Thursday, January 31, 2019


Trump's own intelligence team publicly refuted many of his claims of victory. So of course he went on a tweetstorm to insult them 

“President Trump seethed Wednesday morning . . . The President didn’t see Coats’ full testimony in front of lawmakers that took place on Tuesday, but he was furious Wednesday as he watched television chyrons blare that the officials had contradicted him.”

"The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive . . .They are wrong! … Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!"

Trump's intel chiefs conspicuously fail to identify a "crisis" at the border -- expect the Dems to raise this if he tries to declare a "national emergency"

Go Chuck, go
Schumer: Past time for Intel leaders to 'stage an intervention' with Trump

After all this, can you believe it?
Despite Trump's border wall obsession, Americans trust Democrats more on border security

[NB: I would replace "despite" with "because"]


Trump is already getting ready to reject a border security bill he hasn't even seen yet

The Dems invite one of the undocumented workers working at a Trump property who got fired to the SOTU

In Russia news. . . 

Wow -- this is either gross negligence or a deeper conspiracy
Mueller Alleges His Probe Was Targeted By Russia-Based Disinformation Effort

According to the Mueller filing, the Twitter handle @HackingRedstone posted a message in late October 2018 claiming access to the special counsel investigation’s database “as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case Concord LLC v. Mueller. You can view all the files Mueller had about the IRA [Internet Research Agency] and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!” . . . Mueller’s office said that with the help of the FBI, it determined that more than 1,000 of the 300,000 files on the website linked from the @HackingRedstone tweet included markings unique to materials that it had shared with Concord Management and Consulting during earlier rounds of discovery. .  . Mueller’s office suggested that the hack and subsequent dissemination of its sensitive materials came with an ulterior motive: “to discredit the investigation” by the special counsel. . . . Last June, a federal judge in Washington issued an order telling Concord’s lawyers they were the only ones allowed to access, share or discuss the “sensitive” materials unless they got court approval. The order also mandated that the discovery materials could be stored only in an offline location at Reed Smith’s U.S. offices and couldn’t be “disclosed, transported or transmitted outside the United States.” Concord in December took issue with those restrictions on “sensitive” materials and filed a motion seeking to share the materials in Russia with Concord’s officers and employees “for purpose of preparing for trial.” [read on]
The Disinformation Campaign Targeting Mueller
More on the NRA-Russia link

Roger Stone won't stop talking in public about his case

Shut up, Lindsey (this may become a new department)
Graham Demands Explanation From The FBI About How Roger Stone Was Arrested

STONE: The whole purpose of this over-the-top raid on my house, in which they sent in more men then were used to protect our compound in Benghazi, was to paint a picture of me coming to poison a jury pool --
INGRAHAM: It was so ridiculous.
STONE: -- as public enemy number one.
INGRAHAM: I -- it was one of the more ridiculous things. And it was offensive. It’s offensive to me. . . [read on]

In other news . . . 

The Dow was close to 27,000, then crashed under Trump -- now he is bragging about it breaking 25,000
"Dow just broke 25,000. Tremendous news!"

[NB: And, again, the stock market is still not the measure of a healthy economy.]

Once again, a new manufacturing plant that Trump bragged about and took personal credit for turns out to be a figment of his imagination  
Okay, now, get to work
House GOP Finally Names Intelligence Committee Members

I expect to see more and more of this as House Dem investigations heat up: Trumpians simply refusing to testify

House Dems introduce a new bill to restore democracy, and Mitch McConnell instantly starts lying about it


[NB: Of course, it is true that increasing voter turnout and removing irrelevant barriers to voting tends to help Dems -- and of course, that's why they're pushing it. But you might think that increasing voter turnout and removing irrelevant barriers to voting are intrinsically good things for democracy, regardless of who they help. But then, you probably aren't a Republican.]

Democrats are trying to get Republicans to admit to voter suppression 

More to come
House Dems Unveil Bill To Fix, Expand Social Security
Trump blocked pay raises for 2 million workers. The House just voted to restore them.
Democrats Are Newly Emboldened on Gun Control

At one time, people were talking about 30 possible candidates for the Dem primary -- looks like there will be much fewer than that

Tulsi, we barely knew ya
Tulsi Gabbard’s Campaign Already Loses Campaign Manager, Consultants

Issues the Dem candidates need to deal with
What single-payer advocates want to hear from 2020 Democratic primary contenders
5 anti-poverty plans from 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, explained

The Dems' all-out push to keep Howard Schultz out of the 2020 race

[NB: The issue of Schultz as third-party spoiler is well-rehearsed here. The best analysis I heard was, if he wants to reform the Democratic party and create a moderate alternative to more leftist candidates, then run in the Dem primary and try to beat them -- as, for example, Michael Bloomberg might. Don't run a third-party campaign that can't possibly win and can only help Trump.]

A jerk move:
Howard Schultz says he's not a Democrat, surprised by backlash

Theocracy watch
Rev. Franklin Graham insisted on Wednesday that he had never heard a lie from President Donald Trump. . . . Craig Melvin pointed out to Graham that The Washington Post counted 8,158 false or misleading claims made by the president during his first two years in office. “Well, I don’t know how to reconcile that, because I don’t know,” Graham replied. “You have a fact checker for the president but I don’t know if you have a fact checker for the media at the same time.”

“Pastor Graham, you and I both know this president has said things over and over that aren’t true,” the MSNBC host pressed. “No, I don’t know that,” Graham insisted. “I don’t sit around and try to find every fault in the president every day, looking for everything that he might have misspoken or mis-said. I don’t do that.”

“But you can acknowledge that the president has said things that aren’t true,” Melvin asked. “I don’t think the president is sitting there behind the desk trying to make up lies,” Graham said. “I don’t believe that for a second. Has he misspoken on something? Sure, all of us do that, you do it, I do it.

I hate this. I can't tell you how much I hate this
Sarah Sanders: God wanted Trump to become president

Conservatives and white evangelicals are sticking with Trump only because he is a vehicle for getting their judges in place 

Trump could lose TEXAS in 2020

[NB: Wait til he starts trying to seize people's property in that state. Don't mess with Texas!]

A year ago, only a highly implausible estimate of Trump's height and weight kept him just below the level of "obese" during his physical. He hasn't gotten any taller, and he has visibly gained weight. What will his physical say this year?  

As Trump's poll numbers drop, so do the Republicans  

GOPers are leaving the party all across the country  

The first cracks?
Collins: ‘Not Prepared’ To Endorse Trump For 2020 

The problem with NDAs
Pssst! Chris Christie and Jared Kushner do not like each other

***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!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019


It's simple
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 56% of all Americans say they would “definitely not vote for him” should President Trump become the Republican nominee, while 14% say they would consider voting for him and 28% would definitely vote for him. Majorities of independents (59%), women (64%) and suburbanites (56%) rule out supporting Trump for a second term. Also interesting: While 75% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents approve of Trump’s performance in office when asked separately, nearly 1 in 3 say they would like to nominate someone other than Trump to be the party’s candidate for president.
“Bill Burton, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, defended his decision to join Howard Schultz’s team as the former Starbucks CEO considers an independent presidential bid in 2020, pushing back against suggestions that Schultz could be a spoiler,” CNN reports. Burton warned against a third-party candidate in a Sacramento Bee op-ed in August 2016, saying it could help elect Donald Trump.
Burton defended himself by saying to beat President Donald Trump you need a “creative” and “imaginative” option. His fellow Obama alumni aren’t buying it. “He should know better,” a Democratic operative told CNN. “I am furious. . . .”

Of course he does:
Trump Wants Schultz to Run

Schultz seems to making the positions of Warren and Ocasio-Cortez definitive of the Democratic party

Dear billionaires: stop running for president

Meanwhile, the RNC has their own poll that they say shows Trump is doing GREAT. I hope they continue to believe that


You might think the president would have something to say about this. You might
Spy chief warns of foreign interference in 2020 election

But this is the big headline news from DNI Dan Coats' testimony
The top U.S. intelligence chief predicted on Tuesday that North Korea will not "completely give up" its nuclear capabilities, laying out a tough road for President Donald Trump's negotiations with the reclusive country. "We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival," National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. . . .

“Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, also challenged Mr. Trump’s insistence that the Islamic State had been defeated, a key rationale for his decision to exit from Syria. The terror group, the annual ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ report to Congress concluded, ‘still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria,’ and maintain eight branches and a dozen networks around the world.”
In Senate hearing, intelligence community rebukes Trump’s favorite talking points

In Russia news. . . 

William Barr's confirmation gets postponed. It could be nothing, or it could be a growing concern -- even among Republicans -- that he is willing to bury parts of the Mueller report

Did Donald Junior lie to Congress? Sure looks like it  

Sen. Blumenthal went on TV and suggested Don Jr. lied to Congress. Trump attacked him immediately.

The new Trump argument to the press: how can you criticize us for going after WikiLeaks material, when YOU printed it?

Can the House Dem investigations stay out of Mueller's way?

Trump met Putin without staff or note takers present — again

More on the NRA-Russia link

In 2015 a think tank predicted the model of election interference that actually took place in 2016. Its founder met with Trump officials. Mueller is interested

Another "benefit" of the shutdown
White House Uses Shutdown As Cover To Avoid Democratic House Investigations

Lucky us
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told NBC News that he had some simple advice for President Trump about the ongoing Russia investigation: Keep quiet. Trump, however, has ignored him. . .

In other news . . . 

This week, Trump is doing. . .  nothing  

Looks like the House-Senate conference bill on border security will be pretty modest. Doesn't matter if Trump says he isn't going to sign it
Republicans Are Ditching the Wall

House Dems say Dreamers likely won't be part of deal to avert shutdown


Trump is making asylum almost impossible


But . . . but . . . but. . .  what about all those unemployed Americans whose jobs are being stolen by immigrants?
Trump Winery Seeks To Hire Short-Term Foreign Guest Workers


Lindsey Graham, enabler

They can't govern
The White House confirmed to POLITICO today that it will not be releasing President Donald Trump’s budget request next week, delaying work on next year's spending as the battle over this year's spending drags on. . . 

“There is simply no one more influential in the White House on the president than Jared Kushner. He’s not the only person who he listens to, but I don’t think anyone has more influence than Jared has.”
          — Former Gov. Chris Christie

A horrible EPA decision
Trump’s EPA will not set legal limit on dangerous chemicals in drinking water, report says
EPA’s chemical decision worries Republicans

It's how they roll
GOP-Led Iowa House Hands Seat To GOPer After Rejecting 29 Mail Ballots

Are we watching the end of gerrymandering?
GOP Virginia House Speaker Backs Bipartisan Commission To Redraw Map

The Dems SOTU response
Stacey Abrams — the unsuccessful 2018 Democratic nominee for Georgia governor and the minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives before that — will deliver Democrats’ response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address . . .

En espaƱol:
California AG Xavier Becerra Will Deliver Dems’ Spanish-Language SOTU Response

I have a slogan for the 2020 Dems: "Make America Great Again!"
Majority Of Americans See Nation On The Wrong Track, Believe Things Will Get Worse 

Kamala Harris has some explaining to do
Trump tries to counteract Cliff Sims' juicy tell-all book by attacking him personally
"He signed a non-disclosure agreement. He is a mess!"

Cliff Sims Reacts To Trump Insult In Real Time: ‘Nice. There It Is’
As a former aide embarrasses him, Trump is guided by his impulses

BIG mistake
“The Trump campaign is preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims for violating our NDA,” Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner tweeted Tuesday. . .
Bonus item: There's a famous war recollection that Ronald Reagan used to tell that turned out to come from a movie. Now Trump is apparently doing the same thing

***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.***

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Polls go up and down, but certain attitudes seem very unlikely to change before 2020
Nearly half of America has no confidence in Trump 'at all' ... and women hate him

Poll: most Americans want Democrats to investigate Trump

I'm a little tired of hearing about Trump's popularity among Republicans -- it's a shrinking party that only contains people who like Trump. The rest have mostly left

Trump's war with the Right
It's looking more and more as if Trump might declare a national emergency and just do what he wants without Congressional approval. It's a terrible precedent and a terrible way to govern, and Republicans hate the idea, but it means he doesn't have to compromise -- and he can boast "I did it!"

[NB: Problem is, it goes straight to court -- and who knows what the outcome might be? One thing for sure: there won't be any new Wall™ built for a long time. Some "emergency."]

No, Republicans do not want it
GOP Lawmaker Says Trump Can’t Claim Emergency
Rubio: Trump declaring national emergency for border wall 'a terrible idea'


Nancy Pelosi has the full repertoire of Mom talk when it comes to Trump
Pelosi: 'Have I not been clear on a wall? I've been very clear on the wall'
The cost of Trump's shutdown
The five-week partial government shutdown cost the U.S. economy about $3 billion in forgone economic activity that won't be recovered, the Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Monday. The agency projected that an overall $11 billion in losses due to the shutdown over President Donald Trump's border wall will be offset by a projected $8 billion boost for the GDP through the remainder of the year. . . .

[NB: I don't see why the GDP offset is relevant. That growth isn't BECAUSE of the shutdown.]


Pay attention to Venezuela
Graham: Trump Likes The Idea Of Using ‘Military Force’ In Venezuela
Trump Announces Sanctions on Venezuela

Then there's this:
Conspicuous Note On Bolton’s Legal Pad At Press Briefing: ‘5,000 Troops To Colombia’

A peace agreement with the Taliban?

Tensions heating up with China
DOJ Indicts Tech Giant Huawei Right Before China Trade Talks Resume


In Russia news. . . 

Acting AG Whitaker says Mueller is just about done

[NB: The one thing he said that was true was that he shouldn't be discussing an ongoing investigation. That includes this.] 

More to come
Roger Stone’s Indictment Says Mueller Ain’t Done Yet
Mueller team signals to Stone associate another indictment may be in the works 

Incoming AG William Barr says. . .
Barr Says He’s Occasionally Discussed Mueller’s Probe With Pence
Barr Hints Full Mueller Report Might Not Be Sent To Congress After All


Trump "defends" Roger Stone by attacking everybody else 

Jared Kushner, wrong again
In closed session
Cohen To Testify Before House Intelligence Committee Next Week 

The other shoe drops
A member of President Donald Trump’s transition team was named as a board member of a company owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska the day after the Trump administration lifted sanctions against Deripaska’s companies. . . . 

In other news . . .

It’s about to get very cold in the Midwest. Here’s what the president of the United States tweeted in response to this news . . . 

SOTU February 5
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a letter to President Donald Trump Monday that they have agreed on a State of the Union address date for February 5 – exactly a week after the original scheduled date. 

A few days ago I mentioned that Howard Schultz's exploration of a third party is a kind of warning to the Dems not to nominate a candidate too far to the left. These links carry that debate further 

Get used to it, Howard, you'll be hearing it a lot if you run
Angry Heckler Confronts Howard Schultz: 'Don't Help Elect Trump!'
No, thank you
Hillary Clinton tells friends she's leaving 2020 door open 

Beyond backing Trump, what do Republicans stand for?

Nicely done:
What the shutdown (hopefully) taught Republicans about Trump
Republican senators all disclaim shutdown as a really bad idea that totally wasn't their fault

We talked about the crazy meeting that Trump had with Ginni Thomas (wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas) and a bunch of wackos she brought with her. Here is the complete line-up

Theocracy watch: Trump comes out in favor of "Bible literacy" classes in public schools. You can be sure that this has nothing to do with his commitment to Bible literacy


The Cliff Sims tell-all

President Donald Trump relishes showing off his quarters to guests, including unusual stops on the tour like spots where former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky allegedly had liaisons or the private dining room he likes to say former President Barack Obama left a mess. ..
Trump’s complaint to White House guests: Obama watched too much TV
Trump ‘very pissed off’ at former White House aide’s tell-all

Popcorn! Right-wing cage match between Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, and the folks at Fox World


Bonus item: Seth Meyers records the tiny voice inside Donald Trump's head

***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.***