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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 55)

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.

Westlake Legal Group freedom-2053281_1280-300x228 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   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

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.”

Westlake Legal Group eSCALATED_1487040000699_8508527_ver1.0-620x349 Meghan McCain Gets Heated, Calls Joy Behar an Expletive on Live TV Whoopi Goldberg The View Tension Politics Meghan McCain Loses It Live TV joy behar Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Expletive donald trump Blow Up bitch ABC

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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The post Meghan McCain Gets Heated, Calls Joy Behar an Expletive on Live TV appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group eSCALATED_1487040000699_8508527_ver1.0-300x169 Meghan McCain Gets Heated, Calls Joy Behar an Expletive on Live TV Whoopi Goldberg The View Tension Politics Meghan McCain Loses It Live TV joy behar Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Expletive donald trump Blow Up bitch ABC   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

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 

Women’s Olympic Medalist Battles the IAFF in Court – the Planet’s Largest Sports Governing Body Insists He’s a Dude

Westlake Legal Group 53c196da-02e0-4f93-beb9-a8ae21797a72 Women’s Olympic Medalist Battles the IAFF in Court – the Planet’s Largest Sports Governing Body Insists He’s a Dude Uncategorized transgender Sports Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture Caster Semenya Allow Media Exception

At the 2016 London Olympics, South African runner Caster Semenya beat the spandex off chicks in the women’s 800M run.

It should be noted, though, that Caster’s a man.

As it turns out, the International Association of Athletics Federations — the planet’s largest sports governing body — allows men to run with the girls…if they suppress their testosterone below a particular level.

Caster ain’t much for that.

Here’s a bit of backstory via a Daily Caller article from 2017:

In the past, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world’s governing body for track and field, sought to preserve the male-female division by administering gynecological exams, chromosome tests, or hormone tests to ensure fair competition.

Before the Rio Olympics, women like Semenya whose functional levels of the hormone are higher than 10 nmols/L were barred from international competition. Between 2011 and 2015, the IAAF ruled that any woman with less than 10 nanomoles of testosterone per liter of blood could compete in women’s events. Sex testing was not required of any athletes at the Rio Olympics, however, meaning intersex track athletes could compete with their natural testosterone levels.

Prior to IAFF regulations, Semenya dominated the 800m race at the world championships in Berlin, but she failed to move beyond the semifinals in Beijing after testosterone limits were implemented. When the testosterone rule was suspended in 2015, she returned to form, winning the 400m, 800m, and 1500m races at the African Championships — all on the same day — and an olympic gold the following year.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the IAAF’s testosterone rule in 2014, citing a lack scientific evidence to suggest that women with high levels of the hormone have a significant competitive advantage. The IAAF argued that testosterone is the most important boost to athletic performance, but the court stated that unless it could prove an average performance gap of 10 to 12 percent between male and female runners, there was not sufficient “evidence about the degree of the advantage.”

So that’s what’s been goin’ on.

Back to the present:

In the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, the IAAF is arguing that Caster’s a dude.

Caster says he’s a girl — no two ways about it. And he doesn’t wanna have to suppress his testosterone.

The organization believes letting guys race gals courtesy of testosterone limitation is “an extremely progressive compromise.”

And: “There are some contexts where biology has to trump identity.”

Reportedly, Caster has a “5-alpha reductase deficiency,” which affects male sexual development.

But the IAFF said, essentially, “But he’s still a dude.” Or, “His body, like his name, is partly comprised of semen. = Dude”

Oh, and he has small gonads: It insisted that “[men with 5-ARD are] biologically indistinguishable…in all relevant aspects” from other male athletes. The only considerable difference is the “size and shape of their external genitals.”

Last month, the court ruled in favor of the IAFF. However, the ruling’s been suspended while it considers Caster’s appeal.

As for the world of sex-divided sports, it’s quite the open can of worms, letting the roosters in with the hens. I don’t see these battles going away any time soon.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but the contemporary headlines seem increasingly filled with people demanding recognition, accommodation, and special treatment. It strikes me as a societal ill — we’re living in the age of a social media-emboldened epidemic of narcissism.

What do you think?

As for Caster, should he be allowed to compete with women, if he suppresses his testosterone?

Meanwhile, there’s an entirely different spin on the Caster controversy, offered at Deadspin.com: “The Obsession With Caster Semenya’s Body Was Racist From The Very Beginning.”

There we go.

-ALEX

 

Find all my RedState work here.

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

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The post Women’s Olympic Medalist Battles the IAFF in Court – the Planet’s Largest Sports Governing Body Insists He’s a Dude appeared first on RedState.

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Trump Takes a Strong Stance on Abortion (& Murder) at His Re-Election Kickoff – ‘Every Life is a Sacred Gift From God’

Westlake Legal Group 8986902e-8aad-4ee2-afad-8de41630ecb7 Trump Takes a Strong Stance on Abortion (& Murder) at His Re-Election Kickoff – ‘Every Life is a Sacred Gift From God’ Uncategorized State of the Union re-election Orlando murder late term abortion Front Page Stories Florida Featured Story donald trump democrats Culture & Faith Culture Congress Allow Media Exception Abortion 2020

Given the bevy of stiff abortion legislation as of late (such as that in Illinois and Missouri), the issue’s become a particularly white-hot topic in the political sphere. In Orlando Tuesday night, Donald Trump made clear where he stands.

At his 2020 campaign kickoff, the President vowed to a “rousing crowd of 20,000” — as reported by LifeNews — that the Trump White House will continue its fight for unborn children.

He pointed to the unspeakable allowance of killing babies just moments before their birth — aka murder — and lambasted the DNC for wanting to force taxpayers to fund the atrocity.

And…

–What the crap is happening to our society?–

…He referenced the killing of babies — via neglect or more aggressive means (here and here) — after birth:

“Virtually every top Democrat also now supports taxpayer-funded abortion right up to the moment of birth – ripping babies straight from the mothers’ womb. Leading Democrats have even opposed measures to prevent the execution of children after birth. You saw that in Virginia. Republicans believe that every life is a sacred gift from God. That is why I have asked Congress to prohibit extreme late-term abortions.”

He’s right about “top Democrats” — see my compilation of every 2020 Democratic candidate’s position on late-term abortion here.

The speech adds to strong words from his February State of the Union:

“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days.  Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.  These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world.  And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.  And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

There is a war raging. And whereas it concerned before an issue of debate — a question of “When does life begin” — it is now, more simply, “Is it okay to murder a baby?” To this question, some Democrats are saying Yes.

For now, America has a leader who believes “life is a sacred gift from God.”

For now.

-ALEX

 

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

See 3 more pieces from me:

Do We Really Want People Registering To Vote?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Backpedaling Doesn’t Reverse Its Stupidity

If Masculinity Is Toxic, It’s Still The Antidote To Femininity (The Reverse Is Also True)

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 Trump Takes a Strong Stance on Abortion (& Murder) at His Re-Election Kickoff – ‘Every Life is a Sacred Gift From God’ appeared first on RedState.

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Video: Claire McCaskill Likens “Stinky, Creepy” Sens. Cruz and Sessions to Segregationist Senators Biden Praised

Westlake Legal Group ClaireMcCaskillMSNBC-620x350 Video: Claire McCaskill Likens “Stinky, Creepy” Sens. Cruz and Sessions to Segregationist Senators Biden Praised Ted Cruz Politics North Carolina Missouri Joe Biden History Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Congress Claire McCaskill Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Screen grab via MSNBC.

Though Joe Biden has faced lots of criticism in Democratic party circles in recent days for speaking on being able to work with segregationist Senators to get things done, one Democrat is rushing to his defense – and making some bizarre comparisons in the process.

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning to discuss the backlash the 2020 frontrunner has received, and she was specifically asked about Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) strong reaction to what Biden said.

Noting that Biden and Booker were “both good friends” of hers, McCaskill claimed that “context” was needed on this issue. She then went on a rambling explanation about how 60 votes are needed in the Senate to get things done, and that Biden’s overall point was correct – that you have to be able to work with people you don’t necessarily like in order to find common ground and pass legislation.

She then stated that “Biden is trying to convey that he can work with really creepy, stinky people.” Immediately after that is when she referenced Senators that Booker and other Democrats have had to work with.

“And by the way, Cory Booker worked with Jeff Sessions. And AOC is workin’ with Ted Cruz. I mean these are pretty stinky, creepy people themselves, right?”

After wrongly equating Republican Sens. Cruz and Sessions to segregationist Democratic Sens. Eastland and Talmadge, the former Missouri Senator – ironically – said it was a “big mistake” for Biden to use Eastland and Talmadge as examples.

Watch the segment below:

The problem with McCaskill’s argument isn’t just that she’s looney tunes when comparing Cruz and Sessions to Eastland and Talmadge, but also in the fact that in the early days of Biden’s career he actively sought help from Democratic segregationist Senators to help him argue against one of the left’s signature issues: Mandatory busing as a way to help desegregate public schools:

Read the full story here.

Biden himself wasn’t against desegregation, but opposed forced busing as a means to achieve that goal. But because he didn’t go all in on it means, in modern terms, that his nuanced position was no better than the “creepy, stinky” racist Democratic Senators who he sought to work with at the time.

That said, those are the left’s rules of engagement these days. And while it’s good to see them actually applying their (normally double) standards to one of their own, McCaskill really should just stick to Games of Thrones critiques.

Because when it comes to making political comparisons, she sounds a little too “creepy, stinky” to be taken seriously.

—————–
—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 Video: Claire McCaskill Likens “Stinky, Creepy” Sens. Cruz and Sessions to Segregationist Senators Biden Praised appeared first on RedState.

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SCOTUS Rules Against Atheist Scolds In Maryland Peace Cross Decision

For nearly 95 years a 40-foot tall Latin cross has stood on public land in Bladensburg, MD, to commemorate US war dead in World War I. For most of that time the cross was uncontroversial, but then in 2014 a group of liberal atheist scolds operating under the guise of the “American Humanist Association” filed a lawsuit demanding that the monument be demolished because it gave them the heebie-jeebies every time they looked at it and because this cross on public land meant that Christianity was established as the official religion of the United States. A federal district court heard the case and granted summary judgment against the scolds, but the Fourth Circuit not only threw out the judgment, it ruled that the cross was unconstitutional and sent the case back to the lower court for a decision on what to do next…presumably something involving bulldozers. Today the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 ruling, Alito writing the majority opinion and Sotomayor and Ginsburg dissenting, which said, in essence, “yeah, its a Christian symbol and get over it.”

The opinion was interesting because the reasoning that Alito took, and which brought a solid majority along with him, basically ignored the historic Lemon test for determining if a religious symbol was too hurtful to be displayed on public grounds. That test sets the bar at the practice or object serving a secular purpose, its principal effect does not advance or inhibit religion, and it does not create an “excessive entanglement with religion.”

Via SCOTUS Blog:

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court today, in an opinion that once again eschewed the use of the Lemon test. Alito began by explaining that although the cross “came into widespread use as a symbol of Christianity” and continues to have that meaning today, it “has also taken on a secular meaning” in other contexts. In particular, Alito noted, the cross became a “central symbol” of World War I – which likely explains the choice to use a massive cross as the memorial for the Prince George’s County soldiers.

Alito then reasoned that in cases involving longstanding religious memorials or symbols, the Lemon test should not apply. At least when the question is whether to keep them in place, rather than to put up new ones, Alito emphasized, there should be a presumption that they are constitutional.

That presumption, Alito continued, applies here: Not only did the cross start off with the “added secular meaning” associated with World War I, but it took on “historical importance”: It reminds local residents of the conflict and the sacrifices that area soldiers made. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Jewish soldiers were either “deliberately left off the list on the memorial” or “included on the Cross against the wishes of their families.”

“The cross is a Christian symbol,” Alito concluded, “but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent. For some, that monument is a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home,” while for others “it is a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our Nation.” “For many of these people,” Alito stressed, “destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood undisturbed for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment.”

Justice Clarence Thomas also would have allowed the cross to stand, but for a different reason: He believes that the Constitution’s establishment clause does not apply to the states at all. Even if it did apply to the states, he added, there would still not be any constitutional violation – either because the establishment clause only applies to laws passed by a legislature or because the clause requires actual coercion by the government.

Justice Neil Gorsuch also agreed that the cross should be permitted to remain in place, but he argued that the case should be dismissed, because the challengers do not have a legal right, known as “standing,” to bring a lawsuit. Simply being offended by the cross’s presence is not, Gorsuch contended, enough to justify the lawsuit.

And predictably, the legal big brains on the left went full bore theocracy:

On the one hand, the decision did what was needed. It kicked this bunch of anti-religious scolds to the curb and told them to get a life and it did it in a way that will make the lawfare being conducted against religion to continue. On the other hand, it left in place an, in my view, unconstitutional prejudice against Christian symbols and references in the public square…because let’s face it, we live in a society where the prohibition on an establishment of religion is regularly employed to suppress Christian imagery and yet school children can be required to recite the Muslim shahada in order to pass a high school history class. The court should have jettisoned the whole mess and simply stated that unless a government was forcing people to profess a particular faith in order to receive services or to hold office, that religious symbols were, by definition, not establishing religion.

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Things Get Lit As Joe Biden and Cory Booker Exchange Blows Over Segregationist Comments

Westlake Legal Group media.townhall-8-620x317 Things Get Lit As Joe Biden and Cory Booker Exchange Blows Over Segregationist Comments Unforced error segregationists Politics Joe Biden gaffe Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story democrats Democrat Primary Race criticism Cory Booker CNN Body Blows 2020 campaign

As I wrote on yesterday, Joe Biden made his first major gaffe of the 2020 campaign and it was a pretty big deal.

It managed to wrap up several key negatives for Biden in one single, ill-advised rant. Not only did he appear to tacitly praise segregationists as being “civil,” he did so while attacking the far left of his own party. In the end, he pleases no-one. Not the Biden friendly minority voters who supported Obama nor the radicals who are more apt to support Sanders or Warren.

Sen. Cory Booker, who’s 2020 campaign has never really taken flight, has decided to try to capitalize on this by going hard at Biden for the remarks.

Others, including Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren also hit him in statements to the press.

In response, Biden doubled down, suggesting that it’s actually Booker who should apologize.

Inject this directly into my veins.

Not to be outdone, Booker then ran to Don Lemon’s show on CNN, which is basically a venue for anyone who wants to accuse someone else of racism. That’s Lemon’s entire shtick.

Even more hilariously, some Democrats are now hitting Biden for using the phrase “racist bone,” asserting that Biden saying he’s not a racist actually makes him a racist. I didn’t say it had to make sense.

Biden is starting to take fire from all sides and nothing I’ve seen from him says to me that he has the physical, nor political stamina to absorb the barrage.

As I’ve said a few times this week, these attacks from fellow Democrat primary opponents are a preview of next week’s debate. Whether it’s him not being far-left enough or these latest comments speaking well of segregationists, he’s going to be hit and hit hard.

Now, if he were as smart as Donald Trump when it comes to handling your opponents, Biden would just hit back and own the criticism. He’s not though so he won’t. He’ll instead continue to try to kowtow to the left while desperately clinging to his moderate appeal at the same time. It won’t work and it’s going to come crashing down.

In the voice of George Constanza from Seinfeld, “A Biden divided against itself…can not stand.”

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Chris Cuomo Had the Proper Reaction to Amy Klobuchar Saying Democrat Rallies are As Large as Trump’s

Westlake Legal Group Capture-5-620x329 Chris Cuomo Had the Proper Reaction to Amy Klobuchar Saying Democrat Rallies are As Large as Trump’s rallies Politics Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Chris Cuomo Amy Klobuchar Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020

Trump’s packed rallies are hard to ignore. The polls telling us that Trump is being crushed under the heal of the Democrat of the day can be thrown around till the cows come home, but it’s hard to square numbers someone gives you with numbers you can physically see.

As I covered on Wednesday, the attendance at Trump’s rallies is eclipsing the numbers seen at Democrat gatherings, even frontrunner Joe Biden’s. This fact is worrying for Democrats, and so far, only CNN’s Chris Cuomo is addressing the Republican elephant in the room.

In an interview with Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday, Cuomo asked the Democrat 2020 candidate up front why Democrats aren’t attracting the kinds of crowds Trump is. Klobuchar responded by flat out saying that Democrats are packing stadiums like Trump, it’s just that you don’t see it because there are so many Democrats.

“Why don’t Democrat pack stadiums the way this president does?” asked Cuomo.

“Oh but we do!” responded Klobuchar. “We just have a lot of stadiums we’re packing at the same time.”

Cuomo didn’t verbally respond, but the incredulous expression on his face spoke for him louder than words ever could.

Cuomo later admitted that he doesn’t agree with Klobuchar at all and that “size does matter.”

He’s not wrong. In 2016 we saw the same exact thing happen with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton continuously beat him in the polls, yet Trump packed stadiums while Clinton had to find various ways to play with crowd optics.

The difference is enthusiasm and groundswell. It’s one thing to have a mob online that will sit behind a keyboard and throw their support behind a candidate, and it’s another to get up to go stand in line with thousands of other people for hours on end to see a guy speak for a bit. People are doing that for Trump, but no one is doing that for Democrats.

This might change as the Democrat’s field of candidates is whittled down, but even with a single candidate opposing Trump, it’s hard to see how the enthusiasm for the left’s candidate will match that of Trump’s. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, it’s not just crowd size, it’s the fact that Trump is also garnering more donations than any other Democrat candidate.

Klobuchar and Democrats pretending that they’re doing just as well isn’t going to change the fact that they’re not. It’s just one more fantasy they chose to add to their ever-expanding fantasy world.

Even if Klobuchar isn’t telling lies for her sake but for yours, then this is proof that Democrats think you’re stupid enough to believe them. Given, the rabid defense of everything Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says has given them a proper reason to think that, but regardless, heads buried in the sand don’t win elections.

When even Cuomo recognizes this, maybe it’s time to get real.

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Tom Cotton Provides a Necessary “History Lesson” After MSNBC Mislabels Segregationist Democratic Senators “Republicans”

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As Red State‘s Bonchie wrote yesterday, Joe Biden landed himself in hot water with fellow Democrats on Wednesday. The 2020 presidential contender spoke earlier this week on being able to work with segregationist Senators in the interest of “civility” long ago to get things done.

What Biden didn’t mention is the fact that the Senators in question were segregationists – and Democrats.

A brief recap, via CNN:

During a fundraising event in New York, the Democratic presidential candidate recounted being a member of the Senate in the 1970s with southern Democrats who opposed civil rights and desegregation. He specifically named Mississippi Sen. James Eastland and Georgia Sen. Herman Talmadge, who Biden called “one of the meanest guys I ever knew.”

“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son,’ ” Biden told donors.

“Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done,” Biden said. “We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished.”

“But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore,” he said.

The two Senators he mentioned were not exactly politicians you wanted to be bragging about getting along with, as Bonchie noted in his post. In response to Biden’s comments, a number of other presidential candidates, including Sens. Cory Booker (NJ), Kamala Harris (CA), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) blasted the Democratic front-runner.

During an MSNBC segment on the controversy, anchor Kasie Hunt mislabeled the two Senators as Republicans:

MSNBC Host Kasie Hunt called segregationist Democrats “Republicans” on Wednesday when referencing Joe Biden’s remarks about civility with segregationists in the Senate.

“Still to come, Joe Biden references his relationships with two former Republican colleagues at an event in New York City. The only problem? They were both segregationists,” Hunt said, referring to Herman Talmadge and James Eastland, who were both Democratic senators.

[…]

Hunt did not correct her comments when she returned from the break.

Watch the segment below:

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) got wind of the news of Hunt’s flub, and took to the Twitter machine to provide a quick but necessary history lesson:

Hunt later issued a correction, but it was long after the segment was over:

Sure. Like 24 hours after the damage has been done. But okay.

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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.–

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