NEW YORK — This season of “Saturday Night Live” will wind down with a trip down memory lane as former cast members Steve Martin and Martin Short co-host. Dec. 10 will be Martin’s 16th time as host and Short’s third, after the duo starred together in Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building.” Fresh from netting seven Grammy nominations, country rocker Brandi Carlile is booked as the musical guest. Martin’s return to the 30 Rockefeller soundstage follows his two guest appearances earlier this year. He and Martin have made numerous cameos over the years. This Saturday, Emmy winner Keke Palmer hosts,...
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Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) explained to CNBC on Monday that the Republicans have no choice but to hold the debt ceiling hostage, even if it means destroying the economy.
Squawk Box host Andrew Sorkin asked the House GOP Budget Committee chairman, "The question that I'd ask you is whether you think this debt ceiling is going to be used as a bargaining chip in a way that could turn dangerous?"
Arrington made it clear: "I believe it will and I believe it has to."
His colleague, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) has already said that he wants to use the debt ceiling crisis to usher in border security spending.
The House was already dealing with its own infighting after the far-right side of the House demanded dramatic cuts to Social Security and Medicare. It became big news, making the GOP look as if "they want to kill grandma," said one Democratic Senator. Finally, this week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that those cuts are off the table.
President Joe Biden has demanded a "clean bill," with no conditions attached, saying that if Republicans want to negotiate cuts they can propose their own plans and bills, but that the country shouldn't be held hostage in the interim.
See Arrington in the video below or at this link.
\u201cThere you have it\u2026\n\n@andrewrsorkin: \u201cThe question that I\u2019d ask you is whether you think this debt ceiling is going to be used as a bargaining chip in a way that could turn dangerous?\u201d\n\nHouse GOP Budget Chair @RepArrington: \u201cI believe it will and I believe it has to.\u201d\u201d— Jesse Lee (@Jesse Lee) 1675123142
More questions are surfacing about why Michael Cohen went to prison for the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels but Donald Trump was never charged with anything. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has finally agreed to reconsider charging Trump for his personal involvement in shady business practices that resulted in 17 guilty convictions for his companies.
Now that the information is being revealed as part of that trial, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow harkened back to a book published by the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who questioned possible corruption happening in the main Justice Department in Washington by trying to shelve any connection to not only Cohen's conviction but any connections to Trump.
"They pursued no charges against Trump. Instead, they told the court that this other guy committed the crime with Trump and for Trump and at Trump's direction, they prosecuted the other guy and sent him to prison and they never brought charges against Trump. Never said anything about it. Nor did Trump's business get prosecuted even though prosecutors spelled out in court the business was used to launder the funds that cohen and Trump used to commit the crime."
Meanwhile, David Pecker of the National Enquirer essentially did the same thing as Donald Trump, only he used private funds from a company to do it, and never went to prison because he made a "deal" with the prosecutors to say he met with Cohen on the issue. Now, Pecker is being forced to talk to the newly impaneled grand jury about this piece of the scandal.
The first part of the answers came from Geoffrey Berman, the former SDNY district attorney, who explained that he witnessed a lot of corruption at the Justice Department, particularly as it surrounded this case. It began with the DOJ officially reaching into the SDNY and taking over the probe, "to protect Trump in this case," said Maddow.
"Even though I was not overseeing the Cohen case, I still had to deal with other issues involving it, all of them deriving from the same source: Main Justice, and its attempts at interference," Berman writes in his book.
"When Bill Barr took over as U.S. Attorney General, in February 2019, six months after Cohen's guilty plea, he not only tried to kill the ongoing investigations we were engaged in, but incredibly, he suggested that Cohen's conviction on campaign finance charges should be reversed," Berman continued in the book. "Barr summoned my deputy who was overseeing the Cohen case, in late February to challenge the basis of Cohen's plea as well as the reasoning behind pursuing similar campaign finance charges against other individuals. He was told to cease all investigative work on the campaign finance allegations until main Justice determined there was a legal basis for the campaign finance charges to which Cohen pled guilty and until Barr determined there was a sufficient federal interest in pursuing charges against others."
Raw Story spoke to Michael Cohen after the Berman book was published in Sept. 2022 and asked about the details provided in the book. He was already at work on his own book, Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the Department of Justice Against his Critics, which was published in Oct. 2022 and connected the links between his case, Berman's book and how he thinks Trump was able to manipulate the law through Attorney General Bill Barr.
Cohen's story got worse when he was allowed to be released to house arrest due to the COVID-19 crisis. Somehow, Cohen was given a nondisclosure agreement saying that he would only be released if he agreed not to speak publicly about the president or the case and wouldn't publish a book. Cohen refused and was swiftly sent back to prison. He lodged a lawsuit and the judge who got the case was aghast that the Justice Department would even suggest something. Since then, Cohen has been asking about who was behind that at the DOJ. Even after Merrick Garland took over the department, any government entity involved has refused to turn over any information requested by the press, members of Congress and when the House Judiciary Committee requested information.
One of the key pieces of information detailed in Berman's book is that they slashed the court details about Cohen's case from 40 page to about 21 pages ensuring that all mentions of "Individual 1," a.k.a. Donald Trump, was removed from the filings.
"And although they didn't want to go along with it, they went along with it and felt like they had to," said Maddow on Monday. "And if you've ever spent any time as an elementary school student on a playground with bully, you will know what happens when you let someone push you around like that. That, of course, is never the end of it. It just gets worse from there."
She cited that Berman goes on in his book to say that after appointing Barr, he personally intervened in the hush money investigations.
"While Cohen pleaded guilty our office continued to pursue investigations related to possible campaign finance violations, when Barr took over as attorney general in Feb. 2019, six months after Cohen had pleaded guilty, Barr not only tried to kill the ongoing investigations but incredibly suggested that Michael Cohen's conviction on campaign finance charges could be retroactively reversed," said Berman.
So, one of the first things Barr did as attorney general was to haul in the prosecutors in the hush money case to challenge the basis of Cohen's plea and challenge any further charges for the same, Berman explained.
"The prosecutor was told to cease all investigative work on the campaign finance allegations until the office of legal counsel, a part of Main Justice determined if there was a legal basis for the campaign finance charges to which Cohen pled guilty and until Barr determined there was a sufficient federal interest in pursuing charges against others," Berman's book continues. "The directive Barr gave the prosecutor which was amplified that same day by a follow-up phone call was explicit. Not a single investigative step could be taken, not a single document in our possession could be reviewed until the issue was resolved and if Main Justice decided there was no legal basis for the cohen charges, the attorney general of the United States would direct us to dismiss the guilty pleas of Michael Cohen, a man who implicated the attorney general's boss, the president."
Berman admits that he tries not to make assumptions and bases his opinions only on the facts presented. This all raised questions for him.
More than two years later, none of what happened was investigated.
DOJ corruption Cohen part 1 www.youtube.com
part 2 corruption at DOJ under Barr www.youtube.com
A viral video shows a Tallahassee woman being dragged by her hair out of a prominent local Cuban restaurant. But today, new details revealed more information about the moments that led up to it.
The original incident was reported over the weekend by WCTV.
"The incident happened on Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Pensacola Street location. Latoya Woolfolk is the woman seen in the video that had at least 47,000 Facebook views before being removed," said the report. "Woolfolk said the incident started with a verbal argument between her and other customers, and they were all told to leave. 'Once I got outside on the porch, I looked over and I saw the security guard choking my girlfriend,' said Woolfolk. After that, she said one of her friends spat at the security guard, and that’s when he came to Woolfolk. 'At that point, he grabbed me by my hair,' said Woolfolk. 'He slammed me on the ground and that’s why I have the bruise on my elbow and on my knee.'" The person who grabbed her has been identified as cook Trenton Peterson, who was arrested and released on $500 bond.
New details, however, complicate the picture of what happened in the leadup to the physical altercation caught on film, according to a follow-up WCTV report on Monday.
"The man in the video, Trenton Peterson, reached out to WCTV after the story aired on Friday with the surveillance video. He also told WCTV reporter Staci Inez he wanted to clear his name," said the report. "[Woolfolk] is seen in the surveillance video throwing a chair and other items inside the restaurant. Peterson said this took place after Woolfolk and her friends were told to leave. Surveillance video shows them coming back inside the restaurant at one point. The surveillance video also shows an exchange between Peterson and Woolfolk’s friends as they are leaving the restaurant for the second time."
Altercations at restaurants frequently make headlines. In 2016, an argument over Donald Trump in a Mexican restaurant in Connecticut led to a fistfight on the second floor of the establishment.