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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 295)

Triumph: Trump ‘Indefinitely Suspends’ Tariffs on Mexican Goods

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

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

 

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

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

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

Translation of Ebrard’s tweets:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The National Review’s Mark Krikorian explains:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration

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

Mexican Enforcement Surge

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

Migrant Protection Protocols

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

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

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

Further Actions

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

Ongoing Regional Strategy

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

 

 

The post Triumph: Trump ‘Indefinitely Suspends’ Tariffs on Mexican Goods appeared first on RedState.

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

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

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

To recap:

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

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

[…]

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

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

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

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

Ouch.

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

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

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

The post Slay, Queen, Slay: GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel Absolutely Burns Joe Biden Over His Hyde Amendment Flip Flop appeared first on RedState.

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A Must Read Thread on Joe Biden’s Flip-Flop on Abortion and You’ll Never Guess Who Convinced Him

Westlake Legal Group Biden-620x319 A Must Read Thread on Joe Biden’s Flip-Flop on Abortion and You’ll Never Guess Who Convinced Him weak Unstable Politics Not a Moderate Joe Biden Hypocrisy Hyde Amendment Front Page Stories Front Page Flip-Flopper Featured Story False Perception Embarassing democrats Democrat primary CNN Alyssa Milano 2020 Race

Ok, you might guess. It’s 2019 after all.

It’s important to note that Joe Biden’s entire shtick is that he’s consistent. He’s old, slow Joe and nobody is going to pressure him into anything. You know exactly what you are going to get from him. That’s the entire basis of his campaign and it is bolstered by his claims of moderation in his politics.

In reality, that entire image is nonsense and his latest move shows it.

After supporting the Hyde amendment (which bans federal funding for abortion) for decades, Biden has decided, literally overnight, that he’s now against it. What a steady and stoic leader he is.

Just two days ago, he had his campaign co-chair go on CNN to says this.

Less than 24 hours later he had completely flip-flopped and decided he’s against the Hyde amendment.

What happened? Apparently he got a phone call from noted political mind (checks notes)…Alyssa Milano? No, I’m not making that up.

Just how big of a flip-flop is this? The Federalist’s David Harsanyi posted a must-read thread this morning detailing his long history on the matter.

David ends with this question of Biden.

This just shows what a disaster Biden’s campaign actually is. He’s a paper tiger living off name recognition and the false appearance of being a moderate. Yet, the moment a few left-wingers complain on Twitter or Alyssa Milano gives him a call, he folds faster than the lady down at the dry cleaners.

Biden is not a picture of leadership or consistency. He’s not steady Joe or any of the other silly names his fans like to give him. He’s a chaotic gaffe machine who’s willing to change positions overnight if he feels even the slightest amount of negative pressure. There’s a reason this guy has gotten rolled over and over throughout his career. Barack Obama had to pick him up off the dustbin of politics after he crashed and burned in 2008.

We are told things will be different this time. They won’t be. Most of his opponents in the Democrat primary are better at him than this. The moment he comes out of hiding and starts actually having to defend his positions, he’s going to spontaneously combust. Imagine this guy on a debate stage with Donald Trump. While political wonks may think Trump isn’t a good debater, he’s a master at making other people look dumb and small. Biden is already looking old and showing an inability to think on his feet. If he makes it to the general, you can throw all the prognostications out the window.

Right now, Biden is so weak-kneed that he’s being led around by Alyssa Milano. That’s not a good look at all.

————————————————-

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Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government?

So far this climbing season eleven people have died climbing Mount Everest, setting a grim record for the most in a single year.

The first to summit the mountain, Sir Edmund Hillary and his sherpa Tenzing Norgay,  did in 1953,  Since then, an estimated 4,000 people have climbed Everest. 308 people have died. A cleanup crew has recently uncovered four more bodies on the mountain, but it is, as yet, unknown when those people died.

Why is this year so much worse than it has been in the past? USA Today reports that the

Westlake Legal Group mount-everest1-300x153 Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government? safety nepal mount everest Front Page Stories Featured Story environment

In this May 22, 2019, file photo, a long queue of mountain climbers line a path on Mount Everest just below camp four, in Nepal. Seasoned mountaineers say the Nepal government’s failure to limit the number of climbers on Mount Everest has resulted in dangerous overcrowding and a greater number of deaths. (AP Photo/Rizza Alee, File)

Nepalese bad weather. This limits the number of days climbers can attempt to reach the . summit which caused a “traffic jam.” Spending time waiting in line to reach the top meant that people were spending far too long at high altitudes, and complications from altitude sickness was the cause of most of the deaths. We picture people dying as they struggle to climb to the top, but many die on their way back down as altitude sickness sickness and it’s complications take the climbers.

 

This guide argues that this year really isn’t worse than other years when one considers the radio of climbers to deaths. Unfortunately, that might be exactly the problem. The government is simply issuing too many climbing permits. I decided to speak with the only person I knew who had first-hand knowledge: my brother, Andrew.

In the fall of 2018, he went to Nepal and, along with a group (including guides), hiked to Base Camp Everest. The hike took 12 days- eight days up and four days down, so they

Westlake Legal Group IMG_6392-300x200 Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government? safety nepal mount everest Front Page Stories Featured Story environment

had plenty of time to chat with their guides. They talked about how the Nepalese government will issue a climbing permit to anyone willing to buy one, regardless of skill. Considering the fact that an inexpensive trip to climb Everest will cost around $25,000. Add in the cost of training and gear, and an average trip will cost more like $80,000,  if you want to go luxury, you can easily top $100,000.

That is a lot of money being pumped into the Nepalese government, and they aren’t turning it down. Even if that means putting inexperienced climbers on Mount Everest. Climbers who rely entirely on their sherpa to carry everything and set all of the lines. Climbers who put all of the risk onto that sherpa.

Andrew’s group saw a few medical evacuations via helicopter. One was a woman who had climbed too fast and gone into a coma at 12,000 feet. Word traveled fast on the mountain that she didn’t have any insurance and didn’t want to spend the money on a helicopter, so nobody called for assistance until it got to this point.

The sherpa explained that, in recent years, some guides had gotten into a racket with the helicopter operators to get kickbacks for helicopter evacuations. Once that was exposed, it made legitimate guides hesitant to call for helicopter assistance when their climbers really needed it, because they didn’t want to ruin their reputation.

With this many people on the mountain, consider the ecological cost as well as the

Westlake Legal Group IMG_6391-300x200 Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government? safety nepal mount everest Front Page Stories Featured Story environment

Mount Everest. Photo: Andrew Hamilton. Used with permission.

human. There are no roads on Everest, no way to get garbage off the mountain. Everything you bring up with you has to come back down. Earlier this week, the Nepalese government collected more than 24,000 pounds of garbage from Everest, the AP reported. This was mostly food wrappers, cans, bottles, and oxygen cylinders. Andrew’s group was careful to use reusable bottles and bring everything down to be disposed of properly, but other groups burned their garbage, even plastic items.

It’s baffling that environmentalists haven’t come out against the number of climbers on Mount Everest. Erosion from climbing, garbage strewn everywhere, burning which releases toxins into the air. Isn’t this a trifecta for them? And then there’s the human element. They know they’re putting climbers and sherpas at risk by having no standards

Westlake Legal Group 61622242_2347177468870427_9142003632323952640_n-225x300 Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government? safety nepal mount everest Front Page Stories Featured Story environment

Andrew Hamilton at Base Camp Everest. Photo: Andrew Hamilton. Used with permission.

when issuing a climbing license.

Maybe more people should consider hiking to base camp. It’s a difficult hike (Andrew compared the difficulty level to hiking Machu Picchu in Peru),of nearly two weeks at altitude. I don’t think anyone is going to make fun of you for not climbing to the top of the mountain. If they are, maybe they need new friends. Maybe they need new standards for how they validate themselves. I don’t know.

What I do know is that Nepal needs to reconsider how they run their government. I can understand the temptation to milk this revenue stream for every possible bit they can get, but this is quite literally a matter of life and death. Once again, big government is choosing the wrong side.

Westlake Legal Group IMG_6390-300x200 Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government? safety nepal mount everest Front Page Stories Featured Story environment

                                                              Andrew at Bae Camp Everest. Photo: Andrew Hamilton. Used with permission.

 

 

The post Is Mount Everest the Victim of Big Government? appeared first on RedState.

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A Serious Question For Democrats: What Exactly Was Trump’s Crime?

Westlake Legal Group ohio-music-store-trump A Serious Question For Democrats: What Exactly Was Trump’s Crime? President Trump Nancy Pelosi Mueller Investigation Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Culture coup against President Trump corruption Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020

Screen grab via WEWS’s @NEWSjordanv’s Twitter feed.

 

Several weeks ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters that President Trump was engaged in a cover-up. This week, she told a group of committee chairmen, “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says that Trump has colluded with Russia in plain sight. When the Mueller Report established that wasn’t true, he continued his attacks.

Here are just a few highlights from the past week:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler says “there certainly is” justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Nadler speaks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer who doesn’t understand why he is hesitating on starting the impeachment process.

Turning to MSNBC, Nicole Wallace asks guests on a panel, “What’s wrong with him? (silence) No, I’m serious, really.”

One guest starts discussing Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder.

Then Wallace just trashes Trump. “He clearly appears less capable of sustaining his own thoughts for longer than four to six seconds. Used to be he couldn’t follow anyone else’s conversation, now he doesn’t seem to be able to follow his own.” Guests nod indicating they understand exactly what she means.

Fox News’ Judge Napolitano, one of Trump’s biggest critics, told viewers that Mueller dropped the ball, but not for the reasons one might think. He dropped the ball by not indicting Trump.

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe offers advice to Pelosi. “Skip the Senate and let the House hold an impeachment “trial” for Trump.”

Breitbart News reported that “a woman from Palmetto, Florida, told law enforcement that her hatred for President Donald Trump drove her to stab herself in the stomach multiple times over the weekend, according to a police report.”

Just today, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “More than anything else, this isn’t about my feelings or about retribution. Look, the lizard brain that I have says I hope bad things happen to this man because he has been so destructive to our Republic, to the concept of democracy, to the concept that internationally we are a light unto the nations.”

Democratic strategist Richard Goodstein told Fox News’ Shannon Bream, “Look, there are people who are living in a dream world that Donald Trump has done nothing wrong demonstrably, and if you read the Mueller report — and I encourage everybody, still, to do that — you will see the list of things, the elements of each crime of obstruction that he’s met.”

Oh, Trump should be removed from office because one day, after a year of being falsely accused of a crime, he asked the White House Counsel to have Mueller fired? Which the man refused to do. And even if he had acted on Trump’s order, it still would have been legal. Is that what you mean Mr. Goodstein?

Each day, a new aspect of the Mueller report is discredited.

Answer the question. Impeach Trump for what?

Specifically, what law did our President violate?

If you asked any one of them, really pressed them, they wouldn’t be able to come up with an actual crime. Trump is so vile and we are so virtuous and enlightened will no longer cut it.

Democrats have been repeating their mantra for so long, it’s become habit. Perhaps it comforts them to repeat the words “Trump needs to be impeached” several times slowly.

But now it’s time to name the crime.

Because America can no longer afford to indulge them.

The post A Serious Question For Democrats: What Exactly Was Trump’s Crime? appeared first on RedState.

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A Different Aspect Of Tariffs

Westlake Legal Group mexican-police-caravan-300x200 A Different Aspect Of Tariffs Uncategorized Tariffs republicans refugees Politics Mexico immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception

Mexican federal police in riot gear receive instructions at the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Members of a 3,000-strong migrant caravan have massed in this Guatemalan border town across the muddy Suchiate River from Mexico, as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens retaliation if they continue toward the United States. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

A Different Aspect Of Tariffs.

This coming Monday, absent some serious, verifiable action by Mexico, by order of President Trump, Mexican goods coming into these United States will get a 5% tariff levied on them. This action is similar to an action the President recently took against China. In that case, President Trump imposed escalating tariffs in response Chines trade practices such as copyright and patent violations.

Mexico is a different deal and offers Americans a different opportunity. President Trump is trying to encourage Mexico to stop its assistance to illegal aliens using Mexico as a transit corridor on their march North to file bogus asylum claims.

This situation of hundreds of thousand of illegals flowing across our borders is not entirely of Mexico’s making. Much like U.S. demand for illegal drugs has created the “attractive nuisance” that fosters a billion dollar drug trade, Congressional legislation and decisions by activist judges, have contrary to international convention, created “asylum seekers” out of ordinary economic migrants. That’s not Mexico’s fault. It’s ours.

However what is Mexico’s fault, is their enabling of these groups to transit Mexico, often providing transportation Northward towards U.S. crossing points. President Trump’s objectives for Mexico are quite simple. He wants Mexico to get control of its Southern border and he wants Mexico to as delineated by international treaty, to be the “first safe space,” these economic migrants stop in.

Here’s the unique aspect of using tariffs to motivate Mexico. It provides a clear choice to American taxpayers. If we continue to allow these economic migrants into the United States, we will continue to have to support them with our tax dollars. The American taxpayer gets little if any choice on that. Imposing a 5 percent tariff puts that choice back with the American taxpayer/consumer. He or she can now decide whether to continue to buy Mexican products at the increased price…or not. Just another small benefit of The Trump Doctrine On Tariffs.

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

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

https://www.redstate.com/darth641/

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What’s the Matter With a Straight Pride Parade?

Westlake Legal Group people-2595862_1280-620x413 What’s the Matter With a Straight Pride Parade? Straight Pride Parade pride month Politics LGBT heterophobia Gay Pride Parade Front Page Stories Featured Story Allow Media Exception

I’ll start off by saying that I don’t care if someone legally organizes a parade around being homosexual. As long as I’m not forced to attend it or promote it, then have at it.

I do have things to say about the nudity and suggestive stuff I see during this public parade, but that’s a different article that I’ll likely write as the footage of the Pride Month parades filters in.

With that out of the way, I can talk about the news that’s come down the wire that a “Straight Pride Parade” is in the works in Boston to take place later this year. The event is reportedly being organized by Army Veteran Mark Sahady and John Hugo and will reportedly feature a famous homosexual Republican as its keynote speaker.

Naturally, I don’t consider this a problem. If you’re going to throw a parade for the LGBT community, then throwing a parade for those not in the community is only fair. It does absolutely no harm to the LGBT community if the focus is pride in your heterosexuality and not a knock against anyone else.

Of course, people on the left immediately went berzerk, including Hollywood actor Chris Evans. The actor immediately launched over the men planning the parade by accusing them of homosexuality, effectively making it an insult to be gay.

“Cool initiative, fellas!! Just a thought, instead of ‘Straight Pride’ parade, how about this: The ‘desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children’ parade? Whatta ya think? Too on the nose??” tweeted Evans.

What’s odd is that the appearance of a “Straight Pride Parade” was immediately considered an attack by leftists against the LGBT community.

That’s an odd position to take. It assumes from the get-go that straightness is a direct threat to homosexuality. It’s not. It’s just a sexual preference.

The other take is that straight people never had to go through the hardships homosexuals did throughout the course of their lives, and fair enough. Thing is, a parade to celebrate something doesn’t have to be based on achievements and/or suffering. It can just be based on pride in something, or even nothing but having fun.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a celebration of Irish heritage. Mardi Gras started as a religious holiday and has evolved into a reason to get drunk and earn beads by lifting up your shirt. There are ginger parades and bicycle parades.

You can have a parade for all sorts of reasons, and having one to celebrate heterosexuality isn’t a horrible reason to have a parade. A lot of people are straight and like being straight. They may want to celebrate the idea of two members of the opposite sex coming together to form a union that has the potential to create life. It’s a common phenomenon, but it’s still pretty amazing when you think about it.

I’m told too often that the LGBT activist community is always fighting for “equality,” yet sexuality attempts to celebrate itself and suddenly the LGBT activist community and its supporters are against the idea of everyone having the same opportunities. We’re consistently beat over the head with words like “acceptance” and “tolerance,” yet a celebration of straightness is unacceptable?

Seems a bit hypocritical and not the least bit hateful. Possibly even bigoted.

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The Damage Crossfire Hurricane Did To FBI’s Counterintelligence Division ‘Will Last For Years’ Says Former Counterspy

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When Attorney General Bill Barr told Congress in April he believed spying did occur against the Trump campaign, he was referring to the work of the formerly respected FBI division of counterintelligence, where Peter Strzok clocked in every day.

The Washington Free Beacon details the almost mythical history of the division and how now, following its fall from grace as stooges for the powers-that-be that wanted Trump out of the game, it is the focus of the Department of Justice’s special investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion probe.

Two senior counterintelligence officials no longer with the bureau are among likely targets of the investigation by John Durham, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut. Both were key managers of the high-profile investigations in 2016 into classified information found on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the now-discredited counterspy operation into links between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government.

A central figure is Peter Strzok, deputy assistant FBI director for the counterintelligence division, who was fired in August. Another key player was his boss, Bill Priestap, assistant FBI director for counterintelligence, who quietly resigned in December.

In the three years since the controversial investigations, the FBI counterintelligence division has sought to rebuild its reputation by conducting aggressive operations untainted by past allegations of liberal political bias through recent high-profile spy cases.

This merry band of partisans has nearly destroyed what was once a highly respected division doing impressive work. In fact, the Free Beacon reports, during the presidency of Bill Clinton onward, the division began to suffer from terrible mishaps of duty.

Since the 1990s, however, FBI counterintelligence has suffered numerous failures. They include botched counterspy investigations into Chinese nuclear spies that stole American warhead secrets; a Chinese double agent who worked as an informant for the FBI in Los Angeles; and, most damaging, failing to uncover FBI turncoat agent Robert Hanssen who worked as an FBI counterspy and Moscow agent undetected for more than 20 years.

Other counterintelligence lapses included a Cuban mole that operated secretly inside for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the loss of more than two dozen recruited CIA assets in China, and the arrests of numerous recruited intelligence agents in Iran beginning in 2010.

Strzok is the newest member who is the source of the division’s ills, and while Barr indicated in his interview with CBS This Morning that he could see a scenario in which these agents felt they were doing what’s right, Strzok is being criticized for being particularly ill-suited to any role in counterintelligence due to extramarital affairs, accepting media favors against FBI policy et al.

The cumulative effect of a department run by employees with loyalty to a political outcome rather than to the work of counterintel to protect their country is highly damaging, reports the Beacon.

“The damage they’ve done to the FBI will last for years,” said former FBI counterspy I.C. Smith.

DeGraffenreid said the fallout from Crossfire Hurricane likely will further weaken an already poor FBI counterintelligence capability. Bureaucratically, the fallout will further erode support for aggressive counterintelligence and dissuade the most capable people from seeking counterspy positions.

Strzok, based on his congressional testimony and publicized text, revealed himself to be ill-suited for counterintelligence. The FBI counterspy came across as “an arrogant bureaucrat” in his congressional testimony, deGraffenreid said. “He’s not George Smiley.”

Also, as outlined by the Justice IG, the FBI’s protective bureaucratic culture is in need of correcting.

“There’s extreme bureaucratization there with a culture that thinks the bureau is something other than the United States,” said deGraffenreid who worked with senior FBI officials in government for more than 30 years.

“More than any other government bureaucracy, the FBI will openly lie to protect the FBI’s reputation,” he said, adding that of all the intelligence disciplines, counterintelligence requires the smartest and best analysts and operators free of political bias like that shown by Strzok.

It is beyond frightening that one of the most important and secretive divisions within the federal police force was thick with partisanship and so far removed from their proper mission that they would engage in spy games to unseat a president. But that appears to be exactly what happened. We’ll know more when all the subsequent “investigations into the investigators” are released.

But one thing is already certain: the FBI needs to do a little housecleaning. Before this is all over, I suspect we’ll find other agencies do as well.

The post The Damage Crossfire Hurricane Did To FBI’s Counterintelligence Division ‘Will Last For Years’ Says Former Counterspy appeared first on RedState.

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Delusional: Failed Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Tells Voters “You Don’t Have The Right To Vote In GA”

Westlake Legal Group stacey-abrams-finger-SCREENSHOT-620x364 Delusional: Failed Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Tells Voters “You Don’t Have The Right To Vote In GA” voting rights Stacey Abrams Politics North Carolina Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020 2018 elections 2018

It’s been seven months since Democrat Stacey Abrams lost the Georgia governor’s race to Republican Brian Kemp fair and square. She has spent her every waking moment since deliberately undermining the election results, trying to convince voters she actually won, and that the election was “stolen.”

As she’s done this, the mainstream media – who are quick to use the “without evidence” tag for any claim Republicans make – have spent little to no time fact checking her claims. In fact, major news outlets like the New York Times have elevated her profile in puff pieces and op/eds.

Democrats, in turn, have taken to promoting these untruths about a “stolen election”, so much so to the point that it’s become a rite of passage of sorts for 2020 presidential candidates to “kiss the Abrams ring.”

Her latest comments on the gubernatorial election, however, are far worse and even more delusional than what she’s said previously.

CNN political Eric Bradner tweeted this Thursday:

As I’ve said before, you’d think there would be some Democrats who would be willing to stage an intervention with Abrams at this point, but they, too, are busy out there perpetuating the myth that the Georgia governor’s race was “stolen.”

Abrams has been fact checked a number of times on her repeated claims, including by Rich Lowry:

They say Kemp’s confessed his true, untoward feelings about voting when he expressed “concern” about Abrams pushing absentee voting.

But the full quote from Kemp speaking at a GOP event is: “They have just an unprecedented number of [absentee ballot requests], which is something that continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”

[…]

They allege that Kemp shut down polling places. It’s true, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that 214 precincts have closed in Georgia since 2012. It’s just not the handiwork of Brian Kemp.

Counties make the decisions about whether or not to shutter polling places. It’s usually cash-strapped rural areas that consolidate precincts to eliminate underutilized polling places and locations that don’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

When a controversy exploded over a proposal to close seven of nine precincts in tiny majority-black Randolph County, Kemp came out publicly and opposed the plan. (As it happens, Randolph voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Trump won five of the seven precincts slated for closure.)

As Hot Air‘s Karen Townsend notes, Abrams’s comments do more to divide Americans than unite them::

Abrams is riding her message of victimhood for as long as she can. To this day she claims if it were not for voter suppression she would be the Governor of Georgia. It’s madness and it is the same kind of sore loser behavior exhibited by Hillary and her continued claims that she lost the presidential election due to Russian collusion. Both narratives are just plain wrong and do nothing but divide Americans.

Not only that, but Abrams may find that insisting on telling people their votes don’t count may have the opposite effect of motivating them to go to the polls. It could depress them enough to stay home come election time.

Wouldn’t that be ironic?

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—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 Delusional: Failed Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Tells Voters “You Don’t Have The Right To Vote In GA” appeared first on RedState.

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AOC Pushes a New Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Iran, But There’s a Problem

Westlake Legal Group aoc-ocasio-cortez-2-620x413 AOC Pushes a New Conspiracy Theory About Trump and Iran, But There’s a Problem Trump hotel Politics Nonsensical mullahs Iran War Iran Hotel Room Stay Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story emoluments donald trump democrats conspiracy theory bribe AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019 by nrkbeta, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

She’s got a habit of not reading the articles she links to and comments on. If she did, she might avoid some of these embarrassments.

Just a few days ago, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got herself into trouble by going to bat for Paul Manafort being put in solitary confinement. The issue was that he was actually going into protective custody, likely on a voluntary basis. Had she read the article she retweeted, she’d have known that.

Here’s another case of that.

This makes no sense on several levels.

Trump is vehemently opposed to war with Iran, to the point of being in conflict with his own advisors at times. The idea that the President is looking to attack the Mullahs holds no basis in fact. It’s a George Bush era characterization that simply makes no sense when applied to Trump.

As luck would have it, we know the real reason this sheikh was in town. He was there for medical treatment at John Hopkins University Hospital. It’s also unclear that he wants the U.S. to “strike Iran.” While he worked for the CIA during the Iraq war, his current communications seem to center on a mutual support of overthrowing the Mullahs. That could happen several ways, not all including a full scale military invasion.

Regardless, think of how stupid AOC’s contention is on its face.

Does anyone seriously think Trump would start a war he’s opposed to simply because someone stayed at one of his hotels? It’s the same kind of nonsense propagated by liberals when they say the NRA “owns” someone over a $2,500 donation. No lawmaker or elected official is making policy based on donations that make up tiny, tiny fractions of their overall donor base.

In the case of Trump, he’s a billionaire. Maybe not quit as rich as he says, but still a billionaire. No one is calling him up and saying “look, if I drop $45,000 at your hotel, can you start this war for me?”

But here’s the biggest problem with AOC’s new conspiracy theory. The money was actually donated to the U.S. Treasury anyway.

The company, which runs the hotel, declined to answer questions about how much Kasnazan paid for his stay, or whether it had informed anyone at the White House about the sheikh’s long visit. The company said it donated the profits of his stay to the U.S. Treasury as part of a voluntary policy aimed at countering claims that the president is in violation of the emoluments clause.

Brilliant deduction as always Congresswoman.

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