Operation Crossfire Hurricane Exposed
The Obama Administration's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called the CIA's and FBI's covert and illegal spying on the Trump campaign and administration "fully justified. With a threat as palpable as that posed by Trump we wouldn't want the agencies set up to protect this country to idly sit by just because they don't have enough evidence to persuade a judge to issue a warrant. Besides, too many individuals would be involved in the process of trying to obtain a warrant that we couldn't guarantee the type of air-tight security necessary to achieve the best possible results. Leaks could've outed the spy and compromised the entire Crossfire Hurricane operation. James Bond doesn't rely on warrants. That's why he's always successful at neutralizing threats."
Clapper lamented the absence of any useful intelligence from the operation, saying that "Special Counsel Mueller's job would've been a lot easier if we'd been able to find something, anything, that clearly implicated Trump engaging in collusion with the Russians. But just because this operation was a 'dry hole' doesn't mean it served no useful purpose. FBI agents were able to plant information on a few peripheral players in the Trump campaign that was ultimately used to get a warrant to monitor phone and email communications that may yet prove instrumental in the effort to unseat Trump."
The former DNI Director brushed aside the issue of bias. "In hindsight it might have made for better optics if we had also placed spies within the Clinton campaign," he admitted. "The emergence of evidence that her campaign funded the Russian dossier written by Christopher Steele makes it look like we played favorites. In our own defense, though, Clinton was considered trustworthy. Comey publicly declined to press charges for her email abuses and everyone was confident she would win. So we felt why waste effort just for show?"
"We must not allow the failure of this one covert operation to poison the reputation of the FBI specifically or the 17 different federal intelligence agencies that are working tirelessly to protect this country from hostile entities," Clapper warned. "Elections are always a gamble. There's no guarantee that the person who should win will win—as we saw in 2016. We want the American people to know that we've got their back—that we're willing to do what it takes to ensure the correct election outcome and, if that fails, to continue the fight to remedy any mistakes made at the ballot box regardless of how long or hard that might turn out to be."
Dems Defend MS-13 Against Trump Slander
This week President Trump again described members of the heinous immigrant gang MS-13 as "animals." His remarks came in response to a complaint that California law forbids local law enforcement officers from notifying ICE that MS-13 gang members are in custody in county jails—resulting in their release back into the community instead of their deportation. Two high-ranking Democrats assailed Trump's remarks.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer characterized the President's words as "a slander against the kind of people who make our country great. Let's not forget that we are a nation of immigrants. If it weren't for the daring and arduous journeys undertaken by our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents this land would still be in the hands of tribes of savages. America is the land of opportunity—a beacon of hope to the world. We must not let racial prejudice block entrepreneurial groups like MS-13 from seizing their opportunity to better their lives."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized the President's comments as "disrespectful. Every person is a child of God having a soul and a spark of divinity. It is not for us to judge them as Trump has done. As I understand it, almost all of the members of MS-13 are immigrants who came here as children escaping from horrible poverty and violence in the lands of their birth. For Trump to insist that we deport them back to those awful places is inhumane. They would have to rob and kill more people in poorer countries to achieve the same gains they can get from a lesser scope of depredation in America where each victim is likely to be far richer than victims in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. On pure headcount alone, Trump's policies would guarantee more bloodshed."
In related news, Cecile Richards, former President of Planned Parenthood, also denounced Trump calling MS-13 gang members "animals. These young men are people. According to American values they are entitled to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. To grab them off the street and deport them simply because they are in this country illegally or have engaged in criminal activity is morally wrong."
Seattle Levies Head Tax on Jobs
In a bid to discourage what it alleges is "wage slavery," the Seattle City Council voted to levy an annual tax of $275 on each person employed in the City by companies grossing $20 million or more. The originally proposed tax rate of $500 was reduced after Mayor Jenny Durkan threatened a veto.
Council member Kshama Sawant says he is disappointed the tax isn't higher. "Man's preferred state is leisure," he said. "Forcing people to give up their leisure in order to obtain the means needed to survive is a crime against humanity. The $500 levy was an opening bid in our long term battle to free the victims of this deplorable practice."
The receipts from this new tax are earmarked for programs to aid the city's growing population of homeless persons—a cohort that Sawant contends "is the vanguard of a future where the ideal of a life of leisure is appreciated. The funds will enable us to alleviate the poverty that currently plagues these social pioneers. Instead of condemning them to live in the streets scrounging for food in dumpsters or begging for money from strangers we'll take the money from taxpayers and free them from this drudgery."
The move inverts the more typical city strategy of offering businesses tax breaks for bringing jobs into the community, a practice which Sawant denounced as "capitalist exploitation. People don't really want jobs. They want money. If we tax the wealthy corporations in order to break the link between work and reward we can move society to a higher level of consciousness and get closer to the communist ideal envisioned by Marx."
Meanwhile, the Chicago Fed has proposed levying a statewide property tax hike of 1% of actual value to cover the unfunded pensions of state and local government retirees. For the median valued home in Chicago this would amount to $2,260 in additional annual property taxes and more than $67,000 over the 30 years the tax is expected to be imposed. Rick Matoon, one of the authors of the proposal, characterized it as "necessary if we are to ensure that former public servants have a comfortable retirement." The typical yearly benefit paid to retired 30-year government employees in Illinois is over $70,000. The median household income in the state is about $61,000 a year. So, "necessary" might not be the most accurate description of the proposed wealth transfer.
Campaign Slogan May Not Be a Winner
Democrat Abdul al-Sayed, Michigan's first-ever Muslim candidate for governor, may face an uphill struggle in in this year's election. Political analysts suspect that his campaign slogan: "You may not hate Muslims, but Muslims definitely hate you!" may be too negative to win a majority of votes.
"Granted, Michigan has the highest percentage of Muslim voters in the country," said Democratic Party pollster Vern Spielman, "but even if they go 100% for Sayed I don't think that overcomes the odds that the 97% of voters who are not Muslims will vote for someone less hostile toward them."
Sayed called objections to his slogan "a violation of my constitutional right to the free exercise of my religion. Islam calls on believers to fight for Allah and spread the joys of submission to the whole world. We aren't cowardly Christians whose god bids them to turn the other cheek. We gladly smite that cheek and demand that unbelievers convert or acquiesce in their subservient role under Islam lest we be compelled to slay them."
"There's no doubt that Sayed is passionate and honest about his views and policies," Spielman acknowledged. "But these virtues are best kept hidden until after one is elected. The non-Muslims who will be paying Sayed's proposed jizya tax shouldn't be warned in advance if he wants to get their votes."
The candidate disagreed with Spielman's advice and pointed out that "when I'm governor each person who converts to Islam will get a 100% tax reduction. No other candidate has made such a generous offer of tax relief. I am confident that the personal monetary benefits for converts under my program will propel me to victory when the ballots are cast and counted."
Meanwhile in Minnesota, an investigation has revealed that Somalian refugees are scamming the state's generous welfare benefits and sending suitcases full of cash back home. In the past year an estimated $100 million has made this journey. Government welfare bureaucrats say "our hands are tied. The law entitles refugees to claim benefits and we have no control over how this money is spent after we give it to them. In fact, it could be said that the investigation exposing the transfer of this money out of the country is an invasion of the recipients' privacy and unnecessarily upsetting to taxpayers who previously were blissfully ignorant of the whole scheme."