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Pelosi: We were going to fly commercial to Afghanistan — but Trump’s letter created a security risk

Westlake Legal Group p-6 Pelosi: We were going to fly commercial to Afghanistan — but Trump’s letter created a security risk Trump travel The Blog security risk pelosi flight danger codel Afghanistan

I can’t believe we had to wait almost 24 hours for her to reply to yesterday’s White House letter. We live in the Netflix era. We should be able to binge-watch every episode of this pitiful melodrama in a day.

“After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines,” [Pelosi spokesman Drew] Hammill said.

Overnight, he added, a new State Department threat assessment indicated “that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip. . . . This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”

They leaked the commercial travel plans too? To whom? That’s a serious allegation, all but accusing the White House of having deliberately created a security risk to Pelosi to deter him from making it to the region on her own. Who did that? Name names.

Hammill’s not referring to this, is he?

There’s nothing in there to suggest that she still intended to travel, just Trump acknowledging that she planned to do so before he revoked her military aircraft.

The White House says Hammill’s full of it:

Not so, says Hammill:

Anyway, because we’re governed now by wailing babies, apparently no one gave the Pentagon advance notice that Pelosi’s trip was being canceled despite the logistics involved:

Pelosi’s chief of staff worked with a liaison from the U.S. Air Force who was the lead in setting up travel arrangements and the itinerary for the trip. Senior officials at the Pentagon also had been read in on the speaker’s plans, especially those regarding her visit to war-torn Afghanistan, where extra security was needed for her time in Kabul. Two senior officials on the ground in Afghanistan said they received the itinerary for the trip, as they do other congressional trips, weeks in advance and held it close to the chest. Fellow members of Congress made similar accommodations as they prepared to accompany the Speaker on the CODEL…

“We’re still gathering information just like you,” one Pentagon official told The Daily Beast [on Thursday afternoon]. “We are trying to figure out what is going on.” One other source inside the Pentagon said that the White House had not coordinated with senior officials in Kabul about the cancellation, either.

Pelosi threw a tantrum and told Trump not to show for the State of the Union so Trump threw a tantrum by canceling her Afghanistan trip, with the military left holding the bag. It can’t be overstated what pure trash our political class is. To grasp it, just ruminate on the fact that we’re on Day 28 of the shutdown, hardship stories are getting more dire and widespread, the disagreement is over nothing greater than a $5 billion outlay, and somehow … there are no meaningful negotiations at all happening to resolve the standoff. Five-hundred-plus people in the House and Senate and to a man or woman they’re either too partisan or too afraid of their respective bases to compromise to break the logjam. Rank human garbage.

The post Pelosi: We were going to fly commercial to Afghanistan — but Trump’s letter created a security risk appeared first on Hot Air.

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White House looking to see if McConnell can invite Trump to deliver SOTU

Westlake Legal Group d-2 White House looking to see if McConnell can invite Trump to deliver SOTU Trump The Blog State of the Union Speech SOTU security schumer pelosi mcconnell address

Does Cocaine Mitch have a, er, trump card to play with respect to Pelosi’s disinvitation?

Top White House officials are discussing whether the GOP-controlled Senate could invite President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address. This, in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion Wednesday that the address be postponed or relegated to being done in writing due to the partial government shutdown, now in its 27th day…

Senior officials are advising him that Pelosi’s suggestion is a sign of weakness — that Democrats fear he will use the stage to his advantage. It’s not known whether that is actually the case, but it is what senior officials are telling him.

Lots of questions here. Like this one: Does the Senate chamber have the capacity to accommodate both houses of Congress for the SOTU? Or could McConnell commandeer the House chamber to host Trump against Pelosi’s wishes?

More substantively, does the Senate majority leader have unilateral power to invite the president to speak or is that power subject to authorization by a resolution of the Senate? Roll Call reporter Niels Lesniewski says it’s the latter, which would mean Schumer could filibuster any attempt to invite Trump.

Another question. Assume McConnell figures out a way to extend the invite. Would Democrats show for Trump’s speech? That answer is easy: No, not most of them. But what about those freshmen Dems from purple districts? They might want to make a gesture of respect to POTUS just to keep their Republican supporters back home pacified. It’s a cinch that Pelosi would boycott, not wanting to be trapped on camera sitting in silence as Trump harangues her for an hour about the shutdown, but that in itself would strongly signal disrespect — and would corroborate Trump’s claim that Democrats, not him, are the truly intransigent party. Would purple-district Dems pay for it?

Plus, how could she boycott after claiming yesterday, completely disingenuously, that she was discouraging Trump from giving the speech due to concerns about security? If McConnell thinks it’s safe for him to attend and the Secret Service thinks it’s safe and Pelosi still doesn’t bother to show up, it’ll be transparent proof that she tried to block him from delivering the SOTU for petty political reasons.

But maybe she doesn’t care. She’s gone out of her way to show contempt for Trump at every stage of this. Maybe she’d see this as icing on the cake.

One more question, this one out of the box. What if Trump tweets today that he intends to deliver the SOTU in the House chamber and will be there on the 29th, whatever Pelosi may have to say about it? What does she do? No other president would publicly dare the Speaker of the House to bar him from the room to prevent him from speaking. (No other president would be disinvited in the first place.) But Trump does things the Trump way, for maximum drama. And nothing would be as dramatic as putting Pelosi on the spot in deciding whether to try to have the president physically blocked from giving an address.

I assume the Secret Service would lean heavily on Trump not to follow through on that threat, just because they don’t like situations where the president’s movements are uncertain. And I also assume that Pelosi would try to avoid that game of chicken by deciding that Trump is free to come if he likes — she hasn’t formally rescinded her invite, remember — but that she and most of her caucus will skip the event. Then we’ll be treated to the spectacle of Trump addressing the nation with an empty chair over his right shoulder, with Democrats no doubt engaged in some sort of counterprogramming elsewhere for the hour. They might have to let Ocasio-Cortez deliver the Intersectional State of the Union or something. That’s the only thing that could compete with Trump.

The post White House looking to see if McConnell can invite Trump to deliver SOTU appeared first on Hot Air.

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Stephen Booth: There are reasons to be sceptical about the Brexit deal. But its security provisions aren’t one of them.

Stephen Booth is Director of Policy and Research at Open Europe.

In the vociferous debate about the proposed Brexit deal, the implications for UK security and foreign policy have come a distant second to economic and institutional considerations. However, this week Richard Dearlove, former MI6 head, and Charles Guthrie, former chief of defence staff, have written to Conservative Associations warning that the Brexit deal will “threaten the national security of the country in fundamental ways” and bind the UK into “new sets of EU controlled relationships”. We certainly should debate the UK’s future security and foreign policies in light of Brexit, but there are several reasons why these dire warnings about the proposed deal are either misplaced or implausible.

Successive UK governments have cooperated selectively with the EU in security and foreign policy, reflecting concerns about the direction of travel or degree of integration. The UK secured opt-outs from EU law enforcement and internal security integration and many Brexiteers cited the erosion of these protections by ECJ jurisprudence as justification for withdrawal. Nonetheless, matters of external security, defence and foreign policy were largely protected by our national veto, the threat of which the UK successfully used to prevent EU ambitions for an autonomous military HQ, for example.

At the root of concerns about the proposed deal seems to be a fear about what might happen, rather than what the Withdrawal Agreement actually says. It is true that, during the transition period, the UK will be bound by EU foreign and defence policy decisions. The UK may be consulted on a case by case basis, but we will no longer have a formal role in shaping these decisions or be able to lead any resulting operations. However, crucially, throughout the transition period, the UK can refuse to apply EU decisions for “vital and stated reasons of national policy” – we have a de jure veto. The UK will be bound by existing EU rules on police and judicial cooperation during this time, but will be excluded from new rules that fall under our existing law enforcement and Schengen opt-outs.

If the UK were to enter the Backstop, either in 2021 or by 2023, there is no agreed provision for UK-EU security and foreign policy cooperation. UK commitments under EU law and the Withdrawal Agreement would fall away and the basis for cooperation would need to be negotiated either separately or under the auspices of a comprehensive UK-EU future partnership. The UK would not be legally obliged as a result of the deal to do anything, although the Withdrawal Agreement provides both sides with the option of agreeing a successor security agreement – obviously the UK would have a veto over this.

It is further argued by the deal’s critics that “buried in the Agreement is the offer of a ‘new, deep, and special relationship with the EU in defence, security and intelligence”, which would undermine the UK’s three core security and foreign policy relationships with NATO, our US bilateral agreements and Five Eyes intelligence sharing arrangements”. This warning presumably refers to the joint UK-EU Political Declaration on the framework for the future partnership.

First, as many critics of the deal have pointed out, the Political Declaration is not legally enforceable, whereas the Withdrawal Agreement would be. At this stage, it is simply an “offer” and does not bind the UK. Indeed, the lack of legal enforceability of the Political Declaration is the typically-cited reason for opposing the deal. Here the assumption is that the Political Declaration is binding. It is not.

Second, the future relationship foreseen in the Political Declaration is impossible to reconcile with the claim that it would undermine the UK’s core security relationships. Indeed, the declaration states that the entire future relationship should provide exceptions for matters of national security, which is the “sole responsibility” of the UK and the EU’s member states respectively. The UK could “participate on a case by case basis” in EU-led security and defence missions and be consulted accordingly. Intelligence sharing would be “voluntary” and the parties would “produce intelligence products autonomously”. The UK and the EU would pursue “independent sanctions policies driven by their respective foreign policies”. None of this would compel the UK, or the EU, to do anything at all with regards to external or security policy, other than keep the other party informed.

Finally, it is unclear what alternative, if any, form of cooperation with the EU the authors of these warnings would find acceptable. There is no doubt that past and future UK governments would rank the three core relationships with NATO, bilaterally with the US and Five Eyes, as the most important (a Jeremy Corbyn-led government might prove the exception). However, successive governments have also acknowledged that the UK must also promote its interests, both offensively and defensively, with European partners and allies. The UK has a close bilateral relationship with Europe’s only other globally-relevant military and defence power, France. This is underpinned by bilateral treaty, but France is actively pursuing its foreign policy interests via the EU and therefore cooperation with the French could well mean working with the EU to some degree. The question is on what basis.

Leaving the EU is likely to mean the UK will not be able to formally shape, lead or veto EU foreign policy or defence decisions in the future. This is a direct consequence of Brexit. Equally it means we will not be directly bound by them. It is possible to argue that the EU is being short-sighted in only offering the UK take it or leave it European cooperation on security and foreign policy issues. This may yet change, and if the EU wants to secure UK cooperation, our ability to provide resources and capabilities will be of immense value and therefore provide us with influence.

Nevertheless, it will be up to future governments to work out how best to further UK foreign policy interests independently of and sometimes in cooperation with the EU. Nothing agreed to date would prevent the UK from refusing to take part in EU-led or “controlled” initiatives or from insisting that any future cooperation would only be provided under a NATO umbrella.

There are many valid reasons to be sceptical about the Brexit deal. My judgement is that, on balance, it is worth supporting. But the concerns raised by Sir Richard and Lord Guthrie don’t stand up to scrutiny.

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

Ocasio-Cortez: Why are we funding ICE at all?

Westlake Legal Group a Ocasio-Cortez: Why are we funding ICE at all? wall Trump The Blog Shutdown security Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration funding border Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Why are we funding an agency that had a child die in its custody on Christmas Eve, she asks?

Except that was Customs and Border Protection, not ICE. And to hear AOC tell it, you’d think the child had died from official neglect of his illness, if not outright murder. He was taken to the hospital twice by CBP, having been released the first time by doctors with a prescription for nothing more serious than an antibiotic and ibuprofen. The agency didn’t leave him gasping on a cot in a corner somewhere.

But all of this is beside the point. ICE, CBP — the point of Ocasio-Cortez’s spiel last night to the Maddow faithful is that immigration enforcement is bad, full stop, whichever agency is responsible for it. Certainly immigration enforcement under a Republican is bad. If Joe Biden wins the presidency in 2020 and continues the more or less identical business-as-usual policies at the border pursued by the Obama and Trump administrations, the market for tirades like this one will evaporate among most Democrats. But maybe not among progressives; they really do seem all-in on open borders, to the periodic aggravation of leaders like Pelosi and Schumer. Ask yourself what sort of reforms might conceivably be made to ICE or CBP rendering them sufficiently “humane” in the left’s eyes that they’d then turn around and say, “Okay, here’s some funding, let the deportations resume”? Deportations are the core of the alleged inhumanity in their eyes. That’s why the slogan du jour is “abolish ICE,” not “reform ICE.”

The point she wanted to hammer last night, as you’ll see in the two clips below, was the idea that immigrants coming to America to seek a better life are acting “more American” than anyone who’d try to keep them from crossing the border. She said that twice to Maddow for emphasis, seemingly wanting viewers to take that point away from the interview if they took nothing else. There’s no limit to that position in principle, though: If everyone who wants to come to America is an American at heart (more American than actual Americans who favor limits on immigration, even!), by what right do we dare refuse them entry? They have a moral right to be here which our laws should recognize. She goes so far as to suggest that Trump is forcing people who want to migrate to the U.S. to do so illegally, having made all legal routes so onerous that they simply have no choice but to break the law. That is, she’s framing illegal immigration as a sort of righteous civil disobedience. There’s no limiting principle to that either.

They want open borders. Not all Democrats, but certainly AOC and other populist ideologues adored by progressives. Perhaps we’ll have a test in 2020 of which side is truly the more radical on immigration, the one led by a guy who wants to put a wall along the border or the one led by people like this who can’t figure out why we fund deportations in the first place. It’s already a cliche, but true: Like the Freedom Caucus vis-a-vis Republicans, Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow travelers in Congress will cause more problems for their own party’s leaders than they will for the other team.

I’ll leave you with this, from another precocious ideologue cheered by liberals: “Reminder: No one is illegal on stolen land.”

The post Ocasio-Cortez: Why are we funding ICE at all? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Chloe Westley: As a migrant to Britain, I say: what’s wrong with patriotism, borders and control?

Chloe Westley is the Campaign Manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

When I was a child, I remember our teachers playing Imagine by John Lennon at a school assembly. I thought the sentiment was lovely. All people living in peace, no countries, no borders, no war. It’s a very pretty idea…with absolutely no basis in reality.

The modern Zeitgeist among academics and politicians in Europe is that borders are a thing of the past; that they are a nasty, xenophobic barrier to progress and co-operation, and any sense of national pride should be disregarded as backwards and racist.

As an immigrant to this country, I don’t understand this way of thinking. To deny the notion of nationhood and borders is to deny that there is anything of value in this country worth protecting, or any particular set of principles that divides British society from any other. But this country is special, and it is worth protecting.

It is a privilege to call Britain home. And it isn’t racist or xenophobic to expect the Government to protect and guard its borders, as well as to ensure the implementation of a fair and controlled immigration system. The desire to protect your home is as universal as the desire to love, to work and to raise a family. Why should protecting your country be any different? We put up fences and walls to guard our homes, but guarding national borders is somehow subject to accusations of xenophobia.

Globalists do not believe in maintaining national borders, because they do not believe that this country is their home. After all, if you believe that there is nothing that distinguishes Great Britain from the rest of the world, and reside here merely for convenience, then you would be satisfied being born or living in any other country. In fact, the way some on the Left describe this country with disdain, you would think they would prefer to live just about anywhere else.

There are of course those who describe themselves as strictly ‘European’ – not citizens of the world, but citizens of Europe. They advocate a greater European superstate, to replace individual nation states, with a strict border around Europe. They replace nationalism with supranationalism – the community is extended to the European continent. Whilst this is a minority view, (just 15 per cent freely choose to describe themselves as ‘European’), it is worth pointing out that calling oneself a ‘proud European’ expresses the same innate instinct to belong to a country (albeit an imaginary country, as the EU is not yet a superstate).

Living in a world without borders, and without nations, would not magically result in world peace and a greater sense of belonging. Rather, people would seek other tribes to belong to – quite possibly even extreme political and religious tribes.

Moral Psychologists such as Jonathan Haidt lhave warned against the dismissal of national identity. The need to belong to and defend a community is an innate human instinct, and is often expressed by loyalty to the nation state:

“There is nothing necessarily racist or base about this arrangement or social contract. Having a shared sense of identity, norms, and history generally promotes trust…Societies with high trust, or high social capital, produce many beneficial outcomes for their citizens: lower crime rates, lower transaction costs for businesses, higher levels of prosperity, and a propensity toward generosity, among others.”

There are of course extreme forms of nationalism, particularly ethno-nationalism, that need to be avoided. We should strive for a golden mean of nationhood: one which allows citizens to care for and protect one other, to maintain national borders and traditions, which is welcoming to visitors and immigrants, and is fair and just in dealings with other nations.

A shared national identity doesn’t necessarily mean that citizens believe their country or their people are innately superior to all other nations. Your love for your family does not require you to hate strangers – but you would do anything to protect and care for them above other people, simply by virtue of them being family.

You cannot force people to stop loving their country. A shared national identity is what brings people together, despite differences in religion, politics, football teams and age. Because the thing that we have in common is our home – and we should take care of and protect our home together.

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