Last weekend a gunman opened fire on a Californian synagogue, injuring three and killing one as they prayed on the last day of Passover. The shooting comes just six months after the shooting in Pennsylvania that took the lives of 11 people worshiping in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. President Trump offered his condolences to the victims of this shooting, even going as far as calling the Rabbi to personally speak to him.
“My deepest sympathies go to the people that were affected – the families, the loved ones – by the, obviously – looks right now based on my last conversations – looks like a hate crime,” President Trump said before going off to a rally in Wisconsin. “Hard to believe, hard to believe.”
Acts like this have seen a sharp rise in recent years, specifically at the start of 2016 and the election. According to a study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League, there were 2.6 million tweets that contained antisemitic language pointed towards journalists. In Charlottesville, marchers were heard screaming “Jews will not replace us,” which is a famous Nazi chant. There have been many more examples of the kind of hatred that’s brewing in America on top of that being left unchecked by the government.
As far as opinions go, I don’t think I can add anything new to the conversation. I think we have a massive problem growing in the United States, not only due to the gross negligence by republican lawmakers but growing Antisemitism that’s being fostered by radical left and right wing personalities. Whether or not one is more deadly than the other I don’t know.
One could easily be solved if lawmakers stepped out of their political trenches and agreed on a solution that could end gun related violence. Things like banning people on the no-fly list from buy guns, closing gun show loop holes and so one could easily be implemented so that both gun owners and advocates for gun safety are happy. For those gun owners who are afraid that their rights may be infringed, I implore you to listen and work with advocates to find common ground instead of fighting change.
However, Antisemitism has been growing at an alarming rate in America since President Trump took office and the affects are very apparent. Not only is this the second shooting at a synagogue in the past few months, countless Jewish monuments and graves have been defaced since the election. Regardless of whether or not President Trump denounces these acts which he has, you can’t help but think he is indirectly responsible for what’s going on and we all know what happens if things like this get left unchecked.
Either way something needs to be done to solve both of these issues.
Rod Rosenstein Resigns
In an interesting turn of events, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has submitted his letter of resignation to the white house today. Rosenstein was responsible for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Speaking at event a week back, Rosenstein said he would leave office sometime in May but never specified when.
Attorney General William Barr issued a statement praising the deputy and everything he’s done while serving our country.
“His devotion to the Department and its professionals is unparalleled. Over the course of his distinguished government career, he has navigated many challenging situations with strength, grace, and good humor,” he said. “Rod has been an invaluable partner to me during my return to the Department, and I have relied heavily on his leadership and judgment over the past several months.”
Rosenstein has a complicated past with the president. He was the target of a lot of tweets the president posted during the investigation into Russian interference. The president famously shared an image of Rosenstein behind bars.
In Rosenstein’s letter, he underlined the importance of partisanship.
“We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan, and truth is not determined by opinion polls,” Rosenstein wrote in his letter. “We keep the faith, we follow the rules and we always put America first.”
He leaves his office effective May 11.
Did President Trump somehow force Rosenstein out of his position after the release of the Mueller Report? We know that the president tried on several occasions to undermine the investigation by removing people from power so it wouldn’t be a far cry from what’s been confirmed so far.
William Barr’s Testimony
Following that, more on the Mueller Probe.
Today the Justice Department informed the House Judiciary Committee that Barr may miss a hearing on Thursday for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference. This is because the committee had planned to break from a traditional roundabout way of questioning in which lawmakers as questions for an examination of lawyers from both sides of the aisle.
A spokesperson of the Justice Department stated that since Barr had agreed to testify before congress, lawmakers in charge “should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy to engage with members on their questions regarding the Mueller report.”
If Barr does decide to not show up on Thursday because of these conditions, Chairman Jerry Nadler may issue a subpoena to get him to come in despite Barr’s protest. On Sunday, Nadler went on CNN and said that, “The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period.”
I feel like this is a perfect reflection at how much of a circus our political system has become. Because Barr doesn’t like the conditions of his testimony, he may refuse to do so all together. Let’s not forget that this is what comes with the job that you clearly showed you wanted when you declared a sitting president couldn’t be indicted.
You don’t get to decide not to do your job because you don’t like it. If that was possible, everyone and their mother would just not show up to work on the grounds that they don’t want to do so. It’s childish and counter productive to not only the goals of congress but your own goals of defending the president. Little kids forced to go to church on Sundays are rolling their eyes right now at how stupid this is. This is the bed you made, you have to lay in it now.
Just testify and get it over with.
A Milestone for President Trump
I want to end this much like I ended last week’s briefing – with a rant.
According to a column from the Washington Post called “The Fact Checker,” written by Glenn Kessler which checks the validity of statements made by political leaders, President Trump has officially told over 10,000 lies while in office. It’s a depressing and angering milestone that no one should want to hit, and it marks a dark moment in a sea of dark moments in the presidency.
Its mind boggling that we have a president that has made that many lies in 828 days in office. I’m sure there have been presidents in the past that have lied to the American people during their term (Nixon, Clinton, Bush) but over 10,000 lies? How does the president keep his tongue from running away while he sleeps?
My hats off to Kessler, I’m sure it’s exhausting spending all this time tracking down all of the presidents lies. I hope that someone gets you a beer or ten tonight to help you cope with the fact that you may be tasked with one of the toughest jobs in journalism right now, keeping track of it all. This presidency has been a slog for us all but to what you do…I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
That’s it for this briefing, if I missed anything or have anything that you would like to add to the conversation please leave a comment below. Until then however, have a great rest of your week.