Saturday, December 16, 2017

Last Call For It's Mueller Time, Con't

At least one Democrat is warning that Donald Trump will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and that Republicans will attempt to end the House investigation against Trump at the end of next week after Congress leaves for the holidays.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Friday that "rumors" on Capitol Hill suggest President Trump could fire special counsel Robert Mueller before Christmas, after Congress leaves Washington for the winter recess.

The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on Dec. 22, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller," Speier told California's KQED News.

Speier, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that Trump was trying to shut down the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, pointing to the lack of interviews scheduled for the new year.

The New York Times reported Friday that the committee is scheduling its final witnesses of the year to testify in New York, despite important votes coming up in Washington, D.C., and confirmed no additional witnesses are scheduled yet in 2018.

"We can read between the lines I think," Speier said. "I believe this president wants all of this shut down. He wants to shut down these investigations, and he wants to fire special counsel Mueller."

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), also said Friday that he is worried that Republicans leading the committee are seeking to shut down the committee's investigation by the end of the year.

"Republicans have scheduled no witnesses after next Friday and none in 2017 [sic]. We have dozens of outstanding witnesses on key aspects of our investigation that they refuse to contact and many document requests they continue to sit on," he tweeted Friday.

The Department of Justice has repeatedly said that Mueller would not be fired short of misconduct but Trump backers have been setting the table for weeks attacking Mueller's credibility, and now a majority of Americans believe Mueller has a conflict of interest.  Trump will reportedly make his move after FOX News reported exactly such "misconduct" this weekend.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained “many tens of thousands" of Trump transition emails, including emails of Jared Kushner, transition team sources tell Axios. 
Trump officials discovered Mueller had the emails when his prosecutors used them as the basis for questions to witnesses, the sources said. 
The emails include 12 accounts, one of which contains about 7,000 emails, the sources said. 
The accounts include the team's political leadership and the foreign-policy team, the sources said.

Why it matters: The transition emails are said to include sensitive exchanges on matters that include potential appointments, gossip about the views of particular senators involved in the confirmation process, speculation about vulnerabilities of Trump nominees, strategizing about press statements, and policy planning on everything from war to taxes. 
“Mueller is using the emails to confirm things, and get new leads," a transition source told me.

How it happened: The sources say Mueller obtained the emails from the General Services Administration, the government agency that hosted the transition email system, which had addresses ending in “," for Presidential Transition Team.

Taking fight public: Charging "unlawful conduct," Kory Langhofer, counsel for the transition team, wrote in a letter to congressional committees Saturday that "career staff at the General Services Administration ... have unlawfully produced [transition team] private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel's Office."

In other words, the White House is officially saying that Mueller got these emails illegally, that the emails weren't germane to the investigation, that went too far to get them, that the emails were either leaked to him or stolen, and as a result the entire investigation is a fraud.

No doubt Trump will use this as his justification to fire Mueller next weekend, waiting for Congress to recess for the year so there's no opposition from Democrats.

The stage is now set as the right-wing noise machine is at full blast.

"The anti-Mueller rhetoric in conservative media right now is part of a feedback loop," Nicole Hemmer, the author of a book about conservative media, "Messengers of the Right," told CNNMoney.

"Conservative media personalities know Trump hates the investigation and wants it shut down," she said in an email. "They bash the investigation and Mueller, and when Trump sees that happening (say, on 'Fox & Friends') it reinforces his belief that the investigation is illegitimate and that he should do something to end it. The likely consequence is that this increases the odds of Trump attempting to fire Mueller."

Hemmer added: "We'll have to wait and see whether internal restraints within the White House — lawyers and advisers — are enough to stop him from doing that."

  What happens now depends on us.

Trump Cards, Con't

A few years ago the name of the person in the White House became synonymous with hope, diversity, inclusivity, equality. Obama still means that to millions across the country and the world today.

The curent occupant of the Oval Office, well his name has become a racial epithet, a promise of violence, a quantum of racism, a barbaric yawp of white supremacy, shorthand for what fate awaits non-Christian whites in the America that exists today.

Last year’s contentious presidential election gave oxygen to hate. An analysis of F.B.I. crime data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found a 26 percent increase in bias incidents in the last quarter of 2016 — the heart of the election season — compared with the same period the previous year. The trend has continued into 2017, with the latest partial data for the nation’s five most populous cities showing a 12 percent increase.

In addition, anti-Muslim episodes have nearly doubled since 2014, according to Brian Levin, the director of the center, which he said has also counted more “mega rallies” by white nationalists in the last two years than in the previous 20. “I haven’t seen anything like this during my three decades in the field,” he said.

Peppered among these incidents is a phenomenon distinct from the routine racism so familiar in this country: the provocative use of “Trump,” after the man whose comments about Mexicans, Muslims and undocumented immigrants — coupled with his muted responses to white nationalist activity — have proved so inflammatory. His words have also become an accelerant on the playing field of sports, in his public criticism of black athletes he deems to be unpatriotic or ungrateful.

Officials at Salem State University in Massachusetts discovered hateful graffiti spray-painted on benches and a fence surrounding the baseball field, including “Trump #1 Whites Only USA.” An undocumented immigrant in Michigan reported to the police that two assailants had stapled a note bearing a slur to his stomach after telling him, “Trump doesn’t like you.” A white Massachusetts businessman at Kennedy International Airport in New York was charged with assaulting and menacing an airline worker in a hijab, saying, among other threats: “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.”

In an email, the White House on Friday denounced the use of the president’s name in cases like these. “The president condemns violence, bigotry and hatred in all its forms, and finds anyone who might invoke his or any other political figure’s name for such aims to be contemptible,” Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, said.

Still, it persists. Across the country, students have used the president’s name to mock or goad minority opponents at sporting events. In March, white fans at suburban Canton High School in Connecticut shouted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as players from Hartford’s Classical Magnet School, which is predominantly black and Latino, took foul shots during a basketball playoff game. They also chanted “He’s our president!”

The visiting players and their chaperones interpreted the chants not as a sudden burst of presidential fealty, but rather as a slyly racist mantra intended to rattle. As if Donald J. Trump was the president of here, in white suburbia, and not there, in the diverse inner city.

“I’m not sure what politics has to do with basketball,” Azaria Porter, then the Classical team’s 16-year-old manager, told The Hartford Courant. “It was just annoying. It was like, O.K., we get it.”

In a world of internet meme culture and pervasive social media, Trump has become the most meme-able of things, code for all the overt discrimination and bias that is now allowed to be freely expressed in this country.

And he's proud of that fact, guaranteed.  This is what the name of the leader of our country means now, he's the leader of a twisted cult of hatred, not a name to inspire hope, but one to inspire fear.

Dirty Words Gone Dirt Cheap

The Trump regime is now telling American science agencies what they are allowed to do, what they are allowed to research, and most importantly what they are now allowed to say.

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.

The question of how to address such issues as sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion rights — all of which received significant visibility under the Obama administration — has surfaced repeatedly in federal agencies since President Trump took office. Several key departments — including Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, as well as Justice, Education, and Housing and Urban Development — have changed some federal policies and how they collect government information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

In March, for example, HHS dropped questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in two surveys of elderly people. 
HHS has also removed information about LGBT Americans from its website. The department’s Administration for Children and Families, for example, archived a page that outlined federal services that are available for LGBT people and their families, including how they can adopt and receive help if they are the victims of sex trafficking.

At the CDC, the meeting about the banned words was led by Alison Kelly, a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services, according to the CDC analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. Kelly did not say why the words are being banned, according to the analyst, and told the group that she was merely relaying the information.

Other CDC officials confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words.It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words, the analyst said.

Those whom the Trump regime deem undesirable are being disappeared from the government's language and from the government's programs.  The crowning achievement in all this will be the 2020 Census, where those who don't agree with the regime will erased from government records altogether.   Mass disenfranchisement done the easy way, and there's nothing to indicate that the GOP isn't doing this on purpose to justify government spending cuts.

And this is definitely a screaming signal of authoritarianism we now live under in America.  First they came for the LGBTQ, to paraphrase Niemoller.
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