18 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-23-19

  1. First up…..

    Avalanche! 🙂

    https://nypost.com/2019/12/21/senate-confirms-avalanche-of-trump-backed-judges-despite-impeachment/

    “Re-order in the courts!

    As House Democrats try to force President Trump out of office, Senate Republicans have been plowing ahead with his plan to transform the federal judiciary.

    A record number of judicial confirmations is cementing one of Trump’s central campaign pledges — and will reverberate for decades, even if impeachment pulls the plug on his presidency.

    When Trump took office, nine of the nation’s 13 circuit courts were dominated by Democratic appointees. Now, seven of them have Republican majorities.

    Trump has had 50 of his circuit-court judges confirmed — far more than any other recent president at this point in their first terms. President Barack Obama managed just half that number, 25, in the same time frame.

    Altogether, 187 Trump-nominated federal judges have been confirmed by the Senate — outpacing the 169 new judges named by George W. Bush and the 166 brought on board by Bill Clinton in their first three years.

    Senators approved two Trump nominees, Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke, for seats on Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 and 11 as the House Judiciary Committee tussled over the phrasing of its impeachment articles.

    And last week, as House Democrats voted to impeach Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed 13 district court judges through the Senate.

    “The pace is dramatic,” McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt Wednesday. “My motto for the remainder of this Congress is ‘leave no vacancy behind.’””

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  2. Even the AP and Dems are starting to notice, but too late…. 🙂

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/trumps-transformation-courts-barrels-onward-214354939.html

    “Amid intense focus on impeachment and year-end deals on spending and trade, the Senate hurtled this week toward a less-heralded accomplishment: confirming another batch of conservative judges.

    Senators confirmed 13 of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, bringing to 102 the number of federal judges approved this year — more than twice the annual average over the past three decades.

    The steady transformation of the courts reflects the single-minded focus of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to “leave no vacancy behind” as he and Trump seek to tilt the judicial branch to the right.”

    “The judicial confirmations include 20 additions to the U.S. Court of Appeals, bringing to 50 the number of federal appeals court judges confirmed in Trump’s first three years in office. The relentless pace means that more than a quarter of all federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    “While all eyes were understandably on impeachment, Mitch McConnell’s conveyor belt churned out a shocking number of judges this week in what remains the most underrated story of the Trump era,” said Christopher Kang, chief counsel at Demand Justice, a liberal advocacy group.

    “Trump’s hijacking of our judiciary will be his most enduring legacy, and it will continue to threaten everything progressives care about long after he leaves office,” Kang said.

    McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, insists the stepped-up pace of confirmations is not a partisan achievement.

    “It is not one party or the other that benefits when our federal courts consist of men and women who understand that a judge’s job is to follow the law, not to make the law,” he said on the Senate floor last week.

    “The entire country benefits from that. Our constitutional system benefits from that. If judges applying our laws and our Constitution as they’re written strikes anybody as a threat to their particular agenda, it’s their agenda that needs to change, not the judiciary that the framers intended,” McConnell said.”

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  3. Judicial Watch has set their sights on the Schifty One and the partisan House Intel Committee. 🙂

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2019/12/21/judicial-watch-files-a-lawsuit-against-adam-schiff-and-the-house-intelligence-committee-over-phone-records-n2558389

    “Judicial Watch Slaps Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee With a Lawsuit”

    “Government watchdog group Judicial Watch on Friday filed a lawsuit against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the House Intelligence Committee for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

    Specifically, Judicial Watch wanted information about private phone records that were released as part of the Democrats’ partisan impeachment push against President Donald Trump. The revelation came about on page 153 of the House Intelligence Committee’s report on its investigation into Ukraine.

    Page 153 of the report has this citation:

    49 AT&T Document Production, Bates ATTHPSCI _20190930_00768, ATTHPSCI _20190930_00772, ATTHPSCI _20190930_00775

    Which goes to this paragraph:

    The Committees uncovered evidence of close ties and frequent contacts between Mr. Solomon and Mr. Parnas, who was assisting Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of the President. Phone records show that in the 48 hours before publication of The Hill opinion piece, Mr. Parnas spoke with Mr. Solomon at least six times.

    The people in those calls included President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA), investigative journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, as well as others.

    “The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens,” the group said in their lawsuit. “…Defendants’ refusal or failure to disclose the records does not serve any legitimate public interest.”

    When the watchdog group filed their FOIA request they asked for:

    1. All subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about September 30, 2019 to any telecommunications provider including, but not limited to AT&T, Inc., for records of telephone calls of any individuals;

    2. All responses received to the above-referenced subpoenas.

    Judicial Watch explains the importance of receiving the public records, specifically citing a vested public interest.

    The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens.

    Disclosure of the requested records would serve the public interest by providing information about the unlawful issuance of the subpoenas.

    The requested records fall within the scope of the public’s right of access to governmental records as a matter of federal common law.

    The group’s president, Tom Fitton, brought up a valid point: if Chairman Schiff has nothing to hide and he believes releasing the call information was perfectly acceptable, why has the Committee failed to release these records?

    “Adam Schiff abused his power to secretly subpoena and then publish the private phone records, in potential violation of law, of innocent Americans. What else is Mr. Schiff hiding?” Fitton asked in a statement. “Schiff and his Committee ran roughshod over the rule of law in pursuit of the abusive impeachment of President Trump. This lawsuit serves as a reminder that Congressman Schiff and Congress are not above the law.””

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  4. More info on who was helping fund Fusion GPS’s fraudulent work. It wasn’t just Hillary, Obama, and the DNC.

    Maybe Judicial Watch can get more on this too. 🙂

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/12/20/soros-million-fusion-gps/

    “Soros Group Has Given $1.5 Million To Organization Closely Linked To Fusion GPS”

    “A group George Soros operates gave $1.5 million in 2017 and 2018 to an organization closely linked to Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele.

    Fund for Policy Reform, which is part of Soros’ network of nonprofit groups, made the contributions to The Democracy Integrity Project, or TDIP.

    TDIP was formed in January 2017 to continue investigating possible ties between Donald Trump and Russia, as well as Russian meddling in Western elections.

    Fusion GPS and Steele are best known for their work on the Trump dossier, which came under heavy scrutiny in a Justice Department watchdog report released on Dec. 9.

    A nonprofit group progressive billionaire George Soros controls contributed $1.5 million in 2017 and 2018 to The Democracy Integrity Project, an organization that has worked closely with Fusion GPS and dossier author Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump and Russian meddling in Western elections.

    Soros’ group, Fund for Policy Reform, Inc., gave a $1 million grant to TDIP in 2017 and followed up with a $500,000 contribution in 2018, according to a database at Open Society Foundations, Soros’ network of nonprofits.

    Soros is listed as chairman and director of Fund for Policy Reform, which contributes heavily to left-leaning groups like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Both of the TDIP grants were for general operating expenses, according to the database. It has been previously reported that Soros gave $1 million to TDIP, but the additional $500,000 has not been publicized.”

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  5. Rep. Jeff Van Drew Provides an Inside Look at Dems’ Partisan Expectations

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2019/12/22/jeff-van-drew-opens-up-about-the-final-straw-that-made-him-walk-away-from-the-d-n2558406

    “Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) made waves when he decided to leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican. He joined Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” to discuss the final straw that caused him to say goodbye to the party he once was associated with.

    “We spoke on the phone the other day and you said, ‘You know, Maria, I always look for signs.’ There was a sign, something in you that said I’m not comfortable here,” Bartiromo said. “Tell me how you came to this decision to leave the majority, the Democrats, and become a Republican congressman.”

    According to Van Drew, he knew the party was moving further and further to the left and was on the verge of becoming a socialist party but he’s “a proud capitalist” that “believe[s] in hard work” and giving people the opportunity to success.

    The “final sign,” as he describes it, was a conversation that took place with a local politician In his home district. The man told Van Drew he absolutely “had to” vote for impeachment, otherwise there was no way he would win re-election.

    “The final sign for me was, oddly enough, actually in my home county, when one of the county chairmen, and I have eight counties, one of the county chairmen came to me and said, ‘I have to speak with you.’ And I said sure and sat down. He said, ‘I just want to let you know that you have to vote for impeachment.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘You’ve got to vote for impeachment. If you don’t you’re not going to be able to run in my county,'” Van Drew explained. “Well, first of all, it’s not his county, it’s our county. ‘And you’re not going to be able to move forward. You’re not going to get the line,’ which is a big deal in New Jersey. ‘And you’re not going to be successful.'”

    That’s when it clicked for him.

    “And I, first of all, I still could’ve run and I still could’ve gotten the line and I could’ve fought it out. I fought a lot of things in my life and I fought hard to be where I am. But it made me think, for all the years that I’ve worked so hard and tried to give so much, not only to the party but to everybody, the things that we’ve done, and I won’t go into them, but many, many infrastructure projects and helping people and all the services that we try to give people in our offices and it all boils down to one vote that I may have my own individual opinion on one vote and that’s not going to be allowed?” he asked. “I’m going to be punished for that? And that’s when I knew. I had been thinking about it for a while and I said, and you know, I was speaking to my chief of staff about this and I said to her, I said, ‘You know, there’s always been in my career and over time, something that happens that lets you know that it is time to make a change.’ And this was it.”

    Although we knew the Congressman was going to vote against the articles of impeachment, he said he has no regrets about his decision.

    “How I feel today is I feel good. I feel that I did the honorable thing,” he said. “I feel that I did what was right for me and right for the country.”

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  6. More of this, in many more cities please.

    Destroy them wherever you find them..

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/york-prosecutors-100-ms-13-gang-members-associates/story?id=67852626

    “New York prosecutors take down 96 MS-13 gang members and associates

    Prosecutors have ‘rendered MS-13 inoperable’ in Suffolk County, New York.”

    “The notorious MS-13 street gang in Suffolk County, New York, has been declared “inoperable,” law enforcement officials announced on Friday.

    Authorities said during a press conference that 96 MS-13 gang members and associates were indicted on 77 counts including second-degree conspiracy to commit murder, gun possession and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

    The massive takedown is what investigators described as the largest of the violent street gangs in New York State history. Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said that over 200 arrest were made across the country and in El Salvador as a result of this 23-month investigation.

    The multi-agency operation has thwarted seven alleged murder plots and led to the arrest of nine leaders that operated cliques throughout the county, said Sini.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Daniel Turner: Rejoice in America’s energy boom – and don’t let Democrats take it away in 2020

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/daniel-turner-rejoice-in-americas-energy-boom-and-dont-let-democrats-take-it-away-in-2020

    “The highs: America in 2019, for the first time in 70 years, became an exporter of oil. America is experiencing an energy boom. We lead the world in oil and natural gas production, creating thousands of high-paying jobs all across rural America. Our energy revolution, and particularly advancements in fracking, has created over four million new jobs. A report by the Heartland Institute concludes that, without fracking, our natural gas prices would be 28 percent higher today. That’s a pretty high heating bill for many American households.

    Abundant, inexpensive, domestic, reliable energy is reflected in the cost of business, manufacturing, farming and industry, which translates into our economy charging ahead with the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years and wages rising for the first time in nearly a decade. Energy helps make America great. Again.

    The lows: every Democratic presidential candidate opposes fracking. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders claim they would ban it by executive order on their first day in office. Though such campaign promises are met by applause from the left-leaning audience, four million energy workers should shudder. Four million paychecks supporting God knows how many more family members, spouses, elderly parents, tithing to churches, paying the kids’ Little League fees and swimming lessons … banned? On your first day in office?

    And because these jobs are scattered across America in places like Artesia, New Mexico, and Williston, North Dakota, places where campaign buses don’t travel and Democratic National Committee debates are not held, none of the candidates have to see the faces of the men and women whose jobs they threaten. It’s low to cheer firing people. It’s low to cheer unemployment.

    What happened in 2019 in terms of energy geopolitics?

    The highs: America’s oil prices were consistent, and that makes budgets for homes and businesses easier to forecast and plan. Oil hit a high of $65 per barrel. Compare that to just five years ago when oil highs were $106. What makes this most important and even exciting: this happened while Iran attacked Saudi oil fields. This happened while Socialist Venezuela produced less oil than they have in 50 years. Yes, this is exciting for America: oil politics don’t drive our economy anymore. Ideologies rise and fall, and nations attack one another, but America, for the first time in decades, is immune.

    The lows: every Democratic presidential candidate supports policies that reverse this trend.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eric Metaxas responds to Fredo……

    ———–

    ‘Sophistry’: Evangelical Trump supporter clashes with Chris Cuomo in heated exchange’

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/sophistry-evangelical-trump-supporter-clashes-with-chris-cuomo-in-heated-exchange

    “A prominent evangelical supporter of President Trump exchanged a heated back-and-forth with CNN host Chris Cuomo amid the fallout of Christianity Today calling for Trump’s removal.

    Author Eric Metaxas, 56, explained to Cuomo on Friday his rationale for supporting Trump despite his character flaws. After listing some of Trump’s sins and inappropriate comments, Cuomo asked, “You back somebody, as a person of faith, who says all of them — how?”

    Explaining by way of analogy, Metaxas said, “Well, it’s like my pilot has tattoos, and he’s on his fourth wife, but he’s an amazing pilot. I would prefer a pilot who has been married for 30 years to the same woman. Sometimes things are complicated, and I think that in this day and age, we’ve had such a dramatic choice.”

    Metaxas went on to claim that while evangelicals faced “a tough choice” at the ballot box in 2016, the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency was untenable. “It was a tough choice for everybody,” he said. “So you had to think hard about what matters. And I think that given the track record of Hillary Clinton, a lot of people, like myself, were scared to death at the thought of a Clinton presidency.”

    “Something happened to the Democratic Party over the last 30 years,” Metaxas continued. “It’s not the party that we grew up with, it’s not the party that it was in FDR’s day. It has gone so far Left that, in a way, if you want somebody who let’s say respects the Constitution and is going to appoint originalist judges — not conservative judges — originalist judges who will call balls and strikes, at that point, your only hope is to have a president with the GOP. Now that’s a serious issue.”

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  9. Ah yes,……

    The walk back……

    Or as I saw it stated “Translation: his evangelical readers blasted him.”

    ————-

    “Christianity Today Editor Says His Call For Impeachment Was ‘Hyperbole’”

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/12/22/christianity-today-mark-galli-impeachment-hyperbole/

    “Christianity Today editor Mark Galli said Sunday that his call for evangelical Christians to support impeachment was “hyperbole,” and he admitted “the pro-life issue is just one of many” where President Donald Trump is in sync with evangelicals.

    “In one sense my call for his removal was on the order of hyperbole in this regard: the odds of that happening by election or by the Senate are actually probably fairly slim at this point,” Galli told CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” admitting later, “I don’t have a strategy” and telling journalists, “You guys figure that out.””

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  10. Again, you need an interpreter, and I’m here to help. 🙂

    Translation: I’m a Dem in a deep red state and I’m not falling on my sword for this when I may have to face Sessions for my seat.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/doug-jones-isnt-interested-in-being-a-political-chameleon

    “Doug Jones is the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbent. So it’s no wonder he’s refrained from taking a definitive stance on impeachment.

    Jones told ABC News over the weekend that if the “dots aren’t connected” during the Senate’s impeachment trial, he might vote to acquit President Trump.

    “I think these are really serious allegations,” Jones said. “I have been trying to see if the dots get connected. If that is the case, then I think it’s a serious matter, and I think it’s an impeachable matter. But if those dots aren’t connected and there are other explanations that are consistent with innocence, I will go that way too.”

    The Republican-controlled Senate will almost certainly vote to acquit Trump with or without Jones’s vote, so it wouldn’t make that much of a difference to the Democratic Party if Jones does decide to defect. It could, however, make a big difference to Jones’s constituency in bright red Alabama.

    Jones won the election in Alabama in part because the Republican candidate was completely unelectable. He won’t have that luxury again. And keep in mind that this is a state Trump won in 2016 by nearly 30 points. Already, Jones’s approval ratings in his state are lagging, but not by much.”

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  11. Yikes.

    ———–

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  12. Bwahahahaha!

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Wait….. they’re serious?……

    Bwahahahaha!

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    That’s some hot take ya’ got there. 🙂

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  13. A follow-up, by a different writer, on Christianity Today’s controversial editorial. At the end, he writes that they are encouraging editorials from either side of the matter, and will publish them in January.

    “Reader responses to Mark Galli’s recent editorial have spanned the spectrum. We have received countless notes of encouragement from readers who were profoundly moved. They no longer feel alone. They have hope again. Many have told us of reading the editorial with tears in their eyes, sharing it with children who have wandered from the faith, rejoicing that at last someone was articulating what they felt in their hearts. They felt this was a watershed moment in the history of the American church—or they hoped it would prove to be. Stay strong, they told us, knowing we were about to reap the whirlwind.

    On the other hand, we have heard from many readers who felt incensed and insulted. These readers felt the editorial engaged in character assassination, or maligned a broad swath of our fellow evangelicals, or revealed that we prefer the Democrats to a President who has done a lot of good for causes we all care about.”

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/december-web-only/trump-evangelicals-editorial-christianity-today-president.html?utm_source=ctdirect-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=9474712&utm_content=688317522&utm_campaign=email

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  14. Like I said, they’re noticing, but far too late. While they dithered on and on over impeachment, gossip filled hearings, and second hand accounts, Trump and the Senate were hard at work.

    🙂

    This is Trump’s legacy. This alone is no small feat, transforming the most liberal, and most overturned, appeals court in the nation into a respected and fair court.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/22/trump-judges-9th-circuit-appeals-court-088833

    “How Trump is filling the liberal 9th Circuit with conservatives

    The court’s changing ideological makeup could wind up giving states like California less legal elbow room to challenge Trump policies.”

    —————-

    Again, I’ll translate: Waaaaa! We’re losing our activist judges, and the law rarely agrees with us without them. 😥

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