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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "2020"

Local dietitians weigh in on Dry January

Westlake Legal Group dry-january-feature Local dietitians weigh in on Dry January wellness Nutrition Features nutrition new year medical advice health and wellness Health dryanuary dry January Drinks alcohol 2020
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There are plenty of health resolutions out there to choose from. But Dry January is just a bit different. 

Rather than restricting your caloric intake or clearing your pantry of processed foods, all it requires is putting down that wine glass, or not ordering a cocktail with dinner.

The plan of 31 days with no alcohol originated from Alcohol Change UK in 2013, with 4,000 signing up to take the challenge. In 2018, there were over four million participants worldwide.

Since you’re likely to have a handful of friends who are skipping the sips, and starting to see more zero-proof cocktails on menus thanks to the sober curious movement, we spoke with two local registered dietitians/nutritionists to get their thoughts on sidestepping happy hours this month.

Alexandria-based Kelly Abramson, M.S., R.D., CHWC, of NpowerYou, and Rebecca Mohning, M.S., R.D., of Expert Nutrition Center shared their thoughts, advice and goals for a healthier 2020. Highlights from our conversations are below.

First things first, it’s the New Year and everyone’s talking about their resolutions. How do you feel about kicking off 2020 with plans like Dry January?
KA: I am generally against most things that are restrictive, such as eating a “forbidden” ingredient or food, or those that put punishment and morality around food or our daily eating habits. So with Dry January, you might think I would be totally against it, but I think of it differently. We need food to live; we don’t need alcohol to live. I think for many people, it can be a helpful reset, particularly after a month of social obligations, and oftentimes drinking more than we normally would. 

RM: The nice thing about January is people want to hit the reset button and get on a healthier track for the new year, and whether that involves cutting out alcohol, or something like sugar, I’m  all for that, as long as those changes are sustainable. But in the case of Dry January, much like other diets or plans that people tend to be leaning toward, such as plant-based diets, most of these are not going to have any negative consequences, but you are going to notice a difference in how you feel. 

What do you find to be the benefits of Dry January from a health-and-wellness standpoint?
KA: First, not everybody needs to do it because people have varying degrees of consumption. Those who might only be drinking a glass of wine every so often are not going to notice a huge difference. It’s also not going to be the magic cure-all by any means, but I think it can help people analyze their overall health and their relationship with alcohol. Specific benefits include better sleep, which also bleeds into our feelings of hunger and fullness, since we know that the less sleep we get, the hungrier we feel. Also. increased energy, better mental focus and there is some research to support that [the reduction or stoppage of alcohol consumption] can help with cardiac health with blood pressure and alcohol. 

RM: Certainly people will probably see more benefits in their sleep, since alcohol affects the quality of our sleep, and can leave us feeling groggy and dehydrated in the morning. For those kicking off their new year with a fitness resolution, they’ll find themselves feeling more energized for their workouts. Some people might also experience benefits in weight loss, especially people who are drinking one or two drinks a day, which can quickly add up to 200 to 300 calories. Plus, the one-month time frame gives people an opportunity to see how they feel and if they notice any benefits. A month is enough time to note if you’re feeling better or if you have better energy, and that would certainly be long enough to make note if their bodies don’t have as much inflammation, if they don’t feel as much stiffness in their joints and if they should keep doing what they’re doing. 

Are there any potential downsides that people should be aware of with Dry January?
KA: [Restriction] can have a backlash. Something I see recovering dieters do, when foods or ingredients are forbidden, people tend to follow that by eating greater quantities after their diets end. I definitely see that with food, which is why I don’t promote the restrictiveness. But for a lot of people, just having one month can promote healthy behaviors that stick throughout the year. Especially if they’re consistent with their lifestyle and bigger values, and the ways they approach life. 

RM: If they recognize their dependence is there for alcohol, and they become more aware of that [through avoidance during Dry January], then certainly reaching out to a professional can be a benefit, especially if they didn’t realize they had such a dependence. That can also unravel some other things that need to be worked on as well. But as long as the person is not cutting out things that they need, they should mostly avoid any negative consequences. [The act of cutting out necessary things] leads to one of the biggest downsides in most restrictive diets, which can lead to disordered eating habits. 

More than anything, what do you want readers to know about Dry January and maintaining health and wellness for the rest of 2020?
KA:  We have a lot more wisdom within ourselves than we often give ourselves credit for. Often when Jan. 1 rolls around, everyone looks for the best new fix, but often times the answer is within us. I think with a lot of these rigid plans that are designed by an “expert,” they don’t take individual needs into account, and it just doesn’t work for someone or meet them where they are. There’s no magic diet that works for all of us, so for all individuals, we need to dig inside rather than looking outside. 

RM: I think the biggest thing is just to take it one day at a time. Think about three things every day that you’re doing for your wellness. That’s a nice way to remember you’re making good changes, even if they’re small. Sometimes we have too many things that are too extreme to maintain, so even if it’s simple things like “I went for a walk today,” or “I ate a salad for lunch,” or even “I didn’t have that glass of wine,” can help us stay positive.

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Give your kids more autonomy in 2020, says DMV-based author and journalist Katherine Reynolds Lewis

It’s officially 2020, a new year and a new decade. And while many people set resolutions surrounding self-care and personal goals, most parents tend to think about their family as a whole, and how they can grow together throughout the year.

Setting goals as a family is important, yet it can often be challenging to pick realistic objectives for everyone to follow. To better prepare you for the year ahead, we chatted with Maryland-based journalist and author of The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever—And What to Do About It, Katherine Reynolds Lewis. 

Here, Lewis shares a few ways parents can practice goal setting with their kids, encourage autonomy and better understand one another in the new year.

In your book you talk about the lack of autonomy kids have right now, compared to 20 to 30 years ago. How does this general trend affect a family dynamic, as well as a child’s development?
Because children have less independence and autonomy, parents do a lot more work. Frankly, it’s harder and more exhausting for parent nowadays as compared with 20 or 30 years ago. We do more for our children, we monitor them and manage them more, and all that takes a lot of time and energy. As a result, children tend to be more entitled, more anxious and more resentful of parents. They can become entitled because the household revolves around them and their activities, without much demand that they be flexible for other family members’ needs. They may become fearful and anxious because they never learn how to cope on their own or how to do simple tasks like walk to school, navigate public transportation or buy items at the store independently. Many children are raised with a message that the world is dangerous, without being taught how to manage the real risks in the world.

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What are some achievable resolutions families can make together for the new year?
It really depends on your goals. I think it’s achievable to have a weekly family-fun outing to do something together, or to introduce weekly family meetings and special time. Another resolution could be to take responsibility for losing our temper or making mistakes—but be sure that adults, as well as children, are willing to apologize and make amends. You might decide to do something active together once a week or to try a new activity together. Whatever encourages closeness and risk taking, in a safe setting, will help lessen everyone’s anxiety and will build bonds. 

With young kids, ask them what goals they have, and help them break them down into smaller, measurable steps. Help them focus on the things within their control. They shouldn’t make a goal like, “To get better at soccer,” because that’s not measurable. Instead, they could commit to practicing 10 minutes a day for three days a week, and track their progress. I don’t love the word resolution because it implies you’re going to stop doing something or begin doing something, without exception or slip-up. It’s human nature to make mistakes and to slip back when reaching toward a goal. When you’re working toward a goal, you may go sideways or backwards and still be on the path. So when discussing goals or resolutions with kids, make sure to stress that nobody is perfect and mistakes are our chance to learn what works and what doesn’t work for them.

Say a family has a goal to change the behavioral dynamic in 2020. What are a few ways that they can do that?
The most important foundation for every family is strong relationships: between the parents, with each child and among the children. Building relationships and family connection is always a good first step to improving the behavioral dynamic and increasing cooperation from children. 

I would recommend starting with a discussion with the children. Invite the kids to share what they think works well in the family and what they think could be improved. You may find they are remarkably insightful. They may ask for more privileges and freedom, which I always recommend coupling with responsibilities. Children should gain freedom when they demonstrate responsibility. My kids begged for a dog, and we mutually came up with an agreement that if they could keep the entryway free of shoes, backpacks and other clutter for 90 days, they would be ready for a puppy. After all, puppies chew up loose belongings. They did, and agreed to do their share of dog walks and feeding, and we are now proud dog owners. 

Two wonderful strategies to build closeness and cooperation in family are to introduce special time and family meetings, both of which I learned at the Parent Encouragement Program. Special time is designated on the calendar, one child and one adult, engaging in an interactive activity that the child chooses. (No screens allowed!) We put it on the calendar and honor it just like any other commitment we have—we don’t allow interruptions from phone calls, household tasks or other family members. For a young child, it could be just 10 or 15 minutes at a time, whereas for a teenager, you might have 45 or 60 minutes of special time. Aim for daily special time but settle for weekly if your schedule is too busy. 

Family meetings are where we share appreciations for something specific each family member has done in the previous week. It’s a wonderful way to build a culture of gratitude in the family and to fight back on that entitlement problem. The next step is discussing old business and new business. This is where we negotiate agreements over rules and limits: screen time, bed time, mornings, homework, etc. Or we renegotiate agreements that aren’t working—always with consequences attached if people break the agreement. We try a new agreement for a week and then assess how it’s working, and tweak if needed.

Talk about key ways in which parents can instill self-discipline, which you discuss in your book, throughout the new year?
The most important thing we can do with our kids is to help them anticipate challenges and assess what choices they’ll make, and then after the situation occurs, to help them process and understand what happened, and how it went, which helps them prepare for the next similar challenge. This is the core of parenting, and it happens over and over. By understanding their own impact—on academics, teacher relationships, friendships, hobbies, staying organized, managing their emotions—they can make better choices in the future. Our children’s job is to understand themselves, to steadily gain more control over their behavior, thoughts and emotions, to discover their interests and skills, and how they will contribute them to the world. Our job is to support them in that process through reflective listening, modeling self-control, nurturing relationships and simple limits and family rules that are negotiated as a family. As our children gain more self-discipline, they gain more freedom and the limits and rules become broader. 

As a mother, what are your resolutions or goals for your family in the new year?
Because of this interview, my family decided we’re going to refrain from yelling or cursing, and if someone messes up, they’ll put $1 in a jar that we give to charity at the end of each quarter. Whoever curses or yells the least will be able to choose which charity gets the money. We also decided that we’re going to assume good intentions when interacting with each other, instead of jumping to negative conclusions about what another family member meant. And we have a goal to eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day. We wanted to pick an achievable goal, and if we go over four servings we can celebrate our overachievement.  

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

5 Roaring ’20s-themed New Year’s Eve parties to attend in NoVA

Westlake Legal Group flappers-dancing 5 Roaring ’20s-themed New Year’s Eve parties to attend in NoVA Things to Do Features Things to Do new years eve new years new year's eve parties new year's eve events New Year's day january Events December Calendar december 2020
© paw / stock.adobe.com

The Roaring ’20s are back! Say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in 2020 with themed New Year’s Eve parties that would make Jay Gatsby envious.

Roaring ’20s NYE Wine Dinner
Before you head out to party with your friends, enjoy a wine dinner at Lansdowne Resort and Spa, plus music by the Gatsby Gang Jazz Band. The dinner menu includes five courses paired with wine from local vineyards. // Lansdowne Resort and Spa: 44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg; 6-9 p.m.; $177

Roaring ’20s New Year’s Eve Party
Celebrate 2020 with decadence at City Tap Loudoun. Tickets include drinks at the bar, live music by a DJ, a buffet feast, a raw bar and a midnight Champagne toast. Plus, be sure to don your best Gilded Age black-tie outfit. // City Tap Loudoun: 20376 Exchange St., Ashburn; $150

Roaring 2020s New Year’s Eve at Village Brauhaus
Dress to impress with your best 1920s attire and enjoy live music and an open bar at Village Brauhaus’ New Year’s Eve event. There will also be Haus appetizers served throughout the evening. // Village Brauhaus: 710 King St., Alexandria; 9 p.m.; $30-$100

Roaring ’20s New Year’s Eve at Blackfinn Merrifield
Dress spiffy and try out your best Gatsby impression at Blackfinn Ameripub. There’ll be 1920s-inspired cocktails and party favors, a midnight Champagne toast, music, a photo station and more. // Blackfinn Ameripub – Merrifield: 2750 Gallows Road, Vienna; 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $15-$200

Gatsby’s DC Fireworks New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2020
9 p.m.-1 a.m.
All aboard the Mount Vernon Spirit Yacht! Enjoy a Gatsby-themed New Year’s Eve party from the water. The yacht features four decks and the party will host two DJs, as well as an open bar and complimentary dinner buffet. When the clock strikes midnight, you’ll enjoy front-row seats to the fireworks show from First Night Alexandria. // Mount Vernon Yacht – Commerical Pier: 137 National Plaza, National Harbor, Maryland; 9 p.m.-1 a.m.; $199-$949

Don’t miss out on fun events in 2020. Subscribe to our Things to Do newsletter to stay in the know.

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Alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebrations happening in NoVA

Westlake Legal Group Aleksandr-new-years-eve-firecrackers Alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebrations happening in NoVA Things to Do Features Things to Do sober events new years eve new year's eve events New Year's Eve 2019 kid-friendly january calendar january first night alexandria family friendly events falls church Events December Calendar december alexandria alcohol-free events 2020
© Aleksandr / stock.adobe.com

New Year’s Eve in Northern Virginia can range from a day full of partying until 1 a.m. to Noon Year’s Eve celebrations with your littlest family members.

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s most likely something that will interest you and help you pass the last few hours of 2019 away. But if you’re looking for sober events to ring in 2020, those can be harder to find. Don’t fret: Here, find three New Year’s Eve events that are alcohol-free, family-friendly and filled with fun.

First Night Alexandria
In its 25th year, First Night Alexandria is a citywide celebration in Alexandria that helps Northern Virginia residents ring in the New Year in a variety of ways. Through a night of activities, the event does not serve alcohol (although local bars do) and has a schedule filled with live performances, kid-friendly fun and more. 2019 musical performances include Anderson Cupid + Steel Fusion, Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun, Broad Street Brass, Cletus Kennelly, Curtis Blues, Janine Wilson Band, Ruthie and the Wranglers and the Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute Band (and more!). Catch the comedy pop-up show, walk around the city to the multiple kids’ zones and catch the late-night fireworks show in honor of 2020. // Multiple locations; Tuesday, Dec. 31, 6-9 p.m.; Rockin’ on the River party, $30 before Dec. 31 and $35 on Dec. 31; Kids Karnvial tickets $5 for children ages 2 to 12, and free for parents and infants

Watch Night New Year’s Eve
Free, fun and family-friendly (with no alcohol!) is Watch Night New Year’s Eve, celebrating its 22nd year of ringing in the new year in downtown Falls Church. The event was named after the African tradition of “watching” the New Year, and celebrates the history of the city in meaningful ways while making the festivities accessible to everyone. The event includes the “drop” of the historic star (which has been lowered from a crane at midnight since 2007), the city’s first holiday decoration from 1948. It also features kid-friendly activities with magicians, storytellers, face painting and bounce houses, and older activities with karaoke and Dance Dance Revolution. Live bands and DJs will also perform throughout the night. Guests can enjoy fire pits, free popcorn, hot chocolate and soup, or enjoy a meal at a local restaurant and join in on the activities when they’re ready. There’s so much to enjoy, adding alcohol into the mix isn’t even thought of. // 100 Block of West Broad Street; Tuesday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to midnight; free

Multiple Kid-Friendly Events Across the Region
Aside from the two large events in the region that are exclusively alcohol-free, there are a variety of Noon Year’s Eve events and family-friendly events across the region that are serving up all-day fun without the booze. If you have kids, reference our cohesive list of 25 family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations and find the best one in the region that suits you and your and your family, from Arlington to Prince William County.

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Hosting a New Year’s Eve party? Consider decorating with these 10 items

Whether you’re celebrating with a few close friends or hosting an affair to remember, these pieces will make your home the ideal destination for reigning in the new decade. Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

4 New Year’s Eve hotel packages and celebrations in the DMV

Westlake Legal Group new-years-eve-feature 4 New Year’s Eve hotel packages and celebrations in the DMV washington dc Virginia vacations travel Things to Do The Ritz Carlton staycations new years eve new year's eve events hotels hotel packages DMV 2020
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2020 is right around the corner. 

In honor of the glitzy, art-deco era of the 1920s, local hot spots are hosting galas full of flapper girls and jazz music on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and hotels are welcoming guests to New Year’s Eve-themed stays. 

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway for two, or a chance to spend some time in the spa, here are four hotels for a celebratory staycation, or a chance to sneak out of NoVA for a fresh start. 

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The Ritz-Carlton at Pentagon City
The minutes of the 20-teens are ticking away, so why not celebrate those moments with a local resort and spa experience? The Ritz-Carlton is offering a stay of $579 a night, with overnight accommodations and much more to enjoy. Guests will receive a $65 breakfast credit that can be used in the on-site restaurant or for room service, as well as a New Year’s Eve Dinner in Fyve restaurant for two with wine pairings. Guests will also receive complimentary overnight valet parking, access to the fitness center and sauna facilities, and can schedule luxury spa services during their stay. It’s set to be a relaxing start to the new year indeed. // The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City: 1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington; $579 per night 

Cooper’s Landing Inn & Traveler’s Tavern
A stay at Cooper’s Landing Inn to celebrate the new year is the perfect place for newlyweds looking for a romantic escape or quiet evening. Stay in a deluxe room or a double Jacuzzi suite, which offers a fireplace, terry-cloth robes and silk rose petals on the bed. Upon your arrival, guests will also receive a cheese-and-cracker platter and a chilled bottle of Champagne, to celebrate your upcoming year together. Also included are two candlelight breakfasts, complimentary snacks, bottled water and soda in the butler’s pantry and a four-course New Year’s Eve dinner for two at Traveler’s Tavern. The evening will include a Champagne toast (per tradition) and the chance to spend the start your new decade with pure romance. // Cooper’s Landing Inn: 801 Virginia Ave., Clarksville; $475 per couple

The Watergate Hotel
If you’re ready to make it a New Year’s Eve to remember in the nation’s capital, you’ll want to book your stay at The Watergate Hotel. Your stay will include two tickets to the Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Party (valued at $195 per ticket), which will celebrate with an open bar, fresh buffet, live DJ and more. If you book your stay for more than two nights, you’ll receive a special discounted rate. Plus, you can explore Washington, DC’s local food and drink scene and national monuments before toasting to the new decade in style. // The Watergate Hotel: 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, DC; starting at $313 per night

Turf Valley Resort
A New Year’s Eve celebration is in order and the Turf Valley Resort is ready to party. The resort’s end-of-year event includes an open bar, live music by The Klassix, hors d’oeuvres and food stations, a dessert buffet, midnight Champagne toast, a midnight snacks station and a bourbon and whiskey speakeasy lounge. Once you’re ready to rest into the new year, have a peaceful stay by taking a trip to the on-site spa (extra fees apply) and enjoying the New Year’s Day breakfast buffet at Alexandra’s Restaurant. Attendance to the party is available without a night’s stay, but the holiday package includes two tickets to the celebration. // Turf Valley Resort: 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City, Maryland; $430 per couple (with one-night stay), $132.50 per person (party only)

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Anti-Trumper Chris Wallace Presses Mike Pence: ‘Why Didn’t the President Tell Nancy Pelosi’ About Raid?’

Westlake Legal Group MikePenceAPimage-620x317 Anti-Trumper Chris Wallace Presses Mike Pence: ‘Why Didn’t the President Tell Nancy Pelosi’ About Raid?’ Vice-President Mike Pence progressives President Trump Nancy Pelosi Liberal Elitism International Affairs Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Congress Chris Wallace Allow Media Exception al-baghdadi Raid adam schiff 2020

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

Fox News’ host Chris Wallace, who no longer bothers to hide his hatred for President Trump, interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday about the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bekr al-Baghdadi.

“The president was asked specifically whether he had informed the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about this raid last night, and he said no, and then he added ‘I wanted to make sure that no American forces were lost.’ The implication seeming to be that he was worried that Pelosi or members of Congress would leak this. Does the president not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information?” asked Wallace.

Pence refused to go there. He told Wallace, “I don’t think that was the implication at all. I think from the time that we got actionable intelligence, the President’s total focus here was on a successful mission and the safety of American troops.”

Wallace asked the question again, “Why didn’t he tell Nancy Pelosi?”

Pence answered, “We maintain the tightest possible security here and when we got the confirmation on Saturday that al-Baghdadi was on site and our troops began to move into the region, as the President said, our aircraft were moving over some very potentially hostile areas. We wanted them to be able to get in and get out, it’s a dangerous mission on the ground. They went with the resolve and the determination (inaudible) to bring al-Baghdadi to justice but they also went with our prayers and I just couldn’t be more proud. When they were wheels up out of country, no American casualties and al-Baghdadi is dead.”

Wallace pressed further, “We all applaud that. I do want to ask you, it is my job as a newsman sir, respectfully, why didn’t the President notify the Speaker of the House?”

Again, Pence dodged the question saying, “I just want to emphasize the president’s focus here throughout particularly the last several days was on the mission to bring a man who was the most wanted man in the world, a man who had brought unspeakable violence through the ISIS caliphate, who was exporting violence throughout the world to justice and that combined with ensuring the safety of our forces coming in, executing the mission and moving out was the president’s directive throughout this effort and I know it animated every decision that he made along the way.”

Actually, Mike, the President could not have been more clear. When a reporter asked President Trump if he “had notified the congressional leaders about this? Pelosi, Schiff, Mitch McConnell?,” he replied:

We notified some. Others are being notified now as I speak. We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do. And Washington is a leaking machine. And I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out, not just in, but out. I don’t want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe. So, we were able to get in. It was top secret…

A leak could have cost the deaths of all of them.

At another point, Trump answered, “No, I didn’t. I didn’t do that. I wanted to make sure this kept secret. I don’t want to have men lost, and women. I don’t want to have people lost.”

Although the Vice President is far too diplomatic to say it, no Chris, the President does not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information? Or any information. For three years, Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders have been gunning for Trump. After winning back the House majority during the midterms, removing the President from office has been their number one priority.

Back in December, Pelosi began rewriting the relevant House rules which would ease the way to impeachment for the 116th Congress. Even before returning to Washington in January, committee Chairmen were mapping out their strategies and planning their investigations to find a crime with which to destroy Trump.

The President is not imagining they are out to get them.

Although Democrats had no choice but to try to act as if they were pleased that the most wanted terrorist had been killed, or risk the appearance of being un-American.

But they weren’t pleased at all because it gave Donald Trump another win, a very major one, to add to his growing list of achievements.

Yesterday, I addressed this question in a post. I truly believe that Pelosi would have preferred seeing the special forces troops lose their lives in a spectacular debacle than to see him take a victory lap. Yes, although Pence refused to admit it, Trump’s distrust of the Democrats was precisely the reason they were not told ahead of time.

Regarding Trump’s decision not to notify Democratic leaders in advance, Pelosi said, “The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians, but not top congressional leadership were notified of in advance, and on the administration’s overall strategy in the region. Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.”

First, Russia had to be notified because the men had to fly over Russian controlled areas and likely have been shot down otherwise. Secondly, it wasn’t too long ago, Pelosi, pointed a finger at the President, asked him why do all roads lead to Putin, then stormed out of the meeting.

Frankly, Pelosi and her minions pose a far greater threat to President Trump than Putin.

Additionally, she and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, last weekend, “led a high-level congressional delegation to Afghanistan and did not publicly disclose the trip until the group had returned.”

And the whole thing is especially rich given the secrecy with which the Democrats have been conducting their impeachment hearings.

(Relevant segment begins at 9:50.)

The post Anti-Trumper Chris Wallace Presses Mike Pence: ‘Why Didn’t the President Tell Nancy Pelosi’ About Raid?’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group MikePenceAPimage-300x153 Anti-Trumper Chris Wallace Presses Mike Pence: ‘Why Didn’t the President Tell Nancy Pelosi’ About Raid?’ Vice-President Mike Pence progressives President Trump Nancy Pelosi Liberal Elitism International Affairs Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Congress Chris Wallace Allow Media Exception al-baghdadi Raid adam schiff 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Reporter Asks Trump if he’s Notified Congressional Leaders About al-Baghdadi Raid; ‘We Decided Not to Because Washington Leaks Like I’ve Never Seen Before’

Westlake Legal Group AP_18271664262015-620x419 Reporter Asks Trump if he’s Notified Congressional Leaders About al-Baghdadi Raid; ‘We Decided Not to Because Washington Leaks Like I’ve Never Seen Before’ william barr President Trump Nancy Pelosi Michael Horowitz Impeachment of President Trump Front Page Stories FISA Abuse report Featured Story elections democrats death of al-Baghdadi corruption Congress adam schiff 2020

President Donald Trump smiles during a meeting with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 

After notifying the American people that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, he was asked by a reporter if he has “notified the congressional leaders about this? Pelosi, Schiff, Mitch McConnell?”

President Trump replied:

We notified some. Others are being notified now as I speak. We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do. And Washington is a leaking machine. And I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out, not just in, but out. I don’t want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe. So, we were able to get in. It was top secret…

A leak could have cost the deaths of all of them.

President Trump was right not to notify them ahead of time. They can’t be trusted. This is a group of people who have a vested interest in preventing Donald Trump from getting a win, especially a foreign policy win.

Democrats are notorious leakers. They impose strict secrecy rules around their impeachment inquiry meetings, then they strategically leak just the right sound bites, usually taken out of context.

And, coming on the heels of the sharp rebuke Trump has faced over his decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria, this moment is all the sweeter. Would you trust Adam Schiff or Nancy Pelosi to put country before politics? I wouldn’t.

Given the choice between the deaths of 50 anonymous U.S. soldiers or watching Trump take a victory lap, I believe they would choose the former. And then Pelosi would appear on cable and ask Americans to pray for our fallen soldiers and their families.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz delivered his completed FISA Abuse report to Attorney General William Barr over six weeks ago. Democratic leaders know exactly what’s in it. Yet, there hasn’t been a single leak which I find to be extraordinary. If there were some good news in there for Democrats and/or some bad news for Republicans, there would have been a leak.

That’s how the Democrats operate. They just can’t help themselves.

Here’s to our troops!

The post Reporter Asks Trump if he’s Notified Congressional Leaders About al-Baghdadi Raid; ‘We Decided Not to Because Washington Leaks Like I’ve Never Seen Before’ appeared first on RedState.

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Trump Nukes Kamala Harris On Twitter Over Attempted Boycott.

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Just when you think you have Donald Trump figured out and can put him in a box, he zigs zags and makes you stop and wonder what in the hell is going on. This time it is with people that allegedly he hates and wants them all to die.

Except that he also wants to there shorten prison sentences or eliminate them altogether. That has made Kamal Harris very mad being she put a LOT of people away in her time as a prosecutor in California.

From Fox News

 

President Trump took a rare swipe at 2020 Democratic hopeful Kamala Harris on Saturday, criticizing the California senator for boycotting a South Carolina criminal justice forum in protest of the group giving an award to him.

“Badly failing presidential candidate @KamalaHarris will not go to a very wonderful largely African American event today because yesterday I received a major award, at the same event, for being able to produce & sign into law major Criminal Justice Reform legislation, which will greatly help the African American community (and all other communities), and which was unable to get done in past administrations despite a tremendous desire for it,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

The president’s tweets came after he received the Bipartisan Justice Award from the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center for his efforts to pass the First Step Act, which grants early release to thousands of nonviolent offenders who are currently serving time in federal prisons.

Trump has by and large not mentioned Kamala and the other dwarfs running on the Democratic side. He has had a lot of fun picking on Joe and Bernie and the fake Indian and left it at that. However, Kamala who once was considered the shining star of this primary season has never fully recovered from the shot that Tulsi Gabbard landed on her in the Detroit debate about her lock up record.

I will admit that when Trump met with Kim Kardashian about commuting the sentence of a lady that had clearly served way more time than she should have, I thought it was a mere publicity stunt of two reality T.V. stars meeting. That has proven to not be the case.

When Van Jones showed up at CPAC and praised Trump and conservatives for this I knew something positive was happening. Van Jones Praises Conservatives on Criminal Justice Reform: ‘You Are Stealing My Issue’

Kamala probably was thinking that her law & order cred was going to get her major props and so far it has been a dud. Her at first instinct of boycotting this event and trying to look holier than thou does not look like it will work and might not even last a full news cycle. Stunts like this are meant to raise your profile and so far it looks like it has sent her into deeper muck. Now that she has changed her mind she looks even more indecisive.

There are only 99 days left until the Iowa caucuses. Kamala better get in front as many people as possible or her campaign is going to be dead on arrival before next February.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

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Little Noticed Whistleblower Story from August 2018 Involving ONA Director, Col. James Baker, Takes on Greater Significance in the Wake of Flynn Filing

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FILE РThe Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington, in this March 27, 2008 file photo. The Pentagon has revised its Law of War guidelines to remove wording that could permit U.S. military commanders to treat war correspondents as “unprivileged belligerents” if they think the journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with enemy forces. The amended manual, published on July 22, 2016, also drops wording that equated journalism with spying. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

 

While reviewing reader comments on my recent post about General Michael Flynn’s stunning October 24th court filing, I learned of a largely overlooked story reported in August 2018 by the Daily Caller’s Kerry Picket. It gained little traction at the time, but it’s become far more significant in light of the Flynn filing.

The Flynn filing alleges that Col. James Baker, Director of the Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon (ONA), leaked copies of the transcripts from Flynn’s December 2016 telephone calls to then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to the press. Baker had regularly scheduled lunches with The Washington Post’s David Ignatius whom published an article about the calls in January 2017.

Picket told the story of Pentagon whistleblower Adam Lovinger, then an ONA analyst and a Trump-supporter, whose security clearance had been revoked  after “he questioned why politically connected contractors like FBI-informant Stefan Halper, who spied on the Trump campaign for the bureau, received well-paid contracts to conduct “inherently governmental functions.”

One contractor hired by ONA , the Long-Term Strategy Group (LTSG), is owned by Chelsea Clinton’s “best friend” Jackie Newmyer-Deal. “Over the past decade, LTSG secured more than $11.2 million in contracts from ONA.”

Picket reports:

Lovinger warned his superiors at ONA about the legal issues specifically pertaining to LTSG’s Newmyer-Deal being designated as a “U.S. Representative” in bilateral foreign relation activities with the Japanese.

In an incident with another ONA contractor (not LTSG), Lovinger disclosed to Baker that the contractor copied a World Bank report onto the contractor’s own letterhead and passed it off as original work.

In August of 2016, Bill Gertz of The Washington Free Beacon wrote a series of pieces related to the ONA’s over-reliance on government contractors and the problems surfacing as a result.

The stories covered how much contractors were paid, the questionable value of their product, critical threats that went ignored, and favorable treatment of Clinton’s contractor friend Newmyer-Deal.

Lovinger’s (Statement of Reason) SOR, which had been prepared by his attorney, Sean Bigley, claimed that Baker “inappropriately incentivized investigators to target him.” The document alleged that Baker “targeted him through several tactics, one of which was recommending two military officers for prestigious military medals as motivation to look into Lovinger as the target of a classified leak probe.”

One investigator, ONA Chief of Staff Cmdr. Anthony Russell (USCG), received a “recommendation for Award of the Defense Superior Service Medal…Russell was the architect of two national security inquiries targeting Lovinger.”

On November 23, 2016, The Washington Free Beacon published an article which criticized the ONA. Lovinger’s SOR stated, “The piece ended up revealing sensitive information provided by the Japanese government which had been included in an LTSG report prepared at the behest of ONA.”

According to Picket:

Russell served as the action officer and primary American representative for the United States/Japan Bilateral Task Force, yet he bore no responsibility to the mishandling of the Japanese intelligence.” In the letter Baker wrote to recommend Russell for the “Defense Superior Service Award,” he wrote that Russell had a “positive impact” on the Japanese/American alliance. Two days later Baker recommended Russell for a command position for having the “highest standards of ethics.”

Lovinger’s security clearance was suspended and job detail canceled nearly a month earlier.

In his recommendation of Russell, Baker wrote, “Commander Russell was entrusted with handling several unique, very delicate personnel matters where he provided thoughtful, sound advice and acted with discretion and candor.” He continues, “His exquisite analysis of facts and balancing of considerations resulted in ideal courses of actions that upheld the highest standards of integrity and ethics.”

Prior to filing his complaint, Lovinger had been in the running for a senior directorship at the National Security Counsel. Russell’s attempts to derail this opportunity caught the eye of Washington Headquarters Service General Counsel James Vietti.

Vietti emailed Russell on January 17, 2017, warning him that his investigation  “could look like you’re trying to interfere with or hinder his advancement in some way—and that the e-mail would be sent after he complained to (I think I’m recalling this correctly) that Mr. Baker violated the Hatch Act.” He wrote that he must “establish that this was—at least at the beginning—an inquiry into specific allegations of misconduct (rather than a ‘go forth and find a justification to fire him’ sort of investigation).” He also advised Russell not to “get ahead of NSC’s possible concerns” of Lovinger and proposed that he “pare back” language in an proposed email that Vietti had reviewed. Russell had written that  he “would urge NSC not to bring on an employee under administrative inquiry right now.”

The other officer whom Baker had allegedly designated to investigate Lovinger was Marine Lt. Col. Brian Bruggeman. Baker issued the request on January 12, 2017 and issued a February 10th deadline, which Bruggeman did not meet.

According to the SOR:

Five days before the report was due, Baker recommended Bruggeman for the “Defense Superior Service Award.”

An e-mail exchange between Feb. 27 and 28 between Bruggeman and Lovinger related to setting up a meeting with one another included Bruggeman telling Lovinger that the meeting was his “last opportunity to cooperate.”

The meeting occurred on March 6, 2017. On March 7, Lovinger’s attorney Thomas Spencer, sent a letter to Bruggeman memorializing the meeting had happened and that Bruggeman had promised to have a written recollection of his questions and answers, since Bruggeman previously forbade any audio recording of the meeting.

Although Lovinger met with Bruggeman and responded to his questions March 6, he was nevertheless accused of “refusing to cooperate” with Bruggeman, “which was tantamount to insubordination,” for failing to appear at previously scheduled interviews on February 21 and 23.

According to Lovinger’s SOR response to Bruggeman’s allegation, however, the delay occurred because Bruggeman “was ignorant of basic due process norms. While the DoD Inspector General requires DoD investigators to ‘possess professional proficiency for the tasks required,’ Bruggeman expressed shock, panic, embarrassment, and then anger when he learned that Lovinger had the right to legal counsel. This caused delay.”

Several days before Picket published this article, on August 20, 2018, watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Defense for documents relating to this case.

A  Judicial Watch document states that Lovinger was already a senior director at the White House National Security Counsel by that time, so at least Baker and Russell’s interference was unsuccessful.

The Washington Times reported on August 14, 2019 that Lovinger had been cleared of the bogus charges against him.

This story illustrates the role a whistleblower’s political persuasion plays in how their complaint will be received. It also provides a glimpse into the character of the man who is alleged to have leaked classified information to his pal, Washington Post report David Ignatius. It tells us that Baker is not above trying to destroy a man’s career for political gain.

Unfortunately, there are many James Bakers.

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