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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Allow Media Exception" (Page 64)

Whitey Bulger Shared Opinions of Trump and Mueller in Letters to Juror Who Voted to Convict Him

Westlake Legal Group whitey-bulger-mugshot-SCREENSHOT-620x334 Whitey Bulger Shared Opinions of Trump and Mueller in Letters to Juror Who Voted to Convict Him whitey bulger Robert Mueller Investigation President Trump Mueller Investigation Mainstream Media Janet Uhlar James Bulger Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump crime Allow Media Exception

 

NBC News has obtained 75 letters written by notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger to Janet Uhlar, a Cape Cod nurse who sat on the jury which convicted him.

Uhlar wrote to him shortly after his conviction. She felt the “deals mobsters who testified against Bulger received were too lenient” and said “I needed to hear his side of the story.”

In his first letter to Uhlar, Bulger wrote, “No disrespect, but I don’t trust prosecutors, judges, jurors, FBI agents, CIA…”

Their unlikely correspondence took place over the five years between his 2013 conviction for murder and racketeering and his own October 2018 murder. Twelve hours after his arrival at USP Hazelton in West Virginia, fellow prisoners beat him to death using a lock placed inside of a sock as their weapon.

Politics was one of the infamous gangster’s favorite topics.

In a letter from August 2018, Bulger noted that, “Trump is tough and fights back instead of bowing down to pressure — and caving in to press! U.S. agrees with him press attacking and his reaction increases his popularity — He has my vote so far.”

In a separate letter that month, he discussed Trump’s trade negotiations with China. He said, “History may show Trump was the man of the hour” and “feel China respects him and hesitant to try to bully him.”

In a separate letter, he told Uhlar:

I get some strange mail at times — a grandmother from Kansas — hates Trump wants him impeached, She assumes I hate him? Why Because I’m in prison?

My bet is he’s happy with present wife and settled down. No way would he wind up in Oval Office with a Monica Lewinsky — That was a scandal! Same media that attacks Trump would cover up for Bill Clinton.

Unsurprisingly, Bulger was not a fan of Robert Mueller. Here’s what he had to say about the despicable Special Counsel.

Sorry to hear Trump is being boxed in by so many. [The president] is experiencing what Mueller and company can orchestrate. [Mueller] should observe biblical saying – ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’

Wonder if Mueller thinks of me? Give my regards to the President!

Bulger saw the media as “a bigger problem than Trump.” He added, “Throughout U.S. history the media’s hunger for scoops and headlines has cost the lives of U.S. servicemen. Can cite examples. Trump is fortunate to have loyalty of [conservative commentator Bill Cunningham], Rush Limbaugh + Hannity AKA ‘Little Rush.’”

According to NBC:

He ranted against Boston prosecutors and the mob turncoats who testified against him.

He furiously denied ever killing women or working as an FBI informant.

He fondly recalled his life on the outside — even with the ever-present threat of arrest or an unnatural death.

Bulger showed his compassionate side in 2014 after Uhlar’s son had died from a drug overdose. Bulger wrote:

I’m glad your family are there for you, Janet. I’m sure Josiah would want you to understand he loved you and in desperation wanted to have a period free of pain.”

Poor Josiah suffered terribly for a long time searched for Relief and it led to this.

Shortly before his murder, he wrote, “All I want is peace and quiet for these last days and sit out on prison yard in my wheelchair … Good friends ‘lifers’ went out that way under blue sky.”

Uhlar told NBC, “He is a criminal and he would frequently remind me of that. He didn’t want me to lose sight of that. But there was also a very compassionate side to him, a very gentle side that I saw both in the letters and in person when I spoke to him.”

The post Whitey Bulger Shared Opinions of Trump and Mueller in Letters to Juror Who Voted to Convict Him appeared first on RedState.

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Tales Of The Trail Boss: Conclusion (Green Beans and Ice Cream)

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TF Shamal

Tales Of The Trail Boss: Conclusion (Green Beans and Ice Cream)

We were back—alive—with no parts missing, no mean accomplishment. Upon our triumphal return we were treated like heroes—which lasted about a day. We were not ready for the letdown that follows the rush of being thrust into a dangerous, fast moving situation, albeit free from many peacetime constraints. We just got the job done—and well. Asking permission was just not in our operational vocabulary. Then—the letdown. But, we’re getting a little ahead of the story.

Mike: We unloaded at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr and within a short time, crossed back over the border into Kuwait. We then began the long road convoy back to our main base at Camp Arifjan, from which seemingly only yesterday, we’d departed in the middle of a SCUD missile attack. During our adventure in Iraq, we had put our vehicles through the mill so to speak. They showed it.

Sergeant Major: Shortly after re-entry back into Kuwait from Iraq, we were traveling on an isolated Kuwaiti highway in an area too close to Iraq for settlers.  We stopped for repairs on our Command Post Vehicle known by our team as, “The Hooptie.” While our multi-talented crew sweated in the hot sun to get The Hooptie rolling again, COL Ford pulled me aside to say, “You know…the closer we get to the flagpole, the less fun this is gonna be.” I knew exactly what he meant.  I was also sure the Trail Boss was oblivious to it. Always confident in himself, his confidence grew (as did his hat size) even more as result of his experiences in Iraq as our XO and living out the legend of, “The Trail Boss.”

Mike: So, we made it back. The very next day after our raucous welcome, I was back at work in my old duty position, Deputy Ops Officer, working for a new boss. COL B.G. Lee was a Gyrene! All inter-service rivalry aside, B.G Lee was yet another example of my experience working with Marines. He was sharp, in shape and a great Boss. As my other previous bosses had (wisely) done, he focused on dealing with our higher and adjacent headquarters while I ran the shop. I wasn’t known for my tact, so it was probably best that he remained the “face of the command,” while I worked in the background.

Sergeant Major: Upon returning to the headquarters of a Two Star General, The Trail Boss became “just another Captain.” In this large headquarters, Majors (except for one and that’s another story) did some pretty menial work, while Lieutenant Colonels had to be pretty special to avoid such.  Captains? There was no assignment for a Captain anywhere near as glorious as being…The Trail Boss.  His crash into reality would be hard.

Mike: Based on his stellar performance in Iraq, I could see that The Trail Boss had in the words in every ArmyOfficer’s Promotion Order, “demonstrated potential for increased responsibility.” It was time to see if he could perform just as well in an important assignment that although not as “Trail Boss cool,” was still critical to mission success. So, I seconded him over to another part of the operation—The D/ROPS (Deployment/Redeployment Operations) branch of the G-3. Redeployment was the most important thing in our world. Now that we had “won the war” (or so the higher-ups thought at the time) the emphasis was to “get the troops home by Christmas.” Where have we heard THAT before?

Sergeant Major: COL Ford arranged for The Trail Boss to work for COL Jim Raney.  COL Raney was a brilliant, no nonsense leader with a well-earned reputation for, “get the job done or get the hell out!”

Mike: For his current task, my good friend Jim Raney not only needed a hard-nosed attitude, but he also needed a couple of battle-proven Action Officers to put together and enforce the redeployment schedule. The Commander of every combat unit in the theater, thought HIS unit should be first in line to get out of the desert and back home, This of course, was impossible. We had to develop a clear, well executed system, enforced by competent staff. If not, we’d never be able to withstand the quite justifiable ire of Commanders and Troops champing at the bit to get home after a job well done. The Trail Boss, as part of his continuing education, would get to be a part of that grueling and thankless task.

Sergeant Major: Did I mention The Trail Boss’s crash into reality would hit hard? Late one night and after only two days of working for COL Raney, Boss comes to see his wise old Sergeant Major seeking advice. Now I love The Trail Boss, but that night, he was whining like a little girl who had lost her best Barbie. He was sniveling about how demanding COL Raney was and how hard it was to work for him.  He wanted to quit the Army when we returned to stateside.

The reality is that COL Ford had allowed Boss pretty much a free hand as long as he got the job done.  To say Trail Boss got the job done, is a gross understatement.  He got all tasks done along with many others, before they could be assigned to him…or anyone else for that matter.  He rolled through Iraq cleaning house before anyone knew the house was dirty.  If you were that type of worker and achiever, COL Ford would allow you a little “operational leeway.” The Trail Boss had become accustomed to a lot of leeway with COL Ford, but had yet to make his bones with COL Raney.

Mike: I was more fortunate than The Trail Boss. Being “demoted” from Commander of a forward-deployed element, back to Deputy G-3, wasn’t near the fall The Trail Boss had to endure. I got right back into the rhythm I had left; 20 hour days making sure stuff stayed coordinated while making my boss look good. All was well with my little world…or so I thought.

Sergeant Major: Although I was honored that The Trail Boss would seek my experience, after listening to his complaints, I knew there was only one person that could straighten him out. “Follow me,” I said.  He did.  I took Boss directly to COL Ford’s desk and threw him right under the bus. At that point, The Trail Boss firmly believed that after hearing his story, COL Ford would go right over and “straighten Raney out.” That wasn’t an unreasonable belief. COL Ford and I had regularly jumped anyone that jacked our people around in Iraq.  

I had no clue what COL Ford was going to do, but I knew that “straighten Raney out” wasn’t it. Barely looking up, he growled at the young Captain, “Assume the position.” As The Trail Boss came to attention, I tried to dismiss myself, but COL Ford said, “No, Sergeant Major. You need to hear this too.”

Mike: This one was going to be easy. I could see the problem right off. What this all came down to was Green Beans and Ice Cream. Like Momma used to tell us all, “No dessert until you eat your green beans!” The U.S. Army hadn’t been in a major fight since Desert Storm and before that Viet Nam. There had been the small contingency operation here and there, but nothing involving pretty much our entire Armed Forces, Active, Reserve and national guard. When Trail Boss’s cohort entered the Army, there was the expectation of a lot of paperwork, inspections, vehicle maintenance and very little field work—in short, a lot of “Green Beans” and very little “Ice Cream.”

The problem I was facing here, was that this young Captain had gotten to eat a lot of Ice Cream (and very few green beans) very early on in his career. His Ice Cream wasn’t just Vanilla either. As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, his Ice Cream had all kinds of extra flavors, flavors in the form of being a very young Captain, routinely taking responsibility and making decisions that in peacetime, would likely be withheld to the Colonel or even General Officer level. Heady stuff indeed. And now full of Ice Cream, this young Captain didn’t want to eat his Green Beans.

Sergeant Major: COL Ford read the riot act to Trail Boss in the form of the now famous “Green Beans and Ice Cream” speech.  The bottom line was that before Boss could have more Ice Cream, that being more rank, responsibility, and respect, he to first eat his green beans. He had to excel under a hard ass, no nonsense, highly respected leader like COL Jim Raney.  If Boss could not make it under COL Raney, he wouldn’t be the one picked to lead a team such as ours in the next big fight that America found itself in. After receiving this little bit of directed and focused leadership, The Trail Boss, with his shoulders slumped and tail tucked firmly between his legs, a former legend now reduced to a mere Captain who had just been word whupped by his COL, slunk out of the office.

Mike: My Sergeant Major and I discussed how we thought this would turn out.  He was much more sanguine than I, having a lot more confidence in my leadership abilities than I did. We were both hoping that we had bet on the right Captain.

Mike and Sergeant Major (Today—15 years Later): The rest of the story covers the next sixteen years.  Captain Howard M. aka “The Trail Boss,” is still on active duty and now a Lieutenant Colonel.

How do them green beans taste now!

Afterword

“It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.”— Robert E. Lee, at Fredericksburg

The above quote, like this series of real life vignettes, is not meant by any means to glorify or make light of war. Our team was lucky. Although we had some pretty frightening moments and saw some horrific things, we never had to experience the sheer terror faced by our young troops jumping off of landing craft and into a hail of German machine-gun fire at Normandy Beach.

Westlake Legal Group B59CDE3D-2307-456E-A598-EB25FB6D89DB-300x200 Tales Of The Trail Boss: Conclusion (Green Beans and Ice Cream) Uncategorized Military leadership Military Humor leadership Humor Front Page Stories Featured Story Allow Media Exception

We did, however, accomplish all that was asked of us and in that effort, formed some great memories and strong bonds. Those memories and bonds made my association with these fine Americans one of the most satisfying things I have ever been a part of. We became a “Band of Brothers.”

Michael A. Ford
Colonel of Infantry
June 2019

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

Previous Chapters of Trail Boss’s Adventures:

1. https://www.redstate.com/darth641/2019/05/19/trail-boss-tallil-tom-green-beans-ice-cream.-part-iii-trail-boss

2. https://www.redstate.com/darth641/2019/05/26/tales-trail-boss-part-ii-tallil-tom/

3. https://www.redstate.com/darth641/2019/06/02/tales-trail-boss-part-iii-great-train-robbery/

The post Tales Of The Trail Boss: Conclusion (Green Beans and Ice Cream) appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 0E4EA1D5-0C79-4EB8-990D-9F930E37229C-300x200 Tales Of The Trail Boss: Conclusion (Green Beans and Ice Cream) Uncategorized Military leadership Military Humor leadership Humor Front Page Stories Featured Story Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

More Winning! Additional Benefits From Mexico Deal?

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More Winning! Additional Benefits From Mexico Deal?

As noted here by my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn and your humble scribe here, Donald Trump has secured a signed agreement with Mexico, securing their assistance in stemming the tide of illegal aliens swarming across our Southern border. Yesterday on Breitbart News Saturday, host Matt Boyle interviewed Stephen Moore, onetime Trump Fed nominee, forced to withdraw due to establishment resistance.

Moore had this to say about President Trump’s deal with Mexico. Note: I transcribed this from a recorded broadcast. Any errors are of course, mine. The entire segment can be found on Sirius XM.

You know, I have to confess, I was against the tariffs strategy. I didn’t think Mexico would come to the table. I’ll admit I was wrong, because; Boy has this worked; Now Mexico has sent thousands of their National Guard to the border. So, this is a big, big victory for Donald Trump.

Moore went on to describe his assessment as it relates to the much larger trade dispute—with China. Here’s the money quote.

I do think this will have a positive implication for the China negotiations because China is going to look at this thing and go, “Ha, this guy really knows how to negotiate, he’s going to win,” If Trump can get that same kind of concession from China, and I think he will, like he got from Mexico, the economy is just going to soar.

The part about China all of the sudden having some great epiphany regarding President Trump’s negotiating skills is pretty good public relations, but not much else. I do agree that the President is very likely to come to an agreement with China; an agreement as good or better than with Mexico. Here’s why.

What has happened over the past 6 months is that the net trade relationship between Mexico (and Canada) has strengthened. If this newly-signed agreement proves out, that relationship will get even better. With escalating tariffs on Chinese goods increasing costs, the environment is now set for U.S. trade merchants to seek other suppliers, perhaps in Mexico and/or Canada. These suppliers could also be other partners in the Pacific Rim.

In any case, no matter which country(s) step up as replacement partners, there will be additional pressure on China. As an added benefit to that, China will have far less U.S. consumer-provided revenue to fund its military expansion in the South China Sea.

Winning!

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

The post More Winning! Additional Benefits From Mexico Deal? appeared first on RedState.

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In Heavy-Handed Purge of Nazi Videos, YouTube is Deleting WWII Educational Videos Too

YouTube is facing a new wave of criticism after their new rules banning videos that promote Nazi ideology or Holocaust denial were put into effect in a way that resulted in educational videos used to instruct about World War II and the Holocaust being blocked as well.

A report by The Guardian interviewed several British history teachers who had seen their video channels featuring archival films from the WWII period deleted, and attempts to upload new content blocked. As The Guardian noted, in previous generations, teachers would often show VHS tapes in their classrooms, but most now rely on online content like YouTube for supplemental material.

Scott Allsop, a teacher at an international school in Romania, had his entire YouTube channel with hundreds of clips on European history from the Norman conquest to the Cold War taken down. Many of the clips were originally featured in BBC documentaries that are no longer easily available, and original archival videos of speeches by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and other well-known Nazi officials.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, sent Allsop an automated email saying his channel had been deleted because it included  “content that promotes hatred or violence against members of a protected group.”

“It’s absolutely vital that YouTube work to undo the damage caused by their indiscriminate implementation as soon as possible,” Allsop told The Guardian. “Access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort.”

After an appeal, Allsop was able to get his channel reinstated, but found the way YouTube’s automated process originally struck him down very frustrating, and contrary to YouTube’s stated goals for their anti-hate speech policies. YouTube’s appeals process is notoriously opaque, and users have a limited time to initiate an appeal or see their content permanently deleted.

“I fully support YouTube’s increased efforts to curb hate speech,” said Allsop, “but also feel that silencing the very people who seek to teach about its dangers could be counter-productive to YouTube’s intended goal.”

The MIT Technology Review reported on the controversy as well, noting that big tech companies have immense power as the “gatekeepers of material we consume online,” and the balance between allowing content and not promoting hate speech is a “fraught and complex” balance, with a very real “risk of unintended consequences when policies and algorithms are tweaked.”

Nonetheless, “[t]his complexity doesn’t excuse YouTube, which is owned by Google, of its responsibilities.”

As I wrote earlier this week, YouTube’s algorithm that recommends which videos you watch next has some critical vulnerabilities that cater to the prurient interests of pedophiles. It’s troubling that YouTube so far has refused to remedy some of the main issues, because to do so would likely impact their revenue.

It all comes back to the key point that these behemoth social media platforms have an enormous influence on the news, entertainment, and even educational content that we consume. My general tendency towards free market libertarianism recognizes YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are private companies, but the ongoing lack of transparency and clarity regarding their rules, and the impersonal, heavy-handed enforcement mechanisms that often operate using automated, difficult-if-not-impossible-to-appeal methods, is a growing problem that these companies have a moral duty to address.

For example, regarding YouTube, most social media platforms have ways to verify the identity of users. Allowing educators and students to verify their identities as associated with a college or school, perhaps through their institutional .edu email address, might be a solution that would clarify that a video of a Hitler speech is intended for educational purposes.

There is no way to purge Nazis from the internet entirely — Richard Jones-Nerzic, another history teacher quoted in The Guardian article noted that the comments sections of his videos were sometimes “hijacked by neo-fascists” — but purging the educational content that allows future generations to learn about the Holocaust is not the answer either. If we are serious about our commitment to the principle of “Never Again,” continuing to teach these historical periods is our solemn duty.

 

For further reading:

YouTube’s Video Recommendation Algorithm Caters To Pedophiles, And They Refuse To Fix It

The Most Terrible Thing I Saw At Dachau

 

Read my RedState article archive here.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

The post In Heavy-Handed Purge of Nazi Videos, YouTube is Deleting WWII Educational Videos Too appeared first on RedState.

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DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Received $42K In Bonuses After Two Demotions…And A Raise

Westlake Legal Group Bruce-Ohr DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Received $42K In Bonuses After Two Demotions…And A Raise Tom Fitton President Trump nellie ohr Mueller Investigation Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption collusion Bruce Ohr Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

In late 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee discovered that DOJ official Bruce Ohr had acted as a back channel between Christopher Steele, who had been paid by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and the FBI. He had not informed his superiors that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was also working for Fusion GPS. They saw this as a conflict of interest. As a result, he received two demotions in late 2017. Prior to that time, Ohr had served as the Associate Deputy Attorney General, the fourth highest ranking position at the DOJ. Ohr also worked as the Director of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces and lost that position as well.

In June 2018, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about Ohr’s status while testifying before the House Intelligence Committee and answered:

Mr. Ohr is a career employee of the department. He was there when I arrived. To my knowledge, he wasn’t working on the Russia matter. When we learned of the relevant information, we arranged to transfer Mr. Ohr to a different office.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, watchdog group Judicial Watch learned this week that, after two demotions, Ohr “received a total of $42,520 in performance bonuses during the Trump/Russia investigation. Ohr’s bonus nearly doubled from $14,520 (received in November 2015) to $28,000 in November 2016.”

This boggles the mind.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that the documents  “raise questions as to whether the conflicted Bruce Ohr, who the FBI used to launder information from Christopher Steele was rewarded for his role in the illicit targeting of President Trump.” According to Judicial Watch:

The documents show that on November 13, 2016, Ohr was given a performance award of $28,000. This was during the time of his deep involvement in the highly controversial Justice Department surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign. The bonus was nearly double the $14,250 performance award he was given on November 29, 2015.

Ohr was removed from his Associate Deputy position due to conflict of interest because his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working exclusively for the founder of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson on the Russia investigation. Nellie Ohr is a Russia expert, believed to speak Russian fluently and was also using her husband to pass information from Fusion GPS, as multiple emails obtained by Judicial Watch have shown.

The documents show that Ohr was removed from his position as Associate Deputy Attorney General on December 6, 2017. On January 7, 2018, Ohr was reassigned from his position of director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and shifted to Counselor for International Affairs in the Department of Justice Criminal Division. Ohr received a $2,600 pay increase.

Was this a situation where, because Ohr was caught in his role as a liaison between Steele and the FBI, DOJ officials had to create the appearance of punishing Ohr? Although they took away two of his titles, they didn’t reduce his salary. In fact, he received a $2,600 pay raise upon his second demotion. Then, he was even granted merit bonuses. What kind of punishment is that? If Ohr’s role had not been discovered by the Senate investigators, would he have lost his titles?

Judicial Watch has several FOIA requests outstanding which might shed some light on these questions.

As an employee of Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr worked on digging up dirt about the Trump family. She was also in touch with several of her husband’s colleagues at the DOJ with whom she shared her research from time to time. In an email from a recent batch of 339 pages, Nellie told her husband she was deleting all emails from his DOJ email account.

Over the last year or so, Judicial Watch has sued for and received a large number of documents about both Bruce Ohr and his wife, Nellie Ohr. This information, which contains links to specific documents can be found here.

The post DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Received $42K In Bonuses After Two Demotions…And A Raise appeared first on RedState.

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OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020

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Mitt being Mitt is one of those things you can always count on in politics. He just can’t help himself.

On the second Saturday in June we have news that two-time Presidential hopeful and a perennial person running for some sort of office, Sen. Mitt Romney, announces for no particular reason that he might NOT support Donald Trump for re-election in 2020.

Enthralling.

From the The Guardian

Mitt Romney may not endorse Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, partly because the 2012 Republican nominee thinks political endorsements are not “worth a thimble of spit”.

That said, the Utah senator remains happy to endorse his choice for president in 2016. Then, having called his party’s nominee “a phoney, a fraud”, he voted for his wife, Ann. This week, Romney said: “I still think she’s doing a fine job.”

The former Massachusetts governor was elected to the Senate last year, after attempts at a rapprochement with Trump produced an unsuccessful bid to be named secretary of state that generated embarrassing public appearances.

Trump endorsed Romney for Congress. Nonetheless the senator has emerged as a leading critic, if inconsistently and largely if not entirely regarding foreign policy.

Well, he does get some creativity points for calling endorsements a “thimble of spit” as opposed to a cart full of manure. I do wonder however how much spit Romney had to produce when he went looking for Trump’s endorsement in his failed 2012 campaign against Barrack Obama?

Endorsements, for the most part, are full of nothing but ego stroking on both sides. The only time it really matters is if it comes with a boatload of cash or the use of a pre-existing successful political machine. So I have no argument when dissing on them in general.

The problem I have is that it always seems that Romney jumps up and down when he fears he might be forgotten about. He made these comments at the E2 Summit in Park City, Utah and being he is the host of this event, he made sure to grab some of that warm spotlight for himself.

Mitt has been critical of Trump many times in the past so his criticism of him at certain times makes sense. Yet in the very same “LOOK AT ME” event, he took the time to both criticize Trump for tariffs on Mexico ( his comments were before Trump announced the deal with the Mexican government on halting tariffs) and applauded the ones with China.

How does a 72-year-old man twist himself up in a pretzel like that and sleep well at night?

Maybe Mitt is still bitter that he did not get the Secretary of State job he wanted with Trump. Maybe he is still in shock over his loss in 2012 to Obama and considers himself the de facto leader of the GOP. Maybe the man loves attention as much as Trump but the only thing he brings to the table other than flip-flopping is he has better hair.

Whatever the reason is you can expect Mitt to pop off at certain times to let the press know that it is once again ok to love him. The 2012 campaign is almost 8 years behind us and he is (not) fully against the guy in the White House of his own party. Show him some love CNN.

I can’t wait until Romney moves back to Michigan to run for something else.

Check out my other post on Rachel Maddow Gets Blacklisted And Why CNN, MSNBC Always Get Beat In The Ratings and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020 appeared first on RedState.

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DOJ Court Filing Shows Yet Another Discrepancy Between the Mueller Report and Reality

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Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

 

The Mueller report is turning out to be as truthful as the Steele dossier.

A DOJ court filing shows that the FBI actually began spying on Michael Flynn in January 2016 rather than December 2016 as the FBI and the Mueller report maintain.

Thursday’s filing shows that Flynn had contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in both December 2015 and January 2016. Within days of Flynn’s January phone call to Kislyak, the spying began.

During Flynn’s January 24, 2017 FBI interview, he told agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka about these contacts. Although a redacted copy of the 302 report was released last December, Flynn’s remarks about his early contacts with Kislyak only appear on the unredacted 302 which was included in Thursday’s DOJ court filing. (The 302 can be viewed here.)

Now we know why this information was redacted.

Flynn told Strzok and Pientka that he had “met with Kislyak at the Russian Ambassador’s residence next to the University Club prior to traveling to Russia in December 2015.”  This visit is described in the 302 as a “courtesy call.” Flynn was scheduled to speak in Moscow at a Russia Today (RT) event about Middle East issues for which he was paid $45,000. He sat next to Putin at the dinner. The 302 indicated that “Flynn received an appropriate “threat briefing” from U.S. officials before attending.”

Flynn told the agents that he called Kislyak in January 2016 upon hearing of the death of “former GRU Director Igor Sergun’s death in Lebanon…to express his condolences” and note that Sergun was “someone the U.S. could work with.” Sergun died Jan. 3, 2016.”

Fox News’ Gregg Re reports that several days after Flynn’s phone call to Kislyak, it became known that Flynn was informally advising the Trump campaign. FBI informant Stefan Halper “sprang into action” to spy on him. (Halper also contacted other members of Trump’s campaign including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis several months later which was disclosed in May 2018.)

Halper contacted Russian academic and writer Svetlana Lokhova, who resides in London, to glean some information about Flynn.

In addition, Lokhova received a dinner party invitation from Christopher Andrew. He was a Cambridge professor and the official historian for MI5, the British domestic intelligence service, with whom she had co-written a book. The other invited guests were to be Halper and his wife. Lokhova was given a choice of two dates the next month.

Lokhova told Fox News, “It was very, very unusual because Stefan Halper and I, despite being part of the same group, and meeting pretty much in a public forum, we’ve had no personal contact at all. [Halper] to me was an obnoxious academic who absolutely hated all Russians.”

Lokhova filed a lawsuit last month against Halper, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and MSNBC. According to Fox News:

Lokhova accused Halper and various news media outlets of conspiring to defame her, by falsely claiming she had inappropriate contact with Flynn to further the narrative that Flynn was compromised by Russia.

The complaint asserted that “Stefan Halper is a ratf—– and a spy, who embroiled an innocent woman in a conspiracy to undo the 2016 Presidential election and topple the President of the United States of America.”

According to the lawsuit, “On January 12, 2016, [Cambridge Professor Christopher] Andrew emailed Lokhova, and invited her and her partner, David North (‘North’), to Andrew’s house to have dinner with Halper and his wife. Two dates in February were offered. Andrew stated that the purpose of the dinner was to discuss the book that Lokhova and he were authoring. Lokhova was perplexed. At no point before this unexpected invitation had Halper expressed any interest in Lokhova’s work.”

“Halper had no interest in Lokhova’s work. Rather, Halper wanted to have dinner with Lokhova to probe her for information relating to Flynn in the hopes that his FBI handlers might find a basis upon which to file an application to conduct surveillance and spy on General Flynn.”

Up until now, it was thought that Flynn’s calls to Kislyak during the transition period in December 2016 had been the start of the FBI’s interest in Flynn. But this new information shows that it actually began in January 2016.

The Mueller report does not mention the spying activity which occurred earlier in 2016. Instead, they maintain that the FBI’s interest in Flynn began when his phone calls with Kislyak during the transition (December 2016) were discovered.

No surprise. We’ve heard of three other instances where the Mueller report has omitted inconvenient information in the last week already. This is number four. Yes, I am counting.

According to Mueller’s report:

Members of the intelligence community were surprised by Russia’s decision not to retaliate in response to the sanctions. When analyzing Russia’s response, they became aware of Flynn’s discussion of sanctions with Kislyak. Previously, the FBI had opened an investigation of Flynn based on his relationship with the Russian government. Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak became a key component of that investigation.

When can we call out Mueller and his team of angry Democrats for their lies?

The more the Mueller report is scrutinized, the more discrepancies are found.

The other item that was learned from Thursday’s court filing is that Kislyak asked Flynn “to set up a videoconference between the president-elect and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 21, 2017, they day after Trump’s inauguration.”

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Trump Does It Again!

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Mexican federal police in riot gear receive instructions at the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Members of a 3,000-strong migrant caravan have massed in this Guatemalan border town across the muddy Suchiate River from Mexico, (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Trump Does It Again!

President Trump has done it again. He has just sprung another trap on the left—and RINO Republicans, on illegal immigration. As my Red State colleague Elizabeth Vaughn writes today, there appears to be a not quite unexpected and rapid (from my point of view) breakthrough between the United States and the Mexicans. President Trump just announced a signed border agreement that will have Mexico keep asylum applicants on their side of the border until their cases are adjudicated.

This is huge. Within a matter of days, President Trump has been able to put all the naysayers in their place on his signature campaign issue, illegal immigration. Of course, the devil is always in the details and we can count on the leftists to pick apart any agreement. Such is the nature of our Republic.

Here’s what we can also count on as I’ve spoke of here, here and here, if they haven’t already, these leftists whom have everyone but America’s interests at stake, will almost certainly try to use their ace in the hole when things don’t go their way—Lawfare. I give it a week at most, before they fine a tame judge to issue a stay on enforcement of this agreement.

This could actually be a good thing going into 2020. President Trump and his team fight this in court, all the way up to November 2020, while at the same time, demonstrating an ever expanding border wall. The Democrats and their RINO enablers will be placed in an ever more difficult position come Election Day. Support this presidential initiative and he wins. Come out against it using the legal system as they are very likely to do and he wins again. Not only will this add to the President’s electoral count, but Republican House candidates, both incumbent and aspiring, will have a solid difference to point to.

“I’m supporting our President’s joint initiative with Mexico to secure our borders, helping those in need, while protecting Americans jobs.” “My opponent supports lawsuits intended to promote the invasion of our Nation by drug dealers, murderers and other criminals.”

—Any Republican Candidate

That’s about as good as it gets. A signature Presidential achievement and a boost to your own team in the House races. Nicely done Mr. President.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

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Triumph: Trump ‘Indefinitely Suspends’ Tariffs on Mexican Goods

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-27-620x317 Triumph: Trump ‘Indefinitely Suspends’ Tariffs on Mexican Goods U.S. - Mexico Joint Declaration trade President Trump National Security migrants Marcelo Ebrard Kevin McAleenan immigration Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump Border Wall Funding Allow Media Exception

This frame grab from video provided by Televisa, shows migrants bound for the U.S.-Mexico border waiting on a bridge that stretches over the Suchiate River, connecting Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. The gated entry into Mexico via the bridge has been closed. The U.S. president has made it clear to Mexico that he is monitoring its response. On Thursday he threatened to close the U.S. border if Mexico didn’t stop the caravan. (Televisa via AP)

 

President Trump announced on Friday night that he has “indefinitely suspended” the tariffs on Mexican imports into the U.S. that were due to go into effect on Monday. He sent the following tweet:

I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to….stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed the agreement in the following tweets.

Translation of Ebrard’s tweets:

There will be no application of rates by the US on Monday. Thanks to all the people who have supported us, giving an account of the greatness of Mexico.

We are reaching an agreement with the US, I am in the state department. In a few minutes I will give details to the media.

The State Department published a U.S. – Mexico Joint Declaration which can be viewed at the end of this post. Here are the highlights.

Mexico has agreed to take measures to stem the flow of Central Americans from traveling through their country to reach the U.S.  The country has agreed to “take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement.” This will include deploying its National Guard throughout the country and taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations.

The U.S. will “rapidly return” asylum seekers to Mexico where “they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims.”

Discussions will continue over the next 90 days at which point a final agreement will be reached.

According to Reuters, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his “team had resisted the United States’ requests to send deported Guatemalans to Mexico” and that “he was satisfied with the deal.” Ebrard told reporters, “I think it’s a fair balance because they had more drastic measures and proposals at the start and we reached some middle point.”

Last week, acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan said the U.S. had three goals. The first two were addressed in Friday night’s agreement. “First is tightening security on Mexico’s border with Guatemala and chokepoints in southern Mexico (such as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec). Second is targeting the smuggling organizations. The logistical effort to move 100,000 people through a country every four weeks is immense. This is noticeable.”

The third, which was not addressed in the declaration, was a “safe third party” agreement. This is an issue that both Trump and Pence had been looking for in any agreement with Mexico.  McAleenan said, “We need to be able to protect people in the first safe country they arrive in — really, all through the hemisphere, but certainly with our partner to the south.”

The National Review’s Mark Krikorian explains:

In other words, the administration wants Mexico to sign a “safe third country” agreement, whereby foreigners who pass through Mexico would not be permitted even to apply for asylum at the U.S. border, and Mexico would agree to take them back, because if they were genuinely fleeing persecution, they should have applied in the first safe country they reached. As Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation wrote last fall about one of the migrant caravans, “ignoring Mexico’s asylum process is prima facie evidence that a claim for asylum in the U.S. is bogus.”

I assume this issue will be addressed as talks continue over the next 90 days. A safe third country agreement is the most important and consequential of the U.S. goals.

Still, this is an enormous triumph for President Trump who was widely criticized for offering an ultimatum to Mexico. Even many Republicans had been calling for him to walk back his threat over the last week. But he stood strong and Mexico caved.

Predictably, the President’s many enemies downplayed the outcome of Trump’s power play last night.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke of Texas tweeted: “The damage of Trump’s reckless trade policies and tariffs has already been done. What we see is yet another example of him trying to be both the arsonist who created this problem in the first place and the firefighter who wants credit for addressing it.”

Ned Price, former Obama administration spokesman for the National Security Council, tweeted: “He’s so predictable. It’s a simple recipe: —Manufacture a crisis on an issue of importance to the base. —Leave success undefined. —Pretend to play hardball in a way that rallies the base. —“Solve” the manufactured crisis. —Disguise the status quo as a “huge success.”

Well, Mr. Price, this is a “huge success” for the President.

U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration

As a result of these discussions, the United States and Mexico commit to:

Mexican Enforcement Surge

Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks. Additionally, the United States and Mexico commit to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including information sharing and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border.

Migrant Protection Protocols

The United States will immediately expand the implementation of the existing Migrant Protection Protocols across its entire Southern Border.

In response, Mexico will authorize the entrance of all of those individuals for humanitarian reasons, in compliance with its international obligations, while they await the adjudication of their asylum claims. Mexico will also offer jobs, healthcare and education according to its principles.

The United States commits to work to accelerate the adjudication of asylum claims and to conclude removal proceedings as expeditiously as possible.

Further Actions

Both parties also agree that, in the event the measures adopted do not have the expected results, they will take further actions. Therefore, the United States and Mexico will continue their discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.

Ongoing Regional Strategy

The United States and Mexico reiterate their previous statement of December 18, 2018, that both countries recognize the strong links between promoting development and economic growth in southern Mexico and the success of promoting prosperity, good governance and security in Central America. The United States and Mexico welcome the Comprehensive Development Plan launched by the Government of Mexico in concert with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to promote these goals. The United States and Mexico will lead in working with regional and international partners to build a more prosperous and secure Central America to address the underlying causes of migration, so that citizens of the region can build better lives for themselves and their families at home.

 

 

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Slay, Queen, Slay: GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel Absolutely Burns Joe Biden Over His Hyde Amendment Flip Flop

Westlake Legal Group ronna-mcdaniel-620x349 Slay, Queen, Slay: GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel Absolutely Burns Joe Biden Over His Hyde Amendment Flip Flop washington D.C. Ronna McDaniel republicans Pro-Life Politics North Carolina Joe Biden Hyde Amendment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Campaigns Allow Media Exception Abortion 2020 Elections 2020

After much confusion, pressure, and waffling earlier this week over his Hyde Amendment stance, 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden announced Thursday that he had officially reversed course on his long-held position on the 43-year-old pro-life amendment.

To recap:

“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” he said.

The Hyde Amendment is a four-decade-old ban on federal dollars being used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger.

[…]

Biden told the crowd Thursday night he had changed his mind because Republican state lawmakers have enacted “extreme laws in clear violation of constitutional rights” protected by the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, making access to abortions more difficult for women who cannot afford the procedure or travel to obtain it.

He said he makes “no apologies” for his previous support for the Hyde Amendment.

“But circumstances have changed. I’ve been working through the final details of my health care plan like others in this race and I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” Biden said.

Naturally, Biden is receiving a lot of justifiable criticism from conservatives over his politically convenient flip flop, but perhaps none will leave as deep a burn as the one issued by GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who tweeted this Thursday night:

Ouch.

McDaniel was referring to plagiarism allegations that have long plagued Biden’s political career, most recently over his climate change plan.

In spite of that, and in spite of the numerous unwanted touching allegations he faced earlier this year, Biden has consistently been ahead by double digits in Democratic presidential polling – even well before he jumped into the race.

————–
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

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