Friday, November 30, 2018
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered his thoughts on who should replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an interview with Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House.
“I think your cabinet needs to have people in it who agree with you,” Paul said when asked if he was happy about Sessions’ departure. “I think for a long time Jeff Sessions hasn’t really been working for what the president would like him to do.”
“I also think that there are some big reforms that we need of our justice and our intelligence agencies, and I think justice can be part of that,”
Paul added. “What they’ve done to the president has been very unfair with going after his campaign, trying to entrap people.”
Paul then referenced the deep state, as he believes they are the ones targeting members of the Trump Administration.
“This whole thing [of going after Trump’s campaign], I think, was set up by people in the intelligence community. Some call it the deep state. Yes, these are people that are there forever and they care more about power and their power than they do about anybody’s individual rights.”
“What I’ve been encouraging the president is that he needs somebody to be attorney general who actually recognizes what they did to President Trump was wrong,” Paul explained.
Sessions has a steady past of opposing criminal justice reform. During his time as a United States senator, Sessions fought against the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. As attorney general, Sessions was unmoveable when it came to low-level drug offense reform, for which he was often criticized.
Friday, November 9, 2018
When a mob of left-wing antifa activists descended Wednesday night on Fox News personality Tucker Carlson’s D.C. home, it signaled a new phase in the political violence and angry confrontations that now are targeting the news media.
Political violence has been rising in the U.S. since 2012, according to the Global Terrorism Database. Increasingly aggressive activists have pushed political confrontation to the limit since 2016, accosting Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials in restaurants and in the halls of Congress. And now they’re going after conservative journalists at their homes.
“Tucker Carlson, we will fight. We know where you sleep at night!” the activists allied with antifa chanted outside Mr. Carlson’s home.
Antifa is short of anti-fascist, though the group has anarchist leanings and targets anyone perceived as not in step with a far-left agenda.
“Here’s the problem. I have four children,” Mr. Carlson, whose wife was home alone during the disturbance, told Fox News. “I never thought twice about leaving them home alone, but this is the reaction because this group doesn’t like my TV show.”
On Capitol Hill, the overheated political debate has lawmakers increasingly working under a threat of violence.
Capitol police say they saw a surge in protective details assigned to lawmakers earlier in the fall, when senators were facing hallway protests during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Security details were assigned to at least two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
Security details typically are assigned only to members of leadership.
Senators have mostly been away from Washington since the Kavanaugh confirmation, and it’s not clear whether enhanced security will still be the norm.
About 2,000 threatening incidents and communications were made against members of Congress last year, according to the House Sergeant at Arms office. That’s nearly double the 902 threatening incidents and communications in 2016.
Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Maleki refused to divulge the numbers so far for 2018.
“Our responsibilities include consulting with member offices on security-related matters. However, we do not comment on these consultations, provide data on the number of threat investigations, or discuss how we carry out our protective responsibilities for Congress,” she said in a statement to The Washington Times.
The threats have extended to anyone entering the political arena.
California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford is still receiving death threats and has been unable to return to work more than a month after she testified to Congress against Justice Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings, according to her legal team.
The threats started when she accused Justice Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago when the two were at high school party. The allegations were never corroborated, but her testimony nearly derailed his confirmation.
Former IRS official Lois G. Lerner told a federal judge this month that she is still getting threats stemming from her role in the tea party targeting scandal of five years ago.
She has been locked in a long legal battle trying to permanently seal her old testimony about the targeting, saying she expects a new surge of threats if her actions became publicly known.
“We are seeing more violent events recently as there seems to be a retreat from basic democratic norms,” said American University professor Joseph Young, a scholar of terrorism and political violence.
He said President Trump’s attacks on the press and reluctance to denounce violence on the right doesn’t help but isn’t the main cause.
“Some extremists do not see the value of dialogue or compromise and are concerned with the speed of change. Most importantly, when core values seem under threat, these individuals are using violence in what they perceive as a defensive action,” he said. “ISIS-inspired actors always cite their actions as defensive. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter felt that his race and people were under threat. Whether this is true or not, I think these beliefs are motivating people to violent action.”
The threats, confrontation and violence come from extremists on the left and the right.
Cesar Sayoc, a crazed supporter of Mr. Trump, is charged with sending at least 16 pipe bomb packages to people viewed as enemies of the president, including high-profile Democrats Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama and commentators at CNN.
Left-wing activist James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on a congressional Republican softball practice in June 2017, almost killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
Also shot were House aide Zack Barth, lobbyist Matt Mika and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, who was assigned to protect Mr. Scalise.
D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident at Mr. Carlson’s home, during which the demonstrators allegedly damaged the front door.
It wasn’t the first time the group went after a journalist. But they usually attack reporters covering demonstrations, such as when they hurled eggs and water bottles at D.C. police and journalists during a counter-protest against the “Unite the Right 2” rally in August.
A year earlier, the first “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters. A man involved with white supremacy was charged with driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Last night, Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, lost his race to incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, 56 percent to 43 percent. Jealous would have been Maryland’s first African-American governor and was running on one of the most left-wing policy platforms in the country,Sorry Progressives, but it wasn't a lack of money that sank Ben Jealous, it was his Medicare for All, $15 Minimum Wage economic policies that would bankrupt the middle class and that only a foolish minimum wage earning worker believes would work.
Although polls had been showing Hogan with a significant lead for months, progressives hoped a strong blue wave on Election Day could bring about a major upset. After all, Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 ratio in Maryland.
But Jealous didn’t lose because he ran on issues like “Medicare for All,” a $15 minimum wage, and legalizing marijuana. In fact, voters in Maryland largely agree with Jealous on his signature policy issues. A Goucher College survey released in mid-September found that 54 percent of Maryland residents hold a favorable opinion on “Medicare for All” or single-payer health care, with 33 percent holding an unfavorable view. Support for other key parts of Jealous’s plan polled even higher. Seventy-one percent of Marylanders support raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour, with just a quarter of residents against it. This was actually a substantial jump from February, when Goucher found 66 percent of Marylanders supported the $15 minimum wage. On legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 62 percent of Maryland residents support it, with just one-third opposed.
A Hobbled Campaign
The primary reason Jealous lost is that his campaign couldn’t pull in the necessary funds to compete effectively. Despite winning 22 out of 24 counties in the state’s crowded Democratic primary, the Jealous campaign’s own internal polling revealed that as of July, one-third of Maryland voters, and one-quarter of the state’s Democratic voters, did not know who Jealous was. He had never run for office before, but had earned the teachers union’s endorsement in the primary, which many believe helped secure him his June victory.
Meanwhile, Hogan started out with a big fundraising advantage and a high approval rating. Although Jealous assumed he could turn things around after Labor Day, by then it was too late to change the narrative.
At the end of August, Hogan had $9.4 million to spend for his re-election campaign, compared to Jealous’s mere $385,000. And the gap never closed. In the final two weeks of the campaign, Hogan had almost 12 times more cash than Jealous, or $3.3 million to the Democrat’s $275,000. Few people wanted to donate to a race that seemed uncompetitive, which in turn made it even less competitive as the weeks went on.
While Hogan’s campaign and the Republican Governors Association have blasted negative ads against Jealous nonstop since July, Jealous’s campaign didn’t run its first TV ad until mid-September, and the Democratic Governors Association didn’t run their first ad against Hogan until late October. Jealous couldn’t afford to compete on television, or even really through mailers.
The Jealous campaign understood that it needed to invest more in on-the-ground organizing to make up for the complacency that gripped Democrats in 2014, when Hogan eked out his upset victory. So this year, 70 Democratic organizers were hired to work across the state, compared to 15 field organizers for the state’s Democrat-coordinated campaign in 2014.
But even Jealous supporters noted that his campaign was making it difficult to rally support for his team. On his campaign website, there was nowhere for supporters to order lawn signs, bumper stickers, or other paraphernalia to demonstrate support — unlike on Hogan’s website, where such ordinary purchases were made prominently visible and available. Supporters had to ask around to learn that they had to show up in person at a campaign office to get any swag. That information wasn’t even available on the website.
And while Democratic candidates across the country have been leaning on new media platforms like viral two-minute online-only campaign ads, the Jealous campaign relied predominantly on awkward and less popular tools like Facebook Live.
Lack of Endorsements
The Washington Post has been writing favorably about Hogan for years, so much so that a reader wrote a letter to the editor in June asking, “Seriously, has Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) changed his name? Apparently so, at least according to The Post. In nearly every reference to the governor, The Post’s writers insist on referencing him with a new first name of ‘popular,’ as in the popular Maryland governor.”
As a result, it was unsurprising when the Washington Post gave its endorsement to Hogan, praising him for having the “agility and sense to govern as a moderate — that disappearing breed of American politician.” The Post dismissed Jealous’s plans as mostly “politically unrealistic” and “unwise.” But more staggering was the Baltimore Sun, which endorsed Jealous in the primary but endorsed Hogan in the general election, despite literally acknowledging in its own endorsement that Hogan’s “actions in office have too often treated [Baltimore] as an afterthought, if not with outright contempt.” (Hogan’s decision to cancel the Red Line light rail, a project that had been in the works for a decade and to which the federal government was going to contribute $900 million, was a disastrously cruel move for the long-neglected city.)
Outside Maryland, the national press was also largely uninterested in Jealous’s general election challenge, especially when compared to the attention paid to Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, black candidates running to be Georgia’s and Florida’s first African-American governors, respectively. The Maryland race was deemed uncompetitive, and thus less exciting to cover.
During the primary, most of Maryland’s Democratic establishment lined up behind Rushern Baker, the outgoing county executive in Prince George’s County. (Kevin Kamenetz, the county executive for Baltimore County was also a frontrunner, and had raised more money than other candidates in the primary, but he died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest six weeks before the election.)
After Jealous won, several dozen Maryland Democrats announced their support for Hogan, though most were older white men who hadn’t served in office for years. Others had received political appointments from the governor, or had records of supporting Republican candidates in the past.
Jealous did end up securing endorsements from the Democratic Party’s current elected officials, but some were much slower to voice their support, and many remained muted in their enthusiasm. The long-serving state Senate president, Mike Miller, was a prime example. He was guarded in his support for Jealous, while being enthusiastic in his praise for Hogan’s work. Ike Leggett, the outgoing executive of affluent Montgomery County, at first withheld his endorsement of Jealous over tax issues that he said would hurt his wealthy constituents. When he finally did endorse Jealous in in mid-October, he did so in the world’s most half-hearted way. When the Washington Post asked him if Jealous would be a better governor than Hogan, Leggett declined to say yes. “That’s a good question,” he said. “I’m simply for the Democratic nominee.” About 45 percent of Montgomery County ended up voting for Hogan.
It’s unlikely that vocal enthusiasm from Leggett and Miller could have really changed Jealous’s fundraising numbers in a substantial way, but they certainly didn’t help.
Jealous also tamped down enthusiasm from some otherwise natural allies. Despite running on one of the most progressive platforms in the country, he didn’t even try to court some of the newly established Democratic Socialists of America chapters or get their endorsements. He also upset a lot of leftists over the summer, when he disavowed socialism in a way that not even Barack Obama did during the eight years he was blasted for being on the left. After Hogan called Jealous a “far-left socialist” in an interview, a different reporter followed up by asking Jealous if he identified as a socialist. Jealous responded, “Are you fucking kidding me?” The Republican Governors Association funded a TV ad this summer that featured Jealous saying, “Go ahead, call me a socialist,” cutting off the rest of his sentence, in which he went on to say, “It doesn’t change the fact that I’m a venture capitalist.” The Jealous campaign demanded that local stations pull the ad for being false and too misleading.
Larry Hogan Was a Better Campaigner
Hogan’s schtick of acting moderate was largely successful, in part due to the light press coverage his administration has received over the past four years. Over the summer, for example, he earned glowing national headlines by recalling Maryland’s four National Guard troops from the southern U.S. border — thus appearing to be someone willing to stand up to Trump and his family separation policy — but his actual record on immigration was far more hostile and overlooked. Hogan also moved to the left when he felt he needed to politically: In July, he announced a new student debt relief plan and announced he would no longer take donations or an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. In 2014, he took the gun lobby’s money and endorsement, and also received an A- rating.
It also helped that while Maryland voters are generally Democratic, they’re not always very progressive. Fifty-six percent of Marylanders think their state taxes are “too high,” and Hogan spent the bulk of his campaign emphasizing that he’d continue to cut taxes and that Jealous would significantly raise them. While the Jealous campaign was banking on major turnout in the city of Baltimore to push him over the edge, in the end, nearly one-third of Baltimore went for Hogan, up from 22 percent in 2014.
In the Maryland legislature, however, Democrats maintained their veto-proof majority. Republicans had targeted eight Democratic seats and hoped to flip five, but failed. Baltimore’s three largest suburban counties will now also be led by Democrats, with Anne Arundel and Howard counties flipping blue.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Maryland Republican Party concedes that get-out-the-vote mailing depicting liberal protesters was 'inartful'Apologies are unnecessary. Only a Liberal could find the ugly truth of Democrat tactical unseemliness through public protests "insulting". Inartful politics is what a Democrat protest represents in an enlightened society.
The Maryland Republican Party conceded Friday that a flyer it mailed to urge conservatives to vote and depicting apparently liberal protesters was an “inartful” way to get its message out.
The mailing — publicized Friday by the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous — shows a crowd milling about on one side, with a woman wearing an American flag over her face and flashing a peace sign on the other.
“Pay attention conservatives! Liberals like these will be voting,” it reads. “Will you be voting this year? These folks definitely will.”
The week-old flyer was distributed as some Republicans nationally have claimed Democratic victories in next month’s election will open the door to a kind of mob rule.
Patrick O’Keefe, a spokesman for the Maryland Republican Party, said the mailer was meant to echo Democrats’ own language about high turnout among their supporters.
“The mailing concedes only what Democrats have been saying themselves for two years, which is their voters are going to turn out in high numbers,” he said. “In retrospect, this was an inartful way to do that.”
Jealous said in a statement that the images appeared to be drawn from the international women’s march protests, held a day after the 2017 inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump, and said they crossed “clear lines of decency.”
“This is dangerous and sends the wrong signal about how society should respond to women peacefully demonstrating against a president who regularly demeans them,” Jealous said.
Jealous is running against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Early voting is underway in Maryland through Nov. 1, while Election Day is Nov. 6.