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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,239

Journal Archives

I smoked weed with my son. We're closer now.

My son had recently graduated from high school when I knocked on his bedroom door three summers ago, holding a disposable vape pen filled with cannabis oil — a 21st-century joint. “I know what we can do tonight,” I said slyly, revealing the slender, black cylinder. His father was on a business trip, his two sisters at camp in Connecticut.

“Where’d you get that?” he asked eagerly, without a trace of the wariness or disdain that my overtures usually elicited.

I told him about my first excursion to a legal weed store, during a weekend girls’ trip to Seattle — my family now lives in Middlebury, Vt. — with the four women whose support and dark humor helped me survive his childhood. I described the tall glass canisters piled with plump buds, the refrigerated case of chocolate edibles, the sales clerk so stoned he couldn’t articulate which variety would help me sleep and which would make me laugh.

My son became animated and talkative, something I wasn’t used to. We’d been trapped in an ugly cycle of conflict and withdrawal since he was in middle school, our exchanges often either monosyllabic or explosive. Yet there he was, expounding on cannabis strains (sativa energizes you, indica relaxes), the effects of smoking vs. edibles (smoking works faster, the effects of edibles last longer) and how to grow your own. He knew a lot about weed. He’d been smoking since the eighth grade, and it had been the source of many family fights. But not that night.


McCarthy says hush payments aren't impeachable offenses

Source: NBC News

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told ABC's "This Week" that the hush payments President Donald Trump's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen made to two women before the 2016 presidential election "aren't impeachable" offenses.

Cohen pleaded guilty last year to a pair of campaign-finance violations among a longer list of felony charges. Those violations stemmed from hush money payments he made just before the 2016 election to silence two women who allege past affairs with Trump. Federal prosecutors alleged that Trump directed those payments.

This week, during his public testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Cohen provided a pair of checks he said were reimbursements he received in 2017 for the hush payment to one of the women, porn star Stormy Daniels. One check was signed by the president and the other was signed by Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Both were for $35,000.

"Listen, you know what concerns me? If you hire an attorney — if I hire an attorney to make sure I carry out the law, the attorney has a responsibility to tell me what's right and wrong in the process," McCarthy said. "I watched — this is a — if it’s a finance campaign, those are fines. Those aren’t impeachable in the process."

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mccarthy-says-hush-payments-aren-t-impeachable-offenses-n978661

Wanna bet?

141 days after Hurricane Michael, here are the people living in tents

BAY COUNTY — It started with about $2,400 and a choice.

Option one was to use the money to look for a place to rent, as a combination of Hurricane Michael damage and confusion with their landlord about what telephone number to use cost Mystie Gregory, Gary LaPlant and their two year old daughter Neala the mobile home they were renting and nearly everything in it.

Option two was to use the money to buy the set of tools LaPant needed to make some money fixing the abundance of homes the Category 4 storm splintered. The tools, plus a cheap car to get around in and a laptop Gregory could handle the bookkeeping from, would be steady work, in a newly unsteady world.

And so, while LaPlant and Gregory knew they weren’t supposed to use the FEMA rental assistance money for anything other than rent, they went ahead and bought the tools, car, and laptop anyway, disqualifying them from a FEMA trailer later on.


SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule successfully docks with space station in test mission

Source: LA Times

A little more than a day after launch, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station early Sunday morning after autonomously maneuvering itself, marking another major milestone of this test mission.

The capsule did not have humans on board. Instead, it carried 400 pounds of supplies for the space station and a mannequin passenger named Ripley, outfitted with multiple sensors to measure her ride to space.

This was the first time a SpaceX capsule had attempted to attach itself to the station. During the Hawthorne company’s previous 16 resupply missions, its Dragon cargo capsule hovered below the station until it was grabbed by a robotic arm and attached to a port.

This time, the capsule gradually maneuvered itself closer to the station before docking on its own.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-crew-dragon-20190303-story.html

Hawley's CPAC debut: a moment in the spotlight and a subpoena in Missouri lawsuit

Source: Kansas City Star

Sen. Josh Hawley capped a tumultuous week Friday with his debut appearance at the American Conservative Union’s CPAC conference— and receiving a subpoena as he left the stage.

Elad Gross, a Democratic candidate for attorney general who is suing Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office, said on Twitter that the Missouri senator was served moments after he completed his appearance.

“We got him,” Gross said. “After more than two weeks of evading service, Senator Josh Hawley was personally served with the subpoena at CPAC.”

Gross said in an email that a process server confirmed Hawley had been served shortly after he left the stage at the annual conference, an event where rising Republican stars dating back to Ronald Reagan have laid groundwork for presidential campaigns.

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/latest-news/article226980264.html

Roger Stone Continues To Find Ways To Piss Off Judge

Despite being under a court-imposed gag order, Roger Stone apparently has a new book coming out. Awesome! And the judge in his case ain’t happy.

A new order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson asks Stone to explain why this wasn’t brought to her attention previously, and admonishes his lawyer over his previous reassurances to the court.

Here’s a sampling from the (very long and very snarky) minute order:

It is FURTHER ORDERED that defendant shall file an additional submission by March 4, 2019 identifying the specific date of the “imminent general rel[e]ase” of the book referred to on page 2 of the motion and explaining why this matter — which was known to the defendant — was not brought to the Court’s attention in connection with defendant’s February 8, 2019 response [28] concerning the entry of an order under Local Criminal Rule 57.7(b) and (c), or at any point during the February 21, 2019 hearing on the February 19 order to show cause, particularly given counsel’s suggestion that an appropriate order should provide: “[H]e should not be talking about this Court. He should not be talking about the special prosecutor…. There are a lot of reasons why somebody may feel like they should be talking about things like that. But you and I know, as officers of the court,…this is not appropriate. And that, if we’re going to have an order, that’s what I ask the Court to do.” Tr. of Feb. 21, 2019 Hr’g [43] at 41-42; see also id. at 42. (“What I’m saying is if Your Honor is asking me to craft an order, that that is what the order should say: This Court should not be criticized by Mr. Stone. The government should not be impugned by Mr. Stone. The integrity of this case should not be impugned by Mr. Stone….[T]hat is the kind of nature of an order that I would suggest the Court should craft….”). Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/1/19.


Anti-Muslim Display Gets Tempers Flaring Around W.Va. House; Leads to Resignation, Injury

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Anti-Muslim sentiments seen just outside of the West Virginia House of Delegates Friday caused an explosive day in and around the chamber, which led to the resignation of a staff member, an injury and possible disciplinary action against a Democratic member.

A display in the rotunda during “WV GOP Day” sparked a day’s worth of controversy in which the chamber’s Sergeant at Arms submitted a letter of resignation. House Republican leaders say the reaction to that display and other comments led also to a doorkeeper being injured when a Democratic member kicked open the doors to the chamber.

The West Virginia Republican Party and other organizations had set up displays as part of the scheduled activities around the Capitol. One group had an exhibit that included a poster depicting a meme with two photos.

The top photo showed planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001 with the text “‘Never Forget’ - You Said.” Below that photo was a photo of U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D- Minn and text “I Am Proof - You Have Forgotten.”

Read more: http://www.wvpublic.org/post/anti-muslim-display-gets-tempers-flaring-around-wva-house-leads-resignation-injury

Republicans never stop being assholes.

Trump Storms Out of McDonald's After Failing to Close Six-Dollar Meal Deal

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Capping a singularly disastrous week for the Commander-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump stormed out of a Washington, D.C., McDonald’s restaurant on Friday after failing to close a six-dollar Meal Deal at the establishment.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., Trump took a break from his designated “executive time” to travel to the nearby McDonald’s, where he placed an order for a Meal Deal consisting of a Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries, Coke, and an apple pie.

Tracy Klugian, the McDonald’s employee who took Trump’s order, said that he was aware of Trump’s difficulty in closing deals and therefore hiked the price of the Meal Deal to twelve dollars.

“I really thought he would drive a harder bargain, what with ‘The Art of the Deal’ and all,” the McDonald’s staffer said. “I was kind of surprised when he just bailed.”

With the McDonald’s deal in tatters, one White House aide acknowledged that Trump “really needs a win right now,” and that he was en route to Arby’s.


Trump asks China to remove tariffs on US farm products

Source: APNews.com

President Donald Trump says he has asked China to remove its tariffs on U.S. farm products such as pork and beef.

Trump tweets that removing the tariffs “is very important for our great farmers - and me!”

In July, the Trump administration gradually began slapping import taxes on Chinese goods to pressure Beijing into changing policies that hobble foreign competition and threaten U.S. technology.

Trump doesn’t mention that the Chinese-imposed tariffs are in retaliation for the actions he took.

Read more: https://apnews.com/c1f6d1d6b3ff47188453a6bab6eb4d44

It's always gotta be about him.

Alan Dershowitz suggests curbing press access to hearing on Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse

Source: Miami Herald

A court hearing on whether to unseal sensitive documents involving the alleged sex trafficking of underage girls by Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein — and the possible involvement of his influential friends — will play out in a New York City courtroom next week.

But it may happen behind closed doors, with the news media and public barred — at least in part.

An attorney for lawyer Alan Dershowitz wrote a letter to the U.S. District Court Second Circuit of Appeals on Tuesday, asking whether the media should be excluded from the proceeding because his oral arguments on behalf of his client could contain sensitive information that has been under seal.

The appeals court had not responded to his concern as of Friday, but if the hearing is closed during his lawyer’s argument, it would represent the latest in a long history of successful efforts to keep details of Epstein’s sex crimes sealed.

Read more: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article226922729.html
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