Morning Briefing: Investigations Mount Against Trump as the Wall Craters; Bernie is a Dick; and Oh, Virginia
The State of the Union Address is tonight. I don’t have much else to add, except that the state of the union seems awfully dire at the moment and I have no interest in listening to our President try to tell me that it’s rain running down my leg when he’s standing next to me with his dick out. I also understand that he’s invited a kid named Josh Trump who was bullied because of his last name to the SOTU, in order to illustrate some point about bullying. Unless it is, “This poor kid should not be a victim to the likes of me,” I’m not interested. I think a bunch of Democrats are also bringing guests designed to troll the President. I’m not really feeling that, either.
What I am feeling, however, is the subpoena of the Trump inaugural committee by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Investigators are purportedly looking into charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud, and money laundering. The big question here is why did Trump raise $107 million for his inauguration (twice what Obama raised), and where did all that money go? The SDNY may have some inside information from the Mueller probe, too, as Rick Gates was in charge of fundraising for the inaugural committee. Prosecutors are also specifically looking into whether any foreigners donated to the inauguration, as such donations would have been illegal.
Meanwhile, Senator Bob Menendez has also asked the Department of Homeland Security to investigate Trump’s Bedminster Golf Course for hiring undocumented workers and helping them to evade detection, as documented in a New York Times piece last year. After working there for years, by the way, those undocumented workers were fired a few weeks ago after the Times piece ran.
Sen. Bob Menendez is calling on the Dept. of Homeland Security and the FBI to "conduct an appropriate investigation into alleged crimes committed at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. and Westchester County, N.Y." pic.twitter.com/a9COUTUmsO— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 5, 2019
One matter that the President will undoubtedly address — and repeatedly emphasize — in his SOTU speech tonight is the need for a wall, but it looks like the odds of a wall being built have grown even slimmer. Trump couldn’t force the Democrats to cave with a 35-day government shutdown, and now Mitch McConnell is telling the President that if he tries to build the wall by declaring a national emergency that the Republicans will turn on him and override him. The Republicans’ major fear is that, should Trump declare a national emergency over the wall, that a future Democrat could declare a national emergency over an actual national emergency, like gun violence or climate change. Being overruled by his own party obviously would not be a good look for the President, who seems to have run out of options, especially now as Democrats and Republicans are working toward an effort to keep the government open after February 15th, with or without the President.
Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams will deliver the Democratic response, which is great! Bernie Sanders has decided to deliver his own response to the SOTU, which is his prerogative, but also a major dick move for a couple of reasons: If he’s running as a Democrat, he ought to let the Democratic response speak for him; and it’s also tacky as well for an old white guy who already has problems connecting with Black voters to, well …
Why is he talking over the black woman our party chose to speak for us? https://t.co/wsn8G3EMwh— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) February 4, 2019
In our “Go Away, Howard Schultz” section of the morning briefing, there’s this:
Howard Schultz says billionaires should be referred to as “people of means” or “people of wealth.” pic.twitter.com/I3apM0h7aa— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) February 5, 2019
Finally, uh, Virginia. Man, it is a mess. It had been going so well in Virginia, too. To sum: A 35-year-old photo of Governor Ralph Northam in his med-school yearbook surfaced of him wearing blackface and standing with a guy dressed in a KKK outfit. Northam apologized. Democrats and Republicans quickly called upon Northam to resign. He refused, changing his story and saying the photo wasn’t of him, but that he did wear blackface at a different party where he went dressed as Michael Jackson. However, just as he was about to be pushed out in favor of the Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax, a sexual assault allegation surfaced against Fairfax. Fairfax denied the allegation, calling it a smear, and blaming people within the Northam campaign of pushing the allegation. Fairfax, however, eased up on that allegation, but then suggested that the mayor of Richmond, Levar Stoney (a potential rival in the 2021 Governor’s race), may have helped put the story out there.
Who is third in line, anyway?
It’s a goddamn disaster. And I know this is totally beside the point, but what kind of school would even put that photo in their med-school yearbook? Who was the yearbook editor, and can someone go back in time and fire him for thinking that’s an acceptable photo to include? Even in 1984, how did the yearbook editor not think, “Wow! This is super racist. Maybe we shouldn’t memorialize this for an eternity.” I mean, damn, we weren’t even allowed to include photos of pregnant students in our high-school yearbook, and these jackasses were like, “Look at Racist Yokel 1 and Racist Yokel 2! This is hilarious, and I’m sure this photo will never come back to haunt them because it’s not like they’re going to be doctors … OH WAIT!”
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