Categories

Archive for the ‘Lawyers’ Category

Minnesota Needs More Lawyers!
by Silence Dogood

An article in the SC Times on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 announced “SCSU, William Mitchell partner on law program.” In this program, students will attend SCSU for three years and then “skip their fourth year” and enroll in William Mitchell law school. After the first two semesters at William Mitchell, “St. Cloud State University will accept credits from the first two semesters of law school, assign them as electives, then grant a diploma.”

According to the article, Kathy Uradnik, a professor and prelaw adviser at SCSU is quoted as saying “The whole point is to save undergrads money.” Essentially, through this program, SCSU is giving away approximately $8,700 in tuition revenue. As a result, unless this program attracts significantly more pre-law students than currently attend SCSU, there will be a net loss of revenue to the university.

St. Cloud State University is in trouble. A 21.8% decline in enrollment since FY10 and a poor decision to enter into a long-term lease with the Wedum Foundation for an off-campus apartment complex, which has lost the university a total of $7,700,000 in the first five years of operation, have left the university with a Composite Financial Index (CFI) for FY14 of 0.07. Given the projected $9,542,000 deficit for FY15 and the commitment of over $8,000,0000 from the reserves to offset the deficit and fund early separation incentives, the CFI will likely go negative for FY15.

This has led to a hastily conceived process to evaluate programs and make recommendations for cuts, which will likely include retrenchment of faculty and staff (The administration announced at Meet and Confer on April 2 that they were considering retrenchment as a solution to the financial debacle that SCSU now finds itself). Budget documents released by the administration call for the reduction of 76 FTE of faculty and 50 FTE of staff. The timeline for this process could only be described as extremely short! Ultimately, $9,000,000 has to be cut from the FY16 budget. Unfortunately, even cutting $9,000,000 from the FY16 budget leaves SCSU with a projected deficit for FY16 of $679,000 and a financial reserve balance of $0! Unfortunately, that is not a typo! The minimum $10,500,000 reserve required by MnSCU is now gone.

So here comes what President Potter calls an “innovative” program that certainly looks like a financial loser. In fact, Professor Uradnik is quoted as saying that although SCSU will be losing a year of tuition from three-plus-three students: “It isn’t always about the money.” Given SCSU’s current financial situation, I beg to disagree. It’s all about the money! Every program at SCSU has been directed to plan for cutting between 5-10% from their budgets for FY16. However, here is a new program that looks like something that is going to result in a financial loss for the university.

In order to be revenue neutral, at a minimum, enrollment in this new pre-law option will have to result in a net increase in pre-law students. For every 3 pre-law students that participate in this 3+3 program, a net increase of 1 FYE student will needed to offset the 25% decrease in tuition revenue. Additionally, if the current pre-law students switch to this new program, there will be an even greater need to recruit more pre-law students to offset lost revenue.

With marketing and advertising, attracting new pre-law students may on its face seem possible. However, Professor Uradnik is quoted as saying that: “The model is becoming fairly common across the U.S.” As a result, the advantage of uniqueness is lost so it looks simply like a program that is going to lose money and lose even more money if this program expands.

According to Professor Uradnik: “The whole point (of this program) is to save undergrads money.” But will this program ultimately save students money? The answer is not quite so simple as saying yes because of the cost savings of one less year of undergraduate tuition. Approximately 10% of students drop out of law school during their first year in law school. For these drop outs, in addition to owing $41,000 in tuition for that first year in law school, students will now have to go back to college to complete their undergraduate degree—potentially eliminating the once saved year of undergraduate tuition. However, when the student now graduates, they are faced with that $41,000 loan for law school tuition. So not all students will actually be saving money!

This program will also significantly limit the ability for students to transfer. A non-trivial number of students transfer law schools during their first year in law school. Unless the new law school has a similar 3+3 program with SCSU, if a student transfers after one semester, they may not ultimately earn a degree from SCSU. As a result, limiting the ability of a student to transfer during the first year will significantly limit the options of these students.

Ultimately, the final question that needs to be answered is really whether we need more lawyers. I have nothing against lawyers. However, recently most law schools have been reducing the numbers of students admitted because graduates are not finding employment, the need for a law degree has declined, and the salaries lawyers command has shrunk considerably. Two years ago, Hamline cut the number of its incoming law school class by half! Additionally, just recently, Hamline and William Mitchell announced that they are combining programs, which reduces the number of law schools in Minnesota from four to three.

A quick review of headlines in the past month:

An article: Drop in Applications Spurs Changes at Law Schools in U.S. News online on March 11, 2015 cites “enrollment in 2013 was down 24 percent from what it was in 2010.”

A second article from U.S. News online on March 24, 2015 cites: “Law school applications are on the decline. A mere 55,700 students applied to law schools approved by the American Bar Association in 2014, according to data from the Law School Admission Council. That’s a far cry from the more than 100,000 prospective attorneys those schools drew a decade earlier.”

Bloomberg on March 19, 2015 published an article entitled: Law School Applications Set to Hit 15-Year Low. The article states: “Law schools keep getting less attractive to young professionals, with schools receiving 6.7 percent fewer applications this year than they did in 2014, according to numbers released by the Law School Admission Council on Wednesday, March 19. The number of individuals applying has also fallen, by 4.7 percent. If the pace continues as it did last year, the number of people who applied to law school for the Fall 2015 semester will hit its lowest level in 15 years.”

Crain’s New York published an article on March 24, 2015 entitled: Poor job prospects, huge debt. Why in the world would anyone want to go to law school?

Quartz on March 10, 2015 published an article entitled US students are fleeing law schools and pouring into engineering.

Considering this information and much more that is easily found, one might reasonably ask why anyone would want to increase the numbers of students heading to law school? As far as I can tell, the demand for lawyers is down sharply, and St. Cloud State looks to lose money on each student participating in this new program. At a time of budget deficit and cost cutting, what could be wrong with creating a program that projects losing money on each student?

Perhaps the thinking by the administration is that what is lost on each student can be made up in volume! And one wonders why SCSU is in such bad financial shape? Silly question!

I didn’t trust Hillary when she said she’d turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department. That’s just one reason why I don’t believe it when her lawyer, David Kendall, when he said that Hillary’s private emails have been destroyed:

WASHINGTON — An examination of the server that housed the personal email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used exclusively when she was secretary of state showed that there are no copies of any emails she sent during her time in office, her lawyer told a congressional committee on Friday.

After her representatives determined which emails were government-related and which were private, a setting on the account was changed to retain only emails sent in the previous 60 days, her lawyer, David Kendall, said. He said the setting was altered after she gave the records to the government.

“Thus, there are no hdr22@clintonemail.com emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” Mr. Kendall said in a letter to the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Those statements have more gaping holes in them than a brick of Swiss cheese. First, it’s clever to say that there aren’t any “copies of any emails she sent during her time in office.” Parsing Clinton 101 immediately requires the reader/listener to question modifying words like copies. The next question I’d ask is whether there’s a registry on the Clintons’ private server listing emails Hillary sent in her official capacity as Secretary of State. The next question I’d ask is whether there were any original emails still stored on the Clintons’ private server. The third question I’d ask is what the Clintons’ definition of work-related emails is.

That’s just for starters.

Next, I’d want investigators to determine if there are any emails on the Clintons’ private server from other email addresses other than hdr22@clintonemail.com. I’d ask because we know other high-ranking staff had private @clintonemail.com email addresses. It’s important to remember that Kendall didn’t say that there weren’t any emails sent or received by Huma Abedin or Sheryl Mills.

That’s before stating the obvious.

IRS Commissioner Koskinen testified that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had been destroyed, meaning all of Ms. Lerner’s emails were destroyed, too. It isn’t surprising that that’s been updated:

Despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly saying under oath in previous hearings that Lerner’s emails could not be recovered, Camus and investigators have been successful in recovering nearly 33,000 emails relevant to the IRS investigation.

“To date we have found 32,774 unique e-mails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s e-mail box. We are in the process of comparing these e-mails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails. We are also in the process of having the e-mail server hard drives analyzed if there are any readable e-mails that can be recovered from these hard drives. And finally, we are continuing to determine if there are any other sources that may contain Lois Lerner’s e-mails,” Camus said during testimony.

The other lesson people should know in parsing the Clintons is this fundamental rule: the Clintons will always do the right thing…when that’s their only option left. Trusting the Clintons isn’t advised. Trusting a Clinton protector is downright foolish.

That’s why I’d tell Chairman Gowdy to depose Hillary before I’d have her testify. I’d want to question Hillary at length privately before she testifies in public just to paint Hillary into a corner with her own testimony. The lengthier the time I get to question her, the more likely it is she’ll trip herself up.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Part I of this series highlighted a timeline of events that led to the termination of Todd Hoffner, the head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Part II highlighted some of President Davenport’s rationalizations for terminating Coach Hoffner. This post will highlight the substantive complaints from Coach Hoffner’s attorneys. This paragraph is particularly noteworthy:

Second, in that same section, the OLA report devotes an entire paragraph to President Davenport’s justification for his reaction to the charges against Coach Hoffner and, specifically, the description of the Pennsylvania State University sex scandal. No comparable explanation from Coach Hoffner is included, nor is the fundamental distinguishing fact that the alleged conduct that MSU Mankato investigated had nothing to do with sexual abuse or similar conduct with respect to MSU Mankato students.

Comparing the Hoffner situation with what happened at Penn State is foolish. According to a footnote in the OLA’s report, Penn State’s high-level administrators, including Penn State’s president at the time, “were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. They are awaiting trial.” In Coach Hoffner’s case, he didn’t exercise good judgment. Still, the Blue Earth County judge that dismissed the charges said that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”

There’s a little bit of hyperbole in this paragraph:

To omit from the OLA’s report even the most basic of facts in this regard is misleading and profoundly unfair. The notion that a person could equate Coach Hoffner with Jerry Sandusky is absurd, and that a person could draw such a comparison exemplifies why that person should not have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.

First, Hoffner’s attorneys went a little overboard in saying that President Davenport shouldn’t “have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.” That being said, Hoffner’s attorneys are right in saying that comparing Coach Hoffner’s actions with Sandusky’s is absurd. They aren’t close to being similar, much less close to being the same thing.

Jerry Sandusky is serving a minimum of 30 years in prison. According to Wikipedia, which I realize isn’t always the most accurate website, “Specifically, Sandusky was convicted of the following charges and counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. Cleland immediately revoked Sandusky’s bail and remanded him to the Centre County Correctional Facility to await sentencing.”

It shouldn’t be difficult for university presidents to differentiate between a man who was investigated and had charges dropped and a man convicted of “eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault [and] nine counts of unlawful contact with minors…” I’m betting that most high school students could differentiate between the two.

Simply put, this would be a disaster for President Davenport if the MnSCU Chancellor, aka Davenport’s boss, were a principled man or if the DFL-chaired Higher Ed committees took their oversight responsibilities seriously. Since neither is the case, it isn’t likely that this will hurt President Davenport.

That’s the biggest of disasters in this entire situation.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

This post about Richard Davenport’s termination of Coach Todd Hoffner highlights the timeline of Mankato State University, Mankato’s investigation that ultimately led to Coach Hoffner’s termination. This post will highlight the OLA’s report of what happened that triggered the investigation:

On August 10, 2012, Coach Hoffner asked a MSU, Mankato information technology staff person to examine his cell phone because it was not working properly. The staff person found a video recording of naked children on the phone and brought it to the attention of MSU, Mankato officials, who turned the cell phone over to the Mankato police. Coach Hoffner was arrested at his home on August 21, 2012. The following day, the Blue Earth County Attorney filed charges against Todd Hoffner alleging that the images of the children were pornographic and criminal.

After reviewing the images, other evidence, and considering the applicable laws, on November 30, 2012, a Blue Earth County District Court Judge dismissed the criminal charges for lack of “probable cause.” In her order, the judge noted that the children in the video were Todd Hoffner’s children, who asked their father to record a “performance” after they emerged from a bath. The judge went on to say
that the context of the video showed that the “children’s performance was not intended to be erotic or pornographic in nature.” She also noted that the children acted silly, playful, and age appropriate.

Despite the fact that charges were dismissed by a Blue Earth County district court judge, President Davenport proceeded with his investigation.

It’s worth highlighting that the judge ruled that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”

Here’s another situation that might put President Davenport into a delicate situation:

President Davenport also told us that he responded to the allegations against Coach Hoffner with the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) football sex scandal in mind. In that case, a former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of sexually abusing children for more than a decade. In addition, university officials were accused of failing to respond adequately when concerns about the coach were brought to their attention.

The Penn State situation was dramatically different from what happened in Mankato. Here’s one of the report’s footnotes:

In June 2012, former Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and, in October 2012, he was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) imposed severe sanctions against the Penn State football program, including: a $60 million fine to create an endowment to prevent child sexual abuse and help child abuse victims; barring Penn State’s football program from post-season play for four years; and vacating the team’s wins from 1998-2011. In addition, former Penn State officials, President Graham Spanier, Senior VP for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. They are awaiting trial.

In the Penn State case, senior members of the administration, including Penn State’s president were accused of lying to investigators and for trying to hide Jerry Sandusky’s actions. Further, they “were indicted “for endangering the welfare of children…”

The underlying allegations included this:

Victims also commonly reported that Sandusky would place his hand on their thighs or inside the waistband of their underpants. Two recounted oral sex with Sandusky, sometimes culminating in his ejaculation.

That’s totally different than the situation at Mankato. First, President Davenport didn’t attempt to cover anything up. Second, he wasn’t accused of lying to investigators. Those things alone differentiate this situation from the Penn State scandal.

I understand that administrators nationwide worried about being accused of covering up a pervert’s lengthy history of child sex abuse. That’s appropriate and justified. What isn’t appropriate or justified is conflating everything into another Penn State.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

Few apolitical people know that the Democratic Party has put in place a system that chills political involvement and that buys elections. I have proof that both statements are true. Starting with buying elections, this story proves that the DFL broke Minnesota’s campaign lawss and bought 11 Senate seats:

The Republican Party of Minnesota began filing complaints in October 2012, charging that DFL campaign materials were wrongfully listed as independent expenditures, but the materials were not because the candidates were actively engaged in photo shoots in producing the print ads, thereby breaching the legal wall between candidates and independent expenditures.

For those that want to argue that this is just Republican sour grapes, I’d ask them to explain this:

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Tuesday, Dec. 17, fined the Minnesota DFL Senate Caucus $100,000 for wrongfully working with 13 of its candidates in the 2012 election.

The $100,000 civil penalty is among the biggest in state history.

These sitting senators should be kicked out of the Senate for their actions. Further, they should be fined for their actions, as should the DFL Senate Caucus for their actions. Finally, there should be a special election to replace Democrats that broke the law.

If it’s a financial hardship for these Democrats, good. I’m not interested in making their lives comfortable. I’m interested in making examples of them. They’ve lost the right to be called public servants. They’ve earned the right to be called lawbreakers. These Democrats have earned the right to be considered unethical politicians.

While buying elections is a serious thing, it’s trivial compared with the political witch hunt that’s happening in Wisconsin:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

While there’s no doubt Democrats will deny a connection between the IRS-TEA Party scandal and this witch hunt, they’re too similar in intent to ignore. Here’s what John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor leading this witch hunt, obtained through his pre-dawn paramilitary raids:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrat prosecutors wanted to intimidate people they didn’t agree with. They used tactics third world dictators use to intimidate the citizenry:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

This isn’t just a fishing expedition. It’s a message from Democrats to Republicans that they’ll use their offices to intimidate their political enemies. It’s a message from Democrats that they’re weaponizing government agencies.

This isn’t just happening in Wisconsin. It’s happened in Texas, too, where a Democrat with a penchant for getting highly intoxicated abused her office to indict Gov. Rick Perry for doing what other governors have done since the founding of their respective states. She indicted him because he vetoed a bill cutting off funding for her office.

It isn’t coincidence that Scott Walker and Rick Perry are considered potential presidential candidates. In fact, I’d argue that Chisholm launched his fishing expedition into Gov. Walker to defeat him so he can’t run for president.

Check back later today for Part II of this series.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thanks to this article by the Wisconsin Reporter, conservatives can learn about the Democratic Party’s witch hunt machine. Anyone that thinks Democrats are nice people that conservatives simply disagree with is badly mistaken. Read the article, then tell me that:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

That the John Doe prosecutors tried to get records from “at least eight phone companies” is frightening enough. Who needs the NSA when Wisconsin has these John Doe prosecutors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there:

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Anyone that thinks this is just a case of some rogue prosecutors gone bad apparently hasn’t paid attention to Rosemary Lehmberg’s indictment of Gov. Rick Perry, (R-TX). These naive people should read this, too:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

If you thought that weaponized government was just a term used by paranoid conservatives, you’d better rethink things. This is proof that some Democratic prosecutors will use their office for blatantly political purposes. Again and unfortunately, that isn’t all these Democratic thugs with law degrees did. Here’s more:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrats wanted confidential information. That’s why the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Eric O’Keefe filed their civil rights lawsuit.

There’s little doubt that these Democrats would’ve used the information they gathered through their witch hunt to chill these conservatives’ desire to participate in the political process. The only retaliation against these Democrats is to a)prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law when possible, b) end their political careers by removing them from their positions of political power and c) pressure Democrat politicians into passing sweeping reforms to prevent these fishing expeditions from today going forward.

If Democrats aren’t willing to limit rogue prosecutors’ ability to conduct political fishing expeditions, then we’ll know that they approve of these Democrats’ behavior.

Thanks to M.D. Kittle and the Wisconsin Reporter, we now know that these Democrats were attempting to chill conservatives from exercising their right to participate in the political process. This needs to be stopped ASAP and it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the things Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism talks about is how progressives don’t debate things anymore. The goal of their nastiest diatribes is about shutting down debate.

St. Cloud isn’t immune to this type of fascism. Check out the comments to Barbara Banaian’s monthly column:

Mary Langerude · Top Commenter · Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Isn’t it interesting how some folks are ALL for the gov’t when it comes to something THEY want? Their particular interest is where the priorities should be. Never mind that they have been whining for the gov’t not to spend money and not to raise taxes.

Have the new and improved Urban Chickens come home to roost?

Mark Jaede · Top Commenter · Works at St. Cloud State University

And “waste” is defined as whatever programs are not my priorities.

John Ellenbecker · Top Commenter · Works at Self employed

Funny – she didn’t identify her government employee husband’s salary as a means of financing pothole repair.

I can’t say that I’m surprised by Langerude’s, Jaede’s or Ellenbecker’s comments. They’re political hacks who aren’t interested in debate. They’re only interested in criticizing people they disagree with. They haven’t thought things through in ages. While that doesn’t mean they’re always wrong, it does mean they’re minds are forever closed.

For instance, Ellenbecker’s comment about King Banaian’s employer doesn’t have anything to do with his wife’s editorial. Ellenbecker’s tactic is designed to insinuate that being conservative means that you’re against all government. I know this because I’ve debated him on the Times message boards more times than I care to admit. It isn’t that he’s that stupid. It’s that he’s that intellectually dishonest. It’s what I’ve gotten used to from him.

Ms. Langerude’s statement is either intellectually dishonest or it’s proof she doesn’t understand the concept that the various levels of government have affirmative responsibilities. It’s the state’s affirmative responsibility to fix potholes on state trunk highways just like it’s the city’s responsibility to fix potholes on city streets.

Conservatives, by definition, expect government to fulfill its responsibilities in a timely fashion. Conservatives think that government should be limited and efficient.

As for Prof. Jaede, he’s been one of the most mean-spirited, nastiest DFL political hacks I’ve ever met. There isn’t a nonpartisan bone in his body. There isn’t a tactic too low for him to use. He isn’t a nice man.

It’s apparent that this trio of liberal fascists aren’t interested in debating public policy. They’re interested in shutting down debate of public policy. If they can talk trash while impugning decent public servants, then that’s gravy for them.

Simply put, they’re despicable, mean-spirited people whose primary goal is to criticize people they disagree with.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Saying that Bruce Braley has had a tough stretch on the campaign trail is like saying HealthCare.gov didn’t have a smooth rollout. First, Braley criticized an Iowa hog farmer while running for the Senate in Iowa:

“If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice — someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way on the Senate Judiciary” Committee, said Braley. “Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary.”

Crtiticizing a hog farmer while running for political office in Iowa is as foolish as a candidate for office in Oklahoma to talk about how much he loves Texas football. That’s as big a mistake as Todd Akin made in 2012, which takes some doing. Correct that. Which takes a Herculean effort.

Unfortunately for Braley, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then, in his attempt to stop the bleeding from the first disaster, he compounded it:

Then Braley sent out a press release touting his farmer credentials and the Des Moines Register found that it misspelled several basic farming terms like “detasseling” and “baling.”

A photo he posted to Facebook is actually a farm in England, NOT Iowa.

Here’s the photo:

Here’s what Buzzfeed wrote about Braley’s brouhaha:

TripAdvisor lists the farm as a fruit farm in England and an employee of the farm named Sonya confirmed to BuzzFeed the photo was of Cammas Fruit Farm.

The first tip Braley should learn from this is that he’s got extremely incompetent people working for his campaign. That type of incompetence is downright frightening. They certainly don’t know that the first rule of holes is to stop digging.

The next lesson Braley should’ve learned in this is that it’s exceptionally stupid to criticize a major voting block in the state you’re running in. That’s because it’ll just piss off the people you need to win elections. Pissing off a huge voting block isn’t the path to victory very often. In Iowa, pissing off hog farmers is foolishness on steroids.

The other lesson Braley should learn is that saying provocative things at fundraisers often return to bite the candidate in the arse.

The biggest question that isn’t settled yet is whether this is a fatal mistake. It might be but it’s too early to tell. It isn’t too early to tell, however, whether it was foolish for Braley to incompetently pander to this huge voting block.

Technorati: , , , , , ,

Thursday, Cleta Mitchell testified that the IRS scandal is real and that the investigation is a sham:

I wholeheartedly agree. During her testimony, Ms. Mitchell delivered this devastating information:

When Lois Lerner and President Obama accused line agents in Cincinnati of being responsible, ladies and gentlemen, that is a lie and I knew when Lois Lerner said that in May of 2010, when she admitted it was happening, after we knew it was happening — we knew we were being targeted — it’s just that she admitted it. But I knew it hadn’t happened in Cincinnati because the first time I became aware of this, another group I represent filed for tax exempt status in 2009. And besides cashing our check for our filing fee, we did not hear from the IRS again until June of 2010. And we didn’t hear from Cincinnati. We heard from Washington.

Ms. Mitchell was a one-woman Cat-4 hurricane yesterday. Unfortunately for Democrats, she wasn’t done with that refutation of the Democrats’ chanting points:

This group did one thing, one thing only. For all of the fall of 2009 until the spring of 2010, it lobbied against Obamacare, something that it is allowed to do 100% of the time. We did not get the tax exempt status for that organization until July of 2013.

Ms. Mitchell’s law firm is one of the top law firms in the nation. They didn’t get that reputation by being sloppy. Their record-keeping is meticulous. For the Democrats to insist that this is a sideshow and that the scandal is phony is belied by these documents. It’s real. It’s chilling political speech. That’s the Chicago Machine’s way.

The IRS is picking up where the FEC was told it couldn’t go in Citizens United v. the FEC. The IRS is using the FEC’s definitions in its rulemaking to stifle political speech.

Watch the entire video. It’s riveting TV. In fact, I’d recommend watching Catherine Engelbrecht’s opening statement, too:

I’m thankful that citizens like Cleta Mitchell and Catherine Engelbrecht have stepped forward rather than being silenced. They’re the personification of American patriots.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Andy McCarthy’s article brilliantly exposes President Obama as a serial liar. Liar is a strong word, especially when used in connection with a sitting US president. Unfortunately for this administration, Mr. McCarthy has proof that President Obama is a serial liar:

But that’s not the half of it. Obama’s claim that unwelcome cancellations are confined to the individual-insurance market is another brazen lie. In the weekend column, I link to the excellent work of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, who has demonstrated that, for over three years, the Obama administration’s internal estimates have shown that most Americans who are covered by “employer plans” will also lose their coverage under Obamacare. Mind you, 156 million Americans get health coverage through their jobs.

John cites the Federal Register, dated June 17, 2010, beginning at page 34,552 (Vol. 75, No. 116). It includes a chart that outlines the Obama administration’s projections. The chart indicates that somewhere between 39 and 69 percent of employer plans would lose their “grandfather” protection by 2013. In fact, for small-business employers, the high-end estimate is a staggering 80 percent (and even on the low end, it’s just a shade under half, 49 percent).

That’s proof that President Obama knew he wasn’t telling the truth when he said people could keep their plans if they liked their plans. That’s part of the proof that President Obama repeatedly lied to the American people but it isn’t all of it:

My friends at the American Freedom Law Center (on whose advisory board I sit) are representing Priests for Life, a group aggrieved by Obamacare’s denial of religious liberty — specifically, the ACA’s mandate that believers, despite their faith-based objections, provide their employees with coverage for the use of abortifacients and contraceptives. On October 17, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services, represented by the Obama Justice Department, submitted a brief to the federal district court in Washington, opposing Priests for Life’s summary judgment motion. On page 27 of its brief, the Justice Department makes the following remarkable assertion:

The [ACA’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. [Citing, among other sources, the Federal Register.] Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.

HHS and the Justice Department cite the same section of the Federal Register referred to by John Hinderaker, as well as an annual survey on “Employer Health Benefits” compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2012.

The Obama Justice Department verified as fact that the grandfathering provision would be rendered moot by the end of 2013. That isn’t just the 5% in the individual market. It includes the “156 million Americans” who “get health coverage through their jobs.”

The last time I checked, 156,000,000 people is approximately 50% of the population of the United States. Based on HHS’s calculations, tens of millions of people will be pushed into the exchanges as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama had hoped he’d solve his credibility problems with his disastrous press conference last Thursday. Based on Andy McCarthy’s and John Hinderaker’s work, it appears President Obama’s problems are just beginning.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,