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To the surprise of nobody, the St. Cloud Times in endorsing Joe Perske and Al Franken. What’s surprising is that the Times admits they’re biased:

Central Minnesotans should back Sartell Mayor Joe Perske in the 6th District House race and incumbent Al Franken in the race for U.S. Senate.

Republicans will immediately call “liberal bias” with the endorsement of two Democrats. The truth, though, in both these races is no matter which major-party candidate wins, the victor is going to seldom cross party lines and compromise on major issues.

Before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, it’s clear that the St. Cloud Times thinks they’re fairly impartial. The truth is that they aren’t impartial. Here’s proof:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

The soft-spoken, blue-collar-leaning Perske is a better choice than Republican Tom Emmer. While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.

The Times’ logic behind endorsing Joe Perske is that he’s a “blue-collar-leaning” kind of guy and that Tom Emmer’s a “political bully.” That’s stunning in its lack of seriousness. There’s this though:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

I won’t insist that the Sixth District’s credibility is untattered. That said, the Times Editorial Board’s animosity towards Michele Bachmann is extensive and well documented. Another thing I’ll say is that it isn’t just about “improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.” It’s about whose policies will strengthen central Minnesota’s economy and Minnesota’s economy.

One of the things Tom Emmer will jump right into is cutting the federal government’s wasteful spending. He’s spoken frequently about his admiration of Sen. Tom Coborn, the man who put together a series of videos on sequestration.

Franken

In not endorsing Al Franken in 2008, this board cited Independence candidate Dean Barkley as being most in touch with local, middle-class voters. Franken objected immediately and vowed to show it. In six years, and in a highly polarized Capitol, he has, and he deserves re-election.

Again, noting neither he nor Republican challenger Mike McFadden will stray far from their respective party’s line, Franken still stood up for Main Street over Wall Street, for a reasonable farm bill, and for better matching people with employers through education.

That’s insulting. The Times didn’t mention the fact that Sen. Franken signed onto letters that oppressed his president’s political opponents while ignoring the Bill of Rights protections of citizens. The Times ignored the fact that Sen. Franken signed onto a letter to the IRS directing the IRS to apply additional scrutiny to TEA Party organizations.

As for Sen. Franken staying in touch with Main Street, he’d pass with flying colors if Main Street was defined as a union hall. If staying in touch with Main Street is defined by holding town halls in profitable businesses, Franken would get a D-.

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During his interview with Esme Murphy, Rick Nolan reiterated his support for overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United vs. the FEC lawsuit:

The Supreme Court ruled against BCRA, aka McCain-Feingold:

Independent Expenditures by Corporations

The Court overruled Austin, striking down § 441b’s ban on corporate independent expenditures. It also struck down the part of McConnell that upheld BCRA § 203’s extension of § 441b’s restrictions on independent corporate expenditures. The Court held that the “government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.” An analysis of this holding follows.

As Applied Challenge. First, the Court held that the case could not be resolved on an as applied basis without chilling political speech. Under an “as applied” challenge, the Court’s review of the law’s constitutionality is limited to the set of facts in the case before it. The Court therefore broadened the case from Citizens United’s initial narrower arguments, focusing only on Hillary, to reconsider both the validity of its prior decisions in Austin and McConnell and the facial validity of § 441b.

In reaching this decision, the Court reasoned that among other things:

1. Citizen United’s narrower arguments, including that Hillary is not an “electioneering communication,” are not sustainable under a fair reading of § 441b, and

2. it must therefore consider the statute’s facial validity or risk prolonging its substantial chilling effect.

The First Amendment’s protections apply to all political speech. The argument that ‘corporations aren’t people’ is laughable at best. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it say that the First Amendment protects only individuals. Does the Fourth Amendment protect only individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures? Of course it doesn’t.

But I digress.

Nolan said that he’s “the lead sponsor of new legislation in Washington to reverse Citizens United.” That means, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nolan wants to reverse the chilling effect McCain-Feingold had on political speech. For those asking why that’s a bad thing, I’ll answer with a question. Do you want the government to say what’s acceptable speech and what isn’t? Before answering that question, think about this: Lois Lerner “served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC“:

One of Lerner’s former colleagues tells National Review Online that her political ideology was evident during her tenure at the FEC, where, he says, she routinely subjected groups seeking to expand the influence of money in politics, including, in her view, conservatives and Republicans, to the sort of heightened scrutiny we now know they came under at the IRS.

Before the IRS, Lerner served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC, which she joined in 1986. Working under FEC general counsel Lawrence Noble, Lerner drafted legal recommendations to the agency’s commissioners intended to guide their actions on the complaints brought before them.

Isn’t it frightening that a corrupt bureaucrat like Lois Lerner could be the final arbiter of what’s acceptable speech and what isn’t? If Nolan’s legislation passed, it’s possible a corrupt, hyperpartisan bureaucrat could determine which speech is acceptable and what speech isn’t.

Nolan’s legislation would make it illegal for unions to advocate for their endorsed candidates. Nolan’s legislation might be used to shut down ABM, Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC. Is that what Nolan wants?

I’d bet it isn’t. He’s been silent while the DCCC ran its disgusting ads. He’s been silent while Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC ran disgustingly dishonest ads. Apparently, Nolan only opposes money in politics when he’s in front of a camera. That isn’t a principled position. It’s a political position.

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I’ll risk saying this but the professional political punditry needs to get start seeing things through a policy impact perspective, not through a ‘will it play politically’ perspective. During this morning’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Dayton said that he’s long advocated for a single-payer health care system.

What was the collective reaction from the professional political punditry? Crickets. No big deal. Keep moving.

The government, whether we’re talking about the Obama administration or the Dayton administration, is incapable of handling anything that complex. In too many instances, it’s incapable of handling fundamental responsibilities.

That professional political pundits think it isn’t a big deal to advocate for a system that’s never worked anywhere because that’s been his standard answer is shameful. Style points seem to matter more than character, policy impacts and what’s best for Minnesota.

It’s time to tune out the professional political pundits because they’re too interested in election outcomes. Unfortunately, they aren’t interested enough in policy outcomes. Jeff Johnson’s policies will make life better in Minnesota. Unlike Gov. Dayton, Jeff Johnson will fight to build the Sandpiper Pipeline because that’ll free up railcar space so farmers can get their crops to market. That makes life better for hard-working Minnesota farmers. Unlike Gov. Dayton, Jeff Johnson will fight to open PolyMet because that’ll create hundreds of good-paying jobs. That’d make life significantly better for miners and mining communities.

Apparently, these things don’t matter to the professional political punditry from both sides of the aisle. Their tweets didn’t speak to what’s best for Minnesota. They just spoke to who won or lost based on game-changing moments and style points. That isn’t responsible journalism. That’s the type of partisanship that’s rotted our institutions and corrupted the political process.

If Republicans retake the House of Representatives and Gov. Dayton gets re-elected, Republicans will have a mandate because they spoke about issues. Gov. Dayton will have retained his title but he won’t have a mandate because he hasn’t spoken about what he’d do in his second term.

The DFL isn’t the party of no. They’re the party that won’t say no to their special interests that are driving Minnesota’s economy into the ground. Ask an Iron Ranger if they’re better off now than when Gov. Dayton took office. If they’re honest, they’ll say they aren’t. Their median household income has increased marginally. The percentage of people living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) grew by roughly 50%.

Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed. It’s virtually impossible to get changes made to policies to include or drop people from coverage. Still, Gov. Dayton insists that “it isn’t perfect” but that it’s getting better. Once a month, if not more often, we hear of another MNsure-related disaster.

Meanwhile, the professional political punditry insist that Gov. Dayton is winning because Jeff Johnson didn’t have that big game-changing moment. With all due respect, these political junkies are missing the point. Jeff Johnson has been solid. He’s provided sensible solutions to Minnesota’s biggest problems. Gov. Dayton has been dismissive, arrogant and utterly incompetent. He’s Minnesota’s version of Jimmy Carter.

It’s time to ignore the political junkies because they’re worried more about gamesmanship than doing what’s right for Minnesota. While we’re at it, it’d be great to get rid of the incompetent in the Governor’s Mansion, too.

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Pat Kessler’s Reality Check on Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is a step down for Kessler. On the positive side, he got this part mostly right:

The ad takes some tough shots at Gov. Mark Dayton and, unexpectedly, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s classic political mudslinging, but there is some truth to it, as it counts down the missteps of a Governor who Johnson says is “incompetent” and who the new ad calls “unaware.”

“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” says the ad, as the words “Unaware Mark Dayton” appear on the screen. “Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed.”

The ad accurately quotes Dayton saying he was unaware of MNsure bonuses, unaware of a farm equipment tax in a 2013 tax bill and unaware that personal seat licenses were included in the Vikings stadium bill.

It’s offensive to hear Kessler characterize the ad as mudslinging. It isn’t a stretch whatsoever to say that Gov. Dayton is incompetent. It’s verifiable that he’s admitted that he wasn’t aware of major provisions in the biggest bills Gov. Dayton has signed.

It isn’t mudslinging if the ad uses verifiable information. It’s hard-hitting but it isn’t mudslinging. If Gov. Dayton didn’t want to see these things highlighted, then he shouldn’t have made these dramatic admissions. Gov. Dayton made some major mistakes. Jeff Johnson’s ad just highlights that.

That wasn’t the worst of Kessler’s segment. Check this out:

But the ad strays from the truth when it smears Dayton and team owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, linking the Vikings stadium deal and the Wilf’s legal troubles. “Half a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering,” says the ad, with grainy black and white video of Dayton and Vikings team owner Zygi Wilf.

That’s at least MISLEADING and borders on false.

Approximately $500 million is the amount taxpayers forked over to build the $1 billion stadium after the Minnesota legislature passed and Dayton signed the bill into law. The Wilfs put up the other $500 million.

What’s misleading, Mr. Kessler? Did the state of Minnesota commit to paying approximately $500,000,000 of taxpayer money to build the stadium? That’s easily verifiable. It’s in the bill. This isn’t difficult to verify it. The state of Minnesota committed to paying that money while the Wilfs were defending themselves in a New Jersey court on charges of civil fraud and racketeering. That statement is also accurate.

If both those statements are accurate, how could they border on being false? The simple answer is they can’t. True statements can’t border on being false. Still, that wasn’t the low point of the segment. This is:

The Minnesota Vikings strongly objected to the use of their team owners in the Johnson ad.

“We’re extremely disappointed that Jeff Johnson would stoop to this level,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. “The ad is reckless. The Wilfs have made substantial contributions to this community and this state. What Jeff Johnson has done is not consistent with Minnesota values.”

Mr. Kessler, Reality Check is about checking facts, not about sharing opinions. Quoting Lester Bagley in the article is totally inappropriate, especially considering the fact that he contributed to Gov. Dayton’s campaign. Furthermore, Bagley serves the Wilfs, nobody else. What qualifies him to speak on what Minnesota values are?

Finally, this was disgraceful, too:

A spokesman from Dayton campaign Linden Zakula said, “It’s not surprising to see a desperate attack from a candidate so far behind. Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families. It’s easy for Commissioner Johnson to be against everything when he, himself, proposes nothing.”

My question for Mr. Kessler is straightforward. Did the Dayton campaign pay for this campaign ad? Inviting the Dayton campaign spokesman to take a cheap shot at Commissioner Johnson during a factchecking segment is totally unprofessional.

Calling accurate statements “bordering on false is disgusting. Allowing outsiders to level cheap shots at a political candidate during that factchecking segment is utterly unprofessional. Kessler should be ashamed of himself.

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Despite Poligraph’s opinion about a recent DCCC attack against Stewart Mills, the DCCC’s attack is mostly BS. Here’s what the DCCC press release said:

“Millionaire Stewart Mills III has taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry, and now he wants to put the insurance companies back in charge to deny care to people with-pre-existing conditions and kick kids off their parents’ plans,” a DCCC press release states.

PoliGraph admitted that the DCCC’s first claim is BS:

According to Mills’ campaign finance records, he’s gotten $1,000 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association PAC, and that’s it.

Apparently, the DCCC needs to return to grade school English. Apparently, they didn’t learn that thousands is plural for 1,000. Apparently, the DCCC didn’t learn that 1,000 is singular for thousands. Either that or they’re just lying through their teeth, which is a distinct possibility.

Here’s the part where PoliGraph is wrong:

The DCCC also claims that Mills wants to scrap popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, including a provision that prevents insurance companies from rejecting patients with pre-existing conditions and another provision that allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

Here, the DCCC is on stronger footing.

First, saying that the DCCC “is on stronger footing” isn’t saying much considering the fact that they were totally wrong about the DCCC’s first statement. Further, the DCCC’s claim is false. Here’s why:

Campaign spokeswoman Chloe Rockow says Mills isn’t opposed to making sure young adults and those with pre-existing conditions have access to health insurance; he just thinks there are better ways of doing it.

For instance, Mills wants to strengthen privacy rules for people with pre-existing conditions and to reinstate the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, which is a special health insurance program for people with pre-existing conditions who can’t get insurance elsewhere.

In other words, Stewart Mills wants people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance. He just prefers a different method of getting people with PECs that coverage.

The DCCC said that Mills wants “to deny care to people with-pre-existing conditions.” That’s verifiably false. Period.

The title to PoliGraph’s article is “DCCC Mills claim half wrong, half right”. The article’s accurate title should be “DCCC Mills claim almost entirely wrong.” Mills didn’t take thousands of dollars from health insurance companies and he doesn’t want to deny health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

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This weekend, I wrote this article about another dishonest ad by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. It’s important to remember that ABM has a lengthy history of running intentionally dishonest ads against Republicans.

Two years ago, ABM ran a series of TV ads that featured nearly identical scripts against 5 Republican senators and 4 Republican representatives. Here’s one of the transcripts:

How we solve our state’s budget problem will say a lot about our values. Rep. Woodard is choosing to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class with drastic cuts in education and health care and his plan will eliminate jobs and increase our property taxes, all just so the richest 2% don’t have to chip in. Gov. Dayton’s plan will protect the middle class and 98% of Minnesotans will have no tax increase.

That’s a blatantly dishonest ad. It makes a series of allegations without citing proof for any of their allegations.

The budget passed by Republicans and signed by Gov. Dayton increased per student spending, which means ABM’s statement about “drastic cuts in education” was intentionally dishonest. They know what was in the 2011 budget because ABM lobbied against it in the summer of 2011.

It isn’t a stretch to say that dishonesty is ABM’s specialty. Similarly, it isn’t a stretch to think of ABM as tightly connected with the DFL. In fact, Alida Messinger, the woman that writes the biggest annual checks to the DFL, writes similar sized checks to ABM.

While it hasn’t been documented that ABM and the DFL communicate and coordinate with each other, it’s clear that they operate seamlessly with each other. Their smears are often identical in their dishonesty.

What’s galling is that the Twin Cities media hasn’t put the pieces of the puzzle together, at least not in an article. I suspect they’ve personally figured it out. I’m certain, though, that they haven’t done a feature article about it.

For instance, I wrote this post showing how much influence Alida Messinger has within the DFL:

Most of the criticism of DFL state party chair Brian Melendez in the wake of Election Day has been confined to the liberal blogosphere. The three-term incumbent could likely survive those barbs.

But a much more important DFL supporter, wealthy donor Alida Messinger, is also apparently opposed to Melendez remaining as party chair. According to a reliable DFL source, there won’t be any checks arriving in DFL coffers from the Rockefeller heir if Melendez remains in the post.

Of course, Ken Martin, the person most often cited as a potential rival for state party chair, is closely aligned with Messinger. He chaired the Win Minnesota Political Action Fund, which played a key role in the governor’s race. The group’s largest individual donor: Messinger.

While it’s true that the Twin Cities media reported that story, I’m wondering why it didn’t tell people that ABM’s messaging is almost identical to the DFL’s messaging. Why didn’t they report that Alida Messinger’s influence on ABM is as great as her influence on the DFL?

Why haven’t Rachel Stassen-Berger, Brianna Bierschbach, Tom Scheck, Tom Hauser and Pat Kessler done articles showing ABM as having a lengthy history of intentionally smearing Republicans? The information isn’t difficult to find. A short trip to FactCheck.org would give any of these reporters the proof they need that ABM’s ads consistently received failing grades.

We’ve already seen how willing liberal organizations have started smearing Republicans. TakeAction Minnesota already is teaming up with AFSCME PEOPLE to smear Stewart Mills. If we had political reporters interested in connecting the dots in their reporting, Mark Dayton wouldn’t get away with his nice guy act. Instead, we’d see that he’s a willing participant in ABM’s vicious smear campaign.

Lefties went apoplectic this week after the DC Circuit issued its ruling in the Halbig v. Burwell lawsuit. Their initial spin was that it was “a drafting error.” Sean Davis’ article laid out the foolishness of their spin. While Davis’ article buried the administration’s spin with irrefutable facts, something that Jonathan Gruber said might hurt them in a court of law even more. Here’s what Gruber said that’s so damning:

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.

Gruber isn’t an outsider:

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the federal health law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.

In other words, Gruber admitted, after working on the ACA, that the subsidies were made available for people who bought their insurance through state-established exchanges to put political pressure on reluctant governors and legislators to establish state-run exchanges.

That’s supported by the legislative language of the ACA:

The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?

Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?

Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero.

I’ll repeat myself. Gruber’s quote matches up with the legislative language of the ACA. The good news is that there’s a legislative fix for this problem. Congress can pass legislation that makes the subsidies available to anyone making less than 400% of the federal poverty level, aka FPL.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that House Republicans won’t include things like repealing the medical device manufacturers tax and the individual and employer mandates.

Therein lies the Democrats’ real problem. They’ve gotten their way on every single item in the bill thus far. They aren’t interested in compromising with Republicans on a single provision in the ACA. That’s tough. It’s time for them to stop acting like spoiled brats. It’s time for Democrats to implement some of the Republicans’ good ideas.

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If there’s anything that can be gleaned from Juan Williams’ article, it’s that he’s exceptionally gullible. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Last week, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invited me and a few other columnists to his office to deliver a message: The paralyzed, polarized government is not due to the president’s failure to win friends in Congress. Nor is it because Reid is a “dictator.” In his view, the stalled Senate is the result of an intentional strategy pursued by the Republicans.

Reid pointed to constant filibusters by the GOP minority. Republicans also refuse to allow the use of unanimous consent to move along Senate business, he charged.

Reid asserted that after President Obama was first elected, the GOP met with Frank Luntz, the political adviser, who told them to block everything Obama and Democrats tried to accomplish and then tell voters that Obama was a failure and government could not get anything done.

First, let’s address the issue of whether Reid is a dictator. There’s no question that he is. Since Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections, Sen. Reid hasn’t brought a single bill passed by the House of Representatives come up for a vote in the Senate. Many of the bills sitting on Sen. Reid’s desk got overwhelming support, some getting more than 350 votes in the House.

There’s no justification for Sen. Reid’s actions.

Second, Sen. Reid’s legislative tactics are best described as my-way-or-the-highway. Republicans rarely get to offer their amendments. When they do, which is rare, they’re shot down on a party line vote.

That sounds rather dictatorial, doesn’t it?

Next, let’s tackle the part about Republicans blocking everything President Obama proposed. In 2009-2010, Democrats had a filibuster-proof Senate for well over a year. They didn’t have the ability to block anything President Obama proposed. Further, there’s overwhelming proof that Democrats ignored the people’s will. That overwhelming proof comes in the form of the worst “shellacking” in recent midterm election history. It isn’t just that Republicans won 63 seats in the House. It’s that they flipped 680 seats in state legislatures, too, which helped them flip 19 legislative majorities and 5 governorships.

Wave elections are rare enough. Wave elections of that magnitude don’t happen much more than once a century. They only happen when the people get utterly pissed with DC. That’s what happened in 2010. Democrats ignored the people on health care reform. People were reading the bills, then reciting them to Democrat politicians at August townhall meetings. Many of those who spoke out had never taken the political process seriously. Many of those who spoke out were women.

Harry Reid didn’t care what they said. He passed the ACA, aka Obamacare, anyway.

Most of the people who spoke out for the first time in their lives didn’t know Frank Luntz. They didn’t listen to Republicans. They attended TEA Party rallies that were filled with like-minded people who simply wanted politicians to pay attention to them. Many of the TEA Party activists that were created were upset with Republicans, too, though not nearly as upset as they were with Democrats.

Finally, people don’t need Republicans telling them that HealthCare.gov failed. They didn’t need Republicans telling them that the IRS was attacking the organizations that simply wanted their voices heard. They didn’t need Republicans telling them that the VA crisis was proof that the federal government is inept.

Reid’s frustration led him to announce last week that he is considering a vote to change Senate rules and break the power of the GOP filibuster. After the midterm elections, he wants to expand on the so-called ‘Nuclear Option,’ approved by the Senate last year. Under that rule, only 50 votes are required to confirm most judicial nominees. Reid is considering applying the same standard to bills.

Reid isn’t frustrated. He’s pissed that Republicans haven’t rolled over to President Obama’s demands. Further, the question must be asked how President Obama’s policies have worked. Thus far, President Obama’s policies have failed, whether we’re talking about the economy, the ACA, foreign policy or national security.

Finally, let’s look at the destructive role President Obama plays in this mess. Let’s remember him inviting Republicans to the White House for their ideas on the Stimulus bill. When Eric Cantor made some suggestions, President Obama brushed them aside, saying that “We won.” The tone was set. Harry Reid’s marching orders became clear at that point. His job was to shove as many things down Republicans’ throats as possible.

Now Sen. Reid is peddling the BS that all he wants to do is legislate. That isn’t credible coming from the man who’s repeatedly called the Koch brothers un-American, who’s lied on the Senate Floor that he has word that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in over a decade and who’s been President Obama’s protector since 2011.

The Senate will be a far better place the minute Harry Reid is run out of office. He’s a despicable low-life who isn’t capable of doing what’s right for the nation. He’s only capable of doing what he’s told to do by the worst president in the last 75 years.

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Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight how the media is letting the people down. In this instance, I criticized the St. Cloud Times for their kid glove treatment of SCSU President Earl Potter III. This part especially upset me:

The struggle to fill St. Cloud State University’s Coborn’s Plaza, high-end student housing, needs to be viewed as an opportunity, not a blame game.

In my commentary, I said that that type of thinking is what helps people continue making terrible decisions. Anytime the media doesn’t question decisionmakers’ decisions, the media breaks their trust with We The People. That’s unacceptable. In fact, it’s downright dangerous.

It’s aggravating that the Times couldn’t even publish accurate information before making their editorial statements:

To the former, from fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2015, the annual subsidy is projected to decline from $1.348 million to $937,800. While that’s progress, it only amounts to an annual decline of about $105,000. So how much longer will it take to break even?

Had the Times read my post on that matter, they wouldn’t have asked that question:

At the April 30, 2013 meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee, Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Associate Vice President for Financial Management and Budget, informed the committee that, even under the best scenario of 100% occupancy, Coborn’s Plaza would lose between $50,000 and $150,000 annually.

This brings us to two important questions. First, why didn’t the Times learn about this information? Second, why did the Times hesitate in affixing blame on President Potter? They certainly didn’t hesitate in criticizing former SCSU President Saigo.

This isn’t meant as a critique of Dr. Saigo. Frankly, I didn’t pay that much attention to St. Cloud State prior to Potter’s administration. I won’t use this post to praise or criticize him. I’ll just use this post to highlight the fact that the St. Cloud Times frequently criticized Dr. Saigo but they refuse to criticize President Potter. What’s up with that?

It isn’t like President Potter hasn’t made lots of questionable decisions. For instance, he spent $50,000 on the Great Place to Work Institute’s Trust Index Survey. Here’s what the Trust Index Survey found:

Even after seeing these results, the Times insisted that both sides needed to ask themselves what they can do to make SCSU a better place to work. When 26% of respondents say that management delivers on its promises, there isn’t much that the faculty can do to change that figure, with the exception of lying. When 24% of respondents say that “management’s actions match its words”, it’s management’s responsibility to fix that crisis.

It isn’t the Times’ responsibility to say that ‘both sides can do better.’ It’s the Times’ responsibility to accurately state that it’s President Potter’s responsibility to fix the problem. Each time that the Times takes a on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand approach, it lets President Potter off the hook.

More importantly, the Times lets down the community by not giving people the information they need to make informed decisions. Each time the Times deflects attention away from President Potter, it’s taking sides. That, in turn, helps him pretend that he’s doing a good job.

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This Our View editorial is breathtaking in how the Times operates…again…as President Potter’s PR firm:

The struggle to fill St. Cloud State University’s Coborn’s Plaza — high-end student housing — needs to be viewed as an opportunity, not a blame game.

The reality is this: The roughly $30 million plaza undoubtedly helps St. Cloud State attract and retain a segment of students it would otherwise lose to the countless other universities that offer this housing option. As such, that benefits the entire metro area.

First, the Times’ editorial accepts as fact that high-end student housing is popular. While it’s possible to find some students who prefer this type of housing, it’s impossible to find many students who want this type of housing, at least without some enticements thrown in.

Second, “the entire metro” benefits isn’t taking everything into account. The property is owned by a 501(c)(3). That means that property isn’t paying property taxes.

An equally compelling reality: The 453-unit plaza was overbuilt. That was evidenced again in a Monday Times news report about how occupancy rates, while increasing, are not growing fast enough to help St. Cloud State cover its costs.

Here’s a dose of reality. President Potter signed a contract that should’ve gotten him fired. Patrick Jacobson-Schulte told the Budget Advisory Committee that Coborn’s Plaza can’t break even:

At the April 30, 2013 meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee, Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Associate Vice President for Financial Management and Budget, informed the committee that, even under the best scenario of 100% occupancy, Coborn’s Plaza would lose between $50,000 and $150,000 annually.

If the Times is going to offer its opinions on something, they should at least get their facts straight.

This paragraph is stunning:

To the former, from fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2015, the annual subsidy is projected to decline from $1.348 million to $937,800. While that’s progress, it only amounts to an annual decline of about $105,000. So how much longer will it take to break even?

Answer: It’ll never break even during this lease. Though that’s stunning, this is breathtaking:

At a growth rate of 17 units annually, it will be fiscal 2020 or longer before 100 percent capacity. That’s too long and too expensive.

Therein lies the opportunity: Open those vacancies to nonstudents.

This isn’t an opportunity. It’s a disaster. The ‘solution’ isn’t any better. What the Times is proposing is opening the taxpayer-subsidized apartment complex to non-students. Why didn’t I think of that? That’s what we need. Government subsidizing private foundations’ housing projects.

Again, community and university leaders need to see this is an opportunity, not a blame game.

That’s stunning. Here’s another term for blame game: professional accountability. Thus far, the Times has worked overtime to make sure President Potter wasn’t criticized for making terrible, expensive, decisions. There’s no reason to think that’ll change anytime this decade.

There’s an old saying that says “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I’m creating a different saying that dovetails with that saying. “Those who don’t affix blame on people who make terrible decisions allow those people to continue making terrible decisions.”

I know that isn’t a snappy one-liner but it’s the truth. It’s time to start affixing blame on the Teflon President, aka Earl Potter. Signing that contract with the Wedum Foundation was stupid. Telling the Times’ Editorial Board that it’s a great success is pure spin.

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