Stories and Commentary that Caught our Attention

Gov. Walz hides gun restrictions in his budget. Watch a video by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer here.  3/4/19

Should drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles pay more to use our roads? A Minnesota lawmaker proposes increased fees. 2/21/19

The City of Minneapolis plans to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate have introduced a bill to prohibit such IDs.  2/13/19

Minnesota lakes contribute as much greenhouse gas as the coal and natural gas that heats our homes. Read the details here.    MPR 2/12/19

Here's an excellent explanation of how we pay for our roads. 12/23/18

A Blake School student tells how how identity politics ruined the last few years at the high school.  4/17/18

Read how left wing groups and their allies routinely silence conservative speech: Facebook labeled a post by black conservative bloggers and vocal Trump supporters Diamond and Silk "unsafe to the community;"  YouTube restricted videos produced by conservative Dennis Prager for his Prager U website as inappropriate for children; MPR exposed the donations of board member and ex-Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson to a pro-Israel, anti-Sharia law group that ran anti-Muslim ads.  4/13/18

Keith Ellison, Democratic congressman from Minneapolis and Deputy Chair of the Democratic Party, stated his support for a universal basic income and wage caps. Story and video here.  4/4/18

Minnesota is getting national attention for a recent law that classified caregivers in Minnesota as public employees for collective bargaining purposes because they are often paid with Medicaid dollars. Some dues-paying caregivers are protesting this "skimming" of government funds for union purposes.  3/30/18

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is poised to sign welfare reform legislation that will reduce welfare rolls by expanding work requirements and adding other restrictions.  2/28/18

Controversial conservative commentator Ben Shapiro gave a tutorial on capitalism to a crowd at the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the Young America's Foundation. 2/26/28

A Duluth woman tells of being badgered and stalked by union members trying to organize personal care attendants. 2/13/18

Here's more of the story about instruction in left-wing ideology and racial identity politics in classes at Edina High School. Find the original story here.  (1/18)

Due to concerns that our young people do not have the knowledge to be good citizens, since 2016 Minnesota high school students have been required to pass a civics test. Now a state senator wants to require junior and senior students to take a civics course. Watch a Capitol Report interview here.  (10/27/17)

Minnesota blogger John Gilmore contributed this column detailing how to turn the state red by embracing Trump policies like forced refugee migration and mining to The Hill, a major national political journal.  (12/31/17)

The St. Paul teacher's union has released a report claiming that Minnesota corporations are not paying state and local taxes that should go to fund education. The spokesman for Minnesota's largest corporations, Charlie Weaver, describes the long-standing commitment to education of Minnesota businesses. (12/28/17)

The City of Minneapolis is considering issuing photo ID cards, in particular to aid undocumented immigrants who don't have traditional forms of identification to access services such as opening bank accounts, cashing checks or renting apartments. Supporters state that, to avoid singling out people without immigration documents, the city could create incentives to encourage all residents to get the cards, .  (12/8/17)

Minnesota Lawyer reports that a counter-demonstrator charged with violently disrupting a March 4 pro-Trump rally at the State Capitol may plead self-defense at trial, according to court filings.  (10/25/17)

Listen to an interview from Senate Media with State Senator Julie Rosen about the alarming increase in the use of methamphetamine in Minnesota and the fight against deadly opiod drugs. Sen. Rosen was nicknamed "Senator Meth" for her efforts to control drug use. A bill she sponsored in 2005 required that pseudoephedrine, a meth precursor drug, be sold behind the counter in stores. Meth use in the state was reduced, but from 2009-2016 there has been an almost 500 percent increase in police seizures of the drug.  (10/20/17)

A Minnesota state arts grant paid for a Michigan professor and a Native American artist to design a video game in which players destroy oil pipelines and other infrastructure. Read the story here.  (10/26/17)

Minnesotans used to pay lower-than-average costs for their electricity. Now, however, state law has transformed us into a higher-than-average cost state. Billions of dollars haven't reduced our greenhouse gases by any significant amount. Read the report here.  (10/15/17)

A gun-control advocate studied 33,000 cases of gun deaths and changed her mind. She says, "I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections."  (10/4/17)

Watch a video of John HInderacker. Center of the American Experiment, giving explosive details of Edina Schools' political indoctrination controversy at the Senate District 49 monthly meeting.  (10/9/17)

Read a review of A Social Justice Warrior Handbook: A Practical Survival Guide for Snowflakes, Millennials and Generation Z, by "funny and fearless conserva-revolutionary" Lisa de Pasquale.  (9/21/17)

The president of the University of Minnesota's College Republicans was harassed, threatened with violence and targeted by antifa for her views. Read the disturbing story about her treatment, how it affected members of her group and how campus authorities responded here.  (9/20/17)

Minnesota law enforcement is still concerned about Minnesotans going to the Middle East but is more concerned about "lone wolf" attacks from those who return. Listen to audio of the Minnesota Senate hearing here. (9/112/17)

Two state representatives are asking the State of Minnesota to pay unemployment benefits to employees who quit their jobs at Club Jager to protest the owner's donation to the Klu Klux Klan. The club was forced to close.  (9/11/17)

Gov. Dayton has announced that, beginning next May, the state will have a 20 percent biofuel mandate. Soybean farmers will benefit; the rest of us will pay more when fuel costs are added to all goods and services. Read the details here.  (9/1/17)

Powerline gives a very funny and pictorial answer to the question, "Is antifa violent?"  (8/20/17)

Minnesota’s debt to its public employee retirement system has grown by $33.4 billion, thanks to recent changes in national accounting standards. In 2016 the state, now seventh worst in the country, had just 53% of the money it would need to pay all the benefits it has promised. Read the report here.  8/31/17

The director of the Minnesota Pension Commission disputes Bloomberg News' analysis of the condition of the state's pension funds.  (9/1/17)

The decision in a labor rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court would allow teachers in non-right-to-work states like Minnesota to keep their jobs without joining the union, which could cost Education Minnesota millions of dollars. Read what Education Minnesota is doing to prevent that outcome.

Minnesota's role in the American Civil War is the subject of two books by author, historian and state representative Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City).  24,000 Minnesotans, nearly one in four in our new state, enlisted in the war effort. These thoroughly-researched works of historical fiction depict the realities of war and the effects on the personal lives of soldiers. (8/29/17)

Watch the oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court in the case of Gov. Dayton versus the legislature. The governor is appealing a decision by a lower court that his line-item vetoes of funding for the House and Senate in effect abolished the legislature and violated the separation of powers clause in the state constitution. (8/26/17)

The company that owns the Dakota Access oil pipeline has filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups, alleging that the groups' actions interfered with its business, facilitated crimes and acts of terrorism, incited violence, targeted financial institutions that backed the project and violated racketeering and defamation laws. The company is requesting up to $1 billion in damages.  (8/22/17)

MinnPost explores why Democrats have lost outstate Minnesota. They write: In the name of inclusiveness, Larson says, the left wing of the DFL has become “rigid,” so much so that some of the DFL’s fixations have become something of a joke in large swaths of Greater Minnesota. Try Asian carp. These are the variety of species of carp that were imported in the 1970s from, well, Asia, and are invading U.S. waterways, causing all sorts of damage. “We’re not supposed to say ‘Asian carp,’ ” said Larson, laughing. “They’re ‘invasive carp.’ It’s in state statute.”  (8/2/17)

One-time Minnesotan Valerie Greenfeld, the author of Backyard Caliphate: Radicalization in Your Neighborhood, asks"What Has Happened to Minneapolis?" and describes Little Mogadishu and the Islamic jihadi network in Minnesota. (7/27/17)

Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega says that a new billion-dollar transit corridor from downtown St. Paul to the airport is not only about ridership and cost-effectiveness but also about environmental and social justice issues. Joe Soucheray writes, "We can only conclude that evil white male Republican capitalists are holding hands across West Seventh Street and not allowing people of color to go to the airport." (7/16/27)

The federal government’s proposed withdrawal of leases for mineral exploration and development not only would have a chilling effect on northeastern Minnesota’s economy, but could destroy our local communities to the point of forcing families who have lived and worked here generations to leave — resulting in a barren region of ghost towns, says State Rep. Dale Lueck of Atkin. (7/14/17)

Read how parents and students are blowing the whistle on propaganda masquerading as instruction in the Edina Public Schools in this report from the Center of the American Experiment. (7/12/17)

Tribal and environmental activists in northern Minnesota are threatening to stage a protest similar to North Dakota's Standing Rock conflict last winter to prevent Enbridge Energy from building a new pipeline to replace its aging 1,000-mile Line 3. "If that permit is issued, you can be sure you will have Standing Rock in Minnesota. I will tell you that," White Earth tribal member and Honor the Earth executive director Winona LaDuke said. "We've been very clear with the state representatives, and the governor of Minnesota, that if they approve this line, there will be tens of thousands of people in Minnesota. Read about it here(7/5/17)

The Center of the American Experiment disputes the Star Tribune's implication in this article that more spending on education gets a better result. The Center makes its case here with data. (6/30/17)

There is probably no better poster child for government waste than municipal broadband, and many Minnesota communities, have, regrettably, been at the forefront of some of the most prolific broadband failures in the country, according to the Freedom Foundation's Annette Meeks in this Star Tribune column. (7/6/17)

The 2018-19 budget passed by the legislature prohibits the state from paying the operating costs of Southwest Light Rail Transit, so Hennepin County raised taxes last week to pay those costs. Read how the county's tab has grown here. (6/26/17)

New Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan says, "It's time to turn Minnesota red!" on Almanac. (6/26/17)

Heather McDonald, respected authority on policing and race, spoke at a Center of the American Experiment forum about the false narrative that holds that the police are the greatest threat facing young black men today and that we’re living through an epidemic of racially biased police shootings of black men. Read her defense of police officers against these unfair attacks here. (2/17)

This short essay about the demise of journalistic standards explains how we can use tools we already have to combat the "mismatch between the mainstream media and the public’s sensibilities." (6/17)

Take a look at this very funny video from the Center of the American Experiment about the mindset of millenials living in their parents' basements. (5/19/17)

The state’s pension plans — which cover retirement benefits for about a half a million teachers, fire fighters, police officers and other state and local government employees in Minnesota — are underfunded by billions of dollars over the next several decades. Without a solution, ultimately, taxpayers are on the hook to cover what the state can’t. Read more here. ((6/9/17)

Many Beltway journalists are essentially establishment creatures, gatekeepers for the political ruling class, members of that class and fierce guardians of their place in the empire. The political class sees Trump and the 62 million Americans who voted for him as the stuff they scrape off their shoes. Read John Kass' opinion piece here. (5/25/17)

A new Harvard study reveals a shocking level of media bias against President Trump--a breathtakingly extreme percentage of negative coverage of the president. For example, CNN and NBC tied for 93% negative coverage, and the New York Times was 87% negative. Here's the study. (5/19/17)

The left is using three particular intimidation tactics to stifle opponents' free speech rights, including unleashing federal and state bureaucracies on political opponents, inciting prosecutors to abuse their awesome powers to hound and frighten political opponents, and employing activist groups to use blackmail against corporations and non-profits in order to silence them. Read the Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Stassel here. (4/17)

More than 60 legislators signed a letter to Commissioner Brenda Cassellius voicing their disapproval of the Minnesota Department of Education's “gender toolkit” for schools dealing with transgender and gender nonconforming students. The legislators state, “We believe that the Department’s resources would best serve Minnesota’s children in other areas, instead of advancing a progressive social agenda, which many experts consider harmful,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are concerned about how the messages presented in the “Toolkit” will impact Minnesota’s children, and believe discussions regarding gender identity should be left to parents.” Read the rest of the story here. (5/16/17)

From the Editors: Make the case for smaller government. 

The balancing act that determines the size and reach of government tends to swing with election results. With Republicans right now in control of both the state House and state Senate, Minnesotans can look for the pendulum to swing toward smaller government and less state spending, as the Minnesota Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton work to hammer together a new two-year budget before their May 22 end-of-session deadline.

While they can take care not to harm any program or any service of state government that legitimately helps Minnesotans in need, Republicans can make pretty convincing arguments this spring for reining in spending and for at least slowing the growth of state government. Read more here.

POLITICOMagazine: How Pepin County, Wisconsin, turned red for Trump

In one corner of Wisconsin, shocked liberals can’t escape an uneasy feeling: They were the reason why. Democrats and progressives thought they lived in one kind of place. It turns out they live in another. That’s true in the nation as a whole, and it’s particularly, poignantly true here. Read the story here.

How a powerful union committed fraud in organizing Minnesota caregivers

Written by 
April 24, 

The Center’s now year-long decertification fight has received a lot of national, state and local media coverage, including The Wall Street Journal. People around the country are shocked to find out that Medicaid funds intended for the disabled and their families have been hi-jacked by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

We estimate that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is taking in as much as $4.7 million annually from Medicaid. Since 2015, the union has been “representing” family members and other caregivers who work as personal care attendants (PCAs) for disabled people eligible for help under Medicaid. PCAs were declared “public employees” under legislation passed by a DFL majority in 2013.

The idea behind the Medicaid program is simple: empower disabled Minnesotans to stay home and out of institutions by hiring help. Unless you are new to these pages, you have heard me talk about this wonderful program many times.

Read more here.

Crony Capitalism in Minnesota: Cutting Taxes for our Friends

Three years ago, Car2Go, a car-sharing business entered the Minneapolis market. Suddenly 400 Car2Go vehicles (you’ve seen them – the tiny blue and white “smart cars”) appeared all over the Twin Cities as approximately 29,000 Minnesotans downloaded an “app” on their smart phones and joined this car-sharing network. In an abrupt move last fall, the company announced they were leaving Minnesota “due to extremely high state car rental taxes.”

According to the Star Tribune, the “motor vehicle rental tax is 9.2 percent, plus there’s an additional 5 percent fee to reimburse lessors for the cost of registering vehicles.” In addition, “there’s the general state sales tax (currently 6.875 percent), plus other local taxes that apply to leases or rentals of motor vehicles.” All of that adds up to some whopping high taxes on rental cars that forced Car2Go, owned by Daimler North America Corporation, to leave the state.

It is important to note that car sharing rental taxes and fees are the same as those paid by conventional car rental companies. Even more important is the fact that taxpayers have paid these taxes and fees for many, many years – they are a convenient and easy tax to raise when state and local politicians start looking for additional revenue to fund even bigger government. Politicians raising these taxes like to delude themselves by believing that car rental taxes are paid by visitors to the state, not Minnesotans. Imagine the surprise of many big-spending legislators when they found out a convenient and popular car sharing service was forcing Minnesotans to pay the same taxes as everyone else who rented a car to drive on our lousy and congested roads.

Apparently these tiny “smart car” car-sharing services have some friends in high places. Recently, a measure was introduced in both bodies of the state legislature to exempt car-sharing firms “like Car2Go” “from paying motor vehicle rental taxes and fees in Minnesota.”

Read more here.

The judicial nomination war started with Bork. Let’s end it with Gorsuch.

James Robertson is a retired U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia.

In the summer of 1987, I led a team of young lawyers to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Our work, which today would be called opposition research, found its way into the devastating confirmation hearing testimony of Erwin Griswold, the former Harvard Law School dean who had been Bork’s predecessor as solicitor general.

I do not claim that the work of my little team had any real impact on the Senate’s 58-to-42 vote rejecting Bork’s nomination. Griswold was only one in a parade of powerful anti-Bork witnesses, and Bork’s arrogance and tin ear for politics were his own worst enemies. As distasteful as the battle was, the end — the successful nomination of Anthony M. Kennedy after Bork’s defeat — seemed to justify the means.

Read the rest of the article here....