1:00 AM | Posted in ,
One of the cruxes of the entire conservative movement, aside perhaps from an unhealthy obsession with the 2nd Amendment, is their purported adherence to the 10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Now I don't necessarily share their passion for the 10th Amendment nor do I believe that it definitively proves their strict constructionist states rights beliefs but it is their belief none the less. Any true conservative will swear by the 10th Amendment and use it as a cudgel against any supposed deviation from the ideas of strict constructionism.

So, given that Bachmann is supposed to be a "rock ribbed conservative", it would stand to reason that she too believes in this principle of strict constructionism and the 10th Amendment, right? WRONG. Today at her town hall forum on health care reform she completely tossed out the amendment even going so far as to suggest "erasing the boundaries" around each of the states in order to create so called competition in the health insurance industry.

But what about the commerce clause, you ask, which allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce? Well, that depends on whether or not you define health insurance as "interstate" or "intrastate". This leads to a bit of a sticky wicket for conservatives such as Bachmann. Why? Because part of their new claim is that due to its "intrastate" nature, health insurance cannot be regulated by the federal government (HOORAY 10th Amendment). However, if you turn health insurance INTO interstate commerce then suddenly the federal government will have the authority to regulate. To make matters worse for conservatives, they believe that given the absence of any mention of health care or health insurance in the Constitution there is no authority to make ANY law regarding it so Bachmann shouldn't even be able to create such a provision. Perhaps Bachmann or someone in the conservative movement should have thought this one through a little more rather than just parroting Anne Coulter...
11:54 AM | Posted in
Last year, I posted this series of videos I took of Senator Kennedy at the 2006 AFT Convention. Once again, I present this post as we mourn the passing of one of the greatest advocates for the poor and working classes that this country has ever seen. Was Kennedy a perfect man? Certainly not, but for all his moral failings there are moral triumphs in the form of his work in the Senate that deserve equal coverage.

In 2006, I had the honor of representing my local at the biennial AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the speeches given at this convention was by Senator Ted Kennedy. It is a passionate speech about the value of the labor movement, the value of teachers, and the overall value of public education. With so many politicians disparaging the work of public educators and public education across the country, it is refreshing to hear a powerful voice stand up and give credit where credit is due.

The introduction is given by recently retired AFT President, Ed McElroy.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Keep fighting, Senator Kennedy!

Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy...
A source of mine at Netroots Nation sent a picture of Tarryl Clark visiting PNC Park in Pittsburgh:

Clark has been at Netroots Nation building national support for her potential run against Representative Michele Bachmann.
1:08 PM | Posted in
Just received a fund raising email from Michele Bachmann. It looks like the victim card will be put to extensive use during this election season:

Dear Friend:
Last month, I appeared on Sean Hannity's show on Fox News Channel. I was talking about the Democrats' latest scheme to pick the taxpayer's pocket to pay for a $1.5-billion slush fund for ACORN.

Before getting into the meat of this terrible new anti-taxpayer proposal, Sean Hannity said that he considers me "the second most hated Republican woman," second only to Governor Sarah Palin.

With Governor Palin taking a well-deserved step out of the spotlight, it appears that I may be absorbing even more of the liberals' scorn.
And, I'd really appreciate your support so that I can defend myself against their attacks. Click here to make a donation!

I'm out there every day speaking the truth about their attempts to guide this nation into socialism:
  • Their government-run health care proposal that will put government bureaucrats in between you and your doctor and end up rationing care -- and the most vulnerable will suffer first and most.

  • Their cap-and-trade national energy tax that will drive up energy costs for every American and send our jobs overseas.

  • Their spending spree that has pushed the national budget deficit over the $1 trillion mark for the first time in our history. We're already closing in on $2 trillion and there's no end in sight to their spending.

  • Their dozens of White House czars with power over your lives and futures and absolutely no accountability to Congress or the people.

  • And, speaking of unaccountable -- when are they going to open up the Fed's books to the public?

  • Their political patronage to groups like ACORN -- doling out billions of your tax dollars and partnering with them to collect your private information for the Census.
But just as they did with Sarah Palin, the more I talk about the issues, the more they attack with below-the-belt personal hits. In fact, yesterday, a Minnesota paper gave a full column to a hit piece on one of my kids!

Can you help me to defend against these attacks? Click here to make a donation!
I'll tell you the truth: Their sticks and stones will not stop me from going out and speaking the truth about their bad policies! And, your support really helps!

God bless and thank you for your support.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

From the Urban Dictionary:

Palinize: To smear or mock someone using falsehoods, baseless accusations or unsubstantiated character assassinations for the purpose of blocking them from achieving a goal.

To exaggerate the truth or lie by omission.

To attack a person for his or her conservative values by focusing an inordinate amount of attention on a single example of that person falling short (or being perceived as falling short) of the values they espouse.

But wait, did she just admit that she DID, in fact call members of Congress Anti-American?
6:44 PM | Posted in
Lawrence O'Donnell absolutely shreds this woman over her question to Senator Arlen Specter.

By the end she has essentially come out in favor of abolishing Social Security AND Medicare. It's about time a conservative came out and was honest about what they would really like to see done. Although I am not sure that it will play well with the rest of the country...

As we continue to debate or, more accurately, hurl insults at one another about health care reform my good friend on the other side of the aisle, Gary Gross of Let Freedom Ring, has tried to claim that Representative Steve Gottwalt has the magic bullet for reform and that Democrats simply have not listened. In his most recent rant, Gross brings it up once again:

Saying that Republicans haven’t proposed health care solutions is either ignorance-driven or it’s plain dishonest. I’ve written more than a few times about Steve Gottwalt’s Healthy Minnesota Plan legislation.

Shortly after the last session ended, both Tarryl Clark and Larry Hosch sat down at a Senate District 14 DFL meeting and I asked Representative Hosch about the Gottwalt bill. I had left it in the file drawer but given that Mr. Gross wants to discuss the viability of the plan set forward by Representative Gottwalt I pulled it out and put it up on youtube:

Representative Hosch directed me to the fiscal note for this particular bill which has this to say:

The assumption that this bill is cost-neutral on an accrual (service year) basis is a default position which we take because this proposal constitutes a completely new method of purchasing, for which DHS has no relevant experience. The effects of private market rates, including private market inflation, and of underwriting, and the extent of expected MCHA losses are all areas of great uncertainty. The specification of the benefit set required by the bill is very general, which adds to the uncertainty about the expected fiscal result, because it is not possible to evaluate how attractive the new product may be to potential applicants compared to the existing product. Thus our assumption of cost-neutrality should not be interpreted as the result of analysis, but as a statement of our inability to advise the Legislature whether this bill should be expected to cost money or to save money, or to what extent. A 30% to 40% variance from cost-neutrality -- in either direction -- should be considered entirely possible. It is assumed that the systems work required for this proposal will allow implementation to begin January 1, 2011. [Emphasis Mine]
So what is the point? While Mr. Gross and Mr. Gottwalt would like you to believe that they have the key to reform, it is clear that this particular bill is not ready until many of its questions are answered with more certainty. The bill could cost us more money in MCHA which is the states high risk pool. The benefit set could be worse than MnCare. Also, this is a high deductible plan which is good for those who have money, but bad for those with little which is exactly the population this will cover. High deductible plans are the number one driver to increased bankruptcies that cite medical costs as the primary reason for the bankruptcy.

There certainly is the potential of this bill working out as a part of the solution to health care problems but it is entirely disingenuous for Mr. Gross and Mr. Gottwalt to claim that it is ready to be implemented or that it would clearly solve any issues.
An article appeared in Politico on Friday describing Michele Bachmann as public enemy number one for Democrats now that Sarah Palin has left office. Further, it analyzes the upcoming race between either Maureen Reed or Tarryl Clark. Yet, there are a couple problems in the article from my vantage point:

First, by describing Bachmann as a "public enemy" Politico is simply playing into the meme set up by conservatives that this person is under attack which only solidifies her base of support and can be a boon for her fro a fund raising standpoint. While I would like nothing more than to see Bachmann defeated and replaced by an effective, less controversial representative in Washington DC, I refuse to fall into this trap of calling her my enemy. Her votes and her policy positions which do nothing to help the people of her district are the enemy and NOT her personally.

Second, there is the complete lack of substance in the quotes by supposed Democratic officials:

Ask Democratic officials in the state about Bachmann, and they can barely contain their anger.

"She is a bizarre news story of the month every month," said Brian Melendez, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

"Michele Bachmann is just nuts," said Jeremy Powers, a local DFL chair in Bachmann's district. "She is just an utter embarrassment."

And some Democrats — Powers included — don't hesitate to compare Bachmann with the aforementioned Palin, another conservative lightning rod who speaks with an upper-Midwestern accent, is the mother of a large family, and touts a stridently socially conservative agenda that Democrats regard as outright right wing.

"She is so principally and diametrically opposed to the core principles that we have," Donald McFarland, a Minnesota-based Democratic strategist, said of Bachmann. "She is further to the right than Attila the Hun."

"She's the poster girl for the radical fringe element," added Brian Smoot, who served as political director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last campaign cycle.

Really? Given all of the horrible policy positions Bachmann has taken (from her opposition to SCHIP to her bizarre battle against the census that even fellow Republicans have rebuked her over) the best you can come up with is to call her names like Attilla the Hun? Do you understand that since this article came out I have read several conservative blogs who have used this as evidence that poor Michele Bachmann is being attacked and needs help?

Go ahead and talk up the reasons why potential candidates are right for the district:

But Democrats say Clark — who still faces a primary challenger in Maureen Reed, a physician who ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 on the Independence Party ticket — presents the party with its best shot of taking out Bachmann since she first ran for the House in 2006, because she already has proved that she can win in a Republican-leaning St. Cloud Senate district.

"She's proven she can win in areas where Republicans are strong," said McFarland, the Minnesota-based Democratic strategist. "Tarryl Clark is the ticket."

"I've run in an area that people didn't think could be won by a Democrat," Clark told POLITICO this week.

But please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, stop this completely ineffective strategy of hurling insults at Bachmann without adding so much as a single reason why she is wrong from a policy perspective.
8:47 PM | Posted in
An interesting post appeared today on True North from a blogger calling herself "Twice Blessed". The post encouraged people to begin protesting SEIU (Service Employees International Union) events here in Minnesota after a supposed "attack" that took place in St. Louis, Missouri.

Yes, we have the SEIU in Minnesota. Would you expect anything else from our "progressive" state. If you would like to make your voice heard on the brutal tactics employed by SEIU staff at the St. Louis and Tamps townhalls, here are some SEIU events being held in Minnesota this month.

Cross posted and comments welcome at Conservative Cravings.

So what does Klein Bank have to do with all of this?

Well, up until just recently the author of this particular piece wrote and posted using her official Klein Bank email account:
While I have no idea how many SEIU members might do business with this relatively small bank chain, I do know that if I were a member I would not feel all that welcome at a business whose employees actively campaign against my organization.
The number one story on Countdown with Keith Olbermann was the departure of Elwyn Tinklenberg from the DFL endorsement race in the sixth district. While it would have been nice for him to mention the two remaining contenders, he did provide an interesting look back at some of the not so brilliant statements made by our current representative:

I knew that the entry of Tarryl Clark would make it difficult for Elwyn Tinklenberg to win the DFL endorsement but who knew that her entry would force Tink out so soon. The word is that fund raising woes may have led to the ultimate demise of the Tinklenberg 2010 Campaign. Yet, one has to wonder how many party insiders were telling Tink that it was a lost cause.

From the Star Tribune:

“I am terminating my campaign for Congress,” he said in a statement. “This is obviously not an easy decision for me, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s the right one.”

Statements quickly came out from both the Reed Campaign and the Clark Campaign regarding the decision made by Tinklenberg.

From Maureen Reed:

“First and foremost, I want to thank El Tinklenberg for his dedication to public service. He has worked hard on behalf of the citizens of the sixth district and this state as Mayor of Blaine, State Transportation Commissioner and as a Congressional Candidate. El is a tremendous public servant. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

From Tarryl Clark:

"From day one, El and I have shared the common goal of changing the 6th District's representation in Congress. El knows first-hand from his work just how much is at stake for the working families and small businesses across Minnesota. I thank El for his dedication and public service, and know he will continue to be a leader in our community."

Clark was given a second bit of good news today when AFSCME announced their endorsement of her candidacy.