dropping, too.

By comparison, there were 9,059 Federally Qualified Health Centers, aka FQHCs, in the United States. The number of FQHCs is increasing. I’d love hearing Ms. Pierson prove that there’s a Planned Parenthood clinic that provides cancer screenings in a city where there isn’t an FQHC that can do those same cancer screenings.

Simply put, Mr. Trump has shown tendencies that make First Amendment activists worry. He’s shown a willingness to use intimidation tactics to silence his critics. Now that someone has called his bluff, it’ll be interesting to see if Trump will do something or just talk big.

Here’s my prediction: if Mr. Trump doesn’t sue Sen. Cruz, we’ll know that he’s all talk and no action. We’ll have proof that he’s a whiny punk who doesn’t like being held accountable. Mr. Trump is right. DC has too many politicians who are all talk and no action.

We don’t need to nominate another all talk and no action politician to be the GOP presidential candidate.

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The legitimate question that the conservative blogosphere and the Twitterverse is asking is whether Trump will be hurt by skipping the GOP debate on Fox. While that’s a totally legitimate question, it isn’t the right question this time. The right question is why we’re putting up with this adolescent’s snotty attitude. Why would anyone think that Mr. Trump would listen to anyone? Further, how is Mr. Trump different on health care than the narcissist currently living in the White House?

It’s clear that Mr. Trump isn’t a conservative. At this point, that isn’t debatable so let’s move past that. I wrote this article Tuesday afternoon to highlight Mr. Trump’s recent statement to CBS News that he favors universal health care and that “the government” would pay for it. Here is Mr. Trump’s statement on why he won’t participate in Thursday night’s debate:

That’s his official statement. Here’s why he jumped ship:

  1. Mr. Trump isn’t a good debater. He’s much better on the stump when he can talk about how great he is or the YUGE leads he has in the latest gazillion polls.
  2. Mr. Trump will be pursued by the other networks.
  3. Mr. Trump prefers playing the victim card rather than answering tough questions.

The truth is that Mr. Trump’s temperament disqualifies him from getting serious consideration to be the next president of the United States. Frankly, it isn’t a stretch to watch Mr. Trump’s behavior and question whether he’s mentally stable enough to handle the pressures of being the leader of the free world.

Personally, the question for me isn’t whether his supporters will continue supporting him. My question is whether Mr. Trump’s supporters are as unstable as he is. At this point, I’m betting that the answer to that question is yes. They are as nutty as Mr. Trump is.

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If ever someone should tread lightly when it comes to criticizing corruption, it’s Hillary Clinton. Gabby Morrongiello’s article highlights some tweets that Hillary is going to regret. During the debate, Hillary’s staff tweeted a quote from Hillary about corruption. During the debate, Hillary said “There should be no bank too big to fail and no individual too big to jail.”

The Twitterverse response wasn’t what Mrs. Clinton’s staffers were expecting. One tweet said “@HillaryClinton That includes you, Hillary.” Another tweet said “Does this include yourself? #possibleindictment” Still another said “‘No individual too big to jail’ – I can’t believe she just tweeted that with a straight face”

To that last tweet, this person must be young. When it comes to chutzpah, Hillary’s got more chutzpah than Mr. Trump’s got mean-spirited quips. Hillary’s tweet originated from a belief that the American people are either stupid, forgetful or both. When she was squashing bimbo eruptions during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, she could get away with statements like that. That doesn’t work because the universe has changed by orders of magnitude.

In 1992, the media universe essentially consisted of CNN (which was then nicknamed the Clinton New Network by Rush Limbaugh), NBC, ABC and CBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Talk radio was just getting started. Al Gore was just inventing the internet. Social media didn’t exist.

Chris Cillizza’s article certainly isn’t the type of review she was hoping for. Cillizza’s article put Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley in the debate’s winner category. It put Mrs. Clinton into the loser category.

Cillizza highlighted the fact that Sen. Sanders “got tripped up a few times during the debate on his voting record — especially on guns” before noting that “he was the prime mover in virtually every discussion from Wall Street reform to health care to climate change. He was on offense, accusing rival Hillary Clinton of half-measures and political caution at a moment when boldness is required.”

Of O’Malley, Cillizza wrote that Gov. O’Malley started the debate by whining about being ignored but then he “turned the corner on getting ignored and by the end of the debate was downright likable.” It’s nice that O’Malley came across as likable but it’s utterly irrelevant. He’s a total non-factor in the Democratic presidential nomination fight. That fight is between Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Sanders.

Here’s what Cillizza wrote about Mrs. Clinton:

So, why is she in the loser column? Because she did nothing in the debate to slow the momentum that Sanders is building in Iowa and New Hampshire. Aside from guns, where Clinton scored a clean win against Sanders, she was unable to effectively cast him as a pie-in-the-sky idealist and herself as the only person who could truly fight and win on for Democratic priorities. Time and again, she was boxed into defending a status quo that the American public, Democrats and Republicans alike, is dissatisfied with.

Simply put, Hillary is out of step with voters. At a time when the American people want to grab politicians by the short and curlies, she’s preaching the virtues of staying the course and continuity. This, of course, puts a smile on President Obama’s face but it isn’t what the American people want.

One of the disputable truths about politics is that politicians, generally speaking, aren’t leaders. They’re mostly followers. Bill Clinton had a vision for America, a destination he wanted to take people to. Hillary Clinton struggles with “the vision thing.” She’s mostly a check-the-right-boxes candidate. Environmental activists want this. Promise them what they want. Unions want unswerving loyalty. Hillary’s response is ‘you’ve got it.’ At no point does Mrs. Clinton tell people how all these separate promises create a vision that unifies the nation.

In fact, the only candidate with that type of vision in either party is Sen. Rubio. That’s why lots of Democratic strategists have said — off the record, of course — that Sen. Rubio frightens them the most.

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The editors of the Mesabi Daily News didn’t pull their punches with Al Franken in this editorial. First, a little background is in order. After the terrorists murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, MDN sent emails to Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Nolan.

Apparently, Sen. Franken’s letter was the only letter that caught their attention. That’s because Sen. Franken said “As the FBI and other law enforcement officials continue to investigate a crime where 14 innocent people lost their lives only days ago, there are still a lot of questions that need answers. There are now reports that one of the suspects pledged allegiance to ISIS, and I believe that this, and all other investigative leads, must be vigorously and fully pursued.”

The editors didn’t treat Sen. Franken gently, saying “Suspects? They were mass murderers who died in a shootout with law enforcement; and they had a pipe bomb factory in their garage. Crime? This was no Bonnie and Clyde bank robbery couple. Franken’s response was so off base from the question, that another email was sent to his staff providing an opportunity to give a direct answer or at least call it terrorism.”

Sen. Franken’s response is predictable. He’s trying to spin things so people won’t notice that President Obama’s policies failed to protect those employees from ISIS-inspired terrorists. You remember ISIS, right? They’re the JV team. Wait. That’s so 2014. They’re “contained.” That won’t work. That’s too Novemberish. They’re the terrorists that didn’t pose an “imminent threat” to the homeland.

Seriously, as upset as the editors have a right to be about Sen. Franken’s response, it’s important to maintain perspective. Sen. Franken is just the politician who’s getting sent out to spin a mess. It’s President Obama that created the mess by pretending that ISIS wasn’t really a threat. The question now is whether ISIS will carry out another successful attack or not.

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Josh Kraushaar’s article highlights a subject Democrats would rather forget. At minimum, they wish national security would just go away.

Kraushaar hit it right when he wrote “The signs of a pres­id­ent in deni­al over the threat of ter­ror­ism keep pil­ing up. Obama be­latedly ad­dressed the pub­lic’s fears in his Oval Of­fice ad­dress on Sunday even­ing, but he offered no new policies to deal with crisis. That it took four days for the pres­id­ent to un­equi­voc­ally call the San Bern­ardino at­tacks “ter­ror­ism” un­der­scored how his own in­stincts are at odds with the Amer­ic­an pub­lic’s.”

Kraushaar is right when he opines “The de­cision to give a na­tion­ally tele­vised speech without out­lining a change of course sug­ges­ted that ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials were wor­ried about de­clin­ing poll numbers and that he was try­ing to lim­it the polit­ic­al dam­age.” President Obama’s highest priorities since taking office have been to transform America to fit his rigid ideology and to worry first about the political impact of his policies rather than the impact his policies have on individuals’ and families’ lives.

That’s a major reason why Americans don’t trust President Obama’s national security policies. Another reason why people don’t trust President Obama’s national security policies is because he seems indifferent to national security most of the time. He’s shown more emotion fighting Republicans than he’s shown fighting ISIS. Still another reason why people don’t trust President Obama’s national security policies is because, in Kraushaar’s words, “the pres­id­ent’s as­sur­ances are be­ing con­tra­dicted by events around him.”

Mouthing the same BS is getting old. The people get the impression that President Obama’s lines remain the same, irrespective of what’s happening. If a terrorist gets captures, President Obama is likely to say “our home­land has nev­er been more pro­tec­ted by more ef­fect­ive in­tel­li­gence and law-en­force­ment pro­fes­sion­als at every level than they are now.” The truth is that President Obama said that hours after the San Bernardino terrorist attack.