“Let’s Kill All The Lawyers”

Trump Rescinds Hire Of “Tough-As-Nails” Husband And Wife Legal Team


First of all, that headline quote is from Shakespeare (Henry VI, Part II), not us. (And because it’s spoken by a villain in the play, it might’ve even been intended as a compliment).

But Trump set out on a definitively anti-lawyer jag this weekend. And as someone who’s been as litigious as he’s been over the years, he should know.

It’s not exactly clear why former federal prosecutor (and frequent Fox guest) Joe diGenova, and his wife Victoria Toensing are not coming into the White House after all. Somewhere Trump soured on them. (We’d also mentioned Toensing might’ve had some conflicts since she had represented some folks who have been under scrutiny by Special Counsel Robert Mueller).

That (plus perhaps the massive legal tangle related to porn star Stormy Daniels, who added very little, but seemed very believable in her Sunday night “60 Minutes” interview), set Trump off on a Twitter screed that not only addresses his own situation, but castigates the legal profession in general:


Whatever you may think of lawyers, the Tweets tell you a lot about what Trump thinks they (and probably people in general) are all about: fame and fortune and avarice.



Editorial: Piecing Together Trump’s Budget Bill Twitter Tantrum


When we left you Friday, we told you Trump was expected to sign the $1.3-trillion spending bill the House and Senate had just passed, but you never know… And as usual, the President pitched in with some last minute theatrics: threatening not to sign, before he grudgingly did.

Fox had railed all morning, as they often do, that Congress was not in lockstep behind the President. And if you believe Congress’ job is to be subservient to the President and enable his dreams and wishes and desires (or at least deliver on his major campaign promises), then they’re right. And Trump would’ve been right not to sign: because the bill (except for a historical increase in military spending) contains very little of what he included in his budget demands: no deep cuts in funding for the arts, for instance. No defunding of Planned Parenthood. Limited funds to hire new border agents. No defunding of “sanctuary cities”.

And mostly notably: only $1.6-billion of the $25-billion he wants in border wall funding.

It’s like Congress was trying to do to Trump what Republicans and Trump were trying to do with the American public on tax cuts: make him just happy enough that he wouldn’t make a fuss. Trump Tweeted:


And then after he’d had a couple of days to think about it:


So let’s quickly limit the discussion on DACA: Trump killed DACA. he can’t claim it’s the Democrats’ fault it isn’t fixed.

But what both Tweets show is how damn much he cares about “the wall”. More than anything else. It’s clear that to him, it’ll be his legacy.

And now he’s totally shown his hand.

So it was disheartening this weekend to hear Virginia Senator Tim Kaine insisting an offer by Democrats that Trump rejected: DACA for the full $25-billion in wall funding up front is still “on the table”.

Because now that Democrats know for sure how much the wall means to the President, they should be asking for a lot more!



What’s Next? More Tax Cuts, Of Course…


Most news reports characterized the omnibus spending bill as the last major piece of legislation Congress will attempt to pass prior to the midterm elections. We’re not so sure. Republicans are concerned their tax cuts aren’t having the desired effect. They thought they’d designed it perfectly: give a lot of money to corporations and the rich, and enough to middle income people to make them just happy enough. It’s that second part of the equation that’s not delivering for them: people have seen a bump, yes. After all, the bill was front-loaded to provide just that momentum going into election season this year. But they don’t seem to care as much as they do about threats to Social Security, Medicare, etc.

So we expect to see a push for one of two things (or both):

  • Making tax cuts for individuals (not just corporations) permanent
  • Lowering capital gains taxes on investments

Trump’s new economic advisor Larry Kudlow is all for it.

It might not end up passing by election time, but it’ll absolutely be a campaign issue and promise. CNBC says be ready for a big push on “tax day”, April 15th. (Although since April 15th is a Sunday this year, taxes aren’t actually due until the 17th).



Parkland Students’ March A Success: Now What?


We participated in the March For Our Lives, along with many hundreds of thousands of other people and found it overwhelming and inspiring.


And as we’ve said before: if the people in this country who are eligible to vote get out and vote, Trump (and his cronies) can never win.

And that’s ultimately the key to this whole movement. And one the students have embraced. We were encouraged that one of the common chants we heard along the route was “We will vote!”

We also thought we’d republish this piece we originally ran a little over a month ago:


Parkland Students May Be Inspiring Something Bigger Than Gun Control

They May Be Inspiring Young People To Vote

According to the Census Bureau just 39% of 18–24 year olds voted in the 2016 Presidential Election. In the last midterm Congressional Election in 2014, just 15% of people between 18–24 voted. That’s only about 1 in 7 people in that age group. In both cases, young people participated in the election less than any other age demographic.

Of course November is a long way off, and with politics moving so fast, the events of the past couple of weeks could be a distant memory by then. At that same time, there are signs powerful, moneyed people believe in the perseverance of this group of students. (And we do too!)

According to Politico, billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who’s already spent tens of millions of dollars on what’s seemed to us a Quixotic campaign to get President Trump impeached, is committing $1-million right now in an effort to register high school students to vote in time for this year’s midterms. And if that drive starts going well, he could intensify his support. Steyer says voters that age are “the biggest and least politically represented group in the U.S.”


Tom Steyer


While it’s mainly Democrats seizing on opportunities like this, we don’t believe the students themselves are thinking in terms of party loyalty much if at all (which is part of the reason people in this age group haven’t been voting). They’re looking purely at issues, and will vote for candidates who most powerfully reflect their views.

That’s why we’ve repeatedly argued that the “generic ballot” polls we keep seeing, which just measure one party vs. another, are almost completely meaningless this year.