The Wires
The Ledes

Sunday, September 15, 2019.

New York Times: "Juanita Abernathy, who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott and took part in other pivotal protests at the outset of the civil rights era alongside the Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, her husband and a leader of the movement, died on Thursday at a hospital in Atlanta. She was 88."

Public Service Announcement

September 5: Washington Post: "State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks. The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the United States. FDA officials shared that information with state health officials during a telephone briefing this week, according to several officials who took part in the call." The NPR story is here.

New York Times: "A solid 18-karat gold toilet, titled 'America' by its creator, Maurizio Cattelan, was stolen early Saturday [September 14] from an exhibit at Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace and family home of Winston Churchill.... The artwork is based on a common Kohler toilet and was created by a foundry in Florence. The work’s value was not disclosed, but [Guggenheim artistic director Nancy] Spector described it as 'millions of dollars’ worth of gold.'... The police said in a statement that they were investigating the burglary and that a 66-year-old man had been arrested but not charged. The toilet has not been recovered. Jess Milne, a detective inspector, noted that the toilet had been plumbed to the building, so the theft 'caused significant damage and flooding.' He said the police believed a 'group of offenders' using at least two vehicles was behind the theft." the Hill's story is here.

Modern Art. CNN: "Hillary Clinton's emails ... have become art -- and the former secretary of state herself went to take a look.The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee looked through printed copies of her emails and sat at a replica of the Oval Office's Resolute Desk during a visit Tuesday to an art exhibit in Venice, Italy, titled 'HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails,' according to the exhibit's creator and curators. 'Hillary Clinton spent an hour yesterday reading her emails at my exhibition of all 62,000 pages of them in Venice,' American poet and artist Kenneth Goldsmith tweeted Wednesday. 'She is pictured here at a replica of the Oval Office Resolute Desk, stacked with her emails.' Francesco Urbano Ragazzi -- the collective name for two men who are working as the exhibit's curatorial team -- told CNN that Clinton came in for a private tour of the exhibit Tuesday morning."

... Related Washington Post story here.

     ... Thanks to NJC for the lead.

Washington Post: "the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships were no different — especially Sunday night, the final night of the two-day [U.S. Gymnastics Championships]..., [Simone] Biles aced a skill no other woman (and only two men in the world) has successfully landed in competition — a triple-twisting, double somersault that capped the first tumbling pass of her floor routine like a cymbal crash":

 

Washington Post: White Southern plantation visitors who pay good money "to learn about the history of life on a plantation" are very upset guides mention slavery. Mrs. McCrabbie's recommendation: put on your MAGA caps & hoop skirts, watch the first 10 minutes of "Gone with the Wind," & practice saying "Fiddle-dee-dee."

Here's one for contributor Jeanne. "Margaret Atwood joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss 'Corrie,' by Alice Munro, from a 2010 issue of the [New Yorker] magazine":

Nick Schager in the Daily Beast: "Premiering on Netflix and in select theaters on July 24, The Great Hack is the most enraging, terrifying and — I don’t use this term lightly — important documentary of the year. Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim..., its subject is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—a story that’s galling on the surface, and infinitely more bone-chilling when one considers its far-reaching ramifications. That’s because Cambridge Analytica’s deceptive and criminal relationship with, and conduct on, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform had world-altering consequences: helping launch the Brexit movement, and successfully aiding the election campaign of Donald Trump.” 

Guardian: “The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of personal data. The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to 'intimidate and silence' journalists working in the public interest. In a joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop 'vexatious lawsuits', highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr.”

Monday
Sep092019

The Commentariat -- September 10, 2019

Late Morning/Afternoon Update:

You Can't Fire Me; I Quit. As the Mustache Curls ... Trump Lies Again. Peter Baker of the New York Times: "President Trump announced on Tuesday that he had fired John R. Bolton, his third national security adviser, amid fundamental disagreements over how to handle major foreign policy challenges like Iran, North Korea and most recently Afghanistan. 'I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,' the president wrote on Twitter. 'I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service.' Mr. Bolton offered a different version of how the end came in his own message on Twitter shortly afterward. 'I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow,"' Mr. Bolton wrote, without elaborating. Responding to a question from The New York Times via text message, Mr. Bolton said it was his initiative. 'Offered last night without his asking,' he wrote. 'Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.'" The NPR report is here. ~~~

~~~ Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "... two key things call into question [Trump's] version of how it went down.... Just an hour before the announcement, the White House announced that Bolton would be appearing at a 1:30 p.m. news conference alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. If Bolton was on his way out as of Monday night, why did the White House press office not seem to know about it at 11 a.m. Tuesday? [Bolton's] tweets Monday night and Tuesday didn't indicate anything had changed, and shortly after Trump's tweets, he chimed in by saying, 'I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."'... After [the Daily Beast] quoted White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who backed up Trump's account, Bolton responded in a text: '[White House] press secretary statement is flatly incorrect.'" ~~~

~~~ Carol Lee, et al., of NBC News: "As ... Donald Trump began losing confidence in national security adviser John Bolton, whom he fired on Tuesday, he reached out to the man he had fired to give Bolton the job: retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. In phone calls to McMaster -- the first of which took place last fall -- Trump told his second national security adviser that he missed him, according to two people familiar with the conversations. It's a sentiment the president has also expressed to White House aides, they said. Trump has solicited McMaster's advice on various national security challenges, even asking McMaster whom he should nominate to lead the Pentagon, they said."

Jeff Stein, et al., of the Washington Post: "President Trump has ordered White House officials to conduct a sweeping crackdown on homelessness in California, citing the state's growing crisis, according to four government officials aware of the effort. The talks have intensified in recent weeks. Administration officials have discussed using the federal government to get homeless people off the streets of Los Angeles and other areas and into new government-backed facilities, according to two officials briefed on the planning. But it is unclear how they could accomplish this and what legal authority they would use. It is also unclear whether the state's Democratic politicians would cooperate with Trump, who has sought to embarrass them over the homeless crisis with repeated attacks on their competency." The CBS Los Angeles story is here.

Weird News. Jim Sciutto & Marshall Cohen of CNN: "... Donald Trump has privately and repeatedly expressed opposition to the use of foreign intelligence from covert sources, including overseas spies who provide the US government with crucial information about hostile countries, according to multiple senior officials who served under Trump. Trump has privately said that foreign spies can damage relations with their host countries and undermine his personal relationships with their leaders, the sources said. The President 'believes we shouldn't be doing that to each other,' one former Trump administration official told CNN. In addition to his fear such foreign intelligence sources will damage his relationship with foreign leaders, Trump has expressed doubts about the credibility of the information they provide. Another former senior intelligence official told CNN that Trump 'believes they're people who are selling out their country.' Even in public, Trump has looked down on these foreign assets, as they are known in the intelligence community. Responding to reports that the CIA recruited Kim Jong Un's brother as a spy, Trump said he 'wouldn't let that happen under my auspices.'" Thanks to Ken W. for the link. See also Ken's comment in today's thread. ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: I suppose this is a reflection of Trump's disdain for our intelligence community, but it could be something more sinister: he doesn't want U.S. spies to find out what he is doing to curry favor with strongmen around the world -- shades of Christopher Steele. As Ken suggests, it's a head-scratcher.

The Trump White House Screws up Everything. Alanda Goodman & Steven Nelson of the Washington Examiner: "One of the people President Trump honored for his heroism during a mass shooting in an El Paso Walmart last month was arrested by the Secret Service during his visit to the White House on Monday due to an outstanding criminal warrant, law enforcement officials told the Washington Examiner. Police say his tale of heroics does not match video evidence. Chris Grant, 50, was shot in the ribs and a kidney during the Aug. 3 rampage that claimed 22 lives. He was not present for a White House ceremony Monday, but his mother Minnie Grant, 82, accepted a signed certificate on his behalf. Grant said in a series of interviews that he sought to spare fellow shoppers by picking up bottles and throwing them at the gunman, with at least one hitting or nearly striking him. A Gofundme account raised $16,917 on his behalf.... 'Nobody bothered to check with us,' said El Paso police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo. 'They would have been informed, as I am telling you now, that our detectives reviewed hours of video and his actions did not match his account.... His statements were inconsistent with what was revealed on video,' Carrillo said."

Patricia Mazzei & Frances Robles of the New York Times: "A former top administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was arrested on Tuesday in a major federal corruption investigation that found that the official took bribes from the president of a company that secured $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair Puerto Rico's shredded electrical grid after Hurricane Maria. Federal authorities arrested Ahsha Tribble, FEMA's former deputy administrator for the region that includes Puerto Rico, and Donald Keith Ellison, the former president of Cobra Acquisitions, prosecutors in Puerto Rico announced. They were accused of conspiring to defraud the federal government, among other charges. A second FEMA employee, Jovanda R. Patterson, who worked as a deputy chief of staff in Puerto Rico under Ms. Tribble and was later hired by Cobra, was also arrested, said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez, the United States attorney for Puerto Rico. Ms. Tribble and Mr. Ellison had a 'close personal relationship,' Ms. Rodríguez Vélez said, in which Mr. Ellison lavished Ms. Tribble with gifts in exchange for her to use her influence inside FEMA to give Cobra an advantage.... Mr. Ellison and Ms. Tribble traveled together and stayed in the same room, Ms. Rodríguez Vélez said.... President Trump has repeatedly cast Puerto Rico's leaders as incompetent and corrupt. Tuesday's arrests, however, did not involve any Puerto Ricans, but rather a longtime federal employee now serving under the Trump administration." The Hill has a summary of the Times report here.

Rachana Pradhan of Politico: "The number of Americans lacking health insurance ticked up slightly last year, marking the first annual increase in the uninsured rate in nearly a decade, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The uninsured rate rose from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent last year, as experts said the Trump administration's efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act were partly to blame." Thanks, Trump!

~~~~~~~~~~

Congressional Race 2019. If you live in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, vote today. ~~~

~~~ Steven Shepard & Anita Kumar of Politico: "... Donald Trump traveled [to Fayetteville, N.C.] on Monday for an election-eve rescue mission in a neck-and-neck congressional race -- and to boost his own standing in a key 2020 swing state. Trump touted Republican Dan Bishop, the party's nominee in Tuesday's do-over election in the state's 9th District, calling on residents to vote 'to stop the radical left.'... 'We had a very, very special day in 2016,' he told the crowd of thousands early in a speech that lasted well over an hour. 'It was very special, very special. ... 2020 is essentially just as important, because they'll try to take it away.' Bishop, a GOP state senator, is tied in the polls with Democrat Dan McCready in Tuesday's race."

Lies of the Grifter

I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with*) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. -- Donald Trump, in a tweet, Monday

I had nothing to do with the decision of our great @VP Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland. Mike's family has lived in Doonbeg for many years, and he thought that during his very busy European visit, he would stop and see his family! -- Donald Trump, in a tweet, Monday

How to tell Trump is lying: he says he knows nothing about either grift.* -- Mrs. Bea McCrabbie

* Update. Another Way We Know Trump Is Lying. Eric Lipton of the New York Times: "But documents obtained from Scottish government agencies show that the Trump Organization, and Mr. Trump himself, played a direct role in setting up an arrangement between the Turnberry resort and officials at Glasgow Prestwick Airport. The government records, released through Scottish Freedom of Information law, show that the Trump organization, starting in 2014, entered a partnership with the airport to try to increase private and commercial air traffic to the region. As part of that arrangement, the Trump Organization worked to get Trump Turnberry added to a list of hotels that the airport would routinely send aircrews to, even though the Turnberry resort is 20 miles from the airport, farther away than many other hotels, and has higher advertised prices."

* Martyn McLaughlin of the Scotsman: "As previously detailed by The Scotsman's sister title, Scotland on Sunday, the Trump Organisation formed what it described as an 'official partnership' and 'strategic alliance' with the airport in 2014 - two years before Mr Trump became president - with the two parties holding unminuted discussions over 'potential partnership opportunities' and the 'integration' of their businesses.... A spokesman for the Scottish Government-owned airport said [Mon]day that it regularly arranges overnight accommodation for visiting aircrew at Turnberry.... A new extended deal between Prestwick's parent company and the [US Defence Logistics Agency], known as a EUCOM Into-Plane contract, will come into force next month and last until September 2024. It will allow for the supply of around 12.4 million gallons of aviation fuel, approximately three million more than the current arrangement."

Martyn McLaughlin (Sept. 7): "... The Scotsman detailed how Prestwick's parent company had received more than £9.02m for 644 orders to refuel US Armed Forces aircraft between October 2017 and March 2019. Scotland on Sunday can reveal that in the six months since, further refuelling orders have netted Prestwick another £4.8m. The deal with the US Defence Logistics Agency, which manages the supply chain for the US armed forces, is by far the airport's biggest revenue stream." ~~~

~~~ Conor O'Brien of Politico: "Democrats in the House are doubling down on proposed legislation to block military funds from being spent at properties owned by ... Donald Trump, following reports that Air Force personnel stayed at the president's Turnberry resort in Scotland. The House voted in July to bar the Defense Department from spending money at nearly five dozen Trump properties worldwide -- including Trump Turnberry -- as part of annual defense policy legislation.... The provision blocks the Pentagon from spending money at 57 specific Trump properties. Under the provision, Trump could waive the ban if he reimburses the Treasury Department for the expenses.... The leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees are poised hammer out a compromise defense bill later this month."

AlabamaGate, Ctd.

Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: On September 7, I wrote, "NOAA is an agency within the Commerce Department. I'd say Wilbur Ross bowed to His Dimwittedness." Not exactly an oracular prophecy, BUT ~~~

~~~ Christopher Flavelle, et al., of the New York Times: "The Secretary of Commerce [Wilbur Ross] threatened to fire top employees at NOAA on Friday after the agency's Birmingham office contradicted President Trump's claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, according to three people familiar with the discussion. That threat led to an unusual, unsigned statement later that Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disavowing the office's own position that Alabama was not at risk. The reversal caused widespread anger within the agency and drew criticism from the scientific community that NOAA, a division of the Commerce Department, had been bent to political purposes.... Mr. Ross ... intervened ... early last Friday, according to the three people familiar with his actions. Mr. Ross phoned Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where the secretary was traveling for meetings and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency's perceived contradiction of the president. Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political staff at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals.... On Monday, the National Weather Service director, Louis W. Uccellini, got a standing ovation from [weather industry] conference attendees when he praised the work of the Birmingham office and said staff members there had acted' with one thing in mind, public safety' when they contradicted Mr. Trump's claim that Alabama was at risk." digby republishes much of the NYT story. ~~~

~~~ Samantha Grasso of Splinter: NWS Director Louis "Uccellini said at Monday's meeting that the Birmingham forecasters didn't know Trump had been behind the report of Dorian heading for Alabama when they had tweeted out the alert. He also said the forecasters used 'an emphasis they deemed essential to shut down what they thought were rumors.... Only later, when the retweets and politically based comments started coming to their office, did they learn the sources of this information.'" ~~~

~~~ Kayla Epstein, et al., of the Washington Post: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's acting chief scientist said in an email to colleagues Sunday that he is investigating whether the agency's response to President Trump's Hurricane Dorian tweets constituted a violation of NOAA policies and ethics. Also on Monday, the director of the National Weather Service broke with NOAA leadership over its handling of President Trump's Dorian tweets and statements[.] In an email to NOAA staff that was obtained by The Washington Post, the official, Craig McLean, called the agency's response 'political' and a 'danger to public health and safety.'" The Hill's summary of the WashPo report is here. (Also linked yesterday.) ~~~

     ~~~ Update: The full text of McLean's email is here, via TPM. Thanks to Keith H. for the link. (Also linked yesterday.) ~~~

~~~ Ed Pilkington of the Guardian: "The US secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, is facing calls for his resignation after it was reported that he had threatened to fire senior staff at a federal agency unless they sided publicly with Donald Trump in the rumbling dispute dubbed 'Sharpiegate'.... The head of the environmental group the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, called on Ross to resign to 'maintain the dignity of the federal government'.... And late on Monday, the New York Times amended its story to report that the commerce department's own Office of Inspector General has launched an inquiry into that official statement and whether it breached departmental rules."

Caitlin Oprysko of Politico: "... Donald Trump on Monday claimed he plans on releasing an 'extremely complete' report of his financial record, but he offered no specifics and a murky timeline. Speaking to reporters as he departed the White House, Trump suggested that the promised release would dispel the notion that his real estate empire is in need of the taxpayer money and business driven there throughout his presidency." Here's a sneak-peak:

Claudia Grisales of NPR: "Signaling a widening gap between Democratic leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, the panel will vote this week on whether to install new procedures for its impeachment inquiry and illustrate its intensifying efforts in the probe. The move -- which will culminate in a vote before the committee on Thursday -- will allow staff to question witnesses for extended periods and let the panel accept evidence behind closed doors to further protect sources, among other changes. It also shows the growing divide between progressives pushing for impeachment and moderate Democrats in the House and their leadership, which is largely opposed to any formal action now. Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's public comments supporting the panel's investigation, privately she has told members that the issue is a loser without strong public sentiment. On Monday, Pelosi downplayed the move, saying the committee's investigation has been ongoing for 'a very long time,' and expressed support. She also said other legislation is a top priority, such as approving new gun restrictions." ~~~

~~~ Olivia Beavers of the Hill: "House Democrats are launching a broad investigation into whether President Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others sought to exert pressure on the Ukrainian government to help Trump get reelected in 2020 by targeting a possible political opponent, former vice president Joe Biden. Three House committees -- Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs -- sent joint letters to the White House and State Department demanding documents related to whether Trump and Giuliani sought to pressure Ukraine to target Biden, a 2020 Democratic White House hopeful. 'A growing public record indicates that, for nearly two years, the President and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appear to have acted outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically-motivated investigations under the guise of anti-corruption activity,' the committee's chairmen wrote in a statement." (Also linked yesterday.) ~~~

~~~ ** Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump "is slowly learning how to control the [bureaucratic] machine that has stymied him. is slowly learning how to control the machine that has stymied him." Chait links Trump's "persuading" NOAA to issue a statement covering for his "Alabama hurricane" flub, the DOJ's "preposterous" antitrust investigation into automakers negotiating to meet California's emission standards, his extortion of Ukraine to pressure the country into "investigating" Joe Biden; and Republicans "boasting of the quid pro quo arrangement" they have with Trump & his businesses. "A corrupt miasma has slowly enveloped Washington.... The norm of bureaucratic professionalism and fairness is a pillar of the political legitimacy and economic strength of the American system, the thing that separates countries like the U.S. from countries like Russia. The decay of that culture is difficult to quantify, but the signs are everywhere. Trump's stench is slowly seeping into every corner of government." (Also linked yesterday.)

Karen DeYoung, et al., of the Washington Post: "President Trump said Monday that negotiations with the Taliban 'are dead' and indicated that he had no further interest in meeting with the group over an end to the Afghanistan war. 'I'm not looking to discuss it,' he said. 'I'm not discussing anything.' Trump appeared to provide the definitive response to at least one question officials across his administration were struggling to answer in the wake of his abrupt cancellation, by way of Twitter on Saturday evening, of a Camp David meeting with Taliban and Afghan government leaders to finalize an agreement. The meeting had been scheduled for the next day. Before Trump's comments, made to reporters as he left for a campaign rally in North Carolina, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was said to be hopeful that there was still a flicker of life in the Taliban talks and that a way to restart them would emerge. In Sunday talk show interviews, Pompeo said the negotiations were off 'for the time being' but emphasized the progress that had been made." The Reuters story is here. ~~~

~~~ Kevin Liptak & Kaitlan Collins of CNN: "Even opposition from within his own national security team, including Vice President Mike Pence, could not deter Trump from pressing forward with his plan to host Taliban leaders at [Camp David]....Trump eventually scrapped the event after a Taliban car bomb killed a US soldier and 11 others last week. But that decision came after heated debate within the administration over the venue for the summit -- an outgrowth of larger, more substantial disagreements over the wisdom of negotiating with the Taliban at all. The talks have pitted Trump's hawkish national security adviser John Bolton against the nation's chief diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo...." (Also linked yesterday.) ~~~

~~~ Robin Wright of the New Yorker: SFC Elis Angel Barreto Ortiz's "death may have served as a face-saving excuse [for Trump's cancelling Camp David talks with the Taliban]. Fifteen other Americans have been killed this year, during nine rounds of the most serious diplomacy between the U.S. and the Taliban since 2001. Both sides have used military pressure as leverage in the final run-up to a deal -- and both sides expected it. In the previous ten days, the United States had killed more than a thousand Taliban, [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo boasted on a round of Sunday talk shows."

Brett Samuels & Morgan Chalfant of the Hill: "President Trump said Monday that the United States needs to be 'careful' in making sure everyone entering the country from the Bahamas has proper documentation, suggesting dangerous individuals could sneak into the U.S. along with those seeking refuge following Hurricane Dorian. 'We have to be very careful. Everybody needs totally proper documentation. Because look, the Bahamas has some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas who weren't supposed to be there,' Trump told reporters on the South Lawn at the White House." ~~~

     ~~~ Mrs. McCrabbie: Uh, how many people who have lost everything from their toothbrushes to their livelihoods to their entire community managed to grab "totally proper documentation" commonly used to travel abroad? ~~~

~~~ Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Early Monday afternoon, acting Customs and Border Protection head Mark Morgan offered some peace of mind to Bahamians seeking humanitarian relief in the United States in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, following the news that some were turned away for not having visas. 'This is a humanitarian mission,' Morgan assured. 'If your life is in jeopardy and you're in the Bahamas .. you're going to be allowed to come to the United States, whether you have travel documents or not.' He said the processing would be handled expeditiously. Then President Trump offered a very different message. In a later Q&A with reporters, Trump emphasized that 'very bad people ... and very bad gang members' ... could exploit the process and warned against welcoming Bahamians.... So, shortly after Morgan said people didn't need to have documents, Trump said they did. And shortly after Morgan emphasized a quick process, Trump suggested it would need to be very thorough.... The Bahamas, notably, contain many people of Haitian descent -- as many as 1 in 10 residents -- and they tend to be among the island nation's poorest residents. Trump has in the past privately referred to Haiti as a 'shithole country' while deriding protections for immigrants from it." ~~~

~~~ Mrs. McCrabbie: What did Trump mean when he said he "doesn't want to let people who weren't supposed to be in the Bahamas come into the US"? Ali Velshi of MSNBC offered a helpful translation: "dark-skinned people from Haiti."

Dear-Leader-for-Life. Arren Kimbel-Sannit of Politico: Trump joked -- again -- about extending his term of office beyond eight years. Mrs. McC: Oh, he's serious. Come to think of it, President Obama should have declared a national emergency on November 9, 2016 & extended his own term while we figured out a way to get a real president.

** Jim Sciutto of CNN: "In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN. A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that ... Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy. The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.... The secret removal of the high-level Russian asset has left the US without one of its key sources on the inner workings of the Kremlin and the plans and thinking of the Russian president." The CIA had considered the "exfiltration" of the asset prior to Trump's blabbing, but did not remove him/her until "wide concern [grew] in the intelligence community about mishandling of intelligence by Trump and his administration." It appears Mike Pompeo, then CIA director, approved the operation. "White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, 'CNN's reporting is not only incorrect, it has the potential to put lives in danger.'" (Also linked yesterday.) ~~~

     ~~~ ** Update: Julian Barnes, et al., of the New York Times: "As American officials began to realize that Russia was trying to sabotage the 2016 presidential election, [a Russian] informant [the CIA had cultivated for decades] became one of the C.I.A.'s most important -- and highly protected -- assets. But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.'s Kremlin sources.... [Extracting the informant from Russia] brought to an end the career of one of the C.I.A.'s most important sources. It also effectively blinded American intelligence officials to the view from inside Russia as they sought clues about Kremlin interference in the 2018 midterm elections and next year's presidential contest.... The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.'s most explosive conclusion about Russia's interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself.... The source was also key to the C.I.A.'s assessment that he affirmatively favored Donald J. Trump's election and personally ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.... Former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source.... Some former intelligence officials said the president's closed-door meetings with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials, along with Twitter posts about delicate intelligence matters, have sown concern among overseas sources." ~~~

~~~ Shane Harris & Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post: "The exfiltration [of the CIA source] took place sometime after an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, when President Trump revealed highly classified counterterrorism information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, said the current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation. That disclosure alarmed U.S. national security officials, but it was not the reason for the decision to remove the CIA asset, who had provided information to the United States for more than a decade, according to the current and former officials. U.S. officials had been concerned that Russian sources could be at risk of exposure as early as the fall of 2016, when the Obama administration first confirmed that Russia had stolen and publicly disclosed emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta." ~~~

     ~~~ Ken Dilanian of NBC News: "A former senior Russian official is living in the Washington area under U.S. government protection, current and former government officials tell NBC News. NBC News is withholding the man's name and other key details at the request of U.S. officials, who say reporting the information could endanger his life. Yet the former Russian government official, who had a job with access to secrets, was living openly under his true name. An NBC News correspondent [Mrs. McC: that was Dilanian] went to the man's house in the Washington area and rang the doorbell. Five minutes later, two young men in an SUV came racing up the street and parked immediately adjacent to the correspondent's car. The men, who identified themselves only as friends of the Russian, asked the correspondent what he was doing there. A former senior national security official said the men were likely U.S. government agents monitoring the Russian's house." Mrs. McC: Dilanian reported later in the day, on air, that the CIA was moving the informant from his current residence. He said he was not reporting that the asset he approached was the same individual cited in the CNN report. ~~~

     ~~~ Mrs. McCrabbie: So the CIA's idea of "protecting" a vulnerable Russian defector is to move him & his family to a D.C.-area home under his own name, to the point that a reporter can more or less look him/her up in the phone book & stop by the person's house for a chat.

Alexander Bolton of the Hill: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and members of his caucus are tiptoeing toward legislation addressing gun violence amid deep anxiety over eroding GOP support in suburbs across the country. Expanded background checks and other modest proposals to address gun violence have strong support among swing voters in the suburbs, whom McConnell sees as crucial to keeping control of Republican-held swing Senate seats. Republican sources close to McConnell say he sees a political benefit to moving a bipartisan measure in response to a spate of mass shootings this year, and that he acknowledges the politics surrounding expanded background checks have shifted in recent months."

Chris Rodrigo of the Hill: "A federal judge in California on Monday reinstated a ban on a Trump administration policy that would restrict migrants' ability to apply for asylum at the southern border. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had issued a nationwide injunction in July blocking the rule, which would make most asylum-seekers who pass through another country before reaching the U.S. ineligible for asylum, with exceptions for victims of trafficking and migrants who have been denied asylum in the countries they traveled through. The rule would primarily effect Central American immigrants crossing through Mexico. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Tigar's initial ruling but narrowed the injunction to only border states within its jurisdiction -- California and Arizona -- before sending the question back to Tigar. Tigar said Monday that the injunction should apply nationwide because the asylum rule represents a case where 'such breadth is necessary to remedy a plaintiffs harm.'" (Also linked yesterday.)

Presidential Race 2020. Quint Forgey of Politico: "... Donald Trump on Monday dismissed his trio of challengers for the Republican presidential nomination as 'a laughingstock,' and defended the decisions by GOP leaders in a handful of states to scrap their 2020 primaries and caucuses. 'The three people are a total joke. They're a joke. They're a laughingstock,' Trump told reporters outside the White House before departing for a rally in North Carolina.... Asked whether he was willing to debate the Republicans running against him, Trump responded, 'I don't know them' --; going on to mock their polling numbers and tout his significant support among GOP voters. 'I guess it's a publicity stunt,' Trump said of his rivals' campaigns, adding: 'To be honest, I'm not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility.' Trump also contended he had 'nothing to do with' Republican officials in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina moving in recent days to abandon their nominating contests next year, which he criticized as 'very expensive' for state parties."

Congressional Races 2020

Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff said he will challenge Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue and 'mount a ruthless assault on corruption in our political system' that's prevented Congress from addressing urgent issues. The Democrat told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he would 'raise a grassroots army unlike any this state has ever seen' by expanding the network of supporters who helped him raise roughly $30 million in a 2017 special election he narrowly lost."

This is a real campaign ad for Valerie Plame. She's running in the primary for New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District:


Tony Romm
of the Washington Post: "Attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories on Monday officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google, embarking on a wide-ranging review of a tech giant that Democrats and Republicans said may threaten competition, consumers and the continued growth of the web.... Only California and Alabama have not signed onto the probe[.]" The CNBC story is here.

Annals of "Journalism," Ha Ha Ha. Maxwell Tani of the Daily Beast: "Disgraced political pundit Mark Halperin was very unhappy when MSNBC brass nixed his attempt to repair his career through a possible collaboration with the stars of Morning Joe. So he picked up the phone and called network chief Phil Griffin. It did not go well. Multiple sources tell The Daily Beast that the conversation earlier this year became acrimonious, with Halperin dishing up vague threats against his former boss.... MSNBC insiders said Griffin was furious about the conversation and wouldn't likely take Halperin's calls in the future. The hostile exchange was a sign of Halperin's frustration that his dream of returning to the punditry business -- almost two years after numerous women came forward with stories of sexual misconduct -- has been thwarted at each turn.... The Game Change author has privately told friends that he wants to return to cable news, and he has lobbied various media outlets for a second chance." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: I suppose this advice will be lost on the arrogant Mr. Halperin, but usually threatening the guy you're asking for a job is a poor interview technique. Wilbur Ross, who is trying to keep his gig, has a better method: threaten the jobs of the guys who cross the boss.

Beyond the Beltway

Alaska. Surprisingly, it appears This Marriage Cannot Be Saved. Michelle Boots of the Anchorage Daily News: "Todd Palin appears to have filed for divorce from former Alaska governor and one-time vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, his wife of 31 years. In a document filed Friday in Anchorage Superior Court, Todd Palin, 55, asked to dissolve the marriage, citing an 'incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.' The divorce filing uses initials rather than full names, but identifies the couple's marriage date and the birth date of their only child who is a minor, Trig Palin. The filing asks for joint legal custody of the child."

Way Beyond

~~~ U.K. Another Bad Hair Day for Boris. Rowena Mason of the Guardian: "Boris Johnson shut down parliament amid chaotic scenes in the early hours of Tuesday following his sixth parliamentary defeat in six days, as MPs voted to block a snap election and to force the publication of No 10's secret preparations for a no-deal Brexit. MPs on the opposition benches shouted: 'Shame on you' at Conservative MPs as they filed out behind the Speaker, John Bercow, during the start of proceedings to prorogue parliament until 14 October, while others held up signs saying 'silenced'. Renditions of Red Flag, Jerusalem, Flower of Scotland and Bread of Heaven were also sung. Bercow told the Commons 'this is not a standard or normal prorogation' and that the move represented 'an act of executive fiat'. Opposition MPs tried to physically stop Bercow from leaving his chair to go to the House of Lords to finish the prorogation formalities."

~~~ Rowena Mason: "John Bercow has said he will step down as the Speaker of the House of Commons after a decade in the job in which he has handed more power to backbench MPs, including moves that allowed parliament to block a no-deal Brexit. Bercow said he would leave his role by 31 October at the latest, but he could stand down sooner if MPs vote for an early election." (Also linked yesterday.)

Reader Comments (23)

Hey! Bea McCrab: donja think that despite old sleepy Wilbur's
attempts to cover for his boss —that his way out the door is now assured any day now? "cause you know that Trumpus never asked him to 'pressure' NOAA employees about the Sharpie Snafu. Uh huh!

September 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

@MAG: Yes, I do. Wilbur has been dancing as fast as he can, but Trump soured on him way back when he found out Wilbur wasn't really a billionaire -- kinda funny, because for all we know, Trump isn't really a billionaire, either -- and now Wilbur's latest attempt to cover for Trump (which likely Trump "suggested" he do) makes the front page of the NYT. Trump might take his fury out on the Times, but he's just as likely to dump Wilbur (or both). Once Trump quits fawning over "the very best people," a reversal that can happen at the slightest provocation, they are working on borrowed time. Trump is probably urging Mulvaney to make sure Wilbur is on the toilet when Trump fires him by tweet.

September 9, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Regarding the State Department and the orange menace's "peace" negotiations with the Taliban, this documentary from Journeyman TV released today highlights the Afghan women's predicament.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uwu1F_5qqM
There will be no peace for them.

September 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeriscope

@Periscope: When it comes to women's rights, I'd guess Trump & the Taliban are on the same page.

September 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

"This is a relationship with a foreign country. The Feds are handling it". Florida governor (R) Ron DeSantis obviously knows who's boss and isn't wanting to get involved with the Bahamian refugee crisis.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee

Why Margaret Atwood saw this as the moment for "The Handmaid's Tale" sequel. (Video & transcript) Her time is ripe––she confesses she loves all the attention–-as is the main message in her tale–-ripe as to rotten to the core at this time in our lives.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-margaret-atwood-saw-this-as-the-moment-for-the-handmaids-tale-sequel

Ah, Wilber––if there was ever a name that fit the person it's here in this little smarmy prick of a man. I'd say, Marie, you did indeed hit the nail on the head. Sometimes you can just smell the stench.

A reporter who attended the Trump rally yesterday says he did not address any of the main folderols of the last week –-mainly told the crowd how great he was and continued to tear down democrats.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Wow! the Valerie Plame ad posted above is one of the best I've ever seen. Boy, oh boy, do I hope she grabs it–-to see her sitting in Congress would be the cat's meow! It all started with a yellowcake mistake–-and "they" went after her because why not?

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@PD Pepe: Yeah, and a finger-in-the-eye to Liz Cheney.

September 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

What They Re-Lie On

A mention of Valerie Plame should serve as a reminder (if any were needed at this late date) that truth is anathema to the Republican Party. It's not just anathema, it's toxic. To all its members, its leadership (lookin’ at you, Moscow Mitch), its media shills and other professional liars, and most definitely its presidents. Dickless Cheney and the Decider outed Plame in order to gin up their war of choice. You remember, that war to find WMD's that were never there (more lies) that was supposed to have been over in a couple of months (ditto) sixteen years ago but is still going on? Good job there, you lying pieces of shit.*

The difference between now and then is that they knew they were lying, they were cherry picking intel and cooking the books like corporate embezzlers with the FBI on the way. Now, however, lying IS the only guiding policy force on the right (well, that, and more billions for the rich--oh yeah, wait, and racism too). And the Liar-in-Chief dissembles, lies, cons, cheats, and steals so frequently (dozens of times a day) that it’s not even clear that he knows what’s true or not. And his acolytes and subalterns pass on and even amplify his lies. Then media accessories pick up the lies and try to say that his mendacious tales are pure genius.

But it doesn’t matter. You try to tell the truth with Bush and Cheney, they out you to America’s enemies. You try to tell the truth with Fatty, and you’re fired. Your truth displeases the little king, and it’s off with your head.

The other difference is that Bush and Cheney tried to hide their lies as much as possible. Trump lies openly right to our faces even as the truth is flashing away on a stadium sized video screen right behind him.

And no one on his side cares. They’re totally cool with it. In fact, if you complain, they’ll go after you.

(Long past) Time to vote these bastards out of office.

*As the Decider sits in his hammock painting pictures of his piggie toes, it's worth remembering that, as bad as Trump is, Bush and his pet shark did more damage to the United States and the world than any five or six previous administrations combined. They set in motion the forever wars that we still pay for in blood and gold, they were responsible for the rise of a new class of terrorists, they created the conditions that killed, wounded, and displaced millions in the Middle East, and then, as an encore in malevolence and incompetence, they crashed the world economy. Trump may yet surpass these villains, but he still has a ways to go.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Oh and as for Nancy Pelosi slow walking this impeachment process because she doesn’t think it’s politically palatable, I have just one word: It’s your duty. Okay, three words. Three words and a contraction. Four words. Anyway...

I recognize that certain ideas have to wait until it’s politically feasible, even ideas that have a solid moral and ethical foundation: healthcare, LGBTQ rights, for example. GUN CONTROL, fer fuck’s sake.

And one can make a case based on various aspects of the Constitution, that such ideas have merit, but in this case, the Constitution is absolutely clear. Trump is a danger, a menace, a crook, a liar, and a traitor. He is the textbook example of impeachable. If he isn’t, what would be? President Al Capone? President Hitler?

It’s your duty, Nancy. Fuck politics. And as Digby points out, NOT doing it gives Fatty permission to run around yapping that he did nothing wrong because even the evil, lying Demycraps didn’t go after him. So let Moscow Mitch let him off the hook. Your people can run on that. "He's a crook, and they let him go!"

Truly, it’s the right thing to do. You can say that about things like universal health care, marriage equality, economic equality, and gun control, but the Constitution does not specifically point to those issues as being the absolute duty of Congress.

Impeaching a constitutional scofflaw, a criminal, an unfit dangerous divisive demagogue is.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

This one's just weird. And hard to parse, but I'll try.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/10/politics/donald-trump-foreign-spies-skeptical/index.html

What's it mean?

More of the I'd rather not know the facts, the basis of our foreign policy (and nearly everything else)?

More of the I-alone- know- because -I'm- a -genius approach to everything?

But then: As a businessman, would-does the Pretender reject any useful information that comes from someone working for a rival?

I think not.

So...just more bullshit justifying an administration wholly untethered from reality, the if-I-tweet-it-it's-true presidency.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

So disappointed in Nancy. She is counting on her fellow ordinary politicians to assist in slaying the dragon some other, NICER way. F*** that. I guess she thinks the other "party"/gang still has people like her. She must impeach. Otherwise, Dems are lost for the decades.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

@Jeanne: Yup. Nancy had better have a come-to-Jesus moment before the House votes on articles of impeachment. As it stands now, they wouldn't pass, and without Nancy's persuasive talents leading the way, there's a good chance they wouldn't pass even if Pelosi remained publicly neutral.

September 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

John Bolton gone. Can Wilbur be far behind?
Impeachment the only defense vs. continuing pattern/practice of DT's horrible misconduct. At least a strongly worded exhaustive censure...

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNJC

Jeanne and Marie,

Truly, Nancy Pelosi is at the most dangerous crossroad of her career. If she chooses correctly, she goes down in history as a defender of democracy and the Constitution. If she sides with the namby-pambies and hopes and prays that she wakes up in a Trump-free America one day, she will forever be linked with a long line of almost, but not quite great Americans. Sure, she'll be known as the first woman to serve as House Speaker, and she did some other good things, but here, now, today, is where she faces an enormous decision. One of those decisions that make or break someone's legacy.

The thing that rattles me is that the issue is so clear. But she is dithering because of some outmoded (and, in this case, useless) political calculus. I can hear some sonorous voiceover in an "American Experience" episode ten years from now..."And at that moment, when America truly needed Nancy Pelosi's fierce leadership, she made a terrible decision to look the other way, a decision that forever cast her as a timid also-ran, not the hero of the Republic she might have been."

Her famous political savvy no longer works in the Age of Trump. Subtlety and nuance and back room arm twisting is in the past. This is time for marching in the fucking streets and demanding that this prick be put in irons.

I don't know if you guys have watched any of that Showtime program "Homeland". Since we don't have cable, we rented the last season in which a congressional conniver, to get what he wanted, outed an American team on a mission to Russia to recover a spy. The mission failed and an American operative was killed. As his treason became known, he was arrested, perp-walked out of his senate office in cuffs and sentenced to life in prison.

Thank god for fiction. At least there's some catharsis left in the world. Real life? Not so much. But in this case there could be. I don't need to see Fatty dragged out by his ratty orange mop. But seeing him impeached would be a day we would relish the rest of our lives as Americans, even if Moscow Mitch and his band of treasonous lemmings stick their fingers in their ears and all yell La-la-la-la-la...we can't hear you.

Maybe not, but plenty of others would.

Do it, Nancy. Do it!

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

The Trumpy-go-Round continues.

Buh-bye, Johnny Bolton.

Trumpy fired his ass. According to Bolton, he offered to resign as of last night. Fatty told him they'd talk about it later. Instead of letting Bolton resign (no one quits on the little king), Trump fired him in a tweet.

These fucking people. Talk about a swamp. These people would eat their own tails.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

NJC,

The Pretender still misses Flynn and can 't get over his loss.

For him, the ideal cabinet would be all "acting" heads, none Senate confirmed, whom he has no reason to listen to and can fire at will. We're homing in on that ideal.

What a way to run a country...if you want to be a dictator.

Think Moscow Mitch will ever notice? Or care?

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

I think Pelosi's slow walking the impeachment stuff because she doesn't want the Pumpkin to get his trial in the Senate before the election. That Senate would refuse to convict - no matter how strong the evidence - and the Pumpkin could point to it as vindication in much the same way he's saying - and a large number of people believe - that the Mueller report exonerates him.

By going slower on this, the hearings could be held all through the summer and into the fall of next year, forcing President Spray Tan to defend himself against all the slime that is surely to come out. It could keep him on the defensive, and voters could be certain that, if re-elected, the first half year or so of a second term (G-d help us) would be consumed by a trial.

The bottom line is that the Republicans in the Senate will not convict this guy no matter how damning the evidence. They have been totally co-opted. They are thoroughly corrupt and will vote to retain their own power at all costs.

And I mean ALL costs.

Bastards.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSchlub

"The wonder of the rule of law in this country is its consistency over time," he said "and how people can order their affairs and their lives around our Constitution, or laws with incredible accuracy* compared to so many other places in the world."

--Neil Gorsuch in a recent interview. (CNN)

An idiot believes that whatever comes out of his mouth is true. "Consistency," my ass.

Still reading at a long bio of Harold Ickes. Yesterday's reading covered the FDR court packing episode and its aftermath where the conservative majority abruptly reversed itself on a number of issues they had previously decided against.

A change of heart? No, according to Gorsuch and other thoughtless originalists, an overnight change of law.

No wonder the Pretender (read: the Federalist Society and Moscow Mitch) appointed him.

*probably had the Voting Rights Act firmly in mind...

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Hmmm...so who will be the next national security advisor now that Fuller Brush man John Bolton is gone?

Lessee, who will be the next chump, er, security doormat?

Well, it'd have to be someone from Fox, natch. You know, someone with "real" experience in saying completely uniformed, ignorant, even dangerous things, in keeping with the Orange Menace's upside down, paranoid view of the world.

Steve Doocy? Brian Kilmeade? Hey, why not hire the entire Fox and Fiends group as co-national security jabronis? They could sit in on top secret meetings, say ridiculous things then walk over to an office in the West Wing and do their show, and in the process, talk about top secret thingies to their Foxbot viewers. Better yet, they could do their show live from little donnie's playroom where he goes for Egg-Zecutive time.

Well, that might get crowded. Fat heads and fat asses. Not enough room.

There's always Hannity. He knows almost as much about national security issues as my pet dog (except the dog knows when, why, and whom to bark at, Hannity, not so much). Jeanine Piro? Psycho as Bolton but not as informed. All the better for Fatty to slide the bullshit past her.

Ah, what the hell. He could hire Mr. Greenjeans or Clem Kaddidlehopper. They'd be just as good. Plus they'd only be in the job long enough for Fatty to get pissed about something HE did, then they'd be given the heave-ho.

And what's national security anyway? More pointy-headed stuff that clogs the orange synapses with unnecessary facts and details. Remember, this is the guy who said he could figure out the internal workings of international thermonuclear armament treaties in about 20 minutes.

"So, ya got a bomb. Big bomb. Boom! And over here you have assholes who piss you off. So blow them up! Whassaproblem? Amaright?"

And that's just about where we are now.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I'm guessing Erik Prince (Blackrock) to head NSA, or some other equally hideous mercenary.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeriscope

Cogent analysis by Jonathan Alter on why impeachment is necessary:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/yes-democrats-should-impeach-trump-and-make-mitch-mcconnell-defend-his-acquittal?ref=home

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNJC

An observation:

In the headlong rush of significant news, even the extensive staff of the NYTimes has no chance of keeping up.

For those of us who try to follow it (huzzahs to Bea!) it's impossible.

For the majority of the country, I imagine it's just a blurry screensaver far in the background of their lives.

One of the reasons the Pretender's approval ratings (sinking again) aren't even lower.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes
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