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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 64)

NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening

Westlake Legal Group Minimum-wage-protest-New-York-620x414 NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening Wage hike Unemployment raise the wage Politics New York City New York jobs Front Page Stories Fight for 15 Featured Story Economy Allow Media Exception

At this point, it’s undeniable that hiking the minimum wage hurts businesses and the employees who work there. Protesters think they’re securing more money for lower-income workers, but there is no magic in economics. While some workers were fortunate enough to keep their jobs with $15 an hour, they were also likely to have their hours cut back while everyone else lost their jobs due to forced cutbacks.

It’s happened pretty much everywhere it’s been tried, especially in New York City where over 75 percent of restaurants had to cut back on staff thanks to wage hikes, and the problem only continued to worsen as time went on.

Now, as the New York Post reveals, the problem is getting to a point where long standing New York restaurants are closing down and even more staff are losing their jobs:

Big Apple restaurants are feeling the heat from minimum-wage hikes, cutting staff hours and even closing kitchens as they struggle to shoulder the extra payroll costs.

Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar, a margarita and taco staple on the Upper West Side for the past 25 years, is closing at the end of September — and it has been a long, painful road downhill, according to its mom-and-pop owners.

Since the $15-an-hour minimum wage hit New York City in December, Liz and Nat Milner say, they’ve been forced to slash their full- and part-time staff to 45 people from 60. Quality has suffered, they admit, and customers have noticed: They’re not coming in like they used to, and when they do, they’re spending less.

Jazz Shaw of Hot Air reported on this and further added that some 4,000 jobs have been lost in New York thanks to the wage hike:

It’s not just the loss of local watering holes and eateries that are the problem. All of the jobs they support are going away too. As of August, the restaurant industry in the Big Apple has shed a shocking 4,000 jobs this year.

You’d think that this kind of loss of livliehood would make people stop and reassess their beliefs about what is and isn’t the correct course of action. Instead, it caused people to lash out at Shaw for daring to come to the conclusion that these loss of jobs were the result of their activism.

As you can see below, they put up every barrier they can to make it seem like Shaw was telling a blatant lie.

And so on, and so on.

The city of New York contains some 8 million people and has over 25,000 places to eat at. If a shop closes down, it’s not at all difficult to find something else close by. So what seems to be happening is that many are still being served their food and drink without interruption, and as such are calling the entire trouble with New York’s minimum wage causing job losses a lie.

This is quite possibly one of the most first-world spoiled positions a person can take. The data that people are losing their jobs due to wage hikes aren’t just coming from right-wing reporters and commentators, this is information being given to us by business owners and publications like the Wall Street Journal.

If that doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps the fact that 74 percent of economists called the wage hike a bad idea and predicted this very thing would happen.

Just because they don’t notice it happening in New York due to its volume, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. But it’s worse than just mistaking surface level experience with facts. Those who are in support of raising the minimum wage are purposely turning a blind eye to the trouble their positions are causing in the face of mounting evidence.

This could be because they refuse to face the fact that their actions meant to help people are actually having the opposite effect, and that their take about how economics work has been wrong all along. That their opponents were right.

Instead of backing off, they’re more than willing to let the destruction continue and people lose their livelihoods so that they can keep on believing that they’re right. If a restaurant closes down, they’ll find an excuse for it and go to a different one. If that one closes down they’ll repeat the process. As things stagnate they’ll find something to blame for it like the policies of those pesky Republicans and that filthy pro-capitalist sentiment.

This is some head in the sand nonsense, and it’s actually hurting people.

The post NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Minimum-wage-protest-New-York-300x200 NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening Wage hike Unemployment raise the wage Politics New York City New York jobs Front Page Stories Fight for 15 Featured Story Economy Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Resume of Inspector General Behind ‘Whistleblower’ Tells Us All We Need to Know

Westlake Legal Group michael-atkinson-620x353 Resume of Inspector General Behind ‘Whistleblower’ Tells Us All We Need to Know Ukraine Mueller Investigation Michael Atkinson Mary McCord Julie Kelly John Carlin Impeachment of President Trump General Michael Flynn Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption elections donald trump democrats Carter Page Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020

Michael Atkinson. IC IG. CREDIT: ODNI/Cropped

 

The mainstream media has portrayed Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson in glowing terms.

“The intelligence community’s chief watchdog, Michael Atkinson, is known to his peers and colleagues as a highly cautious ‘straight shooter’ who tends to keep his head down,” writes Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand.

If only he had kept his head down.

American Greatness’ Julie Kelly took a peak at Atkinson’s resume and it tells us everything we need to know. Kelly notes that in July 2016, Atkinson became “the senior counsel to John Carlin, the head of the National Security Division. Carlin was Robert Mueller’s chief of staff when he ran the FBI and was appointed NSD chief by President Obama in 2013.”

Carlin played a role in both the framing of Trump’s National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, as well as the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. In her testimony before Congress last summer, FBI lawyer Lisa Page told lawmakers that “Carlin was briefed regularly by former deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe on the Trump-Russia collusion probe.”

With full knowledge that Trump campaign advisor Carter Page was not a “Russian spy,” that he had actually done undercover work for the FBI, Carlin prepared the FISA Court application for a warrant to spy on him. Shortly before the application was submitted, Carlin abruptly resigned under controversial circumstances in October 2016. (He is now a CNBC contributor – surprise!)

He was replaced by Mary McCord who, according to Conservapedia, was complicit in the surveillance of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and surveillance of Trump Campaign. Atkinson served as McCord’s senior counsel.

Shortly after Trump took office, “McCord accompanied acting Attorney General Sally Yates to a meeting with White House counsel Don McGahn. The purpose of the meeting was to warn the White House that Mike Flynn may have violated an arcane federal law and was at risk of being “blackmailed” by the Russians.”

McCord resigned from her post in May 2017 under conditions similar to Carlin’s.

According to CNN, both Carlin and McChord still speak highly of Atkinson.

Shortly after the story of the whistleblower complaint broke last week, McChord, who is now a senior litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, spoke to CNN. She said, “As soon as I saw that he [Atkinson] had recommended it be sent to Congress, that’s all I needed to know it was legit.”

Carlin was also contacted by CNN and said, Atkinson is  “someone who is very deliberate, thoughtful and tries to carefully review facts … not someone who seeks attention.” (Carlin now is a CNBC contributor.)

Kelly reports:

Under questioning by Rep. James Jordan (R-Ohio) last year, one of Carlin’s top aides confirmed that Carlin notified him in August 2016 that the FBI had opened an investigation into the Trump campaign and that a team of NSD officials worked with the FBI on the case.

In his testimony, George Toscas, former deputy attorney general for the NSD, referred to unnamed lawyers who attended various briefings with the FBI in 2016. He did not mention Atkinson’s name—although several names in the transcript are redacted—but it stretches credulity to think that the senior counsel to the division’s chief would have been unaware of such an explosive and unprecedented investigation.

Further, the National Security Division chiefly is responsible for the Justice Department’s oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The NSD “closely coordinates with the FBI and other Intelligence Community agencies on . . . matters relating to FISA and other national security laws.”

That means Carlin’s shop was involved in handling the FISA warrant on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The original FISA warrant, signed by former FBI Director James Comey and Carlin’s colleague, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, used the bogus Steele dossier as evidence to obtain the FISA court’s permission to spy on Page for one year. The warrant accused Page of being a foreign agent yet he has never been charged with a crime.

Was Atkinson one of the unnamed lawyers? It’s highly likely. He was the senior counsel.

In any case, it defies belief that the senior counsel for both Carlin and McChord had no knowledge of what they were involved in. Can you imagine the atmosphere inside the offices of top level NSD officials as the campaign to destroy Trump was ramping up?

All is not as it seems.

The post Resume of Inspector General Behind ‘Whistleblower’ Tells Us All We Need to Know appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group michael-atkinson-300x171 Resume of Inspector General Behind ‘Whistleblower’ Tells Us All We Need to Know Ukraine Mueller Investigation Michael Atkinson Mary McCord Julie Kelly John Carlin Impeachment of President Trump General Michael Flynn Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption elections donald trump democrats Carter Page Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Video: Rep. Doug Collins Lays Out Pelosi’s and Schiff’s Impeachment Smokescreen

Westlake Legal Group NancyPelosiAPimage-620x317 Video: Rep. Doug Collins Lays Out Pelosi’s and Schiff’s Impeachment Smokescreen washington D.C. republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Impeachment of President Trump impeachment House Judiciary Committee Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Doug Collins donald trump democrats Culture Congress California Allow Media Exception adam schiff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during her weekly media availability on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

When it comes to the actions of the Democratic House leadership on the latest round of impeachment fever, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) is not messing around.

Collins, who is the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, appeared on Fox and Friends Monday morning to talk about the impeachment process. Collins specifically raised questions about what House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) knew and when he knew it about the whistleblower complaint. He also pointed out how there was a very troubling reason why House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) declared an impeachment inquiry instead of having Congress formally vote on it.

Below is a partial transcript of the interview Collins did with host Brian Kilmeade:

Collins: “If you go back, actually the whistleblower complaint was on August 14th I believe. On August the 28th, go back and look at Adam Schiff who is now heading the ramrod investigation. He actually put a tweet out saying basicallywhat the whistleblower complaint said. This is a month ahead of time. I’m beginning to wonder if there was not more communication here.”

Kilmeade: “Nancy Pelosi on 60 Minutes last night was asked ‘Did the President call you?’ She said ‘yes, he called me.’ [This was] before she came out with the impeachment inquiry. [Trump said] ‘the letter was perfect. We’re gonna release the transcript, the call was perfect.’ And she said to him, ‘I knew what was in the letter.’ Then she paused and said ‘it was in the public domain.’ Number one, it was not in the public domain, and the transcript had not been released yet. How could she possibly know?”

Collins: (chuckles) “I don’t think she did. I think the problem here is when you keep telling another story, it’s hard to remember what you’ve told and not told, or what you’re trying to keep.

And this is why I’ve said this week that the Speaker abused her power … she said we’re starting the impeachment inquiry and she gave it to her buddy Adam Schiff who has been dishonest with the American people from the get-go on Russia. And why that is important for everybody in this country to know is a [true] impeachment inquiry would actually afford due process, it would make sure both sides were heard. It would make sure the President and the minority have the rights that are not present in the hearings currently.

This is not America when you can simply ramrod one side of a hearing in without allowing the person who’s being accused or even the minority to have more rights.

If it were a true inquiry, she’d put it on the floor, make her members vote for it so in the end we would actually have a process that happened under Clinton and happened under Nixon.”

When Kilmeade asked Collins about Pelosi’s remarks this week about Americans needing to be “prayerful” about the process, here’s how Collins responded:

“It doesn’t appear to be [sincere] when you see the actions,” Collins said. “Don’t follow the words. Follow the actions. If this was so somber, if this was so serious, then she would do [what] has been done in the past and have a very straightforward process in which every side is represented.”
[…]
Collins said if Pelosi and congressional Democrats truly had the courage of their convictions, they would put the issue to a vote on the House floor and allow the republic to function as it was intended.

“If it was a true inquiry, she would put it on the floor — she’d make her members vote for it so, in the end, we would actually have a process that happened under [Bill] Clinton and happened under [Richard] Nixon, where both sides are represented,” he said. “This is just not fair. The American people will see through this.”

Watch Collins lay the smack down on this sham process below:

What Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler are trying to do should be very concerning to everybody. The House is on a two week break now but key committee members are still in DC issuing subpoenas and moving the impeachment process along without input from Republicans.

GOP House members should use the two weeks they have in their districts to amplify what Collins and other GOP leaders are saying about what’s happening. The American people deserve to know.

——
— 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: Rep. Doug Collins Lays Out Pelosi’s and Schiff’s Impeachment Smokescreen appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group NancyPelosiAPimage-300x153 Video: Rep. Doug Collins Lays Out Pelosi’s and Schiff’s Impeachment Smokescreen washington D.C. republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Impeachment of President Trump impeachment House Judiciary Committee Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Doug Collins donald trump democrats Culture Congress California Allow Media Exception adam schiff  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pics Cast Doubt on Joe Biden’s Claim That He Didn’t Discuss His Son’s Business With Him

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenSunglassesAPimage Pics Cast Doubt on Joe Biden’s Claim That He Didn’t Discuss His Son’s Business With Him Joe Biden hunter biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats corruption biden 2020 campaign 2020

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden pays for his order at a Krispy Kreme following a campaign town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Last week, when questioned about what he knew of his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings in China, Joe Biden claimed he knew nothing because he had never discussed his son’s business dealings with him.

From Fox:

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said, pointing the finger at President Trump. “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader. You should be looking at Trump.”

That immediately was called into question because of a prior statement made by Hunter to the New Yorker indicating that he had in fact spoken with his father at least once about business.

But now there are pictures emerging which also call into question Joe Biden’s claim.

On Tucker Carlson’s show last night, he revealed pictures from August 2014, when Hunter was still on the board of the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. The pictures showed Joe Biden with Hunter and his business partner on Burisma at the time, Devon Archer.

News reports show that Joe Biden was in the Hamptons at the time of the picture, according to Fox.

Hunter Biden was receiving $50,000 a month from Burisma to be on their board despite having no prior experience in Ukraine or the energy business.

Biden later admitted on camera that he had pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor Viktor Shokin by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid while he was Vice President. Shokin was fired. Shokin later claimed in an affidavit to an Austrian court this year that he was investigating Hunter Biden’s firm, Burisma, and that was at least in part why he was fired. This affidavit was revealed by John Solomon at The Hill.

But the golfing picture wasn’t the only time there were pictures where there seemed an intersection of Hunter’s business life and Joe Biden, as is noted in this Twitchy post.

Twitchy observes:

Here’s the caption for the photo. Note the update in 2014 to cover Hunter’s new work in Ukraine:

FILE – This Dec. 4, 2013, file photo shows U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, arriving on Air Force Two in Beijing, China, with his son Hunter Biden, right, and his granddaughter Finnegan Biden. As the Vice President travels to Ukraine Saturday, June 7, 2014, his youngest son, Hunter, 44, has been hired by a private Ukrainian company that promotes energy independence from Russia, but is commercially active in the breakaway Russian-backed state of Crimea and owned by a former government minister with ties to Ukraine’s ousted pro-Russian president. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)

As the New Yorker noted, Hunter had just made a deal to create a private equity fund, despite the fact that his father the Vice President was a point man on China for the Obama administration.

In June, 2013, Li, Archer, and other business partners signed a memorandum of understanding to create the fund, which they named BHR Partners, and, in November, they signed contracts related to the deal. Hunter became an unpaid member of BHR’s board but did not take an equity stake in BHR Partners until after his father left the White House.

According to Peter Schweizer, the $1 billion private equity deal was:

“[w]ith a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China. The deal was later expanded to $1.5 billion. In short, the Chinese government funded a business that it co-owned along with the son of a sitting vice president.”

While there, both Bidens met with President Li.

According to the New Yorker, Joe Biden staff was concerned about the appearance of impropriety but were too “intimidated” to bring it up with the Vice President.

When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. “Everyone who works for him has been screamed at,” a former adviser told me. Others said that they were wary of hurting his feelings. One business associate told me that Biden, during difficult conversations about his family, “got deeply melancholy, which, to me, is more painful than if someone yelled and screamed at me. It’s like you’ve hurt him terribly. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him.”

Obviously, there are legitimate questions here that can’t be papered over by just screaming, “Trump.”

The post Pics Cast Doubt on Joe Biden’s Claim That He Didn’t Discuss His Son’s Business With Him appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenSunglassesAPimage-300x153 Pics Cast Doubt on Joe Biden’s Claim That He Didn’t Discuss His Son’s Business With Him Joe Biden hunter biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats corruption biden 2020 campaign 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Beto Goofs Again, Indicates the Only Thing Standing in the Way of Sweeping Leftist Reforms Is Trump

Westlake Legal Group BetoORourkeAPimage-620x317 Beto Goofs Again, Indicates the Only Thing Standing in the Way of Sweeping Leftist Reforms Is Trump TribFest Politics impeachment Front Page Stories Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Beto O'Rourke Allow Media Exception 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks at the Iowa Federation of Labor convention, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

I swear, it’s like Robert “Beto” O’Rourke is trying to get President Donald Trump reelected.

O’Rourke still hasn’t figured out that the radical’s take is one that may play well to a very loud group of politically rabid people, but that group isn’t exactly large. The rest of the country wants next to nothing to do with it, and it shows with all the money, approval points, and audience Trump is getting.

Regardless, O’Rourke seems to believe that the radicals outnumber the Americans and he’s continuously saying things that indicate he’s with them.

The latest happened at TribFest 2019, where O’Rourke essentially admitted that the only thing standing between Democrats and passing sweeping leftist reforms that would fundamentally change the country is Trump.

“The best possible path, especially if you are concerned about a country that has never been more divided, perhaps more highly polarized every day, is for this president to resign,” O’Rourke said. “Allow this country to heal, and assure that we come back together with the greatest, most ambitious agenda we’ve ever faced, none of it possible while he remains in power.”

O’Rourke said Trump should take a page out of Nixon’s book and resign so that the left can do what it wants, according to the Daily Wire:

“I think back to what we saw in 1974 with [former president] Richard Nixon,” O’Rourke said. “At the end of the day, before we got to the end of the trial and the end of impeachment hearings, Republican senators went to the White House and met with the president and said for the good of the country, for the good of your political career, for any legacy that you want to be able to maintain, the right thing for you to do now is to step down.”

“And he did,” he continued. “I think there is a similar opportunity open to members of the Senate right now, and frankly, open to those around Donald Trump.”

For one, Nixon’s political career never recovered, and he was popularly known as the President who left the office in shame.

That said, O’Rourke doesn’t seem to understand that it’s not just Trump between Democrats and their reforms. Even if Trump goes, there is still VP Mike Pence, a Republican majority in the Senate, and a very strong possibility that in 2020, the Republicans will retake the House.

In fact, it may boil down to that since both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the unofficial leader of the Democrats, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are both willing to sacrifice the House if it means they get more votes towards Trump’s impeachment.

The real kicker here is that all of these Republicans won’t just achieve power by themselves, they’ll be voted in by the people. So, in truth, the real blockade standing between the radical left and its agenda is the American people, and O’Rourke can’t impeach or force them to resign.

The American people don’t want what the radicals want and O’Rourke just essentially told them that if they don’t support Trump, he and his hard-left allies are going to steamroll over everything. No wonder Trump’s approval rating continues to rise to the point where he’s now beating what Obama’s was around this time in his presidency.

This is almost as bad as the time O’Rourke straight up admitted that he wanted to take our guns.

The post Beto Goofs Again, Indicates the Only Thing Standing in the Way of Sweeping Leftist Reforms Is Trump appeared first on RedState.

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Kamala Harris Calls for Twitter to Silence Donald Trump and Doesn’t Care if It’s Censorship

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. speaks Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

California Senator and 2020 Democratic candidate Kamala Harris is definitely on board the censorship train as she called for Twitter to silence President Donald Trump by suspending his account. Her reasoning? His tweets about the whistleblower are mean.

Appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper, Harris made a show of saying the government would protect this poor whistleblower from Trump, and that Trump’s tweets are causing more harm than good about it and everything else. As such, Harris suggested Twitter take action.

“The President’s tweets and behaviors about this are just further evidence of the fact that he uses his power that is designed to beat people down instead of lift people up,” said Harris.

“Frankly, when you look at what he’s been tweeting today, directed at the whistleblower, directed at so many people, I frankly, think that based on this and all we’ve seen him do before, including attacking members of Congress that frankly his Twitter account should be suspended,” said continued.

“I think there’s plenty of now evidence to suggest that he is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm to other people. And so the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken from him,” she added.

Cooper asked if this would be seen as proof that Twitter and the left are out to silence people, but Harris didn’t seem to care and said that if Trump won’t censor himself then there needs to be “mechanisms” in place to do it.

“If he’s not going to exercise self-restraint, then, perhaps, there should be other mechanisms in place to make sure that his words do not, in fact, harm anyone,” she said.

For one, Twitter has already said it will take no action against the President, as he is a world leader and his tweets are valuable information for the public.

However, this is all rich coming from Harris. The Senator likes to put forward the idea that she’s the opposite of Trump and is more concerned about lifting others up than keeping them down, but the problem is that Harris is known for keeping people down, as in, in prison for longer than they should have been in order to use them for cheap labor.

Her sins as a District Attorney were put on display by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a debate and instead of offering a substantive argument, Harris simply made it clear that she was more popular than Gabbard.

Some uplifter.

The bottom line here, however, is that Harris wants to silence someone because she doesn’t like their tweets. The question that should be asked is, if she’s willing to do it to one person, how many more people do you think she’d try to pressure Twitter to silence when she has the power of the White House behind her?

The post Kamala Harris Calls for Twitter to Silence Donald Trump and Doesn’t Care if It’s Censorship appeared first on RedState.

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Democrats, Media Wet Themselves Over a New Trump “Scandal” Involving the Australians

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Just when you thought things couldn’t get dumber, Democrats and the media hand their beer off and go headfirst into another wall.

The background is of course the phone call between Trump and Zelensky, the Ukrainian President. On the call, Trump, after Zelensky brings up Giuliani’s work (which centered on Biden), simply asked if it could be looked into. He doesn’t ask for dirt to be manufactured, he doesn’t mention the 2020 election, and he applies no pressure or quid pro quo to the situation. Yet, we are assured this is an impeachable offense.

Naturally, because the narrative must be formed and solidified, now any foreign interaction involving any request about an investigation is being spun as scandalous.

The latest involves the Australians, who were at the center of the start up of Crossfire Hurricane, the Trump-Russia investigation. In reality, the Steele dossier clearly played a more significant role, but the claims about George Papadopoulos and an Aussie diplomat at a bar have become the go to excuse for why Democrats spent 2016 and beyond investigating a political enemy based on no evidence.

Trump, being the primary target, wants to get to the bottom of this and asked the Australians to cooperate with AG Bill Barr’s ongoing, official investigation into the matter. This set hair on fire across the left because apparently the president can’t even request cooperation in investigations anymore.

He “pushed” him! Unheard of!

This is ludicrous. The investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane is an official investigation. It is completely legitimate and it is completely proper for a president to ask his foreign counterpart, who’s country is near the genesis of the matter, to cooperate with Barr.

Keep in mind that this interaction with the Australians is yet another illegal leak as well. So the intel community, in the middle of insisting Trump is the bad guy here, are still leaking information for political reasons. Instead of questioning this, the media are running with it like lackeys, not even stopping to wonder how coordinated this all feels.

The pushing of this story does reveal something, and it is that the Democrats think they have a weak hand on impeachment. That’s why they are rushing to reinforce a narrative that Trump was acting improperly regularly. Evidence doesn’t bear that out but this Australian thing lets them say “look, he asked someone else to help him politically!” No, he asked someone else to cooperate with an investigation which needs to happen.

Meanwhile, the IC is scrambling, throwing everything they’ve got out there for one reason. The IG report on their misbehavior is coming and they want to cover themselves, muddying the water as much as possible. In reality, that’s what all this is about. It’s not a coincidence these leaks happened right before the DOJ was getting ready to drop the hammer.

They are scared. We’ll see if their strategy of screaming “look a squirrel” works.

————————————————

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The post Democrats, Media Wet Themselves Over a New Trump “Scandal” Involving the Australians appeared first on RedState.

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If This Article is Correct, Republicans May be Disappointed with the IG’s FISA Abuse Report

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Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo, “I do not believe that Jim Comey will get off.” All of us long-suffering Trump supporters were pleased to hear that.

Unfortunately, Real Clear Investigation’s Paul Sperry published an article on Monday which suggests that DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’ report on the FBI’s alleged FISA abuse may disappoint.

According to Sperry, skeptics are saying that despite the fact that Horowitz, an Obama appointee, is highly respected, he is, at heart, a Democrat. He is “more political than widely believed, and may be naturally inclined to protect the FBI and the DOJ. Their main complaint is that he pulls his punches…His work has long been hampered by biases, conflicts and a tendency to play favorites.”

As an example, they cite his conclusions in the June 2018 report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Horowitz, who worked under James Comey in the SDNY in the 1990s, found that while “many of Comey’s explanations for his dubious actions were “unconvincing,” he stopped short of saying that Comey had lied to investigators.” Specifically:

Comey asserted implausibly that he delayed acting on a mountain of new Clinton email evidence discovered on a laptop in New York because he was never briefed about it until nearly a month after his top aides found out about it in September 2016.

In probing whether Comey illegally leaked classified information to the New York Times, Horowitz in the end accepted his argument that the memo of a conversation with President Trump was sensitive but “not classified” – even though the memo contained information about the FBI’s ongoing counterintelligence investigation of the president’s national security adviser.

Sperry spoke to Chris Swecker, a 24-year FBI veteran, who said, “I see a pattern of him pulling up short and trying to be a bit of a statesman instead of making the hard calls…I’m afraid he’s going to do the same thing with the FISA report – a finding that sounds tough, but in the end, ‘No harm, no foul.’”

They also cite his work as a campaign volunteer for Democratic candidates in college and several subsequent campaign contributions to Democrats. Horowitz’ wife is “a former political activist who helped run campaigns for liberal Democrats before producing programming for CNN out of its Washington bureau.”

Sperry interviewed several former inspectors general, and none of them expect Horowitz will issue a criminal referral against Comey. They also pointed to a law which requires an inspector general to “report evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law to the Attorney General as soon as it is uncovered, rather than deferring such action until the completion of their report.” If I recall correctly, Horowitz issued a criminal referral for Andrew McCabe to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions months before his report was released.

Sperry and his team, aided by “seasoned federal investigators, deconstructed previous probes by his office, combing through the footnotes and appendices of his reports. RCI found numerous instances in which Horowitz stopped short of pursuing evidence and was content to take high-level officials at their word, even in the face of conflicting evidence.” They “uncovered [Horowitz’] tendency to defer to those in authority.”

During his investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server, “Horowitz relied on key Clinton aides produce evidence on their own.”

He repeatedly declined to use his subpoena power, trusting key players to produce evidence on their own. He allowed the two lead FBI officials who ran both the investigation of Clinton and the probe of the Trump campaign — FBI Counterintelligence Chief Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page – to decide which communications on their personal devices and email accounts were FBI “work-related” and which were “personal,” according to footnotes and Strzok’s testimony. Both claimed they couldn’t find any work-relevant evidence to hand over, even though text message exchanges between them on their FBI phones indicated they had discussed FBI meetings in private Gmail accounts and iMessages.

Horowitz subsequently learned through interviews that Strzok drafted classified investigative documents and communicated with Page about them on their private email in violation of department rules, which require officials to communicate through government channels — the same basis for the Clinton email probe. Yet neither was compelled to turn over the emails.

“The inspector general and I arranged an agreement where I would go through my personal accounts and identify any material that was relevant to FBI business and turn it over,” Strzok said in testifying before Congress. “It was reviewed. There was none. My understanding is the inspector general was satisfied with that action.”

Horowitz never referred Strzok for criminal sanctions for maintaining court-sealed documents on an unsecure computer. Strzok was nonetheless fired last year by the bureau for misconduct. He is now suing the department for unlawful termination.

The IG also failed to demand access to Comey’s private Gmail account, even though he, too, used it for official FBI business.

Horowitz is widely credited with uncovering biased texts sent by Strzok and Page, who were also having an extramarital affair, on their bureau-issued phones. In those texts they rooted for Clinton to win the 2016 election and promised to “stop” Trump – at a time when they were supposedly investigating the presidential candidates. But Horowitz found those messages only after congressional Republicans pressed him to recover several months’ worth of Strzok-Page texts the FBI claimed were missing from its archives. The inspector general brought the texts to the attention of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who’d retained the two agents for his investigation, on July 27, 2017. But he kept the explosive information from Congress for the next five months, and shared it with legislators only after the media found out about it.

The inspector general still has not recovered all the missing texts. It appears he has given up trying, having accepted the FBI’s explanation that the records were lost in a technical snafu the bureau blames on the IT vendor that wrote the software for its archiving system.

The report rebuked Strzok and Page over their political bias, however, he did not believe that their bias influenced their investigative decisions. The report said that they “exercised extremely poor judgment.”

Swecker told Sperry that “Strzok’s state of mind was clear. That his bias was coming into play was an easy call to make, but Horowitz danced around it.”

Horowitz found that Clinton had been “extremely careless” but not “grossly negligent.”

Sperry cites at least a dozen more instances in which he believes Horowitz gave the benefit of the doubt to the various subjects of his investigations. He also discusses Horowitz’ past praise of Comey, his experience working under then-Attorney General Janet Reno and her then-deputy, Eric Holder and finally his leniency on then-Attorney Eric Holder in the Fast and Furious case.  (Here is the link.)

It should be noted that any officials who are mentioned in an IG report are offered the opportunity to “make changes, reviewing it for accuracy.” That means that Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Page and several others will take a whack at it before it’s released. This often has the effect of “watering down” the report. (Why wasn’t Trump availed a chance to review the whistleblower’s complaint for accuracy before it was made public?)

I clearly remember the anticipation of Horowitz’ June 2018 report on Hillary Clinton’s email investigation. We all had high hopes for that, but in the end, we were let down.

It’s frustrating to think that, after working on this investigation for 18 months, Horowitz might not deliver the goods for us.

Still, Horowitz did issue a criminal referral for Comey in July for mishandling sensitive information. The fired FBI Director had given memos he’d written after each meeting with President Trump to his law professor friend with instructions to leak them to the New York Times. He had hoped that once the Times reported the story, then-acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would appoint a special counsel. As we all know, Comey’s plan worked. The DOJ chose not to pursue the IG’s criminal referral because there was too much uncertainty about Comey’s intent. Many of us believe that the DOJ has their sights on Comey’s “bigger crimes.”

Rumor has it that Horowitz found that the FBI’s FISA applications for the original Carter Page warrant and three subsequent renewals were obtained fraudulently. I don’t see how he could conclude anything else. In any case, we’ll find out soon.

In the meantime, Attorney General William Barr and prosecutor John Durham have been hard at work on their deep dive into the origins of the Russian collusion investigation. Unfortunately, we have a long wait before that probe is completed.

Swecker points out, “Durham is serious and he has indictment authority.”

The post If This Article is Correct, Republicans May be Disappointed with the IG’s FISA Abuse Report appeared first on RedState.

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A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler?

Westlake Legal Group jerry-nadler-monkey-face-j-620x317 A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? Oracle Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Department of Defense democrats campaign contributions big tech amazon 2020

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

While all this other impeachment stuff has been going on, it’s still politics as usual in Washington D.C. in virtually every other regard.

Did you know, for example, that there has been a been tech battle over a massive Department of Defense contract for cloud computing services? It’s true, and it’s led to one of the frankly funniest political strategies I’ve ever seen.

A company called Oracle was trying to beat out Amazon for the contract. They did not win, and apparently they are very upset about it. The contract has not actually been awarded (the finalists are Amazon and Microsoft), but they are so upset that they’ve admitted to contributing to a Hillary Clinton-Chuck Schumer consultant-run anti-Amazon astroturf effort that possibly isn’t complying with lobbying rules in some sort of quasi-trolling effort.

Well, it seems that that’s not enough, and Oracle is just out for blood. They are also doing some serious lobbying of the Trump Administration, who will be awarding the contract. Not entirely sure what their goal is outside of “Screw Amazon over!” because by everything I’ve seen it’s impossible for them to get the contract at this point. They have also decided to essentially bankrolling Rep. Jerry Nadler’s 2020 campaign.

Obviously, Nadler is the chair of the Judiciary Committee, so his favor is something Oracle does need to win over at some point. However, it’s probably not the greatest strategy to lobby both the Trump Administration AND Jerry Nadler when the latter has been openly calling for Trump’s impeachment since pretty much the beginning. It just seems like you might alienate one in promoting the other, and the former definitely controls what happens in the Department of Defense.

Keep in mind, too, that this isn’t a situation where Oracle has been a major contributor to Nadler in the past. They went from not ranking among Nadler’s top donors in the past two election cycles to being his fourth-largest donor for the 2020 election.

Trump is definitely not the sort to condone anyone playing nice with the enemy and to Trump, who has admitted in the past that he donated to whatever politician he thought would help him out most, if he were made aware of Oracle’s spending habits I very much doubt Oracle would be getting a government contract as long as Trump holds the White House.

The post A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? appeared first on RedState.

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Threatening to Withhold Foreign Aid in Support of U.S. Policy—Is Legal

Westlake Legal Group TrumpZelenskiyAPimage-620x317 Threatening to Withhold Foreign Aid in Support of U.S. Policy—Is Legal Uncategorized Ukraine investigation into 2016 election interference Ukraine Call republicans Politics Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception

President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

If you listen to the strident, breathless reporting of the press, you would believe that President Trump is some sort of Mafia “Don” (pun intended) having made Ukraine an offer it can’t refuse. Because of the press reporting and its sin of omission, a goodly portion of the populace evidently believes that it is against the rules to use our foreign aid as a cudgel to influence other governments. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

First of all, as has been well covered by my Red State colleagues, there is not one iota of evidence that President Trump exerted any such coercion during his phone call with Ukraine’s then President-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky. Point of fact, President Zelensky strongly denies any such coercion and the official transcript/memo of the conversation confirms that.

Second and most importantly, are the reasons we give aid to other countries. One such purpose is to leverage our own resources. An example of this is Foreign Military Aid, which we use to assist an ally. This is a lot cheaper than having to deploy U.S. troops to defend that ally. However, there is also a side benefit which has become one of the prime purposes we give that foreign aid, to establish strings we can later tug on to influence those countries.

Yale Journal of International Law, Jeffrey A. Meyer writes:

As the United States in the 1980s seeks to reassert its influence abroad, foreign assistance is playing an increasingly important role in American foreign policy. No longer primarily a subsidy for friendly foreign governments, foreign assistance has become a versatile instrument of intervention without the use of force. For example, the United States has used foreign aid to destabilize unfriendly regimes in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and Angola; to quell international terrorism; and to secure the release of American hostages in the Middle East. Foreign aid serves an equally great symbolic role, as a barometer of American moral approval or disapproval of the outside world. Therefore, though the actual volume of foreign assistance channeled abroad may be small and sometimes of little impact, American foreign assistance policy functions as a broad index of U.S. foreign policy concerns. The annual foreign assistance budgeting process has become no less than a surrogate for a systematic reexamination of the progress, problems, and propriety of America’s foreign policy.

Although published 30 years ago thus somewhat dated, this extract is spot on. Some of the issues the United States uses foreign aid to address are, Female Genital Mutilation, Abortion & Human Trafficking, to name but a few. In the case of Ukraine, if indeed President Trump had tied U.S. Aid to the conversation, it would have been in support of U.S. policy concerning corruption. This policy is in fact codified in a treaty between the United States and Ukraine, signed by no less than President Bill Clinton.

Let’s contrast this with Vice President Biden, who did indeed threaten Ukraine with the withholding of U.S. aid if they didn’t fire their senior prosecutor, which they did. The difference there, was that Biden did this to preclude a corruption investigation on his son. Interestingly enough, that would not only be a violation of U.S. law, but a violation of the U.S.-Ukraine Treaty criminal investigation treaty.

In short, we have then Vice President Biden, corruptly using his office to preclude a criminal corruption investigation of his son. On the other hand, we have a sitting President, who in accordance with his Article II powers, U.S. Statute and Treaty obligations, asked his counterpart, President Zelensky to look into a case of possible corruption and interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The first (until just a few days ago) was the odds on favorite to be the Democrat nominee for President. The second is the subject of yet another Democrat witch hunt, this one masquerading as an “Impeachment Inquiry” for for an action that he didn’t take, but even if he did, would be absolutely in line with U.S. Law and Foreign Policy.

The Democrats have gotten out way over their skis on this one. Not only is this going to prove a nothingburger as far as President Trump goes, but it will likely lead to Biden dropping out of the race.

Author’s Note: I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new front page writers Nick Arama and Retired Navy Captain, Stu Cvrk. Although I question the undergraduate credentials of one of them (he’s a Boat School grad) both of these guys have been kicking out some great stuff and I look forward to working with them to advance conservative thought.

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

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

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