The DFL/Media/Anti-Gun Hot Tub Party

When you’re a conservative, distrust of the media – like most large institutions – is part and parcel of the job.

You probably accept that, for whatever reason – from systemic bias to cultural confirmation bias to being paid off by George Soros – that the media has a comprehensive bias toward the left.

And you notice it on some issues more than others.   For example, you notice that anti-gun groups – for example, “Protect Minnesota”, led by Representative Heather Martens (DFL – 66A), a woman who has never, not once, uttered a substantively accurate or true original statement about guns or the Second Amendment – gets breathless, slavish coverage from the Twin Cities media, whose mania for “balance” obscures, in their coverage, the fact that the pro-Second-Amendment movement includes thousands of actual activists, while Martens’ group and the other antis muster…

…well, Martens and about a dozen of her pals.

And it doesn’t take a political rocket scientist (?) to notice that while their groups have virtually no electoral clout, Martens is apparently a big enough cheese among DFLers on Capitol Hill that she gets treated like, well, a Representative herself.

So after the hearings broke up last night, I watched who went where for a bit.

After he got done with the media, Rep. Paymar lit his afterburners and ran for the bleachers to meet Representative Martens and Jane Kay from Action Moms:

Kay, Martens and Paymar, talking about how much clout they have when those Million Moms finally show up. Someday. Honest.

DFL stenographer and former Strib columnist Doug Grow – now with DFL PR shop MinnPost – painted Jane Kay’s toenails:

Grow, Kay

Hey, maybe his story about last night won’t be pre-written!

And at the end of the night, you had pretty much every anti-gun activist in town gathered with the DFL PR coalition:

Grow, Kay, Nick “I’m Not The DFL’s Monkey” Coleman (from “The Uptake”), a staff guy and Martens talking, presumably, about what a bunch of wingnuts their opposition are.

Us gunnies? We had the fun down front:

Second Amendment attorney David Gross mixing it up with an anti who claimed we should “learn our history”, that firearms confiscation had nothing to do with the Holocaust. The anti, by the way, reportedly had walked up to the child of one of the GOCRA members in attendance and said “You’ll grow up to be a better person than your father” at a hearing last week. These people ooze class, don’t they?

Same as it ever was.  Back next week.

Not So Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota

Minnesota newspapers, largely, supported Governor Messinger Dayton and the DFL.  They largely not only bought the “Alliance For A Better Minnesota’s” bill of goods hook line and sinker, but most of them worked tirelessly to propagate it, and to squelch dissent from it.

They studiously avoided, almost completely, any reporting that would have impeded the DFL’s rise to power.

The Minnesota media, at large, were among the DFL’s most valuable players this past two electoral cycles.  At the highest levels - the Strib, the PiPress, and at least the programming arm of MPR – they serve as the DFL’s Praetorian Guard.

But now?  Now that the governor is tacking 5.5% sales taxes (for starters) onto print services, advertising and retail newspaper sales?

Not so much:

Business groups and retailers complain that the proposal would cost jobs. As he spoke to the Minnesota Newspaper Association, several editors and newspaper owners complained that a sales tax on newspapers would hurt their industry.

Tom West, the managing editor of the Morrison County Record in Little Falls, spoke about his concerns during a question and answer session.

“We are the ones who cover local government and state government, and we are wondering why you would think it would be a good idea to have less information about government and what government is up to,” West said.

(Cynical answer: “Because you’ve served your purpose”.  See also The Minnesota Independent).

(Slightly less cynical answer: “While your contributions to DFL hegemony were vital, you don’t have the same political clout as AFSCME, the SEIU or MPR).

(Cynical and partisan but realistic answer: “How about not just “covering local government”, but turnin a critical eye on the DFL?  For once?”)

Others said that expanding the sales tax to newspaper ink, paper and advertising would result in job losses. Dayton said he understood the concern but did not back away from his plan.

Job losses only matter if they’re union.

Small papers aren’t union.

Big papers are – and we’ll see what happens there.

As to the rest of you newspapers?  You got the government you mostly worked for, largely shilled for, and for the most part operated as in-the-bag PR agents for.  Most of your editorial stances praised Dayton and the DFL’s return to power.

So now you’re saying you’re not Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota?

Suck it.

BONUS QUESTION FOR DFLers: What do you think happens when you tack 5.5% onto the price of something?

All other things being equal, people buy 5.5% less of it.

Ponder losing 5.5% of your business overnight.  Ponder hard.

Standing Pat

I heard this last week on “Poligraph”, MPR’s self-styled “Politifact” homage.

“Poligraph” reporter Catherine Richert was “fact-checking” statements from the GOP and DFL about the state budget.  She quoted Governor Messinger Dayton:

You know,[the wealthiest] were paying the higher rates during the 1990s when President Clinton was in office, and we enjoyed boom years in the states. We had the highest real per capita family income in 1999 than we’ve had in our history. Since then, we’ve dropped almost 9 percent from that high in the aftermath of the Minnesota tax cuts in 1999 and 2000, and also the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.” – Gov. Mark Dayton”

You don’t have to be a economist, or even a conservative, to understand where this is wrong.  You merely have to be somewhat curious, and care a little bit about history.

Richert’s response:

Dayton made this statement in response to a question about Republican concerns that a state tax increase on the wealthiest to close the budget gap, which has been a priority for Dayton, and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the federal level would hurt the state’s economy.

Dayton was arguing that their logic is flawed because tax cuts don’t always correspond with a strong economy.

Well, no.  Governor Messinger Dayton was correlating prosperity with a causation, higher taxes and a Democrat president.

Now, I’ll give Catherine Richert the benefit of the doubt; as a self-styled “fact-checker”, she’s hobbled by needing to refer to other “Fact-checkers”, the WaPo and the woefully-misnamed “Politifact”, whose institutional bias in these matters is itself a fact:

It’s true that the wealthiest paid more in federal income taxes during the Clinton years. Clinton raised the top marginal rate from 31 percent to nearly 40 percent. It also happened to be a time of strong economic growth, partly because of Clinton and George H. W. Bush’s broader fiscal policies, which lead to lower interest rates and lots of activity on Wall Street, as reported by the Washington Post and PolitiFact.

Well, if the WaPo and Politifact say so.  The paragraph itself shows the extent to which MPR’s reporting on the subject is based on the major media’s narrative; those “broader fiscal policies” involved a very pro-business climate, tax hikes notwithstanding.

Richert, the WaPo, Politifact, and Governor Messinger Dayton glossed over – or didn’t know – the larger historical causation for the correlation:

  • Clinton got to cash Reagan’s “peace dividend”
  • Gas prices were around a buck a gallon,
  • Clinton raised taxes, it’s true.  But a GOP Congress didn’t let him raise them nearly as much as he’d wanted to, not to mention defeated his attempt to socialize healthcare, and forced Bubba to govern, tax hikes notwithstanding, as a conservative (especially relative to Dubya’s spending).  Remember how liberals squealed about Clinton’s “conservative” nature?  Back when Minnesota liberals spoke about the “Democratic Leadership Conference”, the moderate, pro-business Democrat caucus, the way they talk about the Koch brothers today?
Let’s go back Messinger’s Daytons’ statement.

As stated, it was a strawman; of course tax cuts don’t always bring prosperity, not by themselves.  And tax hikes don’t always gut the economy - provided the other fundamentals are working.  In the nineties, the other fundamentals of the economy – energy, capital, investment climate, relative levels of regulation, fairly conservative legislative branch, world markets – were humming right along.

That is just not the case today.

Correlation does not equal causation.  It’s a maxim of logic.

But not of “fact-checking”:

George W. Bush slashed those tax rates; Minnesota lowered its tax rates around this time, too.

Assuming Dayton is talking about the national decline in real household income – real per capita family income doesn’t exist – it’s true that it took a 9 percent nosedive after 1999, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Right.

But not as a result of the tax cuts.

Which was what Dayton’s statement – intended as red meat for the low-information voter that is Dayton’s main constituency – insinuates.

I’ll give Richert’s “fact-check” a grade of “Obtuse”…

…for taking dubious “Facts” from discredited and biased “fact-checkers” to reinforce studiously avoid assailing an illogical and factually and historically void narrative by Governor Dayton.

BONUS:  John Gilmore at Minnesota Conservatives also tags Richert for some fairly incurious reporting on the Campaign Finance Board.

Chanting Points Memo: Slouching From Fargo

How do you measure success in a politician?

If you’re a liberal, it’s likely in terms of sheer volume of legislation created and money moved about.  Because to a liberal, government is about creating reams of paper, rules, laws, stuff for government to do.

If you’re a conservative, it’s probably more a matter of princple; of getting government out of the way, of taking pointless laws and needless regulations off the books.

We’ll come back to that.

———-

Mike McFeely is a talk show host in Fargo.  He’s the current house liberal at KFGO, which was at one time the WCCO of the Fargo area, and like WCCO has shrunk greatly since its heyday (and since I left North Dakota).  He fills the role Fast Eddie Schultz used to play on the station, the token lefty.  Like Schultz, he’s apparently a former small-market sportscaster; like Schultz, he sounds like it.

And like a lot of liberal D-list pundits and pseudo-celebs, he’s got a jones for Mary Franson, GOP incumbent in District 8B and, like most uppity female and minority conservatives, the same sort of catnip for lefties that Michele Bachmann has been for the past decade and a half.  It started  a few weeks ago, with McFeely’s Schultz-like chanting of rumors that even some of the smarter regional leftyblogs long ago debunked.  McFeely came across in that case as a small-town crone abusing the “power” of his radio bully pulpit (and as much as KFGO has atrophied, it’s still not chicken feed)

I’ll give the guy kudos for at least trying to go legit in this letter to the editor in the East Otter Tail County Focus last week.

Rep. Mary Franson does not represent Greater Minnesota values and, by her own admission, will not have a strong voice for her constituents in House District 8B if she is re-elected.

Now, whenever a critic says their target has said something “by their own admission”, you can usually be pretty sure someone’s trying to play a rhetorical card trick; they admitted nothing of the sort.

While Rep. Franson has made embarrassing headlines nationally and statewide for, among other things, comparing her constituents who receive food assistance to wild animals (a claim she repeated even after “apologizing” for it on social media)

Now, when you’re a sportscaster, you can pretty much babble any kind of crap you want – because it’s just sports.  McFeely – like Schultz before him – seems to think politics is about the same.

But no – the smart people dispensed with that meme, too, and months ago; Franson pointed out, correctly, that long-term dependence dehumanizes people, and casts government in the role of the benevolent, responsible pet owner.   The remarks were taken out of context during a fractious session by a DFL noise machine that exists only to provide grist for their campaign mill.

And like a lot of D-list talk show hosts – and yes, my NARN pals and I are better than this – McFeely and “context” are never really on good terms:

At the event during which she repeated her comparison of assistance recipients to wild animals, Rep. Franson admitted that members of her own party did not support her and distanced themselves from her.

Yep.  During the “Animals” fracas, the House leadership shamefully backed away from Franson – one of several “ready fire aim” moments in a trying session for GOPers.

But teapot-tempests come and go; at the end of the day, always, “it’s the economy, stupid”.  McFeely takes a brisk dip into actual fact:

Despite low unemployment in Douglas and Todd counties

Wait – back up.  This Republican corner of the state is doing pretty well, you say?

Huh.

So let’s take a quick breather and set up some actual, factual history:  Representative Franson was…:

  1. …elected in the Tea Party wave in 2010 on a conservative ticket…
  2. …to represent a traditionally conservative Republican part of the state…
  3. …that’s doing relatively well, and apparently – by dint of having sent a conservative freshman legislator to the legislature in the middle of a grueling recession – wants to keep it that way.

Just so we’ve got that straight.

McFeely:

Instead of spending time in St. Paul fighting for issues specific to her constituents – such as lowering property taxes for farms and small businesses in rural Minnesota – Rep. Franson spent her two years in the Legislature authoring bills that accomplished nothing.

Perhaps McFeely would favor us by showing us the bill where Franson raised – or declined to lower – property taxes.

Go ahead, Mike, We’ll wait.  Cough up that bill.

[Mr. McFeely - don't look at this next statement.  Scout's honor?  OK - all the rest of you know that property taxes are the role of county commissions and city councils.  The legislature doesn't set property taxes.  Now, the Democrats have spent the last two years babbling about how lowering Local Government Aid inevitably raises property taxes.  McFeely would have you believe that on Franson's watch, taxes rose as a direct, cause-and-effect consequence of lowered LGA.  It's one of those chanting points the left throws out there to gull the ill-informed.  But, again, that's the job of the counties and cities.  Assuming LGA was cut.  Was it?  We'll come back to that - but I'll give you a little spoiler; McFeely makes Ed Schultz look smart and ethical].

Got that bill, Mike?  Hint:  It’s between the snipes and the half-round squares.

———-

Next, McFeely botches history – and by “botch”, let’s be charitable and assume he just doesn’t know the actual facts involved; if he does, then he’s just lying:

In her two years in St. Paul, Rep. Franson authored 36 bills. None became law. Very few were even discussed or forwarded. Even her own party wasn’t interested in the agenda Rep. Franson was trying to push. That is the definition of an ineffective legislator.

Wait – authoring laws that don’t get passed “defines” “ineffective?”

Let’s go back to the beginning of the post; conservatives don’t believe generating new laws defines success.

But let’s go by the left’s – and McFeely’s – definition of “effectiveness”.  None of Franson’s 36 bills passed into law.

Which is exactly the same record as House Minority Leader Paul Thissen; none of the two bills he authored passed into law, either!

Or how about a more rank-and-file member?  Ryan “The Intellectual Id Of The DFL Caucus” Winkler chief-authored 22 bills.  None passed; none even came close.

And do you know what?  Neither Thissen’s 0/2, Winkler’s 0/22 or Fransen’s 0/36 are even below average – because in a typical session (for example, 2008, the latest one with statistics) over 4,000 bills are introduced, and around 100 get signed.  That’s about 1 out of 40.

In other words, McFeely tossed out a number that is in itself meaningless without context.  Just like the “Animals” comment and his “property taxes” comment; either he doesn’t know what he’s taking about and doesn’t care, or he does and he’s hoping nobody checks his facts.  Like all Democrat campaigns, he – and by extension, the Cunniff campaign that McFeely is supporting – is hoping people aren’t curious enough to poke at those numbers.

Oh, we’re not done.

———-

McFeely turns next from misleading context to just-plain-ignorance:

At the same time, Rep. Franson consistently voted to raise taxes on residents of Greater Minnesota. She supported elimination of the Market Value Homestead Credit, raising property taxes on all Minnesotans and particularly those in rural Minnesota.

MVHC was a subsidy of metro-area housing; it kept metro-area property taxes artificially low, and subsidized spending by the wastrel DFL governments in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth.  Like LGA itself, it transferred money from the parts of the state that support themselves to our basket-case metro areas.

But at least that was a chanting point with a coherent argument.  Next, McFeely wafts away into fantasy-land:

Rep. Franson sided with metropolitan legislators by failing to fight for an increase in Local Government Aid, a tool that provides property tax relief primarily for Greater Minnesota cities and towns.

Local Government Aid, as we’ve discussed in the past, was originally a way to transfer money to poor, outstate towns from the wealthy Metro, to allow them to buy some of the amenities of modern life; modern schools, roads, water treatment plants and the like.  It’s turned into a subsidy of Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth (although Iron Range towns get the most aid per capita).

(And while McFeely doesn’t name, and I suspect doesn’t know, the “metropolital legislators” with whom he claims Franson sided, it’s worth noting that the Metro is divided between cities that are constantly begging for more aid, and suburbs that largely receive none).

The GOP ran in 2010 on a platform of returning LGA to its original purpose – supporting smaller towns that don’t have the tax base to buy the necessities of modern government. And how’d that work?

State funding for LGA has been cut 25 percent over the last 10 years and has remained flat since 2010.  Eliminating or reducing LGA will seriously weaken regional centers like Alexandria and small cities like New York Mills.

McFeely gives a statewide number – but since McFeely’s writing about Franson’s performance in re her district, 8B, let’s ask what are the district’s specifics?

Let’s track LGA payments in 2008 and 2011 – payments, not pledges – for the three counties in Rep. Franson’s district, as well as the state averages and the metro areas (measured in per-capita dollars actually paid to the various jurisdictions).  All figures come from that noted conservative tool, the State of Minnesota:

City or County 2008 Payment ($/capita) 2011 Payment ($/capita) Change
Douglas County 123 118 -5
Otter Tail County 237 245 +8
Todd County 262 273 +11
State Average 101 98 -3
St. Paul 178 175 -3
Minneapolis 178 166 -12
Duluth 321 321 Bupkes

Ah.  So that’s why McFeely gave a statewide number!  Because since 2008 – the only period Rep. Franson had any control over as a legislator – LGA actually rose in Otter Tail and Todd counties; it shrank by an insignificant amount in Douglas County, where Alexandria is. and where as McFeely himself admitted, the economy is doing better than the state average.

So if you’re a liberal?  District 8B’s LGA was steady to slightly up.  More money!  Franson was effective!

And if you’re a conservative?  LGA spending in the district was in line with the GOP’s platform, raising payments to smaller out-of-state jurisdictions that actually need it, and were the original intended target of this spending.  Franson was still effective!

And if you have a functioning BS detector?  Mike McFeely is out of his depth writing about anything that doesn’t involve throwing a ball, and is serving as a trained chimp reciting DFL chanting points he may not understand, and certainly hopes you, the voter in District 8B, won’t.

Like the following:

Under her watch, property taxes have risen sharply…

Although, as the state’s figures show, not because of anything the legislature did, least of all in District 8B.

…while she has embarrassed her constituents with controversial national headlines.

Which were cowardly manglings of context by people who are getting more and more desperate at their prospects in two weeks, and for whom female conservatives are like red capes in front of bulls.

Franson did get an 86 from the Taxpayers League, among many other spiffs from conservative groups.  She was one of the freshmen “Tea Party” class that held the line on things like spending, tax hikes, and giving money to Zygi Wilf, while erasing the deficit, reforming regulations, keeping Minnesota’s unemployment rate way below the national average, and working to reform our state’s business climate.

In short, she did what the majority of (pre-redistricting) District 11B’s voters - mostly Republican, mostly conservative – sent her to do.

And if this is how desperate her opponent, Bob Cunniff, and his campaign are getting, it looks like she’ll do the same for new district 8B.

And if you live in the area, feel free to let the East Otter Tail Focus – and Mike McFeely – know I said so.

———-

So we started the article by asking how you measure a politician.  The answer – whether you’re left or right – most likely involves doing what one is sent to the Capitol to do.  Has Mary Franson done this?  That’s for the people in her district – not talking heads from Fargo or the Twin Cities – to decide.

So how about a media figure, an uninvited pundit?

Getting one’s facts straight, or at least being honest, would be a great start.

The Great Poll Scam: A Blast From The Past

As we look at the abusive travesty that is the Minnesota Poll – in this case, the ludicrously skewed, 3:2 pro-DFL partisan breakdown in this weekend’s polling on the two Constitutional Amendments – let’s take a trip back through history.

Frank Newport, the president of the broadly-respected Gallup Polls, savaged the Minnesota Poll in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 midterm and gubernatorial elections.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on this.  Pollsters attacking pollsters in public is a little like magicians publicly heckling other magicians.

Is there any evidence the Strib has polished up their methodology?

No.  Indeed, the two polls released over the weekend on the Marriage and Voter ID amendments show quite the opposite – or that some copy editor took a poll of Ramsey County voters and mislabeled it a poll of Minnesotans.

In More News From The “Campaign For The Dumb And Uninformed Vote” Front…

Mitt Romney didn’t actually say “I Can Relate To Black People, My Ancestors Once Owned Slaves”, didn’t get his slogan from the KKK, and isn’t promising to abolish MLK day.

Hard to tell exactly who these meme’s be aimed at: the lower-information end of the Afro-American voter spectrum, or the more-bigoted college-educated white liberals.

Lying About Lying

What Obama Said:

“Sometimes they just make things up. But they’ve got a bunch of folks who can write $10 million checks, and they’ll just keep on running them,” he said. “I mean, somebody was challenging one of their ads — they made it up — about work and welfare. And every outlet said this is just not true. And they were asked about it and they said — one of their campaign people said, ‘We won’t have the fact-checkers dictate our campaign. We will not let the truth get in the way.’”

What really happened:

Mr. Obama was referring, as many other critics of the Romney campaign have, to a comment that its pollster, Neil Newhouse, made to reporters at the Republican convention on Tuesday, dismissive of those faulting the campaign’s television ads. What Mr. Newhouse actually said was, “These fact-checkers come to those ads with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs. We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

Mr. Newhouse did not say, “We will not let the truth get in the way.”

No, but you can bet your life that hundreds of leftybloggers and leftytweeps will say he did up until the election, and all the way through the 2016 campaign.

Further evidence that the Obama campaign is pinning its hopes on the “low-information” voter – those who vote according to slogans, prejudice, and the last thing they heard.

No, Dems…

,,.there are not “4.5 million new jobs”.  Or rather, while there may have been 4.5 million jobs created in the past four years, it’s been a piker compared to the jobs lost, downgraded, and sent overseas.

We are not better off than we were four years ago.

But keep on chanting, Dems.  There are only so many dumb voters.

Berg’s Seventh Law: There Are, It Seems, No Exceptions

The chair of the California Democrat Party compares Republican “tactics” to those of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels:

“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie,” Chairman of the California Democratic Party John Burton told KCBS Monday in Charlotte. “As long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know.”

a) It was Hitler, in Mein Kampf, not Goebbels.  Hitler coined the saying – and I say this with full, creepy and utterly appropriate irony – to accuse “The Jews” of telilng big lies often until the thick-headed believed them.  Goebbels used it the same way – accusing Churchill of being a big fat liar.  In other words, the real story of “the Big Lie” is actually a classic example of Berg’s Seventh Law.

b) Again – I guess civility isn’t the supreme civic virtue anymore, is it?

“First of all,” he continued, “you’ve got Republicans who truly believe the Earth is flat, so I don’t know exactly what, you know, what’s going to do, but they, I think that when people figure out that these people say they do not care about the truth and they will lie and they don’t care if they lie because it doesn’t matter if they lie.”

He’s referring, in his preliterate way, to the “progressive” conceit that conservatives don’t care about science.

And it’s another punch in the ticket for the Democrat quest to reel in the “Low-Information Voters”.

And, naturally, further proof that Berg’s Seventh Law is immutable.

UPDATE:  Chairman Burton has apparently departed Charlotte for a “pre-scheduled root canal” that he, apparently, arranged during his party’s most important quadrennial event.  These things happen, I guess.

(Via commenter Prince Of Darkness)

Chanting Points Memo: Barnes Bobbles Facts

Legal language is a funny thing.  And by “funny”, we mean “funny weird”, not “funny haha”.

One of the left’s latest chanting points – abetted by Todd Akin’s groaner last week – is that a group of GOP legislators co-sponsored a bill, HR3, better known as the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion” bill.  The title more or less explains the bill.

In the original version of the bill’s language, the term “forcible rape” was used.

Of course, in the post-Akin political news cycle du jour, there is only one type of rape; it’s eminently PC to say “all rape is rape”.

And certainly non-consensual sex is, always, rape.  No argument about it.

Of course, not all “rape” is “forcible”, by definition.  If a 56 old guy has consensual sex with, say hypothetically, a 16 year old guy, it’s statutory rape – meaning “no force was used, but it’s still considered rape since the 16 year old is not of the age of consent”.

We’re splitting linguistic and legal hairs, of course.

Splitting hairs is something Third District DFL candidate Brian Barnes wasn’t doing when he accused his opponent, incumbent Republican representative Erik Paulsen, of drawing a distinction between “Rape” and “Forcible Rape”.   Here’s a statement from Barnes’ announcement for a press conference today:

According to Brian Barnes, “The voters of our district deserve the facts on Representative Paulsen’s positions on important issues, such as his vote to support H.R. 3.

Yep, they do.  And here they are; whatever the reason for the language, it is for Paulsen’s purposes irrelevant – because Paulsen was neither an author nor co-sponsor of the bill.

The word “forcible” was removed from the bill long before Paulsen got his first chance to vote on the bill – which he did, along with a strong bipartisan majority of the House.

This is a further example of how the Barnes’ campaign,. like most Democrat campaigns this year, are trying to rope in “low-information voters” – people driven by slogans and chanting points, who don’t really think that hard about the issues.

It’s not the most egregious example from the Barnes campaign, though.  More later today.

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.

Reid: The Leftyblogger Senator

Flashback to high school:

(Harp arpeggios has hazy scene dissolves to homeroom at a high school):

GIRL: Who’s your boyfriend?

LEFTYBLOGGER:  Oh – he goes to another school!

(Harps return for more arpeggions as scene dissolves, then re-establishes at college)

PROFESSOR:  So what evidence did we have that Reagan was a crook that should have been in jail and who actively promoted the crack and AIDS epidemics?

FUTURE LEFTYBLOGGER: He was a Republican!

PROFESSOR:  Close enough!

(Harps again; scene dissolves, then re-establishes in a basement somewhere in suburbia)

LEFTYBLOGGER:  (Speaking as she types): Of course the the Burkett memos were real!  One of the world’s leading forensic document analysts is in my bowling league, and she says the case that they were forged has absolutely zero merit!  No, I won’t reveal her name, or the name or location of the bowling league, because I don’t want to put her in danger from all you teabagging wingnuts.  But if they gave a Nobel prize for document analysis, she’d have five.  And so if you disagree with me, you’re an idiot!”

(Harps again, as scene dissolves, then re-establishes in Washington DC):

“[The source of Harry Reid's allegations against Mitt Romney] is an investor in Bain Capital, a Republican also, and somebody … who has been dealing with Romney’s company for a long, long time and he has direct knowledge on this,” [Reid aide Jose Parra] said.

Parra’s statement comes after Romney, in an interview with Fox News, challenged Reid to identify his source.

However, after some media attention on Parra’s radio interview, Parra issued a statement taking those remarks back.

“I do not know the party affiliation of the source, how long he invested with Bain, or his relationship to Romney beyond the fact that he was an investor with Bain Capital, as Senator Reid has previously stated,” he said.

The Democrat strategy seems to be to find enough of the stupid, the gullible, the dependant, the depraved and the incurious to eke out a victory.

Experience in Minnesota shows that at least 43% of any given population can be counted on.

So Simple A DFLer Could Figure It Out

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes in re Al Sharpton’s Strib op-ed:

Civil Rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton writes in the Star Tribune to oppose Voter ID because 1 in 4 Blacks, 1 in 5 elderly and 1 in 6 Hispanics don’t have the proper credentials and apparently can’t get them.

Oddly, others can.

The Ramsey County Elections office is next door to the Property Records room where deeds are stored and I spend a fair amount of time working with real estate. I have seen an endless parade of Asian voters the past two weeks. They’re showing up by the van-load. They have guides who speak English directing them to the right office. Older folks are assisted by younger ones. They’re showing up to register and to vote absentee for the primary.

I’ve also seen a few Black immigrants, Somalis or Ethiopians from the way they dress and talk. No “American” Blacks, though. None of the people whose pants are stitched to their underwear, whose caps are on sideways, who have time in the afternoon to prowl the streets looking for 14-year-old girls in Frogtown and who learned to talk from rap videos. Those people can’t seem to make it to the Voter Registration Office.

Plainly, this is not a cultural thing. It’s not a matter of White and Asian people being conscientious and law-abiding while recent illegal immigrant Hispanics (and Blacks whose families have lived in this country for generations) are neither conscientious nor law-abiding.

Plainly, it’s just racissss. And that’s a crying shame.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

And I’ll add that it’s not even a matter of Afro-Americans and Latinos not being conscientious or law-abiding so much as it is the DFL, Sharpton, and their camp-followers in the Media wanting you to believe it; to believe that Black, Latino, elderly and young voters are just too stupid to handle bringing an ID to the polls.

We know better.  Right?

Polling shows that a fairly decisive majority of Minnesotans agree, and support Voter ID.  The left’s response – other than chanting “Disenfranchisement” and “Racism” – is to claim that the process of getting a free ID is juuuust toooo complicated for voters.  And since their strategy does seem to involve trying to win over “low-information” voters – people they can gull into thinking Mitt Romney is a felon who hasn’t filed taxes, that Bain killed a woman, that they’re out of work in 2012 because of what George W. Bush did (or really didn’t) do in 2007), that would be a concern.

As Joe points out, many groups – groups that actually take democracy seriously – are making the logical connection; they’re getting their people registered.    Expect not a few legitimate groups across the political spectrum to extend their ‘Get out the Vote” efforts to getting voters registered as well.

Clearly, for the DFL, it’s easier to manufacture bogus votes than to get their low-information rank-and-file to vote legitimately.

They All Look The Same To The DFL

It’s the second stupid, bigoted attack by the DFL in as many weeks – and it involves my good friend and longtime Northern Alliance colleague King Banaian.

Can you imagine the uproar if a Republican campaign would be stupid enough to drop a campaign piece saying…:

  • “Keith Ellison: Too involved in Saudi Arabian politics to bother with Minneapolis”
  • “Satveer Chaudhary:  Too Hindi To Bother With New Brighton”

Not only would the DFL descend on the idiot candidate like a biblical plague, but 99% of the GOP would feel obliged to join them.

But the DFL has done it again.

Last week, it was the anti-Catholic attack on Dan Hall in Burnsville, which has gotten national attention.

And over the weekend, perhaps a dumber attack still.

Courtesy of Luke Hellier at MDE, this mailer was sent out in re King Banaian, who’s running for House in District 15B – the east half of the Saint Cloud area.

Images courtesy MDE

Images courtesy MDE

King is the former chair of the Economics department at St. Cloud State.  He’s prominent enough an economist to land all sorts of contracting work for governments around the world who are interested in opening up free markets; since I’ve known him, he’s consulted with the Macedonian, Ukranian, Mongolian, Armenian, Kazakh and other governments.

Heaven forbid someone in the Legislature would have earned international respect at economics.

Here’s what the piece says:

King Banaian certainly has a resume – jetting acrosst eh globe to consult the governments of Egypt, Macedonia, Armenia, Ukraine and Indonesia.

But what does all his international travel tell him about the needs of families here in St. Cloud?

Other than the fact that he’s lived there for a couple of decades and become a pillar of the community, you mean?

But worst of all is the photo.  King – that is his real name, and it’s a family thing – is of 100% Armenian descent.  And like most Caucasians from that part of the Caucasus, he’s fairly described as “swarthy”.  Sitting in front of an exotic-looking building, the piece is clearly aimed at some SEIU droog who might be wavering in his DFL loyalty; they’re counting on that droog to look at the picture and go “d-uuu-uuuh, he looks like one of them AY-rabs, g’huck”.

Check out the postcard.  It’s from Saint Paul.  And while I can’t make out the ZIP code from the postmark, I’ll lay 1000-1 odds it’s from the DFL mothership down on Plato.

(On the upside?  At least the DFL bothered to check his biography; had they gone by his name, the piece might have read “Saint Cloud doesn’t need any drunk Irish running things”.  If they went by the photo alone, we might have been favored with some Juan Valdez references. We should perhaps be thankful for small favors).

I asked Banaian for comment earlier.  He’s too busy campaigning to worry about it yet.

The DFL:  they want to win Minnesota one ignorance racist rube at a time

UPDATE: King Banaian says “people here knowmy service as a local economic expert as well as international adviser. Voters care about fiscal accountability, not my passport”.

I suspect he’s right.  But it’s not the people in 15B that I’m worried about.  It’s that wacky bunch down on Plato.