Friday, April 20, 2007

Patriots Day 2007: "This war is lost"

"This war is lost, and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq." —U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 19, 2007

On April 19, 1775, the American patriots confronted British troops at Lexington and Concord, firing the "shot heard round the world" that began the American Revolution. You can read the first stanza of Emerson's poem, Concord Hymn, at the base of the famous Minuteman statue in Concord, Massachusetts:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

We have a support-the-troops ministry at my church, which recently sent care packages of magazines, puzzle books, and other nice tokens to let our military sons, daughters, grandchildren, and friends know that we are thinking of and praying for them. Here is an excerpt from the thank-you note we received from one of the recipients, a U.S. Marine named Andrea:

Thank you very much for the care package you sent me. It was very thoughtful and much appreciated. It is comforting to know so many people are thinking and praying for me and all the other troops out here. Life in Baghdad has been very interesting since I first came here at the beginning of December. I have enjoyed being here during the historic events such as the Saddam trial and execution, the appointment of General Petraeus and the departure of the US Ambassador of Iraq. Please continue your support of the troops as well as the war in Iraq. We are doing great things out here, never forget those who have died for this war. We must and will be victorious. Our nation depends on it.

It just about kills me to know that Andrea and all of our solidiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines heard or will soon hear Sen. Reid's Patriot Day statement, and that more of our kids in school will hear it than Emerson's Concord Hymn.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Who controls the past controls the future..."

"...who controls the present controls the past." —George Orwell

WCCO-TV Channel 4 and CBS News have apparently tried to control the past, using Dan Rather-style, ends-justifies-the-means "journalism," this time to advance their global warming agenda.

Yesterday on its web site, WCCO posted a story with a CBS dateline ("Protesters call attention to global warming"), that misrepresented the size and location of last Saturday's Sierra Club global warming rally, held on the mall of the Minnesota State Capitol. The text of the story was a roundup of the global warming demonstrations held around the country, but the accompanying video clearly showed images of the much larger Tax Cut Coalition rally, held on the steps of the State Capitol (that's the Quadriga visible in the screen capture image, for those of you who might remember it from your fifth grade Capitol tour; click for a larger size).

The story was pulled from the WCCO web site within an hour or so of the start of yesterday's Jason Lewis Show on 100.3 KTLK-FM, where the, ahem, inaccuracy was reported.

The local media has done its best to portray the attendance at the Tax Cut Coalition rally and the Sierra Club rally as comparable, when in fact the former outdrew the latter by, conservatively, 400% - 500%. Who needs a reality check now?

Visit the KTLK-FM web site, and local blogs like PheistyBlog, for the real story of the 2007 Tax Cut Coalition rally.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nervous in the service

Republican Party of Minnesota State Central Committee delegates should take note of state party chairman Ron Carey's performance at Saturday's Tax Cut Coalition Rally, and, more importantly, the crowd's reaction to Carey.

While I do not condone the heckling and chanting of "No More RINOs" during Carey's reading of a letter from Senator Norm Coleman (was the crowd directing their chant at Carey or Coleman?), it shows that the conservative base is rising again, and they are not going to take it anymore. Coleman's letter was a nice gesture, but came off to the 7000-strong, pitchfork-and-torches crowd as a bit lame.

After a stint in North Carolina talk radio, if there was ever any doubt, radio personality and conservative prophet Jason Lewis is absolutely back in his blazing saddle again. Lewis is about more than ratings: he wants a conservative revolution. This time, Lewis will not be cowed by the Republican party establishment's talk of getting along, compromise, and smaller tax increases than the DFL. This time, Lewis is kicking butt and naming names: Don Shelby, the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Saint Paul Mayor Chris "Comrade" Coleman, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, even Jim Ramstad and Tim Pawlenty.

This time, Lewis has harnessed some Internet resources that were not available to him at the end of Jesse Ventura's term: a web site fueling an 18,000 member and growing Tax Cut Coalition, a list of allied conservative groups, and the independent blogosphere — which supports Lewis despite his apparent arms-length relationship with them. (Lewis owes the blogosphere, especially the MOB, for its extensive coverage of the rally, replete with eyewitness accounts, gigabytes of photos, and on-demand video. The revolution will be blogged.)

Lewis is also a more visible presence at meetings of the Twin Cities Republican Association and EdWatch. Taxpayers League of Minnesota's David Strom promoted the rally on KSTP-TV Channel 5's At Issue public affairs program, brandishing one of Derek Brigham's striking protest signs.

This time, Lewis and his followers are not giving up, and they are not going away. They used to talk about taking a loss if necessary to maintain their conservative integrity. This time, they are in the game to win. The adjacent, corporate sponsored, global warming "pup tent" rally's meager turnout compared to the grassroots Tax Cut Rally's several thousand gave conservatives a huge morale boost.

If conservatives won't be represented by the establishment, they are going to install a new establishment. RINOs should be nervous.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The next best thing to being there

Due to family obligations I was not able to attend the Tax Cut Coalition rally on Saturday, but by all accounts, it was a glorious day for the conservative revolution. Check out the extensive coverage of this event on the blogs, especially Freedom Dogs and Residual Forces. Many of these posts have audio and video attached.

The mainstream media ignored the event, hoping we will go away. We are not giving up, and we are not going away!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Republican election performance: by the numbers

2004 Elections (Minnesota GOP Chairman: Ron Ebensteiner)
  • 13 net seats lost in the Minnesota House (Governor, constitutional officers, and Senate were not up for election this year)
  • Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry wins in Minnesota

"...there was a complete lack of message from the State party. It seemed like the party was busier trying to catch the DFL in some little campaign law slip up than it was relaying a solid message to the public. There was no cohesiveness across the state. It seemed like each candidate was on their own...The '04 election cycle performance was a shame. I hope that the people who shall be electing the Chair this year remember this dismal performance when they cast their votes. Poor performance does not need to be rewarded, no matter the party affiliation." —Andy Aplikowski in Residual Forces, February 25, 2005

2006 Elections (Minnesota GOP Chairman: Ron Carey)
  • 19 net seats lost in the Minnesota House
  • 6 net seats, and majority status, lost in the Minnesota Senate
  • Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty re-elected
  • Republican Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer defeated
  • Republican State Auditor Pat Anderson defeated
  • Republican Attorney General candidate Jeff Johnson defeated
  • Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy defeated

"This party had two devastating losses in '04 and '06 and that trend has got to be reversed. Part of that is because they have been fighting a defensive battle and not taking the offense. Not showing what the Republican Party stands for, not showing what we can do better than the opposition, the Democratic Party." —Joe Repya, candidate for Republican Party of Minnesota chairman, quoted by Tom Scheck in Polinaut, April 11, 2007

How the west was lost, part deux

The DFL must have really wanted to keep the Senate seat in SD 43, if they threw 127 large to defeat Judy Johnson. The Republican Senate caucus ("Victory Fund") apparently believed in Johnson, judging by their nearly $40K contribution. Johnson did not accept PAC money, but where was the Republican Party of Minnesota?

The DFL spent more against Johnson (over $127,000) than for their candidate, Terri Bonoff (over $76,000). The substantial PAC money contributed, including over $31,000 from the Education Minnesota teachers union, was just icing on Bonoff's victory cake. The Republican Minnesota Senate caucus spent nearly $9000 against Bonoff, but where was the Republican Party of Minnesota?

This was a very winnable race for the Republicans (the swing vote was a few hundred), but where was the Republican Party of Minnesota? Remind me again why I should send money to the Repubican Party of Minnesota this year? (I am having trouble finding my checkbook.)

The good delegates of SD 43 heartily endorsed Judy Johnson for state Senate. The Judy Johnson campaign committee worked their butts off (literally, considering the door knocking miles logged) during the campaign. But where was the Republican Party of Minnesota?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Businesses don't pay taxes, people pay taxes

On March 31, the StarTribune published an editorial opposing the DFL-proposed cap on charter schools. While it did not fully prioritize the education of children over the protection of the government/union education status quo, it was at least a refreshing assertion that "Minnesota has been a pioneer in offering public school choice, acknowledging that today's students have a variety of learning styles and needs...The door should remain open to create innovative schools for Minnesota students."

Yesterday, the reliably liberal daily opined that "Business taxes are up, and that's not good." This flies in the face of the liberal proclivity of raising taxes on "big, bad businesses," forcing them to raise prices or leave the state, prompting those same liberals to bemoan high prices and unemployment, which prompts them to raise taxes, which — well, you get the idea.

Businesses don't pay taxes, people pay taxes. From the editorial:
Raise property taxes on a commercial enterprise, and Minnesota consumers will pay nearly half of that increase in higher prices. Raise property taxes on an industrial plant, and more than half of that cost will be passed on to workers, through lower wages and benefits. In both cases, the study projects, only a small fraction of the cost is borne by business owners.

Business taxes may be the most regressive of government's revenue-raisers -- which makes it ironic that they are so often favored by liberal politicians who otherwise argue for taxation based on ability to pay. This year, the DFL-controlled state Senate has already passed a bill that would add $222 million to the statewide business property tax by 2009.

The Senate should defeat this tax increase, or Governor Pawlenty should veto it.

And bravo to the the Strib for surprising us with positions advocating school choice and oppsoing tax increases.

Join Jason Lewis and thousands of members of the Tax Cut Coalition on the steps of the State Capitol this Saturday, April 14 at 12:00 noon.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Follow the leader

In his Wright County Republican post, "Why I support Ron Carey," Drew Emmer makes his case in support of the current chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Unfortunately, I am not as sanguine about Carey as Emmer seems to be.

Emmer says, "We all could have done a better job last fall. Ultimately the wins and losses belong to the candidates." OK, so you're saying that state Republican candidates had a mass case of malaise in 2006? Au contraire, I saw lots of Republican candidates campaigning hard on the ground — but where was the close air support from the state party? Does all of the blame belong to the candidates?

"My primary concern for the chairman position," continues Emmer, "is the ability to raise significant money to win back the majorities in 2008. I know Ron can raise the dough." Well, my sources are saying that the DFL out-fundraised us in 2006 big time under chairman Carey. Will Carey find that the Norm Coleman campaign, presidential campaign, and the Republican National Convention are enough to float our boats to majorities back in Saint Paul? Or would a new fundraising commander-in-chief, such as Let Freedom Ring's favorite, Joe Repya be more effective?

How do we get there from here?

Karl Marx will NOT be at the Tax Cut Coalition Rally, April 14, 2007"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." —Karl Marx

"House DFLers on Monday called their plan a bold attempt to lower property taxes and tie the tax more firmly to homeowners' ability to pay." —Star Tribune, March 27, 2007

"And how d'you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers! By 'anging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society." —Dennis in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The Marxists are run amok at the Capitol, and the elections of 2006 made it possible. Should the Republican Party of Minnesota elect as big a tent of candidates as necessary in Minnesota — conservatives, "moderates," RINOs — enough to capture the majority in both houses, with legislative leadership (say, a Speaker Seifert and Senate Majority Leader Hann) and a governor strong enough to advance the conservative agenda?

Ideology aside, with the majority you get the gavels, that is, committee chairs, rules, you set the agenda and you get your way. With strong enough leadership and a large enough majority, can you neutralize the RINOs who de facto caucus with the DFL? Or do we take a hard right turn to energize the base, and "give voters a choice, not an echo?"

Further, how do you outspend Education Minnesota and How do you get your message out? These are the questions that I hope RPM chairman Ron Carey, and any challengers to his chairmanship, will address before the Republican State Central Committee meeting.

In the meantime, send a strong message to the Legislature at the Tax Cut Coalition Rally at noon on Saturday, April 14.