Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Last Call For Trump's Race To The Bottom

People keep telling me that the Trump regime isn't a bunch of white supremacists, but for some weird reason, admitted white supremacists keep ending up at the White House.

The leader of a white nationalist group whose members marched in the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville visited the White House on Wednesday, according to pictures he posted online.

Patrick Casey, who heads the group Identity Evropa, posted the pictures to Twitter, in which he is seen posing on the White House grounds on what he described as a visit to “pay my respects.”

“Evropa has landed at the White House!” Casey tweeted.

Three sources familiar with how the Trump White House operates tell The Daily Beast that Casey could not have reached the location directly in front of the White House’s south front by himself or on a tour. Casey, the source said, likely would have had to be escorted by a Trump administration staffer wearing an official badge to get that kind of access.

Identity Evropa is a highly controversial group. Several of its members marched with other white supremacists in Charlottesville, and its previous leader was found guilty in a misdemeanor trial for his role. Since taking over Identity Evropa late last year, Casey has sought to distance the group from that fatal rally by adopting a public image focused on white “identitarianism.”

The group’s motto, “You will not replace us”, both refers to the idea that non-white groups are intent on eliminating white Americans and echoes the “Jews will not replace us” slogan that white supremacists chanted in Charlottesville.

The pictures from Casey’s White House visit were tweeted on the same day that President Donald Trump held a press conference in which he bristled at a reporter who questioned whether his embrace of “nationalism” encouraged white nationalists. Trump responded by claiming that the question itself was “racist.” The reporter who asked the question, PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor, is African American.

This is Trump's base, people.  This is the leader of the tiki torch carrying assholes that led a white pride parade through an American city, and then got invited to the White House grounds.  One day after midterms and the guy fires Jeff Sessions, puts a crony in charge of Mueller, and has the local white ethno-state racist asshole over for giggles and selfies.

If you're still a Republican after the last two years, I'd tell you that you needed to do some soul searching, but it's obvious you have no soul.  But hey, guess what, now you're supporting the party that wants to embrace people who want to forcibly relocate and/or kill people like me, and you expect me to accept that the person in the White House and his party are both okay with that?

I'm not ready to make nice with violent racists who want me gone, or the party that supports those racists.  Dig?

The End Of The Session(s), Con't

As widely expected, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is resigning at request of Donald Trump, just hours after Trump earlier today at a press conference said that he'd rather discuss that prospect at another time.  Apparently that "other time" was on Twitter this afternoon.

Jeff Sessions resigned from his role as attorney general at President Donald Trump’s request on Wednesday.

Sessions was an early supporter of Trump’s campaign and one of the first people nominated to his Cabinet. But the president grew publicly frustrated with Sessions’ leadership of the Justice Department, specifically his March 2017 decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged coordination with the Trump campaign. Shortly afterward, in May 2017, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the FBI’s Russia investigation ― a decision that also angered Trump.

Trump’s frustration with Sessions became undeniable in late May of this year, when Trump tweeted that he wished he hadn’t named Sessions as head of the Justice Department.

The president’s remarks came a day after The New York Times reported that he’d asked Sessions to reverse his recusal from the Russia probe shortly after the attorney general announced it. Trump later pushed back, claiming that Sessions never told him he planned to recuse himself.

So at this point, we see what happens.  I told you two months ago this was coming. Sessions will be replaced by his Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting AG, which automatically means Rod Rosenstein is no longer overseeing the Mueller probe because Sessions was recused.  Whitaker apparently has no such qualms and is now in charge.

If you have any doubt as to what's about to happen, before becoming Sessions's Chief of Staff, Whitaker authored this CNN piece saying Rosenstein should rein in Mueller.

Any investigation into President Trump's finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller's appointment as special counsel
If he were to continue to investigate the financial relationships without a broadened scope in his appointment, then this would raise serious concerns that the special counsel's investigation was a mere witch hunt. If Mueller is indeed going down this path, Rosenstein should act to ensure the investigation is within its jurisdiction and within the authority of the original directive.

've prosecuted several financial crimes at the federal level and I've also defended plenty in my private practice. From this unique vantage point, I can understand how a motivated prosecutor, in a broad investigation into the financial affairs of high-profile individuals, can become overzealous toward the targets of such probes -- with calamitous results. While no one is above the law, in situations such as this, any seasoned prosecutor must use discretion both judiciously and expertly. 
It is time for Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation, to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel
If he doesn't, then Mueller's investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition. This would not only be out of character for a respected figure like Mueller, but also could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family -- and by extension, to the country.

Expect Whitaker to move very quickly on reining in Mueller.  There's no need to fire Rosenstein with Sessions resigning, he can do with Mueller whatever he wants.

That hammer will fall quickly and Mueller knew it was coming.  He has made preparations.  We're about to find out what they are.  Worst case scenario,the new Democratic House majority subpoenas Mueller's materials and continues from there.

Stay tuned.

The Blue Wave Crested The Red Wall

The Blue Wave happened last night, guys.

Democrats won the popular vote in the House last night by about seven points, they will end up with about 35 pickups, maybe a few more.  This is 100% unalloyed good news.  There were a couple of surprise wins for the Dems like Oklahoma's 5th, South Carolina's 1st and New York's 11th that were long shots, and the Dems basically will end up splitting the 30 tossups evenly while winning all the races they were favored in.

Having Democrats in charge of House committees in January means Donald Trump will be truly investigated.  Even if Trump fires Mueller today, Democrats will finally conduct real oversight of Trump and his criminal actions, and Trump knows it.

On the governor's side, Dems picked up seven Governor's seats, unfortunately Florida wasn't one of them, and Stacey Abrams hasn't conceded in Georgia yet, but she has a major legal battle ahead against Brian Kemp's cheating.  Still, Kris Kobach went down in flames in Kansas.  The Brownback nightmare is over.   And Scott Walker lost, finally.  The upper Midwest is shifting blue again after 2016.

And that brings us to the Senate.  The good news, Dems picked up Nevada as Dean Heller lost.  Confederate racist Corey Stewart got 1.3M votes in Virginia and got crushed anyway by Tim Kaine's 1.8M plus. The bad news: Heitkamp, Donnelly, and McCaskill all lost, and Bill Nelson and Jon Tester are both behind in races that could go to recounts, and Arizona is still too close to call this morning, if Kyrsten Sinema does end up losing, it will be because of the Green party candidate, and that really pisses me off.

Still, it could have been worse. Medicaid was expanded in Nebraska, Utah, and Idaho.  That's a big win that will help hundreds of thousands. We knew the Senate was going to be long odds, and it was.   But Democrats won the House back, guys.  We won some big races and seven governor's seats back.  This is good, good news.  It's not fantastic, but winning the Senate was, well, fantasy. 

The reality is still pretty damn awesome.


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