Tuesday :: March 20, 2018

NY Judge Rules Trump Can be Deposed by Victims

Gloria Allred wins a round in the Summer Zervos lawsuit. The Judge cited the Paula Jones case as one authority for the proposition that a lawsuit can proceed against a sitting President.

The decision by Justice Jennifer Schecter of State Supreme Court in Manhattan paved the way for lawyers to seek depositions from several women who accused Mr. Trump of sexual harassment before he was elected and to subpoena Trump campaign records related to his female accusers.

Justice Schecter rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that a state court has no jurisdiction over a sitting president. She cited a United States Supreme Court ruling that allowed Paula Jones to bring a sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton.

“No one is above the law,” Justice Schecter wrote. “It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ‘subject to the laws’ for purely private acts.”

It was after that ruling that Clinton and Jones settled with no admission of wrongdoing or apology. Will Trump do the same? Would Gloria and her clients accept a settlement with no admission of wrongdoing? My view: Of course. Money usually triumphs over principle.

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Cambridge Analytica Fires CEO after Secret Video Appears

A video has been revealed of Cambridge Analyitca officials. You can watch it here. In it they talk to an undercover reporter "how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world. Bosses were filmed talking about using bribes, ex-spies, fake IDs and sex workers."

Channel 4 news also recorded CA CEO Alexander Nix saying CA ran the Trump digital campaign , ran the TV campaign, that he personally met Donald Trump many times. Nix says on the tape CA did all the research, got all the data, did all the analytics, all the targeting. He says their data informed all of Trump's strategy.

Here's a video presentation by Nix in his Online Marketing Rockstars Keynote in Germany on the work CA did for Trump's Campaign and the strategies the company used.[More...]

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Tuesday Open Thread

I have a brief due today. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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FTC Opens Investigation Into FB Over Cambridge Analytica

The FTC has opened an investigation into Cambridge Analytica.

At issue for the company -- and at the heart of the FTC probe -- is a settlement they reached with the agency in November 2011, ending an investigation that Facebook deceived users about the privacy protections they are afforded on the site.

...Among other requirements, the resulting consent decree mandated that Facebook must notify users and obtain their permission before data about them is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established. It also subjected Facebook to 20 years of privacy checkups to ensure its compliance. [More...]

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Monday :: March 19, 2018

Trump to Seek Harsher Penalty for Drug Crimes and Limit Pain Pill

Donald Trump wants more mandatory minimums and other increased penalties for drug crimes.

He also wants to decrease pain-pill prescriptions by one-third over the next three years and limit Medicaid's reimbursement for them.

The Trump administration said it will seek stiffer penalties against drug dealers — including the death penalty where appropriate under current law — and it wants the number of prescriptions for powerful painkillers to be cut by one-third nationwide as part of a broad effort to combat the opioid crisis.

...It also wants to tighten the number of opioid prescriptions that can be reimbursed by Medicaid as a way to curb overprescribing.

Donald Trump is not our doctor. [More...]

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Saturday :: March 17, 2018

Agent Andrew McCabe Fired, Reportedly Kept Memos

It's pretty cruel to fire a career FBI agent two days before his official retirement so he'd be at risk of losing his retirement, but that's Donald Trump. Jefferson Sessions did the dirty work.

The Associated Press reports McCabe kept memos of his interactions with Trump and with James Comey. The New York Times reports:

Mr. McCabe’s memos were left at the F.B.I., which means that Mr. Mueller’s investigators have access to them as they work to corroborate Mr. Comey’s account.

McCabe reportedly met with Trump three times. [More...]

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Friday :: March 16, 2018

Wife of Don. Jr. Files for Divorce

Vanessa Trump, wife of Donald Jr. and mother of their five young children, has filed for divorce. Her lawyer is a New York criminal defense attorney named David Feurelson.

Ivana Trump had a very prominent criminal defense attorney, Michael Kennedy (R.I.P.) as her divorce attorney.

The split has been a long-time coming, according to the media. Vanessa allegedly doesn't like that Don. Jr. is always traveling or the constant attention due to the Trump name or his tweeting.

One article said they had hoped to stay married through Donald's occupancy of the oval office, but their differences were too great.

They obviously have a pre-nup, and apparently have worked out child custody as Vanessa filed the petition as "an uncontested proceeding" which means neither party has to appear.

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Trump Plans on More Pundit Hirings for Important Jobs

Donald Trump apparently thinks he can remake his battered image through hiring television pundits for important policy positions in his administration.

Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels says she can "describe his junk perfectly."

What a farce.

What's not a farce: Robert Mueller is subpoenaing Trump Org.'s Russia records.

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Thursday :: March 15, 2018

United Sends Dog to Japan Instead of Kansas City

For the second time in a week, United is in the doghouse for its mishandling of a passenger's beloved canine: This weekend, a family checked its dog when flying from Oregon to Kansas City. When they went to doggie claim in Kansas City to retrieve their German Shephard named Irgo, they were handed a Great Dane.

Where was their beloved Irgo? Shipped to Japan by mistake. At least he didn't die, like the dog the owner was made to put in the overhead bin, but still, this is pretty bad. The dog is now en route back home from Japan. I won't be surprised if it develops a serious case of PTSD from the ordeal.

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Wednesday :: March 14, 2018

Wednesday Open Thread

Physicist Stephen Hawkings has died. He was 76.

A former sheriff's deputy named Michael Hari who put in a bid to build Trump's border wall has been arrested on arson and illegal possession of firearms charges in relation to in a mosque bombing of in MN and an attempted bombing of a women's health clinic that provided abortions in Illinois.

The FBI alleges in the affidavit to the Complaint:

[Informants told the FBI] Hari said he would pay McWhorter and Morris $18,000 for their participation in the mosque bombing, according to the FBI affidavit. All three men allegedly drove up to Minnesota in a rented truck for the attack.

As to the mosque: m[More...]

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Tuesday :: March 13, 2018

Rex Tillerson Fired

Donald Trump has fired Rex Tillerson. CIA Chief Pompeo will replace him.

Gina Haspel will be in charge of the CIA.

She reportedly ran a secret prison in Thailand in 2002 where terrorism suspects were waterboarded and subjected to other so-called enhanced interrogations.

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Saturday :: March 10, 2018

Saturday Open Thread

Trump is considering the death penalty for drug dealers. Newt Gingrich once tried that.

Our last open thread is full, here is a new one.
All topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: March 06, 2018

Sam Nunberg's Late Night Rant to NY Magazine

Sam Nunberg wasn't done when he got off TV Monday night. At 11:30 pm, he called New York Magazine. Here's a transcript.

He thinks Jared stole money from the pile that Brad Parscale got from the campaign for his digital marketing work. He admits he has no evidence of this.

He claims he and Roger Stone were responsible for Trump's win. He hates Lewandowski and Hope Hicks (who he basically said rode Lewandowski's coattails to inch her way up.)

Here's the list of people whose communications he says were sought by Mueller. I wonder why Jared and Parscale weren't on it.

Nunberg has been stewing in resentment for a long time. I read a similar interview with him days before his meltdown. (Haven't found it again yet, I'll update if I do.)

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Monday :: March 05, 2018

Trump Says He May Visit Jerusalem for Opening of US Embassy

Netanyahu is in Washington to speak at the AIPAC conference. He's in trouble at home in a few corruption cases. He and his wife were questioned this weekend in a bribery plot. At least one close member of his staff flipped and said he was in on a plot to bribe media outlets. The principal advisor accusing him is Netanyahu’s "longtime confidant, journalist turned media adviser."

Hefetz was the mover, shaker, planner and executor of their darkest desires. He can testify to all four of the “major” investigations in which Netanyahu is involved or implicated, as well as to his own pivotal role in an alleged attempt to bribe a judge with an appointment as attorney general, in exchange for a pledge not to prosecute Sara Netanyahu.

Donald Trump met with Netanyahu today at the White House. Trump said he may visit Jerusalem in May for the opening of the new U.S. embassy.

The Embassy opening pertains to a retrofit of an old building. The actual embassy that is planned is years away from being built.

Will Jared go too? Or are peace talks DOA since the Palestineans won't agree to them.

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Turkey Arrests 4 Suspected ISIS Members in U.S. Embassy Plot

This weekend, the U.S. embassy in Turkey was closed due to unspecified threats.

Yesterday, Turkey arrested four suspected ISIS members who were plotting an attack on the embassy. The four are Iraqi.

Turkey says it got the information from U.S sources.

“Upon intelligence coming to our units from U.S. sources that terrorist actions could be undertaken targeting the U.S. Embassy and where U.S. citizens are staying, security measures have been reviewed and extra measures have been taken,” the Governor’s Office said.

Elswhere in Turkey, another 12 foreign suspected ISIeS members have been arrested, and Turkish police are searching for another 8.

Those who have been detained are being "accused of trying to recruit members for ISIL and were 'in contact with people in conflict zones.' ”

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