PowerLine -> the Minnesota State Fair, focusing on the humorously over-the-top leftism

 PowerLine -> the Minnesota State Fair, focusing on the humorously over-the-top leftism 

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

A Day at the Fair

Posted: 04 Sep 2017 04:19 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Yesterday I wrote about my annual visit to the Minnesota State Fair, focusing on the humorously over-the-top leftism of that obscure genre known as seed art. But I wouldn’t want readers to think that the Fair is anything less than one of the world’s great spectacles. So here is a more balanced look at a day at the Fair.

It actually covers only a thin slice of the Fair. I don’t do rides, and we didn’t venture into the animal barns this year. Nor did we catch a show at the grandstand. So what follows, a critic might say, is just a few random photos. Still, they may convey a sense of what a wonderful event the Fair is.

We arrived early in the morning to beat the crowds. This is what the Fair looks like when it isn’t crowded:

Notice that the booth in the middle belongs to the Growth and Opportunity Party. It was doing a brisk business selling t-shirts, buttons, etc., as well as polling visitors on issues priorities. Repealing Obamacare ranked #1:

The GOP booth includes, at the back, a green oasis that is especially welcome on a warm day. Many believe that Minnesota will indeed go red in 2018:

The Fair’s Agriculture building includes a large seed section. This wall honors Minnesota’s many hybrid seed corn companies and varieties. Most no longer exist, but all played a role in America’s stunning agricultural productivity:

Goods from around the world are for sale at the International Bazaar:

This group of indigenous folk dancers also performed at the International Bazaar. We debated whether the dance was African or Caribbean, or possibly Aztec. The weird thing was that they were dancing to the music of what sounded like a polka band:

We always visit the dairy building, where you can buy excellent milkshakes and watch someone carve a butter sculpture. If these sculptures look similar, it is because they are all of the same person: Princess Kay of the Milky Way. Princess Kay is wearing a parka in the photo, as the sculptures are kept in what is basically a refrigerator:

Even in odd-numbered years, politicians have booths at the fair. The small booth at the center of this photo is Amy Klobuchar’s. The fact that it is located in front of Bob’s Snake Zoo is coincidental:

As the morning wears on, the Fair becomes more crowded:

We ate lunch at a food stand run by the Midway Men’s Club that some say has the best hamburgers and coldest beer at the Fair:

This photo looks toward the Midway (where the rides are, not the Midway area of St. Paul where the Midway Men’s Club is located). In the upper middle of the picture, you can see two people being flung into the air by a slingshot-like contraption. There is, as is truly said, no accounting for tastes:

I took a bad selfie with one of my daughters in front of the upper level of the grandstand:

As I said, bad.

The Department of Natural Resources has a nice exhibit that includes this pond, featuring many species of Minnesota fish. Actually, this is as close as I have gotten to a live fish this Summer:

We always spend a fair amount of time in the Fine Arts Building, which features paintings done with oils, etc., rather than seeds, along with sculptures and photographs. We saw a lot of things that I liked. This Minnesota landscape, for example:

This painting of a girl at the ocean reminded me of beach vacations we took years ago:

This sculpture of a dog was amazingly life-like:

This moose is executed in stained glass:

Out of the hundreds of works on display, this photograph of a Lego assembly was the only one I saw with a leftist bent:

I like how the many references to “science” are combined with “save the polar bears.” Right. From the ridiculous to the sublime, let’s conclude with this chair, made almost entirely from baseball bats and gloves:

That would be an ideal perch from which to watch the Minnesota Twins in this year’s baseball postseason. Hope springs eternal, especially at the State Fair.


Power Line’s Next Comedy Legend

Posted: 04 Sep 2017 12:59 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

Power Line is honored to be the venue for our regular Friday feature from Ammo Grrrl, but it is long past time that we acknowledge a faithful Power Line reader and frequent supplier of pictures and ideas for the Saturday photo gallery: comedian/magician David Deeble. You should subscribe to his YouTube page, and follow him on Twitter, where he rivals Iowahawk for timely takes on the current news, like this:


Here are a couple of 30-second bits from his act, that will give you the flavor of things. I especially like his subtle subversion of leftism with his plastic bag bit in the second one:

Here David explains the arc of his career, and how he reinvented his entire act after an injury:

Now if Power Line ever gets its act together and puts on our long-promised wine weekend retreat or a cruise to somewhere, we’ll be sure to include a double bill evening performance by David and Ammo Grrrl.


On DACA, Let’s Make a Deal

Posted: 04 Sep 2017 09:54 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Two headlines in today’s news are, I hope, related: “Trump expected to end program for young immigrants,” and, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an op-ed by President Trump himself: “We must fix our self-destructive tax code.”

Paul wrote earlier today about Trump’s reported DACA decision, considering it on a stand-alone basis. Everything he wrote is, I think, true. DACA was obviously unconstitutional, and Trump has merely stated (or is expected to state) that his administration will enforce the law. But the leaked preview of Trump’s announcement–intentionally leaked, I assume–has provoked howls of outrage from Republicans as well as a solid phalanx of Democrats. So why not use Congressional support for DACA, or something like it, as a bargaining chip?

As such, DACA strikes me as ideal. If Trump does the right thing and enforces our immigration laws with regard to illegal immigrants (“illegal” being, of course, the key word missing from the Associated Press’s headline), we will hear little in the news for the next three years but sob stories about the hardships imposed on America’s most sterling, albeit unlawful, residents. Better that Congress should make honest green card holders of them, putting its money, so to speak, where its mouth is.

Could President Trump yield on the so-called “Dreamers” in exchange for votes on a robust tax reform program, or other high administration priority? Very possibly, I think, assuming strong leadership by Congressional Republicans. That’s the rub, as the timid Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are anything but tough negotiators. But perhaps Trump can find a way to take the lead in the negotiating process as some other presidents have done. That, I suspect, is what he will have in mind when he makes the anticipated announcement about DACA tomorrow.


Al Franken then and now

Posted: 04 Sep 2017 08:59 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

President Trump nominated Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals four months ago. Justice Stras’s nomination has not been taken up by the Senate because it has been blocked so far by Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. They have withheld their blue slips to prevent the Senate Judiciary Committee from holding a hearing.

I have done my best to bring to light the machinations involved in the blocking of the Stras nomination. Wheels are in spin. The story is of interest to many Minnesota citizens of different stripes, yet it has received virtually no coverage in the Star Tribune or the Minnesota media. The story is also of interest to a national audience following the Minnesota senators, each of whom has big plans for the future. From the perspective of their aspirations, Justice Stras is a bit player.

One sidebar to the story is the coarse partisan hypocrisy on display. Senator Klobuchar has carved a niche projecting an aura of bipartisan good feelings that conceals pure partisan hackery. As I think our coverage has demonstrated, the Stras nomination presents a powerful case in point, several times over.

Senator Franken’s hypocrisy is slightly more obvious. It is of the conventional that was then, this is now variety to which we have become so accustomed. Today, for example, Senator Franken says this about executive branch and judicial nominations:

The Senate has an important role to play in giving the President its “advice and consent” on nominations. We have an obligation to thoroughly examine the record of nominees and to determine whether a nominee’s understanding of the Constitution takes proper measure of the challenges that the American people face every day. We must determine whether a nominee’s understanding of our founding document is one that will make real its promise of justice and equality for all Americans—black and white; immigrant and Native American; gay, straight, and transgender. We must determine whether his or her interpretation of our laws and Constitution will unfairly favor corporations over working families, or limit the ability of Minnesotans to get their day in court. It’s a role I take very seriously.

Only yesterday, however, before the advent of a Republican president, Franken said this:

The Senate has an important role to play in giving the President its “advice and consent” on nominations, and I take that role very seriously. Yet we’ve only just begun to fill the key vacancies in the executive and judicial branches because the unprecedented use of filibusters, holds, and other procedural tactics has delayed an extraordinary number of highly qualified people. Filibusters are sometimes even being used on nominees that Senators actually support, in an effort to extract other promises or just to slow the Senate down. It’s time for this to stop. For our government to function the way it’s supposed to for Minnesotans and all Americans, it needs to have personnel.

This noble statement of malleable principle is still archived online. It is to be dusted off for use once again the day a Democrat returns to the presidency.

Franken is, of course, a former humorist. Once upon a time, I thought he was occasionally funny. I don’t think he’s been funny since the expiration of the Al Franken Decade in 1990, but he deserves recognition for this unintended example of political satire deriving from his new career.

Hat tip: Janet Beihoffer.


Trump expected to end DACA, and should

Posted: 04 Sep 2017 08:06 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

By all accounts, President Trump is about to phase out the DACA program. DACA grants work permits to about 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children

Trump reportedly will delay terminating the program for six months. This gives Congress time to pass legislation to replace it if Congress chooses to do so.

Trump has made the right decision. As Hans von Spakovsky argues, under our Constitution, Congress has plenary authority over immigration; the president only has the authority that has been delegated to him by Congress. President Obama acted unlawfully when he tried, by the stroke of his pen, to transform the presence of “dreamers” from illegal, as Congress deems it, to legal.

Obama tried to do the same thing for a broader class of illegal immigrants through the DAPA program. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down this illegal amnesty. The DACA is just as illegal.

President Trump’s action will place the issue where it belongs — before Congress. What should Congress do?

There is much to be said for granting amnesty to Dreamers who fulfill certain conditions. But all amnesties encourage more illegal immigration.

That’s why DACA-style amnesty, as sympathetic as it is, should be conditioned on measures that make the border more secure. Congress should not enact such an amnesty standing alone.

Kellyanne Conway expressed this view on Fox & Friends. She said the president’s decision should be viewed as part of an “entire economic and domestic agenda” that includes an end to sanctuary cities, increased border security and constructing a wall along the southern border.

It seems unlikely that Congress will pass a package like this. More likely, it will pass a free-standing DACA-style amnesty.

I doubt it could do so with a veto-proof majority, but I doubt President Trump would use the veto in this instance.


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