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Archive for October, 2016

There’s nothing that hurts liberals more than using other Democrats’ words against them. That’s why Stewart Mills’ latest ad is so devastating. Couple Mills’ ad with Donald Trump’s op-ed in today’s Duluth News Tribune and you’ve definitely got pro-Trump momentum in the Eighth District. Anything that increases pro-Trump turnout is virtually assured to help Stewart Mills.

Here’s the transcript of Mills’ ad:

MILLS: I’m Stewart Mills and I approve this message.
FEMALE NARRATOR: Leading Democrats agree: Obamacare is broken.
GOV. DAYTON: The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable.
BILL CLINTON: Premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.
FEMALE NARRATOR: But Rick Nolan still supports Obamacare, cutting billions from Medicare, driving up premiums by 67%, costing thousands of families their coverage, jeopardizing jobs and raising taxes. Rick Nolan: wrong on health care. Wrong for your family.

Let’s be clear about this. Rick Nolan hasn’t hidden the fact that he prefers single-payer health insurance. Nolan’s ‘fix’ is to essentially demolish the American health insurance industry.

The issue of health care alone disqualifies Nolan. While it won’t hurt Nolan in Duluth and the Arrowhead, it’ll definitely hurt him in places like Chisago, Lindstrom, North Branch, Little Falls, Park Rapids, Brainerd and Pierz.

Now that it’s reached crisis stage, Sen. Lyle Koenen is insisting that there be a special session called to fix Minnesota’s health insurance crisis.

Koenen “has joined the list of legislators calling for a special session to address rising health insurance premiums in the individual market.” Think of that list of legislators as people who could’ve prevented this crisis in the first place. Sen. Koenen could’ve shown leadership and told Gov. Dayton that he wasn’t going to vote for Tony Lourey’s MNsure legislation. Instead, Sen. Koenen acted like a wimp and voted to create this crisis.

Koenen issued a statement on the crisis he created, saying “I support a special session so these rising health insurance costs can be addressed immediately. Many of my constituents and people across the state are understandably concerned and frustrated, so we need to take action to not only fix this problem, but to give Minnesotans peace of mind. We have to make a concerted effort to address these premium hikes immediately. We have an immediate solution – the Minnesota Health Insurance Premiums Tax Credit.”

The only thing missing from Sen. Koenen’s statement is that “we need to take action to not only fix this problem, but to distract my constituents’ attention away from the fact that I voted for this crisis.” Sen. Koenen wanted the credit for voting for MNsure. Now that it’s failed, he should be criticized for the damage he’s done, especially to his constituents.

I don’t have a demographic breakdown of Sen. Koenen’s district but I’ve got to think that a high percentage of his constituents are farmers. Farmers are among the hardest hit by this DFL-created crisis. Minnesota voters have a right to expect their legislators do the right thing the first time rather than fixing things when they become a crisis. The DFL is the party that starts crises, then whines when Republicans don’t fix things to the DFL’s liking.

It’s been assumed for quite some time that Russ Feingold would defeat Ron Johnson and reclaim the seat Feingold lost in 2010. A funny thing happened on the way to Feingold’s victory celebration, though. Mr. Campaign Finance Reform got caught up in a major campaign finance scandal. According to the Boston Globe, “From 2010 through 2014, [David] Strouss and [Garrett] Bradley, along with founding partner Michael Thornton and his wife, donated nearly $1.6 million to Democratic Party fund-raising committees and a parade of politicians — from Senate minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada to Hawaii gubernatorial candidate David Ige to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Over the same span, the lawyers received $1.4 million listed as “bonuses” in Thornton Law Firm records; more than 280 of the contributions precisely matched bonuses that were paid within 10 days.”

In that same article, Feingold “had received $45,000 in apparent straw donations from employees of the law firm.” Not that amazingly, “Within hours, his campaign announced they would be returning the $45,000 in donations.”

Apparently, Mr. Squeaky Clean isn’t so squeaky clean.

It isn’t surprising that the DFL isn’t negotiating with Republicans on a long-term fix of the ACA and MNsure. They’re hoping that they win back total control of the legislature on November 8th. That isn’t likely to happen but it’s what the DFL is hoping for.

The truth is that the powers-that-be within the DFL, aka the Metro DFL, would like to destroy Minnesota’s health care system by implementing single-payer health care. They think that would improve Minnesota’s health care. We don’t need to figure what would work. Minnesota’s system was working beautifully prior to passing the ACA.

MCHA, Minnesota’s high-risk pool program, did a good job of getting people with pre-existing conditions insured. Proof of that was the fact that 92.8% of Minnesotans were insured — in 2007.

In the final days of this campaign, Gov. Dayton is trying to convince voters to put the DFL back in charge. His argument essentially is that voters should put the DFL back in charge of fixing the thing that they broke in 2013. Friends, that’s warped logic, even by DFL standards.

Kirsti Marohn’s article offers insight into how Zach Dorholt is trying to defeat Jim Knoblach. One thing he’s doing is he’s overinflating his professional resume while de-emphasizing his partisan resume.

When he said “I get to see how the system, the health care system, the social system, the economic system, helps them get up and out or keeps them down. I would dare to say that that is the most unique and also most needed insight within government today”, he’s intentionally de-emphasizing the fact that, as a partisan DFLer, Dorholt supports single-payer health care. He admitted he supports it during the St. Cloud Times’ SD-14 candidate forum, which I wrote about in this post.

Dorholt’s also trying to de-emphasize the fact that he’s partially responsible for the MNsure/ACA crisis that Minnesota families are fighting through. Dorholt voted to create MNsure. Thanks to his support for the ACA, farmers and other small businesspeople will pay sky-high health insurance premiums, have fewer choices when picking insurers and will have to deal with unaffordable deductibles. That isn’t the type of voting record I’m looking for.

Further, Dorholt is trying to hide the fact that he’s bought and paid for by the DFL’s special interests. It isn’t that he’s dedicated to serving his constituents. It’s that he’s committed to doing whatever the DFL’s special interest puppetmasters tell him to do.

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To say that Doug Schoen dropped a bombshell during Sunday night’s segment of the Political Insiders is understatement. After Schoen, who is usually a faithful supporter of the Clintons, said that he’s reassessing his support for Mrs. Clinton, host Harris Faulkner could be heard loudly saying “Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. You are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton?”

The transcript of that part of the segment starts with Mr. Schoen saying “As you know, I have been a supporter of Secretary Clinton… But given that this investigation is going to go on for many months after the election… But if the Secretary of State wins, we will have a president under criminal investigation, with Huma Abedin under criminal investigation, with the Secretary of State, the president-elect, should she win under investigation. Harris, under these circumstances, I am actively reassessing my support. I’m not a Trump –” At that point, Faulkner replied “Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. You are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton?”

It isn’t that difficult for the Clinton campaign to criticize FBI Director Comey. He isn’t one of their people. He’s causing heartburn for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign so he has to be vilified. It’s different with Schoen. It isn’t that Mrs. Clinton, Robbie Mook or John Podesta will hesitate in criticizing Schoen. It’s that they’ll have difficulty getting credibility criticizing Schoen because he’s a reasonable Democrat.

First, here’s the video of that portion of the segment:

Next, here’s the transcript of that portion of the segment:

DOUG SCHOEN: As you know, I have been a supporter of Secretary Clinton… But given that this investigation is going to go on for many months after the election… But if the Secretary of State wins, we will have a president under criminal investigation, with Huma Abedin under criminal investigation, with the Secretary of State, the president-elect, should she win under investigation. Harris, under these circumstances, I am actively reassessing my support. I’m not a Trump —
HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. You are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton?
SCHOEN: Harris, I’m deeply concerned that we’ll have a constitutional crisis if she’s elected.
FAULKNER: Wow!
SCHOEN: I want to learn more this week. See what we see. But as of today, I am not a supporter of the Secretary of State for the nation’s highest office.
FAULKNER: How long have you known the Clintons.
SCHOEN: I’ve known the Clintons since ’94.
FAULKNER: Wow! But their friend here has said he’s reconsidering.
SCHOEN: I have to, because of the impact on the governance of the country and our international situation.
FAULKNER: So the news in that is are there other people, I would imagine, like Doug Schoen.

This isn’t just interesting gossip at Monday morning’s water cooler. This is a major event that’s destined to create headlines on social media and create heartburn for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

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This article reminded me of something I’d hoped I’d forgotten forever. The article reminded me that the Clintons are the original Alinskyite administration. Seriously, long before Tony Rezko had corrupted the Obamas, the Clintons were painting their political opponents as political boogeymen.

Newt Gingrich was the Clinton’s first boogeyman. Dick Armey was the Clintons next boogeyman. Tom DeLay was the final boogeyman of Bill Clinton’s administration. They taught the Democratic Party how to paint conservatives as boogeymen. During the Obama administration, Democrats painted ALEC, the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, the TEA Party and, most importantly, the Koch Brothers as political boogeymen.

Before she’s even been elected, Mrs. Clinton is attempting to paint FBI Director Jim Comey as the latest boogeyman. That’s the Clinton’s habit. The Clintons understand that they’re seen as sleazy people. That doesn’t bother them a bit because they’re comfortable with rolling around in the mud. That’s who they are. That’s who they associate themselves with.

In the 1990s, after President Clinton got caught with his pants down, literally, Hillary dispatched Jim Carville to intimidate Paula Jones. Carville’s now-infamous line was “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”

Trey Gowdy, quite possibly the sharpest person in Congress, isn’t buying into Mrs. Clinton’s attempts to tarnish Dir. Comey’s reputation:

Here’s part of what Rep. Gowdy said in response to the Clinton campaign’s attempt to paint Dir. Comey as the villain:

GOWDY: Yeah, that’s an old trick, Bret. Blame the cops. If you’re being investigated, you blame the cops. Jim Comey is not responsible for a single one of the facts at hand. He didn’t tell her to use a private server. He didn’t tell Huma not to turn over all of her devices. And God knows he didn’t tell Anthony Wiener to allegedly send sexually explicit texts to allegedly underage people so Comey’s not responsible for any of this. The timing is a direct and natural consequence of decisions that Hillary Clinton made. So I get that Podesta is upset. Bret, remember that he didn’t even know about the email situation and then he thought that it had been taken care of by Cheryl Mills and Patrick Kennedy so I get that he’s frustrated. He’s just frustrated at the wrong person.

Mrs. Clinton established the home-brew server to hide emails from FOIA requests. If Mrs. Clinton hadn’t insisted on hiding public information from the public, none of this would have become an issue. Period. She would’ve coasted to the White House if not for this email scandal.

It’s a given that the Clintons will use Alinsky’s tactics to push their way through their scandals. Their habit is to make things about the boogeymen they’ve created, not the boogeymen they are.

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I don’t dispute the fact that Gov. Dayton’s proposed rebates for a suspected 123,000 Minnesotans will shrink the sticker shock of these Minnesotans’ premium increases. I’ll even give Gov. Dayton credit for his sleight-of-hand trickery that’s made the ACA’s other problems disappear.

This Our View editorial helped remind me of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s deception.

What caught my attention was the paragraph that said “The proposal would provide monthly rebates — 25 percent of their insurance costs — in 2017 to people who are buying individual insurance policies and do not qualify for federal tax credits. Dayton said the state assistance would, in most cases, greatly reduce the 2017 price increases from an average 55 percent increase to a 16 percent increase.” That paragraph is itself deceptive. The rebates would only reduce the size of people’s health insurance premiums if they buy their insurance through the individual market. The next paragraph finishes highlighting the deception:

Meanwhile, the governor also said the Affordable Care Act and MNsure have been the targets of criticism leading up to the election. We say don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead, the ACA and MNsure need to be corrected. We’ve got a process in place, albeit a flawed one. Why start from scratch with something new?

What baby? There’s nothing but bathwater. The first fatal flaw of the ACA is that it’s premised on the theory that young healthy people would purchase expensive health insurance policies with coverages they don’t need at prices they can’t afford. The other fatal flaw of the ACA is that it’s premised on the theory that older people with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t buy health insurance in the numbers that would sink the ACA.

Other than that, the ACA is built right. This paragraph is just pure DFL propaganda:

And Dayton is right to note the changes resulting from the ACA that have benefited millions of people — not just those on MNsure. Those benefits were felt by people covered by their employers’ insurance, those on public programs, and those buying their individual coverage either through or outside of the health exchanges.

Minnesota’s pre-ACA system already did a fantastic job of offering health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. While it’s true that the nation wasn’t doing a fantastic job, that isn’t the Minnesota governor’s responsibility. His first responsibility is to Minnesotans.

It’s noteworthy that Minnesota in the ACA’s direction when the ACA should’ve moved in Minnesota’s direction. The ACA threw out a system that was working beautifully and replaced it with a system that’s a total failure. That’s the situation where politicians threw the baby out with the bathwater.

This video from 2+ years ago highlights how the ACA was failing Minnesotans:

It’s time to throw the DFL out with the proverbial bathwater.

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I’ve said repeatedly that the DFL’s tethering to the truth is loose at best. This pro-Dorholt LTE proves that the DFL, collectively, is incapable of logic, too.

I know that because the LTE says “Zach will fight for health care that’s affordable and works for all of us. He works in the mental health field. He knows and understands mental health and will fight for health care that meets the needs of those living with a mental health disorder. There is much work to be done in our current health care system, but Zach is ready for the challenge.” Perhaps this person isn’t in frequent touch with events in St. Paul. Perhaps this person is just dishonest. Perhaps this person isn’t capable of connecting the dots.

Whatever the reason for her not reaching the right conclusion, the truth is that Dorholt voted for MNsure, which is giving farmers and other small businesses huge health insurance premium increases, narrow networks, fewer choices of insurers and unaffordable deductibles. Dorholt is the person who’s given us this crisis.

What part of that suggests that Dorholt “is ready for the challenge” of fixing what he and the DFL broke?

This LTE suffers from the same disappointing detachment from reality as the first LTE. Check this paragraph out:

He has said “I am running because I have always had a passion for those left behind, for those purposefully or unintentionally left out, for those who live in the “shadows” of life, because ever since I was a kid I could identify with and empathize with them. I could understand them. I knew if their voice could be heard, understood and represented… we would all do better.”

Where was this compassion for people when the DFL debated the forced unionization of in-home child care providers? They lobbied the legislature for almost 24 hours, telling the DFL that they didn’t want to be represented by AFSCME. These businesspeople repeatedly told DFL legislators, Dorholt included, that they opposed the bill.

Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of these businesspeople anyway. He didn’t hesitate when he plunged the button and told these women that he knew better. That was the last weekend of the 2013 session. Also that session, Dorholt voted for major tax increases on farmers and warehousing operations. He did that despite their constant lobbying against the tax increases. Then he got criticized by several businesspeople after the session. The next February, Dorholt voted to repeal the tax increases he’d just voted to create.

That November, his constituents fired Dorholt for not representing them. That November, his constituents fired him because Dorholt represented the DFL leadership and the DFL’s special interest puppetmasters, not them.

This November, let’s remind Mr. Dorholt that we still reject his representation of the DFL leadership and their special interest allies. I’ll be voting for the man with the lengthy list of bipartisan accomplishments, a man who’s done the things that Dorholt only talks about. I’ll be voting for Jim Knoblach.

Gov. Dayton’s guest column in the Albert Lea Tribune contains some unsubstantiated cheap shots at Republicans and some outright lies.

For instance, Gov. Dayton said “As disturbing as the falsehoods, is the hypocrisy of some Republican politicians, who are crying crocodile tears over problems with the Affordable Care Act, which they have prevented solving. Time after time, Republicans in Congress blocked changes to the ACA, because they want to destroy the law, not improve it.” First, the Republicans he talked about prior to this paragraph were in the Minnesota legislature. It isn’t a stretch to think that Gov. Dayton wants to conflate Republicans in the state legislature with Republicans in DC.

Next, the only way to improve the ACA is to gut it. The ACA can’t be fixed if you just tinker around the edges. The high deductibles don’t disappear. Young healthy people don’t buy insurance. If you don’t establish a high-risk pool, premiums will continue to go through the roof. Insurance companies will continue to get out of the individual market. Networks will get narrower. Choices will get fewer. That’s just reality. Then again, reality isn’t something Gov. Dayton and the DFL handle properly. They’re more into rose-tinted glasses reactions.

Third, saying that Republicans don’t want to improve the law is BS. Sen. Rubio, for instance, got rid of the insurance company bailout. Rep. Price and Sen. Barrasso have tried multiple times to apply things they’ve learned as doctors to the law. Just because Democrat ideologues don’t approve of these proposals doesn’t mean they won’t work.

Finally, saying that Republicans are shedding “crocodile tears” because they don’t care is typical DFL slander. It’s accusing Republicans of not caring just because Democrats don’t agree with Republican fixes. Characterizing Republicans as evil just because they have different proposals is how Democrats gridlock Congress and the Minnesota legislature. This is just more of the same:

Like their Congressional counterparts, they, too, want the federal law to fail, so they can return Minnesota to “the good old days,” when people bought their own health insurance and took their chances on its actual coverage. After all, it is the Affordable Care Act, which protects people from denials due to their previous conditions, eliminates lifetime insurance limits and covers dependents until age 26.

Actually, Minnesota Republicans are calling for a return to the good old days when MCHA allowed people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance at a reasonable price. Minnesota was the leader in insuring people. In 2007, 3 years before the passage of the ACA, Minnesota’s uninsured rate was 7.2%. The stunning fact is that half of the people who weren’t insured were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized insurance policies. That means the effective uninsured rate in Minnesota in 2007 was 3.6%. We’ll never see that percentage of uninsured with the ACA.

This segment highlights the DFL’s arguments:

Prior to the ACA, MCHA protected “people from denials due to their previous conditions.” Back in ‘the good old days’ of MCHA, we didn’t spend $400,000,000 on a website that didn’t work, either. For that matter, farmers and other small businesses weren’t experiencing 50%-67% annual premium increases. Farmers and other small businesses weren’t forced into policies with $13,900 deductibles, either.

Frankly, Gov. Dayton, I don’t see what’s so good about the ACA. You said that it wasn’t affordable for increasing numbers of Minnesotans. You were right in saying that, and not just because they didn’t qualify for subsidies. Farming families that had a $13,900 deductible had an insurance policy but they didn’t have health care. They essentially paid for everything short of a catastrophic health event out of their own pocket.

It’s time to take your partisan rose-colored glasses off and see the pain that the ACA is inflicting on people’s lives. That pain is inflicted on people’s lives because the DFL in Minnesota and Democrats in DC didn’t make the right decisions. Instead, they gave into their ideological whims. Democrats are to fault, nobody else, for this crisis. Democrats created this crisis because they were too prideful to listen to Republicans’ good ideas.

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