“This is Shameful” | How Your Voices Are Making a Difference

7/23/18 “I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.”

SO MUCH to report, warriors! This is a long one, and rather reassuring for the most part—so pour some cappuccino or wine or a nice healthy smoothie and sit back. This is going to take a minute.

The FBI seized recordings secretly made by attorney Michael Cohen of him and his numbah one client, then presidential candidate Donny boy, talking about—wait for it! have a sip of your bevvy…—the payments they were making to Playboy model Karen McDougal to buy her silence about her affair with Donald. Remember, this was the payment Donald said he knew nothing about, for an affair he said he’d never had—the one that may be a violation of campaign finance laws…

Republicans Reconsidering

Add conservative columnist Max Boot to those prominent Republican pundits leaving the party, along with George Will, Joe Scarborough, and others. In an article this week in the Washington Post, Boot, who helped run the 2008 and 2012 campaigns against Obama, said he’d take President Obama back “in a nanosecond,” and called the Obama administration “a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned… Just 18 months ago — can you believe it was so recently? — we had a president with whom I could disagree without ever doubting his fitness to lead.”

But if you want to know the present state of jaw-dropping ass-kissery in the Senate among most of the GOP, look no further than this headline. Yet a handful of Republican senators found the spine to speak out against the president of the U.S. providing succor to our enemies and attacking our allies and our own country and faulting U.S. “stupidity.” Notably, mostly only the ones not seeking reelection: “I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful,” Senator Jeff Flake wrote, and Sen Lyndsey Graham called out Donald for the show of “weakness.”

Republican John McCain issued as bitch-slappy a statement as has been aired, even from Dems: “One of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory…. No president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.” His full statement is astonishingly pointed and very much worth a read. It’s a shame that men of conscience and honor are so thin on the ground in the GOP these days.

Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas penned a startlingly frank op-ed in the NYTimes: “Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.”

Donald’s brownnosing to Russia’s brutal leader was so egregious that even the usually obeisant Paul Ryan was moved to condemn Donny’s pandering to Putin, stating that there is no question Russia interfered in our elections, and that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Russia. A Dallas Republican state rep published this op-ed in the Trib stating that it’s time to impeach the mentally deranged dotard. An Ohio GOP chairman resigned in outrage over Donny’s words and actions. Even Spicey came out of the shrubbery to weigh inthat Mueller’s investigation is not a witch-hunt.

For an expanded list of lawmakers’ reactions to the astonishing display of Don John’s (and the U.S.’s) throat and belly to our greatest geopolitical foe, see this piece and, surreally, this article from FOX. And please note that nowhere in this list is butt-kissin’ Teddy Cruz’s outrage—and multiple calls to his office yield crickets. (But hey, why not call him yourself and press the question…? His Austin office, the only one where anyone seems to answer, is 512-916-5834.)

Even FOX News was horrified, y’all! Anchor Neil Cavuto called the press conference “disgusting”; a Fox and Friends host (and daughter of Donny’s ambassador to Russia) said he threw America under the bus. A FOX op-ed called him “foolish and naïve”: “For a sitting U.S. president to say publicly that he believes a foreign leader over his own intelligence team is shocking and admonishable. At a time when our democracy faces grave threats, it is deeply troubling that the president would side with the very country who attacked us.”

Former CIA director John Brennan said Donald’s action “rises to and exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’” and called it “treasonous” and Donald “wholly in the pocket of Putin.” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Monday said the U.S. intelligence community has been “clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”

But if Donald spent two hours at a presser attacking the U.S. and ass-Frenching the former KGB head of our greatest geopolitical foe, at least Chris Wallace—ON FOX NEWS AGAIN, CAN YOU BELIEVE—had the cojones and, you know, patriotism to directly challenge Putin on his country’s actions against ours.

(Here’s the rest of the ludicrousness—but really don’t trouble yourself with all the windbaggery: The next day Donny responded to the backlash by saying he misspoke one word that left it open whether Russia interfered or not—but made sure to add that it could have been anyone, and he believes Putin. Then he said his meeting with Putie was much better than his meeting with our NATO allies. Then he said that “those at the higher ends of intelligence” (meaning mental capacity? the intelligence community? who can say—and it doesn’t matter what he means because he will only obfuscate it later) thought his meeting with his dark lord Putin went great. Then Little Donny contradicted U.S. intelligence again and said that there was no danger of Russia interfering in the next elections, even though director of national intelligence Daniel Coats (who appears to be entirely out of the loop where U.S. security is concerned) says “the warning lights are blinking red” and Microsoft says there’s already evidence that Russia has tampered with three 2018 candidates’ campaigns. One FOX News host on the show where he denied what every intelligence agency has confirmed said Donny “sounds insane.” Welcome to reality, FOX.)

And then Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the commander of cheese is open to Russia coming to American to question U.S. citizens. *Blink. Blink.* AND DONALD HAD TO THINK ABOUT THAT FOR THREE DAYS before caving to public outrage. And now Donny wants to invite Vlad to dinner at the White House! TIME magazine summed all the hoopla up in yet another spot-on, chilling cover.

Amid Donny’s suspicious kowtowing to the former KGB head of our greatest adversary, there are fresh calls for Donald to release his tax returns—not just from Democrats, but Republicans too.

And yet one Texas Republican refuses to take a public stand defending our country and her intelligence community—and it’s probably not the one you think! Good ol’ John Cornyn blocked passage of a nonbinding, bipartisan resolution backing the U.S. intelligence community’sassessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, calling it “purely a symbolic act” and sinking the effort to pass the resolution by unanimous consent. And yet that very same day Cornyn backed another nonbinding bipartisan resolution, this one warning Don John not to surrender American diplomats and officials to Russia for questioning at Putin’s request—which the president of the United States called “an incredible offer”—passed unanimously.

Republican representative Mike Coffman of Colorado became the first of the GOP to sign a petition that would force a vote in the House toreverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

Russia

A senior writer for the very conservative National Review penned this article in the magazine vociferously defending the “entirely legitimate” Mueller investigation and its results thus far, and calling for Republicans to insist that it continue “because the witches are very real.”

Mueller asked a federal judge for immunity for five witnesses in exchange for their testimony in Paul Manafort’s upcoming trial.

If you’re keeping track of the “witch-hunt,” so far that’s 191 criminal charges against 32 witches and 3 witch companies.

Meanwhile, hours after Donny stood next to his puppetmaster Putin and exonerated him from any charges of meddling in our election (despite all intelligence agencies assessments to the contrary, and 25 indictments of Russian agents), a Russian working as an activist with American gun organizations has been accused of spying in America for Russia. Maria Butina had direct ties to the Russian intelligence agency and to wealthy businessmen in the Russian oligarchy, including this Russian businessman with ties to U.S. energy and technology firms.

In Other News

Inexplicably, Ajit Pai, head of the FCC who championed the torching of net neutrality laws, has come out against the Sinclair/Tribune merger that would have brought the uber-conservative propaganda broadcasting company into 72 percent of households, blowing past the current regulated limit of 39 percent.

Minutes before a vote was scheduled for Don’s circuit court nominee Ryan Bounds, the White House withdrew the nomination after even a Republican senator expressed concern about Bounds’s former racially insensitive writings. A special shout-out to our groups in Oregon, South Carolina, and Florida who worked against the Bounds nomination. Congratulations!

Republicans Against the Law

The Cuomo administration has launched an investigation into Kushner Cos. for alleged harassment of rent-stabilized tenants in its properties to force them out to make way for luxury condos.

New York’s attorney general has filed a civil lawsuit against Donny and all three of his (visible) children over the Trump Foundation’s possible inappropriate use of funds as their “personal checkbook.”

federal judge has temporarily halted deportations of families reunited after Donald’s administration separated them, after a request from the ACLU.

Republican Corruption

Move over, Scott Pruitt and Tom Price—it’s Devin Nunes’s week in the ethics-violations spotlight. The Federal Election Commission and two nonpartisan watchdog groups have discovered that Rep. Devin Nunes used political donations to pay for nearly $15,000 in lavish trips to Las Vegas, tickets to Boston Celtics basketball games, and winery tours.

Civil and Social Rights Advances

Spain is introducing a law intended to eliminate ambiguity in rape cases that requires that sexual consent be explicit—“yes means yes,” in other words, and anything other than yes means no.

CVS fired two employees who called police on a black woman claiming they thought she was using a fake coupon.

steakhouse in Texas banned a customer who stiffed a server and left a racist message about him on the ticket. “We stand by and support our employee,” the COO said. “Racism of any form is unacceptable.”

Karma

Canada’s retail giant Hudson’s Bay pulled all of Ivanka Trump’s products from their store for poor performance and public outcry.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Two flight attendants’ unions, representing more than 50,000 American and United flight attendants, have issued public statements opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

On Little Donny’s recent visit to meet Queen Elizabeth, the queen wore a brooch given to her by the Obamas. Princes Charles and William refused to attend. And that’s how you royally throw shade.

The big angry Trump baby that’s full of hot air (the blimp, not the president) is coming to America for a national tour.

This happened, because sometimes the internet is magical.

An interesting article about the future of conservatism after Donald.

In the second quarter in the same districts, seven Democratic candidates outraised Republicans by more than double.

It’s been an absolutely insane week, warriors. Let this deliciousness wash over you and purge the Putiny taste from your mouth.

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