• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Minnesota Economy and the Stimulus

Star Tribune writer, Baird Helgeson, says that  Minnesota government officials see that Minnesota’s economic picture “hasn’t deteriorated over the winter.”  (See: The Star Tribune of March 1, 2010.)

Minnesotans are supposed to take comfort by realizing that the local economy is not getting any worse.  President Obama’s economic team reminds over and over again how grateful we should be that number of jobs lost each month continue to decline.  Nothing mentioned about the need for private sector jobs.  No harangue about a jobless recovery.  We need only recall the media lambasting the Bush administration when “only” 100,000 or 200,000 jobs were created per month–arguing that many more jobs needed to be created to cast President Bush’ economic recovery after 9-11 to no longer be called a jobless recovery.  What a difference a political party makes.  Now the media counsels us to be happy with diminishing failure but not with success.

Perhaps in the enlightened age of Obamanomics and Minnesota Democratonomics we can all be happy being miserable and angry with those who are better off.  America’s exceptionalism works against such emotions.  We need only recall a scene from “Pursuit of Happiness” where Will Smith sees stock brokers getting into beautiful cars.  Rather than decry their success he decides he wants to emulate their success. 

Our Republican front-runners for governor present dynamic proposals for stimulating private sector jobs in Minnesota.  No talk of “saved or created” jobs will be heard from these candidates.  As the gubernatorial contest heats up we will see on display a dramatic difference between the shared misery of the Democrats and the prosperity prescriptions of the Republicans.

The Straw Man Argument

With the 2010 State of the Union speech President Obama has elevated the “straw man argument” to an art form.  A straw man argument strikes down an argument never made, by a person or group that does not exist, only to make the speaker or writer appear superior.  After listening to Dennis Prager’s exegesis of the 2010 speech I felt emboldened to try my hand at straw man argument detection. 

Obama makes it easy for us to find those fallacious arguments for all you need do is watch for such phrase as (all in the speech):

  • I have been told…
  • For those who make these claims…
  • I know there have been questions…
  • I know there are those who disagree…
  • I know that some in my own party…
  • From some on the right…
  • Washington may think…
  • Let’s put aside…
  • Let’s reject…
  • Let’s leave behind…

 We can deduce a pattern for Obama’s straw man argument art form now:

  • Begin with one of the above phrases.
  • Follow with a wild statement that no one has ever made.
  • Tilt your chin high toward a teleprompter on the right or left.
  • Present a refutation that shows you are more magnanimous, brilliant, insightful, compassionate, and righteous than the pretend proponent of the pretend argument.
  • Revel in the applause and the tingle from the media.

Recall one such example from the 2010 speech:  “From the day I took office, I’ve been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious; such an effort would be too contentious.  I’ve been told that our political system is too gridlocked, and that we should just put things on hold for a while…”  Can’t you just picture the tilt!

 The challenge for us is to find the best antidote to such arguments.  Perhaps we can test our antidotes at our MN Prager Discussion Group meetings.

Another Way to Influence Pending Legislation

Few can doubt the efficacy of contacting our Representatives about legislation—even every day as Michelle Bachmann recommends.  We can make both Democrats and Republicans worry about being re-elected—hence we can influence their votes on issues.

There is also a way to move influential Democrat voters, in particular, those in non-profit organizations.  Since Republicans across all income levels donate more to charity than Democrats I wonder what non-profits are thinking these days about the dangerous policies of the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress.

An example:  Yesterday I answered a call from my Alma Mater.  Like most academic institutions I suspect that this university is leftist.  When the fund-raiser asked me for a contribution I told her that in the economy directed by this Administration my husband and I lost half the value of our retirement savings and were looking at being taxed at higher and higher punitive levels on what little funds were left.  With our diminishing discretionary income we would contribute to two causes: our church and candidates who would defeat the job-killing, economy-killing legislation of this Administration.  I further suggested that the fund-raiser call President Obama and ask for my portion of charitable giving.  Our President supports European style socialism where the government, with its high level of taxation, leaves citizens with the idea that government takes care of all charity.  Individuals need do nothing to help those in need, for an anonymous government is supposed to do all that for them.  (Callers usually have scripts where they are offered suggested responses when people put up objections.  I doubt there was a line in the script on Obama’s socialism.)

Enough responses like this will certainly stun the non-profits and encourage them to call their Representatives and maybe even the President, himself!

Email to Congressman Kline about HR Res 544

Here is my email to my Rep, John Kline.  Before I sent the email I called his office to go on record with this plea.  Then I contributed a small amount to his campaign.  I will send a similar email to Michelle Bachman even though I am not one of her constituents–a contributor, though.  I encourage you to call or send an email to your Rep.  Feel free to use any of my words.

Dear Congressman Kline,

Thank you for your support of the discharge petition to force a vote on the 72-Hour House Rule (HR Res.554), co-sponsored by Representatives Baird and Walden.  The latest news shows that almost all Republicans and five Democrats have signed the petition.  Passage of this rule as a House Resolution would guarantee that all bills would have to be posted on the internet so that citizens would have a chance to study the bills and contact their Representatives.  A Rule in place now (with the vague language of public availability) is treated merely as a suggestion—only the force of a bill would respect the voters’ right to view and study bills.

The debacle, known as the Baucus Bill, will soon make its way out of the closed door sessions of Democrat Senators and head into more Democrat closed doors to merge with the House version.  You have been rightly outspoken in opposition to the proposals that will ruin the best health care system in the world.  I beseech you to use your great powers of persuasion to convince at least one Democrat colleague to support HR Res 554.  Perhaps you can remind a colleague of House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s claim that with Democrats in power, the House would be the most open and ethical in Congress.  You could also remind a colleague that President Obama promised an administration so open that all deliberations would be aired live on C-Span and that citizens would have five days to view a bill before a vote!

 As a voter I am doing all I can to study the issue of health care, call and email Representatives, and contribute to candidates who can defeat Democrats who unabashedly moving our country to socialism.  I count on you as my Representative to use your skill to push this HR Res 554 through.  This alone could be enough to prevent the devastation of our health care system.

Thank you, Sue Schultz Savage, MN

Email Letter Sent to Senator Klobuchar

Following is the email I sent to Senator Klobuchar today after reading an article in the Star Tribune.  I also sent a similar email to Senator Franken (with his quote about compromising).  Both emails were preceeded by phone calls to the Senate offices. 

For article in Star Tribune see:  http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/congress/65700462.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ.  Rep. Bachman advises us  to call our Representatives and Senators every day!

Dear Senator Klobuchar,

Thank you for speaking out for some time against the misguided and onerous $40 billion tax on medical device companies.  You certainly know what such a tax would do to employment in Minnesota.  This tax would also stymie medical advances, for what incentive would a company have to invest millions of dollars on incredibly risky endeavors only to see nine out of ten fail!  And you are surely aware that a sizeable portion of the taxes would be passed along to consumers thereby raising the cost of health care.  How is this in any way “bending the cost curve” as President Obama promised—unless he means to bend the curve in an upward direction?

According to the article in the Star Tribune this morning you seem to think that you would “score a victory” by cutting this tax to “only” $20 billion!   Instead of being “hopeful we’ll get some reduction before [it] comes to the floor” please show stalwart leadership by opposing this tax entirely.  This tax burden must be completely eliminated.  Compromise is not leadership for Minnesotans.  Star Tribune writers comment that it is unlikely that “one of Minnesota’s leading industries will remain unscathed.”  Do you really want to be in the role of “scathing” one of our leading industries?

I was dismayed to see that you voted “yes” on the “doctor fix” cloture vote.  Perhaps you voted to increase the federal deficit by $250 billion so that you would have more sway or leverage with your colleagues to protect Minnesotans’ interest on this $40 billion medical device companies’ punitive tax.

Thank you,

Sue Schultz, Savage, MN

Contact Blue Dog Democrats on the Baucus Bill

Blue Dog Democrats are an influential group in the House of Representatives, whose posted core principles cry out for contact from Minnesota Republicans concerned about the Baucus Health Care Bill.  Calls, emails, and letters to any and all of these 52 Democrats could make a difference on passage of the monstrosity known as the Baucus bill.  Minnesota is represented by one—Collin Peterson—and not Tim Walz.  See the group’s official website for the names and contact information.  All the buzz centers on the Baucus Bill now, a Senate Bill, but the Blue Dogs issued an official statement on the bill so it makes sense to argue this bill with them.

 One core principle:  transcendence of partisan politics.  Blue Dogs represent conservative districts and hold onto their office by bucking their own party on many issues.  These members walk a fine line between the conservative leanings of their constituents and the liberal demands of their party leadership.  Our appeal to them should focus on the perils of re-election in a conservative district if they move too closely to the liberals in their party.  (As a bonus it would be nice to encourage the Blue Dogs to sign HR 544—the House 72 Hour Bill—see previous posting.)

 Another core principle:  deep commitment to financial stability.  In their first official statement on the Baucus Bill, the Blue Dogs expressed encouragement with the fiction that the legislation cuts the deficit.  Perhaps after further study the coalition realized their error.  Republicans can appeal to them on this front by emphasizing the “doctor fix” provision.  The “doctor fix” is a $247 billion measure to block the planned 20% cut to doctors for Medicare reimbursement.  This fix should be part of the Baucus Bill but to do so would mean that the Bill would increase the deficit substantially.  This is only one scheme put forth by liberal Democrats to claim budget neutrality.  Blue Dogs must be alerted to this scheme and forced to comment.  Watch for other gargantuan costs in the bill or in a side bill, the effect is the same—huge budget deficits and taxpayers on the hook. 

For further information:

Official website:  http://www.house.gov/melancon/BlueDogs/

“The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 with the goal of representing the center of the House of Representatives and appealing to the mainstream values of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States. Currently there are 52 members of the Blue Dog Coalition.”

For a complete list of members see:  http://www.house.gov/melancon/BlueDogs/Member%20Page.html

Statement issued Oct 7, 2009:  Washington, DC – Today, Representative Jim Matheson (D-UT), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications, issued the following statement on health care reform legislation being considered by the Senate Finance Committee.  “While having only seen top line numbers and acknowledging that is still a significant overall cost, I am encouraged that the Senate Finance Committee has produced health care reform legislation that cuts the U.S. budget deficit.  As the President has said, our health care problem is our deficit problem, and as Blue Dogs we are committed to ensuring that legislation in the House is not only deficit neutral, but contains costs and is fiscally responsible over the long term.”

See:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/20/democrats-attempt-block-medicare-reimbursement-fees-draws-criticism-deficit/ for information about the “doctor fix.”

Contact our Democratic Senators about the Baucus Bill and the Damage to Minnesota

It may seem futile for Republicans to contact either of our Democrat senators with respect to the Baucus Health Care Bill.  However, two specific parts of this bill have a direct impact on Minnesota and both Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have addressed these issues.  A call, letter, or email to our Senators specifically referring to these issues could influence our Senators and perhaps stall the bill long enough for the American people to fully realize the dangers of this bill.

First Issue: Huge tax on Medical Device Companies.  Minnesota medical device companies employ 20,000 people in 200 companies.  The heavy tax levied on these companies will certainly cause job losses, stifle research, and slow medical innovation.  Companies will necessarily pass on their costs to the consumer which will result in higher health care costs—thus violating one of President Obama’s claims (and those of both Klobuchar and Franken) that health care costs will go down.  Our Senators recognize these dangers and have spoken publicly about them.  Constant reminders of their expressed concern can certainly make them aware they are being monitored. 

Second Issue:  Unfunded mandate on Minnesota.  The Baucus Bill includes $37 billion dollars in unfunded mandates on the states with respect to Medicaid.  In his effort to keep the Health Care Bill from increasing the deficit, Senator Baucus included a provision to permanently expand Medicaid and disallow states from setting their own eligibility standards.  The Congressional Budget Office supports the $37 billion dollar figure spread over 50 states and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (a left-wing organization) expects total state deficits to reach $180 billion by 2011.

Medicare is the second largest state expenditure all across the nation and Minnesota is no exception.  Minnesota’s contribution to Medicaid coverage last year was $3 billion.  Perhaps our Democrat Senators would entertain an exception in the Baucus Bill on the order of the one included at the behest of Senator Reid.  The Federal Government will pick up the entire tab for Nevada—as it will for three other states.  Our Senators are on record arguing that this provision is unfair.  We demand to know what our Senators will do to include Minnesota in such favored protections before they agree to vote for this bill.

The Star Tribune has covered our Senators’ stance on the Baucus Bill.  In addition to contacting the Senators surely our local paper will publish your letters, too.

For further informationsee:

http://www.startribune.com/local/64777932.html?elr=KArks:DCiU1OiP:DiiUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574414831869954664.html

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/05/how-the-baucus-bill-harms-state-budgets/

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=509029

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/63939282.html

Push the House 72-Hour Bill–A Simple Call to Action

Here is a very simple but effective way to stall or perhaps even turn back the health care debacle express.  Call, email, or write your Republican Minnesota Representative!

Applaud your Representative for signing the discharge petition to force a vote on 72-Hour House Rule Bill (H. Res. 554 co-sponsored by Brian Baird, D-Wash and Greg Walden, R-Ore) that would require all bills to be posted online for 3 days before lawmakers vote on the bill.  To date the petition has over 180 House signatures—almost all of the Republicans and at least five Democrats.  Only a few more signatures are needed (total of 218) to force an immediate vote on the House floor

After applauding, ask your Representative to secure at least one Democrat colleague to sign the petition.  Recall Nancy Pelosi’s claim that this Congress would be the most ethical and open Congress ever, and recall the President himself claiming that all bill negotiations would air live on C-Span.  Our Republican Representatives could remind their colleagues of their leaders’ exhortations.   Some Democrats will counter that there is already a House Rule which requires that all bills be publicly available for 72 hours before consideration but this rule is regularly violated as the meaning of “publicly available” is vague.  Congressman Walz (D-MN), shown on the latest list of supporters of HR 554, has been pushing a “dear colleague” letter to praise both Pelosi and Hoyer for their transparency—a thinly veiled way to forestall HR 554.  However, only the force of a bill will guarantee that the rule is followed for every bill.

“Passing the seventy-two hour rule is common sense,” said Congressman Baird [D-Wash].  “If every American contacts their Representative and encourages him or her to sign this discharge petition, I’m confident that the seventy-two hour rule will become law.”  Michelle Bachman joins Baird in championing the effectiveness of contacting and encouraging their Representatives.

 Of course it is most effective to contact your own Representative, but calling another Minnesota Republican Representative is helpful too, especially if you have contributed to their campaign.  I intend to write to Representatives Kline (my rep), Bachman, and Paulsen.

For further reading on this bill see http://www.sunlightfoundation.com/ and http://republicanleader.house.gov/blog/?cat=53

Third Party Woes

In the Wall Street Journal article, “Tea-Party Activists Complicate Republican Comeback Strategy” (October 16, 2009) author, Naftali Bendavid, profiles a House race in upstate New York where the Republican Party endorsed Dede Scozzafavo. Late into the race Doug Hoffman, the candidate of the tea party activists, is gaining ground but the end result looks to be that a once reliable Republican seat will be lost to the Democrats.

A cautionary tale to be sure. Michelle Malkin (supporting Hoffman) and Carol Platt Liebau (calling for both groups—the activists and the Republicans—to get along) frame the much larger debate about third party candidates.

I commend to you the following 3 articles:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125564976279388879.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/10/17/a-message-from-ny-23-conservative-candidate-doug-hoffman/

http://townhall.com/columnists/CarolPlattLiebau/2009/10/19/time_for_the_gop_and_the_tea-partiers_to_grow_up

2010 looks to be a banner year for Republicans. I hope that the activists take an intense interest in their party to become involved, shape policy, and steel the spine of endorsed candidates. I hope that the Republicans welcome the activists and engage in spirited debate. We have heard over and over again that elections matter. They most certainly will in 2010.

Marty Seifert

Marty Seifert opened two hours of discussion with our Prager group with a short dissertation on his passion for our country. He continued to speak and respond to our questions without once referring to a note—a refreshing change from our dear leader and his ever-present teleprompter.

Some of the highlights:
1. Why Obama won. A combination of three factors: a broken Republican brand, abandonment of party principles by McCain, and a tap by Obama into the cynicism of the times.

2. Camp Wellstone. The DFL, since Wellstone’s death, has schooled countless young people who are now securely in positions of power in Minnesota. The DFL built their bench with this camp while the state Republicans totally missed the mark—and continue to miss the mark to build up the base. (For details on how Camp Wellstone began and continues to build the DFL see http://www.wellstone.org/about-us.)

2. The number one priority is jobs. Seifert gave several concrete examples of losing jobs to other states. One example was a compelling story of an unbelievably excessive distillery license fee of $30,000 that pushed a ready and able employer to set up shop in Iowa. Failure plays an important part in job creation and should be allowed to manifest itself.

3. Importance of de-funding the left. Tommy Thompson (Wisconsin), and his use of the line item veto, is a model of success on this front. De-funding the left should be part of a “full-monty” strategy. He believes that debate is winnable.

4. How to handle the Vikings. Use a market-based solution to ensure that the Vikings stay in Minnesota. The lesson of negotiations with the Twins offers some guidance for the state gave away way too much and demanded very little.

5. How to convince young adults. Several college students came to Seifert’s office with a plea for renewable energy. After an object lesson where he asked the students to give up their cell phones, computers, and other fun items, the kids saw the light!

6. Future of Ethanol. Marty believes that we must honor the contracts (up in 4 more years) with those ethanol plants that are still viable. He will have no trouble selling the idea that ethanol companies must stand on their own with no more subsidies. Despite having the largest plant in his district he voted against ethanol subsidies.

7. His campaign. Seifert will not take any money from lobbyists despite heavy “lobbying” from many well-wishers on the ease of taking such money. He is forming a steering committee and asked us to sign up if we were interested. He plans to have 2000 donors by January. His website is operation and even includes tweeting—one need not be a tweeter to tweet with him.

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