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Everything is horrible all the time. The stench of corruption pervades, and the miasma rising off the Trump swamp threatens to blot out the sun daily. None of this is news, but yesterday's federal ruling implicating Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in the coverup of serial pedophile Jeffery Epstein's crimes is a useful barometer of just how far we've fallen as a country. In any other administration, Acosta's involvement in 2008 as US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in an active effort to bury the Epstein prosecution in state court would have kept him out of the Cabinet. As the victims' case alleging prosecutorial misconduct proceeded, a rational Justice Department would have tapped Acosta on the shoulder months ago to say, "Alex, you really gotta go." Instead, the sitting Labor Secretary was named yesterday in a federal judge's order finding that his office illegally hid details from the minor victims of a pedophile ring in violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act. It's too glib to say that this is a bad look, but ... this is a really bad look.


The facts in this sad case are not in dispute. Between 1999 and 2007, billionaire Jeffery Epstein had sexual contact with over 30 minor girls at his home in Florida and supplied these girls to his guests for sexual contact. He brought girls in from other states, and took girls across state lines for sex, which makes his conduct both a federal and a state crime. In 2005, local police in Palm Beach received a report from parents of a 14-year-old victim, who led them to 20 other girls who had been victimized by Epstein. The Palm Beach police referred the case to federal authorities in 2006, and in 2007 Acosta's office entered into plea negotiations with Epstein and began to send letters to the known victims as required by the Crime Victims' Rights Act. Epstein's attorneys, including that Ken Starr, objected to the girls being told about the plea negotiations, and federal prosecutors eventually agreed to participate in a scheme to hide the federal Non-Prosecution Agreement from the victims.

After some extremely dubious negotiations involving emails sent to personal accounts and "off campus" meetings, Acosta's office entered into a Non-Prosecution Agreement with the predatory billionaire on September 24, 2007, allowing him to avoid federal prosecution by pleading guilty in state court to solicitation of prostitution and setting up a compensation fund for his victims. In violation of the CVRA, prosecutors didn't tell the girls about Epstein's sentencing date, which would have allowed them to appear in court to contest the deal, and they actively pretended to be continuing their investigation.

On January 10, 2008, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 were sent victim notification letters from the FBI advising them that "[t]his case is currently under investigation. This can be a lengthy process and we request your continued patience while we conduct a thorough investigation." The January 10, 2008 notification letters did not disclose that the Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 case in the Southern District of Florida was the subject of the NPA entered into by Epstein and the Office, or that there had been any potentially binding resolution. Other victims received the same letters as sent to Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2. [Citations omitted.]

Acosta's office agreed that there would be only two copies of the NPA -- "The other will be placed in the case file, which will be kept confidential since it also contains identifying information about the girls" -- and they would only divulge it if forced to in a FOIA suit. In fact, Acosta himself met with Epstein's attorney Jay Lefkowitz in October of 2007 to reassure him that his client's legal troubles were coming to an end.

U.S. Attorney Acosta then met with Lefkowitz for breakfast and Lefkowitz followed up with a letter stating, "I also want to thank you for the commitment you made to me during our October 12 meeting in which you . . . assured me that your Office would not . . . contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses, or potential civil claimants and their respective counsel in this matter."

So, yeah, safe to say he was in the loop.

Yesterday, Judge Kenneth Marra of the Southern District of Florida ruled that the US Attorney's Office violated the then-minor victims' rights under the Crime Victims Rights Act in 2007 and 2008. They have been suing to get access to this Non-Prosecution Agreement this entire time. Which is ELEVEN FUCKING YEARS, according to our watch. And if you're thinking, "Wow, that shit sounds wildly unethical and illegal!" you would be correct. These girls had a right to be informed of the plea and sentencing negotiations, and Acosta's prosecutors bent over backwards for a wealthy, politically connected mega-donor to make his legal problems go away quietly. Mister Secretary needs to call his lawyer. And also ...

Alex Acosta needs to GET THE FUCK OUT, YESTERDAY.

[Doe 1 and Doe 2 v. US / Miami Herald]

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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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