Are Manafort's Trials Show Trials or About Reparations? Or Both?

We have outrage on the part of Democrats that Judge TS Ellis only handed a sentence of 47 months to Paul Manafort, including the 9 months that Manafort has already served. At the sentencing Judge Ellis said, “To impose a sentence of 19-24 years on Mr. Manafort would clearly be a disparity. In the end, I don’t think the guidelines range is at all appropriate. I think what I’ve done is sufficiently punitive, and anyone who disagrees should spend a day in a federal penitentiary.”

The guidelines range Judge Ellis is referring to is what Mueller's team - the prosecutors in other words - suggested. That would be somewhere in the range of 20 or more years.

"Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars. Manafort chose to do this for no other reason than greed, evidencing his belief that the law does not apply to him." - Mueller's sentencing memo

Yes, Manafort broke laws, mainly tax laws. That is not the same as colluding with Russian agents, a charge which Mueller's team was clearly unable to bring against Manafort, who was perhaps their best hope for landing some sort of collusion charge against Trump's campaign team. Especially seeing that Carter Page is clearly innocent of any suspicions of collusion and Flynn's charges as well do not seem to indicate any sort of collusion, only impropriety that arguably was never illegal.

20 + years for tax fraud?

While some statists may think it's absolutely correct to treat tax fraud on the same level as 2nd degree murder, this is more about how Mueller's probe has become a show trial. You do remember what history says about show trials? How Stalin's great purge of the mid and late-30's cleared out any suspected opposition delving deep into his own party to accuse and condemn and either imprison or kill? And how show trials were a way to scapegoat a few victims in order to justify to a terrorized public that these people were somehow enemies of the Soviet Union and deserved to die.

Fortunately, or at least until President Ocasio-Cortez begins enacting her agenda in about a decade or so, America is far from a Soviet Socialist Republic. So, Mueller has to tread a little more carefully. But the rhetoric unleashed against someone who is clearly an unsavory grifter is disturbing. Worthy of a show trial even, where he justifies the time and expense and political damage of his probe by heightening the rhetoric against his victims. Would Mueller consider investigating Tony Podesta (who has moved in similar circles to Manafort and done similar things) in the same way? Not likely.

So, the Democrats are up in arms. And their culprit is both an immigrant judge (apparently TS Ellis was born in Bogota and immigrated to America) and the whole darn legal system which is of course run by ... wait for it ... old white men. Here's a few samples of the Democrats reacting as gleefully provided by James Hohmann's Daily 202:

• Amy Klobuchar former prosecutor and DA: Crimes committed in an office building should be treated as seriously as crimes committed on a street corner. Can't have two systems of justice!
• Cory Brooker goes a step further: In Russia, they incarcerate political opposition. In Turkey, they are actually incarcerating the media. ... But in our country, we prey on the most vulnerable citizens in our nation: poor folks, mentally ill folks, addicted folks and overwhelmingly black and brown folks.
• Elizabeth Warren drills down further and mentions Fate Winslow who was sentenced to life in prison apparently for helping to sell some pot.
• Monica Lewinsky mentions being threatened with a 27-year sentence (presumably by Ken Starr) for filing a false affidavit.
• Edward Snowden brings up General Petraeus' no-sentence for giving state secrets to his biographer while Chelsea Manning got a long sentence for her leaking of state secrets.
• And AOC says this:'s almost impossible for rich people to go to jail for the same amount of time as someone who is lower income. In our current broken system, "justice" isn't blind, it's bought.

Yes, access to Justice does indeed depend on income. Just ask all the Democrat trial lawyers who charge outrageous fees. And more than a few GOP lawyers as well. But the problem here is this:

Democrats are essentially demanding that Paul Manafort's sentencing be a sort of reparations for those who have suffered at the hands of the justice system, including particularly lower income African-Americans. As AOC might say, Manafort's sentencing is a trope. A figurative illustration of the unbalanced scales of justice. It has nothing to do anymore with Russia. Or collusion. It has to do with Manafort's identity as a rich, corrupt, older, white male. The perfect target for progressives.

That's not the solution. The solution is curtailing prosecutorial overreach and ensuring a better relationship between minority groups and security forces of all sorts. That's a long-term project that requires both immediate steps (like publicizing outrageous sentencing) as well as sentencing reform (which in fact was done last December) as well as rebuilding communities and providing good paying jobs, vocational training, education and community outreach (including churches) to help that effort. That's actually going on right now, despite the obvious injustices in certain sentencing rulings.

But that won't fly with progressives. Manafort must pay. So, we now have Amy Berman Jackson (who has been far less critical of the prosecutors in the SDNY case) who will soon hand out her sentences for what are essentially the same set of crimes: financial fraud and tax evasion of one sort or another. We'll see what she rules, but it will likely be longer than TS Ellis's sentencing. But it's interesting to note that Judge Ellis was the one who put John Walker Lindh in jail for 20 years as well as sentencing a former DoD employee to 13 years for spying for Israel. Those were real crimes of collusion and/or treason. The sentences fit the crimes.

But for Democrats, they will not be satisfied unless Manafort dies in jail like an Argentine Military Official accused of crimes against humanity. They need to paint Manafort in that eldritch light to justify their slow, disruptive drive towards impeachment in the House of Representatives.

This is just one more tactic towards that end.

Posted by Keeley at March 8, 2019 4:05 PM
Comment #439474

I wonder how much of this is real. When the day is over, do they all wipe off their makeup and belly up to the bar with each other and laugh at how they’re pulling one over on the stupid peons?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 8, 2019 4:21 PM
Comment #439477

Perhaps the judge was considering the fact that Paul Manafort (born 1-APR-1949) will be 79 next month, and he will be 75 years of age when released (if he serves his entire 47 month sentence, and provided he lives to age 75).
Democrats want more severe penalties for Manafort, but look how easy all of these people got off.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2019 5:11 PM
Comment #439478

Democrats act like they are the least corrupt, but consider the following:
U.S. federal officials convicted of corruption offenses: 60% are Democrats.
Voter fraud convictions: 81% are Democrats (Voter Fraud database [1979 to 2018]).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2019 5:12 PM
Comment #439479

“We have outrage on the part of Democrats”

Brilliant idea to lump everyone who opposed the lack of guideline sentencing into one party. That will certainly be helpful for us. Bernie Maddoff got about 150 years at about the same age as Manafort.

“colluding with Russian agents” aka Conspiracy Against The United States

” President Ocasio-Cortez”

Another brilliant idea. The medication is working! See how it has improved your life already!

“unsavory grifter”

You mean like everyone associated with Scheissstorm Donald?
That’s from Christie, definitely not a Democrat. (amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons)

Manafort is the person responsible for his client getting the nomination of the reich wing party at the “It’s Midnight In America” convention, complete with a certain salute from Laura Ingraham, and some changes in the platform to please their boss, Putain.

Monica Lewinsky was threatened, but Susan McDougal served time from September 9, 1996 to March 6, 1998, McDougal spent the maximum possible 18 months imprisonment for civil contempt, including 8 months in solitary confinement, and she was subjected to “diesel therapy,” the practice of hauling defendants around the country and placing them in different jails along the way. She was shuffled from Arkansas to Los Angeles to the Oklahoma City transfer center, and then on to the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, Arkansas. Following her release on March 7, 1998 for civil contempt of court, McDougal began serving the two-year sentence for her 1996 conviction. Soon afterward, the Independent Counsel indicted her on criminal charges of contempt of court and obstruction of justice.(wiki)


Posted by: ohrealy at March 8, 2019 5:20 PM
Comment #439480

And worse, consider all of THIS too.
Democrats are out-of-control.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2019 5:23 PM
Comment #439481

Come Halloween, for those brave souls desiring a truly frightful experience; I am going to offer two minutes in the mind of any WatchBlog Liberal you choose.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 8, 2019 5:29 PM
Comment #439482
Ed O’hrealy wrote: “So, SHUT UP!
But, that mild compared to Ed O’hrealy’s usual nasty, racist, hateful comments.
By the way, Bernie Madoff’s crimes were far worse, and hurt many more people.
Ed O’hrealy’s claim that Paul Manafort is responsible for Trump being nominated is nonsense. But most (if not all) of what Ed O’hrealy writes is nonsense.
Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2019 5:33 PM
Comment #439517

Many of us can recall when Liberals were demanding we believe in the theory of “Peak Oil.” Many of us can remember the bullshit books “Silent Spring” and “The population Bomb”.

All of that nonsense was an attempt by the Liberal/Progressive/Socialist/Communist cabal to diminish America and gain control over the lives of Americans. Now, all this crap has been replaced by this same cabal demanding that we use our “worry beads” to demand we spend our wealth to change the climate.

America is set to surpass Saudi Arabia in a ‘remarkable’ oil milestone

“New York (CNN Business)Move over, Saudi Arabia. America is about to steal the kingdom’s energy exporting crown.
The United States will surpass Saudi Arabia later this year in exports of oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum products, like gasoline, according to energy research firm Rystad Energy.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 9, 2019 3:47 PM
Comment #439522

Fracking has been around for a long time (since 1949).
What changed drastically was the ability to drill “directionally”, parallel to the geological strata (not merely drilling vertically).
Water, acid, and other chemicals are injected under great pressure, which pushes up more oil and gas. Before that, only 25%-to-35% of oil and gas could be extracted. Fracking increased the extraction by another 25%-to-35% (for a total of up to 70%) of the existing oil and gas.
Studies of fracking waste have identified formaldehyde, acetic acids, and boric acids, among hundreds of others. For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used, selected from a menu of up to 600 *different* chemicals.

Regarding the Population Bomb predictions in the 1960s, it was considered alarmist. Perhaps it was premature. However, the world population has more than doubled since then, and the rate of growth is increasing too.
Each additional growth by 1 Billion takes less and less time. That last 1 Billion increase took only 12 years.
The planet has limits. Today, the world population is growing by 235,000 per day (or 86 Million per year), and that is all births minus all deaths. Compare that to the population of California (currently about 40 Million). Egypt recently advocated for only 2 children per family. China previously had a 1 child per family limit. There is no doubt that more and more resources will be necessary to support the exponentially growing human population, and could possibly become one of the worst problems we face.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 9, 2019 4:55 PM
Comment #439527

Despite the dire predictions found in “The Population Bomb”, we find today that the increased population of earth has been mainly sustainable for many reasons.

We can not possibly understand or appreciate what events may occur in the next fifty years. Should the population of earth become unsustainable, the population will collapse. I see no reason to fear and fret about an event which may, or may not happen. An event for which we currently have limited means of control.

Some may suggest drastic, freedom limiting, and wealth depletion solutions. I do not subscribe to any of them. Alarmists, with no proof for alarm, always have solutions. Their solutions always involve taking away my freedom, liberty, and wealth. We find such an effort today with the MMGW movement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 9, 2019 5:45 PM
Comment #439548
Royal Flush wrote: Should the population of earth become unsustainable, the population will collapse.
Yes, it will (probably not in my lifetime), but when it does, it will probably be due to famine, disease, and poverty, that leads to wars over increasingly scarce food, arable land, water, and other resources.
Royal Flush wrote: I see no reason to fear and fret about an event which may, or may not happen; an event for which we currently have limited means of control.
Yes, humans may never be able to control over-population.
So, Perhaps the painful consequences of over-population are inevitable, but there ARE limited resources.
Technological advances in food and energy production may postpone the inevitable, but could also make problem larger.
Since humans will (most likely) be unable to control their own population (by design), the population-control will most likely come about the hard way, by famine and wars.

But, of course, if you’re looking for more cheerful rhetoric, stop reading now.
It could all end any day, due to a massive solar flare, asteroid impact, local gamma-ray burst (On 27-DED-2004, the Earth was rocked by a cosmic blast (by magnetar SGR 1806-20 on the opposite side of the galaxy) so epic its scale is nearly impossible to exaggerate, and the flood of gamma and X-rays that washed over the Earth was detected by several satellites designed to observe the high-energy skies, and the enormous wave of fierce energy was so powerful it actually partially ionized the Earth’s upper atmosphere, and it made the Earth’s magnetic field ring like a bell; several satellites were actually blinded by the event), a near-by supernova (e.g. star system WR 104), rogue stars or planets (that could upset the rocky Oort Cloud), the expanding/end of the sun (which is inevitable in a few billion years), or any number of other natural disasters.
After all, there have already been at least 5 major mass extinctions:

    Top Five Extinctions:
  • Ordovician-silurian Extinction: Small marine organisms died out;
  • Devonian Extinction: Many tropical marine species went extinct;
  • Permian-triassic Extinction;
  • Triassic-jurassic Extinction;
  • Cretaceous-tertiary Extinction: (65.5 Million Years ago);

Posted by: d.a.n at March 10, 2019 9:08 AM
Comment #439559

Thanks to d.a.n. for his observations and comments. Has the Left provided any money yet to save earth from “massive solar flare, asteroid impact, local gamma-ray burst”?

Perhaps someone should bring these dire phenomena to the attention of AlGore.

Long ago, after suffering from an ulcer, I learned not to worry about stuff over which I have no control. My doctor gave good advice to my inquiry about what to eat; “It’s not what you eat, it’s what eats you!

It seems our Liberal Pals are suffering from needless worry. The “New Green Deal” is an example of bad ideas searching for money to fund them.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 10, 2019 4:07 PM
Comment #439610
Royal Flush wrote: “It’s not what you eat, it’s what eats you!
I agree that the “New Green Deal -> Hoax” is impractical, and based on many falsehoods (i.e. “the earth will end in 12 years”).

NASA already has a program to track asteroids, and is researching ways to deflect potential impacts. That’s something that we may have the technology and some control over.

There are also many ways to improve the electricity power grid to be more immune to solar flares and EMP attacks, and many of those are now being researched (i.e. absorption capacitors, variable-speed generator flywheels, current limiters, Faraday cages on some equipment, and better forecasting/warning systems).

But you are right about not having control over, or ways to mitigate the damage of many other things (e.g. local gamma-ray burst, near-by supernovas, rogue stars or planets, the expanding/end of the sun, or some other natural disasters).

Yes, perhaps the biggest potential disaster we are facing at the moment may be the radical extremists like AOC, the “New Green Deal”, and many Democrats that are doing all of T H I S (and 2,000 homicides per year and net losses of hundreds of billions per year) today.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 11, 2019 7:44 AM
Comment #439988

Let’s see how they like some of their own medicine ?
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Posted by: d.a.n at March 17, 2019 12:08 PM
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