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Gender: Male
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Home country: United State of America
Current location: San Diego
Member since: Tue Sep 6, 2016, 01:22 AM
Number of posts: 14,464

Journal Archives

States that love their Republicans & their Democrats

Voters in some states split their ballots. In Maasachusetts lefty progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren was reelected with 60% of the vote and Republican Governor Charlie Baker got 67% of the vote. In Kansas, three out of four seats in the U.S. House went to Republicans but Kansans elected a Democrat as Governor. The U.S. Senator with the highest job approval rating in his home state is Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Bernie was reelected with 67% of the vote but Vermonters also went Republican for Governor. Incumbent Republican Governor Scott received 55% of the vote. And in Maryland, venerable Democratic Senator Ben Cardin crushed his Republican opponent with 64% of the vote but Republican Maryland Governor Hogan beat back his Democratic challenger with 56% of the vote to 43%.

If the Special Counsel Investigation were to be shut down

Here's what would happen:
House of Representative Democrats will have an expansive new toolkit once they take control on Jan. 3 to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — even if acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker decides to shut it down.

If President Donald Trump, through Whitaker or his full-time replacement, orders Mueller to shut down his investigation that would trigger a quick response from Democrats. In two months, the Dems will possess the all-important power of being able to issue subpoenas to officials.

(1) The Democrats’ first step would be to preserve the evidence Mueller has collected over the last year and a half so that the Trump administration can't confiscate the files and bury them.
(2) With their new majority, Democrats will be able to bypass the Trump Justice Department, which has the authority to enforce or toss out congressional subpoenas, by subpoenaing Mueller himself to learn what he knows.
Either Adam Schiff or the new Judiciary Chair (Jerry Nadler) or the new Oversight Committee chair (Elijah Cummings) or all three will issue subpoenas for all the documents that Mueller had in his possession at the time of his removal. That would have to be via subpoenas because it’s classified information.
(3) House Democrats would then move the investigation under the jurisdiction of a congressional committee and they would hire Mueller to see it through with full subpoena power. (That assumes Mueller would be willing to effectively work for the Democrats in a highly politicized role.) There's no assurance of that but if not Mueller, some other prominent prosecutor.
(4) The Democrats could also establish a select committee with Mueller or another hand-picked investigator as the committee’s chief counsel. One of Donald Trump's heroes is Roy Cohn who was chief counsel for Senator Joe McCarthy's Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations' work in exposing communists.
(5) Mueller could turn over all of his evidence to local law enforcement jurisdictions — the district attorney in Manhattan or the New York attorney general’s office, to name two possibilities — where alleged crimes were committed.

Politico reported in 2017 that Mueller’s team already had shared evidence with the New York attorney general’s office.

Senator Burr (R-NC) makes referrals to Mueller Investigation

Its good to see that some Senate Republicans are working closely with the Special Counsel.

"Richard Burr reveals Senate Intel has referred testimonies to special counsel Robert Mueller"

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) confirmed Friday his panel has made referrals to special counsel Robert Mueller.

The confirmation, made at a University of Texas forum, comes a day after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress as part of Mueller’s investigation.

“I don’t want you to get us mixed up with Bob Mueller’s special prosecutor investigation. We have no criminal responsibilities. If we identify a crime in our investigation that has been committed, we refer it to the special prosecutor,” Burr said. “I won’t tell you the number of times, but we have made referrals to the special prosecutor.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has interviewed more than 200 witnesses — including Cohen — as part of its investigation into Russian election interference and possible connections to the Trump campaign. Burr mentioned Cohen as one of those referrals.

“One of them, one instance just highlighted of late was the special prosecutor made the indictment yesterday using the transcripts of interviews we have done in our committee to indict somebody for lying to Congress,” Burr said.

The North Carolina Republican said that Cohen’s guilty plea should be seen as a clear warning.

“It’s a loud message to everybody that is interviewed by our committee, regardless of where that prosecution comes from: If you lie to us, we’re going to go after you. Our mandate is at the end of this to get as close to the clear truth as we possibly can, and we can’t do it on conjecture. We’ve got to do it on facts.”

Republican Senator thinks the votes are there to pass bipartisan Mueller Protection Bill

Flake: Mueller bill has votes to pass Senate

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Friday that he believes legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller could pass the Senate, if Republican leadership would agree to bring it up for a vote.

"I do believe the votes are there on the floor if we can just get a vote, and that's what I'm calling, let's just have a vote," Flake told CNN, asked about a measure that would protect Mueller from being fired without good cause.

The legislation — crafted by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — has languished for months after it passed out of the Judiciary Committee. Republican leadership argues it isn't necessary because President Trump, they believe, will not try to interfere with or fire Mueller.

"I don't know how we can be sanguine about what's going on over at the Department of Justice in terms of the Mueller probe. It's important to protect it," Flake added on Friday.

Russia Russia Russia vs. Watergate

With Michael Cohen's plea bargain today this brings the total number of people charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to 33.
The Watergate scandal resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty, many of whom were top Nixon administration officials.

What today's Cohen plea bargain means

Michael Cohen has admitted in court that even as Russian operatives were hacking Democratic emails and getting ready to dump emails through Wikileaks, even as Donald Trump was publicly praising Vladimir Putin, even as the Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. took place in the summer of 2016, the Trump Organization—with Trump and his family very much in the know—was negotiating to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The Trump Organization was negotiating—or, at least, trying to negotiate—this deal with the Kremlin itself. And Cohen has admitted that he lied to Congress about this history in order to protect Trump politically.

The primary point is that the president's former personal attorney will testify under oath that a man seeking to be president of the United States would at the same time publicly cozy up to the Russian president and negotiate with his regime over a potential business opportunity—and then cover it all up.

Additionally today Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold broke in BuzzFeed News that the Trump Organization planned to gift Vladimir Putin a penthouse suite at Trump Tower Moscow.

BuzzFeed: "President Donald Trump’s company planned to give a $50 million penthouse at Trump Tower Moscow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 campaign, according to four people, one of them the originator of the plan.

Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary."

Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001(a)(2), which prohibits “knowingly and willfully” making any “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” in “any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”
(Cohen had previously pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations in connection with payments to the actress known as Stormy Daniels, along with Karen McDougal.)

Cohen made the false statements to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before “the Iowa caucus and … the very first primary,” in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.
Standing before the judge today Cohen stated, “I made these statements to be consistent with Individual-1’s political messaging and to be loyal to Individual-1.”

U.S. Trade Deficit hits new record high

US Trade Deficit Soars To Record High As Exports Tumble

The October advanced trade balance (deficit) of goods worsened to $77.2 billion ($77.0 billion was expected) from $76.3 billion in September.

Imports rose 0.1% in Oct. to $217.764b from $217.554b in Sept.
Exports fell 0.6% in Oct. to $140.517b from $141.303b in Sept.

In December 2016, the last full month of the Obama Admnistration US goods trade deficit was $63.485 billion.
In October 2018, the US goods trade deficit is $77.2 billion. That's a dramatic rise of almost $14 billion since Donald Trump's election and trade war started.

Does the U.S. Senate have Mueller's back?

"Mueller protection bill could get Senate vote"
The move would pave the way to confirming more of Trump's judges.

"The Senate could vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller in order to clear away a potential logjam on President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, the No. 2 Senate Republican said on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said several times on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that the chamber could vote on a bill that would codify some protections for special counsel investigations, a key demand of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has said he will oppose all judicial nominees until he gets his vote."

We're still counting votes here in California

Might the Dems end up with 40 seats?

Democrat TJ Cox grabs lead over Republican David Valadao in nation's last remaining undecided House race

Democrat TJ Cox slipped past Republican incumbent David Valadao on Monday to take the lead in the country’s sole remaining undecided congressional race, positioning Democrats to pick up their seventh House seat in California and 40th nationwide.
Cox, who trailed by nearly 4,400 votes on election night, has steadily gained as ballot counting continues nearly three weeks after the Nov. 6 election, a pattern consistent with the state’s recent voting history.

On Monday, he pulled ahead by 436 votes after Kern and Tulare counties updated their results.
“Every update has kept us on track to win,” said Phillip Vander Klay, a Cox spokesman, “and we're still on that track.”

Mexico will deport nearly 500 migrants

The Mexican government announced Sunday evening that it will deport nearly 500 migrants who rushed the U.S. border between Tijuana and San Diego, Calif.

In a statement, Mexico's interior department said these migrants were captured with the help of local authorities of the government from the state of Baja California and will be deported after attempting to cross the border "violently" and "illegally."

Videos and photos of the migrants, including children, crossing a footbridge over a canal in Tijuana as they headed to the border were posted to social media. The incident prompted both the U.S. and Mexico to shut down the port of entry on their respective sides.
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