Five Companies Pull Ads From Sean Hannity’s Fox News Show Over Roy Moore Defense

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Five major companies have decided to distance themselves from Fox News host Sean Hannity by pulling their advertisements from his show in the wake of his support for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his attacks on the four women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct this week, whom he accused of lying for money.
Media Matters says they have received confirmations from 23andmeELOQUIIKeurigNature’s Bounty, and, on their decision to pull ads from Hannity’s Fox News show.
On Thursday, Hannity, who endorsed Moore’s campaign in September, claimed that Moore’s accusers were lying, saying: “Then you have false allegations that are made, and you know — how do you determine? It’s ‘He said, she [said].”
Hannity also claimed that the women making allegations against Moore are only doing it for money: “This goes back to what you said. Do people do it for money, do they do it political reasons? How come — is that more common than people would think?..They will lie to make money.”
He continued:
“Here’s some really fascinating questions. How do you know if it’s true? How do we — what’s true? What’s not true? How do you ascertain the truth? What happens when it’s 38 years later? It’s a serious topic, and — because if it’s true and people act like this, it’s disgusting, it’s despicable, it’s criminal.”
Then Hannity invoked the Bible’s Ten Commandments:
“We do have Ten Commandments. One of the commandments is ‘thou shalt not bear false witness.’ We know human beings break, with regularity, the other nine commandments. Did they break this one?”
Media Matters notes:
In August, Media Matters called on Hannity’s advertisers to stop financially supporting his lies and extremism and warned that Hannity’s volatility made him a business risk. The companies who spoke out this week join Cadillac and E-Trade among other brands that no longer wish to be associated with the Fox host.
Hannity’s advertiser losses from the late summer are part of the reason Fox’s revenue has begun to drop precipitously.


Donna Brazile: ' my friends are mad at me

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'My Democratic friends are mad at me': Donna Brazile explains herself in deep-left San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — After publishing an unfettered memoir critiquing Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid, former Democratic Party leader Donna Brazile on Thursday doubled down on her criticism of the nominee before a receptive audience in deepest-left California.

Mueller Probe 'Has Penetrated The White House

Ex-FBI Official: Mueller Probe 'Has Penetrated The White House'

Last night, Chris Hayes spoke to ex-FBI official Frank Figluzzi, who served under then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. "What do you make of the actions Monday in terms of what you understand his strategy to be here?" Hayes said. Figluzzi said there's "clearly a pathway that he's got planned out." "One of the things that I think…

Obama Congratulates Winners In Democratic Tsunami Wave

The Associated Press reports:
Former President Barack Obama is congratulating the two Democrats who won gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. In a Wednesday morning tweet, Obama said: “This is what happens when the people vote.”
Democrat Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for Virginia governor. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy trounced Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who served under the term-limited, deeply unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie.

This is what happens when the people vote. Congrats @RalphNortham and @PhilMurphyNJ . And congratulations to all the victors in state legislative, county and mayors' races. Every office in a democracy counts!


Republicans across the country take a shellacking

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How big of an Election Night did Democrats have on Tuesday? And how rough was it for Republicans one year after Donald Trump’s surprising victory in 2016? Consider all of these results across the country:
  • In the marquee gubernatorial contest in Virginia, Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by 9 points, 54 percent to 45 percent, marking Democrats’ biggest gubernatorial win in the state since 1985;
  • Also in Virginia, Democrats swept the statewide races for lieutenant governor and attorney general, and they have a shot at winning control of the House of Delegates, which was unthinkable going into last night;
  • In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy bested Republican Kim Guadagno by 13 points in that state’s gubernatorial race, 56 percent to 43 percent;
  • In Washington state, it appears Democrats won control of the state Senate;
  • In New Hampshire, Democrat Joyce Craig defeated incumbent Republican Ted Gatsas to become Manchester mayor, per New Hampshire political reporter Paul Steinhauser.
  • In Georgia, Democrats picked up two state legislative seats in special elections;
  • And in Maine, a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in the state easily passed.

Add it all up, and you can clearly see that the political winds are at Democrats’ backs right now, on the same day when two more House Republicans announced their retirements.
And while off-off year elections are hardly a guarantee to predict what will happen in the following midterms, remember that 1993 (when Republicans George Allen, Christine Todd Whitman and Rudy Giuliani won big) told us a lot about how 1994 would play out, and ditto 2009 (when Republicans Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie won) for the 2010 midterms.
What was extraordinary about last night was that it featured generic Democrats and Republicans — Northam vs. Gillespie in Virginia, Murphy vs. Guadagno in New Jersey, Medicaid expansion vs. not to expand it — and Democrats came out on top.
So last night was more than Virginia’s increasingly blue tint, or the power of the Northern Virginia suburbs. It was a drubbing across the entire country.



Wibur Ross is not the only one in Trump Administration with offshore accounts

Image result for chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.
  • Aside from Ross, other members of the Trump administration were found to have been involved with offshore accounts. They include chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.


GOP using Clinton to unite party

Trump tweets every few days about how she's the real Russian scandal.
  • Congressional Republicans and the Wall Street Journal editorial page pile on with calls for investigations.
  • Her campaign and the DNC are busted paying for the salacious and partly discredited Trump dossier.
  • A former campaign official says HRC alumni have a strong sense of camaraderie and call around to coordinate and commiserate with each new wave: "It never ceases to amaze all of us how this campaign that's a year old continues to extend into the future."
    Be smart: As Democrats try to figure out 2020, it's bad enough that they keep re-litigating the Clinton-Trump general election. But top Dems think it's horrendous that the party is now re-litigating the Clinton-Sanders primary.
    • Clinton's former high command says none of this breaks through in real America. But party insiders know that if they're going to take back the House, Senate or White House, they need to look forward, not backward.


    Summery of Trump/Russian Collusion investigation so far

    Below is a quick summary of the investigation’s major points — and it’s meant to be a small-c conservative summary. I understand why many people are ready to believe the worst about President Trump, but you will be able to follow the story more clearly if you avoid jumping to unproven conclusions.
    What we know:
    A Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had extensive talks with people linked to the Russian government, about “dirt” and “thousands of emails” that Russia had on Hillary Clinton. The Russians told him they were “open for cooperation” with the Trump campaign, as Papadopoulos later told federal investigators.
    Papadopoulos was more than the lowly volunteer that the White House is now making him out to be. In a March 2016 interview with The Washington Post, when Trump was bragging about the quality of his foreign policy advisers, Papadopoulos was the third person he named — “excellent guy,” Trump said.
    But Papadopoulos does not appear to have been at the center of the presidential campaign. Rather than making decisions himself, he asked for guidance from more senior Trump campaign officials.
    Some senior campaign officials were clearly willing to talk with the Russians. The documents released yesterday suggest as much. So does Donald Trump Jr.’s previously reported meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on Clinton.
    For now, these conversations seem to be separate from the charges filed against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Rick Gates. Manafort and Gates were charged with secretly working as agents of a foreign (Russian-backed) government for years, hiding their income from that work and lying about it to federal investigators.
    It’s certainly possible that Manafort also colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign. It’s also possible that prosecutors are using the other alleged illegal activity as leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the campaign investigations.
    What we don’t know:
    Did Trump campaign officials collude with Russian agents on the release of the emails? There is not yet any public evidence that the conversations between campaign officials and Russian agents led to actual coordination. Maybe Russia’s approaches to the Trump campaign went nowhere — and that Russia then released the emails anyway, for its own purposes. That would be a far less damning series of events for Trump and his aides.
    Which senior Trump campaign officials were aware of — or participated in — Papadopoulos’s conversations with Russian agents? The Papadopoulos plea agreement includes multiple references to his exchanges with an unnamed campaign supervisor. “Great work,” the supervisor told him, about the conversations. How much more did top officials know, and what did they do?
    What’s the relationship, if any, between the Papadopoulos conversations and Donald Trump Jr.’s later meeting with a Russian lawyer? The approach to Trump, which came later, didn’t seem to building off of the Papadopoulos talks, based on what we know so far. It seems to have been a fresh, separate approach. Is that because the Papdopoulos talks went nowhere?
    What did President Trump know, and when did he know it? So far, the investigation has publicly linked Trump to the Papadopoulos conversations only through a single meeting involving multiple people. At it, Papadopoulos told Trump he could set up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. It remains unclear how Trump responded, if at all, and what else he knew about any of the links between his campaign and Russia.
    What does Robert Mueller, the special counsel, already know that he hasn’t made public? The best guess seems to be: A lot.
    Yesterday’s filings were full of new information, which suggests that Mueller is releasing information on his own timeline, rather than having it drip out through anonymous leaks — as The Times’s Nick Confessore noted. Daniel Alonso, a former federal prosecutor, tweeted: “Mueller/FBI/IRS are not leaking. Exactly as it should be.”
    A campaign of ‘confusion.’ “Trump’s media allies downplay, deflect and deny stories that are trouble for the White House,” CNN’s Brian Stelter explained. “Instead, they tell viewers and readers to hate Hillary Clinton.”
    “This is a campaign of confusion. It is one of the most important things happening in politics today,” Stelter said. And it was in full swing yesterday, as Trump’s media allies tried to shift attention toward fake Clinton scandals.
    Fox News hosts talked about uranium (a non-scandal) and cheeseburger emojis (seriously), although Shep Smith was a notable exception, covering the news in a reasonably accurate way.
    At RedState, a writer argued: “Today’s indictments were a huge disappointment to those hoping for a deus ex Mueller event to remove Donald Trump from the White House.” The charges against Papadopoulos, “a bit player in this whole sorry melodrama,” were “preordained at the very moment he agreed to be interviewed by federal agents because if they want you, they got you.”
    On the Christian Broadcasting Network, the televangelist Pat Robertson said that Trump “has every right to shut Mueller down … He can grant a blanket pardon for everybody involved in everything and say, ‘All right, I pardon them all. Case closed. It’s all over.’ And I think that is what he needs to do.”

    David Leonhardt

    David Leonhardt

    Op-Ed Columnist


    Jared Kushner Doesn't Read

    Jared Kushner Doesn't Read, Former Employee Says

    A former employee of Jared Kushner has claimed the senior adviser doesn’t read and calls his father “daddy.” Kyle Pope, who worked as an editor for the New York Observer while Kushner was publisher, has described his time working for Kushner in a tell-all article for the Columbia Journalism Review, where he is currently editor-in-chief and…

    Paul Manafort has been indicted and will turn himself in to the FBI later today.

    CNN is reporting that Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted and will turn himself in to the FBI later today.
    It’s not clear what Manafort has been charged with but a federal judge is expected to unseal the indictment against him on Monday.
    The New York Times is reporting that one of Manafort’s business partners Rick Gates has also been instructed to surrender to authorities.
    When a prosecutor allows you to turn yourself in rather than a perp walk down Mainstreet it usually signals the perp is working with the prosecutor 

    Update 8:00am

    when Manafort arrived at the FBI field house for processing just after 8:00 a.m. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Manafort has been charged with tax fraud, among other things.  
    Manafort was indicted under seal on Friday. The indictment is expected to be unsealed later Monday, CNN reported.

    Watch the clip of Manafort arriving at the FBI field house on Monday morning, via CNN: