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  1. #121
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Been to Cozumel...beautiful water there...
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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  3. #122
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    The unfortunate thing is that so many with so much lack so much...humanity, brainpower, foresight, hindsight, honesty, generosity, decency, morality...in short, liberal genetics...they lack character and personality.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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  5. #123
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    JHK is a bit all over the place in his latest essay, but I still think this is worth a read. I particularly like the comparison between how the French and Americans react to worsening living standards and being robbed blind by the elite. It is certainly an interesting contrast right now. My theory is that it has a lot to do with medication, perhaps even fluoride in the water, which supposedly makes people more docile and accepting of their fate.

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nati...stmas-present/

    The Ghost of Christmas Present

    Apparently one additional world leader turned up in Buenos Aires without fanfare this weekend. The General Secretary of the North Pole, known popularly as Santa Claus, took his latest-model hypersonic sleigh to the G-20 Meeting, and made sure that the global financial elite would find their Christmas stockings stuffed with sugarplums one last time before the great reflation bull market dies of incredulity.

    Something drastic was required as so many enterprises were skidding into a ditch last month, especially FAANGs, cars, house sales, and oil, while the Grand Old Man of the Dow Jones, General Electric, was singing its death song like an old Arikara chief in the prairie twilight. The US threat of 25 percent tariffs on Chinese exports was shunted ahead 90 days, giving the almighty algos and their human errand boys one last shot at looting the future.

    How exactly will this change the basic equation of China sending its industrial output to WalMart in exchange for American IOUs, while the trade deficit mounts ever-higher and the last holdouts of the US middle class sink into debt, addiction, and hopelessness? It won’t, of course, because Americans have to find another reason to get up in the morning besides reporting to the national demolition derby. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t warm my heart to hear about x-hundred thousand “housing starts” every month, knowing that it represents the destruction of x-thousand acres of meadow, field, and forest, and that what’s being laid down on the landscape out there is soul-crushing infrastructure with no future.

    It’s not hard to see why US life expectancy is going down, driven by the two new leading causes of death: opiate drugs and suicide — the former often in the service of the latter. The citizens of this land have exchanged just about everything that makes life worth living for the paltry rewards of “bargain shopping” and happy motoring. But the worst sacrifice is the loss of any sense of community, of face-to-face human transactions with people you know, people who have duties and obligations to one another that can be successfully enacted and fulfilled. Instead, you get to do all your business with robots, even including the robots fronting for companies that seek to ruin you. “Your call is important to us,” says the telephone robot at the hospital billing office dunning you to fork over $7,000 for the three stitches Little Skippy got when his best friend flew the drone into his forehead. “Please hold for the next available representative.” Who wouldn’t want to shoot themselves?

    Interestingly, it’s the people of France who are going apeshit at this moment in history and not the much more beaten-down Americans. For all the deformities of the EU, France still maintains a general quality-of-life so far above what is found in the US these days that we look like some left-behind evolutionary dead end here in this wilderness of strip-malls and muffler shops. They live in towns and cities that are designed to bring people together in public. They support small business in spite of the diktats of Brussels. They maintain an interest in doing things well for its own sake. The French are rioting these days not simply over the cost of diesel fuel but because they’ve had enough impingements on their traditional ways of life and seek to arrest the losses.

    Americans, by contrast, seem to passively accept their new status as world-class losers. You can deprive them of whatever is meaningful, whatever makes life worth living, and sell them depressing simulacra to replace those things, and they never notice. Even the revolts ongoing in this land only seek to make relations between us worse, for instance the new super-Puritanism that wants to criminalize the most elementary mating ceremonies, like asking for date, or even paying attention to someone of the opposite sex. This is what the Democratic Party, formerly the party of the working people, has dedicated itself to all year. That’s your “Resistance.” They’ve managed to ruin one of the few consolations for being on this planet.

    Maybe you’all have had enough of that foolishness. Maybe when Christmas is over something will turn in that old proverbial widening gyre, and the anarchy loosened by that turn will not be “mere.”

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  7. #124
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    That last part is a joke. Democrats stopping people from getting together? Ridiculous. Pence is the one who can't get in an elevator with a woman he doesn't know.

    There's plenty of mating and flirting and hooking up going on. I don't know where JHK's living, but I still think he needs to get out more.

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  9. #125
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    These are not my words and they're a much better representation of what 'Resist' means to those using the term:

    This past election showed that the majority of voting Americans are waking up to the danger we face. Most Americans still have their heads in the sand, and many others aren’t just deplorable, they’re down right fascists. But as we fight back against this Trump/Putin/GOP attack on our democracy, more and more will join us until we win.

    RESIST!

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  11. #126
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    I'm on board a 1000% - Some people very clearly are lacking something very necessary to qualify as human much less decent. Fred is rightfully affronted by my way of discussing 'conservatives'. The people I refer to are not conservatives though truthfully they are somethig much lower than members of a political party...Friedrich Hayek is given credit for the modern conservative party. If one reads his work it will become quickly apparent that most 'conservative' noise maker rabble rousers are in no way, shape, or form conservatives (I feel like I should be honest and stop pulling Fred's and other reasonable qualifying human beings chains...wouldn't want to give the wrong impression)
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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  13. #127
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    That last part is a joke. Democrats stopping people from getting together? Ridiculous. Pence is the one who can't get in an elevator with a woman he doesn't know.

    There's plenty of mating and flirting and hooking up going on. I don't know where JHK's living, but I still think he needs to get out more.
    He went to college in the sixties, during the height of the sexual revolution. It was a time when neither STDs nor unwanted pregnancies were a major concern. AIDS changed all that in the eighties.

    I do think that there is a new sexual puritanism in colleges and universities all over the developed world, which only seems to apply to heterosexual relationships. It is interesting to ponder what's behind it, I think it might well be a deep-rooted conspiracy involving the Rockefeller foundation and the elite's obsession with reducing the planet's population. They want far fewer people and admittedly, the pre-industrial population and thus natural carrying capacity of earth is less than one billion. With climate and earth changes, that may be reduced further.


    I fear Japan is a harbinger of the future, where young people of the opposite sex simply aren't connecting and interacting with each other any more. Sex is going extinct as are relationships, marriage and children. Friendships too, unless you count online buddies. This rot is spreading all over the industrial world and is deeply saddening. It could also be a natural biological reaction to overpopulation, this has been observed in Island populations where natural resources and thus the carrying capacity of that Island is extremely limited.

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  15. #128
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I'll point out the 'Christian' part.

    Young folks take purity pledges. They won't have intercourse until marriage.

    And so they engage in anal sex and oral sex, rationalizing that they're not really having sex. And they get STDs just like always.

    A family member of mine is quite concerned over apps that young folks use to hook up such as Tinder. She's really worried about rampant STDs, and she has good reason.

    There's also the fuel of alcohol. Get drunk, hook up, and then try to forget about it the next day.

    I've heard young adults talk about how they've never had sex sober.

    Sad.


    My son has not gone down that road. He has a natural tendency towards monogamy and a profound respect for girls and women. So, no unwanted STDs, no unwanted pregnancies, and no nasty baggage. His current girlfriend of five years will likely be his wife. They're forging their future together, currently shaping their careers.
    Last edited by Dreamtimer, 4th December 2018 at 15:25.

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  17. #129
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    Kunstler's latest essay on the slow-moving political collapse unfolding in DC. I try to avoid discussing US politics on this thread, but when it comes to a collapsing political landscape, the UK and US are hard to avoid as both are undergoing considerable distress right now, along with France. A harbinger of uglier things to come, I'm sure.

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nati...ture-the-flag/

    Capture the Flag


    A titanic battle between Mr. Trump and his antagonists looms in the political gloaming of the new year. It may not be resolvable by conventional means since the Intel and Justice agencies have been leading a two-year coup-by-subterfuge against the president, with Robert Mueller as the spearhead, leaving a slime-trail of sedition and prosecutorial misconduct that they are now desperately trying to cover up. How then can the corrupted Department of Justice and its stepchild, the FBI, be relied on to adjudicate these unprecedented crimes against themselves?
    The answer may be coming next week when the lame duck session of House Oversight Committee calls John Huber to appear. Huber is the federal prosecutor out of the Salt Lake City district office who was assigned by the erstwhile Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look into the manifold irregularities of the RussiaGate matter. It’s not clear how much Mr. Huber can tell the committee about an ongoing case, but he hasn’t made a peep all year, and if his testimony suggests that he’s twiddling his thumbs in the sagebrush, it will inform you that we are headed into real civil war. Too much incriminating information is already loose in the public domain about Hillary Clinton and the DNC colluding with Russia, and something has to be done about it.

    It’s obvious that the Obama White House, along with CIA director John Brennan, and Director of National intel James Clapper, used the FBI and the DOJ (with support from the nation’s two leading newspapers), and help from Britain’s MI6 intel shop, to run illegal operations against Mr. Trump during the 2016 election, and then persisted in acts to delegitimize him after Jan 20, 2017. All this, of course, is apart from whether you like Mr. Trump or approve of his policies.
    It’s well documented elsewhere that Robert Mueller’s mission to detect election “collusion” between Russia and Mr. Trump was a bust, and that all he has to show for it is a roll of contrived convictions for lying to federal prosecutors and the FBI. The case of General Flynn lies at the center because he served as Mr. Obama’s Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and he knew too much about US shenanigans around the notorious Iran nuclear deal and other shady doings. They were alarmed when he went over to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and determined to disable him. Once Mr. Trump appointed Gen. Flynn Director of National Security, Mr. Obama engineered an “incident” in late December of 2016 (confiscating Russian properties in Maryland over alleged election meddling and laying down new sanctions), that prompted Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to phone Gen. Flynn, the incoming DNS. US Intel was prepared for that set-up and recorded the call, which required the illegal “unmasking” of Flynn, a nicety of spycraft. Thus, the FBI had a transcript of the phone call and were easily able to entrap Flynn in mis-remembering the particulars of the call. Where is that transcript?

    The predicate for this operation was completely dishonest: that incoming senior government officials are forbidden to speak to foreign ambassadors. In fact it is their duty to consult with foreign officials, especially in Mr. Flynn’s job, and a long-established tradition of every presidential transition. The coup cadres of the Deep State used The New York Times and The Washington Post to persuade the public that Gen. Flynn had done something treasonous, when it was nothing more than routine transition business.

    Gen. Flynn’s sentencing paperwork was released a few days ago. The question is: will he be free to speak about the process he was put through? If there was any contingency against him speaking freely in his sentencing guidelines, it hasn’t been publicized. In any case, he deserves to be pardoned, and I believe that Mr. Trump will do exactly that after Mr. Mueller releases his long-awaited report.
    Others have made the point that the Mueller Report will be a handbook for the impeachment of Mr. Trump by the House. The house can run hearings on that until the cows come home, but they’re unlikely to get a conviction in the Senate. The larger question is whether Mr. Mueller himself should be subject to prosecution and there’s plenty of evidence that he has been involved in misconduct himself going back to the shady Uranium One deal when he was the FBI Director. It’s obvious that he was brought onto the RussiaGate case in the Spring of 2017 not to find the truth about “collusion” but to attempt to save the reputation of the FBI and the DOJ using all the considerable power of a special prosecutor to cover the trail of official misdeeds.

    There is enough ill-feeling and bad faith about all that activity to suggest that President Trump will have to set in motion some kind of extraordinary adjudication process. There have been rumblings for more than a year that he might accomplish that by declaring an emergency and bringing on military tribunals to sort this mess out. Until now, that has seemed farfetched to me. Not anymore. If, over the weeks turning the corner to 2019, Mr. Huber or Mr. Mueller or any of the House and Senate Committees don’t show any progress in airing out the official criminality among government employees, then we are headed into a titanic conflict between two camps in government. The financial markets may already be signaling the distress coming down the road as these two camps prepare to play capture the flag.

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  19. #130
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    Kunstler's latest take on the Mueller investigation and Russiagate.

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/not-so-fast/

    Not So Fast


    The media branch of “the Resistance” wet its pantsuits last Friday when Robert Mueller released sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the human keys to the dungeon they would like to toss Mr. Trump into. Over in the House of Representatives, incoming Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler spooged himself into a rapture as visions of impeachment lap-danced in his head. Their victory orgasms may prove premature.

    The memos themselves were not all they were cracked up to be. Despite Mr. Mueller turning the screws of federal prosecution on them for months on end, neither Manafort or Cohen has composed the narrative the Special Counsel wants, so the memos were, in effect, an attempt to run some high voltage through the screws, to goose out a last-minute change-of-heart in the two patsies. Manafort has been stuffed into solitary confinement and Cohen threatened with forty years of jail time, Their stoicism so far suggests this is not the triumphal climax that the spinners of RussiaGate seek.

    Mr. Trump’s response to all this has seemed, at best, retiring and ineffectual. He’s actually done next to nothing to fight back, besides some juvenile tweets, issued perhaps to alert his antagonists that he’s paying attention. Given the lack of evidence for the basic predicate of RussiaGate — that the Trump election campaign “colluded” with Russia — and the abundant evidence of crimes against Mr. Trump by his adversaries in prosecuting this fraud, and the legal machinery silently in motion backstage of RussiaGate — there’s a lot of room for the story to flip upside down.

    For instance: the matter of General Flynn, the sacked National Security Advisor, who got his charging memo the week before last. The terms were surprisingly lenient: no jail time. The public, egged-on by the Resistance media, is led to believe that Gen. Flynn handed Mr. Mueller a wooden stake to drive through the Golden Golem’s wicked heart and was aptly rewarded. Gen. Flynn has said almost nothing for more than year and the impression of him in the media is of a completely beaten-down, broken man. I’m sure the ordeal has been grotesque for this once-powerful warrior. But his breakers forget that Gen. Flynn himself was an experienced spook who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, an outfit possibly more secretive and potent than the CIA and the FBI. We might assume that he still has friends and supporters there, and that Gen. Flynn may be sitting on interesting intel of his own on his inquisitors, ranging from the election misdeeds of the FBI and DOJ in 2016 all the way back to the Chief Inquisitor’s (RM’s) actions in the Uranium One scheme that funneled over $150 million into the Clinton Foundation, and also to manifold irregularities in the Obama White House around these matters.

    Gen. Flynn may actually have the goods on the fraud behind his own prosecution — namely, proof of exactly how he was set up by Mr. Obama, in particular his own tapes of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that would show something different than the transcripts Mr. Mueller used to entrap him on Lying-to-Federal-Prosecutors rap. That theory raises the question: why did he not use it in his own defense. The answer may simply be that he didn’t want to rack up $2.5 million in billable hours for defense attorneys and chose instead to tough it out for nearly two years until he could use the information he has. And that means he must wait until final sentencing when his case is complete.

    That appears in the offing, perhaps even before Mr. Mueller releases his much panted-over final report. Of course, Mr. Mueller may have absolutely no idea what Gen. Flynn has got on him — hence the speculation about why the charging memo was so lenient. But that line of reasoning suggests that Gen. Flynn will just forget about the disgrace Mr. Mueller put him through and let bygones be bygones. That’s not how warriors roll. More likely, Gen. Flynn has something more severe in mind. For all of his horse-faced gravitas in the photos of his fleeting sightings, Mr. Mueller does not look to me like a man in a comfortable situation.

    Mr. Comey will be making a return visit to the House committee where, last week, he weaseled his way through seven hours of forgetfulness, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch will make her long-overdue first appearance to do some ‘splainin’ about the fishy confab she held with Bill Clinton on the Tarmac in Phoenix around the time that Mr. Comey was preparing to drop the “matter” involving Mrs. Clinton in July of 2016.

    Backstage for the moment, there are two other vectors in motion: whatever Mr. Huber is up to in his mission to examine all those FBI / DOJ ? CIA operations against Mr. Trump, and the parallel inquiry of Mr. Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector general. Mr. Huber will be heard from for the first time this week, and Mr. Horowitz’s report is expected soon, too. Finally, there is the Trump card, so to speak: the president’s power to declassify reams of documents that will shed light in all of the dark chambers of this fairy-tale castle. Wait for it….

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  21. #131
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    Not sure where to post this, but since this video is about the stifling of free speech and the West increasingly becoming like Communist East Germany or Romania in terms of people constantly telling on and trying to silence each other, this is as good a place as any. If you thought the US was bad, spare a thought for Germany or the UK, where you really can go to jail for voicing a Politically Incorrect opinion. At least in the US, you'll only lose your job or your gig, for now.


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  23. #132
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    If you thought the US was bad, spare a thought for Germany or the UK, where you really can go to jail for voicing a Politically Incorrect opinion.
    True, and you may include Belgium on that list.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  25. #133
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    Dmitry Orlov discusses his seminal book, "Shrinking the Technosphere" in this podcast. Just to recap, the Technosphere is Dmitry's original idea about a self-emergent artificially intelligent, but also immensely stupid organism that acts on the biosphere much like a virus would on a host, sucking it dry until it kills both the original host and subsequently, itself. Pretty much our entire technological sphere is there to feed this emergent organism and the only way to beat it is to replace Technosphere technologies with nature-like technologies that are too simple to become part of the Technosphere's AI matrix.


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  27. #134
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Sounds very interesting, Chris. I've been listening to some TED talks about AI.

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  29. #135
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    Perhaps this news isn't entirely collapse-related (though arguably it is a sign of some sort of cultural-societal collapse), but it still seems to fit nicely with some of the themes discussed here.

    All I can say is: "Lock Him Up! Lock Him Up" and "Trump for Prison, 2019!"

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-lying-charges

    Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison

    Cohen guilty of hush money payments and lying to Congress
    Cohen admitted covering up Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’


    Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime personal fixer, was sentenced to 36 months in prison in New York on Wednesday for crimes including lying to Congress and facilitating illegal payments to silence two women who alleged affairs with Trump.

    The sentencing by the US district judge William Pauley in Manhattan capped a stunning about-face for a lawyer who once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump but has now directly implicated the president in criminal conduct.

    In an emotional court scene in which he described his disillusionment with Trump, Cohen said he had committed the crimes out of “blind loyalty” to the president.

    “I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired,” Cohen said. “I know now, in fact, there is little to be admired.”

    “I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to,” Cohen told the judge. “The personal ones to me and those involving the president of the United States of America …

    “It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

    As the sentence was imposed, Cohen stood to face the judge and shook his head repeatedly. Afterwards, he sat at the table and put his head in his hands, then exchanged hugs with family members in the room.

    Cohen, 52, admitted in August that on the eve of the 2016 presidential election he made a $130,000 payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels and arranged for a $150,000 payment to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

    Cohen’s lawyers agreed with prosecutors that those payments violated campaign finance laws, which require disclosure and allow maximum individual donations of $2,700.

    Trump directed Cohen to make the illegal payments, prosecutors in the southern district of New York said in a court filing last week.

    Trump has denied the affairs with Daniels and McDougal and dismissed the six-figure hush payments to them as a “simple private transaction”, having previously denied knowledge of them.

    The prominent supreme court lawyer Neal Katyal called the sentence “bad news for Trump”. “In most jurisdictions, subordinates who carry out felonies at the direction of their boss get lower criminal sentences than the boss,” Katyal tweeted.

    Concurrent to his three-year prison term for crimes prosecuted in New York, Cohen will serve two months for lying to Congress, the judge ruled, and he will be on three years of supervised release following his prison term. Cohen also was hit with nearly $2m in fines and restitution requirements.

    Pauley ordered Cohen to surrender himself to authorities by 6 March. His lawyers requested that Cohen be allowed to serve his term at a facility in Orange county about two hours north of Cohen’s homes in New York City.

    Guy Petrillo, a lawyer for Cohen, argued in court for leniency, saying that Cohen offered evidence “against the most powerful person in our country … knowing that he’d face a barrage of attack by the president.”

    “He knew that the president might shut down the investigation,” Petrillo said.

    Cohen indicated that attacks on him by Trump in recent months had personally stung. “For months now, the president of the United States publicly mocks me,” Cohen said, “calling me a rat and a liar and insisting that the court sentence me to the maximum time in prison”.

    The prosecutor Nicolas Roos hit back, saying that Cohen had engaged in “a pattern of deception, of brazenness and of greed” that had “eroded faith in the electoral process and the rule of law”.

    Pauley, the judge, said Cohen had “lost his moral compass” and committed a “veritable smorgasbord” of crimes.

    “The need for general deterrents is amplified in this case,” Pauley said, adding, “as a lawyer, Mr Cohen should have known better”.

    Cohen also faced sentencing on a separate charge of lying to Congress when he said that a Trump Organization effort to build a tower in Moscow was terminated in January 2016, as presidential primary voting got under way. In fact, the Moscow project was still in the works after Trump clinched the Republican nomination for the presidency in the summer of 2016, Cohen admitted last month.

    Cohen was also sentenced for tax and bank fraud crimes to which he pleaded guilty in August.

    Sentencing guidelines had called for a prison term of four or five years. Last week Trump tweeted that Cohen “should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence”.

    Lawyers for Cohen argued for leniency based on his cooperation with prosecutors in a filing last month. But prosecutors in the southern district asked that Cohen be given a “substantial term of imprisonment”, noting that he had not entered a full cooperation agreement with them, which would have required him to testify fully about any and all criminal activity he might know about from his decade inside the Trump Organization or before or after.

    In a parallel filing, however, the special counsel Robert Mueller asked the judge to give consideration to Cohen’s work with Mueller’s team, the details of which have not fully emerged but which Mueller indicated went to the heart of his investigation of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia and possible obstruction of justice by the president.

    Jeannie S Rhee, a prosecutor from Mueller’s office, told the judge that Cohen had provided “credible” and “valuable information” about “core Russia issues”.

    Rhee did not elaborate. “There’s only so much we can say about the particulars at this time,” she said.

    Trump has denied any coordination with Russian operatives during the election and called the Mueller investigation a “witch-hunt”.

    Petrillo argued that Cohen’s high profile had set him up for an aggressive prosecution. “Mr Cohen had the misfortune,” Petrillo said, “to be counsel to the president.”

  30. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Chris For This Useful Post:

    Aragorn (12th December 2018), Dreamtimer (16th December 2018), Elen (13th December 2018), Kathy (15th December 2018)

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