Archive for September, 2013

To: SCSU Faculty
From: Gary Gross, citizen journalist
Subject: St. Cloud State’s declining enrollment

If people only listened to President Potter’s predictions, they might think St. Cloud State was in solid shape financially. That’d be a mistake because his enrollment predictions have been pretty worthless. Last spring, the administration predicted enrollment would be down 2.4%. Later they predicted it would be down 2.8%-3.2%.

According to MnSCU’s data for Sept. 4, enrollment at St. Cloud State was down 12%. They’ve made up ground since then but it’s still down 6.4%. By comparison, Minnesota State-Mankato is down .6%:

Even if you use the worst case scenario from last spring, their projection vs. today’s reality was off by 100%. In other words, their projections weren’t even close. Their predictions were, putting it politely, SWAG. SWAG is the acronym for Statistical Wild Ass Guess. They might’ve had better luck had they thrown darts at a dartboard while blindfolded.

People who can’t identify how bad the problem is certainly can’t be trusted to figure out a solution to St. Cloud State’s enrollment crisis. And yes, crisis is the right word. St. Cloud State’s FYE enrollment, which is what the above report reflects, has dropped by approximately 15% over the last 3 years.

Yesterday, I wrote this post about the financial mismanagement of the University. I wrote then about the budget implications the declining enrollment and the financial mismanagement are having. I believe that that’s the proper way of looking at these things. Looking at one without the other doesn’t give you, the professors, the complete picture.

The reality is that budget cuts are heading in your departments’ directions. In fact, the administration has admitted that it needs to cut $2,861,117 from the budget. Provost Malhotra tried spinning that by saying $2,861,117 represents just .3% of St. Cloud State’s budget. Whether that’s accurate or not, $2,861,117 isn’t a trivial figure. That will have a serious impact on the budget.

It’s important you ask yourself this question: Do you trust this administration to make the decisions needed to pull the University out of this enrollment crisis? Here’s another question you should ask yourself: Considering the foolish decisions they’ve made the past 3 years, do they deserve the opportunity to right the ship?

If you answered no to either question, your path forward is clear.

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DC’s chattering class has been talking about how Sen. Cruz’s talkathon (filibuster?) was all show that hurts Republicans. If I read another quote about how foolish it was, I’ll be ill. Thankfully, Michael Walsh gets it:

After his disgraceful attacks on Cruz, including his reach-across-the-aisle, dog-in-the-manger response today, this should be the end of Senator John McCain as a voice of influence in the Republican party. Ditto his mini-me, Senator Lindsey Graham. Indeed, the entire Old Guard of business-as-usual “comity” fans passeth. When you care more about what the other side thinks, it’s probably time either to switch teams or step down.

This is the difference between the Democrats’ old guard and the GOP’s old guard. Sen. McCain thinks Democrats care about comity. They don’t. Whenever they have a chance to stick the knife in, Democrats (think Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) stick the knife in, give it a twist, then revel that they railroaded the McCains and Grahams of the world.

There is new leadership in the GOP, whether the party wants to admit it or not: Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and the others who stepped into the breach to spell the senator from Texas.

Another person who should be included in that list is Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Sen. Cornyn is another senator who signed his political death warrant during this debate. Keeping him around is fine but he needs to be run out of the Senate GOP leadership team.

Had the old guard been smart, they would’ve embraced Sen. Cruz’s talkathon. Instead, they criticized him. Someone from the old guard even sent Chris Wallace opposition research to do a hatchet job on Sen. Cruz. If they find out who sent the opposition research, that person should be primaried the next time he/she is up for re-election.

The Cruz faction in the Senate, and its allies in the House (whose leadership is now up for grabs) must now press their advantage. The louder the Democrats squawk, the more they are wounded; the one thing they’ve long feared is a direct assault on their core beliefs as translated into actions, and the deleterious effects of Obamacare, just now being felt by the population, are the most vivid proof of the failure of Progressivism that conservatives could wish for.

Carpe diem isn’t just a nice slogan. It should be the TEA Party’s rallying cry now through the first Tuesday in November, 2014. The Democrats’ worst nightmare in 2014 is that they might be forced to defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the PPACA.

The PPACA is so unpopular that, in lots of House districts, Democrats wouldn’t have a chance of winning if the PPACA is the chief issue.

Back in their glory days, the Packers and the USC Trojans were dominant. It wasn’t because they fooled people with their playcalling. When the game was on the line, USC called Student Body Right or Student Body Left. The Packers ran sweeps led by Paul Hornung or Jim Taylor. Everyone knew what was coming. It didn’t matter.

The Democrats know what’s coming. They can’t stop it because they voted for a bill that’s less popular than Wall Street.

This is a great idea:

Make Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin into the faces of the Democratic party and watch the votes peel away from the Left.

Having Reid as the other face of the Democratic Party isn’t bad for Republicans either.

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Paul Bedard’s article is today’s must reading. Here’s what he quoted from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s statement:

Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month, a 190 percent increase.

  • Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month, a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.
  • Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy.
  • In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.

The title to my post isn’t catchy. It’s just sad. Bedard highlights another important point here:

The White House on Wednesday released a report on the costs of Obamacare for most Americans, heralding its interpretation that 95 percent of the nation will be able to buy health insurance premiums below “earlier projections.”

But note the words “earlier projections.” That doesn’t mean that the insurance Americans will have to buy, or be fined, under Obamacare will be cheaper than what they pay today, before Obamacare kicks in.

As we saw in the opening quotes, projections don’t mean much when the PPACA ‘sticker shock’ is that harsh. Getting a 190% increase in insurance premiums will people’s attention more than beating projections. If you asked people whether they’d rather see prices come in under projections or not having premiums increase by 97%, it wouldn’t be rare for people to say they don’t want their premiums to increase by 97%.

Finally, it shouldn’t be overlooked that Tennesseans won’t be able to purchase 105 plans that are currently available. If you give people the choice between more options or fewer options, they’ll take the more options option. Of course, not everyone thinks more choice is better:

Apparently, This administration thinks that more health insurance choices are bad and that beating projections are better than driving down prices.

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Yesterday, I spoke with some well-connected people at Townhall Tuesday who said that the House Higher Education Committee isn’t likely to take up a serious investigation into St. Cloud State’s corruption because “it’s a St. Cloud issue.” This didn’t come from a single person. It came from several people who’ve supplied me with reliable information in the past.

Let’s explode the myth that there’s anything local about MnSCU. That’s a political dodge that’s been used by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Simply put, it’s BS. University presidents report directly, and solely, to the MnSCU chancellor, who then reports to a rubberstamp known as the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

That each of these groups live in their own ivory towers is disturbing enough. University presidents can, and have, told their communities to stuff it. Certainly, Chancellor Rosenstone has washed his hands of anything to do with SCSU’s financial mismanagement. There’s no question that the MnSCU Board of Trustees are disinterested bystanders.

Simply put, it’s a system designed to discourage accountability. If it weren’t for a handful of citizen journalists, there’s no doubt that MnSCU would’ve swept any attempts to hold its universities and presidents accountable aside.

I’d love seeing Chairman Pelowski and Vice-Chair Dorholt prove me wrong by launching a serious investigation into St. Cloud State. Until I see that happen, I’ll take a Missouri point of view. They’ll have to show me that they’re serious. I won’t take their talk seriously until their actions show me that they’re serious.

From another angle, I’d love seeing some legislators put together legislation that would create local accountability. The ideal legislation would put in place an accountability panel that was independent of MnSCU. This accountability panel would have the authority to gather documents from their university without putting a Data Practices Act request together. That would mean there’d potentially be an adversarial system.

That’s better than the crony-filled rubberstamp system we’ve currently got with MnSCU.

This independent investigatory panele would also have the authority to perform audits of the universities’ books to make sure funds aren’t being improperly co-mingled or shifted.

What’s interesting is that every SCSU professor I’ve talked with thinks that MnSCU is a joke. That’s been the opinion from them whether they’re conservative or liberal or somewhere in between.

Former legislators think that, too. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis once told me that he submitted a bill to kill MnSCU before it became operational when he was a state senator. He knew it wouldn’t deliver on its promises. Mayor Kleis was vindicated on that.

What’s clear is that the current system isn’t working. It isn’t preventing corruption and mismanagement. It isn’t punishing people after it’s been proven that they’re corrupt or that they’ve mismanaged their university’s finances. At this point, there isn’t even proof that MnSCU or the legislature is even interested in oversight.

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To: SCSU Faculty
From: Gary Gross, citizen journalist
Subject: SCSU’s financial mismanagement

Since last spring and throughout the summer, I’ve written about the financial mismanagement issues afflicting SCSU. I’ve been blessed by Silence Dogood’s insights and information throughout. Silence’s information is irrefutable.

Still, administrators and a few members of the faculty have taken cheapshots at me. They’ve insisted that I’m “an archconservative who doesn’t have the University’s best interests at heart.” They couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve lived in St. Cloud all my life. I want St. Cloud State to succeed because a thriving St. Cloud State contributes to St. Cloud’s economy.

It’s just that I can’t sit back and watch while President Potter decimate SCSU with one shoddy financial decision after another. Thanks to contracts he’s signed, St. Cloud State’s checkbook is lighter by almost $1,600,000 this year. It might be more but I’m certain of those outlays.

St. Cloud State is spending $240,000 this year for police protection, protection that the City of St. Cloud is obligated to pay for. An additional $1,200,000 left St. Cloud State’s checkbook thanks to Coborn’s Plaza being significantly underpopulated. Coborn’s Plaza lightened St. Cloud State’s checkbook by $2,250,000 the first 2 years in addition to this year’s $1,200,000. That’s before subtracting $150,000 for the Confucius Institute.

It’s important to ask the question whether the University would be better off with the money in department budgets or in these initiatives. I suspect they’d be better off if President Potter hadn’t misspent the money on these initiatives. I’m confident you’ll agree.

Silence Dogood wrote powerfully about the impact declining tuition revenue will have on the University’s budget. Then Silence talked about the impending budget cuts:

At the most recent Meet and Confer on September 5, 2013, the administration presented a document that indicates that there is a need to cut the budget to cover the lost tuition dollars from the administration’s now predicted 5% drop in enrollment. The total amount to be cut is $2,861,117.

Then Silence added this:

According to the September 19, 2013 email sent by Provost Malhotra, “We are taking the necessary steps to adjust our current FY14 budget for the additional 1.0% enrollment shift, which equals about $620,000.

It’s time to ask yourself some questions, starting with whether an additional enrollment drop should be called an “enrollment shift.” That’s outright spin. It isn’t a shift. It’s a drop. Second, it’s important to ask whether this administration has been honest with you. I’d submit it hasn’t. Third, it’s important to question whether the administration’s decisions have led to a healthier St. Cloud State or whether they’ve contributed to a crumbling institution. I’d submit they’ve contributed to the latter.

The decision is your’s. Do you think this leadership team will right the ship? If you answered no, then it’s time to be part of the solution instead of being an enabler. It’s that simple.

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KrisAnne Hall’s post should make politicians in both parties nervous. That’s because she’s asking the right question while DC journalists play their DC echochamber games.

On Friday, President Barack Obama told workers at a Ford plant in Liberty, Missouri, “if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’re deadbeats.” This is a prime example of “fundamentally transforming” America. This is part of the strategy that leftists use; change the definition of words, seize the vocabulary. Obama wants you to believe that racking up bills that you can’t pay for in the first place, and then borrowing money to pay those bills, and then passing on that debt to your children is the responsible thing. It used to be that people understood that if you robbed from your children you were, fundamentally, a deadbeat.

In the heartland, people still understand that. It’s just that people inside DC’s Beltway don’t understand that concept. Inside DC’s echochamber, they talk about conventional wisdom, who’s up and who’s down, and who’s got leverage.

Out in America’s heartland, they talk about doing what’s right for future generations.

Inside DC’s echochamber, they think such talk is quaint and possibly naive. It’s anything but quaint. It definitely isn’t naive. The difference between the philosophies is that doing what’s right and sacrificing is always the right thing to do. Splurging and living beyond your means is never the right thing to do.

Ms. Hall continues:

Thomas Paine tells a story in 1776 about a conversation he overheard by such outlaws like we see in government today…

“I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by the Tories: a noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression, ‘Well! give me peace in my day.’”

Thomas Paine calls men who pass on problems to their children “UNFATHERLY”. How is it that we are taught that we are so much smarter than our founders that we have to redefine their wisdom by redefining the Constitution? Here we have Thomas Paine in 1776 giving the correct definition of “deadbeat” and today that concept eludes us? What does that say about ANY member of Congress who will vote to increase the debt ceiling? Yes, I said they ALL are wicked deadbeats, regardless of party affiliation, if they vote to increase the debt ceiling.

What’s most disappointing is that Republicans aren’t passionately pushing the idea of fiscal restraint. This should be the heart of their messaging this fall. Letting Washington’s big spenders off the hook is disgusting. Instead, they’ve gone into passive mode, with a few notable exceptions.

It’s time for conservatives, Americans really, to stand up against DC’s culture of waste. They’ve sloppily spent other people’s money for too long. It’s time to shout ‘NO MORE!!!’ to DC’s big spenders.

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Most Minnesotans don’t know much about what MnSCU is. It’s less likely that they know that MnSCU has a Board of Trustees, which are supposed to pay attention to what’s happening at the universities, community colleges and technical colleges. It’s almost impossible to find proof that they’re anything more than a rubberstamp for the MnSCU chancellor. Finally, next to no one knows that each congressional district has a representative, at least theoretically.

For the record, here’s the current MnSCU Board of Trustees.

The reality is that nobody’s ever heard of a MnSCU trustee holding a townhall meeting. That’s because these trustees don’t hold townhall meetings. They prefer doing what they’ve always done, namely, rubberstamping things that MnSCU chancellors want. That’s great if you’re running an ivory tower but it’s a worthless way to connect with the needs of the communities. It’s a worthless way to find out what the businesses’ workforce needs are in their district.

There’s another ‘advantage’ to never holding townhall meetings: staying anonymous. That’s a distinct advantage if your highest priority is rubberstamping decisions instead of representing the citizens of their districts.

These MnSCU trustees need to step out of their ivory towers. Staying in them, they only hear from the same voices. What’s worse is that they only hear the same opinions on the same old subjects.

That isn’t likely to happen, though. One professor wrote to that district’s ‘representative’. This professor asked if the district representative planned on holding any townhall meetings. Later that night, the ‘representative’ replied, saying “No, I am not.”

MnSCU has never functioned that well. Now, it’s known by professors as the institution “that’s taken the fun out of dysfunctional.” University presidents don’t answer to local citizens. The chancellor only answers to the Board of Trustees who don’t answer to or report to anyone.

These trustees should meet regularly with the people in their districts. That means they should talk frequently with local businesses, civic leaders and professors. In fact, if they got out of their ivory towers from time to time, they might actually say no to the things the presidents and the MnSCU chancellor are pushing. If nothing else, they’d hear a different perspective than the stale things they’re currently hearing.

It’s time that people took a wrecking ball to MnSCU’s ivory towers. It’s time to hear from the people they theoretically represent.

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Lying with Statistics: Statistics Don’t Lie But Those Using Them Can
by Silence Dogood

Last February, the SCSU administration was planning for a 2.4% drop in enrollment for this year. By April, the number reported to the Budget Advisory Committee was an enrollment drop in the range of 2.8-3.2%. According to an email sent by Provost Malhotra on September 19, 2013, “When we completed our budget planning for FY14 in April, we planned for an FYE reduction of approximately 4.0%.” [Just as a side note it would be interesting to know when the change from 2.8-3.2% to 4.0% occurred and when it was communicated to the Faculty Association and campus community. This is just another example, of which there are many, where the administration has not felt the need to communicate important information with the Faculty Association.]

Unfortunately, the predicted drop in enrollment is going to be larger than the 4% drop that the administration planned for and some think the new prediction may follow the pattern of earlier predictions and under shoot the actual decline which might be significantly larger—only time will tell. In light of a pattern of under estimating the enrollment decline it is hard to understand how President Potter, at Meet and Confer on September 5, 2013, could be so adamant that “The drop will be 5%!” Remember a 5% decline is more than 100% higher than the original predicted decline from last February (2.4% vs. 5%).

From February to the end of April, the predicted decline in enrollment grew from 2.4% to 4% and the latest prediction for the FY14 is a 5% decline. Remember nearly everything reported by the administration to date has been a prediction and the administration’s track record on making predictions hardly inspires confidence. Very simple math shows that the administration’s latest prediction of a 5% decline was only off by 1% from the April prediction. However, what this really amounts to is an error in the prediction of 25%. So, clearly, the administration’s ability to accurately predict enrollment is not outstanding.

In his September 19th message to the campus community, Provost Malhotra did share that summer enrollment was down 5.4% and that year to date enrollment comparing the enrollment this Fall with last Fall was down 5.3%. His prediction for Spring is that enrollment will be down only 4.7% so that the overall enrollment for the academic year will be down by 5.0%. Based on the past track record of predictions, it would not be hard to ‘predict’ that the enrollment for Spring will be down by more than 4.7% predicted by the administration. However, for simplicity, let’s just assume that enrollment for the year will be down by 5%.

At the most recent Meet and Confer on September 5, 2013, the administration presented a document that indicates that there is a need to cut the budget to cover the lost tuition dollars from the administration’s now predicted 5% drop in enrollment. The total amount to be cut is $2,861,117. Unfortunately, nothing in the document indicates where the money is to be cut.

One percent seems like something so small that it might almost be insignificant. According to the September 19, 2013 email sent by Provost Malhotra, “We are taking the necessary steps to adjust our current FY14 budget for the additional 1.0% enrollment shift, which equals about $620,000. With a total operating budget of more than $210 million, this represents a reduction of about 0.3%.”

First, instead of calling it an enrollment decline, it is now called an “enrollment shift.” I don’t know about you but if enrollment had declined by 15% over the past three years, I think I’d look for a new way of describing it—some call this “spin.” Clearly, “shift” sounds so much better than “decline.”

Second, it really isn’t an “adjustment” of $620,000, because as presented at Meet and Confer, $2,861,117 needs to be cut from the FY14 budget, which even according to the administration’s own figures is a 1.72% decrease—this is significantly larger than the reduction of 0.3% Provost Malhotra cites. However, it seems clear that the Provost and the budget folks are not on the same page because at Meet and Confer it seemed like the budget cut of $2,861,117 took care of the 5% enrollment decline. However, two weeks later, the Provost is saying that the additional 1% decline in going from a 4% to a 5% decrease will mean and additional $620,000 must be cut from the budget. We are only left to wonder whether we will be cutting $2,861,117 or adding the $620,000 to this number for a total cut of $3,481,446. Clearly, this is not entirely transparent!

In the same email of September 19, 2013, Provost Malhotra states: “Our organization is healthy, our reserves are stable, and we are confident we can deal with the budget impact in FY14 without any staff cuts or retrenchment.” It is important to remember that SCSU has had successive declines in Fall enrollment of 5.9%, 4.5% and now 5.2% (using the administration’s own prediction for this fall), so one might certainly question whether or not our organization is “healthy.” A drop of over 15% in enrollment during the past three years might make even the most ardent supporters of President Potter start to swallow hard.

With all of the cuts from the past three years of declining enrollment, one might wonder where the money (either $2,861,117 or worse yet $3,481,446) is going to come from. With over $1,200,000 necessary to cover the shortfall for Coborn’s Plaza, $240,000 annually for three years for additional police protection, $150,000 annually for three years for the Confucius Institute, debt service for the new ISELF complex, as well as international travel to Malaysia and Turkey, it is hard not to think programs on campus are going to feel the pinch again.

Ultimately, the question is: Does the data show a “healthy” institution heading in the right direction or not? Remember statistics don’t lie (only statisticians).

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I was stunned when I read this article. Specifically, I was stunned by Jay Carney’s blather:

The White House on Monday called GOP efforts to defund Obamacare and win more spending cuts at the risk of a government shutdown or default “utterly irresponsible” and warned the president would not negotiate with Republicans.

“Congress needs to act responsibly to ensure that the government does not shut down,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “[President Obama] has made it abundantly clear that fiddling around with the prospect of default is utterly irresponsible and we cannot do it.”

What’s “utterly irresponsible” is the fact that the White House and its sycophant allies in Congress think we need more stimulus instead of pro-growth policies. It’s “utterly irresponsible” to insist that we’ve cut government spending to the bone:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says that while deficit reduction is a laudable goal, there are precious few spending cuts left to negotiate in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

“The cupboard is bare,” the California Democrat said in an interview aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There’s no more cuts to make.” “We all want to reduce the deficit,” she added. “Put everything on the table, review it, but you cannot have any more cuts just for the sake of cuts. Right now you’re taking trophies.”

Cutting spending isn’t cutting for the sake of cutting, Ms. Pelosi. Republicans like Tom Coborn, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz want to cut spending because it’s irresponsible to spend money on things that the federal government shouldn’t be spending money on. It’s irresponsible for Congress to insist on tax hikes while funding things that people don’t need. I’d argue that Ms. Pelosi familiarize herself with Sen. Coborn’s “Sequester This” series. Here’s one of Sen. Coborn’s speeches in the Senate:

First, Sen. Coborn identifies the GAO as “a great organization.” He’s exactly right. Then Sen. Coborn identifies the federal government’s problem, saying that “Congress has failed to act on the first 2 reports. No substantive action whatsoever.” Then Sen. Coborn gets into specifics”

SEN. COBORN: They found 679 different renewable energy programs across 23 agencies. Not across the Energy Department, where they should be if we’re going to have renewable energy programs.

Sen. Coborn then identified the fact that the federal government spend $15,000,000,000 annually on these programs. Then he added this stunning information:

SEN. COBORN: They found instances where we’re giving grants from different agencies to the same projects for the same thing, spending 3 times as much money as we should be spending.

If Ms. Pelosi still insists that “the cupboard is bare” on spending cuts, then someone needs to ask her if she’s lost her flipping mind. Only a San Francisco liberal would make such a foolish statement, much less say it with the conviction she said it with.

It’s time for Republicans to stop with their fetal position negotiations. It’s time to start pushing back against the Democrats’ spending policies. It’s time that Republicans should adopt the policy of asking why Democrats insist on spending the taxpayers’ money this foolishly. Force Democrats to answer those questions.

If the media won’t talk about it in its news reports, then it’s incumbent on conservatives to push the issue on TV shows, writing op-eds explaining why it isn’t fair for this administration to spend taxpayers’ money foolishly. It’s imperative for conservatives to question President Obama’s economic policies, too.

Finally, here’s what I think of Pelosi’s “cupboard is bare” statement”

King, thanks for the reminder.

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Politico’s Roger Simon is the latest Democratic shill to announce that everything that’s wrong with Washington is the Republicans’ fault:

There are scorpions among us. They sit in Congress, committed not to solving problems, but blocking solutions.

They would take the food out of the mouths of children. They would put the insurance companies back in charge of health care. They would shut the government down, refuse to pay the nation’s bills, destroy the trust that other countries place in us when they buy our bonds, they would do all this rather than give President Obama the slimmest of political victories.

Why? It is their nature.

I am not talking about the entire Republican Party. I am talking about a faction of far-right, Tea Party-driven congressmen who do not care who drowns.

They don’t have real alternate plans to help people. They weren’t, they believe, elected to help people. They were elected, they believe, to keep the other side from helping people.

It’s frightening to hear a supposedly educated journalist insist that Republicans, who’ve put forward tons of solutions on the biggest problems facing families, are scorpions but Democrats, who avoided putting a budget together for over 4 years, are virtuous, responsible politicians.

It’s time for these DC political shills to pull their heads out of their arses. It’s time they woke up to reality. It’s time they noticed that President Obama and the vast majority of Democrats want to halt coal-fired power plants. It’s time they noticed that President Obama and the vast majority of Democrats want to inflict pain on Americans via the PPACA. That’s if it ever gets implemented, which isn’t a sure thing. It’s time for fossils like Mr. Simon to notice that the EPA is attempting to do away with natural gas by 2035. It’s time they noticed that President Obama and a majority of Democrats agree with the EPA.

Perhaps Mr. Simon can explain why he thinks government bureaucrats are more benevolent than insurance companies, especially in light of how the IRS, the DOJ and the NSA have been used to attack people.

In Mr. Simon’s world, “far-right, TEA Party-driven” people are the problems, not IRS victims. I wonder what the color of the sun in Mr. Simon’s solar system is. It’s undoubtedly a different sun than the one in Earth’s solar system.

These supposedly radical TEA Party activists believe in accountability in government. Doesn’t Mr. Simon agree with that? TEA Party activists think all levels of government shouldn’t foolishly spend the people’s money. Does Mr. Simon think that that isn’t a worthy policy? TEA Party activists think the federal government shouldn’t have doubled the national debt in 5 years. Does Mr. Simon think that was smart?

TEA Party activists oppose President Obama’s end run around Congress to implement things he couldn’t get passed in Congress. Does Mr. Simon approve of President Obama’s unconstitutional, illegal behavior?

Apparently. That’s the only explanation why he thinks Republicans are the problem.