The Jury Talks Back

6/26/2017

Supreme Court Allows Most Of Trump Administration Travel Ban

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:00 am

[guest post by Dana]

Giving the Trump administration some victory after the administration’s temporary travel ban was held up in lower courts, the Supreme Court announced today that the majority of the administration’s temporary travel ban can go into effect:

The Supreme Court is allowing to go into effect the executive order’s temporary ban on entry into the U.S. of citizens of six Muslim-majority nations, but with an exception for people with bona fide connections to the United States. That includes foreign nationals with familial connections in the U.S., students who have been already admitted into an American university, or workers with existing job offers in the U.S.

For people with these bona fide connections, the injunctions put in place by the lower courts are upheld and these individuals will not be banned under the executive order from coming into the U.S.

But anyone else from the six listed countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and refugees who do not have bona fide connections to the U.S. will be subject to the temporary ban on entry into the United States.

The newly revised travel ban can go partly into effect this week. Arguments are set to be heard in October, which will be past the 90-day review period.

This is interesting:

Notably absent from the court’s decision is any analysis of Trump’s campaign statements. Moreover, the only dissenters from the opinion (justices Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas) wanted the injunctions vacated in their entirety. They are correct that the court’s ruling will invite further litigation as litigants test the boundaries of the “bona fide relationships,” but the difference between the dissenters and the six remaining justices was only over the proper extent of Trump’s legal victory. For now, the constitutional and statutory primacy of the executive and legislative branches over national security and immigration has been restored.

The judges in the courts below have been celebrated as heroic resistance figures. Yet now even the Supreme Court’s most liberal justices have rejected the lower courts’ overreach.

President Trump released a statement regarding the court’s decision:

“Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security,” he said in a statement.

“Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our nation’s homeland,” he added. “I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”

–Dana

6/24/2017

Two Noted Feminists And Scholars Ignored By Female Democrats Respond To Reader Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:37 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week I posted about a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing in which two of the four witnesses invited to testify about political Islam were female scholars with unique insights and real-life experiences to offer: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani. This in spite of New Republic’s Sarah Jones notifying readers from her perch that they were unreliable witnesses and should be disqualified from giving testimony. When the hearing was held, it was clear that the two women of color, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani, in a “strategy of deflection and demonization,” were pointedly ignored by the four female Democratic senators and instead chose to turn their attention to the two white males on the panel.

Given that the report in the New York Times about this generated an unbelievable amount of comments, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani have responded to a few of the many questions posed by readers. Both women noted, after not being asked relevant questions about political Islam, that it was “an experience…emblematic of a troubling trend among progressives to overlook the brutal reality of Islamist extremism”.

Perhaps Kamala Harris, one of the four Democratic women who ignored Ali and Nomani, and who has fundraised off her belief that women, herself included, are unable to be simultaneously courteous and courageous, might want to take note of the elegant display of both courtesy and steely resolve in Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s and Asra Nomani’s interaction with readers.

FDR ASKS: Fellow progressives, hear me out …

These ladies have a point. The left in general has given a pass to Islamism. We need to be able to criticize Islam’s worst without fear from political correctness. We need to demand from Muslim friends and colleagues the same, as well as verbal acceptance of basic Western and Enlightenment values such as women’s equality. Let’s recapture the discourse and this banner from the right.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI ANSWERS:
I think this is a good way to approach the subject of Shariah and in particular the attitudes of many Muslims to the rights of women, the L.G.B.T. community, blasphemy laws, apostasy and dissent.

First, what is needed is critical self-reflection on the morals and agenda to which people on the left say they are committed. Look squarely at the real consequences of that agenda, both good and bad. Second, apply the idea of equality to all individuals regardless of their identity. Human rights are universal. And human rights are held by individuals, not by groups. The left today has a growing tendency to prioritize group rights over individual rights, partly driven by “intersectionality.” This is often what gets them in a moral bind. The rights of individual human beings should always come before those of the tribe or the collective.

If one finds white male sexism intolerable, then one should by definition find all male sexism just as intolerable. Excusing men of color, Muslims, immigrants or men living in non-Western societies for bad behavior toward women is an expression of the bigotry of low expectations.

The result of this mindset is that Christianity — still “the white man’s religion” in the eyes of many — is criticized for every misstep against women but Islam is protected from the glare of scrutiny. In its extreme form, relativism excuses Muslim men from universal standards because they are said to be victims of colonialism and of recent military invasions; because they are new immigrants who face cultural alienation; and because they cannot be deprived of their last source of pride: their domination over their women in their communities. I reject this line of reasoning. Anyone who believes in human rights should too.

In Europe, and in the United States, we need to defend universal women’s rights. Thorny religious and cultural problems need to be addressed, and discussed openly. There is no reason why this should be, or be viewed as, a partisan issue.

SUSAN ASKS:
I have taught English in Brooklyn for a number of years to immigrant women from all over the Muslim world, and I have ties to the community. So I was bothered by your article. Progressives abhor those abuses of women — F.G.M. (female genital mutilation), honor killings, etc. — that you mention. However, what Americans are fighting against here is the blanket vilification of Islam by everyone from the president to Republican congresspeople. None of us progressives favor extremes of Islam, or of any other religion for that matter. In this country (and in Congress) we have extreme right-wing Christians who want nothing more than to take away the rights of women. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have allies in Republican men (or women). You don’t.

ASRA Q. NOMANI ANSWERS:
Thank you for your service helping immigrant women build their bridges to the United States. Just as you speak so passionately about the threat of “extreme right-wing Christians,” we argue that progressives would be well-served to be equally passionate about “extreme right-wing Muslims.” As long as progressives refuse to isolate “extreme right-wing Muslims,” as readily as we do “extreme right-wing Christians,” we will continue to face a situation in which the ill-informed will conflate “extreme right-wing” Muslims with those who are not. In the same way that we should not judge all Muslims by the actions of extremist Muslims, it’s not appropriate to judge Republicans by the actions of the far right. If progressives truly want to challenge the “blanket vilification” of Muslims, it would be helpful to rip off that blanket and differentiate “extreme right-wing Muslims” from those who are not. Just as we oppose white supremacists, we should oppose Muslim supremacists.

Please take the time to read the rest of the Q&A’s. They are insightful and provocative.

Perusing Twitter responses to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s and Asra Nomani’s writing in the NYT, I thought this, albeit sadly and amusingly, sums up the idiocy. And this coming from a woman who describes herself as a filmmaker for a more just society for women:

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Thankfully, there are those who are there to correct such ignorance:

Untitled2

–Dana

6/23/2017

Surprising Number Of Threats And Attacks Against GOP Congressmen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A report notes that 30 GOP congressmen have been attacked or been the victims of a death threat since May. Here are a few examples:

May 8: Wendi Wright, 35, was arrested after stalking Rep. David Kustoff (Tenn.) and trying to run him off the road. After pulling over, Wright “began to scream and strike the windows on Kustoff’s car and even reached inside the vehicle.”

June 14: Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), and Reps. Steve Scalise (La.), Kevin Brady (Texas), Jack Bergman (Mich.), Mike Bishop (Mich.), Mike Conaway (Texas), Roger Williams (Texas), John Moolenaar (Mich.), Gary Palmer (Ala.), Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Barry Loudermilk (Ga.), Mark Walker (N.C.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Trent Kelly (Miss.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), and Joe Barton (Texas) were attacked by a gunman during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.

Scalise, the House majority whip, was shot in the hip, and remains in the hospital. Four others were injured, including a staffer for Williams and two Capitol Police officers assigned to Scalise.

The same day, New York Rep. Claudia Tenney received an email reading, “One down, 216 to go.”

June 17: Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner revealed that she had gotten five death threats in the weeks leading up to the Scalise shooting. Wagner said that protesters had been “vandalizing my home, showing up with masks and gravestones, and laying down on my driveway and drawing chalk outlines of dead bodies. Picketing my church at 8 and 10 o’clock Mass.”

June 22: An Ohio man was arrested for leaving a voicemail threatening the life and family of Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio).

“We’re coming to get every goddamn one of you and your families. Maybe the next one taken down will be your daughter. Huh? Or your wife. Or even you,” the man said.

The same day, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz played a threatening voicemail he had received on “Fox & Friends.”

“I suggest you prepare for the battle motherf**ker, and the apocalypse,” the caller yelled. “Because we are going to hunt your ass down, wrap a rope around your neck, and hang you from a lamppost.”

Aside from the law, death threats and attacks are reprehensible, and can never, ever be justified. No matter how much an individual detests Trump or how angry one might be about Hillary’s loss, nothing makes these okay. Even when it’s a GOP congressman-elect who has done the attacking, there is no justification. At the very least, let’s don’t drag Jesus into this unholy mess in an attempt to justify such behaviors – either threats of death or physical attacks:

Jesus assaulted and bodily threw the money changers out of the temple who were trespassing in Gods’ house.

Greg Gianforte emulated Jesus by assaulting Ben Jacobs, who was trespassing and invading his privacy. He also proved to be a real Montanan to his supporters who are not self-proclaimed Christians but abide by the teachings and actions of Jesus.

God help us all.

–Dana

6/22/2017

The President Tweets Without Discernment Or Discretion, Part 513

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:20 am

[guest post by Dana]

Words matter. But apparently not if you’re the President of the United States. And not if it concerns matters that are of a rather serious nature.

Then:

Untitled

Now:

Untitled2

Go ahead, tell me he’s playing the media and his enemies like a fiddle.

I can’t even.

–Dana

Senate Health Care Bill Released

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:42 am

[guest post by Dana]

During interview with Sen. Ted Cruz over at the Daily Wire this week, Ben Shapiro asked Cruz about the GOP’s health care bill:

SHAPIRO: If the Senate rubber stamped the House bill, would you support it, given that the House bill didn’t actually repeal Obamacare in many crucial ways?

CRUZ: The first version of the House bill was very problematic and there were many issues with it – first and foremost, that it didn’t do nearly enough to drive down premiums. I think the House Freedom Caucus improved the bill significantly. They focused quite rightly on the need to drive down premiums. The Senate needs to go much further than the House Bill. We need to improve it significantly more. I don’t know if the Senate will do so or not. It is what I have been working day and night, practically every waking hour for he last five months to do: bring senators together to get that done.

SHAPIRO: Are you worried that Republicans will pass a bill that doesn’t repeal Obamacare, declare victory, then watch as premiums skyrocket and the free market is blamed for what is essentially a continuation of a heavily government-regulated Obamacare system?

CRUZ: There are two bad outcomes that are possible. One bad outcome is that we fail to repeal Obamacare – we fail to pass any bill at all. For the past seven years we’ve campaigned promising the voter that we would repeal the disaster that is Obamacare, that has cost millions of Americans their jobs, thrown them into part-time jobs, cost them their doctors, caused premiums to skyrocket. If we fail to deliver after being given every branch of government, that’s profoundly harmful both as a substantive matter of policy but also as a political matter. The credibility of Republicans would be deeply, deeply undermined.

There’s a second outcome that’s even worse than that. We pass a bill titled “Obamacare Repeal,” but doesn’t in fact repeal Obamacare — in fact expands it. We hold a press conference patting ourselves on the back, claiming to have repealed it. And then next year, premiums continue to skyrocket and it’s demonstrated that what Republicans said isn’t true. I think that has even greater policy harms and political harms. So I’m trying to avoid both of those. I’m trying to get Republicans in the Senate and the House and the President and the Vice President to do what we said we would do. That’s what I’m urging all the players to do.

This morning, the GOP’s Senate repeal plan was released. You can read it here. You can also read Mitch McConnell’s discussion draft here.

As Allahpundit commented :

McConnell’s team put out a fact sheet this morning detailing their major changes to ObamaCare — or non-changes, I should say. Yeah, the mandate’s gone and there’s a massive (delayed) rollback of Medicaid, but the premium subsidies are still there, they’re still pegged to income, and there’s a bunch of new money ($25 billion) appropriated to stabilize ObamaCare’s rickety exchanges over the next four years. There’s also money set aside for two years of cost-sharing subsidies, which the House GOP has spent three years fighting in court on grounds that they never appropriated those funds in the first place. In other words, in at least one respect, the Senate bill is … an expansion of ObamaCare.

All in all, the bill’s a jumble of provisions designed to shore up the current law and, bizarrely, to make it less sustainable. With the mandate gone, many O-Care taxes repealed, and the cost-sharing subsidies marked for phase-out in 2019, much of the revenue needed to keep the exchanges buoyant is set to disappear over the next few years.

A vote on the bill is set for next Thursday. The CBO plans to release estimates for the Senate health care bill next week. And some senators are expressing concerns that there may not be enough time to fully process the bill before next week’s scheduled vote.

Here are a few quick reactions from conservatives to the bill’s release this morning:

SEN. RAND PAUL (Kentucky): “Conservatives have always been for repealing Obamacare, and my concern is that this doesn’t repeal Obamacare,” he said as he was walking back to his office through the Capitol tunnel.

“What I’m seeing so far is it keeps 10 out of 12 regulations, it continues the Obamacare subsidies, and I think ultimately will not bring down premiums,” he continued, “because instead of trying to fix the death spiral of Obamacare, it simply subsidizes it with taxpayer money to insurance companies.”

SEN. RON JOHNSON (Wisconsin): “The primary driver of premium increases is guaranteed issue,” he told reporters, referring to the ACA provision that bars insurers from rejecting customers. “Who would buy auto insurance if you could buy insurance after you’ve crashed your car?” Johnson said. “Well, that’s the exact same reason that guaranteed issue, when it’s been passed in states, is collapsing insurance markets, is collapsing the Obamacare market.” He would prefer that people with pre-existing conditions be taken care of through high-risk pools.

Further, here is an interesting look at the senators who have concerns about the bill, and some who may be considering voting “no”.

Happy reading.

–Dana

6/21/2017

Stabbing Of Police Officer In Flint, Michigan Being Investigated As An Act Of Terrorism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:30 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The FBI is currently investigating the brutal stabbing of a police officer at the airport in Flint, Michigan:

A police officer was stabbed in the back and neck Wednesday at an airport in Flint, Michigan, and the suspect is in custody and being questioned, according to authorities.

The police officer, identified as Lt. Jeff Neville, is in stable condition, said Lt. David Kaiser, a spokesman for the Michigan State Police. He was stabbed on the public side of Bishop International Airport’s main terminal, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

All passengers are safe and were evacuated, the airport said on Facebook. A law enforcement official said the stabbing appears to have targeted law enforcement.

According to witnesses, the attacker, identified as Amor Ftouhi was heard shouting “Allahu akbar” before stabbing Neville. According to reports, Ftouhi is currently being questioned by officials. He is said to be from Quebec and holds a Canadian passport. It is not known why he was in Flint. Reports suggest he may have entered the United States illegally in June. According to the AP, the FBI is saying Ftouhi talked about people being killed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. At this point, officials are saying the suspect was a lone wolf attacker, and there is no indication of a “wider plan”. Finally, at a news conference, FBI Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios said that Ftouhi “said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die” as he was being arrested. Gelios added that the knife used by Ftouhi was 12-inches with an 8-inch serrated blade.

–Dana

6/20/2017

Foiled Terror Attack In Belgium

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Although it’s still being investigated, an incident in Belgium is being described by the Belgian federal prosecutor as a foiled “terror attack”. The incident took place at one of the country’s busiest train stations. Thankfully, no one appears to have been killed or injured, aside from the suspect:

Belgian troops patrolling a major train station in Brussels have “neutralised” a person following an explosion.

Police say they are unable to confirm media reports that the suspect was wearing an explosive belt and had wires coming out of their clothes.

The incident took place at Brussels Central – one of the country’s busiest stations – and Belgium’s federal prosecutor says it is being treated as terrorism.

A police spokesman said: “There was an explosion around a person. That person was neutralised by the soldiers that were on the scene.”

The federal prosecutor added they cannot confirm if the suspect who was shot is still alive – however, no civilians appear to have been injured or killed in the explosion.

And the AP is reporting this:

Nicolas Van Herreweghen, who works for Belgium’s national rail company, said the male suspect was very agitated, yelling about jihadists and then “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before blowing up something on a baggage trolley.

He said the man appeared to be 30 to 35 years of age.

–Dana

6/19/2017

David French: Jury’s Verdict In Philando Castile Case Was A Miscarriage Of Justice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:39 am

[guest post by Dana]]

Following the acquittal of Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, David French makes the compelling argument that a miscarriage of justice occurred. I’m copying liberally from his post as it’s so well worth the read:

In considering the rightness of the verdict, pay close attention to the transcript of the fatal encounter. Here it is, via CNN:

9:05:00 p.m. — Castile’s vehicle came to a complete stop.

9:05:15 – 9:05:22 p.m. — Yanez approached Castile’s car on the driver’s side.

9:05:22 – 9:05:38 p.m. — Yanez exchanged greetings with Castile and told him of the brake light problem.

9:05:33 p.m. — St. Anthony Police Officer Joseph Kauser, who had arrived as backup, approached Castile’s car on the passenger’s side.

9:05:38 p.m. — Yanez asked for Castile’s driver’s license and proof of insurance.

9:05:48 p.m. — Castile provided Yanez with his proof of insurance card.

9:05:49 – 9:05:52 p.m. — Yanez looked at Castile’s insurance information and then tucked the card in his pocket.

9:05:52 – 9:05:55 p.m. — Castile told Yanez: “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me.” Before Castile completed the sentence, Yanez interrupted and replied, “Okay” and placed his right hand on the holster of his gun.

9:05:55 – 9:06:02 p.m. — Yanez said “Okay, don’t reach for it, then.” Castile responded: “I’m… I’m … [inaudible] reaching…,” before being again interrupted by Yanez, who said “Don’t pull it out.” Castile responded, “I’m not pulling it out,” and Reynolds said, “He’s not pulling it out.” Yanez screamed: “Don’t pull it out,” and pulled his gun with his right hand. Yanez fired seven shots in the direction of Castile in rapid succession. The seventh shot was fired at 9:06:02 p.m. Kauser did not touch or remove his gun.

9:06:03 – 9:06:04 p.m. — Reynolds yelled, “You just killed my boyfriend!”

9:06:04 – 9:06:05 p.m. — Castile moaned and said, “I wasn’t reaching for it.” These were his last words.

9:06:05 – 9:06:09 p.m. — Reynolds said “He wasn’t reaching for it.” Before she completed her sentence, Yanez screamed “Don’t pull it out!” Reynolds responded. “He wasn’t.” Yanez yelled, “Don’t move! F***!”

If you read carefully, you’ll note that it appears that the officer shot Castile for doing exactly what the officer told him to do. Yanez asked for Castile’s license. Castile told him that he had a gun, and the officer – rather than asking for his carry permit, or asking where the gun was, or asking to see Castile’s hands – just says, “Don’t reach for it then.”

At that point, Castile is operating under two commands. Get his license, and don’t reach for his gun. As Castile reaches for his license (following the officer’s orders), and he assures him that he’s not reaching for the gun (also following the officer’s orders). The entire encounter, he assures Yanez that he’s following Yanez’s instructions.

…[T]he evidence indicates that Yanez was afraid for his life. He thought he might have been dealing with a robber (a fact he apparently didn’t tell Castile), and he testified that he smelled marijuana. But Castile was following Yanez’s commands, and It’s simply false that the mere presence of a gun makes the encounter more dangerous for the police. It all depends on who possesses the gun. If he’s a concealed-carry permit-holder, then he’s in one of the most law-abiding demographics in America.

French thus concludes that no matter what caused Yanez to panic and react as he did, he should have been held accountable:

I understand the inherent danger of police work. I also understand the legal responsibilities of men and women who volunteer to put on that uniform, and the legal rights of the citizens they’ve sworn to protect and serve. I’m aware of no evidence that Yanez panicked because Castile was black. But whether he panicked because of race, simply because of the gun, or because of both, he still panicked, and he should have been held accountable. The jury’s verdict was a miscarriage of justice.

According to reports, Yanez will not return to active duty in St. Anthony.

–Dana

The squad dash-cam video has been released, It’s awful to watch in every way. Consider this a warning. Here’s the question: “It’s clear that Yanez believed he was in danger — listen to the escalation between his calm “Don’t reach for it, then” to his second “Don’t pull it out!” before he fired (all of which go by quite quickly). But was that belief reasonable from the movements Castile was making? Bear in mind that if someone is drawing a weapon despite repeated commands not to, the officer is dead if he doesn’t react quickly.”

A Great Day for Free Speech: The Slants (and Ron Coleman) Win

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:16 am

The Slants have won. The disparagement provision of the Lanham Act has been declared unconstitutional, to the joy of free-speech advocates everywhere — and to the surprise of nobody following the case. In January, after reviewing the oral arguments, I wrote:

I remain cautiously optimistic that the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, which allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to deny trademark protection to so-called “disparaging” trademarks, will be struck down as a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I predict the vote will be 7-1 — with Justice Sotomayor, the “wise Latina,” in the minority.

Well, even Justice Sotomayor hopped on board, and the decision was a hearty unanimous 8-0 — albeit with a bunch of opinions that I currently lack the time to sort through.

It’s a great day for the First Amendment.

If you want to read more about the background, you can do so here.

Congratulations to Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog. I’m sure everyone remembers that Ron, along with the redoubtable Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC, is still defending me in a censorious lawsuit brought by convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin. Give him a shout-out on the Twitters for me.

6/18/2017

President Trump’s Attorney: “Let Me Be Clear, The President Is Not Under Investigation”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:18 am

[guest post by Dana]

And yet, President Trump just tweeted this on Friday:

Untitled

This morning, President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow made a stop on the Sunday talk shows. On each show he contradicted President Trump’s claim of being under investigation. According to Sekulow, the President’s tweet was a response to an anonymously sourced report in the Washington Post, which claimed that the President is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But if this report is what what Trump was responding to, then why wouldn’t he deny that he was under investigation, rather than confirm the claim? Why would he validate the “lying media” and an anonymously sourced report? After all, President Trump told us that by using social media, he can go around the fake media. And yet, here he is confirming an anonymously sourced report in the “fake media”.

Here is his exchange with Jake Tapper:

“So the president said ‘I am under investigation’ even though he isn’t under investigation?” Tapper asked.

“That response on social media was in response to the Washington Post piece,” Sekulow responded. “It’s that simple. The president is not under investigation.”

“Well, I wish it were that simple but with all due respect, the president said ‘I am being investigated’ in a tweet, and people take his word on that,” Tapper pushed back.

After Sekulow insisted that the tweet was really an attempt to call out the Post for putting out a “fake report, the CNN host shot back that it didn’t appear to do that at all, and in fact, made it appear that Trump was confirming the story.

“But it is confusing because the president said ‘I am being investigated’ and you’re saying that the Washington Post report is wrong, but no one did more to confirm the Washington Post report than the president,” Tapper noted. “I mean, CNN had not confirmed the Washington Post report but then President Trump came out and said, ‘I am being investigated.’”

Trump’s attorney replied by pointing out how big Trump’s social media reach is and that the “simple explanation” is that the president was responding to a story based on anonymous sourcing.

Here is Chuck Todd’s interview with Sekulow on Meet the Press:

Here is John Dickerson’s interview with Sekulow on Face the Nation:

(Question: In this interview, when Sekulow claims that the President is not under investigation, host John Dickerson follows up by asking Sekulow how he knows that. Sekulow responds: “There have been no notifications from the special counsel’s office that the President is under investigation. In fact, to the contrary.” Is there a legal obligation for the President to be officially notified if he were under investigation?)

But Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday may have had the most head-scratching interaction of all:

All of this is a bit confusing – which may actually be the intent. But at the very, very least, it is yet another indicator that Trump needs to stop tweeting if he does not want to continue to undermine his own presidency. He is by far his own worst enemy. And he just keeps on proving it.

–Dana

6/17/2017

Two Female Experts On Islam Dismissed By Female Democrat Senators

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:16 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Prior to their testifying before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing called “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism,” New Republic writer Sarah Jones labeled scheduled witnesses Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani as “two of the worst possible “experts” on Islam”. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institute, is a former Muslim, who was born in Somalia and endured female genital mutilation as a little girl (a point conveniently ignored by Jones), and is an acclaimed feminist, author and activist who heads up the AHA Foundation, which works to end FGM and honor violence against women in the West. Asra Nomani is a Muslim immigrant who came to the U.S. from India as a child. She is a former professor at Georgetown, a journalist, and one of the founders of the Muslim Reform Movement. Nomani is known for boldly standing up for women’s rights in her mosque where she opined that women be allowed to pray in the segregated male-only hall. While her work as a reformer has been met with expected criticism, it was her Washington Post op-ed, published right after the presidential election, that caused a stir. In her op-ed, Nomani explained why she voted for Donald Trump, citing her concern and opposition to President Obama’s stand on Islam, “As a liberal Muslim who has experienced, first-hand, Islamic extremism in this world, I have been opposed to the decision by President Obama and the Democratic Party to tap dance around the ‘Islam’ in Islamic State”. She believed that a Clinton presidency would be no different.

Thus, with a complete lack of self-awareness, Jones, who amusingly relies on the Southern Poverty Law Center to support her attack on the women, offered her “professional” estimation of these two “non-experts”:

Hirsi Ali and Nomani aren’t reliable witnesses, and their extreme views ought to disqualify them from any platform dependent on expertise. On Wednesday, they’ll simply tell Senate Republicans exactly what they want to hear about Islam. It won’t be factual, but for Republicans, it won’t matter.

At the hearing last week, both Nomani and Hirsi Ali testified as planned, and yet they were virtually dismissed by four female Democratic senators:

On Wednesday, Democratic senators appeared to ignore Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani after they gave brief testimonies on the ideology of Islamism at a U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, sparking a social media outcry.

It was the first time a Senate hearing was devoted to discussing the ideas motivating both violent and nonviolent Islamist movements around the world, but, through a strategy of deflection and demonization, the Democratic senators — mostly women — ignored the scholarly and lived expertise of Hirsi Ali and Nomani.

Tensions were high even before the hearing began. A Muslim man wearing a prayer cap attempted to disrupt the event by yelling at Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim and Somali-born human rights activist, a witness who was in the room said.

The contentious atmosphere carried on to the committee members themselves as Democratic committee leader, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, expressed her disagreement with the premise of the hearing, called by Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

“Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule,” she said. “We should not focus on religion.” McCaskill proceeded to lecture the panelists on “freedom of religion” in the United States.

“No evil should ever be allowed to distort these premises,” she continued. “I’m worried, honestly, that this hearing will underline that.”

Hirsi Ali responded to the attack:

“We haven’t paid as much attention to those people who get into the hearts and minds of vulnerable people and turn them toward the idea that it’s OK to run your car over people, to kill homosexuals, to kill apostates,” Hirsi Ali said. “I came and accepted [Ron Johnson’s] invitation to only talk about that group, not to vilify or stigmatize those Muslims who accentuate their spirituality.”

Sen. Johnson also addressed the issue by noting that the two experts had been “careful to distinguish between Muslims who practice their faith peacefully as opposed to political Islamists”.

It’s telling that four female Democratic senators, all of whom publicly proclaim their ardent support of women’s rights, demonstrated that their support is limited to only a certain kind of women. Senators Maggie Hassan (NH), Claire McCaskill (MO), Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) were not terribly interested in what two female experts had to say or the unique first-hand perspectives they provided. Female senators, one assumes, that, along with New Republic’s Sarah Jones, still retain fully intact genitalia. Ironically, these same senators instead turned to the two male witnesses that were also testifying at the hearing. It’s humorous to see a group of staunch feminists ignore two fellow feminists in favor of the men in the room…

Video of the hearing here. It is well worth watching in full (but it’s long).

Note: One of the senators involved in the dismissal of the two experts, Kamala Harris, recently found herself admonished for her rudeness when she continued to interrupt male colleagues as they attempted to answer questions on the Senate floor. Sensing an opportunity to push the left’s weary accusation of sexism, Harris, unabashedly playing the victim, began a fundraising campaign:

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These slogans help women take back power over the very scenarios that seek to disenfranchise them. When women are reminded their place in society through reprimands and dis-empowering statements, the very re-appropriation of these statements helps women reshape the narrative.

Unexplained by Harris, however, is why two courageous feminists who have demonstrated both courtesy and unquestionable and unflagging courage in their fight for the protections and advancement of women everywhere, were virtually ignored by Harris and her fellow Democrats. At the very least, why didn’t the senators show their rousing support for fellow-women persisting in some very risky trenches, let alone taking advantage of the opportunity to draw from their wealth of knowledge and experience? But I think we all know the answer to this.

–Dana

6/14/2017

Trump.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:42 pm

Trump.

Now under investigation! If anonymous sources are to believed! Which they aren’t!

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