House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff isn’t quite as keen as he once was to call the first Ukraine whistleblower to testify, announcing he might not need to appear in the course of the impeachment inquiry after all.

“Well, our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,” Schiff said during an appearance on “Face the Nation.”

“Indeed, now there’s more than one whistleblower, that they are protected. And given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower who wasn’t on the call to tell us what took place during the call. We have the best evidence of that.”

He concluded that “[i]t may not be necessary to take steps that might reveal the whistleblower’s identity to do that. And we’re going to make sure we protect that whistleblower.”

Now, there might be a number of other reasons why Schiff doesn’t think it is necessary for the whistleblower to testify anymore.

First, there was the revelation he had contact with Schiff’s staff before filing the report, something that makes the whistleblower report look a lot less spontaneous. And then there was the fact that he apparently worked with Joe Biden at the White House and may have even traveled to Ukraine with the then-vice president.

And now comes yet another report that the whistleblower may have had another source of bias in their background.

“The whistleblower at the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry acknowledged to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) that bias against President Trump might be alleged against him or her for a third, previously unreported reason, sources familiar with the ICIG investigation tell Fox News,” Fox News reported late Wednesday.

“Fox News has previously reported the whistleblower is a registered Democrat and had a prior work history with a senior Democrat.

“Though Fox News has learned that an additional element of possible bias was identified by the whistleblower, its nature remains unclear.”

This certainly wasn’t the headline on Wednesday — that was the continued fallout from Ukraine diplomat William Taylor’s assertion that a quid pro quo existed when it came to Ukrainian aid from the Trump administration — but it was yet another sign that the original whistleblower complaint may not have been entirely motivated by a pure heart and patriotism.

Take, for instance, the meeting with Schiff and his aides. In his report, Fox News notes, the whistleblower didn’t check the box asking whether they had any contact with “Congress or congressional committee(s).”

Schiff, of course, had originally claimed “we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower” during an interview.

He would later amend this to say that he “does not know the identity of the whistleblower, and has not met with or spoken with the whistleblower or their counsel” and that “we” referred to the members of the House Intelligence Committee, not their staff. Convincing!

Given the gravity of the other news we’ve received this week, why does this matter? Well, because it paints the proceedings as something other than an organically unfolding process in which Adam Schiff’s fearless truth-seekers are uncovering grave crimes.

The Taylor testimony is the latest example. Does it sound damning? Well, yes. But then again, we didn’t actually hear the Taylor testimony, did we? It took place behind closed doors as part of a process designed to fast-track articles of impeachment as opposed to discovering the facts in an orderly and public fashion.

When it came to the whistleblower, we were originally assured there was absolutely nothing that would cast doubt on his claims, despite the fact that the Intelligence Community inspector general had said there were indications of “political bias” in their background.

We’ve found out a great deal about the whistleblower and their background in the weeks since the report was made public, including their dalliance with Schiff’s staff.

All of this means that Republicans want to call the whistleblower and find out what the story is. In a letter to Rep. Schiff sent earlier in the day on Wednesday, three ranking GOP congressmen — Jim Jordan of Ohio, Michael McCaul of Texas and Devin Nunes of California — demanded that the whistleblower testify.

In the letter, they cited inconsistencies between the whistleblower complaint and information obtained by the committees involved with the inquiry, including the transcript of the call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which touched off the complaint in the first place.

“Because Speaker Pelosi’s uniltateral impeachment inquiry has not provided us with co-equal subpoena power — as has been the bipartisan precedent in modern impeachment inquiries — we expect for you to arrange for the Committees [involved in the inquiry] to receive the testimony of the employees and all individuals he or she relied upon in formulating the August 12th complaint,” the letter read.

And if Schiff doesn’t want to have the whistleblower testify, you can prepare for some fireworks. This is yet another serious blow to the whistleblower’s credibility, making it imperative that we hear from them once and for all — and not just with an uncritical eye.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Western Journal: Whistleblower’s Last Shred of Credibility Gone as Fox Reports 3rd Source of Anti-Trump Bias in His Background

You’ve heard it before: Sure, the economy is doing well, but it’s not really Trump’s economy, it’s Obama’s. He just inherited it.

Until stuff starts going downhill, of course — then the fundamentals were all President Donald Trump’s.

I have neither the time nor the energy to explain the multitude of ways this is utterly ridiculous.

However, for economist Stephen Moore, there’s one thing in particular that sticks out as evidence of how much better things are under the 45th president than the 44th: How the middle class is doing.

I know, you may not have noticed this. If you listen to the Democratic presidential debates, the middle class is dying; they’re being squeezed out by a growing mass of economically stagnant lower-income Americans who used to be middle-class until the monocle set took all of their money because they needed a fifth yacht or something.

As Moore pointed out in a Wall Street Journal piece published Sunday, Trump’s critics “insist all the benefits have gone to the rich and large corporations.”

He quoted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “America’s middle class is under attack,” she’s told audiences.

But is it really?

Well, we wouldn’t be writing this article if the received wisdom were accurate, so let’s listen to Moore — former president of the Club for Growth and a one-time Wall Street Journal editorial board member, as well as an adviser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — explaining the numbers on Fox Business this week:

Moore talked about how they’d “found, based on the Census Bureau data … they are reporting now that from the day that Donald Trump entered office through the end of July of this past year — these are the most recent numbers — middle-class incomes are up $4,100.”

“That is a chart-topper,” he continued. “In the previous 16 years, under the Bush and Obama administrations, incomes only rose by $1,000.”

Moore said they’re such “blockbuster” statistics that “I had to triple-check these numbers to make sure they were right because they are so off-the-charts.”

The economist spelled it out in more detail in The Wall Street Journal piece.

“The latest data from the Census Bureau monthly surveys tell a different story. Real median household income — the amount earned by those in the very middle — hit $65,084 (in 2019 dollars) for the 12 months ending in July,” he wrote.

“That’s the highest level ever and a gain of $4,144, or 6.8%, since Mr. Trump took office. By comparison, during 7½ years under President Obama — starting from the end of the recession in June 2009 through January 2017 — the median household income rose by only about $1,000.”

Moore said the data “squares with other economic trends. It explains why consumer spending has surged this year and major retailers like Lowe’s and Target report massive sales. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had it right when he said last month that, due to fatter paychecks, families are spending and saving more at the same time.”

And as for Trump inheriting the Obama economy — well, not so much, Moore said.

“Mr. Obama inherited a financial mess, but the median income continued its decline during almost all of his first term and rose only slowly in his second term — the weakest recovery from a recession since the 1930s,” he said.

Moore did have a caveat at the end of his piece: “A protracted economic slowdown or recession could reverse Mr. Trump’s advances on jobs and incomes,” he wrote. “The trade war is imposing a heavy toll.”

“But for now the median family enjoys its fattest paychecks ever. The middle class not only isn’t shrinking, it’s getting richer.”

This likely isn’t going to get a lot of play in the midst of the Ukraine whistleblower scandal.

It should. If the left wants to know why Donald Trump still has a very good chance in the 2020 election, despite everything the establishment media and Democrats have said over the past few weeks, it’s because of what he’s done for the middle class.

You know, the same middle class he’s been attacking all these years, according to the Democrats.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Western Journal: Middle-Class Income Up $4,100 Under Trump, Rose Only $1k Under Obama & Bush According to Economist Stephen Moore

Being hunted by the Democrats apparently can be very profitable.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally threw her weight behind an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. Never mind that just declaring an inquiry isn’t quite how this all works; you kind of have to vote to start one. The point is that the California congresswoman, after months of ducking the issue, was finally throwing the full weight of the Democrat caucus in the House behind an impeachment investigation.

Also on Tuesday, the president called the Ukraine whistleblower controversy “nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

At least judging by what they did with their money, Republicans seem to have concurred.

According to ABC News, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said they raised $1 million in the three hours after Pelosi’s announcement and $5 million in the 24 hours following it.

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, hailed the news on Twitter.

“In the 24 hours since news of Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment announcement, @realDonaldTrump’s campaign & @GOP have BLOWN OUT fundraising!” he tweeted.

“$5 Million combined in 24 hrs. Donors in all 50 states. Huge groundswell of support leading to Trump landslide in 2020!”

Apparently, using the wolfish impeachment machine of the Democrats for fundraising is somehow verboten, since ABC News’ report openly decried the methods that the Trump campaign used to raise that $5 million.

“Moments after Pelosi delivered her statement, the Trump campaign quickly fired off a string of fundraising emails — at least four emails within 24 hours — launched dozens of new Facebook ads asking supporters to join an ‘Official Impeachment Defense Task Force’ and released a slickly produced video decrying Democrats for being ‘solely focused’ on impeachment, which the president himself tweeted out,” they reported Wednesday.

As for the “solely focused” part — have the people at ABC News not watched their own coverage over the past few days? What else have the Democrats been focused on? It seems that gun control thing — which was so desperately urgent that Beto O’Rourke seemed to be making hourly appearances on cable news using every permutation of George Carlin’s seven words to plead his case — doesn’t seem so urgent anymore.

And as for the “dozens of new Facebook ads” and the “slickly produced video,” the poor, innocent babes at ABC News have also apparently never witnessed a modern political campaign, since the language implies their reporters are genuinely shocked by these things. If these stunned journalists really want to see some crass opportunism in electronic electioneering, I have a few Nancy Pelosi fundraising emails I’d like them to take a look at when they have a moment.

It’s also been a pretty good week for the Trump campaign in general. In addition to fundraising off Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry announcement, there also have been several major Trump events that have netted $30 million for his campaign and the Republican Party.

GOP chief of staff Richard Walters said the haul was “because of Hollywood extremists and the continued witch hunt being led by deranged Dems in the House.”

“Next to @realDonaldTrump, Democrats are our best fundraisers!” he tweeted. “Thanks, Nancy!“

It’s worth pointing out that both sides benefited, fundraising-wise, from the impeachment inquiry announcement. According to The New York Times, the Democrat fundraising platform ActBlue took in $4.2 million on Monday and $4.6 million on Tuesday.

But then again, you’d expect those sorts of numbers on the Democrat side. Of course this would energize them. Impeachment, long assumed to be dead, has been given a jolt of electricity from Dr. Frankenstein and sent tottering along its way — this time with Nancy Pelosi as a traveling companion. Were I a Democrat, I’d be psyched, too.

The fundraising numbers are proof that, at least for now, the party base isn’t shirking from Trump. Nor does it have any reason to. The transcript of the president’s call with the Ukrainian president revealed no quid pro quo involving the release of funding — indeed, no talk of the funding at all — and the whistleblower report was another yawn.

As for the public in general, polling thus far has been inconclusive on the effect impeachment might have; a Quinnipiac survey showed virtually no change from other polls taken before the Ukraine scandal broke, while Morning Consult showed a 7-point spike in support for impeachment. Even with the spike, voters were deadlocked at 43 percent for and against impeachment. Those aren’t numbers that look spectacular if you’re a Democrat, particularly if you’re a vulnerable moderate in one of the newly won former GOP strongholds the party used to flip the House in 2018.

Despite the febrile coverage in the media, unless House Democrats can uncover a lot more dirt on Trump via their inquiry, impeachment is going to be a thorough waste of time that’ll likely end up costing the party at the ballot box. Frankenstein’s monster may indeed be up and walking around, but he’s not going anywhere Donald Trump needs to worry about. And the longer he stays on his feet, the more money is going to find its way into the president’s campaign coffers.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Western Journal: In First 24 Hours After Pelosi Impeachment Announcement, Trump Rakes in Massive $5 Million

Last year, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled what would become the signature piece of legislation that he’d build his 2020 presidential run around — the same one he used for his 2016 run: “Medicare for all.”

The plan, which would expand Medicare to the point where it became a single-payer program, was estimated to cost $32 trillion over 10 years.

He’s gone further than that since then, calling for all medical debts to be canceled and to ignore the debt in credit scores.

“We’re addressing it on both ends,” Sanders said on Saturday, according to The New York Times.

“We’re addressing it now by trying to help the people who have past due medical bills. And we’re addressing it by finally creating a health care system that guarantees coverage to people without any premiums, without any deductibles, without any out-of-pocket expenses.”

It doesn’t take much to realize that this isn’t going to work. But don’t just take my word for it.

Take Bernie Sanders’ word back in 1987.

Yes, unbelievably, it seems that Sanders actually had more sense when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and had recently honeymooned in the Soviet Union.

According to The Free Beacon, Sanders was speaking with Dr. Milton Terris’, the editor of the Journal of Public Health Policy, on his public access cable tv show “Bernie Speaks with the Community.”

In a clip from the interview, Sanders can be seen saying that “you want to guarantee that all people have access to health care as you do in Canada.”

However, he then made a prediction his future self probably wishes he hadn’t made.

“But I think what we understand is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanisms in this country to do that — for example, if we expanded Medicaid to everybody, everybody had a Medicaid card, we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation,” he said.

“Maybe you want to talk a little bit about that and why, in Canada, under their national health system, you can have access for all people — and yet, per capita, it is less expensive than in the United States.”

Now, none of the structural problems that Sanders talks about have changed in the intervening years. In fact, care here has gotten more expensive and de facto single-payer healthcare isn’t going to solve that.

Furthermore, keep in mind that Sanders is using Canada as his polestar. I’m fairly certain we’re all familiar with the Canadian system and its attendant problems, but that’s apparently what he wants to emulate. I merely leave that out there for summary judgment.

And keep in mind, Sanders wants to do this on top of everything else he wants to do. He wants to cancel medical debt. He wants to cancel student debt. He wants to launch a more modest version of the Green New Deal.

All of that costs money — money that we don’t have. Something Bernie Sanders knew back in 1987. He knows it now, too — but he’s gotten a lot more cynical over the years.

That’s a very dangerous thing for America and our health care.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Western Journal: Bernie Video from 1987 Shows He Knows Free Health Care Will Bankrupt America

This was a unique Fourth of July, to say the least. Patriotism has become a political issue over the past few years, perhaps more than any time since the Vietnam War. However, to show where we are in July 2019, you could actually make the argument that the United Arab Emirates was more unambiguously pro-American than we were.

We saw sneakers get recalled because Colin Kaepernick and Nike thought the Betsy Ross flag might offend people.

We saw three major broadcast networks decline to show President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” display in Washington D.C., probably because an expanded fireworks display and the presence of military equipment might offend people.

We even saw The Washington Post run an Op-Ed where the author talked about how awful fireworks are because they can maim people who use them incorrectly, they scare dogs and they’re associated with President Trump this year because of that whole “Salute to America” thing.

Happy birthday, America!

Now, take a look at the world’s tallest building, located in Dubai, and ask yourself if you saw this much-unabashed love for the flag in the country where it’s from:

The country’s “leaders offered their congratulations to US President Donald Trump in honour of the occasion,” according to The National in the United Arab Emirates.

“UAE President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, all sent messages of support from the Emirates to the United States.”

This typically wouldn’t be a story. I mean, thanks for the birthday wishes, Emirates, now please stop cracking down on people who bring perfectly legal prescription medications into your country and that kind of thing.

It feels weird, however, when the UAE feels less ambiguous about our national holiday than we do.

I’m not just talking about the “Salute to America.” Trump didn’t speak a political word during a speech, which everyone seemed to fear would be political. If you feel the event was political, fine. I doubt there’s any way I can convince you that this wasn’t just some very expensive excuse for a Trump rally.

Then again, it’s also quite likely you didn’t actually see the event that you’re so busy condemning. That’s not because you were #Resistancing, but there was also a dearth of ways to see it. ABC, CBS and NBC didn’t cover the event. Neither did MSNBC.

In fact, when CBS News did a writeup about ways you could watch the “Salute to America,” this was their opening paragraph: “Despite widespread criticism over the distracting from the holiday, President Donald Trump is set to honor America’s armed forces with music, military demonstrations, flyovers and much more in the administration’s ‘Salute to America’ on July 4th. The president’s critics have chastised him for bringing costly military equipment reminiscent of more dictatorial regimes and for placing himself center stage in the typically nonpartisan celebration.”

I understand pure journalistic objectivity is more of an abstraction than an achievable goal. That being said, if you’re working for an outfit like CBS, you ought to at least attempt it on occasion. Accusing the president of being a dictator and passing on the most overheated rhetoric of his opponents as if it were gospel isn’t quite the ethical approach they’re supposed to teach you in journalism school.

We’re in an era where only 22 percent of Democrats were willing to tell Gallup they were “extremely proud” to be American. (Republicans were at 76 percent, and Gallup noted that “[e]ven when Barack Obama was in office, Republicans’ extreme pride never fell below 68%.”) It’s an era where a former athlete can tell an athletic shoe company that the Betsy Ross flag is tainted by associations with slavery — and not only will the company believe him, they’ll recall a sneaker over it.

Yes, we are in an era where American pride and history are profoundly unfashionable. Yet, the rest of the world feels a lot less ambiguous than we do about it. The left scoffs at displaying our military might; our allies realize it keeps them safe. The left scoffs at the flag and what it represents; the world views it as a symbol of freedom and strength.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Western Journal: Dubai Puts Anti-US Americans to Shame, Lights Up World’s Tallest Tower with Old Glory

The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has an interesting history. Originally proposed in 1789, it wasn’t until a determined University of Texas student took on its cause did it get ratified — in 1992.

The text goes as follows: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

There’s an election in 2020. I’m just saying, since the Democrats in the House of Representatives think they’re doing such a bang-up job they deserve a hefty raise.

“House spending leaders want to break a decade-long pay freeze and give members of Congress a cost-of-living bump that could pad their salaries with an extra $4,500 next year,” Politico reported Tuesday.

“Congressional salaries have been frozen at about $174,000 since 2009, when Democrats controlled Congress and decided to suspend automatic cost-of-living increases while heading into the 2010 election year.”

That didn’t work and they lost the House. Now they have it back — so, uh, party time?

“There is strong bipartisan support for these modest inflation adjustments,” Evan Hollander, spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, said.

According to Politico, he also “not[ed] that the panel does not have to take action to allow the automatic increases and will simply be forgoing language that would block the raises.”

“If members want to alter or eliminate the [cost-of-living adjustment], they should do so through the authorizing process — not appropriations bills,” Hollander said.

In other words, Hollander is well on his way to being a professional liar. Good work, kid.

So, what exactly has the Democrat-led House done to deserve a $4,500 taxpayer-funded pay increase?

Oh, in fairness, the Green New Deal did give us “cow farts” as a meme, so there is indeed that. What else, pray tell?

Well, there’s … geez, something will come to me. They want to conduct a lot of investigations with predetermined outcomes, but I don’t think my money should be used for that. And then there’s the … well, pretty much all they’ve done is block Trump bills.

Money well spent, right?

The man who helped get the 27th Amendment passed, Gregory Watson, “was assigned to write a paper about a government process. He came across a chapter in a book on the Constitution, listing proposed constitutional amendments that had not been ratified,” according to the American Constitution Center.

“He wrote his paper on the congressional pay amendment, arguing that there was no time limit on when it could be ratified, and that it could be ratified now. He got a C on the paper. Maybe if he had received a better grade on his paper, the story would have ended there, but Watson was sure it was a better paper, so he appealed his grade, first to his T.A., then to his professor; and when he was unsuccessful, he decided to take the issue to the country.

“In an NPR report in May 2017, he said that after his teacher affirmed the C, ‘I thought right then and there, ‘I’m going to get that thing ratified.’”

And he did. A reminder to those of you who might agree with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican: “I think the American people would think that Congress ought to earn it first,” he said.

A good reminder that you can vote those who think they deserve a pay raise on top of hefty speaking fees out of office, particularly if they’ve just been voted in.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Western Journal: House Democrats Think They Deserve a ‘Modest’ $4,500 Raise

It’s called MPP, and it drives liberals crazy. And thanks to a judge in the 9th Circuit, it’s going to be in practice for a little while longer.

MPP stands for Migrant Protection Protocols, although if you’ve heard of it, it’s likely under its popular nickname, “remain in Mexico.” Roughly speaking, the program forces asylum seekers who present themselves at certain points of entry to stay south of the border until their asylum claims work their way through the U.S. court system.

The purpose of MPP was to ensure that asylum seekers weren’t beneficiaries of the “catch and release” policy, where they would be allowed to remain in the United States — likely not in custody and with minimal federal oversight — as their cases were processed.

The administration has claimed that the influx of family units at the southern border is specifically because these individuals know that the system is overburdened.

Even though their asylum claims may be specious at best, as soon as they’re in the United States, the government almost certainly has to release them, particularly given the short length of time the government can hold minors under the Flores settlement.

Earlier this week, District Judge Richard Seeborg ordered the program to shut down.

In his ruling, according to The Washington Post, Seeborg didn’t address “whether the MPP is a wise, intelligent, or humane policy, or whether it is the best approach for addressing the circumstances the executive branch contends constitute a crisis.”

Instead, he said that the agreement was likely in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act and other laws which afford protections so that individuals “are not returned to unduly dangerous circumstances.”

Seeborg added that “there is no real question that it includes the possibility of irreparable injury.” (Apparently, “catch and release” doesn’t carry that same possibility.)

The ruling came as Seeborg said the Trump administration was about to expand the program from the three ports of entry that it was being used at: San Ysidro and Calexico in California and El Paso in Texas.

It was looking like a major loss for the Trump administration. And then, things turned around.

“The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of President Trump Friday when it determined that the government can at least temporarily continue to send asylum seekers back to Mexico,” The Hill reported.

“The asylum program was scheduled to be shut down at midnight under an order from District Court Judge Richard Seeborg, but the White House had requested the appeals court to intervene.”

“The 9th Circuit temporarily stayed the lower court’s ruling as the parties get ready to submit their arguments next week on the government’s request for a longer stay that would likely last months.”

It didn’t take the president long to celebrate the legal victory.

So, what does this mean in the long term? This is the 9th Circuit Court, after all, which hasn’t gotten a reputation as being amenable to Trump’s policies.

However, the fact that they were willing to stay the ruling is at least a sign that MPP will still be around for some time. No, it’s hardly perfect. It’s not going to solve the crisis at our southern border. It is a start, though, and one could certainly argue it’s legal given the broad powers vested in the president by the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Apparently, some people don’t remember how Trump v. Hawaii ended.)

If Trump can keep MPP, it would also be a huge win heading into the 2020 election. Immigration is going to be a major issue, then as it was in 2016.

While the president won’t have the wall, he’ll hopefully have some major victories on that front. Stopping asylum catch and release would definitely be one of them.

This is likely headed to the Supreme Court, but at least for now, the policy remains in place and the Trump administration can claim a minor victory — one which they can hopefully build upon.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Westernjournal: Asylum Seekers Beware: Trump’s Latest Court Victory Is Going To Infuriate Leftists

One could argue it was only a matter of time before former Vice President Joe Biden’s strange, handsy behavior around women became an issue for him. That moment of reckoning, as we’re so fond of calling it these days, came Friday.

In a piece for New York Magazine, Lucy Flores — the 2014 candidate for lieutenant governor in Nevada — alleged that the vice president acted inappropriately toward her during a rally that year.

“Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” she wrote.

“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f***? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening,” she continued.

“I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, ‘tragame tierra,” it means, ‘earth, swallow me whole.’ I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.”

“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” she added later in the piece. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”

So, the #MeToo wheel finally landed on Joseph Robinette Biden — and after years of this stuff floating around, too. There are a number of takeaways from this, one of which is that his remarks about now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh haven’t aged so much as spoiled.

In the days before Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden was interviewed by NBC’s “Today” show. The reasons were obvious: Biden was likely to run for the 2020 election and the last time something like this happened was during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings when Biden was the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Biden’s treatment of Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment, was coming under much stricter scrutiny in the wake of Ford’s accusation, which influenced his answers more than a little bit.

Unfortunately, he managed to set a trap for himself — which isn’t particularly difficult for Biden to do, but it’s still pretty relevant given his recent troubles.

Asked if there should be a vote if Ford didn’t testify, Biden said no.

“She should not have to go through what Anita Hill went through,” Biden said in the interview.

“And some of the questions (Hill) got asked and the way the right went after her on national television and questioned her integrity and questioned her, not just her honesty, questioned her behavior. I mean, that’s just not appropriate. You shouldn’t have to be twice put through the same exact thing.”

And then there was the pro forma “believe all women” quote:

“What should happen is the woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be, you know, abused again by the system,” Biden said.

“I hope that they understand what courage it takes for someone to come forward and relive what they believe happened to them and let them state it, but treat her with respect.”

For whatever it’s worth, Biden has said that his accuser “has every right to share her own recollection and reflections.”

“Vice President Biden was pleased to support Lucy Flores’s candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 2014 and to speak on her behalf at a well-attended public event,” Biden spokesman Bill Russo said, according to The Hill.

“Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,” Russo continued.

“But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.”

Of course, things are even more complicated for Biden now, as it looks like a pile of accusations is starting to form — and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had some usable advice for the former vice president.

At a breakfast event in Washington on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, Pelosi said Biden “has to understand that in the world we are in now people’s space is important to them and what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.”

“Join the straight-arm club,” Pelosi said. “Just pretend you have a cold and I have a cold.”

The talk about Biden’s behavior with women goes back years.

Now, a second accuser has come forward who claimed Biden acted inappropriately at an event in Connecticut in 2009, according to the Washington Examiner.

The accuser, who was a congressional aide to Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Hines at the time of the alleged incident, told the Examiner that Biden put his hands around her neck and pulled her toward him to rub noses. She said she thought he was going to kiss her on the mouth.

She told the Examiner she did not think Biden should run for president, and that she planned to support a female candidate instead.

Given the wide variety of videos and images out there showing Biden acting similarly with other women, it’s not like we even needed more accusations to have this discussion, but the fact that there are two of them certainly doesn’t help his cause.

However, when it comes to specific charges without video, we ought to go through cultural due process in evaluating the accusations.

That may not be something the left gave Brett Kavanaugh, but that’s the whole point.

Author: C. Douglas Golden

Source: Westernjournal: Biden’s Words About Kavanaugh Come Back To Haunt Him as Accusations Mount

The one person who seemed to sum up the Democrats’ reaction to Michael Cohen’s guilty plea — and subsequent allegations against President Donald Trump — was Rep. Jerry Nadler.

There’s long been speculation that the New York Democrat is considering impeachment hearings against Trump and anyone around him regardless of what the evidence might entail. A report from the day after the midterms had the powerful ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee ranting on a train about impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also talked about going “all in” on Russia.

Well, Russia might not work out, but how about Cohen? On TV this weekend, Nadler talked in grave terms about Cohen’s claim that Trump directed him to pay Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement and paid him back. This would, according to Nadler, be a sufficient reason to remove Trump from office.

“They would be impeachable offenses. Whether they’re important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question,” Nadler said in an appearance on CNN.

“Certainly, they’re impeachable offenses, because, even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.”

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This is hardly a surprise; from Day One, Nadler has called Trump “not legitimate” as a president. But the media is lapping it up.

They seem to forget two things. One, campaign finance issues — and it’s questionable as to whether this falls under the aegis of campaign finance — are generally settled without impeachment proceedings, mostly because they aren’t important enough to justify an impeachment.

The second is, well, how does Congress have any room to talk?

The second is, well, how does Congress have any room to talk?

Is Congress going to release the names of everyone in Congress who has been implicated in a sexual harassment claim which was kept silent by a taxpayer funded shush fund–before or after they try to impeach President Trump for using his own money for something perfectly legal?

— thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) December 10, 2018

Yes, $17 million of taxpayer money has been spent on settling, among other things, sexual harassment claims in Congress, and we pretty much don’t know anything about the cases. As CNN noted, the names of those involved are withheld not only from the public but also from party leadership.

“A source in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office told CNN that Ryan is not made aware of the details of harassment settlements. That source also said that the top Democrat and Republican on the House administration committee review proposed settlements and both must approve the payments,” the network reported in November 2017.

“Similarly, a source in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office told CNN that Pelosi also is not made aware of those details, and that they are confined to the parties of the settlement and the leaders of the administration committee.”

This is essentially the cozy system that the establishment has set up so that it doesn’t have to face repercussions from sexual harassment lawsuits, discrimination suits and the like. There are also other rebarbative elements of how the system is set up, too long to detail here but enraging in their own right.

This is essentially the cozy system that the establishment has set up so that it doesn’t have to face repercussions from sexual harassment lawsuits, discrimination suits and the like. There are also other rebarbative elements of how the system is set up, too long to detail here but enraging in their own right.

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But this is perfectly legal.

Trump, meanwhile, paid a much smaller sum to women who allege he had consensual sex with him in order to obtain an NDA. Because of the methodology of obtaining it and the question of whether or not it should have been included in campaign finance reports, we’re now talking impeachment.

Apparently, Nadler isn’t going all-in on Russia, he’s going all-in on Stormy. I guess it’s easier.

So, yes, Nadler can continue to claim that “the president was at the center of a massive fraud — several massive frauds against the American people.” That doesn’t actually mean anything. If we scrutinized the campaign ledgers of everyone in high office for any sort of problem, we’d probably have to extirpate at least half of them from their position.

Now, here’s the thing: I haven’t seen the Mueller report. Neither has Nadler. For all I know, Trump is implicated in a panoply of heinous crimes and his ties with Russia were way more extensive than we thought. Or it could be a very big nothingburger, albeit a nothingburger dressed up like a very appetizing somethingburger and advertised incessantly in the media like it was the Arch Deluxe circa 1992.

I still have my money on the latter, and I think Nadler does too. He heavily qualified whether the alleged campaign finance violations rose to the level of impeachability.

“You don’t necessarily launch an impeachment against the president because he committed an impeachable offense,” he said. “There are several things you have to look at.”

“One, were impeachable offenses committed, how many, et cetera. Secondly, how important were they? Do they rise to the gravity where you should undertake an impeachment? An impeachment is an attempt to effect or overturn the result of the last election and should do it only for very serious situations. That’s the question.”

My guess is that Nadler finds they were very important, committed with great frequency and rise to the gravity where one should undertake an impeachment — an impeachment which would overturn the result of the last election, which elected a president Nadler has already declared as “not legitimate.”

The rest of us might look at the report and realize this has nothing on what Congress has been doing for years. Whether that makes it right is an entirely different question, but the contrast will still make a huge difference in terms of how Americans view any attempts at impeachment.

After all, Trump used his own money to pay for an NDA through a liaison, which would generally garner a minor fine at most if you even concede it was a campaign-related expense. Congress used $17 million of your money to pay for its mistakes, some of which involved sexual harassment. They took every possible step to make sure you didn’t know about it.

And they made it all perfectly legal.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.


Source: Westernjournal: Trump Paid Stormy Himself. Congress Paid Its Victims $17 Million out of Treasury. Who’re the Real Criminals?

There are few things in this world you can count on, and few of them are salutary. I can think of only three, two of which are horrible. Those are death and taxes.

As for positives, I can think of one: the overwhelming goodness of Gary Sinise.

Sinise, probably best known for his role as Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump,” has long worked with veterans and veterans groups, such as flying veterans to the National World War II Museum to tell their stories or serving them Thanksgiving dinner.

This Christmas, he’s not just focusing on veterans themselves, but their children — namely, the children left behind when one of our heroes tragically passes away.

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According to KCAL-TV, the Gary Sinise Foundation filled 15 planes full of Gold Star families to go to Walt Disney World down in Florida as a special Christmas present called the “Snowball Express.”

“Each one of these children who are going on these airplanes have lost a parent in military services – either combat related or illness or unfortunately suicide sometimes,” Sinise said.

“We wanna take care of these kids and make sure they know we don’t forget.”

“About 1,700 people from 15 locations across the country board the Snowball Express on their way to a 5-night vacation in Orlando, Florida,” KCAL reported.

To see them off from the West Coast, Santa Claus made an appearance (along with his better half) at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday morning, arriving via helicopter.

The first person in line to meet Santa was young Desmond, whose father Army Sgt. Myles Penix died back in 2016.

“I (didn’t know) that he would be here in a helicopter — I thought he was gonna be jumping out of there in a parachute,” Desmond said.

Desmond was enjoying the trip, as was his mother Jade; She said the trip was important in the healing process.

RELATED: Sitcom Star Fiercely Defends Gary Sinise, Blasts Time for Ignoring Him for ‘Person of the Year’

“It’s just important ’cause of all of the bonding that we get to do. He gets to find friends who are just like him, and I get to find ones that have lost just like me,” she said.

“It’s easier when you find people who’ve gone through the same thing. So it’s an amazing experience. All of the different tributes they have, and all of the different balloon releases where I get to write a message to my husband; it’s amazing.”

As Twitchy noted, there were plenty of people giving Sinise plaudits on social media.

It just goes to show how amazing Gary Sinise is. Our hats are off to you as always, Lt. Dan. Dare we suggest, as Twitchy did, that he should be Time’s “Person of the Year”?

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.


Source: Westernjournal: The Incredible Gary Sinise Just Flew 1,000 Gold Star Kids to Disney World for Christmas…and Their Surviving Parents

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