Tag Archives: Seattle

Trump’s Legal Woes Are just Getting Started

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Watching the right wingers rejoicing at Trump’s self-proclamation of exoneration within minutes of special counsel specifically stating he had NOT been exonerated is kinda sad….for them….but not for America. Because the right only hears news from one or two Trump-promoting websites, they are STILL unaware that Robert Mueller sent most of the obstruction cases were sent over to the Southern District, where Trump is legally helpless to manipulate his way out of them, since he has zero legal jurisdiction. Bwahaha! This will be a real shocker, because they don’t see it coming. It was strategic. It went right over their heads.

The closure of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election does NOT mark the end of legal worries for Trump and people close to him. Not by a longshot. Other continuing investigations and litigation are focusing on issues including his businesses and financial dealings, personal conduct, charitable foundation and inaugural committee. This will be that which ends him.

Think about it. Mueller charged 34 people and three companies. Some of those cases resulted in guilty pleas, and one case went to trial, with former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort convicted of eight criminal counts, including bank fraud and tax fraud. Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was indicted in January of this year and pleaded not guilty, but his trial is still pending. There are other cases involving indicted Russians that have not gone to trial. Other prosecutors within the Justice Department will likely take over criminal cases begun by Mueller.

Donald Trump is horrible for America.

Trump will face significant dents in his current jubilation from federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to the legal experts viewing these cases. His former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said in Feb. 27 congressional testimony that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is examining Trump’s business practices and financial dealings. Cohen already has implicated Trump in campaign finance law violations to which he pleaded guilty in August 2018 as part of the Southern District investigation.

Cohen admitted he violated campaign finance laws by arranging, at Trump’s direction, “hush money” payments shortly before the 2016 presidential election to porn film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy magazine model Karen McDougal to prevent damage to Trump’s candidacy. Both women established that they had sexual relationships with Trump more than a decade ago,during his marriage to Melania, soon after the birth of their son, Baron. (As an aside, I have challenged my social media readers to document even ONE DAY that Trump has EVER dedicated to this child since he was born. ONE SINGLE DAY…..and not one person has been able to do that.)

Prosecutors said the payments constituted ILLEGAL campaign contributions intended to influence the election. Under federal election laws, such donations cannot exceed $2,700 and need to be publicly disclosed. Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, received $130,000. McDougal received $150,000.

The New York District investigation has involved longtime Trump ally David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper, who admitted to paying McDougal for the rights to her story and then suppressing it to influence the election, an arrangement called “catch and kill.”

Cohen has already said he was in “constant contact” with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, and said other crimes and wrongdoing by Trump are being investigated by them. Trump WILL fall, and the Southern District will take him down, but it will be after this one term. Remember, Cohen said he could not testify about the nature of his last conversation with Trump in early 2018 because it was under investigation by the federal prosecutors in New York. They will get him.

A lawsuit filed by the New York state Attorney General’s Office has already led the corrupt Donald J. Trump Foundation, which was presented as the charitable arm of Trump’s business empire, to agree in December 2018 to dissolve, and the litigation continues.

The state of New York is seeking an order banning Trump and his three eldest children from leadership roles in any other New York charity EVER. The state’s Democratic attorney general accused the foundation of being “engaged in a “shocking pattern of illegality” and “functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests” in violation of federal law.

Charges stemming from this matter state that Trump and his family members used the charity to pay off his legal debts and purchase personal items. The foundation agreed to dissolve and give away all its remaining assets under court supervision, but the Trump’s have not yet faced a court over this illegal activity. Oh, but they will!

Then come the issues surrounding the emoluments. Trump is accused in a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia of violating anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution through his businesses’ dealings with foreign governments. These are very serious charges that Trump has not been able to beat. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on March 19 in the Trump administration’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte’s 2018 rulings allowing the case to proceed.

The Constitution’s “emoluments clause” bars U.S. officials from accepting payments from foreign governments and the governments of U.S. states without congressional approval. The lawsuit stated that because Trump did not divest himself of his business empire, spending by foreign governments at the Trump International Hotel in Washington amounts to unconstitutional gifts, or “emoluments,” to the president.

Federal prosecutors in New York are also investigating whether the committee that organized Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 accepted illegal donations from foreigners, misused funds or brokered special access to the administration for donors. The Trump organization seems to have forgotten that Federal election law prohibits foreigners from donating to U.S. political campaigns or inaugural committees, and corruption laws ban donors from making contributions in exchange for political favors.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said in December 2018 that the president was not involved in his inaugural committee, and that the $107 million raised by the committee, which was chaired by real estate developer and investor Thomas Barrack, was the largest in history, according to Federal Election Commission filings. However, there is copious evidence implicating Trump that is on its way back to haunt him.

Under the Constitution, the president, vice president and “all civil officers of the United States” can be removed from office by Congress through the impeachment process for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives acts as the accuser – voting on whether to bring specific charges such as obstruction of justice – and the Senate then conducts a trial with House members acting as prosecutors and the individual senators serving as jurors. A simple majority vote is needed in the House to impeach. A two-thirds majority is required in the Senate to convict and remove.

I don’t think Trump will be impeached, because he has so carefully shielded himself, but he WILL face charges after he is voted out of office in the next election. Just you wait.

Seattle Here We Come!

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Late this afternoon, I completed my final assignments for Personality Theory class and now have a 4 day break before the new term begins. Man!  That class was difficult!  I’ve never written so much in my life, but I’m happy to say that I have a 4 point and my professor just recommended I publish my last paper, so I’m pretty pleased that all my hard work is paying off.

Tomorrow, I shall turn off my computer and put my phone away and hit the road for a couple of days of sweet R&R!

My daughter, Sarah and I are going to take 4 yr. old Ingrid to Seattle for 2 of those 4 days, in order to see Maya, my 17 year old granddaughter, shown here at Seattle’s famous Pike’s Market, fiercely armed with a pineapple!

ImageRene Best musician                          Rene Best guitarist

 

We’ll be leaving in the morning.  She is so psyched about this, and so are we!   On Friday night, we’re going to have a “slumber party” at one of my best friend’s beautiful house.   Sheryl, (shown here with our mutual friend, George, who now lives in Mexico) and I have known one another since we both lived in Texas….20 years?  Something like that.  She and her partner, Dylan, are metal artists.  Sheryl specializes in patinas.  Dylan welds.  They both do amazing work!

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Sheryl and  Dylan, have created the coziest, most fabulous  living space.  Their house is full of plants and art and is …well, just perfect, really… Comfortable, beautiful and with much character.   It is in a remote-ish area and there is plenty of time to spread out and relax while we bask in the pleasure of one another’s company.  This is Dylan with their now-deceased boxer, Buddha.  Image

Sheryl and Dylan now have two beautiful black boxers, Ella and Able.  Our little Beatrix will be no match for these two big guys.  I’m planning to keep them apart.  These two dogs are like thoroughbred racehorses, and every bit as graceful.  They’re both brilliant, too, and have no idea that they are dogs.

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 It has been a long time since I’ve had the time to just hang out and have fun.   Maya is bringing a friend, and we’re just going to relax, eat pizza, play cards, watch movies and have a good time.  I SO look forward to spending this time with my family there!!

 The coming school  term is going to be difficult.  Two complex classes, lots of writing and much time and energy will be expended.  This will give me time to relax and unwind a little…to recharge, as it were.  My daughter Sarah needs this, too.  It will be good.

Can you see the smile on my face??     Can’t wait!

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Congratulations, Maya!

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This is our lovely granddaughter, Maya Moreno Craig Cochran, in the cobalt blue haute couture, 😉  and one of her beautiful friends, on prom night.  Feeling lots of love for our sweet granddaughter as she approaches her high school graduation in the next couple of weeks.  She is smart, funny….. so “together”.  We couldn’t be prouder.  At this point, Maya hopes to go into some off-camera aspect of the entertainment industry.  She wants to live in Ireland for at least a year before she goes to college, and has all kinds of plans that may or may not change before it’s all over.

We love her very much and wish her beaucoup de bonheur in her next big adventure.

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Congratulations, Maya!  Sending you all our love.

 

 

Happy (and ok, sleepless, too…) in Seattle

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I have just returned from my morning walk where the apple, cherry and magnolia blossoms left a delicate carpet along my path.  Springtime in Portland is indescribably beautiful.  However, this is not another post about Portland.  As I walked, I reflected upon the trip I took to Seattle a couple of days ago, and I smiled.  I had finished my school term (officially) on Thursday morning.  Anticipating the beginning of the next term, which starts today, my daughter, Sarah, her daughter, Ingrid, and my puppy, Beatrix and I, all piled into her new car and headed for the Emerald City.

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It rained hard both going there and coming back, but we had sporadic spots of sunshine that made it all worth it.  (Besides, it takes more than a little rain to slow me down!)   My daughter is a college professor.  Between her job and mine, and my being in grad school, we have little or no time for recreation together (or apart), so this trip meant the world to me.  To be able to share it with my dear friend, Sheryl, and another of my granddaughters, Maya, will cause this trip to go down in my personal history as a most memorable occasion.

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We stayed with my friends, Sheryl and Dylan and their two gigantic boxers, Ella and Abel. Our first stop was at their big metal shop where they create the most incredible artisan furniture and artwork!  Sheryl specializes in patinas and Dylan bends steel and welds it.  The work they do is absolutely beautiful!  The above photo is of Ingrid greeting Abel as Dylan looks on.  It was love at first sight.

Our next stop was to pick up Maya. Oh, how I love that girl!  I was so happy to see her!  This is a picture of Ingrid with Maya’s dog, Louise.

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We went to dinner at The Hi Life in Ballard.  It is a nice restaurant that is situated in what used to be a fire station.  The makeover respected the integrity of the original architecture and really turned out nicely.

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The food was delicious and the strawberry jalapeno margaritas were even better!  My only complaint was that the noise levels were a little high.  Other than that, I really enjoyed it, and I think everyone else did, too.

This trip, we did a lot of the more tourist-y things for the benefit of Ingrid, but we also spent some quality time with Sheryl who was a superior hostess. She is always such a kind and generous friend.  All of us are crazy about her.  For instance, she got up early the next morning and made us an amazing breakfast. It was fantastic!

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This is Ingrid and Maya, having an early morning chat. Maya, at age 17, towers over us at almost 6′ tall!

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We went out and about to a number of different places in Seattle, including a trip to the piers where we rode the old carousel in the noisy indoor arcade that had a creaky wooden floor.  This was the fastest carousel I’d ever seen.  I think it freaked Ingrid out a little bit.  I was happy for the rain because this place is usually so jam-packed with people that it can be a real drag.  This was actually pleasant.

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I had taken Maya to the top of the space needle when she was 4, so I was determined to take Ingrid as well.  She was a good sport, even though she was a little bit worried about the height.  This picture was taken on the outer deck where she insisted upon looking for the “day moon”.

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We rode the mammoth Ferris wheel that went out over the ocean.

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Ingrid was a brave 4 year old!

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Her teenaged cousin, Maya, was very patient as Ingrid asked question after question after question.  I love it that Ingrid is so inquisitive, and I love it that she can talk so freely to her older cousin.  They were comfortable together.  That made my heart soar.

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I’m not sure I was as brave as my granddaughters….but I truly did enjoy myself.

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At night, the Ferris wheel helps transform Seattle into a magical wonderland!     Ok…that might be a stretch, but it is very pretty….majestic.

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The view was spectacular from every direction!

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 The best part of the trip was our all simply hanging out together.   My heart is still happy from the experience.  It was so much fun.

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I went with Maya to a talent show at her high school.  There were belly dancers and singers and poets.  All very talented young people.

Seattle is a beautiful and exciting city with a lot of fun things to do.  It has a “faster” vibe than Portland, and is decidedly more cosmopolitan.  I love it there!

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Of course, the pirates and Trekies were out in full force!  What else would one expect?!

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My heartfelt thanks to my darling friend, Sheryl, without whom this trip would not have been possible.   Friends like Sheryl are rare.  I am so grateful to her for everything she is and for everything that she does for my family .  Much love to you, Sheryl, from all of us.  Thank you for the perfect 2-day vacation!  xoxo

stacy and sheryl

Cops Satisfy Munchies with Free Doritos in Seattle

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SEATTLE (AP) — A few things will be different at this year’s Hempfest, the 22-year-old summer “protestival” on Seattle’s waterfront where tens of thousands of revelers gather to use dope openly, listen to music and gaze at the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

The haze of pot smoke might smell a little more like victory, after Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana use by adults over 21. Having won at the state level, speakers will concentrate on the reform of federal marijuana laws.

Oh, and the Seattle police — who have long turned a lenient eye on Hempfest tokers — don’t plan to be writing tickets or making arrests. They’ll be busy handing out Doritos.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, department spokesman and junk-food-dispenser-in-chief. “It’s meant to be ironic. The idea of police passing out Doritos at a festival that celebrates pot, we’re sure, is going to generate some buzz.”

The idea isn’t just to satisfy some munchies. The department has affixed labels to 1,000 bags of Doritos urging people to check out a question-and-answer post on its website, titled “Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle.” It explains some of the nuances of Washington’s law: that adults can possess up to an ounce but can’t sell it or give it away, that driving under the influence of pot is illegal, and that — festivals aside — public use is illegal.

Organizers are expecting as many as 85,000 people each day of the three-day event, which begins Friday and is the first Hempfest since voters passed Initiative 502 last fall.

The vote legalized possession of marijuana and set up a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and stores to sell taxed and regulated weed. Officials are still writing rules for the new pot industry, with sales scheduled to begin next year.

Hempfest executive director Vivian McPeak said that despite the state-level legalization, work remains as long as pot is illegal under federal law. The event is free, but McPeak is asking attendees to contribute $10 to offset the $800,000 cost of Hempfest so it can continue next year.

“It’s going to be the most interesting Hempfest we’ve ever had because it’s going to be part victory celebration,” McPeak said. “That said, we feel it’s very important to remind everyone that as long as it’s still a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, it’s not legal anywhere. The job’s not done yet.”

The event will feature 117 musical acts on six stages and more than 100 speakers, not to mention 400 vendors offering informational pamphlets, colorful glass bongs, food and art.

McPeak said that to encourage the responsible use of pot, Hempfest this year will be handing out cards with marijuana “gut checks” prepared by Roger Roffman, a University of Washington School of Social Work professor and marijuana dependence expert. The cards note that while marijuana is used safely by many people, it can cause short-term memory loss, affect your ability to drive and cause dependence.

“We hope people will take it more seriously coming from us than from a traditional messenger,” McPeak said.

And although police won’t be ticketing people for smoking in public, officers will be ensuring public safety and keeping a close eye out for intoxicated drivers leaving the event, Whitcomb said.

Brian Laoruangroch is hoping to use Hempfest to promote his fledgling business, Prohibition Brands, by rolling a joint of at least 2 pounds — an effort Hempfest’s organizers have frowned upon as not compliant with Initiative 502. Prohibition Brands hopes to obtain a marijuana processing license under the state’s new law.

“This is a big moment for me,” he said. As a pot smoker, “You kind of get an image that’s cast upon you in a negative way. For a lot of people, this is a you-don’t-have-to-hide-in-the-shadows-any-more kind of thing. You can be out in the open.”

Day #16 – Your Favorite Color

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Photo a Day – APRIL

Day #16 – Your Favorite Color

© Stacy Alexander – 2013

(Original art by Dale Chihuly)

Day #10 – A Place

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Photo a Day – APRIL

Day #10 – A Place

© Stacy Alexander – 2013

Original artwork by Stacy Alexander. Silverthorn Studios

Day #17 – ON THE FLOOR

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Photo a Day – DECEMBER

Day #17 – ON THE FLOOR

©Stacy Alexander, 2012

Day # 20 – Manmade

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Photo a day – September

Day # 19 – Manmade

©Stacy Alexander – 2012

(By the way, I am making this post from my iPhone app….far away from Portland, but from my actual computer in Portland.  What will they think of next?!   I can also turn my lights off and on remotely.  Isn’t technology wunnerful??!!)  The app is called Jaadu and like a magic wand, it allows you to access your home computer from anywhere in the world. An easy setup lets you control your mouse on your Mac, Windows, or Linux home system, and modifier menus let you control up/down/left/right arrows for easy navigation.  I am amazed!!

Livin’ the Coffee Life

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René Best guitarist       Image

If there is one common factor  that ties all people in the Pacific NW together, it is the coffee gene.  We all have it….and we all have to have our coffee.   …NOW!

I lived in Houston the first time I ever visited Portland, where I now live.    One day, I read there was going to be a poetry festival here .  3 hours later, I was on a plane, winging my way out here.  I fell in love with the city immediately.  Portland is a magical city…just wonderful.. I remember it being a typical rainy day, and I was walking around downtown, poking around in the plethora of fabulous shops ….and I also remember stopping into this obscure coffee shop on Pioneer Square.  The name of the shop?  I’d never heard of it before.  It was called …..Starbucks!    And I thought I was gonna die!  The coffee was rich and strong and as I carried that now-familiar white cup with its green logo around with me, I remember thinking how well I fit in with the rest of Portland…because that’s what it’s like in this city.   Everyone walks around with coffee.  There are coffee shops everywhere…and they’re all packed full of people.    It’s funny, because now that I’ve lived here, I sort of turn my nose up at Starbucks, opting instead for the Portland coffee connoisseur’s choice brew, dark French roast Stumptown coffee….notably the best coffee on the planet…but back then, I didn’t know better.  It was clearly the best cup of coffee I had ever tasted!

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People in Portland and Seattle take our coffee seriously.  I have a friend, Kelley,  who posts a picture of her coffee online every morning.  She calls it, “The Daily Foam” and it features coffee art similar to that shown here on this blog.  Being a barista in the Pacific NW is not unlike being a surgeon somewhere else.  It’s a big deal.   People refer to their baristas as, “My barista…..”  “I was talking to my barista the other day about the difference between Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee and the Bourbon Island varietals.”   (And that is Bur-BONE…not bourbon, like the drink…)   (Mind you, I have family and friends in the wine industry in the Napa Valley, and this talk is not unlike the talk I hear when I go there….Just substitute “coffee beans” for “grapes.”)    We in the Pacific NW take our coffee seriously!

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John’s favorite breakfast spot here in Portland is a French restaurant that is located not far from our place.  They serve HUGE cups of coffee.  The cups look like big mixing bowls!  When you order a cappuccino, they ask if you want it “wet” or “dry”.  They don’t even ask you that in friggin’ ITALY….at least, not in my own experience…and again, there is the wine reference, as in describing a liquid as, “dry.”

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The bottom line is…I adore my coffee.  I am having my third cup of the day right now.  I spend a fortune on teeth whitening implements for this very reason.  If I didn’t, I’m sure I would have brown teeth by now.  I love coffee.  I love the way it smells.  I love the way it makes my house smell.  I love the way it tastes.  I love the way it makes me feel after a night’s sleep.  I love coffee.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters…..Thank you for being you  xoxoxo  Right now, your delicious brew  is only sold in Portland, Seattle and at the Ace Hotel in New York.  We are so lucky to have you!

Je t’aime!  Ti amo!  Te quiero!   Ahhhhhhhhh!!

BUT WAIT….There’s more!…..Now, Trader Joe’s actually has a great coffee for a fraction of the price that I pay for Stumptown!  It’s the Dark French Roast.  Mmmmmmmm.  So good!  First Trader Joe’s coffee I’ve ever liked!  (but Stumptown really is better…)