47 thoughts on “Florence Is Here”

  1. possibly, a bigger storm a-brewing in trumpland

    NY times:

    [….]

    And another threat is looming. The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is examining whether the legal troubles of Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, are grounds for canceling the Trump Organization’s contracts with the city.

    […]

    How the city’s concession agreements are structured depends on the facility. For some, the Trump Organization pays rent; for others, there is a revenue-sharing agreement.

    […]
    Following Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea in federal court, Mayor de Blasio has asked city lawyers to determine whether the case could allow the city to void the Trump Organization’s licenses to run the four city-owned facilities.
    “We are monitoring these events to determine whether or not they provide grounds to take action,” said Natalie Grybauskas, a spokeswoman for the mayor.
    This is the second time that the mayor has asked whether the agreements with the Trump Organization could be severed.
    In 2015, after Mr. Trump made derogatory comments about Latinos, Mr. de Blasio tried to terminate the licenses. But city lawyers said that was not possible because of First Amendment protections for Mr. Trump’s speech.
    But the renewed push comes on the heels of new information. Contained within the city contract documents is a name that has suddenly garnered attention: Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
    It was revealed last month that Mr. Weisselberg testified and was granted a measure of immunity in the investigation of Mr. Cohen.
    “The fact that his C.F.O., the guy named on the contracts, has taken immunity, is a big red flag for doing business with the city,” said Adrian Benepe, who was the city’s parks commissioner when the Trump Organization became the operator for the Bronx golf course.
    [….continued…]

  2. wapo at 6:25 this a.m.

    Hurricane Florence, though downgraded to a Category 1 storm, continued sweeping across part of the southeastern United States on Friday, bringing powerful winds along with warnings of “life-threatening” storm surge and rainfall, according to the National Hurricane Center. At 6 a.m. the center said it was about to make landfall along the coast of North Carolina near Wilmington. Reports of collapsed roofs and other structures were already reported in the Morehead City and New Bern areas of North Carolina. New Bern was particularly hard hit with reports of more than a hundred people stranded in the homes in need of rescue. The large and dangerous storm is expected to lash parts of North and South Carolina on Friday. Follow Hurricane Florence’s projected path here.

    […continues…]

  3. BiD, here’s Colbert on your Beto last night

    Can a skateboarding, liberal punk rocker pull off an upset in the Senate race in Texas? Stephen takes a look at the life of Ted Cruz rival Beto O’Rourke.

  4. I hope Beto wins.  When he gets to the Senate, I think he will be the tallest person — I hope he tells Tom Cotton to sit down and stfu

  5. RR those explosions and homes burning were bizarre.

    So I hear that there are 150 people somewhere in NC [New Bern] waiting to be rescued – putting themselves and emergency responders at risk. What the hell were they thinking – they wanted to protect their homes?

    Now, that aside, if there are people who do not have the financial means to evacuate and for some reason cannot get to shelters, and the government (at all levels) and military do not make accommodations for those folks that is a HUGE hole in the disaster preparedness planning.

  6. Craig

    I haven’t sent him any money but I think I will.  Mr. Cracker runs our PAC and I think he will agree

  7. I was a little surprised at the NY results.  I thought Nixon would do better.    I thought the Como campaign behaved badly when they had no reason to do so.   Especially obnoxious were the attempts to paint her as a anti-semite.

    Truthfully when people found out she ate lox on a raisin bagel  that was probably enough.

  8. from nbc news link above:

    Paul Manafort, formerly President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
    Prosecutor Andrew Weissman called Manafort’s plea deal a cooperation agreement during an 11 a.m. hearing at the federal courthouse in Washington.

    A charging document filed Friday in the District of Columbia accuses Manafort, 69, of participating in a conspiracy against the United States — involving money laundering, tax fraud, failing to file Foreign Bank Account Reports, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and lying and misrepresenting to the Department of Justice.
    The second charge, conspiracy to obstruct justice, is tied to his efforts to guide witness testimony after he was indicted last year.
    In August, Trump praised Manafort for having “refused to break” in order to get a deal, and said he had “such respect for a brave man.”
    Reacting to Friday’s guilty plea, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “This had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated.”
    Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani said Friday, “Once again, an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason: the President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”
    Giuliani later amended the statement to omit “and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”
    Earlier this week Giuliani told reporters that Manafort and President Trump had a joint defense agreement, meaning defense attorneys for the two men were sharing confidential information. He said he was unconcerned about a potential plea because Manafort had nothing damaging to say about Trump.
    Friday morning’s hearing at the federal courthouse in Washington was originally a pre-trial conference but was officially redesignated an “arraignment and plea agreement hearing.”
    As part of the plea, Manafort would be required to admit to the conduct outlined in the charging document, which describes a criminal scheme to launder money, defraud banks, evade taxes and violate lobbying laws. The document describes the conduct Manafort was charged with in both Virginia and Washington and additional criminal conduct.
    The filings do not indicate whether Manafort will cooperate in the ongoing investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office or any other investigations.
    Upon entering his guilty plea, Manafort will forfeit three properties in New York — his home in the Hamptons, a property in Manhattan on Howard Street, and a property in Brooklyn — as well as a property on Edgewood Street in Arlington, Virginia, according to the filing.
    In addition, Manafort will forfeit all funds contained in four bank accounts, as well as a life insurance policy.
    In one remarkable section of the charging document, prosecutors detailed the nature of Manafort’s work for Viktor Yanukovych, who was elected president of Ukraine in 2010 with Russia’s backing until he was removed from power as part of the country’s political revolution four years later. In 2010, he was running against Yulia Tymoshenko, and prosecutors said Manafort worked to undermine Tymoshenko in the U.S. by spreading stories that a senior Cabinet official was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views.
    […continues…]
     

  9. atlantic:

    [….]

    Judge Amy Berman Jackson said on Friday that Manafort’s cooperation agreement includes interviews and briefings he’ll give to the special counsel’s office; he’ll also turn over documents and testify in other proceedings. The agreement shows just how valuable Manafort could be to prosecutors. Among other matters, the government has been eyeing the meeting Waxman referenced, which Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner attended in June 2016 with Russian nationals offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. “This is also incredibly important because if the president were to pardon Manafort under these circumstances, the case against the president for obstruction of justice would be even more compelling,” Waxman said. “In short, this is a huge day for the government.”

    […]

    The criminal information filed against Manafort on Friday makes a pardon even more unpalatable and unjustified, experts told me, as it lays out Manafort’s crimes in extraordinary detail. Trump’s lawyers, however, are downplaying its significance: “Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign,” Rudy Giuliani said in a statement. “The reason: the President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”

  10. So Manifraud had flipped.  Rest of your life in jail and/or depending on SFB to pardon you.

    Trudee says Manifraud will tell the truth.  Which truth is that Trudee?  Your weird definition or the one most people agree on.  No wonder you were asked to leave your law firm on ethical grounds.

  11. KC, Trudy reissued his statement and took the Manifraud will tell the truth sentence out of it.  Otherwise, it’s the same. There are just no limits, are there?

  12. Trudee can’t keep his nose out of Trump’s butt.  Why? Why? Why?

    It’s the equivalent of  nightclub acts that once played the Copa and are now at a dinner theater in Warren Ohio

  13. the guardian:

    What does Paul Manafort’s plea deal mean for Trump?

    […]
    Under the deal, Manafort is required to describe any and all criminal activity he is aware of. He is also required to sit for interviews and briefings with the special counsel’s office, to turn over documents and to testify in other proceedings, Judge Amy Berman Jackson announced.
     
    Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, said that Manafort’s cooperation would be valuable to special counsel Robert Mueller for “only a few other subjects” under investigation, possibly including members of Trump’s family. “The Witch Hunt, already successful, about to get the full coven,” Katyal tweeted.
     
    Investigators might seek Manafort’s testimony on topics not directly related to the Trump campaign. As a political consultant in Ukraine and former business partner of Russian oligarchs, Manafort had a network of relationships in the former Soviet bloc that could shed light on the Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
     
    Or Mueller may be directly interested in what Manafort, who led the Trump campaign from April through August 2016, can describe about the campaign’s interactions with Russians.
    As campaign chairman, Manafort personally offered private briefings about the campaign to the Russian industrialist Oleg Deripaska. He was present for campaign interactions with Russian operatives. He was present when the Republican party amended its platform to remove a call for arming Ukrainian forces in their showdown with Russia.
     
    Manafort attended a June 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower set up by Donald Trump Jr. He received emails from the former Trump aide George Papadopoulos, who had been informed that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. He was campaign chairman when WikiLeaks began publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee by hackers that US intelligence has linked to Russia. He may have knowledge of Trump’s business relationships in Russia. He may have been party to campaign conversations about how to handle news of the Russia investigation.
     
    “Manafort essentially took over the campaign as of mid-April 2016 and was Trump’s go-to man during a critical period of the campaign,” De la Vega told the Guardian. “Reporting shows that Trump called Manafort 20 times a day and, of course, Manafort knows the whole story of the Trump Tower meeting and events before and after.”
    […]

  14. wapo:

    Trump likes to complain about the cost of the Mueller probe. It might just have paid for itself.

    [….]

    If we assume the same cost-per-day for the investigation that was reported through March of this year, the probe has so far cost the government about $26 million. That’s the $17 million through March and another $9 million since.

    […]

    The government’s seizures from Manafort could be worth some $42 million, including the upper estimates of just the properties, Federal Savings Bank loan and insurance policies. And that doesn’t include the other accounts, which might contain some portion of the $30 million that Wheeler points to as having been identified by the government as ill-gotten gains. That’s enough to pay for the Mueller probe for some time to come.
    What was seized could also be, and likely is, a much smaller amount. At the time that Manafort was first indicted, he claimed to be worth $28 million. That presumably includes the value of his properties, which would suggest very little cash on-hand — even before he spent months defending himself in court. That claim, though, is worth taking with a grain of salt. We know that Manafort’s past assertions have proven to be inaccurate, to put it mildly.
     
    The plea agreement spells out that there is no restitution mandated of Manafort. In other words, what the government gets from the bank accounts, insurance policy and sale of the properties is the extent of its compensation, that $30 million notwithstanding. Former Assistant United States Attorney Mimi Rocah, who spoke by phone with The Post, indicated that the lack of mandated restitution was unusual. Since the agreement is essentially a contract between Manafort and the government, though, that was likely a subject of the negotiations.
    There have been rumors for some time that Trump might pardon Manafort. If he does so, both Rocah and Rodgers suggested, the government will probably get to keep what’s been seized anyway.

  15. vanity fair:
    Michael Cohen Is the Latest Former Trump Ally to Talk to Mueller
    In the wake of Manafort’s plea deal, sources confirm that it is now common knowledge among Cohen’s inner circle that Trump’s former lawyer has been in contact with the special counsel’s office.
    [….]

    For months, Cohen has appeared to signal his willingness to cooperate with the government, both with the Southern District of New York and the special counsel’s office. While prosecutors for the Southern District did not initially approach Cohen about a cooperating agreement before he pleaded guilty, many speculated that he could still cut a deal in the months between the plea and his sentencing in December. Those familiar with Cohen’s thinking were unsure about what he might have to offer prosecutors, but because he had worked so closely with Trump and his family for more than a decade, it was assumed that he could potentially be a useful corroborating witness.

    […]

    …..As one longtime friend of Cohen’s put it to me, “He doesn’t feel he needs to go out of his way to protect Trump anymore, particularly because Trump has gone out of his way to hurt Michael.” Earlier this week, Cohen and his attorney sat down with New York state tax-department officials, who subpoenaed him last month as part of their inquiry into the Trump Foundation.
    According to people close to him, Cohen closely watched the White House’s reaction to his allocution in court last month. He listened as Trump railed against anyone who makes a plea deal, telling Fox News that cooperating with the government “almost ought to be outlawed.” And he has bristled at the feeling that he has taken the fall for a man who has refused to take any responsibility or face any consequence himself. In conversations with Mueller’s team, he is making good on what he told ABC earlier this summer: that his loyalty to Trump is no longer his lodestar.

  16. The New Martha Raye

    The hurricane is due here late tonight and thru most of tomorrow…..

    it’ll be mostly pain-in-the-ass level time it gets here, but we stand ever vigilant and mucho semper paratusy for the coming stormy.

    flatus will probably get worse than us down heah, according to the updates and models.  We might lose power, but we got dat.

    it’s the trees…..the trees……it’s the evil trees you have to look out for.

  17. Shame on me.  I let 9/11 pass without posting the beautiful song from Come From Away about the people stranded in the care of Canadians praying for those in the United States and those they loved that they couldn’t reach.  Now it is for all the lost and lonely.

  18. It has been increasingly breezy as the day has gone on. No measurable precip yesterday or today. Pressure slowly descending–down to 29.56. Rosie is in the garage in High Point, NC so I can’t drive down to rescue Sturg. They’ll open the bridges for him–all he has to do is flash his musician’s union card. Or tell ’em that he’s a former Coastie headed over to volunteer.

  19. I’m watching Florence coverage, listening to folks who ignored the mandatory evacuation order explaining why they ignored it.  I can only say 🙄.

  20. Oh, and did I say SFB must be proud of Kavanaugh?  Sounds like a member of the SFB family. If I haven’t I’m saying it now.

  21. I’m guessing that the mayor of Myrtle Beach is a REPUBLICAN coastie. She’s talking about workers who evacuated not being able to get back on the flooded roads to service tourists. WTF tourists is she talking about?

  22. Sturg, in the report they’re now broadcasting, they’re suggesting the mountains where your family is may be threatened with heavy rains. You and I are experienced enough not to settle in valleys…

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