Compare And Contrast

Governor Messinger Dayton signed an increase in the state’s minimum wage today. 

What Governor Messinger Dayton Said:  “People who work hard should be paid enough to achieve the American Dream”. 

What Governor Messinger Dayton Actually Meant:  “I have now found a way to force the private sector to buy votes for the DFL”. 

Personal note:  One of my kids is working for more than the current minimum wage, but less than the new one.  I hope it’s the children of the sitting DFL legislators who lose their jobs when the wage rises, and not my kid. 

But I’m going to guess there’s not much chance of that.

Oceania Has Never Bullied Eastasia, Winston

The bill that the Metrocrats chose to call the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” passed the Senate. 

Let’s look at what’s in a name.  Because the name “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” is intensely misleading – almost to a geometric fault.

There are so many names for this bill that are more appropriate:

The Redundant Feel-Good Act:  Every school district already has a bullying policy.  It’s the law. 

The PC Payoff Act:  This bill - probably soon to be a law – is a chit being paid back to the DFL’s supporters by the party currently in power, creating not only a protected class of students, but a super-di-duper protected class. 

The Full Employment For Bureaucrats Act:  This bill – which creates a huge unfunded mandate on top of all the others foisted on our school systems, to the point where many districts are nothing but mandate delivery systems with occasional spurts of “education” – will create a whole new class of administrators.  And they’ll belong to unions, who donate their dues money to the DFL. 

The Full Employment For Trial Lawyers Act:  The bill makes the entire process of dealing with “bullying” even more legalistic than it already is.  Legalistic means “designed to be controlled, and especially litigated (at an exquisitely expensive hourly rate) by lawyers”. 

The Type-Cast Your Child For Life Act:  Everything related to everything that can be defined as “bullying”, no matter how torturously, will become part of a child’s permanent academic record.  Which will affect childrens’ future chances at higher education, jobs, the military, jobs requiring security clearances and the like, long after the child has grown out of whatever phase they were in when they were bullies (and that’s assume they were rightly and justly accused of “bullying”, since the bill is also…)

“Stasi Had The Right Idea!” Act:   Anonymous informants?  Giving those who accuse others of bullying complete immunity from consequences if it turns out that the accusations were fabricated? 

The “Further Proof That North Dakotans Are Smarter Than Minnesotans” Act:  Other states – including our grown-up neighbor, my home state of North Dakota – address bullying by addressing bullying, passing laws that address actual behavior rather than creating the infrastructure for a network of secret denunciations and…

The Ideology Police Act:  …making all beliefs that don’t toe the PC line, especially personal religious beliefs, however manifested or stated, a form of behavior that needs to be watched and suppressed, overtly or subtly, “for the good of the children”.       

The “Let’s Have More Bullying, Not Less!” Act:  Bullying tends to go up, rather than down, in places with bullying bills.   

The Metrocrat Power Grab Of 2014 Act:  The bill – which does nothing to address bullying of children that isn’t already covered by existing policies – does coalesce more power to indoctrinate, to punish dissent from the state-sanctioned social views, and to extort more from the taxpayer in the bargain.  And it does it during the last session during which the DFL is guaranteed absolute power.                 

Could someone in the legislature please see to this?

Blowing In The Wind

Winston Churchill once said “I’d rather be right than consistent”.  I’ve always agreed with this; I don’t personally care if I – or someone else – changes their mind on an issue, as long as the mind gets changed in the right direction. 

Turns out Governor Messinger Mark Dayton knows that quote too.

Of course, as MPR’s Tom Scheck notes, if you simultaneously take every position on an issue – say, medical marijuana - you can be right no matter what. 

Right?

Here’s a sampling of what he’s said since January.

Sponsor

• “I told law enforcement groups when I ran for office four years ago that I would not support medical marijuana over their strident opposition, and they are still stridently opposed.” — TPT Almanac, Jan. 31

• “I’m told by law enforcement that you can buy marijuana in any city in Minnesota. We have the distribution system already set up. It’s extra legal. It’s basically not a crime, excuse me a very minor crime, for people who possess an amount for personal use.” — conference call with reporters, March 13.

• “The real goal is to help as many of these kids as possible. The experiment is part of the framework of it but our real goal is to help people and to relieve suffering and pain.” — news conference, March 21.

• “Absent the interests of the authors in accepting something that can be supported more broadly, I don’t think there’s anywhere to go this session.” — MPR News interview, March 25.

• “I’ve said all I’m going to say about medical marijuana. You had statements. You asked questions. I’ll give you another statement. I’m just not going to discuss it further.” — news conference, March 28.

And as Scheck notes, it’s far from the first time Dayton has tired to play all sides of a fractious issue; Taxes, Zygi WIlf’s real-estate improvement handout…the list goes on. 

My thesis – Dayton is going to bounce around like a blind overcaffeinated ferret in a daycare playroom on any issue where Alita Messinger and Carrie Lucking haven’t affirmatively told him what to think.

Cover

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Must be getting closer to an election, or something. Being pelted with emails from Senator Franken telling me how busy he has been. Yeah? Doing what, senator?

Fourth Annual Minnesota Hot Dish Cookoff. I won’t even comment on a silly PR stunt.

Banning Stalking Apps. Al’s concerned that smart phone apps track your location and that info can be shared with God knows who. He wants Congress to ban those apps. Honestly, Al, I’m a lot less concerned about Google tracking my movements than I am about NSA tracking me, reading my texts, listening to my conversations, and sharing that info with God knows who. Focus on your government oversight duties, please.

Still fighting the Comcast-Time Warner deal because it might result in consumers having fewer choices, higher prices and lousy service. Sorry, Al, you’ve been pre-empted by the City Council, who granted Comcast a monopoly franchise for all of St. Paul so consumers already have no choice, high prices and lousy service. Your services are not required.

Ensuring No Minnesota Child Is Denied School Lunch Because They Can’t Afford It. I’m sorry, did something change in the 40 years since I was a kid? Because we had free lunch for poor families back in my day. Seriously, Al, if you and your DFL buddies have been waging a war on poverty for two generations and still can’t get a handle on something as simple as school lunch, I have grave doubt about the usefulness of the entire program. Again, not seeing an Article I problem here. Not seeing where the Founding Fathers gave the enumerated power to Congress to oversee middle school Char-Burger On Bun With Lukewarm Milk.

Frankly, Senator Franken, it looks as if you’re keeping yourself artificially busy with make-work to avoid doing any real work. What with the Fast and Furious, IRS, NSA and Benghazi scandals, don’t you guys in Congress have enough legitimate work to do? Or are you avoiding that work because you’re terrified of what might happen to the DFL if you actually did your jobs?

Joe Doakes

I think “terror” fits the bill, yes.

Governor Choom Nasty

First, Governor Messinger Dayton says he won’t back a medical marijuana bill that doesn’t have the support of law enforcement – which is a little like saying you won’t back a seat belt bill unless it has the support of realtors. 

Then, Governor Messinger Dayton tells the mother of an epileptic kid to go buy illegal weed while the Legislature muddles through debate on various medical chiba bills.   The penalties, even if she’s caught, would be pretty minimal, after all (unless some cop or prosecutor gets it in her head that mom is dealing, which could result in a SWAT team beating down her door, shooting her dogs, and leaving the family handcuffed on their lawn while their house is ransacked and then forfeited to the police department long before any trial would occur - but let’s not get bogged down in details).

And now, Governor Messinger Dayton is using the DFL’s pals in the media to undercut the parents who went to the media in the first place. 

Or to try to, anyway:

Dayton’s account of the meeting is simply not true, say two activists who were there. One of them, Patrick McClellan, 47, who has muscular dystrophy, told PIM early Friday afternoon, “I was sitting right next to him when he said it. He said that driving back from Colorado is not like going out of the country, there are no checkpoints with drug dogs at state lines.

“I said that bringing the drug back from Colorado would be a federal offense, and he said, ‘I live in the real world, and no one would prosecute someone who was just trying to help their child.’

McClellan continued: “He told me, also, to get it on the street. His logic was, it’s just a petty misdemeanor. I told him that if I had more than an ounce and a half, it would be illegal for me to try to use a medical defense for that possession. He snapped at me that I was just making up hypotheticals.

“I have an uncle who is a retired judge in Fremont, Nebraska, and I told him what the governor said [about transporting marijuana or marijuana derivatives from Colorado]. He said he couldn’t believe that the governor of Minnesota was encouraging me to break the drug laws in his [the uncle's] state.”

Never mind what you think about marijuana laws (I think pot should be legalized, but so should maceing hackey-sack-playing, Dave-Matthews-listening, hemp-wearing stoners) – this is not the behavior of someone who belongs in, er, high office.

The Puppet Caucus

Say what you will about Minnesota’s gun-control movement – and I certainly have over the past 12 years on this blog – it’s always been local.  Even “Grass Roots”, even if only in the sense that “there just isn’t that much grass out there”. 

And the movement’s leadership was at least local; while Rep. Heather Martens (DFL, 66A) has never, not once, made a significant factual assertion about the Second Amendment, gun rights or the law-abiding gun owner; Jane Kay is a frothing bigot; Joan Peterson is just insane.  Together, they created a legacy of PR incompetence, in conjunction with a local media which, once bought-off by the Joyce Foundation, spent the better part of a year giving Martens, Kay and Peterson a rhetorical tongue-bath – or just making things up to fit the narrative. 

But it was local.

But now, the local gun control “movement” seems to be entirely run from Michael Bloomberg’s offices.  The face of Minnesota’s anti-civil-rights movement has morphed from the doddering, morally-incontinent visages of Martens, Kay and Peterson to those of a crew of highly-paid lobbyists who’ve never been publicly associated with gun control, but do know how to spend Bloomberg money. 

Which is ironic, since the last has spent the past two years demonizing conservative groups like ALEC for “copying and pasting” bills and being “under the control of lobbyists”. 

Of course, the entire war on ALEC was a case of applied Berg’s Seventh Law; when lefties complain about a conservative behavior, they’re deflecting from the same or worse on their part.  

Minnesota’s anti-civil-rights “movement”, anæmic as it has always been, has evolved from incompetent low-grade astroturf to pure, out-of-state funded carpetbagging colonial status. 

You’ve come a long way, baby.

Progress

I’m a big fan of every Minnesotan who turns out to protect the Second Amendment.  While I quibble about some peoples’ motivations, let’s face it; the more people the DFL see arrayed against them, the better.

But while some Minnesota Second Amendment groups bellow about “no compromise!”, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance shows the benefit of working across the aisle at a time when the DFL and its gun-grabber allies are in complete control of Minnesota’s state government.

As we noted last week, Senator Ron Latz introduced an utterly intolerable bill that would have utterly gang-raped due process. 

Minnesota’s Second Amendment groups responded.  Despite Latz’s making the Real Americans wait six hours for the hearing, representatives from the Civil Rights community stuck it out, and stuck it to the gun-grabbers in the hearings. 

And then, since talk is cheap and easy,  they got down to the real work:

Following GOCRA attorney David Gross’s testimony, and after discussion with the committee’s legal counsel, Sen. Latz inserted clarifying language that limited the order for transfer to parties who had received due process of law, not just an accusation.

As a result of our discussions, Sen. Latz also testified to the committee that he intended to support House amendments allowing for “third parties,” such as friends or family, to take physical possession of the guns ordered removed from the accused, providing an alternative to the forced confiscation and imposition of “reasonable” fees that would quickly exceed the value of the guns.

While we’re not a big fan of “we had to pass it to see what’s (going to be) in it,” Sen. Latz’s comments on the record were a good sign that there would actually be material improvements to the bill. Because lawmakers rarely make promises like this, on the record, without following through, we expect that Sen. Latz will keep the promises he made to the committee.

Of course, forcing them to keep their promises is part of the deal:

There’s another hearing Wednesday at 2:15 in Room 10 of the State Office Building, and if you can come to show your support for civil rights, we’d love to see you there.

I can’t make it this time – mid-days during the week are just not do-able.  But if you can, please do; the DFL Metrocrats need to know that Real America is out there watching.

Chanting Points Memo: The Head Fake

Joe Soucheray got fooled.

The entire Twin Cities media has either been fooled, or is playing along.   I vote “playing along”.

Governor Messinger Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Bakk aren’t “fighting”, or “at odds”, or “in a conflict” over the DFL’s so-called “tax cuts” (which, let’s not forget, “cut” less than 10% of the four billion dollars worth of tax hikes the DFL jammed down back in 2013).

This is all theater.   And it’s about as spontaneous as a porn shoot.

Signs the DFL planned this from the ground up?   Ask yourself this; why is Governor Messinger Dayton, who is up for re-election this year, “in conflict” with Tom Bakk – who is not up for re-election this year – and not Paul Thissen, who is?

The entire “story” is a carefully-manicured charade designed to make Mark Dayton – who signed four billion dollars worth of tax hikes last year with little more thought (and perhaps little more knowledge) than he’d use signing a credit card receipt at the Oceanaire – look like a “tax cutting moderate” compared with the Senate (who are utterly safe for the next two years, and for whom the media will help engineer something in two years anyway), but heaven forbid not the House, who are, mirabile dictu, not involved in this particular fracas.

Imagine

The worst enemy that fabian statism has is generalized prosperity.

It’s always been a theory – ’til now.

The North Dakota Democrat Party can muster not a single Democrat to run for office anywhere in Bakken country, according to Rob Port:

Democrats have managed to recruit exactly zero candidates in legislative districts representing the state’s oil patch with all local district conventions completed and less than two weeks to go before their statewide convention…If we count the urban districts in Minot and Bismarck as being “oil patch” districts, we add five more: Districts 3, 5, 7, 47 and 35. Of those, all have a full slate of Republican candidates, and just one has Democrat candidates.

And the North Dakota Democrat Party is fielding candidates for only about 1/3 of the state’s legislative races overall, almost exclusively in the eastern part of the state:

That speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Democrats will talk a lot about oil and energy policy this year, but the lack of Democrat candidates in the oil patch tells us their arguments aren’t getting much traction where that policy has the most impact.

What a glorious time to be alive.

Our Passive-Aggressive Overlords

I went down to the Capitol last night for a 6PM hearing on SF2639 - Senator Ron Latz’s bill to punish people accused but not convicted of domestic abuse by confiscating their guns and keeping them confiscated, innocence notwithstanding. 

We started out on a high note; Michael Paymar’s attempt to create a felony trap for law-abiding gun owners in Capitol-complex buildings got turned into a fairly innocuous tweak to the existing notification law.  The law, by the way, dates to 1994, and is utterly obsolete, a relic of a time when law enforcement still kept records on paper files.  The notification law is obsolete and needs to be gutted and tossed entirely – but for now, it’s no big deal.

So I showed up at the Capitol.   As usual, I was among plenty of friends:

The nose count, last I checked, was 70-75 civil rights supporters to about a dozen civil rights opponents.

I did a nose-count; Real Americans outnumbered people there for “Protect MN”, as usual, by a lopsided margin.  

So we waited.  

Strategizing got done…:

GOCRA leaders churning on strategy.

…but for the most part, everyone waited.  And waited some more.

There were several updates from security; they were busy with other bills; they were going to get through a few more and then take a half hour break before getting to 2639.

So we waited some more. 

A few cases of water bottles, courtest of GOCRA, made the rounds. It was warm in there.

GOCRA brought water and granola bars, which theypassed out up and down the line (including to the anti-rights people; I had the singular pleasure of giving water and a granola bar to Rep. Martens).

They took the half-hour break – which ran more like an hour.  And then they re-convened – and addressed the Fetal DNA bill.  For an hour.

I had to leave; I was fighting a cold, and had to work this morning.

Latz didn’t bring up his gun-grab bill until nearly 11 – after he’d let Heather Martens and her friends in through the back door, essentially packing the hearing room with his supporters.  Latz has set himself apart, along with Reps. Paymar, Hausman and Martens, as one of the most virulently anti-civil-rights people in the Legislature; he quite clearly passive-aggressively used his power as committee chair to make the hearing as difficult as possible for the unruly peasants who had the affrontery to oppose him. 

Rob Doar, the VP of Government of Affairs for the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, summed it up about the same way: “Senator Ron Latz is wll established as one of the most anti-rigths legislators in Minnesota.  Under his leladership of the Jundiciary Committee, we’ve come to expect he’ll use every tool at his disposal to make hearings as difficult as possible for anyone who opposes his agenda”. 

At the end of the evening, the bill passed from the Judiciary Committee. 

Which is no surprise; the bill was going to pass Senate Judiciary no matter what; Michael Bloomberg invested a LOT of money in this session, and there needed to be something to keep the metrocrat troops rallied, for all that investment; the Metrocrats control the Judiciary Committee.  When Bloomberg says “speak”, Latz will bark on command. 

Now, reality sets in.  There needs to be a companion bill in the House; the House DFL caucus is panic-stricken about their chances this fall, and getting saddled with one of Latz’s gun-grab bills would be poison for a couple of outstate DFLers that are already fighting for their lives.  And Tom Bakk - who is an Iron-Range union guy who loves his big-game hunting – knows what long memories us civil rights advocates have.    If I had to bet, I’d say this bill dies in committee without getting to the floor, or at the very worst, in conference. 

Which is not another way of saying “relax for the rest of the session”.  There will be more hearings, more amendments, more attempts to weasel legislation through the system.

You need to call your legislators.  Thank the good guys.  Politely urge the ones who are wrong to reconsider.  Urge the fence-sitters to throw a vote for freedom. 

We can win this round.  Indeed, we can humiliate the bad guys, just like last year.

Nope, No Media Bias At All

The DFL controls both chambers of the legislature, as well as the Governor’s office.

They passed four billion dollars in total tax hikes last session, for a net two billion dollars in increases, without a single Republican vote.

But now the DFL needs GOP support to change tax policy? 

That’s what this piece – “GOP senators refuse to be rushed on sweeping tax-relief measure” – would have you believe.

No, really:

Dayton and DFL leaders have rushed to pass the measure to ensure the largest number of Minnesotans can take advantage of more than $50 million in retroactive tax relief by April 15. Senate DFLers used a rare procedure to try to speed passage by a day, but Republicans in the minority used their limited muscle to delay the vote until Friday.

Earlier in the week, Dayton chastised Senate DFLers for not passing the measure swiftly enough. On Thursday, Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, joined together to direct their wrath at Republicans.

Look – this bill was never intended as anything but an election-year bandaid for the DFL – allowing them to say “We cut taxes! (to some favored classes of Minnesotans, for a total of a tiny fraction of the tax hike we unilaterally jammed down two years ago)” in an election year when the MNSure flop and the 2013 tax and spend and gun grab orgy looks certain to cost the DFL dearly. 

Baird Helgeson is, in short, carrying the DFL’s narrative water:

“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to block the bill’s passage,” Dayton said. If Republican legislators force any further delays, “they will be solely responsible for denying income tax cuts to thousands of Minnesotans.”

The measure is nearly certain to pass Friday because Republicans are out of options to block it.

Ahem:  the DFL doesn’t need one single Republican vote to pass the “tax cuts”.  Not One. 

Why is Baird Helgeson and the Strib carrying the DFL’s water? 

Will Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck and Bill Salisbury catch the Strib on this fairly egregious bit of journalistic partisan narrative-fluffing?

Hearings Today!

Remember – the gun grabber agenda picks up again with a vengeance today at the Capitol – and once again, we’ll need Real Americans to turn out to hold them back.

The first hearings, at noon today, will be for the Capitol Trap Bill:

Based on the flawed recommendations of lame duck Lieutenant Governor Prettner Solon’s capitol safety advisory committee, and steamrolled by lame duck Representative Michael Paymar, SF2690 would impose additional red tape hoops to jump through, and “gotcha” felonies for permit holders visiting the State Capitol Complex. THE BILL WILL BE HEARD THURSDAY, March 20, at noon in Room 15 of the Capitol.

This bill would create a trap for harmless permit holders whose meaningless, duplicative, unused notifications “expired.” A visit to any capitol-area building — even the Minnesota History Center — after this false “expiration” would turn a permit holder into a felon.

Then, this evening, Ron “I’m From Harvard.  Are You From Harvard?  No?  Oh” Latz will present a gun confiscation bill:

Civil rights opponent Ron Latz, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced SF2639, a bill that would create de facto confiscation of firearms from persons accused of domestic violence.

Senator Ron “I went To Harvard, you know. Did you go to Harvard? No? Because you know, I actually WENT to Harvard” Latz

THE BILL WILL BE HEARD THURSDAY EVENING, March 20, at 6 p.m. in Room 15 of the Capitol.

While GOCRA has no love for wife-beaters, this bill goes far beyond protecting victims, and would impose a back-door theft of personal property through exorbitant fees.

This bill would gang-rape due process for those accused but not convicted of domestic violence.  Remember – a shocking number of domestic violence charges are completely made up; many soon-to-be-ex-spouses know full well that getting the police to confiscate their soon-to-be-ex’s firearms, among all the many ugly consequences of false accusations of domestic abuse is a great way to dig at them – and Latz’ bill would put on onerous burden on the innocent. 

I’ll be there this evening.  Hope you can too.  Bring your maroon GOCRA shirts if you have ‘em – but whether you have the shirt or not, show up. 

And remember – we Real Americans have been winning the battles against Bloomberg’s Billions lately, but it’s only because we show up; we make the phone calls, we sacrifice the time and shoe leather, we come to the hearings, we fight the fight on the street.  If we ever stop – at least while the DFL controls the show in Saint Paul – then the orcs win.

If you can’t make it to the hearings?  You know the drill; call your rep and your legislator.  If they’re among the good guys – mostly GOP, but also many out-state Democrats – then thank them for defending your civil rights, and encourage them to keep up the fight.  If they’re with the orcs – most Metro DFLers – express your opposition politely and calmly.  We win this thing by being better than our opponents.  And we pretty much always are.

I hope to see you tonight.

UPDATE:  I’m going to keep this post at the top of the page for the rest of the day; new posts will fill in below at the usual time, around noon.  Just saying.

A Miracle

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

State Government, actually getting ready to doing their jobs!  Woo Hoo!

And what luck, just in time to set the tone for elections in which Democrats need some good news.  Wonder how the numbers will come out?

The answer, as in all “numbers” questions over this past eight years? However Mark Ritchie wants them to come out.

Put On Your Demonstrating Shoes

So…what are you doing Thursday?

The DFL is back at it again.  Two gun control bills have been introduced so far this session – and they’re both bad ones.

As bad as last years’ avalanche of stupid?  Perhaps not.  But noxious in their own way.  And both of them are the camel’s nose under the tent.

The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance sends:

Civil rights opponent Ron Latz, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced SF2639, a bill that would create de facto confiscation of firearms from persons accused of domestic violence. THE BILL WILL BE HEARD THURSDAY EVENING, March 20, at 6 p.m. in Room 15 of the Capitol.

While GOCRA has no love for wife-beaters, this bill goes far beyond protecting victims, and would impose a back-door theft of personal property through exorbitant fees.

The DFL is going to spin opposition to this bill as “supporting wife-beaters”, of course; the orcs are fluent liars. It’s the one form of language they’re good at.

And someone who’s legitimately convicted of domestic violence should give up their guns.  But this is on accusation - and as many has half of all accusations of domestic violence, at least during divorces, are false.

Capitol Carry Traps

Based on the flawed recommendations of lame duck Lieutenant Governor Prettner Solon’s capitol safety advisory committee, and steamrolled by lame duck Representative Michael Paymar, SF2690 would impose additional red tape hoops to jump through, and “gotcha” felonies for permit holders visiting the State Capitol Complex. THE BILL WILL BE HEARD THURSDAY, March 20, at noon in Room 15 of the Capitol.

Bad information leads to bad policy, and the information presented by the Department of Public Safety at those committee meetings this summer was terrible: the DPS spokesman had no idea that the DPS managed the permit holder database!

This bill would create a trap for harmless permit holders whose meaningless, duplicative, unused notifications “expired.” A visit to any capitol-area building — even the Minnesota History Center — after this false “expiration” would turn a permit holder into a felon.

This is one of the approaches gun-grabbers just love; make laws that create confusing restrictions that are bound, indeed designed, to entrap people.  Then, complain to the media about all the “gun felonies at the Capitol!”, and demand more gun control!

Anyway – GOCRA would love to see people at the Capitol this Thursday, as noted in bold above.   Needless to say, calling your representatives about these bills is going to be important.

Last year, the avalanche of real citizens showing up at the capitol shut the lavishly-funded gun-grab effort down.  Shot it down in flames.  Humiliated it.

It’s a new year, and a new session.  Time to beat the orcs back again.

I’m Jumpin’ NARN Flash, It’s A Gas, Gas, Gas…

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll have Senator Roger Chamberlain on, regarding the dueling Bullying Bills.  Then, we’ll talk with Kim Crockett about the ”Minnesota Exodus”, all of companies leaving Minnesota over taxes. (oops – that’s next week…)
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

NARN Tomorrow

It’s gonna be a huge show tomorrow on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. 

First, I’ll be interviewing Senator Roger Chamberlain about the dueling bullying bills, and why it’s an important battle even if you don’t have kids in the public school system.

Then, I’ll be talking with Kim Crockett about the number of companies leaving Minnesota over taxes.

Tune in 1-3 tomorrow on AM1280 The Patriot!

Wheat From Chaff

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Senator Al Franken sends me an electronic newsletter periodically, letting me know what he’s up to. It’s the digital equivalent of the Franking Privilege. Let’s see how he’s been doing, shall we?

“What Will Comcast-Time Warner Deal Mean For Your Cable Bill?” The Senator is worried that Comcast is getting too big, that consumers will have fewer choices, higher costs and poorer service. He wants a Senate hearing to jaw-jaw about it, the implication being maybe government should block the deal so consumers would have more choice and the free market competition would force competitors to provide better service at lower cost. Great theory, Senator, except the City Council has already pre-empted you by granting Comcast a monopoly on cable television service in this city. Not seeing a federal problem here nor a federal power to regulate it. You’re wasting your time holding hearings.

“Helping Alleviate the Propane Shortage.” It’s cold, more people are using propane for home heat, increased demand is forcing prices up which people complained about to Senator Franken and he passed along those complaints. In response, the administration ordered pipeline operators to divert propane shipments and also relaxed trucking regulations so propane delivery truck drivers could drive longer hours. In other words, there are no more cubic feet of propane than before you butted into the free market, but you helped relocate the shortage while making the highways less safe. Looks as if the government intervened to make things worse.

“Protecting Minnesotans Right to Privacy.” Senator Franken wrote: “I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes the ability to control who is getting your personal information and who it’s being shared with.” I was excited to read that – finally, a Democrat who thinks the NSA is overstepping its bounds and Obama-care is a data privacy disaster. But no, he’s worried that somebody wearing Google Glass can run a facial recognition app that will identify strangers on the street and search the web for information about that person such as phone number, address and possibly dating preferences. Geez, Al, my brain runs a facial recognition app 24/7 and when it sees somebody it recognizes, my memory searches for their phone number and address while my GayDar detects dating preferences. The difference is the Google system is far more reliable than my aging brain. Not really seeing an Article I power here, I suggest you concentrate on oversight duties by protecting Minnesotans’ fundamental right to privacy . . . from the government.

“Farm Bill is Finally Law.” Yes, Comrade, we have a new Trillion Dollar Five Year Plan to Increase Agricultural Production. And I’m certain it will work as well as any of its predecessors to funnel money into winners’ pockets while shucking money from losers. It’s too early to tell who will be the winners. What we know for sure is the American taxpayer will be $1,000,000,000,000.00 poorer at the end of it. On the other hand, being just 83 miles from Eau Claire won’t affect my milk price anymore, so that’s a step in the right direction. I’m reserving judgment on the new plan until we see just how good or bad it turns out to be.

Joe Doakes

Since I started blogging, I can’t read through politicians’ communications without tearing ‘em apart, either.

 

Strib: “Oops – Sorry About All Those Unexpected Property Tax Hikes”

If there’s a “broken record” phrase in all of Minnesota conservative alt-media, it’s “the Star Tribune is carrying the water for the DFL”.

It’s like saying “Boy, isn’t Lady Gaga weird”.  It’s the baseline.  It hardly needs to be said.

As Strib observers and critics go, I’m more jaded and cynical than most, which is another way of saying “almost cynical enough”.

But even I – who doesn’t really doubt that the Strib’s editors, and likely some “journalists”, are on the local version of “Journo-List” with the DFL, Take Action, Alliance for a Better Minnesota and Alida Messinger – wasn’t ready for the avalanche of lies and bald-faced image-shaping in this editorial.

The subtitle says it all:  ”Relief not as sizable as hoped, but help goes where it’s most needed.”

There was no relief, and the “help” was taken from most Minnesotans and given to the Minnesotans whose votes the DFL wants to buy!

It only gets worse:

As many previous statehouse politicians learned to their sorrow, local property taxes are hard to control from the Capitol. That reality has hit home to the DFLers in charge of the Legislature and the governor’s office.

 They thought they set the table in 2013 for noticeable reductions in property taxes around the state. Instead, they got mixed results and a muddled message. Total K-12 school and local government levies are up $125 million this year, giving Republican politicians the chance to crow that the DFL’s tax-suppression strategy failed.

There was no “DFL Tax-Suppression Strategy, other than repeating “raising Local Government Aid will lower property taxes!” enough times for the incurious to believe it. 

None! 

But DFLers also engineered an increase in property tax refunds for both homeowners and renters, distributed on an income-based formula to low- and middle-income taxpayers facing high tax bills. Factor in estimated claims for the richer refunds, and net property taxes in 2014 are down slightly from 2013 — by $8 million, or 0.1 percent…But count us too among fans of the $133 million boost this year in refunds to qualifying taxpayers. The income-driven property tax refund and renters’ credit are well-designed programs that this year will reach an estimated 550,000 property owners and renters — up from 140,000 previously eligible.

“Income based formula”.

In other words, the DFL took money from some people, and gave it to others. 

That’s not a tax cut.  That’s redistribution.  That’s the state picking winners and losers. 

 That leaves plenty of Minnesota’s 2.1 million households staring at higher taxes again this spring. This is the 12th year in a row for increases in total property tax burdens, with yearly increases averaging $332 million.

 But the credits are helping to stabilize housing for low-income Minnesotans by sending help to those whose property tax bills are high enough in proportion to their incomes that their ability to remain in their homes could otherwise be in doubt.

That’s not “property tax relief”.  That’s a social program, using the state to funnel money to overextended low-income home owners.

 The refunds may not stifle political criticism, but they’re sound policy.

No.  They are DFL campaign spending.

Fact: after two years of the DFL claiming at every turn that the GOP’s cuts to LGA hiked property taxes, and that their reinstatement would “cut property taxes” – their words, over and over and over again – nearly 80% of Minnesota’s jurisdictions raised property taxes. 

The DFL lied to the people.

TheStrib, in this editorial, is covering for the lie, and doing it clumsily. 

Well, too clumsily to fool anyone that’s paying attention. 

But the Strib’s political coverage isn’t aimed at that audience.

DFL: “Peasants! Continue Rendering Tribute!”

This is the photo that “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” posted on Twitter just now, in the wake of the announcement that Minnesota has a billion dollar budget surplus:

That’s right, Governor Dayton. Thanks for putting $1.2 Billion in the state coffers. Those must have been some righteous Renoirs you sold.

Oh, wait. What’s that? The surplus is revenue above and beyond the $2 Billion in tax hikes that is forecast to be taken in by the state in the coming year.

From us. The taxpayer.

And yep, the DFL is already trying to think of ways to spend it – to give a little of it back to you, the people who  paid it in in the first place, and spend the rest on, largely, graft for the DFL’s owners supporters. 

Oh, yeah – notwithstanding the fact that the surplus exists solely because of the GOP’s restraint in spending and holding back the budget (imperfect as they were at that) over the past four years, the DFL is claiming credit…

…along with every dime they can from this surplus.

So yes.  Thanks, Governor Dayton, for taking more of my money – about $250 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota – out of the economy than even the DFL’s spendthrift budget could. 

Thank you so very much.

The Bakk Mahal

The DFL is trying to push through a new Senate office building, to house 44 Sentors and their staffs, for a price of around $90 Million. 

That amounts to $2,045,454.55 per Senator. 

Two million and change, to house a part-time employee.

For $2,045,454.55 per part-time employee, the state could afford:

  • A Winnebago Voyage ($150,000) for touring their district in style, and avoiding those pesky DUIs while in the Cities.
  • A Beechcraft Bonanza ($690,000) capable of getting them to and from their district, anywhere in Minnesota, quickly and in modest style. 
  • Office space in downtown Saint Paul – whose vacancy rate is around 20% even with massive numbers of state offices - for bargain-basement prices.  For the portion of the $2million left after buying the Winnebago and the airplane, each senator could rent 500 square feet of Saint Paul office space for 48 years (in the First Bank building, the one with the big red “1″ on the roof), 114 years (in the Degree of Honor building, a nice building not far from the Capitol), or 212 years (in the Empire building, a classic turn of the century building way downtown).  Or, alternately, rent 500 square feet of space for the year, and the Winnebago mobile office, and the Beechcraft, and leave a little over a million dollars left over that the state can…um, not spend. 

Or, y’know, just rent some cheap space and give the rest of the money back to the taxpayer.

The Ringer

The relationship between the Democrats and the  media occasionally usually seems intimate to the point of unseemly.

But it rarely seems like the media are directly employed by the Democrat party (Keri Miller and Lori Sturdevant notwithstanding).

But that’s changed.

Perhaps you recall; a few years ago, I was part of a small group – along with left-leaning reporter David Brauer and several Senate staffers – that rewrote the Senate’s media credentialing rules.  The changes opened up the Senate to all manner of alternative media, including bloggers.

That was a good thing.

But one of the rules read like this: “Organizations owned or controlled by registered lobbyists, political parties or other party organizations (defined as organizations registered with the Campaign Finance Board or the Federal Election Commission) shall not be granted credentials.”

Bill Glahn noticed something:

It turns out that in 2012 and 2013, the senate Democrats paid a total of $30,250 for “research” to a company listed as “Enlighten Enterprise” of 254 Wheeler Street in St. Paul.

Records on file at the Minnesota State Secretary of State’s Office show that a company called “Enlightened Enterprises” was registered at that address on July 25, 2012 by a Shawn Towle. The first payment from senate Democrats to Enlighten Enterprise occurred on July 26, 2012.

As pure coincidence would have it, a Shawn Towle is listed in both the 2012 and 2013 editions of Capitol News Coverage Directory as an accredited member of the senate press corps, representing Checks & Balances. That Shawn Towle is also listed in the current 2014 edition.

Sources in the Senate tell me Towle is at press conferences, pressing Republicans and back-slapping Democrats…

…which is fine, and not much different than the rest of the Capitol press corps.

But none of them are paid by the Senate DFL Caucus.

Is the Senate DFL paying for “media” presence, and violating its own rules in the process?

Someone should ask Tom Bakk…

More later.

No Retreat. No Surrender.

While much of conservative Minnesota is having a hard time with “messaging”, the Real Americans of Minnesota’s Second Amendment human rights movement have a clear, resounding one.

This from the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA), in their session-eve email blast; it’s as crystal-clear a statement of principles and positions to the Legislature as you could ask for:

  • Minnesota’s law-abiding gun owners will not take the blame for the actions of criminals
    We refuse to be treated like those criminals
  • You don’t work for Michael Bloomberg and his billions: you work for your Minnesota constituents!
  • We know what [Bloomberg's] “universal background check” proposal really is: universal registration. And we will not sit still for it.
  • You have a perfectly good criminal control bill, HF1325, co-authored by 99 senators and representatives, waiting for your action

As always, the gun rights movement – GOCRA, MN-GOPAC, the TC Gun Owners and Carry Forum, the NRA and the like – will be working hard to hold back the Metrocrat orcs’ assault on Real Americans’ freedom. 

And they need you. 

Look – whatever group you prefer, there’s one to fit your style, temperament and philosophy. 

  • Dying to bite off a bite-sized piece of activism?  Sign up for GOCRA, and be alerted when action – phone calls, emails, hearings at the Capitol – is needed (send ‘em a few bucks; they will put ‘em to good use). 
  •  Wanna put your money to direct political use, endorsing and influencing elections?  Send MNGOPAC a buck or two, or a few hundred.    
  • Wanna fight the fight on main street – and University Avenue, for that matter?  Shelley and the crew at TC Gun Owners and Carry Forum have been spreading the gospel in the wilderness. 

Hell, help out all three.  It’s not like the Orcs are going away any time soon.

As much rhetoric as the Democrats have expended in the past eighty years about class warfare, this is the true class war in America; our would-be “elites” want Real America disarmed; the plebeians, the underdogs, the people are the Real Americans. 

Never let the Legislature forget it.

That Sucking Sound

The 2014 Legislative Session kicks off today. 

The DFL controls both chambers of the Legislature, and the Governor’s office.  It’s a little tiny bit less monolithic than all that sounds – Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Speaker of the House Paul Thissen hate each other with a throbbing passion, and Mark Dayton is madly triangulating between both in preparation for his re-election bid (appeasing Bakk on some issues, like gun control, while throwing bones to Thissen, like his Lieutenant Governor selectee, Frau Blücher).

But here’s really all you need to know; the DFL’s priorities for this election:

  1. Pay Off Their Sharks:  This being an even-numbered year, the session will deal with bonding, not the budget.  Look for an avalanche of “infrastructure” “investment” that may or may not be actual investments in infrastructure, but will send lots of fiscal love to the DFL’s most important constituencies – the state employee unions.  It will be a fiscal orgy.
  2. MNSquirrel!:  Look for anything – anything – to distract the low-information “independents” from the complete debacle that is MNSure.  Minimum Wage hikes?  Vikings Stadium hearings?  Medical Marijuana?  Puppy Mill legislation, complete with tear-jerker footage on KARE11 delivered just in the nick of time?   Hell, all that and more.  The sky’s the limit.  Look for Tom Bakk to dance naked on the Capitol steps to divert attention from MNSure, if necessary.  The media will do its level best to ensure it’s not necessary, of course. 

The MNGOP’s mission?  Same as last session; focus on fighting a rear-guard action while trying to gin up a message that resonates with the higher-information voters that actually pay attention, all the while focusing the tensions in the GOP in a creative rather than destructive direction, leaving the good guys with the electoral ammo they need to retake the House, and God willing the Governor’s mansion, this fall.

Simple, huh?