When The ObamaCare Story Is Finally Written…

…then:

  1. It will no doubt be written by someone from outside the American mainstream media (but that’s a no-brainer)
  2. Somebody will no doubt note and write about the deep, intense web of influence UnitedHealth group, based in Minnetonka, has spun for itself with this administration.

Naturally, it won’t happen until Obama leaves office. But I’m just saying.

Heck, it’s something to look forward to.

Revelation

Danusha Goska – a former card-carrying leftist, with the Berkeley degree to prove it – voted GOP in 2012, after a lifetime of being a “progressive”.

Here are her top ten reasons she made the switch.  Many of them track with my own reasons, 30-odd years ago.  Many others were things I’d never have dreamed of.  They boil down to “the left is motivated by hate; the right is not”.

Read the whole thing.  It’s worth it.  .

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Protection

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

. Connecticut mother leaves 11 year old child in car, gets arrested by police.
California mother leaves 12 year old child in car while she visits bank, gets shot by police.
Is it just me, or is “child protection” getting out of hand?
Joe Doakes
Como Park

Like all those Vietnamese villages that had to be destroyed to protect them…

Satirically Speaking

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

. Governor Mark Dayton (DFL- Minnesota) astounded his critics today by amending his legislative proposal to include $100,000,000 of new bonding authority for the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority. “for too long, Republicans have said the Democrats won’t put their money where their mouth is. That ends today” said governor dayton. “starting immediately, every state County School District and city employee must reside within 3 blocks of the light rail line. This will demonstrate our commitment to light rail and show the public that everyone in the government has the public best interest at heart. I, myself, am moving to an apartment at University Avenue and Western Avenue, so I can ride the light rail to the capital to work. This new bonding Authority will give the government money to subsidize employees mortgages so they can relocate closer to the right location. I encourage all Metro DFL representatives to do the same.”

That’ll happen when the Democrats in Congress sign up for Obamacare.

Huckperbole

The goverment is too powerful.  Individual freedom has been eroding for decades, and is frankly in a terrible state today.

And I do very sincerely believe we must watch out for slippery slopes – which most assuredly exist – when guarding the freedoms we have (and, ideally, bringing them back to where they belong).

And as Goldwater pointed out, “extremism in pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue”.

But let’s not get carried away, mkay?

Saturday Plans

Don’t forget – the “Shooter Show” is happening all weekend at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale.   I’ll be be broadcasting live from the range (or, ideally, the other side of a soundproof wall from the range) on Saturday from 1-3. 


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Here’s the deal:  there’ll be 50-odd manufacturers there.  You can try out any of the guns on display – just buy the ammo. 

And I’m fixing to adjourn to a neighborhood watering hole after the show.  Call it a NARN “Shoot and a Shot” party. 

Hope to see you there!

 

The Peter Judiciary

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The President of the State Bar Association explains the drive to change how judgeships are filled:

“ . . . formalize our current informal practice of filling vacancies by gubernatorial appointment, rather than by election; implement a merit-selection process for judges at all levels of the judiciary; create an evaluation process where a commission comprising both lawyers and nonlawyers will assess judges’ performance based on objective criteria, and publicize these evaluations to the public; and require judges to take part in retention elections rather than participate in “contested” races that, in reality, are rarely contested and involve voters who often have little to no information about the judges whose names appear on the ballot.”

Right now, vacant judgeships are filled by election except when an untimely vacancy occurs, then the Governor appoints judges recommended by the Judicial Selection Commission. The Commission members are listed here and you can draw your own conclusions about whether they are likely to recommend Liberal candidates and whether a Democrat governor will select a Liberal candidate. Giving the Governor power to appoint all judges means control of the judiciary is removed one more step away from the people they’re supposed to serve, one more step toward total DFL control over all three branches of government.

The Commission is required to evaluate candidates based on the criteria in Subd. 8 of the statute. These criteria are not merit-based, they are almost entirely worthless. Only three of these criteria can be measured: are you a women, are you a minority and how many trials have you had? All the other criteria are so subjective the Commission doesn’t dare rely on them for fear of being labeled sexist, racist or part of the Old Boy Network. So basically, the best qualified candidates under the statutory criteria are the ones who have tried the most cases.

But counting trials is a lousy way to select judges. It’s a shoddy lawyer that takes every case to trial; real skill lies in negotiating an out-of-court settlement that satisfies all parties. The only lawyers who can afford to indulge in trying cases are prosecutors, public defenders and insurance defense lawyers, which explains why the trial bench and now the Court of Appeals is loaded with judges who have no experience in the wider practice of law such as family law and real estate law. That, in turn, explains some of the bizarre opinions issued by the Court of Appeals in recent years. It’s not that judges are howling idiots, they just don’t know any better.

Appointing judges who don’t know the law is bad enough. Expecting citizens to mount campaigns to remove those judges is worse. Far from institutionalizing excellence, we’ll be insulating mediocrities from any prospect of accountability. So – perfect for the DFL. Rotten for everyone else.

Joe Doakes

if there’s one thing the conservative side of the aisle has done very badly, it is explain why their constant fussing about judicial elections actually matters.

So I think Joe has done a great public service, here, today.

Among The Bitter Gun-Clinging Jeebus Freaks

Insulting Iowa farmers…

…is probably not a great idea if you’re running to represent them in the Senate.

That’s Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley. He’s running against Chuck Grassley (who is, partly in the interest of disclosure but mostly as a matter of fun trivia, either a very distant relative or at least someone whose ancestors come from the same village in Norway as my paternal grandmother’s family) – but most importantly, he apparenly is banking on “people who went to law school” putting him over the top against “people who didn’t”.

Demand Integrity!

Keith Ellison, speaking to the Democrats’ greatest public intellectual, Bill Maher, had the following exchange:

“Why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s a problem,” Maher asks, to which Ellison replies, “I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.”

I with the Democrat Party would do it, too.  It’d be a sign of integrity. 

Even with the extra context that the City Pages’ Aaron Rupar is careful to note (for Ellison):

It should be noted, however, that earlier in the segment Ellison said, “I don’t think you have to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some common-sense gun rules.” So what he means in saying he wishes Dems would come out against the Second Amendment isn’t totally clear.

Of course it is.

Ellison believes the Democrats should endorse the idea that civil rights and liberties are gifts from the government to the people.  Things to be doled out by a wide, benificent government to the gabbling rabble they are chose to rule. 

Ellison just wants the Democrat party to reclaim its legacy as the party of people who decide who gets what rights – just like it did under slavery and Jim Crow. 

It’s perfectly clear.

The past two decades, senior citizens have swung from left to right, overall:

In 1992, 53% of senior citizens, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned Democratic, while 39% identified as Republicans or leaned Republican, resulting in a 14-percentage-point Democratic advantage in seniors’ party affiliation. Last year, 48% of seniors identified as or leaned Republican, and 45% Democratic, a three-point Republican advantage. The full 1992-2013 party affiliation trends for seniors and younger Americans are shown on page 2.

I think that makes sense – these are people who were trying to get through their prime earning years during the Carter administration, and who get how important an economic recovery can be.

Name report notes that young people are moving more Democrat – which is, I think an artifact of the fact that 20 years ago, during the Reagan administration, “young people” had much more recent examples of the stark contrast between conservative and liberal economic policy. People under the age of 24 today grew up with the better part of a decade of “Bushitler” from their schools and entertainment and, I suspect, have very little memory of even the relative restraint of the Clinton years, much less actual conservatism.

Which is, I suspect, going to be a huge challenge for the GOP. But no worse, I suspect, than the one that had to overcome between 1974 and 1980.

Doakes Sunday:

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mitch, you’re always going on about the Labor Force Participation Rate and why that proves the government’s unemployment statistics are at best, wrong and at worst, intentionally misleading.  Since the government is headed by the President and he’s a Black man, plainly, you’re just a big ole racist.

Here’s a guy who’s as big a racist as you but he had a larger megaphone. Comfort in numbers?

Joe Doakes

There is no comfort in these numbers…

Divide And Conquer

For years, I’ve been pointing out potemkin gun-grab groups – “Sportsmen for Gun Control” and the like.

As Michelle Malkin notes, this is part of a larger strategy of t creating and/or funding “moderate” groups trying to create an impression of “moderate” “grass-roots” groundswell

Of course we’ve seen this in Minnesota; in addition to the phony “sportsmens’” groups (not to mention buying instant media), the entire Tom Horner campaign was floated (or, more accurately, funded) by the left to try to sap votes from Tom Emmer. 

Lesson:  Check every “group’s” pedigree.  Odds are they’ll turn out no more substantial than, say, “Protect” MN

Horner

IP

Remember…

…earlier this year, the local leftybots burned a lot of cycles on reports from the Federal Reserve that maintained that while Minnesota was booming, Wisconsin was languishing.

They’ve been a little quiet since then. 

Why?

Because it’s just not true. 

This just in:  Wisconsin’s personal income growth leads the nation:

As I’ve been saying all along – economies aren’t sprints.  They’re marathons.  It’s going to be years before this all shakes out, and that’s assuming the political situation stays stable (and I’m doing my darnedest to make sure it does not in Minnesota).

Faint Damnation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Report finds no evidence of widespread sexual misconduct in Secret Service.  Good to know.

Of course, that depends on what “sexual misconduct” means.  We all remember “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

And what “widespread” means (get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about sexual misconduct not . . . oh, never mind).Joe Doakes

The bar for “right” versus “wrong” has been set so low these days.  , a snake could get over it without jumping.

The American Chilton © Manual

It was almost 20 years ago that Newt Gingrich earned his claim to fame, engineering one of the most radical turnarounds in the history of American politics; flipping Congress to the GOP for the first time since the Great Depression. 

And he did it using one of the most radical techniques in the history of politics; telling the people what his movement stood for, and what it’d stand by

It worked; the 1994 elections were one of the most sweeping turnarounds in American political history.  The ’94 election did for Congress what Reagan did for the White House; put conservatism on the table. 

It didn’t stick, of course; the Gingrich Congress gave way to the Frist Congress.  The Class of 94 slowly went Beltway Native.  But noting that merely proves one of the most important points of political activism; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Getting people elected is only the first half of the problem; keeping them honest is just as important.

But that’s history.  I’m here to talk about the present.

A New American Repair Manual:  Of course, the name “Contract with America” had that patina of legalism that smacks of the same thing that gave us the problem in the first place.  The System.

I think conservatives need to revisit the notion of putting down a hard set of…not “campaign” promises, but lines in the sand, things that separate them from the Democrat party for all to see.  Something that everyone, from a movement conservative to a college kid looking for a job to a working, not-overly-political family with a cancelled insurance policy and a skyrocketing premium can look at, compare with “Hope and Change!”, and find some red meat to support. 

It’s not a “Contract”.  It’s a repair manual.  Sort of like a Chilton © manual for the 2014 United State of America. 

Here’s my suggestion for that repair guide:

It’s Your Money – Not Government’s!:  Return all personal, inheritance and capital gains taxes to 2004 levels, immediately.  You earned it.  You use it. 

The Government Diet:  Freeze spending at 2010 levels.  I know, that’s already too high – but Americans lack the stomach for radical change.  And economic growth will make that sustainable, eventually.  Especially if we…:

Rebuild the Economy:  Three points to this one:

  • Roll back Obama’s regulatory orgy – Especially those related to energy – because we’re gonna…
  • Drill, baby!  Drill!  – when Obama took office, gas was under $2 a gallon; with North America awash in oil, coal and natural gas, there’s no reason gas can’t be cheaper than it was.  Turning into a net energy exporter for the first time in over 40 years will be a huge boost to the economy – and start a domino effect that will, along with the regulatory rollback. 
  • Slash corporate taxes and push R&D tax credits.  The cuts will be more than repaid in revenue from new business and paying jobs. 

Focus On The Real Enemies:  On the one hand, stop warrantless domestic spying.  Immediately.  Completely.  The NSA and CIA exist for a reason – to protect us from foreign enemies.  Focus on them.  Put some teeth into the FISA warrant laws.  Stop the NSA, CIA, DHS and IRS from spying on, oppressing, watch-listing and persecuting Americans going about their daily business.  Reinstate the Fourth Amendment in all its prickly glory. 

And in the process, move from being the world’s policeman to the world’s ninja.  Stay out of foreign affairs that don’t affect us – and when we do get involved, do it judiciously, economically, and with an aim toward accomlishing a defined mission and getting out.  This is one area where the French have a lot to teach us.  Like the Frogs, we should become the porcupine – a porcupine with a baseball bat and a couple of rattlesnakes in the closet.  Remain magnificently above the world’s niggling jabbering squabbles, unless it’s something very important that’s utterly immutable to diplomacy.  Then hit it so hard they spend the next hundred years wondering what hit them.  Go home.  Let them pick up their pieces and reflect on the lesson they just learned.

Path To Dignity:  Focus federal welfare efforts on getting people to work.  Transition federal welfare spending to grants to state that use methods that show success at getting the poor back to work. 

Go Back To Your Own Doctor:  Repeal Obamacare.  Replace it with one of the Republican plans that leverage Medicaid while preserving the private market.  Abolish laws forbidding purchasing insurance across state lines.  We’ve invested half a trillion dollars in a failed website, and that’s only the beginning of the problems.  Cut it loose.  Abandon it.  Stop throwing good money after bad – and worse, screwing up the lives of average Americans. 

It’s not a contract.  It’s a repair manual.  Because that’s what this country needs after six years of our experiment of letting a bunch of giggly fratboys run the country; the country is like a frat house that’s going to need a summer’s worth of repairs to be ready for the fall semester.

So let’s start repairing things. 

And here, locally? :  Most of the same points apply here in Minnesota.  More on that tomorrow or early next week.

Oblivious

To:  Governor Dayton
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:   Remember all those pieces of paper you signed last spring?

Governor Dayton:

Yesterday, you told MPR News in re the new $90 million Senate Palace that Tom Bakk rammed through at the literal last possible moment of the last session…:

“I think the building itself is necessary … We’re talking about a project for the next century,” Dayton told reporters Wednesday. “But I think the price tag on it, and appearance of it, are a little high.”

Er, Governor Dayton?  You signed the appropriation into law.

Or at least we presume it was you, and not Carrie Lucking moving your hands.

That presumption looks weaker and weaker these days.

Dayton said he wants a more modest, less expensive version and planned to share his concerns soon with Senate leaders…The new building is needed to make up for the square footage lawmakers will lose once the renovation of the Capitol is complete, Bakk added. Under present Senate arrangements, the majority party is housed in the Capitol while the minority is housed in the State Office Building. Bringing Democrats and Republicans together under one roof is important, Bakk said.

Here’s a solution.  Mere blocks from the Capitol lies downtown Saint Paul.  It’s got a 30% vacancy rate – and I suspect that’s even higher in the gulch between Cedar and Jackson streets, where there is virtually nothing living (thanks, largely, to DFL policies).

Why not move the Senate into the old USBank building?  Or 375 Jackson?  The Hamm?   Alliance?  The Big Red One?

Or maybe Macy’s?   That’d seem…appropriate.

PS to Governor Dayton:  Nancy Pelosi was being just a little bit flippant, I think, when she said “you have to pass it to see what’s in it”.  It technically is your job to know what you’re signing into law.

How ObamaCare Is Not Like World War Two

A liberal of my acquaintance didn’t so much defend ObamaCare in Twitter as much as he spoke up for that can-do American talent for fixing things.

@[redacted]: @mitchpberg Just finished watching “Band of Brothers” for the umpteenth time.Ultimately Americans are good at making things work.

He followed up:

@[redacted]: @mitchpberg If we could produce a hundred thousand warplanes in a couple of years, why would you think we couldn’t make a website work?

We Americans are indeed good at fixing things. We fixed Europe – surely we can fix a website. Right?

Maybe. But if we’d fought WWII the way we’re socializing healthcare, we’d have drafted all the forty-to-sixty-year-olds, and then simultaneously invaded every nation on earth.