New York (AFP) - Tenino had become a ghost town, and small businesses were struggling to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic, so local officials revived an unconventional idea from the last century: printing the town's own currency on thin planks of wood."There was no trading, no selling and the city streets were dead. They looked the same at 3 pm as they did at 3 am," said Wayne Fournier, mayor of the town of 1,800 people in Washington state, in the northwestern United States."We were getting a lot of calls from businesses saying they were not sure if they would be able to hang on," he told...
Former President Donald Trump's one-time "fixer," attorney Michael Cohen, is calling on state and federal prosecutors — as well as Democrats in Congress — to speed up their investigations into his old boss.
Appearing on MSNBC on Thursday night, Cohen reacted to a letter from the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection to Ivanka Trump, in which congressional investigators detailed the former first daughter's efforts to get her father to call off his supporters on Jan. 6.
Asked by host Joy Reid whether Ivanka Trump had enough influence over her father to "talk him down," Cohen responded, "Absolutely not."
"People overestimate Ivanka's — we'll call it control — over Donald," he said. "Nobody has control over Donald, not even Donald himself, and so the notion that just Ivanka sitting there in the dining room off the Oval Office saying 'Daddy, daddy this needs to stop, somebody's going to get killed.' We already know this to be true."
Cohen added that the Select Committee has taken testimony from more than 300 people.
"We already know all this stuff," he said. "We have the text messages. We have the emails. You have the verbal depositions of these individuals. I understand the point about taking this investigation slow, making sure that it sticks, making sure that Donald and his cohorts don't get a chance to slip away, that it needs to be rock solid, but ... we'd like to see it move a tad bit faster."
Cohen also predicted that Ivanka Trump will refuse to testify before the committee.
"How many more people do we have to listen to when we already know?" he said. "We saw it with our own eyes, we heard it with our own ears. People died, they attacked the Capitol, they attacked the police officers. This was a coup. Anyone who doesn't think that it was a coup is a kook."
Cohen went on to say that he's more optimistic about investigations of his former boss by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, and the Fulton County, Georgia prosecutor.
"It's my true belief that that's where we're going to finally see that no one is above the law, where we're going to see justice be had," he said. "We can all blame (Attorney General) Merrick Garland. This one is really on (President) Joe Biden, it's on (Vice President) Kamala Harris. They're the ones that need to be speaking to Merrick Garland and to really push this thing a little bit faster."
"I'm not for these expedited hearings, these expedited indictments, I'm all for methodical," Cohen added. "But again, we've now spoken to 300-plus people.
"They all have the goods," he said. "(Letitia) James has the goods on (the) Trumps, so does the (Manhattan) district attorney, so does the Georgia (prosecutor), and so does the federal government. And it's really time to start to act."
Watch below in two parts.
MSNBC 01 20 2022 19 04 52 www.youtube.com
MSNBC 01 20 2022 19 13 52 www.youtube.com
'She has fallen short': Kyrsten Sinema slammed by Arizona Dem Party for failing to stand up for voting rights
On Thursday, in a highly unusual move, the Arizona Democratic Party publicly condemned their own senator in a press release, sharply criticizing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for her vote against reforming Senate rules to pass a pair of voting rights bills.
"Unfortunately, the US Senate failed to protect our democracy that is under attack by Republicans across the country," said ADP Chair Raquel Terán. “This should not be a partisan issue — the duty to protect our most fundamental right to vote is one that we all share. Despite last night’s outcome, our fight to protect the rights of Arizonans by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act continues."
"We were counting on Senator Sinema to fight for Arizona, find a path forward, and protect our democracy, but on this issue she has fallen short," continued the statement. "Right now, Arizona is ground-zero for the modern-day fight for voting rights, and we don’t have any time to waste.”
The Freedom to Vote Act would abolish partisan gerrymandering and establish a minimum standard of voting access for all voters nationwide, prohibiting many tactics Republicans use to restrict the vote like making it hard to register or to vote by mail. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore key voting rights protections gutted by the Supreme Court.
Sinema has endorsed both of these bills, but opposes any change to the filibuster rule in the Senate, which allows Republicans to perpetually block both pieces of legislation. Her fellow Arizona senator, Mark Kelly, supports such a change, as do all other Senate Democrats except for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
This debate comes as key Arizona Republican candidates for office, like Kari Lake, have endorsed former President Donald Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen and even called on election officials to be arrested.
Fox News host Bret Baier tried to get Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to talk about former President Donald Trump's impact on the Republican Party, only to get absolutely no response in return.
"Do you think that former President Donald Trump will be a help to you in the midterm elections?" Baier asked the Republican Senate leader on Thursday.
"I think the midterm election almost certainly is going to be a referendum on the party in power," he said. "This is an entirely Democratic government, Democratic president, House and Senate. They are in charge of governing... I think the American people are about to send this administration a pretty big message that they do not approve of all the things that are going wrong."
Baier, however, refused to back off and played McConnell a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying McConnell needed to have a "working relationship" with Trump if he wanted to lead the Republicans in the Senate.
McConnell still would not take the bait, and instead he praised Graham for helping other Republican senators defeat Democrats' attempt this week to weaken the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
Watch the video below.
Mitch McConnell refuses to talk about Trump -- even after being asked about him twice www.youtube.com