A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia –notably not in DC–has returned a new indictment against former Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced in a court filing a short time ago.
The 32-count indictment is separate and apart from the pending case against the two men in federal court in Washington, D.C. Mueller told the DC court in the filing that the allegations in the indictment did not give rise to venue in DC and that the defendants had declined to waive venue, forcing Mueller to proceed in Virginia.
The new indictment alleges assorted financial misdeeds involving tax returns, bank fraud, and foreign banks and accounts.
Should we see how other countries have done when they decided to arm teachers and principals as a way to prevent school massacres? Does that make this sound stupid since no other country has ever considered something so completely inane? Yesterday when President Trump was talking to survivors of last week’s and other school massacres and proposed arming educators, I clipped the video and posted it on Twitter.
I don’t know if Stoneman Douglas will be what finally breaks the NRA’s stranglehold on the Republican Party. History suggests not. If not Newtown, then what?
But I have slowly come around to the idea that when the stranglehold does finally break it will likely be fast and dramatic and far reaching.
Watching the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre hold forth at CPAC–carried live on the news nets–is a good reminder that while it carefully crafts an image as a membership association of gun owners, the NRA is really a house organ of the Republican Party. What I’m saying isn’t new. The reporting documenting the NRA’s shift under LaPierre has been out there for years. But listen to his rhetoric. This isn’t about guns or gun rights.The Second Amendment argument, as anathema as it is to many people, is window dressing. It’s about using “guns” as a political cudgel, using “guns” to catalyze the resentments and grievances of conservatives, using “guns” as a bulwark against political threats to the Republican Party. Plain and simple.
Good morning. Here’s what our team has its eyes on today.
No, it’s not about Prime. Tomorrow is the official launch of my new podcast, The Josh Marshall Podcast. But it’s live now on iTunes. So if you listen to podcasts, please give it a listen. And even more important – here’s the favor – subscribe. Please subscribe. And if you want to be truly awesome, rate us 5 stars. This isn’t just about my ego. Hitting the ground running with a lot of subscribers and good ratings helps us a lot and it will allow us to put lots of resources into this new effort. The new show has a different format; it’s free to all and it’s now weekly. Take a listen and let me know what you think. Reading listener emails is going to be a big part of it. Find it here on iTunes.
We’ll also have the show on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify, in addition to the actual RSS feeds.
Over the weekend, several prominent news media figures announced themselves as Trump/Russia skeptics. Politico’s Blake Hounshell seemed to kick off the discussion with this essay. This isn’t “fake news” type skepticism. It’s much more focused and I think reasonable. These folks fully grant the extensive and multi-pronged Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election. That involved fake news, email hacking, and multiple approaches to Trump associates to gauge interest in working together. The skepticism is whether we’ll ever find a proven and explicit agreement between President Trump and Vladimir Putin or some other similarly high-level Russian official to collaborate in subverting the 2016 election. If not documented proof of such an agreement then at least well-attested evidence of the same.
Vox today announced a round of layoffs, joining a seemingly endless list of digital media companies that have laid off staff in recent months. First, this is not “Vox”, the political news / explainer site, which you may be most familiar with. It’s the parent company, Vox Media – which owned Curbed, Racked SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, etc. The latter owns Vox and maybe ten other sites, many of which are big or dominant players in their respective spaces. Vox Media is laying off 50 employees.
I’ve written about this meta-topic a lot in recent months – what amounts to a crash in digital media. Vox is laying off 50 employees, what they say is roughly 5% of their staff, a comparatively small number in percentage terms relative to other recent blood letting. What I wanted to flag your attention to is what seems to be getting cut.