Mueller Investigating Trump's Complaints About Sessions
President Trump's repeated expressions of his dissatisfaction with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' job performance is said to have opened a new avenue of investigation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference with the 2016 election.
"We have two alternate theories we can pursue," Mueller is reputed to have told his team. "On the one hand, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. This is prima facie evidence that he has something to hide. Could that something be knowledge of Russian collusion? Could Trump's public bullying of his Attorney General be an attempt to intimidate him into keeping silent?"
"On the other hand, isn't Trump's attempt to push the Attorney General into an action he prefers not to take evidence of abuse of power?" Mueller continued. "Take Trump's insistence that the Department of Justice investigate Hillary Clinton and former President Obama. Former FBI Director James Comey already investigated Secretary Clinton and found her not guilty. Wouldn't reopening the case constitute double jeopardy? And President Obama has already denied any wrongdoing. Trump's implication that his predecessor might be lying isn't the way we treat former presidents. It's destabilizing. It suggests that Trump himself may be a domestic enemy of our form of government."
While Mueller is said to have instructed his team to pursue both theories, he admitted that "we won't get much traction with theories alone. Media hype can only take us so far. We need a triggering event. The most obvious trigger would be for Trump to fire Sessions. Given the dirt we have in Sessions' file plus the grievance he will feel against the man who lured him from his cozy seat in the Senate only to fire him a year later I'm pretty sure we can persuade him to cooperate with us. After all, Sessions has told friends that 'working with Trump is the most humiliating experience in decades of public life.'"
In related news, Sirius XM radio host Mark Thompson complained that "Mueller is overlooking the fact that criticizing the FBI is itself seditious. It attacks the very foundation of our government. By impugning the reputation of this great agency Trump, Nunes, Grassley, almost the entire Republican Party, are clearly guilty of trying to undermine our form of government. If I were Mueller I'd have all these guys arrested and put Obama back on the throne."
Guv Disputes "Worst Quality of Life" Finding
This week, a report published by U.S. News on the quality of life in the United States ranked the State of California dead last—behind even the renowned "arm pit" State of New Jersey. "High rents, high taxes, and insufferable inhabitants" were cited as key low points contributing to California's last place finish.
"In many of the cities even cramped and dumpy apartments can cost thousands per month in rent," the report commented. "It should be no surprise that homelessness in Los Angeles County has increased by 75% over the last six years. What is surprising is that public defecation has become the norm in many parts of what were once among the most admired cities in America."
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) disagreed with the U.S. News report's conclusions. "I challenge their frame of reference," he said. "They're mired in a myopic perspective that focuses on how much it costs to live here and have the amenities of a middle class lifestyle. What they overlook is that our state is pioneering the transition toward getting in step with the rest of the world, not keeping up with the Joneses in other states. U.S. News sees a rise in homelessness through a materialistic lens. I see it as regressing to the mean of how the majority of people on this planet live."
"Discomfort and bad sanitation are the norm for most of the world," Brown pointed out. "The easy life to which so many Americans have become accustomed is abnormal. I don't see California as lagging the rest of the states. I see us leading the way toward a mode of living that is more natural and environmentally friendly. Living in a box in a public park or under a bridge has a smaller carbon footprint than busting your butt to be able to afford a mortgage on a house. I foresee an America where nearly everyone except Democrat donors adopts the new California lifestyle. I'm proud to have been able to play a leadership role in paving the way."
In related news, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to apprehend persons illegally in the United States "a shocking abuse of law enforcement power. These immigrants have come to America for a better life. It is our Christian obligation to provide this better life. ICE's reliance on mere statutory law as the justification for ignoring this obligation is shameful." The ICE raid in northern California that Pelosi condemned had targeted over 800 illegal immigrants with outstanding arrest warrants.
"Mistakes" Not "Scandals"
Speaking at MIT, former President Obama sought to convince the 3500 in attendance that "unlike what we've seen from just the first year of the Trump Administration, my eight-year tenure in office was remarkably scandal free. I admit we made a few mistakes, but nothing that embarrassed us."
Obama critics might disagree. Fox News' Sean Hannity rattled of a list that included the Fast and Furious sale of guns to Mexican gangsters, the failure to send aid to our besieged consulate in Benghazi, the IRS discrimination against political conservatives, the Uranium One sale of 20% of the US uranium supply to a Russian company that was brokered by bribery, and the FBI's lying to the FISA court in order to spy on the Trump campaign and suggested that "surely this level of incompetence and/or corruption ought to inspire a few twinges of guilt, remorse, or shame. How could a person with a conscience not be embarrassed by some of these scandals?"
New York Times fake conservative columnist David Brooks questioned whether Hannity's list contained any real scandals. "First, no one in the genuine media has called these events scandals. Second, one could make the case that they were all successful policy initiatives. Was the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels really a scandal? Haven't those cartels helped reduce illegal immigration by murdering thousands who might otherwise have sneaked across our border? And didn't the bribes obtained in the Uranium One deal bring millions of dollars into the US economy? To label all of these unconventional transactions 'scandals' strikes me as overly simplistic. Life is more complex than the binomial right vs. wrong choice that people like Hannity perceive. Let's not forget that it was Obama, not Hannity, who won a Nobel Peace Prize. Doesn't this tell us who we should believe?"
Sheriff Defends Holding Officers Out of Line of Fire
Broward County sheriff Scott Israel rebuffed criticism of the decision to order his deputies to "form a perimeter" rather than enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in order to confront Nikolas Cruz as he shot 17 students and teachers to death.
"It's a simple calculation of risk vs. reward," Israel argued. "Anyone I might've sent in ran the risk of being shot before he could take any useful action to neutralize the threat. Each of my deputies is a highly trained and valuable asset to the community. The loss of any one of these men would be a significant loss to society. I had to weigh this against the relatively lower social value of the students who might get shot if my deputies remained outside."
"For the most part, students are a liability rather than an asset to society," the Sheriff estimated. "They have to be maintained and supported at great cost to others. They contribute little toward the upkeep of the community. So, in my judgment I could not justify risking the lives of the more valuable police officers in the uncertain hope that such a decision might save the lives of a few less valuable students."
"In the aftermath, I think my judgment was vindicated," Israel contended. "No law enforcement personnel were injured. The loss of lives inside the school were a tolerable number. As we have since seen, the school has been able to resume its normal activities, proving that those killed by the gunmen were not vital to the school's mission or survival. The icing on the cake was that Cruz was peacefully apprehended without incident outside the school. He confessed to the crime and the case is solved without requiring a messy and expensive investigation. I'd say the outcome has demonstrated the amazing leadership I have provided as Broward County's sheriff."