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.
The increased attention stems from Justice Department guidelines that recommend against law enforcement taking major investigative or prosecutorial actions close to an election, so as not to unduly influence voters. Although primaries have been underway for months, Giuliani and others have said the 60-day period before the election should be free of any big activity by Mueller’s team.
But a close read of Justice Department policy shows that the cutoff is not a hard and fast rule, according to more than a dozen current and former Justice Department officials and other legal experts.
Nonetheless, some former prosecutors said they expect Mueller — long known as a by-the-book federal lawman — to bend over backward to avoid doing anything that might be construed as improper right before the Nov. 6 midterms, which will determine who controls Congress for the next two years.Politico
If elections were decided by viral videos and fawning media profiles, Democrat Beto O’Rourke would win Texas’ Senate race in a landslide.
Video of the candidate defending NFL players’ right to protest during the national anthem had been viewed by millions even before NBA star LeBron James called it a “must-watch.” Another of O’Rourke, a three-term congressman, thrashing through a Whataburger parking lot on a skateboard is almost as popular, increasing the onetime punk rocker’s already considerable street cred.AP
National magazines are suggesting he could be a Democratic vice-presidential pick in 2020 — or even a White House contender, ala a young Barack Obama. Sure, O’Rourke may lose to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, the argument goes, but just staying competitive in Texas, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office in nearly a quarter century, would still further boost his political star.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said Sunday that she believes various forces in Washington have conspired to “frame” President Trump and bog down his administration with scandal and controversy.
“Nobody is looking at the corruption. It’s all one-sided, the corruption on the part of the Democrats,” Pirro told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview on AM 970 New York. “This president was framed. It’s that simple.”
“I’ve been in law enforcement for over three decades. This guy was framed,” Pirro continued. “The crisscrossing and the incestuous nature of our government in an attempt to prevent the outsider president that we wanted from getting elected is frightening.”
Pirro, a former judge and ardent supporter of Trump, echoed claims the president has made before that he was framed “for crimes he didn’t commit.”The Hill
For the young Russian gun rights activist studying in the United States, it would have been an unimaginably rich payday: $1 million to help broker the sale of Russian jet fuel to an American middleman. All she had to do was secure the fuel.
So the activist, Maria Butina, whom American prosecutors now accuse of being a covert Russian agent, reached out to contacts in her homeland — and turned on the charm. In a July 2017 email, she told one man that his passport photo was “a handsome one.”New York Times
On the screen appeared grainy footage of what looked like the inside of a garage. A familiar face showed up on the screen. It was George W. Bush. Only, he was wearing shorts. A second person was there too. It looked and sounded like Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. They were conducting what seemed to be an interview along the lines of Meet The Press, the famed Sunday political talk show that, at that time, was hosted by the dean of interrogation journalism, Tim Russert.
Hearts were now fully racing.
Not even ten seconds had passed and Downey and McLaughlin knew exactly what they were watching. They had been sent footage of the Bush campaign’s debate prep sessions. It was a veritable cheat sheet for the most important event of the 2000 presidential campaign, a piece of intel that could change the course of the election, win Al Gore the presidency, and fundamentally alter history.
Another five or so seconds went by. Downey jumped up from his chair. He stood in front of the TV and turned to McLaughlin.
“Turn it off!” he demanded. “Turn it off right away.”The Daily Beast
From The “Can’t Fix Stupid” File
Burglars who hit a Roanoke County shoe store took for the most part right shoes.
The nighttime burglars who triggered the alarm at Clean Soles on Williamson Road could have been grabbing too fast to notice. Or maybe this is just another stupid criminal story.Roanoke Times
Not much good “unless you have two right feet,” said Rob Wickham, who operates the shop. “Pretty much risking their freedom for nothing.”
The News Blender will be having lighter weekend news content in order to preserve the sanity of the contributors and give them some semblance of a life.
You can count on Lenny’s Polls, the Post It Note, our humor posts, the Book Reviews and the Conspiracy Debunking posts. (We are obviously still trying to convince Alienmotives that he also qualifies to have a semblance of a life.)
But, in the absence of breaking or really interesting news, there likely will not be much political news to comment on. We hope you still check in on the weekends and enjoy the lighter fare.
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