Saturday, June 22, 2019

Last Call For Russian To Judgment

Convicted former Trump 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort apparently was getting advice for months from one of Trump's top aides during the Mueller probe, that adviser being one FOX News host Sean Hannity.

Court documents previously filed under seal with the government’s sentencing recommendations for Paul Manafort were made public on Friday.

The documents include a months-long text exchange between Manafort and a “Sean” who appears to be Fox News host Sean Hannity.

The texts show Manafort apparently complimenting Hannity on his coverage, with the Fox host telling Manafort to stay strong throughout the early stages of the Mueller investigation.

“I appreciate what you tried to do,” Manafort wrote in one August 2017 message.

“Mueller is trying to intimidate me,” he wrote. “The raid is just one example.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in an order that the exhibit was initially redacted due to privacy concerns.

In one late November 2017 exchange, Manafort appears to express interest in working on Trump’s 2020 campaign.

“Plus i plan on helping on the re elect !” he wrote.

Hannity repeatedly pleaded with Manafort that he should appear on the Fox News host’s show. Manafort complained about the constraints imposed on him by the gag order in his case, but according to the exchanges, Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing sought to provide Hannity with information on “what we are doing and how it connects to your reporting.”

Hannity reported back to Manafort that an apparent January 2018 call with Downing went well and said that he asked Downing to “feed me everyday

The only reason why Manafort wasn't nailed for contempt of court for violating Judge Amy Berman Jackson's gag order was because they couldn't pin down a follow-up by Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing that actually showed where Manafort broke the gag request.

That's it.

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity is working for the Trump regime as propaganda minister and has been for years.

Our Little Domestic Terrorism Problem, Oregon GOP Edition Con't

Things are definitely getting worse in Oregon as armed white supremacist domestic terror groups are now openly siding with Oregon Republicans in shutting down the state legislature by any means necessary, including threats of deadly violence, in order to prevent Democrats from passing climate change legislation.

Oregon’s top lawmakers will shut down the state capitol after receiving threats from militia groups, who authorities say are planning to demonstrate there in support of the 11 Republican senators who fled the state to dodge a vote on climate change
State Senate President Peter Courtney (D) told his colleagues on Friday that Oregon State Police had informed him there was a credible threat to him, the rest of the remaining senators — all of whom are Democrats — and the building’s staff. 
“It was obviously a credible threat because Sen. Courtney wouldn’t close it down for no reason,” Courtney’s spokeswoman Carol Currie told The Washington Post.
State police confirmed the danger in an emailed statement. 
We have been monitoring information throughout the day that indicates the safety of legislators, staff and citizen visitors could be compromised if certain threatened behaviors were realized,” wrote Capt. Timothy Fox. 
Friday night’s menacing escalation was the latest in a bizarre feud between the state’s Democrats and Republicans, who have clashed repeatedly during this year’s legislative session. 
Early Thursday morning, every GOP senator bolted, reportedly for the Idaho line, rather than sit idly in the chamber as their opponents passed a sweeping cap-and-trade bill. Gov. Kate Brown (D) responded by directing state troopers to corral the Republicans and return them to the state house. 
Democrats have a supermajority in Oregon, allowing them the rare opportunity to pass the legislation of their dreams — but without Republicans, they can’t achieve a quorum. No quorum, no vote. GOP senators said they had two options: allow a bill to pass that they said would devastate their constituents, or make a run for it. 
We will not stand by and be bullied by the majority party any longer," Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr. said in a Thursday statement. “Oregonians deserve better.”

If Republicans cannot control the state, they will threaten violence against those who do until they get the political outcome they want.  This is the textbook definition of political terrorism, and sitting Republicans in Oregon are resorting to terrorist groups in order to get their way.

Here's a theoretical.  Flip the players around and imagine this was Alabama or Florida or Ohio or another state with a GOP supermajority in the state legislature and a GOP governor.  Imagine Democrats leaving the state to prevent a quorum to prevent the state legislature from conducting any business.

Now imagine that Black Lives Matter demonstrators planned a rally at the state capitol to protest the GOP agenda. Imagine state police closing the capitol because of credible threats against GOP lawmakers.

Would anyone in America hesitate to use the phrase "terrorism" there?  Would anyone doubt immediate intervention by Donald Trump, calling for swift and deadly force against both the protestors and the Democratic lawmakers who skipped town?  Immediate international news as National Guardsmen and federal agents descended?

That's the difference.  This story is maybe a page A10 at best.

You will either have a GOP government, America, or you will burn.

This is the Republican party.

Trump Trades Blows, Con't

Time to check in with apparently the only voters who actually exist in America, white red state farmers getting wrecked by Trump's trade wars.

Some rural residents are growing increasingly frustrated with the ongoing trade feuds and wonder how long Trump will call upon farmers to make sacrifices as the country’s “patriots.”

“People are starting to say, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to survive this,’ ” said [South Dakota farmer Ray] Martinmaas, who voted for Trump in 2016, but says he’s open to a Democrat like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock this time. “You know, we’re the ones taking the brunt of it in all these negotiations, so they need to be kind of helping us out right now.”

Martinmaas, whose family homesteaded this land in 1888, said his farm operation lost more than $700,000 last year. He’s had to put a moratorium on buying new equipment, and he’s stuck with grain bins full of soybeans, because China isn’t buying. Other farmers can’t pay their bills for the hay and grain they bought from him.

Martinmaas, 69, says he’s skeptical that Trump’s aid package will help, given the uncertainty about how much individual farmers will receive and who will qualify.

Trump’s 2016 victory hung largely on support from rural and small-town Americans like Martinmaas. His approval rating with them remains strong — 57 percent, far higher than the 39 percent of Americans overall, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll in late April.

But a survey of farmers released this month by Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture shows rising pessimism, with only 20 percent saying they believe the trade war with China will be resolved by July 1, down from 45 percent in March.

But in tiny Orient — population 63 — farmers are beginning to voice disillusionment and frustration. More than a dozen farmers did not have their operating loans renewed for the coming year, according to a local lender, with at least one farmer losing it all and a land auction planned for the courthouse steps later this month. Agriculture exports from the state to China — a big soybean buyer — fell 40 percent in the state last year, part of a $10 billion loss nationally, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis.

But they'll vote for Trump anyway.  Every single one of them.  Worst case scenario is that a state that Trump won by 40 points he only wins by 30 in 2020.

Bonus hatred for coastal elites:

Martinmaas runs his farm operation — including Angus beef cattle, corn, soybeans, sunflowers and hogs — with his three brothers. He was born and raised in Orient, in a tiny house with no electricity or running water, one of 12 children of conservative Catholic parents. Now he lives with his wife, Becky Martinmaas, in a cozy house decorated in a lodge theme, with a gun room, workshop, horse barn, skinning shed and a salt-lick pallet out front, which Becky hand-painted in the colors of the American flag and the words “Let Freedom Ring.”

Married 31 years, they share a commitment to hard work and family, a love of sport shooting and hunting, and a distaste for coastal elites.

“I always say the West Coast and East Coast can each be a country and the rest of us will be just fine,” Martinmaas said from his kitchen table one recent Sunday, as Becky made butter biscuits.

“But they’d starve!” she said.

“Here in flyover country, we have everything we need — food, oil,” Martinmaas said.

“Except voters,” his wife responds

They hate, hate, hate the fact that city slickers actually matter more than their heroic farmer selves that feed an ungrateful nation, and they will lay down their livlihoods for the man who promises them that America will be run by farmers in South Dakota and not those people in South Harlem.

Oh, and they fully expect Trump to fix that "Except voters" problem.  That's why they elected him.  That's why they'll vote for him again.

Why is anyone expecting anything different?

Deportation Nation, Con't

It's been a busy June for Team Evil as Trump's promise earlier this week of mass deportation operations is coming to fruition on Sunday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is pressing forward to arrest and deport families with court-ordered removals in 10 cities beginning Sunday, according to a senior immigration official, after President Donald Trump's tweet revealing an operation was imminent.

But acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has been hesitant about elements of the operation, according to two sources familiar with his thinking.

ICE has said it was considering options to arrest and deport families who have gone through their legal proceedings but has refrained from publicly providing the scope and timeframe of the operation, which officials say could lead to a situation where a family is separated and could cause a backlash against the department. 
To that end, Trump's tweet Monday night that ICE, the enforcement arm of DHS, was preparing to deport "millions" of undocumented immigrants next week was striking, given the figure and the decision to disclose an operation prior to its execution. 
"If you're here illegally, then you should be removed," acting head of ICE Mark Morgan told reporters Wednesday during a call prompted by the President's tweet. "And in this case, that includes families."

ICE says it expects to target thousands of families, as a matter of fact.  And they're doing this for two reasons: number one, as always, Serwer's Maxim. The cruelty is the point.

Four toddlers were so severely ill and neglected at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, that lawyers forced the government to hospitalize them last week.

The children, all under age 3 with teenage mothers or guardians, were feverish, coughing, vomiting and had diarrhea, immigration attorneys told HuffPost on Friday. Some of the toddlers and infants were refusing to eat or drink. One 2-year-old’s eyes were rolled back in her head, and she was “completely unresponsive” and limp, according to Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based attorney.

She described seeing terror in the children’s eyes.

“It’s just a cold, fearful look that you should never see in a child of that age,” Gialluca said. “You look at them and you think, ‘What have you seen?’”

Another mother at the same facility had a premature baby, who was “listless” and wrapped in a dirty towel, as HuffPost previously reported.

The lawyers feared that if they had not shown up at the facility, the sick kids would have received zero medical attention and potentially died. The Trump administration has come under fire for its treatment ― and its alleged neglect ― of migrants who have been crossing the southern border in record numbers. The result is overcrowded facilities, slow medical care and in some instances, deaths.

Trump isn't denying these reports, because he wants them spread far and wide.  He wants migrants terrified.  He wants undocumented folks terrified.  And he wants them fleeing the country.

Reason #2 the ICE machine is shifting into high gear: Obama did a better job of deportations.

Trump won't stand for that.  ICE has its orders to beat Obama.

The wild card in Sunday's raids: law enforcement cooperation in the case of sanctuary cities like Chicago.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the Chicago Police Department “will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions.”

According to The Washington Post, President Trump directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to conduct a “mass roundup” of migrant families with deportation orders. The operation is stated to likely begin on Sunday in major U.S. cities.

In a statement Lightfoot said, “We are all aware of the threat from President Trump regarding raids by ICE, and in response, Chicago has taken concrete steps to support our immigrant communities.”

Lightfoot said with her direction, CPD has “terminated ICE’s access to CPD’s databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities.”

The mayor said she has personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced her strong objection to any raids.

“Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I encourage any resident in need of legal aid to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center,” Ligthfoot stated.

We'll see how this all plays out this weekend.
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