Weekly List 124

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week was dominated by news of the Mueller report, which was delivered to Attorney General William Barr last Friday, but has yet to be given to Congress or the American people. On Sunday, AG Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress, which he characterized as a “summary” of the Mueller report, but later in the week, in a second … Read More

Barr To Give “Full” Mueller Report to Congress by mid-April

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

But first, he’s going to redact: (1) stuff required to be redacted under federal rules of criminal procedures;(2) stuff that reveals intelligence community sources and methods;(3) stuff that relates to ongoing matters (like investigations that Mueller farmed out to other prosecutors); and(4) stuff that might embarrass “peripheral third parties” See, it’s that fourth thing… amIrite? But at least the President … Read More

NPR/Marist Poll Shows People Want To See Mueller Report

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Polls, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Some graphs from today’s NPR/Marist Poll: I think there is a problem with the question. Does this mean they are satisfied with Mueller’s thoroughness, or satisfied with the outcome? Huge difference, and I think that makes the results meaningless. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all want to see the full report. Curious that 40% of Republicans don’t want to see the … Read More

GOP Confused And Concerned About Trump’s Attack On Obamacare

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Republicans, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Reflecting widespread concerns within his party, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has told President Trump he disagrees with the Trump administration’s attempt to get the entire Affordable Care Act thrown out in court. McCarthy told Trump over the phone that the decision made no sense — especially after Democrats killed Republicans in the midterms in part over the issue of pre-existing … Read More

Three Myths About The Barr Summary

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Myth No. 1: Mueller found no evidence of collusion.  (Wrong, wrong, wrong.) Regrettably, “[a]ll three major news networks were consistent in saying that the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.” Both CNN and MSNBC heralded that “TRUMP CLAIMS ‘COMPLETE AND TOTAL EXONERATION’” on Russia. Fox claimed “MUELLER PROBE FINDS NO PROOF … Read More

Barr’s Parsing Has Not Gone Unnoticed

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Emptywheel: I’ve made this point implicitly a few times, but it bears making explicitly. We have proof that Bill Barr’s memo spins the known contents of the Mueller Report to minimize the complicity of Trump’s flunkies. That’s because we can compare what we know about Roger Stone’s efforts to optimize the release of the emails Russia stole with the language used in the memo. … Read More

Trump Makes Policy Shift To Kill ALL Of The Affordable Care Act

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday announced that it is siding with a district court ruling that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The move is an escalation of the Trump administration’s legal battle against the health care law. The DOJ previously argued in court that the law’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the administration argues the … Read More

Barr Summary of Mueller Reports: No Collusion, No Obstruction Prosecution

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

I had a busy weekend so I only read the Barr summary of the Mueller investigation which came down yesterday at 5 pm. Let’s start with one truism: When prosecutors say that an investigation “did not establish” something, that doesn’t mean that they concluded it didn’t happen, or even that they don’t believe it happened. It means that the investigation … Read More

Weekly List 123

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week started with maniacal tweeting by Trump: more than 50 tweets over the weekend on a variety of unrelated topics, including multiple retweets of conspiracy theorists. The week’s news was overshadowed by Trump’s daily attacks against deceased Senator John McCain and George Conway, husband of senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. The off-kilter — even by his standards — behavior by Trump seemed … Read More

Trump Reverses His Advisors On NK Sanctions

Ken AshfordNorth Korea, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yesterday: Important actions today from @USTreasury; the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea’s illicit shipping practices. Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea’s sanctions evasion. https://t.co/AVnOPrWbH6 — John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 21, 2019 Today: It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale … Read More

Why Is Trump Trying To Hide His Putin Conversations?

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Trump claims he has nothing to hide — so why is he going to such great lengths to make sure no one ever finds out what he discussed with Putin? The White House on Thursday rejected a request from House Democrats to turn over documents pertaining to Trump’s conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, arguing that such communication is off-limits … Read More

New Zealand Gets It Done

Ken AshfordGun ControlLeave a Comment

Jacinda Ardern and her government are not fucking around: “In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” said Ardern. The ban on the sale of the weapons came into effect at 3pm on Thursday – the time of the press conference announcing the ban – with the prime minister warning that … Read More