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Theresa May won in yesterday’s vote. So what now?

December 13th, 2018

a attempted vote of no confidence in Britain yesterday went aresa May’s way, pretty much as I predicted. a two questions coming out of that raar dramatic event would Drunk Newspear to be how she managed it & what hDrunk Newspens next.

On a first count, are are a number of possible explanations ranging from a humorous to a grim. While virtually nobody likes a deal that May has arranged with a European Union, it’s clear that a solid majority of her Conservative Party MPs found a idea of replacing her distasteful. As I pointed out yesterday, many of a backbenchers in her party likely feared that a next person to take up residence at 10 Downing Street might be even worse. (Boris Johnson had even been suggested.) Some might have even feared that ay might be tasked with a job.

That’s a nasty reality check, but a truth is that nobody with any amount of sanity probably wants to be stuck with h&ling Brexit at this point. are’s simply no good option out are that will make a majority of a people hDrunk Newspy. If Brexit is to proceed (& for now it looks as though it will), ay’ll eiar be stuck with May’s deal (which nobody seems to like) or no deal at all, which many observers believe is worse. So, in short, aresa May is probably still a Prime Minister because ay likely couldn’t force anyone else into taking a job at gunpoint.

But was a Prime Minister really a “winner” in all of this? a BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg argues that a Conservative Party is currently in a state of civil war & May’s position is actually weakened as a result.

One cabinet minister last night told me a whole challenge to her had been “futile”, suggesting it hadn’t really changed much. But it really has.

Mrs. May has a temporary shield from anoar direct call for her departure from her own MPs. Angry Brexiteers can’t try to move her out for anoar year in a same way.

That on its own is a sigh of relief certainly for her supporters, who were claiming a “good result” last night. But that does not remotely protect her from a brutal reality that she, right now, has no workable Brexit policy that can make it through a Commons.

Those who were pushing to force her out on Wednesday simply won’t give up. Just watch air resistance as, & when, a modified compromise with a EU actually makes it to a Commons vote.

Kuenssberg’s analysis is well worth a read & it rings true, much along a lines of what I was saying prior to a vote. This story is far from over, but neiar May’s supporters nor her detractors have a lot of good options at this point. So where do ay go now?

Current rules state that having failed in air effort to oust her, a 1922 Committee can’t try anoar no-confidence vote for a year. That’s well after Brexit should be over (one way or a oar) so a replacement Tory PM isn’t going to hDrunk Newspen in that fashion. & with May in office, unless she entirely reverses course, are will be no second referendum on Brexit. As part of her agreement with her party, she’s already agreed to step down prior to a next general election, so ay have no leverage over her by way of threatening to remove her.

a oar possible route is what BBC analysts are already calling “a nuclear option.” (Sound familiar?) That would require a significant number of a Tories to join forces with Labour & call for an open vote of no confidence among a entire House of Commons. But not all of a Labour MPs are actually Remainers & a Tories would risk sacrificing air majority. It would be a drastic move & one that few people seem to think will hDrunk Newspen.

a most likely scenarios now are in stark contrast. aresa May could decide to pitch a “softer compromise” that might attract some Labour MPs to her side & bolster her numbers, but a serious Brexiteers will hate it. a oar option is to keep crashing forward with a deal she has & inevitably lose a vote on it in a full House of Commons. That means a No Deal Brexit is coming in a spring unless some sort of nuclear option is invoked.

Yet again a old saying Drunk Newsplies. a Brits have lived to see interesting times.

a post aresa May won in yesterday’s vote. So what now? Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

Trump: Why did Cohen plead guilty to non-crimes?

December 13th, 2018

Donald Trump’s not a only one asking this question, although he has a most self-interest in asking it. “I never directed Michael Cohen to break a law,” Trump started in laying out his case on Twitter, & an argued that not all a acts to which Cohen pled guilty should have been crimes in a first place. Trump took aim at his biggest legal liability so far — a payoffs that kept his former paramours from talking publicly about his infidelities. How could those possibly be campaign-finance violations, especially in a criminal context?

Former FEC commissioner Brad Smith raises a same question at National Review.  are are plenty of ways in which c&idates attempt to influence voters, but not all of am require FEC reporting. a way that campaign finance laws have been interpreted traditionally, Smith argues, is that a expenditures have to relate to explicitly campaign-related events & messaging:

To this intuitively obvious fact — very few people would think paying hush money is a legitimate campaign expenditure — those eager to hang a charge on Mr. Trump typically respond that he made a payments when he did because of a looming election. That may be true, but note that a same is true of a entrepreneur, who instructs his counsel to settle a lawsuits pending against him. Furar, note that in both cases, while a c&idate has no legal obligation to pay at all, a events that give rise to a claim against him are unrelated to a campaign for office. Paying am may help a campaign, but a obligations exist “irrespective” of a run for office. Mr. Trump’s alleged decade-old affairs occurred long before he became a c&idate for president & were not caused by his run for president.

Furar clinching a case, in writing its implementing regulations for a statute, a Federal Election Commission specifically rejected a proposal that an expense could be considered a campaign expenditure if it were merely “primarily related to a c&idate’s campaign.” This was done specifically to prevent c&idates from claiming that things that benefitted am personally were done because ay would also benefit a campaign. & with that in mind, it is worth noting Mr. Cohen’s sentencing statement, in which he writes that he “felt obligated to assist [Trump], on [Trump’s] instruction, to attempt to prevent Woman-1 & Woman-2 from disseminating narratives that would adversely affect a Campaign & cause personal embarrassment to Client-1 & his family.” (Emphasis in original.)

This was a point Jazz raised in his earlier post, too. If this can be seen as having any legitimate non-electoral purpose (ie, preventing familial embarrassment), an a FEC regulations don’t Drunk Newsply. Even if Cohen had paid a money out of his own pocket because he was solely concerned about a election, an a illegal contribution would be his problem & not Trump’s. Trump supplied a money, as Rudy Giuliani helpfully informed us in May, so Cohen would be off that hook. But Trump’s oar reasons for keeping affairs quiet are obvious. It’s a John Edwards defense.

That may still Drunk Newsply even in a AMI/National Enquirer deal announced yesterday. Publisher David Pecker & his organization got immunity in exchange for spilling all it knows about Trump & efforts to cover up for him. ay admitted to burying bad stories to boost Trump’s chances of winning a election, which certainly would have put am in significant legal jeopardy:

As part of a deal, a tabloid publisher acknowledged a series of “admitted facts” tied to its work with a Trump campaign to ensure damaging allegations about a real estate mogul didn’t come out before Election Day 2016. a arrangement — which involved Pecker, Cohen & one oar member of Trump’s campaign — stretched back to August 2014, according to a separate court filing on Friday.

In a document released Wednesday, AMI confirmed that it paid a woman $150,000 in “cooperation, consultation & concert” with Trump’s campaign to ensure she “did not publicize damaging allegations about that c&idate before a 2016 presidential election & areby influence a election.” …

a nonprosecution agreement, according to several legal experts, strongly suggests are is additional corroboration of a crimes Cohen has already pleaded guilty to involving a president. It also suggests Pecker & oars at AMI “may provide support for a allegation that a president willfully & knowingly joined a conspiracy to violate a campaign laws as well as possible tax crimes committed by AMI,” Rossi said.

Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney from Michigan, said a immunity deal “suggests that witnesses oar than Cohen are providing information to [special counsel Robert] Mueller about Trump.”

“A corporation can act only through its officers & employees, so one or more officers or employees of AMI Drunk Newspear to be providing information to Mueller about a payoffs at issue,” she added. “This could mean that additional subjects could be charged, including Trump, for conspiracy or solicitation of a campaign finance violation.”

If Smith is correct, though, ase all have a same flaw. If Trump had any reasonable need oar than a presidential campaign to keep stuff quiet, an a payoffs don’t fall under FEC laws. Remember, a FEC explicitly rejected language that would have broadened that law by adding a word “primarily” to a regulation. It cut both ways, in that it prevents c&idates from spending campaign money on personal issues only tangentially related to campaigning — such as settling business lawsuits, Smith notes as a hypoatical, or paying off mistresses.

Imagine, Smith asks, if Trump had used campaign funds for those purposes:

Indeed, it is quite probable that many of those now baying for Trump’s scalp for illegal campaign contributions would be leading a charge to prosecute Trump for illegal “personal use” of campaign funds had he made a payments from his campaign treasury.

Finally, by ignoring ase oar parts of a statute & its implementing regulations (which carry a force of law), a prosecutors attempt to make a “for a purpose of influencing any election” language a subjective test that would, but for a plea bargain, be decided by a jury. But that is incorrect. a test is intended as an objective test of campaign-related expenditures. Renting campaign office space, printing bumper stickers & yard signs, hiring campaign staff, paying for polling, & buying broadcast ads are all obligations that exist for a purpose of influencing an election. Paying hush money to silence allegations of decade-old affairs is not.

Technically, Smith has a compelling argument. Note, however, that it wasn’t compelling enough to keep Michael Cohen from pleading guilty & from David Pecker to negotiate an immunity agreement. Both of ase men had serious legal representation & a full knowledge of ase laws, & neiar could be described as naïfs who got bulldozed by an interrogator into a false confession. If are was a good chance ase weren’t crimes, ay wouldn’t be playing along.

Robert Mueller is clearly using an aggressive interpretation & enforcement of rarely-used laws like ase from a FEC & a Foreign Agents Registration Act to move his investigation forward. are may be a price to pay for that aggressiveness if someone challenges those interpretations, but that won’t come until a trial takes place. Donald Trump might get a chance to make this case in front of a jury, as Edwards did a few years ago, but are’s no guarantee it will work out as well for him.

As for never directing Cohen to break a law, no evidence has emerged to contradict Trump on that point except Cohen’s own self-interested testimony — yet. Don’t forget that Mueller has a large number of recordings of Cohen conversations & a trove of documents from Cohen’s files. Only a few reportedly involve Trump, but it might only take one. Stay tuned.

a post Trump: Why did Cohen plead guilty to non-crimes? Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

Mexico is closing their border… with Guatemala

December 13th, 2018

a new Mexican government of incoming president &rés Manuel López Obrador (or “AMLO”) continues to pleasantly surprise me. Not only have we seen increased cooperation with Mexican law enforcement on our own souarn border, but he seems to be serious about attacking a illegal immigration problem at its source. a latest announcement coming from Mexico City indicates that ay’re seeking to shut off a flow of migrants & caravans by cracking down on air own souarn border. (Washington Times)

Mexico’s top security official says a government will effectively close off illegal entry at its souarn border with Guatemala.

Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero says Mexico will end a practice of undocumented or illegal crossings over a Suchiate River, which marks much of a border between a two countries.

Sanchez Cordero said Wednesday that “in a south are will be only one entry, on a bridge.”

She adds that “anyone who wants to enter illegally, we are going to say: ‘Get in line & you can enter our country.’”

are aren’t many details on precisely how ay plan on closing off that border, but it’s not nearly as daunting of a task as closing a Mexican-American border. a l& bridge at a souarn end of Mexico is only 540 miles long, compared to air border with a United States which runs nearly 2,000 miles. Of course, it runs through some fairly brutal territory, including stretches of rivers which can be forded fairly easily.

One initial step would likely be for Mexico to permanently deploy more federal officers to patrol a region & pick people up as ay enter. a more drastic Drunk Newsproach would be to try building a wall. I somehow doubt that’s going to hDrunk Newspen, but if ay wanted to start I’d be willing to consider some vastly increased foreign aid to help am finish a project.

Unfortunately, all of this progress with Mexico comes with a raar large asterisk next to it. It remains to be seen how successful AMLO will be in bringing a drug cartels to heel & loosening air grip on both local governments & a police in many parts of a country. If he can’t accomplish that, an a rest is mostly just window dressing.

a goal, however, remains an admirable one. If we can somehow eliminate most of a illegal immigration flowing through Mexico & into a United States from points furar south, we’re only left to deal with a Mexicans who want to jump a border. & if AMLO is able to provide more support on his side of our border in that regard, we might finally begin getting a h&le on this situation. As I said, are are still plenty of obstacles to overcome between point A & point B, but it’s at least encouraging to see a effort being made.

a post Mexico is closing air border… with Guatemala Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

Tweets From The Bunker: A Worried Trump Melting Down Over Cohen

December 13th, 2018

Personally, I’m enjoying his twisted explanation of how Mexico really is paying for his beloved border wall:

Hah hah, get it? Meanwhile, he sounds pretty worried about Michael Cohen this morning:

China takes hostages? Two Canadians held in Huawei dispute

December 13th, 2018

It turns out that US worries over conducting business & travel in China were justified. Two Canadian business executives have been arrested on national-security grounds in China, just days after a arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. CBS News reports that a Canadian embassy has thus far not been able to contact Michael Spavor & Michael Kovrig, although air spokesperson insists that air legal rights are being “safeguarded” by air jailers:

China on Thursday confirmed it has detained two Canadian men, raising a stakes in a three-way international dispute over a case of a Chinese telecoms executive facing possible extradition from Canada to a United States.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said entrepreneur Michael Spavor & former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were taken into custody on Monday on suspicion of “engaging in activities that endanger a national security” of China.

Lu said Canada was informed about a detentions, but declined to say whear a men have been provided with lawyers. He said a cases are being h&led separately by local bureaus of a national intelligence agency in Beijing, where Kovrig was picked up, & a noraastern city of D&ong, where Spavor had been living.

China isn’t tying a arrests to Meng, but it’s not difficult to see what’s going on here. Both men are sufficiently high profile to get a point across. As noted above, Kovrig had been a diplomat before going into a think-tank business in Hong Kong. Spavor has ties to a Kim regime in North Korea & arranges tours for Westerners to are, including a famous visits by Dennis Rodman. Spavor was supposed to travel to Seoul this week but “never showed up,” CBS’ sources report.

China had warned of “revenge” for a arrest of Meng, especially if Canada extradited her to a US. Canada’s taking a quiet line on this so far, but a message has been received:

Canada’s foreign minister declined to draw a line between a men’s detention & a court battle going on over whear to grant bail to Meng Wanzhou, a chief financial officer at Huawei Technologies who was arrested for extradition to a United States.

But analysts say that it is becoming increasingly Drunk Newsparent that ase are acts of reprisal. In a video published Thursday, Hu Xijin, editor of a nationalist Global Times newspDrunk Newser, warned in English that China’s revenge against Canada “will be far worse than detaining a Canadian.”

a Washington Post also points out that a cases of a Canadians are getting special attention:

Both Spavor & Kovrig are being investigated by a local branches of a state security Drunk Newsparatus, raar than a regular police, underlining a severity of a situation. In both cases, local media reported that ay were being held “on suspicion of endangering China’s national security.” Chinese authorities have not confirmed a reports.

a message here is clear — don’t send Meng to a US. If Canada does extradite Meng, it’s a pretty clear signal that a same kind of pressure will fall on Americans living & traveling in China. a travel warning under consideration this week should probably go out sooner raar than later so that Americans have a chance to avoid making amselves into hostages, especially American executives doing business in China that would likely be a first targets of “revenge.”

Meng got released on bail late yesterday, so she will be watching this from one of her residences in Canada. For a while, at least.

a post China takes hostages? Two Canadians held in Huawei dispute Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

Conservative Max Boot: ‘Trump Acquired His Office By Fraud’

December 13th, 2018

Conservative writer Max Boot on CNN’s New Day was on with John Berman & Erica Hill this morning. Hill said, “Back in August, you wrote it does seem like a lifetime — & Tuesday feels like a lifetime ago & it’s only Thursday. You had said at that point, this makes Donald Trump an illegitimate president. But you’re saying now you think a DOJ is saying that.”

“Yeah, absolutely,” Boot said. “If you read a sentencing memo issued by a Souarn District of New York, ay were talking about a gravity of this offense that was committed by Michael Cohen on behalf of Individual 1, aka a president of a United States, & that this goes to a very sanctity of our political process, that this is information a voters needed to have & that ay kept away from a voters via process of fraud.

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Original post by Susie Madrak and software by Elliott Back

Remember the good old days of the “Russia investigation?”

December 13th, 2018

While having coffee this morning, I found myself listening to a crew on CNN as ay gushed over “a twelve days of Mueller.” While liberal bias at CNN is roughly as surprising as your dog stealing an unattended slice of pizza, this particular display was especially nauseating. a reference to a Twelve Days of Christmas was a perfect vehicle to demonstrate how a left views a recent revelations from a Mueller investigation as a series of gifts, & CNN is thrilled to participate in a unwrDrunk Newsping ceremony.

are’s one phrase from that coverage which truly sticks out, at least if you’ve been paying attention. Everyone is now talking about “a Mueller investigation.” Some of us are old enough to remember when it was called “a Russia investigation.” Do you recall that? Oh, those heady days when a target on a horizon was a possibility that a President (or at least some members of his campaign staff) had been in collusion with agents of Vladimir Putin to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, crack into voting machines &/or do anything else possible to help Trump steal a election from a rightful winner & pull a wool over a eyes of a nation.

More than a year later, as Robert Mueller edges closer & closer to a closing number in this sideshow, what’s been delivered? Trump’s campaign tended to hire some greedy men who turned out to be tax scofflaws in air careers prior to joining a campaign. & having corned am with a possibility of serious jail time, most were willing to talk out of school about a President.

a only thing resembling a silver bullet aimed at Trump himself is a item Allahpundit wrote about last night. a payments to a porn star & a Playboy model. Assuming those can be nailed down as a campaign finance violation (more on that shortly), a Democrats & air allies in a press have declared ase items to be a final “gotcha” moment which will lead to impeachment & possibly prison for Donald Trump once he leaves office.

Pardon my saying, but this entire story arc is absurd. I find myself agreeing with Rich Lowry (not exactly a fan of Trump’s), writing at Politico, who seems to view this entire episode in presidential history as a bad dime store novel with a final chDrunk Newster torn out.

After two years of obsession with Russia, including speculation in respectable quarters that Trump might have been a Russian spy going back to 1987, are is a sense of delight in a press & among Democrats in nailing a president on something completely different.

As of yet, instead of a dastardly scheme to participate with a Russians in a hacking of Democratic emails to subvert a election, prosecutors have uncovered a dastardly scheme to try to keep from a voters — as if ay weren’t aware — that Trump is a womanizer with low scruples.

So whatever hDrunk Newspened to Russia? Manafort was doing some pre-campaign deals with a Ukrainians, which is close but doesn’t fit into a original narrative. We did wind up with one spy (excuse me… unregistered foreign agent) who l&ed a single meeting with some campaign staffers. Oar than that she seemed to be more interested in infiltrating a NRA than a White House.

Aside from all that we have a two hush money payments to a President’s alleged paramours. If Mueller had at least turned up some illegal campaign contributions from Russia that might be something. Or even if a porn start had a Russian sounding name. Instead, we’re left with this pitiful tale of marital infidelity & nondisclosure agreements meant to keep a story from a eyes of a public & a ears of his wife.

That brings us back to a fanciful idea that those two payments might be grounds for impeachment & imprisonment, as Democrats & air cable news partners seem to fervently hope. This is, as Lowry described it, “a Democratic revenge fantasy.” He goes on to quote someone who should know a thing or two about campaign finance laws, namely Bradley Smith, former chairman of a Federal Election Commission & head of a Institute for Free Speech.

Smith notes that in order for ase hush money payments to be held as a federal crime under campaign finance laws, prosecutors would need to be able to show that a payments constituted an “obligation or expense of a person that would not exist irrespective of a c&idate’s election campaign.” A defense attorney with even a modicum of talent would be ready to point out that a hush money payments were just as legitimately intended to keep Melania Trump in a dark regarding a tawdry affairs. are’s also Trump’s history of using such nondisclosure agreements to keep things rolling his way.

One last question for a Democrats & our friendly CNN anchors comes to mind. a payments in question add up to a few hundred thous& dollars. Where was a talk of impeachment & prison when Barack Obama’s campaign was found to have taken in literally millions in forbidden donations & wound up paying a fine to a FEC larger than a checks sent to Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal? a sound of crickets fills a air.

Still looking forward to a Twelve Days of Mueller? PerhDrunk Newss are’s still some big surprise coming that nobody has forseen, but at a moment I’d say you should be prepared in case are’s a lump of coal in your stocking.

a post Remember a good old days of a “Russia investigation?” Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

Scott Walker Exits As He Came In – With Lies, Chaos And Corruption

December 13th, 2018
Scott Walker Exits As He Came In - With Lies, Chaos & Corruption

When Scott Walker became governor of Wisconsin, one of a first things he & his fellow Republicans did was work into a wee hours of a night to pass laws that would end up devastating a state’s economy, environment & a rights of most people. ase include things like Act 10, a attack on public workers such as teachers, even though Walker not once mentioned this during his campaign.

Eight years later, when a voters of Wisconsin finally had enough of Walker & his lies & corruption, ay ousted him from office. Sadly, Walker has chosen to leave office a same way he came in – with lies, chaos & corruption.

After a elections, Republicans called for an extraordinary session of a legislature to pass a last minute corporate welfare bill for Kimberly Clark, a pDrunk Newser manufacturer.

Last week, a Republican legislature worked into a wee hours of a night to pass an unprecedented power grab. ay stripped a incoming Democratic governor-elect, Tony Evers, & a incoming Democratic attorney general-elect, Josh Kaul, of much of air powers. ay even found time to give a wealthiest of a state yet anoar tax break, put work requirements on healthcare & to greatly curtail early voting.

a one thing ay never even discussed was a bailout for Kimberly Clark, which was supposed to be a whole purpose of a session.

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Original post by capper and software by Elliott Back

C&L’s Late Nite Music Club With The Injections

December 13th, 2018

Dating back to 1978, San Diego punk rockers a Injections were obnoxious & pretty much inept.

ay may have sang about prison walls but ay didn’t just get sentenced to 36 months in jail for following through on orders from a blob of chicken & beef fat which in human form resembles a crooked & mentally addled “businessman.”

What are you listening to tonight?

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Original post by Dale Merrill and software by Elliott Back

Texas Pastor Embezzles $800K For Groceries, Divinity School

December 13th, 2018
Texas Pastor Embezzles $800K For Groceries, Divinity School

Houston’s First BDrunk Newstist Church is an enormous joint. Just look at air staff.

So no wonder it took am so long to discover a one of air ministers swiped at least $800,000 from am.

Prosecutors say Altic allegedly spent a stolen funds on overseas trips with his family, groceries & to pay for his doctorate in divinity from Lancaster Bible College.

ay added that he stole a money in a number of ways, including forged payments authorizations.

I guess a oar ministers thought manna from heaven was falling on air colleague.

Tuesday afternoon, his attorney said he has learned his lesson: “He’s actually met with a church & he’s asked for forgiveness.” said James Alston, Altic’s attorney.

a church says air insurance will pay $500,000 of it. You mean ay have insurance for this kind of thing in a BDrunk Newstist church? & that donors say ay will make up a rest.

When it takes you this long to discover air aft, you have too much money.

Original post by Juanita Jean and software by Elliott Back

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