Thursday, January 24, 2019
Mayur Thakar / YouTube Jimmy Kimmel blames Mark Burnett for 1548243623.jpg...

Apprentice Producer Mark Burnett Involved in Kremlin Pay-for-Play Sleaziness

From ABC News: Nine days after Donald Trump won the presidency, as scores of supporters clamored for meetings with his transition team, the Hollywood producer of “The Apprentice,” Mark Burnett, reached out to one of...
Ella Macdermott / Flickr Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Unclear If Bitcoin...

Trump lifting sanctions against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, punishing him with profits

For weeks, the Treasury Department has been attempting to relax sanctions against companies owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. In making this change, the Trump White House has insisted that it had made big...
Wochit News / YouTube NRA Get Backlash For Tweet Against 1542197751.jpg...

Robert Mueller’s team is investigating Trump’s odd relationship with the NRA

NRA executives and high profile members have been thick as thieves with Russians Alexander Torshin, the Kremlin-linked banker, and his associate Maria Butina, the Russian spy who is sitting in U.S. federal prison charged...
Bloomberg / YouTube Why Robert Mueller Is the Perfect...

About that upcoming Mueller report.

I’d like to take a minute to draw a couple of distinctions about the upcoming Mueller report, and the soon to begin congressional committee hearings. The Mueller investigation is not necessarily These two investigations do not necessarily dovetail with each other, in fact, in some ways they are diametrically opposed. Robert Mueller’s mandate from the DOJ is not to investigate Donald Trump. Mueller’s probe was designed as a counter intelligence probe into the 2016 election. His mandate was to investigate Russian interference in the election process, If he finds evidence of Russian interference, he will issue a report, documenting the interference, and exposing weaknesses in the system so that congress can move to repair them. He may be investigating Trump for obstruction of justice, but that is an ancillary investigation,  “matter arising from his investigation,” and not the focus of his probe. If Mueller finds enough evidence of obstruction, lying to investigators, or lying to congress, then he will issue criminal indictments. But neither he, nor the DOJ is likely to indict Trump, no matter what evidence he uncovers. The focus of the House investigations should not be primarily in criminal prosecutions. By necessity, the focus of the investigations should be on one Donald Trump, and whether or not he has undertaken actions that warrant impeachment proceedings. These hearings are not so much a legal proceeding as they are a political act. And while anything that Mueller uncovers that implicates Trump would certainly be incorporated into the committees investigations, they are going to need to uncover enough evidence themselves to satisfy the political aspects of this exercise. Here’s an example. Robert Mueller is not going to have word one to say about any violations of the emoluments clause of the constitution. Yet this is a serious issue that the House Oversight Committee will almost certainly look into. The necessity for these House investigations to uncover, and publicly present their evidence of any Trump misdeeds independently from the Mueller findings is critical for one simple reason. Because, whenever the Mueller report finally comes out, whatever it actually contains, and whatever Bill Barr and the DOJ allow us to see, it is already damaged goods.Remember the great ACA debate of 2009? The GOP came flaming out of the gate, decrying the bill as “medicare for all (like that’s a bad thing?),” and “death panels for Granny!” before the bill was even presented for debate. The Republicans framed that argument forcefully, before the democrats could even open their mouths, and as a result, it took 7 years for the ACA to finally hit the break even point in popularity. Trump may have failed economics 101, but he learned that political lesson from the ACA fight immediately. From the day that Mueller was named, the administration branded it a “witch hunt,” being operated by “13 angry Democrats.” In order to protect the integrity of his investigation, Mueller has been unable to respond publicly to this abuse, even when it became personal. And Democratic efforts to buttress up Mueller’s investigation, and integrity, have largely been futile, for the simple reason that little to no actual information is emerging from within the investigation that could counterpoint the Trump assertions.Just like with the ACA, the GOP has managed to set the narrative in stone, not for all of America, but for just enough of America to allow the Republicans […]
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty / YouTube Thailand Deports Woman With Alleged Ties 1548185801.jpg...

TODAY’S MOST IMPORTANT, UNDER-REPORTED STORY – The Trump / Russia Vashukevich & Deripaska Affair

There are new developments in both the Vashukevich and Deripaska stories.  Although there are common threads between these two stories, I will present them separately below since the new developments are separate events. BTW — Much of...
The Daily Conversation / YouTube Putin  s Russia Helped Trump...

Trump’s digital campaign and Russia’s Internet Research Agency: a fully integrated operation.

In November, the special counsel’s office filed court documents stating that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had breached his plea arrangement with that office. In connection with that filing, both the government and Manafort’s...
rozipulous / Flickr rudy guiliani 300x300...

Giuliani concedes Trump’s Moscow negotiations continued throughout 2016

Donald Trump's top as-seen-on-TV lawyer was back on Sunday shows again, as usual, to clean up the damage he did during the previous Sunday shows. His main charge this time around was to dismiss...
Fox Business / YouTube Rudy Giuliani is putting together a...

‘Rudy Hates The Job’ and His Tirade With Jake Tapper Certainly Explains Why

If you had to pick just one jester in the court of Donald Trump, the title would have to fall to Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has no problem contradicting himself, outing his client — the most famous incident being admitting to Fox News that Trump paid off Stormy Daniels — and just all around buffoonery as somehow he rides into combat each and every single week on the Sunday shows and makes a continuing hash out of the facts of life in Trump’s Washington. Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair: The shutdown and related chaos has pushed Donald Trump’s approval rating to new lows, with even Rasmussen, his polling happy place, pegging him at 43 percent. But the White House believes this is only the beginning of his troubles. In recent days, according to a source briefed on the conversation, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has told people privately that he expects Robert Mueller to deliver the first installment of his report, dealing with obstruction of justice, “within the month.” “Rudy thinks it will be soon,” said a person who’s spoken with Giuliani. “It’s only a matter of time.” Giuliani, of course, has been wrong before about Mueller’s timing. In May, Giuliani claimed that the special counsel could be wrapped up by September 1. (Giuliani’s prior claim was seen as a strategy to pressure Mueller into completing his report before the 2018 midterms.) This time, however, Giuliani’s forecast about Mueller’s next move seems to be driven by his fears that the report will be “horrific” for Trump. According to a source, Giuliani recently told a close associate that he’s “very worried about the report.” The mounting pressure has also strained Giuliani’s relationship with Trump. “Rudy hates the job,” a Republican briefed on Giuliani’s thinking told me. “Trump is very hard to deal with.” (Giuliani didn’t return a call seeking comment.) Sunday, Rudy was on State of the Union, and it was an epic episode. Giuliani accused the media of “hysteria” in its coverage of Trump. His characterization of Michael Cohen’s Trump Tower dealings were priceless.  “He wrote a nonbinding letter of intent and sent it to a general post office.[In Russia.] He had a couple of discussions — Michael Cohen did, not the president. It was the last thing on his [Trump’s] mind because he was running for president. We’re talking about 2016. You’re not thinking about some proposal that, at best, it’s three years down the line.” Rudy’s bottom line on the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations is that they were nothing more than a a vague inquiry. This is vintage b.s. and vintage Giuliani.
DONALD TRUMP SPEECHES & PRESS CONFERENCE / YouTube PRESIDENT TRUMP MITCH MCCONNELL PRESS CONFERENCE...

Russian TV features “Mitch McConnell-a” for holding vote to pay their oligarch, but not...

Well done, Mitch. Or should I say,  “Mitch McConnell-a”, as it was pronounced on Russian state TV. In a segment called 60 Minutes Hot Off, (60 минут по горячим следам), McConnell-a was featured along with...
Fox Business / YouTube Trump s approval rating rises despite...

Yet Another ‘Bombshell’ In A Presidency Where Bombshells Are The Norm

  This is a terrific supercut of all the times in this Keystone Kops level administration that the words “bombshell” “tipping point” “walls closing in,” and my personal favorite, “beginning of the end” have been used. Take a walk down memory lane.         Just another #BombShell that blew up in the #FakeNews media face. #EnemyOfThePeople pic.twitter.com/6Lm9vFy055 — Steph (@steph93065) January 19, 2019 And this is the problem. We’re all numb. A thought about where we are as a nation: We're living in the age of the unsurprising revelation. Is there anyone who doesn't already believe that Trump-Putin-treason is a real thing? Even Trump loyalists surely know it's true, they just think it's an OK price for the racism 1/ — Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 18, 2019 The question instead is when and whether the evidence will become so dramatic, so blatant, that Trump's defenders won't feel able to keep pretending they don't know. That is, it's not really about what we learn but about how it plays 2/ — Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 18, 2019 Think of the Steve King story as a dress rehearsal. Everyone knew what he was, and has for years. Somehow, though, we reached a tipping point where GOP leaders felt they had to say "We're shocked, shocked to find open racism going on in our party!" 3/ — Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 18, 2019 I don't know if we'll ever reach that sort of tipping point with Trump. But even if we do, remember: they've known all along, but were willing to sell out America as long as it was convenient 4/ — Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 18, 2019 In just a few short years, as a country we’ve lost the ability to be horrified. This is not good. Politics has always been a feral business, but Trump has thrown aside any pretense of dignity or decorum. I don’t know if we’ll ever find our way back.

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