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Utah lawsuit against medical marijuana claims it violates the 'religious freedom' of ... landlords

While being appropriately respectful to all major religions, the new lawsuit against legalizing medical marijuana in Utah is dumb and stupid and wrong and everyone involved should feel bad about themselves. In the complaint, opponents of Proposition 2 — wh
Daily Kos

Utah lawsuit against medical marijuana claims it violates the 'religious freedom' of ... landlords

While being appropriately respectful to all major religions, the new lawsuit against legalizing medical marijuana in Utah is dumb and stupid and wrong and everyone involved should feel bad about themselves. In the complaint, opponents of Proposition 2 — which would legalize marijuana for people with an array of health conditions — said the ballot initiative would tread on their freedom of religion. The group says the measure would violate the religious beliefs of Walter J. Plumb, an attorney and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is the primary financier of the opposition campaign. Specifically, the claim is that barring landlords from refusing to rent to medical marijuana cardholders violates those landlords' «religious belief» that their tenants should just suck it up and deal with their illnesses using only the specific list of medicines a given landlord individually decides they approve of, a nonsensical sewage leak of an argument that shares the same fatal flaws as most other «religious» demands that everyone a certain «religious» person interacts with must be compelled to adhere to the «religious» edicts that Bob So-And-So demands of them. This is a landlord-tenant relationship. There's nothing religious about it. If your «religion» forbids you from renting to individuals who use certain pharmaceutical substances, get out of the rental business. Invest in coins instead, maybe? Boom, problem solved. According to this argument, it might be against a given American landlord's religion to consume certain «drugs, substances and chemicals”—but you can be absolutely assured that not once have any of these would-be Holy Apartment Renters checked to verify that their tenants with cancer were not using opioid-based pain medication because that would be monstrous and nobody would dare do such a thing. The »religious" objection being raised, then, is a purely faith-based presumption that Jeebus hates certain medically useful chemicals more than other medically useful chemicals, and given that we currently have no way of asking about it, it does not provide a plausible basis for law-making. (As far as Jesus goes, many of the Bible's greatest miracles revolve around providing ample quantities of alcohol so there's two strikes against the premise before we've even left the New Testament. But whatever.)

Catholic League 'debunks' molestation claims: it's not 'rape' if child was 'not penetrated'

The Roman Catholic Church of Pennsylvania has been in the news recently, as a report detailing the widespread coverup of at least 1,000 molested children by no less than 300 Catholic officials has gone public. What has been particularly distressing is how un
Daily Kos

Catholic League 'debunks' molestation claims: it's not 'rape' if child was 'not penetrated'

The Roman Catholic Church of Pennsylvania has been in the news recently, as a report detailing the widespread coverup of at least 1,000 molested children by no less than 300 Catholic officials has gone public. What has been particularly distressing is how unsurprising this news is to the majority of the country. Part of the reason is because for decades we have watched people like the Catholic League’s President Bill Donohue deny and victim blame in the most mind-bending ways possible. The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is what you get when you cross a talking dung beetle with central casting for a corrupt Irish official in a 1970s cop show. Donohue is probably best known for being the “tough talking” religious zealot that is sent out like a bulldog to throw cold water on any and every allegation against the Catholic church, while also attacking any and every LGBTQ civil right, because something about LGBTQ “relations” really gets under his skin and sets fire to him.* On Thursday, Donohue released a thesis called “Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report Debunked.”  Donohue opens up with a “Myth” and “Fact” style. The first “myth?” That over 300 priests were “found guilty” of “preying on youngsters.” This is an interesting thing since no one has said they were “found guilty,” as in a court of law. Donohue quickly jumps on this “myth” that no one said and quickly debunks it. He proceeds to try to cherry pick some of the investigatory claims, and in doing so you can see, he has nothing to go with. He’s one hundred percent complicit in church officials molesting children. There are some cases that are so old that they are unbelievable. Consider the case of Father Joseph M. Ganter. Born in 1892, he was accused in 2008 by an 80-year-old man of abusing him in the 1930s. Obviously, nothing came of it. But the priest was accustomed to such charges. In 1945, at the request of Father Ganter, a Justice of the Peace interviewed three teenage males who had made accusations against him. Not only did they give conflicting stories, the three admitted that they were never abused by Ganter. But don't look to the media to highlight this case, or others like it.

Texas Republican shows what desperation looks like with lie about his opponent's fundraising

Republican Rep. Will Hurd is losing the fundraising game to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Daily Kos-endorsed Filipina-American former Air Force Intelligence officer running for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. So he’s decided to start lying about the money J
Daily Kos

Texas Republican shows what desperation looks like with lie about his opponent's fundraising

Republican Rep. Will Hurd is losing the fundraising game to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Daily Kos-endorsed Filipina-American former Air Force Intelligence officer running for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. So he’s decided to start lying about the money Jones is raising.   “When you raise more money from Massachusetts than you do from Texas, that is not a good indication of your broad-based support,” Hurd said of Jones. More money from Massachusetts, a far-away state with less than 7 million residents, than from Texas, the state the race is located in with more than 28 million residents? Whoa, if true … but it's really, really not true. Hurd’s campaign is counting every donation that went to Jones through ActBlue as coming from Massachusetts, because that’s where ActBlue’s office is. But ActBlue is, as its many many donors know, a conduit. It passes money from donors around the country to candidates and causes. And what do you know? It turns out that more than $167,000 from Texas donors went to Jones via ActBlue, and that she has gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars more from thousands more Texas donors than from Massachusetts. This is the kind of dishonesty that reeks of desperation—a lie that’s easy to disprove with hard numbers. Will Hurd likes to fashion himself the kind of Republican who’ll stand up to Donald Trump when it’s called for, but this is some Trumpian nonsense right here. Become an honorary Massachusetts resident by giving Gina Ortiz Jones $3 through ActBlue to fight back against this kind of dishonest attack.

2 teens detained for plotting ‘revolutionary fires’ in Russia moved to house arrest

Two young women on trial in the case of ‘New Greatness’ extremist group that allegedly trained to use weapons and aimed to topple Kremlin have been placed under house arrest awaiting trial after their health worsened in detention. Read Full Article at RT.
RT Russian politics

2 teens detained for plotting ‘revolutionary fires’ in Russia moved to house arrest

Two young women on trial in the case of ‘New Greatness’ extremist group that allegedly trained to use weapons and aimed to topple Kremlin have been placed under house arrest awaiting trial after their health worsened in detention. Read Full Article at RT.com

GOP counts on their base to be stupid enough to still believe they have a plan to replace Obamacare

Eight years later, and Republican candidates are STILL pretending like they'll repeal Obamacare, if the base just believes hard enough to elect them again. Never mind that they've had the White House and the Congress for nearly two years and have only manage
Daily Kos

GOP counts on their base to be stupid enough to still believe they have a plan to replace Obamacare

Eight years later, and Republican candidates are STILL pretending like they'll repeal Obamacare, if the base just believes hard enough to elect them again. Never mind that they've had the White House and the Congress for nearly two years and have only managed to demonstrate they can wreck all the things that made the law popular. They have updated the idea from «repeal and replace» to «repeal and bring back the stuff that you like so much in the law,» which is as tricky to run on as it sounds. A lawsuit to declare the whole thing unconstitutional? «Sure, anything that's going to actually get rid of it, yes,» says Mike Braun, the Republican running for Senate in Indiana. «And then be ready to come back and talk about what you're ready to do about pre-existing conditions and no limits on coverage. That's where you don't hear much conservative talk.» Pssst, Mike—you don't hear conservatives talking about it because they are utterly incapable of accomplishing it. Remember «repeal and replace»? Remember how disastrous that whole Trumpcare replacement bit was? That's one of the reasons Republicans who are actually in Congress now are not so excited about that lawsuit. Even Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) admits that they are incompetent when it comes to doing anything with health care. «It may be good to have an exit strategy and I'm not sure there's one in place.» Yes, indeed it might be a good idea to figure out what to do if 130 million people suddenly lose their health insurance because of their preexisting condition. The argument that Republican candidates are putting forward is so ridiculous that all the Senate Democrats who are supposed to be «vulnerable» for re-election this year are scoffing. «It's totally bogus,» says Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) even Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), the least Democratic of all the Senate Democrats, calls it bullshit. «How come in eight years [Republicans] haven't done diddly squat? How come there's no fallback position?» Eight years later, there's not a Democrat running who's afraid of Obamacare. Maybe that's because protecting our health care keeps on showing up as the number one issue for voters this election. Please give $1 to our Senate and House funds so that Republicans pay the price for sabotaging our health care.

House Democrats visit California immigration detention facilities accused of poor conditions

Congressional Democrats who visited immigrant detainees currently jailed in California facilities said that some of the asylum seekers they spoke to have “not had a hearing … not one hearing” in as many as 50 days. Other detainees crowded around the
Daily Kos

House Democrats visit California immigration detention facilities accused of poor conditions

Congressional Democrats who visited immigrant detainees currently jailed in California facilities said that some of the asylum seekers they spoke to have “not had a hearing … not one hearing” in as many as 50 days. Other detainees crowded around the members, pleading for any information about when they might be freed. “All these people are stuck,” said Congress member Judy Chu. “They don’t know when their hearing will be.” The delegation, led by California Congress members Nanette Barragán, Jimmy Gomez, Zoe Lofgren, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Mark Takano, Norma Torres, and Chu, said they decided to make the visits to the Adelanto Detention Facility in Adelanto and the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville following claims of mistreatment and inadequate nutrition. “We wanted to look into these allegations firsthand and able to talk to detainees about their personal experiences at these detention centers,” Roybal-Allard said. In Adelanto—a private prison owned by GEO Group and contracted with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to jail immigrants—three detainees died within the span of three months last year. According to Mother Jones, “since it opened in 2011, Adelanto has faced accusations of insufficient medical care and poor conditions.” While the Republican-led Congress refuses to address these abuses, leading Democrats have been speaking out and meeting with detained migrants, many of whom are escaping violence in their home countries. ”I got to meet with four undocumented women” at Adelanto, said Congress member Gomez. “Two of them were actually telling me that they were recent asylum seekers that came in and presented themselves at the border. But one of the things they’re saying is that they’re not getting the assistance that they need when it comes to filling out their asylum claims.” One asylum seeker said a judge found that she had a credible fear claim, but she’s had no help getting her English-language paperwork filled out. One Adelanto official, said Congress member Barragán, “straight out lied to me.” “I was asking very simple questions about staffing needs here, and when I asked what the ratio was of guards to inmates, he first said, ‘I don’t know,’” she said. “I said, ‘You run this place and you don’t know what the ratio is?’ He still wouldn’t give me an answer, and after I pressed him, he said, ‘I do know the answer. I don’t what to tell you because you’re going to write it down and you’re going to report it.’ Imagine for a moment, an ICE official to a member of Congress not being forthcoming, not wanting to provide information. What else are we being lied to about?”

FBI investigation of Christopher Steele memos will spill to public ... thanks to Trump and Nunes

In his effort to fill his campaign coffers by being the most Trump-fan of Trump-fans, Devin Nunes authored a multi-page “memo” around the pretense that the information compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele was the primary fac
Daily Kos

FBI investigation of Christopher Steele memos will spill to public ... thanks to Trump and Nunes

In his effort to fill his campaign coffers by being the most Trump-fan of Trump-fans, Devin Nunes authored a multi-page “memo” around the pretense that the information compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele was the primary factor behind the Trump-Russia investigation. The claims put forward by Nunes and other House Republicans, including that the FISA warrant for Trump adviser Carter Page was based on Steele’s documents and that all of Steele’s work had been discredited, were demonstrably false. But Donald Trump was eager to push Nunes’s memo, and in the process he declassified both the memos and supporting documents. This combination of actions, Nunes’s memo and Trump’s declassification, may have given Trump what he wanted at the moment, but it has another effect. According to Politico, a district court judge previously allowed the FBI to refuse Freedom of Information Act requests asking about their efforts to confirm the information in Steele’s memos. Previous statements and tweets by Trump attacking the validity of the information was ruled insufficient for breaching the security the FBI had placed around their research.  But a ruling on Thursday determined that Trump’s decision to declassify the Nunes memo and supporting materials means that the FBI can no longer turn away FOIA requests on this topic. Judge Amit Mehta: It remains no longer logical nor plausible for the FBI to maintain that it cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents. Several instances that were recounted in Steele’s memos have since been shown to be corroborated by other witnesses and documents. However, within the information are several notable events—including those surrounding Trump’s 2013 trip surrounding the Miss Universe pageant and possible events at a Moscow hotel—where any information that the FBI has picked up hasn’t been made public. But, thanks to Trump, it will be. Politico notes that applicants should not expect results of FOIA requests to start showing up right away. Some aspects of the case had already been pushed to an appeals court, which in turn has pushed those complaints back to Mehta. So additional rulings are likely before all aspects are defined and the FBI begins responding to these requests.

Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Resistance Friday

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE… Late Night Snark: This Is All Perfectly Normal Edition «According to Politico, White House aides need to remind President Trump of time zones in different countries on a constant basis. He forgets that in America it
Daily Kos

Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Resistance Friday

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE… Late Night Snark: This Is All Perfectly Normal Edition «According to Politico, White House aides need to remind President Trump of time zones in different countries on a constant basis. He forgets that in America it’s 4 p.m., but where he is it’s 1957.» ---Seth Meyers “This is how bad at life Donald Trump is: he’s figured out a way to make black people think they have to defend Omarosa.” ---Comedian W. Kamau Bell on The Late Show How stupid do you have to be to f*ck up a parade? “Omarosa had to spend a year in the White House to learn that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing? I can’t wait for her next book, Donald Trump: Something’s Wrong With His Hair.” ---Trevor Noah ”It’s hard to know who to trust on this one: do we believe the lying, unhinged, backstabbing reality TV star, or do we believe Omarosa?” ---Jimmy Kimmel «We finally learned about the Space Force chain of command. According to Trump, it’ll go: E.T., Yoda, then Groot.” ---Jimmy Fallon “According to a new article, Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, have cute new nicknames for each other. He refers to her as Pooh Bear and she refers to him as Junior Mint. I guess Junior Mint will do until he gets his soon-to-come nickname, Federal Inmate #7544.” ---James Corden And one year ago, in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville Nazi riot: »It was truly a weekend of horrifying images. We saw Nazi flags and marchers carrying torches---tiki torches, by the way, because nothing says 'white nationalist' like faux-Polynesian kitsch. ... I have to say, David Duke and the Nazis really seem to like Donald Trump. Which is weird because Nazis are a lot like cats: if they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them." ---John Oliver And this just in: the midterm elections are on Tuesday, November 6th. You have 81 days to clear your schedule. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Trump administration readies Medicaid changes threatening coverage for tens of thousands

Campaign Action Undeterred by the law or anything resembling human decency, the Trump administration is readying a new round of Medicaid waivers that will mean tens of thousands of people could be dropped off coverage. They're adding drug use disclosure to w
Daily Kos

Trump administration readies Medicaid changes threatening coverage for tens of thousands

Campaign Action Undeterred by the law or anything resembling human decency, the Trump administration is readying a new round of Medicaid waivers that will mean tens of thousands of people could be dropped off coverage. They're adding drug use disclosure to work requirements and are prepping to approve the waivers in three more states, Arizona, Wisconsin and Maine. That's despite the fact that they got slapped down by a federal judge on work requirements in Kentucky and are currently being sued in Arkansas for a work requirement waiver there. To make it even more heinous, the administration is likely to circumvent Arizona's attempt to exempt Native Americans from its waiver, another Trump attack on the identity and sovereignty of the tribal nations. The Trump administration says that the tribes are a race and not discrete nations and thus should get the exemption Arizona has asked for them. The administration says «HHS believes that such an exemption would raise constitutional and federal civil rights law concerns,» Politico reports. The administration says «an exemption amounts to an illegal preference, according to three officials with knowledge of the determination.» In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker isn't going to get the drug testing requirement he wants—the man is totally obsessed with making poor people pee in cups. Instead, in addition to adding the work requirement the Wisconsin waiver would allow the state to ask applicants if they have used illegal drugs or are in treatment for substance abuse. That's likely enough to prevent thousands from even applying for Medicaid, says Joan Alker, director of Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families. «Even if it's technically benign, it might not be—the devil's in the details. […] If people hear there's a drug testing requirement, that might be a deterrent from even applying.» Alker also points out that it's harder to estimate the number of people who are going to lose coverage because states and the administration are now hiding that information, probably as a result of Kentucky's public estimate that 95,000 people would lose their Medicaid, a projection that influenced the judge that blocked the waiver there. Never mind that the majority of people on Medicaid ARE ALREADY WORKING, or that Medicaid is for essential for many in substance abuse treatment and recovery. Or that these policies are blatantly racist. Or that much of what the administration is planning to do is flat out illegal and going to cost tax payers millions in legal costs. It's like the administration is doing it precisely because of all those things.

In Texas, some migrant dads who were reunited with their kids were briefly re-separated, report says

A group of migrant families who were separated at the U.S./Mexico border and then reunited under Judge Dana Sabraw’s court order were again separated for a short period this week, according to The Texas Tribune, after Immigration and Customs Enforcemen
Daily Kos

In Texas, some migrant dads who were reunited with their kids were briefly re-separated, report says

A group of migrant families who were separated at the U.S./Mexico border and then reunited under Judge Dana Sabraw’s court order were again separated for a short period this week, according to The Texas Tribune, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alleged “disruptive behavior” at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas and moved about 16 dads to a different facility overnight. However, the dads and their advocates are saying this was retribution from ICE. According to RAICES, “armed ICE officers”—as many as 60, Express News reported—stormed the facility’s hallways and arrested more than a dozen migrant parents who had only recently been reunited with their children.” ICE essentially claimed the dads had been acting out. “But advocates characterized it as backlash against migrants who had been speaking out about their conditions,” including launching a hunger strike earlier this month. Other detained dads who were also separated and taken to the second facility said they “were just sitting in their rooms when ICE officers arrived, armed, to take them away. Some fathers, speaking anonymously and through translators on a press call Friday afternoon, said they could not understand why they were targeted.” One dad said he “couldn’t understand, I could not imagine being separated from my child again without being able to say goodbye. It was as if we were criminals.” When Donald Trump is seeking to replace family separation with family detention at places like Karnes, and immigration officials have repeatedly lied in order to incriminate immigrants in their custody, ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) need to provide more answers. “ICE claims that family detention facilities are humane and civil,” RAICES tweeted, “comparing them to summer camps. Summer camps don’t get stormed by armed guards arresting their campers separating them from their kids to retaliate against non-violent protest.” “I’ve reached out to ICE and DHS for more information about what led up to the police incident and want to know more about those who were transferred out of the facility,” tweeted Congress member Joaquin Castro, “because this could constitute the re-separation of families,” noting that his office had received reports about attorneys getting kicked out of Karnes this week. “We have yet to fully verify that all migrant children have been reunited with their families,” he continued, “so possible re-separation is alarming.”

Black colleges aren't worried about working with Trump; they're focused on Congress instead

We’ve watched Donald Trump spend the last week having a meltdown on Twitter about Omarosa Manigualt Newman spilling the tea about her experience as an employee in the Trump administration. In all the drama, it’s easy to forget that she had an actual jo
Daily Kos

Black colleges aren't worried about working with Trump; they're focused on Congress instead

We’ve watched Donald Trump spend the last week having a meltdown on Twitter about Omarosa Manigualt Newman spilling the tea about her experience as an employee in the Trump administration. In all the drama, it’s easy to forget that she had an actual job (at least in theory) in which she was, among other things, supposed to be the liaison between the White House and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Though the administration staged a lovely photo-op with black college leaders and penned an executive order about them at the beginning of last year, nothing actually happened. HBCUs have never had any real engagement with the Trump White House and have had little contact since Omarosa was fired in December. Of course, in her book Omarosa is saying that the administration completely mucked up establishing possible relationships with HCBUs. She sites Betsy DeVos as the main culprit—whom you may remember was vigorously and appropriately booed by the students at Bethune-Cookman University during last year’s graduation ceremony. In her book Omarosa claims that not only did DeVos think Bethune-Cookman students weren’t smart enough to understand her education agenda (hence the booing) but that she also was to blame for the confusion around last year’s White House conference for HBCUs.  So now that Omarosa is no longer employed by the White House and is determined to set fire to everything and everyone in her path (and sell tons of books while she’s at it), what happens to HBCUs under the Trump administration? Well, according to black college presidents, they aren’t worried about it. The Atlantic reports that while hanging out in the White House was a nice opportunity, they’ve always been more concerned with a good relationship with Congress than with a good relationship with Trump and company. Why? Because a good relationship with Congress can often be financially beneficial for their institutions.  In the February budget deal, lawmakers authorized the Education Department to forgive $330 million of debt related to rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina that was incurred by four black colleges in Louisiana and Mississippi. The administration forgave that debt in March.

Cartoon: Trump's hate tape stash

Anyone still waiting for evidence that Trump is racist is either lying or has been trapped in a sensory deprivation tank for at least 30 years. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Patreon.
Daily Kos

Cartoon: Trump's hate tape stash

Anyone still waiting for evidence that Trump is racist is either lying or has been trapped in a sensory deprivation tank for at least 30 years. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Patreon.

New GoFundMe partnership to help DACA recipients raise their renewal fees

Campaign Action While the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could rest in the hands of one judge in Texas, the program as is still stands, and advocates have been urging program beneficiaries to renew their protections as so
Daily Kos

New GoFundMe partnership to help DACA recipients raise their renewal fees

Campaign Action While the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could rest in the hands of one judge in Texas, the program as is still stands, and advocates have been urging program beneficiaries to renew their protections as soon as possible. Thanks to a new move from crowdfunding site GoFundMe, it’ll become a lot easier. The site has partnered up with FWD.us to create a hub “for verified crowdfunding campaigns from DACA recipients,” The Daily Dot reports, “where DACA recipients can quickly start a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for their renewal fee. The DACA hub is also being featured on the site’s homepage,” and donors can also choose to instead contribute to a  “Direct Impact Fund,” which spreads money out over existing campaigns. ”Under the partnership, GoFundMe has also created a set of guidelines for campaign creators, such as how to go about setting up and promoting their donation page.” The hub will be particularly helpful for immigrants who may have fallen out of status and who, not being able to work legally, are struggling to pay for their $495 renewal fee while also supporting their families or other responsibilities. One DACA beneficiary, Kenia Ceron, told The Daily Dot that the platform helped her raise enough funding to cover the fees for herself and her siblings. When she reached her goal, she decided to keep the campaign open to raise more for other young immigrants—she ended up raising enough to cover fees for nine other people. The move follows other fundraising efforts, like United We Dream’s “DACA Renewal Fund,” which seeks to make sure as many eligible youth as possible are covered. Of course, immigrant youth shouldn’t have to live their lives from court hearing to court hearing, but in the absence of Congressional act, DACA’s protections are essential. “We hope that Dreamers who need financial assistance will use this great resource from GoFundMe and that those who are able, contribute to their campaigns,” said FWD’s Peter Boogaard.

Any port in a storm: Trump and McConnell (em)brace for the midterms

It started out a tad rocky between the tempestuous rager in the Oval Office and the calculating grayscaler from the stony halls of Congress. As the AP writes of the Donald Trump/Mitch McConnell saga: This time last year, the two men were barely on speakin
Daily Kos

Any port in a storm: Trump and McConnell (em)brace for the midterms

It started out a tad rocky between the tempestuous rager in the Oval Office and the calculating grayscaler from the stony halls of Congress. As the AP writes of the Donald Trump/Mitch McConnell saga: This time last year, the two men were barely on speaking terms. Trump bashed the GOP leader on Twitter after the collapse of Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. McConnell said Trump had “excessive expectations” for what was possible. The phone lines between them went quiet for days. And publicly, Trump barked, “Mitch, get to work,” while on golf holiday at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Things got so testy, the two even held an awkward truce summit in the Rose Garden last fall. But two pivotal moments likely tamed Trump. First, Trump got shamed last year after he placed his bets on serial sexual predator Roy Moore, the preferred Alabama Senate candidate of McConnell archrival Steve Bannon. That ended well ... for the Democrats. Then the GOP-led Congress managed to finally hand Trump a legislative win in December with their tax giveaway to multi-millionaires and billionaires, including Trump.  Now, as a potential midterm calamity for the GOP approaches, Trump and McConnell have been left clinging to each other as their House counterpart Paul Ryan steers his life raft to safety in the ultimate show of courage. Republicans in the White House and on Capitol Hill see their priority as working more closely to prevent a blowout, said one former administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private thinking. With any luck, there will be nothing but gale-force winds ahead for this desperate duo. 

Donald Trump doesn't know sh*t from Shinola either

Though climate change policy and activism ought to be getting my full attention, every day I get up wondering what fresh outrage the squatter in the White House is up to. Wondering how much damage he will inflict on a broad range of domestic policies an
Daily Kos

Donald Trump doesn't know sh*t from Shinola either

Though climate change policy and activism ought to be getting my full attention, every day I get up wondering what fresh outrage the squatter in the White House is up to. Wondering how much damage he will inflict on a broad range of domestic policies and international relationships by the time he leaves office and how much of this destruction will be permanent. Only his policy-related tweets interest me. The tweeted personal foibles, including the grammar screw-ups, were titillating for a while, but now they’re just boring. Produced by a low-life. With a low IQ. Sad. Unfortunately, the pr*sident has shown himself perfectly adept at turning personal grudge into political attack and personal bias into reckless policy. Insults, and cries of “fake news,” and self-praise are easy to ignore after the twentieth time. But tweeted threats of shutting down the government over immigration or raining down fire and brimstone on other nation-states can’t. So I have to pay attention to stuff I’d rather send to the sewage treatment center. As for stories about our dear leader’s numbskullery, I avoid most of them these days. His ignorance on a zillion subjects is already as legendary as his vulgar misogyny. Why reinforce that knowledge with a daily dose of it to my long-protesting brain? Today, however, I did take an interest in a story sussed out by Asawin Suebsaeng at The Daily Beast as a sidebar to all the Omarosa Manigault Newman revelations. His unnamed sources say that during a meeting with veterans groups in March 2017, the pr*sident got into a two-minute kerfuffle. The veterans had brought up expanding veterans’ compensation for afflictions caused by the herbicide Agent Orange, a chemical designed to kill foliage and make it harder for guerrillas and North Vietnamese soldiers to hide from the U.S. and South Vietnamese military. The poison has ever since generated widespread toxic environmental and severe health effects, including birth defects, on those who handled it and those had it sprayed on them on the ground. To the attendees at the meeting, the pr*sident asked if Agent Orange was “that stuff from that movie.” It quickly became clear he was talking about Apocalypse Now, the 1979 movie in which there is a famous helicopter attack scene set to the “Ride of the Valkyries.” Several veterans spoke up to say the scene actually shows napalm, a jellied gasoline used tactically to great effect against the communist forces.

As hundreds of separated migrant kids remain locked up, White House to honor ICE and CBP 'heroes'

Campaign Action As hundreds of separated migrant children continue to remain under U.S. custody and at ongoing risk of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, Donald Trump plans to honor the border agents who kidnapped them from their parents’ arms and l
Daily Kos

As hundreds of separated migrant kids remain locked up, White House to honor ICE and CBP 'heroes'

Campaign Action As hundreds of separated migrant children continue to remain under U.S. custody and at ongoing risk of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, Donald Trump plans to honor the border agents who kidnapped them from their parents’ arms and locked them up in cages in the first place. Politico reports the White House has planned a “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs [and] Border Protection" event for next Monday, coming a few days after Trump claimed that immigration agents “have been absolutely abused.” All right, if he wants to talk abuse, let’s talk abuse. Despite a federal judge’s court order, the Trump administration continues to hold more than 560 kids under U.S. custody, including two dozen kids aged five years old and under. Not only is the administration blatantly violating a court order, it’s continuing to keep kids locked up in facilities where migrant children have already been molested, and are only there because of his family separation policy. Earlier this month, a 32-year-old Arizona worker at a Southwest Keys facility—contracted by the government to detain migrant kids—was arrested and charged with molesting a 14-year-old girl, “accused of slipping into the girl's room late at night and forcibly kissing and inappropriately touching her, according to court documents,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. This taxpayer-funded abuse is horrendous—and it’s widespread. Internal documents going all the way back to 2009 have revealed that border agents themselves have assaulted migrant children “with their feet, fists, flashlights, and Tasers. In one case, an agent ran over a 17 year old with a patrol vehicle and then got out and punched the child in the head and body.” Other agents have molested children, while some have blocked families fleeing violence from asking for asylum at the border, in violation of U.S. law.

Manafort trial update: Judge reveals he was threatened

The judge in the ongoing fraud trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort revealed Friday that he had received personal threats in relation to the case and he therefore declined to unseal the names of the 12 jurors. Judge T.S. Ellis is now under Ma
Daily Kos

Manafort trial update: Judge reveals he was threatened

The judge in the ongoing fraud trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort revealed Friday that he had received personal threats in relation to the case and he therefore declined to unseal the names of the 12 jurors. Judge T.S. Ellis is now under Marshal’s protection, he said. x“I don’t feel right if I release their names,” said Ellis. “I think there would be a substantial amount of people afraid... to do so would create a risk of harm to them.”Ellis said, “The Marshals fo where I go...”— Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) August 17, 2018 News outlets had sought release of the names in the course of their reporting. We don’t know the nature of those threats or where they came from but it does make one think about Donald Trump’s ongoing effort to demonize people he doesn’t like. It’s not just high-profile individuals like former CIA director John Brennan, but he has now moved on to targeting lesser-known figures who otherwise wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar. Personal harm or risk or ruining someone’s career—nothing gives Trump pause because he doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself.  On a final note, it looks like the jury is probably heading home for the weekend and will begin deliberations again Monday. xThe note the jury sent to Judge Ellis said the jury would like to finish their deliberations Friday at 5pm because one of the jurors has an event tonight.— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) August 17, 2018

Intelligence sources: Russia totally attacked Florida's election systems

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) got a lot of heat from Republicans and the traditional media a couple of weeks ago for saying that Russian hackers had «penetrated» some of the county voting systems in Florida. His detractors included his general election
Daily Kos

Intelligence sources: Russia totally attacked Florida's election systems

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) got a lot of heat from Republicans and the traditional media a couple of weeks ago for saying that Russian hackers had «penetrated» some of the county voting systems in Florida. His detractors included his general election opponent, the odious Gov. Rick Scott, on whose watch this happened. Because according to three people who are aware of the intelligence involved talked to NBC News, it totally happened. Nelson was informed of the attack by the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, because they wanted him to «let supervisors of elections in Florida know that Russians are inside our records» Nelson said. He also said that Russian hackers «have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about.» The attacks began with a 2016 hack of a Florida elections vendor, VR Systems, by hackers working for Russian military intelligence, according to what NBC has found out. In that attack, hackers «likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.» Now, however, the «extent and seriousness of the threat remains unclear, shrouded for reasons of national security.» It is serious enough for Intelligence Committee leaders Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) to have asked Nelson and his Republican colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, to warn state officials. Which they definitely did, writing a letter informing them of the attack. «We encourage you in the strongest terms to take advantage» of federal election systems protection assistance, the letter said. Which makes Scott's response to Nelson total bullshit: «Either Bill Nelson knows of crucial information the federal government is withholding from Florida election officials, or he is simply making things up.» So the question for Florida voters now is whether their governor gives a damn that Russia could be trying to attack their election this November, or if in fact Scott is counting on it for a win.

Only the best: Judge says Trump campaign mangled wording of confidentiality agreements

The little-known case of a former Trump campaign staffer could have big implications for the legal battle taking shape between Donald Trump and former Trump aide-turned-wrecking ball, Omarosa Manigault Newman. On Thursday, a Manhattan judge, citing flaws in t
Daily Kos

Only the best: Judge says Trump campaign mangled wording of confidentiality agreements

The little-known case of a former Trump campaign staffer could have big implications for the legal battle taking shape between Donald Trump and former Trump aide-turned-wrecking ball, Omarosa Manigault Newman. On Thursday, a Manhattan judge, citing flaws in the Trump campaign employment agreement, denied a motion by the campaign’s lawyers to force the complaint of a former staffer into private arbitration. Jessica Denson filed the «harassment and sexual discrimination» complaint against the campaign last fall and, similar to the situation with Manigault Newman, Trump's lawyers tried to keep the dispute from the public spectacle of open court by using the arbitration clause. But Judge Arlene Bluth of New York State Supreme Court found the wording of the agreement—ya know, the technical stuff that lawyers are paid to handle—failed to legally compel the action Trump's lawyers were asking the court to take. Yahoo News writes: Bluth’s ruling noted flaws in the agreement Denson was required to sign. The judge suggested the document was worded badly, and implied it could have done what the campaign’s attorneys wanted if it had been written better. “As an initial matter, the Court observes that the arbitration clause confines arbitration to ‘any dispute arising under or relating to this agreement,’” Bluth wrote, adding with emphasis, “It does not require arbitration for any ‘dispute between the parties’ or even ‘any dispute arising out of plaintiff’s employment.’” Imagine that—shoddy work by Trump's lawyers. The confidentiality agreement signed between the parties wasn't even titled «Employment Agreement,» noted Bluth, but simply «Agreement» instead. Maybe they should have just scrapped the documentation altogether and shaken on it instead. Coulda saved Trump a lot of money.  The agreement also didn't specifically cover sexual harassment claims. Instead it specified the following prohibited acts: “no disclosure of confidential information, no disparagement, no competitive services, no competitive solicitation, and no competitive intellectual property claims.”

Midday open thread: Twitter persona exposed as fake intel operative; beer lures a man off a ledge

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is No guarantees: What’s coming up on Sunday Kos … How Daily Kos Elections analyzes and reports on polls, by David Nir The final battle of the Civil Social Justice War will be in the heart, mind and spirit of th
Daily Kos

Midday open thread: Twitter persona exposed as fake intel operative; beer lures a man off a ledge

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is No guarantees: What’s coming up on Sunday Kos … How Daily Kos Elections analyzes and reports on polls, by David Nir The final battle of the Civil Social Justice War will be in the heart, mind and spirit of the nation, by Frank Vyan Walton Marijuana, opioids, and alcohol: It is time to change the paradigm, by Egberto Willies Trump tariffs hurting farmers, and GOP could pay a price in midterms, by Sher Watts Spooner 7 questions for Erica Newsome, West Virginia teacher, about the West Virginia teacher’s strike, by David Akadjian Why Donald Trump needs to increase immigration, by Jon Perr Support the troops—by allowing them to be ripped off, by Mark E Andersen ‘Trumpslaining’ the narrative about Puerto Rico’s recovery, by Denise Oliver Velez While obsessing over 'endangered' white people, mainstream media helps normalize white supremacy, by Kelly Macias Trump uses race, culture to divide and distract us. GOP is government by the corrupt for the rich, by Ian Reifowitz • Beer deliverymen talk suicidal man off bridge ledge with the promise of a 12-pack of brew. One of them said he remembered Denzel Washington as a negotiator in the movie Inside Man and imitated him in the successful effort to persuade the man not to jump. • Popular #Resistance Twitter “GuardianRover”—who claimed to be intel operative and Delta Force veteran—exposed as pro-Trump Gamer:  When he wasn’t meeting with Chinese freedom fighters, chatting up Ukrainian intel sources or working diplomatic security details, Smith tweeted wild claims on Twitter about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. [...] As it turned out, though, Smith was neither a former Delta Force soldier [n]or a malevolent CIA operative. In fact, evidence suggests that the Twitter account beloved by Trump haters was in fact operated by Justin Hendrix, a Seattle gamer who regularly made pro-Trump comments online. (Hendrix didn’t respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.) MIDDAY TWEET xAretha Franklin's funeral will be 4-day event in Detroit https://t.co/y9cqnnzUmK— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 17, 2018 • Seattle Times didn’t join hundreds of U.S. newspapers in writing an editorial Thursday saying the press isn’t the enemy of the people because, its editors said, the Times already proves this in its coverage every day: This effort by many esteemed newspaper editorial boards plays directly into the president’s us-versus-him narrative that the news media is of one mind, we don’t like him and are doing everything we can to sink his presidency. That it’s a big conspiracy of “pack journalism” at its worst. [...] The Seattle Times editorial board has very carefully over the last 18 months commented frequently — and vigorously — on the failings of this administration, particularly where it affects our community and Washington state. Offshore drilling, immigration, the environment and easing of financial regulations come to mind. But we have, on purpose, avoided making this personal.  • Alabama utility doing what it can to block sun power by charging customers with solar panels ridiculous fee to stay hooked up to the grid: The barriers built into Alabama’s energy market are just one example of the political, financial, and regulatory dynamics that can block low- and middle-income households from using rooftop solar power in the Southeast. But this tug-of-war between utility companies, regulators, and solar advocates isn’t just about money. “It’s a real social justice issue,” says Greer Ryan, a renewable energy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based environmental organization. “Anything that makes it less economical for people to go solar is going to be harmful for low- and median-income consumers,” she says. It’s like raising taxes on people who can least afford it — putting green energy out of reach for everyone but the wealthy. • Lawmakers advance bill that would do away with money bail system in California. But advocates on Thursday withdrew their support for the reform bill they have avidly backed after amendments added “risk assessment” tools they say could be racially biased and not provide due process to everyone: “For years, California’s money bail system has been among the most egregious examples of a two-tiered system of justice – a system that benefits the wealthy few and punishes low-income Californians, many of whom are black and brown people,” Minsker said. “SB 10 needs to go further to be the model for pretrial justice and racial equity that we are working towards.” Robin Steinberg, CEO of The Bail Project, said in a statement that risk assessment tools “guts the presumption of innocence and turns it on its head.” • 3,200-year-old cheese found in Egypt: But it’s filled with brucellosis bacteria: The cheese, wrapped in canvas in a broken jar was discovered in the tomb of a 13th-century BC mayor of Memphis. In an article in the journal Analytical Chemistry, it is described as probably the most ancient solid cheese ever discovered. Archaeofood specialist Enrico Greco noted that recent discoveries have also revealed the oldest wine and oldest olive oil ever found. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Omarosa continues to leak tape. Trump's lawyers suck so bad, they may have F-ed up all their NDAs! Saudish Arabia weaponizes «its» wealth, and Trump is willing to shrug off their 9/11-style threats as long as he gets paid. And gets to watch himself on TV. x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

Democrats willing to sue over the documents proving that Trump's SCOTUS nominee lied to the Senate

Campaign Action Senate Democrats know that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath to them before, in 2006 during his confirmation hearing to sit on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. That lie is central to the documents fight they've been havi
Daily Kos

Democrats willing to sue over the documents proving that Trump's SCOTUS nominee lied to the Senate

Campaign Action Senate Democrats know that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath to them before, in 2006 during his confirmation hearing to sit on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. That lie is central to the documents fight they've been having with Republicans, who are pushing Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing weeks before the National Archives can even produce the fraction of documents they're willing to allow. Democrats have been forced to unprecedented measures in trying to get the documents, having to file a Freedom of Information request from the National Archives and threatening a lawsuit if the documents aren't released ahead of the scheduled September 4 hearing. «We stand ready to sue the National Archives for Judge Kavanaugh’s full records if necessary,» Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. «The American people deserve a methodical and thorough examination of a nominee to the Supreme Court who will yield immense influence on their lives.» Particularly when they know that that nominee lied to them previously about the degree to which he was involved in President George W. Bush's illegal activities in conducting the Iraq war, including torture and warrantless wiretapping, when he served as Bush's staff secretary. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) raise that point in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. «As you know,» they write to Grassley, «in 2006, Judge Kavanaugh told the Committee under oath that he was 'not aware of any issues' regarding 'the legal justifications or the policies relating to the treatment of detainees'; was 'not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants'; had nothing to do with issues related to rendition; and was unaware of, and saw no documents related to, the warrantless wiretapping program conducted without congressional authorization.» But there's a little problem for Kavanaugh—and Grassley—here, the senators point out.

House Republicans threaten to subpoena Twitter CEO over 'discrimination' against conservatives

House Republicans are once more ignoring the graft, the corruption, the election interference that put the Republican party in total control of government, and are instead focusing on being victims, as usual. This time it's Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's decision
Daily Kos

House Republicans threaten to subpoena Twitter CEO over 'discrimination' against conservatives

House Republicans are once more ignoring the graft, the corruption, the election interference that put the Republican party in total control of government, and are instead focusing on being victims, as usual. This time it's Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's decision to finally get rid of Russian bots and put crazy conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones on «time outs» on the platform and they're threatening to subpoena him. Which means we’ll have more totally farcical, but headline-grabbing, hearings from them. “But his tweets.” A staffer on the Energy and Commerce committee tells Politico that Twitter is «delaying» and «stonewalling» the committee in their efforts to get Dorsey to come testify about things that are not happening, like the supposed «shadow banning» the bloated orange creature in the Oval Office has shrieked about. On Twitter. Where his every racist and sexist and garbage thoughts are presented to the world without interference. As of now, Twitter says, «We remain in discussions with the Committee and no decisions have been made either way.» Gee, it's hard to imagine why Dorsey doesn't want to talk to these people when they are accusing him of «subtle censorship» which has «targeted conservatives, and seemingly only conservatives.» That, by the way is Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)—the guy who swore to God that Trump is on Putin's payroll—crayoning a whiny op-ed about how horrible digital life is for the people who run everything. Our hearts bleed for them.

Despite a court order, two dozen migrant kids aged five and under remain separated from parents

Campaign Action It’s now 21 days past Judge Dana Sabraw’s migrant family reunification deadline, yet 565 children kidnapped from the arms of their parents continue to remain under U.S. custody. Twenty-four of these children, MSNBC correspondent Jacob So
Daily Kos

Despite a court order, two dozen migrant kids aged five and under remain separated from parents

Campaign Action It’s now 21 days past Judge Dana Sabraw’s migrant family reunification deadline, yet 565 children kidnapped from the arms of their parents continue to remain under U.S. custody. Twenty-four of these children, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff tweeted Thursday, are five years old or younger. Of the 366 jailed children whose parents have already been deported, six are five years old or younger.  According to Soboroff, the administration also said that “parents of 154 waived the right to reunite,” including one child aged five or under. But, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “challenged this … saying some were ‘misled or coerced’ into waiving reunification.” One of these parents includes a dad named Ascencion. Soboroff said the man signed a document waiving his reunification with his 15 year old, but that he had no idea what he was signing in the first place. Soboroff was unable to meet with the dad, who remains in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. But he did manage to send Soboroff a handwritten letter from inside his prison, detailing the anguish he suffers through daily. “They’re deporting me without me knowing,” he wrote. “I feel the government is treating me poorly, they are ignoring me.” Too many have moved on from the ongoing family separation crisis, and some of that can be blamed on the daily chaos that Donald Trump unleashes on the American people, both purposefully and because of his own thin skin. But this is still a crisis, and we know who must be held accountable. That includes the top administration officials who created this crisis—and the elected leaders now refusing to hold them accountable.

Trump pulled Brennan's clearance because he thinks it made him look 'strong,' wants to do it again

Donald Trump is always on the hunt for another way to hurt people who don’t clear the hurdle of only saying good things about Trump, all the time. Sometimes that’s firing them. Sometimes that’s making sure they don’t get a pension. Sometimes that’s
Daily Kos

Trump pulled Brennan's clearance because he thinks it made him look 'strong,' wants to do it again

Donald Trump is always on the hunt for another way to hurt people who don’t clear the hurdle of only saying good things about Trump, all the time. Sometimes that’s firing them. Sometimes that’s making sure they don’t get a pension. Sometimes that’s hitting them with a racist insult. Or another racist insult. Or really … racist insults is the big thing. But Trump has been mulling over the idea of suspending security clearances ever since news began circulating of just how many of his own White House staff had flunked the test to get those clearances in the first place. Since the spring, Trump has floated a list of names of former intelligence and law enforcement officials, some of whom did not actually have any continuing clearance in the first place, with the idea that he would remove that clearance as some kind of punishment. On Wednesday, he took the extraordinary step of claiming to remove clearance from former CIA director John Brennan and he broke every rule in the process.  Apparently, this feeling was so satisfying that Trump is just itchin’ to exercise his security-stealing finger again. And as the Washington Post reports, it’s all about the Russia investigation. Over the past 19 months, Trump has fired or threatened to take action against nearly a dozen current and former officials associated with the inquiry, which he has labeled a “rigged witch hunt,” including former FBI director James B. Comey, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.  While firing Comey required Trump to having Rod Rosenstein draft an excuse letter and Trump sticking with that excuse for almost 48 hours before ‘fessing up to Lester Holt that it was all about the Russia investigation, with Brennan’s security clearance that process was accelerated. Trump merely had Sanders read a Stephen Miller-generated excuse, then immediately stepped on his own lie in an interview that same day. Apparently, Donald Trump has made the whole obstruction process much quicker. He’s the Henry Ford of the obstruction assembly line.  But the problem with Trump’s punish-’em-by-taking-away-their-clearance idea is it doesn’t actually punish anyone. It made a difference when Jared Kushner or Rob Porter couldn’t clear the lowest bar for security because they were working in the White House, and looking at classified documents came with the job. For those no longer actively in those roles, not having clearance makes no difference, because in day-to-day actions, they have no access to classified materials. The only one really hurt by Trump’s actions, is the nation.

The jury is still out on Manafort, but Trump is offering him a sad, a very sad, a very very sad

At this hour, the jury is literally still out on the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. In this trial, Manafort is facing 18 charges of bank fraud and tax evasion. Jurors got the case yesterday, were allowed to go home overnight, and returne
Daily Kos

The jury is still out on Manafort, but Trump is offering him a sad, a very sad, a very very sad

At this hour, the jury is literally still out on the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. In this trial, Manafort is facing 18 charges of bank fraud and tax evasion. Jurors got the case yesterday, were allowed to go home overnight, and returned to deliberations this morning. But while jurors contemplate whether taking tens of millions under the table from Russian oligarchs, funneling it through shell companies to unreported accounts at Cyprus-based banks, and failing to report those funds to the IRS while tapping them for you-really-should-not-make-a-coat-out-of-that jackets is a bit of an issue, Donald Trump has already delivered a verdict. xNEW: «I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,» Pres. Trump says. «I think it's a very sad day for our country.»«He happens to be a very good person, and I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort.» https://t.co/Ay5aRgcW0j pic.twitter.com/huHZyqqHJV— ABC News (@ABC) August 17, 2018 Which should go a long way to making Manafort comfortable with the idea that, no matter what the jury says, this justice system thing is all kind of irrelevant as long as Trump has his pardon gun. And hey, money laundering and bank fraud. Everyone does that kind of stuff. Like locker-room talk.

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