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Westlake Legal Group > Barack Obama

Trump and Iran. What’s the plan?

On this site last November, our columnist Garvan Walshe wrote about the Iran-wide protests against the country’s ruling regime.  They were different from those of 2009, he said, because they were wider – and deeper.

Whereas those were largely confined to the middle class, these represented a “crisis of legitimacy” for Iran’s government, because “they take place, not against a hardline president whose agenda aligns with the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards, but against a moderate, Hassan Rouhani, who has been unable to deliver the economic improvements he promised”.

The prescient Garvan also mentioned an under-reported figure within the regime – by way of describing a Shia militia, the al-Hashd al-Sha’bi, which operates in Iraq but are controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which operates under “their commander, Qasem Soleimani”.

Much of the domestic reaction to Soleimani’s assassination begins with the man who ordered it, Donald Trump.  But America may be the wrong place and its President the wrong person with which to begin considering it.  Intensified sanctions against Iran are biting hard.  Dissatisfaction with the ruling cliques – and the corruption in which Soleimani had a hand – is rife among the population.  Trump has abandoned Barack Obama’s nuclear deal.

A case can therefore be made for the killing of Soleimani as part of a coherent strategic plan.  This would be to cause chaos at the top of Iran’s ruling structure, the workings of which are deeply obscure, in the hope that the resulting confusion will further western strategic goals and help to collapse Iran’s terror-promoting regime.

As this re-election year begins in America, it is clear, looking back on the bulk of this President’s term, that much of the criticism of him is wide of the mark.  The bulk of the evidence suggests that he has a strategic foreign policy aim, namely to keep the United States out of wars abroad, or at least conflicts in which ground troops are committed.  Abroad, he acts through proxies, as against ISIS, or through massive displays of air power.

This combines with a deeply personal tendency to engage with what he sees as other strong leaders in pursuit of “the art of the deal”. His abandonment of the Kurds and engagement with Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an example.  The classic instance is his talks with Kim Jong-il of North Korea.

He engages when he judges that the United States has a sufficient interest in diplomacy.  Although he has not been gung-ho about confrontation with Iran – last June, he backed off an airstrike against Iran as “not proportionate”, and has said that he has “good feelings” about a successor deal to Obama’s – he seems to have concluded that there is no such or not sufficient negotiating interest in this case.

In sum, his take on Iran seems to be: hit it hard if absolutely necessary.  And his judgement was that it was necessary to strike at a regime that, very recently, has seized vessels in the Persian Gulf, attacked Saudi oil refineries, fired mortar against US forces in Iraq and assailed the country’s embassy in Baghad.

The President argues that Soleimani, a mass murderer, was planning further anti-American terror.  He would – because that covers the necessary legal base.  But the truth is that we do not know why the strike against Soleimani took place now.  Cynics claim that it is nicely timed for America’s electoral cycle and to distract attention from the impeachment imbroglio.  But it isn’t obvious that the killing will win supporters who don’t back the President already.

All this suggests that Trump did not act order to help collapse the Iranian regime – but, rather, to assert American power against a government with which he thinks he cannot strike a deal.  His critics will rage, but it is not clear that his impulsive approach has been less effective overall than George W.Bush’s activism or Obama’s passivity.

Nor can he fairly be accused of starting a conflict with Iran: that is raging already.  But the question is whether his caution last June was more or less sensible than his commitment now.  Iran has a long record of what the wonks like to call asymmetric response.  In other words: proxy actions, suicide bombs, IEDs, kidnappings, assasinations, attacks on embassies, civilians and military personnel.

The Middle East is rich with American targets.  Or Iran may look to the United States itself.  Then there are that country’s allies to consider – including the “Little Satan”, Britain itself.  What is Trump’s plan if Iran hits back?  Or if Soleimani’s killing solidifies rather than dissipates support for the regime? What happens in Iraq?

On Tuesday, Parliament resumes, and it will fall to Dominic Raab (presumably) to state the Government’s view at length.  Jeremy Corbyn will do all but openly support Iran, which will be par for the course.  Labour’s leadership contenders will be up and about doing much the same, in order to drum up support among the membership for the coming leadership election.

To date, the Foreign Secretary has not said all that much.  “We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani. Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests,” he tweeted on Friday.

We may be leaving the EU at the end of January, but British solidarity with its position on Iran continues.  How does Boris Johnson plan to deal with Trump if the conflict between America and Iran intensifies – particularly if Britain is dragged into it?  The regime will not have forgotten the business of the Prime Minister’s blunder over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

He will want to stick to his diplomatic position on Iran while not fouling up any trade deal with America.  So far, the President seems to have taken Johnson’s alignment with France and Germany well.  It may be that he won’t mind having the Prime Minister as a “candid friend”.

But if Johnson decides that his best course for now is to say as little as possible and seek to change the subject, that will be understandable.  As we write, Downing Street might well be sifting through the bodies of a few dead cats to sling on the Cabinet table – and out to the media.  Time perhaps for another incendiary blog from Dominic Cummings.  Trump has decided to hit Iran very hard and no-one knows what will happen next.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections

This is the text of a speech I gave in London last Friday covering the background to the current political situation on both sides of the Atlantic, and my perspective on the UK and US elections.

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I don’t know if it’s significant that you have asked me to speak about the political situation on the anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, Margaret Thatcher’s removal from Downing Street, and Angela Merkel’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany. We are living through what feels like a momentous time in politics, not just in this country, and I have spent some time trying to make sense of the disruption – and in particular, what the voters make of it all – through my opinion research on both sides of the Atlantic.

This began 15 years ago when, as a longstanding donor to the Conservative Party, I decided it was about time someone made a proper study of why it kept losing general elections – usually after being reassured by the party hierarchy that we were on course for a famous victory. I published the findings under the unambiguous title Smell The Coffee: A Wake-Up Call For The Conservative Party, and on the strength of this, David Cameron appointed me the party’s Deputy Chairman to help ensure its lessons were acted upon. Since stepping down from the role I’ve continued with the research, because it struck me that while commentators were always blessed with an abundance of opinion, real evidence was in rather shorter supply. Another reason was that pointing out the difference between what voters think – and what politicians and pundits think they think – is an appealing way to create a certain amount of mischief.

This afternoon I will talk about what my research says about how things are developing in the early stages of next year’s presidential election in the U.S., and about the general election here whose result we will know three weeks from today. As for what that result is likely to be, I hope you will forgive me if I steer clear of anything that sounds like a prediction. In any case, you would treat any kind of forecast with justified scepticism: in the last two national contests in the UK, most pollsters expected a knife-edge result in 2015 and a comfortable Conservative victory in 2017, but got precisely the reverse. My research aims to understand what is motivating voters and how they are reacting to the various parties, leaders and campaigns – what people are thinking and why – rather than trying to predict whose nose will ultimately end up ahead in the national horse race.

First, I think it’s worth making a few observations about how we got to what seems like an unusually grim and shambolic time in national life. It has become a cliché to talk about the polarization that dominates today’s politics. But the problem is not that people disagree, as they always have. The real problem is that for some time, rather than trying to ameliorate those divisions, politics has emphasized and supercharged them.

In America, people often blame Donald Trump for this. But the truth is that he is the latest in a long line of divisive political developments going back at least to the Clinton era. President Clinton’s failed healthcare reforms, the 1994 Republican Revolution, the impeachment, the hanging chads of the Bush-Gore election, the Iraq War, the financial crisis, Obamacare and the rise of the Tea Party have all combined with the rise of talk radio, the growth of cable news, and the explosion of social media to create the political atmosphere we have today.

The UK has an overlapping recent history of drama: Iraq again, the expansion of immigration from the EU, the scandal over MPs’ expenses, the financial crisis and the years of austerity that followed it, the Brexit referendum and parliament’s inability or unwillingness to implement the result have all been steps on the path to the position we are in today.

In other words, both Brexit and Donald Trump were a long time in the making. It is easy to forget that they are symptoms, not causes. And by the same token, things will not simply change back once the current cast of political characters leaves the stage or when Brexit is settled, if it ever is.

A good way of exploring the effect of these developments, and how dividing lines are moving, is to chart them on a geo-demographic map like this one.

Westlake Legal Group LC1 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

The vertical axis represents security, which includes measures of wealth and wellbeing such as income, occupation and education. The horizontal axis represents diversity – a combination of factors including ethnicity, culture and population density. All these measures are derived from census data. By combining this information with election results and poll findings, we can study how opinion and voting behaviour varies – sometimes in unexpected ways – between people depending on their life situation and location.

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For example, this shows the average position of voters for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the 2016 presidential election. The centre of gravity of the Trump vote is firmly in the bottom right hand corner, where we find ‘low security, low diversity’ voters. The Clinton vote is centred in the opposite top-left quadrant, representing a much more diverse and secure set of voters.

Westlake Legal Group LC3 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

Looked at from a geographic perspective, we can plot states and their relative weights in the Electoral College by their aggregated demographic characteristics. This shows the fault line in American politics in sharper relief, with Democrats dominating the top left, and the bottom right firmly in Republican hands.

Westlake Legal Group LC4 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

A look at the divide between political parties in Britain shows the divide working in a different direction – which is, incidentally, the way the divide worked in America 30 or 40 years ago. Here we see the constituencies won by the Conservative, Labour and other parties at the 2017 general election. Conservative seats dominate the less diverse but more prosperous top-right quadrant, with Labour holding all but a handful of seats in more diverse, less well-off territory.

Westlake Legal Group LC5 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

But when we look at how those same constituencies voted in the EU referendum, we see the country divided along completely different lines. In demographic terms, Leave support was centred in the poorer and less diverse parts of the country, with support for Remain heavily concentrated in richer, more urban centres and university towns. In terms of attitudes, the divide over Brexit was much more along cultural lines than along traditional left-right ones.

And this is the root of the problem facing British politics at the moment. The Conservatives won their unexpected majority in 2015 by building a coalition of support around their programme to cut the deficit and stabilise the public finances. Two years later, Theresa May called an early general election on an issue that divided the country in a completely different way, in the hope of reassembling the Brexit-voting coalition under the Tory banner.

Looking back to the 2017 election, we can see that Theresa May was at least right about one thing. She foresaw that the getting any kind of Brexit deal through parliament would be a titanic battle, and that the government would need a comfortable majority to see it through. But although she was right in theory, in practice, as we know, it went rather less well than she had hoped.

For all the multiple failings of the Tories 2017 campaign, one of the most fundamental reasons for this was that people were not just divided over Brexit, but over the whole preceding decade of political life – in particular, whether or not the government was right to try and balance the books in the way it did after 2010.

Westlake Legal Group LC6 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

As my polling found just over a year ago, only just under half of Leave voters had supported austerity, while one third of the pro-austerity voters who had helped keep David Cameron in office wanted to remain in the EU. This is why Theresa May got the worst of both worlds. Many Remain voters deserted the Conservatives because of Brexit. But most of the Leave-voting former Labour voters who were supposed to take their place refused to fall into line with what they saw as the party of cuts. Wild horses wouldn’t get them to abandon their tribe and vote Tory, however much they supported Brexit. This explains why, so far, no party has since been able to assemble a majority electoral coalition, and why British politics has felt so arduous for so long.

It now falls to Boris Johnson to try and break the deadlock. He has a number of factors in his favour that were missing at the last election. His claim that an election is needed to get Brexit done sounds much more plausible to people than it did when Theresa May tried the same line. The Conservative Party claims to have learned the lessons of the last disastrous campaign, including having a much more realistic list of target seats and not including any potential bombshells in the manifesto. (Well, we’ll see about that when it appears.) Boris is also a natural campaigner and connects with people in a way that his predecessor struggled to do.

Westlake Legal Group LC7 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

As I found in my most recent poll, completed earlier this week, he maintains a comfortable lead over Jeremy Corbyn as the best available Prime Minister. Only a quarter of voters think Corbyn would do a better job, and 2017 Labour voters who backed Leave in the referendum think Johnson would be the better leader.

Westlake Legal Group LC8 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

The Conservative team is also more trusted to run the economy than Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, by a clear margin. Again, Labour Leave voters say they are more inclined towards the Tories on this question. In recent elections, the combination of leadership ratings and trust on the economy has proved to be a good guide to the outcome – often better than voting intention polls themselves.

Westlake Legal Group LC9 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

And when we force people to choose between a Conservative government led by Boris Johnson or a Labour government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, at this stage we still find a clear – if not overwhelming – preference for the former. Nearly 19 out of 20 Tory voters from 2017 say want another Conservative government, while only 78 per cent of former Labour voters want a Labour government, and one in five of them would rather have the Conservatives.

Westlake Legal Group LC10 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

A similar pattern emerges when we ask people about their voting intention. Not which party they will vote for, but how likely they feel they are to vote for each party on a 100-point scale. Here we see Conservatives retaining much firmer support from their 2017 voters than Labour or the Liberal Democrats. And while Conservative Remain voters are less sure about their vote than Tory leavers, as a whole they are still more inclined to stick with the party than abandon it. One reason for this is that many of them think that even though they voted to remain in the EU, we need to honour the referendum result and the Tories are best placed to do so.

Westlake Legal Group LC11 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

Another reason is that Conservative Remain voters tend to believe Brexit will be a walk in the park compared to the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street. If this election amounts to a decision on whether to stop Brexit or stop Corbyn, most of them think it’s more important to stop Corbyn. More than 7 in 10 of them think leaving the EU would be less bad for Britain than a Labour government with Corbyn as PM – as do a clear plurality of the electorate as a whole.

If this were a normal election, that would be most of what you needed to know: one party with a more popular leader, more trusted on the economy, and with an opponent that scares potential waverers back into line. The trouble is, we don’t seem to have normal elections anymore. For many voters, the decision will amount to a trade-off between their preferred party and their preferred outcome on Brexit.

Westlake Legal Group LC12 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

My poll published earlier this week found that while 35 per cent said they wanted Brexit and Boris, a further 10 per cent said they would like to leave the EU but with a different Prime Minister. On the other side, while 18 per cent said they would like to remain in the EU with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, a further 25 per cent said they wanted to remain but with someone else in charge.

In other words, while most of those who want to leave are happy to have Boris Johnson in Number Ten, most of those who want to remain don’t want the PM who would make that possible. Nearly half of all Remain voters – including 41 per cent of 2017 Labour remainers – said they would like to remain in the EU with a PM other than Corbyn. Labour leavers, notably, were more evenly divided than most: 35 per cent wanted Brexit with Boris, with 25 per cent wanting to leave with a different PM.

Both groups whose Brexit preference clashed with their Prime Ministerial one said EU policy was more important to them. Among those who wanted Brexit but with a PM other than Johnson, more than two thirds said that if they had to choose, they would leave the EU and put up with Boris in Downing Street. Exactly the same proportion of those who wanted to remain but without Corbyn said they would put up with him in Number Ten to stop Brexit.

But I think the main lesson from this is that many people are finding their voting decision much less straightforward than usual, and I think this dilemma is something that very large numbers are still wrestling with.

There has been a great deal of talk about a realignment in British politics, with people’s position on Brexit, and the worldview that goes with it, coming to play a bigger part than traditional party loyalties. This was already a factor in the last election, when the Conservative vote was not just bigger but older, whiter, more working class, more modestly educated, and more socially and culturally conservative than it had been before. This was also seen in the distribution of seats, with the Tories losing places like Kensington and Canterbury but making gains in Mansfield and Stoke.

We can expect to see that process continuing this time round, with the Conservatives continuing to pick up some Brexity voters who had never previously considered themselves Tories, while remain-inclined professionals abandon both main parties in favour of the Lib Dems. But this process is far from automatic, and as we are finding on the ground, not everyone is co-operating with the realignment theory.

Westlake Legal Group LC13 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

One problem is that, as in 2017, not everyone sees Brexit as the overriding priority. When we asked what issues were the most important to people at this election, we found “dealing with Brexit in the right way” in second place to the NHS. This was especially true of Labour voters, including those who had voted Leave in the referendum. And when we asked separately about potential desirable outcomes from the election, “more funding for public services” trumped “getting Brexit done” among Labour leavers. As we have found in focus groups around the country during the campaign, this – together with recent memories of austerity and a lifelong suspicion of Tories – makes many of them think twice before lining up behind Boris Johnson to get Brexit done.

In theory, the natural home for such voters should be the Brexit Party. They have not so far managed to break through in a way that looked possible after their European election victory. Again, I think there are a number of related reasons for this. One is that voters have long regarded Euro elections as a “free hit” with no real consequences, but they are reluctant to send what look like single-issue parties to Westminster. Another is that most of the Brexit Party’s airtime has been consumed with the long debate over where they would and would not stand, perhaps at the expense of a clear message as to why people should vote for them. And since the decision not to run against sitting Conservative MPs, some have seen the Brexit Party as a kind of front for the Tories.

The Conservatives are hoping that pledges to increase NHS spending and recruit 20,000 new police officers will go some way towards neutralising their problem with former Labour supporters, but here, too they are meeting resistance. “They’ve cut too deep and now they’re saying they’ll give you a little bit back, and it doesn’t wash with me,” was a typical remark, made by a woman in our focus group in Bolton last week. And as another in Stoke put it, “there’s a lot I don’t agree with Jeremy Corbyn about, but I think Labour will still be for the working man.”

That’s not to say that Labour’s plans are taken at face value either, whether on free broadband, the four-day week, or the promised bonanza for public services. Indeed, for some they are a reminder that the outgoing Labour Chief Secretary in 2010 left a note to his successor apologising that there was no money left. But in some quarters – party brands being what they are – while Tory promises sound cynical, Labour’s are at least taken to signal good intentions, even if they might not all come to pass. As another young woman quite literally told us last week, “Labour said something about bringing back bursaries for nurses. I don’t think they’ll do it, but it was nice that they thought of it.”

But it’s not just the Conservatives who are often finding their overtures to Labour voters spurned. The Liberal Democrats are finding the same problem. Exasperated though some Labour remainers are by the leadership’s mysterious refusal to say whether it would campaign for or against any new deal it managed to negotiate with the EU, relatively few are attracted to the Lib Dems’ unambiguous commitment to revoking Article 50. There are two main reasons for this. One is that though they would like to remain, they feel there is something not quite right about simply acting as though the referendum never happened.

The other reason is that they simply cannot forgive or forget the Lib Dems for the coalition in 2010. As one left-leaning voter told us in the target seat of Cambridge, “I voted Lib Dem in that election and they ended up in David Cameron’s government. It’s not what you vote Lib Dem for”. The party’s reversal on tuition fees – though it was now nearly ten years and four leaders ago – remains the iconic example of the broken political promise for a generation of voters.

All of which goes to show that although things are evolving, the old left-right divide, and especially the power of party brands to attract or repel voters, are by no means redundant.

So what is going to happen?

Westlake Legal Group LC14 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

When we asked people last weekend, we found more than half of respondents believing the Conservatives would be the largest party, but only just over one in five expecting a Tory overall majority. The next biggest chunk, a quarter of all voters, said they didn’t know.

To me, the most striking thing here is how few expect Labour to come out on top. Only just over one in ten think the party will have the most MPs, and only three per cent expect an outright Labour victory. This in itself might make the Tories uneasy. It’s hard to galvanise your support with the peril of an opposition victory whose prospects seem so remote. We have heard some of this in focus groups too. People who are not enamoured of Jeremy Corbyn but want an excuse not to vote Tory ask “what’s the worst that could happen?” and reassure themselves that he’s not going to have the majority to do anything too daft. The hazard here for the Conservatives, who will need a clear majority to function at all, it obvious.

At this stage, I agree that the fundamentals are in Boris Johnson’s favour – but with three long weeks to go, it still feels to me as though this election is somehow not settled yet.

But at least we will know the outcome in three weeks’ time. We will need to wait nearly a year for the result from across the Atlantic. As I said in an article last weekend, anyone thinking of betting the house on that election had better make sure they have a friendly neighbour with a spare room, just in case.

First, here is what the battleground looks like on our demographic map.

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These are the states that changed hands at the last election in 2016. As you can see, they are all close to the centre, and along the line that separates the cosmopolitan, liberal top left from the more conservative and less diverse bottom right.

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The point is made even more starkly when we look at the individual counties that flipped one way or the other. If the familiar map on the left shows where these places were, the one on the right shows what they were like, and where the divide falls. In geographical and demographic terms, this is where the battle for 2020 will once again be played out.

In political terms, we know what one side is going to look like. My research has consistently found most of those who voted for Donald Trump saying he has met or exceeded their expectations. They point to a thriving economy, which they put down to his tax reforms and deregulatory agenda, conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, a firm stance on immigration and border control and what they see as his determination to stand up for America in the world. And while his opponents spent the last campaign and much of his presidency complaining about his personal conduct, even those who voted for him only reluctantly tend to see this as a price worth paying for someone who is keeping his promises, shaking things up in Washington and standing up for them.

But there are Republicans voters in play. These are most likely to be found among those who switched to Trump having previously voted for Barack Obama; those who voted for him only grudgingly in order to stop Hillary Clinton; those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for either candidate in 2016; and the moderate suburban voters who switched sides or stayed at home in last year’s midterms to give Democrats control of Congress. Many of these voters are weary of his antics, and some worry about what a second term would bring. They are open to an alternative.

The question is, will his opponents be able to grasp the opportunity this presents? In my polling among American voters since 2016 I have found Democrats to be in a furious and increasingly radical mood. Rather than reach out to those who backed Donald Trump, many have yearned to head in the opposite direction and adopt the most progressive candidates and platforms they can find. But on the basis of my more recent research, including focus groups of primary voters in New Hampshire last month, I think the looming election is starting to concentrate minds. They know they are going to have to make some kind of compromise, so the question is what kind of compromise it will be.

I found very little enthusiasm for any of the frontrunners. Joe Biden is touted as the safe choice, but our participants thought he lacked new ideas and was showing his age with increasingly regular “senior moments”. Many wondered why President Obama had not endorsed him, after eight years alongside him in the White House. While there is still affection and respect for Bernie Sanders, potential backers worry about his age and health – “you’d be voting for his Vice President,” as we heard more than once. People also wondered how he would fund his healthcare and college plans.

This was also a problem for Elizabeth Warren, whom few had warmed to though she seemed capable: she was described as “shrill,” and many found her claims of Native American ancestry bizarre. The candidate most often mentioned positively and spontaneously was Pete Buttigieg, who has recently taken the lead in some polls on the Iowa caucus. Many thought him smart, constructive, impressive and likeable, though some worried about his relative youth and inexperience.

Westlake Legal Group LC17 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

At this stage, many national polls suggest that any one of the Democrat frontrunners could beat President Trump next November. And these figures from my October poll show around one in five Obama-Trump voters saying they might vote for Warren, Kamala Harris or Mayor Pete in a head-to-head with Trump, and one in four saying they could back Biden or Sanders.

But at this stage, such findings should be taken with a wheelbarrow of salt. Most voters have other things to think about and will not properly tune into the process at least until they have a firm nominee to compare against the President. But speaking to undecided former Trump voters last month, we found that the main message that drifts across from the Democrat camp is “free this, free that.” While healthcare is one of their biggest concerns, they worry about the tax implications of Medicare for all and free college. Suburbanites may yet decide they like their hard-earned dollars more than they dislike Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.

Many of them also feel that the Democrats still regard them as a “basket of deplorables” for having had the temerity to vote for Trump in the first place. This still rankles, and makes it harder for the party to recruit them. And while they still broadly see President Trump as a change in the right direction, the current most likely alternatives sound to many like either a change back to how things were, in the case of Biden, or a change in a wrong and potentially threatening direction, in the case of Warren and Sanders.

Meanwhile, we have the diverting spectacle of the impeachment hearings. In my research in the early stages of the process I found some Democrats were very excited about what would unfold. Even if the Senate fails to convict and remove him from office, they argued, voters would see at last what a terrible candidate he is. This is part of a longstanding habit I have observed – after every presidential controversy, Trump’s opponents think that surely now people will see what a terrible mistake they have made by voting for him. But others worried that impeachment will simply galvanise wavering Trump supporters, and I think they have a point.

Westlake Legal Group LC18 Lord Ashcroft: My perspective on the US and UK elections US Republicans US Democrats U.S Presidential Election 2020 Theresa May MP Opinion Polls MPs ETC Joe Biden Jeremy Corbyn MP donald trump campaign Boris Johnson MP Barack Obama 2019 General Election

Some Republicans – and particularly the Obama-Trump voters I mentioned earlier – think the allegations are serious and worthy of investigation. But the more general reaction from Trump supporters is “oh, again?” Having seen Trump’s every move since inauguration day treated as a national scandal, many see the impeachment simply as the culmination of a three-year “witch hunt”, making them all the more determined to keep him in office.

The title of my talk has been Political Disruption: the voters’ perspective, and it is hard to think of anything more politically disruptive than attempting to remove a sitting president from office. But it’s also tempting to think that the disruption will be over when the impeachment saga is over, and Trump is re-elected, or isn’t, and Brexit is concluded or cancelled. For good or ill, I can’t see that being the case. Those of us who study these things will have plenty to keep us interested for some time to come.

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Daniel Hannan: £1 million? £1 billion? £1 trillion? McDonnell is relying on you not knowing the difference.

Daniel Hannan is an MEP for South-East England, and a journalist, author and broadcaster. His most recent book is What Next: How to Get the Best from Brexit.

Suppose I were to tell you that Labour’s promises would cost £50 billion. How would you feel about it? My guess is that, if you’re a Labour supporter, you’ll assume that that money can easily be squeezed from the undeserving rich, tax-dodging corporations and the like. If, on the other hand, you are not a Labour supporter, you’ll believe that that figure will mean higher taxes in general, a less competitive economy and slower growth.

Now suppose that, instead of £50 billion, the figure were £100 billion. How many people would shift from the first column to the second? My guess is almost none. Numbers on that scale simply make no sense to most of us. Our brains are designed to deal with practical rather than abstract questions. We can imagine what we’d do with £100 or £1,000. But £100 billion?

So we instead go with our hunches. Do we like and trust the people making the proposal? If we do, we are likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. If we don’t, we won’t. That would be true, in most cases, even if the figure were a trillion pounds – which is just as well for Labour, since that number comes closest to their actual spending plans.

Labour strategists are banking on our general innumeracy. I don’t say that they are taking us for fools. Plenty of clever and educated people can’t process numbers on that scale. It’s why charity appeals tell individual stories rather than offering figures. It’s why, as Stalin is supposed to have said, one death is a tragedy, but a million is a statistic.

Most people are partisan. Most, though they don’t like to admit it, begin with their preferred conclusions. When Barack Obama ran up a large deficit, Tea Party protesters took to the streets in every state demanding a return to fiscal balance. When Donald Trump maintained – or, on some measures, increased – that deficit, the Tea Partiers stayed at home. Why? Because people are wired to respond to people, not abstractions. Tribal loyalties trump big numbers.

There is, however, an important qualifier. Voters who are not already partis pris will often be influenced, consciously or not, by those who intermediate the numbers – that is, by journalists, commentators and experts. If every analyst lines up to declare that a party’s figures are ridiculous, it makes a difference.

Importantly, this didn’t happen last time. There was a general assumption among pundits that Corbyn couldn’t possibly win, and that his promises were therefore to be treated as light entertainment. A similar asymmetry had benefited Trump six months earlier. He, too, was not taken seriously. His promises were placed before the electorate with a kind of amused smirk, while Hillary Clinton’s, like Theresa May’s, were properly analysed and criticised.

In consequence, there was surprisingly little discussion of the sheer unaffordability of Labour’s 2017 manifesto. Most commentators treated its absurdity as a datum or given – something that needed no elaboration. Result? Voters heard the promises (“no tuition fees!”) but not the fact that they were unfunded.

John McDonnell seems to have concluded from that experience that, if you expand the promises, you expand your support; but, since no one really gets big numbers, you won’t lose many voters on the other side. Even on his own figures, this manifesto would cost nearly twice as much as the far-Left programme he offered two-and-a-half years ago. In reality, that price tag doesn’t include the vast expense of the nationalisations, the four-day week or the loss of revenue prompted by capital flight.

How many people are bothered? Is McDonnell right that the battle-lines are unaffected by actual statistics? If the number of fiscal conservatives is fixed, after all, he might as well purchase the support of as many groups as possible – students, waspi women, benefits claimants, public sector workers.

But there is a limit. On Monday, the editor of ConHome suggested that “McDonnell might as well pledge £1 million to all comers. He could make it £1 billion while he’s at it. It would be no more or less credible than all his other plans.”

I suspect that, if he offered us each a million pounds, even committed Labour voters would smell a rat. The angriest Momentum activists, convinced that austerity is a product of greed and sadism, would surely realise that there isn’t the money to make such a pledge. So let’s ask a question. At what point do Labour’s pledges topple into obvious fantasy? When do people start listening to the independent commentators who are staring speechless at these wish-lists?

My sense is that, to the extent that we will see any outbreak of collective incredulity, we are seeing it now. Having already come up with risible spending commitments, Labour has now cheerfully added an unbelievable – a literally unbelievable – £58 billion commitment to bump the pensions of the women who lost out when the retirement age was equalised.

For what it’s worth, I have a lot of sympathy with those women. The change happened very suddenly, and many had no time to arrange their finances accordingly. But the issue is not just whether the waspi women have a point. It’s also whether we have £58 billion to spend.

How much is £58 billion? To put it in context, the savings made between 2010 and 2013, the “savage Tory cuts” that brought protesters to the streets and pushed Labour politicians into making deranged claims about people “dying from austerity”, shaved £14.3 billion from the budget. The waspi shortfall is four times that sum.

Indeed, £58 billion would be half as much again as the all the money saved through welfare reforms since 2010. Labour, which created the deficit in the first place, and then spent the following decade howling down attempts to fix it, now proposes to spend vastly more than even Gordon Brown.

Do we understand that? Do we care? We’ll find out in two weeks’ time.

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Judge says woman arrested in CIA trespass looking for ‘Agent Penis’ later went to Obama home

The woman who allegedly trespassed three days in a row at the CIA headquarters and requested “to speak with Agent Penis” recently showed up at the home of former President Barack Obama, according to a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia.

During a status hearing, U.S. District Court Judge John Anderson said he had been informed that Jennifer G. Hernandez, 58, of North Carolina — who is charged with trespassing at an agency installation without authorization for repeatedly visiting the CIA in May — later showed up at Obama’s D.C.-area home, despite the court’s order to stay away from all government-related facilities. She had been released before the trial.

Hernandez’s federal public defender, Whitney Minter, said she, prosecutors and probation officials are trying to find a way to resolve the case without trial, but said she was considering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Anderson told Hernandez, “You have to meet people halfway” in obeying court orders that could prevent a criminal prosecution in favor of getting mental health treatment.

“We’re trying to help you, not punish you,” Anderson told Hernandez. “The restraint the government is showing is unusual and appreciated” in not seeking to revoke her release before trial.

Outside the courtroom, Minter and prosecutor William Reed declined to elaborate on Hernandez’s behavior as she awaits trial.

Anderson said prosecutors and the defense want to “get you (Hernandez) to a safer place and get you the help you need.”

When asked if she wanted to say anything, Hernandez said she had been through a lot of turmoil, that a family member had been trying to kill her since she was 36 and referred to unlikely threats. She acknowledged being at the Obama home.

”I won’t go back there,” Hernandez told the judge. “Tell me what to do, and I will abide by the law.”

Anderson told Hernandez in a stern, but kind tone, “You shouldn’t be going to places like the CIA and the Obamas’ house. You have to fight the callings, and you just can’t go back there.”

“We all want to get this resolved in a nonjudicial way,” Anderson said in granting a continuance for a Feb. 11 court hearing. “Please,” the judge implored.

Source

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Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-5.35.34-PM Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts Obama News Media journalism ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post fake news donald trump democrats Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Screenshot from this video

President Donald Trump announced the great news today that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed by U.S. Special Forces.

But some people just couldn’t say, “Great work” and celebrate the death of the world’s #1 terrorist.

Pete Souza is the former White House photographer for Barack Obama.

He has made it no secret that he dislikes President Donald Trump and has taken shots at him in the past.

But he sent out a fake news tweet that went everywhere quickly, suggesting that the picture showed Trump wasn’t in the White House when the action taken against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took place.

It has 15,000 retweets and over 38,000 likes as of this writing.

Media and Democrats immediately cried conspiracy, as Twitchy notes, spreading it further.

‘Journalists.’

Democratic strategist:

Even Andrew Zimmern retweeted the fake story to his over a million followers.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-6.45.35-PM Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts Obama News Media journalism ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post fake news donald trump democrats Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Of course, Souza was wrong, as he later had to admit, that Trump was back in the White House before the raid and before the picture was taken.

But as with most fake news, you can see it got much less attention than the original false story. And people are still spreading the lie.

And most of the blue checks still have the false story up and haven’t taken it down, much less apologized for spreading the insanity.

The post Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-5.35.34-PM-300x179 Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts Obama News Media journalism ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post fake news donald trump democrats Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Obama CIA Deputy Director: Trump Shouldn’t Have Been Disrespectful About Killing of Baghdadi

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-3.54.24-PM Obama CIA Deputy Director: Trump Shouldn’t Have Been Disrespectful About Killing of Baghdadi mike morell ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Culture & Faith cia Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Screenshot from this video

President Donald Trump was triumphant in announcing the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Among other remarks, Trump described the event, “He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”

Apparently descriptions like that were too much for former Obama CIA deputy director Mike Morell.

While he praised the action on “Face the Nation,” he and criticized Trump’s response, according to the Washington Examiner.

“You don’t want a locker room kind of feel to this,” said Morell. “That was the one thing we worked really hard on after the bin Laden raid, is don’t make those kinds of statements, because it does inspire other people.”

Morell, who was widely expected to become Hillary Clinton’s CIA director if she had won the 2016 election, said it was troubling that Trump said he wanted to show footage of Baghdadi’s death to deter his followers.

“I think it’s all right to say we used DNA matching to figure out that it was him,” said Morell. “But to actually talk about body parts and actually bringing them back with us, right, so that we have them here with us I think is going too far.”

Retired Adm. James Winnefeld then said the Obama administration was respectful of the body of Osama Bin Laden by burying him at sea. He also said you didn’t want to do things to further incite ISIS.

First of all you want to have the body to confirm the fact.

But second, isn’t this the administration that was so overly concerned about offending people they couldn’t bring themselves to say “radical Islamic terrorism?” The administration that ignored the rise of ISIS even as people were warning them in 2014 that the hole they left by the pullout was encouraging the rise. Thousands of people died because of their failure to properly address the danger. And then, once the danger was known, they were ineffective in large measure in response. They were always afraid of who they might offend. It took Trump to come in to defeat the physical caliphate.

They’re concerned about how Trump is phrasing killing Baghdadi? Can ISIS hate us more than they already do? Are they joking?

This was the world’s number one terrorist, responsible for the oppression, murder, beheading and rape of thousands, responsible for terrorism all around the world. Sorry if celebrating that offends you, liberals.

Speaking of respect, what did Morell think when his Secretary of State at the time made these very respectful remarks in 2011 about the killing of Muammar al-Gaddafi, when he was deputy director?

https://youtu.be/mlz3-OzcExI

Somehow, his criticism of that response has gone missing…

The post Obama CIA Deputy Director: Trump Shouldn’t Have Been Disrespectful About Killing of Baghdadi appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-3.54.24-PM-300x190 Obama CIA Deputy Director: Trump Shouldn’t Have Been Disrespectful About Killing of Baghdadi mike morell ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Culture & Faith cia Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Brother of a Sandy Hook Victim Calls Out Joe Biden: He’s ‘Either a Liar or He’s Losing His Mind’

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenAPimage-620x317 The Brother of a Sandy Hook Victim Calls Out Joe Biden: He’s ‘Either a Liar or He’s Losing His Mind’ Uncategorized sandy hook Politics jt lewis Joe Biden Guns gun control Front Page Stories crime Campaigns Barack Obama Alt Right Allow Media Exception 2020

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

 

 

Joe Biden is a liar.

So says JT Lewis, who lost his 6-year-old brother, Jesse, in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

According to JT, then-President Obama made a point to visit every single family that lost a loved one.

But now Joe Biden’s claiming the same, and JT’s calling hogwash:

“This is a lie. Obama came to Sandy Hook and met with every family. Joe Biden DID NOT. In fact, my family was not allowed on Air Force One because we refused to support Obama/Biden gun control efforts.”

Being that 2020 quickly approaches, these, of course, are the days of big claims. Everyone wants to take credit for anything and everything good.

See for yourself:



It’s one of the perks of the primaries — watching people get silly trying to outdo one another.

But JT’s not much for that happenin’ with Jiveturkey Joe:

“Joe Biden just claimed that he came to Sandy Hook after the shooting and met with every family who lost someone. It was actually Obama who did that, NOT Joe Biden. Biden also thought he was VP when Parkland happened. @JoeBiden is either a liar or he’s losing his mind.”

The grieving brother also laid it out to The Daily Caller, insisting, “Biden has no idea what he’s talking about. He thought he was VP during Parkland and thought he met with every family during Sandy Hook. Not a good quality in a presidential candidate.”

But while JT’s firm, JB’s holding the line, too.

In his defense, he said he “think[s]” he met with everyone:

Still, ya might wanna make sure before you create a campaign video.

The strange clip sounds as if he’s talking about the murderer — Joe decries the evil of Sandy Hook and says, “[T]he simple proposition is, it’s wrong. It’s wrong. And they should have more of a conscience…”

Then it turns:

“[T]hey should have more of a conscience, the manufacturers. They should have more of a conscience, the NRA.”

Joe sounds confused as to who destroyed lives that day. And what.

It wasn’t a manufacturer.

It was a human being intent upon killing the most innocent among us.

And, in my opinion, that tragedy shouldn’t be used for political maneuvering.

But that’s just me.

As for the above clip’s Twittering, Giffords has “hidden” one of the replies.

Here it is (hold your nose, Teen Vogue):

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Pioneer David Hogg Changes His Tune – The Cause Of Violence In America Is No Longer Guns

The NRA Pulls No Punches In Its Strike Against Walmart’s New Anti-Gun Policy

Man Attempts Armed Robbery, Accidentally Gives His Victim The Gun (Video)

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. 

The post The Brother of a Sandy Hook Victim Calls Out Joe Biden: He’s ‘Either a Liar or He’s Losing His Mind’ appeared first on RedState.

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Mittens, the Deep State, and the Ongoing Coup Against POTUS

Westlake Legal Group mitt-romney-looking-heavenward-620x317 Mittens, the Deep State, and the Ongoing Coup Against POTUS Uncategorized Ukraine President Trump Mitt Romney John Brennan Impeachment of President Trump Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption fake news donald trump democrats democrat media complex Deep State Coup corruption Corrupt Democrats Cofer Black cia biden Barack Obama Abuse of Power

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, waits to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, as the 116th Congress begins. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

Recently, one of my email pals sent me an incredible opinion piece from Howell Woltz at The International Centre for Justice, in Warsaw, Poland. He is the author of Justice Denied: The United States vs. the People,” a very interesting book about the US justice system and federal prisons and the need for some serious reform. Occasionally, an opinion piece is so profound that it simply MUST be disseminated to a much wider audience than a simple blog post. This is one of such article. In this commentary, he opines on the DoJ/FBI cabal’s ongoing coup against POTUS while explaining some key connections among John Brennan , Mitt Romney, Cofer Black, Burisma Holdings (Ukraine), Bararck Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all the rest. It fills in a lot of gaps and explains much about what is going on with respect to the Ukraine kerfuffle.

While I can’t vouch for the veracity of all the claims here, this just rings true to me and connects a lot of very interesting dots. As usual, I caution you to “trust but verify.” If nothing else, it serves as a departure point for your own dot-connecting activities. The more independent analysis is conducted by all, the clearer picture becomes over time. These are some extended excerpts from Woltz’s opinion piece. More than a few light bulbs may be turned on for you after reading this. Note: this article was published on 8 October, so keep this in mind as you read it.

Donald J. Trump is not a RINO or DC insider.  He’s a tough-guy billionaire from Queens, New York and a street-fighter. When the Democrats realised last week that Trump was actually heading up his own investigation rather than leaving it to their Deep State apparatchiks—and doing so directly with the leaders of Ukraine, Australia, and Italy (and perhaps the U.K.)—they did the political equivalent of starting a fire in a theatre. House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced impeachment proceedings against the president just three hours after stating in a speech that she would not. Speaker Pelosi had zero evidence, cause, stated reason and lacked the required vote of the House of Representatives to do so, but announced it anyway.

Strangely enough…and what caught my attention… Mitt Romney jumped on the “Impeach Trump” train that same day. How did Nancy go from “There will be no impeachment proceedings,” that morning in New York to announcing impeachment proceedings that afternoon when she got back to Washington, DC? Meet the Grand Master of the Deep State in America. Admitted Communist, John Brennan, who has some serious explaining to do now that his attempted coup of U.S. President Donald Trump has been exposed…and continues! So why did Romney want to shut down any investigation of Ukraine’s role as well? That’s the question that got this investigation started and it’s shocking.

Romney’s National Security Advisor, Joseph Cofer Black, sits on the Board of the same Burisma Holdings that was being investigated for corruption back in 2014, and the Vice President and Obama Administration demanded be shut down. Why? Because Burisma was/is their vehicle for corrupt practices in Eastern Europe. And CIA Director, John Brennan’s 9/11 Deep State partner, Cofer Black, is still the link to all that goes on there. In fact, I can state unequivocally that Burisma is the centre of Ukraine corruption and the Democrats’ shadow organisation for corrupt activities. I live in Eastern Europe (Poland) and my sources are first-hand. And I know this matters greatly to Mitt Romney as he is not yet done with politics. If Black is busted, it will reflect on Romney, and it only makes sense that Cofer Black is the Deep State ‘plant’ in case Romney ever rises above polishing knobs in the U.S. Senate. Romney wants to run for President again in 2024 and if he wins, Cofer Black will be back with his fingers on the strings either as DNI or CIA Chief of Corruption. Burisma Holdings is the hub of U.S. Democrat activities to corrupt both Ukraine and American politics and there is proof. Ukraine President Zelenskyy’s win surprised both Brennan and Black’s Deep State ops as much as Trump’s did in 2016 in America.

So who is this Cofer Black guy? Joseph Cofer Black, joined the CIA in 1974 and rose to be Director of The National Counterterrorism Center, before joining Mitt Romney. If it were not for researching this article, I admit, he was unknown to me as well. What a revelation. Black was also the Head of Counterintelligence who somehow missed the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, though according to The Economist, 16 foreign leaders and heads of intelligence agencies warned him it was not only going to happen but when. Oh well. And nothing was done about Cofer Black for this, indicating this is what the Deep State wanted. But it goes deeper. John Brennan and this guy, Cofer Black, are how 19 terrorists got into the U.S.A. to attack the U.S. on 9/11.

Editor Harry will jump on me or make Nurse Ratched give me a dose of Castor Oil if I say something I can’t prove, so I’m just going to quote the CIA whistleblower at the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia CIA staff hearing, who is the source: “According to Freedom Outpost, Brennan was the CIA station chief in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when the 9/11 hijackers were given visas to travel to the United States. In September 2014, a whistleblower named Greg Ford, a former military intelligence officer, told Ground Zero Radio’s Clyde Lewis that the CIA had objections to the approval of those visas but Brennan actually overrode them.”

The second in command of the CIA station was directly quoted by the whistleblower as saying, ‘No way, absolutely we are not going to stamp those visas.’ But CIA Saudi station chief, John Brennan, overrode the officer in charge and ordered the visas to be stamped and issued. They came, they learned to ‘take off’ an airplane but said they were not interested in ‘how to land.’ Cofer Black ignored the reports about this strange behaviour, though it was made, I know as a fact, from the people who made it. I was also a Florida-based pilot in 2001.

You know the rest of the story. America lost over 3,000 citizens that day, and I sat for an hour trying to get past the terrorist pilots’ apartment in Coral Springs, Florida. Freedom Outpost concluded, “If it weren’t for John Brennan, 9/11 may never have happened.” I’d add to that, if Cofer Black weren’t the head of Counterterrorism, Brennan could not have gotten his men in to do the job. It took (these) two to tango. That’s an opinion, not news, but I’ll bet money I don’t have, that I’m right as it’s a no risk bet. These are partners in crime.

“Joseph Cofer Black – the former Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (1999-2002) and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002-2004).”

“Mr. Black is an internationally recognized authority on counterterrorism, cyber security, national security, and foreign affairs.” (these are quotes from Burisma’s website)

Brennan definitely had help in this. These terrorists had to have someone at the highest level in U.S. Counterintelligence to let their mission come to pass and succeed by ignoring all the warnings. They even took their flight training near my home, and I remember being locked down in Coral Springs, FL after 9/11 where they lived for three days while the FBI went through their apartment just a few blocks away. And this is where Romney’s man, Joseph Cofer Black, comes in. He was the partner in crime of John Brennan, (the Deep State Master), as well as being Mitt Romney’s National Security Advisor. Bad news for Mittens. And Cofer Black is the reason Romney is desperate to have President Trump’s real investigation shut down. As Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan was also in charge of the dirty tricks campaign against then-candidate, Donald Trump. All of that has now been uncovered by investigative reporters Gregg Jarrett (The Russia Hoax) and Peter Schweizer (Secret Empires) with enough references to satisfy Editor Harry and Nurse Ratched.

Amazingly, the plot was actually laid by the Deep State in 2014 before they even knew Trump would be Hillary’s foil in 2016. I found that part pretty amazing. The Ukraine/Russia story was created for whomever was the candidate to run against Hillary Clinton.

For John Brennan, it really didn’t matter to him who ran on the Republican side. He just cared that whomever it was, lost to the Deep State’s choice – Hillary Clinton. Brennan, Black, James Clapper, James Comey and a host of others were prepared to make sure of it. It was exposed just last week that Brennan flew under a fake passport to avoid detection on his trip to set this up in Eastern Europe as early as 2015. There is no explanation for a CIA Director to do this unless what he was doing was illegal.

Now let’s go back to Joseph Cofer Black. He is Romney’s Ukraine man, and Brennan’s long-time associate who is still covering here in Eastern Europe (from where I am reporting) for the Deep State in America. Brennan came back Stateside from the Saudi Arabian CIA office the year after arranging for the 9/11 attackers to get into America. So what did he do? He took over CIA Counterintelligence from his partner, Cofer Black.  Convenient, eh? The Counterintelligence guy who ‘missed’ the 16 warnings on 9/11, and the guy who granted the attackers visas to get into the U.S. to take pilot training and do it, swap jobs, perhaps to prevent detection? Well it worked…until now.

And history repeats. The tag team is back at it. Barack Obama chose (or was told) to make John Brennan his CIA Director. Brennan then sets up the Russian hoax through the Ukraine government and intel operatives covertly in 2015 to target any candidate who might face Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Once Trump became the Republican candidate, President Obama authorised illegal spying on Trump’s campaign, we now know, because it was labeled a ‘counterintelligence operation’ which can only be authorised by a President.

The script for the Ukraine/Russia hoax was actually written back in 2007 to use against Republican candidate, John McCain. It was temporarily deployed but then shut down and recycled when it was clear RINO McCain would get his ass handed to him by Obama in 2008 without CIA involvement.. So, Brennan decided to use the script in 2016. The Republican’s candidate would be targeted using the same plan, according to one of Obama’s own secret service agents, now author, Dan Bongino, in his new book, Exonerated (just out last week).

The original script was written by Fusion GPS owner, Glenn Simpson. That’s the same man and company who would be paid $12 million by the Clinton Campaign, The Democrat National Committee and the FBI in 2016 for “the Steele dossier” that caused the Russia Hoax against Trump—though actually written years earlier. Glenn Simpson simply changed the names.

Unfortunately, there was a problem. Socialist Bernie Sanders was leading the Democrats side over the Chosen, Hillary, and had to be eliminated. To achieve this, the Clintons literally did a forced takeover of The Democrat National Committee and its funds. They immediately cut off Hillary’s rival, Bernie Sander’s campaign (as admitted by former DNC Director, Donna Brazille, on television) eliminating Bernie from the race.

John Brennan then began leaking the ‘dossier’ to Congressional Democrats, including then-House Speaker, Harry Reid and their media co-conspirators to begin the take down of the Republican candidate, Donald J. Trump. Ironically, Brennan also leaked the fake dossier to Sen. John McCain, it’s original target, and McCain leaked it back to its original source—the FBI—to apply for warrants to spy on Trump using their own laundered information. The FBI literally paid for the fabricated information, leaked it to the media and politicians who hated Trump, then used their reports and that dossier when fed back to them, to get warrants to spy on Trump. But then the kimchee hits the fan for real. Trump gets elected! So, who jumps over to Ukraine to protect the conspiracy from being found out? Brennan’s 9/11 partner, Joseph Cofer Black…

Within days of Trump’s inauguration was immediately put in place in Ukraine to prevent anyone from talking. The Board of Burisma Holdings—the same centre of Ukraine corruption used by Joe Biden in 2014 to enrich his kid— was the base from which to shield the Democrat origins of the Russia Hoax and its intel roots from any real investigation.

By February of 2017, Cofer Black was a voting member of the Board of Burisma. You’ll hear the screams around the world this week as the democrats realise that Trump has taken this investigation on personally rather than leaving it to the deep state vermin. It’s all starting to fit together now, isn’t it? So, here’s what to expect.

Yes. There will be wailing a-plenty and gnashing of teeth over coming days, and this is the point where the president’s security needs to be at an all-time high, cause The Deep State is spinning out of control and desperate. If the new leaders of the nations that aided Brennan, Black and the Dems—all of whom are admirers of POTUS—have investigated the crimes of their predecessors as Trump asked, he likely has the evidence on his desk rather than having it hidden by the Deep State criminals.

This past Friday, it became known that President Trump had not only launched his own investigation with foreign leaders into the 2016 Election tampering, but that it was almost complete. As soon as that happened, the freak-out began. At 65 years of age, I’ve not seen one quite like it. The Deep State was and is in paroxysms of unmitigated fear and psychosis. They ramped up an immediate media assault using the usual outlets—CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and Washington Post—and the same exact leak specialists who put America through The Russia Hoax.

The media spectacle on Friday past was immediately followed with a sua sponte announcement by Speaker Pelosi that she was impeaching the President—a power she does not possess no matter how many cocktails she’s had. A completely false narrative was spun of what was said in President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, knowing Trump would never allow them to have a copy of the classified transcript to disprove their lies. But guess what?  Within 24 hours, in another act of unprecedented transparency The Donald did just that. He released the full, unredacted transcript of the call, publicly proving them all to be Pinocchios. And I just watched his Attorney, Rudy Giuliani, announce that he is drafting a lawsuit to file against those who lied about his client, Donald Trump—another unprecedented event to my knowledge.

So the price of lying about the President is about to get expensive, and while Rudy’s suit will be in civil court, if proven that these public officials violated Trump’s civil rights ‘under colour of law’,  it might become a criminal referral under 18 USC §§ 241, 242 (Deprivation of rights under colour of law and a conspiracy to do so). I personally believe this is why the President and his lawyers are doing it. Through the civil suit, they’ll have the right of discovery to get records they could never access in any other way. By then, Trump’s team will have enough evidence in the civil suit to refer the defendants for criminal prosecution by the Dept. of Justice.

In the Deep State’s current state of mania, an assassination attempt is not only likely but perhaps inevitable. I predict they will have one of their insiders still in the White House do it, or a foreign team (CIA trained) do the hit on his helicopter. Not a single CIA, DOJ, NSA, DNI or Secret Service leftover from Barack Hussein Obama should be allowed near him and then all 17 illegal spy agencies that have so disgraced my nation should be shaken up or even better, shut down.

No other leader in my nation’s history would have the audacity to take on these evil forces—or have a chance of winning other than Donald Trump—and they will do everything possible to take him out before he gets them. In my opinion, we’ll either have a presidential funeral followed by a descent into the darkness of Socialism, or a brighter and better day with dozens of Deep Staters eating institutional food and wearing orange for life. I’m praying for Door #2.

Like I said, the preceding rings true to me, and it comports with my own thinking on the whole sordid subject based on what has been uncovered by many independent journalists over the past two years. There is absolutely no question that the Deep State has been trying to take out President Trump from even before his inauguration in January 2017. There is more to this article which can be read here. Think about the details of this article in the context of everything that has been going on regarding Ukraine since the “whistleblower” started to dominate the news. It’s obvious that the Deep State and their paid media allies are extremely agitated – and for good reason! And why else other than complicity in the corruption would Mitt Romney be out front in the “get Trump” brigade these days? To reiterate, as with all sources, I recommend that you trust but verify, but I’m praying for Door #2, too!

The end.

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The Tomahawks Come Out for Elizabeth Warren From Other Democrats on Health Care

Westlake Legal Group 31-elizabeth-warren.w529.h352.2x-300x200 The Tomahawks Come Out for Elizabeth Warren From Other Democrats on Health Care white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives Popular Culture Mitt Romney Michael Bennet Massachusetts Liberal Elitism Hollywood healthcare Health Care Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Constitution Conservatives Congress communism Colorado Capitalism biden Bernie Sanders Barack Obama Allow Media Exception 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren

The faux Indian references never get old.

Yesterday, I wrote about how Sen. Elizabeth Warren FINALLY has gotten around to talking about actually releasing a plan on Medicare for all. READ: FINALLY: Elizabeth Warren Will Unveil Her Medicare For All Plan. We Still Go Broke With It. This plan is full of crap that she can’t actually do. Simply because the system is already broke and taxing all the wealth in the country won’t fix that.

One of her colleagues in the race for the Democratic nomination in 2020 has taken notice and has decided to call her out.

According to Fox News

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is being dishonest about her health care plan, which would add trillions to the deficit and raise taxes on all Americans, so she can use it as a soundbite, said Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo, on Monday.

“I think she’s not being honest about her plan,” Bennet said on “CNN Newsroom.” “I think her plan, which costs $33 trillion, is the equivalent of 70 percent of all the taxes that the federal government will collect over the next 10 years.

“I mean, it is a massive increase in taxes to this country and it hasn’t been explained to the American people,” he continued.

“It’s a soundbite. And more than that… it’s not based on common sense.”

What tipped you off, Senator, that her lips were moving?

Bennet has actually praised Bernie Sanders on his plan for at least being honest about how he is going to tax people for the luxury of free healthcare. Sanders is going to tax everyone and says it. Elizabeth’s plan, much like Obamacare was, is built upon a premise of “I won’t be around when the crap hits the fan so you guys figure it out.”

As we come up to the 100-day mark before the Iowa caucuses we are going to see that those who are on the bubble or are ticked off that they have not taken off in the polls start taking scalps of the frontrunner. (I CAN’T STOP.)

Warren has a very strained relationship with the truth and it is no surprise that she would put out a plan that other semi-reasonable people would immediately destroy. The last debate showed that when everyone took a shot at her they were letting her know she was full of buffalo chips. Going forward this pounding is only going to get worse.

Elizabeth should just go full Bernie and decide to be absolutely honest and say if you want mediocre health care for all then we have to tax you more than you have ever been taxed before. This is what you want, lemmings, so shut your pie holes and obey.

Maybe then her Senate colleagues also running for President would offer her praise instead of scorn.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

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Missile Defense Now – Beats Missile Defense in a Decade…Maybe

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Let’s Play Some Defense, Shall We?

 

The planet has a bit of a nuclear weapon proliferation problem.

Many of the Good Guys have them.

The US Nuclear Arsenal

The Story of How Britain Got Nuclear Weapons

France Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons

India’s Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

Included herein is a Good Guy – who may or may not have them.

Does Israel Really Have Nuclear Weapons?

And more and more of the Bad Guys have them.

The Big China Nuclear Threat No One Is Talking About

Russia’s Putin Unveils ‘Invincible’ Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons

How Did North Korea Get Nuclear Weapons?

Excellent question.  Often, because the alleged Good Guys – are very, VERY stupid.

You Can Thank Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for North Korea’s Nukes

If a Bad Guy wants to get there – they can often count on an alleged Good Guy being very, VERY stupid.

Fact-Check: Yes, the (Barack Obama) Nuclear Deal Hands ‘$150 Billion’ Over to Iran

The planet has a bit of a nuclear weapon proliferation problem….

Since They All Have Nukes And Missiles – We Absolutely Should Have Missile Defense

Right now, the only missile defense system we have doing any missile defensing – is the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD):

“The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System provides Combatant Commanders the capability to engage and destroy limited intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats in space to protect the United States….

“Ground-Based Interceptors are emplaced at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. A total of 44 interceptors are currently emplaced.”

A key component of the GMD – is the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV):

“The RKV is meant as an upgrade and supplement to the current Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, or EKV.

“Both systems are ground-based interceptors for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency designed to defend the U.S. mainland against long-range ballistic missile attacks.

“The RKV offers improved maneuverability and targeting performance compared to the EKV, which has a poor test record.”

Except – the Defense Department (DoD) just killed the RKV.

Pentagon Terminates Program for Redesigned Kill Vehicle, Preps for New Competition

Have there been tech issues?  There have:

“The EKV, designed to destroy targets in high-speed collisions after separating from a booster rocket, has struggled in testing….”

There were problems.  As there always are at some point with almost all things – especially things this high-tech and uber-sophisticated.

But we can take solace:

In the history of each and every thing that has worked – there was a time when each and every one of them didn’t work.

And the problems we were having – were being fixed:

“(It) has performed reliably in major test events in recent years including a complex salvo test earlier this year.”

Instead of the current, intact, in-place, improving system – what does the DoD have planned?:

“Now that the RKV is dead in the water, the Pentagon plans to move forward with a new, next-generation interceptor competition, the statement said.”

Except – are we anywhere near a “new, next-generation interceptor?”  We’re not even close:

“The defense official said the Pentagon is still working through the details of a new, next-generation interceptor competition, including when it will be initiated and the pace at which the technology will be developed and fielded.”

The Defense Department hasn’t even yet decided what “new, next-generation interceptor” means.  Because the DoD doesn’t even yet know what a “new, next-generation interceptor” is.

This is like killing the automobile – and then beginning the process of identifying the next mode of transportation.  Which hasn’t even yet been conceived.

Well, in the meantime – we need to get around.  So don’t preemptively kill the car.

And in the meantime – we need a missile defense system.  So don’t preemptively kill the RKV.

Since the current missile defense system is the only missile defense system even conceived – let’s keep it around.

At the very least – until you can actually define what “new, next-generation interceptor” means.

Our national security is far too important – to go fishing all over again…without any safety net whatsoever.

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