President Donald Trump’s week included a visit with First Lady Melania to the hospital where survivors of the Florida school shooting are recovering. They also met with teachers and first responders called to the scene.
Robert Mueller’s investigation provided a ho-hum result, and special elections are showing that Republicans must learn to get out the vote. This isn’t the 1960s anymore.
Special elections have been taking place in the United States. A Trump fan, Scott Presler, tracks these on Twitter.
These by-elections could be a useful barometer for mid-term results. They are not that promising for Republicans.
Presler tweeted twice on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. The first tweet is as follows:
Despite 3 Republicans in the race, John Lahood (R) won 71% of the vote in Georgia (yes, 71%!)
Senator-Elect Casey Murdock (R) won 68% of the vote in Oklahoma
Republican James Buchanan lost the House seat in FL (R->D)
He later tweeted:
To Put Things Into Perspective:
In the past 2 days, Republicans won 3/5 races
Landslide wins in MN, GA, & OK
Republican turnout in MN was up, even in the democrat-held district
Democrats flipped a FL House seat
Next special election is Sat. in LA
On Saturday, February 17, the state representative special election on Saturday in Louisiana resulted in a run-off contest between two Republicans. The district is red, anyway.
What concerns me is Dems flipping a Florida house seat and Republicans winning 3 out of 5 contests earlier in the week. Middling at best.
What I’m reading online are sentiments such as ‘Trump’s got this’. Well, Trump didn’t ‘have’ the election in Alabama in December 2017. His candidate, Luther Strange, lost the primary to Judge Roy Moore, who lost to the Democrat.
Republicans must develop a game plan not only for these special elections but also for the mid-terms. It is so hard to get them to go door to door. They should be middle-class guerillas out there, getting out the vote. They will need a monster vote, too, because of the voter fraud, which the Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating. Voter fraud is unlikely to be resolved before the mid-terms.
Great Pollster John McLaughlin now has the GOP up in the Generic Congressional Ballot. Big gain over last 4 weeks. I guess people are loving the big Tax Cuts given them by the Republicans, the Cuts the Dems want to take away. We need more Republicans!
Yes, but Republicans have to also want more Republicans. They’re too nice. The Dems play dirty. The GOP will have to figure out a way to do better. The Senate needs a solid GOP majority.
Mueller investigation latest
By now, we all know that Robert Mueller’s investigation turned up nothing. Law & Crime has a good summary with probing questions about the next steps, all of which involve Christopher Steele.
Here’s the introduction:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted foreign citizens for trying to influence the American public about an election because those citizens did not register as a foreign agent nor record their financial expenditures to the Federal Elections Commission. By that theory, when will Mueller indict Christopher Steele, FusionGPS, PerkinsCoie, the DNC and the Clinton Campaign? Mueller’s indictment against 13 Russian trolls claimed their social media political activity was criminal because: they were foreign citizens; they tried to influence an election; and they neither registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act nor reported their funding to the Federal Elections Commission.
The article goes on to say that, by rights, the following should be in hot water: Steele for being a foreign national who attempted to influence an election and was paid to do so by Americans, Fusion GPS as a criminal co-conspirator for paying and facilitating Steele, Perkins Coie law firm for paying Steele and disguising receipts from the Clinton campaign and, finally, the Clinton campaign itself for financing this.
The article says:
Don’t expect such an indictment. Mueller chose his targets because he knows they will never appear in court, never contest the charges, and cannot be arrested or extradited as Russian citizens.
By the way, this does not mean the investigation is over, only this particular phase of it.
Trump was busy on Twitter this weekend discussing Mueller’s finding. First, on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s announcement:
Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.
Then he got on to HR McMaster:
General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!
Finally, he had a word about Russia:
If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!
Florida school shooting
The Florida school shooting is another massacre mystery we’ll never solve, much like the Las Vegas shooting of October 1, 2017. Fox News has a good recap of the Cruz family.
Lynda and Roger Cruz, originally from Long Island, adopted Nikolaus and his younger brother Zachary after they moved to Broward County. Roger Cruz died when the boys were younger. Lynda Cruz died in November 2017 from pneumonia.
After Lynda’s death, the boys were sent to live with a family friend, Rocxanne Deschamps, in Palm Beach County. He lived in a mobile home there. Nikolaus did not like living with the family so he asked a friend of his from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School if he could live with him and his parents. The Snead family consented, and Nikolaus moved in with them after Thanksgiving. He owned a gun, but the rules were that he had to keep it locked in the gun cabinet in the house.
The Sneads live in Parkland. Nikolaus did not return to school, as he had been expelled. The Fox News report says he worked at a dollar store and ‘was encouraged to take adult education classes’. Meanwhile, his high school classmates said it was no surprise he did what he did. He was the student most suspected of possibly shooting up the school. And so he turned out to be.
A group discussing the shooting on Reddit pulled a post from Facebook that said Nikolaus’s alleged doctor — presumably before his mother died — has a background in clinical neuropsychology, neuroanatomy and human engineering technology. He has worked in Army intelligence and at NASA. Hmm. The Reddit contributors connected that with mind conditioning and being set up for the shooting. I’m less sure, but it is interesting that some are drawing that conclusion.
On Saturday, February 17, the Sun Sentinel posted a story about the family in Parkland who let Nikolaus live with them, Kimberly and James Snead. The article says that James, 48, is a decorated Army veteran and a military intelligence analyst. Kimberly, 49, is a neo-natal intensive care nurse. Five days before the shooting, Kimberly took Nikolaus to her therapist, unnamed. Apparently, it was an initial consultation, as Nikolaus was later figuring out whether his health insurance plan would cover it.
According to the Sneads, Nikolaus stands to inherit a lot of money when he reaches age 22 — at least $800,000. Nikolaus took Uber to the school in Parkland the day of the shooting. The Sneads’ son was already in class at the school. Why wouldn’t the Sneads’ son have been going to school in Lantana, rather than in Parkland, 30 miles away? The Sun Sentinel reports:
Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, their son called sounding panic-stricken. He was safe but had heard shots fired on campus. He helped classmates flee by climbing a fence to neighboring Westglades middle school.
Snead told his son to walk to Walmart and he’d come get him.
As Snead drove there, a SWAT commander called his cellphone and asked where his son Nik was. Told him it wasn’t his son and he didn’t know where he was.
As he kept driving and put two and two together, he became terrified and called the commander back. Snead told the cop the last he knew Nik was home alone with Kimberly: “I need a police presence at my house. Go make sure my wife is OK.”
Snead called his son to say he needed to check on mom first and drove home: “I was fearing for her life.”
Kimberly was sleeping because she was supposed to work the night shift that night. Law enforcement banged on her door with guns drawn, yelling: “Put your hands up.”
When they asked where her son was, she assumed something terrible had happened to her son but soon realized they meant Cruz. They searched the house but already had Cruz in custody elsewhere.
After an emotional reunion of husband and wife, they were brought to Broward Sheriff’s headquarters to be reunited with their son. They later realized he was being questioned by detectives in case he was involved. Investigators quickly figured out he was innocent.
Mr and Mrs Snead got a quick glimpse of Nikolaus, handcuffed and in a hospital gown, at the Sheriff’s office. That is the last they saw of him.
According to both the Fox and Sun Sentinel articles, Nikolaus was bullied and did not think school administrators were doing enough to prevent it. He also did not like Valentine’s Day. Therefore, it is not surprising that he chose that particular date to return to the school in Parkland.
He did not like taking medication, but he did not mind having therapy, Mrs Snead said. Hence the visit to the therapist.
It would be useful to know what past prescriptions he had while his mother was still alive. Starting a course of psychotropic drugs, then stopping — if that were the case — can have really unpredictable results. Law enforcement officials are not obliged to check for these things. WND has a good article from 2015 about mass shootings and the prescription drugs involved.
The shooting incident — and others like it — is sad on multiple levels. Americans are being put in danger every day. The FBI gets numerous tips but does not act on them. Apparently, the contact office for all tips is in Washington, DC. That office then decides whether to relay information to field offices. Mental health patients are also being failed. Someone asked online why a patient can’t just be given an injection that will last him until his next appointment. I fully agree. Everyone knows that people with brain dysfunction, from schizophrenia to dementia, do not like taking tablets. So, they do not take them.
Despite Trump, the US is still all at sea. It will take two terms, two scoops and two genders to sort this mess out. We’ll see what next week brings.