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It’s increasingly clear that the Agenda Media, aka the MSM, is intent on creating an artificial constitutional crisis. I offer Doyle McManus’ column as proof of this affliction.

In writing, you’re told to not bury the lede. Mr. McManus certainly didn’t do that. The opening paragraph of Mr. McManus’ column says “President Trump has openly declared war on Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russian saga. The president clearly wishes he could fire Mueller; his associates say he’s mused about that for weeks. Now, by stepping up the pressure, he’s moving toward a showdown, and a possible constitutional crisis.”

First, the president can fire Mueller without triggering a constitutional crisis. It wouldn’t be the smartest move politically but it wouldn’t trigger a constitutional crisis. The next paragraph is just as hyperbolic, saying “There’s plenty of other craziness billowing from the White House: lawyers considering whether the president can pardon himself, the president publicly denouncing his attorney general for failing to protect him. But the clearest portent of a crisis is the president’s increasingly evident desire to be rid of the meddlesome prosecutor, who appears to be doing his job too well.”

If conflation were an Olympic event, Mr. McManus would be the gold medalist. Yes, it wasn’t bright for President Trump to publicly criticize Jeff Sessions. Still, jumping from that to saying “the meddlesome prosecutor” “appears to be doing his job too well” is a mighty leap.

At this point, Mueller looks more like the establishment’s hit man than an honest man seeking the truth. Roger Simon’s article highlights Mueller’s potential pitfalls, saying “significant portion of the American public, myself admittedly among them, will be convinced he has been railroaded in a partisan hatchet job. The voters who elected the president are going to feel, at the very least, undermined, more likely betrayed, & by their own government and public officials. Many are going to feel this has nothing to do whatsoever with justice and will act accordingly.”

After months of searching for a crime, Mueller still hasn’t found one. Adam Schiff, who specializes in running for Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat, still hasn’t found a crime. He’s great at making accusations but he’s terrible at offering proof for his accusations.

The MSM is disgracing itself. This is a perfect example:

If Trump had business relationships with Russians who could be acting on behalf of Vladimir Putin, that would seem quite relevant.

Then there’s this stupidity:

The nightmare haunting Trump, of course, is the history of past counsels — especially Kenneth Starr, who took an inquest into Bill Clinton’s family finances and turned it into an investigation of sex and perjury.

The key difference between the Starr investigation and the Mueller fishing expedition is that Starr’s investigation expanded because judges expanded the investigation. Another important difference is that the statute that Ken Starr operated under expired.

Perhaps, at one time, Mueller was a man of integrity. Expanding his fishing expedition this far afield, though, appears intent on creating a legacy rather than seeking justice. Similarly, at one time, the MSM attempted to look semi-impartial. Those days seem like ancient history.

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I’ve literally been saying for years that reporters assigned to DC Echochamber news outlets have mischaracterized people’s actions. I’ve even left open the possibility that these mischaracterizations might’ve been intentional. This Greg Gutfeld monologue cuts to the heart of the matter. In his monologue, Gutfeld notes that “this last weekend we saw countless reporters in Hamburg and elsewhere refer to thuggish clans in black disguises as protesters. These were people destroying property and harming those trying to protect and serve the community. We watched cars burn, businesses looted, and police injured by disguised fascists. And we listened to them being referred to as ‘protesters.'”

When I picture protesters, I picture Martin Luther King staging a peaceful protest. What comes to mind when I see cars burning, I think of the race riots of the late 60s and early 70s. The mask-wearing thugs in Hamburg remind me more of the latter than the former.

It’s time we stopped calling the people in Ferguson, Baltimore and Minneapolis protesters. In Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter activists threw concrete blocks at police officers from a bridge spanning I-94. That isn’t what protesters do. It’s what rioters do. Also in Minneapolis, rioters chanted “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” Again, that’s what rioters do. That isn’t what protesters do.

Then there’s the riot in NYC where the rioters chanted “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.”

That’s before talking about the “hands up, don’t shoot” myth from Ferguson, MO and the riots in Baltimore that were fueled by race hustlers like Al Sharpton. It’s time we stopped thinking of these thugs as civil rights demonstrators. They’re nothing of the sort. They’re low-life street thugs, nothing more.

Gutfeld continued with this:

One CNN headline:
“G20 protesters set street fires, loot stores.”
“Protesters.” No, they’re criminal gangs.
“Street fires.” Otherwise known as “Arson.”

Then he really nailed the violent lefties:

When historians look back at this era, and the decline of the West, the media’s fingerprints will be all over the crime scene. They happily place every act within the identity politic paradigm – paving the road for the lawlessness seen in Hamburg (and elsewhere).

The left still deserves tons of criticism but no more than the media who stoke the tension by ignoring the truth. Then there’s this:

Leftism follows the same script. If your ideas cannot survive debate, what do you do? You advocate for force. Progressivism requires chaotic, violent rage to ensure their toxic ideas persist.

The chance that the MSM will stop following this script is virtually nonexistent. The only option thoughtful people have is to gather their information through non-traditional sources. Right now, that’s people’s best option.

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Elizabeth Warren’s go-to line is that the American economy is rigged against the little guy. She’s actually right. Big government, high tax rates and a complicated tax code give the rich too many undeserved advantages. This op-ed, written by Rep. Ron Estes, (R-KS), asks some pointed questions that Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders probably don’t want to answer.

For instance, I’m fairly certain Sen. Warren wouldn’t want to reply when Rep. Estes said “Today’s code is riddled with special interest giveaways that are essentially tax earmarks or “spending” in the tax code, to quote Martin Feldstein, the chief economic adviser to former President Ronald Reagan. Tax earmarks are tax increases on everyone who doesn’t receive the benefit. They keep rates artificially high for everyone to favor the few. Do Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe families should be paying higher rates so that officially recognized Eskimo whaling captains – one beneficiary in today’s code – can pay less?”

Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders have advocated for higher tax rates but they’ve never advocated for cleaning up the tax code. Cleaning up the tax code is important because, the words of “Apple CEO Tim Cook, said on 60 Minutes in 2015, ‘This is a tax code … that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.'”

Rep. Estes said that there’s another important reason for updating the tax code:

In 2016, Americans spent $409 billion simply complying with the IRS code, according to the Tax Foundation.

What a waste of money. That’s money that should’ve been spent on creating jobs. Instead, it was spent on Big Government. Many of these carve-outs were put in place by lobbyists who advocate for the corporations that hired them. Small businesses don’t have the advocates that big corporations have.

Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders love big government. That means their policies lead directly to the policies and conditions that they complain about. Their policies also lead to income inequality. Policymakers should implement tax reform. While that’s happening, reporters should report the progress that’s getting made. Once the bill is signed, though, the MSM should question Democrats about their tax policies. They should specifically ask Sen. Sanders and Sen. Warren why they favor policies that increase income inequality while slowing economic growth in the middle class. They should ask Sen. Schumer why he hasn’t told Democrats to jump on board with tax simplification.

Those are things that might happen in a dream world. Unfortunately, the MSM won’t ask those questions because they agree with Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders. The MSM, aka the Agenda Media, will work tirelessly to protect Democrats. Anyone that thinks the MSM is fair-minded and that they seek the truth isn’t thinking straight. The MSM is mostly corrupt and shouldn’t be trusted.

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Jim Acosta probably didn’t see it coming. When he tweeted that President Trump had held a fake news conference, it isn’t likely that he anticipated getting crushed on Twitter. That’s what happened, though. It all started after the press conference when Acosta tweeted “Isn’t it a ‘fake news conference’ to take a question from a reporter who is essentially an ally of the White House?”

That’s where the bloodbath began.

Donald Trump Jr. replied “So by that logic, was every news conference for the last 8 years #fakenews Jim?” After that, Ari Fleischer replied “Jim – care to guess how many questions I took from reporters who went on to join the Obama WH?”

Acosta’s beatdown didn’t finish there. Next, he said “The other thing that was ‘fake news’ coming from President Trump is when he said, ‘Well, I keep hearing it’s 17 intelligence agencies that say Russia meddled in the election, I think it’s only three or four,’” Acosta said. ‘Where does that number come from? Where does this ‘three or four’ number come from? My suspicion…is that if we go to the administration and ask them for this question, I’m not so sure we’re going to get an answer.'”

That’s what happens when you when you send a boy to do a man’s job. Here’s the administration’s official reply:

The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizers in the American intelligence community.

When didn’t the media ask softball questions of Jay Carney? The only tough questions he got were from Ed Henry. Follow-up questions were few and far between. The people who asked questions of Carney were more like stenographers than reporters. I’d argue that Acosta is part of the Stenographers Brigade after watching this video:

When will the MSM start digging into that scandal? Will they ever dig into that scandal? Apparently, it’s ok to do nothing while Russia is hacking into our election system but it isn’t ok to have people start rumors about the possibility of a Trump campaign worker making contact with a Russian.

A decade ago, I created the term Agenda Media. It’s more true now than it’s ever been. Since President Trump was inaugurated, the MSM have acted like the Agenda Media. They aren’t reporters anymore. They’re partisans with press badges.

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Since news broke of Jim Comey’s firing yesterday, Democrats have acted like drama queens. They’ve pretended that Comey’s firing is surprising even though many of them have called for his head (or worse).

Some in the DC media wing of the Democratic Party have gone crazy:

That matches the Senate wing of the Democratic Party:

That matches the print wing of the Democratic Party:

President Donald Trump’s astonishing firing of FBI director James Comey on Tuesday afternoon raised throughout Washington the inevitable question: Is this Watergate? While Watergate was sui generis and is likely to remain so, Trump’s metastasizing crisis, and Washington’s reaction to it, make for a discomfiting reminder of that period. And suddenly it seems increasingly possible it could end the same way.

Seriously? Do Democrats realize how idiotic they sound? This isn’t a scandal. It certainly isn’t Watergate.

When Nixon fired Archibald Cox, Cox had identified a crime (the break-in of DNC headquarters in the Watergate Hotel) and had accumulated lots of incriminating evidence against President Nixon.

This nothing-burger is missing a crime and evidence. Further, the FBI has admitted that their investigation isn’t a criminal investigation. In other words, Comeygate is missing everything that Cox had when he was fired.

Other than those things, Comeygate is eerily reminiscent of Watergate.

This article points to the possibility that the Democrats’ uproar over the so-called Muslim ban is manufactured. The article starts by saying “Many of President Donald Trump’s core political supporters had a simple message on Sunday for the fiercest opponents of his immigration ban: Calm down. The relaxed reaction among the kind of voters who drove Trump’s historic upset victory – working- and middle-class residents of Midwest and the South – provided a striking contrast to the uproar that has gripped major coastal cities, where thousands of protesters flocked to airports where immigrants had been detained.”

Let’s get serious about something. Democrats didn’t utter a peep in 2011 when then-President Obama temporarily stopped admitting Iraqis when 2 al-Qa’ida in Iraq terrorists were discovered in Bowling Green, KY after getting admitted as refugees. The Washington Post’s ‘fact-checker’, Glenn Kessler tweeted his explanation for why the media didn’t say anything about Obama’s temporary halt in bringing in refugees, saying “two big differences: 1) pause was not announced at the time, done quietly. reporters only found out years later. 2) not based on religion.” Roxanne Chester put Kessler in his place with this tweet, saying “The most transparent adm did things they didn’t publish? Isn’t it the job of a free press to monitor that?”

The chances of the Democrats’ protests being spontaneous aren’t high. They’re pretty unlikely. It’s difficult to say that the grass roots are rising up when they’re rent-a-protesters. If these ‘grass roots’ activists are that into human rights, why didn’t they say anything about this?

These protests are as phony as the Democrats. It’s that simple.

Salena Zito’s article turns the spotlight on the MSM, aka the Agenda Media, to highlight why the media got this election badly wrong. Early in the article, Salena wrote about the NY Times, saying “Take The New York Times’ public editor’s laudable call for more diversity in the newsroom. ‘The executive editor, Dean Baquet, is African-American,’ Liz Spayd wrote. ‘The other editors on his masthead are white. The staff with the most diversity? The news assistants, who mostly do administrative jobs and get paid the least.'”

Then she made the important recommendation (I’d argue it’s essential) that reporters “need more people who come from a blue-collar background, who perhaps didn’t go to Brown and can be found in a pew on Sunday on a fairly regular basis.”

Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight the absurdity of E.J. Dionne’s column. He’s totally certain that a Trump administration will be a disaster with a silver lining for Democrats. Last night, on the Kelly File, Nomiki Konst ‘debated’ Marc Thiessen and Guy Benson about whether Democrats were learning the lesson of this election. Konst insisted that it was all drive about the economy.

While there’s no doubt lots of people voted for Donald Trump because they think a billionaire might know a thing or 2 about reviving this pathetic recovery, it’s more than that. Mr. Trump promises to clean up the VA scandal, build a wall on the US-Mexican border, simplify the federal tax system and rein in the out-of-control EPA. In other words, he promised to make their lives better.

Voters didn’t just reject Mrs. Clinton’s message. In battleground state after battleground state, they essentially said ‘are you out of your flipping mind? We’ve suffered through 8 years of this crap and we’re tired of it.’ But I digress.

Benson and Thiessen both talked about how the Democratic Party is incapable of talking to people of faith or blue collar workers. It’s clear that they haven’t learned their lesson because the people who are the 2 ‘finalists’ for DNC chair, Keith Ellison and Thomas Perez, are incapable of connecting with those voters.

Paul Krugman thinks the Trump economic policies will tank. Thomas Friedman thinks that the Obama administration is the best friend Israel has ever had. Other inside-the-Beltway columnists missed the fact that miners and farmers are fed up with the EPA’s regulatory overreach.

It isn’t surprising why some of the biggest punchlines in Mr. Trump’s stump speeches were criticisms of the corrupt media. That was a galvanizing message. It’s what tied the blue collar workers together with the millionaires who built their companies from the ground up.

The journalist who didn’t miss what was happening this election was Salena Zito. This video illustrates why Salena got it right:

This weekend, I spoke with Ed Morrissey. Admittedly, neither of us predicted Trump winning. We both, however, gave Trump a shot at winning going into Election Night. When I told Ed that the common denominator for both of us is that we both listened to Salena Zito, he quickly agreed. We didn’t know that he’d win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin but we knew that Trump’s message resonated with those economically disenfranchised voters.

If newsrooms don’t start sending their reporters out into the real world, if they don’t put a high priority on building a newsroom with cultural diversity, they’ll continue missing the big stories.

Finally, it’s time to thank Salena for her fantastic reporting. If she doesn’t win a slew of awards for her political reporting, it’ll prove that political editors are clueless.

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According to Wikipedia, Karen Finney is a time-tested veteran of high profile campaigns. Among other tours of duty, “Finney served four years as the spokesperson and Director of Communications at the Democratic National Committee.” Later, “Finney joined Media Matters as a senior fellow and consultant” on November 25, 2014. Ms. Finney isn’t a centrist Democrat by anyone’s stretch of the imagination.

Last night, Ms. Finney appeared on The Kelly File. SIDENOTE: Shannon Bream sat in for Ms. Kelly last night. During the interview, Ms. Finney stuck to the DNC’s script, saying “In addition to the briefing that the electors are asking for, all of this information at some point should be made public, to the American people. We are the greatest democracy on the face of the planet. We need to know if the Russians are trying to infiltrate our government in these nefarious ways. I mean, our brave men and women in our intelligence agencies and who serve in uniform, they fight to give us this type of information and to uncover these sorts of things, and I think their next commander-in-chief, Mr. Trump, owes it to them, not to just dismiss them out-of-hand … Again, if the electors are suggesting that part of their constitutional responsibility is they want to hear a briefing so that they can feel confident…”

Democrats are desperately trying to convince the public that getting a briefing is part of the electors’ responsibilities. It isn’t part of the electors’ responsibility. This is what Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution says their responsibility is:

Article II
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

As electors, what the intel community thinks about Russian hacking and causing mayhem is immaterial. As electors, their responsibility is to cast their vote for the candidate that gathered the most votes in the state. Period.

As citizens, though, they have the responsibility of demanding that their government protect against cybercrimes. Ms. Finney didn’t hold the Obama administration’s feet to the fire. She didn’t live up to the standard that she’s advocating for now. I might say that that’s hypocritical but I won’t. Instead, I’ll say that she’s exercising her right to be a partisan who’s more interested in being a good Democrat than she’s interested in being an American patriot first.

First, Jim Comey tilted the election to Trump. Next, it was fake news. After that, it was the electoral college gave Trump the victory. Now, it’s supposedly the Russians who are giving Trump the victory. I’d ask Democrats when they’ll admit that Mrs. Clinton lost because a) she was the status quo candidate, b) she ran a crappy campaign and c) an overwhelming majority of people think that the Obama administration was taking the country in the wrong direction.

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This Miami Herald editorial is a fantastic example of the Agenda Media pretending to be thoughtful journalists and policy experts. I’ll be blunt. The Miami Herald is neither. They’re a pro-Obamacare cheerleader.

That was obvious when they said “On the one hand, Republicans in Congress want to scrap Obamacare, simple as that. On the other, Mr. Trump now says he wants to keep the part of the law that prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. And he also likes the provision that allows parents to keep grown children on their policies until the age of 26.” It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure it out that some parts of the ACA are popular, even worthwhile. Likewise, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that some provisions in the ACA are counterproductive.

For instance, the provision that provided for annual bailouts of insurance companies should’ve been a giant red flag that the ACA would bankrupt the insurance companies without that provision. Another provision eliminates risk as a factor for determining premiums. What idiot thinks it’s possible for insurance companies to sell health insurance to the 60-year-old guy who’s had 3 heart attacks at the same price as the 30-year-old guy whose biggest medical bill came when he scraped his knee on the playground when he was in fifth grade?

Here’s additional proof that the Miami Herald is pro-Democrat cheerleading mouthpiece:

Salvaging this and other essential provisions while scrapping Obamacare would be the legislative equivalent of squaring the circle. There is no clear path to “repeal and replace” because Republicans have never bothered to sit down with Democrats to figure out how to improve the law that everyone, including President Obama himself, concedes is far from perfect.

Actually, this isn’t that complicated. Here in Minnesota, we had a fantastic system until the ACA shredded that system. To keep premiums low and insured rates high while making sure that people with pre-existing conditions got insurance, Minnesota set up a high-risk pool. People with pre-existing conditions bought insurance that was subsidized on a sliding scale. The less you made, the more the insurance was subsidized.

In 2007, Minnesota’s effective insured rate was 96.5%. Because these high-risk people were separated from the healthier people, the healthier people’s health insurance premiums were significantly lower than they are today.

Then there’s this:

Its essential functions are working as intended. More than 16 million Americans have gained health insurance.

That’s true but misleading:

A new study by Jonathan Gruber, one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) chief economic architects, suggests that roughly two-thirds of new Medicaid enrollees in 2014 were eligible for the program under previous state eligibility criteria—meaning that they were not made eligible by the ACA. If accurate, then a much smaller share of new Medicaid enrollees were made eligible for the program by the ACA than Washington experts commonly believe.

More people signed up because the application process got streamlined prior to the ACA’s passage. That’s proof that the Democrats’ fearmongering has already started. Republicans just need to do what’s right and things will work out fine for them.

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Today marks LFR’s 12th blogiversary. When I started blogging, social media didn’t really exist to any large extent. Twitter wars hadn’t started. We certainly didn’t have Twitchy chronicling the provocative things people said on Twitter. In fact, Twitter didn’t take off until Nancy Pelosi shut down the House of Representatives rather than vote on the Republicans’ all-of-the-above energy program. In fact, that’s why I wrote this post. John Culberson, a Republican member of the House, used Twitter to get the word out about the Republicans’ protest of Pelosi’s strong-arm tactics. When Pelosi turned off the microphones, Rep. Culberson started texting people to tell them of Ms. Pelosi’s strong-arm tactics. Then he took to Twitter.

I started blogging because the so-called MSM wasn’t interested in supplying important information to the people. I hoped that bloggers would create the competition that would force the MSM to start doing their job. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. If anything, it’s gotten worse. The MSM quickly transformed into the Agenda Media, a phrase I coined years before Rush coined the phrase ‘Drive-By Media’. I still think my phrase is a better fit.

LFR’s pledge to you is that I’ll continue to hold people’s feet to the fire. I’ll continue writing about institutional corruption, whether it’s found at MnSCU headquarters or whether it’s when the Dayton administration rigs union organizing elections.

I’m proud that I’ve helped win several elections, including two State Senate races and one congressional race this year. I’ll pledge to keep pressure on the DFL until they fix Minnesota’s health care crisis, too. They broke it. Unfortunately, they’ve refused to fix it. The good news is that Republicans are prepared to fix it. The incoming Trump administration will do its part. Greg Davids, Matt Dean and others will fix what’s broken with Minnesota’s problems.

During the 2017 session, I hope to expand LFR coverage of the legislative session by taking occasional trips to the Capitol, especially around the deadlines. With Gov. Dayton expecting to dig in his heels, especially on health care, this session will be one of the most eventful sessions in history.

Those trips will cost money so consider this my appeal for sponsorships. If you’re interested in sponsoring these trips, contact me by leaving a comment. I will contact you via email. Consider this the official start of my quarterly bleg.

Some things have changed since I started blogging. Over the next year, LFR will be changing, too. Stay tuned for those developments. What hasn’t changed is the need to hold politicians’ feet to the fire. I’m hoping to do that for another dozen years or more.

Finally, thank you to all of the loyal readers of LFR. I’m proud of the fact that LFR has become one of the legislators’ most read news sources.