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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Remember: Democrats Didn’t Take the House by Promising Impeachment

It seems Speaker Pelosi and her party are no longer on the same page. Mrs. Pelosi’s recent revelation that she’s “not for impeachment” directly contradicts the political priorities of many—if not most—on the American left. Recent actions by House Democrats make this clear. By most indications, number one on the liberal agenda is not national security, the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, abortion rights, or even the climate. The highest priority for many congressional democrats and their base is the impeachment of President Trump. As Byron York noted last week,
[Rep. Jerrold] Nadler’s talk with ABC was the clearest indication yet that Democrats have decided to impeach Trump and are now simply doing the legwork involved in making that happen. And that means the debate among House Democrats will be a tactical one — what is the best time and way to go forward — rather than a more fundamental discussion of whether the president should be impeached. 
On Monday morning Nadler released a list of 81 names of Trump associates from whom the Judiciary Committee is requesting documents in what Nadler called “the first steps of an investigation into the alleged corruption, obstruction, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates and members of his administration.” 
Other House Democrats are sending similar messages.
Of course, Nadler and his impeachment allies are only in this position because democrats wrested control of the U.S. House from republicans last November. With one seat in North Carolina still pending, in the 2018 midterms, the democrats had a net gain of 40 seats, giving them a total of 235 in the U.S. House. According to Ballotpedia’s election accounting, there were 82 so-called “battleground” U.S. House districts in the 2018 midterms. Of these 82 districts, 46 of them changed party hands. The democrats flipped 43 House districts while the GOP flipped only three.

To give a better picture of the partisan swing that occurred in the 2018 midterms, examine the Cook Partisan Voter Index (CPVI; a nice table is here). According to the CPVI, after the 2018 election, only one district (New York 24) rated D+3 or higher belongs to republicans. On the other hand, 22 districts rated R+3 or higher are now occupied by democrats. (Recall, the democrats needed to flip 23 seats to gain control of the U.S. House.) The democrats won nine districts that were rated R+6 or higher. In other words, democrats won more than a few seats in solidly republican districts.

In case you’ve forgotten—Mrs. Pelosi seems not to have—democrats gained control of the U.S. House not by promising, pledging, or even hoping to impeach President Trump. They could not have flipped as many GOP-leaning districts as they did with such a message. On the contrary, as memory serves, and as a few dozen internet searches would reveal, democrats gained control of the U.S. House by talking down impeachment, dismissing impeachment, or ignoring it altogether.

According to my research, of the 43 seats they flipped, only one victorious democrat—California’s Harley Rouda—made impeachment a priority of his winning campaign. Other than Rouda, even just days from the 2018 election, as the prospects of democrats retaking the House grew, I couldn’t find another democrat in those 43 races who was openly talking about impeachment. In fact, among such candidates, virtually without exception, impeachment was only discussed when the media brought it up.

The battleground districts won the easiest prove this the best. For example, Democrat Susan Wild won Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district (rated “D+1” by CPVI) by 10%. According to The Washington Post, in late August in a piece that notes how democrats “are avoiding the word” (impeachment), Wild declared, “I don’t want to see a two-year distraction.” She added, “I think, honestly, impeachment proceedings would obviously derail getting other things done in Congress.”

In the same piece, The Post notes that a day after Michael Cohen surrendered to the FBI and plead guilty to eight criminal charges, Wild “did not issue so much as a tweet” to mark the event—“joining other Democrats in swing districts with her silence.”

Jeff Van Drew (D) won New Jersey’s 2nd district (Rated R+1) by 7.7%. In late August of 2018, Van Drew spoke of working with President Trump. In an interview he declared,
[I]f Donald Trump is right about an issue that is going to affect my people in my district or in my state or in the United States of America, I will say he’s right… 
If Donald Trump was — or any president — was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and all a number of serious issues, then you have to look at that. But, I’m certainly not going there in my mind thinking, “Gee, I want to impeach Donald Trump. That’s what my job is.” It is not.
California’s 25th and 49th districts (rated “Even” and R+1 respectively) were won by Katie Hill (D) and Mike Levin (D) by 8.8% and 12.8%. As the Washington Free Beacon reported in early September of 2018,
California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer has scheduled an October fundraiser for 9 Democratic challengers for seats in the U.S. House, most of whom have been silent on Steyer's pet issue of impeachment.

…Records searches for five of the nine candidates turned up no comment or position offered on the idea of impeaching President Trump, …Those candidates and their corresponding house district are Jessica Morse (CA-04), Josh Harder (CA-10), T.J. Cox (CA-21), Katie Hill (CA-25), and Mike Levin (CA-49).
In early October of 2018, in a debate Levin declared, “I do not seek impeachment.” Just a week out from the election, Katie Hill believed “Talk of impeaching President Donald Trump is a waste of time until Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is completed.”

“Let’s wait on Robert Mueller” was a common theme from battleground democrats. Jason Crow (D) beat five-term republican Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th district (rated D+2) by 11.2%. Just over a month prior to the 2018 election, The Colorado Sun reported,

Crow isn’t fully embracing calls from some in his party to seek Trump’s impeachment — at least not yet. He says he wants to see what Special Counsel Robert Mueller digs up in his investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Just days from the 2018 election, New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill—who won NJ-7 (rated R+3) by 14.7%—joined her New Jersey battleground colleagues in calling for restraint on impeachment. She declared, “Congress should support Special Counsel Robert Muller's investigation and allow him to finish his work.”

There are dozens of similar examples. I chronicle all of the flipped seats here, including democrats in what were deemed hotly contested U.S. House races, and their campaign position on impeaching President Trump. What’s more, even democratic leadership—including Mrs. Pelosi—were not fond of talking about impeachment while they were trying to take back the U.S. House and Senate.

With the Mueller investigation looking more and more like a dud and the Russia-Trump collusion farce being exposed for what it really is, many democrats now want to target President Trump’s finances as a means of impeachment. “Impeachment is the only answer,” says Maxine Waters—right, because nothing else has worked so far.

If collusion has truly collapsed, to pivot to Trump’s finances as an attempt to remove him from office only makes democrats appear as if their mouths remain filled with sour grapes over the 2016 election. A seasoned politician such as Mrs. Pelosi knows this all too well. Thus, avoiding impeachment is not a matter of President Trump not being “worth it.” It’s simply a matter of election math and politics. Speaker Pelosi may need to conduct some tutorials.

(See this piece at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Battleground House Democrats and Impeachment

The table below (looks better using Chrome and Safari--working on fixing that) shows the 43 House districts flipped by Democrats in the 2018 midterms along with the candidate who won and their campaign position on impeaching President Trump. It should go without saying that a single quote from one or two links does not make a political position. (Some of them are virtually silent on the matter, which, of course, is telling.) However, with each of the candidates below, the links and the quotes provided are indicative of the candidates overall position on impeachment of President Trump. The table below will be updated as necessary.

(Read: Remember: Democrats Didn’t Take the House by Promising Impeachment.)


District
Dem. Winner
Impeachment Views
AZ-2

CA-10
CA-21
(See link above)
CA-25
(See link above)
CA-39
(See link above)
CA-45
(See link above)
CA-48
(Spoke directly in favor of impeachment.)
CA-49
(See link above)
FL-26
FL-27
NYT: “You, of course, are somebody who’s recently started advocating impeachment.” Shalala: “No, I have not. I have not.”
GA-6
IL-6
IL-14
IA-1
IA-3
Would you vote to impeach the President?
KS-3
ME-2
MI-8
MI-11
MN-2

Buzzfeed Headline: “Democrats Are Not Eager To Talk About Impeaching Trump”

When asked about impeaching Trump, Phillips refused to address the matter directly.
NJ-2
NJ-3
NJ-7
(See link above)
NJ-11
(See link above)
NM-2
NY-11
NY-19
From a report on a forum with his opponent: “Neither candidate supported the impeachment of President Donald Trump, with Delgado saying that federal investigations into the president should be completed before any calls for action.”
NY-22
OK-5
PA-5
PA-6
PA-7
Washington Post headline includes the phrase, “Democratic Candidates Are Avoiding the Word [Impeachment].” From the article: “‘I don’t want to see a two-year distraction,’ said Susan Wild, a Democrat who is favored to win a key Republican-held House seat in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. ‘I think, honestly, impeachment proceedings would obviously derail getting other things done in Congress.’”
PA-17
SC-1
TX-7
TX-32
(See link above)
UT-4
VA-2
“Virginia Politics” headline: “Hampton Roads congressmen said felony crimes by former Trump associates don’t mean impeachment is coming
From the article: Luria: “Any time there are allegations of wrong doing by people close to the president, it is troubling. But I have faith in our justice system and believe the Mueller investigation needs to continue until all the facts are presented.”
VA-7
VA-10
WA-8


Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Truth-Loving Methodists Win a Major Battle (but the War Rages On)

Rejecting the sad direction of many of the other mainline Protestant denominations in the U.S., in a historic—and what some view as a surprising—vote at their General Conference last week, faithful United Methodists—thanks in large part to African United Methodists—stood firm and rejected the perverse LGBT agenda on sex and marriage. Unlike American Methodists—more than two-thirds of American delegates and a majority of American Bishops supported the LGBT driven “One-Church Plan”—African Methodists overwhelmingly supported the Traditional Plan. Thank God for the African United Methodists!

However, though the language forbidding any official acceptance of homosexuality by the Methodist Church is strong, the vote was far from overwhelming. The vote to defeat the “One Church Plan”—the liberal (non-biblical) plan that would’ve allowed official acceptance of homosexuality to creep into the Methodist Church—was 54.6% to 45.4%. The vote in favor of the “Traditional [biblical] Plan” was 53.3% to 46.7%. In other words, it was not exactly a widespread ringing endorsement of Scripture when it comes to matters in the sexual realm.

Nevertheless, United Methodists—at least for now—staved off further infection of the liberalism that is helping to destroy other mainline U.S. denominations. Though this victory is huge and represents an emotional and relatively lengthy battle, I urge my brothers and sisters in the United Methodist church to remain faithful and vigilant. Whether via the LGBT agenda or some other wicked means, those bent on remaking Christianity into something that virtually no true believer would recognize will continue their evil efforts.

No less than Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe—general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS; the United Methodist Church’s controversial D.C. lobby office)—hinted at such when she angrily denounced the passage of the Traditional Plan. As Juicy Ecumenism notes,
“The 2019 General Conference chose to further deepen the divide in The United Methodist Church,” excoriated Henry-Crowe. “The plan adopted by a slim majority is punitive, contrary to our Wesleyan heritage, and in clear violation of the mandate given to us in 1 Corinthians 12.”

…Her comments were delivered in a GBCS press release appearing on the agency’s web site using church letterhead. It was disseminated using church resources.

Writing that there were moments “that broke the heart of God” at General Conference, Henry-Crowe struck a defiant tone, focusing upon the agency’s “work for LGBTQIA equality”:

“We will seek justice for LGBTQIA migrants. We will seek to end conversion therapy, the dangerous and discredited idea that you can change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We will work to ensure that no one is fired from their job or prevented from access to housing because they are LGBTQIA. We will work to end hate crimes against LGBTQIA people, especially LGBTQIA people of color. We will seek a climate in which LGBTQIA children are protected and enabled to live full and flourishing lives.” 
In other words, in clear contradiction to a wide array of Scripture, Ms. Henry-Crowe and her ilk (sadly, there are many others within the church who share her views) will continue their war on the truth. Tragically, their efforts will continue to involve attacking Christian institutions, and, if they are not directly involved in, then at least enabling similar attacks upon Christian individuals. Of course, this should be unsurprising given that the website of the “Christian” organization Ms. Henry-Crowe leads declares that “What We Care About” is “civil and human rights; economic justice; environmental justice; health and wholeness; peace with justice; women and children.”

In all of the items the GBCS chose to highlight as “What We Care About,” there’s no mention of Jesus, or salvation, or discipleship, or Scripture, or the Great Commission. This is very typical of so-called Christians who support the LGBT agenda. Their sermons and ceremonies are often bereft of anything resembling orthodox Christianity.

They sound little different from godless fools who have the exact same views on virtually all of the prominent moral issues of our time. If your moral compass is pointing in the same direction as those who say there is no God, why not simply abandon religion all together? Nevertheless, these “Christians” continue their charade. It’s almost as if these heretics have decided that they know better than God what is good and right, and they created a whole new religion—one in which everybody gets to “rule their own world.”

Of course this is exactly what they’ve done, and it’s nothing new. Every false religion, every godless attempt at utopia, every selfish attempt to live your life on your own terms is nothing more than the same sad song sung in a different key. All such wickedness are attempts to replace what God has said is the way and the truth with man’s foolish notions.

Whether Methodists or Baptists, whether Catholic or Protestant, all sincere Christians must continue our fight against such deception. Abortion, homosexuality, “transgenderism,”—notice how the deceived Christians are on the wrong side of the truth in all such matters—and the like, are compelling battles in the same war.

This war will never be won by mere political or legal means, though battles on such fronts are needed and necessary. This is a spiritual war, and we’ll likely be fighting it until the end of days. Take heart, though these fights are hard and taxing, the truth will ultimately win out. Let us work diligently to bring as many as possible to the winning side.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Fake Hate, Fake Collusion: All in the Name of Destroying the Trump Presidency

In more ways than one, hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollet is far from alone. He’s simply the latest in a long line of unhinged leftists with evil intent who are bent on destroying Donald Trump’s presidency. Be it fake hate or fake collusion, for nearly three years now, Donald Trump has been the target of an unprecedented campaign meant to end his candidacy and later, after his election as the 45th President of the United States, his presidency.

After the recent revelations of former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, there should now be no doubt as to the existence of a nefarious “Deep State.” As revealed by McCabe himself in his soon-to-be-published book, in May of 2017, angered by President Trump’s firing of his boss, then FBI director James Comey, McCabe and his like-minded cronies at the FBI and the Justice Department foolishly plotted as to how they might invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the duly elected President from office.

As former Clinton pollster and chief strategist Mark Penn recently put it,
The most egregious anti-democratic actions ever taken by the what can now fairly be called the Deep State are confirmed with the publication of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s new book detailing how the FBI and Justice Department plotted to remove President Trump from office for firing FBI Director James Comey.

Justice Department and FBI officials spied on U.S. citizens with false warrants, gave a pass to one presidential campaign with a predetermined investigation, investigated another political campaign on the basis of no verified evidence, and illegally leaked information on investigations. They discussed wiretapping and using the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove President Trump, and appointed a special counsel as a retaliatory move for Comey’s firing.
The Manhattan Institute’s Roger Kimball is right, “this plot to destroy a presidency is the most serious political scandal in our history.” Kimball notes,
[P]eople in the FBI (aided and abetted by elements in the CIA and the Obama administration) decided that they didn’t like the person who had been elected President of the United States. Their anger and frustration boiled over when the President had the temerity to fire their man, James Comey. So they plotted to get rid of him.

The FBI didn’t like the President, so they plotted to remove him from office. That is the irreducible minimum, class, that you should take away from this whole sordid lesson. Top figures in the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not approve of the President. Therefore, they took steps to destroy him. Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, several times offered to wear a wire to entrap the President.
“The most serious political scandal in our history” and, at best, most of the media yawns. At its worst, the left-wing media—of course, the vast majority of print and TV media—aided and abetted this despicable, deceitful plot. The ever-elusive Trump-Russia election collusion unicorn—like the always looming but never present global warming apocalypse—has led the left-wing media into dozens of significant falsehoods, which has led to thousands of fake media reports.

The left isn’t content merely to smother the airwaves and the internet with “Trump stole the election!” People are getting indicted, and more often than not, they are “indictments in search of a crime” as Alan Dershowitz recently put it upon the arrest of Roger Stone. As many have pointed out for nearly two years now, you need a crime to appoint a special counsel. You don’t appoint a special counsel and then hope that certain individuals will commit crimes for which they can be indicted, fined, bankrupted, or even jailed.

Yet almost every crime that has resulted in a Mueller indictment has come as the result of his investigation. Lying to investigators, tampering with witnesses, obstruction of justice—virtually all such crimes occurred after Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. Of course, this doesn’t bother men like McCabe.

As Byron York reports, “after the Comey firing, McCabe was determined to cement in place a Trump-Russia investigation that could not be stopped by the president.” What investigation—or, as York notes, “investigations”—can be stopped when the investigator is creating his own crimes? As York also points out, an excerpt from McCabe’s book declares that he wanted an “overall review” of the FBI’s Trump-Russia work.

McCabe wrote, “I want to protect the Russia investigation in such a way that whoever came after me could not just make it go away.” The ongoing Trump-Russia-collusion “investigation” proves, getting Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller makes McCabe look very successful in this regard.

Of course, long prior to Mueller’s appointment, Trump-haters within the FBI, such as lying McCabe, and the adulterous Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, were scheming of ways to end Trump’s presidency. As Business Insider reminds us,
  • Peter Strzok, the second-highest ranking counterintelligence agent at the FBI, was involved at key junctures in the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia probe.
  • Strzok was reportedly the official responsible for changing language in former FBI director James Comey's statement describing Clinton's private email server use from “grossly negligent” — which could carry criminal penalties — to “extremely careless.”
  • Strzok was also the FBI agent who officially signed off on the bureau's decision to launch its Russia investigation in July 2016.
Most now well know that in order to justify his investigation into the Trump campaign, Strzok relied on the infamous Steele “dossier.” As The Federalist recently noted,
[T]he so-called Steele dossier was always the impetus for the Russia investigation. But calling this a “dossier” is too generous. This is a Word document that was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, written using paid, shady, and unknown Russians. This Word document was used to spy on the opposing party’s presidential campaign, despite the fact that nothing in the document that wasn’t public information checked out. McCabe and company wanted to believe the dossier. But that’s all they ever had.
Anyone who has read the House Intelligence memo released just over a year ago now knows that:
  • Christopher Steele “was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
  • Steele “maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein.”
  • Steele admitted to Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
  • “During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump…” and Ohr’s wife’s research was “paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS.”
  • McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.” Yet the initial FISA application ignored or concealed Steele’s anti-trump motivations.
Of course, Strzok and others in the FBI/DOJ shared Steele’s desperation and deceit. This led to the so-called “insurance policy” that was and is the Trump-Russia-collusion investigation.

This unprecedented attempt at a political coup to unseat a U.S. President goes far beyond rogue elements in the FBI and the DOJ. As much of the above reveals, Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC’s fingerprints are all over this political travesty. But very little of the above—including what we’ve heard from McCabe these last few days—is new information. Andrew McCabe is trying to sell books, and CBS was after ratings.

Along with the collusion-deluded, impeachment-obsessed political hacks in the FBI, DOJ, DNC, and the Clinton campaign, we have the collusion-deluded, impeachment-obsessed hacks in the mainstream media. What is most telling in McCabe’s friendly 60 Minutes interview is the gross media malpractice that continues to plague us, especially with everything Trump.

As Jussie Smollet, Jim Carrey, Kathy Griffin, Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer, Madonna, Eminem, Meryl Streep, Robert de Niro, Jimmy Kimmel, Nathan Phillips, Facebook fools, Twitter trolls, and the like daily demonstrate: gross media malpractice in the name of destroying President Trump goes far beyond the left-wing news media.

Not content with making millions by merely entertaining us, and deluded by the notion that their fame has made their political opinions important, hate-filled—and hate-hoaxing—entertainers have used their celebrity to regularly attack the President and his supporters. Because of their fame, these hate merchants gain the attention of like-minded people and organizations who have control of television cameras, websites, and newspapers.

The Smollet hoax and the Covington Catholic defamation well demonstrate that these hate merchants will take nearly any opportunity—no matter how flimsy the accusations—to impugn President Trump. Thus, instead of focusing on the real unparalleled story here, the hate is further amplified, and the efforts to overthrow the results of the 2016 presidential election continue. Yet President Trump remains, and support seems steadfast. In other words, thus far, the coup has failed. Victor Davis Hanson is right, “Shame on all these failed conspirators and their abettors, and may these immoral people finally earn a long deserved legal [political] and moral reckoning.”

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2019, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com