I Believe Survivors when they have Corroboration…#KatieBrennan had Corrorboration

The New Jersey Democrats, as usual, are total hypocrites. They condemn Kavanaugh even though Ford had no corroboration but do nothing for Brennan even though she had a police report, witness statements, and medical reports. The state and local police quashed this in order to protect the Democrat politicians. Let’s hear some condemnation from Menendez, Booker, Murphy, and Watson-Coleman.
from NJ.com
Woman accusing Murphy staffer of rape says she ‘received no justice’
Updated on Oct 15, 2018 at 12:58 AM EDT

By Brent Johnson and Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
The woman who accused a senior staffer in Gov. Phil Murphy ‘s administration of sexually assaulting her while he worked for Murphy’s campaign last year is a state official who says she is now telling her story because she has “received no justice.”
Katie Brennan, who later volunteered for the campaign and is now the chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, detailed her allegations against Albert J. Alvarez publicly for the first time in a story published by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday afternoon.

After the report was published Sunday afternoon, Brennan said in a statement: “On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.”
“I have pursued every form of justice available,” Brennan, 31, of Jersey City, continued. “But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.”
Brennan said she “decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.”
“It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have,” she said.
Multiple media outlets — including NJ Advance Media — published reports this week citing anonymous sources saying Alvarez faced allegations of sexual assault while he worked as director of Latin and Muslim outreach for Murphy’s campaign in April 2017. Alvarez, 44, of Wood-Ridge, was never charged with a crime.

Albert J. Alvarez
Alvarez, a fellow Democrat, later worked as deputy of personnel for Murphy’s transition team and then as chief of staff of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority under Murphy’s administration. He resigned Oct. 2, the same day the Journal contacted him seeking comment.
Murphy and his wife, First Lady Tammy Murphy, released their first statement on the matter after the Journal’s story appeared, which both defended how the administration handled Brennan’s allegations, and expressed regret that Alvarez was given a job by the transition team in January.
The Murphys said they are “confident” the governor’s administration handled the allegations “appropriately.” But, the couple added, the way Murphy’s transition team handled the matter before he took office “was inconsistent with our values,” and that Alvarez should not have been hired for a state position.
In a separate statement, Mahen Gunaratna, a Murphy spokesman, said Murphy and his wife were not informed of the allegations until Oct. 2 of this year, when Alvarez resigned from his $140,000-a-year job.
Meanwhile, Gunaratna confirmed that Murphy’s office on Oct. 11 received a separate accusation against Alvarez that was “promptly referred” to the state attorney general. That alleged incident occurred in either 1999 or 2000, Gunaratna said.
Alvarez’s attorney, John Hogan, told the Journal that his client “absolutely, positively denies these allegations of sexual assault” and declined further comment. Alvarez and Hogan did not return messages from NJ Advance Media on Sunday.
The alleged incident occurred in April of last year after a gathering of campaign staffers in Jersey City, according to the Journal report. Brennan was a supporter of Murphy’s at the time.
Ask Alexa
She told the newspaper than Alvarez offered to drive her home and asked to use her bathroom and have a drink of water before heading to his home.
Once inside, Brennan told the newspaper, Alvarez forced himself on her. She told him to stop, saying this is “not consensual.” She managed to kick him off her and locked herself in the bathroom. Alvarez left, according to Brennan’s account to the Journal.
Brennan shared records with the Journal demonstrating she had reported the attack to local police the next day and went to the Jersey City Medical Center emergency room for an examination. Brennan’s husband, Travis Miles, and her close friend, also confirmed Brennan told them about the sexual assault right after it happened.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, in a statement last week, confirmed it had looked into the matter, according to the Journal report.
Brennan said she waited for months and was shocked no charges were filed. The hospital examination found DNA and saliva, Brennan told the Journal. Assistant Prosecutor Jane Weiner told her Alvarez claimed the encounter was consensual sex, according to the report.
Brennan began volunteering for the campaign as a policy advisor last summer. She told the Journal she didn’t want the allegation to affect her chances at a job working in Murphy’s administration.
Brennan brought her allegations to the Murphy camp three times. The first time was when she alerted the transition team after Murphy won the election in November. Brennan was working for the transition team at the time.
In March, Brennan said, she also told Matt Platkin, chief counsel to the governor, that Alvarez sexually assaulted her. Platkin, who was policy director during the campaign and a senior staffer during the transition, recused himself because he knew both the accused and the accuser.
Platkin referred the matter to an ethics official in the governor’s office and the official referred it to the state Attorney General’s Office that day, according to Gunaratna, Murphy’s spokesman.
Brennan eventually emailed Murphy and his wife on June 1, saying she wanted to discuss a “sensitive matter.” The e-mail did not mention a sexual assault.
“Hang in,” Murphy wrote back, according to the Journal. “We are on it.”
A meeting with the governor never happened, but Brennan said a campaign attorney told her Alvarez would no longer have a state government job. Alvarez didn’t resign for about four months after that.
Brennan said in her statement Sunday that “sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing.”
“Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action,” she said. “Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.”
Gunaratna, Murphy’s spokesman, confirmed in a statement Sunday that transition officials learned law enforcement “actively investigated” the allegations against Alvarez and that they “closed the case” and decided not to pursue charges.
“Following a clear background check, Mr. Alvarez received an offer of employment in state government,” Gunaratna said.
He added that when Brennan contacted the governor’s office in March, “the matter was immediately and properly referred” to the office’s chief ethics officer, “in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
Then, when Brennan emailed the Murphys, the governor “properly referred the matter to his campaign counsel” because “of the time period” referenced in the email, Gunaratna said. The counsel then spoke with Brennan and her attorney multiple times, Gunaratna said.
The Murphys said in their statement that “any allegation of sexual harassment, misconduct, or assault must be treated with the utmost seriousness to ensure that survivors come forward and justice is served.”
“Society must no longer allow a culture of silence to flourish, and we are committed to ensuring a culture where everyone feels comfortable reporting any instance of sexual misconduct,” the couple continued.
The Murphys also said the governor has asked state officials to review New Jersey’s policies on how sexual misconduct allegations are handled to see if they are “ways to improve our system.”
“We must now ask: how can we hold ourselves to a higher standard moving forward?” the couple said.
Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, told NJ Advance Media on Sunday that Brennan’s story “highlights some serious harmful norms and systemic barriers that can make it incredibly hard, if not nearly impossible, for survivors to come forward.”
Republican state lawmakers have called for a legislative investigation into how Murphy’s team handled the matter, and Democrats who control the state Legislature say they are concerned by the accusations and are considering the next step.
State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, R-Union, and state Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, renewed calls for hearings after Sunday’s story.
“If Ms. Brennan cannot achieve justice after bravely coming forward, repeatedly, then what message does that send to other women, especially those with fewer resources?” Corrado asked.
At least one prominent Democrat, congressional candidate Tom Malinowski, released a statement Sunday. Malinowski, the Democratic challenger to Republican U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district, said he “found Ms. Brennan’s allegations to be credible.”
“And I echo her calls for meaningful policy reforms so that future survivors will not endure the year long ordeal that has brought her to this point,” Malinowski said.

Will Kyrsten Sinema’s Terrorist Connection Doom Her Chance to Win Jeff Flake’s Senate Seat?

I sure hope she loses. There are way too many examples of this woman’s connection to the extreme left and to terrorism. McSally is a great choice.

From Redstate.comWill Kyrsten Sinema’s Terrorist Connection Doom Her Chance to Win Jeff Flake’s Senate Seat?
Posted at 3:12 pm on October 11, 2018 by streiff

Kyrsten Sinema by Gage Skidmire, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Out in Arizona, Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally is locked in a tight race with Krysten Sinema to fill the empty seat and empty suit left by Jeff Flake retiring from the Senate. The polls show a statistical dead heat but my gut feeling is that McSally is trending up.

From RCP https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/senate/az/arizona_senate_mcsally_vs_sinema-6328.html

Unhelpful Video of Kyrsten Sinema Bashing Arizonans Surfaces
Jennifer Van Laar

The two candidates have a rather strange connection. McSally, a former USAF fighter pilot, dropped bombs on terrorists. Sinema had parties with their supporters.
In the aftermath of the first Islamist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the federal government began an investigation of Omar Abdel-Rahman, aka the Blind Sheikh, for his role in the attack. His attorney was an aging commie named Lynne Stewart. In 1996, he was sentenced to life in prison as a terrorist douchebag. Stewart continued to represent him on appeal. But in June 2002, something funny happened. Stewart was indicted for aiding Abdel-Rahman in evading restrictions on his communications to his followers, even though those messages could have possibly ordered the death of Americans. Eventually, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In the final event, she served three years before being released on parole after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
It is here that our story picks up:
U.S. Democratic Senate hopeful Kyrsten Sinema promoted events at Arizona State University featuring a lawyer convicted for aiding an Islamist terror organization and its leader.
Sinema, a co-founder of the activist group Local to Global Justice, invited people in a now-closed Yahoo group to attend two events with Lynn Stewart, both in 2003.

In the first event’s invite, Sinema said the lawyer was “emphatically not guilty” and would not have been charged with the crime if it weren’t for “the hastily enacted PATRIOT Act,” that expanded the U.S. government’s power to surveil people and thus catch Stewart passing on the messages in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The second event with Stewart came just days later after the first.

Holding an event for someone who conspired with a convicted terrorist to circumvent court-ordered restrictions on his ability to communicate to his followers is exactly what one would expect of a radical leftist like Sinema. One hopes the people of Arizona are taking this into consideration when making their decision.

Tea Party Learned that Rallies Get Visibility but Voting Gets People Elected #teaparty

I doubt that the leftists have figured this one out yet. They equate democracy with demonstrations.

Note how Trump’s rallies always emphasize GOTV. It isn’t just rah rah. It is if you want to continue our success you must vote. The Tea Parties learned this. We rallied in 2009. Then we organized and in some states took over the Republican Party. That’s how people like Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, and the rest of the freedom caucus were elected.

We have lost some momentum but now is the time to do it again. They are expecting a blue wave and they will get a red one if we replicate 2010.

I thought Collins speech was very good. Brava. Time for a Tea Party

It looks like Kavanaugh has the votes. The crazies will be out in force, screeching “shame, shame”. Of course they will think that because they are protesting they will prevail. They fail to understand that in our country voting is what counts and that screeching “shame” doesn’t elect anyone.

The Tea Party learned this and turned into a political movement, at least for a while. We got good people elected but we have slowly been marginalized by the establishment. We can use this win to re-establish ourselves by getting out the vote in 2018 and keeping up the pressure in 2020. We have the opportunity to increase the number of conservative senators (even Bob Hugin) and to keep the House safely in GOP hands.

After that we will have 18 months to either take over the Republican Party or start our own. We can side with and endorse Republicans when we can…or until they need to side with and endorse us. It is time we stopped bickering and started a strategy to make this happen.

I can’t decide if I am a deplorable or a coal person.

Maybe I’m both.

I do know I am a Tea Party patriot. We need to reorganize and join the MAGA team.

The Mask Drops: Russia Reveals Itself As Israel’s Enemy

This and other reports from the region does not bode well for Middle East peace. We need to be very careful not to get dragged further into a quagmire. On the other hand, we need to be very careful that the Russians, and their Iranian and Syrian puppet states don’t create more havoc. We need to prevent Russia from improving their Syrian port facilities.

ISIS is showing signs of reconstituting itself in the region. We can’t let Russia prevent us from destroying both al Qaeda and ISIS.


A year ago, Russia’s mask of non-hostility towards Israel was still in place, in the form of strategic coordination with Israel regarding the latter’s bombings in Syria. This allowed it to conceal that it fully sided with Israel’s enemies – Syria and Iran. Even as it refrained from trying to stop Israel from bombing Iranian targets in Syria – as if it could have prevented this – it was at the same time enabling and sponsoring Iran’s expansion into Syria.
An article I wrote a year ago presented the unvarnished facts about Russia’s support for Iran’s expansion in Syria at the expense of Israel’s national security.[1] It asserted that the Iranian forces’ presence in Syria constituted an existential threat to Israel. It further explained, for the benefit of those who could not conceive of Putin as so anti-Israel – after all, he had made Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a guest of honor at the Moscow Victory Day parade in Red Square in May – that this was nothing personal against Israel, but, as they say in the Mafia, just business connected to Russia’s rivalry with the U.S. In truth, the strategic Israel-Russia coordination of Israeli bombings in Syria served Russian interests: Israel declared that it would continue the bombings no matter what, and an Israel-Russia military escalation could only draw the U.S. into the melee and expose Russia as a mere regional power that was no match for the U.S.
Following the September 18 downing of an Ilyushin-20 plane by Syrian missiles, Russia’s mask dropped, and the true anti-Israel face of its policy was fully revealed. Indeed, Putin first attempted to conceal it by refraining from fully blaming Israel for the tragedy. But soon enough he joined his subordinates in blaming Israel, and announced that Russia would equip Syria with S-300 missile systems, which would, inter alia, protect Iranian forces in Syria from Israeli attacks.
Now the picture is crystal clear: The Russians, who originally enabled and sponsored the Iranian expansion in Syria as an anti-U.S. measure, will now also protect the Iranians in Syria from Israeli attacks. This constitutes an undeclared act of war against Israel by an enemy, i.e. Russia – since it will not be the Syrians operating the S-300s against Israeli aircraft, because they yet face a long learning curve to do this; it will, for an indeterminate time, be Russian officers.
But with Russia’s equipping Syria with S-300s, and their inevitable operation by Russian officers against Israeli aircraft, the Russians risk a major military and technological debacle. They will learn, if they haven’t yet from the Ilyushin tragedy, that Israeli-American technology is far superior to Russia’s – and that goes not just for the S-300s now being shipped to the Syrians, but also for the S-300s and S-400s that Russia already has in place in Syria for its own defense. Perhaps only an internal Russian military investigation can show what these systems were doing when the Ilyushin was shot down.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu rejects the Israeli version of events, according to which the Israeli planes were already back over Haifa when the Ilyushin was shot down. The Russians argue that the radar picture showed an Israeli plane using the Ilyushin as a shield. A possible explanation for this, revealed by the Israeli daily Haaretz, is that the radar picture available to the Russians was not actual, but was the product of Israel’s electronic warfare. Given that this will continue to be part of any future Israeli bombing, the advanced Russian missile defense systems will be rendered no longer marketable. Perhaps this is why the Russians, upon announcing that they will deliverer S-300s to Syria, simultaneously announced their willingness to negotiate with the U.S. on this delivery, in order to avert any possible clashes with Israel and their ramifications.
Russia’s true face has been revealed not only in the military/strategic sphere – by providing S-300s to Syria – but also by its reversion to the old Russian/Soviet antisemitism that not even Russian President Putin’s “special relationship” with Chabad can camouflage. Former Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen noted: “The media blamed Israel on the day of crisis in a well-timed orchestrated manner, filled with antisemitic elements. This wasn’t random.”[2] Given Russia’s actual policy towards Israel, this should come as no surprise.
Yigal Carmon is president and founder of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). From 1988-93, he served as an advisor on countering terrorism to two successive Israeli prime ministers.

Thank you Harry Reid

for making it possible to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. What goes around comes around.

It is time for the Tea Parties to rise again and counter the anti Kavanaugh demonstrations and GOTV.

Big anti Kavanagh demonstrations are planned for this weekend. We must get out and show them that they are not the only voices in America. It doesn’t matter if you are outnumbered. Put on your hard hats and wear some padding and wait for them to assault you. Make sure you have someone (or more than one) person there to video the events. Bring your MAGA clothes, you Gadsden flags, and large signage. If necessary bring something you can use to defend yourselves. Be peaceful but be prepared. But get out there and show the world that we deplorables, we coal people, really matter.

The election is 34 days away. It is critical that we continue the momentum and vote Republican in November. I was going to vote for an independent in New Jersey but the vote will be so close that we can’t afford to take any away from Bob Hugin. Granted he is a RINO but that is still better than Menendez. We can deal with Hugin at a later date. Just think what things would be like if we had, say, 56 senators rather than 51.

Just think what it would be like if we were not handcuffed with interminable impeachment hearings.

Just think what it would be like if we had enough votes to build the wall, to destroy Obamacare once and for all, to reform the rest of our administrative state, to purge the executive department of the dark state.

The Tea Parties made a difference 6 years ago. It is past time that we stood up and made our voices heard loudly and clearly.

ISIS Second Resurgence, from the Institute for the Study of War

This is not good.

ISIS’s Second Resurgence

By Brandon Wallace and Jennifer Cafarella

Key Takeaway: The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is reconstituting a capable insurgent force in Iraq and Syria despite efforts to prevent its recovery by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. Department of Defense stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq – ISIS’s predecessor – at its peak in 2006 – 2007. ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is issuing a map update depicting ISIS’s current operating areas based on an analysis of its activity from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

Note: This map depicts ISIS’s operating areas in Iraq and Syria as of October 1, 2018. The graphic presents an assessment of ISIS’s control, support, and attack zones based on openly available reporting from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018. ISW’s rigorous methodology conforms to the doctrinal definitions used by the U.S. Armed Forces. Control zones are areas in which ISIS controls and governs civilian populations. Support zones are areas in which ISIS retains the ability to conduct logistics and administrative support functions. Attack zones are areas in which ISIS conducts kinetic attacks against civilians, infrastructure, and local security forces. ISW will publish updates to this assessment as appropriate.

The U.S. Anti-ISIS Campaign has not eliminated the global threat posed by ISIS despite largely accomplishing its stated objectives in Iraq and Syria. The campaign aimed to destroy ISIS’s physical caliphate and “drive down [its] capability” to the point where local forces could maintain security with limited international support. In Iraq, the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition accomplished this mission by April 2018 after finishing the last urban clearing operations in Anbar Province in Western Iraq. The Coalition scaled down its operations to a Building Partner Capacity (BPC) effort aimed at enabling Iraqis to “independently manage” a continued insurgency by ISIS. In Syria, the U.S. and its local partner forces are now attacking a final ISIS territorial stronghold near the Syrian-Iraqi border. ISIS has nonetheless already restructured its operations to return to a regional insurgency. The Pentagon stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq – ISIS’s predecessor – at its peak in 2006 – 2007. ISIS is now waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria despite support from the Coalition.

Detecting ISIS’s Reconstitution

ISIS is finding new sources of revenue and rebuilding command-and-control over its scattered remnant forces in order to prepare for a future large-scale insurgency in both Iraq and Syria.

Revenue Generation

ISIS was able to smuggle as much as $400 million out of Iraq and reinvest it into legitimate businesses across the wider Middle East. It also continues to engage in lucrative criminal activity including extortion, smuggling, theft, and money laundering. ISW has observed multiple additional indicators of efforts by ISIS to generate additional revenue, including:
Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) accused ISIS of taking hostages and extorting their families for sums worth tens of thousands of dollars in Northern Syria.
The U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition has interdicted large caches of drugs including Captagon and other amphetamines being trafficked by ISIS in Southern Syria.
ISIS has reportedly established a network of front companies – including car dealerships, electronic shops, pharmacies, and currency exchanges – to launder money in Iraq.
ISIS reportedly stole an unspecified quantity of drugs during a raid on a healthcare facility near Kirkuk in Iraq in mid-September 2018. ISIS could intend to sell these drugs for a profit. Alternatively, it may be restocking provisions for injured fighters ahead of future operations.
ISW cannot assess the full scale of revenue being generated through these and other efforts by ISIS. Revenue generation is nonetheless a requirement for any military force to scale up its combat operations.


ISIS can only wage an effective insurgency if it maintains command-and-control over its estimated tens of thousands of remaining fighters. The U.S. Anti-ISIS Campaign has forced some of ISIS’s cells to go to ground and it is unclear how many fighters its senior leaders can directly command. ISIS Emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message on August 22 calling for his followers to “wage attack after attack” and “unite and organize” against their opponents. ISIS similarly appealed in publications in March – April 2018 for the activation of sleeper cells. These messages suggest that ISIS deliberately embedded operatives to conduct future attacks in recaptured areas across Iraq and Syria. The public orders nonetheless signal that ISIS may lack control mechanisms to issue direct commands to its forces. ISW has observed at least four indicators that ISIS is reconstituting an operational-level command structure in Iraq and Syria as of October 1.
ISIS announced the formation of two new wilayats (provinces) for Iraq and Syria on July 20. ISW assesses that these new structures are operational-level headquarters responsible for directing ISIS’s military campaign and bureaucratic functions across Iraq and Syria. ISIS retains a roughly equal combat force in each country. The U.S. Department of Defense estimated in August 2018 that ISIS commands 15,500 to 17,000 fighters in Iraq and 14,000 fighters in Syria.
Iraq conducted an airstrike targeting a reported ISIS “operations command” at an unidentified location in Syria on August 16. Iraqi officials reported that the strike disrupted a planned suicide vest (SVEST) attack in Iraq. If true, ISIS continues to coordinate cross-border operations despite efforts by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition to secure the Syrian-Iraqi border. The strike may have damaged this command element and thereby disrupted ISIS’s reconstitution.
ISIS’s official media outlets have implemented a new format of attack claims aligned with the new wilayats announced by ISIS on July 20. Previous claims had preserved the provincial command structure in place prior to the loss of ISIS’s de facto capitals in Mosul and Ar-Raqqa City. This standardization of communications guidelines indicates a centrally-controlled media campaign across Iraq and Syria. A parallel military command that reports and authorizes the release of content typically accompanies this type of media effort. The standardization of attack claims also allows ISIS to more effectively measure the progression of its own campaigns.
ISIS launched a new weekly report on its military activities on August 2. The report details attack statistics in Iraq and Syria as well as Afghanistan-Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia, and the Philippines. This detailed product is similar to the annual reports released by ISIS during its resurgence after the U.S withdrew from Iraq in 2011. It demonstrates that ISIS remains capable of tracking its campaigns across Iraq and Syria as well as its most active wilayats abroad.

ISIS’s Operating Areas


ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones across Iraq and deny the rehabilitation of communities liberated by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Campaign. ISIS retains a small control zone where it continues to govern a local population north of Baiji in Northern Iraq.[1] It also retains established support zones in areas south of Kirkuk City including Daquq, Hawija, Riyadh, and Rashad Districts as well as rural areas around Lake Hamrin in the Diyala River Valley. ISIS possesses the ability to move freely across this terrain at night and is actively waging attacks to expand its freedom of movement during the day. Its activities have thus far been limited to small arms attacks, targeted assassinations, and suicide vests (SVESTs). ISIS is steadily scaling up the rate of these attacks, conducting as many as four assassinations per week across Northern and Central Iraq. This violence has expelled civilians from small villages in Diyala and Kirkuk Provinces.[2] ISIS also retains a durable support zone in the Hamrin Mountains, where it appears to base some of its leadership. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) regularly claim to kill senior militants during clearing operations in the area.[3] In Baghdad, ISIS’s attack pattern indicates that it is likely reconstituting support and logistical networks throughout the Baghdad Belts, replicating its safe havens in 2006 – 2007. ISIS has not yet returned to the systematic use of vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs), which were a hallmark of its resurgence in 2011 – 2013. ISIS may cross this threshold soon. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior claimed to disrupt an ISIS VBIED cell north of Baghdad on September 6.[4]

ISIS has also established a support zone along the Iraqi-Iranian border that it is using to project capability into Iran. ISIS remnants (including Kurdish Salafi-Jihadist group Ansar al-Islam) have maintained a support zone in the Halabja Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan since late 2016. Ansar al-Islam pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014 but remained a distinct unit within its command structure. ISIS fighters from Ansar al-Islam conducted the major spectacular attack in Tehran during Ramadan in June 2017. A similar cell later deployed into Iran and clashed with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in January 2018. A senior leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Peshmerga stated in February 2018 that Ansar al-Islam is leveraging its cross-border links and local knowledge to facilitate infiltration into Iran.[5] ISIS is expanding its support base in Iraqi Kurdistan beyond the Halabja Mountains. Local Kurdish forces have detained numerous alleged cells in Sulaymaniyah Province in Northern Iraq since January 2018.[6]


ISIS is also reconstituting as an insurgent force across Syria. ISIS has lost all its territorial control in Syria except a twenty-kilometer-long stretch of terrain along the Euphrates River in Eastern Syria near the Syrian-Iraqi border. The area is currently under attack by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. ISIS is nonetheless reconstituting in areas nominally under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ISIS negotiated evacuation deals from Damascus and the Golan Heights to relocate its forces to the Syrian Desert east of Damascus in May – July 2018. ISIS has exploited its underground tunnel networks in order to regroup and launch local counter-attacks in this area against both the Russo-Iranian Coalition and the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. ISIS is also infiltrating Al-Qaeda’s areas of operations in Northern Syria in order to gain access to logistics routes through Turkey. It may also intend to tap into flows of Al-Qaeda-aligned foreign fighters. ISIS has also demonstrated that it retains the ability to mount attacks in areas held by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) including Ar-Raqqa City, Hasaka City, and Qamishli. ISIS is likely regenerating support networks across its former territorial holdings in Northern and Eastern Syria.

Future of the Anti-ISIS Campaign

ISIS’s resurgence will likely accelerate as the Anti-ISIS Campaign falls down the priority list of the Government of Iraq. Iraq shifted its focus towards Iraqi Kurdistan in October 2017 after the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a contested independence referendum in September 2017, triggering a military response from both Iraq and Iran in the contested city of Kirkuk. The subsequent military standoff between the Government of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan disrupted operations against ISIS and created opportunities for ISIS to expand in the Disputed Internal Boundaries (DIBs) with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iraq’s May 2018 Parliamentary Elections and subsequent political developments have further disrupted the ability of the Government of Iraq to prioritize the Anti-ISIS Campaign. A growing protest movement in Southern Iraq divided the government and disrupted clearing operations against ISIS. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi redeployed part of the elite Iraqi Counterterrorism Services (CTS) to secure government installations in Southern Iraq on July 13.[7] The CTS is the preeminent force against ISIS in Iraq and works closely with the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. Abadi similarly redeployed part of the Iraqi Emergency Response Division from the DIBs to Southern Iraq on September 9, further degrading security in Northern Iraq.[8]

The U.S. risks finding its options against ISIS in Iraq further constrained by the outcome of the ongoing government formation process in Baghdad. Iran is making a concerted effort to shape a Government of Iraq that is hostile to the U.S. and could demand a full withdraw of the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. is meanwhile using its economic leverage – and threats to revoke bilateral military support – in order to block powerful proxies of Iran from occupying key positions in the Government of Iraq. The outcome of this showdown remains unclear but it could lead to a violent confrontation between rival powerbrokers that would provide new openings for ISIS. The U.S. and its allies must take action to set the political conditions necessary to sustain a long-term campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. ISIS otherwise threatens to return yet again in a form even more dangerous and more capable than its rise to global prominence in 2014.

The Left’s Treatment Of Kavanaugh Fills Me, And Millions Of Americans, With Rage (The Federalist)

Not my writing, but it could be. I mirrors my feelings completely. It is overtime for a resurrection of the Tea Party.

This is from the Federalist.By George S. Bardmesser
October 2, 2018

Four years before Brett Kavanaugh was writing in his calendar in the summer of 1982, my family immigrated to this country. Before our plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport, my teenage imagination saw America as a land of skyscrapers from coast to coast.
I imagined the senators and congressmen as wise and thoughtful. I imagined freedom, success, and money. Perhaps I imagined due process, although I didn’t yet know that word (where we came from, there wasn’t much of it). I had heard of the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” however, as strange as it sounded then.

This last Friday night, I spoke to my 81-year-old father. We talked of his health, and then he surprised me. “Can you believe this outrage in the Senate?” he said, his voice trembling with rage. “How can they do this to this man? How?”
We rarely talk politics. I am a lawyer in a small private practice about four hours’ drive from him, and neither of us has the inclination for lengthy political discussions. Both of us might have once been called liberal Republicans. We voted for Trump with great reluctance. Since 2016, however, I have not regretted my vote for one instant.
I didn’t think my father followed the goings-on in Washington. My initial response was: “I’d rather not talk about it, or I’ll pop an artery in my brain.” But then I told him: “You live in New Jersey. Guess what? Your senator is up for re-election, and he is a corrupt Democrat. Talk to your friends. Get them to vote for the Republican in November. This time, you have a chance.”
Again, he surprised me. He said he doesn’t need to talk to them, they are already planning to vote Republican. Every single one of them. “Tell them to talk to their friends,” I said. “Tell them to get every one of their friends to vote.” “I will,” he said, “I must.” So there will be a few more people voting against Sen. Bob Menendez five weeks from now.
There Was a Lot More Material in Ford’s Testimony

I streamed the Kavanaugh hearings on my laptop and to my phone as we walked our dog. I had to mute the sound of the Democratic senators, with their insincere platitudes, preening, fake and utterly hypocritical expressions of concern for Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, their tedious grandstanding. Listening to Sen. Dianne “I don’t know who leaked it” Feinstein or to Sen. Spartacus for longer than a few seconds endangers one’s mental health.
Ford didn’t sound like a flake or a liar. Two minutes into prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s questioning, that sinking feeling of dread began digging its steel claws into my stomach. She asked Ford if she was on medication, blah, blah. These are good questions, and I’ve asked them myself in a deposition. But here, every second was precious, and every second she wasted was another that Kavanaugh was sliding into the abyss.
Yes, Mitchell was gentle and sympathetic, but where was the substance? Minutes dragged by, and she barely chipped away at the inconsistencies, the lack of memory, the lack of details, the lack of corroboration of any kind, and the fact that even Ford’s friend could not substantiate her story.
A million better questions come to mind. Why didn’t Mitchell ask about all the other women who came forward to support Kavanaugh? Were all of them dupes? Or fools? What about the binge drinking proudly listed in Ford’s yearbook? The “party girl” nickname from high school? With the fate of Supreme Court on the line, how is this not worth a few questions? Ford was a future binge drinker who “only” had one beer?

Why didn’t Mitchell harp on a complete and utter lack of any actual evidence of anything, except Ford’s uncorroborated words decades later? Why did she not harp on the existence of contrary evidence? Why did she not harp on the fact that Ford wasn’t even 100 percent certain of the year when the events took place, and that she can’t remember where, or when, or how she got there, or how she got back?
Surely she couldn’t have walked to the party; that is obvious. Make Ford repeat this ten times if you have to! Time dragged on, and where were the questions? After several hours, Mitchell’s “successes” were picayune.
Kavanaugh’s Defense Was Spectacular
Hiring a woman may have been a stroke of genius, but Republicans once again shot themselves in the foot. Mitchell was the wrong woman for the job. By 2:30 p.m., it was clear that Kavanaugh was finished.
And then Kavanaugh spoke. It was, perhaps, the most powerful speech I have ever heard in real time. Kavanaugh was amazing. Spectacular. Incredible. Kavanaugh did the impossible: he actually demonstrated, against all odds, in a setting stacked against him in every way, that there is persuasive contrary evidence.

He turned it all around. He united any wavering Republicans out here, in the real world, under his banner. He finally let the Democrats know that they won’t cow him. Hours later, I told someone that I felt privileged to have heard his speech.
Far too many of our flaky congressional Republicans let the Democrats win the narrative, and Kavanaugh finally punched back. Yes, Kavanaugh was enraged at the Democrats, and so was I! So were tens of millions of us Republicans who suffer quietly, our voices silenced by the PC police and the leftist sycophantic media. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Richard Blumenthal could badger him for hours with idiotic questions about high school yearbooks, or why he won’t ask for an FBI investigation of himself, and they still couldn’t rattle him.
I shake with fury when I think about how, in the Democrats’ dishonest and despicable rhetoric, a man of the highest integrity is already an all-but-proven rapist—they barely bother with the “alleged.” After all, there are “serious allegations” out there that he was part of a heinous gang that drugged and raped women on numerous occasions, all while in high school. And the same women (or just one woman?) kept coming back, over and over, to the drug-and-rape parties inspired and led by the 17-year-old Kavanaugh?
Who wouldn’t believe such “credible allegations”? What’s rape on a boat in Rhode Island, also allegedly perpetrated by Kavanaugh in 1986, compared to an entire rape gang?
This Isn’t About Kavanaugh, This Is About Everyone
The next step in the progressive hate parade is straightforward: Kavanaugh is a serial rapist and killer who buries his victims in his back yard. (Pardon me, an alleged serial rapist and killer—he hasn’t been convicted yet, which is a minor inconvenience for the left, but only a minor one.) But worry not. Stormy Daniels and her reptiloid lawyer are on the case.
I shake with fury when I think about how Democrats are using Ford, a woman with memory and documented psychological issues, in a calculated vicious campaign of obstruction, character assassination, and destruction of one of our finest judges. If they can do this to him, they can do it to anyone. And we all know they will do it to anyone. We all know this is the new normal: weaponizing sexual misconduct allegations, however uncorroborated, however improbable, however lurid or bizarre, against Republican nominees. Everyone is vulnerable. Everyone.
I shake with fury when I think of how this farcical confirmation process is symptomatic of what Democrats are doing to our country.
I shake with fury when I think about Sen. Jeff Flake, and the idiotic one-week delay stunt that the Judas of the Republican Party agreed to at the urging of the duplicitous Democrats. If ever there was a man whose last name embodied his spiritual essence, it surely is him. If he ever shows up at a Republican gathering anywhere, he should surely be tarred and feathered.
I shake with fury when I think of how this farcical confirmation process is symptomatic of what Democrats are doing to our country, from workplaces to universities, from old media to new media, from schools to kindergardens. Everyone is now vulnerable to the wildest accusations of sexual impropriety, with no proof needed, since the charges are inherently unprovable, and one must always believe the victim.
I shudder to think of what it’s like to be a young man today, in this environment. It used to be that the worst that could happen is that a woman said, “Sorry, I have other plans for tonight.” Now men must make sure they have their lawyer’s number on speed dial, because every date, regardless of whether she says “yes” or “no,” is a potential sexual misconduct complaint, a criminal charge, or a lawsuit.
I have followed politics for years, but have never been active, aside from voting. This year, I have volunteered to help Republican candidates.
George S. Bardmesser is an attorney in private practice in the Washington, DC area.

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