Popping the Bubble #6: Texas shooting, legislative elections, and DNC scandal

Reena Mathewsa�� a�?Popping the Bubblea�? is a series in which she covers some of the biggest news of the past two weeks. This weeka��s installment marks the sixth chapter of this biweekly series.

Popping the Bubble #6: Texas shooting, legislative elections, and DNC scandal

Texas church shooting

Last week, Texas’s deadliest shooting occurred in Sutherland Springs at First Baptist Church.

The attacker was first spotted at a nearby gas station at 11:20 a.m. The gunman then drove the small distance to the church and exited his car, donning an all black getup, a mask, and ballistic vest.

Armed with a Ruger AR-556 rifle, this man opened fire on the unsuspecting church, snatching 26 lives in his midst, ranging from 18 months to 77 years old. He commenced his attack from the outside of the building, continuing to fire as he made his way to the right side of the building. The shooter entered through the back and shot relentlessly as he advanced through the entire building and back.

As the gunman’s vicious rampage concluded, the man exited the church where he was met with an armed neighbor outside; the two exchanged gunfire, finally ending with the shooter fleeing the scene.

This heroic neighbor then hopped into a bystander’s car, and the two citizens proceeded to pursue the gunman as they called for police aid.

In the chaos of the high-speed chase, the shooter reportedly lost control of his vehicle and went flying into a ditch, where he was later found dead. Officials report that the suspect suffered gunshot wounds inflicted by both the armed civilian and himself.

Law enforcement identified the attacker as Devin Patrick Kelley and also discovered two other weapons in Kelley’s car: a 9-mm glock handgun and a Ruger 22 handgun.

Just over a week later, the church where this horrific incident occurred has been transformed into a solemn memorial for the lives taken by this malicious man.

As always, my heart mourns with the families affected; how I wish this immense tragedy could have never happened. My prayers and thoughts are with the victims always; Texas, hang in there.

(For my thorough opinion on the issues connected to this incident, click here.)

Special legislative elections

Last week’s U.S. elections saw a refreshing new streak of Democratic victories. The most newsworthy results came from elections in New Jersey and Virginia.

While Democrats already held a majority in both state legislatures in New Jersey, they still managed to snag two seats in the State Assembly and one seat in the State Senate. But most significantly, following the elections, Democrats now possess power over “the Trifecta”: the Senate, Assembly, and governorship.

In Virginia- historically, a swing state- the 100 open House of Delegates seats- originally controlled 66 to 100 by Republicans- were shockingly swept by Democrats. Results will be official in a few days, but for now, we know Democrats grasped at least 15 upset seats. Currently, a 50-50 split appears to be a very viable possibility.

Many are attributing this wave of Democratic support to the political pendulum strongly swinging back in response to the Trump presidency; however, the New Jersey governorship could also probably be credited to general disdain for current governor Chris Christie and public desire for a fresh start.

Furthermore, there were many scattered “firsts” within these states. Virginia elected the first openly transgender lawmaker in America: Danica Roem. This win for the LGBTQ+ community was only made sweeter, as Roem defeated openly homophobic, anti-trans Bob Marshall. Additionally, New Jersey elected its first Sikh mayor, Ravi Bhalla.

DNC and Clinton campaign

Recently, Democrat Donna Brazile kicked up quite a storm with the release of an excerpt from her book, Hacks, in anticipation of its upcoming publication.

To give some background, Brazile was an interim head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) back in September of last year and had been leading an investigation of the party. Bernie Sanders had just been defeated by Hillary Clinton in the primaries of the presidential election. For a while, Sanders’ team had been voicing complaints about alleged malpractice by the DNC. In fact, in April of that year, they wrote a letter to the head of the party, accusing the DNC of directing almost all of its funding towards Clinton.

Simply put, the Hillary Victory Fund was a joint fund by the DNC and Hillary for America. The money streaming in was meant to equally benefit all of the Democratic candidates. However, Bernie and his team believed that the fund was a front for the Clinton campaign to directly receive millions of dollars more than every other candidate.

Significant donors have a limit of a $27,000 donation to any single candidate but can essentially contribute an unlimited amount to a party’s fund. In short, Bernie’s team accused HVF of being a handmade loophole for the Clinton campaign, allowing much more than the maximum limit to be donated to Clinton.

According to the Brazile book excerpt, former DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz had been lying about the books to the officers of the party; apparently, they had been relying on the Clinton campaign to pay the massive debt the DNC had amassed. Brazile blamed Obama- alleging that he had left the party with over 20 million dollars in debt- and Schultz’s negligence to let employees go during non-election season- a usually customary practice- for the staggering debt.

The snippet then moved its focus to the HVF. The piece asserted that the Clinton campaign managed to attain 20 million dollars for themselves via the HVF, a fund that was, again, meant to equally aid all the Democratic candidates. This accusation was later backed by leaked WikiLeaks emails.

Brazile claims she was scrambling for answers until she stumbled upon a document outlining the entire scheme. Without getting into the details, the agreement essentially acknowledged Clinton as the Democratic candidate eleven months in advance of the actual election.

And while Brazile understandably portrayed herself as an innocent bystander, hacked DNC emails showed that she was feeding debate questions to Clinton.

With all this information unloaded, it appears that the odds were against Bernie Sanders even more so than many initially believed. Had more integrity been displayed by the DNC and Hillary Clinton, there would perhaps be a different man sitting in the White House right now.