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Conservative News | Strongsville Republican Club

Conservative News

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Judge in Menendez trial: Full steam ahead

HotAir - 6 hours 31 min ago

So much for that brief, shining moment when it looked like Robert Menendez — and the Democrats who continue to support him — might have had an out from his corruption trial. After initially offering a willingness to consider a motion to dismiss by Menendez’ defense team of all charges relating to bribery, Judge William Walls issued a resounding denial this morning. The prosecution can rely on the “stream of benefits” argument for bribery, Walls ruled, as the Supreme Court case cited by the defense didn’t actually speak to that at all:

The defense team urged Walls that the prosecution’s overarching “stream of benefits” theory — where many gifts are exchanged for a variety of political favors over a period of several years — cannot survive post-McDonnell. Lawyers for the defense argued that the prosecution had to show a direct link between a specific gift followed by a specific political favor.

Walls was unpersuaded. Appearing to read from a lengthy written opinion he drafted ahead of time, the judge ultimately concluded: “McDonnell is not antagonistic to the stream of benefits theory.”

“We are living in a real world of reality and common sense,” Walls said. “The jury will decide whose version of what happened or didn’t happen is more likely than not.”

That’s not quite accurate. Since this is a criminal trial, the jury will have to decide that the stream of benefits correlated with Menendez’ official acts as a quid pro quo beyond a reasonable doubt, not on a preponderance of evidence. Walls certainly understands that, but words matter when it comes to evidentiary standards. Presumably Walls will clean that up in jury instructions.

Politico notes that Walls had time to look at post-McDonnell court actions on bribery charges, and realized that the stream-of-benefits theory remained valid for judging corruption:

But after reading dozens of pages of briefings from the prosecution and defense and hearing more oral arguments, Walls was firm in siding with the prosecution. He said higher courts in recent cases have continued to rely on the stream of benefits theory.

“This court concludes that a rational jury could determine that the defendants entered into a quid pro quo agreement,” Walls said.

Walls also refused to toss out a charge that Menendez intentionally refused to disclose his gifts from Melgen.

As I wrote on Thursday, one can read all the way through the McDonnell opinion and never come across any discussion of the stream-of-benefits theory. The issue addressed by Chief Justice John Roberts in McDonnell was not the nature of benefits from a crony, but what constitutes official acts by an officeholder. Walls has already concluded that Menendez’ interventions for Salomon Melgen involved official acts, which is why the defense attacked the linkage between them and the benefits that Menendez received from Melgen.

This will likely come up before the Supreme Court again, as Menendez’ attorneys will appeal Walls’ determination if he gets convicted of any bribery counts as a result. However, eliminating the stream-of-benefits theory would make bribery almost impossible to prove in almost all circumstances, absent a receipt for the purchase of a politician. Prosecutors would be left to prove that a specific vacation perk was tied to a specific intervention, and the only way to do that would be to get tape of a conversation or some kind of correspondence spelling out that trade.

Walls ruled, wisely, that such considerations fall within the jury’s purview. They can apply their own judgment to the question of whether a stream of benefits correlates closely enough to a stream of official actions on behalf of the benefactor as to constitute bribery and corruption. That doesn’t mean this jury will convict Menendez in this case, but it does mean they’ll at least get the chance to make that decision for themselves.

Menendez’ attorneys began their defense today, and they have the unenviable task of disconnecting all those benefits from all those interventions. Abbe Lowell has an impressive track record as a defense attorney, so don’t count him out, but Walls just made it a lot harder to get Menendez out of his jam.

The post Judge in Menendez trial: Full steam ahead appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Florida man takes drastic measures to send a message to protesting NFL players

The Blaze - 6 hours 44 min ago

A Florida man who was upset about the NFL national anthem protests, particularly when it came to his home team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, took a drastic approach to convince others to join his NFL boycott.

What did he do?

Terry Smiley had the message “BE AMERICAN. BOYCOTT THE JAGS AND THE NFL” printed on a banner and hired a pilot to fly the giant banner over Everbank Field for two full hours on Sunday as the Jaguars played against the visiting Los Angeles Rams, who won the game 27-17.  Smiley said he was disgusted after several Jaguars players took a knee during the national anthem last month in London. The players did not kneel during the British national anthem.

“I am asking people to boycott the football games. I don’t watch it on TV,” Smiley told WJAX-TV.

“Do you believe in your country? Do you believe in ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’? If you don’t stand up for it now, you won’t have it in the future,” he added. “If you don’t like being in this country, get out of this country.”

To further advertise his cause, Smiley is also giving away free bumper stickers depicting Calvin from the comic book “Calvin and Hobbes” urinating on the words “NFL and the Jaguars.”

“If we boycott them, and we hit them in the pocketbook… Before long we’ll have them on both their knees,” he said.
Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

Why does it matter?

The NFL has had a seemingly permanent spot in the headlines since the season began and players protested the national anthem in various ways, as the debate started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season was reignited.

NFL owners will meet this week for the league’s fall meetings and plan to discuss a possible rule change requiring all players to stand for the national anthem or face fines.

Categories: Conservative News

Video: Trump fans shout down California AG at town hall

HotAir - 7 hours 1 min ago

Bad news, as various other conservatives have pointed out since this happened, but it’s broadly in keeping with the Trump approach to speech. Says Robby Soave:

This shameful act of censorship is a good reminder that even though angry far-left students are at fault in the majority of recent college free speech debacles, they are by no means the only or paramount threat to the First Amendment—on campus or anywhere else. Such a distinction belongs first and foremost to President Trump, whose repeated calls for muzzling of the press and abridgments of the speech rights of people he dislikes are, in the opinion of The Atlantic’s eminently reasonable civil libertarian Conor Friedersdorf, grounds for impeachment. Trump’s censorious supporters in California seem cut from the same cloth.

Has POTUS been asked squarely how he feels about audience members trying to shout down a speaker? He’s willing to de-license broadcast networks for unfair coverage, to loosen libel laws to make it riskier for the media to report on public figures, and occasionally to have his fans sock a protester at one of his own rallies in the face. He must be no worse than ambivalent about heckler’s-veto shoutdowns. At least when they’re being used by the right to silence the left.

And he’s not alone in that. John McLaughlin’s recent poll of college students produced this result:

John Villasenor’s survey of students was even more pessimistic, producing this data when he asked if it’s acceptable for a student group to silence a speaker by shouting him down:

Republican students are less likely than any other group to support shoutdowns but you’ve still got 30+ percent of them in each poll willing to condone the tactic. The number of Republican adults generally who condone shoutdowns is less — just 14 percent, per YouGov — but even there it’s double digits. As you’ll see below, the protesters in this case were all very much adults. Adam Steinbaugh, who wrote about this protest for FIRE, notes that this isn’t the first time the ringleader has tried to shut down an event featuring Democratic speakers either, citing a column in which he wrote, “I am prepared to be an uncivil civilian, and I don’t care who’s offended… Civility, accommodation, and playing nice with Republican and Democratic elected officials is over . . . . Making America great again is not about placating and pleasing everyone, but standing up for what is right, even if it means disrupting a few tea parties.”

David French tries to counter that “let’s be as bad as the left” thinking with logic:

Yet there are some “conservatives” who justify this new escalation (just like they justify public calls to fire radical professors who engage in offensive — but constitutionally-protected — speech) as a form of “fighting fire with fire.” It’s censorship in the name of freedom, and by making the Left “live under its own rules,” they’ll make the Left more reasonable.

This is as silly as it is unprincipled.

The radical Left simply doesn’t view the world the way these conservatives believe they do. They don’t care if Xavier Becerra speaks or doesn’t speak. They’re not truly grieved in the least that he was shouted down. After all, the heckling, disrupting wing of the Left barely tolerates most Democratic politicians. Instead, they see the world through the prism not of persuasion but mobilization, and the emergence of right-wing lawlessness is God’s gift to their own efforts to “take the streets.” It’s God’s gift to their own efforts to tell more moderate members of the Left that the Right cares nothing for the Constitution and only seeks power.

Right, I wrote about that fire-with-fire reasoning a few days ago here. Typically there are two justifications for it. One, as French says, is deterrence, that if only we club the left with their own tactics hard enough and long enough, they’ll stop. Specious, for just the reason French says. The behavior will mainstreamed more than marginalized. Two, per the ringleader’s justification, is that we’ve tried civility and gotten nothing for it so it’s time to try incivility (or more incivility) and see how that works out. That’s similar to the big-picture argument for nominating Trump last year: Sure, he’s a loose cannon, and yeah, his presidency could be a flaming garbage dump, but everyone’s unhappy with the status quo. Let’s try something radically different. Let’s be the snowflakes who try to silence a speaker instead of letting snowflakes silence us all the time. It’s another blow to America’s ever degrading civic culture, but you know what? It feels good. Fire-with-fire always does.

The post Video: Trump fans shout down California AG at town hall appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Classic novel on racism pulled from 8th-grade curriculum. The reason is more than a little ironic.

The Blaze - 7 hours 9 min ago

Mississippi’s Biloxi School District received complaints about the language in “To Kill A Mockingbird” — a classic novel dealing with racism in the American south — and then pulled the book from its 8th-grade English Language Arts curriculum last week, the Sun Herald reported.

What were the complaints about “To Kill a Mockingbird”?
  • “There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books,” Kenny Holloway, vice president of the Biloxi School Board, told the paper. “It’s still in our library. But they’re going to use another book in the 8th-grade course.”
  • The Sun Herald reported that it got an email from a concerned reader who said the ruling happened “mid-lesson plan, the students will not be allowed to finish the reading of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ …. due to the use of the ‘N’ word.”
What else did the concerned reader say?
  • “I think it is one of the most disturbing examples of censorship I have ever heard, in that the themes in the story humanize all people regardless of their social status, education level, intellect, and of course, race,” the reader said to the paper. “It would be difficult to find a time when it was more relevant than in days like these.”
What is “To Kill a Mockingbird” about?
  • The 1960 novel by Harper Lee — which won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction the following year and was turned into an Oscar-winning movie in 1962 — is about a southern lawyer who defends a black man against a trumped-up rape charge and teaches his children about racial prejudice.
Who made the decision to pull the novel?
  • The school board told the Sun Herald it was an administrative and department decision, and the board didn’t vote on it.
  • Superintendent Arthur McMillan told the paper in a statement that “there are many resources and materials that are available to teach state academic standards to our students. These resources may change periodically. We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level.”
What does Common Core have to say about “To Kill a Mockingbird”?
  • It’s listed on the curriculum as a core text for 8th grade ELA, the Common Core state standards for English Language Arts, the Sun Herald said.
What does the American Library Association have to say about the novel?
  • The organization lists “To Kill A Mockingbird” as among the most banned or challenged books.

Former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain — an outspoken conservative as well as a critic of the left’s hold on public education — weighed in on the issue on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends”:

This writer’s perspective

It’s ironic that the Biloxi School District pulled “To Kill a Mockingbird” over concerns that it “makes people uncomfortable.” The subject is supposed to make one feel uncomfortable — and the acts of reading and discussing the novel can, in fact, help do away with racism.

Instead, students will be protected from eyeballing language they’ve no doubt heard or read already and subsequently miss the opportunity to become conversant not only with a classic of American literature but more importantly about the subjects of race and racism for the betterment of society.

To what extent will the perpetually offended hold sway in this area? What other language will be sanitized so that deeper meanings are rendered invisible? This circumstance is not dissimilar from college students and professors pushing to do away with free speech and expression that doesn’t align with their far-left viewpoints.

Such cowering political correctness and censorship must end — and Atticus Finch would no doubt argue that point.

Categories: Conservative News

California bans school employees from carrying concealed firearms to work

The Blaze - 7 hours 25 min ago

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill over the weekend preventing public school employees from carrying firearms on school property.

What does this mean?

The new bill overturned the right for school district superintendents to allow certain employees — on a case-by-case basis — to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.

School district superintendents were granted permission of jurisdiction in permitting certain employees to carry firearms in 2016.

When will this take effect?

The measure, AB 424, will go into effect Jan. 1.

What are people saying about this?

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D), who wrote the bill, told the Los Angeles Times that school safety is “not possible if a school district allows armed civilians to roam California school campuses.”

McCarty said that allowing firearms on school grounds increases the chance of school shootings. However, the Firearms Policy Coalition disagreed with the bill and said in a statement that the policy is confusing:

In one case they say that local control is the only way to keep people safe, and here they kill off what little local control was left on this issue. The Legislature and Governor Brown have made sure that no good people with guns will be close enough to stop an evil or insane person in the event of a serious attack.

The Coalition also said that “the constitutional right to bear arms is based on the fundamental human right to self-defense. AB 424 undermines these very important principles based on little more than a whim.”

Categories: Conservative News

The Weinstein Company may have already found a buyer

HotAir - 7 hours 31 min ago

For Sale: One scandal-ridden film production and distribution company named for an alleged rapist. Sounds like a tough pitch to me but one private equity firm is already stepping up as a potential buyer. From Bloomberg:

Colony Capital, founded by Tom Barrack, has agreed to immediately provide cash to the film studio, according to a statement Monday. No other details of the talks were disclosed. A deal would give the investment firm a stake in shows such as “Project Runway” and award-winning films such as “The Artist.”

“We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations,” Weinstein board member Tarak Ben Ammar said in the statement.

That investment is a short-term fix intended to keep the lights on while most of the company’s board has resigned. But CNN reports Colony Capital is also in talks for, “a potential sale of all or a significant portion of the company’s assets.” That’s at odds with what Bob Weinstein told the Wall Street Journal Friday:

On Friday [Bob Weinstein] denied a Wall Street Journal report that the company was “exploring a sale or shutdown and is unlikely to continue as an independent entity.”

“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company, and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company,” Bob Weinstein said in response.

He claimed that “business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”

But that is far from the truth.

Barely any work is getting done at the company’s offices in New York and Los Angeles, sources told CNN.

In a story published last week, the Washington Post described Thomas Barrack, the billionaire founder of Colony Capital, as one of President Trump’s oldest and best friends, albeit one who is critical of some of the president’s views on controversial issues:

Few people are closer to Trump than Barrack, his friend for three decades. Barrack helped rescue Trump’s real estate empire years ago. He was the top fundraiser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He turned down a Cabinet offer, preferring to be an outside adviser, although his name is still mentioned as a potential White House chief of staff should Trump decide to choose a new one. Above all, Barrack has remained unfailingly loyal to Trump, whom he sees as a shrewd politician…

“He thinks he has to be loyal to his base,” Barrack said. “I keep on saying, ‘But who is your base? You don’t have a natural base. Your base now is the world and America, so you have all these constituencies; show them who you really are.’ In my opinion, he’s better than this.”

“I tell him all the time: I don’t like the rhetoric,” Barrack, who runs a large real estate investment company, said at his Manhattan office.

Barrack also has a history with the Weinsteins. In 2010 he bought Miramax, the brothers’ previous company, from Disney after the brothers left and formed the Weinstein Company. In general, Barrack is considered a specialist in distressed assets. A 2010 New York magazine profile of Barrack listed one of his personal rules for success: “befriend the bewildered.” That certainly seems to fit in this case.

The post The Weinstein Company may have already found a buyer appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion

The Blaze - 7 hours 39 min ago

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty Monday before a military judge to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to the New York Times.

What happened?

According to the New York Times, Bergdahl, now 31, left his base in Afghanistan in June 2009. He was held captive by the Taliban for five years before the Obama administration traded five Taliban detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for his release in 2014.

The controversial prisoner swap came up during the 2016 presidential election when then-candidate Donald Trump said Bergdahl was a “traitor” and called for his execution.

According to the Times, Bergdahl told Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the Army’s chief investigator, that he decided to leave the base so he could walk to another base about 18 miles away in order to report what he characterized as leadership problems in his unit. The Times noted that Dahl has testified that Bergdahl may have been “delusional” at the time.

The desertion charge could result in a five-year jail sentence, but the misbehavior charge could be a life sentence.

Former unit members have alleged that the deaths of six soldiers are directly or indirectly related to the search for Bergdahl, according to CNN.

What did Bergdahl say?

According to CNN, during questioning on Monday, Bergdahl said, “I left my observation post on my own.”

He added: “I understand leaving was against the law.”

Categories: Conservative News

Harvey Weinstein: UK police investigating sexual assault claims from three women in London

The Blaze - 7 hours 54 min ago

Accusations of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct are no longer limited to women in Hollywood, New York or even the U.S. The London Metropolitan Police are also investigating allegations against the Hollywood film producer.

Weinstein’s misconduct, spanning three decades, was uncovered in a New York Times expose Oct. 5.

Since the report, more than two dozen women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rose McGowan, have made a number of accusations against Weinstein, the BBC reported Monday.

What do we know about the newest allegations?

According to the BBC, London’s Metropolitan Police say Weinstein is accused of assaulting three women in separate incidents in London in the late 1980s, 1992, 2010, 2011 and 2015.

The women told police the attacks took place in Westminster, Camden and west London.

Who are the women?

The Sunday Times said British actress Lysette Anthony, 54, told the Metropolitan Police that she was raped by Weinstein in the late 1980s when he turned up at her London home.

It was a “pathetic, revolting” attack, the actress said, that had left her “disgusted and embarrassed,” Anthony told the Sunday Times.

It’s unclear who the other two women are who’ve reported assaults to the police.

Will Weinstein face charges in the UK?


While Metropolitan Police are investigating the allegations against Weinstein, BBC correspondent Daniel Sandford reported that detectives have two problems going forward:  One will be gathering evidence from the time of these allegations, which may prove to be a challenge for incidents that happened as many as 35 years ago.

The other is that because Weinstein faces allegations in the U.S., police will want to deal with that first before agreeing to extradite him to the UK to face any charges against him there.

There are varying reports of Weinstein’s clinical plan, but many suggest he has now begun several weeks of in-patient treatment at an Arizona head spa, before heading for the final stages to a second facility in Europe. Some kind of happy-finishing school, presumably, according to The Guardian.

However, if he winds up in the UK and charges are brought against him, police there could arrest him first and they would not have to wait for possible extradition.

Categories: Conservative News

DoJ support in transgender murder case should come as no surprise

HotAir - 8 hours 2 min ago

An interesting case of backhanded compliments and implied accusations in the New York Times from this weekend. Their story deals with the Justice Department siding with and supporting a case in Iowa where a suspect is on trial for the murder of a transgender teenager. In a more normal world, the murder itself would be horrific, but the idea of the Justice Department lending some legal aid to the prosecution would just be another day in the office. Not in the Gray Lady, however. They can’t even make it through the title without baldly stating that such a thing is out of character for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Aiding Transgender Case, Sessions Defies His Image on Civil Rights

The Justice Department has dispatched an experienced federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with murdering a transgender high school student last year, a highly unusual move that officials said was personally initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In taking the step, Mr. Sessions, a staunch conservative, is sending a signal that he has made a priority of fighting violence against transgender people individually, even as he has rolled back legal protections for them collectively.

The Justice Department rarely assigns its lawyers to serve as local prosecutors, and only in cases in which they can provide expertise in areas that the federal government views as significant. By doing so in this instance, Mr. Sessions put the weight of the government behind a small-city murder case with overtones of gender identity and sexuality.

It goes on in this fashion for the entire article. What should have been a story about a brutal murder was instead turned into one stunned exclamation by the reporter (Matt Apuzzo) after another about how out of character and shocking it was to see Sessions personally direct a federal hate crimes attorney to Iowa to work on the case. In reality, the story would more properly have been about the tragic case of 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson of Burlington, Iowa.

The boy was gay and “identified” as neither male nor female according to the father. (Who refers to him as his son which is good enough for me.) The details are still fuzzy, but somebody accosted him on his way home and shot him to death. It may or may not have been because he was gay, but it was a brutal, violent murder beyond a shadow of a doubt. So why would the federal government be involved if the locals have a suspect in custody and believe they’ll get a conviction?

That’s the only really surprising part of the story as far as I’m concerned, but not because Jeff Sessions is “anti-gay” or anything else. Sessions has long correctly held the position that so-called hate crime laws are bogus because they are actually cases of thought crimes. What the perpetrator was thinking when they fired the shots which killed Johnson is irrelevant. You’re allowed to think whatever you like, no matter how hateful or repugnant. But you’re not allowed to shoot people. That’s murder.

Since we’re stuck with these hate crime laws on the books for now, should they apply to transgender individuals? Well, it seems like we apply them to everyone else outside of the cisgender, heterosexual, non-disabled, Christian, caucasian patriarchy, so why not? Whether you believe in the unscientific fantasy of people being able to pick their own gender or simply hold that transgender individuals are suffering from a mental illness, the end result is the same. You’re not allowed to beat up or murder the mentally ill. And if we’re going to be enforcing these so-called hate crime laws it would apply there as well.

So in that sense, it may seem unusual that Sessions would send a hate crime prosecutor to Iowa to step into this case. But then, he is the Attorney General of the United States and we currently have these laws on the books for better or worse. It’s not exactly shocking to see the head of the Justice Department actually ledning resources to enforce the law. But it would be more interesting to see the New York Times actually focus on the crime and not how shocking it apparently is for them to see the Attorney General enforcing the law.

The post DoJ support in transgender murder case should come as no surprise appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

NBC Fires Staffer Who Leaked Lawrence O'Donnell Meltdown

Townhall.com - 8 hours 28 min ago
NBC has reportedly fired the editor responsible for leaking footage of MSNBC host Lawrence ODonnell having a meltdown during taping of his show The Last Word.
Categories: Conservative News

Clinton Foundation announces it will not return Weinstein donations

The Blaze - 8 hours 30 min ago

The Clinton Foundation, after Chelsea Clinton was put on the spot several times as to whether or not the organization would return donations from disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, revealed what they would be doing with the money they received.

They’re not returning it.

Why isn’t the organization giving back the money?

A spokesperson for the foundation told The Daily Mail that the donations — thought to range anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 — will not be returned because the money has already been spent.

The spokesperson also said that the last time the organization received a Weinstein donation was in 2014.

So where did the money go?

The spokesperson revealed that Weinstein’s contributions went toward its own programs to help lower the price of HIV medication and to assist women in developing countries.

Is this surprising?

Not really.

Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria last week that she would give campaign donations she personally received to charity.

“What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they’re going to donate it to charity, and, of course, I will do that,” Hillary Clinton said. “I give 10 percent of my income to charity every year, this will be part of that. There’s no — there’s no doubt about it.”

Clinton received $17,400 directly to her campaigns, and indirectly received much more through his bundling efforts and from his hosting fundraisers.

Categories: Conservative News

Bergdahl: Trump ruined my court-martial, you know

HotAir - 8 hours 31 min ago

Did Donald Trump make it impossible for Bowe Bergdahl to defend himself against charges of  desertion and misbehavior before the enemy? Or did Bergdahl himself make it impossible by, y’know, deserting and misbehaving before the enemy? Bergdahl pled guilty today, ABC News notes, but last year Bergdahl complained that Trump’s campaign attacks poisoned the court-martial process and left him little hope for justice:

Despite surviving five years in a Taliban cage, Trump had called Sgt. Bergdahl a “traitor” who should be executed in several campaign speeches as a presidential candidate.

In an on-camera interview shot last year by a British filmmaker, obtained exclusively by ABC News and airing today on Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir and Nightline, Bergdahl says the words of the man who is now his commander-in-chief would have made a fair trial impossible.

“We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs that got what they wanted,” Bergdahl said. “The people who want to hang me, you’re never going to convince those people.”

If Bergdahl was hoping to work the refs for his court-martial, it’s a curious way to go about it. He accused military judges and officers in the potential jury pool of having no independence in their conduct of criminal trials at the point where he’ll need to rely on that to get something significantly less than a life sentence. Perhaps Bergdahl thought at the time that by calling its integrity into question, the judge and jury would be forced to bend over backwards to show mercy. That’s a high-stakes gamble — one that Bergdahl eventually discarded.

The developments over the last two months show how transparently manipulative this strategy was. Bergdahl waived his right to a jury trial in August, which would have acted to protect him from a court that lacks independence from the commander in chief. On top of that, Bergdahl chose to plead guilty rather than offer a defense against either charge. If this is a “kangaroo court,” why cooperate with it — especially with the potential of using it as a platform to attack a supposedly biased and corrupt system?

Bergdahl blamed his situation on conservative media, especially Fox News, which has carried some reports on Bergdahl’s supposed attempts to help the Taliban, rumors that military officials have denied. However, a member of his own unit told CNN’s Jake Tapper that intercepted Taliban communications alerted them to Bergdahl’s attempts to contact the Taliban after his desertion:

Within days of his disappearance, says Buetow, teams monitoring radio chatter and cell phone communications intercepted an alarming message: The American is in Yahya Khel (a village two miles away). He’s looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.

“I heard it straight from the interpreter’s lips as he heard it over the radio,” said Buetow. “There’s a lot more to this story than a soldier walking away.”…

“The fact of the matter is, when those soldiers were killed, they would not have been where they were at if Bergdahl hadn’t left,” says Buetow. “Bergdahl leaving changed the mission.”

And Evan Buetow was suspicious of the Taliban’s improved IED aim after Bergdahl walked off the post:

“Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks. They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical,” said Buetow.

It was “very suspicious,” says Buetow, noting that Bergdahl knew sensitive information about the movement of U.S. trucks, the weaponry on those trucks, and how soldiers would react to attacks.

“We were incredibly worried” that Bergdahl was giving up information, either under torture, or otherwise, says Buetow.

Tapper plays it straight, and CNN is hardly a conservative media outlet. Buetow isn’t a rumor — he’s a material witness, and presumably would have been available to tell this story to the court-martial. One has to suspect that the Army has pursued the case this long — including keeping Bergdahl on active duty in order to retain custody of him — because they had a very good case to prosecute, especially on misbehavior. As Brian Ross says at the end of the segment above, no one’s buying Bergdahl’s “whistleblower” defense, and apparently Bergdahl even realizes that now.

The post Bergdahl: Trump ruined my court-martial, you know appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

The Weinstein Company reportedly in negotiations for a sale

The Blaze - 8 hours 44 min ago

Plagued by the fallout of a sex scandal spanning the course of three decades, The Weinstein Company is already negotiating a business sale, according to The Associated Press.

BREAKING: The Weinstein Co. in negotiations with Colony Capital for potential sale.

— The Associated Press (@AP) October 16, 2017

Has The Weinstein Company confirmed this?

The company said Monday it was receiving an “immediate cash infusion” from Colony Capital and that they are currently in negotiations for the sale of the business, or at least a large portion of it.

“We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world,” said Weinstein Company board member Tarak Ben Ammar.

What does the Weinstein Company do?

The Weinstein Company is a film studio, founded by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein after they left Miramax Films in 2005. It was responsible for major films such as “Inglourious Basterds,” “The Fighter,” and “The King’s Speech.”

What is Colony Capital?

Colony Capital is the global real estate and investment management firm that bought Miramax Films in 2010 from Walt Disney. It later sold Miramax to BeIN Media Group in 2016.

Why does it matter?

The fallout in Hollywood continues after news broke of Harvey Weinstein’s long history of alleged sexual harassment earlier this month. Weinstein was also stripped of his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the weekend.

Categories: Conservative News

Former Planned Parenthood President Says Their Goal Is Sexual Liberation But Admits Sexuality Begins as a Fetus

Townhall.com - 8 hours 48 min ago
In defending sexuality, Faye Wattleton acknowledges the "sexuality" of the fetus.
Categories: Conservative News

California governor vetoes bill designed to force Trump to release his tax returns

The Blaze - 9 hours 10 min ago

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) vetoed legislation on Sunday designed to force President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, according to Politico.

What would the bill have done?

If it had been signed into law, California Senate Bill 149, the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, would have required a presidential candidate to disclose the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the state ballot.

The bill was filed in response to Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns as a candidate for president.

The state’s Democratic-controlled legislature passed the bill last month.

What did Brown say about the bill?

In a veto message, Brown wrote that the bill could lead “to an ever escalating set of differing state requirements for presidential candidates.”

“While I recognize the political attractiveness – even the merits – of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner,” Brown wrote. “First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”

Politico noted that Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, did not release his own tax returns during his 2010 or 2014 campaigns despite a tradition of gubernatorial candidates in California making such disclosures.

Categories: Conservative News

Jimmy Kimmel to annoyed Republican fans: “Not good riddance, but riddance”

HotAir - 9 hours 11 min ago

Via the Free Beacon, is this now a trend? Eminem told his fans last week that they had to choose between supporting him and supporting Trump. Titans tight end Delanie Walker shrugged at fans skipping games over the anthem protests: “I mean, OK. Bye.” Now here’s Kimmel waving goodbye to Republicans tuning out because they’re tired of being lectured during a comedy show. For decades entertainers have been plain about their left-wing politics but usually drew the line at kissing off patronage from the other camp, for sound bottom-line reasons. Not anymore.

Maybe hyper-tribalism in the age of Trump requires something more, not just fans boycotting entertainers over politics but entertainers boycotting fans. The charitable read is that even celebrities have political principles that mean more to them than their wealth and fame. If Kimmel’s willing to lose audience share because taking a stand for universal health care is much more important to him, well, he’s a man of his convictions. The less charitable read is that entertainers benefit with “the Resistance” and its media cheerleaders by signaling their antipathy to Trump in increasingly ostentatious ways, and there’s nothing more ostentatious than telling Trump’s fans that you don’t much care whether they stay or go. The bar for virtue-signaling among liberals is going to get higher during the Trump presidency. Shedding audience rather than toning down the politics or being more evenhanded may be the new bar.

Two clips for you to compare and contrast. One is Kimmel, the other is Jimmy Fallon being asked why he’s not competing in the late-night Woke Olympics.

The post Jimmy Kimmel to annoyed Republican fans: “Not good riddance, but riddance” appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Wait–Are Millennials Trending Conservative On This Issue?

Townhall.com - 9 hours 33 min ago
It's a mixed bag, but young voters are not uniformly left wing on guns
Categories: Conservative News

Do tougher background check laws prevent gun crime? A new study analyzes the question.

The Blaze - 9 hours 44 min ago

A new study found that recently passed gun control laws in Washington and Colorado were futile, just as many pro-gun Americans argued they would be.

What laws were passed?

Several years ago, Colorado and Washington state passed laws that required a background check for every gun sale — commercial or private, handgun or long gun. A similar law was also passed in Delaware.

Currently, any time a firearm is purchased from a licensed dealer, a background check is run through a national law enforcement database. However, in most cases, a background check isn’t required, though they are recommended, for private purchases. Still, many states require pistol permits, which require a background check to obtain, to privately purchase a handgun.

What did the study find?

The study, which was published in a medical journal, found that in both Colorado and Washington, the new law had hardly any effect. According to the Guardian, the law had “little measurable effect” because citizens didn’t follow it and law enforcement didn’t enforce it.

The study didn’t analyze whether or not gun violence would go down, but rather does a law that require background checks for every firearm sale lead to increased background checks.

There were minuscule increases in Colorado and Washington. Delaware, on the other hand, saw background checks increase by 25 percent for handguns and 34 percent for long guns.

Why the disparity?

The biggest factor in why the law was effective in Delaware and not Washington state or Colorado was likely the states’ firearm histories. Delaware, a liberal state, has traditionally had relatively stiff firearm regulations, while Colorado and Washington state have rich firearm traditions.

Writer’s perspective: What does this mean?

Those in favor of increased gun control measures argue that more laws will help curb gun violence, while gun control opponents argue that further restrictions on firearms only make it tougher for law-abiding Americans to exercise their rights. They also say those determined to break the law with a gun will find some way to do that — whether or not guns are legal.

This study indicates that culture is a major deciding factor in whether or not gun control is effective. It also shows that, short of complete gun confiscation, laws restricting guns are futile.

Categories: Conservative News
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