The Barr cover-up report reportedly will go public sometime today. The schedule is vague. At 9:30, Cover-Up General Barr plans to give a “press conference” about a report that no one except unknown DOJ officials and White House lawyers have read.
Yes, according the NYT, the White House has been briefed and very likely has had the full report for some time. In addition, DOJ attorneys have been helping the White House prepare their counter-report!
The New York Times: White House and Justice Dept. Officials Discussed Mueller Report Before Release.
Not all of Robert S. Mueller III’s findings will be news to President Trump when they are released Thursday.
Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.
A sense of paranoia was taking hold among some of Mr. Trump’s aides, some of whom fear his backlash more than the findings themselves, the people said. The report might make clear which of Mr. Trump’s current and former advisers spoke to the special counsel, how much they said and how much damage they did to the president — providing a kind of road map for retaliation.
Reporters should use the “press conference” to ask Barr about his past cover-ups, his connections to Russia, his conflicts of interest, and his general corruption. They won’t, of course. They also should not refer to whatever redacted mess the Cover-Up General releases as the Mueller Report, but of course they will do just that.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that it’s not the Mueller report; it’s the Barr report. If Robert Mueller wanted to endorse Barr’s cover-up, he would be appearing at the “press conference.” But his isn’t going to be there. Mueller has been muzzled.
Tom Scocca at Hmm Daily: It’s the Barr Report, Not the Mueller Report.
What could inspire more hope and despair than a whole bunch of people who messed something up being granted a do-over? Tomorrow, all the reporters and publications who gave Donald Trump his “MUELLER FINDS NO COLLUSION” headlines, based on a few sentence fragments in a letter from attorney general William Barr, are supposed to get another document to analyze and quickly write headlines about.
Already, journalists are calling this document “the Mueller report.” It is not the Mueller report; that is, it will not be the report prepared by the special counsel investigating Russian election interference and the Trump campaign. It will be some other document. Its text, like the quotes used in the Barr letter, will be based on the text of the Mueller report, but it will have been edited down for release by William Barr, whose implicit and explicit theory of his job duties is that he is there to protect the president.
This isn’t speculation. It’s a description of what’s publicly known about the process, informed by Barr’s prior work with the Mueller report, his written record of his own thoughts on presidential immunity, and his history as a middleman in previous scandal coverage. Barr is a partisan, not a broker of facts, and it is a basic reporting error to treat material that’s passed through his control as definitive—a basic reporting error that major media outlets eagerly made, last time around.
The Daily Beast: Mueller Report Rollout Won’t Have Mueller.
The Justice Department will hold a press conference Thursday morning about the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report—but Mueller won’t be there and the document may not be released until after Attorney General William Barr speaks about the nearly 400 pages he went through to redact.
“They are making Al Capone look straight,” one committee member told The Daily Beast.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler ripped Barr’s plan to speak about the report before lawmakers, the media and public have a chance to review it.
“Rather than letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, the attorney general has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation,” Nadler said at a press conference on Wednesday night.
“The Attorney General appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump, the very subject of the investigation at the heart of the Mueller report,” he added.
If the report is heavily redacted, Nadler said, “we will most certainly issue the subpoenas in very short order.” He said they “will probably find it useful” to ask Mueller and members of his team to testify.
Just send out the subpoenas as soon as you get the report. No more fooling around.
Axios insists on calling the Barr Report “the Mueller Report.”
Mueller witnesses and their lawyers say that they expect the special counsel’s report to include a mass of detailed scenes in which President Trump lashed out about Mueller, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein and the FBI.
The big picture: They believe that if Mueller’s report presents the material in the same relentlessly detailed way as his prosecutors asked the questions, the accumulation could lead a casual observer to think that the president tried to obstruct justice.
Here we are on the first day of Spring 2019, and a madman is still “president.” He’s getting crazier and crazier with each passing day. Here’s proof, in case you need it:
What a fucking moron!
Then there are the moronic “B-boys.” There are four of them: Biden, Beto, Bernie, and now Buttigieg, the latest Democrat to dump on Hillary.
Hey Pete, Hillary’s slogan was “Stronger Together.” Are you sure you want to attack her millions of supporters who collectively said, “I’m with her?” Too late, you already did.
Margaret Sullivan at The Washington Post: Beto, Biden and Bernie: The B-Boys and the media’s dangerous, self-fulfilling prophecy.
As amorous embraces go, few could be more ardent than the one Beto O’Rourke got this month from Vanity Fair magazine.
The perfectly timed cover treatment was the full monty: Rugged-glam photo by the legendary Annie Leibovitz, the former Texas congressman’s earnest Kennedy-esque gaze, and the ripe-for-parody headline including this immortal quote: “I’m just born to be in it.”
Most Americans wouldn’t see the magazine itself, of course, but the rest of the news media — including network evening news — helped spread the image around as they gave over-the-top coverage to O’Rourke’s kickoff….
Somehow, despite a remarkably diverse Democratic field — which includes a record number of women, a gay man and several people of color — the B-Boys (that is, Beto, Biden and Bernie) — were off and running.
The news media undoubtedly was part of the equation. With more than 18 months to go before the 2020 election, the love and attention was not being dished out in equal measure.
As author Rebecca Traister described it, she woke up one morning this week thinking about the flawed notion that being a white man is actually a disadvantage, given this diverse field.
The reality is quite the opposite, she wrote on Twitter: “Early metrics would show it to be an extremely powerful polling & fundraising boon, as it has always, always been.”
And now we can add another B-boy to the list of white men getting all the attention.
I’m already sick and tired of the 2020 election campaign and it’s still early 2019.
More suggested reads and then some cartoons.
Barbara McQuade at USA Today:The bread crumb papers: Why Cohen document dump should worry Donald Trump and others.
Robin Marty at Politico: I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones: Centrists Have Great Bullshit Radar (in Sweden, Anyway).
Natasha Bertrand at The Atlantic: The Enigmatic Russian Paying Maria Butina’s Legal Bills.
Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair: “Everyone thinks they’re going to sell”: Hellfire at Fox as Hannity mulls leaving and Lachlan goes full Donna Brazile on Trump.
Even the cartoons aren’t funny anymore. Sad.
I hope everyone had a lovely day despite the self-absorbed asshole living in the White House and his mountain of grievances. Here’s a bit of his so-called Christmas message to the troops today. CNN reports:
In President Donald Trump’s Christmas Day telling, the drugs are flowing over the border, the Federal Reserve is imperiling the economy and the Democrats are preparing to harass him with oversight requests.
“It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” Trump fumed, seated behind the Resolute Desk on Tuesday, after decrying Democrats as hypocrites and recalling — unprompted — his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
“But other than that,” he said, his hands gesturing outward, “I wish everybody a very merry Christmas.”
Celebrating the holiday at the White House instead of his Palm Beach estate, Trump used a phone call session with American troops to advance his case for a border wall, his isolationist foreign policy views and his insistence that his campaign did not collude with Russia.
Trump acknowledged the standoff with Democrats over funding for his long-promised border wall has no foreseeable end date.
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it,” he said.
I’m sure the men and women serving overseas found that very edifying . . . not. Here’s mash-up of his public whining:
Remember when we had a real president? It’s hard to believe it has only been two years since the Obamas sent out their final Christmas message.
I just got home after spending the day with family. I thought I’d share a few stories that have caught my attention tonight.
The New York Times: Trump’s King Minus Touch.
The New Yorker: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Nephew on Winning the Aunt Lottery.
Scientific American: There Is No Such Thing as Conscious Thought.
Happy Holidays, Sky Dancers!!
As has often happened lately, I just don’t know where to begin. I’m late with this because I’ve just spend hours dealing with a family situation that ate up my whole morning and into this afternoon.
As soon as I started look around at today’s news, I saw that there has been another mass shooting–this time at a synagogue in Pittsburg. As of now, MSNBC is reporting that there are 8-10 deaths, but CNN just said there are only 4 confirmed deaths and 12 people shot.
CBS Pittsburgh: 8 Dead, Several Others Shot At Pittsburgh Synagogue.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reports that a suspect, a heavy-set white male with a beard, has surrendered. The SWAT team had been talking with the suspect, and he was crawling and injured. It is unclear the extent of his injuries.
KDKA sources confirm to Andy Sheehan that the suspect is 48-year-old Robert Bowers. It is believed that he acted alone.
Police are also investigating if he announced his intentions on Twitter this morning. That account has since been taken down.
Pittsburgh Police spokesman Chris Togneri confirmed that the suspect was in custody and three police officers had been shot. He also confirmed multiple causalities, but did not divulge exactly how many.
Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews must die.” Sheehan’s sources confirmed that eight people were dead. Others had been shot, but the extent of their injuries in unknown at this time.
Trump spoke about the shooting as he departed for another of his Hitler rallies. He didn’t say anything helpful; his main message was that if there had been security inside the temple (I guess he means guns) this wouldn’t have happened.
Press conference now on CNN: The scene inside is very bad. There are multiple fatalities. The injured are being transported to trauma facilities. There will be another press conference at 4PM with government officials and first responders. This is being considered a federal crime and the FBI is leading the investigation.
I’m going to put this post up now, and I’ll had some links to other stories with as soon as it goes up.
The Atlantic: Trump’s Incoherent Rally in Charlotte.
Take care of yourselves today. I love you all.
I’m going to put up a quick open thread, because the one from last night is getting very long. I’m also very tired, because I didn’t get to sleep until around 3AM. So here are a few of the things I’m finding this morning.
Howard Dean said what many of us were thinking about Donald Trump’s sniffing last night.
Toward the end of the debate, Hillary confronted Donald on his history of offensive remarks about women. She mentioned a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado whom Trump publicly humiliated because she gained some weight. This morning, he doubled down on his criticism of her on Fox and Friends.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign posted this ad.
Trump must have known how badly he performed last night, because he went the spin room himself–most candidates leave that to their staff and surrogates.
Some reactions from this morning:
PPP Polling: Voters Nationally Say Clinton Won Debate 51/40.
Please add your own links in the comment thread. I’ll be back after I grab some coffee.
I’m on the road to Boston in Utica, NY. I’ll be home later this afternoon, and I’ll make every effort to post something more then. In the meantime, here’s an open thread.
Is it possible that the media has finally changed its tone toward Donald Trump? Yesterday I heard NPR announcers say several times that Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton started the birther controversy was “false” or “not true.”
Apparently the media was enraged at the treatment Trump gave them yesterday when he tricked them into thinking he would admit he was wrong to push the horrid birther story for five years at a press conference. It turned out he didn’t answer any questions and didn’t produce anything resembling an apology. Then he refused to allow the media to accompany him on a tour of his new hotel in Washington DC. He had only wanted free media for his business interests.
Just as Donald Trump gained on Hillary Clinton this week, he returned to his old ways of self-sabotage.
As the “birther” controversy swelled around him, he stood before a national television audience seemingly poised to address the issue that launched his political career — and then he spent 30 minutes delivering an infomercial about his new hotel. As the event was about to wrap, he tossed out a near-throwaway line: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” ….
Black congressional leaders, along with Clinton’s campaign, pilloried Trump’s brief statement on Obama’s birthplace — which was not an apology, an explanation or even an admission that he was the loudest promoter of the birther movement.
At a press conference, member of the Congressional Black Caucus urged voters to register and get out and vote this November.
“We are used to dog whistles, but the thing we are not used to are the howls of wolves. These are howls, not whistles,” said Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina….Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, called Trump’s actions “disgraceful.”“After five years of pushing a racist conspiracy theory into the mainstream, it was appalling to watch Trump appoint himself the judge of whether the President of the United States is American,” Mook said in a statement. “This sickening display shows more than ever why Donald Trump is totally unfit be president.”
To top off his awful day, last night Donald Trump for the second time called for Hillary Clinton to be assassinated. NBC News:
MIAMI — Donald Trump mixed policy with intimations of violence in Miami on Friday, reversing his position on re-engaging with Cuba and pushing for Hillary Clinton’s security to disarm because of her proposed firearm reforms.
Trump represented Clinton’s position on gun rights as wanting to “destroy your Second Amendment” and said that her bodyguards should no longer carry firearms in light of her policy stance, which includes expanded background checks for gun sales.
“She doesn’t want guns, take their — let’s see what happens to her,” Trump said. “Take their guns away, okay? It’ll be very dangerous.”
Trump’s comments were slammed by Clinton’s campaign on Friday night:
“Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President, has a pattern of inciting people to violence. Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of Commander in Chief,” Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, wrote in a release.
“This kind of talk should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate, just like it should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate to peddle a conspiracy theory about the President of the United States for five years,” Mook added.
“But we’ve seen again and again that no amount of failed resets can change who Donald Trump is. He is unfit to be President and it is time Republican leaders stand up to denounce this disturbing behavior in their nominee.”
Even the media’s sudden willingness to call Donald Trump out on his lies may not be enough. Trump is actually moving up in the polls. Hillary would still win if the election were held today, but the media’s bias against her is taking its toll. It’s time for the media to stop playing Trump’s game and get serious about reporting on the issues.
More interesting stories to check out this morning:
Dan Gillmor at The Atlantic: Fighting Politicians’ War on Truth.
Margaret Sullivan at The Washington Post: It’s time for TV news to stop playing the stooge for Donald Trump.
Talking Points Memo: Trump Introduced By A Birther At Event Where He Walked Back Birtherism.
Joseph Stiglitz at Medium: Why TPP Is a Bad Deal for America and American Workers.
Now I have to get ready to hit the road. I’ll check in with you later on. What stories are you following today?
While I’m waiting at the local Social Security office, I will try to get this post out. My father is being stopped by the armed guard/federal cop for carrying his gun into the office. And if that wasn’t bad enough…he has to go on and on with the guy, how he has a concealed carry license…even though the dude is telling my dad that license doesn’t matter for shit. The office is considered a federal building.
This is an open thread for now….please post any and all links you can, because it is just one of those shitty ass days.