5TtRT: Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Michael Cohen, Ambien & More

Today’s articles talk about Trump’s attempts to pressure Jeff Sessions into controlling or ending the Mueller investigation, files from Michael Cohen’s cell phones, Trump spilling classified secrets *again*, Ambien’s side effects, and an accountant who embezzled millions from literary agency Donadio & Olson, affecting lots of big-name authors.

Today’s articles talk about Trump’s attempts to pressure Jeff Sessions into controlling or ending the Mueller investigation, files from Michael Cohen’s cell phones, Trump spilling classified secrets again, Ambien’s side effects, and an accountant who embezzled millions from literary agency Donadio & Olson, affecting lots of big-name authors.

Definitely Read This One

New York Times: Trump Asked Sessions to Retain Control of Russia Inquiry After His Recusal
To sum up: Sessions recused himself from anything to do with Russia-related investigations because he had connections to Russians, including meetings with Russian ambassador (and probable agent) Sergey Kislyak that Sessions kept quiet about. Then the Trump-Russia investigations exploded, and Trump has been super angry that he doesn’t have a Trumpster running the investigation and keeping it on lockdown. For obvious reasons, I’m sure. Since then, Trump has been trashing Sessions, ignoring him, and generally trying to get him to un-recuse himself or step down.

Now the New York Times reports that Trump had Sessions in Florida, trying to pressure/coerce him into stepping down or un-recusing himself. Mueller is investigating that, because it’s probably obstructing justice, like firing Comey probably was.

The line that leapt out at me in this article, though, was, “Mr. Trump complains to friends about how much he would like to get rid of Mr. Sessions but has demurred under pressure from Senate Republicans who have indicated they would not confirm a new attorney general.”

As far as I can tell House Republicans are a complete waste. They don’t seem to have any intention of governing, holding the White House to account, etc. They seem to be perfectly happy going along with the rolling dumpster fire that is the Trump White House.

The Senate Republicans are a different kettle of fish. I suspect there’s more going on behind the scenes than we’re guessing at. It’s hard to see. You have to watch what they’re doing, not what they’re saying. They support Trump verbally, but their investigation seems to be ticking along a lot more seriously and steadily than the House’s ever did. And now there’s this gentle threat about firing Sessions.

Which is not to say that Senate Republicans are “good guys” or any such nonsense. They seem to agree with Trump’s politics, for the most part, which is reason enough to vote them out of office. They don’t seem quite so interested in covering for Trump’s corruption, though.

Except for Mitch McConnell, of course. That guy is trash.

4 Other Things to Read

Featured Photo: Jeff Sessions, by Gage Skidmore. (Source and licensing.)

5TtRT: Roseanne, Puerto Rico, North Korea, Donald Trump, & Melania Trump

Today’s articles cover Roseanne’s show getting canceled, Melania Trump being “missing,” the North Korea summit that both is and is not happening, apparently, and more.

Related to our first article today, there’s apparently a conservative push on Twitter to get Bill Maher’s show canceled in retaliation for Roseanne’s show being canceled, and the liberal response to this is, “Yes, please cancel that also.”

There was a brief moment about two decades ago when Bill Maher was a liberal star. I think it lasted about twenty minutes? And then everyone realized he was just a massive douchebag who was into quack medicine and thinking he was better than everyone else, and we all stopped watching him. So yeah, sure, go ahead and cancel whatever it is he’s doing these days. No one will miss him.

Except maybe libertarians? I think they still watch him.

5 Things to Read Today

Vox: ABC cancels Roseanne
Today’s big news, somehow, is Roseanne’s rebooted show getting canceled because Roseanne said racist crap on Twitter. Important note: Roseanne has been saying racist crap on Twitter pretty much since she joined. She’s been a nightmare for decades. She was a nightmare during the first Roseanne. I have no idea what ABC was thinking putting her back on TV.

Washington Post: Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria
The official death toll for Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria was like 65 people, but anyone who was paying any attention at all knew that was BS. A new Harvard estimate puts the death toll at 4,645 people. And that’s mostly due to the Trump administration going, “Eh, brown people. Whatever.” and just not sending enough help, fast enough.

AP: White House: US ‘continues to actively prepare’ for summit
The other day Trump canceled the North Korea summit. Except everyone’s still planning for it? No one will admit if it is or isn’t back on and at this point I’m just ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Business Insider: Trump worried that using the term ‘deep state’ would make him sound like too much of a crank — until he saw that it played well in conservative media
This is important to note. Everything is marketing with Trump. The man has no opinions, ideas, or stances of his own, beyond what he thinks he can sell to you, or what he sees will play well on TV. He’s an empty shell.

Politico: White House silence on Melania stokes conspiracy theories
My general impression of Melania is that she simply does not give a single crap about any of this White House business and is having as little as humanly possible to do with it. If one of the conspiracy theories were to win out, though, my bet would be on the one that says Trump beat her up. I mean, we already know from one of his past wives (Ivanna? In a book, maybe?) that he’s not above slapping women around.

Our trash President on Memorial Day 2018

“Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!” – Donald Trump

“Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”
Donald Trump, Twitter

Featured Photo: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore. (Source and licensing.)

Rudy Giuliani on Trump Impeachment & ‘Spygate’

“We’re defending … um — to a large extent remember, Dana, we’re defending here … It is for public opinion. Because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach or not impeach.” – Rudy Giuliani

“Of course we have to [be aggressive in these attacks] to defend the president. We’re defending … um — to a large extent remember, Dana, we’re defending here … It is for public opinion. Because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach or not impeach. Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, are going to be informed a lot by their constituents. And so our jury is — as it should be — is the American people. And the American people, yes, are … Republicans, largely, independents, pretty substantially, and even some Democrats now question the legitimacy of [the Mueller investigation].”
Rudy Giuliani, CNN’s State of the Union, via the New Yorker.

Featured Photo: Rudy Giuliani, by Gage Skidmore. (Source and licensing.)

Where are the children?

I’ve seen many people this morning talking about how “This isn’t America.” and “This is unAmerican.” They are wrong. This is America. This is us. We’re all monsters now. This is our shame, our sin, and we must rectify the situation.

Trump recently instituted a new border policy that says that parents who arrive at the border with children will have their children taken away and put into the same federal system that deals with unaccompanied minors who show up at the border. This is the same system that recently lost nearly 1,500 of the children in their care, some of whom likely went to human traffickers.

Actually, let me clarify that number. The system in charge, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, attempted to contact something like 7,500 of the around 40,000 children currently in their care. Of that 7,500-ish, they could not find 1,500 of them.

So the number of lost kids is probably higher than 1,500.

@realDonaldTrump: 'Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.'
@realDonaldTrump: “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.”

Trump is putting the blame for this on the Democrats, and I want you to understand this: This is not a Democratic policy. This is not a policy that was used by Presidents Obama or Bush. Taking children away from their parents at the border was the Trump administration’s idea. It’s their policy. Trump did this.

What we’re doing to undocumented immigrants in this country under the Trump administration is an abomination. We’re ruining lives and tearing families apart. Yes, yes, I know. Immigrants should come here legally. I agree with you. But what we’re doing right now, under this shambling monster of a man’s policies, is a travesty. It is horrifying, and we should all be sick with shame at the idea.

I’ve seen many people this morning talking about how “This isn’t America.” and “This is unAmerican.”

They are wrong. This is America. This is us. We’re all monsters now. This is our shame and we must rectify the situation.

ICE must be disbanded. Our immigration policies must be reformed. Children must be found and returned to their families where possible and safe, and properly provided for when it’s not safe or possible to return them.

Call your senators and representatives and demand action. Use CallYourRep.co and 5Calls.org.

Support organizations like the ACLU, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, Families for Freedom, and the Immigration Advocates Network, who work to protect and assist undocumented immigrants.

Vote. For the love of little puppies with heart-shaped spots, get registered to vote, make sure you stay registered to vote, and in the upcoming midterm elections, happening November 6, 2018, get out and vote for progressives and Democrats.

Resources

Featured Photo: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore. (Source and licensing.)

Lost children, Michael Cohen, Never Trumpers, the NFL, & Trump’s spy conspiracy theory.

We’re approaching the Friday Dump O’ Clock, and the White House might shovel something interesting out, hoping it gets lost over the long weekend.

About five minutes after re-opening my Blogger.com blog I started hearing rumors that Blogger would be closing down, probably sometime next year. Of course. So here I am at WordPress.com. I might upgrade to a paid tier, so watch out for further URL changes.

Note: There was another school shooting today.

5 Things to Read Today

Usually I try to vary my sources more than this, but Memorial Day Weekend is about to kick off and it looks like most outlets are taking it easy today. Stay tuned, though. We’re approaching the Friday Dump O’ Clock, and the White House might shovel something interesting out, hoping it gets lost over the long weekend.

Oh, and FYI:

 

Donald Trump canceled the North Korea summit this morning.

The North Korea summit appears to have fallen through. Trump wrote a letter to Kim Jong Un and canceled the meet this morning.

The North Korea summit appears to have fallen through. Trump wrote a letter to Kim Jong Un and canceled the meet this morning.

This is not a shocking turn of events. This meeting was never going to happen. At best, this is Trump canceling the meeting before Kim Jong Un could, in an attempt to make it look like a win for Trump.

Reading Material

This is a developing news story so… stay tuned, I guess? I don’t expect the news to get better.

Update (1:10pm)

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Photo: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore. (Source & licensing.)