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Westlake Legal Group > Minnesota

Pastor of Liberal Church Gets Fired After She Takes Christian Conference Attendees to Buy Toys – at a Sex Shop

Westlake Legal Group handcuffs-2726660_1280-620x309 Pastor of Liberal Church Gets Fired After She Takes Christian Conference Attendees to Buy Toys – at a Sex Shop Uncategorized smitten kitten riverside church religion New York Minnesota michael livingston Manhattan LGBT Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture & Faith Culture amy butler Allow Media Exception

 

 

Here’s a Saturday story for ya.

In 2014, a famous liberal Manhattan church found its first female pastor in mid-40’s Amy Butler. Pretty spiffy.

But the spiff didn’t last — Pastor Amy had to recently be let go, following a formal harassment claim against her.

She had a good shot: The non-legalistic church is known for its laid-back attitude toward homosexuality and left-wing political stances on illegal immigration and climate change.

Outside of sporting a MAGA hat, what’s a girl gonna do to get canned?

The divorced mother of three figured it out. She took two fellow ministers and a flock member on a field trip — to a sex shop. While there, she bought one of the Good News-bringers a vibrator. And they didn’t want it.

But oh, what a trip it was: The gang shot over to the Smitten Kitten while in Minneapolis for a religious conference. She reportedly pulled out the church credit card and joked, “Is this a church business expense?”

Nicely done.

Amy bought a blue, $200 bunny-shaped vibrator for her single-mom-of-two collared compadre who was celebrating her 40th birthday — “as well as more pleasure gadgets for the congregant and herself,” as per the New York Post. Ames offered to purchase a sex toy for the other minister as well — a gay man in a committed relationship.

He declined.

Fox News reports:

The sex toy incident was apparently the final straw amid mounting concerns from the Riverside Church Council about Butler’s judgment, as she was seeking a $100,000 raise. She has a $250,000 annual salary and $8,000 monthly housing allowance — on top of other cushy benefits.

Wow — no wonder she went for the 2-Benjamin bunny.

But wait — there’s more. As relayed by Slate, the firing may’ve been for something different entirely:

Supporters told the [New York Times] that the dismissal came after Butler accused a member of the church’s governing council of leaving her inappropriate gifts (including a T-shirt reading “Sweet Bitch”) and making suggestive comments to her and other female ministers. “There is absolutely no doubt that sexism played a role,” one supporter told the Times.

That church has some interesting things going on.

Either way, sometime around July 7th, Interim Senior Minister Michael Livingston announced via the house of worship’s website Ms. Butler’s departure:

“Rev. Dr. Amy Butler and the Riverside Church Council are announcing that after five years of leadership, Pastor Amy will not be renewing her contract as senior minister. The Council thanks Pastor Amy for her leadership and asks all congregants to pray for her continued ministry as a leader in the progressive Christian world.”

Progressive = Buying a blue bunny vibrator for your single-mom pastor friend and offering an anal device for your fellow gay minister while trying to shrug off your “Sweet Bitch” shirt from the church councilman.

Progress sure has changed since I was a kid.

So has — my gosh — so has church trips.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Teenager Tells His Teacher There Are Only 2 Genders. The School Suspends Him For Not Being ‘Inclusive’ (VIDEO)

New Video Allegedly Reveals Planned Parenthood Instructing Teachers On How To Help Kids Hide Abortions From Their Parents

Woke Collision: San Fran Homeless Advocates Go To War With Gay Sushi Restaurant Over A Rock Where A Body Should Be

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post Pastor of Liberal Church Gets Fired After She Takes Christian Conference Attendees to Buy Toys – at a Sex Shop appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group handcuffs-2726660_1280-300x150 Pastor of Liberal Church Gets Fired After She Takes Christian Conference Attendees to Buy Toys – at a Sex Shop Uncategorized smitten kitten riverside church religion New York Minnesota michael livingston Manhattan LGBT Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture & Faith Culture amy butler Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ilhan Omar Teaches High Schoolers That America is Racist, Then Admits She May Have Made Up the Facts of Her Story

Westlake Legal Group black-and-white-people-meeting-audience-sign-usa-1253532-pxhere.com_-620x415 Ilhan Omar Teaches High Schoolers That America is Racist, Then Admits She May Have Made Up the Facts of Her Story washington D.C. Uncategorized richfield high school racism Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS Ilhan Omar Government Front Page Stories democrats Congress children Allow Media Exception

 

 

In case you haven’t heard, race is the big thing.

What we thought the world learned after Hitler? It didn’t so much take.

Lessons on the other side of segregation? They’re fading.

We’re now back to the 40’s — there are whites and non-whites, like the water fountains knew.

But enter a hip, new, and so totally altogether different term: instead of colored, “people of color.” Presto Change-O, Woke-O.

But how about Lie-O?

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar recently told a large group of youngsters at Richfield High School that about half a decade ago, she was serving as a city councilwoman in Minneapolis. And she learned a valuable lesson about the U.S. malady of systemic racism.

As reported by Fox News:

She recalled a “sweet, old… African-American lady” who was detained for a whole weekend for stealing a $2 loaf of bread to feed her “starving 5-year-old granddaughter,” according to The Washington Post, and screamed an expletive in court after the woman was fined $80 for the crime.

“I couldn’t control my emotions,” Omar told students, “because I couldn’t understand how a roomful of educated adults could do something so unjust.”

But the Post called BS:

Omar’s story echoed the plot of Les Miserables. If true, it is also probably embellished. City officials said that police aren’t allowed to arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime. Typically, shoplifters are sentenced to attend a three-hour class.

Now Ilhan’s admitting the tale may have been plagued with that substance not too dissimilar to her colleague AOC’s dreaded nemesis, cow farts (here, here, and here):

“She might have had a prior [arrest]. I’m not sure. … The details might not have all matched, but that’s what I remember.”

Nice.

Big difference.

So what was her point? What did she want to convey to teens yet to form their concrete thoughts about the greatest nation ever to exist?

Well, she also told the kids this:

“I grew up in an extremely unjust society, and the only thing that made my family excited about coming to the United States was that the United States was supposed to be the country that guaranteed justice to all. So, I feel it necessary for me to speak about that promise that’s not kept.”

Back to a more 1940’s East Germany perspective, perhaps the students are learning that whole race thing well:

After the speech, the students, who were mostly minorities, swarmed the congresswoman. “It’s great to have a representative who looks like the people she represents,” a white student said.

Aaaand, we’re toast.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here, here, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Ilhan Omar: As For Racist & Rogue Terrorist Organization ICE, It’s Time To Consider ‘Eliminating Their Existence’

El Salvador President Takes Stunning Responsibility For The Rio Grande Drownings: ‘They Fled Our Country. It Is Our Fault’

New Video Allegedly Reveals Planned Parenthood Instructing Teachers On How To Help Kids Hide Abortions From Their Parents

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. 

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The post Ilhan Omar Teaches High Schoolers That America is Racist, Then Admits She May Have Made Up the Facts of Her Story appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group black-and-white-people-meeting-audience-sign-usa-1253532-pxhere.com_-300x201 Ilhan Omar Teaches High Schoolers That America is Racist, Then Admits She May Have Made Up the Facts of Her Story washington D.C. Uncategorized richfield high school racism Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS Ilhan Omar Government Front Page Stories democrats Congress children Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

After Pelosi Took a Swipe at AOC’s ‘Squad’, a WaPo Journo Tried to White Knight Them – But It Didn’t Go Well

Westlake Legal Group AOCPressley-620x317 After Pelosi Took a Swipe at AOC’s ‘Squad’, a WaPo Journo Tried to White Knight Them – But It Didn’t Go Well washington D.C. Social Media rashida tlaib Politics North Carolina New York Nancy Pelosi Minnesota Michigan Media Massachusetts journalism Ilhan Omar Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Congress Ayanna Pressley AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, left, looks over her notes during testimony by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill, 2/27/19. Sitting next to Ocasio-Cortez is Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-MA, right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Bonchie wrote over the weekend about how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) was fed up with the BFF freshman squad of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA).

In an interview she did with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, Pelosi downplayed the influence The Squad had on policy decisions made by House leaders, insinuating they were more interested in Governing by Twitter than actually getting things done in Congress.

In particular, the San Francisco Democrat was not pleased that the four of them banded together to vote against the border humanitarian aid bill.

Naturally, the Four Amigas were not happy that their childish tantrums were called out by the House’s leading Democrat, and three of them fired back on Twitter in response.

In the middle of all of their attempts at accusing Pelosi of being insufficiently woke, one Washington Post journalist attempted to step up to the plate in defense of the Freshman Four, suggesting that they had more influence on policy in the House than the Speaker was willing to give them credit for:

Tlaib retweeted Stein’s first tweet.

While Stein was praised by the Radical Four’s sycophants, he was also given a reality check by others:

While it’s true some of the presidential candidates are discussing AOC’s Green New Deal, it still is going nowhere – even if a Democrat does manage to get elected president. It’s just that several of the candidates running for president are desperate for AOC’s endorsement, and the quickest way they think they can get it is through signing on to some form of the Green New Deal.

Watch them say something completely different in a general election campaign, though. That’s how these things typically work. But in the event they don’t backtrack, Trump is going to have even more of a field day with them – which should make the presidential debates next fall a whole lot more entertaining.

————-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post After Pelosi Took a Swipe at AOC’s ‘Squad’, a WaPo Journo Tried to White Knight Them – But It Didn’t Go Well appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AOCPressley-300x153 After Pelosi Took a Swipe at AOC’s ‘Squad’, a WaPo Journo Tried to White Knight Them – But It Didn’t Go Well washington D.C. Social Media rashida tlaib Politics North Carolina New York Nancy Pelosi Minnesota Michigan Media Massachusetts journalism Ilhan Omar Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Congress Ayanna Pressley AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

#WarOnWomen: Minneapolis Star Tribune in Hot Water After Publishing Sexist Cartoon of Ivanka Trump

Westlake Legal Group ivanka-bares-shoulders-620x329 #WarOnWomen: Minneapolis Star Tribune in Hot Water After Publishing Sexist Cartoon of Ivanka Trump War on Women Social Media Sexism republicans Politics North Carolina Minnesota minneapolis star-tribune Media Ivanka Trump Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post Editorial Cartoons donald trump democrats Culture Cartoons AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published a cartoon by cartoonist Steve Sack that has people accusing the paper of sexism and hypocrisy.

The cartoon featured a big-lipped Ivanka Trump and what Sack apparently feels is her limited knowledge base: a lot about shopping, her husband and her father, and only a very tiny bit about international diplomacy:

Twitter users were quick to point out the double standards of both the paper, which is liberally biased, and Sack:

Can we expect the normally perpetually outraged feminist left to rush to Trump’s defense and accuse the news outlet and its cartoonist of setting women back decades? Of course not:

Is there any question that this cartoon was inspired by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s catty swipe at Ivanka Trump last week after her appearance at the G-20 summit? Nope:

That AOC thinks she’s got some unique and special standing to criticize someone else’s qualifications for public service is laughable in and of itself.

Curiously enough, the Strib is perfectly willing to run interference over and over again for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over her alleged tax and immigration fraud scandals, yet allows garbage sexist takes like Sack’s to be published in their paper without hesitation.

BTW, this isn’t the first time Sack has taken sexist cheap shots at Ivanka Trump:

Ironically, Sack did a cartoon a year or so ago about the issue of sexist portrayals of women by public figures:

As usual, Sack’s just one on a long list of “enlightened” leftists who don’t practice what they preach. Go figure.

—————–
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post #WarOnWomen: Minneapolis Star Tribune in Hot Water After Publishing Sexist Cartoon of Ivanka Trump appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ivanka-bares-shoulders-300x159 #WarOnWomen: Minneapolis Star Tribune in Hot Water After Publishing Sexist Cartoon of Ivanka Trump War on Women Social Media Sexism republicans Politics North Carolina Minnesota minneapolis star-tribune Media Ivanka Trump Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post Editorial Cartoons donald trump democrats Culture Cartoons AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A Pastor & His Church are Expelled for Embracing Gay Marriage – Two Female Worship Team Members Got Hitched

Westlake Legal Group marriage-equality-749536_1280-620x465 A Pastor & His Church are Expelled for Embracing Gay Marriage – Two Female Worship Team Members Got Hitched Uncategorized transgender The Sexes religion Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS michelle sanchez LGBT john wenrich Front Page Stories first covenant church Featured Story evangelical covenant church dan collison Culture & Faith Culture Allow Media Exception

 

 

A pastor and his church are in hot water over permitting gay marriage.

Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church have defrocked Rev. Dan Collison and suspended his First Covenant Church. The decision was made via a 77% majority at the ECC’s annual conference in Omaha Friday night.

Downtown Minneapolis’s First Covenant is a founding member of the denomination, which was begun over 130 years ago. Until the 70’s it was one of the ECC’s largest members.

Dan took over in 2009.

And he’s saddened by the organizational dis, but at the same time, he’s cool with it:

“I feel grounded in the path we have chosen. I feel grateful for the pastors and churches who stood up for us. I feel compassion to those caught in the middle.”

So what caused the big hullabaloo?

In 2014, a member of the First Covenant staff presided over a wedding between two chicks. Both lovely ladies were in the church worship band.

FC also released a “love all” statement, welcoming LGBTQ congregants.

The house of worship offers pastoral care — which covers close encounters of the nuptials kind — “to all in our congregation without regard for ability, race, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Yeah — that definitely seems pretty pro-gay.

At the Friday meeting, leaders nominated Dan for defrocking because he opposed the ECC tenet of “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage.”

ECC Executive Minister Michelle Sanchez lamented the emotional and complex elements of the suspension:

“The ECC is mindful of the complexity, the sensitivity and the pain that matters of human sexuality can bring. We talk about the desire for both freedom and responsibility as a denomination. Those two things were coming into tension in this case.”

President John Wenrich said he hopes “this historic church someday changes its mind and then returns to our family.”

Meanwhile, First Covenant’ll continue its operations as an independent church.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Tens Of Thousands Call For Unhinged Racist, Sexist, Bigoted, Doxxing Sidewalk Bully PA Rep. Brian Sims To Resign

Adam Sandler Returns To Host SNL, Brings Back An Iconic Character To Roast The 2020 Dems

Kuwaiti ‘Academic’ Cures Homosexuality: Gay Men Have A Worm That Lives In Their Rectum, & You Don’t Wanna Know What It Eats

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. 

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

The post A Pastor & His Church are Expelled for Embracing Gay Marriage – Two Female Worship Team Members Got Hitched appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group marriage-equality-749536_1280-300x225 A Pastor & His Church are Expelled for Embracing Gay Marriage – Two Female Worship Team Members Got Hitched Uncategorized transgender The Sexes religion Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS michelle sanchez LGBT john wenrich Front Page Stories first covenant church Featured Story evangelical covenant church dan collison Culture & Faith Culture Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.

ELY, Minn. — In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota.

The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for the project.

Beginning in the early weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the administration worked at a high level to remove roadblocks to the proposed mine, government emails and calendars show, overruling concerns that it could harm the Boundary Waters, a vast landscape of federally protected lakes and forests along the border with Canada.

Executives with the mining company, Antofagasta, discussed the project with senior administration officials, including the White House’s top energy adviser, the emails show. Even before an interior secretary was appointed to the new administration, the department moved to re-examine leases critical to the mine, eventually restoring those that the Obama administration had declined to renew. And the Forest Service called off an environmental review that could have restricted mining, even though the agriculture secretary had told Congress that the review would proceed.

An Interior Department spokesman said it simply worked to rectify “a flawed decision rushed out the door” before Mr. Trump took office. Several senior department officials with previous administrations, however, said they were surprised by the swift change of course for the little-known Minnesota project, which was not a focal point of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

For the family of the billionaire Andrónico Luksic, which controls the Chilean conglomerate, the policy reversals could provide a big boost to its mining business. Since the change in administration, the Antofagasta subsidiary Twin Metals Minnesota has significantly ramped up its lobbying in Washington, according to federal disclosures, spending $900,000.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00CLI-HOUSE-luksic-articleLarge A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President. Zinke, Ryan (1961- ) Wilderness Areas Wetlands washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald J Tidwell, Thomas L Renting and Leasing (Real Estate) Minnesota Mines and Mining Lobbying and Lobbyists Kushner, Jared Kushner, Charles Interior Department Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming Forests and Forestry Forest Service environment Chile Carbon Dioxide Banco de Chile Bachelet, Michelle Appointments and Executive Changes

Andrónico Luksic’s plan for a copper mine in Minnesota was blocked by President Barack Obama. His fortunes have since shifted.CreditMartin Bernetti/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ivanka Trump, left, and Jared Kushner, second from left, two of the president’s closest advisers.CreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

But the mining project’s breakthrough, already unpopular with environmentalists, has drawn additional scrutiny and criticism because of an unusual connection between Mr. Luksic and two of Mr. Trump’s family members.

Just before Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Luksic added a personal investment to his portfolio: a $5.5 million house in Washington. Mr. Luksic bought the house with the intention of renting it to a wealthy new arrival to Mr. Trump’s Washington, according to Rodrigo Terré, chairman of Mr. Luksic’s family investment office, which handled the purchase.

The idea worked. Even before the purchase was final, real estate agents had lined up renters: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

The rental arrangement has been a point of concern for ethics experts and groups opposed to mining near the Boundary Waters, and has focused national attention, particularly among some Democrats in Congress, on an otherwise local debate.

The Wall Street Journal first reported about the house in March 2017. At that time, Twin Metals was suing the federal government over the mining leases, but the Trump administration’s direction on the mine since then had only begun to take shape.

In recent months, the scrutiny has grown. In March, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, the Arizona Democrat who is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, wrote a letter with other lawmakers to the interior and agriculture secretaries raising significant concerns about the proposed mine.

The letter said the two departments’ actions “blatantly ignored scientific and economic evidence.” It also mentioned the “interesting coincidence” surrounding the rental of the Luksic house to Mr. Trump’s relatives. Separately, a group in Minnesota opposed to the mining, Save the Boundary Waters, has called the rental arrangement “deeply troubling” and has seized on it to cast doubt on the administration’s actions.

The White House and representatives for the couple declined to answer questions about whether the rental deal had been reviewed by ethics officials. “Both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump follow the ethics advice they received when they entered government service,” said Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

Mr. Terré called the lease a simple real estate transaction that happened to involve the incoming president’s family. “I do not believe there was anything unethical or inappropriate about this business transaction,” he said.

Both Mr. Mirijanian and Mr. Terré said the rental was not related to the Minnesota mine. “There is no correlation in any way,” Mr. Mirijanian said. They were “two entirely unrelated matters” and tying them together was “based on unfounded rumors and speculation,” Mr. Terré said.

An Interior Department spokeswoman said that neither Mr. Kushner nor Ms. Trump been involved in discussions about the mine.

Nonetheless, several ethics experts said they would have cautioned Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump against renting the home, given the Luksic family’s business before the administration.

“There may be nothing wrong,” said Arthur Andrew Lopez, a federal government ethics official for two decades who is now a professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “But it doesn’t look good.”

Antofagasta hopes to mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters, which encompasses more than a million acres of lakes and forest.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

The Boundary Waters hold a special place in American geography: More than a million acres of lakes and forests provide a rich habitat for thousands of species, including the gray wolf and Canada lynx. But below the surface and beyond lies richness of another sort, an estimated four billion tons of copper and nickel ore — believed to be one of the world’s largest undeveloped mineral deposits.

The mining giant controlled by the Luksic family, Antofagasta, took full control of the project in 2015, and its executives have called it the company’s “most advanced international opportunity.” Antofagasta, which is publicly traded in London, is poised to benefit from the growing use of copper in renewable-energy technologies like wind and solar. It lists Mr. Luksic as a board member, and his younger brother, Jean-Paul Luksic, as chairman.

The company has spent more than $450 million so far on the project, run by the subsidiary, Twin Metals Minnesota. It says the project will generate hundreds of mining jobs.

The promise of employment resonates in Minnesota’s Iron Range, which has lost a quarter of its mining jobs since 2000. “The mining industry brings a tsunami effect for the community with regard to jobs, schools, everything,” said Andrea Zupancich, the mayor of Babbitt, a town of 1,500 near the proposed mine.

Antofagasta’s environmental record, however, has raised concerns. In Chile, the company’s Los Pelambres copper mine has suffered toxic spills, according to environmental groups. The company said the mine had experienced only “minor incidents involving limited spills” which were not toxic, and said it was proud of its environmental record.

In a 2016 analysis, Thomas Tidwell, who was then chief of the United States Forest Service, warned of risks to the Boundary Waters from the proposed Twin Metals mine, including the leaching of harmful metals. Mining, he concluded, risked “serious and irreplaceable harm to this unique, iconic, and irreplaceable wilderness.”

Twin Metals called the analysis “riddled with errors” and said “environmental risks will be properly managed.”

Still, the fears have divided nearby residents. “In the summer, we drink out of this water,” said Susan Schurke, who runs Wintergreen Northern Wear, an outdoor clothing company. “Once that’s tainted, it’s over. How can we risk that?”

When the Obama administration moved to block the project in 2016, Twin Metals sued. The company said in a statement then that the administration’s move threatened jobs and would “hinder access to one of the world’s largest sources of copper, nickel and platinum — resources of strategic importance to the U.S. economy and national defense.”

Just as the mining company’s hopes appeared to be on the ropes, it got a welcome surprise: Mr. Trump’s election, and the promise of a pro-industry agenda.

“In 100 years, this water is going to be far more valuable a resource here than copper,” Sullen Sack, a wilderness educator, said.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times
A map of the Boundary Waters at Ely Outfitting Company in Ely, Minn.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times The region has lost a quarter of its mining jobs since 2000.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

With a new administration on its way to Washington, Mr. Luksic contacted a real estate broker he knew for help with an investment idea: buying residential properties in Washington, including a luxury home, to rent out.

With the help of the broker, Rodrigo Valderrama, Mr. Luksic’s family investment office, which through corporate entities owns a portfolio of real estate in the United States, bought two condominiums in the capital. One was never rented and the other was later sold at a loss.

As for the luxury home, Mr. Valderrama spent weeks touring homes and alerting brokers that he had an interested client. One house he saw was on Tracy Place, in the Kalorama neighborhood, being handled by the real estate firm Washington Fine Properties.

Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner were using the same firm for their hunt for a house to rent. With Mr. Kushner’s parents tagging along, they saw the six-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot Kalorama home as well.

In the space of a week, Mr. Luksic’s representatives agreed to buy the house and closed on the all-cash transaction, while their would-be tenants waited for the purchase to be complete.

The two sides, working through brokers, agreed on rent of $15,000 per month. Mr. Terré described it as being in the “high range” for the area, which some real estate agents confirmed. Still, that rent was significantly lower than what the couple had discussed paying for another more expensive house, according to interviews.

The home rented by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

Mr. Terré said both sides were aware of each others’ identities before the rental deal was finalized. “We disclosed our name and the name of my boss,” he said in a telephone interview. Mr. Mirijanian said the couple had decided to lease the home before knowing the landlord’s identity. He did not directly respond to questions about whether they learned of that identity before signing the lease.

Mr. Luksic has written on Twitter that he does not know Mr. Trump or any member of his family, and only met Mr. Trump briefly at a New England Patriots football game years ago. Mr. Terré said Mr. Luksic “has not had any interactions with the Trump White House.”

Critics of the Luksic family say they were suspicious of the Washington investments because of Mr. Luksic’s past in Chile, where he has faced claims of attempts to win favor with the family of a former Chilean president. The Luksic family, one of the world’s wealthiest, has interests spanning banking, manufacturing, energy, shipping and beer.

Mr. Luksic came under fire for meeting with the son and daughter-in-law of Michelle Bachelet, who was running to be president of Chile at the time, as they sought a $10 million loan for their company from Banco de Chile, which is controlled by the Luksic family conglomerate. After Ms. Bachelet’s 2013 election, the bank approved the loan.

A spokesman for Ms. Bachelet said an investigation into the meeting didn’t lead to any charges. Representatives for Mr. Luksic said that he never discussed the loan with Ms. Bachelet, and that regulators found “there was absolutely nothing irregular about the bank’s approval of the loan.”

The Trump administration’s efforts to smooth the way for Antofagasta’s mining ambitions began less than two weeks after the inauguration, when Interior Department officials began re-examining the leases, the government emails show.

The message from an early meeting, according to an attendee who spoke on condition of anonymity, was that officials should prepare for a change in direction.

Officials also made sure the incoming interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, not yet in the job, was briefed. In an email, one Interior Department official described that effort as a “fire drill.”

The administration’s efforts are documented in part in thousands of pages of government emails and calendars, many obtained through records requests by Louis V. Galdieri, a documentary filmmaker, and the Sierra Club, an environmental organization.

A key meeting occurred in early May, when Antofagasta’s chief executive, along with other executives and lobbyists, discussed the issue with the White House’s top adviser on domestic energy and the environment, Michael Catanzaro. The company said it wanted to reverse the Obama-era decisions, which it said were illegal and inflicted “undue damage.”

Rock core samples taken by Twin Metals as part of preparations for mining.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times
Near the Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge outside Ely. Dogsledding in the Boundary Waters wilderness is popular in winter.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times A slab of taconite iron ore, a major local industry in decades past, on display in Babbitt, Minn.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

The next month, Interior Department officials learned that the White House had “expressed interest in the Twin Metals matter,” according to an email sent by a department lawyer marked “TIME SENSITIVE.” Soon after, top interior appointees traveled to the Minnesota site.

That December, the department reversed course on denying the company’s leases, and Twin Metals withdrew its lawsuit. The Interior Department formally renewed the leases last month, with some restrictions.

Twin Metals scored another victory in September when the Forest Service cut short its mining-ban review. An agency spokesman said it had determined that neither the study nor a ban was needed.

A Twin Metals spokesman, David Ulrich, said the company’s outreach was part of a long-running effort to share its views with the federal government. Obama administration officials had also visited the mining site, he said.

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“We are confident that this world-class mineral resource can be developed safely and with a minimal impact to the environment,” he said in a statement.

The mine still faces a yearslong permitting and approval process. Engineers have been drilling boreholes and wells to study the region’s geology and water, and the company is preparing an operating plan.

“The last administration created some challenges,” Mr. Ulrich said during a tour of the site on the Boundary Waters’ edge. “But it was never not moving forward.”

On a trip to Minnesota in April, Mr. Trump was jubilant about the restoration of mining.

“Under the previous administration,” he said at a truck factory, “America’s rich natural resources were put under lock and key.” The changes since then, he said, were “really pretty amazing.”

Moonrise over Garden Lake, on the edge of the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

Reporting was contributed by Lisa Friedman in Washington, Jesse Drucker and Kate Kelly in New York, and Pascale Bonnefoy in Santiago, Chile. Kitty Bennett and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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Video: Ilhan Omar Gives AOC a Run for Her Money With Her Own Special Definition of Concentration Camps

We’re on Day 5 now of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) digging in on her claim that the border detention camps are the modern day equivalent to Nazi concentration camps.

To bring you up to date, on Monday night, she did a Live Instagram video in which she declared that the detention centers at the border were “concentration camps.” She also called President Trump a “fascist.”

Ocasio-Cortez was ripped by Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) among many others, and Holocaust experts also weighed in to correct her.

One of the Three Amigas – Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) – eventually weighed in later in the week in defense of her BFF, laughably accusing Cheney and her “crew” of bullying poor victim AOC over her remarks about concentration camps.

The week would just not be complete without the third of the Three Amigas – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) – giving us her thoughts on the matter. On Thursday, AOC’s other BFF was asked about the controversy surrounding her comments. Here’s what Omar said:

During a Thursday interview on Public Radio International, Omar echoed Ocasio-Cortez’s stance and defended the term and noted the separation of “death camps.”

“When you look at what is taking place, people are being put in camps. And when you think about the definition, if we separate it from death camps, I would say these are camps and people are being concentrated in them. And so that’s the general definition,” Omar said.

“I think a lot of people are conflating what a death camp looks like or a specific removal of people. These people are coming to the border. We are removing them from the border. We are placing them in camps. Some of them are being removed from communities and being put in what we’re calling detention centers — but are essentially camps.”

When asked about the issue again today, Omar doubled down:

“There are camps and people are being concentrated,” Omar said. “This is very simple. I don’t even know why this is a controversial thing to say.”

Omar said the United States needs to have an honest conversation on what is happening at the U.S.-Mexico border and shows why it is “really important for us to abolish [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement].”

Watch:

Well, the debate is over, folks. You can all go home now. Mic drop and all that.

—————–
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

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Mohamed Noor Will Serve a Long Prison Sentence for a Senseless Killing but a Lot of Politicians Should Be in the Same Cell With Him

Westlake Legal Group mohamed-noor-minneapolis-620x317 Mohamed Noor Will Serve a Long Prison Sentence for a Senseless Killing but a Lot of Politicians Should Be in the Same Cell With Him Politics police brutality Mohamed Noor Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats crime Allow Media Exception affirmative action

FILE – In this May 8, 2018, file photo, Mohamed Noor arrives at the Hennepin County Government Center for a hearing in Minneapolis. The former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman last summer is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the July 15, 2017 killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Attorneys for Damond are working on a civil rights complaint and plan to file a lawsuit Monday, July 23, 2018, in federal court. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

In a perfect world, Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor would never have been hired and Justine Damond Ruszczyk would be alive. But the world isn’t perfect and now Noor will serve 12½ years in prison, Ruszczyk is dead, and Minneapolis taxpayers are at least $20 million poorer.

Noor, a Somali immigrant, was recruited into the Minneapolis Police Department as part of a program designed to increase “diversity.” He went through a truncated training program and psychologists and fellow officers had lots of doubts about his suitability as a police officer.

In court documents filed this week, Hennepin County prosecutors argue that Noor’s own answers to questions in his pre-hire screening demonstrate that he was “unsuited for the job.”

After reviewing the court filing, former MPD officer Michael Quinn agreed.

“This man should have never made it through the field training program,” Quinn said.

Quinn ran the Minneapolis Police Training Academy during the 1990s. He said the incidents raise serious “red flags” about Noor’s ability to carry out the job.

Among them, prosecutors detail a minor traffic stop, writing in the court filing that Noor “pulled out his gun, carried it toward the car, and pointed it into the driver’s window at the driver’s head before uttering a word.”

Prosecutors also point to an evaluation completed by Noor’s field training officer, who wrote that “while police calls were pending, (Noor) drove around in circles, ignoring calls when he could have self-assigned to them.”

In his review, Quinn said Noor demonstrated a pattern of behavior that should have disqualified him from the job.

“To me, either one of those would have been the end of his employment,” Quinn said.

In addition to listing specific on the job incidents, prosecutors also bring in several details from Noor’s psych evaluation.

Prosecutors argue that Noor himself “reported disliking people and being around them,” and that he “self-reported disinterest in interacting with other people.”

The psych tests showed, according to court documents that Noor “is more likely to become impatient with others over minor infractions” and “is more likely to exhibit difficulties confronting subjects.”

Quinn said with those details, the department should not have forwarded Noor onto the field training program.

“We did everything we could to get those candidates through and look past small things,” Quinn said, recalling his time at the academy. “These are not small things in his case. These are things that when you look at what was written up in the psychological, these are things that are disqualifiers.”

But bureaucracies, much like living creatures, respond to positive and negative reinforcement. They move towards pleasure and away from pain. Pain here would have been firing one of the few Somalis to become a Minneapolis police officer and having to take the heated wokeness that would sure accompany it. So the path of least resistance was to push him through training, ignore the warning signs and the guidelines based on experience, and just hope nothing really bad happened over the next 20 or 30 years that he’d be on the force.

In didn’t turn out that way.

Roughly two months before the shooting, Noor put a gun to the head of a motorist pulled over for a minor traffic stop, according to the prosecution filing.

Noor stopped his squad on 24th Street west of Nicollet Avenue and got out “with his gun pulled and pointed downward,” the court document read, citing squad car video. “When the defendant approached the driver’s side of the stopped car, the first thing he did was point his gun at the driver’s head.”

Noor’s partner approached the stopped vehicle on the passenger side, also with his gun out of its holster but not pointing directly at the driver, the filing read.

An initial police incident report explained the reason for the stop: the officers saw the driver give the finger to a bicyclist and then pass a vehicle on the right without signaling.

Neither Noor nor his partner on that shift filed anything further or “documented their display of force or any justification for it,” the prosecution filing read. The driver was ticket for failing to signal, and the citation was dismissed after Noor failed to appear at a court hearing.

On the night of July 15, 2017, Justine Damond Ruszczyk, made two calls to 911. The first was at 11:27 p.m. followed by another at 11:35. She reported that she thought she heard a woman being assaulted or raped. Noor and his partner were dispatched to the scene. They arrived at the location by driving through an alley with their lights off. Noor reported to his dispatcher that the scene was safe. Damond Ruszczyk saw the police car an approached it on the driver’s side. Noor’s partner drew his weapon and kept it out of sight, Noor drew his weapon, leaned across his partner and fired a single shot striking Damond Ruszczyk in the abdomen, a wound that caused her to die on the scene.

The Blue Wall went up. Police officers refused to cooperate with the prosecutor. A search warrant looking for ‘bodily fluids, controlled substances, and writings’ was served on the residence of the victim. Body cameras were turned off. A story was concocted of something hitting the patrol vehicle and “fear of ambush.” Eventually a grand jury was impaneled and eventually Noor was indicted for third degree murder.

In April, Noor was convicted and last Friday he was sentenced.

Predictably, the narrative pushed was that Noor was only convicted because he was a Somali and an immigrant and he shot an attractive white woman.

Most of this critique is utterly false. The MPD did try to cover for Noor. And while convicting officers of homicide in on-duty killings is very rare, when it does happen they receive sentences very much like Noor’s even though those trials take place in different jurisdictions.

Nationally, only three other police officers have been convicted of murder for an on-duty death, said Phil Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio who’s tracked the data since 2005. The average sentence for those murder convictions is 12 1/2 years in prison — the same as Noor’s sentence on Friday.

The only times police officers who were convicted in an on-duty death have received no prison time were for manslaughter cases where the officer shot someone and the bullet ricochet killed someone else, according to Stinson.

Since 2005, 104 police officers were charged in on-duty killings nationwide. And of those, 36 have been convicted of a crime, Stinson added, so it’s a small sample of cases to begin. He said the sentences for those cases ranged from no incarceration on the low end to 40 years in prison on the high end.

Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of murder for shooting Laquan McDonald in Chicago was sentenced to about seven years.

In Colorado, James Ashby received a 16-year sentence for killing Jack Jacquez after a confrontation in 2014.

Roy Oliver, of Texas, was the officer who shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards as he rode in a car after a party. He was sentenced to 15 years.

Van Dyke and Oliver are both white and their victims black. Ashby is also white and his victim was a Latino. So, if there is any lesson to be drawn from this it seems to be that white-cop-minority-victim is most likely to draw trial and conviction.

The bottom line here is that Minneapolis wokeness was just as much to blame for this death and the long prison term Noor is facing as anything that happened that Saturday night two years ago. A flawed political process virtually mandated the hiring of marginal candidates from the correct communities to serve diversity. A flawed bureaucratic process was created to rush these candidates through training and ignore obvious red flags that would have gotten other probationary officers fired. The people who conceived of and promoted this policy should have been at the defendant’s table with Noor at sentencing and they should be keeping him warm tonight because Noor may have pulled the trigger, but those people put the gun in his hand and gave him a badge that let him think shooting people was just fine and dandy.

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The AP Goes to Bat for Ilhan Omar As Her Tax Fraud Scandal Widens

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Last week, we were given the news that Ilhan Omar had committed campaign finance violations, something investigative voices on the right had been saying for a while.

It took an announcement by the Minnesota campaign finance officials to finally get a few mainstream outlets to notice. Then things got worse, as it became clear that part of the entire scheme involved her filing joint tax returns with someone she wasn’t married to, all while simultaneously being married to another man.

Redstate Senior Managing Editor streiff covered that story.

When the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board released its report requiring the pro-terrorist, anti-American, anti-Semitic bigot who happens to represent Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional to pay nearly $3,500 in fines and restitution for diverting campaign contributions to her own personal use, they buried the lede. Apparently, she not only scammed her contributors to enrich herself, she also engaged is several years of calculated income tax fraud.

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So for at least two years, Omar committed tax fraud. As streiff points out though, the investigators were only interested in the years she received donations. There’s a very good chance the fraud goes back even further.

If this were a Republican, it’d be huge news. As it stands, I’m not even sure CNN has reported on it and the only mention from a major paper I’ve seen is The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake retweeting a local report covering the scam.

The Associate Press did finally put out a story on the ordeal, but decided to use it’s position to essentially shill for Omar. Instead of an investigative piece on her wrongdoing as you’d see with any other non-liberal politician, they found an “expert” to do a Q&A with who is sure to paint a picture of Omar being in the clear.

Despite the mainstream press’ desire to bury this story, Omar’s hometown paper has a bit of a harsher (but not too harsh) take. While they are extremely pro-Democratic party, the Star Tribune’s editorial board took the Congresswoman to task for her continual drama.

It’s against the law in Minnesota to file jointly unless one filer is legally married to the other. Last year Omar told the Star Tribune that she had married her partner “in her faith,” and had earlier divorced her first husband “in her faith.” That’s fine for religious purposes. But for tax purposes, only civil marriages qualify. It’s not known whether she benefited materially by filing jointly. That is something that voters, who are obliged to follow tax laws no matter how painful, are entitled to know.

Omar’s excuse has been to say she was divorced and remarried in her “faith.” The IRS doesn’t care about that though, or they wouldn’t if Omar weren’t part of the privileged class. She broke the law, period.

Omar’s political rise has been marred by a series of unforced errors, including intemperate remarks and tweets earlier this year that were widely perceived as anti-Semitic. Every month seems to bring a fresh problem.

You can sense that patience is running out. I don’t know if this means Omar will face serious challengers in 2020, but the possibility is strong.

In the end, Omar will likely skate because that’s what all liberal politicians tend to do. There’s no logical reason why she shouldn’t be staring down an indictment right now.

There is some sweet, sweet irony in all this though. After crying about Trump’s tax returns, Omar (and Democrats) are now left scrambling to excuse the fact that she won’t release her tax information to show exactly what was going on. If you go on Twitter, this is a good characterization of the liberal response.

Liberals a week ago: “Donald Trump is a tax cheat and should be in prison despite me having no evidence of that!”

Liberals today: “Nobody cares about tax fraud, rube!”

Republicans should keep pressing on this issue. Omar shouldn’t be anywhere near Congress and seeing her ousted in 2020 would be a good thing. Don’t let the media dictate the terms here. Go hard and don’t worry about getting called a bigot. They are going to do that anyway.

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Local CBS affiliate: Why isn’t Omar talking about her tax issues?

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The national media might not take a lot of interest in Ilhan Omar’s curious tax filings, but at least some of the local media has awoken to some of it. The local CBS affiliate attempted to get answers from the House Democrat about the questions raised by her tax filings, but got nothing but stonewalled. Why, WCCO wonders, does Omar not want to explain why she filed joint married returns with one man while being legally married to another, a violation of state law, at the least? Via Power Line:

Below is a timeline of Omar’s personal relationships as well as the Campaign Finance Board documents.

Early 2000s: Omar and Ahmed Hirsi had two children but never married
2009: Omar legally married another man, Ahmed Elmi
2011: Omar and Elmi obtained a faith-based divorce, but no legal divorce
2012: Omar reconciles with Hirsi and the couple had a third child
2014, 2015: Omar and Hirsi file joint married returns
2016: Omar’s attorney and accountants find “something needs to be corrected” in Omar’s filings
2017: Omar files for divorce from Elmi
2018: Omar legally marries Hirsi

Omar’s staff did not comment when asked if the correction needed in 2016 in Omar’s filings was her marital status.

In Minnesota, a married person can only file jointly with his/her legal spouse, which means that these two filings violated the law. One point to note in WCCO’s timeline is that the returns from 2014 and 2015 are the only returns produced for Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Board. They had opened an investigation into Omar’s campaign finances and found other violations, but probe forced the public release of the returns. We don’t know how many years Omar and Hirsi may have violated the law, filing joint returns while Omar was married to another man. It may extend well beyond 2012 and their supposed reconciliation all the way back to 2009, for all we know at the moment.

Omar’s not commenting, and Omar’s staff isn’t commenting either. That seems pretty curious for a supposedly technical violation that has already been addressed. Only at the very end of the segment does anyone get a hint of the reason for the stonewalling, and even that’s left out of the text version of Esme Murphy’s report:

Omar’s complicated marital history previously led to unsubstantiated claims that Ahmed Elmi, whom the congresswoman legally married in 2009, is actually Omar’s brother, and the marriage was for immigration purposes. Omar has repeatedly denied those rumors, calling them ‘disgusting lies.’

Was Elmi Omar’s brother, and was the marriage a sham for immigration purposes? The Associated Press attempted to investigate that claim last October, only to come up empty in the final days of the 2018 midterms. Omar refused to cooperate with the AP investigation, not even to provide a list of her siblings, which seems a little unusual. Elmi also didn’t make himself available for their investigation, which again seems a bit strange. How tough would it be to come forward and demonstrate that Elmi didn’t marry his sister to improve his immigration status?

These are questions that Power Line’s Scott Johnson has been trying to ask for months. He submitted a request to Omar’s office and campaign comms staff over the weekend to see her tax returns from 2009 forward and to explain why she thought it was legal to file jointly with someone who wasn’t her spouse. Thus far, Scott has not had any more luck than WCCO in getting answers.

Maybe her fellow House Democrats can help pry them out of Omar. After all, they’re demanding full transparency from Donald Trump on his tax returns even though they can’t even point to probable cause for a crime. The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board found clear evidence of tax violations with Omar in the two years of tax returns they reviewed, on top of previous campaign-finance violations. Shouldn’t that prompt House Democrats to apply the same transparency standard to Omar?

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