Sunday, August 19, 2018

THOU DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH

Social media is cracking down on hate speech, lies, and calls for violence. Trump says this is discriminating against conservatives. Hmmm. . . .

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1789168

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/trump-blasts-social-media-platforms-for-totally-discriminating-against-conservatives.html


Yes, he said it (speaking of Bruce Ohr, his new favorite target)

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1030631977135812610
[Trump] “Bruce Ohr of DOJ is in legal jeopardy . . . Using your Federal office for personal financial gain is a Federal Gratuity Statute Violation, Bribery Statute Violation, Honest Services Violation....all Major Crimes . . .”
In other news . . .                                                      

Trump's contempt for women -- especially strong women who stand up to him

https://www.salon.com/2018/08/19/14914562_partner/

Now we learn that the decision to pull security clearances from Trump's "enemies" was made a long time ago -- with the timing of announcements intended to drive the news cycle away from issues they don't want to talk about

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/17/white-house-plots-timing-to-revoke-security-clearances/ 

John Brennan may sue Trump

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/08/brennan-says-he-may-sue-trump-over

Republicanism today

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/08/18/corey-stewart-shows-just-how-far-the-gop-has-fallen/
When historians chronicle the precipitous moral and intellectual decline of the Republican Party, Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart will have a special place in the narrative. . . .

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1789207
“This is not where I expected this conversation to go, Senator,” said a shocked Victor Blackwell after Georgia state senator Michael E. Williams offered a rambling defense of Donald Trump’s rumored use of a racial slur .. . . 

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1788450
Trump's getting his extremist choices in Republican primaries. That's bad news for his party.

The Dems get tough. Finally

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/08/check-out-new-ad-house-majority-pac

This is dumb either/or analysis. Why not both?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/democrats-message-trump/567541
Democrats Don’t Need a National Message

New profile of first lady Melania Trump . . .  Here are the five most-telling tidbits . . .

***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 (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

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Friday, August 17, 2018

TEMPER TANTRUM

Is the Trump attack on John Brennan actually an act of desperation? It won't impede the Mueller probe one bit -- which is what he REALLY wants to do . . . but can't

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/trump-security-clearance-powerless-mueller.html

More: http://prospect.org/article/trump-attacks-constitutional-freedoms-he-ratchets-authoritarian-corruption

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/trump-is-making-the-doj-into-his-own-private-goon-squad.html
Trump Is Making the Department of Justice Into His Own Private Goon Squad

Pulling security clearances from intelligence pros isn't just petty and vindictive -- it undermines national security

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/17/trump-security-clearances-protest-letter-intelligence-787775

Will we be asking of Trump, Who lost Afghanistan?

https://www.salon.com/2018/08/17/remember-afghanistan-trumps-strategy-is-failing-badly-as-taliban-gains-ground/
Trump’s strategy is failing badly as Taliban gains ground 

Or ISIS? https://www.vox.com/world/2018/8/17/17715374/isis-still-threat-defeated-terror-attacks-pentagon-iraq-syria-trump 

This delights me. Trump's stupid, vain, unnecessary, profligate military parade gets cancelled. And, of course, he lashes out


https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1788933

More: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/trump-admits-he-was-starving-defense-to-make-room-for-parade.html
Trump, customarily averse to admitting defeat, cannot concede that he is literally unable to organize a parade. Nor can he admit he is actually in a conflict with the military or a representative of veterans . . . Instead, he is blaming the government of the District of Columbia, which is conveniently civilian and heavily African-American. . . .

"Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!"

So Trump’s actual stated position is that the military was previously going to be denied fighter jets — which presumably it needs, because why else would Trump be funding them? — in order to make room for a parade. . .  

In Russia news. . . 

Trump says Paul Manafort is "a very good person," and "it's very sad what they've done to him" -- ("they" being his own Justice Dept). Is he lining up for a pardon?

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/donald-trump-defends-paul-manafort-a-very-good-person.html

Commenting as president on an ongoing trial is yet another instance of Trump interferring with the course of justice. It could even be seen as jury tampering

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/08/17/trumps-jury-tampering-in-manafort-case-is-an-impeachable-crime/
 
I'm sure he does: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/manafort-attorney-kevin-downing-appreciate-trump-support
Manafort’s Attorney ‘Really Appreciates’ Trump’s Support
 
One of the most under-reported stories, starting during the 2016 campaign until now, is that we KNOW Trump was financing real estate projects with shady Russian money -- he couldn't get loans from US banks

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/17/investigating-trumps-ties-to-the-russian-mob/

Mueller recommends 6 months in prison for George Papadopoulos -- it looks like this is punishment for not cooperating fully. His wife wants him to abrogate the plea deal

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/17/mueller-recommends-prison-for-papadopoulos/
 
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/what-on-earth-is-going-on-with-george-papadopoulos
 
In other news . . .                                                      

The Cesspool

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/17/ivanka-trump-business-partner-justice-department-lawsuit-moshe-lax-219369
DOJ Sues Ivanka’s Ex-Business Partner for Massive Fraud

Fracking is helping US energy independence -- but it's an environmental nightmare

https://thinkprogress.org/fracking-is-destroying-americas-water-supply-new-study/

Why Trump's proposal to switch quarterly corporate earnings reports to twice a year is a bad idea

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-sec-quarterly-earnings-reports-problem-62f01358c2f8/
 
You're not supposed to do this

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/fcc-chair-white-house-called-about-sinclair-tribune-deal
FCC Chair: White House Called About Sinclair-Tribune Deal
 
Popcorn!

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nyt-omarosa-200-tapes
Omarosa Could Have As Many As 200 Tapes 

With extra butter! https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/17/omarosa-has-video-too/
Omarosa Has Video Too

Heh. The wording of Trump's WH NDA is screwed up

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/judge-rules-that-mistake-in-trump-nda-makes-it-void-could-apply-to-others
Judge Rules That Mistake In Trump NDA Makes It Void, Could Apply To Others

Gee, I guess they can act quickly when they want to

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/senate-continues-confirming-trump-jusges-at-lightning-pace
Senate Continues Confirming Trump Judges At Lightning Pace

[NB: Don't tell me elections don't have consequences.] 

I think the 2020 election is going to be very interesting for the Repubs. Who knows exactly what will happen, but it is very likely that a devastating Mueller report, and possible impeachment vote, will leave Trump badly damaged. Even at the best he will be the "head" of a fragmented and diminished party. Already people are lining up to be the Trump alternative: John Kasich, Mitt Romney (again?), perhaps Rand Paul. Will Trump face a primary challenger?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/kasich-wont-win-in-2020-but-he-might-make-trump-lose

This is more or less my thinking too

https://www.thedailybeast.com/who-will-give-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-the-honest-advice-she-needs
Who’s going to tap Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the shoulder and tell her it’s time to take a breather… for her own good? . . .

Good news for Dems

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/17/30-races-shift-in-favor-of-democrats/
Inside Elections shifted their race ratings of 30 House contests in the direction of Democrats and just two towards Republicans.
 
Nancy Pelosi tells Dems, oppose me if you want -- we have to win the House. Imagine a GOP leader saying that

https://www.salon.com/2018/08/17/leader-nancy-pelosi-addresses-democratic-candidates-on-campaign-trail-who-oppose-her-i-dont-care/

Heh

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/senate-unanimously-passes-resolution-the-press-is-not-enemy-of-the-people
Senate Unanimously Passes Resolution: The Press Is Not Enemy Of The People

WTF, Kellyanne?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/conway-goes-full-mean-girls-why-so-obsessed-with-trump


***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 (http://pbd.blogspot.com) 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.***

Thursday, August 16, 2018

ENEMIES LIST


He calls it "fighting back" -- but Trump keeps ADMITTING that he is obstructing justice

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/trump-brennan-clearance-russia-probe.html
[On taking John Brennan's security clearance] “I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “And these people led it!” He added: “So I think it’s something that had to be done.” . . . . He went on to suggest he’s reviewing the security clearance of other critics – James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr – simply because he’s decided that they’re bad people. “I don’t trust many of those people on that list,” Trump said. “I think that they’re very duplicitous. I think they’re not good people.”
When Trump signed the "John McCain" defense spending bill, the coverage (including here) was all about his petty refusal to utter McCain's name. But here's the real problem

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/trump-ignore-defense-bill-signing-statement.html
The bill’s enormous price tag was not, however, the most distressing feature of Monday’s events. That would be the signing statement the White House issued after Trump signed the NDAA, in which the president informed Congress that he intends to ignore or override 51 sections of the bill that he sees as infringing upon his constitutional powers. The bill includes a number of provisions meant to inform or direct policy toward specific countries, many of which Trump rejected. These include a ban on funding “any activity that recognizes the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea” and restrictions on bilateral military-to-military cooperation with Russia. Trump’s signing statement announced that he would not abide by these provisions: a move sure to raise some eyebrows.. . .

In other Russia news . . .

This is behind a paywall but I think it's too important not to share

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime-beta/this-is-probably-the-key
Separately, I’ve long thought that the issue of classified information in the hands of Mueller raises important questions. This is highly speculative, of course, but Mueller is likely sitting on a meaningful body of classified evidence that he will never be able to use in court, such as foreign intercepts from Western allies. There are things they know, but can’t prove in court. The criminal investigation then becomes in part an exercise in what’s known as parallel construction—gathering admissible evidence from unclassified sources to prove what they know or have an inkling of from classified sources. The extreme pressure Mueller has put on Manafort to me is indicative of this. From day 1 Mueller put an A-team (Andres and Weissmann) on Manafort. They set out to flip him because they think he knows what was really going on. Do they have intercepts or other classified source data that indicates Manafort knows about an underlying conspiracy? Wouldn’t surprise me. But they ultimately may need Manafort to flip so they have a witness they can use in court. This might explain Trump’s extreme agitation with the trial and Manafort’s thinly disguised play for a pardon. In addition, the likely existence of compelling but non-admissible evidence underscores the critical need for a true congressional committee investigation of the Russia-Trump scandal. We know we will only get that if D’s take over at least the House in November.

Paul Manafort trial closing arguments

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/closing-statement-manafort-andres

Manafort jury asks four questions, including meaning of "reasonable doubt"

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/jury-submits-note-to-court-in-paul-manafort-trial

In other news . . .                                                      

Trump's military vanity exercise is going to cost EIGHT TIMES more than estimated

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trumps-military-parade-to-cost-760-percent-more-than-earlier-estimate

And . . . . now it gets "postponed," and may never happen: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/military-parade-postponed.html

Michael Cohen's problems just got worse

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/michael-cohen-paid-stormy-daniels-only-after-the-access-hollywood-tape-emerged-thats-big.html

Trump wants Omarosa . . . arrested

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/08/death-spiral-why-omarosa-totally-triggered-trump

More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/16/omarosa-releases-tape-discussing-hush-money/
MSNBC aired audio of a conversation between Omarosa Manigault Newman and Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, where they discussed a $15,000-a-month salary to work for the campaign as long as she didn’t say anything negative about President Trump.

[NB: Lock her up!]

Trump Cabinet meetings are just another piece of performance in Trump's WH

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/16/cabinet-meetings-are-now-part-of-the-trump-show/

Unfortunately, he's going to get confirmed anyway

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/16/kavanaugh-has-lowest-public-support-since-bork/
Kavanaugh Has Lowest Public Support Since Bork

Steve Bannon wants to play kingmaker again

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/15/bannon-comeback-midterms-trump-impeachment-779225

https://www.politico.eu/article/steve-bannon-the-movement-plans-right-wing-group-in-brussels/

Former wrestling coach Jim Jordan (R-OH) is in big trouble

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1788683

More than 300 newspapers across the country write editorials condemning Trump's ceaseless attacks on a free press. His response?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-charges-free-press-with-collusion-over-coordinated-editorials-as-predicted
‘Collusion’ 

What Trump thinks 

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/16/trump-says-his-campaigning-will-make-the-difference/
Trump Says His Campaigning Will Make the Difference 

What the facts say 

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/16/new-poll-shows-trump-is-an-anchor-on-republicans/
New Poll Shows Trump Is an Anchor on Republicans

He's delusional: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/16/trump-midterms-democrats-give-up-779475
Trump says 'Democrats give up when I turn out' on campaign trail

Always bluster

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/16/trump-impeachment-reelection-midterms-778968
'If they take the House, he wins big': Trump loyalists see upside in impeachment

Two views on centrism versus a shift left for Dems

http://prospect.org/article/why-center-doesnt-hold

http://prospect.org/article/good-formula-losing-2018-election

Kellyanne trashes her own husband

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/08/kellyanne-conway-tries-attack-her-husband

https://www.salon.com/2018/08/16/kellyanne-conway-suggests-her-husband-georges-anti-trump-tweets-violated-their-marital-vows/

Fox World can't even get its Aretha Franklin memoriam right

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1788766


***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 (http://pbd.blogspot.com) 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.***

TRUTH CLAIMS

This is it, in a nutshell 

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/exchange-of-the-day-81/
GIULIANI: It’s in the eye of the beholder.  

CUOMO: No, facts are not in the eye of the beholder.  

GIUILIANI: Nowadays they are.

A post-truth America?

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/14/17661430/trump-post-truth-politics-philosophy-simon-blackburn
For most of my adult life, I lived in what was sometimes called the postwar consensus. There were decent ways of doing politics. There were people who might veer toward free markets, and others who might veer a slightly different way, toward state interventions and subsidies, and so on. But basically, there was a general consensus about baseline facts, and disagreements were rooted in those facts. Things have changed, though, and people often use the metaphor of a silo. We live in information silos now. The individual is insulated from outside forces and surrounded by people who think and believe the same things he or she thinks and believes. There’s no doubt that Facebook and other social media have played a huge role in that. There’s always been selection of news — people basically read what they want to hear and gloss over things they don’t want to hear. I don’t think that’s a new phenomenon. But it has become easier to do this . . . [read on]

Michael Cohen rushes to Trump's defense, against Omarosa

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend-2/ 

[NB: Trump retweets this, after saying that . . . . Cohen is a pathological liar. So, now we ARE supposed to believe him?]
 
Trump shows that he is prepared to use the full powers of the presidency to attack and punish his critics
 
Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, with nine others under review
 
Creeping authoritarianism.
 
Former National Security Officials Respond To Trump Pulling John Brennan’s Security Clearance
 
Former CIA Chiefs Blast Trump’s ‘Outrageous’ Move on Brennan
 
A national security expert on Trump’s threat to revoke clearances: it’ll “set back the entire security establishment”  

Or to summarize in list form, the president believes the former CIA chief:
  • is guilty of “erratic conduct and behavior”;
  • is lacking in “objectivity and credibility”;
  • has made “unfounded and outrageous allegations”;
  • has made “wild outbursts on the internet and television” ’
  • has been caught “lying”; 
  • has engaged in “frenzied commentary.” 
Perhaps you see where I’m going with this.
 
Trump's Iran sanctions are backfiring
In Russia news . . .

Giuliani seems to be giving Mueller a deadline to wrap up his work. Mueller won't

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/giuliani-to-mueller-write-the-damn-report/

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/mueller-faces-no-deadline-in-probe/ 

Looks like Trump's lawyers are expecting a subpoena from Mueller

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/trump-prepares-to-fight-mueller-subpoena/ 

Paul Manafort trial: closing arguments

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/15/manafort-trial-closing-arguments-778331

Trump staffers who probably didn't enjoy hearing their names at the Manafort trial

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/08/a-little-peek-into-muellers-other.html

Manafort defense: why didn't the prosecution call even more witnesses?

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/14/manafort-trial-defense-witnesses-777578

In other news . . .                                                      

This is criminal negligence

https://www.salon.com/2018/08/15/records-reveal-lax-supervision-sexual-activity-at-chicago-shelters-housing-immigrant-children_partner/
Records reveal “lax” supervision, sexual abuse at migrant detention center for children

National Repubs who have never had cow poop on their shoes love to praise the American farmer. They don't know what the hell they are talking about

https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-hosts-and-the-rest-of-the-american-elite-dont-know-the-first-thing-about-farm-work

Trump wants to weaken climate rules even further

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/14/trump-reverse-climate-rule-740066 

WH lies about job stats so outrageously that even they have to admit it

https://thinkprogress.org/white-house-incorrect-correction-african-american-jobs-numbers-trump-obama-sarah-huckabee-sanders-18e84a2579ba/
 
West Virginia Repubs wipe out the entire state Supreme Court of Democratic-appointed judges. You know why

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/west-virginia-supreme-court-why-republicans-just-impeached-all-four-sitting-justices.html

A follow-up

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/candidate-who-faked-diploma-drops-out/
Candidate Who Faked Diploma Drops Out 

More analysis of the Tuesday primaries

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/14/2018-primary-election-results-updates-777510
Democrats post night of firsts

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/15/2018-primary-election-results-analysis-777727

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/primary-results-dems-embrace-diversity-gop-clings-to-trump.html
Primary Results: Dems Embrace Diversity, GOP Pulls Closer to Trump 

More good news for the Dems

https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/15/primary-turnout-surges-in-wisconsin-and-minnesota/
Primary Turnout Surges In Wisconsin and Minnesota

Meanwhile, here is the GOP's 2018 message. It might look a bit familiar

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/8/15/17686108/2018-midterm-elections-wisconsin-immigration-crime

Fast-rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a Dem primary in the left-friendly Bronx. Good for her, and I wish her well. But, you know, she hasn't, well, actually DONE anything yet

https://www.thedailybeast.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-is-risking-her-reputation-before-she-gets-to-congress
“What goes up must come down,” one Democratic operative told The Daily Beast. “And I guess there are two schools of thought. You’re a household name and a dragon slayer, you could put your head down and do the work or ride the wave of the moment. She’s clearly decided to ride the wave of the moment. I do think that’s a tricky game to get right.” [read on]

Elizabeth Warren's agenda

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/15/17683022/elizabeth-warren-accountable-capitalism-corporations

This just cements the White House-Fox World consortium further

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/08/white-house-waves-rule-allow-bill-shine

Bonus item: Seth!

https://www.thedailybeast.com/seth-meyers-trump-is-a-racist-with-a-rotted-out-soul-for-calling-omarosa-a-dog
Seth Meyers: Trump Is a ‘Racist With a Rotted-Out Soul’  

***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 (http://pbd.blogspot.com) 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.***