Daily Check-In 06/04/2018

The weekend to Monday, June 4th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who has been indicted by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, attempted to tamper with potential witnesses, Mueller said in a court filing on Monday.

Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, asked the judge overseeing the case in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to revoke or revise an order releasing Manafort ahead of his trial.

Witness tampering, that’s a felony.

According to reports, Manafort called, texted, and used an encrypted WhatsApp messages to talk with potential witnesses, in multiple attempts to get the witnesses to lie under oath to benefit Manafort.

 

ABUSE OF POWER AND CRAPPY LAWYERS

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.

In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

Two letters, both from Trump’s legal teams, made their way to the New York Times this weekend.  They both have about as much legal standing as Cersei’s proclamations against the Targaryens.  In other words, it’s straight fantasy.

Which is precisely the larger game that Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and California Congressman Devin Nunes have been playing—undermining the F.B.I.’s reputation as a way of undercutting Mueller’s eventual findings. Rosenberg, though, wonders if the strategy could boomerang inside the bureau. “The attacks are unfair and unprecedented, and it gets tiresome,” he says. “But it can have an unintended effect. Imagine you had a bunch of special agents in the New York field office looking at certain real-estate developers and their deals going back to the 1980s. Maybe they were working six days a week—and now they’re working seven.”

Pursuant to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the “Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment,” is vested in the President. This raises the question whether the President can pardon himself. Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, it would seem that the question should be answered in the negative.

So, here’s where we’re standing today.  The President of the United States of America is openly contemplating and arguing for a position where he is an absolute ruler, capable of ending all investigations into himself, and capable of pardoning each and every crime, no matter what.  At the same time, he’s calling the Special Counsel’s work unconstitutional, while simultaneously calling for another Special Counselor to investigate the Special Counselor.

These are not the actions of an innocent man.

Fuck Ted Cruz.  There are some days I’m not sure who I despise more, him or Paul Ryan.

Ted Cruz lied to the press today when confronted for his reaction against Trump’s Cartman-esque rant on pardons, claiming he never gave the issue much thought.

Remember, Ted Cruz was a major player in the Cambridge Analytica saga.

 

I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this in GTKYG-Pardon Limitations, but even Nixon’s own lawyers said he couldn’t pardon himself.  Three days after they returned their decision, Nixon resigned.  I’m counting down the days.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COHEN:  LACK OF PRIVILEGE

162 privileged items out of 300,000.  That’s 0.054%.  If he were a baseball player, that’s a .000 batting average.  If Cohen manufactured cars, this wouldn’t be a high enough failure rate to qualify for a recall.  That amount is a statistical anomaly.

Remember on Daily Check-In 04/13/2018 when Cohen’s lawyers claimed they had millions of pieces of privileged information?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I feel like being a dick, so let’s do the math.  If 0.054% of pieces of evidence are privileged, for Cohen to get to “millions”, in this case at least 1,500,001 for rounding purposes, Cohen would have to have…2777779629.63 pieces of evidence.  Rounding that to the next integer up gives us 2,777,779,630 pieces of evidence.  2.77 billion, with a B.  If each iPhone and iPad had 150,000 pieces each, that would be…18,519 phones.

Or 18,504 more phones than the FBI seized from Cohen.

 

SCOTUS:  NOT AS BAD AS THE DECISIONS LOOK

In the unsigned opinion with no dissents, the justices threw out the appeals court decision on the grounds that the dispute became moot once the unnamed teenager had the abortion.

The justices, however, declined to take up the administration’s request for disciplinary action against the American Civil Liberties Union lawyers who represented the girl, who underwent an abortion in Texas last October. The administration had accused the ACLU lawyers of misleading the Justice Department over when she would have the abortion.

In this case, the Justices decided to throw the case out since it was a moot point after the girl had the abortion.  The lawsuit was for this specific girl, not any others in her situation.

On the surface, this seems pretty bad, but it’s not.  The SCOTUS took a very narrow part of the case, and ruled on the constitutionality of that.  In this case, they studied the initial civilian review board, and whether or not that board was biased for or against either of the parties.  In their findings, they determined that the board in Colorado was biased against the bakery ahead of time.

That is all they ruled on.  They did not rule on whether or not a business can legally discriminate, or whether a class of citizens can withhold services and goods from another class, but only on whether or not, in this specific instance, a review board was impartial as was required by the law.

So, let’s put the pitchforks down.  At least for this case.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

The First Lady was seen from a distance, as the press were not allowed in the event.  She’s still cancelled her foreign trips, though.

Time to get ready for the first Presidential Divorce.

 

BLATANT CORRUPTION

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

“I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny—fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear.”  – Senator Margaret Chase-Smith, in 1950.

 

PUERTO RICO

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Barring an act of Congress, the responsibility of the Secret Service to protect a former president or first lady would not disappear because that person had been convicted of a crime.

This has never happened, though, and any potential details of such an arrangement are mysterious even to Secret Service veterans and other experts on the agency. A spokesman for the Secret Service refused even to address the issue. “It’s a road we would have to go down if it ever happened,” he told the Explainer. “It’s not something we’re going to think about unless it happens.”

 

BLATANT RACISM

 

TARIFFS AND ECONOMICS

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

NFL

This shit pisses me off.  I hate the Eagles.  Out of all of the Philadelphia sports teams, the Eagles might be my favorite, and I HATE the Eagles.  Shit like this makes me feel for them, and Philly sports fans don’t deserve any sympathy.

I’m still bitter about the 15 year long Penguins losing streak.  And the Flyers just being general asshats.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Something’s off with Joy Reid.  I’m not as suspicious as Countercheckist is, but something just seemed off.  Maybe it’s the bots swarming around her and Malcom Nance that I don’t trust.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for today.  And the weekend.

I didn’t publish a story last night.  Unlike most other nights off, I planned on writing.  I had the laptop ready, started writing up a post about the differences between the two parties, but I couldn’t go through with it.  I couldn’t get in the right mood.  I needed to be angry, but I just couldn’t get there.  There’s one person that is impossible to stay angry when they’re on television…Fred Rogers.

Last night, PBS showed a documentary about Mister Rogers hosted by one of Fred’s former employees, Michael Keaton.  Yes, THAT Michael Keaton.  He got his start doing puppets and voices on Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

Fred Rogers was the nicest, sweetest, calmest human being of the last century, and the world needs more of him today.  Especially today, with how crazy things are getting.

Trump talking about pardons like this is some desperate shit.  Something big is coming, and not just Cohen’s June 15th deadline to review the evidence.  His rants are some high-level projections about his crimes.

We’ll see where this goes.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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