Patterico's Pontifications

6/24/2019

“Worst I’ve Ever Seen”

Filed under: Government,Immigration — DRJ @ 6:30 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

Houston Chronicle: Worst I’ve ever seen’, claims Texas Republican congressman about conditions for detained migrants

In recent days, there has been increased attention to the living, health and safety conditions at migrant detention facilities located near the U.S.-Mexico border. On Sunday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) stated that the conditions were the worst he’s ever seen.

“I’ve been down there throughout my 15 years in Congress and before that, as a federal prosecutor. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it, and it has to be taken care of,” McCaul said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

— DRJ

6/15/2019

Mexico Releases “the Letter”

Filed under: Government,International — DRJ @ 7:11 am



[Headline from DRJ]

The HillMexico releases copy of letter touted by Trump:

Mexico’s government on Friday released a copy of a letter that President Trump touted in front of cameras earlier this week in teasing additional details of a deal reached with the country to stem the flow of migrants heading toward the U.S.

The letter, first published by the Mexican newspaper Reforma, states that the U.S. and Mexico “will immediately begin discussions to establish definitive terms for a binding bilateral agreement to further address burden-sharing and the assignment of responsibility for processing refugee claims of migrants.”

The document, signed and dated June 7, states that under such an agreement both countries would commit to “accept the return and process refugee status claims, of third-party nationals who have crossed that party’s territory to arrive at a port of entry or between ports of entry of the other party.”

Trump had described the one page letter as a “very long and very good agreement.”

RELATED: For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home:

Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration.

— DRJ

5/29/2019

AP: Mueller to make 1st public statement on Russia probe

Filed under: Government,Law,Politics — DRJ @ 7:30 am



[Headline from DRJ]

APMueller to make 1st public statement on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to make his first public statement on the Russia investigation Wednesday, the Justice Department said.

Mueller will speak at the Justice Department at 11 a.m. and won’t take any questions.

Should be an interesting day to read @RealDonaldTrump.

Update: Various media are live-streaming this. Here is a link to The Hill TV.

— DRJ

5/27/2019

Treason Headlines

Filed under: Government,Law — DRJ @ 8:23 am



[Headlines from DRJ]

Washington MonthlyThe President Accused the FBI of Treason:

On Friday morning, the president of the United States tweeted this.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!

137K
6:11 AM – May 17, 2019

The HillLiz Cheney: Statements by agents investigating Trump ‘could well be treason’:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said on Sunday that statements by FBI agents investigating President Trump sounded “an awful lot like a coup, and it could well be treason.”

Law professorAmericans have forgotten what Treason actually means – and how it can be abused:

Treasonous acts may be criminal, but criminal acts are almost never treason. As Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution specifies, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The Founders went out of their way to define treason narrowly because they knew how it had been repeatedly abused in the past.

For much of the pre-revolutionary period in England, the accusation was a means of suppressing political dissent and punishing political opponents for crimes as trivial as contemplating a king’s future death (what was known as “compassing”), or speaking ill of the king (“lèse majesté”). King Henry VIII even had two of his six wives executed for alleged adultery on the ground that such infidelity was, of itself, “treason.” The English abuse of treason was anathema to a nascent republic dedicated to the rule of law and the right of peaceful dissent.

Thus, to ensure that treason could not likewise be co-opted for political or personal purposes, the Constitution’s drafters not only defined it precisely (it’s the only offense specifically defined in that document), but also specified that “No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.” (Article III also limits the punishment that can be inflicted, even with a conviction.)

PS – Vox did not forget: Even if Trump’s team coordinated with Russia, it’s still not treason. (Treason” has a specific definition.)

— DRJ

5/25/2019

REUTERS: Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE

Filed under: Government,International — DRJ @ 2:10 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

Reuters – Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE:

U.S. President Donald Trump, declaring a national emergency because of tensions with Iran, swept aside objections from Congress on Friday to complete the sale of over $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

Another national emergency.

— DRJ

5/19/2019

REUTERS: Walmart says higher China tariffs will increase prices for US shoppers

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 8:05 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

Walmart says higher China tariffs will increase prices for U.S. shoppers:

Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in an interview that higher tariffs will result in increased prices for consumers. He said the company will seek to ease the pain, in part by trying to obtain products from different countries and working with suppliers’ “costs structures to manage higher tariffs.”

But:

“It’s not just tariffs. Transportation costs are up, labor costs are up. It’s an inflationary environment,” Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference. “A lot of that’s going to have to be passed on. The consumer is going to have to pay more for a lot of critical goods.”

— DRJ

5/18/2019

Recent Media Reports on Immigrant Detention (UPDATED)

Filed under: Government,Immigration — DRJ @ 2:46 pm



[Headlines from DRJ]

Let’s look at immigrant detention.

Where are migrants detained in the United States?

Most come across on the Southern border — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — and most detention centers are in those states. Some of the border centers, especially in Texas, are overwhelmed and migrants are being moved elsewhere:

To San Diego: CBP Begins Flying Detained Immigrants from Texas to San Diego.

And migrants have already started arriving: San Diego receiving flights of migrant families from Texas Border Patrol for processing.

And Florida, but Florida Gov DeSantis is not happy: Florida governor warns his state can’t handle an influx of immigrants from the border.

So definitely not Florida: Trump officials not sending migrants to Florida after backlash.

Where else? Torrance County, NM, may see detention centers as an economic opportunity: Torrance County to reopen detention center .

Illinois may not: ICE detainees could not be held in private detention centers under measure heading to Illinois governor.

Are your local and state governments viewing this as an opportunity or a burden?

UPDATE 5/22/2019: Not so quick to welcome in LA/Murrieta.

— DRJ

5/17/2019

Reuters Headline: U.S. cancels $929 million in California high speed rail funds after appeal rejected

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 9:00 am



[Headline from DRJ]

U.S. cancels $929 million in California high speed rail funds after appeal rejected:

The U.S. railway regulator, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), said on Thursday it had canceled the funding awarded in a 2010 agreement after it said the state had “repeatedly failed to comply” and “failed to make reasonable progress on the project.”

In a statement, the FRA said it was still considering “all options” on seeking the return of $2.5 billion in federal funds the state has already received.

Read more @ Reuters.

–DRJ

10/16/2013

Whistleblower Confirms Booker Didn’t Live in Newark

Filed under: 2012 Election,General,Government,Race — Charles C. Johnson @ 8:30 am



Guest post by Charles C. Johnson

Mayor Cory Booker’s claim that he lives on Hawthorne Avenue has been refuted by bankruptcy documents obtained by me and by the colleague of the landlord who says that Booker paid late rent through his secretary but didn’t live at the Newark address. A personal relationship with the city of Newark to pay his rent is “emphatically an ethics violation” says a prominent attorney.

Booker also said he moved from Hawthorne Avenue to Longworth Street but a police officer claiming to be on Booker’s detail said that Hawthorne was Booker’s home on October 9th.

Booker has claimed to have moved to 19 Longworth St. while in the midst of his Senate campaign and travel to California. Booker’s 2012 ethics form reports no real estate holdings, illegally omitting the Longworth property.

In the raw tapes of an interview conducted by filmmaker Joel Gilbert and this reporter, a police officer identifying himself as Martinez replies at Hawthorne, “It’s Booker’s home” when asked if Booker lived there. Tyshaa Thomas, who lives in the adjacent building, can be heard contradicting the officer.

The bankruptcy documents provided to me show that the home was leased to the Newark Police Department and Office of Mayor, not Cory Booker personally. This fact confirms the earlier reports of neighbors and a census worker that Booker does not live at the property and that it is a police facility.

The month-to-month lease is between the “Department of Police/Mayor” and property owner Ife Okocha, who twice filed for bankruptcy, once in 2011 and 2013, and listed the 435 Hawthorne address as one of his three properties. The information is found on page 22 of the chapter 7 filing and page 20 of the chapter 13 filing.

The lease also shows serious discrepancies. In 2007 Booker told the New York Times that he was paying $1,200 a month for rent. According to bankruptcy documents in 2011, Okocha charged both the mayor and the police $2800 combined.

There does not appear to have been an arrangement concerning the property on the first floor though Booker is believed to have invited over others in the neighborhood.

A Freedom of Information request to the City of Newark for any contract or lease with Okocha was returned without any documents and sent to me

Ife Okocha would have been required to report a lease agreement with Cory Booker individually when Okocha filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and 2013 on the same Schedule G where he reported the unexpired leases with the Dept. of Police/Mayor.

If Okocha had a lease with Booker individually, and did not disclose it, Okocha would likely be guilty of perjury, and Okocha’s lawyer, if he knew, would likely be guilty of contempt of court. On the 2011 bankruptcy petition, Okocha reports $2,800 in rental income, and the only property that could produce rental income is the 435 Hawthorne Ave address.

If Booker has a sublease with the city for the Hawthorne property, that could be an ethics violation, says Eric Dixon, an investigative attorney based in New York who has worked in Newark. Dixon says that a possible personal relationship between the city and Booker on rent is “emphatically a conflict of interest” and had to be disclosed.

“The scheduling of all income is done to give the court and the bankruptcy trustee the most honest view of the debtor’s financial condition for purposes of a debt discharge,” Dixon explains of bankruptcy cases. “I’d be concerned that the lack of a written lease is either a sign of income instability, or more likely, sign that the actual income is much greater than what is disclosed.”

“It is my belief that a city agency would not refuse to enter into a written agreement, for any reason. The simplest explanation is likely the most likely: there was a desire to hide Booker’s role,” says Dixon who calls Booker’s arrangement with the city highly unusual.

Dixon continues. “As for legal liabilities – we’re talking bankruptcy fraud, we’re talking the false statements charge (similar to the perjury charge under 18 USC 1001 that tripped up Martha Stewart), even the “defrauding the United States” charge — all of this is criminal and could be pursued by an aggressive prosecutor.”

I reached out to Okocha at his phone number and through what is thought to be his Facebook but has so far received no response. Eliana Johnson, who visited Okocha at his home, was yelled at to leave his property.

Okocha is a nurse at a Veterans Affairs hospital. A colleague of Okocha who asked not to be named but whose identity has been confirmed through a phone call and a records search wrote the following last night:

“I thought you might want to know that Mayor Booker has had several problems paying his rent at 435 Hawthorne to Ife Okocha. He often goes several months without paying. Booker’s rent is paid to Ife by his secretary, and it often goes several months without being paid.”

The source continued.

“[Okocha] has shown me the text messages between himself and Bookers secretary discussing the rent being 2 and three months late at times. He had told me that Booker rents the house. I didn’t believe him, but he said that even though he rents it he doesn’t actually live there.”

Interestingly Okocha’s property taxes went down while his neighbors went way up.

The average property tax assessment in Booker’s alleged neighborhood increased by 9% between 2012-2013, while Okocha’s assessment decreased by 22%, according to assessment documents.

The Booker campaign and Booker personally did not respond to a request for comment.

The Booker campaign did answer a request from friendly Booker reporter, Ruby Cramer of BuzzFeed. Cramer claims to have seen check payments from the Booker campaign and inferred that Booker must live at Hawthorne but I never reported that Booker doesn’t pay rent—only that he doesn’t live there according to his neighbors and Cassandra Dock, a former census worker.

Unanswered in Cramer’s piece is the following:
Why does Cory Booker need 24/7 security paid in a home that he allegedly moved out of weeks ago?

Why does Cory Booker need 24/7 security on two homes?

David Weigel writing for Slate has also criticized my reporting erroneously claiming that Cassandra Dock, who was a census worker and says that she was told Booker’s purported address is a police station, is a Chris Christie supporter.

Filmmaker Joel Gilbert and I interviewed her at length on her views on Christie whom she and Donna Jackson repeatedly called a fraud. In a two-hour interview in Jackson’s car in front of city hall, Dock and Jackson criticized all of the ruling class in New Jersey, including the media, the charities, Booker, Zuckerberg, Oprah, Mayor Sharpe James, Senator Menendez, and many others.

Weigel is correct that Christie made reference to Dock during a speech a few years ago but Dock told me that she did not like being mentioned in such a prominent way. At the time it was thought that Booker and Christie might have a battle royal for the governor’s race and that Christie’s invocation of a constituent of Booker’s was a shot across Booker’s bow.

7/30/2010

Texas Officials to Feds: Don’t Mess With Texas’ Oil and Gas

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 4:56 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Ten top Texas officials including Governor Rick Perry have written an open letter to the Texas Congressional delegation asking them to oppose legislation that would replace state authority to regulate oil and gas production with federal control:

“Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding legislation contemplated by Congress that would effectively strip states of the right to regulate oil and gas exploration and production within their own borders:

“This week, I joined a number of state leaders in urging the Texas Congressional delegation to fight back against this latest encroachment into states’ authority, which would effectively strip states of the right to regulate oil and gas exploration and production within their own borders.

“This pending legislation represents a sad continuation of Washington’s ongoing efforts to seize control over every facet of American industry and life, efforts that continue to place untold numbers of Texas jobs at risk. This latest takeover attempt is as unprecedented as it is illogical, given that it essentially hands authority over all gas and oil exploration to the same people who were overseeing the process when the Deepwater Horizon exploded.”

Here is the letter.

— DRJ

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