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History Was Just Made in the Senate — and Hell Hath Frozen Over

If you’ve been around politics for at least five minutes or more, you learn there are certain unwritten rules that conservatives are just supposed to accept to our own detriment. And if you stick around another five minutes longer, you learn those unwritten rules are never to be applied the other way to our favor.

Until now.

Last week there was a shocking sight in Washington. Something not seen since the days when everybody smoked like John Boehner. In fact, we here at Conservative Review didn’t believe it ourselves at first, but we can now confirm that just happened.

A moderate-to-liberal Republican evolved to the Right.

That’s right my fellow randomly evolved via natural process alone primates. If there really was such a thing as Hell it would’ve instantly frozen over at the visual alone of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (F, 30%) standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) — whom he once joked about killing on the floor of the Senate — arguing for the defunding of the United Nations, otherwise known as the progressives’ Taj Mahal.

And it even happened on MSNBC, no less.

“Jesus, take the wheel.”

“Rapture me now.”

“This is the big one. I’m comin’ for you.”

“Goodbye cruel world!”

Whichever parting words you prefer are now appropriate. For there was Graham, the sort of Republican who would typically offer to give the UN even more of our money than the Democrats ask for just to show he’s not one of us, being one of us. Of course, this leads to instant and suspicious speculation, and you really can’t blame conservatives for it. Lucy has pulled the football away from us so often we don’t even try to kick it anymore. We just embarrassingly fall down on our own when it’s offered just to get the disappointment over with.

“What did Cruz sell us out on in return?”

“Let me guess, this doesn’t really defund anything and that’s why Lindsey Grahamnesty supported it, right”

“Maybe defunding the UN isn’t a good idea at all if John McCain’s, R-Ariz. (F, 32%) lap poodle is for it?”

Far be it for Mr. Total Depravity here to be a beacon of hope, but perhaps we should just shut up listen to nana when she taught us “never look a gift horse in the mouth.” I know it seems unlikely, but perhaps Graham simply saw how overtly anti-Israel the UN’s latest actions are and decided to act on his courage of conviction?

Stop laughing. No, really, I wasn’t trying to be funny. That might’ve happened. I mean, it’s not like we just elected a reality TV star, who violated every unwritten rule of decorum and protocol, to the presidency or something.

So maybe it is a brand new day? Or maybe a leopard really never changes his spots? Or maybe we should just be adults and practice that whole discernment thing we tend to cast aside for pack-like, binary-choice thinking. Remember that adults draw distinctions, because the world — as well as the people in it — are more complicated than simple either-or at all times scenarios.

Sometimes people are right for the wrong reasons, and sometimes they’re wrong for the right ones. Sometimes the people you disagree with on everything else are right about this one thing, and sometimes the people you do agree with on everything else are wrong about this one.

In fact, I’ve found myself agreeing with Graham more in the past month than I have the past decade. Why? Because I think he’s been right, that’s why. That doesn’t mean we’re right about what we agree on, by the way, but it does mean as an adult I have a choice to make. Do I believe the truth is the truth, regardless of the one wielding it? Or do I believe truth is determined by the one wielding it? In other words, is truth its own transcendent thing to be sought and found, or do we make our own truth or determine what the truth is?

One view of truth makes you a conservative, and the other doesn’t. Can you guess which is which?

So, yes, typically Graham has not been my kind of Republican. And back when I still was a Republican it’s unlikely I was his type, too. A child considers that knowledge and doesn’t accept Graham’s help when it’s offered, but instead criticizes its own ally like Cruz for accepting it. An adult takes help whenever it’s offered, even from unconventional sources, provided it doesn’t require compromising your own integrity in return and is grateful for it.

And I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention lately, but America is suffering from a dearth of adults at the moment.

“When I was a child I thought, spoke, and reasoned as a child. When I became an adult I set aside such childish things.” – St. Paul

(For more from the author of “History Was Just Made in the Senate — and Hell Hath Frozen Over” please click HERE)

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State Department Held Workshops for Employees Dealing with Trump Transition Stress

The Department of State held workshops in December for agency employees struggling with the emotional stress of the Trump Transition, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The workshop, titled, “The Emotional Transition: Managing the Stress of Change,” was advertised in an agency-wide email, and employees were allowed to dedicate work time to the hour-long sessions. The sessions were held Dec. 8 and Dec. 14, a month after President-elect Donald Trump defeated former State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

“Change is an inevitable part of the human experience,” an email invitation for the workshop said, according to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can become paralyzed by fear or allow the experience of change to propel us closer to self-actualization.”

“Our perspective determines our outcome,” the State Department email continued. “This seminar is designed to discuss the impact of change; the emotional cycles some people experience when confronted with change, and tools to effectively manage the stress of change.”

The stress workshops were sponsored by State’s Bureau of Medical Services, which regularly provides “treatment for problems related to the stress of deployment to high-threat posts, overseas crises and other stressful situations encountered by Foreign Service Officers, family members and State Department employees overseas.” (Read more from “State Department Held Workshops for Employees Dealing with Trump Transition Stress” please click HERE)

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The ‘POTUS Shield’ Descends on Washington to Pray for Trump, State Governments

A group of faith leaders and prelates gathered Thursday in Washington, D.C., to “storm heaven” in prayer for President-elect Donald Trump a week prior to his inauguration. On Friday, they prayed in small groups at the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court.

The “POTUS Shield,” as they call their movement, seeks to “raise up a shield of prayer and prophetic understanding” and lead attendees in prayer, intercession, declarations and decrees over the White House, the Supreme Court and Capitol Hill, the group says on their website. “As some of the faith leaders and prophets that first heard and declared the will of God for this election process, and specifically the breaker anointing upon Donald Trump to usher in a new era; we are now assembling to humbly invoke the voice of the Lord.”

The faith leaders include E.W. Jackson, Lt. General Jerry Boykin, Bishop Harry Jackson, Dr. Alveda King, Lance Wallnau and Cindy Jacobs, among others. This leaders, says the group’s homepage, “are especially gifted to help discern and present spiritual plans to prepare the way for transformation, reformation, and revival in our nation.”

“We’re really not looking for Mr. Trump or any human to change America, but we know God can and will do it,” Dr. Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, told CBN News at the gathering.

The group’s mission is to be “prayerfully committed to see, to hear, to declare and decree, and to prepare the way for transformation, reformation and revival of our nation,” with the following key principles in mind:

1. To assemble, structure and activate The POTUS Shield as a powerfully interactive spiritual, apostolic, prophetic force that acts and reacts in unity, with efficiency and expedience;

2. To be a leadership forum that is inclusive and embraces the Bible believing Body of Christ, with a Kingdom heart to embrace the Body of Christ as One, even as prayed by our Lord as written in the Gospel of John, Chapter 17.

3. To connect as an apostolic network exclusively assigned to the affirmation and reformation of The United States of America as ONE nation under GOD;

4. To discern, declare, and decree the strategies of the Lord for our nation, with a special sensitivity to the three branches of the United States Government;

5. To prepare the way and coordinate the simultaneous spiritual alignment of the Kingdom shift that is manifesting and impacting the government and the Church;

6. To lay the foundation to convene in Philadelphia in March during Purim to declare a renewed covenant as the renewed United States of America, as one nation under God, and to commission and plan similar covenants in each of the 50 states in the Union.

Pastor Leon Benjamin from Richmond addressed some of the concerns of the African-American community about the Trump administration. “We must believe for the best,” he told CBN News. “It doesn’t matter who is in the White House as long as there is faith that God has not forsaken us and that He has not left us because of a transition of power. That would be dreadful for us as pastors and leaders to say ‘Oh my God, we’re doomed now!’ So we’re very hopeful.”

POTUS Shield will now begin to focus their prayer on state capitals and agencies.

(For more from the author of “The ‘POTUS Shield’ Descends on Washington to Pray for Trump, State Governments” please click HERE)

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Clinton Foundation Shuts down Global Initiative Due to Decrease in Foreign Donors Paying to Play

The Clinton Foundation revealed last week that it will be discontinuing the Clinton Global Initiative and laying off 22 staffers. The beleaguered organization filed a report with the New York Department of Labor Thursday stating its intentions to terminate the doomed employees on April 15, reports The Observer, a New York City weekly.

The move comes in response to an ongoing FBI investigation into the foundation’s “pay-to-play” schemes, where foreign interests as well as corporate interests contributed heavily to the foundation in exchange for influencing American government, especially during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The IRS is also investigating the schemes.

Clinton’s Wave of Layoffs

It is a part of a wave of layoffs. According to Politico, the foundation told employees internally last September that dozens of layoffs were coming by the year’s end, and announced that it would no longer be accepting new contributions from foreign or corporate donors.

At that time, there were concerns that if Hillary won the presidency, the loose money would present multiple conflicts of interest. Bill Clinton admitted that foreign interests “may have given money to the foundation to build a relationship with the Clintons or to gain access to the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.” At its peak, the CBI had about 200 employees. 74 were laid off at the end of last year.

Emails released by Wikileaks exposed tension within the foundation over the conflicts of interest. Top Clinton aide Doug Band expressed his concern about the ethical dilemmas in a 2011 email to John Podesta, especially in regards to Bill.

I signed a conflict of interest policy as a board member of cgi. … Oddly, wjc does not have to sign such a document even though he is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors, gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc. I could add 500 different examples of things like this.

The Washington Post reported that “Band helped run what he called ‘Bill Clinton Inc.,’ obtaining ‘in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.’” What the Post called the foundation’s “aggressive strategy” lined up “consulting contracts and paid speaking engagements for Bill Clinton that added tens of millions of dollars to the family’s fortune.”

The CGI’s Pay to Play Schemes

Typical of the pay-to-play schemes was the relation of the owner of the Russian company Uranium One to the foundation and to Bill Clinton himself. The owner contributed $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation, which the foundation failed to report. At that time, the Russian owner was in the process of buying the company, a sale that Secretary Clinton approved. Bill Clinton also received $500,000 from a Russian bank for a Moscow speech, where he promoted Uranium One stock.

The conservative news site Heat Street cynically observed, “The Clintons have always claimed their family charitable foundation was able to raise so much money because, deep down, Saudi princes and Ukrainian oligarchs are really concerned about poor children in Haiti.”

Michael Sainato of The Observer wrote that “The Clinton Foundation‘s downward trajectory ever since since Hillary Clinton’s election loss provides further testimony to claims that the organization was built on greed and the lust for power and wealth — not charity.”

Donations stopping dropping even before Hillary Clinton unexpectedly lost the election. Every year, CGI would throw a lavish party with celebrities, heads of state and Fortune 500 CEOs. But sponsors for the annual event started dropping off after 2011, from 46 that year down to just 23 last year. Coca-Cola, Barclays and Goldman Sachs all dropped their sponsorships last year.

Foreign donors to the Foundation also began drying up. The Australian government, which had contributed over $88 million to the foundation over 10 years, ended its partnership. The Norwegian government reduced its contribution from $20 million in 2015 to $4.2 million in 2016. Since the decline in donations began after public criticism of the foundation started heightening, this appears to validate the claim that foreign interests were contributing “predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work.”

Meanwhile, former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman has now been out of public sight for 85 days. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that it was a disgruntled Democratic insider who leaked emails to the organization, not the Russians. Based on that statement, Braverman has been named as a possible “mole” within the Foundation. (For more from the author of “Clinton Foundation Shuts down Global Initiative Due to Decrease in Foreign Donors Paying to Play” please click HERE)

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Ben Carson’s Prescription: Get People off Government Assistance

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Thursday to share his vision for the Department of Housing and Urban Development if the Senate confirms him as its next secretary.

In early December, President-elect Donald Trump announced Carson, who was a rival contender for the White House, as his pick to lead HUD.

Here are four highlights from Carson’s appearance:

1. On government assistance.

At the hearing, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis questioned Carson about his vision of best serving those who are on government programs.

“What is the best possible thing we can do for somebody who is on government assistance?” the North Carolina senator asked.

“Get them off of it,” Carson responded.

2. His childhood experience.

Carson said in a written statement that growing up in “inner city Detroit with a single mother who had a 3rd grade education” allowed him to understand housing insecurity.

Carson credited his mother for teaching him the importance of personal responsibility, and said that if confirmed as the next secretary of housing and urban development, he would do more than just advance its programs and funding.

3. Put medical clinics in neighborhoods.

Carson said that as part of his effort to enable and serve the beneficiaries of HUD programs, he plans to potentially put medical clinics in neighborhoods so that people don’t “rely on the emergency room where it costs five times more and where you don’t get kind of follow up that would prevent you from having stage five renal disease.”

4. Will work to benefit ‘all Americans.’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asked Carson about his intentions to ensure that none of the money funneled through HUD would specifically benefit Trump’s real estate ties.

“My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars that you’ll be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?” Warren asked.

Carson responded by saying that his work would be beneficial to all Americans, not just the select few.

“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American, particularly,” Carson said. “It’s for all Americans, everything that we do.” (For more from the author of “Ben Carson’s Prescription: Get People off Government Assistance” please click HERE)

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What Comes after Repeal? How to Fix American Health Care, Part 2

Thursday, I laid out the case for why Obamacare should be repealed, instead of propped up and tinkered on by additional top-down, boardroom thinking. It’s clear that whatever replaces Obamacare must focus on quality and incremental local solutions, not one-size-fits-all government mandates.

In this respect, the federal government’s biggest task for replacing Obamacare is to get out of the way and let state policymakers and health care providers innovate.

First off, let’s get clear what Americans want: They’d like many choices of affordable health insurance plans that allow them to choose their doctors. They want to buy a plan when they are young, then keep their plan from job to job and into retirement. And they’d like it to be truly affordable. These “must haves” are obvious to people of any political orientation.

Instead of approaching this challenge like designing a single system or product (the way Obamacare was constructed), Congress needs to help these conditions develop organically, while preserving freedom of choice for Americans. Here are some further thoughts.

Expand health savings accounts. As we age, our need for medical care increases, yet current government policies offer few incentives for people to save for their future health care needs. The one exception is health savings accounts, which are tax-deductible accounts owned by individuals that roll over from year to year. But those accounts are currently available for just one type of insurance plan—a high-deductible plan.

The improvement would be to expand the scope of health savings accounts so that they can be used with any type of insurance design, as well as to become the accounts into which any funds (either private or public) to help pay for health care needs can be deposited. That way, people would not only have more options, but also a place to keep (for future needs) any savings they get from buying better value insurance and medical care.

Create space for diverse payment models. Congress should remove regulatory obstacles to innovative approaches to providing or paying for medical care. For instance, many direct primary care practices use a monthly subscription payment model instead of the traditional fee-for-service model. This model eliminates significant administrative costs and allows doctors to spend more time with patients. Yet federal and state regulations that inappropriately treat those payments as insurance (as opposed to payments for medical care) further inhibit adoption of this approach that simultaneously reduces costs while improving quality.

Allow innovative new delivery models. In a similar fashion, federal and state lawmakers should remove the regulatory obstacles to other health care delivery innovations, such as specialty hospitals, free-standing emergency rooms, and telemedicine. Indeed, too often those regulatory barriers exist not to protect patients or consumers, but rather to protect less efficient providers from competition.

In general, federal health policy should focus on establishing a few basic rules while leaving most of the detailed decisions to either the private sector or state governments.

For instance, any federal tax relief for health care expenses should be the same regardless of a person’s employment situation. Today, those with employer coverage pay no income or payroll tax on their health insurance benefits, but those purchasing coverage on their own have to use after-tax dollars to buy coverage.

In addition, those who rely on public programs should be able to take the value of their benefits in the form of a contribution that they can apply to the plan of their choice, not dumped into a one-size-fits-all government program.

The federal government should also return to the pre-Obamacare status of setting only minimal rules for insurance markets and deferring to state regulation of insurance as a financial services product.

The federal government should not attempt to design and manage America’s health care system. Federal laws and regulations should allow and encourage insurers and medical providers to compete in offering better quality care at lower costs.

This will require returning health care decision-making to patients and their doctors, and returning policymaking to the lowest level of government that is best equipped to handle it: state legislatures.

Some politicians don’t like the idea of relinquishing that power, but after seeing the results of decisions made in Washington over the last few years, I think it’s worth a try. (For more from the author of “What Comes after Repeal? How to Fix American Health Care, Part 2” please click HERE)

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What Happens for Consumers after Congress Repeals Obamacare

All the talk about congressional Republicans preparing to repeal Obamacare may have some Americans on edge, but GOP lawmakers say they intend to craft a plan that will phase out the health care law to ensure a “stable transition” for consumers who depend on it.

Republicans say they want consumers to keep their health coverage, and continue receiving any subsidies, until Congress can pass a replacement that may not kick in until 2019.

In the days before Donald Trump is sworn in as president Jan. 20, Republicans are continuing to debate the substance of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Details are sparse, but conservative senators are urging Senate leaders to use legislation from 2015 as a floor, or minimum, for what should be done this year.

That bill phased out parts of Obamacare over two years, repealed the health care law’s individual and employer mandates, and did away with fines for not complying. It also eliminated the law’s Medicaid expansion, medical device tax, and Cadillac tax on high-cost plans.

Congressional committees have started work on a repeal bill. But already President Barack Obama, Democrat lawmakers, and other supporters of the health care law warn that 20 million Americans they say gained coverage under Obamacare—a figure that is disputed as inflated—are in jeopardy of losing that coverage.

Though Republicans plan to send a bill repealing Obamacare to Trump in the next few weeks, GOP lawmakers are considering delaying implementation of the repeal for two years to protect those who gained coverage under Obamacare.

“The repeal legislation will include a stable transition period as we work toward patient-centered health care,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday in a speech mapping out Republicans’ path for repeal.

A two-year transition before Obamacare’s official repeal takes effect would give Congress time to pass and implement a replacement plan. The goal is to ensure that those who obtained health coverage under the law—and received tax credits—would continue to until the replacement for Obamacare is implemented.

“There’s more of an understanding that if you just throw 20 to 30 million [insured Americans] out on the street, that’s not politically wise and, as far as I’m concerned, immoral,” Timothy Jost, professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, told The Daily Signal.

“How do you deal with that?” Jost said. “I think the idea is you repeal it and put it off for some period of time and adopt and implement a replacement plan.”

Many proposals introduced by Republican members of the House and Senate, including House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” plan, include tax credits to provide financial assistance to consumers who purchase coverage in the individual market.

“We want to have tax credits that give everybody a shot at buying, take their tax credit and go buy a health plan of their choosing,” Ryan said Thursday during a town hall hosted by CNN.

Republicans “generally are not talking about” ending all subsidies, Jost said. But since they haven’t yet introduced a replacement for the health care law, he said, it isn’t clear whether tax credits will be based on a consumer’s age or income.

Republicans may agree it will take time to eliminate Obamacare without imperiling Americans’ insurance status, but GOP lawmakers remain split over aspects of the repeal legislation itself.

Some Republican senators, for example, would like to see a repeal of Obamacare’s taxes delayed for several months, while others say the taxes should be rolled back immediately after Trump signs the repeal bill into law.

The 2015 reconciliation bill, which members of the last Congress said plotted the steps for successfully dismantling Obamacare, repealed all of the law’s taxes immediately. Obama vetoed that bill.

Alyene Senger, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, advocates following the model set by the 2015 legislation and repealing the taxes immediately. Included are taxes on prescription drugs and health insurers, as well as higher restrictions and penalties placed on health savings accounts.

Other Republican lawmakers want to see GOP leaders produce a replacement plan before they vote to repeal Obamacare.

At first, House conservatives advocated a repeal-first, replace-later strategy. Now, though, they’re backing a plan to replace the law soon after voting to repeal it.

Congress took a major step toward repealing Obamacare this week after members passed a budget resolution for fiscal 2017. The resolution instructs committees in the House and Senate to begin writing the bill to repeal the law using a process called reconciliation.

After the November election, Republican lawmakers said they planned to have a bill repealing Obamacare on Trump’s desk not long after his inauguration Jan. 20.

But Trump has begun to set his own expectations for Congress.

At his first press conference since the election, the president-elect Wednesday mapped out a timeline for Obamacare’s repeal and replacement that centers around Senate confirmation of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., his pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We’re going to be submitting as soon as our secretary is approved, almost simultaneously, [or] shortly thereafter, a plan,” Trump said. “It will be repeal and replace.”

The Senate Finance Committee, which has primary jurisdiction, hasn’t scheduled a confirmation hearing for Price.

The Georgia Republican will appear at a courtesy hearing next Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of that panel, said earlier this week he doesn’t expect Price to be confirmed until mid-February.

Under Trump’s timeline, that would delay repeal of Obamacare until at least then.

But GOP leaders in Congress hope to move faster.

Ryan said Thursday that congressional Republicans are “moving as quickly as they can” to repeal and replace the health care law. But, Ryan admitted, it will take “a little bit of time.”

“The law is collapsing,” Ryan said, “and so we’ve got to rescue people from the collapsing of this law and fix this problem.” (For more from the author of “What Happens for Consumers after Congress Repeals Obamacare” please click HERE)

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Trump Vows ‘Insurance for Everybody’ in Obamacare Replacement Plan

President-elect Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama’s signature health-care law with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid.

Trump declined to reveal specifics in the telephone interview late Saturday with The Washington Post, but any proposals from the incoming president would almost certainly dominate the Republican effort to overhaul federal health policy as he prepares to work with his party’s congressional majorities.

Trump’s plan is likely to face questions from the right, after years of GOP opposition to further expansion of government involvement in the health-care system, and from those on the left, who see his ideas as disruptive to changes brought by the Affordable Care Act that have extended coverage to tens of millions of Americans.

In addition to his replacement plan for the ACA, also known as Obamacare, Trump said he will target pharmaceutical companies over drug prices. (Read more from “Trump Vows ‘Insurance for Everybody’ in Obamacare Replacement Plan” HERE)

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Radical Political Operatives Plan to Disrupt Trump Inauguration, Harass Mike Pence at His Home

The radical political operatives aspiring to disrupt Donald Trump’s inauguration next week are planning to throw a “dance party” on the lawn of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s temporary home in Washington, D.C., Fox News reports.

Confirmation of the upcoming event came in the form of audio recorded by Trevor Loudon on behalf of Capital Research Center’s documentary division, Dangerous Documentaries. Capital Research Center is also the originator of the Bombthrowers website.

The audio was obtained as part of Capital Research Center’s upcoming documentary on left-wing protesters, “America Under Siege: Civil War 2017.” The film, directed by Judd Saul, is set for release before Inauguration Day.

The audio features a female member of the #DisruptJ20 organization, which has ties to left-wing financier George Soros, explaining the group’s plans to “do everything we can to try and stop people from being able to access the inauguration.”

The woman says on the recording that her group intends to holds a “pure dance party at Mike Pence’s house” on Wednesday, January 18, two days before Trump and Pence take their respective oaths of office.

“It’s his last few days living in Chevy Chase before he moves into the vice presidential residence, and we’re going to send him off with a bang,” the woman says. Chevy Chase is a neighborhood in Northwest Washington not far from the vice president’s official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory on Embassy Row.

Pence’s left-leaning neighbors in Chevy Chase have given him a frigid reception but the so-called dance party by the Marxists and anarchists of #DisruptJ20 takes leftist animosity against the former Indiana governor to a new level.

After harassing Pence, the group will focus on the pro-Trump “DeploraBall” the next day at the National Press Club.

On the recording, the woman describes the DeploraBall as the “alt-right neo-Nazi … party to celebrate Trump.”

“We’re gonna crash it,” she says.

On the morning of the Inauguration, Friday, January 20, members vow to block entrance points as well as roads and transportation leading to the swearing-in ceremony.

“We’re going to be doing blockades,” she says. “We’re going to [be] blockading checkpoints into the security zones. We’re also going to be blockading roads and other modes of transit into the city.”

Friday 10 a.m. the group is planning an “anti-Capitalist, anti-fascist bloc” that “will be an unpermitted march that will be leaving from Logan Square.”

A #DisruptJ20 spokeswoman spoke to Fox News about her group’s agenda. “We’re exercising our freedom of speech and really want to set a tone for the next few years that there’s a massive body of people … who are very concerned about the dangerous direction Donald Trump is taking our country in.”

Fox News reports that one organizer said he hopes to “turn the inauguration into as big of a clusterf— as possible.”

The ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition has laid out its own inauguration plans, saying it hopes to galvanize tens of thousands of people at permitted locations — like Freedom Plaza and the Navy Memorial — to march and protest in a more conventional way. ANSWER is an ultraleftist organization supportive of the dictatorships in Cuba and North Korea. (For more from the author of “OUR SCOOP ON FOX NEWS: Trump Inauguration Disrupters Admit to Planning ‘Dance Party’ on Mike Pence’s Lawn” please click HERE)

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Here’s the Potential Short List for Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

President-elect Donald Trump has narrowed his potential Supreme Court picks to only the federal appeals court judges on his broad list of potential nominees, according to CNN.

CNN reported that Vice President-elect Mike Pence said the team is “winnowing” the list that “is made up of mostly federal appellate court judges.” That doesn’t automatically mean all the others are off the list yet, according to Pence.

Appeals court judges on the list of 21 are Steven Colloton, Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge, William Pryor, and Diane Sykes. However, the story also mentions Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen.

Pence met with senators Wednesday about the potential pick, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.

“There’s been some of the people on that list who have already gone through the process here as far as approving,” Manchin told CNN. “I guess they would look at someone who has gone through, somebody who’s made it through here before would have a chance.”

Trump said during his Wednesday press conference he would be making a decision on a Supreme Court justice choice within two weeks of his Jan. 20 inauguration.

The Trump transition team did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Daily Signal as to whether the CNN report on the short list was accurate.

Here’s a look at all of the seven appeals court judges on the list, in alphabetical order.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen was named to the state’s high court by Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican. Larsen, 48, in 2002 became an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Larsen, who also taught law at the University of Michigan, received her law degree from Northwestern and clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge William H. Pryor Jr., a President George W. Bush appointee, has served since 2004 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Alabama, and there was a fight to get him on the court. Interestingly, Pryor’s comment about “nine octogenarian lawyers who happen to sit on the Supreme Court” deciding on the death penalty became an issue during his appeals court confirmation fight. Pryor’s confirmation came only after the May 2005 “Gang of 14” bipartisan Senate compromise, to break a Democratic filibuster of several Bush judicial nominations and also prevent the Republican leadership from invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” of curbing the filibuster. In a 53-45 vote, the Senate confirmed Pryor the following month. Pryor, 54, has a political background. He became Alabama’s attorney general in 1997 after his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican. Trump designated Sessions to be his next attorney general. Pryor was elected in his own right in 1998 as state attorney general and was re-elected in 2002. In 2013, he was confirmed to a term on the United States Sentencing Commission. Pryor received his law degree from Tulane University.

Judge Thomas Hardiman was appointed by Bush in 2007 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Pennsylvania. The Senate confirmed him 95-0 in March 2007. Hardiman, 51, previously was a federal district judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a position confirmed by a voice vote in October 2003. A Notre Dame graduate, Hardiman practiced law in Washington and Pittsburgh.

Judge Steven Colloton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Iowa was appointed in 2003 by Bush. The Senate confirmed him in September 2003 by a vote of 94-1. Colloton previously served as a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. The 53-year-old graduate of Yale Law School clerked for the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Colorado, was appointed in 2006 by Bush. The Senate confirmed him by a voice vote in July 2006. Before that, Gorsuch was a deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department. The Harvard Law School graduate clerked for both current Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and former Justice Byron White.
Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Wisconsin was named by Bush. The Senate confirmed her by a vote of 70-27 in March 2004. Sykes, 58, had been a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 1999. Before that, she was a trial court judge in both civil and criminal matters. She received her law degree from Marquette University.

One federal appeals court judge on the list of 21 who wasn’t mentioned in the CNN story is Judge Raymond Gruender, 53. He was named by Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Missouri. The Senate voted 97-1 to confirm him in May 2004. He previously was a prosecutor and served as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. He received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

With a few exceptions, such as Justice Elena Kagan and retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, most justices in modern times have been federal appeals court judges. The list Trump considered was intriguing because it included many state supreme court justices, as well as Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Generally, there is a reason most justices are drawn from federal appeals courts, said John Malcolm, director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

“Federal appeals court judges have written more legal opinions about matters that are likely to go before the Supreme Court, while state supreme court justices have ruled mostly on state law and not federal law,” Malcolm, a former deputy assistant attorney general, told The Daily Signal.

But there is also merit to having state supreme court judges, said J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer and president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

“I’m big fan of state Supreme Courts just because I think they might have a better understanding of overreach by the federal government, but the list I saw, they are all good names and any one would be fantastic,” Adams told The Daily Signal. (For more from the author of “Here’s the Potential Short List for Trump’s Supreme Court Pick” please click HERE)

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