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Thursday :: February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day Open Thread

TalkLeft wishes everyone a Happy Valentines Day, especially El Chapo's lawyers, Eduardo Balarezo, Jeffrey Lichtman and William Purpura, who didn't win, knew they wouldn't win, but relentlessly pounded away at the government's evidence, and despite being ham-stringed by the judge in every cross-examination,were rock stars in the courtroom and did the best they could do for their mythical client.

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Sunday :: February 10, 2019

The Grammy's: So Many Awards, So Little Time

The Grammy's won't be live on CBS for another hour or so, but you can watch what's happened so far at the Grammy site here. The Red Carpet pix are up there as well. Expect a big commotion when Korea's uber-popular boy bandBTS presents. They are the first Korean group to be nominated for a Grammy and to present an award. Here's some good photos of them.

Alicia Keys is hosting. I will miss James Corden, who hosted the show the past two years.

Here is the New York Times "cheat sheet" . The Staple Center has a lot of photos here.

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Friday :: February 08, 2019

Friday night open thread

I am stuck in traffic headed up I 70 with all the Skiers —
only I’m going to the jail not the slopes. I’ll be back writing Tomorrow .

This is an open thread all topics welcome

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Tuesday :: February 05, 2019

Trump's State of the Union

Has anyone thought of taking their blood pressure before and during Trump's State of the Union speech? Mine would rise so much I'm not going to risk it by watching.

If you are watching, please fill us in.

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Sunday :: February 03, 2019

Sunday Superbowl and Open Thread

I love Superbowl Sunday because I get a holiday from the whole world. Almost everyone but me watches it. I don't even know who is playing.

But for those of you who watch and feast, here's a place to talk about it -- and anything else you want to. All topics welcome.

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Thursday :: January 31, 2019

Thursday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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Defense Gives Closing in "El Chapo" Trial

The Government gave an all day closing argument yesterday in the trial of el Chapo. Shorter version: We're not asking you to like our 13 dirty snitches, most of whom will get visas to stay in the U.S. permanently, we're asking you to presume they are telling the truth and find El Chapo guilty.

Jeffrey Lichtman, the most bombastic of El Chapo's lawyers, is giving the defense closing. Three themes:

1. Where is Mayo, why isn't he here? While Chapo was being "hunted like an animal," El Mayo was "sitting on his ass, sunning himself, smoking a cigar."

2. Would you want to be put away based on the testimony of 14 lying, thieving snitches, some of whom are admitted murderers and all of whom are being paid for their testimony with promises of leniency for their own misdeeds?

3. It's the corruption. "He's paying everybody from the local beat cops up to the president." Mayo's sons get sweetheart deals, Mayo stays free, and the universe falls on El Chapo to take the blame. [More...]

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Sunday :: January 27, 2019

Kamala Harris Was Not a Progressive Prosecutor

Kamela Harris was not a progressive prosecutor. She is reinventing herself as one for her planned presidential bid for the Democratic nomination for President.

Harris can run but she cannot hide from her record as a prosecutor. I listed several of my primary objections last week and will restate them below: [More...]

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Friday :: January 25, 2019

Trump to Announce Temporary Deal on Shutdown

Donald Trump is making an a announcement that he has reached a deal to re-open the government for three weeks with border wall funding put to the side.

Press conference live here.

He claims Democrats agree a border wall is a necessary part of a security plan. Really?

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Roger Stone Indicted by Mueller

Roger Stone has been indicted by Team Mueller. The Indictment is here. The Washington Post reports (no link due to auto-play video)

With Stone’s indictment, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has struck deep inside Trump’s inner circle, charging a long-standing friend of the president. The court filing charges Stone sought to gather information about hacked emails at the direction of an unidentified senior Trump campaign official, and then engaged in extensive efforts to keep secret the details of those efforts.

Stone's reaction: He's innocent, he'll never plead guilty or make up stories to help authorities get Donald Trump.

“There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself. I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated,” Stone said. “I will not testify against the president because I would have to bear false witness.”

Who's who in the Indictment?

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Tuesday :: January 22, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

TalkLeft was down today -- server issues. While we figure out what went wrong, here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: January 17, 2019

Thursday Open Thread

This government shutdown needs to end.

Michael Cohen is not hot. But I welcome his testimony on Feb. 7 and hope he confirms that he paid paid to doctor polls advancing Trump's nascent candidacy. Author Kurt Eichenwald breaks it all down. Cohen has confirmed the Wall St. Journal story on Twitter. The NY Times has more.

I've still got too much work to blog, probably until tomorrow afternoon or Saturday.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday :: January 13, 2019

Julian Castro Announces Presidential Bid

Julian Castro has announced he is running for President.

“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America,” he said at the rally. The Castros grew up in an impoverished neighborhood of San Antonio and were raised by a single mother.

In his announcement speech, Castro called for Medicare for all, alleviation of college debt, reform of the criminal justice system, housing affordability and reforms to the immigration system.

[More...]

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Thursday :: January 10, 2019

How to Avoid the Goof Made by Manafort's Lawyers

I've seen two versions of the "unredacted" version of the response filed by Paul Manafort's lawyers. In this version provided by the Associated Press (and opened in Adobe Acrobat) it's clear the redaction failed and whoever did the final proofread should have seen it.

In this version provided by the Daily Beast, also opened in Adobe Acrobat (on a PC), the document appears to be redacted so it might not have been apparent to whoever did the final proof-read. Once open, if you choose the select tool and highlight the blackened parts, then right click and press copy, and then paste in into Microsoft Word, the unredacted text appears. (I have no idea if a Mac works the same way as I don't use my Mac for work, only for music and videos. And I never open PDF's in a browser like Chrome or Firefox, only Adobe Acrobat DC Pro which I assume most law firms use). (It's the same in Adobe X which while outdated, I still use on some laptops and actually prefer.)

VICE presents ways to avoid the cut and paste trick, including making a scanned copy or taking a screenshot. That's problematic for some federal courts, including those in Colorado. [More...]

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Wednesday :: January 09, 2019

The Case Against Natalya Veselnitskaya

Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya has been indicted in New York and charged with obstruction of justice pertaining to a declaration she filed under penalty of perjury in a civil case between her clients (Prevezon Holdings and its chief officer, Denis Katsyv) and the Government. (She was not counsel of record -- she was hired to assist their U.S. counsel in the case. In doing so, she provided sworn declarations for the lawyers to file in support of various pleadings in the civil case.)

The Indictment is here. Veselnitskaya's Declaration that is the subject of the Indictment is here. In it she provides her working history and credentials. The Russian Prosecutor's report (referred to as the MlAT Response) is here. The letter from Russia to Veselnitskaya referred to in the Indictment is here. (I obtained these via PACER).

Vox does a good job of explaining the long and convoluted history of the civil case. It also states that while the Indictment doesn't relate to the infamous Trump Tower meeting Donald Trump Jr. presided over during his father's campaign, it does provide context for the meeting. [More...]

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