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Archive for November, 2018

She isn’t even the Speaker again but Nancy Pelosi is declaring war against President Trump. Rather than attempting to sound a bipartisan tone, “House Democrats’ first order of business in the new Congress will be targeting President Trump’s tax returns, setting the confrontational tone of the lower chamber.”

Democrats want “to get access to Trump’s tax records, with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, saying the request will be made as soon as Democrats officially take control of the House in January. ‘We need to give every major provision of this new tax law scrutiny that Republicans refused to provide last year,” he said. ‘I think it’s important for our oversight to get those tax returns.'”

Talk about wasting time. Democrats aren’t even trying to dress this up as policy-driven. Expect Democrats to howl that President Trump is hiding something when this bill dies in the Senate. The next step is to declare a need for yet another pointless, counterproductive investigation. If/when that investigation is initiated, expect Ancient Elijah Cummings to lead that witch hunt.

Republicans would be wise to highlight vulnerable Democrats’ participation in these investigations. The ads virtually write themselves. Imagine, too, if those Democrats vote for Ms. Pelosi for Speaker after promising not to vote for her.

The phrase being peddled by Democrats is that they “can walk and chew gum at the same time”, meaning that they can investigate President Trump and still pass (supposedly) popular legislation, too. I’m betting otherwise. I’m betting that they’ll spend tons of time investigating trivial things like President Trump’s tax returns while compromising little and notching little in the way of legislative accomplishments.

Frankly, I can’t picture Elijah Cummings, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff or Maxine Waters exercising much investigative restraint.

John Kass’s column highlights the Democrats’ empty immigration plan. Kass’s column opens by saying “if there is one thing worse than that photograph of a little Honduran boy breathing through an oxygen mask after being hit with tear gas on our Southern border, it’s this: Using that image as a sentimental weapon to fend off or obliterate clearheaded immigration policy. But that’s where we are now, aren’t we? The caravan of thousands of Central American migrants is finally at the border.”

President Obama mocked Republicans, hinting that we were paranoid for thinking that impoverished people in a caravan 1,000 miles from our border posed an existential threat. Now that the election is behind us, President Obama has taken his trash-talking off the stage and gone into hiding.

That isn’t surprising. He never won a fight based on persuasion. The few fights he won were won by trash-talking and with his infamous pen and phone. Here’s President Obama with his trash-talking:

If the media ever forced Democrats to debate immigration substantively, the fight wouldn’t last long. Thankfully for Democrats, there’s no chance that the MSM will force them into that fight. Unfortunately for Democrats, I’ll do my best to pick that fight.

If Democrats were ever forced into admitting that the border wall was as much about stopping fentanyl as it is about stopping illegal aliens entering the country, they’d look like idiots. If Democrats were forced into admitting that the people putting these caravans together also traffic in sex slaves and have caused most of the opioid epidemic, they’d instantly lose the fight over border wall funding.

Frankly, that’s why I hope there is a government shutdown on Pelosi’s watch. I want this attention focused on Democrats’ unwillingness to stop the opioid crisis before it starts. I want this attention focused on all of the components of illegal immigration. Finally, I want Republicans highlighting the difference between illegal immigration and legal, by-the-books immigration.

It’s time to have an adult conversation about immigration. Democrats won’t do that unless they’re forced into it.

Mary Franson proposed a bill in the last session that would’ve punished parents who subjected their daughters to female genital mutilation. Since it didn’t pass last year, she’s proposing it again this year. As this editorial powerfully states, “Franson deserves 100 percent support from her fellow House members as well as lawmakers in the Senate.”

I’ll just add that this legislation deserves the governor’s signature, too. Additionally, anyone that doesn’t support this legislation should be immediately thrown out of the legislature. I can’t state this opinion emphatically enough.

According to the editorial, it “is currently a felony in Minnesota to perform a mutilation, but the actions of the parents are not properly addressed. Under Franson’s bill, parents could be more severely punished, and have their children taken away.”

Anyone that subjects their daughter to this horrific treatment is a beast who needs to be locked up immediately and for a long time. Why people haven’t supported Rep. Franson’s legislation enthusiastically is beyond explanation. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s the right thing to do.

It’s rather disheartening to see the senior leadership of Minnesota State, formerly known as MnSCU and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, wasting time on this initiative. To be fair, though, they admitted one thing that’s been obvious for years. They asked the question “How does the Minnesota State Board of Trustees enable a large, complex, risk-and change-averse organization to transition itself into a more nimble, responsive, and dynamic enterprise centered on enhancing student success”?

Admitting that a large government entity is “risk- and change-averse” is a nice first step. That being said, it’s just a first step. This bunch still isn’t capable of transferring credits from one MnSCU campus to another MnSCU campus. Why would I suddenly think that they’ll go from failing at such a basic function to being proficient at complex functions in times that Amazon would be proud of?

The reality is that government doesn’t have the incentives, aka profits, to be proficient. If Minnesota State is terrible at something, how does that senior management get punished for making a terrible decision? A: They don’t! As long as the business model doesn’t change, the incentive won’t change, either.

On Pg. 4, they ask “Why Reimagine Minnesota State?” The reply is “Our current approaches have had little impact on key outcomes of student success.” On Pg. 6 of the report, they write “Create the structures, policies, procedures, and funding models that will recognize and accelerate the innovative approaches already occurring on our campuses.”

The ‘business model’ used by private companies is entirely different than that of public institutions. Private companies rely on a profit incentive to drive efficiency. That incentive doesn’t exist in the public sector. They know that if they get things wrong, they just grab more money from taxpayers, then dress it up as their newest innovation.

In the end, this is just another waste of money that won’t accomplish what they want it to accomplish. When you put philosophers in charge, mediocrity soon follows.

Before the election, Jim Acosta infamously insisted that Hondurans weren’t invading the US. Acosta and CNN said that pictures of thousands of migrants marching on highways were, essentially, figments of our imagination.

Now that those ‘figments of our imagination’ are throwing projectiles at border patrol agents, it’s time for Acosta and CNN to admit that they’re officially the propaganda service for the DNC. I don’t care whether CNN and/or Acosta apologizes. That means nothing to me. I’d rather watch columnists like Rich Lowry extract several pounds of flesh from the media’s collectivist hides in columns like this one. Remember this?

It’s been about three weeks since CNN reporter Jim Acosta repeatedly told President Trump at a news conference that the migrant caravan is “hundreds and hundreds of miles away” and “not an invasion.” Acosta strenuously objected to a Trump ad that showed migrants climbing border walls: “They’re not going to be doing that.”

Guess what, Mr. Acosta. Migrants climbed border walls this past weekend. These ‘migrants’ aren’t “hundreds of miles away” from the US-Mexico border. They’re at the US-Mexican border and throwing projectiles at border patrol agents.

These ‘reporters’ only have a passing relationship with the truth, if that. Bill O’Reilly exposes that fact in this video:

Any Democrats saying that they’re pro-law enforcement are lying to you. Any media that insists that they’re foundational to democracy but then intentionally misreports like Mr. Acosta frequently does is a parasite, not part of the foundation of this nation.

President Trump is right. These migrants are bad dudes. They didn’t hesitate in using women and children as human shields. How despicable.

In this Strib article, Strib reporter Kelly Smith quotes St. Cloud City Councilman Dave Masters as saying “This one group [C-Cubed] doesn’t speak for all residents. I think we need to come together to work together to make St. Cloud a better place.”

This is the same Dave Masters who was offended when citizens showed up to a September City Council meeting wearing red caps that said “Make St. Cloud Great Again.” At the time, Masters insisted that St. Cloud was already great. (That sounds like Steve Laraway, doesn’t it?) How can a city with one-fourth of its people living below the poverty level be great?

A regular reader of LFR sent me some crime statistics comparing St. Cloud’s crime rates with Sartell’s crime rates. Here’s that graphic:

According to these statistics, violent crime per 100,000 people is about double in St. Cloud what it is nationally. With a high violent crime rate and exceptionally high poverty rate, how can Mssrs. Laraway and Masters tell people that St. Cloud is a great place to live?

Frankly, we need to fire all of these delusional politicians and replace them with people who don’t buy rose-colored glasses in bulk. I’d keep George Hontos and the 2 newly-elected city councilmembers and fire the rest — including Mayor Kleis. This isn’t a situation where a little tinkering around the edges will suffice. It’s a situation where real leadership and time-tested policies are required.

Carol Lewis, Jeff Goerger and Kleis must go. Ditto with Laraway and Masters. Eliminate any of these politicians’ supporters, too. We don’t need more of the same failed policies. If you’re interested in rebuilding St. Cloud and turning it into a prosperous city once again, it’s time to step forward. If you think that things are just fine as they are, I’d suggest that you consider spending more time with your family.

There’s no question that my councilman, Steve Laraway, wears rose-colored glasses. At least, there isn’t any question about that after reading Mr. Laraway’s recent LTE.

In his LTE, Mr. Laraway sneered down his nose at his constituents, saying “We have just gone through an election season that once again focused on division and negatives about the candidates, their voting record, how they might vote or how poorly they represent their constituents. In the campaign for St. Cloud City Council, we consistently heard how bad things were in St. Cloud. Quite honestly, I love living in St. Cloud. I put together a list of 10 things I love about St. Cloud. This list is not all-encompassing, but are my thoughts. The list includes:”

  1. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens and all the other parks and trails in St. Cloud — top tourist attractions right here;
  2. Entertainment venues such as The Paramount and Pioneer Place;
  3. Our proximity to the Mississippi River, the river brings history and beauty every day;
  4. Outdoor gatherings such as Summertime by George, Fifth Avenue Live and the Cathedral Block Party;
  5. The beautiful and diverse neighborhoods;
  6. The Stearns History Museum and the Great River Regional Library: Both allow us to learn from our past;
  7. The YMCA and Whitney Senior Center;
  8. The St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare;
  9. World-class music options: We can listen to music as varied as the Fabulous Armadillos or the St. John’s Boys’ Choir; and
  10. Higher education: We have access to top-notch higher education opportunities.

First, it isn’t surprising that Mr. Laraway praised CentraCare since he sits on their board. Next, people must wonder what solar system Mr. Laraway is from if he thinks that “we have access to top-notch higher education opportunities.” What Mr. Laraway didn’t mention is that St. Cloud’s economic metrics are terrible.

According to the Census Bureau’s website, the median household income for the state of Minnesota is $63,217 in 2016 dollars. The percent of people in Minnesota living below the Federal Poverty Level, aka FPL, was 9.5%. By comparison, Hibbing’s median household income was $42,004 while 18.2% of its residents lived below the FPL. Sartell, St. Cloud’s neighbor to the north, has a median household income of $71,959 while 4% of its residents live below the FPL.

Sit down before you read this set of statistics. The median household income for St. Cloud was $45,223. An astronomical (and frankly immoral) 23.2% of St. Cloud residents live below the FPL! How dare Mr. Laraway suggest that St. Cloud is a great place to live when one-fourth of its population is living below the Federal Poverty Level. For that matter, Dave Masters should be ashamed of himself for saying that St. Cloud already was a great place to live.

Masters and Laraway are delusional or dishonest. At this point, it’s possible they’re both.

To hear “Al Otro Lado, a binational advocacy group that provides legal assistance to migrants seeking asylum” talk about yesterday’s incident at the border, women and children refugees “were peacefully demonstrating in Mexico” when they were “injured by tear gas launched by US authorities.” To read this article, though, you’d get a different picture.

According to the article, “some have organized protests to pressure U.S. officials to devote more resources to speed up the process. On Sunday, one of those protests, peaceful at first, turned chaotic when several hundred migrants broke away, overwhelming Mexican federal police officers before rushing a border fence and attempting to illegally enter the U.S. In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers shut down both south and northbound traffic at the San Ysidro border crossing south of San Diego for nearly six hours.”

If you read Daniel Chaitin’s article, you get the real story:

The Mexican government announced Sunday evening that it will deport nearly 500 migrants who rushed the U.S. border between Tijuana and San Diego, Calif. In a statement, Mexico’s interior department said these migrants were captured with the help of local authorities of the government from the state of Baja California and will be deported after attempting to cross the border “violently” and “illegally.”

Here’s the important information:

Videos and photos of the migrants, including children, crossing a footbridge over a canal in Tijuana as they headed to the border were posted to social media. The incident prompted both the U.S. and Mexico to shut down the port of entry on their respective sides.

It’s obvious that Al Otro Lado isn’t telling the truth.

When it comes to undermining the first step in democracy, aka elections, there’s no low too low that Democrats won’t accuse Republicans of. Byron York’s article chronicles the Democrats’ Stacy Abrams’ attempt to steal the Georgia gubernatorial election.

York wrote “Well before Election Day, Democrat Stacey Abrams accused her Republican opponent, Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp, of using his office to throw minority voters off the rolls. ‘He disproportionately purged voters of color,’ Abrams said on The View about a week before the election. ‘That’s problematic because regardless of intent, the result is that racial bias has been injected into our system and undermines confidence in our democracy.'”

Those statements have a problem, though. They’re opinions. The Abrams campaign never supplied proof that these things happened. Instead, Abrams’ fellow Democrats raced to microphones to repeat Ms. Abrams’ allegations:

“I think that Stacey Abrams’ election is being stolen from her,” said New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker. “If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it,” said Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. “If she had a fair election, she already would have won,” said Hillary Clinton.

Again, where’s the Democrats’ proof? The Democrats’ habit is to make wild accusations, then have the Fake Media amplify the accusations. Don’t have proof? That’s ok. We’ll repeat it often enough until people buy the Democrats’ BS. Here’s Sherrod Brown yapping to the National Action Network:

BTW, NAN was founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton.

Most Abrams supporters did not suggest that she actually won more votes than Kemp. Instead, they pointed to Georgia’s requirement that the winning candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. The Abrams scenario was based on the hope that, somehow, Abrams might find an additional 17,000 or so more votes, while Kemp got no more, and then Kemp, while still substantially ahead in total votes, would have less than 50 percent of the total. If that happened, there would be a runoff with Abrams.

The only problem was, the numbers weren’t anywhere close to what Abrams needed.

Why let reality get in the way of undermining democracy? The Media Wing of the Democratic Party, aka Fake News, didn’t. As someone committed to accuracy, doing the required research and getting things right, I don’t have a problem labeling the Media Wing of the Democratic Party as Fake News. It isn’t like they’re searching for the truth. They’re working to further their agenda. Period.

Yes, they have First Amendment rights. They just don’t have any credibility with honest people. That territory is reserved for journalists like Salena Zito, Byron York and Ed Morrissey.

The US has reached a tipping point. Will we insist on honesty and principled patriotism? Or will we settle for the Democrats’ constant undermining of our system of government? I hope it’s the former.

I don’t think I’m outlandish in saying that the Democrats’ economic plan is short on growth and heavy on regulations and socialism.

For instance, the “presumptive incoming speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has vowed to pass this wage floor [$15 minimum wage] in the first 100 hours of the new Congress.” Why would she do this?

Even in wealthy Seattle, which passed a $15 minimum wage in 2014, independent researchers at the University of Washington revealed that entry-level jobs and hours worked fell as a direct consequence. As a result of reduced hours, entry-level wages actually fell by $1,500 a year, on average. A minimum wage increase that reduces wages? Just more proof that you can’t fight economics. If the $15 fallout was this bad in Seattle, think of the consequences to Main Street and entry-level employees in poorer cities such as Shreveport, Sioux Falls and South Bend.

Voting Democrat is voting against pro-growth economic policies. That isn’t to say that all Democrats are illiterate when it comes to economics. My point is that people like Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other progressive/socialist hardliners, where the energy in the Democratic Party is, hate pro-growth policies.

Hardline progressives/socialists see economics upside-down. They don’t get it that cutting taxes increases economic activity. These Democrats don’t understand that cutting regulations increases an entrepreneur’s incentive to start a new business. For that matter, only entrepreneurs notice that regulations prevent new businesses from starting.

This fall, the one thing I thought was missing was that Republicans didn’t make the case in specific enough terms of how voting for Democrats would hurt economic growth. This video is from 3 years ago:

The path to higher wages is through business-friendly policies. President Reagan, as he frequently did, put it best when he said that that you can’t pro-jobs and anti-employer. When President Obama raised corporate taxes, corporations left for other countries. In that instance, ‘fairness’ hurt American workers.

Why shouldn’t we learn that dramatically raising the minimum wage hurts everyone? Seattle’s increase to $15/hr. only increased automation while shrinking working hours. That’s rather counterproductive.

The Democrats’ economic blueprint is a blueprint for stagnation.