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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 36)

Newt Gingrich: Trump stands for American strength, Biden stands for American weakness

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6106405410001_6106399173001-vs Newt Gingrich: Trump stands for American strength, Biden stands for American weakness Newt Gingrich fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1319bcc0-cbfd-5d6d-8f3d-d543bf1d2167

I recently received a fundraising email from former Vice President Joe Biden that captured the profound difference in the approach to foreign policy between Democrats and President Trump.

Biden wrote: “Did you see the video of our friends and allies in London this week? World leaders were LAUGHING at the President of the United States, after he once again embarrassed himself and tarnished the reputation of the United States at a summit.”

The Democrats’ desperate desire to be loved by foreigners runs through the entire email. In effect, Biden is promising to have policies that would lead President Emmanuel Macron of France to like him.

JOE BIDEN PREDICTS HE’D BE ‘LIKELY TO INHERIT’ A RECESSION AS PRESIDENT

Macron, of course, recently called NATO “brain dead,” has about one half of President Trump’s approval rating and has hundreds of thousands of French men and women in the streets this weekend protesting his policies.

Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (whose coalition is fracturing and may lose power) and several other European leaders resent President Trump for three profound reasons.

First, more than any president since Ronald Reagan, Trump represents American values and American interests. President Trump expects other leaders to argue for their country’s interests and he is certainly going all out in arguing for American interests.

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Second, the Trump economy is getting stronger while the European economies are in bad shape. The day after the Biden campaign sent its email, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the United States added 266,000 new jobs in November – about 80,000 more than economists expected.

While other countries languish with high unemployment and low growth, the Trump economy is producing steady growth, a huge increase in oil and gas production and the lowest unemployment levels in 50 years. Jealousy is a significant factor in the foreign leaders’ response to President Trump.

Third, with the largest economy in the world, the United States spends far more on defense as a percentage of its economy than Germany, the second-largest economy in NATO. Everyone recognizes that the American military is more powerful than the rest of NATO combined. This leads to jealousy rather than respect.

In this setting, the untold story is how successful President Trump has been at getting NATO members to increase their defense spending. That this is a major achievement can be seen from the fact that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama tried to get NATO members to increase their defense spending and both presidents failed. Trump has succeeded.

You don’t have to take my word for the scale of the Trump impact on NATO. Here is what NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (a Norwegian) said about the American impact at a news conference with President Trump:

“Let me thank you for the leadership you show on the issue of defense spending because it is very important that we all contribute more to our shared security, and it is really having an impact because, as you said, allies are now spending more on defense,” Stoltenberg told Trump.

“So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.

“And the reality is that – not least because it has been so clearly conveyed from President Trump that we need fair burden-sharing – allies are stepping up,” Stoltenberg added. “And we are also modernizing this alliance, responding to new challenges in cyber, in space. We will declare space as a new operational domain for NATO, something we never had before.”

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Just to be clear, NATO defense spending has jumped over $100 billion a year from 2016 to 2019. Over the next few years, the projections are that President Trump’s efforts will lead to a further half-trillion dollars in defense spending by NATO members.

This is an increase of strength that is a powerful signal to President Vladimir Putin’s Russia and other potential aggressors.

Biden needs to rethink his fundraising email.

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Biden is faithfully representing the left’s desire for a weak America – loved by foreigners while failing to represent his own country. He stands for military weakness rather than insisting on strength and for pandering to other countries as though the proof of a successful Biden presidency would be how many foreign leaders loved him.

As for President Trump, he stands for a strong American economy, a strong American military, allies who meet their obligations and foreign leaders whose opinions are far less important than their actions.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6106405410001_6106399173001-vs Newt Gingrich: Trump stands for American strength, Biden stands for American weakness Newt Gingrich fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1319bcc0-cbfd-5d6d-8f3d-d543bf1d2167   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6106405410001_6106399173001-vs Newt Gingrich: Trump stands for American strength, Biden stands for American weakness Newt Gingrich fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1319bcc0-cbfd-5d6d-8f3d-d543bf1d2167

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As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon

Westlake Legal Group 07dems2020-1-facebookJumbo As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J south carolina Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising New Hampshire Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks Biden, Joseph R Jr

MASON CITY, Iowa — With just under two months until the Iowa caucuses, the already-volatile Democratic presidential race has grown even more unsettled, setting the stage for a marathon nominating contest between the party’s moderate and liberal factions.

Pete Buttigieg’s surge, Bernie Sanders’s revival, Elizabeth Warren’s struggles and the exit of Kamala Harris have upended the primary and, along with Joseph R. Biden’s Jr. enduring strength with nonwhite voters, increased the possibility of a split decision after the early nominating states.

That’s when Michael R. Bloomberg aims to burst into the contest — after saturating the airwaves of the Super Tuesday states with tens of millions of dollars of television ads.

With no true front-runner and three other candidates besides Mr. Bloomberg armed with war chests of over $20 million, Democrats are confronting the prospect of a drawn-out primary reminiscent of the epic Clinton-Obama contest in 2008.

“There’s a real possibility Pete wins here, Warren takes New Hampshire, Biden South Carolina and who knows about Nevada,” said Sue Dvorsky, a former Iowa Democratic chair. “Then you go into Super Tuesday with Bloomberg throwing $30 million out of his couch cushions and this is going to go for a while.”

That’s a worrisome prospect for a party already debating whether it has a candidate strong enough to defeat President Trump next November. The contenders have recently begun to attack one another more forcefully — Ms. Warren, a nonaggressor for most of the campaign, took on Mr. Buttigieg on Thursday night — and the sparring could get uglier the longer the primary continues.

A monthslong delegate battle would also feature a lengthy public airing of the party’s ideological fissures and focus more attention on contentious policies like single-payer health care while allowing Mr. Trump to unleash millions of dollars in attack ads portraying Democrats as extreme.

The candidates are already planning for a long race, hiring staff members for contests well past the initial early states. But at the moment they are also grappling with a primary that has evolved into something of a three-dimensional chess match, in which moves that may seem puzzling are taken with an eye toward a future payoff.

Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, for example, are blocking each other from consolidating much of the left, but instead of attacking each other the two senators are training their fire on Mr. Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor. He has taken a lead in Iowa polls yet spent much of the past week courting black voters in the South.

And Mr. Biden is concluding an eight-day bus tour across Iowa, during which he has said his goal is to win the caucuses, but his supporters privately say they would also be satisfied if Mr. Buttigieg won and denied Ms. Warren a victory.

It may seem a little confusing, but there’s a strategy behind the moves.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Warren each covet the other’s progressive supporters but are wary about angering them by attacking each other. So Ms. Warren has begun drawing an implicit contrast by emphasizing her gender — a path more available now with Ms. Harris’s exit — and they are both targeting a shared opponent whom many of their fiercest backers disdain: Mr. Buttigieg.

The mayor has soared in heavily white Iowa, but has virtually no support among voters of color. So he started airing commercials in South Carolina spotlighting his faith and took his campaign there and into Alabama this past week — an acknowledgment that Iowans may be uneasy about him if he can’t demonstrate appeal with more diverse voters.

As for Mr. Biden, his supporters think he would effectively end the primary by winning Iowa. But they believe the next best outcome would be if Mr. Buttigieg fends off Ms. Warren there to keep her from sweeping both Iowa and New Hampshire and gaining too much momentum. They are convinced she’s far more of a threat than Mr. Buttigieg to build a multiracial coalition and breach the former vice president’s firewall in Nevada and South Carolina.

Meanwhile, no other hopeful is drawing more chatter in Iowa as a compromise choice among moderates than Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has spent more time in the state than any of the top candidates.

Taken together, the shadowboxing, bank shots and sheer uncertainty of it all reflect what a muddle this race has become. Besides the party’s unifying hunger to defeat Mr. Trump, the only clarity is the rigid divide among voters along generational, ideological and racial lines.

These fractures could ensure different outcomes in the first four nominating states — mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire and more diverse Nevada and South Carolina — going into Super Tuesday on March 3.

That’s the day on which Mr. Bloomberg is staking his candidacy, when 14 states are up for grabs. The former New York mayor, a political centrist, is skipping the early states and pouring tens of millions of his money into Super Tuesday in hopes that the field remains split by then or that one of the progressives is pulling away.

If he gains traction, that could augur a primary that may not be over by the time the party gathers in Milwaukee next summer for its convention.

Of course, it’s hardly a forgone conclusion that the Democratic contest will drag on. The front-loaded calendar means that if one candidate does rattle off early victories, he or she will be able to amass a fearsome delegate advantage.

The last time the party confronted such an uncertain primary, in 2004, John Kerry revived his campaign shortly before voting began and captured Iowa and New Hampshire, allowing him to quickly secure the nomination.

Yet no candidate today may prove capable of extinguishing the embers of the primary the way Mr. Kerry did. Four candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Bloomberg — are well funded or enjoy reliable streams of money.

Perhaps more significantly, the divisions in the party are now wider than they were in the previous decade, with opposing ideological factions far less willing to settle.

Nowhere is the Democratic race more fluid than in Iowa, where 70 percent of caucusgoers said in a Des Moines Register-CNN poll last month that their minds were not made up.

Mr. Buttigieg emerged atop the field in the survey, but he is now under attack on multiple fronts.

Ms. Warren is assailing him for not being more transparent about his donors, Mr. Sanders is targeting him for not offering a more expansive free college proposal, and a super PAC supporting Senator Cory Booker is on the air in Iowa favorably contrasting Mr. Booker to Mr. Buttigieg.

And Iowa allies of his rivals are taking on Mr. Buttigieg even more aggressively.

“Mayor Pete is vanilla ice cream,” said Claire Celsi, an Iowa state senator supporting Ms. Warren. “He’s just somebody that people can agree on, but the problem is that we live in a way more complicated world than that.”

The former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, who is backing Mr. Biden, likened Mr. Buttigieg to a Democrat many in the party would just as soon forget.

“He reminds me of, not in terms of character, but in terms of people reacting to him, as John Edwards in 2004,” Mr. Vilsack said. “He’s something new, he’s a comer.”

Lis Smith, an adviser to Mr. Buttigieg, said the attacks were a result of voters “gravitating toward his campaign.”

“They can attack Pete all they want, he’s going to be laser focused on talking about why he’s the best person to bring this country together on Day 1 of a post-Trump presidency,” she said.

But Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign recognizes how urgently he must broaden his coalition — and prominent Democrats have nudged the campaign to focus less on the details of his plans for black voters and do more to emphasize his Christianity and military service. He is now up on television in South Carolina quoting scripture and in Iowa with a spot that features an African-American veteran recalling their service.

Mr. Biden is counting on these efforts to fall short and for Mr. Buttigieg to meet the same fate of previous Democratic hopefuls who lost because they could not expand their support beyond upscale white voters.

“There is no one else who is in a position to all of a sudden to do what Barack was able to do,” Mr. Biden told reporters this past week, suggesting that Mr. Buttigieg would not gain support with black voters by winning Iowa, as Mr. Obama did in 2008.

Ms. Warren is less inclined to discuss tactical matters, but her recent moves reflect a candidate very much concerned about the direction of the race.

She has drastically cut her stump speech, leaving more time for questions from voters, and after saying for months that she does not want to criticize her fellow Democrats she is now confronting Mr. Buttigieg over his high-dollar fund-raising.

Just as striking, she is taking more overt steps to highlight her history-making potential. After Ms. Harris dropped out, Ms. Warren sent a fund-raising email noting that “two women senators,” Ms. Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, “have been forced out of this race while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in.”

Addressing voters in Iowa City, Ms. Warren announced to booming applause that she planned to wear a pink Planned Parenthood scarf at her presidential inauguration and in a discussion about her plans won cheers for another reference to her gender.

“I will do everything that, oh, I love saying this, a president can do all by herself,” Ms. Warren said.

What has been puzzling to her rivals, though, is what she has not done as a candidate: namely, spend more money on advertising in Iowa.

She ceded the airwaves here to rivals like Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg for all of October, and her spending in November was less than half of theirs, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.

Ms. Klobuchar has also not had much of an advertising footprint, but many Iowa Democrats believe she is the most likely candidate to make that late push.

Strolling into a Des Moines coffee shop recently, Connie Boesen, a city councilor, pronounced that she was leaning in Ms. Klobuchar’s direction because “she’s realistic,” a reference to the senator’s moderate politics.

For many Democrats, especially those in Northern Iowa, the Minnesota senator is a familiar figure who has more experience than Mr. Buttigieg but is not as old as Mr. Biden.

Asked who they were considering after a Biden town hall meeting this past week, three voters from outside Mason City all cited Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg — but also added a third name: Ms. Klobuchar.

Sydney Ember contributed reporting from Des Moines and Reid Epstein from Washington.

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Joshua Rogers: I kissed my wife, my daughter saw me and said one word I won’t ever forget

Westlake Legal Group 0714 Joshua Rogers: I kissed my wife, my daughter saw me and said one word I won't ever forget Joshua Rogers fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 785fd520-75ab-56fb-b77f-f504367a5760

One day, my wife and I were listening to a playlist of Disney songs with our two little girls when the sentimental love song “I See the Light” from “Tangled” came on.

I walked over to my wife, who was in the kitchen, took her in my arms and started dancing with her slowly.

I could tell it caught her off-guard and embarrassed her a little — it came out of nowhere. Thank goodness she stayed in my arms and danced with me anyway.

JOSHUA ROGERS: GOD CAME TO ME WITH AN INCREDIBLE IDEA – AND IT IS NOW REALITY

As the song approached the final chorus, I looked in my peripheral vision and suddenly realized we weren’t alone. Our daughters were standing there watching us in silence.

The song approached the end and as the strings played the last notes, I decided to give the girls a Hollywood ending. I took my wife’s face in my hands and kissed her.

After I pulled away, I looked over and saw my oldest daughter’s face lit up with adoration, and her eyes filled with tears. Then she came over, buried her face in my wife’s legs, and cried.

“Why are you crying?” my wife asked.

My daughter was at a loss for words, so I tried a different angle.

“Can you at least give me one word to describe how you’re feeling?” I asked.

My daughter paused, looked up at us and said, “Loved.”

It reminded me of seeing my dad kiss my mom, leaving me feeling pleasantly embarrassed as a child. I wanted to watch their smooch and hide my face at the same time. And while there were no words to describe how I felt at the time, looking back, I know what it was: I felt loved.

My Prince Charming and Cinderella had built a castle of affection that surrounded me, making me feel me safe and protected — at least I felt that way when the walls were strong.

Over time, life did irreparable damage to my parents’ marriage. The death of two children, serious health issues, financial troubles and conflict — they all took their toll.

After 17 years together, Prince Charming and Cinderella finally turned and walked away from each other. Their love story was over.

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It’s hard to describe the feelings that swirled around my young mind in the wake of my parents’ death — and that’s not a typo. Their divorce felt like **they** had died in a way, and from my limited perspective, it was a death they chose.

I was an orphan of sorts — a little less loved.

In the years after my parents’ divorce, my mom eventually began doing something that meant a great deal to me: She would voluntarily speak kindly of my dad, affirming his good qualities and she would even share memories of their happier days.

It never ceased to leave me feeling a little lighter, a little more hopeful. Perhaps it made me feel a little more loved.

Never underestimate the power of your love for your spouse. Your kids are watching as you smile and give each other a peck on the lips when you say goodbye to each other in the morning.

They’re listening when you compliment one another. And even if your marriage has fallen apart, your kind words about each other are communicating a powerful message: Love doesn’t have to die, even if a marriage doesn’t make it.

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Demonstrating marital love to our children is a privilege, a unique chance to be both a good parent and a good spouse.

To love each other well is to love our children well.

This essay is adapted from the author’s forthcoming book “Confessions of a Happily Married Man: Finding God in the Messiness of Marriage.”

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Westlake Legal Group 0714 Joshua Rogers: I kissed my wife, my daughter saw me and said one word I won't ever forget Joshua Rogers fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 785fd520-75ab-56fb-b77f-f504367a5760   Westlake Legal Group 0714 Joshua Rogers: I kissed my wife, my daughter saw me and said one word I won't ever forget Joshua Rogers fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 785fd520-75ab-56fb-b77f-f504367a5760

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Splintered Isle: A Journey Through Brexit Britain

SHIREBROOK, England — There used to be a mine at the edge of this small town near the center of England. Now there is only a warehouse.

The mine provided coal that powered the country. The warehouse stores tracksuits.

The mine meant a job for life. The warehouse offers mostly temporary work for the lowest legal wage.

You work here, one worker told me in the drizzly parking lot last month, and you get treated like a monkey.

Shirebrook was the third stop of a 900-mile journey I made through Britain last month. I was trying to make sense of a splintered country in the run-up to the Dec. 12 general election. The outside world typically sees Britain through the affluence and cosmopolitanism of London, but other than one quick stop there, I went elsewhere, looking for people beyond the capital’s glare.

Everywhere I went, it felt as if the country were coming unbound. For all sorts of reasons, all sorts of people — Leavers and Remainers; blue- and white-collar; Jews and Muslims; English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh — felt alienated and unmoored.

At times, I was reminded that electoral politics are far removed from many people’s priorities, which range from simply making a living to fighting global warming. “There’s no Brexit on a dead planet,” said Lauren McDonald, a Glasgow student who recently quit college to mobilize against climate change.

Again and again, though, people came back to the politics of nationalism, austerity and economic alienation. And in Shirebrook and beyond, the frustrations were rooted in Brexit.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165415572_9442c3ca-8363-43e2-af27-52a65b8215fd-articleLarge Splintered Isle: A Journey Through Brexit Britain Wales Scotland Politics and Government Immigration and Emigration Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain England

Shirebrook has struggled to recover since the local mine closed in 1993.

Since the surrounding constituency was formed in 1950, its mostly working-class residents have always elected a Labour lawmaker.

Then came the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which seven in 10 local voters supported Britain’s departure from the European Union. Many are now furious that the country still hasn’t left.

“Every time you turn the television on, it’s all Brexit,” said Kevin Cann, a Shirebrook resident and former miner who voted to leave. “By now it should have been done, dusted.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a pro-Brexit Conservative, hopes to turn his minority government into a majority by capitalizing on that frustration. For the first time ever, that could tip Shirebrook’s seat to the Conservatives, a party once detested in mining constituencies like this one.

“Miners now are like, ‘Oh, Boris, Boris,’” said Alan Gascoyne, who once headed the mine’s union branch and now runs a former miners’ club.

“Crazy,” he added.

The local warehouse is at the heart of this extraordinary shift, both in Shirebrook and across post-industrial England.

It was built in 2005 on the site of the town’s former coal pit. For years, the mine was the pride of Shirebrook — the reason the town was built in 1896. The work there was dangerous, but it provided secure jobs, fair salaries and pensions, as well as a sense of purpose and community.

The pit was “like the mother,” Mr. Gascoyne said. “The mother sort of looked after everybody.”

But the mine closed in 1993, amid a wider process of deindustrialization and privatization carried out by the same Conservative Party that Mr. Johnson now leads.

Twelve grim years later, it was physically replaced by the warehouse, but the emotional void remained. The warehouse provides more jobs than the mine did, but it is mostly low-paid work in humiliating conditions.

A worker gave birth in the warehouse and left the baby in a bathroom. Others were penalized for taking short breaks to drink water. A parliamentary inquiry found that the owners, Sports Direct, treated its workers “without dignity or respect.”

Most residents refused to work in such a degrading environment, so the jobs are largely taken by people from poorer parts of the European Union. In the local consciousness, the concept of regional decline then became fused with that of European immigration, instead of neoliberal economics.

“I looked at what was around me, and I looked at the dilution of wages — because Europeans are coming in,” said Franco Passarelli, the son of Italian immigrants, explaining why he voted to leave the European Union. “We’re only a small island, and if people keep coming in, basically the country is starting to implode.”

In a Brexit-less world, this town might still vote en masse for Labour. The party’s manifesto promises to raise the minimum wage and scrap the kinds of employment contracts used at the warehouse.

But all of this has been trumped by Brexit.

Before joining the European Union, Britain was “quite a wealthy country,” said Mr. Cann, the former miner. “Why can’t we be that again?”

In Shirebrook, as in much of Britain, I sensed that following through with Brexit was seen as something that could restore the social fabric. But elsewhere, it was chewing at the ties that bind.

For some wealthy Londoners, who typically vote Conservative but also like Europe, Brexit has undermined their support for Mr. Johnson’s party. For some ethnic and religious minorities, it is even menacing.

To illustrate this point, Maxie Hayles, a veteran campaigner for racial equality, took me to a hotel in the puddled center of Birmingham, Britain’s second city.

The hotel had long been refurbished, its floor plan altered, even its name changed. But finally, Mr. Hayles found a particular room.

This was the place where in 1968 Enoch Powell, then a Conservative government minister, made a notoriously racist speech claiming immigration would ruin Britain. To this day, that speech remains synonymous for some Britons with prejudice and division. Mr. Hayles, who was then a 25-year-old Jamaican immigrant, still remembers the fear it gave his community.

Britain has since changed. A black-owned business now occupies Mr. Powell’s office. The hotel room has been divided in two, repaneled and recarpeted. But Brexit risks tearing up the metaphorical carpet again, Mr. Hayles warned.

Racist attacks increased around the time of the referendum campaign, by about a fifth. The prime minister has compared hijab-wearers to mailboxes. And Mr. Powell has a modern-day cheerleader in Nigel Farage, Brexit’s biggest proponent.

“We’re not into good times, in terms of Brexit and what it means for black minorities in Britain,” Mr. Hayles said. “It’s serious days ahead.”

In London, at a rabbinical school in a 300-year-old manor house, I had lunch with Laura Janner-Klausner, the most senior rabbi in British Reform Judaism.

She is no Brexit supporter, but she also fears prejudice from another quarter: Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s leadership has been slow to address instances of anti-Semitism.

Addressing poverty is a moral issue for Jews, Rabbi Janner-Klausner said. “Which is why, in the past, the natural place for Jews in this country was the Labour party.”

So while she and many Jewish voters have traditionally voted Labour — her father was a Labour lawmaker, as was his father before him — she will not in this election.

She is not alone. Several Labour lawmakers have quit in horror, including Luciana Berger, who is running in Rabbi Janner-Klausner’s constituency for the Liberal Democrats, a rival centrist party.

And last month, the spiritual head of Britain’s Orthodox Jews said Mr. Corbyn’s leadership put at stake “the very soul of our nation.”

Rabbi Janner-Klausner did not go as far. She said that the biggest threat to British minorities remained the far right.

“But here,” she said, “I will vote for Luciana.”

We turned left at the pink pub, through the mist, then up into the Welsh mountains. Down a track to the right stood the Davies’s farm. Ceri Davies was in the barn behind the house, checking the renovations.

Wales does not loom large in British political discourse. Its independence movement is smaller than Scotland’s. But even in these remote uplands, something is nevertheless stirring, partly thanks to Brexit.

Mr. Davies has lived all of his life in this single valley, barring three months in a nearby town. He speaks Welsh with friends and didn’t know a word of English until school. His father was a sheep farmer, and so is Mr. Davies. His 750 sheep grazed on the slopes above us.

Brexit threatens that — hence the barn.

Like many British farms, Mr. Davies’s business breaks even only because of a subsidy from the European Union. Worse still, Europe beyond Britain’s borders buys about a third of Welsh lamb.

The Conservatives have promised to replace the subsidies with new payments. But if European officials place tariffs on British meat after Brexit, it might ruin farms like Mr. Davies’s.

“It is pretty scary,” he said.

So the barn, along with the lush meadow behind it, is his insurance. Mr. Davies and his wife, Rebecca Ingleby-Davies, plan to turn the meadow into a luxury campsite, or “glampsite.” The barn will house the showers.

There is an irony to it: Idealized as a return to British traditions and heritage, Brexit might instead finish some of them off.

“This area is really built around farming,” Ms. Ingleby-Davies said. “If you take that away, then you’re going to lose a massive amount of culture and community.”

Not to mention the Welsh language, which is spoken more often in rural areas.

Mr. Davies is sanguine — he gets on with everybody, even the people whose Brexit votes might wreck his business. But Ms. Ingleby-Davies finds it harder to forget. There are people she now avoids, certain gatherings she boycotts.

That frustration has swelled into something more profound. She wants Wales to stay in the European Union — as an independent country.

That is still a minority view. But polling suggests that up to a third of Welsh voters are warming to the idea as Brexit rumbles on and the specter of English nationalism rises.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a nationalistic person,” Ms. Ingleby-Davies said. But she thought that an independent Wales, protected by the European Union, would be “stronger than just being, you know, an afterthought in London.”

The ferry slid from the Liverpool docks, past the red cranes and into the Irish Sea. Outside, the waves were gentle. In the canteen, passengers were seething.

Alan Kinney set aside his tuna salad to make his point. “It would be a big, big betrayal,” he said.

The cause of his anger was the sea itself: This stretch of water between two parts of the United Kingdom — Britain and Northern Ireland — has become the latest obstacle to Brexit.

During the last decades of the 20th century, nationalists in Northern Ireland unsuccessfully fought to reunite the territory, which remains under British control, with the Republic of Ireland, which won independence in 1922. Most paramilitaries put down their arms in 1998, after a peace deal opened the land border between northern and southern Ireland.

To avoid enforcing post-Brexit customs checks on that land border, Mr. Johnson has effectively agreed to treat the entire island of Ireland as a single customs area. Customs checks will instead be enforced on goods crossing between Britain and Northern Ireland, in sea ferries like this one.

That might placate many Irish nationalists. But it has enraged the territory’s loyalists — Northern Irish residents, mainly from Protestant backgrounds, who want to remain within the United Kingdom. They feel the customs checks would create a reunified Ireland in all but name.

Mr. Kinney, a member of the Orange Order, a hard-line loyalist group, pulled a magazine from his bag.

“No to a sea border,” the centerfold read. “No to an economic united Ireland! No surrender!”

The next article was about Catholic pedophiles.

Three tables away, Tim McKee fortunately had not heard our conversation. A nationalist, Mr. McKee certainly did not want a land border. But a sea border was no good either: It might set off a violent backlash from loyalist paramilitaries. He feared a repeat of the 1970s, when he was nearly blown up by loyalist bomb.

“Johnson’s actions,” he whispered, “are going to kill my friends.”

Dotted throughout the cabins, several loyalists echoed Mr. Kinney and several nationalists agreed with Mr. McKee. But Susan and Jack Price bucked the trend.

The Prices were Protestants by birth. But forced to choose, they would prefer a sea border within the United Kingdom to a land border with Ireland.

Perhaps more surprisingly, both said Brexit had made them more supportive of Irish reunification. Though loyalist by background, they ultimately felt more attachment to Europe than Britain.

“I just feel,” said Mr. Price, a teacher, “that being a European is more important.”

In a wasteland on the edge of the Scottish town of Motherwell, our final stop, Tommy Brennan pointed out things that were no longer there.

There had stood the factory gates, he said, there the cooling towers. This was once one of Europe’s biggest steelworks, where Mr. Brennan first worked in 1943.

But now there was nothing but yellowing grass. Once bigger than Central Park, the Ravenscraig steelworks was shut and dismantled in 1992, after being privatized by London’s Conservative government. That put an estimated 10,000 residents out of work, including Mr. Brennan.

In Shirebrook, I saw how deindustrialization eventually contributed to Brexit. But in Motherwell it helped heighten resentment of the British state rather than of Europe: In 2016, this area voted to stay in the European Union, but in a Scottish independence referendum in 2014 it favored leaving the United Kingdom.

Mr. Brennan was among those voters — he had concluded that London would never prioritize Scottish interests. “If we’d been an independent nation when Ravenscraig closed,” he said, “it would never have closed.”

Yet alienation takes many forms, even in the same town. After talking with Mr. Brennan, I crossed Motherwell to meet a woman born the year after the steelworks closed.

With little permanent work in a post-steel Motherwell, Ashleigh Melia had spent her adult life in temporary jobs on the minimum wage. Now, in her work as a cleaner, employers sometimes send her away as soon as she arrives — there’s no work that day, and therefore no pay.

The Conservatives’ decision to shrink the British state in recent years, cutting welfare payments by about $40 billion, has also squeezed her family. Her 4-year-old daughter, half-blind and half-deaf, has been denied disability allowances worth up to $460 a month.

Fired from her latest job in October, Ms. Melia now struggles to pay bills, her four children joining the 600,000 British minors who have fallen into poverty under the Conservatives.

To cut electricity costs, she encourages them to play in the dark.

But unlike with Mr. Brennan, all of this has not led to political engagement. Rushing from job interviews to hospital appointments, and with no internet at home, she had no time to think about politics.

She couldn’t name most political parties. She had no opinion on Scottish independence.

It was a reminder of another reality — one in which many find it hard enough to live, without worrying how to vote.

The steelworks?

Ms. Melia had never heard of it.

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Matt Gaetz calls Pensacola shooting ‘terrorism,’ says ‘extreme vetting’ needed for foreign nationals on US bases

Westlake Legal Group matt-gaetz1 Matt Gaetz calls Pensacola shooting 'terrorism,' says 'extreme vetting' needed for foreign nationals on US bases fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/politics/executive/homeland-security fox news fnc/us fnc d121565d-5934-52c4-ba5d-6d9c8f99ad98 Brie Stimson article

Friday’s deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle was “an act of terrorism,” U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who represents the area, said in a television interview.

“This was not a murder,” he told Pensacola’s WEAR-TV, referring to the deaths of three people at the U.S. military facility.

Gaetz said the FBI’s involvement in the investigation into the shooting indicated the case was being treated as terrorism, although officials have said they’re still trying to determine if the shooting fits the definition.

6 SAUDI NATIONALS DETAINED FOR QUESTIONING AFTER NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING: OFFICIAL

“If this were a murder it would typically be investigated by NCIS,” Gaetz told WEAR, referring to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which typically handles crimes at Navy properties. “And as we speak the investigation is being handed over from NCIS to the FBI. That is the signal that this will now be treated by our government as an act of terrorism, not a murder.”

A Saudi aviation student training at the Navy base shot and killed three people before he was fatally shot by police Friday morning, authorities have said.

Gaetz said on social media that the training program has run successfully for years but added the shooting “represents a serious failure in the [program’s] vetting process.”

“I’m going to be very active in working with the Department of Defense and the Department of State to make sure we have extreme vetting for the people that come into our country to train on our bases and in our communities,” he said.

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Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter that he is calling for a “full review” of the Navy training programs and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., posted that the shooting “exposed some serious flaw” in the vetting process.

Westlake Legal Group matt-gaetz1 Matt Gaetz calls Pensacola shooting 'terrorism,' says 'extreme vetting' needed for foreign nationals on US bases fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/politics/executive/homeland-security fox news fnc/us fnc d121565d-5934-52c4-ba5d-6d9c8f99ad98 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group matt-gaetz1 Matt Gaetz calls Pensacola shooting 'terrorism,' says 'extreme vetting' needed for foreign nationals on US bases fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/politics/executive/homeland-security fox news fnc/us fnc d121565d-5934-52c4-ba5d-6d9c8f99ad98 Brie Stimson article

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Colbert Imagines Giuliani’s Defense Of Trump And It’s Egg-cellent

Westlake Legal Group 5deb55ae24000039025a2986 Colbert Imagines Giuliani’s Defense Of Trump And It’s Egg-cellent

“The Late Show” host noted how Giuliani is currently “being very coy” about continuing his Ukraine dealings amid the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

He then aired Giuliani’s recent interview with disgraced former Fox News host Eric Bolling in which the former New York City Mayor verbally stumbled and inadvertently admitted to being in Ukraine. “I am not here to… I don’t have to defend myself,” he said.

“Good save, Rudy,” laughed Colbert, who then foresaw Giuliani using the same tactics to defend Trump.

“Mr. Giuliani, when did the president commit bribery?” Colbert imagined Giuliani being asked. “It was on Friday… fried eggs,” Colbert replied as Giuliani. “Fried eggs, his favorite breakfast food to eat when not being guilty, which is always?”

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Trump Declares War On Toilets And Twitter Is Flushed With Jokes

Westlake Legal Group 5deb4b9f24000004025a2984 Trump Declares War On Toilets And Twitter Is Flushed With Jokes

Twitter users brought the toilet humor after President Donald Trump announced a new war on water-conserving showers, faucets and toilets on Friday.

Trump claimed in a meeting with business leaders at the White House that people “are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once” and were ending up “using more water.” Therefore, he said he’d asked the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the issue and possibly look at rolling back water-saving standards.

Trump acknowledged that water-conserving fixtures may be suitable for desert areas but said “for the most part, you have many states where they have so much water that it comes down. It’s called rain. They don’t know what to do with it.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper dedicated “The Ridiculist” segment on his show to the president’s comments:

And Twitter was predictably also flushed with jokes about the statement:

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Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter Sends Warning Message To Trump: ‘Don’t Mess With Nancy’

Westlake Legal Group 5deb47ac250000d44fd2f737 Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter Sends Warning Message To Trump: ‘Don’t Mess With Nancy’

Pelosi, appearing on CNN’s “Newsroom,” was asked what she would tell Trump if she had the chance.

The Democratic strategist responded:

“I’d say, Mr. President, don’t mess with Nancy. Understand, she is a prayerful, strong woman and if you might be feeling nervous or a meltdown or insecure, you don’t need to do a self-diagnosis and project that onto somebody else.”

“Maybe it’s time to just come forward with that exculpatory information that she told you to bring before and continues to invite you to bring, so we can go about the business of having free and fair elections in this country and a good end to the current budget negotiations,” she continued. “And I would also say this ’never ever underestimate the moral strength and personal character and integrity of Nancy Pelosi.”

Check out the interview here:

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Sean Hannity says US economy booming despite Democrats’ anti-Trump agenda: ‘Numbers, they don’t lie’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113831363001_6113840821001-vs Sean Hannity says US economy booming despite Democrats' anti-Trump agenda: 'Numbers, they don't lie' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7657c661-59c7-5de5-ad67-ac714629b438

Sean Hannity celebrated the president’s economic numbers Friday and criticized Democrats, saying Trump’s success has come “in spite” of his opponents’ actions.

“The American people, they cannot — will not — be stopped. And let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Numbers, they don’t lie,” Hannity said on his television program. “President Trump’s agenda is an epic success.”

AOC CALLED OUT AFTER CLAIMING TRUMP FOOD-STAMP REVISIONS MIGHT HAVE LEFT HER FAMILY ‘STARVED”

U.S. hiring surged in November, as the economy added 266,000 jobs and unemployment returned to a half-century low, a sign the U.S. is powering through a global slowdown.

“Trump’s policies are working. Now, this is an agenda. There’s been an overwhelming success,” Hannity said. “Democrats have nothing to offer. They have done nothing for three years except they hate Donald Trump.”

The host also took a jab at Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden‘s interaction with a voter Thursday, pointing out that voters are too smart to not factor in Trump’s economy and Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s controversial relationship with a Ukraine company.

“Joe’s clearly agitated because he has a lot to hide. And while the mob and the media, they’re more than willing to give him a free pass, voters won’t offer for Joe the same courtesy,” Hannity said. “American people get it, it can’t fool the American people.”

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Hannity ripped Democrats for their focus.

“Helping the lives of the American people, none of that matters to them. And it happened in spite of them, because they offered no help,” Hannity said. “Instead, they’re focused like a laser beam on one thing, one thing only: Destroy Trump.”

Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113831363001_6113840821001-vs Sean Hannity says US economy booming despite Democrats' anti-Trump agenda: 'Numbers, they don't lie' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7657c661-59c7-5de5-ad67-ac714629b438   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113831363001_6113840821001-vs Sean Hannity says US economy booming despite Democrats' anti-Trump agenda: 'Numbers, they don't lie' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7657c661-59c7-5de5-ad67-ac714629b438

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Laura Ingraham: Trump ‘gets it’ on the US economy — and American workers should be thankful

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113851823001_6113842482001-vs Laura Ingraham: Trump 'gets it' on the US economy -- and American workers should be thankful Victor Garcia fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4a83fdd3-b8ca-5e38-a804-a6c9552ce996

Laura Ingraham highlighted President Trump’s economic numbers Friday, saying Americans should be thankful for their president.

“Every day American workers should think, ‘Thank the Good Lord that we have a president who actually gets it,” Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“We have a tight labor market. That means wages are going up. We have more deregulation. That frees up businesses to grow and hire, gives them a lot of incentives. We have lower taxes. That means you keep more of your own money to spend it as you see fit.”

BIDEN LASHES OUT AT TOWN HALL QUESTIONER IN HEATED EXCHANGE: ‘YOU’RE A DAMN LIAR, MAN’

Ingraham argued that Democrats don’t trust Americans and want more control over them and are more concerned with impeachment.

“The Democrats just don’t trust your judgment. They want more control over almost every major decision you make,” Ingraham said. “They’re also, of course, trying to impeach a president on … a nothing phone call, hearsay, conjecture. During one of our greatest economies in the past half-century.”

“The Democrats just don’t trust your judgment. They want more control over almost every major decision you make.”

— Laura Ingraham

Ingraham blasted Democrats for rooting against the president, saying Americans would stay focused on what reallly matters.

“The Democrats aren’t mad because President Trump’s policies aren’t working, they’re seething because they are,” Ingraham said. “How sad for them and their carnival act of a party.”

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“But for the rest of us, we’re gonna keep working hard and playing hard,” Ingraham added. “We’re gonna be counting our blessings and staying focused on what really matters, especially this time of year. Faith, family and our country.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113851823001_6113842482001-vs Laura Ingraham: Trump 'gets it' on the US economy -- and American workers should be thankful Victor Garcia fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4a83fdd3-b8ca-5e38-a804-a6c9552ce996   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113851823001_6113842482001-vs Laura Ingraham: Trump 'gets it' on the US economy -- and American workers should be thankful Victor Garcia fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4a83fdd3-b8ca-5e38-a804-a6c9552ce996

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