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Anyone who’s known me knows that I’m unabashedly a sports fanatic. Those people know that my first love is professional baseball. This afternoon, I saw Dawn Mitchell’s interview of Erin and Dan Murphy:

They’re neighbors of Twins great Tony Oliva. They started “the Official Tony Oliva Fan Group”, which they say “was started in 2011 by a group of 12 fans in a suburban kitchen.” Their “mission is to get Minnesota Twins Legend Tony Oliva inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.” It’s great to see them putting this campaign together. It’s a disgrace that Tony Oliva isn’t enshrined in Cooperstown already.

Tony Oliva is one of a handful of dominant players I’ve had the privilege of watching in person. The best way I know how to illustrate Tony’s dominance is to explain that Rod Carew thought of him as his hitting instructor. While they were teammates. Rod Carew won the AL batting title 8 times. His best season was 1977, when he was the AL MVP. He won it by hitting .388, the highest batting average at the time since Ted Williams hit .388 in 1957.

What other player or coach could Rod Carew turn to that knew more about hitting than he did? That’s right. The only other player with that type of credibility was Tony Oliva.

Let’s take it a step further. In 1964, Tony became the first rookie to lead the league in hitting. That year, Tony finished with a .323 batting average. In 672 at-bats, Tony struck out just 68 times or once every 2 1/2 games. If you’re thinking that’s decent for a slap hitter, you’re right. That’s pretty good for a slap hitter. Tony Oliva wasn’t a slap hitter, though. That year, Tony finished with 43 doubles, 9 triples, 32 home runs, 374 total bases and a .557 slugging percentage.

That’s what a dominant hitter does. Tony Oliva fits that description perfectly. After his playing career, he worked with another Twins outfielder that turned into a great hitter. His name was Kirby Puckett. Kirby started as a slap hitter. He didn’t hit his first home run until his second season. After Tony suggested Kirby start lifting his front leg, Kirby started hitting home runs while hitting for a high average.

When good hitters hit a hot streak, their batting average for 5 games might shoot up to .450 or so. When Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett or Joe Mauer got locked in, their batting average for a series looks like the batting champion’s batting average in a slow pitch softball league. We’re talking about these gentlemen going 15-for-17 in a 4-game series or 11-for-12 in a 3-game series.

It’s time for the baseball gods to smile on Tony O. If Cooperstown doesn’t have room for a 3-time batting champion who played in 8 All Star games while winning a Gold Glove for defensive excellence, then Cooperstown’s reputation deserves to take a hit.

Add in the fact that Tony’s been one of baseball’s best ambassadors for the last 30+ years and that he’s worked with Twins hitters since the 1970s. Those credentials deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown, NY.

That’s where you come in:

The Hall of Fame announced on October 30th that Tony Oliva and 9 others (Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills) will be considered for election into the Hall of Fame. The Veterans Committee is considering the Golden Era (1947-1972) players and will be judging them based on their Record, Ability, Integrity, Character, Sportsmanship and Contribution to the team.

The 16 Voters are: Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond and Bob Watson; and veteran media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby. The vote will take place on Monday December 8th 2014 in San Diego CA at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

The best way to influence the voters is by writing them a letter. Click HERE to find out more information!

Please consider sending a letter or postcard to the Hall of Fame telling them why Tony Oliva should be inducted into the Hall of Fame!

Let’s get Tony into the Hall of Fame. He’s earned it and then some. While we’re at it, let’s get Jim Kaat in, too.

How Good Are The Projections?
by Silence Dogood

The fourth issue of the HuskyData Newsletter, “a regular newsletter dedicated to sharing data and information about SCSU and our students,” was released on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 and focused on enrollment projections.

The first figure shows the Fall 2014 NEF (New Entering Freshmen) Forecast Over Time. The original projection on February 5th was for an increase of 122 students over the Fall’13 enrollment which is an increase of 7.1%. That’s pretty amazing growth if it turned out to be true. By the February 19th projection, the possible increase dropped to 77 students yielding a healthy growth of 4.5%. That’s still pretty amazing growth.

By the March 5th projection, the number was reduced again to the value from Fall’13 for a net growth of 0%. From that point, the projections vary ±2% above and below the actual 30th day NEF enrollment.

So, for a month from February 5th to March 5th things looked pretty good or at least not too bad. The actual 30th Day NEF number of 1,683 represents a decline of 1.2% from the Fall of 2013 to Fall 2014. It’s still a decline, but at least less of a decline than the prior year. The following Figure shows the NEF Headcount from Fall’08 through Fall’14.

The headcount enrollment decline from Fall’08 to Fall’14 is 718 students, which amounts to a decline of 29.9%! Clearly, the percentage decline is staggering. Hopefully, the trend will not continue too far into the future. SCSU cannot survive as the second largest MnSCU institution, with much more declining enrollment. Believe it or not, this fall SCSU has only 33 more NEF than Winona State University!

The second graph appearing in the HuskyData Newsletter shows Forecasts of Fiscal Year 2015 FYE Enrollment at various points in time. The February 5th projection was for an FYE enrollment of 12,125. This represents a projected decline of 256 FYE for a 2.1% decline from the FY14 enrollment.

Unfortunately, the February 5th projection significantly overestimated the actual enrollment. “After adjusting for the unanticipated decline in summer enrollment,” the current projection is for an enrollment of 11,798 FYE, which is a loss of 583 FYE and a decrease of 4.7% from the FY14 enrollment. Looking at the plot, in May, the projection dropped by approximately 250 FYE but the summer enrollment was only down 100 FYE corresponding to a decline of nearly 10% in summer enrollment. Clearly, something more significant than the decline in summer enrollment affected the FYE projection in May.

If you look at the first enrollment projection in the HuskyData Newsletter compared to this final enrollment projection (11,798), the projection decreased by 327 FYE and by itself corresponds to a net decline from the prior year of 2.6%. Essentially, the enrollment decline for the latest projection is more than twice the original projected decline of 2.1% (an error in estimation of 120% error).

President Potter has repeatedly praised the Data Analytics Workgroup for the accuracy of their enrollment projections. If the budget for FY15 was built using the first enrollment projection, the big question is how much of a financial effect does being off by 327 FYE represent. Assuming each FYE produces $11,500 in revenue, 327 FYE represents $3,760,000. Considering the current projected budget deficit is $9,542,000, this ‘error’ represents 39% of the projected budget deficit. Clearly, whether or not the enrollment projection was right on target or off by 327 FYE, the budget is going to have to be cut by a very big number. However, one might like to know the bad news earlier so plans could be made to anticipate the shortfall rather than have to react to it.

Looking at the FYE projections for FY15, the latest data point shows the FYE number from November 2014. At this point, summer enrollment is already in the bank. Fall semester is more than half way through so the final fall numbers will only change by a small amount. Students have already started registering for Spring semester. Making a projection for Spring semester and ultimately the total FYE enrollment for the year at this point should be pretty accurate. Quite simply the majority of the FYE enrollment for the year is already known and there is pretty good historical data about the percentage of students returning in spring semester from fall semester. It’s kind of like counting the number of people in a movie theater at the beginning of the movie. Certainly, some people come in late but the change in the total number is very small.

If the enrollment projection of 11,798 comes to pass, the enrollment decrease will fall within the range 4-5% as revised in May (the announced March projection was for a 3.2% decline). While we can all argue about projections, I believe the final FYE FY’15 number will be closer to 11,719, which would correspond to a decline of 5.3%. We’ll see the actual 10th day enrollment numbers shortly after the beginning of classes in January. Either way, a decline of 4.7% or 5.3%, when coupled where the university started from its peak in FY10 (15,096), the enrollment is down over five years either 21.8% or 22.4%. This seems like a distinction without a difference to me. What is not a distinction without a difference is the over estimation of enrollment that then results in budgeting expenditures greater than the actual revenue generated. The effect of the over estimation of enrollment has resulted in the creation of the need to cut expenditures after a majority of the budget has been committed.

One can only hope that the error in estimation does not continue and the Data Analytics group learns from it’s mistakes and that the budgeting process will be based on more reliable estimates of enrollment and revenue. Another $3.7 million surprise for next year on top of this year’s $9.5 million dollar surprise surely will create major financial problems for SCSU.

According to this article, Rick Nolan is upset with outside groups’ smear campaign against Stewart Mills:

But the ads were also strongly disliked by Nolan, who was frustrated that he didn’t have the authority to pull third-party ads, or even talk about them with the group sponsoring them.

That’s total BS. It’s an outright lie. It’s true that Congressman Nolan can’t coordinate anything with independent expenditure organizations, from ad buys to GOTV operations. There’s nothing illegal if Congressman Nolan had issued a statement criticizing Nancy Pelosi’s PAC for running ads that bordered on slander. It wouldn’t have been smart for him to do that, though, because his ads were exceptionally similar to the ads run by Pelosi’s PAC.

WASHINGTON — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided it would fund a lot of hit ads against 8th District Republican challenger Stewart Mills. So the Washington-based group recorded television ads and sent out mailers that mocked U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s opponent for his shoulder-length hair and his wealth obtained through a successful; and hard-working family business, Mills Fleet Farm.

Now that this election is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to say some things that I didn’t say prior to the election. First, Nolan’s statements about there being too much money in politics is typical DFL boilerplate. It isn’t that there’s too many ads on TV.

It’s that there are too many spineless DFL politicians who won’t criticize their supporters for funding smear campaigns.

If Nolan was a man of integrity, which he isn’t, he could’ve criticized House Majority PAC, the DCCC and AFSCME’s PAC for running a smear campaign. Apparently, Nolan didn’t learn that the First Amendment protects people who criticize political campaign machines.

The ads were viewed by political friends of Mills as ridiculous, offensive and personally nasty. “They’re just so absolutely not grounded in any sense of reality. They’re going after a person’s appearance and also success … and isn’t success the American Dream,” Mills said during an interview during the campaign.

Stewart Mills highlights beautifully that Rick Nolan didn’t stand up for people trying to achieve the American Dream. That’s because Nolan spent the campaign criticizing achievement. Stewart Mills spent his entire campaign showing how the company he runs has done more to help the middle class than the entire Democratic Caucus has done in the last 10 years.

It’s time for Iron Range voters to decide whether they want someone representing them who tells them he supports them until election day, then ignores them the next 22 months. They made a mistake this time. They should’ve voted for Stewart Mills because he would’ve went to Washington to get PolyMet opened.

Now that the election is behind him, Rick Nolan will likely ignore the PolyMet issue for the next 22 months. That’s how Iron Range voters will know whether Nolan supports them or if he’s just committed to paying PolyMet lip service.

After reading this LTE, there’s no question that fascism is alive and well in the United States. Here’s what the LTE proposes:

Combined, about $43,781,720 was spent on campaigning just for the governor, Senate and U.S. House elections in Minnesota. Think what that money could have been used for in the state.

I realize it’s not a lot of money in the total scheme of things, but it sure could have been used for something better than all the advertising. There should be no money allowed except from individuals living in the state or legislative district. No money should come from PACs, corporations or unions; only from people who can vote! PACs, corporations and unions don’t vote.

There also should be no negative advertising. Period! Only advertising should be about the candidate’s position on issues and what the candidate will try to do if elected. Period!

Who made this person the arbiter of what’s protected by the First Amendment and what isn’t? This is what happens when schools don’t teach their students the Constitution. It’s what happens when parents don’t teach their children the Constitution, too. It’s what happens when buffoons don’t think things through, too.

Why shouldn’t PACs, corporations and unions have the right to participate in the political process? There’s nothing in the text of the First Amendment that says it only protects individuals’ right to free speech.

What’s particularly bothersome about this LTE is that he didn’t bother mentioning the fact that the DFL and Nancy Pelosi’s ads were particularly dishonest. The other thing that’s troubling is the fact that the DFL’s ads and Nancy Pelosi’s ads outright lied. Repeatedly. Though this isn’t a Pelosi ad, it’s of a similar nature:

That ad was run by NARAL Pro-Choice USA. It accused Cory Gardner, Colorado’s new senator-elect, of banning birth control. NARAL ran this slanderous ad despite their knowing that Sen.-Elect Gardner proposed making contraception available without a prescription.

The best way to clean up politics isn’t by limiting citizens’ participation in the political process but by defeating the politicians whose ads are essentially smear campaigns. Politicians won’t stop running smear campaigns until they don’t work anymore. This isn’t that complicated.

Another key step in eliminating negative campaigning is by tying outside groups’ spending to the candidates they’re attempting to help. While it’s illegal to for politicians to coordinate with these outside expenditure organizations, it isn’t illegal to issue a heartfelt statement specifically criticizing these smear campaign ads. For instance, a man of integrity caught in soon-to-be former Sen. Udall’s position could’ve issued this statement about NARAL’s smear campaign ad:

My campaign condemns in the harshest possible terms NARAL’s ad suggesting my opponent wants to ban birth control. While my opponent and I disagree on a wide range of issues, and while I stand ready to highlight those points of disagreement during our debates and out campaign, I can’t sit idly by while this smear campaign is carried out on my behalf. I hereby demand that NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado take this ad down immediately.

In the Eighth District, there was little difference between Rick Nolan’s advertisements and Pelosi’s advertisements. In fact, the DCCC’s advertisements against Torrey Westrom and Rick Nolan’s advertisements against Stewart Mills were cookie-cutter copycats of Pelosi’s advertisements against Stewart Mills.

I’ll have more to say on Rick Nolan’s spinelessness later this morning.

Talking Points Memo’s article shows that they’re either hallucinating or they’re thinking words don’t have meanings. They’re talking about possibilities about how to skirt the Supreme Court’s ruling should they rule against the administration:

The specter of the Supreme Court gutting Obamacare and putting health coverage for millions of people at risk is back in a very real way, with the justices taking up the lawsuit that would prohibit tax subsidies from being given to people in the 36 states that use the federal health exchange, HealthCare.gov.

But while the White House has been publicly mum about how it would address that worst-case scenario, policy experts have told TPM that there could be ways for the Obama administration to get around such a ruling.

The specifics would need to be worked out, but the crux is this: States could continue to use HealthCare.gov as their technical backdrop, but they would be considered state-based exchanges. That would allow the law’s tax subsidies to keep flowing, even if the Supreme Court were to invalidate them on the federal exchange, as the lawsuit’s plaintiffs argue it should.

That might work with the Nevada and Oregon exchanges but it won’t fly with the 36 states that refuse to create a state-run exchange. Apparently, that didn’t dawn on these geniuses until later in the article:

“One such scenario would be for HHS to effectively deem all of the exchanges to be state-based, but continue operating them through HealthCare.gov,” Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm, told TPM earlier this year. On Thursday, she added that the legal grounds for such a move would be “uncertain,” however.

Every bill that’s signed into law, especially lengthy, complex statutes like the ACA, contain a list of definitions specific to that legislation. Section 1311 of the ACA establishes how state-run exchanges are created. This part is vital:

SEC. 1311. AFFORDABLE CHOICES OF HEALTH BENEFIT PLANS.
(a) ASSISTANCE TO STATES TO ESTABLISH AMERICAN HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGES.—
(1) PLANNING AND ESTABLISHMENT GRANTS.—There shall be appropriated to the Secretary, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, an amount necessary to enable the Secretary to make awards, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, to States in the amount specified in paragraph (2) for the uses described in paragraph (3).
(2) AMOUNT SPECIFIED.—For each fiscal year, the Secretary shall determine the total amount that the Secretary will make available to each State for grants under this subsection.
(3) USE OF FUNDS.—A State shall use amounts awarded under this subsection for activities (including planning activities) related to establishing an American Health Benefit Exchange, as described in subsection (b).

This is vital in the context of HHS “effectively deem[ing] all of the exchanges to be state-based.” Section 1311, paragraph (3) specifically talks about the grants from HHS to each of the states. The states must use that money to create their exchanges. Since 36 states didn’t accept grants from HHS under Section 1311, paragraph (3), that means the exchange is federally run.

Technically, Oregon and Nevada took HHS grant money. Therefore, they’re technically classified as state-run exchanges. Wyoming and Wisconsin, by contrast, didn’t accept 1311 grants from HHS. Therefore, those states’ exchanges aren’t state-run exchanges.

Simply put, that means any attempt by the Democrats to change the clearly-written definitions in the ACA will likely be quickly rejected by the Supreme Court. It’s further proof that Democrats put their ideology ahead of doing what’s right for the nation.

Last night on the Kelly File, Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer had a great discussion on President Obama’s imminent executive order that would prevent authorities from deporting Hispanics fitting a certain description. First, here’s the video of the interview:

Here’s the key part of the interview:

“Look, I believe it is an impeachable offense,” Krauthammer told Kelly. “If the circumstances were different, if we were at the beginning of a presidency, if we hadn’t had years when the Congress has been supine and unresponsive at other grabs of their authority by the executive–like Obama unilaterally changing Obamacare after it was passed about 30 times with no response from the Congress–the same as Obama essentially re-writing some of the drug laws.

“This idea of prosecutorial discretion is really a travesty. It is intended for extreme cases. For a case where you want to show mercy for an individual or two where it’s an unusual incident, unusual circumstances and you say, okay, we’re going to give this person a pass. It was never intended to abolish a whole class of people subject to a law and to essentially abolish whole sections of a law. And that’s exactly what’s happening here.”

When statutes are drafted, the legislative language often has descriptions of who’s subject to specific parts of the law. That’s especially true with income tax codes, where the language must include a description of who pays what tax rate. If they didn’t include that description, the legislation wouldn’t apply to anyone or it would apply to everyone.

The only constitutionally-sanctioned remedy for what President Obama wants to do is to work with Congress to change the United States’ immigration statutes. Therein lies the problem. President Obama doesn’t play well with others. He doesn’t even get along with Harry Reid, much less with Mitch McConnell or John Boehner.

At the end of the interview, this interesting exchange took place:

MEGYN KELLY: What would happen, Charles, in this country if we had a Republican president who said, ‘you know what? I’m gonna use my prosecutorial discretion to just not go after those who harass women going into abortion clinics. I realize that there are laws on the books that say we should go after them but I just see them as worthy of my mercy and I tried to push a bill through Congress but those darn Democrats wouldn’t allow it. So with the stroke of my pen, I’m now gonna say we’re just not going to prioritize those prosecutions…’ This may be a precedent that the left might not want to set
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, the example I like to use, let’s say you get a Republican president who says ‘I’ve tried to get the abolition of the capital gains tax because it’s hurting our economy but the congress simply won’t cooperate and I will not wait so I have issued an executive order that the IRS will no longer collect capital gains taxes or pursue anyone who doesn’t pay them.’ Everyone would say that this is obviously a breech of the Constitution and it would be an impeachable offense.

They’re both right. There’s no question whether the left is willing to transfer large parts of the legislative branch’s authority to the executive branch. They did that with the ACA and with Dodd-Frank. There’s no question, either, about whether President Obama sees himself as an autocrat. Finally, there’s no question that these Democrats are willing to ignore their responsibility to defend their branch of government against intrusion by the other branches of government.

The only positive that’ll come from this is that President Obama’s executive order is politically stupid. If he signs that executive order, Democrats will be criticized as being anti-law enforcement and pro-chaos. Then they’ll be tarred and feathered for looking the other way when laws were being broken just because the man who broke the laws was from their political party.

This isn’t a solution to a real problem but it is a political headache for Democrats.

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Roy Saigo—A True Leader
by Silence Dogood

Roy Saigo was President at SCSU from 2000-2007. During his Presidency, enrollment at SCSU grew, minority enrollment grew, international student enrollment grew and the university had a balanced budget. In essence, President Saigo left SCSU a much better place than he found it.

Fast forward to 2014—enter the eternal optimist! Roy Saigo is appointed interim President at Southern Oregon University (SOU) on July 1, 2014. SOU is in a financial tailspin with dwindling state support. Faculty have been retrenched, there have been staff layoffs, program cuts, and declining enrollment.

In the four months after he arrived in Ashland, he has increased enrollment a bit over 1 percent. An increase of 63 students might not seem like a lot but considering that they were expecting a decline of 2.6%, it is a big turnaround. Eastern Oregon was down 12%, Oregon Tech was down 3.2%, Western Oregon was down 2.1% and Portland State was down 1.9%. Even the mighty Oregon Ducks’ lost 1%! SOU was one of only two schools (Oregon State was the other) to post an increase in fall enrollment.

According to the Mail Tribune article:

Compare this with SCSU, which in the last five years has declined in enrollment over 22% and is facing a $9,542,000 budget deficit for this academic year. The results of the Great Place to Work Survey show that the employees at SCSU do not have confidence in President Potter’s administration. For all of the data, the red bar represents the average value for the “100 Best Companies.” All of blue bars represent the derived values from those who completed the survey at SCSU. Where there are no red bars, the question was generated locally so the number must be interpreted without a comparison.

There is no question that SCSU is not anywhere close to the place where it was when Dr. Saigo left. It is also true that you can’t turn around years of problems overnight. According to the Mail Tribune article:

I’m betting that President Saigo will succeed in turning around the fortunes of SOU. I’m also hopeful that the next interim President at SCSU will be as successful.

When Ed Henry questioned WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest about Jonathan Gruber’s statements, Earnest’s reply was stunningly dishonest:

ED HENRY: While you’ve been here, the President has been here, there’s videotape from Jonathan Gruber, who was one of the architects when the law came out. Among the things he said was that the bill was originally written in a “very tortured way,” in his words, to kind of mislead people about the taxes in the law and other parts of the law. He went on to say, “A lack of transparency was a huge political advantage for the President…” in terms of selling it to the American people.

I thought it was just the opposite. Didn’t the President promise unprecedented transparency? Why would one of the architects of the law suggest that you were misleading people?

MR. EARNEST: Well, I’m not sure, frankly, Ed. The fact of the matter is the process associated with writing and passing and implementing the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent. We all sat through many town hall meetings and discussions where this piece of legislation was vigorously debated by people on both sides. There was even a meeting that the President convened at Blair House with Republicans to discuss this policy proposal. It was, as you know, broadcast by C-SPAN.

There was a steadfast commitment by this administration to make sure that people had good insight into the benefits of the law. The fact is we spent a lot of time talking about one of those benefits. And that is the fact that individuals could receive tax credits from the federal government to make their health care costs more affordable. The fact is, I think it’s actually Republicans who haven’t been particularly transparent or even honest about the true impact of those.

That’s a breathtakingly dishonest statement, especially in light of John Fund’s article for the WSJ at the time:

For Their Next Trick . . .

By John Fund
Updated Dec. 23, 2009 12:48 p.m. ET

Look for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to try to circumvent the traditional conference committee process by which the different versions of health care reform passed by each house will be reconciled. If so, it will be the latest example of violating principles of transparency and accountability in the single-minded pursuit of legislative victory.

When Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi rewrote the ACA from what it looked like after multiple committee hearings, they did so exclusively in their offices and without a Republican in sight. If that’s Mr. Earnest’s definition of being “extraordinarily transparent”, then he needs a dictionary. Here’s the definition of transparent:

Capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material.

Here’s the definition of extraordinary:

Highly exceptional; remarkable.

One of the 2 chief architects said that a lack of transparency was essential to passing the bill. That directly and emphatically contradicts Josh Earnest’s statements that the process was remarkably visible for all to see. But that isn’t enough. Then there’s this doubling down:

I do think that the question that you raised is about the commitment to transparency that was embodied in the process of writing and passing the Affordable Care Act. And again, I think the President is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.

The Obama administration hasn’t had a press secretary. They’ve had willing liars delivering the daily White House briefings. Words don’t mean things to Mr. Earnest. He knows key buzzwords and he knows he should repeat them as often as possible, especially when they aren’t true.

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This article is mostly about how the Range delegation will get along with the incoming GOP majority in the House. Still, there’s a paragraph that’s highlight worthy:

Dill said he believes the House Republican majority will be pro-mining. And he said metro-centric DFLers, including some who were defeated, have never asked him about going fishing, snowmobiling and ATVing. “They don’t understand us and our lifestyle,” Dill said.

I’m certain that Rep. Dill didn’t think that statement through but he’s right. The metro-centric part of the DFL doesn’t understand the Range’s people or lifestyle. I’d add that that’s because they only care about metro issues with one exception. The environmental activist wing of the DFL is steadfastly anti-mining. They’re unmistakably the dominant wing in the DFL. That fact isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

The DFL is the ‘Party of the Highest Bidder’. When it comes to their agenda, they’ll side with the faction that will contribute the most to their re-election campaigns. If there are competing special interests, like miners and environmental activists, they’ll attempt the political equivalent of a high wire act. That’s what they did this year.

Rangers should take note of the other thing Rep. Dill said:

Dill said he believes the House Republican majority will be pro-mining.

I’ll guarantee that the House GOP will be pro-mining. Since 2009, Republicans have been firmly pro-mining. That’s been the best kept political secret of the past 4 years.

State Rep. Jason Metsa, DFL-Virginia, took a positive view of the House change in leadership. “Rangers will be able to work with Speaker Daudt. It will be a new experience, but I am looking forward to learning how to navigate in the minority,” he said in an email.

Republicans, I’m certain, will do everything to make Rep. Metsa’s time in the minority a pleasant and, hopefully, long-lasting experience.

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Next Wednesday marks the tenth anniversary of my starting blogging. Back then, the blog was known as Common Sense Conservative and it was on BlogSpot, not WordPress.

Through the years, I’ve offered lots of predictions, many of which were wrong. That being said, I’ve gotten quite a few things right. I was one of the first bloggers to call for defeating Mark Olson after this:

On August 16, 2007, Mark Olson was convicted of Domestic Assault-Misdemeanor-Commits Act With Intent to Cause Fear of Immediate Bodily Harm or Death.

I was the first blogger to write that the DFL’s intent was to establish a single-payer health care system. While the DFL hasn’t accomplished that, Democrats have pushed us to the brink.

I’m the blogger who first started stirring up trouble about the DFL’s attempts to shut down the PolyMet project. I even broke the story about how Gov.-Elect Dayton planned on nominating Paul Aasen, then the head of the MCEA, to be his first commissioner of the MPCA.

I’ve been fortunate to break lots of stories, especially in the last 4 years. My favorite, though, was this one in 2007:

I just got off the phone with Steve Gottwalt, who had some shocking news from the Capitol. Today, at a committee hearing, Cy Thao told Steve “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.” This was Thao’s explanation as to how the DFL plans on paying for all the spending increases they promised their special interest friends.

If you appreciate my reporting, I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a few coins in my tip jar at the top of the right sidebar. All contributions are appreciated.

Make sure and stop past on the 19th. I have a special Tenth Anniversary post planned for the occasion.