Mon, 31 December 2018
Today is the last day that you can that you can donate to KITM and still say you donated this year! We are in the final hours of our December fundraising campaign, and so far we’ve witnessed an incredible outpouring of support. You are the reason we exist, so if you haven’t yet stepped up, chipped in and helped out, we still need you to help reach our goal by midnight tonight! We might even have that tote-bag available in 2019!
David Waldman offers us a metaphorical tote-bag of gratitude and wisdom:
Back to the “Is Donald Trump diabolical, or delusional”? debate. For Trump, lying is the plan, the distraction, the cement and the bricks in his wall of chaos. Greg Dworkin breaks the metaphors into metonymies and synecdoches, but deep inside finds there really is nothing there. And Donald knows this… or he doesn’t. It doesn’t really matter, because either way it’s worked so far, though it does work less well with each passing day. What do Republicans get from all of this? Nothing.
Meanwhile, incoming Democrats suss out the subtle gradations in the meanings of “existential”, “power”, “leadership”, etc.
Fri, 28 December 2018
Where is Donald Trump today? Hopefully, as far away as possible. David Waldman is right here, as close your favorite media device can make him, to close out our KITM week:
Is Michael Cohen holding the collusion smoking gun? He says No! No!, but his cellphone says Yes! Yes! Playacting AG Matthew Whitaker is an Academic All-American liar. Read up on how Mark Burnett bamboozled enough people to make us all look like idiots. Facebook balances helicopter-parenting with free-ranging all of human civilization, while making a buck or two, and sometimes they get it wrong.
Vive la différence! The Yellow Vest movement is big in France, spreading around the world, and of course will be here soon. But is that good or bad? Are they Left or Right? Is this a bandwagon to jump on or a movement to co-op? David answers all of those questions… or at least he questions all of those answers in today’s deep dig into Jacobin’s coverage.
Thu, 27 December 2018
Donald Trump has only a few more days to pwn the libs and the Coast Guard before the Dems show up. Even so, he pushed his concerns for the institution of the Presidency and his niggling bone spur inflammation aside to not-so-secretly fly to Iraq to reveal classified information on troop deployment, create an international diplomatic incident, and do his usual lying to people’s faces.
Khizr Khan, whose son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, 27, died from a suicide bombing, delivered a passionate speech at the Democratic National Convention. You might remember it, Donald Trump probably not. But at least a post office will be named after Captain Khan.
Greg Dworkin has been rounding up punditry left and right this week—even more so than usual. As Democrats have a chance to overcome the sexism and venality of politics, they will begin to earn more respect. At the moment they are only slightly ahead of Republicans and Trump. MSNBC tops Fox in journalism, integrity and quality, and now in number of viewers as well.
Bad guys with power tools meet good guys with guns, and amazingly no one got nailed.
To clean up election fraud, we need to go way back.
Wed, 26 December 2018
KITM was back on the live show schedule (unlike those lazy Republicans). And not a moment too soon, since most of the holiday weekend’s stories didn’t fit neatly into any of our Boxing Day boxes.
Greg Dworkin rounded up the top stories and parsed the polling, as usual. Orr(i)n Hatch, top Utah(a)n, actually sucks. Which is how he “won.” We may not yet be ready to call out Nazis running for high office in our country. But maybe the Israelis are. Greg also reminds us, once again, that Trump is historically unpopular, and more so every day.
Should we impeach him right away? Or wait twenty minutes? Dems in disarray!
But Republicans have their act together. Which is why they’re poised to pull an Alabama in Mississippi. (Free advice: If your candidate is a child molester (again), be sure to pivot away from pedophilia in the general.)
Harvey Weinstein. Donald Trump. Chicken? Egg? Could “MeToo” have happened in a different timeline?
Is Russian software embedded in FBI computers? And is that a problem?
Tue, 25 December 2018
Back to the Future/Past! It's our Boxing Day 2017 episode. So it's tomorrow, but last year.
Just when you think you’ve opened up all of your Christmas presents, David Waldman slips down the chimney with a shiny new KITM for you to unwrap:
Time to get back up-to-speed on Trump-Russia—We thought it couldn’t happen here, but it did, and here’s how Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options. The real Trump Russian scandal is not mere collusion, just follow the money to the big douche-Deutsche connection. A Chilean billionaire landlord of Ivanka Trump picks up more billions in mining leases from the Trump Administration.
Pete Hoekstra, a Congressman from Holland, Michigan, is now ambassador to the Netherlands, which is somehow not fake. But watch him try to create fake news, get caught, deny it, get caught denying it, deny that, get caught and call that fake news. On the other hand, the US Congress’ workplace misconduct office won’t share data with Senator Tim Kaine because of concerns with “inaccuracies.”
And Paula Writer returns, with a 2018 New Year’s message for The Resistance.
Mon, 24 December 2018
The present Trump shutdown is on day 3 with no end in sight, but that includes no end in sight for the Mueller Investigation, which is funded by a permanent indefinite appropriation. KITM digs into the history and reasoning behind the Special Counsel funding, even to the point of actually opening and reading a Federalist article to glean some insight. Of course, Donald could just site “LOL v. YOLO” and have non-recused non-Attorney General Matthew Whitaker take care of everything before the holidays’ end.
Fri, 21 December 2018
Greg’s not here, so lol, yolo, nothing matters! That being the case, can Armando call in for the entire two hours? Sure! Why not?
We’re just hours away from yet another government shutdown. So, what’s closing and what’s not? How did we get here? What makes this one crazier than most? The Trump “administration” is totally unprepared for it. Could purported Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker use the shutdown to shut down Mueller? The rules say no. But the rules also say he’s not the Acting Attorney General, and should recuse himself from the Mueller probe in any case. And yet he didn’t.
Routine government operations aren’t the only things collapsing. Mulvaney is already on the outs, because of something Trump should have discovered the last two times he appointed Mulvaney. Mattis quits, but doesn’t leave. And also-still-there-for-some-reason Nikki Haley isn’t so sure the US should stay in the UN.
Oh, and the Treasury Department is compromised, in pretty much the same way notorious spy Mike Flynn compromised the DIA, actually.
Thu, 20 December 2018
Hey, good news, everybody! The North Koreans are… oh, no. Wait. This is bad news.
Also in bad news, people are still racist loons. But at least they’re getting caught.
Paul Ryan is a fraud, and some people aren’t afraid to say so.
Trump tweets the U.S. out of Syria. Fox haz a sad. Russia does not. Neither were they sad about the U.S. dropping
Trump’s new pick for Attorney General might have a Mueller-hatin’ problem.
Wed, 19 December 2018
There was, of course, the Flynn sentencing that didn’t end in a sentence. Sarah Sanders polluting the official WH Press Secretary timeline, and endumbing it, as well. Pelosi staking out ground on the wall. Trump’s lawless “law and order.” And some sleuthing on the Double-Secret Court Hearing of Mystery.
The Trump “administration” says it’s banning bump stocks. Are they?
Russia, if you’re listening, are there more emails in which Trump is the laughingstock of the world?
Tue, 18 December 2018
Politico lit a bit of a fire this morning, with a story saying Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was already threatening primaries against fellow Dem members. Is she? Isn’t she? Is that her “brand?” Should she wait? Answer: I don’t know.
Reports for the Senate Intelligence Committee say the Russians were targeting Mueller, too. Just like Trump was, months after the election. Weird! Meanwhile, Americans are guessing where Mueller might be headed next. And guessing at what might have closed the entire 5th floor of the federal courthouse last week. The same courthouse where we waited for notorious spy Michael Flynn to be sentenced today, before that whole thing blew up. Speaking of which, it actually started looking a little dicey for him when indictments were unsealed against one of his “business parnters.”
The Republicans, having lost another election, decide they won anyway.
Saudish Arabia is paying for its war in Yemen like Mexico’s paying for the wall.
Back to Flynn and his “storied” career: Where was he radicalized? Seems it was from a steady diet of conservative “news.” Which, when you think about it, isn’t all that different from Dick Cheney’s “stovepiping” of unvetted, “raw intelligence.” Guess that must have been why it was so dangerous.
Mon, 17 December 2018
Week 100 of The Presidential Apprentice, week 82 of the Mueller Investigation! You got to hope Bobby Three Sticks would pull ahead some day, but for now David Waldman and KITM keep calling the race:
Greg Dworkin brings us new evidence that Donald Trump benefits from misinformation. That must be why he likes to do it so much, and why just about every Russian that could get to a keyboard in 2016 lent him a hand. The Trump administration, campaign, transition, inauguration, organization, foundation, etc. are now under investigation. Why aren’t we talking about impeachment, then? Well, we are, but let’s be a little patient, and let the rest of the us catch up. After all, the whole point of the Russian influence operation was to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage the specific groups most likely to challenge Trump, especially African Americans. Race is the most reliable source of division in American politics. What could be worse than Russian trolls? The National Enquirer. They were born to feed off guys like The Donald, how did it all go so backwards? If you don’t like fake news, check out local reporting. Those guys keep it 100 24/7.
Fri, 14 December 2018
It’s Friday, so we had a lot of clean-up work to do.
Not a rumor: Investigators are finally interested in Trump’s inaugural committee funds, and; that “other member of the campaign” in the room for the hush money negotiations with National Enquirer… was Trump. Yes, lazy-ass Trump.
Latest from NC-09: Harris knew exactly what he was buying.
The Trump “administration” is a never-ending parade of self-dealing and corrupt pass-throughs. And don’t let all the hype make you forget that Michael Cohen was a corrupt bastard before he ever met Trump. In fact, it’s how he met Trump in the first place.
The ИЯA turns out to be just a nest of Russian spies.
Romania joins the ranks of foreign powers playing the emoluments game.
Are the Wisconsin and Michigan Gop power-grabs unconstitutional?
Thu, 13 December 2018
Between the two of them, Greg Dworkin and Armando helped cover every minute of the show today. A non-stop parade of issues and stories, and we got to perhaps half of what we had.
First, there’s not gonna be any wall vote. Also, no wall. And no Mexico paying for anything, either. Second, they’re talking about Newt f-ing Gingrich for White House Chief of Staff. Third, while Trump tries to set up an “Edwards defense” for himself, the National Enquirer has flipped and pulled that rug out from beneath him. And Michael Cohen was already set to nail that down.
Meanwhile, Mueller continues to tighten the noose, and may even be set to introduce a whole new angle on the investigation. And besides impeachment, people are mulling the merits of just up and indicting Trump outright, president or no. Speaking of which, Mueller isn’t even the only threat looming.
In other news, Jim Inhofe is an idiot, and just another of… oh, about a hundred Senators who don’t understand how the computer Interwebs work.
Wed, 12 December 2018
How do you sum up a day like yesterday? I don’t know. But Greg Dworkin gave it his best shot. That Oval Office meltdown over (not) funding Trump’s wall was pretty much all you needed to see, but then there was so much more. There was the inability to hire “the best people,” which is now also an inability to hire even the bottom of the barrel. That’s a problem not just for Trump, but the entire Gop. Speaking of the entire Gop, could they now be reduced to evangelicals and no one else? Even parts of “MAGA” America could be walking away.
Down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans spent the day self-owning in the Google hearing. Joan McCarter described the bizarre reaction on Capitol Hill to Trump (gold spray-) painting himself into a shutdown corner. Pelosi and Schumer certainly dunked on Trump, but shouldn’t they have been offering a flat zero dollars for the whole thing? So, even with a Trump shutdown set for December 21st, he’s still running around making even settled spending bills worse. On the other hand, the Farm Bill might just be getting better.
Remember that scary-sounding Bloomberg story about spying devices embedded in Chinese-made computer processors? If you do, it might be time to forget it.
The Charlottesville murderer is going away forever.
Newly-empowered Dems put the brakes on a sweetheart stadium deal for the Washington Breadsticks.
Could there be a legal smackdown coming for the Wisconsin and Michigan Republican riots?
Tue, 11 December 2018
We had a far-ranging show today, starting with the note that Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” is/are the many killed or imprisoned journalists around the world, prominently featuring Jamal Khashoggi, of course. In other journalism news, the WaPo invents a new “Pinocchio” category for Trump. Oh, and it turns out Paul Ryan is a fraud. So of course, the proper reaction to that is to crap on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Because isn’t it always?
Maria Butina is set to change her plea and cooperate with investigators, whatever that might mean. Could she bring down the ИЯA? And maybe even more? The Butina angle is a strange one, and getting stranger every day. Meanwhile, back on the main Trump-Russia ranch, don’t forget what Mitch McConnell did to get us into this mess. To that end, maybe now is a good time to follow the money on that. Though we might want to be careful, since a lot of that money appears to be going down the toilet. And when it comes to indictments, don’t forget that Trump isn’t the same thing as the Trump Organization, even if the man himself doesn’t know that.
Speaking of the Orange Hobgoblin, it looks like Pelosi and Schumer knew exactly what was on tap for their Oval Office sit-down today. Will the results convince Republicans to stop trying to set her up? Will anyone want to staff this dotard ever again?
What is Brexit, even? Can we all live in a yellow cheese submarine?
NY politicos: Behold your new state Senate.
Are today’s Google hearings really just an elaborate shakedown?
Donald Trump: great Gimmetarian, or greatest Gimmetarian?
Mon, 10 December 2018
Fridays are beginning to mean something again, as the pace of Mueller filings picks up. ‘Tis the season! Luckily, we had Greg Dworkin with us to round things up. But first, we go around the world in 80 seconds, give or take a few. Important happenings in Germany, in the UK with respect to the (non-) Brexit, and in Japan.
But enough about the rest of the world! Let’s talk about us! No one will take the job as Trump’s chief of staff. What a surprise! Comey speaks about his speaking. That and the early weekend’s other developments had people talking about how things were falling apart, and where it all might end up.
We took a pass on lingering over Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the pool boy, though there’s plenty to go back to, if need be. And we revisited the travesties in Wisconsin and Michigan, with an eye toward whose money was (and still is) behind it.
On the assumption that Satan invented trolling, this seems appropriate.
Don’t let anyone tell you campaign finance crimes can’t be serious crimes.
And, you’ve heard about eggs and making omelets? Well, sometimes norms have to be broken to save the ones that are left.
Fri, 7 December 2018
Trump was already in meltdown mode last night, and it continued apace this morning. He was probably miffed about something else, entirely, but there’s a new scandal to pile on top of it all: his campaign was coordinating with the NRA, which probably surprises no one, but would still be illegal.
You want more? Fine. The specifics on the Saudish-paid emoluments are coming to light, and we’re also getting a clearer picture of how he’s laundering campaign and party funds into personal income. And to top it all off, Kim Jong Un doesn’t even love him.
Down in North Carolina, when Republican officials weren’t pretending to be barfing, they were ignoring what they knew about the cheating and the ballot dumping. Can anything be done to prevent Harris from taking office if North Carolina officials can’t (or won’t) get their act together? Yes. But the story needs a little clarification. And a review of the history of disputed elections.
In the weekend prep section of our show, you’ll want to spend time figuring out what’s wrong with the latest mopes suckered into service to Trump: William Barr and Heather Nauert. And everybody’s talking about the brave undocumented workers toiling away at Trump’s NJ golf compound. (Remember when Democrats used to have to resign or withdraw their nominations for that?) But nobody’s talking (yet) about how to save America from Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
Thu, 6 December 2018
Happy #D6! It’s not just QAnon. The pundits are still trying to decode the hidden messages in the newly-public Mueller court filings, and the other breadcrumbs left behind. At least one theory has it that Mike Pence just might skate in this whole thing.
The one-day DC truce is over, and Republican election and other democracy-stealing stories continue to fester in Wisconsin and Michigan. And, of course, in North Carolina. The NC-09 race, thanks to some crack reporting, has turned into a complete shitshow, a potent mix of “cash, pills — and ballots.” But it turns out that’s been the case for some time. So now, the subpoenas are flying. How did we get here?
Wed, 5 December 2018
Greg Dworkin’s Abbreviated Pundit Roundup was not closed in observance of today’s National Day of Mourning, in case you were wondering. DC’s other big news: Mueller’s sentencing memo on notorious spy Mike Flynn dropped last night, and it’s full of goodies, though you can’t read any of them.
Rudy Giuliani: cybersecurity supergenius! Looks like the ИЯA may be on the ropes. Speaking of, Maria Butina’s boyfriend may be on the hook for “espionage light.” House Dems beat polling expectations in their share of the popular national vote. Like Wisconsin and Michigan, North Carolina wants back in on the post-election democracy rigging, on top of the shenanigans in NC-09. Steny Hoyer says the House won’t be seating Mark Harris until this mess is sorted out. And by the way, did the name ring a bell for you? We last heard about Harris when we learned he was one of those pastors who think the bible says the little ladies belong in the home.
Former Perv-a-Lago member Jeffrey Epstein managed to avoid giving his accusers a day in court. And the three current Perv-a-Lago members who “secretly” run the VA are back in the news, trying to pocket some cash, to no one’s surprise.
It was also time for the exciting “conclusion” of the story of the Saud family feud that somehow led to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The problem is, all we learned is that at least one of the factions in the feud is demonstrably insane. And we don’t know if it’s only one. Which makes the idea of leaving the door open to their getting their hands on nuclear weapons a little ticklish. Great idea there, Comrade Flynn!
Finally, we take a moment to share some “mainstream media” acknowledgment of the stakeholder vs. shareholder conflation that drove our economy off a cliff, but in a solid gold limousine.
Tue, 4 December 2018
Meanwhile, there’s post-election Republican thievery going on in Wisconsin and Michigan (not unlike what went on a few years ago in… North Carolina). And this time, it even involves puppies. And yet, even in the face of these egregious power grabs, The New York Times equivocates. I know: shocking! Is there any hope they might be getting it? Probably not. Nor is anyone else, it seems.
Finally, we gave over some more time to trying to figure out why MBS would decide it was necessary to murder Jamal Khashoggi. But there’s no answer. Motives, yes. Reasons? No.
Mon, 3 December 2018
Still, Trump’s absence helped keep things relatively quiet over the weekend, and the passing of George H.W. Bush took a good deal of the oxygen out of the room.
As always, Greg Dworkin was on top of the news, from a roundup of the top stories of last week, and the flat truth about… that certain segment of Trump voters, not to mention those jokers over at No Labels, who appear to have found a label after all.
Finally, we turn back to Saudish Arabia, to begin exploring the Saud family feud that appears to have led to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.