Schumer Advises Red-State Dems to Hide Views on Guns
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) advised Party colleagues facing a tough reelection fight in states carried by Trump last November to mute criticism of gun ownership ahead of the 2018 mid-term balloting.
"We all agree that we need more restrictions on gun ownership," Schumer conceded. "But if too many red-state voters perceive this is our intent we could lose seats in the Senate and House. What I am urging is that we be smart. There is no need to fully reveal what we stand for, especially if it might cost votes. This is a case where an elected Democrat's silence on the issue will be the best strategy."
Instead, the Minority Leader suggested that imperiled Democrats "could focus on economic issues. The Trump Administration is pushing a huge tax cut. We can point out that transferring more of the nation's resources from the public sector into the hands of selfish private individuals endangers the progressive transformation of the United States that former President Obama worked so hard to accomplish. Trump has foolishly boasted that his tax cut will be 'rocket fuel' for the economy and will create millions of jobs. This will lure more Americans into the labor force, undoing the leisure gains of the Obama years."
"Already, the baleful signs of what is to come from the Trump tax cut plan can be seen in surging employment opportunities," the Senator observed. "Just last month the number of applications for new unemployment benefits fell to a 44-year low. This vital safety net for the work-averse would be torn to shreds by the tax cut 'rocket fuel' Trump would unleash on our economy. Standing against such a calamity would, in my opinion, redound to the benefit of every Democrat come November 2018."
Evidence of Russian Influence Seeps Out
This week evidence showing Russian bribery aimed at manipulating US Government policies began to trickle into the media sphere. It seems that the State Department's 2010 decision to permit a Russian-owned uranium firm to acquire 20% of the US supply of this nuclear resource proceeded amid a flurry of donations to the Clinton Foundation.
While FBI field agents uncovered the bribery trail, then Director, Robert Mueller successfully suppressed the investigation obtaining a Department of Justice (DOJ) "gag" order that is still in effect today. This past week, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for current DOJ Attorney General Jeff Sessions to lift the gag order, but was rebuffed by the Trump appointee.
"There are many complicated issues to consider," Sessions said. "For one, there is the reputation and privacy of current and formerly highly placed government officials to be taken into account. Right now Robert Mueller is a special counsel looking into other matters. His effectiveness on that assignment could be impeded if he were to be queried on the uranium deal. Another factor that looms large in my mind is whether the Statute of Limitations may have expired on any crimes committed so long ago. Raising issues that couldn't be tried in court because of this would be fruitless and embarrassing."
Grassley declared "Sessions' refusal to lift the suppression of evidence by his AG predecessor is an unacceptable infringement on Congress' responsibility to scrutinize the actions of the executive branch. Why he is honoring an illegal gag order defies understanding. If we are to 'drain the swamp' we must have access to witnesses holding crucial evidence."
In related news, former Attorney General Eric Holder defended former FBI Director James Comey's exoneration of Hillary Clinton prior to completion of an investigation, calling it "an efficient way of disposing of the matter. Comey knew that there was no way that AG Lynch was going to pursue a case against Mrs. Clinton. Writing the exoneration memo in advance was a way to more efficiently close the whole thing down and save the government a lot of heartaches and headaches."
GOP Virginia Gubernatorial Campaign Called "Racist"
Republican candidate for Virginia Governor Ed Gillespie's vow to implement policies that would crack down on the notorious Latino gang known as MS-13 was dubbed "racist" by his Democratic opponent Ralph Northam. "That a man aspiring to the highest office in this state would single out these immigrants and children of immigrants is repugnant," Northam insisted.
State and local law enforcement officers, however, regard MS-13 as a serious threat to the inhabitants of the communities in which they carry out their criminal depredations. Alexandria, Virginia Police Chief Earl Cook called the gang "more vicious and violent than the Mafia. Our streets cannot be safe if we don't exert the extra effort and vigilance needed to combat these criminals."
Northam maintains that "I am not opposed to law enforcement directed at criminal activity. But I do think it needs to be more balanced in terms of the racial composition of suspects arrested and prosecuted. Making scapegoats of the youths who belong to MS-13 is the kind of bigotry inspired by Donald Trump and his minions, one of whom is my opponent in the upcoming election."
"No law-abiding person denies the need to crack down on these violent criminals," Gillespie countered. "The notion that we should seek a racially-balanced prison population as a meaningful way to promote public safety is deluded and counterproductive. In my view, given its tactics and the frequency with which they assail victims, MS-13 should be at the top of our 'most wanted' list."
Bush Assails Culture of Bigotry
Fresh off eight years of rest during the Obama Administration, former President George W. Bush decried what he called the current "culture of bigotry" in American politics. Based on the content of his remarks, the "bigotry" in question appears to be Donald Trump's characterization of Washington as a "swamp."
"When a prominent member of government attacks government in this way it undermines the people's confidence in their rulers," Bush declared. "The loss of confidence creates a very real danger of disobedience toward those in charge. This is the path to anarchy."
"Clearly, bringing in an outsider who knows nothing of the fellowship of friendly adversaries that runs our country was a mistake," the former President lamented. "How we correct this mistake is the sacred mission of those of us who understand the process of ruling a country."
Former President Barack Obama hailed what he characterized as "a long overdue admission of guilt from one of this nation's leading anti-progressives. If Mr. Bush had joined with the Democratic wing of America's governing fraternity to back Secretary Clinton's bid for the presidency we wouldn't now be talking about the 'swamp.'"
"There is a very palpable risk that the transformation of America that I put into motion may be undone," Obama warned. "Trump's recent moves to reverse my executive actions granting amnesty to 'dreamers' and subsidies to insurance companies on the grounds they were usurpation of powers the Constitution delegated to Congress puts form over substance. Isn't whether an action is right more important than whether it is legal?"
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md), an advocate of removing President Trump via the 25th Amendment's "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" clause was "cheered by the agreement between our last two Chief Executives that Trump is unfit for the office he holds. Perhaps this will give Vice-President Pence the courage to lead Republicans in a joint effort with Democrats to end Trump's nightmare regime. It's not as if the GOP will lose the presidency. Removing Trump would make Pence the president. If I were in his shoes, that alone would be enough to spur me into action."
In related news, 18 states have filed suit asking the courts to block Trump's move to discontinue illegal subsidies to health insurance companies. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman contended that "since many states have come to depend on these illegal subsidies to sustain insurers allowed to operate in their states it would be unfair to revoke them. It is analogous to taking food away from a baby just because his father stole the money to pay for it. States need these subsidies to feed the insurers. Need has to take priority over a sterile insistence on rigidly following the law. Maintaining these subsidies is a matter of equity and social justice."
DNC Purges Bernie Supporters
Citing the "need to avoid a repetition of last year's Seth Rich problem," Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez announced the ouster of officials aligned with former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt). The vacancies will be filled with Hillary Clinton supporters, much like Special Counsel Robert Mueller staffed his investigation of Trump's alleged collusion with Russia investigation with Clinton supporters.
DNC spokesperson Michael Tyler maintained that the replacement of Sanders supporters with Clinton supporters was "coincidental. The more important goal was to get a better racial mix among those on the committee. We're proud to say that the number of Native Americans and Puerto Ricans has been substantially increased making the DNC membership more diverse.
The ousted James Zogby wondered "whether diversity of skin color ought to always supersede diversity in viewpoint. I fear the Party may be painting itself into a corner with its slavish devotion to such a one-dimensional criterion in the selection of its DNC members."