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This Reuters article is breathtakingly misguided. First, the article is a hatchet job about Betsy DeVos’s confirmation hearing. What’s important to know is that Reuters says “Next Tuesday, the Education Committee will likely approve sending her name to the full chamber when it votes in an executive session. Then, Democrats could block the nomination with a filibuster on the Senate floor.”

Has Reuters been hiding in Saddam Hussein’s rabbit hole hideout the last 4 years? Have they paid attention to the Democrats’ whining the last month? NEWS BULLETIN TO REUTERS: Harry Reid killed the filibuster of presidential cabinet nominees in 2013.

What’s noteworthy about the hearing itself is how bitchy Democrats are. For instance, the Reuters article says “Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, an advocate of tough financial regulation, asked whether DeVos or her children had attended public schools, borrowed student loans or received federal financial help known as Pell grants. ‘You have no experience with financial aid,’ Warren summed up when DeVos answered ‘no.'”

She’s a billionaire who’s contributed millions of dollars to school choice scholarship funds. Why would she then require her children to rack up a pile of student loan debt?

Many were dismayed DeVos would not pledge to carry out rules on sexual assault, for-profit colleges and fair access for students with disabilities, only saying she would review the policies.

TRANSLATION: Democrats are upset that Trump’s pick isn’t a doctrinaire liberal who supports teachers unions. My advice for them is simple: put on your big boy britches. Get over it. You lost. The new president will be taking the nation in a different, more prosperous, direction.

NOTICE TO ELIZABETH WARREN: Keep doing what you’re doing, which is acting like a bitch. You’ve been letting your hostility flood the hearings. It isn’t attractive.

Finally, it’s difficult to trust Reuters as a news organization when they don’t know basic Senate rules. It’s impossible to think of Sen. Warren as a presidential candidate. She’s a bigger bitch than Hillary, which is saying a lot, and she hates anyone who’s been successful.

One of the major highlights of CNN’s townhall meeting with Speaker Ryan at George Washington University came during the question of the night. That’s when Speaker Ryan announced that the House would repeal the ACA and pass the Republican replacement “at the same time, and in some cases in the same bill.” Speaker Ryan continued, saying “So we want to advance repealing this law with its replacement at the same time.”

The first person to ask a question of Speaker Ryan was a small business owner named Jeff Jeans, who identified himself as a former Republican and a cancer survivor. Jeans told Speaker Ryan “Just like you, I was opposed to the Affordable Care Act. When it was passed, I told my wife we would close our business before I’d comply with this law. Then, at 49, I was given 6 weeks to live and with a very curable type of cancer. We offered 3 times the cost of my treatments, which was rejected. They required an insurance card. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m standing here alive. Being both a small business person and a person with pre-existing conditions, I rely on the Affordable Care Act to purchase my own insurance. Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?”

Ryan replied “We wouldn’t do that. We want to replace it with something better. … We believe that state high risk pools are a smarter way of guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. We had a really good one in Wisconsin. Utah had a really great one. I was talking with a congresswoman from Washington today who was telling me how good their high risk pool is. What I mean when I say this is that about 8% of all the people less than 65 years of age have that type of pre-existing condition. … We don’t want people to go poor or go bankrupt because this thing happens to them so we obviously want a system where they can get affordable coverage without going bankrupt when they get sick. But we can do that without destroying the rest of the health care system for everybody else. That’s the point I’m trying to make. What we should have done is fix what was broken in health care without breaking what was working with health care and that’s what Obamacare unfortunately did.”

Here’s the video of that exchange:

It’s worth noting that Minnesota had a high risk pool, too, which was also working well until the ACA destroyed it. In 2007, before then-Sen. Obama was elected president, Minnesota boasted that 92.8% of its citizens were insured. Of those that didn’t have health insurance, more than half were eligible for some sort of taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Had those people gotten signed up, Minnesota’s insured rate would’ve exceeded 97%, which would’ve been better than anything that the ACA could ever hope to accomplish.

What’s particularly insulting and infuriating is the fact that Democrats know the Republicans’ plans. It’s infuriating because Ryan’s plan has been out there for months. If there’s anything certain about Speaker Ryan, it’s that he’s a policy junkie in the best sense of the word. He lives to write great legislation.

Speaker Ryan said that he didn’t have a specific date that he’d put on repealing and replacing the ACA, though he told Jake Tapper that he thinks it will happen in President Trump’s first 100 days.

If that happens, you’ll see the economy take off because Obamacare is sucking the incentive out of growing small businesses. Watch the entire video. It’s educational and enlightening.

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To: Speaker Daudt, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka
From: Gary Gross, uppity peasant
Subject: Health insurance premium relief

Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, I’m sure you’re well aware of Gov. Dayton’s insistence that you pass his health insurance premium relief plan, aka passing his wimpy political relief proposal. According to this article, he wants you to pass his wimpy proposal virtually immediately.

As a loyal conservative activist, it pains me to say this. I’m asking you to follow his direction (with an asterisk.) I know that the GOP plan includes premium relief. I know that the GOP legislation isn’t the same as Gov. Dayton’s wimpy proposal. (Thank God for major miracles, right?)

Please pass the GOP legislation ASAP, then send it to his desk. When it’s passed, I’d recommend that you hold a major press conference right at 6:00 pm CT that night so that each of the Twin Cities TV stations is forced to cover the press conference/celebration announcement. Also, circulate this comparison table to the media:

Highlight to Minnesotans that the GOP legislation that you’ve passed in the opening days of the regular session includes extensive premium relief that Gov. Dayton insists get passed. Then highlight for Minnesotans that it also includes plans to improve access to care, competition & choice and make provider networks more family friendly.

Dare Gov. Dayton to veto your legislation. Dare him to explain why he didn’t work with you on these issues that would improve Minnesotans’ lives. Dare him to explain why he vetoed a bill that’s attracted significant bipartisan support.

Highlight to Minnesotans that you’re fighting for them. Highlight to Minnesotans that Gov. Dayton’s fighting for … well, who knows what he’s fighting for these days.

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This morning, Chris Wallace interviewed Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate. Saying that Ms. Stein is eccentric is being kind. I’d rather characterize her as a nutjob. During the interview, she insisted repeatedly that there were 75,000 ballots in Detroit alone where voters filled out all of the races except the presidential races.

That’s a wild, unsubstantiated accusation. According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s website, Detroit voters cast 247,369 votes in the presidential election and 243,019 votes in Detroit’s congressional elections. That’s a difference of 4,350 votes, which is a far cry from 75,000 ballots that weren’t fully filled out.

After hearing an unsubstantiated accusation like that, it isn’t surprising that people think she isn’t credible. And yes, she said 75,000 ballots in Detroit. I DVRed FNS so I rewound the video to make sure that I hadn’t misunderstood what Ms. Stein said.

It’s worth noting that Ms. Stein said “Well, I can tell you, for example, that in Toledo in 2004, there were 90,000 votes that were marked blank, which were discovered not to be blank.” Ms. Stein then said that those votes would’ve been enough to change the outcome of the election.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s statistics, just 220,000 votes were cast in Lucas County. (Toledo is the county seat of Lucas County.)

Here’s the video of Chris Wallace’s interview of Jill Stein:

Reasonable people can disagree on who should’ve won the election. There’s no disputing, though, the fact that Ms. Stein’s accusations aren’t substantiated. The simple truth is that she went on national TV and got her credibility demolished in less than 10 minutes.

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The St. Cloud Times just published my LTE on Minnesota’s MNsure crisis. Check it out and leave a comment if so inspired.

Much internet bandwidth has been used on who won Monday night’s presidential debate. Two of the best political thinkers think that Trump won. Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster, has some interesting statistics that indicate some interesting things that contradict conventional wisdom. In this article, Caddell notes that “48 percent said Clinton did a better job, compared to 43 percent, who said Trump did the better job” before noting “95 percent of the people we contacted told us they were not going to change their vote based on the debate.”

Caddell then noted that “Trump won on the most critical factor, on whether Clinton or Trump was more ‘plausible’ as president, 46 percent to her 42 percent,” saying that “that, for him, was what this debate was really about.” Dovetailing off of that is the fact that, according to Caddell, “forty-eight percent of respondents said in the debate Trump showed he would be a strong leader, compared with 44 percent for Clinton.”

That’s the statistical side of things. Newt Gingrich’s op-ed provides the analysis:

The Intellectual Yet Idiot class that dominates our news media fell all over themselves critiquing Trump and praising Holt and Clinton. In doing so, they repeated the mistake they have made about every debate since August 2015.

Trump wins strategically because in a blunt, clear style, he is saying things most Americans believe.

With 70% of the country thinking that we’re heading in the wrong direction, it’s a major victory for a candidate to win the people’s trust. That’s confirmed by Salena Zito’s reporting, which Gingrich cited here:

Salena Zito is one of the country’s most perceptive journalists, in part because she is grounded outside of Washington and New York. Her column about the debate, “How Trump Won Over a Bar of Undecideds and Democrats,” should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand why Trump strategically won the debate.

After that, Gingrich mocked the elitists:

Trump has a hard time with media elites because they earn a living by talking. The media values glibness. In their world you can speak nonsense if you do it smoothly and convincingly. Trump is a blunt, let’s-make-a-deal, let’s-get-the-building-built, let’s-sell-our-product businessman. The first debate showcased a blunt, plain spoken businessman and a polished professional politician.

In other words, the fight was word salad vs. leadership. Here’s how that worked out:

Time: Trump 55 Clinton 45
Fortune: Trump 53, Clinton 47
N.J.com (New Jersey): Trump 57.5, Clinton 37.78
CNBC: Trump 68, Clinton 32
WCPO Cincinnati: Trump 57, Clinton 37
Variety: Trump 58.12, Clinton 41.88
Slate: Trump 55.18, Clinton 44.82
WKRN Nashville: Trump 64.58, Clinton 35.42
Las Vegas Sun: Trump 82, Clinton 18
Fox5 San Diego: Trump 61.45, Clinton 33.69
San Diego Tribune: Trump 65, Clinton 35


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Moments ago, Fox News announced that Roger Ailes resigned as Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. They also announced that “Rupert Murdoch will assume the role of Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.” Murdoch then issued a statement saying “Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years. Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media. It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies. To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds.

His grasp of policy and his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience stand in stark contrast to the self-serving elitism that characterizes far too much of the media. I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice. Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country. To ensure continuity of all that is best about Fox News and what it stands for, I will take over as Chairman and acting CEO, with the support of our existing management team under Bill Shine, Jay Wallace and Mark Kranz.”

Ailes built an amazing company in the 1990s. He grew FNC in the 2000s. He’d started building a credible news agency in the 2010s. Unfortunately, he allegedly mistreated women. I’m not going into that. That’s for a jury to potentially decide.

Back in late May, 6 GOP legislators sent a letter to Paul Thissen, criticizing him for his temper tantrums that he directed at GOP staffers. That’s what elitists do when they don’t get their way. In Rep. Thissen’s instance, he’s spent 2 years in political Siberia. While Thissen mistreated GOP staffers, DFL legislators sat silent.

Lest anyone think that the DFL’s corruption is tied only to the House while they’re the minority party, the truth is that the DFL’s corruption is much deeper than that. The DFL is the majority party in the Senate. Still, DFL Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey Hayden has admitted to accepting money from Community Action of Minneapolis for “plane tickets, hotel stays and spa services for he and his wife.” That’s metro DFL-speak for saying he got caught red-handed doing something he shouldn’t have done.

They caught Hayden after the Minnesota Department of Human Services investigated Bill Davis, then the CEO of now-defunct Community Action of Minneapolis, aka CAM. When they investigated CAM, the investigation found that Davis had “spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on trips, golf and other perks. The Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Commerce pulled their contracts with the group after a DHS audit found Community Action overcharged state and federal grant programs for more than $600,000 of administrative costs.”

Now, Sen. Sandy Pappas is stonewalling an Ethics Subcommittee hearing in her attempt to protect Sen. Hayden. Alpha News’s Julia Erynn has done an outstanding job covering this scandal. Make sure to check out her latest article, which focuses on Sen. Hayden’s ethics difficulties.

Electing DFL majorities, then expecting ethical behavior, is foolish. They’re experts at sitting silent while they watch other DFL legislators mistreat staffers or rip off public programs for thousands of dollars. At the 1996 Republican National Convention, J.C. Watts gave a memorable keynote speech, saying that the definition of character is “doing the right thing even when no one was watching.” Rep. Thissen and Sen. Hayden don’t fit that definition.

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Friends and frequent readers of LFR. After the 2016 election, LFR will celebrate its twelfth anniversary. To be precise, LFR celebrates its twelfth anniversary on November 19. I’m thankful for that anniversary and to the people who have read LFR.

That will happen in due course. Today, however, is time for my sixth anniversary with Examiner.com. While many of the subjects are the same, the Examiner articles are different in content than my LFR posts. I enjoy the different venues that I get to express my opinions and do my reporting.

If you have the inclination, follow this link to locate my archived Examiner articles. If you want my Examiner articles delivered to your ‘front door’, click on the subscribe button, then enter your email address. Examiner will send you an email notification whenever I publish an article.

In the meantime, here’s the congratulatory email Examiner sent me this morning:

Thanks again for following me on LFR and Examiner.

Last night, Hugh Hewitt took the dramatic step of saying Republicans should adopt new rules and dump Donald Trump as their nominee. Hugh Hewitt has always been a ‘company man’ when it comes to presidential candidates. After Hewitt’s statements last night, the Trump campaign didn’t take long to express their disgust with Hewitt.

Late this afternoon, Dan Scavino Jr., one of Trump’s hatchet men, took to Twitter to say “Assume hater Hugh Hewitt will not be attending the @GOP Convention. If he is – the RNC should BAN him from attending.”

Scavino knows that Hewitt is a member of the media. He knows because Trump has appeared on Hewitt’s show multiple times. This begs the question of why Scavino and Trump hate the First Amendment. Previous nominees have gotten hounded by the press. They dealt with it. Trump has abolished reporters from his events. He’s protected Corey Lewandowski after Lewandowski attacked a female reporter. Now this. Why does Trump hate the First Amendment, which is the cornerstone of this republic?

Hewitt isn’t the only one calling for dumping Trump:

“Since the Indiana primary when my candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out, I’ve woken up every morning looking for reasons to support Donald Trump,” Lonegan admitted. But “it’s going in the other direction. What we’ve seen from Donald Trump — we all agree it’s racism, but worse than that, what you’ve seen is incredible poor judgment.”

“Our delegates have an obligation come July to do what’s right for the Republican Party, not just anoint Donald Trump,” Lonegan said. When CNN’s Kate Bolduan clarified by asking, “Are you calling for a revolt?” he responded, “I would love to see a revolt.”

Trump is a Hillary landslide waiting to happen. Trump’s shoot from the lip habit has turned large parts of the electorate off. (Think women and minorities.) Trump was too busy loving the sound of his voice to build a campaign organization. That means he’d lose any tight races to Hillary.

Here’s the video of Lonegan on CNN:

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