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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.

The DFL has kept saying that Angie Craig is a top-tier candidate. For the sake of this article, let’s stipulate that that’s true. Let’s further stipulate that, for being a top-tier candidate, she isn’t too bright. In 2016, Ms. Craig told KSTP’s Tom Hauser that, if elected, she’d “fight” to expand Obamacare. From that point forward, Ms. Craig’s support dropped like a lead balloon.

In 2018, Ms. Craig has shown that she still hasn’t learned her lesson. The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that “Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig bragged during a weekend candidate forum that she has been working on a way to move healthcare forward with Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), who last month took the reins of single-payer healthcare legislation in the House.”

Why would a supposed top-tier candidate in a supposedly swing district essentially admit that she’s working with the most radical progressive in the Minnesota delegation on single-payer health care? That isn’t just foolish. That’s downright stupid:

“We are going to have to figure out how we move our healthcare system forward,” Craig said. “I’ve talked to a lot of members of Congress who have a lot of bills—I’ve talked to Keith Ellison who’s got a particular bill he just took over.”
“I just left Keith a little bit ago and I told him, ‘Let’s figure out how we move forward with healthcare.’ ‘And he said to me, ‘I want you at the table when we’re figuring this out.'”

Don’t be surprised if the NRCC highlights this in an ad this October. Ms. Craig can prepare her spin now but it won’t matter. That’s one of those things that you just can’t spin.

The latest Cook Report rated this race as a toss-up. That might be right but Jason Lewis is perfectly positioned to win. I wouldn’t want to be Angie Craig’s campaign manager.

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Unlike the DFL governor, Republicans haven’t turned a blind eye towards the nursing home crisis. For 7 years, DFL Gov. Dayton hasn’t paid attention to the nursing home crisis. After the Strib published a multi-part series on nursing home abuse, in which some people literally died of neglect, Gov. Dayton appointed a task force to look into the abuse.

Before that panel was appointed, the Strib examined state records. One of the appalling pieces of information was that there were “25,226 allegations of neglect, physical abuse, unexplained serious injuries and thefts last year in state-licensed senior facilities” and that “97 percent were never investigated.” When I wrote this post, I noted something in State Sen. Karin Housley’s statement. In her statement, she said “Instead of taking responsibility for the shortcomings and negligence of his own state agencies, one of the main drivers of this issue, the governor placed the blame wholly on the care providers. Despite a well-documented culture of intimidation and neglect that prevented the governor’s Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) from serving its function, the governor refuses to accept accountability for the failings of the executive branch.”

Despite the DFL owning this crisis, the House DFL campaign committee, tasked with getting DFL legislators elected, issued this propaganda:

The bill fixing this DFL crisis was chief authored by Sen. Housley. The DFL knows that it’s being run through the Senate first. (PS- the bill # is SF3437.) The bill will be passed in the Senate first, then sent to the House, where it will be passed, then sent to Gov. Dayton.

This BS fundraising appeal reveals the DFL’s (lack of) character. The DFL knows that their governor ignored the problem. The DFL knows that Republicans are cleaning up the DFL’s mess. Still, the DFL is pretending like it’s the Republicans’ fault if the DFL’s problems aren’t fixed. Fortunately, Republicans are in the habit of doing the right thing. They’re fixing the DFL’s problem.

This is entirely on Gov. Dayton:

When investigations did happen, often they were essentially botched, with evidence destroyed or tampered with, interviews not conducted, and sometimes police or prosecutors not contacted as required by state law. Sometimes investigations were done by public employees or nursing home employees not trained in criminal investigations.

The legislative branch has nothing to do with the actual investigations. That’s exclusively the executive branch’s responsibility. Period.

This highlights the fact that the Dayton administration, aka Minnesota’s executive branch the past 7+ years, was incompetent. The DFL’s investigations were botched, which placed additional seniors in harm’s way. Now the DFL is attempting to blame Republicans for the DFL’s incompetence!

Finally, it’s important to remember this November that the DFL was both dishonest and incompetent in dealing with this crisis. The DFL will campaign on creating a “Better Minnesota.” That’s BS. If the DFL thinks that this is a picture of “a Better Minnesota”, then it’s obvious that the DFL sees things through rose-colored glasses.

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The military’s fat-cats’ fear-mongering was thick as thieves in this Military Times article. Fearing a break-up of their monopoly, they resorted to fear-mongering. Will Fischer, director of government relations for VoteVets.org, said “Each time you’re taking resources out and putting them into the private sector, you’re leaving VA dying on the vine. It’s bit by bit draining of VA.”

Shifting money away from the people who paid themselves bonuses while ignoring vets’ needs isn’t complaint. It’s a feature. In 2014, Gen. Shinseki admitted that “an interim inspector general’s report … found ‘systemic’ problems with clinics misrepresenting patient wait times… Shinseki also announced he would oust senior leaders at the Phoenix VA, where allegations of improper scheduling practices first surfaced. Shinseki, speaking to advocates for homeless veterans, said he initially believed the problems were ‘limited and isolated.’ ‘I no longer believe that. It is systemic,’ Shinseki said. ‘I will not defend it, because it is indefensible.'”

“Our view is that Congress and the administration must fix what is wrong with the VA health care system, improve hiring authorities, expand and fix its aging infrastructure, improve access, customer service, and not just simply turn to the private sector when VA facilities are having problems,” said Carlos Fuentes, director of the National Legislative Service at Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Community care is part of the solution, but not the only answer.”

This video is infuriating:

According to this article, the VA used some tricky language:

Inspector General Richard Griffin, who oversees the VA’s internal watchdog agency, stressed in his Aug. 26 report that investigators were ­”unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely quality care caused the deaths” of Arizona veterans who died while on secret wait lists for appointments. Media outlets widely ­reported that whistle-blower allegations were exaggerated and that veterans were not ­severely affected by wrongdoing at the Phoenix VA medical center.

But health-care experts say Griffin’s report used a measure that is not consistent with pathology practices because no matter how long a patient waits for care, the underlying “cause” of death will be a medical condition, rather than the delay. Put simply, people die of pneumonia, heart conditions and bullet wounds, not waiting to see the doctor.

It’s time to introduce competition into the VA system. That won’t happen with the VA system because it’s a monopoly. With multiple VAs being corrupt and patients dying as a result of that corruption, government-run single-payer system can’t be tolerated.

Finally, Mr. Fischer’s argument about the VA sounds exactly like the arguments that teachers’ unions make against school choice. They argue that choice and competition might hurt the educational product. Meanwhile, there’s mounting proof that the government’s monopoly is hurting educational outcomes. Ditto with the VA system.

When it comes to veterans, Tim Walz can’t quite tell the truth. It’s indisputable fact that the VA system is a failure. Veterans have died waiting months for urgent care. On his official issues page, Walz said “We must honor the sacred contract between a grateful nation and our veterans who made selfless sacrifices in defense of freedom and democracy. Our goal as a nation is to provide the men and women who return from service in the U.S. military with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream in civilian life. As the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress, I have been extremely honored and humbled to work directly on behalf of veterans and their families with a position on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. We owe it to our veterans to ensure that they are healthy, happy, and employed when they return home, and I am working hard to get results for veterans.”

The truth is that Rep. Walz worked with Nancy Pelosi to throw additional money thrown towards the failed VA system while trying to weaken the VA reforms Congress passed months ago. That’s the worst way to “ensure that they are healthy, happy, and employed when they return home.”

Being anti-VA reform, which is what Rep. Walz is, is hurting veterans. Ten years ago, Rep. Walz complained about VA administrators receiving bonuses while veterans got neglected:

Three years ago, Rep. Walz travelled around the state after the Phoenix VA scandal broke:

Five months ago, Rep. Walz called for a federal investigation into why VA hospitals denied veterans access to health care and/or why they charged veterans for care they shouldn’t have been required to pay:

I hope I’m not the only Minnesotan noticing a pattern of failure on Walz’s behalf. Minnesota doesn’t need another failure after suffering through 8 years of Gov. Dayton’s failures. We need someone who will fix things the first time, then keep things working properly thereafter. People thinking that that’s Walz’s habit aren’t accustomed to reality.

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The media bias that Jason Lewis is running against is stifling. For instance, this MinnPost article said “Yet Lewis was on the floor of the House on March 24, they day of the scheduled vote, railing against Obamacare and urging his colleagues to do the “right thing” by dismantling it, something he’d been saying for weeks. Ultimately, Lewis was one of the last speakers to take to the House podium that day: he spoke minutes before Speaker Paul Ryan decided to pull the bill because it didn’t have enough votes to pass. That episode is emblematic of the approach that Lewis, a former pundit on right-wing talk radio, has taken to Congress in his first year on the job. Instead of tacking to the center on key issues or keeping a low profile, as some vulnerable lawmakers faced with a difficult election might, Lewis has been an outspoken advocate for conservative policy priorities like gutting the ACA, slashing taxes and undoing scores of federal regulations.”

It’s appalling that the media would think that voting against repealing the ACA is “tacking to the center.” The ACA still isn’t that popular, though some low-profile GOP improvements have made the ACA less onerous on families. As for “slashing taxes and undoing scores of federal regulations”, the US economy is doing better than at any time during the Obama administration.

It’s interesting to see the left’s explanation for how purple MN-02 is. This is a good example:

On the congressional level, former Rep. John Kline, a Republican, represented CD2 for seven terms. But the plurality of CD2 voters chose to send former Sen. Al Franken to Congress in 2014, and a 30-point majority voted to grant Sen. Amy Klobuchar a second term in 2012.

It isn’t surprising that then-Sen. Franken garnered a plurality of the votes in 2014. His opponent wasn’t a top-tier candidate. As for Sen. Klobuchar’s victory, that’s typical. Most people ignore the substance of her votes and vote for the personality.

Lewis’ belief is that being clear and unambiguous about his policy stances will position him well for the election, and that voters will reward his authenticity even if they disagree. “Sincerity goes a long way,” he said. “It’s the difference between those members that are constantly dictated by the polls, and people who just say, I came here to do something, I’m going to do it. I just think having convictions is a real asset in politics.”

The reason why American institutions have terrible favorability ratings is because people don’t trust their institutions. People that find a politician who actually believes something are thrilled. People want to find a politician who believes something and can explain why they believe that.

That’s Jason Lewis. That isn’t Angie Craig. Look at how significantly she’s changed on health care. This is from Ms. Craig’s campaign website:

We must work to repair our healthcare system, starting with immediate fixes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and work toward universal health coverage. It’s time to stop playing politics with people’s lives. Many families, particularly those who are self-employed as small business owners and family farmers, cannot afford the healthcare available in the individual marketplace, but Washington has done nothing to help. Congress needs to work across the aisle immediately to stabilize healthcare costs for these families.

We can do this without giving up the good things that have come from the ACA. Current law has eliminated the penalty for pre-existing conditions, ended lifetime limits, allowed young adults to remain on their parent’s insurance, and given tens of millions of Americans access to healthcare who didn’t have it before.

I wrote this post to highlight this NRCC ad:

That NRCC ad cost her the election in 2016. Just 2 years later, bold Angie Craig has morphed into timid, calculating Angie Craig. A year from now, who knows how she’ll portray herself? This is what a calculating career politician that’ll sell their soul does. This isn’t about “tacking to the center.” It’s about selling out.

This is another thing that career politicians do:

Third, we need to stop suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms and reinstate a rule recently repealed by Congress that stopped some people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns.

Banning people on no-fly lists from buying guns sounds sensible — until people find out that those no-fly lists included Stephen F. Hayes, the Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Standard, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Had Ms. Craig gotten her way, law-abiding citizens would’ve had their civil rights violated because the federal government was incompetent. As for “people with mental illnesses” purchasing firearms, it’s more likely that the federal, state and local governments will miss warning signs. That’s what happened in Parkland.

Assuming that the federal or state government will promptly update their data bases is like assuming that career politicians will keep each of their campaign promises.

That’s why sincerity, honesty and consistency are cherished by voters. That’s why Jason Lewis stands a good shot at getting re-elected.

Looking for the solution
By Rambling Rose

No one of sound mind wants students to be put at risk. Yet few of the suggested “answers” are real answers.

People march and protest to “do something.” Some would rather be “out of class.” Younger children appear to be the pawns of their leftist teachers. Some young people think that because they protest, adults will embrace their words and “fix” the situation…and all children will be safe (except the ones that they abort as inconvenient).

This week in Maryland, there was another school shooting where the shooter had an illegally obtained handgun. In Florida a young man used a knife to stab three people, one fatally, at a sleepover. Texans died at the hands of a bomber—a rampage that started on March 2nd and may have ended today if there are no more bombs yet to be delivered and if the bomber had no accomplices.

So, what do we ban? Guns? Knives? Bombs? Cars? Drugs? Alcohol? Nicotine? All of the above? Probably not. Since we do not seem to have the answer, maybe we should see what has reduced mass shootings…in Switzerland.

Some of the following data are from an article published by USA Today less than two weeks after the Florida shooting.

Only the USA and Yemen have more guns per capita than Switzerland, a nation of 8.5 million nestled in the Alps in southern Europe. But in the last 10 years, the Swiss have registered only 120 homicides and only one mass shooting in a legislative building in 2001.

Apparently, healthcare professionals report those they suspect to be dangerous and maintain a database of those denied gun licenses. While such referrals apparently were made regarding the more recent shooters in this country, officials did not follow protocols. Either that or they embraced the slap-on-the-hand discipline policy of the former Obama administration.

President Trump singled out the MS-13 gang in his State of the Union address. Since the street gang comes from Central America, does the open border permit their infiltration by members and ideology to increase? Switzerland has banned the entrance of immigrants from eight countries. Justices in this country have issued injunctions against such practices by the Trump administration.

Citizens in this country arm themselves for protection or to commit crimes. Fewer purchase guns for hunting or sport. The reverse occurs in Switzerland. “The Swiss Shooting Sports Association has about 3,000 clubs across the country, including a youth section where children as young as 12 learn to handle and shoot a gun safely. Last year, the Defense Ministry contributed about $860,000 for training, and the government donated 10,585 army assault rifles and 930,000 rounds of ammunition to gun clubs.”

Following the shooting of a champion skier by her estranged husband in 2007, the government ordered that the ammunition for rifles issued to military personnel be kept at arsenals. Anti-gun activists felt that the rule was not inclusive enough since it did not apply to weapons owned by civilians. 56% of the voters rejected the referendum in 2011 because they believed “that Swiss gun owners didn’t need any more restrictions because the existing laws regulating the sale and licensing of private guns were stringent enough.”

Before we augment the number of laws we need, we need to enforce the ones that we have. With another march programmed for April 20th, do the protestors and/or their organizers admitted that students have broken truancy laws in order to demand more laws for others?


How about RESPECT? For the “inalienable rights of all.”

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One thing that’s obvious from Gov. Dayton’s proposal to prevent elder care abuse is that he isn’t willing to admit that his administration didn’t do its job.

Included in Gov. Dayton’s proposal are “streamlin[ing] reports of abuse, increase licensing requirements for long-term care facilities and strengthen penalties for those who hurt seniors and vulnerable adults.” Nowhere is it mentioned that the Dayton administration failed its oversight responsibilities. State Sen. Karin Housley noticed:

“Nearly all the governor’s recommendations come from his handpicked working group, which I believe only reflect one side of an extremely emotional, complex situation,” said Housley, who chairs the Senate long-term care committee and has her own legislative proposals. “While many of the working group recommendations are incorporated into my legislation, it will not ignore the critical oversight role played by the state.”

Later, Sen. Housley issued this statement:

While the governor and I share the same goal of making sure elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans are cared for with dignity and respect, I believe his proposal falls well short and ignores many of the realities of the problem. Nearly all the governor’s recommendations come from his handpicked working group, which I believe only reflect one side of an extremely emotional, complex situation. In fact, the governor’s proposal does not consider any of the recommendations of the senior care facilities, which were almost entirely left out of the conversation.

Instead of taking responsibility for the shortcomings and negligence of his own state agencies – one of the main drivers of this issue – the governor placed the blame wholly on the care providers. Despite a well-documented culture of intimidation and neglect that prevented the governor’s Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) from serving its function, the governor refuses to accept accountability for the failings of the executive branch. The many hardworking care providers across Minnesota depend on the OHFC for oversight, but it did not live up to its end of the bargain.

I will be introducing legislation tomorrow that I believe moves us in the right direction and brings all stakeholders to the table. While many of the working group recommendations are incorporated into my legislation, it will not ignore the critical oversight role played by the state. I have been working on this issue for over a year, bringing all stakeholders to the table and searching for a solution that works for all – and those conversations have virtually all pointed toward an urgent need to fix the OHFC.

I look forward to working with the governor’s office, my colleagues, and stakeholders in passing substantive change this session.

Here’s the tape of Housley’s press conference on her new bill:

Follow this link to read the Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act. The first question from the press asked what disappointed Sen. Housley about Gov. Dayton’s proposal. Here’s her reply:

SEN. HOUSLEY: I felt it was a one-sided — he appointed his working group. I admire and I’ve listened to everyone in that working group from AARP to Elder Justice to Elder Voices. It was just one side and you also have the huge problem within the OHFC and that wasn’t addressed and that is his administration and that is where he failed. I know that Sheila van Pelt has been emailing the government since 2013, the governor and his administration trying to get answers on why she wasn’t getting answers so to not look in the mirror is disappointing.

Gov. Dayton’s administration failed to investigate these abuses. According to the OLA report, they didn’t even put a plan in place to investigate. After the crisis was exposed, Gov. Dayton’s proposal didn’t include anything to hold his administration accountable.

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Dario Anselmo is chief author of a bill that would raise the minimum smoking age in Minnesota to 21. State Sen. Carla Nelson “introduced similar legislation last year.” They both insist that their legislation has bipartisan support.

If that’s their best argument, this legislation should be immediately defeated in committee and never see the light of day again.

Rep. Anselmo has a warped view of state government’s role. At his press availability, Rep. Anselmo said “This is sort of what government is here for. It’s here for our public safety, national and local. It’s here for our public health, and this is a big one. I tell them if we’re the party that talks about cutting health care costs, its $3 billion direct cost that go to the cost of smoking.”

What type of liberal thinking is that? First, Republicans are the party that preaches the gospel of individual responsibility. Rep. Anselmo apparently thinks that adults who aren’t 21 aren’t capable of making intelligent decisions. I’d love hearing Rep. Anselmo explain why he thinks people who are prosecuted as adults aren’t capable of making intelligent adult decisions. Check out the first segment of Friday night’s Almanac to watch Rep. Anselmo explain his legislation:

This is legislation in search of a problem. There isn’t a smoking crisis. There isn’t a hint of a smoking crisis. Further, this is a perfect example of busybody legislating. Rep. Anselmo should admit that adults should be left alone to make their own decisions.

Saying that the OLA’s report on nursing home management is harsh is understatement. The conclusions reached by the OLA paint a terrible picture of government mismanagement. For instance, the report says that Nobles’ office found problems ranging from “ineffective case management, unwritten and frequently changing policies, ineffective staff training, staff turnover that sometimes is 25 percent a year and a lack of staff confidence in leadership.”

That’s just the start of it. Jim Nobles is quoted as saying “‘the problems … are deep and pervasive and have been there a long time. They are rooted in poor management.’ Workers take pride in their work, Nobles said, but ‘for too long they have had to work in an environment that was … sometimes toxic.'”

According to the report, “people in ‘immediate jeopardy'” are supposed to be investigated in less than 2 days. “Just 17 percent of 2017 cases met a two-day deadline to be read, let alone investigated, the report showed.” In addition to that disturbing information, this information is damning:

State investigators found the leaders at the OHFC did not properly oversee abuse inquiries and family members were not kept informed. A review of 53 OHFC investigations found key witnesses were not interviewed and poor documentation of evidence.

This information is frightening:

This about this sentence:

OHFC does not have an effective case management system, which has contributed to lost files and poor decisions regarding resource allocation.

If management hasn’t established a system, then it’s impossible to consider these employees management. I’d argue that the people called management should be fired ASAP to protect the people.

Check out this recommendation:

The Legislature should require OHFC to regularly report on its progress in meeting state and federal requirements.

This is the type of stuff that should be a no-brainer. It’s proof that ‘management’ isn’t serious about fulfilling its responsibilities.