Wrapping Up the Weekend Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 21:11

Categories: Politics

Sen. Bernie Sanders' Fox News town hall: a template for a Democrat in the foxhole

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 19:30

Democrats are decidedly wary about going on Fox News. Many have had mix feelings about appearing on the network for some time. But is it a valid fear or concern? Well, it depends.

A few weeks ago, the Democratic National Committee decided that there will be no Democratic primary debates on Fox News. I understand that Fox News is not a news channel, but a propaganda arm of the Republican Party and a Donald Trump stooge. That said, it has a large viewer base that progressives must address.

Polls point out that most Americans, including a significant percentage of Republicans, want progressive values. However, because many Fox News viewers are tunneled almost exclusively in the Fox News or right-wing talk radio world, they never hear our message. We must express it in a form that reaches them.

Democrats leave too many votes on the table that should be ours. Too often we assume that because it is challenging to have a substantive conversation with many people on the Right, it is more expedient to abandon them and work on the people in our party who don’t vote. When one spends many hours in the field speaking to people, it becomes evident quickly that the nonvoter always reverts to form unless one changes their entire outlook on their potential influence on the outcome of elections. Getting a voter on the Right to consider voting their interest is no more daunting. That being the case, we must respect and address them both.

Categories: Politics

Five-question interview with Denis Hayes, coordinator of Earth Day 1970, 1990, 2000 and ... 2020.

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 19:20

On Earth Day 2008, I conducted a five-question interview with Denis Hayes, my onetime boss at the Solar Energy Research Institute, and now president of the Bullitt Foundation in Seattle. Hayes had coordinated the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million people attended environmentally focused events around the world. He was asked to coordinate the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990 and Earth Day 2000 as well. And now he’s gearing up for the 50th Earth Day next year. You can see a condensed list of his prodigious accomplishments and awards here.

Denis Hayes, 2014 Denis Hayes in 2014

This morning at 10 AM ET, he will speak at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to announce mayor global mobilizations for the 50th anniversary. These include “Vote for the Earth,” “Earth Challenge 2020,” and the 2020 theme for Earth Day, a focus on the growing demands for immediate, transformative action to address the climate crisis. 

Although Earth Day 1970 focused desperately needed attention on the world's environmental troubles, it was also seen as a distraction from the war in Southeast Asia. Some people on the left argued that environmentalism was a snare and a delusion. Despite the environmental horrors visited on developing nations and vulnerable people in the more developed nations by the extractive industries, they viewed the whole movement as a low or nonexistent priority. They were reinforced in their views when the slaughter abroad came home. Just a week after Earth Day, on April 29, the U.S. sent troops into Cambodia and, within three weeks, six students had been killed during protests at Kent State and Jackson State universities.

Despite the demurrers, however, millions of people, including many on the left, joined in Earth Day activities. There were plenty of objections to be made. Among them was the fact that even some of the best events were peppered with corporate sponsors, many of whom were more interested in making a public relations coup than doing anything environmentally substantive. Mere marketing.

Nonetheless, for a time—in part because Richard Nixon needed something positive to balance his administration's disastrous continuation of the war and because he was pressured by Democrats such as Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson and eco-advocates in his own party—quite a number of successful environmental initiatives were undertaken, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and legislation on clean water and clean air.

Categories: Politics

AM Joy Guest: Dem Candidates Should NOT Give Fox News A Lifeline By Appearing In Town Halls

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 17:58

We've seen Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders hold a Town Hall on Fox News. This was after the DNC stated they would not participate in a primary debate on Fox News because it is clearly a propaganda network for Donald Trump and little else. Furthermore it propagates outright lies, and vile racist hate speech — something with which Democrats rightly do not wish to be associated, or to be seen as potentially lending legitimacy to with their presence. Yet, Sen. Sanders went on there and held a town hall, wowed the audience that had a large contingent of Sanders fans, and really got under Trump's skin. Fox got to claim victory, in getting someone running as a Democrat on their network, and in taking another step towards said legitimacy.

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Categories: Politics

Trump's immigration plans are all about pain, fear, cowardice, bigotry, and punishment

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 17:45

When Trump first slithered down an escalator pronounce his stunt to get paid more than Gwen Stefani by NBC, announce his run for the White House, he came out of the gate with a ridiculously bigoted false notion that “Mexicans are rapists.” 

“If you go to Fusion, you will see a story: About 80% of the women coming in — you know who owns Fusion? Univision!” Trump told [Don} Lemon. “Go to Fusion and pick up the stories on rape. And it’s unbelievable when you look at what’s going on. So all I’m doing is telling the truth, Trump told Lemon.

It really didn’t take me more than three minutes to look up what he claimed was his source for this argument to find that he had totally misconstrued the Fusion report about migrant women from Central America being tricked and trapped into prostitution as trade and barter to help pay for their passage through Mexico. The report said literally nothing about “Mexico sending rapists to America” because that’s seriously not a thing. 

I still don’t know what excuse has been made for the rest of the so-called professional media—because I was certainly an unpaid amateur at the time—to simply fact check his statement up front by using his own source and point out that it he was spouting bullshit from Day One. It should be easy to point out that the reason they started traveling in caravans was to protect them from these gangs, cartels, and corrupt officials that were forcing them to pay for the price of passage in pounds of flesh. Unfortunately, that never happened.

Consequently, the opinion that certain immigrants are largely criminals and basically scum has always been Trump’s starting point for his “thinking” and policies. Hence we have this crazy Rube Goldberg/Wile E. Coyote plot to deal with the migration problem on our southern border.

Trump has apparently concocted this plan that a) since Immigrants are “criminals” that he can use their inherent threat against public safety as a b) political targeted cudgel in violation of the Hatch Act which prohibits the use of government for partisan purposes against his political opponents. You know, those squishy liberal Democrats in so-called Sanctuary Cities—in order to get them to c) agree to carve out an override and exception to the 5th Amendment Due Process Clause, the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause, the 1951 UN Convention on the Refugee which as a treaty which was ratified in 1969 through the Supremacy Clause. It is currently considered part of the “supreme law of the land” so that d) hundreds of thousand of undocumented immigrants can be summarily deported without an immigration or asylum hearing before a judge.

Categories: Politics

Happy Easter, You Anklebiting Jackals

Balloon Juice - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 17:13

As always, the Easter tradition of posting my sister’s dearly departed Irie and the Easter Bunny:

This is really one of my favorite pictures in the world. When I think back about Irie, I think I love him more and more now that I have been around so many more dogs. He was such a good boy. Dumb as a sack of hammers, but so sweet.

Categories: Politics

Election 2020: Who's got policies? Who's got platitudes?

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 16:00

With some 18 Democratic presidential candidates and counting, it’s hard to keep track of who stands for what: which candidates have developed policy expertise and proposals on which issues, and which ones sound good but still keep talking in generalities.

For most candidates, there’s no shortage of policy positions. A Think Progress piece argues that the focus of this election (so far, at least) has been policy, policy, policy.

So just how do a swelling numbers of Democrats convince an inattentive citizenry to turn away from other distractions and pay attention to their political palaver?

Short answer: Nearly all of them are staking out early policy positions on a wide range of issues to burnish a self-flattering political image, before the full-scale campaign onslaught begins in earnest. …

These early-season policy ideas are the introductory gambits for candidates to test out on the hustings and in media interviews. Their early campaign messages are aimed to draw support from narrow, targeted slices of the Democratic electorate, in hopes of building a groundswell of broader, national support for their nascent campaigns.

Maybe in the long run, those policy details won’t matter. Maybe the majority of Democratic primary voters instead will turn toward a candidate who offers a feeling of comfort or “likeability.” Or the quickest candidate, or the sharpest, or the brightest, or the most honest. Or even the one who passes the proverbial test of “someone you could have a beer with.” And Democratic voters have been clear about one thing: They want to nominate the candidate who would best be able to beat Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, there’s little evidence that we can evaluate who that candidate is right now, despite early opinion polls or the amount of money raised. We can see who’s getting the most media attention, airtime, and Sunday morning talk show invitations. But the media can be fickle: Just ask former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Candidates’ positives and negatives right now are meaningless. Any candidate with high approval ratings will see those numbers take a nosedive when the right-wing attack machine—whether that’s charges about “socialism,” Donald Trump’s ridiculous tweets and demeaning nicknames, Fox News slander and innuendo, or outright lies spread by conspiracy theorists—starts peddling falsehoods and negative stories about Democratic candidates. Mainstream media will pick those up and repeat them verbatim with little context or explanation.

But here’s what the emphasis on policy does: It takes issues that are important to Democratic voters and forces them to the forefront. For the most part, candidates agree on these issues. All of the Democratic hopefuls are talking about health care. All are talking about climate change, whether they’re backing the Green New Deal, or other specific policies. All are talking about immigration, gun reform, and jobs. All are talking about evening the playing field for poor families and increasing taxes for the super-rich.

Here are some of the policies that candidates have espoused so far. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it doesn’t include every candidate. But it offers a shorthand breakdown on what different Democrats would set as priorities in the White House.

Categories: Politics

A Slammin' New Track From Tom Morello With Gary Clark Jr. & Gramatik: "Can't Stop the Bleeding"

Little Green Footballs - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 15:29

Stream and download "Can't Stop The Bleeding" - http://smarturl.it/CantStopTheBleeding

Tom Crew - Animator
Sean Evans - Director
Lagan Sebert - Producer
Production Company - Magic Seed Productions

Catch Tom Morello on "The Atlas Underground LIVE" Tour in 2019. For dates and tickets visit http://www.tommorello.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tommorello
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tommorello
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tmorello

Categories: Politics

Giuliani's Sunday talking point: 'There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians'

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 14:16

The Sunday shows exist so that powerful people can dispense the week's preferred talking points. It has been unfortunate, for the most part, in that it has revealed most of the nation's most powerful people to be distinctly not too bright, and dishonest as a class. Which brings us, inevitably, to Rudy Giuliani.

Former New York Mayor turned Trump butler Giuliani leapt in front of the cameras this particular week to insist that the redacted Mueller report, which laid out an obsessive pattern of obstruction and a Trump campaign that was only too eager to solicit the products of a foreign espionage effort, was both a nasty piece of work and of no particular consequence. To CNN's Jake Tapper, Giuliani claimed Mueller's team "tortured" Trump campaign head Paul Manafort by interviewing and imprisoning in, and blasted Mueller deputy Andrew Weissman as "a hit man" and an "unethical prosecutor", proclaiming that Mueller "put together a staff of Hillary loving, Trump-hating people."

As for what Mueller's team of apparent vicious "Hillary loving, Trump-hating people" found, Giuliani that all of it Was Legal Now. That would be his talking point of the day, suggesting that the White House (and wider Republican) strategy will be to insist that foreign intelligence services are allowed to interfere in United States elections, and Republican candidates are allowed to solicit and use stolen information from those efforts in their campaigns.

“There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," Giuliani said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Taking information from, as Jake Tapper emphasized, "a foreign source, a hostile foreign source?"

"Who's to say it's even illegal?"

To NBC's Chuck Todd, Giuliani was no less combative.

Categories: Politics

Trump colluded with Russia and obstructed justice. Right wing won't care—but independents just might

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 14:15

Yeah, I said it. The Mueller report makes clear that Individual 1 and his campaign did collude with Russia, and he did obstruct justice. I’m not talking about legalese: I’m talking about facts and truth.

Let’s start with “collusion.” It is not a legal term. As the Mueller report itself stated, “collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law.” The report rightly noted that, in this context, it was simply a word used by members of the Trump administration—a word they defined in a certain way to help their boss. What it really means, in the most simple terms, is clear in this definition from Merriam-Webster’s: “secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose // acting in collusion with the enemy.”

The Mueller report documents, in detailed, devastating fashion, numerous instances of the Trump campaign working in “cooperation” with Russian government officials, and doing so for the “deceitful purpose” of undermining American democracy. As the New York Times put it: “The report laid bare that Mr. Trump was elected with the help of a foreign power, and cataloged numerous meetings between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russians seeking to influence the campaign and the presidential transition team — encounters set up in pursuit of business deals, policy initiatives and political dirt about Hillary Clinton.”

Zack Beauchamp at Vox has synthesized Mueller’s discussion of collusion quite well here. I agree with Beauchamp’s overall analysis:

If “collusion” refers to a willingness to cooperate with Russian interference in the 2016 US election and actively taking steps to abet it, it seems to me that the Mueller report does in fact establish that it took place.

Presidential candidates are not supposed to act this way. It should make any honest, self-respecting Trump supporter sick to know that their candidate colluded with a foreign adversary—especially one who thought a Trump victory would serve their own national interest. As a reminder of how presidential candidates are supposed to act, in 2000 Al Gore received what appeared to be stolen materials (George W. Bush’s debate preparation notes, etc.). What did he do? He turned it right over to the FBI. Compare that to Trump actively encouraging Russia to steal Hillary Clinton’s private emails. Trump put Russia first.

Categories: Politics

Trump and Barr bring three decades of GOP criminality full circle

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 12:30

Historical events occur twice, Karl Marx famously said, first as tragedy and then as farce. But when it comes to the rampant lawlessness of Republican presidential administrations, the record is a succession of national tragedies for the United States. And the damage to America’s democratic institutions is no laughing matter. As President Trump, his attorney general, and their allies in right-wing media demonstrated this week in their thus far very successful effort to suppress the Mueller report, the Republican Scandal Defense Machine™ has featured many of the same odious operatives, sham sound bites, and laughable legal theories since the late 1980s. From the Iran-Contra affair, the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, and President George W. Bush’s purge of U.S. attorneys to his regime of detainee torture, and now the Trump-Russia imbroglio, only the stakes have changed.

For starters, consider the role of Attorney General William Barr. Trump, after all, hired Barr precisely because of—and not despite—his 2017 memo, which argued that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was “grossly irresponsible” and “fatally misconceived,” and risked “grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the presidency and to the administration of law within the executive branch.” That opposition, echoed by many Republicans in the spring of 2017, sounds eerily similar to the language used by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay and others in initially refusing to support the creation of the 9/11 Commission. And when Barr warned, “Mueller’s sweeping obstruction theory would now open the way for the ‘criminalization’ of these [political] disputes,” he was only dusting off the talking point President George H.W. Bush debuted to defend Iran-Contra pardons that he and Barr engineered 25 years earlier.

But Barr’s 21st-century reprisal of his role as GOP legal hatchet man isn’t merely rhetorical. The same attorney general who in his March 24 letter and again in his highly redacted version of the Mueller report promised to share its “principal conclusions” lied to Congress 30 years ago when he made the same pledge. As Ryan Goodman documented this week, as head of the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, Barr refused to release a memo justifying the supposed legality of the FBI’s power to abduct foreigners (like Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega) and bring them to the United States without consent from the leaders of those countries. Wrong on both the facts and the law, Barr shared only his summary of the secret memo in written testimony to Congress. As Goodman explained, worse than what Barr misrepresented was what he omitted altogether.

Categories: Politics

Did White House Intimidation Prevent Mueller From Finishing The Job?

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 12:30
Did White House Intimidation Prevent Mueller From Finishing The Job?

The conventional wisdom is that Robert Mueller did a very thorough job, and possibly faltered only in his failure to weigh on on the question of whether President Trump obstructed justice. But some commentators think Mueller could have done more.

Ron Klain writes:

... if expectations were too high for Mueller’s report, the inevitable disappointment was exacerbated by how Mueller fell short in what he delivered.

This starts with his failure to get Trump to answer questions in person....

In a run-of-the-mill criminal case, a prosecutor’s decision to bypass questioning a difficult figure might make sense; when we are seeking to learn whether a presidential candidate worked with a hostile foreign power to win an election, the public deserves to have that candidate answer questions under oath.

Klain also questions the kid-glove treatment of Donald Trump Jr., echoing Rick Hasen, who wrote this:

Robert Mueller let Donald Trump Jr. off the hook too easily for potential campaign finance violations that arose from the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Russian operatives....

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Categories: Politics

Muellergate Open Thread: All the President’s Minions

Balloon Juice - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 12:02

So, as it happens, Dave Roth’s done another fine pigbladdering of a most deserving target…

One of the most common misunderstandings about Dumb Guys is that they are not capable of doing things. This is false. They can and in fact absolutely love to do complicated-sounding things like scheme and intrigue. They may not do those things well, and will generally do them in arbitrary and ineffective ways. But they will attack the work of scheming and maneuvering and infighting with all the vigor of a dog trying to carry a too-big tree branch through a doorway…

… It is a common Dumb Guy trait to stop assimilating new information at some moment of great personal success; there is no reason to think that Jon Gruden believes the NFL is any different than it was when he won a Super Bowl in it during George W. Bush’s first term.

The problem is that all that intrigue creates its own sort of paranoid gravity. The Dumb Guy believes that the moment he stops scheming is the moment that he becomes vulnerable, and so must throw himself into constant counter-intrigue and intrigue-maintenance and general amphetamized vigilance. And that, according to Ian Rapoport, is where the Raiders stand today, after Mayock and Gruden sent home the team’s entire scouting department because they “don’t know who to trust.”…

Yeah, not exactly about Our Political Moment. But it certainly could be!

Because if there is one common denominator to the collection of grifters, racists, willing traitors, overconfident scions and all-purpose villains that compose the Oval Office Squatters Squad, it is that they are every one a Dumb Guy, revolving around the Dumb Guy in Chief.

Not to mention Attorney “Cover-Up” General William Barr, who deserves a post (and a level in Dante’s inferno) all his own!

Well, there might be one possible exception

Categories: Politics

The REAL Act aims to make college affordable for incarcerated people. Will Congress pass it?

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:53

When it comes to restoring rights for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in the U.S., the discussion too often lives and dies around voting rights. And make no mistake: Voting matters. But when it comes to helping formerly incarcerated people stay out of prison, one of the biggest factors is access to education. Receiving education while incarcerated has also been shown to increase a person’s opportunities for work (and higher pay) after release. 

But—as is too often the norm—systemic barriers are in place that limit people’s ability to receive an affordable education. Finally, a bipartisan effort is working to change that. And the resulting bill is moving closer to Congress.

For decades, incarcerated people have not had access to federal Pell Grants. Pell Grants are need-based financial grants meant to support low-income people in pursuing higher education. Pell Grants are not loans, so they don’t need to be paid back. There are a number of requirements for recipients of Pell Grants, but generally they go to students who have not yet received a bachelor’s degree and whose families’ annual income is below $50,000. They can be applied to fall, spring, or summer courses, and the amount the student receives varies based on the cost of their particular institution. These grants can also go toward expenses such as books.

Basically, Pell Grants are immeasurably important. And incarcerated people who would otherwise meet the qualifications for the grant deserve them just as much as anybody else.

Categories: Politics

Adam Schiff Makes It Clear That Impeachment Is Definitely On The Table

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:48

The Trump Cult may be doing a victory lap, claiming TOTAL EXONERATION!, but the reality could not be farther from the truth. On ABC's This Week, Rep. Adam Schiff made it clear that impeachment hearings are even more likely after the devastating Mueller report.

Schiff acknowledged that the evidence in the Mueller report is "serious and damning" and "without question within the realm of impeachable offenses" but pointed out that we are in circumstances where the GOP and McConnell are unwilling to stand up to Donald Trump. But, the Democrats may need to look into impeachment if it is in the best interests of the country. He acknowledges it is a "tough" question, but does not rule it out.

In the last few days, the drumbeat to at least take up hearings in the House has grown substantially louder. Yes, it may (probably will) fail in the Senate, but hearings are necessary to continue to shine the light on the behaviors and actions of this corrupt administration.

Think about it - the GOP and Trump cult only read tweets from and hear Fox News analysis of the Mueller report. They are not reading it themselves. They are not hearing from witnesses. If the Democrats have weeks of hearings, with faces and voices and clips of questioning, it is possible that some in the cult will remove their blinders and listen. And at the very least, we must hold hearings to show the public that we will not tolerate this type of criminal behavior and brazen obstruction.

Categories: Politics

'Who Made You God?' Chris Wallace Gives Rudy Giuliani Epic Grilling Over Mueller Report

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:41
'Who Made You God?' Chris Wallace Gives Rudy Giuliani Epic Grilling Over Mueller Report

In an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani over revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report about Donald Trump and his family.

Giuliani began the interview by complaining about Wallace's first question.

"What you're doing is you're taking the Mueller's report, which is a prosecutor's version of what happened, you're giving it full credit and you're not giving me a chance to explain the other side!" the president's lawyer whined.

"I'm asking you about the other side," Wallace pointed out.

"It's pages of calumny, lies and distortions," Giuliani said.

"You think that's what the report is?" Wallace clarified.

After giving Giuliani a moment to explain Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey -- which led to the special counsel's investigation -- Wallace tried to move on.

"You've got to give me the opportunity to ask you a question," the Fox News host said as Giuliani continued talking over him. "I'm here to ask you some questions [about the report]."

"One of your arguments is that obstruction of justice could not have happened because there is no underlying crime," Wallace continued. "The special counsel said what you just said is not true."

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Categories: Politics

Rudy Giuliani Accuses Mueller Team Of 'Torturing' Paul Manafort To 'Get Information'

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:29
Rudy Giuliani Accuses Mueller Team Of 'Torturing' Paul Manafort To 'Get Information'

Anyone remember way back in 2007 when now Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said this about torture?

“I wanted to ask you two questions,’’ she said. “One, do you think waterboarding is torture? And two, do you think the president can order something like waterboarding even though it’s against U.S. and international law?’’

Mr. Giuliani responded: “O.K. First of all, I don’t believe the attorney general designate in any way was unclear on torture. I think Democrats said that; I don’t think he was.’’

Ms. Gustitus said: “He said he didn’t know if waterboarding is torture.”

Mr. Giuliani said: “Well, I’m not sure it is either. I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately.” [...]

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Categories: Politics

Kellyanne Conway: Donald Trump 'Is Not Going To Jail'

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:27
 Donald Trump 'Is Not Going To Jail'

Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor to the president, insisted on Sunday that Donald Trump "is not going to jail."

During an interview on ABC's This Week, Conway suggested that Trump would be going to prison if special counsel Robert Mueller concluded that he obstructed justice.

But ABC host Martha Raddatz pointed out that the Russia report specifically said that the president is not exonerated, meaning he could be charged after leaving office.

"They declined to indict," Conway said. "The president is not going to jail. He's staying in the White House for 5 1/2 more years. Why? Because they found no crime. No conspiracy."

"Will you acknowledge that Mueller explicitly didn't clear the president?" ABC host Martha Raddatz asked.

"There was no reason for him to do that or not to do that for a very simple reason," Conway opined. "The central premise here is collusion. There isn't any."

"You think he this totally exonerates from him?" Raddatz pressed.

"Yes, I do," Conway replied. "The word exoneration was unnecessary in the Mueller report and I'd say inappropriate."

Conway, however, did not address the possibility that Trump could be charged after he vacates office.

Categories: Politics

How Columbine Became A Blueprint For School Shooters

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:00
How Columbine Became A Blueprint For School Shooters File 20190417 139104 10ey627.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 Students leave Columbine High School late April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo., following a lockdown at the school and other Denver area schools. David Zalubowski/AP

Jillian Peterson, Hamline University and James Densley, Metropolitan State University

When 12 students and one teacher were killed in Littleton, Colorado 20 years ago, it not only became what at the time was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. It also marked when American society was first handed a script for a new form of violence in schools.

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Categories: Politics

Easter Open Thread: A Little Easter Miracle

Balloon Juice - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 10:59

I get emails that make me smile.  This one from mostly lurker Fenix ended my day yesterday on a very happy note:


Here’s a happy, non-political Easter miracle! I was hiking this morning in wooded bayou areas (Houston) and I found this Little Tiny.  She’s just 5 weeks old and was crying all alone.

I’m a very responsible leave-no-trace hiker – take only photos, leave only footprints, so forth. But, yeah, this little fluff bubble came with me. When I corralled her and picked her up, she struggled for all of 5 seconds, then seemed to realize that her life had just significantly changed for the better.

We hiked out back to the car for maybe a mile and a half, and she was perfectly calm, curled up and clutched to my chest the whole way. Straight to the vet, clean bill of health, aside from fleas, worms, and cockleburrs in her fur of course.

  the rest of the clowder is not amused

After a supper of gushy food, we had a cuddle, she learned to use the litter box, and then she chose my airplane neck pillow for bedtime.

Her name is Esther Bunny.

Cheers!  Fenix


A little Bixby update – he starts rehab next week to make sure he can recover completely. He is fully mobile now, but still a bit wobbly. Now that we are mostly back to normal here, I will continue to post your pet pics. I have a backlog. I have not forgotten you.

Next Sunday we have an author to spotlight, so we’ll have a writers chat.

Non-political open thread.  And if someone wants to offer laptop recommendations, I’d welcome them. Scout managed to send my coffee cup across the table to of course land on my computer, frying three letters on my keyboard. The computer itself is okay and I have a bluetooth keyboard, but my job means I need a laptop to take to clients. Because, you know, after Bixby’s vet bills, I need another big expenditure.

(ETA – formatting seems to be borked today… taking out the quotes seems to have fixed.)

Categories: Politics