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Byron York’s article about media reaction to President Trump’s inauguration speech is telling in that it exposes the media’s groupthink. York notes that “Talking to people on the Mall was like entering a universe entirely apart from that of the political commentariat. In the pundits’ world, Trump delivered a pessimistic and foreboding address, one sure to further divide the nation. The adjective of choice was ‘dark.’ ‘Unusually dark,’ wrote The Atlantic. ‘Short, dark, and defiant,’ wrote USA Today. ‘A dark vision,’ wrote the Los Angeles Times. There were many, many more.”

One of the “many, many more” articles or segments that used the term dark was Rachel Maddow’s meltdown, where she said “It was militant and it was dark. The crime, the gangs, the drugs, this ‘American carnage,’ disrepair, decay. You can’t imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.'”

I agree with Maddow. I can’t “imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.” His style was to paper over things that were going terribly wrong rather than fixing things. President Trump is the opposite. President Trump isn’t into papering over things. He’s into fixing things. I’m betting that the American people will notice the difference between the last administration and President Trump within the first 100 days.

This paragraph from President Trump’s speech was magnificent and transcendent:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

This video provides a nice glimpse into how FNC’s pundits viewed the speech:

They didn’t gloss over things. They just presented things as they were. Finally, when I heard President Trump say that “we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to the other — we are transferring power from Washington, DC and giving it back to you, the American people”, I thought that was worthy of the best stuff that Peggy Noonan wrote for President Reagan. It was positively epic. I could picture President Reagan delivering that line with gusto, too.

President Trump (man, it feels good to finally say that), here’s wishing that you and, more importantly, the nation change directions to a more prosperous reality. That doesn’t mean I hoped President Obama would fail. It’s that I simply didn’t think he’d succeed. That isn’t dark. It’s just reality.

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John Croman’s article reads like a DFL propaganda piece. That’s mostly because that’s what it is. The article starts by saying “Minnesota’s top budget official warned Monday that the Republican health insurance premium relief plan will significantly delay aid payments to those facing sharp increases in 2017. Commissioner Myron Frans, who heads the Minnesota Management and Budget department, said the rebate program envisioned in the GOP legislation would required creating an apparatus to receive and vet applications for aid, which could involve hiring an additional 100 staff in his agency. ‘Our first take is that this is going to cost a lot of money and it’s going to take a lot of time. And if we’re going to go down that road it’s going to make it very difficult to get this implemented in 2017,’ Commissioner Frans told reporters.”

My first question for Commissioner Frans would be why this wouldn’t apply to Gov. Dayton’s plan. Wouldn’t they need to verify that applicants’ income is truthful? Or would Gov. Dayton’s system run on the honor system?

The Republican plan, by contrast, calls for people to apply to the state for aid. The state would review the applications and issue State checks directly to the insurance customers. The Legislative Auditor would conduct the audits, if this plan passes and is signed into law.

I don’t know that that’s true but let’s stipulate that it is for this conversation. Couldn’t the DFL offer an amendment to change that part of the legislation?

The main question that hasn’t gotten asked is why Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t offered a plan to fix all the things that are wrong with Minnesota’s Obamacare health care system. Why haven’t the media asked Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk or Rep. Hortman where their comprehensive health care reform legislation is?

Does the Twin Cities media think, like Gov. Dayton and the DFL, that these skyrocketing health insurance premiums are a one-time thing? If they aren’t a one-time thing but are caused by systemic flaws, why haven’t the DFL written legislation that would fix that situation?

Commissioner Frans can complain all he wants about not getting the rebate fixed but the truth is that Minnesotans are worried about other parts of Minnesota’s health care system. Further, if Gov. Dayton vetoes premium relief, the DFL will wear that like a cement block during the 2018 campaign.

Paul Krugman’s latest column is proof positive that he’s exceptionally dishonest.

In his opening paragraph, Krugman wrote “If James Comey, the F.B.I. director, hadn’t tipped the scales in the campaign’s final days with that grotesquely misleading letter, right now an incoming Clinton administration would be celebrating some very good news. Because health reform, President Obama’s signature achievement, is stabilizing after a bumpy year.” If Krugman wants to think that FBI Director Jim Comey ripped the election away from Mrs. Clinton, that’s fine. That doesn’t mean he’s dishonest.

When he states as fact that the ACA “is stabilizing after a bumpy year”, though, that’s dishonest. First, there’s no proof that prices are stabilizing. There’s proof that prices aren’t stabilizing. It’s impossible to honestly reach the conclusion that prices are stabilizing.

Then Krugman wrote “This means that the huge gains achieved so far — tens of millions of newly insured Americans and dramatic reductions in the number of people skipping treatment or facing financial hardship because of cost — look as if they’re here to stay.” That’s frighteningly dishonest. Out-of-pocket expenses (health insurance premiums plus deductibles or co-pays) are unaffordable. In October, I wrote this post about Mary Katherine Ham’s experience with the ACA:

Like many other Americans, I got a letter last week. This letter is becoming an annual tradition, arriving on my doorstep in October to inform me of my Obamacare insurance premium hike. Last year, the letter said my Bronze plan, purchased on the marketplace formed by the, ahem, Affordable Care Act, would increase by almost 60 percent. This year, my premium is going up 96 percent. Ninety-six percent. My monthly payment, which was the amount of a decent car payment, is now the size of a moderate mortgage. The president refers to these for thousands of citizens as “a few bugs” when to us it feels like a flameout.

What part of that sounds affordable? That doesn’t sound like it’s stabilized. It sounds like a system spiraling out of control, which is what’s happening.

Check out this video of Ed Morrissey’s interview of Speaker Kurt Daudt:

Prof. Krugman, you’re a disgusting person who’s devoid of integrity. I could write a longer post if I wanted to but I won’t. I’ve proven that your article isn’t honest. If the NY Times had any integrity, they’d fire you. Unfortunately, they don’t have integrity.

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Salena Zito’s article turns the spotlight on the MSM, aka the Agenda Media, to highlight why the media got this election badly wrong. Early in the article, Salena wrote about the NY Times, saying “Take The New York Times’ public editor’s laudable call for more diversity in the newsroom. ‘The executive editor, Dean Baquet, is African-American,’ Liz Spayd wrote. ‘The other editors on his masthead are white. The staff with the most diversity? The news assistants, who mostly do administrative jobs and get paid the least.'”

Then she made the important recommendation (I’d argue it’s essential) that reporters “need more people who come from a blue-collar background, who perhaps didn’t go to Brown and can be found in a pew on Sunday on a fairly regular basis.”

Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight the absurdity of E.J. Dionne’s column. He’s totally certain that a Trump administration will be a disaster with a silver lining for Democrats. Last night, on the Kelly File, Nomiki Konst ‘debated’ Marc Thiessen and Guy Benson about whether Democrats were learning the lesson of this election. Konst insisted that it was all drive about the economy.

While there’s no doubt lots of people voted for Donald Trump because they think a billionaire might know a thing or 2 about reviving this pathetic recovery, it’s more than that. Mr. Trump promises to clean up the VA scandal, build a wall on the US-Mexican border, simplify the federal tax system and rein in the out-of-control EPA. In other words, he promised to make their lives better.

Voters didn’t just reject Mrs. Clinton’s message. In battleground state after battleground state, they essentially said ‘are you out of your flipping mind? We’ve suffered through 8 years of this crap and we’re tired of it.’ But I digress.

Benson and Thiessen both talked about how the Democratic Party is incapable of talking to people of faith or blue collar workers. It’s clear that they haven’t learned their lesson because the people who are the 2 ‘finalists’ for DNC chair, Keith Ellison and Thomas Perez, are incapable of connecting with those voters.

Paul Krugman thinks the Trump economic policies will tank. Thomas Friedman thinks that the Obama administration is the best friend Israel has ever had. Other inside-the-Beltway columnists missed the fact that miners and farmers are fed up with the EPA’s regulatory overreach.

It isn’t surprising why some of the biggest punchlines in Mr. Trump’s stump speeches were criticisms of the corrupt media. That was a galvanizing message. It’s what tied the blue collar workers together with the millionaires who built their companies from the ground up.

The journalist who didn’t miss what was happening this election was Salena Zito. This video illustrates why Salena got it right:

This weekend, I spoke with Ed Morrissey. Admittedly, neither of us predicted Trump winning. We both, however, gave Trump a shot at winning going into Election Night. When I told Ed that the common denominator for both of us is that we both listened to Salena Zito, he quickly agreed. We didn’t know that he’d win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin but we knew that Trump’s message resonated with those economically disenfranchised voters.

If newsrooms don’t start sending their reporters out into the real world, if they don’t put a high priority on building a newsroom with cultural diversity, they’ll continue missing the big stories.

Finally, it’s time to thank Salena for her fantastic reporting. If she doesn’t win a slew of awards for her political reporting, it’ll prove that political editors are clueless.

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After reading just a couple paragraphs of E.J. Dionne’s latest humorfest, it’s difficult to take the left seriously anymore. I can’t say that Mr. Dionne’s opinions are representative of the left’s worldview. Unfortunately, I can’t say that they aren’t commonplace, either.

For instance, Dionne wrote that “It is this spirit that began to take hold almost immediately after Trump’s election. Americans in large numbers, particularly the young, quickly realized that the coming months and years will require new and creative forms of political witness and organization. Trump’s ascendancy is already calling forth social and political initiatives aimed at defending the achievements of the Obama years (particularly Obamacare), protecting the environment, standing up for immigrants and minorities, preserving civil liberties, civil rights and voting rights, and highlighting how Trump’s policies contradict his promises to working-class voters. Here is a bet that the mobilization against Trump will rival in size and influence the tea party uprising against Obama.”

I can’t identify the types of drugs Mr. Dionne is using but they’re undoubtedly expensive. I don’t doubt that progressives’ morale is lower than a snake’s belly. That doesn’t mean that they’ve got the right to totally ignore reality. Since President Obama’s inauguration, Democrats have gotten utterly devastated. They’ve literally lost 1,000+ legislative seats. They’ve gone from having a majority of the governorships to having less than one-third of the governorships. After the 2008 election, Democrats had a 257-seat majority in the House. After the 2016 election, Democrats controlled 194 seats in the House of Representatives, a drop of 63 seats.

From the outline of his policies so far and from the right-wing Team of Billionaires he has chosen to run large parts of his government, it’s hard to see how Trump will advance the material interests of those who voted for him.

If you’re an elitist, it’s impossible “to see how Trump will advance the material interests of those who voted for him.” If you aren’t an elitist, then it isn’t difficult to see how President-Elect Trump’s agenda will advance the agenda Trump ran on.

EJ Dionne Jr.’s delusional thinking aren’t helping him connect with voters. Rather than listening to the DC Echochamber, he should listen to real people. If Dionne listened to more people, it isn’t likely he’d say this:

Lastly, it’s hard to imagine a president more likely to inspire Obama Nostalgia than Donald Trump.

Obama’s agenda never was popular after 2009. We voted in 2010, 2014 and 2016 to kill it. It isn’t like people are insisting on more pathetic economic growth or overregulation or stabbing allies.

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Considering their liberal leaning, it isn’t surprising that Vanity Fair is running interference for Obamacare. In their opinion, the “pressure will be on Republicans to fix the $3 trillion U.S. health-care system they have derided for years—and they will have no one to blame but themselves if the insurance market is upended and millions of Americans lose coverage.” Don’t pay attention to these ill-informed people.

This article doesn’t paint another sky-is-falling picture of the situation, saying “Nearly half of the coverage gains made during Obama’s presidency had nothing to do with ACA provisions and will survive repeal. Many other newly insured people will keep their coverage—if changes are made to health-care financing, and if two popular ACA provisions President-elect Trump has spoken favorably of are retained.”

Later in the City Journal article, it says “Previously eligible people enrolled in states that did and didn’t expand Medicaid. Gruber claimed that they signed up due to ‘the ACA’s streamlining of the application process for Medicaid, removal of onerous asset tests for determining eligibility for most applicants and increased public awareness about insurance coverage options.’ But improved enrollment procedures are not dependent on the ACA. These previously eligible enrollees will remain insured after the ACA is repealed.”

During a 60 Minutes interview, the New York businessman advocated retaining two of the bill’s more popular provisions: to ensure Americans with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed coverage and to allow young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. Trump’s pivot might reflect anything from a tenuous understanding of the bill to indifference on the topic. But it might also recognize what a giant, and public, pain in the neck repealing the bill will be. To fully dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Republicans would have to secure 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

Fully dismantling the ACA will require 60 votes. Eliminating the individual and employer mandates won’t require 60 votes. It’ll only require 51 votes because those parts of the ACA were enacted through reconciliation. Also, the Secretary of HHS can issue waivers to let states ignore the ACA if they have a legitimate plan to replace the ACA. That doesn’t require any congressional action.

Republicans passed a bill last year that would’ve fixed the ACA. Predictably, President Obama vetoed the bill. If Senate Democrats want to march in lockstep to Sen. Schumer’s orders, they’ll be marching into political suicide in 2018. First, the ACA isn’t popular. In fact, that’s understatement. Next, 24 Democrats will be up for re-election in 2018, compared with 9 Republicans. Of those 24 Democrats up for re-election in 2018, 10 are from states that President-Elect Trump won. The question quickly turns into ‘will Democrats march in lockstep to Sen. Schumer if they know that they’re likely heading for defeat’? Third, Democrats know that people are pi$$ed at the skyrocketing premiums and unaffordable deductibles. Will Democrats really fight for a product that’s unpopular?

To be fair, I don’t think the ACA will be fully repealed. It doesn’t need to be. The ACA is already collapsing under its own weight. Making a few strategic changes to the ACA will finish it, at which point people that have been forced into policies they didn’t want will rejoice.

Anyone that thinks that replacing the ACA with another plan will be met with scorn is delusional. Then again, Vanity Fair published the article. They’re definitely known for being a left-leaning publication. How much credibility can a magazine have when they’re publishing this?

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I sat stunned while reading this article about the media getting things badly wrong about this past Tuesday’s election. The reason why I’m stunned is because it’s written by Will Rahn, a “political correspondent and managing director, politics, for CBS News Digital.”

Rahn’s article doesn’t pull punches. For instance, Rahn wrote “It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.”

Proof that Rahn didn’t pull his punches came when he wrote “This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking ‘we did it’ feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.”

After that, Rahn really unloads:

There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?

We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.

That’s the definition of smugness. It’s why Trump was smart running against ‘the media’. Simply put, the media is corrupt. They’re complicit in attempting to rig the election. There’s little doubt that Mrs. Clinton counted on the media’s support to get her message out.

This interview is must watch TV:

I don’t dispute the fact that Gov. Dayton’s proposed rebates for a suspected 123,000 Minnesotans will shrink the sticker shock of these Minnesotans’ premium increases. I’ll even give Gov. Dayton credit for his sleight-of-hand trickery that’s made the ACA’s other problems disappear.

This Our View editorial helped remind me of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s deception.

What caught my attention was the paragraph that said “The proposal would provide monthly rebates — 25 percent of their insurance costs — in 2017 to people who are buying individual insurance policies and do not qualify for federal tax credits. Dayton said the state assistance would, in most cases, greatly reduce the 2017 price increases from an average 55 percent increase to a 16 percent increase.” That paragraph is itself deceptive. The rebates would only reduce the size of people’s health insurance premiums if they buy their insurance through the individual market. The next paragraph finishes highlighting the deception:

Meanwhile, the governor also said the Affordable Care Act and MNsure have been the targets of criticism leading up to the election. We say don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead, the ACA and MNsure need to be corrected. We’ve got a process in place, albeit a flawed one. Why start from scratch with something new?

What baby? There’s nothing but bathwater. The first fatal flaw of the ACA is that it’s premised on the theory that young healthy people would purchase expensive health insurance policies with coverages they don’t need at prices they can’t afford. The other fatal flaw of the ACA is that it’s premised on the theory that older people with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t buy health insurance in the numbers that would sink the ACA.

Other than that, the ACA is built right. This paragraph is just pure DFL propaganda:

And Dayton is right to note the changes resulting from the ACA that have benefited millions of people — not just those on MNsure. Those benefits were felt by people covered by their employers’ insurance, those on public programs, and those buying their individual coverage either through or outside of the health exchanges.

Minnesota’s pre-ACA system already did a fantastic job of offering health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. While it’s true that the nation wasn’t doing a fantastic job, that isn’t the Minnesota governor’s responsibility. His first responsibility is to Minnesotans.

It’s noteworthy that Minnesota in the ACA’s direction when the ACA should’ve moved in Minnesota’s direction. The ACA threw out a system that was working beautifully and replaced it with a system that’s a total failure. That’s the situation where politicians threw the baby out with the bathwater.

This video from 2+ years ago highlights how the ACA was failing Minnesotans:

It’s time to throw the DFL out with the proverbial bathwater.

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The hysteria over Donald Trump’s quip to Hillary that she’d “be in jail” is frightening because it’s coming from across the political spectrum. From Vox to Charles Krauthammer, the cries that Trump wants to implement a banana republic system of justice is simply deafening. Bre Payton’s article highlights the flawed logic of that hysteria, saying “They seem to be forgetting that throwing the book at one’s political opponents is what Democrats do all the time. Here’s 16 times Democrats tried to prosecute their opponents for political gain, not justice.”

She then cites David Daleiden as her first example, saying “After publishing undercover footage of Planned Parenthood harvesting organs from the bodies of aborted babies and discussing agreements to sell those baby organs, Daleiden became public enemy number one for Democrats. A Texas district attorney tried to charge Daleiden and his investigative partner for organ trafficking, a misdemeanor, and tampering with a government record, a felony.”

Then she noted this:

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who had Daleiden’s home raided after the videos emerged, had financial ties with Planned Parenthood.

Charles Krauthammer’s rant was frightening, too:

As we’re seeing, we aren’t living in polite society. The institutions of government got exposed as corrupted with the FBI’s faux investigation of Mrs. Clinton. Trump simply said what’s on the minds of most conservatives: that Mrs. Clinton would be in jail if the FBI had conducted a thorough investigation.

That isn’t proof that Trump wants to create a banana republic. It’s an expression of frustration by the people that they don’t trust government to do the right thing.

With all of the conjecture and opinions that surround each presidential debate, it’s easy to find opinions on who lost the most as a result of last night’s presidential debate. While it might be popular to say that Hillary was last night’s biggest loser, I’d argue that Jonathan V. Last is last night’s biggest loser. This article is a pants-on-fire diatribe that’s demolished Last’s credibility, at least temporarily.

One of Last’s first credibility-straining rants came when he said that Trump “became the first presidential candidate in the history of our Republic to promise that if elected he would attempt to have his opponent face criminal prosecution. Actually, he went a bit further than that, telling Clinton that if he is president, ‘You’d be in jail.’ Which, by the by, should terrify you and be disqualifying all on its own.”

Last’s implication is clear. He’s implying that Trump wants to deny Mrs. Clinton her due process rights by becoming judge, jury and executioner. What Last left out is the fact that Trump also said that he’d instruct his attorney general to hire a special prosecutor, theoretically to start a grand jury investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified and top secret emails on her private server.

It isn’t surprising to know that most legal experts think that the fix was in to protect Mrs. Clinton because she’s the Democrats’ presidential nominee. When FBI Director Jim Comey announced that there wouldn’t be a criminal referral to the Justice Department, he mentioned that after citing all of the damning evidence he’d accumulated during the FBI’s half-hearted investigation. It isn’t a leap to think that Mrs. Clinton would be wearing prison orange if her name was Hillary Smith.

Therefore, I’m not the least bit terrified by Mr. Trump’s statement. Here’s another statement that’s questionable:

Which means that there wasn’t really a “winner” at the debate. Clinton was terrible. Trump was marginally worse. But the big loser was the Republican party. Because the worst-case scenario for November 9 is not that Hillary Clinton wins—again, that cake is baked. It’s that if the party does not cut Trump loose, then Democrats also take over the Senate. And carry the House.

I heard that BS last spring. The ‘Trump is too toxic and he’ll bring the GOP down with him’ storyline disappeared. Contrary to Last’s opinions, the American people are perfectly capable of differentiating between Mr. Trump and their senator and their congressman.

Saying that Trump is capable of taking down the GOP majority in the House is fanaticism that’s totally unprovable. Last’s statements aren’t just lacking in credibility. They’re lacking in anything remotely resembling substantiation.

If Last doesn’t plan on voting for Trump, that’s his right. It isn’t his right, though, to make wild-sounding insinuations about a candidate’s motivations, at least without demolishing his own credibility.

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