Category Archives: Courts

As Mayor, Kate Gallego will Make “Make Phoenix a City that Will Work for Everyone”

Phoenix Mayoral Candidate Councilwoman Kate Gallego

In a runoff race for Phoenix Mayor, candidate Kate Gallego, a former Phoenix Councilwoman, appears to be leading her opponent Daniel Valenzuela, another former member of the Phoenix City Council.

With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office and now serving Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District, a special non-partisan election was held in November to elect his successor. In a four-way race, Gallego received 45 percent of the vote and had a 19-point lead over her closest contender, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. Commentators at the Arizona Republic feel that Councilwoman Gallego, with her energized and devoted base, has the turnout advantage right now going into the March 12, 2019 election.

The Blog For Arizona profiled both candidates in June and interviewed both on their positions in and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. Over the last week, we contacted both campaigns for an update.  This piece describes Councilwoman’s  Gallego’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.

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Fact checking Trump’s prime time address

Media critic Erik Wemple of the Washington Post accurately notes The networks interrupted their programming for the lamest rerun on television, Donald Trump’s racist white nationalist anti-immigrant fear mongering. Trump used the Oval Office to try to create a border crisis.

Trump’s frustrated sales pitch on the border wall reverted to his oldest political tactic: Fear. Trump’s real fear is the loss of his white nationalist political base who feed off the epistemic closure of the “conservative misinformation feedback loop” media bubble. Trump’s public case for his wall has collapsed entirely, and in Trump Nation, that’s the “national emergency.” The real national emergency is the threat of Trump’s collapse.

Media critics had urged networks to take precautions ahead of his speech. ‘This president lies daily’: Critics demand networks fact-check Trump’s live immigration speech.

Afterwards, TV hosts say Trump speech lacked news. Dems say ‘told you so.’

Real-time analysis from on-air journalists followed Trump’s white nationalist propaganda. Anchors Scramble to Fact-Check Trump After Prime-Time Address:

NBC anchor Chuck Todd came on air with a blunt assessment. “He made a lot of dubious claims,” Mr. Todd informed millions of viewers after the network’s scheduled program had been pre-empted for a rare prime-time presidential appearance.

Shepard Smith on the Fox News network told viewers that contrary to Mr. Trump’s assertions, “statistics show there is less violent crime by the undocumented immigrant population than by the general population.”

And on ABC, the White House correspondent Cecilia Vega took issue with Mr. Trump’s depiction of a southern border in crisis. “Just because you say it’s a crisis,” Ms. Vega said, “doesn’t necessarily make it one.”

The post-speech fact checking has been brutal. Continue reading

The Russia investigation is closing in

On Tuesday, Judges Tatel, Griffith and Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a contempt citation against the unnamed defendant in In re: Grand Jury Subpoena, the case of the mystery subpoena filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against a foreign bank first reported by Politico late last year. The full ruling is here. (h/t Lawfare Blog).

This follows the Supreme Court ruling mystery company must pay fines while it challenges Mueller-related subpoena.

The Supreme Court Monday turned away an effort by an unnamed foreign government-owned corporation to resist a subpoena related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The court’s order restores a daily fine the company will face that had been put on hold by Chief Justice John Roberts while the full court considered the issue. It is an apparent loss for the company and marks the full court’s first foray into the Mueller probe.

The order will put pressure on the company to turn over information to the grand jury or otherwise cooperate with Mueller as contempt fines continue to accumulate.

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Trump manufactures a ‘national emergency’ to abuse the power of his office

Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.” – General George S. Patton

Donald Trump has shut down the federal government over his demand for $5 billion (now $5.6 billion) for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border, a monument to the stupidity of this man. The amount of money being fought over is a rounding error in what it would actually cost to build his wall. See the Brookings Institute, The Wall: The real costs of a barrier between the United States and Mexico.

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This is a “crisis” manufactured by the Trump administration in an effort to extort money from Congress, which has routinely rejected his request in appropriations bills. Trump himself has agreed to these appropriations bills until he reneged on the latest deal in December after right-wing propagandists in the conservative media entertainment complex attacked him for agreeing to the appropriations bills. Do we really want right-wing propagandists like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity dictating public policy?

Oh, and Mexico is not paying for this monument to the stupidity of this man, you will.

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McClatchy stands by its reporting that Michael Cohen was in Prague in 2016

In April of this year, McClatchy reported Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier:

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to retired British spy [Christopher Steele’s] report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

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Cohen has vehemently denied for months that he ever has been in Prague or colluded with Russia during the campaign. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment for this story.

Other news organizations were unable to confirm McClathcy’s reporting through their sources.

McClatchy today adds circumstantial evidence to build its case that Michael Cohen was in Prague in late-summer in 2016. Cell signal puts Cohen outside Prague around time of purported Russian meeting:

A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.

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