Political Roundup for December 1, 2017

Senate:

UT-Sen: It appears that as much as Utah voters don’t want Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) to run again, they’ll still vote for him as long as they know he is a Republican and his opponent is a Democrat. Polls have shown that more than 3/4ths of Utahns don’t want him to run for an 8th term, and a September poll commissioned by Utahpolicy.com and conducted by Dan Jones & Asssociates caught attention by showing him losing by 11 points to Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson (D). But that poll did not identify the candidates by party affiliation. A new poll that does give the candidates’ party affiliations shows Hatch with a 15 point lead, 50-35% over Wilson. Mitt Romney however does much better in a potential matchup, leading Wilson by 51 points, 72-21%.

WV-Sen: Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy Co., is running for the Republican nomination for US Senate. His company owned a mine that was involved in a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners, and he was convicted for conspiracy to violate federal mine laws relating to the explosion, and served a year in prison last year. Blankenship claims that the conviction was political and that he was innocent. He joins AG Patrick Morrisey (R) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) in the GOP primary. A big stumbling block to his candidacy is that as part of conviction, he is prohibited from leaving Nevada, where he currently resides until May of next year. The primary will be held on May 8.

House:

Conyers: Although Rep. John Conyers (D) says he won’t resign, there is mounting pressure on him to do so, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and Assistant Leader James Clyburn (D) now saying he should resign. One aspect of a possible Conyers resignation is that it would make Rep. Don Young (R) of Alaska the Dean of the House. Young would be the first Republican in nearly 85 years to hold the title-the first since Rep. Gilbert Haugen (R) of Iowa held the title from 1928-1933.

NJ-5: Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski (R) will not run for Congress. Sarnoski had formed an exploratory committee to consider running for the Republican nomination to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D). Two other Republicans are in the race-former Bogota Mayor and unsuccessful gubernatorial and US Senate candidate Steve Longean and former Cresskill Councilman John McCann.

NY-24: After previously ruling out a run, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) is reconsidering running against Rep. John Katko (R) next year. Miner, who is leaving office at the end of the year, has been heavily recruited to run. Miner cited Katko’s vote for the GOP’s tax bill as making her reconsider. She has also been considering whether to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) from the left in next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

PA-10: Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko (R) is challenging Rep. Tom Marino (R) in next year’s Republican primary. McLinko cited the opioid crisis and the 60 Minutes report that caused Marino to withdraw his name to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy as reasons for running.

PA-11: Mike Marsicano, a former Hazleton mayor who was the 2016 Democratic nominee, will run for this seat again. Marsicano lost to Rep. Lou Barletta (R) by 27 points last year. Barletta is running for US Senate. Marsicano was unopposed for the nomination last year, but will have opposition this time. Former state agriculture secretary Denny Wolff and Air Force veteran Robert Alan Howe are running for the Democratic nomination while Luzerne County Councilman Tim McGinley is also considering running. State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), former state revenue secretary Dan Meuser, businessman Andrew Lewis and Berwick Councilman Andrew Schecktor are running for the Republican nomination while former deputy state Attorney General Joe Peters is considering running.

TX-6: Rep. Joe Barton (R) announced his retirement yesterday-check our post about it yesterday with a Great Mentioner on who may run to succeed him.

TX-29: State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D) announced yesterday that she will not run for Congress. Alvarado was considered to be a potentially strong contender for the seat. She joins state Rep. Armando Walle (D) as candidates declining bids in recent days. As more potentially strong candidates decide not to run, state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D) seems to be the clear frontrunner. Reflecting this situation, retiring Rep. Gene Green (D) also endorsed Garcia yesterday.

State offices:

AZ-Treas.: State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee (R) announced on Wednesday she will run for State Treasurer. Yee will face Arizona Corporation Commission chairman Tom Forese in the Republican primary. Current Treasurer Jeff DeWit (R), isn’t running for re-election and has been nominated to a post with NASA. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will appoint DeWit’s successor.

CO-Treas./CO-Leg.: A Democrat is drafting legislation to expel a fellow Democrat from the state House. State Rep. Matt Gray (D) is planning to submit his proposal to the House when they reconvene in January to expel state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including another state representative. Lebsock, who is also running for State Treasurer, has refused calls for him to resign. Expulsion of a member requires a two-thirds vote of the chamber, and has only happened once before in Colorado history.

NM-Aud.: State Auditor Tim Keller (D) has resigned and will be sworn in as mayor of Albuquerque today. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) will appoint Keller’s replacement, likely giving the state another Republican statewide officeholder at least until the end of the term next year. Applications are being accepted through today, but there is no timetable on naming a replacement.

PA-LG: Yet another candidate is getting in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor. State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) announced Wednesday that she is running. She is the 4th major Democrat to take on incumbent LG Mike Stack (D). The others are Braddock Mayor John Fetterman (D), Chester County Commissioner Kathy Cozzone (D), and Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman (D).

International:

Australia: The first of two by-elections this month in the House of Representatives will be held this Saturday. The by-elections were scheduled because two members were forced to resign their seats after a High Court ruling that barred people with dual citizenship from serving in the Parliament. This Saturday’s election occurs in the New South Wales seat of New England, where National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce will attempt to regain his seat. Joyce is expected to be returned relatively easily. The elections hold unusual importance as the absence of two Coalition members has left the governing Coalition temporarily without a majority and forces them to rely on confidence and supply agreements with two independents.

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135 Comments

  • cer December 1, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Johnson, Daines, and Collins are now all yes votes. In that case, the hell with Corker and Flake.

    https://twitter.com/kerpen/status/936580076140945409


    Conservative first, Republican second!

    • GOPTarHeel December 1, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Johnson is a yes, but Collins isn’t on board quite yet. https://t.co/MumBT4lwfe

      Nobody knows if Lankford still wants a trigger. Rubio/Lee could try and hold out for a more expanded CTC, but I doubt they’ll try and kill the whole bill over this.


      R/NC. Waiting for a non-ossified establishment or sane populists. Not optimistic.

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        Collins is apparently on board. She won a $10k deduction for state property taxes in the Senate bill, identical to the House compromise. The Daines/Johnson passthrough and the Collins deduction were paid for by marginally increasing the tax on multinationals repatriating cash and cutting the corporate AMT by less. Which is fine, because the corporate AMT a lot less damaging when the tax rate is so much lower.

        Lankford and Flake also on board.


        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • TennesseeMike December 1, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I’m so happy Corker is retiring, what an embarrassment. I look forward to having Marsha Blackburn as my Senator.


      TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

  • Ryan_in_SEPA December 1, 2017 at 8:40 am

    PA-10: I do not think we can underestimate the amount of energy behind candidates who are loud and angry about the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. One of the reasons we lost 4 row offices in Chester County is because the Republicans were more or less in bed with Big Pharma, a big employer in Chester County, while the Democrats want to aggressively go after the drug companies. In rural Pennsylvania where this is the largest crisis since the Great Depression, someone is going to take people like Marino down.


    31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

  • Boehnerwasright December 1, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I feel like Flynn just being charged with lying to the FBI means that he has flipped and will provide information for Mueller. There is a lot more Mueller could have charged him with.
    I still think Trump did nothing wrong in regards to Russia, but I feel less certain about Kushner/Trump Jr. A lot of shady stuff has come out about Kushner and Trump Jr. since the election.
    Politically a Flynn guilty plea/conviction looks worse then Manafort/Gates. Easy to distance yourself from an campaign manager you fired in the middle of an campaign, that was indicted for crimes not directly related with russia.
    Harder to distance yourself from your ex-NSA when the alleged crime was commited while he was serving in the WH. Wouldn’t be surprised if Flynn comes back up in 2020 when Trump runs for re-election.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-01/michael-flynn-is-charged-as-mueller-intensifies-russia-probe

    • RRR December 1, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Hypothetically, if Trump Jr. and Kushner end up charged and convicted, does the Donald pardon them? I imagine that most of his base wouldn’t care, but it would cause real trust issues with some reluctant Trump voters.


      PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
      More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

      • roguemapper December 1, 2017 at 10:07 am

        I’d say the odds are at least 110%.


        Dem NC-11

        • RRR December 1, 2017 at 10:28 am

          Semi-related question: why hasn’t the Donald pardoned Charles Kushner yet? I imagine that’s in the cards.


          PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
          More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

          • Boehnerwasright December 1, 2017 at 10:49 am

            Why do it before it is necessary? Most of democrats and quite a lot of swing voters would treat a pardon for Kushner as an admission of guilt regardless of Kushner doing something wrong.
            As it not clear that Kushner will be charged Trump can always wait for a pardon until he is sure it is needed.

            • RRR December 1, 2017 at 10:54 am

              Immediately after I asked, I remembered that he isn’t currently incarcerated. D’oh. Your answer is the obvious one.


              PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
              More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

    • Tekzilla December 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Yup, I think he absolutely did flip. One charge and a guilty plea doesn’t make sense otherwise.


      36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • rdw72777 December 1, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      I doubt he knows that much if I’m being honest. Never given me “smartest man in the room” vibe. He’ll probably just corroborate a lot of what we already know.

  • cer December 1, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Yes the TAX BILL does seem to have the votes.

    https://twitter.com/AP_Politics/status/936617748267982849


    Conservative first, Republican second!

    • RRR December 1, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Please stop capitalizing RANDOM WORDS.


      PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
      More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

      • cer December 1, 2017 at 10:52 am

        I will stop…. sorry.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

    • krazen1211 December 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Even flake is a yes.

      • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 12:42 pm

        And Collins appears to be okay with this. Corker may stand alone, which would be just crazy for him to do.

      • Izengabe December 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        Of course Flake is a yes. He’s a supply sider who believes in cutting taxes. The fact that people doubt that Flake would vote for this was really strange. Flake was simply negotiating to make the bill better but his vote was never really in doubt.


        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

        • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

          Agreed. He would have had to have a complete ideological change.

        • rdw72777 December 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

          To be fair he extracted some sort of DACA re-assurance that he’ll certainly never really get so it’s not the last we’ve heard of him.

  • HoneyBee December 1, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Wow the Kate Steinle thing really just depresses me. Imagine how the father feels right now. His daughter was killed with her last words being “help me dad” by a 6 time deportee 7 time felon illegal immigrant, the guy who did it received almost no punishment at all simply because he was an immigrant and some left-wing San Francisco jurors wanted to “stick it to Trump” with the defense lawyer mentioning Trump by name multiple times, and the murderer’s defense lawyer and the left is celebrating an outrageous non-guilty verdict as a “victory for immigrants”

    I think we should be much more pro-immigrant than we currently are. I think it should be made much easier to come to this country for most people. I think most illegal immigrants should be given legal permanent residence. But this is outrageous. The left’s immigration policy is completely insane at this point.


    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • Boehnerwasright December 1, 2017 at 10:54 am

      The defendant was still convicted for illegal possesion of a firearm and will be deported after his prison term.
      Do you have any proof that his verdict was influenced by the defendant being a immigrant? Especially as the jury didn’t know about his immigrant status.

      Which prominent member of the ”left” has celebrated this verdict as victory for immigrants? Any elected officials or even better known pundits?

    • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      As sad as it is, I agree with the verdict. There is a good diary (the top trending one) on RedState that goes to the heart of this. I think there was reasonable doubt to whether the defendant’s story that it was an accident that the gun went off, the bullet hit the sidewalk and ricocheted and hit Steinle. The evidence seems to suggest that the path of the bullet was what the defense attorneys argued. A charge of involuntary manslaughter (plus the gun crimes that got a conviction) would be reasonable here, a charge of murder was not supported by the evidence.
      We believe in the rule of law here, not the mob rule that many of the President’s worst supporters would like.

      https://www.redstate.com/sarah-rumpf/2017/11/30/lied-kate-steinle-case/

      That said, this guy shouldn’t have been in the country and should have been deported a long time back, he was a regular drug user/dealer. I’m well to the left on immigration, but convicted felons should be deported. I don’t oppose sanctuary cities in that I don’t believe the local police should be required to check immigration status unless there is a federal warrant against them; however immigrants (illegal or legal) who are convicted of major crimes should be deported immediately upon serving their sentence. If they have a reasonable appeal, they can do it from a immigration detention facility. That’s just common sense.


      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • andyroo312 December 1, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Run, Mitt, rruuunnnn!!!


    MA-7

    • cer December 1, 2017 at 10:53 am

      He can find his inner red state conservatism all over again. Definitely helps to be out of Massachusetts.


      Conservative first, Republican second!

    • prsteve11 December 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I’m not so sure I want Mitt Romney to run for this seat. I voted for him in 2012, of course, but he’d need to be a team player. I kind of like Hatch. Any idea if he’s retiring yet?


      SC-03, Conservative Republican

      • HS December 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

        Hatch is a nice guy, but the last time I saw him he was frail and somewhat out of it. It is time for him to retire. I hope he realises this.

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          I met Hatch a year or so ago and he seemed reasonably sprightly to me. And unlike Mitt, he’s clearly got good political instincts. Bundling a repeal of the individual mandate with the tax plan was actually a stroke of genius since it’ll keep the House Freedom caucus in line. And he’s been a super-key player on all of the judicial stuff.

          Maybe Romney would be good, maybe he wouldn’t. But I know Hatch is great.


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • Tekzilla December 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Flynn has officially flipped, will openly testify against Trump including that trump directed Russia contact – ABC news Brian Ross


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Flynn’s “crime.”

    “Two sources told NBC News that in the Dec. 22 conversation with Kislyak, Flynn asked Russia to either delay or defeat a pending UN resolution declaring Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory illegal.

    The Obama White House and State Department was planning to abstain on the resolution, rather than vetoing it in the Security Council. The Israeli government furiously opposed that abstention, and so did President-elect Trump. No prior administration had failed to veto similar resolutions against Israel, despite opposing its settlements policy. Flynn, while not yet in office, was trying to get the Russians to do what Israel wanted, and thus undercut U.S. policy.”

    The idea of the lame duck presidency has always been kind of stupid. IIRC, Brazil makes the lame duck period like a week or two.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Izengabe December 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      No. Flynn’s “crime” was lying about this to the FBI. It was the cover up and not the actions that were the problem.


      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • HS December 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Flynn’s real crimes involved Turkey and the money they sent to him, which prompted him to switch positions. Foreign bribery. In return for him testifying against a Trump administration person, Mueller is not going after him on that and is instead charging him with a much less serious crime.

    • RRR December 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Flynn’s crime is lying under oath. If he had nothing to hide, he should have told the complete truth.


      PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
      More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

  • HoneyBee December 1, 2017 at 11:39 am

    So Flynn flipped. Did Flynn flip by saying Trump directed him to tell Russia to “interfere” with the election or whatever? Or did he “flip” by saying Trump directed him to tell Russia to try to stop the Israeli sanctions?

    Because if the first one is true, Trump should be impeached. If the second is true, Trump should be applauded.


    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 11:42 am

      it is the 2nd one, since it took place on December 22nd.

      • HoneyBee December 1, 2017 at 11:44 am

        Wow, what a bunch of garbage.

        Mueller is simply there to find a crime on Trump. Any crime. It’s not about “investigating Russian interference”

        Testify for what? There’s nothing illegal about trying to stop Israeli sanctions.

        They’re just trying to confuse the public by mentioning “contact with Russia” as much as possible.

        Like I said, if there was actually “collusion”, Trump should be impeached. But this was AFTER the election. This is outrageous what Mueller is doing


        Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 11:50 am

          I wouldn’t be surprised if this was strategically timed to take away media attention from the Steinle case and maybe throw a wrench into the tax reform package (though I doubt it would really change anyone’s mind).


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • prsteve11 December 1, 2017 at 11:43 am

      I think it’s the latter. This whole thing is tiresome, really. Most Americans don’t seem too interested in all this.


      SC-03, Conservative Republican

      • TennesseeMike December 1, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        Because there doesn’t seem to be anything there. No meeting we know of ever occurred that resulted in conclusion on any level. It wasn’t even discussed during any meeting. And many voters (including myself) would agree with a Russia meeting to try to stop Israeli sanctions. Nothing illegal about that. Lying about it is illegal but that’s on Flynn, not Trump.


        TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

    • MikeFL December 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Could it be both? I just find it odd that Mueller and his team would offer this plea to Flynn if the only thing he is providing is the latter, since like HS said above, the Turkey-related crimes are a lot more serious.

      Edit: unless he has info re: Kushner and Don Jr. too, which I suppose is possible.


      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

      • HS December 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

        Here is some more info from Andy McCarthy on the Flynn plea. Apparently, it indicates there really was no collusion between Russia and Trump to “hack” the election. Because otherwise, the plea would have been for other more serious charges.
        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454269/michael-flynn-plea-no-breakthrough-russia-investigation

        • MikeFL December 1, 2017 at 3:10 pm

          I guess that’s one interpretation of it, but I guess they could also be trying to use Flynn to flip other witnesses or need more evidence to bring the charges. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough either way.


          26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

  • HoneyBee December 1, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This is absolutely incredible what the media is doing to a Democratically elected President.

    This truly depresses me. Our institutions are worthless. We can elect someone Democratically, and he can be taken down by unelected Bureaucrats and the media.


    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • andyroo312 December 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Maybe next time don’t elect a demented sociopath for president who surrounds himself with shady characters?


      MA-7

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm

        This is hardly the right time and place to castigate George W. Bush and his warmongering cronies.


        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • Son_of_the_South December 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

          Stop it, both of you! Don’t make me turn this website around!


          24, R, TN-09
          Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • TennesseeMike December 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      They are doing this to Trump because they fear he might upset their apple cart. They ruled so long and they don’t want to give up power.


      TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 11:52 am

    CA Gov 18: Newsom leads Villaraigosa 23-18. Chiang and John Cox behind at 9. Travis Allen at 6.

    CA Sen 18: Feinstein leads De Leon 45-21 in the first round.

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-ppic-poll-governor-senate-20171130-story.html

    Republicans probably aren’t getting into the top two in California.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Left Coast Libertarian December 1, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      They have the vote going 53%-15% to the Democrats. That’d give Democrats 78% of the 2-party vote. They normally get around 57%. They did get 70% in the 2016 primary. Hillary Clinton only got 66% of it. I doubt Democrats will get 78%.

      They only tested 2 Senate candidates, Feinstein and de Leon. So, yes, if all the Republicans on the ballot are kicked off we can get that result. De Leon actually beats Feinstein with Republicans 25%-18%. De Leon has contempt for Republicans. He is running a campaign that Republicans and Trump are the problem. He’s not going to campaign for Republican votes. He sure isn’t winning Republicans. He’s winning them because Republicans don’t know who he is and know they don’t want Feinstein.

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    95% of the vote has been counted in Honduras. Apparently, they are now hand-counting the final 5% under watch by international observers. Of course, I think it’s clear that Hernandez has built up an insurmountable lead, so the results won’t change. The real question is whether the hand-counted votes at the end trend dramatically towards one candidate or not. If they are very heavily pro-Hernandez, it suspects there may not have been as much electoral shenanigans as expected – though if they are heavily pro-Nasrallah, that will be suspicious.

    Hernandez currently leads 42.92-41.42 with 95% of the vote in.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-01/honduras-officials-to-hand-count-final-votes


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • freego December 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I am shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU that Blake Farenthold was the name behind the secret $84K sexual harassment settlement. He’s needed to go since about 2013 or so in my book…

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/01/blake-farenthold-taxpayer-funds-sexual-harassment-274458


    24, M, Rockefeller Republican, VA-08

    • MosheM December 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Everyone guessed this one


      29, M, R, NY-10

  • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Politico reporting that Blake Farenthold (R-TX27) used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint from his communications director.

    Farenthold’s CD is R+13 and he won by 23 points in 2016, so that’s the landscape if he resigns/retires.

    • cer December 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Thank God this guy has already jumped on in, and hopefully more to come.

      https://www.cloudforcongress.com/


      Conservative first, Republican second!

    • Izengabe December 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Dec 11 is the filing deadline in Texas.


      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • Son_of_the_South December 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      I know a guy who was up for that job in Farenthold’s office. Now I guess I know why he didn’t get it…


      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

      • RRR December 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        I suspect “that guy” could have flattened Farenthold (and would have if he had witnessed impropriety).


        PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
        More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

        • Son_of_the_South December 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

          Probably


          24, R, TN-09
          Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Even as the economy recovers, US birth rates have hit all-time lows with a TFR of 1.77. For comparison, “dying” Japan is at 1.46 and France at 2.06.

    https://medium.com/migration-issues/the-great-baby-bust-of-2017-2f63907402fc

    Latino birthrates have sharply converged with typical American birthrates (cultural assimilation?), which dragged the average down. Teenage births are also sharply down (as are abortions for that matter.) In addition, millennials have been having children at the slowest pace of any generation in American history, which is unsurprising because of how sharply far behind millennials lag behind previous generations in every other imaginable life milestone.

    Out-of-wedlock births have also collapsed, but marriage has also declined severely. This suggests that a smaller and smaller portion of American society are having kids. Family values might be a difficult thing to campaign on when there aren’t that many families. I suspect we are heading towards a future where “parents” become a distinct interest group.

    In related news, a new study finds that child tax credits do not increase fertility. https://msu.edu/~dickertc/EITCFert_JPopE6.pdf


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      The funny thing a couple of days ago was Ross Douthat going on a Twitter rant about Trump not wanting to expand the child tax credit in the Senate bill beyond the current $2000 because “it shows populist right-wingers aren’t willing to take demographic policy seriously” while conceding that expanding the tax credit would not actually have much effect on fertility. He literally just wanted empty signaling that would achieve nothing.

      I strongly believe fertility declines are more cultural than economic. Kiryas Joel’s population isn’t exploding because of tax policy, it’s because they are an extremely religious and conservative population. The Soviet Union had a lot of pro-maternity policies and their birth rate was still something like 1.4, while their Muslim populations in places like Chechnya were pretty much the only places that had fertility rates above replacement level. It’s a mistake to think you can just write something into a tax bill and boom, problem solved.

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        What, a NYT editorial token conservative rallying behind empty virtue signalling? Truly a shock.

        And yeah, you’re right about the cultural/social thing. Speaking of the Soviet Union, I was speaking to a friend who grew up in Georgia (the country, not the state) and he noted that birth rates spiked after the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church promised to personally baptize any fourth child (and further) born. The sociocultural incentive of having a child baptized by the head of their church was worth way more than tax incentive.

        Which makes sense. If economics drove fertility, then wealthy young professionals would be having lots of children instead of almost none.

        I actually really enjoy reading about strange government fertility incentive programs. My favorites are the National Sex Day in Russia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_Conception) and Singapore’s incredibly unsuccessful government dating service (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Development_Network).

        Also France sometimes gives (or used to give) certain mothers military medals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9daille_de_la_Famille_fran%C3%A7aise


        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • GOPTarHeel December 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        He also said that the CTC is justified as a break for families who should be treated more favorably due to the fact that they are raising future taxpayers, regardless of whether they induce further fertility.

        Also, he’s dead right that every other populist right movement across the world supports policies like these.


        R/NC. Waiting for a non-ossified establishment or sane populists. Not optimistic.

        • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

          He’s dead right that every other populist-right movement supports these policies. And what effect do they have? Are any of these countries actually seeing the fertility increases that they’re hoping for out of these policies? Poland, with its religious/nationalist government, has a birth rate of 1.3.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

            Admittedly, part of the reason Polish birth rates are so low is because a lot of young Polish people are having families…they’re just currently residing in the UK or Germany while having those families. Polish guest workers tend to be overwhelmingly young. So if a young Polish couple has kids in Germany and move back to Poland a few years later (quite common since EU countries don’t do birthright citizenship), I don’t think it gets counted in the Polish TFR.


            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Jon December 1, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Here’s my personal experience:
      I know several coworkers who had a kid born in 2017; in most cases, it was their first child. Most of the births were in the first half of the year, but one of them was in the 3rd quarter. No one else has announced any pregnancies. In addition, one coworker got married this year.
      For 2016, I’m aware of three kids being born to coworkers, but that’s including a coworker who had twins.

      The overall tone of that article appeared rather too alarmist to me; people usually don’t on purpose get pregnant again less than six months months after having given birth.


      45, M, MO-02

    • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      I’m not surprised. This is one of the things that happens when a country loses its religious core and becomes more secular, but another issue IMO is that most millennials have not reached full adulthood.
      Why not? Part of it is cultural, but a lot of it is the massive debt that are burdened with at every part of their life (from college, homes, cars, etc). So while cultural trends dominate, economic ones matter too. And the child tax credit expansion isn’t going to solve that problem, but inflation (which would water down their debt) very well could.


      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

      • roguemapper December 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm

        Umm… Inflation “waters down” income far more swiftly than it “waters down” debt, because interest rates.


        Dem NC-11

        • TexasR December 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm

          Yeah, this is why “stagflation” was a thing.


          Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
          Be careful what you wish for

          • Jon December 2, 2017 at 9:21 am

            The stagflation during the Carter Administration was mostly blamed on the oil shocks in my economics classes in the early 90s.


            45, M, MO-02

  • HoneyBee December 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    This is old, but I think this illustrates a lot of why our party is more divided than the Dems

    http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/

    The Dems almost all have an extremely crunchy or academic job. They’re all similar. Librarians, baristas, environmentalists, psychologists, sociologists, social scientists. Other than the STEM jobs and a couple doctors like pediatricians that lean dem, they all fit this category.

    Meanwhile, we’re the party of neurosurgeons, investment bankers, truck drivers, and oil workers.

    What do these people have in common? Not all that much. I would expect most people here are a lot closer to the neurosurgeons and investment bankers than truck drivers and oil workers, but we have to make sure we make both sides feel welcome in our party, or we’ll get another Trump who’s completely unpalatable to the first group


    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • krazen1211 December 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Waayy overstated in my view. I am not sure what the similarities are between a bartender and a midwife.

      We are the winning party and they are the losing party. So by definition, the party that has more members probably has a wider range of viewpoints. This of course is reinforced by the Democrats being condensed to some 500ish counties nationwide, and just writing off the rest of the country. I suspect that matters more than occupations.

      • RRR December 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        If there are more Republicans than Democrats out there, why have six of the past seven presidential elections (including W.’s ’04 win and Trump’s ’16 win) featured popular vote victories for the Democrats, and why do reputable, independent opinion surveys consistently find Democrats as having greater partisan identification figures?


        PA-2/IL-9/NY-7; Bronxville Test conservative
        More Steve Litzows/no Moore Kings or Bannons. Sasse '20

      • Izengabe December 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        “I am not sure what the similarities are between a bartender and a midwife.” They both deliver something very important!


        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • shamlet December 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

        I’ve said this before but it bears repeating here: The key cultural difference between Republicans and Democrats is in my mind the same one it has been since the Civil War: Republicans are the party of those who are or who aspire to be Ordinary Americans, while Democrats are the party of those who are or who aspire to be Extraordinary (in the literal sense of the word, sans dipthong) Americans. The biggest change in the last generation is that upper-income whites have largely moved from seeing themselves as Ordinary to seeing themselves as Extraordinary and lower-income whites have largely made the opposite jump.


        R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 3:31 pm

          That’s not fair at all to the old Democrats. The construction workers who fought with the hippie protestors in the Hard Hat Riots were all Democrats. The mayor who cheered on the hippie protestors (John Lindsay), was a Republican.

          And upper-income whites are still largely Republican. It’s whites with too many useless degrees that are now hardcore Democrats. There is no more conservative voting bloc than white dudes with a high school degree who make $250k+ a year.

          Though I guess the real reason that this buttresses your point is that undergoing endless graduate degrees tends to delay or even kill dead life milestones that are signs of being an Ordinary American (like home ownership, financial stability, marriage, children). (I have many useless degrees as well.)


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

          • shamlet December 1, 2017 at 3:46 pm

            And how did those respective groups actually vote in 1972? Party ID is the ultimate lagging indicator.


            R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

            • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 3:47 pm

              The construction workers? Probably for Nixon in 1972 and Carter in 1976. Voting against McGovern doesn’t say that much when you consider how horrific his loss was.

              The Lindsay-types? Probably Nixon, Ford, and then Anderson.


              I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 10:01 pm

                The Lindsay types probably were considerably more pro-McGovern than the country. Marin County is a good example, they voted for McGovern and then Ford and Reagan (with Anderson getting a good chunk).


                Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

      • rdw72777 December 1, 2017 at 3:36 pm

        Anything based on FEC donations be definition isn’t correlated to actual voting or election results. So yes everything in this is “waayyy overstated”.

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Fascinating link!

      I like how Episcopal priests (91% Democrat) are more liberal than college professors (90% Democrat), trial lawyers (82% Democrat), and civil servants (67% Democrat).


      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 2:26 pm

        Long gone are the days when the Episcopal Church was called “The Republican Party at Prayer”. The church is easily one of the most liberal Protestant denominations now and I seem to recall reading that their socially liberal stances have led to conflicts with other Anglican Churches around the world. I wouldn’t have been surprised in fact if 100% of Episcopal priests were Dems.

        • Son_of_the_South December 1, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          My brother is on track to become an Episcopal priest, and he’s a right-leaning Indy, so I guess he’ll be considered a right-wing nut in the clergy.


          24, R, TN-09
          Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

      • HoneyBee December 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm

        Yeah, the “religion” category was very surprising to me.

        It’s somewhat surprising that “Catholic Priest” is so extremely conservative, when Catholics are not the most conservative religious group at all, but when you look at it, Catholic Doctrine is much more Conservative than mainline protestantism, and maybe even Mormonism or Evangelical Protestantism. The problem is that most Catholics don’t take it seriously. But it makes sense that priests, who do, vote very Republican.

        Does anyone know why Cattle Feeders are so ridiculously conservative? I mean all Farmers are Republican for pretty obvious reasons, but farmers are about 72% Republican, while Cattle Feeders are at 91%R


        Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

        • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 3:09 pm

          Yes American Catholics have long been known as “Cafeteria Catholics” because many pick and choose which church doctrines they will adhere to while still considering themselves to be Catholic.

        • Red Oaks December 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm

          The interesting thing is that just “Priest” by itself without the word Catholic in front of it is 64/36 in favor of Democrats. I wonder how people fall into each category. For example are there a lot more “Priests” than “Catholic Priests”? Nine out of eleven religious classifications are more Democratic – the only exceptions are Catholic Priest and Missionary.


          MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Official-Trump-likely-to-recognize-Jerusalem-as-Israels-capital-next-week-515777

    Israel is increasingly becoming a partisan issue.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • TennesseeMike December 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      I hope Trump does recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this time. No other country has this insult.


      TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Pew Research released a report estimating the growth of the Muslim population in various European countries by 2050 in various scenarios.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-population/

    Quite notably in one scenario, Sweden is 30.6% Muslim by 2050.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Is Nancy Pelosi deteriorating from a neurological point of view? At her recent press conference she flubbed words several times and seemed to have brain freezes.

    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/wildfail-pelosi-suffers-face-spasms-brain-freezes-flubbed-words-attack-gop-tax-plan/

    • Boehnerwasright December 1, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I think it is distasteful and wrong to speculate about the mental health of a politican with so little factual basis. I think the same about speculation about Trump’s mental health.

      If we took the same standard that is used here for Pelosi and applied it to all politicans there would be a lot of politicans who looked worse.

      • cer December 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm

        I think Nancy is nuts, but because of her politics.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 4:04 pm

          She is unfortunately too moderate for the new Democratic Party of today.

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-town-hall-capitalism_us_58925a53e4b070cf8b807e28


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 7:41 pm

          The article is not implying she is crazy only that she may be deteriorating from a neurological point of view which is causing her to repeatedly mangle words, as we can see in the press conference. And as someone else has pointed out she has called Trump “President Bush” several times. We will have to see if this problem stabilizes or gets worse over time; if it gets worse there will be louder calls for her to step down as Dem leader in the House from those Dems who are not happy with her to begin with.

    • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      I believe she’s called Trump “President Bush” a few times. Probably just getting a little confused in her old age.

  • shamlet December 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    AR-Gov: And Democrats’ prospective sacrificial lamb, ex-State Rep. Jay Martin (D), is out. http://www.nwahomepage.com/news/democrat-wont-run-for-governor-after-all/872978036


    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    James Comey taunts Trump on twitter after the Flynn news broke.

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/12/01/james-comey-tweets-justice-bible-verse-after-flynn-pleads-guilty.html

    Something makes me think firing him was a very good idea…


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Boehnerwasright December 1, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      In what world was firing Comey a good idea? Trump’s approval went down and he got bipartisan pushback.
      And instead of having a normal investigation, he now has a special prosecutor who is quite certain looking harder for any wrongdoing not only collusion then Comey and his agents would have.
      Undermining Comey and his investigations would have been a lot easier with the baggage Comey had. Good luck trying to do that with an respected bi-partisan republican like Mueller.

      • cer December 1, 2017 at 4:44 pm

        What many on the left and a few on our side are missing is that the POTUS has the right to fire the FBI director. He just should have fired him a lot sooner imho.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

        • Boehnerwasright December 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

          Who questioned his right to fire Comey? This whole disscussion was about if it was a good idea.

          • cer December 1, 2017 at 5:41 pm

            I also answered your question in regards to Comey…. good move, but should have done it much earlier.


            Conservative first, Republican second!

      • HS December 1, 2017 at 4:48 pm

        Because Comey is a total hack who should not be in charge of the FBI. The guy tried to clear Hillary before she was even interviewed. And then he lied in his press conference, saying that no prosecutor would go after someone without intent. And by the way, I would love to hear what George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, and other Bush guys really thought of him. They hate him for the Ashcroft incident.

        Good riddance to Comey. And Mueller isn’t much better.

  • andrew_1918 December 1, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    51 votes!

    Collins: “After securing significant changes, as well as commitments to pass legislation to help lower health insurance premiums, I will cast my vote in support of the Senate tax reform bill. As revised, this bill will provide much-needed tax relief and simplification for lower- and middle-income families, while spurring the creation of good jobs and greater economic growth”

    https://twitter.com/SenatorCollins/status/936703210722557958

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      51 is still a razor-thin margin. Especially if Alabama goes south, that means any GOP senator can now torpedo the bill.

      We might be in a position where Ryan will have to try to muscle through the Senate tax bill. That being said, thanks to Collins, the Senate and House bills now treat SALT identically (keeping the $10k property tax deduction). So the CA/NY bros who stuck with Ryan probably won’t bolt. We could just pass the Senate version if Ryan can corrall the House Freedom Caucus, which he should since it now includes a REPEAL OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE and which HFCer wants to be lauded by Dems as the savior of the individual mandate?


      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm

        What is the HFC objection to the Senate bill?


        Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

        • krazen1211 December 2, 2017 at 10:46 am

          HFC probably won’t like the Obamacare bailouts. The open question is whether the Obamacare bailout bill(s) pass the Hastert rule, and also if Trump decides to just veto those because he can.

          • roguemapper December 2, 2017 at 5:50 pm

            Collins has stated that her final vote is contingent on the O-Care bailouts. If the Donald decides to just veto those because he can, then he presumably tosses away Collins vote on the conference bill. Corker’s vote is of course lost, so that would leave one vote to spare, or none depending on what happens in Alabama. It’s also not too difficult to imagine the conference bill losing, say, Flake’s vote. So, I rather doubt that the Donald will veto them just because he can. To be sure, they could always backtrack and simply have the House pass the Senate bill unchanged if it comes to that.


            Dem NC-11

  • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Corker will vote no. He stands alone.

    • andrew_1918 December 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      “Corker a ‘no’, says he called Trump to tell him he will vote no on this iteration of the tax reform bill but may vote for the final product passed by conference”

  • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    @HotlineJosh: RT @alexis_levinson: Big scoop from @KateNocera and @tparti: Rep. Ruben Kihuen’s former finance director alleges he sexual harassed her during…

    • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      I believe this is the first semi-competitive seat that has come into play due to the scandals?

    • GorrestFump December 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      I don’t think this is anything to resign over.

      • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 5:23 pm

        Dccc is calling on him to resign

        • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 5:41 pm

          So who is the DCCC going to run here? I would find it deeply amusing if Susie Lee switched districts again, especially since it would force the NV-Dems to go searching for a replacement candidate in NV-3. It would be a prime comeback opportunity for either Horsford or Oceguera, though they’re both kind of has-beens; a very prominent local Democratic rising star is state Senator Kelvin Atkinson, who is black and gay and is 1/2 of the first couple ever gay-married in Nevada.

          The Republican front-runner for the 2018 nomination here is Las Vegas City Councillor Stavros Anthony, who I guess is the likeliest candidate, though ex-Rep. Cresent Hardy, if he sought a comeback, would probably be the strongest possibility.

          The seat is fairly Democratic (and actually flipped from R to D in 2016), but not overwhelmingly so and is decently Trumpy; it was 50/45 Clinton, 54/44 Obama. The Democratic base here is also very minority and low-turnout. Doubt Republicans can force a win in a Clinton+5 seat in the current environment, but they’d be silly not to try to play here.


          Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

          • Left Coast Libertarian December 1, 2017 at 6:01 pm

            It seems their current strategy is “We don’t care who we run, as long as it’s not a sexual harasser.” Democrats could win big next year with a bunch of generic Ds on the ballot. All they have to do is keep the focus on Trump and bills that they’ve made unpopular. They won’t win if they are the party of, “Hey, what are you wearing?”

    • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Wish he’d announce already.

      • edtorres04 December 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm

        I believe there is a financial reason that he is not?

        I don’t expect him to announce until the 2nd quarter of next year.

    • krazen1211 December 1, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      What states other than FL have never had 2 R elected Senators?

      • roguemapper December 1, 2017 at 7:11 pm

        Hawaii and Montana.


        Dem NC-11

        • Jon December 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

          The Wikipedia is stating the first four Montana senators were all Republican; (kind of in the case of the 3rd one because he changed parties to “Silver Republican” .)
          In addition during the 60th Congress; both Montana senators also Republican; (another case where one of them would later change parties, this time to “Progressive”)

          These were however all elected by the MT state legislature.


          45, M, MO-02

          • Red Oaks December 2, 2017 at 2:20 pm

            I think Krazen meant directly elected Senators. Technically Florida had two appointed Republican Senators for awhile during Reconstruction.


            MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

    • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      I don’t know how good a pollster Saint Leo is, but for an incumbent Senator to trail the Repub by around 10 points and only get 31.6% of poll respondents is not good. True there is 18.4% Undecided and 8.2% want someone else, which shows some degree of unhappiness with both Nelson and Scott. I had thought Nelson was an iconic figure in Fla, but that appears to be no longer the case.

    • prsteve11 December 1, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      That’s cool and is an excellent pick-up opportunity.


      SC-03, Conservative Republican

  • cer December 1, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Another politician gets nailed for sexual harassment and this one is a Democrat.

    https://twitter.com/edatpost/status/936718340315340800


    Conservative first, Republican second!

    • cer December 1, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Once again I missed something that was already posted…. sorry. 🙁


      Conservative first, Republican second!

    • jmconservative December 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Will be interesting to see if this puts the district in play at all. Kyle Kondik had a good retweet about the amount spent to flip the seat last year.

      My guess is that Kihuen announces that he will not run for re-election shortly and may very well resign. If Clinton were President this could definitely have been a pickup opportunity for Republicans but in this climate I just don’t see it.

      https://twitter.com/rpyers/status/936719618722357249

      • Son_of_the_South December 2, 2017 at 1:21 am

        I agree on the seat.


        24, R, TN-09
        Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • jmconservative December 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Random question re Arizona Senate race: Has Mark Brnovich said he won’t run or is he still considering?

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