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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 180)

A Jewish Therapist is Suing the City Over a Ban on Counsel Against Gay Sex – & We Were Better Off Naked

Westlake Legal Group man-person-hair-alone-male-heart-775637-pxhere.com_-620x421 A Jewish Therapist is Suing the City Over a Ban on Counsel Against Gay Sex – & We Were Better Off Naked Uncategorized Front Page Stories Featured Story

 

 

Are you in Brooklyn and wish to be ex-gay? If so, you can visit Dr. Dovid Schwartz, a licensed psychotherapist and member of the Chabad Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish Community.

Oh, wait — no you can’t: A city council law has made it illegal for anyone to sell services which “seek to change a person’s sexual orientation or seek to change a person’s gender identity to conform to the sex of such individual that was recorded at birth.”

Oy.

Dovid wants to challenge that law; therefore — with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom — he’s suing the city.

The good doctor claims the ordinance violates his freedom of speech as well as the religious faith of not only him but his potential clients.

From the ADF:

Notably, the law only prohibits counsel in one direction—assisting a patient who desires to reduce same-sex attraction or achieve comfort in a gender identity that matches her or his physical body. The law threatens increasing fines of $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000 for first, second, and subsequent violations. By contrast, counseling that steers a patient towards a gender identity different than his or her physical body is permitted.

So here’s what the suit says:

The patient-psychotherapist relationship requires giving patients the ability to express themselves without fear of reprisal and allowing therapists the freedom to respond to that expression with understanding; it is the last possible place where the government should be dictating what topics or ideas are off limits. Yet New York City’s recently enacted Law Number 2018/22 (“the Counseling Censorship Law”), reaches into this confidential relationship to prohibit the discussion and exploration of ideas—and even the patient’s own, personal goals—to which the New York City Council objects.

Furthermore, as per ADF Senior Counsel Roger Brooks:

“All Americans, secular and religious, deserve the right to private conversations, free from government censorship. It is difficult to imagine a more direct violation of freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment than New York City’s attempt to regulate the private sessions between an adult and his counselor. The city council’s regulation is unprecedented and threatens to stand between Dr. Schwartz’s patients and the lives they choose to pursue. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in its 2018 NIFLA decision, ‘[T]he people lose when the government is the one dictating which ideas should prevail.’”

Reportedly, some of Dovid’s clients wanna shake off the gay because they desire to live by the guidelines of Orthodox Jewish tradition — aka get hitched to someone sportin’ different genitals.

But for now, as pointed out by the ADF, he can’t do that:

“A number of patients have pursued and achieved those goals with the aid of his psychotherapeutic services. Schwartz uses no techniques in working with his patients other than listening and talking—yet the law claims to forbid even that.”

Whether you believe in conversion therapy or not, it seems to me that this is an issue of severe and inappropriate government intrusion into the choices and affairs of the citizenry.

At one point in history, we are all just runnin’ around, nekkid in the woods. People did what made sense to them, and that was it.

Someone had an idea: “Hey, if we form some kind of group, maybe we’ll get killed and eaten less.”

Fast-forward a few thousand years, and you can’t give someone money to talk to them about changing something — about your dadgum self — that you don’t like.

And there’s this.

That whole “group” thing went terribly, terribly wrong.

-ALEX

 

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post A Jewish Therapist is Suing the City Over a Ban on Counsel Against Gay Sex – & We Were Better Off Naked appeared first on RedState.

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The Link Between ISIS, The Southern Border, And The Guy Who Plotted A Terrorist Attack In National Harbor (Remember Him?)

Westlake Legal Group RondellHenry-Maryland The Link Between ISIS, The Southern Border, And The Guy Who Plotted A Terrorist Attack In National Harbor (Remember Him?) Trinidad-Tobago Terrorism Migrant Caravans ISIS Front Page Stories Featured Story border

Rondell Henry. Screen grab via WMAR.

The Center For Immigration Studies’ Todd Bensman, a senior fellow at the organization that bills itself as “low immigration, pro-immigrant”, has an interesting interview up with Anne Speckhard, the Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine — and, most importantly, the source of the reports about a month ago that ISIS had recruited members to penetrate migration routes to move across the Southern border and into the United States.

Speckhard and a colleague interviewed the operative and found him “really credible” which led them to write a piece Homeland Security Todaywhich was then picked up by Fox News and others.

Bensman interviewed Speckhard Tuesday and began to wonder about the link between potential ISIS operatives, migration routes into the U.S., and Trinidadian nationals who are recruited by the terror group and know those migration routes well.

The “now-repentant” operative was identified as Abu Henricki, a Canadian with dual Trinidadian citizenship detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The captive provided researchers with a 90-minute videotaped interview of his time with ISIS, during which he described how its intelligence division, known as emni, approached several other Trinidadian ISIS operatives in 2016. In turn, they approached him with an infiltration plan hatched by a sympathizer in New Jersey. This sympathizer would help smuggle the group, each of whom Abu Henricki named during his ICSVE interview, over the southern border on false passports for eventual attacks on unspecified financial system targets inside the United States to create economic chaos. Abu Henricki said he refused the assignment and was tortured for refusing, but had no idea whether others had been sent in his stead. He said he thought some of the other Trinidadian plotters had been killed in action before they could leave.

Bensman — and even Speckhard — acknowledge that the idea terrorists may be taking advantage of the crisis at the southern border has become a political football, but that this does not mean that the threat shouldn’t be taken seriously, especially in light of the plot to attack National Harbor outside Washington, DC back in April using a truck to kill pedestrians.

In headlines, Rondell Henry was referred to as a “Maryland man,” but he was a native of Trinidad. Bensman wonders if the threat of terrorism through the southern border might be coming from radicalized natives of the tiny island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

The idea that ISIS would contemplate putting a team together for the U.S. border is more than plausible; it would be surprising if it had it not happened.

As I have often documented, too, (also here and here), the capacity for ISIS operatives to travel from Syria to the southern border is well-established. Smuggling organizations routinely bridge the Atlantic Ocean to link Middle Eastern countries like Syria and Iraq to the U.S. southern border through as many as a dozen Latin America countries. Numerous reputed Islamist terrorists have made the journey, such as a Somali who crossed into California and went on to conduct a 2017 vehicle-ramming attack in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

There’s no question at all that ISIS operatives living in Syria, including Trinidadians and Canadians, could have been smuggled through Mexico had they been sent.

That ISIS found plenty of Trinidad and Tobago citizens in its ranks is not surprising, and it is logical to initially assume that ISIS commanders might have thought of them as useful for border infiltration because they are familiar with western hemisphere route nations and might blend in well as Spanish-speaking workers and as English-speaking U.S. residents later.

As I have recently written, at least 130 of Trinidad and Tobago’s 1.2 million citizens, including entire families, joined ISIS in Syria and pose an infiltration threat upon return because the islands are close to known smuggling lanes to the border. The U.S. Army’s Southern Command has participated in anti-terror raids to capture high-value targets plotting attacks. Island residents have shown up on propaganda films committing murders in Syria. A New York Times article quoted former U.S. Ambassador John L. Estrada as saying islanders “are high up in the ranks” of ISIS. “They are very respected and they are English-speaking,” the former ambassador said.

In April, I wrote a column asking whether an ISIS-inspired T&T national living in Maryland, who was arrested for aspiring to a vehicle-ramming attack on Maryland’s National Harbor, maintained any associations with radicals in his homeland or abroad. ICSVE researchers have interviewed three Trinidadians from ISIS, now in SDF custody, one who lived for some time inside the United States as legal residents.

The point is that ISIS had available to it a pool of ideologically prepared, trained and willing Trinidadian operatives it could have sent.

Bensman concludes his report with this: “[R]egardless of partisan sentiment, [we should] look at the border crisis as about much more than Central Americans with children.” None of this is meant to make people paranoid about their island neighbors, simply to reinforce the truth that ISIS successfully recruits young men from many different nationalities, and may have been exploiting the upheaval at the southern border to try to get them in the country.

The post The Link Between ISIS, The Southern Border, And The Guy Who Plotted A Terrorist Attack In National Harbor (Remember Him?) appeared first on RedState.

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Roy Moore Wants to Lose Another Senate Race

The only Republican who could lose a statewide race in Alabama these days is determined to try again. News broke today that Roy Moore, the former judge who lost the 2017 Alabama Senate special election to Doug Jones, was tossing his cowboy hat in the ring once again.

It takes a special level of talent to lose in deep-red Alabama to a pro-choice Democrat, and none of Moore’s baggage from his 2017 election — the series of women and corroborating witnesses who accused him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, getting removed from his judicial offices twice for willfully failing to follow the law, countless comments that many viewed as racist, anti-Semitic, or homophobic — have dissipated, but Moore is determined to cause another round of chaos for Alabama Republicans.

The Washington Post report notes that President Donald Trump, who endorsed Moore in 2017, and top Republicans in his state all voiced concerns that Moore could not win.

“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020,” Moore said at a campaign launch event in Montgomery. “Can I win? Yes, I can win.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Alabama’s senior senator, told reporters a few days ago that he did not think Moore could win and he would not support him.

“There are a lot reasons known to you and everybody else,” Shelby said. “I think Alabama could do better. I think he would be a disrupter. I think we can win that seat back as the Republicans but I won’t support him.”

Moore joins multiple other Republicans who have already launched primary campaigns, including Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, State Rep. Arnold Mooney, and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.

Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who resigned his seat to temporarily become Trump’s Attorney General, is rumored to be considering running for his old seat, and is viewed as likely to clear the field.

Moore’s announcement drew swift condemnation from the Senate Leadership Fund, a PAC that supports GOP Senate candidates. They released a statement calling the idea of nominating Moore again “gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer.”

Read my RedState article archive here.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

The post Roy Moore Wants to Lose Another Senate Race appeared first on RedState.

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Rashida “Impeach the M-Fer” Tlaib Says Liz Cheney is “Bullying” Poor Victim AOC, Does Not See the Irony

Westlake Legal Group tlaib2-620x317 Rashida “Impeach the M-Fer” Tlaib Says Liz Cheney is “Bullying” Poor Victim AOC, Does Not See the Irony Wyoming washington D.C. Social Media rashida tlaib North Carolina Michigan Liz Cheney immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Congress AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., questions Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It’s like the 5th grade all over again.

We’re on Day 4 now of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) desperately trying to convince those of us in the cheap seats that she really, really was right on concentration camps.

Just to recap: On Monday night, she did a Live Instagram video in which she declared that the detention centers at the border were “concentration camps”:

The freshman lawmaker also said President Trump is a fascist, underscoring her argument that what is happening in the United States has parallels to Nazi Germany and other fascist states.

“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” the freshman lawmaker said. “If that doesn’t bother you … I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.

“The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘Home of the Free’ is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez was ripped by Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) among many others, and Holocaust experts also weighed in to correct her.

AOC and Cheney exchanged a brief back and forth about the issue on Tuesday, as I documented here.

Apparently Cheney’s correcting of Her Highness for the record did not sit will with one of the Three Amigas – Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), who two days later typed out an angry tweet about Cheney and her “crew”:

First of all: Who knew Cheney had a “crew”? If true, I wanna join!

Secondly: Cheney has posted a total of three tweets on this issue to AOC. Three. AOC, in turn, has posted like 1,537. A slight exaggeration, to be sure, but not that far off the mark. She’s truly become obsessed because she hates being scolded for looking like an absolute fool who has no idea what she’s talking about.

AOC is a woman who knows everything, and don’t you dare suggest otherwise.

Third: This is the same Rashida Tlaib who routinely attempts to bully others – including those in her own party – into silence for having the sheer audacity to call out anti-Semitism when they see it. The most common cards she, AOC, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) use in their shutuppery efforts are the “incitement” cards and the “WOC” cards – the latter of which Crenshaw has also called out.

Memo to Tlaib, AOC, and Omar: This has nothing to do with you being women of color. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

It also has nothing to do with anyone wanting to “silence” any of you. On the contrary, we want you to keep talking.

It does, however, have something to do with wanting to set the record straight and educate AOC so she’ll maybe one day learn to not pop off every random thought on current events she has on social media without thinking about it first.

Keep in mind that Tlaib, Omar, and AOC are among the Democrats who so often lecture the rest of us on how “words matter”, that we should be careful in what we say. Yet they fly off the handle with impunity and call their political opposition the most vile names in the book, and play word games over very serious issues.

Yet they expect the rest of us to be quiet about it?

Not today, hypocrites. Not today.

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

The post Rashida “Impeach the M-Fer” Tlaib Says Liz Cheney is “Bullying” Poor Victim AOC, Does Not See the Irony appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group tlaib2-300x153 Rashida “Impeach the M-Fer” Tlaib Says Liz Cheney is “Bullying” Poor Victim AOC, Does Not See the Irony Wyoming washington D.C. Social Media rashida tlaib North Carolina Michigan Liz Cheney immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Congress AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump: Iran “Made a Very Big Mistake” by Shooting Down US Drone

Westlake Legal Group Donald-Trump-APImage-620x413 Trump: Iran “Made a Very Big Mistake” by Shooting Down US Drone War Politics navy military Iran Front Page Stories Featured Story drone donald trump Allow Media Exception

As Elizabeth Vaughn covered earlier on Thursday, a U.S. Navy drone was shot down by Iran over the Strait of Hormuz in the early morning. According to the Iran state-run news agency, the drone had flown into Iranian airspace, specifically southern Iran’s Hormozgan province, resulting in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shooting it down.

The state-run news agency relayed comments from an IRG commander that said shooting down the drone sends “‘a clear message’ to the U.S. and while Iran has no intention of war with anyone, it’s ‘ready for war.’”

It would appear that President Donald Trump also has a message to give in return, and as per the usual, he went to Twitter to deliver it.

“Iran made a very big mistake!” tweeted Trump.

Reuters reported that Navy Captain Bill Urban of the U.S. military’s Central Command said that Iran’s account of the drone’s location was false, and called the attack “unprovoked”:

“This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international air space,” Urban said. The drone, he added, was downed over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 2335 GMT – in the early morning hours of local time in the Gulf.

Separately, a U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity the debris field from the drone was in international waters in the Strait and U.S. naval assets have been dispatched to the area.

Things have been escalating between the U.S. and Iran since mid-May including explosive strikes on six oil tankers after the U.S. has made efforts to cripple Iran’s nuclear ballistic capabilities.

According to Reuters, things are getting pretty serious as the United States moves more boots on the ground and hardware into the Middle East. This includes 1,000 troops, Patriot missiles and manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft. This is in addition to the 1,500 troops moved to the Middle East directly after the tanker attack.

Where this goes is anyone’s guess, though Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have all said they don’t really have interest in war with one another.

What kind of punishment Trump has in mind for Iran over the drone being shot down is still yet to be revealed.

The post Trump: Iran “Made a Very Big Mistake” by Shooting Down US Drone appeared first on RedState.

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Video: Even College Students are Denouncing AOC’s Concentration Camp Comments

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-4-620x381 Video: Even College Students are Denouncing AOC’s Concentration Camp Comments Students Politics holocaust Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats concentration camp campus reform AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The controversial statements made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have dominated the media for days now. What should have been an open and shut case of a politician saying something stupid has become a national conversation about what the term “concentration camp” implies.

This is mostly because a sympathetic media has been really reaching deep into their bucket of absurdity in order to run defense for their Democratic darling. It’s also because of Ocasio-Cortez’s mob of fans have gone above and beyond to make sure their leader remains untouchable.

Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips decided to take the conversation out of the realm of the digital and see what people were saying in the streets. Despite AOC typically finding support within the younger crowds, Phillips found that even students at D.C.’s George Washington University couldn’t give their approval to the democratic socialist’s comparisons of Nazi death camps to the holding areas where Hispanic children illegally crossing the border are kept.

“I think she owes a major apology to the American people for comparing these detainment camps to one of the most horrific events ever in history,” said one of the students, adding that her comment is “an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.”

“I think that’s a bit extreme,” said another.

“To call them concentration camps where, you know, no one’s being killed en masse, or killed indiscriminately is a reach,” noted one student.

“You can’t be throwing the word ‘concentration camps’ around all willy-nilly,” says another.

One student said that Ocasio-Cortez is trying to stir her fans into rallying around her cause but that this kind of sensationalism is only going to annoy people.

Ocasio-Cortez is now on her third day of trying to justify her statements and has said that she will not apologize for what she said despite the fact that many have pointed out that her comments are unjustifiable.

The post Video: Even College Students are Denouncing AOC’s Concentration Camp Comments appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-4-300x185 Video: Even College Students are Denouncing AOC’s Concentration Camp Comments Students Politics holocaust Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats concentration camp campus reform AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Left Condemns Chuck Todd for His Correction of AOC’s Embarrassingly Ignorant Concentration Camp Remarks

Westlake Legal Group chuck-todd-aoc-concentration-camps-SCREENSHOT-620x350 The Left Condemns Chuck Todd for His Correction of AOC’s Embarrassingly Ignorant Concentration Camp Remarks Uncategorized Meet the Press Media Liz Cheney Jerry Nadler Illegal Immigration holocaust Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats concentration camps Chuck Todd AOC Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from Meet the Press, https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/1141464659284938754?]

 

As I covered previously, on Monday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram to do the thing she does: Wax philosophic on things about which she appears to have zero understanding (here).

AOC claimed Donald Trump is running concentration camps along the border.

Witness the dumbness:

“That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps. The fact that concentrations camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

The remarks brought the ire of Liz Cheney and Jewish groups (here), among others.

It also gained a “Right On” from Jerry Nadler:

But MSNBC host Chuck Todd took time to correct the 29-and-a-half-year-old who doesn’t seem to know things:

“Fair enough, but congresswoman: Tens of thousands were also brutalized, tortured, starved and ultimately died in concentration camps. If you want to criticize the shameful treatment of people at our southern border, fine — you’ll have plenty of company. But be careful comparing them to Nazi concentration camps. They’re not at all comparable, in the slightest.”

Sounds right as rain.

But cue the outpouring of condemnation of Chuck from the Left.

That included more goofiness from the freshman representative:

Check out Vox writer Carlos Maza:

“Most shameful”!

And uh…in news, neutrality is a virtue. In fact, neutrality is supposed to be the only thing news is. News is supposed to be only objective facts (here).

Chuck wasn’t being “neutral,” however. But he was being right.

Nevertheless, he’s a disgrace:

Hollywood director Judd Apatow joined in, heaping shame:

And here’s Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko:

“Strategist” is a good word.

Many on the Left — and, it could be said, in politics in general — aren’t concerned with being right; they’re concerned with winning. Why make sense when you can say something that sounds good (here)?

Did Alexandria win? Not with people who have any understanding of the border and the holocaust. But among voters who are dummies (here), well…never say never.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: hereherehere, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Phoenix Mayor Responds To Incredible Video Of Cops Pointing Guns & Swearing At Pregnant Family Over A Doll. A $10 Million Lawsuit Looms

Hillary Says Bill Should ‘Absolutely Not’ Have Resigned Over Monica (Plus: More Denials!)

Dwayne Johnson’s Acceptance Speech Turns Back The Clock To Traditional Values With A Much-Needed Life Lesson

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.

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The post The Left Condemns Chuck Todd for His Correction of AOC’s Embarrassingly Ignorant Concentration Camp Remarks appeared first on RedState.

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McWhorter on Reparations: Let’s Do It and Be Whole or Don’t Bother [Video]

Westlake Legal Group freedom-2053281_1280-620x471 McWhorter on Reparations: Let’s Do It and Be Whole or Don’t Bother [Video] reparations reconciliation racism Race McWhorter Front Page Stories Featured Story Cornell West CNN

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

With another Juneteenth in the books the “reparations” conversation has been revived for a brief moment before the news cycle overtakes it again.

CNN’s Don Lemon had Dr. Cornell West and Dr. John McWhorter on his show to discuss the idea. It was actually a cordial and fascinating discussion. West hit upon the typical talking points from his side of the reparations fence, admonishing Americans for not truly coming to terms with the historical oppression of minority groups. He even entreated Lemon and McWhorter to not just limit the discussion to Black Americans.

We cannot talk about Black suffering in such a way that it downplays the suffering of indigenous peoples.

McWhorter, one of America’s premier linguists and a regular contributor to The Atlantic responded to West’s point by saying he agreed with concept of some kind of reparations in accordance with our national shame but he also believed the debt had already been paid to some extent.

He then went on to explain that while he may agree with West in theory and might be willing to further explore the idea, he worries that reparations would not end the discussion, but rather open the door to a never-ending parade of compensations and complaints.

I’ve been saying for 20 years now that reparations have already happened…

I could get behind this idea that we would have to have what I would internally call new reparations and I would apply my pen and my voice to it I might surprise a lot of people. I could try to get behind this. One must change…one must be open…but…I really do think that the people who are arguing for this need to consider what it would feel like to admit – not that things are perfect – but that America had turned a corner and as brother West said that we have come to terms. When are we ever going to come to terms? As a Black person I would like to feel whole. If this isn’t going to be constructive then we shouldn’t do it. But I’m afraid that a lot of black people in the United States would be uncomfortable with the idea that something really significant had been done because I think a lot of us feel that being victims is the only way that we are legitimate and that’s because of what happened for 400 years, I understand…but it worries me. Let’s do reparations and allow that it mattered…and be whole. Or, let’s just not do it.

McWhorter is a centrist (and has a really great podcast on language if you’re into that kind of thing) and by no means a defender of right-wing politics. He has an academic but common-sense approach to many of the issues of our day and a graciousness that makes it a pleasure to watch him interact with fellow academics like Cornell West, who can tend to veer off into “elitist” territory quite quickly. A full special on this subject with Cornell and McWhorter could end up being loads of fun for those of us who are so boring we think of this kind of stuff as “fun”.

 

The post McWhorter on Reparations: Let’s Do It and Be Whole or Don’t Bother [Video] appeared first on RedState.

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Meghan McCain Gets Heated, Calls Joy Behar an Expletive on Live TV

The View apparently got pretty heated this morning.

The Daily Wire is reporting, with video, that Meghan McCain got fed up with Joy Behar’s taunting and dropped some language on her. Specifically, she called her a “b***h,” not backstage, but live on air during a segment.

“I know you’re angry,” McCain continued. “I get that you’re angry that Trump’s president, like a lot of people are.”

“I’m angry about every single thing that he’s doing!” declared Behar.

“But I don’t think yelling at me is going to fix the problem, okay,” said McCain, a line that earned some applause. “I just said it was hard for me,” she said of watching family friend Sen. Lindsey Graham get behind the president. “I’m trying to explain why 2020 is not in the bag for you,” she added.

Whoopi intervened to try to calm things down, but when McCain noted that she has to be “the sacrificial Republican every day” on the show, Behar said mockingly, “Aww.”

“Oh, don’t feel bad for me, bitch, I’m paid to do this, OK?” snapped McCain. “Don’t feel bad for me.”

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The View quickly went to a commercial at that point and came back attempting to play the entire ordeal off. Behar and McCain both claimed the expletive was common language among them and that they call each other that all the time.

Don’t gaslight me, bro.

I’d give that about a 2% chance of actually being true. McCain and Behar clearly do not like each other and recent reports say that their clashes have reached a boiling point. Whoopi Goldberg is said to be on her last limb with the situation and if push comes to shove, it’s going to be McCain who leaves.

As an aside, this is why I can’t take a lot of the Trump critics on the right seriously. Many of the same people who insist that Trump is unfit because he lacks decency in his language will cheerlead this scene by McCain as giving Behar what she deserves. And maybe she does deserve it but spare me the gnashing of teeth when Trump doesn’t speak like a Puritan at all times.

Some of the nastiest critiques I’ve seen coming from the right in the last three years have come from certain Never Trumpers using name calling, personal attacks, and bad faith arguments all along the way. Politics has always been a barroom brawl, Trump is just a bit more honest about it.

Regarding McCain, I don’t expect her to be on The View much longer subject to what her contract conditions are. We’ll see what her next venture is after that.

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New: The FBI Played Fast and Loose With A Second Document Despite Being ‘Warned Early and Often’

Westlake Legal Group media.townhall-1-4-620x317 New: The FBI Played Fast and Loose With A Second Document Despite Being ‘Warned Early and Often’ Robert Mueller Paul Manafort Mueller Investigation Konstantin Kilimnik John Solomon Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

Even those who barely follow the news are familiar with Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier. Most are aware that this unverified document was presented as verified by the FBI in their application to the FISA Court for the warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The FBI had been warned several times before submitting their application that none of the information had been verified, that Steele hated Trump and that it had been commissioned by a political campaign.

The FBI used it anyway, because it allowed them to carry out their plan.

But there’s a second document which has played a crucial role in the Russian Collusion story that most people have either forgotten about or never knew existed. This is the Ukrainian “black cash ledger.”

Similar to the dossier, the black cash ledger was believed to be fake. Also, the FBI was warned that it was likely bogus.

The Hill’s John Solomon, a long-time Washington investigative reporter with extensive contacts throughout the intelligence community, has uncovered new information about this document which has been all but forgotten.

The “black cash ledger” materialized in Ukraine the summer of 2016. It showed that Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager at that time, had received a $12 million cash payment from the Russian-backed Party of Regions.

When news of this story broke, Manafort was forced to resign from Trump’s campaign and the document led to his ultimate indictment on bank and tax fraud. “In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.”

Solomon writes that there was one major problem with this document:

The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

For example, Ukraine’s top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department’s law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.

“It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,” Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents.

Manafort’s former Ukrainian business partner, Konstantin Kilimnik, was a State Department human intelligence source. Shortly after the ledger story was published in the New York Times, Kilimnik informed the U.S. government that the document was likely fake.

Kilimnik emailed a senior U.S. official on August 22, 2016: He wrote:

Manafort could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation.

I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The time frame doesn’t match anything related to payments made to Manafort. … It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.

Solomon said that, according to three sources he spoke to who were familiar with the documents, Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the FBI were given copies of Kilimnik’s warning.

This is comparable to the FBI’s receipt of warnings from DOJ official Bruce Ohr and State Dept. official Kathleen Kavalec, both of whom questioned the reliability of the information contained in the Steele dossier and voiced their concern.

Note: The Mueller Report characterized Kilimnik as a Russian operative instead of as an asset for the U.S. State Department and other Western allies. I posted about that here.

According to the FBI operating manual:

Submitting knowingly false or suspect evidence — whether historical or to support probable cause — in a federal court proceeding violates FBI rules and can be a crime under certain circumstances. “To establish probable cause, the affiant must demonstrate a basis for knowledge and belief that the facts are true.”

Solomon notes that in the Manafort case, “the FBI and Mueller’s office did not cite the actual ledger — which would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence — and instead cited media reports about it. The feds assisted on one of those stories as sources.”

He gives the example of, when completing the July 25, 2017 affidavit for a search warrant on Manafort’s home (recall the predawn raid), they cited it as a reason they were reopening the 2014 criminal case against Manafort.

The affidavit stated, “On August 19, 2016, after public reports regarding connections between Manafort, Ukraine and Russia — including an alleged ‘black ledger’ of off-the-book payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort — Manafort left his post as chairman of the Trump Campaign.”

Several months later, while trying to demonstrate probable cause for a search warrant for Manafort’s bank records, the FBI cited an Associated Press article dated April 12, 2017, “about the ledger as evidence Manafort was paid to perform U.S. lobbying work for the Ukrainians.” A footnote said:

The April 12, 2017, Associated Press article reported that DMI [Manafort’s company] records showed at least two payments were made to DMI that correspond to payments in the ‘black ledger.’

Solomon points out two glaring problems with that assertion.

The first was the material omission of the fact that none other than DOJ prosecutor Andrew Weissmann (and future leader of the Mueller investigation team), accompanied by both FBI officials “met with those AP reporters one day before the story was published and assisted their reporting.”

The FBI record of that meeting states that “the AP reporters were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings” in Ukraine. “So, essentially, the FBI cited a leak that the government had facilitated and then used it to support the black ledger evidence, even though it had been clearly warned about the document.”

The FBI did something similar with the Steele dossier. Steele had met with several journalists in late September 2016, including Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff. On September 23, 2016, Isikoff broke the story about Trump advisor Carter Page’s alleged “ties” to the Kremlin. The FBI then cited Isikoff’s story to “corroborate” the dossier in their late October application to the FISA Court. This is known in journalism circles as “circular reporting.”

Solomon explains the second glaring problem:

The FBI was told the ledger claimed to show cash payments to Manafort when, in fact, agents had been told since 2014 that Manafort received money only by bank wires, mostly routed through the island of Cyprus, memos show.

During the 2014 investigation, Manafort and his partner Richard Gates voluntarily identified for FBI agents tens of millions of dollars they received from Ukrainian and Russian sources and the shell companies and banks that wired the money. “Gates stated that the amounts they received would match the amounts they invoiced for services. Gates added they were always paid late, and in tranches,” FBI memos I obtained show.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said it is unusual for an FBI affidavit to cite a news story. “They are supposed to cite the primary evidence and not secondary evidence. It sounds to me like a fraud on the court, possibly a willful and deliberate fraud that should have consequences for both the court and the attorneys’ bar.”

Former FBI intelligence chief Kevin Brock weighed in as well:

Mentioning the ledger in an affidavit for its historical relationship to Manafort’s firing and the start of the investigation might be defensible, but any effort to use the ledger to support probable cause would be “puzzling” since it clearly was not needed to strengthen either affidavit and only risked tainting the warrant. He said it could raise questions about why the special counsel believed it necessary to refer to the ledger in the probable cause narrative.

Solomon says that, “in the end, the best proof that the FBI knew the black ledger was a sham is that prosecutors never introduced it to jurors in Manafort’s trial.

Unlike the Steele dossier, the black cash ledger has received very little media attention. Yet, it’s introduction forced Trump’s campaign manager to resign and began the public narrative about the campaign’s ties to the Kremlin. It was also used to reopen an investigation which had been closed in 2014.

I have no doubt that all of these deviations from standard operating protocol will be scrutinized by John Durham and his team in the coming months. At least, I hope so.

The post New: The FBI Played Fast and Loose With A Second Document Despite Being ‘Warned Early and Often’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group fbi-300x188 New: The FBI Played Fast and Loose With A Second Document Despite Being ‘Warned Early and Often’ Robert Mueller Paul Manafort Mueller Investigation Konstantin Kilimnik John Solomon Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com