Archive for the ‘Debates’ Category

Stewart Mills’ supporters in the Eighth District should be cautiously optimistic after KSTP announced the results of their latest poll of the district. According to the poll, “Stewart Mills leads Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan by four points in Minnesota’s 8th District, 45 percent to 41 percent, in our exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll. However, a significant number of voters remain undecided, 14 percent, and could swing this election either way.” Stewart Mills’ supporters should be cautiously optimistic because Mills led Nolan by 8 points at this point in 2014 and wound up losing by 3,000+ votes.

This year, the dynamics have changed significantly, though. First, Hillary Clinton is dragging Nolan down. According to KSTP’s poll, “the top of the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton, appears to be very unpopular in the 8th District. Our poll shows Republican Donald Trump with a 12-point lead over Clinton, 47 percent to 35 percent.” Stewart Mills is hammering Nolan on that fact in his stump speeches and in his advertising. This ad highlights Mills’ argument beautifully:

Here’s the transcript of the ad:

MILLS: I’m Stewart Mills and I approve this message.
NARRATOR: Hillary Clinton promises to kill mining jobs all across America.
HILLARY CLINTON: We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.
NARRATOR: Here in Minnesota, Rick Nolan is doing the same. Nolan supports Hillary’s war on coal. He voted for anti-mining regulations that are destroying Minnesota jobs and sticking middle class families with higher energy bills. Rick Nolan and Hillary Clinton are job killers.

This is interesting, too:

Nolan might also be facing resistance from voters over his support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and his desire to go even further and implement “universal,” or government-run health care. Our KSTP/SurveyUSA poll indicates 45 percent of those surveyed in the 8th District favor repeal of the ACA, 30 percent say there need to be changes to the program and 13 percent say they favor universal health care.

Gov. Dayton isn’t doing Nolan any favors by switching his position on the ACA seemingly on a daily basis. Each day, Gov. Dayton either talks about the need for a special session or says something provocative or he flip-flops. The point is that Gov. Dayton has kept this story alive for over a week. Here’s what the KSTP/SurveyUSA poll found were the Eighth District’s priorities:

When asked which issue is most important to them when deciding their vote, health care came in as the top choice at 26 percent. Another 25 percent cited terrorism and national security while 13 percent said taxes. Mining came in at six percent, education at 5 percent and foreign trade at four percent.

Last night, Mills and Nolan squared off in a debate. Mills did an effective job of prosecuting his case against Nolan on energy and mining. Approximately 4 minutes into this video, Mills rattles off a series of points against Nolan’s green agenda:

It’s apparent that Mills learned some important lessons from his 2014 campaign. Let’s hope that the results are better this time.

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This summer, the Democratic Party faced a moment of truth right before their convention when they fired Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as their chair of the DNC. The woman picked to be the DNC’s interim chair, Donna Brazile, is apparently just as unprincipled as Ms. Wasserman-Schultz.

This article highlights the fact that the upper echelon of the DNC was on a mission to elect Hillary regardless of what they had to do. What’s telling is the paragraph that says “The Democratic National Committee is ‘clearing a path’ for Hillary Clinton to be its presidential nominee because its upper power echelons are populated with women, according to a female committee member who was in Las Vegas for Tuesday’s primary debate. Speaking on the condition that she isn’t identified, she told Daily Mail Online that the party is in the tank for Clinton, and the women who run the organization decided it ‘early on.'”

Thanks to the Daily Caller’s article on the latest Wikileaks dump, we now know that Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the DNC, is corrupt, too:

Donna Brazile, the current head of the Democratic National Committee, appears to have tipped the Clinton campaign off to a question about the death penalty that was going to be asked during a CNN town hall in March, newly released emails show. “From time to time I get the questions in advance,” Brazile wrote in an email to Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri on March 12.

Clinton Syndrome is already setting in. The chief symptom of Clinton Syndrome is the feeling for the need to take a long, hot shower after listening to the Clintons or their Clintonistas speak. Donna Brazile is definitely a Clintonista because she’s been part of a cabal to do whatever it takes to get Mrs. Clinton elected. Further, I feel the need for a long, hot shower after reading what Ms. Brazile has done to get Mrs. Clinton elected.

First, Ms. Brazile, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz rigged the Democratic primaries and Democratic presidential debates so Bernie Sanders couldn’t win. They scheduled the debates on Saturday nights so Bernie Sanders couldn’t gain name recognition. Next, they limited the number of debates, which protected Hillary from gaffes. (A political gaffe is, by definition, when you “accidentally tell the truth.”)

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are right. The system is rigged. What they didn’t get right, though, is that it’s the Democrats that rigged their presidential primaries so they didn’t have a chance. That’s thank directly to the actions Ms. Brazile and the DNC took.

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This is my first post since getting out of the hospital today but it isn’t the first chance I’ve had to talk about the Pence-Kaine. It’s indisputable that Hillary is leading in most of the polls. What’s disputable, though, is whether Mrs. Clinton’s lead is that solid.

I’m betting Mrs. Clinton’s lead is shakier than they’ll publicly admit. I’m betting that because Tim Kaine’s performance was the most pathetic debate performance I’ve ever watched. I’m betting that because Sen. Kaine came across as mean-spirited and phony. Sen. Kaine came across as a puppet with bad lines. Politically speaking, Sen. Kaine didn’t have the benefit of touting a positive case. 70% of the nation thinks that we’re heading in the wrong direction. Sen. Kaine’s job was to take that information, then tell people that life was positive and getting better. Check this exchange out:

PENCE: Well, first, let me say, I appreciated the “you’re hired,” “you’re fired” thing, Senator. You use that a whole lot. And I think your running mate used a lot of pre-done lines.
Look, what — what you all just heard out there is more taxes, $2 trillion in more spending, more deficits, more debt, more government. And if you think that’s all working, then you look at the other side of the table. I mean, the truth of the matter is, the policies of this administration, which Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine want to continue, have run this economy into a ditch. We’re in the…
KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?
PENCE: … slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?
PENCE: There are millions more people living in poverty today than the day that Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton at his side…
KAINE: And the poverty level and the median income…
PENCE: … stepped into the Oval Office.
KAINE: … improved dramatically between 2014 and 2015.
PENCE: You — honestly, Senator, you can roll out the numbers and the sunny side, but I got to tell you, people in Scranton know different. People in Fort Wayne, Indiana, know different. I mean, this economy is struggling. The answer to this economy is not more taxes.

That’s the problem that the Clinton-Kaine ticket can’t escape. Their spin can’t eliminate the truth that the Obama economy stinks. It stinks because it’s trying to bankrupt entire industries like coal-mining and fracking for oil and natural gas. It stinks because Obamacare is the craziest thing in the world:

If Donald Trump takes the fight to Hillary on the economy and how the Obama economy is built on how well-connected people are, he’ll win this election. Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Kaine can’t point to the pathetic economic growth as proof that they’re on the right side of that issue.

Sen. Kaine’s first attempt to make a first impression fell flat. It’s long past time to worry about Mrs. Clinton’s first impression on the nation. Saying that she’s a polarizing figure is understatement.

Donald Trump wasted a valuable commodity this week — time. The week started right, with him winning the first third of the debate. Then he forgot his purpose and started chasing ghosts. The lesson that his advisors need to teach him is that he needs to focus on things that will help him connect with blue collar workers. The other thing that Mr. Trump must highlight is the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play scandal and the FBI’s faux investigation.

By highlighting the FBI’s faux investigation, Mr. Trump would connect with Bernie Sanders’ voters that think that the system is rigged. The FBI’s faux investigation would play well with suburban voters who think Mrs. Clinton isn’t trustworthy. It’d be great if he could flip those voters. At this point, Mr. Trump’s campaign would probably be satisfied if it drove Mrs. Clinton’s turnout with suburban voters down.

The Clintons are disgusting, immoral people who’ve lived in the mud their entire lives. Spending 5 more weeks there to win the presidency means nothing to them. Trump’s path to victory is to highlight the things that matter most to people. When in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump should highlight Mrs. Clinton’s statement that she’s going to put coal companies out of business. Wherever he goes, he needs to highlight his plan for energy independence, then contrast that with Mrs. Clinton’s green energy policies.

Part of Mr. Trump’s presentation on green energy should highlight the rigged game that Solyndra tapped into. Mostly, though, Trump should highlight the fact that coal-mining and fracking jobs are just waiting to be filled. Ask people if they want to subsidize Mrs. Clinton’s and President Obama’s special interest allies or whether they’d like to keep doing what’s worked for the last half-century.

If Trump gets back on message, he’ll put pressure on Mrs. Clinton because people want change. They don’t want Mrs. Clinton’s more-of-the-same policies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After that, Gingrich mocked the elitists:

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

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

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

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According to the Agenda Media, Hillary Clinton mopped the proverbial floor with Donald Trump’s behind. The storyline connecting all of the stories is that she was well-prepared and that she was masterful at getting Trump to take the bait time after time.

That’s the traditional angle, though. It’s the conventional wisdom angle. According to this article, though, voters in swing states might have a different opinion. It’s telling that the article notices “Kae Roberts and Jay Eardly were leaning toward Hillary Clinton before Monday night’s debate. By the end, they had both pulled away. John Kokos and Hank Federal were undecided going in, potential Clinton backers. By the end, they’d ruled her out.”

Any night that voters say that they’re going to vote for you, it’s a good thing. It’s also good when voters rule out your opponent. That’s what appears to be happening in the post-debate aftermath. That isn’t to say that Trump turned in a masterful performance. He didn’t. He didn’t capitalize on the opportunities that Mrs. Clinton gave him often enough.

Democrats were switching allegiances in Pennsylvania, too:

Ken Reed sat down at the main bar of the Tin Lizzy tavern with two things in mind: to dig into the tavern’s oversize cheese steak, and watch the presidential debate. “I am hungry and undecided, in that order,” he said, digging into the savory dish in a bar that dates back to 1746.

Kady Letoksy, a paralegal by day, a waitress and bartender at night at the Tin Lizzy, sat beside him. At 28, she has never voted before, and she is now thinking it might be a good idea to start. Letosky entered the evening undecided in a town that is heavily Democratic in registration. Her sister and father are on opposite sides of the political aisle. Donald “Trump had the upper hand this evening,” she said, citing his command of the back-and-forth between him and Hillary Clinton.

Reed, 35, is a registered Democrat and small businessman. “By the end of the debate, Clinton never said a thing to persuade me that she had anything to offer me or my family or my community,” he said, sitting at the same bar that has boasted local icons as regulars, such as the late Fred Rogers, and Arnold Palmer, who had his own stash of PM Whiskey hidden behind newer bottles of whiskey for his regular visits. “Have to say Trump had the edge this evening, he came out swinging but also talked about specifics on jobs and the economy,” Reed said.

Trump’s goal for the debates is to help him win the election. As such, the debates are a tool to be used to help him win. Viewed in that light, Trump definitely benefited from last night’s debate. It isn’t as much a matter of winning or losing as much as it’s about whether you benefited from it.

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The other night at NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, Hillary Clinton potentially offered a glimpse of her debate performances. She potentially offered that glimpse by twisting herself into a pretzel. HRC is prone to that because she’s caught in an impossible situation. She’s caught in an impossible situation because she’s gotten caught lying about sending and receiving classified emails on her private email server.

The impossible situation started with a question that went like this “As a naval officer, I held a top secret, sensitive compartmentalized information clearance and that provided me access to materials and information that was highly sensitive to our war-fighting capabilities. Had I communicated this information not following prescribed protocols, I would have been prosecuted and imprisoned. Secretary Clinton, how can you expect those such as myself who were and are trusted with America’s most sensitive information to have any confidence in your leadership as president when you clearly corrupted our national security?”

Predictably, Mrs. Clinton started her oratorical gyrations, saying “Well I appreciate your concern and also your experience, but let me try to make the distinctions that I think are important for me to answer your question. First, as I said to Matt, you know and I know, classified material is designated. … And what we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked, there were no headers, there was no statement top secret, secret, or confidential. I communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system. I took it very seriously.”

Mrs. Clinton should consider herself fortunate because she lied with that reply. Classified material is supposed to be protected whether it’s got the markings on it or not. Also, we know from Jim Comey’s testimony that there were emails on Hillary’s server that contained classified material. It’s possible that Mrs. Clinton occasionally used “a wholly separate system” to communicate classified materials but she certainly didn’t use that separate system consistently, much less all the time.

Because she’s caught in that impossible position of defending the indefensible, there’s a high probability that she’ll corkscrew herself into the ground in the debates. Those are the types of replies that might create an election-shifting moment.

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Saying that the questions asked at the St. Cloud Area Joint Cities Forum had a leftward tilt to them is understatement. For instance, the first question was “While the legislature accomplished its most basic responsibility of passing a state budget, the last biennium, it does seem that the last 2 years are marked with significant disappointment, including the failure to pass a Tax Bill, no major bonding bill, and continued impasse over transportation. What do you think needs to happen at the legislature to make sure that these other important pieces of legislation get passed?”

If that question sounded like it was written by Rep. Thissen or Gov. Dayton, raise your hands. If you think that question was written by Rep. Thissen, you earned bonus points. He’s specialized in criticizing everything that Speaker Daudt did the past 2 years. That’s because he didn’t like getting cut out of the budget negotiations in 2015. He didn’t like it that Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk put the budget together in an afternoon.

The truth is that the past 2 years produced a bipartisan budget that should’ve gotten signed during the regular session. The only reason why the Tax Bill didn’t get signed into law was because our spoiled rich brat governor vetoed the bill in his attempt to get funding for a SWLRT project that has no chance of happening before the end of the first term of Minnesota’s next governor. The problem with the Tax Bill wasn’t with the legislature. That fault is exclusively with Gov. Dayton, aka Gov. Temper Tantrum.

Here’s another question:

Q3: Local government aid continues to be an important program for restraining property taxes and providing services to residents and businesses at a reasonable cost. For 2017, the LGA formula distributes approximately 66% of all LGA funds to greater Minnesota vs. 34% to the metro area. The LGA appropriations to cities across the state is still $45.5 million less than it was in 2002. Do you support the current LGA formula and would you support an increase in LGA to get back to the 2002 level?

I reject the premise that LGA is “an important program for restraining property taxes.” There’s no proof of that. Why should I accept that premise? The truth is that it’s more likely to increase spending on foolish projects in the Twin Cities than it is to stabilize property taxes.

The truth is that property taxes have increased significantly since the DFL legislature increased LGA and Gov. Dayton signed those increases into law. Here are all 8 questions from the forum:

This month-old article takes on additional importance in light of the new Wikileaks-DNC scandal. The thought that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC has to fight a class action lawsuit is terrible news for Hillary.

According to the article, attorney Jared Beck said “‘The first is a claim for fraud—against the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz—based on the revelations from the recent Guccifer 2.0 documents purportedly taken from the DNC’s own computer network.’ The Guccifer 2.0 documents include internal memos in which the DNC broke legally binding neutrality agreements in the Democratic primaries by strategizing to make Hillary Clinton the nominee before a single vote was cast.”

Think of this as the anything-but-democratic Democratic Party. As I wrote in this post, the more fitting word to describe the DNC is oligarchy. The definition of oligarchy is “a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.”

I’m not a legal eagle but this doesn’t sound good for the DNC:

The third claim alleges the DNC and Wasserman Schultz participated in deceptive conduct in claiming the DNC was neutral during the Democratic primaries, when there is overwhelming evidence suggesting favoritism of Clinton from the beginning.

These 19,000 documents make it difficult for the DNC to testify under oath in court that the DNC was neutral. Not only are the documents proof that the DNC wasn’t impartial but it’s proof that they put this plan in motion with the intent of tipping the race to Hillary. This won’t help DWS either:

This isn’t going away any time soon, though CNN and MSNBC are doing their best to minimize its impact.

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For years, Iron Range DFLers have fought the environmental activist wing of the DFL over mining. Simply put, the environmental activist wing has pretty much cleaned the Iron Range’s clock on mining issues, at least at state conventions. This year wasn’t any different in that the Iron Range is still treated like second-class citizens by the environmental activists. It’s gotten so bad that defeating an anti-mining resolution is cause for celebration within the Iron Range community.

The Mesabi Daily News editorial notes “Iron Range DFLers and some of their union allies fought a good and successful fight on Saturday to block Resolution 54 that was a flat-out repudiation of mining in Minnesota. We applaud the work of Range legislators, local government and mining industry officials, and building trades representatives statewide who always have our backs. They all did a great job to beat back this resolution — at least for now.”

Preventing bad things from happening is sometimes a victory. Still, it isn’t a victory that improves the Iron Range economy. The Mesabi Daily News gets that:

But to have to keep waging this battle against strident and narrow-minded opponents of mining is simply outrageous. These are the same people who love their cell phones, computers, so-called green energy windmills that kill more birds than do hunters, vehicles with catalytic converters and medical devices that may someday make their lives bearable or perhaps even keep them alive.

Yet when you point out to them that the reason they have these everyday conveniences, and, in some cases luxuries, is because of copper, nickel, and precious metals that will be mined on the Range, they pretend you’re invisible. And then when you add that if mined in China or Russia or in some other countries so blessed to have these minerals, the work will be done by child labor or workers making dirt-poor wages, they get a glazed-over look.

The newspaper then notes something truly monumental:

This is what Range legislators are up against each and every day in St. Paul within their own political party. This is no longer the party of Hubert Humphrey — a giant of a man who fought for workers throughout the state, including on the Iron Range.

He was a man who understood the importance of mining and agriculture to the state and the DFL Party. And he applied common sense to mining and farm issues. Farmers and others who are in agriculture-related business are now also often under fire by DFL extreme environmental activists who lob salvo after political salvo at the Iron Range and its mining interests and workers.

At the 2014 DFL State Convention in Duluth, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin fought hard to prevent a resolution from being debated. That resolution would’ve said that “The DFL supports mining.” It was considered too controversial.

Imagine how this would fly in today’s DFL:

He’d be run out of today’s DFL.

It’s long past time for the Range to flip. The environmental activist wing of the DFL isn’t changing anytime soon. They are who they are, which is a collection of ideologically blinded idiots who won’t listen to logic. Expecting the environmental activist wing of the DFL to change is like hoping Donald Trump will suddenly not be the thin-skinned jerk that he is. The environmental activist wing of the DFL will change the day I see Lucifer handing out skates.

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