Category Archives: President

Donkey Feed, Sept. 15, 2018

By Michael Bryan

Slip off your shoes and strap on the feedbag! It’s time for some Feed…

First, a cool tool: try BallotReady.org. You plug in your address and it will run down every candidate and their positions on the issues. You can even save a completed ballot to take with you to the polls with all your choices.Next, some graphical goodness: contrast the GOP’s tax bill, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) and the recently introduced Democratic alternative, the GAIN Act, in their impact on lower- and middle-income Americans, and ask yourself, which party has your back?

Now, some video fun: Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of the world’s largest hedge fund takes some time out from counting his lucre to explain how the economy’s cycles work. Trust me, it’s worth a half-hour of your time:

Maybe you’d like a new book to read? May I suggest two? The updated Impeachment: A Handbook, New Edition for what must be done to rid ourselves of a troublesome Trump? This book will be re-released on Sept. 18th. And Ray Dalio’s Principles: Life and Work. It’s not often you get the accumulated life experience of a billionaire to give you guidance and insight to live your best life. Dalio has also created a video series covering the principles in the book:

Now, just click Continue Reading for the rest of your Feed…

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Robert Mueller catches another ‘witch’ and he has another cooperation agreement

Despite their feigned lack of concern at the White House, Team Trump’s butts are puckering this morning. Robert Mueller has caught another witch in Donald Trump’s “witch hunt,” and is now closing the circle around the Trump crime family.

The New York Times reports, Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel, Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges:

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, agreed on Friday to cooperate with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to reduced charges. See, Superceding Criminal Information (.pdf).

.Appearing in United States District Court in Washingon, Mr. Manafort entered guilty pleas on two charges. Andrew Weissmann, the lead prosecutor, told Judge Amy Berman Jackson that there was a cooperation agreement with Mr. Manafort.

Additional reporting from The Washington Post:

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at the beginning of Friday’s plea hearing that Manafort has agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Speaking at the hearing before U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson, Weissmann said the 17-page plea agreement (.pdf) included the terms of Manafort’s expected cooperation.

It was not immediately clear what information he might be providing to prosecutors or how the plea agreement might affect Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related questions about possible collusion by the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump.

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GOP continues to hide the ball on Brett Kavanaugh and rush his confirmation (Updated)

The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh last week raised more questions than were answered. Democrats want the confirmation slowed down so there is time to receive documents not yet produced by the National Archives — only 10 percent of documents have been made available so far — But Republican leaders continue to reject their reasonable requests by labeling documents that have been produced “committee confidential” and rushing to a Judiciary Committee vote next week.

This is not normal. This is what GOP authoritarianism looks like. Joan McCarter at Daily Kos sounds the alarm, Grassley and fellow Republicans continue slow murder of democracy in Kavanaugh hearing:

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee tried and failed to slow down the confirmation process on Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in Thursday morning’s meeting. At the outset, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) moved to adjourn, pointing out the total farce this nomination and committee process has been. “There’s no way to seek justice. I am hear under protest. There is fundamental injustice here.” Grassley proceeded with the meeting, setting a vote on the nomination for next week.

Sen. Feinstein then moved to subpoena the hundreds of thousands of documents from Kavanaugh’s Bush White House service that have been withheld, and was voted down by 11-10, all Republicans voting to keep the nation in the dark. A second motion “to subpoena 100,000 documents denied to the committee through a bogus assertion of ‘constitutional privilege'” followed, also defeated 11-10. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) moved to subpoena documents from Kavanaugh’s Bush White House service related native Hawaiians and indigenous people, and was defeated 11-10.

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Paul Manafort plea deal? GOP shields secret meeting between Putin and his puppet Trump

ABC News is reporting that Paul Manafort and special counsel reach a tentative plea deal:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that will head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations tell ABC News.

The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, according to three sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Manafort and his most senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours Thursday in discussions with a team of special prosecutors who are involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

ABC News spotted the team arriving in a dark SUV Thursday morning, pulling into a secret entrance out of public view at the building where Special Counsel Robert Mueller is based.

Word of the agreement comes as Manafort’s second trial was slated to begin later this month in federal court in Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for Manafort and a representative for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

Sooo, stay tuned on Friday?

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Congress passes ‘minibus’ with a CR to avert Trump’s threatened government shutdown over his border wall

While Arizona Republicans all bray like jackasses about the border wall in their campaign ads, Republican leadership in Congress today assured that Donald Trump will not get his border wall, nor will he be able to use the threat of a government shutdown later this month to extort his border wall from Congress.

In other words, “Dear Leader” just got rolled by his own Republican leadership on his border wall.

The Hill reports, Congress reaches deal to fund government through Dec. 7, preventing shutdown:

The House and Senate on Thursday reached a deal to prevent a shutdown by passing a large package of spending bills this month along with a continuing resolution that would fun the rest of the government through December 7.

The package would keep the government funded past Oct. 1, the deadline for Congress to act.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) on Thursday said that the two bodies had completed work on the Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bills, which represent a lion’s share of annual appropriations (a “minibus”).

The combined $786 billion in the two bills represents 65 percent of the annual appropriations allocated for 2019.

Including the continuing resolution (CR) in the package would make it difficult for President Trump to make good on threats to shut down the government over border wall funding.

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With a government shutdown looming, Congress is wasting its time on ‘GOP tax cut scam 2.0’

Just as a reminder, Congress has until September 30 to pass a federal budget, or the government will shut down (again). Trump has threatened to shut down the government at least seven times in the past six weeks:

After spending the summer threatening to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t give him billions of dollars to build a border wall, President Trump is now declaring he thinks a shutdown is good politics for him.

That’s despite the fact nearly everyone else in his party disagrees.

Republicans control all of Washington, and if the government shuts down at the end of this month when the fiscal year ends, it would come just weeks before most members of Congress face voters. Republican leaders have a hard time imagining a more nightmarish scenario for their party: The government has already shut down briefly twice this year under their watch, and the Republicans’ majority is on the line this November in the House of Representatives and maybe even the Senate.

Yet Trump doesn’t seem to care much. Each time he appears to assuage Republican leaders’ concerns by moderating his position, he says something a day or two later more strongly in favor of a shutdown.

What Trump ultimately does will decide whether the government shuts down this month — and, potentially, Republicans’ fate in the midterms.

Congress should be doing its damn job and passing a budget to keep the government operating, especially this week when there is a catastrophic hurricane bearing down on the Carolina coast. Government rescue and relief efforts are going to be needed.

Instead, the geniuses (sic) in the GOP leadership, after passing its $1.5 trillion GOP tax cut scam bill earlier this year that has predictably led to an unprecedented round of stock buybacks (and not investment or raises for workers) and created a record deficit, “retreated to their policy war room, thought and debated and deliberated and analyzed, and came up with a bold new proposal for where to go next: “GOP tax cut scam 2.0.”

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