Tired of all the winning yet?
The last few days have been good for those of us on the right side of history. And there are going to be a lot more like that, as long as we remember why they happen.
Justice does not happen automatically, and victory is not inevitable. Every great headline you’ve seen so far this week, and every bit of good news* you are about to read, came about because of the courage, hard work, and sheer relentlessness of good patriotic people who are dedicated to battling against un-American policies and un-American persons. The arc of history bends towards justice, but only because history is made by people.
So now that we’re done celebrating the news we’ve seen this week, now that the confetti has been swept up and the hangovers have passed, it’s time to get back to work. There’s still a lot to do, and we do have some more elections to win.
There will be some more times when everything looks dark, and when that happens the good news will help us remember that everything is never dark. And, more importantly, to remind us that, as we’ve seen before, when we fight, we can win.
So let’s sit back, put on a little music, and take a look at some of the positive news happening this week.
Fallout From Manafort and Cohen Convictions Continues
Trump Could Pardon Manafort—If He Wants To Make Things Worse For Himself
Ten legal experts explain why Trump isn’t going to be able to use pardons to get out of the mess he’s in. In fact, he’ll only get himself in even more trouble if he does.
Lisa Kern Griffin, law professor, Duke University
If the president issues a pardon in order to influence a witness and impede the investigation, that would also be a further act of obstruction. Although he has the legal authority to pardon, he cannot use that power to commit another crime. A defendant in, say, a fraud case also has the “power” to shred documents that belong to her, but doing so with the intent to shield those documents from a pending investigation would be criminal obstruction.
Peter Shane, law professor, Ohio State University
Russiagate pardons would pose some strategic risks for Trump. No one pardoned could constitutionally withhold their testimony in either a criminal investigation or from Congress. And, unlike the pardon of Arpaio, which is a despicable blow to the rule of law, pardoning anyone who might have been a co-conspirator in misconduct involving Trump himself would much more plausibly be impeachable.
Andy Wright, law professor, Savannah Law School
President Trump did significant further damage to his presidency by pardoning Joe Arpaio. To the extent it was an attempt at a “warmup” act for Russia-related pardons, it will largely have the opposite effect. Any attempt to pardon Russia figures on naked cronyism grounds would enhance the president’s legal troubles and backfire politically.
Michael Cohen Doesn’t Want A Pardon As He Prepares To Tell All
Trump’s former fixer has sure come a long way since he declared that he would take a bullet for his boss. He’s done a full 180, and will neither seek nor accept a pardon and appears to be prepared to help put Trump behind bars.
Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, doesn’t want a pardon from President Donald Trump and, rather, is hoping to open up about what he knows to investigators with the special counsel Robert Mueller, his lawyer said.
Speaking with NPR Wednesday morning, Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, said his client wasn’t interested in being pardoned.
“Under no circumstances would he accept a pardon from Mr. Trump,” Davis said, adding that the president “not only directed a crime, he’s part of a cover-up.”
Davis appeared on MSNBC and CNN after the news dropped Tuesday, explaining Cohen was dedicated to telling the truth and interested in speaking with Mueller and his team of investigators.
“Mr. Cohen has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest and he’s more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows,” Davis said on MSNBC, adding he could tell investigators “not just about the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democratic system,” but also about his “knowledge about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not Mr. Trump knew ahead of time.”
Trump Responds To Cohen’s Flip By Incriminating Himself During Fox News Interview
Trump continued to make Mueller’s job easier by inadvertently confessing to a felony in a Fox interview which airs in full later today.
To be clear, Trump just confessed that he acted in his *personal capacity* to aid in the commission of the crime to which Michael Cohen confessed to yesterday, and to which a federal judge agreed with prosecutors that the confessed action was in fact a crime by Cohen.
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) August 22, 2018
The fact that payments to @StormyDaniels "didn't come out of the campaign, they came from me" is basically the reason the Justice Department concluded that they were felonies.
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 22, 2018
It’s getting to the point where Mueller needn’t bother investigating. He just needs to take notes.
Trump’s Defenders Are Beginning To Abandon Him
His support is only beginning to chip around the edges, and of course his congressional enablers are sticking by him, but we are seeing the first signs of a turnabout among some of Trump’s friends.
Fox News Op-Ed Urges Trump Not To Pardon Manafort
While sticking to the party line that Manafort’s legal issues have nothing to do with Trump, a Fox News opinion piece is urging the “president” not to “abuse the pardon power.”
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III could well sentence Manafort to spend the rest of his life in prison. That prospect gives Manafort a strong incentive to cooperate with Mueller, in the hopes of receiving a lighter sentence.
Manafort may know of communications between the Trump campaign and Russians over the theft and release of the Clinton campaign’s emails in 2016 or other matters. If Manafort now starts cooperating with Mueller, Mueller may have just gained some powerful ammunition in his ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign.
President Trump may have given Manafort reason to hope for a pardon with his frequent attacks on the Mueller investigation, which he regularly calls “a rigged witch hunt.”
But a pardon of Manafort would seem purely political, in contrast earlier pardons granted by Trump to defendants who had arguably been sentenced to punishments wholly out of proportion to their alleged wrongdoing.
While the Constitution places few limits on presidential pardons, President Trump should not use a valuable tool of executive power to protect a political crony.
Be warned that if you click on the link you will see a column filled with delusional Fox-speak. But it is a sign that someone at Fox has decided to back away from a slavish devotion to any inappropriate action Trump might take.
Politico Forced To Admit That Things Are Not Going Well For Trump
Politico has long been instrumental in normalizing Trump’s bizarre presidency and siding with his traitorous regime, as can be seen in the title of their Wednesday piece “Trump Was Winning. Until Tuesday.” In many ways the website has been a sort of Fox Lite. But now even they are having to face the fact that their boy is in trouble.
Michael Cohen walked into a courthouse in Manhattan on Tuesday and told a federal judge under oath that he committed a felony and that his former client, President Donald Trump, directed him to do so. In that moment, Cohen upended a months-long strategy by Trump to undermine the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, and for the first time presented a path to the end of the Trump presidency.
When the judge asked Cohen to tell him about the crimes he committed, Cohen could have repeated the vague language in the charges. Instead, Cohen said that he committed two of the eight crimes “in coordination with, and at the direction of” his longtime boss: Trump.
So Cohen wanted to publicly reveal that Trump directed him to commit crimes. The implication of his statement is obvious — it is a crime to direct someone else to commit a crime. And Cohen is not done. His attorney Lanny Davis told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night that Cohen is willing to provide information to Mueller about a possible “conspiracy to collude” with Russia and whether Trump “knew ahead of time” about computer hacking.
Tuesday’s statement by Cohen was a jiujitsu move that evaded Trump’s disinformation campaign, and it might not be the last such move. More evidence of crimes that don’t fit Trump’s narrative could weaken the resolve of Trump’s base, or cause some high-profile Republicans to break with the president. Or a Democratic victory in November, along with a stronger PR campaign by Democrats on corruption and impeachment, could ultimately sway enough Republicans to make a difference.
The notion that Trump was “winning” is strange, to say the least, but is typical of Politico. What is significant about this article is that even they are left without even the flimsy threads upon which they based such a strange position.
I don’t usually devote a lot of space to Trump’s legal troubles or the Mueller investigation, since there are so many Newsies that can do it much better than I can, but I had to get in on some of the fun after the Tuesday developments. I want to be cautious because we’ve heard it before, but this time we may finally be seeing real indications that the Trump crime family’s days are numbered.
Before moving to my specialty, which is election news and speculation, I want to give Trump a chance to respond to all this.
Thank you, sir.
The Blue Wave Keeps Building
Beto O’Rourke’s Reply To A Question About NFL Player Protests Goes Viral
I first saw video of this a while ago, but over the last couple of days I have seen it everywhere, and it is attracting national attention.
‘I can think of nothing more American.’ — Beto O'Rourke — the man taking on Ted Cruz — brilliantly explains why NFL players kneeling during the anthem is not disrespectful pic.twitter.com/xUGOuCFCSi
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 22, 2018
While this amazing video is now being seen by thousands across the country, those of us who have been following Beto know he does this sort of thing all the time. Do you want to help this man get elected? Sure you do. Go here to donate to his campaign. If you have already donated, think of how badly you want Ted Cruz gone and donate some more.
BTW, last night MSNBC broke this item.
A new NBC News/Marist poll finds Democrat Beto O’Rourke trailing Republican Sen. Ted Cruz by 4% percentage points in race for US Senate in Texas.
This is doable.
The Delusions Of Trump and his Base Could Cost The GOP The Midterms
Complacency is usually seen as a Democratic problem. But it will more likely be a problem for Republicans, whose fanatical hardcore voters belief in Dear Leader’s cries of “fake news” and “RED WAVE!” will blind them to the coming blue wave until it is right on top of them.
When voters see their team in power everyday, they feel secure; and thus, complacent; and thus, less obligated to drive to their polling places after work. GOP strategists hope to combat this perennial problem by turning their party’s weakness into a strength: With polls predicting a “blue wave” this November, Republicans hope to instill an energizing panic in their base over the terrifying prospect of Speaker Pelosi.
But the president’s narcissism compels him to undermine this gambit. To acknowledge that Democrats are poised for a landslide would be to acknowledge that the American people do not overwhelmingly approve of his job performance. Therefore, Trump has assured his voters that all those reports about a “blue wave” are fake news, and that Republicans are certain to keep Congress in November. Fox News has dutifully echoed this message, and the GOP base has fully absorbed it.
Over at Axios, the problem for the GOP is broken down in more detail.
What we’re hearing: One of those strategists told me he’s detecting something interesting — and concerning — from focus groups of Trump voters. “You have Trump-MAGA loyalists, and their friends on Fox, who have reached a point of not believing polls and media people telling them things are going wrong, that I believe is actually causing the Republicans problems,” the strategist told me, granted anonymity in order to be candid.
Between the lines: Questionable outlier polls like Rasmussen that favor the president have lulled and reassured Trump’s base. The president tweets out the polls, his media mouthpieces echo them, and his voters feel pacified — and, several top strategists I’ve interviewed fear, less motivated to show up in November.
- Trump isn’t helping. The president is flatly denying what most polls indicate — saying he sees not a blue wave in November, but a giant “red wave.”
- Republican strategists want the base to panic so they’ll show up to vote. But instead, Trump is breeding complacency.
Meanwhile, A Study Shows Democratic Enthusiasm Surging
That’s according to an analysis of primary voting patterns by the Pew Research Center.
As the 2018 primary season has rolled through the spring and summer, Democratic enthusiasm and turnout has been a dominant story in state after state, from New York to California. This week, the Pew Research Center put all those state-level stories into a national context with some eye-grabbing numbers.
The Pew analysis found that through June, 13.6 million people had voted in Democratic House primaries in 2018. The number was 7.4 million in 2014, the last midterm election. The 2018 figure represents an 84 percent increase over 2014.
The Republican House primary vote has climbed as well in 2018, but not by the same amount. Thus far about 10.7 million votes have been cast in GOP House primaries, compared to 8.6 million in 2014. That’s a bump of about 24 percent.
The article breaks down the numbers by major state primaries, and some of them are pretty startling even if you already know (or suspect) that Democratic voters are fired up this year. And as Republican politicians continue to support a clearly criminal President, I think those numbers are only going to get better.
Democratic Advantage In Generic Polling Continues To Grow
Yesterday’s 538 generic composite showed a 7.9% Democratic advantage, which is approaching wave territory by most definitions. And Trump’s numbers, while inexplicably staying steady, are still pretty dismal.
So we have an unpopular President, great poll numbers, Democratic enthusiasm, and a GOP base that’s too stupid to know that they’re in trouble. If we can get out our vote, I really like our chances in November. And that deserves a song.
Miscellaneous Good News
Trump Regime Suffers 7 More Environmental Defeats In Federal Courts
Trump’s attempts to undo environmental regulations continue to run afoul of the law.
The Trump administration suffered seven major environmental setbacks in the past week as mounting losses in federal courts stall its ambitious deregulatory agenda.
The spate of decisions adds to a string of losses for the Trump administration, particularly at the EPA.
Poll: Most Americans Approve Of More Women Running For Office
About 6 in 10 Americans say it is a good thing that more women are running for Congress this year, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.
Sixty-eight percent of women polled said they see the development as positive compared to 54 percent of men. Democratic women were the most likely to express support for more women running for Congress, with 83 percent saying they favor the development. Respondents who identified as Democratic men were not far behind, at 75 percent.
Given the very high numbers of Democratic women running for office this year, I could probably just as easily put this in the “blue wave” section.
African-American Woman Science-Fiction Writer Wins Unprecedented Third Hugo Award
The Hugo is the science-fiction equivalent of the Oscars. Sunday night Nora Jamisin became the first writer ever to win a third consecutive award for best novel. Her books are definitely worth your time to read, and her acceptance speech is worth your time to listen.
I can’t possibly follow that with anything else, so I guess that will do it for today.
We’ve seen some good times this week, but there’s a long hard struggle ahead. Remember to take care of yourself, and take care of each other. And if this isn’t enough good news, go out and make some of your own.
I’ll ask the Queen to play us out today.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.