Category Archives: Congress

‘Super Tuesday’ in the federal courts – Cohen pleads, Manafort found guilty

Donald Trump’s consigliere (fixer) Michael Cohen once said he would “take a bullet for Donald Trump.”

But today Michael Cohen entered into a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and agreed to be a cooperating witness. Just call Mikey Flipper today.

The big news: in counts seven and eight to which Michael Cohen plead guilty, involving payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, Donald Trump is effectively identified as an unindicted co-conspirator, for the first time since Richard Nixon.

Bloomberg News reports from the courthouse, Cohen Faces December Sentencing on U.S. Charges: Plea Update:

Cohen Acted for Candidate in Violating Campaign Law (4:43 p.m.)

In acknowledging the charges against him, Cohen said he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or the person who was paid, but those facts match Cohen’s payment to Clifford [Stormy Daniels] and Trump’s repayment.

Cohen Payment Was to Hide Alleged Affairs: U.S. (4:47 p.m.)

The prosecutor told the judge the purpose of the payments was to ensure that the individuals did not disclose “alleged affairs with the candidate.” Besides the $130,000 payment, Cohen admitted to making an illegal contribution of $150,000, which was how much McDougal received from the National Enquirer’s publisher to quash her story.

Lawfare Blog has a copy of the Michael Cohen plea agreement. Michael Cohen Plea Agreement (Scribd).

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A travesty of justice: GOP stonewalls on Judge Brett Kavanaugh documents while rushing his confirmation hearing

I previously explained that Judge Kavanaugh provided misleading testimony in his previous confirmation hearing.

Kavanaugh testified that he had no role in the Bush administration terrorist interrogation and torture program. A year after his confirmation, NPR reported Brett Kavanaugh may have been less-than-forthright with Congress at a crucial hearing last year to confirm his appointment to a seat on the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.  Federal Judge Downplayed Role in Detainee Cases.

In fact, in 2002, Kavanaugh and a group of top White House lawyers discussed whether the Supreme Court would uphold the Bush administration’s decision to deny lawyers to American enemy combatants. Kavanaugh advised the group that the Supreme Court’s swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, would probably reject the president’s assertion that the men were not entitled to counsel. Kavanaugh had worked as a clerk for Kennedy. That meeting was first reported in The Washington Post. NPR independently confirmed the details with multiple sources.

Durbin now says he feels “perilously close to being lied to” at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

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A clarion call to defeat congressman David Schweikert

Arizona congressman David Schweikert, a member of the radical GOP House Freedom Caucus, recently drew an editorial opinion from The Arizona Republic practically begging voters to vote for his Democratic opponent — whoever wins the August primary. 5 reasons a Democrat could win David Schweikert’s seat, even in a Republican stronghold:

Everything about this contest seems superfluous. Why do you even go to the trouble of staging a Democratic primary in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District?

These are the posh enclaves of Paradise Valley, northeast Phoenix, Scottsdale and Cave Creek, where Republicans are born and bred to beat Democrats. They enjoy a substantial voter registration advantage of 45,000.

Consequently, the Republican incumbent has smashed his Democratic rival in the last three general elections by landslide margins of 24, 30 and 28 points.

Schweikert also enjoys the power of incumbency, and is currently far ahead in the money race.

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So why bother?

Here are five reasons Democrats and other Arizonans should care about the CD 6 Democratic primary:

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Vote for AZ Candidates Who Support Marijuana Legalization

By The Downtown Dispensary, Tucson, AZ.

One of the most effective ways to fix federal marijuana laws is to elect candidates who share the same values as those of us who realize that marijuana is the actual solution to the opioid crisis and that the right to choose an alternative medicine is not something that people like Attorney General Jeff Sessions should have a say in. One of the most likely bills to begin solving the problem is the STATES Act that would recognize the legalization of cannabis. However, we need to elect officials who will help make it law.

We must also have a Governor and state administration who support access to cannabis. As some of you are still waiting on sending in your early ballots and with the election just 11 days away, we ask you to review the information below on some of the candidates in Arizona’s 2nd congressional district and the Arizona Governor’s race. We do not believe the 1st Congressional District and 3rd Congressional District will see a change in representation and wish Congressman Grijalva and Congressman O’Halleran the best of luck.

Thank you for exercising your right to vote!
Primary Election – August 28, 2018
General Election – November 6, 2018

ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 2

Billy Kovacs – DEMOCRAT

“I fully support medical marijuana. We need to end the federal prohibitions on medical marijuana and allow the possession, production, and distribution of medical marijuana in states with established marijuana laws.”

According to Billy’s ads in the Tucson Weekly and the Arizona Daily Star, he supports the legalization of marijuana for adult use at the federal and state level.

SOURCE:  Billy Kovacs for Congress | Arizona Daily Star – Candidates

Ann Kirkpatrick – DEMOCRAT

Ann Kirkpatrick has voted to protect the rights of medical marijuana patients and dispensaries in 2015 but she does not support the legalization of marijuana according to statements she made at a candidate forum in Green Valley earlier this year.

SOURCE: Arizona Daily Star Vote Results – Roll Call (Rohrbacher-Blumenauer Amendment)

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Donkey Feed, August 19, 2018

By Michael Bryan

Strap on your feedbag and kick the traces, it’s time for your Donkey Feed.

First, a cool tool: Google has created a database of all the political candidate ads that run on its platform. This is potentially a great tool for researchers, informed citizens, and bloggers like me, turning up recent gems like this ad depicting Kelli Ward as soft on abortion, of all things! And this one claiming she’s soft on terrorism and national defense. Such fun!

Next, some graphical goodness: The odds that control of the House will flip to Democrats. Happy days! But take it with a grain of salt, 538 also gave similar odds to Clinton’s election to the Presidency…

Next, a bad-ass book I think you might like: Hans Rosling, the demographer, physician, co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontiers, and TEDTalk super-stud, has written a book making the case that the world is becoming a better, healthier, and wealthier place, despite your intuitions.

Next, viddy this my droogs: one of the Fox News valkyries thought it would be fun to poke some fun at socialist Denmark. Well, she drew a response from a Danish politician, and it’s a beautiful takedown:

Finally, my standard fundraising pitch for a bit of your filthy lucre:





Support volunteer citizen journalism at the Blog for Arizona with a donation today. Your PayPal contribution keeps the Blog online and sustains a free press in Arizona.


Now, just click on the “Continue Reading” and enjoy the rest of the Feed…

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All that glitters is not gold: storm clouds on the economic horizon

“There is perhaps no single person or entity that has done more to sell the economy under President Trump than Fox News.” When Trump faces a negative story, Fox News pivots to the economy:

Fox routinely finds ways to spin bad, unrelated news about the economy into good, related news about the economy, often blaming the media for its focus on Trump’s scandals and ethics probes.

* * *

Indeed, Fox has been so anxious to praise Trump for the economy, it has even admitted to deliberately giving the president positive economic coverage.

The economy is not as good as the three dolts on the divan (Fox and Friends) who provide Trump his presidential daily briefing (PDB) of Fox propaganda each morning would have you believe.

Earlier this month, the New York Times editorialized Clouds Darken Trump’s Sunny Economic View:

[T]he American economy has a lot more power than it can handle right now, and it’s making a lot of noise. So is President Trump, who takes singular credit for a robust second-quarter rise in the gross domestic product of 4.1 percent, something that hasn’t happened under any other president since … Barack Obama. While Mr. Trump praised himself effusively — he’s good at that, isn’t he? — the stock market seemed unimpressed. Friday’sannouncement that 157,000 new jobs were added in July, a modest gain or perhaps a seasonal glitch, elicited an even more subdued reaction. That’s because if you look down the line, there are few clear reasons to be so enthusiastic.

“Over all, we see this report as supportive of our views that the economy is currently firing on all cylinders,” wrote Bricklin Dwyer, a senior economist with BNP Paribas, after the new G.D.P. numbers were announced. But there was a caveat: Mr. Dwyer said that “growth is likely peaking. Indeed, in our forecasts, [the second quarter] marks a high-water mark for growth.”

For one thing, the initial jolt of the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cuts, mostly for corporations and the wealthy, is wearing off. Corporations have bought back $437 billion of their own shares, which leaves them that much less to invest in new production, or wages. In fact, spending on business equipment slowed.

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