LeStudio1 - 2018 / Flickr DONALD TRUMP...
LeStudio1 - 2018 / Flickr

Greetings and Salutations

Welcome to the Sunday edition of Good News Roundup.

*ICE caught lying, White House has leaks galore and Rudy keeps making it worse.

In case you are new, this is a place to leverage good news to offset the bad and to inspire ourselves to fight on.  Our focus is on stories that are good for the resistance, the country and the world. Every single time team tRump steps on any of their appendages while lying under oath, there’s another nail driven into this maladministration’s coffin. Every new mindless heartless policy is another reason to push for repealing and replacing the republican party.  The endless parade of scandal stiffens our spines for the struggle to reclaim our nation.

Chronic pessimism and Chickenlittlism have a lot of adherents.  We aren’t them.  If that is your disposition, I’d appreciate it if you hung out at WeAreAllScrewed.com instead of trying to hijack this space.

 

Resist. Vote. Indict or Impeach. Imprison.

The Cold Open

SNL’s season finale starred Tina Fey.  But they opened with Donald, Rudy, Michael, Don Jr, Eric and Bobby Three Sticks.

Breaking Good News

It is official.  He’s a colossal dumbass.  In an article covering, at most, one-tenth of one percent of tRump’s public stupidity, Levin puts to rest the idea that tRump could pass an IQ test.  Bess Levin at Vanity Fair:  Dear God; Bill Gates: Trump Is Even Dumber Than You Thought; And creepier, too!

As the past 35 months have made painfully clear, Donald Trump is not a particularly smart man. At least, not in the traditional way that Americans used to expect of their president. “We just got back from the Middle East,” he told a room full of Israelis, upon arriving in Jerusalem from Saudi Arabia last May. That same month, he asked editors from The Economist if they had ever heard of the phrase “priming the pump,” which is basically like asking a bunch of auto mechanics if they’re familiar with “steering wheels. After the Ninth Circuit rejected the administration’s request to resume its travel ban, he tweeted, to the appeals court, “SEE YOU IN COURT.” He called his national security adviser in the middle of the night to find out if he should want a strong dollar or a weak one. He can’t spell to save his life. He’s still struggling with the difference between a trade deficit and a surplus. So while it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that the president doesn’t know the difference between two very different but similarly named diseases, it’s still nevertheless terrifying to have it confirmed.

On Thursday night, MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes aired footage of a presentation by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, in which the billionaire philanthropist told audience members at a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation event that on two separate occasions, he had to explain to Trump that H.I.V. and H.P.V. are, in fact, not the same thing. The former, human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted infection that can lead to AIDS. The latter, human papillomavirus, is an S.T.D. that causes genital warts and, in some cases, cervical cancer. “Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between H.I.V. and H.P.V., so I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other,” Gates told the crowd. Trump, incidentally, is alleged to have forgone prophylactics during sexual encounters with adult-film stars and Playboy models, and has called dodging S.T.D.s his “personal Vietnam.” Women’s vaginas, he told Howard Stern in 1997, are “potential landmines” and “there’s some real danger there.”)

Perhaps more concerning, Trump apparently had to be talked out of launching a commission to investigate whether vaccinations cause autism and other developmental disorders, a fringe conspiracy that has been debunked by the medical community. According to Gates, during both meetings, Trump asked “if vaccines weren’t a bad thing because he was considering a commission to look into ill effects of vaccines.” (Gates said he told him, “No, that’s a dead end. That would be a bad thing, don’t do that.”)

Just once, I wish tRump would bother to apply his vaunted (but never seen) extreme vetting to whatever nonsense he’s about to regurgitate into the twitterverse. CNN:  Trump’s implanted-informant theory is a lot like his unfounded wiretapping allegation
Put his tweets together and the President’s paranoia goes something like this: The deep state is out to get him with a coordinated witch hunt unlike anything this country has ever seen. He’s been cheated, bugged and now spied on as they try to bring him down. Maybe. Meanwhile, the real criminals, who he vanquished despite long odds in 2016, walk free and the Department of Justice won’t even investigate them.

The New York Times and The Washington Post have both reported that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe did receive information from some sort of informant. The Times reported that person met with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, two key figures in the Russia investigation. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to authorities and is cooperating with Mueller. CNN has reported that the confidential intelligence source is a US citizen and and the individual has been a source for the FBI and CIA for years. That’s a big difference.

Those specifics that we know — a person with value to the intelligence community giving information to Mueller — are quite a bit different from the quote that made it onto the President’s Twitter feed: “…Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.”

The Postmaster General said no multiple times, but Donnie the Dickhead won’t let it go.  With a working congress, this by itself would be a high crime or misdemeanor.  tRump is trying to use his office to punish a political opponent (and every other shipper in the country).  CBS:  Trump has pushed postmaster general to double Amazon’s shipping rates, report says

President Trump followed through on his frequent complaint that Amazon is costing the U.S. Postal Service “many billions of dollars” by urging the postmaster general to double the rate the U.S. Postal Service charges Amazon and other companies to ship their packages, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Citing three sources familiar with the conversations between U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan and President Trump, the Post also reported that Brennan has not acceded to the president’s wishes for several reasons. For one, the Postal Service has binding contracts with these companies, and a regulatory commission would have to review those contracts. But she has also reportedly told Mr. Trump that the USPS relationship with Amazon is beneficial. In 2017, Postal Service revenues from private shippers including Amazon added up to $7 billion, Politifact noted.

In April, Mr. Trump tweeted, “I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne [sic] by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!”

In fact, packages and shipping have been an area of growth for the Postal Service that has offset the decline in volume of letter and magazine delivery. USPS said in its annual report last year that its revenue growth “is driven entirely by increases in shipping and packages.” It loses money every year largely because of pension and health care costs, and not, as the president claimed, because Amazon is using USPS as its “delivery boy.”

The DeVostomy Bag’s brother, Erik Prince, wasn’t entirely forthcoming during his congressional testimony.  In an honest congress that’s called perjury. Politico:  Report calls Trump ally’s testimony into question.

A report that Erik Prince attended an August 20016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. casts doubt on the Blackwater founder’s prior congressional testimony about his involvement with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Prince attended the meeting at Trump Tower along with an Israeli social media specialist and a representative of two Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At the meeting, the Gulf states’ representative, George Nader, reportedly offered help with the presidential campaign while the social media specialist pitched Trump Jr. on his services.

But in November, Prince testified to the House Intelligence Committee that his involvement in Trump’s campaign was limited to donating money, attending fundraisers and authoring papers on foreign policy for Trump’s advisers. Prince did not mention any August 2016 meeting and told the committee he had no other formal contact with the campaign.

Governor Greitens is moving closer to getting kicked out of office (and hopefully into jail).  It barely makes the news.  tRump administration corruption is drowning out other political scandals.  Mother Jones:  Missouri Might Impeach Its Governor Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

A St. Louis prosecutor dropped a felony invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens earlier this week. But the governor’s troubles are far from over. As the Missouri legislative season came to a close last night in Jefferson City, representatives in the GOP-controlled legislature convened a special 30-day session to consider impeaching the first-term Republican, who is still awaiting trial for a second, unrelated felony.

This Was the Week That Was

Guns

On Friday it happened again.  More kids were slaughtered by more people who should not have access to guns.  In Sante Fe, Texas and later in the day in Jonesboro, Georgia we lost another 11 people (with 12 more injured) to senseless gun violence. It was most assuredly not good news.  It is, however, a call to action.  The ‘thoughts and prayers’ crowd and the ‘good guys with guns’ morons need to be shouted down loudly and often.  The ‘it’s too soon’ weasel word politicians need to be repealed and replaced.  Every time this happens (and it won’t stop happening until we do something to change the gun culture) we must forcefully make the case for marginalizing the gun lobby.  They do not represent the views of most Americans.  They should not hold sway over so many politicians.

A few more voices like this cop’s wouldn’t hurt.  DailyKos:  Houston’s Chief Of Police Makes Powerful Facebook Post About “Another Mass Shooting Of Children”

The Parkland kids are still here.  Reuters:  ‘DO SOMETHING,’ Parkland survivors urge action after Texas school shooting

Every single NRA second amendment politician should be forced to learn these people’s names.  New York Times:  Victims of the Texas School Shooting: Here Are Their Stories

Huffington Post:  Jimmy Kimmel Shreds ‘Cowardly’ Trump, Lawmakers After Texas School Shooting

tRump

Tom Coleman makes the case that the Russian interference in our election is an act of war and that by cooperating with that interference, tRump has committed treason (or at least we should be asking that question).  Daily Beast:  It’s Not a Liberal Fantasy to Ask if Trump Committed Treason.

This article was linked in yesterdays GNR.  I had it ready to go as well.  It’s a good summary of what happened in the week in tRump through Wednesday.  Vox:  The stunning past 24 hours in Trump-Russia and Michael Cohen news, explained

Market Watch:  Trump’s confrontational trade stance is just boomeranging back to imperil U.S.

Debunking the Donald.  New York:  Trump’s New Russia Scandal Theory: The FBI Set Him Up. There’s One Small Flaw.

There’s some serious blowback from Europe for tRump pulling out of the Iran Treaty.  Examiner:  EU to ditch US partnership: Tusk says Europe must fly SOLO in shock threat to Trump.  This has financial implications that will likely siphon away Wall Street support from tRump.  That may, in turn, loosen some republican politicians from their lockstep tRumpian dance.

Gimme them Apprentice outtakes and let’s get that deposition scheduled.  CNN:  Evidence gathering in Zervos defamation case against Trump can proceed.

People are saying they overheard a certain orange cretin chanting this backstage before stumbling out to rant about a witch hunt.  “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.”  Do you think it means anything?

The Buffoon-in-Chief

What do you get when you cross Caligula with Nero with Roy Cohn with a horse’s ass?  Yeah, too easy.  Anyhow, it is important to keep the ridicule alive.  Maybe we can set up re-education camps where tRumpisstas have to watch all the stupid cringe worthy stuff he’s done on an endless loop until they come to their senses (or their brains explode).  We’ll call them evangelical retreats.

From Yesterday.  Cheat Sheet:  Awkward Donald and Melania Trump Moments That Made Us Cringe

From January.  Business Insider:  10 of the most awkward moments from Trump’s first year in office

From before the election.  Odyssey:  10 Cringe-worthy Trump Quotes To Remind You That He Could Be Our President

Somebody Has a Leaking Problem

I’m not going to spoil the surprise reason (initials DJT).  CNN:  There’s 1 very simple reason why this is the leakiest White House ever

I never thought there was such a thing as recursive leaking.  Axios:  White House leakers leak about leaking

Ezra Cohen-Watnick is back from purgatory after getting fired from the National Security Council. He’s supposedly going to work for Jeff Sessions so he can be tRump’s loyal eyes and ears inside the DOJ.  Back at the NSC he had a plan to stop leaks.  What could possibly go wrong?  Daily Beast:  White House Aide’s Plan to Stop Leaks: Spy on His Co-Workers

Here at the GNR news desk we’ve managed to trace the start of tRump’s current problem with leaking back to a hotel room in Moscow in 2013.  Jonathan Chant over at New York did some stellar reporting on how it all started.  New York:  I’m a Peeliever and You Should Be, Too.

Ghouliani

The bleater whisperer was out blowing smoke again last week.  It looks a lot like the smoke was hallucinogenic.  The best part is where he lost it while disagreeing with himself.

CNN:  Rudy Giuliani’s 35 most eyebrow raising quotes in his 40-minute(!) CNN interview

Rolling Stone:  Rudy Giuliani Is Terrified That Trump Will Lie to Mueller

Above the Law:  Rudy Giuliani Throws A Temper Tantrum When He Gets Shot Down By… Rudy Giuliani

CNN:  Giuliani says he revealed Trump’s Stormy Daniels repayment to beat upcoming financial disclosure

Giuliani’s somewhat tenuous grasp on reality is not new news.  Politico ran this piece back in 2016:  Is Rudy Giuliani Losing His Mind?

Here’s a bonus story starting in April, 2017.  Rudy has had his fingers deep in the bowels of some nasty peripherally tRump related stuff for awhile now.  New Yorker:  A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani.  Rudy tried to negotiate a prisoner exchange with Turkey, before Zarrab finally copped a deal.  NBC:  Gold trader Reza Zarrab says he paid $45,000 bribe to U.S. prison guard.  The banker Rudy’s client flipped on was found guilty (as was Rudy’s client).  Los Angeles Times:  Banker in Iran sanctions trial found guilty.

ICE Caught Lying

I’d like to see all the gleefully enthusiastic ICE agents and especially their soulless superiors stripped of their citizenship and deported to shithole countries.  Slate:  Bad Liars

ICE claimed a Dreamer was “gang-affiliated” and tried to deport him. A federal judge ruled that ICE was lying.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez shot down the federal government’s efforts to strip Daniel Ramirez Medina of his DACA status. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained Ramirez last year, then falsely claimed that he was affiliated with a gang and attempted to deport him. He filed suit, alleging that ICE had violated his due process rights. Martinez agreed. His order barred the federal government from voiding Ramirez’s DACA status, safeguarding his ability to live and work in the United States legally for the foreseeable future. What may be most remarkable about Martinez’s decision, though, is its blunt repudiation of ICE’s main claim—that Ramirez is “gang-affiliated.” The judge did not simply rule against ICE. He accused the agency of lying to a court of law.

Genealogy

Some ancestry experts did a bit of research on just how many of the strident anti-immigrant bigots’ ancestors would have fared if their preferred policies were applied to their own forebears.  Spoiler Alert:  They didn’t do well.

Politico:  How Would Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Have Affected His Own Team?

Medium:  Why Hasn’t Devin Nunes Assimilated Yet?

Leadership

Fortune’s annual Greatest Leaders article is out.  #1 are The Marjory Stoneman Douglas kids; #2 are Bill and Melinda Gates; and #3 is the #MeToo movement.  The Orange Embarrassment didn’t make the list.  Fortune:  The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

Lest We Forget

I missed this the first time around back in January.  How can anyone be this much of a chowderhead?  He does so many truly braindead things that we can’t keep up with the deluge.

Harper’s Bazaar:  Donald Trump Just Co-opted the Women’s March and Twitter Isn’t Happy

Quick Takes

Maryland becomes the 11th state to outlaw ‘Conversion Therapy.’  Only 39 more to go.  Huffington Post:  Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’ Is Now Illegal In Maryland

A Mariachi Band and a Taco Truck showed up a Aaron Schlossberg’s apartment to let him know what they thought of his bigoted restaurant rant.  Huffington Post:  Protesters Throw A Fiesta To Razz Lawyer Who Ranted At Spanish Speakers

Roundup Redux

If you missed the other Roundups this week, I encourage you to go back at check them out.  Everyone reports our wannabe Emperor Bleater’s missteps.  Each of the rounderupperers has an additional focus.

Monday — Jessiestaf’s roundup includes justice in a Kansas murder case and an update on Net Neutrality

Tuesday — Goodie opens with a review of Slate’s  How to Survive Trump’s Presidency Without Losing Your Mind.

Wednesday — as always, pr0gressivist has some good science news that the rest of us usually miss

Thursday — oldhippiedude, fresh from his vacation in the hospital, recaps the week’s positive election results

Friday — niftywriter, subbing for Chloris, covers Ronan Farrow, Pence’s future, and premature North Koreaculation.

Saturday — Goodie talks about tRump’s unlikability even among his cult and also lays out the damning case against Roger Stone.

 

The Bad, the Worse and the Deplorables

The original plan had been to use this space to review Roger Stone’s relationship with honesty.  Hint:  He doesn’t have one.  But, Goodie did an excellent job of that yesterday, so Wilbur Ross is filling in.

tRump isn’t happy with his favorite money launderer.  Especially the part about Wilbur falling asleep during meeting while tRump is busy patting himself on the back.  I think he’s just fine with the money launderer part. Axios:  The decline and fall of Wilbur Ross

Remember Wilbur holding up that soup can back in March?  NBC:  Campbell’s Soup blows up Secretary Ross claim tariffs wouldn’t hurt them — and he pushes back anyway

We keep letting the past slip on by.  This was known before these guys were nominated to the cabinet.  The Nation:  Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin—Profiteers of the Great Foreclosure Machine—Go to Washington

Does Wilbur’s beefeating proffer prove mad cow disease is loose in the administration?  New York Post:  Wilbur Ross: ‘The president and I eat quite a lot of American beef’

Does the communicative property apply to sanctions? [From April]Mother Jones:  A Russian Business Associate of Wilbur Ross Was Just Sanctioned by the Trump Administration

The real question is why the hell is this crook still in the government?  This information has been available publicly since before the election.  The Intercept:  The Wilbur Ross Scandal Isn’t About Russia, It’s About Corruption.  Yes, I know, the answer is he’s being protected by bigger criminals.  I just hope there is an indictment waiting with his name on it.

Sunday Funnies

Trevor Noah has a lot to say about leaking.

Colbert discusses Bill Gates dishing on Donald

Weekend update covers the news

Taking Down the Nut Jobs

Last Tuesday I got a new job.  I’m now a Precinct Committee Person tasked with helping to organize the get out the vote effort in my local precinct.  Our electorate skews old and most of those older voters aren’t open to talking politics (I’ve tried).  I think our best chance of flipping our town from deep red to blue is by attracting new voters to the cause.  The folks who believe all politicians are corrupt and that there is no difference between the parties are reachable.  If enough of them can be convinced that they have been misled and that we need their help to keep a plutocracy (or kakistocracy) from replacing our democracy, we can even flip the reddest places in America.

To that end, I’m looking for suggestions for no-cost/low-cost public events that will attract our uninvolved citizens and give us an opportunity to make our case in a social setting less intrusive than a door-to-door canvas (which we will also do).  The first of these ideas we are playing with is to organize something at our local dog park (scroll down for the inspiration). Please share any ideas you might have in the comments.

Today’s Quote

Back in the 90’s Barbara Ehrenreich went undercover to live on minimum wage.  Her book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is about that experience.  She grew up as a liberal in Butte, Montana. [Amazon]

I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever — on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country — vote Republican. — Barbara Ehrenreich

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