Picks of the Week: Our favorite stories from the Daily Kos Community

Last weekend, we introduced a new weekly “Staff Picks” series, where your fearless Daily Kos staffers chose their favorite diary written during the week. Folks around here seemed to like it well enough, but commenters durrati and Krotor made the very, very smart suggestion that we should expand the series to feature Community writers, too!

(actual footage from Thursday’s Daily Kos staff meeting)

Ask and you shall receive, dear readers. 

In no particular order, we lovingly present some of the Community diaries that really stuck with us this week. We know we’ve got some of the best writers on the web in the Daily Kos Community, and it’s a joy to show off some of them here.

Grab a snack and check them out … and be sure to come back next week for more.

Impeachment: Some Republicans brace for it, others invite it, all are obsessed with it

Impeachment has become such an important topic on the right that competing theories are emerging. One line of magical thinking holds that a House Democratic majority and Donald Trump’s eventual impeachment by it (potentially doomed in the Senate) would be a boon for Republicans and Trump in 2020.

“If they take the House, he wins big,” Barry Bennett, former senior adviser to the Trump campaign, told Politico. “The market always overcorrects.”

The other “big idea” being pushed by former Trump campaign aide Steve Bannon is a midterm campaign to “Save Trump” from impeachment by a Democratic majority. In other words, if Democrats win the House this fall, all will be lost.

What both of those conflicting strategies have in common is an obsession with impeachment, something Democrats have taken pains not to talk about. It’s like Republicans are desperately groping around trying to find a way to spin Trump’s moral,

Continue reading “Impeachment: Some Republicans brace for it, others invite it, all are obsessed with it”

Hackers have already weighed in help ‘Putin’s favorite Congressman’ Dana Rohrabacher

A Democratic challenger to Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican congressman so obviously in the pocket of Vladimir Putin that other Republican congressmen joke about how he’s in the pocket of Vladimir Putin, is going public over hacking attempts that plagued his campaign before the recent primary. Stem-cell scientist Dr. Hans Keirstead lost the June 5 primary in California Congressional District 48 by a razor-thin 125 votes, finishing behind Rohrabacher and real estate investor Harley Rouda in California’s top-two primary system.

But, according to Rolling Stone, Keirstead had more to worry about in his race than just trying to finish ahead of the pack. Starting in August 2017, Keirstead was subject to a “spear-phishing attempt” similar to those used in infiltrating the accounts of Democratic consultant John Podesta and members of the DNC.  It’s not clear that this effort allowed the hackers into Keirstead’s system, but a few months

Continue reading “Hackers have already weighed in help ‘Putin’s favorite Congressman’ Dana Rohrabacher”

Russia o’clock: Carter Page lied to the media and Papadopoulos was more than a coffee boy

Posting two new Russia revelations here for discussion because, it’s Friday! And why not? Shocker: Carter Page lied to the media about his Russia contacts.

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Another shocker: Team Trump has been lying about ‘coffee boy’ George. 

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Discuss.

With Sessions’ legal jeopardy mounting, the question arises: Will he turn on Trump?

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Outside of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, no one in Donald Trump’s orbit was put in more immediate legal jeopardy by the special counsel’s revelations this week than Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is now once, twice, three times a liar.

  • Strike 1: He did have contacts with Russians.
  • Strike 2: He was aware that Trump aide George Papadopoulos was trying to coordinate with the Russians.
  • Strike 3: He did know that Trump aide Carter Page was communicating with Russians.

While Sessions’ repeated lies open him up to perjury charges, they also make him a prime target for Robert Mueller’s investigation. Even with what little we in the public know about his legal liabilities, Sessions is already practically begging to be interviewed about Donald Trump’s relationship with the Russians during the campaign as well as his actions as pr*sident. As Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin points

Continue reading “With Sessions’ legal jeopardy mounting, the question arises: Will he turn on Trump?”

Six times in 24 hours, desperate Donald calls for DOJ and FBI to investigate Hillary

Donald Trump’s working hard, but naturally it has nothing to do with serving the American people. He’s desperate to find a foil for the Russia entanglements that are beginning to strangle his presidency. Here’s the start of Trump’s Friday morning campaign:

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By “everybody,” we assume he means all his Russian bot followers, whose concerns warranted another seven tweets following that opening bid. Three of those tweets explicitly called on the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate Clinton for, well, everything: “New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary. What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus…”

It’s clearly driving the Don crazy that he can’t just order two of

Continue reading “Six times in 24 hours, desperate Donald calls for DOJ and FBI to investigate Hillary”

Six times in 24 hours, desperate Donald calls for DOJ and FBI to investigate Hillary

Donald Trump’s working hard, but naturally it has nothing to do with serving the American people. He’s desperate to find a foil for the Russia entanglements that are beginning to strangle his presidency. Here’s the start of Trump’s Friday morning campaign:

x

By “everybody,” we assume he means all his Russian bot followers, whose concerns warranted another seven tweets following that opening bid. Three of those tweets explicitly called on the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate Clinton for, well, everything: “New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary. What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus…”

It’s clearly driving the Don crazy that he can’t just order two of

Continue reading “Six times in 24 hours, desperate Donald calls for DOJ and FBI to investigate Hillary”

Three House Republicans try to oust Mueller over laughable uranium deal conspiracy theory

On the very week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe started producing evidence of problematic Russian contacts by the Trump campaign, three House Republicans suddenly want to kneecap Mueller. Who could have guessed it? The Washington Post writes:

Three conservative House Republicans are expected to file a resolution Friday calling on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to recuse himself from his probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, accusing him of conflicts of interest.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who wrote the resolution, accuses Mueller of having a conflict of interest because he was serving as FBI chief when the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company to purchase a Canada-based mining group with uranium operations in the United States, according to a draft obtained by The Washington Post.

Now keep this in mind: While there is zero evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved

Continue reading “Three House Republicans try to oust Mueller over laughable uranium deal conspiracy theory”

Three House Republicans try to oust Mueller over laughable uranium deal conspiracy theory

On the very week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe started producing evidence of problematic Russian contacts by the Trump campaign, three House Republicans suddenly want to kneecap Mueller. Who could have guessed it? The Washington Post writes:

Three conservative House Republicans are expected to file a resolution Friday calling on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to recuse himself from his probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, accusing him of conflicts of interest.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who wrote the resolution, accuses Mueller of having a conflict of interest because he was serving as FBI chief when the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company to purchase a Canada-based mining group with uranium operations in the United States, according to a draft obtained by The Washington Post.

Now keep this in mind: While there is zero evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved

Continue reading “Three House Republicans try to oust Mueller over laughable uranium deal conspiracy theory”

Sorry Sessions: Carter Page tells House Intelligence panel Sessions knew about his Russia trip

During a marathon closed-door hearing Thursday with the House Intelligence panel, former Trump aide Carter Page said he had told then-Senator Jeff Sessions he was going to Russia during the 2016 campaign. CNN writes:

Sessions’ discussion with Page will fuel further scrutiny about what the attorney general knew about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia — and communications about Russia that he did not disclose despite a persistent line of questioning in three separate hearings this year. […]

Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican who is leading the House intelligence committees Russia probe, confirmed to CNN that Page told the committee he had informed Sessions about his trip, though Conaway downplayed its significance. […]

“Back in June 2016, I mentioned in passing that I happened to be planning to give a speech at a university in Moscow,” Page told CNN. “Completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with

Continue reading “Sorry Sessions: Carter Page tells House Intelligence panel Sessions knew about his Russia trip”

‘Trump is treason!’: Protester yells directly at Trump in Capitol

A protester got rare access Tuesday to deliver a direct protest of Donald Trump as he entered the capitol to talk tax cuts with Republican senators.

“Why are you talking about tax cuts when they should be talking about treason?” the protester yelled as Trump passed by. “This president has conspired with agents of the Russian government to steal an election. We should be talking about treason in Congress …”

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The protester has been identified as “Ryan Clayton, same activist who tricked CPAC attendees into waving Russian flags during Trump’s speech.”

More video below.

Trump responds to special counsel’s grand jury by ranting about Russia to West Virginia crowd

Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury and is issuing subpoenas in his investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties, so naturally Donald Trump went full demagogue about Russia in his West Virginia campaign-style rally Thursday night.

“We didn’t win because of Russia — we won because of you, that I can tell you,” Trump said, continuing the riff. “Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia or Ohio or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians here tonight? They can’t beat us at the voting booths, so they’re trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us, and most importantly demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution.”

You know what’s demeaning to all of us and demeaning to our

Continue reading “Trump responds to special counsel’s grand jury by ranting about Russia to West Virginia crowd”

WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies

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The Russia probe that has dogged the Trump administration isn’t going away any time soon. The Wall Street Journal writes:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort. […]

Before Mr. Mueller was tapped in May to be special counsel, federal prosecutors had been using at least one other grand jury, located in Alexandria, Va., to

Continue reading “WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies”

WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies

Campaign Action

The Russia probe that has dogged the Trump administration isn’t going away any time soon. The Wall Street Journal writes:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort. […]

Before Mr. Mueller was tapped in May to be special counsel, federal prosecutors had been using at least one other grand jury, located in Alexandria, Va., to

Continue reading “WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies”

‘What’s the thing with boats?’ and other deep thoughts Trump shared with world leaders

Who would’ve thunk that popular vote loser Donald Trump’s completely made-up phone calls would be less unhinged than the real thing? Truth really is stranger than fiction when it comes to Trump. A day after we find out he completely fabricated telephone conversations with the leaders of both the Boy Scouts and Mexico, Trump’s real conversations with world leaders have been leaked. It’s as bad, and horribly hilarious, as you could imagine.

First, his call with Mexican President Peña Nieto on January 27, after Peña Nieto cancelled a trip to D.C. following Trump’s signing an executive order to begin construction and tweets about how Mexico is totally going to pay for it. Peña Nieto kicks it off, reiterating “we find this completely unacceptable for Mexicans to pay for the wall that you are thinking of building.”

How else is Trump going to answer? “In the latest election, I

Continue reading “‘What’s the thing with boats?’ and other deep thoughts Trump shared with world leaders”

Senators introducing bipartisan bill to block Trump from tampering with Mueller’s Russia probe

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Two senators who sit on the Judiciary Committee plan to introduce bipartisan legislation Thursday that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from any attempts by Donald Trump to impede the Russia investigation. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware seek to ensure that Mueller can’t be summarily dismissed on orders from Trump without cause or without recourse. The AP writes:

The bill would allow any special counsel for the Department of Justice to challenge his or her removal in court, with a review by a three-judge panel within 14 days of the challenge.

The bill would be retroactive to May 17, 2017 — the day Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Donald Trump’s campaign.

“It is critical that special counsels have the independence and resources

Continue reading “Senators introducing bipartisan bill to block Trump from tampering with Mueller’s Russia probe”

Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon

When Donald Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill into law Wednesday, one signing statement wasn’t enough to express his deep frustration with being pinned down by Congress. So the White House press office issued two back-to-back statements from the president—one apparently written by the grown ups in the room, the other authored by the president himself with crayons at his very own grown-up desk.

While the grown-up statement on “H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,’” took issue with its specific provisions, citing “sections 253 and 257,” for instance, as unconstitutional intrusions on “the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments,” the other statement was riddled with petty grievances, boasts, slights, and shout outs to Russia.

“Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking,” Trump whined, officially memorializing an attack he launched against Congressional Republicans last week. “By limiting the executive’s

Continue reading “Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon”

Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon

When Donald Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill into law Wednesday, one signing statement wasn’t enough to express his deep frustration with being pinned down by Congress. So the White House press office issued two back-to-back statements from the president—one apparently written by the grown ups in the room, the other authored by the president himself with crayons at his very own grown-up desk.

While the grown-up statement on “H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,’” took issue with its specific provisions, citing “sections 253 and 257,” for instance, as unconstitutional intrusions on “the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments,” the other statement was riddled with petty grievances, boasts, slights, and shout outs to Russia.

“Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking,” Trump whined, officially memorializing an attack he launched against Congressional Republicans last week. “By limiting the executive’s

Continue reading “Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon”

Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon

When Donald Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill into law Wednesday, one signing statement wasn’t enough to express his deep frustration with being pinned down by Congress. So the White House press office issued two back-to-back statements from the president—one apparently written by the grown ups in the room, the other authored by the president himself with crayons at his very own grown-up desk.

While the grown-up statement on “H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,’” took issue with its specific provisions, citing “sections 253 and 257,” for instance, as unconstitutional intrusions on “the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments,” the other statement was riddled with petty grievances, boasts, slights, and shout outs to Russia.

“Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking,” Trump whined, officially memorializing an attack he launched against Congressional Republicans last week. “By limiting the executive’s

Continue reading “Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon”

Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon

When Donald Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill into law Wednesday, one signing statement wasn’t enough to express his deep frustration with being pinned down by Congress. So the White House press office issued two back-to-back statements from the president—one apparently written by the grown ups in the room, the other authored by the president himself with crayons at his very own grown-up desk.

While the grown-up statement on “H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,’” took issue with its specific provisions, citing “sections 253 and 257,” for instance, as unconstitutional intrusions on “the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments,” the other statement was riddled with petty grievances, boasts, slights, and shout outs to Russia.

“Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking,” Trump whined, officially memorializing an attack he launched against Congressional Republicans last week. “By limiting the executive’s

Continue reading “Trump issues two statements on the Russia sanctions bill—one official, one written in crayon”