Happy Monday! Let’s talk about the news like a bunch of nerds.
BIG SHOW IN PENNSYLVANIA
Tomorrow, voters in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District will head to the polls on in a special election that is seen as a testing ground of sorts for PDT’s political clout going into the midterms.
Unfortunately, the Democrats got it right this time. Their candidate, Conor Lamb, is a 33-year old Marine Corps veteran and former assistant U.S. attorney who talks nothing like a Democrat. He’s done everything but put on his #MAGA hat during the campaign. His opponent to represent the southwestern Pennsylvania district where PDT defeated Hillzdawg by nearly 20 points in the 2016 presidential election is 60-year old, four-term state representative Rick Saccone.
Tomorrow’s special election was triggered by the resignation of GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who allegedly asked an extramarital lover to have an abortion. This contest has seen close to $10 million spent by conservative groups to boost Saccone and try to salvage our newfound hold on working class former Democrats. Lamb has gotten their attention with things like legislation to ensure miners get their pensions.
Botox Pelosi has been a big punching bag as of late.Ads pushed by outside groups riff on Lamb’s surname, featuring jingles such as “Nancy had a little lamb” and arguing that Lamb would be one of Pelosi’s “sheep.” The GOP strategy has been to try to tie lamb as close to Pelosi as possible and thus portray him as out of touch. The strategy seems to be hitting a brick wall, but we won’t know for sure until tomorrow.
So let’s analyze this thing.
This district is a hard one to figure. It has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but it known for voting for Republicans fairly regularly. It’s more or less a toss-up at any given election.
This election, while hard to call, will most certainly be deeply affected by the union vote in the area. These are union guys who flipped for Trump in the general election and were happy to see the recent tariffs. However, Lamb speaks their language, and he knows exactly what gets the union guys going, like guaranteed pensions.
The United Steelworkers held a get-out-the-vote rally for Lamb last Friday afternoon, complete with appearances by Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf, Rep. Mike Doyle, and union officials. He was further joined by mine workers in rural Greene County on Sunday.
It’s impossible to tell whether the recent tariffs will be enough to keep the unions in PDT’s corner, but the early signs aren’t good. He’s received an official endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFl-CIA, meaning they’ve been given the blessing of blessings by PA unions.
Saccone does have some ammo of his own. He credibly asserts that he was “Trump before Trump was Trump,” referring to his promotion of populist policies during his first state representative campaign in 2010, and his claim that he wants to be Trump’s “wingman” in Washington. He’s not lying. He’s been pushing a Trump-like agenda for the better part of a decade. He’s the real deal.
PDT, knowing Saccone is the type of loyal guy he needs on the Hill, praised him during a rally in Pennsylvania.
“This is an extraordinary guy,” PDT said of Saccone. “We need him. He’s a very competent person. He’s a very hard worker. He knows things many people don’t know.”
So what does this seat mean in the big picture?
Well, technically, not much. No matter the result on Tuesday night both Lamb and Saccone are expected to run again in November – in different districts.
Pennsylvania has a new congressional map mandated by the courts that changes the lines of House districts for the November 2018 election. In other words, the seat they’re fighting for won’t even exist after the November midterms.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s worthless. To the contrary, it’s very important politically. The reason being, if Democrats are able to take a seat in a district that PDT won by 20 points, it will be seen as final verification that the “blue wave” is upon us.
It will encourage Democrat fundraising, boost their confidence and create momentum for November. It needs to be defeated.
But will it?
I wish I could tell you yes, but I’m just not sure. Polls currently have Lamb with a 6 point lead. Not a good sign. Of course, polls are notoriously inaccurate, and a strong turnout from Republicans could easily win this race for Saccone. The question is, can Republicans muster the enthusiasm to match the Dims?
The fact is, as noted above, Democrats got it right this time. They ran a very good candidate. Someone who won’t be confused with the Pelosi coastal wing of the Dim party. He’s also a decent-looking guy with a bit of charisma and good communication skills. He has a bright future regardless of what happens today.
Saccone, on the other hand, and I do love the guy, has the charisma of a doorstop. And worse, he’s in the party of Paul Ryan, who Lamb has smartly pointed out over and over during the last few months. That’s important because Ryan has spoken of reforming Medicaid and Social Security. The working class voters in Western Pennsylvania aren’t a fan of that idea. That gives Lamb a huge advantage.
Lamb is expected to run in the neighboring district (the 17th Congressional District), currently held by Republican Keith Rothfus. He has not said publicly what his post-Tuesday plans are but his hometown is in the 17th district under the new lines.
The good news is, if Lamb does win (and I think there’s a decent chance of it), he’s not going to be a #Resist Democrat. He’s had to kiss up to PDT often on the campaign trail in order to keep the working class in his corner. He praises the tariffs and claims to be pro-gun. He says he won’t answer to or vote with Nancy Pelosi and that he’s “personally against abortion.” Translation: I’m a liberal on abortion.
Let there be no doubt. Republicans have a fight on their hands tomorrow night in Western Pennsylvania. The Dims put up a formidable candidate who remembered what used to get them elected in the Rust Belt. The DNC hired someone who knows what they’re doing.
My question is, where is OUR Conor Lamb? When are we going to learn about putting up great candidates>
Good luck tomorrow, Mr, Saccone. I fear we’ll need it.
THERE’S A FRIGGIN SERIAL BOMBER ON THE LOOSE
Some jerk is planting bombs all over the place in Austin, TX.
We’re up to 3 explosions thus far. Two package bombs exploded today at personal residences in Austin, killing a teenage boy and critically injuring a 75-year old woman, Those bombs appear to be linked to a March 2 bomb that killed a man, according to local police.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are finally doing what should have been done a year ago: wrapping up the #PutinGate investigation.
They’ve finished interviewing the 4 quadrillion witnesses — to include a cashier who sold PDT some Russian salad dressing back in 1978 — and moved on to drafting a final report.
Committee Republicans found no evidence of collusion (shocker!) between the Trump campaign and Russia, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) told the Fake News this afternoon, but noted that the draft report concludes that the campaign exhibited “bad judgement” in taking a controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign.
“We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment,” he said. “But only Tom Clancy … could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, meetings, whatever, and weave it into some sort of fiction, page-turner, and spy thriller.”
Don’t underestimate the Dims, Mike. They’ll write that novel in a second. And CNN will make it into a feature length film by the midterms.
According to Conaway, the draft report is 150 pages, draws on 73 witness interviews and over 300,000 documents and also agrees with the intelligence community assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. However, he says it notably disputes the assertion from several intelligence agencies that Putin preferred Trump over Hilldabeast and raises questions about the accuracy of the underlying intelligence behind the intelligence community’s determination.
Questioning their political pressure-driven conclusions? Could there be a testosterone sighting here?! Good job, Mike. Now begin to question everything. Yes, everything, including the hacking. I hope your report asks why the Clinton campaign wouldn’t turn over their servers to the FBI. Just mayyyyyybe, it would shed light on whatever is actually going on. Just a thought, bud.
Democrats, ever doing Satan’s work, have pressed the Republican majority to interview additional witnesses and subpoena documents and information from former Trump campaign officials and social media companies, were not officially informed of plans to end interviews or probe at large, as of this afternoon, a Democratic committee official said.
No amount of witnesses will be enough. They just want to keep it going to have as an albatross around PDT’s neck. DON’T LET THEM, REPUBLICANS.
And you’re never gonna believe this, but Ambien Schiff (D-Gomorrah) is criticizing Republicans for ending the investigation!
“By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly,” he said in a melodramatic statement today, adding that Democrats would continue their investigative work.
Knock yourself out, Ambien. You certainly knock me after 30 seconds of speaking.
Ambien recently called on Republicans to subpoena several Trump associates, including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Don Jr., and former White House chief strategist Sloppy Steve Bannon, who reportedly refused to answer some of the committee’s questions behind closed doors.
“You use subpoenas when you think you can actually get something from them,” Conaway said when asked about Ambien’s complaints. “We’re not particularly confident that the subpoena process would get us any more information that we have.” Conaway added. Translation: We’re starting to make glue out of this dead horse. Time to move on.
Conaway said that he hopes the report will be released to the public soon after the committee votes to release it and the intelligence community can declassify it. Republicans plan to share the report with Democrats tomorrow and will invite them to review and make changes.
Conaway did not rule out reopening the investigation if new information emerges from the Senate Russia investigation or King Bob Mueller’s probe.
Spoiler alert: HE WON’T BECAUSE THERE WAS NO COLLUSION. EVEN IF THERE WERE IT’S NOT A CRIME, BUT THERE WASN’T. DONALD TRUMP BUSTED HIS ASS ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL TO WIN 31 STATES AND BEAT THE HELL OUT OF A HAG THAT HAD NO BUSINESS ANYWHERE NEAR THE PRESIDENCY. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED, LIBERALS. ACCEPT IT. EMBRACE IT. LEARN TO LOVE IT. I’M REALLY TIRED OF PLAYING THESE STUPID GAMES JUST SO YOU ALL CAN KEEP YOUR DENIAL ORGY ALIVE.
BOTTOM LINE: Dims will portray this whole thing as Republicans bowing to pressure from the White House to end the investigation. It won’t work. They’ve been doing this for close to a year and a half and come up empty-handed. This dog and pony show became tiresome to the average American long ago. It’s a loss for the Dims.
Good job shutting this nonsense down, GOP. Now let’s see that same common sense and assertiveness applied to the things revealed in the upcoming OIG report.
NUNES SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE BIG BOYS
While other Republicans on the House Intel Committee may be winding down, Devin Nunes appears to just be getting warmed up.
He’s expanding their investigation of the pee-pee dossier, seeking answers from Barry administration officials including a former staffer for Vice President Joe Biden whose husband works for the smear firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS. Shailagh Murray, who was Biden’s former deputy chief of staff and communications director before serving as a senior adviser to Barry, was sent a questionnaire last Friday.
The questionnaire, put together by Nunes (or a really bright staffer), will ask when Murray became aware that the dossier – commissioned by Fusion GPS – was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
According to Murray’s online profile with the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, she joined Team Barry in 2011 after working as a foreign correspondent, and national political reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the failing Washington Post.
Now, Murray is married to Neil King Jr., who, according to the Columbia Journalism Review, left The Wall Street Journal to work for….wait for it…….Fusion GPS. The incestuous relationship between the Fake Newspapers and the Obama administration is evident, and demonstrated more and more clearly every day.
Word on the skreet is that committee investigators question whether there may be similarities to the case of former senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Ohr was demoted for failing to disclose contacts with British super-spy Christopher Steele, who worked with Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, to compile the “research” that went into the dossier.
A questionnaire is also being sent to a second official who also worked in Biden’s office. Colin Kahl was a former national security adviser to the VP and before that, a deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East.
Both Kahl and Murray have until March 19 to respond.
In addition to Comey, the questionnaire went out to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, who testified in May 2017 that the Trump dossier was virtually unknown to him.
“I have no awareness,” Brennan said, when asked by Trey Gowdy if the FBI ever relied on the dossier as part of any court applications.
Surrrrrrre you don’t bud. Sure you don’t. Nobody don’t know nuttin’.
According to Fox News, Nunes sent out a letter posing a string of dossier-related questions to current and former intelligence, law enforcement and State Department officials. He specifically wants to know when they learned the document was funded by Democratic sources, and how it was used to obtain one or more surveillance warrants at the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
The new letter includes a dozen questions about the dossier, including how the officials in question learned of the document’s Democratic funding and whether they held meetings about the unverified allegations against Trump or took any other official action.
The best part of the letter, though, was when Nunes threatened to issue subpoenas if he doesn’t get answers.
“If you do not provide timely answers on a voluntary basis, the Committee will initiate compulsory process,” he wrote.
Hell yeah, Devin. I love that he’s not letting this go. Nunes smells a rat and he’s not going to rest until he finds it.
Frankly, I’m not sure he doesn’t already know. I’m fairly convinced that PDT knows a LOTTTTTT more than he’s letting on.
It’s going to be a fun, fun time over these next few months.
MOVE ASIDE BUREAUCRATS, TRUMP’S GOT THIS
Boy is this reassuring.
You may recall the piece I did on the proposed hostile takeover of American telecom company Qualcomm by Chinese company Broadcom, which would have essentially given China the lead on 5G technologies as well as a virtual buffet of American personal data from which to feast daily.
Yeah…..Trump said to hell with that, homeslice.
Today, PDT blocked the takeover, which would have been the biggest tech deal in history, saying Broadcom’s efforts at a hostile takeover of Qualcomm posed a threat to national security.
The announcement came just hours after Broadcom CEO Hock Tan met with officials from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to make his case for the deal. It appears his case was rather unconvincing.
CFIUS had launched an investigation into the national security implications of the deal last week over concerns that it would hamper U.S. efforts to develop 5G wireless networks and other emerging technologies. CFIUS today recommended that the president veto the deal.
Trump agreed, affirming that he’d been presented with “credible evidence” by CFIUS that the transaction could threaten U.S. security.
Translation: China got caught with their hand in the electronic cookie jar once more.
“While the United States remains dominant in the standards-setting space currently, China would likely compete robustly to fill any void left by Qualcomm as a result of this hostile takeover,” the CFIUS letter reads. “Given well-known U.S. national security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, a shift to Chinese dominance in 5G would have substantial negative national security consequences for the United States.”
In another letter released before Monday’s meeting, CFIUS said its national security concerns had been “confirmed” and hinted that it would recommend to the president that he block the deal.
Folks, remember where you were at this moment; the moment when the government actually worked as intended. The job of CFIUS is to sniff out any shady foreign deals within our borders and then alert the POTUS to what they find. That’s exactly what happened here.
CFIUS laid out the dangers, presented the POTUS with evidence of shady intentions by the Chinese (though honestly he shouldn’t have needed any at this point) and the POTUS acted accordingly in order to protect the American people and their interest.
It worked, folks. The system actually worked. Or maybe the POTUS is working and the system is starting to finally catch up.
Either way, I like it. Keep it comin’, PDT!
RUSSIANS BEING RUSSIANS
Amidst all the fake collusion hysteria, it’s easy to forget that the Russians really are a ruthless bunch. If you’re a spy who could hurt them, your days are certainly numbered. And as the last few decades have shown us, poison is their weapon of choice.
British Prime Minister Teeanne Crumpets said today that Russia was “highly likely” responsible for the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.
And then! They’re gonna…They’re gonna do…………nothing. They’re going to do nothing.
“We stand with our ally and fully support them and are ready if we can be of any assistance to them,” she added.
For their part, the Russians are mocking what they argue is manufactured hysteria. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed May’s comments, saying: “This is a circus show in the British Parliament.”
Who is Sergei Skripal?
BOTTOM LINE: The Russians kill spies, especially their own. When a Russian spy has been working as a double agent and is residing in a Western country whose government would love some juicy stuff on the Russians, they’re marked for assassination.
Russians have employed all sorts of creative poisons over the years to handle “issues.” Some untraceable, some not.
And then you have their latest toy: Novichok.
Novichok — which means “newcomer” in Russian — is the codename for a series of nerve agents that Russia allegedly secretly developed in the latter stages o the Cold War. Novichok nerve agents were intended to be more powerful and harder to detect than previous generations of nerve agents.
Russia has never officially acknowledged the existence of the Novichok program and most of what is publicly known about it comes from Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian scientist who worked for years in the Soviet chemical weapons program.
Yes, they killed this agent. Yes, they’ve killed lots of other ones too.
There’s a reason Wikileaks doesn’t snoop around Russia’s back yard too often.
LEAKIN’ JAMES CLAPPER
Thanks to the dogged reporting of the incomparable Sara (what a beautiful name) Carter, we now know that former Director of National Intelligence and serial liar James Clapper leaked information to Fake news CNN early last year regarding the classified briefings given to then President-Elect Trump and Barry Soetoro on the pee-pee dossier.
Apparently, this leak was discovered during the House Intelligence Committee’s #PutinGate investigation.
Clapper, who was one of four senior Barry administration officials to attend the briefing with the presidents, also stated his “profound dismay at the leaks” in an official statement issued in January, 2017 and warned that the leaks were “extremely corrosive and damaging” to national security. These people have no shame.
The Republican HIC members released only a portion of the committee’s findings in the late afternoon. The full report will undergo a review to ensure that it does not reveal or damage national security before its public release. So this may very well be just the beginning of the story for Leakin’ James.
This story is very important and here’s why.
Remember, the information leaked by Clapper was the briefing of the pee-pee dossier to PDT in the presidential daily brief (PDB). The reason that’s so important is that it was designed to give the dossier legitimacy.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you may recall my piece regarding the dossier being included in the PDB and why it’s significant. If something makes its way into the PDB, it’s considered to be rock solid. Information is vetted on several levels by some of the most high caliber people we have in the various branches and intel agencies.
This dossier, however, was “salacious and unverified,” as described by none other than the original Leakin’ James: Jim Comey. So how does a salacious and unverified document make its way into the most vetted intelligence brief on the planet? The “how” is actually much less important than the “why” in this case. It was put there to give #PutinGate legs.
It was the insurance policy spoken of by Deep State operatives Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page. And if it was to survive, it needed to get into that brief. And more importantly, word of it had to get out to the people.
Clapper himself has acknowledged that the dossier was unverified, giving this lawyerly answer to a question on its reliability:
“The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions,” Clapper stated. “However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”
That is an absolute insult to the intelligence of the American people. There is no “fullest possible picture” method to briefing. Look people, I’ve briefed some very high-ranking people. Many Colonels, Generals and high-ranking NSA nerds. You don’t include unverified information in order to get the “fullest possible picture.” By that logic, any old garbage rumor could be included for the sake of not leaving anything out. It’s asinine, and further proof that Clapper is another abjectly corrupt member of the Barry crime family.
And that leaked information about the dossier being briefed to the POTUS……guess who actually briefed it. Give up yet? Get a load of this: Jim Comey. The same man who acknowledged the dossier as salacious and unverified under oath before friggin Congress took that same garbage dossier and briefed it to the President of the United States, knowing he was breaking the most integral rule of intelligence briefing: no garbage information, only high confidence items make it in.
And while he was doing it, his fellow Deep State partner Jim Clapper was working his end, making sure the landscape was being shaped properly. We always suspected it, but now we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Clapper was an active and knowing participant in this Russia hoax. And if Clapper is involved, you can bet your sweet ass that John Brennan and every other high level Team Barry member was in on it.
Because they needed to go on offense, that’s why. Clapper, Brennan and every other Obama administration member is absolutely terrified of what will be discovered relating to their time in office. By going on the offense against Trump, they’re hoping to drown out their own headlines while taking out the guy who threatens to expose them for all they’re worth.
They really had no choice but to pull something like this. Otherwise, they’re just sitting ducks waiting to go down.
Every day, the picture becomes clearer and clearer. The leaking, the unmasking, the changing of intel-sharing protocol in order to create more leaks.
PDT knows what you did last summer, James.
And your Russian hoax won’t be sufficient to make it go away.
Stay tuned, Trumpers. Things are going to get really good over these next few months, #ThatICanTellYou
There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.
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