Category Archives: Media

Sen. Jon Kyl to resign December 31 – Let the Senate games begin

The Arizona Republic reports that, as expected, Jon Kyl will resign from the Senate on Dec. 31, setting up another appointment to John McCain’s seat:

U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl will resign from the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31, The Arizona Republic has confirmed, setting up a second appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey to the seat once occupied by the late John McCain.

Ducey is required under law to name another Republican to the seat. A replacement to the Senate seat “will be announced in the near future,” according to the Governor’s Office.

Kyl wrote a letter dated Dec. 12 to Ducey, informing him of his resignation. The letter was hand-delivered to the Governor’s Office late Thursday afternoon.

“Thank you for appointing me to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy created by John McCain’s death,” Kyl wrote. “It has been an honor and a privilege to again serve the people of Arizona.

“When I accepted your appointment, I agreed to complete the work of the 115th Congress and then reevaluate continuing to serve. I have concluded that it would be best if I resign so that your new appointee can begin the new term with all other Senators in January 2019 and can serve a full two (potentially four) years. Therefore, I will resign from the U.S. Senate effective 11:59 p.m. EST December 31, 2018.”

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SDNY prosecutors close the circle around unindicted co-conspirator ‘Individual 1,’ Donald Trump (Updated)

Unindicted co-conspirator “Individual 1,” Donald Trump, saw his convicted co-conspirator, consigliere and “fixer” Michael Cohen sentenced to prison today. Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years After Implicating Trump in Hush-Money Scandal:

Michael D. Cohen, a former lawyer for President Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday after denouncing Mr. Trump and explaining that “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

Mr. Cohen gave an emotional apology to the court for his involvement in a hush-money scandal to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump, payments that Mr. Cohen has said were meant to influence the 2016 election. He said his blind loyalty to Mr. Trump led him to ignore “my own inner voice and my moral compass.”

“I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today,” he said, “and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man” — a reference to Mr. Trump — “that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Mr. Cohen then apologized to the public: “You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unjust.”

Judge William H. Pauley III said Mr. Cohen called Mr. Cohen’s crimes a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct” and added, “Each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to have been motivated by personal greed and ambition.”

He added that Mr. Cohen’s particular crimes — breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress — “implicate a far more insidious harm to our democratic institutions.”

“As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better,” the judge said.

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Season 3 of The Apprentice – White House, episode one: ‘The Wall Brawl’

Season 3 of the alt-reality TV series The Apprentice – White House premiered Tuesday with Donald Trump trying to cash in on the trendy revival of old TV series this season by adding elements of his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fake wrestling days. Trump invited Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over to the White House for some pre-match bluster and braggadocio in an overly contrived episode one: “The Wall Brawl.”

Dana Milbank has the play-by-play. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Emergency! It’s time for Trump to fabricate another crisis!

Robert Mueller is circling, recessionary clouds are building, and Democrats are rising to power. For President Trump, this can mean only one thing: It’s time to fabricate a new crisis.

And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Trump summoned Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to the Oval Office on Tuesday for what was supposed to be a negotiating session about border security. Instead, he used them as props in an impromptu, 17-minute reality-TV show.

ChuckAndNancy

“Look, we have to have the wall,” Trump bellowed at the Democratic Senate and House leaders — seated awkwardly on couches — while the TV cameras rolled. “This is a national emergency. Drugs are pouring into our country. People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many cases it’s contagious.”

Emergency! Drugs and contagion!  And then, a threat: “If we don’t get what we want one way or the other. . . . I will shut down the government, absolutely.” The president added: “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. . . . I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

The Trump Shutdown. Own it.

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TIME Person of The Year: The Guardians (Journalists)

TIME magazine has named its person of the year, and it is collectively journalists who have been murdered or imprisoned in pursuit of the truth. The Guardians And The War on Truth:

Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette newspaper staff, which lost five members in a newsroom shooting this year; jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, imprisoned in Myanmar for their coverage of the Rohingya crisis; and Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who was arrested after criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

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As TIME reports:

Every detail of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing made it a sensation: the time stamp on the surveillance video that captured the Saudi journalist entering his country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2; the taxiway images of the private jets bearing his assassins; the bone saw; the reports of his final words, “I can’t breathe,” recorded on audio as the life was choked from him.

But the crime would not have remained atop the world news for two months if not for the epic themes that Khashoggi himself was ever alert to, and spent his life placing before the public. His death laid bare the true nature of a smiling prince, the utter absence of morality in the Saudi-U.S. alliance and—in the cascade of news feeds and alerts, posts and shares and links—the centrality of the question Khashoggi was killed over: Whom do you trust to tell the story?

Khashoggi put his faith in bearing witness. He put it in the field reporting he had done since youth, in the newspaper editorship he was forced out of and in the columns he wrote from lonely exile. “Must we choose,” he asked in the Washington Post in May, “between movie theaters and our rights as citizens to speak out, whether in support of or critical of our government’s actions?” Khashoggi had fled his homeland last year even though he actually supported much of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s agenda in Saudi Arabia. What irked the kingdom and marked the journalist for death was Khashoggi’s insistence on coming to that conclusion on his own, tempering it with troubling facts and trusting the public to think for itself.

Such independence is no small thing. It marks the distinction between tyranny and democracy. And in a world where budding authoritarians have advanced by blurring the difference, there was a clarity in the spectacle of a tyrant’s fury visited upon a man armed only with a pen. Because the strongmen of the world only look strong. All despots live in fear of their people. To see genuine strength, look to the spaces where individuals dare to describe what’s going on in front of them.

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Trump nominates former AG William Barr for Attorney General

Earlier this week, More than 400 former DOJ officials call on Trump to replace Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General in a signed statement, which was first published by BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.

In a separate letter, Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee expressed similar concerns about Matthew Whitaker, whose appointment is unconstitutional and illegal anf being challenged in court.

The New York Times editorialized today that Matthew Whitaker should not have been acting attorney general even for a day. It is time the Senate demanded a reasonable replacement. The still-unanswered questions surrounding Matthew Whitaker.

From your lips to Trump’s ears.

This morning President Trump created a bright shiny object to distract from the Mueller sentencing memorandums expected to be filed later today by nominating William Barr for Attorney General. Barr previously served as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush. Trump Will Nominate William P. Barr as Attorney General:

President Trump on Friday said he intended to nominate William P. Barr, who served as attorney general during the first Bush administration from 1991 to 1993, to return as head of the Justice Department.

“He was my first choice since Day 1,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he walked from the White House to a helicopter for a trip to Kansas City, Mo. [An obvious lie.]

Mr. Trump’s focus on Mr. Barr, who supports a strong vision of executive powers, had emerged over the past week following the ouster last month of Jeff Sessions as attorney general and the turbulent reception that greeted his installation of Matthew G. Whitaker as the acting attorney general.

Barr is as much a right-wing partisan as Matthew Whitaker, which is why Trump picked him. (Barr can be confirmed by a GOP majority Senate, while Whitaker, whose unethical past is under investigation by the FBI, could not).

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