The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

    Excerpt:

    With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

    North Alabama has spoken.
    When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

    Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

  • On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

    Excerpt:

    Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

    Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

    Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

5 hours ago

7 Things: Trump backtracks on trusting Putin, election results, new permanent tax cuts, and more …

(Wikicommons)

1. President Donald Trump backtracks and tells an absurd lie 

— After stating he believes Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence officials, President Trump backtracked. He received intense criticism from within his own party, from Democrats and from a deranged media.

— In a statement read by the president of the United States, and believed by no one, he states, “The sentence should’ve been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.'”

2. And the winners are…

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— Attorney General Steve Marshall crushes former AG Troy King in a race that wasn’t even close.  Marshall will face former Democrat AG and Governor’s son Joseph Siegelman.

— State Rep. Will Ainsworth squeaks by in the Lt. Gov. race, barely beating the more well-known candidate Twinkle Cavanaugh to be the odds-on on favorite to win the job in November. (Quick: Who is the Democrat candidate for Lt. Gov.?)

3. New tax cuts

— A second round of tax cuts, and a move to make the tax cuts permanent, are being discussed by the White House and Congressional Republicans. The fact they expired was a major part of the complaints by Democrats on the issue.

— Democrats, who still don’t want tax cuts, have filed a frivolous lawsuit with the federal government because blue states taxes are so high and the 1st round of tax cuts capped deductions on state taxes that could be deducted.

4. Toyota CEO continues to sound the alarm on Trump’s tariffs and how they will impact Alabama

— Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama President wrote that a 25% tariff on foreign automobiles will have a devastating impact on manufacturing.

— This is exactly the argument Kay Ivey made earlier this summer when she said, “Import tariffs, and any retaliatory tariffs on American made goods, will harm Alabama, the companies that have invested billions of dollars in our state, and the thousands of households, which are dependent upon those companies for a good-paying job.”

5. After a hate-love relationship with Trump, Congresswoman Martha Roby survives in Alabama’s only real contested Congressional race

— Roby absolutely destroyed former Democrat turned Republican Bobby Bright. Bright was possibly the worst GOP primary candidate if the goal is to point out the divisions in the GOP because he has a vote for Nancy Pelosi on his resume.

— The “can she overcome talking bad about Trump?” narrative should die — it will not.

6. More details emerge about Governor Bentley’s past and present with Rebekah Caldwell Mason

— Bentley continues to deny the affair with his former aide was sexual, which really stretches the bounds of believability.

— The former governor’s love-interest is apparently still working with Bentley at his dermatology office in Tuscaloosa. She is not listed in the staff section of the website.

7. There is a silly notion working its way through the media and Democrats that anyone upset with Trump’s comments must abandon the GOP

—  A Republican Party county chairman in Ohio resigned on Monday after watching President Donald Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin, calling it a “matter of conscience”

— While this continues to be a theme, many Republicans continue to support the GOP because as I wrote for Yellowhammer yesterday, “The economy matters, the Supreme Court matters, controlling our borders matters”.

23 hours ago

Republicans don’t have to oppose Trump because he refuses to admit Russia meddled and wanted him to win

(CBS News)

Russia meddled in the 2016 election and President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence acknowledges it. Russia wanted Trump to win, Russian President Vladimir Putin even admitted it. This does not mean there was collusion, it does not mean the election was stolen, and it doesn’t mean you have to support Hillary Clinton in 2020 or Democrats in 2018. It also doesn’t mean I, nor anyone else, has to second guess our reasoning for voting for Trump in 2016.

My reasoning was the open Supreme Court seat that would become Neal Gorsuch’s and the one that will become Brett Kavanaugh’s. A good friend of mine messaged me last night taunting me about Trump’s performance at the Trump/Putin press conference:

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You know what, it was.

But the game here is quite simple: Putin wanted Trump over Hillary, therefore you shouldn’t have.

The problem with that is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are actually to blame for all the problems that are being brought to bear today, and Trump fails to acknowledge that.

Take this by former Congressman Mike Rogers (not Alabama’s) Tweet as a guide:

Let’s check the timeline…

— Waged continuous & increasingly aggressive cyber attacks against us – 2015(?)-present
— Interfered in our 2016 elections – 2015-2016
— Annexed Crimea – 2014
— Shot down a civilian airliner – 2014
— Supports Assad in Syria – 2013
— Invaded our ally Georgia – 2008
— Murdered opponents in London – 2018

A grand total of one of those events started during Trump’s term.

More interestingly, the media, Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continued to act as if Russia was an ally — or at best a nuisance.

Clinton offered a reset button:

Obama asked for space so he could win an election:

How is it that Trump’s failure to call out Russia’s acts before he was president is ushering in a more powerful Russian Federation, but years of straight-up weakness should have been rewarded with a third-term for team Obama? It makes no sense.

Now, I have been clear, President Trump should acknowledge Russian-meddling, but that meddling does not de-legitimize his win. He needs to acknowledge this, but so do his opponents.

There is more to the world than our relationship with Russia. The economy matters, the Supreme Court matters, controlling our borders matters, and no one can tell you that your choice in 2016 was wrong because Obama failed to do his job.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

1 day ago

7 Things: Trump fumbles Putin summit, some of Alabama’s elected officials react negatively, run-off day is here, and more …

(White House/Pixabay)

1. President Donald Trump confirms everyone’s worst fears about his trip to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin

— Media and Democrats got exactly what they wanted, a president who puts the U.S. and Russia on equal footing and at equal fault for the meddling in the 2016 election.

— Republicans got exactly what they did not want — a president who seems to acquiesce to  Russia, look weak, and gets rebuked by his own party.

2. Trump is obsessed with the idea that he didn’t collude with Russia and can’t see past that to see what actually happened

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— After his meeting with Putin, Trump once again denied collusion with Russia, saying, “The probe is a disaster for our country. It kept us apart.” Mr. Trump said at a press conference following a summit with Mr. Putin, “There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it.”

— Even people Trump has appointed to serve in his administration are telling him that there is a Russian-issue but he can’t just own it, which makes himself look guilty. He continues to be his own worst enemy.

3. Some Alabama lawmakers do not hold back on what Newt Gingrich calls the “most serious mistake” of Trump’s presidency

— Democrat Senator Doug Jones and Congresswoman Terri Sewell both rebuked the president. Jones reminded President Trump that Putin is a “foe,” and Sewell asked, “When will the Republicans that control Congress stand up to Trump?”

— Rep. Bradley Byrne reminded the president that it is OK to talk to Russia, saying, “I applaud President Trump’s decision to start a dialogue with President Putin, and I’m glad he is making it a priority. However, we must remember that Russia is not an ally – economically or militarily.”

4. Election Day is here: Local races, 2 statewide run-offs, and no crossover voting allowed

— Rep. Will Ainsworth spent Monday dragging a boat around the state with a fiberglass tiger. AG candidate and Alabama’s worst attorney Troy King was dragging “heavy hitter” Roger Stone around the state.

— In a more absurd moment for a Congressional race, Alabama Congressman Bobby Bright is getting attention for calling Congresswoman Martha Roby a “poot” sniffer for Trump in a race that has become a contest about who loves Trump more.

5. Gov. Kay Ivey continues to outline the differences between Republicans and Democrats

— Ivey’s press release was right to the point: “The reality is now clear as day — Maddox’s moderate talk doesn’t match his liberal walk. Alabamians won’t be fooled by a smooth talker who won’t stand up to the radical liberals who now run the Democrat party.”

— If the November gubernatorial election comes down to R vs. D, Gov. Ivey knows the R has a huge advantage, so look for her to make that distinction with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.

6. Sending the National Guard to the border is working

— The National Guard’s deployment to the southwest border is being credited with 10,805 “deportable alien arrests,” that is 10,000+ illegals that would have made it in otherwise.

— Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled House decides not to vote to abolish ICE after the point was made that this is a ridiculous piece of political pandering.

7. Former Judge Roy Moore continues to embarrass the state of Alabama by being pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen and endorsing Troy King

— The disgraced judge and failed Senate candidate is still threatening to sue Showtime, CBS, and Cohen if any footage of Moore airs in Cohen’s absurd new TV show that gets political figures to say really stupid things.

— Moore also endorsed Troy King for Attorney General, which is odd given all of King’s gambling conflicts.

2 days ago

7 Things: Run-offs continue to be ugly — Trump and Putin one-on-one — 12 Russians and zero Americans indicted — and more …

(White House/Pixabay)

1. One day left for primaries run-offs across Alabama. AG, Lt. Gov., and AL-02 are most interesting races

— These elections will have very low turnout. 18 percent is the high projection, so if you are reading this, you probably will have a big impact on how these things turn out.

— The ugliness and dishonesty in the two statewide races (Lt. Gov. and AG races) will probably be eclipsed by the midterms and Governor’s race in November.

2. Trump and Putin finally meet after his raucous visits with NATO and the United Kingdom’s Theresa May

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— Trump’s European tour has been a whirlwind with differences between the U.S. and its allies exposed. Trade deal and defense spending took center stage as a U.S. president fought to put the U.S. first.

— No one knows how the Trump-Putin meeting will go, but the media has already declared that Trump lost. The 12 indictments Friday raised the stakes.

3. Irresponsible media outlets took the weekend to imply that the 12 indictments proved Russian collusion — it did the opposite

— The media seized on two parts of this story from Friday: Roger Stone was involved with people he didn’t know were part of the Russian government and Guccifer 2.0/Wikileaks/DCLeaks are involved with the Russian “hacking” of the DNC.

— Rudy Giuliani laid out the proper response from Trump’s perspective. He said the indictments are good news, the Russians did it, no Americans involved, and Trump is innocent.

4. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could be facing impeachment, and probably should be fired

— Apparently, the Trump administration knew these indictments were coming, but the releasing of these indictments on the heels of the Trump-Putin meeting seems like a bad call while the president is overseas.

— Calls for Rosenstein’s impeachment over delays in investigation into FBI agents are gaining steam, but Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) says there is no real reason for it to happen.

5. The beheading of a 13-year-old Alabama girl by a drug cartel in Huntsville goes national and international

— A special-needs Challenger Middle School student was killed by illegal aliens in relation to a drug cartel beef after she saw her grandmother killed.

— The 13-year old’s grandmother apparently double-crossed the cartel and was killed by her boyfriend and ex-boyfriend. Both are in custody.

6. You cannot vote in the GOP runoff if you voted in the Democrat primary, but no one will actually charge you

— Secretary of State John Merrill warned people against voting illegally with a press release saying, “As a result of legislation passed in the 2017 Session of the State Legislature sponsored by Senator Tom Whatley of Auburn and Representative Arnold Mooney of Indian Springs, voters will only be able to cast a ballot for the party that they selected in the June 6th Primary.”

— This does not really matter. We know people are voting illegally and we refuse to have them charged.

7. Illegals are able to vote if they want to — this is undeniable

— Voter ID laws won’t be of much use if illegal voters are still able to register and vote in American elections, which is happening pretty easily. One county in Pennsylvania had 139 illegal voters.

— The only reason we are aware this happens is these individuals self-report as they apply for American citizenship. It’s happening and it’s not being stopped.

5 days ago

Mike Pence endorses Martha Roby in AL-2 congressional GOP runoff

On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence formally endorsed Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) in her runoff contest against former Rep. Bobby Bright for the Republican Party’s nomination.

“President Trump and I support Martha Roby – a strong supporter of tax cuts & President Trump’s pro-growth, America First agenda! Get out Tuesday and support Team Roby,” Pence wrote in a tweet.

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Roby expressed her gratitude for the endorsement from Pence, who she also served in Congress with before Pence became Indiana’s governor.

“I am very grateful to Vice President Pence for his support in my campaign for reelection in Alabama’s Second District,” Roby said in a statement. “I was fortunate to serve with the Vice President in the House, and I am proud to call him a friend. I deeply appreciate his endorsement, and I am eager to continue working with the Administration in the fight for our shared conservative priorities.”

Last month, President Donald Trump formally endorsed the incumbent congresswoman on the heels of being the leading vote-getter in the Republican primary.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

5 days ago

7 Things: FBI agent Strzok gets grilled — Trump continues trying to remake our relationships with Europe — Alabama’s worst lawyer, Troy King, loses again — and more …

View of the U.S. Capitol from Congressman Gary Palmer's dinner celebrating his first day in office (Photo: Yellowhammer)

1. Biased FBI agent Peter Strzok has his day of public testimony, little was learned, but Strzok gave the media what they wanted

— The FBI agent who worked on both the Hillary Clinton and Trump/Russia investigations wouldn’t answer questions about the Russia probe and may be held in contempt. In the past, he said there was “no big there there“.

— Republicans attacked Strzock for his clear conflicts of interests and his role in changing the findings of the Clinton investigation. Democrats applauded him and offered him a Purple Heart.

2. Trump continues tipping over tables in Europe, upsetting his hosts

— Before Trump even stepped on the scene, he did an interview where he stated that a deal with the UK on trade may not be possible if Prime Minister Theresa May stays with the EU.

— Trump’s issues with the EU have bubbled over from his NATO meeting. Trump said, “We have enough difficulty with the European Union. We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading”.

3. Troy King, Alabama’s worst lawyer, loses a case where he tried to stop his political opponent from spending campaign dollars

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— King’s campaign tried a gambit that many have never seen, filing a frivolous court case to keep an opponent from spending campaign dollars against him. He lost (just like he did to me in court)

— The Marshall campaign says they will seek sanctions against Troy King, but that probably won’t happen because the election is Tuesday.

4. Hyundai’s union says Alabama’s plant would close first, which could cost the state 20,000 jobs

— A South Korean labor union warns that their contract states that the company must close foreign plants first before closing plants in Korea.

— The tariffs may never happen, but the AP reports the “Department of Commerce is investigating whether auto imports pose a great enough security threat to impose these tariffs”.

5. Democrats have introduced a bill to abolish ICE that the sponsors will vote against

— The movement to #AbolishICE has the support of the Democrat base and some elected Democrats. Now, there has been a bill proposed to do away with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency because they have become “militarized” and have too much power — “which ICE has used to terrorize our communities.”

— House GOP leaders say they plan to bring a Democratic measure up for a vote. The Democrat sponsors of this bill are now saying they are going to vote “NO” on their own bill, reasoning, “We know Speaker Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt.”

6. Tennessee GOP Congresswoman Diane Black wants to make illegal entry a felony; Alabama GOP Congressman Mo Brooks has signed on and co-sponsored the bill

— Rep. Black is reacting to the overwhelming amount of Democrats, and media, arguing that those who enter the country are only charged with misdemeanors for illegal entry. She offered a bill that would change it to a felony and mandate an E-Verify system.

— Rep. Brooks became the first Alabama Congressman to sign on when he tweeted, “COSPONSORED: has the right idea. Illegal immigration to America is a serious crime and the penalty should match”.

7. The U.S./North Korea Nobel Peace Prize for Trump hits a few speed bumps

— The U.S. declares that North Korea is receiving oil from China and Russia. The Trump administration wants more sanctions, including a ban on oil-product sales to North Korea until 2019.

— Part of the early negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea involved returning American war dead, but North Korean officials did not attend a meeting on this matter.

1 week ago

Yellow stripes, dead armadillos and Alabama’s Doug Jones

(W.Miller/YHN)

Political commentator Jim Hightower wrote a book about politically wishy-washy folks entitled “There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos“.

If you were writing that book in 2018, you might add Alabama Senator Doug Jones to that title, although it would be a bit wordy.

Jones still can’t put together a cognizant argument about what he is looking for in a Supreme Court Justice, not that Trump cares to consult him because Jones was not at his meeting with moderate Democrats Donnelly, Heitkamp and Manchin.

Jones’s silence was deafening on the biggest political issue outside of the Mueller investigation.

Jones appeared on CNN this weekend and said absolutely nothing when asked about the Trump’s Supreme Court choice.

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“I’m open to voting yes. I’m open to voting no.”

Delightful.

Why this matters:

Senator Jones is caught in the middle of the road staring down an orange 18 wheeler with a comb-over.

He knows he is a caretaker senator in the reddest state in the United States of America.

He’s a part of the Democrat Party, but he is not even close to being a part of the #Resistance. There is absolutely no way Jones can win this battle, and he can’t straddle the fence on this one like he did on tax cuts.

Sen. Doug Jones will have to cast a vote on this nominee. He either burns his base by voting “YES” or enrages the majority of the state by voting “NO” on a pro-life judge and against President Trump.

Either way, Jones is probably roadkill.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

1 week ago

VIDEO: Tariffs are starting to impact Alabama — Democrats can’t really stop Trump’s SCOTUS pick — Alabama politicians play politics with immigration, and more on Guerrilla Politics!

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will tariffs hurt Alabama?

— Can Democrats really stop Trump’s Supreme Court pick?

— Are politicians in Alabama using the immigration issue for political purposes?

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) joins Jackson and Burke to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy and immigration policy.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at folks who say “we are all immigrants”, because it’s just not true.

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2 weeks ago

Alabama coal company reopens, names $2.7 million excavator after President Trump for ending ‘war on coal’

An Alabama coal company is crediting President Donald Trump for its reopening after being idle since February 2014.

In a news release, RJR Mining Company, Inc. announced the purchase of a $2.7 million Hitachi 1900 excavator that it named “Trump” in honor of the president’s efforts to end the “war on coal” started by former President Barack Obama

“This will be the largest capital investment we have ever made,” RJR shareholder Randy Johnson said in an attached copy of a letter sent to President Trump. “We will provide more jobs than we ever have. You have restored our confidence, our excitement, and our desire to stay involved.”

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The company, based out of Cullman, said it expects to spend around $900,000 a month to operate what it says will be its largest surface mine to date. The new mine will produce both traditional steam coal and met coal, which are used to make steel.

(Alabama Coal Association)

“We are grateful for President Trump strengthening the economy, creating jobs, and encouraging investment in all sectors, including the coal industry,” said Alabama Coal Association president Patrick Cagle. “We also thank the President for ending the war on coal, but there is still work left to do to keep future administrations from targeting our industry with punitive regulations.”

Letter to President Donald Trump as follows:

2 weeks ago

Roby says constituent feedback on Trump tariffs ‘a mixed bag’; Calls on businesses, individuals to offer ‘specific’ examples of harm

(J Poor/YHN)

SLOCUMB – On Thursday, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) toured several farms within her congressional district with House Agricultural Committee chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas). The tour was capped off with a stop at Andy Sumblin’s cotton farm south of Slocumb in Geneva County just above the Alabama-Florida state line.

Roby’s tour comes as Wiregrass farmers have expressed concerns over President Donald Trump’s trade policy, and as she is facing what some claim to be a difficult Republican runoff contest with Democrat-turned-Republican former Rep. Bobby Bright.

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Conaway indicated Trump’s tough stance on trade could be what is necessary for farmers to gain long-term certainty in agriculture commodities markets plagued by alleged unfair trade practices initiated by China.

Roby didn’t seem to be entirely opposed to the use of tariffs when she told reporters gathered at the Sumblin Farm for the tour stop she still wanted to hear about the full impact of this administration’s actions on trade.

“Clearly in Alabama, the president enjoys very high approval and support,” she said. “And I think my message is that we want our constituents to be letting us know where they are on these different issues – not just agriculture, although we’ve talked about agriculture a lot today. But industry-wide, we want to hear testimonials from our folks. Our jobs in here in Alabama – to what even the conversations – the impact that they’re having as representatives in the people’s house, it’s our job to listen to our constituents and take that message back. So, I am just calling on all of the folks that I represent and the jobs that they represent express to us and give us real stories about how these conversations and negotiations could be impacting for the good or for the bad.”

“We want to hear it all, and that gives us a better understanding of where folks are,” she continued. “But again, we want the president to continue on pushing forward conservative policies that we all agree on. And as lawmakers, we have a shared conservative agenda, and we want to see these things get across the finish line. On the trade and tariff issue, it’s very important that we are hearing from the people that we represent and the impacts that some of these decisions could potentially have.”

Roby told Yellowhammer News that so far reactions have been mixed to the president’s use of tariffs.

“We’re hearing a mixed bag right now,” Roby said. “We’re hearing from folks that they feel like it’s positively impacting and then others that have concerns. So again, the specific of example that an individual or business can give to our office, the better because that’s real life. And we want to know.”

“I’ve had several conversations with constituents just this week about these very things,” she added. “In fact, at a roundtable in Eufaula just the other day, there were differing positions all around the table, and I would say for the most part conservative Republicans. We just need to make sure that we’re listening so that we can take these comments back when we go back to Washington and have conversations with the administration.”

The Trump administration has been under attack by trade groups and politicians within Alabama, mostly because of the potential impact they could have on the state’s flourishing auto manufacturing industry. Sumblin, however, sees the use of tariffs as “unsettling,” but perhaps necessary in the long run.

“As [Conaway] said, it’s unsettling,” he said. “But in the end, I think it is best for us because we already weren’t playing on a level playing field.”

“[It’ll be] maybe improved – I don’t think it’ll ever be level,” Sumblin added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: More protests, a man brings a gun to Huntsville’s ‘Families Belong Together’ gathering, calls to ‘abolish ICE’ grow, and more …

(Wikicommons)

1. A counter-protester pulls a gun at the Huntsville “Families Belong Together” event

— A former school teacher holding an “ICE ICE Baby” sign interrupted the opening prayer at the event with multiple utterances of “WOMP! WOMP!” He was shoved to the ground and then produced a handgun.

— Shane Ryan Sealy was arrested for possessing a gun within 1,000 feet of a protest and charged with misdemeanors of menacing and reckless endangerment.

2. The latest protest, of what has been and will be more, took place this weekend

— With over 700 events across the country, breathless media coverage, and baby dolls in dog crates, American liberals took to the streets to protest the country’s immigration policies, but Americans are not buying in at all.

— Previous marches that warranted non-stop media coverage and praise from the media included the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives, which are really just anti-Trump events.

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3. President Donald Trump tells opponents to “take it easy” as Democrats ramp up rhetoric in an effort to “abolish ICE

— President Trump appeared on Fox News and warned Democrats that the protests, extremist rhetoric, and protesters yelling at Trump Administration officials in public places may be “actually dangerous for the country.”

— At least four Democratic senators and countless other Democrats have called for the end of ICE. A minority of Americans agree with this view.

4. Toffee, the deaf and partially blind puppy, is rescued over the weekend after international hype

—The dog fell into a 50-foot-deep crevice behind a Huntsville home on Thursday. It took almost 30 hours and the assistance of rescuers, firefighters, and plumbers to get him out.

— At midnight, the seven-week-old puppy was pulled out of a hole by a snare and sardines. They had already tried rescuing the dog by lowing a person down, using a rope, with duffle bags, a net, and a crate.

5. Dishonest media and dishonest politicians have completely polluted the conversation about the next Supreme Court justice

— CNN’s Jeffery Toobin blurted out some insane things on social media, tweeting “See the new clearly: Abortion illegal; doctors prosecuted; gay people barred from restaurants, hotels, stores; African-Americans out of elite schools; gun control banned in 50 states; the end of regulatory state.”

— Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins is setting a weird standard for the confirmation. She says, “I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law’, but she knows the nominee will not be answering questions about specific cases and precedents are overturned regularly.

6. Trump’s foreign policy moves on NAFTA, WTO, Russia, and North Korea surprise many

— On the trade front, Trump will not sign a new NAFTA deal until the midterms are over and a leaked draft shows that Trump is prepared to skirt many World Trade Organizations rules.

— Trump’s deal with North Korea may be in question after reports indicate that they may be continuing to make nuclear weapons.

— Trump is preparing to go to Russia and is “going to mention” the meddling in the 2016 election.

7. Rep. Maxine Waters has been receiving death threats after telling people to harass members of the Trump administration

— After canceling events in Alabama and Texas, Waters claimed she has received credible death threats, but remained defiant by challenging those threatening her to “shoot straight” because “there’s nothing like a wounded animal.”

— Waters also called out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who she claimed “will do anything that they think is necessary to protect their leadership“, and continued to call for President Trump’s impeachment.

3 weeks ago

Trump is getting clobbered on the tariff public relations front in Alabama

For some reason this election season, Republicans think the golden ticket to face an underdog Democrat in November’s general elections is to argue to primary voters that you are President Donald Trump’s biggest ally.

From top to bottom, GOP candidates have run commercials touting the Trump bona fides, some with success and others not so much.

It is probably true that Trump remains very popular in Alabama, much higher than in the rest of the country. Off to the side, however, there is grumbling over the president’s trade policy among some principle players in Alabama politics.

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At the very top is Gov. Kay Ivey. Ivey argued in a letter sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier this month that was first reported by Al.com’s William Thornton the state could lose “approximately 4,000 jobs as a result of automotive tariffs.”

That caps off other gestures from Ivey, including remarks she made at a public appearance in Etowah County on Tuesday claiming to have directly communicated her tariff concerns to Vice President Mike Pence, and a statement she issued last week warning of the consequence of the trade policy.

Elsewhere around the state beyond the automotive industry, other alarm bells are sounding over Trump’s trade policy.

Alabama farmers have expressed some concern over the effects they could have on the soybean and peanut prices.

Last week, several local Alabama newspaper heads took to Washington, D.C. and had meetings with members of the state’s congressional delegation to protest tariffs on Canadian newsprint, which has sent ripples through the entire market and forced newsprint prices to increase.

Just as the saying goes that warns against quarreling with “men who buy ink by the barrel,” it is not advisable to quarrel with those that buy newsprint by the roll.

If Trump is indeed popular, why isn’t anyone in Alabama defending his trade policy?

Perhaps Alabama Republican affinity for the president has less to do with policy and more to do with his style.

However, there could be an appealing case to be made for taking an aggressive tack with regards to trade.

Some places in Alabama have been brought to their knees by the coming of globalization in the name of free trade. Former textile mill towns like Monroeville and Alexander City were brutalized by the trend and never recovered.

With the current economic conditions, it’s difficult for these places to reestablish their industrial base. For that reason, Trump’s policies have a broad appeal. It may not be the cure-all, but there is something emotionally appealing to beleaguered Rust Belt-type places for the Trump administration to take on foreign powers that manipulate their currency or artificially depress their wages to gain an unfair advantage.

If China, Mexico, Canada, the European Union or any other nation is levying tariffs on U.S. imports, there’s an impulse to return the favor, and the election of Trump in 2016 was a show some Americans were willing to act on that impulse.

As this has unfolded since inauguration, overall the American economy is doing well. It doesn’t seem to be any one particular thing the Trump administration has done that people can point to and credit. Even before he signed the tax legislation last year, the U.S. economy was trending upward.

For now, it would behoove the Trump administration to defend the policy. Whether one agrees or disagrees with tariffs, there is a case to be made for them.

However, no one is making it.

Rather than showing how this is going to revive the auto industry in Michigan, we’re told how it threatens Alabama and Tennessee. Instead of showing tariffs are going to bring a newsprint paper mill back online, we’re seeing the price of the local newspaper increasing. Soon, you may need a roll of quarters to buy the latest issue from an old-school newspaper machine.

Will this impact the president’s overall popularity in Alabama? Could it give Democrats ammunition to use against their Republican general election opponents that want voters to know about their sycophancies for the president?

Make no mistake about it — there is a perception Trump’s trade policy is terrible for the state – at least that is its portrayal by Alabama’s media.

For now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone offering an opposing view on this issue on Trump’s behalf. Maybe someone should.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

Bradley Byrne: Trump worthy of Nobel Peace Prize if U.S. reaches agreement — Says Obama got prize ‘in his first year of office before he did anything’

(Screenshot / YouTube)

In an interview with Mobile NBC affiliate WPMI 15 on Wednesday, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) addressed the possibility of President Donald Trump being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts regarding North Korea.

Byrne told WPMI’s Jessica Townsend that despite what critics were saying about Trump’s summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump had given up very little, referring to the United States cancelation of military exercises with South Korea.

He also explained if something did go wrong, Trump could pull out of any negotiations.

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As for the possible award of the Nobel Peace Prize, Byrne said if this shows any amount of success, then he should be awarded the prize.

“I think if he pulls this off, he should,” Byrne said. “President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize in his first year of office before he did anything. And here’s President Trump achieving potentially a peace agreement with North Korea after all these years of not being able to get a peace agreement, and also potentially to get an agreement – a firm agreement, to denuclearize the entire Korean peninsula, which is important to everybody in the world. So if he pulls that off, yes I think he does deserve the peace prize from the Nobel Peace Prize people.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 month ago

President Trump: Alterer of scales, especially in Alabama

(Donald Trump/Instagram)

In a little more than three years, a single man has altered the dynamics of Republican politics drastically enough to change the scale by which candidates and voters determine the viability of their potential GOP representatives.

Republicans’ fidelity to conservatism is no longer framed in terms of how conservatively they vote, but by how little they challenge, or have challenged, President Trump.

In March 2015:

– Two months into his role as Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell leads an unofficial but coordinated campaign against President Obama’s energy policies, encouraging states to take the Feds to court over coal-crushing regulations.

– Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs into a law a bill that prevents government from “substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion,” amid debates and lawsuits over same-sex wedding cakes.

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– Republicans’ fidelity to conservatism is judged by how well they combat big government progressivism.

– The words “Donald Trump” and “president” are just starting to be used together with some measure of frequency, as Trump announces his presidential exploratory committee.

In June 2018:

– Republican candidates for office use their loyalty to President Trump as the buttress of their campaigns.

– Headlines following primary elections across the country read: “Proof that Republicans oppose Trump at their peril” and “Alabama congresswoman who disavowed Trump in 2016 forced into runoff.”

The headlines above are about eight-year incumbent Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery), whose failure last week to win the Republican primary outright is attributable to her un-endorsing President Trump following the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape.

Roby wasn’t forced into a runoff because she isn’t conservative enough. Her voting record is as conservative as any member of Republican leadership.

She was forced into a runoff because she didn’t see it fit for the leader of America’s “family values” party to get away with talking about women that way.

Two of Roby’s Republican challengers openly admitted that her withdrawal of support for Trump led them to enter the race and made that a chief argument against Roby’s re-election.

“I think it showed where her mindset was and showed she did not support the Republican nominee,” Rich Hobson told Mike Cason of AL.com before the primary. “And that did open the door for folks to be able to run, and I know it opened the door for me.”

“I was the first in the nation to endorse Trump,” Barry Moore said in an interview on WOPP AM 1290 in Opp. “Our current congressman, she threw him under the bus, so the Trump guys called me that night and said would you at least consider.”

Neither Hobson nor Moore made the runoff, but together they got almost 27 percent of the vote by making few substantial arguments against Roby’s policymaking.

That one individual has been able to make himself the political measuring stick is one of the more lamentable realities in politics currently.

2 months ago

Trump’s budget: $984 billion deficit next year

(White House/Flickr)

When you read the budget message President Donald Trump sent Congress earlier this year, you soon come across a concession that Washington insiders have been making for years — just before they vote for bills they know will massively increase the federal debt.

“The current fiscal path is unsustainable,” Trump said, “and future generations deserve better.”

Trump then asked Congress for a budget that his own Office of Management and Budget estimates will cause the federal government to run a $984 billion deficit in fiscal 2019.

Back in 2009, just before his first inauguration, President Barack Obama — no fiscal conservative — complained that the “deficit levels that (he was) inheriting” were “unsustainable.”

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“At a certain point, other countries stop buying our debt,” Obama told CNN in an interview broadcast on Jan. 18, 2009. “At a certain point, we’d end up having to raise interest rates, and it would end up creating more economic chaos and, potentially, inflation. So, what we need to do is say that, instead of just printing more money, let’s look at medium term and long term. Let’s get a handle on Social Security. Let’s get a handle on Medicare. Let’s eliminate waste in government, where it exists.”

Obama, of course, did not get a handle on deficit spending. He did the opposite. In his eight years as president, he expanded federal entitlement programs — and the debt increased by $9.3 trillion.

In Trump’s budget proposal, as published by OMB, the $984 billion deficit for next year leads to a $987 billion deficit for fiscal 2020 and a $916 billion deficit for fiscal 2021.

In other words, as the Trump White House envisions it, Trump will run annual deficits of more than $900 billion for the rest of the term he was elected to in 2016.

He will do this even though he believes our “current fiscal path is unsustainable.”

But, under Trump’s proposal, the annual deficits, as estimated by his OMB, would eventually drop to as low as $363 billion — 10 years from now in 2028.

This decline in the deficit would happen, in part, because Trump’s budget assumes real GDP will grow at 3 percent or better for seven straight calendar years — from 2018 through 2024.

The last time real GDP grew by 3 percent for one full calendar year was 2005. The last time it grew by 3 percent or better for seven straight years was from 1983 through 1989 — in the Reagan era.

Even with its optimistic economic assumptions, the Trump budget concludes that the cumulative deficit over the decade from 2019 to 2028 will be approximately $7.177 trillion.

This is despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office, in its own analysis of Trump’s budget, credits the president’s proposal with cutting $3.5 trillion in would-be spending over the next decade from the CBO’s current baseline.

“The deficit reduction under the president’s proposals relative to CBO’s baseline would stem largely from lower spending, mostly for nondefense discretionary programs and mandatory health care programs,” said CBO. “Between 2019 and 2028, federal outlays would be $3.5 trillion (or 6.3 percent) below baseline amounts.”

CBO’s analysis, using its own economic assumptions, estimates that the cumulative deficit from 2019 to 2028 will be $9.474 trillion.

But whether the cumulative deficit over the next 10 years ends up being closer to $7.177 trillion or $9.474 trillion, who is going to loan Uncle Sam the cash to cover it?

The largest owner of U.S. Treasury securities today is the Federal Reserve. As of last week, it owned $2.387 trillion.
As of March, entities in China owned another $1.1877 trillion, and entities in Japan owned $1.0435 trillion.
But Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities peaked in November 2013, when it hit $1.3167 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. It has declined about 9.8 percent from that peak.

Japanese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities peaked in November 2014 at $1.2415 trillion. It has declined about 15.9 percent from the peak.

As this column recently noted, Rep. Paul Ryan, who was then the ranking member on the House Budget Committee and who is now the departing speaker of the House, warned 10 years ago that the federal government was heading toward bankruptcy.

“We have a fiscal crisis,” Ryan said then. “If government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century.”

The question for Ryan and his colleagues in the House and Senate now is: Will a Republican-majority House, working with a Republican-majority Senate and a Republican president, fail to put the federal government on a path toward a balanced budget?

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Are GOP hopefuls overplaying the ‘Trump’ card?

(W.Miller from WH/Flickr)

There’s an election primary next week, and many of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination in Alabama want you to know one thing: They like Donald Trump.

If you watch the political TV and radio commercials airing in Alabama’s five major media markets, you will learn these GOP candidates go beyond just supporting our Republican president. They campaigned for him, wore clothes with his emblem on them, displayed his yard signs, attended his rallies and did everything imaginable to make sure Trump and not Hillary Clinton won Alabama’s nine votes in the Electoral College.

And their opponents – maybe they supported Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio — or worse, they abandoned him on the “Access Hollywood” Billy Bush weekend.

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It is clear the conventional wisdom on the streets of Alabama says that going all-in on Donald Trump is how you will win next Tuesday in the Republican primary.

That begs the question – how was this notion invented? Were some consultants in Washington, D.C. spit-balling ideas, and said, “Donald Trump won pretty big there in 2016. He’s almost as popular as the Crimson Tide in that state.”

It is true that Donald Trump won big, and it is likely true that his approval rating within the borders of Alabama is much higher than it is nationwide. But we’re at the point in this primary cycle that if everyone is Donald Trump, then no one is Donald Trump.

People are only going to buy into that notion once or twice at most, right? You can’t expect voters to believe that a vote for candidate x in the gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial, attorney general, U.S. House of Representatives and all the other offices is just like a vote for President Donald J. Trump.

There’s also no evidence this works.

Last year, the hypothesis that the most pro-Trump candidate would win was tested on three occasions in Alabama. In two of those occasions, the Republican U.S. senatorial election runoff, and the U.S. Senate, the Trump-endorsed candidates Luther Strange and Roy Moore lost big. They lost so big that neither is even relevant in Alabama politics anymore.

Obviously, other circumstances led to both Strange and Moore’s defeats in 2017. However, the point is that Donald Trump was not some magic elixir for statewide election success.

It is a bit of an odd phenomenon for Alabama to have local GOP candidates so eager to claim the mantle of the sitting president. It was never the case during the George W. Bush years. Bush remained popular in Alabama throughout his presidency. But candidates were never running with being the most Bush-esque as a centerpiece of their campaign.

In the case of the two Republican presidents before that, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Alabama was going Republican in national elections and Democratic in almost everything else down-ballot. There wasn’t as much of an opportunity to ride the coattails of the incumbent Republican president.

Many of the candidates running as close to Donald Trump as possible will likely have a good showing on Election Day. What you’ll want to watch for is if they keep pounding the Trump drum beyond the July runoffs and up to the general election.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 months ago

Doug Jones says Trump-Kim Jong-un summit cancellation ‘disappointing’ — Warns against ‘improper rhetoric on both sides’

(Doug Jones Campaign/Facebook)

While some Democrats are using the White House’s announcement that the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was canceled as an opportunity to take shots at President Donald Trump, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) is taking the high road.

On Thursday, Alabama’s junior U.S. Senator reacted to Trump’s statement saying it would be “inappropriate” to hold the meeting given the circumstances. Jones told Yellowhammer News the announcement was “disappointing,” but he insisted he was still optimistic about future possibilities.

“I think everyone up here, and I do mean everyone on both sides of the aisle, was very optimistic this summit was going to take place, and that it would be a success,” Jones said during a conference call. “We’ve seen a lot of progress in recent weeks that was encouraging. I had been complimenting Secretary of State Pompeo for his work in this area. And I’ve given the administration a lot of credit for moving in the right direction.”

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“Unfortunately, I’ve also – and I think a lot of people on both sides of the aisle are cautiously optimistic because North Korea has a history, and the history has not been very good, and the history is they have not acted in good faith. Some of the rhetoric that we had seen suggested that was where we were headed. And so it’s disappointing that’s been canceled. I am not surprised given what has happened in the last couple of weeks.”

Jones said he was discouraged Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton invoked what they had called the “Libya model.” Experts have warned that that could be seen as a reference to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Gadhafi had agreed to abandon Libya’s nuclear program. However, years later Gadhafi was overthrown and killed by rebels.

“Having said that, I think there’s been a little bit of improper rhetoric on both sides at this point,” he continued. “I was very disappointed to hear some of the vice president’s comments and comparing the situation and asking people to remember about Libya. And John Bolton did the same thing. I just don’t think those are very helpful. When you’re trying to come to the peace table, and you’re trying to talk to people, trying to get something that is so important – not just to the people of Korea, but important to the world – that we try to get nuclear weapons out of the peninsula of Korea.

He went on to say he was optimistic about the prospects of diplomacy but hopes the United States can avoid going back where it was at the beginning of the Trump administration regarding North Korea.

“So, we’re disappointed, but with this, I’m assuming, and I think I’m correct, that this administration is taking a few steps back,” Jones said. “They’re not going to stop. They’re going to continue to look at this issue. Congress will continue to work with them and continue to look at it so that this situation will hopefully continue to be on a path forward and this doesn’t get us back to where we were a year or so ago when it was just a lot of name-calling and chest-bumping about who is strongest. I don’t think that’s the way to do it. I’m one for diplomacy, try to make diplomacy work, and I think we’ll get back there. I’m very hopeful we will. I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. That’s the way I’m going to look at it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 months ago

No need to mourn defective Iran nuclear deal

(White House)

No need to mourn the Iran nuclear deal. When President Donald Trump pulled the plug on it, after months of warning that the flawed 2015 agreement needed to be ended or mended, he was just taking a defective agreement off life support.

In his speech announcing the renewal of nuclear sanctions on Iran that had been suspended under the deal, the president noted that at the heart of the nuclear agreement “was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program.”

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In fact, the controversial agreement was making things worse. It did a much better job in dismantling sanctions against Iran than it did in dismantling Tehran’s nuclear infrastructure. None of the illicit facilities that the regime covertly built in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty were required to be permanently closed down under the deal.

By allowing Iran to retain its nuclear facilities and rewarding it for cheating, the agreement in effect legitimized Iran as a threshold nuclear state.

Iran also was granted a better deal on uranium enrichment than Washington offered to its own allies. South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates were denied uranium enrichment arrangements.

Incredibly, the Obama administration approved enrichment capabilities for Iran that the Ford Administration had denied to Iran when it was a U.S. ally, before the 1979 revolution.

Moreover, the risky agreement gave Tehran massive sanctions relief up-front, while only requiring it to make temporary and easily reversible concessions that would delay, but not halt its nuclear ambitions.

Key restrictions on uranium enrichment would have been lifted after 10 to 15 years under the deal. Tehran then would have been free to ramp up its enrichment program to an industrial scale and build up its stockpile of enriched uranium, enabling it to make a final sprint to a nuclear breakout.

This is why the president warned: “The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Contrary to the promises of the Obama administration, the nuclear deal did not moderate Iran’s hostile foreign policy. In fact, Tehran stepped up its malign activities in the Middle East since 2015, and the nuclear agreement has made a bad situation worse by boosting Iran’s dictatorship in the economic, military, and geopolitical spheres.

President Trump also warned that: “If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.”

But he was careful to distinguish between the regime and “the long-suffering people of Iran.” whom he assured: “The people of America stand with you.”

This implicit call for regime change was balanced with a willingness to negotiate a new deal with Iran. He ended on a hopeful note after acknowledging that Iran’s leaders had ruled out new nuclear negotiations: “But the fact is they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing and able.”

This was precisely the right message to send. Iran’s repressive rulers know that they stand on shaky ground. They are increasingly unpopular and were targeted by a wave of public protests in January in which they were denounced for their mismanagement of Iran’s faltering economy, widespread corruption and squandering Iran’s resources by meddling in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

Trump’s triggering of economic sanctions now confronts Iran’s regime with a dilemma: if it clings to its nuclear ambitions it risks provoking a renewed popular rebellion against its misplaced priorities, in addition to a possible military confrontation with the United States.

The diplomatic ball is now in Tehran’s court.

But Trump has changed the nature of the game. He is trying to work with the Iranian people to leverage their growing disaffection with their own rulers.

Iran’s rulers can make the situation worse by threatening to crank up their nuclear program, or they can seek a diplomatic solution to their deepening economic and political problems.

Either way, President Trump has indicated he is willing and able to respond.

Jim Phillips is Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

2 months ago

Denying Trump’s accomplishments is increasingly irrational

(White House/Flickr)

Some people still can’t stomach the idea of a Donald Trump presidency and so remain in denial about his mounting policy successes, but their resistance is looking increasingly proud and petty.

It’s risky to predict future trends, especially the political fortunes of government leaders and the results they might achieve, because there are so many moving parts. We’ve seen so much volatility and fluidity, and we have a plethora of unknowns. So I admit that it would be foolish to take for granted that President Trump will continue to rack up remarkable, substantive policy achievements, but it would be just as foolish to deny the significance of his accomplishments already, on a variety of fronts — or to pretend that it wouldn’t have mattered much if Hillary Clinton had won the election.

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 Could we at least acknowledge that a third Obama term via Clinton would have been “A Nightmare on Elm Street”?
To fully appreciate this, we Republicans should admit that even when our party is in office, we often fail to appreciably advance the conservative agenda — and sometimes don’t even temporarily halt the relentless advancement of the progressive agenda, which is virtually on autopilot these days.

There has been a prevailing attitude of deference among garden-variety GOP officeholders that inhibits them from reversing liberal policies, no matter how disastrous they are or how illegally they were implemented. It was in recognition of this institutional cowardice and apathy that Obama ran roughshod over them and the Constitution — knowing that if he signed legislation or implemented executive orders, no matter how unconstitutional, they would most likely remain in perpetuity. Most Republican candidates talk like Ronald Reagan when campaigning but act like feckless centrists in office.

The Trump presidency, so far, has been dramatically different. He has aggressively attacked Obama’s statist achievements and affirmatively promoted conservative policies on multiple fronts — and it’s immensely gratifying to behold.

He is taking action on all the branches of government — the legislative, executive and judicial branches and the unrecognized administrative branch. Considering its unaccountability and its reach, the administrative state might as well be a branch. It is a progressive’s dream because it expands government irrespective of which party is in power.

Until now, it was as if Republicans had resigned themselves to the inevitable expansion of the regulatory state and their powerlessness to curb it, much less reverse it. But refreshingly, Trump, with his newness to politics, has shown that he isn’t paralyzed by such assumptions. He is eradicating regulations at an unprecedented pace and has reversed some of the more egregious Obama power abuses, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s draconian carbon emission standards that he crammed through.

What might have been unthinkable before Trump has become not only thinkable but also doable — and done — and this is true despite grudging criticisms of naysayers, including those on the right.

Some say that Trump doesn’t deserve credit for his accomplishments because his subordinates accomplished them or because they would have happened under any Republican president. And besides, they huff, no matter what successes he’s had, they’re not worth it, considering the alleged damage to the GOP and conservative brands he is doing.

I strongly doubt that many of these accomplishments would have occurred under any Republican president. Many of them wouldn’t have even been tried. And the idea that Trump doesn’t deserve credit for major policy accomplishments occurring under his watch, especially those he promised to implement during the campaign, is ludicrous.

I also reject that he’s damaging the Republican brand. For the most part, he has not promoted a so-called populist agenda as some feared but is gravitating more every day toward mainstream conservatism. Talking about conservatism doesn’t enhance the brand nearly so much as action, and we’re seeing a lot of action.

Let’s look at some of his achievements, acknowledging at the outset that he has been remarkably true to his campaign promises and that had he lost, there is no telling what kind of corruption would have continued undetected by a deep state protected under the impenetrable umbrella of a Clinton presidency.

The economy is robust and growing, with unemployment at 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2000. Manufacturing is up. The promised tax law is producing record revenues, despite cynics’ predictions to the contrary, and it has led to a wave of optimism throughout the business sector and widespread employee wage hikes and bonuses.

Though — regrettably — we have yet to make inroads in congressional spending, at least the ailing defense sector is receiving a needed shot in the arm, the importance of which cannot be overstated in these tumultuous times. Trump continues to rack up foreign policy wins, from North Korea (nukes and hostages) to the Islamic State group to Afghanistan to NATO to Iran (keeping his promise to withdraw from Obama’s disastrous deal) to Israel (recognizing Jerusalem, announcing his plan to move our embassy there and finally treating the country as an ally instead of an enemy). South Korea and Japan have increased their defense budgets. Gloriously, we’ve withdrawn from the Paris climate accord.

His judicial appointments have been stellar across the board. There has been a substantial decline in southern border crossings. The EPA administrator has rescinded scores of regulations. Trump has eliminated prohibition of interstate health insurance sales and has cashiered the Obamacare employer mandate. The FCC is torpedoing the left’s net neutrality agenda.

He approved the Keystone XL pipeline, which was beginning to look more like a pipedream than a pipeline. He rescinded the Arctic drilling ban and the coal mining ban on public lands. He has increased energy production and ended Obama’s abominable war on coal.

He’s made advances on religious liberty and restored the ban on the federal funding of abortion overseas, begun to revamp the space program, and targeted MS-13 gang members for deportation.

You don’t need to idolize President Trump, approve of all his tweets or celebrate his former playboy lifestyle to acknowledge this stunning string of accomplishments. But if you think that America isn’t dramatically better off than under Obama or that things aren’t immensely better than they would have been under Clinton, I’m not sure we’re on the same planet.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

What blue wave? Trump rides the current of increasing GOP turnout

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

President Donald Trump touted the success of the three Republicans who won their state primaries Tuesday night.

Trump sent out a tweet Wednesday morning congratulating voters for selecting candidates “who have a great chance of winning in November” and praised the GOP for tremendous “voter energy and excitement.” The tweet comes after the three primary elections in West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio.

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The president also took a shot at House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi after she said Tuesday she wanted to raise taxes and roll back tax cuts passed by Republicans in December 2017.

Trump only took a public position in one of the three primary elections, telling voters in West Virginia not to vote for the controversial candidate and coal baron Don Blankenship two days before the election.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

2 months ago

Memo to Trump: Defy Mueller

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions.

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify to a grand jury, Trump should defy the court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

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The goal of Mueller’s prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions — to which they already know the answers — any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller’s team has all the answers in advance while Trump must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump’s impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence.

Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge — that Trump’s team colluded with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation.

How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired NSC Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in firing FBI Director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller’s problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump’s lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up, or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: Impeach me and be damned.

Will a new Congress impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would become a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital’s elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it’s looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the “deep state” and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear in the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win — an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Sorry, liberal media, but you own Michelle Wolf

(T. Erin/Flickr)

Michelle Wolf is not the first so-called comic to maliciously insult conservatives and Republicans at a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, but she was intentionally mean-spirited, and even after the blowback, she’s unrepentant.

Members of the liberal mainstream media have expressed disapproval over some of Wolf’s comments, saying she went too far. But I’m not buying it. This is what passes as liberal humor these days. Just watch Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert and tell me their humor is less malevolent.

But hold on, you say. There’s a difference between late-night TV and a formal dinner pregnant with self-important dignitaries of the Washington press corps. Perhaps, but the point is there is a receptive constituency for this kind of bile. The organization had to have known what to expect from Wolf, and she admits she was just being herself that night. “If you’ve seen any of my comedy, you know that I don’t — I’m not (nice),” said Wolf. “I don’t pull punches. I’m not afraid to talk about things.”

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Revealingly, comedian Tina Fey said, “When you invite a comedian into that place, where that tone is set, they’re going to give it to you straight, and I think that’s pretty much what she did.” Whoa! In one line, Fey defends Wolf’s nastiness, confirms that the association should have known what it was getting with her and fixes her stamp of approval on Wolf’s calling White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders a liar.

The unapologetic Wolf, however, denies she was ridiculing Sanders’ looks. But in her indignant denial, she admitted something just as damning: “I think if you listen to the joke, you’ll understand that it’s about the fact that she lies, and if it’s taken another way, I think you should go back and listen to it again.”

Oh, OK, Michelle. You are not a bad guy after all. You only vaguely hinted at Sanders’ appearance, but you admittedly called her a liar outright — right to her face in front of a large crowd present in the room and an exponentially larger one watching on television. Now that’s virtuous. Bless you, you crusader for truth and all that is good and decent.

It is shocking that anyone would think her disparaging slander was funny. But it is not surprising that she would assume that calling Sanders a liar would be well-received or socially acceptable. This is the way far too many leftists think these days. How else do you explain the popularity of their comedians who routinely traffic in this bilge?

Indeed, no one really cares what Wolf thinks. If she had made these remarks in a smoky nightclub, who would know or care? It’s what it says about the left that makes it newsworthy.

Based on my own interactions with people of this mindset, I think many of them are so consumed with their contempt for conservatives — and especially President Donald Trump — they believe that almost anything goes if it advances the cause of denigrating them.

Their thinking seems to be that conservatives and Trump are so evil that ordinary rules of decorum can be suspended to speak “truth to power” — as if they’re not themselves powerful and as if they are speaking truth. (See Tina Fey’s comments, above.) It’s the same thought process driving their rationalization that free speech can be denied to conservatives who express ideas they find repugnant. With every passing year, leftists gain more recruits to serve alongside them as mini-ministers of truth. The level of self-deceit they possess that twists their minds and darkens their sensitivities is alarming, and it’s getting worse.

I assume that many of you will think I am hyperventilating or exaggerating — blowing this way out of proportion and making unwarranted generalities.

I understand you believe that, but I’ve witnessed this growing hostility on the left for years, which leads even mainstream liberals to reflexively brand conservatives as racists, sexists and homophobes simply by virtue of their conservatism. You can’t oppose illegal immigration or criticize Barack Obama on policy without being called a racist. The smear has worked, which I dare say is why such a disproportionate percentage of minorities vote Democratic when Republican policies benefit them more — and why Democrats are losing their minds over Kanye West’s praise of Trump and his assertion that African-Americans should be free to think for themselves and not be pressured into identity groupthink.

I could cite examples all day of liberals condemning conservatives as evil because of their political views and consequently justifying their mistreatment. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, snidely defended Wolf’s remarks, mocking complaints about her tone and civility. He was not alone; all kinds of leftist figures defended Wolf, as you can verify with a quick Google search.

Actor Robert De Niro doubled down on Wolf’s invective, not only defending her but also castigating the White House Correspondents’ Association for distancing itself from her. “Shame on them! Stand up and strap on your balls and deal,” said De Niro. De Niro justified Wolf’s vitriol because Trump and Sanders and company are “liars and bullies.” What did I tell you? Anything goes as long as you’re attacking evil conservatives.

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, hardly an outlier on the left, took to Twitter to chide the media for not defending Wolf, who “was FUNNY.”

Wolf put the elite leftist media in a box when she so openly attacked a woman in public while they were conspicuously present, but this is how far too many of them think, and this is why they invited her to the event and why they invited the equally offensive Wanda Sykes and Stephen Colbert in the past. Please spare us the feigned disapproval, guys. This is what you do.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Sessions: Pardons granted by Bill Clinton were ‘stunning, shocking and unacceptable on the merits’

(DOD)

Democrats, panicked that President Trump might pardon former associates who now find themselves in legal trouble, pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions on that issue at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

“The President of the United States clearly has the constitutional power to pardon,” Sessions said; and the president may do so without going through the Justice Department’s pardon attorney.

“And it’s been done very frequently in history,” Sessions told Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

Van Hollen said he wasn’t disputing the president’s pardon power, but he did want assurances from Sessions that it would be “an inappropriate use of that power” for Presidennt Trump to grant pardons without input from the pardon attorney.

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Van Hollen said in eight years of the Obama administration, he couldn’t think of one pardon that didn’t go through the pardon attorney. “And I don’t think there was a single pardon during the presidency of George W. Bush that did not go through the…Pardon Office,” the senator said.

Sessions reminded Van Hollen that “a number” of pardons granted by President Bill Clinton did not go through the pardon attorney; and some of Clinton’s pardons “were stunning, shocking and unacceptable on the merits,” Sessions said.

President Bill Clinton, on the eve of his departure from the White House, pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich, the ex-husband of a major Clinton donor.

Here’s part of the Van Hollen-Sessions exchange:

Sessions: It’s clearly within the power of the president to execute pardons without the pardon attorney. If you’re doing a lot of pardons and you want to have a lot of cases and you want to have them reviewed by independent force, the pardon attorney provides a real asset through a chief executive before executing a — a pardon.

Van Hollen: Did (Trump’s) pardon of Sheriff Joseph Arpaio go through the pardon attorney office?

Sessions: I don’t believe it did.

Van Hollen: Did (Trump’s) pardon of Scooter Libby go through that office?

Sessions: I don’t believe it did.

Van Hollen: OK. But do you agree with what you said earlier (at a previous congressional hearing), that that is the appropriate course of action for a pardon? I’m not asking you what the president’s authority is. I’m asking you what you think the appropriate course of action is to make sure that the public has confidence in the integrity of the process?

Sessions: There are opportunities that the pardon attorney can be utilized very effectively, and it has been over time. But I don’t think it’s in any way required that any president seek the opinion of a pardon attorney.

Van Hollen: It’s — it’s not a requirement, I’m just — you’re — I’m quoting from a statement you made saying it was abuse of process in a particular case made by President Clinton…

Sessions: Well, I would just say that pardons President Clinton made were stunning, shocking and unacceptable on the merits.

Sessions noted that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was in his 80s and had been convicted of a misdemeanor. “And Mr. Libby is well-known, the circumstances of that case.”

“They contributed greatly to America,” Sessions added.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) also raised the issue of presidential pardons.

“Has the president or anyone in the administration discussed with you the possibility of President Trump pardoning Michael Cohen?” Coons asked Sessions.

“I am not able to reveal the contents of any communications I might have with the president of the United States or his top staff,” Sessions replied.

“Given the previous conversation you had with Senator Van Hollen, it’s my hope that if President Trump proceeded to pardon Michael Cohen in violation of longstanding policy and did not consult with a pardon attorney, did not consult with DOJ, that you would express strong objection to that and would consider resigning if that step were taken,” Coons said. “Hopefully, it would not come to that.”

Michael Cohen, a long-time friend and attorney to Donald Trump, reportedly plans to plead the Fifth Amendment in a civil lawsuit filed by porn star Stormy Daniels. He is also the target of a criminal investigation by the FBI.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

3 months ago

Rev. Graham to Trump: Please help army chaplain being persecuted by LGBT enforcers

(M. Johnson/Flickr)

Evangelical Christian Rev. Franklin Graham called upon President Donald Trump “to do something about” an Army chaplain, who is a Baptist, and who faces “serious punishment” because he refused to allow a lesbian couple to participate in one of his marriage retreats.

“Mr. President, I hope you will be able to do something about this,” said Rev. Graham in an April 18 post on Facebook. “You are the commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

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“Army Chaplain Scott Squires is being punished for doing his job,” said Graham. “He’s facing serious punishment for explaining to a soldier that he couldn’t conduct a marriage retreat that would include same-sex couples–because of his belief in the biblical definition of marriage.”

“A military investigation determined that he should be disciplined for not including this lesbian couple in his retreat,” said the reverend.

Also, attorneys with First Liberty Institute, which is representing Chaplain Squires, said that, Section 533(b) of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) states that the armed forces may not “require a chaplain to perform any rite, ritual, or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain.”

When Chaplain Squires realized that a same-sex couple wanted to participate in his marriage retreat, he explained they could not but he also sought to arrange a retreat for the couple with a chaplain who would allow their participation. However, this apparently was not acceptable to the lesbians and the pro-LGBT enforcers in the Army.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)