“Former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in how he handled memos that detailed his controversial interactions with President Trump, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found in a report released Thursday, both in engineering the release of their contents to the press and storing them at his home without telling the FBI,” the Washington Post reports.
But the Inspector General found that Comey committed no crimes and will not be prosecuted.
“The Trump administration is set to announce on Thursday that it intends to sharply curtail the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change, according to an industry official with knowledge of the plan,” the New York Times reports.
“The Environmental Protection Agency, in a proposed rule, will aim to eliminate federal government requirements that the oil and gas industry put in place technology to inspect for and repair methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities.”
“The proposed rollback is particularly notable because major oil and gas companies have, in fact, opposed it, just as some other industries have opposed the Trump administration’s other major moves to dismantle climate change and other environmental rules put in place by President Barack Obama.”
“While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was making his way to France for a surprise visit at the G7 summit on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his team scrambled to make sure President Trump wouldn’t meet with him,” Axios reports.
“Netanyahu frantically tried to get President Trump on the phone — who was in back-to-back meetings and couldn’t take the call — while his office contacted multiple senior Trump administration officials, trying to connect the two leaders.”
Politico: “Republicans have sat patiently with President Donald Trump on his tariff roller coaster ride with China. Now they’re starting to feel queasy. Trump argues his escalating trade war will force China to the table for a deal. But his ever-rising tariffs — and his market-rattling tweets — are increasingly alarming the GOP.”
“Particularly as the global economy cools, key Republicans say new levies on almost all Chinese goods threaten to step on the president’s good news story: A growing economy, rising wages and low unemployment. And that could have outsize effects on Republicans’ tough task of defending the Senate and the White House in 2020.”
“President Trump has become increasingly rattled over the potential of an economic downturn and is spinning to find victories to sell to voters,” CNN reports.
“He and his economic team, who are often at odds with one another, have been searching for ways to prevent market anxieties from spilling over into next year’s presidential election, but have yet to agree on a solution. They have wavered between floating tax cuts to insisting they aren’t considering tax cuts. They have feuded privately over which direction to take. They have contradicted each other publicly.”
“And Trump has insisted it’s the Federal Reserve’s fault, while his own aides have admitted much of it is because of his trade war with China. Trump refuses to give up on the tactic, saying it would make him look weak.”
CNN: “Though Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted there had been ‘communication,’ aides privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen they way he said they did.”
“Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets, and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese.”
Vanity Fair: “This should come as something of a relief to the Chinese, who were flummoxed by Trump’s initial claims.”
“President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sits in front of the Oval Office and who has served as the president’s gatekeeper since Day 1 of his administration, resigned on Thursday,” the New York Times reports.
“Ms. Westerhout’s abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of during a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president’s working vacation.”
“Being Donald Trump’s spokeswoman can drive a person to drink, but Stephanie Grisham had a record of drunk driving long before she got the job in June,” the New York Daily News reports.
“Mugshots from 2013 and 2015 show the repeat offender after a pair of arrests in central Arizona that happened two years apart.”
Adam Gopnik: “The principled case, now and then, is summed up in three words: Trump’s a crook. If the phrase deliberately left open by the Founders to be defined as “high crimes and misdemeanors” does not apply to the evidence of Trump’s conduct over the past three years, then it would seem to have no meaning at all. Any one of half a dozen scandals that would have been the immediate cause of an impeachment inquiry into—and, before that happened, of universal cries for the resignation of—any previous President are still open…”
“The protection that Trump has is the level and the energy and the somewhat awe-inspiring completeness of his corruption. Not only has there never been anything like it in American history; there has never been anything like it in the modern history of democracies. He makes Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi look like Alexander Hamilton, Richard Nixon like a statesman who set a few feet wrong.”
NBC News: “Each year, the country gets about 1,000 applications from people for permission to stay in the country and not face deportation so family members can get or continue lifesaving medical care that is not available in their home countries.”
“But the administration quietly told families who were granted permission to stay and with children and family members receiving this kind of medical care that their permission to stay has been rescinded and they have 33 days to leave the country. The policy is being applied retroactively to any requests filed on or before Aug. 7.”
“President Trump was set to head to Poland this weekend and participate in a World War II commemoration ceremony. Vice President Pence will make the trip in his place,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “It’s something very important for me to be here. The storm looks like it could be a very, very big one indeed.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) “is contacting state legislators, and apologizing for her role in a racist student skit from her time as an Auburn student,” the Birmingham News reports.
“Ivey was president of her Alpha Gamma Delta pledge class at Auburn. Photos of her sorority sisters in blackface emerged earlier this year. None showed the governor.”
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro repeated a conspiracy theory held by some White Supremacists while claiming that Democrats are waging a vast “plot” to “replace American citizens with illegals,” Mediaite reports.
Said Pirro: “Their plan and their plot to remake America is to bring in the illegals, change the way the voting occurs in this country, give them licenses, they get to vote maybe once, maybe twice, maybe three times.”
She added: “You’ve got motor voter registration on the day of the election, we’ve got voter rolls that haven’t been purged of dead people in years, where the Democrats have resisted that. Think about that, it is a plot to remake America. To replace American citizens with illegals.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said issuing ultra-long U.S. bonds is “under very serious consideration” in the Trump administration, possibly setting up a move that would mark a historic revamp of the $16 trillion Treasuries market, Bloomberg News reports.
DNC will reject Iowa’s virtual caucus plan, sources say, throwing the state’s first-in-the-nation status into question
This Virtual Caucus Plan comes from one of the Unity Commission compromises with Bernie people who were keen to keep as many caucuses as they could. Virtual caucuses were supposed to open up the process to more people (but not as many as a primary would have). Just switch to primaries, already.
Not that it would change your opinion of caucuses, but for the record, parties pay for caucuses, taxpayers pay for primaries, whether or not they’re eligible to vote in them.
Taxpayers pay for general elections, too, whether or not they’re eligible to vote in them. Depending upon where you live, you could be a taxpayer paying for your own vote suppression too.
Caucuses are specifically exclusionary, with barriers to entry for all but the most committed party or activist types. Don’t know what Iowa will do — they may just revert back to their regular caucus procedure. Their legislature will need to get engaged for a primary, but NH wants to be the first primary under any circumstances.
We had in Texas for a few cycles what Texas called the Two Step; we did both lever pulling voting and the option to go to an evening caucus, whose voting weight was less than than the full lever vote but gave lower supported candidates a chance to be represented though hardly dominate our District and State Conventions. It was very helpful in building organizing cohesion in our precincts and gave the most ardent Dems (not all activists) who showed up for party work others didn’t an extra voice in party affairs. I think that is good. Obama used the Caucuses in 08 and 12 very effectively. Caucus goers turned out to be the people who did the real party building work on the ground. Regretted when the DNC eliminated I think in 2016.
A little background on the 500K ad buy against Biden in Iowa. Ole Jud has been flogging this story for years
Judson Bennett’s Coastal Network
If Former Vice President Joe Biden Doesn’t Win, Delaware Democrats Can Point the Finger at One Person: Andre Bouchard
I told you so, folks! You heard it here first. You can’t go around doing, what I clearly see, as stealing $250 million and not expect to be held accountable for it! Andre Bouchard has led his band of cronies, happily, as I see it, milking a very-profitable, not-at-all “dysfunctional” and, in fact, quite successful company for millions upon millions of dollars. Did they think no one was watching? Did they think no one would see this injustice happening over the past few years?
You read it here first folks and now you’re reading about this story EVERYWHERE! CBS, Bloomberg News, U.K.’s Daily Mail (see below). This story is not only getting national headlines, it’s getting international headlines and it’s being talked about as the Democratic debates are about to heat back up and Delaware’s own Joe Biden and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren are both part of this international story!