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Goldman Sachs CEO who just broke Twitter silence trolls Trump again

Last week Goldman Sachs CEO Llyod Blankfein made news using his first tweet on his six-year-old Twitter account to criticize Trump for pulling out of the Paris accord:

Blankfein added a second tweet reinforcing the need for America to show leadership in the World, something dropping out of the Paris accord does not do:

Now that he has the feel for it and his Twitter account has jumped to 29K followers, Blankfein shared more thoughts on Wednesday, this time about his trip to China, complimenting the Chinese on their infrastructure and calling for the US to do more:

It was an interesting comment since the Trump administration had touted this week as “infrastructure week” and had planned several events and announcements during the week.

But if you had to give this week a name, it could only be called “Comey week”, since Comey’s testimony has been front and center. Trump’s attention doesn’t seem to have been too focused on infrastructure either, tweeting about the DOJ watering down his Muslim ban, Qatar, his new pick for FBI Director, and–of course he couldn’t resist–Comey’s testimony. In other words, everything but infrastructure, a fact not lost on Blankfein, who pours on the sarcasm in this 4th-ever tweet:

Mr. Blankfein, you just got yourself a new Twitter follower.

‘Will Trump Regret This?’ President Vows to Testify Under Oath

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In the latest “not-normal” episode of his embattled presidency, Donald Trump on Friday declared—in a meandering statement that left reporters clamoring for clarification—that former FBI Director James Comey lied under oath in claiming he demanded “loyalty” and said he’ll let the world know soon enough if tapes of their interactions exist or not.

“I hardly know the man,” Trump said. “I’m not going to say ‘I want you to pledge allegiance.’ Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? Think of that. I hardly know the man. It doesn’t make sense.”

Trump added that he would “100 percent” testify under oath and answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump subsequently gave a non-answer to questions about possible tapes of his conversations with the former FBI director.

The press will find out “over a fairly short period of time,” he said, adding: “You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.”

Responding to the president’s vow to testify under oath, CNN reporter Manu Raju asked on Twitter, “Will Trump regret this?”

Good News. Robert Mueller prepares to kick a**. Trump’s week just got a whole lot worse.

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Today, a short while after Donald J. Trump finished his rose garden press conference wherein he enthusiastically trashed James Comey and proclaimed himself the most honest-est President in the whole wide world, a small bit of good news came across the news wires:  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just appointed Michael Dreeben III to his investigative staff

 Michael Dreeben is the Deputy Solicitor General in charge of the U.S. Department  of Justice criminal docket before the United States Supreme Court. He has argued before the Supreme Court more than 100 times and is recognized as an expert in U.S. criminal law. (WIkipedia )  By all accounts he is a brilliant lawyer with an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal law. 

In 2010 Michael Dreeben gave a lecture at Duke University Law School –his Alma Mater—and was was introduced thusly  by Prof. Neil Siegel :

“…Michael Dreeben is one of this law school’s most distinguished graduates. He is the Criminal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States in which he helps to supervise the government’s litigation in criminal cases in the federal courts, as well as in the U.S. Supreme Court. I had the honor of working for Michael for a year at the office of the Office of the Solicitor General and it was apparent to me very quickly that not all advocates are all similarly situated with respect to the degree of interest they trigger in the justices. The advocacy is of uneven quality some are better at it then others, and what struck me about Michael’s arguments, is not just the poise and confidence —and often lack of notes–but the frequency with which each of the Justices would sit forward inon their chairs as he spoke.They were intensely interested in what he had to tell them. He has unmatched credibility before the court and I think unmatched knowledge  and intelligence about what the goverment’s interests in criminal litigation are—and it shows. He is truly one of the very best Supreme Court Advocates in our country, in our constitutional system…..

So Mueller is anticipating the arguments before the Supremes , and he is placing those arguments in the hands of one of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and respected  Supreme Court advocates in the country. 

I hope Donald and his little piss-ant real estate lawyer shit their pants at the news. They have no idea what they’re in for.

Duke lecture here…he’s a badass…

More on Dreeben


Congressman Ted Lieu is a Twitter BEAST all over 45—beckons Trump to keep promise and testify

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California Congressman Ted Lieu is one if the most popular and prolific lawmakers on Twitter. The former prosecutor, who is also extremely well-versed on the law, tweets multiple times per day and has a strong and attentive 249k followers. (Prepare for that number to grow.) The bulk of those followers have come during the last several months.

Lieu is fearless and very outspoken. He was one of the the first to publicly state that Trump’s accusation of President Obama alleged “wiretapping” would mandate an investigation Trump would regret. “You are in deep shit,” says Lieu. (Yes, he used that exact expression.) Lieu was correct, an investigation was opened and Trump was unable to prove President Obama wiretapped him and that major gaffe remains on Trump’s record. There have been investigations ever since.

Speaking of investigations, today Trump says he’s wants to testify regarding discussions with Comey. He seems to have something up his sleaze. Lieu is in favor. Here’s why.

Another one of today’s tweets by Lieu is has to do with threats made by Trump’s new lawyer.

Christina Wilkie tweets:

“Trump’s lawyer threats to file complaints against Comey. But they’re both already DOA”

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Ted Lieu responds:

Lieu’s “fun facts” are just that. Funny and true. Take the one from the tweet above:

Fun fact: WH Counsel for Nixon went to prison.

That tidbit is more than fun—it’s delightful.

This week, Lieu stood in front of the House and bluntly stated what many lawmakers want to say, but don’t. Below is Rep. Ted Lieu’s tweet, followed by the video transcript:

Video:

Transcript:

“As a former prosecutor, I rise to state the obvious. President Trump committed obstruction of justice.

We have direct evidence that the President asked the FBI director for loyalty—that he demanded it, that [the president] asked the director to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, that the president fired the director, and then that the president, on national TV, said he did it because of the Russian probe, and then [the president] told the Russians in his Oval Office that he did it to relieve great pressure because of the FBI investigation. That is classic obstruction of justice.

The Washington Post, today, has a quote from one of the prosecutors of Watergate and he says: ‘I helped prosecute Watergate. Comey’s statement is sufficient evidence for an obstruction of justice case.’ I call on Special Counsel Mueller to investigate the president of the United States for violating the Obstruction of Justice statutewhich is a felony.”

And here are more Ted Lieu twitter gems from this week:

Battling Donald Trump:

Donald Trumps tweets:

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”

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Ted Lieu responds:

Battling Republican ignorance:

Republican congressman says:
God will “take care” of climate change.

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Ted Lieu responds:

Battling Trump-defending legendary attorneys:

Alan Deshowitz says:

”You cannot have obstruction of justice when the President exercise his constitutional authority.”

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Ted Lieu responds:

I follow quite a few people on Twitter, but Ted Lieu is one of the few I allow notifications from, as each and every tweet I get is thought-out, informative, intelligent and often with a dash of snark, as seen above. His sense of humor was really made apparent with his Cheat Sheet tweet. Yes, Ted Lieu’s has a keen sense of humor.

Bottomline: America could use a whole lot more like Ted Lieu in government, especially given the corruption that exists and embodies the president and Republican Party of today. As one Daily Kos community member PollWatcher wrote: “Democrats need to toughen up, and Ted Lieu is writing the playbook.” Many agree.

Thank you, Congressman Lieu.

Jeff Sessions wants to pit his credibility against James Comey’s. Okay …

Jeff Sessions’ response to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee basically boils down to “nuh-uh, you big liar.” Because what Sessions really needs is a credibility contest with Comey just as as reports emerge of another meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador.

For instance, Comey suggested that, when it came to Russia-related investigations, Sessions was “inevitably going to recuse himself” for reasons Comey couldn’t share publicly. In response, Sessions’ spokesman insisted that the only reason, absolutely the only reason, Sessions recused himself from anything was that his involvement in the Trump campaign made it inappropriate for him to oversee investigations of the campaign—so the recusal was solely about Sessions’ ties to the Trump campaign, not to Russia.

Again, because it cannot be emphasized enough, we are to believe that Sessions recused himself out of the goodness of his heart for reasons having nothing to do with Russia, and we are to believe this denial on the very same day that Sessions may have had another undisclosed conversation with Sergey Kislyak. “Another” being perhaps the most important word in that preceding sentence.

That wasn’t the only thing Comey said that Sessions sent his spokesman out to insist was false. Where Comey testified that when he asked Sessions not to leave him alone with Trump, and to generally provide a buffer between them, Sessions did not reply. Here’s Sessions’ claim:

“Mr. Comey said, following a morning threat briefing, that he wanted to ensure he and his FBI staff were following proper communications protocol with the White House,” the spokesman said. “The Attorney General was not silent; he responded to this comment by saying that the FBI and Department of Justice needed to be careful about following appropriate policies regarding contacts with the White House.”

So … Comey said “we need to follow proper communications protocol” and Sessions responded “we need to follow appropriate policies regarding contacts.” If we believe that Sessions said that, how would it have been a helpful response to respond by essentially restating what Comey said without, apparently, offering any help in making that happen? 

But again, this is Comey vs. Sessions. And you don’t have to be a big fan of Comey to think his credibility—particularly as supported by memos he wrote at the time of the interactions in question—far outstrips Sessions’ credibility.

Repub Congresswoman Taped: Freaking Over Trump.

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“[Antipathy towards Trump is] basically being taken out on me. Any Republican member of Congress, you are going down with the ship. And we’re going to hand the gavel to Pelosi in 2018, they only need 28 seats and the path to that gavel being handed over is through my seat. And right now, it doesn’t matter that it’s me, it doesn’t matter what I’ve done. I have an ‘R’ next to my name and right now, this environment would have me not prevail.”

Martha McSally

AZ 2nd

Heh, Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally was caught on tape last week whining to bankers about Trump dragging down Republicans, including her.

Sad:  Theses days it seems that one can’t simply be a member of a political party that supports and apologizes for an incompetent, mentally unstable, emotionally unhinged, treasonous swine without some percentage of one’s constituents getting all unhappy about it. What’s with that

Here’s the Link:  m.tucsonweekly.com/…

Trump’s take: James Comey’s testimony was great, except for the parts that weren’t, which were lies

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If you’ve ever felt that Donald Trump’s actual intent was simply to drive the entire nation straight over a cliff, here’s your vindication.

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While Trump’s tweet may seem like a logic-knot so convoluted that pretzels cry out in envy, what Trump has done here is actually to provide a summary of every Republican talking point since James Comey’s opening statement appeared. 1) Comey’s words completely prove Trump right … except where he’s lying. 2) Comey leaked to the media … his own personal statement.

The first point of this twisted pair requires not just a selected reading of Comey’s statement to find only the words that are palatable to Trump, it requires a very special view of what the word “vindicated” means. By carefully combing through three hours of testimony, Republicans have been able to ascertain this: Trump can count. At least he can count to three. That’s the number of times that Comey indicated to Trump that he was not then under a personal investigation. Trump had said it was three. It was three. 

Of course, Comey had also said that the investigation was of Trump’s campaign and, as others at the FBI pointed out, that investigation might easily extend to the person at the point of that campaign. And Comey’s statement may no longer be true in no small part because of Trump’s actions that led to dismissing Comey. But sure. Total and complete vindication that Trump can make it to three. Four? That will have to wait for another day.

Then there’s the accusation that Comey “leaked,” which seems to be the new Republican word for “spoke.”

Comey didn’t reveal any classified information. He didn’t given anyone’s personal information, share a credit card number, or out someone as a secret lover of Bit-o-Honey. All he did was share his own personal experiences in his own words. He didn’t do anything ridiculous,like reveal the location of an Israeli spy. To the Russians. In the White House. To call Comey a leaker requires expanding the term to the point where it encompasses anyone sharing any experience with anyone else.

Even worse than Trump’s leaky tweet was the statement from his personal lawyer on Thursday, which included:

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.  

This isn’t a change in the classification of what Comey said. This is about Trump. The statement from Marc Kasowitz requires that everything Trump says be automatically considered as an In camera communication, subject to claim of executive privilege without the need for an actual claim of executive privilege.

It’s a ridiculous assertion that would make it impossible for anyone to testify against Trump. Which is, of course, the point. 

The point of Trump’s tweet, and the point of his lawyer’s statement, fits perfectly with how Trump has treated the media from the outset. If anything that the media says that Trump doesn’t like is fake news, then any testimony he doesn’t like is a lie. People are only allowed to say good things about Donald Trump. Everyone else is a tattletale … er, leaker.

To reinforce this, Trump followed up his mind-bending tweet with one that’s much easier to interpret.

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When you’ve lost Karl Rove…

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The WSJ op-ed is behind a paywall.

But The Hill has a story with some pithy quotes:

Karl Rove, a former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, slammed President Trump on Wednesday, saying that the real estate mogul “lacks the focus or self-discipline to do the basic work required of a president.”

“His chronic impulsiveness is apparently unstoppable and clearly self-defeating,” Rove wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Trump may have mastered the modes of communication, but not the substance, thereby sabotaging his own agenda.”

“Mr. Trump has figured out how to tweet his way around the mainstream media,” he wrote. “Yet by disregarding basic fact checking, he is deepening the already considerable doubts Americans have about his competence and trustworthiness.”

Is MC Rove old news?  Is anyone in the Rcon party listening to him anymore?  Does his opinion matter to deplorables?

I don’t care.  It’s always good to see Republicons tearing at each other.

Most Brilliant Take On Comey’s Testimony By Far: “The Predator-In-Chief”

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Nicole Serratore has written for today’s New York Times what is probably the most acute and disturbing assessment of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate yesterday regarding his interactions with Donald Trump, and it is a take I am ashamed to admit I never saw coming. But it is devastating:

As I listened to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, tell the Senate Intelligence Committee about his personal meetings and phone calls with President Trump, I was reminded of something: the experience of a woman being harassed by her powerful, predatory boss. There was precisely that sinister air of coercion, of an employee helpless to avoid unsavory contact with an employer who is trying to grab what he wants.

The parallels she draws between the behavior of a sexual predator/harasser and the behavior Trump exhibited to Comey in attempting to dissuade him from expanding his investigation into Trump’s Russian dealings are inescapable:

On Jan. 27, Mr. Comey received a last-minute dinner invitation from the president, and then learned it would be “just the two of us.” On Thursday, Mr. Comey revealed that he had had to break a date with his wife in order to dine with Mr. Trump. Already, something about this “setup” made him “uneasy.”

He froze: “I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed.”

Trump sitting there, one-on-one with Comey, smugly insisting on “loyalty,” raises the creepy apparition of any male boss in a position of power who desires “an arrangement” with an unwilling female subordinate. The fact that Comey is a full-grown man–the head of the FBI, no less– doesn’t detract from the comparison. The intimidation, the hint of emotional blackmail–this is exactly the behavior of a well-practiced sexual harasser. There are no significant distinctions in attitude, in method, not even in nuance, and Serratore effectively shows that the interactions that resulted between Comey and Trump are identical to the classic interactions between the  harasser and the harassed:

During that interminable, awkward dinner, Mr. Comey struggled to convince Mr. Trump of the danger of “blurring” boundaries. But Mr. Trump was not deterred and returned to the subject of the loyalty he must have. There you hear the eternal voice of the predatory seducer: the man who knows how hard he can make it for a woman to refuse his needs.

Comey’s attempts to “explain” his behavior—his regret that he couldn’t have been “stronger”– also echo the self-blaming language of the harassment victim. Even the Republican Senators’ haranguing questioning of Comey raises eerie echoes of the way victims of sexual assault are treated by all- male bodies sitting in judgment:

During his testimony, Mr. Comey was asked why he had not responded more robustly, why he had not told Mr. Trump that he, the president, was acting inappropriately or reported his behavior immediately to others in authority.

Where have you heard that before?  Why didn’t you fight him off? Did you encourage him?

Comey’s efforts to extricate himself from Trump’s insistence on “loyalty” –his attempt to reach some “safe” compromise by offering up “honesty” instead—suggests nothing so much as a woman attempting to extricate herself from a wholly uncomfortable situation, in which the balance of power is tilted grossly against her. Even Comey’s efforts to physically hide himself out of Trump’s field of vision (“behind the curtains”) in their later interactions reveals a disturbing similarity to the responses many women are forced to make to unwanted and unwelcome coercion.

Serratore just doesn’t let up in this piece. By the time you are finished reading it, you will either be wholly convinced, or you will remain forever clueless as to what millions of women in this country have experienced day in and day out.  Even Trump’s final interaction with Comey, immediately before he fired him, is analogous. 

In their final exchange, on April 11, Mr. Trump told the F.B.I. director, “I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” On May 9, having rebuffed the president, Mr. Comey was fired.

It’s gross. It’s creepy. It’s what Trump is.

Ryan says Trump is just ‘new at this’ and doesn’t understand that he’s obstructing justice

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House Speaker Paul Ryan demonstrated two things Thursday: popular vote loser Donald Trump is not fit to be president, and Ryan is not fit for his own job. While fired FBI Director James Comey was delivering his blistering testimony regarding the Trump/Russia investigation, including the fact that as far as Comey was concerned Trump telling him to lay off of the Mike Flynn was an order, Ryan was giving his regular press briefing. And dismissing obstruction of justice because Trump is just ignorant about what the president does and how all this works.