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  • It didn't get much press at the time but Trump's sister, a federal judge, retired shortly after that NY Times story about the family's tax fraud was published, effectively ending an official investigation into the family finances.

    Elizabeth Warren cleverly uses this case as an example of one reform she is proposing. It's a bold move both politically and substantively:

    In a Medium post published Monday, the Massachusetts Democrat proposes closing the loophole that "allows federal judges to escape investigations for misconduct by stepping down from their post."

    In outlining the idea, Warren specifically references a case involving Trump's sister Maryanne Trump-Barry, whose retirement brought an abrupt end to an investigation into her role in various tax schemes of the family and potential fraud therein.

    "Under my plan, investigations will remain open until their findings are made public and any penalties for misconduct are issued," Warren writes in the post.

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  • Help me understand, gentle readers. Why would any Democrat go on Fox and Friends first thing Monday morning to back up Trump's war tweets? And why would any Democrat utter the following words in response to Yemen blowing the crap out of a Saudi Arabian oil facility: "This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran, if that's what the intelligence supports."'

    Yes, that is Delaware Senator Chris Coons, serving himself up on Fox & Friends to monger some war with Iran, just like the jerk in the White House. Forget about the Saudis, their corruption, the way MBS pals around with Jared Kushner, the way they wantonly murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, chopped him up in pieces and dumped the body parts wherever they dumped them. Forget the way they murder Yemeni children in the name of religion. Forget it all because oil is the point.

    I expect that kind of idiocy from Republicans, but no Democrat anywhere should, in this day and age, let those words drop from his lips.

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  • Donald Trump said the media misreported his words and that he never definitively said Iran was responsible for the attack against Saudi Arabia, during a press "pool spray" in the White House.

    This appears in the ever growing category of "you can't make this up."

    In his rambling presser, Trump claimed he rebuilt America's putrid military to a superior force and that he was asking our allies for their thoughts on what should be done about the attacks on the oilfield.

    "That was a very large attack, and it could be met with an attack many, many times larger very easily by our country, but we are going to find out who definitively did it first," Trump said.

    A reporter off-camera asked, "Could you clarify Mr. President? You said you think Iran is responsible for the attack, do you think --- "

    "I didn't say that." "Why do you say that?" he asked. "I said we think we know who it was, but I didn't say anybody but ... Certainly it would look to most like it was Iran but I did not say it the way you said it."

    As soon as the Saudi oilfield attacks were reported Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clearly with all honesty blamed Iran for the drone strikes.

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  • Donald Trump's day of reckoning about his taxes may be finally coming if reporting from the New York Times is correct. On Monday, they reported that the Manhattan D.A., Cy Vance, has subpoenaed Trump's taxes. Their demand is for 8 years of Donald Trump's personal AND corporate tax returns. The demand, issued last month, was sent to Trump's accounting firm is in relation to a criminal investigation into hush-money payments made to Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.

    The D.A. did not provide any comment to The Times regarding the full scope of the investigation. Federal prosecutors closed their case abruptly early in the summer (shocker), but the state of New York is "exploring whether the reimbursements violated any New York state laws." They are "examining whether the company falsely accounted for the reimbursements as a legal expense. In New York, filing a false business record can be a crime."

    BUT, it is only a misdemeanor. It becomes a felony only if they can prove that the false business record was created to conceal another crime - that is how this can turn into a BIG headache for Donald Trump. If they can show that Trump lied on his filings to hide tax violations or bank fraud, it becomes a felony.

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  • Sean Spicer has gone from fascist enabler as Trump's very first lying press secretary to fawned-over man-pundit on the Outnumbered White Supremacist Couch.

    His latest stop on the image rehab tour jeté came tonight on Dancing With The Stars, wherein he wore a glo-necklace-green flamingo shirt with sleeves straight out of Sarah Huckabee Sanders' wardrobe, and actually pretended to know how to play the bongos.

    Because none of us should suffer alone, here are how the folks over on Twitter endured. Some tweets are comical, and simply make fun of what a ridiculous douche he is. Those are satisfying enough, but even better are the many, MANY that remind us what Spicer's appearing on this show is really all about, and why we should resist the temptation to even be slightly amused.

  • As a Georgia born farmer, Jimmy Lee Williams days consisted of growing soybeans, peanuts, and watermelons. His weekend evenings though were all about the area's juke joints.

    In sessions dating from 1977 and '82, Musicologist George Mitchell recorded Williams in Worth County, Georgia. Thirteen of those tracks were released as an LP under the title Rock On Away in 1988.

    In 2003, the album was reissued under the title Hoot Your Belly. Many critics raved about the record, which brought a lot of attention to his music and offers to tour. Thing is though, Jimmy Lee could not play any live shows at the time because he had already been dead for about decade.

    What are you listening to tonight?


  • It's Monarch season:

    Wisconsin and other Midwest states are right in the middle of the monarch migration trail or flyway. During spring and summer, the butterflies travel north toward Canada to repopulate. Now they are preparing to migrate south for the winter.

    ...[M]onarch butterflies have a four-generation migration strategy. Right now, people in Wisconsin and the Midwest are seeing the fourth generation of butterflies. The first generation starts in Mexico, as monarch butterflies stay in the mountains of Mexico all winter. When they begin to migrate north during the spring they start to reproduce and repopulate, these are the second and third generations.

    The butterflies being seen now are the offspring of the butterflies that migrated from Mexico last winter. Monarchs spend most of the summer in the northern part of the United States and southern Canada.

    h/t Capper; Open Thread below...


  • If candidate enthusiasm were the true measure of campaign success, then Elizabeth Warren is doing very well indeed. It was said after her speech last night she took selfie pics with her fans for four hours.

    Source: Politics USA

    Donald Trump measures political success on two imperfect metrics -- poll numbers and crowd sizes -- and Elizabeth Warren appears to be crushing it on both counts.

    During a major speech at a rally in New York on Monday night, a massive crowd of 20,000 turned out to hear Warren tear into the unprecedented corruption of the Trump era.

    The Massachusetts senator called Donald Trump "corruption in the flesh."

    Pictures show a capacity crowd packing into New York City's Washington Square Park, which is just three miles from Trump Tower:

  • Of all the candidates running for president on the Democratic side, Beto O'Rourke stands out as the maverick, the rebel, the "I don't give a Flying F" guy who doesn't pander and doesn't cower. He's got a mouth like a drunken pirate and he revels in it. (His campaign is selling tee shirts that say, over and over, "This is F — ked up".)

    Beto is the guy who almost took down Ted Cruz in 2018. That was big. He's a Texan who speaks perfect Spanish, who waves his arms and bounces around to the point of distraction, but can handle comparisons to the Energizer Bunny because, well, he's energized.

    By rights he should be a force to be reckoned with — he's young, earnest, charismatic, Kennedyesque— but so far there have been no real poll surges. Nothing that would suggest he might have a chance. It's a crowded field and there are other, more adept stars who tend to dominate the stage.

    But Beto is a force. He shows up on the border, near tears as he reports on the conditions in the refugee camps. He boldly rails against white supremacists from his perch in Texas, a state known for its love of guns and rage, and he minces no words when he talks against Donald Trump. (Tell us how you really feel, Beto.)

    He made it clear just days after the August 3 shooting massacre in El Paso, where 22 people died in the district Beto represented in congress for six years, that he had no interest in running for the senate. It's the presidency or nothing, because he knows only the power of the presidency will allow him to make radical change.

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  • No More Mister Nice Blog: Disinformation campaigns will happen, but they're not magic. They can be defeated. And they're no excuse for indulging in despair.

    What Would Jack Do: Trump is so thin-skinned and hypersensitive that he just can't help giving his critics a more prominent platform.

    Strangely Blogged: Republicans equate anything to the left of Reagan with genocidal communism. It's an incoherent and desperate gambit.

    Bay Area Houston: Briscoe Cain needs to be taken seriously. Also: Holy Hell, this is from a law firm???

    Blog round-up by Infidel753. To recommend a post, send link to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com -- I do check it!

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What a long strange trip it's been.