Merry Gritmas. Since Parliament voted to hold the government in contempt, I’ve been jerkin’ it constantly, and have released more “legal advice” than I knew my body could produce. Well, let’s get to it.
The Mueller probe is chugging along. Trump is now known to be “Individual 1” - the central focus of the investigation. Legal briefs mention all sorts of misconduct with the term “Individual 1,” including close work with aides relating to the Russia-Trump Tower deal. Spicily, Trump was to offer Putin a $50 million penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow, ostensibly to convince oligarchs to buy up properties in the building. Negotiations over the deal carried on well into Trump’s candidacy - placing Trump in direct legal peril.
The Feds have recently raided the Chicago offices of alderman Ed Burke, who consulted on Trump’s taxes for 12 years. There be spicy information in those there filing cabinets. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this tangle.
Speaking of raids - Deutsche Bank got a visit from German police carrying out a money-laundering probe. You might remember Deutsche Bank - former associate SCOTUS justice Anthony Kennedy’s son ran the real-estate division that bailed Trump out during the Great Recession, when nobody else would. Spice, spice, spice. Janky dealings the whole world over - a prosecution is coming soon, and it’s gonna be better than WWE.
Manafort, Flynn, and Cohen are expected in court; Flynn has apparently sang like a canary (Mueller’s asked for no jail time), and Cohen is now openly contradicting Trump in his testimony. Manafort will get the book thrown at him. Mueller is over-prosecuting; more details are likely to emerge when the filings are completed.
Changing tack, George HW Bush died. His disability legislation was decent; his dedication to bombing the Middle East (a thirst shared by his son) was not. Watching Bob Dole get dragged out of his wheelchair to pay tribute stands in well, metaphorically, for the feeling I have trying not to speak ill of the dead.
Wisconsin and Michigan Republicans are holding lame-duck sessions to attempt to limit the power of the incoming governments. Bills passed include slowing an increase on minimum wage, axing paid sick time for companies with fewer than 50 employees. Other provisions target the authority of the attorneys-general to prosecute cases, and even contradicting amendments to state constitutions passed in the last election cycle. In other words - they’re full of shit, and this is an unprecedented power-grab. To the cheese-head Rs: may your ventricles promptly clog like the 2014 Congress.
Finally, the House Dems are pushing sweeping anti-corruption legislation as their first bill in the majority. This bill, which will include provisions for campaign finance reform, strengthening ethics laws in the executive and judiciary, and expanding voting rights, will be introduced as HR.1 in early January. For example - after holing office in the Cabinet, individuals would be barred for life from participating in lobbying groups. Other provisions provide for transparency in PAC donations - which directly targets the dark-money infrastructure that evolved in the wake of the Citizens United ruling. A tenner says it won’t pass the Senate; Republicans have no shame.
Speaking of Bob Dole, and having no shame - one time he showed up to Congress, lobbying them to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons; he sat in his wheelchair and watched his own party vote down such a disgustingly humane measure. To reiterate a fundamental position: our government is run by lizards.
Well, folks - have a pleasant end of term, a merry Christmas, and a happy new year. We’ll be back at the start of next term, venting leftist propaganda into the void. In time, comrades.