When The “Context” Is Worse Than The “Smear”

What the heck – let’s make *everyone* angry.

Rep. Omar has been taking flak over a video in which she says:

“[the Council on American Islamic Relations] was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Now, the local media and the Associated Press leapt into action to tell the reader that the video is edited to show the remark out of context – which is great, and would be even better if they’d be as diligent on being honest about context on both sides of the aisle. And no, they are not. Only for Democrats.

But it’s true. Here’s the part that came before:

“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it”

The part the GOP oppo researchers clipped out basically makes the remark in the video just a little bit dishonest. Let’s be honest – Omar is not an articulate woman, and it’s easy to nitpick peoples’ statements after the fact. And for those of you who’ve never had to try to operate on a functional, much less professional, level in a language other than your native one, don’t get too cocky

And of course, the media *are* dishonest when they fail to give the same fact-checking diligence to similar smears against conservatives. They fact that they do not – nearly never – is itself proof of corrosive media bias.

But here’s the deal – Omar’s original, in-context statement is even worse than the part in the video.

Second class citizens? Please.

Name a country in the world in which Muslim immigrants have been treated *better*, and been able to more thoroughly integrate into society, than the US? Not “claiming asylum” and “getting benefits”, mind you – actually getting accepted in a society and prospering? In what country in the world, with or without a massive terrorist attack by their radical coreligionists, have they been *more* welcomed and, when they so choose, prospered and enjoyed the *real* benefits of our society *more* than in the US?

Because one can not “become” German or French or Swedish. You can immigrate. You can learn the language, send your kids to school, become a citizen, get a job maybe – but being a German or Dane or Pole or Italian is a matter of birth, language, shared history and ethnicity.

You CAN *become* American – and most Muslim immigrants to the US (Somali teething problems notwithstanding) have, and vastly more successfully than in Europe, which is why there are no “no go” Muslim neighborhoods in the US (and none can every be allowed to happen – for them or any other ethnic group).

What she *actually* said was more ungrateful, more disgusting, more un-American than what the video actually showed.

(This post is about Rep. Omar. Not Islam at large. The usual wave of taqqiyah-theory memes will be purged without comment. Don’t waste your energy. Stay on topic, or find someone else to yap at).

Give Away. Make Up For It With Volume.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s getting harder for Democrat candidates to come up with more free stuff than the next guy.  How can we bribe voters without free stuff?
Amy Klobuchar wants to give free savings accounts/pension plans, funded by employers and off-set by tax credits, handled by the Senate’s hand-picked fund managers to invest in stocks and bonds.
But she hasn’t fully considered why employees aren’t saving money.  They don’t make enough?  Everybody can always set aside a tiny fraction of their income.  The trick is finding the motivation to do it.  Churches solicit tithes with promises of salvation.  Amy wants tax credits with promises of mutual funds.  Not nearly as enticing.  I’d rather buy the extra fru-fru coffee. 
When somebody else subsidizes the consequences of your decisions to insulate you from harm, you have less incentive to make good choices.  In some circles, that’s known as moral hazard.  In Amy’s, it’s a campaign promise.
Joe Doakes

The more dependent they make society on “the authorities” for basic life decisions, the more control they have.

What’s In A Name

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rep. Ilhan Omar keeps talking about Israel having undue influence in American politics, and people keep ripping her for it, calling her anti-Semitic.
I don’t like it.  Name-calling is a silencing tactic of the Left.  Whether you are branded as a homophobe, sexist, denier or anti-Semitic doesn’t matter: they’re all variations on “hater” and the Left won’t listen to haters, no matter what they have to say.  People on the Right should not use that tactic. We should be able to defend our position with logic and reason.
Anti-Semitic means prejudiced against Jews. One need not harbor religious prejudice to ask why it’s in the best interest of the United States to support a nation, whether it’s Vatican City, Somalia, or Israel.  The best foreign policy advice was given by Washington and Jefferson – honest friendship and commerce with all, entangling alliances with none.  Religion shouldn’t enter into it at all, on either side, for or against.
I’m not saying Rep. Omar is right that Israel has too much influence on American foreign policy.  But I am saying she’s not wrong to ask whether it does, and calling her names to silence her is an indication that the name-callers don’t think they can defend our Israel policy in an honest debate.  That’s the most troubling aspect of all.

I agree with Joe about the name-calling – but, all due respect, I believe it’s possible to both have a rational debate about Israel point out the Democrat party has a bit of an antisemitism problem.

Rational Disagreement

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rep. Ilhan Omar keeps talking about Israel having undue influence in American politics, and people keep ripping her for it, calling her anti-Semitic.
I don’t like it.  Name-calling is a silencing tactic of the Left.  Whether you are branded as a homophobe, sexist, denier or anti-Semitic doesn’t matter: they’re all variations on “hater” and the Left won’t listen to haters, no matter what they have to say.  People on the Right should not use that tactic. We should be able to defend our position with logic and reason.
Anti-Semitic means prejudiced against Jews. One need not harbor religious prejudice to ask why it’s in the best interest of the United States to support a nation, whether it’s Vatican City, Somalia, or Israel.  The best foreign policy advice was given by Washington and Jefferson – honest friendship and commerce with all, entangling alliances with none.  Religion shouldn’t enter into it at all, on either side, for or against.
I’m not saying Rep. Omar is right that Israel has too much influence on American foreign policy.  But I am saying she’s not wrong to ask whether it does, and calling her names to silence her is an indication that the name-callers don’t think they can defend our Israel policy in an honest debate.  That’s the most troubling aspect of all.

On the one hand, I don’t disagree – there are grounds for criticizing Israeli foreign policy. Not as many as Big Left would have you think, but sure.

On the other hand, that doesn’t detract from the nasty antisemitism problem the Democrat party has.

The Democrat Conundrum

How do you lecture the rest of the country about “racism” when one of the people in charge of your foreign policy is a corrosive racist who exudes antisemitism more often than Gerald Ford stumbled?

When you’re today’s Democrats, that’s a bit of a problem. House Dems put together a resolution saying “No Anti-Semites Here, Nossirreebob”:

The resolution, which began circulating to members Monday night, comes after a backlash from top Democrats who accused [Minneapolis representative Ilhan] Omar of anti-Semitism for referring to pro-Israel advocates’ “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Omar, not being the brightest crayon in the package, is doubling down:

[Congresswoman Nita] Lowey condemned Omar’s use of “offensive, painful stereotypes,” leading to a fight on Twitter as Omar dug in on her comments and was cheered by some on the left.
“Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman!” Omar wrote, later adding, “I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end.”

She’s “just asking questions” about all them Jiiiews.

Where have we heard that?

Good job, Minneapolis. We’re proud of you.

Open Letter To All The Progs Who Still Think “All Conservatives” Were “Birthers”

To: All Progs Who Still Think “All Conservatives” were “Birthers”
From: Mitch Berg, Angry Peasant
Re: Settling Up

Dear Progs who still still think inserting references to “Alex Jones” and “Birthers” puts an end to all arguments with conservatives and/or Trump supporters:

I’ll be charitable and call it “even”.

To be a little more charitable – Omar is hardly alone. Dim as she is, she’s got someone really, really depraved doing her thinking on this sort of thing for her.

Well, if you live in the Fifth, you better hope that’s all it is, anyway.

I Can Honestly Say…

…that if Ilhan Omar were a white, Presbyterian, Christian, humble, quiet-spoken conservative with an actual record of public service who said crap like this, I’d be mocking, taunting and condemning him – er, her, or whatever – with just as much schadenfreudy glee as I am today.

Because they’d both have it coming.

First – the rumor mill:

I’m starting to get the feeling that whole “accepting gays” thing Democrats jabber about is just a ploy…

And, yes, there’s the whole “antisemitic” bit:

Another Omar tweet from 2012 has drawn accusations of anti-Semitism against the congresswoman, who was appointed to a seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday. 
“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” Omar tweeted during an Israeli military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

Given that the DFL is the party of intersectionality, it’s nothing she can’t fix among Democrats by declaring herself a lesbian and using it to shame any (white, Jewish, Democrat) critics that might pop up.

Which they won’t.

A Simple Choice

To: “Representative” Ilhan Omar
From: Mitch Berg, Deplorable taxpayer
Re: The eternal gift you are

Representative Omar,

You flaunted your Muslim piety at every turn, (while ignoring the parts where Progressivism is in conflict) – And demanded respect for same.

And now, you mock Vice President Pence’s faith.

Pick one.

That is all.

If You Live In CD2…

….don’t just take my word for it:  Michael Bloomberg is trying to buy the election, straight up, for the gun grabbers.

I talked with Dr. John Lott, who’s been tracking the millions – plural – that Bloomberg and other “progressive” plutocrats have been pouring into trying to unseat Jason Lewis, one of the best conservatives in or out of Congress.

Listen here:

Don’t let your conservative friends in CD2 stay home in November.

This Is Your DFL Candidate For Attorney General

As I discussed on the show on Saturday, I believe in innocence until proven guilt, even in cases of domestic abuse.   We don’t, as the hysterical left is wont to say, “Believe Accusers” because of some a priori  conflation of assumed victimhood and virtue.

We take accusers seriously.  And that means accusers of either gender.   Women are thumpers, too.   Take them seriously, and find out the truth.

So in the wake of the DFL Politburo Central Committee voting 82-18% to go ahead with endorsing Ellison, I won’t be joining the horde demanding he step down from the race over the domestic abuse allegations.  There’s juuuuuust enough missing from Karen Monahan’s story to make me want to get the actual facts – preferably, to see (or have lawyers and prosecutors see) Monahan’s elusive video.

Maybe it’ll be enough to convince voters that he’s not a great fit to be the state’s top law-enforcement officer.

And I don’t care.  Because for a rational person, there are plenty of other excellent reasons not to allow him within a mile of the Attorney General’s office.

Gonna Dust Some Cops Off

Ellison’s history of cuddling up to cop-killers – without a lot in the way of nuance or question – should give one pause:

In September 1992 Minneapolis police officer Jerry Haaf was murdered execution-style, shot in the back as he took a coffee break at a restaurant in south Minneapolis. Police later determined that Haaf’s murder was a gang hit performed by four members of the city’s Vice Lords gang.The leader of the Vice Lords was Sharif Willis, a convicted murderer who had been released from prison and who sought respectability as a responsible gang leader from gullible municipal authorities while operating a gang front called United for Peace.

The four Vice Lords members who murdered Haaf met and planned the murder at Willis’s house. Despite the fact that two witnesses implicated Willis in the planning he was never charged because law enforcement authorities said they lacked sufficient evidence to convict him.

At the time, Ellison was a Minneapolis attorney in private practice. And within a month of Haaf’s murder, Ellison appeared with Willis supporting the United for Peace gang front. In October 1992, Ellison helped organize a demonstration against Minneapolis police that included United for Peace. “The main point of our rally is to support United for Peace [in its fight against] the campaign of slander the police federation has been waging,” said Ellison.

Read the whole thing.  Goodness knows the local media won’t be running anything of the sort.

Ellison The Ideologue

Even before he became the Deputy Chair of the DNC and one of the de facto leaders of the most “progressive” wing of the Democrat conference in DC, Ellison was a noted extremist.

No – I mean extremist:

While speaking to an atheist group in 2007, Ellison compared the Sept. 11 attacks to the Reichstag fire. He stopped just short of accusing then-President George W. Bush of having a hand in the attacks. “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,” Ellison said of the terrorist attacks. “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”

Ellison went on to say he wouldn’t suggest the U.S. had a hand in the attacks because “you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you,” before later walking back the comments.

About Those Jews

It was probably ten years ago, appearing on a podcast run by a local center-left pundit, that I got my only chance to actually talk with Ellison.

I got one question out:   “Do you renounce the Hamas charter?”

I was referring, of course, to the parts that call for the eradication of Israel, and the extinction of the Jewish people.

Ellison’s response:  “Do you know any Arabs?”

Not sure if he was expecting me to respond “Some of my best friends are Arabs” or what – but the rest of his answer was peevish deflective baked wind, intending to turn a simple question into an ad hominem against me – for trying to get a straight answer about a record that could be charitably called corrosively antisemitic.   And has been.

Domestic abuse is the least of the questions Ellison should be impelled to answer.

So will anyone in the Twin Cities media bother asking?

Imagine…

…a state, and a world, where this guy is the chief law enforcement official:

He thinks Justice Gorsuch was bribed, and the case is on par with Plessy V. Ferguson.  

“I am deeply disappointed that this ruling gives legitimacy to discrimination and Islamophobia,” he said. “America holds a unique place in the world as a nation of immigrants. Unlike some other countries, we welcome refugees, asylum seekers, and dreamers fleeing war and instability in other parts of the world. America is and must remain the ‘land of the free’ where the family escaping persecution in North Korea or civil war in Syria can seek shelter and thrive.”

Just what Minnesota needs – an AG who believes the law means what he says it means.

Dig deep and give time and money for Doug Wardlow.

 

This Is Tina Flint-Smith

Over the weekend, Tina Flint Smith – former de facto governor of Minnesota, and currently finishing out Al Franken’s term and running to replace him this fall – had this to say on getting (shock of shocks) the endorsement of Education Minnesota.

Read it and pass it around:

Was it Will Rogers who said sometimes politicians slip up and tell the truth?

This Is Your New Senator

Senator Tina Smith on Facebook, failing a question that used to be a no-brainer in ninth grade civics:

“Senator”:  the Continuing Resolution requires sixty votes.

The GOP doesn’t have sixty votes in the Senate.

Senator Smith exhibits a level of command of her office not seen in the Senate since…

…well, gosh, who was the worst Senator in recent memory?

Who, oh, who indeed?

Like The World Needed Any More Stupid Social Media

Twitter – especially that part that tninks Hollywood is just dreamy – is giggling that goofy giggle it laughs when it thinks it’s onto something funny.

In this case, the prospect of fundraising Twitter memes equating Senator A-Klo and Senator Mengelette with Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.

Tina and Amy.  Get it?

All by way of getting in good with Al Franken’s ‘Hollywood money wagon.

Two Cents

A brief-ish article about Jason Lewis’s “upset” win in the 2nd CD by the always astute Matt Pagano.

You should read the whole thing, but here’s the good-news takeaway:

One more (extremely local) angle is that Lewis’ win will likely help revitalize the CD2 Republican Party. In the past few years, the local Party had come to be defined by infighting between opponents, and loyalists, to incumbent Rep. John Kline. Lewis’ election offers the opportunity to move past the Republican-on-Republican violence within the local Republican parties that has raged the past few cycles. If you’re a conservative activist who isn’t happy with Jason Lewis as your Congressman, you ain’t never gonna be happy.

https://medium.com/@mjp4liberty/unpacking-jason-lewis-win-in-mn-cd2-9ef3918c577b#.kpez2p77y

Open Letter To Everyone In The Eighth CD

To:  All Youse Up Nort
From:  Mitch Berg, descendant of jackpine savages
Re:  Your Representative.

All,

Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.  Bernie Sanders endorses Rick Nolan.

That is all.

Nothing Here But Us Targets

A longtime friend of this blog (and a different one than this morning) writes:

How bout an blog post asking Al or Amy why no town halls to discuss the Iran deal?  Just thinking…

While it’s no doubt a fine idea, it’ll take away from their time investigating the death of Cecil the Lion.

I think the only town hall meeting we get on Iran will be when they appear at the State Fair.

Itineraries

Gary from Saint Paul emails:

Has anyone in the Twin Cites media asked him if he’s going to Netanyahu’ s speech?

Just thinking.

I’d be interested in finding out.

Side-bet:  I’ll bet if he skips it, the Twin Cities media will bury that fact, if they report it at all.

Mills: Didn’t See That Coming

The Strib endorses…

Stewart Mills in CD8.

I must confess, I didn’t see it coming – and reading the Strib ‘s piece, I’m going to guess they didn’t either:

Among the district’s immediate challenges is a choice between two imperfect candidates for Congress. On balance, we conclude that this changing district would be best served by a fresh voice, and we give the endorsement edge to retail executive Stewart Mills.

One wonders how often the Star Tribune specifically notes candidates are “imperfect”. I imagine it’s less of a surprise to most readers than the Star Tribune may believe.

One charge relentlessly leveled at Mills is that he is the beneficiary of inherited wealth through his family’s Fleet Farm empire. But we doubt that many Minnesotans really consider such a background a disqualification from public office.

While it would be a bit much to expect the Star Tribune to attack the DFL for making Mills’s wealth – for which he worked – an issue while endorsing a trust fund baby for governor, one could always hope.

Still, the endorsement does go on to tell Mills’ story fairly:

Having begun his Fleet Farm career scrubbing toilets and emptying trash, Mills today is vice president in charge of the chain’s health care plan, covering 6,000 employees and their dependents. He has developed a hands-on understanding of the intricacies of the health care marketplace, coming to see wellness and prevention as keys to controlling costs.

Mills says his objections to the Affordable Care Act are central to inspiring his run for Congress. His candidacy follows what he calls the “Hunting Camp Rule”: If you complain about something, you get the job of fixing it. His condemnation of the ACA is too sweeping, given that he backs the law’s key goals. But the market-based approaches he prefers — including more price transparency and tort reform — could contribute to needed improvements in the law.

I know, I know – I shouldn’t complain too hard; the Star Tribune just endorsed a relatively free-market conservative.

But would a little honesty, or at least economic literacy, kill the “newspaper of record”? (Emphasis added):

Mills is challenging Rep. Rick Nolan, who returned to Congress in 2012 after a 32-year hiatus. Nolan lists several accomplishments, including working with Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar in securing $10 million in federal funds for improvements for the Port of Duluth-Superior.

Nolan has been a leader in efforts to clamp down on foreign-made steel dumping in this country. He has also worked to expand invasive species protection in the Great Lakes. And he says he’s committed to campaign finance reform and efforts to improve the legislative process.

Nolan’s “accomplishments”, in other words, involve coughing up taxpayer. goodies for the special interests in his district.

Speaking of special interests:

We differ with Mills on a number of issues — not least on his unyielding stance against firearm regulation.

Running in the Eighth Congressional District? That’s a feature, not a bug.  So, by the way, is supporting the Constitution.

But here’s how we know it’s really, really a Star Tribune endorsement (emphasis added):

But we’re also persuaded that Mills has the intelligence and pragmatic instincts to learn, grow and adapt in office.

Mr. Mills – I hope you get elected. And that you then resist “growing in office” with every fiber of your being.

If elected, Mills will face a learning curve in Washington. But he has the energy, the zest for ideas and the deep commitment to northern Minnesota to make a success of it.

Yeah, it’ll take a lot of learning to get up to the level of a Nancy Pelosi or a Sheila Jackson Lee.

But those are the marginalia. It’s an endorsement. It’s only a newspaper endorsement, but it’s the last thing I ever expected.

The Unthinkable

It was about this time four years ago that a small group of bloggers and activists got a call from the Chip Cravaack campaign; the challenger was within the margin of error against 200-term congressman Jim Oberstar.

It was unthinkable.

And was one of the headiest days in my life as a political activist; the Tea Party wave was flipping the unflippable. 

I didn’t think I’d see another day like it. 

I’m going to lead with all the usual disclaimers; it’s an internal poll, which can make it both more and less trustworthy. 

But an internal poll shows Torrey Westrom leading 12-term DFL Rep. Colin Peterson, 44-43, as the race turns into the home stretch:

A new survey released today by the Westrom for Congress campaign reports Republican challenger Torrey Westrom pulling ahead of 12-term incumbent Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson. Westrom now enjoys a lead among likely voters in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District (44%-43%), while thirteen percent (13%) are undecided

Of course, that’s a lot of undecideds – but then, that’s the point of releasing the polling news; to create the “bandwagon effect” that drives campaigns over the finish line in style.  Fact is, even if it’s close, Peterson has got to be sweating bricks right now;  rarely do challengers get within a three-digit margin of northwestern Minnesota’s ag pork king.

If this poll is even within 3-4 points of accurate, it’s bad news for the DFL.

My November 5 dream:  Torrey Westrom, Stewart Mills and Tom Emmer not only start measuring their drapes in Washington, but flip Minnesota’s congressional delegation not only red, but solidly right-of-center.

Thanks, But No Thanks

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun grab group issued a long series of endorsements in congressional races, including over 50 Democrat incumbents.

Conspicuous by his absence? Rick Nolan, in the 8th Congressional District..

And after all he’s done for them…:

Some incumbents didn’t make the Everytown list. The group didn’t endorse Rep. Rick Nolan (D., Minn.), who co-sponsored the House bill to expand background checks. Mr. Nolan, who has an F score from the NRA, is trying to fend off a challenge from Republican Stewart Mills, whom the NRA gave an A rating.

The endorsements were extremely heavy on incumbents, and almost never involved contested races.

Why, it’s almost like gun control is political poison or something…

Nail-Biter?

According to Rasmussen, Franken leads McFadden by eight points – but only by three points (48 to 46) among people who are “certain” to vote:

Yesterday, Roll Call included Franken on their top-ten list of the most vulnerable U.S. Senators facing re-election in 2014. McFadden had a “fiery” performance in his debate with Franken yesterday in Duluth and he followed-up today with a press conference today about rate increases for MNsure consumers.

 If the poll is accurate (and since Scott Rasmussen retired, it’s been less so – but it’s also swung a bit toward favoring the left), this could be very good news for the GOP in MInnesota…

(Via PoliMN)