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Westlake Legal Group > Uncategorized (Page 41)

Opinion: Stop Trump’s slow motion Saturday Night Massacre

Walter Shaub writes that the Senate should demand that Attorney General nominee William Barr promise to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation to preserve the principle that a president cannot select his own investigators

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Westlake Legal Group S3i6DbbtS0s Opinion: Stop Trump's slow motion Saturday Night Massacre

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A Democrat who votes with Trump 69% of the time should be primaried

In the 2018 midterm election, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley upset long-time incumbent Democrats who had grown out-of-touch with their deep blue districts, progressives revealed enormous energy for change in the Democratic Party primary electorate.

Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=yIl2AUoC8zA A Democrat who votes with Trump 69% of the time should be primaried   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=7Q72WNTAKBA A Democrat who votes with Trump 69% of the time should be primaried   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=3uYZU0P-IQ8:eTI99CpIRtA:V_sGLiPBpWU A Democrat who votes with Trump 69% of the time should be primaried   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=qj6IDK7rITs A Democrat who votes with Trump 69% of the time should be primaried   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=3uYZU0P-IQ8:eTI99CpIRtA:gIN9vFwOqvQ A Democrat who votes with Trump 69% of the time should be primaried

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I support William Barr for Attorney General, says … Joe Biden

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Joe Biden 1991, I should say. Mitch McConnell’s office is sending around the clip below on the eve of Barr’s confirmation hearing tomorrow, hoping to make mischief as the Democratic primary campaign starts rolling. It’s a fair cop, too. Biden was a big Barr fan during the nominee’s first go-round at the DOJ, telling Barr at one point during his hearing “I personally like you” and calling him a “heck of an honorable guy.” Let me stress that Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time. I think a Democrat-controlled version of the committee *might* still be capable of confirming an AG nominated by Trump, if only to ensure that the role is being filled by someone vetted by the Senate instead of by Matt Whitaker. But there sure wouldn’t be any pleasant but unnecessary “I think you’re honorable” chitchat by Democrats.

And the confirmation wouldn’t have such overwhelming support that it would be conducted by voice vote, as was the case for Barr. If Barr were confirmed by a Democratic-controlled committee it would be a by single vote, with the Democrat from the reddest state tasked to cross the aisle so that the rest of his colleagues on the left could all pander to the base by voting no.

This wasn’t the extent of Biden’s interactions with Barr during the 1991 hearing either. I flagged this once before but it’s worth revisiting:

Atty. Gen.-designate William P. Barr, revealing his view on abortion for the first time, said Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion was wrongly decided and should be overturned

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, seemed startled by Barr’s answer to the question on “a woman’s right to choose” that was asked by Sen. Howard M. Metzenbaum (D-Ohio).

Biden, who noted he did not agree with Barr, said the nominee’s response was “the first candid answer” he had heard on the supersensitive question–one that judicial nominees traditionally refuse to answer. “It’s astounding to me,” Biden said. “You should be complimented.”

“You should be complimented” is not the answer progressives in 2019 would be looking for in response to a statement of opposition to Roe v. Wade, even on the limited ground of candor. Which, of course, is why McConnell is promoting Biden’s role in Barr’s confirmation nearly 30 years ago. The fact that the former VP supported him in 1991 won’t move a single Democratic vote in the Senate but it will potentially complicate Biden’s presidential chances. If anything, this is more incentive for the Warrens and Harrises and Bookers and Gillibrands to vote no on Barr, to distinguish themselves from Uncle Joe’s heresy, and McConnell knows it. That is, he’s not trying to influence the confirmation process, he’s trying to influence the Democratic primary by using this to turn up the heat on Biden, arguably Trump’s most dangerous potential challenger, with leftists.

But wait. Biden has a defense here. Look back to his comments in the Congressional Record at the time. From his floor speech announcing his support for Barr:

Mr. Barr agreed the Constitution assigns warmaking powers jointly to the Congress and the President. He acknowledged the President cannot initiate an offensive action and, even where the President has latitude to respond where lives are at stake or the vital interests of Americans are threatened, his authority is `provisional,’ because it is always subject to Congress’ exercise of power. That is in the hearing record.

This testimony indicates to me that Mr. Barr recognizes the Congress and the President must be united in the decision to commit substantial forces to armed hostilities abroad, and it reveals he understands the separate but shared nature of the warmaking power…

He also said he expects and accepts the Supreme Court’s decision on Morrison versus Olson and he would support a reauthorization of the independent counsel statute when it expires next year.

The AP and NYT each reported recently that when Bush 41 asked his cabinet in early 1991 if he had legal authority to attack Iraq after Saddam invaded Kuwait even if Congress opposed it, Barr (then deputy AG) replied, “Mr. President, there’s no doubt that you have the authority to launch an attack.” Meanwhile, while Barr might “accept” the decision in Morrison v. Olson holding that the office of independent counsel is constitutional (it remains good precedent, after all), his writings on executive power have repeatedly affirmed his belief in a strong executive with broad unilateral powers.

In other words, when Biden is inevitably asked about all this his answer will be simple: Barr lied to me. Contra his statement in the clip about Barr accommodating a coequal branch of government, he’s come to realize that Barr believes in a unitary executive at a moment in American history when the executive shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt in acting on his own. That’s not great spin for Biden — it amounts to “I was a sucker” — but he needs to find some way to put distance between his support for Barr in 1991 and his chances in a Democratic primary in 2020. Better to say he got suckered than to stand by support for Trump’s nominee.

The post I support William Barr for Attorney General, says … Joe Biden appeared first on Hot Air.

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Tensions rise after China gives accused Canadian drug smuggler death penalty

A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man to death in a sudden retrial of a drug smuggling case and Beijing said that it has denied a Canadian diplomatic immunity, ratcheting up tensions since Canada’s arrest of a top Chinese technology executive last month.

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Rare calico lobster found at Maryland market, donated to aquarium

The life of a rare calico lobster was spared last month when a seafood market owner in Maryland thought it was “special” — but it was much more special than they thought.

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Authorities can’t force people to unlock technology with biometric features, US judge rules

A judge in California ruled Thursday that U.S. authorities cannot force people to unlock technology with fingerprint or facial recognition, even with a search warrant.

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House Republicans remove Rep. Steve King’s committee assignments

Westlake Legal Group SteveKing House Republicans remove Rep. Steve King’s committee assignments The Blog Steve King racism Kevin McCarthy

House Republicans met Monday evening and removed Rep. Steve King’s committee assignments. King currently sits on the House Judiciary Committee as well as the Committee on Agriculture and the Small Business Committee. From Fox News:

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was removed from all of his committee assignments by House Republicans Monday evening following bipartisan condemnation of his recent remarks on white supremacy and white nationalism. King was serving on the committee on agriculture, the committee on small business and the committee on judiciary, according to his website.

“We will not tolerate this type of language in the Republican party … or in the Democratic party as well,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters. “I watched what Steve King said and we took action.”

In a formal statement, McCarthy said King’s comments were “beneath the dignity of the Party of Lincoln and the United States of America. His comments call into question whether he will treat all Americans equally, without regard for race and ethnicity. House Republicans are clear: We are all in this together, as fellow citizens equal before God and the law. As Congressman King’s fellow citizens, let us hope and pray earnestly that this action will lead to greater reflection and ultimately change on his part.”

In a statement, King insisted that his comments had been “completely mischaracterized” and blasted McCarthy for what King called “a political decision that ignores the truth.”

This is basically the outcome that Jazz predicted this morning, i.e. that King would lose some or all of his committee assignments. Meanwhile, Democrats are still threatening further action against King, with two different censure resolutions having been introduced already.

For his part, King released a statement last week denouncing white supremacy and white nationalism as evil ideologies while admitting he could be accurately described as a Nationalist. He also made a statement on the House floor claiming his words had been taken out of context by the NY Times. You can decide whether King’s remarks are as offensive as they appear after listening to his explanation below, but clearly, many of his fellow Republicans no longer believe him.

That all sounds good but clearly his fellow Republicans don’t find his denials credible anymore.

The post House Republicans remove Rep. Steve King’s committee assignments appeared first on Hot Air.

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Pentagon extends troops’ southern border mission by 8 months as shutdown over border wall continues

As the ongoing partial federal government shutdown over funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall continues, the Pentagon on Monday extended the military’s mission on the southern border by eight months.

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Kirsten Gillibrand running for president for some reason

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I dislike her strongly, as I hope I’ve made clear in two dozen other posts about her. She’s a cynical opportunist even by Washington standards. I can’t begin to imagine what the case is for electing her president over Biden or Bernie or Warren.

But we should be kind on the eve of her announcement, so here’s my attempt: I’m pretty sure she’ll last longer in the race than Julian Castro. Not definitely sure. And if she does outlast him it won’t be by much. But I think he’ll be on the golf course before she will. Castro won’t make it out of Iowa. Gillibrand, given her Wall Street connections, can probably slog on to New Hampshire before bowing out.

Her campaign will have a focus on gender — the key to the Rust Belt, as I like to think of it.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Saturday signaled to a group of about 20 influential women that she will run for president, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Gillibrand made her intentions clear, said the source, who asked not to be identified to speak about the event. Gillibrand said that she needed their help if they would offer it to her. The closed-door gathering was attended by feminist Gloria Steinem, the source said. A second source reached by BuzzFeed News confirmed the meeting took place but would not elaborate on what was said…

Although Gillibrand is not the only woman likely to run for president, she is the candidate whose campaign will most focus on gender. The New York senator’s signature issues have been women’s issues, such as how military sexual assault is prosecuted and #MeToo in politics; her outside group focuses on funding women candidates for office, something on display as a record number of women ran in 2018, when Gillibrand, herself, was reelected in New York.

That would be an interesting strategy if she were the only woman running in a field of men. She could try to do with women Democrats what Obama did so successfully with black Democrats in 2008 — consolidate that group’s vote, then hold your own with the rest of the primary electorate and let it carry you to victory. She’d never be able to win women as overwhelmingly as Obama won with black voters but she wouldn’t need to. Women are a majority of the electorate. Just win handily, let the boys split the male vote, and you’re golden.

But that’s not the field we have. There’s Harris and Warren, and there’s the fact that women traditionally have never voted as a bloc to the degree that black voters typically do. She’s the third-most interesting woman candidate in the race, leaving her … where? Is the idea that her focus on women’s issues might help her nudge past Warren and Harris, setting her up for a “Gillibrand vs. the male candidates” phase of the race as it progresses? That’s highly unlikely: Harris’s home state of California votes early next year and Warren’s next-door neighbors in New Hampshire hold the first primary in the country. Gillibrand won’t have much time to make a splash at their expense.

Even if she did, the sine qua non of progressive virtue in a Democratic primary in 2019 is a strong track record of left-wing economic populism. Bearing that in mind, here’s a headline that was circulating on Twitter last week to snickers from liberals:

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Building strong momentum among women voters would make Gillibrand a formidable threat to Trump in the general election if she somehow got out of the primary, but even there you can ,ale a case for skepticism. Trump’s last presidential opponent was the first major-party woman nominee in American history, one who’s topped Gallup’s list of most admired women for many years, who ran on shattering the glass ceiling and used to say when she was accused of “playing the woman card,” “Deal me in.” Gillibrand would be tougher to beat than Hillary not because of some special appeal to women but because she has 1/1000th as much baggage. The election would be a referendum on Trump instead of a referendum on the Clintons.

But even then, would you bet on Gillibrand’s magical blend of Wall Street donations and strident cultural leftism to swing Pennsylvania and Michigan back into the Democratic column?

I keep wondering if she’s running with an ulterior motive. Maybe she thinks having her name out there might make her an appealing VP contender for someone like Biden. But that can’t be: Democrats will get anxious if they have two white candidates on the ticket for the second election in a row. And they’d probably be (a little) anxious about an all-woman ticket of Harris and Gillibrand, although that’s certainly more viable than Biden/Gillibrand. Basically, unless Cory Booker wins the nomination, Gillibrand’s likely frozen out of the VP race on diversity grounds. So, again, why is she running? She can’t possibly think she’ll win.

The post Kirsten Gillibrand running for president for some reason appeared first on Hot Air.

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