Open Thread: Sanders Family Grift Realizes It Can’t Withstand Public Scrutiny

Yes, I am a mean petty little person:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The Sanders Institute, a think tank founded by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ wife and son, is shutting down, at least for now, amid criticism that the nonprofit has blurred the lines between family, fundraising and campaigning.

The Vermont-based institute has stopped accepting donations and plans to suspend all operations by the end of May “so there could not even be an appearance of impropriety,” Jane Sanders told The Associated Press.

The unexpected move by the institute’s board of directors comes as Bernie Sanders, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, prepares for a wave of intense scrutiny into his political network and his family’s role in its operation.

As a candidate in 2016, Sanders criticized Hillary Clinton over her family’s nonprofit, saying the foundation run by Clinton’s husband and daughter amounted to a back door for foreign leaders and others seeking to buy access and influence. The Sanders Institute could open the Vermont senator to charges of hypocrisy.
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Late Night Crime Cartel Open Thread: The Family That Grifts Together…

Per the Washington Post:

The White House has rebuffed House Democrats’ request for documents pertaining to the security clearance process, a move that drastically increases the chances of a subpoena from the House.

In a letter to House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone said the committee request for the information was “without legal support, clearly premature, and suggests a breach of the constitutionally required accommodation process.”…

The standoff comes just days after reports that President Trump directed his then-Chief of Staff John Kelly to give his son-in-law Jared Kushner a security clearance despite concerns from the intelligence community. The New York Times first reported the news, which was later confirmed by The Washington Post.

Cummings, however, has been asking questions about the security clearance process for months, even garnering bipartisan support for his inquiry last Congress.
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Sunday (Trump) Golfing Open Thread: Always Be Grifting

So, predictable as a dog getting into the garbage…

I wish we could be sure this was just a joke from a professional cartoon-scripter:


Political Twitter’s Read of the Day: “Inside the Chaotic Early Days of Trump’s Foreign Policy”

Just in time for the weekend, so the ForPol professionals can get down to some serious drinking. I’m sure other front-pagers will have much to say about this, but here’s my quick take: Murphy the Trickster God is *not* a subtle scripter!

The day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, White House national security adviser Susan Rice gathered her staff for a pep talk…

Rice said the NSC staffers should give Trump a chance, that he and his team deserved the benefit of the doubt. Their duty was to the country, she reminded them, and they should do whatever it took to help America — and Trump — succeed.

What Rice didn’t — couldn’t — tell these government employees was that the dawn of the Trump administration would be a time of extraordinary personal and professional torment for them; that they’d be asked to make ethically, and legally, dubious decisions while ignoring facts and evidence on basic issues to fit the president’s whims; that they would be vilified as “Obama holdovers” and treated like an enemy within, to the point where some of their lives were threatened; that they’d grow so paranoid they would seek “safe spaces” to speak to each other, use encrypted apps to talk to their mothers, and go on documentation sprees to protect themselves and inform history; that at least one career staffer would cry on the way home from work every night; and that another would call Trump a “dumpster fire” in a farewell message…

Now, two years into Trump’s tenure, current and former U.S. officials say they are worried about the long-term damage his administration is still doing to the way such critical decisions are made — with dangerous consequences that are not always easy to perceive. They worry Trump’s presidency has poisoned the relationship between career government staffers and political appointees, threatening the ability of a future president to make decisions based on nonpartisan expertise. Some were relieved after Trump’s first national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was fired; he’s still due for sentencing after getting caught up in the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. And they were heartened that Trump’s second national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, einstituted traditional processes during his year at the helm, even if Trump disliked them. But because Trump’s current national security adviser, John Bolton, has largely scuttled those procedures, the fears have resurfaced over the past year…
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Late Night Comic Relief Open Thread: Jacob Wohl, Banned From Argo Twitter

It’s CPAC time again! — remember when that would be a weekend’s worth of cheap snark just on its own? That was before the Squatter-in-Chief gave its loudest lightweights the keys to the West Wing. And yet, it’s still (to phrase it politely) a clown show!

Apparently Wohl spent last week Periscoping from Minneapolis with Laura Loomis, RWNJ fame whore, begging people for money to keep stalking Rep. Ilhan Omar. Don’t know how the fundraising went, but I guess it got him enough media attention to get over his skis — again.

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