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Wednesday :: December 18, 2019

Manifort NY Case Dismissed, Rick Gates Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail

Paul Manafort's New York mortgage fraud case has been tossed by the Judge on double jeopardy grounds. The judge said he found the factual overlap between this case and his federal case to be "extensive, if not identical."

Manafort wasn't in court to hear the ruling because he's been in the hospital for a "cardiac event."

Rick Gates, a former Trump deputy campaign chairman who cooperated with the Government against his former boss Paul Manafort and others, and who was charged in the same federal Indictments as Manafort before making his cooperation deal, has been sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years probation.

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Tuesday :: December 17, 2019

Trump Impeachment Vote Today

The House Rules Committee has announced that the Impeachment Debate will begin Wednesday morning. There will be 6 hours of argument allowed.

The vote is expected around 6:30 to 7:30 this evening. You can watch live here.

The impeachment bill is House Resolution 755. text is here.

The 658 page Impeachment Report by the House Judiciary Committee is here.

The only proposed pending amendment is a non-starter hair-brain proposal not worth the time to read. Only a Republican in a place like Alabama would come up with this. Like a child who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and tells his mother "But he did it too", the amendment seeks a statement by Congress that by the standard being used for Trump, Obama and Holder should have been impeached as well for refusing a subpoena in Fast and Furious. Like I said, a non-starter not worth giving its author attention by naming him.

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Sunday :: December 15, 2019

Sunday Night Music Thread

Congratulations to Sir Rod Stewart for becoming the oldest male solo artis to have a number one album in the UK. He is about to turn 75. Who had the distinction until now? Paul Simon.

Sir Rod, who is 74 years and 11 months old, has taken the accolade from American singer Paul Simon. He beat Simon by three months, the Official Charts Company said.

[More...]

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The Year 2019: Where did the Joy Go?

Everybody knows the boat is leaking
Everybody knows the captain lied
Everybody's got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

The New York Times has published its annual "Year in Pictures". The majority of the photos, many of which are visually stunning, range from sad to tragic. The best thing about the collection: Out of 116 photos, Donald Trump only appears in a handful. Is the message that he had very little impact on the year's events, especially abroad? Or, since all but one or two of the photos in which he appears pertain to his leaving and arriving at his own campaign events, that he had no significant accomplishments, and his only relevance is to his die-hard base of supporters?

The Times' editors say they looked at 500, 000 pictures to arrive at their final 116. [More...]

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Friday :: December 13, 2019

Judiciary Committee Approves Articles of Impeachment

The Judiciary Committee has voted to impeach Donald Trump on two impeachment charges: Abuse of power and Obstruction of Congress. Next week there will be a full House vote.

The articles of impeachment are here.

Republicans seem to be straining their vocal cords in vain as they advance a bunch of crackpot nonsense -- like insisting the impeachment charges must match a specific federal offense. Or the charges aren't serious enough to topple Trump. (But lying about sex with an eager and willing intern is enough for a full house impeachment vote?)

The Senate is unlikely to impeach Donald Trump, but he will forever have a well-deserved big ugly stain on his blue suits that no cleaner on the planet will be able to remove.

"Discredited, unpopular, dishonest, ineffective, and crass" will be just some of the adjectives the history books will use to describe him.

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Tuesday :: December 03, 2019

Federal Court Rules Banks Must Turn Over Trump's Financial Records

A federal appeals court has ruled Deutsche Bank and Capital One must comply with a congressional subpoena seeking years of Donald Trump's business records. The AP has more here.

The case is likely to go to the Supreme Court. Will packing the Court help Donald personally? What a shame, if it does.

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Kamala Harris Drops Out of Presidential Race

Sen. Kamala Harris has dropped out of the Democratic race to be the Presidential nominee.

Will she be the VP candidate?

She will be delivering a speech soon.

Personally, I'm glad. She is a career law enforcement officer and she peppers too many phrases with references to putting people in jail.

Who will be next to drop?

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Sunday :: December 01, 2019

House Judiciary Comm. Impeachment Hearings Start Tomorrow

Donald Trump faces two deadlines this week.

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee will begin holding impeachment hearings on what charges to include in the Articles of Impeachment.

The Ukraine report is expected to make up the core of Democrats’ likely articles of impeachment against Trump. Lawmakers leading the inquiry have suggested Trump could face an article alleging abuse of power for withholding military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine while Trump and his allies pressured the country’s new president to investigate Democrats.

The Committee has given Trump a deadline of today for notifying them as to whether his counsel will participate. [More]

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Saturday :: November 30, 2019

Saturday Open Thread

I'm sorry for disappearing this past week but I'm recovering from two broken ribs, one that happened two weeks after I broke the first. Neither has a particularly compelling or funny story behind it, so I'll spare you the details -- other than to say it's hard to find a comfortable position for blogging. It's not the sitting but the getting up that's the killer.

Thanks to Fishcamp for reminding me it was time for a new open thread -- I promise to be more attentive as my sore ribs recover.

It's not too late to share your Thanksgiving menus and stories about how you spent the holiday, so feel free to do so. Also, if you found any great Black Friday deals, I'd like to hear about them. I forgot all about it today and didn't buy anything --- but since I also didn't spend anything, I'm not sure that's a bad thing!

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday :: November 17, 2019

Sunday Night Open Thread

Donald Trump had an unscheduled doctor's visit today.

Barack Obama warns the Democrats against going too far left in their choice of nominee for President.

What's new in your world? This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: November 15, 2019

Impeachment Hearings Continue

The impeachment hearings continued today. The witness on today is former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch.

It is really inappropriate that Donald Trump is tweeting insults to her during her live testimony. How is this not witness intimidation -- as to her and future witnesses? It's absurd that he gets away with this kind of disrespect.

She just finished her testimony and Rep. Nunes, a Trump puppet, called it a show trial and mocked the hearing. Instead of rebuking him, the Democrats just ignore him.

America is upside down and turned around. Donald Trump is not just a global embarrassment, he is a charlatan that has to go. Maybe when Rudy gets charged and turns on Trump, saying everything he did was directed by Trump, Trump, like Nixon, will take his final walk, head down, across the White House lawn. One can hope.

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Roger Stone Convicted of All Counts

Roger Stone has been convicted of all counts against him.

Prosecutors asked that he be detained pending sentencing, but the Judge continued his bond. Sentencing is set for February.

Mr. Stone, 67, was charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee, trying to block the testimony of another potential witness and concealing reams of evidence from investigators. Prosecutors claimed he tried to thwart the committee’s work because the truth would have “looked terrible” for both the president and his campaign. He was found guilty of all seven counts he was charged with.

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Sunday :: November 10, 2019

Sunday Open Thread

Things to read today: Hunter S. Thompson’s Letters to His Enemies in the Atlantic.

Question: Will anyone tell Michael Bloomberg the truth -- that the last thing America wants is another billionaire from New York in the White House? Wasn't he always a Republican or Independent? If he had any guts, he'd challenge Trump for the Republican nomination, not try and buy the Democratic nomination.

Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: November 06, 2019

Hillary and Chelsea on James Corden's Late Late Show

James Corden is all dressed up tonight with a three piece dark suit, blue shirt and red tie -- I think it's for Hillary and Chelsea who are his guests.

James was doing his monologue and got to a part about Trump tweeting out support for Sean Spicer on DWTS, and how politicians shouldn't do entertainment shows, when the curtains open behind him and out walk Hillary and Chelsea. Hillary had a great outfit on and she looked really, really good. Anyway, she told James that if anyone was going to do jokes about Trump, it should be her. So he turned over the stage to Hillary and Chelsea and they did stand up jokes about Trump that were funnier than I thought they'd be.

The segments will be on the Late Late Show's You Tube Channel by morning, so be sure to watch.

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Monday :: November 04, 2019

OK Commutes and Frees More Than 400 Inmates

In the largest one-day commutation of sentences in U.S. history, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted the sentences of 500 plus inmates, more than 400 of whom were released today.

The commutations were the result of Oklahoma's passage of H.B. 1269, which made retroactive a 2016 law SQ70, reducing drug felonies to misdemeanors.

Here is a photo of some of the 55 women freed today leaving prison with smiles. And another photo, both courtesy of the OK Department of Corrections. The women were greeted by the Governor and his wife as they left the prison.

We need more stories like this.

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