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Conservative Picks for the Missouri Primary

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Missouri sends a lot of mediocrity to DC, which is nothing out of the ordinary compared to its neighbors. However the race to look forward to in this state is the primary battle between the next Marco Rubio and the next Rand Paul. Josh Hawley is young and popular much like Marco Rubio, at the beginning of the decade. He’s friends with the right people. As a result he is starting to resemble Marco Rubio over an actual Conservative. Austin Petersen in contrast has never resembled anything close to an establishment politician. He would be a libertarian voice to join Rand Paul. One of these two will have the pleasure of facing Claire McCaskill who is an extremely leftist Senator who won thanks to the infamous “legitimate rape” comment and the lackluster efforts of Mitt Romney. This is an easier seat to take in state where the GOP is doing well, though not without scandal… This race will also examine the effectiveness of social media candidates. Austin Petersen is perhaps the most prominent SM Candidate since Trump, if you count him as one. So far, they have not performed well. But if Petersen can muster 30%, I’d say we have a real phenomenon on our hands.

Best Picks: Austin Petersen, Billy Long
Worst Picks: Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler
Best Race: District 7
Worst Race: District 2

MO Sen

This race comes down to Josh Hawley and Austin Petersen. Despite several Conservative publications even the article ranking this as one of the more important primaries noted Hawley as a young rising Conservative. however the deeper one looks at Josh Hawley, the less Conservative he appears. His campaign website features no real positions on any issues. He has the endorsement of Mitch McConnell and even Trump who has a poor track record of endorsing Conservative candidates. Austen Petersen was the former Libertarian Party candidate for President. He is the strongest and most strategic candidate on the 2nd Amendment. He believes we need to play offense for our liberties not defense. As a result, he auctions off guns and 3D printers for his campaign. Austen Petersen is the social media candidate. Several Conservative pundits have endorsed him, such as Ben Shapiro, and even the not-completely-leftist Dave Rubin has embraced Petersen. The only thing Petersen doesn’t have the backing of is a major political organization. Hawley, by contrast, has the power and might of the MOGOP behind him trying to keep the anti-establishment candidate down. I join the rest of the Conservative Pundits.

Conservative Pick: Austin Petersen

District 1

This is a strong blue seat, with three Republicans vying for it. Edward Van Deventer Jr. is the most Conservative and the most serious.

Conservative Pick: Edward Van Deventer Jr.

District 2

Ann Wagner is a RINO with an atrocious spending record. Her opponent Noga Sachs isn’t a conservative and runs on “pragmatic solutions” which usually means increasing spending. Neither of these candidates are running on fiscal responsibility. Though it’s worth mentioning, to be fair to her, that she is strong on the 2nd Amendment.

Conservative Pick: None

District 3

Blaine Luetkemeyer is another gaping RINO. Chadwick Bicknell is his opponent and seems to be running from the right.

Conservative Pick: Chadwick Bicknell

District 4

Vicky Hartzler is another big spender. She is opposed by John Webb. Webb is by far the more Conservative choice here. In 2016, he ran and lost by nearly 45 points. In 2014, he lost by nearly 50. He looks to maintain his improvement.

Conservative Pick: John Webb

District 5

The most serious candidate seems to be Kress Cambers. He is the choice of Trump fans in this race. It’s unclear how he would act on budget issues.

Conservative Pick: Kress Cambers

District 6

Sam Graves is an unchallenged, career RINO.

District 7

Billy Long is an average congressman, a compliment compared to the below average Republicans Missouri sends. However he missed a ton of key votes this time around. No one can fault a Congressman when his daughter had pressing medical issues. But this has attracted some opponents. He’s running against a couple names and a former Democrat.

Conservative Pick: Billy Long

District 8

Jason Smith has been a reliable Conservative in the House. He is unopposed.

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Judiciary

Jeff Flake has become a punchline

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Jeff Flake has become a punchline

There are conservatives who oppose the President through conscientious means and with discernment of who to support and what to oppose. Then, there are “conservatives” like Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

In his final days in the United States Senate, Flake has decided to go out with his conscience intact. At least that’s what he’s telling himself and anyone who would listen. In reality, he’s going out with his middle finger raised to the man he blames the most for his career failures: President Trump.

Flake has threatened to hold up judicial nominations until the Senate votes to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Let’s set aside the likelihood that such an action by Congress would be unconstitutional with Article 2 giving the President wide powers over the Justice Department. That’s a debate for Constitutional scholars.

Instead, let’s focus on what Flake is actually doing. He’s willing to jeopardize the judicial system which desperately needs an infusion of originalists just to fire a parting blow at the President. That’s really what this comes down to. He’s not obeying his conscience. He’s not protecting Mueller. He’s not trying to right a wrong. He’s being a child.

He’s a punchline.

Even if there was a real threat that President Trump might somehow interfere with the Mueller investigation, this wouldn’t be the way to try to protect him. All Flake is doing is pulverizing the few pieces of his credibility that were left standing.

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Democrats

Good news for the Democrat agenda: McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

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Good news for the Democrat agenda McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

Trumplicans chalked one up for the status quo yesterday when they chose Paul Ryan’s right-hand man, Kevin McCarthy, to be the party leader in the House and unanimously re-elected Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate. Both men were endorsed by Donald Trump for the jobs.

Despite the fact that Republicans suffered the worst mid-term defeat since Watergate, McConnell and McCarthy touted a list of vague GOP accomplishments that conveniently failed to mention the party’s failure to keep their promises, which is why the Democrats won last week.

In an opinion piece for FOX News, McConnell bragged — now try not to laugh — about how the past two years of Republican leadership “will be remembered as a period of historic productivity.” He then challenged the new Democrat majority in the House to put aside partisan politics and work with Republicans to get things done.

Apparently, the concept of irony is lost on McConnell. Outside of the GOP’s alleged success at saving the Supreme Court, Democrats and Republicans have always been working together, which is why they still fund Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, DACA, and sanctuary cities with massive new spending that exploded the budget deficit.

While McConnell and McCarthy have adopted Trump’s “blame the Democrats for my failures” playbook, the sad reality is that Republicans favor the Democrat agenda because it’s their agenda; bipartisanship is a given.

Based on developments during the lame duck session, it’s going to be worse when the 116th Congress opens for business in January.

Nancy Pelosi called last week’s victory a mandate to save Obamacare and she will promote legislation designed to move America closer to a single-payer healthcare system. Trump has a track record of support for Obamacare and he promoted single-payer healthcare during his 2016 campaign.

Following the recent shootings in California, Pelosi announced that she would make gun control a top priority. Trump and the GOP have actively promoted radical gun-control legislation, including: seizing guns without due process, establishing an FBI database to track guns and gun owners, and requiring a license to own a gun.

Now comes word from the Democrats that they will work to bring back a classic of Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialists — a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. As expected, Trump appears to be a fan of the idea.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump supported raising the minimum wage to at least $10 and hour. And as part of the recent US-Mexico trade deal, he fought for and won a $16 an hour minimum wage for auto workers on both sides of the border in an effort to price Mexico out of the auto industry. Ironic because he’s essentially admitting that mandatory minimum wages eventually result in lost jobs.

Even thought economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently stated his preference to see the federal minimum wage eliminated, Trump’s history of flip-flopping on this along with a host of other issues, along with his 2020 re-election hopes, means that the Democrats will likely win on the issue.

We were repeatedly told last week to vote Red to make sure we stop the Democrats. But to quote Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings, when it comes to the difference between Republicans and Democrats . . .

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

 

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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Guns and Crime

‘Release criminals early and reduce sentencing’ wasn’t a MAGA promise

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Release criminals early and reduce sentencing wasnt a MAGA promise

What happened to the “law and order” President? Some on the right are asking how we went from getting tougher on crime to suddenly endorsing a bill that gets weaker on crime on the front-end AND the back-end. Unfortunately, it’s only some on the right. Most seem to be buying into this new brand of conservatism just as they bought into “fair trade” and tariffs as their new foreign trade mantra.

If this isn’t what the President promised, then what is it? We can say many things about President Trump’s demeanor and style, but one thing that’s been impressive about his administration so far is that they’ve been more consistent than most when it comes to keeping promises. This is one of the first 180’s the administration has performed. And don’t get fooled into thinking this isn’t a 180. Do you remember at any point during his campaign when he said, “Let’s release current criminals early and reduce sentencing on future criminals!”

I don’t remember hearing that at any MAGA rallies, either.

So what’s the motivation here? We can look at individual lawmakers and see why they may be surprisingly accepting of this legislation. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), for example, has personal experiences as a prosecutor that drove him to the conclusion that he needed to support the bill.

Sen. Mike Lee: A conservative case for criminal justice reform

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/sen-mike-lee-a-conservative-case-for-criminal-justice-reformFor example, when I served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Salt Lake City, Weldon Angelos — a young father of two with no criminal record — was convicted of selling three dime bags of marijuana to a paid informant over a short period of time.

These were not violent crimes. No one was hurt. But because Angelos had been in possession of a gun at the time he sold the drugs (a gun which was neither brandished nor discharged in connection with the offense), the judge was forced by federal law to give him a 55-year prison sentence. The average federal sentence for assault is just two years. The average murderer only gets 15 years. While acknowledging the obvious excessiveness of the sentence, the judge explained that the applicable federal statutes gave him no authority to impose a less-severe prison term, noting that “only Congress can fix this problem.”

To be clear, what Senator Lee is describing is the front-end of the problem. Yes, there are certain mandated sentencing requirements that need to be addressed. But to do this properly, you don’t unleash 4,000+ hardened criminals as a result. Fix sentencing problems for the future, then allow those who would have been affected by reduced mandatory sentencing appeal their individual cases. In light of the new sentencing requirements, judges can take a case-by-case look to identify people, such as the one Senator Lee describes, who should be eligible for early release. Don’t just open the floodgates.

Other conservatives who support the bill, such as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), are taking a Libertarian stance against victimless crimes. But there’s a flaw with their thinking as well. Even if one believes drugs should be legal and their sale should be regulated, that doesn’t change the fact that when these criminals committed their crimes, drugs were illegal. They weren’t acting on their civic duty to protest an abusive system. They were selling illegal drugs, often while carrying firearms. Many of them avoided being labeled as violent criminals simply because the opportunity hadn’t presented itself at the time they committed their crimes.

Releasing lawbreakers because one doesn’t believe the law is just doesn’t change the fact that they broke the law. If you’re going to change the laws first, fine. But don’t release criminals ahead of changes in the law.

Many proponents of criminal justice reform look at the costs associated with running overpopulated prisons as the reason for their support. Again, this is backwards. The prisons are overpopulated in large part because we’re not deporting enough criminal illegal immigrants. If you remove them first, then assess the costs, you’ll find prison overpopulation mitigated and costs dramatically reduced.

Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz did an amazing writeup yesterday on the subject. It’s one of several listed by the site as “must reads” before making up your own mind on the topic.

‘Criminal Justice Reform’ or Jailbreak? Here’s the TRUTH

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/criminal-justice-reform-or-jailbreak-heres-the-truth/Congress and President Donald Trump are making a big push for “criminal justice reform” legislation, but there are problems with the First Step Act.

We’ll keep updating this page as news develops, so be sure to check back with Conservative Review for updates on the bipartisan jailbreak bill.

With the President behind it, many Republicans will now believe they support it, too. Before you let someone else make up your mind, you should look into these “reforms” for yourself. Law and order are still important even if its alleged proponents abandon it.

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