Quote of the Day postsThursday May 31, 2018
Pardon Our Mess
The president of the United States announced today that he plans to grant a full pardon to conservative commentator Dinesh D‘Souza. Here’s the official pronouncement:
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
So how was Dinesh D‘Souza treated unfairly by our government? Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman counts the ways:
There are some campaign finance violations that are trivial, or that might be explained away as oversights. This was not one of them. D’Souza knew very well he was breaking the law, and took steps to conceal his actions. He devised and carried out a scheme to violate election laws. Specifically, once he and his wife had given the legal limit in contributions to a friend of D‘Souza’s who was running for Senate, he wanted to give more money, but he was prohibited by law from doing so. So he instructed his assistant and his mistress (yes, his mistress) to also give the legal limit, and he then reimbursed them for their contributions, concealing the true source of the money. That is not an oversight; it was a willful fraud.
Waldman, increasingly my favorite, also lists the awful, stupid things D‘Souza has said over the years. He also talks big picture: the message Trump’s recent pardons (Joe Arpaio, Scotter Libby) are sending to Trump's base and to colleagues caught in Robert Mueller's net.
Remember when the Republican party pretended to care about accountability? They don't pretend anymore.
Quote of the Day
“You have to ask yourself how you will be remembered: as one of the three big internet giants, together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who have enriched our world and our societies; or, on the other hand, in fact, the genius that created a digital monster that is destroying our democracies and our societies. That’s the question that you have to put for yourself.”
Former Belgian prime minister Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt, speaking to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, before the European Parliament in Brussels as Europe prepares to implement new data protection regulations
Quote of the Day
“We’re supposed to provide back-and-forth perspective, so that you make the best decision based on science and based on the law. But that’s a pretty big struggle right now. ... I hunt and fish—I’m actually kind of a redneck. But I believe in the public good and public land. When Trump talks his B.S. about the ‘deep state,’ that’s who he’s referring to. I totally reject that kind of characterization. That’s how these guys see it: if you’re not a tool of the most high-powered lobbyists in Washington or following orders, then they really don’t want you around.”
Unnamed civil servant in the Dept. of the Interior, currently headed by Trump loyalist Ryan Zinke, in Evan Osnos' must-read New Yorker piece, “Only the Best People: Donald Trump's war on the ‘deep state,’” about how Trump is remaking the federal government in his image: with incompetent personnel whose main qualification is loyalty to him.
A Nothing Burger with Everything On It
Clinton email investigation:— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) May 17, 2018
White Water investigation
-1 yr (so far)
In case you don't know: Trump and the GOP are trying to end the Mueller investigation after a year because it's a “nothing burger” and a “witch hunt.” But that's a lot of something for a nothing burger. And witch hunts aren't supposed to catch actual witches.
Today's revelation: Don Trump Jr. met with foreign reps, including an Israeli expert on social media manipulation and an emissary for two Saudi princes, as well as Erik Prince, the controversial former head of Blackwater who has denied involvement in the Trump campaign, on August 3, 2016 in order to win the election. From the Times:
The meetings, which have not been reported previously, are the first indication that countries other than Russia may have offered assistance to the Trump campaign in the months before the presidential election. The interactions are a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, who was originally tasked with examining possible Trump campaign coordination with Russia in the election.
It's a nothing burger with everything.
Tweet of the Day (So Far)
Trying to wrap my head around the claim that it somehow reflects badly on Obama that Trump's campaign was so riddled with agents of foreign powers that FBI felt compelled to investigate.— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 17, 2018