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It isn’t a stretch to say that the DFL hates cutting taxes. Further, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL doesn’t understand economics. When Democrats, whether they’re in the US Senate or the Minnesota legislature, complain about tax cuts for “the rich”, I’m reminded of Ronald Reagan’s cliché that you can’t create jobs if you hurt employers. There’s indisputable proof that companies are leaving the US for low-tax countries. Not all companies leave but there’s no doubt that many companies do.

Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Dayton’s veto of the legislature’s operating budget was constitutional. At the heart of that fight is Gov. Dayton’s hatred of tax relief. If Gov. Dayton understood the power of pro-growth tax policies, he wouldn’t have objected to the Republicans’ tax relief bill.

Further, after watching every DFL legislator vote against the tax relief package last spring, it isn’t a dishonest statement to say that the DFL hate pro-growth tax policies. At what point will the DFL admit that pro-growth tax policies work? Will they ever admit that?

It isn’t just DFL legislators that hate pro-growth tax policies. By now, most LFR readers have seen this fight between ‘Uncle Orrin’ Hatch, (R-UT), and Sherrod Brown, (D-OH), during Thursday night’s mark-up of the Senate Tax Cuts and Job Act:

Way to go, Uncle Orrin! That’s what I’d call a beat-down! Beyond seeing Republicans fighting Democrats over the benefits of this pro-growth tax policy, that exchange is instructive because Sen. Brown said something totally stupid. Specifically, Sen. Brown said “And I get sick and tired of the rich always getting richer.” Let me state this clearly. I can’t imagine a politician saying something more foolish than that. Why wouldn’t you want the rich to keep getting richer? If they aren’t getting richer, that means that they aren’t making a profit. People that aren’t making a profit can’t continue employing people.

I don’t know who Republicans will run against Sen. Brown but whoever they run should run that clip morning, noon and night against Sen. Brown. I’d finish the ad by asking ‘Was Sherrod Brown just gratuitously grandstanding? Or is he that economically ignorant?’

Seriously, how can a U.S. senator be that stupid? That’s painful to watch.

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After the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Gov. Dayton’s favor, he tried spinning the situation as best he could, saying “It is time for us all to agree that this dispute has been concluded and resume working together for the best interests of Minnesota.” The legislature quickly said, essentially, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’ They said that because Gov. Dayton negotiated a budget settlement in bad faith. Gov. Dayton pushed this lawsuit in his attempt to intimidate the legislature into caving on tax relief. Thankfully, the legislature didn’t relent. Here’s something worth considering, Gov. Dayton. The legislature worked in the best interest of their constituents. They did their best to enact much-needed tax relief while reforming teacher licensure.

The first thing that the legislature will do when the next session convenes on Feb. 20, 2018 is pass a budget restoring their budget. It will sail through the House and pass the Senate. That’s when things get interesting. Will Gov. Dayton veto that funding, setting up a high-stakes showdown on an override vote? That’s a lose-lose situation for Gov. Dayton. If he vetoes the funding, it’s likely that he’ll get overridden.

That’s because I don’t think it’s likely that outstate DFL legislators will vote to end their political careers to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto. If the DFL legislators vote to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto, they can kiss their political careers goodbye. Republicans should portray each DFL legislator as representing Gov. Dayton first, their special interest allies second and their constituents somewhere down their list of priorities.

If Gov. Dayton signs the appropriation, he will have won a victory in court but lost the PR war. Pyrrhic victories don’t make for great legacies. Either way, Gov. Dayton’s victory will be short-lived.

Top legislative leaders are refusing to make key payments on a new Senate office building, an action that could hurt the state’s credit rating, and they won’t allow the executive branch to use nonpartisan staff to draft proposals. “I am not willing to bail the governor out,” Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Thursday. “He needs to own that.”

This video perfectly explains what Gov. Dayton has done with his line-item veto:

Republicans need to not let Gov. Dayton off the hook. Gov. Dayton is a lame duck governor who must be thinking about what his legacy will be. At this point, a significant portion of his legacy will be shutting down government once and calling special sessions to finish the budget. Will he want to preside over a downgrading of Minnesota’s credit rating, too? That will be on him if he vetoes February’s appropriation funding the legislature.

Each time Republicans have stood up to him over the budget, Gov. Dayton has lost stature while losing the fight. There’s no reason to think he won’t lose this fight, too.

Finally, the Supreme Court disgraced themselves yesterday. They didn’t rule on whether Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto achieved an unconstitutional result, which is the central question. They didn’t rule on that question while pretending to exercise judicial restraint. They exercised judicial cowardice, not judicial restraint. They did that because they didn’t want to hand Gov. Dayton a political defeat.

That’s pathetic. Whatever it is, it isn’t justice.

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Al Franken’s problems just multiplied. “Media Equalizer Co-Founder Melanie Morgan has come forward”, too. Morgan recounted “her own experience with the onetime comedian.”

Ms. Morgan told Radio Equalizer “I made a statement about the budget numbers, Franken challenged me, I challenged him back. It was about spending priorities, actually just a mundane discussion. But he obsessed over it.’
After the show, Morgan said Franken wouldn’t leave her alone, insisting on continuing the argument. ‘He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimidating. ‘I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come. He approached Carol, the show’s producer, and demanded my home phone number, which was a clear violation of network protocol. I had thought that was the end of the story and was shocked when he started calling my home, badgering me repeatedly. I became fearful and called Carol to complain and asked her to tell him to back off. But he made another call after that. I thought that he might end up stalking me at my home in Northern California, it was that bad. By the third phone call I was outraged and terrified, as he is really disturbed.'”

The disturbing part about Franken’s behavior is that the MSM is already defending him. Chris Cillizza’s article certainly attempts to defend Franken, saying “Franken’s second apology is a clear cleanup attempt. As is his embrace of an Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his conduct. What Franken is trying to do here is buy himself some time under the belief that time passing will take away from the heat around the issue right now. It might work! After all, the current resident of the White House weathered a series of sexual harassment allegations last fall and still wound up winning.”

Kasie Hunt defended Franken:

Talking about the photo on air Thursday, Hunt said Franken was “not actually groping but mock groping” the woman, a radio news anchor named Leeann Tweeden. Hunt made the distinction twice in a short period of time. ‘She also published a picture that was given to her of her asleep with Sen. Franken mock groping her,’ she said the second time.”

This video should tell people who’ve attempted to defend him what a sick SOB Franken is:

“On a typical night, Carl would slip into Rob’s bed, roll him over, swab him down and say something like, ‘I’m thinking about hiring Morey Amsterdam to play Buddy Sorrell, what do you think?'” Franken said. ‘Well, the success of The Dick Van Dyke Show changed things dramatically. Carl started inviting many of his famous friends to fuck his son. That list includes some of the greats in comedy: Paul Lynde, Dom DeLuise, Rip Taylor, Danny Kaye, Charles Nelson Reilly and Rock Hudson—whom I frankly don’t think is that funny.’

This isn’t a failed comedian. He’s a disgusting human being with a willingness to do unthinkable things. I could make the case that he’s a full-blown pervert without much effort.

It’s clear from Sen. Klobuchar’s statement that she wants nothing to do with Sen. Franken. Further, it’s apparent that she’s doing her best to sound like she’s doing something without actually doing anything. In her Facebook statement, St. Amy said “This should not have happened to Leeann Tweeden. I strongly condemn this behavior and the Senate Ethics Committee must open and conduct a thorough investigation.”

Actually, there isn’t a need to “conduct a thorough investigation” in Sen. Franken’s perverted behavior. Ms. Tweeden made serious and credible accusations against Franken. She included photographic proof of Franken’s disgusting behavior, too. It’s worth noting that Franken confirmed that the incident happened.

In his statement about the incidents (plural), Franken said “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

It’s obvious that Franken is a pervert. What other person thinks that groping a woman while she’s sleeping should be interpreted as being funny? Check out this picture and tell me whether a normal person would think it’s funny:

Here’s Franken’s pathetic statement on the matter:

Let’s be clear. It’s dishonest for Franken to say “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.” He’s a total pervert who deserves to be perp-walked out of Capitol Hill this afternoon.
UPDATE: Another accuser has stepped forward:

Democrats have a growing problem on their hands that’s impossible to walk away from. This story is about to get bigger.

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It isn’t surprising to find out that Al Franken is a pervert. In his lifetime, he’s been a drug addict and a tax cheat. Now he’s accused of being a pervert. What’s interesting is that he isn’t denying it. This article by Leann Tweeden is utterly damning.

In it, Ms. Tweeden wrote “As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along. When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd. On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, ‘We need to rehearse the kiss.’ I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’ He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.”

Now that Ms. Tweeden’s article is going viral, Sen. Franken has issued a statement. First, though, here’s the picture that’s rocking Franken’s world:

Here’s Franken’s statement:

I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.

This is CNN reporting on Franken’s groping incident:

Al Franken is a disgusting individual. He shouldn’t have been in the Senate in the first place. He needs to be run out of the Senate immediately.

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When the Minnesota State Supreme Court said that governors couldn’t use part of the state’s constitution to achieve an unconstitutional result, they must not have meant it. Moments ago, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Gov. Dayton’s favor.

According to the article, “The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s operating budget. The state’s high court says Dayton’s veto complied with the law, and that the state constitution does not allow the courts to order funding for the Legislature without an appropriation.”

The article further states that “Thursday’s decision hands Dayton a major legal victory as he seeks to rework costly tax breaks and other measures he signed into law this spring as part of a new state budget.” That’s pro-DFL spin. That sentence should read “Thursday’s decision hands Minnesotans a major legal defeat because they’ll soon be without representation in St. Paul.”

The DFL operatives on the Supreme Court decided that Minnesotans didn’t really have a constitutional right to 3 fully functioning branches of government. That’s one of the things they required in their in initial ruling. In this post, titled “D-Day for Dayton, Supreme Court”, I said that, whether the Supreme Court knew it or not, they were on trial. This morning, they handed down a ruling that essentially said that they’d failed.

I’d love hearing them explain how legislators can represent their constituents without getting paid. I can’t wait to hear them explain how this doesn’t give the governor a weapon in getting everything they want in budget negotiations.

The thing is that I’ll have to wait for those things because they can’t explain those things to me. There isn’t a logical explanation for their actions. Gov. Dayton packed the court. This morning, they repaid him for their appointments.

Now it’s time to throw out the DFL operatives that Gov. Dayton appointed to the Supreme Court. That can be done through the ballot box. Minnesotans, do you really want a governor who essentially has the power of an emperor? I don’t!

Brian Bakst posted a prediction on what will happen next. I agree with him:

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Thursday will be D-Day for Gov. Dayton and the Minnesota Supreme Court. According to Brian Bakst’s reporting, the “Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to deliver its long-awaited decision Thursday in a court case between the governor and Legislature. A notice from the clerk of courts to parties in the case said a decision has been made in the lawsuit regarding Gov. Mark Dayton’s vetoes.”

Bakst continued, saying “If [the] high court invalidates the line-item vetoes, it would cause funding to spring back. If [the] justices uphold the vetoes, it will push the Legislature toward a financial crisis.” That’s true but more than that, if the Supreme Court sides with Gov. Dayton, it will have reversed itself.

In this post, I highlighted the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Dayton, like previous governors, has line-item veto authority. I also highlighted the fact that the Supreme Court said that a constitutional provision (the line-item veto) can’t “be used to achieve an unconstitutional result.” In the Supreme Court’s ruling, they also said that Minnesotans have a “constitutional right to three independent branches of government.”

The Minnesota Supreme Court, whether it realizes it or not, is on trial here. If they rule that the legislature must spend down the money appropriated to the Legislative Coordinating Commission, aka the LCC, they will be violating multiple Minnesota statutes. First, part of the money appropriated to the LCC pays for the operations of the Office of Legislative Auditor, aka OLA. In this post, I wrote “Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles has already expressed concerns about certain functions of his office being suspended – specifically the certification of state financial reports that support the state’s credit rating and the receipt of federal funds.” It’s inconceivable to me that the Supreme Court would rule against funding the OLA simply for those reasons.

I don’t doubt that the DFL operatives in black robes want to justify siding with Gov. Dayton. It’s just that I can’t imagine them saying in their preliminary ruling that you can’t use part of the state constitution to achieve an unconstitutional result. Saying that a governor has the right to temporarily disable the part of the government that represents the people is incomprehensible.

Check in with LFR Thursday for the Supreme Court’s final ruling in this important case.

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It’s now official. Blue Dog Democrats officially stated that they oppose middle class tax cuts and tax simplification. They officially stated “We simply cannot support a bill that, by every kind of measurement, has been determined to add over $2 trillion to the deficit at the expense of middle-class Americans. It’s a fact that some middle-class Americans will see their taxes go up and small business owners will face a more complex tax system under this bill.”

Their statement went further, saying “Unrealistic, rosy economic growth projections should not be used to offset the costs of tax reform or tax relief.”

During the Obama administration, Blue Dog Democrats sat silent. They didn’t offer plans to simplify the tax code or provide middle class tax relief. They especially didn’t criticize President Obama’s super-sized deficits. Simply put, they acted like spineless eunuchs. Now that there’s a Republican president that’s pushing major improvements to the tax code, though, Blue Dogs are suddenly criticizing plans that will strengthen the economy, create jobs and grow families’ 401(k)s.

Their position paper supports corporate tax reduction, income tax simplification, and emphasizes deficit reduction.

That’s nice-sounding but it’s totally BS. They were nowhere to be found for 8 long yeas on the topic of deficit reduction. Had they stood up to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi back then, they’d have some credibility.

Legitimate conservatives have a different idea:

Thanks to Republicans, tax relief will soon become reality. During her interview with Kevin Brady, Harris Faulkner asked him if they’d done a whip count. Chairman Brady said that they’d done a whip count and that they had the 218 votes needed to pass the House Bill:

The Senate bill includes the repeal of the individual mandate, which isn’t part of the House’s legislation. Last night during his townhall, however, Speaker Ryan said that House Republicans didn’t have a problem with repealing the individual mandate. Chairman Brady said that they wouldn’t add it to the House bill but said that they wouldn’t have a problem agreeing to it in the conference committee negotiations.

UPDATE: Ron Johnson just announced that he won’t vote for the Tax Bill in its current form:

“We have an opportunity to enact paradigm-shifting tax reform that makes American businesses globally competitive, helps our economy reach its full potential, and creates greater opportunity and bigger paychecks for every American. In doing so, it is important to maintain the domestic competitive position and balance between large publicly traded C corporations and ‘pass-through entities’ (subchapter S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships). These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions. I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version.”

The key part of Sen. Johnson’s statement is where he said “I do not support either in their current versions. I do, however, look forward to working with my colleagues to address the disparity so I can support the final version.” That isn’t slamming the door shut. It’s leaving the door wide open. Frankly, this sounds more like the opening of negotiations rather than a rejection.

Before getting into this post, let me state without hesitation or equivocation that I won’t defend Roy Moore’s disgusting behavior. Further, I find these women’s stories credible. Finally, I find Judge Moore’s replies to the reporters’ questions to be shifting, defensive and filled with platitudes.

John Kass’s column starts by saying “There is a cost to defending Moore. Don’t kid yourselves that there is no cost to it.” Kass continues, saying “But as long as he fights this, even as more women come out with their accounts of what happened years ago and reports surface about how Moore, in his 30s, trolled shopping malls for teen-age girls, there is the temptation for some in the GOP to defend him.”

Don’t count me as one of Moore’s defenders. I won’t defend the indefensible. Based on the steady stream of credible reports of Moore’s behavior, it isn’t difficult to believe that he’s a pervert attempting to hide behind his faith. It’s a disgusting sight for me, especially as a person of faith.

To his credit, Sean Hannity has issued an ultimatum to Judge Moore. I join with Sean Hannity in this ultimatum:

It’s being charitable to say that Judge Moore’s answers have been inconsistent. Frankly, I think he’s been outright dishonest. Meanwhile, Steve Bannon has defended Judge Moore, hinting that the MSM is trying to destroy a conservative. First, let’s admit that Judge Moore isn’t the first conservative that the MSM has attempted to destroy. Let’s also admit that it’s possible that they have a natural anti-conservative bias and still be honest.

When Judge Moore denied ever knowing the then-16-year-old who accused him of rape, I was skeptical, mostly because she was represented by Gloria Allred. That skepticism was erased, though, when the woman produced a yearbook with Judge Moore’s signature attached to it.

He calls all this a lie, threatens to sue The Washington Post and says he’s the victim of the Democrats and the establishment Republicans. His answers seem incomplete and remarkably thin. He signed his name in a girl’s yearbook? He can’t remember the name of the restaurant where he met one of them, where an alleged assault took place?

If Steve Bannon continues defending the indefensible, that’s his right. It’s also stupid. By defending the indefensible, he’s destroying his credibility and the candidates he’s supporting. In the end, that might be Mr. Bannon’s only gift to Republicans during the 2018 campaign cycle.

Republicans have done the right thing in distancing themselves from Moore. Even if they lose that seat to a Democrat, they’ve still done the right thing. This is one of those times when political considerations just aren’t the most important considerations in a person’s life.

It’s time for Moore and Bannon to exit the stage. That’s because they’re both disgusting people who are indefensible.

Tuesday night, Speaker Ryan was Bret Baier’s and Martha MacCallum’s guest for a townhall meeting in Herndon, Virginia. Specifically, the subject was the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. It would be fun watching him slice-and-dice Nancy Pelosi on the subject, though I’m certain she’d never participate in such a debate.

Ryan on how the tax cuts would help veterans:

Ryan on small business growth:

(Notice the specificity of his response.)
Ryan on the need to grow the economy:

Thus far, the Democrats’ economic plan is to criticize the Republican plan. That’s the plan offered by Pelosi and Schumer. That’s bad enough. The Bernie/Warren plan is even worse. They want to raise taxes and drive companies overseas.

Do we want a vibrant economy led by robust small business investment or do we want the pathetic economic growth we had during the Obama administration? That’s a pretty easy answer for most people.