Monday, August 20, 2018

BREAKING: No verdict returned on day 3 of Manafort deliberations. A sheaf of paper handed in by jury just after 6PM. Was it a verdict form? No. Just menus for lunch tomorrow. Earlier:

NEW: House Oversight Democrats requesting security clearance docs on Trump White House NatSec Advisor John Bolton's ties to alleged Russian spy Maria Butina after it was revealed Bolton recorded a video for Butina's gun rights group at the request of the NRA's then-president

Top GOP lawmaker calls for cutting Medicare and Social Security to reduce deficit after GOP tax cut

Former Trump lawyer John Dowd gave 2020 campaign excessive contributions — again

Rep. Steve Scalise: I might have attended white supremacist event

That $43,000 soundproof phone booth that Scott Pruitt had installed at the EPA? Turns out, according to WaPo, he only called the White House once from it. The call lasted 5 minutes.

WISCONSIN: Two former Gov Scott Walker (R) cabinet secretaries have endorsed his Democratic opponent and filmed videos for the Dem challenger.

Cabinet official from Gov Rick Snyder's administration -- chief of the state's Department of Health and Human Services -- will be tried on felony involuntary manslaughter charges in Flint water disaster.

Manafort judge plans to ask jurors at 6:15 if they want to keep going or come back tomorrow. Could be a long night.

The list keeps growing. Now more than 175 additional alumni of top national security jobs are joining the bipartisan outcry against Trump revoking John Brennan's security clearance

^^ As I was saying, @realDonaldtRUmp, your Russian “supporters” must want to finally “cash-in” on their assistance provided to you & your campaign.

First Lady Melania Trump hosting an anti-bullying event is like Eva Braun hosting a Bat Mitzvah.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin cannot sue the Kentuckians who are trying to stop him from adding work requirements to the state's Medicaid program, a federal court said today.

Former Fox News analyst Ralph Peters: "People that only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality."

Dems raise concerns over Bolton's suspect ties to #Russia

Here's what John Brennan told me Friday night about potential legal action in response to the President revoking his security clearance:

The Trump administration is emphasizing a less-punitive approach to combat white-collar crime and civil violations by expanding rewards to companies that report violations and take steps to fix them. But critics warn that it fosters bad behavior.

At the EPA, there's been a big drop in civil and criminal cases against polluters.  
It’s expanding a program for new owners of oil and gas facilities to self-report violations of the Clean Air Act in exchange for a reduction in government penalties. (2/6)

A new pilot program from the Labor Department lets businesses that run afoul of federal wage laws receive fewer penalties.  It faces sharp criticism from Democratic officials and worker advocates who say it lets off law-breaking employers too easily. (3/6)

During the campaign, Trump himself cast Wall Street institutions like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup as villains.  In office, however, the president has scaled back the government's efforts to police financial institutions, analysis shows (4/6)

Federal officials say the approach will encourage more companies to disclose violations and help them target bad actors.  "The purpose of the policy is to more effectively prosecute corporate crime, not less," Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein said. (5/6)

Many consumer advocacy groups don’t agree.  "Saying, 'We're going to pat you on the back, try better next time,' is not going to deter the kind of wrongdoing at the scale that companies are doing," Public Citizen's Rick Claypool said. (6/6)

Trump Shivs Brennan, and Many 2016 ‘Conservatives Against Trump’ See No Evil

The EPA’s air pollution boss, a former oil industry lawyer, is behind Trump’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan — a major victory for his former clients

It's time for Grandpa to be put in Assisted Living

Most underreported #CultureOfCorruption story from last week -- a high-school football teammate of @SecretaryZinke (with NO scientific background) is blocking climate research at the Department of Interior.

The revelations that several of Donald Trump's wealthy friends improperly dictated policy & personnel decisions at VA & used the department to advance their personal and business interests are alarming

We’re in the midst of an all-out assault on human dignity—yes, at the border, but also in the courtroom, in the classroom, and on the factory floor.

Sorry, sir. My post-employment security clearance, when I had it, granted me neither “great prestige” nor “big dollars” nor “board seats.”

Everybody wants to keep their Security Clearance, it’s worth great prestige and big dollars, even board seats, and that is why certain people are coming forward to protect Brennan. It certainly isn’t because of the good job he did! He is a political “hack.”

Jurors in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will begin a third day of deliberations today, as the President continues to rail against special counsel Robert Mueller

The conservative DC legal group behind a challenge to Mueller probe

The Violence Against Women Act, first passed in 1994 expires on September 30. As of today, the bill to reauthorize has 124 sponsors in the House. All Ds. Not a single R has signed on. Let that sink in.

I am calling on the FDA to speed up and make public their final report on the prevalence of the weed-killing chemical, glyphosate, in many foods families regularly eat–cereals, granola bars, oats, snack bars, & more.

Astonishing graphic from @CNN, identifying civilian massacres in Yemen with the bomb makers - Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. This should be standard in war reporting. Searing images.

Rand Paul was spotted boarding Air Force One this afternoon. Rand Paul said late this week that he wanted to talk to Trump about lifting sanctions on Russian political leaders. He also was the first to suggest revoking John Brennan's security clearance.

The chairman of the FCC, an independent agency, says that White House counsel Don McGahn called to talk about the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger.

Trade: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Listen Trump on Hugh Hewitt's radio show 9/21/15 "I called it my weekend in Moscow ... I was w the top level people, both oligarchs & generals & top of the gov people. I can’t go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people & ... "

AZ GOP Sen candidate Kelli Ward will go on a bus tour w/ Mike Cernovich, an alt-right activist associated w/ the PizzaGate conspiracy.

Trump brags about VA changes, but affected workers say result not good for veterans

“The Senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.” - John McCain

Miami Herald throws support behind Republican who says she was abducted by aliens

"truth isn't truth"

Omarosa says she believes Trump wants to start a "race war."

Boycott Nathan's Hot Dogs

Economists say Trump's tariffs are unfavorable for U.S. growth

“If Republicans hold both houses of Congress this November, Trump will go full authoritarian, abusing institutions like the I.R.S., trying to jail opponents and journalists...and he’ll do it with full support from his party.”

NEW: Lanny Davis, an attorney for former longtime Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, said he has been reaching out regularly over the last few months to John Dean, the former White House counsel who helped bring down the presidency of Richard Nixon

Trump Tax Cut Unlocks Millions for a Republican Election Blitz

It’s not normal for presidents to describe someone who cooperates with law enforcement as a “rat.”

Christmas came early for Putin: Clearance contagion

"Ultimately, donors are giving money to wage a successful campaign not to fund people’s golden parachutes out of the White House," a top GOP donor vents

The plan would replace U.S. troops with private military contractors overseen by a "viceroy" -- yes, viceroy -- who would report directly to Trump

Breaking News: Michael Cohen, President Trump's ex-lawyer, is under investigation for bank fraud in excess of $20 million. Charges could come soon.

Trump Lawyers’ Sudden Realization: They Don’t Know What Don McGahn Told Mueller’s Team

NEW: William Burck, attorney for Don McGahn responds to @NYTimes article on his clients interviews with the Special Counsel: