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Republicans

Congressman Darrell Issa is out, Diane Harkey is in

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News broke earlier today and then followed up by an official statement by Congressman Darrell Issa, that he will not be seeking re-election in 2018. Issa was first elected to Congress in 2001. He has won re-election easily for most of his years in Congress. With re-districting and changes in demographics, his seat has become one of the most vulnerable seats in Congress.

He barely won re-election in 2016. He only won re-election because his district after re-districting incorporated parts of South Orange County, a wealthy Republican stronghold.

Orange County is the last vestige of Republican control in a large population center in California, and some believe that Orange County will soon turn blue.

In 2016, Orange County voted Democrat for the first time since the Great Depression.

Many see this as a move the Orange County could be going blue especially since Issa’s announcement comes on the heels of another Republican Congressman, Ed Royce, from Orange County announcing he will not seek re-election.

Analysis

There is no doubt in my mind that Democrats are energized to go after Trump. Orange County did go for Hillary in 2016 but Orange County Republican Congress members, for the most part, won pretty easily in 2016.

Orange County Republicans did vote for Trump overwhelmingly in the 2016 primary because for the most part; the election was over. All the candidates, including the last two, Cruz and Kasich were out.  Yet, Cruz and Kasich were still on the ballot. Who received more votes between them? It was Kasich, not Cruz.

Orange County Republicans are more traditional business/establishment, middle of the road Republicans. Cruz brand of Republicanism wasn’t as popular in this area as it was in other parts of the country. Where Kasich’s brand of Republicanism wasn’t very popular among Republicans throughout the country.

Republicanism in Orange County is more moderate and more focused on economic instead of cultural and social issues.

So has Orange County turned more blue. Yes, primarily in North Orange County but South Orange County is still a strong Republican stronghold.

So the question is, will Trump bring down Republicans that should have won re-election because voters don’t feel energized to come out and vote especially those Republicans that see the GOP tax plan, which limited SALT deductions, as a tax increase on them simply because they live in high-taxed California.

Prediction

So will Trump bring down Republicans in Republican-controlled areas of Orange County? I’m not sure it is to early to tell but with Issa not running for re-election, it might be a much harder task for Republicans to hold onto the seat.

The already declared Republican candidate seeking to replace Issa is Diane Harkey. She is the highest elected Republican in the State. She represents all of Issa’s district and much more as the Chair of the Board of Equalization. She currently represents approximately 9.5 million people in Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego County.


EXCLUSIVE: Republican Diane Harkey to Run for Darrell Issa’s Seat – Breitbart

http://www.breitbart.com/california/2018/01/10/exclusive-diane-harkey-running-for-darrell-issas-congressional-seat/Breitbart News can confirm that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called Harkey on Wednesday to discuss her running for the seat. A source told Breitbart News that Harkey has the support of McCarthy and the support of outgoing Congressman Issa.


 

If she makes it to the general election, which I anticipate that she will, she might be the only candidate capable of keeping the seat in GOP hands.


Konstantinos Roditis is an Orange County resident and the Republican candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at cacontroller.com, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook as well.

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Guns and Crime

McConnell blocks sentencing bill, upsetting Grassley, GOP

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McConnell blocks sentencing bill upsetting Grassley GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reluctance to hold a vote on a popular criminal justice bill has angered top Republican senators and created an unusual rift with a longtime GOP ally, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Grassley has spent years working to build a coalition around the bill and is pushing for a year-end vote. Grassley says more than two-thirds of the Senate supports it. But McConnell is refusing to bring the legislation forward in a standoff that’s dividing the Republican majority and putting President Donald Trump on the spot.

“We’ve done what needs to be done,” Grassley said about the overwhelming support for the bill. “So what’s holding it up?”

For the 85-year-old chairman of the Judiciary Committee, this is not the way Senate is supposed to operate. Grassley was expecting some deference from McConnell after delivering on Trump’s judicial nominees — including two now on the Supreme Court. Trump backs the criminal justice bill, too, but McConnell says it’s divisive. His reluctance to take up Grassley’s priority shows the limits of the Senate’s old-fashioned customs in an era of heightened partisan politics.

“What’s so irritating about this is, first of all, he and I have been hand-in-glove working to get the judiciary vacancies filled,” Grassley told Iowa reporters.

“I think I ought to have some consideration for delivering on tough Supreme Court nominees, and a lot of tough circuit court nominees and maybe even once in a while you get a tough district court nominee,” Grassley went on.

On Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., intervened, talking directly to Trump about attaching the criminal justice legislation to the must-pass year-end spending bill, which is already tangled in a separate fight over funds for the border wall with Mexico.

“Just talked with President,” Graham tweeted. “He strongly believes criminal justice reform bill must pass now. He also indicated he supports putting criminal justice reform bill on year-end spending bill which must include MORE wall funding.”

Trump has called senators about the bill and spoke briefly about it Friday at an event on safe neighborhoods in Kansas City.

The bill is a project of Trump’s son-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner, and would be the biggest sentencing overhaul in decades. It would reduce mandatory prison terms for certain drug crimes and give judges in some cases more discretion on punishments. It would allow about 2,600 federal prisoners sentenced for crack cocaine offenses before August 2010 the opportunity to petition for a reduced penalty. It also includes provisions to encourage education and workforce training in prisons.

Roughly 90 percent of prison inmates are held in state facilities and would not be affected by the legislation.

While Kushner has been meeting with senators on Capitol Hill, Trump is also hearing from allies who are against the legislation. Chief among them is Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who is warning senators that Republicans will be blamed if criminals are released and commit new crimes.

“Only thing worse than early release from prison of thousands of serious, violent, & repeat felons is to do that in a spending bill with no debate or amendments, forcing senators to either shut down government or let felons out of prison,” Cotton tweeted Friday. The spending bill will need approval by Dec. 21 to avoid a funding lapse days before Christmas.

“If the jailbreak bill gets stuck in the spending bill, everyone bring your stockings to the Senate, because we’ll be there on Christmas!”

Cotton and others, including Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, No. 2 Senate Republican, insist there is not as much support for the bill as Grassley claims. Cotton says senators may tell the chairman they’re in favor of it when actually they’re not.

The bill has support from several conservative and liberal advocacy groups, uniting such disparate partners as the influential Koch network and the American Civil Liberty Union, but it splits law enforcement groups. It is backed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police but opposed by the National Sheriff’s Association.

Amid this divide, McConnell has been choosing caution, saying there’s just not enough time to push the bill forward in the remaining days of the Congress.

“The question is, can you shoe-horn something that’s extremely controversial into the remaining time?” he said Monday in an interview at a Wall Street Journal forum.

Criminal justice reform has traditionally been a Democratic priority, as Republicans prefer a more tough-on-crime approach. And McConnell acknowledges it’s “extremely divisive” among Senate Republicans. Leaders tend to protect senators from taking tough votes that could have political blowback.

“I don’t see from a timing standpoint how we get it done in the short amount of time we have to work with, but everyone is trying to keep their options open and not foreclose the possibility it could happen,” said Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Thursday that bill backers are making a last-push to attach it to the spending measure and picking up new supporters. But he acknowledged the package’s chances are slipping with each passing day. “We’re still lobbying Sen. McConnell — he has all the power to allow it or not allow it,” said Paul.

McConnell and Grassley have worked side by side for decades. When then-President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in early 2016, Grassley stood by McConnell’s decision to keep the seat open during the election year for the new president to decide. He’s ushered in 84 Trump judicial nominees, including a record number of circuit court judges.

But their split over criminal justice reform is testing not just their partnership but also the longstanding norms of the Senate.

“What’s holding it up is our leader, the majority leader,” Grassley said. “There’s no reason it shouldn’t come up.”

__

Associated Press writer David Pitt in Iowa contributed to this report.

Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lisamascaro and https://twitter.com/kfreking

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Democrats

Trump, feckless Republicans, and the advance of Democratic socialism

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Trump feckless Republicans and the advance of Democratic socialism

When Trump and the GOP helped Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats take 40 House seats in November — the most seats picked up by the Democrats in a mid-term since Watergate — they helped usher in a new era of extreme-left policies.

One of the benefactors in this transformation of Congress was the Democratic Socialist movement taking place within the Democrat party. In the 2018 election season, candidates endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) won in numbers significant enough to dictate policy and establish itself as the new base of the party.

Even before the new Congress opens for business, Nancy Pelosi has let it be known that many of the pet projects of the Democrat’s socialist agenda will be revisited, including:

Unfortunately, Trump and the new GOP “leadership” team of Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell are on the same page as their Democrat counterparts on these issues.

On the global warming front, one of the fresh faces of Democratic Socialists is Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and she’s the brainchild — a term I use loosely — behind the effort to create the Green New Deal, which urges lawmakers to pass legislation forcing the U.S. to become 100% dependent on green energy.

Former Vice President and current High Priest of the Church of Global Warming Al Gore is orgasmic with excitement to see his fake climate science back in the spotlight, and he gave the Green New Deal his blessing.

By the way, Trump has let his daughter Ivanka set global warming policy, and shortly after his victory in 2016 she and Daddy met with Rev. Gore to discuss climate issues. When asked afterward how the meeting went, Gore said, “The bulk of the time was spent with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued.”

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece warning that the United Socialist States of America was closer than we realized and how a Blue Tsunami in November would give rise to Democratic socialism and a revived extreme-left agenda. I’m sad to say this is exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, with Trump already talking about building a “beautiful relationship with Pelosi” in order to grab a few policy “victories” for his 2020 campaign, and with the same tired leadership controlling the GOP in Congress, the USSA really could be just around the bend.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Immigration

The real reason Republicans aren’t pressing for the border wall

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The real reason Republicans arent pressing for the border wall

A Tweet by conservative commentator David Limbaugh caught my attention today. I was a little surprised that Limbaugh, one of the most astute and underrated voices in the conservative movement, was wondering why the GOP has been dragging their feet on both the border wall and making tax cuts permanent. Then it occurred to me that if Limbaugh didn’t see it, maybe others weren’t seeing it either.

Here’s the Tweet:

The tax cuts can’t be made permanent through reconciliation. Otherwise, I believe they would have at least tried. The border wall, on the other hand, could be funded quite easily during the lame duck session on Capitol Hill. We know it will be nearly impossible to get the wall funded once Democrats take over the House of Representatives next session, so why isn’t the GOP pushing for it now while they have the chance?

Answer: The wall is part of their 2020 election strategy.

The GOP succeeded in 2010, 2014, and 2016 because of fear of Obamacare. It was a bluff, of course. All of it was. They never intended to repeal it as they promised for six years. They wanted to change it, perhaps make it more palatable, but it’s hard to change the status quo when so much money is wrapped up in it. That’s why they put a clean repeal bill on President Obama’s desk in 2015 for him to veto but couldn’t put anything on President Trump’s desk while they had the power to do so. Most will blame Senator John McCain, but he was just part of the reason they couldn’t do it. In the end, they read the tea leaves and figured they couldn’t afford to rock the boat ahead of the 2018 midterms. It was a terrible miscalculation, but it’s done.

Either way, Obamacare repeal is essentially off the table.

Now, they need other items to run on in 2020. The border wall is one of them. They want to drive voters in 2020 by telling them Democrats are blocking their efforts to build the border wall. They’ll bet on the news-cycle-centered mentality of modern American society that makes people forget the GOP is squandering the opportunity they have right now to fund the border wall. It’ll work, too. By the time 2020 rolls around, everyone who wants a border wall will blame Democrats for blocking it.

The wall is unlikely to be their premier plank. Candidate Trump hammered it hard in 2016. He’ll need to run on the premise that he fulfilled his promises and has new ones to get done in order to make America great again. But he’ll mention the wall. Republicans on (or hoping to be on) Capitol Hill will point fingers at Democrats for preventing the wall from being built. They’ll tread lightly but nonetheless they’ll push the idea forward.

“If you want the wall, we need your help,” their messaging will say.

2020 GOP candidates will push the notion that to build the wall, they’ll need to regain control of the House while maintaining control of the Senate. What Republican voters should be asking is why they didn’t fund the wall when they had the chance in 2018.

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