The title of today’s post is a paraphrase of the famous quote “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” The original quote is attributed to Mark Twain talking about New England, but it is just as true of Western New York, in particular this time of year. We move from winter to spring to summer and then back again, often in just one day.
You get excited that warm weather is here and then it snows. You get depressed that summer will never come and then the sun comes out.
That is how the news feels in this insane time we are living through. Less than two weeks ago we were all ready to throw in the towel because the Barr memo said Trump was actually a swell guy. Now we see that the truth is likely much less rosy for the failed reality TV star.
Sometimes we go from despair to confidence in minutes. We hear that we won a special election in Pennsylvania and are elated. Moments later we realize that we lost a supreme court contest in Wisconsin and all is lost.
Truth be told, neither of those extremes is healthy for us. Things are not fine and they won’t be without A LOT of hard work on our part for the 2020 election and beyond. Ignoring that will lead people to complacency and loss in 2020 and beyond.
At the same time, there is so much reason for hope and optimism. Our movement is strong, the democrats in the house are beyond amazing, we have a plethora of good candidates, legal troubles are closing in on the failed reality TV show host, and we are on the right side of history. Ignoring all that will lead to hopelessness and inaction that will lead to loss in 2020 and beyond.
So try to take as much of this as you can in stride. On a good day, remember to recharge and use the good news as evidence that our hard work pays off. On a bad day, remember that good ones will soon follow and your hard work will make them happen that much sooner.
People say that you can only count on death and taxes in this life. But we can also count on the failed reality TV show host squandering away any of those awful days that are good for him and bad for our democracy. Because: he’s a narcissistic moron.
So the best news it that our opponent in 2020 is a total and complete loser. Yes, a bizarre number of people still like him. But way more of the country DOESN’T like him. And with hard work, this is a man we can beat.
We Are So Much Better Than This Pathetic Scared Weak Failed Reality TV Show Host
Barr’s personal exoneration was partisan showmanship in the extreme, a move that endeared him to his boss and the right wing, which both declared victory.
The victory was temporary, however. Most or all of the report will make its way to Congress. Barr and/or Mueller will testify, and Mueller will describe how he compiled the report, why he prepared the summaries and why he did not render a judgment on indictment. Barr has spun away his credibility and will be accused (rightly) of overstepping his bounds, adopting a partisan tone and hiding critical information about Trump from the public.
You see, simply because Trump and Barr want to wish away the Mueller report doesn’t mean it’s gone. To the contrary, its release might prove even more debilitating to them both. The information it contains, along with any additional evidence prosecutors in the Southern District of New York uncover, will not vanish. The facts are the facts. Voters will render one verdict; down the road state and federal prosecutors might seek others. Trump can run, but he cannot hide forever.
Because so many of us got it so wrong in 2016, there’s a tendency among many commentators to reflexively assume President Trump possesses some kind of hidden, magical sway over the political environment that we’re all missing.
But if there’s anything that should shatter this illusion, it’s the events of this particular moment.
Politico now reports that some Republicans are privately frustrated with the White House for squandering whatever political lift Trump was supposed to get from the Barr letter. It isn’t just that this story line has gone off the rails; it’s also that the president has committed massive pratfalls on two other fronts: health care and immigration.
On health care, Trump abruptly threw in with a quixotic lawsuit that, if successful, would unleash immense damage throughout the health-care system, triggering anxiety among Republicans who just got wiped out in midterm elections that were all about preexisting conditions. Trump then blithely suggested Republicans would come up with a plan that would keep those protections, which unleashed further dread within the GOP.
On immigration, Trump dramatically threatened to close the border if Mexico doesn’t stop “letting” asylum seekers reach our southern border. But after being persuaded that border closure would unleash great economic damage, Trump backed down.
The serious point here is that all this is happening for the same reason the health care mess happened: There’s an enormous gap between what Trump thinks his base wants — toughness and threats, or really action of any kind — and policy reality.
At this point, someone will say, “But his base loves this,” or that “All this chaos helps Trump.” Perhaps. I think these are just more manifestations of the idea that Trump has magical political powers. His base isn’t enough to win in 2020; his party got slaughtered over immigration in 2018, once the electorate got a look at his actual policies; and, if anything, when it comes to the border, Trump increasingly represents not law and order, but cruelty and incompetence.
The prospect of damaging Mueller revelations is alarming advisers who worry the president’s 2020 campaign is in “disarray” as Parscale falters and Don Jr. and Jared Kushner jockey for control.
every victory lap has a finish line—and Trump appears to be approaching his. “Donald gets oversold on things. This is just another example of that,” said a Republican close to the White House. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize subpoenas to obtain a copy of Mueller’s report, catalyzing fears among Trump aides that the legal siege isn’t over. “The White House realizes the report may have a lot of shit in it,” the Republican said. A former West Wing official told me Trump’s “response to the Barr letter was overplayed.”
The prospect of damaging Mueller revelations is particularly alarming to advisers who worry the president’s 2020 re-election campaign is in “disarray,” according to three Republicans close to the White House. “There’s no brain trust,” a former West Wing official said. Campaign manager Brad Parscale, a social-media consultant with no political experience prior to Trump’s 2016 campaign, is struggling to exert control over the operation and reverse Trump’s upside-down poll numbers with women voters, sources said. “The polling is very bad. They’re going to have a big problem with female voters,” a Republican who’s been briefed on the internal numbers said. According to a source, Parscale told Trump over the weekend of March 16 that he could improve his standing with women if he dialed back the tweeting. Trump responded with a tweetstorm the following day that included an attack on the late Senator John McCain and a retweet of a user who had promoted the QAnon conspiracy. “Brad went to him and Trump’s response was like 40 tweets,” the source said.
Many political observers are struggling to figure out what the President’s game plan is for 2020, and no wonder: This week was hard to believe. The President announced that he would support new health care legislation to replace Obamacare, but then backed away when congressional Republicans said no.He told the NATO secretary general that his father was born in Germany, which he was not. After threatening to close the southern border, which would cause economic havoc, he said he will instead hold off for a year.Then there was the speech to the National Republican Congressional Committee, when President Trump baselessly suggested that noise from wind turbines causes cancer and went on to predict that his remarks — which were being broadcast on C-SPAN — would be leaked.His rallies, as an article in the Atlantic explains, have been a smorgasbord of one-liners and disconnected rambling. “Recent appearances seem untethered to any sort of strategy to drive a policy agenda ahead of the 2020 presidential election,” writes Peter Nicholas.
Trump should be enjoying one of the most positive periods of his presidency. Except that he’s not. Because of, well, him.This past 10 days should serve as conclusive evidence of one thing: Donald Trump isn’t playing three-dimensional chess with his presidency. He doesn’t have some sort of grand blueprint against which he has been and continues to execute. There is no method to this madness, he is making it up as he goes along.If this doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because it doesn’t make sense. Trump isn’t a grand political strategist, a puppeteer pulling the strings of the media and the Democrats based on some script that only he can see. Instead, he just picks up a different puppet every day and makes it talk. There’s no rhyme or reason. No secret sauce. Just Donald Trump doing and saying whatever he’s hot on at that particular second.
exactly. And looky, looky, some promising numbers for 2020 to get us motivated to work:
Trump is down double digits in key battleground states since the presidential election, according to Morning Consult. Here's how Trump's net approval has shifted since he won in 2016:
Florida (-24 net approval)
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 5, 2019
Democrats Are Amazing
Elijah Cummings says that Mazars USA, the accounting firm Trump once used, says that they will comply with the Oversight Committee's request for 10 years of Trump's financial records if a subpoena is issued. Cummings says he plans to issue the subpoena.https://t.co/AM0MCLyNy4
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 3, 2019
House Democrats plan to sue the Trump administration over the president’s attempts to reauthorize funds for a southern border wall, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday.
One of the key questions House Democrats will face with this lawsuit is whether they have the legal standing to sue in the first place. Plaintiffs must prove that there is harm being caused in order to secure standing.
Interestingly enough, House Republicans may have actually set a precedent that could make Democrats’ case for standing more viable.
House Democratic leaders are considering a vote to condemn Trump's calls to shut down the southern border, in a clear attempt to force Republicans into a difficult political spot, according to several lawmakers. https://t.co/aBfnCxvRI3
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 3, 2019
Shortly after her election in November, New York Attorney General Letitia James vowed to “use every area of the law” to probe President Donald Trump, his family and associates, and his business.
As the chief legal officer in a state with that provides her with sweeping investigatory and prosecutorial powers, she can keep that promise.
With special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe now complete, others’ investigations, including the New York attorney general’s, are continuing.
James recently subpoenaed Trump’s banks, seeking information about the Trump Organization and the president’s finances. Though Trump has dismissed these efforts as “presidential harassment” and tweeted that James, a Democrat, “openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda,” several former New York attorneys general and legal experts say the president could have plenty to fear.
New: The House Oversight Committee has voted 22-15 to authorize a subpoena to depose Clark Kline, the former director of the White House's Personnel Security Office, as part of its investigation into the Trump admin's security clearance process. https://t.co/XmrNhmAM2M
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 2, 2019
.The House Oversight Committee passed a vote 23-14 Tuesday to subpoena Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for records related to the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which critics say would lead to massive undercounts in heavily Democratic states with large immigrant communities.
House Ways & Means Chair Richard Neal on his Trump tax returns request: "We followed IRS guidelines … We didn't want to have the case perhaps dismissed on perhaps a technical glitch … We've taken a very methodical approach to what will likely be an established court case." pic.twitter.com/iBJW5bOIYb
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 5, 2019
Other Good News
Spring is coming to the shores of the Bosphorus after a long winter.
In local elections across Turkey on Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost all the major cities, including Istanbul and the country’s capital, Ankara. After a divisive campaign in which the opposition candidates were accused of either being terrorists or being backed by terrorists, with threats of imprisonment or removal from office, Erdogan’s AKP also lost the entire Turkish coastline, all but one of Turkey’s major cities, and main Kurdish cities in the east. Despite a repressive atmosphere and relentless media coverage in favor of the AKP, Turkish voters have rallied behind opposition candidates in big cities, sending Erdogan a clear message: Enough is enough.
attorneys for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, submitted documents to lawmakers Thursday night accusing Trump and his team of lawyers of instructing Cohen to lie to Congress about when negotiations ended to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
In a 12-page memo sent to top House Democrats, Cohen’s attorneys said Trump “encouraged Cohen to lie and say all Moscow Tower project contacts ended as of January 31, 2016 using ‘code’ language — telling Cohen during various conversations that there was ‘no collusion, no Russian contacts, nothing about Russia’ after the start of the campaign.’”
A federal judge in Maryland ruled Friday against the government’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the third decision against the Trump administration on the issue.
Judge George J. Hazel, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt, found that the government violated administrative law when it decided to add the question last year. The ruling, like two earlier ones, are likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
In his ruling, Hazel wrote, “The unreasonableness of Defendants’ addition of a citizenship question to the Census is underscored by the lack of any genuine need for the citizenship question, the woefully deficient process that led to it, the mysterious and potentially improper political considerations that motivated the decision and the clear pretext offered to the public.”
That is it for today. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Keep fighting for our country. I remain so lucky and so proud to be in this with all of you! ❤️ ✊ ❤️