Top 5 Live – Tuesday October 3

Written by on October 3, 2017

1. Former judge admits concealing payments he got from Brady campaign

A onetime challenger to US Rep. Bob Brady has agreed to cooperate – and potentially testify — in an ongoing federal investigation into $90,000 he says the congressman’s campaign gave him to drop out of a 2012 primary race.

But Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge, remained tight-lipped Monday on whether his testimony could implicate Brady in a crime.

The details of Moore’s cooperation with the government emerged during a federal court hearing in which the one-time Brady rival pleaded guilty to falsifying his campaign finance filings to conceal the $90,000 payment.

His lawyer, Jeffrey Miller, said in court that Moore had been working with government lawyers for months, but he declined afterward to elaborate.

Moore’s plea agreement – without identifying Brady by name — says that the congressman and Moore hatched a plan to conceal the source and reasons for the payment on Moore’s campaign filings.

“[Brady] and the defendant agreed and understood that the payment from [Brady’s] campaign … would be disguised,” the document reads, “and the deception would include hiding at least some of [Brady’s] funds as the purchase of a poll.”

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2. Supreme Court kicks off blockbuster term: Cases to watch

A full-strength Supreme Court will take the bench Monday for what could be the most consequential term in decades, as the ideologically split justices consider cases as diverse as religious liberty, immigration, cell phone privacy, voting rights and possibly the legality of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

“There is only one prediction that is entirely safe about the upcoming term, and that is it will be momentous,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said at an event at Georgetown Law recently.

The justices spent most of last term with only eight members rendering narrow opinions — at times — in an attempt to ward off 4-4 splits.

But that’s all over now.

Justice Neil Gorsuch has settled into his new role as a staunch conservative, filling the role previously held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

That means there are five conservatives and four liberals on the bench, with Justice Anthony Kennedy resuming his post as the swing vote from the conservative- to liberal-leaning side. Sources say he has been seriously considering retiring, and liberals fear that their last remaining chance at a win on some issues might rest with him.

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3. Russian Facebook Ads Meant To Incite Black Violence Have Been Turned Over To Congress

This week, 3,000+ Facebook ads purchased by 470 accounts owned by Russia’s Internet Research Agency were handed over to Congressional investigators.

One ad in particular is gaining a lot of attention: an ad featuring an armed black woman “dry firing” a rifle, which means pulling the trigger without a bullet in the chamber.

According to the Washington Post, investigators believe the ad was meant to encourage black militancy, both in hopes that black Americans would arm themselves to defend their rights with violence, and inspire fear in white Americans that their black counterparts would begin to do so.

“These ads are racist propaganda, pure and simple,” said Black Lives Matter Oakland activist Malkia Cyril, who also serves as executive director for the nonprofit Center for Media Justice. “Whether they appear to be in support or in opposition to black civil rights is irrelevant. Their aim is to subvert democracy for everyone by using anti-black stereotypes — an idea as old as America.”

Facebook is cooperating with Congress’ investigation by providing ad targeting analytics and updating security measures in various ways.

Click here to read on Blavity

4. The Sandy Hook senator has a blunt message: ‘It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something’

Chris Murphy is unapologetically playing politics in the wake of the largest mass shooting in modern American history Sunday night in Las Vegas.

“It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic,” the Connecticut Democratic senator said in a statement released Monday. “There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”

Murphy went even further via Twitter just after noon eastern. “To my colleagues: your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers,” he tweeted. “None of this ends unless we do something to stop it.”

Hillary Clinton also weighed in,”Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”

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5. Lone gunman kills 59, injures hundreds, in Las Vegas concert attack

A retiree armed with multiple assault rifles strafed an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas from a high-rise hotel window on Sunday, slaughtering at least 59 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history before killing himself.

The barrage of gunfire from the 32nd-floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd of 22,000 people came in extended bursts. Panicked crowds desperately cowered on the ground, hemmed in by fellow concertgoers, while others at the edge tried to flee.

More than 525 people were injured – some by gunfire or shrapnel, some trampled in the pandemonium as police scrambled to locate the shooter.

Police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64, who lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. They said they believed he acted alone and did not know why he attacked the crowd.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre, but officials said there was no evidence of that.

The preliminary death toll, which officials said could rise, surpassed last year’s massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Click here to read on Reuters

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