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Saturday :: September 15, 2018

Manafort's D.C. Guilty Plea

Bump and Update 9/15/18: I have uploaded Paul Manafort's plea agreement here. It's 1.2 MB, so give it a minute to load. Same for the Statement of Facts in support of the Plea (1.4 MB) which I've uploaded here.

****Original Post 9/14/18*****

Paul Manafort is pleading guilty this morning in D.C. to two charges in an information which will also resolve the conduct in the counts in Virginia that the jury couldn't reach a verdict on.

It's going to cost him.

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Friday :: September 14, 2018

Sen. Leahy Won't Vote for Kavenaugh

Sen. Patrick Leahy has an op-ed in the Washington Post today explaining why he won't vote for Brett Kavenaugh.

Time and again, Kavanaugh appears to have misled the Senate under oath.

[More...]

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Thursday :: September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence Rips the N.C. Banks

Hurricane Florence is here. It is brutal, and it's just getting started.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence, a large and dangerous Category 2 storm, landed on the North Carolina coast Thursday morning. Winds were already gusting to 70 mph and sea water was surging ashore along the Outer Banks, washing over roads. It marks the beginning of a prolonged assault from wind and water, which — by the time it’s over — is likely to bring devastating damage and flooding to millions of people in the Southeast.

The Weather Channel has incredible video of the waves already crashing into homes.

Last night I read the waves could be taller than an 8 story building.

Here's a live video from the shores of Myrtle Beach, S.C. [More...]

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Tuesday :: September 11, 2018

Poll: Trump Approval Falls Below 40%

A new CNN/SSRS Poll for the period September 06, 2018 to September 09, 2018 shows that Trump's approval level has dropped 6 points just in the last month. Overall, only 36% approve of the way Trump is handling his job.

Here's the actual poll results, the results begin on page 16 (no link to CNN news article due to auto-play video and too many ads).

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S.C. Prepares for Florence

Hurricane Florence is set to hit South Carolina. More than a million people have been evacuated from coastal areas -- Even Walmart has closed its doors.

Lane reversal has begun on the highways, and will last until 6 hours before Florence is set to touch down.

If you are in the vicinity, please stay safe and let us know how you are faring.

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Monday :: September 10, 2018

Monday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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CBS Puts $120 Million in Trust for Moonves Settlement

CBS announced today it will put $120 million in trust for Leslie Moonves in the event he is not terminated for cause. You can read the document filed with the SEC today here.

Moonves' 75 page employment agreement from May, 2017 specifies what constitutes termination for cause in Paragraph 10 (a): [More...]

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Friday :: September 07, 2018

George Papadopoulos Sentenced to 14 Days in Jail

Update: George Papadopoulos, the first Trump associate to be sentenced in the Mueller probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, has been sentenced to 14 days in jail and 1 year supervised release for the crime of making false statements to the F.B.I. I assume he got a voluntary surrender -- I wonder where he will be designated to serve the sentence. Since he lives in Chicago, it could be this Residential Re-entry Facility.

Here is Papadopoulos' Sentencing Memorandum. Here is the Government's Sentencing Memorandum.

Update: According to reporters in the courtroom, Papadopoulos' lawyer told the Judge, " "The President of the United States hindered the investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did.” He also said Papadopoulos was motivated to lie in part by Trump characterizing investigation as “Fake news.” CNN has more here. [More...]

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Kavenaugh's Rough Week

Democrats gave Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh a tough time during his confirmation hearings this week.

I have not seen much discussion of where he stands on criminal justice issues: the rights of the accused, sentencing policy, drug law, immigrants and refugees, or the death penalty. I am more interested in his positions on those issues than on whether he would potentially give Trump a legal pass by upholding a refusal by Trump to comply with a subpoena from Mueller. The Federal Defender for the District of Columbia, A.J. Kramer, will be testifying today in support of Kavenaugh (personally, not on behalf of his office). His written remarks are here.

So long as Trump gets to pick the nominee, one will just be worse than the next. That's why elections matter so much. At Vox today, a presidential historian explains Donald Trump in one sentence:

“The fish rots from the head,” he told me, “and the stench of this administration starts at the very top.”

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Thursday :: September 06, 2018

Trump Gets Bit By the Snake

Trump loved the story of the snake. We all predicted that the fictional snake would jump up one day and bite Trump in the as*.

And now he has. Here's the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times Here's Trump's response. Here are the staff denials to date.

The sad thing is there is no one to cheer for here. The author sounds like a dangerous infiltrator trying to foist his or her own brand of conservatism on the country. So, who is it? [More...]

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Monday :: September 03, 2018

Labor Day Open Thread

The Rolling Stones and Axel Rose of Guns 'N Roses singing "Salt of the Earth."

Happy Labor Day to all.

Here's how labor day began. [More...]

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Friday :: August 31, 2018

Mueller Gets Another Cooperation Plea: Sam Patten

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team picked up another notch on its belt today with the guilty plea of Sam Patten, a Republican lobbyist who specialized in Russian and Ukraine affairs.

Patten pleaded guilty to a FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) violation. The NY Times decodes several of the persons referred to as "Foreigner A" "Foreigner B", "Company A", etc.

The Information (charging document, in lieu of an Indictment) is here. His plea agreement is here. His statement of offense (factual basis for the plea) is here. [More...]

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WAPO Poll: 60% Disapprove of Trump

A new poll by the Washington Post finds that 60% of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump. On the other hand, they support Robert Mueller and Jeff Sessions.

Here are the results.

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Wednesday :: August 29, 2018

CA Gov Signs Bill Eliminating Cash Bonds

CA Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill today eliminating cash bail for arrestees.

Instead of having to post a cash bond, the court will conduct a "risk assessment" to determine whether they should be released on electronic monitoring or detained pending trial.

The bill is supposed to eliminate disparate treatment of the economically challenged who can't afford bail. But the ACLU forsees other problems developing due to handing the decision off to judges. [More...]

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Tuesday :: August 28, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

It's a jail day for me, open thread day for you.

All topics welcome.

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