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Dan Gainor: Left-wing media bias galore on impeachment, abortion and immigration

Westlake Legal Group mueller-thumb-3 Dan Gainor: Left-wing media bias galore on impeachment, abortion and immigration fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dan Gainor article a935183a-751a-55c7-af9f-b197be476b48

Mueller Time came and went. Now it’s Impeachment Time, at least according to the “neutral” media.

Of course, now-former Special Counsel Robert Mueller never said President Trump should be impeached. But that didn’t stop journalists, who used every rhetorical trick in the book to push that narrative against the president.

Both MSNBC host Chris Hayes and CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger dissected Mueller’s Wednesday news conference about his report, relying on either “reading between the lines” or “If you read between the lines.”

MEDIA FLOODED WITH IMPEACHMENT STORIES, DESPITE TEPID BACKING ON CAPITOL HILL

It was reminiscent of the great movie “Network,” where the TV network entertainment division took over news and installed programs including “Sybil: The Soothsayer.”

The media didn’t stop there. ABC’s Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran did his own reading between the lines. “This is Robert Mueller saying to Congress do your job. It is time to take this up,” he said.

”CBS This Morning” co-host Tony Dokoupil also wanted the same kind of guesswork from reporter Major Garrett: “What words stood out to you? What messages were embedded in those remarks?”

NBC was thrilled by the idea of impeachment. “Today” host Savannah Guthrie followed suit, also interpreting what Mueller said. “He’s without using that word reminding folks that there is a process and it’s called impeachment,” she said.

Legal analyst Mimi Rocah couldn’t hide her hopes. “And I hope that now Congress picks up that mantle more and does it in a more effective way,” she said. “And I think that’s what Mueller was asking them to do.”

The mood was similar at sister network MSNBC where “Morning Joe” immediately shifted into attack mode. Branding expert Donny Deutsch wanted to shift the narrative away from impeachment, but not from the action. “It’s a losing word,” he told viewers. Instead, “you take the word impeachment, and you change it to ‘criminal activity.’”

What is especially humorous is that even The New York Times admitted that no one agreed what Mueller had said in his brief presentation.

Deutsch had grand visions of liberal success, all with a minor word change. “We are going to initiate and continue the ongoing Trump criminal investigations. Trump criminal, Trump criminal investigations,” he said.

The hour changed, but the script didn’t. MSNBC anchor Kasie Hunt kept talking the magic “I” word with her “Big Question.”

“What more do congressional Democrats need to hear before they make a decision about impeachment?” Hunt asked. She wanted New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to explain “why not begin impeachment proceedings?”

One of MSNBC’s resident RINOs (Republicans in name only), Elise Jordan, whined that Mueller wouldn’t testify and help undermine Trump. She compared his stance to a book author who said, “Oh, I’m not going to go promote my book, just read the book and you’ll learn what it’s all about.”

Contributor Malcolm Nance went even further, alleging Trump’s was utilizing a strategy of distraction that came “straight from the KGB playbook.” “There is a conspiracy out there,” he said, not seeming to care how silly that looked.

What is especially humorous is that even The New York Times admitted that no one agreed what Mueller had said in his brief presentation. The paper ran an analysis under this headline: “Mueller Delivered a Message. Washington Couldn’t Agree on What It Was.” That’s pretty much true of every major issue of the day.

The Times also published an opinion piece from Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky urging Mueller to get more political. “He is serving a vision of America that no longer exists,” Tomasky wrote, arguing that Mueller can’t serve the apolitical America by being … apolitical.

Media Can’t Cover Abortion Objectively

Few things motivate most journalists like backing “social justice” causes. One of their favorites is abortion. It doesn’t matter how extreme a liberal position is on abortion, journalists will back it.

With the passage of pro-life measures in several states, the media haven’t even pretended neutrality. The parent companies of NBC, ABC and CBS all threw in with the left on the debate and threatened to withdraw their tapings from Georgia because of a new pro-life law.

CNN flat-out denied reality in one abortion story, headlined “Pence discusses abortion with Trudeau, repeats Trump’s ‘infanticide’ claim.”

According to CNN White House producer Kevin Liptak and reporter Caroline Kelly, Pence was “echoing false claims made last month by President Donald Trump about doctors killing babies that have already been born.”

If journalists were honest, they’d call this CNN story a lie. Because that’s what it is. Here, one more time, is the Jan. 30 quote from Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”

That’s precisely what Trump was addressing. But CNN has memory-holed it. Instead, anchor Jim Sciutto said new life-saving laws are “really turning back the clock, really to pre-1973, when that was the law of the land in a number of places.”

NPR brought on Dr. Colleen McNicholas, who performs abortions, and who referred to babies as “pregnancy tissue.” How many American women think their future babies are “pregnancy tissue?”

The CNN documentary series “United Shades of America” decided to emulate the rest of the press and ignore pro-life voices. Host and comedian W. Kamau Bell didn’t leave his pro-life interviews on the cutting-room floor, he just hid them in the online version of his documentary.

Hollywood joined the boycott calls. Director Ron Howard’s career has gone from playing Opie on the family-friendly “Andy Griffith Show” to telling Georgians he won’t film there because of pro-life laws won’t allow the butchery of more babies. That’s some character (or lack of character).

Run Across the Border

The immigration crisis is in the news again and that’s a perfect opportunity for the media to remind everyone they support open borders. Here’s just one excellent example.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour showed her liberal stripes in an interview with Europe’s open border queen – German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Amanpour piled praise on Merkel’s “compassionate, courageous migration program, allowing a million or more people in.” Nice and neutral, that.

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The CNN International anchor went further, describing Merkel in the eyes of those who love her: “Analysts and historians today describe you as the face of good Germans, good Germany.”

It’s a key reminder that most journalists are globalists, which is why they attack nationalists so strongly. rump, of course, is a nationalist.

Hmmm.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DAN GAINOR

Westlake Legal Group mueller-thumb-3 Dan Gainor: Left-wing media bias galore on impeachment, abortion and immigration fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dan Gainor article a935183a-751a-55c7-af9f-b197be476b48   Westlake Legal Group mueller-thumb-3 Dan Gainor: Left-wing media bias galore on impeachment, abortion and immigration fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dan Gainor article a935183a-751a-55c7-af9f-b197be476b48

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Robert Mueller Purposely Edited a Phone Call From Trump’s Legal Team to Make It Seem Like Obstruction of Justice

Westlake Legal Group robert-mueller-620x348 Robert Mueller Purposely Edited a Phone Call From Trump’s Legal Team to Make It Seem Like Obstruction of Justice voicemail Robert Mueller Politics Out of Context Mueller report Michael Flynn media bias manipulation impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Edited Call donald trump democrats andrew weissman

Robert Mueller by DonkeyHotey, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

This is a pretty big deal.

The issues with Robert Mueller’s report are apparent, especially given his decision to overstep DOJ guidelines and smear those who he had no intention of charging. Part two of the report reads like a roadmap too impeachment, full of insinuations and scatter shot “evidence” that doesn’t actually add up to anything but more speculation.

Mueller’s inability to do his job smacked of political gamesmanship. He winked and nodded at Congress but didn’t have the fortitude to just recommend charges against Trump. There was no regulation stopping him from doing so and in the end, he failed to complete the one task his special counsel was appointed to do.

We did not need Robert Mueller to investigate Facebook trolls or DNC emails. The only reason for his existence was to answer questions of criminality on the President’s part given the supposed conflict of interests at the DOJ. When Ken Starr was tasked with that during the Bill Clinton years, he had the courage to put in his report exactly the laws the former President had broken. Mueller chose not to because he didn’t have the goods but wanted to still leave a negative impression.

The more we learn, the worse Mueller looks and this newest revelation is pretty damning.

Remember a few weeks ago when the media and Democrats thought they had a bombshell based on a voicemail that supposedly showed Trump’s legal team trying to coordinate with Flynn’s legal team after he agreed to cooperate with the government? I wrote at the time what a garbage accusation it was.

Let’s just say that I’m getting tired of being right all the time.

Here’s the original source who caught this.

This is pretty crazy. The report is the size of a moderate length novel but Mueller just had to edit those lines out? And as the media ran crazy with accusations of obstruction of justice and witness tampering, Mueller sat idly by even though he’s been speaking out on other matters.

Those that are still hanging onto a virtuous image of “Saint” Mueller are delusional. This guy is as cunning and manipulative today as he was a decade ago in the Pan Am case.

John Dowd, who’s Trump’s lawyer in the call gave a comment (Techno Frog may lack the coveted blue checkmark, but he’s a legit insider on this stuff).

So there you have it.

Robert Mueller and his team purposely edited a call to remove context and to try to paint something totally innocuous as a sinister attempt at obstructing justice. This is exactly why he does not want to testify and why Democrats are not subpoenaing him. They know he’d get destroyed if forced to defend his report.

If Mueller was willing to do this, what else was he willing to manipulate in his report?

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The post Robert Mueller Purposely Edited a Phone Call From Trump’s Legal Team to Make It Seem Like Obstruction of Justice appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group comey-mueller-300x210 Robert Mueller Purposely Edited a Phone Call From Trump’s Legal Team to Make It Seem Like Obstruction of Justice voicemail Robert Mueller Politics Out of Context Mueller report Michael Flynn media bias manipulation impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Edited Call donald trump democrats andrew weissman   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Study finds Russian trolls amplified anti-vaccine debate with misinformation

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Will ‘Always Be My Maybe’ Always Be Our Baby?

Do you remember where you were when you first saw the trailer for Netflix’s “Always Be My Maybe”? We sure do (at our desks). The preview was catnip for a classic romantic comedy fan: covetable clothes, upscale restaurant kitchens, sexual tension, Ali Wong mugging madly as she describes a night of “freaky-ass sex” to a horrified Randall Park, Keanu Reeves, the sweet sounds of Mariah Carey. It seemed unjust to have to wait until May 31 to put that into our eyeballs.

But trailers are trailers. The question, of course, is whether the movie lives up to that glorious promise.

Written by co-stars Ali Wong and Randall Park along with Michael Golamco, and directed by Nahnatchka Khan, “Always Be My Maybe” tells the story of Sasha (Wong) and Marcus (Park), childhood best friends who haven’t spoken in 16 years after a falling-out. She’s moved to Los Angeles and become a celebrity chef with a chiseled manager-slash-fiancé, while he lives at home in San Francisco with his dad, works at his dad’s heat and air company, smokes pot, and moonlights as the frontman of a local band. Sasha’s return to San Francisco to open a new restaurant coincides with a relationship rumspringa initiated by her less-than-devoted betrothed, which situates her perfectly to reconnect with Marcus when they bump into each other. But with so much history, and such a wide gulf between their new lives, it remains to be seen if Marcus and Sasha can really find love. (Unless you’ve ever seen a rom-com before, ever, in your life.)

Will “Always Be My Maybe” always be our baby, or could time indeed erase a feeling this strong? HuffPost’s Leigh Blickley and Claire Fallon discuss.

Westlake Legal Group 5cf13fc82400005e078563af Will ‘Always Be My Maybe’ Always Be Our Baby?

Netflix Ali Wong as Sasha Tran.

Claire: When the trailer for “Always Be My Maybe” dropped, it felt like a special present to me. Not only was it premiering on Netflix on my actual birthday, it’s one of my favorite types of movies ― a glossy, candy-colored romp reminiscent of the ’90s and aughts rom-com blockbusters that shaped my film taste. (I’m basic and you cannot make me feel bad about it.) Plus, it was created by and starred Randall Park and Ali Wong, who I would watch in anything. I didn’t even need to watch the trailer through to the Keanu reveal to know this was what I needed! Leigh, how high were your expectations going into the movie?

Leigh: I’ve always been a fan of Randall Park, and recently discovered my adoration of Ali Wong when I was pregnant with my daughter last year. I watched all of her comedy specials and was hooked on her candidness about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum life. She was like my doula during those long nine months! So, yes, my expectations for “Always Be My Maybe” were high ― and thankfully, Randall and Ali pulled through. Like you, Claire, rom-coms are my go-to. And this one gave me all the good feelings classics like “The Wedding Planner” or “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” did, except they swapped out Matthew McConaughey for Keanu Reeves and made food the real eye candy.

Claire: Mmm, the food.

Leigh: Claire, what did you think of the film’s premise?

Claire: I love a good friends-to-enemies-to-lovers premise, and that’s what “ABMM” gives us. To summarize, Marcus (Park) and Sasha (Wong) were best friends from childhood. She spends a lot of time at his home, learning to cook from his creatively gifted mother, since her parents work long hours running a store. At the end of high school, his mother dies in an accident; in the midst of grieving, Marcus and Sasha finally hook up. The timing sucks ― both immature, both raw with loss, they end up in a nasty argument. They don’t speak for 16 years, during which Sasha becomes a celebrity chef in LA and Marcus joins his dad’s heat and air business and nurtures a very local career as the frontman of rap group Hello Peril. Then Sasha comes back to San Francisco to open a new restaurant and runs into Marcus. Soon, the awkwardness and residual resentment is overpowered by their natural attraction, and they realize they’re interested in more than friendship ― even though their lifestyles and ambitions seem to be very different. Complications ensue.

If I had one complaint, it would be that there were too many plot beats for a 100-minute movie. A lot rides on Wong’s and Park’s charisma and crackling chemistry to make up for rushed establishing scenes, as we snap back and forth from friendship to love to conflict multiple times. Did you ever get the sense that the plot was a bit overstuffed, or was that just me?

Leigh: There was definitely a lot going on. We had parents. We had hippie girlfriends. We had restaurants. We had interior designers. We had pregnant best friends. It was all a little much to follow, for sure, especially in a rom-com setup.

The establishing drama wraps up quickly: Sasha starts out the movie engaged to her asshole manager, Brandon Choi (Daniel Dae Kim), but soon ends up, as she calls it, on her own six-month “Bachelorette” dating spree after he proposes they spend some time apart. (As it turns out, he just wanted to date Padma Lakshmi.) Then, Sasha ― who, don’t forget, is opening a new restaurant ― finds herself single in San Fran and begins to date around, which includes a tryst with Keanu Reeves ― playing Keanu Reeves ― whom she bumps into while catering a wrap party. (We never see their full meet-cute, which, shame.) He comes and goes, as do a lot of things. (Again, what’s going on at the restaurant? Does Sasha even cook?!)

Claire: Sasha is a celebrity chef, Leigh; at that level, the word “chef” is essentially decorative.

Leigh: The narrative is clear ― years after their falling out, feelings are reignited between Sasha and Marcus, who is trying to find his own way while watching her succeed in the spotlight. But, yes, the toss-ins, although fun, are slightly distracting. I thoroughly enjoyed Keanu playing a bizarre, red-wine loving Keanu, though.

Claire: Yes! And I don’t want to gloss over Marcus’ hippie girlfriend. Jenny has dreads, makes pasta with Viennese sausage for a very tolerant Sasha, and claims to be spiritually married to Marcus ― until a more glamorous option comes her way. (No sleep is lost over the abandoned partners.)

The Keanu cameo was a highlight of the film; his emotionally volatile, studiously pretentious caricature of himself anchors a hilarious sequence in which the two couples eat sous vide venison while listening to a recording of the deceased animal, then engage in a surprisingly violent game of Icebreakers. It might seem like his role, admittedly a bit stunty, eats up too much of the precious runtime, if it didn’t do so much to fan the frisson between Sasha and Marcus. 10/10, absolute perfection.

Leigh: As is the dish the flavor of Caesar salad!

Claire: Keanu really sold his enjoyment of that … plate of salad-flavored pastes.

In my anticipation for this movie, I’ve been inhaling articles about the show ― profiles of Park and Wong, pieces positioning the film in the current movie landscape ― and one repeated point of emphasis has been just how Asian-American it is. All of the characters mentioned above are Asian-American (the only major one who isn’t is Sasha’s childhood friend and current employee Vanessa, played by Michelle Buteau).

Leigh: What I loved is that, sure, these main characters are Asian, and their humor perfectly reflects that fact, but their identity isn’t the main point. It’s a love story between two people, who just so happen to be Asian. We need more of that!

We’ve definitely seen a welcome growth in projects featuring Asian leads, be it the box-office success “Crazy Rich Asians” or the teen drama “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” We even have Awkwafina’s upcoming “The Farewell” and Mindy Kaling’s “Late Night” to look forward to. Whereas Asian American actors used to be cast as supporting characters, doors are now opening up for them to front films and, like we’ve seen with Park and Wong, they’re able to write their own stories and tell their own truths, as well.

Claire: Having a whole cast of Asian American actors allows their identity to be fully explored without tokenizing, which I thought was a great strength. Watching it filled me with a nostalgia that I didn’t expect, like stepping unexpectedly into a childhood buddy’s home. It wasn’t my story on-screen, but the story of people I know and love, whose lives are important to me, and whose realities are rarely represented in the media I consume. It’s filled with tiny details, like kids taking off their shoes to run through the house and guests being offered fruit, that infuse it with cultural specificity, and it also moves beyond tropes like the strict immigrant parents ― Marcus’ parents don’t speak with accents, and their relationship is completely without a culture-clash element. Even Marcus’ socially conscious Asian American band, Hello Peril, hit me hard; I’ve never seen something like it in a mainstream movie or show, but I had friends who were really into that kind of music growing up! (Also, he kills it onstage.) Seeing it, it was like, of course. Of course this is the kind of character we should be seeing, and have been missing out on in favor of a million interchangeable white jocks and beauty queens. It’s joyful to see it presented without commentary or an exoticizing gaze, just as white American culture is presented without explanation in so much popular entertainment.

This whole movie is a Park-Wong joint, and their raunchy, goofy humor is the hallmark of the movie, but what did you think of their performances?

Westlake Legal Group 5cf13e982500005500dbdb69 Will ‘Always Be My Maybe’ Always Be Our Baby?

Netflix Randall Park as Marcus Kim.

Leigh: I was immediately into Park as Marcus, a devoted son, and dare-I-say super impressive rapper, who, like many of us, is still trying to figure out his purpose in life. His comedic timing is impeccable. I laughed out loud on multiple occasions, i.e., Viennese sausage eating, the joke about Korean Prince Eric from “The Little Mermaid” and all those Keanu punch lines. See what I did there? Park is a natural funnyman, and every time he was on-screen, I was charmed. Wong, on the other hand, plays her comedy big ― her expressions only adding to each one-liner. I did enjoy the nods to her momcentric comedy specials, including one of the opening bits between her and Buteau about Kate Middleton’s postpartum body/royal diaper. But, I did feel like I was just watching Ali Wong play Ali Wong?

Claire: It’s funny you say that, because I think I actually preferred Wong’s performance! She has the polished look and quick patter of a leading comedienne, even if that’s just who she naturally is. Park ― who is 45 and at one point plays a 17-year-old ― has more of a dad vibe to me. (This might be partly to blame on my love for “Fresh Off the Boat,” the ABC sitcom on which he plays a dad.) I felt his performance was the most confident when he was playing up his awkwardness at reuniting with a newly glam childhood crush, whereas the romantic smoldering felt a little less fully realized. And yet I absolutely fanned myself when they finally left Keanu bleeding and jumped each other.

To return to Wong for a second, though, I thought working in the mom comedy by having Vanessa, the loyal sidekick, just casually being pregnant and giving birth over the course of the film was inspired. Why are characters never just randomly pregnant in movies? Sometimes your friends are just pregnant and all they want to talk about is how farty they are!

Leigh: I currently have a handful of mom friends, a few pregnant pals and one who just gave birth this week, so I feel you there. There should always be pregnant women in movies. Burritos-for-two jokes only!

What I craved from the movie, however, were more restaurant goings-on. As I mentioned earlier, food is the eye candy here. And although there were some droolworthy shots, if you introduce me to a fictional celebrity chef, I want more kitchen drama! Did you feel like the fact that Sasha was a chef was sort of background information, even though her whole story sort of rides off her career? (It was overstuffed already though, as you noted.)

Claire: It’s true, Sasha’s career is less about cooking and more about branding. To get a glimpse of her work, we see her on red carpets and business calls. When Marcus mocks her highfalutin cuisine, it’s hard to even tell if he’s justified; I didn’t recall having seen them eating food from her restaurant at all, and certainly not preparing it. This felt like a calculated choice, though. It plays up the distance between her opulent lifestyle and ambitions and his comparatively humble career ― a conflict that eventually causes them trouble.

I did want to note one joke that really didn’t land for me: When Sasha and Marcus reconnect by mocking apparently able-bodied drivers using handicapped tags to get better parking. It felt a bit dated, especially in a movie otherwise so modern and thoughtful, to include an ignorant bit that discounts the validity of invisible disabilities. I have to admit that I cringed.

Were there any other parts that fell flat for you?

Leigh: Totally agree with you on that. There were some jokes that I was like, “blah,” namely the Gubi chair gag. (Maybe that’s why we didn’t see Casey Wilson again?) A few of the parts with Sasha and her parents left me wanting more ― all I learned was that they’re absent and cheap. I think the end ― (spoiler!) where they tell her they paid for their meal at her new restaurant ― would’ve made me more emotional had we gotten to spend a bit more time in the family dynamic.

Claire: That’s true ― I think Wilson’s part (much as I love her) could have been axed and a little more time devoted to more vital pieces of Sasha’s character, particularly her relationship with her parents. Any reference to Marcus’ late mom, meanwhile, left me in a puddle of heart’s blood and salt tears, which (spoiler alert) is where you could find me at the conclusion of this movie. So, Leigh, what’s the final verdict? Yay or nay on “Always Be My Maybe”?

Leigh: Yes, everything involving Marcus’ mom left me misty-eyed. (The end 🙁 ) Also, shoutout to Harry aka Mr. Kim (James Saito), who I adored throughout the entire movie. He got his happy ending too! All in all, I really enjoyed Park, Wong and co-writer Michael Golamco’s script ― it felt fresh but reminiscent of the glory days of the rom-coms. Also, movies on Netflix are always a sure-win, as it’s easy enough to flick something on from the comfort of your own couch rather than spending who knows how much on a ticket, soda and popcorn at the theater. I enjoy sobbing alone anyway, thank you very much. Claire, were you satisfied?

Claire: I was satisfied! It was a bumpy ride at times, but it had the sparkle, energy and texture that separates the date-night movie from the “eh, if there’s nothing else on” clunker. If you enjoy the occasional rom-com in your queue, this is a worthy inclusion. And I can’t wait to see what Park and Wong ― not to mention director Nahnatchka Khan, the mastermind of the tragically short-lived sitcom “Don’t Trust the B― in Apartment 23” ― get up to next.

This has been “Should You Watch It?” a weekly examination of movies and TV worth ― or not worth! ― your time.

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Illinois abortion bill establishing woman’s ‘fundamental right’ to procedure wins Senate approval

The Illinois Senate late Friday sent to the governor legislation that establishes a woman’s “fundamental right” to an abortion.

The 34-20 vote approving the Reproductive Health Act comes in response to new laws passed in other states narrowing abortion rights.

Senate approval sends the measure to Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker who has campaigned to make Illinois the most progressive state in the country for reproductive rights, WGN-TV reported. The Illinois House passed it previously.

In addition to establishing abortion as a woman’s fundamental right, the bill states that “a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent rights,” according to the station.

It also repeals the Illinois abortion law of 1975, eliminating spousal consent, waiting periods, criminal penalties for abortion providers and restrictions on abortion facilities, the station reported.

Westlake Legal Group Illinois-bill-AP Illinois abortion bill establishing woman’s ‘fundamental right’ to procedure wins Senate approval Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc article 5c84bd83-7a5d-5bb2-8522-623ec82e8854

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, celebrate passage by Senate of the Reproductive Health Act Friday. The bill establishes a woman’s “fundamental right” to an abortion. (The State Journal-Register via AP)

ILLINOIS REPUBLICANS CONSIDER PUSH TO SEPARATE CHICAGO FROM STATE

Pritzker was seen on the Senate floor after the vote hugging and congratulating supporters of the bill. He has vowed to sign it into law.

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, bill, voted no, calling the bill the most radical pro-abortion rights bill in the nation, according to the Bellville News-Democrat.

ILLINOIS BILL WILL MAKE STATE THE ‘ABORTION CAPITAL OF AMERICA,’ PRO-LIFE GROUP WARNS

“It gets rid of a lot of the meaningful limits … my reading of it, it allows for gender selection of abortions, I think it will make Illinois of the states that has one of the most radical abortion laws,” Schimpf said, according to the paper.

The bill’s sponsor State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said abortions after a baby is viable would only take place if a doctor judges the abortion is necessary to protect the health of the mother, the paper reported.

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“We’re trying to protect a woman’s fundamental rights,” she was quoted as saying. “I believe there is a war against women’s rights going on right now, this needs to be passed now to be sure we in Illinois continue to protect those rights.”

Westlake Legal Group Illinois-bill-AP Illinois abortion bill establishing woman’s ‘fundamental right’ to procedure wins Senate approval Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc article 5c84bd83-7a5d-5bb2-8522-623ec82e8854   Westlake Legal Group Illinois-bill-AP Illinois abortion bill establishing woman’s ‘fundamental right’ to procedure wins Senate approval Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc article 5c84bd83-7a5d-5bb2-8522-623ec82e8854

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Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan Faces a Crossroads After Coalition Talks in Israel Crumble

Westlake Legal Group merlin_155667144_0693792a-ce6f-45df-8805-87c4d71a9b9d-facebookJumbo Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan Faces a Crossroads After Coalition Talks in Israel Crumble United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Israel elections

WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to throw his full weight behind Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign to save his job as prime minister of Israel. But to do that, analysts and former diplomats said, the president will have to sacrifice any last hopes of proposing a peace plan that is acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met Mr. Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss the status of the plan on Thursday, hours after the prime minister failed to form a governing coalition. Mr. Kushner emerged with a longer timetable and a narrower diplomatic mission, these people said.

Rather than make concessions to the Palestinians, Mr. Kushner will be under pressure to tilt the plan ever further in Israel’s favor. Far from being a bold effort to break decades of enmity between the two sides, it could end up becoming a vehicle to resurrect Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes and to protect Mr. Trump’s.

The plan, which Mr. Kushner has drafted under a veil of secrecy for more than two years, was already looking like a doomed effort. Though its details remain unknown, Mr. Kushner has suggested it will not call for the creation of a Palestinian state, jettisoning decades of American policy toward the conflict. The Palestinians have vowed to reject it out of hand, branding it a blueprint for Israeli domination.

Certainly, a wounded Mr. Netanyahu lost no time in exploiting his friendship with Mr. Trump. He brandished a copy of a map of Israel that Mr. Trump had signed and sent to him with Mr. Kushner. In the margins, the president had drawn an arrow pointing to the long-disputed Golan Heights, which he had recognized as Israeli territory, and had scrawled “Nice.”

The White House is expected to hold off on the political component of its plan — which deals with thorny issues like borders, security and the status of Jerusalem — until after the Israeli elections, scheduled for Sept. 17. A senior administration official said only that the plan would be presented when the “timing is right.”

But that timing has grown increasingly problematic. Any new Israeli coalition probably would not be formed until at least October, which would delay the announcement of a Trump plan until November, uncomfortably close to the first primaries of the 2020 election in the United States.

Mr. Trump, eager not to alienate evangelical voters or influential pro-Israel donors like the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is unlikely to present a plan that would put Israel or Mr. Netanyahu in an awkward position. For both leaders, therefore, the political calculus will argue for a plan that makes as few demands of Israel as possible.

“To get Netanyahu re-elected, Trump is clearly now willing to take instructions from him,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel. “I believe Netanyahu will return the favor by arguing forcefully to American Jews and evangelical voters that they should vote for Trump because he’s the best friend Israel has ever had.”

Mr. Trump has already gone further in his support of Mr. Netanyahu than any president has for any Israeli leader. Before recognizing Israeli authority over the Golan Heights, he moved the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And in a remarkable intrusion into Israeli electoral politics, Mr. Trump on Monday tweeted his support of Mr. Netanyahu’s efforts to form a coalition.

“Hoping things will work out with Israel’s coalition formation and Bibi and I can continue to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever,” Mr. Trump said, using the prime minister’s nickname. “A lot more to do!”

Two days later, the White House announced an unprecedented three-way meeting in Jerusalem of its national security adviser, John R. Bolton, with his Israeli and Russian counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolay Patrushev. The meeting, to discuss security issues in the Middle East, is a feather in the cap for Mr. Netanyahu, underlining his ability to convene the world’s major powers.

Mr. Indyk said a staunchly pro-Israel peace plan — one that snuffed out the goal of a two-state solution, for example — would constitute Mr. Trump’s third major gesture to Mr. Netanyahu, after the embassy and the Golan Heights.

This week, after Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition negotiations collapsed, Mr. Trump made no effort to disguise his disappointment.

“It looked like a total win for Netanyahu, who’s a great guy,” the president said. “That is too bad. Because they don’t need this. I mean they’ve got enough turmoil over there. It’s a tough place.”

Mr. Kushner’s visit to Jerusalem coincided with the Israeli Parliament’s vote to dissolve itself and call for new elections — arguably one of the darkest days in Mr. Netanyahu’s career. But rather than wave him off, the prime minister welcomed Mr. Kushner, posing for pictures and showing off the letter from Mr. Trump.

The next gift for Mr. Netanyahu could come on June 25, when Mr. Kushner convenes an economic conference in Bahrain. The Palestinians have announced they will boycott the meeting; the Israelis are going. That will allow Mr. Netanyahu to showcase another of his long-term strategic goals — closer ties between Israel and Sunni Muslim leaders in the Persian Gulf, with whom he shares a deep hostility toward Iran.

By holding the meeting, which he calls a “workshop,” Mr. Kushner split the economic component of his plan from the more fraught political solution. The idea was to give the Palestinians and other Arab leaders an incentive — in the form of billions of dollars of investment — to support a peace accord.

Mr. Kushner made some headway on this front. He won a pledge by Qatar, a major financial supporter of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, to attend the workshop, even though it was pushed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are engaged in a bitter feud with the Qataris.

During his tour of the region, Mr. Kushner worked to build Arab support for his plan. His meetings with King Mohammed VI of Morocco and King Abdullah II of Jordan were “very positive and productive,” according to an administration official, though King Abdullah pointedly declared that any plan must provide for a Palestinian state.

The refusal of the Palestinians to attend the Bahrain meeting was a reminder of Mr. Kushner’s uphill struggle to engage with them, ever since they broke off communications with the White House after Mr. Trump moved the embassy.

In the wake of Mr. Netanyahu’s setback, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, cracked that the “deal of the century,” as people have taken to calling the Trump plan, had become the “deal of the next century.”

Given that the plan was almost certain to be summarily rejected by the Palestinians if Mr. Kushner had presented it in the coming weeks, some former diplomats said the Israeli elections amounted to a reprieve for him and his partner, Jason D. Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy.

“What happened in Israel over the last 48 hours gives them a more public rationale for why they’re delaying, so it’s actually good news for them tactically,” said David Makovsky, who negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians during the Obama administration. “The Israeli election has given them an out.”

The trouble is, the political atmosphere for a peace initiative is not likely to get any less forbidding in the fall. Mr. Kushner, who helped manage his father-in-law’s campaign in 2016, will be as aware as anyone of the domestic political cost of a plan that puts pressure on Israel.

“You’ll see the political folks in the administration weighing in on how it affects the election dynamics,” said Ghaith al-Omari, a former Palestinian negotiator who is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “We’ll get into a totally different set of considerations by November and December.”

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Study finds Russian trolls amplified anti-vaccine debate with misinformation

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Inside law enforcement’s efforts to end human trafficking

Westlake Legal Group pkg3-cover Inside law enforcement's efforts to end human trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc ca49a5ce-da53-5947-a317-87da73b8d634 article Andrew Keiper

The horrors of human trafficking are often hidden in plain sight.

Most of the public sees this horrific crime as one that happens elsewhere—far away from their backyards, but the shocking reality is that human trafficking is pervasive across the United States and the next victim could be right next door.

As part of an ongoing investigation into human trafficking, Fox News interviewed law enforcement officials at the state and federal levels to better understand their efforts to stop the shocking forced sex trade.

UNDERTOW OF EXPLOITATION: HOW TEENS GET TRAPPED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING

“They’re hiding in plain sight,” Corporal Alan Wilkett, a veteran of the Pasco County Sheriff in Florida, said. “The trafficker is comfortable in that there’s such high transit [on the highways] that it becomes difficult to spot the activity.”

“Those corridors are so hot with human trafficking activity that, at times, we put together a task force just to attack those corridors.”

— Corporal Alan Wilkett

Wilkett, who spearheads a human trafficking task force for Pasco County, says that highways are often used to transport victims from city to city, where their captors force them to work.

“If a trafficker is getting his victim from one place to another, for instance, a high end or high populace activity that’s happening in Tampa,” Wilkett said. “So he’s going to use the I-4 corridor. In fact, those corridors are so hot with human trafficking activity that, at times, we put together a task force just to attack those corridors.”

LAWSUITS UNVEIL ALLEGED CULTURE OF TEEN SEX ABUSE IN LOUISVILLE POLICE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Law enforcement task forces, often coordinated between different agencies, are a common tactic to combat a variety of crimes – including human trafficking. Often, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will partner with a local police department to conduct sting operations on traffickers. Such is the case in Toledo, Ohio, where Det. Peter Swartz leads the department’s efforts in the fight.

Swartz, who focuses full time on human trafficking, pulls double duty as a detective for the Toledo Police Department and a field agent for the FBI. He said he sees victims that have been trafficked through Toledo from across the country.

“They were on their way to Florida, Atlanta, Georgia. You know, Orlando, Tampa,” he said. “We know some victims end up there and some of our traffickers end up there.”

Swartz said he gets fulfillment from the work, even though he’s often dealing with minors who have been trafficked against their will. More importantly, he said the people coercing the teens into forced sex work are facing consequences.

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“I think we’ve made a significant difference as far as sex trafficking,” Swartz said. “A lot of the cases that we work with, the predators, the pimps, the traffickers are getting substantial sentences for turning out our kids.”

Westlake Legal Group pkg3-cover Inside law enforcement's efforts to end human trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc ca49a5ce-da53-5947-a317-87da73b8d634 article Andrew Keiper   Westlake Legal Group pkg3-cover Inside law enforcement's efforts to end human trafficking Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc ca49a5ce-da53-5947-a317-87da73b8d634 article Andrew Keiper

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Motion of no confidence passed in Phillip Lee

Phillip Lee, the Conservative MP for Bracknell, has lost a vote of no confidence in him by his local Conservative association. The vote was called after 53 members signed a petition. Lee resigned as Justice Minister a year ago in protest against Brexit. His support for a second referendum is clearly the cause of the disquiet in his Association.

The vote leaves Lee’s position unclear. He has not been deselected. Nor has the Conservative whip been withdrawn from him. Yet nor would it be plausible to continue as if nothing had happened. In March a motion of no confidence was passed against Dominic Grieve by the Beaconsfield Conservatives. Grieve’s executive decided against dropping him as their candidate but this has been followed up with a move for deselection by the membership.  So his fate is unresolved. Again with the case of Nick Boles in Grantham and Stamford a deselection did not actually take place. The process was started but then Boles resigned his membership and later crossed the floor.

Gerry Barber, the Bracknell Conservative Association chairman said:

“The result of the vote was that a majority of members present were in agreement with the motion, which was therefore passed, and the result has been communicated to Dr Lee and to the full membership. I will be discussing the meeting with Phillip later this week.”

In a statement, Lee says:

“In the future, I may or may not decide that I can continue serving as a Conservative Member of Parliament and the Bracknell Conservative Association may or may not decide that they wish to readopt me as the Conservative Party’s candidate. But one thing is for sure: we will not be forced into taking a decision one way or the other by this orchestrated, destructive campaign from outside the Party that has done nothing but spread hatred, intimidation and distrust over a single issue. That is not the Conservative way; it is not the Bracknell way. Meanwhile, the people of the Bracknell constituency can rely on my absolute commitment to serving our area’s best interests in Parliament, without fear or favour, and then take into account my full record at the next General Election.”

This is unlikely to be last such saga.

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Who Was DeWayne Craddock, the Gunman in the Virginia Beach Shooting?

Westlake Legal Group 01gunman-facebookJumbo Who Was DeWayne Craddock, the Gunman in the Virginia Beach Shooting? VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. Virginia Beach, Va, Shooting (2019) Murders, Attempted Murders and Homicides Craddock, DeWayne

Virginia Beach officials on Saturday identified DeWayne Craddock, a longtime Virginia Beach city worker who had recently been terminated, as the gunman who stormed the beach community’s municipal complex on Friday afternoon and opened fire, killing at least 12 and injuring several others.

[Officials have identified the victims.]

Mr. Craddock, 40, died in a shootout with the police. Here is what we know about him:

• Mr. Craddock worked as an engineer in the Department of Public Utilities, the city’s water and sanitary sewer services branch, for about 15 years. A recent city news release listed him as a contact person on a roads project.

• There was no immediate indication that Mr. Craddock targeted anyone in particular, officials said.

• He had a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University. Before his job with the city, he worked for private firms specializing in site planning and infrastructure, and for the Army Training and Support Center, employment listings showed. He also served in the Army National Guard, according to news reports.

• Mr. Craddock had no obvious criminal history, according to court records, although he did have several traffic violations over the years.

• Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said Mr. Craddock was armed with at least one weapon, a .45-caliber handgun that had a sound suppressor attached to it. He used extended magazines, which hold more ammunition than standard models. Officials said that additional weapons had been found at the scene and at Mr. Craddock’s home.

• Chief Cervera, speaking at a news conference on Saturday morning, said he did not intend to say the name of the suspect, who was killed on Friday, again in public.

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