NYT Reports: What Mueller Wants To Ask Trump About Obstruction

This is truly amazing to read—and one has to wonder who leaked the information.

Context for the leak: These are questions read by Mueller’s team to Trump’s lawyers, who then “compiled them into a list. That document was provided to The Times by a person outside Mr. Trump’s legal team”

Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s election interference, has at least four dozen questions on an exhaustive array of subjects he wants to ask President Trump to learn more about his ties to Russia and determine whether he obstructed the inquiry itself, according to a list of the questions obtained by The New York Times.

[Read the questions here.]

The open-ended queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the president’s thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his most combative Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with his family and his closest advisers. They deal chiefly with the president’s high-profile firings of the F.B.I. director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But they also touch on the president’s businesses; any discussions with his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, about a Moscow real estate deal; whether the president knew of any attempt by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to set up a back channel to Russia during the transition; any contacts he had with Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser who claimed to have inside information about Democratic email hackings; and what happened during Mr. Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

The questions provide the most detailed look yet inside Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which has been shrouded in secrecy since he was appointed nearly a year ago. The majority relate to possible obstruction of justice, demonstrating how an investigation into Russia’s election meddling grew to include an examination of the president’s conduct in office. Among them are queries on any discussions Mr. Trump had about his attempts to fire Mr. Mueller himself and what the president knew about possible pardon offers to Mr. Flynn.


Hitler Died 73 Years Ago Today — Here’s How Newspapers Reported The Event

As a lover of history, and also very much a newspaperman, I thought this series of front pages on the death of Adolf Hitler, April 30, 1945 would be of interest.    Hat Tip to Solly for the link.

This Is What Replaces Corespondents’ Dinner As Top News Story–Kelly Calls Trump “An Idiot” “

Nothing to dispute.  Trump will have a tweet storm, his base of rubes will salivate, orgasms to follow as Kelly fired.  Oh, the joy of having one of their own in the White House.

White House chief of staff John Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president’s intelligence and casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials.

The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as “an idiot” multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they’ve witnessed the comments. “He says stuff you can’t believe,” said one senior White House official. “He’ll say it and you think, ‘that is not what you should be saying.'”

“Unhinged,” also a word frequently used to describe Trump.

Three White House spokespeople said they had never heard Kelly call the president an “idiot” or otherwise use that word. The private manner aides describe may shed new light on why Kelly now finds himself — just nine months into the job — grappling with diminished influence and a drumbeat of questions about how long he’ll remain at the White House.

French President Macron Clears Up Matter About Tree Missing From White House Lawn–It Was Donald Trump’s Fault

The White House would not comment this weekend about a matter many of us where talking about.

Bottom line is that Trump wanted a headline that did not include prostitutes, sex, or Russia and decided to plant a tree too soon–given the requirements that needed to be handled.

PARIS (AP) — The French president’s office says there’s nothing mysterious about the disappearance of an oak tree he planted on the White House lawn.

It was put in quarantine, like other plants or animals brought into U.S. territory.

The sapling was a gift from French President Emmanuel Macron for his state visit to U.S. President Donald Trump last week.

An official in Macron’s office said Monday that Trump insisted on holding a symbolic planting ceremony alongside Macron despite the quarantine requirement. The official said both sides knew all along that the tree would go later into quarantine.

A pale patch of grass now covers the spot.

The oak originally sprouted at the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France, where about 2,000 U.S. troops died fighting a German offensive.

In Frail Health John McCain Asks Son-In-Law A Favor

This makes us all feel very sad today.

Arizona Senator John McCain asked his son-in-law, Ben Domenech, over the weekend to “take care of” his daughter as he continues to receive treatment for complications connected to his brain cancer, Roll Call reports.

Tweeted Domenech: “John hugged me tonight. He asked me to take care of Meghan. I said I would.”

He deleted the tweet shortly after.

While that sad event was unfolding, it needs to be noted, at the rally of white misfits in Michigan, Donald Trump took to the stage–and in spite of the fact McCain is currently suffering from a terminal form of brain cancer, and was undergoing surgery last week to treat an intestinal infection–he verbally attacked McCain and successfully provoked the crowd into booing the ailing, 81-year-old Arizonan.

The rest of the nation, however, continues to hold John and his family in prayers and good thoughts.

Primary Battles Loom For May, Politicos Have Reason To Smile

NBC News has a great over-view of the primary battles that are soon to take place as May approaches.  Thought my readers might like to see what is in store with some of the meatier contests  which will garner attention.

Bloody Indiana (May 8): The Republican race to take on vulnerable Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., began with a pair of GOP congressmen – Luke Messer and Todd Rokita – whose own personal feud dates back to their days in college. And now it involves a third candidate, wealthy former state Rep. Mike Braun, who voted as a Democrat until 2012. “Drunken driving, self-dealing and false advertising,” NBC’s Jonathan Allen and Ali Vitali write. “Those are just some of the charges voters here are sifting through in a brutal three-way Republican primary that will determine who gets to take on … Donnelly.”

The Mountaineer State Melee (May 8):The dynamics of the GOP primary in West Virginia for the right to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., are pretty similar to the Indiana race — but with one BIG difference. Republican Congressman Evan Jenkins, R-W.V., and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey have been running for a while to take on Manchin. Then Don Blankenship, who was sentenced to prison for violating mine-safety standards, jumped into the race. Unlike in Indiana, where national Republicans aren’t resistant to Braun, GOP groups have been trying to sink Blankenship. And a recent Fox News poll showed him running third.

Ohio’s Obama-Era progressive vs. the Bush-Era progressive (May 8):The Democratic gubernatorial primary in Ohio has largely come down to a battle over who is more progressive — former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray, who was put into that role by Barack Obama, and former Congressman and 2004/2008 presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. As the New York Times asks, “Who has the truest claim to progressivism in 2018, when both candidates can credibly grab at the label? Is it better to be liberal on guns (Mr. Kucinich) or the bane of the banks (Mr. Cordray)? To be a fire-breather or a bit of a square?” Kucinich, however, has come under Dem fire for receiving $20,000 for a speech to a pro-Assad group and for praising Trump’s inaugural address.

The race to forget John Kasich (May 8):The winner of the Cordray-vs.-Kucinich race will take on the victor of the GOP primary to replace term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich — between state Attorney General (and former U.S. Senator) Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. The hitch here is that Taylor, Kasich’s No. 2, has criticized the outgoing governor. “Asked to evaluate Kasich’s legacy as governor, Taylor said she feels Kasich started off OK, but eventually “walked away from conservative principles,” Taylor said at a quasi-debate earlier this month.

Stacey vs. Stacey (May 22): The Democratic gubernatorial primary in Georgia between former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (who is African American) and former state Rep. Stacey Evans (who is white) has been perhaps the nastiest Democratic primary contest of 2018. The winner faces a competitive GOP field including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Thoughts About Amazon’s Seeking Second Headquarters

I read this broad-ranging look at the benefits to a city which lands the second headquarters for Amazon.  With Epic headquarters a short drive from Madison–and the thousands of their employees who obviously chose to live in Madison–there are many similarities that can be seen between what exists here and what will happen to the place which will be a new home for Amazon.

And then there are the benefits that ripple far beyond direct employment in high tech. Young people with discretionary income attract and support an entire economic ecosystem of restaurants, bars, movie theaters, bookstores, fitness centers, home furnishing stores, etc. Moretti estimated that every high tech job tends to create five more in the service sector. Some economists disagree about the size of the multiplier, but most everyone agrees it is substantial. In addition, the people who occupy high tech jobs tend to be net contributors to a municipality’s bottom line, paying comparatively more in all kinds of taxes (property, income, and sales), but using fewer municipal services, like police, public health, and public assistance. High tech jobs thus help replenish a city’s tax base, replacing the revenue that was once provided by heavy industry. Along with life-sciences and higher education, the tech sector has been key to the revitalization of several post-industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Boston, and of course, Seattle (the home of Amazon’s first headquarters).

Yet there is also an ominous potential downside to Amazon’s decision that has received far less attention. Last week, Zillow, the real estate site, released a study that estimated the likely impact of Amazon’s choice on rents in each of the 20 locations. According to Zillow, Denver and Nashville would see the biggest increase, followed by Los Angeles, Raleigh, and Pittsburgh. By contrast, a move to Chicago or Indianapolis would have almost no effect on rents because housing costs are kept comparatively low by ready access to land. In addition, though this did not figure in Zillow’s research, the tech sector tends to favor white men. Because of differential access to education and other professional opportunities that happen upstream, relatively few high tech jobs go to women and under-represented minorities, especially at the executive level. Quite apart from rising rents, therefore, the influx of high tech jobs may further divide rich from poor, men from women, and white from black and brown. (Ironically, Zillow may itself be an example of this phenomenon. Its website lists 12 corporate officers, ten of whom are white men. The other two are white women.)

Lets Start The Work Week By THINKING

This nation has Donald Trump in the White House who lies, verbally harasses people with such things as speaking ill of POWs, mimics handicapped people, spews racism, and assaulted women….but some in this nation think a comedienne crossed the line!

This is Orwellian.

Just this weekend at a rally of the misfits Trump took to the stage–and in spite of the fact Republican Senator John McCain is currently suffering from a terminal form of brain cancer, and was undergoing surgery last week to treat an intestinal infection–Trump verbally attacked McCain and successfully provoked the crowd into booing the ailing, 81-year-old Arizonan.

But some in this nation think a comedienne crossed the line!

Let me ask a question to every white right-winger who feels not respected (boo-hoo), and who was skewered or offended Saturday night.

Why is Michelle Wolf held to a higher standard of civility than our representative on the world stage?

Let’s reflect on what has been a 24/7 disaster for the past two years!  I don’t understand why citizens of this nation are not expressing outrage at Trump’s attacks on our democracy the same way they are about Wolf’s performance.

Once again the under-educated in this nation are making my point for me.

And so it goes.