Category Archives: Elections

The Trump crime family cashes in before the Special Counsel closes in

Most of you are already familiar with the three emoluments clause cases filed against Donald Trump for profiting off of foreign governments at his properties as president.

The first case filed by the ethics group CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) was dismissed for lack of standing, but that case is currently on appeal.

In the second case brought by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia (No. 8:17-cv-01596), U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte of the District of Maryland ruled that D.C., Maryland can proceed with lawsuit alleging Trump violated emoluments clauses. Judge Messitte rejected an argument made by critics of the lawsuit — that, under the Constitution, only Congress may decide whether the president has violated the emoluments clauses. But Messitte’s ruling also narrowed the lawsuit’s scope to the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., saying that the District and Maryland had standing to sue because they could plausibly claim to have been injured by Trump’s receipt of payments from foreign and state governments.

The third case was filed by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress, Blumental et. al v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:17-cv-01154), and is presently scheduled for a hearing on a motion to dismiss on June 7, 2018.

The Trump Hotel is only the tip of the iceberg according to reporting over the past week.

Continue reading

Obstruction of justice in plain sight

Last month after the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York executed search warrants against the homes and offices of Michael Cohen, negotiations between the White House and the Special Counsel for an interview of President Trump reportedly broke down (pro tip: this is all kabuki theater, Trump’s lawyers have absolutely no intention of ever allowing their client whom they know to be a pathological liar to ever sit for an interview, or to testify; Trump will “take the Fifth” in the end).

It was widely reported at the time that the Special Counsel could wrap up the obstruction of justice phase of the investigation “as early as May or as late as July.” Trump, Mueller teams prepare to move forward without presidential interview.

On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s “TV lawyer,” asserted that Mueller Hopes Obstruction Inquiry Into Trump May Wrap Up by Sept. 1:

Mr. Giuliani said that the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, shared its timeline about two weeks ago amid negotiations over whether Mr. Trump will be questioned by investigators, adding that Mr. Mueller’s office said that the date was contingent on Mr. Trump’s sitting for an interview. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.

Giuliani has made a number of claims recently about what the Special Counsel has allegedly told him which I find suspect, and which has not been verified by the Special Counsel. For all we know, this shyster lawyer is just making up shit.

Continue reading

Democratic Candidates for Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Seat Renew their Demand for Gun Safety

Democratic candidates for Congress in CD2:

Democratic candidates for Congress in CD2: Yahya Yuksel, Billy Kovacs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz.

On the day when a teenage shooter killed 10 and injured 10 at a Texas school, all seven of the CD2 Congressional candidates renewed their demand for gun safety legislation.

The candidate forum took place on Friday, May 18, for the residents at an active-living retirement community in Tucson. The candidates are Yahya Yuksel, Billy Kovacs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz.

Mary Matiella

“My heart is broken over the shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. That is horrible. One more time we are just beyond ourselves with the pain we feel.”

“I have a cousin who was murdered in her home in front of her children. The most vulnerable are the children in schools. Women in the US are 15 times more likely to be killed by a gun than in other developed countries. We have to do something big. All we want is sensible gun legislation. We’re not trying to take on the Second Amendment. We should keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Why would you not do that?”

Ann Kirkpatrick

“Just today my heart was broken one more time because 10 families are not going to have their children home for dinner because of a school shooting today. I was a law clerk for Judge John Roll when he was shot and Gabby was injured. It was something I’ll never, ever get over. Enough is enough.”

“Preventing gun violence has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It says people in the US have a right to bear arms and to have a well-regulated militia. What we have is a completely unregulated system, that we need to have regulated to keep our children and victims of domestic violence safe, and to keep terrorists from getting guns in our country.”

Continue reading

The anatomy of a right-wing conspiracy theory, debunked

The conservative media entertainment complex is a mixture of wild conspiracy theories and right-wing propaganda. Its goal is to create alternative facts and to distract from the known truth, in creating a post-truth society in which facts do not matter. In a just world, this would be considered a crime against humanity.

This week the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel and National Review’s Andrew McCarthy opined that a secret “source” of the FBI and CIA was used against the Trump campaign. When he appeared on Rupert Murdoch owned FAUX News aka Trump TV’s Fox and Friends, McCarthy went further: “There’s probably no doubt that they [FBI] had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.”

As we all have sadly come to learn, from Fox and Friends lips to the ears of the Twitter-troll-in-chief Donald Trump: a conspiracy theory is born. Trump marks Mueller anniversary by claiming FBI ‘spied’ on his campaign.

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 8.58.40 AM

Continue reading

Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

This is part one of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. 

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

Republicans at this month’s Pima County GOP meeting gave rousing rounds of applause to tea party darling Kelli Ward, a primary candidate for US Senate, who gloated over her lead in recent polls, fawned over Ted Cruz and ripped into fellow Republicans Martha McSally and John McCain.

Republicans packed the meeting last Tuesday at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, with a crowd of 75 to 100 people. Ward was repeated greeting with loud applause.

Asked how she differentiates herself from her rival, Congressman Martha McSally, Ward said:

“You all live in Martha’s district. You all know how she’s been as a congresswoman. In language that she can understand: she’s failed the check ride [a pilot’s exam — because McSally was a pilot].  We certainly don’t promote the people who failed the check ride, we promote people who get the job done. I have a 98 rating with the American Conservative Union, tied with Mike Pence.”

“Passion Points”

She called her platform “passion points” including the following:

  • Ejecting the UN from the United States. “I don’t think that they should be on United States soil. I don’t we should be investing so much money in the UN,” she said.

Continue reading

Buzzfeed investigative report on Michael Cohen and Trump Tower Moscow

Investigative reporters Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold at Buzzfeed, in a lengthy investigative report, have The Definitive Story Of How Trump’s Team Worked The Trump Moscow Deal During The Campaign:

All through the hot summer campaign of 2016, as Donald Trump and his aides dismissed talk of unseemly ties to Moscow, two of his key business partners were working furiously on a secret track: negotiations to build what would have been the tallest building in Europe and an icon of the Trump empire — the Trump World Tower Moscow.

Talks to construct the 100-story building continued even as the presidential candidate alternately bragged about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and rejected suggestions of Russian influence, and as Russian agents worked to sway US public opinion on Trump’s behalf.

Trump Tower MoscowAn architectural rendering of the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. Provided to BuzzFeed News.

While fragments of the Trump Moscow venture have trickled out — most recently in a report last night by Yahoo NewsMichael Cohen’s efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow went on longer than he has previously acknowledgedthis is the definitive story of the Moscow tower, told from a trove of emails, text messages, congressional testimony, architectural renderings, and other documents obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News, as well as interviews with key players and investigators. The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan, well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself.

Continue reading