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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 78)

Mattel Releases a Gender Fluid Doll Playset for Kids – to ‘Encourage People to Think More Broadly’

 

Westlake Legal Group mattel-creatable-world-ad-SCREENSHOT-620x331 Mattel Releases a Gender Fluid Doll Playset for Kids – to ‘Encourage People to Think More Broadly’ Uncategorized transgender The Sexes Sex Mattel LGBT kids inclusivity gender identity gender fluid Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture creatable world children Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from Mattel Francais, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEzWhdu7eeg]

 

It’s finally here: On Wednesday, Mattel launched its revolutionary new line of dolls.

In a move the company believes to be surrendering to the demands of children, the toymaker behind Thomas & Friends and Power Wheels brings to a toy box near you Creatable World — a “gender inclusive” series allowing kids to mix and match the figures’ female and male hair, clothes, and accessories.

What are they really hoping for? According to Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design Kim Culmone, to open a dialogue:

“We see this line as an opportunity for us to open up that dialogue around what dolls are for and who dolls are for. And also, as the world begins to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we absolutely fundamentally believed it was time to launch a doll line free of labels and free of rules for kids.”

But it’s also supply and demand:

“Kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms.”



The Daily Mail notes that author and pediatrician Cara Natterson was consulted on the project.

Here’s what she had to say:

“A collection like this just knocks down every barrier to play. Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely, which is why it resonates so strongly with them.”

If I may say so, the messages seem to conflict. Is the toy in response to what kids want, or is it to teach kids to think differently?

“We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play,” Cara stated.

As per by The Daily Wire, Mattel explained they utilized a “dedicated team of experts, parents, physicians, and most importantly, kids” in the development of the line, which boasts six different dolls of varying skin color.

Time magazine reports on the new line:

A child opens a box. He starts jumping and screaming with joy — not an unusual sound in the halls of Mattel’s headquarters where researchers test new toys. But this particular toy is a doll, and it’s rare for parents to bring boys into these research groups to play with dolls. It’s rarer still for a boy to immediately attach himself to one the way Shi’a just did.

An eight-year-old who considers himself gender fluid and whose favorite color is black one week, pink the next, Shi’a sometimes plays with his younger sister’s dolls at home, but they’re “girly, princess stuff,” he says dismissively. This doll, with its prepubescent body and childish features, looks more like him, right down to the wave of bleached blond bangs. “The hair is just like mine,” Shi’a says, swinging his head in tandem with the doll’s. Then he turns to the playmate in the toy-testing room, a seven-year-old girl named Jhase, and asks, “Should I put on the girl hair?” Shi’a fits a long, blond wig on the doll’s head, and suddenly it is no longer an avatar for him, but for his sister. …

Mattel’s first promotional spot for the $29.99 product features a series of kids who go by various pronouns — him, her, them, xem — and the slogan, “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.” With this overt nod to trans and nonbinary identities, the company is betting on where it thinks the country is going, even if it means alienating a substantial portion of the population. A Pew Research survey conducted in 2017 showed that while 76% of the public supports parents’ steering girls to toys and activities traditionally associated with boys, only 64% endorse steering boys toward toys and activities associated with girls.

With Christmas around the corner, I suppose we’ll soon see whether it “resonates so strongly” with the average child.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Mattel Eyes A Barbie Gay Wedding Playset

Woking The Toddlers: My Little Pony Introduces Its First Animated, Maned Lesbians On Discovery Family

Long Time Coming: Marvel Gives The World Its First Openly-Gay Male Superhero, And There’s More Where That Came From

Find all my RedState work here.

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The post Mattel Releases a Gender Fluid Doll Playset for Kids – to ‘Encourage People to Think More Broadly’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group mattel-creatable-world-ad-SCREENSHOT-300x160 Mattel Releases a Gender Fluid Doll Playset for Kids – to ‘Encourage People to Think More Broadly’ Uncategorized transgender The Sexes Sex Mattel LGBT kids inclusivity gender identity gender fluid Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture creatable world children Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response

Westlake Legal Group TrumpZelenskiyAPimage-620x317 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response white house washington D.C. Social Media Roll Call republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress 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)

Even though the transcript of the July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proves that there was no quid pro quo discussion, impeachment fever continues to gain momentum in the fever swamps of the Democratic party.

Trump, who has insisted all along that the media and Democrats have manufactured outrage over a non-story, was asked today after the transcript was released about whether or not he’d spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the impeachment issue. Here’s what he said:

“No, she’s lost her way,” Trump said, responding to a question regarding whether he tried to strike a deal on impeachment with Pelosi.

“She’s been taken over by the radical Left. She may be radical Left herself, but she really has lost her way,” Trump continued. “I spoke to her about guns yesterday. She didn’t even know what I was talking about.”
[…]
“The whole party is taken over by the Left,” Trump said. “They’ve been taken over by a radical group of people, and Nancy Pelosi, as far as I’m concerned, unfortunately, she’s no longer the speaker of the House.”

Judging from the context, what Trump was suggesting was that while Pelosi is officially Speaker of the House, she’s not really running the show anymore. Members of the AOC-led Squad, who have long pushed for impeachment, are among the House’s de facto far left leaders right now in the eyes of many Republicans, including Trump.

Sadly, the mainstream media have still not learned any lessons from their gross misreporting (to put it charitably) of the Mueller investigation, the “blockbuster” new sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Ukraine phone call, and now this.

As evidence, read the tweets and stories below, which show how badly journalists collectively stepped on a rake this afternoon in responding to Trump’s remarks after others in the media, including the Associated Press’ Zeke Miller, predictably tweeted the comments out of context:

Media firefighters and liberal commentators alike (but I repeat myself) donned their superhero capes in a rush to defend Pelosi:

Perhaps the worst example comes from Roll Call’s John T. Bennett, who actually framed the story from the bogus perspective that Trump was trying to undermine Pelosi, even though the President’s comments clearly indicate he was hinting that it was the Impeachment Caucus who were undermining Pelosi. Here’s how Bennett’s piece started out (bolded emphasis added by me):

Refusing to back away from a major political scandal, President Donald Trump undermined Speaker Nancy Pelosi while lobbing new allegations of corruption at one of Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden’s sons.

But it was what he wrote later in the piece after quoting Trump saying Pelosi was “no longer the speaker” that had heads crashing to desks:

“As far as I’m concerned, she’s no longer the speaker of the House,” Trump said before dismissing a group of reporters.

Pelosi is, in fact, the speaker. A sitting president cannot dismiss a speaker as easily as the travel pool covering him at a gathering of world leaders.

This is just straight up liberal bias. No question about it. Trump was not literally “dismissing” her as Speaker of the House, and the line about him dismissing “the travel pool” is something you’d expect an unhinged liberal CNN commentator like April Ryan to state rather indignantly, not a supposedly objective news reporter.

Bennett, who lists himself as a senior White House correspondent in his Twitter bio, unquestionably editorialized a number of times in what was supposed to be a straight news piece.

I tagged him in a tweet about it after I discovered what he’d written, but as of this writing he has yet to respond:

For the record, here is the video of Trump’s full remarks about Pelosi:

What Trump was saying there should be obvious to just about everyone, but I’m not considered a Real ReporterWestlake Legal Group 2122 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response white house washington D.C. Social Media Roll Call republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Allow Media Exception   in certain circles so maybe I missed something in the translation…

—-
— 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 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group TrumpZelenskiyAPimage-300x153 Trump Says He Feels Pelosi Is “No Longer Speaker of the House”, Media Opens up a Can of Dumb in Response white house washington D.C. Social Media Roll Call republicans Politics North Carolina Nancy Pelosi Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Other News, Rashida Tlaib Lost Her Mind In a Congressional Hearing

Westlake Legal Group omar-tlaib1-620x317 In Other News, Rashida Tlaib Lost Her Mind In a Congressional Hearing witness Washington vaping Tobacco Companies rashida tlaib Politics Losing Her Mind hearing Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story dumb democrats Congress Badgering

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

While we’ve been inundated with Trump-Ukraine news (or more aptly that news collapsing), there’s still other stuff going on in Washington and vaping is a hot topic.

One of those things was a Congressional hearing on vaping. As I wrote a few weeks ago, banning flavored vaping products (the majority of the market) is short-sighted nonsense. It will only push more people and kids toward cigarettes, which are far more dangerous. Further, the deaths related to vaping we’ve seen are a result of a trend of mixing illegal materials with it, such as THC. If I throw a flaming rag into my car and lock myself in it, I can’t then blame the car when I die.

But vaping companies have apparently not greased enough palms in Washington so they find themselves the targets of a movement ironically working to the benefit of the the tobacco industry, in which over half a million people a year die from related diseases.

Enter Rashida Tlaib, who was part of a hearing on the matter. If you guessed she’d be against vaping and in favor of overburdensome government control, congrats.

But things got much weirder than just her policy positions.

“Ms. Porter, I was reading because I want to know more about you and your beliefs, and I respect that we all have different beliefs, but you call yourself a converted conservative and reformed Marxist? Are you a conspiracy theorist?” Tlaib asked.

Tlaib then accused Porter of being involved in a “conspiracy” because she winked at one of the Republican members of the subcommittee.

“Okay, why were you winking at one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle? You winked,” Tlaib questioned.

“Because I know [Wisconsin Republican Rep.] Glenn Grothman,” Porter said. “He introduced me. He’s a friend of mine.”

Tlaib responded, “Oh, I understand. I didn’t know what the winking was. I thought maybe there was like a conspiracy thing going on. I didn’t know.”

Porter, seemingly bemused by the interaction, shot back, “You think there’s a conspiracy in this hearing, ma’am?”

Tlaib became angry with Porter’s response, then accused the witness of lying about quitting smoking with the use of vapes, declaring, “you’re still smoking!”

“I’m not smoking and I’m not lying under oath,” Porter replied incredulously.

What in the actual…

You’d be forgiven for thinking Tlaib was inebriated during this hearing. Her irrational ranting and thinking there was some grave conspiracy going on because the witness winked at a friend. It’s all just so ridiculous. She didn’t seem to take too well to the witness making light of her idiocy.

How would Tlaib even know if this woman had quit smoking? Is she suggesting vaping hasn’t actually helped millions quit cigarettes? Because that’d be a really stupid thing to suggest.

The entire argument over vaping is ludicrous. The fact is that hundreds of thousands of people die a year from smoking. Taking away a virtually harmless alternative because some teenagers stupidly mixed THC with their vape is the kind of irrational, nanny-state nonsense you’d expect from our bloated, inefficient government.

Tlaib being on the wrong side of this issue isn’t surprising. She’s a nut-case and has no business being anywhere near the levers of power. But hey, I guess this is a nice break from her recent bouts of anti-Semitism. Small victories and all.

————————————————

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The post In Other News, Rashida Tlaib Lost Her Mind In a Congressional Hearing appeared first on RedState.

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Questions Raised About Intelligence Community Motives After Release of the Office of Legal Counsel Opinion on the Whistleblower Complaint

Westlake Legal Group director-of-national-intelligence-logo-620x229 Questions Raised About Intelligence Community Motives After Release of the Office of Legal Counsel Opinion on the Whistleblower Complaint whistleblower Politics office of legal counsel Michael Atkinson Joseph Maguire intelligence community Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Director of National Intelligence democrats Allow Media Exception

Public domain image via ODNI Facebook

This morning, the White House released the transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukraine President Zelensky. If you were expecting this to be a dud, you were wrong. It didn’t even rise to the level of a dud (read my post). Now a second document has been released. This deals with the reason that the acting DNI and the Attorney General have ruled that the so-called “whistleblower” complaint would not be released to the House or Senate Intelligence Committee. By way of background, I’m going to rely on a post on The Bulwark. Because I don’t give links to hate sites or fake news sites because I don’t want to encourage them, I’ll just say this is by a guy named Philip Rotner and he didn’t appear to have been shooting blood out of his whatever in raging delirium of TDS as he was writing it.

In the current case, an unnamed employee of the intelligence community submitted a whistleblower disclosure to the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, on August 12.

Atkinson determined that the report was both credible and involved a matter of urgent concern. Accordingly, as required by the act, he transmitted it to the acting DNI Joseph Maguire on August 26, just prior to the expiration of the 14-day reporting period.

Up to this point, everything had played out exactly as required by the Whistleblower Act.

But then it went off the rails.

Rather than transmitting the IG report to the congressional intelligence committees, as required by the act, DNI Maguire blew through the mandatory 7-day reporting period without so much as a peep. He not only failed to tell Congress what the whistleblower had reported, but he failed even to inform Congress of the existence of such a report until September 9, a week after the expiration of the 7-day reporting period.

The DNI now claims that he has refused to transmit the whistleblower report to Congress because it concerns “conduct by someone outside the Intelligence Community and because the complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications.”

But the DNI doesn’t say who made this determination. Did he reach that decision on his own, even though the statute gives the responsibility for making that decision to the IG, not the DNI? Or is he refusing to comply with the statute because the attorney general has advised him to do so? (If you go by the letter of the law, the attorney general has no role in this statutory scheme.) Or is there another party who is involved in making this extra-statutory decision?

If you go by the letter of the law, the only possible legal justification for the DNI’s failure to comply with the act, would be that the president himself had ordered his action. Remember: Neither the DNI nor the attorney general has any discretion under the act, which says that the DNI “shall” transmit the report to Congress. No exceptions. No discretion. And the Attorney General has no statutory role at all.

As it happens, the president does not have any discretion under the text of the act, either. But there’s a longstanding argument that a president has such a degree of constitutional authority over the executive branch that he can overrule decisions made by anybody within that branch.

This argument is not a matter of settled law so much as a theory about the extent of executive power. It has never been either fully accepted, or refuted, by the courts.

So if it was indeed President Trump who ordered the DNI to violate the act by not giving Congress the IG report, then a resolution of this conflict will eventually boil down to yet another clash over separation of powers between the president and Congress. And while the courts could theoretically resolve that dispute, getting a decision out of the Supreme Court could take months. Or years. And as if this whole mess weren’t already complicated enough, there is a highly ambiguous provision in the act that could be read (or misread, depending on your view) to immunize the whole affair from judicial scrutiny.

Along the way, we’ve also been told that the complaint covers several issues and not merely the telephone call.

The whistleblower complaint reportedly involving a discussion between President Trump and a foreign leader was based on more than one incident, said a Democratic lawmaker who attended the House Intelligence Committee’s closed-door meeting Thursday with the intelligence community’s inspector general.

Lawmakers said the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, declined to share incidents during the meeting.

“He didn’t talk about anything about the allegations, where he was very protective,” said Intelligence Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). “But he did mention that this complaint was based on a series of events, ‘more than one’ to get the exact wordage right.”

Now the mystery is largely solved. The Office of Legal Counsel opinion on why the complaint has not been turned over to Congress has been released and the reason is pretty simple. It simply isn’t what the IC IG made it out to be.

On August 26, 2019, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (“ICIG”) forwarded to the Acting Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”) a complaint from an employee within the intelligence community.* The complainant alleged that unnamed “White House officials” had expressed concern about the content of a telephone call between the President and a foreign leader. According to the ICIG, statements made by the President during the call could be viewed as soliciting a foreign campaign contribution in violation of the campaign-finance laws. In the ICIG’s view, the complaint addresses an “urgent concern” for purposes of triggering statutory procedures that require expedited reporting of agency misconduct to the congressional intelligence committees. Under the applicable statute, if the ICIG transmits such a complaint to the DNI, the DNI has seven days to forward it to the intelligence committees. See 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(5)(C).

The complaint does not arise in connection with the operation of any U.S. government intelligence activity, and the alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community. Rather, the complaint arises out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader that the intelligence-community complainant received secondhand. The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of “urgent concern” that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees. We conclude that it does not. The alleged misconduct is not an “urgent concern” within the meaning of the statute because it does not concern “the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity” under the authority of the DNI. Id. § 3033(k)(5)(G)(i). That phrase includes matters relating to intelligence activities subject to the DNI’s supervision, but it does not include allegations of wrongdoing arising outside of any intelligence activity or outside the intelligence community itself.

Our conclusion that the “urgent concern” requirement is inapplicable does not mean that the DNI or the ICIG must leave such allegations unaddressed. To the contrary, the ICIG statute, 50 U.S.C. § 3033(k)(6), makes clear that the ICIG remains subject to 28 U.S.C. § 535, which broadly requires reporting to the Attorney General of “[a]ny information, allegation, matter, or complaint witnessed, discovered, or received in a department or agency . . . relating to violations of Federal criminal law involving Government officers and employees.” 28 U.S.C. § 535(b). Accordingly, should the DNI or the ICIG receive a credible complaint of alleged criminal conduct that does not involve an “urgent concern,” the appropriate action is to refer the matter to the Department of Justice, rather than to report to the intelligence committees under section 3033(k)(5). Consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 535, the ICIG’s letter and the attached complaint have been referred to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice for appropriate review.

In essence this is what you have. Some Resistance goober hears from someone who may have heard from someone that President Trump said something on the phone call to President Zelensky that the goober doesn’t like. Xe goes to the IG and says that xe intends to report this to the “intelligence committees.” By that we can assume that xe meant the House Intelligence Committee. The problem comes in as the IC IG decided that this was possibly a campaign finance violation…don’t know how he arrived at that conclusion other than just being overly cautious…but that kind of misconduct is not covered by the whistleblower statute.

Read the whole memo for yourself.

The underlying question here, of course, is why the IC IG made a huge stink about trying to report this and then bitched about the OLC decision saying that it did not trigger the reporting statute. I think we all have a fairly solid grasp of what is the likely answer here, don’t we?

The OLC memo notes

Although the ICIG’s preliminary review found “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate,” the ICIG concluded that the complaint’s allegations nonetheless appeared credible.

But the critical question is why the IG violated his own governing statute in order to make this secondhand complaint an “urgent concern” when, clearly, it is bullsh** on toast? There are two possible explanations. Neither of them are particularly good. The most favorable one is that the IG is simply gutless and rather than risk being criticized by some rando in Congress he decided to create a political incident in an election year. As I said, that is the most favorable. The least favorable is that despite the information being secondhand and not being covered by his own governing statute, the IG made the decision to carry out a political hit on the administration.

Now we know several things for a fact. First, the whistleblower had no first hand knowledge of the incident and probably should never have been considered a whistleblower to begin with. Second, the intelligence community has no sense of compartmentalization. There is no set of facts in which this conversation should have been the subject of gossip. Third, the intelligence community appears to be highly politicized and operates as an adjunct of the DNC. This his hardly shocking considering the presence of Clapper and Brennan. Fourth, the IC IG is either part of this information operation or he’s a gutless douchenozzle, either way he should be fired. Fifth, this, like the rest of this story, is a monumental nothingburger.

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The post Questions Raised About Intelligence Community Motives After Release of the Office of Legal Counsel Opinion on the Whistleblower Complaint appeared first on RedState.

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DOJ’s Criminal Division Clears Trump of Wrongdoing Related to Zelensky Call and has ‘Concluded the Matter’

Westlake Legal Group pelosi-tide-pods DOJ’s Criminal Division Clears Trump of Wrongdoing Related to Zelensky Call and has ‘Concluded the Matter’ volodymyr zelensky President Trump Politics Nancy Pelosi Kimberley Strassel Joe Biden Impeachment of President Trump hunter biden Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Congress Allow Media Exception adam schiff Abuse of Power 2020

 

Kerri Kupec, a spokesperson for the DOJ announced on Wednesday morning that, following a review by the DOJ criminal division, it was
determined that President Trump did not violate any campaign finance laws and has “concluded the matter.” This decision has Trump critics up in arms. I can see how it might complicate things for House Democrats who probably should have waited to see the transcript before announcing their plans to impeach the President.

After the transcript of President Trump’s July 25th phone conversation with Ukraine’s new President Volodyrmr Zelensky was released, the Dow Jones Industrial averaged jumped 150 points.

Although Trump has been cleared of wrongdoing, the release of the transcript sets an ominous precedent. No president should have to worry about his private comments to world leaders being made public. World leaders will hesitate to share honestly with a U.S. president in the future if they think there’s a chance they will be broadcast. But, for Democrats, nothing matters more than taking down Trump.

The full transcript can be viewed here.

Trump and Zelensky appeared to get along famously. It was a very friendly phone call. At one point during the call, Trump did ask Zelensky to look into the Biden affair. He does so once, not eight times as it was initially reported. Here is what President Trump said:

Good, because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news, and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news, so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.

Burisma’s leaders weren’t hiring Hunter Biden because they thought he was experienced or capable. He was neither. He was hired because he was the son of the Vice President of the United States and company leadership believed that his connections would be helpful, even profitable for them.

Trump also asks Zelensky to look into what sounds like a reference to the DNC server. This is unclear. Trump may have heard a report or a rumor that the server is located in the Ukraine. This might be information that AG William Barr or prosecutor John Durham are looking for in their investigations of the origins of the Russia probe.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike…I guess you have one of your wealthy people…The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation…I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

Neither of these comments, by any stretch of the imagination, could constitute a basis for impeachment.

But that’s not stopping Democrats from trying. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the transcript “confirms” the need for an impeachment inquiry for a President who “has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) had an equally ludicrous response. He said, “This is a classic Mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader.”

And CNN’s headline says “Transcript shows Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden.”

Fortunately, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel injects some sanity into the coverage. Via twitter, she writes:

Having read DOJ’s Trump-Ukraine release, here’s the real story: This is another internal attempt to take out a president, on the basis of another non-smoking-gun.

As to call transcript itself: Trump’s actual “favor” is that Ukraine look backward, to what happened in the 2016 election. This is a legitimate ask, since election meddling looks to have come from both Russia and Ukraine.

(Indeed, this is a big enough issue that we find out this morning that U.S. Attorney John Durham is looking at what role the Ukraine played in the FBI investigation.)

It is actually Zelensky who brings up Rudy Giuliani—saying they can’t wait to “meet him.” And it is Zelensky who references “that investigation,” as he goes on to promise that “all investigations will be done openly and candidly.”

Trump says “good” and expresses worries that a “good” prosecutor was “shut down.” Mentions “Biden’s son” and that Biden bragged he “stopped the prosecution.” Ends that bit with “It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump’s several references to Giuliani are mostly to say what a great guy he is. He says he will have Giuliani and AG Barr call. He asks Zelensky to speak/work with both.

And, never mind, because: DOJ in statement says the President has not spoken to AG about investigating Biden and has not asked the AG to contact the Ukraine. Also, Barr has not communicated with Ukraine—“on this or any subject.”

Meanwhile, the IG back in August referred this to DOJ as potential violation of campaign finance law, based on whistleblower complaint. Criminal Division evaluated and determined no violation: “All relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion.”

Whistleblower? Look at this nugget, referenced in the OLC opinion. The IG’s review found “some indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.”

Media got all this so wrong. And Democrats look all the more partisan and radical to have moved toward impeachment.

Looks like all is well between President Trump and President Zelensky.

The post DOJ’s Criminal Division Clears Trump of Wrongdoing Related to Zelensky Call and has ‘Concluded the Matter’ appeared first on RedState.

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Lindsey Graham Says What We’re All Thinking as Democrats Go Forward With Impeachment

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The scandal surrounding President Donald Trump and Ukraine seems to be a Rorschach test, with the left proclaiming that it’s damning to Trump and the right shrugging it off as a ten-pound nothing-burger. The truth leans more toward the right. It’s not the best look for Trump, but it’s not exactly anything to get excited about.

As my colleague, Streiff, reported earlier today, there’s not too much there for the left to get excited about, and in fact, they themselves should probably be a little more cautious, given the fact that Biden was caught bragging about getting Ukraine to halt the prosecution of his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a company that Ukraine was currently probing for corruption.

It’s definitely not something worthy of impeaching Trump over, but with 2020 growing closer and the Democrats’ desperation getting heavier, they’ll reach for anything they can to ruin his Presidential chances. It says more about their confidence in their own candidates, but I digress.

Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was interviewed by reporters about the impeachment proceedings over the Ukraine information, and he didn’t hold back.

“From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane,” Graham said.

“From quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” he added.

He also made it clear that if the shoe was on the other partisan foot, the tone would be much different.

All things considered, “insane” is the proper term to use here. In terms of things to try to hit Trump over, this is a very hollow one that may, in the end, damage the Democrats.

As it stands, the American people aren’t even on board with Trump’s impeachment proceedings. A new Quinnipiac Poll found that 57 percent of Americans think Trump should not be impeached, vs 37 percent who think he should. This low number in terms of approval by the people for impeachment isn’t new. The American people have been against it for some time.

 

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Dan Crenshaw: The Release of Trump/Zelensky Call Transcript Is Bad News … for Joe Biden

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As I wrote earlier today, the newly-released transcript of the July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ultimately turned out to be a nothingburger in spite of Democratic protestations to the contrary.

It largely corroborated Trump’s account, as Amber Athey notes:

While commentators will be arguing endlessly in the coming days and weeks as to whether or not Trump’s call rises to the level where impeachment would be imperative (it doesn’t), I think an indisputable conclusion after reading the transcript is that over the long term what Trump talked about with Zelensky will end up hurting Joe Biden more than it does Trump.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) is one high profile Republican Congressman who echoed this point on the Twitter machine in the aftermath of the Big Reveal:

That’s the short version of why the transcript is bad news for Biden.

Erielle Davidson at The Federalist wrote a more detailed explainer this morning on how a renewed focus on Biden’s admitted role in the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor could ultimately backfire on both the Democratic presidential frontrunner and his party:

Despite the left’s attempts to focus the hysteria on the allegations, there is plenty amiss about Joe Biden’s involvement in Ukraine, events that are genuinely worthy of investigation. While serving as vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor general, who was then investigating the natural gas company paying Biden’s son as much as $55,000 per month to sit on its board. Biden can be seen here bragging about his role in having the prosecutor removed.

In an era in which the left perpetually accuses Trump of corruption and nepotism, it would be an uncomfortable endeavor for the left to explain how Biden’s desire to fire Ukraine’s top prosecutor had nothing to do with the fact that the prosecutor was investigating his son’s company.
[…]
Biden has been polling as the candidate most able to beat Trump in the general election. Thus, as Democrats push for impeachment proceedings against Trump on the basis of the Ukraine phone call, what they are really advocating for is a full-blown investigation of arguably their most electable candidate.

The Democrats oversold Russiagate bigly and as a result, the American people do not have an appetite for impeachment. It’s not hard to see how the left’s latest feverish push for ousting Trump from office in response to his phone call with the Ukrainian president may also fail in a similar fashion, except this time the effort has the potential to take down the likely Democratic presidential nominee with it.

That would be off-the-charts ironic. I’m stocking up on the popcorn.

—-
— 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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Accusation Culture – The Press and Democrats No Longer Need Facts and Proof to Justify Character Destruction

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The mere presence of accusations is now enough to condemn someone – a convenience for those making the accusations.

Washington is all abuzz with the latest tire-fire accusations against President Trump, leading to just the latest calls for impeachment. The Democrats in the House seems to be fully confident that the Ukrainian phone call(s) will become THE downfall of the President they have all dreamed since…well, since before Trump was even inaugurated.

What is second-most revealing about this push to impeach (behind the sheer desperation of it all) is how little attention is being paid to having proof of any wrong-doing first. This has become the hallmark of the press and the Democrats during the Trump era; accusations are enough to claim moral outrage. What we are seeing with regularity is that the accusatory storyline is all that is needed, and even when disproven, or at least unproven, those accusations remain on an individual’s stat sheet.

This was the method used, and still employed, against Brett Kavanaugh. When the New York Times attempted to “prove” an accuser came forward with a “credible accusation” that appeared in its new book on the confirmation debacle it led to all manner of hysteria in media circles. Many claimed this “new” accusation (it was not) from a new source (not the victim) called into question all the prior accusals (while lending no proof to those charges). Eventually the New York Times itself discredited its own claim in its book — with the revelation that this “new” victim had no memory of the supposed event, which appears in the very same book.

But the job was done. The accusation was added to the list, and it allowed all prior claims of Kavanaugh misbehavior to be churned up anew. That every single one of these charges failed to deliver anything substantive is immaterial to the press. They are still brought up, and they are still broadcast as newsworthy.

The latest involves the possibility of a Donald Trump coercion of the new Ukrainian President. There has been no proof that Trump leveraged aid for that nation in order to get oppo-research on a potential rival in Joe Biden. The charge arrived from an unnamed, unknown whistleblower who alleged what was spoken on a phone call between the leaders. The problem? Well, as CNN has grudgingly reported, the source of all of this bluster has no direct knowledge of what took place on the phone call in question. They were told something, by another source, outside the scope of their job.

The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

So, this individual actually only heard a rumor. Which means they are not in fact a whistleblower — they are nothing more than a gossip. Seems an important detail that warranted being mentioned earlier in the piece, rather than buried close to the end of things. But this is enough for politicians to launch a Congressional investigation. The press meanwhile has all but convicted the President. There was a time when journalists would be presented with this type of breaking story and actually investigate the claims. Once the details were discovered the entire story would be laid out for the readership.

This is no longer the case. The suspicion alone is enough these days to deliver the implication of guilt. Consider this — whenever these new stories break have you not heard a variation on these phrases: “In yet another Trump scandal…”; “The latest controversy surrounding the President’s actions…”; “Impeachment talks have risen again, this time…”. Whenever these are used in the press they carry with them the implication of prior guilt. The seriousness of the charges is deemed vastly important, and somehow even when shown to be invalid the accusations remain a topic to be brought up.

This Ukrainian story has so far been shown to be meritless, but look at how the media is behaving. Brian Stelter brought formerly esteem journalist Carl Bernstein on his ironically-titled Reliable Sources program. There was the blatant attempt to have this latest unproven act of wrongdoing cemented as a legitimate scandal, and little surprise at the move by Bernstein to have this elevated to “Watergate levels” of outrage.

Amusingly Stelter himself provided all of the evidence to expose his own lack of anything approaching a journalistic skill set. To start, there was Brian blatantly ignoring his own network detailing how the whistleblower was in fact someone incapable of knowing what they alleged. (I guess Stelter does not analyze CNN???) Then he gave us a transcript of Carl Bernstein’s assessment, seemingly unaware of how it was filled with disqualifying prolix.

This is embarrassingly sad, and bordering on laughable when considering the exalted journalistic level Bernstein is placed upon. He tries making Trump out to be a grievous offender, but behold all of the qualifiers Carl is reduced to employing for his charge to resonate:

“Seems to be happening”
“These perhaps dirty tricks”
“If this is what happened”
“It seems to be”

These are not the terms used when you have a story. These are terms when used would have, in the past, had an editor handing your copy back and saying, “Nope, you don’t have it yet.” But here Bernstein intones the high level of dungeon he claims exists with a completely unproven scandal.

And so it continues — they just continue to maintain and catalog any and all negative accusations against targets, using the collective number as a form of indictment. Instead of building the case they point to a pile of raw material they cannot assemble, claiming it is so. Thinking and ethical people would dismiss the baseless charges. Our contemporary media have shown they are not made of such character.

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Man Who Raised $1 Million for a Children’s Hospital Now Having His Life Ruined Over an 8-Year-Old Tweet

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-6-620x394 Man Who Raised $1 Million for a Children’s Hospital Now Having His Life Ruined Over an 8-Year-Old Tweet twitter Social Media Media Front Page Stories Featured Story Des Moines Register Culture controversy charity Carson King anheuser-busch Allow Media Exception

No act of grand charity or kindness can apparently absolve you of the sin of saying something online that you shouldn’t have. Case in point, a man named Carson King is now underneath the public’s proverbial guillotine for a tweet he made at 16 despite the fact that he raised over $1 million for a children’s hospital.

According to WHO-TV, King raised over $1 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital thanks to a clever sign held up during a College GameDay segment that read: “Busch Light supply needs replenished. Venmo Carson-King-25.”

The sign went viral and, to King’s surprise, the donations began rolling in from all over the country. He quickly decided to turn the cash from beer money to charity money and hand it over to the children’s hospital. Busch also decided that it would match whatever amount King accumulated. Soon, he had over $1 million.

That should have been the end to a happy story, but in today’s society, no good deed goes unpunished by thirsty reporters. For some undiscernable reason, a reporter from The Des Moines Register began searching through his social media history and found a tweet he had sent back in 2011 when he was 16 years old.

Next thing King knew, he was being told by the Des Moines Register staff that they were considering including these tweets in the piece that was to cover his charitable giving. Your guess as to why they felt the need to even consider doing that is as good as mine.

King decided to preempt the piece and release this information on his own terms, giving a press conference and a public letter stating what his tweet revolved around and how he was terribly sorry for it.

The apology read as such:

It was just 10 days ago that I was a guy in the crowd holding a sign looking for beer money on ESPN Game Day.

Since then – so much has happened. Especially when I announced all of the money would be donated to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.

Thousands of people have donated and today the account is at 1.14 million dollars. Much of this has happened thanks to social media – it has the power to bring people together for a common good.

It also can make your life very public.

And that is why I wanted to share with you that eight years ago – when I was a sophomore in high school, I made some social media posts with my friends that quoted and referenced the show Tosh.0.

One of those posts was brought to my attention by a member of the media today. I had no recollection of it. In re-reading it today – eight years later – I see it was an attempt at humor that was offensive and hurtful.

I am so embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16 years old. I want to sincerely apologize.

Thankfully, high school kids grow up and hopefully become responsible and caring adults. I think my feelings are better summed up by a post from just 3 years ago:

“Until we as a people learn that racism and hate are learned behaviors, we won’t get rid of it. Tolerance towards others is the first step.” — July 8, 2016

I am sharing this information tonight because I feel a responsibility to all of the people who have donated money.

I cannot go back and change what I posted when I was a 16-year-old. I can apologize and work to improve every day and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

And, I am so very thankful for the generosity of the thousands of people who have donated to our fundraising push for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The Des Moines Register also released a statement from editor Carol Hunter, which noted their deliberation about whether or not they should even talk about it in the story, and eventually decided they would. Seemingly sensing that this would be seen as a gross move, they decided to include a quote from King himself talking about how the Register had been “nothing but kind in all their coverage.”

The coverage was apparently kind enough that King felt it better to release the information on his own before the Register did.

An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson later said that, while they still plan to honor the promise made with King, they’re cutting all ties with him due to his previous tweets.

“Carson King had multiple social media posts that do not align with our values as a brand or as a company and we will have no further association with him. We are honoring our commitment by donating more than $350,000 to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics,” said the statement.

So, to recap, a man did something funny that went viral and he used that viral attention to raise money to help sick children. In turn, the media delved into his social media history and found tweets from when he was 16-years-old, a whopping eight years ago. They deliberated on whether they should release the information about these tweets, and for some reason decided that it would be best if they did. King, feeling the need to get out ahead of the media, released the information himself, but causing his name to be besmirched in the process anyway, causing his charitable benefactors to publicly sever ties with him.

This is a disgusting example of how the media goes too far. The Register should feel ashamed of itself for feeling the need to even broach the subject of tweets sent years ago when the subject they were supposed to cover was a child. It wasn’t part of the story, but now the story is the tweets, not the charity.

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CREDIT: Brandon Morse, copyright RedState.com

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LOL: Letter Shows Senate Democrats Pressured Ukraine to Investigate Trump in 2018

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Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

In the “you can’t make this up” file today, here’s an example of the incredible hypocrisy being shown by Democrats and the media over this Trump-Ukraine flap.

The transcript of the call is out and it’s a giant nothing burger. We are left arguing strained supposition about what Trump might have meant. In other words, just another day in the Trump era.

But now, a letter has been brought to the forefront that shows Democrats pressured Ukraine in 2018 to investigate Trump as part of the Mueller fiasco.

Hang on a second.

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Here’s the part of the letter in question (which you can read in full here).

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-09-25-at-11.28.33-AM-620x230 LOL: Letter Shows Senate Democrats Pressured Ukraine to Investigate Trump in 2018 Ukraine Trump Investigation Senate Democrats Politics Paul Manafort Mueller report media bias letter Hypocrisy Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Election donald trump democrats 2020

This is exactly the same thing Democrats are wanting to impeach Trump over. These are partisan, Senate Democrats writing Ukraine to implore them to open investigations into Trump and his associates. Right now, Pelosi is backing impeachment over the idea that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate a political opponent. Last I checked, Trump is a political opponent.

To be clear, they aren’t asking for cooperation with the Mueller farce. They want Ukraine to re-open their own domestic investigations into Trump and Paul Manafort.

The hypocrisy here is just too much. We’ve been told all week that it’s treason to solicit an investigation of a foreign actor. Yet, here are Democrats, in writing, doing exactly that, explicitly.

Sure, some hacks will spin and claim “well, they had legitimate reasons to request this.” No more legitimate than Biden being on tape bragging about extorting the firing of a prosecutor looking at his son. If reasonable suspicion is all that matters, there’s plenty to support what Trump asked of the Ukrainian President.

It’s either all bad or none of it is bad. Or perhaps none of it is necessarily good, but it’s also not nearly as big of a deal as it’s being made out to be? Regardless, what we won’t be doing is playing by two different sets of rules. That’s just not how this is going to work.

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