User-Supported News Commentary Hosted by Craig Crawford
By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor
Our trail lesson for the day:
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catching us up on doings from Manafort to Cohen cases, here’s this morning’s blooomberg:
These hazy days of August aren’t for the lazy in Trump’s legal world.
Manafort’s Speedy Justice
The pace of Manafort’s tax- and bank-fraud trial is blistering, with U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III forcing prosecutors to race through evidence and cutting them off when they spend too long on a topic. “The more I can do to shorten this thing the better,” Ellis told prosecutors. “Then you get to go home and I get to go home.” The prosecutors obliged, calling at least 12 witnesses in the first week, and still managing to tell the jury about Manafort’s extravagant lifestyle. One of Manafort’s accountants testified that her firm agreed to falsify his tax returns because he couldn’t afford the taxes. Prosecutors also elicited testimony from his bookkeeper and another accountant that supported charges Manafort lied on his taxes and bank-loan applications.
Manafort’s lawyers initially put the blame for any wrongdoing on his right-hand man, Rick Gates. But the bookkeeper and accountant testified Manafort was the one to give orders and controlled the finances. That left
Manafort’s lawyers arguing at week’s end that Manafort wouldn’t have left evidence around if he was trying to break the law.
The trial is likely to remain the focus of attention next week, when Gates is expected to testify against his former business partner as the prosecution’s star witness — putting everything in context for the jury.
To convict Manafort of the tax crimes, jurors will have to conclude that he knew the law and broke it anyway.
[….read on for more on the other cases….]
None of this lazy dog day stuff for Toby. Here she is on patrol outside Southern Command.
John Oliver explains how prosecutors use, or in some cases misuse, their power within our criminal justice system and why it’s important to know whether or not your district attorney is a dog.
warning re above video: john oliver doesn’t point out the big difference in federal vs state discovery rules. I only mention this in case you thought he was subtlety accusing the Mueller team of misconduct discovery-wise and feeling sorry for Manafort.
It’s going to be in the high 90’s here today… this isn’t supposed to happen in NH. Luckily, I’m home today in an air conditioned house. Poor Rick, is working as a volunteer at the fair today. I’ll be waiting for him with a bucket of cold water when he gets home.
and oh yeah… the Red Sox swept their 4-game series with the Yankees… YES!
So it’s going to be the Sox v Indians for the pennant?
On the bucket of water for Rick. Use a plastic bucket. Although it will be more difficult to stabilize above the door, it will be much less likely to injure him or damage the floor.
I looked at the League standings yesterday. It struck me that the Sox might be peaking too early. The Indians have been playing consistent ball all season long; they will need to peak in the post-season. Time will tell. If we can’t do it on the 70th anniversary of ’48, we’ll just have to wait for the 75th!
Maria Butina’s alleged backer linked to Kremlin-financed bank and Putin associates
Revealed: Konstantin Nikolaev, who reportedly financed Butina, worked with two banks and two oligarchs who are under US sanctions
The Russian billionaire said to have given financial support to a woman charged with spying for Moscow in Washington has received funding from Kremlin-backed banks and has ties to close associates of Vladimir Putin.
Konstantin Nikolaev worked with two banks and two oligarchs who are all now under US sanctions. Nikolaev was also appointed to a Russian military advisory panel, while his wife has a senior role at a state-backed arms company.
Maria Butina, a 29-year-old Russian woman charged with working to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and influence US politics, told senate investigators that Nikolaev, a transportation magnate, gave her financial backing, according to a source with knowledge of her testimony.
Championship Dog Days for Some
Good morning from Memphis, where Memphis police apparently use fake social media accounts to keep tabs on citizens and St. Jude is changing its race route. But first…
Shelby County Democrats trounced Republicans last night.
Of the 26 county offices up for grabs, Democrats won all but five — and those were previously Republican commission seats. Before the election, Republicans held nine of the 10 most high-profile county offices, including mayor and sheriff. Now, they hold zero.
snippets from long piece in the guardian ”
Meet Trump’s friend and fixer: David Pecker, the tabloid king”
The National Enquirer owner, whose name has emerged in Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry, has had a symbiotic relationship with the president for decades
David Pecker’s reach into US society is unescapable: he owns nearly every supermarket tabloid and gossip sheet in the United States, including the flagship publication National Enquirer.
But before he surfaced as part of a federal investigation into the former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, relatively little was known about Pecker, the longtime chief executive of American Media, Inc (AMI) and close Trump confidant.
He took centre stage two months ago when it was reported that he had been drawn into the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 election.
Tabloids have been central to Trump’s myth-building since he emerged on the New York real estate scene. But none have been more helpful to his political ambitions than the Enquirer, which under Pecker has served to make Trump’s political attacks and storylines more digestible.
“The National Enquirer is even more valuable than a campaign mailer,” says the former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg. “Why? Because whether people buy it or not, if they’re standing in a line, they’re standing in Walmart, they’re standing in a Costco, they’re waiting in line, they’re bored, they pull out the Enquirer and they look at it. And a lot of those people are primary voters, Republican voters, and election voters.”
Now Federal Election Commission officials will determine if AMI violated campaign finance laws during the 2016 presidential campaign. At issue is AMI’s purchase of the rights to the McDougal’s Trump affair story, part of a $150,000 deal signing her on as a contributor, but neither the story, nor any of McDougal’s commentary, ever materialized.
The McDougal arrangement is also being examined in a separate investigation out of the southern district of New York. Federal investigators have asked for all communications between Cohen and Pecker and Howard, part of a larger criminal investigation of Cohen. AMI has denied any wrongdoing and Trump has denied any knowledge of payment to McDougal.
Both men keep second estates in Palm Beach, Florida, and their shared sensibilities go well beyond their mutual love of deal-making and obsession with celebrity. “I have never in my entire life seen a more beautiful woman in a bodysuit than Marla Maples,” a New Yorker piece recalls Pecker remarking of an early trip to Mar-a-Lago. “I mean, seriously, out of 10 she was a 15.”
For Pecker, Trump offered access to power. And for Trump, who came up through tabloid media, Pecker offered a continuation of his mythos. Pecker became a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago and made use of Trump’s private planes.
He has also enjoyed the occasional affectionate tweetstorm from the president, as in 2013, when Trump tweeted repeatedly about how Pecker should be put in charge of Time magazine.
Trump has fostered many warm, fuzzy relationships with media heavyweights, including at Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. But none is quite so affectionate as the one with Pecker.
“Pecker would take care of Trump,” the former National Enquirer executive Stu Zakim said recently on CNN. “You have to understand the basis of the relationship that the two guys have.”
Nunberg, the former Trump campaign adviser, told the Guardian he was aware of Trump’s relationship with Pecker and spelled out the ways in which the Enquirer’s favorable coverage was a boon to the campaign.
”Look at the timeline of specific stories. A story was placed against Jeb Bush when we were worried about Jeb Bush,” Nunberg said. “When Marco Rubio was surging, the National Enquirer put out a story insinuating he was a gigolo in Miami. And then there was the Ted Cruz story that he had slept with five women outside his marriage. Look at their coverage of Hillary during the general about her health, her corruption. That is valuable. Everyone wants to use this term ‘get eyeballs, get eyeballs’. Forget eyeballs – it’s interesting. Not something you’ll fast-forward on your TiVo. You’re going to look at this. It’s a wacky story. It’s a tabloid. It’s valuable.”
He added, reflecting on the election: “You can talk to lots of people, they’d rather lose with dignity than win. I don’t believe that. We would take anything, any advantage we could get.”
Dad is probably getting a resection of a suspected bladder tumor today, depending on what scope shows. At his age the anesthesia worries me most.
Thanks to those for keeping trail rolling with thread posts. We’re covered thru tomorrow.
hell, at anyone’s age the anesthesia should be worrisome …. that and mrsa.
let him know powerful positive thoughts are being sent y’all’s way.
bbc: Iran nuclear deal: EU shields firms from US sanctions law
European foreign affairs chiefs have pledged to protect firms against the impact of US sanctions for doing business with Iran.
An EU “blocking statute” will take effect on Tuesday to nullify US legal action against European firms in connection with Iran.
Some US sanctions on Iran are expected to be reimposed later on Monday.
In May, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from an international 2015 deal to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Under that deal, nuclear-related Western sanctions on Iran were lifted.
Mr Trump argues that the deal will not prevent Iran from finding ways to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has always insisted that its nuclear research is strictly for civilian purposes.
A joint statement from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK says the nuclear deal – or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – is “crucial” for global security.
“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231,” the statement says.
“This is why the European Union’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.”
They say they “expect Iran to fully implement its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA”.
Mr C had bladder cancer and surgery now 2 years ago and it was a relatively short surgery and outpatient. The hardest part was the catheter for two weeks yikes and ugh and be on the lookout for urinary tract infection from the catheter. He is now down to the yearly visit and on one visit his surgeon said he had an awesome bladder.
Mr C has no symptoms prior. The tumor was quite large and on it’s way to spreading. It was discovered in some tests for something else. Mr. C was very lucky. He was 88 at that time. Since then he has gotten a pace maker. He will be 90 at the end of the month and is doing great.
Will SFB jr get his invite to jail this week? There is hope.
I had bladder cancer and surgery in late August 2002. The first 4 days afterward were utterly shrill, screaming, hell-without-dying kind of pain. There was no room in my skull for anything else but, YYYYIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE ! ! !
Nowadays, there is fentanyl, but in those days, methadone was the best they would come up with. Methadone helped a little. At least, I didn’t give a shit anymore. And, the experience taught me why guys would stand curbside in -30F weather in a 50mph wind, on the off chance of scoring some heroine. I didn’t need the lessen THAT badly, fur cries aches.
If a kidney stone is 9.75 , recovery from a bladder scraping is 11.
The good thing is, Dad will definitely KNOW that he’s alive, and for a short while he might not be pleased about that. My best wishes go to him. I mean, reeeeeeeeeeaaally.
Thanks for the testimonials. We’re in pre-op now, will know more once they get that scope in there.
Flatus… you too funny! Yeah… I’d love a Red Sox vs Indians series for the AL pennant. Let’s make it happen.
Wishing and hoping the best for Dad Crawford!
Mr. Cracker must have a very high pain tolerance
The only time I have ever seen him show pain was when he scraped most of the skin off one arm.
I thought there are no nerve endings in the bladder was the pain from something else. I can imagine what that might be
I’ve had some pretty bad scrapes, too, but nothing I ever experienced, including stones, nail removal or bypass surgery compared to the bladder scrape. Also, I had a constant blood transfusions for the entire 4 days, as a 2 way catheter flushed the bleeding bladder w/saline solution. When the flushed fluid ran clear, they stopped the IV. I was transfused with more than 4 gallons of blood during that time, the equivalent of about 8 years of donations as I was used to giving to the Red Cross quarterly. I once knew exactly how much.
Did Mr C have a saline flush ? Perhaps the salt in my wound made the difference.
After a few weeks, I started a regime of BCG treatments. Those stung at first.
One more thing, if one didn’t have nerves in the bladder, one wouldn’t know when to piddle and when not to piddle. Therefore, bladder nerves are key to successful face-to-face, interpersonal relationships. (_ :>D))< Not to mention tolerable swimming pools.
Mr. C had nothing like that . For him it was outpatient surgery and he did stay at a neighbors because we came home after dark and the walk from the parking area to the house is 1/4 of a mile. But he did come home the next day and except for the catheter hardly inconvenienced at all. Either things greatly improved from early 2000s or you had a much more serious problem
x-r, you sure they counted all the forceps, sponges and surgery gloves before they sewed you up? was nurse rachett your attendant for those 4 days of torture? that sounded like an oliver stone horror movie. my inner empath writhes in pain in sympathy.
Isn’t it up to the anesthesiologists to relieve intractable pain? And to communicate, from their point of view, likely causes to the responsible surgeon/physicians?
If anything like this ever happens to anyone within the sound of my voice, head straight for the facility administrator’s office. If they are unresponsive, tell them they have five minutes to take care of ‘your’ patient before ‘I’ order a press conference on ‘your’ doorstep.
Dad just got out of the chop shop. No bladder tumor after all! Culprit was what they originally suspected – bleeding from enlargement of the prostate. They trimmed it. Nothing suspicious on that or the bladder to biopsy. As the urologist said, “Best case scenario”
Thank you for the sympathy, friends.
I was completely under for my bladder surgery. It wasn’t until I awoke that the pain was waiting for me. After that, there was a twice daily attempt by the docs to control the pain – until they used methadone. That didn’t stop the pain, but I didn’t give a damn, either.
I had an aggressive cancer, and I haven’t had a recurrence. I am simply grateful to be here.
Oh, Mr C, thank goodness ! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY !
Craig – a limeaide in celebration.
I’ll drink to that.
Poobah, good news indeed.
Well, got LP ensconced in the new apartment. Should be an interesting year.
Thanks all. Yes, I couldn’t believe that after beating throat cancer and lung cancer, plus the occasional skin cancers, we’d be fighting another one at age 91. Maybe the Big C is finally done pestering him, will leave us be.
All the best to your Dad, Mr Crawford.
xrepublican & Mr Cracker: Glad both of you are doing well & part of our crazy mixed up world. We need as many sane people as possible.
Katherine Graham Cracker,
The John McCain blurb is priceless.
Sturg, thought of you tonight- saw a tribute to Emmy Lou Harris and there was a shout out to Townes.
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