Conservative News

Melania Trump’s swat of the President’s hand became international news

HotAir - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:01

When the Trumps arrived in Israel Monday they were met at the airport by Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara. As the four of them walked down a red carpet away from Air Force One, Trump reached back with his left hand toward his wife Melania who was trailing a bit behind. As Melania caught up she swatted Trump’s hand away. This brief moment quickly became a social media sensation. Notice the number of retweets of this video clip:

Well this is embarassing https://t.co/XaPL1AbCm5 pic.twitter.com/mumhuQHDFz

— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) May 22, 2017

CNN wrote a story which called it “a flick of the wrist seen ’round the world.”  The Washington Post suggested the first couple “miiight want to work on their choreography.” In its story about the swat, Newsweek cautioned, “It’s unclear what, if anything, this means about the status of the president’s marriage. It would be wrong to assume there are troubles in White House paradise simply because of hand-smacking.” But the Independent asked a body language expert for her take:

We asked body language expert Patti Wood what her opinion is.

Wood believes the First Lady’s action was deliberate: “He was walking way in front to show his power and putting his hand back to lead her like a child, her hand went under his and up and out to say ‘No, you can’t lead me like a child.’”

Other news outlets were less restrained in their take. The Daily Beast’s Erin Gloria Ryan titled her piece “Melania’s Swat Proves She Hates Donald Just as Much as America Does.”

Seeing tweets about a judge striking down an immigration ban, or watching a Trump surrogate make an ass of themselves on cable news just doesn’t taste as delicious to a victory-starved liberal as the image of a woman slapping Trump’s hand away. For the millions who continue to be horrified by the Trump era, there’s nothing more zeitgeisty in 2017 than Trump schadenfreude porn. And there’s nobody more well-positioned to deliver it than our Ice Queen First Lady.

As over the top as this sounds I think she’s on to something. Notice that first tweet above suggests the swat is “embarrassing.” Much of the coverage of this micro-moment, and there are several dozen more stories about this, seem to relish the idea that Donald Trump is unhappy or being rejected. There are a lot of progressives out there, including many with bylines, who were anticipating a series of major gaffes on this trip. So far that hasn’t happened, but the hand swat is a bit of schadenfreude they can enjoy.

There was at least one outlet that suggested a different take. The Mercury News, citing a story at Politico about Melania’s protectiveness toward Trump and desire to see him succeed, wrote:

Like Donald Trump, perception is said to be key to Melania Trump. Perhaps she thought it somehow wasn’t traditional or professional for first couples to hold hands as they deplane to meet world leaders on official state visits. A brief video clip of the swat shows that Netanhayu and his wife weren’t holding hands as they get ready for the photo op.

But that take is definitely an outlier. Mostly, the media seemed to be reveling in the idea that the First Lady is unhappy with the President. New York Magazine suggested that the First Couple holding hands on the way back to the plane was an attempt at damage control. But this clip of the First Couple arriving in Rome will probably start a whole new round of speculation:

Trump and Melania arrive to Rome AF1

Categories: Conservative News

Texas Governor Signs Bill Preventing State from Demanding Pastors' Sermons

Townhall.com - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:00
Good news for Christian leaders in Texas.
Categories: Conservative News

BREAKING: The UK Just Raised Its Terror Threat Level To "Critical"

Townhall.com - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:56
The highest alert level.
Categories: Conservative News

Students explain why they walked out on Mike Pence during Notre Dame speech

The Blaze - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:52

Two students who walked out as Vice President Mike Pence began to give a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday told CNN that they did so because the vice president made them feel “unsafe.”

Luis Miranda and Aniela Tyksinski, two of the graduates who organized the walkout, told CNN host Brooke Baldwin on Monday that the walkout occurred because many students and family members “have been specifically targeted” by Pence and his policies.

“We felt the need to walk out because we wanted to stand here to protect human dignity,” Miranda said. “We wanted to have solidarity with those who are most vulnerable of us, and also to seek justice for them.”

“We essentially have classmates, family members, and friends who were either with us sitting down there, or were also in the stands who have been specifically targeted by the policies of Mike Pence either as a governor or as a president (sic) directly,” Miranda continued.

Miranda said they were showing “solidarity” with members of the LGBT community and “undocumented” Americans. Pence’s presence, Miranda said, felt “inappropriate” and the students were walking out to stand “with them, and for them.”

Tyksinski echoed Miranda’s sentiment that those in the LGBT community and undocumented immigrants were in her heart as she walked out.

Co-organizer of @NotreDame walkout tells @BrookeBCNN goal was to "have solidarity w those that are most vulnerable" https://t.co/0Je3e4Ge5j

— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) May 22, 2017

Tyksinski went on to explain that Pence made students feel “unsafe” and that a commencement address was not the appropriate setting for “this kind of political discourse.”

“The walkout was in response to the fact that members of our own community felt unwelcome, uncomfortable, and even unsafe,” Tyksinski said. “This was not the appropriate event for this kind of political discourse. This should have been an event for all graduates and all of their family members.”

Tysksinski and Miranda did not explain what the offending “political discourse” was.

Baldwin asked if the students were feeding into the stereotype that colleges were “too liberal” and unwilling to listen to differing viewpoints.

“I cannot speak to the stereotype, but yes, there are difficulties over free speech,” Miranda said. “It’s hard to have these conversations and we agree that free speech is a very important thing and that we shouldn’t be shutting it out. We need to be welcoming it.”

The Washington Post noted that Notre Dame knew the protests were going to occur beforehand but allowed students to carry out the protests as long as it did not interrupt the proceedings. While there was a mixture of boos and cheers as the students exited, those walking out were silent.

Notre Dame, a Catholic university, has been the site of protests against presidents and vice presidents in the past. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama was interrupted by two anti-abortion protesters, who were promptly escorted out.

Students also peacefully protested then-Vice President Joe Biden who was being given the Laetare Medal alongside former Speaker of the House John Boener in 2016. The medal is an honor bestowed in recognition to those who have done great work for the Catholic church and society. The protesting students believed that because of Biden’s pro-abortion stances, he was not fit to receive the award, which is considered a high honor for an American Catholic.

Father John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, defended giving the award to Biden to the Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer, saying that he didn’t necessarily agree with all of the vice president’s stances but that Biden “took account of his Catholic faith, even while trying to make decisions on legislation.”

Categories: Conservative News

Selling off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is still a bad idea, Mr. President

HotAir - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:31

Another element of President Trump’s proposed budget has come to light, featured this week at Bloomberg. Unfortunately, while it’s yet another effort at reducing the deficit and making the federal government more fiscally responsible (always a noble goal), it’s not really a practical one. Rolled up in a number of other energy related initiatives, Trump is proposing that we sell off as much as half of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

The White House plan to trim the national debt includes selling off half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile, part of a broad series of changes proposed by President Donald Trump to the federal government’s role in energy markets.

Trump’s first complete budget proposal, released in part on Monday, would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and as much $16.6 billion in oil sales over the next decade.

The proposal also seeks to boost government revenues by allowing oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, ending the practice of sharing oil royalties with states along the Gulf of Mexico and selling off electricity transmission lines in the West. Like much of the budget, those moves are likely to face opposition in Congress.

I doubt that this idea will make it very far in Congress so we hopefully won’t need to worry about it, but I do hope that there are some wiser heads in DC who will be trying to talk Donald Trump out of pushing this idea too strongly. His proposal to open up ANWR drilling is a good one and will produce some downstream benefits so we could definitely get that one pushed through. I’m uncertain about the idea of cutting off the royalty sharing with the gulf coast states. That’s been a staple of these agreements from the beginning, largely because those are the four states which bear the brunt of the risk in case of a spill. It’s possible that they might be renegotiated, however, giving a slightly larger cut of the proceeds to help reduce the debt.

But the SPR is a different matter. We have those reserves in place for a reason and the wisdom of the decision to create the reserve hasn’t changed over the years. There’s no doubt a temptation to scale back the plan at a time when America is assuming a global leadership role in fossil fuel production, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t suddenly be faced with a demand surge during a crisis. Also, our successful development efforts have driven down oil prices considerably. That’s great news for consumers when they go to the pump, but it also makes this about the least practical time possible to sell of our emergency reserves. It’s just bad business all the way around.

I don’t want to throw cold water all over the President’s efforts at cost cutting. He’s got a number of excellent plans already in place which will be trimming the fat off the federal behemoth and hopefully we’ll see them pay off in short order. But we also shouldn’t let our enthusiasm for cutting costs lead us into supporting unwise decisions. We should hang on to the SPR. At a bare minimum, if you have to sell some of it, at least wait until the prices are higher.

The post Selling off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is still a bad idea, Mr. President appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Gallup: Majority of Americans Believe the U.S. Is in Moral Decline

Townhall.com - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:30
Americans believe the nation's moral values are "getting worse."
Categories: Conservative News

Commentary: ‘Diversity’ doesn’t mean tolerating the murder and maiming of dozens of young people

The Blaze - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:27

On Monday night, a cowardly, disgusting, wretched suicide bomber murdered at least 22 people and wounded 59 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. The Islamic State has already claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted innocent children and their families, saying in a statement, “One of the soldiers of the Caliphate was able to place an explosive device within a gathering of the Crusaders in the city of Manchester.”

Manchester has joined Berlin, Brussels, London, Nice, Orlando, Paris, and San Bernardino, among others, as another example of the rise of radical Islamic terrorism in the West. And yet, no matter how many men, women, and children are ruthlessly struck down by terrorists in the name of a violent ideology, the leftist media-driven conversation in most of Europe and the United States remains the same: This is just an isolated incident. There’s no need to worry. Only racists are afraid.

And then it happens again. And again. And again.

With every attempt to implement policies that seek to ensure only those people coming to our countries truly believe in Western values — the foundation of which is personal freedom and religious and political tolerance — there are greater cries for “diversity” and, ironically, totalitarian-like demands to silence those questioning policies that invite hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of unknown people from a radically different society that’s ripe with terrorism without any real form of vetting. We’re told to shut up and to get in line. And if we don’t, we’ll be branded as neo-Nazis, haters, and bigots.

And then it happens again. Another mass murder at a nightclub or another group of people run down by a terrorist in a runaway vehicle or another bombing at a concert hall.

Tolerance and diversity are essential and vital parts of the history of Western Civilization. Anyone who says otherwise knows nothing of history or of the tremendous value the integration of numerous cultures and ideas has brought to so many nations and cities around the world.

Perhaps the single greatest reason the United States has achieved the level of success it has is because Americans have historically, to varying degrees, embraced immigration, allowing us all to learn from our many unique experiences and philosophies. Through diversity, not in spite of it, we’ve become the richest, most powerful nation the world has ever known.

That’s important to remember on days like today, when so many are feeling angry and hateful toward everyone who thinks, looks, and/or worships God differently than we do. But it’s equally as important to remember diversity is not to be worshipped as though it’s more important than the lives lost on Monday or in recent months or in recent years.

It’s also vital we properly define what true “diversity” really means in the West. Is it a cultish devotion to “tolerating” even the most despicable and violent ideas, as so many on the left now say? Is it a commitment to welcoming into our country even those who would prefer to see it burned to the ground? Does it require us to tolerate even those who don’t tolerate others?

As we continue to see, this sort of “diversity” is not really diversity at all. At best, it’s a hypocritical, politically motivated PR campaign designed to take advantage of Americans’ new greatest fear — being labeled a racist — and at worst, it’s a slow, collective suicide.

Real tolerance and diversity don’t create an environment in which the citizens of relatively peaceful nations are forced to do nothing more than throw their hands up in the air every time children are slaughtered. True diversity and tolerance should, however, compel us to be accepting of as many differences as possible, so long as the foundation upon which we all build our lives is the same: mutual love, a belief in free expression, and an embrace of personal liberty. If those values ungird the whole of society, diversity can flourish and fear will perish. In fact, it’s the only way for true tolerance to ever really exist in a community.

The West has a tremendous opportunity in this important moment. We should embrace the benefits of the unique cultures and ideas of the world. But we should only do so if those people we welcome into our societies share the core values that have built the most successful countries in human history. Those who wish to come here for any other reason should be thwarted, and no amount of shaming from the reckless, irresponsible left should leave us, for even one moment, hesitating.

After what occurred Monday night, our children deserve at least that much.

Categories: Conservative News

Teachers give ‘Most Likely to Not Pay Attention’ award to girl with ADHD — and it costs them dearly

The Blaze - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:12

Usually when kids come home from school with end-of-the-year awards, parents are proud and happy.

But when Nicole Edwards got an eyeful of her 14-year-old daughter’s award last week from Memorial Middle School in Conyers, Georgia, she was furious.

Nicole Edwards was not happy about the award her daughter received. (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)

Edwards’ daughter has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — and she was given a trophy with a plaque that read “Most Likely to Not Pay Attention.”

The eighth-grader got the award during a school assembly May 16 — and two teachers were directly involved in bestowing it, WAGA-TV reported.

Edwards told the station that her daughter was initially voted “Most likely to ask a question that has already been answered,” which she told WAGA was inappropriate — and then seeing the “Most Likely to Not Pay Attention” plaque made her angrier.

She told the station what her daughter experienced was “humiliating” and “very derogatory.”

“You guys are calling me when you’re having problems with her in school, when you’re having problems with her not paying attention or not getting it, and then you give her an award for it,” Edwards told WAGA. “Why call me to discipline her, but yet you turn around and give her an award for it, it doesn’t make sense.”

And as for the teachers behind the award?

Rockdale County Public Schools spokesperson Cindy Ball told the station they “will not be returning to RCPS for the next school year.”

The award the eighth-grader received was part of a “spirit week” ceremony at the school intended to be modeled after the Grammy Awards, Ball told the Rockdale Citizen. She noted the ceremony included “insensitive award categories” in a statement to WSB-TV.

“Someone needs to investigate and make sure it never happens to another student again,” Edwards told WAGA, adding that she wants future trophies approved by top school officials.

(H/T: The Daily Wire)

Categories: Conservative News

Brennan: Enough contacts between Trump campaigners and Russians for “concern”

HotAir - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:01

Did Russia try to interfere with the election in 2016? You bet, former CIA director John Brennan told a House panel investigating the issue. Did anyone from the Donald Trump campaign actively collude with Russian agents? Brennan got more vague on that point, saying that his counterintelligence operations didn’t find any intentional collusion, but that they found enough contacts that the possibility “concerned” him:

Brennan says he encountered intelligence revealing "contacts and interactions" between Russian officials, people involved in Trump campaign. pic.twitter.com/5RqwmAVe1U

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 23, 2017

Former CIA head John Brennan on Tuesday told lawmakers that he had seen intelligence showing that people involved in President Trump’s campaign had interactions with Russian officials that “concerned” him.

He insisted that he did not know if there had been any intentional collusion between those campaign associates, who he declined to name.

“But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether U.S. persons were actively colluding,” Brennan said.

But were they? Brennan doesn’t make a case for that, nor provide any evidence of it. In fact, at one point Brennan reminded Trey Gowdy that the CIA conducts intelligence and counter-intelligence operations rather than criminal investigations. When asked to provide evidence for his observations, Brennan shot back, “I don’t do evidence. I do intelligence.” The former CIA chief told the House panel that any leads turned up by the CIA went to the FBI for further investigation.

On the other hand, just because they found contacts doesn’t necessarily indicate collusion, Brennan added. However, the number of contacts bothered him enough that he felt the FBI had good reason to pursue an investigation:

Brennan: The Russians "try to get individuals…to act on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly" https://t.co/MYYIfMP2Ar pic.twitter.com/i4BE0HULmi

— POLITICO (@politico) May 23, 2017

Based on his experience with how Russian intelligence services go about such influence campaigns, Brennan said, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation was “well-founded.”

He was explicit, however, that U.S. persons do not always know that they are interacting with Russian intelligence operatives.

Yes, that’s what makes intelligence operatives effective. Campaigns require the broadest possible outreach and engagement, which is what makes them vulnerable to hostile foreign intelligence operations (and for that matter, dirty tricks from other campaigns). A well-organized campaign can minimize that by working through well-known and previously vetted political activists and groups, but grassroots campaigns might be more vulnerable. The Russians take special interest in American elections, which has been true at least since the start of the Cold War, and almost all contacts would likely to be both unwitting and inconsequential, precisely because we conduct open campaigns and elections.

Those are the two big questions in this issue. Did any contact amount to deliberate collusion, and did it make any difference? At least to this point in testimony and reporting, the answers to both are no. The only impactful espionage so far appears to be the hacks on the DNC and to a much lesser extent the DCCC and John Podesta, and the impact from those are arguable. That’s why the accusations of a cover-up don’t make much sense, given what’s been found, and Brennan also told Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) that he has no knowledge of any efforts by the Trump White House to impede investigations in the matter:

SCHIFF: In respect to a number of allegations made recently that the president of his aides may have sought to enlist the help of members the IC [intelligence community] or Director Comey himself to drop the Flynn investigation. Have any members of the IC shared their concerns that the president was attempting to enlist the help of people within the intelligence community to drop the Flynn investigation?

BRENNAN: I am not aware.

So all we know for the moment about what happened in 2016 is that the Russians tried to penetrate at least one campaign, succeeded in hacking two others, and generally acted as they usually do around election time. No one has produced evidence of Russian tampering with the actual voting process, nor of any deliberate and knowing collusion with Russian intelligence, let alone by campaign leadership. At worst, with what’s known so far, the Trump campaign might be criticized for sloppy security and a näiveté about business and campaign contacts.

By the way, Brennan also slapped at the leakers for “very, very damaging” exposures of intelligence and other classified information. The leaks need to be plugged ASAP, Brennan suggests:

That might be the truly acute issue in this entire scandal, because months of digging on collusion allegations have resulted in bupkis thus far. Maybe the special counsel probe will find evidence for such, but don’t forget that Brennan ran the CIA during the entire election cycle and still can’t connect those dots. If he can’t get any more specific than this by now, and the FBI can’t come up with more than James Comey’s representation on May 3rd, then Robert Mueller’s job might be shorter than we think. He’s officially on the job as of today, so … good luck:

#Breaking: The Justice Department has concluded its ethics review of special counsel Robert Mueller, determining that he can proceed .

— NPR (@NPR) May 23, 2017

The post Brennan: Enough contacts between Trump campaigners and Russians for “concern” appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

After Plagiarism Allegations, Sheriff Clarke Unsure If He'll Still Land a Senior Position at DHS

Townhall.com - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:00
Sheriff David A. Clarke said in an interview that aired Monday he was unsure whether the Trump administration will still hire him after CNN reported he plagiarized parts of his 2013 masters thesis.
Categories: Conservative News

Al Sharpton explains why Hillary Clinton lost to Trump — surprisingly, his explanation makes sense

The Blaze - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:36

More than six months after Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election, people are still explaining why she lost. Political commentator Al Sharpton is the latest to give it a go.

Sharpton explained in a recent podcast with BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith that Clinton lost to Trump because she took her political base for “granted” and didn’t work for the votes of grassroots progressives who awarded Barack Obama two successful presidential contests.

Clinton lost by very narrow margins in several key states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that paved Trump’s path to victory.

But according to Sharpton, if Clinton would have worked to earn the vote and “mobilize” the black communities and other minority groups in those states, then she would likely be president today — not Trump.

“Her mistake was she did not mobilize in the black community,” Sharpton told Smith.

Sharpton explained that during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last year, he invited Clinton to a gathering of black leaders, but she declined to attend — a decision that Sharpton said led to her November loss.

“We had one of the biggest gatherings of black ministers and all at the convention in Philadelphia. Right? They’re all there, Marc Morial is there from the Urban League, the head of the NAACP is there,” the civil rights activist said.

“How do you not have Mrs. Clinton come by?” he asked. “These are the people that get your vote out — that’s your base. You lost Michigan by what, 15, 20,000 votes? You could have got that if you mobilized two housing projects or three churches.”

But, Clinton “never touched them,” Sharpton said.

The MSNBC host went on to explain the two strategies that Clinton’s campaign could have employed in 2016: either reach out to Appalachia, “blue-collar workers” and stop identity politics or embrace the new Democratic Party that had twice elected Obama.

“You took your base for granted,” Sharpton said, adding that Clinton never “identified” with those in identity politics, which is why she had the “lowest turnout” among the black community in decades.

“She would call me. She came to my convention. But they never engaged us in the campaign,” Sharpton explained. “How do you decide that those who were part of what helped President Obama. All of the sudden you’re gonna flip the script and bring back your friends from the ’90s whose Rolodex is outdated.”

That, according to Sharpton, was Clinton’s fatal error, in that her campaign assumed that just because she was a Democrat she would win the black community by the same margin that Obama had in 2008 and 2012.

Indeed, Sharpton more than a year ago predicted that Clinton would need to “earn” black voters if she wanted to win the White House.

After meeting with then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in February 2016, Sharpton emphasized that he and Clinton would need to earn black voters with their policies and with effort, instead of assuming their “catchphrases” and political affiliation would do the trick.

Categories: Conservative News

Poll: 55% of Democrats think it’s probably or definitely true that Russia tampered with vote totals to get Trump elected

HotAir - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:21

Nice catch by the Media Research Center from a broad-based YouGov poll published last week. Virtually everyone in a position to know has shot down the theory that Russia messed with the vote in November. Barack Obama: Nope. James Clapper: Nope. James Comey and Mike Rogers: Nope. It’s been rejected over and over and over again by authorities whom Democrats should trust.

Force-feed a man enough headlines about Russia having “hacked the election,” though, and all of that melts away. YouGov asked whether it’s true or false that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President.” Result:

They asked the same question in December:

Despite half a year’s worth of news developments about what did and didn’t happen between Trump and Russia and not a scrap of evidence that any vote totals were changed, Democrats are more likely to believe the election was rigged now than they were then. To paraphrase Rick James, motivated reasoning is a hell of a drug.

Want another example? YouGov also asked people how they felt about James Comey in the wake of his firing. This is the same guy who was shredded rhetorically by the left for months after his infamous letter to Congress about Emailgate before the election and whom many Democrats demanded be canned for his eleventh-hour interference in the political process. Even liberals who oppose Trump’s decision to oust Comey while the Russia probe is ongoing should view Comey himself unfavorably due to his role in the election, one would think.

But one would be wrong:

Democrats now favor Comey, 42/29, while Republicans disfavor him, 18/57. The two parties’ preferences are essentially dictated by Trump’s preferences. If you doubt that, consider that another poll out today from Harvard-Harris also has Comey in positive territory among Democrats at 37/27. As recently as last month, it was … 17/36. You can try to explain the Democrats’ Strange New Respect for him if you like by noting that the news about his memo broke before the Harvard-Harris poll was conducted (between May 17 and 20), and therefore some Dems may sincerely have developed a new admiration for Comey’s integrity over the last week or so. Problem is, the YouGov poll was conducted between May 13 and 16, before the news about the memo circulated. It’s almost certainly partisan tribalism that’s driving perceptions of Comey.

The post Poll: 55% of Democrats think it’s probably or definitely true that Russia tampered with vote totals to get Trump elected appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Amid obstruction allegations, political science professor shares ‘more powerful’ case against Trump

The Blaze - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:11

A whirlwind week in Washington, D.C., wrapped up Friday as President Donald Trump boarded Air Force One for his first overseas trip as leader of the free world. But while most eyes are now on the Middle East and Trump’s high stakes visits with heads of state and Pope Francis, multiple lawmakers here are still targeting the president for possible impeachment.

Andrew Stark, a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Toronto, told TheBlaze Saturday, however, that for those alleging Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, the “more powerful” case against does not involve criminal actions, but possible violations of his constitutional oath of office to “take care that the laws are faithfully executed.”

Stark said it is within the president’s constitutional authority, as head of the executive branch of the federal government, to fire the FBI director, who was conducting an investigation into the Trump campaign.

“So that raises the further question as to whether this is not a criminal issue, but one that involves him violating his oath of office to take care that the laws are faithfully executed,” Stark said.

“That’s probably a much more powerful argument against him than obstruction of justice as a criminal matter,” Stark continued.

According to the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4: “The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The Constitution does not state that Congress may impeach the president based solely on the what they may see as his inability to do the job effectively.

The 25th Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of the members of the president’s Cabinet to relay any concerns to Congress that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” In this scenario, Congress would then hold a vote.

If two-thirds of members agree with the vice president and the majority of Cabinet officials, the president can then be removed from office.

Stark pointed out that any constitutional violations by the president are Congress’ responsibility to deliberate — not a special prosecutor. However, a special prosecutor can provide the critical evidence Congress needs to impeach a president, as was the case with former President Bill Clinton.

Stark further claimed that “we already have evidence” that Trump violated his oath of office.

But, given the fact that Republicans control both the House and Senate, it’s unlikely that Congress will take any significant actions anytime soon.

The 2018 midterm elections could be a different story for Trump if Democrats take back control of the House or Senate.

Stark acknowledged this scenario while speaking to TheBlaze: “If the politics shift and Trump loses popularity and Republican congressmen become less and less — want to distance themselves from him — this would be very high on a bill of impeachment or an argument to Trump himself that maybe he should resign.”

Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green became the first federal lawmaker last week to call for Trump’s impeachment from the floor of the House. He joined Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) who had already called for the president’s impeachment.

The Hill reported last week that as many as 10 more Democrats agreed with Green and Waters that Trump should face impeachment proceedings. Democratic leaders like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were more hesitant to call for impeachment. Pelosi and Schumer instead advocated for the release of more facts before making such a weighted decision.

“I rise today … to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice,” Green said.

Green based his call for Trump’s impeachment on the allegation that the president obstructed justice by firing Comey.

Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt earlier this month that he had the “Russia thing” on his mind when he fired Comey. The ousting came as the federal law enforcement agency investigated Trump’s presidential campaign for alleged collusion with Russia.

“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,” Trump said.

Comey is scheduled to publicly testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In addition to congressional probes, Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week appointed a special counsel to look into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.

Meanwhile, even some Republicans said they don’t know yet if Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that “we don’t know yet” if the president broke the law.

Republican Sen. @marcorubio on whether there is evidence that President Trump obstructed justice: "We don't know yet." #CNNSOTU

— Jon Street (@JonStreet) May 21, 2017

And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) likened Trump’s “scandals,” generally, to the Nixon-Watergate scandal.

“About the only thing I can say is, I think we’ve seen this movie before. I think it’s reaching a point of where it’s of Watergate size and scale and a couple of other scandals that you and I have seen,” McCain said May 16 at a forum in Washington, D.C.

Categories: Conservative News

Theresa May responds to Manchester attack: ‘Our way of life will always prevail’

The Blaze - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:47

British Prime Minister Theresa May responded Tuesday to a terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, late Monday evening that left at least 22 people, including children, dead.

According to the BBC, police said that “a lone male suicide bomber detonated a home-made bomb, and died at the scene.” Concert-goers rushed out of Manchester Arena in horror. The explosion took place shortly after Grande left the stage. The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The morning after the attack, May said, “It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester, and of this country, have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack — an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.”

May said the attack, which also injured at least 59 people, “was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom.”

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children, not as a scene to cherish, but as an opportunity for carnage,” she said. “But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence, and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack, to seek them out and bring them to justice.”

May thanked the police and emergency services for acting “with great courage and on behalf of the country” and vowed that they will have “all the resources they need” to complete their investigation.

She urged the British people to remember the selflessness of the first responders rather than the savagery of the attacker.

“At terrible moments like these it is customary for leaders, politicians, and others to condemn the perpetrators and declare that the terrorists will not win,” May said. “But the fact that we have been here before, and the fact that we need to say this again, does not make it any less true.”

May said that “while we experienced the worst of humanity in Manchester last night, we also saw the best”:

The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester. The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together.

And in the days ahead, those must be the things we remember.

The images we hold in our minds should not be those of senseless slaughter, but of the ordinary men and women who put concerns about their own safety to one side and rushed to help.

“Let us remember those who died and let us celebrate those who helped, safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win — and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail,” she concluded.

In a statement early Tuesday, President Donald Trump said, “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.”

“So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life,” Trump said. “I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that’s what they are. They are losers. And we will have more of them. But they are losers, just remember that.”

We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/X6fUUxxYXE

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2017

After the concert, Grande took to Twitter to tell her fans she feels “broken.”

broken.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017

Categories: Conservative News

It’s a mystery. Who cut off Maxine Waters’ mic this weekend?

HotAir - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:41

Over the weekend the Democratic Party of California held their state convention and they had a very special guest speaker. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was there, engaging in her usual shtick about how awful Donald Trump is and how he should have been impeached before being sworn in or whatever. It’s gained her a big following in the party’s liberal base and her frequently unhinged comments make her a sure fire crowd pleaser. But deep into her rather lengthy remarks something went wrong. A man approached the podium to speak to her, drawing jeers from the audience. A short time after he was escorted away Waters’ microphone suddenly went dead. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with the crowd and now an investigation is underway. (Los Angeles Times)

The head of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus said Monday he was working with state party officials to determine who was responsible for cutting off the sound to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ microphone as she spoke to the group at the party’s convention on Saturday.

“This is a very unusual situation, and we are collectively trying to figure out a path forward to address what happened and make sure these things do not happen in the future,” Caucus Chairman Darren Parker said…

“Hey, leave her alone,” audience members shouted as he interrupted to speak to her privately, prompting Parker to show the man away.

“That’s all right, that’s OK — they try to shut me up all the time,” Waters quipped to loud cheers as she continued to speak.

LA Times reporter Jazmine Ulloa caught the video for her Twitter feed, showing the unidentified man attempting to speak to Waters and then being jeered and led away.

Audience members were outraged that a convention staff employee attempted to cut US Rep. @MaxineWaters' speech short. #cadem17 pic.twitter.com/IeQy0H2JHd

— Jazmine Ulloa (@jazmineulloa) May 21, 2017

So who was it? Some nefarious Trump supporter sneaking in to shut down the congresswoman’s free speech? A political opponent? Nope. As it turns out, it was a contractor from an outside audio company who had been hired to handle the microphones, speakers and other equipment. And on top of that, the caucus meeting was already running late as Waters went on and on and on about impeaching Trump. By their own admission, when caucus events have run late in the past they’ve been billed by contractors and the hosting facility.

Putting two and two together here it’s not hard to imagine that this guy had instructions to try to get things wrapped up on schedule and was just asking Waters if she could finish up so they could get out on time and under budget. When he was immediately jeered by the crowd and dragged away, I’m guessing his next move was to simply cut the microphone in hopes that she’s stop talking and they could begin packing up the equipment.

But that would be a pretty boring story for the California Democrats to tell, wouldn’t it? Much better to make it look like The Man trying to shut her up and keep her down as she bravely resists Trump.

The post It’s a mystery. Who cut off Maxine Waters’ mic this weekend? appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News
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