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Rick Wilson: Everyone in Trump's Orbit Gets Destroyed, Even Roger Stone

That first sentence...

February 13, 2020 11:31AM ET
Everyone in Trump’s Orbit Gets Destroyed, Even Roger Stone
Attorney General Bill Barr is doing his best Deputy Dog routine for the president, but the fate of Trump’s underlings is inescapable
By Rick Wilson

It’s not every day that a degenerate former swinger and serial scumbag who built a career based on a single line of bullshit and self-fellation so constant and vigorous that it is practically a yogic art form stands before the bar of justice, but here we are. Roger Stone is, as he loves to be, in the center of a national political scandal, and with his sentencing approaching in just days, Stone hoped the Trump “Justice” Department would save him from a well-deserved sentence of seven to nine years in prison.

Stone earned the recommended sentence not because he is a Trump ally, but because he threatened witnesses, lied to the court and to the House of Representatives, and got caught. Worst of all, he threatened Judge Amy Berman-Jackson online, defied various gag orders, and engaged in his usual rat-fuckery. He made the mistake of thinking that Judge Berman-Jackson is as gullible as the claque of hangers-on, wanna-be catamites, and scumbag errand boys with whom Stone usually surrounds himself.

The Trump media has been bleating for two days now that the original sentence recommended by the career Justice Department officials that Stone serve his twilight years breaking rocks, stamping out license plates, and working in a prison call center was a massive miscarriage of justice, a horror beyond words and reason, and a grim penalty for a wee, decrepit old dandy barely able to totter to the stand in his own defense.

Horseshit. The sentence Stone faced was appropriate because his actions weren’t simply a criminal — and criminally stupid — defense of the president. They were just one part of a wider assault from the transparently corrupt Trump-Barr kleptocracy on the entire administration of justice in the United States. William Barr, who has taken on the role of Trump’s family attorney, put his greasy thumb on the scale this week, demanding the U.S. attorneys in the case reduce Stone’s recommended sentence.


As Trump seeks to settle scores, terrify future witnesses, and generally act out all the fantasies in his authoritarian spank bank, Barr is his chief fluffer. Trump’s fantasy of having another Roy Cohn has come to life, with all of Cohn’s mendacity and amorality, but in a size 54 stout from Men’s Warehouse.

Stone deserved everything in the first sentencing memo. Every minute. He deserves to be dragged from the courtroom in shackles and issued his itchy, federal prison poly-cotton orange scrubs. Karmically, he deserves it because he was one of Trump’s lifelong enablers, and because once Trump was elected, Stone trafficked in the most lunatic and corrosive conspiracy theories under the sun. Stone’s gift for sleaze-bag political tactics was always that — tactical. He was great at piling on a wounded victim (see Elliot Spitzer), but it was Trump that kept Stone afloat for decades.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 13, 2020, 11:40 AM (5 replies)

Why Trump is very beatable


Why Trump is very beatable
Mike Allen

There is a growing sense among top Republicans and Democrats that President Trump is stronger than ever and very hard to beat this fall, but several data points suggest otherwise.

Why it matters:

Amid record-high stock markets and record-low joblessness, Trump trails almost every 2020 Democrat nationally, and is in a statistical tie in swing-state polls.

Yes, he has a big early edge in raising money and gaming Facebook to target voters. But Michael Bloomberg is willing to spend $2 billion (some say twice that) to easily level things — and will spend big even if he's not the nominee.

The data points:

Trump won in 2016 by 80,000 votes, thanks in part to low Democratic turnout. There is scant evidence he has broadened his base, even as he solidifies it.

Trump ties or trails every leading Democrat in virtually every national poll, including a Fox News poll out Jan. 26.

In most swing-state polls, Trump is within the margin of error — and often well below 50% — despite a booming economy. In many cases, he trails most of the top-tier candidates.

Bloomberg has more money than Trump ever did, and unlike the president, plans to spend it, either on himself or the party’s nominee. Republicans would have no answer financially if he dumps several billion into ads and manpower.

There's a significant gap between the optimism about the economy (60%+) and Trump himself, an unusual decoupling for an incumbent. This data point worries top Republicans a lot.

Between the lines: Don’t forget 2018. Democrats enjoyed record turnout and won back the House.

After lackluster voter participation in Iowa, Democrats broke the New Hampshire turnout record set in 2008. (But it's worth noting that turnout was on par with recent cycles where only one party had a competitive primary, per the N.Y. Times.)

The bottom line: Trump is no doubt strong and getting stronger, despite impeachment. But Democrats are so traumatized by Trump’s 2016 win that they're overlooking real signs of his vulnerability.

Even Bernie Sanders, whose socialism establishment Democrats fear could tank their chances, looks strong against Trump in relevant polls.

Axios' Rashaan Ayesh contributed reporting.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 13, 2020, 11:30 AM (7 replies)

Soto, Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, Merkley Unveil Bill to Ban Fracking Nationwide

Soto, Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, Merkley Unveil Bill to Ban Fracking Nationwide
February 12, 2020
Press Release

Today, Reps. Darren Soto (FL-09) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) introduced H.R. 5867, the Ban Fracking Act, a federal bill to phase out fracking nationwide in the United States. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Bernie Sanders (VT-I) and Jeff Merkley (OR-D).

The Ban Fracking Act would institute an immediate federal ban on all new federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure and a ban on fracking within 2,500 feet of homes and schools by 2021. Then, starting in 2025, it would ban fracking nationwide. The legislation also initiates a just transition for the working families in the fracking industry. The bill directs the Department of Labor to partner with other federal agencies and stakeholders, including representatives of organized labor, to develop a plan to prioritize the placement of fossil fuel workers into good-paying jobs in the communities in which they live as the United States moves quickly to an energy system based on sustainable energy and energy efficiency.

The bill highlights the dangers of fracking to public health, workers and communities, and averting climate change, and commissions a nationwide Environmental Protection Agency survey of fracked oil and natural gas wells.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 10:06 PM (3 replies)

Stone Prosecutor Who Resigned Could Testify And Spill The Beans On Barr And Trump


Posted on Wed, Feb 12th, 2020 by Jason Easley
Stone Prosecutor Who Resigned Could Testify And Spill The Beans On Barr And Trump

Rep. Val Demmings (D-FL) said that the Stone prosecutor who resigned could testify before the House and explain what’s happening at DOJ.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked Demmings, “Just as a factual matter, a hypothetical, Jonathan Kravitz, who has an excellent reputation with the department of justice who rever this, career lawyer there, presumably he could be called to testify before the house judiciary committee to tell us what went down, right?

Rep. Demmings answered, “He absolutely could. And that’s another part that I hope every American is paying attention to. We have career prosecutors. These are people who have not spent their lives in the spotlight or the limelight. They’ve just been there reviewing the case, looking for elements of crimes, making appropriate charges and seeing those cases through. For these career people to either step away from a case because of the unjust interference or to actually resign, what a loss that is to America. I think it really sounds the alarm and sends a strong message to the American people about what is happening in the Department Of Justice.”


The House Judiciary Committee should launch an investigation into what Trump and Barr are doing to the Department of Justice. Rage and criticism have come from virtually every non-Trump circle of the political and legal worlds. The outrage is so intense that even a Stone trial juror is speaking out.

The American people need to hear from Kravitz. Trump is already cracking due to the blowback and a full investigation will keep this issue on the minds of voters and in the president’s head.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 08:53 PM (7 replies)

House passes Protecting America's Wilderness Act

House passes Protecting America's Wilderness Act
By Juliegrace Brufke - 02/12/20 05:25 PM EST

The House passed legislation aimed at providing additional protections for more than 1 million acres of public land on the West Coast on Wednesday.

The package — which combines six land protection bills that passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee — would designate roughly 1.4 million acres in Colorado, California and Washington State as federally protected wilderness, granting it the highest level of protection possible.

Under the bill, “logging, mining and drilling” would be prohibited on the land and no new roads or infrastructure would be able to be built in the areas. Nearly 1,000 miles of river would also be added to the National Wild and Scenic River System.

The bill passed in a 231-183 vote, with six Republicans voting for it. It is expected to face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled upper chamber.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who helped lead the efforts on the bill, noted it is one of the largest wilderness protection packages to be brought up in the House in more than a decade, arguing its passage would be beneficial for both the environment and the economies in the areas.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 07:55 PM (6 replies)

Republicans threaten reprisals as House Democratic chairman gets subpoena power

Republicans threaten reprisals as House Democratic chairman gets subpoena power
Democrats said they need the power to overcome the administration's "stonewalling." The Interior secretary responded: "Godspeed with the witch hunt."
02/12/2020 04:59 PM EST

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee gave Chairman Raúl Grijalva unilateral power Wednesday to subpoena documents from the Interior Department and other agencies — prompting Republicans to vow payback.

Grijalva told reporters he plans to begin issuing document demands next week, following what Democrats call a long pattern of the Trump administration's refusal to comply with congressional oversight.

“After more than a year of stonewalling and smokescreens, I would be failing my responsibility as chair if I did not seek this authority,” the Arizona Democrat said before the resolution passed on a party-line vote of 21 to 15. “I do not intend to surprise nor harass anybody. I intend for this committee to do its job.”

Grijalva said the first subpoenas will be about a canceled study on the health effects of mountaintop removal mining; Interior reorganization efforts, including the relocation of the department's Bureau of Land Management to Colorado; and the decision to downsize two national monuments in Utah.

But Interior Secretary David Bernhardt denounced the move, and other Republicans said they may well wield the same tactics against Democrats the next time the GOP regains the majority.

"Today's action by the House Natural Resources Committee demonstrates they won't let the facts stand in the way of their rhetoric," Bernhardt said in a tweet. "Going forward, the Department will take today's action into account for every decision it makes to deal with this committee. Godspeed with the witch hunt."


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 07:23 PM (18 replies)

Jim Bakker selling fake coronavirus cures now


/ Xeni Jardin / 11:51 am Wed Feb 12, 2020
Jim Bakker selling fake coronavirus cures now
Ex-convict, sex scandalist, and TV evangelist Jim Bakker is at it again.

The 'Christian television pioneer' and snake oil entrepreneur is now selling a purported coronavirus cure that also turns you blue for no additional charge.

He's implying in this video clip snipped by @RightWingWatch that a colloidal silver bullshit product he sells will kill coronavirus within 12 hours (it does not).

Only one way to test this out, though.

Dump him in Wuhan with only a bottle of colloidal silver and let God sort it out.

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 06:14 PM (18 replies)

Trump's Trophy Hunting Council Disbanded After Legal Defeat

Trump's Trophy Hunting Council Disbanded After Legal Defeat
Jordan Davidson
Feb. 11, 2020 02:10PM EST

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has disbanded a controversial council that promoted big game hunting after a judge ruled that environmental groups could challenge the legitimacy of the council in court, as The Associated Press reported.

The DOI told a federal judge on Friday that the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC) had ended its charter in October and would not be renewed. The IWCC was created to boost trophy hunting and to relax federal regulations around importing heads and hides of exotic animals like African elephants, rhinos, lions, and other threatened wildlife, according to The Associated Press.

"The Council will not meet or conduct any business again, it can no longer be renewed, and there [is] no plan to establish another committee with a similar mission or scope in the future," the DOI explained in a court filing Friday, according to NPR.

The lawyers for the DOI argued that since the council had been disbanded, the judge should dismiss a lawsuit from environmental groups looking into the "formation, composition, ethics provision, or meetings" by the IWCC, as NPR reported.

"The IWCC's disbandment is a huge victory in the fight against the Trump administration's illegal advisory bodies," said Democracy Forward senior counsel Travis Annatoyn, in a statement. "But the fight isn't over."


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 03:19 PM (4 replies)

Does The GOP Care If Russia Interferes In 2020?


Does The GOP Care If Russia Interferes In 2020?
Despite warnings, Republicans have shot down bills addressing election security.
By Eric Lutz
February 12, 2020

Despite the threat of Russian interference in 2020, Republican Senators on Tuesday shot down Democrats’ attempts to pass three election security bills, blocking their unanimous consent motions on what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described as “bipartisan, non-controversial bills.”

“We need substantive legislation,” Schumer told reporters after the consent motion failed. “We’ll see if our Republican friends are willing to stand up and do what's necessary to protect elections, something Americans have died for through the centuries.”

Among other things, the legislation would’ve required political campaigns to disclose offers of foreign assistance to the FBI and the Federal Elections Commission—an obvious response to the Trump campaign, which special counsel Robert Mueller found welcomed Moscow’s 2016 meddling and did not report its outreach. (Trump has said he might not alert the FBI if a foreign official offered dirt this time around). Senate Democrats also attempted to provide more funding to election security and restrictions on voting machines. But Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn objected, quashing the unanimous consent requests and accusing Democrats of attempting to score political points against the president and his allies. “They are attempting to bypass this body’s Rules Committee on behalf of various bills that will seize control over elections from the states and take it from the states and where do they want to put it? They want it to rest in the hands of Washington, D.C. bureaucrats,” she said, per the Hill.

Blackburn’s objection was just the latest instance of the GOP blocking Democrat-proposed legislation to strengthen America’s election security in the wake of 2016’s Kremlin interference, and comes amid new warnings that Russia and other foreign actors are plotting to meddle in November’s election. “Russia’s cyber operations have been successful and, to date, have not been sanctioned enough by the West to force Russia to abandon them,” an Estonian intelligence report obtained Wednesday by NBC News concluded. “The main goal is to ensure a more beneficial election result for Russia by favoring Russian-friendly candidates or those who have the most divisive influence in the West.”

The NBC reports follows FBI director Christopher Wray last week warning of Russia engaging in “information warfare” and tracks with United States intelligence assessments, which have led House Democrats to pass several election security measures—only to see them die in the Republican-held Senate, which also, of course, acquitted the president on charges that he attempted to coerce Ukraine into interfering in 2020. “We know we can't trust this president to stand up for the integrity of our elections,” Schumer said Tuesday. “So Congress must.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 02:33 PM (8 replies)

We're Witnessing the Corruption of Justice


We’re Witnessing the Corruption of Justice
February 12, 2020 at 11:55 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Lawfare: “Corruption of the justice system has two major elements. The first—at issue in the Ukraine scandal—is the use of state power to go after one’s enemies. The other is the ability to restrain government power to reward one’s friends and allies.”

“A dramatic display of this latter power took place today, Feb. 11, when the U.S. Department of Justice, having articulated in court its view of an appropriate sentence for President Trump’s associate Roger Stone—convicted recently on multiple felony counts—confronted an angry presidential tweet and then meekly reversed course in a second filing.”

Kim Wehle: “Of course, this president’s abuse of the massive powers of his office will continue because he knows that there is no one within the federal government who is able or willing to stop him.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 12:15 PM (0 replies)
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