By Robert A. Vella
The news cycle normally starts out slow on Mondays and builds to a crescendo on Fridays, but today is full of important stories which means that this week could be especially eventful. Here we go:
President Trump’s protector-in-chief Attorney General William Barr has apparently conceded to House Democrats’ demands for the release of redacted portions of the Mueller report in exchange for not being held in contempt of Congress. A new report adds weight to accusations against Robert Mueller that he failed to execute his legal mandate as Special Counsel and failed to perform his constitutional duty to hold no one above the law. Additional stories emerged today in support of yesterday’s post on this blog indicating that the American public is moving leftwards in its political ideology. Globalization is finally hitting the economies of America’s southern states very hard which threaten to return the region back to its impoverished past. The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency IAEA said that Iran has resumed its uranium enrichment program (necessary to build nuclear weapons) in obvious retaliation against Trump’s hostility towards it. 24 immigrants have died in U.S. custody during the Trump administration. Three actions by the U.S. Supreme Court are also in the news including a hypocritical ruling on a patent dispute between the U.S. Post Office and an Alabama company. It’s hypocritical because the court decided that the Postal Service is not a “person” and therefore has no patent rights even though the court has consistently ruled in recent years that corporations are “people” with the same free speech rights.
Barr avoids Contempt
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department, after weeks of tense negotiations, has agreed to provide Congress with key evidence collected by Robert S. Mueller III that could shed light on possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by President Trump, the House Judiciary Committee said on Monday.
After weeks of objections, the Justice Department said it found the proposal reasonable and would work with the committee to share the materials in question, but only if the House would back off holding Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for his defiance of the subpoena in question.
It appears Democrats were willing to do so. The House still plans to vote on Tuesday to authorize the committee to go to a federal court against Mr. Barr to seek full enforcement of its subpoena and to petition a judge to unseal grand jury secrets related to the case for Congress. But in a sign of the newfound cooperation, the House will not formally vote to hold Mr. Barr in contempt of Congress, leveling a criminal accusation against him. Mr. Nadler hinted that Democrats could hold off on filing a lawsuit for now, as well.
Mueller avoided duty
WASHINGTON — As the special counsel’s investigators pursued the question of whether President Trump tried to impede their work, they uncovered compelling evidence — a voice mail recording and statements from a trusted witness — that might have led to him.
A lawyer for Mr. Trump, John M. Dowd, reached out to a lawyer for a key witness who had just decided to cooperate with the government, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Dowd fished in his message for a heads-up if Mr. Flynn was telling investigators negative information about Mr. Trump — while also appearing to say that if Mr. Flynn was just cutting a deal without also flipping on the president, then he should know Mr. Trump still liked him.
But the president’s role, if any, remains a mystery. Mr. Dowd never said whether Mr. Trump directed him to make the overture. And investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, declined to question Mr. Dowd about his message, citing “attorney-client-privilege issues.”
More on rising Leftism
The Democratic analytics firm Catalist recently published a review of the 2018 midterm elections using data gleaned from voter files, a state-by-state report that offers the most detailed look yet at turnout in last year’s races.
The findings were startling: When comparing the 2016 presidential election to 2018 House races, the biggest increase of support for Democrats came not in the suburbs (which received the most attention) but in rural areas.
According to the analysis, Democrats recovered slightly more than half the vote in rural areas that they lost between 2012 and 2016, a net gain of about 6 percentage points in the region. By comparison, Democratic gains in suburban areas were roughly a point or two lower.
Socialism is becoming more popular among women, according to a new poll conducted for “Axios on HBO.”
The Harris poll found 55 percent of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist one. However, a majority of men prefer to live in a capitalist country, according to the poll.
Respondents also disagree over what makes up a socialist political system, pollsters found.
South’s economy slumps
NATCHEZ, Miss.—The American South spent much of the past century trying to overcome its position as the country’s poorest and least-developed region, with considerable success: By the 2009 recession it had nearly caught up economically with its northern and western neighbors.
That trend has now reversed. Since 2009, the South’s convergence has turned to divergence, as the region recorded the country’s slowest growth in output and wages, the lowest labor-force participation rate and the highest unemployment rate.
Behind the reversal: The policies that drove the region’s catch-up—relatively low taxes and low wages that attracted factories and blue-collar jobs—have proven inadequate in an expanding economy where the forces of globalization favor cities with concentrations of capital and educated workers.