Author Archives: AZ BlueMeanie

Special Counsel flips Rick Gates, will testify against Paul Manafort

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is rolling up witnesses to get them to flip and to testify against other witnesses, to get them to flip and to testify against other witnesses, working his way up the ladder to the top in classic prosecutorial fashion.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Special Counsel has got Rick Gates to flip to testify against Paul Manafort, to bring pressure to bear on Manafort to get him to flip against higher-ups. Former Trump aide Richard Gates to plead guilty; agrees to testify against Manafort, sources say:

A former top aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.

The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

“Rick Gates is going to change his plea to guilty,” said a person with direct knowledge of the new developments, adding that the revised plea will be presented in federal court in Washington “within the next few days.”

That individual and others who discussed the matter spoke on condition of anonymity, citing a judge’s gag order restricting comments about the case to the news media or public.

Gates’ defense lawyer, Thomas C. Green, did not respond to messages left by phone and email. Peter Carr, a spokesman for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, declined on Saturday to comment.

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#MeToo Movement revisits Clarence Thomas: a case for impeachment

The #MeToo movement has begun to hold powerful men who have abused women accountable for their actions. Many of these men have engaged in such behavior for decades, as the Harvey Weinstein case illustrates.

This has led Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times and the co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, a 1994 book about his controversial confirmation hearing, to revisit the issue in the current cover story of New York Magazine. Do You Believe Her Now?: With new evidence that Clarence Thomas lied to get onto the Supreme Court, it’s time to talk seriously about impeachment:

On the same fall night in 2016 that the infamous Access Hollywood tape featuring Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault was made public by the Washington Post and dominated the news, an Alaska attorney, Moira Smith, wrote on Facebook about her own experiences as a victim of sexual misconduct in 1999.

“At the age of 24, I found out I’d be attending a dinner at my boss’s house with Justice Clarence Thomas,” she began her post, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court justice who was famously accused of sexually harassing Anita Hill, a woman who had worked for him at two federal agencies, including the EEOC, the federal sexual-harassment watchdog.

“I was so incredibly excited to meet him, rough confirmation hearings notwithstanding,” Smith continued. “He was charming in many ways — giant, booming laugh, charismatic, approachable. But to my complete shock, he groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should ‘sit right next to him.’ When I feebly explained I’d been assigned to the other table, he groped again … ‘Are you sure?’ I said I was and proceeded to keep my distance.” Smith had been silent for 17 years but, infuriated by the “Grab ’em by the pussy” utterings of a presidential candidate, could keep quiet no more.

Tipped to the post by a Maryland legal source who knew Smith, Marcia Coyle, a highly regarded and scrupulously nonideological Supreme Court reporter for The National Law Journal, wrote a detailed story about Smith’s allegation of butt-squeezing, which included corroboration from Smith’s roommates at the time of the dinner and from her former husband. Coyle’s story, which Thomas denied, was published October 27, 2016. If you missed it, that’s because this news was immediately buried by a much bigger story — the James Comey letter reopening the Hillary Clinton email probe.

Smith, who has since resumed her life as a lawyer and isn’t doing any further interviews about Thomas, was on the early edge of #MeToo. Too early, perhaps: In the crescendo of recent sexual-harassment revelations, Thomas’s name has been surprisingly muted.

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March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. and around the nation (Updated with additional protests)

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday, appeared on the the Sunday morning bobblehead shows and announced “March for Our Lives,” a demonstration for new gun control legislation scheduled for Saturday, March 24, in Washington, D.C., and cities around the country.

The students have set up a web site, https://www.marchforourlives.com, and a Facebook page.

On March 24 we will take to the streets of Washington, DC and our communities across the country. We will be the last group of students who have to stand up for fallen children due to senseless gun violence. March with us. Sign up at marchforourlives.com.

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Trump and GOP Congress leave our elections vulnerable to Russian attack, Democrats offer a plan to secure our elections

Following the announcement on Friday that 13 Russians and an American citizen have been indicted for their role in foreign interference in the 2016 election, our Twitter-troll-in chief responded like a defendant demonstrating Consciousness of Guilt:

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Trump has posted a series of tweets over the weekend asserting his innocence and attempting to cast blame on others for the Russian attack on the 2016 election. But Trump has not responded as any American president would, whose solemn duty it is to protect the nation at war with a hostile adversary. Trump has not been critical of his pal Vladimir Putin, nor condemned the Russian interference in the 2016 election, nor kicked Russian diplomats out of the country, nor imposed the sanctions mandated by Congress that he has so far refused to impose. He has done nothing to hold Russia accountable for its actions.

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Steve Kerr: ‘Vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives’

University of Arizona basketball legend and current coach of the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, had some words of advice on a subject near and dear to him — gun violence — following the mass shooting in a Florida high school this week. VIDEO.

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Steve Kerr on Florida shooting: ‘Vote people in who actually have the courage to protect’:

Steve Kerr is not sticking to sports.

The Golden State Warriors head coach who is seldom hesitant to speak his mind on non-basketball issues was asked Wednesday his thoughts on the shooting at a Florida high school earlier in the day that has left at least 17 dead, the latest in a plague of U.S. mass killings perpetrated by citizens with access to military-style assault rifles.

Kerr was blunt in his criticism of federal lawmakers, the National Rifle Association and a White House whose national security priorities focus on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Well, nothing has been done. It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day, in schools. It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater.  It’s not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That’s demoralizing.”

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives, and not just bow down to the NRA because they have financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we’ll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues.  Not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semiautomatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It’s disgusting.”

Kerr’s statement will rile up the stick-to-sports crowd. But Kerr doesn’t care.

Kerr has previously said gun control should be considered a public health issue.

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Political Calendar: Week of February 18, 2018

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Political Calendar for the Week of February 18, 2018:

Sunday, February 18, 3:00 p.m.: Arizona Democratic Party’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus Election Season Kickoff and New Year Social, at the Island Plate Lunch Hawaiian restaurant, 5575 E. River Road (at Craycroft), #141, Tucson. Join the AZ Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus to kick off the 2018 Election Season in conjunction with the start of the Lunar New Year. Enjoy delicious food, meet local Democratic candidates and learn about important issues.This is a FREE event, but an RSVP is appreciated! Please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/1561942400549342/ or call (520) 309-6114.”

Monday, February 19: Presidents Day observed.

Monday, February 19, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. Featured speaker is Robert Bulechek on “Energy Issues & TEP Rate Case.” Next Week: Deedra Abboud, candidate for U.S. Senate.

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