It's your Sunday Show Rundown!
We focus today on House Minority Leader and second most ineptly dangerous McCarthy, behind "Anti-Vax" Jenny, Kevin McCarthy. Appearing on CBS's "Face The Nation" with Margaret Brennan, McCarthy first tried to make a case for why Donald Trump Jr. should not have been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee:
BRENNAN: But, leader, let's-- let's talk about one of the things that we laid out there in the open, which is this decision to ask Donald Trump Jr. to come back to answer questions related to previous answers he had given to the Senate Intelligence Committee. You've said it's time to move on. But, if Congress hasn't finished its own investigation, how can you say that?
MCCARTHY: But, they have-- they have finished the investigation.
BRENNAN: The Senate Intelligence Committee hasn't finished its work.
MCCARTHY: But think about why the Senate is doing this. Donald Trump Jr. has spent 27 hours already testifying. They're requesting him back based upon something that Cohen has said, when he is in jail for lying to Congress. But Cohen was talking about a meeting he wasn't even at. So that is why I believe we should move on. And if the Senate hasn't finished--
McCarthy seems to be confused as to why Cohen LIED to Congress. He lied on behalf of "Individual One" who was clearly identified as Donald Trump by the Southern District of New York. The lies were specifically about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continuing while he was running for president and Russia was escalating election sabotage in 2016. So the insistence of McCarthy and others in the GOP on using Cohen's lying as a way to exonerate Trump is woefully misguided. Of course this should not be very surprising for McCarthy:
Uh oh, Christopher Wray, you're next!
The president of the United States is on a Twitter bender again, because he's lonely, unloved, and his hands and brain are idle, as usual. By our latest count, he has tweeted or retweeted 37 times in the last 24 hours, which is really an unfair count, because it neglects all his Sunday morning tweeting that was technically more than 24 hours ago now.
But late last night, he started quote-tweeting one of his conspiracy-theory-mongering shitbats and took square aim at a guy we all knew he'd eventually train his sights on like a common Jeff Sessions, because this particular guy just seems a bit too sane for the Trump administration. We, of course, refer to FBI director Christopher Wray.
And then he quote-tweeted another conspiracy-theory-mongering shitbat who happened to be appearing on the TV program hosted by the first conspiracy-theory-mongering shitbat:
Wow! Bathrobe-y McRageClown was LIT last night, y'all!
Learn up, it's gonna be a thing!
Is Rudy Giuliani drinking that Just for Men hair dye? What is going on with Grandpa America's Mayor's hair? And what nonsense is he dogwhistling through his lockjaw now?
I've decided I'm not going to go to the Ukraine. I'm not going to go because I've decided I'm walking into a group of people who are enemies of the president. In some cases enemies of the United States. In one case, an already convicted person who has been found to be involved in assisting with the 2016 election.
JFC, he's really putting all his chips on the PAUL MANAFORT WUZ FRAMED argument. An American jury sent Paul Manafort to jail for bringing in millions of untaxed dollars from Ukrainian oligarchs, but somehow it is no fair for Ukrainians to publicize Manafort's grift. Ipso facto hocus pocus, the Mueller investigation was illegal? Plus, also, somethingsomething Joe Biden. Clearly we picked the wrong day to quit snorting Poligrip. Unlike Rudy Giuliani!
Okay, let's see if we can derpsplain it all together, since this Ukrainium One lie isn't going away.
Surely this is the sign of a healthy mind.
Last Saturday morning we all had the pleasure of waking up to the President of the United States retweeting a bunch of professional bigots complaining that Twitter was being mean to them and other professional bigots. That was weird, though not as weird as it would have been if anyone else were the President of the United States.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, he appears to think this went really well for him. Thus, he woke up and did the same thing early this morning, but without any kind of particular running theme. Some of the tweets were about Russia, some of them were about the same "Twitter is mean to bigots and that's not fair!" jag he was on last week, some were about abortion, one was a random year-old tweet from his large adult son.
He does not appear to be well.
This is from over a year ago.
JOE BIDEN WON'T EVEN LET US WATCH PEOPLE DIE! How is that fair?
There are, again, multiple places on the internet where people can say whatever they want. Gab, 4chan, Voat, etc. If that is what these people want, they are free to go to those places. Alas, no one wants to go to those places because they are gross Nazi cesspools. If Twitter was not moderated, it would turn into a gross Nazi cesspool and no one would want to be there anymore, including Laura Loomer, whom I have noticed has not made much use of her Gab profile. Because it's gross and terrible there.
Aw! They were BULLIED? Well, maybe they should stay the hell away from Planned Parenthood.
Again for those in the back, most drugs come through legal ports of entry. The stupid wall will not do anything to stop that.
These are not even all of them. It's not even half of them. Like dude just woke up this morning and started retweeting like a maniac. It's sort of sad that there is no one in his life that cares to check in on him and make sure he is OK. Or it would be, if he were not a monster. I know for a fact that if I appeared to be having some kind of episode on Twitter, someone I know would be like "Hey Robyn, are you OK? Maybe you should step away from the computer for a bit. Drink some water! Take an Ativan!," and for that I am grateful.
In fact, instead of focusing on how obnoxious all of these retweets are and how they are clearly a sign of some kind of mental instability, we should all take a moment and be grateful that if we were having a very public breakdown, someone would care enough about us to stop us before we continued.
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He's gonna make 'em an offer they can't refuse.
Third verse, same as the first. Little bit louder, and a little bit worse. Or in Donald Trump's case, a whole lot louder, and so, so much worse. Rudy Giuliani has once again rung up his pal Ken Vogel at the New York Times to announce that he is concocting a bullshit scandal out of thin air to damage Donald Trump's political rivals. If the paper wants to get in on the ground floor of this one, Rudy can arrange a front row seat for the low-low price of simply printing this Ukrainium One nonsense as if it might actually be true.
Perhaps we are too hard on the Times. Without their particular brand of access journalism, would we get Rudy unfiltered shouting, "HEY EVERYONE, I'M GOING TO UKRAINE TO LEAN ON THE GOVERNMENT TO GIN UP A SCANDAL AGAINST MY CLIENT'S POLITICAL RIVALS"?
The Department Of Justice had a cake and ice cream party for Rod Rosenstein yesterday. Fuck these guys. All of them.
Awwww, everybody, there was a very nice party at the Justice Department yesterday, to celebrate the very normal life and times and tenure of Rod Rosenstein, everybody say AWWWWWW. After doing a generally serviceable job overseeing the Mueller investigation, Rosenstein finally submitted his resignation to Donald Trump, with a sniveling toady letter that thanked Trump for his "courtesy and humor." Wonkette guessed at the time that Rosenstein was referring to the president's well-known penchant for practical jokes like "Hey! I should get a private citizen to fire the special counsel! #JOKETOWN" and "Hey! I am going to fire the FBI director in order to obstruct an investigation into my own possibly traitorous behavior, but I'm going to make Rod Rosenstein take the fall and say I did it because I thought -- GET THIS! -- that the FBI had treated old Lock 'Er Up Clinton poorly. Get it? It's funny because it's so motherfucking implausible!" #LOLLERSKATES!
Yeah, we didn't like that letter. But hey, Rosenstein did protect the Mueller investigation -- sort of? we think? except for that whole part at the end where he stood by Bill Barr's side as Barr lied to the American people about the results of the Mueller investigation, and just generally has had Barr's back as Barr has performed cover-ups to protect Trump's ass over the past six weeks? Whatever, fuck it, TIME FOR CAKE AND ICE CREAM!
What ... just ... what?
Bad news, everyone, Donald Trump decided to speak in public again, and he didn't just confess to multiple obstruction of justice crimes, ESSENTIALLY. He said so much more than that, and because we have a headache, we have chosen freely to listen to a few videos of Trump talking, because we don't know why.
The thing he was supposed to be talking about? "Medical bills." The thing he actually talked about? Mostly not that.
He whined about Robert Mueller, you know, the guy who ESSENTIALLY exonerated him, except he doesn't want you to see the underlying evidence or the grand jury testimony or the counter-intel that probably shows just how far up his ass Vladimir Putin really is. In this first video, he bitches about Mueller's "conflicts," as if even his own advisers didn't tell him he was full of shit about those. He says he and Mueller had a "business dispute," which consisted entirely of Mueller asking for a partial refund of his membership dues on a Trump resort trash palace property the Mueller family wasn't using and then never mentioning it again. And he says there is a "picture file" that has one million glamour shots of Mueller and James Comey together, because they are "in love."
Or something. Here, you make sense of it.
Chris Hughes shreds old college buddy Mark in New York Times op-ed.
The weird thing about Facebook is that we all [most -- ed] still use it. The social media giant quite possibly helped destroy the country, but whatevs. There was also a major motion picture that depicted Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, as a Bond villain in flip-flops. Stock prices only increased. Do we really need cat videos that much? Probably, but Facebook doesn't have to be the sole provider of time-wasting and data mining.
Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, thinks it's time to break up and actually regulate the company. In a New York Times op-ed today, Hughes argues that Facebook has grown "too big and too powerful." He also fears that Zuckerberg's "unchecked power" is taking him into cat-stroking diabolical mastermind territory.
HUGHES: Mark's influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government. He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day. Facebook's board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook's algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.
Hughes goes on to describe Zuckerberg as a "good, kind man," which in context sounds like Mark Antony subtweeting Brutus at Caesar's funeral. It angers him that Zuckerberg sacrificed "security and civility" for his own personal ambition ... like all "good, kind people" do, we guess. He also accuses Zuckerberg of surrounding himself with a bunch of sycophants and yes men who don't challenge him. But Hughes doesn't just rag on his old college buddy. He's also "disappointed" that he and the early Facebook crew didn't fully consider how the social media site would go on to "change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders." This is probably why "startup Facebook," along with baby Hitler, is a major target for time-traveling assassins.
Shit your dad says.
Kellyanne, it's time to get your game face on, girl! President Sundown Syndrome just held a press conference to brag about Mueller's conclusion that the president committed "essentially no obstruction." (Not actually Mueller's conclusion, as he rather famously didn't make one.) "Essentially no obstruction" is an odd turn of phrase, so we fully expect to see Mrs. Conway on all the programs splaining that there is a five-count minimum for an obstruction of justice prosecution, and anyone who says otherwise is FAKE NEWS.
No collusion, and essentially no obstruction. Of course a lot of people say, "How can you obstruct when there was no crime? When there was no collusion, how can you possibly obstruct?"
Looks like Junior's getting a second time in the barrel.
Don Junior, COME ON DOWN! The Senate Intel Committee enjoyed your first performance so much, they're demanding an encore. Guess they can't resist that Divorced Dad Back in the Game beard. Who can, really? But please, no dick pics -- save that shit for Kimmy, bro.
Yesterday Axios got the scoop that SSCI has been negotiating for weeks to have the president's son return for further testimony before the Committee. CNN reports that Deej is handling it with his usual aplomb.
A source close to Trump Jr. said in a statement Wednesday that when Trump Jr. testified in 2017, there was an agreement "that he would only have to come in and testify a single time as long as he was willing to stay for as long as they'd like, which Don did."
"Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious PR stunt from a so-called 'Republican' senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss Mark Warner and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee," the source said.
Hasn't he given you people enough?
Ken Starr spent most of the 1990s as the independent counsel assigned to Bill Clinton's underpants. The Spice Girls are a more relevant phenomenon from that decade. However, Starr still likes to turn up on our TV and pretend he knows what he's talking about. He apparently believes his relentless war on blowjobs earned him the credibility to comment on Robert Mueller's investigation into real crimes.
Yesterday Starr told Fox's Stuart Varney that while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the "authority and power" to impeach Donald Trump, the little lady "better not use it." Why? Because impeachment is hella "divisive" and only something you do when there's "broad consensus." For example, there was broad consensus about Clinton's impeachment. Sixty-five percent of Americans thought it was stupid.
Starr's personal speciality is fellatio felonies, and the drawback there is that he seems incapable of recognizing other crimes, such as light treason. Last year, he didn't see how Mueller had any case at all against Trump.
STARR: At least as far as we know Donald Trump has not lied under oath, as far as we know, he's not intimidated witnesses, as far as we know -- in my view -- he has not obstructed justice.
LOL, right? In fairness, Mueller hadn't released his final report yet. You'd think Starr's opinion would shift once he actually read Mueller's findings and realized that Trump is far worse than his own personal white blow-job-receiving whale. But no, Starr turned up on yet another Fox hackfest and complained that Mueller's report is just too damn long.
And Senate Democrats are seriously asking!
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff made some horrifying comments in an interview yesterday with the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. It came as news was breaking that Schiff and his Republican counterpart, ranking member Devin "Cow Stuff" Nunes, jointly subpoenaed the FBI for the full, unredacted Mueller report, and also all the underlying evidence and intelligence Mueller uncovered. They specifically are demanding Rule 6(e) grand jury information, citing an exception in the law that says they are entitled to see that information -- no court order necessary! -- because as members of the House Intelligence Committee, they are officers who need to know "any grand-jury matter involving foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, or foreign intelligence information," as well as matters relating to "clandestine intelligence gathering activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power." The entire Trump-Russia question would seem to fall under that exception, wouldn't it!
Schiff wants us to know the FBI is specifically withholding Mueller investigation counter-intel findings from the House Intelligence Committee -- which by law they are supposed to get, because they are the intelligence committee, for God's sake -- and that he thinks Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump are personally putting their thumbs on the scale to keep it that way:
We got us a real live constitutional crisis!
Time to fire up that shredder, kids! Poppy Trump has invoked executive privilege over the entire Mueller Report, so now we have to delete poor Evan's eight-million-word liveblog. DOH! Bill Barr followed through on his threat to ground the House and send it to bed without its 448-page bedtime story if Chairman Jerry Nadler proceeded this morning with a Judiciary Committee vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. Which he did. Yesterday, Barr was willing to show a whole 12 of the 41 members of the Committee a less-redacted report, as long as they promised never to talk about it with anyone on the House Intel Committee. But now that is ILLEGAL because the entirety of the report -- including the 90 percent that has already been published unredacted -- is covered under a warm, fluffy blanket of privilege.
THAT'S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.
Good Morning! Welcome to another day in Trump's America, where NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE! The White House and Congress are entering a period of trench warfare, which should last to ... let's say January 20, 2021, conservatively speaking. Attorney General Bill Barr is reporting for duty, Sir, and he's ready to fuck shit up!
Yesterday, former White House counsel Don McGahn's lawyer Bill Burck told the House Judiciary Committee that his client is ever so sorry, but he's going to have to bail on that document subpoena after current White House Counsel Pat Cipollone ordered him to zip it:
As you will appreciate, Mr. McGahn, as a former Assistant to the President and the most senior attorney for the President in his official capacity, continues to owe certain duties and obligations to the President which he is not free to disregard. Here, the Committee seeks to compel Mr. McGahn to produce White House documents the Executive Branch has directed that he not produce. Where co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands on Mr. McGahn concerning the same set of documents, the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is to maintain the status quo unless and until the Committee and the Executive Branch can reach an accommodation.
In fact, committee chairman Jerry Nadler did not appreciate being told that McGahn was going to ignore his subpoena just because the White House mumbled some shit about presidential privacy. Then Pat Cipollone sent a snitty letter to Nadler instructing him to address any future document requests to the White House, since "The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege."
How did that one go over? Not well.
The White House spent two years refusing to answer questions by airily alluding to executive privilege, safe in the knowledge that the GOP would never call their bluff. Because executive privilege is a narrow exception to disclosure requirements which has to be affirmatively invoked, and there is a legal standard by which to challenge it. Which is exactly why the White House was desperate to avoid a formal invocation of the privilege they'd have to actually defend, rather than spreading it like a fluffy, amorphous blanket over all their sins.
Oh yeah, and she also called for Trump's impeachment again.
Y'all hear about the shit Mitch McConnell pulled this morning? He stood up on the Senate floor to deliver one of his trademark lie-filled hypocritical bullshit speeches, this time about the end of the Mueller investigation, and boy did he deliver! His mantra was "case closed," because he assumes (correctly) most Americans haven't read the Mueller Report, and don't know he's lying (incorrectly!) when he says it exonerated Donald Trump. He angrily shouted at Democrats for "relitigating 2016," because he says that's what the investigation is really about for those who lost, so we wouldn't have to "come to terms with the American people's choice" in the presidential race. (You know, the one Donald Trump lost by three million popular votes -- that means "actual human votes" -- and barely won because of three states in the Rust Belt, the very same ones Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort passed secret internal polling on to a Russian spy repeatedly in the months before the election, with the general expectation it would end up in the hands of the guy known as "Putin's favorite oligarch.")
The White House told McGahn to tell Jerry Nadler to fuck off, so he did. WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
We should say at the outset that the news we have just received -- that former White House counsel Don McGahn, at the instruction of the White House, has told the House Judiciary Committee to fuck off with its subpoena for documents related to his testimony as laid out in the Mueller Report -- is not entirely unexpected. Despite the fact that McGahn has already testified for over 30 hours for Robert Mueller, which kinda sorta completely waives any legitimate "executive privilege" claims, he is at the end of the day a court-packing conservative lawyer who, despite his unwillingness to literally do the Saturday Night Massacre for Donald Trump, nonetheless has an expansive view of executive power, because most conservatives, at heart, love presidents who are authoritarian Daddy types. Hell, during the Mueller investigation, McGahn was the one in the White House pissed off that Trump's original lawyers were cooperating so nicely with the investigation and that they weren't invoking executive privilege.
We should also note that what's just happened with the letter McGahn's lawyer sent, which was sent attached to another letter current White House counsel Pat Cipollone also sent McGahn's lawyer today, has absolutely nothing to do with Congress's subpoena for McGahn's testimony. For the documents, the White House might have a little bit more of a leg to stand on. Maybe. Nadler would point out -- and has -- that all the documents he's requested have been turned over to investigators already, which would seem to suggest Trump's claims of executive privilege can fuck right off. But who knows?
As for McGahn's testimony, he is a private citizen and he has spilled everything to Robert Mueller already. So if McGahn tries to fight that, then we'll be in a real situation. (As if every minute of every hour of the Trump presidency hasn't been a real situation.)
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