Saturday, December 7, 2019
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Trump continues to be damaged goods, will the GOP keep hanging on to him...

They’re now trial ballooning damage control measures, perhaps there will be a wrist slap by the Senate where the vulnerable 2020 GOP senators will call for a censure. The GOP media frame would then...

Vanity Fair: ‘Trump and Giuliani Appear Quite-to-Very-F**ked’

Bess Levin at Vanity Fair has the most articulate and insightful synopsis so far of what the House Impeachment Report says about what Donald Trump and Rudy “butt dialer” Giuliani actually achieved when they decided to play Spy v. Spy in Ukraine. Bottom line? They couldn’t have been more blatant about what they were doing short of wearing reflective clothing and blowing on kazoos. If this is their idea of clandestine, heaven save us from their notion of overt. Bill Barr is going to have to hold the DOJ upside down and shake it to come up with some distraction that can match this in intensity — and expect him to try. Levin Report: On Tuesday, House Democrats released the Intelligence Committee’s 300-page impeachment report, which concludes, based on over two months of private and public testimony from career diplomats and other administration officials, that Donald Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States,” sought to undermine American democracy, and, in doing so, endangered national security. For a guy who has insisted that he acted with the utmost integrity when he attempted to extort Ukraine to smear his political rivals, it isn’t a good look! But Trump isn’t the only one for whom the report should be causing some gastrointestinal distress right about now; his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has also emerged from the account looking like a full-on crook, a portrayal that probably would’ve been of concern to him had his brain not started atrophying when he left the New York City mayor’s office in 2001. Much of the damning information comes in the form of phone records. According to logs obtained by the committee from AT&T, Giuliani was in extremely frequent communication with the White House, specifically the Office of Management and Budget, where acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, of Ukraine “drug deal” fame, is still director. For instance, Giuliani spoke with unidentified individuals at OMB and the White House on April 12, 23, and 24. An OMB call on the latter date lasted over 13 minutes and occurred just one day before Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was told to return from Kiev. Following many of these communications, the Week notes, Giuliani placed calls to or received calls from his indicted associate Lev Parnas, whom Giuliani allegedly dispatched to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son. Another call of particular interest was the 13-minute one between Giuliani and OMB on August 8, which occurred just one day after Ambassador Kurt Volker messaged Giuliani about a meeting with Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak and a “visit” the two had discussed. Last month the Washington Post reported that a confidential White House review of Trump’s decision to put a hold on aid to Ukraine “has turned up hundreds of documents that reveal extensive efforts to generate an after-the-fact justification for the decision and a debate over whether the delay was legal,” on which OMB led the charge. In early August, for instance, Mulvaney asking acting OMB director Russell Vought to provide an update on the legal rationale for holding up the aid and how much longer it could be delayed. According to the justification from the OMB lawyers—which the State Department and National Security Council disputed—withholding the aid was legal so long as they referred to it as a “temporary” hold. Was Giuliani strategizing with someone at OMB re: the delayed aid? Who’s to say! […]
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Rudy Gets Benched: Trump Won’t Allow Rudy on Fox

According to a new story in Vanity Fair, Ivanka and Jared have been telling Donald for over a year to get Rudy “off” the team, which is somewhat interesting since Rudy isn’t in the government or currently involved in any position. Regardless, Trump ignored the advice, even liking Rudy in interviews, “interviews” being the coin of the realm in the Trump White House, since it is all a reality-show. Rudy won’t be doing interviews anytime soon, though: The relationship has grown so strained that Trump has even directed Giuliani not to appear on Fox News, a Republican briefed on the conversations said. (A Fox source said Giuliani has declined producers’ requests to appear on the network in recent days). “Rudy is cut off from Fox News,” the Republican told me. One Republican close to Trump put it this way: “We had to do something, we don’t want Rudy out there. Every time he talks it’s bad for Trump.” But don’t go thinking that Trump watched Rudy go batshit insane and had a revelation that perhaps Rudy has lost his edge and needs to be walked back. No, don’t be silly, that’s not it. Rudy only got run because he did two things that Trump simply cannot abide. One, Rudy threatened Trump, no matter how obliquely: The turning point seems to be Giuliani’s Fox News interview on November 23 in which he claimed to have an “insurance policy” in case Trump throws him overboard. “Trump was pissed,” a source told me. Giuliani tweeted that his comment was “sarcastic” and later called Trump to apologize. You do not threaten or joke with Trump. He thinks of himself as a mob boss, and has fck-all sense of humor. Go ahead and spill the beans on your international criminal conspiracy to Jake Tapper, look insane, if needed. That’s all fine. Lightly threaten or “joke,” and you’re done. The other thing Rudy did? Got greedy: Then, on November 27, the New York Times reported that Giuliani tried to land business deals in Ukraine at the same time Trump assigned him to conduct a shadow foreign policy campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Trump, sources said, was furious. “Trump hates when people make money off working for him,” Ha! Leave it to Trump to make it such that I feel just slightly sorry for Rudy. Keep in mind, Trump wasn’t paying Rudy to go around the world and promote Trump’s criminal enterprise. So Trump was already getting Rudy’s “services” for free. But Trump is such an asshole that he objected to Rudy making money “off” working for Trump? Of course that upsets the mob boss. Only the bosses are supposed to make money off working for others! You might almost be tempted – if you’re Rudy – to think that Trump wouldn’t respect a person who didn’t figure out a way to monetize running one’s ass around Eastern Europe concocting crazy schemes that would get rejected as screen plays. Almost. I believe that I could almost see myself telling myself such a tale; “He’ll respect that I needed to make some money while …” No, “he” didn’t. Trump truly is a dick. Newsflash, I know. Ha ha. Yes, I’m over it. I no longer feel bad for Rudy. But damn, for just a moment […]
Washington Post / YouTube Watch Donald Trump  s first...

CNN: IRS whistleblower declines interview with Senate after being warned off by IRS official

The IRS employee who emerged as a second whistleblower on Donald Trump has declined to provide a transcribed interview to the Republican Senate Finance Committee. The employee had first contacted the House Ways and...
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Trump loses in court again—judge rules that Deutsche Bank must provide loan documents

Even before he entered the White House, Donald Trump had made more than 3,000 appearances in court—many of them related to his tendency to promise to pay now, actually pay never. It’s not clear...
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Declaring ‘No One Is Above the Law,’ House Intelligence Committee Releases Trump Impeachment Report

The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released its initial impeachment report, a 300-page examination of President Donald Trump's alleged attempts to use military aid and a coveted White House meeting to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr...
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As Nation Transfixed by Impeachment, Trump Quietly Provides Offshore Drilling Industry ‘Sweetheart Giveaway’

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was condemned Monday for a proposed policy shift on offshore drilling panned as a "sweetheart giveaway" for a former client. The new extraction-encouraging proposal was announced last month in a report (pdf)...
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Trump releases military assistance to Lebanon after another mystery hold makes it to the...

In their scattershot defense of Donald Trump during the first round of impeachment hearings, Republicans seemed determined to prove that withholding military assistance from an ally fighting off a Russian invasion was no big whoop....

Appeals Court Says Deutsche Bank Must Hand Over Trump’s Financials

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NYC denied Trump’s attempt to keep his financial documents at Deutsche Bank  secreted and withheld from the American public. The appellate court ruled that Trump and the bank did have to comply with a congressional subpoena for his records, according to CNBC. The ruling in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals offers another judicial loss for Trump, who has fought off attempts to obtain his financial records, including his tax returns, through multiple lawsuits. The case is likely destined for the Supreme Court, where the president has already appealed two other lower court decisions requiring the disclosure of his financial records. The court gave Trump’s attorneys seven days to bring the matter to the justices. As far as I’m concerned, this is the biggest case out there, because I believe the most damning information isn’t within Trump’s records, but at the bank. Trump would have had every reason to destroy records, or selectively alter them. The bank would not, not necessarily, anyway. I am deeply concerned about the dissent in the 2-1 ruling, made up of two George Bush appointees and one Carter appointee. In her dissent, Judge Debra Livingston stated: “I cannot accept the majority’s conclusions that ‘this case does not concern separation of powers,’ and that there is ‘minimal at best’ risk of distraction to this and future Presidents from legislative subpoenas of this sort,” Livingston said she would send the case back to a lower court and require the House committees to provide more details about the legislative purposes behind their requests before deciding whether the banks must comply. THAT is a highly highly dangerous line of thought that the SCOTUS could use as justification to give Trump an “out” before the election. They could rule that Trump is subject to subpoena, but that the House did not develop its “legislative purpose” enough and needs to straighten-out just what legislation it envisions. A ruling along these lines would likely give Trump another two years of freedom from release of the records. It is also utter bullshit and she knows it. Congress need only state: “We are looking at how vulnerable the United States is in having a president who never disclosed his taxes. We are considering impeaching him. That IS our legislative purpose.” Moreover, Congress could state that it’s considering passing a law that anyone seeking to register for a federal office needs to disclose five years of back tax returns. Done. There is your “legislative purpose.” Congress can assert that it cannot draft legislation that forces each officeholder to disclose those tax returns without reviewing past president’s taxes and financial documents. Regardless, it is all bs because Congress relied upon a law past specifically to allow Congress to investigate corruption, which is exactly what it’s doing. The Supreme Court will decide in the next month or two whether to hear this case – it near surely will hear this particular case, as there are near certainly four votes on the SCOTUS to at least buy Trump time by agreeing to hear it. I don’t know about you but it is infuriating knowing that all players understand what is going on here. Everyone knows that Trump cannot survive disclosure of all that Deutsche Bank has on file. If a […]

Trump Humiliates United States in Epic Press Conference with Macron

Donald Trump is busily humiliating the United States. In a press conference with Emanuel Macron, Trump couldn’t help himself and snarkily offered to send ISIS fighters to France. This, friends, is not how it is done: Sarcasm really isn’t a good look on the international stage. But he just can’t help himself. Trump to Macron: “Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I can give them to you. You can take every one you want.” pic.twitter.com/d8vMDfkASq — Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) December 3, 2019 Macron, who happens to be a serious adult, responded like a serious adult who is also the president of a large and prosperous nation: “Let’s be serious,” said Macron. “The very last numbers of fighters on the ground are the fighters coming from Syria, from Iraq. It is true that you have foreign fighters coming from Europe, but this is a tiny minority of the overall problem we have … second, some of the foreign fighters are being in Iraq because of the — we have a humanitarian approach for children. very organized. and we’ll have a case-by-case approach. But we need to finish war against ISIS and don’t make any mistakes.  Indeed, let’s do be “serious,” and we should be “seriously” upset with our brat president. Trump humiliated us by stating that the EU was formed to “take advantage of the United States,” which is …. well, humiliating. Trump, with Macron, says the European Union was partially formed to "take advantage of the United States." He says "I've exposed it" and "a lot of people didn't know it." A lot of people didn’t know because it’s a LIE 🤦🏼‍♀️ GOD HELP US ALL — 🏌🏼‍♀️sylvie (@SassyGirlBoss) December 3, 2019 Originally, I conflated the European Union and NATO together, an error which I deeply regret. I said that NATO was not formed to “take advantage of the United States …” when clearly Trump is referencing the EU as being formed to take advantage of the United States. In thinking on it more, I am starting to think that Trump intentionally referenced the E.U., which was formed to maximize the Europeans bargaining power and ability to trade among and govern each other, at the NATO conference specifically to confuse and conflate the two entities in the United States. This is a NATO conference, meant to celebrate the anniversary of the NATO alliance, which is why Trudeau is there. So why would Trump be talking about the EU and its original purpose? I suspect he wants people back home, like me, conflating the two entities, and he especially wants his supporters believing that NATO might have been formed “to take advantage of the United States.” The E.U. might have been formed to “offset” some of the U.S.’s bargaining power, so in that way it could – maybe – be thought of as taking advantage of the United States. But not NATO, and this conference is about NATO. It is entirely possible Trump meant for us to confuse the two entities. Regardless, I deeply regret confusing the two entities in my original column, especially when I think about the possibility it was purposeful. The humiliation wasn’t done. The United States is being shamed on Twitter: Shame on you for voting for this sick bastard. Shame on you. What an embarrassment […]

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