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Apparently, this nation has undergone a significant transformation from being a confident nation that loved free trade to being a nation that thinks the middle class gets screwed over by every free trade agreement. It’s sad to see the Party of Reagan getting duped into believing that we’re a nation that can’t compete by our party’s nominee.

Let’s unclutter this argument. Do you trust Donald Trump more than you trust Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman? That’s what this comes down to. Ronald Reagan took over a struggling economy, cut taxes and dramatically reduced regulation while negotiating trade deals. As a result of President Reagan’s economic policies, the US economy created over 20,000,000 jobs in 8 years. In September, 1983, the economy created 1,100,000 jobs.

Compare that with Donald Trump’s record of failed businesses and bankruptcies. That’s right. That isn’t a comparison. That’s more like Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. It isn’t much of a fight. That’s before getting into Milton Friedman’s lecturing Phil Donahue on the virtues of capitalism and free trade:

Here’s what Milton Friedman told Donahue:

In the only cases in which the masses have escaped the types of grinding poverty that you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, and where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.

Anyone that thinks that Trump knows what’s best compared to President Reagan and Dr. Friedman isn’t dealing with reality. The biggest reasons why jobs have moved overseas are the overtaxation and overregulation, the increase in regulatory compliance costs here in the United States and the lowering of marginal tax rates in other countries. Add into that Obamacare and this administration’s war on cheap energy prices (think Solyndra and Hillary’s statement that she was going to shut down coal plants) and it isn’t surprising that companies are leaving.

Without question, we’ve hesitated to call trading partners out when they’ve broken the agreement’s provisions. That’s proof of political spinelessness. It isn’t proof that trade agreements are counterproductive.

Anyone that trusts a man who opened a casino in flush economic times, then saw that casino go bankrupt, more than they trust the greatest president of the last 125 years and one of the most accomplished economists in modern history is a blithering idiot. I’ll trust President Reagan and Dr. Friedman over Donald Trump any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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Dave Unze’s latest article about ISD742’s new bonding referendum is must-reading for the districts’ residents because of its multiple potential impacts.

First, it’s important to consider the impact the referendum will have on local property taxes. The impact will undoubtedly be gigantic, especially for people living on fixed incomes. Next, it’s important that residents question whether this is the wisest choice in terms of whether School Superintendent Willie Jett’s proposal fits St. Cloud’s and the area’s future. Many residents see the city and the region looking much different than it currently looks. Third, residents should tell the district that they’re voting no unless they see the blueprint for the proposed Tech High School. They should tell the School Board that the questions must be worded so that no changes to the blueprints can be made once voters approve the issuing of bonds.

Last year, when the proposed bonding referendum was defeated 8,460-7,393, many voters that I spoke with said that they weren’t willing to approve a blank check to the school board. They said that there wasn’t much information put out there about what the new Tech High School would look like.

Since then, the landscape has changed significantly. People question whether there’s a need to build a new Tech. Voters should question whether refurbishing Tech might not be a better option. Residents should also question the size of the new Tech building. Last year’s referendum called for Tech and Apollo to both hold 1,800 students. This past year, there were approximately 2,700 students attending the 2 schools.

It’s foolish to think that enrollment will increase by one-third over the next 25 years. If anything, it’s likely to continue shrinking. Here are the basics of the proposal as reported by Unze:

St. Cloud schools superintendent Willie Jett is recommending that school board members ask voters for $137.9 million to build a new Technical High School and renovate Apollo High School.

The vote would be Nov. 8, with two questions on the ballot. The first, asking for funding to build a new Tech, would have to pass in order for the money to renovate Apollo to be provided. The Apollo funding would be a second ballot question. Jett recommends asking voters for $100.5 million for a new Tech and $37.3 million for Apollo renovations.

Voters should keep this in mind when they vote this November:

School board members at a work session Thursday morning all voiced support for Jett’s recommendations.

What did these people base their support on? If they’re just going to rubberstamp Jett’s recommendations, why do they even exist? Seriously, it’s time to vote for new ideas on the board. I don’t care what age the people are. I care about whether they’re willing to question conventional wisdom.

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Julia Erynn’s articleprovides proof that the people closest to light rail projects don’t like them. Ms. Erynn’s article starts by saying “Dozens of business owners in St. Paul are speaking out against a light rail addition to West 7th St, placing signs in their windows urging patrons to sign a petition against the additional mass transit” then adding “The local business owners fear growing crime rates (which are proven along light rail routes), loss of parking for customers, and loss of revenue.”

That’s fantastic. Crime increases and taxpayers subsidize the criminals’ ‘getaway car’. I don’t know the specifics of this neighborhood but I know that other neighborhoods affected by light rail have been decimated because they’ve relied on walk-up business. Light rail demolishes that business model. Why can’t city planners leave well enough alone? Why do they have to side with the special interests all of the time?

As bad as that is, this is worse:

Several of the local owners say they feel they are not involved enough in the decision making process.

This information isn’t surprising either:

Alpha News has reached out to local lawmakers Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL) and Representative Carlos Mariani and have yet to receive comment.

Why would elected officials think that they need to be accountable? What St. Paul needs is their STPexit.

It isn’t a secret that the media has seen protecting President Obama and Hillary Clinton as one of their primary responsibilities. Still, it’s stunning that it’s outdone itself with this Miami Herald editorial.

With regards to absolving Hillary of all wrongdoing, it created a preposterous argument, saying “Yes, it found a series of failings by the national security bureaucracy, but here’s what else it did: Cleared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the absurd accusation that she somehow knew about the attack on the diplomatic compound in Libya before it happened and did nothing about it.” That’s breathtakingly dishonest. I’ve followed this story for almost 4 years. In that time, I’ve never heard anyone accuse Mrs. Clinton of knowing “about the attack on the diplomatic compound before it happened and did nothing about it.”

What has happened is that people accused Mrs. Clinton of not acting on repeated requests from Christopher Stevens for additional security. Then as now, Democrats have insisted that the cables, many of them labeled as urgent, never were brought to Mrs. Clinton’s attention. Then as now, nobody outside of her inner circle believes her. That’s why her honest and trustworthy numbers stink.

This part really stinks:

The GOP-led committee’s desire to find evidence of malfeasance by Ms. Clinton to support all the conspiracy theories surrounding Benghazi went unfulfilled. Had there been real facts to support it, surely this committee would have found it.

First, the thing that sets Benghazi apart from other tragic events is the relative scarcity of conspiracy theories of what happened that night. Next, this article highlights the evidence showing the utter incompetence of Mrs. Clinton and the disinterest shown by President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:

The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I:

  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]

How can a patriotic American read that information and not be infuriated? That the Miami Herald read that and dismissed it says that a) there aren’t any patriots on the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board and b) the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board can’t be trusted to offer insightful, honest opinions about the biggest events of our time. That’s how it can say this with a straight face:

The report, a product of the longest Congressional investigation in memory on possible wrongdoing in the executive branch, longer than Watergate or 9/11, went a bit further and deeper than the earlier ones, but the general outline was already known.

TRANSLATION: This report was far more detailed than the other ‘investigations’ but we the media have already determined the narrative we’re going to push. If it conflicts with the truth, then the truth be damned. It’s the narrative, damn it.

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s interview of Chairman Gowdy. Then tell me his committee didn’t uncover important new information:

If this plethora of new information doesn’t constitute important new information, what would constitute something new and important?

Technorati: Hillary Clinton, Christopher Stevens, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Leon Panetta, Barack Obama, Miami Herald Editorial Board, Media Bias, Trey Gowdy, House Select Committee on Benghazi, Benghazi Report

According to this article, down-ticket Republicans might as well start writing their concession speeches. This is proof that a little paranoia goes a long way. According to the article, “New polls that came out yesterday showing Hillary Clinton with a double digit lead over Donald Trump in the race for the White House has to have many House and Senate Republicans that are up for re-election this year shaking in their boots and running for the hills. The Trump Train nightmare is set to wreak havoc on a GOP-controlled Congress, cutting political careers short and leaving many looking for jobs.”

That’s before the author gets into full panic mode.

Jason Taylor, the man who wrote the article, then said “You have Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, who is going to have a tough fight for re-election, along with Richard Burr in North Carolina, Marco Rubio in Florida, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Roy Blunt in Missouri, Patrick Toomey in Pennsylvania and Rob Portman in Ohio just to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, anything is possible. I just think far too much damage has been done to hold the Senate.”

Now that it’s established that Mr. Taylor sounds like he’s in full panic mode, let’s introduce some reality into the conversation. This article highlights last week’s Quinnipiac poll. It paints an entirely different picture:

Brown continues, saying “In general, this poll of the three major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, is good news for the GOP. Sen. Rob Portman is in a dead heat with former Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio. But that is an improvement for Portman, who earlier in the campaign was down as much as 9 points. And in Pennsylvania, GOP Sen. Pat Toomey has a 9-point lead. It is far too early to say he’s a sure thing, but he is in good shape.”

Apparently, voters are smart enough to differentiate between the loudmouth at the top of the ticket and these senators. Who would’ve thunk it?

Prediction: Republicans will keep control of the House and Senate. Marco Rubio will score a strong victory in Florida. Ditto with Sen. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. Sen. Ron Johnson will defeat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, thus ending Feingold’s anything-but-illustrious political career. Rob Portman has an uphill fight but he’s fought back into a tie with Ted Strickland after trailing by 9 points early. That’s before talking about Republicans flipping Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada and ousting Michael Benet in Colorado, both distinct possibilities.

Message to the Chicken Littles out there — the sky isn’t falling:

This Washington Post editorial, published in the Star Tribune, highlights what passes for liberal logic. First, it’s worth highlighting some of the statements made in the editorial.

The editorial says “Citing ‘insufficient evidence,’ Judge Barry G. Williams on Thursday found Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. not guilty of all charges in the April 2015 death of Gray.” That’s the Post’s way of saying the prosecution couldn’t prove that Freddie Gray’s rebellious actions didn’t cause his own death.

What the Post omitted is the fact that Mosby’s office conducted their own investigation and that police questioned the thoroughness of that investigation. In fact, this article highlights the rift between Mosby’s office and the Baltimore PD.

Specifically, Detective Dawnyell Taylor said “As I read over the narrative it had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation,” adding: “I thought the statements in the narrative were misquoted.” It gets worse:

The claims in her account underscore a rift between prosecutors and police that began in the spring of last year, when the two agencies worked together on parallel tracks to investigate Gray’s death.

Some police officials believe prosecutors moved too quickly and have questioned their findings, while prosecutors have raised questions about whether police were seeking to absolve the officers of wrongdoing. Prosecutors have accused Taylor in court of trying to sabotage their case.

Here’s Det. Taylor:

Frankly, Mosby’s prosecution of these police officers is a sham. A year before the first case went to trial, legendary law professor Alan Dershowitz criticized Mosby’s office:

The mayor outrageously said we’re going to get justice for the victim, the family and people of Baltimore, never mentioning the defendants. Under our Constitution, the only people who are entitled to justice are the defendants. They are presumed innocent, they need due process of law, and the mayor and the state attorney have made it virtually impossible for these defendants to get a fair trial. They have been presumed guilty.

More than a few attorneys have suggested that Mosby should have her license suspended. Others have said she’s committed an offense that warrants disbarment.

Prosecuting police officers is always difficult and, as former state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV pointed out, it showed “courage to bring charges when it appeared that the police had done something wrong.”

It didn’t take courage to railroad these officers. It took a reckless disregard for the rules of evidence. The fact that Mosby’s office hasn’t convicted the officers of a single criminal count shows that the “$6.4 million settlement” to the Gray family was meant to taint the jury pool. That strategy apparently failed.

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Glenn Reynolds’ USA Today article highlights some points of peril that elitists haven’t paid attention to.

In the opening paragraph to his article, Reynolds writes “So the post-Brexit number-crunching is over and it turns out that the decisive support for Britain’s leaving the EU came not from right-wing nationalists but from working-class Labour voters. This offers some lessons for British and European politicians — and for us in America, too.”

This is potentially significant if you’re Hillary Clinton. The American equivalent to Labour voters are what used to be called Reagan Democrats. Eventually, they stopped being Democrats because the Democratic Party stopped being the party of the little guy. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were the first unabashed friends of ‘Too Big To Fail’ banks. Later, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama caught on and started cashing in with Wall Street.

Meanwhile, it’s impossible to highlight this part of Dr. Reynolds’ article too much:

The result, Mandler writes, is that “For the rest of the country has felt more and more excluded, not only from participation in the creativity and prosperity of London, but more crucially from power. . . . A majority of people around the United Kingdom are feeling like non-people, un-citizens, their lives jerked about like marionettes by wire-pullers far away. In those circumstances, very bad things indeed can be expected.”

Given a chance, these people seized an opportunity to give the wires a yank of their own. A lot of people felt powerless, and the political system not only didn’t address that, but seemed to glory in it.

These Brits’ votes were their way of saying this:

It was their opportunity to tell their country’s elites that they weren’t going to get talked down to anymore. Think of it as the British people’s visceral reaction to the elitists’ control over their lives.

America, of course, faces the same kind of division, as Dana Loesch writes in her new book, Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run A Country You’ve Never Been To. Every once in a while, she notes, a publisher or a newspaper from a coastal city will send a reporter, like an intrepid African explorer of the 19th century, to report on the odd beliefs and doings of the inhabitants of the interior. But even the politicians who represent Flyover Country tend to spend most of their time, and, crucially, their post-elective careers, in Washington, DC.

Simply put, DC and New York have viewed Heartlanders like aliens from outer space. They’re insulated from reality. While he was a presidential candidate, Gov. Walker had it right when he called Washington, DC “68 square miles surrounded by reality.”

Whether Heartlanders experience their own version of Brexit remains to be seen. Is it possible? Without question. Will it happen? I’m hoping.

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The Democratic Party has waged a war against straightforward speech for decades. They aren’t pro-abortion. They’re pro-choice. They aren’t anti-gun. They’re for gun control. They aren’t pro-terrorist. They’re just opposed to racial and religious profiling. They aren’t big spenders. They’re pro-government ‘investment’. They aren’t the party of tax increases. They’re the party that favors the one-percent paying their fair share. They aren’t anti-fossil fuel. They’re pro-green energy. They aren’t pro-oppressive regulation. They’re for ‘common-sense regulations’.

Pardon my French but that’s BS. Democrats are pro-euphemism because that’s the only way their ideas sound palatable. If they didn’t spin what they’re for, they’d never win another election throughout eternity. At minimum, they’d get their butts kicked each year if they couldn’t hide their real identity.

The truth is that today’s Democratic Party is a collection of lunatics that don’t care about national security or our Constitution. The proof of that is the legislation that they pushed and the faux sit-in they staged. I wrote this article to highlight Hawaii’s disgust with the Constitution. Their governor just signed a bill that requires Hawaiians who buy a gun in Hawaii to register that gun, which then requires law enforcement to put all gun owners on the FBI’s criminal watch list. The bill blatantly thumbs its nose at the constitutional principles of due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The Democrats’ fundraising rally on the House floor shows that Democrats aren’t serious about protecting our nation from terrorists. Democrats put a higher priority on playing word games to achieve their goal of controlling people.

The Democratic Party of Hubert Humphrey, Pat Moynihan and JFK had a healthy libertarian streak to it. The Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi is defined by its fascist and authoritarian tendencies.

Today’s Democratic Party isn’t anything like the Democratic Party of 25 years ago, much less like the Democratic Party of JFK. It’s a shame. We could use that party again.

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Comments sections of newspapers frequently look like a bad stretch of Twitter. Still, they’re often instructive of what people think on issues. In some instances, they’re proof that people don’t think. The comment section of this thoughtful LTE is quite instructive.

One commenter said “If a gun is just a tool, why do some people insist on having one on them 24/7? What sort of work requires a civilian to have that kind of a tool? Surely you don’t need a tool that is as efficient at killing and wounding as the one the Orlando shooter used.”

First, this commenter wasn’t alone in thinking that. Next, the obvious answer is that it’s important to have a gun with you 24/7 because terrorists and violent criminals don’t make appointments with their victims. Third, why shouldn’t civilians be prepared to protect themselves and their families 24/7? It isn’t like there’s an acceptable time to let your family get attacked.

Another commenter said “In one of his calls to action for Congress after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to pass legislation preventing suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns.” Let’s amend that statement so that it’s accurate. If we made that correction, here’s what it would say:

In one of his calls to action for Congress after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to pass legislation preventing suspected terrorists and innocent civilians who’ve done nothing wrong on the no-fly list from buying guns.

The thing Democrats reflexively leave out of their propaganda is the fact that famous people who haven’t committed a crime are on that federal no-fly list. Should people have their constitutional rights trampled based on speculation?

I just wrote this article to highlight a bill that Hawaii’s governor just signed into law. Here’s what you need to know about the bill:

Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to place firearm owners on the FBI’s Rap Back, which until now was used to monitor criminal activities by individuals under investigation or people in positions of trust such as school teachers and daycare workers.

Let’s be clear about this. Everyone who buys a gun in Hawaii will be put on the FBI’s criminal watch list. Obviously, they haven’t committed a crime. If they had, they’d be denied the ability to purchase a gun in the first place.

Further, anyone bringing a gun to Hawaii from the mainland will be required to register their gun. When they leave, they are given the right to petition the FBI to be taken off the FBI’s criminal watch list.

Let’s be truthful. The goal of these laws isn’t to protect people. The goal of this type of legislation is to give government the ability to harass law-abiding citizens 24/7 for wanting to protect themselves and their families and for exercising their constitutional rights.

Let’s remember that the Constitution was written to essentially tell the government what it wasn’t allowed to do. This picture should tell us why we should reject the Democrats’ gun grab attempts:

Personally, I’ll pick free and safe over endangered and not free every time.

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There once was a time when Jim Hoft, aka the Gatewaypundit, was widely respected across the conservative blogosphere. That’s in the past and getting further into the past with each and each post. For instance, Jim never would’ve written, much less published, this post. At one point, Jim was part of the post-Breitbart crew. Like other post-Breitbart ‘celebrities’, the quality of Jim’s writing has gone downhill, in my opinion. This post is an example.

Five years ago, Jim wouldn’t have quoted this Trumpbart article. He especially would’ve been smarter than to agree with a statement that says “Following last night’s historic Brexit vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s primary challenger, Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, seems to have taken a page from the playbook of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) with the launch of a new billboard campaign. On Friday morning, Nehlen’s campaign went live with a new billboard in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin that is reminiscent of the distinctive UKIP-style campaign.”

That quote was part of Jim’s article from last night that was titled “DEVASTATING: Paul Ryan’s Opponents Post Billboards That Could Take the Speaker Down”. It’s a foolish headline considering this information

The Washington Free Beacon commissioned a poll of Speaker Ryan’s district. The new polling shows Speaker Ryan leading by 73 points. According to the article, the “survey shows Ryan leading his GOP challenger, businessman Paul Nehlen, by 73 points, 80-7, among those who say they will vote in the Aug. 9 Republican primary in Wisconsin’s first congressional district.”

The Washington Free Beacon commissioned the poll the week after Sarah Palin made the idiotic declaration that Paul Ryan would be ‘Cantored’ because he hadn’t immediately kissed Trump’s ring. Here’s the Nehlen billboard:

I’ll say this: what the billboard lacks in credibility, it makes up for in desperation.

I hope Jim contacts us if he returns to putting a priority on emphasizing reality.

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