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Trump vs.The World on Detaining Migrant Children

As if Donald Trump hasn't done enough to debase our country and its values, he's stepping in another pile of dung today. It will shortly be announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Trump thinks he can trample on the rights of the disenfranchised, including children.He hopes to misdirect the conversation to lay blame on Democrats. It's a con game. The carnival barker is demanding Democrats pass an immigration bill with funding for his border wall.

McClatchy reports today that data shows officials may have lost track of 6,000 children. [More...]

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Colorado Gov. Signs Executive Order to Prevent Family Separation

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order today that prevents any state agency from separating a parent and child for immigration purposes.

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s policy and practice of separating children from their parents when arriving at the southern border is offensive to our core values as Coloradans and as a country,” Hickenlooper’s executive order says. “The administration announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in the spring of 2018 resulting in family separations. The administration has recently stated that the purpose of the policy is to intimidate immigrants and deter crossings.”

The text of the Order reads in part:

“No state agency may deprive any person of services or benefits to which he or she is legally entitled because of a person’s immigration status, except as required by state or federal law.

...No state agency may use any state resources, including but not limited to moneys, equipment, or personnel, for the purpose of separating any child from his or her parent or legal guardian on the sole ground that such parent or legal guardian is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.”

You can read the Order here. [More...]

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Ivanka's "Chinese Proverb"

Here's a tracing of the "Chinese Proverb" Ivanka used on Twitter.

The tweet said:

People Who Say It Cannot Be Done Should Not Interrupt Those Who Are Doing It

The NY Times reports China is confused by the tweet.

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Guiliani Jr.'s West Wing Security Access Revoked

Andrew Giuliani, all grown up now, got a job at the White House. After Donald Trump and Pappa Rudy had dinner, Trump promised Andrew a promotion to Special Assistant to the Pr*esident. And then, bang, Gen, John Kelly took it away.

According to Axios, Kelly and others believe that Andrew "subverts the chain of command." Kelly stripped Andrew of his West Wing access about two weeks ago, Axios reported, leaving him with a "green pass." That means he cannot enter the West Wing without an escort.

Donald Trump's nepotism and employment of children with no skills in government is remarkable.

Meanwhile, Secret Service spent Tuesday night parked outside Kimberly Gilfoyle's apartment because Don Jr. spent the night there. (One mistake in the article: Guildfoyle was never the District Attorney for San Francisco, which is an elected position. She was a deputy DA).

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R.I.P. Anthony Bourdain

Three suicides by hanging in one week: First Kate Spade, then the sister of the Queen of Holland and now Anthony Bourdain.

I wasn't a frequent watcher of Bourdain's show, although I've seen several of them. He's someone you had to be in the mood for. I liked his shows on Asia. A few weeks ago I saw the episode of him eating with President Obama in Vietnam. But the episode that has stuck with me the most was one filmed in Miami a few years ago with a segment featuring Iggy Pop. Bourdain has explained he was an absolute fanboy of everything Iggy. Bourdain wrote at the time the show was about to air (in 2015):[More...]

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Supreme Court Rules Against Gay Couple in Wedding Cake Case

In a 7 to 2 ruling, the Supreme Court sided with the baker who refused to take an order for a gay wedding cake. From the opinion, available here.

....religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.

The Court's ruling seems to be a limited one, turning on the Court's finding the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was prejudiced against the baker. [More...]

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Trump's Former Physician Tells of Office "Raid" for Trump's Records

Remember Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump's former physician who proclaimed candidate Trump "astonishingly healthy" ("If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency)? NBC reports he's talking now about how he felt violated ("raped" was the word he used)when Trump former bodyguard Keith Schiller and Trump Org. lawyer Alan Garten showed up at his office in Feb. 2017 and took all of Trump's medical files.

In an exclusive interview in his Park Avenue office, Bornstein told NBC News that he felt "raped, frightened and sad" when Keith Schiller and another "large man" came to his office to collect the president's records on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. At the time, Schiller, who had long worked as Trump's bodyguard, was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.

"They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos," Bornstein said, who described the incident as frightening.

Why is he talking now? Because he's delighted that Ronny Jackson is no longer going to be White House physician (a position he had wanted): [More...]

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Michael Cohen's Office Searched by Feds

Trump Attorney Michael Cohen was the subject of an FBI raid at his offices today. They took material related to Story Daniels, and the Russia investigation.

Mueller referred the raid to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, which implies to me that this is more about money laundering than Russia, although it may involve Trump.

Cohen's lawyer said he and Cohen had already turned over Russia-related stuff and the warrant isn't necessary. Trump called it unfair.,

The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said. The seized records include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, which would likely require a special team of agents to review because conversations between lawyers and clients are protected from scrutiny in most instances.

Sounds like Mueller is going the extrea mile by appointing a Taint Team to review the seized material, so Cohen has less to cry foul about in terms of breach of attorney client privilege. [More...] [More...]

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Oscars Open Thread

I'm a little late posting this, and I missed the red carpet (but I'll catch up), so here is a running update by CBS, including a recap of Jimmy Kimmel's opening.

This is an open thread for all things Oscar related.

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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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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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Oprah for President: You Don't Have to Like Her

Remember what Oprah told people just before the 2016 election when all of a sudden there was a flurry of people saying they didn't like Hillary? She said, you don't have to like her, she's not coming over to your house for dinner, just vote for her.

Now people are chanting Oprah, 2020.
I'm not sure I can think of a person, male or female, that could beat Oprah.

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Trump's Shortened "Work" Day

Axios reports Donald Trump is spending less time in the Oval Office and at meetings. He's spending more time in his private residence, watching TV, tweeting and making phone calls.

The schedules shown to me are different than the sanitized ones released to the media and public. The schedule says Trump has "Executive Time" in the Oval Office every day from 8am to 11am, but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls and tweeting. Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11am.

As compared to G.W. Bush and Obama:[More...]

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Douglas County Shootings: Update

Update 1/1/ 3:15 pm MT: The Douglas County Sheriffs Office provides this official timeline. It omits one critical time element: When the officers entered the apartment and how long they interacted with suspect Riehl before he began shooting.

According to the timeline, the officers were shot at 5:56 a.m. The timeline says they got the key and permission from the roommate, who had left the scene but returned, prior to the last officer's arrival at 5:35 a.m. So it was sometime between 5:17 a.m, when the first officer arrived, and 5:35 a.m. when the 4th officer arrived, that they got the key and permission. Did they enter the apartment as soon as the fourth officer arrived? If so, and assuming it took them a minute to open the door and announce their presence, that means they engaged with the suspect inside his apartment for 20 minutes (5:36 a.m. until 5:56 a.m., when they were shot. That would mean they weren't shot as soon as they arrived, and that something may have set him off during the engagement.

Deputies cleared the scene at 3:44 a.m., no crime had been committed at that time. Deputies were called back to the scene at 5:14 a.m. and the first officer arrived on scene at 5:17a.m. Three additional officers also arrived on scene, the last one arriving at 5:35am. One male had left the scene prior to officer’s arrival. The male returned to the scene and gave officers a key and permission to enter the apartment, but then left the scene prior to the shooting. At 5:56 a.m., four officers were hit by rifle rounds from the suspect’s bedroom. Three of the deputies were able to get to safety, however, the fourth officer, Deputy Parrish, was not able to retreat.

Update 9 pm MT: The dead suspect is Matthew Riehl, 37, an Iraq vet with a law degree from the University of Wyoming. [More...]

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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Kabul Suicide Attack

ISIS claimed responsibility for today's suicide attack in Kabul outside an intelligence agency. Only civilian passersby were killed.

The blast comes a week after the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a training facility of the same agency, the National Directorate for Security, in Kabul that ended when the attackers were killed before causing significant casualties.

It was an attack by ISIS' newly formed Wilayat Kashmir. The group announced its presence with a 13 minute video. The version I saw was on a Russian website and had English translation at the bottom. [More...]

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