Friday Open Thread

TGIF, Everyone


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68 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at BJ:

    Mnemosyne says:
    May 12, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    So, in less depressing news about race, Romance Writers of America are giving Beverly Jenkins their lifetime achievement award this year. If you don’t know her name, she writes historical romance with African-American leads and proved to the skeptics that there was an audience for it. She’s been a bestselling author for well over 20 years (maybe closer to 30), hence the lifetime achievement award.


    I love her historical fiction. It’s so good to read stories involving
    Black people that aren’t centered around slavery. We had lives even
    during the darkest times of this country, and she gives voice to that.

    I love her Blessings series . It’s a series about a rich Black
    divorcee who wants to find a new purpose for her life after her 20+ year marriage goes up in smoke. She’s surfing the net and sees that a
    Historically Black town in Kansas has put itself up for sale on Ebay.
    She buys the town, and proceeds to begin rebuilding it, bringing in new blood in the shape of 5 Foster Children and Matching them up with parents. It’s such a good series.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Naw, muthaphuckas…you took 50 damn votes on REPEAL, Boo.


    You’re not walking away from that.

    Uh uh

  3. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh

    Uh huh

    AG Jeff Sessions: The 21st Century Klan Grand Wizard Issues a Decree

    by John Cole
    at 6:15 pm on May 12, 2017.

    NAZI garden gnome and all around evil prick Jeff Sessions has put out some truly awful guidance today:

    General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy
    of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed his federal
    prosecutors Thursday to charge defendants with the most serious,
    provable crimes carrying the most severe penalties.

    In a speech Friday, Sessions said the move was meant to ensure that
    prosecutors would be “un-handcuffed and not micromanaged from
    Washington” as they worked to bring the most significant cases possible.

    “We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by
    Congress, plain and simple,” Sessions said. “If you are a drug
    trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully
    blind to your misconduct.”

    The Holder memo, issued in August 2013, instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with drug offenses that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. Defendants who met a set of criteria such as not belonging to a large-scale drug trafficking organization, gang or cartel, qualified for lesser charges — and in turn less prison time — under Holder’s policy.

    The reason for this is quite simple. He’s racist as fuck. Don’t confuse evil and racist with stupid, there is a reason he is doing this:

    drug laws are clearly an important factor in the persistent racial and
    ethnic disparities observed in state prisons. For drug crimes
    disparities are especially severe, due largely to the fact that blacks
    are nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested for drug
    offenses and 2.5 times as likely to be arrested for drug possession.29)
    This is despite the evidence that whites and blacks use drugs at roughly the same rate. From 1995 to 2005, African Americans comprised approximately 13 percent of drug users but 36% of drug arrests and 46% of those convicted for drug offenses.30)

    Disparities are evident at the initial point of contact with police,
    especially through policies that target specific areas and/or people. A
    popular example of this is “stop, question, and frisk.” Broad discretion
    allowed to law enforcement can aggravate disparities. Though police
    stops alone are unlikely to result in a conviction that would lead to a
    prison sentence, the presence of a criminal record is associated with
    the decision to incarcerate for subsequent offenses, a sequence of
    events that disadvantages African Americans. Jeffrey Fagan’s work in this area found that police officers’ selection of who to stop in New
    York City’s high-profile policing program was dictated more by racial
    composition of the neighborhood than by actual crime in the area.31) The process of stopping, questioning and frisking individuals based on
    little more than suspicion (or on nebulous terms such as “furtive
    behavior,” which were the justification for many stops) has led to
    unnecessary criminal records for thousands. New York’s policy was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 with a court ruling in Floyd v. City of New

  4. rikyrah says:

    Controversial Oval Office meeting was held at Putin’s request
    05/12/17 04:01 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Why in the world did Donald Trump welcome Russian officials into the Oval Office this week, the day after the president fired FBI Director James Comey over his investigation into the Russian scandal? A White House spokesman said this week Trump hosted the gathering “because [Vladimir Putin] asked him to.”

    In his interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt yesterday, Trump elaborated on the subject.

    “When I spoke with Putin, he asked me whether or not I would see [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov]. Now what do I, should I say, ‘No, I’m not gonna see him’? I said I will see him.”

    It’s worth noting that Trump very easily could’ve said, “No, I’m not gonna see him.” Russia did, after all, attack our democracy last year with an illegal espionage operation. The American president certainly has no obligation to accept requests from the Russian president

  5. rikyrah says:

    White House doesn’t deny Trump recording conversations
    05/12/17 04:37 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump jolted the political world this morning, making a not-so-veiled threat towards former FBI Director James Comey via Twitter, saying Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

    Among other things, this raised the specter of previously unknown recordings of Trump’s conversations with Comey – and any number of other discussions the president has held in the White House.

    To no one’s surprise, the White House press corps was eager to hear more about the topic Trump raised.

    The White House did not deny on Friday that President Donald Trump taped meetings with his former FBI director – or that the president may be recording conversations in the Oval Office.

    “The president has nothing further to add on that,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at the daily briefing when asked several times by reporters about the president’s tweet Friday morning referring to “tapes” of Comey.

    No one should blame reporters for a lack of effort. Does Trump have recordings of Comey? “The president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said. Are there recording devices in the Oval Office? “The president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said. Are there recordings in the White House residence? “The president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said.

  6. yahtzeebutterfly says:
  7. Liza says:

    So Etan Thomas posted this yesterday on Facebook. I love when people surprise you, in a good way.

    Etan Thomas
    Yesterday at 7:38am ·
    So I’m in the Tulsa airport and washing my hands in the bathroom when 3 guys walked in and were staring at me. I dried my hands and they kept looking didn’t say anything just looking. Then one said hey ain’t you the one who was speaking at that rally with Sharpton for the feller that got shot by the po-lice ? I looked at his cowboy boots and big belt buckle and tucked in plaid wrinkled button down cut off shirt and looked at the other guy with his dirty baseball hat and undershirt and the other guy chewing tobacco spittin in a cup, and I said that feller’s name was Terence Crutcher and yes I am. And nobody said anything for a few seconds, then he says, well I was listening to you on the news this morning, think what you were saying made perfect sense. Community policing that’s how it used to be. I hope everything works out with this case and the jury and judge do the right thing. We have enough garbage making us look bad especially with that feller Trump. And they all shook my hand and walked out.
    Now, I didn’t know where that encounter was going when it began. Didn’t know if we were about to have a Higher Learning moment (if y’all remember that movie) or what was happening, but I have to admit, that was unexpected and at the same time very refreshing to hear.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Trump Won’t Win Fight With the Intelligence Community
    by Martin Longman May 12, 2017 2:57 PM

    A lot will be written about the following tweet, possibly for decades or even centuries. We won’t know the full implications for a while, yet, and it could be that it doesn’t amount to much in the bigger picture.

    James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

    Still, we can for now set aside all the legal implications, like whether there really are recording devices and if they’re subject to subpoena or preservation requirements, or what it might mean to threaten the former FBI director, etc.

    Just think about what the tweet says about the terms on which the President and Comey parted ways. There’s the way Comey was fired, while in Los Angeles talking to recruits. There’s the fact that Trump didn’t give him the courtesy of a call. There’s the fact that Trump followed up by calling Comey a grandstander and otherwise impugning his character and reputation. There’s the fact that Comey was fired shortly after making it clear that the investigation of Trump was ongoing and in need of more resources.

    And, finally, there’s the fact that Trump claimed that Comey wasn’t investigating him at all and had even assured him of this on three separate occasions. This claim is now what Trump is trying to defend by suggesting he has tapes to prove it. Maybe he does have tapes, but more likely he does not. He probably is desperate to avoid having Comey testify that he is lying.

    But Comey has no choice but to testify to that. To assume otherwise is to assume that Trump is telling the truth, and if that were the case it would be for the first time in this whole saga.

    Trump thinks the so-called Deep State is out to get him but the Deep State tried to warn him that Michael Flynn was in the pay of the Russians and he didn’t care or listen. He’s made war on them over and over again, from dismissing their assessments of Russia’s role in the elections, to disrespecting their dead at CIA headquarters, to now threatening James Comey. Only a fool goes after the intelligence community like this, especially when they’re not at fault.

    This is an epic miscalculation by the president, because he’s in the wrong and virtually no one has his back. The few people who are half-heartedly defending him today will be gone tomorrow, but the intelligence community isn’t going anywhere.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      “The few people who are half-heartedly defending him today will be gone tomorrow…”

      True. He will be alone.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Clapper: ‘Uneasy’ Comey Told Me Trump Invited Him To White House Dinner (VIDEO)

    Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Friday directly contradicted President Trump’s claim that ousted FBI Director James Comey had asked Trump to have dinner a week after the President’s inauguration to ask to keep his job. He said that Comey told him he was “uneasy” about attending the dinner….

    lapper told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday about a farewell ceremony Comey had hosted for him earlier the same day, Jan. 27.

    “And Jim and I spoke briefly before the ceremony and he mentioned that he had been invited to the White House to have dinner with the President, and that he was uneasy with that because of even compromising the — even the optics, the appearance of independence, not only of him, but of the FBI,” Clapper recalled.

    “But he was going that very night to the dinner. Did he explain why he felt he had to go?” Mitchell asked.

    “Well, I think anyone who is serving office in the government, and you’re asked by the President for dinner, I think as professional courtesy, you’re in a difficult position to refuse to go,” Clapper said. “But I do know he was uneasy with it, just for the appearance of compromising the independence of the FBI, which is a hallowed tenet in our system.”

    I know Clapper is just a choker, but most Americans will believe his versions over the Shitgibbons.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Norm Eisen‏Verified account @ NormEisen 49m49 minutes ago
    Norm Eisen Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    this tweet another possible trump crime: 18 USC 1512, witness intimidation. comey witness 2trump’s possible obstruction by demanding loyalty

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump ‘would not be well-received’ at FBI headquarters
    05/12/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    There was quite a bit of chatter yesterday morning that Donald Trump would stop by FBI headquarters as a way of signaling support for the bureau in the wake of the president firing its director. It’s easy to imagine the scene Trump envisioned: he’d stop by, shake a few hands, tell a few jokes, maybe hand out a few electoral maps, and win the FBI over with some presidential charm.

    I was eager to see what kind of reception he’d receive, but the plan was apparently scrapped. NBC News explained why.

    The White House has abandoned the idea of President Trump visiting FBI headquarters after being told he would not be greeted warmly, administration officials told NBC News.

    Amid the continuing fallout over his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, Trump was considering an appearance at the FBI’s J Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington, DC. The White House publicly floated the idea as recently as Thursday morning.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Another day, another threat
    Liberal Librarian
    May 12, 2017

    Instability-in-chief Donald Trump had this to tweet out this morning:

    The longer the GOP allows this to go on, the more the Republic is in danger. The Constitution is merely a piece of paper unless all stakeholders uphold it. Right now, Republicans are not abiding by the spirit of the Constitution, and are abiding by the letter of it only by the skin of their teeth. We can argue whether or not collusion with Russia is treason. But what Trump is doing now in upending Constitutional norms as the noose tightens around him is treason. We pledge loyalty not to men or women, but to this 200 year old document. Once we betray it, we betray everything.

    The GOP, in its quest for absolute power, has allowed a viper into the nest. This snake threatens to kill us all. Only the GOP has the power to stop him at this moment. By the time Democrats retake the House and Senate and remove him post-2018, the damage, though not irreparable, will take even longer to fix. It’s time to excise this cancer. Now.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Mr. President, if there are “tapes” relevant to the Comey firing, it’s because you made them and they should be provided to Congress.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 12, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    (Bloomberg) — Several White House officials decline to comment on whether President Trump is recording his conversations— David S. Joachim (@davidjoachim) May 12, 2017

  15. Sessions is gunning for blacks and POC. He’s got to fill those private prisons.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Can some judge demand Dolt45’s tapes?

  17. rikyrah says:

    Judge orders Trump to share Giuliani memo on crafting “legally sound” Muslim ban

    — The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    SAVE LIBRARIES TODAY!Super easy to check if your Senator or House Rep. has signed and/or send the letter. Just go to

    — y davis (@davisym00) May 12, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:


    GOP senators propose Merrick Garland as replacement for Comey at FBI

    — The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2017

    • Tyren M. says:

      You already know. Nope. Nope and Nope. Lifetime appointment v. fireable by this fool or his replacement? Next.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Every single word of this:

    — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 12, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    This commission is designed to impugn the integrity of Black and Latino participation in the political process.

    — Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) May 12, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    God is good….blessings for everyone today.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian officials grows more alarming
    05/11/17 10:11 AM—UPDATED 05/11/17 10:18 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At face value, it looked ridiculous. The day after Donald Trump fired the FBI director overseeing the investigation into the Russia scandal, the president welcomed Russian officials into the Oval Office for a chat. Soon after, the world was treated to photographs from the Russian Foreign Ministry – not the White House or U.S. news organizations – of Trump shaking hands with Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

    It wasn’t long before many started wondering why American journalists were barred from the event, but Russia’s official news agency was allowed in.

    The Washington Post took this a step further, highlighting the possibility of a security breach.

    A photographer for a Russian state-owned news agency was allowed into the Oval Office on Wednesday during President Trump’s meeting with Russian diplomats, a level of access that was criticized by former U.S. intelligence officials as a potential security breach.

    The officials cited the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics. Former U.S. intelligence officials raised questions after photos of Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were posted online by the Tass news agency…. Other former intelligence officials also described the access granted to the photographer as a potential security lapse, noting that standard screening for White House visitors would not necessarily detect a sophisticated espionage device.

  24. rikyrah says:

    With Comey firing, Trump delivers ‘a gut punch’ to the FBI
    05/11/17 12:42 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Throughout much of the last year, before and after Election Day, Donald Trump took jaw-dropping shots at U.S. intelligence agencies, questioning their competence, judgment, and professionalism. At one point, the Republican even compared American intelligence professionals to Nazis.

    For a president to launch these kinds of rhetorical attacks was outrageous on its face, and it creates a dangerous governing dynamic. But Trump’s tantrums were also at odds with his own self-interest. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Rachel earlier this year, “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you. So even for a practical supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

    The comment came to mind reading the Washington Post’s report on Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and how the news was received by Comey’s former colleagues.

    Within the Justice Department and the FBI, the firing of Comey has left raw anger, and some fear, according to multiple officials. Thomas O’Connor, the president of the FBI Agents Association, called Comey’s firing “a gut punch. We didn’t see it coming, and we don’t think Director Comey did anything that would lead to this.”

    Many employees said they were furious about the firing, saying the circumstances of his dismissal did more damage to the FBI’s independence than anything Comey did in his three-plus years in the job.

    One intelligence official who works on Russian espionage matters said they were more determined than ever to pursue such cases. Another said Comey’s firing and the subsequent comments from the White House are attacks that won’t soon be forgotten. Trump had “essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI,” one official said. “I think there will be a concerted effort to respond over time in kind.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    White House connects Comey firing, ‘conclusion’ of Russia probe
    05/11/17 04:40 PM
    By Steve Benen

    This was probably not a smart thing to say given the circumstances.

    The White House said Thursday that removing FBI Director James Comey from his post may hasten the agency’s investigation into Russian meddling.

    “We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity,” said deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders, referring to the FBI’s probe into Moscow’s interference in last year’s election. “And we think that we’ve actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.”

    CNN’s report characterized this as a “surprising admission from the White House that Comey’s sudden dismissal on Tuesday may have an effect on the Russia probe.”

    That’s right.

    In terms of the context, the White House’s contradictions reflect a degree of internal chaos. Two days ago, in a Fox News interview, Sanders, the president’s principal deputy press secretary, said the White House wants the investigation into the Russia scandal to end. “It’s time to move on,” she argued.

    A day later – which is to say, yesterday – during the White House press briefing, Sanders changed direction, saying the president wants the investigation to keep going. Trump, she said, wants Justice Department officials “to continue with whatever they see appropriate and sees fit, just the same as he’s encouraged the House and Senate committees to continue any ongoing investigations.”

    And today, she changed back, saying the White House wants the investigation to “come to its conclusion.”

    But looking past the inconsistencies, the more serious concern is the White House linking Comey’s firing to Team Trump’s desire to see the probe end.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Yep….knew it…

    Exclusive: DoJ won’t say if Sessions is recused on Manafort
    Rachel Maddow reports that contrary to popular belief, former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has not registered as a foreign agent, and the DoJ won’t say if A.G. Jeff Sessions is recused on Manafort matters.

  27. rikyrah says:

    No lie…always follow the $$$$$

    Sen Wyden: Trump investigation should follow the money
    Senator Ron Wyden, member of the Senate Finance and Intelligence Committees, talks with Rachel Maddow about why he thinks the Trump-Russia investigation should focus on Donald Trump’s business ties.

  28. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Sen Wyden: I don’t feel Mike Pompeo was straight with us on Flynn
    Senator Ron Wyden talks with Rachel Maddow about his feeling that CIA Director Mike Pompeo was not being forthcoming about Mike Flynn, and challenges the investigation has had getting information from the CIA.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Rep Swalwell: Sessions obviously not recused on Trump probe
    Rep. Eric Swalwell, member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the challenge of getting an honest investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and interference in the 2016 election.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Mike Pence gets caught making yet another bogus claim
    05/12/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    There’s room for an interesting debate about who’s ultimately to blame for Mike Pence’s public falsehoods, but there’s no denying the fact that the list of the vice president’s bogus claims is getting longer. Politico reported yesterday:

    Vice President Mike Pence has once again delivered the White House line, in the face of growing contradictory evidence, on a charged topic related to Russia’s possible connections to the Trump campaign.

    In meetings on Capitol Hill and in interviews, Pence has said this week that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    In fact, Pence was rather specific when talking to reporters on Wednesday, saying, “Let me be very clear that the president’s decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people this nation.”

    We now know these comments weren’t true – because Pence’s boss has now admitted as much. Trump acknowledged yesterday that his decision to the FBI director wasn’t related to the Justice Department’s recommendations, and wasn’t “based solely and exclusively” on the national interests. On the contrary, the president said it was Comey’s investigation into the Russia scandal that served as the motivation for the firing.

    Pence also said Wednesday that it was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who “made the recommendation” on Comey, which Trump accepted. We now know that’s not what happened: Trump told Rosenstein to write the memo to justify a decision the president had already made.

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday that it’s “a terrible thing to watch” the vice president undermine his own credibility this way. That’s true, but let’s not forget that it’s also a terrible thing that Pence keeps doing this.

  31. Liza says:

    Paranoia, dementia, Narcissistic Personality Disorder-invoke the 25th Amendment, Section 4. Its also perhaps the easiest way out.— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) May 12, 2017


  32. rikyrah says:

    Trump struggles to explain Michael Flynn controversy
    05/12/17 09:24 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Perhaps the president could explain what he considers an “emergency.”

    President Donald Trump defended the delay in firing former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in exclusive interview on Thursday with NBC News’ Lester Holt.

    There was an 18-day gap between the heads up from former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates regarding Flynn’s activities with the Russians and his removal by the White House.

    “(White House counsel Don) McGahn came back to me and did not sound like an emergency,” Trump said of Yates’ information about Flynn.

    Hmm. President Obama had warned Trump about Michael Flynn; there were multiple news accounts on Flynn receiving money from Russia; and then the acting U.S. Attorney General warned the White House – multiple times – that the White House National Security Advisor had been compromised by Russia and was vulnerable to a foreign adversary’s blackmail.

    Trump heard this and thought it “did not sound like an emergency.” In fact, the president decided to do nothing and continued to provide Flynn with access to the nation’s most sensitive secrets.

    In yesterday’s interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, Trump added, “This man (Flynn) has served for many years, he’s a general, he’s a – in my opinion – a very good person. I believe that it would be very unfair to hear from somebody who we don’t even know and immediately run out and fire a general.”

    Even for Trump, this is bizarre. The person “we don’t even know” referred to Sally Yates, who happens to be the Justice Department official that Trump named as acting Attorney General. She’s also the one who told Trump’s White House that Flynn was not only compromised, and not only lying about his Russian contacts, but that the “underlying conduct” Flynn was lying about was itself problematic.

    And yet, at this point, Trump is still defending Flynn.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Trump threatens Comey with provocative reference to ‘tapes’
    05/12/17 10:12 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump had the latest in a series of Twitter tantrums this morning, which wouldn’t ordinarily be especially notable, except this one included what appeared to be a provocative threat:

    “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
    As 19-word presidential missives go, this may be prove to be quite consequential.

    On the surface, Trump’s tweet appears to be a not-so-veiled threat against the former FBI director, whom the president fired this week because of Trump’s opposition to Comey’s investigation into the Russia scandal. This, in and of itself, is outrageously inappropriate and of dubious legality.

    Indeed, the fact that the president is publicly warning a potential witness to remain quiet only adds to concerns about Trump possibly obstructing justice. Norm Eisen, the chief ethics lawyer in the Obama White House, characterized the president’s tweet this morning as a possible crime.

    But then there’s that reference to “tapes.”

    The word admittedly appears in quotes – and we know that the president hasn’t the foggiest idea how quotation marks work – so it’s possible that Trump wasn’t being literal. It’s also possible that Trump just revealed the existence of recordings he has of private conversations.

  34. rikyrah says:

    It’s Time to Investigate the President for Possible Obstruction of Justice
    by Nancy LeTourneau May 12, 2017 10:03 AM

    Last night I wrote about the bombshells in the clips released from Trump’s interview with Lester Holt. To recap, the most significant being that the president admitted that, on three separate occasions, he asked the former FBI director if he was under investigation. That alone was jaw-dropping because it points to a possible obstruction of justice.

    When the entire interview was released, it became even more so. Here is the significant exchange:

    He [Rosenstein] made a recommendation, he’s highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy. The Democrats like him, the Republicans like him. He made a recommendation. But regardless of [the] recommendation, I was going to fire Comey. Knowing there was no good time do it!

    And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, “You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

    The President of the United States just admitted on national television that, when he made the decision to fire Comey, he was was thinking about the Russia investigation and implied that he wanted to end it.

    Meanwhile, the president isn’t the only one dropping bombshells. Friends of James Comey are starting to talk too. Michael Schmidt reports that a couple of them said that Trump invited Comey to a dinner in which he asked the FBI director for loyalty.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Bombshells From Trump’s Interview with Lester Holt
    Today’s picks are what we’ll all be talking about tomorrow.

    by Nancy LeTourneau May 11, 2017 4:35 PM

    All of today’s “Quick Takes” will come from the bombshells contained in this clip of Donald Trump’s interview with Lester Holt.

    * First of all, it’s interesting to note that at the beginning of the clip the president is talking about former FBI Director James Comey and refers to him as a “showboat” and “grandstander.”

    I was reminded of all of the reports about how Steve Bannon was reigned in by Trump when the press began referring to him as the guy who controlled the president. So this is part of why Trump was angry with Comey—he was threatening the president’s dominance.

    * Secondly, Trump just went against everything the White House has said (including what was in his own memo to Comey) about the process of deciding to fire the FBI director. Several times he reiterated that he had already made the decision to fire Comey before he got the recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

    Trump’s statement he “was going to fire regardless of recommendation” contradicts every on-the-record statement from WH aides in past 2 days

    — Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 11, 2017

    Once again, listening to Trump talk about that it is impossible to escape the fact that he needed to assert his own dominance as “the decider.”

    * Those statements from Trump expose the fact that VP Pence has been lying.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Trump threatens Comey in new tweet

    By Eugene Scott, CNN
    Updated 9:52 AM ET, Fri May 12, 2017

    (CNN)President Donald Trump issued a thinly veiled threat Friday to fired FBI Director James Comey, an extraordinary development in the ongoing feud between the President and the agencies investigating alleged ties between his campaign and Russia.

    “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,” the President tweeted.

    James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

    When he fired Comey earlier this week, Trump garnered comparisons to President Richard Nixon and his infamous decision to remove the special prosecutor investigating Watergate crimes in 1973. The Watergate scandal accelerated drastically when it was revealed Nixon taped conversations in the White House. Trump didn’t provide further details Friday on whether he was taping conversations.

  37. rikyrah says:

    What the Commission on Election Integrity Tells Us About Trump
    by Nancy LeTourneau May 12, 2017 7:00 AM

    With the signing of an executive order creating a commission on election integrity, Trump is finally fulfilling his promise to put VP Pence in charge of an investigation into his lies about massive voter fraud. They are touting this as a bipartisan effort by claiming that the commission will not only investigate voter fraud, but that voter suppression with also be a part of its charter.

    But it is interesting to note that, as Ed Kilgore wrote, Pence is “what passes for a bipartisan figure in the administration.” Martin has already weighed in on the racist Trump appointed to be the other co-chair, Kris Kobach. I’d simply ad this little tidbit from a profile on Koblach that Suzy Khimm did a few years ago.

    In addition to filing lawsuits against the Arizona and Alabama laws, the [Obama] DOJ has taken action against Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose officers Kobach helped train in immigration enforcement. In December, Arpaio’s officers were forced to hand in their federal credentials due to complaints about their immigration enforcement tactics, which the DOJ called illegal and discriminatory.

    This is the man, along with Pence, that Trump has put in charge of a commission they are suggesting will be “bipartisan,” someone who is anathema to everything Democrats believe in when it comes to civil rights and voting rights.


    What is important about all this is that it provides a pretty good window into why Trump and his administration are incapable of doing anything in a bipartisan manner. The pretext of this commission would be like President Obama appointing Louis Farrakhan to investigate religious tolerance, adding a couple of Republican back-benchers and calling it bipartisan. Can you imagine the howls we’d hear from the right about that?

  38. rikyrah says:

    In normal times, this would have been the lead on every broadcast.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  40. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.

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