Count The Paragraphs, Part II

News:  Mayor of Charlotte, NC arrested, charged with public corruption and accepting bribes:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, who has been in office less than six months, resigned Wednesday, just hours after he was arrested and accused of taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do work with North Carolina’s largest city.

Not News:  The fact that Cannon is a Democrat is buried in the middle of Paragraph 2.

Count The Paragraphs

News:  A California State Senator who helped author California’s latest draconian gun control laws – was arrested yesterday, accused of trying to trade guns for influence:

In San Francisco, FBI agents have charged California State Sen. Leland Yee with conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud. The allegations were outlined in an FBI affidavit against Yee and 25 others. The allegations against Yee include a number of favors he requested in exchange for campaign donations, as well as performing “official acts” in exchange for donations to get himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed San Francisco mayoral bid, according to court documents.

Yee discussed helping the undercover FBI agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles, and showed the agent the entire process of how to get those weapons from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines into the United States, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

Not news:  It took to paragraph 7 to note that Yee is a Democrat.

The Star Chamber

Over this past nine months, conservative groups have railed against the Lightworker’s Administration’s abuse of the IRS to suppress conservative political activity.

Of course, if you live in Minnesota, you’re used to this.  The “Campaign Finance Board” has been a cudgel used against (mostly conservative) grassroots groups since its inception.

But the Dayton Administration is doing its best to make things worse:

As we’ve learned, the IRS under the Obama Administration has been weaponized against conservative non-profits in an effort to stifle opposition speech, but that’s not the only avenue of attack. A partisan bill was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, but ultimately defeated last year that would impose onerous new regulations on grassroots organizations like Minnesota Majority, Tea Party groups and numerous other non-profits

It’s back this year and it contains all manner of vague, subjective language (like “clearly;” “reasonable;” and “biased,” that will allow a small 6-member board, appointed by the governor to determine who has violated the proposed new campaign finance laws and who has not. “Bias” is often in the eye of the beholder. In this case, it’s up to the governor to determine who the “beholders” are.

The bills involved appear to revive some of the worst, dumbest, most turn-free-speech-into-crime-ifying aspects of the late, unlamented McCain-Feingold law:

HF1944/SF1915 proposes to create “free speech zones” on the calendar, allowing the state to determine when grassroots groups can engage in unfettered speech and when such speech would be regulated.

In other words, putting bureaucrats in charge of when and, inevitably, how you may “speak freely”.

They Would Like To Be Paid, For Which They Will Gladly Deliver On Tuesday

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The reason we have so many potholes is not that the St. Paul City Council pisses away money on frivolous projects while the streets decay; it’s the state and federal government’s fault.
“There’s a lot of potholes out there, and it’s kind of indicative of the condition of the street as a whole … the last time it was reconstructed or overlaid,” said [St. Paul City Engineer Jerry] Maczko, who added that state and federal lawmakers share some blame for potholes. “And it’s amazing how people don’t make that connection.  We’ve got our usual suspects in our streets that are old streets that need to be reconstructed,” Maczko continued. “At the federal level, at the state level, engineers have been saying we need funding for our infrastructure. Well, it’s not happening. … It’s a safety issue for the drivers and for our employees to be out there fixing that stuff.”
But the State Legislature is controlled by Democrats, as is the Federal Congress.  Democrats Care About People so it can’t be their fault. There’s only one conclusion:

Damn that George Bush!

Joe Doakes

There’ve been a lot of “think tanks” and “non-profits” touting “studies” about the “need for infrastructure investment”. They all sound a little like the Samoan Lawyer in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.

Progressives: Your Choice Is Clear

I’d like to address this to this blog’s Democrat readers – especially of the “Progressive” variety.

You’ve got to be bummed.

I mean, your guy Obama was elected in 2008 – but he got elected in large part because he positioned himself as a “moderate”. 

And what are you looking at in 2016?  Hillary?  A moderate, Democrat-Leadership-Conference holdover!

If you care about true progressivism, your one true choice is clear. 

Bernie Sanders For President

And I am here to help you. 


Tax Cuts!

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is picking up cat food at the grocery store.  Avery LIBRELLE, carrying a case of kombucha, walks past, sees BERG, and stops. 

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!   University Avenue is about to get a $1.4 Billion dollar tax cut!

BERG:  (Looking for a graceful way out) Um, what now?

LIBRELLE:  The Green Line light rail is rebating 1.4 billion dollars worth of local, state and federal taxes to the consumer of Saint Paul!

BERG:  Um, we’re spending a billion and change on a light rail line. 

LIBRELLE:   Right – the taxes were paid, and then the money is being sent back to the taxpayer in the form of rail!  It’s a tax cut!

BERG:  That’s absurd. 

LIBRELLE:  And MNSure is tens of millions of taxpayer dollars being returned to Minnesota’s healthcare consumers. 

BERG:  And Information Technology companies, and business consultants.

LIBRELLE:  Exactly!  All of them are benefitting from the Tax Cuts!

BERG:  None of these are tax cuts.  All of them are government taking money from some people, and giving it to others…

LIBRELLE:   …you’re a sore loser, Merg!   Why, look at the tax cuts we’re giving to the working poor!

BERG:  “Tax cuts?”  You hiked the budget $2.1 Billion, and took over a billion extra out of the economy, and the DFL’s idea of a “tax cut” is to give a few million back to people to reinforce their DFL votes?

LIBRELLE:  Blah blah blah!  It’s tax money, and someone is getting it back!

BERG:  So giving hundreds of millions of tax dollars to Zygi Wilf is a “tax cut?”

LIBRELLE:   Is it tax money?  Is someone getting it?  It’s a tax cut!

BERG:   So the CIA and the SEALS gave Osama Bin Laden a “tax cut” when they killed him?

LIBRELLE:   Don’t be absurd!  They lowered the unemployment rate!


Answers To DFLers’ Questions

A service to my fellow conservatives as we head into another election season.

DFLer Question:  “Do you think we should care about the poor, and raise the minimum wage?”

Conservative’s Answer: “It’ll just make more poor people.  Now, let’s talk about MNSure”.

DFLer Question:  “Are you supporting tax breaks for millionaires to bring the Super Bowl to Minnesota?”

Conservative’s Answer: “No.  Let’s talk about MNSure”.

DFLer Question:  “Have you noticed that the DFL is leading the way to lower taxes?”

Conservative’s Answer: “You’re “lowering”sometaxes back to where the GOP left them in 2012.  Now, let’s talk about MNSure”. 

DFLer Question:  “Do you support the DFL’s setting up a small business investment fund?”

Conservative’s Answer: “The DFL raised taxes by $2 Billion, but is letting businesses borrow some of the money back?  That’s almost as stupid as MNSure.  Speaking of which, let’s talk about MNSure”. 

DFLer Question:  “What do you think about bullying?”

Conservative’s Answer: “Does MNSure make it harder and more expensive to treat the victims?”

DFLer Question:  “How about gay marriage?”

Conservative’s Answer: “Are those gay couples having a hard time finding healthcare via MNSure, too?”

UPDATE:  A few new ones, from the comments:

DFLer Question:  “You’re a racist and hate women”.

Conservative’s Answer: “Nope, and there is none.  Let’s talk MNSure”. 

DFLer QuestionKoch brothers!

Conservative’s Answer: “MNSure!” 

DFLer Question“Faux News!  Faux News!  Faux News!”

Conservative’s Answer: “MNSure MNSure MNSure!”.

Dispatches From Planet Media

The problem with most – as in the vast majority – of media people when writing about the Second Amendment is that most of them haven’t the foggiest idea about the subject, and all of their sources on the subject are fellow liberals.

That’s the only excuse I can think of for this piece of suppurating journalistic drainpipe-meat from ABC News:

Gun owner and Second Amendment advocate Marlene Hoeber isn’t your typical member of the National Rifle Association. In fact, she isn’t a member of the NRA at all.

The Oakland, Calif., laboratory equipment mechanic regularly visits firing ranges, where, along with other members of her gun club, she shoots a variety of weapons. “Guns are fun to play with,” she says. She even makes her own ammunition.

But wait!  There’s a whammy!

She has no use, however, for the NRA’s conservative political agenda. By her own description, Hoeber is a feisty, liberal, transgender, tattooed, queer, activist feminist.

She belongs instead to another gun advocacy group entirely–The Liberal Gun Club–whose membership ranges, she says, “from socialists, to anarchists who can quote Marx, to Reagan Democrats.”

It’s also tiny – 1,200 members.  And I’m going to guess they’re in the Bay Area – the media only refers to a “Northern California Chapter” – and I’m going to guess they’re long on the “liberal”:

Its mission, she says, is to provide “a place for gun owners to talk to other owners about neat gun stuff, without having to hear how the president is a Muslim-usurper-socialist running a false-flag operation.”

Aaaaaand there you go.  (The NRA has no such institutional belief; to the extent you can find birthers in the NRA, I’m gonna guess you’ll find just as many “Bush took down the Twin Towers!” and “Trigger” types in the LGC.

Still, if they’re solid on the Second Amendment – let a thousand flowers bloom, I say.

Still, they could do with a little less narrative-mongering:

Although liberal gun owners are presumed not to exist, Gardner says they most certainly do.

There are plenty of Democrats in the NRA – and Minnesota’s Real American movement freely acknowledges we’d have never gotten Shall Issue permit reform without Democrat support.

Less paranoia.  More firepower.


The Real Problem

Clarence Thomas notes that it’s the white liberals that, in modern times, are the racists, stupid:

The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, [were] by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia,” [said Justice Thomas].  “My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious that I was in the 1960s when I went to school,” he said, the Daily Mail reported. “To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up.”“Differences in race, differences in sex. Somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah. Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them — left them out. That’s a part of the deal.”

You’ll note that Thomas hasn’t filed a hate crimes lawsuit against Representative Ryan “Uncle Tom” Winkler – or indeed, mentioned the snarkly little fella at all.

The Sum Of All Putridity

Michael Barone writing in the WashEx notes that Henry Waxman and George Miller, the last two members of the Democrat “Class of 1974″ – the huge class of liberal Democrats that swept into office after Watergate – to have “served” continuously since ’74, are retiring.  (Two other members – Chuck Grassley, one of few Republicans, and Rick Nolan, who spent three terms, retired in 1980, and was re-elected in 2012, are the only two other members of the class).

And the class of 74 left a noxious legacy indeed.  For all the bemoaning of “extremism” and “polarization” that the likes of Lori Sturdevant do (usually blaming it on the Tea Party), it was in fact the “Class of ’74″ that got that ball rolling:

chairmen against whom a certain number of signatures were gathered.

San Francisco’s Phil Burton, who had shrewdly backed many ’74ers, gathered a sufficient number of signatures for every chairmen. Three were defeated by the newly enlarged caucus, including one, first elected in 1940, who addressed the freshmen as “boys and girls.”

Election of committee chairmen became routine, and it meant that anyone seeking a chair had better have a voting record in line with the Democrats’ liberal majority. For example, Jamie Whitten of Mississippi, first elected a month before Pearl Harbor, shifted suddenly from Right to Left.

And it was then that the Democrat Party began to truly shed its honorable, post-WW2-era legacy and become the extremist party it is today.  (It took twenty years for the Congressional GOP to adopt the similar rules).

And lest you think it was all inside-the-beltway wonkery?

The Class of 1974 also shifted the House and the congressional Democratic party from hawkish to dovish. One of its first acts in March 1975 was to block funding for South Vietnam when it was under attack by the North. Saigon fell in April.

They coarsened our political discourse, they worked tirelessly to blow up the national debt (with great success!), and they directly aided and abetted genocide, with the blood of millions on their hands.

Good riddance.

Caucasus Tonight

It’s Caucasus night throughout Minnesota tonight.

Mount Ushbra, Georgia

Throughout the state, people will be joining their favorite tribe, dancing traditional their traditional folk dances, getting drunk on fermented goat milk, arranging marriages, and firing guns randomly into the air.

At the end of the evening, all the tribes will declare war on each other, duke it out, and adjourn til next year.

A Caucasus event in Chaska, 1994.

Hope to see you there.

UPDATE:  Ooops.  My bad.  Tonight is Caucus night.  Not Caucasus night.  I regret the error.

Tonight’s the night the the four major parties in Minnesota (the GOP, the Independence, and the DFL/Take Action Minnesota) pick the delegates that will lead to the endorsements to run for the major offices – Governor, Senate, and the various Congressional and State Legislative seats.  If you don’t like the way your party is working, tonight’s the night to try to do something about it.

I’ve never been to a DFL caucus, but I know Republican caucuses are usually not a huge time investment, especially if you duck out before the endless debates over the meaningless resolutions. Which I usually do.

DFL and Take Action Minnesota canvassers at caucus night, South Minneapolis, 2012.

If you’re new to caucuses, here’s the deal:  the point is not to write resolutions about issues that matter to you.  It’s to get people who support your candidates for the various offices – Governor, Senate, Congress, the Legislature – elected as delegates to the various rounds of conventions.

  • If you get selected as a delegate tonight, you’ll go to your “BPOU Convention” – that usually means your legislative House or Senate district, although in outstate Minnesota it might mean your county party convention – in March.  Those usually happen on a weekday evening, an hour or two.  No big deal.  There, you’ll endorse legislative candidates, and elect delegates to go to your…
  • …Congressional District convention, in (I think) April.  They usually eat up a Saturday morning.  There, you’ll endorse people to run for Congress, and elect delegates to the…
  • State Convention, in May, in Rochester.  This eats up a couple days.  There, the delegates that are at the end of the chain will endorse candidates for Governor and Senator.

It seems convoluted – but it makes sense, more or less.  To the extent the “Ron Paul” faction took over the GOP two years ago, or the Tea Party four years ago, or Michele Bachmann did it in the 6th CD eight years ago, they did it by getting their people out to caucuses and electing delegates that moved up the chain and elected more delegates. That’s pretty much it.

(On the DFL side, the conventions are run according to a system designed for utmost political correctness, so they are long and grueling, and lead to a series of conventions that end in the endorsement of candidates who will then lose in the primaries to whomever Alida Messinger and Take Action Minnesota support).

For further information on where and when your party’s caucuses are:

Hope to see you there!


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama celebrated the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade with one curious omission – he never mentioned the word “abortion.”

Instead, he dwelt on access to health care, reproductive freedom, right to privacy, safe and healthy communities, opportunities to fulfill their dreams . . . what a snooze.  That same litany of mushy feel-good platitudes could roll across the Teleprompter any day of the week.  We’re here to talk about killing babies, something like 50 million of them since the decision was issued.  And according to Democrats, that’s a good thing. Fine, then say so.

It’s almost as if the President is afraid to speak the plain truth, for fear people will recoil from it.  Perhaps we haven’t been de-sensitized enough.  Might be time to recycle some Dead Baby jokes from my junior high school days.  Remember those?  Can’t remember the last time I heard a Dead Baby joke.  Perhaps with 50 million of them piled up, it’s not funny anymore.

Joe Doakes

One can hope.

How many Planned Parenthood executives does it take to change a light bulb?

None.  They just declare darkness a woman’s right.

Of The People

(SCENE:  Mitch BERG is sitting on a chair at a book store, trying to figure out which Reagan biography to buy.  Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK, a twenty-something graduate of Saint Olaf, and of Camp Wellstone, sits at the next chair.  She gradually notes BERG’s haul of books).  

BIRKENSTOCK:  You should have no right to read that garbage.

BERG:   Huh.  Well, fortunately, “rights” aren’t granted or denied by “the People”.

BIRKENSTOCK:   Yes they are.

BERG:   Um, what?

BIRKENSTOCK:   Read the Constitution.  It says “We the people”.  Rights come from The People.

BERG:   Er, the founding fathers understood rights to come from The Creator.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Hah!  You mean religion?  That’s what the founding fathers were fighting against.  That’s why we have the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, not the Archbishop of Canterbury, administer the Oath of Office.

BERG:  That’s completely irrelevant.

BIRKENSTOCK:   Of course it is.  Our Constitution gives us freedom from religion.

BERG:  That’s the French constitution. Not ours.

BIRKENSTOCK.  John Hancock was a lawyer, not a minister!

BERG:   Also irrelevant.  The “creator” who endows our rights might be God, Allah, biology or random coincidence; it doesn’t establish a state view of what Our Creator is.

BIRKENSTOCK:  It doesn’t matter!  Read the Constitution!  It starts with “We The People”.   Rights come from people!

BERG:    That’s exactly what the founding fathers fought against – the idea that rights come from people, rather than from being born a human being.

BIRKENSTOCK:  So where does it say that in the Constitution?

BERG:   It doesn’t.  The idea that Freedom and Liberty are “inalienable” human rights – that humans are born with, not granted by government – comes from the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers and the other writings that set up the intellectual framework for the Constitution.  ”We the People” were forming a goverment to, as the Preamble to the Constitution continues to say, “secure” the blessings of Liberty.  In other words, the freedoms are ours because we’re born human.  Our government’s job is to protect those liberties.  And ideally no more.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Yeah, but the Constitution said nothing about slavery!  They were hypocrites!

BERG:  Well, no – it was a huge argument in 1789, and it stayed a huge argument until 1865.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Slavery was ended by the 13th Amendment.  Who enacted that Amendment?  The People!

BERG:   Was slavery right before The People enacted the 13th Amendment?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Of course not.

BERG:   Why?

BIRKENSTOCK:  The People said so?

BERG:   How about before The People said so?

Let’s try an experiment, here.  Let’s say that 51% of the people agree that the First Amendment is wrong, and there is no right to speak freely, and government has the right to censor speech.  Is that right?


BERG:   Why?  If rights come “from The People”, then “The People” can take them away.

BIRKENSTOCK:  But the founding fathers were wrong about slavery!

BERG:   That supports my point, not yours.  The Founding Fathers realized how very imperfect humans were.  Slavery would be a key example of this.  It took fourscore and seven years, and the bloodiest war in US history to fix the mistake.  Now – if rights come “from The People”, all it would take would be a repeal of the 13th Amendment to make slavery legal.

And the fact is government could make all these rights illegal – but that would be illegitimate, and make the government illegitimate.

BIRKENSTOCK:  So what about countries that don’t recognize rights like trial by jury?

BERG:   They have their own constitutions.  They are, however, wrong.  The idea that other countries are wrong about human rights is one of the reasons we had a Revolution, and started a country based on the ideal that human rights precede and are superior to government power.

BIRKENSTOCK:   Pfft.  Where does the Constitution say anything about how to run a just society?

BERG:   It doesn’t.  It enumerates the powers government has, the powers reserved to the states, and reserves all others to The People.  Or at least that’s what the Tenth Amendment said, before it got gutted.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Hah!  So rights do get abridged by The People.

BERG:   Yep.  And just like slavery, it’s illegitimate.

BIRKENSTOCK:  You’re a Tenther!

BERG:   Damn straight.  Anyway – if you believe that rights come from government, or even The People, then there is logically nothing that says we can’t revoke free speech, religion, press, assembly, the right to keep and bear arms, the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, due process in criminal cases, and the whole shebang with a 51% vote.

BIRKENSTOCK:   Sure there is!

BERG:   What?

BIRKENSTOCK:  People want to be freeeeeeee!

(BIRKENSTOCK gets up, and dances away up the aisle)

BERG:   Wow.

BIRKENSTOCK:  (Yelling in the distance) Why do you hate womyn?


(Note – for those of you who think I try to make my antagonists in these little dramatizations sound “off”?  This conversations is a virtual word-for-word recreation of a conversation I had on Twitter with a DFL operative.  There are liberals who actually believe this).

Shut Up Or Get Cut Up

Gerald Molen – who co-produced Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016 as well as Schindler’s List- on the politically-motivated harassment of D’Souza:

“I’m a little bit taken aback by the whole thing because he’s such a great American,” Molen said of D’Souza on Newmax TV’s “Steve Malzberg Show.” The conservative writer and commentator understands the process in America and how it works, Molen said. Molen, who also produced the Academy-award winning “Schindler’s List,” said he has not spoken to D’Souza since he learned of the indictment, and wouldn’t make comments about the specific case until he’s learned all the facts. Still, he said he would not be surprised if the probe is politically motivated. Asked by Malzberg if he ever felt threatened or had any feelings they should not have been making the film, Molen answered, “No. This is America. I’ve never had that feeling,” adding, “I’ve never had the occasion to think that I had to fear my government. I never had the thought that I had reason to think I had to look over my shoulder until now.”

I think that’s exactly the effect the Obama Administration is looking for.

Doakes Sunday: I Cried Because I Had No Shoes…No, Wait…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Wendy Davis is running for Governor of Texas.  She’s been trying to play the victim card – grew up poor, lived in a trailer house, worked her way through college and law school, husband left her – but it’s not working.

Turns out she lived in a trailer for about three months, her husband put her through college and Harvard Law School and she divorced him (and he got custody of the kids in a state like Texas, which tells you a lot about her).

Latest thing – she complains that her opponent doesn’t understand what it’s like to overcome adversity.  He hasn’t walked a mile in her shoes.  And now that she’s a candidate, he’s running scared.

The guy’s in a wheelchair.

Reminds me of the other runners complaining that Oscar Pistorius had an unfair advantage because hisaluminum legs didn’t tire.  Excuse Me, The Man Has No Blinking Legs!  And YOU think YOU are the victim here?  Unbelievable.

For Harvard-lawyer Wendy Davis to play the Victim card against a man in a wheelchair, leaves me with just one question:  Why do Democrats hate cripples?

Joe Doakes

 In a year when the two most prominent Harvard Law grads are Ryan “Uncle Tom” Winkler and Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis, I think HarvLaw needs to work on its PR.

The Left’s Koch Habit

I was about to write “if the Koch Brothers – eeeeevil shadowy right-wing financiers – didn’t exist, the left would have to invent them”…

…but in fact h they did.

This – and last year’s fixation with the American Legislative Exchange Commission (ALEC), a small lobbying group no different than a raft of identical left-leaning groups – may be the most dramatic manifestation of Berg’s Seventh Law ever.


Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis, who has spent the past year wrapping herself in a “plucky single mom” narratve taken straight from a Lifetime movie – until the Dallas newspaper showed she was more of a Crystal Carrington – is now putting her personal story off-limits

And wrapping herself in the Second Amendment. 

Please, please, please, Al Franken.  Bring her to Minnesota to campaign for you. 

Wendy Davis has set feminism back a decade.

It’s Just…Unknowable!

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at the neighborhood hardware store.  As he examines a some hardware for a household project, Avery LIBRELLE steps around the corner and sees BERG, and engages him before he can react.

LIBRELLE:   Blogger Berg!  You’ve been lying about Democrats!

BERG:  Um, OK.  How so?

LIBRELLE:   You’ve been saying on your blog that Minnesota Democrats favored banning guns!

BERG:  Well, yeah – Alice Hausman introduced a bill that called for confiscating guns with magazines larger than seven rounds.

LIBRELLE:  But did any guns get confiscated?

BERG:  Well, the bill got shredded and then withdrawn!

LIBRELLE:  So no guns got confiscated! You totes can not say that Democrats favor confiscating guns if no guns were confiscated!

BERG:  But they introduced the bill…

LIBRELLE:   You also keep saying the DFL supports what you call the “daycare union jamdown”?

BERG:  Yep. The DFL voted on straight party line to compel daycare and home healthcare providers who get government subsidies to vote on joining the union. And before you say anything – yep, it’s “Just a vote”.  A vote the Democrats have already rigged with “daycare providers” who haven’t been in the business for years, but support the union.

LIBRELLE:  But have any daycare providers been pushed into a union?

BERG:  Um, no…

LIBRELLE:   Hah!  There is no forced unionization!

BERG:  Er, only because the courts slapped an injunction on it.  The DFL supported it…

LIBRELLE:  Nya nya nya, can’t hear you!  You also keep saying the DFL pushed through a “Senate Palace” at the last minute, spending – you allege – 90 million dollars on a Senate Office Building.

BERG:  They did!

LIBRELLE:  So where’s the building?

BERG:  It hasn’t been built yet.

LIBRELLE:  Ah hah!  So there is no Senate Palace!

BERG:  So what you’re saying is that until a Democrat policy is actually implemented, we can’t hold the DFL accountable for it?

LIBRELLE:  Obviously you hate womyn!


(The above exchange was closely modeled after several actual conversations with real DFLers)


Bad Lieutenant

Can you fog a mirror? Then you too can be a lieutenant governor!

As Yvonne Prettner Solon bids farewell to the office of Lieutenant Governor, should Minnesota do so as well?

When it comes to political shockwaves, the announcement that Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon would not seek a second-term as Mark Dayton’s running-mate barely constitutes a ripple in the political waters.  And why not?  Over the past four years, Prettner Solon joined a long and undistinguished list of Minnesota lieutenant governors who served their time largely under the radar of the media and electorate.  Even Prettner Solon’s own webpage touts her “actions” as a small collection of out-of-state/out-of-country travels, with a dash of in-state touring on behalf of federal initiatives (helpfully spelling as a typo as well).

Prettner Solon’s (in)actions say less about her tenure than about the limitations of the office of lieutenant governor itself.

John Nance Garner’s infamous quote about the Vice-Presidency as “not worth a bucket of warm piss” (often sanitized as “warm spit”) might as well apply to Minnesota’s lieutenant governors.  With perhaps the exception of Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, who served as the commission of Transportation in the Pawlenty administration, Minnesota’s lieutenant governors have served almost no active role in policy direction or political leadership.

Indeed, the trend-lines for the state’s lieutenant governors have seemingly further minimized an insignificant position.  Whereas past lieutenant governors had gone on to serve in higher office, such as Rudy Perpich, Sandy Keith, Karl Rolvaag, C. Elmer Anderson and Edward Thye, the past several decades haven’t even seen lieutenant governors make a post-office political impact.  Joanne Benson, Joanell Dyrstad, and Marlene Johnson all made bids for higher office in the 1990s (Governor, U.S. Senate and St. Paul Mayor, respectfully) and lost – badly.  None of them even made to the general election.

All of this begs the question – does Minnesota require a Lieutenant Governor?

Seven states forgo the position, with two of those states, Tennessee and West Virginia, having the office of lieutenant governor be only an honorary title on the Speaker or President of the State Senate.  The line of succession, often the only value to the office, goes either to the Senate President or the Secretary of State.  In Minnesota, about the only other value to the office is as a gender counterweight to the top of the ticket.  Lou Wangberg was the last male lieutenant governor of the state – a fact useful only as trivia for political nerds.  Otherwise, every winning ticket (and most of the losing tickets) have had a female running-mate since 1982.

Closing the office of lieutenant governor won’t save Minnesota much.  The combined office budgets of the Governor and his lieutenant are only $3.3 million.  But if Minnesota could willingly end a constitutional office like State Treasurer, which had at least some active management in state affairs, then why not do the same for a office that has strayed far from any meaningful policy or political moorings?  Every candidate for governor claims they will reinvent the office of lieutenant governor with their selection.  Dayton himself promised that Prettner Solon would become a “strong partner” if elected.  If travelling to Canada and opening a Duluth office were parts of Dayton’s idea of partnership, he didn’t say in 2010.

Outside of the endorsement process for both parties, the role of lieutenant governor serves absolutely no purpose.  And in an era where it appears both parties are drifting away from placing much value on being the endorsed candidate for governor, whatever justifications remain for the office are quickly disappearing.

ADDENDUM: Even Prettner Solon seems to have expected more out of her office, if her comments at her press conference were accurate:

She has said she and the governor have a distant relationship. She said she anticipated being more involved in more policy initiatives as lieutenant governor, but she carved out a niche of her own working on initiatives for seniors and Minnesotans with disabilities.

Chanting Points Memo: The Rainbow Maria

“Progressive” and Administration efforts to shut up conservatives are continuing apace as the nation gets set for another ugly round of elections.

One of their latest memes?  ”Dark Money”.

To hear the usual liberal suspects (including most of the “news” media – “Dark Money” is an insidious scourge against Democracy.

But of course, the definition depends entirely on who’s using it.  And I don’t entirely mean “if it’s Alita Messinger, it’s OK”.

No, the hypocrisy goes deeper than that:

The HuffPo and the rest of the left define “dark money” groups as non-profits who don’t have to disclose the identity of donors. This non-disclosure of donors is actually a byproduct of the civil rights struggle, when the government sought to protect donors from intimidation by groups like the KKK. Given that conservatives feel the need for anonymity over their political speech is a stark reflection of how far leftist rhetoric has devolved.

And why do conservative donors feel the need to protect their identities?

Ahead of his reelection in 2012, President Obama published an “enemies list” of donors to his opponent Mitt Romney. Obama’s campaign even urged supporters to “report” attacks on the President’s record. Business Frank VanderSloot found himself the subject of two IRS audits, an investigation by the Department of Labor and the subject of an investigation by a Democrat Senate staffer, just days and weeks after being publicly named as a major Romney donor.

At the end of 2013, a cancer patient, Bill Elliot, went public with the news that his health insurance had been cancelled due to ObamaCare. An insurance broker, C. Steven Tucker, heard about his situation and helped Elliot get new insurance coverage. Both men appeared in the press about the events. Both men also, on the exact same day, were notified by the IRS that they were being audited.

Given the details revealed last year about how the IRS targeted conservative and grass roots organizations for extraordinary scrutiny and review, it is not unreasonable for conservatives to worry that they will be targeted for their political activity.

And like the campaign against ALEC, it’s all further evidence in favor of Berg’s Seventh Law – when liberals attack conservatives motives, commitment to freedom or ethics, it’s a cover for something they’re doing themselves.

But this year, there’s the added imperative change the conversation.

To anything!

The left knows they are at a disadvantage. HuffPo’s warning about “dark money” is just the first salvo in the campaign to silence the right this year. To paraphrase the old legal saw, if neither the facts or the law are on your side, pound the table. The left is going to pound the table loudly until November.

Look for the scourge of ALEC to make its reappearance as the Minnesota legislative sessions re-opens next month.

The Thing About Obama Supporters

You go into these tastefully-appointed homes in Crocus Hill and Highland Park, and, like a lot of comfy urban-but-not-too-urban neighborhoods full of college-educated middle-aged academics and non-profiteers and mid-to-upper-level government and institutional employees, the sense of their historical invincibility has been gone now for 2-3 years and nothing’s replaced it. And they felt invincible, like a historically-deterministic event, through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna achieve the utopia that their entire education said they would, and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to rote activism or Volvos or blind ideology or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or their posh education or anti-faith sentiment or anti-White-Republican-Male-Cliché sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Scott Gillespie And The Catechism Of Uselessness

Scott Gillespie of the Strib editorialized about the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook.

At least he ended the piece constructively:

Those 26 faces will stay frozen, though. The children and their teachers, lost forever except in photos and home video. At least — if you believe it will help — say another prayer for them and their families. If we offer nothing else, at least say a prayer.

Other than that?  Gillespie foreshadows what will, I suspect, be the anti-rights movement’s two big hooks in Minnesota this year; guilt, and the vague need to “do something”, even if the “something” is completely useless at preventing actual crime, with both of them always, always, wrapped in the memory of people who would not have been saved by anything that they’re proposing.

But practical responses aren’t the issue, here.  This is about emotions:

You see those faces frozen in time on your TV screen now. They are angels, every one of them. You would like to look away, turn the channel and move on. Our Congress did, and most of our state legislatures. One year later, little has changed.

It’s not the Sandy Hook kids’ faults the were all white and upper-middle-class, and that the media focused on them and not the many, many more children slaughtered in ones and twos in Barack Obama’s Chicago – who are almost entirely black.  But it is Scott Gillespie’s fault that he ignores, or doesn’t know, that not a single law proposed in any state legislature, or in Congress, would have prevented Sandy Hook – but that the City of Chicago has “done something”, a near complete civilian gun ban, that is closely correlated with a skyrocketing murder rate in Chicago.

But those kids are black, and in a Democrat stronghold.  As always, they go unmentioned.

The emotions that Gillespie – and the anti-rights movement whose water he’s carrying – aren’t just about sympathy.  No, there’s gotta be ninety seconds of hate: 

Wayne LaPierre is on the screen now. You can hear the anger in his voice. If he feels any pain, any regret, he hides it. The perfect man for the job. Raise more money and spread more lies. Intimidate. Bully. Threaten. Win at all costs, from coast to coast. Not undefeated, but close.

Scott Gillespie, I hereby challenge you; where was LaPierre wrong?  What are the “lies?”  Let’s talk about that.  Preferably face to face, but I’ll do email.  Let’s hash this out.

No, it’s not that LaPierre lied; he didn’t, and doesn’t have to.  He was right.  His opponents were wrong.  And they – in this case Gillespie, but it could be any lefty columnist – are attacking LaPierre with the dim ad-homina and the scurrilous accusation – the “lies” – because it’s all they have, and a boogeyman, a Goldstein, is what they need.

And then there’s the murderer. We should ignore him and his story, right? Make him as abstract as possible because it’s too hard to answer the why question without that research. There are more like him, but how could we possibly know how to find or stop them? So we move on, trying not to say his name.

Now Gillespie is just making things up.   This is where LaPierre – and all of us on the human rights side of this battle – have been focusing; Adam Lanza.  The current system worked, in that it denied him a gun.  He killed his mother – already illegal in fifty states – to steal her legally-purchased firearms to use in the rampage.

And it’s on the crazies, like him, James Holmes, Harris and Klebold, Seung-Hui Cho and the like, that Wayne LaPierre – and, incidentally, all of the rest of us on the human rights side of the argument – are focused.

And not a one of them would have been affected by any of the laws that were passed in places like Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania or California.

So when Gillespie plaintively asks…:

The anniversary show is over now. Will there be another one next year, or the year after that? Why wallow, right? We are Americans. We press on. We buck up and never look back. Like LaPierre.

…the answer is “maybe, but nothing you’re proposing would change a thing”.

But Gillespie is part of a wave of mainstream media that are working to pave the way for the anti-gun movement’s next big campaign in Minnesota.

More – much more – in coming days and weeks.

Gun Control In Minnesota: The Next Useless Wave

In 2013, the grassroots of the Minnesota human rights movement – pro-Second-Amendment groups like GOCRA, the Twin Cities Gun Owners and other genuine grass-roots organizations – dealt the gun-grabbers a humiliating defeat.  Even though the anti-rights groups were lavishly funded, were supported by a purchased media narrative, and controlled the entire apparatus of Minnesota government, they were unable to jam down any of their useless legislation.


It was an epic victory of an army of Davids over a phalanx of obese, arrogant Goliaths.

But 2014 is a whole new year.

Since the last session, the anti-gun movement has made some roster changes.  In place of last year’s leadership – “Protect” MN’s credibility-free Rep. Heather Martens, Moms Want Action’s shrill, self-caricaturing Jane Kay, and the hysterical, deranged Joan Peterson, a flood of Joyce Foundation and Bloomberg money has enabled the anti-rights movement (in this case, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”) to hire Richard Carlbom, the architect of the campaign to torpedo the Marriage Amendment, and then to pass Gay Marriage in Minnesota.

And this is going to change the game here in Minnesota.

Unlike the Minnesota gun grab movement’s previous leadership, Carlbom is a smooth, polished PR fixer with great talent at running a nuanced, effective campaign – and he’s already got one improbable win against (at face value) longish odds under his belt.

As a result, this is going to be a different campaign, unlike any that Minnesota’s Second Amendment movement has ever faced.

My hunch?  Carlbom will replace Kay/Martens/Peterson’s club-footed yapping, and Michael Paymar’s wide-front legislative bludgeoning, with a more subtle attack:

  • Emotional cruise missiles replace carpet-bombing:  the anti-rights movement has long bludgeoned their audiences with a ham-fisted appeal to emotion.  To be fair, it’s their only argument; to be honest, they haven’t done it well.  Carlbom won the gay marriage debate in part by personalizing the gay marriage issue – showing that gay couples were Just Like The Rest Of Us.  I think you can expect the emotional assault to be much more focused and personalized than in the past; fewer “schoolrooms full of children”; more “let’s talk with this mom, whose son was…[fill in tragic shooting].  Expect those attacks to be far harder to undercut – Carlbom is less likely to focus on the story of a “child” who turned out to be a gang thug than were the hapless Martens or Kay.
  • The friendly face of “reasonable” authority:  The anti-gun movement lost a lot of credibility points by using as its public face the scolding, unctuous, unfluent Martens, the hectoring and red-faced Kay, and irrational Peterson.  Expect those faces to be replaced by Minnesota’s very definition of “reasonable”; lots of Lutheran ministers (ELCA, natch), with their Saint Olaf-bred diction and their carefully-trimmed beards, and liberal-but-not-too-liberal, Jewish-but-not-too-jewish rabbis, carefully and calmly asking for “common sense” measures to “prevent violence” and “promote safety”, and lots of other carefully-focused terms calibrated not to alarm tens of thousands of phone calls and thousands of protesters.
  • Trying to build the “reasonable” brand:  Expect less (overt) talk about attacking puffy-faced white suburban caricatures, and more about how “gun safety” and “violence prevention” appeals to our better natures; the things that make us human, and Minnesotan.   This campaign has, in fact, already begun, with Strib columns by Lori Sturdevant and Scott Gillespie (see this space tomorrow morning) that stake out this emotional, intellectual space (in a campaign that just can’t be coordinated, and I’m sure is just a fluke that won’t, no, won’t get re-iterated in turn by every other Minnesota mainstream media outlet, nosireebob).

It’ll be a campaign calculated not to alarm, and to appeal on at least a shallow level to the conceit most Minnesotans have that we’re a thoughtful, deliberate people, not given to unseemly rash emotionality and open to “reason”.

Underneath and obscured by it all, of course, will be the facts; that none of the measures they’re proposing will affect actual violence in any way.  Nor are they intended to.

But it’ll be done in a way intended to gently gull the gullible, and lull at least a part of the crowd that rose up to repudiate Representatives Paymar, Hausman and Martens in the last session.

So it’s almost time for a new session – one that may be the most dangerous yet for Minnesota’s Real Americans.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

CORRECTION:  This past session was 2013, wasn’t it?

Not In My Zip Code

“Affordable Housing” and “Diversity” are big chanting points of blue-state liberals.

Provided that the affordable housing, and the diverse people who pay for it, aren’t actually anywhere near you.

Upper West Side Manhattanites recoil at people living in RVs among them:

Farther uptown, on Central Park West — where the neighborhood’s most expensive rental, a town house with a pool, fetches a cool $75,000 a month — stands a 19-foot, 1975 Dodge Sportsman with gold rims and two cameras affixed to its exterior.

“It looks like it would fit more in the mountains of West Virginia than on the Upper West Side,” said area resident Ron Hoffman.

The Dodge owner, who only gave his name as Robert, refused to answer any questions.

Neighbors are puzzled by the RV’s windows, which are covered by gold curtains.

“He once told me he just uses it to store things — but if that’s the case, why would you have everything blacked out so you can’t see the person inside!” said longtime resident Bill Smith.

“I don’t think it should be here,” added Mario Parisi, 86. “We’re all waiting to park. Sitting there all the time is not a good idea — it’s a monster.”

Diversity is a wonderful thing.

Just not near us.

Like Chicago, With Lousy Football

Let’s see; we have a state majority installed largely through money coordinated by the Governor’s ex-wife and paid for by the her and his buddies from the country club.

When Governor Messinger Dayton speaks, his lips are controlled by his chief of staff Bob Hume, who is very credibly rumored to be “romantically involved” – evidence indicates dating or married to, but the principals keep it under wraps – with Carrie Lucking, “executive director” of the Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota (Of course, we don’t know anything official; merely that during the Governor’s last budget speech, Lucking was tweeting picayune details of the budget that seem unlikely to have come from someone who hadn’t had an advance look at the proposal.  Some say it’s because Hume must have given Lucking an advance look at the Governor’s budget.  I’d suspect it was more like Lucking let Hume look at it.  But I digress).

And of course, the director of Minnesota’s flailing “MNSure” program spent two weeks during the catastrophic rollout of her website playing little spoon in Costa Rica to the state Medicaid director’s big spoon.

So I suppose the real question about Governor Messinger Dayton’s hiring of Minnesota DFL Executive Director Ken Martin’s wife as his deputy chief of staff isn’t “why all the nepotism”.  It’s “why isn’t the spouse of every powerful DFL functionary making six figures on the public teat”.

Because clearly someone reliable needs to be able to spell Bob Hume in making sure Governor Messinger Dayton doesn’t deviate from the chanting points.  Bob’s gotta be exhausted.

It’s party time, Dems!

(PS: Love the headline.  Governor Messinger Dayton hires a “well-connected” deputy?  No!  He hired his party chair’s wife.  Nope.  No media bias whatsoever in the Twin Cities).