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Ed Morrissey’s column has a section that should frighten thoughtful Americans of all political stripes:

Funny, but the White House took a distinctly less charitable approach to the ally that opposed Iran the previous week. Benjamin Netanyahu, in fighting for re-election in Israel, told voters there that he could no longer support a two-state solution under the current conditions of Palestinian leadership. He also warned Israelis that outside activists had attempted to boost voting of Israeli Arabs in an attempt to defeat Likud, and urged Israel’s Jews to turn out more heavily for him. In the final days of the election, Netanyahu won handily.

Did the Obama administration shrug Netanyahu’s words off as “intended for a domestic political audience?”

Of course not.

Ever since, the White House has been in high dudgeon, slamming Netanyahu’s campaign for both the comments about Arab turnout and the futility of negotiating with a Hamas-partnered Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu has tried making amends for both statements, but as late as Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf sniffed that the US didn’t find Netanyahu credible any longer. “Given his statements prior to the election, it’s going to be hard to find a path where people seriously believe, when it comes to negotiations, that those are possible.”

Let’s get this straight. Benjamin Netanyahu, the elected head of government of a US ally, defies Obama on a policy that impacts Israel’s security, then apologizes for it, and yet is considered someone who lacks credibility. However, when the head of state of a nation that has sponsored terrorism for decades openly says, “Death to America,” the Obama administration shrugs off the statement as mere domestic politics and considers him a credible partner for peace.

We are truly through the looking glass with this President.

It has become abundantly clear that Obama wants a deal for the sake of claiming a foreign policy achievement, no matter what the cost, and no matter what it does to our allies, especially Israel. The situation is reminiscent of another confrontation between Western powers and an extremist dictatorship that professed its own destiny to rule the world, and where the dictator even wrote out his plans for world domination and practically begged everyone to read them.

Ed’s right. President Obama wants a foreign policy achievement in the worst way. If he signs the deal with Iran, what he’ll get won’t be an achievement but it will be done for the worst reasons.

Simply put, this would be a foreign policy achievement in the same way that trading the Taliban Five for Bo Bergdahl was a foreign policy accomplishment. Signing a nonbinding agreement with Iran is just as foolish as trading for a soldier who was just charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

I could write President Obama’s legacy a month after he leaves office. It won’t take time to see how his policies worked out. They’re already failing without much hope of turning around. If the Iranian people strip the mullahs of their power, this agreement won’t be a total, longlasting disaster. Regardless of whether the Saudi attack on Yemen uproots the Houthis, it’s clear that President Obama’s policies failed Yemen’s government.

I could write that President Obama “served with distinction and honor” only if I applied the same standards that Susan Rice applied to Bowe Bergdahl. Otherwise, I’d have to say he’s been a disaster.

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This article is a perfect illustration of the DFL’s doublespeak:

DULUTH, MN (NNCNOW.COM) — One Minnesota Congressperson is blasting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for its new wild rice plan. After intense criticism from Iron Range Lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton, the MPCA said on Tuesday that the agency is updating its standard to account for new science.

Sen. Tom Bakk and others have been pressuring the state agency to waive or eliminate the ten standard; a standard that threatens the Iron mining industry, according Sen. Bakk and Iron Range Representatives Carly Melin and Jason Metsa.

But U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum told NNC on Wednesday that the state should not be lowering water quality standards to “cater to any industry” such as the mining industry.

The Minnesota Congresswoman, who represents St. Paul and surrounding suburbs in Congress, also wrote a letter to the United States EPA Administrator, urging the EPA to oppose Minnesota’s effort to lower the state’s current water quality standards and to protect wild rice waters.

“Our protections for water quality should be based on sound environmental science – and nothing else. The science in the state’s proposal is questionable,” Rep. McCollum said in a statement. “One of the scientists whose work was used said he was “truly shocked” by the proposal and called it “scientifically indefensible.” “If our water quality standards are lowered and our waters are harmed – it will be impossible to ever restore them. We do not get any do-overs on environmental protection,” she said.

The first thing Rep. McCollum said that’s noteworthy is that Minnesota shouldn’t lower its water quality standards because we shouldn’t “cater to any industry”. That’s right, Betty. We don’t want no stinking industry in Minnesota. Industries are worthless except for creating good paying jobs.

Another thing she said was that Minnesota’s water quality standards “should be based on sound environmental science.” Apparently, Rep. McCollum thinks that she’s the expert on the subject. If she doesn’t think that, she’d pay attention to the MPCA’s study.

I agree that water quality standards should be determined by “sound environmental science”, not by suburban politicians or environmental activists. We shouldn’t trust someone who taught social science in high school, either.

The fact is that Betty McCollum has painted herself into a corner. First, she told us to base our water quality standards on verifiable scientific standards. A paragraph later, she’s portraying herself as an expert on the environment even though she taught high school social science.

I’d just say that I wouldn’t trust a high school social science teacher when it comes to talking about the environment.

What Is Lost In Hosting A Confucius Institute?
by Silence Dogood

The Globe And Mail published an article on February 7, 2013 entitled “McMaster closing Confucius Institute over hiring issues.” Essentially, the university decided to simply let the contract expire when it came up for renewal. The article cites that:

“The decision to abandon the partnership comes in the midst of a human rights complaint against
McMaster from a former teacher at the institute.”

“It was sealed by concerns over hiring practices—reported last year by The Globe and Mail—that appeared to prohibit teachers Hanban hired and sent abroad to staff the schools from having certain beliefs.”

A report “On Partnerships with Foreign Governments: The Case of Confucius Institutes” prepared by the Association of University Professor’s (AAUP) Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure in June 2014 recommended that:

“universities cease their involvement in Confucius Institutes unless the agreement between the university and Hanban is renegotiated so that (1) the university has unilateral control, consistent with principles articulated in the AAUP’s Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, over all academic matters, including recruitment of teachers, determination of curriculum, and choice of texts; (2) the university affords Confucius Institute teachers the same academic freedom rights, as defined in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic and Tenure, that it affords all other faculty in the university, and (3) the university-Hanban agreement is made available to all members of the university community.”

The University of Chicago, after receiving a petition signed by more than 100 faculty members last spring, decided to let the five-year agreement expire at the end of September, 2014. According to an article published by Inside Higher ED on September 26, 2014 quoted a statement from the University of Chicago:

“As always, the University is guided by its core values and faculty leadership in all matters of academic importance.”

Also reported in an October 1, 2014 article in Inside Higher Ed entitled “Another Confucius Institute to Close” reported that Pennsylvania State University would end its Confucius Institute agreement on December 31, 2014. A statement by Susan Welch, the dean of Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts, is quoted:

“We worked collegially with our partners at the Dalian University of Technology. However several of our goals are not consistent with those of the Office of Chinese Languages Council International, known as the Hanban, which provides support to Confucius Institutes throughout the world.”

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) began the Confucius Institute (CI) program in 2004 as an outreach program that has over 400 institutes worldwide (with nearly 100 in the United States). What make the CI outreach effort so unusual as compared to other similar efforts is because CIs are run directly by a foreign government and is subject to its politics.

According to an October 29, 2013 article in The Nation:

“Routinely and assiduously, Hanban wants the Confucius Institutes to hold events and offer instruction under the aegis of host universities that put the PRC in a good light—thus confirming the oft-quoted remark of Politburo member Li Changchun that Confucius Institutes are “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up”.”

With the PRC having control over curriculum, budget, and staffing of the CI on a university campus, the real question is why any university would want to participate in such a relationship? Could it be free trips to China and red carpet treatment for university administrators and cronies? If the PRC only wanted to encourage the teaching of the Chinese language, why not simply donate funds to a university for such a purpose with no strings attached? The PRC in ‘donating’ funds under the guise of “Confucius Institutes” is simply a way to advertise and influence the students and the curriculum of a university outside of the normal processes.

“An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.”
Confucius

It might be interesting to see if the Chinese staff of the CIs thinks the government of the PRC is oppressive. Clearly, world opinion ranks the PRC near the top of oppressive governments just behind the likes of Iran and North Korea. As a result, it is quite appropriate to ask, “What is lost in hosting a Confucius Institute?”

Is There A Confucius Institute At SCSU?
by Silence Dogood

I though there was a Confucius Institute at SCSU. In an attempt to find out some background information about the Confucius Institute, I thought I would search the SCSU website to see what information could be found. On the main university website, I typed in “Confucius”

When I hit the search button, the result I obtained is shown below:

Not being deterred, I went to the SCSU Office Directory Search webpage and entered in Confucius and hit the search button again. The results are shown below:

To the best of my knowledge, SCSU has a Confucius Institute. I’ve even heard that SCSU spends $150,000 per year on it. However, unless I can’t spell “Confucius” correctly, based on the SCSU website searches I performed, it certainly doesn’t look like it. For a so-called ‘signature’ accomplishment of President Potter, this is kind of embarrassing.

During his interview with MPR, Gov. Dayton experienced a brief flash of lucidity:

Gov. Mark Dayton is siding with U.S. Steel in a battle over water pollution standards for the company’s taconite facility in Mountain Iron. In an interview with MPR News, Dayton said the existing sulfate standard aimed at protecting wild rice is out of date, and pushing it could be catastrophic for northeastern Minnesota.

As the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency prepares to release new environmental standards, U.S. Steel is lobbying the Legislature to delay the implementation of a clean water standard aimed at protecting water where wild rice grows.

The existing state standard prevents companies from discharging more than 10 milligrams of sulfate per liter of water. But company lobbyists and Iron Range legislators say the standard is too low. With his latest comments, his strongest to date on the long-running debate, Dayton is joining that group.

“Some people will say, ‘you’re going to abandon the standard,'” Dayton said. “But if the standard is obsolete and it’s not validated by current science and information, then to stick with it and close down an industry isn’t really well advised.”

The MPCA just issued this draft proposal:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is proposing that rather than relying on a single sulfate level for all wild rice waters, sulfate levels should be calculated for each wild rice water, based on location-specific factors. In coming to this conclusion, the MPCA studied how sulfate affects wild rice. The study, which began in 2012, found that:

  1. In the sediment in which wild rice is rooted, sulfate from the water above is converted to sulfide by bacteria.
  2. Higher levels of sulfide in the sediment create an environment that is less hospitable to wild rice.

However, certain factors change the rate at which sulfate is converted to sulfide. Most significantly, higher levels of iron can lead to less sulfide, and higher levels of organic carbon can lead to more sulfide.

To take these variables into account, the MPCA developed an equation that can determine a sulfate level that will protect wild rice for a specific water body. The agency proposes collecting sediment samples in wild rice stands, measuring the iron and organic carbon concentrations in the sediment, and then plugging the data into the equation to calculate a protective sulfate concentration for that particular wild rice water.All of the environmental organizations are protesting these findings because it strips them of another of their anti-mining arguments. They aren’t happy campers over this draft proposal. These environmental organizations were licking their proverbial chops over this:

Dayton said the sulfate standard is outdated and has rarely been enforced since it was first established in 1973. U.S. Steel’s Minntac plant was facing the new standard as it renewed a decades-old permit, something U.S. Steel said would cost hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades.

Then Gov. Dayton stepped in.

It isn’t that Gov. Dayton had a change of heart. It’s that he knows pissing off the Iron Range means Tina Smith, his Lieutenant Governor, will lose the DFL gubernatorial campaign to Tom Bakk in 2018. Gov. Dayton can’t have that. That’s part of his lackluster legacy.

Yesterday, I wrote that Rep. Thissen reflexively criticized the Republicans’ transportation proposal. This post will show how Sen. Bakk’s math doesn’t add up. Here’s what Sen. Bakk said about the Republican transportation plan:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL- Cook, said constitutionally-dedicated funding, like the gas tax, is a better approach for transportation. Bakk said the House Republican plan to use general fund revenue could too easily be undone by the next Legislature.

“There’s just no guarantee that roads and public infrastructure are going to continue to be a priority once you’ve put them in the mix of having to compete with everything in the state budget,” Bakk said. “I think it’s unlikely that transportation competes in that environment in the next budget cycle.”

First, the DFL essentially raised the gas tax unilaterally in 2008. That tax, we were told, would solve our problems. I wrote this post in 2008. It turns out that that “constitutionally-dedicated funding” plan didn’t fix anything, which proves that Sen. Bakk is full of it.

Why trust a guy who promised a solution that didn’t work the last time? It’s foolish to trust people who’ve failed us before. That’s what Bakk did. There’s also no reason to trust Sen. Bakk, especially after he said that “There’s just no guarantee that roads and public infrastructure are going to continue to be a priority once you’ve put them in the mix of having to compete with everything in the state budget.”

Under the GOP plan, those sales taxes on lease vehicles, auto parts and car rentals wouldn’t be part of the general fund. They’d be part of the Transportation Stability Fund. The only way that changes is if the DFL would vote to take money out of that fund to pay for other things that they want.

If Republicans hold their House majority and retake their majority in the Senate, they could put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2018. If that passed, then the Transportation Stability Fund would become constitutionally dedicated fund.

Finally, beyond Sen. Bakk’s shaky math, it’s shameful that the DFL is ignoring their constituents. According to KSTP’s latest poll, 75% of Minnesotans oppose raising the gas tax. What part of that doesn’t the DFL understand? Perhaps the better question is this: Does the DFL care what their constituents want? I’m not certain they do. At minimum, I haven’t seen proof that they care about their constituents, though there’s tons of proof they care about their special interest allies.

In fact, there’s ample proof that that’s all the DFL cares about.

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Rep. Paul Thissen, currently the House Minority Leader, issued this totally dishonest statement after Republicans presented their comprehensive transportation plan:

“Minnesotans who are sitting every day in traffic, who are afraid their kids can’t get to school safely, who can’t get to that new job that promises a brighter future for their family, demand real transportation solutions. Unfortunately, the Republican plan is the same old shifts and gimmicks budgeting we’ve come to expect from them. Siphoning money from schools and hospitals and relying on the state’s credit card is no way to fund Minnesota’s transportation system. This is a ‘Give the Deficits Back’ Act.

House Democrats have said all along we will work to pass a comprehensive, statewide transportation solution that meets the needs of our entire state, roads, bridges, and transit, in a permanent way, without excessively siphoning money from our kids’ education or running up the credit card. It’s our hope Republicans will get serious about a plan that solves our transportation problem without creating new potholes in our budget.

The Republican plan irresponsibly raids the general fund, shifting hundreds of millions of tax dollars that should pay for better schools and uses it to pay for transportation projects. The next economic downturn could be around the corner, and if we use general fund tax dollars to fund transportation projects then we are hurting our schools, hospitals and other basic priorities in the future. Investments in Minnesota’s transportation systems shouldn’t compete with our kids’ education.

And the Republican plan excessively borrows money, running up the credit card bill to pay for future road and bridge projects. Minnesota is finally in a better financial position. We shouldn’t go right back to the borrowing and gimmicks that got us in trouble for the previous decade.”

Let’s go through Thissen’s diatribe paragraph-by-paragraph, starting with this:

Siphoning money from schools and hospitals and relying on the state’s credit card is no way to fund Minnesota’s transportation system.

First, Rep. Thissen can’t offer proof that the GOP transportation plan siphons “money from schools and hospitals” because that proof doesn’t exist. Period. Next, it’s entirely appropriate to put major bridge repairs on highway lane expansions on the state credit card because a) the rebuilding of a major bridge is expensive and b) it’s the type of thing that’ll benefit multiple generations. Why should 1 generation pay the entire bill for a bridge that multiple generations will benefit from? Why shouldn’t multiple generations pay for adding lanes for a state trunk highway? After all, multiple generations will benefit from it?

When the DFL raised taxes just 6 short years ago, we were promised that the DFL’s plan was the investment that would fix our transportation funding problems. Either the DFL lied to us then or they don’t know what they’re talking about. Why should we trust them at this point?

House Democrats have said all along we will work to pass a comprehensive, statewide transportation solution that meets the needs of our entire state, roads, bridges, and transit, in a permanent way, without excessively siphoning money from our kids’ education or running up the credit card.

It’s without question that the DFL has said that they’d work with Republicans on “a comprehensive, statewide transportation solution.” It’s just that their statements aren’t credible. The DFL always meant that they’d work with Republicans if the Republicans’ transportation plan included a major middle class tax increase. The DFL never meant that they’d work with Republicans if the Republicans’ transportation plan didn’t include a major middle class tax increase.

The Republican plan irresponsibly raids the general fund, shifting hundreds of millions of tax dollars that should pay for better schools and uses it to pay for transportation projects.

If there’s a political party that knows about irresponsibly raiding the general fund, it’s the DFL. That doesn’t mean they’re trustworthy. It just means that they know about irresponsibly raiding Minnesota’s general fund. Look at all the money they shipped to Community Action’s corrupt leaders. That includes the money CA shipped to Jeff Hayden while stiffing the people who needed the money to survive.

Minnesota is finally in a better financial position. We shouldn’t go right back to the borrowing and gimmicks that got us in trouble for the previous decade.

Rep. Thissen shouldn’t talk out of both sides of his mouth. Year after year, the DFL has called their bonding bill their jobs bill. The DFL has told us time after time that borrowing money to build civic centers and sheet music museums was essential to creating jobs. It’s astonishing that the DFL can tell us that borrowing money to pay for critical highway infrastructure is a negative.

It isn’t astonishing that Rep. Thissen could tell us this without hesitation. You can’t be a leader in the DFL if you can’t lie through your teeth with a straight face.

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Is This An Example of Incompetence In The MnSCU Office?
by Silence Dogood

On February 23, 2015 Laura M. King, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for MnSCU testified before the Ways and Means Committee in the Minnesota House with Chairman Rep. Knoblach. In her testimony relating to the Composite Financial Index (CFI), she stated that “The trends for the universities is concerning.” Then Vice Chancellor King said “On a scale from 1 to 5, we want to be in the 3 range.” (Referring to the CFI)

The Composite Financial Index (CFI) is calculated from four component measures: return on net assets, operating margin, primary reserve, and viability. Supposedly, the CFI is a way of measuring the financial health of a university. In essence, the CFI is considered a financial “Stress Test.”

On the MnSCU system website you can find a table showing the Composite Financial Index for all of the MnSCU institutions. A portion of the document currently on the MnSCU website showing the MnSCU universities is shown below:

Unfortunately, even as of March 24th, 2015, the data for FY2014 has not been posted. I made a request for the updated data and recently received a copy reproduced below, which includes the data for FY14:

Back to Vice Chancellor King’s statement:

“On a scale from 1 to 5, we want to be in the 3 range.” (Referring to the CFI)

Looking at the data in the table, from FY2009 through FY2014, there are 21 institutions with values less than 1 and includes 4 institutions with values that are negative. The lowest value shown was -1.12 for Lake Superior College in FY2009. Additionally, there are 15 institutions with values greater than 5. The largest value shown was 7.42 for Rainy River Community College in FY2012. From the data shown, the CFI is outside the range of 1 to 5 a total of 40 times, which corresponds to being outside the range 18% of the time.

I’m sure everyone misspeaks. However, the CFI should be one of the most important measures of an institution’s health and the Chief Financial Officer might be expected to know the ranges and the averages for the CFI for the institutions within MnSCU.

The summary data for MnSCU colleges, MnSCU universities and the system as a whole is shown from FY2009 to FY2014 in the following figure:

From the figure, it is clear that only in FY2010 and FY2011 did the average of the MnSCU colleges exceed a value of 3. The averages of the MnSCU universities never reached 3 during the period FY2009 through FY2014 and only half of the time was above 2. In fact, the university average decreased from 2.65 in FY2012 to 0.83 in FY2014, which is a decrease of 1.82 and corresponds to a decline of 68.7%.

If you look more closely at the data for FY2012, the CFI for the system is 2.78 where the values of the CFI for the colleges and universities is 2.72 and 2.65, respectively. In every other year, the average is in between the two. Unless this is some kind of really ‘new math,’ it is hard to understand how the average for the MnSCU system can be above the values for which it is an average.

As the data shows the CFI does not have a scale of 1 to 5. Additionally, if as stated by CFO King: “we want to be in the 3 range”, things look really bad financially for the MnSCU system since in FY14 the average for MnSCU colleges was 2.28 and MnSCU universities was 0.83.

Clearly, the CFO of an organization not understanding the range of values for the CFI or the averages of its colleges and universities is alarming, you be the judge if it rises to the level of incompetence.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt issued this statement after announcing the House GOP transportation proposal:

“Minnesota families rely on our road and bridge infrastructure to get their kids to school and themselves to work. To help them, our goal from the beginning was to refocus transportation dollars on roads and bridges and deliver a real, long-term solution without increasing their tax burden. I’m proud today to unveil our vision for the next decade that achieves our shared goal,” announced Speaker Daudt.

“Republicans have developed a thoughtful solution to adequately maintain and expand our road and bridge infrastructure without raising gas taxes, because Minnesotans can’t afford to pay more at the pump. Our proposal will benefit small cities, rural areas, suburban communities, and elderly and disabled Minnesotans while also making significant commitments to state roads,” said Senate Republican Leader Hann.

“Most Minnesotans count on safe roads and short commutes every day, and our plan focuses on those daily needs. It fills potholes and repairs streets in their neighborhoods and will alleviate congestion on Minnesota roads. Now, Minnesotans have a choice between smart budgeting that dedicates existing transportation taxes to roads and bridges without a tax increase and a plan that raises the gas tax by at least 16 cents per gallon,” added House Majority Leader Peppin.

Predictably, the DFL immediately criticized the plan:

DFLers, in contrast, attacked the Republican plan for shifting money from other sources. “What programs will (Republicans) cut to pay for (money) they are taking from (the) general fund?” Dayton’s deputy chief of staff Linden Zakula wrote on Twitter.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, responded that the GOP plan “irresponsibly raids” the general fund. “Unfortunately, the Republican plan is the same old shifts and gimmicks budgeting we’ve come to expect from them. Siphoning money from schools and hospitals and relying on the state’s credit card is no way to fund Minnesota’s transportation system,” he said in a prepared statement.

Here’s my response to Mssrs. Zakula and Thissen: What corrupt programs will the DFL fund with the money that the GOP proposes to fix roads and bridges with? Does the DFL plan to finance more trips for Sen. Hayden? Or would they rather direct money to Community Action? Would the DFL rather funnel more money to MnSCU to sign contracts with their friends to do ‘consulting’ work ?

Actually, Rep. Thissen, putting some things on the state’s credit card is the right thing to do. Why should this generation pay the entire cost for fixing bridges? Shouldn’t subsequent generations pay for their fair share of the cost since they’re going to get a substantial benefit from new bridges? Why shouldn’t younger generations pay for some of the cost of lane expansions?

There’s nothing wrong with paying for road repairs with current money. Maintenance is a short-term proposition. Fixing potholes is something that’s done annually. Widening State Trunk Highway 23 to 4 lanes from St. Cloud to Foley is a one-time thing. That’s something that should be paid for by multiple generations.

Finally, it’s interesting to watch the DFL immediately insinuate that Republicans want to “siphon money from schools and hospitals.” It didn’t matter to Rep. Thissen that there’s literally no proof that Republicans want to do that. In fact, there’s proof that Republicans don’t want to do that.

That’s irrelevant to Rep. Thissen. The truth isn’t relevant to him because it’s about frightening people with baseless allegations. It isn’t about having an honest debate based on reality. Simply put, the DFL is the Fearmongering Party.

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This morning’s biggest political headline is Ted Cruz’s announcement that he’s running for president. Right behind that headline, though, is this Washington Post article:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — When Jim Ulmer came to see Scott Walker here last week, he was transfixed. “He’s the little engine that could,” Ulmer said, describing the Wisconsin governor who successfully battled labor unions and has rocketed to the front of the Republican presidential race. “He has guts,” said Ulmer, 52, Republican Party chairman in rural Orangeburg County. “The people of America are looking for another Ronald Reagan, someone we can believe in, someone who will keep freedom safe. Walker could be it.”

That’s the basis for the article’s headline. Still, that isn’t what should give the Bush campaign pause. This should:

Those who turned out in droves to size up Walker during two days of events here said his top rival, Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and heir to a political dynasty, gives them pause. None mentioned Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a tea party favorite who will announce his candidacy Monday at Liberty University in Virginia.

This isn’t a prediction but it wouldn’t surprise me if Jeb Bush flopped. The media love Jeb Bush. They’re love that he isn’t willing to rule of raising taxes. They love the fact that he’s a fierce advocate for federal control of education, aka Common Core. Mostly, though, they love him for supporting the Democrats’ immigration bill.

That puts him out of step with Republicans.

It isn’t that Bush “gives them pause.” It’s that Republican activists don’t trust Jeb. They don’t trust Bush because he represents the loser wing of the Republican Party. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Jeb Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. They don’t fight for conservatism. Their chief attribute is that they’re supposedly electable.

Contrast that with Scott Walker:

As they see it, he’s a fighter, tenacious and decisive. He fought the unions again and again, and he won each time. They see the 47-year-old governor as a truth-teller, a pure conservative and an energetic, fresh face, as the future.

“He represents everything I want in a president,” Joan Boyce, 61, a school cafeteria worker, said after seeing him speak at a barbecue dinner in Greenville. “He’s refreshing for a change. He feels honest to me; he really does. He doesn’t talk like a politician. He talks like a regular guy.”

Scott Walker has a substantial list of conservative accomplishments. People appreciate that. They don’t appreciate Gov. Bush’s attempt to sell conservatives down the river on important things like immigration and Common Core.

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