Another Day, Another Marital Affair Allegation Against Trump

The New Yorker reports on an affair Donald Trump had with a Playboy Model while he was married to Melania, just months after Barron was born.

This story, which had been purchased from McDougal before the election but never publicly released, is considered significant by the New Yorker in part because it shows how Trump had a pattern and method of concealing his actions and finances.

I thought it was interesting because it describes how she attended events that Trump attended with his family and met his children.

On the other hand, it's written by Ronan Farrow, who seems to me to be a personal crusade, first with his father Woody Allen, then with Harvey Weinstein, and now with Trump. I wish the article had been written by someone more neutral on the case.

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4th Cir. Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia voted 8 to 4 against Donald Trump's third version of a travel ban on Muslims from specific countries.

Trump signed the third ban in September. Unlike the first two versions, which were temporary, this one permanently bans people from six Muslim-majority countries. It also bans people from North Korea, which sends almost no one to the United States, and a handful of government officials from Venezuela.

The 285 page opinion is here. The Court used Trump's own words to support its ruling. The Court said his words demonstrated that the policy was grounded in bias.

The court pointed to “undisputed evidence that the President of the United States has openly and often expressed his desire to ban those of Islamic faith from entering the United States.”


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Filming Day, Open Thread

I'm filming today and will be home late tomorrow night. The East coast weather sure is humid. No, I'm not in a fancy place like NY or Miami. I'll give details later, assuming I don't end up on the cutting room floor.

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

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Travel Day and Open Thread

It's a travel day for me, I'll be back Thursday.
Sorry for all the open threads, but it's all I have time for. I sure hope things settle down when I get back.

Again, open thread, all topics welcome.

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Saturday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

My blogging hiatus is just about over. Now that my court schedule has returned to normal, it will just take me a few days to get my life back on track (groceries, laundry, bills paid, catch up on TV I've missed, and my Peloton, and maybe watch some Olympics, and then I'll resume a regular blogging schedule.

What's the biggest story I missed this week?

On another note, I'm done with this Android phone thing and going back to an iPhone as soon as I can, like today or tomorrow. I never adjusted to the difference and I just don't like the way it operates.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday Open Thread

Sorry for the lack of posting, but I'm in the middle of a two day sentencing hearing (which I worked on all weekend.) I won't be done until 5 pm tomorrow. Assuming I'm not totally exhausted, I will check the news then.

In the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday Open Thread

You can read the Nunes memo here.

I'm swamped at work. Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Despite $8.7 Billion Spent on Afghan Drug War, More Drugs Than Ever

SIGAR, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, released a report yesterday on the state of U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. The report is over 200 pages and large segments of it address the failure of our drug strategy there, the lack of a revised counter-narcotics plan, and the increased participation of the U.S. in Afghan bombing efforts.

The United States has appropriated $8.7 billion for counternarcotics efforts since 2002, but more Afghan land was under opium-poppy cultivation in 2017 than ever before. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, cultivation levels increased 63% from the previous year to 328,000 hectares. Potential opium production levels increased 87% to 9,000 tons from 2016. Eradication levels also increased from the prior year’s results, but the 750 hectares eradicated barely registered against the cultivation figure.


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Trump Signs Order Keeping Gitmo Open Indefinitely

Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday keeping Guantanamo Bay open indefinitely.

You can read the Order here.

While Obama wasn't able to close Gitmo due to Congressional obstruction, there are only 41 detainees remaining there -- he was successful at transferring many to other countries.

One thing Trump does know how to do is waste money. The cost of Guantanamo is extravagant by any yardstick.

Guantánamo costs U.S. taxpayers more than $400 million per year to operate. The government spent $ ½ billion to renovate Guantánamo for the 780, now 41, detainees held there. Also, keeping detainees at Guantánamo instead of high security federal prison costs more than $10 million more per detainee.

By 2015, the U.S. spent $5 billion on Gitmo.

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A Union in Disarray

I am not watching Donald Trump's speech tonight. I don't need to -- we are a nation in disarray. Every day he occupies a desk in the oval office, pretending to know what he is doing, our nation is in greater peril.

He has less credibility than anyone who has ever sat at a desk in the White House. So why would anyone believe a word of what he says tonight?

If you are watching, or just want to vent on the sad state of affairs and the damage he has done to our global standing in the world, here's a place.

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Grammys Online Viewing

The Grammy's red carpet is already streaming live. You can watch here.

The Grammy's Premiere Event starts at 3:30 ET live, hosted by Paul Shaffer and 70 awards will be given out.

The actual "Grammys" begin at 7:30 pm ET and can be viewed online in numerous places, including Grammy.com and CBS.

James Corden is hosting again. JayZ seems to be the featured nominee this year. It's a big year for rap. And for white roses, in solidarity with the T.U. movement.


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Sunday Open Thread

I'm trying to get some work done this weekend as I recuperate. I've been reading the news about every other day. For TV, I've watched only the Aspen X Games. The Women's Snowboard Super Pipe last night was terrific, one great performance after another. Here is Chloe Kim who won the gold. Arielle Gold's Silver run is here. Maddie Mastro got the Bronze. Women's Big Ski Air is on today at noon, MT.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday Open Thread

I'm not having much fun with Pneumonia. Last week I spent five days in the hospital (Monday until Friday) getting fluids administered intravenously. The antibiotics were brutal. They did the job, I'm pneumonia free, but they wiped me out. I also didn't have a computer with me, so I couldn't blog (or work.)

I've got a lot of work to catch up on, so this will probably be a week of open threads. Hopefully, I'll get things back to normal in the next week or two.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Norway, Tales of Sexcapades: Trump Slinks on

(From Lillyhammer, with Steve Van Zandt)

With his comments on Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, Donald Trump exposed himself Thursday as the vulgar, insensitive man we all knew he was.

More reports on Trump's alleged sexcapades appeared today.

Trump says things just to push people's buttons. It's how he deflects attention from his failings and how he sneaks atrocious policies in the back door while everyone's too busy clucking about his latest outrageous comments to focus on his actions.

He has single-handedly ruined the image of America around the globe in the last year. How many generations will it take to recover, assuming America is still here?

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Friday News and Open Thread

The news is that despite getting both vaccines a year apart as recommended, I have somehow gotten pneumonia. I was expecting a cold after spending 5 hours in a tiny jail visiting room after Xmas with my client who blew through wads of tissues the entire time, but pneumonia?

I haven't seen any news since Monday because all my time has been spent writing motions to continue in all my cases. The antibiotics are so strong it's hard to concentrate and type for long periods.

Happily it's "atypical" pneumonia which means the antibiotics should do their job in about ten days, and I don't have to stay in bed, just take it easy (no jails or trips to court.) I'm also considered contagious for 10 days.

So that's my news. In TV news: [More...]

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