Authorities have reportedly opened an investigation into the death of Obama-era Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower Philip Haney, who was was found dead in his California home on Friday.
“On February 21, 2020 at approximately 1012 hours, deputies and detectives responded to the area of Highway 124 and Highway 16 in Plymouth to the report of a male subject on the ground with a gunshot wound,” the Amador County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Upon their arrival, they located and identified 66-year-old Philip Haney, who was deceased and appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle. This investigation is active and ongoing. No further details will be released at this time.”
Fox News reported:
He was an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, specifically its handling of radical Jihadist elements and Islamic terrorism.
Haney, who retired in 2015, studied Arabic culture and language while working as a scientist in the Middle East before becoming a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 as a Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agriculture officer.
After serving as an armed CBP officer, he was promoted to its Advanced Targeting Team. He specialized in Islamic theology and the strategy and tactics of the global Islamic movement.
Fox News contributor Sarah Carter responded by suggesting that Haney had been murdered, “Somebody I deeply respected and considered a friend Phil Haney – a DHS whistleblower during the Obama Admin was apparently killed yesterday in Southern California. Pray for his family and pray they find the person who murdered him. Still trying to get confirmation on details.”
Somebody I deeply respected and considered a friend Phil Haney – a DHS whistleblower during the Obama Admin was apparently killed yesterday in Southern California. Pray for his family and pray they find the person who murdered him. Still trying to get confirmation on details
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) February 22, 2020
Haney was known for blowing the whistle on the Obama administration, claiming that the administration shut down a program that could have prevented Islamic terrorist attacks that were carried out on U.S. soil.
In 2015, Haney told then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly that his work could have prevented the 2015 Islamic terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
“The network of individuals that we work with were tied to a large group called Tablighi Jamaat, part of a larger group called Deobandi,” Haney said. “We had thousands of organizations or individuals in the database and we tracked them as they moved in and out of the United States on the visa waiver program. That’s what first brought the group to our attention.”
“And as we developed the case and started putting the pieces in place, we gain more and more evidence of their activities,” Haney continued, adding that the mosque of one of the terrorists behind the attack was allegedly connected to the organization that he was investigating.
Haney told Kelly that had the Obama administration not shut down the investigation, which was years in the making, would have likely flagged the terrorists who carried out the attack.
In 2016, following the Islamic terrorist attack on the Orlando Pulse nightclub, which at the time was the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, Haney told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he believed that the Obama administration’s decision to shut down his investigation likely prevented DHS from stopping the terrorist attack.
Officials are beginning to push back on a New York Times report from this week that claimed that Russia was attempting to help President Donald Trump get re-elected, arguing that there is no intelligence to support the claim.
The New York Times reported on Thursday:
Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said. …
Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying the conclusions could have been delivered in a less pointed manner or left out entirely…
During an interview that is set to air on Sunday, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said that he had not seen any intelligence supporting the allegation that Russia was attempting to help Trump get re-elected, and added that members of Congress told him that there was no evidence behind the claims.
O’Brien also noted that the leak came out of the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), has long been accused of selectively leaking information out of the Committee to advance the narratives of the Democrat Party.
“As the national security adviser to the president, have you assured the president that this U.S. intelligence finding is real?” CBS News’ Margaret Brennan asked O’Brien.
“Well, I have not seen the findings,” O’Brien said. “I think what he’s referring to and what folks are talking about is a briefing that took place last week at the House Intelligence Committee that was leaked to the press, and I have not seen that report, and from what I understand about the report is that there was no, and again, I get this second hand, but from Republican Congressmen that were in the Committee, there was no intelligence behind it.”
“I haven’t seen any intelligence to support the reports that were leaked out of the House, but it’s just hard to comment on that because again, I wasn’t there, and these were leaks that were coming from a House Intel Committee hearing,” O’Brien continued. “I haven’t seen any intelligence that would back up what I’m reading in the papers.”
WATCH: NSA Robert O'Brien tells @margbrennan that there's "no intelligence behind" claims of Russian effort to re-elect President Trump: "I haven't seen any intelligence to support the reports that were leaked out."
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 22, 2020
CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge reported on Friday: “Source familiar w/house briefing @CBSNews says briefers pressed for evidence to back up claims Russia ‘trying to help POTUS in 2020.’ Asked if there was signals intelligence – such as phone intercepts or ‘SIGINT’ – to back up claims, source said briefers had none to offer #DNI.”
Source familiar w/house briefing @CBSNews says briefers pressed for evidence to back up claims Russia “trying to help POTUS in 2020.” Asked if there was signals intelligence – such as phone intercepts or “SIGINT” – to back up claims, source said briefers had none to offer #DNI
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) February 21, 2020
Trump responded to Herridge’s tweet late on Saturday night, writing, “Just another Shifty Schiff leak. Isn’t there a law about this stuff?”
The Daily Wire highlighted this week just a few of the actions that Trump has taken against Russia:
- Trump has repeatedly enacted tough sanctions against Russia and Russian oligarchs for a wide range of offenses ranging from election interference to supporting destabilizing actions in Ukraine.
- Trump expelled over 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. after Russia engaged in an assassination attempt in the U.K.
- Trump played a significant role in securing an extra $100 billion in funding for NATO, which serves to counter Russian aggression.
- The Trump administration killed hundreds of Russian mercenaries in Syria.
- Trump has aggressively tried to prevent Russia from expanding its influence in the energy sector in Europe.
- Trump proposed buying Greenland last year in an apparent attempt to counter increasing Russian aggression and influence in the arctic.
- Trump has repeatedly gone after Russia’s top allies, including China, Iran, and North Korea.
[UPDATE] 11% of precincts have now reported, and the candidate percentages have been changed to reflect that.
Multiple news organizations are reporting that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is projected to win the Nevada caucus this evening.
According to the Associated Press, with 11% of precincts reporting, Sanders leads with a staggering 46.6%, former Vice President Joe Biden comes in second with 23.8%, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes in third with 13.6%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) comes in fourth with 8.7%, and billionaire Tom Steyer comes in fifth 3.5%.
FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver wrote in the website’s live coverage that the race is now Sanders’ to lose:
The basic takeaway here is that it’s Sanders’s nomination to lose. Exactly how big his margin is, who finishes second, etc., may tell us something about precisely how likely he is to lose it and who is most likely to take it away from him. But it’s his nomination to lose.
This apparent victory, especially if the margins hold, could provide the Sanders campaign with incredible momentum heading into the South Carolina primary on February 29, and then into Super Tuesday on March 3, where 14 states, American Samoa, and Democrats Abroad cast their votes.
Just over two weeks ago, it appeared as though Sanders might take a hit following the unmitigated disaster that was the Iowa caucus in which Pete Buttigieg was able to claim victory and a larger share of delegates than Sanders, despite the agonizingly slow rollout of the vote totals, which now has them tied at 26.2% each. Sanders took the popular vote by just over 2,50o, according to Politico.
However, Sanders went on to win the first primary in New Hampshire with 25.7% compared to second place Buttigieg’s 24.4% and third place Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) 19.8%.
Prior to Saturday’s caucus, Sanders was polling well. The RealClearPolitics polling average had Sanders leading the pack with 32.5% support. A distant second place went to Buttigieg and Biden, who were tied at 16%.
During a rally in San Antonio, Texas, Sanders announced his victory in Nevada, stating:
And now, I’m delighted to bring you some pretty good news I think all of you know. We won the popular vote in Iowa; we won the New Hampshire primary; and according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus.
Sanders went on to “thank the people of Nevada for their support,” noting that the campaign has “put together a multi-generational, multi-racial coalition” that will propel them forward to victory across the United States.
“We are going to win here in Texas, [and] we are gonna win across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time,” Sanders said to the cheering crowd. “They are sick and tired of a corrupt administration; they are sick and tired of a president who is undermining American democracy, who thinks he is above the law, and who apparently has never read the Constitution in this country.”
The American people are sick and tired of a government which is based on greed, corruption, and lies. They want an administration which is based on the principles of justice – economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.
Speaking before a crowd of supporters following the news of his second place finish in Nevada, Joe Biden said: “Y’all did it for me. Y’all did it. Now we’re going on to South Carolina, and win, and then we’re gonna take this back!”
Biden was long-considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. After a devastating fourth place finish in Iowa, and an even more crushing fifth place finish in New Hampshire, the former vice president has a great deal of momentum to regain.
Pete Buttigieg, who performed well in the first two primary races, is now in a tougher position.
During his own speech following the announcement of the results, Buttigieg said:
This campaign belongs to everyone, ready not only to end the era of Donald Trump, but to launch the era that must come next. Now, that bright, bright future lies before us, but it is far from certain. It will come only if we get this nomination right, and so we are moving on from the Battle Born State with a battle on our hands. I congratulate my competitors on a vigorous campaign here in Nevada, and I congratulate Senator Sanders on a strong showing today knowing that we celebrate many of the same ideals.
The former mayor then took a shot at Sanders:
But before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let us take a sober look at what is at stake for our party, for our values, and for those with the most to lose. There is so much on the line, and one thing we know for sure is that we absolutely must defeat Donald Trump and everything that he represents in November.
Buttigieg continued, contrasting his policies with Sanders’ policies.
This is a breaking news story. Refresh for updates…
Law enforcement officials arrested two people late this week for allegedly running two kids on bikes off the road because they had Trump flags on their bikes.
“Felony charges have been filed against a Hobart couple accused of running twin boys off the road because they had pro-Trump flags attached to their bicycles,” The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. “Snapchat videos helped officers secure charges against Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18, in connection with a July 22 incident, police said.”
On the Snapchat video, Smith allegedly said, “Y’all scared, just like your president … America is not great, (expletive).”
At another point in the video, Perry-Jones allegedly confronted one of the kids and asked if he was a Trump supporter.
“Perry-Jones and Smith have each been charged with two counts of intimidation and criminal recklessness, all felonies,” The Times added. “They were also charged with one count each of theft and criminal mischief, which are misdemeanors, court records show.”
Authorities said that the couple turned the car “as if he saw the boys and wanted to hit them with the vehicle” while yelling at the boys and telling them to “pull that flag down.”
Perry-Jones, who is black, allegedly threatened to attack the boys for calling 911, and told them that if he was questioned by authorities, he would tell them that the boys called him a racial slur.
The boys said that Smith stole their Trump flag and that they chased after the car to get it back, at which point the couple dropped the flag and intentionally drove over it before driving away.
“This is an unfortunate event that involved two brothers expressing their support for President Trump,” Capt. James Gonzales said. “Our residents in Hobart should be able to express their support for any political affiliation without fear of any adverse recourse. The Hobart Police Department will continue to serve the Hobart residents to ensure they are free to express their support for whomever they choose and we will tirelessly work to preserve their 1st Amendment Rights under the United States Constitution.”
The alleged attack comes after Trump supporters across the country have been attacked by political extremists this month.
One of the most recent attacks happened earlier this month when a man rammed a vehicle into a GOP tent in Florida that was full of Republican volunteers.
Another incident from earlier this month involved a man in Florida who was charged with 10 counts of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly threatening Trump supporters with a sword.
A little over a week ago, a man in New Hampshire was accused of striking a child in the face because the kid was a Trump supporter.
During the first week of February, law enforcement officials at Arizona State University opened an investigation into a man who was caught on video screaming at a group of Republican kids about wanting to murder Republicans.
Another event, reportedly from a little over a week ago, showed far-left activists allegedly attacking a booth at UC Santa Cruz that was hosted by College Republicans.
Video recorded last week at @ucsc shows far-left radicals destroying the tabling booth run by College Republicans.
I have reached out to campus police for comment. pic.twitter.com/TvRbn3BHVq
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 14, 2020
MSNBC host Chris Matthews fumed over Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) performance in the Nevada Caucuses on Saturday, comparing his apparent inevitable victory to Nazi Germany taking over France during World War II.
“It looks like Bernie Sanders is hard to beat right now,” Matthews said. “I’m with Carville all the way in terms of the dangers of what lurks, what lies ahead in November. I’m very much aware that they’re sitting on so much oppo research on Bernie, what he said in the past about world affairs, how far-left he is … they are going to make the most of that in terms of world politics. They’re going to kill him.”
Matthews continued, “I was reading last night, Brian, I know you’re a history guy too, I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940, and the general, Renault, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says ‘How can it be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’ So I have that suppressed feeling. I can’t be as wild as Carville, but he is damn smart, and I think he’s damn right on this one.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likens Sanders victory in Nevada to Nazi Germany overrunning France in 1940: “It’s too late to stop him … it’s over” pic.twitter.com/6GJetLoDkq
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 22, 2020
WILLIAMS: What is going on here and is this any way to pick a nominee?
MATTHEWS: Well, I don’t think so, but it is the way we are picking this one and it looks like Bernie Sanders is hard to beat right now. I’m with Carville all the way in terms of the dangers of what lurks, what lies ahead in November. I’m very much aware that they’re sitting on so much oppo research on Bernie, what he said in the past about world affairs, how far-left he is … they are going to make the most of that in terms of world politics. They’re going to kill him.
I think it’s a little late to stop him and I think that’s the problem. By the way, if you look at the pattern, its dynamic, Bernie won the popular vote in Iowa, he won it again in New Hampshire, it looks like he’s going to win it here when they finally get a vote [in].
Bernie’s been winning consistently and I think it’s mathematically understandable. Every time we poll, every time Steve and everybody polls, two-thirds of the Democratic vote, two-thirds of people who call themselves Democrats, are either liberal or very liberal. All Bernie ever had to do, and he’s done it beautifully, is get a majority of that and he’s up to the mid-thirties. If you get half of sixty-seven, you’re into the mid-thirties and that’s where he’s gotten and a little better.
Biden, his only prayer, was the consolidate the third of the vote that’s moderate and conservative and he got no where near clearing that field, no where near, that’s split up four ways now. And so with new people coming in, Deval Patrick came in, he didn’t make it; Bloomberg is in and he’s probably going to survive a bit longer because of his money, but that field wasn’t clear. The only way Biden could win in that one-third of the vote that’s either moderate or conservative is to sweep it, he got no where near. Bernie on the other hand, did his job, he got more than the majority, more than a majority of that sixty-seven percent. That is the name of the game, it is pretty much over, unless that changes.
I was reading last night, Brian, I know you’re a history guy too, I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940, and the general, Renault, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says ‘How can it be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’
So I have that suppressed feeling. I can’t be as wild as Carville, but he is damn smart and I think he’s damn right on this one.
On Friday, Morning Consult released a new national poll conducted before and after the Democratic primary debate, which was held in Nevada on Wednesday. The poll showed a staggering downward trajectory in “favorability” for billionaire late-entrant Michael Bloomberg.
Wednesday was the first time Bloomberg had qualified for a Democratic primary debate.
The poll, which was conducted between February 12-17 and February 20 “among 2,609 voters who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state,” shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) moving from 28% support to 30%, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) moving from 10% to 12%.
Former Vice President Joe Biden remained steady at 19% support before and after the debate, while former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) each lost one percentage point, 12% to 11% and 6% to 5%, respectively.
Bloomberg fell slightly outside the margin of error, moving from 20% support to 17% support before and after the debate. This may seem like a minor step down, but considering the timing coinciding with his first public challenge at the hands of the other Democratic candidates, it could be indicative of a more dire trend.
Looking further, the Morning Consult poll asked respondents about candidate favorability. For Bloomberg, the results were a disaster. In every demographic category except for one, his favorability plummeted following Wednesday’s debate performance.
Overall, Bloomberg’s net favorability change after the debate was -20 points.
Among men, it was -21 points; among women, it was -18; among liberals, it was -20; among moderates, it was -30; among African Americans, it was -16; and among whites, it was -20 points.
The only category where Bloomberg actually gained net favorability was among conservative “potential Democratic primary voters,” where he gained +2 points following the debate.
Eli Yokley of Morning Consult notes: “No other candidate saw notable change in net favorability, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana, whose back-and-forth was the other headline of the night.”
According to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Michael Bloomberg sits in third place with 15.2%, behind first place Sanders with 28.7% and second place Biden with 17.3% support.
That said, Bloomberg didn’t compete in Iowa, the first in the nation caucus, or in New Hampshire. The billionaire is not on the ballot in Saturday’s Nevada Caucuses or in South Carolina, which holds its primary on February 29.
The first time Bloomberg will appear on ballots is March 3, known as “Super Tuesday,” when 14 states, American Samoa, and “Democrats Abroad” will hold their primaries. States voting on March 3 include California, Texas, Massachusetts, and Virginia.
Since announcing his candidacy on November 24, Bloomberg has spent approximately “$452 million on advertising,” according to NPR.
In January alone, per FEC filings, Bloomberg spent $220,620,862. Aside from Tom Steyer, the other billionaire in the race who is self-funding his campaign, the closest any other candidate has come to Bloomberg in terms of spending is current front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders, who in January spent $26,534,551.
CNN Grills Sanders Campaign Over Socialism. They Respond By Quoting Shakespeare, Making False Claims.
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign responded to criticisms from CNN over its socialist platform late this week by quoting Shakespeare and making a false claim.
Nina Turner, national co-chair of the Sanders campaign, made the remarks during a segment on CNN’s “Newsroom,” which featured fallout from this week’s Democrat debate on NBC.
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin said, “There’s this new ‘Wall Street Journal’/NBC News poll that found that two-thirds of the respondents said that they were actually uncomfortable with a socialist president.”
“But when you break it down – Shakespeare once said, what is in a name? A rose by any other name smells just as sweet,” Turner responded. “What is Democratic socialism? It is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. What does that mean?”
“I am talking about this particular poll,” Baldwin responded. “And I want to – I want an answer on the fact that the majority of America is not comfortable with a socialist president.”
“He is a Democratic socialist,” Turner said, later claiming that “the majority of the American people” support Sanders’ government run health care program and free college.
“Nina, you keep pivoting,” Baldwin pressed. “You got to answer the question.”
“So, for all of the people trying to make hay over the word, Senator Sanders is not talking about socialism in a traditional sense, in terms of what happens in Europe,” Turner falsely claimed. “He never once said that the government should take over the production of all goods and services in this country.”
For starters, Sanders, who is a socialist, has repeatedly tried to brand his socialism as being the same thing that European countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway, have – which is false. Those countries are capitalist countries that have large social safety nets – also known as big government welfare programs – that hamper economic growth.
The myth of Nordic socialism is partially created by a confusion between socialism, meaning government exerting control or ownership of businesses, and the welfare state in the form of government-provided social safety net programs. However, the left’s embrace of socialism is not merely a case of redefining a word. Simply look at the long-running affinity of leftists with socialist dictators in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for proof many on the left long for real socialism.
To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs.
First, it is worth noting that the Nordic counties were economic successes before they built their welfare states. Those productive economies, generating good incomes for their workers, allowed the governments to raise the tax revenue needed to pay for the social benefits. It was not the government benefits that created wealth, but wealth that allowed the luxury of such generous government programs.
Sanders’ claim that he wants to be like those countries is false, which is evidenced by his repeated demonization of capitalism – which leads to the next point: Sanders is a socialist.
Turner’s claim that Sanders has “never once” advocated for the government to take over the production of goods and services in the U.S. is false.
Sanders has repeatedly advocated for nationalization ranging from the 1970s – when he “urged the nationalization of most major industries,” according to CNN – to his current socialist campaign for president, where is he advocating for forcing everyone off of their private health insurance plans and onto a government run health care system, according to The New York Times.
Christian Student Regrets Sexual Encounter, Accuses Male Student Of Sexual Assault. School Uses ‘Trauma-Informed’ Training To Find Him Guilty.
Two Christian students, each struggling with their sexual desires and faith, engage in sexual activity on three separate occasions. Each occasion proceeds the same way, yet the woman would later claim – after a professor suggest she do so – that the final encounter was sexual assault. Her story would then change and evolve over time, something the “trauma-informed” school officials claimed made her more credible, not less.
The case involves a Syracuse University student referred to in court documents reviewed by The Daily Wire as John Doe and a female student referred to only as RP. The two students met through church and began spending time together when they both went to Syracuse. John’s lawsuit stated that neither he nor RP had “extensive sexual experience,” and they were each in a committed relationship when their sexual activity began.
Johns lawsuit insisted that RP gave “affirmative consent at every stage” of each sexual encounter, even though she would later deny this to administrators in an ever-evolving story of sexual assault. On the first encounter, John asked RP to “hang out.” RP responded by saying her boyfriend had just broken up with her. The two had dinner and returned to John’s apartment. They began kissing, which progressed to “mutual fondling,” before the two moved into John’s bedroom. They removed each other’s clothing and attempted vaginal intercourse but could not due to their inexperience. After the encounter, the two struggled with how it violated their Christian values. John also felt extreme guilt for cheating on his girlfriend. He felt “such emotional anguish” that RP even “offered to take him to the hospital,” John’s lawsuit said, but he refused. Instead, John sought counseling from a Christian professional.
The second encounter progressed similarly: The two struggled with their feelings, suggested they avoid each other so as not to be tempted, met up anyway (RP voluntarily drove to John’s apartment), engaged in similar sexual contact, and then again worried about violating their Christian beliefs.
The third encounter was similar as well. After saying they would avoid each other, the two saw each other in church. RP said she didn’t have money for lunch, so John invited her to his apartment to eat. RP would later claim she didn’t want to go to John’s apartment, but she voluntarily drove her own car there. The two started kissing once inside the apartment, which escalated again into John’s bedroom, where the two removed each other’s clothes and engaged in mutual fondling. John said he was aware they would both likely regret the encounter, but RP told him not to worry and that it didn’t bother her, according to John’s lawsuit. During this encounter, the two succeeded in vaginal intercourse. Afterward, the two again discussed their guilty feelings about violating their faith. RP was also upset because she planned to recommit to her previous boyfriend and was no longer a virgin.
Two days later, RP told one of her professors about her sexual encounters. This professor allegedly told her to rethink the consensual events as non-consensual, according to John’s lawsuit. Syracuse never investigated the professor’s role in RP bringing forth sexual assault allegations against John, nor did it seek to determine whether what she told the professor was different than what she would later tell police and administrators. RP also at this time deleted all text messages between herself and John in order to eliminate evidence of their “consensual contact and communications,” John’s lawsuit said.
RP reported John to the Syracuse Department of Public Safety (DPS), who referred her to the Syracuse Police Department (SPD). RP told an officer at this time that she did not consent to any of the sexual relations with John on their third encounter. She would later say she consented to kissing.
DPS issued a no-contact order but did not inform John about it. RP was not informed that John wasn’t told about the order, leading her to make additional claims that he violated the no-contact order. John left a voicemail for RP on November 27, 2016. RP complained a week later but admitted that John had not been inappropriate, and she was not fearful of him. John wasn’t informed of the no-contact order until December 1, 2016.
On December 6, RP changed her story and talked about the struggle with her religious beliefs. It was at this time that she admitted to consensually kissing John on their third sexual encounter. She had also originally told the officer that things never progressed past digital penetration or “hand jobs” during any of their encounters, but now said she faced a pregnancy scare after their second encounter because they had attempted sexual intercourse. She also had previously said their first and second encounters were completely consensual, but now said the attempted intercourse on the second attempt was not consensual. As to their third encounter, she did not reveal that the two engaged in mutual oral sex, and described her involvement passively, including suggesting she “ended up on top of Plaintiff,” and “remained on top of him for a few minutes.”
She also told police she didn’t want John prosecuted for further investigated, yet the school went ahead anyway. Syracuse initiated the complaint against John, and investigated him using “trauma-informed” techniques. As The Daily Wire has previously reported, current “trauma-informed” techniques involve teaching campus investigators that evidence of lying is actually evidence of trauma, meaning there is absolutely no way an accused student can be found not responsible. As John wrote in his lawsuit, “Inconsistency in the alleged female victim’s account thereby becomes evidence that her testimony is truthful, because of alleged trauma,” while consistency in the accused male student’s account becomes “evidence that he is a premeditated and experienced sex offender.”
RP never sought trauma counseling, that Syracuse assumed she was traumatized based on its poor, unscientific, training materials.
During his hearing, John alleged in his lawsuit that Syracuse used “archaic stereotypes of male sexual desire” to determine him only “partially credible” because he admitted to his desires for RP. The hearing board found RP “credible” even though her account constantly changed. At the hearing, RP suddenly alleged for the first time she was “fearful of leaving” John’s apartment before the sexual encounter. The hearing board simply disregarded the fact that RP had originally said she had never been fearful or upset of John.
This same hearing board ignored actual evidence that John was traumatized by the encounters, including his counseling.
Naturally, John was expelled from Syracuse for sexual assault. He sued, and on Friday, Judge Brenda Sannes, an Obama appointee, denied Syracuse’s motion to dismiss John’s lawsuit. Sannes cited in her opinion the fact that Syracuse didn’t even provide John with a copy of RP’s accusations against him.
Further, and what can now be seen as a big win for opponents of so-called trauma-informed investigations, Sannes cited Syracuse training as being deficient and leading to her allowing John’s lawsuit to move forward.
“Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that the investigation relied on ‘trauma informed techniques’ that ‘turn unreliable evidence into its opposite, such that inconsistency in the alleged female victim’s account . . . becomes evidence that her testimony is truthful,’” Sannes wrote. “Plaintiff, on the other hand, was found by the Board to be ‘lacking in credibility’ because he, inter alia, acknowledged his sexual desire for RP and acknowledged that he ‘was still ‘horny’ after she withdrew consent for kissing.’”
Clinton Eastwood has always been an anomaly — a conservative in Hollywood.
And the “Dirty Harry” actor, a former mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea, Ca., has always been active in politics — even now at 89 years old. On Friday, he weighed in on the 2020 presidential race, picking a candidate you might not have expected.
“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” Eastwood told the Wall Street Journal.
The actor, who now describes himself as a libertarian who has “respect for other people’s ideas and is willing to learn constantly,” said President Donald Trump has done “certain things” that he supported. But he said he does not appreciate the “ornery” state of current politics and would like the president to act “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names.”
“I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” Eastwood said.
Eastwood set the political world on fire in 2012 when he gave his famous “empty-chair” speech at the Republican National Convention. In the speech, Eastwood, then backing GOP candidate Mitt Romney, conducted a mock interview with the chair, representing President Barack Obama.
“What do you want me to tell Romney?” Eastwood asked the empty chair. “I can’t tell him to do that to himself … you’re getting as bad as [former vice president Joe] Biden … of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it …”
Eastwood later asked, “Mr, President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle them? I mean, what do you say to people?”
No answer from the empty chair.
Eastwood concluded his speech saying: “When somebody doesn’t do the job, you gotta let ’em go,” as he drew a finger across his throat.
Before the 2016 election, Eastwood told Esquire magazine he was supporting Trump over Hillary Clinton, adding that his anti-Obama views influenced his decision.
“I’d have to go for Trump … you know, ’cause she’s declared that she’s gonna follow in Obama’s footsteps. There’s been just too much funny business on both sides of the aisle. She’s made a lot of dough out of being a politician. I gave up dough to be a politician. I’m sure that Ronald Reagan gave up dough to be a politician.”
But Eastwood has also praised Trump’s more macho way. In 2017, during a conversation moderated by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, Eastwood mocked the politically correct world of today.
“[Trump’s] onto something, because secretly, everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up,” he said.”We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells,” he said. “We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”
And he said he probably couldn’t make “Dirty Harry” today.
“A lot of people thought it was politically incorrect,” Eastwood said. “That was at the beginning of the era that we’re in now, where everybody thinks everyone’s politically correct. We’re killing ourselves by doing that. We’ve lost our sense of humor.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has agreed to release three women from gag orders, caving to pressure from other candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Bloomberg had entered into nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with the women “to address complaints about comments they said I had made.”
“If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.”
The billionaire got hammered in the Democratic debate on Wednesday.
“What we need to know is exactly what’s lurking out there. He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, to sign nondisclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “So, Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those nondisclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?”
“We have a very few nondisclosure agreements,” Bloomberg said. “None of them accuse me of doing anything, other than maybe they didn’t like a joke I told. And let me just — and let me — there’s agreements between two parties that wanted to keep it quiet and that’s up to them. They signed those agreements, and we’ll live with it.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden piled on. “Look, let’s get something straight here. It’s easy. All the mayor has to do is say, ‘You are released from the nondisclosure agreement,’ period.”
Warren was not content with Bloomberg’s announcement to release three women from their NDAs and suggested hundreds more women could be “muzzled.”
“That’s just not good enough,” Warren told reporters Friday. “Michael Bloomberg needs to do a blanket release so that all women who have been muzzled by nondisclosure agreements can step up and tell their side of the story in terms of what Michael Bloomberg has done.”
“If he wants to be the Democratic nominee and he wants to be the president of the United States, then he’s going to have to be fully transparent on this issue,” Warren said.
See Bloomberg’s full statement below:
I’ve had the company go back over its record and they’ve identified 3 NDAs that we signed over the past 30-plus years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made. If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release. I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.
I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace and contribute to a culture of women not feeling safe or supported. It is imperative that when problems occur, workplaces not only address the specific incidents, but the culture and practices that led to those incidents. And then leaders must act.
That is why I am committing to do the following:
All business leaders must recognize that our workplace cultures are our responsibility and leadership on good workplace policies must come from the top. I am proud of Bloomberg LP, the company we have built. But like all workplaces, we should always look to do better. We have a human resources team in place that has always worked at the forefront of industries seeking best practices. I have asked them to consult with experts, as I myself have done in recent days, and review and reform our policies where necessary with regard to equal pay and promotion, sexual harassment and discrimination, and other legal tools that prevent culture change. I want my company to be a model for women seeking opportunity and support in their careers. When we support women in the workplace, we advance not just their own feelings of value, but we help them and their families across America live better lives through higher wages. Our efforts ripple throughout the entire economy.
As president, I will work to pass the Be Heard Act in Congress, which will legislate these needed changes into federal law. I will also support legislative proposals that increase women’s equity in the workplace, including guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family leave, signing the Paycheck Fairness Act and increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour. And I will ensure that women have access to affordable child care, as well as quality health care and reproductive services. I will continue to encourage business leaders to support women beyond what is mandated by Congress.
I have asked my campaign to review our current policies and to be consistent with these views. There is more we can do when we work together. When we share a respect for each other and treat all of our colleagues as we ourselves would wish to be treated, we all do our best work. This is something Donald Trump does not understand — not when he ran his business, and not now when he is recklessly running our country. I will be a leader whom women can trust.
The Washington Post is worried that President Donald Trump is removing people from his administration he sees as disloyal to him or his agenda.
In an article titled “Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates,” three Post reporters try to craft a narrative of something nefarious, even though any president would do the same thing.
“Johnny McEntee, Trump’s former personal aide who now leads the effort as director of presidential personnel, has begun combing through various agencies with a mandate from the president to oust or sideline political appointees who have not proved their loyalty, according to several administration officials and others familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations,” the Post reported.
Notice the entire story is based on anonymous “administration officials and others familiar with the matter.”
The article contains just two on-the-record statements, one from former White House adviser Cliff Sims who said there was nothing wrong with the president expecting loyalty in his administration.
“Loyalist shouldn’t be a dirty word,” Sims told the outlet. “Loyalty to the duly elected president and his agenda is exactly what we should expect from our unelected appointees.”
The other statement came from Brendan Buck, longtime adviser to former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who said finding people who never take issue with a president’s agenda would be difficult (without noting that Obama seemed to have no trouble on this front).
“If they also insist on hiring only people who’ve never taken issue with something the president has done, it’s going to be slim pickings,” Buck said.
Perhaps it’s not so much about being in lock-step with the president but about carrying out his agenda without undermining it through leaks and insubordination.
Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, said on Twitter that there was nothing wrong with Trump cleaning house to expel disloyalty.
“There is nothing g wrong with this. Every POTUS deserves a team committed to the President’s agenda, not their own. Does anyone think if Bernie wins he won’t install his own people, and rid the WH of anyone ‘loyal’ to Trump? This is fine,” Fleischer tweeted.
Among those who have been let go so far are John Rood, who was formerly in charge of Defense Department policy and the Vindman brothers, all of whom were seen as working against Trump and helping Democrats try to remove him from office. Victoria Coates, a deputy national security adviser, was moved to the Energy Department. It was announced this week that Trump was moving Ric Grenell, the ambassador to Germany, to Director of National Intelligence. Grenell has worked already to get the community in line with Trump’s agenda. The previous acting head of the intelligence community was Joseph Maguire, whose deputy, Andrew P. Hallman, resigned when Grenell was put in charge.
It is unlikely the Post would be worried if a Democrat president cleared out people who didn’t agree with his or her agenda, as Fleischer said.
A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that only half of American adults think colleges and universities are having a positive effect on our nation. The leftward political bias, held by faculty members affiliated with the Democratic Party, at most institutions of higher education explains a lot of that disappointment. Professors Mitchell Langbert and Sean Stevens document this bias in “Partisan Registration and Contributions of Faculty in Flagship Colleges.”
Langbert and Stevens conducted a new study of the political affiliation of 12,372 professors in the two leading private and two leading public colleges in 31 states. For party registration, they found a Democratic to Republican (D:R) ratio of 8.5:1, which varied by rank of institution and region. For donations to political candidates (using the Federal Election Commission database), they found a D:R ratio of 95:1, with only 22 Republican donors, compared with 2,081 Democratic donors.
Several consistent findings have emerged from Langbert and Stevens’ study. The ratio of faculty who identify as or are registered as Democratic versus Republican almost always favors the Democratic Party. Democratic professors outnumber their Republican counterparts most in the humanities and social sciences, compared with the natural sciences and engineering. The ratio is 42:1 in anthropology, 27:1 in sociology and 27:1 in English. In the social sciences, Democratic registered faculty outnumber their Republican counterparts the least in economics 3:1. The partisan political slant is most extreme at the most highly rated institutions.
The leftist bias at our colleges and universities has many harmful effects. Let’s look at a few. At University of California, Davis, last month, a mathematics professor faced considerable backlash over her opposition to the requirement for faculty “diversity statements.” University of California, San Diego, requires job applicants to admit to the “barriers” preventing women and minorities from full participation in campus life. At American University, a history professor recently wrote a book in which he advocates repealing the Second Amendment. A Rutgers University professor said, “Watching the Iowa Caucus is a sickening display of the over-representation of whiteness.” University of California, Berkeley, professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich chimed in to say: “Think about this: Iowa is 90.7% white. Iowa is now the only state with a lifetime voting ban for people with a felony conviction. Black people make up 4% of Iowa’s population but 26% of the prison population. How is this representative of our electorate?” A Williams College professor said he would advocate for social justice to be included in math textbooks. Students at Wayne State University no longer have to take a single math course to graduate; however, they may soon be required to take a diversity course.
Then there’s a question about loyalty to our nation. Charles Lieber, former chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, was arrested earlier this year on accusations that he made a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement about work he did for a program run by the Chinese government that seeks to lure American talent to China. He was paid $50,000 a month and up to $158,000 in living expenses for his work, which involved cultivating young teachers and students, according to court documents. According to the Department of Justice, Lieber helped China “cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security.”
It’s not just Harvard professors. Newly found court records reveal that Emory University neuroscientist Li Xiao-Jiang was fired in late 2019 after being charged with lying about his own ties to China. Li was part of the same Chinese program as Lieber. A jury found a University of California, Los Angeles, professor guilty of exporting stolen U.S. military technology to China. Newsweek reported that he was convicted June 26 on 18 federal charges. Meanwhile, NBC reported that federal prosecutors say that University of Texas professor Bo Mao attempted to steal U.S. technology by using his position as a professor to obtain access to protected circuitry and then handing it over to the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei.
The true tragedy is that so many Americans are blind to the fact that today’s colleges and universities pose a threat on several fronts to the well-being of our nation.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
It’s easy to say you won’t take money from certain people when you expect to win, but now that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is struggling in the 2020 Democratic primary, she’s rethinking whose money she will accept for her campaign.
Warren had initially rejected super PAC support as part of a campaign bemoaning big-dollar donors. She has now reversed her position, claiming she’s doing so because only she and fellow female primary candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are without super PACs, CNBC reported.
“So, here’s where I stand. If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in. I’ll lead the charge,” Warren said. “But that’s how it has to be. It can’t be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only one or two don’t.”
But that’s exactly what a leader should do. Warren is essentially conceding that she has failed to lead and gain followers for her allegedly principled stand.
On Thursday, Warren said it was “just not right” that the only “two women” still running for the Democratic nomination weren’t getting support from super PACs.
“So, look, the first day I got in this race over a year ago, I said I hope every presidential candidate who comes in will agree – no super PACs for any of us. I renewed that call dozens of times,” Warren said. “And I couldn’t get a single Democrat to go along with it.”
If that’s not a metaphor for her entire campaign, I don’t know what is.
“Finally, we reached the point a few weeks ago where all of the men who were still in this race and on the debate stage all had either super PACs or they were multibillionaires and could just rummage around their sock drawers and find enough money to be able to fund a campaign,” Warren added.
A dedicated super PAC for Klobuchar, Kitchen Table Conversations, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, while a super PAC for Warren, Persist PAC, filed paperwork on Tuesday.
Opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) does not have a dedicated super PAC, but then again, he actually has grassroots support. There is a super PAC connected to the National Nurses United, a union, which is supporting Sanders, and he also has the nonprofit political organization Our Revolution behind him, which doesn’t have to disclose its donors.
Warren is currently in third place in the Democratic primary ahead of the Nevada caucus on Saturday. She received eight delegates in the Iowa caucus. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg stands at the lead with 22 delegates, while Sanders is close behind with 21. Polling-wise, Warren is in fourth place thanks to Michael Bloomberg’s nearly $500 million attempt to buy his way into the election.
Warren is still trying to pretend she’s principled, releasing a statement Wednesday claiming she thinks Democrats shouldn’t accept help from super PACs even as she is now accepting help from super PACs. Her website also still claims she “would disavow any super PAC formed to support her in the Democratic primary.”
She has not disavowed Resist PAC.
Twitter is suspending 70 accounts that support Michael Bloomberg’s campaign, finding that they have posted identical messages in an effort to commit “platform manipulation.”
“We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesman told the Los Angeles Times. Some of the suspensions will be permanent, but account owners will also have the chance to verify their control.
Bloomberg, worth an estimated $64 billion, has already dropped nearly $500 million into the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He is deploying a social media outreach as part of his campaign, hiring hundreds of temporary employees to fire out campaign messages through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Dubbed “deputy field organizers,” the volunteers are paid $2,500 per month to push out “campaign-approved language,” The Times reported.
In posts reviewed by The Times, organizers often used identical text, images, links and hashtags. Many accounts used were created only in the last two months. Bloomberg officially entered the presidential race on Nov. 24.
After The Times inquired about this pattern, Twitter determined it ran afoul of its “Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy.” Laid out in September 2019 in response to the activities of Russian-sponsored troll networks in the 2016 presidential election, the policy prohibits practices such as artificially boosting engagement on tweets and using deliberately misleading profile information.
By sponsoring hundreds of new accounts that post copy-pasted content, Twitter said the campaign violated its rules against “creating multiple accounts to post duplicative content,” “posting identical or substantially similar Tweets or hashtags from multiple accounts you operate” and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.”
The Bloomberg campaign responded after the Twitter suspensions.
“We ask that all of our deputy field organizers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social media accounts,” Sabrina Singh, a spokesman for the Bloomberg campaign, said in a statement. “Through Outvote [a voter-engagement app], content is shared by staffers and volunteers to their network of friends and family and was not intended to mislead anyone.”
The former New York City mayor has spent more than $463 million in the first two months of his campaign, according to a report filed to the Federal Election Commission. In January alone, Bloomberg dumped $220 million of his own money into his campaign — an average of more than $7 million per day. Those expenditures including $126 million on TV ads and $45 million in online advertising.
Before he entered the race, Bloomberg vowed to take no outside money and spend only his own cash, a vow to which he’s stuck.
“According to a campaign aide, the campaign has hired more than 2,100 employees throughout the country and are still in the process of hiring more. A campaign break down of the disclosure report shows it spent over $7 million in payroll last month alone,” ABC News reported.
Yet Bloomberg isn’t getting a lot for the money hew’s poured into the campaign. The mayor stands at just 12% in the most recent national poll conducted by The Economist and YouGov. A couple of other national polls put him a few points higher.
RealClearPolitics keeps a running average on odds from online betting sites. Bloomberg had soared up the charts in recent days, hitting 34.6% on Valentine’s Day, nearly catching Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who stood at 39%. But those odds crashed after Bloomberg’s dismal performance in his first televised debate on Wednesday.
The day after the debate, the odds of Bloomberg winning the nomination plunged to 21.8%, while Sanders’ odds soared to 51.8%.
Biden Has Suddenly Started Claiming He Was Arrested While Visiting Nelson Mandela – But His Story Doesn’t Add Up
Former Vice President Joe Biden has a documented history of making up stories to make him sound more interesting on the campaign trail, and he’s up to his old tricks again.
In the past two weeks, Biden has suddenly started claiming he was arrested in South Africa while on his way to visit Nelson Mandela. As The New York Times reported, Biden didn’t include this information in his 2007 memoir and had not spoken about it prominently while campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid,” Biden said in South Carolina last week. “I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.”
Biden mentioned the arrest twice more in the next week, claiming he was arrested in between attempts to get his wife, Jill, to agree to marry him. That meant the arrest would have occurred in 1977.
“But if Mr. Biden, then a United States senator from Delaware, was in fact arrested while trying to visit Mr. Mandela, he did not mention it in his 2007 memoir when writing about a 1970s trip to South Africa, and he has not spoken of it prominently on the 2020 campaign trail. A check of available news accounts by The New York Times turned up no references to an arrest. South African arrest records are not readily available in the United States,” the Times reported.
Former congressman Andrew Young, the U.N. ambassador at the time of Biden’s arrest, said he had traveled to South Africa with Biden but was never arrested and was skeptical that members of the U.S. congress would have been at risk in the country.
“No, I was never arrested and I don’t think he was, either,” Young told the Times. “Now, people were being arrested in Washington. I don’t think there was ever a situation where congressmen were arrested in South Africa.”
The Times went on to report that it “could not account for all of the details of Mr. Biden’s overseas travel during the period that included the South Africa trip.” Further, Biden’s campaign didn’t respond to five efforts from the Times to comment and clarify Biden’s remarks.
Biden also ended his story by claiming Mandela himself thanked him for getting arrested while trying to visit.
“After he got free and became president, he came to Washington and came to my office,” Biden said in Las Vegas. “He threw his arms around me and said, ‘I want to say thank you.’ I said, ‘What are you thanking me for, Mr. President?’ He said, ‘You tried to see me. You got arrested trying to see me.’”
The Times speculated that Biden has started telling the story to woo Africa-American voters. Readers may recall that last August Biden was called out for claiming to have tried to pin a Silver Star on a Navy captain who claimed he didn’t deserve the medal. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Biden’s details about the story constantly changed and it appears he completely made up the story.
Washington journalists are rejoicing that celebrity glitz and glamour are returning with their self-celebrating soiree, the White House correspondents’ dinner. They announced that longtime “Saturday Night Live” player Kenan Thompson will host the April event, and Muslim comedian Hasan Minhaj will perform the Republican-bashing “comedy” routine.
“The dinner has a serious message, but we also believe it is as important as ever to be able to laugh — at ourselves, as well as at the people we cover,” said White House Correspondents’ Association President Jonathan Karl. “I’d argue that humor is more important now than ever.”
Liberals cling desperately to humor, “now more than ever,” just as The New York Times advertises by saying, “The truth is more important now than ever.”
The biggest joke of this dinner is Karl’s claim that it is “a nonpartisan event.” Just look at the last three presidents. Leftists like Stephen Colbert famously roasted President George W. Bush. But when Barack Obama became president, a series of comedians oozed their appreciation of the Almighty Barack, spelunking to the all-time low of Larry Wilmore, who proclaimed in 2016: “Yo, Barry. You did it, my n——!”
The “nonpartisan” newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC covered that event with 35 sound bites that celebrated Obama’s comedy routine and touted him as “the funniest president of all time,” compared with only two sound bites from Wilmore. One clip was a supine tribute to Obama, not even a joke.
Minhaj was hired for this gig in 2017, so we know Karl must be joking that this man is going to attempt to be nonpartisan. Back then, the association’s president, Jeff Mason of Reuters, claimed it would be unfair “to roast President Trump in absentia.” But it was inevitable.
Minhaj dribbled out lame jokes about President Donald Trump’s aides who were not in attendance including “Nazi Steve Bannon” and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was “busy curating her collection of children’s tears.” Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was busy with a “pre-Civil-War reenactment.” Minhaj joked that Sessions said no to attending, and that “no” is “his second favorite N-word.”
Minhaj compared Trump to amoral, sadistic, inbred King Joffrey of “Game of Thrones” and joked: “The leader of our country is not here, and that’s because he lives in Moscow. … As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.”
Then Minhaj mocked the media for criticizing Trump’s golfing habits, since any distraction prevents war with North Korea. He suggested that the headline should read, “Trump Golfing. Apocalypse Delayed. Take the W.”
Minhaj goaded the press to stay tough: “We are living in the golden age of lying … and Donald Trump is liar in chief! And remember you guys are public enemy No. 1. You are his biggest enemy. Journalists, ISIS, normal-length ties. And somehow, you’re the bad guys. That’s why you have to keep your foot on the gas.”
Jon Karl heard it all and clearly wants another heaping helping of this kind of “comedy.”
Last time around, Minhaj worried out loud saying that in the Trump era, “trust is more important than truth.” And many people don’t trust the press, which he equates with truth, just like The New York Times does.
These highly educated, well-read policy nerds somehow can’t imagine that a comedy routine like this mixed in with candid shots of Wolf Blitzer or Brian Stelter guffawing along isn’t helping the idea that the press is nonpartisan, that it doesn’t see itself as valiantly taking a side. They’re urged to keep their “foot on the gas” and excuse most of us for not daring to hitchhike.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS: Nevada Democrats Requiring Caucus Volunteers To Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements
Nothing says “transparency” like forcing election volunteers to sign confidentiality agreements insisting they won’t say anything bad about a political party.
Ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucus, the Nevada State Democratic Party (NSDP) is requiring volunteers leading caucus sites to sign non-disclosure agreements that insist they won’t speak to the media or disclose “confidential information of the NSDP,” CNN reported. Democrats and election watchers have been wondering whether Democrats will fail spectacularly in counting caucus delegates as they did in Iowa.
To ensure Nevada Democrats don’t fail, operatives tied to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been put in charge, because we all know that guy never did anything shady in his lifetime. An NSDP official told CNN that non-disclosure agreements are standard procedure and said it also required them in 2018.
A copy of the NDA obtained by the outlet states, in part, “I will take all measures necessary to protect the secrecy of, and avoid disclosure and unauthorized use of, Confidential Information of the NSDP.”
As CNN reported, the NDA refers to other NDSP activities and suggested it is used for other purposes as well.
“If I am a volunteer and answering phones at the NSDP office or volunteering at an official NSDP event, I am a representative of the NSDP and am not authorized to speak to the press unless given permission by the Executive Director or Communications Director,” the NDA says.
The NDA then reminds volunteers that they may be contacted by members of the media and that any inquiries must be passed on to the Executive Director of Communications Director of the NDSP, saying, “THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.” It also says volunteers are not allowed to provide background or off-the-record information to reporters.
CNN spoke to volunteer Seth Morrison, who said he was planning to become a site leader but quit after he was presented with the NDA.
“The wording of that agreement is very broad,” Morrison told CNN. “If I were to quote disparage the party or talk to the media without their permission, they could sue me for everything I own.”
He also told the outlet that the NDA covered more than just election information, including information about the NDSP’s business practices and methods. Further, he said the media should be aware of the NDAs
“Since I felt that there are elements of this process that need to be reported, I could not in good conscience sign that document,” Morrison told CNN.
The outlet suggested that the “possibility that even a small number of volunteers could be quitting the day before the Nevada caucuses is yet another cause for concern that vote can been pulled off in the wake of the fiasco with the Iowa caucuses.”
Iowa Democrats didn’t require volunteers to sign NDAs. As The Daily Wire previously reported, the Democrats’ Iowa caucus was marred by chaos and incompetence, as an app designed to collect and report caucus data failed. By Tuesday, just 62% of data had been released, and it would take days for the full results to be tallied.
The polls are not wrong. I know many people think polls are wrong, because the polls say things people do not believe. Sure, there are bad pollsters, but polling averages do a pretty good job. Take 2016, the example that comes to mind for a lot of people who say polls are wrong.
Hillary Clinton did, in fact, win the popular vote. The final polling average had her winning by 3%. She won by 2%. The polls were right. The problem is that we elect the President with an Electoral College, not a popular vote. The individual polls of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were far more instructive. But individual state polling is hard to do, and it’s more expensive.
As a general rule, if a poll has the candidates with a gap of 5% or more, those numbers tend to trickle down proportionally at the state level. When polls show candidates with margins of less than 5%, go to individual state polling to get a more accurate reading of a presidential race.
The methodology matters, too. Let me give you the methodology of the Emerson College poll. According to their latest national poll, which has Sen. Bernie Sanders with a 7-point lead, “Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only … and online panels provided by (Amazon) Turk.” In other words, the poll only called landlines, not cellphones. It used a robocall, not a live operator. It also used an online voting system that involved Amazon Mechanical Turk. Amazon describes its Turk system as “a crowdsourcing marketplace that makes it easier for individuals and businesses to outsource their processes and jobs to a distributed workforce who can perform these tasks virtually.”
That is not a good method of polling. There were no live operators and no cellphones. Compare Emerson to the ABC News-Washington Post poll, which describes its methodology as, “conducted by landline and cellular telephone Feb. 14-17, 2020, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,066 adults.” That poll has Sanders with a 15-point national lead.
The ABC News-Washington Post poll uses a good methodology. They used landlines and cellphones. They polled randomly. They also did it in Spanish. That’s pretty comprehensive.
Pew Research has out a report on bogus respondents in online polling. They found “that online polls conducted with widely-used opt-in sources contain small but measurable shares of bogus respondents (about 4% to 7%, depending on the source). Critically, these bogus respondents are not just answering at random, but rather they tend to select positive answer choices — introducing a small, systematic bias into estimates like presidential approval.”
In other words, beware of pollsters using online groups to participate in polls.
Polling really is a combination of art and science. There are great pollsters out there. The media overly relies on polling to help shape news coverage, but it can be helpful. We can, for example, see the rise of Michael Bloomberg in the polling. He has not yet been on the ballot, but we can tell his spending on ads is helping him. This, in turn, tells us that major ad-buying actually does help by boosting name identification.
But Sanders is now leading in the polls. Joe Biden has what can best be described as electile dysfunction. Biden led the polling nationally for more than 52 weeks. Before Biden even formally declared, he held about 28% in the polling averages. But his numbers are starting to plummet as Sanders surges and Bloomberg takes off.
It is an open question if Bloomberg can compensate for the fact that he has not been on the ballot yet and now has had a terrible debate performance. Super Tuesday is on March 3, and Bloomberg will finally be on a ballot. In the meantime, don’t dismiss the polls. Just check the methodology. Also, for all the horror stories about President Donald Trump losing to everyone in the national polls, go check out the swing states. In Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina and beyond, Trump actually does far better than national polls suggest. That could make for an interesting election.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
In the latest edition of “The Rubin Report” podcast, two people I adore, Dave Rubin and Heather Mac Donald, dialogue about some of the great issues facing America. Interestingly, though both are secular, Dave opened the interview asking Heather about God and religion.
She began by saying that she is not conservative because of religion but because of her commitment to empirical truth. It is empirical truth that leads her to affirm, for example, “the necessity of the two-parent family” and “most traditional values.”
Heather is right that one cannot be committed to empirical truth and be a leftist (though one can be a conservative or a liberal). Left-wing assertions that men give birth; that America was founded in 1619 (when the first enslaved black was brought to the American colonies); that people can be lifted from poverty on a mass scale without capitalism; that there are no innate differences between men and women; that America is a racist nation; that women are paid less than men for the same type and amount of work because they are women; and innumerable other leftist assertions are all false.
But while a secular conservative may be committed to the two-parent family because of empirical truth, marriage and family are not “empirical truths” nearly as much as they are religious values. Few secular arguments to get married and/or have children are as compelling as religious ones. That’s why religious people are so much more likely to get married and have children.
Mac Donald said: “(P)eople who I respect enormously … whether it’s Dennis Prager or Michael Medved … are making the argument that you cannot have a moral society without a foundation of religious belief.”
That is precisely the argument nearly every founder of America made. Not all were Christ-centered Christians, but virtually every one believed that inalienable rights come from the Creator, and only from the Creator. And none (except perhaps Thomas Paine) believed that America could endure if it were to become a godless society.
Mac Donald: “Part of my resistance to this is simply I don’t find claims of petitionary prayer and the idea of a personal loving God consistent with what I see — what I call the daily massacre of the innocents. To me it’s a very hard claim to make that I should expect God to pay attention to my well-being when He’s willing to allow horrific things to happen to people far more deserving and innocent than I am. So, for me, it’s partly just a truth value. I cannot stomach what appears to me to be a patently false claim about a personal loving God.”
I agree with Heather’s premises but not with her conclusion. I have never believed that God has any reason to pay more attention to me than to any other innocent human being. And I, too, “cannot stomach” the “daily massacre of the innocents” — so much so that I have written how I find the commandment to love God the hardest commandment in the Bible.
But what I also cannot stomach is the thought of a universe in which the horrible suffering of innocents is never compensated by a good and just God: The good and the evil all die; the former receive no reward and the latter no punishment.
The problem of unjust suffering troubles every thinking believer. But the Jewish theologian Milton Steinberg offered a powerful response: “The believer in God has to account for unjust suffering; the atheist has to account for everything else.” Between the two, I would argue that the atheist’s burden is infinitely greater. And insurmountable.
Mac Donald: “(T)he idea of what started the universe — we can’t really answer that. I think to say, ‘God’ — that’s just a placeholder for ignorance. That doesn’t help.”
Maybe we really can’t answer what started the universe. But, as Charles Krauthammer, a great secular conservative, said, “The idea that this universe always existed, that it created itself ex nihilo — I mean, talk about the violation of human rationality. That, to me, is off the charts.” God, therefore, is not “just a placeholder for ignorance.” Since science can never and will never answer the question “Why is there anything?” attributing the origins of the universe to an intelligent force (which we call “God”) strikes me as the most rational explanation.
Rubin: “I might have to get you in here with Prager.”
Mac Donald: “I’d love to.”
I’d love to, too.
Mac Donald: “Where are we all headed? What is the meaning of life? To me, anybody who claims … he doesn’t find meaning in life when there is Mozart and Haydn — to invoke a Dennis Prager favorite — or Beethoven or John Milton or Aeschylus or Anthony Trollope —”
Rubin: “Or just waking up with purpose for whatever you do.”
Mac Donald: “Exactly … trying to do the best you can do. I don’t find life meaningless for one second.”
Haydn began every manuscript with the Latin words “in nomine Domini,” “in the name of the Lord,” and ended his manuscripts with the words “Lauds Deo,” “Praise be to God.” I would ask Heather and other secular conservatives: Do you or don’t you identify the steep deterioration of the arts with the death of God and religion? Is a secular society capable of achieving artistic achievement equal to that which was accomplished in tribute to God?
As for meaning, you — and I — may find meaning every day in trying to do the best we can do, or in great works of art. But, as I know you will agree, that does not mean life has any ultimate meaning. If there is no God, we are nothing more than self-conscious stellar dust. And stellar dust has no meaning.
We really need to continue this dialogue. In the meantime, for what it’s worth, I want to say to both of you, who do so much for our country, God bless you.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” came to theaters fall 2019. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.
Many have noted the dilemma the socialists — er, I mean the Democrats — are in over the prospect of Sen. Bernie Sanders winning their nomination. If nominated, they’re running a socialist. If not, their base will be out of sorts.
It’s time for a reckoning. The Democratic Party is going to have to be honest with itself — and the American voters — sooner or later. It is already mostly socialist. But is it ready to embrace the label?
While a majority of Democrats now have a favorable view of socialism (just think about that for a second), a majority of Americans do not, though the gap is shrinking thanks to liberal academia, Hollywood and Democratic propaganda.
Democrats always go left during primaries and pretend to be moderate during the general election campaign. But radical leftism now controls their party, and they have little plausible deniability.
If Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the nominee, which seems unlikely, we’ll see the media conspiring with her to deceive voters about her socialism. With policies sometimes to the left of Sanders, she still hasn’t owned up to the label.
If Sanders, a card-carrying socialist, is the nominee, there’ll be no point in the media denying it — and Sanders probably won’t either, though crazier things have happened than a proud socialist temporarily shedding his Marxist cap to win the presidency and push the nation further toward socialism.
There’s an arguable parallel between the 2016 Republicans and the 2020 Democrats in that each had a broad range of candidates. And if Sanders is nominated, each will have chosen an unorthodox candidate, but one whom the base can enthusiastically endorse.
The similarities end there. While the left repeats with mind-numbing monotony that the Republicans just keep moving further to the right, that’s really not true. Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, our conservative policies have finally lined up with our rhetoric, but our rhetoric — our agenda — hasn’t become appreciably more conservative since former President Ronald Reagan.
Yes, I’m aware that our never-Trump friends on the right will descend into spasms over my remark that Trump is governing conservatively, but most (not all) of those self-described “principled conservatives” are too busy cavorting with Democrats to be taken seriously. I’ll concede that Trump appears to have strayed from conservative orthodoxy on trade, but even there he’s more of a horse trader than a protectionist. He’s willing to take risks to secure better deals, but this isn’t ideological for him; it’s business, which is who he is and what he’s about.
If Bernie loses, Democrats will have to convince their hopping-mad base that they were forced to settle on a racist-sounding gazillionaire whose tax returns and emoluments clause issues will bite them in the rear — or some other lackluster candidate who will still be light-years better than the evil Donald Trump. Anyone but Trump.
If Bernie wins, Democrats will have bigger problems. It’s not just that Bernie’s an avowed socialist. It’s the economy, stupid! It’s the improved standard of living and rising employment across the board, especially for minorities. It’s the astounding stock market. It’s Trump’s bullishness on America, and America is, in fact, stronger again. It’s that Trump has fulfilled his promises. It’s that Trump and his exceptionally united Republican Party have, by delivering solutions, robbed Democrats of their talking points.
All they’ll have left is identity politics, which means exaggerating race problems, manufacturing gender problems and engaging in all out thermonuclear class warfare. But every bit of that message is pessimistic. No hope and change on the horizon. All the Democrats have is negativity — complaining about Trump, and whining about unfairness and alleged inequalities.
But given that all income groups are improving and race relations are better than under former President Barack Obama, Democrats will have trouble winning the swing states with only negativity. It doesn’t really matter how much is owned by these evil liberal capitalist billionaires — Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc. If people’s lives are better — and they are — class envy won’t be nearly as seductive.
With Democrats always having a built-in electoral vote advantage, Republicans should never be smug about an upcoming election. But we should be optimistic, and we have objective reasons to be. By almost all measures, America is doing better under President Trump. Four more years!
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is “Guilty by Reason of Insanity: Why the Democrats Must Not Win.” Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.