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Are your eyes glazing over from reading about never-ending Trump-Russia scandals? Is it all starting to sound like endless car horns? How is the Peener Payoff part of the Russia investigation now? And what the hell does the NRA have to do with the Trump Tower meeting? Well, it's easy ....

IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.


Why did the Russians start cozying up to the NRA in 2011? Because after Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky was murdered in jail for uncovering a tax fraud scheme by Putin's cronies, his friend Bill Browder persuaded the American government to sanction the men implicated in his death. Congress was making a list of BAD HOMBRES to lock out of American capital markets, and Russian oligarchs, like Maria Butina's handler Alexander Torshin, were desperate to keep their names off it. So they headed for the Annual Gunhumpers' Jamboree where Republican politicians get their marching orders.

See, the Russian government has a nasty habit of expropriating assets from businessmen who get crosswise with Vladimir Putin. So Oleg the Oligarch needs a place in New York, or London, or Zurich, or Paris to park his family and enough stolen loot to live on. And if he can't stop the Magnitsky Act from getting passed, Oleg would very much like to be at that NRA roundtable next to a congressman who can stop it from affecting him personally. Spasibo!

IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.

Ditto the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event where 4,000 Friends of the Lord raise their eyes heavenward and pray that the circle of donors and congressional whores may remain unbroken. Twice Maria Butina bought a table of tickets for Russians to rub shoulders with GOP policymakers and express their hope that the unfortunate sanctions would be lifted soon. Such a shame Russians can't contribute directly to American political campaigns. OR CAN THEY?

IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.

So what were all those Russians doing talking about adoptions at Trump Tower with Dipshit Jr., Jared, and Paul Manafort back in June 2016? Well, in 2012, Vladimir Putin's government reacted to America's Magnitsky Act by barring Americans from adopting Russian babies. And Kremlin lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya was offering to frame Hillary Clinton for accepting illegal campaign contributions from Bill Browder if the Moron Squad would just eighty-six those annoying sanctions. Which went sailing over Dipshit and JarJar's stupid heads, of course. But not Paul Manafort's -- here are his notes from that meeting.


IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.

And what did Putin and Trump talk about all by themselves in Helsinki? Putin asked if Trump would pretty please let Russian investigators "interview" Bill Browder and former Russian ambassador Michael McFaul, who was instrumental in passing the Magnitsky sanctions and has spoken out against Putin's corrupt regime. And instead of saying NO FUCKING WAY we're handing our ambassador over to the FSB, President McTreasonweasel said, "Incredible offer!"

Because the pee tape is real! Or maybe it isn't, and Trump just really, really wants to make Vladimir Putin smile to see his little eyes sparkle with joy. WHO CAN SAY?

IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.

And, hey check out this Atlantic story from yesterday about Russia using Interpol's warrant system to get the US to hand over political opponents in the absence of an extradition treaty.

Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice, according to its guidelines, and "the United States does not consider a Red Notice alone to be a sufficient basis for the arrest of a subject because it does not meet the requirements for arrest under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution," according to the Justice Department. But the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. immigration courts are effectively facilitating "backdoor extraditions," as one immigration attorney said, in their reliance on Red Notices as a basis for detention and, ultimately, removal.

Suddenly the US government is detaining people based on trumped up Russian Interpol "red notice" warrants, the kind issued regularly against Bill Browder? If Putin asks Trump very nicely, will we detain Mr. Browder at the airport next time he visits the US?

IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.

And what are we looking at here? Why has the Russian government liquidated its holding of American T-bills in the past four months?

Image credit: CNN

Not clear! But we have a guess ...

IT'S THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.

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[Atlantic / Atlantic, again / NYT]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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