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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "ABC"

Shopping may get a little more fun, thanks to one Virginia lawmaker

Westlake Legal Group outdoor-shopping-center Shopping may get a little more fun, thanks to one Virginia lawmaker stores store state lawmakers shopping center shopping Regulation outdoor mall mall liquor license license laws goods food and drink Drinks drinking complex clothing alcohol ABC
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With the many outdoor developments here in Northern Virginia, it’s easy to hit two birds with one stone for your Saturday afternoon plans. You can do a little perusing at local retailers, grab a bite to eat and a cocktail to sip on from an adjacent restaurant, then proceed on your way to finish the shopping trip. 

Soon though, you might be able to take that drink with you in smaller complexes like Market Common Clarendon and the Village at Shirlington, thanks to a recently introduced bill by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington. 

Currently, state law permits residents to get a drink at a restaurant within a shopping center and leave to walk around under the “commercial lifestyle center license,” but the law is restricted to mixed-use developments of at least 25 acres, according to Virginia ABC.

Favola’s bill would reduce the acreage requirement needed for open-container usage to include developments of at least 10 acres, so long as the space consists of a mix of dining, entertainment, retail and residential or hotel sites, as specified by the law. 

As of now, according to Public Relations Manager of Virginia ABC Dawn Eichen, there are four locations in Virginia that currently have a commercial lifestyle center license, three of which are in NoVA. The four include Fairfax Corner, Loudoun Station, the Village at Leesburg and 5th Street Station in Charlottesville. Two developments—First & Main in Blacksburg and National Landing in Arlington—have pending applications.    

The pending legislation introduced by Favola was approved by the Senate on Jan. 15, and, according to Eichen, is set to be considered by the house in coming months. If the bill becomes law in the future, ABC regulation would be edited.

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President Trump Immolates ABC’s Jon Karl In Must-See Television

Westlake Legal Group trump-fist-620x317 President Trump Immolates ABC’s Jon Karl In Must-See Television Turkey Politics Media Kentucky jon karl Front Page Stories fake news donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception ABC #FakeNews

President Donald Trump gestures towards members on the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after returning from United Nations General Assembly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

This afternoon, President Trump and Italian President Sergio Mattarella held a press conference at the White House. One of the questioners was ABC’s Jon Karl. Karl’s presence was nearly guaranteed to be a lightning rod because Karl has been in the middle of demanding that President Trump “condemn” a video he had nothing to do with because it resulted in hurt feelings and soiled undies.

The video is a meme created from the church massacre scene in the (I thought until the media started squirting feces from their skin pores over it) comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service. Presented for your enjoyment:

 

They demand the condemnation because they are a priesthood and we aren’t allowed to mock them.

Anyway, at the press conference Karl asked a snide and tendentious question

Even after all you have seen — ISIS prisoners freed, all the humanitarian disaster — you don’t have any regret for giving Erdogan the greenlight to invade?

President Trump rejected the question and then gave Karl a taste of the condemnation treatment:

When you ask a question like that, it’s very deceptive, Jon,it’s almost as deceptive as you showing all of the bombings taking place in Syria and it turned out the bombing you showed on television took place in Kentucky. I’m not even sure ABC apologized for that [note–they tweeted an apology but have yet to make an on air apology or retraction]. But certainly, it was a terrible thing. I was looking at that and think, “Wow, that’s pretty bad,” and it was in Kentucky, it wasn’t in Syria. So I don’t know what you’re going to do about that, but I think ABC owes an apology.

What President Trump was referring to was the incident I posted on in ABC News Perpetrates a Fraud on the Nation and the Intrepid Media Fact Check Organizations Are Totally Missing in Action. ABC deliberately, and I say that admiringly because if they didn’t do it deliberately then it is probably the most buffoonish and incompetent news organization ever, used video from an civilian automatic weapons range in Kentucky and claimed it was in Syria.

I’m sure there will be a lot of sniveling over this and The Bulwark and The Dispatch boys and girls will be gravely offended that the President is publicly calling out a news organization for engaging in political propaganda campaign to damage his administration, but this is needed and it needs to be done constantly. Unless the media decide to clean up their act and behave as though they were not an arm of the Democrat party, every Republican and conservative should treat them as though they are the enemy.

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The post President Trump Immolates ABC’s Jon Karl In Must-See Television appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group trump-fist-300x153 President Trump Immolates ABC’s Jon Karl In Must-See Television Turkey Politics Media Kentucky jon karl Front Page Stories fake news donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception ABC #FakeNews  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hunter Biden Confirms Joe Biden Is a Liar

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenAPimage-620x317 Hunter Biden Confirms Joe Biden Is a Liar Ukraine Politics Joe Biden Interview hunter biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story democrats corruption China Burisma Board Member Allow Media Exception ABC 50K

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

You may recall a previous dust up between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in which the President shared a meme showing Biden insisting he had never discussed his son’s foreign dealings. In what was one of the better trolls of the year, Nickelback then came on singing “look at this photograph” while showing a picture of Biden, Hunter, and the executive from Ukrainian company in question.

If that wasn’t dispositive enough that the elder Biden had lied, we now have an even better source: Hunter Biden.

A “brief exchange” means Joe Biden was aware. There’s noway to get around that fact. Originally, he claimed he had never spoken to Hunter about it. At this point, it’s safe to call that a lie.

I first documented this contradiction based on another previous Hunter quote in an article back in September.

Now, there is no doubt. Hunter has once again confirmed he spoke with his father about the board position with Burisma. This would have come at the same time Biden was front manning foreign policy in the region. In fact, Hunter flew with his father on Air Force 2 to the area before he managed to land to gig. Just a coincidence I’m sure.

It was after that when Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainians to fire a prosecutor looking into Burisma by threatening to withhold aid (that was apparently not an impeachable offense at the time).

To put an even bigger capstone on this, Hunter Biden also admits in the interview that he was using his father’s influence to enrich himself.

Well, that’s obvious. I guess this is his way of checking his privilege?

The funny thing is, if you check blue-checkmark Twitter right now, all the “journalists” are sharing quotes like this.

It must be nice to be a Democrat. In an interview where Hunter confirmed his father lied, the valiant journalists among us are deciding to focus on Hunter’s denials instead, painting them as legitimate. Color me shocked.

This scandal isn’t going away. Biden should have just owned it from the beginning instead of painting himself into a corner. At this point, Elizabeth Warren has to be the presumptive frontrunner. Trump, for all his flaws, has managed to hang this around Joe Biden’s neck to devastating effect.

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The post Hunter Biden Confirms Joe Biden Is a Liar appeared first on RedState.

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ABC to air interview with Hunter Biden Tuesday before Democrat debate

Westlake Legal Group hunter-joe-biden ABC to air interview with Hunter Biden Tuesday before Democrat debate Ukraine The Blog Joe Biden hunter biden China Amy Robach ABC

This should be interesting. Tuesday ABC will air an interview conducted by news anchor Amy Robach with Hunter Biden. The Democrat debate scheduled Tuesday night in Ohio will be co-hosted by The New York Times and CNN. That’s a bit awkward, isn’t it?

The debates will be moderated by CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and Times national editor Marc Lacey. An “unnamed advisor” is putting out the word, reported by Peter Doocy on FNC, that they think the Biden scandal isn’t just bad for Biden but for all the Democrat candidates. If other candidates repeat the “discredited lies” about Biden and his son, they “would be making a profound statement about themselves.” Nice campaign you’ve got there. It’d be too bad if it blew up.

As Ed wrote, there are no “discredited lies” about the Bidens. Nothing has been proven incorrect about the fact that Hunter Biden gets some very sweet gigs by using his father’s position in politics. And, he does it with foreign companies and money. The Biden campaign is showing a disturbing pattern of bullying and expressing thinly veiled threats against the media and the other candidates in order to avoid having to answer some hard questions.

Does anyone think Hunter will be grilled over his past behavior and how exactly he got the job with the Ukrainian energy company in the first place? How about the money from China for his hedge fund business? I’d like to know how he got the membership on the board of the energy company – who set up his contacts in order to receive the offer, and what was expected of Hunter Biden. What exactly did the job entail? And who set up the contact in China for the huge money infusion into his hedge fund? What was expected in return? I don’t think any of this happened because of Hunter’s knowledge, skills, or resume. A person would have to be incredibly naive to think Hunter was able to enrich himself as he did if it wasn’t for his father’s name and 40 years in the swamp.

Why was ABC chosen for the interview? Hunter’s attorney has released a rather lengthy statement on Medium. Essentially he promises to not do what he’s been doing, though he did nothing wrong when his father becomes president. The sense of entitlement is strong. If he was doing no wrong, why does he promise to conduct himself differently if his father sits in the Oval Office?

Hunter makes the following commitment: Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests. In any event, Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign owned companies.

He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs, while availing himself as necessary and appropriate to the Office of the White House Counsel to help inform his application of the Biden Administration’s guidelines or standards to his business decision-making.

Is the ABC interview to distract from what will probably be another less than stellar performance by the elder Biden during the debate? The Biden campaign should have been cleaning up this story from the beginning. Why is Hunter just now sitting down for an interview? Why hasn’t Joe Biden done an interview explaining his story? I think Hunter is finally coming out of hiding because President Trump called him out and asked, “Where’s Hunter?” during his last campaign rallies. Perhaps Trump poked him and now he has to come forward.

The interview was conducted last weekend in Hunter’s home in Los Angeles. Viewers are told “no questions were off-limits.” The network is spreading the interview out over several of the ABC’s shows.

Hunter Biden sat down with ABC News anchor Amy Robach over the weekend at his home in Los Angeles for an exclusive interview, and no questions were off limits.

Tune in to “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” “Nightline” and ABC News Live and ABCNews.com starting Tuesday for more on Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China as well as his reaction to President Trump’s rally and tweets targeting him directly.

The post ABC to air interview with Hunter Biden Tuesday before Democrat debate appeared first on Hot Air.

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September text from acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign”

Westlake Legal Group t-6 September text from acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign” volker Ukraine The Blog text taylor sondland september quid pro quo military aid giuliani ABC

According to ABC, the text was provided by — although not sent by — Kurt Volker, who had served as Trump’s special representative for Ukraine until resigning a week ago. He’s on the Hill today being deposed as part of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

That is to say, this is highly likely to be a Democratic leak, possibly shorn of context that would reveal it as less damning than it really is. And ABC has already had a Ukraine story blow up in their faces after overhyping it. Last week they reported that an advisor to Zelensky claimed that Trump would only agree to speak to the Ukrainian president if Ukraine agreed in advance to reopen the Biden investigation. In reality, the advisor no longer worked for Zelensky. And he told a different reporter that he had *not* told ABC that there was a precondition involving Biden for Trump’s conversation with Zelensky.

So let’s proceed, but cautiously. What ABC claims here is potentially a big deal as evidence of whether key U.S. diplomats themselves believed Trump was demanding a quid pro quo from Ukraine.

In newly disclosed text messages shared with Congress, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine writes to a group of other American diplomats that “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

In the exchange, obtained by ABC News, the concerns are expressed by Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine [i.e. acting U.S. ambassador]. Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, responds to Taylor, saying that charge is “incorrect,” insisting the president has been “crystal clear no quid pro quo of any kind”.

Sondland then suggests to the group take the conversations off line, typing “I suggest we top the back and forth by text.” It’s unclear if the conversation continues, based on the material obtained by ABC News.

A key question: When exactly were these texts between Taylor, Volker, and Sondland sent? ABC will only say that “The texts came just days before the White House released the military assistance to Ukraine.” The aid was released under pressure from Congress on September 11 so it must be sometime between the 1st of the month and that date. The reason the date is important is because it’ll give us a clue as to whether the three diplomats were speaking candidly or whether they already expected there would be some sort of probe of Trump’s actions on Ukraine that might involve scrutiny of their communications. For instance, Sondland’s line that there’s been no quid pro quo of any kind weighs strongly in Trump’s favor *if* Sondland was speaking candidly, not suspecting that the ICIG or Adam Schiff would eventually be reading through his texts.

But if he already had reason to know that the ICIG and/or Schiff would probably come sniffing around then it begins to smell like spin, something he’s saying for the record to cover his and Trump’s asses. Which would be buttressed by the fact that he immediately took the conversation off the record by asking Taylor and Volker to move it offline, where there wouldn’t be a written trail of their communications.

Another question: When exactly did Trump make it “crystal clear” that there was no quid pro quo of any kind with Ukraine before the whistleblower story broke big in late September? The text in which Sondland makes that claim was sent no later than September 11th if ABC’s reporting is accurate. I don’t remember Trump commenting on Ukraine before then, though, or at least not publicly. If he really had been “crystal clear” about it, why was Taylor seemingly under the impression that Ukraine’s military aid was being held up until the U.S. side received “help with a political campaign”?

There actually *was* a noteworthy public reference to Trump and Ukraine right in the timeframe of the text conversation between Taylor, Sondland, and Volker — not from the president himself but from the Washington Post, which published this curious editorial on September 5th. I mentioned it in the very first post I wrote about the Ukraine saga, before we even knew for a fact that Trump’s “troubling” conversation with an unknown foreign leader waswith Zelensky. What makes it curious is that the editorial cited unnamed sources for the explosive proposition that the president was leaning on Ukraine to reopen the Biden investigation. Normally a claim like that would go in the news section, not end up buried in an editorial.

Not only has Mr. Trump refused to grant the Ukrainian leader a White House visit, but also he has suspended the delivery of $250 million in U.S. military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggression in its eastern provinces.

Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence. But we’re reliably told that the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.

I’m gonna guess that WaPo’s “reliable” sources were House Democrats who had learned the basics of the whistleblower’s allegations, possibly even a source whose name rhymes with “Madam Miff.” Anyway, maybe the text conversation was nothing more than chatter among the three diplomats about the WaPo editorial, in which case there’s really nothing to it at all. It could be that Taylor read it, told the others he was surprised at the allegation, and meant that it’s crazy to withhold Ukraine’s aid in return for Biden help if in fact WaPo is right that that’s what happened. In that scenario, Taylor’s not accusing Trump of anything based on his own personal knowledge. He’s just reacting to some newspaper piece. Who cares?

The more damning scenario is that the texts don’t involve the WaPo editorial at all, or — if they do — that the editorial is being mentioned because it jibes with Taylor’s own personal knowledge of what’s going on with Trump and Ukraine. Obviously, the more the texts reflect nonpublic information known to the three diplomats, the more damning Taylor’s allegation is.

The in-between possibility is that the three weren’t reacting to the WaPo editorial but rather to the fact that a whistleblower complaint had been filed and that it had to do with Trump and Ukraine. How they would have known that is unclear in early September is unclear, but remember that the whistleblower initially went to the top lawyer at the CIA with his accusation and then the CIA’s lawyer had to notify White House counsel. Maybe word got around within the White House after that and the information somehow made its way to Taylor, Volker, and Sondland. That might explain Sondland’s caution in wanting to take the conversation offline. If they knew there was whistleblower activity by the time they had this text chat then yeah, of course they would have had reason to believe that some legal authority might eventually end up reading their communications. Which makes Taylor’s text about a quid pro quo that much more interesting and baffling. Did Sondland know something about the scrutiny to come to make him cautious about what was being said whereas Taylor didn’t know?

By the way, according to WaPo, today Volker “turned over a number of documents to congressional staffers including a chain of text messages with Giuliani,” as well as “physical documents, white papers and correspondence with other officials, the person said.” If there’s anything to the quid pro quo allegations, Volker might end up as the Dems’ star witness in substantiating them. In fact, he reportedly already gave them something useful in testimony today:

The former U.S. special envoy for Ukraine told House investigators on Thursday that he warned President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, that Giuliani was receiving untrustworthy information from Ukrainian political figures about former vice president Joe Biden and his son, according to two people familiar with his testimony.

Kurt Volker, who resigned last week after being named in a whistleblower complaint that sparked the House impeachment inquiry of Trump, said he tried to caution Guiliani that his sources, including Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, were unreliable and that he should be careful about putting faith in the prosecutor’s stories, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the closed door meeting.

The more evidence there is/was that the Biden allegations were thin and that Trump and Giuliani had reason to know it, the harder it’ll be for Trump to argue that he was interested in a meritorious corruption investigation of a former U.S. official, not a smear campaign aimed at casting suspicion on the Democratic quasi-frontrunner. Volker’s just one guy, though. We’ll see what other witnesses have to say about the strength of the Biden allegations.

The post September text from acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign” appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group t-6-300x153 September text from acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign” volker Ukraine The Blog text taylor sondland september quid pro quo military aid giuliani ABC  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mike Pompeo Suggests That Joe Biden Might Actually Need Investigation for Corruption and Election Interference

Westlake Legal Group AP_18102554216926-620x354 Mike Pompeo Suggests That Joe Biden Might Actually Need Investigation for Corruption and Election Interference Ukraine This Week republicans Politics Mike Pompeo Martha Raddatz Joe Biden hunter biden Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception ABC

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, picked to be the next secretary of state, listens during his introductions before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Secretary of State, Thursday, April 12, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pompeo’s remarks will be the first chance for lawmakers and the public to hear directly from the former Kansas congressman about his approach to diplomacy and the role of the State Department, should he be confirmed to lead it. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Ranking Member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds Pompeo’s confirmation hearing Thursday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on ABC’s This Week program and naturally the whole Ukraine kerfuffle was discussed. Pompeo said some expected stuff. No, we’re not on the brink of war with Iran. No, we’re very unlikely to release the transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. No, Pompeo doesn’t see this a a particularly big deal.

But then there was this

POMPEO: I think I saw a statement from the Ukrainian foreign minister yesterday, said there was no pressure applied in the course of the conversation. I do think — I do think, if Vice President Biden behaved inappropriately, if he was protecting his son and intervened with the Ukrainian leadership in a way that was corrupt, I do think we need to get to the bottom of that, Martha. And I — I hope that we will. I hope that, if Vice President Biden engaged in behavior that was inappropriate, I hope the American people will come to learn that. America can’t have…

RADDATZ: We’ve seen no evidence of that yet. But I want to go back to the question.

POMPEO: America cannot have our elections interfered with. America cannot have our elections interfered with. And if — if that’s what took place there, if there was that kind of activity engaged in by Vice President Biden, we need to know.

Two interesting points here.

First, Pompeo is not dismissing out of hand the stench of corruption than hangs over Joe Biden links to his ne’er do well kid getting a seat on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company run by one of their economic oligarchs and to Biden’s admitted interference in Ukraine’s judicial process to his son’s benefit. Second, he’s clearly tying Biden’s actions in relation to Ukraine to the efforts by the Obama administration…or at least the faction that was hoping to ride Mrs. Clinton’s more-than-ample-acres-wide coattails to continued power….to aid the Clinton campaign. (See Elizabeth Vaughn’s The Real Foreign Collusion Occurred Between Pro-Clinton Ukrainians And The DNC and U.S. Embassy Pressured Ukrainian Officials To End Investigation Of Soros Group In 2016.) The comment, “America cannot have our elections interfered with. And if — if that’s what took place there, if there was that kind of activity engaged in by Vice President Biden, we need to know,” nearly caused Martha Raddatz to stroke out.

Unlike Trump, Pompeo is not a bomb-thrower. I have to suspect that he has some reason to throw campaign interference into the mix other than mere amusement. Given the role the State Department played in moving the Steele Dossier into the proper channels, I have little doubt that there is more on that angle just waiting to be revealed.

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The post Mike Pompeo Suggests That Joe Biden Might Actually Need Investigation for Corruption and Election Interference appeared first on RedState.

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Debate night in America: Three full hours of left-wing geriatrics bickering with each other

Westlake Legal Group bs-1 Debate night in America: Three full hours of left-wing geriatrics bickering with each other warren The Blog sanders o'rourke harris booker biden ABC

8 p.m. ET on ABC. Congrats, everyone: With Kamala Harris having faded and Boot Edge Edge serving as a trash receptacle for left-wingers’ disposable income, the battle tonight really is down to Grandma versus the two Grandpas.

The winner is whoever falls asleep last.

Lotta moving pieces to this spectacle. Biden remains the prime target for the simple reason that he remains the frontrunner, although at least one poll has Elizabeth Warren pulling into a tie with him and virtually all polls have showed her gaining since the second debate in July. Because only 10 candidates made the cut for this one, everyone’s on the same stage — which means this is the first time Biden and Warren will face each other. Due to the luck of the draw, they ended up in different groups for the first two debates. She’s going to come hard at him for being a corporatist DINO; he’s going to come hard at her for being a big-spending phony who was happy to court rich donors until recently. In fact, Biden crony Ed Rendell published a splashy op-ed this morning in WaPo previewing that line of attack. Title: “I like Elizabeth Warren. Too bad she’s a hypocrite.”

Warren attacked former vice president Joe Biden for holding a kickoff fundraiser in Philadelphia in April, which she criticized as “a swanky private fund-raiser for wealthy donors” in an email to supporters the next day.

Well, I helped organize that affair, and I thought her attack was extremely hypocritical because nearly 20 of us who attended the Biden fundraiser had also given her $2,000 or more in 2018 at closed-door fundraisers in “swanky” locations.

Warren didn’t seem to have any trouble taking our money in 2018, but suddenly we were power brokers and influence peddlers in 2019. The year before, we were wonderful. I co-chaired one of the events for the senator and received a glowing, handwritten thank-you letter from her for my hard work.

Rendell told Politico this afternoon that he was getting ripped by the “Elizabeth Elites” on Twitter for his piece but added mischievously that the “Bernie Bots,” who normally detest him for his centrism, “really liked the column.” That touches on the central mystery tonight: Will Bernie come after Warren for being insufficiently socialist or will their nonaggression pact hold? If he holds his fire and she has a big night, she might bounce out ahead and never look back. If he attacks her, some Warren voters might be enraged and Biden might benefit long-term. No good options.

Team Biden has had enough of the media trash-talking their guy, meanwhile:

“I don’t know of anybody who has taken as sustained and vitriolic a negative pounding as Biden and who has come through it with the strength he has,” said a top Biden adviser. “So why isn’t the argument not that he’s a ‘fragile front runner,’ but instead why is this guy so strong? How is he able to withstand this? Because it is unrelenting. Every story that has been written about Biden for a month has been negative! I would ask Warren and Sanders and these folks: He’s been pummeled for months. For months! So why is he going to fall apart now?”…

They brandish the many predictions of his demise as evidence of their more sophisticated understanding of the Democratic electorate. “He’s still leading the race nationally. He’s leading in Iowa. It looks like he’s in a dead heat in New Hampshire,” said the top Biden adviser. “I don’t know why the story in New Hampshire isn’t how Bernie Sanders went from sixty to fourteen. And why is it that Biden is beating Warren in Massachusetts? And he’s way ahead in South Carolina. And this is all on the back end of really the most vicious press I think anyone’s experienced. So that to me is a statement of strength. And anyone who’s sitting around waiting for him to fall apart—you know what, it hasn’t happened yet.”

I wonder if that top advisor’s name rhymes with “Ed Rendell.” The good news for Team Joe is that tonight’s outcome will resolve their dilemma one way or another. If Biden does well in his first debate with the entire top tier onstage together, some of the “soft frontrunner” buzz will quiet down. If he doesn’t do well, it’ll get louder and it’ll seem perfectly justified. It’s not just Warren who’s coming for him either, needless to say. Harris is desperate to use this opportunity to turn her sinking campaign around; her best option to do that remains targeting Biden and trying to pry loose some of his black supporters, who have stayed loyal to him after a brief flirtation with Harris following the first debate. Cory Booker’s going to try the same approach — this is his moment to elbow past Harris as the most formidable black candidate in the race and make an impression on the South Carolina electorate.

As for the other five onstage, there isn’t much to say. Beto’s been warned not to curse. Joaquin Castro is running for VP. Klobuchar’s hanging around just in case Biden forgets his own name and centrists need somewhere to run. Buttigieg’s campaign is essentially one long fundraiser now. The only interesting figure in the bottom half of the top tier is Andrew Yang, whose campaign promised yesterday that he’d do something unprecedented onstage tonight — a tease which he’s been having fun with ever since:

A likable guy who’ll benefit from the extra attention he’ll receive tonight in a smaller debate crowd. He won’t be the nominee but there’s a nonzero chance that he’ll be in the top four(!) in the next round of polling if he does well this evening. Right now Harris is fourth in the field averaging 6.5 percent, Buttigieg is fifth at 4.8 percent, and Yang is sixth at 3.0 percent. But he actually polled a point better than Buttigieg in a recent Harvard survey and was just one point behind him and Harris in the latest from Reuters. He’s a wild card. I’m rooting for him.

One more thought about the big three before the debate starts, this time from RCP elections analyst Sean Trende. Every four years people start heavy-breathing about a brokered convention and every four years it doesn’t happen. It’s not as unlikely this time as it has been in the past, though:

The modern era of elections, where fundraising is effectively crowdsourced on the Internet and where candidates can reach millions of voters through social media effectively for free, seems to suggest that at some point in the next few cycles we will have a situation where no candidate wins a majority of the delegates. The Democratic Party seems particularly vulnerable to this outcome, since delegates are awarded proportionally (once candidates cross a certain vote threshold). This is unlike the Republican primaries where the final ones are winner-take-all; this is probably the only thing that prevented a brokered convention in 2016 on the Republican side.

This Democratic nightmare scenario doesn’t involve six or seven candidates making it to Super Tuesday – that is unlikely to happen. Instead it involves two or three candidates, and then a factional candidate who continues to draw 15% in the polls in most states and refuses to drop out as two other candidates duke it out. In other words, something like Biden vs. Warren vs. Sanders.

Right, Bernie might hang around to the bitter end even if he’s reliably landing in third place in primary voting, believing that he owes it to progressives to give them a pure socialist option on the ballot. There might even be tactical reasons for him to keep going, as some polls show that more of his supporters prefer Biden to Warren as their second choice and thus Bernie would be aiding the progressive Warren by hoarding those voters himself. Imagine if Biden finishes with the most delegates, Warren finishes second, and Sanders finishes third but with enough delegates that he and Warren together have a majority. Who’s the nominee in that scenario? Biden because he finished ahead or Warren because a majority of delegates are pledged to progressive candidates? (Presumably Bernie would endorse her too.)

The debate will air live on ABC and online on ABC.com and on the ABC mobile app and on the ABC YouTube account — which is embedded below, so it’s virtually impossible to avoid this thing. Here’s your thread to comment.

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Trump: Pay no attention to that garbage ABC/WaPo polling outfit

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Alternate headline: “Presidential tweet focuses country’s attention on ABC/WaPo poll showing Trump’s job approval sliding.”

It made me laugh to think of lawyers threatening a pollster. With what? Bad Sampling in the First Degree?

There’s one true thing in those two tweets: ABC did briefly have Trump falling 12 points behind Hillary in October 2016 — from October 20 to 23, to be exact. Other pollsters saw Clinton’s lead balloon around the same time, though. The AP had her up 13, Suffolk had her up 10, and so on. That’s not because of data-rigging or FAKE NEWS!, it’s because Trump was getting battered at the time by fallout from the “Access Hollywood” tape and the women coming forward to accuse him of various forms of sexual misconduct. Not long after, though, Comey released his letter to Congress announcing that he was reopening the Emailgate probe. And late deciders began weighing whether to sign up for another four years of Clintonism or to try to something different in a big way. The very next ABC poll taken, from October 21-24, found Hillary’s lead slipping to eight points. The ABC/WaPo poll conducted from October 23-26 found it shrinking to five points. The next tracker, from October 27-30, after the Comey letter was issued, had it down to one.

The final poll they published before Election Day put the race at 49/46 for Hillary. That turned out to be the closest match of any major pollster with the national popular vote, which went 48/46. Which was no surprise: Contra Trump, ABC/WaPo actually has a sterling record of polling in presidential contests.

But we needn’t dwell on this. Anyone who doesn’t understand yet that Trump cries “fake!” at any news that’s bad for him to try to convince people not to believe it isn’t going to be swayed at this point. Besides, I can understand why today’s ABC/WaPo poll is especially irritating to him. It’s not the job approval number in it, which is bad at 38 percent (down six points from June) but nothing he hasn’t seen before. The ominous numbers are the ones associated with the economy, particularly the trade war with China.

While a 56 percent majority of Americans rate the economy as “excellent” or “good,” that figure is down from 65 percent in November. A separate question finds 6 in 10 say that a recession is either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” in the next year. That fear compares with 69 percent who said a recession was likely in fall 2007, shortly before the recession began later that year…

The Post-ABC poll finds 43 percent of Americans say Trump’s trade and economic policies have increased the chance of a recession in the next year, more than double the 16 percent who say his policies have decreased the likelihood of a recession. Another 34 percent say Trump’s policies have not made a difference…

But sizable shares of Trump’s core supporters say they are worried about price increases because of tariffs, including 55 percent of whites without college degrees, 54 percent of people living in rural areas and 45 percent of white evangelical Protestants. Concern rises to about 6 in 10 political independents and people living in the suburbs, two key swing voting groups.

His approval rating on the economy was in majority territory in June at 51 percent. Now it’s at 46/47.

If we do end up in a recession, POTUS will use every rhetorical weapon available to him to shift the blame. It’s Jerome Powell’s fault for not lowering interest rates; it’s manufacturers’ fault for not moving their businesses out of China quickly enough; it’s Democrats’ fault for not agreeing to a payroll tax cut to stimulate the economy; it’s China’s fault for stubbornly resisting American pressure to end its intellectual-property banditry and play fair economically. Those arguments will work for fans but I don’t know if they’ll work for swing voters. A separate poll taken late last month showed most Americans will blame Trump if the economy goes south:

The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll of 2,531 registered voters at the end of August found that 57 percent would blame Trump more than the Federal Reserve or anyone else should America enter recession by the end of the year.

Moreover, 62 percent said they were somewhat or very concerned that there will be a recession in the next six months amid the China trade war, a global economic slowdown, and the waning impact of federal stimulus from early on in the Trump administration…

The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that 63 percent believe the tariffs are hurting the U.S. more than China. Moreover, 74 percent said U.S. consumers, not China, pay the cost of the tariffs.

The good news for him is that Americans do see the point of this war. Fifty percent approved of his tariffs on China despite the economic pain and fully 80 percent thought it was better to reckon with China’s chicanery now than to keep postponing it. That’d be an interesting electoral pitch if Trump tried it — “I know it’s tough right now but it’ll be tougher if we let China keep stealing. And unless you elect me to a second term, the next president will let them off the hook.” I don’t think he’d try that message, though; it’s too close to accepting responsibility for a negative development, something to which his ego is deathly allergic. He’ll try a combo of insisting that things really aren’t so bad and, to the extent that they are, it’s someone else’s fault.

One other ABC/WaPo detail via Charlie Sykes: Trump’s approval is at 30/64 among women, abysmal numbers that are way off his pace of 41 percent of the female vote in 2016. Obviously he’ll do better than 30 percent next November as some right-leaning women decide he’s the lesser of two evils, but you can see why I thought yesterday that a third-party run by a woman candidate could be dangerous to him. If a Carly Fiorina type pulled more women voters from him than from the Democrat, it could cost him a second term. Fiorina says it won’t be her, though, luckily for POTUS.

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A New York Times Reporter Solicited 30K From Jeffrey Epstein While ABC Killed Stories From His Victims

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FILE- In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla. Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta is expected to face questions at his Senate confirmation hearing about an unusual plea deal he oversaw for Epstein, a Florida billionaire and sex offender, as U.S. attorney in Miami. (AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi, File)/Palm Beach Post via AP)

Want to know why the Epstein story has no real legs when it comes to investigate reporting from the major networks and newspapers outside of trying to tie him to Donald Trump? You are about to find out why.

For decades, Epstein ran in crowds with some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the country. In terms of elected officials, that meant he had an unusually close relationship with Bill Clinton, even while he was president and to the point of having a painting of Clinton in a dress hanging on his mansion’s wall. It didn’t stop there though. Several other Democrat party politicians have been implicated as well, including accusations of being on his pedophile island and being given girls that we now know were basically sex slaves.

If it seems like I’m only focusing on his connections to Democrats, that’s because those are the only really pervasive connections (i.e. people who went to his island, etc.) we’ve found out about. Don’t be gaslit by the media, the circles Epstein ran in were not Republican circles. Even to the extent he knew Donald Trump, Trump was not palling around with Newt Gingrich at the time. There’s a reason he was going to dinners at the Clinton White House but never made it back when George W. Bush took over.

Because the circles he ran in were predominantly populated with rich, liberal Manhattan types, that meant he had many relationships within the mainstream media establishment as well. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos dined with Epstein as late as 2010, which was after his convictions. The former Clinton crony would claim he hadn’t done his due diligence on who Epstein was, which is a laughable assertion from a supposed news man.

Epstein’s perversion with the media didn’t stop there though. Much like Harvey Weinstein, he was able to wield his influence to affect coverage. NPR has a new report which details some of what went on. It’s very in depth, but I’ll try to summarize the findings here.

We’ll start with ABC News first.

In 2015, the ABC News team of Amy Robach and Jim Hill secured an interview with Giuffre. In a sequence of events confirmed by the network, producers paid for Giuffre and her family to fly from Colorado, where they lived, to New York City and put them up at the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South. Robach and her news crew interviewed Giuffre on tape for more than an hour about Epstein and his entourage.

“At the time, in 2015, Epstein was walking around a free man, comparing his criminal behavior to stealing a bagel,” Giuffre writes in an email to NPR. “I really wanted a spotlight shone on him and the others who acted with him and enabled his vile and shameless conduct against young girls and young women.”

“I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer,” she writes. “Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.”

The story never aired. And Giuffre has said she was never directly told why.

ABC has still never given an explanation for why they burned the story, which would have exposed the depravity of Epstein’s actions long before he was charged again in 2019. Sources say that Epstein’s lawyers contacted ABC but when have threats from lawyers ever scared off a news operation the size of ABC from reporting on an interview with a witness? They would not be liable for anything she said in such a case and they would have known that. Yet, they killed the story anyway and Epstein went right back to abusing women for another four years.

The New York Times also is implicated.

Yet Stewart was not the editors’ first choice to interview Epstein further.

Initially, they had asked Landon Thomas Jr., a veteran financial correspondent who had been at the Times for 16 years.

Thomas knew Epstein fairly well — having first written about the financier, back in 2002, just before he joined the paper. Thomas had considered him a valued source ever since, even after Epstein’s release from jail for sex offenses. Just how valued turned out to be a problem for the reporter and the paper…

…But Thomas flagged a problem. He told his editors Epstein had been a great source for years and had become something of a friend as well. How close? Thomas had solicited a $30,000 contribution from Epstein for a Harlem cultural center, he told them.

This reporter had gotten so close to Epstein that he solicited a $30,000 donation from him. The safe assumption is that Epstein saw the money as a payoff for good coverage and good coverage he would receive. The man tasked with reporting on Epstein would pursue none of the sordid details of his sexual abuse scandals.

NPR also notes Vanity Fair’s killing of stories dealing with Epstein’s abuse of underage girls. One example involved a woman named Maria and her then 15 year old sister. They told Vanity Fair that Epstein had lured them to his ranch in New Mexico and sexually exploited them. That’s when Epstein showed up at the magazine’s offices.

And so that morning when Epstein had materialized at the magazine’s offices, he was there to press Carter not to devote any attention to Epstein’s apparent interest in very young women.

“He was torturing Graydon,” says John Connolly, then a Vanity Fair contributing editor, who reported on crime and scandal.

Epstein beseeched Carter and berated him, Connolly says, that morning and subsequently, in a flood of phone calls. Epstein denied to Carter any misconduct and wanted him to steer away from the subject.

In March 2003, Vanity Fair did publish Ward’s piece. Titled “The Talented Mr. Epstein,” it took a tough look at Epstein’s lavish lifestyle and questioned the origins of his fortune.

It did not report the Farmers’ accusations of abuse.

In the end, no mention of the allegations of sexual misconduct made the story. Epstein had successfully covered himself again.

It’s stories like these that make clear why Epstein was able to get away with what he did for so long. The relationships he had in social circles and media circles were unethical and completely improper. Even today, you see almost no investigative effort from the major media networks and papers to uncover just how deep this goes. Why? Because they know they’d likely be implicated. As much as the left wants this to just be about being at parties with Donald Trump almost 30 years ago, the most perverse connections hit way too close to home for the liberal New York elite.

 

 

 

 

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Here’s How Hard Democrats and the Media Are Rooting for a Recession

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If you’ve noticed a strong uptick in doom and gloom about the economy lately, you aren’t imagining it.

With the Mueller report blowing up on the pad, Democrats and the media needed a new strategy and they think they’ve found something. Specifically, they’ve honed in on two things: Making the case that Donald Trump is chaotic and rooting for a recession. The latter they are hoping hits next year, just in time for the 2020 election.

How hard are they rooting for a recession? This hard.

It’s as if the talking points went out and they are reciting them in unison. It doesn’t matter that unemployment is low and the fundamentals of the economy are strong, not perfect, but still strong. The left have decided the best thing to do is will a recession into happening, and make no mistake, a constant barrage of negative coverage can shake markets and employers.

Of course, a recession would profoundly hurt normal Americans but those in Acela corridor don’t care about that. They’ve got their big bank accounts and recession proof jobs. Seeing an economic slowdown is a price they are willing to pay, forget the collateral damage. Getting rid of Trump is the only thing that matters.

I’ll also point out the immense hypocrisy and inconsistency of Democrats and their media allies talking down the current economy while they continually tried to prop up the slowest recovery on record under Barack Obama. This is how it always happens. When a Democrat is president, any news is good news. When it’s a Republican, even good reports must be spun into negatives. Everything bad that happens under Democrats is headlined as being “unexpected.” You’ve seen the song and dance before.

In this case, even if a recession comes, it’s likely not coming for another 2 years or so (normal cycles dictate we will have another recession eventually). There’s no reason to be beating this drum right now except to try to suppress market and consumer confidence, perhaps speeding up the process. Nothing we are seeing from the left or the media is genuine concern or honest analysis. It’s purely politics and should be treated as such.

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