Friday Reads

Good Morning!!

I finally got around to reading Donna Brazile’s nutty screed at Politico, and I still have no idea what she’s going on about. Basically, she says that Obama bankrupted the DNC and Clinton bailed it out. The Clinton campaign signed an agreement to raise money for the DNC and in return the DNC would have to live within its budget.

Hillary also raised millions for down-ballot Democrats, but the money couldn’t be released to the states until Bernie admitted he’d lost, and he refused to do so until the bitter end. We know that Bernie raised zero money for the DNC, so I don’t get what the accusation is. Hillary tried to rescue the party, and now they are busily working on self-destructing again.

Here’s what Elizabeth Warren had to say about this yesterday:

“This is a real problem,” Warren said. “But what we’ve got to do as Democrats now, is we’ve got to hold this party accountable.”

Warren said the moment is a test of DNC Chair Tom Perez’s leadership.

“And either he’s going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders representatives into this process and they’re going to say, ‘It’s fair, it works, we all believe it.’ Or, he’s going to fail, and I very much hope he succeeds,” Warren said. “I hope for Democrats everywhere, I hope for Bernie and for all of Bernie’s supporters that he’s going to succeed.”

As far as I can tell Bernie Sanders supporters are already controlling the direction of the party with their constant whining and caterwauling. But since Bernie refuses to join the party or raise money for it, I fail to see how handing him control of the DNC will lead to success in 2018–particularly since Bernie is determined to ignore women and people of color and focus on winning Trump-supporting white men.

But what do I know? I only know this: I’m done with the DNC and I still don’t regret changing my registration to unenrolled after 2008.

Unfortunately, Brazile and Warren have handed a huge gift to Trump and his gang; and he is reveling in it. His tweets are crazier than ever this morning.

Apparently Trump is focused on the Mueller inquiry in and prosecuting his political enemies rather than on his upcoming foreign trip. Because everything is always and only about him. Check this out:

ShareBlue: Donald Trump to Fox News: “The one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters.”

In what barely passes for an interview — with almost no questions, but plenty of praise — Donald Trump told new Fox News host Laura Ingraham why he hasn’t bothered to fill a number of empty positions at the State Department….

INGRAHAM: Your state department still has some unfilled positions. Are you worried that the state department doesn’t have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through? Because other state departments, including Reagan’s at times, undermined agendas. There is a concern that the State Department is currently undermining your agenda.

TRUMP: So we don’t need all the people that they want. You know, don’t forget, I’m a business person and I tell my people, when you don’t need to fill slots, don’t fill them. But we have some people that I’m not happy with there.

INGRAHAM: But assistant secretary of state – you’re not getting rid of that position.

TRUMP: Let me tell you — the one that matters is me. I am the only one that matters. Because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy will be. You have seen that strongly. We are filling up.

Remember how Trump and Huckabee Sanders claimed that George Papadopoulos was just a “low level volunteer” who only attended one meeting during the campaign? Scott Dworkin has been hunting down the truth and posting photos of Papadopoulos’ campaign activities:

Papadopoulos was pretty busy for a low-level volunteer coffee boy; and as a result of the focus on his campaign activities, Jeff Sessions is now in trouble. CNN: Sessions under renewed scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is once again under scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding his candor about Russia and the Trump campaign amid revelations that he rejected a suggestion to convene a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump last year.

According to court filings unsealed this week, Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos suggested at a March 2016 meeting that he could use his connections to set up a meeting between Putin and Trump with the then-GOP candidate’s national security team. An Instagram picture on Trump’s account shows Sessions attended the meeting at which Papadopoulos made the suggestion.

I posted that photo at the top of my Tuesday post. Here it is again.

Back to the CNN article:

After Trump declined to rule out the idea, Sessions weighed in and rejected the proposed meeting, according to a person who attended.

But Sessions, who was a top surrogate for Trump during the campaign, did not disclose these discussions despite a persistent set of questions from Democrats and some Republicans about Russia during multiple hearings on Capitol Hill. The new information is renewing attention to how forthcoming Sessions has been with Congress.

There is interest from Democrats on both the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees for Sessions to formally clarify his remarks made before both committees given what’s now known about his interactions with Papadopoulos, a Senate aide told CNN. The source said the request for clarification could take several forms, such as having Sessions testify again or submitting a clarification in writing, but that has not yet been determined.

Lock him up!

This from The New York Times is even more damning: Trump and Sessions Denied Knowing About Russian Contacts. Records Suggest Otherwise.

At a March 31, 2016, meeting between Mr. Trump and his foreign policy team, Mr. Papadopoulos introduced himself and said “that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin,” according to court records.

“He went into the pitch right away,” said J. D. Gordon, a campaign adviser who attended the meeting. “He said he had a friend in London, the Russian ambassador, who could help set up a meeting with Putin.”

Mr. Trump listened with interest. Mr. Sessions vehemently opposed the idea, Mr. Gordon recalled. “And he said that no one should talk about it,” because Mr. Sessions thought it was a bad idea that he did not want associated with the campaign, he said.

In other words, because it might leak out.

Lock him up!

Sam Clovis with Trump during campaign.

Is it possible that George Papadopoulos’s supervisor on the Trump campaign, Sam Clovis, could also be cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller? Why else would he have failed to tell the administration he had been questioned?

ABC News: White House was unaware top adviser testified before grand jury.

The White House first learned one of its senior staffers met with the grand jury hearing the case presented by the special counsel into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 election not from the staffer but from media reports, sources with knowledge of the investigation tell ABC News.

Former Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis recently testified before that grand jury into his role on President Donald Trump’s campaign. Clovis currently serves as the senior White House adviser to the Department of Agriculture.

Clovis’ testimony comes on the heels of another Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleading guilty to lying to federal authorities. As part of Papadopoulos’ admission of guilt, details of emails were disclosed that showed him describing to top Trump campaign officials communications he had with contacts in Russia.

The correspondence between Papadopoulos and a group of foreign nationals detail that within weeks of being described by Trump as an important part of his national security team, Papadopoulos was in London meeting with people who said they could deliver “dirt” on rival candidate Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.”

The emails indicate multiple top level campaign officials that Papadopoulos communicated with including one listed as a “campaign supervisor”.

Sources familiar with the emails tell ABC News the “campaign supervisor” was Sam Clovis.

Clovis appeared to encourage Papadopoulos to engage with Russian contacts; in one instance Clovis responded directly to Papadopoulos, hailing him for his “great work” and saying “I would encourage you” to “make the trip, if it is feasible”, referring to a trip the young campaign adviser pitched to go abroad.

Since it’s Friday, there could be new breaking stories coming. I’m hoping for another indictment.

I’ll end with this: Allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault by powerful men are still coming thick and fast. Here are the latest, links only:

Vulture: Man Comes Forward to Describe an Alleged Extended Sexual Relationship He Had at Age 14 With Kevin Spacey.

Radar: Kevin Spacey Accused Of Groping Filmmaker In Bar: ‘He Grabbed My Whole Package.’

People: Kevin Spacey Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Eight House of Cards Employees: Report.

Hollywood Reporter: Dustin Hoffman Sexually Harassed Me When I Was 17 (Guest Column).

Slate: Meryl Streep Once Said Dustin Hoffman GropedHer Breast the First Time They Met.

Variety: ‘Genius’ Producer Accuses Dustin Hoffman of Sexually Harassing Her in 1991 (EXCLUSIVE).

Politico: David Corn investigated for inappropriate workplace behavior.

AP: Female lawmakers allege harassment by colleagues in House.

In my state: On Beacon Hill, Female Reps Press Action In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Report. (NPR)

What else is happening? What stories are you following today?

 

 

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74 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    From Open Secrets, here are the amounts the Hillary Victory Fund disbursed to state parties.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/jfc/summary.php?id=C00586537

  2. bostonboomer says:

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • Enheduanna says:

      I hope Brazile is getting huge pushback from this. Elizabeth Warren needs to quit seeing Bernie through her rose colored glasses. He’s one of the major reasons we have tRump now.

      I can’t imagine what it must be like to have every thing you do – no matter how honorable – used against you.

      • Pilgrim says:

        Yes.

      • jane says:

        I just really don’t get this criticism of Hillary over Bernie. He wasn’t a democrat, didn’t want to be a democrat, just borrowed the party so he could try to bump Hillary off the ballot and then dropped out of the democratic party immediately with hardly a wave goodbye. Why does the Democratic party owe him all this so called fairness? I don’t believe they did anything wrong but it seems they are required to lean over backwards to be fair and supportive. Over the years I have seen a number of third party candidates and often it seems their only contribution was to split the party vote and give the presidency to the other party.

        • Enheduanna says:

          There’s plenty of speculation that’s exactly what Stein and Sanders were doing. A lot of progressives *cough Susan Sarandon cough* think it would be better to hit rock bottom with right-wing policies in order to swing completely hard-left where they want our politics to be.

          Stein and Sanders also have squirrely Russia connections.

    • dakinikat says:

      • NW Luna says:

        That whole bird-on-the-podium thing in Seattle — WTF? Any open-air space around here usually has a flock of English sparrows. You can see them in the hardware stores where they get in through the big auto-open doors between the outside areas and the inside. But no, suddenly Bernie turns into St. Francis. Such gullibility.

  3. dakinikat says:

    I’m not sure about this source but anyway ….

    Primary Error: Donna Brazile Mixed Up Two Different Clinton-DNC Agreements

    http://deepstatenation.com/primary-error-donna-brazile-mixed-up-two-different-clinton-dnc-agreements/

    It is also normal for the nominee to sign a whole new Joint Fundraising Agreement with the DNC, which is exactly what Clinton did. Brazile has two different Agreements mixed up in her mind — and her publisher has failed on a basic fact-check. Either someone is too lazy to read the actual DNC documents for themselves, or they are lying on purpose.

    Neither of these possibilities is comforting, and the latter seems all too likely, as Brazile is clearly hanging her narrative on other people’s bad information.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Trump on lack of nominees: ‘I am the only one that matters’

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/358573-trump-on-lack-of-nominees-i-am-the-only-one-that-matters

    President Trump pushed back Thursday on concerns about a lack of nominees for key positions at the State Department, arguing it wouldn’t affect his agenda.

    “Let me tell you, the one that matters is me, I’m the only one that matters because when it comes to it that’s what the policy is going to be,” Trump said on Fox News when pressed about vacancies by Laura Ingraham.

    “We don’t need all the people that they want,” Trump continued. “Don’t forget, I’m a business person and I tell my people ‘well you don’t need to fill slots, don’t fill them.'”

    • Enheduanna says:

      They’ve got him in the dictionary next to “grift” – now they need to put him in there next to “delusional”.

  5. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Although that should be “more racist.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Max Blumenthal is one of the Intercept crowd. I haven’t watched that, but he’s one of the bros who doesn’t think the Russia investigation is valid.

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    Superb post, BB.

  7. NW Luna says:

  8. NW Luna says:

    Something for morale here:

  9. Pilgrim says:

    Boomer, I must say thanks for the piece today. I found your top grafs re Brazile, untangling some of her misinformation, quite helpful. Best thing I’ve seen yet.

    (I wouildn’t mind if Brazile went to hell and didn’t come back.)

  10. NW Luna says:

  11. NW Luna says:

  12. dakinikat says:

  13. NW Luna says:

    Gothamist and DNAinfo shuttered, employees fired, after decision to join union.

  14. NW Luna says:

    I only know this: I’m done with the DNC and I still don’t regret changing my registration to unenrolled after 2008.

    I’m glad that in my state you don’t have to be registered with a party to vote. The last time I donated to the DNC was back when Dean was chair, before 2008. Since then I donate to individual candidates plus a very few times to the DLCC. (I tend to get them and the DCCC mixed up, the DLCC is for state races.)

  15. NW Luna says:

    Wal-Mart shooting white terrorist’s victims were Latinx. Coincidence or maybe not.

    Scott Allen Ostrem lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment where his neighbors say he cursed at them, and he was often seen carrying a rifle to and from his home. Over the years, he accumulated a trail of minor criminal charges, debts and defunct businesses.

    And on Wednesday night, the police said, Mr. Ostrem, 47, “nonchalantly” walked into a Walmart in this city of about 136,000 north of Denver and fatally shot two men and a woman, then calmly turned around and drove off in a red Mitsubishi subcompact.

    “He wouldn’t talk to you,” a neighbor, Teresa Muniz, said. “He wouldn’t say hi or good morning. He wouldn’t smile.”

  16. bostonboomer says:

    Comey relied on a fake document from a Russian source for his decision to publicly criticized Clinton shortly before the election, bypassing the usual DOJ process.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/how-a-dubious-russian-document-influenced-the-fbis-handling-of-the-clinton-probe/2017/05/24/f375c07c-3a95-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.c10d0ad12c7b

    • NW Luna says:

      FFS. Damn Comey. Damn him to the underground with millions of flesh-burrowing parasites. He thought the usual procedure didn’t apply to him and despite Trump’s campaign being investigated for ties to a hostile foreign interest, had to torpedo the best presidential candidate we’ve ever had.

      ***endless screaming***

      • quixote says:

        Comey’s arrogance worked because misogyny. Media smears worked because misogyny. (What we now know were Russian) ad buys worked because misogyny. As Melissa of Shakesville recently said, “Misogyny is a national vulnerability that was leveraged against us.”

        And will be again so long as people refuse to see the lever.

        endless screaming indeed.

  17. bostonboomer says:

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  18. NW Luna says:

    Was wondering when this would happen.

  19. RonStill4Hills says:

    Watched a little of MTP Daily to see if the story of Donna Brazil’s bullshit was out.

    They basically said that they recognize Brazile got her facts wrong. that Hillary did nothing illegal, nothing against any rules and nothing that anyone else wasn’t free to do.

    BUT as Donna Brazile and Elizabeth Warren both pointed out the DNC was showing a preference for Hillary and Hillary was unethical not the make the DNC be neutral.

    Furthermore, Donna Brazil’s statements played totally into Donald Trumps hands, and Trump was misrepresenting the story to distract from Russia and that is why it is so important for the Democrats to put period at the end of the Clinton chapter in democratic politics so the Clintons can stop being such a liability.

    You couldn’t make this shit up.

  20. RonStill4Hills says:

    They highlighted how Donna Brazile’s resume is basically helping Dukakis lose, helping Al Gore lose and helping Bernie Sanders lose. But Bill and Hillary Clinton are the liability.

  21. RonStill4Hills says:

    The upside is my girl is such a Bad Ass that she says, “They lied about me and got caught but so am still wrong…^shrugs^…what else is new.”

    They are not in her league. Spineless weasels.

  22. dakinikat says:

    Thx for the help! I got the girls to the vet today! Dinah needed antibiotics and Kinsey has her meds now. Need to take them back next month. Kinsey is a little thin so she will be getting butter on her pate! She gets blood work again. So, miles get his diabetes shot am and on and Kinsey her pills. They were totally unhappy with the trip and are glad to be in familiar space. Poor Kinsey pee d on herself on the way there but she was so relieved to be back she didn’t fight the bath. Again, Thx! The car even got me all the way there and back!

  23. NW Luna says:

    Kirsten Gillibrand takes on Capitol Hill sexual harassment

    Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is introducing new legislation to address the issue of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. “Congress should never be above the law or play by their own set of rules,” Gillibrand said in a statement, per Politico.”The current process has little accountability and even less sensitivity to victims of sexual harassment.”

    Why it matters: After allegations of harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, reports surfaced that many women lawmakers on the Hill have experienced similar situations from their colleagues. Sexual harassment prevention training isn’t mandatory for lawmakers and those who allege misconduct against their coworkers are required to take a 30-day “meditation” period before filing formal complaints.
    Keep reading 226 words

    Gillibrand’s proposed bill would go beyond simply requiring mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for members; it would also include a complete overhaul of the office that manages workplace misconduct on the Hill, the Office of Compliance. It would also grant interns on the Hill to file harassment complaints in the same way as full-time employees, as well as require every congressional office to publicly post information about employees’ rights.

    https://www.axios.com/gillibrand-sexual-harassment-bill-2506301038.html

  24. purplefinn says:

    Have been concentrating on decluttering and bird watching of late. Felt a need to get a handle on the Brazile thing. Came here. Never disappointed when I come here! Thank you BB and all.