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When Gov. Dayton vetoed the Republicans’ tax conformity bill, Gov. Dayton complained that Republicans didn’t “punish” corporations enough. Now, they’re spinning the veto by promising “software, forms and everything else Minnesotans need to get their state taxes done will be ready in time.” That’s not all. Cynthia Bauerly, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Revenue promises “there won’t be a bigger state tax bite.”

That’s easy for her to say. She’ll have another job by the time Minnesotans file their taxes next year. What’s important is that Commissioner Bauerly’s statement is verifiably false. People with higher incomes who itemize will pay more in taxes. That’s been proven in every state in the US.

What’s also proven is that the Dayton administration is filled with cronies who are political hacks. Why should I trust Commissioner Bauerly, especially when she says something that she can’t be held accountable for? What’s going to happen to her if she’s caught lying next April? By then, we’ll have a Republican governor and a new commissioner. She’ll likely have a lucrative job in the private sector.

In early April, Ms. Bauerly wrote this op-ed in which she said “In his March 25 commentary, John Spry asked if the governor’s tax plan would mean a tax cut for Minnesotans. Let me answer: It does. Over 2 million Minnesota families and many small businesses and farmers will see a tax cut under the Governor’s plan.”

First, it’s important to know that Professor Spry is the leading tax economist in Minnesota. In his op-ed, Dr. Spry wrote this:

Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a $1.4 billion tax hike over the next four years, according to his official 2018 budget documents. But he is incorrectly telling the people of Minnesota that his tax hike provides “tax cuts for over 2 million Minnesotans.” This difference occurs because the official budget documents include all of his tax proposals. In his public statements, he brags about selected parts of his tax plan, while omitting some big tax increases from his calculations. He proposes increasing taxes on Minnesotans by reinstating the 2 percent tax on everybody’s medical bills that is scheduled to go away. This tax hike raises about $999 million per biennium in tax revenue beginning in 2020, according to his budget documents.

Gov. Dayton also proposes more than $30 million a year in additional business-to-business sales taxes on software used in data centers. There are also other assorted business tax hikes in his budget. Consumers would pay these business taxes through higher prices. Workers would pay through lower wages and reduced employment opportunities. Investors would pay through lower rates of return.

In other words, Commissioner Bauerly omitted some important things. She omitted some important things because Gov. Dayton tried playing games by putting together a bill that included tax increases. Then he put together a bill that cut taxes. When Commissioner Bauerly says that Minnesotans won pay more in taxes next April, why shouldn’t we think that she’s being dishonest? Why shouldn’t we think that she isn’t being fully truthful?

The NYTimes’ bias shines through in this article. It starts in a paragraph that says ‘In the lead-up to the report, Trump’s allies agreed that this was paramount. The central question in my opinion,’ David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, wrote this week on the Fox News website, ‘is did Hillary Clinton and her cronies get preferential treatment in her email server investigation for political reasons?’ And the report’s answer is clear: No.”

One of the findings of the 568-page report is that there is proof that Hillary’s emails were accessed by hostile actors. Contrary to Jim Comey’s declaration of July 5, 2016, that’s a violation of the Espionage Act. The fact that most of her top campaign people got immunity suggests that the FBI didn’t pursue them with the same vigor that Special Counsel Robert Mueller pursued Paul Manafort or Carter Page.

Then there’s this:

Federal investigators and prosecutors did not give preferential treatment to Clinton. They pursued the case on the merits. They were guided by, as the inspector general’s report puts it, “the prosecutor’s assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice.”

Right. Tell that to David Petraeus and Gen. Flynn. Mueller’s team couldn’t find the political mainstream if they were given a GPS and a year’s worth of gasoline. Mueller’s prosecutorial team looks more like Hillary Clinton’s donor list than a team of skilled prosecutors. Trey Gowdy and Bob Goodlatte disagree with the NY Times:

Chairman Goodlatte stated emphatically that well-established DOJ and FBI procedures weren’t followed in investigating Hillary. That says it all. Goodlatte then said that there’s a stark contrast in the procedures used in the Hillary email investigation and the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. No grand jury was impaneled for the Hillary ‘investigation’. There was a grand jury impaneled for the Trump-Russia investigation. Again, that says it all.

The most significant mistake in the investigation didn’t help Clinton. It hurt her, badly. It was James Comey’s decision to violate department policy and talk publicly about the investigation. If it weren’t for that decision, the polling data suggests Clinton would be president.

This is disgusting reporting. If Hillary had followed government procedures, there wouldn’t have been an investigation. Hillary acted like this nation’s laws didn’t apply to her. The fact that she’s now gotten bit by the FBI is karma. What comes around goes around.

Jim Comey’s NYTimes op-ed is so filled with spin that it’d make half the nation dizzy. In his op-ed, Mr. Comey wrote “I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism. All of our leaders need to understand that accountability and transparency are essential to the functioning of our democracy, even when it involves criticism. This is how the process is supposed to work. This report is important for two reasons. First, the inspector general’s team went through the F.B.I.’s work with a microscope and found no evidence that bias or improper motivation affected the investigation, which I know was done competently, honestly and independently.”

This IG report dealt solely with Comey’s Clinton email scandal. This isn’t a report on the FBI’s activities as a whole. It isn’t just important to remember that. It’s essential to remember that. Let’s put this in context. The title of the op-ed is “James Comey: This Report Says I Was Wrong. But That’s Good for the F.B.I.”

The FBI is everything except exonerated. Trey Gowdy is as sincerely pro-FBI as anyone in Congress. He isn’t convinced that the FBI is exonerated:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a statement the report shows “an alarming and destructive level of animus displayed by top officials at the FBI. Peter Strzok’s manifest bias trending toward animus casts a pall on this investigation…His bias impacted his decision making and he assigned to himself the role of stopping the Trump campaign or ending a Trump Presidency,” Gowdy said. “This is not the FBI I know.”

Included in the report is this bombshell:

The Washington Post reported that Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report includes an August 2016 text message exchange between Strzok and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page about Trump’s chance of being elected president. “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

With all due respect to Mr. Horowitz, I don’t know how you can discover the Strzok-Page texts, then conclude that there’s no bias in the FBI. Further, it’s impossible to think that there wasn’t extreme animus inside the FBI’s upper ranks.

Check out this exchange between Strzok and Page:

But remember, there’s no bias within the FBI. Seriously, Democrats spewing that nonsense are destroying what little is left of their credibility. The good news for Democrats is that destroying what’s left of their credibility is light duty work. It can be finished in a New York minute.

Anyone that thinks that the DFL is capable of running government hasn’t read this audit report. The opening paragraph of the report is a damning indictment of the Dayton administration. The opening 2 paragraphs of the report state “Minnesota did no t comply with Federal waiver and State requirements in overseeing centers that serve vulnerable adults who receive services through the program. To protect the health and safety of vulnerable adults, Minnesota, as the licensing agency for centers, must ensure that centers follow licensing requirements in State statutes established in its application for waiver services. These licensing requirements include health and safety and administrative requirements.

“We determined that all 20 of the centers we reviewed did not comply with State licensing requirements. In total, we found 200 instances of noncompliance with health and safety and administrative requirements.”

I wrote this post right before Christmas of 2017. This part was particularly heartbreaking:

Ehlinger’s resignation comes after media reports, including a five-part series in the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, found residents of senior care facilities statewide were neglected, abused and robbed, but the perpetrators were often never punished and in most instances complaints were never properly investigated. The state Department of Health is responsible for licensing and oversight of senior care centers.

Putting this HHS OIG together with the Star Tribune reporting, the inescapable truth is that the Dayton administration either wasn’t aware of what was happening in the state’s elder care facilities. Either that or they didn’t care what was happening in those facilities. One person who cares is State Sen. Karin Housley:

Think about what Sen. Housley said. Gov. Dayton first heard about this issue in 2012. Despite that, “they got absolutely nothing done.” Gov. Dayton played political games rather than doing the right thing. That’s unconscionable. It’s time to throw these bums out. If the DFL won’t protect these vulnerable citizens, they shouldn’t have control of any part of state government.

Think about this: the people in charge of the Office of Health Facilities Complaints are staffed by public employee union personnel. That explains why Gov. Dayton and the DFL did nothing to fix this situation. Lives were ruined because Gov. Dayton and the DFL protected their special interest allies. That’s pretty sick.

This paragraph is particularly indicting to the Dayton administration:

The State agency did not comply with Federal waiver and State requirements in overseeing centers that serve vulnerable adults who receive services through the program. We determined that all 20 of the centers we reviewed did not comply with State licensing requirements. The 20 centers we reviewed had from 3 to 25 instances of noncompliance. In total, we found 200 instances of noncompliance with health and safety and administrative requirements.

Think about that. The bureaucrats charged with overseeing “centers that serve vulnerable adults” didn’t pay attention to what was happening in these facilities. It’s frustrating to think that the party of big government, aka the DFL, didn’t give a damn about the most vulnerable people.

From this point forward, the DFL should be called ‘the party of big, broken government’. At this point, I haven’t seen proof that the DFL gives a tinker’s damn about these vulnerable citizens. Further, how many things must the DFL royally screw up before people decide that they can’t be trusted to run anything beyond a lemonade stand?

Now that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has said that the Line 3 Pipeline replacement is needed, a new round of litigation is certain to follow. That’s because PUC’s findings “differs from the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s opinion that Line 3 is unnecessary for the state.”

This is what’s wrong with Minnesota’s regulatory system.

According to the article, “The utilities commissioners have many options for what to do regarding Line 3. They could outright deny it, or agree with the staff conclusion and grant a certificate of need. Or they could approve Enbridge’s plan but only under certain conditions. The commissioners could choose some combination of 12 different conditions, such as requiring renewable energy to offset the pipeline’s impact or setting up a fund to remove the old line.”

Or they could choose to throw darts at the report and ignore it entirely. I’m half-kidding, of course. It isn’t surprising that these projects take 10+ years to approve. The market should determine whether a pipeline is required. The last thing we need are a bunch of political busybodies telling us what we need and what we don’t. These aren’t experts. They’re activists with different opinions. Minnesota needs layers of regulators like property owners need arsonists on their payroll.

It’s time to streamline this process so a quick decision can be made. Further, it’s time to call these environmental activists out. They’re putting themselves first instead of putting the country first. Put a different way, these environmental activists aren’t patriots. They should be ashamed of themselves. Period.

According to this article, MN.IT is almost out of the $10,000,000 appropriated in late March. I’d argue that Ms. Clyborne is spending money like a drunken sailor but I think drunken sailors have more restraint.

Clyborne has had the $10,000,000 for 82 days! How can you spend that much money in that short of time? Spending at that rate would cause MNLARS to spend almost $50,000,000 in a year. MNLARS is attempting to pass the blame. According to the article, “Minnesota IT Services and the Department of Public Safety updated state legislators this week in a required quarterly progress report on ongoing efforts to fix MNLARS gaps and defects. Agency officials noted some improvements since their initial report was delivered in late April. But they also highlighted the looming financial problem. Another ramp-down of the repair work is coming, Minnesota IT Service Commissioner Johanna Clyborne said in an interview. She’s just not sure when. ‘We’re going to do as much as we can with the funding that we have and we’re going to have to make some tough decisions,’ Clyborne said.”

This is what utter incompetence looks like:

Discussions continue this week with deputy registrars, auto dealers and other MNLARS users to rank the repairs and improvements they want in the system, Clyborne said. She said the timing of the ramp-down will become clearer once the list of priorities is set. “The question is whether I ramp down in August or whether I ramp down in October or somewhere in between,” she said.

That’s a 2+ month difference in “ramp-down” time estimates. If you’re spending money and that’s the best you can do in terms of pinpointing spending, then you should be fired immediately for incompetence.

Yesterday, the St. Cloud Times published this interesting article about Liz Baklaich, who is running for the St. Cloud City Council in Ward 2. For those who aren’t familiar with St. Cloud, Ward 2 “includes a section of the north side along the Mississippi River and the East Side.” If she’s elected, I would be one of her constituents. But I digress.

According to the article, Ms. Baklaich’s “goals include making sure the citizens and their voices are heard — and she is holding listening sessions as a way to get a pulse on what residents are feeling. ‘If I’m going to run, I want to know what’s important because honestly, what I see, is people are generally disengaged,’ Baklaich said. ‘People are disengaged because they feel like they are not being listened to.'”

If elected, Ms. Baklaich wants “to lower taxes and focus on helping businesses succeed, maintain parks and public lands and improve the city’s relationship with St. Cloud State University.” She’s also concerned about the federal refugee resettlement program:

“I have concerns about the money aspect on refugee resettlement and I think that when citizens come and they ask questions, no one should be able to wag their finger in their face and shut them down by calling them hateful names,” she said. “If somebody has a concern, the best way to alleviate that concern is to talk to them, understand where that concern is coming from and why they have it, to address them openly and honestly and then to figure out what to do about it.”

It’s apparent that she’s already more in touch with her potential constituents than Councilman Laraway. Laraway’s biggest worries are about his clients, most of whom aren’t his constituents.

Baklaich is right when she said “I don’t like that when I show up at a city council meeting and people go up and they speak, it looks like the council already has their mind made up. What I see is, if I want people to go up and to speak their mind, I want the council to listen to them.” When I spoke during the City Council’s open forum section of the meeting, the City Council didn’t pay much attention. I could’ve been talking to an empty room and received as much attention.

It’s time to throw the bums out. Jeff Johnson is the only current councilman who will listen to people and he isn’t seeking re-election. I won’t be voting for Mr. Laraway because I demand to be listened to. This August, I’ll be voting for Ms. Baklaich.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s tweets have highlighted the media’s double standards. In one tweet, Sen. Rubio tweeted “I too have concerns about how all this with #NorthKorea will turn out. But I don’t recall all the ‘experts’ criticizing Obama when he met with a brutal dictator in #Cuba who also oversaw a police state & also killed & jailed his opponents. #DoubleStandard”

In another tweet, Sen. Rubio tweeted “President’s meeting with #KJU exposed incredible hypocrisy of many in media. When Obama did these things, he was described as enlightened. When Trump does it he is reckless & foolish. 1 yr ago they attacked Trump for leading us towards war, now attack for being too quick for peace.”

For instance, Chris Matthews said of President Trump “These are awful people and he wants to become best friends with them.” I don’t recall Tingles getting upset with President Obama when he met with Raul Castro, the murderous dictator of Cuba.

When President Obama visited Cuba, they went to a baseball game. Obama proceeded to do the wave while sitting in the stands:

When President Trump met with KJU, it was all business. The negotiations lasted more than 5 hours. They talked about serious subjects. When President Obama was in Cuba, they attended a baseball game, where he was filmed doing the wave.

Today, Democrats are complaining that President Trump didn’t produce any deliverables. I don’t remember Sen. Schumer complaining about President Obama’s trip to Cuba not producing any deliverables. That’s because President Obama’s Cuba trip was about building Obama’s legacy. Trump’s trip was about him doing his best to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to state sponsors of terrorism.

President Obama’s presidency is best known for its missed opportunities. Thus far, President Trump’s legacy is about capitalizing on each opportunity.

Predictably, President Trump’s critics are out in force today. On the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer focused on the Democrats’ talking points, saying that meeting with KJU gave him legitimacy that KJU will turn into favorable treatment from the community of nations. Saying that Sen. Schumer’s logic is more than flawed is understatement.

Further, if you accept Sen. Schumer’s logic as Gospel fact, then war or a nuclear North Korea is inevitable. That’s the definition of Democratic defeatism. We just had 8 years of that. The international community is worse off as a result of President Obama’s mishandling of foreign policy/national security.

Why listen to the idiots that screwed up Iran, Russia and Iraq? Why listen to the people who told us that ISIS was the JV team, then essentially told us we’d have to accept terrorism attacks as the new normal? Democrats keep telling us how to do things after they’ve created the mess. Here’s the video of Sen. Schumer’s speech:

The prestige that Kim Jung-Un supposedly got from the Summit can disappear in an instant. If Democrats are worried about that, they aren’t paying attention to what’s important. Despite the TV media’s obsession with what didn’t happen, they should consider the Trump administration’s strong negotiating position.

The military option is still a legitimate option. The UN sanctions haven’t been lifted. President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, Ambassador Haley and NSA Bolton have made it perfectly clear that the sanctions won’t get lifted until they see North Korea’s actions change. Further, if North Korea insists on continuing playing games, they can pay the price for that decision.

That’s before taking seriously the reality that President Trump won’t hesitate to use the military option if it comes to that. I remember Ambassador Crocker’s reply when asked what he thought of the Nimitz carrier group. He replied “That’s what 20,000 tons of diplomacy looks like. TRANSLATION: Little Rocket Man, the era of strategic patience is history.

When Bill Clinton spoke to the families after the bombing of the Murrah Building, he became the president of the entire United States. Prior to that, he’d been the Democrats’ president. This is when George Bush became president:

This morning, at his press conference after his Singapore Summit with Kim Jong-Un, President Trump displayed the graciousness and temperament expected of our presidents. That doesn’t mean he’ll continue acting with this level of humility and graciousness. I suspect he’ll revert back to his combative type. Still, I sensed a perspective from him during this press conference that I hadn’t seen before:

Rather than being combative like he’s frequently been at his campaign rallies, this President Trump showed humility. It was apparent that he understood the enormity of the moment. It’s apparent, too, that President Trump was more than well-prepared for this summit. His understanding of the subject material is strong. His negotiating strategy was impressive. The team he’s assembled around him is the best since Reagan’s. Perhaps, it’s even better than Reagan’s.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accomplished more in 6 weeks on the job than John Kerry and Hillary Clinton accomplished in 8 years. Kerry’s ‘great accomplishment’ was the Iran deal, which has already been ripped up. Hillary’s accomplishment was the Russian Reset button. She screwed that up so badly that Putin didn’t take President Obama seriously for the duration of his presidency.

By comparison, Mike Pompeo did all the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting in putting the summit together, then bringing the agreement together. It’s time to recognize the Trump-Pompeo-Bolton-Mattis team as thoroughly impressive.

President Trump’s detractors have already started criticizing him. Nothing he does seems to be good enough.


President Trump got the North Koreans to a place no other president had ever gotten the nation. Unlike the other presidents who failed, President Trump is a world-class negotiator.