“Kavanaughed”: Who Will Agree to Run for Public Office After This Charade?

It is hard enough to find qualified, smart people to run for office as it is.  I’d bet hundreds if not thousands of well qualified people  refused to run for office or judgeships in the 70’s to 90’s due to worry about whether they could pass the FBI’s background checks and polygraph on drug use. No one cares about drug use now, it’s ubiquitous and a fact of life, in large part due to our government’s backwards policies on drug laws. Now the issue is disqualification due to 35-year old groping and indecent exposure allegations dating back to high school and freshman year in college.  People are so worked up about it, they are ready to bring out the firing squad. Even though the target of their socially or politically motivated hatred towards their perceived and now-outed offender hasn’t been charged with a crime, convicted of a crime and there’s been no confirmation a crime ever happened.

In other words, people now think it’s just fine to assume the male is guilty of whatever accusation is hurled his way. Why? Because other women chose to suffer in silence at the perceived indignities they suffered way back when and see this as a chance to get even? There’s a big difference between taking accusations seriously  and assuming the accusation is true. The former calls for an investigation. Nothing justifies the latter prior to a hearing before a neutral and detached magistrate or tribunal. That’s the law in America. [More…] Read More

Norway Open Thread

(From Lillyhammer, with Steve Van Zandt)

So, who’s been to Norway? Not me.

Donald Trump exposed himself today as the vulgar, insensitive man we all knew he was.

He has single-handedly ruined the image of America around the globe in the last year. How many generations will it take to recover, assuming America is still here.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome, especially site suggestions.

Bangladeshi Officials to U.S: Ullah is a Homegrown U.S. Terrorist

 

Bangladeshi government officials have told the U.S. that Akayed Ullah is a product of U.S. homegrown terrorism .

 Bangladesh has communicated with the US government that it has no record on Akayed Ullah’s involvement with the militancy here and termed him as a “homegrown US terrorist,” a senior Bangladesh government official said on Tuesday.

Here is the Affidavit in support of the Complaint against Ullah. Among other things, it states that Ullah wrote on his FB page, “Trump you failed to protect your nation.”

The Affidavit states Ullah told authorities his attack was ISIS-inspired and he began following ISIS sites online in 2014. (What took him so long to act, and why now, after ISIS has lost so much ground in Syria and Iraq?)

ISIS has been calling for homegrown attacks in the U.S. and Europe since shortly after it declared its Caliphate in June, 2014. Deceased ISIS spokesman al-Adnani called for homegrown attacks in September, 2014.  Read More

Sen. Al Franken Gets A Groping Allegation of His Own

Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles reporter has issued a statement detailing a pretty disgusting encounter with Al Franken in 2006. Franken was not a Senator at the time. The story ends with a photo of him grabbing her breasts while she’s asleep on the military plane home from Afghanistan.

The alleged incident occurred during her 9th ISO Tour to entertain the troops. (Her father was a Vietnam vet and her husband (then her boyfriend) is an Air Force Pilot.

Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.

You can read the rest at the link.

Read More

ACLU Ready to Fight Trump Policies in Court

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The ACLU says Donald Trump is a one-man constitutional crisis and it’s ready to fight him in court.

In the event of a Trump presidency, we have undertaken a constitutional analysis of his most controversial policy proposals. These include his pledges to deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants, to ban Muslims from entering the United States, to surveil American Muslims and their houses of worship, to torture again, and to revise libel laws. We have found them all wanting, to say the least. According to our analysis, Trump’s proposals taken together would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution.

ACLU lawyers have prepared this legal analysis of his positions. Read More

Mexico Touts Arrests of El Chapo’s Tunnel Team

Mexico’s Attorney General this week announced the arrest of six people (and a few more with arrest warrants who are not yet caught) who helped Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escape from Altiplano prison in July. She didn’t name them but their names are available on Mexican news sites. (More here and here.)

Several were arrested in July and August — in other words, not all are new arrests, just newly disclosed arrests. So who are they? See below: Read More

How to Get a Gold Star From the DEA

Bump and Update: The Flores Twins have each been sentenced to 14 years. The Judge said had they not continued to deal drugs while cooperating, they would have gotten 12 years.

The infamous Flores twins of Chicago will finally be sentenced Tuesday. Some background on twin brothers Pedro and Margarito Flores, is in this Chicago Reader article. The Government filed its sentencing memorandum a few weeks ago, which I have uploaded here. Their sentencing guidelines (level 47, Category I) call for a sentence of life in prison (there is no parole in the federal system and good time doesn't apply to a life sentence.)

Due to the Flores Twins' “extraordinary cooperation”, which the Government maintains resulted in more than 50 people being charged (list here), most of whom are their workers and customers, the Government is asking for a sentence at the low end of a reduced range of 10 to 16 years. The Government writes:

Absent their cooperation, the government would argue life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence for these defendants. However, they are not being sentenced absent cooperation.

How big were the Flores twins? Read More

San Diego : Newly Unsealed Sinaloa Charges Aren’t Very New

Amidst much fanfare and back-patting at a press conference Friday, the U.S. Attorney in San Diego Friday announced recently unsealed drug and money laundering indictments of various leaders and members of the Sinaloa cartel. The Government’s press release is here, and the list of charged defendants is here.

“Recently unsealed” does not mean “new.” Read More

Tsarnaev Defense Appeals Denial of Venue Change

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of the Boston Marathon bombings. Yesterday, hours after the trial court refused its most recent request for a continuance, the defense filed a petition for writ of mandamus with the First Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a change of venue, or in the alternative, an order compelling the trial judge to hold an evidentiary hearing on its change of venue motion. You can read it here. It also filed a motion in the trial court requesting that jury selection be delayed until the appeals court has ruled.

The petition makes several references to the ruling of Judge Matsch in the OKC bombing case of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (available here.) Judge Matsch rejected the Government’s arguments that a fair trial could be held outside of OKC, but still in Oklahoma. He ruled a fair trial was not possible anywhere in the state of Oklahoma, and moved the trial to Denver. Read More