Republicans against the Law
Donald called directly into his beloved Fox and Friends show, and with characteristic mouth-hemorrhaging, flat-out admitted that Michael Cohen represented him in the Stormy Daniels NDA. The one that he allegedly knew nothing about because Cohen was just looking out for his interests on his own, as a friend, and that would directly connect Donald to any criminal campaign finance violations.
Sean Hannity’s much-vaunted real estate ventures, revealed along with his association with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, have been found to be connected to a property dealer who in 2016 pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud and conspiracy for fraudulently buying foreclosed homes.
The Law Against Republicans:
A federal court ruled that Donald’s administration must continue the DACA immigration program (Dreamers) and reopen it to new applicants.
A federal appeals court has blocked Donald from delaying fines for “gas guzzlers”—cars that violate fuel efficiency standards.
The Senate Judiciary committee voted 14-7 to advance bipartisan legislation protecting Robert Mueller’s investigation to the Senate floor for a vote. Mitch McConnell is still traitorously dead-set on keeping it from the Senate, and as majority leader will likely prevail, but the measure—which passed with Republican as well as Democratic votes (though not John Cornyn’s, and not Ted Cruz’s!)—is a strong signal to the White House that tampering with the investigation or firing Justice Department officials overseeing Mueller, or Mueller himself, would raise a clamor.
Donald’s alibi to Mueller for why he couldn’t have met with the prostitutes alleged by the Steele dossier has been shredded—though he insisted he never spent that night in Russia, flight records show he did. In true Trumpy fashion, Donald then insisted he never said he didn’t spend the night there, despite Comey’s notes immediately after two meetings with Donald stating that he did.
A federal judge dismissed Paul Manafort’s bid to block Robert Mueller from bringing further charges against him in the future.
The Blue Wave
Democrats flipped a state assembly seat in New York that has been held by a Republican for more than three decades—by an 18-point margin.
In an Arizona special congressional election, the GOP held on to the seat—but by a slim margin of only 5 points in a district carried by Donaldand the last two Republican presidential nominees by 21 points.
Democrats successfully blocked the Arizona legislature from changing the rules of special elections to avoid a vote to fill John McCain’s seatshould he leave office.
“Draining the Swamp”
The hearing of Don John’s entirely unqualified personal physician (who recently said Donald might “live to 200” if he ate his fruits and veggies) who was nominated to lead the department of Veterans Affairs (despite zero management experience) has been postponed upon as yet unsubstantiated allegations of past scandals regarding improper dispensing of medication, creating a hostile work environment, and excessive drinking on the job. Later in the week allegations expanded to include harassment of female staff and wrecking a government vehicle, yet still Sarah Huckabee Sanders bleats that he was an “impeccable” nominee for heading the VA.
Scott Pruitt appeared before two separate congressional hearings investigating Pruitt’s many ethics violations in office. An unrepentant Pruitt is trying to deconstruct his agency and facts in any way he can on his way down, though, finding any way he can to undermine scientific research into areas of his agency’s purview, like the effects of pollution and pesticide exposure, and incorrectly declaring wood combustion “carbon neutral.” The EPA’s inspector general is opening up new investigations into Pruitt upon further complaints and revelations about Pruitt’s abuses of office.
White House budget director and acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney flat-out stated he’s pay-for-play—that he met only with those lobbyists who donated to his campaign—and on FOX News only Sheperd Smith would report it.
Pennsylvania House rep Patrick Meehan, who had announced his pending retirement facing an ethics investigation for allegedly harassing a female staffer, announced he is stepping down immediately.
Social and civil-rights advances:
The mayor of Hoboken has made all public bathrooms in his city gender-neutral.
After a relatively short deliberation in his retrial for drugging and sexually violating a woman, Bill Cosby was convicted of all three counts of aggravated indecent assault, a charge that will carry years of jail time. (More than 60 women have lodged complaints of sexual misconduct allegations against Cosby.)
The golf course that kicked five black women off the links for playing too slowly and refused to refund their membership—though their rate of play was well within club policy and matched other players’—is facing investigation and the loss of local business.
Your feel-good stories of the week:
John Oliver is buying ad time on Sean Hannity’s show to try to educate Donald—who seems to take his policy decisions directly from his fellow Michael Cohen crony—about issues like the Iranian nuclear agreement.
The pope has had enough of your nonsense, evangelicals, hypocrites, and Pharisees, and stated that it was actually better to be an atheist than a bad Christian.
After Donald’s supercreepy series of public displays of affection with French president Emmanuel Macron during his trip to the U.S. (I guess because Melania won’t do it?), Macron pretty much ripped on everything Trumpian during a speech to Congress. He called out climate change deniers and the current administration’s lack of action on climate change in front of all of Congress—and was rewarded with standing ovations. He also called out as a parting shot “the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom, and the illusion of nationalism” in a direct refutation of Donald’s governing “style.” As Madeleine Allbright tweeted, it’s been too long since we’ve heard a president speak in Washington of international cooperation and defending democracy.