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Tuesday :: February 25, 2020

South Carolina Democrat Debate

Update: 6:55 pm MT: Bloomberg is doing better thant last time so far. There are so many cheers for him I wonder whether he paid to fly them all in. Example: Bernie complains that Bloomberg and Trump are billionaires. The crowed boos!

It's Bash Bernie night. Bloomberg claims no moderate Republicans will vote for Bernie. Bloombert

Elizabeth has a plan for education. Amy is doing better than Elizabeth and Pete B. [More...]

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Tuesday Open Thread

I'm busy at work today, no time to read the news yet. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: February 24, 2020

Harvey Weinstein Acquitted on Most Serious Counts

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of one count of a first degree criminal sex act against Miriam "Mimi" Haley and one count of third degree rape as to Jessica Mann. He was found not guilty of the more serious predator sexual assault charges for which he could have received a life sentence. The reason for the acquittal on the top two charges: The jury did not believe Annabelle Sciorra's 30 year old account of what Weinstein did to her.

The first degree criminal sexual act charge carries a penalty of 5 to 25 years in prison. The third degree rape charge is punishable by anywhere from probation to up to 4 years.

In order to convict him on the more serious sexual predator charges, the jury would have had to have believed Annabelle Sciorra that he raped her 30 years ago and with respect to Jessica Mann, that he had committed the more serious first degree rape charge against her. That they acquitted him on all three of those charges is a testament to the work by his defense team.

[More....]

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Saturday :: February 22, 2020

Nevada Primary and Reader Poll

Nevada is voting today. Bernie Sanders seems to be the favorite. I'm still sitting on my mail ballot, waiting for a epithany to tell me who to vote for.

Here's a short poll.

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Thursday :: February 20, 2020

Roger Stone Sentenced to 40 Months

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Roger Stone today to 40 months in prison.

  • COUNT 1 - 40 MONTHS
  • COUNT 2 to 6 -- 12 MONTHS
  • COUNTS 7 -- 18 MONTHS
    all to run concurrently*

Stone will remain free, at least for now while she still has a motion for new trial pending. (His motion for new trial based on the supposed juror misconduct issue was roundly denied by the Judge last week. Here is a copy of the Order.

The Government today seemed to back off its revised sentencing memo a bit by agreeing with the judge that some enhancements applied. Still, the sentence she imposed was inline with the Government's lower revised sentencing memo.

There's a lot of talk that Trump may pardon Stone if Judge Jackson does not grant his subsequent motions for new trial.

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Wednesday :: February 19, 2020

Dems and Bloomberg Debate in Las Vegas

The Democrats and Mike Bloomberg will debate tonight in Las Vegas. Tom Steyer will not as he failed to qualify. It will air on NBC and MSNBC.

Everyone expects Bloomberg to be a major focus of the debate. I think it would be more fun if the moderators just didn't call on him so he got little air time. I'd like to see the Dems on stage ignore him as well, treating him like the interloper he is.

Of course that is not happening. Elizabeth Warren just blasted him. Amy Klobuchar is self-obsessed. She answers every question talking about herself.

Bloomberg "I can take out an arrogant con-man like Donald Trump". [More...]

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Tuesday :: February 18, 2020

Trump Grants Clemency to Rod Blagojevich, Pardons Bernie Kerik

It's a big pardon day for Donald Trump. He commuted the 14 year sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who has served 8 years, and pardoned former junk bond king Michael Milken (who served 22 months and was released in 1993) and former NYC police chief Bernie Kerik (convicted of tax fraud for which he served 3 years of his four year sentence).

I wrote about the Blagojevich trial extensively and have always believed his 14 year sentence was unduly severe.

In 2010, Bernie Kerik reported to prison to serve a 48 month sentence for 48 month sentence for crimes related to under-reporting the value of renovations on a personal residence and making false statements on his Homeland Security application. (He had been nominated for Chief of HHS by his former buddy Rudy Giuliani).

Trump also pardoned a former NFL guy I never heard of who backed one of his fundraisers and former junk bond king Michael Milken (famously perp-walked while Rudy was Mayor).

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Wednesday :: February 12, 2020

Wednesday Open Thread

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

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Dems Move On to Nevada and South Carolina

The New Hampshire results are in. Bernie won by a sliver. Pete B. came in second and Amy K. third. Then Elizabeth Warren, then Biden.

Sen. Michael Bennet and entrepreneur Andrew Yang have dropped out. Warren is staying in. Joe Biden is lagging and sagging, but trying to hold on, believing people of color in South Carolina will resurrect his campaign. [More...]

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Tuesday :: February 11, 2020

New Hampshire Votes

New Hampshire began voting at midnight. Joe Biden has already left for South Carolina. Sanders is expected to win. How will Amy and Pete do? Or Elizabeth Warren? Is Andrew Yang finished? It looks like all the media wants to write about is Bloomberg.

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DOJ Lowers Sentencing Recommendation for Roger Stone

Update: Three of the prosecutors on Roger Stone's case have just filed notices to withdraw their appearances for the Government. (Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis and Adam Jed ). John Crabb, Jr. has entered his appearance for the Government and filed a supplemental sentencing memo asking for a lighter sentence for Stone even in view of the "arguably" correct guideline range of 87 - 108 months. Crabb is the Acting Chief of the Criminal Division and is licensed in New York. In the new brief, Crabb writes:

As noted above, a sentence of 87 to 108 months more typically has been imposed for defendants who have higher criminal history categories or who obstructed justice as part of a violent criminal organization.
Tell that to Rod Blagojevich who got 14 years. Tell that to non-violent drug traffickers who by law must get a ten year mandatory minimum sentence if their offense and uncharged relevant conduct exceeded 5 kilos of cocaine or 1,000 pounds of marijuana. Which is a more serious offense? I'd say lying to interfere with an investigation into foreign interference in a presidential election.

[Original Post below:]

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Monday :: February 10, 2020

Quinnipiac Poll: Bloomberg/Other Dems Would beat Trump

Looks like Donald Trump didn't have his best week after all, notwithstanding his acquittal.

The new Quinnipiac poll shows Bernie on top of the other Dems and all Dems would beat Trump in November

Quinnipiac poll Feb 5-9:

  • Bloomberg beats Trump 51-42
  • Sanders beats Trump 51-43
  • Biden beats Trump 50-43
  • Klobuchar beats Trump 49-43
  • Warren beats Trump 48-44
  • Buttigieg beats Trump 47-43

Where they stand:

  • Sanders 25% (+4)
  • Biden 17% (-9)
  • Bloomberg 15% (+7)
  • Warren 14% (-1)
  • Buttigieg 10% (+4)
  • Klobuchar 4% (-3)

[More...]

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Sunday :: February 09, 2020

Oscar Night 2020

Update: Parasite is the night's big winner, four awards, including best picture, best director, best international feature and one other. I'm looking foward to watching it.

Random quiz: Which male actor has been nominated the most in the Academy's 92 year history? Jack Nicholson with 12 nominations (Laurence Olivier only had ten). He's tied with Katherine Hepburn. And the most nominated actor/acress of all time? Meryl Streep with 21 nominations. [More...]

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Friday :: February 07, 2020

New Hampshire Debate

Who moves you the most? Who do you think stands the best chance against Trump?

Can Elizabeth Warren make a comeback? Will Biden be toast after the New Hampshire primary?

Or are we doomed to another 4 years of the most horrible administration in our lifetimes?

Angry New Hampshire journalist who questions Pete embarrasses herself: She doesn't know the difference between decriminalization and legalization. Pete patiently explains -- partially. Before blaming the drug companies. How about blaming the laws restricting pain pills which lead people to heroin? Andrew Yang has a much better response.

Why are they giving Biden so much time? Why is he so angry, defensive and strident? Say No to Joe and the Politics of Yesterday. [More....]

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The Unfortunate Trail Trump Leaves Behind Him

During Donald Trump's SOTU I mentioned a few things I thought would backfire big time. First, his spotlight on his guest, Juan Guaidó, who is an opposition leader in Venezuela.

Trump called Guaidó the “true and legitimate” leader of Venezuela and said President Nicolas Maduro is a “tyrant” as lawmakers applauded.

“Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland,” Trump said to Guaidó. “All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom.”

Here's the result of Trump's welcome of Guaidó:

Six American oil executives under house arrest in Venezuela were rounded up by police hours after President Donald Trump met Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s chief opponent at the White House, according to family members of the men.

[More...]

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