"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pat Anderson receives endorsement of the Minnesotans for Limited Government

Minnesotans for Limited Government, a Political Action Committee working to bring the principles of limited government back to politics by educating the public and supporting liberty-minded candidates, has endorsed Pat Anderson for the Republican Party nomination for governor.

"The Minnesota Republican Party has a number of conservative candidates running for governor," said MNLG Chairman Rick Karschnia. "But out of the field, Pat Anderson stands out for her long history of putting the principles of individual liberty and limited government to work in a number of executive positions. She's the only state commissioner who ever used her position to eliminate her department and put herself out of a government job."

Anderson's promotion of the idea that individual and economic freedom be the first consideration of any government action played a strong role in her endorsement.

In remarks at the MNLG candidate recruitment night September 3, Pat noted, "In recent years I have seen a new Republican movement coming back, and it is a liberty Republican movement. I feel so blessed, because that is who I am, that is who I have always been."

"I am grateful to the Minnesotans for Limited Government for their support," said Anderson. "The liberty groups are uncompromising and a tough sell. They hold candidates' feet to the fire on the fundamental principles of individual liberty, private property and the rule of law. You really have to earn their trust and their endorsement, not just by talking the talk, but by having walked the walk, and I am honored that out of this field of candidates for governor, Minnesotans for Limited Government believes I can best turn those principles into workable policy."

MNLG is open to any individual who is passionate about liberty and limited government, and actively recruits and supports candidates for public office at all levels. Check out the group's website at http://www.mnlg.org/.

Pat Meets the Press

Pat was the gubernatorial guest on At Issue with Tom Hauser this past Sunday. She dismissed the gender question, making a point she has made before, this race is not about gender but about having the executive capacity to lead. Pat not only puts the gender issue to rest in the five minute format, she points that welfare reform must be done in a constitutional manner, and proposes the use of vouchers to expand educational choice beyond district schools. Noting that the budget problem calls for more than simply a freeze on spending she makes the key point about fixing the budget deficit - "We have to change our tax structure" - and she gets to the root of the problem and describes how she'll get things done. Watch the interview here.

You can see Pat's ability to go one-on-one with the media and make points even when the media wants to go in a different direction. Interviewed by two media veterans, Pat more than handles her own. Watch how Pat uses questions by KSTP's Tom Hauser and WCCO's Esme Murphy to make the points she wants to make - not necessarily the answers they are fishing for.

Pat Walks the Walk - Even When It Means Walking into the Belly of the Beast

Politics in Minnesota writing about the pilgrimage of DFL candidates to worship at the altar of AFSCME Council 5, the 43,000 member state, county and municipal workers union, makes the parenthetical note -- "[By the way, the only GOP contender set to participate in the AFSCME screening is Pat Anderson.]." (http://www.politicsinminnesota.com/2009/sep29/3686/unions-ready-rock-governors-race) But while DFL candidates go bowing and scraping for support, Pat's mission is to explain who's the boss.

"In both my two previous statewide races for auditor, I participated in the screening," says Pat. "I tell the board right up front that I know they are not going to endorse me, but I want to explain my positions and that's why I am talking to them. After all, their members might end up working for me again."

"What some of the candidates don't understand is that as much as we might not like it, government unions are a fact of life right now. Union contracts already negotiated by law have to be honored even if that limits some of the reforms we'd like to make. The Governor has to pursue her goals in that context, and setting expectations and defining to the unions what needs to be done in the best interest of the state is a start."

How far have we fallen?

This article touches on the recent activities of the US "Pay Czar".

No political decision is made without some consideration of politics. Political decisions that distribute large sums of money beg for corruption of the official(s) making the decisions.

No employee will be happy with his pay being capped, reduced or even rescinded by a federal official. This goes double if done for political reasons. Employees so limited have every reason to leave for greener pastures. A "brain drain" could be very damaging to affected firms.

Nothing good can come from this. The "pay czar" may well limit the political damage of the poorly conceived and badly supervised bailouts, but will do enormous damage to the firms getting the "aid".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Should Members of Congress be forced to enroll themselves in the same health care plan they vote for?

Please take a minute and go to this site and sign Congressman Fleming's petition,


On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment, courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn which would require all Members of Congress and their staff members to enroll in any new government-run health plan.

Congressman John Fleming (Louisiana physician) has proposed an amendment that would require Congressmen and Senators to take the same health care plan that they would force on us. (Under proposed legislation they are exempt.)

Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go to his Website and sign his petition. The process is very simple. I have done just that at:


If Congress forces a "health care plan" on us, they should have to accept the same level of health care for themselves and their families.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Lie!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not Stupid

An excellent article from Mr. Sowell. I can add nothing of value.

FDIC soon in hock

The FDIC, responsible for "bailing out" failed banks, is considering borrowing money from those same banks to stay in the black. In theory, the FDIC collects funds from banks, like an insurance company, to have a cash "cushion" to cover the debts of banks that fail. Unfortunately, the FDIC is spending beyond its means and is not willing to raise its charges on the banks.

This article outlines the issue and options.

At some point, borrowed money has to be paid back. It represents real assets, real resources. We ignore this at our peril. Our increasing dependence on debt gives us a choice. We can become dramatically less wealthy and preserve our honor, or become a third world, deadbeat nation.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Net Neutrality - a bad idea

This article in Wall Street Journal Online describes an upcoming battle over new regulations being proposed by the FCC.

For those not technically inclined, the new rules sound like they would enforce "fairness", but in reality would leave network operators without the ability to manage their networks.

To illustrate this point, note that viruses are "applications". Viruses sometimes use so much bandwidth that users become unable to use the internet. A network operator, like Comcast, under these new rules, would be prohibited from "interfering" with such an "application". It is likely that exceptions would be devised for this case, but there are many others that are just as problematic. It is currently common for network operators to restrict "abusive" traffic on their networks in order to ensure that their users get adequate service. It is up to the judgement of the network operators, on their private networks, to do what they think best.

Imagine a virus outbreak on Comcast's network, and needing to wait days or weeks to get a decision from the FCC before the network administrators can get started in blocking its spread.

These rules are a very bad idea, pushed largely by people who do not understand the technology. In essence, "Network Neutrality" is the cyber equivalent of eminent domain, confiscating some portion of "the internet" in the "public interest".

These new FCC regulations are a new form of Network Neutrality, which is a Bad Idea in all its forms.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What are we stimulating again?

Another case of Congress, lacking expertise and good fiscal judgement, and with only a vague idea of what it is buying, wasting money. This is the $350 Million map that could be produced for $3.5 Million. Read about it here.

Rule of Law

A basic principle of good government and Rule of Law is that average people must be able to understand and follow the law. Our laws - especially our tax laws - do not pass this test.

This article highlights yet another instance where law that is too complex and too intrusive, intersects with legislators who are not paying close attention. The result is serious injustice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Americans Who Risked Everything

Those rich old white guys...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TARP must end!

An article today in Wall Street Journal Online outlines yet another opportunity for us, the taxpayers, to bail out a unit of AIG. Read about AIGs ILFC division here.

Now that the Treasury has a $700 Billion slush fund, and has nationalized Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Auto companies, AIG, and most of the larger banks, the political pressure to keep up the bailout action will be hard to resist. In fact, despite protestations, the Obama administration is clearly comfortable getting directly involved in any and all business decisions that it considers important. I have yet to hear anything from the Whitehouse that it is not eager to control.

The real trouble is that once Uncle Sam has set a precedent to bail out businesses, major damage is done because further bailouts are expected, and will be very difficult politically to resist. This interferes with the markets, and corrodes discipline both in risk taking and in liquidations where instead of taking their lumps, losers in the market whine to Washington instead.

The New York Times (here) out lines the moral hazards very well.

Secretary Geithner is currently planning to write a letter to Congress requesting an extension of TARP authorization. This must be resisted.

It is time to call for an end to TARP, and a permanent prohibition on the interventions we have seen in the last year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama - Trust me

Fresh from his travels promoting increased government regulation of doctors, hospitals, insurance and drug companies, Mr. Obama visited Wall Street today to suggest that the same government that has given us trillion dollar deficits, and a TARP program without good accounting wants us to embrace a bigger role for Washington bureaucrats on Wall Street.

It is hard to take this seriously. The panic of 2008 was caused by the moral hazard created when the US Government guaranteed so much debt, and then turned on the spigot at the Fed to pump money into the economy. The feds also encouraged banks to loan money to people who were not likely to repay them, encouraged Fannie Mae & friends to buy the debt, and guaranteed everyone in the chain of responsibility. Is it any wonder, with so many US government guarantees afoot that profit seeking Wall Street types would take "risks"?

The reason we avoid risk is - and should be - because sometimes risks become losses. This is how a free market works, and is as it should be.

Free citizens take responsibility for their debts, their investments and their losses. They expect to be able to keep their gains. They also expect to be left alone, as adults, to make their own investment decisions.

Regulation in essence simply prohibits certain risk-taking. In theory, we regulate away those activities we have decided are "too risky", in the hope that everything else can therefore be "safe". The reality is that people take risks to achieve gains. Losses and gains are two sides of the same coin. Guarantees encourage risk taking. This is as true for mortgages as it is for high finance and derivatives. No amount of oversight or regulation will change this basic principle.

How much would you bet in Vegas if you were guaranteed not to lose, but could keep your winnings?

If Wall Street were regulated to the point that it is truly "safe", it could not be profitable, and would be destroyed.

The regulation being proposed by Mr. Obama is little more than a heavy handed attempt to systematically select winners and losers. There is no doubt in my mind that politicians will start by favoring "green" activities and "socially responsible" investments, and end up injecting raw politics into the fabric of the market.

This is a direct assault on the free market and should be vigorously opposed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Survey paints grim picture for Minnesota’s building industry

Minnesota’s construction industry is still squinting to see the light at the end of its long, dark tunnel.

From July 2008 through July of this year, Minnesota lost 17,200 construction jobs, the most in the five-state area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wisconsin and Iowa lost 13,400 and 8,400 construction jobs, respectively. North Dakota lost 900 jobs. Only South Dakota was in positive territory, with 600 construction jobs gained in the July-to-July period.

Comments from the survey include:

  • “We don’t see an upswing in electrical construction work at this time, and we will be lucky to keep our doors open.”
  • “The Minnesota market remains one of the slowest in the country and we have not seen any significant [effect] from the few stimulus dollars that have been put into place.”
  • “… It is the end of July and there is no work in sight, let alone anything for this winter.”
  • “We are in a struggle to survive. If commercial construction does not pick up, I fear many contractors like us will fail.”
  • “Because of the extremely depressed private sector, we have switched to bidding almost 100 percent public sector projects. Our backlog is the lowest it has been in many years. If we don’t add work to our lists, we will be laying off many of our long-time employees.”
  • “We have not seen this poor of a commercial construction market in 50-plus years.”
  • “We are union and we can’t compete. Our pricing had to come down to the point of four years ago. The industry, especially residential, is out of control with regard to cut-throat bidding.”
Read the rest of the story here...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Economic growth and the Federal Government

Economic growth is something that results from productive citizens who save, invest, and work hard to earn a living. Gutsy people called entrepreneurs invest and work hard and hope to reap benefits from their work. Almost everything of value is produced by these people. They are the heroes of our society - not politicians.

Of all the things required for business to thrive, and the economy to grow, one thing seldom mentioned is stability. Entrepreneurs need to to be able to plan. When a businessman buys a truck to haul grain, he needs to know that there will be grain to haul, roads to drive on, someone to buy the grain, and no changes in the legal framework that might make hauling that grain more expensive or illegal. Without some confidence in the business environment, it is foolish to invest in that truck. You're better off buying T-bills.

Every time the government has a "plan" to "improve the economy", it is almost always a change in the laws that favor whatever economic activity happens to be currently in fashion. From Synfuels to Windmills, "cash for clunkers" to "enterprise zones", government delights in changing the rules out from under the business world. To add insult to injury, existing businesses and/or those not receiving government largesse have to compete for resources with those who are the current fashionable favorites.

For each of these expensive government whims, businesses are started and jobs created. However, for every business that starts up, there are several that are stillborn because of the churn and uncertainty caused by the whim.

People who start businesses know that 9 of 10 business startups fail. They are prepared to work hard and accept the risks, but they are not fools. They will avoid investing in areas subject to the churn of government fashion. As government grows, those areas are becoming more rare.

One of the most effective things we could do to encourage growth is to make certain that the laws, regulations, and business environment will stop being subject to the whims of government. Stability would be a powerful economic elixir.

2009 State Fair Poll Results

By slight margin, budget cuts favored over tax increases

Medical marijuana use, open budget talks both get high marks

Following a contentious 2009 legislative session that ended with Gov. Tim Pawlenty balancing the anticipated $4.8 billion state budget deficit through unallotment, polltakers generally prefer budget cuts over tax increases as a budget solution albeit by a slight margin.

Of the 8,746 people participating in the 2009 House of Representatives State Fair Poll, 47.5 percent generally support cuts to balance the state budget. Nearly 44 percent support tax increases. When asked the identical question in last year's poll, voters generally supported budget cuts over tax increases 46.5 percent to 43 percent.

By nearly eight percentage points, polltakers believe the governor should not have the power to use unallotment to prevent an anticipated budget deficit.

Conducted by nonpartisan House Public Information Services, the poll is an informal, unscientific survey of issues discussed in prior legislative sessions and may again be topics of discussion in the upcoming session scheduled to begin Feb. 4.

More than three-quarters of polltakers believe the legislative process should be more transparent by requiring budget negotiations between the governor and legislative leaders be done in a public setting. Like years past, much of the final 2009 discussion took place behind closed doors in the governor's office.

Almost 70 percent of ballot casters believe terminally ill patients should be able to use medical marijuana to ease their suffering.

Polltakers also strongly believe:

Homeowners should be entitled to attorney fees and other costs related to the legal action against a builder or contractor to have a warranty enforced (81 percent);

Speeding violations should not be placed on a person's driving record if the driver was traveling no more than 10 mph over the speed limit in a 60 mph zone (74.7 percent);

A local disaster assistance fund should be established to help local governments deal with the aftermath of a tornado, flood or other natural disaster (70.8 percent); and

Charter school students should be allowed to participate in an activity in their resident school district if the activity is not offered by the charter school (68.3 percent).

By a 2-to-1 ratio, polltakers said voter approval should be required before any public money is used for a new or refurbished Minnesota Vikings' stadium. The team's lease expires at the Metrodome after the 2011 season.

Nearly 57 percent of voters believe Minnesota should join 31 other states and allow voters to cast ballots as early as two weeks before Election Day. Fifty-one percent believe that when a person registers for a driver's license or state identification card it should automatically allow them to vote.

Slightly more than half of respondents oppose a state-run casino inside the ticketed area at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; and nearly the same oppose allowing Minnesotans to fish with two rods at once.

Here's a look at the questions and results. All percentages are rounded to the nearest one-tenth. Totals are for those that actually voted on the question.

1. Should the use of medical marijuana for terminally ill patients be permitted in Minnesota?



Undecided/No Opinion

2. Should Minnesotans be permitted to fish with two rods at once?



Undecided/No Opinion

3. When a person registers for a driver's license or state identification card, should they automatically be registered to vote?



Undecided/No Opinion

4. Should Minnesota voters be allowed to cast their ballots as early as two weeks before Election Day?



Undecided/No Opinion

5. Under current law, the governor is permitted to unallot to prevent an anticipated budget deficit. Should he or she have this power?



Undecided/No Opinion

6. Should bill and budget negotiations between the governor and legislative leaders be required to be open to the public?



Undecided/No Opinion

7. Do you generally support budget cuts as opposed to increasing certain taxes in times of economic distress?



Undecided/No Opinion

8. Should speeding violations be placed on a person's driving record if the driver was traveling no more than 10 mph over the speed limit in a 60 mph zone?



Undecided/No Opinion

9. Should the state lottery be permitted to operate slot machines inside the ticketed area at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, meaning only air travelers with valid tickets could use the machines?



Undecided/No Opinion

10. The Minnesota Vikings lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season. Should any public financing for a new or refurbished stadium be contingent on voter approval?



Undecided/No Opinion

11. If a charter school does not offer a specific extracurricular opportunity, such as a hockey or debate team, should its students be allowed to participate in such an activity in their resident school district?



Undecided/No Opinion

12. Should a local disaster assistance fund be established to help local governments deal with the aftermath of a tornado, flood or other natural disaster?



Undecided/No Opinion

13. When a homeowner prevails in a court action against a contractor or builder to have a warranty enforced, should the homeowner also be entitled to attorney fees and other costs related to the legal action?



Undecided/No Opinion

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We need a great new leader! Could it be you!

We do not need change and hope. We need a new leader who understands the greatness of our nation. Someone who is aware of our history as a nation within this world. One who is not afraid to speak out against those who are to willing to infringe upon our liberties and freedom to further their unjust and unconstitutional causes. Someone who is acutely aware of the greatness of our nation and its people and who is willing to return us to our constitutional roots that make us the shining glory of this planet.

"If ever the time shall come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats of Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its Ruin."
Samuel Adams

I have to ask, Where is the next great patriot and leader of this nation? Is it you or I? All it takes is for anyone of us to stand up and speak out for us to find that great person. We must encourage our friends and neighbors, our coworkers and family, that the time for idleness is far from over. It is time for all of us as patriots to express our love of freedom. To speak out against those who hold the highest seats of government and let them know that we will not allow them to continue to trash our Constitution. That these principles transcend any political party. We as Americans will not allow our president to "apologize" for our pride any more.

How long have we been hearing these great words of wisdom? How long must we go without tapping into the resources we have here in our nation? Are you our next great leader?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beauty and the Beasts

This from the Family Research Center. Imagine being told to check your faith at the door. If I was told something like that, I would have to suggest that a certain part of my anatomy be kissed.

For Carrie Prejean, the debate over her crown has officially moved from the court of public opinion to the California Superior Court. The former Miss California announced yesterday that she's filed suit against the local pageant officials who fired Prejean just two months after she was named a Miss USA runner-up. At the time, Miss California officials insisted that she was dethroned for failing to meet her contractual obligations (one of which was an invitation for Prejean to attend the screening of a homosexual documentary).

The real reason for her firing, according to Prejean, isn't professional-but personal. Local officials were angry that she wouldn't endorse same-sex "marriage" on the contest's national stage. Later, according to the suit, pageant coordinators insisted that she check her faith at the door during public appearances. At one point, Prejean says that she was even told "to stop mentioning God." As Prejean exercises her constitutional rights, we applaud her for not being intimidated into silence. More people may soon understand that despite her appearance, it's Carrie's conviction that's a real thing of beauty.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009