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Conservative Picks for the California Primary

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Many Conservatives jokingly wish Lex Luthor succeeded. Alas, Superman saved the day in the most ridiculous way possible, and now we have to deal with California sending an insane amount of leftist politicians to DC. The state boasts 53 Congressional Districts with a good amount of gerrymandering to make California even bluer. As an added obstacle for Conservatives, California adopted a top-two primary system in which every candidate competes for a top two finish. This adds a certain element of game theory for Conservative Picks that wasn’t needed in the other states. California is a different animal. The opportunities for Conservatism to advance are limited mostly to vacated red seats, courtesy of Ed Royce and Darrell Issa. There are a few other races a strong conservative and skilled campaigner could find victory such as the 53rd. For the most part California, Conservatives are mostly playing defense at the federal level. It is more plausible for gains to be made at the state and local levels in the California Primary. But enough putting down California. California fields better candidates than most of the deep south has thus far.

Best Picks: Morgan Murtaugh, Erin Cruz, Tom McClintock, John Renison, Shawn Nelson, Omar Navarro, Kenneth Wright
Worst Picks(GOP): Rocky Chavez, Patrick Little
Best Races: District 4, District 8,
Worst Race: District 10, US Senate
Reading Guide: Read races with bigger paragraphs for ease and speed.

US Senate

There are eleven candidates for the Senate seat on the Republican side. This is especially unhelpful for the side of liberty. The Democrats are fielding to big money candidates with incumbent Dianne Feinstein and Kevin De Lion. So it is important the the Republican side unifies so that they have a chance come November. In 2016, the GOP failed to nominate a candidate. A repeat may be the most probable outcome in  this field.

In the past, NOQ Report has interviewed Erin Cruz. Cruz is a well articulated Conservative and the social media favorite among Republicans. In her interview, she held a steadfast principle position without delving into Trumpism or giving any indication of being a RINO.

The supposed frontrunner among Republicans is James Bradley. While he isn’t the social media favorite he does seem to be the preferred choice of OAN and Sean Hannity. He has a solid record and a similar platform to Erin Cruz. The last candidate worth discussing is Patrick Little. Little is an Israel-hating zionist conspirator. His anti-semitism got him barred from the CAGOP Convention. Needless to say his Jew-hatred would make him unelectable, by the old rules. Yet somehow, he may also be a frontrunner among republican candidates.

Cruz has the best chance in a general election and is a well articulated Conservative in the age of Trump.

Conservative Pick: Erin Cruz

District 1

Doug LaMalfa is an average Republican. He’s not to fiscally conservative, but at least he voted against Omnibus. His only Republican opposition is Gregory Cheadle. Cheadle would probably be worth a risk in a Republican only primary. LaMalfa has been in office five years and is one of the best Congressman, the state has to offer. Unfortunately, game theory must be accounted for.

Conservative Pick: Doug LaMalfa

District 2

Dale Mensing has tried and failed to win this seat on multiple occasions. He is the only Republican running.

District 3

Charlie Schaupp is another candidate looking for yet another rematch. He is unopposed.

District 4

Tom McClintock is the best Congressman California has to offer. He is opposed but his opponent is not worth the risk.

Conservative Pick: Tom McClintock

District 5

There is no option. Even the independents are leftists.

District 6

There is no Republican option, only two Democrats.

District 7

There are two GOP options for overthrowing Ami Bera. The first is a doctor, Yona Barash. He has no platform listed. The second is Andrew Grant, a veteran who could be decent.

Conservative Pick: Andrew Grant

District 8

Paul Cook is a RINO who has spent a lot of our money recklessly. He is opposed by Tim Donnelly again. Last time, Donnelly narrowly missed out on the top two. Donnelly, in practice would be more Conservative than Paul Cook. He is worth the risk.

Conservative Pick: Tim Donnelly

District 9

District 10

Jeff Denham is a lousy Congressman, but no better alternative can be found in Ted Howze who is running as a RINO for the most part.

Conservative Pick: None

District 11

John Fitzgerald is the only Republican. Unfortunately he is another conspiracy theorist on all things Jews.

Conservative Pick: None

District 12

Lisa Remmer has the laughably bold challenge of going after Nancy Pelosi. She seems like a run in the mill Conservative. She is unopposed.

District 13

No one is challenging Barbara Lee.

District 14

Rudy Peters is the only Republican in this race.

District 16

Elizabeth Heng is the only Republican in this race.

District 17

Ron Cohen is the only Republican in this race, and is a good choice.

District 18

Christine Russell is the only Republican in this race.

District 19

Zoe Lufgren is unchallenged.

District 20

There is no Republican or otherwise liberty loving option in this race.

District 21

David Valadao is a RINO unopposed by his own party.

District 22

Devin Nunes is another big government Republican and the only GOP presence in this race.

District 23

Kevin McCarthy is making a career in DC. He done nothing to shrink the government and is a possible next Speaker of the House. There is no worthy challenger, but it must be noted, he would make a horrible Speaker of the House.

District 24

There are two Republicans vying for the seat. The first is Justin Fareed and the second is Michael Woody. Neither are overly impressive. Woody has a more articulated stance on issues and a less cliche campaign focus.

Conservative Pick: Michael Woody

District 25

Steven Knight is opposed by four Democrats. He is a hardcore RINO.

District 26

Republicans Jeffrey Burum and Antonio Sabado Jr. look to take down long time swamp monster Julia Brownie. On the issues, Burum has a clearer Conservative message. Sabado is not a bad candidate, but he comes with more ambiguity.

Conservative Pick: Jeffrey Burum

District 27

There is no non-Democrat option.

District 28

Johnny Nalbandian is the only Republican option in this race.

District 29

Benito Bernal is the only Republican running.

District 30

Mark Reed is the only Republican but is a solid candidate.

District 31

Sean Flynn is the only Republican in this race. He wrote Economics For Dummies.

District 32

Grace Napolitano is unchallenged.

District 33

Kenneth Wright looks to unseat the bumbling Ted Lieu. He is a solid candidate.

District 34

There’s not really a Conservative option here. There’s an anti-military Libertarian candidate.

District 35

Christian Valiente is the only Republican option in this race.

District 36

There are five Republicans running to unseat Raul Ruiz. The most serious contender is Kimberlin Brown Pelzer. She has the endorsement of  Ken Calvert, Paul Cook, and Ed Royce, all RINOs. But she isn’t in position to disavow a friendly endorsement. Her platform is rather weak, giving off the indication that she wouldn’t be a productive Representative on the issues of repealing Obamacare or dealing with DACA and illegal immigrants. Dan Ball is perhaps the RINO in this pack as well. It’s concerning that Pelzer is running to the right of him and he isn’t challenging her claim that he opposes repealing Obamacare. Then there’s Doug Hassett. His platform says a lot of Conservative things and then delves into a statist solution involving ore government.  The other candidates aren’t very serious. Robert Bentley is perhaps the most Conservative, but isn’t viable.

Conservative Pick Kimberlin Brown Pelzer (low confidence)

District 37

Ron Bassilian is the only Republican running in this race.

District 38

Ryan Downing is the only Republican running in this race.

District 39

Seven Republicans are running. Pete Libertore stands out as the most Conservative. He believes all the right things but his viability as a candidate is seriously doubtful. Young Kim has a was in the California assembly. Young Kim is reckless with money and one can’t help but conclude her governance would be the same way. In 2014, she spent $2.3 million on a Assembly seat and won. In 2016 she spent $2.8 million and lost. She sucks at campaigning and cannot be trusted in the top two.

The most threatening candidate seems to be Shawn Nelson. Nelson seems a bit to the right of Trump. While he not the most Conservative candidate in the state, he is particularly strong on the 4th Amendment and the 1st Amendment. We need more Republicans who would vote against government surveillance programs, as they are not only minimally effective but a precurssor for more nefarious threats to our freedom to come. Nelson has enough of a presence to warrant attack ads against him. This race represents the chance to upgrade from RINO Ed Royce. Nelson is the best chance at that.

Conservative Pick: Shawn Nelson

District 40

There is no Republican option.

District 41

Aja Smith is the only Repulbican in this race.

District 42

RINO Ken Calvert is the Republican incumbent. No Republican is challenging him.

District 43

This is Maxine Walters district. There are three Republicans running and the one most poised to defeat her is Omar Navarro. He is a “social media candidate” much like Austen Petersen in Missouri, Brenden Dilley from Arizona, or Bradley Manning in Maryland. He could have a lot of support or it could all be a front.

Conservative Pick: Omar Navarro

District 44

Jazmina Saavedra is the only actively running Republican. Stacey Dash was in the ring but withdrew. However she is still on the ballot and this race is a dismal feat. This isn’t about winning the seat. This is about advancing Conservatism is a place where Hillary dominated.

Conservative Pick: Stacey Dash

District 45

Mimi Walters is the incumbent Republican, another RINO. She is opposed by four democrats and an independent.

District 46

Russell Lambert is the only Republican running in this race.

District 47

John Briscoe and David Clifford are the two Republicans looking to unseat Alan Lowenthal. Briscoe has election experience winning at the local level. Clifford wasn’t to institute tax incentives aimed at small businesses instead of raising the minimum wage. Clifford is creative, but this is messing with the free market in a fiscally irresponsible way. Briscoe has a better grasp on liberty and experience in winning.

Conservative Pick: John Briscoe

District 48

District 49

This was a seriously crowded field. The 39th is a competitive race that the Democrats really want to enhance their fabled Blue Wave. However, this presents a chance to reinforce Conservatives in the house. The two most formidable Republicans are Rocky Chavez and Diane Harkey. This is a surprisingly easy choice. Chavez is a current Assemblyman. His record is unimpressive to put it kindly. He voted in favor of cap and trade and voted to bar landlords from reporting illegal immigrants and allows illegals to sue them if they disclose. Chavez has RINO written all over him. If polling is to be believed, Diane Harkey has pulled ahead of the pack. She has some RINO endorsements but also has Dana Rohrbacher on her side. She’s the most viable option for retaining the seat as it is conceivable that many Conservatives would abandon an illegal immigrant supporting candidate like Chavez in the general.

Conservative Pick: Diane Harkey

District 50

Duncan Hunter is the third best Congressman California has to offer via Conservative Review. To put it in perspective, third place here is surprisingly better in most of the red states so far this union. Hunter is not the most fiscally responsible, particularly because his priority is funding defense. It is also worth noting that he was probably more Conservative before Trump. Still he is the most viable candidate in a field of Democrat challengers.

Conservative Pick: Duncan Hunter

District 51

There are three Republicans in this race. Back for more is Juan Hidalgo Jr. He has lost this race in 2016 and seems to be coasting on the failed endeavor for this time around, as in same exact website and an unused since 2016 Twitter account. Louis Fuentes is another candidate without any real online presence. Lastly John Renison is looking to make the runoff. He has the most active and Conservative campaign in this race. He is strong on life, guns, and seemingly free market.

Conservative Pick: John Renison

District 52

Scott Peters has a giant war chest because this may be competitive. A field of six Republicans thinks they can stick it to him. The three most serious are Omar QudratJames Veltmeyer, and Danny Casara. Omar Qudrat is the choice of the regional GOP. However, his campaign is hardly Conservative and focuses almost exclusively on local issues.  James Veltmeyer is a highly skilled doctor with an emphasis on fixing the healthcare system. He adds ideas to the mix of ideas Conservatives are trying to fix our system with. Danny Casara seems like a good guy. His campaign is coming from the intent to limit government.

Conservative Pick: James Veltmeyer

District 53

The Republican that stands out the most in the 53rd is Morgan Murtaugh. She is 25 adding a youthful voice to the Conservative movement. In the era of Trump, like many Conservatives, she has found herself pleasantly surprised. She has a strong grasp on Liberty and could flip this seat red with the enough resources.

Conservative Pick: Morgan Murtaugh

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Opinions

McConnell promises to be ‘Grim Reaper’ for socialism if GOP wins

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McConnell promises to be Grim Reaper for socialism if GOP wins

Last week I shared an email I received from Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign asking for a donation to help him keep his job as Kentucky’s senior senator and leader of the Republican party.

McConnell provided no accomplishments earning him the right to serve what would be his SEVENTH term in office, other than a promise to make the GOP a “firewall” that will save America from the Democrats and their socialist agenda. By the way, if he’s re-elected and serves a SEVENTH TERM, he would be tied with Orrin Hatch as the longest-serving Republican senator in history.

“Republicans agree, the Democrats’ full embrace of socialism is alarming. As liberals in the House and those running for President scramble to enact the policies of the far-left, your Republican Senate Majority stands as the firewall that will save our country from socialism.

“Our firewall could crack though, if Senate Republicans in key battleground states don’t get the support they need. Every conservative must stand united to keep socialism at bay, and that includes you too.”

But promises to keep America secure from the malware of socialism aren’t enough for this poster child for term limits. In a meeting with a group of community leaders in Owensboro, KY, McConnell also promised to become the personification of Death itself to stop the advance of socialism if the GOP holds the senate in 2020.

“If I’m still the majority leader in the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass.

“I guarantee you that if I’m the last man standing and I’m still the majority leader, it ain’t happening. I can promise you.”

Well … since he promised, we can certainly believe him. After all, he kept his promise to repeal Obamacare if voters gave Republicans the keys to the kingdom in 2016. Didn’t he?

Of course, McConnell, Trump, and the rest of the GOP aren’t going to be the death of socialism. In fact, under their leadership we’ve witnessed the advance of many of the pet projects of the Far-Left, including: paid family leave, a Green New Deal alternative, expanding government-run healthcare, and gun control.

Combined with their 2020 election promises consisting of the recycled the lies they told us in 2016, the GOP’s fear mongering over socialism is merely a strategic attempt to distract voters and hide Republican failures, lies, and broken promises.

McConnell has played the “repeat broken promises to get re-elected” card before, and KY voters have fallen for it in his five previous re-election campaigns. Amazingly, despite a recent poll showing a dismal 33% approval rating with 61% of those polled calling for someone new, Mickey holds a lead against his yet-to-be-named Democrat opponent.

Most likely, that means the article I wrote right after Republicans decided to make socialism the 2020 campaign issue du jour will move one step closer to becoming a reality because; socialism wins in 2020 regardless of who’s in the White House or who controls Congress.

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.

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Democrats

Impeachment talk: Just sound and fury signifying nothing

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Impeachment is a good talking point bad strategy for Democrats

If you ever went to a Tea Party rally between 2010 and 2016, chances are you heard a whole lot about Obamacare. It was a disaster. It needed to be repealed. The Republicans were going to regain control of the House, Senate, and White House, and the first thing they were going to do was to repeal Obamacare forever. These were the talking points at the rallies.

The same could be said about every campaign rally during the same time period. To various degrees, the majority of Republican candidates ran on a promise to repeal Obamacare if they got the power to do so. They even demonstrated this many times in practice, especially the infamous “clean repeal” of 2015 that was passed in both chambers before being sent for its predictable demise by veto at the left hand of President Obama.

When the champagne corks had been picked up following the victorious 2016 election, the time had finally come to do something extremely important. No, it wasn’t what they had promised. Only a small handful really had any intentions of fully repealing Obamacare. The task at hand was to change their own narrative, the narrative they rode to victories in three out of four elections. They no longer needed to talk about repealing Obamacare. Now was the time to talk up “repeal and replace” in hopes they could fix Obamacare and rename it.

The GOP used the Obamacare repeal to help them win control, then turned everything around when they finally got control. The end results was essentially an untouched Obamacare to this day.

Fast forward to the Democrats’ version of Obamacare: impeachment. Now that the Mueller report has been released, Democrats who hoped the report would result in a hands-free end to the Presidency were disappointed. But it’s not all bad news. Now they have a boogeyman they can talk about at campaign rallies, on social media, at town halls, and in interviews. Impeachment is the talk of the town in DC.

But this is different from Obamacare. There’s no real chance at a united front because there are four groups of Democrats separated by how they must handle impeachment for their own self-interest.

  • Radical progressives, mostly in the Senate and especially if running for President, must beat the drum as loud as possible for impeachment knowing it’s a message that can rile up their base.
  • Establishment Democrats must be the voice of reason knowing there’s no practical value of pushing impeachment, especially with next to zero chance of the Senate actually impeaching him if the House calls for it.
  • Red state Democrats in between the first two groups must shy away from impeachment or risk getting voted out.
  • Blue state Democrats in between the first two groups must push for impeachment if there’s a risk they could get primaried for not being tough enough on President Trump.

In the end, there will be no impeachment. The calls for impeachment will eventually die down, replaced by “vote him out” as we approach 2020. It’s a bluff that even the most ignorant leftist lawmakers know can’t actually have an impact other than make noise for political expediency.

Impeachment is a scam.

Some Democrats can use impeachment to raise money or garner support. Presidential candidates must use impeachment to keep their fans angry. But none of them have any illusions impeachment can happen. They’re all bluffing.

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Foreign Affairs

Diplomacy and defense

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Diplomacy and defense

In one sense, diplomacy is our first line of defense. It is always preferable to have diplomats in civilian attire working with their counterparts around the world to not only promote trade but moreover to keep countries away from each other’s throats over ideological differences.

But diplomacy has its limits. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain honestly thought he could talk Adolf Hitler out of the military conquest of Europe. He fell for the Fuehrer’s lies hook, line & sinker.

Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry were equally naïve and gullible in negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Donald Trump made the right decision by scrapping this deal which was just enabling Iran to be able to develop and deploy nukes.

Take a quick look at this official U.S. Department of State list of all former Secretaries of State. How many of them do you recognize?

5 of the first 10 plus number 17 went on to become President of the United States. Hopefully you remember Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Van Buren.

Buchanan was President during the time that led to the U.S. Civil War. No Secretary of State has since become President. The book is not yet closed on #67 Hillary Clinton, but don’t hold your breath.

It would appear that American diplomats are not held in as high esteem nor does being Secretary of State further their political career since the early days of our Republic. In recent decades, the President of the United States far overshadows his top diplomat.

Carter hosted the Camp David Accords with Begin and Sadat. Reagan challenged Russian dictators directly as in Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall [in Berlin]. Obama orchestrated everything for Hillary and John Kerry. Some have already forgotten Trump’s first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who didn’t make much of an impression on anybody. Mike Pompeo is more high-profile but is faltering somewhat these days. North Korea doesn’t even want to talk to him anymore.

Even with nation states, it is not possible to always sit down and talk out differences. Heck, Republicans and Democrats can’t even work out differences between the two major U.S. political parties. With that kind of negative example, how should we expect anybody else in the world to respect our diplomacy?

But the biggest failure of diplomacy comes with non-state actors. Pretending to be able to talk to the Taliban is a farce. We couldn’t and shouldn’t negotiate with Al-Qaeda or ISIS. Islamic Sharia law demands world domination and the elimination of all human government and man-made constitutions. What could you possibly find negotiable in that stance?

SRI LANKA

Which brings us to the current tragedy on the teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka, once famous for Ceylon tea. Credible reports are that both the United States and India provided very specific intelligence to Sri Lanka as long ago as April 4th which even gave the names of suspects who would commit multiple Jihad attacks on Easter Sunday targeting primarily Christians.

Just in the last 48 hours, it has become obvious that the Sri Lanka government is totally dysfunctional. The Prime Minister was not informed by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the intelligence information received. There is no indication that churches and hotels and the public were aware of the threat. No law enforcement or military presence was in place to prevent the attacks.

I say that to say this. Alaina B. Teplitz is the incumbent Ambassador from the United States to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. U.S. Embassy is located in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. She would hopefully have been privy to the intelligence information about the Easter Sunday threat.

Between her and her Chain of Command through U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo all the way up to President Donald Trump, why did no one speak out to warn U.S. citizens and others of the impending danger so they could take proper precautions, especially on Easter Sunday?

Now a U.S. State Department Sri Lanka Travel Advisory has been issued apparently due to the threat of a second wave of attacks. It is dated April 21st which was Easter Sunday. Whatever time of day it was issued, it would not appear to have reached potential victims in time to avoid churches, hotels and public places on that date. Exactly where one traveling in a foreign country could go for safety is also not clear.

The art of diplomacy involves not offending national leaders and other countries. But I submit that is a less crucial concern than providing for the safety of Americans abroad. If anything was in the media about the threat to Sri Lanka prior to Easter Sunday, many of us who follow world events closely did not see it.

When diplomacy fails as it did in Benghazi and again in Colombo, we need to re-examine our priorities. A lot has been said and written about what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did or did not do on the night of September 11, 2012 when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and four brave Americans died. Neither prevention nor response worked as they should have.

Instead of pursuing the Mueller report ad infinitum and ad nauseam, there should immediately be a very serious investigation into how our diplomatic and intelligence channels failed miserably in Sri Lanka this month of April 2019.

DIPLOMACY VIS-Á-VIS DEFENSE

When diplomatic mechanisms fail, then we must resort to our national defense capabilities. We need to take all steps to ensure that Americans in Sri Lanka who have a good reason to be there are safe if there is a second wave of attacks.

We definitely should have sent the Marines into Benghazi. It’s not time to do that into Colombo just yet. But we need to be prepared to do what has to be done if Americans are targeted. We also need to candidly admit that it is American Christians and Christians from other nationalities who are in the center of the bullseye.

Credible reports indicate that Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri who took over after UBL was killed had not long ago declared that A-Q would be looking eastward toward the Indian Subcontinent. As ISIS loses its territorial Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, terrorists will be dispersed into other vulnerable areas.

The dysfunctional Sri Lankan government is particularly vulnerable. It is noteworthy that the majority in the island nation are Buddhist Sinhalese. Islam targets not only Christians and Jews but all non-Muslims of every faith.

United States has to be prepared for further attacks throughout Asia. ISIS was instrumental in the siege of Marawi City in the Philippines.

IRAN

We must not be misled by disingenuous statements by Iranian “diplomats” condemning the Sri Lanka attacks. Iran has long harbored Al-Qaeda. While they found ISIS a competitor for hegemony in the Middle East, mutual hatred for non-Muslims is a far stronger motivating factor than the schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims for domination in the Islamic world. They are both willing and capable to cooperate and work together against the mutual enemy.

The United States Department of State and Department of Defense need to be on the same wavelength. When diplomats succeed, then military conflicts can be precluded. But nothing Neville Chamberlain could have done with Adolf Hitler would have prevented World War II. Frankly, nothing Mike Pompeo does with KJU will dissuade the North Korean madman from doing whatever he thinks he can get away with.

CHINA

Likewise, when our Secretary of State left Hanoi after the Circus Summit between Trump and Kim, he stopped over in Manila to assure Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that the United States has his back in dealing with China in the conflict in the Spratly Islands.

To say that the current Philippine President is unorthodox and undiplomatic, while true, would obscure the fact that he is at least a realist. He knows the tiny Philippines cannot go to war with a mega-power like China.

But right now he has a dilemma to sort out. Was Mike Pompeo just being a diplomat and saying what diplomats say, or would the United States really confront China militarily when Beijing occupies islands long claimed by the Philippines?

One thing is certain. Trump response will be exponentially greater than the Obama response would have been. But nobody is going to risk global nuclear war over a few specks of land in the South China Sea. Not even for the Philippines which is our closest ally in Asia and was our only long-term colony in the region.

That’s why rather irresponsible statements like saying Washington has Manila’s back against Beijing can lead to unanticipated and undesirable consequences. If such things are said at all, they should be behind closed doors and not made public.

So what is the United States doing to deter China’s worldwide ambitions for economic and military influence, if not outright control? China’s debt trap diplomacy is now moving beyond the Pacific Basin into Scandinavia and the Baltics as Beijing offers to finance an undersea tunnel between Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia.

U.S. COAST GUARD

Well for one thing, oddly enough, the U.S. Coast Guard which is part of the Department of Homeland Security now has Coast Guard Cutters in the Western Pacific reporting to the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, showing up in places like the Taiwan Strait.

South China Morning Post, April 21, 2019, ‘Oversubscribed’ US Navy leans more on coastguard to help counter China

“The coastguard brings some authorities below the threshold of war. We’re US warships, but we look different, with a white hull and an orange stripe.”

While keeping a wary eye on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United States resources at this point must focus primarily on both the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran. But, those are just the nation states that we must contend with.

TERRORISTS

It’s a lot trickier to deal with non-state actors such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and an indigenous group from southern India and Sri Lanka that is thought to be responsible for the Easter Sunday Massacre. Our diplomats and other personnel assigned at our embassies abroad need to do their jobs. That obviously would include CIA Station Chiefs under whatever may be their diplomatic cover.

It is significant that the former United States Pacific Command not long ago rebranded itself the Indo-Pacific Command. This was obviously in recognition of the expanding role of the United States military along with the interconnectivity between the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean and the countries around them.

Now, along with U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense, the Trump Administration is superimposing U.S. Department of Homeland Security into the picture. New Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenen has his work cut out for him in overseeing the U.S. Coast Guard role in joint patrols with the U.S. Navy to counteract China’s influence.

Oh, yes, plus that other little matter of securing our border with Mexico at the same time. All the while, the U.S. Coast Guard will be hard-pressed to continue drug interdiction patrols in the Eastern Pacific and Latin America as they also shadow China at the behest of the U.S. Navy.

Remember that Coast Guard also does search and rescue missions for boaters in trouble, plus deals with oil spills and water pollution and myriad other non-warfighting duties. It remains to be seen whether using the Coast Guard to augment the Navy is a stroke of genius or whether it is just spreading our resources too thinly.

WHERE THE BUCK STOPS

It all really comes down to the guy at the top and his key advisers. Donald Trump undoubtedly appreciates the requirements of national security far better than his predecessor. So that’s why it’s crucial that he recruit and maintain the right advisers.

John Bolton obviously has the President’s ear. He is more knowledgeable and trustworthy to offer good advice than is Mike Pompeo. Kevin McAleenan would be an excellent choice to be nominated as permanent Secretary of DHS. The President should respectfully consider his recommendations for enforcement posture.

SECOND BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT

Members of Congress need to get their act together. The considerations we’ve been discussing here will have a much greater impact upon the future of our country than anything related to the Mueller report.

Remember, Senators and Representatives, you hold the purse strings to this government. Ponder that when you put your head on your pillow tonight. Cut out the cable talk shows and news conferences. By all means, tweet a whole lot less! Go back to Capitol Hill and do what we sent you there to do. Legislate rather than pontificate!

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