Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Nancy Pelosi’s statement about the House Republicans’ plan to vote to defund Planned Parenthood is typical Democratic spin. Ms. Pelosi’s statement that “House Republicans are planning yet another taxpayer-funded Select Committee to burn more of the millions of taxpayer dollars they’ve already spent playing politics – this time with the goal of taking lifesaving preventative care away from millions of American women” is particularly offensive.

It’s offensive because the alternative to investigating Planned Parenthood’s activities is to turn a blind eye towards Planned Parenthood’s activities. That’s the Democrats’ pattern. If anyone wants to scrutinize one of their ‘sacred cow’ institutions, the Democrats’ reflexive reaction is to accuse the people who want to examine that institution’s activities as being haters.

Kirsten Powers’ USA Today article on the Gosnell murder trial provides a powerful picture of what happens when people stop paying attention. In April, 2013, Ms. Powers wrote that “Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.”

After whining about Republicans establishing “another taxpayer-funded Select Committee” to investigate Planned Parenthood’s activities, Ms. Pelosi wrote that “there must be a thorough investigation of the blatant wrongdoing of the group that clandestinely filmed and selectively edited these videos, likely in violation of numerous state and federal laws.”

Ms. Pelosi lives in an alternative universe where it’s unfair to investigate organizations that get taxpayer funding but it’s imperative to investigate people who uncovered that taxpayer-funded organization’s questionable activities.

It’s clear that Carly Fiorina got under Donald Trump’s skin. Last night, NRO Editor Rich Lowry said “Look, Trump obviously attacks everyone, but [Carly Fiorina] has become a much bigger target. Part of what is going on here is that last debate, where, let’s be honest, Carly cut his balls off with the precision of a surgeon.”

This morning, Trump called into Morning Joe, where Joe Scarborough brought up NRO, saying that they’re “really sort of the gold standard of conservative magazines.” Trump’s response was predictable typical trash talk. When Mr. Trump said that “I don’t think anybody reads it, Joe. I think it has no power whatsoever, I’ll be honest. I think it has no power whatsoever. And he’s not a respected guy.” Scarborough responded, saying that “I read it.”

Reacting like a petulant child, Trump said “You’re the only one.” If people could make money by responding like a spoiled brat, Donald Trump would be the richest man in the world. Here’s the video of Mr. Trump acting like a spoiled brat:

Now that Donald Trump’s statements about Megyn Kelly have gone public, it’s time for the media to shun Mr. Trump entirely. He shouldn’t be invited on another Sunday morning show. He shouldn’t be invited on cable news shows, either. This isn’t about political correctness. It’s about not enabling Mr. Trump to spew the most disgusting accusations imaginable on TV as an invited guest.

Last night, during an interview on CNN, Mr. Trump said that “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever” about Megyn Kelly. What type of man says something like that?

When word got out that Trump had made that disgusting statement about Ms. Kelly, Erick Erickson, the organizer and host of RedState Gathering 15, took to Twitter to tell people that he’d rescinded his invitation to Mr. Trump for the Saturday night finale, later saying that “I wanted to have him here as a legitimate candidate, but no legitimate candidate suggests somehow a female asking questions is doing it because she’s hormonal,” Erickson told reporters late Friday night.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump issued his own statement:

“Re Megyn Kelly quote: “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” (NOSE). Just got on w/thought,” he tweeted.

His campaign also skewered Erickson in a statement.

“This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader. We’ll now be doing another campaign stop at another location,” the statement read.

Mr. Trump’s statements aren’t credible. They’re self-serving, though. What person in their right mind would buy that anyone would have blood coming out of their eyes? It’s clear that Mr. Trump doesn’t respect women whatsoever. In late July, I wrote an article titled Donald Trump, tyrant. I wrote that article because the Trump campaign had barred Katie Obradovich, the chief political reporter from the Des Moines Register, from a public campaign event, later saying that the DMR was “a left wing rag.” (Are you detecting a pattern here?) Ms. Obradovich’s offense? Her newspaper’s editorial board had written a scathing editorial about Mr. Trump.

It’s pretty apparent that Mr. Trump lashes out at whoever criticizes him. That criticism includes ripping people, either by calling them pathetic (in Erickson’s case) or insinuating that they’re hormonal (in Ms. Kelly’s case).

Here’s a question that Mr. Trump’s supporters should ask themselves: How will Mr. Trump get things done in Washington, DC after he’s alienated everyone that’s criticized him?

Finally, let’s admit that Mr. Trump doesn’t hate political correctness. Let’s admit that Mr. Trump is just a mean-spirited egotist who can’t handle rejection.

Last night, Donald Trump was exposed as a wimp with a glass jaw. After the debate, he whined that Megyn Kelly “behaved very nasty to me.”

That’s rich.

The man who insists he’ll get China, Mexico, Russia and Iran to buckle can’t take tough questions from a moderator. While he didn’t crumble, he lost his temper. Then he lied. Ms. Kelly started by saying “You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.’” Mr. Trump insisted that he’d said that about “only Rosie O’Donnell” as though that was ok. Ms. Kelly re-asserted herself, saying “No, it wasn’t. Your Twitter account – For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.” Mr. Trump’s condescending response was “Yes, I’m sure it was.”

Ms. Kelly continued on track, saying “You once told a woman on Celebrity Apprentice that ‘it would be a pretty picture of her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of the man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton that you are part of the war on women”?

Mr. Trump replied that “This country’s problem is being politically correct” before saying that “we’re $19,000,000,000,000 in debt.” Poor little rich boy. A debate moderator criticizes him for playing into Hillary Clinton’s ‘War on Women’ storyline but that’s somehow mean-spirited and out-of-bounds? Trump calls women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals” but that’s ok? Which universe was Mr. Trump born in that that makes sense?

Mr. Trump has tried portraying himself as a Master of the Universe type of omnipotent being. RealClearPolitics’ Tom Bevan posted this pitch-perfect tweet, saying “Trump is going to bust balls of Putin, China & Mexico – right after he recovers from having his feelings hurt by @megynkelly’s questions.”

It’s impossible to not mock Mr. Trump after he told MSNBC “I’m very surprised at Fox News that they would do that because, you know, I would say it’s pretty unprofessional.” Saying that “it would be a pretty picture” to see a female celebrity “on her knees” is presidential but getting asked tough questions is unprofessional?

Mr. Trump isn’t a man of integrity. He’s foul-mouthed. He’s as egotistical as Obama. Like Bill Clinton, Mr. Trump treats some women properly while treating others like trailer trash. There’s nothing presidential about him.

Last weekend, Mark Halperin found himself in the middle of an intense political firestorm because his interview came across to many as questioning Sen. Cruz’s Hispanic credentials. This afternoon, Halperin apologized. Later this afternoon, Sen. Cruz graciously accepted Halperin’s apology. Here’s what started the firestorm:

In the interview, Halperin asked Cruz about his favorite Cuban food and Cuban music. He then asked the Texan to welcome Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) into the 2016 race “en Español.” “Your last name is Cruz and you’re from Texas. Just based on that, should you have appeal to Hispanic voters?”? Halperin also asked.

Here’s Sen. Cruz’s response to Halperin’s apology:

Cruz praised Halperin in a Monday Facebook post as a “serious and fair-minded journalist” who asked “some silly questions.” “The apology was unnecessary; no offense was taken, nor, I believe, intended; but is certainly appreciated,” Cruz said.

Sen. Cruz would’ve been justified if he went ballistic responding to Halperin’s interview. Instead, he reacted with grace by taking the high ground. Not only that but he probably gained a friend in Halperin by the way he handled the situation.

By responding gracefully, Sen. Cruz showed that the left’s accusations that he’s just a bomb-throwing conservative back bencher are baseless. He’s a principled man, something that the Totalitarian Left isn’t used to.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Dana Bash talked about Sen. Rubio’s youth and turning it around now vs. how they criticized then-Sen. Obama about it in 2008:

Here’s what Baldwin said that caught my attention:

BROOKE BALDWIN: Well, they tried to slam the then-Sen. Obama for it and now you have all these freshman GOP senators in the same situation.

It’s fair game to ask whether Republicans should’ve criticized then-Sen. Obama. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, it was fair that Republicans questioned then-Sen. Obama because he was just 2 years removed from being a back-bench state senator when he started running for president.

First, let’s remember that Barack Obama served only a total of 4 years in the Senate. In 2003, Obama was a state senator who frequently voted present. He didn’t have any accomplishments to speak of. Upon joining the Senate, he essentially started running for president. Just 2 years after getting elected to the US Senate, Obama announced that he was running for president. As a result, he didn’t take his committee assignments seriously. That’s one of the reasons why President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. (The other reason why they’ve been disastrous is because of his belief in a failed ideology.)

By comparison, Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul are in the fifth year of their respective terms in office. They’ve taken their committee assignments seriously. Sen. Rubio, for all his faults, is an expert on national security and terrorism. I said here that Sen. Rubio would mop the floor with Hillary’s behind if they ever debated foreign policy or national security.

It’s substantially different to go from being a state senator to president in 5 years than to go from Speaker of the Florida House to presidential candidate in 7 years. Sen. Rubio’s understanding of the issues is significantly better than President Obama’s understanding of the issues.

I don’t doubt that Sen. Rubio was nervous initially when he started his presentation. It’s an emotional moment for him and his family. I’d be worried if he wasn’t a little emotional. It’s worth noticing that Ms. Bash said that he settled down once he got a little ways into the speech. That’s why I wrote that Sen. Rubio blew Hillary away.

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This part of Megyn Kelly’s panel about Rand Paul’s intemperate behavior during interviews is a great slap down of MSNBC’s Ed Schultz:

Megyn teed things up, then Ann Coulter hit Schultz right between the eyes. Here’s the transcript of that part of the panel:

MEGYN KELLY: It seems like some are trying to exploit maybe an interviewing weakness or a temperament issue for him into making it a gender issue. I give the audience exhibit A, which is Mr. [Ed] Schultz on a competing network. Watch this.
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC: There is real evidence that Rand Paul has problems with women reporters.
KELLY: Okay, Ann, this is Ed Schultz trying to lecture us about somebody who has a problem with women. Ed Schultz.
ANN COULTER: He is very sensitive with women as I recall.
KELLY: Who called Laura Ingraham a right-wing slut. He’s now lecturing us on how men need to behave toward women.
COULTER: Yes, he is definitely the one who should be taking up the battle on this one. Ed Schultz. When I am worried about how women are being treated, I go to Ed Schultz.

Ed Schultz is a blithering idiot. There’s a reason why his show is teetering on the verge of being cancelled by MSNBC. (Do you realize how terrible you have to be to get cancelled by MSNBC? It’s almost impossible.) Schultz wasn’t the only object of Coulter’s sharp wit:

COULTER: It does expose liberals and especially feminists for this I think very annoying double standard of, you know, we are rough, we are tough, we can do the same things men can do, but, oh, I’m a delicate flower. Please don’t talk to me that way, which is fine and good and it’s actually why I like how the entire Paul family is kind of cranky with the media.

Some women don’t cave into that “delicate flower” image, with Greta van Susteren, Megyn Kelly, Kirsten Powers, S.E. Cupp and Ann Coulter not fitting that image. Hillary, BTW, loves deploying this tactic. It’s tactical because she frequently uses that tactic when she’s in trouble and she doesn’t want to deal with substantive issues.

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Anyone who watched Rand Paul’s interview with Megyn Kelly last night saw Sen. Paul’s less-than-elegant side:

Simply put, Sen. Paul was combative, argumentative and vague. He was argumentative when Kelly pressed him for a definition of who he meant when he talked about neocons. By comparison, Sen. Paul said that Charles Krauthammer was “just wrong” in his opinion about Sen. Paul. Finally, Sen. Paul refused to even say what the ‘neocon’ philosophy consisted of. The only thing Sen. Paul said about neocons was that Sen. McCain “is always right and wants to have troops in 15 countries…”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. When Kelly showed clips of Paul criticizing Savannah Guthrie, telling her how to conduct an interview, Sen. Paul looked petulant and thin-skinned. While there’s no denying the fact that Sen. Paul is more open-minded than President Obama, there’s no denying the fact that he doesn’t like getting challenged, either.

Right after Kelly’s interview with Sen. Paul, she interviewed Dana Perino, who had some great advice for Sen. Paul. Ms. Perino said he should put the tapes in of his interview with Savannah Guthrie and the CNBC anchor where his thin skin showed the most. Ms. Perino said that his wife could point out things that he isn’t seeing and offer him an opinion of what comes across through a woman’s eyes. Perino wasn’t harshly critical. She simply offered constructive criticism.

Sen. Paul’s other ‘skin’ problem that showed during his interview was his constant insistence that he was the only Republican who fought against bombing Libya. He wasn’t. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single Republican who thought invading Libya was a good idea. Sen. Paul insisted that he was right about Syria and ISIS and that only a matter of degrees separated Republicans from President Obama.

That’s warped thinking. President Obama didn’t want to take any action. That’s because he’s a pacifist as is Sen. Paul. That’s what Sen. Paul meant when he said that he didn’t support arming the Free Syrian Army. Sen. Paul didn’t think ISIS was that big of a threat until after they beheaded the reporters. Then his attitude changed. That’s what happened with President Obama. It sounds like Sen. Paul is more like President Obama than the neocons supposedly are.

Tonight, Charles Krauthammer will be part of the Special Report All-Star Panel, along with Judge Napolitano and Juan Williams. It’ll be interesting to see if Bret Baier gives Charles the opportunity to defend himself against Sen. Paul’s charges. If it doesn’t happen there, it’ll happen somewhere. That’s something Sen. Paul should fear because he’s a novelty item. He can’t afford taking a credibility hit from a respected conservative like Krauthammer.

If Sen. Paul doesn’t get control of himself, he won’t last long enough to be a flavor-of-the-month candidate. He’ll be able to stay in the race. It’s just that he’ll be treated like a pariah if he’s stripped of his credibility.

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I wish I could say that I’m surprised that the St. Cloud Times Editorial Board is recommending Republicans cave into the DFL’s transportation plan:

Finally and fortunately, Minnesotans have enough details from legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton to weigh in on what they want for transportation funding statewide in the next 10 years.

House Republicans this week put forth their proposal, which spends $7 billion through tapping the state surplus, borrowing, increased efficiencies and spending general-fund money now used in other state programs. It’s unclear which programs would be cut, but it amounts to $3 billion in 10 years. The plan does not raise taxes. It also does much less for public transit than Dayton’s plan.

I can’t dispute the fact that the Republicans’ plan doesn’t do much for “public transit.” I can’t deny it because it’s designed not to do much for “public transit.” The GOP plan tells the Met Council that it’s responsible for metro transit.

That’s only fair because light rail isn’t a big thing in outstate Minnesota. If the Twin Cities wants light rail, let the Twin Cities fund that.

Here are some suggestions to make this much-needed initiative a reality by session’s end in mid-May:

New revenues (also known as taxes and user fees) are more forthright and stable than funding shifts (aka cutting other programs.) Higher taxes and fees, which admittedly nobody likes, clearly identify who will pay them. Shifting $3 billion from unidentified state programs not only creates unintended consequences for residents with no stake in transportation, but future legislators could easily trump these choices, further delaying much-needed improvements.

Contrary to Rep. Thissen’s spin, there aren’t any funding shifts in the Republicans’ transportation plan. The Republicans’ plan proposes dedicating the sales tax on auto parts, car rentals and car leases for fixing roads and bridges. Those existing taxes would be part of the Transportation Stability Fund.

In the latest KSTP-SurveyUSA poll, 75% of Minnesotans said that they didn’t want a tax increase to be part of the transportation plan. Republicans shouldn’t cave on this. If the DFL wants to fight an election over this, I’d just tell the DFL that we’re willing to fight that fight anytime anywhere.

Compromise isn’t necessarily a virtue. Doing what the vast majority of people want is a virtue.

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The SCTimes: Community Watchdog Redux?
by Silence Dogood

On February 23, 2015 Laura M. King, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for MnSCU testified before the Ways and Means Committee in the Minnesota House with Chairman Knoblach.

In her testimony relating to the Composite Financial Index (CFI), she stated:

The trends for the universities is concerning.”

Vice Chancellor King also stated that we are:

“very engaged with the campuses from a planning standpoint.”

“On a scale from 1 to 5, we want to be in the 3 range.” (referring to the CFI)

Ms. King later mentioned four MnSCU universities by name—Metropolitan, St. Cloud State University, Southwest, and Mankato. As a result of their poor financial performance they were each being required to produce a “Financial Recovery Plan.”

Later in her testimony, she stated:

“In the case of St. Cloud State, umm…they had operating losses in Fiscal 14…umm. were pretty substantial.”

As shown in budget documents released by the SCSU administration last Fall, SCSU had a deficit of $708,000 for FY14:

In a public Town Hall meeting, President Potter stated that the $708,000 deficit for FY14 was due because of last year’s cold winter requiring an additional expenditure of $700,000 for heat. Clearly, President Potter did not want to mention the $1,200,000 loss on the Coborn’s Plaza Apartments in FY14 and instead wanted to blame the weather for the deficit.

In Laura King’s words, the “operating losses in Fiscal 14…umm. were pretty substantial.” I’m not really sure that anyone familiar with budgets would say that a loss of $708,000 out of a total operating budget of $233,152,000 would be described as substantial—especially when you are required to keep a minimum of 5% of your budget in reserve, which in this case would amount to over $11,600,000.

The following document was released in January 2015, to assist in planning for SCSU’s “Financial Recovery.”

This documents shows a deficit in the Net Operating Income for FY14 totals $11,555,000. Perhaps as Laura King might say, $11,555,000 is “pretty substantial.” The difference between a loss of $708,000 and $11,555,000 is, by anyone’s definition, indeed “pretty substantial!”

It has been said by members of the administration that you have to “understand” that these documents can’t be compared because they contain different information. This is a fairly common trick when someone asks a question that you don’t want to answer; just deflect the question by saying that it’s ‘complicated’ or that they just don’t ‘understand.’ Wouldn’t it be important to have documents that clearly show SCSU’s budget deficit? However, one thing is clear, based on MnSCU’s CFI, SCSU is financially in pretty bad shape. The figure below shows a plot of SCSU’s CFI over time:

The two-year decline from a CFI of 3.58 in FY12 to a value of 0.07 in FY14, is a decline of 3.51 and might be a MnSCU record! Unfortunately, it’s probably not a record that will make it into a University News Release any time soon and those SCTimes’ watchdogs might just think a loss of $11 million in net operating income is a rounding error not worthy of sniffing out.