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Mostly the usual suspects, but a few progressive appearances including Connie Stewart and Patty Berg.

I don’t see any of the three elected legislators, but there is an ongoing issue between them and local Democrats over local endorsements.  The three really pissed off the local Democrats last year over the endorsement of Sundberg who lost to Madrone.  Rex’s opponent Allen McCloskey was involved in trying to get the legislators to confer with local Democrats before making endorsements, and signed on a complaint filed with the state Party as to whether endorsing Republicans over Democrats was a violation of ADEM delegate rules.  But in order to raise such a challenge, the local Democratic Party rules would have to be compliant with state rules – and currently local rules allow the elected Central Committee members to vote on resolutions by secret ballot.  The progressive wing recently attempted to make the local by-laws compliant but the vote was 11-11 and a by-laws change requires a 2/3 vote.

So Huffman, McGuire, and Wood are free to endorse Rex Bohn even though he’s running against a Democrat as the local party cannot issue a challenge with the ADEM process.   Sen. McGuire did endorse Rex the last time around as you can see in his 2015 kick-off. I don’t remember if Huffman and/or Wood endorsed him.

This should be a spirited campaign.  Allen has a huge hill to climb in the county’s most conservative district, but as my friend the late Dennis Huber used to say, “If you’re not on the ballot, you’ve already lost.”  And Allen’s people are charged up.

 

As we await whatever portions of the Report the Trump Administration will allow us to see, Trump and his acolytes have called for Schiff’s resignation.  He’s responded.

“My colleagues might think it’s OK that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign,” he said. “My colleagues might think it’s OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help — no, instead that son said he would ‘love’ the help with the Russians. You might think it was ok that he took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that they concealed it from the public. You might think it’s ok that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think it’s OK. I don’t.”

                                                          …….

You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility,” he added. “I don’t think that’s OK. You might think it’s OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks. You might think it’s OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say, in terms of dirt on his opponent. You might think it’s OK that the national security adviser-designate secretly conferred with a Russian ambassador about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s OK he lied about it to the FBI. You might say that’s all OK, that that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic and, yes, I think it’s corrupt, and evidence of collusion.”

                                                        …….

“I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK,” concluded Schiff. “The day we do think that’s OK is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.”

I’ve had several private conversations about the Mueller Report and for whatever reason some people want my opinion.

First, it’s hard for me to have an opinion about something I haven’t read. We have a cryptic report from an operative who advised Bush, Sr. to abuse the pardon system to kill the Iran-Contra investigations. Assuming that his report accurately describes what’s in the report, I have a number of questions. The investigation was narrowly tailored to investigate the possibility that members of the Trump campaign had coordinated with a Russian campaign of interference in a criminal way. I want to know what Mueller concluded about the numerous meetings Trump’s people had with Russians. What his conclusions are as to why they tried to hide it. They claim that Russians made offers to interfere in the election. Why weren’t these conversations brought to the attention of law enforcement or national security authority? What was Manafort’s purpose in sharing internal polling data with Russians if they weren’t colluding. Barr’s summary includes a footnote which defines “collusion” as a tacit or express agreement to coordinate. Why did he go out of his way to provide that definition?

It’s probably out of the scope of his investigation, but did he come across any information as to why the Russians had such a hard-on to get Trump elected? Does he have any thoughts about the extreme deference Trump has given to Putin and the Russian leadership? Does he have information about the loans Trump took out when banks everywhere else were refusing him credit?

I’m much more interested in whether the Presidency is compromised. Whether Russian oligarchs have a hold on him. He certainly acts that way, although he seems to have affinity with just about every dictator on the planet unless they’re Muslim or Latino.

I want to know why Mueller punted on the question of obstruction. Why would Trump obstruct? If he’s clean why has he been whining so loudly about it the whole time? What did he want to hide? Is he really just so deeply offended that he had to repeat “No collusion” 231 times? Does anyone really believe that?

On the upside, right wingers are now joining the left in calling for full disclosure. They really think Obama abused the FISA court system by presenting false evidence to obtain warrants. Hey, I’m all for full disclosure. Let’s all see what was presented as probable cause! And careful what you wish for.

I’m thinking it’s maybe a good thing the frenzy will be over. Everyone was waiting on Mueller. But he passed some stuff off to several federal jurisdictions, and I think Schiff will move quietly for awhile in the House Intelligence Committee. There are still a few investigative reporters out there. Some may let their guard down. Nobody in the Trump campaign will be convicted for collusion. But the same report details two prongs of Russian interference the hacking of Democratic Party emails and the flooding of social media with misinformation. It was one-sided – clearly aimed at getting Trump elected, not merely to “sow discord” as the NPR reporters like to say. It’s clear that someone in Russia views the current Presidency as a Russian asset.

Why?

This also takes pressure off the Democrats to push for impeachment.  Impeachment is probably the Constitution’s most poorly conceived process anyway.  I’m convinced that if there had been the Internet, Fox News, and hate radio in the early 1970s that Nixon would have served out his second term.  That was a different time.

But there are limits.  To my right wing friends I say, “Keep high-fiving!”

Total cost of removal  $31,877 minus $15,000 paid for by Canton and some change raised by activists to mitigate the costs.  Not over half a million as estimated by the opposition.

Local politics definitely generated some melodramatic cost estimates last year.  I wonder how much of that over $300,000 per year the county has been spent in the first half year to implement Measure K.

Conway is calling for Adam Schiff’s resignation – yeah that’s going to happen.

Of course Barr, who advised Bush, Sr. to pardon everyone in Iran-Contra, has nixed prosecution on the obstruction issue.  Of course if there was no underlying crime, why was there obstruction?  And while it may not have been a crime, if the Trump campaign received over a dozen offers of help from Russians, why weren’t those offers turned over to the FBI?

Schiff meanwhile is criticizing Mueller for not interviewing Trump.

But I think Mueller did the job as well as he could.  The focus of the investigation was on whether Trump’s people aided the Russian effort to get him elected.  It’s not even clear as to whether such actions are illegal.  For instance, Manafort giving the Russians polling data wasn’t a crime.

I look forward to reading the report.  And let’s see where the remaining investigations go.

Meanwhile Nunes wants the report destroyed.  What does he know about what’s in it?

“I’ve thought for a long time that the working template for presidential scandals is not Watergate, but Iran Contra. Protect the president at all costs, and go to the base to say it’s a witch hunt. Worked for Bill Clinton eventually, too.”

—Dave Wiegel

 

From Barr’s four page letter.

Honestly, that’s about the worst possible outcome.  I was kind of hoping for some resolution, one way or another.

So apparently the report, according to Barr, finds no evidence of conclusion and declines to make conclusions on obstruction.  Of course, Congress is going to demand the full report, and that fight will take weeks if not months if Barr is unwilling.  The House Intelligence Committee wants to know if there is evidence of a compromised Presidency.  Everyone wants to know why Manafort provided the polling data to the Russians.  Even the Republicans want the supporting documentation so they can determine if Obama or his staff did something wrong with the FISA warrants.  And everyone wants to know what is happening with the investigations by Federal prosecutors in New York, Virginia, and Washington DC.

It basically appears that Mueller punted.

For those of you who were around for the Buju Banton controversy which rocked the Mateel and later northern Humboldt – this is major!  Banton is removing Boom Boom Bye from his catalog and promises not to perform it again.

This could actually save the genre of Reggae – if others follow his lead.

Here are some of the old posts.  One.  TwoThree.  Four.

“I recognize that the song has caused much pain to listeners, as well as to my fans, my family and myself. After all the adversity we’ve been through I am determined to put this song in the past and continue moving forward as an artist and as a man,” he continued. “I affirm once and for all that everyone has the right to live as they so choose. In the words of the great Dennis Brown, ‘Love and hate can never be friends.’ I welcome everyone to my shows in a spirit of peace and love. Please come join me in that same spirit.”

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Thanks to those who voted for this and the other Thursday night hosts.

As it happens, my show is tonight on KMUD at 7:00.  Chuck Rogers to talk about the national news of the day.

ATR certificate

A few details here.

As I’ve said, I’m for gun control, but I also take the position that if you weaken the Second Amendment you run the risk of weakening the entire Bill of Rights. So I have mixed feelings about this result, and especially I would be grateful to know what they mean by “Remington’s calculated and profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users.”

I need more details.

This is about where I’m at.  Basically, the current government is corrupt and out of control.  But let the Venezuelans handle it.   Anything we or any other country does other than offer moral support is going to aggravate the situation.  We don’t have a good history in any case, and our current Presidency is completely inept.

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