Archive for the ‘Agenda Media’ Category
There was a time when Gloria Borger was a serious journalist. After this week’s lovefest, it’s clear that she should be shipped to MSNBC, where undisciplined progressive hacks go for their final acts. Check out this slobbering Obama lovefest:
In case you haven’t noticed, President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles lately. On paper, it’s a head-scratcher. After all, he lost control of the Senate in the last election. His popularity is hovering near an all-time low. And, of course, he’s a lame duck.
Only no one seems to have told him. It’s as if he has shed his Clark Kent-ish demeanor for the more flamboyant cape. He’s no Superman, to be sure, but he’s spending an awful lot of time lately trying to get off the ground.
If Ms. Borger lavishes more praise on President Obama, she’ll be in danger of reminding people of the Obama rallies of 2008 where people fainted from excitement while listening to him. She’s acting like a giddy schoolgirl when she’s around her first crush.
With an introduction like that, it isn’t wise to think we’ll get anything useful from the rest of her article. After reading this crap, it’s safe to say that she lived down to my expectations:
And all that pent-up energy, ambition and action, barely two months after losing control of the Senate. Can this be no-drama Obama? “Anyone would become annoyed and frustrated if you were accused of being a wuss,” says a senior Democratic policy adviser. “And it’s always better to be on offense than defense.”
Everyone knows the old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Actually, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Similarly, it isn’t always better to be on offense. President Obama’s actions have been exceptionally stupid from a political standpoint.
In the latest Fox News poll, 60% of registered voters surveyed disapproved of his handling of immigration, compared with 36% who approved. Apparently, the people polled didn’t get Ms. Borger’s gushy memo that President Obama is Superman. Further, it’s worth questioning whether doing things the people don’t like is helping the Democratic Party for 2016.
At this point, Republicans should pray that President Obama should continue acting this obnoxious. If he continues acting like a spoiled brat who thinks that this nation’s laws don’t apply to him, he’ll sink the Democratic Party for 2016.
It wasn’t exactly a state secret that Obama had a lot on his to-do list after the election. The thinking, according to a knowledgeable source: He felt constrained and frustrated by his tactical responsibilities to Democrats in trouble. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make Democrats take hard votes. Don’t even campaign in red states. So he didn’t. And, as it turns out, the restraint helped not one whit.
So now, with the clock ticking, he’s moved from party cheerleader to the head of the executive branch. It’s Katie-bar-the-door, with or without the Congress. ‘Tis the season for a presidential list, and he’s checking it twice — as his legacy looms. Everything he is doing redefines the very notion of a lame duck.
The things President Obama is doing through executive orders will be immediately undone by executive orders when Republicans retake the White House in 2017. That’s if they last that long. It’s quite possible the courts will put a thumping on his most exotic executive actions long before then.
It isn’t like President Obama hasn’t gotten thumped repeatedly by the Supreme Court. At last count, they’ve ruled unanimously his executive power grabs 13 straight times and counting.
President Obama is making the 2016 election about him, mostly because he’s a narcissist. He can’t help himself. Little Ms. Borger apparently hasn’t figured it out that he’s toxic. People want him to exit the stage. It’s apparent that, in most people’s minds, the 2016 election can’t get here soon enough. It’s time for President Obama to go. While he’s leaving, I’d appreciate it if he took Ms. Borger with him. We need real journalists, not over-the-hill cheerleaders.
This Our View editorial in the Times isn’t surprising considering their disgust with conviction politicians. It isn’t surprising that the Times is running interference for St. Cloud State again.
Councilman Johnson’s understanding of the airline industry has caused him to ask a number of pointed questions about daily flight service to Chicago. Being an expert on that issue isn’t a liability, though the Times apparently think it’s a liability. It’s a strength. Councilman Johnson isn’t afraid to ask tough questions while the Times and other politicians try sweeping things under the rug.
Further, it’s beyond galling to see the Times write about conflicts of interest, especially with regards to St. Cloud State. The Times has played multiple roles in its relationship with St. Cloud State and President Potter. They’ve been SCSU’s PR agency. They’ve been Potter’s stenographer, too. Unfortunately, the thing they haven’t been are unbiased reporters of fact.
If you weren’t reading LFR, you likely don’t know that SCSU has hidden, with the Times’ help, the fact that administrators have erased students’ participation in classes from the University’s official transcripts. If you haven’t read LFR, you certainly wouldn’t know that St. Cloud State’s tuition revenues have dropped dramatically thanks to a precipitous drop in enrollment. One Times article even said that enrollment for a semester was only down 1.3%, which is technically accurate if you’re going by headcount enrollment.
Had the Times reported that FYE enrollment, which is the only enrollment that’s predictive of tuition revenues, that semester was down close to 5%, they might’ve seen this year’s $9,542,000 budget deficit. Unfortunately, they didn’t report it, then were surprised when President Potter was forced to announce that SCSU’s operating deficit for FY2015 will be at least $9,542,000. It’s still possible, unfortunately, that it might reach higher.
If you haven’t read LFR, you wouldn’t know that President Potter’s trust rating with the faculty was terrible. The best that the Times has done is admit that there’s a problem and that both sides need to work together to solve the problem. The Times hasn’t said anything critical of President Potter with respect to the Great Place to Work Institute’s Trust Index Survey. When the Institute asked if the administration didn’t play politics, only 17% of faculty agreed with that statement.
Not surprisingly, the Times didn’t report that. Instead, they talked about the need for both sides to work together.
LFR is calling on the Times to abandon their SCSU cheerleader uniforms and to become a serious news organization. Their unwavering support for President Potter, frankly, is disgusting. If they won’t stop being President Potter’s off-campus PR firm, then people shouldn’t take their Our View editorials seriously.
Stan Hubbard’s response to the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists’ denunciation of KSTP highlights Mr. Hubbard’s substantive criticism of MNSPJ. First, here’s the reason behind Mr. Hubbard’s response:
On November 19, 2014, the Minnesota SPJ asked KSTP-TV to “disavow” its reporting, saying that our story was “fundamentally flawed and based on a faulty premise.” This, because you decided the image in the report showed Mayor Hodges making what the Chapter called a “silly gesture.” KSTP-TV reported that gesture as a known gang sign. We were informed of that fact by several law enforcement agencies. You even went so far as to suggest that we would try to mislead. To suggest that KSTP-TV would ever deliberately distort any fact in any story is totally out of line. We have never done so and we never will do so.
Thanks to Mr. Hubbard’s response, the SPJ has exposed itself as a leading voice of the Agenda Media:
Perhaps most disappointing of all is the fact that most, if not all, serious news organizations that addressed our coverage, including the board of the Minnesota SPJ, simply “followed the herd” and tracked the trend on Twitter in their derision of our coverage. Rather than responsibly questioning law enforcement’s motivation in bringing this story forward, and digging deep into whether it truly represented a public safety issue, they instead chose to simply ignore that which was reported, and go with the much easier and much more popular “silly gesture” angle.
Twittersphere journalism isn’t journalism. It’s shortcut journalism, which isn’t real journalism. The question that SPJ hasn’t answered is the question that SPJ won’t answer. Why didn’t SPJ’s news organizations do the research that KSTP did? Why didn’t SPJ member organizations check into law enforcement’s claims that Mayor Hodges’ actions presented a public safety issue?
Clearly it is disturbing to many that otherwise playful gestures presumably innocently made by a public official can have a totally unintended meaning in a different context. Nonetheless, that is exactly what our reporters were told by numerous law enforcement sources. Namely, that while a “gun” gesture may be funny and innocent in many contexts, it is neither funny nor innocent in a neighborhood plagued by gun violence and a “foothold of area gangs.” The recent announcement by federal officials that the indictment of 11 high profile individuals from two warring gangs, allegedly involved in the North Minneapolis drug and weapon trade, underscores the seriousness of the current gang situation.
Why isn’t SPJ interested in this? Is it because they aren’t interested in the seriousness of the issue? Or is it that this information doesn’t fit their script? Whatever the reason for their disdain, their willingness to ignore the seriousness of gun and gang violence is disturbing at minimum. This is something that’s troubling, too:
Public records reflect that Mr. Gordon had been arrested for aggravated armed robbery on August 2, 2014, two months before the picture in question was taken.
That’s disturbing on steroids. Why would Mayor Hodges campaign with a thug facing charges for aggravated armed robbery? Further, why is the DFL reaching out to criminals in their campaigns? Why aren’t SPJ organizations interested in this story angle? Finally, why didn’t SPJ admit that a mayor campaigning with a thug who’s been arrested on aggravated armed robbery charges is a big deal?
Simply put, the SPJ’s disinterest in these substantive angles verifies the fact that the SPJ isn’t that interested in substantive reporting. It verifies that they’re more interested in pushing the progressives’ agenda.
Technorati: Stan Hubbard, KSTP-TV, Law Enforcement, Navell Gordon, Aggravated Armed Robbery, Betsy Hodges, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Gang Violence, Stick Up Boys, Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, Agenda Media, DFL, Election 2014
This article presents this year’s vulnerable Democrats as hawkish:
Democrat Kay Hagan didn’t mince words about the Iraq War during her 2008 Senate campaign against Republican Elizabeth Dole. “We need to get out of Iraq in a responsible way,” Hagan declared in May of that year. “We need to elect leaders who don’t invade countries without planning and stay there without an end.”
Hagan is striking a different chord these days. Locked in a tough reelection battle, the first-term senator boasts that she’s more strongly supportive of airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants than her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, and says she’s been pressing the Obama administration to arm Syrian rebels since early last year.
“This is the time for us to come together, Democrats and Republicans, to confront the challenges that are facing our nation,” she said this month.
What’s interesting (noteworthy?) is that the terrorists haven’t changed their belief that the infidels must be killed or put into servitude. I’m confident that these doves haven’t changed their opinion of war, either. I’m certain that they’re acting hawkish now…to an extent.
Al Franken still doesn’t want boots on the ground, though he wants ISIL defeated. That’s what a focus grouped response sounds like. That isn’t a substantive answer. It’s a political answer aimed at getting him through this election. Without angry men with rifles, ground can’t be take and terrorists can’t be defeated.
We don’t need idiots in the Senate fulfilling faux advise and consent responsibilities. That’s what the Democrats are providing and it’s disgraceful. I’m betting that Sen. Hagan couldn’t have explained the definition of getting out of Iraq “in a responsible way” meant then. I’m positive that Sen. Franken can’t explain how to decapitate ISIL without putting boots on the ground. Sen. Franken is a policy lightweight and a political rubberstamp.
The only thing more frightening than getting lectured about national security by President Obama is the thought that Al Franken and Kay Hagan are giving President Obama advice on how to decapitate ISIL.
Sayng that Sen. Reid has a distant relationship with the truth isn’t accurate. Saying that he doesn’t have a relationship with the truth might be the truth. Sen. Reid’s statements frequently don’t touch the truth. Take Sen. Reid’s tweet this morning:
I confess I’ve never seen some Senators work so hard to do so little. My GOP colleagues have exerted effort to cause nothing to get done.
I won’t pull punches by saying it’s disappointing to hear Sen. Reid distance himself from the truth. Instead, I’ll simply say that Sen. Reid’s frequent lies are disgusting. If he wasn’t protected by the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution, he’d be the defendant in a multitude of slander and libel lawsuits.
Saying that Sen. Reid’s a despicable human being doesn’t cover it. Saying that he’s evil gets a little closer. Sen. Reid’s statement this morning, though, is proof that his disregard for the truth is exposed to Americans of all political stripes.
Sen. Reid’s statement is verifiably false because Republicans have bills with bipartisan support piling up in the Senate because Sen. Reid won’t let them get debated. That’s right. Sen. Reid is the White House’s protector. Sen. Reid’s the obstructionist.
What’s disgusting is that the DC media haven’t shredded him for his disgusting relationship with the truth. About a month ago, Mara Liasson let the cat out of the bag when she said that Democrats think Sen. Reid is effective. There’s no question that Democrats think that about Sen. Reid. If Democrats cared more about honesty and integrity than they care about holding onto power, they would’ve run Sen. Reid out of DC 5 years ago.
If the media cared about integrity in DC, they would’ve blistered Sen. Reid with biting, hard-hitting questions. That they haven’t done that says that they’re interested in seeing Sen. Reid continue with his daily dishonest diatribes. Apparently, they aren’t interested in holding our nation’s leaders accountable for telling whoppers.
When was the last time the networks took Sen. Reid to the woodshed for his lies? Better yet, have the networks criticized Sen. Reid for his lies? It wouldn’t surprise me if they hadn’t. It wouldn’t surprise me because the DC media is best characterized as the Agenda Media. They don’t see actual reporting as being their responsibility. In their eyes, their responsibility is to push the liberals’ agenda.
First, it’s the media’s responsibility to call Sen. Reid out for his lies. Next, it’s the Democrats’ responsibility to criticize Sen. Reid for being the disgustingly dishonest politician that he is. Finally, it’s time that the media started reporting on all the bills with bipartisan support that are piling up on Sen. Reid’s desk.
If the media won’t criticize Sen. Reid, then we’ll have verifiable proof that they’re almost as disinterested in the truth as Sen. Reid. If Democrats won’t start openly criticizing Sen. Reid, then we’ll know that their only priority is to maintain control of the Senate.
If that happens, then voters should throw out the Reid/Obama enablers. Thanks to President Obama’s wayward agenda, this nation is in trouble. If Democrats are more worried about maintaining control of the Senate than they’re worried about fixing what’s wrong with the nation, they should be punished at the ballot box this November.
If Harry Reid had said that he had sources who told him that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years while he was at a fundraiser, he would’ve gotten sued into bankruptcy by Mitt Romney. Sen. Reid essentially admitted that he didn’t have proof to verify his accusation when he said that he shouldn’t have to prove it, that the accusation was against Gov. Romney, not him.
That’s BS. The accusation against Sen. Reid is that he’s a liar who’s epeatedly gotten caught lying. Victor Davis Hanson’s article provides substantial ammunition against Sen. Reid:
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Reid libeled candidate Mitt Romney with the unsubstantiated and later-refuted charge that Romney was a tax cheat. “The word’s out that he [Romney] hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years,” Reid said.
Later, when asked for proof, Reid offered a pathetic rejoinder: “I have had a number of people tell me that.” One wonders how many names were on Reid’s McCarthyite “tell” list — were there, as McCarthy used to bluster, 205 names, or perhaps just 57?
When asked again to document the slur, Reid echoed McCarthy perfectly: “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.”
That’s just part of the proof of Sen. Reid’s McCarthyite accusations.
Reid has also brought back McCarthy’s custom of vicious and sometimes profane insults. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Reid announced: “I can’t stand John McCain.” Of then-President George W. Bush, Reid said: “President Bush is a liar.” Reid claimed that fellow Mormon Mitt Romney had “sullied” his religion.
When Gen. David Petraeus brought proof to Congress that the surge in Iraq was beginning to work by late 2007, Reid declared, “No, I don’t believe him, because it’s not happening.” He elaborated on that charge by labeling Petraeus, at the time the senior ground commander of U.S. forces fighting in Iraq, a veritable liar. Reid alleged that Petraeus “has made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual.”
What’s stunning is that his Democratic colleagues in the Senate haven’t criticized him for his despicable, McCarthyite, unethical behavior. Neither has anyone in the supposedly MSM.
Jeanne Shaheen hasn’t criticized Sen. Reid for his McCarthyite rantings. Mary Landrieu, Mark Udall, Mark Begich, Kay Hagans, Al Franken and Mark Pryor haven’t criticized him for his McCarthyite antics, either.
In fact, Al Franken has virtually repeated Sen. Reid’s rants against the Koch brothers, the Democrats’ latest villains. I wrote this post to highlight the Koch brothers’ crimes against America:
Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.
Reid’s and Franken’s repeated rants against the Koch brothers are rants against people who want to get rid of corporate welfare. That isn’t something to vilify the Koch brothers for. That’s something that should be celebrated. Here’s something else that should be celebrated:
Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the [EPA and OSHA]. EPA officials have commended us for our “commitment to a cleaner environment” and called us “a model for other companies.”
Mark Pryor is so disgusting that he thinks Tom Cotton, who served 2 tours of duty in Iraq, is a spoiled brat who thinks he’s entitled to a seat in the US Senate.
To summarize, Sen. Reid’s malicious lies against the Democrats’ latest villain say that he’s willing to say anything despicable to help his candidates. Sen. Franken’s mindless rants against people who want to eliminate corporate welfare and whose employees have literally won hundreds of “environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009″ say that he’s content with vilifying good corporate citizes for political gain. Sen. Pryor’s hate-filled, anti-military rantings tell us that he’s a contemptible excuse for a human being.
It’s one thing to hit political opponents hard with verifiable facts. That’s called playing political hardball. When Sen. Franken lies about American industrialists who’ve contributed greatly to their employees’ lives, that’s called despicable behavior. When a U.S. senator criticizes a military veteran of being pampered and having an entitlement mentality, that’s proof that he’s a despicable human being who doesn’t have the requisite character to be a senator.
There’s only one conclusion to be drawn from this proof. The Democratic Party is an immoral political party. They haven’t hesitated in lying about the Koch brothers, Mitt Romney or Tom Cotton. Their senators have stayed silent while Sen. Reid maligned Gov. Romney, thereby giving their silent consent to Sen. Reid’s despicable actions.
The Democrats’ culture of corruption stinks to high heavens. It’s time to eliminate that stench from Washington, DC. It’s time to start fresh with people who’ll listen to the American people.
That’s the only way to restore trust in the institutions of government.
Technorati: Harry Reid, McCarthyism, Slander, Al Franken, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, Culture of Corruption, Crony Capitalism, Corporate Welfare, Agenda Media, Praetorian Guard, Democrats, Koch Brothers, Industrialists, Tom Cotton, Iraq War Veteran, Conservatism, Election 2014
It was impossible to do a proper critique of the Times article in a single post so here’s Part II. First, let’s start with more Potter spin:
Potter said he was proud of the university community for the way it responded to the questions, and he noted that St. Cloud State was one of only a few higher education institutions to participate in this type of survey.
“It’s a risky thing to do. We knew that we would get some hard messages back,” he said. “We knew that we would not be near the top, that we have a long way to go. But (we) felt it was absolutely essential to take the step and move our culture forward.”
Fortunately for President Potter, the Times buried those hard messages from employees under a pile of manure. When the vast majority of employees think that the boss is incompetent and untrustworthy, those aren’t the ingredients for a great place to work. As damning as those things are, this might be the worst criticism of the Potter administration:
The survey was the idea of Holly Schoenherr, the university’s human resources director. Shortly after she started two years ago, she began to hear about employees who felt they were being bullied in the workplace and about concerns regarding civil discourse.
I’ve spoken with several SCSU professors. They won’t go on the record for fear of retribution from President Potter, corrupt members of the faculty or both. The pervasive atmosphere amongst faculty is that retribution is considered a management tool by the administration and their apologists.
What’s puzzling is that Mr. Unze didn’t ask Ms. Schoenherr whether the survey showed if the bullying had persisted. Also, why didn’t Mr. Unze ask whether the discourse had improved from being hostile? These are questions that should’ve been asked. These are questions that the public has a right to know.
As amateurish as the Times’ reporting is, that isn’t the focus of this post. What’s important is that this post highlight President Potter’s management (mismanagement?) style, the on-campus bullying and whether steps have been taken to improve on-campus morale.
Based on the information contained in this post, I’d argue that nothing concrete has changed:
The statistics speak for themselves. People don’t trust President Potter because his actions don’t match his words, because “management isn’t approachable” and because they think he’s incompetent.
There’s no reason to think President Potter will change. Absent him changing dramatically, the problems at SCSU will persist. No amount of spin from the administration and the St. Cloud Times will change that fact.
For the umpteenth time, the St. Cloud Times treated disastrous news for President Potter like it was a minor bump in the road. Most importantly, the article showed how lazy Times reporter Dave Unze is:
The survey was offered to all 1,582 university employees and generated a response from 40 percent of them. The university released the answers to two questions that were asked of those employees: What makes St. Cloud State a great place to work, and what would make the school a better place to work?
That’s pathetic ‘reporting’. Why didn’t Unze ask for the other questions in the survey? This is the type of ‘journalism’ I’d expect from TMZ. Jon Stewart asks harder hitting questions than this. But I digress.
The survey’s findings are devastating to President Potter. Just look at this graphic:
Here’s what I wrote when I got the full results of the GPTWI survey:
When asked if “management’s words match its actions”, only 24% of respondents said yes. When asked if “management is competent”, only 32% said yes. When asked if “management makes sound financial decisions”, only 28% said they did.
Instead of digging into the meat of the survey, the Times picked out two softball questions that doesn’t get to the heart of the survey. That isn’t reporting. That’s insulting to the point that I should question whether President Potter is paying the Times to be his off-campus PR firm.
The graphic titled the numbers tell the story raises some important questions about President Potter’s competency and trustworthiness. In addition to the questions in the above paragraph, there are other damning questions. Here are some examples:
- Only 20% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management shares information openly and transparently.
- Only 29% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management is approachable.
- Only 26% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management delivers on its promises.
- Only 25% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management has a clear view.
The Times is cheating its readers by not asking hard-hitting questions. Apparently, the Times’ goal is to take whatever information President Potter gives them, then turns it into a story that praises President Potter.
President Potter’s decisions have taken St. Cloud State from being the flagship university in the MnSCU to being a distant 2nd place and fading fast. The only thing more disgusting than SCSU’s decline during President Potter’s watch is how the St. Cloud Times has refused to challenge President Potter’s spin.
The damning information is there for those willing to look for it. It’s apparent that Dave Unze isn’t willing to look for that type of information. It’s apparent that the Times management isn’t interested in holding Mr. Unze accountable for not digging into the story the way a real reporter would do.
This paragraph is insulting:
“As in any complex organization, there are folks that think that St. Cloud State is a great place to work. There is strong agreement among them about why they think that’s true,” Potter said.
When only a third of SCSU employees think management is competent, that’s a sign that there aren’t many folks who think SCSU is a great place to work.” When a fourth of SCSU’s employees think that management’s words match its actions, it’s impossible to think that SCSU employees trust President Potter and his senior management team. In the private sector, those survey results would get the CEO terminated immediately.
This news article could’ve been written by Denise Cardinal or Carrie Lucking:
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $616 million tax cut plan for the state on Friday, and this is one measure that can truly be described as “bi-partisan.”
Lawmakers tell us that the bill was in the works for a short while as everyone knew this was something the state desperately needed.
Minnesota State Rep. Kim Norton, (D) Rochester, says she’s thrilled to have this bill passed and signed by the governor and having it pass quickly as some of the cuts apply to tax returns being filed right now.
“The Senate took the bill on the House floor this last week,” she said, “it was sent over to the house, we concurred with their bill very quickly, there was a little bit of discussion but there were no amendments on the house side. We were able to vote it into law and send it to the governor for his signature very quickly.”
It might have been a speedy process, but it was thorough.
That’s the definition of spin. First, the bill that Gov. Dayton just signed isn’t a tax cut. It’s mostly the repeal of a tiny portion of last year’s tax increase, which was the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. Next, the amount of taxes repealed didn’t come close to $616,000,000. It’s been reported that the repeal saved Minnesota taxpayers $440,000,000. Repealing taxes that haven’t gone into effect isn’t a tax cut.
Third, this bill wasn’t in the works just “a short while.” The repeal of the warehouse services sales tax, the farm equipment repair sales tax and the telecommunications sales tax were initially proposed prior to last summer’s special session. That’s 7 months ago. That’s longer than a legislative session by a couple months.
Fourth, the tax repair bill that Gov. Dayton signed wasn’t signed because he and the DFL legislature love cutting taxes. Gov. Dayton didn’t sign this bill because he hates raising taxes. Gov. Dayton signed this bill because not repealing these taxes would’ve been political suicide.
Fifth, the process wasn’t thorough. I wrote here about how little the DFL thought their tax increases through. Here’s the transcript between Rep. Kurt Zellers and Commissioner Myron Frans:
REP. ZELLERS: But if I pay him every month $20 or $100, is that going to be or is he going to have to start collecting sales tax and remitting it to the State of Minnesota?
COMMISSIONER FRANS: …He probably would. If it was a monthly charge, then there likely would be a sales tax charge.
REP. ZELLERS: So then someone mowing my lawn, someone shovelling snow for me during the winter time or a babysitter?
COMMISSIONER FRANS: Those services would generally all be covered by the sales tax.
The DFL’s leadership didn’t even think basic things through. Commissioner Frans couldn’t even answer basic questions about what would and wouldn’t be taxed.
Republicans shouldn’t kid themselves. The DFL’s praetorian guard, aka the Agenda Media, is already running interference for the DFL. Think of what it’ll be like when the campaign gets into full swing. Republicans should get out ahead of this issue now and return to it repeatedly. This isn’t the time to take things for granted. It’s time to demolish the Agenda Media’s premise before it’s considered the truth.
Repealing a tiny portion of the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history is just that: the repealing of a tiny portion of the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history.
A thief who steals some jewelry, a hi-definition big screen TV and some kitchen appliances is still a thief if the thief returns the kitchen appliances.
This article sickens me because it’s intellectually dishonest. Baird Helgeson is intent on portraying the DFL as heroic tax cutters. That’s BS. The DFL is the party that taxes first, then waits to see if there’s a backlash. If there’s a backlash, they pass a Tax Repair Bill like they did Friday.
“This is a monumental victory for the DFL leadership in the Legislature and just shows that we have a balanced approach to Minnesota,” Dayton said during a celebratory news conference with DFL House and Senate leaders. “That’s what people wanted.”
Despite Gov. Dayton’s attempt to praise the DFL leadership in the House and Senate, it’s just proof that Gov. Dayton is intent on painting over his criticism of Sen. Bakk earlier this week. Here’s what he said earlier this week:
I’m very disappointed that we have not been able to reach a bill and frankly, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon with House and Senate leaders. I just have to say that the impasse isn’t around the tax bill. It’s about the Legislative Office Building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building and they aren’t willing to let a reasonable tax bill proceed on a timely basis until they get the building and the House’s unwillingness at this point to agree to that. So I hope that Minnesotans will communicate with their legislators, and these are Democrat legislators, I’m sorry to say, that this is inexcusable and unacceptable.
Which is it, Gov. Dayton? Does Sen. Bakk deserve praise for stalling a bill to pressure the House into approving Bakk’s Palace? Does the DFL deserve praise for passing the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history last year, then repealing a tiny fraction of them this year? Does the DFL deserve praise for raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000 last year, then giving $440,000,000 of that back this year?
Minnesotans shouldn’t be happy that the DFL finally listened to them. They shouldn’t be happy that the DFL did the right thing only after the DFL started worrying about this year’s elections. That isn’t representing the people. That’s voting the DFL’s ideology.
It’s proof that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.
The House and Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly on Friday. Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.
Putting that much money into the state’s rainy day fund is criminal. That’s stealing money from businesses that would create jobs with it. The DFL is putting money aside so the DFL won’t have to spend money efficiently. They’d rather pay off their special interest allies with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The DFL wouldn’t be able to pay off their special interest allies with taxpayers money if money was spent efficiently. It’s time the DFL stopped feeding their special interest allies and started representing their constituents.
Thus far, the DFL hasn’t proven that they’re interested in doing the right thing the first time. They’ve proven quite the opposite. This week, the DFL proved that they’ll do the right thing only when they’re worried about the next election.
That isn’t leadership. That’s called brinksmanship, which shouldn’t be rewarded with praise. This isn’t tax relief:
Much of the tax relief is delivered by conforming to recent changes in federal tax law, and about $57 million of it is retroactive to taxes paid in 2013.
Typically, tax conformity is the first bill passed by the legislature each year. It’s typically the first bill the governor signs each year. By waiting until after thousands of people have filed their tax returns before passing the tax conformity bill, the DFL just caused taxpayers the headache of filing an amended return. The DFL didn’t give thousands of people the opportunity to do their taxes once. Instead, Sen. Bakk opted to force thousands to file amended returns.
That isn’t cause for celebration. That’s cause for criticism. The DFL, specifically Sen. Bakk, put a high priority on getting the Senate Office Building approved. The DFL, especially Sen. Bakk, didn’t put a high priority on passing what I’m calling the Tax Repair Bill. Sen. Bakk said that the Senate couldn’t be rushed into passing the Tax Repair Bill because they were studying the impacts the tax repeals would have.
Sen. Bakk said that until he was exposed as playing political games with the Tax Repair Bill. Then he went into warp speed.
The GOP deserves praise in this for not supporting the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. The GOP deserves praise for not buying into the DFL’s counterproductive tax increases. Minnesotans deserve praise for passionately criticizing the DFL’s tax increases.
UPDATE: This video is sickening:
Speaker Thissen spoke about tax relief for possibly 1,000,000 Minnesotans. Sen. Bakk praised the DFL for working at warp speed to get these tax ‘cuts’ passed. Isn’t it interesting that Sen. Bakk conveniently omitted the part about how he tried holding the tax repeals hostage to force the House to approve his Senate Office Building project? He didn’t budge until Gov. Dayton threw him under the bus because the political backlash was threatening a second Dayton term.
Sen. Bakk deserves criticism for playing politics with this Tax Repair Bill. Speaker Thissen and Gov. Dayton deserve criticism for passing the original tax increases which they repealed Friday. The DFL ‘leadership’ deserves criticism for putting a higher priority on voting their ideology than representing their constituents.
The good news is that we can fix two-thirds of the problem this November.