March 31, 2023

Security Concerns Escalate After Man Secretly Records Senate Republicans ‘For Hours’

    1967: 1st time Jimi Hendrix burns his guitar (and his fingers) at Finsbury Park Astoria theater in London.

    Security officials had to make some serious changes after a man allegedly recorded a closed-door Senate Republican lunch meeting for hours on-end.

    “It’s really concerning,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). “Those conversations are an opportunity for senators to talk candidly about issues. So to have people on record and easily identifiable by their voices is problematic.”

    The suspect, a 25-year-old contract employee from Maryland, told U.S. Capitol Police officers that he’d left his phone in the lunch room and had been recording audio of the March 7 meeting “for multiple hours.” By the time he and a police escort returned to retrieve his phone, a senator had already noticed it and turned it over to the authorities.

    “It was a temporary person hired on by the food service people. The phone was left in the record mode found in the food line,” said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY). “It’s very concerning.” 

    The Maryland man also told police that he’d also “gathered trash” from the Senate GOP lunch meeting, including “a slideshow of information that was talked about in the event,” according to court documents.

    The man was charged with misdemeanor “interception/use of a wiretap,” but it was later dismissed.

    After the alarming incident, security officials implemented new protocols for contractors and service staff members, including a rule requiring workers to leave their cellphones in cabinets located outside of the meeting rooms before entering.

    Both Senate parties hold weekly lunch meetings in the Capitol, and the conversations are not meant for public consumption.

    Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) called the incident “worrisome.”

    “I am very concerned that it’s someone in close proximity of the building and the members, some of whom have personal security assigned to them,” Capito said.

    The 25-year-old man claimed that he “wanted to provide his ‘wife’ the Vice President of Liberia with American political information.” It’s important to note, however, that there aren’t any records that indicate the catering employee is married to the Liberian vice president.

    “I think it was kind of a one-off thing,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “The question I had was did anyone put him up to it? And to my knowledge, the answer is no.”


    Does the US Capitol Have a Security Problem?

    Source: New York Post

February 10, 2023

Two GOP Council Members Fatally Shot One Week Apart

1989: To gain deregulation, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) admits that pro wrestling is an exhibition — not a sport — in a New Jersey court.

A New Jersey council member was fatally shot on Wednesday — marking the second such deadly attack on a local elected official within seven days.

Russell Heller, a Republican councilman in Milford township, was shot in the parking lot outside his workplace, the PSE&G energy company in Somerset County, on Wednesday morning. Police arrived on the scene at about 7 a.m., following multiple 911 calls. When responding officers found Heller, 51, he had already succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel, according to the Franklin Township Police Department.

An investigation led authorities to identify the suspected gunman as Gary Curtis, 58, a former PSE&G employee. A few hours later, detectives found Curtis dead inside his vehicle in a parking lot in a nearby township. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

“The investigation remains on-going to determine motive,” the Franklin Township Police Department said in a news release. “Preliminary investigation has revealed that the shooting was an isolated incident and Mr. Heller was the intended target.”

The Somerset County prosecutor’s office issued a statement Thursday morning saying that the shooting was not politically motivated.

“Investigators have confirmed that Mr. Heller was a Republican Councilman for Milford Borough (Hunterdon County),” the prosecutor’s office told CBS New York in a statement. “The investigation has revealed that the shooting of Mr. Heller was not politically connected with his elected office or political affiliation.”

New Jersey political leaders reacted to news of the tragic incident, including Gov. Phil Murphy.

“Early this morning, a deadly shooting took place outside of a PSE&G facility in Franklin Township. Our thoughts and prayers are with Russell Heller’s family and friends in the wake of this tragic act of gun violence,” Murphy tweeted on Wednesday.

One week earlier, Eunice Dwumfour, a councilwoman in Sayreville, was fatally shot in a car parked outside her home. Dwumfour, 30, was found on the evening of Feb. 1. The suspect is still at large.

Source: CBS News

January 6, 2023

WATCH: Voices Raised and Obscenities Hurled During Tense House GOP Meeting

1941: U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt makes his “Four Freedoms” speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during his State of Union address.

Tensions rose during a meeting between Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives this week as the party determined the next House Speaker.

Current House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reasserted his competence for the role of Speaker to his colleagues who oppose him. CNN’s Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju, who was present on Capitol Hill, said McCarthy raised his voice and exclaimed, “I have earned this job!”

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) responded: “Bulls—t!”

The decision over who to vote for as House Speaker has caused a rift within the GOP, but Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said that McCarthy’s supporters will be “more stubborn” than his detractors.

“This handful of members are very clearly looking for notoriety over principle,” Crenshaw told Raju. “And anyone who suggests differently is in some kind of make-believe fantasy reality.”

Crenshaw continued, saying that, “they lost those debates, and that should’ve been the end of it.” But, “if you’re a narcissist and you believe your opinion is so much more important than everyone else’s and you’ll threaten to test down the team for the benefit of the Democrats just because of your own sense of self-importance.”

“We will not vote for anyone else other than McCarthy,” Crenshaw said. “These people think they’re stubborn; we’re more stubborn.”

“They are enemies now. They have made it clear they prefer a Democrat agenda over a Republican one,” he said.

Ultimately, the House GOP was unable to elect a new speaker on Tuesday. McCarthy failed to secure the 218 votes he needed to secure the top job in the chamber. It marked the first time in a century that a speaker wasn’t elected on the first round, according to USA Today.

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Wednesday, where McCarthy lost a fourth bid to become Speaker of the House.

What now?

The plan is for members to vote again, and again, if necessary. But if there’s no resolution, the voting could go on for days, weeks, or months.

The situation has left the chamber in limbo, as no new House member can be sworn in and no rules can be adopted until a speaker is selected.

Sources: AlterNet | USA Today

December 4, 2022

DeSantis Explains Why There Wasn’t a Red Wave During Midterms

1619: 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish, England disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God. Considered by many The First Thanksgiving in the Americas.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) addressed the Republican Party’s underperformance in this year’s midterm elections, saying that the Red Wave failed to materialize because the GOP didn’t focus on delivering results for the voters.

DeSantis said that Republicans “assumed we were going to end up with like, 245 House members, we’re at 222 it looks like — which is a huge underperformance.”

“And so the question is, why did that happen? Because the way these midterms work, someone gets elected to the White House, and then there’s a reaction the other way. That’s what happens almost every two years — and especially when people are pessimistic about the direction of the country, have a negative view on Biden — usually those voters are going to want to vote for people that are offering an alternative.”

DeSantis said that despite the fact that some U.S. voters disapproved of President Joe Biden and the country’s overall direction, “They still didn’t want to vote for some of our candidates.”

The governor doesn’t believe that the GOP’s underperformance in the midterms is a result of a divided party, but it’s due to Republicans nationwide not following what he and other Florida Republicans are doing.

DeSantis said that Florida Republicans have “exercised leadership, we’ve not kowtowed, we’ve been willing to take on big interests … producing results.”

“And that ends up attracting more people to want to be on your team,” DeSantis said, adding that this methodology “was not something that was happening throughout the rest of the country.”

Watch DeSantis’ remarks below:

Source: The Daily Wire

November 26, 2022

Bill Barr Says “Trump Will Burn Down the GOP”

1789: 1st national Thanksgiving in America.

Bill Barr, who served as Attorney General during the Trump administration, called for “new leadership” in the Republican Party, warning that former President Donald Trump “will burn down the GOP.”

Barr penned a scathing op-ed for the Substack publication Common Sense, entitled “Bill Barr: Trump Will Burn Down the GOP. Time for New Leadership.”

The former AG noted Trump’s qualities that he had admired, including “the clear and direct way he staked out a position and his willingness to state unpleasant truths that many were afraid to say.”

“Above all, Trump had accurately diagnosed, and given voice to, the deep frustration of many middle-class and working-class Americans who were fed up with the excesses of progressive Democrats; the shameless partisanship of the mainstream media; and the smug condescension of elites who had mismanaged the country, sold them out, and appeared content to preside over the decline of America,” Barr wrote.

However, Barr wrote that Trump “lacks the qualities essential to achieving the kind of unity and broad election victory in 2024 so necessary if we are to right our listing republic. It is time for new leadership.”

Barr cited Trump’s “wrecking-ball style” as president. “He did not temper his disruptiveness and penchant for chaos,” Barr wrote. “He yielded to his impulse for pettiness and pointless nastiness; got drawn into infantile name-calling spats; and, in his press conferences, made everything about himself.”

Barr wrote that “the defining feature of our political landscape continues to be the sharp leftward lurch of the Democratic [P]arty” which “opens up a historic opportunity for the GOP—the opportunity to revive something like the old Reagan coalition: a combination of Republican-leaning, college-educated suburbanites; culturally conservative working-class voters; and even some classical liberals who are repulsed by the left’s authoritarianism.”

Barr concluded his piece with the following:

Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle, but on his own supreme narcissism. His egoism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself—a cult of personality.

Trump is due credit for stopping progressives’ momentum and achieving important policy successes during his administration. But he does not have the qualities required to win the kind of broad, durable victory I see as necessary to restore America. It is time for the 45th president to step aside.

Trump hit back at Barr, calling him “a disgrace to the Republican Party” and the United States.

“Weak RINO Bill Barr always caved to the Dems, and is a disgrace to the Republican Party, and our Nation,” Trump wrote in a post on his Truth Social account.

“Sloppy Bill Barr was a weak and ineffective Attorney General who was fired (he didn’t quit!), and now he’s nothing more than a disgruntled former ’employee,'” Trump wrote.

Sources: Mediaite | Common Sense | The Independent

November 20, 2022

DeSantis Breaks Silence on “GOP Civil War”

1945: The Nuremberg war trials begin as 24 Nazi leaders are put on trial before judges representing the victorious Allied powers.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) addressed rumors of a “civil war brewing” in the GOP.

DeSantis, 44, was asked about the situation while delivering remarks in Matlacha, Florida.

“We just finished this election, okay?” DeSantis responded. “People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff. I mean, seriously, we just ran an election. We have this Georgia runoff coming, which is very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff.”

“I know around the country, Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot, it was not so bright in many other parts of the country,” the governor continued. “It was a substandard performance given the dynamics that are at play.”

DeSantis said he won re-election because he’s focused on leading and delivering results to Floridians. He noted that he didn’t waste any time getting back to work after handily defeating Democratic challenger Charlie Crist last week.

“So at the end of the day, I think what we showed in Florida is just produce results, lead with conviction,” DeSantis said. “I never put my finger in the wind or took polls, I just did what I thought that was right. But what the election gives us the opportunity to do is to continue to deliver. And so we’re going to continue to deliver, we’re not going to look back. And I think that that’s very, very significant.”

The Republican said that if “you look at all the problems that the country is having with the inflation, the open border,” and other issues, “Florida is an example that … you can get the big things right.”

“You know, the good thing about winning a big victory, we’ve got super majorities in the legislature now, and really, I think have have an opportunity to continue great momentum,” he concluded.

Source: The Daily Wire

November 16, 2022

Civil War Erupts Within the GOP

1776: American Revolution – British troops capture Fort Washington.

An underwhelming performance in the recent midterm elections has caused a civil war to erupt in the Republican Party at nearly every level, according to Axios.

Members of the GOP are lashing out at each other, revealing a distinct divide that extends beyond the usual policy disagreements.

Last week, former President Donald Trump unloaded on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious.” Meanwhile, conservative media outlets — including Fox News and the New York Post — declared that DeSantis is the GOP’s best hope in the 2024 presidential election.

Brendan Buck, a former aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan and John Boehner, tweeted: “Let’s suppose for a second there is a real challenge to Trump for the ‘24 nomination. And let’s suppose someone actually does beat him in that primary. What then are the chances Trump wouldn’t entirely sabotage that person in the general election?”

At the Senate level, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and campaign chief Rick Scott (R-FL) publicly blamed each other for the midterm situation.

Josh Holmes, McConnell’s former chief of staff, told the Wall Street Journal that the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) “was run basically as a Rick Scott super PAC, where they didn’t want or need to input any Republican senators whatsoever.”

Scott adviser Curt Anderson retorted by saying that “insecure small people never accept responsibility for failure.”

Scott and Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have all called for the GOP leadership elections to be postponed.

“The old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new,” Hawley tweeted.

Meanwhile, the House Freedom Caucus members are planning to challenge GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid for House speaker nomination.

But Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) criticized the efforts to challenge McCarthy, saying that doing so is “risky” and a “bad strategy.”

The rift also extends to the Republican National Committee (RNC), where Ronna McDaniel is seeking re-election. She faces a new potential challenger in Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).

Source: Axios

November 14, 2022

Trump Voters Turn On Former President: “We’re Done with Him”

1908: Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light.

One-time supporters of former President Donald Trump say they’re “done” with the former commander-in-chief, citing most of his picks failing to secure U.S. Senate seats in this year’s midterm elections.

David Urban, a former senior adviser to Trump, told the New York Post that he keeps hearing that it’s time for the former president to step aside.

“If you’re a Republican in Pennsylvania and you look at Donald Trump’s bigfooting of the people in Pennsylvania and the implosion of his candidates in Pennsylvania, you’re pretty upset,” Urban said.

Urban, a Pennsylvania-born strategist currently based in Washington, D.C., said he’s been fielding nonstop phone calls from county chairs and committee members telling him that they’ve had enough with Trump.

“They said, ‘Look, we’re done. We’re done with him. He cost us this election and we’re done,’” Urban said.

The New York Post’s Salena Zito claimed that she’s also been inundated with similar phone calls.

“All day Wednesday my phone lit up with calls and emails from voters who expressed the exact same frustration,” Zito wrote. “One woman said she saw the writing on the wall last weekend when Trump decided to take a swipe at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — calling him ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ — while he campaigned for (Mehmet) Oz and (Doug) Mastriano in Pennsylvania.”

The former Trump supporter, who didn’t want to be named, told Zito she had a “pit-of-my-stomach moment” as she watched Trump tease a big announcement ahead of Tuesday’s midterms.

“It is hard to quit Trump — I voted for him twice enthusiastically,” she said, adding that “at this juncture, I think we have to move forward to a new generation of leaders.”

A Pennsylvania father, who asked to not be identified, echoed the woman’s claims.

“Trump needs to disappear,” he said. “He got us Oz over McCormick in the primary who would have won by at least by five points. In fact, most of the failures in [Tuesday’s] midterms tie back to Trump.”

The man said that he still likes Trump’s policies, but the jab at DeSantis was a bridge too far.

“Then he made the DeSantis comment and we are all done in our family with him. It is becoming very clear it’s about Trump first, not the conservative movement.”

Conservative strategist Dave Myhal, who said he’s donated $10,000 to Trump, voted for him twice, and campaigned to get him elected in Ohio in 2016 and 2020, now says he’s looking forward to other rising members of the GOP.

“The era of Trump is over,” Myhal told the New York Post.

“It is time for Trump to retire. I see golf courses and a rocking chair in his future. We appreciate the time he fought in the war against the woke, but it will be finished by Ron DeSantis, (South Carolina Sen.) Tim Scott, and (Virginia Gov.) Glenn Youngkin.”

Source: New York Post

November 6, 2022

“Rotted at Its Core”: Congressional Report Finds FBI Overrun with Corruption

1860: Republican Abraham Lincoln of Illinois elected the 16th President of the United States of America.

Congressional Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee released a damning report, finding that the FBI is “rotted at its core,” maintains a “systemic culture of unaccountability,” and full of “rampant corruption, manipulation, and abuse.”

The 1,050-page report is a preview of investigations to come should the GOP regain the House in the upcoming midterm elections.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, discussed the alarming report during a Fox News appearance on Friday morning.

“America’s not America if you have a Justice Department that treats people differently under the law,” Jordan said. “It’s supposed to be equal treatment under the law. That’s not happening and we know it’s not happening because 14 brave FBI agents came to us as whistleblowers and told us what exactly is going on here.”

The report cites “a multitude of whistleblowers” who approached the House Judiciary Committee Republicans over the last year.

The lawmakers accuse the FBI of “artificially inflating statistics about domestic violence extremism,” downplaying the serious allegations of wrongdoing against Hunter Biden, and “clearing the Bureau of employees who dissent from its woke, leftist agenda.”

“Quite simply, the problem — the rot within the FBI — festers in and proceeds from Washington,” the report’s executive summary reads. “[T]he FBI and its parent agency, the Justice Department, have become political institutions.”

The lawmakers claim that Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, “received preferential treatment from federal law enforcement, who seem to have turned a blind eye to the potential national security threats presented by his business dealings with Chinese, Russian, and other foreign nationals.”

The report cites whistleblower claims that former FBI agent Timothy Thibault “shut down” the investigation into Hunter Biden and attempted to prevent it from being reopened. The allegations against Thibault were previously publicized by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

“According to whistleblowers and other information, Thibault has allowed his political bias to infect and steer his decision-making at the FBI,” the report reads.

The report cites one whistleblower who recalled how he was “‘told that child sexual abuse material investigations were no longer an FBI priority and should be referred to local law enforcement agencies’ so that he could work a Washington-directed politically charged case instead.” 

“Such a mis-prioritization is not only a dereliction of duty, but it is a grave disservice to the victims of crimes that do not advance the FBI’s political agenda,” the report reads.

The report also details alleged efforts by the FBI to snuff out dissent pertaining to its investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Whistleblowers claim that employees who attended the pro-Donald Trump “Stop the Steal” rally were stripped of their security clearances — effectively suspending them indefinitely.

At least two of the FBI employees who attended the rally, and were on leave at the time, “did not enter the United States Capitol, have not been charged with any crime, and have not been contacted by law enforcement about their actions.”

“Given these facts, it is deeply concerning that the FBI would question the allegiance of these employees and move to suspend their security clearances,” according to the report.

“In at least one case, a suspended FBI employee was not told why their clearance was being taken away, but was told ‘there was no right of review or even the opportunity to appeal the decision,'” the report reads.

One agent was allegedly suspended over “his personal views that the FBI was not being entirely forthcoming about the events of January 6.” The bureau concluded the employee held “conspiratorial views,” and questioned their “allegiance to the United States.”

Other FBI allegations featured in the report

The report also alleges that the FBI:

  • Has a secret partnership with Facebook in which the platform provides private user information to the bureau without the Facebook user’s consent or other legal processes.
  • Has “looked the other way” on nearly 70 violent attacks against pro-life groups and facilities, while selectively enforcing federal law to go after pro-life activists.
  • Abuses its counterterrorism authorities to investigate parents who spoke up at school board meetings.

You can read the report in its entirety below:

Source: New York Post

August 27, 2022

Biden Slams MAGA Republicans: “It’s Like Semi-Fascism”

1928: Kellogg-Briand Pact, 60 nations agree to condemn “recourse to war for the solution of international controversies.”

President Joe Biden once again took shots at former President Donald Trump’s allies, saying the MAGA philosophy is “like semi-fascism.”

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said at a Democratic donor event ahead of a political rally in Maryland.

“It’s not just Trump,” he continued, “it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”

Biden also railed against Trump during his rally speech in Rockville, Maryland, later that night.

The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security,” Biden said. “They’re a threat to our very democracy. They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace … political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.”

“This is why in this moment, those of you who love this country — Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans — we must be stronger,” Biden added.

The Republican National Committee responded to Biden’s use of the term “semi-fascism,” calling the comment “despicable.”

“Despicable,” said Nathan Brand, an RNC spokesperson. “Biden forced Americans out of their jobs, transferred money from working families to Harvard lawyers, and sent our country into a recession while families can’t afford gas and groceries. Democrats don’t care about suffering Americans — they never did.”

Sources: Axios | PBS | CNN

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