Archive for February, 2017
This article highlights the fact that money isn’t everything in politics. According to statistics reported by Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Board, “party groups and political action committees supporting DFL candidates outspent their Republican opponents in 2016, according to end-of-year finance statements that were due Tuesday with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board from every candidate, party and committee. Despite totals that far exceed recent elections and sometimes massive imbalances in spending, both seats went to Republicans on election night.”
In fact, the article said “Outside groups spent more than $588,000 in 2016 to support Jensen or bash Jasinski through TV, radio, print and online advertising and other support. The Minnesota DFL Central Committee alone spent $330,000 on pro-Jensen advertisements and another $105,000 against Jasinski. Despite such heavy spending, Jasinski won the vote 59 percent to Jensen’s 41 percent. Of course, Jasinski was not without his own third-party support. The Minnesota Action Network PAC and Freedom Club State PAC together spent almost $23,000 in his support and $128,400 against Jensen. Even so, the combined $150,700 spent on his behalf was barely a quarter of what was spent by Jensen supporters.”
This is proof that terrible candidates with a terrible message don’t automatically win. Apparently, that principle applies equally to national and local races. Hillary had tons of money and lost to President Trump. The point is that Democrats don’t have an appealing message. They have an organization that’s shrinking and some wealthy donors but that’s it. That’s as true in Minnesota as it is nationally.
Not far behind Senate District 24 in independent expenditures was House District 24B, in which Republican Rep. Brian Daniels faced a rematch with former Rep. Patti Fritz, both of Faribault, whom he had defeated two years before. On Election Day, he retained his seat by a margin of 58 percent to 41 percent.
Then there’s this:
All told, independent expenditures from Fritz allies came to almost $388,000, with another $299,000 spent on behalf of Daniels. Combined, the district drew about $687,000, a 916 percent increase from two years before.
By now, tons of ink has been spilled talking about the riot that happened prior to Milo Yiannopoulos’s performance at UC-Berkeley. Hopefully, this post will talk about something that hasn’t been talked about. I hope this takes a bit more of an historic perspective than those other articles. I hope this article exposes the wimpiness of the anarchist/Soros/progressive movement.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, UC-Berkeley gained notoriety for celebrating some of the greatest debates imaginable. The exchanges were testament to the intellectual heft of the students and personalities that participated in those debates. Today’s reporters, by contrast, talk about the students’ First Amendment rights to protest. Shame on them for that wimpy, obvious drivel. Nobody’s disputing the fact that students have the right to protest. That ‘reporting’ is missing the point, though.
The anarchists that inflict bodily harm on other students are the point that the MSM is missing. The point is that these anarchists aren’t interested in putting together a coherent argument, much less win a substantive debate. These rioters’ first instinct is to injure defenseless people. This is a perfect example of that:
People that pepper spray a student like that should be arrested, convicted and thrown in prison for lots of years. Period. That rioter’s intent was to harm and/or terrorize that young lady. There’s no justification for that.
BONUS QUESTIONS: Q1: Why do the anarchists show up wherever the Soros-funded protesters protest? Q2: Is Soros funding both operations?
Keeping the protesters and the rioters separate is important because the protesters, aka snowflakes, are intellectual wimps. They’re also fascists without knowing it. The snowflakes and anarchists don’t vote for Republicans. That word sets them off. If the Democratic Party wants to rebuild itself, they need to utterly repudiate these fascists’ actions. Otherwise, Democrats will become known as the party that won’t stand up to fascist or stand for the rule of law.
Eugene Robinson’s latest article is proof that there aren’t many great strategists left in the Democratic Party. A topnotch political strategist wouldn’t say “In the two weeks since, Trump has only piled outrage upon outrage, as far as progressives are concerned. He took the first steps toward building his ridiculous wall along the southern border, but with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, not Mexico’s. He squelched government experts who work on climate change. He weakened the Affordable Care Act in the hope that it would begin to collapse, which would make it easier for Congress to kill it.”
That’s because they’d know that the ACA started collapsing a year ago. Its collapse is inevitable because it’s terrible legislation. A relatively healthy person is better off not buying insurance because the ACA’s out-of-pocket expenses (premiums plus deductibles) in some states are so high that families are better off paying the penalty rather than buying the insurance. As I’ve written before, the ACA is catastrophic coverage at Cadillac plan prices.
And I can’t help thinking back to 2009. Republicans made an all-out effort to stop the Affordable Care Act. Their motives were purely political; some GOP senators railed against policies they had favored in the past. Ultimately, they failed. Obamacare became law.
But this losing battle gave tremendous energy and passion to the tea party movement — which propelled Republicans to a sweeping victory in the 2010 midterm election. It is hard not to see an analogous situation on the Democratic side right now.
Democrats haven’t learned the TEA Party lesson, which is that politicians better listen to We The People or else. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi didn’t listen to people and lost 12 seats and 63 seats respectively. Chuck Schumer isn’t listening to the people, either. The chances of Democrats picking up Senate seats is remote at best.
Democrats cannot stop Gorsuch from being confirmed. But they can hearten and animate the party’s base by fighting this nomination tooth and nail, even if it means giving up some of the backslapping comity of the Senate cloakroom. They can inspire grass-roots activists to fight just as hard to win back state legislatures and governorships. They can help make 2018 a Democratic year.
This is delusional thinking. Democrats will lose more governorships and legislative seats because they’re owned by special interests. They haven’t talked about doing what’s best for the people. President Trump constantly talks about putting people first. Democrats reflexively side with environmental activists, which has alienated blue collar union rank-and-file.
Democrats in Illinois haven’t pressured Rahm Emanuel to actually crack down on Chicago’s crime-infested streets. New York City’s City Council hasn’t blasted Bill De Blasio’s sanctuary city policies. In both cities, people don’t feel safe. Former President Obama insisted that terrorism wasn’t a threat while ISIS killed people in shopping malls and at Christmas parties. The Obama administration insisted, too, that the borders were secured. Voters knew that wasn’t true.
Voters won’t vote for the party that won’t protect them. Right now, people don’t trust Democrats to handle the basic government functions. Until that happens, people won’t trust Democrats.
It’s clear that Sen. Schumer and his leadership team can’t resist acting like spoiled brats. This article offers an unsightly insight into Sen. Schumer’s peevish mindset. According to the article, “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic Senate leaders refused to meet with Judge Neil Gorsuch Thursday. The act appears to be revenge against Republicans for holding the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia open and not holding a hearing for Obama Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland.”
Sen. Schumer doesn’t sound like the Senate Minority Leader. He sounds like a toddler going through terrible twos while constantly throwing hissy fits. Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, issued a statement, saying “By refusing to meet with Judge Gorsuch, Senate Democratic leadership is taking Washington gridlock and obstruction to a new low and placing Senators McCaskill, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, and other Democrats up for reelection in 2018 on the endangered politicians list.”
Apparently, Sen. Schumer thinks it’s more important to fire up his out-of-touch base than to act like an adult. Lou Dobbs put it perfectly in this video:
Sen. Schumer’s stupidity and tone-deafness will keep him as the Senate Minority Leader until 2022 and possibly longer. He has only himself to blame for that.
Technorati: Chuck Schumer, Jon Tester, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Claire McCaskill, Senate Minority Leader, Democrats, Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court Nomination, Judicial Crisis Network, Carrie Severino, Donald Trump, Republicans, Election 2018
One of the questions that the supposedly MSM isn’t asking of Democrats concerns Judge Gorsuch is exceptionally straightforward. First, let’s inform people who’ve been comatose for the last 10 years that Judge Gorsuch was confirmed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals with a 95-0 vote. That means Chuck Schumer voted for his confirmation. That means Joe Biden voted for him. That means Ted Kennedy voted to confirm him. That means Harry Reid voted for him.
One of the silliest arguments being made against confirming Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was made by Nan Aron, the founder of the Alliance for Justice. She told FNC’s Tucker Carlson that this time it’s different because the appointment to the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment. Ms. Aron’s reply is silly because appointments to all appellate courts are lifetime appointments. But I digress.
The questions that the MSM should ask Democrats that voted for Judge Gorsuch then and who are still in the Senate is this: Are you being dishonest now in calling Judge Gorsuch names? Were you that stupid when you voted to confirm him in 2006? If you’re being dishonest now, why should people trust your criticisms? If you were hoodwinked in 2006, why should people think that you aren’t getting it wrong this time?
Nan Aron’s opposition to Judge Gorsuch is simple: he wasn’t appointed by a Democratic president and because he’s wrong, in Nan’s opinion, on abortion. Aron’s litmus test, her religion really, is that everyone should ‘support a woman’s right to choose.’ Anyone who doesn’t hold that view is outside Ms. Aron’s mainstream.
Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker and Bernie Sanders won’t hesitate in filibustering Judge Gorsuch. That’s because they’re thinking about running for president in 2020. If they don’t filibuster, they’re toast in 2020. What’s still in question, though, is whether red state Democrats up for re-election in 2018 will filibuster, too. Sherrod Brown has announced he’ll vote against confirming Judge Gorsuch. The rest of the vulnerable Democrats are sitting silent.
Eventually, they’ll face a moment of truth. I don’t expect to see lots of profiles in courage at that point.
Sen. Hatch didn’t hesitate in changing the Senate Finance Committee rules after Democrats failed to attend a confirmation vote for Steve Mnuchin to be President Trump’s Treasury Secretary and Rep. Tom Price to be President Trump’s HHS Secretary for a second day in a row.
This morning, Democrat senators didn’t attend the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, where Chairman Barrasso had scheduled a confirmation vote to recommend Scott Pruitt to be the next EPA Administrator.
Democrats are trying to prevent Republicans from putting in place President Trump’s cabinet. Republicans, growing weary of the Democrats’ tactics, have opted to not let the Democrats’ obstructionist tactics prevail. They’re sending the signal that the Democrats’ obstructionism hurts the American people. Republicans are sending the signal that Sen. Schumer’s stunts won’t be tolerated.
Thus far, leaders of The Resistance have insisted that their Democratic puppets dance. Thus far, Democrat senators haven’t resisted these special interest tyrants. It’s just more proof that Democrats don’t represent people. This video is proof aplenty that Democrats exclusively represent special interest groups:
If Democrats keep pulling these stunts, they’ll suffer massive defeats in 2018. Republicans will have a filibuster-proof majority after the 2018 election. If Democrats want to be all obstruction all the time, their participation trophy will be political irrelevance. They will have earned that ‘trophy’.
Technorati: Orrin Hatch, John Barrasso, Scott Pruitt, Steve Mnuchin, Confirmation Hearings, Donald Trump, EPA Administrator, Treasury Secretary, Republicans, Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, The Resistance, Obstructionists, Special Interests, Democrats
Michelle Brane of the Women’s Refugee Commission was on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night. During the interview, Ms. Brane said a couple things that were either spin or were dishonest. My first impression is that Ms. Brane’s statements were proof of her ignorance.
Carlson started the conversation by saying “I’m looking at the polling on refugee resettlement and the public cannot be described as supporting it, now or in the past, strikingly low support for resettling refugees in this country. And if you ask people ‘do you want them resettled where you live, in your neighborhood’, it’s even lower and I’m wondering why that is. I’m wondering why people don’t support it.”
Ms. Brane replied “Well, first of all, I’m not sure people don’t support it and some polls show that they don’t support it and I know that support for the programs varies. It varies over time. It varies geographically.”
Later, Ms. Brane stumbled onto something when she said “At least the Americans that I engage with, and I try and be diverse in my encounters with people, I do think that people do support it.” That’s important because it’s apparent that Ms. Brane hasn’t visited the cities with high refugee populations. People don’t support refugee resettlement because they’re a definite economic hardship on local communities.
The way that the program is set up, from what I’ve seen up close, it’s destined to fail. NPOs love the money that the State Department pays them to resettle refugees. Once they’re settled, though, the NPOs’ job is essentially finished. Because many of these refugees don’t have the skills to be employed, they either start applying for local government benefits or they’re perfect targets for radicalization.
Refugee resettlement programs are lucrative for organizations like Lutheran Social Services or Catholic Charities. The State Department pays these charities quite handsomely to find refugees a place to live. Once that’s over, however, the communities, not the charities, pick up the rest of the refugees’ tab.
Those of us that’ve dealt with the resettlement programs’ expenses know that the NPOs get the money but that the communities get the bills.
To nobody’s surprise, Elizabeth Warren’s statement on President Trump’s pick of Judge Gorsuch was filled with criticism.
Sen. Pocahontas started by saying “President Trump had the chance to select a consensus nominee to the Supreme Court. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he failed that test. Instead, he carried out his public promise to select a nominee from a list drawn up by far right activist groups that were financed by big business interests.”
That’s rich coming from a 1-percenter who got a $1,300,000 line of credit from Bank of America but didn’t disclose it, thanks to a loophole created for bought-and-paid-for politicians. Then Sen. Pocahontas said “Judge Neil Gorsuch has been on this list for four months. His public record, which I have reviewed in detail, paints a clear picture. Before even joining the bench, he advocated to make it easier for public companies to defraud investors. As a judge, he has twisted himself into a pretzel to make sure the rules favor giant companies over workers and individual Americans. He has sided with employers who deny wages, improperly fire workers, or retaliate against whistleblowers for misconduct. He has ruled against workers in all manner of discrimination cases. And he has demonstrated hostility toward women’s access to basic health care.”
Rather than giving this mean-spirited (and likely dishonest) spin, why doesn’t Sen. Pocahontas cite the specific rulings? Is it because these rulings weren’t really about what Sen. Pocahontas says they’re about? Is it perhaps because she’s twisting Judge Gorsuch’s record because she’s playing to the Democrats’ special interests?
This is especially rich:
Every day, our new President finds more ways to demonstrate his hostility for our independent judiciary, our civil society, and the rule of law. Now more than ever, America needs Supreme Court justices with a proven record of standing up for the rights of all Americans – civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and all other protections guaranteed by our laws. We don’t need another justice who spends his time looking out for those with money and influence.
Sen. Pocahontas doesn’t want an independent judiciary. She wants a judiciary that rules favorably on the Democrats’ agenda. That isn’t independent, just friendly.
Apparently, Brian Fallon didn’t get beat up enough during the election when his candidate, Hillary Clinton, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. After defending the worst presidential candidate in recent history, Fallon has decided that he’d like to match constitutional wits with Alan Dershowitz. Fallon wrote this op-ed to spin the Democrats’ BS that President Trump’s firing of an insubordinate acting AG was scandalous.
Fallon’s lightweight arguments aren’t persuasive. In the op-ed, Fallon said “It is an entirely appropriate exercise of the attorney general’s authority to determine whether, and how, to defend a president’s executive orders in the face of legal challenge. In this case, while Trump’s executive order may avoid explicit mention of banning Muslims or assigning preference to Christian refugees, the order will certainly have that discriminatory effect.”
Meanwhile, Prof. Dershowitz wrote that “Sally Yates is neither a hero, nor a villain. She made an honest mistake when she instructed the entire Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s wrong-headed executive order on immigration. The reasons she gave in her letter referred to matters beyond the scope of the attorney general. She criticized the order on policy grounds and said that it was not ‘right.'”
Firing Sally Yates wasn’t just proper. It was essential. She disagreed with President Trump’s policy. Prof. Dershowitz said that that’s wrong:
There are significant differences between the constitutional status of green card holders on the one hand, and potential visitors from another country who are seeking visas. Moreover, there are statutory issues in addition to constitutional ones. A blanket order to refuse to defend any part of the statute is overkill.
If she strongly disagreed with the policies underlying the order, she should have resigned in protest, and left it to others within the Justice Department to defend those parts of the order that are legally defensible.That’s what happens when you send a boy king to do a man’s job.
Now that President Trump has picked Judge Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, Democrats face a difficult decision. Within their meeting rooms, they’re asking whether they should fight President Trump’s pick or whether they should try to push Judge Gorsuch enough to please their special interest puppeteers.
It isn’t difficult to figure out which camp Sen. Franken is in. In his statement after the announcement, Sen. Franken said “Long before his election, President Trump promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, who held a deeply conservative view of the Constitution and the Court. In the coming weeks, I will be closely examining Neil Gorsuch’s background, but I have serious concerns about his judicial philosophy-especially on issues like access to justice, corporate accountability, workers’ rights, and women’s health. I was hopeful that the President would have selected someone like Merrick Garland, a consensus candidate lauded by the same Republicans who ultimately refused to hold a hearing on him for nearly a year.”
I wish someone would explain to Sen. Franken that Supreme Court justices aren’t supposed to be legislators. That’s his job, at least for a little while longer. Another perspective is whether Democrats should push Judge Gorsuch a little before caving.
That’s apparently what Sen. Durbin is thinking:
Only 12 days into this administration, we’ve already seen unlawful executive orders blocked by a federal court, and the unprecedented dismissal of an Attorney General for disagreeing with the president. I believe the independence of our judicial system, and especially the Supreme Court, is more critical now than at any time in recent history. That is the context in which I will review this nomination.
I will meet with Judge Gorsuch and support a hearing and a vote for him — both of which were denied to an eminently qualified nominee presented by President Obama. The American people need to know what they can expect from this nominee, and that he will protect our fundamental constitutional rights on issues like voting rights, immigration, privacy, and women’s health. In recent years, the court’s decisions have shifted dramatically toward big money corporate interests at the expense of American workers and small businesses — we need a Court that is on the side of Main Street, not Wall Street. This Supreme Court seat does not belong to President Trump or to any political party. It belongs to the American people, and I will work to make sure their voices are heard in this debate.
This article suggests that Democrats will back off. I’ll believe it when I see it.