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Conservative News | Strongsville Republican Club

Conservative News

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Bill Clinton asked for permission to meet with Russian nuclear officials

HotAir - 2 hours 28 min ago

The Hill has a follow-up story on the big news it published Tuesday about a Russian plot to bribe businesses involved in the American nuclear industry. Today’s story focuses on a request made by Bill Clinton’s aides to meet with a list of Russian businessmen including some on the board of Russia’s nuclear company while giving a paid speech in Russia for $500,000 to a bank that was promoting the deal as a good investment:

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

Ultimately, after asking the State Department for permission, Clinton did not meet with any of the Russians on this list, he met with Putin instead. Clinton’s aides deny he ever spoke to anyone about the Uranium deal during his trip to Moscow. An unnamed Clinton friend tells the Hill there was an unstated goal of Clinton’s trip to Russia in 2010 but claims it was not to help push through the Uranium deal:

One of the goals of the trip was to try to help a Clinton family relative “grow investments in their business with Russian oligarchs and other businesses,” the friend told The Hill.

“It was one of the untold stories of the Russia trip. People have focused on Uranium One and the speaking fees, but opening up a business spigot for the family business was one only us insiders knew about,” the friend said.

That’s quite an alibi. Clinton wasn’t focused on pushing the questionable uranium deal because he was focused on deals which could benefit his family.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton tells the Hill, “At every turn, this storyline has been debunked on the merits. Its roots are with a project shepherded by Steve Bannon, which should tell you all you need to know. This latest iteration is simply more of the right doing Trump’s bidding for him to distract from his own Russia problems, which are real and a grave threat to our national security.”

If you have a look at the timeline of events I put together, none of those events have been debunked. The Hill’s story from Tuesday hasn’t even been reported by the major networks, much less debunked by anyone. The question that story raises is simple. Why did the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approve the Rosatom purchase of Uranium One in 2010 even as the FBI had evidence Russia was using illegal means (bribery and extortion) to gain a foothold in the U.S. nuclear market starting in 2009. That investigation seems like exactly the sort of thing that should have resulted in CFIUS rejecting the deal. Why didn’t that happen? And why are most of us just hearing about the Russian interference years later?

The post Bill Clinton asked for permission to meet with Russian nuclear officials appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Black man hugs white nationalist in middle of angry mob — and reveals what God whispered in his ear

The Blaze - 2 hours 33 min ago

Aaron Courtney said he hadn’t heard of Richard Spencer until Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency over the white supremacist leader’s impending Thursday speech at the University of Florida, the New York Daily News said.

So Courtney — a 31-year-old high school football coach in Gainesville — began researching Spencer, who helped plan the “alt-right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that resulted in violence and one woman’s death, the paper said.

“I found out about what kind of person he was and that encouraged me, as an African-American, to come out and protest,” Courtney told the Daily News. “Because this is what we’re trying to avoid. It’s people like him who are increasing the distance … between people.”

What happened outside Spencer’s speech?

Courtney had been protesting for four hours and was about to leave, the paper said, when he saw a man wearing a T-shirt covered in swastikas getting spat upon and screamed at by surrounding protesters.

The man — identified as Randy Furniss — spoke to WJXT-TV at another point during the day.

“They want what we have,” Furniss told the station, identifying himself as a white nationalist. “And we just want them to shut up and get on with life. They’re being raised up and it’s getting to the point where they want to push us down. That’s not right.”

Furniss also got punched in the face, the Gainesville Sun reported.

Image source: YouTube screenshot What compelled Courtney to talk to the white nationalist?

“I had the opportunity to talk to someone who hates my guts, and I wanted to know why,” Courtney told the Daily News. “During our conversation, I asked him, ‘Why do you hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My dreadlocks?’”

Furniss initially didn’t respond to Courtney, the paper said — but Courtney wasn’t giving up.

“After beating around the bush and avoiding my questions, I asked him, I pleaded with him, I almost broke out in tears, growing increasingly angry because I didn’t understand,” Courtney told the Daily News.

“I could have hit him, I could have hurt him,” he added to the paper.

What did Courtney do instead?

Then Courtney remembered the teachings of his father — a bishop — and that’s when “something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love. Maybe he never met an African-American like this,'” the Daily News noted.

So Courtney told Furniss to give him a hug, the paper reported — but he didn’t agree right off the bat.

“I reached over and the third time he wrapped his arms around me,” Courtney told the Daily News, “and I heard God whisper in my ear, ‘You changed his life.’”

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

And when Courtney asked him again, “Why do you hate me?” he told the paper that the man he hugged finally replied, “I don’t know.”

“I believe that was his sincere answer,” Courtney told the Daily News. “He really doesn’t know.”

All in all, he told the paper it’s a good first step: “One hug can really change the world. It’s really that simple.”

Here’s the clip of the hug. (Content warning: Rough language):

A nazi and a black man…..America 2017 #SpencerAtUF pic.twitter.com/sSaG36EuOr

— Politics 4 Dummies (@Politics4dum) October 19, 2017

Categories: Conservative News

DC police chief: “We’re surprised at the result” of body-cam study

HotAir - 3 hours 7 min ago

Do body cameras on police officers change policing or impact complaints? In the wake of several controversial police-involved shootings and claims of abuse, law enforcement agencies rushed to adopt the technology as a means of adding transparency to their operations. The Washington DC policy force decided to study the effects by assigning body cams to specific personnel and having a parallel control group operate without them.

The result? No discernible difference, to which police chief Peter Newsham expressed surprise — and some pride:

“We found essentially that we could not detect any statistically significant effect of the body-worn cameras,” says Anita Ravishankar, a researcher with the Metropolitan Police Department and a group in the city government called the Lab @ DC.

“I think we’re surprised by the result. I think a lot of people were suggesting that the body-worn cameras would change behavior,” says Chief of Police Peter Newsham. “There was no indication that the cameras changed behavior at all.”

Perhaps, he says, that is because his officers “were doing the right thing in the first place.”

Agencies began adopting the technology before any serious study had taken place on its impact. To some extent, public pressure over use-of-force incidents drove those decisions. In other cases, the relatively low cost for recording interactions might have made it seem a good way to cover themselves if allegations of abuse or worse arose. However, before this two-year study took place, no reliable study existed to suggest that the cameras would either lower complaints or improve performance, so the adoption of systems for this purpose was more speculative than fact-based.

This study may wind up being definitive, one researcher tells NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce. However, it might require repeated studies under this model to fully grasp its significance, because the Washington DC police force has had long practice at improving performance even without body cams, having spent a decade under federal supervision:

“This is a very methodologically rigorous study. It is very well done. And that’s not a small issue, because there have been many studies of body-worn cameras that are not rigorous,” says Michael White, a researcher at Arizona State University who has studied body-worn camera programs in Tempe, Ariz., and Spokane, Wash. ….

“They’re hiring the right people; they’ve got good training; they’ve got good supervision; they’ve got good accountability mechanisms in place,” White says. “When you have a department in that kind of state, I don’t think you’re going to see large reductions in use of force and complaints, because you don’t need to. There is no large number of excessive uses of force that need to be eliminated.”

Thus, when Newsham says that his department was “doing the right thing in the first place,” he’s got a factual basis for that claim.

So should law enforcement agencies invest in these systems at all? Civil-rights activist Harlan Yu tells Greenfieldboyce that they could do more harm than good:

“This is the most important empirical study on the impact of police body-worn cameras to date,” Yu says. “If cameras don’t decrease use of force, don’t decrease the number of misconduct complaints and don’t change officer behavior, then what are we adopting cameras for?”

If they continue to adopt them, it will be for the same two reasons: being seen as taking action, and to have a record of all interactions. The latter makes complete sense for the same reason that call centers almost universally record phone calls. It doesn’t really improve customer service quality unless management makes specific (and intensive) use of it for that purpose. I can’t go into details, but you wouldn’t believe the kind of conversations employees have even when they know they’re being recorded.

The best case for the recordings is to follow up on complaints and determine the facts of the situation. The costs may be considerable, but if it saves a city from just one multi-million-dollar settlement, it’s probably paid for itself. Police officers who operate professionally have the most to gain from the technology for that reason, and will eventually adopt it enthusiastically. In the long long run, that might tend to attract better suited recruits and put more successful officers in place to train them, but in the short run, the potential to unravel controversies has a very significant value outside the parameters of this study.

The post DC police chief: “We’re surprised at the result” of body-cam study appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Liberal students love ‘Bernie Sanders’ tax plan.’ What they’re hearing is actually Trump’s tax plan.

The Blaze - 3 hours 26 min ago

Liberal college students flocked to embrace the idea of President Donald Trump’s tax reform proposal like bears to honey … when they were told that it belonged to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) instead.

Campus Reform visited the campus of Washington, D.C.’s George Washington University and asked students their opinions on Trump’s new tax plan. Needless to say, the students excoriated Trump’s proposal straight out of the gate.

What did students say when told it was Trump’s plan?
  • “It’s better for the upper class than anyone else.”
  • “Pretty much horrible for the middle class, especially the lower class.”
  • “It’s probably not the most efficient nor beneficial to the general populace.”
  • “Pretty negative.”
What did students say when told Trump’s plan was Sanders’ plan?
  • “I think that’s great.”
  • “I think [this] is definitely something we should be doing.”
  • “Good job, Bernie.”
  • “It’s a good plan, a positive plan that could help everyone.”
  • “Definitely better than what Trump is proposing.”
What did students say when they were told the truth?
  • “I am shocked that I do agree with Trump on certain things.”
  • “I’m definitely happily surprised that it sounds a lot better than I would have expected.”
  • “I would have imagined that he would be a little more stupid than that.”

Categories: Conservative News

DNC to Sanders: Add the D if you want to lead; Update: Defeated

HotAir - 3 hours 48 min ago

A reasonable request, or a sign of a brewing civil war? Bernie Sanders runs for re-election to the Senate in Vermont next year, presumably as an independent despite his attempt last year to win the Democratic Party’s nomination. A resolution introduced at the DNC calls for Sanders to identify explicitly as a Democrat, especially since he and his supporters have demanded input on strategic policies for the party.

This may be more than just a plea for party unity, as the resolution frames it:

A new resolution before the Democratic National Committee (DNC) this week picks at old wounds from the party’s bruising 2016 presidential primary.

The resolution calls for Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Angus King (I-Maine) to run as Democrats when they run for reelection in 2018 — when they’re both expected to win — and “beyond.”

The inclusion of King in this resolution offers a semblance of fairness and reasonableness. Both men caucus with Democrats, and gain some value from the party for their incumbencies. It’s not at all unreasonable for a political party that works on their behalf to expect politicians to openly affiliate with the party.

However, it’s also just as curious to make this demand when Democrats get at least as much benefit out of this relationship as the candidates. Sanders is too far left to caucus with Republicans, but King is somewhat more moderate and might be welcomed by the GOP, if just for leadership votes. King’s independent status in Maine allows Democrats to eat their partisan cake and have it too with a member of their caucus who provides a patina of independence, and implicitly paints the GOP as the more extreme caucus with his choice.

King isn’t the target, or the point. The author of this resolution is Bob Mulholland, a Hillary Clinton supporter, part of a contingent that finds itself curiously ascendant within the DNC at the moment. Sanders’ supporters, and deputy chair Keith Ellison’s too, are getting purged out of offices and the DNC in favor of the Clintonistas under Tom Perez’ leadership for some reason. With that context, Mulholland’s resolution looks more like a loyalty demand to current DNC leadership than a request for equity:

Mulholland went on to suggest that he believes that, since Sanders has sought to have a large say in the direction of the Democratic Party, he should fully commit to the party.

“Sanders runs around the country screaming at people to adopt his policies. The least the DNC can do is urge him to run as a Democrat in 2018 in the era of Donald Trump,” he added.

That doesn’t exactly sound like someone who’s pining for Sanders’ approbation, does it?

Sanders might ask a better question: What has the DNC done for me? Under the leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC took every opportunity to hobble his attempt to challenge Hillary for the nomination, including some underhanded dealings later revealed in hacked e-mails. In the end, they were fortunate Sanders decided to stay put rather than take the Green Party’s invitation to join their ticket; the resulting loss for Hillary would have been even more demoralizing.

Mulholland and the DNC Clintonistas had better be cautious about issuing ultimata. Now with the purge at the DNC apparently in full swing, Sanders might have second thoughts about the Green Party, which has always been a closer political fit for him than the Democrats. He can still caucus with Senate Democrats if he gets re-elected, but his supporters will flood into the Greens and carry him bodily onto their 2020 ticket. He won’t win, but neither will Democrats, and the Clintonistas will find themselves holding the bag for yet another disastrous political cycle.

Update: Maybe the DNC as a whole wised up:

The Democratic National Committee on Friday voted down a resolution calling for Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Angus King (I-Maine) to run as Democrats when they seek reelection in 2018.

The resolution failed to gain the simple majority support it needed in the DNC’s Resolution Committee to advance to a vote in general session at the party’s fall meeting in Las Vegas, according to The Washington Post.

The post DNC to Sanders: Add the D if you want to lead; Update: Defeated appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Paul Ryan pokes fun at Trump, Clinton, Schumer, and himself at Catholic charity dinner

The Blaze - 3 hours 50 min ago

House Speaker Paul Ryan poked fun at President Donald Trump, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and himself during remarks at a Catholic charity dinner on Thursday.

Ryan delivered the keynote address for the 72nd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York. Time noted the event has close ties to the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and it raises funds for children living in poverty. The annual event typically draws presidential candidates in election years, and speakers are encouraged to poke fun at one another and themselves.

Ryan poked fun at the president, his colleagues, the media, and himself during his remarks.

Trump

“Enough with the applause, you sound like the cabinet when Donald Trump walks in the room,” Ryan began.

Ryan addressed Trump’s comments at the dinner the year before, noting that some people felt his comments crossed a line.

“Some said it was unbecoming of a public figure and they said that his comments were offensive. Well, thank God he’s learned his lesson,” Ryan said.

Taking a survey of the attendees, Ryan joked that he hasn’t seen “this many New York liberals, this many Wall Street CEOs in one room since my last visit to the White House.”

Clinton

“I’m from Wisconsin,” Ryan said. “It’s a great state to visit in the fall. Looking back, someone should have told Hillary.”

“Speaking of which, I got Hillary’s new book,” he added. “This sums up today’s politics perfectly. She took eight months, writing 10 hours a day, to explain what happened in 512 pages. The president explained it in a tweet. ‘Hashtag, I won.’”

Schumer

“A lot of people, they ask me, you know, guy from Wisconsin, ‘what’s it like to work on a daily basis with an abrasive New Yorker with a loud mouth?’ But you know, once you get to know him, Chuck Schumer’s not all that bad.”

Ryan said he knows why Schumer has been so “hard” on Trump.

“It has nothing to do with ideology,” Ryan said. “Chuck is just mad he lost his top donor.”

Ryan also said that Schumer, at 66, is part of the Democratic leadership’s “youth movement.”

He apologized for poking fun at Schumer since he was not in attendance at the dinner, adding that he wanted to “repeal and replace” the joke but “couldn’t get it through the Senate.”

The Media

Ryan said that last year “countless shocked Americans broke into tears over the election results.”

“But enough about the press,” he joked.

He added that every outlet “will report what happened here tonight differently.”

“Breitbart will lead with ‘Ryan slams the president amongst liberal elites.’ The New York Times will report ‘Ryan defends the President in a state Hillary won.’ And the president will tweet, ‘300,000 at Al Smith dinner cheer mention of my name,'” Ryan said.

He said the media “absolutely misunderstands and never records the big accomplishments of the White House.”

“Look at all the new jobs the president has created — just among the White House staff,” Ryan said.

Himself

Ryan said he begins his day as speaker of the House by checking Twitter “to see which tweets I will have to pretend that I didn’t see later.”

“Every afternoon, former Speaker John Boehner calls me up,” he said. “Not to give advice. Just to laugh.”

Ryan also delivered lighthearted barbs directed at Boehner, his former running mate Mitt Romney, Cardinal Timothy Dolan,  and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.).

Categories: Conservative News

Teacher says 4th-grader’s mom hit her in head with brick, beat her up—all after she took kid’s phone

The Blaze - 4 hours 26 min ago

A Pittsburgh teacher was hospitalized after a fourth-grade girl’s mother allegedly hit her in the head with a brick, dragged her from her car and beat her, investigators told KDKA-TV. And it all started after the teacher allegedly took the student’s cellphone earlier in the day.

What happened between the teacher and student?
  • The teacher — 46-year-old Janice Watkins of Pittsburgh King PreK-8 School — allegedly took the girl’s cellphone Wednesday, the station said, adding that the district has a no-cellphone policy.
  • The student allegedly responded by biting Watkins on her arm, KDKA reported.
  • Watkins’ husband — also a Pittsburgh teacher who didn’t want to be identified — gave an account to the station.
  • “There was another teacher who was trying to get the cellphone,” Watkins’ husband told KDKA. “The little girl ran away from her, and my wife was run into and grabbed the phone off of the little girl, saying that she was going to take the phone to the office as per their procedure. And the little girl immediately starting cursing at her and bit her on her arm.”
Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot What happened after the girl’s mother was called in?
  • Watkins had a meeting with the student and her mother, 29-year-old Dai’Shonta Williams, the station said.
  • After the girl claimed Watkins choked her, Williams got angry and allegedly said Watkins was “going to get it later,” KDKA added.
Dai’Shonta Williams (Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot) What happened after school?
  • Watkins on her way home and sitting in traffic when she saw a black male and female exit a vehicle, investigators told the station.
  • Watkins was taking to her mother on her phone and her driver’s side window was down, KDKA said.
  • The woman approached Watkins’ car and allegedly threw a brick through the open window, hitting Watkins in the head, the station said.
  • The woman then opened the door, dragged Watkins into the road and began punching and kicking her, KDKA reported, and then the man and woman fled.
  • Watkins told police who came to the scene that the female suspect was Williams, the fourth-grade girl’s mother, the station said.
  • The victim was taken to a hospital for facial injuries, KDKA reported, adding that Watkins lost a tooth.
What else did the victim’s husband say?
  • He told the station Watkins is in a lot of pain, is suffering severe headaches and may have a concussion.
  • He added to KDKA that “she has a bloody lip. Her face was numb, she has lumps all along her forehead and all along the side of her face. It’s not disfiguring, but it shouldn’t be there. It was caused by somebody else doing something crazy.”
Janice Watkins (Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot)
  • Watkins was back in the hospital Thursday, the station noted.
  • Watkin’s husband told KDKA that he imagines his wife “can forgive” her attacker but isn’t sure when Watkins will return to teach — and that it definitely should be at a different school.
  • “Sad and disappointed that people would go to such lengths against another human being over something so petty,” he told the station, adding that “right now she just wants the pain to go away so she can continue living life.”
What happened to the suspect?
  • Williams was arraigned Thursday night on six charges: three counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of terroristic threats, stalking and reckless endangerment, KDKA reported.
  • She was unable to post the $50,000 bail and was taken to jail, the station added.
What did Williams tell police?
  • She said the school police didn’t take appropriate action regarding her daughter’s claim that Watkins choked her, KDKA said, and that she and her boyfriend went to Zone 1 police to file a report.
  • When police asked Williams if anything happened on the way home from the Zone 1 police station, she allegedly sighed and stated, “I ain’t gonna lie, I did it,” KDKA added.
  • Williams said she followed Watkins from the school, punched her in the face but denied throwing a brick at the teacher, the station said.
  • Williams’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 2, KDKA reported.
What did the school district say?
  • The Pittsburgh Public School District released a written statement Thursday noting that “violence of any kind against a PPS staff member or citizen is unacceptable, and the individuals responsible must be held accountable for such horrifying behavior,” the station said.
  • District officials are cooperating police and wish Watkins well as she recovers, the statement added, KDKA reported.

(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)

Categories: Conservative News

More Rep. Wilson: John Kelly’s “empty barrel” comment about me is racist

HotAir - 4 hours 27 min ago

Didn’t she say yesterday that she wouldn’t be commenting further on this matter?

I guess when you’re a “rock star” you have to play an encore when the fans demand it.

Like Alex Griswold, I cannot believe this is what Democrats are going with to hit back at Kelly after yesterday’s presser:

Kelly grew up in segregated Boston, in an Irish Catholic neighborhood where women were bullied, not honored, and blacks scorned & rejected.

— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 20, 2017

Kelly grew up in Boston, he was dismissive of a black congresswoman for her attack on Trump, ergo racism. That’s a nastier smear than his “empty barrel” comment about Wilson was. Grounding this in geography is especially weak since it raises the question of where he could conceivably be from that would immunize him from the charge. If he had grown up in a red state, that would be per se proof of bigotry. If he had grown up up in a blue state with a small black population, that would be proof of bigotry too since it likely would mean that he didn’t interact with any black neighbors in his youth. (Never mind his decades in the Marine Corps.) If he had grown up in a blue state in a city with a large black population that would also be proof of bigotry: All older American cities with substantial black minorities have tortured histories of segregation and racial strife, just as the country writ large does. Plop a young John Kelly down anywhere in America and there’s a half-baked “he must be racist” argument to be made. Lefties could just as easily argue in Kelly’s defense that because he’s from a very Democratic city in a very Democratic state, he’s less likely to be prejudiced than the average American. But there’s a point to be scored here and they’re going to score it.

The worst, dumbest offender on this point, as you’ll see in the second clip below, is “Scary Larry” O’Donnell, who uses his own Boston pedigree to claim a bit of extra authority in divining the motives behind Kelly’s “empty barrel” remark. Fancy that: O’Donnell and Kelly grew up in the same city, at the same time, and somehow that environment produced an ultra-woke MSNBC host *and* an allegedly racist general turned White House chief of staff. Maybe we … can’t make safe assumptions about what any individual person believes based on where they’re from.

I think Wilson et al. are borrowing a page from the Karl Rove strategic playbook here in attacking Kelly’s strength rather than his weakness. His presser yesterday defending Trump was so effective because he brought so much moral authority to it, not just as a Gold Star father but as a man who’s seen soldiers under his command fall in battle and have to be sent home packed in ice, as he noted somberly. What can you say to undermine that moral authority? What else? Call him a racist. Put him and Trump back on defense, no matter how ridiculous the charge might be.


The post More Rep. Wilson: John Kelly’s “empty barrel” comment about me is racist appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Harvey Weinstein’s former employees pen open letter condemning him: ‘We have nothing to hide’

The Blaze - 4 hours 41 min ago

Harvey Weinstein, embroiled in a scandalous cloud of rape, sexual assault, and harassment allegations, won’t find support from his former employees at The Weinstein Company.

About 30 employees shared an open letter Thursday, detailing their disappointment in their former boss, as well as what they knew and didn’t know about Weinstein’s reportedly lurid behaviors.

Weinstein was fired as CEO of the company a few days after the news broke, and on Tuesday, resigned from the company’s board of directors.

What did the letter say?

In their two-page letter, which was published by the New Yorker, the employees — who remained anonymous due to non-disclosure agreements — stated that they “all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper” but “did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator.”

“We knew that our boss could be manipulative,” the letter said. “We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women.”

It continued, “We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist.”

The employees expressed their disgust that their former boss — who they said had an “insatiable desire to win and get what he wanted” — allowed his go-getting attitude to trickle outside of the boardroom doors and into the more personal aspects of his life.

“These were the same traits that made him a monster,” the letter described. “He created a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades.”

The anonymous employees implored the company to free them of their non-disclosure agreements immediately so that they may speak openly, noting that their former boss “is in open violation of his contract,” which was to “create a safe place for us to work.”

“Non-disclosure agreements only perpetuate this culture of silence,” the letter explained.

“We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long,” the letter added.

The employees concluded their letter by thanking “those speaking out,” and “those fearlessly reporting” on the incident.

“We are so grateful for your courage,” they added.

The letter was signed “Select Members of The Weinstein Company Staff.”

Categories: Conservative News

Page Six: Weinstein rehab off to the start you’d expect

HotAir - 5 hours 7 min ago

When confronted by an ever-increasing avalanche of sexual harassment and assault allegations, Harvey Weinstein opted for a rehab clinic and a promise to shape up. The allegations have gotten worse, prompting criminal investigations of rape in Los Angeles, New York, and London, but Weinstein doesn’t appear to have changed much at all. According to Page Six’s Emily Smith, Weinstein has not done much except to assert his privilege and claim conspiratorial persecution:

Harvey Weinstein is already being belligerent at sex addiction rehab — barking into his banned mobile phone and remaining in denial about his alleged sex attacks, insisting each and every one was consensual, Page Six has exclusively learned.

The movie mogul, who volunteered to go to rehab after a wave of allegations of sexual harassment and rape against him from women in Hollywood, isn’t exactly in his element in therapy, falling asleep in sessions or talking on his phone, a source tells Page Six. …

The source told us, “In one group therapy session, Harvey arrived 15 minutes late. Then, when it was his turn to speak, he launched into a speech about how this is all a conspiracy against him.”

As Smith explains, the rehab facility bars the use of cell phones on its grounds. Those rules don’t apply to Weinstein, apparently, which sounds … pretty familiar in this saga. Weinstein has checked into a nearby hotel rather than remain residential at the facility, which also sounds pretty familiar in this saga. Given that hotel rooms play a key role in many of the allegations of harassment and assault, how wise is it for the facility to allow him to hole up outside their control?

NBC News reports on an even more revealing episode in Weinstein’s exercise of power. Last year, Weinstein threatened to dig up dirt on board members of a global AIDS organization after their attorney started digging into a deal they had made with the Hollywood mogul:

A raging Harvey Weinstein threatened the board of the world-famous AIDS charity amfAR last year because he believed a lawyer working for the organization was digging into his sex life, according to a document obtained by NBC News.

Minutes of an October 2016 amfAR board meeting, obtained Wednesday, include an update from board chairman and shoe designer Kenneth Cole about his dealings with the movie mogul. …

Weinstein told Cole he had a letter that said Ajamie “was representing a famous nonprofit to investigate Harvey’s financial irregularities as well as his sex life,” according to the minutes.

“Harvey reiterated that it was inappropriate and slanderous and that he would personally investigate each person on the amfAR board and the committee,” the minutes said.

Cole and the board didn’t quite grasp Weinstein’s harsh reaction, he tells NBC in a follow-up e-mail. “We thought it was Weinstein with his typical angry, litigious response.” On the other hand, Ajamie tells NBC that he did uncover reports of “sexual misconduct by Mr. Weinstein,” and furthermore Ajamie “passed those along to the amFAR chairman.” Cole says he has “absolutely no recollection” of that.

There is plenty more in the NBC report, but this part of the episode demonstrates why Weinstein’s victims — and others in the know — remained reluctant to publicly accuse the mogul. Weinstein didn’t just have a near-endless supply of money; he also had key political and cultural connections, which could have guaranteed a life in Oblivion for anyone who dared cross him. Cole admits later that Weinstein’s previous largesse to amFAR overrode concerns about his behavior and over questionable transactions between the two. Cole later suggested that the board sign non-disclosure agreements to keep Weinstein happy. The default impulse in Hollywood and in the broader culture was silence, and legally enforceable silence at that.

The post Page Six: Weinstein rehab off to the start you’d expect appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

Judge to Arpaio: You’re off the hook — but still guilty

HotAir - 5 hours 48 min ago

“The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy,” Judge Susan Bolton writes, “not of judicial recordkeeping.” In that ruling, Bolton denied a request from Joe Arpaio to have his contempt conviction stricken from his record, as well as other orders arising from his case. Arpaio will not have to serve any sentence for his conviction after accepting a pardon from Donald Trump, but the conviction will stand:

A federal judge has ruled that President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio ends his prosecution for criminal contempt of court, but does not wipe out the guilty verdict she returned or any other rulings in the case.

In her order Thursday, Phoenix-based U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton rejected arguments from Arpaio’s lawyers and Justice Department prosecutors that the longtime Maricopa County sheriff was entitled to have all rulings in the case vacated, including the guilty verdict the judge delivered in July after a five-day trial.

“The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial recordkeeping,” Bolton wrote, quoting an appeals court ruling. “To vacate all rulings in this case would run afoul of this important distinction. The Court found Defendant guilty of criminal contempt. The President issued the pardon. Defendant accepted. The pardon undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case.”

The fact that the “defendant accepted” a pardon at all implies guilt, Bolton writes, and lists the significant precedents for that interpretation. Had Arpaio wanted to establish his innocence, he should have opted for appeal instead, or at least waited for sentencing:

A presidential pardon must be accepted to be effective. Burdick v. United States, 236 U.S. 79, 94 (1915). Once accepted, a full and absolute pardon “releases the wrongdoer from punishment and restores the offender’s civil rights without qualification.” Absolute Pardon, Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014); accord United States v. Wilson, 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 150, 160 (1833) (“A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed.”). It does not erase a judgment of conviction, or its underlying legal and factual findings. United States v. Crowell, 374 F.3d 790, 794 (9th Cir. 2004); see also In re North, 62 F.3d 1434, 1437 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (noting that “a pardon does not blot out guilt or expunge a judgment of conviction”).1 Indeed, a pardon “carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it.” Burdick, 236 U.S. at 94.

Defendant accepted the pardon before a judgment of conviction was entered.

Arpaio’s legal team had argued that another precedent, US v Schaffer, established that a pardon results in undoing the conviction and orders of the case. Bolton points out that at the time of Bill Clinton’s pardon of Shaffer, courts had vacated the trial and the sentencing at various points, and that Shaffer’s status was therefore “the same situation as if no trial had ever taken place.” One could still impute that Shaffer had tacitly admitted guilt by accepting the pardon — a clemency action and not an exoneration — but there was no valid conviction to strike from the record.

The imputation-of-guilt quality of a pardon came up during the 2016 election, at least speculatively. Some wondered whether Barack Obama would shortcut a potential prosecution of Hillary Clinton by pardoning her, which would have removed all potential of having the Democratic Party’s nominee in court rather than on the hustings. Politically and legally, though, accepting the pardon would amount to a confession of guilt, opting out of a defense against the charges in favor of protection against punishment. Hillary would have been roasted for accepting a pardon, although in the end it appears everyone who counted knew she would have no need for one anyway.

This seemingly would have little consequence for Arpaio, as a pardon also carries with it a full restoration of civil rights. However, Arpaio has suggested that he may run for office again, and wanted the judgments off the record to keep opponents from citing them in a campaign. That would have happened even if Bolton had ruled the other way, though, but it does make it more official to have them on the record. Arpaio could appeal this ruling, but the appellate courts are likely to ask him why he didn’t try doing that in the first place rather than accept the pardon.

The post Judge to Arpaio: You’re off the hook — but still guilty appeared first on Hot Air.

Categories: Conservative News

As a Former U.S. Marine, Phone Call Flap Misses the Point

Real Clear Politics - 5 hours 53 min ago
Peter Lucier, Independent
We call it the Forever War. Waged for 16 years, from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, North Africa and beyond, it's been going on so long that it's become mere background noise in American civil society. This latest debacle involving the phone call of President Trump to a widow whose husband had been killed in Niger is about more than a short-tempered narcissist at the helm of the most powerful military in the history of humankind. It signals what has been a long erosion of the bridge between civil society and the military.
Categories: Conservative News

Bernie Sanders bows out of Women’s March convention after backlash from activists

The Blaze - 5 hours 53 min ago

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) bowed out of a scheduled appearance at The Women’s Convention after backlash from activists, according to USA Today.

Why were activists upset?

Some attendees of the convention, organized by the Women’s March, objected to the group inviting Sanders to headline the event, which is scheduled Oct. 27-29 in Detroit.

Tamika Mallory, co-founder of Women’s March, told USA Today earlier this month that Sanders is a “powerful” ally on “progressive issues, women’s issues, mobilizing millennials.

“He is really in line with the principles of the Women’s March,” Mallory said.

Some activists argued that a woman should headline the event, or objected to Sanders’ inclusion at the convention because he challenged former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

So… there were no women available … to open the womens convention…? https://t.co/m1QDj2KX4N

— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 12, 2017

A white dude is delivering the opening speech at the first women’s convention in 40 years.

Such progress. Wow. https://t.co/WNmVznMo9K

Categories: Conservative News

Why I'm Siding w/Frederica Wilson Over Kelly & Trump

Real Clear Politics - 5 hours 55 min ago
Joy-Ann Reid, The Daily Beast
Frederica Wilson is no liar. On Thursday, Gen. John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, confirmed that. Kelly also made clear that he works for a man who has redefined the meaning of shameless.
Categories: Conservative News

Entitled Nation

Real Clear Politics - 5 hours 57 min ago
Categories: Conservative News

Hey, Media: We Finally Found a Real Russia Scandal!

Real Clear Politics - 6 hours 8 min ago
Michael Graham, Boston Herald
Hey, mainstream media! We finally found it — a real Russia scandal involving the 2016 election. With actual evidence of criminal wrongdoing and everything! So come on, New York Times, CNN and MSNBC, let's ...Hey, where'd everybody go?For months I've been doing TV hits as the token conservative and getting grilled over Russiagate. Did Donald Trump and the Russians collude to steal the election from Hillary Clinton?
Categories: Conservative News

Billionaires Can't Fix Media's Broken Business Model

Real Clear Politics - 6 hours 8 min ago
William Cohan, The New Yorker
Ever since Donald Graham, the heir to the Washington Post, decided to sell the family’s newspaper for two hundred and fifty million dollars, in 2013, to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the world’s richest men, the preferred solution for a financially struggling publication has been to find a deep-pocketed billionaire, with other sources of income, to...
Categories: Conservative News

Kelly's Eloquent Defense of America's Sacred Pillars

Real Clear Politics - 6 hours 9 min ago
Tom Shattuck, Boston Herald
Chief of staff John Kelly took to the podium in the White House press briefing room yesterday just after 3 p.m. What ensued was the most stunning 12 minutes in that room in long memory.He educated. He excoriated. He earned the respect of America yet again.He was there to set the record straight about President Trump's condolence phone call to the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who died in a terrorist attack in Niger on Oct. 4.
Categories: Conservative News
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