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Be careful: Conspiracy theories will only help Wasserman Schultz

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Politics is a business of trust and credibility. The object of a political debate is not to convince your opponent of the error of his ways but to persuade the audience not to listen to your opponent; that he is wrong and you are right; that he cannot be trusted but you can be. That doesn’t mean subscribing to ad hominem character assassinations, but your argument should always increase your own public reliability while simultaneously sowing distrust in your opponent.

But be careful not to become overzealous in your attacks. Above all, never exaggerate unless it is clear that you are doing so. Overselling your opponent’s misdeeds will actually weaken your argument, as the mainstream media have failed to recognize in their coverage of all things Trump/Russia.

If Democrats had simply pointed to some odd circumstances and said, “Hmm, that looks suspicious,” they might have led a compelling campaign against President Trump. But by conflating Trump’s actions as treason, treachery, and a volatile threat to our republic, all without evidence, they’ve set the bar impossibly high for any satisfactory payoff. And as a result of the media’s endless obsession with the admittedly “mostly bulls**t” story, not only are most Americans sick of the narrative, but even a potentially devastating bombshell like the Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner meeting fell on desensitized ears because — though not good — it wasn’t nearly as bad as the scandal the media have been building up to.

The MSM’s implosion may give us all a hearty laugh at their expense, but beware: Republicans are dangerously close to committing the same grave error in the Wasserman Schultz case.

For a quick recap, Florida Representative and former Chair of the DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz is under fire for the mysterious situation surrounding Imran Awan, a Pakistani man who worked as one of Wasserman Schultz’s IT staffers for about 12 years. Awan was blocked from the House IT system several months ago and was thus unable to perform any work for the Florida Democrat, yet he remained on Wasserman Schultz’s payroll until Monday, when he was arrested for bank fraud after wiring almost $300,000 to himself in Pakistan and attempting to flee the country. He stole the laptops of several Democratic congressmen and had access to some of their passwords, including that of Wasserman Schultz, who allegedly threatened the Washington, D.C., Chief of Police to hand over her laptop even though it’s now evidence in an ongoing investigation.

Literally everything in this story reeks of suspicion and corruption. There are many theories circulating that Awan could be the true source of the DNC Wikileaks — which would devastate the Left’s narrative of Russian obstruction — or that this might have something to do with the Muslim Brotherhood. Many are demanding that obstruction of justice charges be brought against Wasserman Schultz for her clear attempts to hide whatever’s on her laptop, and others suggest that Awan must have been blackmailing his boss over some untold scandal.

Each of these angles is plausible, but none is sufficiently substantiated to move forward with right now, and we need to be careful not to overstep the information. If the Right pulls out the big guns and hammers a narrative of election hacking, terrorism, and blackmail, all without actual evidence, anything less will pale in comparison and let Wasserman Schultz off the hook. For right now the best offense is subtlety.

Press at the wound, but don’t diagnose it yet. Say things like, “I wonder why Awan received so much money despite not being very good at his job,” or “It’s strange he was still being paid months after his access was revoked,” and “Do you think he had access to all those leaked files?”

Follow Andrew McCarthy’s example with National Review by planting seeds of doubt: “Did the swindling staffers compromise members of Congress? Does blackmail explain why they were able to go unscathed for so long? And as for that sensitive information, did the Awans send American secrets, along with those hundreds of thousands of American dollars, to Pakistan?”

Then let that uncertainty sink in and don’t press any further: “We don’t know if these allegations are true, but they are disturbing.”

The ball is in the Democrats’ court to defend themselves, not in ours to speculate. The information we already have is more than enough to arouse distrust and whittle away the credibility of the Left.

Even without knowing what Wasserman Schultz is trying to hide, she’s clearly trying to hide something. That’s all we need to keep pushing. This might have nothing to do with tampering in the election, but with the media so afraid to cover the story, that’s enough to suggest that they think it could debunk their Russian narrative, and thus that they know the whole thing is garbage.

This should be an easy win if we play it smart. Let’s not spoil this one. This story is catching fire well enough without our smothering it by adding too much wood prematurely.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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Democrats

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy eyeing 2020 with Puerto Rico visit

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy eyeing 2020 with Puerto Rico visit

The newly-elected, progressive Governor of New Jersey (ex-Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy) is already eyeing 2020.

Murphy led a delegation yesterday to visit Puerto Rico, three months after Hurricane Maria. Digging further, a press release listed an extensive delegation including some curious choices, like appointed health officials from small towns with heavy Spanish-speaking (though not necessarily Puerto Rican-heavy) populations. It also includes the head of a leading Northeastern utility, PSE&G.

Last I checked, PSE&G has absolutely no business in Puerto Rico.

Ostensibly, this is for “relief efforts.” But no source document I could find, including that mentions actual relief efforts. No mention of what’s being brought down there. I suspect that’s because they probably aren’t bringing any relief supplies, no medicine, no equipment. Nothing. It’s just meetings, optics, maybe “fact finding.”

It should be obvious what’s really going on here.

Mainland public officials are going to Puerto Rico to recruit people — Puerto Ricans are birthright American citizens, have been since 1917 — to move to the mainland.

Upon arrival, those Puerto Ricans can legally claim “domicile” and register to vote (that is, if they were citizens to begin with) within any of our 50 states.

But Murphy’s team is looking to pack his state — a deep blue New Jersey which went for Hillary by a 55%-42% margin last year — and other likely settlement destinations (count on them also being blue states) with even more likely Democratic voters.

Murphy just got elected by a double-digit margin in New Jersey, ending eight years of term-limited and integrity-limited Republican Chris Christie’s bad beach manners. He does not take office until January 16, 2018.

Murphy does not need more help in re-election.

This is about the next presidential election.

The progressives are already packing the voter rolls.

But this trip is, very likely, using public funds, whether from Murphy’s transition budget or elsewhere. Given New Jersey’s legendary and current budget problems,

Call this what it is: A taxpayer-funded, Democratic voter-registration drive.

This guy is running for President. He’s already working on votes.

And bet that his delegation is recruiting Puerto Ricans to move to the mainland. Of course, those Puerto Ricans — already citizens — would become eligible to vote in the next Presidential election.

How that use of taxpayer money is legally suspect. These expenditures are subjects that are within the jurisdiction of the Justice Department (which has used its discretion to investigate matters of far less potential impact) to inquire.

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Democrats

Mainstream media is finally talking about Ruben Kihuen because they have no other choice

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Mainstream media is finally talking about Ruben Kihuen because they have no other choice now

Over a week ago, I asked the question, “Why isn’t mainstream media talking about Representative Ruben Kihuen’s sexual misconduct accusations?” Now, it seems like they have to cover him because the House Ethics Committed has launched an investigation into him over sexual harassment allegations.

Unfortunately, the “coverage” of Kihuen, a Democrat, is pretty scant. Politico, which is know for exceptionally long pieces going into every detail of political scandals involving Republicans, dedicated an entire two paragraphs to Kihuen:

Ethics Committee launches investigation into Kihuen

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/15/ethics-committee-launches-investigation-into-kihuen-297785The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Rep. Ruben Kihuen over allegations of sexual harassment.

The freshman Nevada Democrat is accused of harassing a campaign aide during his 2016 campaign. He denies the allegations and has rejected calls for his resignation.

There’s no need to click through to read the rest of the article because that’s the entire thing.

My Take

I’m not a Republican shill. I’ve actually been pretty betrayed by the GOP for a long time and no longer have affiliation with them. I do, however, believe in fairness in coverage when it comes to the mainstream media. Politico has actually gotten better at this since the election, choosing not to go down the road that so many left-leaning publications have of exposing everything about President Trump and Republicans while glazing over bad news for the Democrats, but this story has been the exception. The appetite for Democratic sex scandals, it seems, has not risen to the point that mainstream media has to cover it more. The only way that can happen is if more people demand it.

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Democrats

Female sexual harassment finally makes an appearance in the current political purge

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Female sexual harassment finally makes an appearance in the current political purge

Men in power have been falling like flies over the last few months. Politicians, Hollywood elite, and journalists have been most hit. Now, the first female accused of sexual misconduct has made headlines during the “purge.” Democrat Andrea Ramsey, who was running for Congress in Kansas, has dropped out of the race following reports she sexually harassed a male employee in 2005.

Dem woman drops out of Kansas race over sexual harassment settlement

https://www.axios.com/dem-woman-drops-out-of-kansas-race-over-sexual-harassment-settlement-2517682430.htmlThe allegations: When Ramsey was the executive vice president of human resources at LabOne Inc. in 2005, Gary Funkhouser — a male employee who worked under Ramsey as a human resources manager — alleged she propositioned him for sex. She made “unwelcome and inappropriate sexual comments and innuendos” toward him, according to the lawsuit he filed against LabOne in October 2005. Ramsey then stopped talking to Funkhouser, moved him from his office to a cubicle farther away from her in the office, and then fired him on June 13, 2005. Funkhouse and LabOne permanently closed the case in July 2006 after reaching agreed-upon mediation terms, according to legal documents reviewed by Axios.

My Take

We all knew this would eventually happen. Men, while accounting for the vast majority of these sexual misconduct issues, aren’t the only ones who can use a position of power to pressure people under them. Now that it’s happened, we can move on.

This isn’t really big news, though some are making it their top story for some reason. It’s news. It happened. There are bigger fish to fry.

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