Thursday's HOT MIC

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This headline made me laugh...

#Annapolis is trending on Twitter, and I must say -- the conspiracy theories being promulgated therein make for some highly entertaining reading.

Trump-haters are pretty convinced that the FBI raid at the Republican fundraising and campaign firm spells doom for Team Trump -- the beginning of the end to our national nightmare.

The truth is not quite as scintillating.

The Strategic Campaign Group appears to be in trouble for shady fundraising practices:

The Washington Post spoke to the firm’s president, Kelley Rogers, and he said agents collected documents related to its direct-mail and fundraising operations.

According to The Hill, the Strategic Campaign Group worked for Conservative Strikeforce, which critics call a "Scam PAC." Ken Cuccinelli sued the group in 2014 for fundraising off his name without authorization.


Count me as one who doesn't believe there is anything at all to the Russia story.  Nada. Zilch. I don't believe McGabe's testimony that this is a "highly significant FBI  probe."Not for a second.  Probe of what?  Other than hacking, which goes on all the time and some people should learn how to defend themselves, what exactly has happened?  Oh, yes, the ever-evil Mike Flynn blabbed to the Russian ambassador.  But what did he say exactly?  Here's my bet (and I'd give odds): it's something like  "those sanctions will be on the table after the inauguration."  Which of course they would be because that's what sanctions are for.  You make them to get your adversary to do something.  Your adversary does it, so you lift them.  He doesn't, you don't.  That one gets about three dozen "dubs." (More important and more dangerous than Pinocchios.) In other words, if I'm right, what Flynn did was basically meaningless and the ambassador, assuming he has an IQ in triple digits, would have known it anyway.  It may have gone a little further than that, but not much.  This entire brouhaha engulfing Washington is about nothing.  Trump, unfortunately, doesn't seem to have the skills to defuse it.  Or his adversaries are too insane to make that possible.  More likely a fusion of the two.

And then the media -- specifically the NY and the WaPo -- can't stop lying about what happened.  Every time you see an unnamed source, you know straight away -- it's a lie.

Corrine Brown was convicted of tax fraud today — for using a nonprofit to enrich herself while claiming to give needy children scholarships.

Her six most embarrassing videos provide some wonderful conservative schadenfreude.

Look, at this point, if you see something about Trump from an anonymous source in the NY Times or Washington post, your first take should be (1) the source is a Senate Democrat, and (2) it's going to be denied, but the Times and the Post will make sure they get a news cycle out of it first instead of trying to confirm.

Deb caught this earlier:

Look, it's on TV!

The bankruptcy proceedings for Puerto Rico are going forward slowly, and as this Bloomberg article points out, because of the unique circumstances, nobody knows what's coming next.

Simply put, the bankrupt island can’t pay everything it owes, so creditors are taking aim at each other as they squabble over who will get what’s left. But the debt’s size and the tangled process invented to rescue Puerto Rico mean there’s no established rule book to shape what comes next.

Holders of general-obligation debt have declared their right to be paid first, owners of sales-tax bonds are squabbling with one another over who deserves priority, and they’re all up against the commonwealth’s leaders, who want the cash for essential services. Amid this melee, Puerto Rico’s federal overseers will have to choose between paying U.S. hedge funds everything they’re owed or keeping schools, water and electricity running.

“There just isn’t enough money,” said Matt Fabian, a partner with Municipal Market Analytics Inc. in Concord, Massachusetts, who foresees a chaotic brew of lawsuits, federal interventions and politics. “Nobody has any idea what’s going to happen.”

All told, Puerto Rico has about $74 billion in debt and $49 billion in pension liabilities. Hedge funds holding $1.4 billion of general-obligation bonds, including Aurelius Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital, have already sued to get overdue principal and interest. On the other side, owners of $17 billion in sales-tax bonds, including Tilden Park Capital Management and GoldenTree Asset Management, have entered the fray. They’ll meet for the first time in court on May 17 in San Juan.

This is not going to end well for anyone - the hedge funds, other debt holders, and the people and government of Puerto Rico. People have been fleeing the island for years -- usually the most productive and industrious citizens. Of course, this exacerbates the economic problems of the island and compounds the difficulties for the Puerto Rican government to get out from under its debt obligations and emerge fully able to stand on its own.

You can be sure that before it's all said and done, the Puerto Rican government will make a formal request to Washington for some kind of bailout. Both President Trump and the GOP Congress have indicated they will not go that route, although the feds could offer other help that might alleviate some of the pain.

Suffice it to say that the largest bankruptcy in U.S. is not going to be easy.



Guess what? President Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell actually agree on something.

Woah! The FBI is carrying out a warrant search on a GOP fundraising firm in Annapolis.

Jon Ossoff, Democrat golden boy running in Georgia's 6th congressional district, has raised a whopping 95 percent of his money from out of state.

And now for something completely different.

Timon of Athens is actually one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. Very dark, and possibly never produced in Shakespeare's lifetime; it's not produced very often.