Manafort Sentencing: 47 Months

Paul Manafort is in the courtroom. He is in a wheelchair. If you are following, let us know what happens. [Added: I returned just as the prosecution was wrapping up its argument. The updates below start with the latest and work backwards.

Update 5:23 p.m: Every prominent sentencing hearing in which the judge grants a downward variance from the advisory sentencing guideline is a good thing in that it will serve as a reminder to every other judge of their ability to do so, and that their job is not to impose a guideline sentence, but one that is sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes of sentencing]. Chief among these factors is the nature of the offense and "the history and characteristics of the defendant."

Every judge must complete the "Judgment" form after sentencing. Part of that form is called a "Statement of Reasons." It lists a lot of factors and asks the Judge to check off the boxes that apply to their decision to impose a non-guideline sentence (called a variance -- a departure is something different.) When the judge completes and submits the Statement of Reasons, it does so under seal (sometimes available to counsel for the defendant). The form itself is not sealed and available on the U.S. Judiciary website. Here is the page with the non-exhaustive list of reasons a judge might choose to vary from and impose a non-guideline reason.

Update: 5:00 p.m. (MT): Manafort is sentenced to 47 months. Quite a departure from the guidelines, which reportedly were 19 to 24 years (according to the Government and Probation.) As a defense lawyer, I say good for Judge Ellis for so publicly recognizing that the advisory guidelines are just the starting point. Judges may not even presume the guidelines to be reasonable. [More...]

Manafort will also get credit by BOP for the months served in pretrial detention.

This judge obviously knows that Manafort faces sentencing in D.C. in a few days. The D.C. charges are different than the Virginia charges. But in pleading guilty in D.C. to reduced charges, Manafort admitted he committed the conduct charged in the hung counts in Virginia. Each charge in D.C. carries a maximum of 5 years, which could be run together with or consecutive to each other and to the Virginia sentence. I think the Virginia Judge took that into consideration in determining his sentence. He raised it during a hearing on October 31 (Document 306), when he asked if the parties had agreed on concurrent sentences between D.C. and Virginia, and said he was troubled by the prospect of Manafort being sentenced in two courts for the same conduct.

The plea agreement in the D.C. case stated that both parties would ask for a concurrent sentence on the conspiracy charge pertaining to the tax and FBAR offense with the Virginia sentence. But the Government asserts it was relieved of all obligations when the D.C. Court found Manafort to be in breach of the agreement. I won't be surprised if the D.C. judge decides to make at least one of his sentences for conspiracy (maximum 5 years each) consecutive to the Virginia sentence, which would mean his total sentence could be 107 months.

Update: 4:40 p.m. (MT): The Judge is back on the bench. He says the sentencing guideline range is excessive. He states that Manafort lived an otherwise blameless life (meaning he had incurred no criminal charges prior to the Mueller Indictments.] He said he's been a generous friend and earned the admiration of numerous people.

Update: 4:25 pm (MT): Paul Manafort just spoke. He said he has been humiliated and shunned while in solitary. He talked about his family and said solitary confinement has been very hard on him. He said, "I know it is my conduct that brought me here," and "My life —personally and professionally — is in shambles." He didn't apologize for his offenses(reportedly the Judge already said during the hearing that he wouldn't give him any credit for acceptance of responsibility under the guidelines.) He asked for compassion from the judge. He told the Judge that he had been very fair with him and thanked him for giving him a fair trial.

The experts on TV are ridiculous. One woman on CNN just said Manafort's age is not a proper consideration for the judge. Wrong. The Judge can consider anything about Paul Manafort that he wants. She needs to go re-read the 18 USC 3553(a) factors. The guidelines are just the starting point, not mandatory and judges consider many, many personal factors (age, health, prior good works, conditions during childhood (abuse, poverty, etc.) to arrive at a fair and just sentence.

Team Mueller argued they got nothing they didn't already know from Mueller's 50 hours of debriefing. Doesn't that mean Manafort didn't provide them with anything useful about the Trump campaign's "collusion"? Also, keep in mind that had he not lied about the three or four things he lied about while cooperating, the government would have had no problem arguing just the opposite -- that he should get a reduction because of his valuable assistance in the investigation and prosecution of others.

This woman on CNN has got to go. She just said he could have gone to trial and it wouldn't have been held against him. She is obviously a prosecutor. Everybody else knows there is indeed a "trial tax" if you to trial and lose. There shouldn't be, but there is -- often over and above the 3 points you lose for the acceptance of responsibility adjustment. Relevant conduct that comes out at trial that would not have surfaced with a quick guilty plea often results in a higher sentence. Judges can even consider acquitted conduct, or conduct in hung counts. It can also sentence based on the uncorroborated testimony of a cooperator who is singing for his supper. If you look at the outcomes in most multi-defendant fraud and drug cases, you will see many if not most of the cooperators got a short sentence while the one who went to trial got 25 years, 40 years or life.

The judge is taking a recess and will come back to announce his decision.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Manafort (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:19:06 PM EST
    Shows zero remorse and whines about being "humiliated"

    In a statement in court

    Wow (5.00 / 7) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:41:13 PM EST
    Judge say "other than this" Manafort has led a "blameless life"

    Other than that how was the play Ms Lincoln?

    Seriously (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:54:33 PM EST
    Quite apart from the crimes he's charged saying a man who has spent his life working for some of the worst people on earth has led a "blameless life" is mind blowing.

    I and very glad judge Jackson is going last


    How is it that the Judge (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:05:09 PM EST
    came to know Manafort even better than his own daughters do?

    The whole thing is unbelievable (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:08:20 PM EST
    That a judge could say "he is only in court because he worked for Trump" (paraphrase)

    So f'ing what.  Is he guilty or not.  


    one daughter wrote (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:54:48 PM EST
    a very moving letter on his behalf.

    And meanwhile, the other daughter ... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 05:47:30 PM EST
    Jeralyn: "one daughter wrote a very moving letter on his behalf."

    ... disparaged her father's corruption by noting, "He has no moral or legal compass," and further warned her sister, "Don't fool yourself, that money we have is blood money."

    If there was ever a judge who was going to tilt the pinball machine in Manafort's favor, it was T.S. Ellis, who's displayed hostility to the Special Counsel's office from the very outset. But his preposterously appalling statement about Manafort having "lived an otherwise blameless life" only proves that judges can bullsh*t, too.

    For 30+ years, Paul Manafort shilled for the murderous dictatorial regimes of the Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi, and Ukraine's authoritarian Viktor Yanukovich. Then he capped off his career by betraying his country to the Russians.

    Judge Ellis insults our intelligence by intimating that this was "otherwise" some harmless little old man who was wrongly persecuted. Paul Manafort is a poster child for bad actors in Washington. Ellis should do everyone a favor and consider retirement.



    If Manafort has led a (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by vml68 on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:57:47 PM EST
    "blameless life", I am feeling pretty confident that I am a good candidate for canonization.

    Move over (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:11:00 PM EST
    I'm first.  Saint Zorba, the Patron Saint of cooks.  ;-)

    Such harsh language! (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by vml68 on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:31:15 PM EST
    Move over I'm first.

    I think you just disqualified yourself ;-)


    No baklava (none / 0) (#40)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:59:03 PM EST
    Or gyros for you!  😉

    HA (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 08:05:39 AM EST
    How could a detainee in solitary for his (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:54:49 PM EST
    own protection feel anything but "shunned"?

    Nice for Paulie (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:05:59 PM EST
    That the judge ignored the guidelines.

    Why do I think if he was not a rich white guy he would not be so lucky.

    You know today's sentence (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:36:35 PM EST
    only gets handed down to rich white men. This is outrageous. Makes a mockery of our judicial system.

    I am disgusted beyond belief.


    A four-year prison sentence, beginning (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:32:39 PM EST
    with many months of solitary confinement in a maximum security county jail, imposed on a 70-year-old (in a few weeks) first offender for a non-violent crime, coupled with loss of the wealth he accumulated through his (ugly but mostly lawful) life's work, and a $25 million obligation to pay restitution, is a significant punishment. Yes, other sentences that are harsher (and more unfair) are often imposed, particularly on the poor and non-white. But that is a reason to urge and work for fairer sentences for others (as many of us do every day), not a harsher sentence for Manafort. This is a reasonable and lawful sentence. Presumably, Judge A.B. Jackson in D.D.C. will impose a modest incremental term for that case; I would not expect today's sentence to be doubled next week.

    Thank you Peter (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:54:12 AM EST
    You are the only person commenting here that gets this. And you expressed it very well.

    I have already heard talk (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 08:16:12 AM EST
    This morning that yes it's good the judge said the guidelines are excessive so if that's true the guidelines need to be changed.

    So, point taken.  I wish I had more faith they will be.


    Expecting people to be glad (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:43:34 PM EST
    To see all our worst assumptions about our legal system  confirmed is a big ask.

    Less harsh sentences aerl nice and all.  My personal problem is they seem to only go to rich white guys.  So no, I am not glad that Manafort got a slap on the wrist.  

    But you were right about the sentence.  Definitely right.

    Personally at this point I hope Trump pardons him and NY state goes after him.  As it's been reported they have made plans to do.


    Nearly four years in prison is absolutely not (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:49:43 PM EST
    a "slap on the wrist." That's absurd.

    Manafort (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:57:29 PM EST
    Not only committed the crimes he was on trial for he continued to lie to the prosecutors right to the end.  He not only did nothing to mitigate his sentence he committed additional felonies while he was on trial.

    Do you honestly think, forget a black or brown person, that if I did that I would get one quarter of the minimum sentencing guidelines?


    the law should be applied (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 08:04:37 PM EST
    equally, and this case will be a huge benefit for minority and unwealthy defendants facing sentencing starting on Monday in that their lawyers will cite it as a grounds for a substantial variance in their cases.

    When the rich get a break, rather than complaining the person didn't deserve it, the better response is to ask that everyone else in that position (facing sentencing in federal court) get a similar break based on their indivual circumstances.


    I join you (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 08:06:26 PM EST
    In hoping for that result

    I (none / 0) (#66)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 09:10:26 AM EST
    agree up to a point, for the most part sentencing should be reduced across the board.

    However letting the "elite" slide while letting the lesser among us continue to suffer may not be the best way to get there.

    Throwing the book at the rich and privileged might be a better stimulus to bend the arc of justice than just about anything else.


    Not a fan of (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 05:53:04 PM EST
    long term sentences in general for "white collar" or non violent crime.  I would make prison a remedy to protect the public....as a last resort, i.e. for people like Charlie Manson.

    In terms of punishment, making someone pickup litter or work at some minimum wage job and forfeit half their wages to the government, would be a much better way to go imo.

    So, although  Manafort may have received a better sentence than many others or what the guidelines show, I am okay with it.  "Locking 'em up"  is what the other guys want.


    As much as I would love (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 06:01:59 PM EST
    Seeing Paulie picking up trash or working the return counter at Walmart that was never ever going to happen.  

    They have already painted him as so close to deaths door he might not make it to jail.

    As with much of this discussion IMO it sounds great in the abstract but changes nothing about the specific outcome we are discussing.


    There seems a pretty good (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:39:16 PM EST
    Possibility that Muellers final act could be conspiracy and if it does it will almost certainly include Manafort

    So there's that.


    he did not ignore the guidelines (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:59:48 PM EST
    All judges start with calculating the correct guideline range (which may be the same or different than the parties or probation's calculations).

    They then must consider the sentencing factors in 18 USC 3553(a) and arrive at a sentence that is sufficient but not greater than necessary to achieve the purposes of sentencing.

    The guidelines have been advisory only since 1995 when the Supreme Court decided Booker.


    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 08:05:05 PM EST
    Misinterptpreted this

    Quite a departure from the guidelines, which were 19 to 24 years. As a defense lawyer, I say good for Judge Ellis for so publicly recognizing that the advisory guidelines are just the starting point. Judges may not even presume the guidelines to be reasonable

    no apologies needed (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:58:33 AM EST
    Yes that's the range found by Probation and argued for by the Government, and from today's early reporting that the judge said the guidelines were "excessive", I assumed the Court agreed with. But now I'm not even clear on the guideline range the Court found -- he could either agree or disagree with the range recommended by Probation. So I will fix that to make it clearer. Sorry for any confusion.

    Actually the Booker decision was in 2005 (none / 0) (#46)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 08:16:33 PM EST
    not 1995. And let's take his occasion to remember that it was former TalkLeft principal, Chris Kelly (from Madison, WI), who won that super-important case before the Supreme Court, freeing judges (and defendants) from the tyranny of virtually mandatory "guidelines" that caused the imposition of countless excessive, irrational and cruel sentences.

    Booker was 2005 not 1995 (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:55:04 AM EST
    sorry and thanks Peter

    From Politico: (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:03:21 PM EST
    While prosecutors often settle for a guilty plea to a single serious charge, carrying, say, a 10-year minimum sentence, the government will pursue several such charges when a defendant goes to trial. Federal law typically requires that sentences for crimes involving use of a gun run consecutively, a phenomenon often referred to as "stacking."

    At the sentencing last week, Ellis called the result in Turner's case "excessive in the current circumstances." The judge also noted that prosecutors' decisions about how to frame the indictment led to the outcome. "You don't have to pursue every charge," he said.

    However, Ellis didn't really fault the prosecutors. He noted that because Turner decided to go to trial, they couldn't be sure he'd be convicted on all the counts, so it was logical to include several. The jury found him guilty on all of them, with two involving possession of a firearm while dealing drugs effectively extending his sentence by 30 years. Critics say the prospect of such sentences gives prosecutors extraordinary leverage and can induce defendants to plead guilty even in instances where they're not.

    The different perspectives of defense and (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 02:27:27 PM EST
    prosecution are appreciated and I have no particular quarrel with Manafort's sentence.  Indeed, I was expecting five years--off a little.

      However, I believe that a component of the reaction to the divergence from the previously billed guidelines is the Court's record.  During the trial Judge Ellis showed sympathy for Manafort and disdain for the government's case, seemingly for the very idea of a special counsel.  

    Judge Ellis was even required to rule against himself, admitting that an instance of his courtroom behavior may have created prejudice that needed to be cured---Ellis criticized the prosecution for allowing an expert witness (IRS agent) to remain in the courtroom when he himself granted such permission during the trial's opening arguments. Lamely, Judge Ellis told the jury that his "robe doesn't make me anything other than human."  True enough, but still.

    And, then there is the judge's gratuitous sentencing remarks.  The felon before him sentenced to almost four years in federal prison, was "a generous person", "involved in a lot of good things," and of course, the infamous: "an otherwise blameless life."

    I am not sure which of the dictionary's temporal definitions for "blameless" the judge would like us to take: innocent, guiltless, above reproach, above suspicion, beyond criticism, perfect, exemplary, or in the spiritual sense, sinless.  After all, Manafort claims to have been an altar boy.

    I, too, would like to see the criminal justice system reformed, including the often out-of-whack sentencing guidelines.  However, I am not sure that the circumstances of the Manafort trial and sentencing will move us in that direction.  More likely, in a reactionary direction, especially if the outcome is seen as being rich rather than poor and white and not right.

    Those who argue that the judge (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:21:34 PM EST
    noted the few and narrow charges in his court -- tax fraud, etc, (meaning, may we point out that Manafort defrauded the rest of us taxpayers by many millions of dollars) -- is fine, but it is not fine to ignore that the judge himself did not limit his comments to those charges and, indeed, brought in Manafort's entire and "otherwise blameless life."

    You, and he, cannot have both. The judge wanted to praise Manafort beyond the case beifre him, the judge wanted to criticize the very office of the special counsel. It may be understandable that lawyers championing lower sentences would seize upon this to beat that drum, but it rings hollow, illogical, and . . . well, worse, but I will leave it at that.

    Is it possible (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by CST on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:38:52 PM EST
    To take issue with the judge's comments and still find the sentence appropriate?

    I think its equally problematic how a lot of people argue for lower sentences but then also demand a pound of flesh when they don't like the guy.   I might even agree with the fact that the person is literally scum of the earth but that's also exactly how we got into this mess.

    Sure, there is a problem when one "side" unilaterally disarms and the other imposes selectively harsh punishments,  but I still find the sentiment problematic.


    I believe that it is entirely appropriate for (none / 0) (#90)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:47:02 PM EST
    a sentencing judge, in exercising discretion within the lawful range for the crime(s) of conviction, to take into consideration not only the intent and circumstances of the offense itself, but also the defendant's personal history and characteristics, looking at the entirety of their life, the good and the bad, the deprivations and disadvantages as well as the privileges and advantages. Nothing I have said about the Manafort sentence is in any way inconsistent with that belief.

    Don't disagree (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:51:53 PM EST
    With any of that.

    I would have to say either the judge clearly did not do that in this case if he has a very very different set of values than I

    Or apparently an awful lot of other people.


    Well, (none / 0) (#96)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 06:18:26 PM EST
    among his life's good deeds was his instrumental role in giving us Pence---and mother to boot.  That is worth knocking off a couple of years, right?

    Something you don't see everyday (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 10:24:19 AM EST
    But will he? (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:41:28 PM EST
    Trump is now threatening his political opponents with thug violence.

     "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump -- I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough -- until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad."

    This a-hole needs to go, and fast.


    maybe (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 10:57:11 AM EST
    Mueller is done with Manafort, but he is definitely not done with his sidekick
    "(Gates) continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations," attorneys told the court, according to NPR's Carrie Johnson, "and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time."
    Note the plural.

    Disturbing Post (3.00 / 1) (#48)
    by hilts on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 09:32:37 PM EST
    I'm deeply offended by your support for Judge Ellis' absurdly benign slap on the wrist to Paul Manafort especially given the fact that you're a defense attorney. Manafort is no choir boy. He worked for several dictators during his sordid career. I encourage you to read the Daily Beast article that I cited below.

    Scott Hechinger:
    "For context on Manafort's 47 months in prison, my client yesterday was offered 36-72 months in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room."

    Jimmy Ardoin
    "I represented a client in the EDVA who got 60yrs following a fraud trial. His crimes were nothing compared to Manafort."

    h/t https://www.thedailybeast.com/paul-manafort-sentence-lawyers-say-clients-got-harsher-prison-terms-fo r-retail-theft-stealing-lawnmowers?ref=home

    I read them all (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:51:46 AM EST
    and they don't change my opinion. He's not being sentenced for that stuff but for the crimes he was convicted of in Virginia (and only Virginia): five counts of filing a false tax return, for which he evaded $6 million of taxes, one count of Failure to File Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), and two counts of bank fraud for making false statements on two loan applications (one of which never even closed).

    The judge throughout this case said he's going to treat it like any other case. The case was not about Russia or collusion. Nor was it about the conduct in the D.C. case.

    Manafort spent 8 months in solitary which is huge. I think his sentence is consistent with other tax offenders with offshore accounts -- Manafort's sentencing brief included more than 20 such cases.

    4 years is no walk in the park. And he still has another sentencing to go.

    I wrote a long post on what seem to me to be inflated guideline calculations in this case, but I want to see what the judge ruled on the defense objections to the guidelines before posting it. I find it strange that no one is reporting on how the judge ruled on each objection (which he is obligated to do before imposing sentence.)


    Twitter Account... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 03:53:01 PM EST
    Recap (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 03:55:06 PM EST
    Judge tells the courtroom that Manafort is not being sentenced for anything related to the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian interference.
    Judge has denied one of Manafort's requests for a slightly reduced sentence already, related to how the judge should view the foreign banking and tax offenses. They are now discussing the severity of his mortgage fraud.
    Judge is digging into the legal teams' arguments over whether Manafort sought a $5.5 million loan and admitted lying to the bank to get the money - with the intention to cause harm to the bank. Judge is now considering Manafort's acceptance of responsibility.

    I expect a significant (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 04:02:34 PM EST
    Reduction from the guidelines

    Then there is (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 04:07:43 PM EST
    Part two

    In other words, not expecting the 24-year term (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:19:28 PM EST
    that the prosecutors are recommending, based on the Guidelines range with no credit for cooperation, but I would not be surprised at something approximating ten years. The statutory touchstone is "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" to achieve the many (and not always consistent) purposes of criminal prosecution and punishment.

    That statement (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:25:31 PM EST
    Seemed like a big middle finger.

    Seems like that might come into play?


    Twitter says (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:36:07 PM EST
    Back in session

    47 months (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:55:17 PM EST

    Lucky dude. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:56:59 PM EST
    They should go for (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 05:59:11 PM EST
    The hung counts

    Yes, (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:00:15 PM EST
    and aren't there more charges that can be brought in DC?

    He has another sentencing coming up. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:09:12 PM EST
    There are also (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:11:28 PM EST
    Charges that ended in a hung jury they could go after again.

    Not that I think they will.


    If I am remembering (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:12:20 PM EST

    No, Cap'n, I believe that is incorrect (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:02:09 PM EST
    Sentence should not be imposed until the court can dispose of all counts in the case, either by conviction and sentence, by entry of a judgment of acquittal, or by dismissal. So I would expect that the govt has filed dismissals of the hung counts. Jeralyn will probably be checking the docket later for stuff like that.

    After I left that comment (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:14:15 PM EST
    I did a quick search.  All I found was about a thousand articles on how Mueller/the government was requesting more time to decide if they wanted to take another run at the mistrial counts and some saying that time was granted but I couldn't find what if anything was decided. All in aug-oct of 2018.

    But I didn't try very hard.


    Rachel just explained this (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 08:37:31 PM EST
    The initially reserved the right to retry him but ended up having him admit his guilt in those mistrial counts and gave up that right.

    Washington Post: (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:21:32 PM EST
    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson could add up to 10 years when Manafort is sentenced in Washington. That hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

    His lawyer (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:26:23 PM EST
    Just made a one sentence statement that "there was no collusion with Russia"

    Could the be more flagrant in speaking to a audience of one?

    It's mind boggling they can so blatantly just say "everybody does this and he is only on trial because he worked for Trump"


    Correction (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:52:07 PM EST
    He actually said he did not collude with ANY RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL

    See here (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 07:57:18 PM EST
    especially Peter and my exchange in comments.

    Atlantic (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 06:50:55 PM EST
    good read

    A prison uniform represents the long-delayed and fitting epilogue to Paul Manafort's life story. It would be misleading, however, to declare this a moment of closure.

    Another (none / 0) (#57)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 05:56:22 AM EST
    Manafort managed to bring his life's project to a strange completion. He had devoted his career to normalizing corruption in Washington. By the time he was caught, his extraordinary avarice had become so commonplace, that not even a federal judge could blame him for it.
    So true, Manafort would have never been prosecuted if he had not gone to work for tRump, that seemed to irk Ellis from the get go.

    comment with (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 08:00:42 PM EST
    personal accusations about the judge deleted. Do not do that here.

    One of the biggest factors in (none / 0) (#49)
    by ragebot on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 10:44:37 PM EST
    how much time a perp gets in the pokey is what kinda criminal record they have.  Manafort was clean till Mueller investigated him.  If you have no criminal record, no matter how big a slime doggie you are, you get off easier than if you have a sheet as long as your arm.

    This is the origin of the term three time loser which was based on the theory that if you got convicted three times you get what amounts to a life sentence.

    As a rule white collar criminals do get off lighter than criminals who commit crimes where violence may be, or is, involved.  What ever faults Manafot has being a violent person is not one of them.  

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 11:09:01 PM EST
    you do not know about him organizing riots against American Marines in the Ukraine then.

    Right (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 11:37:40 PM EST
    His own daughter in hacked texts was quoted as saying that the money Manafort received from the Ukraine was "blood money," and that he had a hand influencing Yanukovych to order security forces to shoot anti-government protesters.

    The fact that you manage to have other people do your violent dirty work for you doesn't make you non-violent.


    Ragebot (none / 0) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 07:43:46 AM EST
    is using ironically using the mob defense.

    The point is (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by CST on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 08:47:17 AM EST
    He hasn't been convicted of any of those things.  You can't give someone a harsh sentence for other things they haven't been convicted of.

    Frankly,  for what he was charged with in this trial, 4 years seems about right to me.  The guidelines of 20+ years is an outrageous amount.

    The only problem I have is the double standard.    But that's not a problem with Manafort's sentence,  that's a problem with everyone else's.


    I wasn't (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 10:07:11 AM EST
    debating the sentence. I was debating the fact that Ragebot said he has shown no propensity for violence.

    An additional (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 10:31:03 AM EST
    problem that I have is the judge's statement that apart from the felony verdicts for which Manafort was being sentenced, he pronounced ..."an otherwise blameless life."

    ThIs statement appears to go beyond the relevant confines of the case, such as no previous convictions, to infer acceptance and approval of a life's behavior not before the court.

    The judge acts narrowly, as he should, and speaks broadly, as he shouldn't.   The judge exercised poor judgment that acknowledges, and may minimize Manafort's deeds.  Surely, Judge Ellis is aware, at a minimum, that Manafort awaits sentencing for felony pleadings in a federal court just a short Uber away.


    Honestly (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 10:39:51 AM EST
    It seemed like an intentional gift to Trump for justifying a pardon.

    What's the over under we will hear that again.

    Trump said no pardon NOW.   Because of the light sentence.

    Let's see what he says next week.  Which might be a different story.

    As I said in another comment, at this point I'm good with a pardon because it will kick the NY state plans into action.


    Your obsession with this man's punishment (none / 0) (#77)
    by McBain on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 01:34:00 PM EST
    is getting a little disturbing.  Do you want him sentenced for what he did or for what he represents to you?

    Well put... (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 01:55:27 PM EST
    ...sentenced for what he did or for what he represents to you

    Very well put...you immediately made me think of all the untold numbers of black folks and poor folks who are/were caged not for what they did, but what they represented to white folks and rich/powerful folks.


    I guess you could make (none / 0) (#80)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 02:25:11 PM EST
    the argument that Manafort, as an operative who made millions cozying up to repressive anti-democratic regimes is a member of a kind of minority in a sense.

    Not exactly what we think of as a persecuted minority, though.


    I'd be perfectly content (none / 0) (#82)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 02:36:02 PM EST
    if Manafort were sentenced to 3 years of 40 hrs a week community service in a Bowery soup kitchen, with no Jeff Epstein-like accommodations or wiggle-room.

    It'd be a much more valuable life lesson going forward for the guy, rather then him going to some place where he spends a few years commiserating with a bunch of incarcerated Manafort-wannabes.


    Hopefully you don't mean (none / 0) (#84)
    by McBain on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:08:38 PM EST
    that justifies a tougher than needed sentence against rich white folks.  I like how Jeralyn put it in comment #43 about how everyone should get the same "breaks".  

    It depends on what (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:14:04 PM EST
    those rich white folks have done, no?

    It's not like I think they all should be automatically drilled five times in the back.


    Only if they (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:15:35 PM EST
    "Don't cooperate"

    I tend to think cages... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:37:42 PM EST
    should be reserved for only the most irredeemable violent offenders who give us no other choice, but that's not the opinion of our justice system.  Restitution, community service, supervised release/probation both makes more financial sense and is more humane imo.

    But if we are going to cage as many as we do for as little wrong as they do (and we are)...in that case, I think I might just have to support tougher sentences for white collar big time financial crimes and frauds. It certainly makes more sense than tougher/longer sentences for people who commit minor financial/property crimes.  



    I am pleased (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:04:21 PM EST
    To disturb you

    You Most Certainly Can (none / 0) (#73)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:26:49 PM EST
    He hasn't been convicted of any of those things.  You can't give someone a harsh sentence for other things they haven't been convicted of.

    They do it all the time, I believe it is called a sentence hearing and you don't need to be convicted of something in order to have it be a factor in sentencing.

    Nassar would be a good example.


    The wheelchair and cane were a nice touch... (none / 0) (#52)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 07, 2019 at 11:50:50 PM EST
    Manafort becomes the fifth person sentenced under charges developed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

    George Papadopoulos - 14 days
    Alex van der Zwaan - 30 days
    Richard Pinedo - 6 mos jail, 6 mos home detention
    Michael Cohen - 38 mos
    Paul Manafort - 47 mos (so far)

    Flynn and Gates have yet to have their knuckles rapped.

    I think I'm sensing a pattern.

    Amy Klobuchar (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 07:45:28 AM EST
    speaks for me on the Manafort case here

    And then she got pi$$ed, ... (none / 0) (#113)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 09:48:19 PM EST
    ... threw a glass ashtray at her aide, called him less than useless, and then made him do her dishes and pick up her laundry from the dry cleaners.



    For All the Non-Defense Attorneys... (none / 0) (#62)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 08:31:11 AM EST
    ...Manafort is still looking at more time next week.
    Although Judge Ellis seemed swayed by the defense's arguments, Mr. Manafort may face a less sympathetic reception next week when he is sentenced in the District of Columbia on two conspiracy counts by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court. Those charges each carry a maximum of five years. Kevin Downing, one of Mr. Manafort's lawyers, asked Judge Ellis to order that Mr. Manafort serve both sentences simultaneously. But Judge Ellis said that was up to Judge Jackson.

    And sorry, but if you are looking at 19-24 years, 10 years is a damn dream, 4 is stooopid silly, it is the lottery of sentences.  Yes, I agree that it is important that judges have discretion, but I get the feeling by defense attorney comments that means everyone should get far below the recommendations, which would make recommendations useless.  By all accounts Manafort is a terrible human being who got filthy rich by promoting dictators who used violence and death to acquire power.  He has not even shown remorse and he continues.  What redeeming qualities does Paul Manafort have that would qualify him for ~20% of the recommended sentence ?  He wasn't convicted of a violent crime, if Paul Manafort doesn't get the max, who is the F should ?

    Should Say... (none / 0) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 08:34:48 AM EST
    ...  He has not even shown remorse and he continues to lie.

    You have not suggested any reason to think (none / 0) (#65)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 08:53:37 AM EST
    that the "U.S. Sentencing Guidelines" are appropriate and reasonable recommendations for fair sentences that should in fact suggest a proper benchmark for just punishment. They aren't and don't. They are an utter failure which has polluted our federal criminal law for over 25 years and have contributed mightily to the explosion of over-incarceration while providing a mask of pseudo-consistency.

    Agree and (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 10:56:01 AM EST
    Peter and I are among the dwindling group of defense lawyers (and prosecutors and judges) that have practiced both pre-guideline (1987) and post-guideline. There is a much beloved judge in my District that stopped taking criminal cases because  he found the guidelines so unfair, arbitrary and constraining to judicial discretion at sentencing. There is no "one size fits all" justice, every case is different and every offender is different.

    Fair Enough... (none / 0) (#75)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:49:47 PM EST
    ...but for the sake of sentencing today, are there alternative guidelines, or some other source that judges and juries can use that may be more appropriate ?  Otherwise there is no justice when sentencing for the same crime(s) can run from 4-24 years.

    Justice requires consistency, 4 years when guidelines call for 19-24, is, to me, a huge contribution to a 'mask of pseudo-consistency'.


    a murderer, a (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 11:15:41 AM EST
    serial prison rapist, a Bernie Madoff, the inmate who stuck his hand-tooled weapon into the eye of a prison guard at MCC in NY blinding him and causing permanent brain damage, an inmate who kills his cellmate and on and on. Not a tax offender who doesn't disclose off shore accounts and misrepresents his assets on his loan applications.

    The Question Posed Was (none / 0) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 12:33:33 PM EST
    He wasn't convicted of a violent crime, if Paul Manafort doesn't get the max, who is the F should ?

    He was convicted of a crime that doesn't involve violence, fraud, so throwing violent offenders into the mix for argument is silly.  What person convicted of fraud should get the maximum if not a person like Paul Manafort ?

    I am positive Jeralyn we had this same discussion when Madoff was convicted and you were making the argument that his punishment was way too stiff, now you are using him as a person who should get the long end of the guidelines, come on.


    Madoff's sentence was indeed too stiff (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 01:27:26 PM EST
    It was a hundred years beyond life expectancy. Outrageous judicial posturing. I don't think anyone should get a prison sentence a day longer than community protection and clear official denunciation require. Sentences exceeding five years' imprisonment should be rare. No one should get the "maximum" unless the maximum is a just sentence in service of the legitimate social objectives of the criminal justice system. The principle of parsimony is the right one: Sufficient, but no greater than necessary. This is what Beccaria said in 1764, and it remains the correct analysis.

    I would not have given Madoff life (none / 0) (#79)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 02:03:24 PM EST
    but you asked what crimes could justifiably result in a high sentence and Madoff's fraud was huge and affected many victims so I included him.  Sorry that I didn't see your question was limited to non-violent offenders.

    The Reason Madoff got the Library (5.00 / 5) (#97)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 07:37:26 PM EST
    ...thrown at him is simple

    HE RIPPED OFF RICH PEOPLE.  The kind of people who have judges and legislators on speed dial.

    Manafort merely ripped off little people and tax payers.


    No Problem... (none / 0) (#91)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 03:49:20 PM EST
    ...and you both make some pretty convincing arguments.

    Is there a link to the transcript of (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 08, 2019 at 07:58:18 PM EST
    the sentencing hearing?

    Judge Jackson (none / 0) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 10:38:02 AM EST
    Says his background is not "blameless" while not using those words.

    Not sure if I just had a comment deleted or I just neglected to post it after previewing it.

    Cut the (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 11:02:07 AM EST
    "No collusion" krap.

    It's insulting.


    7.5 (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 11:08:39 AM EST

    I'm ok with that.


    Those are federal charges, (none / 0) (#102)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 12:27:39 PM EST
    And presumably, Trump can commute his sentence or pardon him altogether.

    Cyrus Vance, Jr. is bringing (I believe, has just brought) state charges against Manafort.  If Manafort is found guilty and sentenced at the state level, the president cannot pardon him for that.
    The governor of New York could, but somehow, I don't see Andrew Cuomo pardoning Manafort, if Manafort is found guilty.


    I was just hearing speculation (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 05:14:26 PM EST
    That Trump will pardon Manafort specifically because he wants to goad Democrats into impeachment because he thinks it's the only thing that will save him.

    Makes a twisted kind of sense.


    Paul Manafort Was Just Indicted in New York... (none / 0) (#103)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 01:14:00 PM EST
    ...for real estate fraud. right after getting 4 more years:
    Manafort's sentencing involves a surprising amount of math.

    The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced to 47 months in prison in Virginia last week. However, the judge gave him credit for nine months he has already spent behind bars. This means Manafort only has 38 months remaining.
    Judge Berman Jackson sentenced him on two counts. One was for 60 months in prison and the second was for 13 months in prison for a total of 73 months.

    However, 30 of those months will be served concurrently with his sentence in Virginia. The rest will be served consecutively. This means it is only an effective addition of 43 months to his sentence.

    This means that Manafort was effectively sentenced to 90 months in jail combining the 47 months in Virginia and the 43 in Washington DC. He has already served nine of those months and thus 81 months remaining to be served.


    I agree with Snowden. (none / 0) (#104)
    by NoSides on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 03:06:58 PM EST
    Snowden tweeted:

    "Manafort: 47 months for a lifelong carnival of criminality.

    Petraeus: 0 days for trading the country's highest secrets for a more favorable biography.

    Manning: 35 YEARS for revealing evidence of actual war crimes to the press.

    Your sentence derives from your proximity to power."

    Lomo Saltado (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 06:18:25 PM EST
    Serves 2

    1 pound sirloin steak, cut in bite-size pieces
    2 garlic cloves, finely diced
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 red onion, thickly sliced
    2 tomatoes, cut in thick slices
    1 ají amarillo, cut in thin slices (or use 1 tablespoon ají amarillo paste)
    4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    4 tablespoons soy sauce
    Salt and pepper
    ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 cups French fries
    1½ cups cooked white rice
    Season the steak with salt, pepper, and garlic.

    Put a wok or a skillet over high heat. When very hot, add the oil and then meat, a few slices at a time so they turn golden brown instead of steaming. Transfer the cooked pieces to a bowl before adding more raw pieces to the wok. Repeat with all the steak.

    Add all the cooked steak pieces, onion, tomato, and ají amarillo to the same wok, stirring for a couple of minutes.

    Add the vinegar and soy sauce down the sides of the pan, and combine everything. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Turn off the heat, add the chopped cilantro, and serve at once with French fries and white rice.

    Instead of sirloin steak, I often use chicken, veggies (wonderful with portobello mushrooms cut in strips to substitute the meat), or shrimp. Nowadays chefs like making fashionable versions with spaghetti instead of rice and fries, or using the stir-fry as an empanada or tequeño filling.


    I did this today (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 11:47:39 AM EST
    I used both beef and portobello skipped the fries used cherry tomatoes, cause they taste like tomatoes, and long grain brown rice.

    Oh. My. God.  SO good.

    Try this.  It's easy and quick if you do the prep.  Just follow the instructions.


    I did this again (none / 0) (#161)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 16, 2019 at 11:14:45 AM EST
    With pasta.  Personally I think it was even better with fettuccini

    Had some a couple of weeks ago (none / 0) (#109)
    by vml68 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 07:05:52 PM EST
    Salon has a recipe occasionally (none / 0) (#110)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 07:15:42 PM EST
    This one turned up today.  Sounded amazing so I shopped.  Doing it tomorrow with giant portobello slices.  Then with beef.

    Hope Ms J is safe and warm.  Sounds like they are getting hammered.  It's raining so hard here I lost DirecTV for the first time since installation.

    So I'm watching TRIPLE FRONTIER which dropped today on NETFLIX.

    it's excellent.


    It is winding down here in the city. (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 08:46:55 PM EST
    Snow has pretty much stopped. Still a bit windy. Supposed to be done by midnight.

    Out on the badlands it is still going strong.


    My daughter and the kids.. (none / 0) (#114)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 09:50:38 PM EST
    were down in Carlsbad visiting the Caverns when the storm drove through.  There were overturned semis and cars on the road, some houses destroyed and some injuries, but no deaths.  Horrific winds all day today, 70 - 80 mph.  All home safe now.

    No bats at the caverns yet - they migrate from Brazil!


    Cat 1 hurricane winds here. (none / 0) (#116)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 10:17:44 PM EST
    Woke up to the alarm in the truck going off. Had to go down in my PJ's to turn it off - couldn't catch a breath going into the wind. Quite a struggle to even get the building door open.

    Roads closed all over. The road to DIA was a parking lot and the airport was deserted this evening.

    Lots of folks stranded in their cars. Some couldn't be reached by snowmobile or Cat. Power outages all over - trees downed but haven't heard of any fatalities.


    Check this out... (none / 0) (#117)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 11:06:41 PM EST
    Wow. (none / 0) (#118)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 12:35:39 AM EST
    That is incredible! Would like to see a video of that happening. That is a lot of tonnage to be blown over - that valley must be one heck of a wind tunnel.

    Well that was a huge (none / 0) (#119)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 01:14:50 AM EST
    storm system that ran through here and the rest of the country.  It's still windy but nothing like it was yesterday and earlier today.

    Baked Macaroni & Cheese (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 07:32:26 PM EST
    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

        1 (12 ounce) package macaroni
        1 egg
        2 cups milk

        2 tablespoons butter, melted
        2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
        salt and pepper to taste


        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
        In a large pot of salted water, lightly boil the macaroni for about 5 minutes until half-cooked.
        Whisk the egg and milk together in a large cup. Add butter and cheese to the egg and milk. Stir well.
        Place the lightly cooked macaroni in the prepared baking dish. Pour the egg and cheese liquid over the macaroni, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir well. Press the mixture evenly around the baking dish.
        Bake uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is brown.


        Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

    Nutrition Facts

    Per Serving: 968 calories; 45.4 g fat; 92.6 g carbohydrates; 45.6 g protein; 194 mg cholesterol; 736 mg sodium. Full nutrition



    Now.. (none / 0) (#115)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 09:52:11 PM EST
    this one, I can handle.

    Avgolemono Soup (none / 0) (#105)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 03:44:45 PM EST
    Egg-lemon Soup

    One large chicken, cut up
    One onion, quartered
    Two celery stalks, quartered
    Two carrots, quartered
    Two cloves garlic
    Two-four chicken bullion cubes
    One cup rice
    Four eggs, separated
    Juice of two lemons
    Boil chicken parts in water, adding chicken bullion cubes, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. When done, skim out the veggies, set the chicken aside, and skim the fat from the stock. (make sure you have about 8 cups--add canned stock or water plus bullion cubes to make 8 cups, if necessary). Bring the stock to a boil. Add 1/2 to 1 cup rice (depending on how "ricey" you like it). Reduce heat and simmer until rice is done. You can add some of the chicken meat, diced, if you want. Remove the pot from the heat. Separate 4 eggs. Beat egg whites until they peak. Add the beaten yolks, then slowly add the juice of two lemons, beating the whole time. Slowly add the stock, a little at a time, until you have added about two cups worth. Then pour the mixture back into the pot, stirring gently. (Take the skin off of the chicken pieces and brown the chicken in butter to serve alongside, or save the meat that you haven't added to the soup for another use.)


    fwiw, I've printed out every recipe (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 11:31:05 AM EST
    you've posted. Probably gonna do the spinach pie this weekend. I am guessing it tastes just as good cold, no?

    It's fine cold (none / 0) (#123)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 12:31:27 PM EST
    In fact, although we usually don't serve it cold, we generally serve it warm or at room temperature.
    My preference is slightly warm.

    Sounds good. My thought was to maybe (none / 0) (#124)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 12:48:30 PM EST
    grab a slice the next day for a quick breakfast as I headed out the door.

    That'll work (none / 0) (#125)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 01:28:03 PM EST
    Cheese, egg, spinach.  Good breakfast.
    BTW, if anyone wants to eliminate the butter, you can use olive oil to brush the phyllo sheets.  It's not quite as good, but it's still very tasty.

    Well, I got inspired by Pi day, (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:04:19 AM EST
    and our discussion, so I made your Spanakopita yesterday. One for the fam, and one for a potlock I went to last night. It killed in both venues. Had a slice for breakfast too. Great recipe!

    Try zorbas recipe (none / 0) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:08:15 AM EST
    For Moussaka.  If she has not posted it here I'm confident she will.

    You will not be disappointed

    It's has become a regular at my house.  Little bit of work but if you did spinach pie not a problem.


    Thanks, that'll be the next one up. (none / 0) (#148)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:38:06 AM EST
    I think I posted this moussaka recipe a (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:49:32 AM EST
    Long time ago, but here it is again:

    2 Tbs olive oil
    1 1/2 lbs ground lamb or half lamb half ground beef
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 cup red wine
    8 ounces tomato sauce
    2 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    3 lbs eggplant
    4 to 6 Tbs olive oil
    1 recipe Béchamel sauce (see below)
    1 cup bread crumbs
    2 cups grated kefalotyri cheese, or use Parmesan or Romano
    3 Tbs melted butter

    Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the chopped meat and onion and garlic and brown, stirring frequently to crumble the meat. Add the wine, parsley, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partly covered, for 30 minutes, until most of the liquid has been reduced. Meanwhile, peel and cut the eggplant into slices 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick and arrange on baking sheets. Brush both sides with olive oil and bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the eggplant is tender. Arrange half the eggplant slices in the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish. Sprinkle with half the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of cheese. Spread the meat mixture over the eggplant, followed by another 1/2 cup of cheese. Add another layer of eggplant, followed by the béchamel. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs on top, add another grating of nutmeg on top, and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Serves 6 to 8.

    6 Tbs butter
    8 Tbs flour
    4 cups milk
    Salt and white pepper to taste
    A grating of fresh nutmeg
    Two eggs

    Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it has lost the floury aroma. Do not allow to brown. Add the milk and stir, making sure to dissolve any lumps that have formed. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce comes to a simmer and becomes thick. Add the salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese, and nutmeg. Beat the eggs. Let the sauce cool a bit, then add a little of it at a time to the eggs, beating all the while, until about two cups has been incorporated, then slowly pour this back into the pot, still beating the whole time. Makes 4 cups.


    Got it! Thanks! (none / 0) (#152)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:22:26 PM EST
    You are (none / 0) (#153)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:28:01 PM EST
    Very welcome.

    If this recipe thing keeps going, I'm going to run out of recipes!
    Well, not any time soon, at any rate.


    Alright Zorba, after all the rave reviews (none / 0) (#159)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 01:36:29 PM EST
    I am going to have to try your version of Spanakopita. I love spanakopita and make it very often. I use a recipe from a greek cookbook I've had for 30 years.
    I have used only olive oil for the phyllo sheets but really prefer it with butter. Sometimes, I do half butter, half olive oil.

    You should realize (none / 0) (#160)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:00:51 PM EST
    That every Greek has a slightly different version of this.  (And pretty much every other Greek dish, as well.)  ;-)

    Yum (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 13, 2019 at 05:12:26 PM EST
    Doing this

    Interesting that (none / 0) (#126)
    by NoSides on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 02:14:16 PM EST
    a site, one that veers to the "left", shows no interest in people like Snowden, Manning, and zero compassion for Julian Assange.

    I have to wonder what Jeralyn thinks of how Assange is being treated - she being both an experienced and compassionate defense attorney as well as being a journalist of stature.

    Is there some kind of liason here with the Democratic party that trumps all else when it comes to Assange? I know that many Democrats blame Assange for Clinton's defeat. Personally, I do not. I personally like to know what is going on in the machinery of the Democratic party - and I find freedom of the press to be most valuable in our society - especially when the information provided is uncontested. I compare it to the Pentagon Papers that help to end the Vietnam war.

    Hopefully, the cataclysmic defeat in 2016 will be a beacon for internal change - and we will not wind up with a Biden in 2020 on the Democratic Ticket.


    Ohhh Snowden.......! (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 05:37:34 PM EST
    And I thought that you meant Snowdon.   See how that goes.

    Jamaican sweet potato pudding (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by leap on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 07:17:09 PM EST
    Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

    1 teaspoon(s) vanilla essence
    1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon powder
    1 whole nutmeg, grated
    1 teaspoon(s) mixed spice
    2 ounces  ground ginger
    5 pound(s) sweet potatoes
    1 tablespoon(s) white rum (or to your taste)
    2 cups coconut milk
    1 teaspoon(s) salt
    3 cup(s) dark sugar
    1 tablespoon(s) lime juice
    5 cup(s) water
    1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon powder
    1 cup(s) flour
    1/4 cup(s) margarine, melted
    3/4 cup(s)  sugar    
    3 ounce(s)  butter or margarine    
    2 tablespoon(s) white rum    
    1 cup coconut milk    
    1 tsp vanilla

    Peel, cut and grate sweet potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl.

    Add dark sugar, flour and raisins. Combine the coconut milk powder with water, mix well and add to the sweet potato mixture.

    Add melted margarine, nutmeg, mixed spice, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon powder, vanilla, rum, lime juice and browning and mix well.

    Scrape mixture into a greased 10 inch (25.4 cm) baking tin.

    Bake in a preheated oven 350 F or 180 °C (356 °F) for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours.

    Place sugar in a saucepan on low flame. Add butter or margarine and mix together with coconut milk. Add rum and vanilla. Simmer for 5 minutes or until it gets syrupy. Drizzle over pudding and serve.


    Interesting that (none / 0) (#141)
    by NoSides on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 09:45:30 AM EST

    a site, one that veers to the "left", shows no interest in people like Snowden, Manning, and zero compassion for Julian Assange.

    I have to wonder what Jeralyn thinks of how Assange is being treated - she being both an experienced and compassionate defense attorney as well as being a journalist of stature.

    Is there some kind of liason here with the Democratic party that trumps all else when it comes to Assange? I know that many Democrats blame Assange for Clinton's defeat. Personally, I do not. I personally like to know what is going on in the machinery of the Democratic party - and I find freedom of the press to be most valuable in our society - especially when the information provided is uncontested. I compare it to the Pentagon Papers that help to end the Vietnam war.

    Hopefully, the cataclysmic defeat in 2016 will be a beacon for internal change - and we will not wind up with a Biden in 2020 on the Democratic Ticket.


    Don't you have (none / 0) (#142)
    by leap on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 09:56:27 AM EST
    enough recipes, yet? You know, there are thousands of recipe sites on the tooobs.

    I love it's reduced (none / 0) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 10:11:53 AM EST
    To reposting the same comment.  

    What's that thing about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?


    Greek octopus stew (none / 0) (#154)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:37:22 PM EST
    Oktopodi stifado

    Recipe Ingredients:
    12 cups water
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
    3 pounds of octopus (will need about 2 whole octopus), cleaned
    3 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cups red wine
    2 bay leaves
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    5 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

    Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot set over high heat. When the water boils, add 1/2 cup of the olive oil and then the octopus and boil over medium-high heat for 30 minutes with the pot uncovered. Drain the water and let the octopus cool.

    Run octopus under cold water once you can handle them and peel away the dark skin. Cut the octopus into 1/2 inch pieces after you peel it.

    Add the rest of the olive oil to a skillet set over medium heat and add the shallots. Saute for a few minutes and then add the octopus. Saute them together for an additional five minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another two minutes.

    Add the wine and stir the pan with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom. Add the bay leaves, salt, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes, and wine vinegar and stir the ingredients together. Heat over medium until the mixture boils. Reduce the mixture to a simmer and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley just before serving. Note, you can cut the octopus into larger pieces if desired.


    Ham and banana Hollandaise (none / 0) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:08:38 PM EST
    6 medium bananas
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    6 thin slices boiled ham (about 1/2 lb)
    3 tablespoons prepared mustard
    2 envelopes (1 1/4-oz size) hollandaise sauce mix
    1/4 cup light cream

    1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter 2-quart, shallow baking dish.

    2. Peel bananas; sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, to prevent darkening.

    3. Spread ham slices with mustard. Wrap each banana in slice of ham. Arrange in single layer in casserole. Bake 10 minutes.

    4. Meanwhile, make sauce: In small saucepan, combine sauce mix with 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and cream. Heat, stirring, to boiling; pour over bananas. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until slightly golden. Nice with a green salad for brunch or lunch. Makes 6 servings

    Howdy, I am shocked (none / 0) (#130)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:15:56 PM EST
    Shocked, I tell you! that you use a sauce mix for the hollandaise!!!

    It's not hard to make and you don't have to use a hand whisk and a double boiler.

    I present to you, blender hollandaise:

    3 egg yolks
    1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
     1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco(TM))
    1/2 cup butter

    In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.
    Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

    Much better than the package stuff.


    It would be a crime (none / 0) (#131)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:18:07 PM EST
    To pour that over ham and bananas

    Well, yeh (none / 0) (#132)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:30:46 PM EST
    But you can use the ham if you want (in place of Canadian bacon) on English muffin toast, with poached eggs, and the hollandaise on that, for eggs Benedict.

    Hollandaise on steamed fresh asparagus or broccoli is also great.


    This Past Year... (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:34:56 AM EST
    ...I have become a poached egg aficionado.  Eggs Benedict is my favorite all time breakfast food and pretty high up there as all time favorite meals.

    I love bananas; I love Hollandaise Sauce; I love good ham; I will never mix the 3.


    I love (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:43:35 AM EST
    Eggs Benedict, too.  It's certainly, if not my absolute favorite, in the top two or three.

    (Mr. Zorba, while he loves eggs Benedict, prefers my feta and sautéed peppers omelette.)


    Best Omlette I Ever Had... (none / 0) (#156)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:45:44 PM EST
    ...was a gyro omelette from Ma Fishers in Milwaukee.  Tried to replicate at home several times, no-can-do.  But Gyro meat and eggs are a damn good combo.

    Also (none / 0) (#149)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 11:41:44 AM EST
    Numbers Cooler Than Pi is Click Bait (none / 0) (#155)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:38:47 PM EST
    I have my pi shirt on today, unfortunately couldn't wear it yesterday, today is casual Friday.

    Becoming a serious pet peeve with me, Pi Day being exploited by folks selling stuff related to pies or things called pi/pie that have nothing to do with the number.

    FYI, the only number than even comes close to pi is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.  What is that number ?


    42 (none / 0) (#167)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 19, 2019 at 03:58:45 PM EST
    Please tell me this recipe is not for real. (none / 0) (#134)
    by vml68 on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 05:04:57 PM EST
    It sounds positively vile.
    My apologies if it is a favorite food or a family recipe.

    Your recipe reminds me of these that I saw yesterday.


    Totally (none / 0) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 05:13:52 PM EST

    It was the most revolting thing I could find.  Although I have many runner ups book marked


    OMG! (none / 0) (#139)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 07:56:47 PM EST
    I looked through some of the recipes on that site and......

    I'd say that words fail me, but that's not true.  I looked at a recipe for moussaka in a hurry and it had cheddar cheese soup!  I pronounce anathema on whoever came up with that abomination.


    Campbell's makes cheddar cheese soup (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Jack E Lope on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 08:52:35 AM EST
    I tried their Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup years ago.

    Abomination is correct.  


    HA (none / 0) (#137)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 05:52:06 PM EST

    that was awsum.

    Another site I found was on the 50s obsession with jello molds and aspic


    Greek Veal Sofrito (none / 0) (#128)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:10:09 PM EST
    From Corfu

    Ingredients - 2 pounds veal thinly sliced. 4 cloves of garlic, chopped. 1 medium onion, chopped, 1 shot glass of white wine vinegar. 1 wine glass of dry white wine. 1 bunch of fresh Italian parsley, chopped (leaves and tender stems). 1 stalk of rosemary, remove and save leaves and discard stem. 3 sage leaves, chopped. 1 teaspoon of salt. 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Dash of cayenne pepper. 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Olive oil for frying. Flour for dredging. 2 cups or more chicken broth.

    In a large frying pan, add a little oil and bring it to a high heat. Put the flour on a large plate, dredge the strips of meat, and brown on both sides. Place in a large pot and set aside. Clean out the frying pan, add four tablespoons of oil and bring to a medium heat. Saute the garlic, onions and parsley. When the garlic starts to change color, onions are tender, and the parsley wilted, add the pepper, salt, wine, vinegar, cayenne . Stir well and pour over the meat. Add enough chicken broth to the pot to barely cover the meat. Holding the handles, shake the pot gently to mix the ingredients without stirring. At the point where it comes to a boil, add the rosemary and sage and shake the pot gently again. Lower heat to medium low, cover, and cook about an hour or so, until meat is tender.

    Serve with French fries, mashed potatoes, or oven roasted potato wedges. Plus some crusty bread and, of course, the rest of the wine.


    Sounds much better than (none / 0) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 14, 2019 at 03:14:53 PM EST
    Ham and banana hollandaise

    As I Was Reading the Artricle... (none / 0) (#157)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:53:10 PM EST
    ...he mentioned some kind of sauce he cooked up and I was thinking I bet hollandaise sauce would go great with it.  Or maybe on a open face ham sandwich.  I have only ever put it on eggs and asparagus, but I bet it would go on all kinds of things.

    I use the packets too, and instead of butter, I use olive oil.


    Comment Posted at Wrong Comment (none / 0) (#158)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 at 12:55:58 PM EST
    My bad.

    Served my clay cook pot chicken (none / 0) (#162)
    by fishcamp on Sat Mar 16, 2019 at 04:07:53 PM EST
    to some friends down from Aspen last night.  I soak the clay pots in water for 45 minutes, then put celery on the bottom, stuff the big roaster with blanched turnips that I cut to look like potato's, plunk the chicken in with onions, carrots, potatos, and bay leaves.  The lid goes on and it goes into a cold oven set at 390 degrees for two hours.  The moisture is absorbed into the chicken so it's moist and delicious.  Patty brought over cheese lasagna with meatballs separate.  She also baked a delicious cake for desert.  Way too much food

    I used to fix that same dinner in Aspen for their family when the kids were little.  Unfortunately Jon the father is on the way out with a rare disease named Amyloidosis.  Only about four thousand cases here in the states.  We took him for two short boat rides and that was fun.  He's hanging on and in good spirits.  The children are now 24 and 32 years old, and watch him like a hawk.  He came down to say goodby to me.  Quite an honor.  I'm sad.

    So sorry about your friend, fishcamp. (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by caseyOR on Sat Mar 16, 2019 at 04:51:29 PM EST
    Friends and loved ones dying, man, it never gets easier. I am glad for both of you that you had this visit and the chance to say goodbye. And sad that you have to deal with this approaching loss.

    I'm so (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 16, 2019 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    glad you got that have that time with your friend. I hope you made some good memories.

    I have a friend who swears by clay pot baking. She says it produces the same results you are saying and super easy to boot.


    Sorry about your friend... (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 16, 2019 at 07:33:09 PM EST
    It's nice that you have this opportunity to have some nice times together and to say goodbye.  

    So sorry fishcamp. So sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 18, 2019 at 03:54:21 PM EST
    You honored each other. (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 19, 2019 at 04:59:08 PM EST
    So nice that you had an opportunity to share a meal together and for your friend and family to spend precious time with you in the beautiful Keys.  

    Thank you all very much. (5.00 / 2) (#169)
    by fishcamp on Wed Mar 20, 2019 at 10:07:32 AM EST
    His daughter just called and said we will probably lose him in about a week.  I'm quite amazed he was able to make the trip down here, go for a boat ride, dinners, and see friends.  He was a great sportsman and owned Aspen Outfitters for years.  His son runs the business now.

    I'm sorry to hear that sad news (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 20, 2019 at 02:30:23 PM EST
    about your friend, Fish.

    Where would we be without our good friends and loved ones.


    My friend Jon passed away last night in Aspen. (none / 0) (#171)
    by fishcamp on Thu Mar 21, 2019 at 12:32:01 PM EST
    He passed peacefully with his two children by his side.  It seems so unnatural since he was here in the Keys last week going out to dinner with us and even went for a boat ride.  

    I am sorry for your loss Fishcamp. (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by vml68 on Thu Mar 21, 2019 at 02:56:05 PM EST
    I am glad you got to spend a few days with your friend before he passed away.

    I'm sorry (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 21, 2019 at 04:07:53 PM EST
    you lost your friend, fish.

    Very, very sorry fishcamp. (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 21, 2019 at 04:08:35 PM EST
    My deepest (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 21, 2019 at 07:18:10 PM EST
    Sympathies, fish.  So sorry.

    I'm so sorry for you, fish (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by leap on Thu Mar 21, 2019 at 07:49:55 PM EST
    It's so tough to lose an old friend.