Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Colbert hilariously nails Giuliani's argument that collusion is not a crime

Last night, Stephen Colbert on The Late Show went after his boss CBS CEO Les Moonves, and conservative President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani's new defense. "Well if we colluded with Russians, it's not a crime." Yes my fellow Americans we've reached that point. There's evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians. And I'm not just talking about the Trump Tower meeting. Great stuff. Enjoy.

New strategy for Trump Team: Our Collusion is not a crime

After, watching conservative President Trump's legal team on  news programs over the last two days,  a new strategy against the Trump-Russia investigation has arisen. It seems that they are conceding the campaign worked with Russians to win the election. Yesterday, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani went all  over cable news to say that collusion is not a crime. Check out Giuliani's unhinged interview on CNN below. Sunday night on Kasie Hunt's MSNBC show, Trump defender Alan Dershowitz  is now arguing that even if the Trump campaign got the hacked Democratic party emails that they were protected by the First Amendment.  (The Hill with embedded video.)

So, now we are seeing a change of stories from the Trump team. Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, had his offices raided where millions of files  were seized. It's my opinion that Trump now knows the "bodies" will be discovered. On Thursday, there was a story that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. Now with the no collusion defense, we're seeing the narrative come out that "If Trump accepted help from the Russians with hacked emails then this collusion was not against the law." Law professor Mimi Rocah on Hunt's show says this also. (Embedded video with The Hill  at 16:30)

One big problem with Team Trump's new defense.  Yes, collusion is not a crime.  But conspiracy, aiding and abetting is.  Soliciting opposition research from a foreign source is illegal.  See 11 CFR 110.20.  So if the campaign colluded  or conspired with the Russians to use hacked emails, it's a crime.  As more bad facts are  found out, it's likely Team Trump will look to find a way to spin the idea that a political campaign can get help from a foreign government to win an election.  Of course, if there's some quid pro quo such as lifting of sanctions we've got other charges such as bribery.

 America, vote liberal Democrat if you want to live. 

By the way, Giuliani admits to a  meeting of campaign officials  before the Trump Tower meeting! At the 5:30 mark, Giuliani talks about an alleged  one on one meeting between Trump and Trump Jr.  Then two  days before,  there's supposed to be a meeting of five people.  (Trump Jr. , Kushner, Gates, Manafort, and another)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Why Trump team leaked story that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting

Yesterday, a bombshell story broke which stated that conservative President Trump knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians and approved it. It was alleged congsigliore Michael Cohen was shopping it to the Bob Mueller. According to Lanny Davis, Cohen's lawyer, the leak for the story did not come from team Cohen. (MSNBC story.)

"I cannot comment. And I have to wonder why the Trump people would put that out. It was not from us."

Trump said he did not know about the meeting.  So who is telling the truth?  Yes, I know you're saying why am I asking since Trump is a pathological liar.  Side with Cohen.  It makes no sense for Cohen to leak it since that would possibly effect the testimony at trial.  If Cohen wants to work with Mueller, he's not going to anger the Feds.  And by the way, Maddows's  theory that leaks are designed to sap Cohen's value, i.e. "take a card out of his deck" is not accurate.    Cohen would still be needed to testify and clarify any evidence.

But the answer may have come from Trump's crazy lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.  He just happened to be available to CNN.  In the interview below, he says there would have to be two to three people to corroborate Cohen's story.  (2:00 minute mark.)  This seems that Giuliani might know that there were other people who may have been present when Trump was informed that the Russians had dirt on Clinton.  Giuliani then says he talked to the corroborating witnesses.  (12:00 minute mark) "I know what they say."   Giuliani then says, "Gosh, almighty.  Why didn't he tape it?   He taped everything else.  He's got a hundred tapes. Why didn't he tape that?  Maybe he did.  Maybe he's got a tape that he  erased." (12:30 minute mark)  Giuliani then goes into the other tape which covered the payoff to silence an affair. 

If Trump knew and approved the meeting with Russians then he's as guilty as his son who set the meeting up.  And it is illegal to receive campaign contributions or attempt to solicit them from foreign sources.

So why did Team Trump leak this story?   It's what we lawyers call a preemptive strike.  There were about million documents and tapes seized from Cohen. Trump is worried.  And if Cohen knows where the bodies are buried and shows the government, Trump is in trouble.  Not just Trump-Russia.  Covering up affairs to influence the election and not reporting  them  is  illegal.  Here's why  I think they leaked.  They want to discredit Cohen by getting ahead of the story and spinning a narrative about his credibility.  They also want to influence the testimony of any corroborating witness.  Now, is any of this good trial strategy or even good politics?  Hell, no.  None of this makes any sense.  Unless Trump can guarantee other witnesses will lie for him, it's a risk.  If there's a tape corroborating Cohen, Giuliani and team Trump look stupid.  And putting out bad information about you is ridiculous.  You can't guarantee that people's negative perceptions will be changed by spin.     

(Giuliani's defense that paying with a check rather cash to silence an affair is idiocy.  The check does not affect a criminal action.  It's still illegal. For example, Jerry Springer paid a prostitute with a check. )

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

White House may have broken law by altering Trump-Putin news conference tape

Last night, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC reported that the White House tape of the Trump-Putin Helsinki news conference was altered. And it's important. We all know that our intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and that it was done to help conservative President Trump. So, any evidence of Russian President Putin favoring Trump is relevant. In Maddow's video below, at the 2:00 minute mark, Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asks, "President Putin did you want President Trump to win the election? ..." Putin responds, "Yes I did."

In the White House version of the tape, it's been altered so that Mason's question was deleted. That includes the transcript. Deleting the question changes the record of the news conference. The White House is required to keep records. Deleting the question intentionally is tampering with evidence and against the law. See 18 U.S.C. Section 1519.

We need truth. Vote liberal Democrat if you want to live. Keep in check conservative President Trump. Then impeach him.

Watch this important Maddow piece.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump betrays America for the Russians

I didn't think the Putin-Trump lovefest er... meeting was going to end well. But I never would have thought that Trump would publicly take Russia's side against the government of the United States. At a shocking news conference, conservative President Trump disrespected American intelligence, law enforcement and literally blamed America. Let's go over some of Trump's treason.

On the issue of the current bad relations between the United States and Russia, Trump said this, "“I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame" Huffington Post. Really? Putin has blood on his hands. Annexed Crimea. Involved in a civil war in Ukraine. Shot down a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine. That killed an American. Wikipedia. Use of chemical weapons to in an attempt to assassinate British civilians. One woman has died. And of course, Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Trump's either nuts when he bends like a pretzel here or he's been compromised.

We had indictments on Friday against Russians who hacked the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Trump chose to believe Putin over the United States Justice Department. Folks, I can't make that up. Trump stated that Putin was "very powerful in his denial of it." CNN video below. Trump then added, "I don't see any reason why it would have been Russia." Instead, he attacked Americans who happened to be Democrats. Demanding that they surrender their server. This is a crazy false flag conspiracy claiming that the Democrats hacked their own servers. Then Trump demanded Clinton's emails. Shocking. But it got worse.

Russian president Putin was asked if he favored Trump over Hillary Clinton. He said yes. Julia Ioffe tweet. Trump ended the news conference with one more oldie but goodie. He called the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt." Oh, I forgot. Putin was asked that if the Russians had any compromising material on Trump, he dodged the question. But he did not deny it.

My fellow Americans, we're on the verge of becoming slaves to Russia. This November, vote liberal Democrat if you want to live. Flip the House and Senate. Then impeach.

CNN's Anderson Cooper called the President's news conference "disgraceful.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Colbert's hilarious takes on Strzok hearing

Yesterday's hearing by the House Judiciary Committee was a spectacle. You see it was all about the conservative Republicans trying to present a defense for President Trump. It all centered around FBI agent Peter Strzok who texted some negative things about Trump in 2016 to his lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page. The worst being that they would stop Trump once he got the Republican nomination. So that you know, there was no evidence of Strzok along with a "deep state" to try to scuttle Trump. In fact, the FBI diligently kept the Russia investigation secret so it would not affect the election. But the Republicans wanted to show that the current Mueller probe is tainted as Strzok worked on it.

Well, the conservative Republicans went crazy. And I kid not. One Republican congressman who's a dentist bragged about who he knew body language. We need America's best satirist to comment on it. Here's Stephen Colbert's riotous piece.

Conservative Republican Trump again shows he is a racist

Republican President Trump in an interview with The Sun demonstrates that he's a racist. On the issue of immigration to Great Britain and European countries by refugees, Trump bemoaned that it has "changed the fabric of Europe." He further said this, " “And I don’t mean that in a positive way. I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you’re losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist 10 or 15 years ago.” Huffington Post. MSNBC video below at the 5:00 minute mark.

Look, we get it. What the conservative Trump means is that influx of non-white people is bad. That's racist. The laws in England regarding demorcracy don't change. Like America, immigrants assimilate. I personally am an example. Being born racially Chinese in America, I love American democracy. I know Chinese who immigrated here that adapted and love American democracy. The people of the world must reject this racism. While I agree that there are limits on immigration because of resources, arguing that the culture will be lost is racist. That's because he's talking about white European culture.

And my fellow Americans, vote liberal Democrat if you want to live.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump does Putin's bidding to destroy NATO

Conservative President Trump embarrassed Americans at today's NATO breakfast. I caught it live on MSNBC and tweeted about it. (below) First, NATO's Secretary General Stoltenberg kissed Trump's ass about increased defense spending by NATO's members and attributing it to him. Then at the breakfast, Trump went wild.

Trump whined about the lack of contributions to NATO by members. He whined about a gas and oil deal that Germany had with Russia. He complained about how much money that Russia was making off it. Then he pointed out that it was ironic that NATO is defending against Russia yet Germany was paying for all that gas. Yeah, the theme is one that Trump likes to bring up constantly. NATO is obsolete. Now, let's us think about this. President Putin of Russia wants to break apart NATO. Trump by arguing that it is obsolete is doing Putin's bidding.

NATO has been a check on Russian aggression for decades. When the United States was attacked on 9/11, it was NATO that assembled and stood by the United States with troops and support as we went into Afghanistan. To this day, NATO is still with us in Afghanistan. This is no way to treat allies and friends.

During the breakfast, American ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison looked like she's living in a surreal world. There's a slight smile on her face as Trump runs around like a bull in a china shop. Other times, she looks like she is in shock. Chief of staff, John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis look nauseous. Secretary of State Pompeo looked stunned then seemed to be amused at the spectacle.

My fellow Americans, we are in trouble. Trump is a puppet for Putin. We must vote his support out. Vote because your lives depend on it. Vote liberal Democrat if you want to live.

MSNBC Joe Scarborough lays into Trump for his desire to break apart NATO.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp review

This is the first time in film history that a mid-credits scene has ruined a movie. I'm talking about the mid-credits scene in Ant-Man and the Wasp. The question is whether the scene fatally kills the film.

Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place after the events of the first movie, Ant-Man (2015) and Avengers: The Age of Ultron (2015) or was that Captain America: Civil War (2016)?.In the first, Ant-Man, Dr. Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) has disappeared into the quantum realm, which is what happens when you go subatomic in one of Pym's shrinkage suits. Pym's daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Pym find a way to rescue her. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) was placed on house arrest for the events in those two movies that are not Ant-Man. His involvement in Civil Wars, has led to an estrangement between Scott and Hope who had a budding romance. So, he spends his days playing with his delightful daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson).

Okay, still with me? The Pyms have perfected their technology to shrink and enlarge objects at will. So, their lab which is an office building can be shrink to the size of a hat box. Well, inside the lab is the machine that can send a rescue mission. Since Scott has a psychic or quantum connection to Janet because he went into the quantum realm, the Pyms "recruit" him again for help. However, it's the lab which is the MacGuffin in this plot. Two other people want it. The greedy Burch (Walter Goggins). Goggins better watch his career or else hes going to be playing bad guys for the rest of his life. The other is the mysterious Ghost. (Hannah John-Kamen)

The cast does excellent work sincerely spitting out the technobabble along with very funny lines. It's not all comedy. Douglas, Lilly and Ruddd sell the emotions of loss so well that it's hard to keep a dry eye. I like the chemistry of Rudd-Lilly. Rudd is perfectly cast as the everyman Scott. Michael Pena as Scott's ex-con buddy Luis returns and  nearly steals the show with his clumsy charm.

The first Ant-Man had great writing. And this film also has great writing even though it was written by an army of writers. Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari produce a hilarious and heartfelt script. The first movie made Luis irrelevant story telling a funny gag. The writers bring that bit back in an inventive way. I laughed hard as Michael Pena delivers the gag. Not all is laughter and tears. While I wish the writers could explain all the quantum entanglement stuff, it is interesting if not accurate. Plus, the resolution of the plot thread regarding one character was lazy. Still, the screenplay had a cool mix of the comic book Ant-Man and the movie, The Incredible Shrinking Man. (1957)

Peyton Reed who directed the first Ant-Man returns and  again  delivers  a virtuoso performance. He uses his chops directing comedies such as Down With Love (2003) to stage the jokes and timing. He also has an outstanding ability to stage gigantic action set pieces. His shots all make sense, letting visuals tell the story and relay the excitement rather than using camera and editing gymnastics. Kudos to the special effects for making Hot Wheels turn into hot cars. Seeing a a Pez Dispenser turn huge  was cool.

When I saw this film, there were children in the audience. We all laughed and were loving the movie. A bunch of them left as soon as the movie ended with the beginning of the end credits. If you are a Marvel movie fan, you know many ties there are mid-credit and end credit scenes. This one had two. Don't worry. I won't give it away with any details. But the mid-credits scene killed the joy out of those who stayed. First, you would have to seen this year's Avengers; Infinity War to understand it. Second, it turned a joyful, complete film into a teaser  for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, Part Two. I feel like wringing the neck of Mickey Mouse. Disney, Marvel, your greed is not good. Apologies to  Michael Douglas.

I loved Ant-Man and The Wasp.  .  It was hilarious , exciting and emotional.  It is also a family movie.  The mid-credits scene was a big mistake  but does not take away from fun you will have seeing this film.  Just leave as soon as the credits roll.   The grade is A Minus.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Bringing back democracy from Trump, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July! Last year, I posted this guide for liberal Democrats to return to power. Here's the guide. Vote liberal Democrat if you want to live. Haow about a song? Here's "The Egg" from the musical 1776. (1972)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How a Playboy model could save Roe v. Wade

Conservative Republican fundraiser Elliot Broidy has stopped making payments to former Playboy model Shera Bechard for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to hush up an affair and abortion. Now, you're wondering how does this affect conservative President Trump's plan to pack the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade? Well, if Ms. Bechard can now talk, maybe she can tell us that Broidy was not the one she had the affair with but it was with Trump. That would cause a firestorm since Trump's mistress could have an abortion and now he's trying to deny that right to the women of America. Just another Trumpian hypocrisy.

But hold on you say. There's no evidence that Trump is really the one who had the affair with Ms. Bechard. Well, in this excellent piece from New York Magazine by Paul Campos he deduces with very good logic that it was Trump not Broidy. In the piece, he notes that the NDA for Trump's Stormy Daniels affair and Bechard's uese the same pseudonyms for the male, David Dennison and the woman, Peggy Peterson. Ah, the love of alliteration. The same lawyers for parties were involved. Michael Cohen for Trump and Broidy. Keith Davidson for Stormy Daniels and Shera Bechard. The same shell LLC, Eseential Consultants was used to launder er... make the payments to the women. One difference. Daniels got $130, 000 dollars whereas Bechard received a lot more. She got 1.6 million dollars. Of course, she had an abortion. Plus think of the explosive story if it was disclosed before the 2016 presidential election that Trump impregnated a woman and she got an abortion. His evangelical Christian base would evaporate.

If Paul Campos is right, Ms. Bechard could help the women of America. If she tells her story, she could expose Trump for his hypocrisy. More women would rise up. If Ms. Bechard can get an abortion why can't the women of America? The political pressure would greatly increase for Trump to pick a more moderate and neutral pick for the current vacancy in the Supreme Court. Maybe a Playboy model can save Roe v. Wade.

Chris Hayes of MSNBC covers Elliot Broidy in this May piece.