Friday Open Thread | Trump asking advisers about ability to pardon aides, family members & himself

President Trump has asked advisers about “his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with” the Russia probe, the Washington Post reports citing a source familiar with the discussions. Another source said Trump’s lawyers were “discussing pardoning powers among themselves.”

Per several aides, Trump’s lawyers are “are actively compiling a list of [special counsel Robert] Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work.”

“The president is also irritated by the notion that Mueller’s probe could reach into his and his family’s finances.”

Beschloss: If Trump thinks he can easily pardon himself/fire Mueller—could be Constitutional crisis that’d make Watergate look like a minor event

Trump “has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.”

Trump’s lawyers declined to comment. Mark Corallo, the spokesman for his legal team, resigned Thursday, the Post reports.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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99 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Trump asking advisers about ability to pardon aides, family members & himself

  1. Ametia says:

    Janee Harteau resigned amid calls for new leadership in the department following the shooting last week. In a statement released Friday, Harteau said: “I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be.” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she asked for the chief’s resignation.

  2. Breaking News: WaPo: Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show.

  3. We already knew damn well Susan Rice didn’t do anything wrong. When ppl like @DevinNunes want a scapegoat…pick a black person. We see you!

  4. check your email Rikyrah, Ametia

  5. rikyrah says:

    Disabled and disdained
    In rural America, some towns are divided between those who work and those who don’t

    GRUNDY, Va. — Five days earlier, his mother had spent the last of her disability check on bologna, cheese, bread and Pepsi. Two days earlier, he had gone outside and looked at the train tracks that wind between the coal mines and said, “I don’t know how I’m going to get out of this.” One day earlier, the family dog had collapsed from an unnamed illness, and, without money for a veterinarian, he had watched her die on the porch. And now it was Monday morning, and Tyler McGlothlin, 19, had a plan.

    “About time to go,” said his mother, Sheila McGlothlin, 57, stamping out a cigarette.

    “I’m ready,” Tyler said, walking across a small, decaying house wedged against a mountain and strewn with dirty dishes, soda cans and ashtrays. They went outside, stepping past bottles of vodka his father had discarded before disappearing into another jail cell, and climbed a dirt path toward a housemate’s car.

    He knew his plan was not a good one. But what choice did he have? He had looked inside the refrigerator that morning, and the math didn’t add up. Five people were living in the house, none of whom worked. It would be 17 days before his mother received another disability check and more food stamps. And the refrigerator contained only seven eggs, two pieces of bologna, 24 slices of Kraft American cheese, some sliced ham and one pork chop.

    It had to be done.

    Tyler would hold a sign on the side of the road and beg for money. He would go to a town 30 miles down the road and stand at one of the region’s busiest intersections, where he prayed no one would recognize him, to plead for help from people whose lives seemed so far removed from his own.

    To Tyler, the collapse of the coal industry had left two kinds of people in these mountains. There are those who work. And there are those who don’t: the unemployed, the disabled, the addicted, and the people who, like his family, belonged to all three groups. Those who work rarely mix with those who don’t, except in brief encounters at the grocery store, at the schools or, for Tyler, along the side of the road, where he knew he was likely to encounter acts of generosity as well as outbursts of resentment.

    As he walked toward the car and got inside, he had so many hopes in his head. He hoped he would get enough money to feed his family. He hoped the cops wouldn’t arrest him. But most of all, he hoped he wouldn’t run into a man named David Hess.
    It was Hess who had surfaced the subterranean tensions between those who work and those who don’t in this depopulating and remote stretch of Virginia. In a moment that continues to resonate here, in the counties of Tazewell, where one in six working-age residents collect federal disability benefits, and Buchanan, where more than one in four do, Hess had confronted the McGlothlins late last year for panhandling, then issued a mocking social media post that soon had everyone talking and taking sides.

    Were the McGlothlins pitiable or contemptible? Was Hess cruel or simply unafraid to say what others thought?

    The morning of the first confrontation, in November, Hess, a man with a crew cut and hands scarred from years of work, slept until noon. His moving company had done a big job the day before, and when he awoke, he noticed he was nearly out of dog food, so he left his house, a brick ranch atop a steep hill. After collecting the dog food from a grocery store, he saw Tyler’s father, Dale McGlothlin, a former coal miner living on disability, holding a sign along the side of the road. “Need donations to help to feed my family,” it said.

    Hess pulled over. He offered him food, then told him he could do him one better: Would he like a job? McGlothlin, whose arms had been damaged in the coal mines and who hadn’t worked in more than a decade, declined the offer, and Hess drove off, outraged.

    Living at the center of an opioid crisis, and in the aftermath of a decades-long surge in the nation’s disability rolls, Hess had long perceived a resistance to work. He had seen it when he couldn’t find anyone to hire who could pass a drug test and had a driver’s license. Or when someone complained they couldn’t find work, and he knew fast-food restaurants were hiring. Or when he saw someone claiming a disability despite having what he thought was a mild condition. He would come away thinking he worked 60 hours a week — despite a thyroid condition, despite two bankruptcies, despite the depressed local economy — not because he felt like it but because that was who he was. And now here was another person who didn’t want to work — he wanted a handout, a concept that so angered Hess that his Facebook profile picture was an outstretched palm with a large red strike across it.

    He drove home. He emerged a while later with his own sign and returned to the intersection. There, Hess stood beside McGlothlin, who he said had told him he could make more money panhandling than working, and raised the sheet of cardboard.

    “I offered him a job,” the sign said. “And he refused.”

    He posted a picture of it on Facebook. “Many of you know I am very pro work,” he wrote, recounting what he had done. “I made up my own sign and joined him. PLEASE SHARE.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    What Happened to ‘Buy American, Hire American?’
    by Martin Longman
    July 21, 2017 12:55 PM

    Some people have a problem with the fact that Donald Trump doesn’t staff up his own resorts exclusively with American citizens. Others are more bothered by the hypocrisy:

    President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House’s “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers.

    Those requests were made to the Department of Labor in recent days and posted online Thursday. The for-profit club, where Trump spent numerous weekends this spring, asked permission to hire 15 housekeepers, 20 cooks and 35 waiters.

    In addition, Trump’s golf club in nearby Jupiter, Fla. asked permission to hire six foreign workers as cooks. The applications to the Department of Labor are a first step in the process of applying for H-2B visas, which would allow the clubs to bring in foreigners for temporary work between October and next May.

    Should Trump try harder to find American cooks, housekeepers and waiters? Couldn’t he post on Twitter that he’s seeking qualified applicants and fill these positions easily? I think that would probably work, don’t you?

  7. rikyrah says:

    Why Republicans Are Failing to Repeal Obamacare
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    July 21, 2017 2:01 PM

    While Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare continue, it is evident that they are failing more spectacularly than most people assumed they would immediately after the election. There has been a lot of chatter about why that is the case. It includes talk about how Trump hasn’t actually outlined an alternative and has given very mixed signals about what the administration thinks should be done. Similarly, Republican leadership has been put under the microscope for their approach. It has even been suggested that if the GOP had elected a more moderate president, they would have been successful in their attempts to repeal Obamacare.

    All of that is typical punditry, which zeros in on politicians and dismisses the role played by the public. The New York Times captured what is probably the more significant reason for this failure in an article titled, “These Americans Hated the Health Law. Until the Idea of Repeal Sank In.” They traveled to Bucks County, Pennsylvania—a perennial swing district outside Philadelphia—to talk to voters about health care and found what we have been seeing nationally.

    When President Trump was elected, his party’s long-cherished goal of dismantling the Affordable Care Act seemed all but assured. But eight months later, Republicans seem to have done what the Democrats who passed the law never could: make it popular among a majority of Americans.

    Support for the Affordable Care Act has risen since the election — in some polls, sharply — with more people now viewing the law favorably than unfavorably. Voters have besieged their representatives with emotional telephone calls and rallies, urging them not to repeal, one big reason Republicans have had surprising trouble in fulfilling their promise despite controlling both Congress and the White House…

    The shift in mood also reflects a strong increase in support for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor that the law expanded to cover far more people, and which faces the deepest cuts in its 52-year history under the Republican plans.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Reminder: Cardin, Warner want to investigate whether Scaramucci’s firm, SkyBridge Capital, violated Russia sanctions
    — Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) July 21, 2017
    That’s because Scaramucci reportedly discussed joint investments w/the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund sanctioned by the US in 2015.
    — Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) July 21, 2017

  9. rikyrah says:

    (202) 224-3121
    (202) 224-3121
    (202) 224-3121
    (202) 224-3121
    (202) 224-3121
    Call your senators now to vote NO on the GOP health care bill.
    — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 21, 2017

  10. rikyrah says:

    Congratulations Sean Spicer. You’ve got more guts than Jeff Sessions!
    — Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) July 21, 2017

  11. rikyrah says:

    Here is every stunning look Michelle Obama’s rocked in her six months since leaving the White House
    — Mic (@mic) July 21, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    The BCRA, it transpires,
    Is short of the votes it requires
    So may not endure
    And harm all the poor
    Like Mr. McConnell desires.
    — Limericking (@Limericking) July 18, 2017

  13. rikyrah says:

    Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump supported Anthony Scaramucci’s hiring and Steve Bannon vehemently opposed it, a White House official says
    — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 21, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    Republicans’ failure to overhaul health care is a testament to Obama’s vision and tenacity, writes Andrew Sullivan
    — Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) July 21, 2017

    • Ametia says:

      No shit Sherlock, Sullivan. The GOP had ions to come up with a healthcare bill. This isn’t rocket science. They NEVER wanted any type of healthcare bill, law, etc. EVER!!!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Trump makes an odd choice for White House communications director
    07/21/17 10:04 AM—UPDATED 07/21/17 10:21 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The Trump administration is expected to name former Trump transition team official Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director, four sources in and close to the White House told NBC News Thursday.

    The news of the expected appointment was first reported by Axios. A White House official said the move is expected to be announced Friday.

    If Scaramucci’s name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen him on television several times, defending Trump in dubious ways. My personal favorite came in December on MSNBC, when Scaramucci, hoping to provide cover for Trump’s routine departures from the truth, said in all seriousness, “Don’t take him literally, take him symbolically. See, it’s different.”

    Scaramucci, one of six Goldman Sachs veterans with prominent positions in the administration despite Trump using the finance giant as a campaign punching bag, was initially supposed to serve in the White House Office of Public Liaison – the president wanted him to be Team Trump’s “liaison” to the business community – but Chief of Staff Reince Priebus reportedly scuttled the move.

    As for Scaramucci’s qualifications as a communications professional, he doesn’t seem to have any, never having worked in political communications aside from occasional television appearances on Trump’s behalf.

    That, evidently, was enough to impress the president, who hasn’t taken qualifications too seriously anyway.

  16. rikyrah says:

    NYT: Spicer resigns
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 21, 2017

  17. Tyren M. says:

    Good morning 3Chics,
    It’s been a trip watching the local media try officer Noor. The Police Chief and union throw him unda unda the bus. None of this “wait til the facts come out” shit they usually do. The NRA reveal themselves as a white nationalist organization. Nothing like the aftermath of the Castile Murder.

    Speaking of Castile, the great white get together aka MN State Fair is a month away. Falcon Heights will be (as the kids say) lit! Have a good weekend all.

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Unbelievable Hypocrisy of Free-Speech Conservatives
    Republicans who accuse college students of hampering free speech should actually practice what they preach.

    by Jim Sleeper
    July 21, 2017

    Why did it take the latest damning revelations about the Trump family’s Russia connections to provoke Fox News anchor Shepard Smith to ask “Why is it lie after lie after lie?…If there’s nothing there—and that’s what they tell us…If all of that, why all these lies?”

    Fox News has abetted so many of the president’s cons that Smith’s outburst was indeed surprisingly off message for the network. But why—throughout Trump’s vulgar, violence-invoking, free-speech-ravaging ascent to the White House and now through his first six months in office—have so many others in the chattering classes remained fixated on a much smaller danger to our freedoms: politically correct college students?

    Instead of challenging Trump’s threats against open expression and inquiry—including his own debasement of “free speech” in a one-man cacophony of self-contradictory tweets and Rose Garden lies—a national chorus of alarm, goaded by a well-funded crusade, has spent most of the last year-and-a-half hunting up threats to our freedoms from students and deans on some of the nation’s college campuses.

  19. rikyrah says:

    An Administration That Is Choosing Silence Over Science
    by Nancy LeTourneau July 21, 2017 8:02 AM

    There is a reason why Obama chose to visit Alaska as a way to highlight the need for action on climate change. Joel Clement, who was the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Interior Department explains.

    The Alaska Native villages of Kivalina, Shishmaref and Shaktoolik are perilously close to melting into the Arctic Ocean. In a region that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, the land upon which citizens’ homes and schools stand is newly vulnerable to storms, floods and waves. As permafrost melts and protective sea ice recedes, these Alaska Native villages are one superstorm from being washed away, displacing hundreds of Americans and potentially costing lives. The members of these communities could soon become refugees in their own country.

    Dealing with that threat was Clement’s job at the Interior Department…until last week.

    I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

    I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

    Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies…

    I believe I was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities. During the months preceding my reassignment, I raised the issue with White House officials, senior Interior officials and the international community, most recently at a U.N. conference in June. It is clear to me that the administration was so uncomfortable with this work, and my disclosures, that I was reassigned with the intent to coerce me into leaving the federal government.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Does Trump Know He’s Lying?
    Yes. He just doesn’t care.

    by Nancy LeTourneau
    July 20, 2017 2:27 PM

    Shortly after the inauguration in January, Jennifer Rubin posed an interesting question.

    The supposition among pundits, elected officials and political insiders is that Trump, like his argument over the inaugural crowd size, “lies” to make himself feel better. His staff salutes, repeats his lies and then gets bashed. What if, however, he thoroughly, “honestly” believes his crazy, unsubstantiated claims? When he denies saying something, what if he honestly does not, cannot recall statements that now come back to haunt him?

    …Before reverting to sycophantic form after his primary defeat, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), incensed about Trump’s assertion that Cruz’s father participated in the JFK assassination, called Trump a “pathological liar.” He said, “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And he had a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook. His response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”

    Putting aside the psychiatric lingo, Cruz’s essential point — Trump cannot tell what is real and what is not — surely looks right on point less than a week into the presidency.

    We may now have an answer to the question about whether or not the president is aware that he’s lying.


    All of this adds up to the fact that Trump was lying during the campaign and knew it.

    None of this is a refutation of what I’ve written previously about his mental unfitness for office. Contrary to what Rubin was suggesting, he knows the difference between the truth and a lie. The situation is actually more dire. He doesn’t care.

    • Ametia says:


      Stop trying to assuage this orange POS with this nonsense of him not knowing he’s lying, Jennifer Rubin.


  21. rikyrah says:

    White dude to NYT on #ObamaCare: “I can’t even remember why I opposed it.”
    Really?! Cool story, bro.
    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) July 21, 2017

    Hmmm….let’s see. Maybe you opposed #ObamaCare because the president was black, black, black, BLACK.
    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) July 21, 2017

    i guess obamacare looks better to folks now that the president isn’t so blackity black.
    — Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) July 21, 2017

    • Ametia says:

      It should NEVER be a surprise that some white folks will take credit for any and everything known to man. will revise, reinvent, whitesplain, whitewash, any and everything rather than RECOGNIZE the sheer BRILLIANCE, INGENUITY, AND GOD-GIVEN CREATIVITY of


  22. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP confirms controversial Trump nominee to appeals court
    07/21/17 10:42 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Asked this week about his party’s difficulties in governing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters, “We have a new Supreme Court justice,”

    The point wasn’t subtle: the Republicans may be struggling to advance their legislative agenda, but the party is nevertheless moving the federal judiciary to the right. And while this may seem like an argument intended to rationalize failure, McConnell’s argument isn’t wrong.

    Yesterday, for example, Senate Republicans voted unanimously to confirm John Bush, a Donald Trump nominee to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. And who’s John Bush? Let’s revisit a recent piece from Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick:

    Blogging under a pseudonym, the Kentucky lawyer wrote more than 400 posts for the website Elephants in the Bluegrass. His wide-ranging and unfiltered commentary has included, for instance, the claim that abortion and slavery are “[t]he two greatest tragedies in our country.” His blog posts have cited conspiracy theories and false information, including references to the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States.

    In his Senate questionnaire, he described the vicious 1991 beating of Rodney King as a “police encounter.” As Eleanor Clift notes in the Daily Beast, he has also gone on record arguing that the Supreme Court made a bad ruling in the landmark freedom of the press case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In the Trump era, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  23. rikyrah says:

    An unpersuasive defense of Trump’s health care ignorance
    07/21/17 09:26 AM—UPDATED 07/21/17 09:37 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump’s ignorance about health care is obvious. Just this week, the president, while bragging about his expertise on the subject, made plain that he simply doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about.

    The question, however, is whether Trump’s illiteracy is consequential. MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson asked Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) about this yesterday, and the Republican senator did his best to defend his party’s president.

    “In your conversations with him, do you think the President understands the political, the policy intricacies of this bill?” Jackson asked.

    “I don’t think it’s important for him to understand the policy intricacies of this bill,” Cassidy replied. “What’s important for him is to understand the principle – his principle is that there should be a replace associated with repeal. And during the campaign he consistently said he wanted to continue coverage for those who had, cover preexisting conditions, eliminate mandates and lower premiums, those are very good principles by which to go.”

    For now, let’s put aside the fact that Trump’s purported “principles” on health care have been easily discarded, and practically every promise he made to American voters – including his vow not to cut Medicaid – has already been broken.

    Let’s instead focus on Cassidy’s broader point: that the president doesn’t really have to understand the substantive details. I can appreciate the motivations behind the argument, but it’s still unpersuasive.

  24. rikyrah says:

    “How Russia Mercilessly Played Trump for a Fool”

    …Any American suspected by the Soviets of being a mole would have been shot or exiled or locked in a Siberian hole. Just to be safe. The Russians would not have been bothered by things like justice or the truth. They would never have trusted, and this would have made them worse human beings and better spies. This was characterological. It was central to the Russian condition. It was not a result of Sovietism but an enabler of it. It was born of a peasant-like distrust, violence, rot, a bloody, sweaty, mud- and manure-splattered wariness. The Americans were not made this way. They could study the ways of other people, but they could not be them. The best Americans, the ones who grasped the cognitive-cultural oceans separating America and Russia, entered into combat with Moscow with a great chariness. They understood that, when it came to subterfuge, they were at a disadvantage. They tried to inoculate themselves.

    All this seems to have been lost on Trump, his retinue of loyalists and hangers-on, and the odd assortment of tertiary characters, like Russian recruitment target Carter Page, who peopled Trump’s campaign. These are not the best Americans. They are nihilists à la Steve Bannon, “idiots” like Page, neophytes like Trump Jr., or opportunists like Manafort. They have acquired, over many months of politicking and quasi-governing, the language of the patriot without understanding what they are saying. Not only that. Their pretend patriotism, their ignorance of American history, its poetries and injustices, its constant existential confrontation with itself, leaves them especially susceptible to the allure of the authoritarian. There is a logic and clarity to the authoritarian, with his shiny toys and Potemkin bullet trains and airport terminals. The authoritarian knows how to put on a good show, and these people love to be dazzled. They are vulnerable to Putin because they admire him while not understanding where he comes from nor who he is. They have no idea whom they are doing combat with. They do not even know that they are engaged in battle, and that the battle is already won.

    • majiir says:

      It was obvious from the NYT interview that Trump knows nothing about history. This means he doesn’t know anything about U.S./Soviet/Russian history, either. In that interview, he delivered a garbled, hot mess of German and French history and thought nothing of it.

  25. Liza says:

    Attorney for Justine Damond’s family: Shooting ‘clearly an improper use of deadly force’
    The family said in a statement that they want the investigation completed as soon as possible.
    By Hannah Covington Star Tribune JULY 21, 2017 — 9:03AM

    Robert Bennett was hired earlier this week by Damond’s family members who he said is seeking justice after police gunfire killed the 40-year-old meditation teacher soon after she placed a 911 call Saturday to report a possible sexual assault.

    Bennett has worked on other high-profile cases over police conduct, including working with the family of Philando Castile in a settlement over his shooting death in Falcon Heights and representing Frank Baker, who was bitten by a police dog and kicked by a St. Paul police officer last year.

    Calling Damond “the most innocent victim” of a police shooting he has ever seen, he quickly added, “I’m not saying Philando wasn’t innocent, too, or that Frank Baker wasn’t innocent. But here is someone who called the police and was trying to stop someone from being hurt … and ends up being shot in her pajamas.”

    • Liza says:

      Apparently, even among the innocent, some murder victims are more innocent than others.

      Now what does that say?

    • Ametia says:

      I guess having a 4 year old kid in the back seat of the family car witnessing her father getting blown away and bleeding out like a fucking pig is just another day in the life of a Minnesota Black family. Or should Philando have worn pajamas the day he was shot and murdered?


      I can’t with this foolishness. NOT.TODAY

    • Liza says:

      So, Justine Damond was a kind person and her death is indeed tragic.

      It is just so strange that this attorney who represented the Castile family forgot that Philando looked after the nutritional needs of 500 children, he knew their names, and he knew the ones who had food allergies.

      Everything I’ve read about Philando Castile would have him in the top one percent of all humanity when it comes to kindness.

  26. Liza says:

    Minnesota attorney for Justine Damond's family: She's 'the most innocent victim' of police shooting he has ever seen— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) July 20, 2017


  27. rikyrah says:

    “#Trump’s deeply worrisome New York Times interview reveals a lawless president.”@ThePlumLineGS gets it right–alas
    — EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) July 20, 2017

    “The ominous threats emanating from the White House are that of an administration mobilizing for war against the rule of law” @jonathanchait
    — EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) July 21, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s NYT comments revealed he has zero sense of obligation to public.
    In the last 24 hours, it’s gotten worse.
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 21, 2017

  29. rikyrah says:

    DA PHUQ?

    EXCLUSIVE: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Trump and Putin may have met more times
    — NBC News (@NBCNews) July 21, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    From TOD:

    July 21, 2017 at 8:17 am
    45 is in self-preservation mode. He doesn’t care about the GOP’s agenda. He doesn’t care about his supposed agenda — the one upon which his voting base was built. His only care right now is protecting his businesses (I think even family is secondary) and the relationship he has with Putin, the Kremlin, and any other Russian business entities that can benefit him.

    He’s already talking PARDONS. That word in itself is an admission of guilt. He is openly announcing his efforts to obstruct/interfere with Mueller’s investigation — impeachable offenses. He is even saying why… the shadiness of his businesses must be epic; even outside of his ties to Russia.
    He’s trying to intimate that Mueller is working outside the scope of his authority. If I remember correctly, Mueller was given latitude to go WHEREVER his investigation led…even outside the scope of Russia’s interference in our elections. In fact, Mueller has already gone there.

    45 is like a rabid animal who has been trapped. He is finding that the tactics he used in business don’t work quite as well in the federal government. He is “learning” that the powers of the president are not as far-reaching as he thought. He is lashing out at any and every one. He was already dangerous, but it has gone to another level. You’re talking about someone who has a history of being vengeful…the “if someone hits him, he hits back 10 times harder” spiel.

    And yet, crickets from the GOP. Saying they are focused on their agenda and are trying to stay out of Russia “thing” is bull. They can’t do much of significance while the 45-storm continues to brew. While 45 remains in the Oval Office, there is so much damage he can do, and IS doing. His ignorance of and ignoring of protocol — especially when it comes to foreign policy, and especially when it comes to Russia — is wrecking our national security. It is apparent that he is taking his direction from Putin/the Kremlin. Reversing Obama regulations and policies is not just about trying to undo Obama’s legacy (which appeals to the GOP and his base). It is more about appeasing Putin and any other Russians he is indebted to. The legislative branch is the one that can put him in check; can move to remove him. The GOP is showing the nation — the world — that their priority is not about the common defense and general welfare of this country. Our enemies — and maybe some of our lukewarm allies — are taking advantage of this.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Aug. 5, 1974 OLC memo: “the president cannot pardon himself” (h/t @AndyMcCanse)
    — Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) July 21, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    Eric Holder: If Trump tries constrain Mueller, “this creates issues of constitutional and criminal dimension.”
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 21, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    .@NormOrnstein As you’ve said, the core of this crisis is & will be the #GOP. It’s a Death Star orbiting our future
    — Shoq (@Shoq) July 21, 2017

  34. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Throws Trump-Like Tantrum Over The CBO’s New Score Of GOP Health Plan
    — Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 21, 2017

  35. rikyrah says:

    NBC News: Multiple US officials familiar w/ Mueller probe say he’s “finding the strike zone”, continuing to gather potentially relevant docs
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 21, 2017

  36. rikyrah says:

    Left pressures Dems to oppose Wray:
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 20, 2017

  37. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh

    This is no trivial matter. Americans now lose more property to civil asset forfeiture than to burglary each year.
    — John W Lettieri (@LettieriDC) July 17, 2017

  38. rikyrah says:

    Muslim running for U.S. Senate praised the Founding Fathers. Then the diatribes began.
    — Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 20, 2017

  39. rikyrah says:

    WSJ: Special Counsel, Congress Probing Possible Money Laundering By Manafort
    Published JULY 20, 2017 6:12 PM

    The special counsel and congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election are looking into possible money laundering by President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

    The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a single unnamed source familiar with the matter, that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal probe into Russian meddling, began an inquiry several weeks ago into possible money laundering by Manafort.

    The Senate and House intelligence committees are also looking into the matter, unnamed sources with knowledge of the congressional probes told the Wall Street Journal.

    According to the report, those sources also said the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking into whether any of President Donald Trump’s businesses have financial ties to Russian interests. The panel has received reports from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the Treasury Department, per the Wall Street Journal.

    Spokespeople for Manafort and Mueller declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal.

  40. rikyrah says:

    The President at War
    Published JULY 21, 2017 1:08 AM

    …there are lots of details. But each has the same effect. President Trump will define the scope of Mueller’s investigation. Mueller will continue his investigation only as long as President Trump wants: Trump and his spokespeople have now repeatedly said that the President reserves the right to fire Mueller. The President is also prepared to pardon some or all of the people under investigation. Again, many details, one upshot: Mueller can only do what the President allows. That amounts to saying that the President will not allow the law to operate with respect to him or his family.

    From a different perspective, we are beginning to see what everyone who’s studied Trump’s business history knows: to paraphrase the Army maxim, Trump’s business would not survive first contact with real legal scrutiny. So he made clear in yesterday’s Times interview that any review of his or his family’s business history would be unacceptable.

    This paragraph from the Post is particularly striking:
    “Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face. His primary frustration centers on why allegations that his campaign coordinated with Russia should spread into scrutinizing many years of Trump dealmaking. He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.”

    It is quite remarkable that in a wide-ranging investigation into his campaign and himself Trump could have any expectation that his tax returns would remain off limits to Mueller. These are after all government documents. Highly confidential, to be sure, subject to many restrictions. But they’re not like a military service psych profile or years of private medical records. It’s an amazing admission…

    What it all comes down to is this. As I’ve written before, President Trump has been in crooked business for decades: money laundering, mob partnerships, various straight-up swindles. Statutes of limitations will have run out on most of those infractions but not all of them. This has always been obvious to me and everyone else who’s looked closely at Trump’s record. What recent weeks has made clear to me is that there’s almost certainly lots of dirty laundry tied to money deals and connivances with the Russia government.

    Trump is in many ways his own worst accuser. Anyone who’s been in business for decades would not welcome a searching legal scrutiny of years of business. Most people, certainly in Trump’s line of work, aren’t totally clean. And a determined prosecutor can often find technical infractions that in the normal course of things would never be an issue. So no one would like this. But Trump is willing to run the most unimaginable political and even criminal risks to block even the beginnings of a serious probe into his business history and the 2016 election. We are far, far past the point where there is any credible reason to doubt that President Trump is hiding major and broad-ranging wrongdoing. No mix of ego, inexperience, embarrassment or anything else can explain his behavior. It just can’t. He’s hiding bad acts. And the country is likely heading toward a major constitutional and political crisis because Trump is signaling that he will not allow the normal course of the law to apply to him – a challenge which puts the entire edifice of democratic government under threat.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Republicans’ health care process is ‘staring to feel incoherent’
    07/21/17 08:57 AM
    By Steve Benen

    To appreciate the scope of the Republicans’ mess on health care, consider this quote from a high-profile GOP senator – who happens to support his party’s regressive plans.

    “Things are starting to feel incoherent,” said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, reflecting on the health care efforts, which have turned many Republican senators against one another as efforts to negotiate the future of the Medicaid program have caused large rifts.

    With no small measure of understatement, Mr. Corker conceded, “There’s just not a lot of progress happening.”

    “Things are starting to feel incoherent” is a fair and accurate summary, though I’m inclined to take issue with the “starting to” qualifier. The Republicans’ health care gambit has felt incoherent for quite a while.

    I’ve heard from more than a few readers with questions about where things stand, so let’s dive in with a Q&A.

    Everyone said the Republican effort was dead. Then everyone said it’s alive. I no longer know what to think.

    And neither does anyone else. The original Senate Republican plan, unveiled last month, failed. Mitch McConnell then tweaked his proposal last week, only to discover this week that it didn’t have the votes, either. The Majority Leader then said he’d bring an even-more-radical “repeal and delay” plan to the floor, and more than enough GOP senators almost immediately balked.


    What will the Senate vote on?

    That’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer. In fact, Senate Republicans themselves concede that they have no idea what bill (or bills) will be considered when the floor votes begin in four days. Asked yesterday if his own members have been notified of what overhaul legislation they’ll consider early next week, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters yesterday, “That’s a luxury we don’t have.”

    It sounds crazy to think the Senate will vote in four days on overhauling one-sixth of the United States economy, and they don’t yet know what bill will be considered.


    How many possible options are we talking about here?

    It depends on how you count the bills. There’s McConnell’s original plan, McConnell’s tweaked plan, McConnell’s tweaked plan minus the Cruz Amendment, the “repeal and delay” plan (also known as the “Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act”), and even some plans pushed by individual members, such as the Graham/Cassidy plan.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Trump-Russia scandal developments raise the prospect of a crisis
    07/21/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    There was no shortage of striking developments overnight in the Trump-Russia scandal, but perhaps the most important was the Washington Post’s reporting that Donald Trump and his lawyers have had conversations about “the president’s authority to grant pardons.”

    Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

    Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority….

    Ah, yes, our “curious” president. Trump hasn’t decided to start handing out pardons like candy on Halloween; he’s just interested in learning more about whether he could – you know, in case the circumstances should arise.

    The same article added that the president was “especially disturbed” after learning that Special Counsel Bob Mueller “would be able to access several years of his tax returns.”

    It’s almost as if Trump has something to hide.

    Also overnight, the New York Times reported that the president’s team has begun “scouring the professional and political backgrounds” of members of Mueller’s team, “looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation – or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused.”

  43. rikyrah says:

    Trump business, finances part of Mueller Russia investigation
    Greg Farrell, investigative reporter for Bloomberg News, talks with Rachel Maddow about Special Counsel Robert Mueller including Donald Trump’s personal business and finances as part of the Trump Russia investigation.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Only Maddow seems to be focusing on this, and she’s absolutely right.

    Donald Trump threatens to turn back clock on FBI ethics
    Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian, talks with Rachel Maddow about the unprecedented nature of Donald Trump’s queries about pardon power and his “blood-chilling” intentions toward the FBI that would undo decades of ethical standards and independence.

  45. rikyrah says:

    WaPo: Trump seeks advice on pardoning himself, family members
    Ashley Parker, reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about new reporting that Donald Trump is trying to undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and is asking advisers about pardoning himself, aides and family members.

  46. rikyrah says:

    I was really glad that Maddow spelled this out last night. It was good for her to connect the dots.

    I’m still amused that Dolt45 thought that Attorney General White Citizens Council had any:
    a) self-respect
    b) honor

    Resign? After he’s getting to fulfill his White Supremacist fantasies?
    Phuck outta here, Dolt45.
    You wanna get rid of the KKKeebler Elf, you’re gonna have to man up and fire him.

    If Trump wants to fire Mueller, he’ll have to fire Sessions first
    Rachel Maddow looks at some of the background of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that is being looked at in the Trump Russia investigation and notes that if Trump is afraid the investigation is getting to close, he’ll have to fire Jeff Sessions before he can fire Robert Mueller.

  47. rikyrah says:

    I agree. Democrats were phucking idiots not to jam this muthaphucka up. He simply CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

    Trump’s FBI pick gets treated as if these were normal times
    07/20/17 04:45 PM—UPDATED 07/20/17 07:19 PM
    By Steve Benen


    Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the FBI, easily cleared a key Senate committee Thursday – even following an explosive Trump interview in The New York Times that prompted Democrats to raise renewed concerns of political interference with the Department of Justice.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 20-0 in favor of Wray, a former Justice Department official who has been in private practice for the past dozen years. His nomination now goes to the Senate floor, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he intends to have Wray confirmed before the August recess.

    What we’re witnessing is a process in which the Senate is treating Trump’s nominee as if these were normal circumstances – but they’re not.

    In theory, there’s a vacancy atop the FBI; the White House has chosen a qualified nominee; and the Senate Judiciary Committee was pleased with how the confirmation hearing went. The next obvious step in the process was a favorable committee vote, to be followed by a floor vote.

    But the current circumstances are anything but normal. The most recent head of the FBI was fired because Trump disapproved of an ongoing investigation the director was leading into the president and the election assistance he received from his foreign benefactors. By some accounts, Comey’s dismissal was itself evidence of obstruction of justice.

    Trump then chose Wray – rolling out his nomination in a bizarre and highly disorganized way – before suggesting that the new FBI director would be more cooperative to the White House’s plans than the old FBI director.

    I generally approve of the idea of the Senate considering a nomination on the individual’s merits, and if Wray is capable and qualified, it’s understandable to think that should effectively end the conversation. But there’s a context here that’s being overlooked: there shouldn’t be a vacancy in the FBI director’s office right now. Trump’s decision to fire Comey was an unprecedented abuse of dubious legality, and the president’s recent comments suggest his vision for Wray’s role falls far outside what should be acceptable.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Bobby Three Sticks has these muthaphuckas running scared.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄 😄

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