News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Oss-Kicking in Georgia, Jeh Johnson Testifies and Much, Much More

UNITED STATES - JUNE 18: Democratic candidate for Georgia's 6th Congressional district Jon Ossoff speaks at his "Father's Day Canvass Launch" at the Ossoff campaign office in Sandy Spring, Ga., on Sunday, June 18, 2017. Ossify is facing Republican Karen Handel in the special election to fill the seat vacated by current HHS Secretary Tom Price will be held on Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Good Wednesday Morning.

Here’s what is on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • The President will then receive a cybersecurity briefing.
  • In the afternoon, the President will depart Washington, D.C. for Joint Base Andrews, en route to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • The President will then tour Kirkwood Community College.
  • In the evening, the President will give remarks at an event highlighting agricultural innovation.
  • The President will then participate in a Make America Great Again Rally.
  • Later in the evening, the President will depart Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for Joint Base Andrews, en route to Washington, D.C.

Oss-kicking in Georgia

The most expensive congressional race in the history of America came to a sad end last night for Democrats when Republican Karen Handel beat her carpetbagging, over-funded competitor. What was frequently described as a “referendum on President Trump” concluded with another Democrat defeat (they are 0 for 5 in special elections now), overcoming the media and Hollywood effort to get some kind of win against the president. Alas, it was not to happen.

The Democrats have not learned from or reflected on their unexpected November 2016 loss. Voters don’t like it when rich, out-of-state interests barge into their community to tell the locals what’s good for them because they are too stupid to figure it out for themselves.

The race was called when the split was 52 Handel, 48 Ossoff. Trump won the district in November 2016 by 1 point just to put the victory in context.

While Handel’s victory only brings the Republican House majority back to its baseline level after the 2016 election, it denied Democrats a momentum boost toward the 2018 midterms and a victory that party activists dearly seek after five months of GOP control in Washington. The GOP has now won each House special election of 2017, after Trump selected a handful of congressmen from conservative seats for his Cabinet…

Hollywood celebrities and rich folks were hit hardest by the Georgia defeat.

The failed Democrat received 7,218 private donations from California residents. He benefitted from only 808 donations from inside of Georgia’s sixth congressional district.

Hollywood insiders like Chelsea Handler and Georgia Takei donated to Ossoff’s campaign, and other celebrities like Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston, and Kyra Sedgwick all donated their time towards the campaign.

There was another, less glamorous special election last night in South Carolina. The Republicans also won that election, although by a smaller margin than expected.

Expect to see the news dominated by talk of Trump’s victories and the referendum on Trump’s agenda with these special election victories. Just kidding.

No evidence of election “hacking”

The House Intelligence Committee will hold hearings today on the much publicized “RUSSIAN interference” in the 2016 presidential election. From what we know in advance of the hearing, the Democrats’ RUSSIA narrative is not proceeding as planned.

Over at The Daily Caller, Richard Pollock has an exclusive look at what Connie Lawson, the incoming president of the non-partisan National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), will tell the committee.

The NASS represents 50 Secretaries of State and Lieutenant Governors who are responsible for overseeing election machinery across the country. There are no national elections in America, as presidential and congressional balloting is conducted in 50 separate state and district elections.

“No major cybersecurity issues were reported on Election Day: November 8, 2016,” Lawson will say, according to an advance copy of her prepared testimony obtained by TheDCNF.

Lawson will also say “each time (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Johnson was directly asked about specific, credible threats and each time he confirmed that none existed.”

Speaking of Jeh Johnson, he has released his 6-page prepared testimony before the hearing, where he will also testify.

“On Election Day, DHS assembled a crisis-response team to rapidly address any reported cyber intrusions into the election process. To my current knowledge, the Russian government did not through any cyber intrusion alter ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results,” Johnson will testify. “I am not in a position to know whether the successful Russian government-directed hacks of the DNC and elsewhere did in fact alter public opinion and thereby alter the outcome of the presidential election.”

“Our intelligence community became increasingly convinced that the Russian government was behind the hacks of the DNC and other political institutions and figures,” he will say Wednesday.

“By Election Day on November 8, a large number of state and local election officials did in fact respond to our offers of cybersecurity assistance,” Johnson will say. “More specifically, almost every state contacted DHS about its services, and 33 states and 36 cities and counties used DHS tools to scan for potential vulnerabilities and/or sought mitigation advice from us.”

Johnson will also tell the Committee, “on October 7, Director Clapper and I issued the statement formally and publicly accusing the Russian government of directing cyber ‘thefts and disclosures [that] are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.'”

It’s important to remember what was released in the DNC/Podesta email breaches: their actual emails. We learned the DNC was pulling for Hillary over her opponent Sanders in the primary, and we learned some unflattering things about the Clinton campaign, including that their debate “helper” Donna Brazile passed debate along questions to the Clinton campaign ahead of time. No strategy was disclosed, just some cheating by the Democrats. Also keep in mind the media barely covered the emails, released by Wikileaks.

Another important fact that continues to get lost in the anti-Trump propaganda of this investigation  is that all this happened on Obama’s watch. How did they miss all this and how did they not warn the public? HINT: they thought Hillary was going to win and did not want to de-legitimize her election, that’s why.

The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning.

What’s with the Ken doll make-over?

I’m not sure what’s going on here:

Mattel is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll, including different skin tones, body shapes and hair styles. Barbie had a similar makeover more than a year ago, both part of the toy company’s plan to make its dolls more diverse and appealing to today’s kids.

Ken hadn’t changed much since he was introduced 56 years ago as Barbie’s blue-eyed, chiseled boyfriend. Now he’ll be sold in three body shapes: “slim,” ”broad” and “original.”

He’ll have modern hairdos, such as cornrows and man buns, and come in seven skin tones. And he’ll also be sporting new fashions: think skinny ties, plaid shirts and graphic tees.

A man bun?

“We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Mattel’s Lisa McKnight.

Mattel is trying to fight falling sales of its iconic doll line at a time when many kids would rather play with an iPad. Barbie sales were down 13 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the same period a year ago. A live-action Barbie movie is in the works for next year, with hopes that the big-screen flick will spur doll sales as well.

Ken was in need of a makeover, said Jim Silver, the editor-in-chief of toy review website TTPM. Kids playing with the revamped Barbie dolls don’t want an outdated Ken, said Silver.

Is this the solution to turn the market around? Good luck, Mattel.

Other morsels:

Yale dean who called people ‘white trash’ on Yelp leaving her post

Otto Warmbier’s family refuses autopsy

College professor to blacks, other minorities: Let white people ‘f***ing die’

Franken warns against impeaching Trump

We haven’t seen the last of Eric Holder

Ferguson settles with Michael Brown’s family

Saudi king names son as new crown prince, upending the royal succession line

Family sues water park after teen dies from brain-eating amoeba

Border agents snag seven pounds of snails

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mobs!