I'm praying for Prince Harry to denounce his father and usurp the British throne. If there's going to be wall-to-wall coverage of the death of a very old person, there at least needs to be an interesting subplot. - Corey
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THE BIG NEWS
Trump's Cronies Keep Getting Charged Because They Are Prolific Criminals, Not Because There's a Grand Conspiracy
The Justice Department announced yesterday that it will appeal the widely disparaged ruling by Judge Aileen Cannon, who owes her job to Donald Trump, appointing a so-called special master to handle stolen documents recovered from Trump's Florida resort and demanding an indefinite halt to the department's criminal investigation of Trump. As the Washington Post notes, the appeal comes with risks:
The appeals process could take longer than any document review by the special master. And there is no guarantee that the government would prevail, particularly if the case were to reach the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three Trump appointees.
Also yesterday, as expected, Donald Trump's super-skeezy adviser Steve Bannon surrendered to New York prosecutors on charges related to his "We Build the Wall" crowdfunding grift, and the indictment was unsealed. The charges: money laundering, fraud and conspiracy. Bannon was previously pardoned by Trump on federal charges connected to the same scam (which is not to be confused with his conviction this summer on contempt of Congress charges). Funny enough, though, that pardon actually left Bannon open to state charges by invalidating any "double jeopardy" protections he might have had.
"This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system," Bannon said, along with some other stuff. As a key player in the Trump administration, he would know a thing or two about "phony" prosecutions.
To wit: the New York Times yesterday covered some disturbing but frankly unsurprising revelations from another Trump administration veteran, Geoffrey S. Berman, who has a tell-all book coming out. Berman volunteered for Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016; Trump put him in charge of the prestigious and powerful Southern District of New York. It didn't work out. Berman writes:
"Throughout my tenure as U.S. attorney, Trump's Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining -- in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired."
"I walked this tightrope for two and a half years. Eventually, the rope snapped."
Case in point: Berman ignored orders from the administration to prosecute Gregory B. Craig, a former White House counsel to Barack Obama, for supposedly violating a forign lobbying law. Problem was, Berman determined Craig didn't violate the law. Undeterred, the administration then "peddled" the case to the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington, D.C., which charged Craig, who was quickly acquitted by a jury at trial. Berman then came under pressure "to prosecute yet another enemy of the president" -- John Kerry, the former Democratic Secretary of State -- though that effort fizzled out. Trump later fired Berman after he refused a request from then-Attorney General Bill Barr to resign. Just another factoid to recall whenever somebody tries to act like Barr is a good guy now that he has decided to stop protecting Trump by going on television and stating the obvious.
Finally, lest the news get lost: ABC News reports that a federal grand jury in Washington is investigating Trump's Save America PAC, a fundraising vehicle formed after his 2020 election defeat, which has already brought in at least $135 million. After the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Mar-a-Lago last month, the PAC sent out an email asking supporters to "rush in a donation IMMEDIATELY to publicly stand with me against this NEVERENDING WITCH HUNT." You'd think the growing list of Trump cronies who've opened up publicly about what it was like to work for Trump -- the Grand Inquisitor himself -- might wake more Republicans up to the fact that the real never-ending witch hunt is the one led by Trump against his enemies. But many won't realize this until, like Berman and Barr, Trump turns on on them, personally, for some imagined offense. That's how it goes with cults.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Operation London Bridge Is Underway
Oh my gosh, did you hear? Yesterday was Bernie Sanders' birthday. Also the Queen of England died! The second-longest-serving monarch in history, who ascended the throne when the country still had a globe-spanning empire! People like Jeff Bezos don't think it's okay to celebrate or joke about this even if the British monarchy brutally subjugated your ancestors! (Or maybe there's more going on there.) But apparently it's totally fine and normal to compare the widely anticipated death of a 96-year-old person to 9/11. Whatever. A rail workers union said strikes are on hold, so there's that. For further coverage, turn on literally any channel. Now what? I guess this means some countries are going to put King Charles' dashing mug on the money? (The plan is for him to take the crown today.) But I wouldn't be surprised if some just leave Elizabeth's face on there. Charles isn't so popular!
New Study Warns of Passing Climate Change "Tipping Points"
At the current rate of global warming -- approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius -- a major new international scientific study says the following outcomes are all but certain: "the collapse of Greenland's ice cap, eventually producing a huge sea level rise, the collapse of a key current in the north Atlantic, disrupting rain upon which billions of people depend for food, and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost." At the minimum expected warming rate of 1.5 degrees Celsius, further irreversible changes become likely, "including changes to vast northern forests and the loss of almost all mountain glaciers." It will be impossible for civilization to carry on as normal under such conditions, so scientists say the study findings show just how important it is for countries to "quickly and drastically cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to curb global warming." Just thought was was worth mentioning!
- Politician's DNA Found at Scene of Reporter's Murder "We are relieved [that Clark County, Nevada Public Administrator Robert] Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official," investigative reporter Jeff German's editor, Glenn Cook, said. via the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Another Shooting in Uvalde Two minors were injured, four people are in custody, and kids with PTSD from the elementary school massacre were in the park where it happened. via CNN.
- Republican Online Fundraising Declines as Democrats Gain Donors Some GOP consultants worry Trump's PACs are competing with candidates on the ballot and that he isn't spreading the wealth. via Politico.
- House Democrats form New Protection of Civilians in Conflict Caucus The group wants answers from the Pentagon about its "role in an airstrike that killed more than 160 Nigerian civilians at a displaced persons' camp, including many children." via the Intercept.
- FBI Declassifies 270-Page File on Late "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin The Bureau labeled Franklin's performances for Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference "communist infiltration" events. via the Guardian.
That's the share of Republican candidates currently running for statewide office who refuse to say President Joe Biden was legitimately elected in 2020, according to a new Associated Press survey. One in three openly echo Trump's lies about the election being stolen from him.
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But what happens to Big Business if we don't do business as usual anymore?
Alina Habba is rocking this case (on Newsmax).
"The U.S. unfortunately pays no price for doing something that is illegitimate, unsustainable and immoral. And even though, speaking with government officials, they find no reason why Cuba should be on the list, they claim that it is politically difficult for them [to rectify]."
-- Cuban deputy foreign minister Carlos Fernández de Cossio, speaking to the AP about the American blockade and designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, which the Biden administration has been unable to explain or excuse.
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CozyEarth: Go to this link here and enter the special promo code MAJORITY at checkout to SAVE thirty-five percent now.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyOocF3wW8IOh my gosh, did you hear? Yesterday was Bernie Sanders' birthday. Also the Queen of England died! The second-longest-serving monarch in history, who ascended the throne when the country still had a globe-spanning empire! People like Jeff Bezos don't think it's okay to celebrate or joke about this even if the English brutally subjugated your ancestors! But apparently it's totally fine and normal to compare the widely anticipated death of a 96-year-old person to 9/11. Whatever. A rail workers union said strikes are on hold. For further coverage, turn on literally any channel. Now what? I guess this means some countries are going to put King Charles' dashing mug on the money? (The plan is for him to take the crown today.) But I wouldn't be surprised if some just leave Elizabeth's face on there. Charles isn't so popular!