Roy Moore is Losing in Alabama. Can the GOP Catch Up?

It’s no longer just a scare: Roy Moore is behind in the Alabama Senate race. Can the Republican Party catch up?


Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, talks to constituents before a Republican Senate candidate forum, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in Pelham, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Alabama is a great state for the Republican Party. Donald Trump won 62% of the vote, and Richard Shelby beat that at 64%. Republicans won 6 of 7 US House districts. However Roy Moore, like Donald Trump, has a history of underperforming. When George W. Bush got 57% for President, Roy Moore only got 55% for Chief Justice.

In 2012 when Roy Moore ran again for Chief Justice, He only got 52% of the vote. Mitt Romney got 61%. That’s right. Mitt Romney lost the election, but Roy Moore ran far behind him, giving the Democrat a chance to win the office of Chief Justice.

So even though Alabama is usually a sure win for Republicans, it’s less surprising than you think that Roy Moore is now losing. In his last statewide election he only won 52-48, so all it took was a move of a few percentage points to put Doug Jones ahead of him in the Senate race, and technically that’s where the poll average now has him. Jones is up by less than a percentage point, so it’s realistically tied, but by the numbers, Jones is winning and Moore is losing.

It’s hard to see what the Republican Party can do about it, either. Moore won’t quit. Democrat turnout is looking sky high this year. Unless Republicans can find a way to exonerate Roy Moore, or somehow put Donald Trump on the ballot, it’s looking grim for the Alabama Republican Party this year.

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Robert Mueller’s Team Now Directing the Department That Employs Them to Turn over Documents

Obstruction was the case.

That’s the angle Robert Mueller’s team seems to be taking up, as a new report from ABC News tells it.

Specifically, Mueller’s team is now seeking emails and other documents that might reveal what was going on, in relation to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May. They’re also looking into why Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Mueller’s investigators now seek not only communications between Justice Department officials themselves, but also any communications with White House counterparts, the source said. Before this request, investigators asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, ABC News was told.

This is where I remind everybody that this particular part of Mueller’s overall investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election wouldn’t even be a thing, had President Trump, himself, not said on national television that he fired Comey because of the “Russia thing.”

He undercut his own people who had the narrative in hand – Comey was fired because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation – nice, neat, and justifiable.

Sitting with Lester Holt the next day, with all the bumbling hubris that he’s built his presidency on, so far, it was Trump who elevated the Russia investigation to its current heights.

He truly can’t get out of his own way.

Due to that one, televised, uncoerced moment, the investigation was no longer simply because of potential interference from Russians working from the outside to influence the course of an election.

Frankly, they do that all the time and all over the world, because they’re always trying to get the upper hand.

No, in that moment, the existing investigation morphed to include an obstruction investigation. Did the newly-elected POTUS attempt to obstruct an ongoing investigation by firing the FBI director?

The insane part is how Trump’s loyalists act like battered wives. They hate how he acts, but they go on the defensive when anyone points out to them that they need to walk away from him.

“You don’t know him like we do! He’s really good to us when we’re alone! He’s just having a hard time, right now.”

Right.

Nobody is picking on him. He overinvolved himself in the Russia probe, then amplified the problem because he’s not bright enough to understand what a child would instinctively understand: You don’t even insinuate, much less say outright that you fired a law enforcement official to stop an investigation.

As for Jeff Sessions, he’s ready to meet with Robert Mueller, if necessary, in order to explain his reasons for recusal, a move that put Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge, and ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Sessions and Rosenstein both drafted letters recommending the firing of Comey, both of which pointed to Comey’s handling of the Clinton email scandal as reason for the firing. And those were the proper response, except it should have been done immediately, not four months into the term, and certainly not after private meetings between Comey and Trump.

In those meetings, Comey insists that President Trump told him that he requires “loyalty.” So now it looks as if not dropping the Russia probe was a sign of disloyalty.

Shortly before firing Comey, Trump secretly drafted a memo laying out his reasons for wanting the FBI chief ousted. The New York Times described it as an “angry, meandering” missive.

The draft memo was never publicly released, but a copy was shared with Rosenstein, who had taken command of the Russia-related probe, according to the Times.

After seeing Trump’s version, that’s when Rosenstein and Sessions drafted their versions and those were the versions the White House went with.

And it all culminated in this investigation we see today.

During a House hearing in June, Rosenstein refused to say whether he consulted with the White House ahead of Comey’s firing or whether anyone asked him to write his memo, insisting such questions “may well be within the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”

Rosenstein still maintains final supervision over the case, even though he was interviewed by Mueller’s team as a witness for his own role in Comey’s firing.

I don’t know if “consulted” is the right word, but Rosenstein’s actions were initiated after seeing Trump’s version of a letter calling for Comey’s firing.

And there has been a lot of that effort to continuously cover for Trump.

Still, it’s an unusual wrinkle to see Mueller’s team now actively checking into the very government department that employs him.

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Marco Rubio: We Need to Reward Work Instead of Collecting Welfare for Having Children

Florida Senator Marco Rubio wants to start paying people for actually going to work instead of sitting at home and living off of government benefits while they have children.

Rubio appeared on Fox and Friends to promote his child tax credit plan, which would increase the child tax credit to $2,000.

“We need to encourage work.” said Rubio. “We cannot be a country where you’re better off not working and having three kids because of the government programs – than a country with $35,000 or $45,000 a year, you end up losing money.”

“We need to reward work,” added Rubio, “and we need to take care of people who work really hard and are trying to get ahead. To keep more of their own money instead of sending it Washington  so Washington can spend it on their behalf.”

Rubio’s increase on the child tax credit isn’t a new idea of his by a long shot. The Florida Senator has been pushing such a tax credit since 2014. During his 2016 presidential run, the amount had been $2,500.

With the Republican tax bill just around the corner, Rubio has begun pushing for the tax credit hard, thinking it will also please some on the left.

“Unless America’s tax code and our broader public policy does not begin to account for the struggles of working Americans who put in eight to 10 hours a day, five days a week, I think our political process will continue to become more raucous and more divisive,” said Rubio on Friday according to Naples Daily News. “And America will struggle to solve not just its economic problems, but many of its other problems as well.”

Rubio hasn’t indicated that he would remove his vote for the GOP tax plan should the child tax credit not be included, but if he did, it would endanger the bill greatly.  Republican Sens Susan Collins from Maine, and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson have both already indicated that they can’t vote for the bill.

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The Utter Selfishness of Roy Moore

Judge Roy Moore

At this moment, there are people on social media who are begging for Al Franken to resign. He will not do so, nor will his party request (much less demand) it from him. He will be allowed to hold his seat and I don’t see much of a chance of him losing his next election because of it.

But there are people out there calling for it. They do so because he groped and kissed a woman against her will. That is bad, of course, and no one should ever do that. Still, it’s not like his head is going to be on a platter anytime soon.

However, in Alabama, you have a Senate candidate in Roy Moore who is accused of (and has offered virtually no defense against allegations of) dating young girls well below his age, some of whom were even underage at the time.

In spite of this, the very same people who call for Franken to step down are defending Moore. They come to his defense, they smear the women accusing Moore of things, and they remain steadfast in their faith. They do not see the hypocrisy in such actions.

Moore himself has vowed that not only will he remain in his race, but he will fight even harder.

The polls do not lie, however. The two latest polls show that Doug Jones is over Moore substantially. RealClearPolitics has a polling average of 0.2 in Jones’ favor. Granted, 2016 is the year that polling officially died, but there is something to be said for trends.

I am working under the assumption that Moore is going to win his race. The polling says one thing, but I am not yet convinced it will happen. Yet.

This does present a problem for the Republican Party. Namely, that Moore is very likely to face some party disciplinary action and possible expulsion from the chamber before he can even get started “fighting” Mitch McConnell and the Establishment.

One of the chief complaints from Trump and Moore supporters (that Venn diagram pretty much overlaps completely) about critics from their own side is that we are trying to help Democrats win. That we are really closet liberals bent on handing this country back to the Democrats. If that were the case, then what on earth would you call Moore?

Moore’s presence within the Republican Party is toxic. Nothing he says or does from here on out is going to be treated as anything other than “Wow, a child molester said/did this.” There is no way he can advance any sort of conservatism if it is forever tainted by his taste for teenage girls.

This is the short-sightedness of the Republican Party in general, which has of late been focused entirely on the here and now fight and not enough on the if and when. They aren’t future planners, and it’s showing.

Roy Moore, if he were truly about advancing conservatism and stopping the Democrats should recognize this. He should see the writing on the wall and back down. But Moore is a man who is interested in pushing Trumpism, Bannonism, or whatever else you want to call it. He is not a panacea for Washington D.C., but a toxin.

It is his utter selfishness that makes this so dangerous for the Republican Party. It could very well cost them a seat.

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Well…Bye: Charles Manson Dies At 83

I feel no compunction about being truly satisfied that the life of Charles Manson is at last over. A man who never felt any sadness or remorse over the lives he affected or ended due to his influence.

Manson was born into and raised in true dysfunction. A reason for his depravity but never an excuse. Good people have come out of far worse.

I can’t help but realize Charles Manson was older than my living grandmother. He also lived to be older than my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother. This is a travesty and a shame. Better people deserved Manson’s longevity.

Manson was sentenced to death until the “great” State of California decided the death penalty was a bridge too far regardless of proven depravity and guilt in 1972. I’m no fan of the death penalty, but Manson always seemed like a worthy candidate, if any.

That Manson outlived Gary Hinman, the LaBiancas, Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Stephen Parent is far worse.

That his name, and those of his cohorts, are more well-known is unconscionable.

So, bye, Loser.

May your name be forever synonymous with those who are eternally forsaken.

Never asking for forgiveness in life, and never trusting in an everlasting and redeeming Heavenly Father, one can only hope — even those as questioning in faith as I am — that he is reaping a pain as excruciating as the one he asked his followers to inflict upon others and their loved ones.

To anyone who thinks this is an exceedingly ugly-spirited post, I realize there is little to suggest it’s not. But no one deserves it quite like he does.

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For Once, Trump Should Flex His Strongman Muscles To Kill The Individual Mandate

One of my biggest concerns when Donald Trump was elected was that he’d be too much of a legislative tyrant. His experience as CEO and Chairman of the Board for multiple companies meant he was accustomed to getting his initiatives done one way or another. I assumed he’d make ultimatums, force multiple issues with his congressional majority, push an agenda that wasn’t aligned with conservative values, and generally be a strongman from the Oval Office.

Contrary to my expectations, he’s fit into the role of interested yet passive executive observer. He’s made a few demands and threats, but thus far he hasn’t forced his will upon them. Some might see this as a bad thing, but our republic was designed to only move forward under the right circumstances. The founders wanted to make government methodical and slow for very good reasons. Unfortunately, that means we’re stuck with a GOP majority in the legislative branch that has been unable to do anything of substance. As hard as that is for us to swallow, it’s still better than having legislation dictated from the White House.

Keep in mind, that’s how we got Obamacare in the first place.

On this one occasion, I’d actually be okay with the President pushing legislators over the edge on a single issue: repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate as part of the tax cut bill. We’re close enough to the finish line that it wouldn’t be too overbearing for the President and his administration to strongly encourage keeping that component in the Senate version of the tax cut and carry it over to the House for passage. It would be ever-so-slight overreach, but in this one case, I can accept it.

Once. Just once.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be happening. Mick Mulvaney, who I often agree with when it comes to fiscal matters, indicated today that the White House was okay with pulling that controversial portion of the Senate’s tax cut language if it meant getting it passed.

In a television interview, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the Trump administration would be fine with jettisoning a proposal to repeal the ACA’s individual mandate if it becomes a hindrance to passing the tax bill, which is the GOP’s top legislative priority.

“If we can repeal part of Obamacare as part of a tax bill and have a tax bill that is still a good tax bill — that can pass — that’s great,” Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we are okay with taking it out.”

Wrong message. Wrong compromise. If there are Republicans in the Senate and/or the House who are objecting to the tax cuts because of killing the individual mandate, it’s time for them to declare they’re Democrats. No Republican, not even the swampiest of the RINOs, could look anyone in the eye and claim they’re part of the GOP if they hold up cutting taxes for the sake of protecting the worst component of Obamacare. Not John McCain. Not Lisa Murkowski. Not even Susan Collins.

For once, the President should work in the background if possible or the forefront if necessary to tell Republicans on Capitol Hill this is their shining opportunity to notch two marks in the win column before the end of year. If ever we actually needed the art of the deal applied to a piece of legislation, it’s now.

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The Search Is On for Argentina’s Lost Submarine

This undated photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows an ARA San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric vessel, near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina’s Navy said Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, it has lost contact with its ARA San Juan submarine off the country’s southern coast. (Argentina Navy via AP )

 

On Wednesday, the Argentine Navy lost contact with one of its submarines.

The ARA San Juan is a diesel-electric attack built in Emden, Germany in 1982. It had been on a routine patrol from the Ushuaia naval base to the Mar del Plata base. Several nations are now involved in search operations. The US contribution, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft remained the best hope of finding that ship and its 44 crew members, and seven short satellite phone pulses from the ARA San Juan on Saturday give hope that a rescue may be effected.

[<a href=”//storify.com/streiff/ara-san-juan” target=”_blank”>View the story “ARA San Juan” on Storify</a>]

If the San Juan can be found and some or all of the crew are still alive, there is a very good chance that a rescue can be made. Both UK and US submarine rescue assets have been put on alert.
 

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Despite What the Liberal Media Says, Not Going to College Doesn’t Make You a Dumb Conservative

The media seems obsessed with discussing how many voters in any given precinct have a college degree, especially if those voters vote Republican. In every article I read, or news story I watch, pundits and politicos champion the chances of Democrats in congressional districts where there are high numbers of college degrees, and write-off as Republican the districts where not as many people walked across the stage to pick-up their bachelors degree diploma. The implication is pretty clear: if you are college educated you are smart, sophisticated, and definitely a Democrat. If you didn’t go to college, in their mind, you’re a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who doesn’t know any better than to vote Republican. This narrative has been used in-force in the aftermath of the Virginia elections earlier this month, and its horribly unfair.

As a man who grew-up in rural Spartanburg County, South Carolina, this “logic” offends me. I am the first member of my immediate family to go to college, the first to attend graduate school, and I know plenty of people from where I am from who are brilliant without a bachelors degree. My own father never went to college, nor did my mother, yet they have built a thriving business that provides great jobs to a good number of people. I know people from my hometown who run construction companies, manufacturing plants, and sell real estate who have never sat in a traditional college classroom. Many of these folks make more money than most of the college-educated writers at the Washington Post who deride them as dummies.

Liberals love to tout that people with four year college degrees are more likely to vote Democrat, which fills them with a sense of self-pride. This sentiment, however, is misleading for several reasons. First, there are millions of American voters, myself included, who are college educated and are still conservative. Additionally, not having a college degree does not make someone automatically less intelligent; I know plenty of people who went to college who don’t have the good sense to get out of the rain. The only correlation between college degrees and Democrat voters may be that most colleges indoctrinate their students with liberal orthodoxy in a decidedly secular-progressive atmosphere.

I am by no means against higher education; I encourage people to pursue higher education and / or skills training to build a better life for themselves and their families. I do not, however, appreciate the liberal tendency to use educational statistics to berate the intelligence of their political opponents. Further, I believe that the fact that bachelors degree holders are more likely to vote Democrat than Republican should serve as a rallying cry for conservatives to reengage in education policy at every level.

Lincoln was right, the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next. This warning extends to higher education, and the culture of our country hangs in the balance. We need more voters, regardless of whether they went to college or not, to vote for conservative, constitutional principles to secure the future for all Americans.

 

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Molesters of a Feather? Russell Simmons Makes an OUTRAGEOUS Request of Terry Crews

No, seriously. Why should he give the guy a “pass”?

When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October, actor Terry Crews (President Camacho, of “Idiocracy” fame) revealed that he, too, had been molested by a Hollywood executive last year.

I know that sounds wacky, but Crews insists it happened. He also recently revealed a name: Adam Venit.

Venit is an agent with WME (William Morris Endeavor – a talent agency).

Crews went on to actually file a complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Crews’ exact claim was that Venit approached him, then groped his crotch at a party.

I suppose it’s different when women say they’ve been molested or otherwise sexually harassed, because instead of support, Crews is being told to pipe down.

Specifically, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons is chiming in, and Crews took to Twitter to put him on blast, by posting a screenshot of what Simmons messaged him.

A pass. When did you get so zen, Simmons?

And why should he get a pass? Because Crews is a man, he should suck it up and take it?

Guess what? He doesn’t have to. It’s up to him. He knows his comfort level, and if he feels this was a violation (it was), then he has the right to expect that he’s not property or an object that can be disrespected in such a way.

Everybody has that right.

And what is Simmons’ stake in this, anyway? Is Venit his agent?

Get another one. Preferably one that doesn’t molest.

Simmons has his own scandal to keep up with, as it is.

He has been accused of sexual misconduct against a 17-year old model, Keri Claussen Khalighi in 1991, an act that happened in cahoots with disgraced movie producer Brett Ratner. Simmons, of course, claims it was completely consensual, but this was a 17-year old girl and he was twice her age, at the time.

So, seriously, is it just some kind of club where these predators stick together? Is that why he’s asking Crews to give Venit a break?

Unbelievable and sick.

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5 Things to Read and Watch For the Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. It only took two minutes for him to deliver the 269-word speech, but it is one the best-known speeches in history.

Here are five things to read and watch about the Gettysburg Address.

  1. Read the full text of the Gettysburg Address 
  2. History Channel has a page dedicated to the speech. It goes into Lincoln’s preparation, the public reaction, and has a couple of videos to explore.
  3. Here are 5 facts about the Gettysburg Address.
  4. Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary has this 6-minute segment on the Gettysburg Address.

 

4. A two-minute history channel video on the Gettysburg Address

 

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