Daily Recap — April 25

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche


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GIVE ‘EM THE BAN HAMMER, SCOTUS

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I try to temper my excitement about anything dealing with the judiciary these days, but I’m feeling pretty good about this one.

 

The Supreme Court appears poised to uphold PDT’s travel ban, as the swing-vote justices who could have made this thing interesting to begin with asked very skeptical questions of Neal Katyal. the communist lawyer challenging the policy on behalf of the state of Hawaii. 

As a quick refresher, this case is the appeal of the ruling put out by Obama’s buddy in Hawaii, Derrick Watson. The SCOTUS has already ruled against it once, at least in part, allowing for the injunction to be lifted and the ban to go in place until a more permanent ruling can be issued. This is that ruling.  It will render the definitive decision on the constitutionality of the policy. 

If we win this, the coochie caps are poop outta luck. 

 

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Chief Justice John Roberts, who has definitely had his own commie moments (see Obamacare ruling), doesn’t buy the argument that the ban was unconstitutionally tainted by Trump’s campaign call for a Muslim ban at the border. Roberts injected some common sense into the discussion, asking whether the “Muslim ban” comments would prevent a president from taking the advice of his military staff to launch an air strike against Syria.

“Does that mean he can’t because you would regard that as discrimination against a majority-Muslim country?” Roberts asked Hawaii’s lawyer, Neal Katyal.

It’s called logical consistency; not exactly a forte of the modern Left.


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The much bigger concern on the bench, Anthony Kennedy, suggested he understood Katyal to be asking the court to second-guess the president on whether a national-security emergency warranted border restrictions.

“Your argument is that courts have the duty to review whether or not there is such a national exigency,” Kennedy said with a tone of incredulity. “That’s for the courts to do, not the president?”

HOLY CRAP. I NEVER THOUGHT I’D FIST PUMP TO SOMETHING ANTHONY KENNEDY SAID.

Kennedy went on to interrogate Katyal about the actual facts of the policy, because contrary to widespread belief among Trump haters, those do matter. He suggested the travel ban was more flexible than opponents contended, pointing to a provision in the most recent version that requires officials to revisit it every 180 days. “That indicates there’ll be a reassessment and the president has continuing discretion,”he correctly pointed out.

He also tore into Katyal about his absurd contention that the policy had no clear end, injecting more common sense into the debate:

“You want the president to say, ‘I’m convinced that in six months we’re going to have a safe world,’” Kennedy said.

Why can’t Kennedy be like this all the time?

Ahh, that’s right. The power trip of being the deciding vote on just about every major issue before the SCOTUS is just too tempting. 


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AND NOW FOR THE COOCH PORTION OF THE SHOW:

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Fear not, the #Resistance was represented at today’s hearings, though not well.

Justice Sonia “I’m wide because I’m Latina” Sotomayor said Congress had already enacted a visa waiver process that required heightened vetting in some cases.

“Where does the president get the authority to do more than Congress has already decided is adequate?” she asked.

I’m no Constitutional lawyer., but I’ll take a stab at it. The POTUS derives that power from the Constitution, which gives the Commander-in-Chief broad leeway in matters of national security, assuming rights aren’t being trampled. If the POTUS can demonstrate reasoning for national security actions, he can ban anyone he damn well pleases.

But I know, I know. You had to ask something.

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Then there was Justice Elena Kagan, fresh off a softball game or porch-building or whatever it is butch lesbians do, raising a hypothetical issue of a president who had made anti-Semitic remarks and whose administration found security reasons to recommend a ban on travel from Israel.

“This is an out-of-the-box kind of president in my hypothetical,” she said, drawing laughter from the courtroom.

“We don’t have those, Your Honor,” U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco fired back, adding that he doubted that any national security reasons could justify a ban on such a close ally.

“The question is, what are reasonable observers to think given this context, in which this hypothetical president is making virulent anti-Semitic comments,” Kagan said.


 

The always brilliant Justice Samuel Alito soon came to the rescue to ensure common sense would again win the day. He noted that the travel ban affects only a small percentage of the world’s Muslims.

“It does not look at all like a Muslim ban,” he said. “There are other justifications that jump out as to why these particular countries were put on the list.”

He’s correct. Listen folks, if this were an actual Muslim ban, you’d know it, because I would be renting planes to fly “Hooray! No Muslims!” banners all over America. 


 

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GOOD NEWS:

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Due to widespread interest in the case, the court posted an audio recording of the argument on its website this afternoon. It’s the first time this term the court has released same-day audio.

We should have a decision soon, possibly tomorrow.

It’s looking good for us, Trumpers!

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RONNY UNDER FIRE

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Dims continue to go all out against PDT’s pick to take over Veterans Affairs, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson. 

Dims on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee put together a document of “explosive” allegations against the doc. It lists a range of allegations that they say were detailed by 23 current and former colleagues of Jackson, though none of them have been substantiated and are still under investigation, which is probably good enough for the NeverTrump gang. Anything to hold up the administration.


Among the most serious allegations: Jackson was drunk and “wrecked a government vehicle” while at a going-away party. It also says that “on at least one occasion” Jackson “could not be reached when needed because he was passed out drunk in his hotel room.”
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The documents did not provide further significant details, the document states, in part to “protect the identities of those involved.”
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Jackson has not responded to all this garbage, but while speaking to reporters this afternoon, denied the allegation that he wrecked the government car, and said that he is staying in the nomination process.
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“I have no idea where that is coming from,” Jackson said at the White House. “I have not wrecked a car. I can tell you that.”
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If I’m forced to choose between the word of a combat surgeon vs Democrats in the Senate, yeah. I’m gonna go with the doc.
This stuff gets so tiresome. 

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Other allegations in the document include that Jackson would prescribe medications when “other physicians would not” and that the White House’s medical unit had “questionable record keeping for pharmaceuticals,” making it difficult to account for all controlled substances.
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In one instance, according to the document, Jackson provided “a large supply” of Percocet to a White House Military Office staffer, throwing the White House Medical Unit staff “into a panic” when it could not account for it.
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Really damning stuff here. 

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Sarah Sanders went on the offensive for Jackson today, telling reporters that he had passed four background investigations, including a recent FBI investigation that is part of the vetting process for Cabinet nominees. She said the investigations “revealed no areas of concern.”
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Sanders defended Jackson’s record as “impeccable,” reminding the idiot press that Jackson’s current position as the White House physician meant that he had been more thoroughly vetted than other Cabinet nominees.
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“Dr. Jackson’s record as a White House physician has been impeccable,” Sanders said. “Because he has worked within arm’s reach of three presidents, he has in fact received more vetting than most nominees.”
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I guarantee you he’s received more vetting than the political hacks trying to sink his nomination.
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And yes, that includes many Republicans.

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BIG PICTURE:
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I’m quite proud of Dr. Jackson for hanging in there and not giving into these scumbags, even after PDT gave him an out yesterday.
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Maybe he really does have the spine to turn the VA around. I can tell you this much; I’ll trust a guy who’s saved lives on the battlefield to care for veterans more than I trust any useless bureaucrat.
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Unfortunately, the cover he’s been given by Republicans has been uninspiring to say the least. If they continue to allow the Dims to guide the process, as they have thus far, I have a tough time seeing him being confirmed. Many Pubs are already questioning his managerial experience. Because you know, the experienced bureaucrats have been doing such a bang-up job up to this point.
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There is so much work to be done with the VA. It’s a shame that it’s being put off by political garbage. 

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IT’S ABOUT TIME, GOP

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The GOP suffered a rare bout of usefulness today as they put the rules committee to work solving the issue of Democrat #Resistance to all Trump nominees.

Basically, they’re about to speed up the process.

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee passed a resolution on a party-line 10-9 vote  from Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) that would substantially cut down on the amount of debate time needed for hundreds of nominations. Because Republicans have a one-seat advantage on the committee, they were able to pass the proposal without any support from Dims.

The change is necessary because Democrats are using the Senate’s rulebook to slow-walk Trump’s picks. As it stands now, Senators are allowed an extra 30 hours of debate time for each nominee even after the initial vote is held, and even if there is ample support for the nominee to pass. Obviously, the stupid ass Dims aren’t actually using this time for debate. Like their welfare cheat voter base, they’re playing the system because they can.

Time to end that BS.


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Lankford’s proposal would cut that debate time down from 30 hours to 8 hours and would further cap post-cloture debate time for district court nominations at two hours.

The proposal does have major exemptions: Most Cabinet-level nominees, as well as Supreme Court nominees and circuit court nominees, would still be subjected to the full 30 hours of debate.

Now, unfortunately, this baby goes to the full Senate, where Republicans will need 60 votes to pass the damn thing, meaning they’ll require the support of at least nine Dims. There is a good chance of flipping some Trump-state Dims, but even so we’d likely still eb short, even assuming we have all Republicans on board, which we all know is far from certain. By my count, our best case scenario is 58 votes.


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There is hope, though. A group of GOP senators want Turtle McConnell to go “nuclear” to implement the rules change, a procedure that would let Republicans change the rules with only a simple majority, which would cut Dims out of the equation completely.

McConnell hasn’t publicly weighed in on the option. And Republicans would have little room for error if they wanted to play hardball.

With Cooter McCain absent and likely to vote against the thing even if he were there, the GOP majority is effectively limited to 50 votes, leaving no wiggle room at all. And guess what — Undocumented Democrat Susan Collins has already said she opposes further changes to the Senate’s rules, though she shown herself to be malleable in the past depending on what she can get her greedy hands on in backroom negotiations. 

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BIG PICTURE:

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Passage of the rules change isn’t out of the realm of possibility but it’s going to take some serious maneuvering by Turtle McConnell. 

First off, he needs to have the balls to do it, which is always a tricky proposition with RINOs, to be charitable. He did it for the SCOTUS nominee but his head would have been on a stick if he hadn’t. If the White House can launch an effective public relations campaign to articulate to the base what is being done to Trump’s nominees, that pressure could be mostly duplicated. But frankly, the White House communications team has been less than impressive during PDT’s tenure.

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It must be noted, however, that PDT often steps on the important message of the day with whatever he tweets. I can understand their struggle. 

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Assuming Turtle can be prodded to go nuclear, it will then likely be a matter of promising Susan Collins something in future legislation, but that could be an uphill battle considering no major legislation is on the horizon.

If I had to guess, I’d say it doesn’t happen.

Here’s to hoping that Turtle surprises me.

 


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COHEN TAKES DA FIF

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PDT’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, plans to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in the lawsuit filed against him by opportunistic floozy Stormy Daniels.

“Based on the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th amendment rights in connection with all proceeding in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Cohen said in a court filing today.

Cohen said the thuggish FBI raids earlier this month on his residence, office and hotel room — and the ongoing criminal probe they represent — are behind the decision not to offer testimony in the California lawsuit. Cohen is reportedly under investigation for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations.


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Meanwhile, Cohen and Trump’s lawyers are still locked in a legal battle with the DOJ over the items seized during the FBI raid.

Their attorneys are urging the judge in the case to appoint a so-called special master, or a neutral third party, to examine the materials and determine what is covered by attorney-client privilege and can’t be viewed by prosecutors.

The Justice Department says they have a “taint team” in place that could conduct the same review. Based on the judge’s shady history as a Trump-hater, I don’t have high hopes for how that battle will turn out. 


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BOTTOM LINE:

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The Left are going to portray this as some sort of damning indication of guilt, but the truth is pretty much anyone would take the Fifth at this juncture, considering the Southern District of New York are trying to find anything and everything to nail him on and will use any statements from the trial toward that end.

The pros of talking are far outweighed by the cons. It’s legal common sense.

But that won’t slow the wave of coochie-cap indignation that’s sure to follow.

Just tune it out.

 


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THE JOYS OF SOCIALIZED MEDICINE

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The Left laughed at Sarah Palin when she noted how government control of healthcare would inevitably lead to “death panels.” Parents in the UK don’t find the point humorous at all.

Judges on the UK Court of Appeal once again ruled against 23-month-old Alfie Evans’ family in their battle to give him a fighting chance at life. Today’s ruling rejected new arguments intended to overturn a decision by the High Court on yesterday that prevented the terminally ill toddler from leaving Britain for medical treatment, taking Britain’s “right to die” mentality to a new extreme.


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BACK STORY: 
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Alfie, admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in December 2016, was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease associated with severe epilepsy and has been in a semivegetative state for more than a year. During that time, he has been kept alive by artificial ventilation in the critical care unit.
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Alfie has received the full support of Alder Hey’s medical and nursing teams since being admitted. He has remained unresponsive to treatment and his condition has rapidly declined.
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Based on what is described as “extensive damage” in the child’s brain, the hospital recommended to the child’s parents that active treatment be stopped. Disagreement between the hospital and his parents resulted in a referral of Alfie’s case to the Family Division of the UK High Court for a judge to rule on whether active treatment is in Alfie’s best interests.
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When the court did not rule in their favor, the parents appealed the decision, and after that appeal was lost, the case was referred to the Supreme Court.
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Meanwhile, Alfie’s plight — legally and medically — has stirred the British public, and hundreds of thousands have signed petitions supporting him.

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While the case played out in the legal arena, the hospital continued to provide Alfie with artificial ventilation and assisted feeding, but his doctors said continued treatment was futile and speculated that, if they were to withdraw Alfie’s ventilation support, the child would shortly die.
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Last week, Alfie’s father traveled to Rome to meet Pope Francis, who had expressed his support for their cause. At that time, it was suggested that Alfie could be transported to Rome’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital, a Vatican hospital and the main pediatric hospital serving southern Italy, for treatment.
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However, a subsequent visit to Alfie and consultation with his doctors led the Roman doctors to conclude that the child’s condition is irreversible and untreatable, according to a statement from Alder Hey.
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Based in part on evidence supplied by the hospital, the supreme court dismissed Alfie’s case. High Court Justice Anthony Hayden rejected the plan to take Alfie to Rome and said the order to end Alfie’s life support should commence at 9 p.m. this past Monday.
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In a last-ditch effort, Alfie’s parents appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which rejected their application on Monday, declaring the complaint “inadmissible.”
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At 9:17 p.m. Monday, ventilation support was withdrawn.
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BUT AS WE LEARNED ONCE AGAIN. THE HIGH COURT IS NOT GOD:
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Contrary to all the expectations of the doctors (some may even say, “miraculously”), Alfie continued to breathe independently. Those doctors who said he would be a goner right after his ventilation was cut were dead wrong.
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Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, posted a video on Facebook in which he said that his son had been breathing for himself and that the doctors were refusing to give him oxygen.
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Imagine a child breathing on his own after being supported artificially for over a year, then sitting on your hands in the hopes that he stops eventually. 
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For hours, Alfie continued to breathe unaided, with hospital staff refusing to help with either ventilation or hydration despite his coughing, according to the Christian Concern statement and Alfie’s father.
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Finally, at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, Alder Hey hospital staff provided some hydration and oxygen support, his mother reported on Facebook.
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The Italian government granted Italian citizenship to Alfie on Tuesday and applied to the foreign secretary for permission to intervene to save Alfie’s life. Once again, the courts had to decide, in an urgent hearing on Tuesday, whether this would be permitted, and it ruled to ban travel.

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WHERE WE GO FROM HERE:
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In today’s appeal hearing, Alfie’s legal team argued that the hospital’s original end-of-life plan was based on suppositions that the toddler needed oxygen to survive. The fact that Alfie lived on even without ventilation support was a material change in circumstance and served as grounds for renewing the matter. It is therefore in Alfie’s best interest to travel to Italy, where doctors are ready to care for him, the legal team argued in court.
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“We’re still holding out hope because Alfie continues to fight,” said the Evans family lawyer. Since the toddler has been “denied nutrition” for more than 24 hours, he said, “we’re going against the clock.”
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They’re trying to get him out of the hospital to save his life. Imagine being in such a position. 
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A representative of the Italian Embassy attended the hearing, while an air ambulance waited outside Alder Hey Hospital to fly Alfie to Italy.
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Professor Dominic Wilkinson, a consultant neonatologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital and director of Medical Ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford who is being used in the case, said, “In Alfie’s case, none of the foreign experts have offered any new treatment or any new outlook for Alfie. The Italian specialists have apparently indicated that they believe that his care should be palliative.”
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“Sometimes, the sad fact is that parents do not know what is best for their child,” Wilkinson said. “They are led by their grief and their sadness, their understandable desire to hold on to their child, to request treatment that will not and cannot help.”

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BIG PICTURE:
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The death sentence handed down to Alfie by the British high court is unconscionable.
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If a child shows even a glimmer of hope for a miracle, as Alfie has the last couple days, why on Earth would anyone deny him even a chance at another treatment? Yes, the medical opinion is that it won’t be effective. But guess what, miracles do happen.
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Alfie has already exceeded the expectations of these supposedly omniscient experts. Who are they to say that it cannot happen again? The fact is it’s NOT their place to say. If someone is willing to offer care, and the parents want it done, who the hell do these people think they are to deny it?
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If there is no more than a 0.0000000000001% chance of survival, that’s a chance they have no right to take. I can’t imagine being those parents, sitting at his hospital bedside around the clock holding his hand with the knowledge that the State had sentenced him to death.
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The government has the power to take away one’s freedom. They should not be able to take one’s hope.
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I have a strong belief in ultimate justice. Life is meaningless without it. God will settle this score, be it now or in the future.
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The British government would do well to take into account those hearings that take place beyond the grave.
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In that court, condescending medical opinions have no currency.
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There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.


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1 thought on “Daily Recap — April 25

  1. I agree with your analysis on the condition of “Alphie.” Great Britain is heading quickly down a steep slope. Excellent recap! Thank you; your efforts are appreciated.

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