Every Single Day Of My Blogging Life

SCENE:  MITCH is walking down Constitution Avenue, near the state capitol.  It’s a bright, bright, sunshiny day.  Detached-looking figures wander, aimlessly and slightly out of focus, in the distance.

(Aaron ROSTON, DFL activist, pro-bullying-activist and blogger from Fungus Flats, MN, is standing in the middle of the sidewalk).

MITCH (stepping around ROSTON):  Excuse me.

ROSTON (with supercharged sarcasm):  Oh, yeah, right.  You’re so excused.

MITCH:  Huh?

ROSTON:  Oh, right.  I just  bet you don’t understand me.


(Walks onward)

Professor William G. KRIEPPI staggers into the frame as MITCH walks down the street.

MITCH: Hey, Professor.

(KRIEPPI abruptly lurches off the street, walks into a light pole, and falls, insensible, onto the grass, unconscious).

MITCH:  Damn.  Hey… (turns to passing figure, who turns out to be Dark MAYTON, billionaire playboy political consultant), er, can you help this guy?

MAYTON:  The moon is made of olives and I am pulsating.

MITCH (watches as MAYTON walks down the sidewalk.  KRIEPPI snores loudly on the grass).  What a very strange place.

ROSTON:  Oh, yeah. So strange…

MITCH:  Good lord, you’re a wierd little person.

(MITCH walks toward the Capitol,  He is presently accosted by a shadowy figure – that of PLARF BINGNERT, chief project manager in the Rhetorical Engineering department at  the Alliance for a Better Minnesota).

BINGNERT:  Mister Berg, why do you do these curious dialogues?  It’s almost as if you are trying to say something.

MITCH:  Well, usually, yes – but I feel as if this one has gotten out of control.  It’s like…


MITCH (sotto voce): What the hell?

ROSTON (in distance, walking in tight circle):  Oh, yeah – Mr. Family Values, using swears.  That’s so “family”. 

(BINGNERT wanders aimlessly away).  Po di po di po di po!

(MITCH wanders to the base of the capitol steps, sits on the base of the plinth of one of the statues of the Heroes of Minnesota Social Democracy).  

(Inge “Lucky” CARROLL, narrative-buffer for “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, dressed in Lederhosen and Doc Martens boots, rappels down from a bright orange helicopter). 

CARROLL (yelling shrilly through a megaphone):  HEY!  The GOP wants to sell your children!

MITCH:  No, they don’t. 

CARROLL (still yelling):  The GOP wants to run Minnesota from Mississippi!

MITCH: That’s just bizarre.

CARROLL (still yelling): They want to feed your children assault rifles!

MITCH: That just makes no sense.

ROSTON (yelling from middle of lawn):  Oh, yeah – Democrats never make sense, do they, Merg?

MITCH (sotto voce):  If I say “that’s a fascinating point”, will you go away?

(CARROLL wanders into the distance, shouting random accusations into the bullhorn.  As she and her din recede into the distance, a man dressed in a large purple rabbit costume hops laboriously up the sidewalk and stops in front of MITCH). 

RABBIT:  Hi.  I’m Wyatt RINKLER.  You only do these fantasy dialogues because you are afraid.  And having a melt-down.  

MITCH:  Well, no.  

RINKLER:  I’m too stupid to understand what you just said. 

ROSTON (suddenly up close):  Oh, we’re all too stupid, says Merg.  

MITCH:  (shakes head, as if to shake off a sucker punch)  Beg pardon?

RINKLER:  Yarby yarby yarby.

(RINKLER hops away into the distance, disappears over the horizon).  (Yes, a hoppable horizon is unaccountably visible from the Capitol.  Go figure). 

MITCH (walks up steps to Capitol doors.  ROSTON follows at a distance, making sarcastic-sounding noises that never quite resolve into words).  

MITCH (looking out over city):  Wow.  It must have been the burrito.

(From the Capitol comes an ephemeral shape, that of Cat SCAT, factoid bookkeeper for Take Action MN).

MITCH:  Hey.  Nice day, huh?

SCAT:  I’ll check to see what Daily Kos says.

ROSTON (muted in the distance): Oh, yeah – so nice!

MITCH (past caring):  So does Kos confirm?

SCAT:  Can you confirm that this dialog actually happened?

MITCH:  I can confirm that it did not actually happen.  It’s entirely a figment of my imagination.

SCAT:  So it’s a lie!

MITCH:  No.  It’s fiction.  Fiction illustrates, via storytelling, symbolism, metaphor, satire, humor and other devices, things that non-fiction writing can’t.  

(Senator Tom BAKK and speaker of the House Paul THISSEN walk out Capitol doors)

SCAT:  So you admit it’s false?

ROSTON (on sidewalk, dousing self in strawberry milkshakes): Oh, Merg is never false!

(BAKK and THISSEN pick MITCH’s pocket, replace wallet with a “Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota” leaflet)

MITCH (ignoring ROSTON):  Irrelevant.  It’s neither “True” nor “False”.  It’s fictional, so it’s made up – but it can show what I reasonably believe to be larger truths.  Or not.  Sometimes satire is parody, sometimes caricature.  Sometimes it’s just plain absurdist, with the perceived truths buried beneath a heaping pile of misdirection. Sometimes it’s just mockery.  

SCAT:  That’s just wrong.

MITCH:  Wrong?  You mean, like a liberal TV star pretending to be an over the top caricature of a conservative TV star to satirize conservatives and our alt-media? 

SCAT (looks at at “Crooks and Liars” on IPad, is silent)

MITCH:  Er…Steven Colbert?

SCAT (Dissolves into the ether)

ROSTON (yells at passing teenage girl): Hey!  My sister had capris like that – until my dad got a job!  Who does your hair – Stevie Wonder?

MITCH:  Wow.  Imagine if they’d lost the election.  

(Walks to parking lot.  Gives leaflet to attendant.  Drives off into sunset).

Wedges 101: Let’s Review Some History

Let’s take a run back to 2008  The DFL controlled the legislature and everything else but the govenorship.

ME: “So, DFL – if you’re so hot for gay marriage, why don’t you pass a gay marriage bill?”

DFLers: “Because the Governor will veto it?

ME: “So?  Principle is principle!  If your voter base is so hot for gay marriage, why not put your stake in the sand, and make the GOP plant theirs?”

DFL:  “It’d be a waste of time”.

Fast forward to 2010:

ME:  “So, DFLers – see how the GOP pushes bills they believe in – everything from budget reforms to “Stand Your Ground” – so that the electorate knows who’s on what side of what issue, even though Governor Dayton is going to veto it?”

DFLers:  “Clearly you are a racist”.

Fast even further forward to Wednesday, when I pointed out to Minnesota Progressive Project ‘s Jeff Rosenberg that there was no chance on earth that the DFL was going to push gay marriage.  Partly because it’s worth more to them as a wedge.  Partly because they’ll take less electoral flak letting the courts do it.

Today?  I don’t wanna say “I told you so”.

No, I’ll let Jeff tell himself:

For those of us who want to see DFLers move decisively to approve equal marriage, there was disappointing news at a press conference held on Wednesday:

“Many Democrats, led by Gov. Mark Dayton, opposed the amendment. But on Wednesday they would not commit to overturning the law.

Senate DFL leader Tom Bakk of Cook said the state’s budget situation is so serious that he thinks any such policy decisions should be delayed. House DFL leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis would not go that far, but agreed budget work must come first.

In a radio interview, even the most outspoken same-sex marriage opponent, openly gay Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis, said he did not know if it was time to move forward with changing the law.”

Sorry, but saying that the budget must come first is a cop-out. The legislature can — and does — consider dozens of issues at one time. There will be over 110 DFLers in the legislature. Surely two or three of them can take some time to write the bill without taking away from work on the budget. Ater all, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage would probably only need to be a page or two long. It could be written, debated, and signed before the February economic forecast is available.

It could be six words long – “Son, you may kiss the groom” – and the DFL still won’t touch it.

Because gay marriage is worth a lot more to the DFL as a wedge issue than as a bunch of married gays.

The DFL – or, more realistically, the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, which does all the DFL’s thinking for it these days – needs to have lots of wedges to wave in front of the low-information, emotionally-manipulable audience that is its main source of voters.  And they’re going to need to conserve the ones they have, as the reality – “we just elected a high-tax, high-regulation bunch of government-worker-union stooges in the middle of a crap economy” – sinks in with Minnesotans.

Hey, Minnesotans!  Stop the hate!

Note To Whatever GOP Leadership Remains In The Legislature

To: The GOP Leadership In The Legislature, Whoever You End Up Being
From: Mitch Berg, Schnook Peasant
Re:  Upcoming Session


It’s two months ’til what is going to be a couple of very grueling sessions.

Now, Governor Dayton is an addled bobblehead who is nothing but a marionette for Alida Messinger and the unions that bought the office for him.  Tom Bakk and Paul Thissen are not much but capos for two bodies that are, let’s be honest, more of the same.  Our entire legislature will be owned and operated by Messinger, the “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”, the unions, the non-profits, and the media that serves as their PR wing.

The calls will go out; “time to be “bi-partisan””.

Don’t do it.

The DFL will be trying their best to give an air of “bipartisan” legitimacy to what is going to be an orgy of tax-hiking and spending.

Resist the temptation to try to go for the Lori Sturdevant seal of approval.

They are going to plunge this state into an orgy of spending, an taxation to support it.  Major Minnesota business are going to ship jobs outstate or overseas as fast as FedEx can jam them onto the plane.  Minnesota’s medical device industry is already evacuating; there will be more to follow.

You need to keep your fingerprints away from the scene of the crime.

If the Minnesota GOP has proven one thing, it sucks at messaging.  You’ll need to learn it, and pronto – because the media will try to portray the upcoming disaster as “a result of GOP intransigence”, notwithstanding their complete control over government for the next (sigh) two years.

Stand astride history and yell “we told you so”, and for chrissake, get ready for 2014.  The approval of the left’s pundits and the media (pardon the redundancy) will get you nothing.  
That is all. 

Media Lip-Prints On Mark Dayton’s Butt, Part I

The DFL – and, more accurately, its’ big-money PR operation “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” – have been trying to repeat a couple of Big Lies often enough that, over the course of the next two years, a plurality of Minnesotans agree with them.


One of them is the myth of the “do-nothing legislature”.  But I think even the least-informed Minnesotans are starting to figure out that over the past two years, the talk, even from the DFL’s noise machine, has turned from “We have a $6.6 Billion Dollar Deficit!” to “the surplus isn’t really all that surplus-y”.

Another?  The idea that the GOP is “extreme” and “focused on social issues” – as if the party can’t fiscally walk and chew social gum at the same time.   Please, people; we’re not DFLers.

But today?  We’ll be talking about the other Big Lie; that the GOP “shut down the government”.


Next week’s election is going to have a lot to do with setting the stage for the state’s next budget battle. It’ll be a fork in the road; the GOP path, leading to prosperity, and the Mark Dayton/Tom Bakk/Paul Thissen path, leading to California, Spain and Greece.

Today and tomorrow are also the vital seventeen-month anniversaries of the key dates in the final negotiations leading to the shutdown [1].  I’m going to walk through the events leading up to the shutdown.

The inevitable conclusion is that the DFL’s line is a complete fabrication, designed only to leave the uninformed with a sound-bite to take to the polls with them.  Even Alida Messinger knows that she’ll need more than 43% in 2014.  

We’ll start the whole thing out with a Mark Dayton quote from Esme Murphy’s show. Murphy was doing her usual job – painting the toenails of DFLers on the air – when she asked the governor if he had any regrets about the shutdown:

MURPHY:  The proposal that you ended up agreeing to was basically the one that was offered up on June 30, before the shutdown.  Do you have any regrets now about not taking that proposal and trying to work that out on June 30th that would have prevented the shutdown?

DAYTON:   Well, very significant difference, I was unaware on June 30, in fact I was clearly aware to the contrary, that all these social policy issues, from banning stem cell research and everything else, and just really reactionary social policy, was taken off the table.  That just was not part of my understanding on June 30th it was a very important part of the consideration after the shutdown…

The Governor is lying.  (The governer is also borderline incoherent).

On June 29, 2011, the GOP- controlled Legislature sent Mark Dayton an offer.  Sources on Capitol Hill tell me that this proposal did involve some give and take on policy issues both fiscal and social; in exchange for compromise on revenue, the governor would give some ground on some social policy issues.

It was a negotiation.  That’s where both sides bargain their various chips with each other, to try to get the end result they want.  This, the GOP did.

In other words, the GOP Legislature did what they had been elected to do.  And given that there were some sort of tax hikes – even indirect ones – in the proposal, it was politically risky for a bunch of Republicans who’d been sent to office promising to hold the line on taxes and spending.

And so the proposals went to the governor on June 29.

The next day?

We’ll talk about that that tomorrow.

Continue reading

The Crack Of Doom

Leah Barkoukis notes something that should replace the tingles in Chris Matthews’ and Barack Obama’s legs with chills of dread.

For this entire election, the Obama Administration, and Democrats up and down the food chain, have been laboring mightily to pound a couple of sound bites into voters’ heads; that Republicans will take away contraception and send illegal immigrants back across the border and give tax breaks to billionaires while soaking the middle class, that Barack Obama ended the war on terror by killing Osama Bin Laden, and that the economy is chugging right back to life and even if it doesn’t it’s Bush’s fault anyway.

These are aimed at the “Low-Information Voter” –  the people who don’t care much about politics, who don’t really follow issues in depth, whose votes are swayed by the loudest chanting points in their minds when they go to the polls (among those who can be convinced, at any rate; union Democrats and single-issue pro-lifers don’t figure in this).

But what happens if the meme rattling about the low-information voters’ heads isn’t fictional wars on womyn and the poor?  What if, in spite of the media’s best efforts, the single “chanting point” on their mind is the one they see with their own eyes, and hear from their families and friends?  That the economy sucks and nobody cares who inherited it from whom?

That, Barkoukis says, is Why Lindsay Lohan’s Endorsement Matters:

Lohan is a low information voter convinced that (a) employment is really important, (b) thinks that employment is not being sufficiently handled by the White House right now and (c) thinks that Mitt Romney is better equipped to handle employment.

That arguably logical sequence is all that it takes for a low-information voter to support Mitt Romney. The thing is, there are millions of voters like her. That should terrify the Obama campaign.

A stopped clock is right twice a day.  It is a fact that Obama’s policies will institutionalize U6 numbers in the double digits.  Linday Lohan may not know what a U6 number is.  Either may your underemployed nephew who graduated from college with a degree in anthropology two years ago and has been temping ever since while living in your sister’s basement.  But both of them – your idiot nephew and Lohan, whose father is reportedly unemployed – know what their lying eyes tell them.

One b-list actress and rolling train wreck isn’t a trend, of course.  But let’s presume for a monent that a significant chunk of low-information voters are, improbably, focused on something that matters.  Bad news for Obama, ja?

Question for Minnesota:  does this mean Minnesota voters will shun the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s low-info voter campaign?

Or, counterintuitively, does the success of the GOP legislature in taming the state’s fake “deficit” and helping unemployment edge down to a near-low in the US actually harm them in the battle for the not-overly-informed?


(SCENE:  A press conference on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol.  Gretel Anderson-Rage of the League of Women Voters, Mike Boing of Common Cause MN and Irving Blotnik of the ACLU-MN are hosting a group of speakers, as two reporters, a homeless guy, and Carrie Lucking (of Alliance for a Better Minnesota) look on.

BOING:  We are here to bring the voices of Minnesotans who will be disenfranchised by the Voter ID bill if it’s passed.  We have four speakers for you today.  I’d like to introduce the first; representing the Deceased-Minnesotan community, Elmer Torstengard.

TORSTENGARD:  (Looking a bit pale)  Hello dere.  I just want to make sure the rights of dead people are upheld  We worked long and hard for this country, and our voices deserve to be heard.  Why should the fact that I died in 1992 silence me?  (Shuffles back to seat)

ANDERSON-RAGE:  Thank you, Elmer.  We are here today to bear witness to the voter suppression inherent in this bill, which will disenfranchise 100,000… (LUCKING waves arms, points fingers upward) 200,000 (LUCKING frantically waves, points arms way up as she jumps) 500,000 (LUCKING frantically makes “go big” sign) Five Million Minnesotans.  One of them will be Jacob Hemmerling-Doltz, a student at Macalester and a representative of the Duplicate-American community.

HEMMERLING-DOLTZ:  Dude.  I’ve got candidates I support down at Mac, dude.  And back home in Madison, too, dude.  And in Uptown Minneapolis, where I stayed last summer when I was interning with MPIRG.  I’ve made my contributions in all three places, why should my voice not be heard in all of them, dude.  I mean, dude?  Hello?  And maybe Dinkytown  (Sits down)

BOING:  I regret to announce our third speaker, Ingrid Bloff, representing the Inattentive-American community, seems to have forgetten to attend today’s event.  So we’ll move right along to Mr. Mick Maus, who represents the Fictional-American community.

MAUS:  Yeah, like, who says I can’t be living in a laundromat with nine other characters….er, Minnesotans? Just because we don’t meet your antiquated Eurocentrist notion of “proof we exist” doesn’t mean our voices aren’t perfectly valid!   You can’t prove they’re not!  Where are the convictions, huh?  Where are the convictions?  You got nothing!  Suck it!  SUCK IT!

BLOTNIK: Thank you for your attendance.  Just a quick note, you may be breaking campaign finance law by being here, or reading about the event.  Or maybe not.  We haven’t decided.

BOING:  Thank you!

(Group leaves the steps as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” plays on tinny loudspeaker)


The Democrat Low-Information Voter Monopoly

It started almost as a joke.  Two years ago, as I watched the Alliance for a Better Minnesota run Governor Dayton’s campaign (let’s be honest) behind a set of memes that a modestly intelligent junior high kid could have shredded, I observed that the Dems seemed to be basing their campaign on winning over “Low-Information Voters” – at its most charitable, people whose entire political worldview is shaped by soundbites, chanting points and slogans.

But the idea that the Democrats realize that the (let’s be charitable here) not-very-well-informed are the present, if not the future, of the Democrat and DFL parties started to gel earlier this election cycle, as the Dems’ array of chanting-point-bots lined up, one after the other, behind the ideas that…:

  • There’s a Republican “war on women”
  • That Medicare is fine.  Juuuuust fine
  • There there is no voter fraud problem
  • The Tea Party is violent
  • The Koch Brothers and Grover Nordquist are conservatism’s puppetmasters
  • That the economy is really picking up speed.  (“Just look at that Dow Jones!” bellow leftybloggers who haven’t wiped the spit off their monitors from when they were writing about “The 1%” and “The Banksters!”.

Still, it seemed so simplistic.

I said “Seemed”.  Because the Obama campaign has just made it official.

Protecting The Vote

I met my old friend “Lucky” Carroll, long-time DFL political operative and currently head meme-buffer for Alliance for a Better MInnesota, for a drink the other day.  As usual, she’d started before I got there.  Long before.

ME: (to waitress): Bring me a vodka sour. (to Carroll)  So whatcha been up to?

CARROLL:  (four empty cocktail glasses in front of her) I’ve been working to defeat the Voter Suppression Amendment.

ME:  Ah, the Voter ID Amendment.  Right.  So why would you want to defeat an amendment that would ensure that the integrity of our election system isn’t eroded by systematic fraud?

CARROLL:  Because we have the best election system in the world! (Finishes gin and tonic)

ME: OK well, currently the amendment is running about 2:1 in favor.  So what if a solid majority of Minnesota voters say that they want Voter ID?

CARROLL:  Then we’ll sue until the law gets thrown out anyway!

ME:  Wait – so you’ll disenfranchise a solid majority of Minnesota voters….

CARROLL:  The best voting system in the universe!


By the way, lefty organizations with deep pockets are pouring money into advertising against the Voter ID amendment.

The Minnesota Majority – and their “ProtectMyVote” organization – have been doing most of the work,and they are not with deep pockets; if you can peel off a buck or two to help, it’d be much appreciated.

Peterson Averts Ritual Suicide; DFLers Outraged

Dave Mindeman seems flabbergasted that elected officials must be in tune with their voters on even the most flamingly, sirens-blazingly obvious issues:

Rep. Colin Peterson has confirmed that there is one thing more important than being a Democrat….one thing more important than principle….one thing more important than the truth.

That would be: The NRA

Well, let’s be honest here; it’s not “being a Democrat” that’s been keeping Peterson in office in his fairly conservative district – which, once Peterson retires, will likely become a hard-red district.  It’s reflecting his constituents.

And I’m curious what “principle” Mindeman thought Peterson was breaking; to most Americans, keeping government in line – say, when it uses the power of government to try to slander the law-abiding gun owner, or especially when they try to cover up and stonewall the facts of a case that’s led directly to the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and at least one, and now possibly two federal agents – is the height of principle.

This travesty of a contempt vote, being brought against Attorney General Eric Holder, that the House has insisted upon because the NRA is pulling the puppet strings, has 4 Democrats signing on to it. And one of those four is Colin Peterson.

And this blog salutes their courage, in bucking the Democrats’ naked power-mongering to stand up for the rule of law.

The whole issue is a joke. The Fast and Furious policy was a dumb thing to do but to move this whole thing into a contempt vote is even dumber.

I think Brian Terry’s family might agree it was a “dumb” thing to do – and would think getting answers from our “public servants” isn’t so dumb at all.

I doubt Peterson would be giving it one minute of thought except for the fact that the NRA is going so “score” the vote. Scoring a contempt vote? How crazy is that?

Keeping score on a vote on an issue involving the “Justice” department using government time, resources and power primariliy to slander the NRA’s five million constituents?

Crazy like a fox – in that “I’d like to get re-elected” sense of the term.

But this has been crazy from the beginning. Just to gain some political points and satisfy the fantasy world of the NRA’s fear of the “secret Obama war on guns”, they are counting noses for this vote.

Dave Mindeman, like many Democrats, believes that Voter ID suppresses legal voting, but can’t believe an administration headed by a President who used to be bankrolled by an anti-gun foundation, and who depends disproportionally

Peterson plans to join in on the sham. And why not? It gets him NRA bonus points while sticking it to the administration – the one he is running away from.

Even a second amendment supporter like Peterson must know this whole thing is a joke….but then there has never been anything funny about the NRA.

But there is plenty funny about the way urban DFLers demonize it.  The NRA is perhaps one of the grass-rootsiest lobbying organizations there is.  It has five million paying members – unlike the typical big-money group supporting the DFL (say, “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, which has one).

And besides most Republicans, they have plenty of traction among Democrat voters outside the 494-694 circle, who may vote all wrong, but certainly understand that the Second Amendment is a civil right.

A right that Barack Obama and his administration have been trying – on  “principle” – to chip away at the best they could since before they were elected.

A rare kudo to Colin Peterson.  You finally got one right.

But feel free to desert him for this one, Democrats.

BONUS QUESTION: Why doesn’t Mindeman have similar harsh words for CD1’s Tim Walz, who also voted to hold Holder accountable for his coverup?   Closing ranks and ignoring it because the CD1 race might be closer, perhaps?  Do Dems only criticize the  Democrats they think they can afford to?

Just So We’re Clear On Things

Dave Mindeman is one of the small group of Twin Cities leftybloggers who doesn’t deserve to be under police surveillance.

That’s actually pretty solid compliment, given the nature of Twin Cities leftybloggers.

But he obeys a bunch of the usual leftyblogger strictures – most notable among them the idea that conservatives, as they relate us, never, ever ask questions, broach issues, object to things, or any of the other ways civilized grown-ups communicate.

No.  According to this post, we deal in cliches, whining and too-convenient caricature:

Oh, yes.  And they’re mind-readers, too:

Like clockwork, the right wing bloggers get on their high horse and rip into large donations going to liberal PACs. Alida Messinger gave $500,000 to WIN Minnesota and the cries of “foul” go ringing through the righty blogosphere. Example: Mitch Berg at Shot In The Dark.

I wish they would make a factual clarification in their indignation… it is only liberal money that they object to.


While I don’t expect that Mindeman has memorized the last ten years of this blog, I’ll drop a hint here; I’m one of those guys who thinks that everyone should be able to give everything they want to anyone they want – provided they disclose it.

The problem isn’t that Alida Messinger donates millions upon millions to the DFL.

The problem is that the DFL spends hundreds of thousands a year trying to cow conservatives out of doing it.

For years, they supported speech rationing – like McCain-Feingold with its strict limits on corporate and personal giving but oh-so-convenient exemptions for, mirabile dictu, the unions.

And for the past year or two, they – via their astroturf stealth PR group “Common Cause Minnesota” – have been working nonstop to demonize giving by anyone that opposes them. Target?  The Koch Brothers?  All of those are threats to democracy, naturally.

Alida Messinger and her plutodollars – well, that’s just a response!

Apparently, the progressive side of the ledger is supposed to unilaterally disarm in wake of Citizens United and give proper deference to the Koch Bros., the Freedom Fund, the Chamber of Commerce PAC, or Hubbard Broadcasting.

Except that lefty plutocrats have, for decades, now, ponied up far, far more nationwide than the whole assembled right-leaning money cartel.  
Example:  During the 2002 campaign, Paul Wellstone and Norm Coleman raised similar amounts of money – but Norm’s average donation was a fraction that of Wellstone’s.  His money came from big-money, largely out-of-state donors. 
But that’s not the only history – to say nothing of current events – the Dems want to rewrite:

Then there was the overreach that ended up hurting GOP donations when proper transparency was allowed. Namely, the Target donations to a group supporting Tom Emmer which has chilled Target’s involvement in partisan campaigns for 2012.

Well, it wasn’t an “overreach” so much as “the left finding a corporation that was socially and politically vulnerable to being bullied into compliance with the DFL’s the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s agenda”.

Conservatives are continuously using the left’s dislike for money in politics to shame us from working to achieve similar dollar numbers.

No, Dave,

We’re using your (plural) craven, cynical hypocrisy on the issue to let the people know what a bunch of double-talking used-car-salesmen are setting the Democrat agenda.

There is a huge difference!

Buying Minnesota – 2012 Edition

Two years ago, this blog led the Twin Cities media in documenting the extent to which liberal plutocrats and government employee unions were buying the gubernatorial race.

Because remember – money in politics is baaaad, unless it’s from a liberal plutocrat…

…like Alita Messinger, billionaire and scion of the Rockefeller fortune and, need we mention, ex-wife and chief bankroller of Mark Dayton.  She is the prime financier of a network of little-publicized groups – “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, “Win Minnesota”, “Common Cause Minnesota” – that funnel vast sums of money into epic, toxic sleaze campaigns against Republican candidates.

And Alita Messinger is back with a vengeance.  While her epic sleaze campaign against Tom Emmer was able to eke out a win for her ex in 2010,. the uppity peasants went and elected a Tea Party legislature.

And uppity peasants are one thing up with which she will not put:

Philanthropist  [!!!!!!!!] Alida Messinger, the ex-wife of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, is putting big money into overturning Republican control of the Minnesota Legislature.

Fundraising reports released Tuesday showed that Messinger gave $500,000 to the WIN Minnesota political fund. That group funneled money to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a Democratic-supporting independent expenditure group expected to sink significant amounts into key legislative races.

Among others, they are pouring money into trying to unseat Doug Wardlow in Eagan and Dave Hancock in Bemidji.

Dayton is asking voters to give Democrats control of the Legislature for the second half of his term.

This story is Berg’s Seventh Law in action; months of caterwauling about the Koch Brothers and “ALEC” have been done, entirely and without exception, to either distract attention from Messinger and her fellow plutocrats’ flow of money, or at least to let them say “Yeah, but you do it too!”:

Messinger’s donations dwarfed all others to independent groups so far this year. Three Republican-oriented funds combined had $380,000 on hand.

In 2010, Messinger was a major donor to funds that ran ads attacking Republican Tom Emmer in the governor’s race, which Dayton won by less than 1 percentage point.

On the one hand, this election is the national debate writ small:  Dayton, like Obama, depends almost entirely on big donors – Obama on Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Dayton on the Hamptons and the government unions – to cling to relevance.

On the other?  The Democrats know they can count on at least 43% of the voters to be ill-informed enough to fall for their propaganda machine’s slop.

The GOP’s freshman class in the legislature brought a lot of good, hard-nosed, idealistic conservatives into office – Wardlow and Hancock and Roger Chamberlain and Mary Franson and King Banaian and many others included, many of whom are on Messinger’s hit list.  They’re counting on the disarray in the state party to help them.

The GOP – especially its freshmen, who largely kept their promises – need your support more than ever.  If there were ever a time for Minnesota’s conservatives – a true Army of Davids – to pull off an upset against the DFL’s League of Plutocrats, this is the time.

Because the GOP Freshmen are all that stand between us and Minnesota becoming a cold Greece.

Tony Hernandez: Five Paths To Congress

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln.

As a matter of full disclosure, I’m a worker-bee volunteer at the Tony Hernandez for Congress campaign.

When I mention this to people in my relentlessly-DFL neighborhood – and among some of my stalkers on Twitter – I get some fairly predictable responses:

  • “Wow.  Sounds like a difficult race“.  Stipulated!
  • “You are teh looser! Bettty MacGolum will win teh race, and you shoud not even try two stop her!” More below.
  • “Why?”

The “why” is easy; to win.  To send the first Republican to Congress since the 1940s from CD4.  Not to “move the needle”, or to make the DFL spend money to keep Betty in office, although both will be byproducts of a campaign to win the Fourth CD.  But this isn’t about half-measures and consolation prizes; it’s about winning.

Of course it’s a difficult race.  In 2010 – as good a year for the GOP as we’ve seen in recent years – Betty McCollum trounced Teresa Collett by 2:1 which, ironically, is the same margin of IQ that Teresa had and has over the Congresswoman.  Name every candidate in recent memory in the Filthy Fourth – Ed Matthews in 2008., Obi Sium in 2006, Patrice Battaglia in ’04, Linda Runbeck in ’00.  Every one of them would have made a better Congressperson than Betty McCollum who, near as we can tell, serves no purpose other than pom-pom girl for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

(No, seriously – read and listen to her.  She talks like a junior high kid trying to get through a civics class presentation.  Look at her website sometime; she seems inordinately proud of having rid America of the scourge of National Guard ads at NASCAR events – which seems to be her signal accomplishment.  Or something).

Nobody doubts that this is going to be a very, very tough race.  Just as the CD8 race in 2010 and the CD6 bout in 2008 were very, very tough races.  Nobody doubts that the DFL considers CD4 “their” turf.  And for the next ten years – until the next round of redistricting, with ten more years of DFL mismanagement driving more and more people out of Saint Paul and its’ more DFL-addled inner ‘burbs – it may well stay that way.  That’s life.

But CD4 isn’t the same district it was in 2010.

The way I see it, there are five paths to victory for Tony Hernandez.  And he is going to need to take all five of them for this to be a victory, or even an especially close race.

It’s Not Your Grampa’s Fourth CD – Redistricting didn’t do Betty any favors this time.  Where the old Fourth was as solidly DFL as could have been designed – Saint Paul and a bunch of DFL-addled inner ‘burbs – the New Fourth includes the entire swath east of Saint Paul all the way to the Saint Croix River, including Woodbury, Lake Elmo, Stillwater, and a slew of other suburbs full of people who, in many cases, fled the blight that the DFL brought to places like Saint Paul., Roseville and Maplewood.  They’ve spent years working hard, building communities run in many cases by good, solid, thrifty, competent conservative GOP city and county governments – working far to hard to see it all dumped in the sewer of incompetent, spendthrift, venal DFL perfidy that seems to have chased them down.  This is especially true of the wave of minorities who’ve moved to places like Woodbury, seeking decent schools and streets safe from that most noxious DFL constituency, petty criminals.

This is especially vital for Asian-American voters – those who moved up and out of Saint Paul to Woodbury because they were tired of a school system that marginalized their young men, and the ones who still live there and whose businesses along University have been sacrificed by the New Mandarins of the Met Council.

And for Latino voters, who came to America to find the kind of opportunity that McCollum seems to think awaits them only by dint of Government favor.

There’s also the little matter of all those Stillwater people sitting in endless traffic jams all summer because of the years McCollum spent opposing a new Stillwater bridge (before shamelessly flip-flopping).

It’s possible they may vote DFL.  We’re going to try to fix that.

Betty Is Long Past Her Shelf Date – McCollum has been in Congress for what?  Ten years?  And the interesting thing is this – election in, election out, her numbers just keep dropping.  Wave year or slow year, fewer and fewer people turn out to vote for her.  Oh, the unions keep funding her, and lavishly so, but when it comes to actual voters, even in landslide Democrat years, people just don’t care about her that much.

And they don’t have to – in a “safe” district where the DFL can traditionally run a set of wind-up chattering teeth and count on 55% of the vote.

But the Fourth isn’t like that any more.  It used to be a 70-30 district, maybe 65-35 in a bad year.  Now it’s probably more like 60-40.  Which is still a tough race – but it’s also about where the 8th CD was two years ago.  And we know how that turned out.

No Coattails:  The DFL can usually count of 40-odd percent of Minnesotans voting for whatever piece of crap the Democrats endorse for President, Govenror or Senate.  It’s a fact of life.

But Americans are much worse off than they were four years ago.  And to the extent Minnesotans are better-off, it’s because of GOP policies held to by Tim Pawlenty against the DFL’s best efforts, and by a GOP majority against Mark Dayton’s obstruction.

Now, the DFL’s paid PR arms – Common Cause and Alliance for a Better Minnesota – will be doing their best to try and obscure and confuse that fact.  It may even work – the 2010 gubernatorial election showed that 43% of Minnesotans are ill-informed, incurious, or just gullible – but they’ve got their work cut out for them, because in this election, Barack Obama is going to have all the coat-tails of a Daisy Duke tube top.

It’s Not Your Grandfather’s GOP:  While the Fourth CD GOP seems to be planning to be irrelevant in the coming election, it’s a different GOP than in previous years.  The Ron Paul surge brought a flood of new, passionate voters, activists and candidates to the fore.  In the past, I’ve challenged them to make sure they express some of that passion down-ticket from Ron Paul and Kurt Bills – and to a gratifying extent, many of them are.  There are more young Republicans running credible campaigns this year than in any year I can remember; unlike previous years when half the GOP legislative candidates were “warm bodies on the ballot” that didn’t fund-raise or door-knock, every single Republican race in CD4 this year is a real effort.

And that’s not all.  Four years ago, when it came to outreach among New Americans and minorities, the GOP had nowhere to go but up; it couldn’t have gotten any worse.  But over the past two years, conservatives – especially Dan Severson and his crew – have been actually doing the long-neglected work of building relationship among all those New Americans.  Will it make a difference in this election?  Perhaps – and the effort is as much about 2020 as about 2012.

So will the combination of newbie fervor, outreach and Obama and Dayton’s underwhelming record make a difference?

We’ll see.

Just Plain Passion:  Tony’s running a hard, aggressive race.  He’s got some good people working on his campaign – one of the fruits of the previous 4th CD GOP “establishment’s” effort to find and train campaign-management talent.  The campaign has nothing to lose, everything to gain, and is doing something the GOP in the 4th has tried before – taking the battle to the enemy – but hasn’t had the resources to pull off.

Will those five paths lead Tony to the Capitol?  Well, if I, a simple volunteer, have anything to say about it, absolutely.

Will it be a brutally tough race?  Absolutely.  But I’ll send you back to the Lincoln quote at the top.

And of course, these races don’t happen without help.  Tony’s campaign needs volunteers – and unlike some previous campaigns in the district, if you volunteer, you will be put to work!

And of course, money.  Betty McCollum can count on her masters, the government unions, to prop her up with close to a million dollars this cycle (because “Money in politics is evil”, as long as it’s not Democrat money).  If Tony’s gonna win – or qualify for any of the big national donors – he’s gotta earn money here at home.  If you can pony up a few bucks, please do.

Jesse Ventura was nothing but a fraternity prank run amok.  If you want to really shock the world – as in, make Chip Cravaack’s victory look like a fart in a tornado – let’s give Tony’s campaign a push.

Berg’s Seventh Law In Action

Berg’s Seventh Law – “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds” – is going to be one of the dominant themes of the both the Presidential and the Minnesota Legislative campaigns.

We’ve been subjected to a solid year of caterwauling about the Flying Koch Brothers – who donate a fraction of what George Soros has pumped into liberal politics over the years – and “ALEC“, which “donates” ideas and the model legislation, which is pretty much what the Teachers Union does (except the Teachers donate lots of money too).   And above all, we’ve been subjected to years of liberal do-gooder fronts like “Common Cause” telling us that money in politics is baaaaaad.


To draw attention away from the extent to which the Democrats are controlled – not “supported”, “controlled” – by plutocrats.

Here in Minnesota, the DFL has basically handed its entire message operation over to “Alliance for a Better Minnesota“, the PR arm of a network of fundraising groups, unions and, especially, wealthy liberals.  They’ve even put Ken Martin, former administrator of part of that network, in charge of the DFL – which is, really, a measure of how much the DFL has become the instrument of the will of a small pack of liberal moneybags.

More on that later.

With Obama’s support among the middle class, small business and blue-collar whites in free fall, and enthusiasm among Latinos, women with kids and the unemployed young stagnant, Obama really has only one important constituency locked up:   the extremely wealthy, and Hollywood.  And since the regular “big-money” donors – people who donate between $500 and $2,500 to the campaign – are bailing on Obama

…well, you see the conundrum, here, right?  Where’s Obama going to go for money other than the people who still support him completely, and lavishly?

And with that said, who is he going to listen to when it comes time to try to enact policy?

Obama has seen enough Architectural Digest-type interiors in Park Avenue triplexes and Beverly Hills mansions, and on the block in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, where every house is owned by a billionaire, to develop an expertise in Louis XV walnut commodes and Brunschwig & Fils fabrics.

He’s also had plenty of chances to absorb the advice of the kind of rich liberals who like to give money to Democratic presidents. And the evidence that he has taken some of that advice is his initiatives on three controversial issues, each of which involves serious political risk.

Barone spells out how plutocrat money drove Obama’s positions on gay marriage, government-paid contraception and abortion (and the jamming the bill for both down on churches that oppose them on religious grounds), and…

The third issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil produced from tar sands in Canada to United States refineries and create thousands of jobs in the process.

Earlier this year, Susie Buell Tompkins, John Kerry’s fourth-biggest money-raiser in 2004, picketed outside an Obama fundraiser at San Francisco’s W Hotel to protest the pipeline. She wanted Obama’s State Department to block it because she thinks tar sands production hurts the environment and the planet.

Our neighbors the Canadians, who are not unconcerned about the environment themselves, disagree. The pipeline’s promoters say it would produce 20,000 American jobs and would tend to lower U.S. gas prices.

Obama came out on Tompkins’ side and blocked the pipeline.

And enacting non-fiscal, mostly-social policy pushed by plutocrats is great politics, because plutocrats represent real people -right?

If the same-sex marriage reversal seems somewhat risky politically and the contraception mandate considerably riskier, the Keystone pipeline decision seems downright foolish politically. Voters tend to favor it by two-to-one margins — and if they’re not aware of it, the Republicans (and maybe the pro-pipeline unions) will make sure they are.

The priorities of the well-connected, donation-happy and frighteningly well-off will continue to drive Obama’s policy.

And when your liberal friends – and the DFL’s trained chimps like “Common Cause’s” Mike Dean – plump about the evils of money in politics, ask them to clarify who’s money they’re talking about.

Chanting Points Memo: If “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” Couldn’t Lie, They’d Be Mute

Last night, the paid flaks at “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” – the astroturf PR group financed by the Dayton family, Mark Dayton’s ex-wife Alita Messinger, a bunch of their liberal plutocrat friends, and the unions that own Mark Dayton, put out a tweet:

Good thing Gov. Dayton vetoed the law: Study says ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws increase homicides  http://ow.ly/bwUQs   #mnleg  #stribpol

Now, as always – when ABM says, writes or posts anything, one is best to do…


I don’t wanna keep seeing the same hands, here.  What does one do?

Distrust, then verify.  Then, almost inevitably, distrust some more.

So let’s look at the study and, as ABM would have the ill-informed voter believe, this wave of fresh murder begat by “Stand Your Ground”.  The study was cited in a WSJ Law Blog post:

In April, more than a month after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, we looked the incidence of justifiable homicides in states with “stand your ground” or “castle doctrine” laws like Florida’s.

In general, such laws grant people more leeway to use lethal force on an attacker. More than 20 were passed after Florida’s in 2005. They typically do at least one of the following:

• Remove a person’s duty to retreat in places outside the home

• Add the presumption that the person who killed in self defense had a reasonable fear of death or harm  [subject, in ever case I’m aware of, to a hearing establishing that that fear was reasonable]

• Grant people who killed in self-defense immunity from civil lawsuits [provided, of course, they are found to have acted in legal self-defense; currently, a woman killing a stalking rapist is only as safe from being sued back to the stone-age by her rapist’s family as the least bobble headed jury that can be empaneled]

So let’s look at the study’s conclusions (and I’ll add emphasis):

Justifiable homicides nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, according to the most recent data available, when 326 were reported. The data, provided by federal and state law enforcement agencies, showed a sharp increase in justifiable homicides occurred after 2005, when Florida and 16 other states passed the laws.

While the overall homicide rates in those states stayed relatively flat, the average number of justifiable cases per year increased by more than 50% in the decade’s latter half.

Now, let’s put that number into two bits of context.

First;  the “doubling” – 160 or so killings up to 320 and change – amounts to less than 1% of the people killed in unjustifiable homicides every year.

And every single one of them involves someone who was ruled to have had a legitimate fear of being killed or maimed, killing an attacker first.

These “homicides”, every one of them, occurred in lieu of a rape, murder, kidnapping or aggravated assault.  In every case, the alternative to those 320-odd justified homicides would have been an innocent person dead; a woman raped; a child kidnapped, a person beaten into a vegetative state.

The study – and ABM – would have you think that’s a bad thing.  Or at least have you not think about it very hard.

Speaking of the study – what about it?

The answer, [Texas A&M Professors Mark Hoekstra and Cheng Cheng] conclude, is [that “Stand Your Ground” does not deter crime]. In fact, the evidence suggests the laws have led to an increase in homicides.

From the study:

Results indicate that the prospect of facing additional self-defense does not deter crime.  Specifically, we find no evidence of deterrence effects on burglary, robbery, or aggravated assault.  Moreover, our estimates are sufficiently precise as to rule out meaningful deterrence effects.

The blog post doesn’t go into details about the study – but this paragraph is nonsense on several levels.

  • So was the study “sufficiently precise” to account for other factors in changing murder rates?
  • Did it account for the deterrent effect that John Lott proved that the concealed carry laws that usually accompany “Stand Your Ground” provide?  Because if those laws are already deterring violent crime, there’s a smaller pool of violent crimes to deter.  Right?

Which leads them to concludes…:

In contrast, we find significant evidence that the laws increase homicides.

But what kind of “homicides?”

Suggestive but inconclusive evidence indicates that castle doctrine laws increase the narrowly defined category of justifiable homicides by private citizens by 17 to 50 percent, which translates into as many as 50 additional justifiable homicides per year nationally due to castle doctrine.

But if they’re justifiable – a response to a lethal threat – then why is this a problem?

Is the death of a rapist the same as the death of his victim?

More significantly, we find the laws increase murder and manslaughter by a statistically significant 7 to 9 percent, which translates into an additional 500 to 700 homicides per year nationally across the states that adopted castle doctrine.

And there, the researchers find causation in a correlation.

Which came first – the rise in violent crime, or the rise in killings in self-defense?

Thus, by lowering the expected costs associated with using lethal force, castle doctrine laws induce more of it.

This is patent nonsense.

The study seems to make several key errors of logic:

  • Considering “justifiable homicides” a bad thing. And they are, in a very real way; they’re the second-worst possible outcome of a lethal-force situation. But giving the same moral weight to the death of someone who was killed for providing a deliberate and grave threat to another person, who responded by shooting?  That’s madness.
  • Not providing full context for the numbers – the researchers ascribe a hike in all homicides to the “lowered cost” of self-defense.  But we don’t know which murders are attributable to which motive.  Also, we don’t know how many of the un-justifiable homicides were justifiable, but hung up on one technicality or another in court (see George Zimmerman).
Back to the study:


This increase in homicides could be due either to the increased use of lethal force in self-defense situations, or to the escalation of violence in otherwise non-lethal conflicts. We suspect that self-defense situations are unlikely to explain all of the increase, as we also find that murder alone is increased by a statistically significant 6 to 11 percent.

I find that number intensely suspect, and will be looking into it.  My sniff-sensor tells me that number is BS – murder rates in general are dropping, nationwide, and given the number of states with stand your ground laws, it seems unlikely that there’s any link.

As the authors note, the increase in homicides may not be viewed by everyone as “unambiguously bad.” It could be driven by individuals protecting themselves from imminent harm by using lethal force. But it could also be driven by an escalation in violence that, absent the “castle doctrine,” wouldn’t have ended in serious injury for either party, they say.

Or it could – no, it would  – be substituting deaths of criminals for deaths of the innocent.

The Dayton Way

National Review ran yet another dissection of the complete collapse of Detroit last week.

One of the key lessons – giving unions carte blanche neither bolsters middle-class wages nor general prosperity:

One lesson to learn from Detroit is that investing unions with coercive powers does not ensure future private-sector employment or the preservation of private-sector wages, despite liberal fairy tales to the contrary, nor do protectionist measures strengthen the long-term prospects of domestic firms competing in highly integrated global markets. We cannot legislate away comparative advantage or other facts of life. But the problem of unions’ coercing distortions in the private sector is at this point a relatively small one, given the decline of unionization outside of government. Organized labor being a fundamentally predatory enterprise, its attention has turned to the public sector, where there are fatter and more stable rents to be collected.

Also – taxing ones’ way to prosperity is merely the road to madness:

The second important lesson to be learned from Detroit is that there are hard limits on real tax increases, a fact that will be of more immediate significance in the national debate as our deficit and debt problems reach crisis stage. Even those of us who are relatively open to tax increases as a component of a long-term debt-reduction strategy must keep in mind that our current spending trend is putting us on an unsustainable course in which our outlays will far outpace our ability to collect taxes to pay for them, no matter where we set our theoretical tax rates.

Detroit was a cold Greece long, long ago.

 But tax rates are not the only incentive: Google is not going to set up shop in Somalia. Healthy governments create conditions that make it worth paying the taxes — which is to say, governments are a lot like participants in any other competitive market (with some obvious and important exceptions).

And one of the keys to that is that creating a “healthy government” isn’t much different than creating a “healthy teenager”, in health doesn’t’ mean “giving them everything they think they need”.

The benefits of being in Detroit used to be worth the costs, but in recent decades millions of people and thousands of enterprises large and small have decided that is no longer the case. It is not as though one cannot profitably manufacture automobiles in the United States — Toyota does — you just can’t do it very well in Detroit. No one with eyes in his head could honestly think that the services provided by the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan are worth the costs.

The lesson there:  while government is necessary to create the legal stability needed to do business of any kind, when government’s main mission becomes sustaining itself, it defeats that purpose.

The third lesson is moral. Detroit’s institutions have long been marked by corruption, venality, and self-serving. Healthy societies have high levels of trust. Who trusts Detroit?

Without some other overarching reason to stay there?  And in Detroit – without the location and markets of a New York (I’m thinking in the Dinkins era, of course) or the resources of a New Orleans or the weather of a Miami?  There’d be no reason.

What is true of Detroit is true of the country. Our national public sector not only is bloated and parasitic, it is less effective, less responsible, and less honest than that of many other developed countries, including New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Germany. I am not an unreserved admirer of Transparency International’s global corruption-perceptions index, but I believe that it is in broad outline accurate. Liberals are inclined to learn the wrong lessons from the relative success of countries such as Canada or New Zealand, concluding that what we need is a bigger welfare state, government-run health care, etc.

And as it’s true for the nation, it’s true for Minnesota.

Who has spent the last year trying to expand the coercive power of Minnesota unions, by trying to unionize home daycare providers and expending boundless political capital on stopping the Right to Work amendment?

Whose entire substantive platform (other than “create chanting points for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota”) is “raise taxes?”

Whose administration is focused on obstructing efforts to curb corruption and safeguard the state voting system?

I’m not saying Mark Dayton is trying to be a Detroit-style governor.

I’m just saying that if he were, I can’t think of anything he’d be doing differently.

Maybe “get indicted for something”.  Other than that, I got nothing.


I’m supporting Tony Hernandez for US House in CD4.

Someone asked me “what is it you’re trying to accomplish by campaigning against long-time incumbent Betty McCollum”  Are you just trying to move the needle?  Force the DFL to spend money on McCollum so they can’t spend it against Bachmann, Kline, Paulsen and Cravaack?


I mean, yes – all of that.  But that’s all vastly subsidiary to the real goal.  And that real goal isn’t “vanquishing Betty McCollum” – although driving her from office in a humiliating defeat this fall, sending her back to work as a receptionist at Alliance For A Better Minnesota, would be a great start.

No, my goal is this:  Within ten years, I want the DFL to be the minority party in Saint Paul.  I want the children of today’s DFLers to mock, taunt and revile their elders for their depraved short-sightedness in ever having backed such a addlepated party, a party that played such a pivotal role in trying to leave them in generations of debt.  In 2022, I want Democrats to quietly soft-pedal their party endorsement, lest they be pelted with rocks and garbage from a community that regards them as the petty authoritarians they actually are.

In short, I don’t want to just beat the DFL; I want to begin (or continue) an arc at the end of which is the complete extinction of – not the DFL, really, but the entire idea of “progressivism” as they practice it – the thinly-veiled authoritarianism of the centralized, bureaucratic, interventionist government (and if it’s a dead issue here, really, where will they be viable?).

Any questions?

Chanting Points Memo: “Do-Nothing”

Speaker Zellers and Senator Senjem had barely brought the gavels down on the session when the DFL’s paid PR organs – Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Common Cause and the unions – and their unpaid ones in the media started chanting the meme: it’d been a “do-nothing” legislature.

That is, of course, objectiively wrong.  The GOP went into the session with big plans, and threw itself into carrying them off.

The DFL and Governor Dayton went into the session with smaller plans:

  • Run out the clock
  • Veto everything they could
  • Hope redistricting would pull their chestnuts out of the fire come November.

It’s not a bad strategy, really; it ties in seamlessly with the DFL’s strategy this past several elections: “lie about everything convincingly enough to sway the stupid vote”.

But in addition to being a really really cynically ofay political strategy, it’s just plain not true. Here’s a sampling of what the “do-nothing’ legislature managed to get past a sluggardly DFL minority and a Governor whose only activities this past session were vetoing legislation and kissing Roger Goodell’s ass:

  • Brought the deficit from the “nearly seven billion” of two years ago to a billion dollars and change in surplus today.
  • They passed a Voter ID Amendment, which promises to help make MInnesota elections less like Chicago’s
  • Furthered policies that led to the creation of 41,000 jobs – almost making up for the 47,000 jobs lost jn 2009 and 2010 when the DFL controlled the legislature.
  • Brought Health and Human Services spending increases down from the double digits under DFL mismanagement to just over the rate of inflation.
  • King Banaian’s “Sunset Advisory Commission” did something I do not believe any DFL government has ever done; eliminated government offices that had outlived their usefulness.
  • Tort Reform
  • Changes in school choice laws.

Oh, yeah – and they passed a ton of other bills, which Dayton then vetoed.

Put another way:  a legislature elected by over 50% of each district’s voters was stymied by a governor elected by barely over 40% of the people.

But that matters not to Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota, and its new astroturf spinoff, “Alliance for a Better Legislature”.  WIth nothing to show for their own session, the DFL and its astroturf partners’ only really strategy is…:

  • Find a big lie
  • Tell it constantly
  • Peel off enough stupid people…
  • …or fake and duplicate people to flip the Legislature while they still can.

They are about to dump more money into this state than we’ve ever seen – which is, of course, why they’ve spent the last year whinging about  the “American Legislative Exchange Commission”.  It’s Berg’s Seventh Law:  “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”.

It’s going to be a busy six months for conservative bloggers and talk radio – the only counterbalance the media and DFL (ptr) and all of their Rockefeller money have in this state.


Governor 1%

It’s become clear this past few days what “Governor” Dayton’s only real goal has been this past session: provide chanting points for the DFL and its paid messaging service, Alliance For A Better Minnesota.

Well, that and providing Wilfare.

Yesterday, Dayton vetoed a tax bill aimed at helping jump-start small business:

The plan would have given tax breaks for research and development, investment in new businesses, historic preservation and the Mall of America expansion. Tax rebates on capital equipment purchases would have been replaced by upfront tax breaks to small businesses purchasing capital equipment. Included was a provision Dayton sought: giving tax breaks to employers who hired veterans.

And in this lies the three biggest lessons of this entire fiasco of a session. They are simple, but apparently not simple enough to penetrate some moderate Republicans’ heads:

  1. The DFL – and especially the media that supports them – loves “bipartisanship”.  Provided it’s solely on the part of Republicans.
  2. The DFL’s goal isn’t improving Minnesota, or making a better life for Minnesotans.  It’s getting and keeping power.
  3. To get the power back that they lost in 2010, the DFL is engaging in a Big Lie – really, a series of small lies, aimed at winning over the votes of the naive, the addled, the stupid, the ingenuous, the disingenuous and the illiterate.

That third bit?  Right here:

But Dayton said the bill tilted too heavily toward business, to the virtual exclusion of homeowners, renters, farmers and senior citizens…”There is no question that Minnesota businesses have been hit hard by recent property tax increases,” he wrote. “But so has everyone else! … I remain committed to broad-based, comprehensive property tax relief for all property taxpayers, including — but not limited exclusively to — businesses.”

And there’s a Big Lie.  Dayton knows that property taxes are set by local government.  They – accountable at the lowest, most intimate level with their taxpayers – control their own spending.  Dayton, like all the bobbleheaded leftybloggers who also get their chanting points from Alliance For A Better Minnesota, is trying to convince just enough of the ill-informed that this is not to to eke out a legislative victory.

And here’s the message I want to make sure gets out:

After weeks of intense lobbying, state business leaders were unhappy with the veto.

Jobs – real jobs that help the economy grow, not state jobs – come from business.  Now, I’ve heard some business owners say they are disgusted by the performance of the MNGOP in this past session,.

In response, here are  your two answers:

  • Yesterday, we noted that the GOPers that were sent to kick butt for lower taxes have been largely holding their ground.
  • Here, in this veto, you see the bloody conundrum; sending the GOP home this November to “teach the party a lesson” will leave Mark Dayton in complete control.

If you are a Minnesota businessperson, the lesson is clear:  if you are Zygi Wilf, government is here to serve you.  If you are not?  Then government is here to tax you, regulate you, to force you to unionize…

…and eventually strangle you.

Tom Dooher Is A Lying Sack Of Garbage

I’ve said it over and over – and every day of new evidence confirms it more; the DFL’s strategy seems to be “say whatever we want to (knowing that the media will never, ever contradict us in public, at least not in a way that the majority of voters will ever see or hear),  regardless of accuracy or truth, to sway the ill-informed, the ignorant, and the not-so-bright.  Because their votes (and whatever else we can jam through the polls) count just as much as the votes of the smart and informed people”.

Case in point:  Education Minnesota president t Tom Dooher’s statement to the media yesterday as the session drew to a close; I’ve added emphasis:

“The 2012 Legislature showed that Minnesotans will have a clear choice in November between leaders who truly value public education and those who view our classrooms as places for political games.

“The Republican majority introduced more than 20 bills targeting public education and educators this year. None of them responsibly addressed the most pressing needs of our students, including repaying the state’s $2 billion IOU to its schools, closing the achievement gap and developing a sustainable funding system for the future.

It’s a lie, of course.

The GOP did, in fact, propose and pass a bill that would have accelerated the repayment of the shift.   Governor Fauntelroy vetoed it.

This, really, shows several things:

The DFL’s campaign – say whatever it takes to win in November, truth be damned, is well underway.  The unions and Alliance for a Better Minnesota will soon be buying up millions in airtime to saturate this state with ads saying “The GOP hates kids”.  Mark my words.

Your children are the DFL’s pawns.  To the extent that the shift actually harms children (it really doesn’t; it inconveniences administrations), the DFL showed this session that they’d rather exploit them in November than pay for their education today.

This is what happens when you let “Right To Work” die in committee.  How wonderful would it have been to have every conservative, Republican member of EdMinn walk of the union out en masse at this hypocritical slander?   Or if the 42% of union members who do vote Republican tell their leadership “uh, not so fast” when the unions spend 95% of their dues on Democrats?

Apparently some genius in the majority caucus figured if they backed off on Right to Work, the unions would play fair this election.

This is politics in Minnesota today; one party does the best it can for a better Minnesota; the other does whatever it can to retain power, truth and ethics be damned.

Tevlin Slops The Narrative Trough

The sexual shenanigans of John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton and Andrew Weiner define the entire history of the Democratic Party. Everything about the Democrats – their beliefs, their policies, their legacy, the intellectual currents that led to the DFL being what it is today – all of it.  Every single aspect of Democrat life and thought in America is defined by affairs, hookers, harassing interns, and sending pictures of one’s wedding tackle.

More locally?  Jim Metzen’s drunk driving arrest is, in fact, the action that defines the DFL Party in Minnesota – all its activities, its policy positions, everything.

And at both levels, those incidents show the brazen hypocrisy of Democrats, in Minnesota and nationwide.


Now, you might read the above, and say “Hey, wait! Those actions, by individuals and small groups, do not, in and of themselves, “define” an an entire party.  They’re the actions of individuals, which have had consequences”.

And you’d have a point.

And my point is, in response, you’d be a smarter person, more logical writer and more ethical columnist than the Strib’s Jon Tevlin.

Although it’s not like you couldn’t see this one coming:

A short history of the current Minnesota GOP, in their own words:

June 2009: Members of the GOP’s Central Committee elect Tony Sutton as chairman.

“Yeah, we’re in soul-searching phase, but I think we’re coming to the end of that,” Sutton said. “I think we’re starting to get our sea legs back. We have to get back to our philosophical roots, so when we talk about fiscal responsibility, we mean it. We have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. ”

June 2009: “We went way off track in the last eight years,” said Sutton. “The party of fiscal responsibility was spending money like crazy in Washington.”

Repeat through a series of quotes involving Tony Sutton and his predecessor, Ron Carey, talking about how they were in the midst of leaving the party in better financial shape than they found it.

And not just leadership.

June 2009: Rep. Steve Drazkowski runs for office, emphasizes his “rural values,” which included tax cuts, fiscal responsibility and gun rights.

And not just money.  No, Tevlin found examples of Republicans uttering the dreaded “V” word – Values.

March 2010: Sutton tells Minnesota Public Radio the GOP is trying to convince Tea Party members it’s returning to core values: “We’re going to have to do it through our actions, not just words. We had spent eight years of being the party of so-called fiscal responsibility, but were spending money like drunken sailors.”

The word is like catnip to partisan pundits from the left and media (pardon, as always, the redundancy), who love bagging on (other groups’) values, when individuals don’t live up to them.

But only when they’re the values of the right.

A columnist could find a rich vein of jape-worthy material on the left, of course.  One could mock the left’s bepspoke “commitment’ to “education”, while they and major benefactor, the teachers’ unions, preside over a system that is (at least in Democrat urban areas) collapsing in every area but budget.

A truly curious columnist could squeedge boundless yuks from a party that proclaims sensitivity to the poor, while marching in lock step behind policies that do nothing but keep them poor.

A talking (typing?) head might cavort and romp around the fact that the DFL keeps gays in line as voters by paying lip service to a concept that they, from their president on down, only rarely support when it’s their actual vote on the line, barring the odd flurry of lip service before elections.

A columnist with genuine interest in holding institutions accountable might note that there is a party whose “values” claim to support children on the one hand but kill millions of them a year on the other, and whose “support” for “the family” is manifested in policies that are destroying the family.

That same columnist might note that the DFL is in plenty of debt itself, even after farming out its messaging operation – the parts that the Strib, WCCO, KARE, the City Pages, the programming side of MPR, and the entire Sorosphere don’t cover, anyway – to the plutocrat-and-union-financed “Alliance for a Better Minnesota“, which essentially does all of the DFL’s PR work gratis.

But Jon Tevlin is none of those.  He was hired to do Nick Coleman’s old job; be the “bad cop” to Lori Sturdevant’s “good cop” on the Strib’s DFL narrative-buffing team.

And that narrative is that this…:

March 2011: Alex Conant, a spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, assesses the legacy: “Hopefully, Gov. Pawlenty’s record of fiscal responsibility and government reform will be a model for the future.”

…and this…:

March 2011: “I believe so much in that personal responsibility concept and that city officials must be masters of their own fate, as pleasant or unpleasant as it is,” said Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake.

…and this…:

February 2011: All 37 Senate Republicans send a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton that restated their complete opposition to his plan to raise $3.3 billion in taxes, mostly on the wealthy. “We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem.”

…are completely, utterly and irrevocably negated by this:

May 2011: The GOP misses the first of many rent payments on their headquarters.

April 2012: The GOP’s landlord files eviction papers against the GOP, saying it owes $111,000 in rent, which it hasn’t paid in a year.

…which serves as a blanket indictment of this…:

October 2011: Hennepin County Commissioner, national committeeman and fiscal “watchdog” Jeff Johnson writes in a blog about Occupy Wall Street: “I frankly get very annoyed at the propensity of some to blame our greatest problems on the free market or successful businessmen and women rather than on government policies and the politicians who have gotten us into this massive mess.

You can tell Tevlin’s a professional.  He uses “scare quotes” to as a written substitude for giggling theatrically when saying “watchdog”, as if Jeff Johnson – who, a columnist with integrity would note, has led the effort to get the GOP’s budget house in order – were some profligate wastrel.

It’s called the Tu Quoque Ad Hominem – the idea that if anything one has ever done is inconsistent with one’s thesis, that and that alone invalidates the thesis.  
It is a fact that the MNGOP – let’s be charitable – gambled on spending a lot of money on political races at a time when political donations were dropping through the floor, much like a Democrat politician demanding a bigger budget as the economy head south.  There was little choice, in a sense – the GOP has to buy  favorable media, since it doesn’t have the Strib, MPR and the rest of the Minnesota mainstream press serving as its de facto PR agent.  
And the party is now suffering some fairly grievous fiscal consequences.  A lot of good people are working to fix that.
And it has nothing – zero, nada, zilch, bupkes – to do with policies proposed by pols who are members of the MNGOP, but whose job as legislators doesn’t involve administering the Minnesota GOP’s daily business. 
But the Strib’s priorities are, and have always been, clear. 
  1. It’s election time.
  2. The DFL, with no legislative achievements to talk about at any level, needs help.
  3. So the Strib will get back on narrative patrol, no matter how they have to waterboard logic, fact, ethics or context to do it.

Expect a “Minnesota Poll” any day that shows Minnesotans think the GOP should sit this election out to sort out its finances.  I’d almost put money on it…

…but I’m way too fiscally responsible for that.

Can’t You Suckers See That It’s Me, Me Me?

Faced with an amendment that will likely pass 2:1 this fall that will also peel off enough fraudulent votes to cost them some of the close elections (like the last Governor and Senate races), the Democrats are turning on the spin.

Emphasis added to this bit here from the MinnPost:

But opponents say it will make voting more difficult for those who don’t have  the right ID, such as seniors who no longer drive, college students, soldiers overseas and homeless people. And they argue that there’s no evidence that voter fraud is a big problem, and that there are laws in place already.

Dave Thul – regional blogger, activist and senior non-commissioned officer – pointed out in the comment section yesterday:

Every member of the US military on active duty is required to have and carry a photo ID. Every member of the military overseas is required to have said photo ID on them at all times.

Also, every US military member has in his or her unit an appointed Voting Assistance Officer, responsible for implementing the DOD directive that every member of the military will have the ability to vote. Voting assistance officers have the same legal authority as a notary public to sign off on a ballot to certify that the voter provided photo ID.

Huh.  I don’t recall anyone in the media checking on that.  Catherine Richert?  You out there?

Another one’s been making the rounds, this time from the MinnPost article linked above, with emphasis added::

…many voters do not realize that it is not just any government-issued (or approved) i.d. they would need to present at their voting place. It will be a special i.d. for voting only and those who want one will have to purchase and present a government-issued birth certificate or perhaps passport in order to get the voter i.d. card. I’m not sure of the current price of a birth certificate, but a passport cost $100 a few years ago.

The Pro-Voter Fraud crowd – the DFL, the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Common Cause and so on – are passing this meme around (or at least not saying it’s not wrong; they’re telling the students, the poor, and especially seniors that their driver’s license, state ID or existing passport won’t suffice for voting.

I expect the DFL to start telling that same crowd that Mary Kiffmeyer wants to collect bone marrow samples before voting.  Indeed, expect that previous sentence to pop up on at least one leftyblog.

Open Letter To Ron Paul Supporters In The 4th CD

To: Ron Paul Supporters, especially in the 4th Congresisonal District
From: Mitch Berg
Re: Your Shot At Making A Real Difference


Some of you know me.  I’m Mitch Berg.  And long before I had a blog, and even longer before I hosted a talk show, and longer-still before I got heavily involved in “establishment” party politics, I was a Libertarian, with a big “L”:.  I even ran for office as a big-“L” Libertarian  – and won a moral, if not literal, victory.

I support liberty.  I also support being in a position to actually affect policy, rather than being an eternal protest-voter.  All of your chanting and zeal witthin the GOP are of no value – zero, nada, zilch – if you don’t have the ability to actually affect policy in the world outside the party.  And while having your guy win the presidency would do that, you also need to push candidates with your worldview into the US House and Senate, Governors and state constitutional offices, state Legislators and Senators, the county commission, city hall, the school board – the stuff you actually have to win if you want the government to, y’know, audit the Fed and stuff.

Which is why I endorsed Paul – Rand Paul, that is – last winter.  Libertarian purism, like any kind of purism, is a fun self-indulgence – and like any self-indulgence, it will have no affect on society around you.

So I have no beef with libertarianism.  I don’t even have so much a beef with Ron Paul, either.  I approve of many of the issues he runs on.  The stuff he wrote 30 years ago is a big problem – don’t kid yourself.  But I want to support him, or at least what he stands for.

The problem, I’m sorry to say, is many of you, his supporters.  Part of it is that so many of you do in fact propose using the power of the executive branch in a way not a lot different than liberals propose using the judicial branch – as a cudgel.

But the bigger part is that, for too many of you, Ron Paul is a personality cult.  I’ve run into too many Paul supporters who support Paul, but can barely articulate what he stands for; indeed, I do a better job of speaking for what Paul believes than they do.

Worse?  Just like four years ago, you flooded GOP precinct caucuses, and are in the process of flooding the BPOU Conventions, and trying to push your delegates on to the CD, State and (you hope) National conventions.  And that’s fine; that’s how the process works.

What’s “worse” is that, like four years ago, so very very very very very many of you will never be seen again after your next round of conventions.  You’ll show up, do your bit for Ron Paul – but not the GOP – and disappear, likely not to be seen again.  There are some exceptions – but they are rare.  Your commitment is to Ron Paul, not to the GOP, even in the context of “Changing the party into a more-libertarian institution in the long term” – with which I’d be completely on board.

And so those of us who have committed to the party – some of you call us “the establishment”, which makes me laugh, since I’ve been a libertarian insurgent in the party for 12 years now, and being “the establishment” means “campaign after campaign of door-knocking, phone-calling and lit-dropping – do feel a bit of resentment, like when you cook a big dinner and some stranger eats the whole thing and doesn’t even say thanks.

Anyway, I’m not here to bag on all you Ronulans.  I’m here, actually, to propose a win-win solution; you get to push liberty, the GOP gets to make inroads in the arena of actually changing policy in a meaningful way.

We have a big opportunity in the Fourth Congressional District.  I’ll take a moment to remind you what the Fourth CD is, since a disturbing number of you Paul supporters have little concept of politics down-ticket from the Presidency.  It’s Betty McCollum’s Congressional District:

It’s been controlled by big-government stooges from the DFL for over sixty years now.

But the latest round of redistricting made it a lot more competitive.  It used to be pretty much Saint Paul – a 70-30 statist-DFL district.  But redistricting added in a bunch of the more-conservative, more liberty-friendly East Metro, including thousands of people who moved to Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Stillwater and Afton to get away from the DFL and the rot they bring.

Now, Tony Hernandez is currently the candidate running for the GOP nomination in the 4th CD.  I’ve interviewed him a couple of times – and the language he uses is the kind of thing that should make you Paul supporters (and me) happy to support him.  Big on liberty, shrinking government – most of the Ron Paul elevator pitch is in there.   Before redistricting, he might have been looking at a 65-35 campaign, if he was lucky.

Now?  The odds are not nearly so quixotic.  With a little luck and a ton of work, it’s doable.

So here’s the deal, Paul supporters; if all of you turn out between now and the election with as much enthusiasm and whiz and vinegar in support of Tony Hernandez – who likely will get nominated, as opposed to Paul – and work your asses off alongside all us “establishment” Republicans?  We might just pull off a miracle.

No, bigger than that.

And not just a miracle in terms of sending Betty McCollum back to work as a receptionist at Alliance for a Better Minnesota; not just a miracle in upending sixty years of statist big-government representation in the 4th CD.

It’ll be a miracle in terms that matter much more, both to you Paul supporters and to the GOP; you’ll have done some real, palpable good in bringing your beliefs to bear in a way that can actually affect policy.

If you’re interested in helping out?  I’ll see you at the conventions.  We’ll have a great time. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ll have fun doing it.

If you’re not? If you’re one of those dolts who believes that by staying home on election day because your candidate didn’t get nominated you actually “send a message” anyone will care about?  It’s not true, by the way – politics, especially at the grassroots level, reflects the will of those who show up.  Not just once, mind you, but every month, every election.  Anyway – yeah, I’ll be working against you.  Totally.

Whaddya say?

That is all.

You Call It “Weasel”; “Progressives” Call It “Mink”

The Democrats have been waging a war for the English language.  Part of that war is harping on how the Republicans are…well, waging a war for the English language.

Rhetoric – using language to try to control how people think about issues – is as old as politics itself.

And Jill Klausen – writing at Kos, Re-Elect Democrats and Alternet and, no doubt other members of the big leftyblog cluster-cuddle – has some suggestions for the left on how to do it more effectively, with her list of five terms Democrats should never use.

But not before explaining a bit about how the Republicans have learned a thing or two:

We talk about the “Death Tax” and not the proper term, “Estate Tax.” Two little words—”Death Panels”—were capable of nearly derailing the best thing that’s happened to health insurance in this country in decades.

Um, yeah.

That was a good one, actually.  Smart Democrats went “wow – that WAS effective”.  Democrats with intellectual opportunities said “there’s no such thing!”, ignorant of how managed care has always worked.  Too much explaining for them to do; it was a great term.

Misleading?  Well, not really, not the way Republicans actually used it; in managed care, you do have a group of doctors, attorneys and administrators figuring out what treatments would and would not be cost-effective.  Is it a death panel?  If you were 95 and had liver failure and the group figured a liver transplant wasn’t the best use of a donor liver, yes, it could very well be.  What DO you call that group?  Is it different when it works for the government, as opposed to an HMO?  Of course!

But this isn’t about real explanations; this is about language:

Harvard-educated President Obama is universally considered “elite,” while Yale-educated George W. Bush is considered “down home.”

Give it a rest, Dems; not only did you spend eight years chanting that Bush was stupid, you’re the ones who claimed an Ivy League education one of Obama’s great qualifications!  Bill Maher – the exposed intellectual id of the Democratic Party on the national level, in the same way that “Two Putt Tommy” is for the Minnesota DFL – once “joked” “you hate Obama because he went to Harvard, and you resurface driveways for a living”.

So while this article is about using language to frame things, you sort of did his one yourself.  Just saying.

And it’s all a diversion, because the article actually is a useful primer on how framing is done.

As Progressive Democratic linguist George Lakoff explains it, this “framing” is crucial to how they’ve managed to win so much of the debate…This sleight-of-tongue has managed to manipulate at least half the country into believing things that simply are not true.

Well, yes and no.  Rhetoric – “framing” – is never about truth, and it’s never not about truth; it’s about using language to get people to believe things.

It can be a big, clumsy club, designed to woo the stupid – like Alliance For A Better Minnesota, whose “Tom Emmer Favorited Lowering DWI Penalties” gulled 43% of Minnesota’s less-gifted.  Or it can be incredibly subtle.

Ms. Klausen has some suggestions of her own – the aforementioned “five things” Democrats shouldn’t say:

1. Never say Entitlements.

–Instead, say Earned Benefits.

Which, worst case, would send Republicans into a frenzy of explaining that those benefits are almost never “earned”, while Democrats cash in all those votes from the dumb people whose egos they’ve stroked.

2. Never say Redistribution of Wealth.

–Instead, say Fair Wages For Work.

By which they mean “Fair Wages For Other Peoples’ Work”.

3. Never say Employer Paid Health Insurance.

–Instead, say Employee Earned Health Insurance.

That’d be a tough one to reframe.  My suggestion would be “unicorn-paid health insurance”.  That’s where Dems think money comes from.

4. Never say Government Spending.

–Instead, say The People Are Investing.

They’ve been trying this one for decades.

5. Never say Corporate America.

–Instead, say Unelected Corporate Government.

Now, this is the first genuinely dumb idea in the article, and I do hope the Democrats run with this one hard hard hard.

So as I’m working away at my day job today, paying for other peoples’ earned benefits and fair wages for my work, wondering what rathole the people elected by the dumb people are “investing” my money down, I’ll be watching for the Unelected Corporate Government Press Department doing this sort of framing for our good-heavens-not-elite President.

Jon Tevlin: Waterboy For The Narrative

After the Franson “story” broke the week before last, the DFL thought it was onto a Don Imus moment. And they needed one – their somnolent legislative caucus

They were disappointed when the story started to fade – even most DFLers can tell when context is being waterboarded.  It was dropping off the radar last week when the “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” stepped in to demand an apology and try to fan the flames among their droogs.

It didn’t work. The protests planned for Rep.Franson’s lawn drew, according to one report, three droogs.

But the droogs on the street are afterthoughts to the DFL. They have them in higher places.

Jon Tevlin – aka “Nick Coleman 2.0” – seems to have gotten his marching orders, “file an indignant piece about Franson”, in by deadline,which was apparently back when the DFL was still flogging the story.

And Tevlin’s piece hits all the points Alita Messinger and Ken Martin desperately want to be hit:.

 When Rep. Mary Franson compared people who get food stamps to animals in the wild, beholden to humans who feed them,


I wonder if Tevlin even knows how bizarre that is.

she was being blissfully ignorant of a growing number of people who live in a certain region in Minnesota.

Namely, her neighbors.

Really, Jon Tevlin, ace reporter?

And how do you know what Mary Franson is “ignorant” about?  She lives there, works in daycare, campaigns there every two years.

I’m going to suggest she’s less “blissfully ignorant” than Jon Tevlin is invincibly arrogant-enough to write columns in first-person omniscient.

Before she made jokes about people on food stamps, or SNAP, she might have asked around, or just looked at the website for Todd County, which is in her district. There, she would have seen a recent report that both food stamps and medical assistance are up dramatically in Todd County.

Soaring, under her watch.

And here, the ethical reader has a dilemma: does the Strib employ a columnist who is stupid enough to believe a state legislator’s “watch” has direct impact on poverty in her county?  Or do they employ one who’s so cynical and in the bag for the DFL propaganda machine that he writes garbage like this in hopes that the readers are too stupid to know any better?

To my mind, it’s a toss-up.

The assumption behind Franson’s logic is that people who get assistance do so because, like animals used to being fed, they get lazy.

No.  They get dependent.  “Lazy” is when columnists crib their chanting points from “Alliance For A Better Minnesota” .  “Dependent” is when you honestly don’t know another way than being on the dole.

Compare and contrast:  “Jon Tevlin is too lazy to dig beneath his own arrogant, smug, entitled, DFL-pimping preconceptisons”, versus “Jon Tevlin is dependent on DFL / ABM chanting points for his material on this issue, to the point where he has no idea how to find the real facts about the issue”.  See the difference?

OK.  Maybe not in Teviln’s case.   Because as we see, he’s both:

But the report from Todd County Social Services shows quite the opposite. The unemployment rate is relatively low, 5.8 percent.

Now, I get confused – is that “on Mary Franson’s watch”, too?

People are working, and working hard, but the fact is they just don’t get paid very much.

Right.  There’s a recession going on.  Perhaps Jon Tevlin has heard?

Need, Rep. Franson. Your constituents, about 8 percent of them, need help because the businesses in your district can’t or won’t pay them enough to live on, and can’t or won’t provide them with health care.

And here’s where both dependence and laziness rear their slothful, indolent heads.  Franson was talking a general principle; Tevlin is talking details – the temporary needs of people having hard times.  Which, I’m sure Tevlin would find if he weren’t dependent on ABM for his chanting points, the GOP broadly supports.

Franson probably thinks these people are slackers, too, no-goods leeching off the public.

And Jon Tevlin “probably” wrote about a third of this column.

Except for this next bit:

Franson might not know these people — her neighbors — very well, but I do.

I lived in Todd County and graduated from high school there. Yes, some of the people who took assistance were lazy or drunks. But mostly they were people like the old woman across the street, whose husband had died many years ago, or like the people who toiled on poor dirt farms, or waited tables at the local restaurant.

Yes, they were even people like my dad, who after working for 40 years at Honeywell had a brain aneurism and had to rely on Social Security, pension, and food stamps for a while.

My dad accepted food stamps because he believed in responsibility, responsibility to feed his kids even though he couldn’t work.

In other words, “my story about real, genuine, acute need – and, more accurately, the emotions it churns up – trump your statement of high-level principle”.

It’s a logical fallacy.  It’s an argument based purely on emotion – which, to be fair, is the only kind of argument Tevlin’s DFL masters can make.   You can’t top it, the logic goes, so you have to just shut up, or appear cold and heartless.

It’s crap, of course; nobody, least of all conservatives, denies that human circumstance and human frailty creates need.  Nobody, least of all Franson, has said anything about changing that.  But the larger point – that welfare does create dependence, and it does – gets obscured by the inflammatory emotion, both of the “can you top this” story and, behyond that, the defamatory slander of the DFL/ABM’s chanting point.

Yes, I said “Tevlin’s DFL masters”:

The war on women apparently now joins the war on the poor.

Two narratives for the price of one.  He’s lazy and dependent, but he’s thorough.

Keep going, Strib.  Has anyone thought about what happens when your paper becomes nothing but a DFL news release ‘bot?

A lot of you Strib employees will be on food stamps, for starters.

The Real War Against Women

Last week, Rep, Mary Franson released a video response to constituent questions.  One of the questions was about welfare.

In the video (since removed, unfortunately), Franson compared welfare to treating people like animals – by creating dependence, making it impossible for them to live without help.  In other words, government treats them like pets, zoo creatures, livestock – creatures of whom they are the master.

Now, food stamp recipients aren’t animals – but the DFL chanting point machine, Carrie Lucking and Denise Cardinal of “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, Greta Bergstrom of “Take Action Minnesota” and most of Minnesota’s lumpen gray mass of leftybloggers – are certainly a bunch of rhetorical hyenas.  They took Franson’s statement, water-boarded it until all the context went away, and put it out there as ‘Mary Franson Compares People On Food Stamps To Animals“.

And that’s how the media – in the bag for the DFL as they almost universally are – ran with it.

It was a lie, of couse; the DFL, being intellectually and morally bankrupt, has had nothing but lies for the past 30 years.

But since misogyny – Rush’s misguided statement about Sandra Fluke, not Bill Maher saying Sarah Palin would diddle Rick Perry if he were black, or Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham a “slut”, or Maher calling Palin a “c*nt”, naturally – is in the news, let’s look at the biggest case of misogyny going on in Minnesota right now.

Because lies have consequences.

Franson has been a lighting rod for Minnesota’s demented left for a long time now.  A Central Minnesota teacher and leftyblogger apparently expressly condoned some of the local droogs-in-the-making in bullying one of Franson’s children in school because, in his role as moral judge, jury and executioner, he figured it served her right, having a parent who opposed gay marriage (LL has the audio; it’s a fairly searing indictment of the “Clockwork Orange”-y inner id of way too much of public education today, not to mention the dingo-like morality of a good 80% of Minnesota leftybloggers).  By extension, it served her right, being a conservative woman.

Because women, like blacks and latinos and gays, are supposed to be liberals.  And if they wander off the reservation, there need to be consequences.

And DFLers are promising consequences for Franson’s latest remark (as filtered through the Hyenas and the media).  Franson has received death threats, crude-to-the-point-of-prehensile attacks, and giggly snarks from the loathsome Paul Thissen, and, Saturday morning, a protest on her front lawn – prompting even some of the less-depraved leftybloggers to urge juuuust a smidge of caution.   (Can you imagine the furor if someone like this – who does, by the way, represent the DFL – turned up at a Tea Party?)  Incredibly, House Minority leader Paul Thissen disavowed any knowledge of the threats of violence, and tried to turn it into another snark.

So the story is this:  the hyenas of the Ministry of Truth twist Franson’s statement far out of context to whip up hysteria – part of a long-running campaign to harass Franson and, indeed, all conservative women, to make being involved in politics too emotionally draining for all but the supernaturally-toughest conservative women (and by God, your leading conservative women could make a Navy SEAL cry uncle).  Hysteria duly ensues, with less-mentally-gifted DFLers promising one of their made-to-order mini-riots on Saturday.

The media wants to know…

…if Franson really thinks food stamp recipients are reeeeealy animals?

Franson, fortunately, responded:

The real news story is the death threats and vicious, sexual, misogynist emails I have received in connection with the video that has been taken down and for which I have apologized. I’ve never compared people with animals as I think too highly of the human person. This is why it’s immoral for government to enable dependency, a subject my critics are fierce to avoid. Democrats are content with

the poverty status quo; republicans are not.

I’d be happy to forward to you some of the emails if you are interested. Otherwise, the subject that I understand you wish to interview me about is both stale & dated and

has been eclipsed by violence from the left. I think your viewers would be more interested in the latter than the former.

Best regards,

Mary Franson

It’s more than a little tempting to drive to Alex this weekend with a camera.  Indeed, if there are any conservative activists in the neighborhood, it’d be good to get the festivities on tape.  This blog will run your footage for you.

And I have a feeling I won’t have to shave any context to make it shame the DFL.

PS:  I implied above that there is a concerted rhetorical campaign to so intensely harass conservative women, blacks, latinos and gays to the point that they stay out of politics.  I’m wondering – can you imagine how some DFL hamster like Betty McCollum or Sandy Pappas would melt down if they were the target of the constant misogynistic hatred that the likes of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Laura Ingraham, Mary Franson or any other conservative women are?

Imagining is all we can do, of course.  Because it just.  Doesn’t.  Happen.   Not like this.