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Archive for April, 2010

The Democrats are about to misread the public again, this time on immigration reform. According to Laurie Roberts’ column, Arizona’s supposedly controversial enforcement law isn’t as polarizing as Democrats would have us believe:

A few hours before Brewer signed the bill, President Obama stood in his Rose Garden and lashed out at SB 1070, saying it threatens “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

He’s right. But this bill is now state law because the trust between our communities and our federal government
was long ago broken.

It is because of Washington’s steadfast refusal to do its job that we find ourselves where we are today, when half of Arizona Democrats, 69 percent of independents and a whopping 84 percent of Republicans support SB 1070, according to the latest Rasmussen Poll of likely voters.

Dismiss this, if you like, as the work of the “radical fringe”, as Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund did on Friday. But 70 percent of likely voters supported this law.

President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano have tried using the killings in Arizona as proof we need comprehensive immigration reform. DC’s dunderheads still don’t get it. It isn’t like there aren’t laws already on the books that allow the Border Patrol to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. It isn’t like we didn’t pass a law to build a border fence from San Diego to Texas.

At a time when President Obama and his Democratic accomplices have spent us into oblivion, they couldn’t see their way clear to finishing the fence. They’re arguing that there are better ways to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. Thus far, there’s no proof that they’re right.

Meanwhile, special interest groups are pushing immigration reform:

They’ve pushed and pulled, marched on the national Mall and issued demands, including some to the president, which the White House hustled to meet, and now, immigrant rights groups find they’ve forced immigration and legalization to the top of the crowded congressional agenda.

The next test of their power will come Saturday, when the groups hope to turn out hundreds of thousands of supporters in rallies across the country, all demanding that Congress and Mr. Obama slow interior enforcement and move to legalize illegal immigrants.

Each time this issue comes up, lefties like Mara Liasson argue that it’s a tricky political issue when, in reality, it isn’t. Each time it’s brought up, pundits argue that neither political party can afford to “alienate the fastest growing minority group.” With all due respect, that’s nonsense.

What’s proving true is that 70+ percent of the American people, whether they’re Republicans, Democrats or independents, approve of harsh enforcement of the border. What do Democrats gain if they marginally increase their share of Hispanic votes but dramatically lose white suburban voters?

Republicans would be wise to copy a page from President Bush’s 2004 campaign strategy. President Bush understood that a high percentage of Hispanics are pro-life Catholics or evangelical Christians. Republicans should highlight that in their Hispanic outreach. Another way of getting a bigger percentage of Hispanic voters is to appeal to Hispanic small business owners.

That means doing more than showing up 3 months before an election and asking for their votes. Spend time twice a month talking with and listening to Hispanics’ worries.

Mr. Obama has criticized that law and said it shows why the federal government must act, but the groups say it’s time for him to do more than just call for action. “The avalanche of actions that have happened recently are really a demonstration by the immigrant and Latino communities in this country,” said Gustavo Andrade, organizing director of CASA de Maryland, just days before Friday’s events. “What we’ve seen from coast to coast is they are incredibly dissatisfied by the lack of leadership from the Obama administration on immigration in particular.”

President Obama will undoubtedly ignore the American people in favor of appeasing liberal special interest groups. (Ignoring the people while listening to the special interest groups is what this administration does best.) If there’s anything that the Americans hate, it’s when they’re ignored and liberal special interest groups are put on a pedestal.

The truth is that the Obama administration has the authority to stop the murders and the kidnappings in Arizona. That’s what this new law is about. It’s a plea to have the federal government do fulfill its constitutional mandate of protecting its citizens.

Here’s another salient point Ms. Roberts made:

If we are now a police state, it’s because nobody’s been listening. Even as the nation was bloodying our nose and blackening both of our eyes on Friday, Cochise County sheriff’s deputies were announcing the arrest of 67 illegal immigrants in southeastern Arizona. They were found Thursday night, crammed inside a U-Haul that deputies spotted driving erratically, 20 miles north of the border.

Late last week, DHS Secretary Napolitano said that things were improving along the border because they were spending more money on the problem. I wish she’d return home to Arizona where residents are getting killed or kidnapped by Mexican drug runners. Those statistics are rising quickly. I’m betting that the people who’ve endured the violence will vehemently disagree with Ms. Napolitano’s opinion.

In this case, success isn’t measured by how much money you’re spending. It’s measured by a sustained significant drop in drug-related violence.

The special interest groups that are making their push are all open borders advocates. NCLR certainly won’t be satisfied with enforcement-first legislation. What they want is to ignore enforcement and prioritize amnesty. Countries that don’t enforce their borders aren’t countries much longer.

The overwhelming majority of Americans get that. The question is: Does Washington? Bit by bit, evidence is piling up that they don’t.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Conservative pundits have long thought that Washington Sen. Patty Murray was vulnerable. The question was whether Washington state Republicans could find a viable candidate. A recent spate of polling indicates that might not be that important:

SurveyUSA has surfaced to poll the Washington Senate race, and finds some unpleasant news for incumbent Patty Murray (4/19/10-4/22/10, 517 LV, MOE: +/- 4.4%). She fails to get above 46% against any of her opponents, and does so in a sample that looks an awful lot like the 2008 electorate.

Patty Murray (D) — 42%
Dino Rossi (R) — 52%

Patty Murray (D) — 46%
Don Benton (R) — 44%

Patty Murray (D) — 46%
Clint Didier (R) — 44%

Patty Murray (D) — 45%
Chris Widener (R) — 43%

Patty Murray (D) — 45%
Paul Akers (R) — 44%

Patty Murray (D) — 45%
Art Coday (R) — 41%

Murray’s numbers aren’t as frightening as Sen. Reid’s but they’re still bad. In none of these polls does Sen. Murray get above 46 percent of the vote. That doesn’t automatically mean she’s toast but it indicates she’s in deep trouble. What’s worse for her is that, aside from Rossi, these gentlemen are unknowns with lots of room to grow.

Aside from this being a great year for Republicans, Sen. Murray’s biggest problem is that she’s a nondescript liberal. There just isn’t anything compelling about her. If she’s defeated this year, a decade from now, the most that people will remember about her is that she used to be a senator. She won’t be remembered for her contributions.

Sen. Murray’s isn’t alone with this type of difficulty:

Endangered House Democrat Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, now running for the Senate in Indiana, justified his vote for the health-care bill by declaring:

In addition to meeting my pro-life principles, the plan reduces costs, improves access to affordable insurance options, covers pre-existing conditions, and does not add one penny to the deficit.

As Mr. Geraghty aptly puts it, that argument just got vaporized:

Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake…falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.

This isn’t the first time that the CMS actuary blew the Obama administration’s claims of deficit neutrality out of the water. It’s just that this time, the media is actually paying attention. Now that the American people know that congressional Democrats first ignored them, then lied to them, before passing a bill that they didn’t read, other Democrats will be in danger. Mr. Geraghty has a nice list to start with:

Endangered House Democrat Baron Hill
Endangered House Democrat John Boccieri
Endangered House Democrat…Charlie Wilson of Ohio
Suzanne Kosmas of Florida
Melissa Bean of Illinois
Bill Owens of New York
Chris Carney of Pennsylvania

I’m betting that Bill Owens is in especially hot water because he ran in NY-23 promising that he wouldn’t vote for Pelosicare. Now that he’s been exposed as untrustworthy, and considering the demographics of that district, I’m thinking he’s pretty much toast.

Each race is unique but I’m betting that people will reject Democrats in huge numbers because they ignored the will of their constituents. Instead of being a public servant, these Democrats put a higher priority on being puppets to the Democrats’ special interest puppeteers.

That won’t play this year. The American people demand to be put first. The battle cry of last September’s TEA Parties was “NO MORE!!!” NO MORE!!! will we tolerate politicians ignoring We The People. Those that ignore us are marked for defeat this November.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

On this morning’s At Issue, Tom Hauser interviewed Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert on Tom’s DWI conviction in 1981. During the interview, Rep. Seifert was asked about the bill Tom had sponsored.

Hauser asked specifically about the bill Tom had sponsored, saying that Emmer’s bill simply made certain that a person’s license couldn’t be revoked until they were convicted of drunk driving. Hauser then noted that the bill had bipartisan support.

Rep. Seifert’s reply was stunning. In his own words, Rep. Seifert said that just because a bill has bipartisan support doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

I replayed Rep. Seifert’s response to make sure I didn’t hear him wrong. I didn’t. Think about this: Rep. Seifert is arguing that people arrested on drunk driving charges aren’t entitled to the presumption of innocence, that their driving privileges should be revoked without conviction.

Let me be clear about this: Even though I strongly support Tom, if Tom had said that, I wouldn’t hesitate to correct him on a mistake of that fundamental importance.

This isn’t just a mere technicality. This is one of the cornerstones of our legal system,important enough to be included in the Bill of Rights.

I’m not suggesting that Rep. Seifert favors abandoning the Constitution. I’m suggesting that, in this instance, he foolishly said something that he should’ve thought through first. In his zeal to attack Tom, Rep. Seifert put his foot in his mouth instead.

Walter Scott Hudson spoke of the importance of “principled governance” rather than outcome-based governance. Mitch Berg’s post questions Rep. Seifert’s logic this way:

Drunk driving is an emotional issue – made all the more so by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the rest of the drunk driving lobby. It’s understandable; anyone who’s lost a loved one to a drunk driver is justifiably motivated to seek change. But the .08 blood alcohol level limit is a ludicrious waste of resources, and the resources spent on hammering on first-time, only-time offenders with low levels of intoxication are largely a complete waste.

Question: Does saying the above mean I “support” or am “soft on” drunk drivers and drunk driving?

If you said “yes”, how hard to you have to waterboard logic to get to that answer?

It’s ludicrous to treat attempts to make the system fairer and more rational as “sympathy for drunk drivers”. Almost as ludicrous as assuming two mistakes made a generation ago are defining traits about a late-fortysomething guy’s judgment.

Saying that someone should have a drunk driving conviction hanging over their heads for the rest of their life after they’ve proven that they’ve put that behavior into their past isn’t reasonable, in my opinion. What’s worse is saying that we should abandon one of the cornerstones of our judicial system because it’s an emotional issue.

That’s the position Rep. Seifert put himself in in making that ill-advised remark. Let’s hope he realizes his mistake and admits that he’s wrong for saying that.

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It isn’t often that a congressman makes a naked attempt to exponentially expand government control of the land we own. Such is the case with Rep. Jim Oberstar’s attempt to dramatically change the Clean Water Act.

Oberstar, who represents the 8th District in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, wants to strike from the Clean Water Act the word “navigable,” a restriction in the original bill based on constitutional principles that limit Washington’s regulatory reach.

Without that check, the federal apparatus will have dominion over all waters in America. Rainstorm puddles, mud holes, drainage and irrigation ditches, ponds, intermittent streams and prairie potholes on private lands. These have nothing to do with interstate commerce, but would suddenly be subject to federal rules, as would adjacent property…if the word is removed from the law.

This naked power grab is despicable. This modification of the Clean Water Act’s language would give the federal government the authority to regulate every parcel of land in the United States.

Before the DFL tries spinning this as conservative paranoia, I’d ask them what legal restraint would exist if this change was passed. They won’t answer that question because that answer doesn’t exist.

Based on their actions, Democrats at all levels of government want to change government from being of, by and for the people into of, by and for bureaucrats far removed from positions of accountability.

IBD is spot on with this observation:

Farmers should be particularly concerned. The Oberstar bill gives federal regulators the power to police farming practices and to take their land through regulatory restrictions if those practices are deemed to be in violation of the law.

With the federal government already hobbling California farmers by denying them water, in large part due to the Endangered Species Act, Oberstar’s ambition is an existential threat to farms.

Here’s some questions CD-8 voters should be demanding answers of Rep. Oberstar:

  • How will this change in the CWA improve water quality in the United States?
  • Does this change in the CWA improve water quality? If it doesn’t, what’s the benefit to landowners?
  • What protections would landowners have against regulatory abuse?
  • If this modification in the CWA doesn’t improve water quality, doesn’t that indicate that the modification is just a naked regulatory power grab?

For far too long, Rep. Oberstar hasn’t operated with the best interests of his district in mind. Yes, he’ll point to the pork he brings home from the transportation bills as proof of his operating in the best interests of the district but that’s a feeble attempt. The reality is that most of Rep. Oberstar’s pork is a monument to himself.

Let’s remember that Rep. Oberstar, as ranking member of the House Transportation Committee, diverted federal highway funds from road and bridge maintenance to pay for his bike trails. That isn’t implying that Rep. Oberstar is to blame for the I-35 Bridge collapse. I’ve said before what I’ll repeat here: That collapse wouldn’t have happened had MNDoT replaced the gusset plates on the bridge.

My argument is that Rep. Oberstar has operated with misplaced priorities for far too long. It’s time that CD-8 was represented by someone who will represent the people of CD-8, not Rep. Oberstar’s special interest allies in DC.

If the many outdoorsman’s clubs in CD-8 found out about Rep. Oberstar’s attempted regulatory hijacking, he’d be less popular with outdoorsmen than President Obama is with doctors.

It’s one thing to want to ensure a cleaner environment, including cleaner water. It’s another to sanction the type of regulating Rep. Oberstar has in mind.

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Watching the Twitter traffic from the DFL convention in Duluth, one thing is abundantly clear: the DFL isn’t even close to being united heading into the primary campaign. That, by itself, will be a tough fight squandering lots of the candidates’ money.

Once they’re into the primary campaign, Speaker Kelliher, Susan Gertner, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza will work hard to out-liberal the other. Here’s a picture of the conversation:

Speaker Kelliher, aka MAK: I’ll keep my promise to John Marty & get single-payer passed if elected.

Sen. Dayton: I’ll raise taxes on the rich if elected. (I’ll raise them fast, too.)

Matt Entenza: I’ll spend like crazy. (After all, he’s always talking about how we aren’t “investing enough” in Minnesota.)

Susan Gaertner, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have a message or a reason for being in the race unless she’s running for Lt. Gov.

Here’s a sampling of some of the discordant tweets:

An upset Rybak delegate just came up to me and said, “Mark my words. Governor Tom Emmer.”

When Noah Kunin tweeted that MAK had been endorsed, Dusty Trice replied “It doesn’t really energize the crowd, does it? They should go with a scorpion drop next time.”

Tom Scheck reported that Tom “Rukavina says he’s disappointed Kelliher dropped Lit with him in it”, referring to a lit piece distributed to the conventioneers by MAK organizers immediately after Rep. Rukavina endorsed MAK during his speech announcing he was dropping out.

Javier Morillo, the president of SEIU Local 26, said that “Rybak has more elected delegates. Supers hijacking convention.” Earlier, in responding to a PIM report that Rep. Rukavina was going to support MAK, Morillo said that the “endorsement doesn’t belong to legislature, belongs to the people.” He then said that “this endorsement does not belong to deals. It belongs to the grassroots”.

MzKirkpatrick reported that “Dayton folks remind all DFL candidate folks that they are selecting second runnerup so don’t waste time.”

To be fair, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as these Tweets prove:

SD56DFL

Favorite moment yet: In Q&A, Ole Saviour recommends Democrats change their mascot from a donkey to a unicorn.

christruscott: “Wasn’t Jesus a socialist? He shared. He kicked the bankers out of the temple, didn’t he?” Tom Rukavina.

MAK will have a tough time connecting with voters after thanking “John Marty for keeping health care in the forefront” before saying that she’s “looking forward to making the MN Health Plan a reality.”

Promising enactment of a single-payer health care plan is a political loser. While it’s obvious that MAK said this to win the endorsement, bloggers like myself will remind voters that she made this statement. My hope for MAK is that the albatross she put around her neck doesn’t cause permanent damage to her neck.

The bigger point to all this is that, while the DFL candidates try to outliberal each other while vying for their special interests’ hearts and minds, the GOP candidate will talk with Minnesotans about his vision for making Minnesota a prosperous state once again.

This won’t help the DFL this fall. They’ll devote most of their time to talking with their special interest allies. Meanwhile, the GOP candidate will be focusing his entire attention to speaking with mainstreet Minnesotans. That image won’t be lost on Minnesotans because it’s the image national Democrats started projecting a year ago.

Couple that with the unions’ discontent with AG Lori Swanson for her unionbusting activities and you have the potential for widespread discord within the DFL. That’s the last thing the DFL can afford going into a tough election year.

Just as important as the discord at the DFL convention is the DFL’s message. Like the American people, Minnesotans don’t want tax increases and ‘investments’ to stimuluate the economy. That’s the DFL’s message. Spend. Tax. Spend some more. The MNGOP’s reply is simple: Live within your means, start setting sensible priorities and start saying no to the special interest parasites.

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Last night, after I learned about Team Seifert’s attempt to smear Tom Emmer, the candidate I’m supporting, I wrote a post expressing my outrage with Seifert’s tactics. After pondering what I’d written, I deleted that post.

First, I want to make several things clear: I can’t imagine the pain that Mrs. Berg and her family have gone through. From this day forward, I’ll pray that her son and her husband make complete recoveries and their anguish will eventually disappear. Second, it’s important that everyone understand that I don’t condone drinking and driving. In this post, you won’t hear me attempt to rationalize Tom Emmer’s actions decades ago.

Rather, what I will do is ask Rep. Seifert’s supporters if you feel comfortable with supporting a man who would use a family’s grief for political gain. That’s what Team Seifert is attempting to do, though they won’t admit that’s what they’re doing.

Mrs. Berg’s letter didn’t expose some deep, dark secret. According to the factsheet that Mrs. Berg referenced, the Star Tribune wrote about this a year ago. Late last night, I spoke with a friend who is a casual activist and a reliable conservative. When I told my friend what had happened, my friend said that that didn’t seem like news because it was reported a year ago.

Tom answered questions honestly and forthrightly when the Strib article broke a year ago. Though I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable for Tom to answer those questions, it was important that he answer them. That he took the heat then is a testament to Tom’s honesty.

Hardcore activists, like me, heard this information long ago. Still, it isn’t surprising that some conservative voters hadn’t heard about it.

In her letter, Mrs. Berg said that the DFL likely would’ve used that information against Tom in the general election. I agree. The DFL wouldn’t have hesitated in using this information. In fact, I’m betting that they’ll attempt to use it this fall.

The question I want Seifert supporters to ask themselves is whether they can trust a man who plastered this on his website:

Any Seifert for Governor campaign employee or member of the Seifert for Governor team that engages in negative campaign tactics of a personal nature against any opponent of either party will be fired or removed from the campaign should those charges be proven.

The letter sent to select delegates to next week’s state convention was sent out on Seifert for Governor stationary. It represents the vilest type of personal attack I’ve seen in a decade.

Let’s remember this important fact: the letter wasn’t sent to all state convention delegates. If Team Seifert thought this was a big ethical issue, why didn’t Team Seifert send it out to everyone? Might it be because their real goal wasn’t to express outrage but to win over undecided delegates? I won’t accuse them of that but that’s a distinct possibility.

My question for Seifert supporters is this: is this the type of campaign you signed onto? I suspect it isn’t. If you’re tired of this type of dirty politics, then isn’t it up to you to put a stop to it? Isn’t it up to you to let Rep. Seifert know that he’s gone too far?

When the DFL tries personal attacks against a Republican candidate, we come together and reject the politics of personal destruction. If we want credibility, don’t we need to reject it when Republicans cross that line?

Whether you continue to support Rep. Seifert or not, isn’t it your responsibility to demand he stop with the personal attacks? Isn’t it time you told him that you’re rejecting the politics of personal destruction and division?

I sincerely hope that Rep. Seifert apologizes for engaging in this type of politics. If he doesn’t, he should be told in no uncertain terms that he’s gone way too far this time.

Readers of this blog know that I’m part of Tom Emmer’s Steering Committee because I’ve worked hard to not hide that fact. This post isn’t an attempt to defend Tom. He’s perfectly capable of doing that himself. Rather, this is written solely from the perspective of an activist who expects better behavior from conservatives.

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President Obama told Wall Street that changes need to be made to avoid another meltdown of the banking system. What he didn’t tell them was that the changes that he’s supporting do little to prevent another meltdown. In fact, they’re many steps in the wrong direction.

President Barack Obama rebuked Wall Street for risky practices Thursday even as he sought its leaders’ help for “updated, commonsense” regulations to head off any new financial crisis.

“Ultimately there is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street. We rise or we fall together as one nation. So I urge you to join me,” Obama said in a high-stakes speech near the nation’s financial hub.

The president acknowledged differences of opinion over how to best protect bailout-weary taxpayers but denounced criticism from some Republicans who claim a Democratic-sponsored bill headed for Senate action would encourage rather than discourage future bailouts of huge banks. “That may make for a good sound bite, but it’s not factually accurate,” Obama said. He said the overhaul legislation would “put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts.”

Actually, President Obama knows that Republicans are right. The bill that the House passed includes a provision that gives the Treasury Secretary authority to bail out or take over financial institutions. Here’s a summary of that provision:

Provides for seizure of private property without meaningful judicial review. The bill, in Section 203(b), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to order the seizure of any financial firm that he finds is “in danger of default” and whose failure would have “serious adverse effects on financial stability.” This determination is subject to review in the courts only on a “substantial evidence” standard of review, meaning that the seizure must be upheld if the government produces any evidence in favor of its action. This makes reversal extremely difficult.

Heritage research has compiled a list of 14 fatal flaws in the regulation bill. Consider that today’s must reading. Here’s part of their list:

Fourteen Flaws

Among other things, the bill:

Creates a protected class of “too big to fail” firms. Section 113 of the bill establishes a “Financial Stability Oversight Council,” charged with identifying firms that would “pose a threat to the financial security of the United States if they encounter “material financial distress.” These firms would be subject to enhanced regulation. However, such a designation would also signal to the marketplace that these firms are too important to be allowed to fail and, perversely, allow them to take on undue risk. As American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison wrote, “Designating large non-bank financial companies as too big to fail will be like creating Fannies and Freddies in every area of the economy.”[1]
Provides for seizure of private property without meaningful judicial review. The bill, in Section 203(b), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to order the seizure of any financial firm that he finds is “in danger of default” and whose failure would have “serious adverse effects on financial stability.” This determination is subject to review in the courts only on a “substantial evidence” standard of review, meaning that the seizure must be upheld if the government produces any evidence in favor of its action. This makes reversal extremely difficult.
Creates permanent bailout authority. Section 204 of the bill authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to “make available … funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.” Although no funds could be provided to compensate a firm’s shareholders, the firm’s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout. The situation is much like the scheme implemented for AIG in 2008, in which the largest beneficiaries were not stockholders but rather other creditors, such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs[2]—hardly a model to be emulated.
Establishes a $50 billion fund to pay for bailouts. Funding for bailouts is to come from a $50 billion “Orderly Resolution Fund” created within the U.S. Treasury in Section 210(n)(1), funded by taxes on financial firms. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ultimate cost of bank taxes will fall on the customers, employees, and investors of each firm.[3]
Opens a “line of credit” to the Treasury for additional government funding. Under Section 210(n)(9), the FDIC is effectively granted a line of credit to the Treasury Department that is secured by the value of failing firms in its control, providing another taxpayer financial support.

Does that sound like reform or business as usual? Based on these specific provisions, I’d say that this is just another business as usual bill with the word reform put into the legislation’s title. Put differently, it’s another type of RINO: Reform In Name Only. Based on this information, I’d argue that this is the opposite of reform because it gives too much authority to one person, the Treasury Secretary. Part of the authority he’s given is to act unilaterally, both in terms of regulating and in terms of takeovers.

These regulations and takeovers aren’t subject to judicial review, congressional oversight and in terms of one person being able to write checks to financial institutions without consulting Congress. (BTW, that would make this provision of the bill unconstitutional because the Constitution gives the powers of appropriation to the Legislative Branch only. Congress can’t give that authority away, either, because it isn’t their’s to give away.)

In recent days, the American people have learned of Goldman Sachs’ extensive reach into the Treasury Department. With the corruption that’s already been exposed, why would we think that a Treasury Secretary with substantial connections to Goldman Sachs wouldn’t act in a way that would benefit Goldman Sachs to the detriment of its competitors? We certainly haven’t seen proof that these regulators aren’t corrupt.

It’s time to shut this bill down. It’s time that we told the American people that the only thing that this bill does is it gives the Treasury Secretary another tool to be corrupt.

With all due respect, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Based on this column by the WSJ’s Daniel Henninger and this column by the Weekly Standard’s Gary Andres, ‘history-making’ Democrats are in deep trouble. Here’s what Andes wrote:

The American suburbs fueled the emergence of the Democratic congressional majority in 2006 and then helped expand it 2008. During those two election cycles, Republicans lost 24 incumbent or open seat races in these cul-de-sac filled districts.

But now suburbanites are shifting again. As a result, many of these districts could swing back to the GOP, providing more than half of the forty seats Republicans need to capture the majority in the House.

The battle for the suburbs will determine if President Barack Obama continues to work with his own party as the congressional majority or if Washington reverts to divided government.

That doesn’t sound good for the Democrats. In fact, it sounds downright ominous. Here’s what Mr. Henninger wrote:

A Pew Research Center report just out, the one that says trust in government is at an “historic low” of only 22%, looks like the something else.

Dig past the headline of the Pew study and one discovers why Bill Clinton is insinuating that “demonizing” government could cause another Oklahoma City bombing. If these numbers are at all close to reality, something one can hardly doubt just now, the American people have issued a no-confidence vote in government, at both the national and state level. To the extent one believes in the “consent of the governed,” consent is being eroded.

This report isn’t bad news for the Democrats. It’s Armageddon.

The survey compares views sampled in 1997 with now. The “now” is the Democrats’ problem. The survey took place this mid-March. After one year of the charismatic, ever-present Barack Obama, after passage of the party’s totemic health-care bill, after spending zillions on Keynesian pump-priming, the American people, well beyond the tea partiers, have the lowest opinion ever of national government.

A year ago, 54% said government should exert more control over the economy; a year later it’s 40%.

This precipitous drop isn’t surprising, given this administration’s incompetence and the Congressional Democrats’ corruption. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the drop in the federal government exerting more control would’ve been bigger.

SIDENOTE: This ties into the fact that Democrats ignored the American people. “Consent of the governed” isn’t a quaint slogan. It’s that the American people demand to be part of the loop.

Right now, the Senate is working on the financial regulations bill. It’s apparent that the government didn’t do its job of policing Wall Street. Adding new agencies to make really, really, really sure that the enforcement agencies do their job in the future doesn’t inspire confidence.

The reason why that’s important is because people are suspicious that this legislation won’t solve the problem. It’ll only help Congress thump its chest and that they fixed a crisis situation when they’ve done nothing of the sort. If they pass this bill without radically altering it, they won’t have fixed anything.

If the McDonnell victory taught us anything last November, it’s that people are thirsty for principled leadership and solutions. Putting the word reform into a bill’s title doesn’t mean anything to the American people because they don’t trust that government will do the right thing.

If Democrats think that passing bills like health care and financial regulations will win over voters, then they’re foolish. We want the real thing. We won’t tolerate legislation that pretends to fix problems.

Democrats could cite one passage in Pew to mitigate this dire portrait. Historically, the report notes, whichever incumbent party is standing next to a big disaster gets pulled down in the undertow. Thus Bush and the Iraq war and Katrina. They can argue that Mr. Obama and the Democrats are getting hit with the legacy of the Bush downdraft and the after-shocks of the financial meltdown of September 2008. Once that passes, and after the inevitable November losses, the economy will stabilize and by 2012 the playing field will reset to normal.

I don’t buy this. Something unique happened in the first Obama year, about the last thing the Democratic Party needed: The veil was ripped from the true cost of government. This is the ghastly nightmare Democrats have always needed to keep locked in a crypt.

Mr. Hennniger is right on the money. I don’t buy the notion that the Democrats’ unpopularity is based on the economy or the first midterm of the Obama administration’s tenure.

Yes, people are upset with the economy but it’s much deeper than that. It’s about the Democrats not keeping faith with the American people. It’s about campaigning on the promise of going “line by line” through the budget to root out wasteful spending, then actually going on the biggest spending binge in American history.

It’s one thing to have policy differences between an administration. Those differences aren’t fatal. When people stop trusting an administration, which it’s done with the Obama administration, and when the Pelosi-Reid Congress first trashes, then ignores the American people, the disconnect becomes irreparable.

It takes time and effort to build trust. It only takes a moment to destroy that trust. More than anything else, that’s what this administration has ‘accomplished’.

That’s why the Democrats are facing a harsh awakening this November.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

When Michele Bachmann submitted a bill to totally repeal Obama, the DFL and the DCCC criticized her and tried belittling her in hopes of making her ripe for the pickings this November. Obviously, that hasn’t worked. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ll say now that John Kline has committed to repealing Obamacare:

Rep. John Kline joined fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann today on the Club for Growth’s list of lawmakers who pledge to repeal the health care bill.

Signing the pledge compels representatives to “sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.”

As Kline spokester Troy Young summarized, “Repeal and Replace.” But unlike Bachmann, who prides herself on being the first lawmaker to introduce a “repeal” bill, Kline has not yet signed on to similar legislation, Young said.

The Democrats’ tactics will be predictable if Republicans repeal and replace Obamacare:

“House Republicans will not rest until we repeal Obamacare lock, stock and barrel,” Rep. Mike Pence, head of the House Republican Conference, told me from Arizona, where he had gone to campaign for GOP candidates. “I believe that’s the uniform position of the Republican leadership.”

“People are livid,” Rep. Tom Price, head of the Republican Study Committee, said during a break from campaigning for Republicans in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina and New York. “They can’t believe what this administration and Pelosi and the gang are doing.”

“If we are not unanimous as a conference in being for repeal of 100 percent of Obamacare, then we’re fractured as a party,” Rep. Steve King, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, told me from Minnesota, where he was appearing at a rally with Tea Party superstar Rep. Michele Bachmann.

At the same time, the lawmakers are aware of what Pence calls the “rabbit snare” of a repeal-only strategy. “We repeal and start over,” Pence emphasized. “Don’t forget the ‘and.'”

The lawmakers know what Democrats will say. They’ll point to three things, banning discrimination against pre-existing conditions (which is years in the future), filling the Medicare prescription-drug “donut hole,” and extending dependent medical coverage until age 26, and say, “Republicans want to take all those good things away from you.” Obama has already issued a trash-talk challenge to the GOP: “Go for it.

The bad news for Democrats is that they think Obamacare is more popular than it is. This was evidenced Tuesday night when Democratic strategist Julie Menin said that “President Obama has 6 months to convince people” that Obamacare is great.

That’s the epitome of arrogance.

President Obama has given dozens of speeches on health care. The more he spoke, the more people rejected it. The notion that another 6 months of speeches will suddenly change people’s minds is a foolhardy proposition. The American people have tuned President Obama out when it comes to health care. They aren’t buying what he’s selling.

People have called Michele Bachmann names since she started her political career. She keeps getting elected. The DFL’s characatures of her are legendary. They haven’t put a dent into John Kline’s reputation, though, mostly because he’s such a thoughtful policymaker.

Though there’s a huge difference in their images, the reality is that there isn’t a big difference between Michele’s policy beliefs and John Kline’s policy beliefs, especially when it comes to voting to limit government’s intrusion into people’s lives.

That’s because they both strongly believe in keeping the federal government within the Tenth Amendment’s limits. If something isn’t part of the authorities enumerated in Article I, Section VIII, then the federal government doesn’t have the authority to act on it.

Repealing the Democrats’ health care law not only is the right thing to do according to the Constitution, it’s the right thing to do from a policy standpoint. The DCCC and the DFL keep thinking that the Democrats’ health care law is popular when it isn’t. It especially isn’t popular now that people are finding out that there’s $670,000,000,000 worth of tax increases in the bill.

They’ll hate it when they find out that the Democrats are attempting to impose price controls on health insurance companies:

Fearing that health insurance premiums may shoot up in the next few years, Senate Democrats laid a foundation on Tuesday for federal regulation of rates, four weeks after President Obama signed a law intended to rein in soaring health costs.

When the Democrats passed their health care legislation, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid said that health care and health insurance costs would start dropping because of the competition that was caused by their legislation. If that’s the case, what’s the justification for imposing price controls on health insurance premiums? Shouldn’t we just let the legislation work its magic? After all, competition was the sure-fire cure all.

The truth is that John Kline and Michele Bachmann understood from the outset that the Democrats’ plan was mostly smoke and mirrors, not competition and rewards. They’ve been telling us that the Democrats couldn’t possibly keep the promises that President Obama and Speaker Pelosi made.

Michele was ridiculed for telling us what human nature dictated: that there was nothing in the Democrats’ health care bill that changed human behavior. That’s why it was utterly predictable that price controls would be needed. I predicted that several times. So did King Banaian and Ed Morrissey and anyone else that wasn’t afraid to admit to the truth.

We need to repeal the Democrats’ health care bill because it’s always been about increasing the federal government’s control over our lives. (That’s another thing that John Kline and Michele Bachmann have in common: the vehemently oppose the federal government’s control of our lives.)

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If Charlie Crist wants to commit political suicide, he’s staring at a perfect opportunity to accomplish it. This morning, Kimberly Strassel says essentially what I said yesterday: that Gov. Crist would face a steep uphill fight if he chose to run as an independent. Here’s what Ms. Strassel said on the matter:

Mr. Crist is struggling to navigate what could potentially be a devastating end to his political career. He’s 20 points down against Mr. Rubio. Last week he vetoed a popular education bill as a favor to the state teachers union, repudiating a decade-long GOP effort to bring accountability to the state’s schools. With senior Republican supporters abandoning him in droves, Mr. Crist is clearly tempted by a Quinnipiac poll showing he might still win a three-way Senate race as an independent.

Such a poll, though, can’t measure the impact on voter attitudes of Mr. Crist actually being seen to make such an opportunistic decision. In other ways too, an independent run looks better on paper than it does in reality. Mr. Crist currently has a sizable $7.5 million in the bank, but an independent run would likely shut the faucets to a trickle. In Florida’s expensive media market, meanwhile, Mr. Rubio and likely Democratic contender Kendrick Meeks would benefit from a profusion of party and activist money. What’s more, a switch could fuel third-party groups to begin a campaign calling on his Republican donors to ask for their money back.

If Gov. Crist decides that he’s running as an independent, he’ll end his political career. Fundraising will be the least of his problem. Then again, Crist will benefit when he switches to independent. Here’s what Time is reporting:

In an admittedly political nod to Florida’s powerful teachers’ union, Crist called the measure, which would have eliminated tenure for public-school teachers and tied their pay to student test scores, “significantly flawed” because of onerous and vague criteria. But he then added that it was “sped through without meaningful input” from educators, and he likened the process to “jamming something down [people's] throats,” just as Republicans, he added, accused Democrats of doing with health care reform.

Crist’s veto infuriated GOP honchos, including his conservative predecessor, Jeb Bush, who had championed the bill as an extension of the school-accountability crusade he began a decade ago. But Crist’s comments, say pundits, were meant as a cold mug of Earl Grey in the face of the conservative Tea Party movement that has done so much to scuttle his once powerful GOP Senate primary run, a campaign that National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director Rob Jesmer said, in a Monday memo, Crist should now give up. More important, pundits say, Crist was signaling his likely strategy as an independent: co-opt the Tea Party’s language of frustration with America’s tone-deaf and ineffectual political culture, but aim it at Republicans and Democrats alike.

That’s triangulation strategy. That’s worked at different times but this isn’t the time for triangulation. This is the time to be straightforward and principled. People aren’t looking for a person to split the difference between the Republicans and Democrats because they’ve seen so-called moderate Democrats cave so frequently. They aren’t buying the principled middle-of-the-road image.

The other thing that will decimate Gov. Crist if he switches is Jeb Bush. With the primary out of the way, Jeb won’t feel the need to stay on the sidelines. Floridians still think highly of Jeb. Floridians still think of him as principled. With Jeb Bush criticizing Gov. Crist for flip-flopping on the education bill he just vetoed, Gov. Crits will look like the political opportunist that he is. That’s just another nail in Gov. Crist’s political coffin.

By the time November rolls around, Gov. Crist will be lucky to gather 10 percent of the vote. That’s what happens to unprincipled political opportunists.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative