Donald Trump is not doing a good job hiding how nervous he is about former Vice President Joe Biden’s entry into the Democratic presidential primary. Trump spent Wednesday morning retweeting literally dozens of angry tweets about the International Association of Fire Fighters’ quick endorsement of Biden, an endorsement for which the union’s president told NBC News that they “conducted poll Dem, indie and non-party members (about 3/5ths of all members)” and “Biden was ‘overwhelming’ 1st pick, and almost unanimous 2nd choice of others.” But never mind that; Trump is outraged (and scared):x
IÃ¢ÂÂve done more for Firefighters than this dues sucking union will ever do, and I get paid ZERO! https://t.co/Tw0qwTiUD6— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019
Many of the people Trump RT’d claimed to be firefighters—and some of them had past tweets that even looked like they might be telling the truth. Some of them may even be IAFF members! They are certainly welcome to disagree with their union’s endorsement. Others, on the other hand …
There's this “retired volunteer firefighter” who’d be “PISSED if my dues were going to this,” which is interesting, since the IAFF is a union of professional firefighters.
There are any number of generic MAGA types with Twitter feeds as charming as you would expect—PewDiePie, RTs of Jack Posobiec, “Build the wall,” and conspiracy theories about a global war on Christianity.
And then there’s this:
Let’s assume that screen name was not “Fuck Donald Trump” at the time he retweeted it. Well played!
CNN's New Day team dug into the new Robert Mueller letter.
"Let's do something we haven't done yet. I want to read p. 108 and 109 to get a sense of what is in Robert Mueller's letter in the Washington Post: 'The summary letter didn't fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions... There is public confusion which threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the department appointed the special counsel to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.' I would just note that the fact of the letter, Robert Mueller is making paper here. He's creating an official document of his concern, his split with William Barr," John Berman said.
"And I think it's easy to underplay and say, well, he outlined some of his concerns. No," David Gregory said.
"This is in effect, him screaming and saying, 'This is really wrong what you've done, Attorney General William Barr.' It has now muddied what were critical findings about what happened, what the conduct was, and what the dangers are, what could be for the future.
"What Mueller does in the report that's clear, if you read it is to say we knew from the get-go, we weren't going to charge him criminally because of the guidance and the guidelines in the Justice Department. So therefore, here's the behavior. This is for Congress and its role to make a decision about whether to proceed," Gregory concluded.
Perhaps the only thing gained from Maria Bartiromo’s recent “interview” with Donald Trump is how conclusively it demonstrated his preference for chatting with a lickspittle over running the country.
As The Washington Post’s Philip Bump noted in his excellent write up of this disgraceful excuse for journalism, “Even by the standards of Fox interviews, Bartiromo’s exchange with Trump was remarkably friendly. Bump counted 14 times that she said, “yes.” He added, “Almost no claim made by Trump was challenged in any way, with the exception of his renewed assertion that he could close the border entirely. Could he do that before his new Mexico-Canada trade deal, the USMCA, was ratified, Bartiromo asked.”
Bartiromo only broke from her chorus of sycophancy when she repeatedly tried to get off the phone.
If you read this Axios story on Sunday, you could almost hear the sound of Lucy teeing up the football:
At last month's St. Patrick's Day lunch in the Capitol, President Trump told Richard Neal, the powerful Democratic chairman of the House's tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, that he wants to spend close to $2 trillion on infrastructure, according to two sources to whom Neal recounted his conversation.
...A former senior White House official told me that on infrastructure, Trump's instincts are much closer to Elizabeth Warren's than they are to his tight-fisted acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
... Trump meets on Tuesday with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to discuss infrastructure.... Democrats still take these meetings — in fact, Pelosi requested this one — because they know that, left to his own devices, Trump would happily spend a ton of federal money on infrastructure. (It's his own party that won't let him.)
The dirty secret — which multiple senior White House officials have confirmed to me — is that Trump hates the infrastructure plan his own White House released last year....
Blue Jersey: New Jersey’s budget is still struggling to recover from Chris Christie’s budget-busting tax cuts.
No More Mister Nice Blog: Trump’s “Sleepy Joe” nickname for Joe Biden is all about raising doubts about a Democratic opponent’s health—again.
Lance Mannion: Just a reminder that “No Drama Obama” was a feature, not a bug.
Center for Public Integrity: Six percent. That’s how much of the Trump-GOP tax cut windfall for the wealthy went to workers in 2018.
Speaking of which, your quote of the day:
"Over 80 percent of business taxes is borne by the worker.” (Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, selling the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” August 21, 2017.)
Guest blogging Mike's Blog Round Up this week is Jon Perr from Perrspectives. Send your tips, recommendations, comments and angst to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.Leading Off
National Democrats tried hard to recruit Abrams, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer even designated her to give the party's response to Donald Trump's State of the Union. However, Abrams said this week that she wanted an executive role, and that the Senate is "not the role that best suits those needs." Abrams is still considering a 2020 presidential bid or a 2022 rematch against GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.Campaign Action
A number of Peach State Democrats had been considering running for the Senate if Abrams sat the contest out, and one is already making her move. Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson formed an exploratory committee in early April, and she said right after Abrams’ announcement that she would reveal her Senate plans on Wednesday. Tomlinson also filed paperwork with the FEC on Tuesday, so there isn’t much suspense about what she’ll decide to do.
Jon Ossoff, who was the Democratic nominee in the ultra-expensive 2017 special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, has also said over the last few months that he was keeping his Senate options open should Abrams pass. Sarah Riggs Amico, who lost the 2018 race for lieutenant governor 51.6-48.4, has also been mentioned for months as a possible candidate, and she publicly expressed interest for the first time on Tuesday. Amico is the executive chair of the logistics and trucking firm Jack Cooper.
We might see even more Democrats eye this race now that Abrams isn’t running. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that allies of 2014 nominee Michelle Nunn are encouraging her to seek a rematch against Perdue, though there’s no word on her interest. Nunn ran a competitive race last time in an awful political climate for Democrats and lost 53-45.
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
Wednesday Wandy Wainbow
I swear, when historians write the epitaph of the disastrous Trump years, Randy Rainbow’s musical slam-dunks need to be among the sources they rely on for their research. At their core, they’re near-real-time musical bon mots that document the atrocities and, as a bonus, leave a joyful earworm ricocheting around your tympanic cavity. With Bill Barr’s testimony (or, we predict, more like a scorching) on deck for today in the Senate, the timing of his latest couldn’t be better...x x YouTube Video
And if I may say, whoever coordinated the leaking of the Mueller letter the night before the morning of Barr’s Senate hearing: Bravo.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold...[Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
We’ll get to Joe Biden, but first this:x
Mueller asked Barr to immediately release executive summaries of his report to provide the public an accurate summary of the Trump obstruction probe, but Barr said no because he felt that Ã¢ÂÂwould not be productive,Ã¢ÂÂ per DOJ spokeswoman https://t.co/nVPw2QF3It— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) May 1, 2019
NADLER all but says Barr gave false testimony to Congress: https://t.co/zKXwmZLyGf— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) May 1, 2019
One of the more remarkable things about Team Trump, as an enterprise, is that there doesn't appear to be a single person in it who gives even a passing thought to what we once labeled "ethics." Whether it is an artifact of Trump's attachment to B- and C-tier conservative thinkers or intentional selection on his part is unclear, but the trend is relentless.
Now we learn that Trump's current campaign manager, as in, the one running his 2020 campaign as we speak, has been taking cash for paid speeches to foreign groups. The Washington Post reports that the already sketchy Brad Parscale was given an undisclosed sum for a speech to "Romanian politicians and policy elites" only one day before special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on, among other things, 2016 Trump campaign shenanigans.
No, this is not typical. The Post quotes various People With Ethics to explain how unusual it is, but in general, the top managers of presidential campaigns do not take paid side gigs making themselves available to foreign "policy elites" because it looks extremely terribly bad to be collecting cash payments from foreign groups with keen reasons to want to sway U.S. policy in their favor. It looks like access-selling, because it is access-selling.
It’s Wednesday, and there’s still some mead left, so we’re off to a pretty good start. Greg Dworkin and Joan McCarter are slated to stop by, unless either of them have to single-handedly kill the Night King. But as far as I know, their schedules are clear.
Good thing, too, because it’s nutty out there.
Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!
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For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last show:x Embedded Content
OK everyone, David Waldman saw Game of Thrones, you can share your spoilers now. Donald Trump can finally ask “why didn’t the dragons just fly over and dump water on them all?” Hey, but not Endgame though! Let David gain the satisfaction of finding Howard on his own. Back to The Scourge of the Dotard King: Battle of the Subpoenas. Trump can’t stop lying, even in federal lawsuit filings. Eric Trump throws his drunken sister under the bus. David points out that they keep rebooting this story every 15 years or so. Actually, the Republican war on democracy is never-ending. Remember back in 2016, when Trump inexplicably showed interest in Michigan and Wisconsin? This year, Donald and campaign manager Brad Parscale are interested in New Hampshire, Nevada and Colorado… Then there’s the Maryland elections company bought by a Russian oligarch close to Putin. Maryland ditched the election servers tied to the Russian oligarch. Now, the company with the Russian investment no longer owns the firm. Armando likes Joe Biden’s “Trump is Evil and Must Be Stopped!” argument, and the strategy of coming out for impeachment when Trump blocks the investigations spurred by the Mueller report. There have been few impeachments, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to learn by studying them. Meanwhile, Republican trolls, agents provocateur, smear merchants, and mercenary dicks Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl can’t resist attempting to manufacture a homophobic scandal around Pete Buttigieg, even though it’s still 9 months to the primaries. A growing number of university students from Saudi Arabia flee the U.S. after being charged with rape and manslaughter. And now for the world’s saddest cage match with the world’s happiest outcome, Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller are about to throw down.Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more! Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Describe this kid in one word. pic.twitter.com/FPHLAizymo
— jamie (@gnuman1979) April 30, 2019
(For the Hamilstans: Yes, in the replies, ‘Lin-Manuel Miranda’ is a strong choice)
As someone who grew up in "the Heartland"–which I define in its dogwhistle electoral context as white people in conservative areas–let me assure you that Trump will *always* one-up you in pandering to ignorance. You will win only by rallying a coalition of reasonable adults.
— Charlotte Clymer?????? (@cmclymer) May 1, 2019
Democrats lose elections when we apologize and scrape and bow for saying and doing the right thing. We need to be saying and doing things with pride. We need to give folks confidence that the truth doesn't need apologists, it needs advocates. Stop pandering to hateful ignorance.
— Charlotte Clymer?????? (@cmclymer) May 1, 2019
Why would Bill Barr flush his reputation & credibility down the toilet? I don't care.
What we should care about is that he is still in charge of @TheJusticeDept. Bill Barr should resign and then apply to be the next White House press secretary, where he can lie all he wants. https://t.co/iUQvm4Cymz
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 1, 2019
Wait… Bill Barr, professional Clenisgate leaker and Baylor rape promoter, had any ‘credibility’ left to flush?
If you were a suspicious person, you might suspect that Mueller’s letter outing Barr as a corrupt fraud broke tonight so as to force Barr into the impossible position of having to show up and tell the truth tomorrow or get subpoenaed or impeached.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) May 1, 2019
Now Barr gets to walk the plank or spend the next couple weeks facing a growing fervor calling for his impeachment and possible prosecution for lying to Congress in his prior testimony.
Barr put himself in a bad position.
Mueller just cranked the flames up to ‘high’.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) May 1, 2019