‘A Nice Break from the Mueller Report’

July 16, 2019 by Staff

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

The politicians and media commentators all have assured us that Americans will never read the Mueller Report, especially since, at this point, the report is considered ancient history. But I like to discourage the idea that Americans are too lazy, short-sighted or just plain obtuse to try to understand what a whole slew of smart guys took more than two years to produce with taxpayer dollars.

So I am still slogging my way through the report. If Ohioans are doing the same thing, they, like me, will need an occasional break. I recommend the draft Comprehensive Plan for the City of Canton as a source of pleasure reading.

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Robert Mueller’s July 17 Congressional Appearance: Broadcast Coverage Is What Counts

July 9, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

President Trump called into Fox Business for a softball interview on Wednesday, June 26. Host Maria Bartiromo, a one-time journalist who’s sold her soul in return for White House access, never got a question in.

Grumpy Grampy Don-Don wanted to rant that day, and rant he did, hoping to refute the Mueller investigation by saying what was really going on was really just a spying operation by Democrats. This might have something to do with the news about the former Special Council’s testimony before two House Committees on July 17th.

We learned about tariffs. We learned about China.

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The Trump Cartoon That Got the Canadian Cartoonist ‘Fired’

July 2, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Warning: Censorship-worthy, non-funny cartoon of Donald Trump coming up inside.

Here inside is the cartoon that got a Canadian cartoonist fired. It depicts Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants – a horrible photographic image that went viral itself. Now the cartoon by Michael de Adder has gone viral itself.

The cartoon includes a hand-drawn image of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, lying face down in the waters of Rio Grande River, having drowned while attempting to cross to get into the United States.

The cartoon went up and viral last Wednesday, June 26. Two days later, de Adder went on Twitter and told the world he had been let go.

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Rebranding the ‘Kochtopus’? It’s All About Winning the Long War for the Radical Right

June 10, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Back in January of 2016, Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, reported on the Koch brothers’ efforts to partner with liberals on criminal justice reform in the New Yorker in which she noted that:

A new, data-filled study by the Harvard scholars Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez reports that the Kochs have established centralized command of a “nationally-federated, full-service, ideologically focused” machine that “operates on the scale of a national U.S. political party.”

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Mueller Documented Probable Cause That Trump Obstructed Justice

April 26, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / April 22, 2019

After a nearly two-year investigation, culminating in a 448-page report, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election but found insufficient evidence to prove the Trump campaign conspired with Russia. Mueller did not decide, however, if Trump obstructed justice.

The special counsel detailed 10 acts that could constitute obstruction of justice.

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Congress Must Begin Impeachment Proceedings – to Protect the Constitution and the Rest of Us

April 23, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

If Donald Trump cannot be criminally indicted, as per Department of Justice policy, and if he isn’t impeached – then Trump walks and gets away with all that he has over these last two plus years.

Sure, there’s an election down the road in 19 months – but that, quite frankly, is a long time away. It’s almost as long as he’s been in the White House, and that’s plenty of time for Trump to do even more damage.

So, the complexities of this moment, in the post-Barr / Mueller Report time, are not that complicated.

The Mueller Report offered up plenty of evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors; Volume 2 alone is sufficient to get the impeachment ball rolling on obstruction of justice.

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Editorial Cartoon: ‘A Lapdog Ate My Homework’

April 22, 2019 by Source

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Mueller Report Shows Attorney General Barr Lied About ‘No Evidence’ of Obstruction by Trump – Ball Is Now In Congress’ Court

April 18, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a link to the Mueller Report.

Now that the Mueller Report has been released in redacted form, we now know that Attorney General William P. Barr lied to the American people, both in his previous “letters’ and in his unprecedented press conference held this morning about there being “no evidence” of obstruction of justice by Trump – as well as a number of other significant issues.

Barr has lied about so many things involving the investigation into the Russian sabotaging the US Presidential election of 2016 that the American people have to completely ignore anything he has said or written about the Mueller Report.

I watched 6 and a half hours this morning of Barr’s presser and the subsequent commentary about the Mueller Report – and the ball is clearly now in Congress’ court – which is where Mueller intended his report to be. Barr has completely shown he is Trump’s defense lawyer, not the Attorney General

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Barr Threatens Heightened Intergovernmental Civil War

April 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

In his accusations Wednesday of government “spying” on the Trump campaign and his hints of investigating the investigators of the Russian intervention, Attorney General Barr has pushed partisanship in Washington to new levels, threatening a heightened civil war within the government.

Barr has finally exposed himself for all to see – especially those who supported his confirmation because he was an honorable guy – as the unquestionable puppet of Donald Trump at the Department of Justice. By the charge of “spying” Barr has very publicly stated his support and confirmation of Trump’s narrative – a narrative that sees the investigation as a “hoax” and that “really bad people” at the FBI spied on his campaign.

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In Defense of ‘Meh’: Enough With this AOC Character Already!

April 1, 2019 by Jim Miller

This post was written for April 1st.

By Jim Miller

Recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took an unwarranted shot at the heart and soul of American Democracy: the moderates. As NBC news reported, AOC opined that:

“Moderate is not a stance. It’s just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she said, shrugging her shoulders for emphasis. “We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when … the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions.

“The ‘meh’ is worshiped now. For what?” she continued to cheers.

What can one say about this impudent snark other than, how dare she?

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Amid the Russiagate Hubris, a Gift for Democrats in 2020

March 28, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / March 27, 2019

Republicans are celebrating the cliff notes version of the Mueller investigation, which –we’re told– proves the President is not a Russian asset. While the other 16 investigations into Trumpworld continue, the administration has decided to intensify efforts to punish its enemies and/or move forward with its agenda (sometimes that’s the same thing).

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Mueller Didn’t Exonerate Trump of Obstruction of Justice

March 27, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / March 27, 2019

The Mueller report is finally done. On March 23, Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent the confidential report of his 22-month investigation to Attorney General William Barr. Less than 48 hours later, Barr released a four-page letter outlining Mueller’s conclusions and jumping to one as well.

In response to Barr’s letter, Donald Trump claimed, “There was no obstruction, none whatsoever, and it was a complete and total exoneration.” But Mueller did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

The Mueller report contains three main findings.

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It Ain’t Over Yet: Trump and His People Still Face At Least 15 More Investigations

March 25, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Mueller may not have found coordination between Trump and his people and Russia, but Trump is still facing a whole raft of investigations that are still on-going. There are at least eight federal criminal cases continuing in this post-Mueller environment. And then there’s all those Congressional committees …

At least 15 investigations in all. It’s way too soon for any Trumpistas to be popping the corks. Trump and his people are not exonerated by anybody.

In general, there are 2 types of investigations: those from within the executive branch – including the Department of Justice and the various offices of federal prosecutors – and those Congressional investigations being launched over wide-ranging inquiries on multiple topics beyond the Russian interference issue.

These DOJ cases will likely continue:

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Mueller: No Coordination With Russia But No Exoneration of Trump; Barr and Rosenstein Decide ‘No Obstruction’

March 24, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Attorney General William Barr has released his “summary” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report – and it’s a doozy. I’ve just read the brief 4-page letter Barr sent to Congress today and since released to the public. (See letter below.)

First off, Mueller does not find any coordination or conspiracy between Trump and his people and Russia.

On the issue of obstruction of justice, however, Mueller punts, and while – according to Barr – does not exonerate Trump on other matters, left the decision of whether Trump did obstruct justice to Barr and Rob Rosenstein. And guess what? They – Barr and Rosenstein – have decided there’s not enough evidence for any obstruction of justice by Trump.

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San Diego’s Future Mayors – Candidate Barbara Bry

March 22, 2019 by Source

Editordude: The opinions expressed here are of the author’s and do not reflect those of the OB Rag.

Mayoral candidate Barbara Bry (BB)

By Norma Damashek/ NumbersRunner / March 21, 2019

Here’s a fact: San Diego is a big small town in which–at one time or another–most everyone gets into bed with most everyone else (figuratively speaking, of course, but literally sometimes). So when we question who’s got easy access to whom, we’re not just being nosy.

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Good-Bye Electoral College? Popular Vote Movement Gaining Steam

March 21, 2019 by Source

It’s not just Democrats that see the virtue in reforming presidential elections.

By Steven Rosenfeld / Voting Booth /March 14, 2019

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

There’s new momentum around the National Popular Vote movement, where states will award Electoral College votes to elect the president based on which candidate has won the most votes nationwide—instead of today’s state-by-state winner-take-all system.

“It does have new momentum, because there was a [recent] period starting with the second Obama election when Democrats bought into this blue-wall theory” that their political party had a lock on the White House, said John Koza, a former Stanford University scientist who co-founded the National Popular Vote project in 2006.

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San Diego’s Future Mayors – Part 2

March 14, 2019 by Source

Mayoral candidate Todd Gloria (TG)

Editordude: The opinions expressed in the following post are of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the OB Rag.

The second of a 4-part series (Part 1) Part One was on Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

By Norma Damashek/ NumbersRunner / March 14, 2019

Origin stories are the rage nowadays, but do they make one person intrinsically more worthy than another? Do they reliably predict the abilities, values, ethical yardstick, or qualifications a person develops over the years?

Take Todd Gloria, for example. You may already have a mental image of him as a likable, winsome, up-and-coming kind of guy. He self-identifies as a gay person of color: ½ Alaskan tribal- native American, 1/4 Filipino, a tad Dutch, and a touch Latino (Puerto Rican), nestled in a home-grown man from an economically disadvantaged background.

In other words, our man for all seasons.

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Watching the Michael Cohen Testimony in Which He Describes Trump as a Racist, Liar, Cheat and Conman

February 27, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

We haven’t posted anything today – Wednesday, Feb. 27 – as we’re watching the unprecedented testimony of former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, describe how Trump is a racist, liar, cheat and conman. See this.

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Socialism Is More Popular Than You Think, Mr. President

February 12, 2019 by Source

Most surveys show Trump would lose in a matchup against a democratic socialist named Bernie Sanders.

By John Nichols / The Nation / Feb. 6, 2019

Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address did not feature a musical soundtrack. But, if it had, surely the orchestral accompaniment would have soared when he got to the line: “We are born free, and we will stay safe. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

But, just as surely, the music would have quieted down as the camera shifted to the assured countenance of newly elected US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat who was elected last fall after campaigning as “an educator, organizer, Democratic Socialist, and born-and-raised New Yorker running to champion working families in Congress;

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In His 2 Years in Office Trump Has Had More than 1,400 Conflicts of Interest

January 18, 2019 by Source

Washington — In the two years since he took office, President Trump racked up more than 1,400 conflicts of interest involving the government, those trying to influence it and the Trump Organization, according to a report released today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

President Trump used the presidency to enrich himself by repeatedly promoting his businesses as extensions of his administration. Political allies, wealthy donors, special interests and foreign governments adopted a key tactic of patronizing Trump’s businesses to curry favor with the Trump administration. Here are some of the key findings from CREW’s tracking of Trump’s conflicts of interest:

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Trump People Had 101 Contacts With Russian-Linked Officials

January 10, 2019 by Source

Members of President Donald Trump’s campaign and transition team had more than 100 contacts with Russia-linked operatives between September 2015 and January 2017, according to an updated report by the Center for American ProgressMoscow Project.

These contacts reportedly included at least 28 meetings, both in person and over Skype, and involved several prominent members of Trump’s inner circle including the president’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.; his former attorney Michael Cohen; and his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank based in D.C., said Wednesday that it had raised the number of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia-linked operatives to 101 following reports this week that Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data on the 2016 election with a Russian consultant who had links to Moscow’s intelligence agencies.

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Which Presidential Candidate Will You Support in 2020?

December 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

Ugh. The next presidential sweepstakes has already started. They’ve barely finished counting votes from the midterms and already there are [stupid] political rants on social media about the Democratic headliners for next election. It’s almost as bad as hearing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in September.

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Should Democrats, like Superman, Seek ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’?

December 12, 2018 by Ernie McCray

I had a moment a little while ago when I was thinking about the notion that democrats, in spite of recent political victories (Yes!!!) need to come up with a message or at least a snappy meme, that resonates with voters (and more and more people are becoming so designated).

In that same moment I happened to turn the TV on and a man on C-SPAN was discussing superheroes, how they are mostly about creating a better world, citing Superman’s pursuit of “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

That triggered in my mind, right away, long ago days, when I was all caught up in the excitement of “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!”

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Matthew Whitaker Was Illegally Appointed Attorney General and Should Be Removed

December 5, 2018 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn Blog

After forcing Jeff Sessions to resign as attorney general on November 7, President Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, even though Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was next in line for the job. As a result, Whitaker assumed the functions of attorney general.

Whitaker’s appointment was an illegal and blatant end run around the Attorney General Succession Act and the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Whitaker must be removed and Rosenstein should be appointed acting attorney general.

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America Is an Oligarchy : Billionaires Are Undermining Our Democracy and Killing the Planet

November 26, 2018 by Jim Miller

We live under oligarchy. Yes, we have elections, but the interests of a tiny opulent minority are far better represented in our government than the concerns of the vast majority of Americans.

That conclusion was the central takeaway of a Benjamin Page and Martin Giles study published a few years ago that grimly observed, “economic elites and organized interest groups play a substantial part in affecting public policy, but the general public has little or no independent influence.”

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Midterm Voters Rejected One-Party Rule and Created Most Diverse Congress in U.S. History

November 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

What happened one week ago cannot be over-stated. Yeah, those mid-term results – whose vote totals are still coming in. And despite pundit declarations there wasn’t a “blue wave”, Democrats continue to be declared winners.

Yet, we must underscore and duly acknowledge the two huge things that happened last Tuesday. A majority of American voters rejected the one-party rule we’ve had these last two years, at least on the Federal level, – and in the process created the most diverse Congress in history. Or vice-versa.

The results were devastating to Trump. That’s why – the very next day – he fired Attorney Jeff Sessions

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Attorney General Sessions Resigns at Trump’s Request

November 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The Attorney General of the U.S., Jeff Sessions, has just resigned effective immediately. In his resignation letter, Sessions states he wasr being asked to do so by President Trump.

“At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in an undated letter to the president. He also wrote:

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Kavanaugh Confirmation Likely as White House’s Whitewash FBI Report Gives Cover to Swing Republican Senators

October 4, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

News reports from this morning indicate that Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation is now very likely because the whitewashed FBI report is giving cover to swing Republican Senators. This despite the failure of FBI investigators to interview neither Christine Blasey Ford nor Kavanaugh and nor at least 40 other witnesses who could give corroboration to Ford’s sexual assault allegations.

The newly-released 46 page FBI report is being called “incomplete” by Democrats and the White House is being blamed for restricting the scope and breadth of investigators. Reportedly, 10 people were contacted and only 9 interviewed by agents. That’s 9 people in the 5 day period (less than 2 a day – wow!). Also, the third woman to come forward, Julie Swetnick, was not contacted by the FBI. Also the second accuser Debra Ramirez gave agents a list of 20 people who come corroborate her accusations against Kavanaugh.

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President Trump Admin Took Millions From FEMA For ICE Detentions – Video from Rachel Maddow

September 12, 2018 by Source

From the MSNBC YouTube website:

Senator Jeff Merkley talks with Rachel Maddow about a document showing that the Trump administration took ten million dollars from FEMA’s budget ahead of the 2018 hurricane season and gave it to ICE to pay for detentions.
Come inside for the video

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A Bad Day for Trump But a Good Day for America as Cohen, Manafort and Duncan Hunter Go Down

August 22, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s already being called “Terrible Tuesday” – August 21, 2018 – the day the Trump presidency was body slammed with the simultaneous guilty plea to 8 felony counts by Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, and the jury finding Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager, guilty of 8 felony counts – and then the indictment of Representative Duncan Hunter – the second congressman to endorse Trump, on campaign crimes.

It was a bad day for Trump.

Yet, it was a good day for the country.

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