This is just a very good lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the Trump 2020 campaign filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times, whining that an opinion piece about Russia and Donald Trump being BFFs wasn't very nice to the Trump campaign.
And yes, it's just as dumb as it sounds.
Donald Trump and his buddy, lawyer Charles Harder, are big fans of using bullshit lawsuits like this to intimidate journalists and use as press releases. They believe they are entitled to abuse the legal system by suing over news they don't like and using their money to silence people who disagree with them. Lawsuits like this one, styled Donald Trump for President v. New York Times, are no more than attempts to use American courts to frighten dissenters into silence.
The op-ed in question, titled "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo," was written by Max Frankel, former Times executive editor, in March of last year. The first paragraph of the piece sets the tone:
Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump's pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin's oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration's burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.
I mean ... seems pretty accurate thus far.
Go to jail, asshole!
What did Judge Amy Berman Jackson ever do to deserve Roger Stone and his endless antics? After dropping Stone's motion for judicial recusal in the courthouse dumpster where it belongs, Her Honor was subjected to a four-hour hearing on his motion for a new trial Because of Mean Black Lady Juror. It was RIDICULOUS.
What is not ridiculous, though, and not even a little bit funny, is Trump's brazen attacks on the jury foreperson and Judge Jackson during this trial. It is frankly terrifying that the president of the United States is putting a target on the back of a private citizen who did her civic duty as an independent jurist.
You will be shocked, shocked to find that he was sending these tweets during the hearing yesterday. And also that Bill Barr failed to resign in protest.
Did Mike Flynn's Pal Barbara Ledeen Get A Prosecutor Fired For Failing To LOCK HER UP Trump's Enemies List?
Sure looks like it!
Let's talk about Senate Judiciary Committee staffer Barbara Ledeen and her unrelenting assault on the rule of law in this country. Axios reported yesterday that Ledeen is part of Ginni Thomas's coven trying to turn the federal government into a year-round CPAC convention. It also claims the conservative activist personally authored a hit-piece on former US Attorney for DC urging the president to fire her for failing to launch un-predicated, political prosecutions of Trump's enemies. And Ledeen did it all from her perch as a congressional staffer, paid by American taxpayers, and given access to classified US intel materials. Neat, huh?
When Barbara Ledeen, an ardent anti-feminism activist, met Michael Ledeen, a warmongering neo-con from way back when that term actually meant something, it was love at first sight. Probably. The couple are longtime allies of former NSA Michael Flynn, and the two men actually wrote a book together in 2016 on the "war" with "radical Islam." As confirmed in the Mueller Report, Barbara Ledeen and Flynn wandered into the Dark Web in 2016 to see if they could get their hands on Hillary Clinton's emails, a field trip underwritten by mercenary merchant Erik Prince. Yep, her Twitter TL is just exactly as batshit as you think it is.
Looking at you, CNN.
We've now officially known for several days what pretty much anybody could have told you, if they've been paying attention. Russia is actively interfering with the 2020 election right now as we speak, just like Robert Mueller said they would, they're doing it to help Donald Trump get re-elected, and they're also fucking around in the Democratic primary trying to boost the Bernie Sanders campaign. Or more properly, they're trying to boost conspiracy theories about the establishment trying to steal the nomination from Bernie, just like Donald Trump is doing. Of course, if Bernie wins the nomination, Russia's meddling will change and they'll turn hostile against him, because their true candidate is Vladimir Putin's best boy Trump.
Rght on cue, here comes the gaslighting from Trump-land! And unfortunately, some people are buying it, people who should know better. (Rhymes with "Lake Snapper.")
It's the Sunday Shows Rundown!
A few days ago, it was reported that it seems the Russians are meddling in the 2020 elections, like they did in 2016, favoring Donald Trump. This (of course) pissed off our Authoritarian-In-Chief and he fired acting (aren't they all) Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and replaced him with an idiot loyalist, Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell. Trump also did one of his White House lawn presser shout interviews denying the intelligence while blaming Democrats like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who rightfully criticized him. So this week on the Sunday shows, we got multiple appearances from Trump officials Robert O'Brien and Marc Short, telling America what they really want us to hear about that so-called intelligence.
NOW it's time to panic.
Okay, Purity Ponies, this one's for YOU!
Guess which lunatic fox just got put in charge of the Intelligence henhouse? Hooray, it is Devin Nunes's lackey Kash Patel, who spent the past three years flogging the lie that the Intel Community made up the Russian interference story just to hurt Donald Trump. The president just promoted the guy who thinks the FBI and CIA lied about Russian hacking to cover up the fact that HILLARY CLINTON IS THE REAL COLLUSION to senior advisor at the Office of Director of National Intelligence. But please, tell us more about how you'll be staying home if your candidate doesn't win!
After shoving aside (acting) Director of National Intelligence Joe Maguire for the grievous sin of acknowledging Russian ratfucking, Trump named Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, a man with zero national security experience, as nominal (acting) DNI until he can pick a permanent successor. Grenell will retain his ambassadorship, and tend to the SEVENTEEN AGENCIES which constitute our the Intelligence Community in his spare time. But it's okay, because that should leave him plenty of time to zero out any projects focusing on Russian interference with the 2020 election. And if there's an issue with the time-zone or something, he's always got Kash Patel to lean on.
If the past three years have blurred together into one long nightmare for you, let's review who Kash Patel is, shall we?
Who could have seen this coming!
Congratulations, Joe Maguire, you just played yourself!
The story about Trump flipping out and firing his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, because the intelligence community reached the blindingly obvious conclusion that Russia is trying to get him elected AGAIN, is fucked up six ways from Sunday. But let's not lose sight of the fact that just five months ago Maguire threw his body on the whistleblower hand grenade in a desperate effort to save the president from himself. And yesterday, for his troubles, he got tossed out like garbage.
THAT TRAIN IS NEVER LATE. And also, AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP. Plus a whole bunch of other aphorisms, probably.
Let's rewind the tape, shall we?
Former congressman from Moscow is proud he offered Assange a pardon on behalf of Donald J. Trump.
Yesterday we learned that in 2017, when now-former congressman from Moscow Dana Rohrabacher went to London with his white supremacist award-winning journalist pal Chuck Johnson to play "My Scratching Post Or Yours?" with Julian Assange, Rohrabacher made Assange an offer.
Find some "proof" of the dumbshit conspiracy theory that the Russians did not hack the Democrats in 2016, and that it was all Seth Rich, Rohrabacher promised Assange, and YOU, sir, will get a pardon from Donald J. Trump! Just "prove" that HILLARY IS THE REAL COLLUSION, and it'll all be fine! And if you could throw in some dirt on the Bidens, that'd be cool too, hahaha just kidding, you are not the president of Ukraine! (We made up that last part. The rest of it is real.)
There's still a bit of a question over whether Rohrabacher was actually delivering special instructions from Trump, because all accounts of the time make it seem like then-chief of staff John Kelly wouldn't let crazy-ass Rohrabacher anywhere near the president. So maybe he was doing a little freelancing, as a ploy to see if he could get into Assange's stinky litter box.
But that didn't stop White House driver-of-the-year and comms person Stephanie Grisham from making this face (at least we imagine she made this face)
and loudly exclaiming that the DEMO-CRAPS done MADED IT UP! Or, actual quote: "The president barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he's an ex-congressman. He's never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject. It is a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never-ending hoax and total lie from the DNC."
Dana Rohrabacher, though? He did an interview with Yahoo! News and said yeah, he totally did that thing everybody says he did.
You know, until Trump pardons him.
Well, that was the most riveting sentencing hearing we've ever not been in the room for! Yes, it is Wonkette, reporting live on the scene from our house, where we watched on Twitter as Judge Amy Berman Jackson ("ABJ," as she's known to the cool kids) sentenced Roger Stone to 40 months in prison for the seven counts for which he was indicted, tried, and convicted, which included obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying his ass off so fucking much to Congress!
LOCK HER UP! THAT'S RIGHT, LOCK HER UP!
No, it wasn't the seven to nine years prosecutors originally asked for, before Attorney General Bill Barr decided after a mean Trump tweet that seven to nine years was just TOO MANY, and filed a new sentencing recommendation without actually withdrawing the original sentencing recommendation. This blatant act of low-rent Roy-Cohn-ing, of course, caused all the line prosecutors on the case to quit in protest, one of them leaving the Justice Department entirely.
The Prosecutors Revolt. No, Not The Old Ones, The NEW ONES!
'This,' for 'THAT'?
OH, LORD, WHEN WILL 2016 BE OVER? We will never escape that horrible year, no matter how many times we make our way around the sun. Case in point, literally: Just today, Julian Assange argued to a Westminster magistrate that he should not be extradited to the US to face hacking charges because his prosecution is entirely political. As proof, Assange says he has evidence that then-Congressman Dana Rohrabacher delivered a pardon offer in 2017 from Donald Trump. All Assange had to do was say publicly that Russia hadn't hacked the DNC to benefit the Trump campaign, and he could walk his stinky cat-lady ass out of the Ecuadorian embassy where he was holed up and go back to Australia.
A quid pro quo, if you will.
It's about ethics in framing journalism.
HOORAY! HOORAY! The Hill's review of its disgraced hack "opinion columnist" John Solomon is here! Hooray! After three months of soul-searching about Solomon's fruitful collaboration into investigating the Bidens with Rudy Giuliani, Devin Nunes's guy, the chucklefucks, and the firm of Hairball and Hairball, Esquires to the Stars and Also John Solomon; and into how much Solomon lied about working with Giuliani; and into how much Solomon didn't disclose citing his own attorneys and misdirected his editors on who exactly Lev Parnas was; and into his "smear campaign" of Marie Yovanovitch on Rudy Giuliani's, the chucklefucks', the hairballs', the corrupt prosecutors', and Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash's behalf, the Hill has a very solemn promise to make.
It will try really hard in future not to blur the line between "news" and "opinion," which was obviously their only problem.
So, we good?
Mitch McConnell has the morals of a common Mitch McConnell.
During an interview last week, Mitch McConnell was asked what he'd do if a Supreme Court vacancy opened up just a few months prior to this year's presidential election. This was somewhat of a softball question. McConnell is the Senate majority leader and, when not running sham impeachment trials, confirming Supreme Court justices is a big part of his job description. What kind of a ragamuffin Senate majority leader would leave a Supreme Court seat open for months, collecting dust and looking all sad like Miss Havisham? Mitch McConnell, that's who. It's what he did in 2016 when Antonin Scalia defied his Christian God and died during Barack Obama's presidency. McConnell said that the "American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." It was a fancy pronouncement with at least one instance of a "therefore."
To the surprise of no one not suffering from terminal naïveté, McConnell now says that he would indeed confirm a Supreme Court justice during a presidential election year, because Donald Trump is president, not Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Trump is a Republican and would nominate someone from the right-wing hack section of the Sears catalog. McConnell doesn't understand what your problem is.
It's been four years and people keep asking McConnell this question like he's some sort of a carbon-based mammal capable of feeling shame. It's unclear why people make this error. He's not even that lifelike. You can only eat wax fruit a few times before you're responsible for your own gastric distress.
Happy Valentine's Day to all the jerks we've loved before.
Michael Avenatti, you dumb son of a bitch, GO TO JAIL! Today a federal jury in Manhattan convicted the lawyer on three counts related to an attempt to extort Nike out of $20 million. And though we'll always be grateful to him for bringing to light Michael Cohen and American Media Inc.'s illegal ratfucking of the 2016 campaign, we are never, never, never getting back together with our (literally) crazy ex-boyfriend. Sorry, Blue Eyes, we're through!
It's all so pathetically petty and sordid. Avenatti found a basketball coach in California who said he knew about illegal payments to high school athletes. But instead of negotiating an advantageous settlement for his client, Avenatti waltzed in to Nike HQ and threatened to "take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap" if the company wouldn't give him $20 million to perform an internal audit. Or to not perform an audit — he didn't really give a damn as long as he got paid.
And when Nike's lawyers said, "Can you call us back tomorrow, and speak very loudly and clearly when you lay out the particulars of your threat to expose us if we don't pony up the cash?" Avenatti said, "You bet! Let me give you 24 hours so you'll have plenty of time to call the FBI and get them situated to record our conversation!" We are paraphrasing, but not by much.
Bill Barr's Fake Russia Probe Pretty Sure Hillary Clinton #Pizzagated CIA Into Framing Russia For Oh F*ck It
Intelligence Community, How Does IT Work?
Speaking of Attorney General Bill Barr, AKA Donald Trump's broken truck stop condom dispenser version of Roy Cohn over there at the Justice Department ... it's time for an update on the US Attorney John Durham-"led" investigation into the REAL origins of the Trump-Russia investigation!
You know, even though the Justice Department inspector general already looked at that and found it was correctly predicated and based on very real evidence. Once Barr realized the inspector general wasn't going to give Trump, congressional Republicans, and Fox News windsocks a big fap-fest (though they certainly turned it into one!), and once he realized US Attorney John Huber's extra probe into Hillary Clinton was DOA, he had to gin up another "investigate the investigators" investigation, to keep his autocratic boss's bowels reg'lar.
Will Durham be able to invent a convincing fake story about how the Russia investigation was really a nefarious Deep State plot started by real FBI boss Hillary Clinton to stealthily steal the 2016 election from herself so that they could all frame Trump for Russia crimes? Fingers crossed!
The New York Times and the Washington Post have some new reporting on Durham's probe, and y'all, it's getting stupider.
Are you feeling RATTLED yet, New Hampshire?
Hey, did you guys hear the New Hampshire primary is today? It is, and Wonkette is able to forecast with 82 percent accuracy that your mom, once again, will not win. Beyond that, we dunno.
But Donald Trump is paying attention, and he's just really concerned that Democrats might go out and vote in New Hampshire, and that's why he went there for a rally last night, to clog up the roads to keep people from voting. That's right, he went there ... last night ... to keep people from voting ... today. Now, we know that when the average person thinks "New Hampshire," they think "traffic jams that last for days," but we are not sure if this was time well spent.
If Kris Kobach Wants To Get Spanked By Another Midwestern Lady With Sensible Hair, Who Are We To Kinkshame?
Those Gippers are all into freaky shit, right?
Kris Kobach is the gift that keeps on giving. In 2018, the Republican secretary of state blew the Kansas gubernatorial race, when voters decided they'd rather hand the reins over to that nice Laura Kelly lady, with her tidy pantsuits, sensible Midwestern hair, and lack of propensity to embarrass herself and the entire state on a national stage. Which is how Kobach wound up losing to a Democrat just two years after Trump carried Kansas by 20 points.
But Kobach was undeterred! He finished up that judicially mandated remedial legal education after the unmitigated courtroom disaster when he decided to defend the state's illegal voter ID laws himself, then he got right back on the horse. And after one or two false starts — like failing to spell his own name properly on the registration — he launched a Senate campaign to replace retiring Republican Pat Roberts.
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