Archive for November, 2012

This St. Cloud Times article suggests there’s a decent chance the DFL won’t rubberstamp MnSCU’s requested increase:

DFL legislators set to oversee Minnesota state colleges and universities says the school system’s request for a boost in state funding may be unrealistic.

The legislator, Rep. Gene Pelowski, Jr., and his counterpart, Sen. Terri Bonoff, also urged caution in possible tuition increases at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, or MnSCU, the system that includes St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

In a budget request to state lawmakers approved earlier this month, the MnSCU Board of Trustees asked for $97 million in additional state funding in the budget cycle that begins next summer. MnSCU leaders also proposed in the request to increase tuition by about 3 percent and to provide a wage and benefit increase of about 3 percent to MnSCU faculty and staff.

But Pelowski, DFL-Winona, says he’s skeptical about the request. Pelowski was named chair of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee after DFLers reclaimed control of the chamber in the Nov. 6 elections.

The quote is a step in the right direction for those of us who think MnSCU is fast becoming a thing of the past. Still, it’s a far cry from being a fait accompli.

MnSCU’s lobbyists will pressure Sen. Bonoff and Rep. Pelowski. They’re certain to get calls from MnSCU Chancellor Rosenstone and the university presidents, too.

Still, with spending certain to increase and with the University of Minnesota certain to ask for a major spending increase, MnSCU might be a candidate for a trimming in their request. Either way, SCSU is likely to get a significant trim. Their enrollment is down 4.5%.

The type of overhaul that’s coming, though, won’t happen until the higher ed bubble bursts, which I wrote about in this article. That day is coming, though. It’s a matter of when, not if.

Tag: , , , , , , , ,

One thing that’s coming Minnesotans’ way is a tax increase. I predicted here that we’d see an income tax increase on “the rich” as well as a sales tax increase because the DFL will pass legislation that starts taxing clothing sales. This article, though, says that a tax increase isn’t a guarantee, even with the DFL running the legislature and a DFL governor. That’s pure fiction and Ann Lenczewski knows it:

Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to launch the discussion in January when he unveils his plan for making the tax system fairer and simpler. But Dayton’s long-promised income tax increase on top earners could be a tough sell, even with Democrats now in control of the House and Senate.

Tim Pugmire should know better. He should know that that’s fiction. In 2006, Mike Hatch ran on an agenda of increasing spending without raising taxes. Here’s what Hatch said then:

He cast Pawlenty as too stingy with education, responsible for large class sizes and rising college tuition. He tagged him for an inadequate response to soaring health care costs and the emerging biosciences industry. He promised more state investment in those things. Significantly, he said, “we can do this without raising taxes.”

I didn’t believe the DFL then. I don’t believe the DFL now. The DFL has to pay to their political allies that contributed to their campaigns. The DFL’s allies didn’t do this out of the kindness of their heart. (First, it’s impossible to think Eliot Seide has a heart.)

There are government agencies to restaff. More importantly, militant environmentalist organizations are demanding that the DFL beef up the MPCA and the EQB. It isn’t just anyone demanding these things, either. It’s Alida Messinger making these demands. As the majority owner of the DFL and ABM, their messaging machine, what she demands, she gets. And she’s demanding that these environmental agencies get beefed up.

Next up to the trough will be mayors demanding that their LGA be made whole again. They’ll be led by Duluth Mayor Ness, R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman. And there are lots of mayors who will be insisting that their LGA be restored.

Frans said that almost everyone he talked to believes the tax code is out of date, and they are particularly concerned that property taxes are too high.

“As I’ve been taking the three-legged stool around to describe the three major sources of revenue, the property tax, the sales tax and income tax, people are concerned that the property tax leg now makes up about 40 percent of the three different major sources of revenue,” Frans said. “They believe that’s too much, and it’s something we need to address.”

Frans said a comprehensive approach to tax reform would also include a recalibration and broadening of the sales tax. In addition, he said, Dayton still wants every Minnesotan paying his or her fair share of income taxes. That proposal, which first surfaced in the 2010 campaign, would target the wealthiest 2 percent for an increase.

One reason why property taxes make up 40% of the revenues is because idiots like R.T. Rybak make terrible spending decisions, then pass the buck on through higher property taxes.

Another reason why is because Minnesota’s economy isn’t booming like it should. If we had a flourishing economy, like North Dakota’s, income tax revenues would make up a bigger share of the revenues. Instead, our biggest employers are the university system, the federal government and state government.

That’s way too much government to pay for — except in the minds of Gov. Dayton, Alida Messinger, the DFL and their special interest allies.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The sticker shock of the DFL’s 2014-15 biennial budget will be harsh and immediate. That’s because it will likely top $40,000,000,000 for the first time in state history. The DFL’s budget will include at least 2 tax increases. It will attempt to pay off all of the DFL’s special interest allies with taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

First, it’s inevitable that the DFL’s budget will raise taxes on “the rich” because, in their warped thinking, “the rich” aren’t “paying their fair share.” For at least a decade, the DFL has let that social policy masquerade as economic policy.

For at least as long, the DFL has said that Minnesota’s tax system needs to be more progressive. Despite that long-espoused policy, the DFL’s true believers will vote to change the sales tax to include clothing. The most charitable estimates for that change is that it will generate an additional $750,000,000 in revenue.

As for Gov. Dayton’s income tax increase, it’ll be fortunate to generate an additional $2,000,000,000 in revenue for the biennium. That’s assuming that Gov. Dayton keeps the top tax bracket at 10.95% on couples making $130,000. That isn’t a safe assumption. In 2011, the highest state tax rate was 11%, a figure Gov. Dayton didn’t want to exceed.

Now California has raised the top tax rate to 13%, giving Gov. Dayton additional latitude. Being the tax-raising advocate that he is, he’s certain to raise the top income tax bracket to more than 12%. He’ll do it because he’ll need the additional revenue.

While Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen will pay down a bit of the K-12 school shift, the DFL won’t pay much of it back. The lobbyists with the biggest smiles will be the ones who lobbied for making LGA whole again. R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman will have tons of additional money to spend on $50,000 a piece drinking fountains. R.T. Rybak might even have enough money to hire back the firefighters he terminated when he kept the bike trail coordinator.

Higher Education figures to be another big winner, followed by taxpayer-funded charities. Inner cities will get boatloads of additional money. The DFL will ‘justify’ the spending as a way to reduce crime but it’s actually money that will pay off the DFL’s precinct organizers.

Higher Education funding shouldn’t see a penny in additional spending until MnSCU stops hiring university presidents their cronies to high-paying administrative jobs. That’s a massive ripoff to the taxpayers. What’s worse is that it doesn’t add a thing to the quality of educational outcomes.

Until Central Lakes Community College drops worthless programs like Floral Design, the state’s taxpayers will be getting ripped off while students accumulate more student loan debt.

When it’s all settled, the DFL budget will be a masterpiece in wasting taxpayers’ money. Ultimately, spending will be cut because actual revenues will fall short of the DFL’s projections. When the DFL’s ‘experiment’ is implemented, it’ll be clear that the DFL’s ideas hurt businesses but they don’t create jobs.

They just give big city DFL mayors big smiles.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This video of Tom Ricks’ interview with FNC’s Jon Scott shows off his infantile logic:

This statement is outrageous:

I think Benghazi was hyped, especially by this network. Now that the campaign is over, [Sen. McCain’s] backing away from his previous statements.

When Scott asked how it’s possible to hype the killing of 4 American patriots, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Ricks asked if Scott knew how many security contractors were killed in Iraq.

That type of infantile logic is typical of progressive thinking. First, Chris Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during the Bush administration, didn’t request additional troops to protect the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Similarly, he didn’t request additional troops for any of the U.S. consulates in Iraq.

Next, these security contractors know that they’re being hired to be the front line of defense against terrorists and militias. While there’s no question ambassadors in some nations have a dangerous job, they aren’t expected to be the front line of defense against RPG-armed, well-trained terrorists and militias.

Another key distinction that’s worth noting is that the Bush administration didn’t attempt to hide the fact that security contractors had a dangerous job. They didn’t manufacture stories about a non-existent mob got out of control, then killed a U.S. ambassador. They didn’t send out someone who didn’t know what had happened and wasn’t accountable for what happened to explain what happened.

Furthermore, during the second presidential debate, President Obama said that he’d called the terrorist attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack from the outset, then went to the UN and repeatedly apologized for a video that nobody had seen.

President Obama’s clear intent was to hide the fact that his administration’s inaction led directly to the deaths of 4 American patriots. If Mr. Ricks is suggesting that the needless killing of 4 American patriots isn’t a big thing, then I’d love debating him about that.

Finally, no progressive diatribe would be complete without them accusing FNC of being a campaign instrument of the GOP. Here’s the obligatory FNC is the GOP’s lacky statement:

I think the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of Republican Party.

It’s apparent that Mr. Ricks is an operative for the progressive movement. He doesn’t think for himself. His logic is infantile. He’s willing to overlook the possibility that this administration is willing to say anything to hide their incompetence. He’s willing to say things that hide the fact that this administration’s decisions led directly to the unnecessary deaths of true American patriots.

That’s the responsibility of progressive spinmeisters.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When Speaker-in-Waiting Thissen named Rep. Hortman as the chair of the Energy Committee, he caved to another facet of Alida Messinger’s monopoly. Rep. Hortman no longer represents her district. She’s Alida Messinger’s puppet personal legislator. Couple that with Ms. Messinger’s strident anti-mining agenda and Rep. Hortman’s history of support for a cap and trade system in Minnesota and an emissions system based on California’s emissions system and you’ve got a powerful anti-jobs agenda emerging.

Thinking people can’t believe that the woman that essentially owns the DFL and funds their special interest allies, coupled with a DFL governor and a DFL legislature, isn’t going to push her anti-jobs, anti-freedom agenda.

As I pointed out in this post, building monopolies is part of her DNA.

It’s amusing to see the Leftosphere rush to this lawmaker or another to see what their legislative agenda will be. While they’re the public face of the DFL, their thoughts are only important in terms of tactics.

Alida Messinger dictates the agenda.

If Alida said that PolyMet investors would be frustrated another 2 years, Rep. Thissen and Sen. Bakk will sign off on Alida’s decision. If Alida said that Minnesota needs a cap and trade program, which she will, swing district DFL legislators will fall on their swords and make it a reality. If Alida said small business owners aren’t paying enough in taxes, the DFL will dutifully pass the tax increase and Gov. Dayton will cheerfully sign it. If Alida dictated a change in the sales tax to include taxing clothing and groceries, the DFL legislature will pass it. Gov. Dayton will sign it with a big smile on his face.

It’s important that we understand what these things mean in human terms becasuse that’s what’s most important.

Cap and Trade will cause electric bills to “necessarily skyrocket.” That isn’t just my prediction. It’s a direct quote from then-Sen. Obama. When electric bills in Minnesota “necessarily skyrocket,” Minnesotans should think of it as the DFL’s squeezing the life out of Minnesota’s middle class. Make no mistake about it. This is a regressive tax, the type the DFL usually rails against.

Is that the Minnesota you want to live in?

When PolyMet investors give up on their project, mining jobs won’t be created. The gap in median household income between St. Louis County and the state average will widen. In 2010, the median household income in St. Louis County was $44,941. The statewide average was $57,243. Sen. Bakk, who is from Range country, will dutifully vote to kill the Twin Metals and PolyMet projects.

Don’t miners deserve a chance at prosperity?

When the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton raise taxes on small business owners will cut jobs, contribute less to their employees’ health care and 401(k) plans and scrap plans to expand. Dynamic job creation will stop. That’s a prediction based on past history. It’s as predictable as the sun setting in the west.

It’s inevitable that the DFL legislature will pass and DFL Gov. Dayton will sign sales tax ‘reform’ into law. That means everyone buying groceries and clothes will spend hundreds of dollars more each year in sales tax. How many middle class families can afford that? The working poor can’t afford that. That won’t matter to the DFL because they’re getting hit with that whether they like it or not.

Families should think of the hundreds of dollars they spend on sales tax for groceries and clothes as the DFL’s ‘gift’ to their family budget.

When jobs aren’t created and employees pay more of their health insurance costs, they can’t thank Alida Messinger for their employer robbing Peter to pay Paul to cover the cost of Alida’s expensive tax increase.

It’s important for people to understand that we’ll all pay dearly for what Alida wants. This isn’t about economic growth. Economic growth won’t happen under Alida’s rule. Alida’s agenda is progressive social policy masquerading as economic policy.

Finally, the DFL budget will be in the $38,000,000,000-$41,000,000,000 range. They’ll attempt to pay off their political allies with their budget. The dirty little secret is that the revenues from their tax increases won’t materialize.

When Maryland passed a millionaire’s tax, they collected less money because millionaires moved to northern Virginia. When the French socialists said that they’d tax billionaires at a rate of 75%, those billionaires moved to England.

Does Alida think small business owners will stay and pay hundreds of millions of dollars in extra taxes when the economy is booming in North Dakota?

The simple truth is that Alida Messinger’s monopoly will hurt Minnesota families in a variety of ways. Between the higher electric bills (thanks to Alida’s cap and trade bill) to more money spent on clothes and groceries (thanks to Alida’s sales tax increase), Minnesota’s middle class families will be hit hardest.

Remember this: What Alida wants will cost you bigtime.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If ever there was a post that exposed the Leftosphere as unserious stenographers of pro-Alida fluff, this post fits that description. The title says everything about the unseriousness of the post:

One-party rule doesn’t guarantee unity on issues of environment and energy

A DFL governor and DFL legislature don’t guarantee Alida getting her way on all things anti-industry. Alida waving a big stick over the heads of DFL freshmen in swing districts is what guarantees unity on energy and the environment policy. What Alida wants, Alida gets. More accurately, what Alida demands, Alida gets.

In the last legislative session where Democrats controlled both houses and also held the governorship, as they will again this January, Morse was finishing his first Senate term as a DFLer from the Winona area. It was the 1989-1990 biennium and such fixtures of the contemporary scene as the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, the legislative coordinating council he now heads, weren’t yet invented.

Three sessions later, for the 1995-1996 biennium, Tuma joined the Legislature as a Republican member of the House from Northfield. Remarkably, in hindsight from these more rigid, immoderate times, having lost a bid for the Democrats’ nomination two years earlier didn’t disqualify him from winning both the Republican nomination and then the seat itself in 1994.

Today he lobbies for Conservation Minnesota, known back then as the state chapter of the League of Conservation Voters (and, incidentally, writes quite engagingly about Minnesota political history on his blog).

It isn’t a stretch to call Tuma a ‘Carlson Republican.’ Today, he’s a lobbyist against the mining industry. He’s Alida’s kind of ‘Republican’ in that he’s a lobbyist against the mining industry.

I wrote in this post about Conservation Minnesota’s agenda:

Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy are targeting the proposed PolyMet mine near Hoyt Lakes and the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely.

That means Mr. Tuma is an anti-mining lobbyist. He’s lobbying for an organization with Ms. Messinger as the Vice-President of their Board of Directors.

Let’s stop briefly to connect the dots.

First, Alida Messinger is the boss in the DFL. After the 2010 elections, she said that she wouldn’t write another $500,000 check to the DFL if Brian Melendez was still the chair. Days later, he announce he wasn’t running for another term. Shortly thereafter, Ken Martin was installed as DFL chair. Next, Ms. Messinger is the major funder of ABM, the pro-DFL smear campaign messaging machine. Finally, she’s on Conservation Minnesota’s board of directors, which dictates to the DFL which environmental policies they’ll support.

If you think it’s pure coincidence that Ms. Messinger ‘owns’ these things, think again. It’s something that runs in the Rockefeller family:

Standard Oil gradually gained almost complete control of oil refining and marketing in the United States through horizontal integration. In the kerosene industry, Standard Oil replaced the old distribution system with its own vertical system. It supplied kerosene by tank cars that brought the fuel to local markets and tank wagons then delivered to retail customers, thus bypassing the existing network of wholesale jobbers. Despite improving the quality and availability of kerosene products while greatly reducing their cost to the public (the price of kerosene dropped by nearly 80% over the life of the company), Standard Oil’s business practices created intense controversy. Standard’s most potent weapons against competitors were underselling, differential pricing, and secret transportation rebates. The firm was attacked by journalists and politicians throughout its existence, in part for these monopolistic methods, giving momentum to the anti-trust movement.

Standard Oil was started by John D. Rockefeller, Ms. Messinger’s great grandfather. While John D. Rockefeller created a monopoly in the oil industry, Ms. Messinger has created a political monopoly. She owns the DFL, their messaging machine and their most favored special interest group.

This is just the tip of Alida Messinger’s monopoly. Check back later for Part II of Alida Messinger’s monopoly.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The first workshop I attended at this summer’s RightOnline Conference was about reaching out to minority communities. It was titled “Preaching Beyond the Choir: Growing the Ranks of the Free Market Movement,” which I wrote about in this article. The first featured speaker was Anita MonCrief. Here’s what Ms. MonCrief said that jumped out at me:

She said that the biggest mistake conservatives make is not fighting in every minority district. Part of that, she said, is understandable, acknowledging the fact that “people won’t trust us at first.” Ms. Moncrief said that it’s important to continue the efforts so that people find out that they’re since, not just out for their votes.

Another major point in Ms. Moncrief’s presentation was saying that “If we want to take America back, it has to be block-by-block. She said there’s no substitute for being there, staying committed and building relationships.”

Ms. Moncrief said that listening is essential. That means starting conversations rather than talking to people. Ms. Moncrief said that she enjoyed “talking to the people in their neighborhoods.” She said it doesn’t take a big budget to do that. It just takes effort.

That afternoon, I had the privilege of sitting down with Ms. MonCrief for a lengthy conversation about outreach programs. She’s a bright, articulate, quick-on-her-feet, no-nonsense lady. Most importantly, she knows what she’s talking about when she says that listening is essential to successful outreach efforts. She’s also right in saying “there’s no substitute for being there, staying committed and building relationships.”

The reason for highlighting those things now is because Kim Strassel’s article talks directly about what’s wrong with the GOP election model:

Even with higher GOP turnout in key states, even with Mr. Obama shedding voters, Democrats still won. Mr. Obama accomplished this by tapping new minority voters in numbers that beat even Mr. Romney’s better turnout.

In Florida, 238,000 more Hispanics voted than in 2008, and Mr. Obama got 60% of Hispanic voters. His total margin of victory in Florida was 78,000 votes, so that demographic alone won it for him. Or consider Ohio, where Mr. Romney won independents by 10 points. The lead mattered little, though, given that black turnout increased by 178,000 votes, and the president won 96% of the black vote. Mr. Obama’s margin of victory there was 103,000.

This is the demographic argument that is getting so much attention, and properly so. The Republican Party can hope that a future Democratic candidate won’t equal Mr. Obama’s magnetism for minority voters. But the GOP would do far better by fighting aggressively for a piece of the minority electorate.

There’s no question that capitalism will lift minority families out of poverty. Similarly, there’s no question that that message won’t resonate if conservatives don’t devote tons of hours reaching out to every demographic group. PS- Progressive trust fund babies and elitists aren’t demographic groups.

Mitch Berg, one of the conservatives who gets it, has written eloquently about how the GOP can fight on the topics of charter schools and vouchers to win minority votes. Dan Severson has spent tons of hours doing outreach to various minority communities.

The point is that it’s time for conservatives to put together a well-funded outreach program. If we don’t do that on a national scale, presidential elections will become a night of misery for Republicans.

Conservatives aren’t victims so they shouldn’t spend time whining about what should or shouldn’t have happened. Conservatives are, by nature, solution-oriented opportunists. That’s why we’re entrepreneurial by nature.

Conservatives would win overwhelmingly if we fought as hard for every vote in every demographic group as we fight against tax increases.

Hispanics are pro-life, hard-working people. They’re a natural fit with conservatives. Churchgoing, middle class black families are a better fit with conservatives than with the Obama coalition. Why didn’t we do better with them? Here’s why:

Republicans right now are fretting about Mr. Romney’s failures and the party’s immigration platform—that’s fair enough. But equally important has been the party’s mind-boggling failure to institute a competitive Hispanic ground game. The GOP doesn’t campaign in those communities, doesn’t register voters there, doesn’t knock on doors. So while pre-election polling showed that Hispanics were worried about Obama policies, in the end the only campaign that these voters heard from—by email, at their door, on the phone—was the president’s.

Two cliches fit this situation perfectly. They are: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and You can’t beat something with nothing.

Right now, minority communities don’t know conservatives want them to live a life of prosperity because we aren’t there day after day telling them that. We aren’t there day after day earning their trust or building relationships.

That’s essential in building an appealing something that will defeat the Democrats’ unappealing pandering.

There’s an important message to the activists. The DC establishment hasn’t built this outreach program so it’s up to us. Let’s start building ASAP.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Greta van Susteren is pissed at the Obama administration. That isn’t the daintiest way of putting it but it’s what’s called for. I could say that she’s upset with this administration. I might’ve said she thinks they’re playing games. I won’t say that because that’s pussyfooting around what Greta thinks. In Greta’s opinion, it’s time to take the gloves off and blister this amateurish, corrupt administration. She did that in this post:

The Obama Administration is playing dirty. Trying to put a price tag on access — either a news organization plays ball and accepts what they dish out without challenge, or the news organization is excluded, punished. Check this out:

Fox News has been aggressively reporting on Benghazi because it is newsworthy when 4 Americans are MURDERED and because it was obvious the Obama Administration was telling “silly stories” that didnt’ make sense and were not supported by the facts. The Administration’s Benghazi story got more curious when the Administration sent out Ambassador Susan Rice to sell the silly stories on 5 news shows. Two months later, the American people still don’t have the straight story. It is our job to get the facts. We are trying.

The Obama Administration has done everything but give us the straight story and they are fighting us on getting the facts.

And why do I say the Obama Administration should grow up? Because the Obama Administration is trying to punish Fox for trying to get the facts from the Administration (do I need to remind anyone that 4 Americans were murdered?) The Administration in what looks like a coordinated effort is denying Fox to information that they are handing out to other news organizations. Why exclude Fox? That is simple: to punish, to try to teach us a lesson not to pry, not to look further for facts.

This isn’t just Greta’s opinion, though it’s fair to say this is what she believes. Top flight attorneys know that opinions don’t stand up at trial if they aren’t supported by evidence. Greta is a top flight attorney who knows when to stick the dagger in. That’s what she did with this information:

Here is my proof. The Administration is now 3 out of 3:

1. The State Department called a media conference call the night before its employees testified on Capitol Hill and OMITTED FOX FROM THE CALL; (they claimed it was an accidental oversight);

2. About 2 weeks after the above State Department conference call to all in the media, the CIA had a media wide briefing and released their timeline. The CIA invited major news organizations to the briefing but THE CIA EXCLUDED FOX FROM THOSE INVITED TO THE BRIEFING.

3. and now the latest: DNI Director James Clapper told Capitol Hill last week that the DNI did not know who took the term Al Qaeda out of the talking points that was given to Ambassador Susan Rice. It turns out that is not true and the DNI released a memo to the media last night indicating that DNI Director James Clapper was wrong last week when he said that (incidentally two plus months after the murders.) The [DNI/CIA] removed Al Qaeda from the talking points memo given to Ambassador Susan Rice. But that’s not all; it isn’t just the “who is on first” at the DNI, it is also what the DNI did to Fox last night. The DNI LEFT FOX NEWS CHANNEL OFF ITS DISTRIBUTION LIST last night when it released this new memo to the media.

Only idiots from Media Matters or Huffington Post will be stupid enough to argue with Greta about this. Not even Paul Begala is stupid enough to question Greta about this information or Greta’s opinions.

This is a vindictive administration. They’ve repeatedly said on national TV that they intend on making an example of FNC. First, here’s a golden oldie from David Axelrod:

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that the Fox News Channel is “not really a news station” and that much of the programming is “not really news.”

“I’m not concerned,” Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” when George Stephanopoulos asked about the back-and-forth between the White House and Fox News.

“Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch has a talent for making money, and I understand that their programming is geared toward making money. The only argument [White House communications director] Anita [Dunn] was making is that they’re not really a news station if you watch even; it’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming.

“It’s really not news; it’s pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way. We’re going to appear on their shows. We’re going to participate but understanding that they represent a point of view.”

It’s the height of stupidity to say that Bret Baier, Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin, Ed Henry and Jim Angle aren’t great reporters. They’ve broken stories that’ve put this administration in a difficult position.

Contrary to this administration’s belief, it isn’t the media’s job to hide their mistakes and divert the public’s attention from their mistakes. And Benghazi was far greater than a mistake. It’s a continuing national tragedy. It’s a full-fledged scandal. It’s a failure of this administration’s top national security officials.

Had this happened during the Bush administration, the compliant liberal media would’ve called for the firings of the Bush administration’s national security team. Frankly, they would’ve been justified had Bush’s national security team been this incompetent.

Hillary said no to Christopher Stevens’ pleas for additional security. Leon Panetta fiddled while Christopher Stevens was assassinated. Susan Rice said an obscure video sparked protests outside the Benghazi consulate when she knew there wasn’t a protest outside the consulate. Finally, the DNI scrubbed the mention of Ansar al-Shariah from the briefing document Ambassador Rice supposedly relied on.

Simply put, this bunch of incompetents and yes men/women did what they were told, including punishing a news organization for attempting to report the truth:

We at Fox are not simply accepting what they say, what they dish out. We are looking for facts and corroboration when there are inconsistencies and discrepancies. To the extent we get anything wrong is because the Administration is doing whatever it can to thwart us from getting the facts.

They are trying to punish us into going away, hoping we get their message that we will never have access to them as long as we dare to challenge what they put out. And guess what? What they have put out and what we have challenged shows they are cagey and not giving the straight story.

This won’t end well for the Obama administration. This will be Obama’s Watergate, Obama’s Iran-Contra. On steroids. The difference is that people didn’t die during the Watergate burglary or the Iran-Contra negotiations. Four American patriots died as a result of President Obama’s and Hillary’s mishandling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It isn’t that there isn’t a fair amount of truth in this SC Times article. It’s that it didn’t talk about a truly disturbing pattern, namely ABM’s lies in their anti-GOP smear campaigns.

Jerry McCarter tried portraying himself as having tried to run a clean campaign on the issues. I wrote here why that’s BS. First, let’s look at what he said in the Times article:

“Part of what I was trying to do was show people you can do this without negative ads; you can do this without all the special-interest money,” he said. “I guess I showed them that you can’t.”

Now let’s look at something McCarter ran on:

McCarter, who’s running against Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud, says the shutdown was part of what spurred him to run for Senate. “Like a lot of people, I found [it] unnecessary, politically motivated, and I think it damaged the state’s image long-term,” he said.

I’ve written repeatedly that Gov. Dayton shut the government down. It’s a matter of record that several GOP legislators submitted lights-on funding bills to prevent a state government shutdown. The one attracting most attention would’ve funded state government at its 2011-2012 levels through July 11. During that time, the goal was to negotiate a final settlement on the budget.

At 10:00 pm of June 30, 2011, Mark Dayton stepped to a microphone and announced that negotiations had failed and that state government was shutting down. Rather than calling a special session to pass a lights-on bill, Gov. Dayton put 23,000 state government employees on furlough.

For all of his I’m-running-a-clean-campaign rhetoric, the truth is that Mr. McCarter built much of his campaign on a verifiable lie.

That isn’t the only lie ABM peddled during the campaign. With their willing accomplices in the Twin Cities media, they put together this lie-filled ad:

One announcer said that “It was another day of deep budget cuts at the Capital.” Pat Kessler said “Cuts are so deep, it threatens public safety.” Dayton said “There are real consequences to every dollar cut.” It’s time to highlight the truth with the DFL’s own words:

SEN. COHEN: We’re going to be passing a budget that it billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars and at a level that we’ve never done before in the history of the state. The 12-13 budget will be $34.33 billions of dollars in general fund dollars taxed to the citizens of Minnesota. The 10-11 budget two years ago was $30.171 billion, I believe.

So the difference is over $4 billion, I believe. The largest state general fund budget ever, ever, ever, in the history of the state of Minnesota.

What this means is that Gov. Dayton’s words, Pat Kessler’s words and other biased media’s words didn’t have a hint of truth to them. It’s worth noting that ABM didn’t hesitate in using them in their statewide smear campaign against GOP candidates.

It’s time for Mr. Sommerhauser and other reporters to blister Alida Messinger, Gov. Dayton and the Twin Cities media for telling the whoppers that they told. If he won’t, citizen journalists like Mitch Berg and myself will expose the DFL for the corrupt political party it is.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

When Chancellor Rosenstone submitted his first MnSCU budget request, he said it focused “on educating more people for ‘high-demand, high-growth professions.'”

That’s a perfect-sounding soundbite but it’s spin, not reality.

When Earl Potter told the St. Cloud City Council that the Aviation program was “a fine program that we could no longer afford”, he sidestepped a bigger issue. This Time article cuts to the heart of the matter in its opening paragraphs:

Air travel can be torturous enough as it is, with delays, cancellations, lost luggage and expensive tickets, but experts warn that another problem looms on the horizon, threatening to further complicate the commercial airline experience: a pilot shortage. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. airlines are on track to run out of pilots in the near future and are facing the most serious scarcity of trained aviators since the 1960s.

The paper reports that more than half of American pilots are over age 50, and there is a dearth of qualified candidates to fill the cockpits that will be left empty when they retire. The mandatory retirement age for pilots is 65 years old (extended from 60 in 2007), meaning that thousands are expected to leave their careers with no one to replace them, the Journal notes. While the profession saw a boom in new hires in the 1980s, significantly fewer have been hired in the last 10 years, thanks to a combination of tighter regulations, pay cuts and general economic turmoil.

It’s time to think of the ramifications of the conditions described in Time’s article. With the holiday season approaching, people will be faced with crowded airports, overbooked flights, longer delays and, potentially, disruptions of their travels.

Actually, air travellers know that that’s what air travel is like pretty much year round already. When I went to the RightOnline Conference in Las Vegas this summer, each of the flights was full. The jets were undersized, too.

Imagine what things will be like if this pilot shortage isn’t addressed. Airlines will shut down additional flights. Flight options will shrink dramatically. Service to so-called ‘second-tier cities’ will be canceled altogether because they can’t be staffed.

That isn’t speculation. That will be reality within the next 5-7 years. President Potter and Chancellor Rosenstone have the ability to change that by rescinding the decision to cancel the Aviation program at SCSU. It’s without question that SCSU can’t produce all of the graduates it’ll take to replace the soon-to-be-retiring pilots. Still, they’re capable of being a significant part of the solution.

In fact, I’d argue that it’s wise to change the trajectory of the Aviation program. Instead of shutting it down, they should be expanding the program to increase the number of flight maintenance workers available to regional airlines. There’s a shortage of them, too. Those classes could be offered by the St. Cloud Technical College.

If Chancellor Rosenstone is truly committed to educating more people for “‘high-demand, high-growth professions,'” he can start with telling President Potter to re-open SCSU’s Aviation program. There’s no arguing that an industry that’s facing its most severe shortage in a generation is a “high-demand” field.

It’s time for Chancellor Rosenstone and President Potter to stop playing games. They’re great at saying the right things. Now it’s time for them to start making better decisions that meet the various industries’ needs. If they don’t start making better decisions, students will rightfully start abandoning the universities for colleges that train them for these jobs.

UPDATE: For more on this topic, read my Part I & Part II of my series on higher ed reform on Examiner.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,