Thursday, January 31, 2019

INTELLIGENCE MATTERS

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

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/30/trump-national-security-1136433

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-national-security-team-rejects-his-climate-stance-too 

More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/trump-singled-out-dan-coats-in-morning-rant/
“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.”

Wow: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1090608298343190528
"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"

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/intelligence-officials-dont-mention-crisis-at-border/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/schiff-teases-using-intel-chief-hearing-to-shoot-down-national-emergency

Go Chuck, go

https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/427781-schumer-past-time-for-intel-leaders-to-stage-an-intervention-with
Schumer: Past time for Intel leaders to 'stage an intervention' with Trump

After all this, can you believe it?

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830718
Despite Trump's border wall obsession, Americans trust Democrats more on border security

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

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-nations-key-issues-americans-trust-pelosi-over-trump

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

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/30/trump-border-national-emergency-immigration-1138308

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

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/undocumented-worker-fired-by-trump-invited-to-speech/

In Russia news. . . 

Wow -- this is either gross negligence or a deeper conspiracy

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/robert-mueller-russia-troll-discovery-altered-posted-online
Mueller Alleges His Probe Was Targeted By Russia-Based Disinformation Effort

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/30/mueller-special-counsel-russia-twitter-1138293
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]

https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/01/30/the-disinformation-campaign-targeting-mueller-and-the-delayed-briefing-to-ssci-on-russian-election-interference/
The Disinformation Campaign Targeting Mueller
 
More on the NRA-Russia link

https://www.thedailybeast.com/nra-heavyweight-wanted-access-to-putin-leaked-email

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

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/roger-stone-will-resist-any-gag-order/

Shut up, Lindsey (this may become a new department)

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/graham-demands-explanation-from-the-fbi-about-how-roger-stone-was-arrested
Graham Demands Explanation From The FBI About How Roger Stone Was Arrested

More: https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/01/newly-minted-civil-libertarians.html
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

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1090729920760893441
"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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-foxconn-wisconsin-exclusive-idUSKCN1PO0FV  
 
Okay, now, get to work

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/house-gop-finally-names-intelligence-committee-members/
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

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830911

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

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/congress-begins-worthwhile-debate-over-bill-improve-our-democracy

McConnell: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mcconnell-ridicules-election-day-holiday

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830926

[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.]

More: https://www.vox.com/2019/1/30/18203936/mitch-mcconnell-election-day-federal-holiday
Democrats are trying to get Republicans to admit to voter suppression 

More to come

https://crooksandliars.com/2019/01/house-dems-unveil-social-security-2100-act
House Dems Unveil Bill To Fix, Expand Social Security

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/30/18203613/house-pay-raise-federal-workers
Trump blocked pay raises for 2 million workers. The House just voted to restore them.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/01/democrats-have-introduced-bold-gun-control-legislation/581191
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

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/will-the-democratic-field-be-smaller-than-we-thought/

Tulsi, we barely knew ya

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/tulsi-gabbard-campaign-loses-campaign-manager-consultant
Tulsi Gabbard’s Campaign Already Loses Campaign Manager, Consultants

Issues the Dem candidates need to deal with

https://thinkprogress.org/single-payer-democratic-primary-2020-183bb8cfb957
What single-payer advocates want to hear from 2020 Democratic primary contenders

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/1/30/18183769/democrat-poverty-plans-2020-presidential-kamala-harris-booker-gillibrand
5 anti-poverty plans from 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, explained

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

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/democrats-try-to-push-shultz-out-of-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: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trumpian-move-schultz-volunteered-story-rejecting-warren-funding-request

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/howard-schultz-says-he-s-not-democrat-surprised-party-backlash-n964476
Howard Schultz says he's not a Democrat, surprised by backlash

Theocracy watch

https://crooksandliars.com/2019/01/franklin-graham-lies-about-lying-trump
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

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/30/sarah-huckabee-sanders-trump-god-1137547
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

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/30/trump-judges-conservative-deal-1137702 

Trump could lose TEXAS in 2020

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/trumps-texas-troubles-are-rooted-in-the-suburbs/

[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?
 

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830626  

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

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830931  

GOPers are leaving the party all across the country

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/dems-make-gains-in-state-houses-as-gopers-defect  

The first cracks?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/collins-not-prepared-endorse-trump-2020
Collins: ‘Not Prepared’ To Endorse Trump For 2020 

The problem with NDAs

https://www.thedailybeast.com/these-white-house-ndas-are-crapthese-people-work-for-us-not-trump
 
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 (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

DO THE MATH

It's simple

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/most-say-they-would-not-vote-for-trump/
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.

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/burton-defends-working-for-schultz/
“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.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/dems-livid-as-original-obama-aide-joins-schultz
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: https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/trump-wants-schultz-to-run/
Trump Wants Schultz to Run

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

https://www.salon.com/2019/01/29/howard-schultz-takes-aim-at-the-tax-policies-of-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-and-elizabeth-warren/

More: https://www.vox.com/2019/1/29/18201005/howard-schultz-billionaires-president
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

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/29/18201939/rnc-poll-parscale-trump-districts

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-campaign-team-tells-him-everything-fine-it-really-isnt

You might think the president would have something to say about this. You might

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/dan-coats-2020-election-foreign-interference-1126077
Spy chief warns of foreign interference in 2020 election

But this is the big headline news from DNI Dan Coats' testimony

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/dan-coats-north-korea-nuclear-weapons-1133969
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. . . .

More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/intelligence-chiefs-contradict-trump-on-north-korea-and-iran/
“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.”

https://thinkprogress.org/senate-hearing-intelligence-community-trump-db7f2fa3389a/
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

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/29/18202074/bill-barr-attorney-general-nominee

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830600

Did Donald Junior lie to Congress? Sure looks like it

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/did-donald-trump-jr-lie-to-congress/  

More: https://www.vox.com/2019/1/29/18201935/blumenthal-trump-don-jr-maddow-russia
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?

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-trump-white-houses-spin-wikileaks-needs-some-work

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

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/house-dems-probe-hard-not-interfere-mueller

Again

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/29/18202515/trump-putin-russia-g20-ft-note
Trump met Putin without staff or note takers present — again

More on the NRA-Russia link

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830509

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

https://www.thedailybeast.com/mueller-witness-team-gamed-out-russian-meddling-in-2015

Another "benefit" of the shutdown

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/white-house-uses-shutdown-as-cover-for-investigations
White House Uses Shutdown As Cover To Avoid Democratic House Investigations

Lucky us

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/christie-says-trump-ignores-his-advice/
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

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/30/a-quiet-white-house/  

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

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/01/republicans-trump-wall.html
Republicans Are Ditching the Wall

More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/gop-leader-says-border-deal-doesnt-need-the-word-wall/
 
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/house-democrats-daca-government-shutdown-1134061
House Dems say Dreamers likely won't be part of deal to avert shutdown

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/border-wall-government-shutdown-1136358

Trump is making asylum almost impossible

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-remain-in-mexico-asylum-issues-8c8a706c4cac/

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1830627

But . . . but . . . but. . .  what about all those unemployed Americans whose jobs are being stolen by immigrants?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-winery-seeks-to-hire-short-term-guest-workers
Trump Winery Seeks To Hire Short-Term Foreign Guest Workers

More: https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/01/trump-lied-about-e-verify-during-2016-campaign/

Lindsey Graham, enabler

https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/graham-urges-trump-to-tie-debt-limit-to-border-wall/

They can't govern

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/trump-budget-congress-1135417
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. . . 

More: https://politicalwire.com/2019/01/29/bonus-quote-of-the-day-1087/
“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

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-epa-limit-dangerous-pfos-pfoa-chemicals-water-c40dc8308ef0/
Trump’s EPA will not set legal limit on dangerous chemicals in drinking water, report says

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/epa-chemical-decision-republicans-1129824
EPA’s chemical decision worries Republicans

It's how they roll

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/iowa-house-reject-absentee-mail-ballots-michael-bergan-win
GOP-Led Iowa House Hands Seat To GOPer After Rejecting 29 Mail Ballots

Are we watching the end of gerrymandering?


https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/virginia-house-speaker-kirk-cox-support-bipartisan-commission
GOP Virginia House Speaker Backs Bipartisan Commission To Redraw Map

The Dems SOTU response

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/stacey-abrams-state-of-the-union-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: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/california-ag-xavier-becerra-will-deliver-dems-spanish-language-sotu-response
California AG Xavier Becerra Will Deliver Dems’ Spanish-Language SOTU Response

I have a slogan for the 2020 Dems: "Make America Great Again!"

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/most-americans-nation-wrong-track-shutdown
Majority Of Americans See Nation On The Wrong Track, Believe Things Will Get Worse 

Kamala Harris has some explaining to do

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/harris-tries-to-dismiss-unpopular-positions-while-ag

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/01/kamala-harris-black-lives-matter-prosecutor-record-criticism.html
 
Trump tries to counteract Cliff Sims' juicy tell-all book by attacking him personally

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/trump-cliff-sims-1133226
"He signed a non-disclosure agreement. He is a mess!"

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/cliff-sims-reacts-to-trump-insult-in-real-time-nice
Cliff Sims Reacts To Trump Insult In Real Time: ‘Nice. There It Is’

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/former-aide-embarrasses-him-trump-guided-his-impulses
As a former aide embarrasses him, Trump is guided by his impulses

BIG mistake

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/trump-campaign-nondisclosure-agreement-lawsuit-cliff-sims-michael-glassner
“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

https://crooksandliars.com/2019/01/maddow-connects-trumps-troop-deployment

***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.***