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I wish I could say I was surprised by David Fitzsimmons’ campaign finance reporting tactics. Unfortunately, I’m anything but surprised. While some might criticize John Kern’s LTE highlighting the Emmer campaign’s tactics, I won’t follow suit. This isn’t that dissimilar to how big corporations use a plethora of regulations against small business competitors to reduce competition as much as possible.

John Kern opened the LTE, writing “In July 2016, Congressman Tom Emmer’s chief of staff David Fitzsimmons and GOP delegate Matt Stevens filed multiple Federal Election Commission complaints against me, the AJ Kern for Congress campaign and a private citizen. These frivolous complaints accused me of filing quarterly reports late and apparently attempting to gain undue influence with my wife by exceeding personal campaign contribution limits from our shared assets. Eighteen months later, presidentially appointed FEC commissioners voted 5-0 to dismiss.”

That’s the predictable outcome of these FEC complaints. Rep. Emmer knew he was underperforming at the time. According to Minnesota’s Secretary of State’s website, Emmer, the incumbent, won the primary with a pathetic 68% of the vote. That’s pathetic considering the fact that Emmer “out-fundraised AJ Kern’s 2016 campaign” by a 61-1 margin.

Emmer won’t win by overwhelming margins because he’s ignored his constituents on key issues. Specifically, he’s agreed with the Obama administration lock, stock and barrel on the Refugee Resettlement Program. When questioned by constituents if he’d push for a moratorium of the program, Emmer replied “That isn’t happening.” (I know because I attended that townhall at the Ace Bar on July 1, 2015. That’s also the night Kate Steinle was murdered.) After that meeting, AJ Kern told attendees that she was thinking about challenging Emmer. Here’s the explanation for why Emmer didn’t support his constituents:

President Trump has frequently criticized “the Swamp.” Regulations implemented by the Swamp have a chilling effect on both speech and competition. The truth is that Emmer is part of DC’s Swamp. Bradley Smith, the former Commissioner of the FEC, is one of the fiercest champions of free speech. Here’s what he’s stated on the record:

Charges and litigation are used to harass opposing candidates and make political hay with the press… used most effectively by ‘incumbents’. Many, if not most, of these cases end up being dismissed, but not without distracting the campaigns and using up their resources. …The problem in campaign finance is that unethical politicians are threatening private actors, rather than that unethical special interests are threatening government.

When John McCain and Russ Feingold wrote the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, aka McCain-Feingold, grassroots activists criticized it by nicknaming it the ‘Incumbents’ Protection Act’. That’s exactly right. BCRA didn’t eliminate corruption. It codified corruption by burying challengers under mountains of paperwork. That’s what its intent was.

While career politicians might want to fight the hordes of uppity peasants insisting on being heard, those career politicians won’t silence the activists’ voices.

Emmer can take that to the bank.

This morning, Russia retaliated to the US-Coalition airstrikes in Syria. The good news for the Coalition forces is that Russia ‘retaliated’ with propaganda, not hard weapons. First, “Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement saying the Western coalition’s ‘act of aggression’ would only exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Putin called the strike a ‘destructive influence on the entire system of international relations’ and said Moscow would call for an emergency of the U.N. Security Council.”

I hope that meeting is televised. I enjoy watching Nikki Haley devastate Russian and Iranian butt.

Later, “the Russian military claimed Saturday” that “Syrian air defense units shot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the U.S., Britain and France.” That isn’t credible. If someone said that Israeli air defense units had taken out three-fourths of the cruise missiles targeting Israel, I’d be highly skeptical. Believing that poorly-trained Syrian fighters were that proficient is foolish.

Why should we think that Syria shot that many cruise missiles down after “Russia’s Defense Ministry had earlier asserted that none of the missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies entered areas protected by Russia’s missile defense”?

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said Saturday that the Syrian military used a Soviet-made missile defense system to shoot down all the missiles targeting four key Syrian air bases. He added that there were no casualties from the strike and its targets suffered only minor damage.

Rudskoi said Russian air defense assets in Syria monitored the strike, but didn’t engage. He also noted that while Russia had refrained from supplying Syria with its state-of-the-art S-300 air defense missile systems, that could be reconsidered now.

The thought that Russian technology is superior to US technology is laughable. I remember a briefing by Gen. Schwarzkopf during the 100-hour ground war during Operation Desert Storm. During that briefing, Schwarzkopf said that lots of oil wells were set on fire in Kuwait. He said that there were likely lots of Iraqi tank drivers that wished they’d had the night vision that the M1A1 Abrams tanks had. He hinted that it made for an unfair fight.

Russia’s technology is a joke compared with the US military technology. Let’s remember that Syrians were hit by 58 US cruise missiles about this time last year. Does anyone seriously think Russian technology improved that much in a year? I certainly don’t.

Theresa May held a media availability last night:

Based on May’s statements, there isn’t much doubt that Syria was responsible. At minimum, Russia abetted its Syrian allies. The good news for the United States is that Russia doesn’t dare fight us military. Instead, the Russians’ weapon of choice in US-Russian confrontations is propaganda.

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Last night, the US joined with the British and French to bomb parts of Syria’s WMD infrastructure. According to the BBC, the “US, UK and France have bombed multiple government targets in Syria in an early morning operation targeting alleged chemical weapons sites. The strikes were in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week. Explosions hit the capital, Damascus, as well as two locations near the city of Homs, the Pentagon said.”

In response, the Russian embassy in the United States published this tweet, stating “A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”

I suspect that tweet is meant mostly for domestic consumption. I’m certain this doesn’t worry anyone in the Trump, May or Macron national security teams. Around 9:00 pm CT, President Trump delivered a speech announcing the newest round of bombings of Syria’s WMD infrastructure:

The speech also contained this warning to both Russia and Iran:

I also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime. To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.

In 2013, President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad’s recent attack, and today’s response, are the direct result of Russia’s failure to keep that promise.

Whether these airstrikes have crippled Syria’s WMD infrastructure is still to be determined. What isn’t in question is whether President Trump will tolerate Russia’s meddling like President Obama tolerated Putin’s expansionist policies.

Let’s not forget these wise words on the difference between President Trump and President Obama:

Way at the end of the video, Charles Krauthammer stated that the initial strike against Syria didn’t say that “there’s a new sheriff in town” but that “there’s a sheriff in town.” Friday night’s airstrike is a refreshing reminder that President Trump isn’t the Hand-Ringer-In-Chief that President Obama was. This sends the unmistakable message that he’ll enforce the red line that Obama drew, then ran away from.

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Eugene Robinson’s latest column is titled “Trump Hopes You’re Too Stupid to Notice There’s No Wall.” It starts by saying “You can tell what President Trump is afraid of by what he chooses to lie about. That means he must be petrified of losing support over his failure to build a single mile of the “big, beautiful” border wall he promised. Trump is scared of a lot of things — Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, honest reporting by the news media, adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and, reportedly, sharks. But nothing seems to make him quake and tremble more than the fear that his core base will realize all his tough-guy huffing and puffing about Latino immigration was a bunch of hot air.”

Keep in mind that it’s likely that Robinson hasn’t met President Trump or any of his supporters. That means his article is mostly speculation and projection. First, let’s stipulate that conservatives aren’t happy that the Wall hasn’t gotten built. Next, let’s further stipulate that conservatives are perpetually upset with Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham about capitulating to the Democrats on the Wall. Finally, let’s stipulate that conservatives are most upset with obstructionist Democrats who’d rather let criminal aliens run free than build an inch of the Wall.

The only way to get the wall built is for Republicans to build a bigger majority in the Senate and to maintain their majority in the House. This is definitely possible, especially considering the fact that Republicans will likely gain 4-6 Senate seats. Further, maintaining the Republicans’ House majority is totally possible if they run lots of ads highlighting the deaths of people like Officer Brandon Mendoza and Kate Steinle. Finish those ads by saying Democrats have established sanctuary cities and states that protect criminal aliens but that don’t protect U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

Did I mention that immigration will be a huge issue this election? If I haven’t, I should have because people will blame Democrats for not working with Republicans in getting the Wall built. It isn’t surprising that Democrats won’t work with Republicans on the Wall. Democrats are a fully-owned subsidiary of La Raza.

Further, it’ll be a big issue because, while a handful of Republicans (Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake) voted against fully funding the Wall, every Democrat, even the so-called moderates, voted against building the Wall. While people are upset with Sens. Collins, Flake and Graham, people are pi$$ed as he!! with Democrats. Good luck to those Democrats who have to defend their votes against building the Wall in battleground districts.

Instead of those Democrats buying ads, I’d recommend that they buy flack jackets first. They’ll need them.

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I just finished writing this post, which I titled Applying David Hogg’s principles. (I’m pinning that post to the top of the page for the rest of today.) It’s a fair title because I’m using Hogg’s principles and definitions against him. However, it didn’t do the hero of the story, Mary Ann Mendoza, justice. With that, I’d like to tell LFR readers about Mary Ann Mendoza and her painful ordeal.

Brandon, Ms. Mendoza’s son, tragically was killed by a drunk driver whose blood-alcohol content was .24%. That’s tragic enough but it gets worse. The drunk driver was identified as Raul Silva-Corona, an illegal alien who was a “42-year-old Mexican native” who “remained in the U.S. despite being charged with burglary, assault and leaving the scene of an accident in 1994. He remained here still after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal conspiracy in 2002.”

Naturally, the articles didn’t mention that he was an illegal alien or that he’d been convicted of the crimes listed above. BTW, if letting criminals stay in St. Cloud makes it a welcoming city, then I’d rather be a hostile city. I’m not interested in being a welcoming city if we have to treat illegal aliens kindly. But I digress.

People would’ve understood if Mary Ann Mendoza had passed on the opportunity to become an advocate against lawlessness. Fortunately for us, she didn’t choose that path:

The pointlessness of it all made Mendoza’s path clear. She says she must fight against what she sees as an epidemic that’s largely ignored by the mainstream media, many politicians and most of the American public. “I never got one call, ever, from any politician in Arizona. My son was a police officer. Not one of them gave a crap about it,” she says.

Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she opted to become an advocate fighting career politicians who haven’t lifted a finger to fix the problem. They aren’t trustworthy. Meanwhile, Mary Ann Mendoza is tireless in her pursuit of justice:

To be sure, Mendoza is ideally engineered to be a mouthpiece for the pro-enforcement cause: a grieving, articulate mother whose police officer son was half-Hispanic, in a state on the front lines of the immigration war. She’s aware of the optics, but rejects the notion that she’s being used as a pawn. Mendoza says she’s learned to leverage her story to achieve results she sees as positive, such as creating a new advocacy group for people affected by illegal crime. “There are people who say I’ve politicized my son’s death. I haven’t,” she says. “I’ve aligned myself in a situation where I want to see certain things done so another American family isn’t affected like I was.”

This video tells quite the story:

If politicians (overwhelmingly Democrats) don’t give a damn about protecting us, then it’s time to fire them this November. This is a case of if-you-aren’t-part-of-the-solution-you’re-part-of-the-problem. As Rep. McSally noted in the video, this isn’t just about booting criminals out of the U.S. Border security means much more than that. It’s about stopping human trafficking, preventing MS-13 from setting up shop and interdicting drug shipments from international cartels.

Any Democrat that won’t commit to building the wall immediately should be defeated this November. If they aren’t up for re-election this November, then these Democrats must be defeated the next time they’re up for re-election. This must happen because these Democrats aren’t serious about protecting citizens. They aren’t serious about public safety. This is the litmus test of this election.

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CNN just announced that they’ll air a townhall meeting featuring Jim Comey, the former FBI Director. According to CNN’s press release, “The one-hour primetime Town Hall, moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, will be live from Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall at Comey’s alma mater, William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and will be co-hosted by the Student Assembly at William & Mary. Following the release of Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership, Cooper will moderate a conversation between Comey and a live audience as they discuss his FBI career, his public firing and the high profile cases he oversaw including the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Director Comey isn’t being shy with his feelings about President Trump, saying “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.” Realistically speaking, there won’t be much middle ground in public opinion. Comey’s apologists will defend his questionable half-hearted investigation of Hillary. President Trump’s supporters won’t flinch in their support of President Trump.

Though public opinion isn’t likely to sway much during his book tour, the best chance for a significant shift will happen when Bret Baier interviews Comey. Jake Tapper, Baier and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will be the highest profile anchors to interview Comey. Of that trio, only Baier has a reputation of consistently asking difficult questions.

The potential for ruining Comey’s book tour is high because IG Michael Horowitz’s report will likely be published after the initial wave of book tour interviews. Saying that Horowitz’s report likely won’t flatter Comey is understatement.

Alan Dershowitz highlights the importance of being able to trust major institutions in this interview:

Dershowitz reminds us that either Comey is lying or that McCabe is lying about leaking. When the Horowitz report comes out, it’s possible that there’s evidence that both have lied. That’s why the Horowitz report is a potential powder keg.

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It isn’t surprising that Hillary isn’t honest. She’s pandered most of her life, saying outrageous things. After losing to Donald Trump, though, she’s taken things to a higher level. Art Laffer and Stephen Moore wrote this op-ed to highlight how little she knows.

They wrote “Hillary Clinton is being universally panned by Republicans and Democrats for her rant last week in India against Trump voters. She boasted, ‘I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.'” Then they showed her how wrong she is, saying “Here’s the evidence. Of the 12 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins, Hawaii, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Washington, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware, all but three of them lost residents through domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years. In fact combined, all 12 Hillary Clinton states lost an average of 6 percent of their populations to net out-migration over the past decade. California and New York alone lost 3 million people in the past 10 years.”

Then they wrote this:

Now let’s contrast the Hillary Clinton states with the 12 states that had the largest percentage margin vote for Donald Trump. Every one of them, save Wyoming, was a net population gainer — West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Idaho, South Dakota, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska and Kansas.

It isn’t just that the states gained population, either:

IRS tax return data confirm that from 2006-2016 Hillary Clinton’s states lost $113.6 billion in combined wealth, whereas Donald Trump’s states gained $116.0 billion. The Hillary Clinton states are in a slow bleed. That is in no small part because the deep blue states that she carried have adopted the entire progressive playbook: High taxes rates. High welfare benefits. Heavy hand of regulation. Excessive minimum wages. War on fossil fuels. These states dutifully check all the progressive boxes.

And the U-Haul company can barely keep up with the demand for trucks and moving vans to get out of these worker paradises. A recent Gallup Poll asked Americans if they would want to move out of their current state of residency. Five states had more than 40 percent of its respondents answer yes: They were: Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island and Maryland. Hillary Clinton country.

Maryland is the only state with an economy that isn’t tanking. That’s because it’s supported by the federal government.

Connecticut has raised income and other taxes three times in the last four years and still has one of the most debilitating budget deficits in the nation. The pension systems are so many billions of dollars in the red, they are technically bankrupt.

Even when it comes to income inequality, the left’s favorite measure of progressive success, blue states carried by Mrs. Clinton fare worse than red states. According to a 2016 report by the Economic Policy institute, three of the states with the largest gaps between rich and poor are those progressive icons New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Sure, Boston, Manhattan and Silicon Valley are booming as the rich prosper. But outside these areas are deep pockets of poverty and wage stagnation.

Socialism and crony capitalism don’t work. They should be scrapped immediately.

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This month’s Fox News poll shows a tightening of the generic ballot question. In this latest poll, Republicans trail Democrats 46%-41%. That’s down from October, 2017, when Democrats led the generic ballot question 50%-35%.

Another poll question that should work in the Republicans’ favor asks “Compared to this time last year, do you feel more optimistic or less optimistic for the coming year about each of the following?” On their personal happiness, 60% were more optimistic with only 22% saying less optimistic. On “Your family’s financial situation”, 51% said that they’re more optimistic while 32% were less optimistic.

Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the poll with Democrat Chris Anderson, said “Just winning the popular national vote is not enough to flip the House. Given the GOP’s districting advantages, data from 2012 and 2014 show the Democrats need an edge of at least five points to bring the majority into play.”

Another thing working in Republicans’ favor is President Trump’s approval rating, which sits at 45%. By comparison, President Trump’s approval rating in October was 38%. At that point, Republicans trailed in the generic ballot question by 15 points, 50%-35%.

One thing that will hurt Republicans a bit is their voting for the latest budget deal. The grass roots aren’t happy with that. That being said, something is working in their favor, which is the quality of the parties’ closing arguments. Republicans should highlight morning, noon and night the fact that every Democrat in the House and every Democrat in the Senate voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts that got the economy soaring and that provided pay raises and bonuses. Reinforce the fact that people’s paychecks are fatter, too. Reinforce the fact that families won’t get penalized for not buying health insurance they couldn’t afford because Republicans eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate, too.

This is positive news for Republicans. There’s still many months to go but things are improving.

William Saletan is attempting to rewrite history. His latest column attempts to paint over President Obama’s history by saying that President Trump “rewards America’s enemies and punishes its friends.” No president rewarded its enemies more or punished America’s allies more than President Obama. Let’s remember the multiple times that President Obama attempted to punish Israel. Think of how, during the Arab Spring, he threw Egypt under the diplomatic bus. Think of the time early in his administration when he got rid of Winston Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office.

In terms of rewarding friends, President Trump is great at it. He’s the candidate that promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He’s the president that moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. To the Jewish people, there’s no quicker way to endear yourself to them than by doing that. There’s no greater ally to the United States than Israel. Especially considering where it’s located and its history, Israel hasn’t survive without help from the United States. Watch the effusive praise Israeli PM Netanyahu lavished on President Trump during their recent meeting:

On the premise that President Trump “rewards America’s enemies and punishes its friends,” Saletan wrote “On Monday, in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump took credit for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. ‘Many presidents’ had talked about doing that, said Trump, but ‘I was able to do it.’ He seemed unaware that this supposed feat was a concession to Netanyahu, which previous presidents had held back as a bargaining chip.”

Actually, President Trump did it for a reason that DC elites can’t grasp. President Trump did it because he’s into keeping promises. Here’s something else that Saletan doesn’t comprehend:

That’s how Trump sees the meeting with Kim. It’s not about confronting North Korea. It’s a chance to upstage previous presidents.

Bulletin to Saletan: yes, it’s about confronting Kim. In fact, it’s all about confronting Kim Jung-Un. Next, Saletan said:

Trump ridiculed the idea that “Obama could have done that.” Obama “would not have done it,” he jeered. “Neither would Bush, and neither would Clinton. And they had their shot, and all they did was nothing.”

I don’t see this as being a controversial statement. The history is clear. Clinton, Bush and Obama kicked the can down the road. Now that NoKo is on the verge of getting deliverable nuclear weapons, President Trump has determined that there isn’t any more road left to kick that can down. He’s decided, totally unlike Susan Rice, that North Korea can’t get a nuclear weapon.

Not only didn’t Saletan prove his statement correct. It’s that there’s abundant proof that he’s just plain wrong.

Nancy Pelosi should be served a plate of crumbs after bad-mouthing the Trump-GOP tax cuts. This morning’s jobs report shows that the Trump-GOP economic plan is working.

The good news is that the “economy added 313,000 jobs in February, crushing expectations, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday that could help quell inflation fears.” Further, economists “surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a percent to 4 percent.”

Also noteworthy is Greg Peters’, senior investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income, statement that “the underlying economic growth is quite strong, but there’s no real pressures from a wages and inflation standpoint. It’s very good for risk assets.” It’s also encouraging to hear that construction “jobs led the way, with 61,000 new positions, followed by retail and professional and business services (50,000 apiece), manufacturing (31,000) and financial activities (28,000). Health care added 19,000 while mining saw 9,000 new jobs.”

The workforce participation rate improved to 63% while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. Wages improved by 2.6%, though that didn’t meet expectations. Black unemployment dropped .8% to 6.9%.

By pretty much every metric, the Trump/GOP economy is performing at a high level. Most importantly, families are feeling the improvement.