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Tuesday :: October 02, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

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

All topics welcome.

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Friday :: September 28, 2018

Trump Orders Supplemental FBI Investigation re: Kavenaugh

Donald Trump today ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, which is to completed within 1 week and limited to existing accusations.

Mark Judge sent this letter (signed under penalty of felony) to the Committee yesterday. In it he says he never saw Kavanaugh "act in the manner Dr. Ford describes."

Today his lawyer said he will cooperate with the FBI or any confidential law enforcement agency in the probe (she did not say he would testify before any committee.)

Also today, Judge submitted this letter, again under penalty of felony, denying all the allegations in Julie Swetnick's claim.

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Senate Committee Passes Kavenaugh, Flake Calls for FBI Investigation

1:51 pm: Sen. Flake says he has agreed with Democrats that the full Senate vote should be delayed for one week for the FBI to do "due diligence" by investigating existing accusations against Kavanaugh. But he's not saying the Kavanaugh committee vote should be delayed. The press is flummoxed, thinking they didn't vote. They did vote. They passed Kavanaugh on to the full Senate by a vote of 11 to 10. All Flake did was say he wants more information before the full Senate vote. If he changes his mind when the full Senate votes, Kavanaugh would not prevail. But today he votes with other Republicans to pass Kavanaugh's confirmation on to the full Senate.

The committee is now out of jurisdictional control. It's up to the full Senate now. All Flake has done is agree with Democrats that the full Senate vote should be delayed a week so the FBI can investigate pending (not future)allegations of accusers.

Original Post

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court at 1:30 pm ET. You can watch the vote live here or here.

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Thursday :: September 27, 2018

Kavenaugh Comes Out Strong and Angry

For those who thought it was all over, think again. Brett Kavanaugh is angry, very angry. And he's credible.

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Senate Hearing Today With Ford and Kavanaugh

The Senate Hearing on Christine Ford's allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh begins at 10:00 am. I will be in court by 8 am MT, so I'm putting the thread up early. It's meant to be a live thread for your comments as the hearing is happening and your thoughts on it afterwards.

The Judiciary Committee has posted these items:

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Wednesday :: September 26, 2018

Wednesday Open Thread

The finale to El Senor de los Cielos was very good. I watched it twice, just to make sure I didn't miss anything. They killed off the one good cop, and the only Cuban spy with a conscience, but everyone else survived, except Lightning, the boxing champ, and he died of old age.

Aurelio's fingers moved, but he didn't wake up from his coma. I take that as a sign they haven't decided yet whether Rafael Amaya is gone for good or coming back for Season 7.

The finale of Big Brother is tonight. It's been a better season than most. I happen to like Julie Chen. She's left The Talk but is sticking with Big Brother. It wouldn't be as good a show without her. And she's not intimidated by what's happening to her husband. She now signs off BB as "Julie Chen Moonves" which she never did before.

There's quite a few more significant topics in the news this week I haven't gotten around to writing about yet. Hopefully, you will pick up on them and keep the discussion going.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby: Sentenced and Jailed

Bill Cosby has been sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison. He was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Cosby, now 81 and legally blind, must serve 3 years before becoming eligible for parole. His lawyers had asked for house arrest due to his age, blindness and vulnerability in prison.

After hearing testimony from a psychologist today, the Judge declared him a "sexually violent predator".

The judge ruled on Cosby’s “sexually violent predator” status after a psychologist for the state testified that the entertainer appears to have a mental disorder that gives him an uncontrollable urge to have sex with women without their consent.

...Cosby faced a sentence of anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison.... Prosecutors asked for five to 10 years behind bars, saying he could still pose a threat to women.

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Monday :: September 24, 2018

Finale Night for El Señor de los Cielos

It's that time of year again. Tonight is the finale of the sixth season of El Señor de los Cielos (ESDLC 6). The show has been somewhat of a rudderless ship this season, due to the disappearance of lead actor Rafael Amaya midway through filming. Amaya plays Aurelio Casillas, loosely based on deceased trafficker Amado Carrillo-Fuentes. Some reports say Amaya contracted an illness in a bat cave while filming an episode of the show in Turkey and he's still gravely ill. Other reports speculate there were contractual disputes with Telemundo and he's out of the show permanently. Telemundo has said nothing and the show just keeps on trucking.

Until this week, there have been no sightings, even on social media. He wasn't at the wrap party for the show in August. But here he is, at an event with a Mexican political consultant for the new President, posted on her FB page on Sept. 19. So we know he's alive.

To cover Amaya's absence, Telemundo's writers put Aurelio in a coma at the end of July, so all we see is someone lying immobile in bed with a head swathed in bandages. Then they brought in an actor to play his half-brother that no one ever knew he had. [More...]

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Reports of Rod Rosenstein's Possible Resignation

Update: Apparently Rosenstein is meeting with Trump on Thursday to discuss his job. (I wonder if Trump will ask for a loyalty oath promising not to indict Don,Jr.)

Original Post: Axios reports that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein has tendered a verbal resignation to John Kelly upon learning Donald Trump plans on firing him.

Looks like the sources for this New York Times article are getting their way.

The tail-spinning of Trump's administration is making me dizzy. He's on a downward spiral and he knows it. I hope getting rid of Rosenstein is too little too late?

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“Kavanaughed”: Who Will Agree to Serve in Public Office After This Charade?

It is hard enough to find qualified, smart people to run for office as it is. I’d bet in the 70’s to 90’s, hundreds if not thousands of well-qualified people refused to run for elected office or judgeships due to worry about whether they could pass the FBI’s background checks on drug use. No one cares about drug use now, it’s ubiquitous and a fact of life, in large part due to our government’s backwards policies on drug laws. Now the issue is disqualification due to 35-year old groping and indecent exposure allegations dating back to high school and freshman year in college. People are so worked up about it, they are ready to bring out the firing squad. Even though the target of their socially or politically motivated hatred hasn’t been charged with a crime, convicted of a crime and there’s been no confirmation a crime ever happened.

In other words, people now think it’s just fine to assume the male is guilty of whatever accusation is hurled his way. Why? Because other women chose to suffer in silence at perceived indignities they suffered way back when and see this as a chance to get even? There’s a big difference between taking accusations seriously and assuming the accusation is true. The former calls for an investigation, which may be appropriate. But nothing justifies the latter (i.e., the assumption the accusation is true) prior to a hearing or trial before a neutral and detached magistrate or tribunal. That’s the law in America. For everyone. [More...]

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Saturday :: September 22, 2018

Running Out the Kavenaugh Clock

Christine Ford, through her counsel, has accepted the Committee's invitation to speak about her misconduct allegation against Brett Kavanaugh next week. However, there are still details to be worked out. The hearing will not be Monday.

Ford also added a lawyer to her team -- Michael Bromwich, a former inspector general of the Justice Department who is also representing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Ford wanted to testify after Kavenaugh. That's silly -- she's the accuser, how can he fairly be expected to respond to her accusation if he hasn't heard it first-hand from her?

If Ford can delay her appearance to the end of the week, perhaps the vote on Kavenaugh won't come in time to get Kavenaugh onto the Supreme Court for the October term.

Most egg on his face in this: Ed Wheelan, the former Scalia clerk and conservative lawyer and friend of the Federalist Society, for doxxing a high school classmate of Kavenaugh's and labeling him the possible perp. At least he's now apologized. But others are reporting he didn't act alone, but with the aid of a public relations company called CRC, which just so happens to list the Federalist Society as one of its clients. [More...]

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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.

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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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