Alabama Primary News
July brought us a break from primary elections, but the pause is nearly over and we’re easing back into politics. Yesterday, primary runoff elections were held in Alabama. The race with the most dramatic – some might say “surreal” – twists involved four-term GOP Congressional incumbent Martha Roby. She won only 39% of the vote in the primary, but in the runoff, she crushed challenger Bobby Bright by a 2-1 margin. The back story:
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Alabama voted for Trump by nearly 63% in 2016, and Roby angered her constituents by condemning Trump after the “Access Hollywood” tape release incident. Bright challenged her from the right, claiming he would be a more reliable Trump-supporting conservative, even though he’s a former Democrat who supported Nancy Pelosi when he previously held that seat (he claims the party moved so far left, it left him behind.) Meanwhile, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence overlooked Roby’s earlier criticism and endorsed her, noting that despite their differences, she consistently voted to support his agenda. In her victory speech, Rep. Roby thanked both Trump and Pence.
So to sum up: largely thanks to Trump’s endorsement, a woman who condemned Trump as a sexist beat a former Pelosi-supporting Democrat who blasted her for not being as big a pro-Trump conservative as he is. Or as Trump would sum that up: “WINNING!”
DNC star fading
DNC head Tom Perez might think that the surprise winner of New York’s 14th Congressional District primary, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is the “face of the future” of the Democrats, but every time she opens that face, she sticks her foot in her mouth. Ever since her upset victory over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, she’s become a liberal media darling; but she’s been making a series of statements that have alienated fellow Democrats, earned her the label of “not ready for prime time” and shown her to possess all the deep knowledge one might expect of a 28-year-old, self-proclaimed socialist.
She accused Israel of being Palestinian occupiers, then when pressed to explain, admitted she didn’t know what she was talking about. She’s also wavered on whether Israel has a right to exist. She declared that "unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs” (actually, only one in 20 Americans have two jobs) and "capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world” (this after bragging about her economics degree.) Aside from ending capitalism, she’s also called for abolishing the immigration enforcement agency ICE and called on activists to “occupy” every ICE office and airport (that will go over well with air travelers.) She’s also endorsing fellow far-left challengers over once-safe Democratic incumbents and making powerful enemies along the party elites.
Now one of the elder statesmen has dared to speak out against the new celebrity socialist: former Senator Joe Lieberman has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, warning that Ocasio-Cortez is “more Socialist than Democrat,” that she backs massive spending that would bankrupt America and government takeovers of business that would destroy the economy, and her foreign policy views would be equally disastrous. Plus her election would result in more partisan divisiveness at a time when the parties need to work together and Democrats need to prove that they are capable of compromising and leading. Lieberman is urging voters in that district to vote for Crowley, whose name will still appear on the ballot under the Working Families Party.
Crowley insists he’s not actively running, but he has great name recognition, a formidable war chest, plus he’s not an aggressively ignorant young socialist, so he’s got that going for him. Word is he still hasn’t officially called Ocasio-Cortez to concede and endorse her. He probably thinks he’s being a good soldier. But in this case, he might do more to save the party by fighting their own candidate than by laying down and surrendering.
Of course, if Crowley doesn't want New Yorkers to support him, they could always do something really radical to save America: vote for Republican Anthony Pappas.
Looking back at 2016
The charge that President Trump is a racist can be traced back to the 2016 campaign, when he complained that many illegal entrants to the US were rapists, murderers, drug gangsters and other criminals, and his political opponents and the media trumpeted that far and wide as Trump calling all “immigrants” rapists and murderers. That wasn’t what he said then, and now, Obama-era documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act prove that what he really did say was pretty spot on.
The documents reveal that in fiscal 2014, there were a staggering 24,680 “Significant Incident Reports” filed with the Office of Refugee Resettlement involving “unaccompanied alien children.” These so-called “children” were involved in various crimes, including UAC being raped or assaulted by traffickers or contractors. The worst category involved “unaccompanied alien children” admitting to murder, drug smuggling or being members of the MS-13 gang; threatening others with rape; or molesting or seriously assaulting other UACs or government staffers. The documents show that Trump was right about many “unaccompanied alien children” actually being criminals, rapists and gang members, and that they were allowed to stay here and even continue their crimes while in US custody.
More details are at the link, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for any alleged “fact-checking” websites to revisit their claims that Trump was just being a lying racist in 2016.
A Jackson State University survey of college students found that many would be willing to rein in their binge drinking if they could be convinced that it would improve their grades, health and relationships. Well, students, this is your lucky day! Listen closely: If you stop binge drinking, it WILL improve your grades, health and relationships.
If only someone had thought to tell them this before.
Fun read (and for TDS sufferers, a must-read): Tim Blair of Britain’s Daily Telegraph visited America to talk to Americans. And by “America,” I don’t mean California or New York, but that vast swath of real estate in between; places like Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc. And he discovered something that may come as a shock to news outlets such as CNN and MSNBC.
Outside of the coasts and the DC bubble, Americans are not constantly talking about, debating, and fighting over Trump being President. Amazingly, they hardly even talk about it at all. That’s because – brace yourself – they have better things to talk about! There’s work, family, sports, movies, religion, cars, food, the weather -- virtually anything other than politics. And if you want them to keep tuning out liberals and voting for Trump, then keep on yelling and overreacting and melting down and annoying the heck out of them over everything Trump says.
OUR TOP STORY: Trump misspoke in Helsinki
Yes, Lisa Page had FBI counsel, but actually answered questions!
Last week, it wasn’t clear whether former FBI attorney Lisa Page would even testify, let alone whether her words would back up the spectacularly reality-denying “I’ve-NEVER-let-bias-affect-my-actions” testimony of FBI agent Peter Strzok, described by most news accounts as her ex-lover. But she finally appeared as a witness behind closed doors on Friday and again on Monday. Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki and the media’s inexcusably hellish reaction completely dominated the news cycle Monday and Tuesday, but now that things have calmed down a bit, we can reflect on what Page brings to our understanding of the FBI’s role in investigating 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
On Friday, Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted that the committees had just learned the DOJ had not notified Lisa Page, former legal advisor to former deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe, of the interview requests that Congress had been making FOR SEVEN MONTHS. “The DOJ/FBI appear to be continuing their efforts to keep material facts, and perhaps even witnesses, from Congress.”
It’s hard to know what to make of this, as there have also been accounts of Page actively avoiding contact and dodging subpoenas. If the DOJ/FBI actually failed to notify her of the interview requests, that certainly wouldn’t surprise me, but, wow, it takes stonewalling to an even stonier place.
Of course, we’d all wondered if Page, like Strzok, was going to have FBI lawyers sitting behind her to tell her when to talk and when to clam up. Strzok appears to remain, technically, on the payroll of the FBI –- your tax dollars at work –- while Page is not. Page herself is a lawyer. But sure enough, she reportedly did have at least one FBI attorney seated nearby, though she seemed to be handling things, even to the point of signaling with her hand when she wanted an objection put into the record.
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida challenged the presence of FBI legal counsel in the room with Page. “Lisa is not an FBI employee, but the FBI was here providing counsel and giving her direction as to which qustions to answer or not answer and there is a question as to the propriety of that before the House.”
Though all of her testimony was behind closed doors, Republican members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees say that she was forthcoming and well prepared, a much better witness than Strzok had been. And while I had imagined her sitting through Strzok’s televised hearing taking notes to make sure her testimony was consistent with his, they describe her characterization of the anti-Trump text messages they exchanged as quite different.
Rep. John Ratcliff said she provided information that Strzok “either wouldn’t or couldn’t” about the investigations and “the people involved in running them.” According to ABC News, he said she gave “plausible answers” and “plausible explanations.” And here’s a welcome surprise: “In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to Agent Strzok, who thinks we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.” Rep. Steve King of Iowa agreed, adding that she had “filled in some blanks along the way,” but he described the task before them as putting together “a huge jigsaw puzzle.”
That takes time, and Americans –- the vast majority who are NOT living in an impeachment fantasy –- are aching for all of this to be over. At the same time, we want to see accountability. Author Mark Penn, asked by Maria Bartoromo on FOX Business News if we ever would, expressed frustration about that, and about how little we’re hearing about the work being done by U.S. Attorney John Huber out in Utah. “This investigation is not doing the country any good,” he said, citing the unavoidable stress on the President, with foreign affairs being one critical area affected. “Our foreign policy shouldn’t be made by prosecutors,” he added, saying this issue is standing in the way of peace. Anyone who hasn’t been on the planet Neptune for the past couple of days would have to agree with that.
On the bright side, he thinks we may actually see an end to it soon. “There’s nothing much else here,” he said. In the meantime, the President has got to go calmly about his business and let his legal team handle the investigation.