Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category
Ron Fournier’s article about Wednesday’s IRS hearing is sloppily written. It doesn’t show he’s interested in accuracy:
Conservatives are applauding Issa for shutting down a Democrat. Without evidence, the Right has convicted Lerner, the IRS, the White House, and President Obama of abuse of power.
Conservatives like me applaud Chairman Issa for shutting off Rep. Cummings’ microphone in the middle of a political stunt aimed at deflecting attention from the latest Lerner emails:
I might be crazy but I’ll bet most judges would admit that as evidence. That’s Mr. Fournier’s accusation of convicting Lerner without proof just disappeared. That’s before talking about how Ms. Lerner said something that sounded like a motive for targeting TEA Party organizations.
BTW, that dismisses the Democrats’ protestations that progressive c(4)’s were targeted with equal vigor. Prior to the Citizens United ruling, progressive organizations had applied for and been granted c(4) status. They’d been operating under that part of the Internal Revenue Code for decades. The biggest influx of c(4) applications came from TEA Party organizations and organizations like True the Vote.
That’s before talking about the fact that no progressive organizations have filed a lawsuit demanding that the IRS hadn’t approved or rejected their application for c(4) status. If Lerner and the IRS had applied the same policies equally to both parties, shouldn’t these progressive organizations be complaining about inaction on their applications, too?
The dog that isn’t barking often speaks loudest.
The kid that cries wolf the loudest often isn’t credible. In this instance, Mr. Fournier is crying wolf. Clearly, he isn’t paying attention to the proof that Chairman Issa asked Ms. Lerner about. While Ms. Lerner took the Fifth, Chairman Issa read into the record emails showing Ms. Lerner expressing her worries that she didn’t want Cincinnati working on the TEA Party organizations’ c(4) applications. Additionally, she didn’t want it to look too political while DC fiddled with the TEA Party organizations’ c(4) applications.
That’s what I’d call getting trapped in God’s little acre — east of the rock, west of the hard place. At this point, I’d certainly take the Fifth if I were in Ms. Lerner’s predicament. Thankfully, I’m not foolish enough to put myself in such a difficult position.
Over the past week, I’ve highlighted the fact that Julianne Ortman said she didn’t favor repealing Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act. Since one of the quotes was from the Star and Sickle, aka the Star Tribune, it’s fitting that conservatives question whether the Strib got the quote wrong. This video should dispel any worries that they misquoted Ms. Ortman:
If that doesn’t satisfy people that Julianne Ortman doesn’t favor repealing Obamacare, nothing will. Defeating Franken is one of Minnesotans’ top priorities this November. We won’t have a chance to fire Franken this November if our candidate sounds like Al Franken.
We know this because Mitt Romney couldn’t carry the attack to President Obama on Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, because Obama would hit him on Romneycare each time Romney brought up the ACA. Does anyone think that Franken and his allies won’t highlight these statements if she’s the candidate? Of course they will.
If we want to deal with this from a position of strength, we can’t have a compromised candidate. It’s that simple.
Last night, Chris Dahlberg criticized Julianne Ortman’s statement that she “isn’t a full repeal person” in this tweet:
Chris Dahlberg ?@dahlberg4senate·
#Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster. It’s a shame Sen. Ortman is standing with Sen. Franken against repeal. #mngop pic.twitter.com/kN5mPU2q6f
I don’t know whether Sen. Ortman is honestly against repealing Obamacare or if she’s simply pandering to moderate voters. What I’m certain of is that Sen. Ortman’s statements aren’t winning her votes with GOP delegates.
I know that because the vast majority of delegates to the GOP State Convention hate the Affordable Care Act with a passion. Further, they understand that it’s impossible to fix a couple parts of the bill without throwing other parts of the bill totally out of whack. Finally, they know that sounding like Al Franken won’t help Republicans defeat Franken.
Mike McFadden favors repealing the ACA:
America’s health care system is broken, but Obamacare is not the answer. Before we can make the kind of changes Americans deserve, we need to repeal the “Unaffordable Care Act” and replace it with a patient-centered, market-based solution that will lower costs and increase accessibility for all Americans. Minnesota has some of the best health care minds in the entire world. Instead of looking to bureaucrats in Washington, we can take charge and develop homegrown solutions for health care. By restoring power to the states, we can free Minnesota to become a laboratory for innovation and a standard-bearer for health care solutions that work.
That’s the type of strong statement it’ll take to defeat Al Franken. Mr. McFadden would put physicians and families in charge of their health insurance. It wouldn’t let the federal government dictate to families.
I’ve met Sen. Ortman. She’s an honorable public servant. Unfortunately, she’s wrong on this issue. To defeat a well-funded Democrat incumbent, Republicans can’t afford to make this type of major mistake.
The more she speaks, the more Sen. Ortman sounds like Al Franken on health care. During an interview with KSTP’s Tom Hauser, Sen. Ortman said “Whether you agreed with Obamacare or not, it was passed by Congress, it was signed by the President. It was his initiative. It was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Compare that with Al Franken’s statement:
But it’s the law of the land. We should be moving forward, not re-fighting the same old fights. And we certainly shouldn’t shut down the government just because you wish Obamacare weren’t the law.
Ms. Ortman, we know that Democrats in Congress shoved the bill down America’s throats. We know that the Supreme Court ruled, incorrectly I believe, that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional.
Sounding like Al Franken won’t change people’s hearts and minds about the ACA. The best way to do that is by laying out a vision that’s different from Al Franken’s vision, which is Obamacare. Saying that Obamacare is the law of the land doesn’t highlight the fact that, under the ACA, health insurance premiums and deductibles are higher. Saying that it’s the law of the land doesn’t highlight the fact that people’s networks are smaller under Obamacare.
Most importantly, saying that the ACA is the law of the land doesn’t highlight the fact that Al Franken’s vote for the Affordable Care Act gave the federal government permission to tell families what coverages would be required for their health insurance policies.
To win the health care fight, Republicans need to offer Minnesotans lots of health insurance options. That starts with the premise that families, working with their physicians, are best suited to make the right decisions. It doesn’t start with the premise that Al Franken’s one-size-fits-all plan is best for Minnesotans.
As for Franken, his gibberish about moving forward is fluff. I’d love hearing his explanation of what that specifically entails. Does that mean keeping Obamacare as is? Does that mean making the exchanges work better? Would Franken vote to change the Essential Health Benefits requirements so catastrophic policies would qualify as Acceptable Health Plans?
It’s time to tell Al Franken and the Democrats that the 2014 elections will be about who’ll cling to the failed status quo, aka Obamacare, vs. who’s willing to propose a plan that gives families the options that will cover their needs while lowering health insurance premiums.
Candidates that aren’t willing to fight for a patient-centered plan don’t deserve the people’s votes. It’s just that simple.
Harry Reid’s disgraceful diatribe included his accusation that people who told the truth about the Affordable Care Act’s disasters were un-American. Sen. Reid’s accusation is disgusting, one worthy of throwing him out of the Senate. Still, let’s not dwell on Sen. Reid’s comments to the exclusion of learning the definition of patriotism. Without a doubt, this person is a patriot:
There doesn’t seem to be any other large company trying to do this so it might as well be us. Somebody has got to work to save the country and preserve a system of opportunity. I think one of the biggest problems we have in the country is this rampant cronyism where all these large companies are into smash and grab, short-term profits, (saying) how do I get a regulation, we don’t want to export natural gas because of my raw materials.
Well, you say you believe in free markets, but by your actions, you obviously don’t. You believe in cronyism. And that’s true even at the local level. I mean, how does somebody get started if you have to pay $100,000 or $300,000 to get a medallion to drive a taxi cab? You have to go to school for two years to be a hairdresser. You name it, in every industry we have this. The successful companies try to keep the new entrants down.
Now that’s great for a company like ours. We make more money that way because we have less competition and less innovation. But for the country as a whole, it’s horrible. And for disadvantaged people trying to get started, it’s unconscionable in my view. I think it’s in our long-term interest, in every American’s long-term interest, to fight against this cronyism.
As you all have heard me say, the role of business is to create products that make peoples’ lives better while using less resources to do it and making more resources available to satisfy other needs.
When a company is not being guided by the products they make and what the customers need, but by how they can manipulate the system, get regulations on their competitors, or mandates on using their products, or eliminating foreign competition, it just lowers the overall standard of living and hurts the disadvantaged the most. We end up with a two-tier system.
Those that have, have welfare for the rich. The poor, OK, you have welfare, but you’ve condemned them to a lifetime of dependency and hopelessness. Yeah, we want hope and change, but we want people to have the hope that they can advance on their own merits, rather than the hope that somebody gives them something. That’s better than starving to death, but that, I think, is going to wreck the country.
Is it in our business interest? I think it’s in all our long-term interests. It’s not in our short-term interest. And it’s about making money honorably. People should only profit to the extent they make other people’s lives better. You should profit because you created a better restaurant and people enjoyed going to it.
You didn’t force them to go, you don’t have a mandate that you have to go to my restaurant on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or you go to prison. I mean, come on. You feel good about that?
In my estimation, that’s the definition of American patriotism. Capitalism and innovation being used to make the United States the greatest nation on the face of the earth is the definition of patriotism.
When companies makes money because their lobbyists get the government to build roadblocks in front of the competitors, that’s crony capitalism, which hurts the American economy overall. When companies’ profits increase because they’ve built a product that improves people’s lives, that’s competitive capitalism. That type of capitalism is the type of capitalism that strengthens the economy while improving people’s lives.
People that put the long-term health of the nation ahead of short-term profits and personal gain are patriots. That isn’t to say short-term profits are automatically evil. In many instances, they aren’t. It’s that building products that create profits now and long into the future has a stabilizing effect on a nation’s health.
That’s the definition of patriotism. That’s what Sen. Reid apparently doesn’t understand.
Longtime readers of LFR know that I haven’t hesitated in highlighting how the DFL is the party of special interests. Lately, I’ve intensified my writings about how Democrats are favoring the environmentalists over the unions. That caught the attention of the Lady Logician, who wrote about Bill DeBlasio’s sucker-punching of the unions in this post:
Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.
He also promised that he wouldn’t change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.
In Minnesota, Democrats are siding with militant environmentalists who hope to kill the PolyMet mining project, which would create tons of union jobs. In NYC, uber-liberal Mayor DeBlasio is siding with animal rights activists and militant environmentalists to kill lots of union jobs. In Washington, DC, the administration has dragged its feet on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, siding with environmentalists over the unions’ interests.
Until now, I’ve thought that the Democratic Party was the special interest party. Tonight, I changed my opinion. That’s because I’ve realized that the Democratic Party, in Minnesota and nationally, is owned by militant environmentalists. The only question left to answer is whether unions will continually side with the Democratic Party.
While it’d be a stretch to say that Republicans love all unions, it’s 100% accurate to say that Republicans are siding with mining unions on the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. Similarly, it’s 100% accurate to say the DFL is tip-toeing through a political minefield while attempting to placate militant environmentalists and the miners’ union.
Honest union workers need to ask themselves why their leadership is constantly selling them out while electing Democratic politicians who talk about how they love unions while stabbing unions in the back. While they’re asking that question, they should ask themselves why they aren’t voting for pro-mining Republicans in Minnesota and pro-union jobs on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Finally, the unions should ask themselves why they’re supporting Democrats that only pay “working families” lip service. It’s time these unions figured it out that today’s Democratic Party is pro-government unions, not private sector unions.
Technorati: Unions, Mining Projects, Keystone XL Pipeline, PolyMet Mining, Twin Metals Mining, Iron Range, MNGOP, Environmentalists, Public Sector Unions, Bill DeBlasio, President Obama, Democrats, DFL, Election 2014
Dr. Patricia McLaughlin has a dispute with Sen. Harry Reid. Sen. Reid’s statement that the “horror stories” being shown nightly on TV are all untrue doesn’t fit with Dr. McLaughlin’s experience with the ACA:
Here’s a partial transcript of her interview with Greta van Susteren:
GRETA: You have patients that have insurance and that go to you but now you’ve been knocked off one of the networks. Is that correct?
DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I’ve not been dismissed but I have not been offered participation status in some of the subsections from one of the insurance companies and that would be insurance that would be covering individuals taking out insurance through the Affordable Care Act or through small business plans outside of the Affordable Care Act. It also included them.
GRETA: Does that mean that some patients of your’s can no longer go to you unless they pay for it out of their pocket?
DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That’s correct.
GRETA: Have any of your patients said anything to you? Are they distressed or are they just happy to move onto another doctor?
DR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, most patients are attached to their doctor. We’ve had longstanding relationships. We don’t just take care of the illness. We take care of the human spirit as well. So we know things about their spouse, their children, their parents. We’ve been through their trials and tribulations. There’s a relationship. Of course, they’re distressed.
Let’s be succinct about this. The horror stories that Sen. Reid lightly dismisses are real. I think Sen. Reid knows that. Further, I think Sen. Reid won’t hesitate in lying about this to deflect attention away from the fact that the ACA is a failure that Sens. Pryor, Begich, Hagans, Udall, Landrieu, Franken and others voted for.
Sen. Reid knows that the AFP ads are devastating. Sen. Reid knows that AFP’s ads are hitting his vulnerable incumbents frequently and hitting them hard. If those ads weren’t working, Sen. Reid would lightly dismiss them or totally ignore them. It’s painfully obvious that Sen. Reid is worried that he’ll be Senate Minority Leader and his committee chairs will be ranking members within a year.
The bad news for the American people is that the Affordable Care Act is a trainwreck. The bad news for Democrats is that the American people might just take their frustration out of Senate Democrats this November.
Ronald Reagan once famously said that a recession is when your neighbor is unemployed, that a depression is when you’re unemployed and that the recover starts when Jimmy Carter was unemployed. This year, that should be translated into the recovery starts when Sens. Begich, Franken, Hagans, Landrieu, Pryor, Shaheen and Udall are unemployed.
Technorati: Harry Reid, Al Franken, Mark Begich, Mark Udall, Kay Hagans, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Democrats, Insurance Cancellations, Insurance Networks, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Election 2014
Thanks to George Will’s response to Chris Wallace’s question about climate change, we have clarity on the issue:
Here’s a partial transcript of Brother Will’s response:
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: …I’m one of those who are called deniers. And the implication is that I deny climate change. It’s impossible to state with clearer precision the opposite of my view, which is that, of course the climate is changing. It’s always changing. That’s what gave us the medieval warm period. That’s what gave us, subsequent to that for centuries, the little Ice Age. Of course it’s changing. When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science, says the debate is over, you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it. So I think, frankly, as a policy question, Chris, Holman Jenkins, Kim’s colleague at the “Wall Street Journal” put it perfectly. The only questions is, how much money are we going to spend? How much wealth are we going to forego creating in order to have zero discernible effect on the environment?
There’s actually another question worth asking in light of President Obama’s recent golf outing in California:
Regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent, an Obama administration official told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the DEPArtment of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that carbon capture and storage technology was still not ready for prime time.
“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”
This means that the CCS technology the administration is pushing for would increase electricity prices initially, but that prices would come down a bit once better technology is developed. But electricity prices would still be higher than they are now.
It’s disgusting that President Obama insists that he’s the champion of the middle class. The middle class will get hit hardest by this rate increase. While it isn’t technically a middle class tax increase, there’s no question that this is another Obama administration policy that hurts the middle class.
President Obama is the champion of the middle class the way Bonnie and Clyde were bank security advocates.
Technorati: Climate Change, President Obama, Cap And Trade, Medieval Warm Period, Climate Change Deniers, Middle Class Squeeze, Middle Class Tax Increase, Democrats, George Will, Chris Wallace, Fox News, Holman Jenkins, Wall Street Journal
I’ve written this post and this post about Al Franken’s fundraising appeals. Mostly, Franken’s fundraising appeals have been long on Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, the TEA Party and Citizens United. In other words, they’re a collection of the Democrats’ favorite boogeymen.
This morning, I got an email from Jorge Bonilla who is running against Alan Grayson. Here’s part of Bonilla’s fundraising appeal:
We are well over eight months away fron Election Day 2014, yet Alan Grayson is already invoking each and every one of the Left’s boogeymen in his fundraising appeals.
It’s only February, yet Grayson has already issued pro-forma denunciations of Fox News, Sean Hannity, the energy sector, has compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan, and most recently, has smeared our veterans while attacking the eeeeeeevil Koch Brothers.
Of course, such attacks are pure hypocrisy coming from Alan Grayson. The non-partisan and independent Center for Responsive Politics is dedicated to tracking the influence of money in our election process, and they have compiled a list of the largest political donors over the last 25 years.
The scary “Kochtopus” is all the way down at #59. But who occupies most of the top spots? You guessed it…Grayson’s Big Labor buddies. A quick crosscheck with Grayson’s top donor list confirms this inconvenient fact.
Apparently, the Congressman Without Guts feels compelled to insult our intelligence (as well as that of his own individual donor base) by performing this “outrageously tough progressive” shtick, which now includes this Koch theater.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice a pattern developing. Even intellectual midgets like Franken and Grayson could spot it. What’s obvious is that Democrats will go totally negative this election. They’ll criticize the entire panoply of conservative ‘boogeymen’ for this nation’s ills rather than admit that it’s their policies that’ve failed. They’ll do whatever it takes to distract people from the ACA disaster. They’ll insist that they’re pushing back against President Obama and ‘holding him accountable’ for the disastrous performance of HealthCare.gov while criticizing Republicans for wanting to repeal the law that’s causing health insurance prices to jump.
The Democratic playbook for this election is simple. To hold onto the U.S. Senate, Democrats will attempt to portray Republicans as utterly beholden to special interests out to destroy America’s middle class. They’ll do this while accepting money from environmental organizations while pretending to be friends of the private sector unions who want to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Their message will essentially be ‘Don’t vote for Republicans because they’re scary.’ Meanwhile, they didn’t notice that they’re the ‘Scary Characters Party’. While it’s too early to predict the Franken and Grayson races with anything approaching sanity, it isn’t too early to predict that this won’t be a good year for Democrats.
The only thing left to determine is how bad it’ll be.
Technorati: Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Democrat Boogeymen, Karl Rove, TEA Party, Koch Brothers, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Smear Campaign, HealthCare.gov, President Obama, Democrats, Jorge Bonilla, GOP, Election 2014
After last week’s stinging defeat, the United Auto Workers, aka the UAW, were singing the blues. Mixed into those blues, UAW President Bob King was performing a bit of the sour grapes serenade:
Mr. King blamed Republican lawmakers for the loss. They made numerous anti-union arguments and a few threats to discourage workers from unionizing. Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, contended that auto parts suppliers would not come to the Chattanooga area if that meant being located near a unionized VW plant. Senator Bob Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga, said VW executives had told him the plant would add a second production line, making sport utility vehicles, if workers rejected the U.A.W. Mr. Corker and some outside conservative groups told workers that the U.A.W. had contributed to the struggles of Detroit’s automakers and would make VW less competitive, a view echoed by some workers.
Adding to the anti-union pressure, Bo Watson, a state senator who represents a Chattanooga suburb, said the Republican-controlled Legislature was unlikely to approve further subsidies to Volkswagen if the plant unionized. Some workers feared that his threat would cause Chattanooga to lose the planned S.U.V. line to a VW plant in Mexico.
“We are outraged that people in the political arena decided that they were going to threaten workers and that they were going to threaten the company,” Mr. King said. “The threats against the workers were what shifted things.”
It’s dishonest for Mr. King to say that “threats against the workers” shifted the race. These politicians simply highlighted the fact that companies don’t like dealing with unionized companies. That’s just reality.
Mr. King won’t admit it but this is humiliating to the UAW. The company didn’t campaign against unionization. Still, the workers rejected unionization by a 53.2%-46.8% margin. When the workers reject unionization despite the company not taking a position on unionization, they’re sending a clear message that they aren’t interested in paying union dues.
There are other implications to this defeat:
For months, U.A.W. organizers have been contacting workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala., with the hope that it might soon follow VW into the union fold.
That hoped-for momentum disappeared in Tennessee.
What’s worse for unions is that their allies in the Democratic Party are rejecting them in favor of deep-pocketed environmentalists. That’s happening here in Minnesota and it’s happening with the Keystone XL Pipeline project.