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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 17)

CNN Analyst Apologizes for Discussing Hillary’s Emails Too Much

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-21-at-3.57.31-PM CNN Analyst Apologizes for Discussing Hillary’s Emails Too Much Media law journalism Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats CNN But Her Emails biased media Allow Media Exception

Screenshot from this video

The State Department just announced at the end of last week that they had completed their three year investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server.

They found almost 600 security violations. They found 38 people culpable in 91 of those security violations. For 497 of the 588 violations they couldn’t ascribe culpability because of the lapse of time and people having left the State Department. They didn’t, however, name who the 38 people were or what punishment they would receive, if any, as a result.

But because there was no punishment identified and the report said they didn’t conclude that there was “systemic deliberate mishandling” of classified information, media interpreted the report as clearing Clinton.

Pretty hard to understand how setting up a private server against rules, getting rid of over 30,000 emails that were under subpoenas, having her maid print some off and an absolute statement from the FBI that she sent and received multiple emails with classified information is not “systemic” or “deliberate,” but it gave media the hook they needed to skip right over the all the violations and pretend there was really nothing to the whole scandal after all.

The CNN panel ripped the focus on the emails. CNN’s Abby Phillip blasted the folks on the right for actually caring about the law. “We have to be careful how some of these false controversies get blown up for political purposes which is exactly what happened with the emails,” she even had the audacity to say. False controversy? Did the FBI think it was a ‘false controversy’ when they found that Hillary Clinton had in fact been “extremely careless” in sending and receiving multiple emails with classified information and that her account was likely compromised? Any similar situation and the person would be in jail serving time, as many have pointed out.

CNN contributor and former press secretary for Bill Clinton, Joe Lockhart, obviously an unbiased source on the subject, tried to deflect to questions about Jared Kushner which weren’t anything like what Hillary did.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin even apologized for spending too much time on the scandal during the election, saying that she “very likely lost the election because of it.”

From Free Beacon:

In a clip flagged by Mediaite, Toobin said the scandal “is also a story about the news media, about how much time we spent on that, and that’s something that I have felt a great deal of personal responsibility for.” He added that “Because I talked about the e-mails here at CNN, I wrote about it in the New Yorker, and I think I paid too much attention to them, and I regret that.”

“I hope a lesson is learned,” Toobin said. “I mean, this story turns out to be … a big nothing, and we spent months on it. Hillary Clinton very likely lost the election because of it, and I think I should have been talking about other issues, not about the e-mails.”

Substitute President Donald Trump’s name for Clinton and would you be hearing Toobin or any of the others saying that?

Indeed, we already know that you wouldn’t since we’re still waiting for his apology and that of CNN generally for their 24/7 promotion of the Russia collusion hoax. There was no apology when collusion was debunked by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Meanwhile, sending and receiving classified information improperly was always a felony, at least before Hillary Clinton came along.

So apparently the lesson that these folks have learned and are promoting is don’t do your job, if it might hurt the Democratic candidate.

The post CNN Analyst Apologizes for Discussing Hillary’s Emails Too Much appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-21-at-3.57.31-PM-300x203 CNN Analyst Apologizes for Discussing Hillary’s Emails Too Much Media law journalism Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats CNN But Her Emails biased media Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Stunning Snobbery: Former USDA Scientist Laments Agency’s Move to Missouri As the Death of Expertise

If there is one good thing we can point to without question that Donald Trump has done for the American people it is expose the absolute and utter elitist snobbery of the D.C. intellectual/government class.

Case in point: a stunningly whiny and clueless op ed in the Washington Post on Monday from a former USDA scientist complaining about the Department of Agriculture moving to Kansas City. Agriculture Secretary George Perdue announced last year that the agency would be moving in an attempt to get closer to the “stakeholders”.  The deadline has come and gone and unsurprisingly only 45 of the 568 employees have chosen to move with their employer. Andrew Crane-Droesch , who worked at the USDA until this year was shocked and appalled at such a naked attempt to purge the agency of “undesirables”.

Out of the blue, in August 2018, agriculture secretary George “Sonny” Perdue announced that my agency [would be moving]. He claimed that this would lower costs and bring us closer to “stakeholders.” That stated justification was a fig leaf for the administration’s true intentions. We didn’t need to sit next to a corn field to analyze agricultural policy, and Perdue knew that. He wanted researchers to quit their jobs.

One hardly knows where to start with this blatant snobbery, it is so insanely condescending. Crane-Droesch uses scare quotes around “stakeholders” and therein lies the red flag that signals the tragic disconnect between the D.C. elite and the average American. He thinks it is some kind of propaganda tool. It doesn’t even occur to him that he actually works for those stakeholders. It should excite him to be closer to the people he is literally paid to serve.

Joni Ernst gets it.

Also, the idea that he doesn’t “need to sit next to a corn field to analyze agricultural policy” is yet another marker of the problem with D.C. culture. None of these people ever get out of their bubble to actually view first hand the affects of their policy decisions and thus we just keep getting more and more terrible policy that is not at all reflective of the actual needs of actual Americans. This man is supposed to be a scientist. You’d think he’d relish being in the field. As usual, Trump Derangement Syndrome blinds all its victims to reason and logic. Perhaps it is a very good thing men like Crane-Droesch no longer research for our government. He doesn’t seem to have the proper faculties to do the job justice.

Crane-Droesch goes on to complain about all the “skill-sets” and “targeted expertise” that the public will now tragically lose due to the agency’s move to dumb, stupid, boring old Kansas City.

Oh gods and gasps! There surely can be absolutely no one anywhere  in the rest of this nation of 350 million people who can do Crane-Droesch’s job. He’s special! Too special for dumb, stupid, boring old Kansas City. I suppose America was going to be doomed one way or another, since Crane-Droesch is not immortal and surely will die one day. I guess when he’s gone we’ll have no one anywhere in the world who can study corn.

We loved ERS because it offered a rare degree of intellectual freedom, combined with the chance to make real impact. We got to spend a great deal of our time pursuing research questions that we defined, and the rest of the time, instead of logging service hours by sitting on committees, teaching, or grading like we would at a university, we got to advise on policies that affected people’s lives.

The lack of self-awareness among the “intellectual” D.C. class is breathtaking. Perhaps the fact that he “defined” the questions he was supposed to find answers to is a big reason Perdue thought the department needed to be moved. The questions should be defined by the people whom the answer will affect the most. This might sound controversial – and granted, I’m no scientist – but it seems to me the scientific method of discovery would be most affective if done in proximity to the subjects which it is applied to.

But maybe that’s just me.

Our union estimates that of 180 employees who were assigned to relocate, 141 declined. They weren’t willing to uproot their families, sacrifice their spouses’ careers, or in some cases disrupt their medical treatment, for an agency that remained firmly in Trump’s crosshairs. The agency has managed to hire a few sharp new researchers in Kansas City, but they’re just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s being lost, and it’ll take them a long time to learn their fields.

Crane-Droesch is so saturated in snobbery that he actually believes they all had the right to hold their jobs forever in the city they wanted at the pay grade they desired. Forever. Sounds…swampy.

Average Americans move for work every single day. This isn’t new. The Crane-Droesch’s of D.C. culture feel entitled to never have their lives disrupted for any reason. They literally think they are better than the rest of their fellow citizens, and that is not hyperbole. They think this.

This is the real problem. This is what America voted against, and will most likely vote against in 2020. It is the idea that culture only exists on the coasts and everything in between exists to support the coasts. These people have never been out of their bubble and yet contend they are they are the only people qualified to tell the rest of us how to live. They “study” our lives without ever seeing our lives.

I’ve lived all over this country and I mean that. The only place I’ve never lived is the Deep South and Alaska. I currently reside in the bubble of California. I can tell you that some of the most sophisticated, elevated and intelligent culture can be found in that dreaded flyover country. I once had the pleasure of staying with a family in the Black Hills of South Daktoa over Thanksgiving break in college. They were ranchers in the middle of nowhere. My friend got her license at 14 so she could drive to the one room schoolhouse in which her mother was the sole teacher. They were “country folk”, midwestern rancher stock…tough, hard-working and friendly…and the mother was one of only a handful of people nationwide who spoke original Sioux. She had been a Hollywood consultant at one time…all from her humble ranch in dumb, stupid, boring old South Dakota.

The country is filled with women like her but Crane-Droesch doesn’t even know she exists. He genuinely believes the greatest minds in the nation only reside within a few miles of his presence. There’s no way dumb, stupid, boring old Kansas City will be able to find anyone even close to his level of intelligence.

How unbelievably, stunningly obtuse.

As the kids day, please take several seats.

 

 

The post Stunning Snobbery: Former USDA Scientist Laments Agency’s Move to Missouri As the Death of Expertise appeared first on RedState.

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Judicial Watch Releases Email of Clinton and her Aides Discussing Benghazi Talking Points…on her Private Email Account

Westlake Legal Group hillary-benghazi-620x298 Judicial Watch Releases Email of Clinton and her Aides Discussing Benghazi Talking Points…on her Private Email Account jake sullivan Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Featured Story corruption Cheryl Mills Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

 

Watchdog group Judicial Watch released a new email which shows Hillary Clinton and her aides discussing how to frame her answers when she spoke to Senators about the cause of the Benghazi attacks. It also provides proof that she regularly used her private account to conduct State Department business. It was because of Judicial Watch’ efforts that we learned Clinton had been using a private email account in 2015. If the State Department hadn’t suppressed this document, they would have found out about it in 2014.

The Clinton email cover-up led to court-ordered discovery into three specific areas: whether Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server was intended to stymie FOIA; whether the State Department’s intent to settle this case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and whether the State Department has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s request. The court also authorized discovery into whether the Benghazi controversy motivated the cover-up of Clinton’s email. (The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton calls the email below a twofer. He says, “It shows Hillary Clinton misled the U.S. Senate on Benghazi and that the State Department wanted to hide the Benghazi connection to the Clinton email scheme. Rather than defending her email misconduct, the Justice Department has more than enough evidence to reopen its investigations into Hillary Clinton.”

Fitton adds that, “The court is considering whether to allow Judicial Watch to question Hillary Clinton and her top aide in person and under oath about the email and Benghazi controversies.”

Via Judicial Watch:

Below is an email from Jake Sullivan, then-Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton, to Clinton at her private email address (hdr22@clintonemail.com), cc to Cheryl Mills, then-Chief of Staff to Clinton. Email was forwarded to Phillipe Reines, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications and Clinton advisor.

From: Sullivan, Jacob J

Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2012 11 :09 AM

To: ‘hdr22@clintonemail.com’ <hdr22@clintonemail.com>

Cc: Mills, Cheryl D

Subject: Key points

HRC, Cheryl –

Below is my stab at tp’s for the Senator call. Cheryl, I’ve left the last point blank for you. These are rough but you get the point.

I look forward to sitting down and having a Hillary~to-John conversation about what we know. l know you were frustrated by the briefing we did and I’m sorry our hands were tied in that setting.

It’s important we see each other in person, but over the phone today I just wanted to make a few points.

First, we have been taking this deadly seriously, as we should. I set up the ARB in record time, with serious people on it. l will get to the bottom of all the security questions. We are also in overdrive working to track down the killers, and not just through the FBI. We will get this right.

Second, the White House and Susan were not making things up. They were going with what they were told by the IC [Intelligence community].

The real story may have been obvious to you from the start (and indeed I called it an assault by heavily armed militants in my first statement), but the IC gave us very different information. They were unanimous about it.

Let me read you an email from the day before Susan went on the shows. It provides the talking points for HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and for her public appearance. It’s from a very senior official at CIA, copying his counterparts at DNI [Director of National Intelligence], NCTC [National Counterterrorism Center], and FBI:

Here are the talking points …

–The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.

-This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.

–The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths US citizens.

That is exactly what Susan said, following the guidance from the IC. She obviously got bad advice. But she was not shading the truth.

Third, you have to remember that the video WAS important. We had four embassies breached because of protests inspired by it. Cairo, Tunis, Khartoum, and Sanaa. We had serious security challenges in Pakistan and Chennai and some other places. All this was happening at the same time. So many of the contemporaneous comments about the video weren’t referring in any way to Benghazi. Now of course even in those countries it was about much much more than the video, but the video was certainly a piece of it one we felt we had to speak to so that our allies in those countries would back us up.

Judicial Watch notes that it was they who uncovered the fact that the “talking points” used by Susan Rice for her appearances on five talk shows the Sunday after the Benghazi attacks, had been created by the Obama White House.

Judicial Watch filed their first request for records related to the Benghazi talking points in May 2014. In July 2014, they filed a FOIA lawsuit. Efforts to suppress this information by State Department officials kept it private for over five years. Aside from the embarrassing content of the email, it proves Clinton was conducting business regularly over her private server.

Here are some related items that Judicial Watch has learned recently from their FOIA lawsuits:

John Hackett, former Director of Information Programs and Services (IPS) testified under oath that he had raised concerns that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff may have “culled out 30,000” of the secretary’s “personal” emails without following strict National Archives standards. He also revealed that he believed there was interference with the formal FOIA review process related to the classification of Clinton’s Benghazi-related emails.

Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s White House liaison at the State Department, and later Clinton’s personal lawyer, admitted under oath that she was granted immunity by the Department of Justice in June 2016.

Justin Cooper, former aide to President Bill Clinton and Clinton Foundation employee who registered the domain name of the unsecure clintonemail.com server that Clinton used while serving as Secretary of State, testified he worked with Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, to create the non-government email system.

In the interrogatory responses of E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, he stated that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President.

Jacob “Jake” Sullivan, Clinton’s senior advisor and deputy chief of staff when she was secretary of state, testified that both he and Clinton used her unsecure non-government email system to conduct official State Department business.

Eric Boswell, former assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, testified that Clinton was warned twice against using unsecure BlackBerry’s and personal emails to transmit classified material.

The post Judicial Watch Releases Email of Clinton and her Aides Discussing Benghazi Talking Points…on her Private Email Account appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group hillary-benghazi-300x144 Judicial Watch Releases Email of Clinton and her Aides Discussing Benghazi Talking Points…on her Private Email Account jake sullivan Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Featured Story corruption Cheryl Mills Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Julian Castro Needs 800k In 10 Days Or He Drops Out Of POTUS Race.

Westlake Legal Group JulianCastroAPPhoto-300x153 Julian Castro Needs 800k In 10 Days Or He Drops Out Of POTUS Race. white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives President Trump polls Politics Politico Media Mainstream Media Liberal Elitism kamala harris Julian Castro Internet immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections donald trump democrats Cory Booker Conservatives Congress comedy Capitalism Buzzfeed Bipartisanship biden Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception 2019

I need 800k or im going away. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Don’t threaten us dude.

Julian Castro, who has NO RELATION to Fidel or Raul in Cuba other than in the general outlook of how government should meddle in every aspect of your life, needs your help. His campaign is running short on funds being he has spent a lot of money doing….well, I’m not really sure of what he has been doing.

According to Buzzfeed

Presidential candidate Julián Castro said on Monday that he will have to drop out of the Democratic primary if his campaign doesn’t raise $800,000 in the next 10 days.

In an email to supporters, Castro said he will not have the resources to continue campaigning if he can’t raise the funds by the end of October.

“The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people. If I can’t make the next debate stage, we cannot sustain a campaign that can make it to Iowa in February,” Castro said in the email. “My presidential campaign is in dire need of financial resources to keep going.”

Castro’s campaign has very little cash on hand compared to most of his competition, according to the most recent FEC filings. His campaign, which raised $3,495,406 and spent $3,960,970.81 last quarter, had $672,333 on hand as of the end of September.

That’s rough.

According to the latest Real Politics Polling  for Iowa, Castro is polling at…. HE IS NOT EVEN LISTED.

How can you be asking for cash to make it to Iowa and they are not even showing you UNDERWATER in the latest polling? That is super impressive except for a winning campaign it is not. Castro spent 3.9 million last quarter while raising 3.4 million. I’m guessing that there are a lot of fancy meals on that spreadsheet and not too many value meals purchases at McDonald’s.

While I am 100% in favor of Americans donating to any and all political causes and candidates they see fit, I would humbly suggest spending money on other things also if you are on the bubble about donating to the Presidential campaign of someone who is not running so hot.

Here are some suggestions…

*Buying a ticket on the next Titanic voyage next year. I mean, it can’t happen twice in a row, can it?

*Purchase a “My Pillow” and see if it is really that comfy. Also, email me and let me know if it is. I have been on the bubble for a while now about purchasing one.

*Do GOAT Yoga. I’m not going to do it so you might as well.

Of course, you can donate to #TeamCastro or any candidate you want. If you feel Julio is worth a couple of bucks to extend his time doing whatever he has been doing to be polling at zip in Iowa, knock it out. Maybe donate to all of them. Maybe tweet at the President and see if he could donate to Castro just for the twitter trolling wave it would create.

Good Luck Mr. Castro. Shame that a distant relative of yours that is not really a relative but has the same last name as you is not still alive. I’m sure he would have kicked in a buck or two.

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

The post Julian Castro Needs 800k In 10 Days Or He Drops Out Of POTUS Race. appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group JulianCastroAPPhoto-300x153 Julian Castro Needs 800k In 10 Days Or He Drops Out Of POTUS Race. white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives President Trump polls Politics Politico Media Mainstream Media Liberal Elitism kamala harris Julian Castro Internet immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections donald trump democrats Cory Booker Conservatives Congress comedy Capitalism Buzzfeed Bipartisanship biden Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Watch: CBS Journalist Goes Rogue, Asks AOC “Why Back an Old White Guy” Like Bernie Sanders for President?

Westlake Legal Group AOCBernieAPimage-620x317 Watch: CBS Journalist Goes Rogue, Asks AOC “Why Back an Old White Guy” Like Bernie Sanders for President? Vermont socialism Social Media Race Politics North Carolina New York Media journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections democrats Culture Congress Campaigns Bernie Sanders AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 2020 Elections 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, is introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., during a campaign rally, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez built her House campaign and now her Congressional career off of embracing identity politics and complaining about the supposed “privilege” white men enjoy in America today. She has frequently talked about how we need to turn the country away from the policies of “old white men” and instead embrace the socialist ideas of woke progressive women of color like herself.

Considering their past history (she volunteered for his campaign in 2016, they’ve bonded since she was elected), it wasn’t a big shock that AOC endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president over the weekend. But it still left some people wondering how a young socialist Democrat who constantly complains about old white guys running the country and how America needs more minority representation would, ya know, pick an old white guy over the female candidates in the race, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who some say is Sanders’ ideological twin.

One such person wondering was CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion, who went off script by asking AOC this very uncomfortable (for her) question during an exclusive interview done after she endorsed Sanders Saturday:

“As a woman of color, why back an old white guy? And is this the future of the party?” asked Killion after Ocasio-Cortez spoke at the Sanders rally in Queens, N.Y.

“I’m actually very excited about this partnership because it shows what we have to do in our country is that we have to come together across race, across gender, across generation,” Ocasio-Cortez added, while sitting next to Sanders.

Watch:

It was actually a very un-AOC answer, because for AOC and company, everything – and I do mean everything – is viewed through the PWOC/PPOC prism. For example, if you criticize a progressive man of color, you’re automatically branded a racist. If you disagree with a progressive woman of color, you’re automatically branded a sexist and a racist, because there are no legitimate criticisms of PWOC according to the AOCs of the world.

But apparently endorsing an old, privileged white guy over minority female candidates is okay because he also happens to be a socialist.

I categorically reject identity politics, and have no problem with a woman or a woman of color or whatever endorsing the male candidate of her choice. That’s true “freedom of choice” and not the selective style “freedom of choice” AOC and her comrades promote when it’s politically convenient.

Bernie Sanders’ female supporters were dragged through the mud by “feminists” in 2016 for supporting his candidacy over Hillary Clinton’s, and women who are choosing to endorse him now over Warren, Harris, and the other female candidates are getting similar treatment.

So while I don’t endorse identity politics as a matter of principle, I’m still sitting back munching on popcorn watching these same women getting hoisted by their own petards. Y’all built this. Now you can own it.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ 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. –

The post Watch: CBS Journalist Goes Rogue, Asks AOC “Why Back an Old White Guy” Like Bernie Sanders for President? appeared first on RedState.

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Australian Media Outlets ‘Redact’ Front Pages In Protest of New Government Censorship Laws

Westlake Legal Group press-300x163 Australian Media Outlets ‘Redact’ Front Pages In Protest of New Government Censorship Laws redacted protest press International Affairs Front Page Stories Free Speech Featured Story Censorship Australia

Australian news corporations are in full revolt after their parliament instituted new and heavier laws restricting reporting and effectively censoring news outlets and reporters.

Much like in America, Australia has several competing and ideologically opposed media outlets. In a rare show of solidarity, typically warring media entities coordinated their headlines Monday to reflect the new censorship laws. Their front pages appeared to be “redacted” in the typical black-line fashion one sees in redacted government reports.

Australia does not have basic free speech rights the way we understand them in America. In the past they have added safeguards for whistleblowers. Journalists are suggesting their profession needs similar protections given recent events.

The issue came to a boil soon after the May re-election of Australia’s Liberal-led conservative government, when police raided the head office of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Sydney and the home of a News Corp editor on suspicion of receiving national secrets.

The raids, which involved police examination of about 9,000 computer files at the ABC and sifting through the female News Corp editor’s underwear drawer, drew international condemnation.

The British Broadcasting Corporation called the raids “deeply troubling”.

Earlier this year Australia’s oppressive reporting laws came to light internationally after outlets were prevented from reporting on a child sex abuse scandal involving the former Vatican treasurer.

Global attention turned to media freedoms in Australia early this year when a court order prevented media from reporting that the former Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, had been found guilty on child sex abuse charges.

Some Australian outlets reported that an unidentified person had been convicted but some foreign media companies identified Pell because they were outside Australia’s jurisdiction.

Prosecutors are now seeking fines and jail sentences for three dozen Australian journalists and publishers for their trial coverage. Pell is appealing against his convictions.

The head of Australia’s media union expressed his disgust for the new, harsher measures.

“Journalism is a fundamental pillar of our democracy,” said Paul Murphy, the chief executive of the industry union.

“It exists to scrutinise the powerful, shine a light on wrongdoing and hold governments to account, but the Australian public is being kept in the dark,” he said in a statement.

Australia is an ally, a proud and prosperous country. We think of them as a free country. This is a stark reminder that the American brand of freedom is not only unique but a wholly foreign concept to people outside of our framework.

The post Australian Media Outlets ‘Redact’ Front Pages In Protest of New Government Censorship Laws appeared first on RedState.

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Anti-Trumper Chris Wallace Tells Mick Mulvaney a “Well-Connected Source” Says 20% Chance Senate Will Remove Trump

Westlake Legal Group chris-wallace-apologizes-to-kelly-clarkson Anti-Trumper Chris Wallace Tells Mick Mulvaney a “Well-Connected Source” Says 20% Chance Senate Will Remove Trump Susan Collins News Mitt Romney Mick Mulvaney Media Lisa Murkowski Lindsey Graham Impeachment of President Trump Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Chris Wallace Allow Media Exception 2020

 

Fox News‘ Chris Wallace no longer bothers to pretend he hates President Trump. During a contentious interview on Sunday with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, he brought up the number of Republicans that are breaking with or at least distancing themselves from Trump after his decision to pull troops out of Northern Syria. He pointed out Mitch McConnell’s scathing op-ed last week in addition to House Republicans voting 129 to 60 to rebuke the decision.

Then, Wallace informed Mulvaney that a source, a well-connected Republican D.C. insider, “it’s a name you would know well,” had told him that if Trump is impeached by the House and a trial in the Senate follows, there is a 20% chance he would be voted out of office. The question comes at 11:40 in the video below.

Mulvaney sees the comment for what it is and instantly dismisses it. “That’s just absurd. But let’s deal with the issue of Syria.”

Wallace immediately cuts him off, and says forcefully, “No, let’s deal with the issue of Republicans – you’re losing your support.”

Mulvaney responds, “The 20%. That person clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about…No, the president is extraordinarily popular back home, more popular in the swing districts now that impeachment has started.”

A supermajority, or 67 Senators, would be required to remove the President from office. Currently, there are 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 2 Independents serving in the Senate. Both Independents caucus with the Democrats.  They would still need 20 Republicans to vote against Trump.

Mitt “Pierre Delecto” Romney is one and there would be a handful of others. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and possibly Susan Collins (R-ME) come to mind. The reality is that chances of a Trump conviction in a Senate trial are closer to nil.

Wallace’s remark filled Democrats’ with glee. The Washington Post immediately published an article entitled “A few Republican cracks on impeachment are showing” which can be viewed here.

The article cites Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who, ahead of the Syria decision, had been one of the President most loyal supporters. Graham is vehemently opposed to pulling U.S. troops out of Northern Syria and has been fiercely critical of Trump.

They point to Graham’s comments during an interview with Axios last Tuesday. When asked if he supported impeachment, he said, “Sure. I mean … show me something that … is a crime. If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.”

On Saturday night, Graham appeared on Fox News’ “Justice with Jeanine Pirro” and was still quite worked up.

Following the show, he spoke on the phone with President Trump and by the time he appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” his tone had changed significantly.

If the Washington Post is looking for a serious and permanent break between the two, it might be premature.

A discussion of whether or not Trump made the right call on Syria is beyond the scope of this post. But there is a huge difference between disagreeing with the President on a policy decision and removing him from office.

And it may be time for Chris Wallace to follow Shepard Smith out the door.

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“We’re Not Giving Up on You”: Watch as Georgia Police Talk Down a Suicidal Father

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Depression is a serial murderer, and it can cause irrationality in otherwise sane minds, lying to them and leading them down a dark path that too often results in suicide.

No one sees this more often than your local police force, who are often called to scenes in order to talk someone down from doing something that would not only end their lives, but also destroy the lives around them.

In one heartbreaking yet uplifting video, a father in Georgia was prepared to kill himself. According to the New York Post, Henry County Police arrived at the scene to find an unidentified father of a little boy holding a knife to his stomach, ready to stab himself.

The officers spoke words of hope to him and showed him who he would be devastating if he took his own life:

“We’re not giving up on you… We’re not. We’re here and we want to help you,” one of the cops told him in July, as caught on recently released bodycam footage.

Another cop recognized the dad from a previous call — and persuaded him to look at photos of his one-year-old son, with the dad pushing over his phone to show the officers the photo.

“You want to see your one year old again? You have to drop the knife,” the cop told him. “Your son hasn’t given up on you. He needs you.”

His colleague then persuaded him to look hard at the photos, telling him, “I know how much you love your son — it’s not lost, man, it’s right there. Look. Please stop. Look at his face. He needs you.

“Don’t do this to him. This will affect him in ways you won’t even understand,” he said, telling him it was not too late for a “do-over” on life.

The sobbing man eventually dropped the knife, and as a precaution, officers rushed in to handcuff him. Even as they did, they explained that he wasn’t under arrest, they’re just doing that for everyone’s safety.

Moments like these are heartbreaking and are occurring far more frequently today then they did in years past. Luckily, there are members of law enforcement who are only too willing to help those on their worst day, and stop them from making a mistake that would only make things so much worse.

Police get a lot of bad press and a horrible reputation that goes along with it but very rarely do stories like these reach the headlines despite the fact that they happen every day.

 

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Flop Sweat Builds As It Sure Looks Like the Barr-Durham Probe Is Now a Criminal Investigation

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CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2016, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Islamic State. Brennan said that the Islamic State remains “formidable” and “resilient,” is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for its territorial losses in the Middle East. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Yesterday, RedState via Elizabeth Vaughn shared the news that Durham had further expanded his investigation to include James Clapper and John Brennan. This of course left Brennan flailing about wildly, wondering why the DOJ would even be interested in him.

John Brennan told NBC that Durham’s investigation is “bizarre” and said, “I don’t know what the legal basis for this is.” He doesn’t? Let me refresh his memory.

Brennan’s obsessive fear that Donald Trump might win the presidency may have instigated the whole collusion narrative. He didn’t have to twist many arms to bring others on board, but his exhaustive search for “dirt” on Trump and his insistence that the FBI open a counterintelligence investigation was key.

That news came on the heels of another report I wrote on a week earlier in which it was confirmed that Barr had expanded his reach past just FISA abuse.

However, based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation adding agents and resources, the senior administration officials said. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.

With the latest report, there are a few things happening that make me think this isn’t just window dressing. In fact, I think it has morphed into a full blown criminal investigation.

Note that they’ve moved past looking at process arguments involving FISA and are now targeting specific people. Brennan and Clapper are both going to be interviewed, along with the other analysts involved in Brennan’s much ballyhooed report on Russian interference. It always appeared that the Obama administration threw that report together, lacking much of any evidence, to throw Trump’s presidency into chaos.

Further, officials within these agencies are now scrambling to lawyer up and that’s never a sign things are going well for those involved.

Durham has also requested to talk to CIA analysts involved in the intelligence assessment of Russia’s activities, prompting some of them to hire lawyers, according to three former CIA officials familiar with the matter. And there is tension between the CIA and the Justice Department over what classified documents Durham can examine, two people familiar with the matter said.

It certainly appears that Barr has progressed this into a full blown criminal investigation and that has the media scrambling.

Oh, now they are concerned with whether there’s a factual basis for an investigation? I’m sure Donald Trump would be interested in the genesis of this new rule. It’s amazing to behold the lack of self-awareness some of these outlets lack. They spent over two years rattling about Russian collusion, something we found out held no basis in fact, but now they question with a straight face whether an investigation of that process is legitimate?

And here’s Brennan’s MSNBC buddy (Brennan is a paid contributor at the network) feeling a sudden tightening on his backside.

That’s called projection boys and girls.

The idea that Bill Barr, who has shown himself to be an incredibly smart and tough figure while Attorney General, is going to be be thrown in jail once he leaves office is laughable. You can bet he’s not letting one single detail slip here and the DOJ has an absolute right to investigate corruption within their ranks. It’s not Barr who needs to lawyer up and that’s shown by the fact that it’s those he’s investigating that are running to K Street right now.

Ed Morrisey notes this over at HotAir.

The point about hiring lawyers is especially interesting. The DoJ made sure to note at the beginning that Durham was conducting an internal review, not a criminal investigation, although there was nothing to prevent it from developing into one. The DoJ does not comment on the existence of criminal investigations until they either close one or get an indictment — with a couple of notable James Comey-related exceptions — and they’re not talking now, either. These developments, however, make it look like Durham has turned the corner from review to full-blown criminal investigation.

We’ve always know the IG report from Horowitz was going to be toothless. He can’t even interview people who’ve already left government, so how exactly was he going to get to the bottom of what Brennan, Clapper, Comey, etc. did? But Barr has the power of the judicial system behind him. He can force these people to all sit for interviews, and while Comey may be sly enough to avoid trouble, Brennan is basically a stump with legs.

We’ll see where all this goes. The fact that Barr and Durham are not wrapping this up but are continuing to expand and target specific people is a bad sign for those who helped perpetrate the Russian collusion hoax.

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On the Economic Rise of China, Part II

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A faithful waves a Chinese flag as Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

China represents an existential threat to the national security of the US in terms of growth of military capabilities but more importantly in the economic realm as they pursue their “Made in China 2025” and Belt-Road initiatives. The purpose of this series is to present the contents of one of those reports in “bite-sized chunks” that are more easily digestible in order to convey a better understanding of the Chinese economy and its long-term challenges to the US and the world.

Part I introduced and summarized the Congressional Research Service report, “China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States,” which forms the basis for this thread series. Part I can be found here. This part covers the history of China’s economic development.

Prior to 1979, China, under the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong, maintained a centrally planned, or command, economy. A large share of the country’s economic output was directed and controlled by the state, which set production goals, controlled prices, and allocated resources throughout most of the economy. During the 1950s, all of China’s individual household farms were collectivized into large communes. To support rapid industrialization, the central government undertook large-scale investments in physical and human capital during the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, by 1978 nearly three-fourths of industrial production was produced by centrally controlled, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to centrally planned output targets. Private enterprises and foreign-invested firms were generally barred.

A central goal of the Chinese government was to make China’s economy relatively self-sufficient. Foreign trade was generally limited to obtaining those goods that could not be made or obtained in China. Such policies created distortions in the economy. Since most aspects of the economy were managed and run by the central government, there were no market mechanisms to efficiently allocate resources, and thus there were few incentives for firms, workers, and farmers to become more productive or be concerned with the quality of what they produced (since they were mainly focused on production goals set by the government).

According to Chinese government statistics, China’s real GDP grew at an average annual rate of 6.7% from 1953 to 1978, although the accuracy of these data has been questioned by many analysts, some of whom contend that during this period, Chinese government officials (especially at the subnational levels) often exaggerated production levels for a variety of political reasons.

Economist Angus Maddison puts China’s actual average annual real GDP growth during this period at about 4.4%.5 In addition, China’s economy suffered significant economic downturns during the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong, including during the Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1962 (which led to a massive famine and reportedly the deaths of up to 45 million people) and the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 (which caused widespread political chaos and greatly disrupted the economy).

From 1950 to 1978, China’s per capita GDP on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, a common measurement of a country’s living standards, doubled. However, from 1958 to 1962, Chinese living standards fell by 20.3%, and from 1966 to 1968, they dropped by 9.6%. In addition, the growth in Chinese living standards paled in comparison to those in the West, such as Japan, as indicated in this figure, which compares Chinese and Japanese per capita GDP, 1950-1978:

Westlake Legal Group Econ-Rise-Pt-II-Fig-1-620x388 On the Economic Rise of China, Part II Uncategorized trade policy President Trump International Affairs Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story economic policies Communist China China Trade Talks China Trade China

In 1978, (shortly after the death of Chairman Mao in 1976), the Chinese government decided to break with its Soviet-style economic policies by gradually reforming the economy according to free market principles and opening up trade and investment with the West, in the hope that this would significantly increase economic growth and raise living standards. As Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s economic reforms, put it: “Black cat, white cat, what does it matter what color the cat is as long as it catches mice?” Beginning in 1979, China launched several economic reforms. The central government-initiated price and ownership incentives for farmers, which enabled them to sell a portion of their crops on the free market. In addition, the government established four special economic zones along the coast for the purpose of attracting foreign investment, boosting exports, and importing high technology products into China.

Additional reforms, which followed in stages, sought to decentralize economic policymaking in several sectors, especially trade. Economic control of various enterprises was given to provincial and local governments, which were generally allowed to operate and compete on free market principles, rather than under the direction and guidance of state planning. In addition, citizens were encouraged to start their own businesses.

Additional coastal regions and cities were designated as open cities and development zones, which allowed them to experiment with free-market reforms and to offer tax and trade incentives to attract foreign investment. In addition, state price controls on a wide range of products were gradually eliminated. Trade liberalization was also a major key to China’s economic success. Removing trade barriers encouraged greater competition and attracted FDI inflows.

China’s gradual implementation of economic reforms sought to identify which policies produced favorable economic outcomes (and which did not) so that they could be implemented in other parts of the country, a process Deng Xiaoping reportedly referred to as “crossing the river by touching the stones.”

Since the introduction of economic reforms, China’s economy has grown substantially faster than during the pre-reform period, and, for the most part, has avoided major economic disruptions. From 1979 to 2018, China’s annual real GDP averaged 9.5%, as shown below.

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This has meant that on average China has been able to double the size of its economy in real terms every eight years. The global economic slowdown, which began in 2008, had a significant impact on the Chinese economy.

China’s media reported in early 2009 that 20 million migrant workers had returned home after losing their jobs because of the financial crisis and that real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 had fallen to 6.8% year-on-year. The Chinese government responded by implementing a $586 billion economic stimulus package, aimed largely at funding infrastructure and loosening monetary policies to increase bank lending. Such policies enabled China to counter the effects of the sharp global fall in demand for Chinese products.

From 2008 to 2010, China’s real GDP growth averaged 9.7%. However, the rate of GDP growth declined slowed for the next six consecutive years, falling from 10.6% in 2010 to 6.7% in 2016. Real GDP ticked up to 6.8% in 2017, but slowed to 6.6% in 2018, (although it rose to 6.8% in 2017).

The IMF’s April 2019 World Economic Outlook projects that China’s real GDP growth will slow each year over the next six years, falling to 5.5% in 2024, as reflected in the below figure:

Westlake Legal Group Econ-Rise-Pt-II-Fig-3-620x387 On the Economic Rise of China, Part II Uncategorized trade policy President Trump International Affairs Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story economic policies Communist China China Trade Talks China Trade China

Many economists warn that China’s economic growth could slow further if the United States and China continue to impose punitive economic measures against each other, such the tariff hikes that have resulted from U.S. action under Section 301 and Chinese retaliation. The Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects that increased tariffs on all trade between the United States and China could reduce China’s real GDP in 2021-2022 by 1.1% relative to the OECD’s baseline economic projections.

Economists generally attribute much of China’s rapid economic growth to two main factors: large-scale capital investment (financed by large domestic savings and foreign investment) and rapid productivity growth. These two factors appear to have gone together hand in hand.

This ends Part II. In the next part of this series, we will examine those two factors, which are the main causes of China’s rapid economic growth.

Note: accurate estimates of Chinese economic growth are difficult for foreigners to ascertain, as the ChiComs are known to exaggerate performance in much the same manner that the Soviets did in order to “achieve the numbers” in their 5-year plans. In addition, the renminbi isn’t a convertible currency and is regularly manipulated by the Chicoms, which makes estimating real Chinese growth difficult to ascertain as noted here. Also, China’s financial services and real estate industries are opaque and, as many observers remark, “houses of cards” waiting to tumble down as discussed here. As such, the Chinese economy is highly vulnerable to external pressures, especially the imposition of US tariffs. Economic leverage works against China despite the caterwauling of globalists to the contrary. And if it’s one thing that President Trump understands, it’s the use of economic leverage in foreign policy!

The end.

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