If our politicians can’t move beyond half-measures and well meaning prayers, they will need to get out of the way for the Emmas of the world.
It may be that the American public doesn’t care about the sex lives of public officials, but it does seem that the financial payoffs of alleged mistresses has some relevance. If you read Ronan Farrow’s account of Trump’s dalliance with a Playboy model, it sure seems plausible. And then there is this part: On November 4, 2016, four days before the election, the Wall Street Journalreported that American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, had paid a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for exclusive rights to McDougal’s story, which it never ran. Purchasing a story in order to bury it is a practice that many in the tabloid industry call “catch and kill.
The female Mayor of Nashville admitted she had an affair with a policeman assigned to her detail- are Megan Barry’s transgressions worse than Trump’s? Is there a different standard for female politicians? Will she stay in office? Interesting NY Times article about these questions.
Between the National Enquirer and the Russians, it is a fascinating cast of characters that were working to get Trump elected. Apparently another Trump aide will plead guilty and tell what he knows about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. LA Times reports: The Oct. 27 indictment showed that prosecutors had amassed substantial documentation to buttress their charges that Manafort and Gates — who were colleagues in political consulting for about a decade — had engaged in a complex series of allegedly illegal transactions rooted in Ukraine. The indictment alleged that both men, who for years were unregistered agents of the Ukrainian government, hid millions of dollars of Ukraine-based payments from U.S. authorities. Trump sure knows how to pick a campaign team.
Is Anthony Kennedy thinking about retiring from the Supreme Court? NY Times article discusses some of the calculations involved. Whenever there is a vacancy, you can can expect it to be a bruising battle. Merrick Garland will have his revenge?
Must have missed it when the GOP proposed that what Mohamed Atta and the other 18 9/11 hijackers needed was access to mental health counseling. Apparently that was the solution.
I’m not saying Oprah will run for President in 2020 but…..
Let’s just say that after Trump winning, the idea of Oprah doesn’t seem so outlandish. According to CNN, she’s at least thinking about it. She crushed it with her speech at the Golden Globes last night:
And it is also a testament to the lack of excitement around the potential Democratic field. Old, white people just don’t generate a whole of excitement- sorry Bernie, Uncle Joe, Jerry Brown and Elizabeth Warren.
Do I think Oprah will run? Not really, but in 2014 I didn’t think Trump would win and no sane person thought he’d actually become President.
The gay son of newly sworn in Senator Doug Jones was giving the eyeball to Mike Pence during the swearing in ceremony. SFGate reports: Pence, a strict conservative who reportedly will not eat meals in the company of women other than his wife and who once penned a column about the destructive moral influence of Disney’s “Mulan,” has a record of opposing gay rights as a member of Congress and as governor of Indiana.
As a reminder that every vote counts, Republican David Yancey just won a tie breaker for a Virginia Assembly seat. That allows Republicans to maintain control of the Legislature by 51-49. Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds each received 11,607 votes. NPR reports that: the state election board shall “determine by lot which of the candidates shall be declared elected.
Interestingly Pence has been raising a ton of money for his PAC- a bit unusual for a VP. WSJ quotes a former spokesman for (soon to be Utah Senator) Mitt Romney: Mr. Pence is a “safe choice, whereas Trump is a total wild card.” Pence is certainly set up to run in 2020 if Trump implodes or quits.
If the Dems take back the House in 2018, they will need to knock off people like Jeff Denham. He won reelection in a District that Hillary carried in 2016. SacBee writes about some of the challengers to Denham.
Trump had his lawyer try and convince Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Russia probe. From Time: The conversation between Don McGahn, the president’s White House counsel, and Sessions took place on the president’s orders and occurred just before the attorney general announced that he would step aside from the ongoing inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction. It is amazing the lengths to which Trump has gone to try and derail the investigation of his ties to Putin and Russia. But hey, nothing to see, nothing to see.
Fortune reports that my good friend Mike Tyson is looking to open a giant weed ranch…err “Cannabis Resort”. Iron Mike is going to join with all the lawmakers who totally bummed about Jeff Sessions’ decision to start enforcing marijuana laws even in states that have legalized it. Time mentions that this could even prompt Congress to legalize marijuana. Hopefully Sessions would then light up a giant blunt to celebrate.
I went ahead and ordered it on Amazon- it is like a new Harry Potter book coming out:
The Michael Wolff excerpts in NY Mag just have so much good stuff in them. Another favorite is that Jared and Ivanka are plotting her path to the Presidency: “Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump.”
And the White House attacking the book will helps sales and resulted in an earlier release date:
The WSJ reports that Breitbart’s owners are considering firing Bannon and that Trump’s lawyers are trying to stop the book’s release….Can we just give Wolff a Pulitzer now?
Apparently even White House aides think that Trump’s tweeting might result in a nuclear war according to the Daily Beast: “It’s a running joke [in the West Wing] that nuclear war could start from the private residence during Fox [News] prime time,” one senior Trump aide told The Daily Beast. “Sometimes the joking includes more uncomfortable [or] nervous laughter than other times.
Jeff Sessions is trying to roll back Obama guidelines that relaxed efforts to prosecute marijuana crimes. Good luck with that.
Trump’s voter fraud commission produced a whole lot of nothing and he has now disbanded it. Guess maybe Hillary won the popular vote after all. Politico quoted Chuck Shumer: “The commission never had anything to do with election integrity. It was instead a front to suppress the vote, perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims, and was ridiculed from one end of the country to the other. This shows that ill-founded proposals that just appeal to a narrow group of people won’t work, and we hope they’ll learn this lesson elsewhere.”
And lawmakers recently met with a Yale psychiatry professor to discuss Trump’s mental health. Politico speculates that there is a growing sentiment to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
Hard to know who root for…. Vox reports on Bannon dropping some major accusations in a forthcoming book: In the excerpts, Bannon says he thinks Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in search of dirt on Hillary Clinton was “treasonous,” speculates that the elder Trump may have been involved in the meeting too, and asserts that Jared Kushner is involved in some “greasy” business that could expose him to money laundering charges.
Trump responds: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” the statement reads in part. “Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.”
The good news is that perhaps this distracts Trump from using his stubby little fingers to try and start a nuclear war with North Korea via Twitter.
Fascinating article in NY mag about how Trump and his campaign never actually expected to win: Even though the numbers in a few key states had appeared to be changing to Trump’s advantage, neither Conway nor Trump himself nor his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — the effective head of the campaign — wavered in their certainty: Their unexpected adventure would soon be over. Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be.
End of the day, Trump ran to stroke his own ego and he thought it would make him some money.
Salon article on howFlorida has 1.7 million citizens who cannot vote because they’ve been convicted of a felony at some point. Hillary lost Florida by 120,000 votes- that certainly could have been the difference. Salon reports that there is a strong movement afoot to restore voting rights in Florida. Restoring voting rights is a step towards integrating people back in to society…and yeah Democrats do well when more people vote.