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Saying that it was predictable that Rep. Jason Lewis was going to thrash Democrat Angie Craig in their Friday night debate on Almanac is understatement. Cathy Wurzer opened by asking Jason Lewis about Congress acting as a check “on the imperial presidency and I’m thinking that you might’ve been thinking that Hillary Clinton might be president. How’s Congress doing in its role as a check on President Trump?”

Jason replied “Well, you know, I think we did 16 CRAs taking back Article I power from the executive branch” before Eric Eskola asked “What are CRAs?” Jason then resumed, saying that CRAs are “the Congressional Review Act.” Jason then noted that those CRAs eliminated over $4,000,000,000 worth of regulations. Wurzer then said “It doesn’t really sound to some people like they’re a true check on President Trump as no one is standing up to him on things he might say.”

Jason jumped in and replied “Well, Cathy, I think we get confused between what gets said and substance. Now, if you’re talking about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gives families in the Second District $3,000 back, I’m not going to stand up against that. I led the way in getting that done. If you’re talking about style, would I do the things that the President does? Probably not.”

That’s Jason Lewis’ opening shot against Angie Craig. It was crisp, filled with information and in a friendly, conversational tone. It was apparent that Jason felt relaxed and confident in that setting.

Whenever Angie Craig went on the offensive, Jason Lewis had a well-informed reply. When she tried attacking him on health care, Jason nailed her by highlighting the fact that she pushed for an exemption from the medical device tax for her company. While there’s no doubt that Democrats will be pleased with her performance, there’s equally little doubt as to who was the more informed, most adult candidate on stage.

While I don’t doubt that this will be a tight race, I still expect Jason Lewis to defeat Angie Craig. That’s because he constantly looked composed while she frequently looked flustered when he had substantive replies to her talking points.

Monday afternoon, Sen. Casey, (D-PA), removed his despicable campaign ad. This didn’t happen because Sen. Casey is a man of integrity. It happened because he isn’t a man of integrity.

First, it’s important to know what’s in the ad. According to the article, the “ad accuses Mr. Barletta of voting to let insurers refuse coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. It features a woman, Stacie Ritter of Lancaster County, whose twin daughters were diagnosed with cancer saying, ‘if Lou Barletta has his way, kids like mine could be denied the care they need.'”

It isn’t difficult to figure out why Rep. Barletta, (R-PA), got upset with the ad. Rep. Barletta put this letter together to criticize his opponent:

Here’s a partial transcript of Rep. Barletta’s video:

What Bob Casey did with that commercial is one of the most hurtful, insensitive things I’ve ever experienced in my political career. Bob Casey knew that my 18-month-old grandson, who is a twin, has cancer. I told him and his wife a month ago. They knew what we were going through.”

In pulling his ad, Sen. Casey, (D-PA), published a statement that implies that the ad “involving children stricken with cancer were unintentional” and that “he takes Mr. Barletta at his word about the impact it had on his family.”

What’s interesting is that “the Democrat’s campaign is still running the ad in the rest of the state.” That’s the definition of a dirtbag. Sen. Casey’s ad implies that Rep. Barletta would advocate for policies that would hurt his 18-month-old grandson. Why would anyone think that pulling the ad in a small section of Pennsylvania will eliminate the Barlettas’ pain?

If I didn’t know better, I’d bet that Sen. Casey is just as tone-deaf as Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. It takes some effort to reach that ‘level’ of insensitivity.

Tom Hauser has put several DFL ads through the Truth Test this election. The DFL’s ratings haven’t been kind to them. This time, Hauser put an anti-Jeff Johnson ad through the Truth Test.

The narrator starts the ad by saying “The list of pre-existing conditions seems endless. Cancer, diabetes, asthma – even pregnancy. Under Jeff Johnson’s health care plan, insurance companies could deny coverage for every single one.” Of course, this isn’t close to the truth. The supposed source of this information “cites Johnson’s own website.”

That’s where That’s where “the ad from the Minnesota Victory Fund PAC” falls apart. Hauser continues, saying “However, his website says just the opposite. In his ‘action plan’ for health care, Johnson calls for ‘a new approach that drives down costs and still takes care of our most vulnerable Minnesotans and those with pre-existing conditions.'”

That isn’t a minor mistake. That’s a major, intentional, statement. Then there’s this:

His plan calls for returning Minnesota to a “high-risk” insurance pool it used to have that was eliminated by the Affordable Care Act. His website says: “I will advocate for reinstating a MCHA-style pool for those with pre-existing conditions, guaranteeing competitively-priced coverage for everyone in Minnesotan.”

It isn’t surprising to find out that this ad graded out poorly:

This ad includes a mix of false, inconclusive and dated information, some of which is based on information from when Johnson ran for governor in 2014. It gets a D-minus on the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS “Truth Test.”

Here’s the explanation for Truth Test grading:

– A “D” is the result of at least half the information being false or misleading to the point of leaving a false impression.

Here’s the video of the ad:

This isn’t insignificant because health care is a major issue in Minnesota this year, perhaps even the top issue. By lying about Jeff Johnson’s policy, the Minnesota Victory Fund PAC is intentionally attempting to tilt the election in Tim Walz’s favor with a major lie. That’s the definition of dirty politics. I can’t say that I’m surprised since the DFL has, at best, a passing familiarity with the truth.

After reading this op-ed, honest people would be skeptical of anything Democrats say.

In this op-ed, Cheri Bustos, Hakeem Jeffries and David Cicilline write “For the past two years, Republicans have had total control over the House, the Senate and the White House. What do they have to show for their leadership? A tax scam that pads the pockets of millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. Skyrocketing health care costs and prescription drug prices that are forcing millions of Americans deep into debt. A culture of corruption in Washington that’s so far-reaching it’s putting our entire democracy at risk. A nation that is growing more divided and more cynical – and a politics more chaotic and exhausting – with each passing day.”

While Americans feel better with extra money in their wallets, Democrats insist that the Trump/GOP tax cuts are a scam. How is that different than what Nancy Pelosi said?

How are the tax cuts coming “at the expense of the middle class”? Is their explanation that this money isn’t being “invested” in the future? If that’s the Democrats’ explanation, then they’re the ones scamming people.

As for “skyrocketing health care costs and prescription drug prices”, Minnesota’s premiums are coming down. Further, thanks to President Trump, consumers have more choices in terms of types of policies they can buy. They don’t have to buy the policies that the government orders them to buy. Consumers actually get to make real choices.

Finally, Democrats are being little drama queens when they insist that Trump is destroying our democracy. Here’s a question that voters should ask themselves: What can the Democrats do that Republicans aren’t already doing well? Under unified GOP government, incomes are rising, consumer confidence and small business confidence is shooting through the roof, durable good orders are skyrocketing. Will Democrats improve on any of those things?

I’m betting that they won’t. In fact, I’m betting that they’ll fail. Why risk the success we’re already experiencing?

I know that it isn’t shocking to see a title claiming that Keith Ellison is a socialist. Still, what’s in this article is shocking.

The shock starts when it says “The object of the caucus is to not only answer questions about single-payer government-run health care for everyone, but also to campaign for the legislation to create it, HR676 and a companion bill from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt. Those measures would replace the U.S.’s current, private jury-rigged high cost health care ‘system’ with federally run health care, eliminating the health insurance industry and other for-profit aspects of health care. ‘Profit must have no place in health care,’ Jayapal said.”

First, this should be a warning siren to Republicans. They’d better put aside their differences and vote. If they don’t totally swamp the polls, these idiots will try passing this crazy health care plan. And yes, they’re idiots. Anyone that thinks that “profit must have no place in health care” is an idiot and then some.

Without profit, nothing happens. Innovation is the first thing that stops. Efficiencies cease because the pay is the same whether they’re efficient or inefficient.

This is just part of the Democrats’ lunatic agenda. Based on their public statements, Democrats want to kill the American health care system entirely. They want to abolish ICE. Finally, they want to get rid of your tax cuts. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Nancy Pelosi said:

It’s pretty clear that Democrats think you’re keeping too much of the money you’re earning. It’s pretty clear that Democrats think that government, not families, do a better job of managing their health care needs. Finally, it’s pretty obvious that they think they know what’s best.

Sidenote on Ellison: It’s obvious that rational thought isn’t part of his DNA. There isn’t a single policy of his that could’ve passed when they had real legislators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Hubert Humphrey and other giants. Ellison is a mental midget.

It’s time for people to walk away from the Democratic Party. They’re the mean-spirited party, the hate-filled party. This is the agenda that Obama wanted to pursue but didn’t have the cajones to attempt. This should be ridiculed mercilessly:

Single-payer government-run health care will help end that problem by eliminating those costly middlemen, whose tab patients—or public hospitals such as Stroger—must foot, Jayapal said.

That’s right. Lazy government bureaucrats will take the place of the profit makers. Instead of the profit makers making profits and creating incentives for innovation, those government bureaucrats will take the profits, then give themselves bonuses.

Sound familiar? It should. That’s a description of the VA system from 4 years ago.

Last week, President Obama said anyone found to have manipulated or falsified Veterans Affairs records “will be held accountable,” even as he defended Shinseki.

A week later, Gen. Shinseki resigned in disgrace.

Whether you call it Medicare for All, VA Care for All or whether you call it a failed, corrupted system is irrelevant. Single-payer health care systems have never worked because they kill innovation while incentivizing corruption. The people at the top, aka those that play the role of the oligarchs, reap all the rewards.

Though these dipsticks don’t want to admit it, that’s how all systems operate. There’s corruption in every system. Pretending that government employees are somehow more virtuous than the rest of society is a fallacy. Milton Friedman explained that fact brilliantly in this interview:

Keith Ellison has announced that he’s running for Attorney General of Minnesota. Think about this — he thinks that white police officers are bigoted and don’t know it. He thinks that the VA hospital system as constructed a few years ago was patriotic and corruption-free. Now he’s telling us that getting rid of profits in the health care industry is the path to innovation and health care for all.

Which of these things sounds craziest? Good luck with that. I’ll be damned if I know which idea is craziest.

Saying that Angie Craig doesn’t want MN-2 voters to know what she stands for is the truth. It isn’t difficult to find out what she’s against. This statement on the Trump/GOP tax reform is a perfect example of Ms. Craig telling voters what she’s against. In the statement, Ms. Craig said “Paul Ryan finally released the tax plan that Jason Lewis has been talking up for weeks and it’s just as bad as we thought. This isn’t real tax reform. This is a giveaway to big corporations and the rich, paid for by tax increases for the middle class.”

First, Ms. Craig is relying on the Democrats’ talking points. It’s worth noting that the Democrats’ chanting points are dishonest. (Go figure, right?) As people have found out, everyone has gotten a tax cut. The middle class have gotten rather significant tax cuts. That’s in addition to many of them getting significant bonuses, significantly increased benefits from employers and lower out-of-pocket health care expenses. Other than those significant benefits to the middle class, the Democrats are right. If not for those benefits to the middle class, the middle class would’ve gotten the shaft.

In terms of health care, Craig is a bit of a radical:

Before he ditched his constituents, Keith Ellison announced that he was taking over the Democrats’ single-payer health care bill. In the above video, Ms. Craig said that Keith Ellison told her that he wanted her at the table when they figured out health care. That’s what makes this so funny:

Let’s get serious. When Craig is talking to her DFL activist allies, she knows exactly what she wants. When she’s talking with John and Jane Q. Public, she’s as transparent as Rod Rosenstein’s DOJ.

As the lit piece shows, Jason Lewis’s supporters know him to be a man who doesn’t moisten his finger to figure out where he stands on the issues. That’s why he’ll win re-election this November.

Yesterday morning, Tina Smith was interviewed by KSTP’s Tom Hauser. On another network, Bernie Sanders, aka Sen. Smith’s mentor, appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrats’ latest rising star.

During her interview with Hauser, Smith confirmed that she supported single-payer health care and that she wouldn’t vote for any judges on President Trump’s list because “far right special interests” compiled the list. (I’m wondering if that means that she wouldn’t vote to confirm any judges approved by far left special interest organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice, PFAW, the Center for American Progress, NOW or Planned Parenthood.) These aren’t mainstream organizations based on their lobbyists’ wish list.

Smith thinks that single payer is the cure for rising health care costs, which were created by the ACA, which was created by Democrats. Now we’re supposed to trust Democrats to fix the problem that … Democrats created? When Marty Seifert first ran for governor, one of the punch lines in his stump speech was “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.”

He’s right. Costs have skyrocketed since the ACA was passed. In October of 2016, I wrote this post to highlight this information:

Speaker Daudt spoke of a farming family he met during a MNsure listening session in Red Wing, MN, who told Speaker Daudt that their premiums this year were $2,300/mo. Then Speaker Daudt said that this family’s deductible for this year was an additional $13,000 this year. This family’s out-of-pocket expenses, which they’d pay before the insurance would pay a penny, was over $40,000.

As shocking as that was, the next part was frightening. Speaker Daudt said that that was this family’s premiums before this year’s open enrollment premium increases of between 50% and 67%.

That means, at minimum, this family’s premiums for 2017 would exceed $41,000. If their premium increased by 67%, this family’s premiums for 2017 would jump to $46,000. That’s one year’s premiums for a family of 3 healthy people. Let’s remember that Tina Smith was the Lieutenant Governor at the time. Why should I trust someone who presided over the highest health insurance premium increases in Minnesota history? That’s as foolish as trusting an arsonist to put out a building fire.

The more we learn about Tina Smith, the more we learn that she’s a radical lefty. Check out what she said on health care:

Tina believes every Minnesota family deserves access to high-quality health care that they can afford.

In other words, Tina Smith knows that she’s responsible for failing Minnesotans. She was part of the administration that implemented the plan that caused the 59% to 67% premium increases. Now she wants to return to Washington to screw up the system even further than she’s already screwed it up?

I think not. I’m voting for someone who will fix problems, not create them. I won’t be voting for Bernie’s ally, aka Tina Smith.

I wouldn’t characterize Ocasio-Cortez as being too bright after reading this:

“Bold” is a characterization that has been used for Ocasio-Cortez’s own campaign. She told Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan that her agenda included policy positions like Medicare for all. “I think that the factors that ultimately created our win was the fact that we had bold commitments and I campaigned on hard commitments of Medicare for all, tuition free public college, ensuring a Green New Deal for our future and championing those issues were the reason that we won,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Mostly, she won because Joe Crowley didn’t take her seriously enough. It wasn’t because people in that district thought that they were voting for a policy wonk.

After reading Bernie Sanders’ op-ed, it’s impossible to take him seriously. The op-ed starts by saying “Over and over again, President Donald Trump tells us the U.S. economy is ‘absolutely booming,’ the ‘strongest we’ve ever had’ and ‘the greatest in the history of America’ thanks to his leadership and his leadership alone. Unfortunately, like virtually everything that comes out of his mouth, Trump is not being truthful with the American people.”

Actually, it’s Bernie who isn’t being truthful. If the middle class is doing so awful, why is consumer confidence as high as it’s ever been? If things are so bad for the middle class, why is black unemployment and Hispanic unemployment the lowest in history? If things are so tough on the middle class, why is the unemployment rate for women the lowest it’s been in 60+ years? Either Bernie things that there’s tons of African-American, Hispanic and female millionaires or the middle class is doing exceptionally well right now.

There’s no other explanation. Period.

The low unemployment rate is the good news. The bad news is that poverty in our country remains unacceptably high and tens of millions of Americans are struggling to keep their heads above water. Despite Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations, wages for average workers have actually gone down, not up, by five cents an hour since June of last year after adjusting for inflation.

The good news about Bernie’s bad news is that poverty has dropped since President Trump took office. That’s an indisputable fact.

I wrote this post in March, 2016. According to the Minnesota State Demographer’s office, the poverty rate for Hibbing then was 20.6%. Today, the poverty rate for Hibbing is 18.2%. Further, the Median Household Income in 2016 was $38,112. Today, the MHI in Hibbing is $42,004. That’s a 10% increase in MHI in that city.

In addition, as the American middle class continues to collapse, the Federal Reserve reported that 40 percent of Americans lack $400 in disposable income to pay for an unexpected expense like a medical emergency or a car repair. The truth is that in America today, 43 percent of households live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to pay for their housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and their cell phone without going into debt.

What an idiot. The socialist policies of the Obama administration have led to a huge increase in the income gap. It always does wherever it’s tried. During the Obama administration, wages were stagnant. Under the Trump economic policies, wages are finally rising. They aren’t rising as much as we’d like to see but they are heading in the right direction.

Bernie Sanders’ op-ed is based on political ambition, not economic statistics. He can’t stand to admit that he’s just wrong. That’d destroy his (perceived) shot at the presidency. The truth is that he’s never had a legitimate shot at that office because he’s a whack job. In this rambling rant, Bernie Sanders displays just how ignorant he is:

This is embarrassing. I don’t want the Supreme Court involved in writing policy. I want them determining whether legislation conforms to the Constitution.

The Constitution, in its separation of powers clause, essentially said that the federal government can’t tell states what they have to spend money on. The principle is called commandeering. Sovereign states get to determine what things they want to spend their money on and how much money they want to spend on each line item.

In Bernie’s mind, the federal government should have the authority to tell states how the states should spend their money. In other words, Bernie thinks that the federal government should be able to tell independently elected individuals how to best represent people Bernie’s never met.

Anyone that thinks that the DFL is capable of running government hasn’t read this audit report. The opening paragraph of the report is a damning indictment of the Dayton administration. The opening 2 paragraphs of the report state “Minnesota did no t comply with Federal waiver and State requirements in overseeing centers that serve vulnerable adults who receive services through the program. To protect the health and safety of vulnerable adults, Minnesota, as the licensing agency for centers, must ensure that centers follow licensing requirements in State statutes established in its application for waiver services. These licensing requirements include health and safety and administrative requirements.

“We determined that all 20 of the centers we reviewed did not comply with State licensing requirements. In total, we found 200 instances of noncompliance with health and safety and administrative requirements.”

I wrote this post right before Christmas of 2017. This part was particularly heartbreaking:

Ehlinger’s resignation comes after media reports, including a five-part series in the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, found residents of senior care facilities statewide were neglected, abused and robbed, but the perpetrators were often never punished and in most instances complaints were never properly investigated. The state Department of Health is responsible for licensing and oversight of senior care centers.

Putting this HHS OIG together with the Star Tribune reporting, the inescapable truth is that the Dayton administration either wasn’t aware of what was happening in the state’s elder care facilities. Either that or they didn’t care what was happening in those facilities. One person who cares is State Sen. Karin Housley:

Think about what Sen. Housley said. Gov. Dayton first heard about this issue in 2012. Despite that, “they got absolutely nothing done.” Gov. Dayton played political games rather than doing the right thing. That’s unconscionable. It’s time to throw these bums out. If the DFL won’t protect these vulnerable citizens, they shouldn’t have control of any part of state government.

Think about this: the people in charge of the Office of Health Facilities Complaints are staffed by public employee union personnel. That explains why Gov. Dayton and the DFL did nothing to fix this situation. Lives were ruined because Gov. Dayton and the DFL protected their special interest allies. That’s pretty sick.

This paragraph is particularly indicting to the Dayton administration:

The State agency did not comply with Federal waiver and State requirements in overseeing centers that serve vulnerable adults who receive services through the program. We determined that all 20 of the centers we reviewed did not comply with State licensing requirements. The 20 centers we reviewed had from 3 to 25 instances of noncompliance. In total, we found 200 instances of noncompliance with health and safety and administrative requirements.

Think about that. The bureaucrats charged with overseeing “centers that serve vulnerable adults” didn’t pay attention to what was happening in these facilities. It’s frustrating to think that the party of big government, aka the DFL, didn’t give a damn about the most vulnerable people.

From this point forward, the DFL should be called ‘the party of big, broken government’. At this point, I haven’t seen proof that the DFL gives a tinker’s damn about these vulnerable citizens. Further, how many things must the DFL royally screw up before people decide that they can’t be trusted to run anything beyond a lemonade stand?

Per tradition, the DFL issued this statement after delegates endorsed Angie Craig to run against Republican incumbent Jason Lewis. The statement was the usual milquetoast boilerplate, saying “Angie Craig embodies the American Dream. She went from a mobile home park to a leader at Minnesota manufacturer St. Jude Medical. She will fight to ensure every Minnesotan has the opportunities she did by fighting for good-paying jobs, affordable healthcare for all, and real middle-class tax reform.”

All the statements in the world, though, won’t take away the major mistake that Ms. Craig made last week. Last week, Ms. Craig bragged that she wants to team up with Keith Ellison on health care. It’s worth noting that Rep. Ellison “took the reins of single-payer healthcare legislation in the House” last month. After making a major mistake on health care the last time she ran, Ms. Craig apparently didn’t learn.

I’m not the expert on CD-2 that others are but it’s difficult to believe that there are many John Kline voters that’d support a candidate that wants to implement a single-payer health care system. This snippet will hurt Ms. Craig this fall:

While I won’t predict a lop-sided victory for Jason Lewis, I can’t picture him winning by less than 6-8 points. The DFL recently has talked about health care being a major issue this fall. To the extent that it’s an issue, it won’t hurt Republicans as much as it’ll hurt the DFL.