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Battle Lines Over War Powers
National Security Desk  
Senate fails to override 
Trump veto over emergency declaration
{ } ~ The Senate on Thursday failed to overridePresident Trump's veto of a resolution that would have ended the emergency declaration intended to help build the border wall... Senators voted 53-36, falling short of the two-thirds needed to successfully override Trump's veto. Ten Republican senators voted to override Trump's veto: Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mike Lee (Utah), rino-Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rand Paul (Ky.), Rob Portman (Ohio), rino-Mitt Romney (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.). The vote came less than a day after Trump vetoed the resolution, which initially passed by the House and Senate last month. Trump, in his veto message to the Senate, said the national emergency has allowed the administration to "counter large-scale unlawful migration" and facilitated the construction of his long-promised border wall. "In short, the situation on our southern border remains a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are still needed to help confront it," he added...
Why Portland’s Homeless Problem 
Is the Worst in the Nation
by Douglas Blair
{ } ~ The alleys of Portland, Oregon, are strewn with piles of garbage and used drug needles, reflecting a growing problem of homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness... Mental illness is now more common among the homeless in Oregon than in any other state. According to a study from 2016, 35-40% of homeless adults in Oregon suffer from some form of mental illness. The problem is apparent along the Springwater Corridor, a popular biking trail on the east side of Portland that is cherished as peaceful slice of nature hidden from the urban sprawl. In 2016, a shantytown alongside a 2-mile stretch of the corridor was the largest homeless encampment in the nation. It contained nearly 200 tents and an estimated 500 homeless people. In the years since, criminal activity has become a routine occurrence. For example, in August 2018, police arrested a homeless woman for attempting to kidnap a 6-year-old girl playing near the trail. Two months later, a shooting occurred. This year, an assailant stabbed a man in the arm before fleeing back into the sea of tents. Unfortunately, the Springwater Corridor is no exception in Portland—it is a microcosm of Oregon’s largest city. In 2018, Portland was home to an estimated 14,000 chronically homeless people, the vast majority of whom were in Portland, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development...
scumbag-Schiff Tried To Strong-Arm Kurt 
Volker but It Backfired When Volker 
Exposed Schiff Instead
By C. Douglas Golden 
{ } ~ When Kurt Volker testified before the House of Representatives behind closed doors on Oct. 3, the general consensus was that it wasn’t going to be a great moment for the Trump administration... Indeed, the major headline from the leaked testimony thus far seems to have been that he indicated there were issues about Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in the administration’s policy in the country. According to Axios, Volker testified that the current ambassador, Bill Taylor, had issues with accepting the job due to Giuliani’s involvement. He also reportedly called Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President loose lips liar-Joe Biden a “man of integrity,” so you can guess how many stories that launched. The biggest headline buried underneath this all, however, might be that House Intelligence Committee Chairman and perpetual hack scumbag-Adam Schiff wasn’t able to get Volker to admit to a quid pro quo no matter how many leading questions he asked. The California Democrat, of course, is trying to prove that the administration’s disbursement of congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine came with preconditions attached — most notably, preconditions regarding whether the new Ukrainian government investigated a company on whose board loose lips liar-Biden’s son, Hunter, once sat. This much could be reasonably established by any observer. However, an exchange between scumbag-Schiff and Volker leaked to the Washington Examiner and published Wednesday regarding the quid pro quo shows the extent to which scumbag-Schiff was willing to go to get the answer he wanted. Volker contended two things during his testimony. First, he says the Ukrainians weren’t aware of the fact that the Trump administration had put the military aid on hold at the time of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. Second, he was also unaware of the fact that Trump discussed the loose lips liar-Bidens during the call. “The Ukrainians didn’t want to be drawn into investigating a Democratic candidate for president, which would mean only peril for Ukraine, is that fair to say?” scumbag-Schiff asked at one point. “That may be true,” Volker responded. “That may be true. They didn’t express that to me, and, of course, I didn’t know that was the context at the time.”...   
A Million People Are Jailed at China's Gulags
 I Managed to Escape Here's What 
Really Goes on Inside
By David Stavrou  
{ } ~ Twenty prisoners live in one small room. They are handcuffed, their heads shaved, every move is monitored by ceiling cameras. A bucket in the corner of the room is their toilet... The daily routine begins at 6 A.M. They are learning Chinese, memorizing propaganda songs and confessing to invented sins. They range in age from teenagers to elderly. Their meals are meager: cloudy soup and a slice of bread. Torture – metal nails, fingernails pulled out, electric shocks – takes place in the “black room.” Punishment is a constant. The prisoners are forced to take pills and get injections. It’s for disease prevention, the staff tell them, but in reality they are the human subjects of medical experiments. Many of the inmates suffer from cognitive decline. Some of the men become sterile. Women are routinely raped. Such is life in China’s reeducation camps, as reported in rare testimony provided by Sayragul Sauytbay (pronounced: Say-ra-gul Saut-bay, as in “bye”), a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden. Few prisoners have succeeded in getting out of the camps and telling their story. Sauytbay’s testimony is even more extraordinary, because during her incarceration she was compelled to be a teacher in the camp. China wants to market its camps to the world as places of educational programs and vocational retraining, but Sauytbay is one of the few people who can offer credible, firsthand testimony about what really goes on in the camps...
Misdemeanors and Gun Laws
Screwing Up The Court System
by Faye Higbee and Jeff Dunetz
{ } ~ State law in Nevada prohibits people who have misdemeanor domestic violence charges from owning a firearm. But the state law forgot about a more universal law, the law of unintended consequences... The State Supreme Court has ruled that because removing a right is a big deal, they must have the option to be tried by a jury for their misdemeanor to save their gun rights. The problem is that misdemeanors are generally tried in municipal courts, not large courtrooms. The smaller courts have no place for juries. So the Las Vegas City council has created a new misdemeanor domestic violence law that doesn’t require giving up gun rights which avoids the need for a jury trial. The Nevada Supreme Court is absolutely correct- if you’re going to take away someone’s rights, it’s much more critical than regular misdemeanors. In a 6-1 vote, the Las Vegas City Council approved the ordinance Wednesday in response to a recent state Supreme Court ruling that requires defendants in such cases to be afforded the option of a jury trial. Councilman Cedric Crear voted against the plan. The high court ruled a month ago that defendants were entitled to a trial after deeming the offense no longer “petty” but a “serious” one because of a 2015 state law that banned convicted individuals from possessing firearms. Officials in Las Vegas have lamented that the city’s municipal court is ill-equipped to hold trials because it does not have jury boxes or administration, plus there are not enough city prosecutors or judges, nor a means to summon a jury pool. In addition, state law doesn’t allow for jury trials in municipal courts...   
Socialism, Not Climate Change, 
Is the Real Threat
By Emma Roberts
{ } ~ It is preposterous to me that many of my peers are so afraid of climate change that they say they can hardly think about it. I think what they should really be afraid of is government overreach... caused by such exaggeration over the effects of climate change. Back in the 1960s, some scientists believed that by 1975, the human race would perish through famine caused by climate change. Funny thing, the human race is now 7.5 billion strong. Fast-forward 10 years to the 1970s, and scientists were claiming that the world was entering a new ice age, or, in other words, that we were imperiled by global freezing. Now it is 2019 about the same time scientists had predicted the world would be frozen over, and many of my peers, as well as plenty of adults, believe that the world is going to end due to global warming, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. The hysteria over climate change has gone so far that many students my age are striking — skipping school every Friday to protest global warming. And they’re demanding that Washington, D.C., fix it. Washington has many, many things that it needs to fix, and many responsibilities and duties to uphold. Global warming, however, is not one of them. Studies show that if the U.S. fully implemented the Green New Deal, the temperature of Earth would decrease by no more than 0.097 degrees Fahrenheit over a span of 30 years. But the price of electricity would increase by almost 10 times its current amount. The price of gasoline would increase astronomically, so that drivers would have no choice but to drive Priuses and Teslas. Further, it is estimated that in the state of Texas alone, such regulations would cause the loss of over a million jobs. And that’s just in Texas; across the United States, the numbers would be devastating and the effects on our economy and society possibly irreversible...
Battle Lines Over War Powers
National Security Desk:  Wednesday in Washington held more political theater than just President Donald Trump’s reality-TV meeting with House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi. This time it’s a struggle over constitutional war powers.

The House voted 354-60 (including 129 Republicans siding with all Democrats) to pass a toothless resolution of disapproval for Trump’s troop-shifting in Syria. U.S. troops are in Syria because of an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed after 9/11 to empower the president to deploy troops against the responsible terrorists and any “associated forces.” Some argue that doesn’t apply because ISIS isn’t al-Qaida, but that’s a distinction without a difference.

In any case, members of Congress want all of the political benefit from criticizing the president with none of the responsibility for the policy. The president wants the freedom to move troops without the partisan and political squabbling inherent in going before Congress. No one seems to remember the Constitution’s general prescription for war.

As political analyst David Harsanyi argues, “If you want to stop Donald Trump from making unilateral decisions regarding war and peace, then stop letting all presidents make unilateral decisions about war and peace. It’s really quite simple.”

Put another way, The Washington Times editorial board asserts, “If Congress is so adamant that U.S. forces should be fighting in the Syrian civil war, then Congress should vote to declare war.”

Back in 2013, Barack scumbag/liar-nObama half-heartedly asked Congress for an AUMF in Syria … to remove its dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Obviously, Assad’s a bad actor backed by Iran and Russia, but removing him was not going to end well. (For more information, see scumbag/liar-nObama’s misadventures in Libya.) Congress declined to give scumbag/liar-nObama the AUMF.

scumbag/liar-nObama sent troops to fight ISIS in Syria anyway, as a cleanup for having created the Islamic State in the first place. Trump took that to another level, effectively destroying the caliphate — primarily thanks to the Kurds we’re now leaving to the Turkish wolves.

As far as Trump making a coherent case for his policy, don’t hold your breath. On Wednesday, we learned of Trump’s bizarre and cartoonish letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealing for “a good deal” and warning Erdogan, “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!”

And then we heard Trump make callous comments about the Middle East: It contains “a lot of sand they can play with,” he said. “We have a situation where Turkey is taking land from Syria. And Syria is not happy about it. Let them work it out. We shouldn’t be over there.”

If only it were that simple.

As Victor Davis Hanson outlines in a must-read column on this difficult subject, the situation with Turkey, Syria, and the Kurds is very complicated. And the commander-in-chief should spend more time laying out his case instead of insulting just about everyone in an effort to simply make the “right” people mad.

On a final note, Mark Alexander argues, “One underreported factor here is the sequence of events. The Turks have long planned to come across the border to hit the Kurdish YPG and PKK and establish a resettlement zone for refugees. I believe they gave Trump advance notice of their impending operations. Rather than threaten a counter-offensive against a NATO member (not an option) Trump removed our advisers from the line of fire. By contrast, the prevailing narrative is that the Turkish offensive was the result of Trump’s removal of what were, in effect, a small number of human military shields protecting Kurds along the Turkey/Syria border. But I don’t think it was a bluff on Turkey’s part. Let me take a wild shot here and suggest that, because of a myriad of other strategic implications, most of which are never black and white, Trump actually signed off on this plan.”   ~The Patriot Post  

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