Thursday, May 10th. This post will be light on my writing. The last few days have kicked my butt.
COHEN: FOLLOW THE MONEY
- ‘I’m crushing it’: How Michael Cohen, touting his access to President Trump, convinced companies to pay millions
- Russian Oligarch-Linked Firm That Paid Michael Cohen Was Also Represented by Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz
Another connection to Russians? There are more connections to Russians in Trump’s world than in Fydor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”
- Trump’s Personal Lawyer Boasted That He Got Preet Bharara Fired — ProPublica
- Russia-linked company that hired Michael Cohen registered alt-right websites during election
- A taxonomy of Michael Cohen and potential Trump corruption: WaPo OpEd
- ‘Follow the Money’ Back With a Vengeance: Novartis Reportedly Paid Michael Cohen $1.2 Million After He ‘Promised Access’ to Trump
- Michael Avenatti drops bombshell on Cohen and Trump associates: ‘We have ‘more e-mails, texts,… Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti gave a loud and clear warning to Michael Cohen on Thursday. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Avenatti asserted that he was just getting started…. rawstory.com
- Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified he would advise on Time Warner merger, internal company records show
- AT&T wins ethics award — and three hours later the company gets tied to Michael Cohen’s money mess
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I’m not sure what’s funnier, the news coming out right after AT&T won an award for ethics, or that AT&T actually won an award for ethics. I’m guessing PharmaBro wasn’t available to come to the awards banquet.
- Giuliani Says Trump Was ‘Unaware’ of Cohen’s Consulting Income
- Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump: This Will End Badly. And Probably Soon
- Giuliani’s law firm throws him under the bus, says his Stormy Daniels story makes no sense
- Giuliani Resigns From Law Firm Amid Tensions Over Comments About Trump
Mr. Giuliani took a leave of absence last month from the firm, Greenberg Traurig, one of the nation’s largest, to represent Mr. Trump. But the firm announced on Thursday that he no longer worked there as of a day earlier.
In a statement released by the firm, Mr. Giuliani said it “is in everyone’s best interest that I make it a permanent resignation” so he can focus on the special counsel’s investigation.
Firm partners had chafed over Mr. Giuliani’s public comments about payments that another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Michael D. Cohen, made to secure the silence of a pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. The president has denied her allegations. In interviews, Mr. Giuliani suggested that such payments were common at his firm.
“That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds,” he said on Fox News.
He added, “Michael would take care of things like this like I take care of this with my clients.”
The New York Times asked Greenberg Traurig several times to explain those remarks over the past week. On Tuesday, a firm spokeswoman asked for more time to provide answers.
Rudy got shitcanned from his law firm, and it’s just a matter of time until he’s fired from Team Trump. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving asshole.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
- Pence says it’s time for Mueller to wrap it up
- Joe: What did Mike Pence know and when did he know it?
- Suddenly, Pence suggests, investigations into the president have expiration dates
As I’ve mentioned before, Pence is dirty AF. He’s skilled, but he’s not covered in teflon.
- Nunes sought all documents on person described as longtime intelligence source for CIA and FBI
- Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy back off Justice Department after classified briefing
- Devin Nunes Is Willing to Endanger Intelligence Assets to Protect Trump
So here’s the situation: we have a president that is under criminal investigation, with congressional Republicans willing to put intelligence assets at risk in order to obstruct the probe. That makes them complicit in whatever crimes the president has committed.
- 6 States Hit Harder By Cyberattacks Than Previously Known, New Report Reveals
- John McCain: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man’
- Exclusive: Sanctioned Russian tycoon hands back his private jets Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska has handed back three private jets he was leasing because U.S. sanctions imposed on him last month make it impo… reuters.com
- Russians’ Biggest Facebook Ad Promoted ‘Blue Lives Matter’
- These are the 3,400 Facebook ads purchased by Russia’s online trolls around the 2016 election
- House Democrats Release 3,500 Russia-Linked Facebook Ads
- Russia reportedly targeted Fox host Sean Hannity’s fans in its social media propaganda campaign
COLD WAR 2.0
- Trump offers a hero’s welcome to 3 Americans freed by North Korea
- Trump announces June 12 summit in Singapore with North Korean leader
- Israel launches massive military strike against Iranian targets in Syria
- Merkel Says Europe Can’t Count on U.S. Military Umbrella Anymore
- Russian family seeking asylum in Canada faces retrial in Guatemala – The Globe and Mail
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Trump reportedly happy ‘eggheads’ freaked out on CNN about Iran deal
- McCain Opposes Haspel: It’s ‘Disqualifying’ To Not Denounce Torture
- Former Fox military analyst says torture worked on McCain: ‘They call him Songbird John’
- Bolton pushing to eliminate White House cyber job
- Military investigation of Niger disaster finds numerous failures in planning
- Cheney calls for US to restart interrogation programs | TheHill
- White House official mocked ‘dying’ McCain at internal meeting | TheHill
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
Long before Mr. Trump even existed as a political force, many of us noted with alarm the rise of a backlash among right-wingers deeply angry and profoundly terrified by the writing on the demographic wall. Said writing foretold — and for that matter, still foretells — the declining preeminence of white, Christian America. As several studies now show, a sense of alarmed displacement among white, Christian America is the soil from which the weed of Trumpism grew.
The idea that we must “understand” those folks carries with it an implicit suggestion that in so doing, we might find some ground for compromise. It would be a great idea in normal times. But again, these times are not normal.
No compromise is possible here for a simple reason Trump followers seem to understand better than the rest of us: You can’t compromise with demography, can’t order numbers to stop being what they are and saying what they say about the coming tide of change. But what you can do is seize the levers of power and change the rules of the game in hopes of blunting the force of that tide. That — again, look at the studies — is what Trump supporters elected him to do.
So while, it is admirable to think “understanding” can fix this country, it is also naive. Progressives should ask themselves: When’s the last time you heard any Trump supporters talking about the need to understand you? You haven’t — and that ought to tell you something.
Here’s the thing: The rest of us have the moral high ground here. We see the same demographic writing on the wall that Trump followers see, but where it makes them angry and fearful, it leaves us energized.
Many of us are excited to see the nation that will arise from this cauldron of change.
That’s because the idea of change doesn’t threaten us. It will challenge us, yes, but we’re ready for that. We know that this is a big country, big enough for many different kinds of people, many different ways of life. We know what it means to live and let live. And we know that welcoming the stranger, caring for the stranger, is simply what you do as a human being.
I submit that those are core American virtues. And that now would be an excellent time for progressives to exhibit a little courage in their defense. Trump followers see a nation in demographic peril, so they seek a nation where those who frighten them can be regulated into irrelevance. There’s no big mystery about that. There never has been.
So no, they don’t really need to be understood.
What they need to be is defeated.
- Adviser for pro-Trump group caught saying Nazis should have done more An adviser for the pro-Trump group America First Policies was caught on camera saying, ‘The only thing the Nazis didn’t get right is they didn’t keep f*cking going!’ shareblue.com
- 61 Percent of Republicans Think the FBI Is Framing Trump, Poll Finds
This note in the post illustrates how clickbaity the headline is.
Just remember that as of 2016, only 26% of the population identified as Republican. So while 61% of Republicans think he is being framed, that’s only around 16% of Americans. Compare that to 29% Democrats and 42% Independents. They’re the majority in their own party but are a small minority of the country as it is unlikely more than a handful of Democrats and Independents feel the same way.
Basics of statistics and shrinking group dynamics. Fewer people identify as Republicans, and most of those that left did so because of the crazies.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- Ku Klux Klan leader found guilty for firing gun at Charlottesville rally
- George Will: Pence’s praise for Arpaio was ‘horrifying’
- Missouri governor’s trial to start in sex scandal amid pressure to resign | Article [AMP] | Reuters
FIXING THE INTERNET
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) filed a discharge petition Wednesday morning that, if signed by a majority of House members, would force votes on immigration bills under a so-called “queen of the hill” rule. Whichever of those bills receives the most votes, exceeding a majority, would pass the House — a setup that is calibrated to secure passage of a bipartisan compromise.
- Fourth Circuit Rules That Suspicionless Forensic Searches of Electronic Devices at the Border Are Unconstitutional
HIJINKS ON THE HILL
- Republicans Fill Court Seat They Denied To Obama For 6 Years
- Paul Ryan Just Made a Complete Mockery of Campaign Finance Rules
- California becomes first U.S. state to require solar panels on new homes
- Likely 2020 Democratic Candidates Want To Guarantee A Job To Every American
- Kamala Harris backs Booker bill to legalize marijuana
IN OTHER NEWS…
- Harley Davidson to close Kansas City plant while opening another in Thailand
- Scientists: Hawaii volcano could soon spew 10-ton boulders from its summit
That’s it for today. Like I said earlier, the last few days have kicked my butt, so I’m taking it easy today. Yes, this is my definition of taking it easy.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur