In these times, it often feels like, even on good weeks, we are just waiting for the next shoe to drop. We know that there are plots out there of which we are not aware. We know that this kakistocracy is working on more things that will horrify us.
It is clear that, in many ways, it is even worse than it appears.
But at the same time, it is alright. We will get by. We will survive.
We will make it through this dark time because we are in this together. And with all the bad that is out there, and all the bad still to come, we all know that there is also a lot of good news out there as well. And good still to come ❤️
And most importantly, the good news comes from us, from our hard work, from our fellowship, from our dedication, from our unity, and from our righteous cause. And that is truly amazing.
We are writing our own happy ending to this story. Time does move quick, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday the summer was just starting.
Heck, it seems like just yesterday when we were all walking around in shock and despair and disbelief during those dark days after the election.
And yet here we are, just 87 days until the midterms. 87 days until we save our democracy!
Have you done everything you wanted to do before the midterms? Are you happy with your level of commitment? Will you feel good about the outcome, knowing you did all you could? If the answer to any of those is “No,” now is the time to do something about it! Before you know it, the elections will be in our rear-view mirrors.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in saving a democracy. Don’t miss out!!
There are many ways to get involved. Here are just a few:
Now on to the good news:
Russia Russia Russia
Always frustrating to have to WAIT for the truth to come out with the investigation, but there is so much there and the truth WILL come out eventually.
And in the meantime, Trump and Guliani keep making it worse for themselves:
President Donald Trump’s weekend tweet regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians may seem like just one more of many he has posted that tend to incriminate himself, but this time it contained an explicit admission about a fact that he has vehemently denied and this time he might also have implicated his son, Donald Trump Jr.
” In doing so, Trump made a somewhat stunning admission: “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent.”
Let that sink in.
After dozens of tweets and statements, many in all caps, that “there was NO COLLUSION!” by anyone in the Trump campaign, Trump has now publicly admitted that, in fact, there was collusion (yes, we are purposefully using the “collusion” word instead of the legal term “conspiracy” here) by his own son, Donald Trump Jr. Of course, Trump followed that admission it with his newest line of defense that it’s “[t]otally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere.” Oh, and “I did not know about it,” he said of the meeting.
Fix Fox is admitting that the Tower meeting is bad, you know it is the truth…
Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said early Tuesday that the 2016 meeting in Trump Tower that President Trump confirmed was meant to gather information on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could amount to a crime of conspiracy.
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” host Steve Doocy asked the former judge whether it is against the law for a person who works in politics to “try and dig up dirt on your opponent?”
“No of course not, and everybody does it, and to that extent, the president’s correct,” Napolitano said.
But the analyst added that there are “federal statutes that prohibit receiving something of value from a foreign national, foreign entity or foreign government.”
“So was the purpose of this meeting to receive something of value? That’s something Bob Mueller’s going to have to look at,” Napolitano continued, referring to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
“So if there was an agreement to receive dirt on Hillary from the Russians, even if the dirt never came, if those who agreed, at least one of them, took some step in furtherance of the agreement, then there is the potential crime for conspiracy,” Napolitano added.
And Trump is not acting like an innocent person:
President Trump is acting with a desperation I’ve seen only once before in Washington: 45 years ago when President Richard M. Nixon ordered the firing of special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox. Nixon was fixated on ending the Watergate investigation, just as Trump wants to shut down the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
A lesson for the president from history: It turned out badly for Nixon. Not only could he not derail the investigation, but also, 10 months later, he was forced to resign the presidency.
In fact, in some ways, Trump is conducting himself more frantically than Nixon, all the while protesting his innocence. Nixon fought to the end because he knew that what was on the tape recordings that the prosecutor wanted would incriminate him. We don’t know what Trump is hiding, if anything. But if he is innocent of any wrongdoing, why not let Robert S. Mueller III do his job and prove it?
spoiler alert: because he is guilty as sin.
Meanwhile Manafort is getting his butt handed to him in his trial:
In the history of criminal trials, no prosecutor has ever had the privilege of calling Mother Teresa as a witness. The existence of a perfect witness, void of credibility issues, or a proverbial skeleton in his or her closet is a pure fantasy.Yet, the defense counsel in Paul Manafort’s trial seems resolute in its efforts to discredit Rick Gates by painting him as an adulterous, immoral, unethical and corrupt liar in the hopes that the jury’s disdain for his character will fatally undermine his credibility as a testifying witness. Good luck.Do you know who testifies against pimps? Prostitutes. Do you know who testifies against drug dealers? Drug users. Do you know who testifies against conspirators? Their co-conspirators. In the imperfect contest of credibility, juries don’t hear from the criminally pristine, they hear from two evils and choose to believe the lesser. In this case, the jury will choose between the admitted liar and the accused one.
A court filing from special counsel Robert Mueller signals that Rick Gates may be assisting the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election beyond the case against Paul Manafort.Defense attorney Kevin Downing had asked Gates, “Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?”Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question before Gates could answer.The lawyers and Ellis then huddled in the far corner of the courtroom to discuss whether the question could be asked. The courtroom’s overhead noise machine was turned on so that Gates, the jury and the public in the room couldn’t hear what they said.Ellis called for a break in the proceedings immediately after the short discussion ended, and Downing tried to ask about the Trump campaign investigation again.During the discussion — one of many during a trial, often called a “sidebar conference” in court lingo — the prosecutors now say they discussed “new” details about their “ongoing criminal investigation” into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.“Disclosing the identified transcript portions would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing investigation … In addition, sealing will minimize any risk of prejudice from the disclosure of new information relating to that ongoing investigation,” the special counsel’s team wrote in a court filing Thursday. “The government’s concerns would continue until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller, MSNBC’s Ari Melber reported Thursday evening, intends on slapping Randy Credico with a subpoena, this after Credico denied a voluntary interview request.
It’s the latest person with a connection to former Trump advisor Roger Stone to feel Mueller’s subpoena wrath. Most recently, it was so-called “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis. Unlike Credico, Davis agreed to a voluntary interview.
As Law&Crime reported in June, Credico, a radio host-comedian acquaintance of Stone’s, who Stone reportedly asked to contact WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, declined a request for a voluntary interview because he doesn’t want to be known as a “rat.”
“The last thing that I would like to be known as is a rat,” he said. “I didn’t talk to the House committee and I’m not going to talk to the Senate committee.”
Well, says Mueller, there’s a subpoena in your future.
Great Election News
- The AP found that 35.4 percent of Trump counties have shed jobs in the past year, compared with just 19.2 percent of Clinton counties.
- As more money pools in such corporate hubs as Houston, San Francisco or Seattle, prosperity spills over less and less to smaller towns and cities in America’s interior.
We looked at sentiment among ordinary Republican voters. While hardcore Republicans are vociferous defenders of the president, a larger number of Republicans who are less attached to their party are much more tepid in their support.
And that may be a problem for some Republican congressional candidates, come November’s midterms.
All of this suggests that portraying Trump’s support among Republican voters as unflinching is missing a major piece of the picture. The ongoing controversies about Trump appear to affect a large portion of Republican voters. If Republican politicians fail to sufficiently distance themselves from even Trump’s most controversial actions, the GOP might see reduced turnout on Election Day.
Republicans hoping to hold on to their majorities in state legislative chambers across the country are nervously eying President Trump’s anemic approval rating, concerned that a wave of voter anger could undo years of gains.In interviews at the National Conference of State Legislators’ annual meetings last week, Republican leaders from purple and red states said they were worried that their members — most of whom are little-known even inside their own districts — are most vulnerable to an electoral atmosphere that even slightly benefits Democrats.“There is more Democratic enthusiasm than I have seen in the last few cycles. That’s a reality I can’t ignore,” said Robin Vos, the Republican Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly.
Some healthy soul searching is taking place in newsrooms across the country these days over whether the mainstream media should be covering President Trump’s every tweet and rally. My answer: Absolutely! It’s the right thing for us to do professionally, and, as last night’s election results indicated, it’s the right thing to do politically if you want to see a check on Donald Trump’s power.
It appears that it’s the toxic lying, bullying and unpresidential behaviors that Trump exhibits most in his rallies and tweets — which we in the media so incessantly cover — that is turning off the very moderate, best-educated Republicans and suburban women that Trump will need to hold the G.O.P. majority in the House, let alone get re-elected.
So bring on the coverage.
there is also a lot of good news from Tuesday’s elections. First from Ohio:
Outside groups on the right outspent outside groups on the left by 500% in the special election in Ohio's 12th Congressional district just to get what looks like a 0.9% win in a district Trump won by 11 just 21 months ago and that a Republican hasn't lost for nearly 40 years
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) August 8, 2018
There is NO WAY they can keep up that kind of spending for November. Not even with their rich donors. And even with that much money, they can’t get good numbers!
Ohio 12 is too close to call. Trump won the district by 11-pts in 2016. Pat Tiberi won by almost 37-pts in 2016. GOP-linked groups spent ~$4.1 million on the race.
Important note: Cook Political Report calculates that there are 60 GOP districts more Democratic than this one.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 8, 2018
got that? ***60 districts more Democratic than that***
Along those lines:
A special election this near to the November midterms isn’t solely or even primarily about who won and lost. It’s about which candidate — and thus which party — beat the spread. It’s a crystal ball with a glimpse of the future, beyond the battle at hand and the patch of the country in which it took place.
And the vision presented by Ohio’s 12th District on Tuesday night should give Democrats considerable joy.
It’s a terrible sign for Republicans, a promising one for Democrats and a fascinating, revelatory turn of events on a night when the country’s mood in general — and voters’ attitudes about Trump in particular — came into slightly sharper focus.
There is more evidence that those criminals NEED trump to win their primaries and then will LOSE due to him the in generals. Best Catch 22 EVER!!! → ‘Nothing bodes well’: Lackluster election results spark debate over Trump’s midterm role
A new round of lackluster showings by Republican candidates reignited a debate Wednesday within the GOP over whether President Trump will be a drag on the party’s chances in November and should stay out of some of the country’s most hotly contested races.
Inside the White House, Trump aides are mapping out plans for the fall that would offer a variety of options to Republican candidates, including visits by the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump to blue states and presidential tweets to bolster red-state allies.
But mounting apprehension about Trump’s political capital lingered in Washington and on the campaign trail.
In a flurry of elections on Tuesday — from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, to the technology corridor in Washington state — Democrats turned out in droves and significantly overperformed expectations by posing serious challenges to Republicans in staunchly GOP districts.
But of course, that won’t keep Trump from tying himself to every race. Because Narcissists got to narcissist! Trump, down three touchdowns at halftime, declares victory
This is a grim moment for President Trump and his fellow Republicans.
A Trump-boosting Republican member of Congress has been indicted on charges of insider trading — from the White House, no less. Trump’s former campaign chairman and another former aide are squabbling in court over who is the bigger criminal. And in a closely watched special congressional race in Ohio — a seat Republicans have held for 35 years in a district Trump won by 11 points and Mitt Romney by 10 — the Republican was clinging to a 0.9-percentage -point lead Wednesday despite Trump’s intervention and vast sums of Republican dollars.
In situations such as these, there is only one thing for Trump to do: declare victory.
“Congratulations to Troy Balderson on a great win in Ohio,” Trump proclaimed, even though the number of uncounted provisional and absentee ballots meant the race could not be called. Trump further declared it “a great victory” in a “very special” race.
also from Tuesday. One of my FAVORITE stories: The Wind at Labor’s Back
In recent decades, conservative activists and lawmakers have turned labor unions into convenient punching bags. In Missouri on Tuesday, however, unions seemed to figure out at least one way to punch back: Voters there resoundingly defeated an anti-union law via ballot proposal.
There’s always a danger in over-interpreting the results of a single election, but the two-to-one margin by which Missouri voters overturned the so-called right-to-work law appears to be the latest sign of resurgent and effective labor activism. The vote comes months after teacher strikes around the country forced Republican-controlled legislatures in states like West Virginia and Oklahoma to hand out big raises to overworked and underpaid workers for the first time in many years.
this is huge — as the SC abandons organized labor, the people are giving it power. It warms my union loving heart!!!
And check out this great story about the power of the (democratic) people from Michael Moore:
It appears that Republican voter suppression in Michigan's 1st Congressional District has failed in an historic way! By using a technicality, the Republicans on the election commission kicked the lone Democratic candidate off the ballot. So thousands of us mobilized… (1/3) pic.twitter.com/QQKs9M8vNc
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 8, 2018
… and not only set a RECORD turnout for a midterm election, we got over 30,000 write-in votes for our Democratic candidate, Matt Morgan! This has never happened before! LONG lines of voters—so many voters that, even though Trump had won this district with 56% of the vote…
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 8, 2018
…Dem voters yesterday outnumbered Republicans in this area 2 to 1! And here’s 1 more indication of how we may win in Nov: In Marquette Co., our write-in Dem candidate got MORE votes as a write-in than the incumbent Republican candidate got with his name on the ballot! (3/3)
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 8, 2018
boom! And finally, lets put an END to that argument the media LOVES that democrats are divided. WE ARE NOT →
The favorite story line of lazy pundits is to claim there is a “civil war” within the Democratic Party between its center-left and far-left. Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vs. Conor Lamb. The problem, however, is that it’s just not true.
Ocasio-Cortez won her primary in a deep-blue New York district; Democratic moderates generally won on Tuesday in Michigan, Kansas, Ohio and Washington. This is not a civil war; it’s how you win a House majority. Moreover, after the primaries are won by one candidate or the other, there is scant evidence the loser’s supporters are going to stay home in November. (The risk of that happening is on the GOP side, where wacky Trump-backed characters need to worry about losing moderate Republicans.)
As Democrats have rejected a one-size-fits-all approach, the House map has expanded enormously in their favor.
Two years ago, at the annual gathering of progressive activists dubbed Netroots Nation, then-presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was interrupted repeatedly by hecklers upset that his platform was so seemingly skimpy on racial justice.
That was Netroots Nation then: less a conference than a public airing of political grievances.
Two years later, at this year’s confab in New Orleans, there were no proxy wars over microphones or walk outs when headliners like Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spoke. It was, instead, bizarrely civil and very much mission-oriented around a burning, almost existential, desire to win back power.
“All the chips are on the table,” said Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) during his Netroots panel. “We have never had a greater opportunity to enhance progressive values.”
Later in the panel a middle-aged woman stood up to ask the governor a question. Only, as is often the case in these confabs, she prefaced it with a bit of biography. “I’m actually from Virginia,” she proclaimed. “And I can tell you, [Inslee] is correct. The number of people in Virginia, when I was out helping the campaign this last year who said, ‘I don’t care who is running for the Democrats, if he has the D, I’m voting,’ the number of people who said that was crazy.”
The notion that a political party is bound together by a hunger for electoral success may seem painfully obvious. Winning elections, after all, is their primary point of existence.
But those even remotely familiar with the Democratic id know that this hasn’t always been the case
Nate McMurray can beat Chris Collins!
In local news, Western New York’s worst son, Chris Collins, is in hot water which clears a real path for his challenger Nate McMurray, who is awesome. This is another possible seat for us in 87 days!!!
Two days ago, Rep. Chris Collins seemed a lock for re-election. The Western New York Republican had nearly 20 times more money that his Democratic opponent in a district that Donald Trump carried by 24 percent in 2016. Then, on Wednesday, Collins got charged with securities fraud and his seat became the newest opportunity in the national Democratic effort to take control of the House of Representatives.
The Cook Political Report has changed its assessment of the race from “solid Republican” to “lean Republican.” Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of the data-crunching website FiveThirtyEight, said in a Twitter post that the scandal gives McMurray a shot — considering that a scandal of Collins’ severity historically “costs a House candidate on the order of 10-12 percentage points” in an election, Silver said.
Democrats are salivating at the possibility that the congressman’s arrest Wednesday puts his Western New York seat in play. President Donald Trump won the 27th District 60-35 percent in 2016 and the race was previously rated as Solid Republican by Inside Elections, but Democrats now think they could have a better shot at it.
“With Collins’ arrest for corruption, unprecedented grassroots energy, and the strong candidacy of Nate McMurray, this seat is firmly in play for Democrats,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in a statement Wednesday.
In a March Facebook post, McMurray wrote, “Congress should not be a country club for insider deals. Elected officials should work for their constituents, not for their cronies and their own wallets,” and included a link to his campaign fundraising page.
While there are still plenty of unanswered questions, Inside Elections is changing the rating from Solid Republican to Likely Republican as the race develops.
and all of this got started by one local AMAZING woman who fought to get Collins charged. Each one of us can make a difference!
After a career prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases in the courtrooms of Wayne County, retired attorney Cecily Gezzutta Molak found a new case to dedicate herself to in 2017.
Molak was disturbed over reports that Rep. Chris Collins, who she had voted for as a registered Republican, was going far beyond what she could support or believe.
“I thought I voted for someone who would take care of his constituents, who came from this area, who knew what our needs are and have their best interests at heart, irrespective of personally held beliefs,” Molak said. “When I found out he was in it for the money, and to get more money, even though he was already a millionaire … I just got angry.”
She described herself as far from a “rabble rouser” but threw herself into a complaint she filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Mach 31, 2017.
Molak said she was not alone, having given advice to another complainant who was struggling with her own filing. Another complainant from Batavia was identified to The Daily News Wednesday but was not interested in publicly discussing her filing.
“I (reviewed) thousands of pages of information,” Molak said of her detailed complaint. “It was all footnoted and annotated. It had backup. For (the other filer) it was hard, and brave of her to do that.”
Great Legal News
A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which former Administrator Scott Pruitt refused to do last year.
The decision is a major win for environmentalists and health advocates. The EPA’s own research, as recently as 2016, linked chlorpyrifos to developmental and neurological disorders, especially in children and infants.
A federal judge on Thursday threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after discovering that the Trump administration attempted to transfer a woman and her daughter out of the country while an appeal hearing for their deportation was underway.
Other Good News
The New York Yankees are planning to host events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 2019, a significant move from one of only two MLB teams that does not host an annual LGBTQ Pride Night.
Major league sources told local outlet SportsNet New York that the team will host unspecified events commemorating the Stonewall Riots because of their significance to New York’s LGBTQ community.
Senate Democrats pushed back with FOIA requests on Wednesday against Republicans’ refusal to obtain documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary during the George W. Bush administration, members of the Judiciary Committee said.
FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act requests, enable any member of the public to ask for records from federal government agencies. They are often used by journalists to obtain records from different agencies, although businesses, nonprofits, and law firms have been known to leverage this tool as well, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
Judiciary Committee Democrats are adopting this approach to get records from Kavanaugh’s stint as staff secretary. As part of the push, they’ve submitted their FOIA requests to the National Archives, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Democrats have asked for expedited processing of this request, and called for a response from the National Archives about their request within 10 calendar days.
Last year, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest operator of local TV stations and a leading voice for conservative views, made a $3.9 billion bid to expand its presence by agreeing to buy Tribune Media. The consolidation would have created a company that could reach seven out of 10 American households.
President Trump cheered the move, but not everyone was thrilled about the prospect of a company that could potentially challenge Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News as the country’s pre-eminent media outlet on the right.
And once a key government agency turned against the deal, it became clear Sinclair would not be realizing its dream. That was made official on Thursday, with the announcement by Tribune that it was ending its merger agreement with Sinclair and would sue for breach of contract.
that is it for today.