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Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin Cast As Indictees In Gross College Bribe Scam

Are the moms the only ones arrested for kid-related fraud?

Federal prosecutors charged 50 people today in a nationwide college admissions bribery and cheating scam. This includes Felicity Huffman from "Desperate Housewives" and Aunt Becky from "Full House." That's probably the specific reason we care.

The suspects allegedly paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their kids into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC.

Those are some prestigious, elite institutions ... and USC. It's not that hard to get into USC. You just pay them.

In most cases, the students did not know their admission was contingent on a bribe.

Dumb, rich kids are probably arrogant enough to think they are New Haven material. You can't help but feel sorry for the ones who applied to USC. They probably thought their grades and test scores were decent enough for them to get in without their parents breaking federal law.

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popular

Influence Peddling At Mar-A-Lago? We Are SHOCKED! SHOCKED!

So ... 'Saturday'!

Turns out that "spa" owner hanging out with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Super Bowl party got more than a selfie from the president. According to Mother Jones, Li "Cindy" Yang, founder of the "massage parlor" in south Florida where Patriots owner Robert Kraft was busted for solicitation last month, has been running a tidy business selling Chinese nationals access to the president at Mar-a-Lago.

Yang, who goes by Cindy, and her husband, Zubin Gong, started GY US Investments LLC in 2017. The company describes itself on its website, which is mostly in Chinese, as an "international business consulting firm that provides public relations services to assist businesses in America to establish and expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace." But the firm notes that its services also address clients looking to make high-level connections in the United States. On a page displaying a photo of Mar-a-Lago, Yang's company says its "activities for clients" have included providing them "the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures." The company boasts it has "arranged taking photos with the President" and suggests it can set up a "White House and Capitol Hill Dinner."

THIS IS WHY CAMP DAVID EXISTS, GODDAMMIT.

Yang and her family had sold most of their "day spas" before Kraft was filmed getting a handjob from a likely trafficked woman, his second visit to Orchids of Asia in twenty-four hours. The Miami Herald notes, however, that the strip mall outlets had already "gained a reputation for offering sexual services" before Yang sold her stake in them. But don't worry, you guys, because Mrs. Yang has figured out other ways to make money.

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Guns

Meet Stephanie Flowers, VOICE OF A RIGHTEOUS WRATHFUL GOD

In the best possible way, holy shit!


Arkansas Sen. Stephanie Flowers on 'stand your ground' bill youtu.be

The Arkansas state Senate Judiciary Committee considered an NRA-approved "Stand Your Ground" bill Wednesday. Good news: It failed to move out of committee. Better news: We have this video of state Sen. Stephanie Flowers, the only African-American on the committee, giving her colleagues holy hell for what "stand your ground" means to communities of color, and that's a higher likelihood of people getting murdered and the killers walking away without charges. And she was NOT happy about a call to rush the bill through with limited debate:

I'll be as quick as I can, as quick as it takes to kill somebody I guess. You want me to be that quick. ... It doesn't take much to look on the local news every night and see how many black kids, black boys, black men are being killed with these Stand Your Ground defenses that these people raise, and they get off. So I take issue with that. I'm the only person here of color. I am a mother, too. And I have a son. And I care as much for my son as y'all care for y'all's. But my son doesn't walk the same path as yours does. So this debate deserves more time.

When Flowers raised her voice and said she felt frightened by members of the legislature carrying concealed weapons, committee chair Alan Clark told her she had to stop talking.

"No I don't," Flowers responded. "What the hell you gonna do, shoot me?"

"Senator," said Clark.

"Senator, shit," responded Flowers.

"I'm telling you, this deserves more attention," she said. "You want to come up here with all these NRA bills and all these bills that ALEC has. I'm talking about my son's life! And I'm talking about the lives of other black kids!"

The statistics back her up: A 2017 study found gun homicides in Florida resulted in an "abrupt and sustained increase in the monthly homicide rate" following the passage of that state's "stand your ground" law.

After the bill failed in committee, sponsor Bob Ballinger insisted one of the Republicans on the panel "made a bad vote" and accidentally voted against it. Too bad, so sad! But "an attempt to expunge the vote failed," according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Ballinger intends to re-introduce the bill later in the session so more people who need shooting can get shot.

[Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Arkansas Times]

Confused how to comment on a "shortpost"? Click the headline. You're welcome.

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Russia

596,852 Low-Level Offenders Who Got Off Worse Than Paul Manafort, Who Is Blameless And Pure Of Heart

It was hard to pick just 596,852!

We are still PISSED about Paul Manafort's slap on the wrist/free handjob sentence in the Eastern District of Virginia, handed down by Judge T.S. Ellis, who can go fuck himself.

Yeah, we know it's not over yet, and that DC Judge Amy Berman Jackson is going to sentence Manafort on Tuesday, and that justice may yet be served. We know that judges have the right to disregard sentencing recommendations when they think they're wrong. And we know that, as Ellis said, aside from Manafort's DECADES OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, he has led a "blameless" life.

Oh wait, we don't know that, even though Ellis stated it as fact, because we are not a fucking moron and we have read a thing or two about Paul Manafort. Perhaps Ellis hasn't. Perhaps Ellis should be sentenced to "Why don't you read Wonkette occasionally and learn about Paul Manafort, you fuckin' jackass."

GRRRRRR.

Here, for no reason at all, are a shit ton of people who fared worse than Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign manager who was convicted of eight felonies in Virginia, who pleaded guilty to many more in DC -- including conspiracy against the United States, as well as an admission of guilt in the 10 felonies he wasn't convicted of in Virginia because of one numbnuts juror -- before he blew the terms of his cooperation deal by willfully lying to prosecutors and the grand jury,

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Russia

Stone Rogers Himself ROYALLY

Turns out the rules DO apply to skeevy white dudes. WHO KNEW?

Clearly Roger Stone wants to go to jail. And it looks like he might be getting his wish real soon, hooray! He's got a federal judge so PISSED that she's publicly wondering whether he lied to the court in order to gin up publicity for his warmed-over, reissued Russia polemic. Which is a pretty good sign that Stone's probably about to get himself thrown in the hoosegow. So, big mazel, Rog, on checking off another item on your bucket list!

When last we left this fucking idiot, he was flagrantly daring Judge Amy Berman Jackson to find him in violation of the gag order she'd imposed after he posted a photo of her head next to a crosshairs on Instagram. On February 21, when the order was being crafted, Stone's own lawyer suggested that, "[H]e should not be talking about this Court. He should not be talking about the special prosecutor. He should not be impugning the integrity of the Court. That's what should be done." And since his own counsel admitted in open court that the gag order was appropriate, he's more or less given up the right to claim a First Amendment violation on appeal. Womp womp!

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polls

Americans United At Last: Trump's A Dirty, Crimey, Crooked Man

His defenders say he was only a crook before getting elected.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans in the latest Quinnipiac University Poll think Donald Trump committed crimes before he became president, and just under half think he's committed crimes while in office. There's the usual partisan split you'd expect in the results, but even 33 percent of Republicans said they thought Trump had committed crimes before getting sworn in (48 percent said they thought he hadn't. Dude can't even get a majority of Republicans who think he was a totally honest guy!) Let's enjoy some good clean aerobic poll dancing!

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Russia

Roger Stone Has The Right To Remain Silent, But Not The Ability

LOCK HIM UP.

Roger Stone WANTS to go to jail. It's the only plausible explanation. No one could possibly be stupid enough to violate Judge Amy Berman Jackson's order so flagrantly and so often and think that he could stay out of the pokey. Not even a guy who's been subsisting on tailpipe fumes from alt-right loony land for a decade. Clearly, Stone fancies himself a sacred martyr, the great patron saint of ratfuckers and conmen.

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Immigrants

HHS Demands Stupidest Apology Since ... Mark Meadows, Yesterday

It's the week for people who don't deserve apologies to demand them, so ... what we just said.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a bit of a problem with sexual abuse of minors in its baby jails, as documents revealed Tuesday show. So HHS has taken swift action to deal with the scandal: It's demanding a member of Congress apologize for not sufficiently clarifying that the instances of abuse were alleged against staffers and contractors of the nonprofits that operate the baby jails, not HHS employees. How DARE anyone impugn the character of the fine people who work for HHS and just happened to contract out work to other people who turned out to be abusive. HHS has a reputation to think of, after all.

The allegations of widespread abuse surfaced in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Trump administration's family separation policy. Rep. Ded Deutch, a Florida Democrat, asked Commander Jonathan White to comment on the abuse allegations, which he said had been buried in a tranche of documents submitted to his office by HHS after a request. Here's part of the exchange, where Deutch scurrilously slanders the good government employees who never done nothing wrong except contract out to people who did very wrong things.

2.26.19 Rep. Deutch at Judiciary Committee hearing on Administration's child separation policy www.youtube.com

As documents posted by Deutch show, between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, there were over 4,500 allegations of sexual misconduct in shelters that held "unaccompanied alien children" for HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement. Most of the reports involve inappropriate contacts between kids, which HHS is legally required to track and investigate. But there were also 154 cases where shelter staff were accused of inappropriate touching or verbal harassment. Deutch asked White whether HHS's top brass were aware of those numbers, and whether that history of abuse went into any discussions in the run-up to the start of family separation.

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lawsplainer

Okay, WHO THE F*CK IS ALLEN WEISSELBERG? Maybe You Are Just Curious?

It's always the quiet ones.

Remember yesterday when Evan spent eleventy million hours liveblogging the Michael Cohen hearings? Remember how every time Jim Jordan stopped flinging his own shit and let a real Congress person ask a question, the answer was ASK ALLEN WEISSELBERG, HE'LL KNOW THE ANSWER? Because he's the Trump Organization's CFO, and has been doing Donald Trump's books since 1970. So Allen Weisselberg knows where alllll the bodies are buried. As Adam Davidson wrote in The New Yorker:

Weisselberg has worked exclusively for the Trump family for his entire adult life. Shortly after graduating from college, he began working for Fred Trump, in 1970, and then for the young Donald when he entered the business. Weisselberg's son Barry works at the Trump-run Wollman Skating Rink, in Central Park; his other son, Jack, works at Ladder Capital, which has been a primary lender to the Trump Organization in recent years, when few other lenders would work with a company that had experienced several bankruptcies.

Want to know about the plan to launder the Stormy Daniels payment through the Trump Organization? That is, after they'd discussed routing the payment through a padded invoice for one of the clubs or getting a club member to pay Daniels or Cohen directly, to keep it off the books. (OMG, WTF kind of company is this?!?!?) Ask Executive 1, aka Allen Weisselberg, since he and Executive 2, aka Don Jr., were the ones who signed 10 of the checks to pay Michael Cohen off after the fronted the cash.

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lawsplainer

Michael Cohen Intermission: WHO ELSE IS (MAYBE) GOING TO JAIL?

Fingers crossed.

Slow news day, huh? JKLOLFML we are dead now! Okay, don't punch the teevee because Jim Jordan's ugly mug is back on AGAIN. Let's quicklike look over Cohen's statements so far and the receipts he brought to Congress, and maybe see what cray criminal cray shit might be coming down the pike.

First up, why exactly has Team Treason been screaming its collective brains out about Michael Cohen's falsified loan documents? Here's Congressman Jody Hice, the pride of Georgia, who actually thought he did a GREAT job interrogating Cohen.

Michael Cohen just walked in the room and dumped three years of Donald Trump's financial statements on the table. It's not a crime to lie to get on the Forbes Let Them Eat Cake List, but it is a crime to submit false loan documents. Just ask Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. And if, as Michael Cohen says, these inaccurate financial statements were submitted to Deutsche Bank to secure financing, then Donald Trump can also be prosecuted for falsifying loan documents. The fact that DB just LOL'd and didn't finance his purchase of the Buffalo Bills is irrelevant.

Oh, looky looky! It's Michael Cohen saying that these inflated financial statements were submitted to Deutsche Bank with his loan applications. And that means, dear ones: LOCK HIM UP!

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Russia

Trump Lawyers Think They're Doing GOTCHAS To House Judiciary Committee. YOU BET.

Boy, PLEASE.

Where we come from, it's called CHUTZPAH. Let's take a wild shot in the dark that Trumpland lawyer Alan Futerfas has also heard the classic definition of chutzpah as a man who murders his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. This week, Mr. Futerfas, in a transparent bid to sweep the 2019 Yiddish Chutzpah Oscars -- try the veal, it's Glatt kosher! -- sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler demanding that he fire recently hired legal consultant Barry Berke because of CONFLICTS.

Berke is a longtime partner at Kramer Levin, a 375-lawyer firm which has done minor work for the Trump Organization in the past, according to The Washington Post. No one in Trumpland is currently represented by the firm, Berke never worked on Trump matters, and Kramer Levin isn't paying for Berke's time with the Judiciary Committee, which he is offering on a volunteer basis. Nevertheless, Futerfas insists that Berke is "ethically conflicted from representing or advising the Committee." He further demands that Nadler "cease and desist from any and all activities that are adverse to the [Trump] Company," and hand over all communications with Berke. He also sent a similar letter to House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings, who hasn't engaged Berke, but works closely with Judiciary, and thus it is ILLEGAL for Congressman Cummings to investigate the Trump Organization. Did Futerfas also demand they cancel tomorrow's public hearing with Michael Cohen? Because that would be, as they say in the legal profession, fucking perfect.

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Post-Racial America

Domestic Terrorist Coast Guard Man Just Wanted To Cleanse Nation Of Its Enemies (Reporters And Democrats), And Everyone Else

Thank goodness all hate crime reports are fake, huh?

A US Coast Guard lieutenant who served in the service's Washington DC headquarters has been arrested and accused of domestic terrorism after law enforcement nabbed him Friday on gun and narcotics charges. A court document filed Tuesday says the initial charges against Christopher Paul Hasson are only the "proverbial tip of the iceberg," because the "defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life." Fortunately for everyone, in addition to being a self-proclaimed white nationalist who wanted to commit "focused violence" to bring about a white "homeland," Hasson was also a fucking idiot. He kept some of his planning for a massive attack on civilians, including a target list of media and political figures to assassinate, on his work computer. Yet another reason GOOD citizens only read Wonkette at work.

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Post-Racial America

Oh, Did Something Happen With The Jussie Smollett Case?

Selfish bastard!

Thanks a whole fucking lot, Jussie Smollett. Because one anecdote speaks louder than a thousand data points, the Empire actor's faked attack will now drown out the very real explosion of hate crimes in the Trump era. There were 7,100 such attacks in 2017 -- a 17 percent increase over 2016 -- but because of Smollett's narcissistic ploy for attention, the MAGA loons will now discount this epidemic of violence as FAKE NEWS. Those assholes are already screaming about conservatives being the REAL VICTIMS here. Like poor, innocent lamb Roger Stone, who is due in court this afternoon to splain why he posted a photo of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with a gun target next to her head.

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Elections

North Carolina 9th District Vote Fraudy Fraud Fraud Hearings, Day Two!

Trump looked for vote fraud in all the wrong places.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections continued its hearings into pervasive absentee ballot fuckery in last fall's congressional election for a second day yesterday, and while the testimony wasn't quite as explosive as the first day's open admissions of ballot tampering, we learned a bit more about what the hell was going on behind the scenes. Today, the board will probably hear from Mark Harris, the "winning" Republican candidate in the 9th Congressional District. Harris has maintained all along that he knew nothing of any frauding, and keeps insisting he must nonetheless be certified as the winner because he got more votes and that's the will of the people, can't you idiots see that?

The big witness in Tuesday's hearing was Andy Yates, the head of political consulting firm Red Dome Group, the outfit that paid Leslie McCrae Dowless to direct Harris's absentee voting operation in Bladen and Robeson counties -- or so Yates thought, he said. Yates testified he had no idea Dowless might have been up to anything untoward, but also described an operation that was very loosely supervised. He also said that had he known any of the details that later came out about Dowless's super-fraudy absentee ballot tampering scheme, he would have either fired Dowless or, failing that, removed himself from the Harris campaign. Nothing! He knew NOTHING!

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