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PBC News & Comment: Obama Breaks His Silence on Trump

President 44 rips into Republicans for failing to oppose Trump’s wrongdoing, asking “what took you so long”; Obama should answer, too….

--second CIA whistleblower is reported ready to blow, as AP drops blockbuster story on Rick Perry’s efforts to install board members on Ukraine gas company

--federal judge in NY reject’s Trump’s broad immunity claim, orders tax returns turned over to DA

--subpoenas are landing all over Trumpland, but his stonewalling has been effective since Dems to control of House

--Matt Taibbi has questions about CIA whistleblower #1 that probably apply to the next one, too

--Kurt Volker provided damaging text messages, but his testimony sends different signals

--at WhoWhatWhy, Klaus Marre spanks Adam Schiff for unforced errors

--at Buzzfeed, they slap Joe Biden for bragging about getting Ukrainian prosecutor fired while repeatedly exonerating him

--at The Guardian, Kate Aronoff says Joe’s a bad bet for Dems

--while we’ve been distracted by tweets, Russiagate and now Ukrainegate, the federal courts are being packed by conservative white males

--in latest immigration ploy, Trump moves to deny entry unless they can prove they have health insurance, or can afford it

--without any consultations, Trump again announces US is leaving Syria

--journalist Stephen Kinzer comments that Trump’s instincts are correct

--Kinzer, a Boston Globe columnist, is guest in our latest in-depth interview about his book about CIA mystery man Sid Gotlieb, Poisoner in Chief

--Trump’s bromance with Kim Jong-un hits the rocks in Stockholm, where talks collapsed at end of first day

--Khalilzad resumes talks with Taliban

--deadly protests continue in Baghdad, and sometime violent, masked protests continue in Hong Kong

--Philippines strongman Duterte reveals health problems, and PBC mentions new film The Kingmaker, about Imelda Marcos’ scheme to make son next president

--flipping the bird to California again, White House opens 700,000 acres to oil and gas extraction;  PBC mentions new film, The Story of Plastic

--as bans on vaping expand due to wave of illnesses, cigarettes killed over 400,000 Americans last year