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All that traffic, and no jail time for the man behind it?

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That is the argument federal prosecutors will make tomorrow when the man behind the infamous Bridgegate lane closures at the George Washington Bridge nearly four years ago is sentenced by a federal judge.

Federal prosecutors have recommended no jail time for David Wildstein, the Governor Christie-appointed Port Authority official behind the “Bridgegate” lane closures in September 2013 which reduced the customary three toll booths allocated to traffic from the Fort Lee entry point just south of the toll booth plaza to one booth. This caused epic, infamous traffic that gridlocked Fort Lee traffic for hours each of four weekdays, while the rest of bridge traffic into New York was apparently normal and unaffected.

Wildstein pleaded guilty to two federal felonies, both conspiracy counts (one to misapply federal funds, received by the Port Authority, and one to deprive residents of their civil rights) involving hard to define crimes which, in some corners, may be emblematic of the negative trend of overcriminalization.

(One wonders whether Wildstein’s former boss, Governor Christie, could be prosecuted for a recent state shutdown on similar charges; the fact such arguments could be made shows the peril any decision maker, in any field, faces at the hands of a vengeful prosecutor.)

At sentencing, expect both the prosecutors and defense counsel to cite various mitigating factors to argue that Wildstein should receive credit for his help to prosecutors. “Cooperating” witnesses like Wildstein almost always secure prosecutors’ agreement to recommend “leniency” if they testify truthfully and otherwise assist in ongoing prosecutions of others (sometimes, they are “co-conspirators”) in a related case, or even in unrelated matters, in exchange for agreeing to plead guilty and “accept responsibility.”
Wildstein’s slap on the wrist recommendation is not unusual, because he fulfilled his plea agreement with prosecutors. His testimony led to the convictions of two other Christie appointees: fellow Port Authority official Bill Baroni, and the Christie deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, who wrote the infamous “time for some traffic problems” email that led to both state legislative and federal criminal investigations.

These are what’s called “mitigating factors” which help prosecutors decide to recommend a lower sentence than the time “range” suggested (but not required) by federal sentencing guidelines. In this case, federal prosecutors cited Wildstein’s “substantial and very useful assistance” in the investigations and his testifying for the prosecution in last fall’s criminal trial of Baroni and Kelly.

Baroni, a former state senator, was sentenced to 24 months and Kelly was sentenced to 18 months jail time earlier this year. Both of them have had their sentences stayed while they appeal their convictions before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Democrats

Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

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Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

It’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for proponents of the Green New Deal. Before details were released, it was already being heralded as the greatest thing since President Obama’s election. Then, the details came out and even many on the left were taken aback by the ambitious and incoherent provisions of the deal as detailed in a FAQ section on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s government web page.

But that was just a draft. They took it down. At least that was the story.

Unfortunately for proponents, they were caught a little flat-footed as questions started pouring in about, well, all of it. Even if we dismiss the less-draconian concepts such as eliminating air travel or the less-sane ideas like taking care of those who are unwilling to work, the left is still stuck with a proposal that the most frugal estimates put at costing around $7 trillion while other’s consider the decade-long cost to be in the HUNDREDS of trillions of dollars.

This is, of course, ludicrous. There’s not enough money in the entire world to pay for the proposal if its cost is somewhere between the lowest and highest estimates, but that hasn’t stopped leftist media from regrouping. Now that the dust has settled a little bit, they’re doing everything they can to recommit to this concept. It’s not that they suddenly believe in this fairy tale. It’s that they don’t want this to be the issue Republicans attack in the 2020 elections.

One article in particular that I read from CNN (yes, sometimes I need to see what the other side is thinking) really struck me for its honesty about the situation. Though I stopped reading it in paragraph two when it referred to “non-partisan” PolitiFact, I went back to it just now to digest the awfulness fully (see the sacrifices I make for our readers!).

To be clear, much of what this article says is correct. It asserts the GOP will take the tenets of the Green New Deal and use it to scare voters into thinking it’s even worse than Obamacare. From 2010 through 2016, Republicans attacked Obamacare incessantly and it worked, giving them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. Unfortunately, they stopped there and didn’t actually go after Obamacare with the same fervor they held in their campaign rhetoric and now the Democrats have turned the issue on its head.

But here’s the thing. Obamacare may have been bad, but the Green New Deal truly is worse. It’s not even close. Even if we take at face value the notion that the Green New Deal is simply an ambitious framework around which real legislation can be forged, we have to look at the core issues entailed in order to see the true damage it can do. This is a socialist document. It’s a call for the same levels of insanity that drive the Medicare-for-All movement. Within its frivolous attempts to change perceptions of air travel, cows, and job creation is a deep-rooted desire to convert Americans to needing more government.

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The Green New Deal represents the far-left’s desire to make more American dependent on government. At the same time, it aims to increase the levels of dependency for those who are already in need of assistance. It wants Democrats to latch their wagons on the notion that if we become a militantly environmentalist nation, that will serve the dual purpose of giving us fulfillment while saving the planet.

I believe most leftist journalists understand this, but they see in the ridiculous framework a path through which Republicans can be defeated wholesale in 2020 as long as the left can control the narrative surrounding the Green New Deal. They fear another Obamacare counterinsurgency that would wipe out the anti-Trump gains they made in 2018, so they’ve adopted a stance that the Green New Deal isn’t as bad as Fox News says it is. Meanwhile, they’re doing everything they can to say, “look over here and not at the Green New Deal.”

The politics behind what the Green New Deal represents is more in play than the tenets of the proposal itself, at least in the eyes of leftist media. It’s not that they want to promote the concept. They simply don’t want the concept to derail their party in the next election.

 


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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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Democrats

Kamala Harris stutters through non-answer when asked about her Jussie Smollett Tweet

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Kamala Harris stutters through non-answer when asked about her Jussie Smollett Tweet

In one of the most cringeworthy moments of Senator Kamala Harris’s new presidential campaign, the California Democrat found herself hesitant and uncertain about her feelings towards Jussie Smollett’s apparent hate-crime hoax. This is in stark contrast to her bold and racially charged accusations of a “modern day lynching” allegedly perpetrated by two Nigerian actors at the request of Smollett himself.

Above, you can see her attempt to calm the situation and state that facts are still emerging about the case. Of course, this is three weeks after the alleged incident, which is strange since her response the moment the news broke seemed to express zero interest in waiting for facts to emerge.

“. is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.”

This is the latest minefield Democrats find themselves traversing after quickly reacting to false claims. It happened with the Covington Catholic School boys. It’s happened far too many times since President Trump ran for President in 2016.

The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

http://noqreport.com/2019/02/18/anti-maga-hoax-epidemic/There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

It doesn’t take a skilled orator or ethical paragon to say, “I reacted too quickly before. I should have waited for all of the facts to come out before reacting emotionally.” Of course, doing so requires humility, which Kamala Harris apparently does not have.

 


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