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One-Party Rule at the State Level: Federalism at Work

With Congressional Republicans appearing “flummoxed by the complexities of one-party rule, struggling with issues from repealing the Affordable Care Act . . . to paying for President Trump’s promised wall on the Mexican border, rising party leaders in the states seem far more at ease and assertive. Republicans have top-to-bottom control in 25 states now, holding both the governorship and the entire legislature, and Republican lawmakers are acting with lightning speed to enact longstanding conservative priorities.”[1]Not yet even a month after Donald Trump took the oath of office on January 20, 2017, Republicans in Kentucky had “swiftly passed laws to roll back the powers of labor unions and restrict access to abortion,” and were planning “sweeping changes to the education and public pension systems.”[2]In states from New England to the Midwest and across the South, Republican lawmakers had “introduced or enacted legislation to erode union powers and abortion rights, loosen gun regulations, expand school-choice programs and slash taxes and spending.”[3]That the media spotlight at the time was so focused on the federalism says something about just how eclipsed federalism itself had become on the national stage.

The full essay is at “One-Party Rule.”

1. Alexander Burns and Mitch Smith, “State G.O.P. Leaders Move Swiftly as Party Bickers in Congress,” The New York Times, February 11, 2017.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.

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A Note to the GOP: You Ride With Criminals, You Hang With Criminals

There’s some talk that many Republicans in both the Senate and the House are getting wobbly about actually ending Obamacare. Suddenly, it’s “repair”, not replace. …

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Everyone Knows There is Illegal Voting

  Just as everyone knew where the bootleg whisky was in 1930. So President Trump speaks a big truth. Media naysayers are either as innocent …

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Questioning Reuters’ credibility

This Reuters article is breathtakingly misguided. First, the article is a hatchet job about Betsy DeVos’s confirmation hearing. What’s important to know is that Reuters says “Next Tuesday, the Education Committee will likely approve sending her name to the full chamber when it votes in an executive session. Then, Democrats could block the nomination with […]

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The Conservative Conscience – The more things change, the more things seem to stay the same

One of my favorite Conservative voices is Daniel Horowitz, Senior Editor at Conservative Review. He is also the host of a the podcast, The Conservative Conscience, where he hits the major issues coming out of Washington from a strictly Conservative…

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CNN hosts Paul Ryan’s town hall

One of the major highlights of CNN’s townhall meeting with Speaker Ryan at George Washington University came during the question of the night. That’s when Speaker Ryan announced that the House would repeal the ACA and pass the Republican replacement “at the same time, and in some cases in the same bill.” Speaker Ryan continued, […]

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Megyn Kelly Leaves FOX For NBC

FOX news anchor Megyn Kelly has jumped to NBC, where the 46-year-old personality will headline her own afternoon news program at NBC News as well as a prime time “in-depth” Sunday night news show.

“While I will greatly miss my colleagues at Fox, I am delighted to be joining the NBC News family and taking on a new challenge,” Kelly wrote Tuesday in a post on her Facebook page. “I remain deeply grateful to Fox News, to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, and especially to all of the FNC viewers, who have taught me so much about what really matters”

Of course, there was quite a bit more to it than that. Megyn Kelly essentially owes her career to Roger Ailes, who hired her with little or no previous experience, mentored her and helped her become one of the most successful on air personalities in America. As Ms. Kelly herself put it in an interview on the Charlie Rose program, “I really care about Roger. And he has been nothing but good to me. And he’s been very loyal. And he’s had my back. And he’s looked out for me.”

A year later, she accused him of sexual harassment, to wit that Aisles had engaged in a “cat and mouse” game with her, and made “sexually charged comments” toward her. She also accused Ailes of at least one incident in which he allegedly grabbed her hand and tried to kiss her on the lips.

This was at a time when Ailes had already been accused of ‘sexual harassment’ by one former anchor woman who was let go from FOX, Gretchen Carlson. Coming from a top FOX talent like Megyn Kelly, that was pretty much all it took to finish Ailes’s career. The rumor was that a number of FOX news personalities felt it was unjustified and disloyal on her part, for reasons best known to themselves. A number of them had clauses in their contracts that actually permitted them to leave if Ailes left, and according to several sources FOX narrowly avoided losing a big chunk of its on air talent.There was also allegedly quite a bit of dissension based on Ms. Kelly’s temperament, and she was said to have been heartily disliked by a number of her colleagues. That was reportedly one reason Greta Van Sustern left FOX abruptly.There was also ongoing friction between her and FOX star Bill O’Reilly.

Since a lot of this stuff went on behind the scenes, it’s hard to nail down what happened, and there’s no real evidence either way. Given the climate today, it’s very easy to accuse any man of sexual harassment, which used to mean something entirely different than it means today. And it certainly used to mean something very different than what Megyn Kelly alleges Aisles did to her. Ailes, for his part, has continued to deny it. But today if this sort of thing comes down to a he said, she said contest, universities, employers and other institutions tend to believe the woman, disbelieve the man involved and do what needs to be done to make the incident disappear in the name of political correctness. That, of course, is exactly what FOX did.

At any event, this seems to have worked out well for all parties. Megyn Kelly always wanted a mainstream network show and certainly NBC has an atmosphere much more conducive to her politics and her personality than FOX. One of the things keeping her there was apparently the reluctance  of anyone but FOX  to pay $20 million per year for her talents. Apparently NBC decided they were willing and able.

And on the other hand, FOX still has plenty of top rated talent and a lot of FOX viewers and perhaps a number of her colleagues are going to be happy she’s history.

So it’s a win win for everyone.

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Open letter to GOP legislature

To: Speaker Daudt, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka From: Gary Gross, uppity peasant Subject: Health insurance premium relief Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, I’m sure you’re well aware of Gov. Dayton’s insistence that you pass his health insurance premium relief plan, aka passing his wimpy political relief proposal. According to this article, he wants […]

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The Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI) by Nassim Nicolas Taleb

(We rarely publish other men’s works here, but I want to introduce a singular mind to our readers, for he is a genuine scholar, yet shares …

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Jill Stein, Green Party nutjob

This morning, Chris Wallace interviewed Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate. Saying that Ms. Stein is eccentric is being kind. I’d rather characterize her as a nutjob. During the interview, she insisted repeatedly that there were 75,000 ballots in Detroit alone where voters filled out all of the races except the presidential races. That’s […]

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LTE alert

The St. Cloud Times just published my LTE on Minnesota’s MNsure crisis. Check it out and leave a comment if so inspired.

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Getting an Election So Wrong: The American Media and Pollsters in 2016

“After projecting a relatively easy victory for Hillary Clinton with all the certainty of a calculus solution, news outlets like The New York Times, The Huffington Post and the major networks scrambled to provide candid answers.”[1] The dynamics likely went beyond even candid answers from the media, with major implications for how much reliance Americans should place on their media-establishment for political information.

The full essay is at “Getting an Election So Wrong.”

1. Jim Rutenberg, “News Outlets Wonder Where the Predictions Went Wrong,” The New York Times, November 9, 2016.

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Word salad vs. leadership

Much internet bandwidth has been used on who won Monday night’s presidential debate. Two of the best political thinkers think that Trump won. Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster, has some interesting statistics that indicate some interesting things that contradict conventional wisdom. In this article, Caddell notes that “48 percent said Clinton did a better job, […]

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The New York Post Strikes Again…

Feel free to leave your own double entendre in the comments section.

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Roger Ailes resigns

Moments ago, Fox News announced that Roger Ailes resigned as Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. They also announced that “Rupert Murdoch will assume the role of Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.” Murdoch then issued a statement saying “Roger Ailes has made a […]

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Megyn Kelly Reveals Who She Really Is

FOX news anchor Megan Kelly has become the only FOX employee or news personality to back up former FOX news host Gretchen Carlson in her suit against Fox News executive Roger Ailes for alleged sexual harassment. She has reportedly described ‘unwanted sexual advances’ by Ailes in detail, which allegedly took place back when Kelly, a former corporate attorney, was just starting out as a legal correspondent in Fox’s Washington bureau.

Odd…that’s not what she had to say about Roger Ailes publicly back in October:

Given her stardom at the network there was obviously no need for her to be that effusive in praising him. The other networks would fight to hire her.

I’m not quite sure what’s going on here.

Is she lying now, or was she lying back then? Even if those ‘unwanted sexual advances’ occurred, it seems to me to be a fairly nasty betrayal of someone who she admits was a good friend and mentor who advanced her career unless we’re talking about rape or a direct insistence of a quid pro quo. And that’s unlikely, since Kelly had a profitable career as an attorney to fall back on when she started at FOX.

Two things are also worth noting. No other FOX employee except for Gretchen Carlson has accused Ailes of anything like this (in fact, they’ve defended him), and people who engage in sexual harassment usually do it serially as their normal behavior. And second, Ailes’ defense team includes none other than left leaning Democrat feminist and FOX consultant Susan Estrich. While I disagree with her politics, I know for a fact she’s a woman of principle. It’s highly unlikely she’d be involved in Aile’s defense if there was much to this.

In any event Megyn Kelly has pretty much revealed what kind of person she is, proving once again that beauty outside can conceal some fairly nasty stuff on the inside.

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Diseased DFL disqualified to lead

Back in late May, 6 GOP legislators sent a letter to Paul Thissen, criticizing him for his temper tantrums that he directed at GOP staffers. That’s what elitists do when they don’t get their way. In Rep. Thissen’s instance, he’s spent 2 years in political Siberia. While Thissen mistreated GOP staffers, DFL legislators sat silent. […]

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Trump vs. the First Amendment

Last night, Hugh Hewitt took the dramatic step of saying Republicans should adopt new rules and dump Donald Trump as their nominee. Hugh Hewitt has always been a ‘company man’ when it comes to presidential candidates. After Hewitt’s statements last night, the Trump campaign didn’t take long to express their disgust with Hewitt. Late this […]

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Trump attacks Sykes

It’s indisputable that Donald Trump has gotten lots of traction attacking specific media figures. This time, though, Trump won’t gain traction attacking a media figure. That’s because Trump’s attacked Charlie Sykes, saying “Charlie Sykes is a lowlife. Charlie Sykes is a guy who is not a real believer, he wants the establishment to win because […]

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Trump vs. Cruz & #NeverTrump

Prior to Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses, Donald Trump’s ceiling of support seemed to be in the 35%-36% range. He won handily in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. It’s particularly noteworthy that those 3 states were open states where Democrats were allowed to cause mischief or where independents could vote. Yesterday’s events were closed […]

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