That boy ain't right.
Yesterday, Michael Avenatti was arrested outside a California Bar hearing to initiate disbarment procedures against him. As we type, he's sitting in a courtroom explaining to a federal judge why his bail shouldn't be revoked just because he hid a million dollar payment from his creditors and put $717,000 of it in an account belonging to his ex-wife. His attorney just lobbed an accusation of misconduct at the prosecutor. Oh, and Jacob Wohl is there, too.
That's it, that's the tweet.
Just kidding. That's 2020, already on pace to surpass 2019 as the weirdest goddamn year on record. This is the tweet.
After Avenatti's arrest yesterday, the court unsealed a 51-page motion to revoke his bail. Whether Michael Avenatti's machinations to hide cash from his creditors make him "a danger to the community" as prosecutors suggest is unclear. Nor is it clear why the government waited until January to try to throw him back in jail, since the alleged financial fuckery seems to have taken place last May. What is clear, though, is that this guy is a reckless fool.
No, not the ones where they stalked the American ambassador. We did those last night.
This Trump Ukraine stuff is batshit crazy. Even if you spend all day staring at it -- and we do! -- it's easy to lose the plot. The best way to keep all these characters straight is to sort them by their goals. Ask yourself, "What does this particular cartoon villain want, and how the hell did the president of the goddamn US of A get involved with him?" So, with that in mind, let's read the second tranche of Parnas texts released yesterday by the House Intelligence Committee. Because this right here from Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko looks suspicious AF:
He did not breach his plea agreement, YOU DID!
Whew boy, last night was a news night, wasn't it! Not only were the Democratic presidential candidates engaged in the single most boring debate in the history of boring debates, and not only did Donald Trump do one of his rallies where he accelerated his attacks on the newfangled water-free dishwashers and potties the liberals have forced on the world, but the House Intelligence Committee also started dropping evidence from Rudy Giuliani's indicted chucklefuck pal Lev Parnas, some of which appeared to show a weird-ass Connecticut GOP congressional candidate named Robert F. Hyde chatting with Lev about how he had former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch under some kind of surveillance in Ukraine, before Trump finally fired her last April.
Were they trying to put out a hit on her? Unclear! Is Hyde literally a crazy person who was making it all up? Also unclear!
As if that weren't enough, oh yeah by the way Michael Flynn filed with the court requesting to withdraw his guilty plea, a mere week after the government argued that dude has been such a fuckshow for the past year that he should probably serve six months in prison, after firing his lawyers and replacing them with Sidney "Fox News Emoji War Crime Batshit" Powell, and also basically blowing up his own cooperation agreement by more or less trying to sabotage the government's prosecution of his associate Bijan Rafiekian for unregistered lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. Just a year ago, the government was recommending "no jail time." But Sidney Bugfuck Powell was on the case, so she got that ... changed!
Also, um, is this Lev and some weird-ass talking about having Marie Yovanovitch offed? We are just asking!
We knew that little chucklefucker was warming up to sing, but we didn't expect him to bust out into The Ring Cycle tonight!
HO. LEE. SHIT. The House Intelligence Committee just dropped a whole load of Lev Parnas's receipts and they are craaaaaaaaaazy.
Does this read like these guys are putting a hit out on former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, or what?
That sweetheart in blue is Robert Hyde, current congressional candidate in Connecticut's 5th congressional district. He was recently disowned by the Republican party for tweeting something so crude about Kamala Harris that none of the articles about him will even allude to it obliquely. And if you guessed he's a guy with a string of bad debts who's behind on his child support payments, you'd be right!
So naturally he and Donald Trump are good pals.
Chucklefucker Lev Parnas may be down, but he's still got a mean kick. While Rudy Giuliani's onetime Ukraine fixer is cooling his heels on house arrest awaiting trial, the entire GOP establishment is shouting in unison I DON'T KNOW HER. To which Parnas's lawyer Joseph Bondy replied, "Stop, Hammer time!" (Wonkers? Volume UP!)
Not an MC Hammer fan? Sister Sledge more your style? Parnas has a plan for that!
How you livin', Jared and Vanky?
Are they Mexican troops? They are not!
We're building the wall! And who's gonna pay for it? That's right, it's our military and their families. PROMISES KEPT!
Last year, after a 35-day shutdown, Donald Trump agreed to accept just $1.4 billion in WALLbux from Congress. After which, he promptly declared a state of emergency to justify raiding military construction funds for another $3.6 billion and demanded that congressional Democrats "backfill" the money to prove they don't "hate the troops." And now he'd like to steal that money again, plus a whole lot more. The Washington Post reports that this year's heist will net $7.2 billion of Pentagon funding that had been allocated to anti-narcotic programming and military construction.
Trump took $2.5 billion from military counterdrug programs for border barrier construction in 2019, but this year his administration is planning to take significantly more — $3.5 billion. Trump administration officials also are planning to take $3.7 billion in military construction funding, slightly more than the $3.6 billion diverted in 2019.
Emboldened by the green light from the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which lifted a lower court stay on spending the filched cash, the White House is racing to get some substantial portion of the border fencing up so that Trump can claim credit for it at his pitchfork rallies. They're no longer even bothering to pretend that Mexico will foot the bill.
He's here to PEW PEW PEW some Constitution!
West Virginia's legislative session is less than a week old and things are already really stupid.
And I'm not even talking about making measles great again, outlawing almond milk, trying to steal counties from other states, or the fundamental American right to hunt coyotes with night vision goggles.
What I'm talking about today is a very special piece of legislation called the Firearms Freedom Act.
If you're new to West Virginia politics, it's time to take a swig of moonshine and huff a few sharpies, because we're goin' in!
We all know it.
Shoulda known it would all come back to John Bolton! After a weekend where Donald Trump dispatched defense secretary Mark Esper to twist in the wind on national television trying to justify the attack on Qassim Soleimani as arising from some "imminent" threat, NBC reports that we actually planned the hit on the Iranian general a full seven months ago when John Bolton was still the national security advisor.
After Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser at the time, urged Trump to retaliate by signing off on an operation to kill Soleimani, officials said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also wanted Trump to authorize the assassination, officials said.
But Trump rejected the idea, saying he'd take that step only if Iran crossed his red line: killing an American. The president's message was "that's only on the table if they hit Americans," according to a person briefed on the discussion.
So that would be a targeted killing in response to retrospective Iranian action, not an action to prevent a prospective plot to kill Americans. And perhaps it was the right choice. But who can form a rational opinion when everything that comes out of the administration is a distortion to conform to the president's most recent lie?
Stop the news, I want to get off!
Good God, y'all! We have been promoted from Mommyblogger to Warblogger, so buckle up for a roundup of all the military funtimes stories breaking today. We are locked, and also, too, perhaps loaded?
Matt Gaetz ... right about a thing????
Yesterday the House voted on Rep. Elissa Slotkin's non-binding war powers resolution that would revoke the president's power "to engage in hostilities in or against Iran" without specific congressional authorization, unless it becomes "necessary and appropriate to defend against an imminent armed attack upon the United States." Eight Democrats voted "no," and three Republicans -- Gaetz, Thomas Massie (KY) and Francis Rooney (FL) -- voted "yes." Plus independent Justin Amash (Biceps), who can sit with us now, we guess.
This caused great Sturm and Drang in Wingnuttistan, with Lou Dobbs growing so distracted that he left his Just For Men on for an extra hour, to disastrous effect.
It didn't even happen in Rampart!
More than a dozen LAPD officers are under investigation after falsifying evidence and wrongly identifying people as gang members in South Los Angeles. Allegedly.
Last year, a woman who believed her son had been misidentified as a gang member went to a local precinct. The review of her son's case led officers to uncover massive corruption of the department's elite Metro Division. According to a statement from the LAPD:
The supervisor immediately reviewed the circumstances, including body worn video and other information, finding inaccuracies in the documentation completed by an officer.
The parent was notified that her son would not be identified as a gang member and any references to him as such were removed. Concurrently, the Department initiated a personnel investigation into the actions of three involved officers.
The subsequent investigation revealed that what happened to that woman's son was neither a mistake nor an isolated incident.
She's not a witch. She's YOU!
And speaking of WITCH HUNT, guess which popular vote winner is still not guilty of any crimes whatsoever! That's right, it's noted Svengali Democrat puppetmaster Benghazi masterminder Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post reports that the bullshit investigation of wingnut fever dreams about Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation has turned up a huge pile of ... absolutely nothing. Surprise! Are you shocked? We are, like, so shocked.
Back in 2017, which is ninety-seven Trump years ago, the president and his congressional henchmen leaned on Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate their wet brain farts about Hillary Clinton selling America's uranium to Russia. Sessions didn't appoint a special counsel, but he did take the wildly inappropriate step of tapping John Huber, the US Attorney for Utah, to look into Rep. Louie "HeeHaw" Gohmert's insane clown chart.
Pepe Silvia called, he said WHOA, DUDE, REIN IT IN!
Oh NOW Republicans are mad?
Utah GOP Senator Mike Lee is mad. He described Wednesday's briefing on the Qasem Soleimani killing as "probably the worst briefing I've seen at least on a military issue in the nine years I've served in the United States Senate." Enraged at getting the brush off from defense officials, Lee says that he and Rand Paul will now support Democrat Tim Kaine's Resolution to stop President Trump unilaterally bumbling us into a war with Iran.
Just lookit him come out of the SCIF all pissed off and sweaty after Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper tried to run the rope-a-dope on him!
Y'all Other Judges Just Jealous You Don't Have A Pastor Boner Gee-tar Strummer Work Boyfriend Like This Lady Does
HERE IS ROMANCE.
It's a typical story, a tale as old as time, a Hallmark movie that just hasn't been made yet.
Boy meets girl. Girl, likewise, meets boy.
Girl is a judge in the family court in Kentucky! Boy is a pastor, or at least he used to be one!
Girl and boy fall in love, or at least fall into the traditional boning position on a semi-regular basis, and it is such a Martha Stewart Good Thing that girl hires boy to work at courthouse, as "case specialist."
Boy plays gee-tar and sings songs, probably romance songs, probably Savage Garden or something, but maybe Jesus songs because former "pastor." Boy does this at courthouse, like, all the time, which leads girl's and boy's coworkers to be like "Ugh."
Sounds like they boned, at courthouse.
Don't answer that if you're a weird bigot.
Over the weekend, more than 60 people of Iranian descent were detained by Customs and Border Protection at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington. The people detained were American citizens and green card holders, and included some very dangerous children and families.
Most of the people who were stopped were let into the country after being detained and questioned, though civil rights organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that others were denied entry entirely.
On Monday, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal held a press conference where six of the people who were detained over the weekend detailed their experiences.
"We were anxious": Iranian-American woman says family was held at U.S.-Canada border for 5 hours www.youtube.com
Here's some shit that ain't never gonna happen.
After serious consideration, John Bolton has agreed to act as People's Sexiest Man Alive, should the magazine call upon him to serve. When and if the Nobel Committee nominates him for a Peace Prize, the former National Security Adviser will humbly accept. His hit single Suns Out, Guns Out, Even If It's Raining, by Johnny and the Mustache Riders, is topping the charts, so if the Academy wants to give him a Grammy, he will dutifully drag his tux out of the old mothballs for that award ceremony. And if Mitch McConnell, in his infinite wisdom, seeks to issue John Bolton a subpoena to appear as a witness in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, well, then Mr. Bolton will fulfill his patriotic duty and appear as summoned.
"Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify," Bolton wrote on his PAC website this morning.
Looking at you, 'Judge' Jeanine.
"Judge" Jeanine Pirro, who believe it or not was actually a lawyer once upon a time, is saying even dumber shit than normal. (Or maybe it's the same?)
On Fox News this past weekend, Ms. Pirro decided to get mad at Mitch McConnell for not being far enough up Trump's asshole and just dismissing the impeachment case against Trump outright (not a thing) for violating his right to an impeachment speedy trial (not a thing) and passing the statute of limitations (not a thing).
So that's ... a real thing that this person who actually used to be a lawyer said.
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