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Conservative News | Strongsville Republican Club

Conservative News

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Donna Brazile Rails Against the DNC for Letting the Clinton Campaign Run the Show

Townhall.com - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 11:00
Donna Brazile reflects on the DNC's incompetent 2016.
Categories: Conservative News

Not shocking: Grassley aide lands plush ethanol lobbying gig

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:41

We’ve been covering the ongoing battle over the Renewable Fuel Standard and the ethanol mandate scheme for quite a while here, though it’s currently fallen into something of a lull. The President recently met with senators from oil and gas producing and refining states, allegedly agreeing to look into some relief for those most negatively impacted by the policies, but at least for the time being it seems that King Corn has still come out on top.

So it’s time for some celebrating in the ethanol lobby, right? And what better way to thank their friends in the United States government than by handing out some jobs? The Washington Examiner reports that’s precisely what happened out in Iowa. Senator Chuck Grassley is the most powerful voice in keeping the ethanol mandates in place, along with all the crony capitalism that goes along with it. And his legislative director, who played a key role in those efforts, is moving on from his government job. He should be doing quite well for himself as one of the highest paid lobbyists in the entire ethanol community.

To the victor goes the spoils, and to the winner of a protracted policy battle between legislators and administration bureaucrats over mandated levels of biodiesel usage goes a lucrative gig at a biofuels trade association.

The National Biodiesel Board announced Monday that Kurt Kovarik, a legislative director for Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, will join the group in the new year as vice president of federal affairs — that is, the top lobbyist.

“Kurt’s decades of experience in the United States Senate will serve us well as we navigate the federal policy issues that most affect our industry,” Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer at the National Biodiesel Board, said in a statement. “His long history of working on energy and tax legislation, his familiarity with the key players in Washington and his knowledge base on biofuels are all reasons why we are so happy to have him on our team.”

Just as the Examiner describes it, this is the same old “revolving door” which has existed in Washington politics for years. When President Trump took office he immediately moved to ban certain executive branch officials from taking lobbying jobs, either permanently or for five years, but that clearly wouldn’t apply to an aide to a senator.

The National Biodiesel Board hasn’t added Kovarik to their staff page yet, but given the tens of millions of dollars they direct into their projects each year, it sounds like things are looking up for him.

As the Examiner article says, to the winner goes the spoils. Conservatives have been fighting these ethanol mandates and the corrosive effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard for years now, but they’ve clearly got the upper hand and are reaping the rewards. Given the number of states where so many jobs rely on oil and gas exploration and refineries, it’s amazing that such a small subset of states can continue to punch so far above their weight class. But unless the White House can be convinced to see the logic in supporting America’s newly dominant oil and gas industry in the global market, little is likely to change.

The post Not shocking: Grassley aide lands plush ethanol lobbying gig appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Mueller investigators’ text messages in 2017 mull “insurance policy” in case of Trump victory

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:01

Text messages involving an FBI agent assigned to both Robert Mueller’s special-counsel probe and the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton have called the integrity of both cases into question. Peter Strzok got reassigned from his top counterintelligence position to Human Resouces after the discovery of the communications with fellow FBI agent Lisa Page, also briefly assigned to the Mueller team. Their comments over more than a year of text communications reveal a heavy bias against Republicans in general and Donald Trump in particular, but it might be Strzok’s affinity for Hillary that could put the FBI under a microscope — including James Comey:

Watch the latest video at &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”&amp;amp;amp;gt;video.foxnews.com&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;

Text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in 2016 that were obtained by Fox News on Tuesday refer to then-candidate Donald Trump as a “loathsome human” and “an idiot.”

More than 10,000 texts between Strzok and Page were being reviewed by the Justice Department after Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe after it was revealed that some of them contained anti-Trump content. …

House Intelligence Committee investigators have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events that began when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate. …

He also was present during the FBI’s July 2016 interview with Hillary Clinton at the close of the email investigation, shortly before then-FBI director James Comey called her actions “extremely careless” without recommending criminal charges.

The main concerns here will likely center on the Clinton investigation, at least for Congress. They still want answers about Comey’s decision that her end-run around both the Federal Records Act and security requirements for classified information only came up to the level of “extreme carelessness” and not “gross negligence,” when the latter would have met the standard of a crime under the Espionage Act. Strzok appears to have been an integral part of that decision, and the text messages revealing his political bias at the time might provide answers for Congress as to how that conclusion was reached.

In the months just prior to that conclusion, Strzok and Page mull over the stakes involved in the primary contests:

“Martin O’Malley’s a freak show,” Strzok messaged Page in January 2016, a reference to the former governor of Maryland who ran a brief campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

In March 2016, Strzok and Page discuss telling someone who they will vote for in the coming 2016 presidential election.

Strzok texted Page, “I suppose Hillary,” and then moments later, “I would D [Democrat.” …

Days after the exchange — March 2016 — Page texted Strzok, “God trump is a loathsome human,” to which Strzok replies, “Yet he may win.”

That seems rather telling. One could argue that an agent faced with a decision less than two months later that could knock out the “D” in favor of the “loathsome human” after both won their respective nominations could have put his thumb on the scale to keep the “D” in the race. Given the difficulty in parsing out the difference between “extreme carelessness” and “gross negligence” in a Cabinet official who deliberately hid her secret e-mail system from both Congress and the courts until it was discovered in the course of another investigation, that question seems veeeeeeery pertinent indeed.

However, the issues aren’t entirely limited to the Hillary probe. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross found a couple of cryptic messages that suggest some sort of plan to deal with a Trump win, one possibly involving FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe:

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok wrote in a cryptic text message to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and his mistress.

“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok wrote in the text, dated Aug. 15, 2016.

Andy is likely Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Just what would this insurance policy be? An attempt to allege collusion with Russian propagandists, perhaps?

The rest of the anti-Trump bias in the message strings might be less of an issue, only because it’s not clear whether Mueller’s probe will result in any real action against Trump anyway. If it does, though, some of the rest of the texts will undermine any hope that Mueller will have in maintaining an air of impartiality of his operation. Texts like these will come back to bite Mueller:

During the Republican National Convention, the two goaded each other to flip it on.

“TURN IT ON, TURN IT ON!!! THE DOUCHEBAGS ARE ABOUT TO COME OUT,” Strzok messaged Page on July 19, 2016.

Page replied moments later: “And wow, Donald Trump is an enormous d*uche.”

And it’s tough to see how Mueller will rally ordinary Americans to support his conclusions with Strzok bon mots such as these:

“What the hell has happened to our country!?!?!??” Strzok said, days later adding he is “worried about what Trump is encouraging in our behavior.”

On August 26, 2016, Strzok told Page he went to a Walmart in southern Virginia and he could “SMELL the Trump support.…”

The damage here may be limited to the optics of the texts. Former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, no fan of the outcome in the Hillary Clinton probe or the special counsel investigation at all, says there’s less here than meets the eye:

#Strzok & Page texts look like a big nothing – no hint of corruption in their jobs. Lots of people (me included) speak crudely in private about politics. If you’re ok w/ Trump’s outbursts, I don’t see getting whipped over this BS. https://t.co/RJPjXZMO48

— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) December 13, 2017

Mike, all those Qs deserve investigation (I think if Obama & DOJ didn’t want Hillary prosecuted, no way FBI could do job, but that’s me). Texts deserve scrutiny too … but they don’t seem to shed light on these important Qs.

— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) December 13, 2017

These texts matter in terms of how Mueller’s conclusions will be received. They also prompt questions as to how many other partisans might have been part of either or both operations, and whether their attitudes have poisoned outcomes in both too. The texts don’t really answer those questions, but they do raise them. Congress should first dive into what Strzok had in mind for an “insurance policy,” and determine whether Mueller may have had his investigation fatally compromised by a political operation within the FBI.

Update: A number of people wonder whether Strzok could have been referring to the Steele dossier. It’s certainly possible, as it would have been known to the FBI by this point. The question would be whether Strzok knew about it from an independent investigation, or because the Hillary Clinton campaign had fed it to him. That’s a question Congress should ask the FBI immediately.

Update: Andrew is rethinking his position in light of these messages:

Obviously, this is not political banter. Clearly indicates professional duties infected by political viewpoints, which is disqualifying. I was going on the published accounts I'd seen, which didn't include this one. Should follow my own advice to wait til all facts in. https://t.co/fXk7GPnk5U

— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) December 13, 2017

It at least suggests that high ranking officials at the FBI planned to use their power to counter the results of an election. That’s worth a very thorough look.

The post Mueller investigators’ text messages in 2017 mull “insurance policy” in case of Trump victory appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Rodman: Trump and Kim Jong Un Are Basically the Same People

Townhall.com - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 09:53
Dennis Rodman had an unusual take on President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, telling AFP that he thinks theyre both pretty much the same people. This coming from a man who, also uniquely, calls both men friends.
Categories: Conservative News

Another ICE sweep nets illegals in triple digits, this time in New Jersey

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 09:21

It’s not as if President Trump and the Attorney General haven’t been telegraphing their punches when it comes to questions of illegal immigration. But all the warnings in the world don’t seem to be helping illegal aliens – particularly those who have run into additional trouble with the law – avoid capture and deportation in record numbers. That happened again this week as ICE pulled off another highly successful operation in the Garden State. New Jersey residents now have more than one hundred fewer illegal aliens roaming around, most of them with serious criminal records.

The Free Beacon picked up the story yesterday following an agency press conference. This was nothing but an unmitigated success.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced Tuesday the arrest of 101 illegal immigrants, targeting criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration violators, and including immigrants convicted of drug- and child-pornography-related offenses.

The arrests were the product of a five-day operation in New Jersey, spearheaded by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). Among those arrested, 88 percent were convicted criminals, and 80 percent had prior felony convictions.

ICE put out their own press release with the full details of those who are soon to be either leaving for home or heading to prison, and they include plenty of gang members.

These individuals were arrested in the following counties in New Jersey: Atlantic (2), Bergen (6), Burlington (7), Camden (11), Cumberland (3), Essex (14), Hudson (15), Mercer (6), Middlesex (11), Monmouth (3), Morris (1), Passaic (9), Somerset (4), and Union (6) and the following counties in New York: Kings(1), New York (1), and Suffolk (1). They range from age 20 to 71 years old and all were previously convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of the convictions included sexual assault on a minor, child abuse, possession of narcotics, distribution of narcotics, robbery, trespassing, DUI, fraud, possession of child pornography, domestic violence, battery, receiving stolen property, theft, possession of a weapon, burglary, larceny, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on law enforcement, assault by auto, shoplifting, invasion of privacy-recording sexual act without consent, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, and illegal reentry.

Rape, assault, drug dealing, child pornography… they really ran the full gamut. Other operations taking place at the same time, particularly in Baltimore, targeted members of MS-13 and other gangs, removing drugs and illegal weapons from circulation. During comments delivered in Charm City, Jeff Sessions reminded everyone that sanctuary city policies were making law abiding citizens less safe and making it more dangerous for immigration officials to do their jobs. But that wasn’t going to slow them down.

There was also a less than subtle reminder that even illegal aliens who haven’t been convicted of any additional crimes would not be “safe” from detention and deportation if they were caught up in a sweep. We’ve arrested more than 300,000 illegal aliens just in 2017 and enforcement efforts are only going to increase if new funding requests for ICE and the Border Patrol are approved.

With so much dismal news eating up the front pages these days, it’s nice to see some positive progress on at least one front.

The post Another ICE sweep nets illegals in triple digits, this time in New Jersey appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Trump on Moore: I told you so

HotAir - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:41

Give Donald Trump credit for being right … for a while, anyway, before being wrong twice. Trump ended up jumping onto the Roy Moore bandwagon when Moore beat Trump’s preferred candidate Luther Strange, and again when Trump decided that multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were “fake news.” But prior to that, Trump had endorsed Strange over Moore largely over electability concerns, which Trump points out this morning:

The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!

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

“The deck” in this case was Roy Moore himself. He didn’t lose by much, and the Washington Post exposé of his alleged predatory behavior was clearly the main factor behind the loss. However, Moore’s campaign kept shooting itself in the foot even apart from the scandal. Their media surrogates ineptly created controversies where unnecessary, such as Janet Porter’s interview with now-pregnant Poppy Harlow in which she warned the CNN host that Doug Jones wanted to abort her baby.

Another example came yesterday as polls were still open. Jake Tapper interviewed Ted Crockett, who defended Moore’s earlier contention that Muslims should be barred from office — an assertion from which Moore had retreated. Crockett argues that one has to be able to swear on a Bible to take an oath of office, and literally sat slack-jawed when Tapper explained that one can choose a preferred religious text for the oath:

Video: The end of this @JakeTapper-Moore Campaign spox interview featured the claim that Moore still believes homosexuality is a sin and didn't know you could be sworn in on something other than a Bible. Unreal #ALSen pic.twitter.com/3XwBYw7pG4

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 12, 2017

In fact, one does not even need to take an oath on a religious text at all. Some people by the nature of their faith are barred from offering oaths and can choose to “affirm” instead.  That provision explicitly exists in the Constitution for the president in Article II, Section 1. The use of a Bible is tradition, not requirement. (The Constitution also bars religious tests for office, which both Moore and his spokesman overlooked.)

One might have thought that an official campaign surrogate would have read the Constitution once or twice in his lifetime before taking up this job. Crockett and Porter demonstrate the quality of the campaign, which was incompetent enough to leave open the question of whether Moore might have been able to win even with the scandal had he surrounded himself with better people.

Trump offered a fairly gracious welcome to Jones, or at least what passes for one these days:

Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!

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

But make no mistake about it — Trump does not like to lose, and he especially detests being blamed for it. The people who pushed him into that position worry they will pay for it, NBC reports this morning, and the White House is already bracing for the storm to come:

Another White House official acknowledged the obvious — that the apparent win by Jones, a Democrat, is “not good” — but said the lesson is that candidates matter. Republicans can’t just ride the anti-establishment sentiment to victory no matter what, this person argued, noting the need for “quality candidates.”

Some allies of Trump are now grumbling more loudly about political director Bill Stepien’s future, with one person close to the president describing the political operation as a “disaster” and blaming a lack of leadership.

That, coupled with the Democratic wins in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey last month, has raised concerns — with another source close to the administration suggesting the political director and team should be “hanging their head once again.”

One source told NBC that Trump took the loss in stride, however:

One official told NBC News that Trump isn’t blaming anyone for what happened Tuesday night — including Steve Bannon, who campaigned aggressively for Moore — but says the situation with Moore, who faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, which he denied, simply became “untenable.” The official added that the president feels disappointed the seat won’t go to a Republican, but also feels a sense of relief that the campaign is over.

If Trump lets this slide, it would be the first time that’s happened. Trump will come under withering criticism for his waffling on Moore in the general election, and his tweet this morning is a clear sign that he wants to pre-empt that criticism. The more criticism he gets, the more Trump will want to distance himself from it by laying it off on others. And Bannon is the perfect scapegoat for it: he’s out of the White House already, and he’s actually responsible for Moore’s primary win against Trump’s endorsed candidate.

The post Trump on Moore: I told you so appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

AT&T Lures Public Servants to Payroll in Drive for SOS Network

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:24
James Varney, RCI
Former FBI official Harlin McEwen won praise all around for his four years as an unpaid volunteer spearheading the planning for a new, nationwide emergency first-responders network. Not only...
Categories: Conservative News

How the GOP Can Retain the Working Class

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:23
Charles McElwee, American Conservative
Donald Trump's election shows this political courtship is real. But it will only continue if Republicans respond in kind.
Categories: Conservative News

Why Mitt Romney Should Take On Hatch and Bannon in Utah

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:23
A.B. Stoddard, RCP
Judge Roy Moore's defeat in the Alabama Senate race won’t stop Steve Bannon. He doesn't care about being discredited; he cares only about destruction. Nihilists can’t be chastened -- Bannon's "war" continues.
Categories: Conservative News

Nikki Haley in the Crosshairs?

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:23
Abigail Tracy, Vanity Fair
In an administration where White House officials regularly employ rhetorical jiujitsu to defend the president, Nikki Haley’s blunt response to a question about Donald Trump’s conduct toward women was an extraordinary rebuke. “Women who accuse anyone should be heard,” the United Nations ambassador told CBS’s John Dickerson Sunday on Face the Nation, referring to the multiple women who have accused the president of sexual harassment or assault. “And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt...
Categories: Conservative News

One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:22
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
By now there are simply too many coincidental conflicts of interest and improper investigatory behavior to continue to give the Mueller investigation the benefit of doubt ...
Categories: Conservative News

Attacks on Mueller Are Misguided and Dangerous

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:22
Randall Eliason, Washington Post
When I worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington in the 1990s, I was part of the team pursuing the corruption prosecution of Illinois Rep. Dan Rostenkowski. Rostenkowski was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill and a key political ally in advancing President Bill Clinton’s legislative agenda.
Categories: Conservative News

Fusion GPS at the Center of the Russia Collusion Hoax

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:21
Lee Smith, The Federalist
Did the Washington Post omit significant information about the people behind both the Russian dossier and the Clinton campaign's opposition research?
Categories: Conservative News

Liberals' Sexual Harassment Crusade Cloaks a Divisive Bent

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:21
Kim Holmes, RCP
American liberals appear finally to be facing down sexual harassment in their own ranks. The awakening has led some to conclude that feminism and American liberalism in general may be turning a corner. Younger people, particularly younger women, are no longer willing to play Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem’s game of covering for sexual predators in liberal ranks. Could it be that liberals are waking up to the divisive and destructive nature of identity politics, which, after all, is the ideological centerpiece of American liberalism?
Categories: Conservative News

Trump Gets Into the Gutter With Gillibrand Tweet

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:21
Jill Filipovic, CNN
This is what the American President does when he feels threatened by a woman, like the NY Senator who said he should resign over sexual harassment accusations: He lashes out, in sexualized and misogynist terms--and other Republicans abet him, writes Jill Filipovic.
Categories: Conservative News

Voters Will Remember Republicans Who Made Tax Mess

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:21
David Ignatius, Wash Post
WASHINGTON -- Of all the follies of 2017, the most tawdry may be the GOP's headlong rush to pass a tax bill that even its proponents don't understand. What's especially sad is that otherwise sensible Republicans seem to be capitulating to the tax-cut frenzy.
Categories: Conservative News

Tax Bill Is Christmas Present Americans Have Been Waiting For

Real Clear Politics - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:21
Alfredo Ortiz, RCP
Pending tax cut legislation will eliminate the federal income tax burden on the average American family earning $59,000 a year. It will halve the tax bill for the average family earning $75,000. And it will allow the overwhelming majority of small businesses to protect nearly one-quarter of their income from taxes.
Categories: Conservative News
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