Thursday, April 25, 2019

WHAT IF?


https://crooksandliars.com/2019/04/chris-matthews-plays-what-if-it-was

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Dirty Don says he would take any impeachment case "to the Supreme Court"

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/trump-would-challenge-impeachment-in-supreme-court/ 

[NB: The last time I looked, the Supreme Court has no role in the impeachment process. It's not a judicial proceeding. Maybe DD doesn't know that.]

More:  http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-thinks-the-supreme-court-can-save-him-impeachment-it-cant
Trump thinks the Supreme Court can save him from impeachment (it can’t)

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1852750
Over the last few days, Trump has tried playing his hand with the same kind of blowhard bluster that has seen him through most occasions. . . . But with his poll numbers on a slide and the impeachment discussion moving from “if” to “when,” Trump clearly needs bigger, better distractions. . . . [read on]
 
Trump makes it clear: he will not cooperate with Congressional investigations

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/trump-declares-war-on-house-democrats/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-doesnt-want-white-house-aides-testifying-before-congress

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/facing-tough-questions-white-house-rejects-congressional-oversight

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1852800
Trump asserts policy of total obstruction: 'We're fighting all the subpoenas'

Which makes this assertion slightly . . . . problematic

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1121071142608015361
"I have been the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far." 

In a truly bizarre moment Trump denied that he called a Post reporter and then . . . confirmed that he did

https://www.salon.com/2019/04/24/why-did-trump-just-go-berserk-over-a-phone-call_partner/
“The president called up the friend of our show Bob Costa overnight on an unrelated topic,” Jackson said, “and Bob smartly asked him about all of these subpoenas that House Democrats are issuing against the Trump administration, and the president made the argument to the "Post", ‘Hey, I cooperated plenty with Robert Mueller, what do I have to cooperate with Congress for?” [watch] 

Running out the clock

https://www.axios.com/donald-trump-legal-strategy-subpoenas-investigations-f472ed47-988b-4762-824b-6578dfbedc3f.html
Facing a multi-front war in the post-Mueller world, President Trump is turning to litigation strategies that he long used in business — resist, delay and sue. . . 

More: https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/backstage-its-all-about-revenge.html
 
The Dems have a plan

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-24/democrats-weigh-fines-for-trump-officials-who-spurn-subpoenas
Democrats Weigh Fines for Trump Officials Who Spurn Subpoenas

It's not over, not by a long shot

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/investigations-biggest-threat-trump
A Running List Of The Probes That Pose The Greatest Threat To Trumpworld 

He keeps obstructing justice: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1852876

Even after all we have learned, the Trump admin is just not that serious about protecting our elections from foreign interference. Hmmm . . . I wonder why?

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/official-warned-not-to-bring-up-election-security/

More: https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/24/trump-is-counting-on-putins-help-in-2020
Trump Is Counting on Putin’s Help in 2020 

Nicely done!

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/24/after-being-invited-to-visit-trump-insults-the-british-again/
After Being Invited to Visit, Trump Insults the British Again 



With the citizenship census question before the Supreme Court, Trump blurts out an admission that undermines the legal case his Justice Dept is trying to make

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/trump-contradicts-his-administration-on-citizenship-question/

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/24/trump-citizenship-census-1289245

How the Court decides this case will show whether it remains an independent branch, or another Trumpified ally

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/04/census-case-roberts-court-legacy.html

In other investigation news . . .

Rudy Giuliani now suggests that Trump's IRS audits are over -- you know, the audits that Trump said prevented him from releasing his taxes?

https://thinkprogress.org/rudy-giuliani-fox-news-ways-and-means-irs-trump-taxes-excuse-not-to-release-e7e416d7d30d/

More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/trumps-irs-audit-files-offer-treasure-trove/
Trump’s IRS Audit Files Offer ‘Treasure Trove’

Ooh, boy (rubbing hands with glee)

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/report-deutsche-bank-beginning-to-comply-with-ny-ag-subpeona-for-trump-docs
Deutsche Bank Beginning To Comply With NY AG Subpeona For Trump Docs

Trump tried to get the Justice Dept to investigate Hillary Clinton

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/trump-wanted-to-use-law-enforcement-against-rival/


Trump's wild, crazy opioid speech

https://splinternews.com/trump-opioids-bad-but-did-u-see-melanias-dress-1834280335

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-opioid-crisis-atlanta/index.html

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/i-am-breaking-down-swamp.html

Transcript: https://factba.se/transcript/donald-trump-speech-drug-heroin-abuse-summit-atlanta-april-24-2019 

Maybe we should change it from "Theocracy watch" to just "Theocracy"

https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2019/4/24/18513213/trump-evangelicals-gop
Evangelicals are now the key constituency in the Republican Party.

Steve King, racist Republican from Iowa who has been stripped of his committee assignments, says that he knows how Jesus Christ felt on the cross

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/king-have-better-insight-into-how-jesus-felt-when-crucified-after-committee-boot

This infuriates me

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/measles-outbreak-highest-level-25-years
US Measles Outbreak Hits Highest Level In 25 Years Thanks To Anti-Vaxxers

Meanwhile, in the real world: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/24/18514577/malaria-vaccine-malawi-pilot-program
Malaria is among the world’s biggest killers of children. Now there’s a vaccine. 

[NB: Gee, maybe we should make that "optional" too.]

GOPers are switching parties across the country . . . because of Trump

https://thinkprogress.org/iowa-lawmaker-bolts-the-gop-citing-unacceptable-behavior-of-bully-donald-trump-c8b4619fff74/

Every poll (but one) has Trump with very low approval numbers

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/trumps-approval-remains-dismal/

Trump needs to be punished, definitely. The question is, what form should that punishment take? Impeaching him IS NOT PUNISHING HIM if the Senate, as seems likely, does not convict him and he then gains momentum headed into the 2020 vote. The way to punish him IS TO BEAT HIM; hearings, more revelations, and a possible censure vote -- which might gain some bipartisan support -- are more likely to do that

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/24/robert-mueller-republicans-1288759
Robert Mueller’s explosive findings that the president may have committed obstruction of justice is causing a far more muted reaction among Republicans. Not even the most vulnerable Republicans who have pledged to support Trump have abandoned the president. And there is no sign any will. . . .

[NB: And it is possible that hearings and/or the results of other ongoing investigations might turn up something that really shifts the impeachment calculus -- something that even the Repubs can't condone. If so, impeachment can be reopened again.]

I think the Dem presidential candidates really need to be thinking about the issues they are taking on, not only in terms of currying favor with constituencies in the primaries, now, but in terms of how these positions will play out in the general election later

https://prospect.org/article/reparations-really
Reparations, Really? 

I get that there is an argument for voting for the candidate who is closest to your values and beliefs, without regard to "electability." It's your voice, and your vote. And, in the end, who knows who might be electable if enough people vote their conscience? Having said that, and as a progressive, I think it is self-defeating to rank candidates along a progressivity index, as if that was a single clear metric. And it is important to remember that ANY of them would be far more progressive than the current occupant of the White House

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/24/the-fallacy-of-evaluating-which-candidate-is-more-progressive/

Pete Buttigieg's big weakness: black support (thanks to AG for the link)

https://www.theroot.com/what-would-black-america-be-like-under-president-pete-1834232212

Franklin Graham attacks Buttigieg, says you can't be a "gay Christian"

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/franklin-graham-calls-for-pete-buttigieg-to-repent/

[NB: It's not my religion, but what century is Graham living in?]

Four questions for Joe Biden

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/four-questions-joe-biden-needs-to-answer-to-win-the-dem-nomination

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mccains-intend-back-biden-snub-trump
McCains Intend To Back Biden For President

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/24/biden-leads-trump-nationally/
Biden Leads Trump Nationally

From the "She the People" rally

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/24/she-the-people-1289763
'Racism and sexism': Women of color slam white male tilt of Dem primary

https://www.thedailybeast.com/kamala-harris-and-elizabeth-warren-lead-an-incredible-field-of-2020-women-how-are-they-trailing-pete-buttigieg
Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren Lead an Incredible Field of 2020 Women. How Are They Trailing Pete Buttigieg?
 
Bonus item: Trevor Noah on Trump's Twitter obsession

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-daily-shows-trevor-noah-goes-after-trump-over-ridiculous-twitter-follower-complaints 

***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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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

BEG ME

Trump says he has never been happier. But he sounds awfully bitter to me

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/23/trump-media-tweets-1287310
Trump unleashes on the media in morning tweetstorm . . . “I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!” [read on]  

[NB: No, the NYT never "apologized" to him, nor did they have any reason to. But he loves this image of people down on their knees and begging him ("like a dog"). He loves that image. . . a little too much.]

More: https://terriblyterrier.com/like-dog-presidents-favorite-simile-says/
Like a Dog: What President Trump’s Favorite Simile Says About Him

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/donald-trumps-metaphor-choice-dog
Donald Trump’s metaphor of choice: ‘Like a dog’

He attacks Twitter too

https://www.businessinsider.com/president-donald-trump-blasts-twitter-as-discriminatory-on-twitter-2019-4
Trump blasts Twitter as 'very discriminatory' 

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/23/trump-complains-to-twitter-ceo-about-lost-followers/
President Trump met privately with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. . . “A significant portion of the meeting focused on Trump’s concerns that Twitter quietly, and deliberately, has limited or removed some of his followers…” 

More: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-gets-gentle-reassurance-from-twitter-chief-jack-dorsey-over-follower-count-in-white-house-meeting
Twitter CEO Gently Tells Trump: Your ‘Lost’ Followers Are Bots and Spam Accounts
 
I keep saying it, but there is a level at which my disgust with Trump isn't about policy or corruption or incompetence -- it is that he is a miserable excuse for a human being 
Most Devastating of All: Mueller's Indictment of Trump's Character

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-odd-expectations-hed-be-immune-criticism
Trump’s odd expectations: he’d like to be ‘immune from criticism’

If you didn't already hate Jared Kushner, you will now
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that he “never discussed business” with the head of the Russian state investment bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), with whom he met shortly after the 2016 election . . . Kushner met with Gorkov on Dec. 13, 2016 upon Kislyak’s urging, days after the first public reports that U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that Russia had worked to help Trump’s campaign. . . VEB was (and still is) subject to U.S. sanctions as a result of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, raising questions as to the purpose of the meeting. . . .

[NB: Let's just note the post-Mueller strategy, drawing together Kushner's comments and Giuliani's: What the Russians did wasn't that much, really, just a few Facebook posts. And if the Trumpians helped them, well, that's just what any campaign would do. Call it "collusion" if you want, but collusion's not illegal. And -- best of all -- the investigation into Russia's successful subversion of our democracy is WORSE than the actual interference itself.]

"Contempt" is just the word

https://thinkprogress.org/house-oversight-cummings-contempt-white-house-security-clearances-9f659cb89e4c
In a blistering statement Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) threatened contempt proceedings for former White House employee Carl Kline, who had been subpoenaed over his handling of security clearances. The Trump administration has instructed Kline not to comply with the committee’s subpoena. . . 

More: https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/23/the-white-house-blocks-oversight-of-security-clearance-lapses/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/mnuchin-stalls-on-trump-tax-return-request
Mnuchin Blows Off Response To Trump Tax Return Request

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/23/white-house-will-fight-subpoena-of-mueller-witnesses/
“The White House plans to fight a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee for former White House counsel Donald McGahn to testify . . . The Trump administration also plans to oppose other requests from House committees for the testimony of current and former aides about actions in the White House described in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.” 

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/04/white-house-fights-mcgahn-subpoena-trump-knockout-silver-bullet.html
The White House Will Fight McGahn Subpoena Because His Public Testimony Could Be a Knockout Blow

So, now we know

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/23/trump-wont-let-any-aides-testify-on-mueller-report/
Trump Won’t Let Any Aides Testify on Mueller Report . . . Said Trump: “There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it’s very partisan — obviously very partisan.”

More: https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/04/donald-trump-is-digging-in-for-a-long-twilight-struggle/
Donald Trump Is Digging In For a Long Twilight Struggle 

In other investigation news . . .

Guilty, guilty, guilty

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/24/how-many-times-has-trump-told-his-staff-to-break-the-law/
How Many Times Has Trump Told His Staff to Break the Law?

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/24/mueller-report-trump-evidence-1288798
Team Trump’s bellicose tweets and public statements in the last few days could expose the president to fresh charges of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.

In other news . . . 

This tells you how much Trump cares about the U.N.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/23/trump-kelly-knight-craft-un-1288770
Months later, Trump closes in on U.N. nomination . . . Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, faces a tough Senate confirmation process for the same reasons that are thought to have held up her nomination since Trump first tweeted his intent to pick her two months ago: There are questions about her family’s extensive business interests and her dearth of knowledge about international issues at a time when the U.S. faces numerous geopolitical challenges, including from Russia and a fast-rising China. Her husband, Joe Craft, is a billionaire coal executive with close ties to the White House. 

The Supreme Court might let the racist citizenship question stay on the census 

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/supreme-court-oral-arguments-census-citizenship

More: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/04/supreme-court-census-case-citizenship-question.html
The Supreme Court Is Poised to Shred Its Credibility to Let Trump Rig the Census

Netanyahu really knows how to suck up to Trump

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/world-news/netanyahu-golan-heights-settlement-trump
Netanyahu Wants To Name A New Golan Heights Settlement After Trump

Now that Cain is out of the running for the Fed, we can focus on the guy who is worse

https://www.salon.com/2019/04/23/herman-cain-is-out-of-running-for-fed-post-but-trumps-second-choice-is-worse/

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/one-trumps-fed-picks-quits-the-other-faces-new-controversy 

What Trump is doing to the Republican party 

https://politicalwire.com/2019/04/23/keeping-trump-in-office-may-kill-the-republican-party/
“Mr. Trump is three years into destroying what we know as the Republican Party. Another two years just might finish it off. Trumpism has become Republicanism, and that spells electoral doom for the party.”

Theocracy watch

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/23/why-evangelical-christians-dont-question-trump/
Why Evangelical Christians Don’t Question Trump

Trump doesn't want to go to the White House Correspondents Dinner (he doesn't want to sit there and be made fun of). But now he is ordering his entire staff to boycott it too

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/23/trump-orders-boycott-of-white-house-correspondents-dinner-1287871  

Pelosi, Schumer ask to meet with Trump about infrastructure

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/23/pelosi-schumer-trump-infrastructure-1288794

The issue of impeachment is serious and complex. Whether it is the right thing to do (morally, politically), whether it is the smart thing to do, is a worthy debate. But after saying that they don't want their campaign to be all about Trump, the Dems are in danger of making it . . . all about Trump

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/impeachment-divides-dems-back-to-back-cnn-forums
Impeachment Divides Dems

More: https://www.vox.com/2019/4/23/18510850/democrats-impeachment-pelosi-mueller-trump

Is Bernie TRYING to lose?

https://www.salon.com/2019/04/23/bernie-sanders-even-terrible-people-like-the-boston-marathon-bomber-should-have-the-right-to-vote/
Sanders: Even "terrible people" like the Boston Marathon bomber should have the right to vote

A defense: https://www.thedailybeast.com/bernie-sanders-got-it-right-on-cnn-felons-ought-to-be-allowed-to-vote
Bernie Sanders Got It Right

Ground Zero for the Dem civil war

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/04/24/the-intercept-greenwald-grim-profile-media-politics-left-liberal-226710

The Dems say they want to run a different campaign, but once the competitive juices get flowing they all end up acting the same

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/rivals-clamber-build-arsenal-opposition-research-buttigieg
Rivals Clamber To Build Arsenal Of Oppo Research Against Buttigieg

Where's Beto?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/beto-orourke-2020-media_n_5cbf1bd1e4b0f7a84a753b99
Beto O’Rourke’s Non-Media Strategy

In Fox World, "Hillary Clinton's email server is a real threat to our safety and security"

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/this-is-what-trump-voters-are-seeing.html

Bonus item: "Avengers: Endgame" is about to premiere. Here's your primer to the MCU

https://slate.com/culture/2019/04/daily-show-mcu-recap-roy-wood-jr-marvel-cinematic-universe.html
***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.***