Sucks to have to do law'n'shit!
US District Judge Carl Nichols is having a Maalox morning. First, Judge Trevor McFadden, a fellow Trump appointee on the DC District, noped out of the president's nonsense "First Amendment" lawsuit to stop the House Ways and Means Committee from getting his New York State tax returns. Reasoning that the case was insufficiently related to the Committee's suit against the IRS to merit a spot on his docket, Judge McFadden dropped that hot potato back into the random assignment pool, where it was promptly dumped on Judge Nichols's desk. Thanks, pal!
So Judge Nichols scheduled an emergency hearing for Monday and asked the parties to prettyplease work this shit out among themselves and spare him having to decide whether Trump can stop the state of New York from complying with its own law and handing his tax returns over to Congress.
Didn't happen on 5th Avenue, but we're pretty sure she didn't lose a single follower.
We don't know why Elizabeth Warren decided to murder John Delaney last night. It certainly wasn't on her must-do list for the CNN debate, unless she just really wanted America to know she was ready and willing on day one to make things that annoy us go away, like for instance dumb men with dumb egos who won't get the fuck out of our faces. There were 8,895,682 people on that stage, and she could have picked any of them. Beto? Boring. Marianne Williamson? Nothing to get your chakras in a bunch about. Buttigieg? She could just PINCH HIS CHEEKS. Also he might be a good cabinet nominee down the road. Klobuchar? Oh, was she in attendance last night? Tim Ryan or Jim Monkeydongler or Steve Buttocks of Montana? Eh, that just didn't seem FUN, and Elizabeth Warren had a plan for last night, and that plan involved FUN.
And she didn't seem to feel it was necessary to bring it to Bernie Sanders last night. No, better to riff off him and save that for later. Maybe she's pretty sure the universe is going to work that one out on its own.
So John Delaney it was. A man who started last night with 29,000 Twitter followers, most of whom are probably his mom. It was he upon whom Warren decided to use a line that was obviously worthy of somebody far above his paygrade, but that's OK, she has a whole room full of zingers at her house. Plus, have you seen his dumb face? It is dumb. And quite frankly, she probably was getting very tired of the no-name moderate men in the race who seem hellbent on mucking it up with chants of "What do we want? A marginal improvement! When do we want it? Whenever we get around to it!"
Maybe Warren found a shiny quarter behind Jake Tapper's ear, and Tapper, unreasonably giddy over the magic trick Warren had just performed, agreed to try to help tee her up for MURRRRRDERRRRRRRR.
Last exit before hell!
OH HEYYYYYYYY EVERYONE, are you happy to be here? Trick question, you can't leave now!
Anyway, tonight, in like 10 minutes, is night one of the Democratic debates on CNN, and because CNN is a common "CNN," you have to watch it at their website if you don't want to watch it on TV. (No linky for the stinky, you know where "CNN" is.)
So what will happen tonight? Will one of the Tim Ryans eat one of the other Tim Ryans? Will Marianne Williamson pull a total Marianne Williamson and chakra the living fuck out of the entire auditorium? Will Elizabeth Warren and Bernie FIGHT? Will Beto go on a road trip by himself to the dentist? STAY TUNED!
Shall we liveblog? We shall.
Quick update on the story we brought you Monday, of Trump picking John Ratfcliffe, the world's stupidest GOP congressman whose name isn't Devin Nunes or Louie Gohmert or Matt Gaetz or Mark Meadows or Jim Jordan or that guy who wants to know WHAR MICHAEL COHEN'S BOXES, to be the new director of national intelligence (DNI). As we noted, the law (THE LAW) states that in the absence of a confirmed DNI, the principal deputy director of national intelligence becomes the acting DNI. That woman's name is Sue Gordon and she is a career official who seems mostly liked by the professional intelligence community, therefore she is obviously not the ghoulish bootlicker Donald Trump wants in the position. Why, she probably would try to do her actual job, instead of politicizing the intel community to chase down and punish the villains of the Fox News conspiracy theories Trump finds between the folds of his orange buttocks!
So of course, CNN is reporting that Trump might try to "bypass protocol" in naming a new acting chief, which is CNN's way of saying he wants to BREAK THE LAW:
How do you say 'Look At This Yapping Shithole' in Russian?
Mitch McConnell is mad at everybody on the internet calling him #MoscowMitch, and he's not gonna take it anymore!
He took to the Senate floor on Monday to air his grievances:
Mitch McConnell Criticizes MSNBC For 'Angry Lies' On Election Security Bills | NBC News www.youtube.com
"Last week I stopped Democrats from passing an election law bill through the Senate by unanimous consent, a bill that was so partisan that it only received one Republican vote over in the House. My Democratic friends asked for unanimous consent to pass a bill that everyone knows isn't unanimous and never will be unanimous. So I objected. ... Over the last several days I was called unpatriotic, un-American, and essentially treasonous by a couple of left-wing pundits on the basis of bold-faced lies. I was accused of aiding and abetting the very man I've singled out as an adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years, Vladimir Putin."
You have to actually watch the video, because he said a lot more than that, and because fucker is Becky asking to speak to a manager, because he has never gotten service like this at the Chipotle! Also he is a Russian asset. He's very offended by that assertion, but what he doesn't understand -- maybe he would if he were more concerned about protecting our elections from Russian attacks and our nation from Russian asset presidents -- is that he doesn't have to be actively and consciously working for the Kremlin to do its bidding. He just has to be a selfish piece of shit who's more concerned with beating Democrats and protecting the criminal at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue than he is about protecting America, and therefore act in such a way that makes America subservient to all those other interests. You know, Putin's interests. Mission accomplished, Boris!
Come, Poppy, the nurse has something nice for you.
Why is Alan Dershowitz still talking? If he were your grandfather, you'd rush in with scissors and a calendar, shouting, "Poppy, look! It's 2019, not 1999. Doctor Finkelstein has scheduled a CT scan for this afternoon, so how 'bout we just cut this router cord right here until we know what's wrong with your brain, okay?" Instead Dersh is actually out there on Twitter right now arguing that a 15-year-old girl is old enough to consent to sex with a man of any age.
Maybe this is why Poppy seems even more deranged than usual. If that's even possible.
Why did Donald Trump wake up Saturday morning and decide to launch a racist attack against Congressman Elijah Cummings? Why the hell does Donald Trump do anything -- it's Fox News, of course. Anyone who tells you the president is executing some kind of master strategy in a high-stakes game of eleven-dimensional chess is delusional. He's just a demented rat running on Rupert Murdoch's wheel.
But let's pull back and ask a slightly different question: Why is FOX going after Cummings now? And why is Donald Trump so delighted to go along with the attack? Aside from the obvious fact that Cummings is a black Democrat from a state that hasn't voted for a Republican president in 30 years, of course. Well it might have something to do with a Resolution passed on Friday by the House Oversight Committee empowering its chair, one Elijah Cummings, to subpoena the personal communications of "non-career" White House employees to determine if there were violations of the Presidential Records Act.
Spoiler Alert: That means Jared and Ivanka.
Meet Rep. John Ratcliffe! And then immediately be sorry you ever heard his name!
Whaaaaat? Something worse than making Devin Nunes (R-Cows) the literal director of national intelligence? That cannot be!
Yes it can, and we will tell you what it is. It's nominating somebody whose brain functions at a marginally higher level than Nunes's unfortunate brain, but who is just as much of a conspiracy-minded batshit Trump loyalist as Nunes is. USA! USA! USA! (Don't fool yourself into thinking Donald Trump's first choice wasn't to just go with the dumbfuck congressman from the dairy farm and see what happens, as had been reported. Natasha Bertrand reports that he offered Nunes the job first, but Nunes is holding out for something even more powerful and intelligence-y, like CIA director. God help us all.)
So hey, sure, John Ratcliffe! The congressman from Texas! He's a Trump-fellating doorstop of a human being! Why not him!
As has been long rumored, Dan Coats, one of the only people left in the Trump administration who seems vaguely sane and was willing to speak the truth about hostile election interference from foreign powers, has outlived his usefulness to President Shitmouth, and will be quit-firing himself out the door on August 15. In his resignation letter, Coats thanked Donald Trump for the privilege of serving THE NATION and noted that one of his final moves on his way out the door was to establish an election security executive to coordinate the government's response to election security threats . Take that as you will, but considering Trump's well-known aversion to protecting elections from Russian reacharounds, we're going to take Coats mentioning it in his resignation letter as a gigantic "fuck you."
Saw this one coming a mile away.
After the first Democratic debate, we wrote about Kamala Harris's performance with the headline "Kamala Harris Shows America What She'll Do To Trump, If You'll Let Her." The way Harris commanded the stage of eight million Democrats that night and ran the room like she owned it, the way she cut through with authority and emotion and humor ... well, it was somethin', all right!
We've been following Harris for years (even back when sHe WaS a CoP!), but we really started paying attention in the Trump era, as we watched her terrify Jeff Sessions and terrify her male GOP colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (sHe WaS aCtUaLlY a pRoSeCuToR.) She mopped the floor with Bill Barr. She did it to Brett Kavanaugh. Even Dead John McCain would pound the table and stomp around at Harris, because that impertinent lady simply would not stop asking impolite questions of Republicans. How ruuuuuude. Do you not know who John McCain's daughter is?!
We've had a sneaking suspicion that Kamala Harris is literally the only person we want to see on a debate stage with Donald Trump, along with a sneaking suspicion that she is literally the only Democratic candidate who might make Trump try to weasel out of said debates. And it sounds like that sneaking suspicion is shared in the White House and among Republican operatives! But where that fact makes us giggle, it sounds like it's making Trump and his acolytes shit the bed. Womp womp!
David Drucker writes in Vanity Fair that he's been talking to some very influential GOP operatives for a while now, and that many of them correctly see Harris as somebody who could gut Trump six ways to Sunday without breaking a sweat. These are their stories.
Meghan McCain, whom Wonkette recently exposed as John McCain's secret daughter, is the subject of an Elle magazine profile that is not in any way worth your time. The only interesting factoid revealed during the trip on the Megs McCabe Borderline Express is that she sometimes shows up drunk or hungover ALLEGEDLY for whatever it is she contributes to "The View" ... ALLEGEDLY. By her. She alleges.
[McCain] remembers one night last year when she went out with her colleagues for drinks and got tipsy. The next morning, when it was time to film, she carried the convivial attitude of the previous night onto the show, and a crass line slipped out of her mouth: "I call her Crooked Hillary!" she said. "I hate Hillary Clinton."
"Tipsy" is an interesting word choice. Doris Day got "tipsy." Megs McCabe likes to spend her free time at the creek, doing Jell-O shots and shooting guns. That lady (Wonkette is not judging) gets smashed.
We read all 185 pages of the DC bar's memo recommending an almost three-year suspension. It was gross.
Superlawyer Larry Klayman is in a jam. There he was, just trying to do the right thing in helping out a woman who said she'd been sexually harassed at work. Could he help it if it he fell so deeply in love with her that he couldn't concentrate on her actual case because he was too busy declaring his love for months on end, and flipping out at public events if she talked to other people, and chasing her into a hotel women's room when she jumped out of his car and fled into the hotel for safety? They call the women's room the "Klayman Room" now, he joked, because of all the remorse he did not have for a solid year of harassing his client who was already having a nervous breakdown about her previous sexual harassment case. Oh, and then he told the DC Bar committee that was investigating him that the lady must have made it all up because she thinks everyone wants her. What a crazy nutjob that lady must be! What a hysterical narcissist! Oh, there were letters, months and months of them, where he wrote down all his love for her and all his complaints about her lack of same? And he admitted his deep, otherworldly love for her in a deposition before his closing statement of "bitches be lying"? Well, nobody ever said Superlawyer Larry Klayman is good at "lawyer."
Are Chuck Todd And Maggie Haberman Gaslighting You About The Mueller Hearings? Click Here To Tell Them To F*ck Off!
Some of us seem to have watched a different hearing from the one others watched.
Let's get one thing out of the way right now. A lot of the Robert Mueller testimony was boring, especially in the House Judiciary Committee. Mueller seemed old (he turns 75 in two weeks) and, true to what he said he was going to do, he declined to answer a lot of questions, staying within "the four corners of his report" and letting it "speak for itself." And with that, we have acknowledged and given the proper respect to every VALID right-wing criticism (and too-cool-for-school leftist criticism) that exists. It did not send the thrill up the leg, and in our American culture, which demands shiny things in order to keep its attention, it fell kinda flat.
(This column will not be addressing invalid criticisms, like those from Dinesh D'Souza, trying to pretend he is the cool kid who knows all the things, and scoffing with judgment that Robert Mueller had never heard of
the clowns that live in Dinesh's butthole Fusion GPS, like everybody is talking about the clowns who live in Dinesh's butthole Fusion GPS, what's wrong with Robert Mueller OMG?)
Beltway journalists (some of them, at least) were also so booooooooored, like are we there yet?
Maggie Haberman also paid for a laser light show, but all she got was an extremely grave and important moment in American history:
Of course, because Haberman is Haberman, she has spent the ensuing time on Twitter getting mad at civilians who somehow think reporters have the ability to shape the news, as if Americans came up with the idea to obsess over Hillary Clinton's Hotmail account all by their lonesome.
Are you hearing all this stuff and giving in to an inclination to agree that yesterday was just terrible and the Democrats are terrible and Robert Mueller was the worst and now you'll never get your pony?
As former DOJ official Chuck Rosenberg said on MSNBC not long after the Judiciary Committee hearing, "There's a difference between exciting and important. There are things that are exciting that are not important, and there are things that are important that are not particularly exciting." Yesterday's hearings were important. And if you slogged through all of it -- even the boring parts -- some really crucial things came out, some of them for the first time.
Cry me a f*cking river.
Deutsche Bank has got some 'splaining to do when it comes to Jeffrey Epstein. When JPMorgan Chase dropped Epstein as a client in 2013 over "reputational concerns," DB was only too happy step in and hold the piles of cash he accumulated doing ... well, no one exactly knows what. But his bail memo listed upwards of $500 million is assets, so whatever it was, it was lucrative! Epstein parked his holdings at DB, including $110 million in one account alone, and they all lived happily ever after.
Or maybe not. Because, five years later when the Miami Herald started digging into Epstein's plea deal and interviewing girls he'd abused, the bank started to get cold feet. And it only took DB six months to unwind their relationship with Epstein and close his many accounts. But don't worry, because The Wall Street Journal's sources say, "Bank executives believe they severed the lender's relationship fully with Mr. Epstein by the end of June." Which is ... a whole three weeks ago!
We already knew that Trump and Fox News were radicalizing people and spurring them to violence. Now, it has actually become a legal defense. Lawyers for Cesar Sayoc, widely known as the "MAGA bomber" after mailing improvised bombs to CNN and prominent Democrats, have argued in a court filing that Sayoc was radicalized by Trump and Fox News propaganda. But Sayoc is far from the only person to be spurred to violence by the President's bigotry and hate. Let's meet all the president's terrorists.
Wherein Wonkette tells the House Intelligence Committee how to conduct its business.
Toward the end of the Mueller investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 election and the Trump campaign's complicity in and embrace of that attack, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann made an eye-opening statement. During a hearing on whether Paul Manafort had fully and willfully breached his plea agreement by lying to investigators (repeatedly), Weissmann referred to an August 2, 2016, meeting between Manafort and his old business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Oleg Deripaska AKA "Putin's favorite oligarch," and who is assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence. At that meeting, for some reason, amid conversations about "peace plans" for Ukraine (which are code for sanctions relief for Moscow), Manafort passed internal polling data of some sort to Kiliminik, which we later found out in the Mueller Report was specifically Rust Belt polling data. Indeed, the Mueller Report says their conversation that day was about "Manafort's strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states." Isn't it odd how that is exactly where Trump pulled off the extremely unlikely inside straight he needed to
steal win the Electoral College, while simultaneously being resoundingly rejected by the vote of the American people?
Wednesday should be fun!
Wow, this is some hilarious bullshit we're about to discuss right here! On Monday, we noted that Donald Trump, the unindicted criminal superstar of the Mueller Report, appears to be losing it over Robert Mueller's testimony, which starts bright and early tomorrow morning. (Will we be liveblogging it? What do you think?)
Today let's talk about the Department of Justice, because it appears it too has lost all its shit and doesn't know where to find it. Maybe Attorney General Bill Barr shouldn't have spent all those months running around and lying about the contents of the Mueller Report and obfuscating and being a poor man's Roy Cohn for Donald Trump, telling America (falsely) that Mueller's investigation found NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, EVERYTHING BIGLY LEGAL AND BIGLY COOL!
It started with news on Monday afternoon in Politico that the DOJ had "communicated" to Mueller that he is not allowed to talk about anything outside the four corners of what's written in his report, which is funny, because Mueller has suggested that's what he intends to do anyway. Of course actually Mueller is now a private citizen now and DOJ can't tell him what to do, aside from "don't say classified information." Mueller also probably shouldn't spill his guts about ongoing criminal matters, but he's a damn career prosecutor and former FBI director, so we don't think any of that is a concern, now do we?
The original Politico report said DOJ had told Mueller that anything involving the evidence he gathered was "presumptively privileged." Now, thanks to Fox News (really!) we can see the actual letter sent to Mueller by Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, and what did Bill Barr call the letter Mueller sent him about how Barr was misrepresenting the findings of Mueller's report? Oh, that's right, he told Congress it was SNITTY. We feel this letter is far more SNITTY than anything Mueller said to Bill Barr, who deserves all the SNITTY money can buy.
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