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John Kerry Won’t Apologize for Being Useless

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Secretary of State John Kerry has some very strong words for Iran in an op-ed he recently wrote for the Washington Post.

We entered into this negotiating process because we believed it had a real chance to succeed.

It still does, but time is running short.

If Iran is able to make these choices, there will be positive outcomes for the Iranian people and for their economy. Iran will be able to use its significant scientific know-how for international civil nuclear cooperation. Businesses could return to Iran, bringing much needed investment, jobs and many additional goods and services. Iran could have greater access to the international financial system. The result would be an Iranian economy that begins to grow at a significant and sustainable pace, boosting the standard of living among the Iranian population. If Iran is not ready to do so, international sanctions will tighten and Iran’s isolation will deepen.

Trending: Coroner Saying George Floyd Died of Drug Overdose, Not Police Brutality

KerryFoolOur negotiators will be working constantly in Vienna between now and July 20. There may be pressure to put more time on the clock. But no extension is possible unless all sides agree, and the United States and our partners will not consent to an extension merely to drag out negotiations. Iran must show a genuine willingness to respond to the international community’s legitimate concerns in the time that remains.

Does this remind anyone of the problem we had with Iraq under the Clinton and Bush administrations? One of the reasons President George W. Bush gave for going to war was the fact that Iraq had missed, avoided, lied about or just pretended that the 17 odd United Nations resolutions that had been passed, instructing them to come clean about WMD’s didn’t exist. Now we have President Obama and Secretary Kerry in perpetual negotiations with Iran, constantly alternating between threats and exhortations about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

There are a couple of major problems here… and everyone knows it.

First, we have no credibility.

The National Journal is reporting today that Secretary Kerry delivered an ultimatum to Russia five days ago.

(Paraphrasing) “If you don’t back off of Ukraine in the next few HOURS … there is going to be trouble.”

Now, five days later, what has changed? NOTHING. Russia called his bluff and now we look even weaker. Which might not be a big deal for the perpetually dithering and spineless Obama administration… but it’s a very big deal for Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Estonia and several other terrified Eastern European allies of ours.

Here’s what the National Journal is saying…

Last week, John Kerry said that Russia needed to pull back in Ukraine in a matter of “hours, literally.”

But more than 100 hours later, Russia has done no such thing.

The secretary of State delivered the order to de-escalate within hours, paired with a warning of future U.S. action, on Thursday in Paris, after a meeting with France’s foreign minister. “We are in full agreement that it is critical for Russia to show in the next hours, literally, that they are moving to help disarm the separatists, to encourage them to disarm, to call on them to lay down their weapons and begin to become part of a legitimate political process,” he said.

In eastern Ukraine, the country’s military has been locked in a bloody battle with pro-Russian separatists, believed to be armed and funded by the Kremlin, for several months. The fighting continued well into the weekend, many hours after Kerry’s statement.

Several months ago Russia lied about their intentions and their part in the violence on the Crimean peninsula. It wasn’t until they’d consolidated power that Russia admitted their soldiers had taken Crimea. Now, we see a similar drama playing out in eastern Ukraine, and once again the Obama administration is proving impotent to play any part in the story.

Russia has played a large part in our loss of credibility, and not just in dealing with Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

Do you remember the “red line” that President Obama drew in Syria?

Yep, the rest of the world remembers too.

What happened after Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad “crossed” the line? NOTHING. Meanwhile, Russia came out of the Syria red line fiasco looking like the voice of reason for saying, “Let’s move carefully. The rebels have used chemical weapons too. The rebels look like terrorists… hey, those rebels are al Qaeda.” Then we looked like the schmucks who were teaming up with Al Qaeda in Syria while fighting them everywhere else!

The Second major problem is that we have no options in Iran.

iran nuke2We have already passed sanctions. We and our allies have already isolated Iran. We’ve also made them into a pariah. All that we really have left is a physical and aggressive military confrontation.

(Which I completely disagree with. War in Iran is not the answer.)

So we’ve exhausted all of our options, other than war, and we are still trying to talk tough with Iran? Ridiculous.

Even war is out of the question. Why? Because of Al Qaeda’s (and others) influence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

If we attack Iran and destabilize the government, it would simply create another opportunity for all of these terrorist organizations to flourish. And we can’t allow that.

The truth is we NEED a stable Iran to fend off most of these terrorist groups.

Al Qaeda and ISIS and the Taliban hate Iranian Muslims. In fact, most of the victims of ISIS in Iraq are Shia Muslims. Iran is predominantly Shia and ISIS, and Al Qaeda would be happy to see every Shia Muslim dead.

So right now… Iran and the USA have a common enemy in ISIS and Al Qaeda. Ironic… isn’t it?

Sadly, new analysis shows that the USA (and the Obama administration in particular) created the ISIS problem in Iraq because we supported them in Syria first.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Folks, we are backed into a corner here… and it’s all because of the choices of the Bush and Obama administrations. (Yes, Bush bears some responsibility – even though Obama is most at fault.) We must reevaluate our foreign policy decisions because they are all too often working against us. Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran are all proof of that…

Listen folks, I hope you aren’t expecting anyone from the Obama administration to apologize for their uselessness… especially not Kerry or the President himself.

 

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SWAT Team Raids Texas Bar, Makes Arrests After Owner Defied Government Orders

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Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said during a news conference that the owner of Big Daddy Zane’s opened her business even though Gov. Abbott explicitly mandated that bars remain closed.

When police arrived they found six men in body armor and armed with rifles standing outside the establishment.

“This was not a protest of their second amendment rights. It was a show of force to ensure this lady could violate the governor’s order,” Griffis told reporters.

The owner along with the seven armed men were arrested.

Texas AG Paxton called for the release of a jailed hair salon owner who reopened her shop despite state orders, and issued a blistering rebuke of a judge’s apparent political “stunt.”

“The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther,” Paxton wrote, according to NBC DFW. “His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas.”

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President Trump Signs Anti-Robocall Legislation Into Law

Now, what am I going to do about my expired automobile warranty?

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The White House announced on Monday that President Donald Trump had signed S. 151, the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, which will prevent criminal robocalls.

The White House:

This historic legislation will provide American consumers with even greater protection against annoying unsolicited robocalls. American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation. President Donald J. Trump is proud to have worked with Congress to get this bipartisan legislation to his desk, and even prouder to sign it into law today.

The FTC explained: “A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company has your written permission to call you that way. To get your permission, the company has to be clear it’s asking to call you with robocalls, and it can’t make you agree to the calls to get a product or service. If you give permission, you have the right to change your mind later.”

Senator John Thune:

I have yet to meet someone who says they enjoy receiving those unwanted and illegal robocalls that plague our phones, whether we’re at home, at work, or in the car, which is why the TRACED Act takes several important steps in the fight to curb this scourge.  This bill represents a unique legislative effort that is not only bipartisan at its core, but it’s nearly unanimously supported in Congress. Most importantly, this is a significant win for consumers in every corner of the country, and it finally and officially puts illegal robocallers on notice. While no process is perfect, I’m glad we were able to work together with Republicans and Democrats, senators and members of the House to reach this important compromise, which, once signed into law, will begin to make an important down payment on the fight against illegal robocalls.”

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Law

Muslim Woman Awarded $120,000 After Police Removed Her Hijab For Mugshot

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A Muslim woman in Minnesota who was allegedly forced to remove her hijab for mugshot gets a $120,000 settlement.

In 2013, Aida Shyef Al-Kadi turned herself in after a warrant was issued for her arrest because of a missed court hearing over a traffic ticket. She described her treatment in custody as “one of the most humiliating and harmful experiences” of her life.

Washington Examiner:

A court awarded a Muslim woman a $120,000 settlement after police forced her to remove her hijab in front of male jailers for a mugshot in 2013.

Aida Shyef Al Kadi, who was born in Ohio and moved to Minnesota so her child could receive special medical care, was arrested after a judge issued a warrant for Al Kadi because she failed to appear in court for a traffic violation. After turning herself in, Al Kadi was ordered to remove her hijab and abaya, a dress that covers the body, in front of male jailers at the Ramsey County jail.

U.S. District Court Judge John Tunheim awarded the settlement last week after Al Kadi sued Ramsey County for violating her constitutional rights and appeared with lawyers at the Minnesota headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations earlier this month.

“It was one of the most humiliating and harmful experiences of my life,” said Al Kadi. “I knew that I did not want any other Muslim woman to experience what I did.”

Al Kadi initially refused to remove her hijab and was allowed to take the religious clothing off in a separate cell in front of a single male jailer. She agreed to remove the clothing after receiving assurances that the photos would not appear online. More

Twitter chimes in:
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Law

Virginia Democrats File Proposals To Begin “Confiscation” Of Lawfully Owned Firearms

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Virginia Democrats are filing proposals to confiscate legally-owned firearms according to a second amendment reporter.

Virginia Democrats now have a majority in the state legislature and Governor Northam has committed to passing gun control measures.

TDW:

After taking complete control of the state, Virginia Democrats are beginning to enact their left-wing agenda to undermine Americans’ constitutionally protected Second Amendment rights.

The legislative action comes after leftist Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam announced at the beginning of last month that Democrats “will at least start” their attempts to restrict Virginian’s constitutional rights by “banning the sale of [semi-automatic firearms] and high-capacity magazines, restoring the law that limits purchases to one gun a month, and a red flag law that would empower a court to temporarily remove a gun from a person deemed to be a risk to himself or others,” The Washington Post reported.

When Northam was asked about confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens, the governor responded, “that’s something I’m working [on] with our secretary of public safety.”

Free Beacon Second Amendment reporter Stephen Gutowski noted the proposed legislation on Monday, tweeting: “Meanwhile Virginia Democrats are filing bills to make the possession of millions of currently-owned firearms illegal. SB16 bans possession of many rifles without any grandfathering provision which means it’s confiscation.”

The legislation that Gutowski linked to included § 18.2-308.8, which proposes banning the “importation, sale, possession, etc., of assault firearms.” More

Virginia’s elected officials swore to uphold the constitution, now that they broke that oath the people of Virginia should impeach each and every one of them.

Then the feds need to arrest them, prosecute them and convict them for civil rights violations. Let them do time in federal prison. That’s the only way this will stop.

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Illinois Set to Revolutionize War on Drugs with Common Sense Marijuana Legislation

It seems as though Illinois is finally learning the lessons of prohibition, nearly a century removed from the violence and corruption instigated by gangsters such as Al Capone.

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Americans have dealt with prohibition before, most famously during the first few decades of the 20th century, in relation to the “scourge” of alcohol on this nation.

Then, we had the temperance movement, whose hard-line, teetotaling ethos bludgeoned the “land of the free” into outlawing booze.  Much like the restrictive gun laws we see in liberal locales today, this prohibiting of firearms has only accomplished one thing:  Putting law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage.

Soon, gangsters, rumrunners, and thugs were running amok, selling booze made either dangerously and illegally, or imported secretly from Canada.  The attempted enforcement of prohibition turned into a bloodbath, and soon, the nation rescinded their virtue-signaling attempt to ban alcohol.

American marijuana laws in the 21st century are slowly catching up to those lessons of nearly a century ago, with Illinois, of all places, working to lead the way.

When lawmakers crafted the law legalizing marijuana in Illinois, they tried to make sure it would right what many see as past wrongs linked to the drug.

In addition to expunging hundreds of thousands of criminal records for marijuana arrests and convictions, the law’s architects added provisions meant to benefit communities that have been the most adversely affected by law enforcement’s efforts to combat the drug.

The so-called social equity provisions are expected to help black applicants, in particular, as blacks are nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana, the American Civil Liberties Union found. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, also established ways for qualified applicants to pay lower licensing fees and get business loans and technical assistance. And it earmarked part of marijuana sales revenue for neighborhood development grants.

“On the surface, its tone and what it’s trying to do is ahead of any state that’s done this. They’re really setting off in the right way,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, a board member of Minority Cannabis Business Association, which has composed model laws outlining social equity programs. He added that follow-through will be key: “We can’t just set this in motion and set it free.”

Companies that apply for a license to sell marijuana will be judged on a 250-point scale, and those that qualify as social equity applicants will get a 50-point bump.

Not only will these laws take a great deal of power and money out of the hands of Illinois’ violent black market, but they will also spur on an entrepreneurial boom in the midwestern rust belt.

Well over half of the states in the nation currently allow for some form of legal or decriminalized use of cannabis.

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Democrats Furious: President Trump to Receive Justice Award from Black Justice Group

Liberals are furious that President Donald Trump is about to be awarded the “Bipartisan Justice Award” by a prestigious black justice group.

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Liberals are furious that President Donald Trump is about to be awarded the “Bipartisan Justice Award” by a prestigious black justice group for his work on criminal justice reform.

Trump will receive the award at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum being held at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a group founded by twenty black Republicans and twenty black Democrats back in 2015, according to the Daily Caller.

The annual dinner recognizes a public servant who has reached across the aisle to work on matters of criminal justice.

The White House released a celebratory press release about the award, saying:

The Bipartisan Justice Award is the highest honor given annually to a public servant who has demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming our criminal justice system. The 2019 Bipartisan Justice award winner is President Donald J. Trump for his Bipartisan leadership in the passage of the historic First Step Act. The award is being given by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a non-profit organization founded by 20 Black Republicans and 20 Black Democrats in 2015, to elevate the issue of criminal justice reform above partisan politics.

Even more galling for liberals, many of the Democrat candidates for president will be in attendance at the event and will have to sit squirming in their chairs as Trump gets his award.

According to the Daily Caller:

The following Democrats are set to attend the forum: Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as well as Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Beto O’Rourke is also reportedly scheduled to attend.

Previous honorees include, Democratic New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Republican Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, and Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @WTHuston.

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Gen. Flynn Attorney Files Surprise Request for Content of Joseph Mifsud Devices

The attorney for General Michael Flynn dropped a bombshell with a request to learn the contents of electronic devices owned by Joseph Mifsud.

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The attorney for General Michael Flynn dropped a bombshell with a request to learn the contents of electronic devices owned by Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious figure at the heart of the government’s case against the general and other members of the Trump administration the government has been targeting.

Mifsud is someone the media has been utterly ignoring, and attorney Sidney Powell’s filing to compel the release of the information on the man’s devices comes as a shock because few even knew that the Department of Justice even possessed any of Mifsud’s devices.

Powell’s filing revealed that the DOJ had somehow come into possession of two of Mifsud’s electronic devices. [See filing here]

The filing introduced on Wednesday demands access to the information on the devices: “The information is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn, and specifically to the ‘OCONUS LURES’ and agents that western intelligence tasked against him likely as early as 2014 to arrange — unbeknownst to him ‘connections’ with certain Russians that they would then use against him n their false claims.”

This information may hold information proving that “western intelligence” agencies hired Mifsud to illicitly target the Trump campaign.

But until now, the public was not aware that the DOJ even had these devices. We still don’t know where these devices came from. We have some information that one was manufactured in 2011 and the other in 2014.

Furthermore, the media (and the government) has been claiming that this Mifsud character is a “Russian intelligence agent.” But, doesn’t the fact that the DOJ has these devices mean that claim may be in doubt?

U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr flew to Italy to review a taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud in September. This all indicates that Mifsud is far more integral to all this than we were previously told.

The DOJ responded to Powell’s filing, saying if there is anything “relevant to sentencing” on the devices, they would provide it to the general’s defense team.

Mifsud is already known to have lied to the FBI about his actions in this case. Rep. Jim Jordan (R, OH) has already highlighted this fact:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R, CA) has also claimed that the FBI “has something to hide” about its interactions with Mifsud.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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