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Zorro

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,089

Journal Archives

Judge Amy Berman Jackson criticizes Trump's attacks on Roger Stone juror

Source: CNN

Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Tuesday said attacks from President Donald Trump and commentary from conservative media are part of a campaign of intimidation and harassment of jurors in Roger Stone's criminal case.

Jackson read the President's tweet attacking the Stone jury forewoman, as well as commentary from InfoWars' Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson from Fox News, to a federal courtroom, in deciding to hear testimony from jurors while protecting their identities after Stone asked for a retrial.

Making jurors' identities public "would put them at substantial risk of harm," Jackson said. "In a highly publicized political climate ... the risk of harassment and intimidation of any juror" who may testify to the court today "is extremely high."

"While judges may have volunteered for their positions ... jurors are not volunteers," Jackson said. "They are deserving of the public's respect."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/25/politics/roger-stone-hearing-juror-amy-berman-jackson/index.html



...and Trump responds with a tweet attacking both the judge and juror...

California congressman's vacated seat unleashes GOP slugfest

Republican U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter’s resignation from Congress last month after pleading guilty to a corruption charge unleashed a GOP slugfest over the vacancy in one of the party’s few remaining House seats in California.

Most of the action in the 50th District involves two Republican heavyweights: Darrell Issa, who is seeking a return to Congress after leaving his seat in a neighboring district two years ago, and Carl DeMaio, a well-known San Diego radio host and political commentator.

Both have questioned the other’s loyalty to President Donald Trump and called the other a liar. Issa recently faced backlash, including from some Republican supporters, for an advertisement that included references to headlines noting the sexual orientation of DeMaio, who is gay. Critics said it amounted to gay-baiting.

The headlines were from media outlets, and Issa said the ad was meant to draw attention to DeMaio’s failures on issues.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/california/story/2020-02-25/california-congressmans-vacated-seat-unleashes-gop-slugfest

Those outside of SoCal should be grateful they aren't subjected to the disgusting commercials from both Issa and DeMaio; Demaio is labelling Issa as "another Mitt Romney" who would betray Trump, and Issa is labelling DeMaio as a hypocrite who has criticised Trump publicly on a variety of issues. I'm hoping they take each other out of contention in the jungle primary, which would probably leave a pure Republican RWNJ running against Campa-Najjar in the November election.

Trump accuses Schiff of leaking intelligence about Russia to hurt Sanders

Source: Reuters

President Donald Trump on Sunday accused Representative Adam Schiff of leaking classified information on Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. election to hurt Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to India, Trump said he had not been briefed on intelligence that Russia was aiming to boost the campaign of Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, and he called for a probe into Schiff for the leak. Schiff, a Democrat, denied the allegation.

A congressional source told Reuters on Friday that intelligence officials had told lawmakers Russia appears to be engaging in disinformation and propaganda campaigns to help both Sanders and Trump, who is seeking re-election.

"I read where Russia is helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that at all," Trump said.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/trump-calls-probe-leak-intelligence-142844996.html

New revelations depict a Russian-sponsored assassination on German soil

In April 2019, a Russian man drove to a training base outside Moscow run by the Federal Security Service, or FSB, a successor to the Soviet KGB. The base, near the village of Averkiyevo, is equipped with multiple shooting ranges and is designed to train FSB officers in shooting techniques. The nonprofit journalism outfit Bellingcat has identified the man as Vadim Krasikov, and says that, based on cellphone data, he spent four days at the facility, an important clue about who was behind a murder in Germany last August.

Bellingcat says Mr. Krasikov, who traveled under a fake name, is the man charged by German federal prosecutors with the shooting in Berlin on Aug. 23 of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a former Chechen rebel field commander, who had fought Russia in the Second Chechen War. An ethnic Chechen and citizen of Georgia, Khangoshvili sought asylum in Germany after previous attempts on his life. He was shot in the head and shoulder from behind with a Glock-26 pistol. His alleged killer was apprehended after witnesses saw him ditch the weapon, a wig and a bicycle in the nearby River Spree.

At first, it wasn’t clear who was behind the assassination. Russia denied any responsibility. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, rejected any accusation of Russian involvement, describing it as “absolutely groundless.” Mr. Putin, in Paris on Dec. 9, said Khangoshvili was a “cruel and blood-thirsty” militant wanted by Russia. But as for who killed him, he added, “I don’t know what happened to him. It’s a criminal milieu, and anything can happen there.”

Now, however, Bellingcat and its partners, Der Spiegel and the Insider, have uncovered information that points directly to the FSB. According to the journalists, “This investigation conclusively establishes” that the agency “plotted, prepared, and perpetrated” the killing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/new-revelations-depict-a-russian-sponsored-assassination-on-german-soil/2020/02/23/af9ff1e6-5366-11ea-9e47-59804be1dcfb_story.html

The Nevada caucuses are a corrupt spectacle

Unlike in Iowa, it did not take long to declare a winner in Saturday’s Nevada Democratic caucuses. That doesn’t mean the system worked well — it didn’t. Nevada looked orderly only because Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s victory was so lopsided, the networks could call the race with hardly any results.

Some 18 hours after the caucuses wrapped up, results were in from only about half of the state’s precincts — the consequence of cumbersome rules, a jammed reporting hotline and extensive data collection requirements. This mess is what happens when parties insist on running their own private caucuses rather than allowing states to hold primary elections. Indeed, even if the caucuses had worked more smoothly, they would still have been an embarrassing spectacle. They are a terrible way to choose a presidential nominee.

“The process I don’t like at all,” said Paul Anthony, a food server attending a caucus Saturday at the Bellagio resort. “I think sometimes this room might intimidate people into not wanting to come vote.”

The Nevada Democratic Party might be surprised at Anthony’s dissatisfaction, given that it tried hard this year to fix its caucus system, offering people more ways to participate. But the party instead proved that the caucus system is fundamentally flawed. One major reason: Peer pressure should have no place in voting.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/23/nevada-caucuses-are-corrupt-spectacle/

Why Democrats Are Bound for Disaster

I’ll let you in on a little secret about media coverage of prime-time political debates: What happens in the first half, even the first quarter, gets much more attention than what happens as the night drags on.

We all have deadlines bearing down on us and must produce our stories immediately after the debate’s end, so we start formulating thoughts and fashioning sentences before then. If there are fireworks early in the event, we say a cheer of gratitude and let them light up our commentary. So it was with Mike Bloomberg’s miserable performance in Las Vegas. He established his awfulness right off the bat. We ran with it. I know I did.

But in the case of this debate, what happened at the bitter end was probably most meaningful. All six candidates onstage were asked to envision a situation — utterly plausible this year — in which none of them went into the Democratic convention in Milwaukee in July with a majority of pledged delegates and, therefore, an unequivocal claim to the nomination. Should the politician with a plurality of delegates be the nominee?

Only Bernie Sanders, who currently has the best shot at being that person, said yes. The others said no. That would mean a brokered convention, in which the votes of uncommitted “superdelegates” or alliances formed among certain candidates are necessary to put someone over the top. And it would be a nightmare scenario for the Democratic Party, which is deep into a bad dream already, because it would invite further cynicism, second-guessing, cries of illegitimacy and irresolution in a country that’s paralyzed by all of that.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/opinion/sunday/brokered-convention-democrats-2020.html

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...
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