Johnson Says DNC Refused DHS Help
This week, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Johnson became the latest former Obama Administration official to verify that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Perhaps more relevant, however, was his puzzlement at the Democratic National Committee's refusal of his proffer of assistance in the wake of their computers being hacked.
"Considering what was at stake, I would have thought that putting the federal government's expertise into play to protect the DNC's confidential communications was a 'no-brainer,'" Johnson said. "But despite my entreaties and offers from the FBI to do a forensic analysis to try to identify the origins of the hack of their email system, Chairwoman Wasserman-Schultz repulsed our aid."
Former DNC vice chairwoman Donna Brazile, confirmed that federal officials had been in contact with her regarding hacking. "I talked to the general counsel of the DNC and he assured me that every step along the way we were notified of these issues," Brazile said. "At no time did we ignore the warning from the FBI or any other federal officials."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) charged that "Johnson's implication that I ignored his or the FBI's warnings is a lie. I didn't reject their help. From our perspective, even more important than keeping hackers from accessing our confidential files was keeping our covert operation to ensure that Hillary would have a clear path to secure the Party's presidential nomination from being exposed. I'm proud to say that mission was accomplished."
Wasserman Schultz lamented that "this extra boost we gave her was wasted by a lackluster campaign that neglected to make a case for voters to choose her over Trump. Now she's trying to make that hack and me the scapegoat for her whole bogus 'Trump cheated' theme. Well, I'm not taking the rap."
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) characterized Wasserman-Schultz's comments as "essentially, an admission of a crime." Wasserman-Schultz professed herself as "unconcerned" because "Sanders will never file a complaint. Without a victim's complaint there is no crime to be prosecuted."
Dems Stunned by Ossoff Loss in Georgia
In an election once widely touted by Democrats as "a referendum on the Trump presidency," Democrat Jon Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel in Georgia's 6th congressional district race. Ossoff nearly won the race in April's open primary—garnering twice as many votes as his nearest competitor—but fell short of the 50% +1 vote majority required. Democrats were also buoyed by a five-to-one campaign spending edge and polls showing Ossoff with a comfortable lead (on the Monday before election day, Democratic polling guru Nate Silver gave Ossoff a 70% chance of winning).
Some Democrats blamed Ossoff's attempt to appeal to moderates as "the fatal flaw in our Party's strategy," a masked antifa demonstrator opined. "As our street protests have shown, the way to succeed is to shutdown the other side by any means necessary. We've stopped dozens of conservatives from voicing their opinions in public forums. Who knows how many others we've deterred from even trying? If Ossoff had walked across the stage at that debate and punched Handel in the face it would have prompted more Democrats to get out and vote."
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) blamed the non-stop talk about Russia for Ossoff's defeat. "Trump has cleverly manipulated the media meme to focus on a non-existent Russian threat that has diverted everyone's attention from his cruel domestic policies," Murphy contended. "Trump has discouraged immigration to the extent that border crossings are down by 70% from last year. He has egged on state governments to enforce work requirements for welfare that have driven millions to take jobs they'd rather not have just to survive. In Maine alone, the GOP governor has pushed policies that have brought the state's unemployment level to a 32-year low. Our Party's ability to exploit the negative consequences of Trump's policies at the ballot box needs to be revived."
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex) blamed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, saying that "I think you'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top. The Party needs a new face if we hope to retake the House in the 2018 election cycle."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) countered criticism of Pelosi by insisting that "whether Nancy Pelosi inspires voters or not, she is a remarkable strategic legislator who has skillfully obstructed everything President Trump wants to do. It doesn't matter whether we ever gain the majority in congress. Blocking Trump and the Republicans is crucial to a strategy focused on allowing the courts to enact the laws needed to transform the country into the progressive utopia we all envision for the future. Let's not forget that it has been the courts that have legalized gay marriage. It has been the courts that have opened what used to be single-sex rest rooms a showers to the transgendered. It is the courts that have blocked Trump's efforts to close our borders to immigrants and refugees. We mustn't turn on a person that has done so much to make all of these gains possible."
FBI Asserts Shootings at GOP Baseball Practice "Random Violence"
At a press briefing this week, Tim Slater, who leads the criminal division of the FBI's Washington field office, endeavored mightily to portray last week's assault on dozens of Republicans gathered to practice for a charity baseball game as a "purely spontaneous and random act of violence."
Slater dismissed the testimony of witnesses who identified the shooter as the same man who moments earlier asked them if the men practicing were Republicans or Democrats as "insufficient to determine intent. Granted, he did go on to fire numerous rounds at these men, but we have no way of knowing whether he would've held his fire if he had been told they were Democrats."
The discovery of a "kill list" comprised solely of the names of Republican congressmen in the gunman's possession was deemed "inconclusive," by Slater. "Mr. Hodgkinson could easily have had a similar list of Democrats that we have not yet been able to find. So far as we can tell the list of Republicans we recovered from his weapons locker was just a piece of paper."
Likewise, Slater averred that "Hodgkinson's numerous rants against Republicans in social media posts and letters-to-the-editor weren't seen as especially useful in terms of discerning a motive for his actions. His anger at the way Sen. Bernie Sanders was treated in last year's primaries could just as easily be taken as a motive for striking out at Democrats like Hillary Clinton or Rep. Wasserman-Schultz. Who's to say that if he had not been shot by Capitol Police he wouldn't have gone on to shoot those Democrats?"
Reports that Hodgkinson had previously told family members that he would be heading home later on the same day of the baseball field assault "doesn't prove that he wouldn't first have shot some Democrats," Slater argued. "At the Bureau we require that there be evidence before we leap to any conclusions about the actions and intent of anyone we investigate."
In related news, gunman Rollin Anthony Owens Jr. kidnapped a family in North Carolina and forced them to shop at a local Target store. After his arrest, Owens told Durham police that "my intent was to implement a 'bottom up' stimulation of the economy." He contrasted his approach with "the Republicans' failed 'trickle down' methods" and said he hoped that "my example of direct action will inspire other Democrats to get off their duffs and try to make a difference before Trump wrecks this country."
Quake Alert Comes 92 Years Late
This past week the U.S. Geological Survey sent out an email alert warning of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake near Santa Barbara, California. A 6.8 magnitude is considered a "strong" quake and likely to cause moderate to severe damage to poorly constructed buildings. The fact that the alert was for an event that occurred in 1925 caused many to question the timeliness of the USGS warning.
USGS Director Suzette Kimball acknowledged that "while the specific utility of this particular alert was low, we shouldn't discount the progress our Agency has made in the way of early warnings. The fact that we can send alerts out via email greatly enhances the speed and breadth of the alert. Everyone connected to the Internet can obtain this information much quicker than in the old days."
"Looking on the bright side, the 92-year lag due to the exacting processing and verification procedures we must follow did result in an amazingly accurate estimate of the magnitude of the event," Kimball boasted. "We avoided the haste that might have resulted in the kind of inaccurate projections that have plagued the National Weather Service, Congressional Budget Office, and Bureau of Economic Analysis. I, for one, would rather be late with the right information than early with the wrong information."
European Union Threatens Poland, Hungary
The absence of Islamic terror attacks in Poland and Hungary has been attributed to these countries' refusal to take in an adequate portion of the flood of Muslim refugees that have swarmed into Europe over the last few years. The leaders of Hungary and Poland think this is a good thing. Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orban called these migrants "a poison" and said "every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk." Polish Prime Minister Beata Szyd?o called the European Union's policy of allowing mass migration from the Middle East "folly."
EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos slammed the governments of both countries "for not bearing their fair share of the grief that accompanies free migration. It is the policy of the European Union that all member states must accept an allocation of this grief as assigned by the Brussels authorities. Failure to do so will force us to impose sanctions."
Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak vowed his country will "choose the lesser danger of enduring EU sanctions over inviting savages to roam among us assaulting our women, attacking gays, and bombing our public places. We have seen the consequences in countries that have welcomed these migrants—rapes in Sweden, murders in London, nightly riots in Paris—and we say 'no thanks.'"
Former US President Barack Obama said "this latest deterioration of the unity we all worked so hard for during my administration is disheartening. It's frustrating that there is no court that can overturn Poland and Hungary's racist anti-immigration policies like the US courts that have thwarted Trump's similar animus against Muslims in America. I wish I could do more than urge Chancellor Merkel and President Macron to be patient. We're working to unseat Trump and install a progressive alternative, but it will take time."
In related news, the last remaining police station in the Järva area (a suburb of Stockholm with a majority Muslim population) is slated to be closed because "it is too dangerous for police." Stockholm area regional police chief Ulf Johansson said "we can no longer justify putting our officers' lives in danger. The area is too violent even for armed police to dare venture outside the building." As for the Swedes still living in the area, he suggested that "as I understand it, they have the option of converting, submitting to Muslim rule, or moving—if they can get out without being killed. They will, of course, have to leave their non-portable property behind."
McCain Says He Won't Be Bought
Disclosure this week that George Soros, financier of international leftist agitation, has donated to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's Institute for International Leadership has sparked some of the Senator's critics to question his judgment.
In a bid to reassure everyone that he can "take money from anyone without compromising my principals," McCain pointed out that "I have taken millions of dollars from Republican donors without letting them influence my views. In fact, the Institute was initially funded with $9 million in campaign donations that I never spent. The $100,000 Soros gave the Institute is tiny in comparison. So, I think people can be confident that my ability to ignore the wishes of my contributors is one of my stronger traits."