Monday, July 22, 2019

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

Ahead of Wednesday's scheduled testimony by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Trump Regime is warning that anything not in the unredacted text of the Mueller Report is either classified or protected by executive privilege, and that Mueller cannot speak a word of it.

In extensive discussions since the former special counsel was subpoenaed to testify on June 25, department officials have emphasized that they consider any evidence he gathered throughout the course of his investigation to be “presumptively privileged” and shielded from public disclosure.

The Justice Department is “taking the position that anything outside the written pages of the report are things about which presidential privilege hasn’t been waived,” the former U.S. official said.

The White House and the Justice Department, meanwhile, have signaled they don’t intend to place lawyers in the room during Mueller’s highly-anticipated testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on Wednesday.

Without a presence at the hearing, administration officials would have little recourse to prevent Mueller from going off-script and revealing details of his investigation that the White House considers off-limits. They are poised instead to rely on Mueller to self-police his remarks, indicating that they are confident the former special counsel will stick to carefully planned comments that mirror the public results of his investigation.

Their stance cuts against President Donald Trump’s own protestation that Mueller shouldn’t be allowed to testify, which he reiterated on Monday. “Highly conflicted Robert Mueller should not be given another bite at the apple,” Trump said in a Monday morning tweet.

The president has accused Democrats of trying to conduct a “do-over” of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — a probe that he has falsely claimed “exonerates” him.

Mueller’s posture will likely deprive Democrats of an opportunity to get a clear answer from Mueller about whether he would have charged Trump with obstruction of justice if he were not the president — a reference to Mueller’s adherence to a Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president — and other burning questions.

But some Democrats have said that even if Mueller simply reads from his report word-for-word, it would help educate the American public about Trump’s attempts to thwart the Russia probe.
Jim Popkin, a spokesman for Mueller, said he was unsure whether Mueller was in contact with the Justice Department about aspects of his investigation that the administration believes would be off-limits during his testimony.

“In terms of DOJ and the Hill, there have been discussions for purposes of scheduling and clearly … to understand what the expectations are,” Popkin told POLITICO. “But they have not seen the [opening] statement. They’ve not provided the statement to either DOJ or anyone in the House.”

Popkin emphasized that Mueller’s opening statement “will stick to the four walls of the report as much as that is possible.”

Mueller himself has stated that his congressional testimony would not go beyond what is contained within his report.

Considering 90% of America has no idea whatsoever what's actually in the text of the Mueller Report, it's not a bad idea to read the best parts to America live on TV.  But the second Mueller does that, House Republicans are going to scream bloody murder and try to interrupt or even end the hearings outright, and if House Republicans can't end the hearings, I fully expect Trump Regime lawyers will show up with US Marshals in tow to escort Mr. Mueller out of the building.

In other words, I don't expect much Wednesday other than a comic mess of House Republicans acting badly on TV, and we know for a fact that Americans simply don't care about that.

Finally, it was Mueller himself who asked for clarification from Attorney General Barr and the DoJ, and they gave it to him.  He never planned on going outside the "four walls" of the unredacted Mueller probe, but most likely the GOP will act like he did anyway, especially when he refuses to answer GOP questions about Peter Strzok texts or Carter Page.

We'll see what goes down, but I would keep expectations low.  America has made up its mind that Trump isn't worth getting rid of.

She Has A Plan For That, Too

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is openly warning of an economic disaster headed our way (something I definitely agree with her on) saying that legislation is needed now in order to stave off the worst of the coming recession's effects.

“Warning lights are flashing. Whether it’s this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high — and growing,” Warren (D-Mass.) wrote in a Medium post entitled "The Coming Economic Crash--And How to Stop It

“I see a manufacturing sector in recession. I see a precarious economy that is built on debt — both household debt and corporate debt — and that is vulnerable to shocks. And I see a number of serious shocks on the horizon that could cause our economy’s shaky foundation to crumble,” she wrote.

Most of Warren’s proposals to head off the crisis are policies she has called for recently on the campaign trail such as forgiving over $600 billion in student loan debt, enacting her “Green Manufacturing Plan”, strengthening unions, providing universal child care and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

It is almost certain that President Donald Trump will not sign and the Republican-led Senate will not pass these policies, meaning that Warren’s prediction of a crash will likely be tested over the next two years.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s forecast of economic tumult flies in the face of much political conventional wisdom stating that Trump’s biggest re-election advantage is the economy. Unemployment levels recently hit a 50-year low, the majority of Americans think the economy is “good” or “excellent” and that it‘s a good time to find a job according to Gallup. The stock market continues to break records every few months.
The Trump administration and Republican allies in Congress often point to the economy’s performance as evidence of the president’s good stewardship even in the midst of self-created controversies and divisive policies. Trump himself often brags about the economy as well. Just last week on Twitter, he said the economy was “the best in our Country’s history” with the “Best Employment & Stock Market Numbers EVER”and that he has led the United States to the “Greatest Economic BOOM in the history of our Country.”

But Warren has long been arguing that the economy is not as strong as the toplines suggest. “The overall numbers about GDP or the stock market are great but they don’t reflect the lived experiences of most Americans,” she told reporters in May after a town hall in Nashua, N.H. “Go around a room like this. For most people, wages haven’t gone up in a generation and yet the cost of housing, the cost of health care, the cost of childcare, the cost of sending a kid to college have all gone through the roof. The middle class squeeze is real and it has gotten tougher for people over the last few years.”

Warren is correct on both accounts, and the warning signs in the bond and corporate lending markets are screaming alarms that we're in a 2006 scenario ahead of another 2008 meltdown.  And of course, the Trump regime's lax regulation of banks have only made this much worse.

Either way, we'll see if Warren is correct, because the Trump regime has no intention of passing anything.

The Aftermath Of Maria, Con't

Things have gotten so bad in Puerto Rico that Gov. Ricardo Rosello has left his party and will not seek re-election as the island calls for his resignation amid massive protests.

Puerto Rico’s governor on Sunday said he would not seek re-election next year but refused to resign as the island braced for more protests by demonstrators demanding he step down over leaked chat messages.

A day before a planned general strike and street demonstrations in the bankrupt U.S. territory, Ricardo Rossello, 40, said he respected the wishes of Puerto Ricans and would not seek a second term in November 2020 elections.

He also said he would resign as head of the New Progressive Party (PNP) but would remain as governor until the end of his term in January, 2021.

“I know that apologizing is not enough,” Rossello said in a video posted on Facebook. “A significant sector of the population has been protesting for days. I’m aware of the dissatisfaction and discomfort they feel. Only my work will help restore the trust of these sectors and lead the way to real reconciliation.”

His comments drew outrage from the many Puerto Ricans, with videos on social media showing San Juan residents leaning out of apartment windows banging pots and pans in a third day of so-called “cacerolazo” protests.

The July 13 publication of offensive chat messages between Rossello and top aides has unleashed simmering resentment over his handling of devastating 2017 hurricanes, alleged corruption in his administration and the island’s bankruptcy process.

“‘#Resign Ricky isn’t just a call for him to resign from the party, but from his seat as the top official,” tweeted Linda Michelle, an industrial engineer and Puerto Rico radio personality. “Whoever wasn’t sure about going to the march tomorrow has now made up their mind to go.”

Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative to the U.S. Congress, as well as Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers have called for the governor to step aside after nine days of sometimes violent protests.

“Once again: Rossell√≥ must resign,” tweeted U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in response to his video.

But Puerto Rico’s Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, a member of the pro-statehood PNP, said Rossello’s actions “put an end to part of the controversies and trauma hitting our people” and his ruling party now had to rebuild confidence in their leadership.

In the online chats revealed by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, the center-right governor and his top allies referred to politicians, celebrities and ordinary Puerto Ricans in misogynistic, homophobic and offensive terms.

The speaker of Puerto Rico’s house of representatives appointed an independent panel on Friday to investigate whether the chats warranted impeachment and gave it 10 days to deliver a report.

And my only question is where's the general strike in the US?  Where's the massive protests?  Where's the impeachment inquiry here stateside?

Why aren't we treating Trump like Rossello?


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