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Conservative News | Strongsville Republican Club

Conservative News

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Thank Mitch McConnell for Doug Jones' Victory

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 15:32
Jordan Gehrke, The Federalist
While there is plenty of blame to go around for Doug Jones' victory, it's important to remember that McConnell is the main reason Roy Moore was nominated.
Categories: Conservative News

Sen. Shelby Saves the Day in Alabama

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 15:31
Ed Rogers, Washington Post
In the aftermath of Roy Moore’s defeat yesterday, every Republican should reflect on exactly what happened and what we should be thankful for.
Categories: Conservative News

How Doug Jones Beat Roy Moore and Shocked the World

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 15:31
Molly Ball, Time
In deep-red Alabama.
Categories: Conservative News

Report: Omarosa “physically dragged and escorted” off the White House grounds after being fired by John Kelly

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 15:31

For cripes sake. How did they not air this live on TV? Firing Omarosa on national television helped Trump become president in the first place. He and Kelly should have had the basic courtesy to let us watch the real-life sh*tshow departure.

Apparently she was allowed to sign a resignation letter, possibly to placate her by letting her save face, but more than one reporter claims she didn’t go quietly. A White House official told the WSJ that Omarosa was “physically dragged and escorted off the campus” after Kelly told her her services would no longer be required. Reporter April Ryan (who has a history with Omarosa, it should be noted) also heard it was a bad scene:

Sources say General Kelly did the firing and Omarosa is alleged to have acted very vulgar and cursed a lot and said she helped elect President Trump. The word is a General Kelly had it and got rid of her.

— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) December 13, 2017

Even for Omarosa, cursing out a four-star Marine general is pretty Omarosa. Ryan elaborated in a radio report, claiming that when Kelly told Omarosa she was out, she demanded to speak to Trump directly. Nope, said Kelly, this isn’t like going to the principal’s office. He’s already signed off on my decision. Omarosa allegedly then started cursing up a storm and told him that she had brought the black vote to Trump last fall. Kelly’s reaction is unknown but presumably he bust out laughing. Then, when they were done, Ryan says Omarosa tried to get into the White House residence to plead with Trump directly about keeping her job. The Secret Service hauled her off and that was that. Just another day in POTUS’s “fine-tuned machine.”

Team Omarosa’s version of what happened is different and, coincidentally, self-serving. She wasn’t kicked out, sources tell BuzzFeed. She was deeply troubled by Trump’s handling of race relations.

The source said Manigault-Newman wanted to leave the White House after Charlottesville, where Trump sympathized with the white supremacists who marched to preserve Confederate monuments, leading to the dead of one counterprotester. Manigault-Newman went silent in the days and weeks after the rally, the source said. She did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment at the time.

The source said the White House was also consumed by other racial issues such as its focus on NFL players protesting during the national anthem; the lack of transparency regarding the death of a black American soldier in Niger and the response to his widow and Rep. Frederica Wilson; and the UCLA men’s basketball team arrests in China that Trump demanded praise for handling. More recently, Manigault-Newman had been disturbed by the administration’s handling of Roy Moore, as Trump embraced the candidate amid accusations he sexually assaulted teenagers.

Resigning in disgust at the president’s insensitivity on race seems strangely incongruent with being dragged away while seeking a personal audience with him to plead for one’s job. You don’t suppose the leak to BuzzFeed is after-the-fact spin from an ally to put the best possible light on her embarrassing departure, do you? Trump can’t fire her, she quits.

What did Omarosa do at the White House anyway, you may be asking. She worked in the Office of the Public Liaison, an important department — in theory — that’s charged with outreach to different constituencies to help build support for the president’s agenda. It’s OPL that’ll invite religious groups, business lobbies, etc, for meetings to try to bring them onboard with whatever the president is pushing at that moment. In practice, no one really knew what Omarosa did. Reporter Elaina Plott tailed her for a few hours inside the White House not long ago and couldn’t figure out what her duties consisted of, exactly. “No clue,” said a GOP source when asked. Her appearances in the media over the last few months mostly had to do with reality-show-style exploits, like getting in a shouting match with the moderator of a panel at a convention of black journalists or inviting 39 members of her bridal party to the White House for wedding photos. For all of this she was paid $180,000 a year, the maximum salary for a White House aide. It looks like Trump kept her around mainly out of loyalty, just because she’s been in his orbit for years.

But maybe there’s another reason. It’d be understandable if Kelly thought she was dead weight at OPL and wanted to revamp that office to perform more useful functions for the president. Read this Daily Beast from September, though, and you’ll see why Kelly may have had it out for Omarosa in particular. One of his core concerns as chief of staff has been trying to control the flow of information to Trump. For instance, no one just walks into the Oval Office anymore, as they did during Reince Priebus’s tenure. Kelly is the gatekeeper and the president’s on a schedule. But it’s not just about the quantity of information. Kelly also allegedly is concerned with how much informational junk food Trump ingests, from “Fox & Friends” to Infowars. According to the Beast, Omarosa was one of the main culprits in the building sneaking material to Trump that she knew would upset or otherwise provoke him, feeding him the latest about attacks on him by the likes of Joe Scarborough. Because they’ve been friends for so long, she seems to have had access to POTUS where other staffers, even ones with more formal power than her, didn’t. (No wonder she was angling to see him personally about her termination last night.) The news stories she fed him would distract him for hours, disrupting official business, so Kelly finally showed her the door. It’s amazing she held on this long.

Update: Ah, here’s Ryan elaborating on Omarosa’s firing.

Omarosa tried to enter the WH residence before being thrown out by security!

Categories: Conservative News

Astroturf: Federal agencies flooded with hundreds of thousands of fake comments on regulations

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 15:01

The Wall Street Journal investigated the millions of comments which have come into the FCC and other federal agencies on proposed regulations and found hundreds of thousands which were duplicates, many submitted under stolen identities. In some cases, people are even submitting comments under the names of deceased individuals.

A comment posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket endorses a Trump-administration plan to repeal a “net neutrality” policy requiring internet providers to treat all web traffic the same.

Calling the old Obama-era policy an “exploitation of the open Internet,” the comment was posted on June 2 by Donna Duthie of Lake Bluff, Ill.

It’s a fake. Ms. Duthie died 12 years ago.

In many cases, identical letters for or against a particular regulation are being sent on behalf of people who had no idea they had become part of a battle over regulations until they were contacted by the Journal:

After sending surveys to nearly 1 million people—predominantly from the FCC docket—the Journal found a much wider problem than previously reported, including nearly 7,800 people who told the Journal comments posted on federal dockets in their names were fakes…

One 369-word comment supporting the Obama-era net-neutrality rules was posted on the FCC website more than 300,000 times. One of those was attributed to Gloria Burney, 87, a retired speech therapist in Los Angeles. She isn’t in favor of repealing those rules, she said, “but I never wrote that.”

A comment from “Elzor The Blarghmaster” at 9632 Elm Road, Maywood, Ill., was among the 818,000 identical FCC comments backing the Trump policy. No such address could be found, said Jimmie Thompson, a U.S. Postal Service carrier in Maywood…

Mr. Hart, the FCC spokesman, said the “most suspicious activity has been by those supporting Internet regulation.” He said the FCC received more than 7.5 million comments consisting of the same short-form letter supporting the current rules from about 45,000 unique email addresses, “all generated by a single fake e-mail generator website.”

Some comments didn’t bother with taking names from real people. The WSJ found comments which had been submitted under the names Batman and Superman.

At a minimum, this is a bureaucratic mess which people on the taxpayer dime are spending their time to sort out, but does it ultimately matter? The FCC claims it does not. Earlier this month New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked the FCC to postpone a vote on Net Neutrality, a position supported by many Democrats, after he identified up to a million of these comments submitted under fake names. From the Hill:

Appearing in a press conference alongside Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Schneiderman said that his office had found about 1 million comments in the FCC’s net neutrality docket that may have been submitted using stolen identities. Schneiderman said that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, has so far rebuffed his requests for assistance in the probe.

“I’m asking Chairman Pai to join us in our effort to investigate millions of fake comments and massive identity theft perpetrated against Americans,” he said.

The FCC refused to delay the vote saying Schneiderman had provided no proof that the fake comments had any impact on the decisions made by the agency:

Thomas Johnson, the FCC’s general counsel, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) on Thursday saying that the commission would not be handing over logs Schneiderman requested in order to investigate fake comments.

Johnson wrote that “while your letter suggests that the public comment process was somehow ‘corrupted’ by the alleged submission of comments under false names, you offer no evidence that this activity affected the Commission’s ability to review and respond to comments in the record.”…

Johnson said that Chairman Ajit Pai did not rely on dubious comments in drafting his proposal to scrap the 2015 net neutrality rules. He also questioned whether Schneiderman has the authority to investigate a federal agency’s rulemaking process.

So this is a pitched political battle in which the astroturf efforts (by both sides) is being used as a reason to impede a vote. But you have to wonder whether this is really a new development or if similar fake letters were being submitted under the previous administration with regard to rules on fracking or Planned Parenthood.

The post Astroturf: Federal agencies flooded with hundreds of thousands of fake comments on regulations appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

New York Governor announces new gun ban which has existed for 20 years

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 14:31

When I saw a press release this week saying that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was announcing yet another gun ban, all I could think was… oh, great. After all, after he managed to pass the so-called “New York SAFE Act” in 2013, pretty much everything having to do with firearms has been banned up to and including looking at pictures of guns on your laptop. (Okay… don’t quote me on that last part.) So what’s it going to be this time? A ban on vegetables that happen to grow in the shape of a gun? Burning all the copies of the James Clavell novel Shogun?

Well, I suppose we’re ready. Give us your best shot, Governor. (If you haven’t made that pun illegal yet.) What are we banning now? (WHAM 13 News)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to take away all firearms from New Yorkers who are convicted of domestic violence crimes.

The Democrat announced the plan Wednesday as the first of the proposals he’ll unveil next month during his State of the State address that opens the 2018 legislative session.

Under Cuomo’s proposal, all guns would immediately be removed from anyone convicted of domestic violence crimes, including misdemeanors. He says his legislation would add measures aimed at keeping domestic violence perpetrators from obtaining firearms.

Whoa! Did you hear that? He wants to ban gun ownership for those convicted of domestic violence crimes… even misdemeanors. He’s really super serious, you guys.

Allow me to surprise all of our regular readers. It’s such a rare day when I happen to agree with the governor of my state about, well… anything, that it’s worth noting when it happens. I completely agree. Those convicted of crimes of domestic violence (yes… even misdemeanors) should not be allowed to have firearms. So let’s get this ball rolling, Governor, and get that bill passed. Soon we will rid the state of the scourge of…

Oh, wait. Somebody already did that. In 1997.

Perhaps someone should swing by the Governor’s mansion and let Mr. Cuomo know about a little thing commonly referred to as, “the Lautenberg Amendment.” For those in Advanced Placement class, it’s also known as 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) – Unlawful Acts. Check out the following provisions, Mr. Cuomo and tell us if any of them sound familiar. (Emphasis added)

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—

(8) who is subject to a court order that—

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce

includesit even incluldes misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, people with restraining orders and all the rest. It’s been illegal for the past twenty years and pretty much every gun owner I know agrees with the sensibility of those provisions.

But hey… I realize you’ve got another election coming up and are still thinking of running for President after that. I suppose you need to make it look like you’re doing something other than attending the bribery and corruption trial of one of your top aides.

The post New York Governor announces new gun ban which has existed for 20 years appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

DNC Chair Tom Perez Accidentally Praises 'Doug Moore' for Senate Win

Townhall.com - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 14:15
Tom Perez and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee just can't get seem to get Doug Jones's name straight.
Categories: Conservative News

Schumer to GOP: Delay tax bill so Dems get more votes, please

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 14:01

Put this in the It doesn’t hurt to ask column. After last night’s surprise win in Alabama, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to pause all work on the Republicans’ tax reform bill. Shouldn’t Alabama’s newest envoy, Schumer argues, get a chance to weigh in on the legislation?

Good luck with that request:

Sen. Schumer calls for delay in tax vote until Doug Jones is sworn in: "It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving the newly-elected senator from Alabama the opportunity to cast his vote." https://t.co/QeyhXhcpAo pic.twitter.com/xJ8oVr85fN

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 13, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is demanding that Republicans delay a vote on their tax plan in the wake of Tuesday’s special election in Alabama.

“It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving the newly elected senator from Alabama a chance to cast his vote,” Schumer told reporters during a press conference.

Democrat Doug Jones won the special election, defeating GOP candidate Roy Moore, who was facing several accusations of pursuing relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s.

It’d be one heck of a delay. According to Alabama’s Secretary of State, the earliest that Jones’ victory can be certified is December 27th, which moots a demand from Elizabeth Warren to Mitch McConnell to seat Jones immediately:

McConnell cannot act until Alabama sends certification to Senate. And that will not happen until Dec 27 at earliest, according to Alabama Sec of State. https://t.co/51lzPiOWWD

— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) December 13, 2017

Until then at least, McConnell still has Strange around, and business to conduct. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Schumer might not get his wish. Word out of the conference committee negotiations is that the corporate rate may creep up to 21% after all, but not to get more money back to working-class taxpayers. Instead, they plan to use the revenue to lower the top-end brackets:

Senior Republican negotiators were moving closer to a deal Tuesday to reduce the top tax rate for high-income households from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, blowing by political concerns about aiding the rich in order to ease passage of a $1.5 trillion tax package.

The move, which needs to gain the support of a broad swath of Republicans in the House and Senate, would lower taxes for top earners throughout the country, potentially addressing the concerns of two GOP constituencies about separate tax legislation passed by the House and Senate. …

Amid GOP negotiations earlier Tuesday, the other most significant change under consideration was to the corporate tax rate, which lawmakers now plan to reduce to 21 percent instead of 20 percent. The corporate tax rate is currently 35 percent.

That news floored Marco Rubio, who proposed an amendment with Mike Lee to the Senate bill to raise the corporate tax rate to 20.94% as a way to lower the tax burden on lower-income brackets. Rubio blasted the move on Twitter last night:

20.94% Corp. rate to pay for tax cut for working family making $40k was anti-growth but 21% to cut tax for couples making $1million is fine?

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 12, 2017

Word out of Capitol Hill is that the House and Senate conferees have agreed on the final form of the tax bill that will be presented to both chambers. The changes floated out over the last couple of days may lose votes in the Senate — Rubio and Lee perhaps, as well as Susan Collins who also expressed dismay over this change — that will render Schumer’s request moot, too. Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican votes, and he’s already down one with Bob Corker. Ron Johnson and Jeff Flake also nearly derailed the bill in a procedural vote over its heavy business tilt, and this won’t make them any happier, either.

However, faced with the consequences of yet another failure on their agenda and promises, perhaps McConnell and Paul Ryan can whip together enough votes in each chamber to pass the bill. The political fallout from failure would probably be worse than dealing with the bill’s consequences down the line. Both men will need to get this through Congress as fast as possible before too many questions arise over it, but don’t be too surprised if enough opposition to the bill arises to make Schumer’s wish come true, either.

The post Schumer to GOP: Delay tax bill so Dems get more votes, please appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Is Steve Bannon to blame for Roy Moore?

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 13:31

Not really, no, but Bannon inspires fear and loathing in so many Republicans that the entirety of the non-Breitbart universe is dunking on him savagely this morning. Matt Drudge!

Peter King!

GOP Rep. Peter King slams Steve Bannon: "He looks like some disheveled drunk who wandered on to the political stage … this is not the type of person we need in politics" https://t.co/txIFNRcxWI

— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 13, 2017

GOP operatives!

“Bannon is like so many people that get involved in politics. They work on their first race, their person wins, and they think people voted for them,” said Stu Stevens, the former top strategist to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. As part of his closing argument supporting Moore’s campaign, Bannon had made bashing Romney a rhetorical centerpiece…

“Steve Bannon has done more for Democrats than they could’ve ever thought possible,” said Josh Holmes, McConnell’s former chief of staff. ”Bannon displayed an absolutely breathtaking display of political incompetence that will go down in the annals of history for every Republican to mourn for generations.”

Senate Republicans were probably up all night cackling over Moore’s defeat and Bannon’s spectacular mistake in supporting him. Incumbents’ main heat shield against populism is the suspicion that the sort of angry insurgent who might impress the Breitbart readership — Paul Nehlen, Roy Moore — will ultimately prove to be hip-deep in kookiness, to the point where the general electorate will run screaming from them and winnable seats will be lost. McConnell couldn’t have asked for a more terrifying example of that than a Christian warrior fumbling away a Senate seat in Alabama. Every Bannon-backed primary candidate will now be attacked as the next Roy Moore in the primaries. That’s why there’s so much dunking by establishmentarians today; they’re seizing the moment to try to convince Bannon fans that he’s leading them off a cliff. For fark’s sake, even the president has started grumbling about better quality control in choosing Republican nominees:

If last night’s election proved anything, it proved that we need to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase the razor thin margins in both the House and Senate.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017

So it’s settled then. Moore is all Bannon’s fault, yes? Well … no, not really. The initial knock on Bannon vis-a-vis Moore was that he was *late* to the bandwagon, not early. Bannon didn’t endorse him until August 28, nearly two weeks after Moore and Luther Strange had advanced in the primary over Mo Brooks. By that point multiple polls showed Moore headed for a landslide win over Strange in the runoff. Bannon saw an easy victory for a populist candidate shaping up in the primary which might then be parlayed into an easy victory in the general due to Alabama’s heavy Republican lean — a rare opportunity for a Trump-style bombthrower to sail through to elected office with comparatively little difficulty. So Bannon jumped out in front of the parade. But Moore certainly would have defeated Strange if he hadn’t, and given Moore’s history on the bench of refusing to quit even when under tremendous pressure to do so, he almost certainly would have stuck it out instead of dropping out after WaPo broke the story about teenaged girls. It’s a convenient lie that Moore was some sort of populist Frankenstein built in the lab of evil genius Steve Bannon. He was a grassroots phenomenon. That’s a much harder problem to solve than Bannon is.

But Bannon does get some blame. He could have gotten behind Mo Brooks early, which may have landed Brooks in the runoff against either Moore or Strange. Brooks might easily have won that race with populist support and wouldn’t have been 1/100th as objectionable to centrist Republicans as Moore was. Plus, although Moore would have soldiered on after the scandal shoes started dropping no matter what, it’s an open question whether he would have been as successful in managing the crisis as he was without Bannon’s help. Bannon put his media savvy and his connections to work for Moore in helping him do damage control. Without that, if Moore’s polls had begun to crater soon after the WaPo expose, maybe the Alabama GOP would have replaced him as nominee. (Not likely. But maybe.)

But Bannon’s culpability goes beyond that. Yossi Gestetner has an interesting point here:

The only reason Doug Jones squeezed out a victory rather than running away with the seat is because Bannon (and Trump with a few tweets) supported Moore. Moore lost because Republicans including Alabama Senator Richard Shelby dumped on their own seat just to rightfully oppose Moore rather than saying “Moore is bad but vote on the GOP line to keep the seat in GOP hands and then we will remove him later.” For Republicans it would have been the moral and sane thing to do, but they did not do it. Hence the GOP lost a seat.

If Bannon had stayed on the sidelines, would Shelby have turned on Moore? Would McConnell and Flake and the rest of the Moore critics in the Senate have denounced him so loudly? As I said, establishmentarians are relishing Moore’s defeat not just on the merits, because he was an atrocious candidate, but because it’s a 2×4 upside the head of Bannon and his nascent movement to replace incumbents with populists. Bannon’s attachment to Moore gave McConnell and his allies a juicy opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Without Bannon in the mix, maybe they wouldn’t have been as motivated to do so.

But if we’re going to kick Bannon, this is the thing to kick him for. Jonah Goldberg:

Steve Bannon isn’t responsible for Roy Moore and neither is Mitch McConnell. The difference is that McConnell wanted nothing to do with Roy Moore for all the obvious reasons and Steve Bannon wanted to take credit for him! He wanted to take credit for Moore when it was clear Moore was a bigot, buffoon, and charlatan, and he wanted to take credit for Moore after Moore was credibly accused of being a child molester and jailbait fetishist. Bannon has an almost unblemished record of picking disastrous candidates on the theory that he knows what he’s doing. That theory is wrong.

With the exception of Trump alone, no one has done more than Steve Bannon to advance the idea within the modern GOP that good character not only isn’t important in a politician but constitutes an actual disability. “Character” in Bannonworld is code for cowardice. Once you adopt the #WAR framework for politics, “character” just means you’re afraid to lob a grenade at the enemy when men made of sterner stuff are out there bayoneting them with gusto. Bannon seems to gravitate to people like Trump, Moore, Nehlen, even Milo because he knows they’re willing to cross lines that others wouldn’t out of basic decency. That’s also why Bannon’s repeated insistence that he hates white nationalists, wants no part of them, etc, seems unconvincing to all sides, including white nationalists themselves. It’s completely out of character for him. Bannonism is “just win, baby, and don’t worry about morals.”

The sick irony of him backing Roy Moore, whose own spokesman admitted yesterday thinks homosexuality should “probably” be illegal, is that Andrew Breitbart was famously welcoming to gays interested in the GOP. Bannon’s under no obligation to follow AB’s politics, but him holding rallies for Moore after Andrew threw parties for gay conservatives at CPAC feels like the closing and opening chapters of the story of the GOP’s civic deterioration over the last six years. Especially since Americans generally have moved toward Andrew’s position over that time.

Anyway, a lot of other people deserve “blame” for Moore’s defeat besides Bannon. Doug Jones needed to pull an inside straight — massive Democratic turnout, including and especially among rural blacks; depressed turnout among Republicans who were disgusted by Moore; and just enough crossover or write-in votes on the right to deny Moore a winning margin. He hit all three marks. An astounding stat: Jones got 93.5 percent of Hillary’s vote total last while Moore managed just 49.8 percent of Trump’s. Jones won by a little more than 20,000 votes; the number of write-in votes, the vast majority of which surely came from Republicans, was 23,000. Alabama conservatives made their stand last night, as David French says. Republican voters will tolerate an extremely high garbage quotient in a candidate, it turns out, just not the infinite amount that Bannon wants them to.

Prepare now, though, for a battery of attacks on McConnell, the establishment, and “the elites” for having sunk Moore instead of laying the blame where it belongs, the fact that he’s an egregious crank and that there’s really nothing one can say or do to lose the Bannon endorsement as long as you’re willing to vote how he wants on trade deals. Populism can’t fail, it can only be failed by treacherous conspirators looking to exploit the people. A lot of lip service is paid to the idea of the GOP as “the party of personal responsibility,” yet between that Dolchstosslegende and Moore’s refusal to concede a race that’s obviously lost, it’s a joke.

The post Is Steve Bannon to blame for Roy Moore? appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Rep. Chabot to Deputy AG Rosenstein: Nine members of Mueller’s team made campaign donations to Democrats

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 13:01

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is answering questions in Congress this morning. In the light of the clearly partisan views of Peter Strzok, which Ed wrote about this morning, Republicans are looking to question the partisanship of the team assembled by Special Counsel Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the election. Republican Rep. Steve Chabot spent most of his five minutes running down a list of political donations made by members of Mueller’s team.

“Let me just review a few facts about the supposedly unbiased group of people that Mr. Mueller pulled together,” Chabot began. He continued, “Nine of the 16 have made political contributions. To be fair, let’s just go through them in alphabetical order.

“First, Greg Andres gave $1000 dollars to the Democrat running to hold the seat, the Senate seat previously held by Barack Obama. He gave $2600 dollars to Democrat Senator Gillibrand, who just this week led the charge of Democratic Senators demanding that President Trump resign. And, oh yeah, Mr. Andres gave zero to the Trump campaign or to any Republican for that matter.

“Next, again in alphabetical order, Russ Atkinson. He donated to the Clinton campaign last year. Again, zero to the Trump campaign. Third, Kyle Freeny contributed to both Obama campaigns and to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Zero to the Trump campaign. Next, Andrew Goldstein. He donated $3300 dollars to both Obama campaigns again zero to the Trump campaign.

“Fifth, Elizabeth Freeloader who clerked for a liberal Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, contributed to both the Obama and Clinton campaigns and zero to Trump. Next, James Quarles. He’s contributed to the Democratic presidential campaigns of Dukakis, Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton and Gore as well. He did contribute to former congressman Chaffetz and Senator Allen but he contributed over $20,000 dollars to Democratic House and Senate candidates and again gave zero to Trump.

“Seventh, Jeannie Rhee. She actually represented, as was previously mentioned, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in several lawsuits. She’s donated $16,000 dollars to Democrats. Contributed $5,400 dollars to the Clinton campaign and zero to the Trump campaign.

“Eigth, Brandon Van Grack contributed to Act Blue the fundraising outfit organized to elect Democratic congressional candidates, contributed to the Obama presidential campaign and of course gave nothing to Trump. And finally, Andrew Weissmann. He contributed $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee, $2,300 to the Obama campaign, $2,300 to the Clinton campaign and zero to Donald Trump. He’s also the guy who praised the holdover acting attorney general, Susan Yates, for defying President Trump on the travel ban.

“Now, my question to you is how, with a straight face, can you say that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased and will give President Trump a fair shake?”

After a pause, Rosentein replied, “Congressman I think it’s important to recognize that when we talk about political affiliation—that all demonstrated political affiliation. The issue of bias is something different.” He added, “We recognized we have employees with political opinions and it’s our responsiblity to those opinions do not influence their actions.”

In other words, this is the same response we hear from the editors and executives of liberal news outlets, i.e. sure there are a lot of partisans here but we strive to avoid letting any bias creep into our work. With regard to the news media, we’ve seen how well that works out over the past couple weeks.

Here’s the exchange between Rep. Chabot and Deputy AG Rosenstein:

The post Rep. Chabot to Deputy AG Rosenstein: Nine members of Mueller’s team made campaign donations to Democrats appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Trump's Final Tax Reform Pitch

Townhall.com - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:45
Categories: Conservative News

Baltimore mayor tries to cancel MLK parade. Predictable chaos ensues

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:31

When Baltimore’s new mayor, Catherine Pugh, took office this year she promised some changes. Much of her agenda has been essentially buried by the record setting murder rate they’ve been battling, but she’s still gamely attempted to get some of her other priorities put in place. One of them clearly struck a sour note with the voters, however, and that was a plan to cancel the city’s annual Martin Luther King Day parade and replace it with a “Day of Service” in honor of the slain civil rights leader.

Once that decision was announced the blowback was immediate. It grew in volume until Pugh finally had to back down this week and carry on with the traditional parade. (Baltimore Sun)

After fielding complaints from community members, Mayor Catherine Pugh said Tuesday she was reversing a plan to replace next month’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade with a day of service.

“We heard from people. We’ll do the parade and the day of service,” she said. “People want to do both.”

Pugh had previously said she was planning to cancel the long-running parade to replace it with a day of service, which she felt better honored King’s legacy.

But the announcement was quickly criticized by some who saw the mayor taking away a beloved tradition. Nearly 1,400 people signed an online petition Tuesday asking for the parade to be restored.

Pugh seemed to be walking a tightrope between the practical and the politics here. Parades can be expensive affairs with very little return on investment in material terms. They’re also increasingly being looked at as possible targets in terror attacks. Considering that the parade was held to honor a man who dedicated his life to public service, a “Day of Service” for everyone to give back to the community certainly sounds like a noble cause.

Also, there are few cities in the United States that could benefit from a huge outpouring of community service and participation more than Baltimore right about now. Public events designed to get people out in public areas and push gang activity back into the shadows have been attempted recently, some producing admirable effects. More of that sort of grassroots work wouldn’t be amiss, and MLK Day seems a fitting time to do it.

Unfortunately, the political optics of this were awful. The city’s African-American residents were already reportedly feeling left out of City Hall’s priorities when Pugh scaled back the size and cost of the city’s African-American festival, AFRAM, earlier this year. Cancelling the MLK parade was simply seen as a slap in the face to the black community. (For the record, Pugh herself is African-American.)

The compromise is that they’re going to wind up doing the day of service, but also hold the parade. Unfortunately, that may reduce both events in size and participation, but sometimes that’s apparently just the political cost of doing business. Best of luck to the mayor in getting her Day of Service off the ground. It sounds like a very positive step in the right direction.

The post Baltimore mayor tries to cancel MLK parade. Predictable chaos ensues appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Finale in MN? Dayton picks Smith to fill Franken’s seat

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:01

Was a Minnesotan the biggest loser in last night’s election in Alabama? Al Franken had pledged to resign from the Senate under pressure from his Democratic colleagues but had never specified a date. Speculation arose that Franken might rescind his resignation if Republicans seated Roy Moore. Aaaaand … it now looks like Franken is stuck with Plan A after Doug Jones’ win last night.

Governor Mark Dayton will proceed with his own Plan A, appointing Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to Franken’s seat. Smith has suddenly discovered enough political ambition to run for the special election next year, too:

Gov. Mark Dayton will appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Sen. Al Franken as Minnesota’s next U.S. senator, according to two high-level Democratic sources with knowledge of the decision.

Dayton will name Smith as his choice at a Wednesday morning news conference, and she plans to run for the seat in a 2018 special election, the sources said.

Smith was clearly Dayton’s favorite all along, but her lack of political ambition almost aced her out of the running. Dayton appeared ready to appoint her as a neutral DFL caretaker and allow the party to hold an open primary to determine the 2018/2020 nominee. Chuck Schumer, facing a 26/8 imbalance in seats to defend next year, wanted a nomination that would resolve it without an open primary. Smith’s decision to run for office next year and again in 2020 if successful shows that Schumer won the argument, forcing Dayton into the role of kingmaker. Dayton had another term for it in his presser this morning:

Dayton asked if he is "king-maker." He replies: "queen-maker" (adding that the constitution dictates that he must appoint.)

— R. Stassen-Berger (@RachelSB) December 13, 2017

That doesn’t mean that Smith will get a pass entirely next year. She’ll run as an incumbent with the advantages that confers, but political ambitions in Minnesota have very few outlets. Other DFL figures may not want to wait for either Smith or Amy Klobuchar to retire, so 2018 is the window that some simply can’t resist — or at least that’s what the Strib thought this morning:

The special election is expected to draw contenders on both sides. Even with Smith’s selection, DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is mulling the race, a source close to Ellison said last week. Former GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty is being wooed by Republicans.

The winner of the 2018 election will be expected to run again for the full six-year term in 2020.

Ellison turned around and endorsed Smith for the 2018 nomination, however:

Rep. Keith Ellison releases statement after Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced his appointment of Lt. Gov Tina Flint Smith to the U.S. Senate:

"Tina Smith is the right person at the right time and has my full support both now and when she runs in the 2018 special election.” pic.twitter.com/TdB7dD5iT7

— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) December 13, 2017

The idea that Ellison would get a boost from Franken’s departure simply ignores realities on the ground in Minnesota. Ellison isn’t going to win a statewide general election, and it’s doubtful that he’d win a statewide primary unless he was the only candidate running, and even Ellison seems to realize this. While Minnesota is a fairly blue state, Ellison’s radical past and nature won’t play well outside of his MN-05 district. Running against an incumbent woman with significant credibility inside the DFL only makes that problem worse.

Smith might have more trouble beating Lori Swanson and/or Rebecca Otto, both of whom have won statewide elections as Attorney General and state auditor, respectively, and both of whom are eyeing the gubernatorial race next year. If one of them decides to peel off and aim for the US Senate, Smith might run into trouble — but she won’t lose to Ellison, or to a state legislator, unless she fumbles badly in Washington. And Klobuchar will be on hand to make sure that doesn’t happen.

All that’s left is for Franken to resign, although he didn’t give much hint of that as the Alabama election unfolded:

Al Franken is the Senate’s dead man walking, still doing his day job despite his soon-to-be-gone status.

The two-term Minnesota lawmaker told a somber Senate last Thursday he would resign amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and in the face of vanishing support from fellow Democrats. Franken was back at work this week, casting votes in the Senate, participating in a committee hearing and attending a senator-only luncheon with Democrats. …

Franken has not said exactly when he will leave the Senate, although his departure seems certain. Even so, some Democrats have begun to have second thoughts about forcing him out so quickly, especially as allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump remain unresolved and Republican Roy Moore sought a Senate seat from Alabama despite accusations that he molested teenagers decades ago. Moore and Trump have both denied the allegations.

There are good reasons for those second thoughts, but they’re too late to save Franken now. Dayton’s appointment means they’d have to backtrack and deny a woman the chance to replace him after first demanding that Dayton do just that. Dayton has delivered, and the deluge of Senate Democrats who moved en masse to demand his resignation will have no good explanation for a reversal at this late stage.

The post Finale in MN? Dayton picks Smith to fill Franken’s seat appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Anderson Cooper Claims Twitter 'Hacked' With Anti-Trump Tweet

Townhall.com - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 11:50
Hmmmm that's not how hacking works and none of us were born yesterday.
Categories: Conservative News

“Pathetic loser”: Was Anderson Cooper’s angry tweet at Trump sent by a hacker?

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 11:21

“Hacked!” is what anyone would say who sent an ill-advised tweet and then thought better of it afterward, right? It was Anthony Weiner’s initial defense after Andrew Breitbart exposed him for sending crotch shots to women fans. The toaster is still loyal, Weiner joked at the time, insisting that his Facebook account had been hacked too.

He’s in prison now.

The tweet this morning from Cooper’s account is gone but here’s a screenshot. Catnip for the right’s many, many millions of CNN-haters:

That’s his official account, rest assured, not a parody. CNN’s brand is based on the idea that, unlike Fox, they don’t do opinion; they’re “objective” news from top to bottom and Cooper’s their biggest star. Sean Hannity could easily get away with tweeting something like that at a Democrat, but CNN’s 8 p.m. guy taking a swing at the president in front of nearly 10 million followers? Nuh uh. Big problem, and a gift to Trump insofar as he’ll cite it forever after as proof of the network’s bias.

But Cooper didn’t send it, CNN insists:

This morning someone gained access to the handle @andersoncooper and replied to POTUS. We're working with Twitter to secure the account.

— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) December 13, 2017

Cooper himself claimed a hacking before deleting the offending tweet:

just woke up to find out someone gained access to my twitter account. i have not sent a tweet in days or replied to any tweets. We are looking into how this happened.

— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) December 13, 2017

Whom to believe? It’s hard to fathom that Cooper would be so jazzed by Doug Jones’s win that he’d risk a PR nightmare for himself and his employer for the sake of a single tweet dunking on the president, only to hurriedly walk it back a few hours later. It’s not even a good tweet! If you’re going to blow a hole in your network’s pretenses to objectivity, would you really do it for something as piddling as that? Cooper has covered literally hundreds of Trump controversies over the past few years without managing to show his stripes as obviously as he appears to do here. It’s not crazy to think he really was hacked.

But riddle me this. How often do you see a celebrity account hacked where the hacker does nothing except tweet once, and the tweet isn’t off-the-wall? It wasn’t profane; it didn’t contain porn; it wasn’t spam with a link to some gambling or spyware site. The “hacker” had commandeered an account that suddenly gave him an audience of 10 million people and the only thing he wanted to do, apparently, was tweet at the president. Once. And because the tweet was in the form of a reply, unless you follow both Cooper and Trump on Twitter, you wouldn’t even have seen it in your own timeline.

Does that make sense? If you went to the trouble of somehow hacking CNN’s cable feed and momentarily had all of their viewers watching you on your webcam, would you say nine words about Trump and then just walk away?

What really happened here?

The post “Pathetic loser”: Was Anderson Cooper’s angry tweet at Trump sent by a hacker? appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News
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