A top Alabama radio talk show host told Big League Politics that Republicans in his state are sending an angry message to President Donald J. Trump and Sen. Luther J. Strange III in Tuesday’s GOP primary.
“I said this morning on the air that as much as Alabama likes President Trump, as much as we support his agenda, Alabama does not need nor want President Trump coming into this state and telling us how to vote,” said Matt Murphy, one half of Birmingham’s Talk 99.5 FM “Matt and Aunie” show with Andrea Lindenberg. It is the most listens to political talk show in the state.
Murphy said he expects former state chief justice Roy S. Moore to defeat Strange in the runoff between the two men, who were the top vote-getters in the Aug. 15 primary with neither man garnering at least 50 percent of the vote.
“Next Tuesday, they are going to send a message that Trump needs to hear loud and clear: We expect significant changes—not just in the White House—but on Capitol Hill as to how they are doing business,” he said.
An Alabama political operative with ties to both the Strange campaign and the Washington Republicans working to help Strange told Big League Politics that the president is boxed into backing Strange and he has no choice, but to make the best of it.
“I’ve been told that in addition to the Strange campaign having trouble rounding local politicians to join the senator’s rally with Trump Friday, they are having trouble with the airport welcoming ceremony,” the operative said.
“People love Trump, but if Strange arrives with the president on Air Force One, nobody wants to be there and be seen with Luther,” the operative said.
Murphy said another factor working for Moore and against Strange is the frustration Alabama conservatives feel regarding the state’s Republican establishment, which for the first time, since Reconstruction, controls both the legislature and the governor’s mansion.
“The Republicans are a lot better at making campaign promises than they are on delivering,” Murphy said. “The progress in draining the Montgomery Swamp is a lot slower than a lot of us would have like to have seen, so you are witnessing some backlash.”
Moore, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, came to national prominence as the state’s chief justice, twice. The first time was in 2003 when Moore flaunted a federal judge’s order and installed a nearly 3-ton marble display of the 10 Commandments. In that controversy, Moore was forced off the bench by a special panel convened by Attorney William G. Prior, now a federal judge.
The second time came when Moore, once again elected to be the state chief justice in 2013, refused to cooperate with the issuing of same-sex marriage certificates in 2016. In the middle of the ensuing controversy, Moore resigned from his bench in April and began working to win the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jefferson B. “Jeff” Sessions.
Murphy said when Strange was appointed by Gov. Robert J. Bentley Feb. 9 to replace Sessions, it upset many of his callers because at the time Strange was the state’s attorney general, the man investigating the governor’s conduct in relation to his alleged affair with Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
The governor resigned Apr. 10.
“Many of us have concerns about how Judge Moore handled himself during the 10 Commandments monument situation back in oh-three and with the gay marriage with he returned to the bench,” Murphy said. “But, I don’t think there is any doubt that he is a man of personal convictions and he is not going to be told what to do in DC.”
While Moore has the reputation as a man of integrity, Strange is seen as an instrument of Majority Leader A. Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell (R.-Ky.), who has raised and directed millions of dollars to discredit Moore and bolster Strange, he said.
“I don’t think it can be overstated how much Alabamans dislike Mitch McConnell and consider him part of the Swamp,” he said.
“As much as this is an election between Roy Moore and Luther Strange, this is really a chance for Alabamans to tell off Washington, D.C.”
Congress Uses Fake Russia-Taliban Report as Excuse to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
Another victory for the war party.
Democrats are seizing upon a fake news report alleging that Russia has funded Taliban mercenaries to kill U.S. soldiers in order to make it more difficult for troops to be pulled from Afghanistan, thus undermining President Trump’s foreign policy agenda.
The House Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to make it more difficult for Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan. It would force several certifications to be met before Trump could bring troops home. Republicans in the committee joined the Democrats to undermine Trump with the approval of this National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the neoconservative who supports Bush-era globalism, said the measure “lays out, in a very responsible level of specificity, what is going to be required if we are going to in fact make decisions about troop levels based on conditions on the ground and based on what’s required for our own security, not based on political timelines.” It was approved by a 45-11 vote.
The amendment requires an assessment to determine whether or not “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives” before troops can be removed from the country.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) bragged about how the measure will make sure the U.S. does not leave the region and more American lives are put in jeopardy for a war effort that is largely recognized to be a lost cause.
“There’s been bipartisan criticism of what a weak deal [Trump] got with the Taliban, a deal that is already falling apart,” Moulton said. “Now we learned that he was making this deal at the same time as there were bounties on the heads of American troops, American sons and daughters. We clearly need more oversight over what the president is doing in Afghanistan.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is the most eloquent voice for an “America First” foreign policy in the House, opposed the measure because of its obvious implications against peace.
“A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that’s what we’ve done in Afghanistan,” Gaetz said. “I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow.
“I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan,” he added. “Our generation is weary of this and tired of this.”
The defense industry is pushing the Russia bogeyman yet again, in order to create xenophobic outrage and a pretense to keep troops occupying in the region. The Pentagon has reported that Russia is trying to expedite the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but they are painting this news as if it is a bad thing.
“As of February, the Russian government was working with the central government, regional countries, and the Taliban to gain increased influence in Afghanistan, expedite a U.S. military withdrawal, and address security challenges that might arise from a withdrawal,” a report from the Pentagon said.
“Russia has politically supported the Taliban to cultivate influence with the group, limit the Western military presence, and encourage counter ISIS operations, although Russia publicly denies their involvement,” they added.
The political establishment, including the military-industrial complex, is pulling out all the stops to sabotage President Trump and deprive him of achieving his goals before November’s election.
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