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New GOP: Country club Republicans with Flakes

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The Arizona Senate primary has become a microcosm for everything that is wrong with the GOP today.

Let’s pause there. What’s funny is that everyone is sure they know what I’m going to say. I’m guessing 40% think it’s going to be one thing. I’m guessing 40% think it’s going to be the opposite. They’re all wrong. The 20% who, like me, actually see what is wrong, are going to enjoy the rest of this article. The 80% will hate it.

This is what the GOP has become: Useless elites who are actually Democrats in all but name, and frothing Trump fans who have no core principles, but instead change with whatever their leader says on any given day.

On the one side of the of the Arizona Republican primary you have Jeff Flake, the junior incumbent Senator who is backed by establishment money. Why? Because he’s not very conservative. He votes for a few bills here and there in the last 2 years of his term to get his “A” ratings from meaningless “conservative” groups. He’s really an open borders, big government, tax and spend (or borrow and spend which is even worse), establishment liberal, just like the senior senator from his state, John McCain.

On the other side you have Dr. Kelli Ward, who previously ran in an unsuccessful bid to unseat McCain last year. During her failed campaign she hitched her wagon to the Trump Train and doesn’t seem to have backed off from that position.

The GOP has always been factionalized, even since the Civil War. It was originally a coalition party formed around a single common principle: abolishing slavery. Well, they got that done early on, and then continued to until the freed slaves and their descendent were given the same rights as all men. Then it was about keeping government limited.

The GOP has been kind of lost since Coolidge.

It’s always been factionalized, but now the factions have descended into two major camps. You have your establishment “Never Trump” types on the one side who love Jeff Flake. You have your Bill Kristols and Rick Wilsons and Rubio Battalions… excuse me, “Reagan Battalions” who think the peons shouldn’t decide things, only the elites should.

Then you have your Trumpers who think Trump can do no wrong, and neither can anyone who supports him. All Dr. Ward has to do to garner the support of the Trump faction of the GOP is praise Trump endlessly. This may seem like a good play, however Trump’s popularity seems to be waning, and his coat tails may not get her the nomination over the incumbent Flake.

Meanwhile, you have a growing number of people who are still fed up with the do-nothing establishment, yet see Trump for what he is, a bloviating con man who never stops campaigning because he has no concept of how to govern. He has done nothing to push forward a full repeal of Obamacare, little on border security and immigration outside of executive orders, and will likely fail on meaningful tax reform.

This is what the GOP has become: Useless elites who are actually Democrats in all but name, and frothing Trump fans who have no core principles, but instead change with whatever their leader says on any given day.

I left the GOP when Trump was elected, knowing that, if he were elected, we were going to see the nightmare we’re seeing now. Many others felt the same as I did. Many felt homeless. Many still do.

Personally, I’ve thrown in with the Federalist Party, because the Grand Old Party is old, but not so grand any more. It’s become a mob scene, and doesn’t truly have any principle behind it anymore. The politicians and most of the pundits who make their living off of the GOP won’t want to accept the fact that the Republican Party is dying, but the sooner the rank and file members do, the sooner we’ll actually be able to stop choosing between the elites and the lunatics.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. renadee

    August 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Yowser, yowser!!

  2. Pinyonist

    August 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    It’s such a joy to see derps play politics. This might be the sorriest excuse for journalism had it not been for CNN. You may want to stick to what you do best sir, if indeed you do anything better than this.

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Culture and Religion

Elizabeth Warren releases DNA proof that she’s at least 1/1024th Native American. Twitter responds appropriately.

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Elizabeth Warren releases DNA proof that shes at least 11024th Native American Twitter responds appr

There’s a strategist in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s ear who thought it was a good idea to release results of a DNA test showing a likelihood that one of her very distant descendants was Native American. The advice taken. The results were predictable.

The test shows she is at most 1/32nd Native American if she is six generations from her Native American ancestor. That’s her best-case scenario. At worst, her ancestor was as far back as ten generations which would make her 1/1024th Native American. To put that into perspective, if she were to honor her heritage by engaging in 1/1024th of a four-hour Native American Sweat, she’d be in and out of the lodge in 14 seconds.

Elizabeth Warren releases results of DNA test on Native American ancesty

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2018/10/15/warren-addresses-native-american-issue/YEUaGzsefB0gPBe2AbmSVO/story.htmlThe inherent imprecision of the six-page DNA analysis could provide fodder for Warren’s critics. If her great-great-great-grandmother was Native American, that puts her at 1/32nd American Indian. But the report includes the possibility that she’s just 1/1024th Native American if the ancestor is 10 generations back.

Undergoing the test and releasing the results reveal how seriously Warren is taking the attacks from Trump, who has been able to effectively caricature and diminish his national foes via nicknames and conspiracy theories. Trump pushed then President Barack Obama into releasing the long form of his birth certificate to prove what most knew was already true: He was born in America.

This publicity stunt was designed to let everyone know she’s serious about running for President in 2020. She wanted to be able to call out President Trump on his promise to give $1,000,000 to charity if she could prove Native American heritage. He won’t pay, of course, which will get plenty of headlines calling him a deal-breaking scoundrel, but was it really if for her to be the focus of even more jokes on social media?

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter. You decide:

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Foreign Affairs

President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

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President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

President Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey claims to have ample evidence that the Saudis murdered Khashoggi at their consulate in Istanbul.

The situation is tense as pressure mounts for actions to be taken against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis fired back with threats of their own if such actions are taken. All of this is happening against a backdrop of increased engagement between Saudi Arabia and the United States as they work to put together a Middle East peace agreement.

Turkey claims to have a recording of Khashoggi’s murder captured on his Apple Watch. They also have the identities of a 15-man “kill team” that was allegedly sent to the consulate to capture and torture Khashoggi. Video shows him going into the consulate with his fiancee remaining outside, but no footage has been released of him leaving the consulate and his fiancee hasn’t seen him since. Turkey claims Saudi Arabia has sufficient surveillance cameras at the consulate that could prove he left, but the Saudis claim the equipment was not recording during his visit.

My Take

The White House is trying to sweep this under the rug. As obtuse as the Saudi government has been for decades, their strategic and economic importance to the United States is great. The last thing the White House wants is to be forced to choose between their close ally and public outcry, most of which is demanding repercussions in light of the alleged evidence.

Turkey has been adamant that their theory is correct.

At some point, we’re going to have to cut ties with Saudi Arabia unless drastic changes are made. Changes are underway, but they seem too slow to compensate for the backwards nature of the country. It’s time to just cut them loose now.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

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It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/10/14/murphys-handling-sexual-assault-allegation-called-into-question/1642517002/His accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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