The NARN Closer - 11/23/2014

The last broadcast before Thanksgiving, so let's just say I'm thankful to be broadcasting on another Sunday afternoon. Today's edition of The Closer will be on from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time. 

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HWX: Brave New World

HWX returns for a special broadcast, with Brian Ward of Fraters Libertas and …. not John Hinderaker of Power Line. John is taking a rare and well deserved break, and sitting in is another alternative media legend, Paul Happe, aka The Nihilist in Golf Pants.

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NYT: While you were sleeping, Obama re-upped us for another year in Afghanistan

Or, more accurately, while you were voting. Was Barack Obama conveniently waiting for after the midterm elections to add another year of combat duty to our tour in Afghanistan, or is this just a big coincidence? YMMV, but the New York Times suggests that the decision was made longer than just 17 days ago in this Friday night document dump:

President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year.

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Thissen’s dizzying spin, Part I

Paul Thissen’s op-ed in Friday night’s St. Cloud Times is breathtakingly dishonest. Here’s a prime example of Thissen’s dishonesty:

On the campaign trail, Republicans like Daudt attacked these accomplishments as inadequate, attacks ironically financed by enormous contributions from big Twin Cities corporate special interests. So it seems fair to ask:

Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?

I frequently wrote about the Democrats’ dishonest claims that Republicans supported “handing out corporate tax breaks.” To be fair, most of those claims were made against Torrey Westrom’s and Stewart Mills’ congressional campaigns but Thissen’s claims are dishonest just the same. One of the DCCC’s ads accused Torrey Westrom of shutting down the government “to give tax breaks to his wealthy friends.”

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Welcome to our monarchy

Without ever having to have his name appear on a ballot again, President Barack Obama really is risking nothing politically with his Executive Order to halt deportations of some 4.7 million illegal aliens.

The question now is what kind of tone will Congressional Republicans use in responding? It's quite clear Obama cares little about the Constitution, Separation of Powers, etc., so it'll be interesting to see how the GOP approaches this. It's possible that Obama is taking this action in the hope that House Republicans, who last year did not bring up for a vote a Senate passed immigration bill, will scramble to the the table and cobble together some immigration reform legislation. It has also been suggested that this decree is a smokescreen to distract from what is sure to be the Obama administration's appeasement of Iran regarding its nuclear program.

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ProtectMN: An Unreliable Source

I’ve been saying it for years.  It hardly bears saying again.

Heather Martens of “ProtectMN” – the gun-grabber group that used to be “Citizens for aSafer Supine Minnesota” – has never, not once, made a true, factual substantial statement about the Second Amendment or guns in America (barring the odd number or bit of trivia). 

Not one.  Ever. 

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What If Every Law Were Enforced Like Immigration?

On today's Fightin Words podcast, hosted on the Twin Cities News Talk Podcast Network:

President Obama announced executive action resulting in a de facto change in immigration law, a clear usurpation of his constitutional role in the balance of power between branches of government. Yet, some libertarians argue his action is justified. We consider the arguments.

Subscribe to Fightin Wordsnow available on iTunes, or through the RSS feed. Follow → Blog, Twitter, Facebook.

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Thissen’s dizzying spin, Part II

Paul Thissen’s op-ed, which was also published in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, had so spin that I couldn’t fit it into one post. Here’s more of Thissen’s spin:

They voted against the Homestead Credit Refund that provided $120 million in direct property tax relief to 450,000 homeowners, helping reduce statewide property taxes for the first time in 12 years.

Bill Salisbury’s article quickly discredits Thissen’s spin:

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Did Obama just provide the opening for a border-security bill?

It might take a little political jujitsu to pull it off, but Barack Obama may have inadvertently opened the door for Republicans to move forward in their incremental approach to immigration reform. Until now, Obama and his fellow Democrats have argued that the humanitarian aspects of the current illegal immigrants in the US demanded a comprehensive solution rather than a deliberative and sequential strategy that could make sure that one piece worked before adding another to the mix. Republicans are pushing back hard on Obama’s declaration of executive amnesty last night, but it might have removed the argument for a comprehensive plan — especially if it produces the kind of results that Marc Ambinder predicted yesterday:

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Marshalling the Facts

Most people in the US and in Europe (and perhaps to a somewhat lesser extent) have favorable views of the Marshall Plan which was implemented after World War II to speed European economic recovery. A little background for those who slept through history class. The Marshall Plan:

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $17 billion (approximately $160 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. The phrase "equivalent of the Marshall Plan" is often used to describe a proposed large-scale rescue program.

The key words there are “gave,” “helped rebuild,” “prosperous,” and “rescue.” It’s not a surprise that the Marshall Plan enjoys a positive legacy in the West.

However, that perspective is not shared everywhere. Not a new Marshall Plan:

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Just Say Any Crap At All

I’m starting to develop this theory that the Democrats’ “messaging” strategy is developing into something like this:

  1. Tell voters pretty much whatever you think they want to hear.
  2. Assume the voters are too incurious to check up on it.
  3. There is no point 3.

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Who Needs Congress When You Have an Imperial Presidency?

On today's Fightin Words podcast, hosted on the Twin Cities News Talk Podcast Network:

Democrats hold a unique responsibility to speak out now against President Barack Obama's planned unilateral action on immigration. No policy matters more than whether or not the President of the United States may circumvent Congress, and by extension the will of the American people. Do we have a president, or an emperor? If this action goes unanswered, the republic will have utterly failed.

Subscribe to Fightin Wordsnow available on iTunes, or through the RSS feed. Follow → Blog, Twitter, Facebook.

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