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Will a Republican step up to challenge Trump in the 2020 primary?

Will a Republican step up to challenge Trump in the 2020 primary?


WASHINGTON — If there’s a path for a Republican to challenge Donald Trump, it doesn’t run through Iowa.

Sen. Ben Sasse’s foray this weekend into the first-in-the-nation caucus state has already sparked chatter about a potential 2020 GOP primary to unseat Trump. But Iowa’s top operatives say there’s no appetite, today, to see any Republican take on the president.

“You know what, Sen. Sasse? I really don’t care what you like,” Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said at a recent Trump rally, swiping at the Nebraska senator over his frequent criticisms of the president. “We love Donald Trump. And if you don’t love him, I suggest you stay on your side of the Missouri River.”

To many Republicans, the idea of a primary discussion six months into any president’s term is laughable — and Sasse, a darling of the Never Trump movement who isn’t the first Republican rising star to visit the state and won’t be the last, has certainly not said he is planning such a move.

That hasn’t stopped Sasse, and his possible ambitions, from attracting attention in Iowa and nationwide, notably as Trump’s disapproval rating hovers around 60 percent and a smattering of Republicans around the country speak openly of their hopes for a run from someone like the Nebraska senator. (“He is the one candidate in the country, if he ran for president, I’d work for him for free,” said conservative strategist Brendan Steinhauser.)

Yet despite Trump’s myriad challenges and the angst his Twitter account causes in Washington, he remains so strong in conservative corners of Trump-friendly states, including Iowa, that party leaders, operatives and grassroots activists say there is no serious on-the-ground discussion of a 2020 challenge at this point.

“There’s going to be some folks in our party who just aren’t going to come around on the president, (but) I don’t think there’s any kind of wholesale movement to look for a candidate in 2020,” said David Kochel, a veteran Iowa operative and chief strategist on Jeb Bush’s presidential bid, who has himself been critical of Trump in the past. Trump’s tweeting, he continued, “generates a lot of sound and fury, but I don’t think there’s anything to chatter on the ground in Iowa about looking for someone to run a primary in 2020.”

Still, Kaufmann’s barbed broadside in June still stunned and troubled some longtime Iowa Republicans, and GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds later stressed that Sasse is in fact welcome in the state. The moment, however, underscored the degree to which many Republicans remain deeply protective of the president in the face of the criticism Trump is taking — never mind a primary challenge.

Sasse, for his part, has given zero indication that he’s planning to launch a primary challenge, though he dodged a pointed question about such a run on CNN last weekend. He is set to be in the state to speak at a Story County GOP dinner, and to drive around as an Uber driver, after losing a bet following a Nebraska-Iowa football game, he said in the same CNN interview.

“Obviously there’s buzz out there” regarding Sasse’s ambitions, said Story County GOP Chairman Brett Barker. But, he added: “I haven’t heard anyone calling for a primary challenge in 2020 by any means. 2024 is coming before we know it anyway.

“The main thing is, it’s a really short hop across the river, it’s good for him and his national profile to come out and do an event like this,” Barker continued.

Sasse’s office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. But Kaufmann’s lashing only drew more attention to the visit, which will test Republican activist tolerance for hearing from someone who is not shy about breaking with the president (though Sasse has highlighted areas of agreement with Trump, such as the idea of repealing Obamacare first and working out a replacement after).

“For every Iowa Republican that was cheering Jeff Kaufmann’s statements in Cedar Rapids two weeks ago, there’s another Republican who’s very quietly interested in what Ben Sasse has to say,” said a veteran Iowa Republican operative. “It’s not like it’s wrapped up in old Never Trump stuff from a year ago. It’s just that he’s talking differently than almost anyone in Washington is right now. For Iowa Republicans who want to see a party that is for things, and has a set of principles that are guiding its policies, that’s not something they’re hearing from a lot of other federal elected officials right now.”

That includes the president, this Republican said, but hastened to stress, “I wouldn’t read too much into, ‘there’s this groundswell for a primary fight.’”

Added Craig Robinson, the founder of the prominent conservative site TheIowaRepublican.com: “At the end of the day, if the question is, is there much of an appetite for a primary challenge of the president, I’d say no.”

The issue of whether Trump is truly vulnerable to a primary challenge won’t be answered until after the 2018 midterms, GOP strategists say. Even if Republicans lose the House, it’s not at all clear that activists would blame Trump — and if the GOP maintains its majorities, the idea of a credible primary challenge becomes even more distant.

But in the meantime, Trump’s disapproval ratings remain persistently high, major legislative achievements have yet to come through and his habit of engaging in Twitter tirades makes even many of his supporters uncomfortable. And with his own 2020 campaign already underway, some Republicans say it wouldn’t be so crazy for others with budding presidential ambitions to begin to quietly explore, just in case.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the environment seems pretty rich for people to at least put their toe in the water, and at least consider thinking about 2020 and a primary,” Ohio-based veteran GOP strategist Nick Everhart said.

And even in staunchly pro-Trump states like Iowa, there are some Republicans who are frustrated with the president.

“The president was just elected, nobody’s saying, ‘hey, we have to find a primary,’ but there’s a growing dissatisfaction,” said Steve Grubbs, another top Iowa Republican strategist. He pointed to the stalled legislative agenda and Trump’s “Twitter battles.”

“The president has plenty of time to turn that around, but the people who are unsatisfied are Republicans who expect the president to be president. And thus far — there have been times when he’s been presidential, but too many times he’s not been presidential.”

But there’s little to suggest, on the ground or in the numbers, that there’s any serious GOP interest in a primary — from Sasse or anyone else, in Iowa or elsewhere — at this point. Nationally, Trump’s support among Republicans has remained firmly in the mid-to-high 80s.

“My reading of other polls is, he’s holding his base,” said J. Ann Selzer, an influential Iowa-based pollster who said focus groups she led in the Midwest earlier this year revealed much the same thing. “There’s a fair amount of tolerance for things that appear to be shaking things up. He’s got a pretty long leash there.”

Karen Fesler, an Iowa-based GOP activist who has worked closely with Christian conservative voters, noted that Trump drew a big crowd during his stop in the state last month, and that he has the vocal support of Reynolds and other members of Iowa’s Republican leadership.

“Unless the wheels just totally come off, I don’t see it happening,” she said, of a primary challenge running through Iowa. “But two years is a lifetime in politics.”

— Katie Glueck
McClatchy Washington Bureau

Source: Will County News

Trump News July 13, 2017

Today, President Donald J. Trump is in Paris, France for meetings and celebrations with America’s oldest ally. The President will meet with American military commanders and later with French President Macron. Tomorrow, the President will attend France’s annual Bastille Day celebration–the first President to do so since 1989. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War One, the people of France have designated America this year’s national guest of honor. Troops from the US Army’s First Infantry Division–the first unit to arrive on French soil in 1917–will march in the parade, and US Air Force Thunderbirds will conduct a flyover with planes from the French air force.


(All times EST)

3:20 AM: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence

6:30 AM: President Trump participates in a luncheon with leaders of the U.S. Military

9:25 AM: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Les Invalides and participate in an arrival ceremony – Watch

9:45 AM: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a tour of Les Invalides

10:15 AM: Vice President Pence participates in a series of meetings with lawmakers

10:35 AM: President Trump participates in a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France

11:00 AM: President Trump participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with President Macron

11:30 AM: Vice President Pence delivers remarks to White House interns

12:25 PM: President Trump holds a joint press conference with President Macron – Watch

2:00 PM: Vice President Pence participates in a listening session with representatives of the Philanthropy Roundtable

3:00 PM: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have dinner with President and Mrs. Macron


President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and World War II Veterans| July 13, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)


FACT: Every insurer but one has exited Obamacare’s exchanges in Alaska leaving the entire State with no choices.


President Trump traveled to Paris, France last night to conduct meetings with President Macron and participate in the annual Bastille Day celebration.

The Congressional Budget Office incorrectly predicted the number of Americans that would be covered by Obamacare this year.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed three bills that seek to end human trafficking, and the President is urging the Senate to pass these bills so that he may sign them into law.

Source: Will County News

Illinois State Rifle Association: ISRA Thursday Bulletin – July 13, 2017


ISRA Thursday Bulletin – July 13, 2017


Executive Director’s Message
We are slipping into the heart of summer.  Shooting leagues, competitions and just good old practice is abounding everywhere.  If you haven’t joined in the fun it is time to do so.  Find a range or a good place to shoot and go for it.

I know you have been told the shooting sports are not as popular as it used to be, but evidence shows that just isn’t so.  Fifty years ago, there was only the National Matches which covered Conventional (Bullseye) Pistol, Smallbore rifle and High Power rifle; the Grand American which covered trap shooting and the National Skeet Championships; and the National Black Powder Championships.  Then, in the late sixties and seventies, a couple of shooting pioneers, Jeff Cooper and John Chapman, began “practical” pistol shooting.  The Bianchi Cup came along, as well as the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), which included rifles and shotguns.  These are still evolving into all kinds of shooting sports and championships.   I tried counting them all, but gave up.  Every time I thought I had them all, another one popped up.  Let’s just say there are dozens and dozens of them, all filling a niche of some kind.  More importantly, for every person who goes to a national championship of some kind, there are hundreds or thousands of shooters that do not go, and are perfectly happy staying home and shooting locally.
One exceptional development in the shooting world is the amount of training available today.  When I started shooting there were no schools that I knew of.  It was usually one-on-one training from a friend or relative.  Some knew what they were talking about, but many didn’t.  I was lucky that both my mother and father were excellent shots.  My dad won several rifle competitions prior to WWII, but despite being partially blinded in the war, he was able to teach me.  When I went to college, Illinois State University (ISU) had a rifle club with a good coach, Ross Mench, whom I will never forget.  The first shooting school I went to was the Small Arms School at Camp Perry, Ohio.  I knew of no others.  I’m sure there were others but they were inaccessible to me. I eventually shot well enough to make it to the Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, which was great training for precision shooting.  Still, there wasn’t much for the self-defense shooter.

Jeff Cooper started Gunsite and John Chapmen started the Chapman Academy; that was the beginning of the successful practical shooting schools.  From these came the next great generation of instructors; Massad Ayoob, John Farnham, Rob Pincus and several others.  Now we have great schools like Front Sight, Smith and Wesson Academy, Firearms Academy of Seattle, Sig Sauer Academy, Tactical Defense Institute, South Florida Shooting School and many more.  Now we have local ranges that teach all kinds of classes, many of which are very high quality.  No longer does the American shooter have to fly or drive hundreds or thousands of miles to get good training.  I just wish more people would take more training, and that they would understand the importance of maintaining their skills.

The other phenomenon in the shooting world is the number of women involved in shooting.  While their primary interest is self-defense, they now make up 20 percent of the new gun owners.  I used to teach a women’s class every month; no men, other than a few hand-picked instructors.  Most of these women were new shooters who had never before fired a gun.  Now I only have time for a couple of classes a year.

We have come a long way in the shooting world.  We are making progress, but we have to keep at it. I remember what humble beginnings we started with.  We would not have what we have today if not for the stalwart groups of instructors and range operators who kept fighting to improve the shooting world.

Thanks for being a member.

For more information, visit www.isra.org
Thursday, July 13, 2017
ISRA Smallbore/Rimfire F-Class Thursday Night League
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Project Appleseed History and Rifle Marksmanship Clinic
Monday, July 17, 2017
NIPAS Mobile Field Force Qualification and Training
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
ISRA Tuesday Night Irregular League
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
ISRA Benchrest League
F-Class League
Check out ISRA’s website at www.isra.org! Tell us what you think!
Follow the ISRA on Twitter and Facebook.

Give the gift of an ISRA membership.   Not an ISRA Member?  Join Today!

Illinois State Rifle Association, PO Box 637, Chatsworth, IL 60921

Source: Will County News

West Wing Reads July 13,2017

“The Trump Vision for America Abroad”

– Gary Cohn and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster in The New York Times

Gary Cohn and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster in The New York Times, define President Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy vision – one that advances America’s “interests and values” and strengthens “our alliances around the world.” On the President’s second trip abroad, in Poland and at the G-20, he affirmed, “that America First is grounded in American values … America champions the dignity of every person, affirms the equality of women, celebrates innovation, protects freedom of speech and of religion, and supports free and fair markets.”
Click here to read more.


As the President visits France today, it’s worth looking back at an article Foreign Policy published about his relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron. Benjamin Haddad writes the two leaders “are likely to get along well,” given their similarities – both captured anti-establishment anger, few “experts” bet on their presidential victories, and both are building their administrations anew.


Domestically, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney lays out the President’s plan to reach 3 percent economic growth in the Wall Street Journal, dubbing it MAGAnomics. “The focus of MAGAnomics is simple: Grow the economy and with it the wealth of, and opportunity for, all Americans,” Mulvaney writes.


The Hill reports the Department of Justice charged “more than 400 people, including 56 doctors, with healthcare fraud that cost taxpayers approximately $1.3 billion.” What’s worse: More than 100 of the defendants were charged with opioid scams, with some of the prescribed drugs being sold illegally on the street.


Yet more evidence why Obamacare must be repealed and replaced: The Washington Free Beacon reports that “insurers in Montana have requested premium rate hikes as high as 23 percent for next year” under the Affordable Care Act.

Source: Will County News

Federal Election Commission Dem wants to use Russia narrative to assault free speech

Federal Election Commission Dem wants to use Russia narrative to assault free speech


The top Democrat on the Federal Election Commission is renewing focus on a plan to investigate whether conservative and alternative media outlets worked with Russians in disseminating “fake news” ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The move could have major 1st Amendment consequences.

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard broke the story Tuesday, reporting:

A revived bid by a top Federal Election Commission Democrat could lead to an “inquisition” against conservative media outlets like the Drudge Report, InfoWars and Breitbart that take political advertising and are overseen by right-leaning owners or editors, according to critics.

The plan, set for discussion at Thursday’s FEC meeting, could open the door to political subpoenas targeting the websites, their editorial news decisions, and their owners, maybe even Matt Drudge and Alex Jones, according to an expert analysis.

In her effort targeting foreign influence in federal and state elections, Commissioner Ellen Weintraub would probe spending by overseas sources and even partially-foreign-owned U.S. firms on campaigns, including their media buys. Foreign influence is illegal in elections.

Weintraub reportedly became interested in attacking right-leaning media sites after reading a story in Time Magazine which detailed how Russian operatives spread stories to “sympathetic” online media consumers via social media.

From the report:

The Russians “target you and see what you like, what you click on, and see if you’re sympathetic or not sympathetic,” says a senior intelligence official. Whether and how much they have actually been able to change Americans’ behavior is hard to say. But as they have investigated the Russian 2016 operation, intelligence and other officials have found that Moscow has developed sophisticated tactics.

In one case last year, senior intelligence officials tell TIME, a Russian soldier based in Ukraine successfully infiltrated a U.S. social media group by pretending to be a 42-year-old American housewife and weighing in on political debates with specially tailored messages. In another case, officials say, Russia created a fake Facebook account to spread stories on political issues like refugee resettlement to targeted reporters they believed were susceptible to influence.

That, of course, is pretty much the same thing every political campaign and multinational corporation with a capable marketing arm is also doing on the internet.

The FEC, however, can’t simply go after alternative media organizations for looking to reach readers who appreciate their messaging.

That’s where the whole Russia thing becomes important. Time also referenced a McClatchy report which revealed that FBI counterintelligence investigators had probed “whether far-right sites like Breitbart News and Infowars had coordinated with Russian botnets to blitz social media with anti-Clinton stories, mixing fact and fiction when Trump was doing poorly in the campaign.”

Considering all of these organizations are in the business of making money by providing very loyal audiences with conservative news and views, common sense would dictate that none of the mentioned would risk knowingly collaborating with Russian propagandists to influence U.S. presidential politics. Furthermore, as the Time article points out, there’s no indication that any such efforts would even be worthwhile for someone attempting to influence the outcome of the election.

But there’s no room for common sense in this debate. It’s simply an effort to dismantle trust in alternative media to help the image of mainstream information providers which foolishly shilled for Hillary Clinton throughout the election until they could no longer even feign credibility.

Here’s how Weintraub describes her crusade: “I believe that this Commission can indeed rise to the challenge of understanding what happened in the 2016 election and plugging any legal or procedural holes that could allow foreign actors to interfere with our future elections.”

But what it really is about is an effort by the establishment to plug holes which threaten top-down information control from approved U.S. media outlets– like the very objective and all American channel CNN.

As I told you before, this isn’t about Russia… It’s a battle over who controls the narrative. 

Source: Will County News