Monday, November 12, 2018


France's Emmanuel Macron led the World War I commemoration event, and this is what he said
“This vision of France as a generous nation, of France as a project, of France as the bearer of universal values was displayed during these dark hours, as the very opposite of a selfish nation that only looks after its own interest,” Macron said. “Patriotism is the opposite of nationalism,” he added. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.”

Churchill’s Grandson Slams “Pathetic” Trump for Skipping World War One Ceremony Due to Rain

Then Trump did it again
World leaders mark end of World War I anniversary in Paris

[NB: One "world leader" did not join this show of unity. Guess who?]

I LOVE these photos: before and after


And then Putin shows up


[NB: At last! Someone who UNDERSTANDS me!]

Trump is in a bad place. His loss in the midterms looks worse and worse -- Dem numbers in the House keep climbing, GOP numbers in the Senate keep dropping. A Democratic House means his legislative agenda is all but dead. His post-election news conference was a disaster, featuring snarky, mean-spirited score-settling with losing Republicans, wild outbursts against the press, and an "olive branch" to work with the Dems that hardly lasted seconds before he said that if the House dares to investigate him, all bets are off.

The numbers out of the election were ominous for Trump's chances in 2020. The GOP continues to shrink. Women are abandoning the party in droves. Numerous high-profile GOPers said they were voting for the Dems. The Midwestern battleground states that narrowly gave him the electoral college in 2016 have all moved toward the Dems. Key governorships in those states flipped, meaning a less friendly environment if he campaigns there. A primary challenge to his renomination is all but certain.

A major WSJ story showed that Trump lied repeatedly about his involvement in payoffs to women who claim to have had affairs with him. Other investigations that aren't under Mueller, and can't be stopped, are moving forward aggressively.

He abruptly fired Jeff Sessions amid reports that charges against his son were imminent, and the guy he put in there to protect him is looking worse and worse by the day. After damaging reports about Whitaker's previous comments, Trump undermined Whitaker's credibility by lying that he didn't know him. 

Trump got to leave town for the kind of foreign policy "honor the troops" photo op that always makes a leader look good back home, but it has been one mess after another. The open scorn of other leaders for him is on international display.

And it only gets worse from here, folks . . .
Kellyanne Conway Admits Trump 'Does Know Matt Whitaker' But 'It's Not Like He's Putting A Friend In There'
Is Anyone Surprised Trump Doesn’t Know the Difference Between Baltic States and the Balkans?

You know it's bad when Alberto Gonzales calls you a political hack
Alberto Gonzales Criticizes Whitaker Appointment

More trouble for Whitaker:
Top House and Senate Democrats — including the current minority leaders in both chambers as well as the ranking members on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the House Oversight Committee — pressed the Department of Justice’s top ethics official on Sunday regarding “whether you, or any other ethics officials at the Justice Department, have advised [newly appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew] Whitaker to recuse himself from supervision of the Special Counsel investigation, and the basis for that recommendation.”
Nadler Will Call Whitaker as His First Witness
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday defended President Donald Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, saying Whitaker's repeated criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe in the past was not something that should disqualify him. "We are so far past the period where those comments were made by Matt Whitaker as a private citizen, Chris," Conway told host Chris Wallace . . . Conway said that if Whitaker follows up on his previous statements to end or curtail the probe, it would be a "mistake."

In Russia news. . .
“Recognize one point,” Pelosi told me in an interview in the conference room of her minority leader suite in the Capitol late Friday. “What Mueller might not think is indictable could be impeachable.”

Not all the coming investigations are Russia-related: it's what they call a "target-rich environment"

In other news . . .

The Cesspool
Trump Properties Received $3.2 Million from Campaigns

Puerto Rico
Trump Wants No More Relief Funds for Puerto Rico
Now that we control the House, Democrats must aid Puerto Rico

The kind of people they are
Mississippi Man Fired For Wearing Disgustingly Offensive Shirt To The Polls 

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), who is currently campaigning in a runoff election for that seat against [Black] Democratic challenger Mike Espy, joked in a video published that if a cattle rancher she was campaigning with “invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row . . .”

Looks like Kyrsten Sinema (D) is going to win the Senate seat in Arizona

Iowa had a chance to get rid of Steve King. Too bad they didn't do it
Noted white supremacist Steve King lies about calling immigrants ‘dirt,’ but it was recorded 

Rick Scott isn't just complaining about counting all the votes in Florida, he is accusing his opponent of "fraud" -- with no evidence whatsoever

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sues to nullify votes, impound voting equipment

Keep digging, Kellyanne
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway asserted Sunday that a “sped-up” video is not the same as an “altered” video, while defending the White House’s use of an altered video of a hand motion made by CNN reporter Jim Acosta in order to justify suspending his press pass. “That’s not altered, that’s sped up,” Conway told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. “They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touchdown.” . . .

[NB: Uh, no, they don't do that in sports. Of course they sometimes slow video down to show a first down or a touchdown. But the ALTERING in this case is speeding it up to make Acosta's arm gesture look harder and more intentional than it obviously was.]

Bonus item: SNL spoofs the intern who tried to take away Jim Acosta's microphone

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Sunday, November 11, 2018


Constitutional genius Matt Whitaker, who believes that Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided, also says that states can override or ignore federal mandates

Whitaker May Have Violated Group’s Tax-exempt Status By Criticizing Clinton
Matt Whitaker's Got FBI Problems

Despite all the evidence to the contrary -- including his own words -- Trump keeps pretending he doesn't know Whitaker

[NB: Here as elsewhere, the lie is the indicator to the truth. As Vox covered yesterday, Whitaker was in frequent contact with Trump, and John Kelly, in one-to-one phone calls with no witnesses. It certainly looks and smells like he was leaking information about the investigation to the subject of the investigation. Trump's vigorous denials that he knew Whitaker tell me that he doesn't want people looking into those contacts.]

In other news . . . 

The soldiers of World War I suffered horrible conditions, brutal warfare, and the first widespread use of chemical weapons. Trump went to honor them, but it was raining -- so he cancelled
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, however, managed to brave the rain to pay their respects. . . 


Trump loves to blame the victim: this time, California's wildfires
Our President Is an Asshole

I guess it's gotten pretty easy to earn the nation's highest civilian honor

Ah, some wins are sweeter than others  
Another Democratic pickup! Harley Rouda defeats 'Putin's favorite congressman,' Dana Rohrabacher

The Repubs are whining about election irregularities (in races they might lose) -- but the only misconduct we have seen so far is entirely on the GOP side

Trump howls, They're ‘Trying To STEAL Two Big Elections’. But . . . no

Recount Ordered for Florida Governor and Senate Races, Elections Officials Find ‘No Illegal Activity’
Rick Scott launches voter fraud lawsuit

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Let's see. Trump fired Jeff Sessions because he recused himself from the Mueller probe and couldn't "protect" his boss. Matt Whitaker is a laughably unqualified Acting AG whose only qualifications are loyalty to Trump and skepticism about the Mueller probe. He hasn't taken any actions against Mueller yet -- but what happens if he does? This is a Constitutional crisis in the making.

With Whitaker, it's the classic move: promote someone far beyond their qualifications so they will be grateful and dependent on you. This is one of Trump's favorite tricks. And Whitaker's track record of prejudging the investigation and already taking Trump's side is clear, in repeated public comments. We still don't know what the DOJ Ethics office will make of his obvious conflicts of interest.

The transparent reasons behind Whitaker's appointment and the increasing audacity of Trump's attacks on Mueller and the investigation raise the question yet again: What is he afraid of? For someone who says repeatedly that there is no evidence against him and no case to be made, he seems to be spending a lot of time avoiding testimony and threatening to shut down the whole thing.

Donald Junior is apparently worried that he could be next. Why? For lying about whether he told his father about the Trump Tower meeting. That's bad for Donald Junior, but even worse for Trump -- because that means he lied about it too. They keep saying nothing happened at the meeting . . . so why lie about it? For a bunch of people who claim to be totally innocent, they sure do act guilty
It’s not a sentence one ordinarily expects to see in one of the nation’s largest and most important newspapers: “The acting attorney general of the United States is a crackpot.” And yet, that was the first sentence in the latest column from Ruth Marcus, the Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor . . . Matt Whitaker, whom Trump appointed as the nation’s chief law enforcement official this week, is a rather ridiculous choice. We are, after all, talking about a shamelessly partisan loyalist, with a strange, far-right worldview, and with close ties to a witness who’s testified in an ongoing federal investigation. Whitaker has bashed the federal courts. He’s condemned an investigation he’s now overseeing – and won’t recuse himself from, despite calls from 18 state attorneys general. He’s already decided what the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe should be. . . . Complicating matters, Matthew Whitaker is the first attorney general – acting or permanent – to ever hold the position without having been confirmed to the Justice Department by the Senate. Many experts have made a very credible case that the president’s appointment of Whitaker is plainly illegal. . . . All of which raises the question of how the president chose Whitaker for the position in the first place. CNN had this interesting report yesterday: "It was not widely known among White House staff that he’d commented repeatedly on the special counsel’s investigation in interviews and on television – which is ironic given that this is what drew President Donald Trump to him and raises continued questions over the depth of the administration’s vetting process. . . ."
Before DOJ, Whitaker Spent 3 Years At Right-Wing Advocacy Group Attacking Dems
[Whitaker] “I’d like to see things like their world view. What informs them? How have they lived their life? Are they people of faith? Do they have a biblical view of justice? . . . What I know is that as long as they have that worldview, that they’ll be a good judge,” he continued. “And if they have a secular worldview, that ‘this is all we have here on Earth’, then I’m going to be very concerned about how they judge.” 

Inside the Department of Justice, however, the fears are more expansive. Whitaker is seen as a rogue and underqualified new leader whose impact won’t just be felt on the Mueller probe but throughout the federal government. “He’s a fucking fool,” one trial attorney inside the department said of the new AG. “He’s spent so much time trying to suck up to the president to get here. But this is a big job. It comes with many responsibilities. He just simply doesn’t have the wherewithal.” 

How Sessions got fired. This story sounds like Whitaker gave him the bad news
On Wednesday, the attorney general received the call everyone in Washington knew was coming some day soon. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, asked Sessions to submit his resignation . . . Sessions agreed to comply, but he wanted a few more days before the resignation would become effective. Kelly said he'd consult the President. Soon, the sources say, top Justice officials convened on the 5th floor suite of offices for the attorney general. Eventually, there were two huddles in separate offices. Among those in Sessions' office was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, his deputy Ed O'Callaghan, Solicitor General Noel Francisco and Steven Engel, who heads the Office of Legal Counsel. . . . A few yards away, Whitaker strategized with other aides, including Gary Barnett, now his chief of staff. . . . But Sessions did not realize Whitaker was having conversations with the White House about his future . . . Rosenstein and O'Callaghan, the highest-ranked officials handling day-to-day oversight of Mueller's investigation, urged Sessions to delay the effective date of his resignation.. . . Whitaker strode into Sessions' office and asked to speak one-on-one to the attorney general; the others left the two men alone. It was a brief conversation. Shortly after, Sessions told his huddle that his resignation would be effective that day. . . .Sessions never heard in person from the President -- the man who gained television fame for his catch-phrase "You're fired" doesn't actually like such confrontation and prefers to have others do the firing . . .

Has Whitaker been leaking information about the Mueller investigation to Trump -- a subject of the investigation? Is he doing it now that he's in charge?

[NB: This story (if true) makes Whitaker a co-conspirator in the Mueller probe, an active participant in obstructing justice.]

Whitaker's sleazy past 

Now this:
WSJ: FBI Probing Company With Ties To Matthew Whitaker That Was Closed By FTC

Lies, lies, lies
Trump claims he doesn’t know the man he asked to lead the Justice Dept
Trump says he doesn't know acting AG, despite reports of Oval Office meetings
[October 10] "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker."
“Trump had enjoyed Whitaker’s cable TV appearances” before he’d joined the Justice Department and that “the two men soon struck a bond.” . . . Trump told associates that he felt that Whitaker would be ‘loyal’ . . . The New York Times reported that “the president has long regarded Mr. Whitaker as his eyes and ears” inside the Justice Department, adding that Whitaker had “been a frequent White House visitor.” And Axios reported that “Trump likes and trusts Whitaker.”
Trump Complains That Mueller Wasn’t Senate Confirmed (He Didn’t Need To Be) 

Is Chris Christie going to be Trump's AG nominee? Can he be confirmed?

Judges order Mueller to explain impact of Sessions-Whitaker DOJ shakeup


More: What Whitaker can and cannot do
How In Danger Is Robert Mueller’s Probe Under Trump’s Man Matthew Whitaker?
10 Reasons Not to Panic About the Mueller Probe [must-read!] 


Whitaker is ALREADY in trouble: (1) challenges to the legality of his appointment, (2) obvious conflicts of interest that will certainly lead the DOJ Ethics to force his recusal, (3) growing opposition to Whitaker from within the DOJ itself
Whitaker, who was Sessions' chief of staff, has faced criticism since Wednesday afternoon's announcement for his previous comments on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Several senior officials told CNN they were surprised by the criticism, and believe it could potentially jeopardize Whitaker's chances of remaining in the post if it continues to dominate headlines. . . .

[NB: And now Trump says he barely knows him . . .]

The first article of impeachment
President Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his extramarital relationships with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Taken together, the accounts refute a two-year pattern of denials by Mr. Trump, his legal team and his advisers that he was involved in payoffs to Ms. McDougal and a former adult-film star. They also raise the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws.” “The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others. The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has gathered evidence of Mr. Trump’s participation in the transactions.”


In Russia news. . . 

Paul Manafort isn't fully cooperating with Mueller

In other news . . .

Why the Dems should reject Trump's offer to work together on an infrastructure bill
This is a trap designed to weaken Democrats’ political position. [read on]

Judge blocks Keystone pipeline project 

More WH departures coming
President Trump “is telling people he wants to replace Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by the end of the year,” CNBC reports.

Trump's wild impromptu press gaggle -- count the outrages
Trump suggests Senate Seat is Being Stolen from Rick Scott by Fusion GPS. . . .[read on]

Tell me again what Giuliani's job is?
Giuliani alleges election tampering in Florida races without offering evidence 

Trump says the OBVIOUSLY DOCTORED video wasn't doctored. This issue has been coming -- we take video evidence as confirmatory. New technoogies make that problematic

Video Doesn’t Capture Truth

Ari Melber has a terrific little segment contrasting quotes from Good Lindsey with quotes from Bad Lindsey. (We need to invent a stronger word than "hypocrite")

[NB: Don't miss it!]

Michelle Obama has a new book coming out
Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book, writing how she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to “block it all out.” She also denounces Trump’s “birther” campaign questioning her husband’s citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, “deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.” . . . She expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a “misogynist” over Hillary Clinton, “an exceptionally qualified female candidate.” She remembers how her body “buzzed with fury” after seeing the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. She also accuses Trump of using body language to “stalk” Clinton during an election debate. She writes of Trump following Clinton around the stage, standing nearby and “trying to diminish her presence.” Trump’s message, according to Obama, in words which appear in the book in darkened print: “I can hurt you and get away with it.” . . .

Trump lashes out:

[NB: Hey, buddy, here's a tip. Don't match your credibility and popularity with Michelle Obama. You can't win.]

Trump insults -- personally insults -- three black female reporters

Here's how the Dems can take back the Senate and lock in a national majority
While they’re continuing to perform OK-ish in the Midwest and the South in the era of Donald Trump, on Tuesday they got hammered in the Mountain West . . . Nevada and Colorado are starting to look more blue than purple. Arizona, which has more Electoral College votes than either, has been Republican since forever but now appears to be an honest-to-God swing state. New Mexico, which used to be a swing state, is now completely out of reach for the GOP except under the most unusual circumstances. Montana has been showing for some time that if you run the right Democrat, it can go blue. Even Utah and Texas appear to be changing, politically. It’s all very bad news for the GOP. . . 

Democratic wins in these 9 states will have seismic policy consequences

Trump bragged about winning 55 Senate seats -- The Most Ever! Then Jon Tester won, and three more seats are in jeopardy. It still stands at 51

And in the House:
Democrats Could Win 40 Seats . . . Democrats picked up more House seats than they have in any midterm election since 1974, three months after Richard Nixon’s resignation, and a dozen races still remain uncalled by the Associated Press.
15 Reasons Why Democrats Crushed Republicans This Week

In Arizona, the Dem candidate pulls into the lead. Trump says, in that case we might need an election do-over!


In Florida, Rick Scott says liberals are trying to steal the election! Court says, just count all the votes

We've talked a lot about the number of women swept into office -- but a lot of young African Americans won too

Bonus item: A new record for Donald Trump!
Trump Is Most Joked About Public Figure Ever

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***