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Archive of Articles in the "Russia" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Mueller Report's Aftermath

[ Posted Friday, April 19th, 2019 – 17:41 UTC ]

Yesterday, Robert Mueller's investigative report on Donald Trump was made (mostly) public. Today, Trump and his cheerleaders are insisting that he has been totally vindicated and exonerated, while some Democratic candidates for president are demanding that impeachment proceedings be launched in the House of Representatives. That's a pretty wide gulf in perception, but at this point it was to be expected.

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Mueller Report Changes Little

[ Posted Thursday, April 18th, 2019 – 16:56 UTC ]

The Mueller Report is finally out. Portions of it have been redacted, and congressional Democrats will doubtlessly continue their push to get an unredacted version to read, but even if that happens the public may never get to see the full text. So for now, we've only got what was released today to examine. And the emerging consensus seems to be that there was no one glaring thing to point to which will lead to Donald Trump's downfall. As usual, there is plenty of fishy and questionable and possibly illegal conduct by both Trump and his minions, but none of it is likely to spur immediate impeachment hearings.

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Leak-Free To The Very End

[ Posted Monday, March 25th, 2019 – 16:17 UTC ]

Robert Mueller has now finished his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, and he has handed in his final report on both to Attorney General William Barr. While others are commenting extensively on Barr's summary letter, which was made public over the weekend, instead I would like to draw attention one final time to the most extraordinary thing about the entire Mueller investigation. Because during the entire two-year scope of his investigation as special counsel, Mueller and Mueller's team set (and achieved) an absolute gold standard that, as far as I am aware, has never before been managed in the hotbed of Washington politics: Mueller didn't leak. At all. Ever. Not even once.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Humiliated By His Own Party

[ Posted Friday, March 15th, 2019 – 18:03 UTC ]

President Donald Trump just got humiliated three times in the same week. By his own party. Could this be a trend? One would certainly like to think so, but that may be premature (or overly optimistic).

Of course, it's debatable whether Trump can even be humiliated, because it's tough to humiliate someone who does not know the meaning of the word humility. You can call Trump many things (and we often do), but "humble" certainly isn't one of them.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Begins Building Stone Wall

[ Posted Friday, March 8th, 2019 – 19:06 UTC ]

President Donald Trump, as we all know, is a big fan of walls. Big, beautiful walls, according to him. But although he's never gotten Mexico to pony up a single peso for his border wall, and is still having trouble convincing Congress that it's the right thing to do, when future historians look back on this week, they might mark it as when Trump began constructing a metaphorical wall between his administration and Congress. Because the first big block of stone was just deposited on the White House lawn -- with 81 more big stone blocks waiting in the wings.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Unites Washington!

[ Posted Friday, March 1st, 2019 – 19:11 UTC ]

In a bizarre development this week, President Donald Trump brought unity to all the politicians in Washington. He managed this feat by failing to get any deal out of his much-hyped summit meeting with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong Un. When news of this failure on the international stage reached Washington (in [...]

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Cohen Provides A Roadmap

[ Posted Thursday, February 28th, 2019 – 16:47 UTC ]

After yesterday's testimony before a House oversight committee, Michael Cohen is now being spoken of by some as "Trump's John Dean." This may be overstating the case a bit, but there certainly are parallels. Dean was a lawyer who flipped on Richard Nixon and worked with the prosecution and the Senate committee which was investigating Watergate, but Dean was a central figure in that scandal and held important jobs in the Nixon administration. Cohen is central to the hush money payoffs to Stormy Daniels, but by his own testimony was much more of a peripheral figure to the larger scandals facing Donald Trump right now. But just as Dean did in the Watergate investigation, Cohen may have provided an excellent roadmap indicating the direction congressional investigators should now take when it comes to exposing Trump's shadiness.

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Friday Talking Points -- Muellermas Eve?

[ Posted Friday, February 22nd, 2019 – 18:25 UTC ]

The news media -- once again -- has been in a frenzy over the possibility that Robert Mueller will wrap up his investigation next week and issue his long-awaited report. They've gone down this road before, as have President Trump's legal advisors (who have been telling Trump the whole thing is going to be over very soon now for almost a solid year and a half). So you'll forgive us for not being all that convinced that this is indeed the time that Lucy won't pull the football away, and we'll finally get to kick it thumpingly down the field!

Perhaps we're being a wee bit too cynical? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. We'll see what next week brings.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Throws His Biggest Hissy Fit Yet

[ Posted Friday, February 15th, 2019 – 18:28 UTC ]

Emergency! Ahh! Everybody run!

Sigh. Well, here we are. Not only has Donald Trump become the first president to order the military to do essentially nothing just to make a political point (see: midterms 2018, border deployment), he has now become the first president to declare a national emergency because he made a political promise he just couldn't keep. He couldn't keep it because -- counter to his own self-portrayal as a dealmaking genius -- Donald Trump is such a terrible dealmaker that he couldn't even get a Republican Congress to give him what he wanted, for two whole years. And if that isn't a national emergency, then what is?

Let's just take a moment to quickly review how we got here. Donald Trump began his presidential campaign warning about the flood of evil brown people who were coming to rape and murder us all in our own beds. He boiled this down into one call-and-response phrase to use at his rallies:

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's Big Speech, And A Virginia Meltdown

[ Posted Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 18:52 UTC ]

It's been an eventful week, with Trump's second State Of The Union speech and Virginia politics entering complete free-fall. Democrats in the House began work in earnest this week as well, on both the legislative and investigative fronts. Also, there are now some new Boondocks comics! So the week was anything but dull, although it was a bit disjointed.

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