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.

Smarter Than Our Leaders

Back during the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain was right about one thing, anyway; despite all of governments foul-ups the fundamentals of the American economy are basically strong.

We have ideas, and entrepreneurial energy, I don’t labor force that (2008 and 2012 elections not withstanding) we’re pretty smart and capable, and one of the worlds larger, wealthier consumer markets. Those, among other things, give the American economy’s a degree of resilience that is going to be hard to extinguish, even after 14 years of flagrant overspending and six years of crypto-socialism.

That’s the economy. Not the governments massive piling up of debt. That’s a whole ‘nother thing.

Why does it matter? Because the fact that the American private market is bigger, stronger, and smarter than its government – for now – may be the only thing that saved it from complete collapse six years ago.

Above All That

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama isn’t Un-American, he’s Post-American.

Before the Constitution, people living here were subject to the whims of the British Crown.

While we’re living here, we’re supposed to be citizens of a democratic republic; but that’s too confining for a person who has the vision and power to stop the seas from rising and start the Earth healing.

We’re headed into a Post-American era, where national geographical boundaries will no longer matter. Anybody who wants to move here should be able to, and should be able to work here, too. And President Obama’s new pick for Attorney General agrees it’s totally legal and constitutional legal and Constitutional for the President to up and decide that, on his own. Worse, she won’t rule out the possibility that President Obama’s actions give illegal aliens greater rights to jobs than American citizens, like Veterans’ Preference points, only for soldiers in the other side’s army.

I wouldn’t mind so much except I keep wondering what else will change in a Post-American era. Will life here become like Europe after the Fall of Rome? That might not be as much fun as some people seem to think.

Joe Doakes

“Progressive” have seen themselves as “post American” for a long time; it was one of the key factors of the 2004 election. It didn’t work for John Kerry; I think people basically ignored it with Barack Obama.

Compare And Contrast

In the State of the Union, President Obama poo-poohed the jobs that would be created by the Keystone XL pipeline as “temporary construction jobs”.

Yet six years ago, his “economic recovery plan” relied on “shovel ready” “infrastructure” jobs that were also “temporary construction jobs” (except for the “permanent government management” jobs, which would go as patronage to members of the political class, natch).

And at the speech, the President asked “Why not have thirty times as many…” of what?  Temporary construction jobs working on “infrastructure” (along with thousands more patronage gigs administering the mess).

Indistinguishable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Got this fundraising e-mail today. I think there’s a flaw in the proposal but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

***

Dear Friend

Our country is in trouble and we need your help in a big way. The rich are cheating this country of a Billion Dollars of tax revenue EVERY MINUTE.

Right now, federal tax law supported by Republicans is costing the government at least 50 cents – and in some cases as much as 72 cents – out of every dollar earned. By closing the payroll tax loophole, Democrats in Congress could fully fund every vital program to invest in infrastructure, eliminate racial inequality and prepare our children for the future.

All it would take is one simple fix in the payroll tax laws, setting the amount of withholding equal to total wages earned. And it would affect only a small number of Americans – fewer of them every day – but the Evil Republicans backed by the Koch Brothers are blocking this common sense reform.

Tell Republicans to Give Congress Back its Money! Tell Republicans to Close the Payroll Tax Loophole!

And please help us spread this urgent message by contributing $100, $50 or even $25 today. Your contribution could make the difference between saving the country and letting the terrorists win.

***

Joe Doakes

it’s so hard to tell truth from parody these days…

So In Other Words…

…our semi-retired President is going to propose paying for “free” communithy college for everyone…

…by taxing peoples’ savings to put their own kids through college?

Two points, here.

Face Value:  If we take the  President at his (ostensible) word, that means the nation’s community college system will inherit the worst of both worlds; the government control that’s made the public school system such a sclerotic disaster, and the financial firehose that’s led to the “higher education bubble”.  And let’s not even concern ourselves just now with the deepening ideological conformity that this would impose on the higher ed system?

What could possibly go wrong?

Shelf Life:  But fear not.  As with everything else in Obama’s presidency, it’s not about educating young people.  It’s about trying to demigogue the education issue, to give the Democrat Party a chanting point in the next election.   Republicans who vote against taxing people who saved for education to benefit those who didn’t is an ideal demogogueing point.

And that’s really all there is to Obama’s “free community college” proposal.

Pick Your Staging

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why wasn’t President Obama in the photo of world leaders at the massive Paris march protesting the Charlie Hebdo killings?

Maybe he was at the REAL march and missed the fake photo staged at a completely different place?

No, he wasn’t, but I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t have blown off a golf game to fly over for a lame photo op, either.

It’s all Potemkin Villages with these people, nothing is ever what it seems.

Joe Doakes

Potemkin it’s not just a battleship anymore.

Sense And Insensibility

Barack Obama is highly unpopular in the military.

And yet many of his policies are going over just fine among the troops:

The long-term effects of Obama’s social policies on the military remain unknown. But one thing is clear: He is a deeper unpopular commander in chief among the troops.

According to a Military Times survey of almost 2,300 active-duty service members, Obama’s popularity — never high to begin with — has crumbled, falling from 35 percent in 2009 to just 15 percent this year, while his disapproval ratings have increased to 55 percent from 40 percent over that time.

And before someone chimes in “it’s just anti-gay bigotry in the military, angry over the lifting of the sanction against gay troops”…:

A Military Times poll in 2009 found 35 percent of troops felt that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve in uniform. Five years later, that figure has jumped to 60 percent.

Similarly, open opposition to homosexuality in the military has collapsed. In 2009, 49 percent of troops felt gays, lesbians and bisexuals should not be allowed to serve. In 2014, such disapproval fell to just 19 percent. 

Or against women in combat?

From 2011 to 2014, the percentage of survey respondents who felt that all jobs in combat arms units should be opened to women remained unchanged at 24 percent.

But the percentage of troops who felt some combat-arms jobs should be opened up to women — while allowing the military to continue to place some jobs off-limits — increased from 34 percent to 41 percent, while the percentage of respondents who felt the military should not change its policies excluding women from combat arms units fell from 43 percent in 2011 to 28 percent in 2014.

I’m going to suggest that while his policies may not be unpopular among the military, the fact that he’s a terrible leader is.