Daily Archives: March 1, 2018

Why Do We Tolerate a Gun Expo on Public Property?

Gun showFor a $120 fee any arms dealer can rent a table at this weekend’s gun show at the Pima County Fairgrounds and sell AR-15s and any kind of assault weapon.

There is no background check for buyers. Any maladjusted psycho can purchase a weapon of war. All you need is a driver’s license that says your 18 or older.

At a time when students and parents are mobilizing a nationwide protest on March 24 against gun violence, it is wildly wrong that public property is being used to flood our streets with guns.

The March For Our Lives in Tucson will take place Saturday, March 24 at 11 AM – 4 PM at Jacome Plaza Tucson, 10 West Pennington Street. However, just 20 miles down Interstate 10, dozens of dealers at the Pima County Fairgrounds will be selling AR-15s, just like the weapon that killed 17 students in Parkland, Florida.

Calls and emails to Fairgrounds spokesperson Launa L. Rabago were not returned.

Attractive to criminals

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) estimates on average 2,500 to  5,000 gun shows are held annually. In general, between 25% to 50% of sellers are not licensed dealers. The access to anonymous sales and the availability of large numbers of secondhand guns makes gun shows attractive to criminals and other prohibited purchasers. A federal study found that 10% of guns used in crime by juveniles were sold either at a gun show or a flea market, and in 1999, gun shows were associated with approximately 26,000 firearms used in crime.

The Fairgrounds are managed by Southwestern Fair Commission, Inc., a non-profit, private corporation, established in 1975 by Pima County to operate the fairgrounds and the Pima County Fair.

The Board of Directors are Marvin Selke, President; Judy Patrick, Secretary; Alan Levin, Director; Jim Murphy, Director; Mark Cowley, Director; Garrett Ham, Director; and Ronald Allen, Director. Jon Baker is the Executive Director.

The board sees no problem using our taxpayer dollars and public property to promote the easy access to guns. It’s time to close the gun show loophole right here in Tucson.

Trump again improperly attempts to influence Department of Justice

Last summer we witnessed one of the more truly bizarre incidents in American history, President Donald Trump belittling and berating his Confederate Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III — his earliest and most loyal supporter — for having recused himself from the Russia investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI because of his undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador during the campaign, leading to Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

For some reason, Trump appears to believe that the Department of Justice is his personal law firm, and that the Attorney General is his consigliere whose duty it is to protect the president from any legal investigations, and to pursue his political opponents with retaliatory prosecutions. This is what authoritarian tin horn dictators from banana republics do.

This is America: the independence of federal law enforcement from interference by the office of the president is sacrosanct.

Trump’s goal was to make life so miserable for Jeff Sessions that he would feel compelled to resign, since it would not look good to fire him after having fired FBI Director James Comey.  Sessions did offer his resignation, but Trump refused his resignation. Sessions offered to resign before Trump’s trip abroad:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his resignation to President Donald Trump amid Trump’s rising frustration with the series of events that culminated in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign’s contacts with Russian officials during last year’s election.

Trump ultimately refused Sessions’ offer, which came just before Trump embarked on his first international trip in late May, according to a person who regularly speaks with Sessions.

Trump later demanded Sessions’ resignation, but he decided not to accept it at the urging of White House advisers.

Sessions has sought to get back in the president’s good graces by pursuing policies he favors, and the Twitter-troll-in-chief quieted down his bizarre belittling and berating of his Attorney General on Twitter.

But after a busy week last week for the Special Counsel racking up plea deals and filing criminal indictments against multiple persons in the Russia investigation, Trump is now in a panic.

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Little ‘white lies’ leads to loss of Hope

Donald Trump treats his White House Communications Director Hope Hicks like a daughter (he affectionately calls her “Hopey”). There is no one Trump trusts more.  Hicks is his longest-serving aid whom he brought with him from his company. Pundits commenting on Hicks’ loyalty to Trump joked that she would be there to “turn the lights out when the Trump administration ends.”

Earlier this week, “White House communications director Hope Hicks refused to answer questions about the Trump administration that House investigators posed Tuesday as part of their probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.” In Russia probe, Hope Hicks refuses to answer questions about Trump administration:

But under pressure from lawmakers, she began to offer some details about the transition period Tuesday afternoon, according to House Intelligence Committee members of both parties, who said Hicks and her attorneys agreed to address topics broached with the Senate Intelligence Committee in an earlier private interview.

Democrats and Republicans emerging from the House Intelligence Committee’s interview with Hicks on Tuesday noted that, at first, she categorically resisted answering any questions about events and conversations that had occurred since President Trump won the election, even though Trump has not formally invoked executive privilege with the panel.

“No one’s asserting privilege; they’re following the orders of the White House not to answer certain questions,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), a committee member, after the interview had been going for about four hours.

“There’s no hope to get all our answers,” he added, noting the pun and adding: “Tip your servers.”

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‘The Kush’ has to go – drain the swamp of corruption (Updated)

The “Secretary of Everything” in the Trump administration, son-in-law Jared Kushner, is having a really bad week.

Jared had his security clearance pulled by Chief of Staff General John Kelly because he has not been able to pass a FBI background check after more than a year, because Jared has not been forthcoming about his foreign contacts and business dealings on his SF-86 form. For anyone else, that gets you terminated and/or prosecuted for lying on the SF-86 form.

“Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter.” Kushner’s overseas contacts raise concerns as foreign officials seek leverage.

We previously learned that Jared was negotiating financing for his business interests during the transition. Mueller Eyes Kushner’s Pursuit of Foreign Financing:

During the transition period, Kushner (reportedly) met with the chairman of the Chinese firm Anbang Insurance, in hopes of securing a $400 million investment in his family’s flagship property at 666 Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, his company also (reportedly) sought $500 million in capital from the former prime minister of Qatar for the same project.

And let’s not forget that Jared asked the Russian ambassador for a “back channel” to Moscow to avoid detection by the U.S. intelligence agencies during the transition. Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin.

‘The Kush’ is a whole bucket full of red flags of national security risks. He should have been gone a long time ago.

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