51 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-4-18

  1. Mueller’s fighting to keep the truth from the Russian defendants. Can’t have it messing up his case, flimsy as it is.

    Cue the circus music……


    “Here’s something to keep an eye on in the Russian troll farm case: last month, one of the defendants, Concord Management, asked the court to review the grand jury’s instructions to see if that might be used to support a motion to dismiss a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

    It’s no surprise that prosecutors led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller want to stop that.

    In a new court filing issued Friday, Mueller cited U.S. Supreme Court case law and argued that the defense failed to give a “particularized need” or “compelling necessity” as to why they should be able to review the instructions. Second:

    …Concord Management’s central premise — that Count One is defective for failing to allege a heightened standard of “willfulness” — is contrary to precedent in this Circuit, which holds that the mens rea of substantive crimes does not carry over to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

    Back in mid-May, Concord’s attorneys wanted to verify that Mueller didn’t include a “knowingly and willingly” instruction to the jury in the charge of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., referred to as “Count One” above and below.

    “[V]iolations of the relevant federal campaign laws and foreign agent registration requirements administered by the DOJ and the FEC require the defendant to have acted ‘willfully,’ a word that does not appear anywhere in Count One of the Indictment,” they wrote. “This sleight-of-hand does not relieve the Special Counsel from the requirement that the indictment contain all of the elements of the offense charged.””


  2. Enough with the warning shots. Time to drag them in.


    “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Sunday there may be a need for Google to testify after the company’s search engine showed results linking Republicans to “Nazism.”

    Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, the California Republican framed the issue as one in which tech monopolies “should be reined in” and called for a new search engine to compete against Google that doesn’t “censor” conservatives.

    “I think there’s a free market solution here if somebody can compete with Google. If they can’t, then ultimately we’re looking at monopolies and then that brings in a whole other set of circumstances is — are these companies; Facebook, Twitter, Google, apple, etc.; are they monopolies and should they be reined in,” Nunes said on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”

    “I would hope we don’t have to go there. I would hope that they just don’t get involved in politics and don’t censor conservatives and Republicans, but if they continue to do it then we have to move obviously to hearings on these issues,” he added.

    Conservatives this week were in an uproar after a Google search showed the word “Nazism” in an information box about the California Republican Party’s ideology. Further exacerbating the issue, a separate search for Trudy Wade, a North Carolina state senator who is a Republican and a supporter of President Trump, pulled up a picture Friday with the word “BIGOT” in red.

    Google has apologized for the offending search results, which in the case of the “Nazism” search it called “vandalism,” but explained that these search results were automatically populated by sites across the Internet. “We have systems in place that catch vandalism before it impacts search results, but occasionally errors get through, and that’s what happened here,” Google said in a statement. “This would have been fixed systematically once we processed the removal from Wikipedia, but when we noticed the vandalism we worked quickly to accelerate this process to remove the erroneous information.””


  3. Not satisfied with defending its corrupt and idiotic leader, The Trump Cult takes the side of a Russian company sent by Putin to interfere in the US election. What comes next? Will the Cult try to justify Putin’s attempt to assassinate the two people in England?


  4. The Trump Cult’s defense of Blagojevich reminds me of one of those old Batman episodes where the Joker formed an alliance with the Riddler, the Penguin and Catwoman.


  5. Can one of the literate Cultists please teach the moron to spell “counsel”?


  6. Ricky,

    I don’t care if the defendant is Charles freakin’ Manson, following the process and laws of proper disclosure are necessary. As are jury instructions. Otherwise the prosecutor is no better than the criminals. And hiding evidence from defendants is something your boy Mueller has been in trouble for in the past. He has a history. You’re a lawyer, you know this. But now you’re just being like many other’s in your profession,(see next post) willing to ignore obvious truths for purely partisan reasons.

    Who defended Blago? No one here, that’s for sure. And Trump would be wrong to pardon him.

    And now you’re a grammar Nazi too?



  7. Dershowitz isn’t the only victim of this either. We see a similar tactic used here on a daily basis.


    “One of the things that struck me about this article excoriating Alan Dershowitz for his recent defense (not support, but defense) of Trump is that author Elie Mystal doesn’t actually engage in any detail with the substance of Dershowitz’s arguments.

    Mystal’s attack on Dershowitz (and Trump, for that matter) is ad hominem. I assume we’re just supposed to take what the author says at face value. Or perhaps he assumes that if we’re reading him at all, we already agree with him.”

    “Here’s what Dershowitz has said this past March on the subject of his defense of Trump, and to me it sounds true:

    In March, Jeffrey Toobin, a New Yorker staff writer and CNN senior legal analyst, confronted Dershowitz on TV about “carrying water” for Trump. “This is not who you used to be,” Toobin told him. “And you are doing this over and over again in situations that are just obviously ripe with conflict of interest. And it’s just, like, what’s happened with you?”

    “I’m not carrying his water,” Dershowitz replied. “I’m saying exactly the same thing I’ve said for 50 years.” He echoed this response when I asked why he thought liberals were criticizing him so much. “There’s such a hyper-partisan passion to get President Trump that anything that’s seen as trying to help President Trump is seen as supporting Trump,” he said.”

    “And yet they can’t see it, so eager are they to cut down the law to get after the Devil. Or, if they do see it, they must block it out:

    Dershowitz said he “got an email today from a very prominent friend — I’m not going to disclose his name because it was a private email — admitting that I’m right and saying ‘My hatred toward Trump blinds me to your truths.’ That was his email. ‘My hatred for Trump blinds me to your truths. Please stop.’

    “And then he said to me, ‘Don’t ever send me another tweet that includes an article that you wrote that helps that son of a b‑‑‑‑.’

    I guess it depends what the meaning of “truth” is.”


  8. It’s time to crack down further on sanctuary cities, for the sake of their law abiding citizens. Enough already with the Democrat/RINO politicians protecting illegals at the expensive of American victims.

    This is just one city.


    “A new report reveals that dozens of criminal illegal immigrants shielded by New York City’s sanctuary policy were released from jail and quickly rearrested for new crimes.

    According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 440 criminal aliens were released from New York’s jails between January and April despite having ICE detainers placed against them. Of those 440, 40 have already re-offended and been rearrested, ICE said.

    “In just three months, more than three dozen criminal aliens were released from local custody. Simply put, the politics and rhetoric in this city are putting its own communities at an unnecessary risk,” said Scott Mechowski, acting field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in New York.”


  9. On the pardon thing……


    “The editors of the Washington Post are upset that President Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza. They also express concern that Trump might pardon Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich.

    I have no problem with the D’Souza pardon. The Obama administration threw the book at D’Souza for a relatively small campaign finance law offense that, as I understand it, normally results in a slap on the wrist. It did so, in all likelihood, for the same reason the Post is unhappy with the pardon — D’Souza was a strident and effective critic of the Obama administration and of liberalism in general. According to one report I heard, D’Souza’s anti-Obama film was mentioned in the prosecutor’s file.

    The Post frets, as other Trump-haters have, that the D’Souza pardon signals he can overturn the results of the Mueller investigation. But the president is not obliged to refrain from using a power that all presidents have (and use) just because his enemies were able to gin up — out of virtually nothing, it now seems — the Russia collusion investigation.

    In any event, everyone understands that Trump can (and might) use the pardon power in connection with Mueller’s investigation. D’Souza’s pardon changes nothing in this regard.

    However, I agree with the Post that Trump should think long and hard before pardoning Stewart and/or Blagojevich. Unlike D’Souza, both were convicted by juries. Trump may think the verdicts were unjust — in Stewart’s case, many do. But has he read the trial transcripts to learn what the evidence showed? I doubt it.

    At a minimum, Trump should not pardon either Stewart or Blagojevich without taking into account the view of the U.S. pardon attorney who normally reviews requests for clemency. That way, the public can be satisfied that the pardon is not based on Trump’s mere impression of the cases or some other motive.”


  10. Sorry, Trump Cult. Charles Manson is dead. You will need to look for other criminals to defend. Be patient. It is about time for Mr. Mueller to announce a new series of indictments. These may include folks near and dear to your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. More winning for the American worker and business…..


    “A greater share of small companies in the U.S. are raising wages than at any time in the past three decades, according to a survey released Thursday from the nation’s biggest independent business association.

    A seasonally adjusted 35 percent of small business owners reported they have increased labor compensation in order to recruit new employees or retain the ones they already have, the National Federation of Independent Business found in its May jobs report. That was the highest share since the NFIB began asking about wage increases in 1986.”

    NFIB attributed the record figure to business-friendly tax reform enacted at the beginning of 2018 and a tight labor market that has seen unemployment dip below 4 percent.”


    “Business fixed investment is up 9.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to a National Association of Manufacturers report released Wednesday.

    This was larger than the previous estimate of a 6.1 percent increase. It is the best growth rate for a quarter since 2014. The report cited GOP tax reform as a reason for this investment growth.

    Structures and intellectual property were significant contributors to this investment increase, with 14.2 percent and 10.9 percent growth, respectively. Investments in equipment grew 5.5 percent.”


  12. Since many Trump Cultists now want to play law professor, it may be time to start Trump Law School which would have the same legitimacy as Trump University. Dairy farmer Devin Nunes could be a professor along with high school graduate Sean Hannity. Michael Cohen could serve as the Dean.


  13. Poor Comey. His theology is bad and he is politically naive. Demagogues and liars can do very well in a nation that has become shockingly ignorant and completely amoral.


  14. A partial win.


    “In a partial victory for the Trump administration, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling requiring the government to facilitate an abortion for an undocumented minor in federal custody.

    The unsigned five-page opinion did not issue a judgement as to the merits of the dispute but approved the administration’s request to vacate the ruling under a legal rule called Munsingwear vacatur. There was no noted dissent.

    Munsingwear provides that a case which is mooted pending Supreme Court review should be expunged. Because the undocumented minor at issue procured an abortion before the justices could review the matter — thereby ending the dispute — the government argued Munsingwear should apply.”


  15. No obstruction in the Flynn case.


    “On Nov. 30, 2017, after Mueller had taken over the Trump-Russia investigation, Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.

    In the memo, Trump’s lawyers argue that the president and his aides could not have intended to obstruct the Flynn investigation when its existence “had been neither confirmed nor denied to the White House counsel,” and “they had every reason (based on Lt. Gen. Flynn’s statements and his continued security clearance) to assume was not ongoing.”

    “Further, by insisting on and accepting Lt. Gen. Flynn’s public resignation as national security adviser,” the White House lawyers continue, “the president expedited the pursuit of justice while the DOJ and the FBI were apparently taking no action.” And finally: “Far, far from obstructing justice, the only individual in the entire Flynn story that ensured swift justice was the president.”

    The lawyers’ memo is based on thousands of documents the White House has turned over to Mueller. It covers much more than the Flynn case. But the Flynn matter is one of the key events Mueller is reportedly studying to determine whether the president obstructed justice. From this newly-public material, that appears to be a hard case to make.”


  16. Darn that Trump and his mind control powers!



    “In our lifetime, no president has matched Donald Trump’s ability to summon the power of the pulpit, friendly media, and the tweet-by-tweet power of repetition and persuasion to move minds en masse.

    The big picture: You see this in the silence of Republican critics; the instant shifts in GOP views of the FBI, Putin and deficits; and the quick, widespread adoption of his branding efforts around “deep state,” “Spygate” and “no collusion.” We hear so much, so often that we become numb to what Trump is doing. This allows big things (such as fundamental shifts in governing norms) to seem like small things or nothing at all.

    Why this matters … Trump and allies are floating untested legal arguments: The president can’t obstruct justice, or can unilaterally shut down probes of himself, or can even pardon himself. If you think he won’t try something unprecedented — and maybe get away with it, at least with Republicans — you aren’t paying attention.

    A few data points to marinate in:

    For all the drama, “never befores” and controversy, at 501 days into his presidency, Trump has more party support than any president since World War II except George W. Bush after 9/11. The more Republicans see and hear, the more they agree with him.

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the second ranking Republican in the House and possible next Speaker, on CNN yesterday became the latest GOP leader to claim “no collusion,” despite Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe. The more they hear his terms, the more they repeat them.

    Michael Hayden, a huge Trump critic who’s a former CIA director and National Security Agency director, tells Kara Swisher in a Recode Decode podcast that Republican support is so unmovable that impeachment, regardless of evidence, would be unwise because it’d be seen as “soft coup.””


  17. https://world.wng.org/2018/06/living_to_fight_another_day

    … “Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, teeing up the complex legal conflict. “At the same time, the religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.”

    Kennedy wrote the opinion that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch joined. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

    Kennedy wrote about the Colorado commission’s “clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated [Phillips’] objection,” quoting some of the comments from commissioners.

    “To describe a man’s faith as ‘one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use’ is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical—something insubstantial and even insincere,” said Kennedy. …

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “Sorry, Trump Cult. Charles Manson is dead. ”

    And you’re being an obtuse jerk. Again.

    What I meant is pretty clear.

    “I don’t care if the defendant is Charles freakin’ Manson, following the process and laws of proper disclosure are necessary. As are jury instructions. Otherwise the prosecutor is no better than the criminals. And hiding evidence from defendants is something your boy Mueller has been in trouble for in the past. He has a history. You’re a lawyer, you know this. But now you’re just being like many other’s in your profession,(see next post) willing to ignore obvious truths for purely partisan reasons.”

    What part needs clarifying for you?


  19. I believe Manson gang member and murderer Charles “Tex” Watson is still in prison. The Trump Cult might want to see if they can find a technicality to get him released while they are waiting for the next Trumpkin to be indicted by Mueller.


  20. I do find it interesting that the Russian corporation seems to be represented by more able attorneys than those who represent Trump.

    This is probably for two reasons:
    1. The Russian corp. probably pays its attorneys regularly and follows their advice.

    2. Putin has directed the Russian corp. to raise every technical argument in order to force Mueller to use resources that could otherwise be employed against Manafort, Stone or others who might testify against his stooge Trump.


  21. David French on the Supreme Court decision:


  22. The raise in US wages is due to the raise in minimum wage and the resulting pressure elsewhere.

    I think Trump just ensured Trudeau’s reelection. By citing national security as justification for the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, Trump allowed Trudeau to justify a nationalist response and take an active leadership stance.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yes, the Trump team lied, the sun will set in the west and Trump will be completely unprepared when he arrives in Singapore for the meeting with Kim.


  24. You can’t let a two-year old see Christmas presents for siblings or parents because they can’t help but blab. In a similar vein …


  25. Other observations;

    There are more US tariffs on NATO countries than on China or Russia.

    Our Foreign Minister asked on CNN, Is Canada seriously a threat to the US?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. HRW, Help me out. Do you ever remember hearing folks on “the Right” being so concerned about the procedural rights of criminal defendants? It is heart-warming to hear The Trump Cult speaking out on behalf of those poor indigent Russian corporate defendants.

    I have been inspired to make a few suggestions to the Cult:
    1. Trumpkins should immediately form a new criminal rights group: Russian Corporate Lives Matter;
    2. Trump and Putin should lead a huge group of Trumpkins for a march to Selma to protest Mueller’s unfair treatment of Russians who interfered in the election.
    3. Each day a mob of Trumpkins and Russians should stand outside Mueller’s office singing “We Shall Overcome” in Russian.


  27. So Trump lied to the NY Times. Big deal, not a crime, and they lie about him all the time.

    And boy for a lawyer, you sure care very little about the law being properly applied, and when it’s clearly violated. It should not matter who the defendant or plaintiff’s are, the rules and law are what’s relevant, not whether we like the people it’s being used upon. But again, You know this. Your TDS is blinding you. Are you sure it wasn’t you Dershowitz was taliking about?…..

    “”Dershowitz said he “got an email today from a very prominent friend — I’m not going to disclose his name because it was a private email — admitting that I’m right and saying ‘My hatred toward Trump blinds me to your truths.’ That was his email. ‘My hatred for Trump blinds me to your truths. Please stop.’”


  28. Do it.


    “A former Navy sailor who was prosecuted by the Obama Administration for taking photos of classified sections of the submarine where he served, and was later pardoned by President Trump, is taking aim at former President Barack Obama, former FBI director James Comey, and the Justice Department, suing them for treating him differently than they treated Hillary Clinton after she left classified information at risk.

    As Fox News reports, Kristian Saucier served one year in prison after federal prosecutors argued he had endangered national security by taking photos of the submarine’s propulsion system and reactor compartment and then obstructed justice by destroying a laptop and camera. Saucier claimed he wanted the pictures for service mementos. He was pardoned by Trump in March and plans to claim in his lawsuit that Obama and the other defendants treated him with unequal protection under the law.

    Saucier’s attorney, Ronald Daigle, told Fox News “We’ll highlight the differences in the way Hillary Clinton was prosecuted and how my client was prosecuted. We’re seeking to cast a light on this to show that there’s a two-tier justice system and we want it to be corrected.”

    Saucier referred to his 2016 trial in which his attorneys referenced Clinton’s handling of classified information. He said, “They interpreted the law in my case to say it was criminal, but they didn’t prosecute Hillary Clinton. Hillary is still walking free. Two guys on my ship did the same thing and weren’t treated as criminals. We want them to correct the wrong.” He added, “My case was usually something handled by military courts. They used me as an example because of [the backlash over] Hillary Clinton.”


  29. Sadly, I was unable to find a tape of “We Shall Overcome” being sung in Russian. However, do not despair dear Trumpkins. I think your Russian allies would prefer to sing this song outside Mueller’s office and you should be able to pick it up in short order. Mueller is a German name and this song has been known to put Germans to flight.


  30. Kristian Saucier should use Trump as an example. Why was she prosecuted for taking a picture when the president uses an unsecured android phone.

    Ricky, you’re too old school. Rule of law and consistent morality without hypocrisy is old fashioned. It’s all about being a team player.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. HRW,

    Are you serious?

    What Ricky is advocating is contrary to the rule of law. That’s the whole point. And in any other case you too would be critical of a prosecutor breaking rules of procedure and hiding evidence from defendants. You two are the hypocrites on this point.


  32. I think that Trudeau, Macron, Merkel, and May now get to play the Adam Schiff role. They can look sad and chronicle Trump’s misbehavior including the idiotic tariffs. Then they can announce the retaliatory moves to the delight of their people.


  33. Meanwhile, Manafort is in more trouble, this time for witness tampering. Trumpkins, spring to the poor man’s defense! Mueller may try to lynch him.


  34. That supposed oncoming tsunami of a blue wave has become a blue ripple at best.


    “I know what you’re thinking, that his numbers are rising and the Dems’ are falling because of Friday’s dynamite jobs report. Not really the case, as it turns out. Here’s Trump, who’s at 44.6 percent today, a number he hasn’t touched since March 12 of last year.

    And here’s the generic ballot where Democrats are down to 43 percent even, nearly a full point lower than their next-lowest tally of the Trump era:

    It’s the jobs report! It has to be. Even the dreaded New York Times swooned on Friday, with columnist Neil Irwin penning a column titled, “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are.” In reality, though, only two polls of Trump’s job approval have been conducted since the jobs report came out. One was Rasmussen, which had him at 48 percent but which normally has him several points higher than other pollsters do. The other was Gallup, which put him at a ho-hum 41 percent. His 44.6 percent number is built on a trifecta of polls that came out *before* the jobs report: Reuters, YouGov, and Harvard-Harris all had him at 44-45 percent.

    And the generic ballot? Not a single poll has been published about that since Friday. Every bit of data you’re seeing in the graph above is pre-jobs report.”

    Which means even better for Trump and worse for Dems.


  35. Contrary to the claims of some…. Math isn’t always hard.


    “Donald Trump is following through on his threat—or promise, as his voters see it—to impose steep tariffs on foreign goods in the name of supporting American industry, starting with levies of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium imports. Allies and neighbors that had been granted temporary exemptions are now set to feel the brunt of the tariffs: Canada is America’s leading source of foreign steel, and Mexico and the European Union will also feel the pain. They’re all threatening to retaliate, and the press is calling this a trade war.

    If this is a war, it’s one the United States will win. The thing to keep in mind when reading about retaliation is that the US has trade deficits with all of these countries—as well, of course, with China, which is not one of America’s leading sources of steel but whose state-subsidized steel industry is responsible for depressing prices globally. Because the US buys far more goods from these countries than they buy from us, they stand to lose much more in a tit-for-tat over tariffs. How can China or Canada put tariffs on American goods that they don’t actually buy? They can’t, and what they do buy, while not insignificant, pales before what Americans buy from them.”


  36. Why didn’t the FBI stop Trump from hiring Manafort? Why didn’t the FBI stop Trump from having the affair with Stormy Daniels? Why didn’t the FBI stop Trump from grossly overpaying for The Plaza Hotel?

    This is too much fun. I may become a Trumpkin.


  37. AJ is absolutely right at 9:17. Americans buy more imports so we get to pay those tariffs. We win! Those foreigners don’t import many products, so their cost of living won’t rise much at all. Math is easy. We will pay the higher prices! We win! We will lose the most purchasing power! So there!


  38. AJ,

    Let Mueller run its course without listening to those playing amateur lawyer. 17$ million so far. A drop in the bucket compared to Lewinsky and Bwen
    Benghazi. Foreign interference in elections should be investigated. Not only are Republicans supposed to be the law and order party they are supposed to be the national security party. Let due process run.

    Tariffs; Two problems for the pro side, The US has a trade surplus with Canada. And using national security as an excuse is a serious insult to NATO allies. Trump has basically sacrificed the post WWII alliance for political points and a few tariff dollars.


  39. That’s a new low, even for you Ricky.

    I sent it where it belongs, to the trash. One more, and it’s off to moderation for your comments. I won’t warn you again.


  40. You defend and post myth after myth (sometimes with presidential misspellings), slander after slander of law enforcement officials (the last one of which was refuted by the guy you previously wanted to be Speaker of the House) and a YouTube video by an anti-Semite (whom you said you had vetted) and you remove a post that comically mocks the actual behavior of Trump. That is where we are in this country. The Republican Party is dead, but the Cult of Trump is very strong.


  41. Well Ricky if you don’t see the problem with it, too bad, I did. And I’m the moderator, so I have final say. You and your new leftist friends may think jokes about incest are funny, but the moderator doesn’t. You lose. Remember, you’ve been warned.


  42. It wasn’t a joke about incest. It was a post about a comment Trump made to one of his mistresses.


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