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Goodlatte’s ‘smoking gun’ isn’t the big story on Obama abuses

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Fox News blared the headline: “‘Smoking gun’ email reveals Obama DOJ blocked conservative groups from settlement funds, GOP lawmaker says.” I’m not shocked, and I believe Rep. Bob Goodlatte is doing yeoman’s work in Congress exposing this.

This isn’t news. Everyone has known since 2009 that the U.S. government, under President Obama, was free to take every “liberty” to become the left’s ATM. From the EPA to the IRS to the corrupt State Department, Obama used the “personnel is policy” method to thoroughly debase and suborn the administrative state, and let their true liberal colors shine.

There were emails showing they didn’t like Citigroup choosing a “conservative” group like the Pacific Legal Foundation to direct settlement cash. These directed settlements in federal cases of all kinds were used to pile up cash for a variety of leftist groups. Again, no surprise.

The big story

What’s surprising is that many of the same officials are still running the government. The DOJ, Fox reported, ended the practice of these outside payments earlier in the year. Great news.

Trump, as of the end of July, had not filled 114 of 210 key agency positions–at the same point, Obama had filled or nominated all but 41. There are glaring holes in the Trump executive branch, which are being filled by government civil servants, many of whom came onboard or rose to their positions during the Obama administration.

Most heinously, the commissioner of the IRS, John Koskinen, continues to serve, despite being over the department when Lois Lerner slow-rolled and persecuted conservative political groups, then tried to vanish the records. He serves despite a long time call by GOP lawmakers for Trump to oust him.

Trump kept Obama appointee Chuck Rosenberg as acting head of the DEA, until he resigned at the end of September in protest of the president’s statements. Now career agent Robert W. Patterson is acting administrator.

You might think these are relatively minor positions, but it’s not a small issue. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson complained loudly that he had problems getting positions filled because of White House meddling and Steve Bannon’s doctrinal purity tests. When positions are not filled, career bureaucrats and Obama appointees end up making the daily decisions, leading to small adjustments and tilts.

For eight years, the Obama administration put no limits on how far the bureaucracy could go in support of its liberal pet causes, media cocktail companions, and opposition to conservatives. While Trump made a big deal of putting some names in charge of the Departments of Energy, Education, Justice and EPA, their power has been greatly curtailed by a lack of friendly underlings.

‘Smoking gun’ email reveals Obama DOJ blocked conservative groups from settlement funds, GOP lawmaker says | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/25/smoking-gun-email-reveals-obama-doj-blocked-conservative-groups-from-settlement-funds-gop-lawmaker-says.html“It is not every day in congressional investigations that we find a smoking gun,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said Tuesday. Republican lawmakers long have decried those payments as a “slush fund” that boosted liberal groups, and the Trump DOJ ended the practice earlier this year. Anderson said in a statement.  “When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people— not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

Congress could flip

For the Trump administration to succeed in rolling back Obama-era excessed, it must do more than just depend on Congress to find “smoking guns.” Remember, 2018 is an election year, and Democrats have their sights on taking back the Senate. In fact, there’s a good chance that will happen. The House is less likely, but let’s say a Democrat wave somehow put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair.

At that point, all these “smoking gun” investigations will simply stop. The Trump administration will find itself fighting continual impeachment efforts–if not actual votes in the House.

All the effort the GOP, conservatives, and the Tea Party candidates spent making reforms could be in vain.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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News

Romney swipes at Trump over ‘s***hole’ comment

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Romney swipes at Trump over shole comment

Some celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring the civil rights leader. Others just take the day off. Potential (nearly certain) Senate candidate Mitt Romney used his national holiday to take a swipe at President Trump’s comments about “s***hole countries” that were reported last week.

My Take

It was a strange play. It’s obviously a populist view that goes against a semi-populist President who sees his greatest divergent from American culture in his opinions about race and immigration, but for Romney to tie it into MLK Day is a little odd. There is plenty of time to demonstrate he would be a candidate who opposes the President. There’s only one strategic reason to do it now: If he intends to support the President in the near future.

By Tweeting this, Romney could be doing two things to help his cause. First, he builds credibility as a GOP Senator who is not beholden to the President’s every whim. Second, it gets that out of the way up front so he can turn around and talk about the good things the President is doing.

Then again, it’s probably just a politician playing politics.

Further Reading

Mitt Romney Calls Out Donald Trump With MLK Day Tweet

https://www.redstate.com/arbogast/2018/01/15/mitt-romney-calls-donald-trump-mlk-day-tweet/With Orrin Hatch (finally) retiring, the recruitment efforts to get Mitt Romney to run for that seat started immediately. With the revelation that Romney received treatment for prostate cancer over the summer, it may not be a slam dunk he runs, but if he does, Donald Trump shouldn’t expect Mitt to just get in line.

The fallout from the “s**thole” comments continue for President Trump, providing another means for him to get in his own way. The economy hums along. Corporations continue to announce wage increases and bonus payouts due to the GOP tax cut. Trump had the opportunity to get something done on DACA (which 2/3 of the country supports), and he chooses instead to yelp to the press that he’s the least racist person in the world.

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Democrats

Emoji loving Manning running for Senate

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After getting off early in the eleventh hour of Obama’s presidency, Manning became an “activist” taking on and getting roasted by many conservatives on Twitter, most memorably, Ben Shapiro. Now he’s filed for a Senate run for Ben Cardin’s seat in Maryland. This would be Manning stepping up to the big leagues of politics for sure.

It’s somewhat similar to Austin Petersen in Missouri, in that we have someone who has built up a social media following prior to launching a high profile campaign. This strategy definitely worked for Trump, among other things, but we await how social media darlings perform in campaigns.

However, this is also possible battle in the Democrat civil war between the Old Party and the Socialists. In The Most Important Races of 2018: Part 1, one of the elections mentioned was the Illinois District 3 race because one of the most moderate pro-life Democrats was being challenged by the pro-abortion and far more leftist Marrie Newman.

This was the first instance of a very formidable leftist challenging a Democrat for not being socialist enough. Manning, whatever his first name is these days, is on the side of Socialist for in the potential intra-party civil war. He is on the Colin Kaepernick, Linda Sarsour, and perhaps Bernie Sanders level.

This looks like it could be battle number two but Ben Cardin is a rock solid product of the Maryland Democrat machine. So in a way, this seems like two liberal going at it but key differences in policies are likely to be found in the area of foreign policy and dealing with Trump.

Being transgender isn’t enough to win a seat in liberal Maryland. The seriousness of Manning will largely depend on his finances.  Maryland seats are so easy to win by Democrats because of how blue the state is and the heavy gerrymandering for the House districts. So when a new seat opens up in Maryland, Democrats invest loads of money to fight for the easy to retain seat.

Thus David Trone spent 10 million losing a House primary in 2016 while Chris Van Hollen spent enormous amounts of money to win his Senate Primary (he was trying to upgrade from the House to the Senate because Barbara Mikulski was retiring). Both of these high dollar primaries were for open seats, so if Manning wants to primary Ben Cardin, he will need a lot of money.

Maryland is Democrat because of its proximity to the Federal government. There are tons of government workers and contractors in Maryland, and several companies where workers need security clearances. Odds are the convicted intel thief isn’t going to get off so easy with voters just because he put lipstick on. It will also be interesting to see Manning’s ability to win the black vote because Bernie Sanders failed to beat Hillary in this category despite being BLM and beyond.

Lastly, it Manning’s likability among independents will also make or break him. Maryland has closed primaries so they won’t be able to stop him if Democrats abandon long-time Senator Cardin.

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Final Thoughts

Republican nominees have their rallying cry. Cardin could be deposed or simply step aside to let the young man take his place and retire at 75. If Manning becomes the nominee, the race just became watchable. In the past, Republican efforts to take the seat have been pitiful, to say the least, but Manning is likely an amateur at campaigning and a polarizing figure, to put it mildly. He lacks experience and has a criminal record. So GOP might have a chance to steal this seat for six years. One thing is for certain: this Senate race just got interesting.

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Foreign Affairs

Iran nuclear sanctions waived again, but human rights sanctions imposed

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Iran nuclear sanctions waived again but human rights sanctions imposed

President Trump and the United States continue to support the Iran nuclear deal. Today, he signed a 120-day waiver on sanctions that should be imposed on the nation for breaching the 2015 deal. He did so with a promise that this would be the last waiver he’ll sign.

“I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance,” Trump said in a statement Friday. “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.”

At the same time, the administration issued 14 new sanctions against individuals involved in human rights violations during the Iran protests as well as those who support the Iran missile program. These sanctions, while very minor, lend a small amount of credibility to the administration, which has openly supported the protests in the Muslim theocracy.

Further Reading

‘Last Chance’ for Iran, Trump Says, as Sanctions on Tehran Regime Waived Again

https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/01/12/last-chance-for-iran-trump-says-as-sanctions-on-tehran-regime-waived-again/US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would waive nuclear sanctions against Iran for the last time to give Washington and its European allies a chance to fix the “terrible flaws” of the 2015 nuclear deal.

A senior administration official said Trump wants the deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the international pact.

If the U.S. Is Not Isolated on the Iran Deal There Is Something Really Wrong With Our National Soul

https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2018/01/12/u.s.-not-isolated-iran-deal-something-really-wrong-national-soul/One of the first lessons you should learn as you transition into adulthood is that you don’t go along just because everyone else is doing something. The arguments for staying in the JCPOA, as best I can tell, is that the other parties (Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and Iran) won’t like us if we leave and we’ll lose unspecified money in sales. So a) popularity and b) money. If you want to argue that a deal that is essentially unenforceable and unverifiable prevents Iran from developing nukes, have at it. I’m not going to argue with you because I don’t argue over imaginary happenings.

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