Another crazy week, but lots of good news to report as we work our way through these dark times. Lots of reason for hope.
Before I get to it, I made a decision that has made me happier and I just wanted to share it with you.
I am done with the Trump Show. I will still keep up on what he actually does, in terms of policy and laws, but I am done reading about what he tweets or what he says.
This is what narcissists do — suck up all of the oxygen in the room and make themselves the focus of everything. It is exhausting and awful and takes focus from real and wonderful things.
So I am done with it. When I see an article about something that he said — not clicking. When someone shares a tweet he wrote — not reading it.
I don’t need to.
I know what he said — something racist or xenophobic or sexist or stupid (or all of the above). Maybe he said something bad about the justice system or law enforcement or the courts. I bet he violated some societal norm that no one has ever violated before. If he wrote it out, I bet it is full of misspellings and Weird Capitalization. Shocker!
I am done with it. I’ve seen all the episodes of the Trump Show already and they are all poorly written, offensive, and dumb. Nothing new to see there.
So in summary — if he actually does something, I’ll pay attention to it. There is plenty there to worry about. If it is just another asinine word salad, I am done with it. Been there, done that.
So onto the good news (of which there is plenty).
Most of it comes from our hard work (as usual) but I feel like we are also starting to see a slight shifting against Trump and Trump-ism from beyond the usual suspects, which is great!
The Tides Are (Finally) Starting to Turn Against Trump and Trumpism
Fox News had an unusual number of less than glowing minutes about Trump this week. For example →
“Trump claimed Feds spied on his campaign … calls it Spygate. Fox News can confirm it is not. Fox News knows of no evidence to support the president’s claim”
And also this →
President Trump has made it clear that he likes what he hears on Fox News. The network often covers the president favorably, bringing on conservative commentators who push the president’s agenda and, at times, explore far-right conspiracy theories.
But in an unusual shift Tuesday, three voices on Fox News pushed back against the president’s most recent conspiracy theory. A Fox News guest, commentator and anchor all rebuked claims from the president and his allies that the FBI planted a “spy” in his campaign in an effort to undercut his candidacy.
Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday that, after a classified briefing on the subject, “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do.
What has Trey Gowdy been smoking?
And can we order it in bulk?
Speaking of smoking…
In an interview following his address at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan, the former House Speaker accused his fellow Republicans of abandoning their political ideals for those professed by Trump.
“There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kinda taking a nap somewhere,” Boehner said.
In the interview, Boehner added that Trump was clearly the “most unusual” president the country has ever had.
also from Boehner →
John Boehner on Melania: “I think Donald Trump promised Melania that he would not win, she didn’t have to worry about ever living in the White House,” he said. “[That’s] probably why she doesn’t look real happy every day. Well, maybe one reason.”
and this guy too!?! →
With the primary season winding down and the midterms soon upon us, it’s time to point out that this election is not about what you may think it’s about. It is not a choice between the particular basket of policies offered by the candidates for House or Senate in your district or state — policies like gun control, right to choose, free trade or fiscal discipline. No, what this election is about is your first chance since 2016 to vote against Donald Trump.
As far as I am concerned, that’s the only choice on the ballot. It’s a choice between letting Trump retain control of all the key levers of political power for two more years, or not.
If I were writing the choice on a ballot, it would read: “Are you in favor of electing a majority of Democrats in the House and/or Senate to put a check on Trump’s power — when his own party demonstrably will not? Or are you in favor of shaking the dice for another two years of unfettered control of the House, the Senate and the White House by a man who wants to ignore Russia’s interference in our election; a man whose first thought every morning is, ‘What’s good for me, and can I get away with it?’; a man who shows no compunction about smearing any person or government institution that stands in his way; and a man who is backed by a party where the only members who’ll call him out are those retiring or dying?”
If your answer is the former, then it can only happen by voting for the Democrat in your local House or Senate race.
Meghan McCain fired back at President Donald Trump on Thursday, accusing him of attacking her father, cancer-stricken Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to distract from his own political problems.
“It’s really good politics that they’re doing right now,” the younger McCain said ABC’s “The View” on Thursday. “Because they are trying to change the narrative … not talking about all the other bad things that are going on.”
Dan Rather has been on our side since day 1. He sees the tides turning too →
Journalist Dan Rather told interviewer Chris Hayes Tuesday night that Donald Trump was not “winning the battle for hearts and minds,” and that the cancellation of Roseanne marked a turning point.
And #metoo is hitting all places too —> Disgraced a evangelical leader stripped of his title. It’s a huge moment for #MeToo.
The controversy over Paige Patterson reflects a change in attitude about gender roles in the post #metoo evangelical church
The sheer number of women who have spoken out against Patterson suggests a wider cultural change in the evangelical community, as more and more women — including self-described conservatives — see comments like the ones Patterson made as not just inappropriate but incompatible with their Christian values.
talk about turning tides. The KOCH BROTHERS are supporting Heitkamp in this tight, tight race for control of the senate!!!
- Americans for Prosperity is unleashing a digital advertising campaign on Friday thanking North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for co-sponsoring the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protect Act.
- The move to support Heitkamp comes only two months after the Koch network launched a six-figure ad buy attacking her for voting against the Republican tax reform bill.
- Heitkamp is trying to protect her seat against her rival, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer.
Those guys are the worst, but we getting the senate would be amazing, so we’ll take their help!
Good Election News
The Republicans had a lead for four days in one poll, and that lead is now gone.
Even if the Republicans were taking a lead now, the past two midterm elections have suggested that it might be worth employing skepticism about the significance of that success.
But the Republicans haven’t taken a lead
majority of adults who will be old enough to vote in 2018 say they are planning to, according to a poll released Wednesday conducted by AP-NORC and MTV. When asked to rate their likelihood on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being “certain to vote”), 56% rated their likelihood at a 6 or above. Thirty-two percent said they were absolutely “certain to vote.”The study, taken among people ages 15-34 (with questions about voting asked only among those who would be able to), found the group highly motivated by the political environment. Forty percent said they felt extremely or very angry about the state of the country and 36% said they felt anxious. Only 13% said they felt positive, with 9% saying they were excited about the state of the country.
A walkout mostly failed to secure more funding for schools, but it has spawned a movement of politically engaged Okies.Oklahoma has a population of less than four million. During the walkout, the demonstration at the capitol was attended by as many as eighty thousand people—more than came to the state for the land rush of 1889. All the major school districts were closed, and lines to get into the capitol to speak with legislators often started forming around 6 a.m. The scene had the high spirits of a music festival and the nerdiness of people who really love school. “Can we please put the smart people in charge now?” one sign read. Many signs referred to Oklahoma’s infamously high incarceration rate and its private prison system, and to the fact that the state spends twice as much per prisoner as per student: “If we dress our kids in stripes, will you fund education?”
the president is already having trouble sticking to the script.
Trump has made no secret of his affection for at least one of the Democrats he’s supposed to be focused on ousting—North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp—and on Wednesday, he praised another, Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, just a few weeks after lambasting him at a campaign stop.
In North Dakota, the president has arguably done more to help Heitkamp than he has to hurt her in a state he won by more than 35 points two years ago—something increasingly frustrated Republicans have noticed. His embrace of Heitkamp has allowed her to run ads hyping her own conservative streak and touting her willingness to work with the Republican in the White House.
Trump’s latest gift to Heitkamp came just last week, when the White House invited her to attend the signing of a bank deregulation bill she cosponsored along with a dozen other Democrats, including Donnelly, Tester, and Manchin. Heitkamp accepted, and was the only Democrat in the room for the perfect photo-op to help her to make her case back home.
Russia Russia Russia
Jones said that last week prosecutors received their first batch of information seized during those searches. The former judge said nearly 300,000 “items” were already turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is investigating Cohen. Prosecutors are likely to get about 1 million items from three seized phones on Wednesday, Jones said.
“The 292,006 items from the first two productions that have not been designated privileged or highly personal by the parties were released to the Government on May 23rd,” Jones reported. It was not immediately clear what constitutes an “item,” but it may be a photo, video file or email message.
Jones is still working her way through 252 claims made by Cohen, Trump or the Trump Organization thus far that particular materials are privileged or “highly personal,” which she said included “medical records or similar materials.”
Federal prosecutors sorting through materials seized from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said Wednesday they needed more time to piece together the contents of a shredder taken in an FBI raid.
At a court hearing in New York, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood that they’d turned over most of the materials seized during the April 9 raids of Cohen’s office and Park Avenue hotel room to Cohen’s legal team, with the exception of two BlackBerry devices and the shredded documents.
nothing suspicious to be found in shredded documents, I am sure ????
Don’t be distracted by Avenatti sideshow. The news was judge rejecting Cohen demand 4more time & setting 6/15 deadline for Cohen to complete privilege review, after which USAO taint team will review the files that remain. An indictment is coming fast, & can a flip be far behind?
We have to understand this in the context of the many actions Trump has taken to hinder and obstruct the investigation into the Russia scandal:
- According to former FBI director James B. Comey’s sworn testimony and contemporaneous notes, at the end of an Oval Office meeting the day after he fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump ordered everyone else from the room, then asked Comey to lay off the investigation of Flynn, saying “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation.
- “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump reportedly told the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in an Oval Office visit. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
- The next day, Trump admitted on national television that, “when I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’”
- Trump made separate requests to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers to make public statements proclaiming that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. They both refused.
- Trump made separate requests to Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; Sen. Roy Blunt, another member of the committee; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the committee’s investigation of the Russia scandal.
- When news broke in June 2017 that a year earlier Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman had met in Trump Tower with a group of Russians whom they hoped were in possession of dirt on Hillary Clinton obtained by the Russian government, President Trump personally dictated a misleading statement to be released to the press, claiming falsely that the meeting had nothing to do with the campaign but was just about the adoption of Russian orphans.
We can speculate on whether a jury would look at this pattern of behavior (and whatever else he may have done that hasn’t yet come to light) and find Trump guilty of obstruction of justice. But there’s no question that Trump has repeatedly taken completely inappropriate actions that have no purpose other than to hinder the Russia investigation.
President Trump pressured Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reclaim control of the Russia investigation on at least four separate occasions, three times in person and once over the phone, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
Why it matters: The fact that there were multiple conversations shows that Trump’s pressure on Sessions to stop recusing himself was heavier than previously known. The sustained pressure made several officials uncomfortable, because they viewed it as improper and worry that it could be politically and legally problematic.
President Donald Trump’s claim that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign for political purposes began to crumble Wednesday after a prominent Republican, as well as defenders of the president, said he might have the story wrong.
Gerson met with a UAE royal in the Seychelles around the time of a secret meeting there between Trump friend Erik Prince and Russian and Emirati officials.
He might try it eventually, but pardoning his way out of the Russia investigation is more complicated than it sounds.
1) Russia-related pardons would mean massive and unpredictable political blowback
2) Pardons bring Fifth Amendment complications
3) Presidential pardons don’t work for state crimes
4) Pardons could put Trump in more obstruction of justice peril
5) There’s no good time to do it
Democrats Are Awesome
House Democrats on Thursday launched an anti-poverty tour designed to highlight the plight of the poor under Republican control of Congress and the White House.
Lee has a high-powered partner on the tour in Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, who’s pointing to the Republicans’ tax reform law as evidence that Republicans are less concerned with deficit spending than they are with cuts for the rich
Lee and Hoyer plan to launch the tour Friday in Dallas, where they’ll meet with residents living in poverty and advocates fighting to alleviate it. Joined by two Democratic Dallas-based lawmakers, Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) and Marc Veasey (Texas), the lawmakers are seeking anti-poverty strategies they can eventually forge into specific policy proposals.
House Democratic leaders on Friday pressed the Trump administration to end the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, warning the practice is “unnecessarily inflicting trauma” on innocent children while ignoring the roots of the problem.
Behind Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the party leaders want administration officials to keep immigrant families intact during processing and focus more sharply on eradicating the cause of the migrations, which are frequently undertaken to flee violence in Central America.
“This practice is antithetical not only to American values but to basic decency and humanity,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of Homeland Security, and Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Attorney General.
Joining Crowley on the letter were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Jim Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Caucus.
Good Legal News
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday for the second time this month put restrictions on police searches of vehicles, ruling that officers unlawfully searched a stolen motorcycle parked on private property in Virginia because they did not have a court-approved warrant.
At a time when the President has more than a few things to worry about when it comes to pending criminal investigations, at least one person thinks the President and the Vice President may have violated federal law in relation to this attack against the NFL over the anthem issue.
A D.C. judge on Thursday dismissed felony charges against 10 individuals arrested while protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration, finding that the government violated the due process rights of defendants by failing to turn over evidence it obtained from a right-wing media organization. Three of the defendants still face misdemeanor charges.
D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin found that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is part of the Justice Department, had committed Brady violations by withholding undercover videos that James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas had turned over to the government.
Other Good News
The California Senate voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in December.
Also, if you have 5 minutes, call your reps to push them to protect the midterms from Russian intervention.
Eyes on the prize, everyone. Eyes on the prize.