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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 76)

Liz Harrington: FISA abuse — Obama’s FBI turned into arm of Hillary Clinton campaign

Westlake Legal Group obama-cropped-208am Liz Harrington: FISA abuse — Obama's FBI turned into arm of Hillary Clinton campaign liz harrington fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 47a8af4b-1a59-5491-960c-38140a20dfce

Soliciting foreigners to dig up dirt to open investigations into a political rival?

That’s not what happened on President Trump’s innocent congratulatory phone call with the president of Ukraine. But it is what President Obama did in the summer of 2016 when he turned the Federal Bureau of Investigation into an arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

“POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing,” Peter Strzok, referring to then-president Obama, texted his mistress Lisa Page in early September 2016. By then the politically obsessed lovers were no longer giving Hillary a pass in the email investigation. They were feverishly trying to prove unverifiable smears against Donald Trump that Hillary, the Democratic National Committee and the FBI, paid for.

REP. JIM BANKS: SUBPOENA ADAM SCHIFF’S PHONE RECORDS – HE DID IT TO REPUBLICANS, WE SHOULD DO IT TO HIM

“Damn this feels momentous,” Strzok said when the FBI began probing Hillary Clinton’s political rival. “Because this matters. The other one did, too, but that was to ensure that we didn’t F something up. This matters because this MATTERS.”

The “other one” would be an investigation into misuse of classified information on an unsecure private server that experts assumed had been hacked by Russia and China. They didn’t want to “F something up” for their favorite candidate who they believed should win “100 million to zero.” What mattered to Obama’s FBI? Investigating “collusion,” a conspiracy theory spread by an opposition research firm and a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.”

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Sounds like something Strzok, the FBI’s lead Russia investigator, would say. He certainly agreed. A Trump presidency? “We’ll stop it,” Strzok assured Page.

A good way to stop it? Finding out what’s going on from the inside. Which brings us to the long-awaited inspector general report on FISA abuse, set for release Monday.

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What we already know: Obama’s FBI tried to hide how it was using political dirt paid for by the Hillary campaign to justify its spying. Kevin Clinesmith, a “Viva la Resistance!” FBI attorney left “numb” by Hillary’s loss, doctored evidence to get the warrant, and the FBI left out exculpatory evidence in favor of Trump aides.

The FBI didn’t disclose Steele’s hatred toward the Republican nominee to the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court when it applied for a warrant to spy on an American citizen. The FBI told the FISA court that Steele was “credible,” even though they knew of Steele’s political bias and blatant errors in his dossier before applying for the warrant.

The FBI also hid the fact that Glen Simpson’s Fusion GPS, the firm behind the “Steele Dossier,” was being paid by Hillary and the DNC to dig up dirt on their political rival, Donald Trump. At the same time, the FBI was also paying Steele as a confidential source.

“Collusion” was a figment of the Hillary smear machine’s imagination that the media happily peddled through intelligence community leaks for years. 

The symmetry between Obama’s FBI and the Clinton campaign didn’t end there.

They both trafficked in news reports that kicked off the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, which took $32 million and nearly two years to debunk with the Mueller report that found no collusion by the Trump campaign or a single American.

The FBI didn’t verify the absurd allegations in Steele’s dossier before relying on it to spy on the Trump campaign. What did they use to attest to the dossier’s so-called credibility? A Yahoo “news” story that was itself based on the dossier, shopped to reporter Michael Isikoff by Fusion GPS and “conveyed to the outlet by Steele.”

The FBI was using the same Yahoo story on Carter Page that Hillary’s campaign called “chilling.” How “chilling” it could be given it was placed by Clinton’s own political operatives, remains to be seen.

The story was published in September just as Hillary’s campaign “began ramping up efforts to highlight GOP nominee Donald Trump’s coziness with Russian oligarchs and strongman Vladimir Putin.” That “coziness,” or “collusion,” never existed. It was a figment of the Hillary smear machine’s imagination that the media happily peddled through intelligence community leaks for years to come.

It’s not as if Carter Page was an unknown entity to the FBI. He had helped the bureau charge three Russians for spying related charges back in 2015. That didn’t matter once his name appeared on a list of foreign policy advisors to the Trump campaign. He became a target of anti-Trump operators inside and outside the Obama administration, his civil rights be damned.

If this was all “by the book,” as Susan Rice would later claim, we need to rewrite the book.

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Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and others would become collateral damage in the swamp’s never-ending war against President Trump.

Democrats don’t want to acknowledge any of this. Instead, they are holding yet another sham impeachment hearing the same day the inspector general will release its findings. If Democrats were serious about getting to the bottom of election interference, foreign dirt, and abuse of power they wouldn’t be holding another hearing on President Trump. They’d be holding one on President Obama.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY LIZ HARRINGTON

Westlake Legal Group obama-cropped-208am Liz Harrington: FISA abuse — Obama's FBI turned into arm of Hillary Clinton campaign liz harrington fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 47a8af4b-1a59-5491-960c-38140a20dfce   Westlake Legal Group obama-cropped-208am Liz Harrington: FISA abuse — Obama's FBI turned into arm of Hillary Clinton campaign liz harrington fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 47a8af4b-1a59-5491-960c-38140a20dfce

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How to Pay for Law School

Law school keeps getting more expensive. If you’ve decided to become a lawyer, you have a responsibility to yourself to minimize expenses and make smart financial decisions.

Gone are the days when you can go to law school, take out the maximum amount of loans and assume you’ll be okay “because everyone else did the same thing.” Those lawyers are drowning in debt and by virtue of reading this article, I already know you don’t want to be one of those lawyers.

The commitment to professional studies is not without its out-of-the-classroom challenges. Perhaps one of the most glaring is figuring out a way to keep up with school related expenses while keeping debt at a minimum.

Back in 2008, the average law student graduated from law school with a student loan balance of approximately $100,000 – $200,000. A decade since, the cost of attending law school has more than doubled making it even more of a challenge to complete law school without walking away with an extra mortgage payment.

It sounds bleak, but the solution is to develop an action plan for how you’ll be paying for law school, whether it’s through financial gifts, assistance from family, grants from institutions, scholarships, loans or working a part time or full time job. In reality, it’s probably a a combination of all of the above.

How much does law school cost?

Before you can understand how you’ll pay for law school, you need to understand how much it costs.

Every school has a cost of attendance calculation that includes both the annual tuition and the school’s estimate of living expenses.

The cost of attendance is the amount you’ll pay for your first year of law school only.

Got that? It’s only the first year. Tuition and living expenses are going to go up during your second and third year, so you can’t just multiply the cost of attendance by three to get a total cost for law school. I’d build an increase of at least 5% in each of your second and third-year expenses.

If you plan on taking out loans to finance your education, understand that those loans will accrue interest while you’re in school. Assuming they are government loans, you’ll be accruing 5-7% in interest each year.

Notice that I didn’t say that you’ll be paying that interest, since the government gives you a free pass until you start working but make no mistake about it, you’ll eventually have to pay back the interest too.

As an example, if you borrow $50,000 during your first year, you’ll owe $61,000 by the time you graduate. If that surprises you, I see it all the time. People borrow $150,000 and then wonder how they end up owing $170,000 at graduation. The answer is that interest gets started working against you very quickly.

Get your mindset right

Before and during law school it’s very easy to think of law school loans as Monopoly Money™. You wouldn’t be the first law student to think there’s not much difference between $140,000 of debt and $190,000 of debt. Once it crosses six figures, student loans can feel nebulous.

Your number one goal is to fight this feeling. Some days you’ll win. Some days you’ll lose. Roll with the punches. Be easy on yourself. Just don’t give up the fight.

I find it useful to divide up your expense between two big buckets: (1) law school tuition and (2) living expenses.

Law school tuition is a fixed behemoth. Other than choosing the cheapest law school you can find, once you’re enrolled you can’t influence the cost of tuition.

Living expenses are entirely within your control. Law school is a good time to practice setting yourself up with a budget and spending within your means. Since you won’t have a salary, it’s a good time to practice choosing your income.

Overall, anything you can do to make your law school debt a little lower is something worth pursuing. Here’s a few ideas for how you can raise some cash to help cover law school expenses.

How to raise money for law school

It’s clear that the average law student is more than likely to accrue student loan debt. I’m not telling you that you can make it out of law school debt free. However, by being creative and informed you can come up with strategies that will help reduce your overall debt burden.

1. Ask family for financial help

This can be a touchy subject as your family may or may not be in a position to help. Additionally, you’re probably going to law school with the goal of becoming a functioning independent adult and you may not want to burden your family with requests for money.

But you’re probably not asking your family to pay for your entire legal education either. You’re just asking them for help if they’re able to do so.

Depending on your situation, this may involve asking a family member for a significant five figure contribution.

Or it could be something as simple as setting up a 529 plan for yourself and then kindly requesting that all birthday and holiday gifts for the next three years be deposited in cash into that account.

Either option works.

If you don’t want to just take money form your family, explore the possibility of borrowing money from them. You can even offer to pay them a low interest rate, lower than you could get from the federal government but more than they would get from a standard savings account. If you can cut the interest all the way down to zero, you’ll still save tens of thousands of dollars over the course of paying off your loan.

I think that’s worth saying again. You don’t need your family to give you the money to pay for law school. If they’re able to loan it to you, that by itself could save you tens of thousands of dollars.

2. Work a part time or a full time job

Prior to 2014, the ABA encouraged law students to spend no more than 20 hours a week working. Then, they realized that law students were drowning in debt and they dropped the requirement. Now law students are free to work as much as they want.

It’s still probably not a great idea to take on a lot of responsibilities during your first year of law school. Grades from your 1L year have a disproportionate impact on your career trajectory, so I’d probably spend my entire first year focused on academics.

However, from the moment you finish your first year of law school you should be considering how you can integrate some type of paid work in the remaining two years of law school (including the summers).

Depending on your situation, a full-time job may work (not easy but I’ve seen it done). More likely you’ll be looking for something to do part-time. While waiting tables or bartending might not seem like it’s making a big dent in your legal debt, if you can use that money to subsidize your living expenses you’ll be doing more good than you think in reducing your overall debt burden.

3. Scholarships and grants

Earning a scholarship or grant to go to law school is a big deal. This is probably not a new idea for you.

For most law students, the competing factors here are whether you should go to a higher-ranked school (and pay full price) or go to a lower ranked school (and receive financial assistance).

It’s beyond the scope of this particular article to answer that question, but I respect the fact that this is a tough decision to make. In hindsight, it’s easy to congratulate the Biglaw lawyer from Brooklyn Law School that has no debt but when you’re making the decisions yourself you can never know what will happen if you go with the less expensive school.

To increase your odds of getting financial aid, apply to as many schools as possible and try to leverage acceptance at the various schools into more money.

Even if you never plan on attending a particular school, if you apply and get a scholarship, it’s very easy to send that scholarship over to your target school and to ask them if they are able to match it.

4. Consider a public law school

The main difference between a public and private law school is in the funding. Public schools receive funding from the government while private law schools receive funding from private donors. Because public law schools receive their funding from the government, their overall tuition fees are often much lower making it more affordable to attend.

Another huge advantage of a public law school is that they may admit more students compared to private schools. This increases the chances of you being able to leverage financial aid from a public school into financial aid from a private school.

Cast a wide net and see what offers you receive from the various schools.

5. Take out student loans

It is very likely that you will have to take a student loan in order to cover the rest of your law school expenses that cannot be covered by all the other efforts to raise money.

If you have to borrow, research the best options. It may not be the obvious federal loans. The student loan refinancing companies are jumping into the private lending market and may have offers worth considering. Given then you’re a law student, put those research skills to use and explore what is available in the marketplace.

Whatever you do, try to limit the amount of borrowing as much as you can. The easiest way to do this is to plan out for what you’ll need (and to borrow that amount rather than the full cost of attendance). It’s easier said than done. Just remember to roll with the punches.

Westlake Legal Group joshua_holt_authorphoto How to Pay for Law School loans

Joshua Holt A practicing private equity M&A lawyer and the creator of Biglaw Investor, Josh couldn’t find a place where lawyers were talking about money, so he created it himself. He is always negotiating better student loan refinancing bonuses for readers of the site or finding honest companies that provide student loan advice for a fair price.

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

Russia Banned From Olympic Games Over Doping Scandal

Westlake Legal Group 5dee25712500004a5bd2f900 Russia Banned From Olympic Games Over Doping Scandal

MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) — Russia was banned from the Olympics and world championships in a range of sports for four years on Monday after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled to punish it for manipulating laboratory data, a WADA spokesman said.

WADA’s executive committee took the decision after it concluded that Moscow had tampered with laboratory data by planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.

The WADA committee’s decision to punish Russia with a ban was unanimous, the spokesman said.

Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

Its doping woes have grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Monday’s sanctions had been recommended by WADA’s compliance review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.

One of the conditions for the reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provide an authentic copy of the laboratory data.

The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov last month attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues.

The punishment, however, leaves the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem for four years, as was the case during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Some Russian officials, meanwhile, have branded the call for sanctions unfair and likened it to broader Western attempts to hold back the country.

If RUSADA appeals the sanctions endorsed by WADA’s executive committee, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), WADA has said.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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

Transcript: NPR’s Full Interview With Joe Biden

Westlake Legal Group biden_ia_182_custom-1626655a640d2a36a430c36180a12504a1e58e8b-s1100-c15 Transcript: NPR's Full Interview With Joe Biden

Former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to Iowans at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader, Iowa. KC McGinnis for NPR hide caption

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KC McGinnis for NPR

Westlake Legal Group  Transcript: NPR's Full Interview With Joe Biden

Former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to Iowans at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader, Iowa.

KC McGinnis for NPR

Morning Edition host Rachel Martin interviews former Vice President Joe Biden aboard his campaign bus en route to Decorah, Iowa, about his bid for the Democratic nomination and the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

This is the transcript of a conversation held on Dec. 6, 2019.

Rachel Martin: Mr. Vice President, thank you very much for having us.

Former Vice President Joe Biden: Well thanks for being on the bus. I appreciate it.

On the bus, very exciting. So we’re in Iowa.

Yup.

You have been here before.

Been here a lot.

You’ve been here a lot. This is the third time you have campaigned in this state for president.

Well for president, yeah. But I started off way back campaigning for Senator John Culver, when he was running in 1974. I’ve campaigned for a lot of Iowans.

You’ve been here. You’ve put in a lot of miles. You’ve got the most name recognition in Iowa right now in this race, or in the race writ large. You have the résumé. You’ve got the relevant experience, more so than any other candidate. Why aren’t you running away with this thing? You’re fourth in the polls in Iowa.

Well, you know, you sound like you know a lot about Iowa. You know, they don’t make up their minds until after Thanksgiving. They really don’t even do it till after Christmas. And you still have in the Iowa polling or favorable rating is still very high — it’s in the 70s.

People think the most important issue, based on the polling data I’ve seen, I think from The Des Moines Register, don’t hold me to it, but I think it was they said the most important thing, they want someone who can beat Trump.

And now we’re starting to happen is because I had the most name recognition of my move right to the top in all the polling data. I got all the incoming, and they say [unintelligible] from y’all. And, and now other people are as they move, beginning to look at them as well. And so things are beginning to, you know, move differently.

But nationally, it’s not changed. Nationally we’ve been had double digits, and we’re way ahead in South Carolina as well as in Nevada, and so it’s, you know, it’s early.

Well, let me ask you: You recently got an endorsement from your friend, Senator John Kerry, former Secretary of State John Kerry. There are some within your party, in particular younger voters, who look to the former secretary of state and it’s a warning for them for 2020 because they think about 2004. Because while John Kerry came from behind, while John Kerry came from behind to win Iowa, he still lost the presidential race.

And he was, he was the stabilizing force. He was the guy with the name recognition. He was going to right the ship after George W. Bush, who was at the time fairly unpopular. That’s the liberal rap on you right now — that a moderate can’t beat Donald J. Trump.

Look at all the polling data. Show me where the Democratic Party doesn’t want somebody like me.

But I know you don’t even like polls —

No, I say —

You can’t trust the polls.

No, you can’t. But you just. Just travel with me. Travel with me. Look what’s happening. You know, you interview a lot of people on NPR. It’s a great facility. No, I really mean it. It’s one of the only ones where there’s really genuine news, you constantly promote.

But look, it’s like, you know, a moderate. What’s moderate about my wanting to make sure everybody has health care? I just have a different view than other people do. And if you notice, the vast majority of people agree with my position on health care. They agree with my position on education. They agree with, and so the idea that there’s something that, “I am moderate.”

One of the things that I wish I had that label when I was running all the times for the Senate, I was a moderate because I was always rated as one of the most liberal senators in the United States Senate for all the years I was there.

But you’re not nearly as progressive on health care as other candidates in the race —

Because I’m realistic. Guess what? You’re going to find $33 trillion in 10 years. And not raise tax? Look, you all are beginning to be little more honest than you have been. You’re looking at now and saying, OK, those of you for “Medicare for All,” you’re going to have to raise taxes on the middle class. You let everybody not answer that question for the longest time.

I’ll ask you rhetorical question, you can’t answer. Do you think it’s remotely possible to raise $3.5 trillion a year, more than every single penny we spend on every single thing in the federal government on a yearly basis, without raising taxes on the middle class? If you answer that question, then I’m ending the interview because you know it’s not true. You gotta raise taxes.

Now you’re starting to ask these people the same questions you’ve asked me from the beginning. Tell me how you do it. Tell me how you pay off $1.7 trillion in student debt. Tell me how you provide community college for everyone, no matter what their income, for free.

But how do you get people excited to show up on Election Day —

Watch.

For a return to the status quo before Donald Trump?

It’s not the status quo before Donald Trump. It’s a totally different world. Look, I promise you. Let’s put it this way. Take me out of the equation.

If, in fact, someone is able to get past, in the United States Congress, a, a Obamacare with a public option that provides for a limitation of $1,000 deductible on, on, on any bills someone gets, makes everybody available to everybody who’s on Medicaid, to be able to get involved free, reduces drug prices significantly, turns around and provides for early education, which I’m the only one that’s laid it out clearly for everyone, 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, which will fundamentally change their prospects of succeeding, gets climate change moving. What do you think they’ll be talked about in five years?

What does get climate change moving? Because there are a lot of people who want revolution on that front. It’s not good enough to say it’s a priority. There was a recent U.N. report that came out. I’m sure you saw it. It was devastating.

Sure it’s devastating. But what are they saying? I have the most progressive plan out there. Anybody who tells you they can eliminate carbon in the air by the year 2030 has no notion of the science.

Find me one scientist in the world. You guys, you guys know better than this.

So what do you do besides rejoin Paris and restore emissions standards?

Fundamentally change the way in which we approach things. For example, we’re gonna make sure that we have doubling immediately the wind and solar power. We’re gonna make sure, by the way; I’m the only guy who’s done anything. I would, in the Recovery Act we fund $100 million, reducing the cost of making sun and, excuse me, wind and solar competitive with the price of coal. No one’s going to build another coal plant in America because of the work we did in our administration. Number one.

Number two, we’re gonna make sure that we continue to subsidize. When I was out here talking about wind 10 years ago, all of you were looking at me like, “What? Are you kidding? What do you mean you’re going to have wind out here creating hundreds of thousands” — I mean — “millions and billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs that are good-paying jobs?”

So those are things that young people would want. Why do you think there’s an enthusiasm gap?

There isn’t an enthusiasm gap! What the hell are you talking about?

I’m talking about a lot of young people who say, “Joe Biden’s got a lot of experience. He’s been around a long time. And that’s not what we want right now.”

Come with me on college campuses. You don’t see that. You guys keep saying that.

Well, because I talked to people who say, “I want someone from the outside.” I met someone tonight at the town hall we were at —

I’m sure you have.

She said, “I want someone who can bring some outside energy because I don’t think an insider can beat Donald Trump, because he is so outside the norm that the moment demands someone who is not of the establishment.” What do you say to someone like that?

I say the fact of the matter is that’s not the case. The case is, look, the next person we elect to be president has to be able to pass something. Name me one thing all the rest of the candidates combined have passed that’s got major things done. The Violence Against Women Act. The chemical weapons ban.

It was such a different time. Do you think —

No, it’s not a different time!

It’s not a different time? You don’t think Donald Trump has fundamentally changed how the parties talk to each other and whether or not you can cooperate?

No, no, I got that. But you still can’t cooperate. Look, after he was elected, I was able to get $8, almost $9, billion passed two weeks before he got sworn in in January. You all told me it’s impossible. Come on, give me a break here.

Donald Trump is the reason why you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Donald Trump. Name me somebody who’s going to be able to stand on the world stage and immediately command the respect of everyone in the world. Our enemies as well as our adversaries, as well as our allies. I know all these people. This is the only reason why I’m running this time is because of my experience.

Well, Barack Obama was able to do it, and he didn’t have very much experience at all.

No, that’s not true. Think about it. That’s not true. What happened was one of the reasons Barack Obama picked me as vice president is because he lacked the background in foreign policy — he’s a brilliant guy.

He knew what he wanted to do. He knew how to get it done. But notice, every time we had a problem on Capitol Hill, who went up and got it fixed? Answer the question. Who went up and got it fixed? See you’re not, you know the truth.

It’s not my job to answer the question

I know it’s not your job to answer —

I appreciate the sentiment. You brought up the ticket.

The sentiment [laughter].

So I want to ask you about the ticket and a running mate.

Yup.

And so I want to ask you about that.

Yeah. Are you available?

Because Senator Kamala Harris is no longer in the race. And that leaves the debate stage for the next debate in the Democratic primary looking very white, all the, all the people onstage will be white candidates. And that is just not, as you know, that’s not representative of the party. If you are the nominee, can you commit to selecting a person of color to be on the ticket?

I have not a little tiny bit of a problem picking a person of color or a woman.

Can you commit to that?

No, I can’t commit to that.

How come?

Because here’s what I know about vice presidents — you have to have someone who works with you, who believes exactly like you do on the strategic notions that you support.

The reason why the historians are writing about Barack Obama and I having the closest relations of everybody is we trusted each other completely. He was able to give me entire chunks of responsibility where I didn’t have to report back because he knew I knew what he was thinking.

And you can’t know right now that person would be a person of color?

You can’t know that. But there’s plenty of people of color. There’s plenty of women who are not, who haven’t run. You got senators. I can think of four women senators off the bat that would be great vice presidents. I can think of some, I can think of several women who are, in fact, lost races recently who are completely capable of being vice president of the United States.

Stacey Abrams?

And look, I’m in a situation where, look at my staff. I have the most diverse staff of anybody running. I’ve always done that. This is who I, the country has to look like, the administration should look like the American public.

I want to switch gears and ask you —

Sure you do. [Laughter]

About what happened the other day at your town hall. Because you’ve got a lot of, you got a lot of attention for it. A man stood up and started throwing false allegations your way about your son, Hunter Biden, and his work in Ukraine and your work as vice president then in Ukraine. And you responded by calling him a “damn liar.”

Because he lied.

And then you challenged him to pushups.

I was joking with him because he —

And then you asked him for an IQ test.

He came along. What was he saying? He said he’s entitled to do this. He said, “You’re too old.” He said, “You’re too old. I can’t vote for somebody as old as you.” I said OK. And he was challenging me what kind of shape, and so I kidded. I said, “Want to do a pushup contest?” I was joking. Look, I’m in pretty good shape.

Which is what Donald Trump says a lot: “Hey, you can’t take a joke. I was joking.”

No, no, no, no, no —

But the point —

Don’t compare me to Donald Trump.

But people did. At the town hall I was just at.

No, they didn’t.

Yes, they did. They said to me, the woman you met at the end, 94-year-old Mary, said to me, I was “so disappointed” in him. This is a direct quote: “That is not the Joe I know. He sounded like Donald Trump in that clip.”

Well, look. What Donald Trump says, he makes fun of people. He belittles people. He lies. I don’t do any of those things. Period. The fact of the matter is this guy stood up, and he was in fact lying. And I just pointed out, “You’re a liar.” It’s a fact: He lied. Period. And so, you know, maybe I shouldn’t have kidded with him about that — “No, let’s do pushups.” It’s like I was out here in a parade, a Fourth of July parade.

But I think people’s point was, in this time when you talk about needing to restore civility, it’s so important to so many people.

That’s not civil? To call someone who lied a liar?

To call someone a “damn liar”? A voter? This isn’t Trump, President Trump.

But he’s lying! He’s lying. You acknowledge what he said wasn’t even true. None of the mainstream media believes any of that was true.

I think it was the tone. I think it was the tone that was off-putting to people.

My mother would say, “God love you, dear.”

I have to ask you about what’s happening right now. President Trump is in the process of being impeached. The Senate trial is pending. Republicans have suggested that they might call you or your son, Hunter Biden. If you are subpoenaed, would you comply?

No. I’m not going to let you take the eye off the ball here. Everybody knows what this is about. This is a Trump gambit he plays. Whenever he’s in trouble, he tries to find someone else to divert attention to.

But this is a real thing that’s happening. Republicans are suggesting that they would subpoena you and President Trump — these issues will be parsed out in the Senate trial.

That’s right.

But the question is, would you comply with the subpoena?

No, I will not yield to what everybody is looking for here. And that is to take the eye off the ball. Everybody knows the issue here is not what I did, because no one has a proved one scintilla of evidence that I did anything other than do my job for America as well as anybody could have done it. Making sure that we, in fact, got rid of a corrupt prosecutor who everybody, including our allies and including our allies as well as, as, as the IMF and everyone else said has to go. I did my job incredibly well.

And even the people in his administration have testified to my character, testified to my honesty. So why would I —

You know it didn’t look good for Hunter Biden to be on that board, even if he did nothing wrong. The optics weren’t good. And you talk a lot about what it means to be a Biden and the integrity that is imbued in that family name. But there were former White House aides of yours who tried to warn you about the potential conflicts of interest.

Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that. And at the same time —

George Kent, the State Department official, testified that he raised it to you, and your staff.

No, he didn’t say me. He did not say me.

To your staff. To your staff, I stand corrected.

I never, never heard that once at all.

To your staff. And your staff told him he has no bandwidth for family matters.

Well, my son was dying, so I guess that’s why he said it, because my son was on his deathbed. But that, that’s not the reason why — they should have told me.

And the fact of the matter is, my son testified and did an interview saying if he, looking back on it, made a mistake, he made a mistake although he did nothing wrong. The appearance looked bad and it gave folks like Rudy Giuliani an excuse to come up with a Trumpian kind of defense, why they were violating the Constitution. His, his words speak for themselves.

I know that you sat down with your family before you decided to run for president this time, because I talked with your wife about it and you had a big conversation about the emotional toll that this takes every single time, but especially this time. This is your third time running for president. Why do you want this so bad?

Look, number one, I’m not sure I’d be running if Trump wasn’t the president. I think the country is in such danger. I think our democracy is in danger. And it wasn’t about how tough it’s going to be — it was about how dirty it would be. My, we have a tradition in our family. You can call for a family meeting, not a joke. Anyone can and is taken seriously.

And I got a call from my oldest granddaughter, named after my deceased daughter. She’s in law school in New York. And she said, “Pop, we want a family meeting.” And I said, “Who?”

“The kids. And with you and Nana.” And they came and we had a family meeting and they said, “Pop, you know, daddy would want you to run, and dad wants you to run,” the two, two fathers.

And my little one, Hunter Biden, named after his uncle, but my Beau, my deceased son’s child, took out his cell phone and showed me a picture of me walking out of the church, my hand on a flag-draped coffin with my son, reaching down and pulling my little grandson under his chin and whispering to him, and the caption said, “Biden molests another child.” He said, “I know this is going to be ugly, Pop. I know it. But you gotta run, pop. You’ve got to run.”

Each of my, each of my grandchildren gave examples of what they knew was going to happen. But they said, “Pop, you gotta run. You gotta run. Daddy would want you to run.”

And the reason I’m running is because this man, the future of my grandchildren, if he’s reelected, are gonna be marginalized in ways that I don’t think anybody fully understands.

He’s different than any other president. We are, we’re in a battle for the soul of this country, for real, for real. And everything he’s done, has done to demean people, to make fun of people, making fun of a reporter who has a physical ailment, making fun of people, talking about people in terms of, the day he announced, coming down an elevator saying, “I’m doing this because we’re going to get rid of those rapist Mexicans, and we’re being invaded by.” Have you heard him speak out once against white supremacy?

This is absolutely a guy who is damaging us around the world. And the issues that need to be dealt with now are issues that have been in my wheelhouse my whole life. How can I walk away? I’m not joking. I’m not saying I’m a savior. But they’re the issues that were in my wheelhouse my whole life.

Look. Every morning I get up, I ask myself, “Is Beau proud of me? Am I doing?” I wrote a whole book about my son, because he was so remarkable, and the title of the book is Promise Me, Dad. And it comes from an exchange we had when he knew he was dying, he knew he had months left to go. We sat at his kitchen table. We’d go home every weekend to be with him. And he said, “Dad.” He asked his wife to put the kids to bed, the little kids, my two grandchildren.

He said, “Dad, I know no one loves me in the whole world more than you do. But, Dad, I’m going to be OK no matter what happens. But promise me, Dad, promise me, Dad, you’re gonna be OK.”

I said, “I’m gonna be fine, honey.”

He said, “No, Dad. Promise me. Give me your word as a Biden. You’re gonna be OK.”

I knew what he meant.

He meant he was worried that I would do what my inclination was, to walk away. Not about running for president, just walk away from things I’ve devoted my whole life to since I’ve been 24 years old. Walk away. And, and I said anyway. And so this is about, this is about, you know my dad used to have an expression. He’d say it’s a lucky a person gets up in the morning, puts both feet on the floor, knows what they’re about to do and thinks it still matters. It really matters. It really matters.

I get up in the morning and I know what I’m doing matters, and it gives me purpose. It gives me purpose. And I tell ya, there’s such enormous opportunity that exists for the country. But you have to have some authenticity. Those same young people looking for authenticity.

You’re going to stand up and say, “I’m gonna spend $34 billion, and no one’s taxes are going to go up?” You’re going to stand up and say, “You have to be honest with people. You have to be authentic.” I may be wrong about a lot of things. That’s worthy debate, to have a debate about. But I really think it’s important.

And look, I’ve gotten more. I know all of these world leaders, even the ones that we don’t like very much, like Putin. I know him. He knows I know who he is, and he knows who I am. There’s no misunderstanding about who we are. And it’s really important.

Think about this. If we don’t figure out how to bring the world together again, reassure our allies, making sure that our, that those who are opponents know we understand what they’re about and we’re gonna do something about it. Where do we go? What happens in five years if this, if the president’s reelected? You think there’ll be a NATO? Do you think there will be national security arrangements we have with European countries? What do you think? I don’t think it’s possible. I think they’ll be gone.

You saw, have you ever seen a time when you have a president of the United States and a group of world leaders who are our allies, making fun of the president? It’s not just a national shame — it goes to, right to our security.

And so I, look, I could die a happy man never having lived in the White House and never having heard “Hail to the Chief.” But as Barack would say to me, basically on which you’re gonna make up your mind, I got to know when I walked away, looking in the mirror, that I walked away not because it was going to be hard, not because I didn’t think I could do it, but I walked away because I didn’t think it was necessary — someone else would be able to do it. We have great candidates running. They really are.

But you don’t think they can do it.

I don’t know what the experience is to let you know, to let people know that we can get this done.

There’s going to be no time for on-the-job training. I mean really and truly, no time from the day we take office, because this president’s put us in such a deep, deep, deep hole.

So, I mean, they’re, they’re bright. They’re honorable people. But again, all the things we’re talking about, none of it matters, even if you defeat Trump, unless you can pass it. You hear them, you hear anyone else talking about, until recently, unifying the country? Every time I’d be onstage talk about unifying the country, they’d make fun of me. “That was the old days. That’s the way it was then. I’m going to by executive order.” Executive orders are abuse of power when you don’t have the constitutional authority to exercise it.

The fact of the matter is we better figure out how to get this done. And I’m confident. Look, one of the things I learned a long time ago, if you don’t question a woman or a man’s motive, but just question their judgment, you can still find room to reach compromise. You could still find room. And one of the things that, that I’ve always been taught is that you have to let people know you understand what their limitations are, what you can’t ask them to do that are beyond their capacity to do and work out things from that vantage point.

That’s why, you know, I think I was able to get the republic for the first time in God knows how long to raise taxes by $600 billion when we’re going to shut down the government in a deal we made.

The generic point I’m trying to make is that I think that I don’t, have you found many Republican senators or Republican congressmen who say that I’ve not been honest and level with them and that they can’t work with me? And yet, look at my record. I’ve gotten a lot of really progressive things done. Now that doesn’t mean no one else can do it.

But the reason I’m running is I think so much is at stake that these are the things that have been in my wheelhouse. What I’ve done my whole life. Every election requires a different set of, I think, assets for a president.

What people were looking for when Barack came along and he’s brilliant, brilliant, looking about reestablishing a sense of hope and optimism. And he inherited a God awful circumstance where everything had collapsed.

But so what is it now?

What it is now, is they’re looking for somebody who can actually bring the world back together and get us off this precipice. They’re looking for someone who can actually get things passed.

What good does it do if we cannot reach a consensus on issues relating to health care, education, climate change, dealing with guns and assault weapons? I’ve done those things. Why do you think the president of the United States is spending $12 million running negative ads against somebody 60 days before, 90 days before, the start of before the first caucus and the Democratic Party? He knows. And he knows I’m coming.

Mr. Vice President, thank you very much for your time.

Thank you. Appreciate it.

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South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe 2019

Westlake Legal Group 640_steve_harvey_459298164 South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe 2019 Tamar Lapin New York Post fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox-news/entertainment/events/miss-universe fnc/entertainment fnc e5cbd506-f070-5632-8239-8d37e8cd5b22 article

South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019 on Sunday night.

The 26-year-old beauty queen beat out 89 other contestants during the pageant held in Atlanta and hosted by Steve Harvey.

STEVE HARVEY ACCUSED OF FLUBBING NAME OF MISS UNIVERSE COSTUME CONTEST WINNER

Her Miss Universe biography describes her as a “passionate activist” who is “engaged in the fight against gender based violence.”

“She has devoted her social media campaign to changing the narrative around gender stereotypes. She is a proud advocate for natural beauty and encourages women to love themselves the way they are,” the bio says.

Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was the first runner up and Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon was the second runner-up.

The final three were asked on-stage: “What is the most important thing you should be teaching young girls today?”

Clad in a striking gold and silver gown, Tunzi answered: “leadership.”

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“It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time … because of what society has labeled women to be,” she said.

“I think we are the most powerful beings in the world, and that we should be given every opportunity, and that is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space,” Tunzi continued.

“Nothing is as important as taking up space in the society and cementing yourself.”

Westlake Legal Group 640_steve_harvey_459298164 South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe 2019 Tamar Lapin New York Post fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox-news/entertainment/events/miss-universe fnc/entertainment fnc e5cbd506-f070-5632-8239-8d37e8cd5b22 article   Westlake Legal Group 640_steve_harvey_459298164 South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe 2019 Tamar Lapin New York Post fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/atlanta fox-news/entertainment/events/miss-universe fnc/entertainment fnc e5cbd506-f070-5632-8239-8d37e8cd5b22 article

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What to Look for in the Watchdog Report on the Russia Investigation

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165584493_7aaf29c2-1475-4341-94c9-9550ce7cde35-facebookJumbo What to Look for in the Watchdog Report on the Russia Investigation Wiretapping and Other Eavesdropping Devices and Methods United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Surveillance of Citizens by Government Strzok, Peter Steele, Christopher (1964- ) Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Presidential Election of 2016 Papadopoulos, George (1987- ) Page, Carter Ohr, Bruce Mifsud, Joseph McCabe, Andrew G Justice Department Inspectors General Informers Horowitz, Michael E Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Federal Bureau of Investigation Espionage and Intelligence Services Comey, James B Clinesmith, Kevin

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is expected to release a much-anticipated report on Monday that will delve into the early stages of the F.B.I.’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia’s 2016 election-interference operation.

The high-stakes case has pervaded throughout official Washington for more than three years, upending Republicans’ longstanding support for federal law enforcement, overturning the bureau’s leadership and igniting scrutiny that has continued long past the exhaustive special counsel’s report released in April.

President Trump and his allies mounted a counteroffensive that was part defense, part redirection — accusing the F.B.I. of engaging in an unlawful attempted coup and raising many conspiracy theories. Their allegations fell to Mr. Horowitz to investigate, and we expect his report to address a handful of major questions.

This conspiracy theory is multifaceted and complex, but the report is expected to debunk its essential elements.

The president’s narrative, for which he has offered little evidence, is essentially that a cabal of politically biased law enforcement and intelligence officials — a “deep state” — set out to sabotage and spy on his campaign because they were opposed to his election and wanted to undermine him if he won. Under this narrative, there was a wide-reaching conspiracy to use false opposition research funded by Democrats to justify opening an investigation that would allow them to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign, wiretap a former Trump campaign adviser and sabotage Mr. Trump’s presidency.

According to people briefed on a draft of his report, Mr. Horowitz did not find evidence supporting the narrative that Mr. Trump and his allies have spent the better part of three years promulgating.

The report is expected to fault the F.B.I. and the Justice Department for bureaucratic shortcomings.

Mr. Horowitz closely scrutinized every aspect of the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, interviewing all of the main and secondary players and going through all of the paperwork from each stage in search of mistakes, procedural fouls or deliberate wrongdoing. While his inquiry is not expected to support Mr. Trump’s accusations, that does not mean Mr. Horowitz found no serious flaws.

He is expected to say that law enforcement officials failed to coordinate properly and made numerous errors and omissions related to the application seeking a federal court’s permission to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump foreign adviser, and three renewals of the court order.

The F.B.I.’s decision to open the investigation met the legal threshold and was not undertaken out of political bias, Mr. Horowitz is expected to conclude.

The F.B.I. opened the investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, on July 30, 2016. Mr. Trump’s allies have suggested that this action was an unjustified act undertaken for political reasons.

They have also repeatedly claimed that the F.B.I. did so on the basis of dubious information contained in a dossier of claimed links between Mr. Trump and Russia that was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who had been commissioned to conduct opposition research by a firm in a project ultimately financed by Democrats.

Mr. Horowitz is also expected to conclude that information from the Steele dossier was not used to justify opening the inquiry.

While Mr. Horowitz is expected to conclude that the F.B.I. did not attempt to place informants or undercover agents inside the Trump campaign, it is not clear what else he will say about their use.

As part of the Russia investigation, F.B.I. agents authorized the use of at least one informant to figure out whether Mr. Page and George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign adviser, were working with the Russians. The informant met with the two men while they were still associated with the campaign. The use of the informant, Stefan A. Halper, a Cambridge professor, has led President Trump and his allies to accuse the F.B.I. of spying on his campaign. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, has defended the bureau against accusations of spying.

Mr. Horowitz’s team scrutinized the F.B.I.’s roster of informants for any work they might have done in connection with the Russia investigation. But he found that the F.B.I. did not try to infiltrate the campaign itself, according to people briefed on a draft of his report.

The inspector general is also expected to say that Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who met with Mr. Papadopoulos and offered him dirt on Hillary Clinton, was not an F.B.I. informant, debunking a right-wing conspiracy theory. The inspector general is also said to have received no indication from the C.I.A. that the professor worked for the spy agency, either.

The report is expected to debunk or reject critiques and claims by Mr. Trump and his allies about the wiretap. But it will also unearth other issues with it.

In October 2016, the Justice Department obtained permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Mr. Page, who had recently stepped down from his role as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Mr. Page had close ties to Russia, which he had visited in the summer of 2016, and had previously interacted with Russia’s foreign spy service. The wiretap application, which portrayed Mr. Page as a suspected unregistered agent of a foreign power, was ultimately extended three times — twice by the Trump administration.

Though Mr. Horowitz is expected to undermine Mr. Trump’s claims about investigators’ pursuit of a wiretap, including how they portrayed information from the Steele dossier, he is expected to say that the paperwork was bungled in other ways no one was talking about.

Among his expected findings is that investigators should have told the court in the paperwork that Mr. Page had given information to the C.I.A. in the past about his overseas contacts. Mr. Page has described himself as an unpaid confidential intelligence source to the C.I.A. and F.B.I.

Mr. Horowitz is also expected to say that, as part of one of the renewals of the wiretap, Kevin Clinesmith, a low-level F.B.I. lawyer working on the case, altered an email from another agency that he sent to a colleague who then signed an affidavit attesting to the accuracy of a packet of information, including that email. Mr. Horowitz has made a criminal referral about Mr. Clinesmith for possibly making a false statement that misled his colleague.

The report is expected to absolve them of taking investigative action out of bias against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump and his allies have demonized a group of top F.B.I. officials who oversaw the opening and early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, portraying them as a cabal who launched a witch hunt in a politicized coup attempt. These include the former director, James B. Comey; the former deputy and acting director, Andrew G. McCabe; Peter Strzok, a former top counterintelligence agent; Lisa Page, a former F.B.I. lawyer who worked on the case; and James A. Baker, the former general counsel.

During an earlier examination into the handling of investigations into Mrs. Clinton’s personal email server, Mr. Horowitz uncovered the fact that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page had sent text messages to each other expressing animus toward Mr. Trump while working on the Russia case. He also found messages by Mr. Clinesmith indicating that he did not like Mr. Trump or his policies. The findings led Mr. Mueller to remove Mr. Strzok and Mr. Clinesmith from the special counsel team.

But as he also did in his report on the Clinton email investigation, Mr. Horowitz is expected to say that, while these text messages demonstrated bad judgment and cast a cloud over the bureau, he found no evidence that any of the actions they took with the investigation stemmed from their personal political views, people familiar with the draft said.

Separately, Mr. Trump’s allies have vilified a senior Justice Department expert in Russian organized crime, Bruce G. Ohr, who knew and met with Mr. Steele even after the F.B.I. had officially severed its relationship with Mr. Steele for speaking to the press about his dossier. Mr. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was a researcher at Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Mr. Steele.

The report is expected to criticize Mr. Ohr for failing to keep his supervisors in the loop about his continued meetings with Mr. Steele, but it is not expected to say that Mr. Ohr was part of any attempted coup.

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Today on Fox News: Dec. 9, 2019

STAY TUNED

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; House Minority Whip Steve Scalise; the Oak Ridge Boys; Lt. Col. Oliver North, author of “The Rifleman”

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria,  6 a.m. ET: Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst; Bob Kerrey, former governor of Nebraska

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: A Head-On Collision: How Impeachment Will Impact The 2020 Race – As the New Year approaches, impeachment and the 2020 election could meet on a collision course as the field winnows. Fox News politics reporter Paul Steinhauser weighs in with what he’s been seeing on the ground in New Hampshire.

Also on the Rundown: Never expecting to win “America’s Got Talent” back in 2007, ventriloquist Terry Fator has made a career of singing and telling jokes through his many dummies. He joins the podcast to talk about how his career led him to a successful residency in Las Vegas and why his “Donald Trump” puppet is no longer a part of the show.

Plus, commentary by David Webb, Fox News contributor and the host of “Reality Check” on Fox Nation.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Lt. Col. Oliver North; Gianno Caldwell, Fox News contributor; Kimberley Strassel, member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board; Michael Goodwin, New York Post columnist; Bret Baier, host of “Special Report.”

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Liz Peek: Pelosi guarantees Trump reelection – impeachment, the resistance anger Americans

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114021943001_6114025357001-vs Liz Peek: Pelosi guarantees Trump reelection – impeachment, the resistance anger Americans Liz Peek fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 656add6f-024a-5a43-adeb-32f5e127f59c

Here’s what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has done by undertaking a reckless and partisan drive to impeach the president: absolutely guaranteed that anyone who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 will vote for him again next year. Guaranteed, as a result, that Trump will be reelected.

Across the United States, tens of millions of Americans are furious that Donald Trump, a man they respect, has been bullied and bloodied by hate-filled, crazed political antagonists who mock him, lie shamelessly about his policies, obstruct his every move and, most disgusting of all, savagely demean his wife and children.

Those same Americans are also furious that we have wasted three years pursuing fake accusations of collusion with Russia and now Ukrainian skullduggery; they wonder what might have been accomplished over these past three years if not for the constant undermining of Mr. Trump and his administration.

CURT LEVEY: TRUMP IMPEACHMENT DRIVES DEMOCRATS’ LOVE OF CONSTITUTION — HERE’S HOW THEY REALLY FEEL

Pelosi has opened a door that may never close. For all the pious posturing, Democrats have drummed up at best a flimsy and half-baked prosecution of this president. The proceedings mean that their next leader will likely face similar trials. Once impeachment becomes a political cure-all, our long-stable government will be vulnerable to ongoing partisan attacks like the one we are witnessing today, and presidents may fall like dominoes. 

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This is not hyperbole. I imagine that even the most cursory investigation of past presidents would yield, by the standards of today’s Democrats, grounds for impeachment. 

Did not President Obama back the investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Lisa Page and Peter Strzok’s text exchanges seem to indicate? On Sept. 2, 2016, Page wrote Strzok that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing,” referring to President Obama.  Did Obama not endorse the pursuit of the Russia dossier, which was funded by the Clinton camp to undercut Donald Trump’s run for the White House? Obama may not have been on the ticket personally, but he certainly knew that his legacy was at stake. That could be viewed as “personal gain” – the same motivation that Pelosi says drove Trump’s demand that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden.

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The push to impeach is driven by the sore losers of 2016, by a party and their media enablers who are terrified that the humiliation of 2016 will be visited upon them again in 2020. Voters get that, which is why the polling on impeachment has moved against Democrats.

Pelosi’s party has no answer, and no candidate with a plausible alternative, to a booming economy that has brought jobs, higher incomes and hope to millions of Americans.

Democrats are panicked that even their most dependable backers – blacks and Hispanics, among others – are warming to their improved lives and prospects, and to Trump. The most recent employment report, showing that we added an extraordinary 266,000 new jobs, reinforces their enthusiasm. How can Elizabeth Warren win when she wants to blow up an economy benefiting so many?

Trump has spent the past three years fending off the most vitriolic and hateful attacks and – perhaps most maddening – getting zero credit for any of his accomplishments.

And, make no mistake, Americans credit Donald Trump for the better times. They remember Obama gurus like Larry Summers telling them about “secular stagnation,” that America’s future was bleak and that manufacturing was dead in our country.

They remember Paul Krugman forecasting a “global recession with no end in sight” and a stock market collapse if Trump were elected president.

Democrats have spent the past three years “resisting” the Trump presidency. They have blocked legislation to secure our borders and to cut through the bureaucratic red tape that even Obama swore to dissolve. They have smeared fine men like Brett Kavanaugh, because they didn’t like his opinions, have engaged a compliant press to print lies about the president and his inner circle and have offered up plenty of their own. 

During the Mueller investigation, House Intel Chair Adam Schiff repeatedly claimed to have hard “evidence” of collusion; he had none, but the liberal media parroted those claims nonetheless.

Republican Devin Nunes is suing CNN for $435 million, claiming the cable news outlet purposefully ran a false story about him meeting with a Ukrainian prosecutor in Vienna, in order to discredit his work on the Intelligence Committee.

Meanwhile, we too wonder what might have been accomplished during the past three years if Trump had enjoyed bipartisan cooperation on matters of national interest. For instance, might we have seen an infrastructure program? Could we have enabled public school reforms so that inner-city kids actually learn to read and write? Democrats can’t do that; they owe too much to the teachers’ unions.

Could we have fixed our broken immigration system, resolving the DACA issue in exchange for a merit-based approach that polls show Americans endorse?

Who knows what might have been? 

Even with the constant bad faith maneuvering of Democrats, Trump has managed to appoint 170 new judges, including two justices on the Supreme Court. He has undone significant suffocating legislation, like Obama’s maddening Waters of the United States rule and the Clean Power Plan, which would have significantly raised America’s energy costs and reduced the benefits of our fossil fuel bounty.

Trump also withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Accord, which allowed China to continue fouling the atmosphere while hobbling U.S. growth. More important, he has taken on China’s unacceptable trade practices and has forced the world to confront Beijing’s criminal undertakings. 

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He has prioritized rebuilding our military, which was long overdue. He has browbeaten NATO into upping their financial commitments, something American presidents have tried and failed to do for 40 years. He has stood up for American interests around the world, and for that, the elites cannot forgive him.

Is Trump without flaws? No. He is thin-skinned and unpredictable, and sometimes picks fights that would be better ignored. But he has spent the past three years fending off the most vitriolic and hateful attacks and – perhaps most maddening – getting zero credit for any of his accomplishments. I have some sympathy for his frustration, and I imagine those who supported him in 2016 do as well. They will support him in 2020; count on it.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114021943001_6114025357001-vs Liz Peek: Pelosi guarantees Trump reelection – impeachment, the resistance anger Americans Liz Peek fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 656add6f-024a-5a43-adeb-32f5e127f59c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114021943001_6114025357001-vs Liz Peek: Pelosi guarantees Trump reelection – impeachment, the resistance anger Americans Liz Peek fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 656add6f-024a-5a43-adeb-32f5e127f59c

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Student solves a decades-old physics mystery

A university student recently solved a question that’s puzzled physicists for over half a century: Why do gas bubbles appear to get stuck inside narrow vertical tubes? The answer may help explain the behavior of natural gases that are trapped in porous rocks.

Years ago, physicists noticed that gas bubbles in a sufficiently narrow tube filled with liquid did not move. But that’s “kind of a paradox,” said senior author John Kolinski, an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).

That’s because the gas bubble is less dense than the liquid surrounding it, so it should rise to the top of the tube (just as  air bubbles in a glass of sparkling water will rise to the top). What’s more, the only resistance to flow in a liquid comes when that liquid is moving, but in this case the fluid is standing still.

Related: Twisted Physics: 7 Mind-Blowing Findings

To solve the case of the stubborn bubble, Kolinski and Wassim Dhaouadi, who was an undergraduate engineering student working in Kolinski’s lab at the time and is now completing a master’s degree at ETH Zurich, decided to probe it using a method called “interference microscopy.” This method is the same one that’s used by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector to find gravitational waves, Kolinski said.

But in this case, the researchers used a custom-made microscope that shines a light onto the sample and measures the intensity of the light that bounces back. Because light bounces back differently based on what it hits, measurements of the light bouncing back can help researchers figure out how “thick” a material is. In this way, they probed a buoyant bubble trapped inside a thin tube filled with an alcohol called isopropanol. The alcohol allowed them to have a “self-cleaning experiment,” which was necessary because the results would have been messed up by any kind of contamination or dirt, Kolinski said.

Starting with a scientist named Bretherton in the 1960s, researchers probed this phenomenon theoretically, but it was never directly measured before. Some calculations suggested that the bubble is surrounded by an extremely thin layer of liquid touching the sides of the tube, which slowly diminishes in size and eventually disappears, Kolinski said. That thin layer would create resistance to the motion of the bubble as it tries to rise.

The researchers indeed observed this very thin layer around the gas bubble and measured it to be about 1 nanometer thick. That’s what quenches the movement of the bubble as theoretical work had predicted. But they also found that the liquid layer (which forms because the pressure in the gas bubble pushes against the walls of the tube) doesn’t disappear, but rather stays at a constant thickness at all times.

Based on their measurements of the thin layer of fluid, they were also able to calculate its velocity. They found that the gas bubble isn’t stuck at all but is rather moving “extraordinarily slowly,” at a pace invisible to the naked eye, due to the resistance caused by the thin layer, Kolinski said. However, they also found that by heating up the liquid and bubble, they were able to make the thin layer disappear — a novel idea that could be “exciting” to explore in future research, he added.

Their findings could help inform the earth sciences field. “Whenever you have a gas that’s confined in a porous medium,” such as natural gas in porous rock, or if you’re trying to go the opposite direction and trap carbon dioxide inside rock, then you have lots of gas bubbles that are in confined spaces, Kolinski said. “Our observations are relevant to the physics of how these gas bubbles are confined.”

But the other part of the excitement is that this study shows “you can have people at all stages of their career making valuable contributions,” Kolinski said. Dhaouadi “drove the project toward a successful outcome,” Kolinski said.

The findings were published Dec. 2 in the journal Physical Review Fluids.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Mary Anne Marsh: Warren vs. Buttigieg – who has the edge after this latest round?

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The fight for the Democratic nomination between Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg broke into full view at the end of last week … and it’s going to be a doozy.

Last Monday I wrote, “Math and history favor the one who wins at least one of the first contests and Super Tuesday. Today that means the race is between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.”

By Thursday Warren and Buttigieg were exchanging barbs that quickly turned into a full-fledged fight.  For Warren, it was the first time she criticized an opponent by name. However, it wasn’t the first time Buttigieg has gone after Warren and he started this latest battle demanding she release more than the 11 years of taxes already made public.

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What’s at stake for Warren and Buttigieg in this tussle?

White college-educated voters.

That’s right. White college-educated voters will determine the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. For Warren and Buttigieg, they are the difference between winning and losing.

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Warren’s and Buttigieg’s increasing poll numbers were fueled by defecting supporters of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, respectively. Now, to win, they need to win over white college-educated voters. And that fact explains their strategy.

Warren’s response to Buttigieg’s demand was to raise his lack of transparency. Specifically, she called on Buttigieg to provide his client list from the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where he began working in 2007, as well as the names of his current campaign finance team and bundlers.

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Buttigieg has declined to release his clients’ names because he signed a non-disclosure agreement. It is less clear why he’s not providing his fundraisers, donors, and finance committee to address the conflicts of interest Warren is suggesting. Buttigieg could do it today as it’s his decision.

The senator’s attack and the mayor’s response have resulted in the worst coverage of his campaign to date.

Warren is trying to suggest that Buttigieg is beholden to corporate interests based on his consulting work and the contributions he’s received. His lack of transparency is compounding the situation. It also reminds voters about other instances where Buttigieg wasn’t transparent, such as his demotion of the African American police chief in South Bend and refusal to release phone records about the incident.

Buttigieg’s refusal to reveal his clients and fundraisers fuels this question: What are you hiding? And that leads inevitably to this next one: Can I trust you?  

Refusing to reveal his clients and fundraisers fuels this question: What are you hiding? And that leads inevitably to this next one, which ultimately determines every election: Can I trust you?

That’s the bottom line for voters. Can they trust candidates to keep their word? It’s why, at the end of a campaign, you often see ads and hear candidates emphasizing the importance of trust.

It’s why Buttigieg is talking about it now. When asked about releasing his client list, Buttigieg’ said, “The bind I’m in right now is I believe in keeping your word, and I signed a legal document about client names.”

Rather than debating the merits of Warren’s charge, or capitulating to her demands, Buttigieg went to the heart of the matter by trying to show he can be trusted.

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What this fight is really about is that one demographic group needed to win in Iowa and New Hampshire: white college-educated voters. They care about transparency and corporate influence in politics, especially with President Trump in the White House. And they will also base their vote on trust. That’s why Warren is using all three points in her attempt to discredit Buttigieg with voters.

In this latest round, it is advantage Warren. But as I also said last week … buckle up.

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