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Thread: 2020 American Political Scene

  1. #121
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    Trump says he's commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
    President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    Blagojevich, a Democrat, was convicted in 2011 by a federal jury in Chicago on 17 counts, including an attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

    MORE: Trump announces pardons for several high-profile individuals

    He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and has been serving his prison time at a Colorado federal prison since 2012. His date for expected release was 2024, factoring in two years of credit for good behavior.

    "He served eight years in jail, that's a long time, and I watched his wife on television, I don't know him very well, I met him a couple of times, he was on for a short time on 'The Apprentice' years ago, seemed like a very nice person, don't know him, but he served eight years in jail, there's a long time to go," Trump said Tuesday. "He'll be able to go home to his family after serving eight years in jail, that was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion."

    Trump has long floated the idea of commuting his sentence and said that he thinks Blagojevich had served enough time and been treated unfairly.

    "I am thinking very seriously about commuting his sentence so that he can go home to his family after seven years," Trump said in August of last year. "You have drug dealers that get not even 30 days, and they’ve killed 25 people. They put him in jail for 18 years, and he has many years left. And I think it’s very unfair."

    In January, Blagojevich penned a column on Newsmax titled, "House Democrats Would Have Impeached Lincoln" amid the now-wrapped congressional impeachment efforts against Trump. While Blagojevich didn't mention Trump's name in the column, his wife Patti Blagojevich tagged the president's name as she retweeted the piece.

    Blagojevich appears to defend Trump in the column against House Democrats' efforts, comparing the impeachment proceedings with his own criminal case, and calling the House impeachment vote an "abuse of the Constitution."

    "No president is safe if a majority of hyperpartisan House members from the opposition party are willing to abuse the Constitution and vote to impeach," Blagojevich wrote. "And the worst part of it is, that should this happen, those politicians are taking from the people their right to choose their own leaders though free elections."

    While in prison, the disgraced governor rose to fame in part because of his penchant for sartorial flamboyance, larger-than-life persona and an apparent eagerness to perform for the camera. He became known through tabloids by the mononym "Blago," and the Chicago Tribune reported that inmates inside of the prison refer to him simply as "Gov."

    In 2009, he appeared on NBC's "The Apprentice," a reality TV show hosted by Trump.

    Blagojevich also fronted a prison band called "The Jailhouse Rockers," which his defense team used as an example of his good behavior during his appeal to no avail.

    _______________

    Despite being a Democrat, Trump obviously sees a kindred spirit in Blagojevich and thinks he's been treated unfairly. I can't imagine why (THEY'RE BOTH CORRUPT AS HELL).

    Blago kissing Trump's ass certainly didn't hurt one bit.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #122
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    Roger Stone judge ignores Trump's taunts, leaves sentencing scheduled for Thursday

    Roger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it.

    That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.

    Uproar surrounding Stone's upcoming sentencing arose last week when prosecutors in the case recommended a 7–9 year prison term for Stone's crimes of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump tweeted to complain about the suggestion, and Attorney General William Barr intervened, with the DOJ eventually recommending a lighter sentence for Stone. Trump then repeatedly attacked Jackson's handling of the case, including in Twitter threads Tuesday morning where he cited Fox & Friends to call for her to delay Stone's sentencing.

    Despite the presidential controversy, "I'm willing to make sure there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of the sentence at the sentencing hearing," Jackson said in a Tuesday scheduling call.
    ___________

    Let's see how fast Trump pardons Stone....any bets?
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  3. #123
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    Trump declares himself 'chief law enforcement officer'

    President Trump on Tuesday exercised his pardon power, granting clemency to or commuting the sentences of nearly a dozen people convicted of crimes, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and junk bond pioneer Michael Milken.

    Trump also referred to himself as the nation's “chief law enforcement officer,” a title typically reserved for the attorney general.

    On Tuesday morning, the White House announced Trump’s pardoning of former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. for his involvement in a 1998 corruption case against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards. Ohio pastor Darrell Scott, a longtime Trump supporter, told the Associated Press that he submitted “a package” to the president advocating for DeBartolo’s pardon.

    Speaking on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One en route to a fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Trump announced that he had commuted Blagojevich’s sentence. The former governor is serving a 14-year sentence on federal corruption charges.

    Trump was asked by reporters about the public rebuke from Attorney General William Barr, who said in an interview last week that such tweets make his job “impossible.” The president said he agreed.

    “I do make his job harder,” Trump said. “I do agree with that, I do. He’s working against a lot of people who don’t want to see good things happen, in my opinion.”

    The president reiterated his claim that he has the right to intervene in the Stone case.

    “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country,” Trump said. “I could be involved if I wanted to.”
    ____________

    Never mind his latest self-promotion to a title he hasn't the slightest claim to....does any Trump follower care to decipher the part in bold?

    In Trump's opinion, Barr is working against a lot of people who don't want to see good things happen. And Trump agrees that he makes Barr's job harder.

    So, logically...
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  4. #124
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    Barr mulls resigning over Trump's tweets: Sources

    Just hours after President Donald Trump openly defied his public pleas to stop tweeting about criminal matters in the Justice Department, Attorney General Bill Barr told people close to Trump Tuesday that he is considering resigning over the tweets that Barr had previously told ABC News make it “impossible” to do his job, sources tell ABC News.

    The resignation would amount stunning rebuke by a cabinet official long believed to be among the most loyal to Trump, and would indicate an uncertain future for the DOJ as officials have sought to grapple with the president’s increasingly emboldened attempts to intervene in the justice system.

    In an exclusive interview with ABC News last week, Barr had warned Trump that his tweets about the DOJ, in particular the sentencing process of his former long-time advisor Roger Stone, were disrupting his ability to manage the department.

    “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.” Barr said. “Whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial boards, or the president. I’m gonna do what I think is right. And, you know, the, I think the -- I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

    The interview followed a week of turmoil for the DOJ after Barr ordered prosecutors to reverse their recommendation that Stone serve 7-9 years in prison, following his conviction last year on seven separate counts that included lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.

    The reversal came only hours after President Trump had tweeted calling the recommendation “horrible and very unfair,” adding, “Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”

    Four line prosecutors who had been in charge of the case withdrew in protest over the intervention, including one who resigned from the DOJ altogether.

    In his interview with ABC News, Barr repeatedly insisted he had made the decision to reverse the recommendation prior to the tweet, adding Trump had “never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”

    Just a day after the interview, the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., said it would not be prosecuting former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe after a two-year investigation. The announcement followed repeated public calls by President Trump that McCabe and other former officials involved in the start of the Russia investigation be thrown in jail.

    That did little to alleviate the public pressure on Barr, however, when just hours later on Friday it was revealed that he had ordered a separate review of the criminal case against another long-time Trump ally, former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Citing what they described as unprecedented interference in a criminal inquiry, a group of more than 2,000 former DOJ officials signed onto a petition Sunday calling for Barr’s resignation.

    While the White House said following Barr’s interview that Trump continued to have confidence in him, the attorney general’s warnings failed to blunt Trump’s attacks on the Stone case and the prosecutors who resigned.

    “These were Mueller prosecutors, and the whole Mueller investigation was illegally set up based on a phony and now fully discredited Fake Dossier, lying and forging documents to the FISA Court, and many other things,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out.”

    Later in the day, DOJ lawyers filed a motion in court in opposition to Stone’s lawyers who had called for the trial to be thrown out altogether.

    A department official told reporters that Barr personally supported the motion, echoing his previous statements to ABC News in which he described Stone’s trial as a “righteous prosecution” and agreed that Stone deserved some time in prison.
    _____________

    *snort* Yeah right lol

    Still, it would be nice to see this miscreant out of the Justice Department and subjected to the usual post-employment Trump abuse.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  5. #125
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    More Democrats meeting with Iranians.
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/chris-...reign-minister
    Logan act violation?
    Last edited by surfgun; 19 Feb 20, at 05:05.

  6. #126
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    More Democrats meeting with Iranians.
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/chris-...reign-minister
    Logan act violation?
    "Many of us have met w Zarif over the years, under Obama and Trump," Murphy tweeted. "So though no one in Congress can negotiate with Zarif or carry official U.S. government messages, there is value in having a dialogue."

    Still not bothering to read what you post, I see.
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  7. #127
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    Despite being a Democrat, Trump obviously sees a kindred spirit in Blagojevich and thinks he's been treated unfairly. I can't imagine why (THEY'RE BOTH CORRUPT AS HELL).
    yes, the commutation of Blagojevich and Kerik and Milken REALLY demonstrate Trump's commitment against corruption. what an anti-corruption fighter, both at home and in Ukraine. /rolleyes
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #128
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    Rod Blagojevich announces his new party affiliation: 'I'm a Trumpocrat'

    Reporters spotted Blagojevich on Tuesday night, as he prepared to board a flight from Denver to Chicago. Blagojevich shared that while in prison, he thought a lot about the "broken and unfair criminal justice system" and how there are "too many people who have too much power who don't have any accountability." He expressed his "most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump," adding that "he's a Republican president, I was a Democratic governor. My fellow Democrats have not been very kind to him — in fact, they've been very unkind to him. If you're asking me what my party affiliation is, I'm a Trumpocrat."
    __________

    You know Rod, if you twist your head a little, you might be able to get your head all the way up Trump's ass. Even so, you're a shoe-in for a Cabinet-level position in Trump's kindergarten administration.

    He does make a good point though. There is no more "Republican Party". There's only the Party of Trump.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  9. #129
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    He does make a good point though. There is no more "Republican Party". There's only the Party of Trump.
    i wonder if Pence has ever seen the conservative-world memes about DJT President 2020/DJT Jr-Ivanka 2024.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  10. #130
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    A note from my mother

    My mom’s about to turn 88. After graduate school, she was promoted from teacher to principal. All her life, she identified as a Republican (Dad’s a Democrat), but always insisted she voted for candidates, not just straight party line.

    She just sent me this:

    Hi,

    You’ll be glad to know that this morning I re-registered to vote as a Democrat. This was not an easy decision after following generations of family Republicans. Also, I will always truly support some of the conservative values. However, two truths become more and more evident:

    First, , the country has changed and the former, traditional ways are no longer possible. If we do not grow globally, we will not grow at all and isolation is not an option. There is so much evil, and corruption in the world, that to deny it is naive and dangerous, and to ignore the victims is more than wrong. Stamping our feet and refusing to acknowledge our responsibility in the name of patriotism is childish.

    Second, is simply Donald Trump. I did not vote for him, but could not accept Hillary, so I threw away my vote. I cannot do that again. I blame myself every time he tweets something sophomoric or trades a national advantage for personal glory. And on and on and on . . . ..

    None of this is new thinking for you, but for me it is a shift, a sacrifice, an admission, a necessary decision. I hear you cheering from London.
    Lots of love,
    Mom
    I responded,

    Oh, my.

    I'm so sorry that this man is the cause of your decision, which I know must be gut wrenching. Nevertheless, I am cheering, because I know deep in my heart you are so much better than what the GOP has turned into.

    It isn't that you have left the Republican Party; rather, the Republican Party left you. And, very honestly, that makes me sad. We need a strong, conservative party to balance out a strong, progressive one. Neither side has all the answers, and each will -- must -- lean toward its less useful extreme side if it is not left unchecked.

    I don't agree with the leftist elements in the Democratic Party, but so far I have never felt that any of them put the party's interests (or, their own) ahead of the nation. Much of the mistrust that has developed between the two parties has been encouraged and facilitated by non-Americans, people who do not deserve to participate in our decisions. That is flatly wrong, and I firmly believe that the majority of the distrust Hillary Clinton faced has been built on ground fertilized by the Russians.

    Anyone who encourages that does not belong in politics. And, anyone who says, "No, Mr President, your Supreme Court nominee won't get a hearing in the Senate, because you're not from my party," or who says, "We refuse to hear any evidence of impeachable offenses, because you're not from our party," doesn't deserve to be Senate Majority Leader. Or Senator, or respected.

    Nevermind. I'm proud of you (as I always have been), and if you agree, I'd like to share your story ... with or without proudly proclaiming "She's my mother!"

    Love,
    David
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  11. #131
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    We need a strong, conservative party to balance out a strong, progressive one. Neither side has all the answers, and each will -- must -- lean toward its less useful extreme side if it is not left unchecked.
    That's exactly how I feel, in a nutshell.

    This stance of course gets me labeled as those very things: Either a jackbooted Republican or a socialist Democrat.

    And oh yes, how could I forget, "an enemy of the people" by "friends" that have (supposedly) known me for years.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  12. #132
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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleges that Trump offered him a pardon if he denied that Russia hacked the DNC

    Lawyers for Julian Assange, the founder of the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks, told a London court on Wednesday that he plans to call a witness who will allege that Assange was offered a presidential pardon if he said Russia was not involved in hacking and stealing information from the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 US election.

    James Doleman, a British court and technology reporter, tweeted that Assange's team said at a pretrial hearing related to the US government's extradition case against Assange that the witness would allege that Assange was offered a pardon if he would "play ball."

    Sonia Gallego, an Al Jazeera reporter, also confirmed the news, tweeting that the person said to have made the offer was Dana Rohrabacher, a former US Republican congressman known for his pro-Russia stance.

    The Daily Beast reported that lawyers for Assange said Rohrabacher told Assange he was acting on President Donald Trump's direct orders and offered a pardon if Assange said Russia had nothing to do with hacking the DNC.

    Vanessa Baraitser, the district judge overseeing the hearing, said the allegation would be admissible during Assange's extradition hearing, which is scheduled to start next week, the Daily Beast reported.

    Lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder told the court that Assange should not be extradited to the US because the case against him is political in nature rather than criminal.

    The Justice Department last year unveiled 18 charges against Assange, including conspiracy to hack classified US government computers and violating espionage laws. The charges are linked to his activities with Chelsea Manning, the former US soldier with whom he leaked a huge trove of state secrets via WikiLeaks in 2010.

    The government characterized the leak as "one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States."

    The DOJ has been investigating Assange since 2010 related to the obtaining and disseminating of sensitive information pertaining to US national-security interests, and the charges against him were not entirely unexpected.

    Assange was staying at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London until it revoked his political asylum in April, alleging a litany of bad behavior during his yearslong stay.

    Shortly after, British police arrested Assange and took him to court, where he was convicted of breaching bail conditions in the UK. The US has since been working to get Assange extradited to face trial.

    Reuters reported that Assange appeared at his pretrial hearing on Wednesday via videoconference from prison and "spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth."

    The charges against Assange do not relate to WikiLeaks' involvement in helping the Russian government disseminate stolen Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign.

    Assange and WikiLeaks were at the center of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

    In an indictment charging 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking into the DNC and disseminating stolen emails, Mueller's office described WikiLeaks — though not by name — as the Russians' conduit to release hacked documents via the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who is believed to be a front for Russian military intelligence.

    WikiLeaks touts itself as an independent organization, but US intelligence believes the group to be a propaganda tool for the Kremlin. In 2017, while he was the CIA director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo characterized WikiLeaks as a "nonstate hostile intelligence service."

    The Wall Street Journal reported in 2018 that prosecutors were weighing whether to publicly charge Assange, as they did with the Russian intelligence officers, to force the Ecuadorian Embassy to turn him over to the US.
    ___________

    Shocking. Utterly shocking. A slime like Assange being offered a quid pro quo by King Slime himself.

    "Getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks, and I wanted to stay there, but I didn't want to keep you waiting. Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks."
    Donald Trump
    November 4, 2016
    Wilmington, OH

    Yeah, I'll bet you do. Asshole.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  13. #133
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    That's exactly how I feel, in a nutshell.

    This stance of course gets me labeled as those very things: Either a jackbooted Republican or a socialist Democrat.

    And oh yes, how could I forget, "an enemy of the people" by "friends" that have (supposedly) known me for years.
    Oh, you could be called worse than that. Reading what one of my fellow Hornet volunteers put up on his Facebook page two days ago. He was a SH-3 crew chief for years and is into helicopters, pet dogs and scratch model building. That is all. Someone who follows him not only called the press the enemy of the state but Democrats were also enemies of the state who needed to be dealt with. Yeah, off the wall but every time I hear the word "State" I can't help think Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. I took him to task and he wasn't happy with what I called him.

    So I'll see your "people" and raise you "state"

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Oh, you could be called worse than that. Reading what one of my fellow Hornet volunteers put up on his Facebook page two days ago. He was a SH-3 crew chief for years and is into helicopters, pet dogs and scratch model building. That is all. Someone who follows him not only called the press the enemy of the state but Democrats were also enemies of the state who needed to be dealt with. Yeah, off the wall but every time I hear the word "State" I can't help think Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. I took him to task and he wasn't happy with what I called him.

    So I'll see your "people" and raise you "state"
    Gotta love that love affair with authoritarianism.

    Of course, these are the same people that were convinced that Obama wasn't going to leave office and have us all rounded up into abandoned Wal-Marts, microchipped, then herded off to FEMA death camps.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  15. #135
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Gotta love that love affair with authoritarianism.

    Of course, these are the same people that were convinced that Obama wasn't going to leave office and have us all rounded up into abandoned Wal-Marts, microchipped, then herded off to FEMA death camps.
    You do realize there is no going back. Democrats can all talk about unity but that has pretty much been shot down for the foreseeable future. There has always been a fairly decent size group in this country who harbored, and still do, latent prejudices. Mostly they stayed quiet and below the radar and so the boat wasn't rocked too much. However, Trump has upended that as he decided tapping into those latent prejudices was good for him. Those who hold those prejudices saw Trump talking about them through wink, wink, snark, snark, and felt we now have someone like us and we can come out of the closet. Naturally the people on the receiving end of these prejudices be it religious, race, gender, or immigrant are not likely to forget nor forgive anytime soon. Disunity will no doubt be the defining issue of this decade unfortunately.

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