Archive for July, 2012

I’ve heard enough from what’s best described as the ‘it isn’t Obama’s fault crowd’. Conservatives can probably mumble the left’s argument in their sleep. For newcomers, it goes something like this (in no particular order):

  • Bush put 2 wars on the national credit card.
  • President Obama inherited a mess.
  • The rich aren’t paying their fair share.

That’s nothing more than a steaming pile of BS. While the first 2 points are true, they’re also irrelevant.

Putting 2 wars on the national credit card has nothing to do with this administration’s hostility towards the business community. It has nothing to do with the EPA’s inflicting pain on families and power plants through an out-of-control regulatory regime. Those wars have nothing to do with the EPA’s attempt to shut down the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Indiana.

Those wars have nothing to do with President Obama’s decision to push the biggest job-killing bill in US history, the ACA, down our throats against the will of the American people. Those wars didn’t prevent companies from putting their capital at risk during the Bush years.

Capital didn’t start redeploying to places other than the American economy until this administration took over. The left still hasn’t explained why that ‘redeployment’ happened. I don’t think we’ll hear an explanation until after the election.

The deficits didn’t start increasing until after the election disaster of 2006. The deficits didn’t start skyrocketing until President Obama laid out his misguided economic blueprint. Democrats can’t blame President Bush for President Obama choosing not to start the Keystone XL Pipeline. In fact, if President Bush was still the president, it’s a lead pipe cinch he would’ve approved the project, thereby creating tens of thousands of construction jobs while reducing U.S. dependence on Saudi oil.

President Obama won’t attempt to rebut my ‘indictment’ against their economic policies because the indictment is airtight. It’s true that President Obama inherited a mess. It’s verifiable that President Obama promptly made things worse. Here’s how he ‘accomplished’ it:

  • pursuing an agenda filled with hostility towards businesses large, small and in between,
  • unleashing the EPA to demolish the coal industry and coal-fired power plants,
  • starting a war against fossil fuels,
  • pushing the biggest job-killing bill in US history down our throats and
  • pursuing a strategy that created economic uncertainty at the very time we needed economic and regulatory certainty.

If you’re looking for a blueprint to destroy a nation’s economy, you needn’t look further.

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I’ve long been an advocate of requiring photo identification for voting. Historically speaking, it’s made sense to me since before the 2004 election. Just recently, I was asked to help with the Vote Yes for Photo ID campaign. I immediately agreed.

It’s important for people to know that I was asked to help with this campaign because I’ve always believed in the importance of this policy. I didn’t have a mysterious conversion after being asked to help with this campaign.

What I’m about to write is my opinion on the issue of Photo ID. I wasn’t given the assignment of writing about Jamelle Bouie’s article. I saw it this morning. After seeing the misinformation in it, I decided that it needed to be addressed. Here’s one thing that must be addressed:

So far, liberals have devoted their time to showing the rarity of in-person voter fraud—the kind ostensibly prevented by voter ID—and the low likelihood that it would affect the outcome of an election. Tactically, this makes a lot of sense. The push for voter ID includes stories of massive voter fraud that play on public distrust toward government. If you can counter those stories with facts, you can make people think twice about implementing an additional burden to voting.

Thus far, progressives have spent their time attempting to disprove verifiable facts. Voter fraud exists. We know that because brave people like Anita MonCrief and Artur Davis have stepped forward and told us that voter fraud exists. Here’s what Rep. Davis said about voter fraud:

When I was a congressman, I took the path of least resistance on this subject for an African American politician. Without any evidence to back it up, I lapsed into the rhetoric of various partisans and activists who contend that requiring photo identification to vote is a suppression tactic aimed at thwarting black voter participation.

The truth is that the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community, at least in Alabama, is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt.

Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights; that’s suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don’t; I’ve heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I’ve been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.

The fact that Rep. Davis was asked to help fund “the wholesale manufactor of ballots” is proof that voter fraud exists. People don’t ask a sitting congressman to pay for a theory. They ask a sitting congressman to pay for an established operating system.

Here’s the WSJ’s article about Anita MonCrief’s testifying against ACORN:

The FBI is investigating its voter registration efforts in several states, amid allegations that almost a third of the 1.3 million cards it turned in are invalid. And yesterday, a former employee of Acorn testified in a Pennsylvania state court that the group’s quality-control efforts were “minimal or nonexistent” and largely window dressing. Anita MonCrief also says that Acorn was given lists of potential donors by several Democratic presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama, to troll for contributions.

In other words, ACORN’s operation was built on creating fictional voter registrations. ACORN wouldn’t do that if the reward wasn’t significant. Here’s the best that the left can do in its writings about their opposition to Photo ID:

Which is to say that a liberal response on voter ID needs to be immediate, forceful, and able to engage voters on the plane of ideals and principles.

Because the truth isn’t on the left’s side, their response necessarily can’t be forceful or able to “engage voters on the plane of ideals and principles.” The best that can be hoped for is to not get beat up too badly by the truth. Here’s a blast of silliness that can’t go unchallenged:

Simply put, voter-ID laws limit the number of voters who are able to vote.

At this point, that statement isn’t provable or knowable. I’ll grant that it’s an authoritative sounding statement but its content is speculative at best. TakeAction Minnesota’s Dan McGrath admitted that in his debate with Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath last Friday night.

I’ll trust Artur Davis’s op-ed and Anita MonCrief’s testimony infinitely more than I’ll trust Mr. Bouie’s spin. That’s why I’m fighting hard to make Photo ID part of Minnesota’s constitution.

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Newt Gingrich isn’t staying silent about the media’s crucifixion of Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Tom Rooney, Trent Franks and Lynn Westmoreland, aka the National Five. Gingrich used this Politico op-ed to ridicule the Washington elites from both parties:

The recent assault on the National Security Five is only the most recent example of the fear our elites have about discussing and understanding radical Islamists.

When an orchestrated assault is launched on the right to ask questions in an effort to stop members of Congress from even inquiring about a topic, you know the fix is in.

The intensity of the attack on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as well as Republican Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tom Rooney of Florida and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia is a reminder of how desperate our elites are to avoid this discussion. Yet consider this rush to silence questions in light of our history of unpleasant surprises during the Cold War.

It’s shameful that political opportunists like Jim Graves and go-along-to-get-along types like Speaker Boehner and Sen. McCain have taken shots at Michele. I can partially excuse Graves because I don’t expect much from DFL candidates. I won’t excuse Boehner’s and McCain’s behavior because they should know that the National Security Five asked totally legitimate questions.

We have replaced tough mindedness about national security with a refusal to think seriously and substituted political correctness and a “solid” assurance that people must be OK because they are “nice” and “hard working” for the systematic, intense investigations of the past.

That’s the case the media and the left have made on Huma Abedin’s behalf. I’ve said throughout that I won’t accuse her of being a terrorist plant. There’s simply no evidence of that. I’ve been just as consistent in insisting that it’s perfectly legitimate for legislators to question the procedure by which she received a security clearance.

How bad is this denial? Here’s how bad it iss:

After Maj. Nidal Hasan shouted, “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) in Fort Hood, Texas, and killed 12 soldiers and one Army civilian while wounding 29 others, there was pressure to avoid confronting his acts as inspired by his support for radical Islamism.

An American of Palestinian descent, Hasan had been in touch with a radical American cleric in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki. He declared Hasan a hero. Al-Awlaki was himself declared a “specially designated global terrorist” and, with presidential approval, was killed by a predator missile.

Yet, despite the evidence, Wikipedia reports, “One year after the Fort Hood shooting, the motivations of the perpetrator were not yet established.”

It did offer suggestions about motivation, however. For example, “A review of Hasan’s computer and his multiple email accounts has revealed visits to websites espousing radical Islamist ideas.” Talking about Islam, he said, “Nonbelievers would be sent to Hell, decapitated, set on fire and have burning oil poured down their throats.”

A rational person would have some hints about what motivated a terrorist killing spree.

If even Wikipedia could reach some conclusion about motivation, you would think the national security system could do the same. Not so.

I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not. This administration say that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t wars but instead called “overseas contingency operations” and that terrorist attacks would be called “man-caused disasters.” Why should we be surprised that this administration won’t officially declare Maj. Hassan’s killing spree a terrorist attack?

Speaker Gingrich is a serious man when it comes to national and homeland security issues. It’s anything but surprising that he’s defending Michele and the National Security Five for asking unpopular but important questions.

If a few feathers get ruffled by asking the difficult questions, that’s the price that must be paid to do the right thing.

Mr. Graves’ cheapshot was a futile exercise in political opportunism. It wasn’t an act of bringing people together. It revealed his lack of foreign policy gravitas. It showed Graves’ willingness to play political games on important issues. Far from being the witch hunt that Graves calls it, it’s really a congresswoman taking national security seriously.

The reaction to the National Security Five and their request for investigations by the inspectors general must be seen in this context of willful avoidance and denial.

In fact, there is a good deal in the Obama administration’s national security and foreign policy to ask about. One theme of the inspectors general letters is the administration’s courting of individuals viewed as leaders by the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood. A recent terrorist finance trial produced 80 boxes of evidence related to the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood network in North America over the past 40 years.

Apparently, it isn’t PC to think that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to influence U.S. foreign policy just because there’s boxes of documentation showing the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

The scandal isn’t that the National Security Five asked important questions. It’s that the media, Washington DC and political candidates turned this into a circus this easily. In that sense, it’s really an indictment of DC, the media and Jim Graves.

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During yesterday’s roundtable on ABC’s This Week, Donna Brazile tried spinning her way through a question about what President Obama has done for small business owners. Here’s what she said:

What we can do is talk about what the President is doing to help small businesses compete, what the President is doing to help small businesses grow and hire people. That’s what we’re talking about. We’re not anti-small business. We’re trying to help small businesses compete.

Let’s have that discussion. When a small business files their taxes as an individual, the business’s earnings are counted as the individual’s income. President Obama wants these S-corps and LLCs to pay a marginal tax rate of almost 40%.

This money typically isn’t taken in salary by “the rich.” It’s frequently invested in their businesses. How will increasing their taxes at this time help small businesses or their employees? It won’t.

How has this administration’s EPA helped small businesses? It hasn’t. This administration’s EPA isn’t greenlighting the permits needed for switching vehicles from diesel fuel to liquified natural gas. That step alone would cut delivery expenses dramatically.

When President Obama delayed a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, he stopped small businesses from playing an important support role in building the pipeline.

These small businesses have been hurt by some of President Obama’s lesser known initiatives. That’s before talking about the 8,000 elephant in the room, aka the ACA.

That’s before talking about this administration’s disastrous energy policy, if it can be seriously considered policy. President Obama put a higher priority on campaign contributions than on strengthening America’s energy supply for a generation. The deal that the Chinese are on the verge of signing won’t stop global warming like militant environmentalists want. The Chinese deal will officially stop the Keystone XL pipeline, killing thousands of jobs.

If that’s this administration’s idea of helping small businesses, then I’m betting small businesses wish government got out of the business of helping small businesses.

This administration’s economic legacy is a disaster. Job growth is anemic. Economic growth dropped from 4.1% in Q4/2011 to a tiny 1.5% in Q2/2012. FYI- That 4.1% growth was the best of this administration. The Reagan recovery started in earnest in Q2/1983. The GDP that quarter was 10.9%. That quarter was followed by quarters of 6.5%, 7%, 7.4% and 5%.

In President Reagan’s third September in office, the economy created 1,100,000 jobs. After a strong start this year, it’s questionable whether the economy under this administration will create 1,100,000 jobs this year.

Finally, we know from corporations parking their money on the sidelines that their money will stay on the sidelines until regulations are reformed, the ACA is repealed and Dodd-Frank is just an awful memory. That means this is the best economic performance we can expect in an Obama administration.

That’s why we can’t afford 4 more years of this economic stagnation.

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Sunday St. Cloud Times includes an Our View editorial that demands Michele Bachmann prove a connection exists between the Muslim Brotherhood and Keith Ellison. The reality is that Michele Bachmann could provide boxes of documentation proving that connection and the Times wouldn’t believe it.

It isn’t that the evidence doesn’t exist. In fact, this Strib article ties Rep. Ellison to the Muslim Brotherhood:

Tax records show the group that paid Ellison’s expenses, the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, received nearly $900,000 in taxpayer money in 2006 and 2007 from a rental arrangement for Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA), an Inver Grove Heights charter school.

MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood:

In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim supported by a September 19, 2004 Chicago Tribune story that stated: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.”

It took me less than 5 minutes to find that information. You can’t get more convincing than official documents filed with the State of Illinois saying that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Rep. Ellison argued that his trip was paid for by this charter school. He can’t hide behind that because they’re inextricably linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

What’s more is that Rep. Ellison is the subject of an ethics investigation as a direct result of that trip. Isn’t it amazing that Mr. Krebs trusts someone who’s the subject of an ethics investigation? The only thing more amazing is that Mr. Krebs doesn’t trust Rep. Bachmann even after terrorism experts like Andrew McCarthy and Walid Shoebat said Rep. Bachmann was justified in asking tough questions?

That’s just the beginning of Rep. Ellison’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the Memorial Day weekend of 2007, Keith Ellison delivered the keynote speech at a MAS-Minnesota event. At the time of Ellison’s speech, MAS-MN’s website was littered with this anti-semitic filth:

  • “The Holy Prophet (and through him the Muslims) has been reassured that he should not mind the enmity, the evil designs and the machinations of the Jews, but continue exerting his utmost to establish the Right Way in accordance with the Guidance of the Quran.”
  • “In view of the degenerate moral condition of the Jews and the Christians, the Believers have been warned not to make them their friends and confidants.”
  • “If you gain victory over the men of Jews, kill them.”
  • “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”
  • “May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.”

It’s sickening to think that Rep. Ellison didn’t criticize MAS-Minnesota’s anti-semitic bigotry. Why does Mr. Krebs ignore this information about Rep. Ellison? Rep. Ellison didn’t speak out against this vile bigotry. What does that say about Rep. Ellison’s lack of character?

Shouldn’t Mr. Krebs and the Times’ insist that Rep. Ellison distance himself from this anti-semitic organization? They won’t insist on that because it isn’t the PC thing to do. Krebs and the Times will ignore Rep. Ellison’s questionable connections. We know this because they’re ignoring Rep. Ellison’s questionable connections.

Instead of questioning Rep. Ellison, they’re insisting that Rep. Bachmann is conducting a witch hunt based on conspiracy theories. It’s sad that their ideological blinders prevent them from recognizing how biased they are.

This week, I attempted to submit an LTE defending Michele Bachmann. I tried highlighting the fact that the questions Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Rooney asked were both legitimate and substantive. I used information from Andrew McCarthy’s article to show that Huma Abedin’s parents had significant ties to radical Islam, including to the Wahhabist movement that produced 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists.

Despite quoting Mr. McCarthy’s impeccable documentation for the LTE, Mr. Krebs told me that they wouldn’t publish an LTE based on “unsubstantiated allegations.” It’s insulting that Mr. Krebs would argue about “unsubstantiated allegations,” especially considering this research by Walid Shoebat. Shoebat’s research is detailed, on topic and damning. Mr. Shoebat was a “radicalized Muslim willing to die for the cause of Jihad” until his conversion to Christianity. Here’s what he said about the Muslim Brotherhood:

We focus on Al-Qaeda, yet the danger is not only from Al-Qaeda but also other Islamic terror groups. Our administration, however, focuses on a narrow tunnel. Let’s look at some examples: Abu Mezer, during 2007, intended to blow up a subway system. He was a member of Hamas, not Al-Qaeda. Najibullah Zazi was a member of Al-Qaeda, Shahzad belonged to the Taliban and Abu-Mezer was a member of Hamas; which one is a greater threat? All of these terrorists were influenced in one way or another by the Muslim Brotherhood, the cartel and mother umbrella of all terror organizations.

That isn’t the only thing Mr. Shoebat said that people need to hear. Here’s the other thing he said that people should know:

It is understandable that many want to get to the bottom of this story regarding Huma herself. Many even demanded that Bachmann offer a public apology to Huma Abedin. Others watch the media and listen to politicians that provide short, nondescript arguments. 

An apology by Bachmann in this case is unnecessary since we have established what is probably the most extensive research done to date on the matter; the readers can decide for themselves by examining the overwhelming evidence to see that, in reality, that it is Bachmann who is owed an apology and has a valid point to demand the vetting of Huma Abedin, the aid to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Bachmann’s focus was hardly on Huma Abedin, but the infiltration of extremist Muslims into government. An issue that was completely ignored is the level of importance that should be given to vetting government employees.

Walid Shoebat didn’t mince words in saying that Rep. Bachmann asked legitimate questions. Likewise, he didn’t mince words in saying that Republicans like Sen. McCain and Speaker Boehner spoke out against Michele and her colleagues because they wanted the media’s adoration more than they worried about doing the right thing.

Mr. Krebs admitted that Rep. Bachmann “literally does not accuse her of being a terrorist. But using her as an example has the same effect.” That’s a first. Mr. Krebs is accusing Rep. Bachmann of speaking in code. That’s a joke.

Michele Bachmann says what she means and means what she says. There’s no pussyfooting around with Michele. It’s what endears her to voters. It’s what gets her in trouble from time to time, too.

The St. Cloud Times’ credibility has been hurt. It’ll take time to regain their credibility. It’ll take a change in their practices, too, starting with eliminating Mr. Krebs’ bias.

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Friday night, TakeAction Minnesota’s Dan McGrath got embarassed by Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath on Almanac. TAM McGrath brought the DFL’s tired chanting points. MinnMaj’s McGrath brought verifiable facts. Here’s MinnMaj’s McGrath, followed by TAM McGrath:

MINNMAJ: This notion that Election Day Registration will be eliminated by this Voter ID amendment is ridiculous on its face. The amendment doesn’t say anything about Election Day Registration.
TAM: Let’s get something straight…
MINNMAJ: To change that would require a statutory change that would have to be signed by this governor. So unless Gov. Dayton wants to get rid of Election Day Registration, it’s just not going to happen.

It’s telling that TAM McGrath didn’t attempt to refute that information. Here’s what he said instead:

TAM: Think about it. You’re making it harder, if not impossible for 700,000 people, 700,000 eligible voters to cast a ballot.

What’s the basis for TAM McGrath’s statement? What empirical evidence exists that proves this wild statement? There are flaws aplenty in TAM McGrath’s statement.

First, it assumes that all 700,000 voters that use EDR won’t have identification. Has DPS issued a statement saying that they can’t process those claims in a timely fashion? If they haven’t, then TAM McGrath’s statement falls flat on its face. Hint: DPS hasn’t issued such a statement.

Second, TAM McGrath’s statement assumes that provisional ballots won’t be given to people using EDR. That’s undeniably false. It’s guaranteed by federal law, HAVA to be precise, that they’ll get provisional ballots. That isn’t opinion. It’s what Secretary Ritchie said at a meeting of the Stearns County Commission.

Those things demolish TAM McGrath’s scare tactics. It isn’t credible to say that these people will be disenfranchised.

CATHY WURZER: Studies have shown that there’s zero proof that these laws prevent voter fraud in states that have the laws.
MINNMAJ: Well, I don’t see how that makes any sense. Look at Election Day Registration, where you don’t have to provide any identification. You can provide any name, any address and they’ll check it out later after you’ve cast the ballot. Now what we’ve found is that, when we do check it out later, thousands of people turn out to be unverifiable. That would be prevented by Photo ID.

It’s been verified through the counties that thousands of PVCs were returned in both the 2008 and 2010 elections. I’ve had progressives argue that these returned PVCs aren’t proof of voter fraud, that it’s proof of data entry error or of the registrant entering the wrong address.

It simply isn’t credible to think that 1 in 120 voter EDRs weren’t correctly inputed. Remember that we’re talking exclusively about EDR registrations. We’ve heard that the error rate on EDRs is high but we haven’t heard that the error rate is high on new registrations that were filled out a month or more in advance of Election Day.

Why the inexplicable jump on EDRs but not on new registrations done a month in advance? The data entry people haven’t changed. The form didn’t change. What’s the explanation for EDRs being incorrectly input into the SVRS?

Simply put, TAM’s McGrath lost because his arguments were unsubstantiated and flimsy. Couple that with the fact that Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath came prepared with verifiable, reported facts and impeccable logic.

I’d love seeing this bloodbath repeated a few more times because the vote would be totally lopsided.

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President Potter said that a college education is “still a good value” in his St. Cloud Times op-ed, something people most likely agreed with him on. Generally speaking, that’s how I reacted. That doesn’t mean there isn’t tons of room for improvement.

President Potter said that a year’s worth of tuition at SCSU is $6,846. What he didn’t say is whether that figure includes all of the fees that students are bombarded with.

An SCSU student that I know told me that his/her fee load was over $400:

Activity Fee $ 103.20
MSUSA $ 6.45
Health Services $ 49.80
Technology Fee $ 73.80
Athletics $ 47.28
Student Union $ 83.52
Facilities Assessment $ 46.20

That’s $410.25 of fees per quarter in addition to tuition. That’s before factoring in the cost of books, too.

Fees are becoming a major cost for students at a most inopportune time. It’d be one thing for fees to take the place of tuition increases. It’d be easier to rationalize them if that were the case. Alas, that isn’t what’s happening. Tuition is increasing while fees are rising.

Growth in administration is a huge driver of higher education costs. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) studied the explosion of administrators. Here’s what they found:

Exec/Admin/Managerial staff jumped from 151,000 in 1997 to 218,000 in 2007. That’s a 44% increase. During that same time, faculty increased from 990,000 in 1997 to 1,371,000 in 2007, a 38% increase.

The trends led CCAP to this conclusion:

The growth of non-instructional staff is so fast that if these job growth trends were to continue, the number of managers and support staff (administration) at 4-year not-for-profit colleges would outnumber instructors by 2014.

These figures don’t factor in the staffing for organizations like MnSCU:

Using the IPEDS Fall Staff Surveys data collected for a previously released CCAP report,136 a sample of 2,782 institutions revealed that colleges added 690,373 full-time equivalent (518,489 full-time; 515,651 part-time) jobs between 1987 and 2007, an increase of 39 percent (33% FT; 85% PT).

In other words, this study limited itself to universities and colleges. CCAP’s study doesn’t factor in other education bureaucracies like MnSCU. Some taxpayers might know about MnSCU’s Academic and Student Affairs Division. I’d bet the ranch that less than 1% of Minnesota taxpayers knows this:

There are 5 directors in the Academic and Student Affairs Division. Additionally, there are 2 associate directors of research. Three of the directors are directors of planning, one each for research, planning and collaboration.

That’s just one part of the bureaucracy at the MnSCU headquarters. Think of the money wasted throughout the MnSCU system. That must be included in the total cost of a student attending a MnSCU university.

Speaking in generalities, there’s no disputing that college diplomas are worthwhile. Speaking specifically, though, there’s several things that need fixing before higher education is a great value to students and taxpayers.

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This week, Gov. Dayton interviewed candidates interested in being MnSCU trustees. Among those interviewed is one pretty recognizable name: Margaret Anderson-Kelliher. Here’s the entire list:

The governor is picking six new board members, two at-large members, two students and one each from the 2nd and 6th Congressional Districts. Myres, who is from Clear Lake, lives in the 6th District.

Myres is a 1983 graduate of St. Cloud State University. He has worked at ING almost 11 years. He also serves on the Central Minnesota Community Foundation board.

The other candidates are: Sarah Caruso, John Kaul, Margaret Anderson-Keliher, Ann Anaya, Dawn Erlandson, Readus Fletcher, Dr. Wynn Kearney, Mary Hickerson, Alex Cirillo, Joseph Grafft and Janet Mohr.

The big question for the people confirmed as trustees is simple. Will they see themselves as rubberstamps to Chancellor Rosenstone and the university presidents? Will they see themselves as people holding Chancellor Rosenstone and the university presidents accountable to their students and their communities?

There’s no question that students and other taxpayers need the entire MnSCU Board of Trustees to hold administrators, including Chancellor Rosenstone, accountable.

The other key question is whether the people confirmed to represent congressional districts will actually hold townhall meetings within the district. The trustees need to know that they represent the people and the businesses of their districts, not just the university presidents and their administrators.

Minnesota taxpayers and students can’t afford for the next group of trustees to see their position to be an honorary position. If that’s what they do, then the legislature might as well blow up the entire MnSCU system.

These shouldn’t be positions for people waiting for their next political office.

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With the busy news week, writing about President Potter’s puff piece just wasn’t a high priority. Now that things have settled down, it’s time to examine President Potter’s op-ed. Though this wasn’t the first thing that jumped off the page at me, it’s still something that caught my attention:

A college education, an education for life, is still a good value, even with average tuition costs at public four-year universities that are somewhat higher than St. Cloud State’s $6,846 per year. (Private four-year not-for-profit colleges average $21,949 per year and four-year private for-profit schools average $15,056 per year).

If the students’ tuition was the total cost per student, that $6,846 tuition might represent a great value. President Potter didn’t include the state funding from the higher ed budget in the cost-per-student figure. If the money from the state biennial budget were included in President Potter’s op-ed, how much would the gap between St. Cloud State’s cost-per-student and a typical private, for-profit college close?

Another important thing that isn’t shown in this op-ed is a comparison of graduation rates and job placement rates between public universities and private, for-profit colleges. It shouldn’t be too difficult to throw in a comparison between private, for-profit colleges earning power over a 30 year career vs. the earning power of a typical SCSU graduate.

There should be two goals for higher ed. First, students should be getting the training they need to be part of a well-trained workforce. Second, students and taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for degrees that don’t train students for real careers.

This paragraph jumped off the page at me, too:

I can assure you that most of us involved in higher education are listening and responding. The broad reorganization process St. Cloud State University has undergone the past few years has been the result of resolve to offer all our students an education that is cost effective, practical and relevant, yet life-altering and profound.

If St. Cloud State got graded for listening, the best that they could hope for is a C-.

After President Potter announced the closing of the Aviation Department, a wide variety of organizations, including city councils, local political parties and transportation organizations, expressed their concerns in resolutions that SCSU’s decision would have a negative effect on St. Cloud’s economy.

Local businessmen spoke with President Potter, too, expressing their worries about the impact President Potter’s decision would have on getting regional air service. Without exception, President Potter said that his decision was final.

This isn’t an attempt to refight that fight. It’s just an example of how President Potter isn’t a good listener. It’s an example of President Potter’s stubbornness.

Stubborn people aren’t good listeners.

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This video will infuriate law-abiding citizens:

Kerry Picket’s article includes the videotaped statements from Border Patrol agent George McCubbin III and ICE agent Chris Crane. McCubbin is the president of the National Border Patrol Council. Crane is president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council.

This is part of Crane’s statement:

As another example, the incident in El Paso released publicly last week, ICE manager were provided with the following details. One, an alien was arrested by local police and placed in jail on two charges. Charge one-assault with bodily injury to a family member and charge two-interfering with that person’s attempts to call emergency assistance.”

“When ICE arrested the individual for immigration violations, he attempted to escape, another criminal offense, one agent was injured in the incident claiming the injuries were intentionally inflicted by the escapee, another criminal offense, of course assault of a federal agent, so in this case we have four possible criminal charges-two involving violence, one injured family member and one injured officer. Without any questioning—without any investigation, the alien was released as a dreamer. No criminal charges, no immigration charges, no nothing.”

“‘He’s a dreamer. Release him.’ Incidents like this happening around the nation lead us to believe that the new policies will be ineffective in terms of providing for public safety.”

Secretary Napolitano should resign ASAP. This is a major scandal. According to Picket’s article, Napolitano testified at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing. Based on Crane’s and McCubbin’s statements, it’s pretty apparent that she isn’t interested in enforcing the border. She’s interested in spinning her department’s policies:

Napolitano testified earlier in the week before the House Judiciary Committee and defended President Obama’s immigration directive saying, “Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner,” She added, “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case.”

It’s more accurate to say that this administration doesn’t believe in enforcing this nation’s immigration laws.

There have been only 4 secretaries of DHS. Ms. Napolitano is the worst by far. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d still be considered the worst a generation from now.

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