News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
It got off to a bad start, and President Trump’s venomous relationship with Sen. John McCain probably won’t end well either.
The president was reportedly disinvited to McCain’s funeral months ago, after McCain’s battle with brain cancer took a turn for the worse, and now the veteran Arizona Republican senator has decided to discontinue medical treatment.
Throughout McCain’s illness, Trump has continued to publicly snub him — including a recent appearance in which the president declined to say McCain’s name when signing a bill that was named for him. As of late Friday, Trump had said nothing about McCain’s medical decision.
Trump does not want to comment on McCain before he dies, White House officials said, and there was no effort to publish a statement Friday as many politicians released supportive comments on the ailing senator.Washington Post
The SDNY investigation has prompted comparisons to a mob roll-up—of the kind, ironically, that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani oversaw in the 1980s while he was a prosecutor in New York. “It resembles a mob case in so many ways,” said Elie Honig, a former assistant U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted more than 100 members and associates of La Cosa Nostra.
“If you were to just strip the violence out of a mob case, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference,” Honig said. “From the structure,” with one person at the head of the organization, “to the notion of loyalty, even the president’s own language is distressingly moblike.” My colleague Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Thursday that in Trump’s comments this week about Manafort and Cohen, he heard “echoes of many conversations I had while trying to understand the culture of organized crime.”The Atlantic
A top Republican fundraiser whose firm works for several prominent immigration hardliners is the partial owner of the land where the Mexican man accused of killing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts lived rent-free, a farm spokeswoman said Friday.
Nicole Schlinger has long been a key fundraiser and campaign contractor for GOP politicians in Iowa and beyond, including this cycle for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart.
Schlinger is the president of Campaign Headquarters, a call center that makes fundraising calls, identifies supporters and helps turn out voters for conservative candidates and groups. Her business is one of the largest in Brooklyn, the central Iowa town where Tibbetts disappeared while out for a run on July 18.AP
President Donald Trump’s lawyers and a cadre of informal White House advisers claim they’ve convinced him not to pardon Paul Manafort — but White House officials expect the president to do it anyway.
The president’s characterization of his former campaign chairman as a victim and “brave man” is being read by aides as a signal that Trump wants to use his unilateral authority to issue pardons to absolve Manafort, according to eight current and former administration officials and outside advisers.
“Trump is setting it up. He’s referring to the investigation as a ‘witch hunt’ and saying this never would have happened to an aide to Hillary Clinton,” said one former campaign official.Politico
A federal judge on Saturday struck down several key provisions in President Trump‘s executive orders that he signed earlier this year that would have made it easier to fire federal workers.
In a court ruling, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote that unions were right in arguing that the provisions included in the orders infringed upon areas that are negotiated between federal employee unions and the government.
Jackson, an appointee of former President Obama, wrote that the orders “impair the ability of agency officials to keep an open mind, and to participate fully in give-and-take discussions, during collective bargaining negotiations.”The Hill
It would start within minutes of special counsel Robert Mueller being fired — a torrent of activity ricocheting through the halls of Congress and over television airwaves, including nearly a thousand protests being prepped from the Virgin Islands to Alaska.
Democrats have drafted a wide-ranging contingency plan should Mueller be fired or President Donald Trump take other steps to quash the Russia investigation, like firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or pardoning key witnesses.NBC
Of top concern in the first 24 hours of such a move would be preventing Mueller’s documents from being destroyed and his team disbanded, according to interviews with nearly a dozen lawmakers, congressional aides, Democratic operatives and attorneys involved in the planning.
A Saturday Bonus Note From The “Share With The Incredulous”File
At the end of a yet another tawdry, scandalous week, I’m seeing the same thing I see at the end of every other tawdry, scandalous week. Lots of folks on the right continue to believe that the true scandal is not that the president may be a felon or that he surrounded himself with actual felons, but rather that their conduct has been investigated at all.
While every investigation should be bounded by the law and Constitution, it’s past time to get over the obsession with the very existence of the Mueller investigation (or with the spinoff Cohen investigation in the Southern District of New York.) No one forced Donald Trump to hire the collection of crooks and grifters who orbited his campaign. As Trey Gowdy has pointed out, there would be a Mueller investigation without the Steele Dossier. And as I’ve written before, we cannot forget that at the very time when Russia was interfering with our election to help Trump, the candidate surrounded himself with advisers who possessed problematic Russian ties…National Review