Who Could Have Predicted?

The economy under wan, feeble socialist Obama has grown at an anemic rate compared to the rates under the healthy, happy free-marketeer Reagan.

Ronald Reagan’s economic plan saw GDP surge at a 3.5% clip – 4.9% after the recession. That’s a 32% bump.

During the Obama years, thanks to his big government policies, the US economy has stalled. Today the quarterly GDP was announced. The GDP for the first quarter of 2015 braked more sharply than expected at only a .2% pace. The US economy has grown an anemic 9.6% during the Obama years (excluding today’s dismal number).

Who woulda thunk it?

Everyone who didnt’ skip Econ 101 to go to a Noam Chomsky speech, that’s who.

No Loose Ends

I got this via email from a long-time friend of this blog and the show, from Highland Park:

A week and a half ago the city told the neighborhood and businesses on the east side of Cleveland and Randolph(Luci, Sportsmans Barbers, and KEA photography) that the city was taking away their street parking and making it bike lanes.

They announced a meeting this Wednesday at Nativity Church to “get neighborhood feedback”. Kinda seems like they have their minds already made up.

Yep.  My thesis; there hasn’t been a “public feedback” meeting in the Twin Cities in thirty years that was actually intended to gather, y’know, feedback from the public.

It’s about “the process”.  The process says you have one or more meetings at some point in the process; you have the meetings, and you move on.

Randolph Ave is already full people that own homes and St Kates students/employees. There is no parking on the west side of the street, and James Ave a block up is a packed residential street. These people are screwed.

Sportsman Barbers has been their for more than 40 years owned by Ray Newton and his son Joe. I am friends with Kristie Anderson of KEA photography and she thinks our way. Her lease was up and she is leaving, but she can give you some great insight on this

I know you are a biker, but the bike lobby is wielding a heavy hand right now in our city. Damn the business community.

This is a good story

You know how lawyers say “never ask a witness a question that you don’t already know the answer to?”

The public analogue is “never ask for feedback when it can still affect the political class’ master plan.

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.

Indeed.

With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.

Our Passive-Aggressive Overlords

The IRS, beset by scandals over the agency’s politicization under Chairman President Obama, slashes its customer-service budget even as it rolls in taxpayer revenue:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts–funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak–but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015–a 76 percent cut.

John Koskinen may be the biggest weasel in all of “public service”.

Revenue Streamski

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Russians hacked the White House, got sensitive Obama data.

I wonder if that “sensitive data” included his college transcript?  Birth certificate before it was Photo-Shopped?  Original manuscript of his book?

The Russians could make a fortune selling the data.  Or being paid NOT to sell it.

Joe Doakes

They could replace all the money they’re not getting from oil.

More Like Guidelines

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

May 1st is Law Day. It was the idea of Charles Rhyne, President of the American Bar Association in 1958. He thought Americans should have a day to reflect on the Rule of Law in the foundation of the country and recognize its importance for society. He chose May 1st specifically because it was the day Communists celebrated their totalitarian rise to power.

The notion that we are a nation of laws, that no public official is above the law, that Congress makes the laws and the President upholds and faithfully executes them . . . are obsolete remnants of racist patriarchal oppression. The Obama Administration honors Law Day only in the breach.

Joe Doakes

Breach is the new Integrity.

Devalued

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration’s Middle East policy is a puzzle, probably because there is no plan, only reaction to crises. Which is a good thing, according to some.

“But amid the confusion, some experts said that there cannot be an overarching American policy in the Middle East at the moment. The best the White House can do, they said, is tailor policies according to individual crises as they flare up. “I would be more concerned if we had some sort of overly rigid policy,” said Barbara Bodine, another former American ambassador to Yemen who is now the director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “It is messy. It is contradictory. That’s foreign policy.”

Can you imagine being the next guy:

“Hello, Mr. Prime Minister? Hi, I’m the new President of the United States. I’m calling to invite your country to be allies with mine. What’s that you say — lied to and back-stabbed last time? Well, things will be different under my leadership. How long? The next two years for sure. After that, of course, I’ll have to start campaigning for re-election so certain compromises might have to be made, but . . . hello? Hello?”

Joe Doakes

We’re going to be paying for this presidency for generations.

Priorities

David “Iowahawk” Burge writes a rare, “not funny” tweet:

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And he’s spent more time and effort fighting domestic dissent in the US – via the IRS’ gundecking conservative groups’ free speech via tax and campaign law and attacking dissenters, via “net neutrality”, and via his eternal campaign’s patrolling masses of droogs (in and out of the media), than he spent bringing free speech to the people of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba or anyplace else.

They Bought Themselves An Internet

The FCC’s new internet rules cite a Soros-funded front group dozens and dozens of times:

New internet regulations finally released by the Federal Communications Commission make 46 references to a group funded by billionaire George Soros and co-founded by a neo-Marxist…The term “Free Press” is mentioned 62 times in the regulations. Some are redundant mentions referring to the same Free Press activists’ comments in favor of more oversight. In total, the FCC cited Free Press’ pro-net neutrality arguments 46 times.

The FCC received more than 4 million public comments as it was weighing the net neutrality initiative, but Free Press and other activist groups have received the most attention by pressuring the FCC and the White House on behalf of their cause.

The Obama Administraiton is the most transparently corrupt administration in history.

Credentials

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, honest Democrats praised expertise:

Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz) wrote this about “Terrorism” by Benjamin Netanyahu, released in 1986:

“Few are as well equipped to bring us this message as Netanyahu. He currently serves as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Netanyahu not only distinguished himself as a commander in many operations for his country’s military but served for several years as the executive director of the Jonathan In stitute, a Jerusalem research foundation on terrorism. He has been touched in the most personal way by modern terrorism. His brother, Lt. Jonathan Netanyahu, died leading the historic Entebbe rescue mission and is the namesake of the institute.”

President Obama says Netanyahu lacks credibility because he’s been wrong about Iran before, predicting bad things that haven’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the UN says it can’t finish its inspection because Iran is still lying about its nuclear program

.

Joe Doakes

Just has everything Obama says has a shelf date, so this everything in the Democrat past.

Chicago on Lake Superior

In lieu of a mining industry – which Metrocrat environmentalists from the Twin Cities have been keeping nice and shut down for decades – the DFL substitutes a lot of state money to try to tease some economic activity out of the Iron Range.

Part of that, traditionally, is the cataract of money that has gone through the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board – more commonly called the IRRRB, but more accurately referred to as a “Taxpayer-financed DFL Slush Fund”.

The Strib’s Jennifer Bjorhus will never do lunch in Minneapolis again, having written this generally excellent piece.  The IRRRB may not have reinvigorated The Range, but they sure have greased a lot of DFL palms (emphasis added):

For years, prominent Democratic candidates and political groups have used the obscure center tucked among hills and pines to canvass and raise money from small donors. DFL organizations, state and national, have paid the phone bank’s current and former owners about $80 million over the last decade, campaign records show.

The call center relocated to Eveleth in 2006 thanks in part to a $625,000 loan from a unique state agency called the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). It doles out about $40 million each year, much of it from a tax on taconite, in the name of bolstering and diversifying the Range economy.

In its first incarnation, the call center on the Range failed to meet job targets, but the IRRRB gave the company, Meyer Associates, more time to repay the loan. It shut down anyway last year. The IRRRB let Meyer’s owner walk away and wrote off the $250,000 Meyer owed, records show.

Then a former Meyer executive reopened the phone bank under the name of his new company. The deal allowed him to pay $50,000 for equipment that had been purchased with $500,000 in IRRRB money. The largest political client for the call center remained the same: a group called Dollars for Democrats.

Of course there’s a rational explanation!

Officials at the IRRRB say jobs, not politics, are behind its dealings with the two firms.

“There’s still 100 people working there,” said former state Rep. Tom Rukavina, a DFLer who served on the IRRRB board for years and once hired Meyer to make calls for his own campaign. “That to me is a success story. Any time I went in that office people clapped and thanked me that they had a job.”

So should the taxpayer provide cut-rate financing and pennies-on-the-dollar equipment and infrastructure for the GOP?  The NRA?  Pro-Life Action?  The Tea Party?

If the IRRRB weren’t a DFL slush fund, and an equal opportunity graft machine, you’d see some equal-opportunity gravy-training.

Somehow, there seems to be none…

Chanting Points Memo: Our Collective Burden

I got a brief shot at listening to the Jack Tomczak show this morning, on the lesser talk station.

They were talking about Minnesota’s “budget surplus”.

And they played an audio clip of Gov. Dayton, which pretty completely summed up the disconnect the DFL has on this issue.

In the audio clip, the governor referred to the surplus as “our collective good fortune”.

And this highlights a yawning golf of cognitive dissonance between DFLers (and others they’ve fooled) and the rest of Minnesota.

To a DFLer, budget surpluses are borne down from heaven in velvet-lined ivory chests on the wings of unicorns.

To the rest of us? The government’s “surplus” is our deficit. Every penny of that surplus came from what could’ve been a more productive use. Small business’ payroll; a manufacturers capital budget; your household budget and mine.

It’s not a “collective good fortune”; it’s a burden. It’s money taken out of the productive economy to run government, in excess of what government demanded in the first place; if the DFL has its way, it will be turned into permanent spending, to be wrenched from your wallets, your budgets, your bottom lines in perpetuity.

Surpluses are a bad thing. Deficits – provided they lead to spending cuts, rather than tax hikes – are a good thing.

Except for the permanent government class, of course.

Trial Balloon

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama Administration wants to ban popular rifle ammunition on the grounds it could be used in handguns.

We saw this under Clinton, too, with the “cop killer” bullet craze and fear of Thompson Center pistols. Then, as now, it was all cover for a ban they wanted all along.

I saw this ammo at Cabellas a while back and thought “I should stock up, for when case they ban it.” But of course, I didn’t own a .223 so I didn’t buy any. Crap, another million dollar investment opportunity, wasted.

Joe Doakes

On the other hand, if you are, or know, a lawyer, litigating the inevitable test cases will no doubt put some peoples kids through Ivy League schools…

It Gets So Very, Very Old

It gets old, always, always, always repeating “if a conservative said this, the media would collectively crap a cinder block”.

But it’s always true.

But former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg said something that would put him squarely in David Duke territory; emphasis added for the dense and dazed:

“It’s controversial, but first thing is all of your — 95 percent of your murders and murderers, and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all of the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25. That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city in America,” Bloomberg is heard saying in the newly released audio.

And his prescription?  Well, it’s meant to sound a little more benevolent than something a Klansman would say, but spiritually it’s the same exact thing:

“That’s where the real crime is,” he added. “You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed. First thing you can do to help that group is to keep them alive.”

“Keep them alive” – by disarming the victims.

Forget dog whistles; this piece is full of racist foghorns.

And it puts an exclamation point on the most important premise related to the gun control issue today; it is today, as it was in 1968, and 1866 and 1842, an instrument of keeping ethnic minorities disarmed, helpless and in “their place”.

Rarely as they as obliging as to say it in as many words, as Bloomberg is recorded saying (and the media is doing its best to scrub all mention of the tape’s existence); even Heather Martens is smarter than that (thus far).

Do the world a favor; make sure a black DFL voter hears this.

Of Hats And Clowns

The liberal noise machine that largely spent eight years calling George W. Bush “Bushitler” is worked up into a lather because a St. Paul Pioneer press reporter referred to the practice of constantly taking “selfies”(using a snap of Sselfieaddict Pres. Obama as his example) as making one look like a “assclown.”

Sports reporter Kevin Cusick, who wrote the blurb, later walked it back, apologizing for the use of the term, and changing it to “self absorbed celebrity.

He was right both times. I’m not fond of the term “assclown” – or its dumber cousin, “asshat”, both of which sprang out of a trend in the early days of blogging to jam terms together more or less at random to try to insult people. There are many more artful terms that can and should be used.

But while the occasional selfie is a harmless indulgence, Cusick was right the first time; the President is starting to act a little bit like Miley Cyrus.

A Bargain At Half The Price!

I was listening to Jack Tomczak talking with AFSCME’s Javier Morillo on the lesser talk station yesterday, about the Dayton pay raises.

Morillo said, out of one corner of his mouth, that there is no way you could find people in the private sector who deal with headcounts and budgets like these administrators do, at the same pay, even with the raises.

And there may be something to that.  Most people who can hold their own in the private sector and look for more out of a career than a pension (outside of law enforcement and fire, the military, teachers and a few other fields) look at government work as a purgatory of eternal frustration and career stagnation.

But out of the other side of his mouth, he said that the salaries still aren’t competitive with the private sector.

So if the salaries are not competitive, the “talent” still isn’t going to get attracted from the private sector (or, apparently, local government). So why have the raises?

It doesn’t make sense as a “talent acquisition” measure; Morillo admitted as much.

But as an expanded payoff to the political class?

There, it makes perfect sense.

Money In Politics: Talk Dirty To The DFL

The DFL is in the midst of an extended campaign of sniveling about the amount of money in politics.

A look at this list of independent expenditures registered from the 10 Minnesota House races that flipped last election shows you why:

The DFL spent more.  Sometimes a helluvva lot more.  And it didn’t work.

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Courtesy John Rouleau of the MN Jobs Coalition, via Twitter.

The candidate with the most indy spending in each race is color-flagged.

Of 10 races, DFL groups outspent GOP groups in eight of them, notching a little over 10% more independent spending.  And that doesn’t even tell the whole story.

  • Remember all the whining Zach Dorholt did the Twin Cities media did on Zach Dorhold’s behalf about big money in his district?  His independent expenditures were 20% higher than Knoblach’s.
  • The GOP spent more on Peggy Bennet than the DFL wasted on Shannon Savick – by about $4,000.  That speaks to what a terrible campaign Savick ran, and what a lousy term she had in office – and the power of the grass roots that turned out to bounce her.  Don’t screw with the Second Amendment outstate!
  • On the other hand – Erickson vs. Hancock (over 2:1 in favor of the DFLer) and Fritz vs. Daniel (almost 3:1 for the DFL?)  Holy cow.
  • Against that, the GOP indies only outspent the DFL in two of the flips; the Bennet/Savick race, as already noted, and a 15% margin in the Heintzelman/Ward race.

So no wonder the DFL is so concerned about rationing money in politics; theirs didn’t work.  They need less competition.