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Saturday, November 18, 2017
Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton’s life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

#EndorseThis: Testimony of FBI Director Leaves Colbert “Mildly Nauseous”

Stephen Colbert is back — actually, he never left, much to the dismay of assorted wingnuts offended by his epic burn of the president — and he doesn’t regret a word of his insulting challenge to Trump. After declaring that it was a fair fight (“He has the launch codes, I have the jokes”) he moves briskly on to James Comey’s appearances on Capitol Hill, where the FBI director tried vainly to explain his actions last October.

May 4, 2017
Mnuchin tax plan

Trump’s Tax Plan: The Grifters Do ‘Tax Reform’

The author of his tax plan, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, vowed last winter that Trump’s reforms would not disproportionately benefit the rich. In fact, he went further: “Any reductions we have in upper-income taxes will be offset by less deductions, so there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class. There will be a big tax cut for the middle class, but any tax cuts we have for the upper class will be offset by less deductions that pay for it.”

That was then, this is now — which with Trump usually means that he was lying.

April 29, 2017
Russia, Putin, Trump, French election

On Eve Of French Election, Trump (And Putin) Still Pushing ‘Nationalism’

In backing the leader of France’s neo-fascist party, Donald Trump also resumed his role as the Western political stalking horse for Vladimir Putin. Having received LePen in Moscow, where she denounced sanctions and sucked up to Putin, Russia’s authoritarian president has mobilized his entire propaganda apparatus to influence the French election.

April 21, 2017
Russians, Trump,

Reports: Western Agencies Picked Up ‘Suspicious’ Contacts Between Russians And Trump Associates In 2016

The CIA first learned of “suspicious” contacts between Trump associates and the Russians from iBritain’s GCHQ spy agency no later than the end of 2015. During the months that followed, several other allied intelligence services reported similar contacts

April 13, 2017
Trump O'Reilly

#EndorseThis: Trump Backs O’Reilly In Sex Harassment Crisis (And Both Are Baldwin)

The absurdity of this political era — when Donald Trump leaped to defend Bill O’Reilly over renewed scrutiny of the Fox News host’s mistreatment of women — brought them together in a moment made for Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live’s writers.

April 10, 2017
Syria

In Syria, The First Step Down A Dangerous Road

Having opposed President Obama’s initiative to punish Assad following that attack, Donald Trump clearly has no idea what to do now that his missiles have landed in Syria. Nor do Congressional Republicans, whose enthusiastic support for Trump’s action today rings hollow for anyone who remembers how they rejected Obama’s request to authorize military force in 2013.

April 7, 2017
Kushner Seth Meyers

#EndorseThis: Seth Meyers Takes A Closer Look At Nunes, Kushner, And The Kremlin

With presidential aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner suddenly scheduled to testify about his meetings with various Russians — including a banker who looks suspiciously like an intelligent agent — Seth Meyers has noticed a pattern: At this point, it would be easier to list the Trump administration staffers who don’t have shady connections with the […]

March 29, 2017
Trump aides coordinated with Russians

CNN: Officials Have Evidence That Trump Associates ‘Coordinated With Russians’

Coming two days after FBI director James Comey confirmed that agency has been investigating the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian interference in the election since July 2016, the CNN report is stunning but not surprising. It also follows an Associated Press report on Tuesday that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chair, had secretly devised a plan as early as 2005 to “greatly aid” the Putin regime by influencing the U .S. government and media.

March 23, 2017
Comey testifies on Trump investigation

Comey Confirms Trump Investigation During Intelligence Committee Hearing

After reciting some of the troubling facts in the Trump investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the committee’s ranking Democrat, observed that the likelihood of all these connections being merely coincidental is extremely small. Former White House counsel John Dean, whose 1973 testimony helped to break Nixon’s Watergate defense, went further, saying he sees the Trump White House in a familiar “cover-up mode.”

March 21, 2017
Trump tax returns

Revealed: Did Trump Leak His Own 2005 Tax Return To David Cay Johnston?

On the Rachel Maddow Show yesterday evening, Johnston speculated that Trump himself might have sent him the 2005 tax documents anonymously via mail — since that year’s return at least shows the former casino mogul paying some taxes, following his final big score as an actual real estate developer.

March 15, 2017
travel ban

Travel Ban: Why Trump (And Bannon) Mirror ISIS So Perfectly

Bannon, Miller, Sessions, and presumably the president himself understand very well that the travel ban aimed at Muslims and Islam must exacerbate divisions between the West and the Muslim world, as well as between Muslim-Americans and the rest of American society. Intensified conflict is the only foreseeable result of their actions and outbursts — and appears to be the only result they want.

March 7, 2017
Trump, Sessions, Preet Bharara

Kremlin Scandal: Did Sessions Lie About Meetings With Russian Ambassador?

Last year, when he was still a Senator, Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador — twice. But he failed to mention those meetings when questioned about Russia during his confirmation hearing.

March 2, 2017
Trump Congressional address

Fuzzy Math: Why Trump’s Congressional Address Simply Doesn’t Add Up

There is no conceivable fiscal plan that can underwrite Trump’s hucksterism. He makes wild spending promises, swears to reduce taxes, and then complains about the debt incurred by the Obama administration. Such obvious and irreconcilable contradictions have only one rational explanation.

March 1, 2017
Watergate: Richard Nixon resigning the presidency amid Watergate scandal, August 9, 1974

Trump And Russia: Is It Watergate Yet?

Do Trump and his associates have something to hide — something even bigger and uglier than Watergate? The ferocity of their reactions certainly arouses suspicion, and so did their peculiar effort to conceal the misconduct of fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, which they attempted to hide even from the hapless vice president.

February 26, 2017
Fox News Napolitano picked up British wiretap tale from Russia Today

Why That Bizarre “Russian Dossier” Can’t Be Ignored

Beyond Flynn’s dubious conduct, however, and the Trump White House attempt to cover it up, an even deeper problem is festering. The allegations in the controversial dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele are increasingly plausible.

February 15, 2017
'Populist' Trump signs order to roll back banking reform

‘Populist’ Trump Punks His Credulous Fans (Again)

The ‘populist’ president delivered a multi-billion dollar gift to Wall Street by eviscerating the Dodd-Frank financial regulations passed in the wake of the 2008 crash. One of Trump’s two executive orders instructed the Department of Labor to delay and ultimately destroy the fiduciary rule that required financial firms to offer advice only in their clients’ best interest — rather than deceptive schemes for self-enrichment.

February 3, 2017
Wayne Barrett

A Legacy Of Truth-Telling: Legendary Journalist Wayne Barrett, 1945-2017

While Wayne Barrett could write an impassioned column on education or hunger, and often did, he was focused on facts, not rhetoric. What he wrote required deep sourcing, or “human intelligence,” and deep research, or “data mining” — skills he acquired back when reporters had to go out and talk to people, root around in dusty archives and persuade clerks to hand over documents.

January 27, 2017
Trump's inaugural: A Hostile Transfer Of Power

Trump’s Inaugural: A Hostile Transfer Of Power

More troubling than the inaugural speech’s false promises and fake facts, which have long since become standard for Trump, was the unrelieved expression of fury. Clearly he and Bannon have decided they know no other way of speaking to the country effectively. So this new president won’t even attempt to bring an uplifting moment or send a signal of calm. He can only do outrage and clamor.

January 21, 2017
Page of the Trump Dossier

The Trump Dossier: This “Fake News” Is Real Enough To Investigate

The Trump dossier is an intelligence file, not a prosecution memo; its purpose is not to prove a case but to point a direction. And as subsequent coverage in the Guardian and Financial Times indicated, its author Christopher Steele is no mere purveyor of gossip. He is a highly respected and experienced former official of MI6, the British foreign intelligence service, where he oversaw the agency’s work in Russia and Eastern Europe for decades.

January 13, 2017
Meryl Streep delivers remarks at Golden Globe awards

At Golden Globes, Meryl Streep Calls Out Trump’s Bullying

“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” said Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe awards. “Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter.”

January 9, 2017
Trump met with spy chiefs about Russian hackers

Investigate The Hackers — And Ignore Trump’s Chaff

There can be no doubt that the series of electronic thefts of information from Democrats, released with the obvious purpose of damaging Clinton’s campaign, represented major crimes. The serious nature of those offenses is aggravated by their purpose, striking at the heart of the republic.

January 6, 2017

Merry Christmas: The Message From The Manger

It is a story that we can imagine transpiring in our own time, among the Central American migrants, homeless in a California border town, or among the Syrian refugees, freezing and hungry in northern Greece. The analogy is clearly lost on politicians like Trump, who not only assure us that we need not concern ourselves with their fate, but that we must coldly spurn small children for the sake of our own comfort and safety.

December 24, 2016
Trump, Ryan health care

Trump’s Broken Promise Will Doom Thousands Of His Voters

Back when the president’s health reform plan first passed, Republicans and their media echoes warned loudly about mythical “death panels” embedded in his legislation. Now, the voters who believed that nonsense are about to meet the real death panel — led by Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate leader Mitch McConnell, and Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican slated to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

December 20, 2016
Crony: Linda McMahon's family gave $5 million to Trump's foundation

Pay For Play? Consider Donald Trump’s Crony Cabinet

During the campaign, Trump shrieked “pay for play!” to defame the Clintons over and over again, without proof. But now he is doling out top positions in government to the patrons of his campaign, his businesses, and even his foundation.To Trump, a post in his cabinet is not a commitment of trust granted on behalf of the people, but a plum to bestow on any crony who once did him a favor.

December 11, 2016
Trump promised repeatedly never to cut Medicaid

If Trump Imitates GOP Presidents, His Jobs Promise Will Fail

Despite his populist rhetoric, what Trump proposes is scarcely different from what all of his Republican predecessors did. And that doesn’t bode well for jobs.

December 3, 2016