Here are the highlights of yesterday’s news:

President Trump was ordered to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit charging that the Trump Foundation charity misused funds to further his political and business interests, and Trump also agreed to close the Foundation and disburse all remaining funds, totaling $1.7 million.  Despite complaining about his treatment by the legal system, Trump admitted to misconduct in the settlement.  The lawsuit by the New York State attorney general alleged “persistently illegal conduct.” This outcome is only the latest disgraceful legal verdict against Trump, who also lost a huge fraud case relating to Trump University.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was formally subpoenaed yesterday to testify to the House this morning, and while he will surely refuse, his refusal will be added to the growing list of instances of obstruction that will be part of the inevitable articles of Trump’s impeachment.

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took actions yesterday that keep the door open for him to make a presidential run as a Democrat.  According to reports, he hadn’t made up his mind yet, but is losing faith that the current group of Democrats will be able to take on Trump effectively.  On one hand, Bloomberg has an excellent track record as an administrator and has proven himself an able critic of Trump, but does the Democratic field need another billionaire, much less one from New York City?  Social media lit up yesterday after the report broke, and the reaction seemed mostly negative.

Perhaps yesterday’s most disturbing and outrageous news came out of the Senate.  Trump judicial nominee Steven Menashi was approved by the Judiciary Committee and now heads to the full Senate for a vote.   Menashi was nominated to the second highest court in the land despite a history of heinous statements and positions, which are summarized well by the Alliance For Justice:

https://www.afj.org/our-work/nominees/steven-menashi

While Trump produces a non-stop stream of scandals, his administration continues to pack the courts with extreme right-wing partisan hacks, the onslaught aided by Moscow Mitch McConnell.  As long as Trump continues to install the institutional architecture necessary for conservatives to perpetuate white privilege (resting on misogyny, racism, homophobia, exclusion, etc.) the Republicans in Congress will continue to support him.  They are willing to trash all of their values, principles and scruples to ensure a retrogressive and corporatist agenda, and this is what we are up against.

As we approach impeachment and more corroboration comes out of the House impeachment inquiry, Trump and the Republicans are constantly changing their defense strategy.  The endgame seems to be this:

Breaking the law isn’t a crime!

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

NOTE: I will be traveling and unable to blog for the next five days.  I’ll start up again next Thursday.

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