Before we get to the list of reasons to celebrate, just a few notes on that horrendous ACA ruling from last night. First, this doesn’t end the ACA — the law stands for now. Second, legal scholars all over the country are confident that this ruling will not stand up to appeal. Third, there are some arguments that this will somehow lead to a quicker legislative version of medicaid-for-all. Fourth, Democrats are already fighting back and using this to rally people. Fifth, there are reasons to think this is a political nightmare for republicans. Sixth, states are already fighting back. Seventh, appeals are already being made. And finally, don’t forget that ALL FIVE JUDGES WHO KEPT ACA ALIVE ARE STILL ON THE SUPREME COURT.
With that in mind, lets get to our 20 reasons to celebrate!
1. Robert MF-ing Mueller Is Laying All This Out Carefully, Clearly, and DAMNINGLY.
President Trump and his allies have long rallied around the defiant battle cry that special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a “witch hunt” that has uncovered “no collusion” with Russia. But public filings by Mueller and the Southern District of New York over the past two weeks have changed the game. We still do not know everything Mueller knows, but the contours of a broad scheme by the administration to conspire with Russia — to the personal benefit of Trump and the detriment of the United States — are now coming into sharper focus.Now, with Mueller’s recent court filings, the battleground ahead is coming into sharper focus. It now seems that Mueller is operating on two fronts, both of which pose deadly serious threats to Trump and his administration.First, the evidence mounts that Trump has committed federal crimes unrelated to Russia.The evidence also builds that Trump has attempted to obstruct justice by impeding the investigation of Russian election interferenceBased on these revelations, we now know that Trump was compromised deep into his run for the White House. Trump needed to curry favor with the Russian government to obtain approvals for the Moscow project. Further complicating matters, while Trump lied to the public about his business dealings with Russia, the Russian government had proof to the contrary — in the form of written communications with Cohen — which Russia could have used for leverage over Trump.
and the bits and pieces were are getting are making it clear that this is BAD for Trump →
The special counsel is connecting the dots and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the president.
a flurry of recent activity this past week all points in the same direction: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will likely implicate the president, his campaign, and his close associates in aiding and abetting a Russian conspiracy against the United States to undermine the 2016 election.
That is a BIG BIG deal. And that isn’t all →
The ‘Russia investigation’ is set to go global. In court filings due to drop in 2019, prosecutors will unveil Middle Eastern countries’ attempts to influence U.S. politics.
All of this is leading people who are paying attention to come to one conclusion →
— The Hill (@thehill) December 13, 2018
2. This Hush Money/Law Breaking Thing Is Bad For Trump
And the Russia stuff was the least of Trump’s problems this week. You know it is bad when treason is low on the list of what worries you!
Giant breaks this week in the case that Trump violated campaign finance law (which would be a felony, for those wondering).
Let’s all say it together: The president of the United States has been credibly accused of committing a felony.
We can confidently infer that President Donald Trump is “Individual 1” in the recent filing by the state district attorney for New York in the criminal case of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and all-around “fixer.”
And, according to the filing, Individual 1 specifically directed Cohen to pay off women to keep quiet about affairs they had with Trump, lest their stories damage his presidential candidacy. If confirmed, these payments would constitute an illegal contribution to Trump’s campaign or, in other words, a felony.
Of note, the president himself doesn’t appear to dispute the facts, tweeting Monday morning that the payments were a “simple private transaction,” a notion roundly disputed by lawyers from both sides of the aisle
turns out Trump was IN THE ROOM when this all happened: Trump was in the room during hush money discussions with tabloid publisher
A source confirmed to NBC News that Trump was the “other member of the campaign” present when Michael Cohen and David Pecker agreed to silence women.
New info from Cohen →
Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” if their allegations of affairs became public, the president’s former personal attorney said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.When asked if the president also knew it was wrong to make the payments, Cohen replied, “Of course,” adding that the purpose was to “help [Trump] and his campaign.”
And Cohen refuted the president’s contention that he never directed Cohen to do anything wrong.
“I don’t think there is anybody that believes that,” Cohen told Stephanopoulos. “First of all, nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters.
Got that? This is not just on Cohen’s word — THERE IS LOTS MORE EVIDENCE that Trump is knee deep in this.
Some of it comes from others who have turned on him:
The U.S. Attorney's Office has announced that it previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer.
"AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign." https://t.co/tJXD2EmxIh
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018
What are they admitting to?
SDNY says it reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI in connection with the $150k McDougal payment. "AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story *so as to prevent it from influencing the election."* pic.twitter.com/NpP1uGGyZC
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) December 12, 2018
This is very bad for Trump:
Friends, here are the most important words: “…it’s agreement to provide cooperation in the future.” That means against the Trump Org, the campaign or the man himself. Prosecutors don’t just let offenders walk for fun—ya gotta go up the food chain to get a deal like this. https://t.co/orEvosoN4b
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) December 12, 2018
Further, the chief executive of the National Enquirer’s parent company is not a sympathetic character who prosecutors would lightly agree to let escape a criminal conviction—unless he has something the prosecutors really want him to offer in return. That something is likely Donald Trump. Giving Pecker and AMI a pass makes sense when the return on the prosecutors’ investment is the president of the United States
Wednesday’s disclosure of AMI’s immunity agreement was bad news for the president. The speed with which new details of the payoff scheme are surfacing could ultimately prove to be terrible news for the president. You should know you’re in trouble when the National Enquirer turns against you
AND Trump can go to jail for this even IF he finishes his term (spoiler alert: he won’t)
Prosecutors have examined the statute of limitations on the campaign finance violations and believe charges could be brought against Trump if he is not re-elected. @npfandos @maggieNYT @nytmike https://t.co/pVo7aNodpP
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) December 9, 2018
So, Trump was in the room where it happened. Which brings us to musical break #1
3. This Inauguration Money/Law Breaking Thing Is Bad For Trump
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee misspent some of the record $107 million it raised from donations, people familiar with the matter said.
In the FBI’s Michael Cohen raids, agents obtained a recorded convorsation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, an ex-adviser to Melania, who worked on inaugural events. In the recording, Wolkoff expressed concern about how the inaugural committee was spending money
Another giant and awful crime that we all suspected is finally being examined in the light of day. Good news for America (Bad news for anyone who committed any crimes…. Trump???)
Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to Trump’s inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC in hopes of buying influence over U.S. policy. The inquiry focuses on Middle Eastern nations.
In an interview with investigators a year ago, Trump ally Tom Barrack said that Paul Manafort seemed to view a pro-Trump super PAC as an arm of the campaign, despite laws meant to prevent such coordination
and you know who else it might be bad for? IVANKA
When it came out this year that President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised and spent unprecedented amounts, people wondered where all that money went.
It turns out one beneficiary was Trump himself.
The inauguration paid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel, according to interviews as well as internal emails and receipts reviewed by WNYC and ProPublica.
During the planning, Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s eldest daughter and a senior executive with the Trump Organization, was involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for venue rentals. A top inaugural planner emailed Ivanka and others at the company to “express my concern” that the hotel was overcharging for its event spaces, worrying of what would happen “when this is audited.”
In an email to Ivanka Trump and Gates, Wolkoff, who had previously managed the Metropolitan Museum’s annual gala and fashion shows at Lincoln Center, expressed discomfort with the price.
“I wanted to follow up on our conversation and express my concern,” Wolkoff wrote in the December email.
If the Trump hotel charged the inaugural committee above-market rates, it could violate tax rules, according to Owens, the nonprofit tax expert who is now a partner at the law firm Loeb & Loeb.
If a person with “substantial influence” over a nonprofit group charges the group above-market rates in a transaction with their outside business, the IRS can impose steep fines. In this case, Donald Trump could qualify as a person with such influence. Should the tax agency find that a violation occurred, the Trump Organization would have to refund any overcharge and the inaugural committee would be hit with a 25 percent tax on the money, Owens said.
4. The Friends Flipping On Trump Is Bad For Trump
Trump shows no real loyalty for anyone so it is no surprise that no one is showing him loyalty back.
The schemes employed to get President Donald Trump into the Oval Office are closing in on him, and he’s frustrated at his predicament.His former fixer has now been sentenced to prison and his tabloid friend’s company landed an immunity deal. Trump separately admitted that his campaign did have interactions with Russians, which, even if it is the “peanut stuff” he claims, is an important shift from the blanket denials he had made previously.The threads — hush money for claims of affairs and interactions with Russians — are becoming impossible to keep separate. But the pattern is clear: Schemes Trump repeatedly denied were hatched to help him get elected keep being proved true, and former friends and members of his inner circle keep heading to jail.
Michael Cohen. Paul Manafort. David Pecker. Michael Flynn. President Donald Trump’s enablers are falling one by one, and his dream world is becoming a hellscape. Trump, a famous self-promoter who has bragged about his wealth, intelligence, physical prowess and winning ways, faces the prospect of humiliation on a scale that would be genuinely world class. And his story is becoming a modern parable about the dangers of hubris and limits of fakery.
The trust Mueller engenders makes him a formidable adversary. He goes to the mat for people who put their lives and careers on the line to tell the truth like Michael Flynn has done. He brings the full weight of the government down on double-crossers like Paul Manafort. And he expresses appreciation for truthful information he receives from defendants like Michael Cohen, not quite committed to joining Team America, but willing to help.
Mueller has proved to the people in Trump world who want to put their misdeeds behind them, and make a new Trump-free life, that he offers the only get-out-of-jail-free card that is guaranteed to work.
5. The GOP Is Being Pulled Down By Their Deal With The Devil
In the run up to the 2012 presidential election, allies of then-President Barack Obama hit on a phrase to sum up his first term: “Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” The latter, of course, referred to Obama’s bailout of the auto companies, which were cratering amid the brutal financial recession.
Now, as we approach the two-year mark of President Trump’s tenure, it can perhaps be summed up this way:
The case against Trump’s corruption and criminality is getting built, and his border wall isn’t.
Barring unforeseen events, both of these ongoing narratives appear likely to continue placing Republicans in an increasingly difficult position. If the legal case against Trump advances, standing by him could prove increasingly damaging for Republicans, and Trump may increasingly fall back on his base as his eroding bedrock island of support. That, in turn, may prompt Trump to dig in harder behind his base-pleasing, ethno-nationalist agenda, pulling the party further toward a deeply unpopular set of positions — as we’re now seeing with the histrionics around the wall.
Why would all of this get better before it gets worse?
6. Trump’s Tax Returns Are GOING To Come Out
Nancy Pelosi said that she expects the Ways and Means Committee to "take the first steps" toward obtaining Trump's tax returns after Democrats take control of the House next month. https://t.co/tNnL94UP3W
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 14, 2018
or this way:
Nicolle Wallace: "Do you think Robert Mueller already has Donald Trump’s tax returns?"
Fmr. U.S. Atty. Chuck Rosenberg: "Absolutely. No question in my mind. From Day One." @DeadlineWH
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 13, 2018
7. Trump Is His Own Worst Enemy
and there is STIFF competition for Trump’s worst enemy so that is saying something ????
The obvious irony involved in this week’s bizarre Oval Office confrontationwith congressional Democratic leaders was that the president went into it on the brink of avoiding a partial government shutdown and wound up defiantly bellowing his determination to shut it all down if he didn’t get exactly what he wanted in the way of border wall funding. But this unraveling of Trump’s position was made worse by another thing that happened in the meeting: Nancy Pelosi goaded him into insisting belligerently that he did too have enough votes from House Republicans in support of his full border wall demand. Now he may have to prove itIn a close vote, Trump needs every Republican he can get to support the unpopular border wall demand. So it’s now looking like he wasn’t being terribly shrewd on the day after the midterms when he mocked five not-so-lame-duck House members as stone losers for failing to snuggle up to him on the campaign trail.
THE PRESIDENT has just robbed Republicans of the ability to say Democrats are shutting down government.
This is going to be quite the month
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 11, 2018
Once more, Trump has put Republicans in a nasty spot. Hard-liners in the House and Senate will be emboldened by his rant. To keep the government running, GOP leadership may have to turn to Democrats for votes, giving Pelosi and Schumer leverage not only on the border wall but on other spending items as well.
In some ways, a shutdown at the end of 2018 would put an exclamation point on one of the worst years in memory for Republicans. The president is under investigation in multiple venues. Republicans lost 40 seats and with them the House majority. Indeed that number might be 41 thanks to substantial evidence of election fraud by Republicans in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Legislatively, Republicans have accomplished next to nothing this year. If they shut down the government, they’ll wind up confirming that the party of Trump is not only unethical but also incompetent and dysfunctional. Christmas sure came early for Democrats.
Trump seems to have gotten a bunch of things wrong:
- He thought former attorney general Jeff Sessions would shut down the Russia probe;
- He thought the bullying and lies and congressional allies would impede investigators;
- He thought Cohen would never flip and would never have tapes and other evidence;
- He never thought Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg or American Media executives or David Pecker would cooperate with authorities;
- He never thought his tweets and public outbursts were helping to incriminate him;
- He never thought the shady operation of his foundation would draw the attention of the press, and in turn of New York state authorities;
- He never thought his pardon power would be so useless (If he pardons associates, the dam may break in Congress; if he tries to pardon himself it likely would be ineffective);
- He never thought he’d have to answer prosecutors’ questions, or that his written answers may have locked him into answers that could be disputed by multiple witnesses;
- He never thought he’d face Democrats in Congress with subpoena power; and
- He never thought his media circus would be entirely ineffective in stopping skilled prosecutors.
Trump’s presidency, his financial empire and even his freedom are at risk. (Presidents can be indicted after leaving office and cannot pass out pardons for state offenses.) He can be angry at Sessions or Cohen, but he is solely responsible for his own fate, which right now looks awfully bleak.
8. This Really Is Stupid Watergate
The idiots who committed these crimes are no masterminds:
It may be only part of the full story, but what we now know is a powerful tale that combines elements that are familiar from other Trumpworld scandals. It is at once shockingly corrupt, blatantly unethical, probably illegal, and yet, at the same time, shabby, small, and ineptly executed.
Combined with another memo released on Friday—a more sparsely informative sentencing memo for Paul Manafort—we are seeing the inner workings of a coördinated conspiracy conducted by people who are very, very bad at conspiracy.
Consider Manafort. In October, 2017, Manafort was indicted, and it was clear to him and anybody who read the news that his communications would be carefully monitored by the F.B.I. Yet this week’s sentencing memo reveals that Manafort was sending text messages and e-mails through May, 2018, that prove he was in contact with “a senior Administration official” and had “additional contacts with Administration officials.”
In Mueller’s sentencing memo for Cohen, along with court documents from his guilty plea last week, we see a similar combination of illegal or unethical conduct, subsequent lies, and amateurish sloppiness throughout.
The picture revealed in these and earlier filings is of Trump surrounded by a small group of now admitted criminals and others who show little professional accomplishment other than a willingness to do Trump’s bidding.
But, even if we learn nothing more, we are already in an unbearable condition. The President of the United States knowingly and eagerly participated in a scheme with a hostile foreign leader who he knew was seeking to influence the Presidential election. Trump sought to profit politically and financially, many of his closest subordinates executed this effort, and he then was aware of and, it seems likely, encouraged an illegal effort to hide these facts. His reckless, unpatriotic actions have left him compromised by at least one but likely many foreign powers and have left his election open to reasonable questions about its legitimacy. And, every day, he sets policies and makes decisions that have an impact on the lives of all Americans and the fortunes of the very autocrats who hold sway over him. It cannot stand.
Harry Litman, a former US attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, has since commented: “The open pipeline between cooperator and suspect Trump may have been not on only extraordinary but also criminal. … What purpose other than an attempt to ‘influence, obstruct, or impede’ the investigation of the president can be discerned from Manafort’s service as a double agent? And on the Trump side, the communications emit a strong scent of illegal witness tampering.”
In short, in trying to cover up and maneuver for a pardon, Manafort and others may have committed even more crimes. Each “discernible lie” Manafort told is a potential new felony charge of lying to federal investigators, perjury, obstruction of justice, or combination thereof. Of obvious interest to the special counsel is whether others, most notably White House officials, conspired with Manafort to lie, mislead investigators, and possibly obstruct justice, and what, specifically, the president of the United States knew about all of this.
9. Democrats Are Making Their Amazing Agenda Known
House Democrats plan to prioritize a bill that will require a background check for every gun sale, according to multiple sources close to the matter. The legislation represents an aggressive shift in strategy by Democrats and their gun reform allies, who in previous years had tended to pursue more modest background check bills that would have exempted large numbers of gun purchases.
The guilty plea of Russian operative Maria Butina today raises the questions of what did @NRA officials know and when did they know it? The plea also raises the issue of what GOP party members or electeds may have known.
Oh, and in January, House Democrats control subpoena power https://t.co/SMuI9Roy9d
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 13, 2018
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wants answers.
More specifically, he wants Kemp to address allegations that he’s an unscrupulous bastard who willfully abused his power in order to aid his own campaign.
“I want to be able to bring people in, like the new governor-to-be of Georgia, to explain, you know, explain to us why is it fair for wanting to be secretary of state and be running [for governor],”
Rep. Adam Schiff: "I think the Justice Department needs to reexamine that OLC opinion – Office of Legal Counsel opinion – that you cannot indict a sitting president." https://t.co/QBKzIH7DFt pic.twitter.com/MHiDcm5SzV
— The Hill (@thehill) December 13, 2018
Co-determination would transfer huge sums of wealth to the middle class.
10. It is Too Late For Trump To Stop The Truth Train
Mr. Trump has also repeatedly asked whether the next pick would recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia in its interference in the 2016 election.” It’s as though he thinks this investigation is in its early stages and can be quashed by a properly loyal underling.
But at this point it doesn’t matter. It’s far too late. Trump’s former aides have cooperated, they’ve conducted their interviews with the special counsel, they’re being sentenced, the documents have been reviewed, the connections have been traced, and the full picture is soon to be revealed.
This scandal can’t be hidden away. Republicans in Congress can’t save Trump, his attorney general can’t save him, and no amount of desperate tweets can save him. Accountability is on its way, and it’s arriving very soon.
Only Garcia can stop a train. Bring us musical break #2, Jerry:
11. Bipartisanship Is Having A Comeback
It’s a bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC ) led the passing of a bill this week to address sickle cell anemia, a disease which disproportionally impacts the Black community and yet, receives notably less funding for research.
Legalizing hemp may also be important for scientists who want to study CBD’s effects.
12. More Cracks Are Showing In Trump’s Support
Judge Andrew Napolitano was at it again Thursday morning, carefully explaining why Trump’s spin on the Cohen news is nonsense.
For months, President Trump has claimed that U.S. Steel has announced plans to build more than six new plants. Throughout the midterm election, he repeatedly said that Democrats had signed onto an “open borders” bill. And he has long charged that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election.
None of these claims is true. What’s more, most Americans don’t believe them, according to a new Washington Post Fact Checker poll.
Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans — including fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans — believe these or several other prominent claims by the president, according to the poll.
Trump is facing “looming problem” as Republicans contemplate abandoning the president as more evidence of wrongdoing comes to light, Los Angeles TimesWhite House reporter Eli Stokols explained on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” on Monday.
“Republican lawmakers who are — have a huge role to play in this if it goes forward — are starting to tell me privately, some of them, that, you know, if there’s obvious evidence, the bottom is going to fall out,” he explained.
“They’re not going to be able to stand by this White House and that’s a looming problem for the president,” he concluded.
Some top officials are suddenly much more attuned to the political fallout from the Mueller investigation and are growing more anxious about Trump’s re-election prospects, according to people close to the president. And on the outside, some hardcore Trump allies — who have mostly accepted his denials about Robert Mueller — were rattled by the specificity of the Friday night revelations by the special counsel and by federal prosecutors.
One Trump loyalist said after a day of conversation with “hardcore MAGA [Make America Great Again] online influencers”: “These are the people most predisposed to believing the ‘witch hunt’ rhetoric, but they are now expressing real concerns.”
Shortly after dinner hour, Trump tweeted, “I am in the process of interviewing some really great people for the position of White House Chief of Staff. Fake News has been saying with certainty it was Nick Ayers, a spectacular person who will always be with our #magaagenda. I will be making a decision soon!” Other White House officials emphasized that Ayers has three young children, and said that he had decided to return to Georgia, where he is from, to spend more time with them. “Those of us with young kids very well understand the personal decision he made,” Kellyanne Conway told the Times.
To say that the inhabitants of the media-political bubble greeted this explanation with skepticism would be an understatement. Summing up the general reaction, John Podhoretz, the New York Post columnist and editor of Commentary, said on MSNBC, “That’s a lot of crap. I don’t know Nick Ayers. I’m not saying he’s a liar, but people don’t get offered the White House chief-of-staff job very often. He was the Vice-President’s chief of staff. This is the center of the action. This is the red-hot center of world politics and world power. And he is going back to Georgia after being the chief of staff to the less-important guy? I am not buying it.”
In a party in which allegiance to Trump among many elected officials has long been based on fear and self-interest rather than any genuine liking, this decision sends an alarming signal to Trump and his allies. After all, Ayers wasn’t in any sense an outsider. According to all reports, he had a good relationship with Trump, and with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who supported his promotion to Kelly’s job. If a figure this connected has decided to hop off the Trump train—or at least to move to a carriage farther back—how long will it be before other Republicans follow his lead?
Coulter lashed out at President Donald Trump for telling his supporters that sections of his proposed border wall are already built.
On Tuesday, Coulter shared to Twitter a Washington Post Fact Checker article titled “President Trump says his ‘beautiful wall’ is being built. Nope,” which stated that Trump has proclaimed the wall is being built, when in reality, it isn’t.
“The White House failed miserably to achieve its objectives on funding for a border wall, receiving relative peanuts,” the article read. “It sought $25 billion but ended up with 5 percent of that. Moreover, the money came with strings attached so that it could be used only for fencing, not the ‘great’ and ‘beautiful wall’ promised by Trump.”
Alongside her tweet of the article, Coulter also wrote: “Even a Washington Post reporter knows that not 1 inch of Trump’s wall has been built. Does Trump think his supporters are dumber than a WaPo reporter?”
“I am concerned that the president might be involved in a crime,” Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told reporters Tuesday.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida rattled the White House with similarly cautious remarks Sunday when asked about Trump’s possible involvement in the violation of campaign finance laws: “If someone has violated the law, the application of the law should be applied to them like it would to any other citizen in this country, and obviously if you’re in a position of great authority like the presidency that would be the case.”
A new CNN poll finds that Trump’s approval rating is mired at 39 percent, and it shows that even as ongoing investigations involving Trump and his orbit are bearing fruit, the American people continue to support the probe and believe it is turning up evidence of wrongdoing.
59 percent say Russian interference in the election is a serious matter that should be investigated
Meanwhile, for all of Trump’s outward swagger, signs are mounting that the White House is deeply rattled. Federal prosecutors now claim Trump personally directed a conspiracy to secure his election in the form of illegal hush-money payments. We’ve learned that Trump negotiated business dealings with Russia throughout the GOP primaries, which he concealed. And there are solid grounds for believing Mueller still hasn’t tipped his hand on all he has learned about Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia’s sabotage of our election or on Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice.
“We know the prince knows, right?” asked Kilmeade, in a valiant attempt to break through Pompeo’s talking points.
Just how stunning was it to see a top Trump administration official get hounded on “Fox & Friends”? Stunning enough to prompt a round of awe over at “Morning Joe,” its MSNBC competitor.
The MSNBC hosts didn’t wrap things up without first commending the folks on the couch. “We also … want to extend our thanks to the hosts of ‘Fox & Friends,'” said Scarborough. “We know at least two of them pretty well. And we really, really respect what they did this morning. They asked the secretary of state the questions that needed to be asked. He thought that he was going to go on ‘Fox & Friends’ and he was going to have a bunch of softballs lobbed at him. Instead, they asked him questions that needed to be asked. And my God, Pompeo’s answers were horrifying.”
13. Blue Wave Good News Just Keeps Coming
Americans are more civically engaged than they have been in more than 100 years.
The two years between President Donald Trump’s win in 2016 and the 2018 midterms ushered in a new era of political engagement in America, not seen since the early 1900s and the 1960s civil rights and anti-war movements.
Though Republican candidates almost everywhere registered large margins among white voters without a college degree, Democrats ran much more competitively among the roughly half of that group who are not evangelical Christians, according to previously unpublished results from the 2018 exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, a consortium of media organizations including CNN.Democrats, the analysis found, ran particularly well this year among white working-class women who are not evangelicals, a group that also displayed substantial disenchantment in the exit poll with Trump’s performance.
UCLA’s Latino Policy & Politics Initiative’s study of the 2018 midterms found in the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico and Texas:
The average vote increase among Latinos was 96% compared to 37% among non-Latinos from 2014 to 2018. The 2018 Midterm Elections are an important indicator for estimating Latino voter participation and candidate support in defining control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the executive leadership for the over a dozen states. Across the eight states, analysis of the official election results suggests growth in the Latino vote was influential in flipping the partisan control of 20 seats from Republican to Democrat in 2018.
California and New Mexico are already solidly blue states, but in purple and even red states significant increases in Latino voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas can have huge repercussions not only in the House but also in the Senate and presidential races. And the figures were dramatic in these four states.
Let’s celebrate voting rights with another musical break:
14. Local Governments Are Fighting Fascism
Two more newly elected sheriffs in North Carolina have announced an end to their counties' agreements with ICE.
Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker and Durham County Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead announced their respective policy changes. https://t.co/AEUYUKwEum
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 10, 2018
15. Ted Lieu Schools House’s Worst Racist Right To His Face
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing in which Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California singled out Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who recently saw many high-profile donors retreat from supporting him in the wake of increased scrutiny over his remarks and actions
Lieu pivoted, pulling out his smartphone for a Google search in real time and entering King’s name.
King, who was sitting across the room on the powerful House panel, became visibly perturbed.
“I’m going to change one word. So I’m going to search for ‘Congressman Steve King,’ I’m going to hit the ‘News’ tab,” Lieu said. “First article that pops up is from ABC News. It says ‘Steve King’s racist immigration talk prompts calls for congressional censure.’ That’s a negative article. But you don’t have a group of people at Google sitting there thinking and trying to modify search results — every time Steve King comes up, a negative article appears. That’s not what’s happening, right?”
“So let me just conclude here by stating the obvious,” Lieu responded. “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.
“And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google or Facebook or Twitter — consider blaming yourself,” he added.
16. Some Republicans Occasionally Do The Right Thing
After effectively killing a second Trump judicial nominee with questionable past comments/actions on race, Republican Sen. Tim Scott is asking to not bring up candidates "with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote."https://t.co/NPdwBTmkM8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 10, 2018
17. State Level Democrats Are Awesome
Tony Evers, the incoming Democratic governor of Wisconsin, isn't ruling out legal action if his defeated rival, Gov. Scott Walker, signs Republican legislation that would strip his administration of key responsibilities. https://t.co/ArTh5J9IkW
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 10, 2018
Just-elected Letitia James, who takes office next month, tells NBC she will probe real estate deals, Trump Tower meeting, emoluments, Trump Foundation and more.
She is awesome y’all. I heard her speak before the election and came away thinking that she was going to eat Trump’s lunch (and enjoy every moment of it). Another African American woman who is going to bring him down!!!!
18. People All Over The World Still Want Freedom
THOUSANDS of Hungarians took to the streets in Budapest to protest new labour rules proposed by Viktor Orban’s ruling party which opponents have dubbed the “slave law”.
19. Not Every Judge Appointed by Trump Is A Total Waste Of Space
A federal judge rejected a lawsuit Thursday by a Republican incumbent from Maine who lost the nation’s first congressional election held under a candidate-ranking system.
He asked Judge Lance Walker either to declare him the winner or order a second election for the 2nd Congressional District. But Walker, a recent appointee by Republican President Donald Trump, did neither.
20. We Can Still Have Fun
— Mueller, She Wrote Podcast (@MuellerSheWrote) November 16, 2018
Chuck & Nancy leaving the White House as translated by Beyonce…. pic.twitter.com/B8ZEPab5K6
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) December 11, 2018
Me: these edibles ain't sh*t
(30 minutes later) pic.twitter.com/VMCMTVek9v
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) December 11, 2018
That is it, everyone. Have a great weekend!