This Twilight Zone Episode is Lasting WAY Too Long: Saturday’s Good News

Vince Alongi / Flickr Hope...
Vince Alongi / Flickr

Have you ever watched an old TV show or movie where you can tell pretty early on that one character is about to be taken down?  The big mystery isn’t whether it will happen but who will do the deed (since just about everyone seems to want to).

You see evidence that the maid hates him!  His brother would inherent his fortune if he got rid of him!  He has been cheating on his wife and she just found out!  He is bankrupting his company and only getting rid of him would save the day!  Even his own children secretly despise him!

By the end of Act 1, the fate of our main character becomes as clear is if Chekhov’s gun tap danced across the stage — this guy isn’t going to make it the final curtain and the only mystery is which of these folks is going to take him out.

I feel like we are at exactly that point with this presidency.  There are so many different things that all could take Trump out of office in shame.  The only mystery, at this point, is which will do it.  Will it be Mueller?  Will it be the southern district of NY?  Will it be the voters frustrated by his inability to keep even the simplest of promises?

As much as we would like to fast forward to the end of this train wreck, only time and our continued hard work will reveal the endgame.

In the meantime, lets examine our key suspects!

Suspect #1: The Democrats in the House

An old-school Democrat takes on Trump’s foreign policy

Eliot Engel is a throwback to a faded era of compromise. But in 2019, he’s taking on one of Congress’ most partisan roles: Trump investigator

As the new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Engel has vowed to examine the president’s Russia ties, approach to North Korea and reaction to Saudi Arabia’s murder of a U.S.-based journalist — just to name a few topics. He has even re-established a subcommittee dedicated to probing Trump.

Engel is amazing. But so is Schiff:

Heck, ALL these folks are ready to finally have oversight:

Newly Empowered, Democrats Demand Ajit Pai Stop Withholding Documents

In a letter to Pai on Monday, a pair of House Democrats, who now helm a committee and subcommittee charged with overseeing the FCC’s work, made clear that any avoidance or obfuscation would no longer stand. “Under your leadership, the FCC has failed repeatedly to act in the public interest and placed the interest of corporations over consumers,” the letter reads.

A request for information and documents about the FCC’s current workload, the letter was signed by the new Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., and Rep. Mike Doyle, head of the Communications and Technology subcommittee. In a nod to the free rein Pai has enjoyed under the Republican-controlled Congress, the letter stated that Energy and Commerce Democrats were prepared to “reassume” their “traditional role of oversight” to ensure the FCC was “acting in the best interest of the public.”

This was my favorite from yesterday’s hearings:

  • Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: “I’m confused, I really am. We’re all trying to figure out, who are you? Where did you come from? And how the heck did you become the head of the Department of Justice? Hopefully you can help me work through this confusion.”
  • *Whitaker started responding..*
  • Jeffries: “Mr. Whitaker, this was a statement, not a question, I am sure you know the difference.” And then he later told him: “Keep your hands off the Mueller investigation.”

hee hee ❤️ 😆

Suspect #2: Trump… by Boxing Himself Into A Corner With this Wall Racist BS

Solid Majority Still Opposes New Construction on Border Wall

  • 60% oppose significant new construction on border walls
  • 57% opposed it in June, as the issue heated up ahead of midterm elections
  • 81% support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally

Trump cornered on border wall

The president doesn’t have GOP support to go through another shutdown or declare a national emergency — pressuring him to back whatever deal Congress makes.

When Trump’s spell is broken: What do his followers do if it turns out he can’t build the wall?

There is much talk of President Trump’s ultra-loyal political base, and rightly so. That base, or at least the most passionate element of it, consists of angry people who feel spurned by the political establishment. The base showed its psychological and political clout when Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, who claimed to speak for it, denounced Trump for “caving” to a unanimous Senate decision to keep the government running, which caused Trump to reverse himself and create a disastrous partial government shutdown.

Yet that same base could play a large part in removing Trump from office. Here’s why.

Beyond being political followers, a considerable portion of the base can be understood as cultist, as followers of a guru who is teacher, guide, and master.

People who submit themselves to an omnipotent guru can be especially passionate in their support of all that he says and does. But this cultism can also be a source of vulnerability for both.

Trump has been observed to be “afraid of his base,” a fear usually attributed to his need for their support as his best means of avoiding impeachment. But the fear may also spring from the contradiction between messianic vision and physical structure. In recent weeks, the number of rallies has tapered off, which suggests that Trump senses that they no longer do quite as much for him or his followers as they have in the past.

Should many of these followers view him as no longer able to satisfy their needs — whether because of confusions having to do with the wall or other actions causing them economic or social pain — they too could turn against him.

Suspect #3: Mueller

Here’s why Robert Mueller is so interested in Paul Manafort’s time on the campaign

I won’t summarize this whole article here, but it contains a timeline that is really, really damning for Manafort and really strongly suggests conspiracy.

Suspect #4: The Investigation into trump’s Inaugural Committee (which appears to be shady AF)

Trump Inaugural Committee Is Subpoenaed for Documents

In the final weeks leading up to the inauguration, the inaugural committee’s deputy chairman, Rick Gates, asked several vendors if they’d be willing to accept payment directly from donors, or through channels outside the inaugural committee

The investigation into Trump’s inauguration money looks quite serious

The scope of documents requested in the subpoena and potential crimes investigators are probing are both remarkable — investigating everything from false statements to money laundering. Investigators are said to be interested in the inaugural committee’s spending, its donations, whether any donations came from illegal foreign sources, and potential corruption involving favors for donors.

Confidential Memo: Company of Trump Inaugural Chair Sought to Profit from Connection to Administration, Foreigners

The memo outlines how Colony, the company founded by Tom Barrack, an investor who chaired the inaugural, aimed to exploit its connections to Donald Trump. Federal prosecutors are conducting a wide-ranging probe into the nonprofit that ran the inaugural.

“I AM DISGUSTED”: BEHIND THE SCENES OF TRUMP’S INCREASINGLY SCRUTINIZED $107 MILLION INAUGURATION

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was the mastermind event producer behind Trump’s inaugural celebration, which has since come under S.D.N.Y. investigation. Now, taped conversations reveal Wolkoff’s concerns with how money was being spent, the general chaos of the process, the involvement of the Trump family, and the people in charge, namely Rick Gates and Tom Barrack.

New Trump Probe Looks a Lot Like a RICO Investigation

The crimes reportedly under investigation—money laundering, fraud, conspiracy—could amount to a criminal enterprise. That’s how my team of prosecutors put away Detroit’s mayor.

Suspect #5: Federal Prosecutors in NY Who Are investigating the Trump Org

New York federal prosecutors seek interviews with Trump Organization executives

Federal prosecutors in New York have requested interviews in recent weeks with executives at the Trump Organization, according to people familiar with the matter, signaling a growing potential threat to President Donald Trump and those in his orbit from criminal investigations by the Manhattan US Attorney’s office.

Trump and his legal team have long harbored concerns that investigations by New York federal prosecutors — which could last throughout his presidency — may ultimately pose more danger to him, his family and his allies than the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to people close to Trump. Prosecutors’ recent interest in executives at Trump’s family company may intensify those fears.
Prosecutors have questioned at least two former Trump campaign officials, according to people familiar with the matter. One official who was questioned last summer was asked about coordination between the Trump Organization and the campaign.

Suspect #6: Trump Finances being investigated all over the world

Trump’s Scottish finances in the spotlight

The company that owns Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses is being investigated by US prosecutors.

DJT Holdings, the parent company for resorts in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire, has been ordered to open its books to prosecutors investigating a hotel in Washington.

Suspect #7: the campaign finance investigation

Prosecutors still investigating campaign finance crimes Michael Cohen admitted to, judge says

A federal judge in New York acknowledged in a court filing Thursday that “aspects” of a federal investigation involving Michael Cohen “remain ongoing” nearly two months after the President’s former fixer was sentenced to three years in prison.

The judge make it clear that there are other subjects of the ongoing investigation beyond Cohen.

Suspect #8: The Senate Intel Committee

Richard Burr on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, 2 years on

The headline from this article that we have all seen pulled is where Burr says that he has not seen collusion between trump and russia yet.  But that is ignoring A LOT of other damning stuff that came out of it.

Highlights of the article from this thread 

Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, was on TRUMP’S NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM as of October 2016.

“[Burr] acknowledges now that the investigation is broader, and perhaps more consequential, than it has long been thought to be.”

“What [has]…extended the life of the [Senate] investigation…is a better understanding of…how coordinated and organized the effort was.”

“The [probe] isn’t compiling the story of one pivotal election, but of something larger, more complicated and—from a counterintelligence perspective—more nefarious. The final report may be so highly classified that a meaningful portion may not be made public.”

an October 2016 MEMBER OF TRUMP’S NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM—says the unprecedented access the Senate got to U.S. intelligence “gave us tremendous insight to know when somebody was lying to us.” He says *many* people have been referred for criminal prosecution.

Burr gives a nice quotable answer that’ll make Trumpists happy—which is what that quote was clearly intended to do. But his further breakdown leaves doubt. He allows that “collusion” is a possible explanation for the motivations of many of the Trump-Russia ties they’ve found.

Referring to the Manafort-Kilimnik interactions, Burr calls the argument that they were collusive a “stretch” without dismissing it (and of course he has much, much more investigation of that topic to go). But he allows that “collusion” is one possibility there and elsewhere.

“There’s an awful lot of connections. They may not be connections that are tied to 2016 elections, but just the sheer fact that they have a relationship—it may be business. It may be Russian intelligence. It may be they’re all on the payroll of Oleg Deripaska.”

“In a lot of cases, we found out they [the Trump-Russia connections the Senate Intelligence Committee has found] fit in neither bucket [listed in QUOTE #14], or we don’t know which bucket [yet].” So Burr admits “collusion” may well be the answer to open questions.

And remember, Warner, who has the same info but not the same biases, seems much less convinced of this “no collusion” conclusion.

Here he is saying that he is waiting until the end to say what he thinks BUT the also says that it is clear that the Russians offered the info AND that the trump people lied about being eager to take that info:

www.cnn.com/…

AND here he is a month later, where he really shows his hand:

Plus last night he tweeted this:

so…. the case is still open.  But i have to say, if it quacks like a duck, and walks like duck, and colludes with Russia like a duck….

It’s a treasonous asshole.

Suspect #9: Shady Links Between Trump and Other countries

and this could be a big big big big deal….

This guy thinks so too:

Suspect #10: Obstruction of Justice By Trump

Trump’s Most Blatant Assault Yet on the Rule of Law

Mr. Trump pushed Whitaker on “why more wasn’t being done to control” the Southern District of New York prosecutors who brought the case against Cohen. The president of the United States, in that moment, was essentially pressuring an acting official whose job hangs on his personal whims to shut down an investigation into himself.

There have been questionable moves before. But the president’s reported lashing-out at his acting attorney general is truly problematic.

Here is a partial summary of some of our suspects:

and Schiff’s great response:

Suspect #11: Trump’s Tax Returns

We may finally see Trump’s tax returns, and Republicans are panicking

Washington is terribly divided these days, but there is at least one thing everyone — the Trump administration, members of Congress from both parties, journalists, cabdrivers — clearly agrees on: If the public ever got to see President Trump’s tax returns, it would be utterly disastrous for him.

Suspect #12: New Evidence of Illegal Hiring by Trump

‘My whole town practically lived there’: From Costa Rica to New Jersey, a pipeline of illegal workers for Trump goes back years

Angulo learned to drive backhoes and bulldozers, carving water hazards and tee boxes out of former horse pastures in Bedminster, N.J., where a famous New Yorker was building a world-class course. Angulo earned $8 an hour, a fraction of what a state-licensed heavy equipment operator would make, with no benefits or overtime pay. But he stayed seven years on the grounds crew, saving enough for a small piece of land and some cattle back home.

Now the 34-year-old lives with his wife and daughters in a sturdy house built by “Trump money,” as he put it, with a porch to watch the sun go down.

It’s a common story in this small town.

Other former employees of President Trump’s company live nearby: men who once raked the sand traps and pushed mowers through thick heat on Trump’s prized golf property — the “Summer White House,” as aides have called it — where his daughter Ivanka got married and where he wants to build a family cemetery.

“Many of us helped him get what he has today,” Angulo said. “This golf course was built by illegals.”

Suspect #13: Trump’s Approval is in the Tank. May be unelectable even if he makes it to November 2020

Trump’s Popularity Slumps to Record Low in January

  • A majority of voters in 12 states approved of Trump’s job performance, while a majority disapproved in 27 states.
  • Trump’s best numbers came in Wyoming and West Virginia; his worst numbers were in the District of Columbia and Vermont.
  • Record numbers of Democrats and independents disapproved of Trump in January.

Trump’s slump could be permanent

President Trump had a rotten month. “In the latest data from Morning Consult’s Trump Tracker, which measures the president’s approval rating in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, a record low of 40 percent of voters approved of Trump and a record-high 55 percent disapproved, resulting in the worst monthly net rating of his presidency.”

Suspect #14: Trump’s Pecker Problem

In a stunning blog post, Bezos rolls over a log. And the National Enquirer’s sleaze crawls out.

And, as Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, head of Bloomberg Opinion, put it Friday, AMI has now really picked the wrong person to try to bully.

“Bezos is the world’s richest man, he has ample resources and a spine, and he’s willing to put his own reputation in play before the Enquirer does — in order to make a point and to discover how the publication got his texts and photos.”

It’s also not clear what role, if any, Trump or his allies had in any of this. All of that is murky, and the swirling speculation is nothing more than that at the moment, though Trump has continually disparaged Bezos as the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post.

National Enquirer’s AMI Scrutinized Over Bezos Story, Sources Say

Federal prosecutors are reviewing the National Enquirer’s handling of its story about Jeff Bezos’s extramarital affair to determine if the company violated an earlier cooperation deal with prosecutors, according to two people familiar with the matter.

AMI agreed not to commit crimes as part of that deal to avoid prosecution over hush-money payments to women who claimed relationships with President Donald Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, played a pivotal role in some of the payments and has pleaded guilty to related charges.

The Bezos tabloid matter could prove embarrassing not only for AMI, but for others in Trump’s inner circle who have engaged with David Pecker, AMI’s overseer. Bezos’s post pointedly referenced Pecker’s connections with the Saudi government, and suggested more would come to light.

So that is it.  Fourteen suspects in our plot to end this national nightmare.

Who will do it?!  Do you have a suspect I missed?

Or will it be someone or something that we never even suspected!  STAY TUNED brave listeners!!!!

Other Good News

House Judiciary Chairman Nadler Announces Markup of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act

H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, requires background checks on all firearm sales. 

Pope and grand imam sign historic pledge of fraternity in UAE

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Democrats in disarray continues to be BS

Trump put razor wire on border fence — Arizona town just voted unanimously to tear it down

Nogales, Arizona was outraged after troops installed razor wire, also known as concertina wire, along the existing border wall in their community.

“Mayor Arturo Garino, we just spoke to him a moment ago, and he says the concertina wire that’s up now along the border fence is the type of wire that you’d see in a battlefield setting or a war zone or in a prison, KVOA’s Eric Fink reported. “He say’s it’s not the type of setting he wants to see in a city like downtown Nogales.”

“The Nogales City Council unanimously approves Mayor Garino’s resolution to tell the federal government to take down the razor wire,” Fink reported.

Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion restrictions, handing anti-abortion movement a temporary setback

 A deeply divided Supreme Court Thursday temporarily blocked abortion restrictions in Louisiana that critics complained were virtually identical to those struck down by the justices in 2016.

The biggest losers in the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling

The Supreme Court on Thursday in a 5-4 decision blocked a Louisiana law that would have, in effect, barred most abortions. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the four Democratic-appointed justices

The decision was a triumph for abortion rights advocates in several respects.

Hogue told me, “Susan Collins gaslighted millions of Americans claiming we were hysterical in believing that Justice Kavanaugh would vote to overturn precedent … His decision in the Louisiana case proves us correct.” She added, “Senator Collins, you broke it, you bought it.”

(In fact, the Republican senator from Maine voted for both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, creating a huge political problem for her should she run for reelection in 2020.)

Most important is what the decision tells us about the Supreme Court’s shifting alliances. Increasingly concerned about the Supreme Court’s credibility and the appearance of partisanship, Roberts joined up for the first time to protect abortion rights, something previously unimaginable. Should Roberts follow course on other issues, in essence stepping into the Justice Anthony Kennedy role as a persuadable justice, President Trump’s effort to refashion the court for a generation will be diminished.

As with the imminent defeat on the wall, Trump has less and less to offer the right wing with each passing day. Perhaps they will reconsider their reflexive defense of him.

The U.S. military is quietly launching efforts to deter Russian meddling

With little public fanfare, U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s new center for combating electronic attacks against the United States, has launched operations to deter and disrupt Russians who have been interfering with the U.S. political system.

Like other U.S. cyberwar activities, the disruption effort against Russia is cloaked in secrecy. But it appears to involve, in part, a warning to suspected Russian hackers that echoes a menacing phrase that’s a staple of many fictional crime and spy thrillers: “We know where you live

and finally, some parting words from the late great John Dingell

My personal and political character was formed in a different era that was kinder, if not necessarily gentler. We observed modicums of respect even as we fought, often bitterly and savagely, over issues that were literally life and death to a degree that — fortunately – we see much less of today.

Think about it:

Impoverishment of the elderly because of medical expenses was a common and often accepted occurrence. Opponents of the Medicare program that saved the elderly from that cruel fate called it “socialized medicine.” Remember that slander if there’s a sustained revival of silly red-baiting today.

Not five decades ago, much of the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth — our own Great Lakes — were closed to swimming and fishing and other recreational pursuits because of chemical and bacteriological contamination from untreated industrial and wastewater disposal. Today the Great Lakes are so hospitable to marine life that one of our biggest challenges is controlling the invasive species that have made them their new home.

We regularly used and consumed foods, drugs, chemicals and other things (cigarettes) that were legal, promoted and actively harmful. Hazardous wastes were dumped on empty plots in the dead of night. There were few if any restrictions on industrial emissions. We had only the barest scientific knowledge of the long-term consequences of any of this.

And there was a great stain on America, in the form of our legacy of racial discrimination. There were good people of all colors who banded together, risking and even losing their lives to erase the legal and other barriers that held Americans down. In their time they were often demonized and targeted, much like other vulnerable men and women today.

That is it for today!  Have a great weekend everyone.  Keep making your calls, donating your money, giving your time, and taking care of yourselves and one another.

So proud and lucky to be in this with you ❤️ ✊ ❤️

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