What the fuck is happening in Florida?

Claiming that ballots (ostensibly cast by Democrats) had been “forged,” the President of the United States declared this morning that the counting of votes in Florida should stop immediately, and that that Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis should be declared the winners of their respective races. This, Donald Trump reasoned, was the right thing to do, as both men were ahead in the vote count on election night.

It should also be noted, however, that Donald Trump has offered no evidence that ballots cast in Florida had been, to use his terminology, “massively infected.” Furthermore, if the counting of votes were to be stopped now, it would be in violation of numerous state and federal laws, seeing as how there are still ballots that have yet to be counted. Most notably, people serving in the U.S. military, in accordance with our laws, have until November 16 to have their mail-in ballots counted, assuming they were postmarked on, or before, Election Day. [That’s right, not only did he cancel plans to visit Arlington today, on Veterans’ Day, but he suggested that we disenfranchise members of the U.S. military serving abroad.]

I know it must be confusing to our President, who has a limited grasp of our democracy works, but we have laws governing how elections are managed, and those laws, as Florida’s Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum said yesterday, require that “we count every vote.” And, in extremely tight races, like these two in Florida, there are even laws mandating recounts.

Here, with a bit of the background as to what’s happening right now in Florida, is an excerpt from FiveThirtyEight.com.

…In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson initially appeared to have conceded on election night (his opponent, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, also claimed victory) but reversed course after continued vote-counting in Broward and Palm Beach counties narrowed Scott’s lead to just 0.15 percentage points, or 12,562 votes. That’s important because, under Florida law, any election within half a percentage point margin triggers a machine recount, and then, after that, if an election is within a quarter of a percentage point, it triggers a manual recount (where all ballots are retabulated by hand). On Saturday, the secretary of state officially ordered the machine recount, which must be completed by Thursday, Nov. 15. However, the real drama will likely come if there’s a hand recount, and whether we learn if the unusually high number of undervotes in the Senate race in Broward County are the result of a machine error. If so, Nelson may have a shot. If not, Scott is probably safe, as recounts rarely overturn election results…

Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis was declared the next governor of Florida on election night, but now the same delay in vote-counting that tightened the Florida Senate race has brought the gubernatorial contest within recount range as well. On Saturday, DeSantis led Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by 0.41 percentage points; therefore, the secretary of state ordered a machine recount. While Gillum has taken back his concession and the AP and ABC have both retracted their projections, this remains a long shot for Democrats. A reversal of a 33,684-vote margin would be unprecedented in modern times. We’ll find out for sure on Nov. 15…

It should also be noted that this is not something that we’re just dealing with in Florida. As I’m writing this, there are still 17 races that are too close to call… 2 for the Senate, 13 for the House, and 2 for governorships. [There were still three Senate races that had been undecided, up until a few hours ago, when the Arizona race was called for Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, the first non-Republican to win a Senate seat in that state in 30 years.]

So, as Florida election officials work through the process, doing what they need to do under the law, our President is echoing the unfounded claims of conspiracy theorists like Rick Scott, who told Fox News a few days ago that, “Senator Nelson is trying to commit fraud to win this election.” As a Florida judge said today, after urging everyone involved to tone down the rhetoric, there is no evidence of fraud in Broward County… As for why this judge may have urged people to tone down the rhetoric, let’s not forget that it was just a few weeks ago that a Florida man mailed over one dozen explosive devices to individuals publicly accused by Donald Trump and his supporters of conspiring against our country.

For what it’s worth, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) says that they have no open investigations into any claims of potential fraud. That doesn’t mean, however, that people on the right won’t continue to make unfounded accusations, claiming that Democrats are attempting to “steal” the election. As we saw just before the election, when Republicans lied about a caravan of South American terrorists headed to our border, there is no line the Republicans will not cross in hopes of retaining power. [Speaking of the caravan, isn’t it weird how it just kind of magically disappeared once we’d cast our votes.]

And it’s not just the likes of Donald Trump and Rick Scott floating these ridiculous ideas. They’re being supported at every turn by the bought-and-paid-for conservative propaganda network. Here, to give you a sense of what we’re up against, is a clip from Wayne Allyn Root’s most recent column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

…Liberals try to win over voters with “fake news.” When that fails, there’s always “fake votes.” I believe Democrats are stealing elections with fraud — primarily illegal aliens voting. And those elections they can’t steal, they still won’t accept the outcome. Suddenly boxes of votes appear, from only Democrat-controlled districts, with primarily Democrat votes, days after the election.

Wasn’t this the “fake worry” of Democrats for two years now? They were shocked and worried about election integrity and “Russian interference” that never happened. They made it up out of thin air. Actually, Hillary and the DNC paid for it, while spy agencies from Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany created false stories to steal the presidency from Trump.

But now we have real election interference. Many Republican voters in this country don’t believe there is election integrity…

It’s worth pointing out, I think, that the Las Vegas Review-Journal is owned by Trump supporter Sheldon Adelson, whose wife, Miriam Adelson, for some inexplicable reason, will be receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Friday. [When asked about this today, Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, said, “The Medal of Freedom has always been awarded based on service, as the award is intended. Trump uniquely envisions government service as a business for self-enrichment, and so it comes as no surprise at all that Trump would award an otherwise honorable medal to Adelson on the grounds of who gives him the most money.”]

It’s terrifying, right? We’ve apparently learned nothing over theses past two years, listening to Donald Trump constantly go on and on about how he would have won the popular vote in 2016, if not for millions upon millions of illegal aliens crossing the border to vote for Clinton. We knew it was a lie. Trump even quietly shut down the presidential commission that was going to prove it to us. But we just keep on allowing the lies to be said… We keep allowing this nonsense to propagate, and, in so doing, we’re making it all the more likely that, come 2020, when Donald Trump is defeated, he makes the claim that the election had been stolen by the Democrats, the globalist Jews, illegal aliens, radical feminists, and terrorists, or some combination of the aforementioned groups. And we cannot allow that to happen. We need to stop this now, and stop it decisively. We cannot keep going down the slippery slope toward civil war.

OK, with that, I will let Virginia Senator Mark Warner have the last word: “If the President actually cared about election integrity, he wouldn’t be tweeting out conspiracy theories, he would tell his Administration to quit blocking the bipartisan Secure Elections Act that we’ve been trying to pass all year.

Speaking of attempts to address election integrity in the United States, it’s worth mentioning that the Democrats came out today with a statement, saying that, once they take back the gavel in the House, the first bill they vote on will be one that strengthens the Voting Rights Act, establishes automatic voter registration, takes the power to redistrict away from state legislatures, giving it instead to independent commissions. The Republicans will never agree to it, but I like that, for a chance, we’re on the offensive, fighting for something positive that we believe in, instead of just running against Trumpism. This is a good thing.

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Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day in France with Donald Trump

There are a lot of reasons not to like Donald Trump. Some, admittedly, are better than others. Today, I have a really trivial one to add to the list… Given his antics in Europe right now, he’s forcing me to change my annual post about how I prefer Armistice Day to Veterans’ Day.

Here’s what I would like to have posted today, had we been living under a sane administration…

vonnegutI don’t dislike the military. I think we, as a nation, spend far too much on it, and I think that we’d ultimately be better served by investing a great deal of that money on education, alternative energy research and any number of other things instead, but, in general, I don’t have an issue with the military. I’m proud of my grandfathers’ service during WWII, and I acknowledge the fact that, had my father not served during the Vietnam War, and learned a trade, I might never have gone to college, or, for that matter, left rural Kentucky. With that said, though, I’m in agreement with Kurt Vonnegut on the subject of Veterans’ Day. Here, for those of you who have never read his brilliant novel Breakfast of Champions, is a clip.

…I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things…

I know times change, and references to WWI no longer carry the same significance they may have in the past, but it seems to me that the world could use a holiday dedicated to the absence of war. Which, again, isn’t to say that our men in women in uniform aren’t deserving of respect. They are. The sacrifices they make are enormous. But, with that said, might it not be more meaningful to acknowledge their service with a celebration of peace, rather than a Veterans Day sale at the local strip mall and a discounted meal at Hooters?

Here, with that said, is what I feel as though I have to post today instead…

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day that World War I, “The War To End All Wars,” came to an end. In commemoration of this, our President was to have joined other world leaders yesterday at Aisne-Marne, where American Marines who fought at the World War I battle of Belleau Wood are buried. This would have been especially poignant, given that yesterday was also the 243rd birthday of the Marine Corps. Donald Trump, however, did not attend the ceremony, cancelling his long-standing plans, and choosing instead to stay at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, tweeting about how Democrats, in his opinion, are attempting to “steal” elections in Florida by insisting that every vote be counted.

In Trump’s defense, there was light rain in Aisne-Marne yesterday, and it may have been determined that Marine One could not safely make the trip from Paris. With that said, however, he could have made the trip by other means. As former Obama staffer Ben Rhodes said yesterday, “I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years. There is always a rain option. Always.” And, it should be noted that other leaders, including U.S. generals John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, and Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were all able to make the 50 mile trip from Paris to Aisne-Marne by car.

[above: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, undeterred by the light rain, lays a wreath at the Aisne-Marne memorial.]

The criticism was harsh, even from the right. “It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary, and then remain (in his room) watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow,” said David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

I particularly like what Winston Churchill’s grandson had to say on the matter.

While I suppose it’s conceivable that the 50 mile drive from Paris might, in the opinion of Trump’s security detail, pose a threat of some kind, I suspect our President, based on what we know of him, just chose not to go, perhaps having decided to save his energy for this morning, when he’d need to really turn on the charm for Vladimir Putin in hopes of earning himself an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Speaking of Putin, if I were the suspicious type, I might wonder if Trump pulled out of the trip to Aisne-Marne yesterday because he knew that Putin, who likes nothing more than seeing the NATO nations on the outs with one another, would enjoy it… If I had to guess, though, I’d say that Trump just didn’t want to be on a podium between French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, knowing that everyone in attendance would be measuring them against one another and mocking him for his stupidity. [Trump, if we’ve learned nothing else over these past two years, is much more comfortable in the company of despots than with our historic allies, who clearly make him feel like a fraud.]

Oh, speaking of Trump’s stupidity, according to the French paper Le Monde, yesterday he confused the Balkans and the Baltics to the great confusion of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian leaders he was meeting with. [He was blaming them for the war in Yugoslavia.]

For what it’s worth, Trump eventually had to leave the U.S. embassy in Paris, and, when he did, he had to listen to Macron saying the following. “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” the French President said. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” he added, it what sounded like a comment intended specifically for Trump, who has taken to calling himself a nationalist lately. “By saying ‘our interests first’,” Macron said, “we erase what a nation holds dearest — its moral values.”

But, yeah, Trump, the man who ordered thousands of active duty troops to the border to fight an imaginary enemy because he thought it would help his party win the election, chose not to visit the graves of 2,289 American soldiers… real soldiers, who died in a real war, fighting a real enemy. And, somehow, in spite of this, there are still a number of Americans who see Donald Trump, who himself avoided military service during the Vietnam War by claiming to have bone spurs, as a pro-military president. It’s really un-fucking-believable.

Some people, I suppose, so desperately want to believe that they’re supporting a strong, heroic leader, that their critical thinking skills just shut down. They hear Trump say things like he did a few days ago about how Obama had refused to fund the military, and they just accept it without question. They like thinking that Trump saved the U.S. military from an anti-American president who had wanted to destroy it. The facts, however, don’t support that view of history. For example, when Donald Trump says that his $716 billion in military appropriations this year is the most ever, it’s just not True. Obama authorize $726 billion in military spending in his 2011 budget. And let’s not forget that, just a few weeks ago, Donald Trump gave the order to cut the budget at the Department of Veterans Affairs by 5%, no doubt to help cover the recent $1.5 trillion giveaway to America’s super-wealthy… No, Donald Trump, you can be sure, doesn’t give a fuck about the troops, unless, of course, they’re heading to the southern border to help him make the case that an invading army is approaching.

One last thing… I’d never heard it before, but Imperial War Museum just recently released battlefield audio recorded the morning of November 11, 1918 near the River Moselle, where the Americans were fighting, just as the a armistice was going into effect. It’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever heard… After a minute of heavy shelling, the guns go quiet, and then, a few seconds later, you can hear the birds beginning to chirp again.

[An estimated 17 million people lost their lives in World War I, which raged in Europe for four years.]

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Hey, wait, that’s not fair…. Republicans in the State Senate get almost twice the resources of their Democratic colleagues to serve their constituents

I learned something interesting today from Jeff Irwin, the man that we just elected to represent our district in the Michigan Senate. According to Irwin, who was in Lansing today for orientation, along with all of the other newly-elected State Senators, because he’s in the minority party, he only has $129,700 with which to hire staff, whereas Republican Senators have $212,700. Given this, and the fact that Democratic Senators only have two staff benefit packages to offer employees, whereas their Republican counterparts have four, it means that we, as Michiganders in an historically liberal district, have considerably fewer people working on our behalf at the Capital. And, yes, I know it sounds impossible, but it’s apparently 100% true. I just asked Irwin to send me documentation, and he shared the following, from his orientation packet.

Apparently, according to Irwin, it’s not all that unusual for the majority party to have more in the way of resources, as “they have to chair the committees and set the agendas,” which requires more work. Apparently, however, the difference isn’t usually anywhere near this extreme… When asked how this had been handled in the Michigan House of Representatives, where Irwin served for several years, he said that majority members received 5-10% more in the way of budget, but that every member had the same number of staff members – two.

I’m not sure when this happened in the Michigan Senate, or whether or not our new Democratic leadership might be able to do anything about it, as the Republicans still hold control over the Senate, but I think it’s important for people to know that conservative districts, as things stand today, have almost twice the resources to serve their citizens. And, it’s worth pointing out, this isn’t just about having more people in the office to answer calls from constituents, and help them to navigate State bureaucracy. Fewer staff members also means fewer Democrats drafting legislation to protect our water, safeguard public education, and increase access to health care.

So, the next time you call your Democratic Senator’s office, and don’t receive what you consider to be satisfactory service, don’t just post an angry comment to social media…. call an attorney and file suit against the State, demanding the equal access to resources afforded to you under law.

[Want to know more about Jeff Irwin? Check out the interview I did with him during the Democratic primary, which is full of good stuff.]

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The Trump administration uses press conference footage deceptively edited by InfoWars to justify the banning of CNN’s Jim Acosta

Yesterday, when I posted about how Donald Trump had installed someone as acting Attorney General who has said publicly that the Mueller investigation should be stopped, I made a brief mention of the fact that CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, on the same day, had his press credentials revoked after refusing to stop a line of questioning that Donald Trump didn’t like. I was tempted to go further into the story at that time, as I suspected that people might want to discuss it, but I ultimately came to decide that I should stay focused on the real threat at hand, which is that Donald Trump seems to be putting the pieces in place to stop the Mueller investigation, which, just to remind everyone, has already yielded dozens of indictments, and guilty please from several Trump campaign insiders, like George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn. And my plan tonight was to say on Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General, getting into a little more detail as to what we might expect in the coming days… but then I read this CNN headline, and I felt compelled to share it.

White House press secretary tweets misleading video from InfoWars personality to justify revoking CNN reporter’s credentials

Here, before we get any further into the analysis, is the tweet from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which was put out after she issued a statement saying that Acosta’s press credentials had been revoked because he was “placing his hands” on a young White House intern.

This video, according to experts, as alluded to in the CNN headline above, has been edited to emphasize the chopping motion of Acosta’s hand as the young woman tries to pull the microphone from him hand, with some frames deleted, some frames duplicated, and some frames sped up. Here, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is the actual, unedited footage of the incident, so you can appreciate the difference… As for who altered the film shared by Sanders, it’s being attributed to Paul Joseph Watson, an editor-at-large for the pro-Trump conspiracy theory website InfoWars, which, I should note, has now had its incendiary, false content pulled from most social medial platforms.

Sanders, it should be noted, was made aware of the fact that the footage she shared to justify Acosta’s removal from the White House grounds was deceptively edited by InfoWars earlier in the day, and yet this post is still pinned to the top other official Twitter page.

The following excerpt comes by way of the CNN article linked to above.

…In a Thursday afternoon statement, Whitney Shefte, president of the White House News Photographers Association, said, “As visual journalists, we know that manipulating images is manipulating truth. It’s deceptive, dangerous and unethical. Knowingly sharing manipulated images is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a representative of our country’s highest office with vast influence over public opinion.”

At BuzzFeed, Charlie Warzel summed up those concerns, writing, “The entire ordeal is a near-perfect example of a scenario disinformation experts have predicted and warned of, where the very threat of video manipulation can lead to a blurring of reality.”

So, a member of the press, who the President does not like, has been barred from covering the White House, and the Trump administration is justifying the move with deceptively edited video, presented within the context of the increasingly weaponized “me too” movement. This, my friends, should scare the shit out of all of you.

But, really, does this surprise anyone? Didn’t we all know exactly where things were headed two years ago, when we set out on this journey across the post-fact landscape of Donald Trump’s mind?

[If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to watch the entire press conference, which is absolutely bonkers, and completely terrifying, from start to finish.]

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Sessions to be replaced by a Fox News commentator who once described in detail how he would kill the Mueller investigation… I think this probably qualifies as a constitutional crisis, right?

[above: A shot from outside the White House tonight by CNN’s Jim Acosta, who had his press credentials stripped this afternoon after standing up to Donald Trump.]

Back in July of 2017, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said there’d be “holy hell to pay” if Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Well, today, Donald Trump not only fired Sessions, but announced that the Attorney General would be temporarily replaced by Matthew Whitaker, a former Fox News contributor who had been serving as Sessions’ Chief of Staff. As for why Trump selected Whitaker, who has previously been referred to by the New York Times as the West Wing’s “eyes and ears” inside the Justice Department, one would assume it has something to do with the fact that he’s been openly hostile toward the Mueller investigation.

Whitaker not only penned an op-ed for CNN titled, “Mueller’s investigation of Trump is going too far,” but he said the following during a subsequent interview on the cable news network. “I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced,” he said, “and (the incoming) Attorney General doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to almost a halt.” And he’s also gone on the record stating that, by crossing Trump’s “red line,” and looking into the finances of the President and his family members, Mueller has raised “serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt.”

[above: The magnificent beast, and protector of Donald Trump, Matthew Whitaker.]

So, now, this Trump loyalist, who once referred to Mueller’s investigators as a “lynch mob,” will be overseeing the Mueller investigation as acting Attorney General of the United States…. As you’re recall, Sessions wasn’t directly overseeing the investigation, as he’d recused himself from anything Russia-related when it became known that he’d lied about meetings that he’d taken with Russian officials while serving on Trump’s campaign team, but Whitaker, as he’s not recused himself, can claim ownership of the investigation, taking oversight responsibilities away from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Speaking of recusals, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded this afternoon that Whitaker “should recuse himself from (the Russia probe) for the duration of his time as acting Attorney General” given his previous comments “advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation.” And, to their credit, a few Republicans followed suit to some extent. In a statement, Senator Susan Collins said, “I’m concerned Rod Rosenstein will no longer be overseeing the probe. Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete his work without interference—regardless of who is Attorney General.” And outgoing Senator Jeff Flake, who Trump, earlier today, bragged about driving from office, urged his colleagues to pass S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to safeguard the Mueller investigation. “McConnell should bring the bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible.” But, of course, Lindsey Graham’s “holly hell” never came.

[above: This image comes from a post I wrote last July, after the bipartisan Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, only to have Mitch McConnell keep in from being voted on by the full Senate. Read the post, if you get a chance, and share it. It’s important stuff.]

As for why Trump made the move to fire Sessions now, and thereby attempt to end the Mueller investigation, one can only assume that it has to do with the results of yesterday’s midterm election, and the prospect of a Democratic majority being seated in the House on January 3rd. Donald Trump knows that, unless he does something over the next two months, he’s finally going to be held accountable for his numerous crimes. [Trump had wanted to be rid of Sessions since he recused himself from the Russia probe. We know, from reports, that Trump said that Sessions didn’t do enough to “protect him” and “safeguard” him, apparently not understanding that it’s the Attorney General’s job, not to look out for the President, but to ensure that our laws are upheld.]

And, I should add, this wasn’t all that Trump did today. This morning, before once again declaring the press “the enemy of the people,” he began making threats against those Democrats who would be using their newly found subpoena power to investigate him. And Mitch McConnell began warning his colleagues in Congress against what he called “presidential harassment,” apparently forgetting that Congress has a constitutional role to provide presidential oversight.

I have to say that, right now, I’m pretty damned concerned, as it certainly appears as though our President is ratcheting up his obstruction of justice game in hopes of avoiding any legal consequences for his actions. All is not lost, though… at least not yet. Here are three things to consider.

1. I don’t know how much merit the argument has, but I just saw it mentioned that, as Chief of Staff for Attorney General Sessions, Whitaker would not have gone through a Senate confirmation hearing, and therefore cannot legally serve as Attorney General. If true, one would imagine this would slow whatever their plan is down considerably. Of course, it may not be true that he has to be confirmed, as he’s just been named the interim Attorney General, but it’s something to explore.

2. According MSNBC Producer Kyle Griffin, “If Whitaker is now supervising the Mueller investigation, any final report by Mueller will go to Whitaker, who could decline to make it public or transmit it to Congress. But the House Intelligence Committee could subpoena it and anyone involved in preparing it.” So, no matter what happens, the findings of the Mueller report, now that we’re going to have a Democratic House, will become public.

3. There’s a good chance that Mueller knew that this was going to happen eventually and took precautions. Most likely, he likely already has sealed indictments ready to go. The following is from independent journalist Marcy Wheeler.

…All that said, Mueller was surely expecting just such an eventuality. And the fact that they got Roger Stone attorney Tyler Nixon to testify Friday suggests they were prepping for it, getting the last bit of evidence against Stone in place.

The only question is whether they got the grand jury to approve whatever indictments they were working on. I’d be surprised if Mueller didn’t (unless Rod Rosenstein prevented him from doing so).

If that’s the case, then Whitaker is not going to help Trump get out of his legal troubles. That’s because Chief Judge Beryl Howell, not Whitaker, will make the decision about unsealing anything sealed in this grand jury investigation.

So if Mueller prepared for this very predictable eventuality, then Trump may have just fired a key player in his racist agenda for naught…

But, with all of that having been said, we shouldn’t count on anything good coming of this. And we can’t afford to just sit back and hope for the best. I know it’s a long shot, especially now that the Republicans have even more of a stranglehold over the Senate, but we need to try to force Mitch McConnell to bring the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to a vote. It’s hard to say what would happen if he did, and whether or not Republicans would vote to protect the investigation, but we should at least try to bring it to a vote, if for no other reason that to see where our elected officials stand when it comes to protecting the rule of law.

One last thing… Is anyone else wondering why Donald Trump and the Republicans are no longer talking about the deadly army of invaders heading toward our southern border? I hate to say it, but it’s almost as if the whole thing was just political theater. Who would have thought?

Oh, and it’s probably worth nothing that Whitaker, in addition to having worked for Fox News, served as campaign chair for Sam Clovis’s 2014 bid to become Iowa state treasurer. Clovis, as you’ll recall, is the man who, as Trump’s 2016 campaign co-chairman, brought Russian stooge Carter Page onto the team. Make of that what you will.

update: Audio has been unearthed of Whitaker saying that the Russians did not interfere in our election, contradicting the findings of every U.S. intelligence agency. “The left is trying to sow this theory that essentially Russians interfered with the US election,” he says in the recording. “Which has been proven false.”

update: There will be a protest in Ann Arbor Thursday, November 8, at the federal building. It will begin at 5:00.

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