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Watch for ‘the Moore maneuver’ in 2018 races

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President Donald Trump supports Roy Moore for Senate in the special election scheduled for December. From his Twitter feed, you’d never know he stumped for Luther Strange. Trump’s base, for the most part, supported Moore. Now that Moore has won, they will forgive Trump for backing Strange, which soon will be a forgotten event. There was really no way for Trump to lose in this transaction.

Since it worked, watch for Trump to attempt to replicate this in the 2018 election cycle. Not that it’s going to work all the time. Moore was a very well known figure in Alabama politics, and Strange was a dog with a lot of fleas. But Trump’s man (Moore) will get the Senate seat, and Trump can’t be accused of not trying to support Mitch McConnell’s man. But Trump’s base saw the wink and the nod–whether they were there or not is a matter for debate.

One race where you might see the “Moore maneuver” used is the high-profile campaign of Speaker Paul Ryan versus upstart outsider Paul Nehlen. Nehlen is touted by Breitbart; their headline announced Nehlen’s 2017 campaign by referring to “anti-Trump Ryan.” The “Moore maneuver” will put Steve Bannon on Nehlen’s side, whipping up Trump’s base in Wisconsin, while the candidate himself appeals to liberty and small government. That leaves Trump free to support Speaker Ryan, whom he has criticized sharply in the past, and as the GOP nominee withheld his endorsement for a time (as did Ryan for Trump). Trump also flirted heavily with Nehlen in the 2016 race.

Decorum demands that the sitting president of the same party generally support the GOP leadership in Congress for election, but the “Moore maneuver” gives Trump much more flexibility to support outsider candidates. In a rapidly changing Congressional landscape, with Sen. Bob Corker’s retirement, Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Steve Pearce, Dave Trott, Raúl Labrador, Diane Black and Evan Jenkins either seeking higher office or retiring, there is no shortage of “open” GOP primary races where Trump’s candidate can fill a void.

Now that the strategy of having Bannon as the outside promoter, leaving Trump free to support a more establishment candidate is proven to work (although in Alabama, it seemed to be a slam-dunk for Moore no matter what), expect that Trump will use it again to grow and consolidate his Congressional base.

Roy Moore’s Win is Mitch McConnell’s (Not Donald Trump’s) Loss | Erick Erickson, The Resurgent

http://theresurgent.com/roy-moores-win-is-mitch-mcconnells-not-donald-trumps-loss/The Washington media loves Mitch McConnell as a creature of the establishment and hates Donald Trump with a burning passion. So the Washington media has a vested interest in savaging Donald Trump for Luther Strange’s loss, while protecting Mitch McConnell.

McConnell poured money into the race for Strange and even blessed Luther Strange deciding at the last minute to start campaigning against Mitch McConnell. Moore made running against McConnell the theme of his campaign.

The Recent Rush Of GOP Retirements Is Good For Democrats | Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-recent-rush-of-gop-retirements-is-good-for-democrats/Only two of the departing Republicans occupy Democratic-leaning seats, and the same number of departing Democrats occupy Republican-leaning seats. The fact that there are simply more Republicans than Democrats in Congress overall looked like a better explanation for the Republican-heavy roster of retirees so far — at least until this month, when three successive swing-seat Republicans (Dave Reichert, Charlie Dent and Trott) have called it quits.

 

Guns and Crime

Luis Cobos-Cenobio, the star of the Arkansas dashcam shootout, is an illegal immigrant

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Luis Cobos-Cenobio the star of the Arkansas dash cam shootout is an illegal immigrant

It’s an odd headline. The lede in this story should the shocking dashcam footage showing suspect Luis Cobos-Cenobio firing on police who were trying to pull him over. Unfortunately, immigration status is either buried or ignored altogether by mainstream media, so we thought it was necessary to point out up front that the man who allegedly tried to shoot and kill police officers is an illegal immigrant.

You can read the details at Fox News, one of the only outlets I’ve found so far that mentions his immigration status:

Dashcam video shows moment illegal immigrant suspect opens fire on Arkansas police officer

https://www.foxnews.com/us/dashcam-video-shows-moment-illegal-immigrant-suspect-opens-fire-on-arkansas-police-officerCobos-Cenobio has been jailed on $500,000 bond, and has had a detainer placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency spokesperson confirmed to Fox News.

Cobos-Cenobio has been charged with four counts of attempted capital murder, committing a terroristic act, fleeing, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to police.

If he is convicted on any or all of these charges, he’s going to jail for a long time. There’s no way to know at this point how many Americans he’s harmed in the past. Sadly, as a criminal illegal immigrant, there’s no reason for him to be here in the first place.

Mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that part of the story, though. Some went so far as to avoid the topic altogether.

For example, this article from ABC News is nearly 400-words in length and never even hints at his immigration status. Many stories simply noted as deep into the article as possible that he had a “federal hold” or “detainer request” without indicating that almost certainly means he’s here illegally.

Mainstream media is desperate to bury or cover up anything that pertains to illegal immigrants. This story, with its amazing and terrifying video, was too “good” for them to pass up. That didn’t stop them from hiding his immigration status.

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Mr. President, do NOT trade Fethullah Gulen’s life to ease pressure on the Saudis

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Mr President do NOT trade Fethullah Gulens life to ease pressure on the Saudis

Let’s tread cautiously for a moment.

If reports are true that the administration is considering delivering Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen into the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in exchange for easing pressure on Saudi Arabia, then it’s time to rethink where our moral compass is pointing as a nation. Here’s one of the reports, and I urge caution in regards to its validity until we hear more from the White House or see actions against Gulen:

Trump admin considers Khashoggi murder, trying to extradite Gulen

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/trump-admin-considers-khashoggi-murder-trying-to-extradite-gulen.htmlThe Trump administration is seeking ways to extradite an enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, NBC News reported Thursday, citing two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests. The effort is intended to get the Turkish leader to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It is at least the second time the White House has sought to remove Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania. In President Donald Trump’s first days in office, his administration asked the Department of Justice to look into the matter, NBC News has reported.

Set aside internal politics of Turkey itself; support for Gulen, Erdogan, or neither is irrelevant in regards to this action. Let’s instead focus on what this would say about our priorities. I’m not so naive to believe lives aren’t traded in a geopolitical marketplace that thrives on quashing dissidents and sweeping atrocities under the rug, but there are lines that should never be crossed by the United States of America. This is one of them.

Let’s break this down into it’s core components. Again, at this point it has not been confirmed so tread lightly before formulating an opinion.

  • Turkish President Erdogan hates Gulen and has demanded his extradition over alleged connections to a 2016 coup attempt.
  • Erdogan has pursued Gulen for years, well before the coup attempt.
  • U.S. officials have not seen sufficient evidence that connects Gulen to the coup. Gulen vehemently denies involvement.
  • Turkey has been spearheading accusations against Saudi Arabia since the early hours following Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
  • Turkey trickled information out to the public, holding cards as long as they could in hopes information implicating Saudi Arabia would surface without Turkey exposing their information gathering techniques. In other words, they spied on Saudi Arabia’s consulate and hoped they wouldn’t have to admit to it in order to nail the Saudis.
  • Saudi Arabia has pressured Washington DC to help them sweep this under the rug. Turkey has been the loudest voice calling for punishments against the nation, specifically calling for actions against Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
  • Ergogan used to see MBS as a protege he could bring under his wing to solidify influence over Saudi Arabia. Now Erdogan views MBS as a threat to his standing as the default leader of the Middle East Muslim world.
  • The U.S. has almost certainly asked Turkey to stop. Our alliance with Saudi Arabia is more important than the death of a single journalist, at least in the eyes of many DC politicians.
  • Turkey has ramped up pressure and told DC the only way they’d stop is if they get their hands on Gulen.

Again, this is all a mix of speculation and extrapolation based on the limited facts we know. With that said, I’d say all of these speculations have a high probability of being true.

The only question would be the final bullet point on the list. Is the United States going to give Gulen to Ergogan, effectively signing his death sentence? Is the administration going to help cover up Saudi crimes by sacrificing someone who turned to us for asylum?

Let’s be very clear. I’m not defending Gulen as a person. I don’t know what he’s done, whether he instigated the Turkish coup attempt, or what he’s doing here in America. My only concern is whether or not the administration would trade a human life for mitigated damage to an ally that committed murder.

It’s always best to get the facts before forming an opinion. Until it’s confirmed the administration is doing this, we shouldn’t judge them. If it plays out as the report contends, there will be a lot more questions to ask about our nation’s direction.

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Guns and Crime

Senator who pushes negative perception of ICE badgers nominee over negative perception of ICE

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Senator who pushes negative perception of ICE badgers nominee over negative perception of ICE

Only in Washington DC is it okay for someone to complain about a problem they created, then attack someone else for not fixing the problem. It happens on both sides of the aisle but Democrats have become especially adept at it lately. Case in point: Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).

As one of the frontrunners to go against President Trump in 2020, the California Senator has built much of her short career in DC around attacks on ICE. She demonizing the law enforcement agency any time the topics of border security, deportations, or illegal immigration come up. She has called for the agency to be dismantled and questions anything they do to fulfill their mission of keeping Americans safe.

That’s why it’s so disgusting to hear her badger Ronald Vitiello, President Trump’s nominee to lead ICE, over the topic of negative perceptions surrounding the agency. She went so far as to try to draw parallels between ICE and the Ku Klux Klan during his confirmation hearings.

“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels?” she asked.

“I do not see any parallels,” Vitiello replied. “That puts ICE in the same category as the KKK. Is that what you’re asking me?”

Harris, a former prosecutor and California Attorney General before becoming a Senator, seemed to be trying to trap the nominee into admitting that ICE is perceived by illegal immigrants the same way the KKK was perceived in the past.

Vitiello should have told her if those perceptions do exist, it’s because of rhetoric she and other Democrats have been spewing since President Trump took office.

Four months ago, the Senator said this:

New litmus test? Dems demand elimination of ICE amid immigration furor | Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-litmus-test-dems-demand-elimination-of-ice-amid-immigration-furorOn the West Coast, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who has been floated as a 2020 Democratic contender, said that the U.S. should consider “starting from scratch” for ICE — though stopped short of calling to abolish it.

“There’s no question that we’ve got to critically re-examine ICE and its role, and the way that it is being administered, and the work it is doing,” Harris said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “And we need to probably think about starting from scratch.”

It’s quite rich for the Senator to push anti-ICE rhetoric onto the public, then ask a nominee to lead ICE if he’s aware the law enforcement organization is perceived like the Ku Klux Klan. GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel called it her 2020 campaign launch.

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