Daily Archives: December 10, 2018

Russian spy in the NRA to plead guilty, her American boyfriend receives a ‘target letter’

Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina is likely to plead guilty as soon as this week, according to court papers filed Monday, NBC reports. Accused Russian agent Maria Butina likely to plead guilty:

Lawyers for Butina and the Justice Department say in the court filing that her criminal case has been “resolved.”

The two sides have been negotiating a possible plea deal in recent weeks.

Butina, 30, is accused of acting as an agent of Russia in the Washington, D.C. area and faces charges of conspiracy and failing to register as a foreign agent.

She was arrested in July for allegedly conspiring to infiltrate politically powerful U.S. organizations, including the NRA, in an effort to push Moscow’s agenda.

Prosecutors say that Butina’s covert work was directed by Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator and deputy head of Russia’s central bank who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in April 2018 along with several other Russian oligarchs.

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Britain’s Brexit is blowing up

Great Britain may be about to demonstrate to America that when you go on a bender and do something really stupid, you can still correct your unwise error and attempt to redeem yourself.

The white nationalist Brexit from the European Union still might not happen after all.

The European court of justice has said the UK can unilaterally stop the Brexit process in a ruling that will boost demands for a second EU referendum. Brexit: UK can unilaterally revoke article 50, says ECJ:

The court concluded that any EU member state can revoke an article 50 process without needing approval from every other member state, but only before its withdrawal comes into force.

“The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU,” the ECJ said.

The emergency judgment came the day before the critical Commons vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal and will be reviewed urgently by Scotland’s civil court in Edinburgh.

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Downtown Tucson’s Annual Parade of Lights & Festival – updated

“Carondelet Health Network and the Downtown Tucson Partnership are proud to welcome the community to celebrate the holiday season with the 24th Annual Parade of Lights & Festival! The Parade of Lights & Festival is Downtown Tucson’s premier holiday event that brings together the entirety of the local community from all walks of life to celebrate not just the spirit of the Winter season, but also the unique culture of the Tucson community.

In a grand scale procession throughout an illuminated and decorated downtown, attendees can expect to see a cavalcade of colorful floats, Baile Folkloriko dancers adorned with brilliant lights, marching mariachis, and even parading pups! The parade is also adjacent to a fantastic festival in Jácome Plaza, which includes live entertainment, a veritable smorgasbord of foods from local vendors, and SNOW!

Be sure not to miss what has become a long-standing Tucson holiday tradition. The parade this year is set on Saturday, December 15th, 2018 and will proceed starting from the intersection of Church Avenue and Alameda Street throughout the core of downtown, weaving through the illuminated trees and buildings.”

Route and schedule on flyer above.  Parade map below, updated.

https://www.downtowntucson.org/visit/parade-of-lights/




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New Maricopa County Democratic Party Executive Board ready to make Arizona Blue in 2020

The new Maricopa County Democratic Party Executive Board. They are (from left to right): Treasurer: Tom Krepitch, 1st Vice Chair: Carol Maas, Secretary: Roberta Neil Miller, Chair: Steven Slugocki, Sergeant-at-Arms: Patrick Seifter, and 2nd Vice Chair: Lynsey Robinson

A jubilant crowd of Precinct Committeepersons and County Democratic superstars and candidates attended the Maricopa County Democratic Winter Convention at Central High School in Phoenix on December 8, 2018. Speaker after speaker vowed to work together with everyone in the audience and those who could not attend to continue the trend started in this year’s election of turning Arizona to a blue state. Delegates to the convention also voted for a new Maricopa County Democratic Executive Board to help pave the way to victory in 2020.

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GOP coup against democracy coming to Arizona

E.J. Dionne, Jr. asks Are Republicans abandoning democracy? The clear answer is “yes.”

As Charles Blow explains, Republican Efforts to End Democracy:

Do not believe that we are still living in a functioning democracy. We are not. Republicans across this country are doing everything they can to impede, alter and override the power of the personal vote. This strikes at the very heart of democracy, both undermining people’s faith in it and contorting it until it no long resembles what it claims to be.

From Wisconsin, to Michigan to North Carolina, there is a Republican coup against democracy occurring right now before our eyes. Lame-duck Republicans are stripping their Democratic successors of constitutional powers on taking office.

This is also being contemplated  right here in Arizona. The election of Democrat Katie Hobbs as Secretary of State has Republicans apoplectic. They have been spouting wild conspiracy theories about voter fraud being responsible for Democratic wins in the recent election.

Now our Trump troll Representative-elect John Kavanagh is proposing eliminating the Secretary of State office altogether — because a Democrat has been elected to the office — and creating a lieutenant governor who runs in tandem with the governor, because of Arizona’s constitutional rules of succession.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Democratic SOS spurs talk of change in line of succession:

The election of a Democrat as Arizona’s next secretary of state has renewed some Republicans’ interest in the line of succession.

That’s because if anything were to happen to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey – be it resignation, impeachment or an untimely death – Democrat Katie Hobbs would be next in line to serve as the state’s chief executive.

Given the lengthy history of Arizona governors who don’t serve full terms in office, some lawmakers want to shake up the gubernatorial line of succession by inserting a new player – a lieutenant governor. But they’ll have to convince voters, who’ve routinely rejected the idea, to go along with it.

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