Archive for the ‘Reforms’ Category

It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:

A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)

Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.

Is a politician who won’t repeal Obamacare, who’s proposed raising taxes and who’s voted for Cap and Trade “a conservative champion” just because Sarah Palin says so?

By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.

The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.

The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.

That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.

This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.

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First, I’ll stipulate that Newt Gingrich is a flawed man who’s paid a hefty price for his mistakes. Next, I’ll state what I emphatically believe: that Newt Gingrich the visionary isn’t just the right tonic for what’s ailing the GOP. He’s the perfect strategist to lead Republicans to victory. Newt’s speech at CPAC this year is a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about:

The reason why Newt’s got the right strategy is because his speeches aren’t about politics. They’re about improving life with a political twist. Check out this part of Newt’s speech:

NEWT: We must stop being the opposition movement. We must become the alternative government movement that will help make the life of every American better so that they would understand what we would do that we would do right, not just what the left is doing wrong.

The biggest thing that conservatives can do to guarantee the best shot at victories this fall is telling the American people that a) we’re the solutions party and b) we trust families and small businesses to make great decisions.

That necessarily means trusting people with lots of options. If we trust families, we should be the party whose health care reform legislation gives families tons of options to fit their families’ needs. By doing that, Republicans will highlight the difference between Harry Reid’s and Al Franken’s one-size-fits-all plan, aka the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and Republicans’ legislation that trusts families.

That’s a perfect segue into another major point in Newt’s speech:

The smartphone will be the leading public health device of the 21st Century. It’ll be the leading learing device. It’ll be the leading management tool. Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess has a smartphone that has 8 medical applications on it. He can do an electrocardiogram with his smartphone. Now the Food and Drug Administration, seeing the dramatic rise in applications that improve your health, now wants to take over approving applications for smartphones.

Now if you want to see a fight where we can be on the side of young Americans and the left is hopeless, you just go out to any college campus and you say ‘how would you like Washington bureaucrats slowing down the number of new applications you can get, most of them, by the way, are free’?

The party of excessive government can’t control its appetite for controlling people’s lives. Young people naturally love lots of options. In that fight, Democrats lose bigtime.

If Republicans become the party that trusts small businesses to innovate and make families’ lives better, they’ll win decisively because people of all demographic backgrounds will want what we’re selling.

If conservatives return to Reagan’s and Kemp’s and Thatcher’s belief that great ideas that make families’ lives better also makes for great politics, then conservatives will win decisively.

The point isn’t about sounding more conservative or more moderate. It’s about who has great ideas. I’m not advocating for moderation. I’m advocating that makes families’ lives better through entrepreneurship and innovation. Conservatives will jump all over that because it’s from the private sector. Apolitical people will jump all over it because their lives will be improved by the innovations that’s only possible through entrepreneurship.

Watch Newt’s entire speech if you want to see how to win the future. You’ll want to hear Newt’s connecting the dots between the Bakken and defeating Putin. Newt’s speech isn’t getting the buzz like others’ speeches. It’s just the blueprint that’ll make the GOP the dominant party again.

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After the Obama administration’s announcement that they were postponing the employer mandate another time, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus issued this statement:

The Obama Administration is failing to deal with ObamaCare because it is simply bad law. After refusing to accept bipartisan changes to the law, the administration is unilaterally making it up as they go along. Whether you are an American worker, employer, a union member or healthcare provider, you’ve had enough. What’s the remedy? Elections matter. Democrats may try hiding from President Obama on the campaign trail, but when it comes to his signature accomplishment, ObamaCare, each Democrat Senator up for reelection this year helped make it a reality.

That statement is forgettable. It represents a lost opportunity to pound a big nail in Obamacare’s coffin. Here’s the statement I would’ve written if I was in charge of the RNC’s messaging:

Rather than admitting that his signature issue is a failure, President Obama announced he was delaying the employer mandate. Again. The American people know that the Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable. People are paying more and getting less. Families’ premiums and deductibles are higher. Their networks are smaller. All too often, they’re being told that they can’t continue seeing the doctors that they’ve trustded for years.

Obamacare is the wrong perscription for a difficult situation. Dr. Tom Coburn, working with his Senate colleagues, has put together a plan that does what Obamacare was supposed to do. It addresses the problem of insuring people with pre-existing conditions. It lets families buy insurance across state lines. It lowers health care costs. Unlike Obamacare, it does all this without raising taxes.

Obamacare is killing jobs. The Patient CARE Act will create jobs and unleash the awesome job-creating power of American entrepreneurs. Families need good-paying full-time jobs. Families can’t wait through another delay to a failed bill.

This morning, Mark Halperin said what others hadn’t said:

At some point, we’ll reach a tipping point. I suspect we’re fast approaching that point. Charles Krauthammer is more skeptical of the bill than I am:

Mssrs. Halperin and Krauthammer are right that Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, is killing jobs and the decision to delay another part of the employer mandate screams of survival politics at its worst.

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Only in Washington, DC would people praise Sen. Schumer as being a top strategist. This morning, Schumer will deliver a speech that essentially disparages the TEA Party:

“There is a glaring weakness, one very weak link in the Tea Party’s armor, which is an inherent contradiction within the Tea Party that I believe can be exposed to greatly weaken their hold on the policy debate,” Schumer will say, according to excerpts of his remarks.

“The fundamental weakness in the Tea Party machine is the stark difference between what the leaders of the Tea Party elite, plutocrats like the Koch Brothers want and what the average grassroots Tea Party follower wants,” he will say.

First, it’s interesting that Sen. Schumer doesn’t have the foggiest clue about the TEA Party and why people agree with their principles. TEA Party activists are foreign to him because he’s a wealth redistributionist and they’re capitalists. Let’s have Sen. Schumer debate someone who actually knew what he was doing. Sen. Schumer, the wealth redistributionist, thinks that it’s essential that we tax “the rich.” Here’s the counter to that:

Sen. Schumer thinks that government is the solution to our problems. The Anything But Affordable Care Act is proof of Sen. Schumer’s belief in that philosophy. Our ‘guest philosopher’, like most TEA Party activists, thinks otherwise:

Our ‘guest philosopher’, like the TEA Party activists, thinks tax reform is essential:

Thanks to our guest philosopher’s policies, the US economy experienced the longest economic recovery in our history. Thanks to the policies championed by President Obama and Sen. Schumer, we’ve had the longest economic stagnation since the Great Depression.

We’re at a crossroads. We can tolerate President Obama’s failed redistributionist economic policies and see our economic standing in the world disappear or we can embrace President Reagan’s pro-growth economic policies that led to the greatest economic expansion in US history.

At this point, that isn’t a difficult choice.

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GOP gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert is running on a reform-minded platform. One of the reforms he’ll push is elimination of the Met Council. Here’s Seifert’s statement on why the MC should disappear:

Dear Fellow Minnesotan,

As the start of a new year approaches, we can look forward to the opportunity for new leadership in our state in 2014. My campaign for governor is less than a month old, but our message of restoring leadership at the State Capitol is resonating across Minnesota.

Part of leadership is offering bold ideas to address critical problems. The Metropolitan Council is a major problem for the people of Minnesota and I am calling for it to be abolished. For far too long, the Met Council’s unelected bureaucrats have imposed higher taxes, burdensome regulations and “urban planning” without representation and against the will of local governments. This weekend’s Star Tribune called the Met Council a “master of imposition” – I encourage you to read the editorial.

I hope you will visit my website, learn more about the issues I am focusing on, and consider making a small donation to help our campaign finish this year strong. I’m asking for your support to dramatically downsize the size and scope of state government, reverse harmful taxes and regulations, bring real job growth to our economy and halt the damaging implications of Obamacare in Minnesota.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Marty Seifert

No taxation without representation was one of the principles that started the Revolutionary War. Nearly 250 years later, Minnesota politicians think that taxation without representation is a great idea. The DFL and the Met Council’s lobbyists will fight against abolishing the Met Council if Rep. Seifert is elected. In fact, they’re likely to fight him to prevent him from becoming governor.

Here’s what Rep. Seifert said about abolishing the Met Council on his issues page:

Abolishment of three cabinet departments, in addition to complete elimination of the Metropolitan Council. Over a one-year period, the functions no longer required will be eliminated and needed functions will be transferred to local units of government or other cabinet departments.

Assuming that each part of the Met Council is essential is foolish. Ditto with cabinet offices.

Republicans should run on a positive, pro-growth reform agenda next year, whether they’re runnning for the legislature, governor, Congress or the US Senate. Telling the people how electing Republicans will lead to more prosperity with more disposable income and more representative government will sell.

Just telling people that the next Republican administration won’t rationalize a bureaucrat going on a 2-week vacation while her agency is in crisis will highlight the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

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It’s political light years away from the next presidential election season but it isn’t too early to start drafting potential GOP presidential candidates. Atop my list is Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor. Marc Thiessen’s article sums up Gov. Walkers qualifications perfectly:

During the 2012 recall fight in Wisconsin, a group of protesters dressed as zombies disrupted Gov. Scott Walker’s speech at a ceremony for kids participating in the Special Olympics. Walker just ignored the protesters. Afterwards, talk radio host Charlie Sykes told Walker he should have “gone Chris Christie on them.” But Walker wanted to keep the focus on the Special Olympics athletes, saying “it was their day.”

The incident is revealing. Walker and Christie, the New Jersey governor, are friends, and they have both found a way to win in purple states that have not voted for a Republican president in a quarter-century. But they each did it in very different ways.

Christie is moderate in policy, but immoderate in temperament.

Walker is moderate in temperament, but immoderate in policy.

Activists are drawn to Christie’s gruff exterior because they want a fighter. There’s no questioning whether Gov. Christie is a fighter. Still, for all his combativeness, many of his policies are what I’d expect of a New England Republican. That makes Gov. Christie significantly less appealing than Gov. Walker:

Walker is a tea party hero thanks to his courageous stand against the public-sector unions in Wisconsin. Cruz may have “faux filibustered” Obamacare, but Walker faced down 100,000 protesters outside the Capitol in Madison and won. He not only passed his reforms despite unbelievable odds, he became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. He’s both a fighter and a winner, a compelling combination for the conservative base.

Moreover, Walker’s appeal to the right goes beyond collective bargaining. As governor, he passed a raft of other conservative reforms that went virtually unnoticed because of the collective-bargaining fight. He signed legislation enacting voter identification requirements, permitting the concealed carry of firearms, defunding Planned Parenthood, prohibiting any health exchange operating in Wisconsin from covering abortion, reducing taxes, expanding school choice and reforming entitlements. Walker is an across-the-board, unflinching, full-spectrum conservative.

But Walker also has a proven ability to win the votes of moderates and reform-minded independents. While Walker is often portrayed as a “divisive” figure, exit polls in the June 2012 gubernatorial recall election showed that about one in six Walker voters also planned to vote for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “those confounding Obama-Walker voters of 2012…[are] still with us.” Two separate 2013 polls of Wisconsin voters, the paper reported, show that “11% approve of both politicians.”

Put differently, Christie is the bully who supports many liberal policies like gun control and global warming. Gov. Walker has a mental toughness that can’t be questioned. He stared down the thugs in Wisconsin and won the fight for important reforms. Everyone knows about the collective bargaining rights fight. Few noticed that he got other reforms passed, too.

Most importantly, I won’t have to worry whether Gov. Walker will abandon conservatism’s core principles. He won’t. He’ll pick great judges. He’ll feature a positive pro-growth agenda. He’ll be an unapologetic conservative with a lengthy history of conservative accomplishments.

George Will noted another appealing part of Gov. Walker’s in this column:

To fight the recall, during which opponents disrupted Walker’s appearance at a Special Olympics event and squeezed Super Glue into the locks of a school he was to visit, Walker raised more than $30?million, assembling a nationwide network of conservative donors that could come in handy if he is reelected next year.

It’s great that Gov. Walker is a proven fundraiser. He’d need it if he runs against Hillary in 2016. More importantly, though, he understands the value of a strong organization.

In other words, Gov. Walker a) is an unapologetic conservative, b) has a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments, c) can rally the conservative base while still appealing to independents and d) is a prolific fundraiser. That’s quite the trifecta heading into 2016.

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The latest Democratic chanting point on the Affordable Care Act has been that President Obama didn’t really break his promise that you could keep your health insurance plan if you liked it. The chanting point has become that the policies getting canceled were substandard policies that insurance companies foisted on unsuspecting dupes (you). That’s certainly the message Henry Aaron is peddling in this article:

Of late, numerous reports have told of people surprised by letters telling them that insurance plans they now have will not be renewed. Many are puzzled. Weren’t they told that if they like their insurance they could keep it? Opponents of health reform in general are seizing on the fact and asking in an accusatorial manner: “Isn’t this a betrayal of trust?”

No. To see why, imagine a new law enacted to promote food purity. As it is being debated, you are told: “If you like what you eat, you can keep on eating it.” The new law takes effect, and one day, you find that the market no longer carries certain foods you have been buying. As it happens, those products included elements found to be bad for your health. The pure food act barred their use.

There’s a huge flaw with this logic. They’re called Cadillac health insurance policies. Last night on Megyn Kelly’s show, a woman talked about how she had such a plan. When her husband got cancer that eventually killed him, the policy saved her family from huge expenses. The treatments cost over $300,000. Thanks to their health insurance policy, their out-of-pocket expenses came to $1,500. That’s in addition to the premiums they paid.

When the policy wasn’t offered anymore, this woman chose to continue this coverage, paying the premiums out of her own pocket. She did the right thing. She wasn’t putting a burden on society. She didn’t complain about not getting her policy subsidized. She just paid the premiums.

This fall, she got a notice that her policy was canceled thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s penalty on Cadillac plans. That’s right. The Affordable Care Act is making Cadillac plans obsolete. That’s why the unions are upset. All these years, they’ve settled for smaller wage increases, which are taxed, in exchange for premium quality health insurance policies, which aren’t taxed.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these union workers won’t have the option of a Cadillac plan plus they’re stuck with the lower pay increases that they negotiated.

It’s difficult to see how Cadillac plans are the equivalent of “products [that] included elements found to be bad for your health.” The full name of the Affordable Care Act is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of the Democrats’ first chanting points was the PPACA would protect families from medical bankruptcies. This lady’s Cadillac health insurance policy did that and then some.

It’s insulting that Mr. Aaron insists that the canceled policies are sub-standard policies. It’s insulting on multiple levels, starting with the fact that those policies can’t be sold if they aren’t first approved by that state’s insurance commissioner.

Early in her political career, Ms. Sebelius was Kansas’ insurance commissioner. Is she now admitting that the policies she approved were sub-standard? When President Obama called these insurance plans sub-standard, he essentially accused the 50 state insurance commissioners incompetent.

Second, in many places, competition among insurers will lower premiums. Bloomberg Government has reported that the more plans offered in an exchange, the lower the premiums.

In Minnesota, a state recognized as a leader in health insurance innovation and access, most rural cities have few options. In fact, many of these places have a single option in terms of insurance providers competing.

Third, people can hold down premiums by selecting plans with comparatively high deductibles.

That option isn’t brought to us by the Affordable Care Act. That was available to clients who had health savings accounts and a catastrophic policy, both of which are illegal under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

The problem was a misdiagnosis of the situation in 2009. The US health care system needed extensive work. It didn’t need to put an incompetent administration in charge of a complex industry. Democrats didn’t need to give bureaucrats the authority of who could keep the health insurance plans they liked. Democrats didn’t need to tell people what insurance policies were “sub-standard” and which ones were government-approved.

What Democrats should’ve done is get out of the way so innovators couls’ve put together a package of real reforms.

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Despite the Democrats’ spin otherwise, the looming government shutdown will be their fault. Tonight, Republicans voted to keep the government open while attaching a provision that would delay the start of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Here’s the White House’s response:

The White House on Saturday said President Obama would veto the House GOP’s latest stopgap spending measure.

It said Obama would veto the bill because of the inclusion of language delaying ObamaCare and eliminating a medical device tax, while faulting the House for not moving a simple funding measure approved by the Senate on Friday.

“Rather than taking up that legislation, the House proposes amendments that advance a narrow ideological agenda and threaten the nation’s economy,” the White House budget office said in a statement. “By including extraneous measures that have no place in a government funding bill and that the president and Senate already made clear are unacceptable, House Republicans are pushing the government toward shutdown,” it said. “If the president was presented with H.J. Res 59, as amended by these amendments, he would veto the bill.”

Putting things into a bill at the last minute has been happening for decades. In most instances, however, the changes are additional pork used to buy votes that ensure passage of the bill. This time, the change to the Senate bill would delay the negative impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the PPACA.

The administration immediately attempted to paint Republicans as extremists:

Before the veto threat, White House press secretary Jay Carney called the GOP measure “reckless and irresponsible.” Any Republican who votes for the bill is “voting for a shutdown,” he said in a statement.

It isn’t amazing that the administration is attempting to portray Republicans as extremists. What’s amazing, though, is the fact that the media isn’t questioning the White House. They aren’t even pretending to be mildly interested in reporting facts.

Unlike the formerly mainstream media, I’ll put forward some verifiable facts. If Senate Democrats defeat the bill passed tonight by the House of Representatives:

  • they will have voted to not fund the government’s operation.
  • they will have voted for giving corporations a huge break while forcing families to suffer the consequences of the PPACA
  • they will have voted for hurting families while getting an exception for themselves and their staff.

It’s impossible to take Jay Carney seriously, especially considering his repeated indefensible statements. Here’s his latest spin:

In his statement, Carney criticized Republicans for repeatedly trying to attack the healthcare law, noting they have held more than 40 votes to defund, delay or repeal it.

“The president has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy,” he said.

That’s BS. If President Obama was “willing to improve the health care law”, he’d push for something that didn’t use the government to force families into buying something they don’t want to buy. If President Obama truly was willing to meet Republicans half way on health care reform, he wouldn’t have shoved the PPACA down families’ throats. If President Obama was truly willing to meet Republcans half way, he wouldn’t have ignored the American people’s vociferous cries to stop the insanity of passing the ACA.

There’s no polite way of putting this so I’ll just say it. Mr. Carney is a liar. Mr. Carney insists that President Obama “has shown that he’s willing to improve the health care law.” I’m calling Mr. Carney’s bluff. I won’t believe him until he cites examples of President Obama did that. What specific provisions has he used that the Republicans proposed? We know that Republicans proposed tons of alternatives during the Health Summit. Here’s one of their proposals:

10:07– Sen. Coburn is now talking about lawsuit abuse reform and defensive medicine costs. Eliminating lawsuit abuse and defensive medicine costs would save almost $850,000,000,000 annually.

That went in one of President Obama’s ears and out the other. Nothing in the ACA addresses reducing defensive medicine costs.

10:42– Paul Ryan is responding to Rob Andrews on the issue of federal regulations. Andrews says that the federal government needs to regulate health care mandates. Ryan nailed Andrews, saying that organizations like NFIB will do a good job of negotiating health care policies for their members. Ryan then says that governors will do a good job regulating health insurance, too.

When I wrote this post, I cited Lamar Alexander’s statement:

Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month, a 190 percent increase. Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month, a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.
Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy. In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.

When the federal government dictates what health insurance policies have to cover, families’ affordable choices shrink.

Again, President Obama is about getting everything his way. Mr. Carney’s lies aren’t persuasive.

When Democrats vote to defeat the House CR, they’ll have their fingerprints all over the looming government shutdown.

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In an appearance on FNC’s “The Five”, captured in this video, Juan Williams passionately called Al Sharpton and Michael-Eric Dyson race hustlers and civil rights hucksters:

This op-ed is, loosely speaking, a transcript of Juan’s opening monologue. The first 3 minutes of the video are especially powerful. That’s where Juan called Michael-Eric Dyson out for not providing solutions. Here’s part of Juan’s opening monologue:

Two of the worst: civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson. Their goal: demonize white people, especially conservatives like Bill O’Reilly, so they don’t have to deal with the real problems that continue to plague the black community. Making an older, conservative white guy like O’Reilly a boogie man is easy for these hustlers.

But do they ever confront the real problems and threats in the minority community? No. High murder rates? How about that? What about high dropout rates? What about the breakdown of the family?

After Juan’s opening monologue, Dana Perino noted that Juan didn’t read the monologue off a teleprompter, that he spoke it from the heart. She then said that Juan’s opening monologue might’ve been the most impressive monologue in “The Five’s” history. I wouldn’t disagree with that, though I’d highlight the fact that all 15 minutes of the video are must-see video. During another exchange with Dana Perino, Juan highlighted something important. Starting at the 4:40 mark, here’s what Juan said:

DANA PERINO: What is the most important thing we could address the problem?
JUAN WILLIAMS: For me, it’s education. I grew up as a poor kid. If it wasn’t for education, I wouldn’t be anywhere so, in other words, I had a tiger mom and a black tiger mom who said “you’re gonna get good grades, you’re going to stay in school, you’re gonna work and, not only that, you’re going to achieve. You’re not just going to hang in there. You’re going to achieve.

I applauded Juan for saying that when I watched that monologue live. I’m applauding him again while I’m watching the video this morning. Juan didn’t stop there:

JUAN WILLIAMS: So if we’re serious about this, we go about taking on the unions, going at school reform, going at charter schools, going at vouchers. That’s why people say ‘Well, they provide a lot of jobs.’ You know what, unless you’re educating kids, unless you’re loving kids, you’re not doing anything. You’re not helping.

That’s powerful because a black liberal is talking about taking on the teachers unions, promoting school reform, charter schools and vouchers as solutions to black poverty. That’s something you won’t hear from Michael-Eric Dyson or Al Sharpton. I give Juan credit for writing this great op-ed because it’s part of the solution:

Here is the track record for that solution as I wrote about it in my book, “ENOUGH: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It.” “The poverty rate for any black man or woman who follows that formula is a mere 6.4 percent…in other words by meeting those basic requirements black American can cut their chances of being poor by two-thirds…even white American families have a higher poverty rate than black people who finished high school, got married, had children after 21 and worked for at least one week a year.”

The key for black women is also in the formula – do not have a baby outside of a strong marriage. Over a third [35 percent] of the black women who have children out of wedlock – now tragically more than 70 percent – live in poverty.

By comparison, only 17 percent of black women who are married live in poverty. And black children with both parents at home have a better chance for success, fewer dealings with the police, higher graduation rates and are more likely to marry before they have children.

Marriage and the presence of adults as role models and loving disciplinarians is absolutely critical helping young black men build the self-esteem that puts them in position to make good decisions that lead to the road to success.

While Juan repeats many of the Democrats’ talking points, these statements definitely don’t mimic Al Sharpton or Michael-Eric Dyson or Julian Bond or other race hucksters. These are time-tested solutions.

There’s another important lesson that needs to be learned from this discussion. While Sharpton’s, Dyson’s and Jesse Jackson’s statements are incendiary and counterproductive, Republicans aren’t without blame, either. Republican politicians should make frequent visits into the minority communities. While they’re there, they should follow a specific pattern.

First, Republican politicians should introduce themselves, then start listening. People that listen signal to the talker that what they’re saying is important. I coined a phrase years ago about that: “The fastest way to confer dignity on people is by listening intently because it sends the message that what they’re saying is important.”

When they hear something that approaches common ground, they should highlight that and express the fact that they’re willing, even eager, to work with minorities on improving their lives.

In the end, this isn’t a political issue. It’s a moral issue. I’m no fan of NCLB but I agree with President Bush’s statement that we need to end “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” That’s what Juan passionately and eloquently spoke about. It’s what Michael-Eric Dyson, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson won’t talk about. It’s what Republicans should do a better job of prioritizing.

In the end, that’s the ultimate solution.

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When a governor asks a newspaper to print his editorial, it’s political courtesy to say yes. That doesn’t mean citizens can’t rip his op-ed. This op-ed would be a paragraph if not for the DFL’s spin:

Foremost, our budget will provide our children the better educations they need for brighter futures. Minnesota’s long-term economic competitiveness hinges on our ability to deliver a world-class education for our kids.

All-day kindergarten isn’t a great investment. It’s a ripoff. Further, teacher accountability doesn’t exist. AJ Kern notes that there are high school math teachers in Sauk Rapids school system who can’t pass the basic skills test to get their teaching certificate. If there aren’t great teachers in classrooms, no amount of spending will deliver a “world-class education for our kids.”

It sounds great. Education Minnesota will certainly praise the Dayton/Bakk/Thissen budget. The reality, though, is that their policies won’t appreciably improve education in Minnesota.

During the political analysis segment of @Issue With Tom Hauser, Brian Mclung noted that the DFL stripped out the basic skills test reform that Gov. Dayton signed after the Republican legislature passed it last year. Mclung noted, too, that the DFL ended graduation testing for students, too.

If DFL policies were leading to “a world-class education for our kids”, why is the DFL gutting policies that verify kids are getting a “world-class education”?

The propaganda continues:

After a decade of steep tuition increases, students at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campuses will benefit from tuition freezes for the next two years. And more than 100,000 State Grant Program recipients from low- and middle-income families will receive additional financial aid to pursue their higher educations.

Tuitions have been frozen, which is the only positive thing in their higher ed budget. Higher ed costs haven’t been reduced. Rather than fixing the problem, the DFL just increased the subsidies for students to attend less-than-average colleges.

We made major investments that will provide thousands of good-paying jobs. They include major expansions by Mayo Clinic, 3M, the Mall of America and others that will create thousands of construction jobs and thousands more for operations.

If crony capitalism worked, the American economy wouldn’t be growing at an anemic 2% rate. Any time that the government raises taxes, then spends some of those taxes on the politically-well-connected, the people that don’t get their “fair share” of corporate welfare are hurt.

That’s before talking the disastrous warehousing tax and the sales tax on telecommunications companies. Those are the worst tax policies ever implemented in Minnesota history. I predict the warehousing tax will be repealed before the end of the 2014 session. If it isn’t, Minnesota’s economy will take a major hit.

Finally, there’s this BS:

And we paid for these investments honestly and progressively. The very highest income earners and some large corporations will pay more in taxes. Except for smokers, middle-class Minnesotans will pay the same state income or sales tax rates while realizing the benefits from $441 million in additional property tax relief, which reverses the property tax increases that resulted from the previous Legislature’s policies.

The warehousing tax will be paid for by everyone, not just “the rich”, in the form of higher pricers for groceries and other products. As for the “$441 million in additional property tax relief,” that’s mostly a myth. Most of that relief is higher LGA payments to cities and counties. In the hands of liberals like Don Ness, Chris Coleman and R.T. Rybak, those LGA payments turn into big spending increases, not into property tax relief.

The DFL pushed things hard this year because they realize Minnesotans will throw the DFL out of the House majority in 2014.