Jane Kay is the leader of “Moms Demand Action”, which is what they renamed the “Million Mom March” after they realized they actually had about two members in Minnesota. While more objectively accurate – it might be better still to call it “Mom Demands Action” – I’m not sure if they considered that the name sounds a little like a made-for-Cinemax movie.
I’m sure she’s a perfectly lovely human being and all. But the contempt she feels for those who disagree with her is emblematic of the intellectual entitlement the anti-gun crowd brings to the table.
She tweeted this (from a protected account, naturally) last night:
She seems to be of the opinion that you can either care about the Constitution or children, but not both.
Of course, Ms. Kay, I own guns precisely because I care about my children – enough to defend them in some meaningful way. And because protecting them – and eventually, teaching them to defend themselves and, God willing and yet heaven forfend, my grandchildren, is one of the paramount duties a parent has.
I’d love to discuss this with Ms. Kay. But it’s hard to get past the air of invincible condescension.
So what did all of that money from DFL plutocrats buy in the 2012 elections?
Maybe a seat in the legislature, on the relative cheap?
Guest writer Bill Walsh found a correlation – not a link, mind you, but a correlation – that might bear some looking into.
DFL Receives Tremendous Return on Investment from Election Day Stipends
The definition of correlation is “the mutual relation of two or more things.” For today’s discussion of the 2012 campaign finance reports, let’s focus on the correlation of two things:
Just days before the general election, the Minnesota DFL Party paid “canvasser stipends” to 40 individuals who live on or near Minnesota Indian reservations, especially the Red Lake Reservation.
The vote for president in the four precincts that make up the Red Lake Indian Reservation was 2,165 for Obama to 39 for Romney.
There’s nothing illegal about these two sets of facts, but they do make an interesting correlation.
The canvasser stipends totaled $13,400 and ranged from $200 to $500. They were all paid on November 5th and 6th, the day before and the day of the general election. They included a $3,500 payment to Jamie Edwards of Brooklyn Center for “canvassing coordination.”
Sixteen of the stipends were paid to people living in Bagley, Ponehah, Red Lake, and Redby, all precincts in and around the Red Lake Reservation. Six of the stipends went to the same street in Bagley: Wild Rice Loop. Four of the stipends went to the same house: 26681 Wild Rice Loop.
Five of the stipends were paid to addresses in Naytahwaush near the White Earth Reservation. The rest of the stipends are divided between the White Earth Reservation and the Mille Lacs Reservation.
So what did the DFL get for their money?
The easiest way to analyze the effectiveness of this program is to look at the precincts in the Red Lake Reservation, where we know the vote is 100% Native American.
Red Lake Agency
In the four precincts that make up the reservation, the total vote for president was 2,165 for President Obama and just 39 votes for Mitt Romney. That’s 98% for the Democrats. The overwhelming DFL vote pattern continued down the partisan ballot. In the Ponemah precinct, the vote was 385 to 1. Just one vote for Romney? You would think ten or fifteen voters would have voted for Romney by accident.
These lopsided results can be seen on the other reservations but it’s not as obvious. For example, the precinct that includes the town of Naytahwaush on the White Earth Reservation (Twin Lakes Township) voted 185 for Obama to 29 for Romney.
The Native American vote only added to the victory margin for President Obama and Senator Klobuchar in Minnesota, but it had a more profound effect on the makeup of the state legislature. In House District 2A for example, DFLer Roger Erickson defeated Rep. Dave Hancock by 1,829 votes. His margin on the Red Lake Reservation was 1,916 votes. It’s hard to win a legislative district when you lose four precincts by almost 2,000 votes.
Again, I am not alleging anything illegal happened here. On its face, it is just a correlation. Historically, there is no reason to expect that Native American voters in Minnesota would vote in favor of the Republican ticket. But the 98% vote total should at least raise some questions.
The $13,400 spent on this canvasser program is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions spent on the 2012 election by both sides. Certainly the tribes in Minnesota give more campaign money to Democrats than Republicans, but their advantage is not as lopsided as it is with the unions. And the political interests of the tribes down south with successful gaming operations don’t always line up with the tribes up north.
There are two approaches to this problem for the Minnesota Republican Party heading into the 2014 election.
One approach would be to make sure we have poll watchers in all of these precincts next year to make sure the election is free from intimidation and voter fraud.
But a better and more long-term approach would be to directly reach out to Native American voters and convince them our plans for economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, job creation and especially education reform deserve a stronger look. This outreach needs to be sincere and should include a two-way conversation that results in real proposals put forward by our leaders at the legislature. We can easily show the policies of the DFL have not benefited Native American families and they are taking their votes for granted.
This outreach needs to start now, not just days before the election. And it needs to involve a commitment to make life better, not just $13,400 in election day stipends.
I was down at the State Capitol yesterday for a press conference, as Representative Deb Hilstrom (DFL Brooklyn Park) introduced the gun bill/s we talked about yesterday.
The bills, as we noted yesterday, would exert the state to solve actual problems – close gaps in the background check system, add mandatory penalties for using guns in crimes or possessing them illegally…
…y’know. Controversial stuff.
At the presser, I saw a big group of legislators from both chambers and both parties lining up to support Hilstrom’s proposal. Reps, Senators, Democrats, Republicans – it was probably the most bipartisan assembly I’ve seen that wasn’t in the lounge at the Kelly Inn after hours.
Not just legislators; guys in uniform. They weren’t just there for the fun of it – guys in uniform never are. No, they were from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association.
And I saw media. Oh, lord, did I see media.
And Heather Martens was there, naturally; where there is truth about the Second Amendment, Martens will be there. To lie. And lie and lie and lie (note to the media who bothered to speak to her; she has uttered not one substantial word of truth in her years at the capitol. Ask me).
And the “groups” she represents put out a call for their “membership” to turn out in force to oppose this bill – probably remembering the hundreds of Second Amendment supporters who turned out daily to oppose the DFL’s gun grab bills a few weeks ago.
We’ll come back to them.
One person who was not there was Doug Grow, from the MInnPost.
To be fair, I haven’t seen Grow in person in over 20 years; I might not recognize him.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, has discovered again that there is no comfortable middle ground when the subject is guns.
At noon at the Capitol, Hilstrom, standing with Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek and Rep. Tony Cornish, the gun-toting legislator from Good Thunder, introduced a gun bill that she said “can bring people together’’ on the volatile subject of guns.
No, no bias here.
The Astroturf Consensus
Grow, like most of the Twin Cities mainstream media, labors under the delusion that there’s a large, organized mass of people supporting gun control, and that they were out in force yesterday.
Her words were still echoing in the Capitol when critics, who had hoped for much stronger actions from the Minnesota Legislature, lambasted the effort of Hilstrom and a bipartisan group of 69 other legislators to “close gaps’’ in current state gun law.
“This is just a band-aid over a huge problem,’’ said Jane Kay of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, an organization formed in the days following the mass shooting of school children in Newtown, Conn.
Only in America can a two-month old pressure group with fewer members than there were legislators standing behind Hilstrom get the breathless adoration of the media. Which is what “Moms Demand Action” and “Protect Minnesota” both are; astroturf checkbook advocacy groups funded by liberal plutocrats with deep pockets – with “membership” numbers in the single digits.
Provided they share the goal of fluffing the left’s withering narrative on gun control.
Of course, Grow wasn’t the only offender; Pat Kessler of Channel 4 asked Hilstrom why the bill included no universal background check which, he asserted, “70% of Minnesotans oppose”.
The correct answer – the polls ask people about background checks without explaining the consequences of those checks as the DFL and Governor Messinger Dayton currently propose them; they will result in a de facto gun registry, which is a necessary first step to universal confiscation.
More on gun-related media polls in another piece soon.
The Pre-Written Story
But Grow himself is the real problem here. His piece, while short on the sort of insight that actually engaging people on both sides of the issue might have given it, is long on evidence that Grow wrote the story long before yesterday’s press conference.
There’s the inflammatory reference to every leftymedia member’s favorite boogyman:
The bill has the support of the National Rifle Association, presumably because it does nothing to require background checks on all gun sales and because it does nothing to restrict sales of military-style weapons or even the quantity of rounds in ammunition magazines.
The bill has the support of gun-rights organizations because instead of wasting time and effort putting niggling restrictions on the rights of the law-abiding that didn’t affect crime in any way the first ten years they were tried, they actually address the real problem; criminals, the insane, the addled, and the holes in the data the state sends to the Feds for the background check system.
(And while the NRA makes a nice, recognizable, stereotyped boogeyman for the lazy propagandist, the NRA actually has very little to do with the day to day heavy lifting of the gun rights movement in Minnesota. It’s the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance that turned out 500 or more people a day to attend the gun grab hearings a couple of weeks back. Grow either doesn’t know that, or doesn’t want people to know that. You know where my money is).
More evidence that Grow wrote the story entirely off of DFL and “Protect Minnesota” chanting points?
Despite the fact that it’s a bill that authors hoped would unite people, it seems to be dividing. Yes, there was a mix of Republican and DFL representatives standing with Hilstrom, Cornish and Stanek. But there were no law-enforcement organizations represented at the news conference where the proposal was unveiled.
Here’s the video of the press conference:
See all those guys in uniforms?
Scroll in to 1:12. That’s Sheriff Rich Stanek, Hennepin County Sheriff, speaking on behalf of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association.
Either Grow is lying, or he wrote the entire story with no knowledge of the facts of the story.
Short On Fact, Long On Jamming Words Into Peoples’ Mouths
Grow follows by saying…:
There also were no DFL senators, though presumably the bill will be as attractive to outstate senators as it appears to be to many outstate DFL representatives.
Grow throws that in there as if it’s a substantive fact related to the bill itself. It’s not. While most outstate legislators no doubt remember the DFL debacle of 2002, it’s also more than plausible Tom Bakk wants to keep his powder dry.
In other words, presence of no DFL senators is a non-factor, unless you’re a low-information reader.
Grow next swerves through fact – and in so doing, undercuts his own premise. I’ll add emphasis:
Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, and the chairman of the House public safety committee, has indicated he has no desire to have the bill heard by his committee. Paymar is pushing a bill that would require purchasers of guns at flea markets and gun shows to go through background checks.
Yet, given the large number of co-authors with Hilstrom, there likely are ways for the bill to weave its way through the legislative process.
Yes. There are a large number of co-authors; so many they had to submit it not one, not two, but three times to get them all on. Over half of the House is signed on as authors of the bill.
Michael Paymar wants to thwart the will of the representatives of over half of Minnesota’s voters?
Putting Thirty Shots From An AR15 Into A Strawman
Finally, Grow takes his whacks at some of the legislators who’ve violated the DFL’s narrative:
[Representative Tony] Cornish, usually a lightning rod in the gun debate, said he was taking a different role regarding the fate of this bill.
“Several of my statements (in the past) have been controversial,’’ he said. “Today my role is to be a peacemaker.’’
No sooner had he said that than he uttered a statement that raises the hackles of those hoping for stronger gun measures.
“I want to thank the NRA for helping (on the bill),’’ he said. He went on to say that the bill “contains nothing for gun owners to fear.’’
Er, who’s “hackles” got “raised”, here? And why?
Was it the involvement of the NRA? Your dog whistles aren’t our problem.
Or was it the quote about gun owners having nothing to fear? Is that the actual goal, here?
Hilstrom, in her seventh term, refused to talk about her true feelings of the bill. Rather, she kept speaking of the importance of “passing a bill that will solve real problems.’’
She did point out that she never has sought the endorsement of the NRA and that in the past she has received a “C,’’ “D,’’ and “F’’ from the NRA.
If she’s doing the right thing – which, for a majority of Minnesotans, is “solving problems”, rather than attacking the law-abiding gun owner – then I don’t care if she’s a life-time “F” rating. And I don’t care about her true feelings; I don’t care if she’s being used as an escape hatch by the DFL to get out of the embarassment of the Paymar/Hausman gun grab bills.
Finally: I owe the Twin Cities media an apology. I’ve said that Larry Jacobs is the most over-quoted person in the Twin Cities media. And he is. David Schultz is right up there.
But in the “single-issue” category, Heather Martens – “Executive Director” and, near as we can tell, one of less than a half-dozen members of “Protect Minnesota” (and de facto representative of House District 66A) and a woman whose entire body of public assertions is lies, dwarfs them all:
Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota, derided the bill as “NRA-approved.’’
Boo! Boogeyman! Hiss!
Listen, MinnPost-reading dogs! There’s your whistle!
“Any bill that fails to address the gaping holes in our background check law falls far short of the public’s demand for the right to be safe in our communities,’’ Martens said in a statement.
And there’s another lie. The bill does address the gaping hole that exists in the background check laws.
No, not the misnamed “gun show loophole”, which is another media myth. The real gap is the data that the state isn’t sending to the feds; the Hilstrom bill fixes it.
GOCRA’s Mountain, Grow And Martens’ Molehill
Leaving aside the fact that Grow got pretty much everything in this story wrong – and wrong in a way that suggests not only that he wasn’t at Hilstrom’s press conference but that he wrote the whole thing straight from chanting points long before Hilstrom took to the microphone – the most pernicious thing about Grow’s story is that it tries to create the impression that there’s a genuine battle between two titanically-powerful sides to this debate.
In terms of legislators? A bipartisan sample of over half of the House is on board co-authoring Hilstrom’s bill(s). A thin, runny film of metro-DFL extremists is backing the Paymar/Hausman/Simonson gun grab bills.
In terms of the public? Last month, GOCRA put out a call for people to come to the Capitol. And they did.
“Protect Minnesota” and “Moms Demand Action” put out a call yesterday for people to come out and protest against Hilstrom’s bill.
Here they are:
Well, not literally. But no, other than Heather Martens, nobody showed up.
There are literally more DFL legislators co-authoring Hilstrom’s bill than there are members of “Protect Minnesota” and the “Moms Demand Action” put together.
So how much money did Big Labor spend along with Big Lefty Plutocrat to buy the Governor’s Office and the Legislature?
If you believe the Strib, it’s “around $3 million.
If you believe the Strib is going to tell the truth about DFL perfidy – and especially the big money behind the DFL, I’ve got a 50% stake in the next Lindsay Lohan movie to sell you.
Bill Walsh, long-time Minnesota political operative, did a little digging into the story – and he’s got something the Twin Cities’ mainstream media doesn’t want to give you; the facts:
I’m publishing his piece as a guest writer at Shot In The Dark today.
Unions Spent $11.1 Million in 2012 to Buy Friendly Legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton
Bill Walsh, Shot In The Dark Guest Writer
A few weeks ago the Star Tribune published an article about campaign spending in the 2012 election focusing on two big individual donors – Alida Messinger and Bob Cummins. The conclusion? Each party has a big donor that gave lots of money, it’s all a wash. I’m afraid this story is all we’re going to get from the Strib on campaign spending analysis. Today, in an otherwise well written article on union influence at the capitol this year, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes that unions “put at least $3 million into elections.” I guess $11.1 million is “at least” $3 million. She’s only off by $8.1 million.
I took the time to go through the campaign finance reports of 111 different union organizations in Minnesota and nationally for the 2012 election. Spending ranged from Education Minnesota at $1.8 million to the Bemidji Central Labor Body AFL-CIO Political Fund at $250. State and local unions accounted for $9.1 million in campaign spending with national unions kicking in the other $2 million.
It took some time to come to the right numbers because many unions give money to each other for joint spending initiatives. These numbers reflect the net spending after backing out contributions between unions. It goes without saying that over 99% of the money went to DFL candidates and causes.
I blame myself for not getting this research to the StarTribune before they published today’s article. It really would have added some punch to their story.
For example, when talking about the nurses union asking the legislature for new staffing ratios that will drive up health care costs, it would have been useful to point out to readers the nurses union spent over $500,000 helping DFL candidates win back the legislature last year. As a matter of fact, that probably should be mentioned every time the media covers the progress of this legislation.
Likewise, when discussing AFSCME’s attempt to force unionization on small private childcare businesses, it would inform the reader to mention that seven different AFSCME organizations gave a total of $1.6 million to DFL candidates and causes in 2012.
The list goes on – Education Minnesota is trying to resurrect their statewide insurance pool legislation, MAPE and AFSCME are getting new generous employment contracts, the minimum wage is being increased and Dayton is following through on his promise to raise taxes on the rich.
But business spends a lot too, right? Wrong. It’s hard to get anywhere near $11.1 million if you add up the business money spent in the 2012 election. A business friendly PAC called Minnesota’s Future spent $1.2 million while the Chamber of Commerce-supported Coalition for Minnesota Businesses spent just $283,000 on the 2012 election. We all know the MNGOP received little support from the business community and the two legislative caucuses combined to spend only $4.1 million, and not all of that can be attributed to business.
According to today’s Pioneer Press, however, business interests do spend a lot on lobbying. The Campaign Finance Board reported that business interests spent $17.4 million lobbying the legislature during the 2011 session.
This may be the key to understanding today’s political environment. Unions spend heavily getting sympathetic Democrats elected to office. Once they are in place, it doesn’t take much money to lobby –the jury is already selected.
Business on the other hand, spends relatively little on the nuts and bolts of campaigns and prefers to hire lobbyists to try to influence the debate after the legislature has been selected.
First, Republican legislators need to hammer away on the $11.1 million unions spent to buy this legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton. They need to remind the public and the press at every opportunity to follow the money. Pay to play has never been more obvious in Minnesota.
Second, the business community needs to shift some of its resources to where it matters: the 2014 general election. Business will never match the collective self interest and desperation of the unions, so we need to reach a higher level of cooperation if we hope to recapture the House and win back the governor’s office in 2014.
This, after a gubernatorial race where the DFL outspent the GOP on the order of 2:1, and a legislative race with a nearly-as-dismal margin.
And in a piece by Rachel Stassen-Berger with 23 paragraphs, Governor leading DFL donor Alida Messinger got one paragraph and a brief shout out in the lede.
Indeed, the raft of liberal plutocrats who have essentially taken over the entire DFL messaging operation took up exactly six of the 23 paragraphs, along with a brief mention that “Corporations and unions still pour cash into elections”.
The rest of the piece was largely focused on GOP individual donors who, it is noted, largely sat out the election, or focused on single issues. The influence of ABM, which essentially entirely controls the DFL at least in terms of message, is ignored.
Well, not quite:
Blodgett and others said she is not the type of donor who makes demands of the beneficiaries of her largesse.
Not “ignored”; “whitewashed” may be a better term. I mean, if Jeff Blodgett says Governor Alida Messinger behaves herself, that’s good enough for me!
\Of course, when you can act unilaterally with impunity, demands are superfluous…
But the Governor released the budget at an 11AM press conference yesterday.
At 11:13, Carrie Lucking – the “Executive Director” of the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, one of the huddle of lefty non-profits via which liberal plutocrats and the unions launder millions of dollars and run the DFL’s entire messaging operation – tweeted:
Maybe Carrie Lucking is an incredibly fast reader.
A flurry of conservatives on Twitter wondered last night – is that how Lucking got enough detail about the budget, 13 minutes after it was announced, to call a critic a “liar?”
I thought that showed too much faith in Governor Dayton. I think it’s more likely ABM gave the budget to the Administration.
Either way – I need your help here.
Back in the 2000s, the media spun up a tempest in a teapot over Governor Pawlenty’s involvement with an outside group, and the potential impact that had on the Pawlenty Administration’s message and policies. It passed quickly, because there was no there there. But the media gave it its’ 15 minutes.
Does anyone remember the parties involved in that? I only remember the dimmest possible outlines of the episode.
But compared with the collegial clubbiness between the Twin Cities media – especially the Strib and the MinnPost - and the various political non-profits and advocacy groups, I think it’d be useful for comparison’s sake.
UPDATE: I need to point out that the heavy lifting on Twitter was done by Dave Thul and Sheila Kihne. They smelled the rat. I just wrote about it.
Last night, the paid flaks at “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” – the astroturf PR group financed by the Dayton family, Mark Dayton’s ex-wife Alita Messinger, a bunch of their liberal plutocrat friends, and the unions that own Mark Dayton, put out a tweet:
Now, as always – when ABM says, writes or posts anything, one is best to do…
I don’t wanna keep seeing the same hands, here. What does one do?
Distrust, then verify. Then, almost inevitably, distrust some more.
So let’s look at the study and, as ABM would have the ill-informed voter believe, this wave of fresh murder begat by “Stand Your Ground”. The study was cited in a WSJ Law Blog post:
In April, more than a month after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, we looked the incidence of justifiable homicides in states with “stand your ground” or “castle doctrine” laws like Florida’s.
In general, such laws grant people more leeway to use lethal force on an attacker. More than 20 were passed after Florida’s in 2005. They typically do at least one of the following:
• Remove a person’s duty to retreat in places outside the home
• Add the presumption that the person who killed in self defense had a reasonable fear of death or harm [subject, in ever case I'm aware of, to a hearing establishing that that fear was reasonable]
• Grant people who killed in self-defense immunity from civil lawsuits [provided, of course, they are found to have acted in legal self-defense; currently, a woman killing a stalking rapist is only as safe from being sued back to the stone-age by her rapist's family as the least bobble headed jury that can be empaneled]
So let’s look at the study’s conclusions (and I’ll add emphasis):
Justifiable homicides nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, according to the most recent data available, when 326 were reported. The data, provided by federal and state law enforcement agencies, showed a sharp increase in justifiable homicides occurred after 2005, when Florida and 16 other states passed the laws.
While the overall homicide rates in those states stayed relatively flat, the average number of justifiable cases per year increased by more than 50% in the decade’s latter half.
Now, let’s put that number into two bits of context.
First; the “doubling” – 160 or so killings up to 320 and change – amounts to less than 1% of the people killed in unjustifiable homicides every year.
And every single one of them involves someone who was ruled to have had a legitimate fear of being killed or maimed, killing an attacker first.
These “homicides”, every one of them, occurred in lieu of a rape, murder, kidnapping or aggravated assault. In every case, the alternative to those 320-odd justified homicides would have been an innocent person dead; a woman raped; a child kidnapped, a person beaten into a vegetative state.
The study – and ABM – would have you think that’s a bad thing. Or at least have you not think about it very hard.
Speaking of the study – what about it?
The answer, [Texas A&M Professors Mark Hoekstra and Cheng Cheng] conclude, is [that "Stand Your Ground" does not deter crime]. In fact, the evidence suggests the laws have led to an increase in homicides.
From the study:
Results indicate that the prospect of facing additional self-defense does not deter crime. Specifically, we find no evidence of deterrence effects on burglary, robbery, or aggravated assault. Moreover, our estimates are sufficiently precise as to rule out meaningful deterrence effects.
The blog post doesn’t go into details about the study – but this paragraph is nonsense on several levels.
So was the study “sufficiently precise” to account for other factors in changing murder rates?
Did it account for the deterrent effect that John Lott proved that the concealed carry laws that usually accompany “Stand Your Ground” provide? Because if those laws are already deterring violent crime, there’s a smaller pool of violent crimes to deter. Right?
Which leads them to concludes…:
In contrast, we find significant evidence that the laws increase homicides.
But what kind of “homicides?”
Suggestive but inconclusive evidence indicates that castle doctrine laws increase the narrowly defined category of justifiable homicides by private citizens by 17 to 50 percent, which translates into as many as 50 additional justifiable homicides per year nationally due to castle doctrine.
But if they’re justifiable – a response to a lethal threat – then why is this a problem?
Is the death of a rapist the same as the death of his victim?
More significantly, we find the laws increase murder and manslaughter by a statistically significant 7 to 9 percent, which translates into an additional 500 to 700 homicides per year nationally across the states that adopted castle doctrine.
And there, the researchers find causation in a correlation.
Which came first – the rise in violent crime, or the rise in killings in self-defense?
Thus, by lowering the expected costs associated with using lethal force, castle doctrine laws induce more of it.
This is patent nonsense.
The study seems to make several key errors of logic:
Considering “justifiable homicides” a bad thing. And they are, in a very real way; they’re the second-worst possible outcome of a lethal-force situation. But giving the same moral weight to the death of someone who was killed for providing a deliberate and grave threat to another person, who responded by shooting? That’s madness.
Not providing full context for the numbers - the researchers ascribe a hike in all homicides to the “lowered cost” of self-defense. But we don’t know which murders are attributable to which motive. Also, we don’t know how many of the un-justifiable homicides were justifiable, but hung up on one technicality or another in court (see George Zimmerman).
Back to the study:
This increase in homicides could be due either to the increased use of lethal force in self-defense situations, or to the escalation of violence in otherwise non-lethal conflicts. We suspect that self-defense situations are unlikely to explain all of the increase, as we also find that murder alone is increased by a statistically significant 6 to 11 percent.
I find that number intensely suspect, and will be looking into it. My sniff-sensor tells me that number is BS – murder rates in general are dropping, nationwide, and given the number of states with stand your ground laws, it seems unlikely that there’s any link.
As the authors note, the increase in homicides may not be viewed by everyone as “unambiguously bad.” It could be driven by individuals protecting themselves from imminent harm by using lethal force. But it could also be driven by an escalation in violence that, absent the “castle doctrine,” wouldn’t have ended in serious injury for either party, they say.
Or it could – no, it would - be substituting deaths of criminals for deaths of the innocent.
You’ve been hearing it all over the place since it started sinking in among Democrats that their anointed candidate, Tom Barrett, was not going to pull off the win in Wisconsin last Tuesday – not even close.
Once the “Coin Toss” turned, for Dems in Wisconsin and nationwide, into a “Lunch Toss”, they – and their enablers in the mainstream, public and lefty media – started looking for excuses, for reasons that the ineluctable forces of history turned out to be very, very eluctable.
Among the first was the notion that Barret was outspent by 6:1.
It would sure make a reassuring story – “we didn’t get beat on ideas, we got beat by money”.
There are three answers to this meme:
Answer 1: It’s Just Not True - The problem is, according to that noted conservative tool the WaPo, it’s really more like 2:1:
Now, Walker out-fundraised Barrett in Wisconsin, as well as outside the state. But the part Dems never, ever tell you is that the Dems, as usual, outspent the GOP on independent expenditures by over $1.6 million
As everyone knew they would.
But they got outspent by the Walker campaign. Which brings us to the second point:
Answer 2: Boo Freaking Hoo - So the Democrats got outspent?
In a recall that they forced?
There is not one single person in the entire Wisconsin Democrat party that knew that there would be no campaign finance restrictions on the race? And that the GOP would call in every dog it could for this fight? That Reince Priebus wouldn’t run his rolodex red-hot to defend the win he earned back in 2010? And that the Tea Party wouldn’t absolutely slam the organizing?
Because there are only a few possible explanations:
There was, in fact, nobody who knew . It’d seem to be a drastic mistake, forcing a recall without knowing the laws involved. Just saying.
They knew, but figured that sheer Fleebagger passion would carry them through. It’s the kind of hubris that is explainable, if not necessarily excusable.
They knew, but figured the GOP would screw it up. Not a bad assumtion, under normal circumstances. But the GOP – or at least the Tea Party-influenced part of it – is learning.
At any rate, it was the Wisconsin Democrats who asked for the recall. So they got outspent?
Sucks to be them!
Answer 3: Hypocrisy - So winning an election by spending lots of outside money is a bad thing?
Well, tell it to Mark Dayton, whose 8,000 vote margin of victory was paid for by…:
An epic toxic smear campaign financed by Alita Messinger, a scionette of the Rockefeller family who dumps millions of her own money into Minnesota astroturf groups, which managed to convince just enough low-information voters that Tom Emmer had a DUI to cost him whatever…
The DFL-friendly travesty of an election-registration system didn’t provide Dayton.
Which, by the way, outspent Emmer and the GOP by at least 2:1. More like 3:1, if memory serves.
In Minnesota, you have truckloads of outside money financing outreach to dumb voters and creation of illegal voters to win elections for the DFL.
MoveOn, a giant in the progressive political world and an early endorser of Barack Obama in 2008, warns that it might have to “pull the plug” on key campaigns to help Obama and Senate Democrats if its 7 million members don’t pony up with at least $5.
Without a rush of new cash, MoveOn says it will have to give up efforts to elect Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, help the recall fight against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and energize younger voters who’ve soured on Washington.
On the one hand, I suspect MoveOn is trying to scare its base into action. There is no way they’re short of money; someone, George Soros or Paul Allen or Warren Buffett, will pony up.
On the other hand, Democrat enthusiasm can’t be especially high; even “progressives” aren’t better off than they were four years ago.
The homepage of MoveOn, which helped organize the 2004 anti-war movement, includes a “chip in” button preset at $8.
Hearing that MoveOn might be short of money is like hearing the mullahs have a computer virus problem.
It’s been popping up on leftyblogs and leftytweets for the past couple of days – the Minnesota GOP is “Anti-NFL”.
It’s odd that Democrats in Minnesota have picked National Football League to rally around, given their long history of union-busting, affiliations with organized crime, and – most germane, here in Minnesota – making a huge industry out of jacking up states and cities for taxpayer-funded subsidies to support the one-percentiest people of all, professional football owners and players.
The NFL have developed a routine; demand the public pay for stadiums (so they and their owners don’t have to). When taxpayers and the lawmakers they elect balk, exploit “fan loyalty” (the greatest source of wasted energy in the universe) by threatening to move the team to some other city. Play the local political parties against one another, like colonials playing tribes against each other, to browbeat the politicians into caving in.
Naturally, Mark Dayton and the DFL, driven by pure cynicism as they are, have taken the bait. ”The GOP will let the Vikings leave!”, they whine. ”They’re part of our cultural legacy!”
And it’s true.
They’re part of that rancid little corner of our “cultural legacy” that says “Give me something for nothing! Take other peoples’ earnings to pay for my recreation! My and my family’s obsession with a billionaire’s enterprise justifies taking money from you and your family, by force. Skål Vikings, suckers!”
So yeah. I’m anti-NFL. Zygi Wilf and Roger Goodell can, and should, pay for the stadium by themselves; he can dig it out of his pocket, float a private bond paid for out of proceeds from Vikings enterprise revenue and tapping the vast amounts of private equity that’s been sitting on the sidelines for years. Or offering stock in a Vikings Stadium enterprise, complete with shopping, parking rental and hospitality, that would be a license to print money. Or from charging drifters for illicit services at bus stops, for all I care.
But if you care about what’s right, and moral, and ethical? Everyone should be “Anti-NFL’.
The NFL’s racket has to stop. Someone has to stand on principle. If not us, now, then who and when?
The “Million Mom March” – which, lately, draws fewer “moms” than pro-gun activists to its “events” – and “Citizens for a “Safer” Supine Minnesota, famous for never having once published a single fact in any of its press releases, and whose leader (and, let’s be honest, only member) Heather Martens has given this blog ten years of too-easy material, have had to “merge” (hahahahaha). They are “Protect Minnesota“, now.
Rumor has it that they had to change the names in large part because their old names have become so utterly synonymous with dishonesty and providing false information.
This blog is happy and proud to have contributed to that. And I dedicate its next ten years to extinguishing the group completely, preferably by humiliating them into an inescapable political shame spiral.
Although a little bird at the capitol tells me Heather Martens may be doing that herself; she reportedly approached a prominent Republican lawmaker with a model bill that was an attempt at a compromise on “Stand Your Ground”; Ms Martens claimed it had been approved by the NRA.
The lawmaker called the NRA. They’d never heard of it, and did not approve. Martens had lied, not that this surprises anyone who’s read this blog over the past ten years; if Heather Martens drops a hammer and claims it will hit the floor, don’t buy it until you hear the thump.
Just saying – it’s hard to humiliate an organization like “”Citizens for a “Safer” Supine Minnesota”…er, “Protect” Minnesota, when they do it so well themselves.
To: News Department, KMSP-TV (“Fox Nine”)
From: Mitch Berg, very occasional viewer
Re: A Warning
To whom it may concern,
I don’t watch a lot of TV news – but for whatever reason, I do wind up watching your morning news; it does carry a fair amount of local news, and yeah, I like Marler’s weather. So sue me.
But I had your 9PM news on last night. I noticed that you had jumped on the national “Trayvon Martin” bandwagon with both feet. That’s understandable – it bled, so it led.
I could go over some of the points of your coverage that were, er, squishy – but that’s really not why I’m writing.
I noticed that you were very prominently using Heather Martens as a source for your coverage. Martens, you note, is the “Executive Director” of “Protect Minnesota”. If you check a little bit, you might also find she may very well be the sole member of “Protect Minnesota”; if there are half a dozen members, you might want to try to vet them, because I’ll lay odds that most of them are ringers from the Second Amendment movement. The late Joel Rosenberg used to tell stories of going to Heather Martens’ meetings and finding that every single person at the gathering other than Martens was a Second Amendment activist. At any rate – it’s not a “group”; it’s a checkbook advocacy front. It’s also the third name Martens has been through in the past ten years. For most of the past decade, “they” were “Citizens For A “Safer” Minnesota”; before that, they were something like “Gun-Free Minnesota” or “Minnesota Without Guns” or something like that; I’ve forgotten, but let’s be honest, so have you. They keep getting shredded in the marketplace of ideas; they keep having to change their name.
Anyway, my point is this – if Heather Martens says it, it’s most likely wrong. I was going to say “it’s most likely a lie”, and that is the truth, but I’m trying to be all calm and measured here.
No, seriously; have me on one of your debate segments – if she’ll agree to come on against me. I’ve shredded everything she’s said and written for a decade now. There is not even a faded patina of fact in a single utterance she makes.
Just saying – while there are lots of things to be written about the Trayvon Martin case, and even some about Minnesota’s proposed Stand Your Ground Bill (although most of your other sources on that subject are also lying hacks), Heather Martens is not the one you should be going to to find them.
Presuming, of course, “covering the news” is your goal, rather than “fluffing the narrative”.
One basic rule of economics is: if you subsidize something, you get more of it.
Liberals approve of targeted tax breaks for things they like: electric cars and solar panels. Liberals approve of government subsidies for things they like: sports stadia and college classes. Liberals support these public expenditures because they know that without public subsidies, people wouldn’t pay for the Volt or the Vikings. As a result, the companies that produce products nobody wants to buy voluntarily (General Motors or Solyndra) become dependent on government money and can’t survive without it.
Clearly, some expenditures of government money influence private behavior and create dependency.
Welfare gives out government money, but only to those who follow its rules. Does welfare influence people to change their private behavior to qualify? Some do, certainly. Do continued welfare payments influence people to continue to behave in ways that qualify – passing up jobs or sending the other parent out of the home? Again, some do, without doubt.
Do long-term continued welfare payments influence people to become dependent on welfare? There are plenty of social scientists who’d agree.
If welfare payments follow the same economic principles of behavior influence as any other subsidy, and if Democrats know this but insist on funding welfare anyway; then it’s fair to say Democrats support programs which foster dependency on government, that keep people trapped in narrow behavioral ruts, discourage freedom, initiative, self-sufficiency and independence.
Now, to point out this truth, are politicians required to speak in short, literal prose sentences? Are metaphor and simile prohibited in public discourse? Was Martin Luther King, Jr. really sleeping when he had his dream? Did Bobby Kennedy really ask why things never were – is there a tape of it?
If a politician were to say that Democrats treat welfare recipients as if they were pets to be fed and sheltered but never allowed to run free, is that really an act of vicious hate speech equating poor people with animals? Have we all forgotten the difference between literal speech and illustrative speech?
If I speak the Truth in vivid imagery, what’s the objection: that I used the imagery . . . or that I spoke the Truth?
Only the right - that is, left – people are only supposed to tell the truth, and then only “the truth” that’s been approved by their various superiors.
One of the DFL’s more comical devices is calling themselves “the party of the people”.
It’s always been a mixed bag, of course; currently, it’s the party of the people who try to make a career out of giving other people handouts, and the people who can exploit that system for more power for themselves. Which, admittedly, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so I’ll give ‘em a pass for not using it.
But still, for “the party of the people”, the DFL is committed to quite a few stances this cycle that are diametrically opposed to what “the people” seem to want. As a result, they and the astroturf groups that do all of the DFL’s actual messaging these days – Alliance For A Better Minnesota, Take Action MN, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, the unions and such – are busily cranking out a PR campaign to try to show that a minority, sometimes a teeeeeny tiny little minority, of the people are really a majority.
Here are some of the issues on which the DFL and its astroturf hench-groups don’t want you to believe your lying eyes:
Opposed to Election Integrity - The DFL opposes Voter ID. The DFL’s Astroturf Cabinet is making a lot of noise to cover the fact that between seventy and eighty percent of Minnesotans believe that voters should have to present some form of ID. There is no way to do this without lying, of course; Mark Ritchie’s statement that “700,000 voters would be disenfranchised” is baked wind; even if the number is accurate (and it is no more accurate than a Mark Ritchie election), the vast majority of them would be same-day registrants who could fill out provisional ballots while their identities were validated.
And most people know that. And even if they don’t, they do smell a rat, and think Voter ID just plain makes sense – just as it does when you cash a check, buy beer, rent an apartment, get a job, start a savings account, use a credit card at a store…
…which, apparently, 700,000 Minnesotans are unable to do.
That seems like a problem we’d hear about, doesn’t it?
Right To Work: According to the Survey USA poll from a few weeks back, the vast majority of Minnesotans – 55-24% – support “Right to Work”, which essentially means that unions have to make a case to the worker for their dues; they won’t be required to pay dues to a union.
The Astroturf Cabinet is trying to spin out of the jam two different ways; by comparing “right to work” states to “union” states in terms of straight-up per-capita income (as if New Yorkers earn more than Arkansans solely or even significantly because of unions), and the notion that wages drop in “right to work” states, which is very inconclusive at best, and offset by the fact that “Right to Work” states grow faster (which, again, isn’t entirely because they’re “Right to Work”; they tend to be red states, and they DO grow more).
Stand Your Ground - earlier this week, four Democrats (Tom Saxhaug, Rod Skoe, David Tomassoni and Dan Sparks). broke with the Metrocrat majority to vote with the GOP on the “Stand Your Ground” bill, which would allow self-defense shooters to be innocent until proven guilty while on their property or in their cars.
Some county attorneys and “police chiefs”, apparently unsure that they or their staffs could prove an unjust shooter broke the law, oppose the bill, saying it’d “legalize cold blooded murder”. The DFL’s handmaidens in the media are, on this issue, apparently too incurious to prod into some of the people they use as sources.
And yet Saxhaug, Tomassoni, Skoe and Sparks no doubt remember ten years ago – the last time the DFL put itself on the opposite side of the Second Amendment movement – it cost the DFL, least outstate, dearly. The DFL’s opposition to Concealed Carry reform ten years ago played a pivotal role in costing it the House, and in driving the Senate strongly to the right; DFLers played a key role in passing the Minnesota Personal Protection Act. They did it because real Minnesotans supported it, and showed it at the polls. Nine DFLers crossed over to pass the original bill in 2003; it was much more than that in 2005 when the bill re-passed after it was struck down by a DFL pet judge in 2004.
But the DFL is much more extreme today than ten years ago. And the right of the law-abiding to defend themselves is anathema to them. So they’ll oppose Stand Your Ground, and try to scare people away from it…
…even though the vast majority of informed people support it.
Wilfare - Minnesotans oppose raising their taxes to increase the value of Zygi Wilf’s investment (or, in some cases, oppose raising their own taxes). But the DFL wants to divert money from the charities that get funding from charitable gambling to, again, give Wilfare to a billionaire whose only real goal is to inflate the value of his investment!
But it’s not being talked about – anywhere. Least of all in the mainstream media, which profits handsomely from pro sports.
How do you think Minnesotans feel about that?
On issue after issue, the only consensus behind the DFL is the one their minions in the astroturf “Ministry of Truth” manufacture for them, and that their flaks in the media try to portray, provided one pays no attention to the Messinger behind the curtain.
Between 70% and 80% of Minnesota voters favor the Voter ID proposal.
Some of us favor it because it’s the first step in a series of election reforms that will help us ensure that our election system in fact has integrity; there are increasingly strong suspicions that the election system in Minnesota, with its reports of fraudulent election-day un-identified vouched registrations (among other abuses), lacks that integrity.
Others have the common sense to know that 32 states currently require some degree of voter ID, and elections work just fine; the elderly and students register and vote, just like adults (significantly, most of the non-ID states are Democrat, including states renowned for dirty elections, like Illinois, New York, New Jersey and California)
The site was sponsored – apparently – by “Take Action Minnesota”, an astroturf group thats is basically what all of the various non-profit Wellstone cults became over the last decade or so.
And – oboy. A black guy in a striped suit. Not good. Tone deaf. Politically-incorrect.
And, in the special little world of the liberal astroturf group, I suppose it, all by itself, invalidates the entire move to bring integrity back to our voting system.
BAD MN Majority.
MN Majority came out with another – which also aroused TakeAction’s drearily predictable ire:
Lest you think all TakeActionMN does is do screenshots, there was some writing and stuff too:
This image is on a Minnesota Majority website. It is trying to scare us into changing our state constitution to require a photo ID to vote. Photo ID would restrict voting rights for over half a million Minnesotans – especially people of color. Photo ID is voter suppression. And it stops here.
I’m always puzzled by the notion that requiring an ID to vote – like we require them for lesser “rights” like cashing a check, using a credit card, setting up a bank account, getting a Social Security Card, getting a copy of your birth certificate, buying Sudafed, getting into a bar, buying a firearm or ammunition, buying a car, taking out a loan, dropping your kids off and picking them up at drop-in daycare, buy alcohol or cigarettes, apply for welfare, food stamps or any sort of medical assistance, rent an apartment, get admitted to a hospital, or get a marriage license – “disenfranchises” anyone, much less ten percent of all Minnesotans, as “Take Action MN” claims. Or, for that matter, that VoterID infringes, in and of itself, on the right to vote. It doesn’t; it merely means you need an ID to do it.
Indeed, once you get past cartoon pratfalls, it’s TakeAction that makes the genuinely racist claim - the ludicrous and frankly offensive notion that ten percent of Minneostans – apparently, all minorities, students and the elderly, although nobody has any idea where they got that number, and next month it could very well be “eleventy-teen percent” and nobody will say “boo”. But to me, their claims sound a lot like “minorities and people of color are too dumb to keep track of their paperwork and ID cards”.
I’m sure that’s not what they meant.
But what they do mean is “if you support Voter ID, we’re going to call you the worst thing there is in modern discourse; the R word”. It’s the nuclear option – for people who don’t have a factual or ethical argument.
At any rate – we know how Gandhi’s bromide ends; “Then you win”.
TakeAction and the rest of the Minnesota astroturf cult are getting increasingly desperate on this issue, as well as the other big wedge issue likely headed for the ballot this fall, an amendment to make Minnesota a Right to Work state. Without fraudulent votes and endless union money, the DFL’s position in Minnesota will get a lot weaker.
And that’s a big win for everyone, no matter what your race, ethnicity, or relentless political correctness.
And Minnesota’s left-”leaning” “grassroots” astroturf organizations – Common Cause, Take Action Minnesota, Alliance For A Better Minnesota, and the various unions are following suit with doing what their various funders are paying them to do; trying to spin news, facts and info to get people to vote DFL in the upcoming elections.
…even back before Citizens United started evening the playing field and allowing conservatives the same access to soft money that the Dems have always gotten from their union and 527 supporters.
Which is like complaining about plate tectonics; what are you going to do about it, one would be right to ask. Political money is speech; we conservatives live by that ideal, and we’ll have to learn to prevail by it.
It’s not that the money buys so much messaging that is so very very irritating – indeed, depressing, if one cares for the future of this society, beyond narrow partisan politics.
It’s that the messaging it buys is so often not merely devoid of fact or defining context, but so cynically so that one can only think their only motivation for the entire campaign is “to repeat enough complete bullshit often enough to fool enough of the stupid and gullible to keep us in power”.
We saw this in 2010 in Minnesota, when these groups and their “useful idiots” (Lenin’s term, not mine) in the Twin Cities media and lefty “alternative” media, pounded a couple of non-factual or almost criminally-context-deprived points home with almost experimental-psych-class-material mania; the idea that “Tom Emmer had two DUIs” (he hadn’t; he’d been arrested and pled down to “Careless Driving”, 20 and 30 years earlier) and that he’d (campaigned for lax punishment for drunk drivers” (also a lie; Emmer was proposing a change in the implied consent law that is supported by a broad, and bipartisan, range of figures, at least in part because current law discriminates so completely against people who can’t afford lawyers. Emmer would have changed that). The campaign helped convinced, I’m going to guess, just a shade over 8,000 of our stupidest, most incurious, lemming-like neighbors to vote for a superannuated playboy with drinking, drug and depression problems and a record as America’s worst senator instead.
In other words, slathering Minnesota’s dimmest, least-curious citizens with b*llsh*t worked.
And they’re going long on the tactic this year.
Under the dual rubrics of my “Minnesota’s Ministry of Truth” and “Chanting Points Memo” categories, I’m going to start cataloging the broad, rich, lavishly-funded vein of pure fiction (at best) that the DFL is banking on to try to stem GOP fortunes in Minnesota this fall.
“Most Minnesotans oppose Voter ID” - This one came from Greta Bergstrom, a spokes-bot for “Take Action Minnesota”, an activist non-profit that claims a Wellstone-ian pedigree, but whose inner workings (say an acquaintance with knowledge of their front office) would fit in better in Pyongyang; “Nobody wants photo ID”, she tweeted not too long ago. That was about the time – go figure – that Survey USA was showing Voter ID with 3:1 support (71-29) among Minnesotans, even among self-identified liberals. Which was, by the way, the poll with the best news for Voter ID opponents. Ms. Bergstrom apparently believes that if she and her group repeat it often enough, just enough of the addled will buy in. It’s worked before, after all; it’s why we have a Governor Dayton!
“The Stand Your Ground Bill” would allow citizens to shoot people because they felt like it” - It’s bad enough that pathetically addled leftybloggers grind their way through this bit of nonsense; they have no power even among lefty media types. But when you have Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom - words fail me – misrepresenting the law in re Stand Your Ground, to try to draw out a wedge (to try to counter all the various wedges that the GOP have identified for this coming season), you know that the idiocy moves depressingly high on the food chain. Backstrom may or may not be taking orders from Alliance For A Better Minnesota (and thence, likely as not, Media Matters) like the likes of Bergstrom, Carrie Lucking, Ken Martin and Denise Cardinal – but he’s basically playing from their one-note sheet music.
“Right To Work States Have Lower Per-Capita Incomes Than Union States!” – This, you hear from any number of different lefty-bots, is a great reason to oppose the “Right To Work” Amendment, which (says Survey USA) Minnesotans favor by a 55-24 margin. Of course, they never mention that non-Right-to-Work states are, inevitably, coastal “Blue” states with – it’s true – higher standards of living, but much higher costs of living as well. Of course wages are higher in New York City! But do you think a carpenter in New York buys himself a better quality of life for his money in NYC than does one in, say, Dallas? A carpenter in Texas will actually be working, as opposed to the New Yorker – but I’m on a tangent now. The fact is, unions don’t make overall wages across an entire geographical region bigger or better than the same wages in the same jobs elsewhere (beyond the obvious job-by-job wage comparisons). They do, however, contribute to the higher cost of living.
It’s a stupid argument – but since it’s aimed at stupid people, it works. Depressingly enough.
“Republicans Are Waging A War Against Women!” - Notwithstanding the fact that no significant Republican has said word-boo about the subject on any sort of policy level. Apparently it’s one of those things where Republicans want to ban contraception even if they don’t even know it.
Just as we do – we’re told this by our betters at Minnesota Public Radio – with race! Because…
“Republicans speak in racist code words!” - And those words are so coded that we apparently haven’t the foggiest we’re saying about them. This one got on Minnesota Public Radio on Thurday morning, on the Keri Miller show. Miller – who is becoming the Lori Sturdevant of MPR – ran for an hour with the premise that the GOP’s racist message is so very tightly wound into the very language that Republicans (but not Democrats, natch) use that we don’t even realize we’re doing it!. Because when Democrats talk about “urban” problems, they mean problems that occur to collections of buildings, apparently, but when Republicans talk about pizza, it’s because Italians in New York used to hate blacks, and white people use “pizza” as a code for that sort of hatred. Or something.
“Voter ID would disenfranchise masses of voters” - I hate paperwork as much as much more than the next guy – government paperwork more than most. And this really is a tangent, but isn’t it reasonable for society to expect someone to exercise the most absolutely de minimis requirement for personal administration – the precise paperwork one needs to have to cash a check, pick up a prescription, get a drivers license, hold a job legally, set up a bank account, buy Sudafed, get a cell phone, get into a bar before you “look over 21″ – to exercise a right for which over a million Americans have died?
But that is a tangent, because many states do require voter ID, and they vote just fine.
Anyway – it’s a lie.
“Voter ID is like Jim Crow” - That predictable little apertif is from my new “representative”, Rena Moran. Moran may or may not be a perfectly fine person, but she’s oblivious (or has not be told to be blivious, or she just flat-out knows she benefits from ongoing fraud) to the Democrat party’s history of election rigging – but she is in fact exactly wrong. Voter ID – along with a vigilant electorate – helps prevent the sort of sham elections that characterized Jim Crow.
“Governor Dayton has a Jerbs Bill! The Republicans don’t! They must not want to put people to work!” - Because as everyone knows, jobs come from government! If Tim Pawlenty and George W. Bush had just pushed laws requiring companies to hire people, there’d have been no recession!
Of course, even many Democrats know better than that. They believe that a bonding bill that’ll pay for a few billion in construction work – or Obama’s “Shovel Ready” jobs, as if even a sizeable minority of Americans still work with shovels, or even in construction – is the answer!
Of course, the GOP is pushing legislation to cut business taxes and regulations and make Minnesota’s business climate healthier for business, especially small business, which is battered and bleeding from Obama’s regulatory orgy
With great fanfare, the Democrats last week launched a devastating fusillade of rhetorical counterfire in the battle for the American Mind – or perhaps the American “Mind” – this past week with the splashy launch/relaunch of…
…well, a bunch of websites. To spread “the truth” about Barack Obama and his Administration.
RT Rybak took time off from finding ways to trade cops for bike paths to declare “We’re not going to take any baloney”. And he seems a mayor of his word; reading the sites involved, it seems that the Dems are committed to giving “baloney” back, and upping the ante in the rhetorical luncheon-meat department. Another lefty shill said that the “Ministry Of Truth” sites are a response to the “sleazy GOP money” from the likes of the Koch brothers – the left’s straw-boogeyman-du-jour. Meaning that we’ll have Rockefeller, Soros and Big Union money to fight against big private sector money.
Let’s take a look at the Ministry Of Truth’s array of websites:
KeepingHisWord.com could be better called “Rhetorical Needles Threaded.com”; it’s devoted to repeating Obama Administration chanting points. But here’s an innovation; the type is really really big. Each “article” is, basically , a sentence, carefully trimmed for easy memorization for people who don’t think that hard about things. It is, intellectually and rhetorically, the next steup up from Duckspeak.
KeepingGOPHonest.com is more of the same, with a Green emphasis; the site recycles Gingrich, Santorum, Paul and Romney campaign hit points against the other campaigns. It’s basically an RSS feed of the big four campaigns’ negative pieces, only dumbed down for, you know, the Democrat electorate.
AttackWatch.com is…Attackwatch! It’s our old friend, better known to conservatives and other sentient people as “Stasi.gov.us”; still asking for people to report in to Zentralkontrolle about Badthink aimed at The One and His administration.
So what conclusions can we reach about the Democrat campaign, viewed through the prism of their Ministry Of Truth’s websites?
They are admitting Democrat voters have no attention span. This stuff is written to the level and attention span of a third-grader with ADD. They need Big Thoughts broken down into easily-memorized, quickly-chantable bullets, or sanitized, officially-sanctioned Big Humor
They need to dodge the Big Question at all costs: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The answer hidden in plain sight on these sites is “Yes – if you are government”.
The Democrat Ministry Of Truth website; full of type and fury, signifying nothing.
If the Minnesoa left has a boogieman in this cycle, it’s the “American Legislative Exchanage Conference”, better known as ALEC.
Founded and run by that other perennial boogieman of the hysterial left, Grover Norquist, ALEC pushes a conservative agenda by hosting get-togethers and suggesting legislation to – wait for it – legislators. Mostly conservative ones.
Sort of like the AFLCIO, the Ntaional Rifle Association, National Education Association, and practically every other organization that pokes is nose into legislation at the state level.
For the past year, a phalanx of leftybloggers and regional media have been passing on the meme hat ALEC is somehow different. More sinister.
Some have called ALEC a “lobbying” group – which is odd, inasmuch as legislators actually pay to join the group.
Now,the coverage “coverage” of ALEC throughout the lefty alt-media has been utterly uniform in what it mentions (model bills!) and also what it omits (paid memberships), to the point that I’d bet money that the entire campaign is being run by “Media Matters” or some other lefty spin organization.
…but omits a number of the key facts that one might expect a “reporter” to provide in covering a “story” – the who, what, when yadda yadda.
Last week, the Minnesota House of Representatives did not meet on Thursday or Friday. The state Senate held a handful of hearings Thursday, but was in recess Friday.
Which was terribly convenient for those members of the Republican caucuses who are also members of the secretive, controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which recently issued members this invitation to a confab where it was to roll out its 2012 legislative agenda:
You can plug your nose and read Hawkins’ piece for the details,such as they are.
Hawkins channels Sally Sorenson, snarking that the recess “was terribly convenient” for liegislators who are also ALEC members.
So – who went?
Hawkins tacitly admits she hasn’t a clue – and tries to fob her negligence as a reporter off on the legislators:
If you want to know whether your elected official was one, you will have better luck calling and asking as a constituent than reporters have had.
It’s striaght out of Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory”; lack of evidence is, itself, evidence of a coverup!
“It’s complete BS”, said a source on Capitol Hill familiar with the issue. The source was not aware of any legislators attending the event – “maybe one”, and that seemed like a long shot.
Read the piece. See if you can find anything in it that doesn’t look like it came from a press release.
And then remember Berg’s Seventh Law of Liberal Projection: ”When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”
The left is harping on ALEC because the the left’s pressure groups – “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”, “Win Minnesota”,and the various unions’ political arms – are about to launch a wave of smear and noise that dwarfs ALEC by many orders of magnitude.
It’s what the media – “alternative” and otherwise does; create whispering campaigns about conservative conspiracies to draw attention away from the real thing.
SCENE: MITCH is talking with Inge “Lucky” CARROLL, a meme-buffer at Alliance For A Better Minnesota, at a Cathedral Hill bar.
CARROLL is sitting at a table with an empty martini glass, sipping a cosmpolitan from a second as MITCH approaches.
CARROLL: We have teh best election system in teh world!
MITCH: Um, OK – why do you say that?
CARROLL: Because we get teh most people to teh polls!
MITCH: Well, OK – that’s cool as far as it goes, but if a significant number of those “people” at the polls are duplicate voters, or voters who aren’t supposed to be voting, then each of those votes negates the vote of someone who is entitled to vote, and only votes one time.
CARROLL: That never happens in Minnesota.
MITCH: Well, it’s been proven to happen. The Minnesota Majority has brought hundreds of cases of felons voting and other people who weren’t supposed to vote to the Ramsey County Attorney, and gotten a few dozen election fraud convictions.
CARROLL: Only a few dozen of teh convictions! Our system is teh PERFECT!
MITCH: Well, no – because in Minnesota, unless you’re a paroled felon who hasn’t had is rights restored and who signed a piece of paper acknowledging you realize that not voting was part of your parole, pleading “I didn’t know” actually is considered an excuse. And in every case, their votes were counted. All of them. Oh, yeah – and they busted a group home shoveling four – so far – vulnerable adults through the polls during the 2010 elections. They were using the handicapped to stuff the ballots. A county attorney basically used a grand jury to whitewash the empirical fact that four adults who are under guardianship, and under Minnesota statute have no right to vote, were registered to vote and voted absentee – basically had their ballots filled out for them by group home employees. It’s full-blown corruption.
CARROLL: So you want to disenfranchise teh people!
MITCH: Blah blah blah. Another stupid manipulative strawman – but hey, you work for Alliance for a Better Minnesota, so pardon my redundancy. Nope, untrue. Every who is entitled to vote should vote.
CARROLL: Yabbut, what about teh elderly and students! 20% of them don’t have IDs.
MITCH: OK, so two points, here. For starters, isn’t it reasonable to ask people to assume a certain bare minimum of responsibility to exercise a franchise that over a million Americans have died defending? And second: all significant political parties have “get out the vote” efforts that make sure people get to the polls on election day. So expand the effort to making sure people have IDs. I mean, what – do I have to do all the thinking for you?
CARROLL: See! You want to disenfranchise teh people!
MITCH: Er, Lucky? I just described exactly why I don’t.
CARROLL: Yeah, but…where’s my cosmo?
MITCH: In front of you.
CARROLL: Thanks. (Drains a cosmopolitan, waves down a waitress). But none of that is necessary.
MITCH: Um, what? ”None of that is necessary?” I’ve just shown you where hundreds of people voted illegally – and I didn’t even get into the credible allegations that students were voting in Minnesota and, via absentee ballot, in their home jurisdictions.
CARROLL: But all of that is teh BS.
MITCH: Um, why?
CARROLL: Because we have teh best electoral system in teh world?
(WAITRESS appears at table)
MITCH: She’ll have a cosmo. I’ll have a double Laphraoig, neat.
One of the things I predicted on election night back in 2010 was that, out of power, the DFL would revert to whatever forms of power it actually had with more passive-aggressive vigor.
One of those forms of power was the “bureaucratic complaint”.
The DFL has created a small industry of bureaucratic complainants. Groups like “Common Cause” essentially exist, at least in part, to complain about non-DFL politicians and politics. Of course, “filing complaints” is one of the few areas where the DFL allows do-it-yourself-ism in politics.
The reason, of course, is to create a buzz in the compliant media; the goal is to create the possibility that a voter – inevitably poorly-read, ill-informed, one who still believes anything the mainstream media says, especially about politics – will hear “corruption” and “Republican” and think “Hey, Republicans shore must be KerrRUPT!” and cease thinking right then and there.
That the complaints are pretty much inevitably dismissed? Even if the mainstream media were to hypothetically report it as aggressively as they did the original complaint – and they never, ever do – the DFL knows that with at least a few voters, the damage is done.
And so the “Ethics Complaint” against Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville got big play in the media – but the fact that there was no there there?
The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board has dismissed the Complaint filed by DFL Chairman Ken Martin against Senator Dave Thompson. In a letter dated January 26, 2012, the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board stated there is no basis for a claim against Senator Thompson. In the letter, Executive Director Gary Goldsmith stated, “Under the authority delegated to me by the Board, I have reviewed the complaint and concluded that it does not provide a sufficient basis for the commencement of a Board Investigation.”
On Monday, January 23, 2012, DFL Chairman Ken Martin filed a Complaint against Senator Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board regarding an alleged failure to disclose payments made by the Republican Party of Minnesota.
Weasels chew things. Ken Martin files spurious complaints about Republicans. The circle of life.
Senator Thompson said, “I complied with all disclosure requirements. Therefore, I am not surprised by the Board’s decision. Still, it is gratifying to see a clear statement from Mr. Goldsmith concluding that the Complaint does not even provide a basis for an investigation.”
And yet for Ken Martin -the former executive from “Win Minnesota”, which collected contributions from plutocrats and unions to run an attack PR campaign against Tom Emmer – it’s “mission accomplished”.
Because somewhere out there, in a trailer park in New Prague, a gas station attendant with a DUI and a couple of misdemeanor domestics pled down to “disorderly conduct” but whose vote counts just as much as yours does is now thinking “G’huck – Dave Thompson and the GOP sure must be corrupt!”
And that’s a form of power you can’t take away from the DFL no matter how many elections you win.