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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 160)

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.

Westlake Legal Group 2629711091_cc0dfc386c_b-e1560027418179-300x222 In Heavy-Handed Purge of Nazi Videos, YouTube is Deleting WWII Educational Videos Too youtube wwii Social Media nazi holocaust Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Entertainment Education Censorship Allow Media Exception Adolf Hitler   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Smart Girl Podcast Ep.#137: D-Day Special

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Redstate Deputy Managing Editor joins the podcast to honor her late grandfather and share some of his D-day letters to his new bride.
Los Angeles actually rejects a tax for once in their recent special election. Are California citizens reaching a breaking point?
April rages against the milk machine…why she thinks our dairy habits are a problem.

Thanks to our sponsors at Lightstream.
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The post Smart Girl Podcast Ep.#137: D-Day Special appeared first on RedState.

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Checkmate: Donor Urges Boycott Over Abortion Law, University of Alabama Takes His Name Off Law School

Westlake Legal Group al-620x351 Checkmate: Donor Urges Boycott Over Abortion Law, University of Alabama Takes His Name Off Law School University of Alabama prolife Law School heartbeat law Front Page Stories Featured Story donor culverhouse Abortion

Recently there have been a spate of calls from various private sector entities to boycott states that have passed pro-life legislation in the vein of “heartbeat” bills. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has pushed back against criticisms about the bill, saying:

You simply cannot defer protecting lives of unborn children because of cost.

Now another Alabama entity is refusing to bow to the boycott mob. NPR reports that the University of Alabama has returned a $21.5 million gift after the donor publicly called for industry boycotts of the state over the newly minted abortion laws. Furthermore, the school has opted to remove the donor’s name from their law school altogether.

The University of Alabama’s board of trustees has voted to return a $21.5 million gift from Hugh Culverhouse Jr. — the school’s biggest donor — and take his name off its law school. The move comes after Culverhouse urged businesses and prospective students to boycott the university and the state over Alabama’s new abortion law.

The school says the transaction to return the funds was processed Friday morning and that it will also return any accrued interest. Last fall, Culverhouse pledged to donate a total of $26.5 million over four years.

“The action taken by the Board today was a direct result of Mr. Culverhouse’s ongoing attempts to interfere in the operations of the Law School,” the university’s vice chancellor for communication, Kellee Reinhart, said Friday. “That was the only reason the Board voted to remove his name and return his money.”

Culverhouse seemed unphased by the move, saying it was not unexpected and while he did not demand his donation be returned he did not want his family to be associated with a system that “discriminates against women”. The Culverhouse family has been a supporter of Planned Parenthood since the 1950s.

“I expected this response from UA,” he said. “I will not allow my family’s name to be associated with an educational system that advocates a state law which discriminates against women, disregards established Federal law and violates our Constitution. I want to make clear that I never demanded that $21.5 million be refunded and wonder if the University is attempting to silence my opinions by their quick response. I will not be silenced.”

“The action taken by the Board today was a direct result of Mr. Culverhouse’s ongoing attempts to interfere in the operations of the Law School,” the university’s vice chancellor for communication, Kellee Reinhart, said Friday. “That was the only reason the Board voted to remove his name and return his money.”

 

The post Checkmate: Donor Urges Boycott Over Abortion Law, University of Alabama Takes His Name Off Law School appeared first on RedState.

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

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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

Westlake Legal Group Romney-Ask-Mitt-Anything-300x200 OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020 white house washington D.C. The Guardian Social Media republicans President Trump Morning Briefing Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections donald trump Conservatives Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2019

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.

Westlake Legal Group Romney-Ask-Mitt-Anything-300x200 OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020 white house washington D.C. The Guardian Social Media republicans President Trump Morning Briefing Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections donald trump Conservatives Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Chuck Schumer, Others Lose Their Minds Over Trump’s Deal With Mexico

Westlake Legal Group chuck-schumer-and-nancy-pelosi-responding-to-trum-2-23931-1547040396-4_dblbig-620x412 Chuck Schumer, Others Lose Their Minds Over Trump’s Deal With Mexico Politics No Tariffs Mexico Tariff Deal John Ziegler Illegal Immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story dumb donald trump Dishonest democrats delusional Chuck Schumer Biased

Last night, the U.S. and Mexico came to terms on a deal to help stem the flow of migrants north. Over 144,000 illegal aliens crossed last month, many of which immediately made frivolous asylum claims. There is no question such levels of abuse are at crisis level, so much so that even some Democrats have been unable to deny it any longer.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow party members have done absolutely nothing to help the situation. Instead, they’ve stonewalled monetary requests for things like bedding, facilities, and additional manpower. Then, as the situation worsened, they virtue signaled to the public about how awful it is that illegals being captured aren’t immediately given 5 star accommodations. It’s political but it’s also pretty disgusting.

Take Bernie Sanders, for example, where Rep. Dan Crenshaw promptly put him in his place.

After the deal was announced last night, you’d think Democrats who were preaching economic Armageddon a few days ago might just be quiet for a while. Take the loss and move on, don’t draw attention to it, etc.

But nah, this was Chuck Schumer’s response.

This is what it looks to suck at social media.

This is a “the jerk store called” level of a jab. You’d think he’d have staffers who could help him out here or perhaps this was a staffer, in which case they should probably be relieved of their Twitter duties.

Trump did the opposite of what Schumer claimed would happen and his only response is to idiotically, sarcastically assert that this must mean the problem is solved. Because signing a deal means all migrant flows stop immediately or something. I don’t know, the point is that it makes zero sense.

That’s what’s probably really motivating Schumer. The Democrats were salivating at the idea of Trump imposing tariffs that would hurt the economy going into 2020. Instead, Mexico caved to a reasonable level of action. That’s infuriating for liberals and open border advocates.

The same “look the crisis is over!” line was tried out by noted anti-Trumper John Zielgar last night as well.

That’s a level of delusion I’m not prepared to witness. It’s just awkward.

As I’ve said many times, I have nothing personal against people who disagree with Donald Trump. But when your default reaction to even positive news is to flail about, desperately trying to spin it as a negative, I can’t respect that.

After HotAir’s Jazz Shaw politely suggested to Ziegler that he perhaps just take a break, this was his response.

These people are deranged. Even in the face of objectively good news, they can’t just give credit where credit is due. If Mexico reneges on the deal, they’ll be plenty of time to cry about that later. For now, Trump scored a good victory for this country. Everyone should be supportive of that.

Instead you get crazed responses like those from Schumer and Ziegler. That’s 2019 for you.

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

Westlake Legal Group ap-mike-flynn-indicted-620x415 DOJ Court Filing Shows Yet Another Discrepancy Between the Mueller Report and Reality Svetlana Lokhova stefan halper Special Counsel Sergey Kislyak Robert Mueller President Trump Mueller Investigation Michael Flynn Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption cia christopher andrew Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

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.”

The post DOJ Court Filing Shows Yet Another Discrepancy Between the Mueller Report and Reality appeared first on RedState.

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A Judge Just Ordered the FBI to Further Release James Comey’s Memos

Westlake Legal Group ap-comey-hearing-620x415 A Judge Just Ordered the FBI to Further Release James Comey’s Memos Robert Mueller Politics Nothingburger Michael Flynn memo meeting media bias Judge Order james comey Front Page Stories Front Page FOIA Featured Story donald trump Comey memos

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

James Comey’s memos have always lived in a weird place in the Trump-Russia invesgitative saga. They are essentially the chief cause of Robert Mueller’s appointment, as the leaking of them is cited by Comey himself as a push for a special counsel. An innocuous comment about Michael Flynn in one of hte memos, which ended up going absolutely nowhere, was the primary evidence of “obstruction” early on and served as the buttress for Mueller’s appointment.

Never mind that the numbers work out in such a way that at least one of the released memos was done so illegally. Being held accountable when it comes to classified material is for suckers and military members, not virtuous defenders of freedom like James Comey.

Late yesterday, a judge ordered the memos to be further unredacted in response to a FOIA request.

What will we find? Probably not much as they were essentially irrelevant from the very beginning. Extemporaneous memos written by a noted liar and partisan like James Comey hold no more value than if Donald Trump wrote some memos about interactions with John Brennan. The media will try to spin it otherwise, but that should surprise no one as anything that targets Trump is fit to print in their eyes.

There is one section that will remain redacted.

Boasberg said the FBI’s argument that unredacting those portions would harm national security was inadequate. However, he agreed to keep one redaction in which the president speaks critically of a country.

“Given the statement and context, the Court has no trouble following the link offered by the FBI between disclosure and harm to national security,” Boasberg wrote.

That seems like a reasonable decision. There’s no public value in exposing the President remarking about another country in what was supposed to be a private conversation.

It should also be said that this is yet another case of the FBI over-classifying materials. In reality, it appears these new unredacted pieces have no bearing on national security, which was the exemption originally claimed by the bureau. Over and over, these bureaucratic outfits abuse the rules of classification, hiding things from the public that they actually have no right to hide. Something needs to be done about that but Congress can’t agree on what temperature to set the thermostat to, much less changing classification statutes.

Regardless, get ready for a few days of “bombshell” coverage because it’s revealed Trump said something mildly embarrassing. That’s likely all the media will get out of these. Comey is not going to implicate himself in a memo he wrote and we already know there’s nothing legally important in them. The real fun for James Comey comes down a little further down the road.

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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

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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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