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Two women are emerging as the front-runners to replace the late Justice Ruth Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

There’s not much doubt that President Donald Trump will nominate a replacement. The president on Saturday tweeted his commitment to move forward with a nomination, even as some Republican senators balked at a confirmation process prior to Election Day.

“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!” Trump tweeted.

According to Reuters, Trump has “praised” Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible replacements for Ginsburg.

As of Saturday night, other media outlets were reporting that Barrett and Lagoa were likely picks, reflecting that Trump praised them in response to questions while leaving the White House on Saturday.

Trump said he would prefer a female pick, according to a White House media pool report.

“If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place, yes,” Trump said Saturday. “The choice of a woman, I would say, would certainly be appropriate.”

Later Saturday, he was more definitive about describing the nominee to fill Ginsburg’s seat. Ginsburg, appointed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993, was the second woman named to the court, after Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

“I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump said.

He said Barrett is “very respected.”

When asked about Lagoa, Trump called her an “extraordinary person.”

“I’ve heard incredible things about her. I don’t know her,” he said. “She’s Hispanic and highly respected.”

Trump said of those on his shortlist:

“I’ve gotten to know many of them. From a legal standpoint, from a sophisticated understanding of the law, from a constitutional standpoint I think it’s the greatest list ever assembled. I think that the other side should show their radical left list and you’ll be surprised.”

According to The Washington Post, Barrett clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump appointed Barrett, 48, to her current position in 2017.

She formerly taught at the Notre Dame University Law School, according to Fox News.

Her Catholic faith emerged as a bone of contention during her confirmation.

“The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said at the time.

“It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law,” Barrett replied, according to Fox.

Barrett was reportedly on Trump’s shortlist in 2018 when he nominated now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the court.

Lagoa formerly served on the Florida Supreme Court.

A former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, she also was a district judge on the Florida 3rd District Court of Appeals, according to ABC.

In its reporting on who might be selected, The Hill noted that Amul Thapar, and Allison Jones Rushing, both judges Trump appointed to their currents posts, are also in the running.

The Hill said that a source it did not name said that Rushing, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas and currently the judge for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, is backed by evangelicals and that Thapar, currently serving in the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, has also been mentioned.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Trump Identifies 2 Women as Front-Runners To Replace RBG on Supreme Court: Report

Legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka is telling protesting NFL players just where he thinks they belong.

Ditka, a Hall of Fame tight end and coach who led the 1985 Bears to a Super Bowl win, has been standing foursquare against protests that take the form of disrespect for the national anthem ever since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the protests trendy back in 2016

“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick — he probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice,” Ditka said in a 2016 interview with KRLD-FM. “My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”

Time marches on. But Ditka has not bent with the winds of change, as he made evident in a new interview with Newsmax TV.

“Football’s football. It’s not a complicated thing. You’re playing the game, you’re enjoying the game. You don’t like the game, get out of it,” Ditka said Monday.

Ditka said politics does not belong in the game.

“It’s not for protesting one way or the other — what color you are, what you think, this or that,” he said.

Players do not understand how lucky they are to be where they are, he added.

“You play football. That’s it. You’re privileged. You got a gift from God that you can play the game because you got a body you can do it with. I don’t really understand what you’re protesting. I played the game. I coached the game for a long time. It makes no sense to me.

“You ought to get down on your hands and knees and thank God every day that you can make the kind of money you can make playing football. Or playing any sport,” he said.

“I would tell those players, go to another country and play football there,” Ditka added. “You don’t have to come out. You don’t have to come out for the anthem if you go to another country. You can’t! Because the game’s only played in this country.

“And if you can’t respect this country, get the hell out of it.”

Ditka’s comments provoked a strong reaction on Twitter:

In July, Ditka spoke out about anthem protests in the context of the X League — a professional football league for women of which he will be the chairman.

“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” Ditka said then. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old fashioned, so I’m only going to say what I feel.”

“I that that there’s a way you protest and there’s a way you don’t protest,” he said. “You don’t protest against the flag and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen.”

“So, I don’t want to hear all the crap,” he added.

Ditka said too many whiners fail to see opportunities that are all around them.

“I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity — now if they don’t want to look for them — then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don’t work … that’s a different problem,” he said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: NFL Legend Mike Ditka To Anthem Protesters: ‘If You Can’t Respect This Country, Get the Hell Out of It’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home turf will decide this fall whether it will allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections.

San Francisco residents rejected a similar measure in 2016, but organizers of the initiative are hoping for success this time around.

“I really think that Vote 16 will help youth of color in San Francisco establish the habit of voting at an earlier age, and really provide them with the support and the resources that they need to continue building on that habit as they grow older,” 18-year-old Crystal Chan, who is part of Vote 16 SF, which pushed for the measure to be on November’s ballot, told NBC News.

If the measure passes, San Francisco would become the first major U.S. city to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.

Voting at 16 is supported by Pelosi, who represents the city.

“I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school, when they’re interested in all of this, when they’re learning about government, to be able to vote,” she said in 2019.

One of Vote 16’s leaders said the sooner people begin voting, the better it is for democracy.

“Research is clear on this, that voting is a habit. And 16 is a better time than 18 to establish that habit,” Brandon Klugman, Vote 16’s campaign manager, told NBC.

“Our motivation here first and foremost is to make sure that we put new voters in a position to establish that habit in the first election they’re eligible for, and then to continue participating throughout their lives which is good for democracy on every level,” he said.

But Republican activist Nate Hochman, a college senior, said too few 16-year-olds understand “exactly what good governance looks like.”

“Sixteen-year-olds — they’re sophomores, juniors in high school like they’re deeply impressionable. They’re largely interested in learning what, you know, their friends are doing and appearing to be cool,” said Hochman, who attends Colorado College.

“And they’re not capable of making completely rational decisions about voting,” he told NBC.

Klugman, however, said that teens should have a voice in decisions that affect them.

“We’ve seen the concrete effects that local policy decisions make on the lives of young people really more clearly than ever as school boards and local officials figure out how they’re gonna reopen schools … how they’re going to make sure that young people have access to remote learning and the achievement gap doesn’t widen,” he said.

Many on Twitter said they think lowering the voting age would be a mistake:

Last year, Congress rejected a proposal from Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts to lower the voting age to 16 for federal elections, according to the Washington Examiner.

“I’m of the opinion that we shouldn’t arbitrarily lower the voting age just because right now, I believe Democrats think they’ll gain more votes,” Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois said at the time.

“I believe it will institutionalize a Democrat majority here in this House of Representatives.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: 16-Year-Olds May Soon Be Allowed To Vote in this Major US City

Expectations that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will choose Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate soared Tuesday after Biden was photographed with what appeared to be a set of talking points about Harris.

The notes were photographed at a speech Biden made in Wilmington, Delaware, according to CNN.

They listed five talking points under Harris’ name, according to The Associated Press, whose photographer captured the notes.

The talking points were: “Do not hold grudges,” “Campaigned with me & Jill,” “Talented,” “Great help to campaign” and “Great respect for her.”

At the bottom of the sheet, under the heading “VP,” the list reads “highly qualified” and “diverse group.”

Media accounts suggested that the comment about grudges refers to the June 2019 debate in which Harris lashed out at Biden for his record on race relations.

“Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America?” Harris asked then, according to Fox News.

That confrontation still sticks in the craw of some of Biden’s supporters, according to a Politico report that based its information on what it characterized as “a longtime Biden supporter and donor.”

The report said the donor relayed to Politico comments from Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut that when he asked Harris about the attacks she made on Biden, “She laughed and said, ‘That’s politics.’ She had no remorse.”

The source said Dodd “felt it was a gimmick, that it was cheap” and has been trying to steer Biden away from Harris.

Although CNN commentator Chris Cillizza ranks Harris as having “the pole position” for the VP nod, not everyone agrees that the deal has been sealed.

“I don’t think Kamala Harris has it in the bag,” former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said, according to Politico.

But Democratic strategist Karen Finney said Harris has a major advantage in the current environment.

“The reality is you have a short period of time and you’re trying to win the election,” Finney said. “How you do it is also challenging, given the COVID reality. You’re not able to do the big rally” to introduce a new face to the nation.

Biden has said he will choose a female running mate, and multiple voices within the campaign and Democratic Party have indicated black women are at the top of his list.

Biden has said he will announced his choice next week, according to USA Today.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Biden May Have Just Accidentally Revealed His VP Pick via Handwritten Notes

New emails have been released showing that on the eve of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, top FBI officials were buzzing to each other.

The full extent of the communication among then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then-Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap, then-agent Peter Strzok, and then-FBI attorney Lisa Page is limited by extensive redactions. (Strzok later became the FBI’s deputy assistant director.)

However, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton was ready with an overall summary.

“These documents suggest that President Trump was targeted by the Comey FBI as soon as he stepped foot in the Oval Office,” Fitton said.

The documents were released in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request.

“And now we see how the Comey FBI was desperate to spin, through high-level leaks, its mishandling of the Clinton email investigation. And, in a continuing outrage, it should be noted that Wray’s FBI and Barr’s DOJ continue slow walk the release of thousands of Page-Strzok emails – which means the remaining 8,000 pages of records won’t be reviewed and released until 2021-2022!”

The email chain began on Jan. 19, 2017, with an email to Strzok by an assistant general counsel in the FBI’s National Security Law Branch.

“I’ll give Trisha/Baker a heads up too,” reads the unredacted piece of the message.

After two redacted emails, Strzok’s reply is shown.

“I briefed Bill this afternoon and he was trying without success to reach the DD [McCabe]. I will forward below to him as his [sic] changes the timeline. What’s your recommendation?” he wrote.

Amid more redactions, Priestap told Strzok, “Approved by tomorrow afternoon is the request. [Redacted] – please advise if I am missing something.”

After more redacted conversations, Strzok wrote, “Just talked with Bill. [Redacted]. Please relay above to WFO and [redacted] tonight, and keep me updated with plan for meet and results of same. Good luck.”

Strzok sent the full exchange to Page, with whom later investigations would reveal he was having an affair, saying, “Bill spoke with Andy. [Redacted.] Here we go again …”

The day after Trump’s inauguration, Strzok wrote to Priestap, “I heard from [redacted] about the WH CI briefing routed from [redacted]. I am angry that Jen did not at least cc: me, as my branch has pending investigative matters there, this brief may play into our investigative strategy, and I would like the ability to have visibility and provide thoughts/counsel to you in advance of the briefing. This is one of the reasons why I raised the issue of lanes/responsibilities that I did when you asked her to handle WH detailee interaction.”

Strzok was cited in documents released Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a release on the Judiciary Committee’s website that comments Strzok made disagreeing with the report in The New York Times about alleged Russian ties to the Trump campaign “are an admission that there was no reliable evidence that anyone from the Trump Campaign was working with Russian Intelligence Agencies in any form.”

“The statements by Mr. Strzok question the entire premise of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump Campaign and make it even more outrageous that the Mueller team continued this investigation for almost two and a half years. Moreover, the statements by Strzok raise troubling questions as to whether the FBI was impermissibly unmasking and analyzing intelligence gathered on U.S. persons,” Graham said.

According to the release, “The document further shows that the FBI’s assertion to the FISA court that ‘the FBI believes that Russia’s efforts to influence U.S. policy were likely being coordinated between the RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] and [Trump campaign aide Carter] Page, and possibly others’ appears to be a misrepresentation. This is because, in his comments on the Times article, Strzok asserts that “[w]e have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with IOs [Intelligence Officials]. … We are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.”

“The document also indicates that the FBI may have been using foreign intelligence gathering techniques to impermissibly unmask and analyze existing and future intelligence collection regarding U.S. persons associated with the Trump campaign,” the release said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: New Strzok-Page Emails Show Frantic Exchange Night Before Inauguration

The White House fired back after a New York Times article claimed President Donald Trump had been briefed concerning allegations from intelligence analysts that Russia was paying bounties when members of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan were killed by terrorists loyal to the Taliban.

Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany were joined by Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana in denouncing the paper.

According to The Times, a Russian military intelligence unit last year covertly offered the bounties.

The Times was uncertain which, if any, American deaths in Afghanistan might be linked to bounties paid by the Russians. The report said “Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them” collected some bounty cash. The intelligence assessment was discussed in March by the National Security Council, according to The Times, and Trump was briefed on the allegation.

Trump said the report that he was briefed should go in the bin labeled “fake news.”

“Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!” the president tweeted Sunday.

On Monday, the White House arranged a briefing on the issue for members of Congress. Afterward, Banks tweeted his disgust with the Times.

“I just left the White House where I was briefed by CoS @MarkMeadows and top intelligence officials. They discussed @nytimes’ hit piece falsely accusing @realDonaldTrump of ignoring reports that Russia placed bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan,” he tweeted.

“The real scandal: We’ll likely never know the truth… Because the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into targeted killing of American soldiers in order to smear the President. The blood is on their hands.

“Having served in Afghanistan during the time the alleged bounties were placed, no one is angrier about this than me. Now it’s impossible to finish the investigation. All b/c the @nytimes will do anything to damage @realdonaldtrump, even if it means compromising nat’l security.

“Sad, but many in the media & Congress rushed to judgement before learning the whole story. We should treat anonymously sourced @nytimes stories about Russia w/ skepticism.”

McEnany, during her daily media briefing on Monday, explained that talk of bounties could not be proven.

“The U.S. receives thousands of reports a day on intelligence, and they are subject to strict scrutiny. While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA director, NSA — national security advisor — and the chief of staff can all confirm that neither the president nor the vice president were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” she said.

“There is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations, and, in effect, there are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported. And the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.”

Much of the rest of the briefing consisted of reporters asking McEnany about whether Trump had been briefed. After multiple questions, the press secretary attacked the source of the report.

“I would also note that, for those of you that are always taking The New York Times at their word, they erroneously reported that the president was briefed on this. He was not briefed on this and neither was the vice president,” she said.

“So before buying into, full-fledged, a narrative from The New York Times that falsely stated something about the president, that you would wait for the facts to come out and note once again: There’s no consensus in the intel community, and, in fact, there are dissenting opinions from some within it,” she said.

As reporters continued to probe, McEnany hit back harder.

“I would just point you back to the absolutely irresponsible decision of The New York Times to falsely report that he was briefed on something that he, in fact, was not briefed on. And I really think that it’s time for The New York Times to step back and ask themselves why they’ve been wrong — so wrong, so often,” she said.

She would go on to list some specific examples.

“The New York Times falsely claimed Paul Manafort asked for polling data to be passed along to Oleg Deripaska before having to issue a correction. In June of 2017, The New York Times falsely wrote all 17 intel agencies had agreed on Russian interference, before having to issue a correction that it was only four agencies. In 2017, February of that year, New York Times published a story claiming Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence — which even James Comey had said was almost entirely wrong,” McEnany said.

“New York Times published a column in March of 2019 by a former Times executive editor that asserted the Trump campaign and Russia ‘had an overarching deal’ that the ‘quid of help in the campaign against Hillary for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy.’ That’s what we call the Russia hoax, which was investigated for three years with taxpayer dollars before ultimately getting an exoneration in the Mueller report,” she added.

“It is inexcusable, the failed Russia reporting of The New York Times. And I think it’s time that The New York Times, and also The Washington Post, hand back their Pulitzers.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Trump Rails Against ‘Another Fabricated Russia Hoax’ from Mainstream Media

As Hurricane Dorian swirled through the Caribbean and approached Florida, Democrats were raging a storm of their own to attack President Donald Trump.

Many Democrats attacked Trump for using a slice of Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to support the construction of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for a hurricane. @realDonaldTrump, stop raiding disaster funds and work to ensure FEMA is ready to help these Americans,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York tweeted.

Mindful of the political controversy engendered after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, some Democrats early in the week focused on the destruction and devastation that would be hitting the island.

“As Dorian hits Puerto Rico, the Trump Admin seems to have learned nothing from its shameful failure in Hurricane Maria,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tweeted Wednesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined in the chorus of condemnation as New York State sent teams to Puerto Rico in advance of the storm’s expected landfall there.

“After President Trump and the federal administration shamefully treated the people of Puerto Rico like second-class citizens following Hurricanes Maria and Irma, New York State stepped up to help — and we’re doing it again now,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Daily News.

“The islands are still building back after the devastation of past storms, making them even more vulnerable to the impending hurricane.”

In fact, Dorian skirted Puerto Rico, causing no damage to the island.

However, Trump’s antagonists did not let that get in the way of their barrage against the president, attacking him as Trump announced on Twitter that federal agencies were ready to assist local agencies in Florida as the storm bore down upon the Sunshine State.

Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia said race was a factor in Trump’s concern for a state facing a massive storm and what he called Trump’s lack of concern to help the island that was not hit by Dorian.

“Well, part of it is that Florida could be a swing state in 2020. And part of it is Florida is not an island full of people of color. We have seen him, again and again, pick on anywhere color is involved,” he said, according to CNN.

Joe Lockhart, a White House press secretary under former President Bill Clinton, also said race was a factor in Trump’s decision making, Fox News reported.

“There’s no doubt that the president doesn’t view Puerto Rico as part of the United States. He doesn’t view people who didn’t vote for him as important. And he doesn’t view people who aren’t white as important as everyone else. That’s just — it’s that simple,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart did not address the issue of the vast Hispanic population in Florida or the fact that Miami’s Cuban population has been strongly pro-Trump.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Democrats Pounce To Politicize Hurricane Dorian, Use It To Attack Trump

President Donald Trump said Friday he is already working with new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a major trade agreement.

Johnson took office this week and replaces Theresa May, who failed to develop an acceptable plan to wean Britain away from the European Union as required by the Brexit vote. Trump said he called Johnson to congratulate him on his new job.

“We’re working already on a trade agreement,” Trump said, according to Britain’s Sky News.

“And I think it’ll be a very substantial trade agreement, you know we can do with the UK, we can do three to four times. We were actually impeded by their relationship with the European Union. We were very much impeded on trade. And I think we can do three to four or five times what we’re doing,” Trump said.

“We don’t do the kind of trade we could do with what some people say is Great Britain. And some people remember a word you don’t hear too much is the word England – which is a piece of it. But with the UK, we could do much much more trade. And we expect to do that OK,” Trump said.

Trump called Johnson a “good guy, a good friend of mine,” adding that “he will be a good prime minister.”

“He has what it takes, they needed him for a long time,” Trump said, according to Politico.

British officials confirmed the two leaders spoke, and that they are expected to meet at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, in late August.

The leaders “agreed that Brexit offers an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the economic partnership between the UK and United States,” the British statement said, Reuters reported.

Trump and Johnson “both expressed their commitment to delivering an ambitious free trade agreement and to starting negotiations as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU,” the statement said.

Earlier in the week, Trump shared an upbeat assessment of Johnson at a conference for young conservatives sponsored by Turning Point USA, Politico reported.

“We have a really good man. He’s going to be the prime minister of the U.K. now, Boris Johnson,” Trump said to the Teen Student Action Summit.

“Good man. He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying ‘Britain Trump.’ They call him ‘Britain Trump,’ and there’s people saying that’s a good thing,” Trump said.

“They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need. He’ll get it done. Boris is good. He’s going to do a good job,” Trump said.

Woody Johnson, America’s ambassador to Britain, said the Trump-Boris Johnson relationship will be “sensational,” The Guardian reported.

“I think they do have a lot [in common],” he said.

“Both these leaders have their own style, but they have similarities and I think they have clear vision of what they want to accomplish.”

Woody Johnson said the new prime minister’s past criticism of Trump that dates from 2015 is no barrier to a good relationship.

“Donald Trump is going to say what he wants to say when he wants to say it, and he will comment on injustices or inabilities or how he sees it,” he said.

“I think he respects Boris for the same. Boris is going to call it as he sees it. But first of all, I don’t think it’s long-lasting and second of all I think they have so much more in common in terms of what they want to accomplish for the good of both of our nations.”

“The UK is our most important ally, both in security and also in prosperity, so you’re very important and he knows that, and he’s made some comments regarding a free trade agreement and putting the UK at the front of the line,” Johnson said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: The Art of the Deal: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson Hammering Out ‘Very Substantial Trade Agreement’

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw set former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes straight after he questioned America’s credibility on the current crisis with Iran.

Rhodes, who was involved with selling the Iran nuclear deal to the American public during the Obama administration, replied to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on Thursday that the U.S. was blaming Iran for the attacks by saying America’s word alone was not enough.

“This definitely feels like the kind of incident where you’d want an international investigation to establish what happened. Huge risk of escalation,” Rhodes tweeted.

Texas Rep. Crenshaw sent back a bristling reply.

“So, do or don’t believe the Intel community? And you’re not really a trusted source to weigh in on Iran…You sold the public the falsehood of a moderating Iranian regime – using your media “echo chamber” (your words)- & ignoring the true danger Iran presents in the region,” Crenshaw tweeted.

In 2016, Rhodes used the phrase “echo chamber” to describe the Obama administration’s efforts to ensure that arms control experts would say that backing the Iran nuclear deal would eliminate aggressive behavior from Iran, Fox News reported.

President Donald Trump campaigned against the Iran nuclear deal and has ramped up sanctions against Iran during his time in the Oval Office.

Crenshaw further noted on Twitter that the recent attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman bear all the hallmarks of Iran’s style.

“I’ve been watching for years as Iran moves weapons to proxies around the region, looking for opportunities to destabilize & wreak havoc, and then claim innocence. This is not new. And the Administration is right to strengthen our regional presence as a deterrence,” Crenshaw tweeted, referencing the buildup of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region that began last month in response to fears of Iranian aggression.

On Friday, a video of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one tanker was released, backing up Pompeo’s initial claim that Iran attacked two tankers.

The role of former Obama administration officials in taking Iran’s side was noted by David Harsyni in an Op-Ed published by the New York Post.

“(T)he Iranians — not only responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemen but a player in nearly every destructive conflict in the Middle East today — already act with impunity,” he wrote.

“The attacks on shipping are meant to spike oil prices to damage the world economy and undermine Trump’s maximum-pressure campaign.

“An added bonus, of course, is that a campaign may undercut Trump’s electoral chances in 2020 and bring someone into the White House who would almost certainly reenter the Obama-era nuke deal with Iran and allow it a wide berth to destabilize the region,” he wrote.

“Perhaps Iranian leadership has been emboldened after listening to former Obama administration officials like John Kerry tell them to wait out the president,” he added.

Although many European nations have been reluctant to blame Iran for the attacks, Britain on Friday joined the U.S. in attributing the attacks to Iran, according to The Guardian.

“It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Dan Crenshaw Rips Ex-Obama Aide for Questioning Validity of Iran Tanker Attack Intel

Vermont will soon do away with Columbus Day and make the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day, if Gov. Phil Scott follows through on his plan to sign a bill that has passed the state’s legislature.

“I see no reason that I would not sign it, but we’re reviewing the bill as we speak,” Scott said, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Vermont has been recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day along with Columbus Day since 2016, when former Gov. Peter Shumlin began issuing proclamations to that effect.

Scott has continued that precedent of celebrating both the state holiday and the informally designated Indigenous People’s Day, but the law would now make it official.

Vermont’s Senate strongly supported the bill, but it faced contrary winds in the House of Representatives. Republican legislators sought to preserve Columbus Day and establish a February holiday for indigenous people.

The Vermont House turned back the Republican-led proposal 95-42 on Wednesday.

“I know it’s controversial from many standpoints, from many people, but you know, it’s just a day, and we’ll get through it,” Scott said. “And we’ve been treating it as something different over the last couple of years through resolutions. Without any technical difficulties within the bill, I’ll probably sign it.”

Maine is also considering a bill to change the name of the day. Last week, Maine’s bill received final legislative approval in the state’s Senate and is expected to be signed into law.

The bill had drawn debate in Maine’s House before passage last month, Maine Public Radio reported.

“Christopher Columbus, while making an important impact on history, was also a war criminal,” said state Rep. Rachel Talbot-Ross, a Portland Democrat.

“And is the symbolic genesis of the idea that Indigenous people of the Americas were a savage and inferior race that should be exterminated in order for progress and colonization,” she said.

Not everyone agreed.

State Rep. Roger Reed, a Republican from Carmel, said that the actions of Columbus are part of America’s history.

“But as regrettable as these are, they are still part of America’s’ story. We can’t change what has occurred in the past and we certainly don’t condone what has happened,” he said.

Oami Amarasingham, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, said after the law’s Senate passage that the change was overdue.

“It’s time to stop celebrating a man whose arrival brought death, disease and slavery to hundreds of thousands, and start honoring the people who lived here long before,” Amarasingham said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

“I greatly respect the history of the Italian-Americans and their contribution, however, I think we can honor their presence here without this day, which really isn’t fitting,” Democratic legislator Ben Collings, who sponsored Maine’s legislation, has said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

New Mexico and South Dakota dropped Columbus Day to recognize indigenous peoples. Alaska, which also marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day, never had Columbus Day as an official state holiday.

“Things that are symbolic can carry very far,” Brattleboro’s Rich Holschuh, who belongs to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, said.

“The degree of disinformation and lack of understanding around the situation of native people in Vermont, as a microcosm of the national situation, is totally exemplified in the way that Columbus has been celebrated and the native people ignored. It’s not trivial and this kind of opens up an opportunity for that story to begin to change,” he added.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Westernjournal: Vermont Governor Says He Expects To Sign Bill Abolishing Columbus Day

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