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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Feinstein: FORD Could Be A NO-SHOW

 Brooke Singman

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee acknowledged Tuesday she can’t guarantee the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault will show up to testify at a looming hearing, as her attorneys raise concerns about the format.
Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney Michael Bromwich specifically complained about Republicans hiring outside counsel to question his client during the public hearing set for Thursday morning. In a late Monday letter to the committee, Bromwich requested the prosecutor’s resume “immediately” and asked to meet with the lawyer. 
Sources told Fox News that committee Republicans hired a female prosecutor who specializes in sex crimes in preparation to hear Ford’s testimony -- though it remains unclear whether she would lead the committee’s questioning. The planning, though, prompted the letter of concern from Bromwich, once again throwing into doubt whether the hearing will go forward. 
As of Tuesday afternoon, a Republican aide told Fox News the committee reserves its right to have counsel ask questions of Ford but beyond that has not determined how to proceed.
Second woman accuses Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while in college. Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell reacts.
Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., meanwhile, could not guarantee Ford would attend if the prosecutor were to lead questioning on behalf of Republican members.
“I have no way of knowing,” Feinstein told Fox News.
In his letter, Bromwich took issue both with plans for the outside counsel as well as fiery comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accusing Democrats of a “smear campaign.”
“We are finding it difficult to reconcile your letter and [staff member Mike Davis'] note with the Majority Leader’s speech this afternoon on the Senate floor,” wrote Bromwich. 
“You said in your letter that you intend to provide a ‘fair and credible’ process ... Yet earlier today, the Majority Leader dismissed Dr. Ford’s experience as a ‘smear campaign,’ claiming mistakenly that the witnesses’ statements to the Committee constitute ‘a complete lack of evidence,’ implying that there has been a thorough investigation,” the letter read. 
Bromwich then raised concerns with an email from Davis that apparently suggested an outside counsel would question Ford.
“This hearing plan that Mr. Davis described does not appear designed to provide Dr. Blasey Ford with fair and respectful treatment,” Bromwich wrote. “In our view, the hiring of an unnamed ‘experienced sex crimes prosecutor,’ as Mr. Davis described in his email, is contrary to the Majority’s repeated emphasis on the need for the Senate and this Committee’s members to fulfill their constitutional obligations.”
He added: “It is also inconsistent with your stated wish to avoid a ‘circus,’ as well as Dr. Blasey Ford’s requests through counsel that senators conduct the questioning. This is not a criminal trial for which the involvement of an experienced sex crimes prosecutor would be appropriate.”
At this point, the female prosecutor’s identity has not been revealed.
Bromwich’s letter is the latest twist in the tumultuous talks between the committee and Ford. Her story first emerged in the media, though was relayed over the summer to Feinstein, who has since faced GOP criticism for sitting on the accusations citing Ford's initial desire for confidentiality. 
Ford accused Kavanaugh of covering her mouth and trying to remove her clothing at a party in the early 1980s, when both were in high school. 
The committee has offered for Ford to share her testimony in public or private, or over the phone. She and her team previously accepted an invitation to testify Thursday. 
Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on McConnell to apologize for describing the accusations against Kavanaugh as part of a “smear campaign” by Democrats. 
McConnell on Tuesday expressed his confidence that Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the high court.
“Our goal is to have a respectful hearing,” McConnell said. “It’s not uncommon to have outside counsel to do questioning for this type of hearing. Once the hearing is done, we plan to move forward in the very near future.”
McConnell added that “everyone understands there is a presumption of innocence,” and that “we should go into these hearings with a presumption of innocence.”
“I am confident we are going to win and he will be confirmed in the near future,” McConnell said. “I believe he will be confirmed.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accuses Senate Democrats of trying to destroy Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's reputation with decades-old allegations, pledges to give Kavanaugh an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.
Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegation, as well as that of another woman who alleges he exposed himself to her while at Yale University. 
"What I know is the truth, and the truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone," Kavanaugh told Fox News' Martha MacCallum in an exclusive interview on Monday. 
Kavanaugh also told MacCallum that he would not withdraw his name from consideration over the allegations.
"I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity, and I know I'm telling the truth," the judge said. "I know my lifelong record and I'm not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process. I have faith in God and I have faith in the fairness of the American people." 
Fox News' Peter Doocy, Mike Emanuel and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

RADICAL, Anti-Kavanaugh MOB Force CRUZ and Wife From DC Restaurant

Radical, anti-Kavanaugh protesters force senator, wife from DC restaurant in viral video

Bradford Betz

A group of radical protesters in Washington, D.C., shouted down Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife in a restaurant Monday night, sending the couple to an early exit in a tense scene captured on video.
The group appeared to chastise Cruz over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is facing multiple sexual assault allegations. Two one-minute video clips were posted to the Twitter page of a group called “Smash Racism DC.”
The group’s Facebook page states that it is “united” in the fight against the “Nazis, Ku Klux Klan.”
In the first video clip, a group of protesters approach Cruz and his wife at a restaurant table, repeatedly shouting, “We believe survivors!”
“Hi, I’d love to talk to you about Brett Kavanaugh tonight. I’m a constituent, love to know what your vote is gonna be tonight. I know that you’re very close friends with Mr. Kavanaugh,” says a woman off camera. “Do you believe survivors?”
“Senator, I have a right to know what your position is on Brett Kavanaugh,” she continues.
“God bless you, ma'am,” Cruz says amid the shouts.
“Bless you as well, I really appreciate you,” the woman responds. “I’m a survivor of sexual assault. I believe all survivors. There are now three people who have come forward and who have said that Brett Kavanaugh has attacked them. I know that you’re close friends with him. Could you talk to him about that? Could you talk to him about his position?”
Cruz then appears to get up and head for the exit with his wife.
“How are you gonna vote, sir?” the woman asks.
In the second video, the protesters continue shouting, “We believe survivors!” as Cruz is seen struggling to get through the crowd.
“Beto’s way hotter than you, dude!” says one protester off camera, in reference to Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke, Cruz’s challenger for his U.S. Senate seat.
“Excuse me, let my wife through,” Cruz says to the hostile crowd.
As Cruz nears the exit, a woman is heard shouting, “Are you going to confirm your best friend Kavanaugh?”
Another protester shouts: “Sexist, racist, anti-gay!”
When Cruz leaves the restaurant, the protesters cheer. A restaurant worker appears, telling the group to leave.
Cruz has pushed for Christine Blasey Ford, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, to testify in public, according to The Texas Tribune.
"These allegations are serious and deserve to be treated with respect," Cruz said in a statement. "Professor Ford should have a full opportunity to tell her story before the Judiciary Committee, and Judge Kavanaugh should have a full opportunity to defend himself. That hearing should be sooner, rather than later, so the committee can make the best assessment possible of the allegations."
It’s not the first time a Republican politician has been publicly confronted.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled and harassed at a Mexican Washington D.C. restaurant in June. A video posted by the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America showed a group of protesters shouting “Shame!” at Nielson.
Days later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and her family were kicked out of a Virginia restaurant. The eatery cited morality and living up to “certain standards” as the reasons behind the decision.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., encouraged supporters after the two incidents to fight back against the Trump administration. She said at the time current administration officials who defend Trump “know what they’re doing is wrong” and said they soon won’t be able to peacefully appear in public without being harassed. She later backed off from those remarks.
Cruz's office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on his confrontation. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

22 MILLION ILLEGALS! 'Substantially Larger' Than Previous Estimates

FILE - This June 25, 2014 file photo, shows a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as they are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. Illegal crossings along the Rio Grande have slowed dramatically since an overwhelming surge of immigrants had state and federal agents scrambling to secure the border earlier this year. But Texas leaders don’t want their ground troops to leave just yet. An $86 million proposal would keep extra state troopers and the National Guard in South Texas through next August, prompting criticisms from local law enforcement who say the money would be better spent elsewhere.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - This June 25, 2014 file photo, shows a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as they are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. Illegal crossings along the Rio Grande have slowed dramatically since an overwhelming surge of immigrants had state and federal agents scrambling to secure the border earlier this year. But Texas leaders don’t want their ground troops to leave just yet. An $86 million proposal would keep extra state troopers and the National Guard in South Texas through next August, prompting criticisms from local law enforcement who say the money would be better spent elsewhere. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Stephen Dinan

Professors at Yale University have roiled the immigration debate with a new study calculating there are between 16 million and 30 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. — as much as three times more than most demographers figure.
The professors’ model looked at estimates of how many people came illegally, and how many people likely left, and concluded there are a lot more people who arrived than the 11 million suggested by traditional estimates. The model says the most likely figure is double that, at about 22 million.
If true, the numbers would mean U.S. officials have done a poorer job of catching illegal immigrants than imagined, and that one out of every nine people living in the U.S. is here illegally.
“Policy debates about the amount of resources to devote to this issue, and the merits of alternative policies, including deportation, amnesty, and border control, depend critically on estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., which sets the scale of the issue,” said the academics, Professors Jonathan S. Feinstein and Edward H. Kaplan and postdoctoral associate Mohammad Fazel-Zarandi, all at the Yale School of Management.
They published their findings in PLOS ONE, an open access scholarly journal, and sparked fierce pushback from the demographers who study the issue and say the professors’ numbers are impossible.
“We believe these new numbers represent at most an interesting academic exercise, but are ultimately greatly off-base and thus counterproductive to the public’s very real need to understand the true scope of illegal immigration and how best to address it,” analysts at the Migration Policy Institute, who were asked to do a peer review of the study, said in their response.
The number of people in the country illegally has always been a touchy question, and is perhaps even more freighted now under President Trump.
During the 2016 campaign Mr. Trump said the numbers could be as high as 30 million — drawing protests from fact-checkers who cited the traditional demographers.
A 2005 report by analysts at Bear Stearns concluded there were 20 million illegal immigrants, far outpacing the more accepted figure at the time of about 12 million.
And President Obama’s deportation chief, former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, once testified to Congress that the number could be 15 million.
The government does do its own estimates, but they are sporadic and lag far behind.
The most recent study by Homeland Security was released in July 2017 and dated back to Census Bureau numbers from January 2014, or more than four-and-a-half years ago. That study put the unauthorized population at 12.1 million.
They and most other demographers use what’s known as the “residual method” for figuring the unauthorized population. The general idea is to take the total number of people who claim to be foreign-born in Census Bureau survey data, then subtract the number of people who are in the country legally. The difference is deemed to be those here without permission.
Each organization has its own variation for adjusting those numbers for census undercounts and other caveats, but they show illegal immigration peaked at about 12 million a decade ago, and now rests somewhere near 11 million.
The Yale professors, though, said there’s a major problem with the survey-based methods.
“One must locate undocumented immigrants, and once located subjects must truthfully report they were foreign born,” Mr. Kaplan told The Washington Times in an email. “Obviously undocumented immigrants do not wish to be found, nor is it in their interest to reveal their place of birth.”
He said there are tens of millions of people who fall into the category of declining to answer the surveys, and he said he and his fellow professors took a different approach.
They decided to look at the number of illegal immigrants they figured arrived over the years, either jumping the border or arriving legally but overstaying their visas. They then looked at those who were deported, went back home on their own, died or otherwise left the unauthorized population.
Running the model one million times, they came up with a conservative estimate of 16.7 million unauthorized migrants, up to 29.5 million. They figured 22.1 million was the mean.
“The results of our analysis are clear: The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is estimated to be substantially larger than has been appreciated at least in widely accepted previous estimates,” they concluded.
Robert Warren, a demographer at the Center for Migration Studies, a New York-based think tank, said the professors’ study didn’t take into account the circular nature of migration particularly late in the last decade, when it was common for illegal immigrants from Mexico to come work in the U.S. for a short time, go back home, then return for a future work season and repeat the cycle.
“Their mechanism gets the immigrants in here, but their way of getting out is flawed. They don’t take into account of enough of this short-term migration of Mexicans,” said Mr. Warren, who spent more than three decades working at the Census Bureau and then for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Mr. Warren said the professors could have done basic demographic checks to realize they were so far off a realistic count.
“The policy implications are so important that they should have done that,” he said.
The demographers at MPI called the professors’ study a “thought experiment from a team of academics who specialize in management studies.”
And Steven A. Camarota, a demographer at the D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies, said there are data points such as birth, death and school records that can be used to check the Census-based figures.
If there were millions of uncounted illegal immigrant women of child-bearing age, there should be hundreds of thousands more births showing up in hospital records — but there aren’t.
Mr. Camarota said the numbers don’t match up exactly, and there will always be some margin of error, but it’s nothing like the massive factor of two that the professors calculated.
He also said there have been real-world tests, including the 1986 amnesty which, despite massive fraud, generally produced the same legalization levels as would have been predicted from Census bureau data.
“None of that means that 11 or 12 million estimate is rock solid. It could be off. Maybe there are an extra million, maybe there are 2 million. There’s a margin of error around that number. But nearly 17 million?” he said.
He added: “When they came up with this number they should have stepped back and said we’ve got a problem, it doesn’t pass the kind of prima facie approach of what seems possible.”

Republican Party Favorability HIGHEST in Seven Years


*Republican favorability at 45%, Democrats at 44%
*Democrats generally have had the upper hand in favorability ratings
*Major gains for Republican Party within the party, including leaners

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Forty-five percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the Republican Party, a nine-point gain from last September's 36%. It is the party's most positive image since it registered 47% in January 2011, shortly after taking control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Forty-four percent give the Democratic Party a favorable rating.

The parity in Republicans' and Democrats' favorable ratings marks a change from what has generally been the case since Barack Obama's election as president in November 2008. Republicans have usually been rated less positively than Democrats over this time, with the Republican Party's favorability rating for the last decade averaging 39%, compared with the Democratic Party's 44%.

Only one other time in the last decade has the Republican Party had a significantly higher score than the Democratic Party. That one exception came in November 2014, immediately after elections that saw Republicans capture control of the Senate and expand their majority in the House, when 42% rated the GOP favorably and 36% the Democrats.

Republicans Now More Likely to View Their Party Favorably

The overall increase in the favorable image of the Republican Party is a result of a jump in the positive views of Republicans, including independents who lean toward the party. The percentage of Republicans and leaners with favorable views of their party grew from 67% last September to 85% now.

At the time of last September's poll, congressional Republicans were in the final throes of an unsuccessful attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," and were losing a highly publicized battle with Democrats over a debt ceiling bill. Since then, Republicans have passed a tax cut bill that was supported by a vast majority of Republicans, and the economy has continued to make gains under the Republican administration of Donald Trump.

Two other major subgroups that tend to be more Republican than the overall population -- men and those living in middle-income households -- have become more likely to view the Republican Party favorably in the past year.

Republican Party Gains Ground Among Those With Republican Views
Percent with favorable view of each party, September 2017 and September 2018

Republican PartyDemocratic Party
Sep 2017Sep 2018Sep 2017Sep 2018
All adults36454444
Party ID
Republicans plus leaners67851311
Democrats plus leaners10108080
Annual Household Income
Less than $30,00034404651
$75,000 and above35394546

While Republicans have become significantly more positive about their party over the past year, Democrats' views of the Republican Party and their own Democratic Party have essentially not changed.
Bottom Line

For the Republican Party, less than two months away from an election that could see them lose control of both the House and the Senate, gains in public favorability are a welcome sign. The party has been wallowing in favorable ratings below 40% for most of the last five years after rarely sinking that low in the previous two decades.

No matter how much or how little party favorability affects elections, the fact that Republicans are more likely to view their party favorably than a year ago can be considered a positive indicator for the party, particularly if a more positive image boosts Republican turnout.

Although Republicans' approval of a Congress controlled by their party remains low, Republicans apparently hold similarly positive perceptions of their party as they do of President Trump (81% favorable in this same poll).

Meanwhile, Democrats have been buoyed by numerous projections that they will make major gains in November, which could lead to a result similar to what Republicans experienced in 2010, when they scored a big election victory at a time when favorable views of both parties were about the same.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.


Keith Ellison ABUSE Allegations UNDERMINE Democratic Bid to SINK Kavanaugh Nomination

Democrats accused of double standard with 'believe women' message

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asks a question at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asks a question at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Valerie Richardson

The domestic-abuse allegations against Rep. Keith Ellison have muddled the Democratic Party’s “believe women” message at a crucial juncture in the party’s bid to sink the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.
After paying scant attention to the month-old Ellison charges, Democrats have watched the issue resurface amid growing complaints that the party has one standard for Mr. Ellison and another for Mr. Kavanaugh, who has been accused by a California woman of assaulting her while they were in high school.
Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, was forced to address the issue Sunday under questioning by CNN’s Jake Tapper, two days after Mr. Ellison was grilled during a televised debate about the allegations made by ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan.
“As far as Keith Ellison, these allegations need to be investigated and appropriate action taken,” said Ms. Hirono on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
In fact, there is an investigation, led not by law enforcement but by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in what has been described as a glaring conflict of interest.
“What the DFL has done is basically a holding pattern,” said University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobs. “This is not an investigation in the way it’s normally thought of. It’s more like a safety valve in case there are more revelations, and then they have a way of coming back and saying, ‘Yes, our investigation has come up with X, Y and Z, and we’re taking the following measures.’”
Doug Wardlow, the Republican running against Mr. Ellison for Minnesota attorney general, scoffed after Mr. Ellisoncalled it “independent” investigation during Friday’s campaign debate.
“It’s not an independent investigation. It’s [being done] by your friends and fellow party members,” said Mr. Wardlow on Twin Cities PBS. “That’s not an independent investigation.”
Mr. Ellison has denied allegations that he became physical after losing his temper with Ms. Monahan as well as Amy Alexander, whose 13-year-old charges have drawn renewed attention.
At the debate, he accused Ms. Alexander of harassing him and noted that he won a restraining order against her in 2005. He also questioned a 2017 medical document released last week by Ms. Monahan in which she told a clinic that she suffered “emotional and physical abuse” during their relationship.
“Let me tell you, that record was made a year after we broke up, and at a time when she was still, when she was essentially putting together the allegations that she made two days before the [primary],” Mr. Ellison said.
The mounting focus on the Ellison allegations comes with the Senate Judiciary Committee preparing to hear the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, in an appearance that Democrats are hoping will deliver the final blow to the Kavanaugh nomination.
Several Democrats have already said they believe the accuser, despite Judge Kavanaugh’s denials and statements by three others attesting they never attended the party 36 years ago at which the teenage Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her down and groped her.
Ms. Ford had claimed that five people attended the house party in Bethesda, but all four of the others — Mr. Kavanaugh, two men and one woman — said they are unaware of such a gathering and have no knowledge of the allegations.
“I believe Dr. Blasey because she’s telling the truth,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, while Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said last week, “I believe the survivor, Dr. Ford.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Monahan has accused state Democrats of running a smear campaign against her behind the scenes, tweeting, “I’ve been smeared, threatened, isolated from my own party.”
Certainly Republicans have picked up on what they call the Democratic Party’s selective outrage.
“In this era, we’re supposed to believe the woman, right? But not when it happens to one of their own, especially when it’s the deputy chair of the DNC,” said Kevin Poindexter, executive director of the Republican Party of Minnesota.
“Now it’s, ‘Oh, let’s wait ‘til we get all the facts,’” he said. “It’s quite the double standard, and it’s hypocrisy at its finest.”
At the Values Voters Summit on Friday in Washington, D.C., the Family Research Council’s Gil Mertz asked about the apparently nonexistent Democratic support for Ms. Monahan, a Sierra Club organizer.
“Where is Karen Monahan’s support? Where are women standing for Karen Monahan?” Mr. Mertz asked. “Where is the Democratic call for an FBI investigation of Keith Ellison?”
He drove home his point by playing the sound of crickets.
• Seth McLaughlin contributed to this article.