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Zorro

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,080

Journal Archives

Texas woman sentenced to eight years for illegal voting paroled, faces deportation

Source: USA Today

In 2017, Rosa Maria Ortega's eight-year prison sentence for illegal voting in Texas made her an unwitting poster child of an alleged voter fraud epidemic that dominated headlines and a newly-elected president's tweets-- despite no evidence that it existed.

Last December, with the country's attention elsewhere, Ortega was granted parole after serving a little more than nine months. She now faces a more permanent punishment: The 40-year-old mother of four teenagers, who first came to the USA as a baby and lived here legally with a green card, is the target of deportation proceedings to her native country of Mexico.

After being paroled, Ortega spent nearly two more months in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She was freed on bond by an immigration judge last month. The U.S. Department of Justice office that handles immigration proceedings did not respond to a request Thursday for information on her case, including when she is due to appear in court.

Efforts to reach Ortega and members of her family were unsuccessful, and her former lawyers said they have also lost contact with her.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/texas-woman-sentenced-eight-years-110025356.html



Karma strikes again.

Roger Stone moves to disqualify judge in last-ditch bid to avoid prison

President Donald Trump's longtime ally Roger Stone, sentenced to 40 months in prison this week for impeding the congressional investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, moved Friday to disqualify the judge in his case, claiming her remarks at his sentencing rendered her unable to fairly rule on his bid for a new trial.

Stone's lawyers say, in particular, that Judge Amy Berman Jackson's decision to assert that jurors in the case "served with integrity" strikes at the heart of Stone's motion for a new trial, which they indicated is largely based on whether at least one juror was inappropriately biased against him.

"Whether the subject juror (and perhaps others) served with 'integrity' is one of the paramount questions presented in the pending Motion," Stone's lawyers argued. "The Court’s ardent conclusion of 'integrity' indicates an inability to reserve judgment on an issue which has yet been heard."

Jackson made her remark during an impassioned rebuke of the arguments Stone's legal team offered during his trial. She said that Stone and his lawyers minimized the significance of his effort to frustrate congressional investigators as they sought to understand Russia's interference in the 2016 election, a grave national security challenge.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/21/roger-stone-prison-judge-116696

I will be soooo glad when this asshole goes to prison.

Endorsement: Vote Pete Buttigieg president to make America good again

Among the biggest questions in the 2020 presidential election are these:

How will liberals, moderates and independents winnow the Democratic field in the primary election on March 3 when California and 14 other states and territories vote on Super Tuesday?

If the economy stays strong through the general election, can any Democrat defeat Donald Trump, who is building that wall, claims to be the most pro-life president in U.S. history and who in three years has already ensured conservative dominance of federal courts for generations?

What would the United States even look like in 2024 if Trump is re-elected on Nov. 3?

It might be unrecognizable. America is at a crossroads, even if that is of little or less concern to conservatives given their judicial and social gains under Trump. The sad truth is that four more years of President Donald Trump mean the White House will keep alienating allies, ignoring climate change, sabotaging institutions, tolerating cruelty on Twitter and in real life, and vilifying immigrants at the heart of the American story. The alternative is a nation that rebuilds its good standing globally and restores decency to a presidency bereft of it while also moving toward a more expansive health care system, more comprehensive and humane immigration reform, reduced carbon emissions, increased gun safety, less national debt and an economy that works for everyone.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/story/2020-02-20/endorsement-pete-buttigieg-for-president-of-the-united-states-would-make-am

This is a surprising endorsement from a major paper known previously for being ultra-Republican. It looks like the recent change in ownership is having an effect.

Stephen Miller Spends Entire Honeymoon In Hotel Room Calling ICE On Cleaning Staff



The Onion has the best headlines...

The Outer Worlds

Just finished playthrough the other day. Fallout-like with plenty of side missions, and with a seriously anti-corporation message. It's great looking, and I experienced only 1 freeze during gameplay.

Highly recommend checking it out. It's quite entertaining.

Trump puts an unqualified loyalist in charge of national intelligence

President Trump's campaign to purge the government of anyone not blindly loyal to him continued Wednesday with the appointment of Richard Grenell as acting director of national intelligence. Mr. Grenell, who currently serves as ambassador to Germany, is manifestly unqualified for the job, even in an acting capacity. He has no experience in intelligence or in managing large organizations — like the 17 agencies that will now report to him.

Mr. Grenell has nevertheless won the president’s favor in a familiar way: by loudly praising him and his agenda on Fox News programs and social media. Probably, he has convinced Mr. Trump he can be counted on to put the president’s personal and political interests above those of national security — something the two previous DNIs would not reliably do.

Daniel Coats, the first intelligence chief under Mr. Trump, infuriated the president by publicly reporting and defending the agencies’ overwhelming consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in an effort to help Mr. Trump, and was likely to do so again. Joseph Maguire, who served as acting director after Mr. Coats’s departure last summer, brokered a deal with the House Intelligence Committee to hand over a whistleblower’s report on Mr. Trump’s abuse of power in Ukraine. He was also blamed by the president for a briefing on 2020 election security given by an intelligence official to Congress last week.

Mr. Grenell’s sycophantic pandering to Mr. Trump suggests he will show no such independence. Before being elevated by the president to the Berlin ambassador’s post, his government experience amounted to working in the early 2000s as a U.S. spokesman at the United Nations, where he was known for nasty disputes with journalists. In Berlin, he quickly made himself unwelcome with public attacks on German government policies and outspoken support for right-wing nationalist movements around Europe. Though he can’t necessarily be blamed for Mr. Trump’s dismal standing among Germans — 13 percent said in a recent Pew Research Center poll that they had confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs, the lowest figure in Europe — Mr. Grenell certainly contributed to it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-puts-an-unqualified-loyalist-in-charge-of-national-intelligence/2020/02/20/d1d8506a-540a-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html

This 5-year bear market in energy stocks could turn into forever

While the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite index hover near all-time highs, energy stocks have fallen on very hard times.

Exxon Mobil — the world’s most valuable public company as recently as 2012 — has seen its stock price plunge about 40% from its all-time high above $100 a share in June 2014, a loss of more than $180 billion in market capitalization. The Energy Select Sector SPDR, the largest energy-sector ETF, is down by a similar amount from that date.

Meanwhile, the S&P has surged more than 70% over those 5½ years, outperforming energy stocks by over 100 percentage points.

An oil glut in the wake of the shale oil boom, which has vaunted the U.S. to the top of global energy producers, has caused some of the sector’s stock-market troubles. That oversupply has persisted, despite production cuts, and has kept oil prices in the $50-a-barrel range. This year, fears of the coronavirus have triggered another sharp sell-off in energy shares.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-5-year-bear-market-in-energy-stocks-could-turn-into-forever-2020-02-19

It's interesting to note that most oil companies are paying 5-8% dividends and their stock prices are still dropping like rocks.

He found his wife and 6-year-old dead on Valentine's Day. His teen son is accused of the crime.

As the sun set on Valentine’s Day, Josh Norwood hurried from work to the grocery store to buy his wife flowers. The 37-year-old father of two pulled into his long driveway in rural Virginia a few minutes before 6 p.m. — just in time for dinner.

But as he walked up to the brick home in Fauquier County, bouquet in hand, Norwood sensed something was wrong, he said in an interview with The Washington Post. Beneath the Christmas lights that still dangled from the eaves, the curtains were drawn. And when he opened the door, his effervescent 6-year-old, Wyatt, was not there to greet him.

Instead, he was met by gunfire.

A bullet that seemed to come from the basement door sliced across his forehead. As blood poured down his face, Norwood said, he ran into the small ranch house to search for his family. The lights were on in the room belonging to his older son, Levi, but there was no sign of the 17-year-old. In the living room, there was what looked like a large pile of blankets on the floor.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/he-found-his-wife-and-6-year-old-dead-on-valentines-day-his-teen-son-is-accused-of-the-crime/2020/02/19/96fbb0e0-5342-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html

Will Trump scare some sense into the Democrats?

While the Democratic presidential candidates tear each other to pieces, President Trump is sending a message to the country: The rule of law means nothing to him. He will weaponize the federal government to his own political purposes, and things will only get worse if he’s reelected.

Trump has said many awful things, but here are his most chilling words yet: “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country.”

Trump as “the chief law enforcement officer” is akin to putting the Houston Astros in charge of policing cheating in Major League Baseball.

It should worry Democrats that as the dangers posed by four more years of Trump (and two more years of a supine GOP Senate) become clearer, their presidential race may be coming down to a choice between a billionaire and a democratic socialist. “ ’Tis the final conflict,” as “The Internationale,” the old anthem of the left, put it. It’s hard to imagine a confrontation more likely to shatter the party.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/will-trump-scare-some-sense-into-the-democrats/2020/02/19/2a570514-5353-11ea-929a-64efa7482a77_story.html

George Conway: Trump's 'King Kong' nickname has come into full fruition

Not for nothing did President Trump’s first White House counsel give him the nickname “King Kong.”

Former White House counsel Donald McGahn, who resisted Trump when he sought to violate the law and sometimes engaged in “epic” “shouting matches” with him, reportedly selected the sobriquet to connote Trump’s “volcanic anger” and “emotional decision-making.”

But as Trump’s behavior this week demonstrates, the moniker fits for another reason as well. It reflects Trump’s desire to escape constraints — in particular, legal constraints. That Kong-like urge was illustrated by two developments: the president’s latest executive clemency spree and his continued attacks against the federal judiciary.

Trump revels in issuing pardons, because that power is essentially absolute. The Constitution sets out no standards for granting pardons. They require no consent from Congress, and courts can’t second-guess them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-conway-trumps-pardons-are-impulsive-expressions-of-his-spite/2020/02/19/399485a0-5363-11ea-929a-64efa7482a77_story.html
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