Hey What's This 'Urgent' Intel Whistleblower Report For Congress? Congress Ain't Know, Nobody'll Tell Them!
Thanks Acting DNI Joseph Maguire! You're gonna be a STAR!
There's some fuckery afoot in Donald Trump's Intelligence Community. The fact that Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is burying a whistleblower complaint in blatant violation of the plain wording of federal law would be a massive scandal in any other administration. But here in the Firehose Era, it goes rushing by practically unnoticed.
NOT ON YOUR WONKETTE'S WATCH, DAMMIT! House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff just dropped a subpoena on the Acting DNI calling him to testify before the Committee on Thursday, which is a BFD. And let's pay particular attention to the dates here, for reasons we'll come back to in a hot second.
According to Rep. Schiff's September 13 letter to Maguire, on August 12, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) received a "whistleblower disclosure intended for the congressional intelligence committees from an individual within the intelligence community." As provided under 50 US Code §3033§3033 and the Intelligence Community Whistleblowers Protection Act, the ICIG conducted a 14-day preliminary investigation and found the allegations credible and of "urgent concern" to Congress. On August 26, the ICIG told Maguire of his findings, which started the clock on a deadline for the DNI to disclose the information to HPSCI, as laid out in 50 US Code §30339(k)(5)(G):
Upon receipt of a transmittal from the Inspector General under subparagraph (B), the Director shall, within 7 calendar days of such receipt, forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate.
That would be a non-discretionary statute. Maguire doesn't have any wiggle room here -- it says "shall," and that doesn't mean he gets to go running to Attorney General Bill Barr to ask if he can prettyplease dummy up some bullshit excuse to get out of it. So naturally, that's exactly what he did.
When you're selling your house, remove personal items like Confederate flags and framed KKK applications!
There are certain things you see while house hunting that are immediate turnoffs. For us, it's vessel sinks and clawfoot tubs. Prospective home buyer Rob Mathis wasn't too picky. He probably just wanted a two-car garage, central air, and no obvious evidence that the previous owner was a white supremacist. Mathis, who is black, and his family were walking through a house in Holton, Michigan, last month and couldn't help but notice the Confederate flags on the "walls, dining room table, and even the garage." Competent realtors usually ask you to remove personal items from the residence before listing it. You want buyers to imagine themselves living there. It's not Halloween and they're not visiting a racist haunted house.
There were even more horrors waiting for Mathis in the bedroom, and we don't mean the cramped, non-functional master closet. He found to his "surprise" a framed "Klu Klux Klan" application hanging on the wall. We confess we didn't realize the Klan had literal applications, as if there were a head of inhuman resources screening them for minimum requirements and red flags (e.g. the applicant is black or Jewish). We assume there are sections for describing how much you resent race mixing and listing all your "special skills" (hating, discrimination, Excel).
Yeah, that's real.Facebook
Whatever Poppy wants, Poppy gets.
Looks like Donald Trump finally found his Roy Cohn. Attorney General Bill Barr is doing his darnedest to deliver Andy McCabe's communist head to the old drunk heading up HUAC, or rather the teetotalling president of the United States of America.
The Washington Post was first to report that the DOJ intends to file a criminal indictment against the former deputy director of the FBI. The Justice Department's Inspector General concluded that McCabe lied under oath about authorizing Lisa Page and another agent to speak to the Wall Street Journal about Hillary Clinton's BUT HER EMAILS. McCabe contends that he never misled investigators intentionally and that he sought to revise his statements upon further review. But these arguments appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with line prosecutors at the DOJ and US Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu agreeing that McCabe should be charged.
Negotiations between McCabe's lawyers and Deputy AG Jeffrey "The New Rod" Rosen ended yesterday, with the DOJ informing McCabe that "The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney's Office's decision in this matter." Because we all know that the Trump administration cannot abide lying or leaking in any form!
So, should Andy McCabe prepare to be arrested imminently?
'Go back to Mexico' would make more sense if the people were from Mexico.
We're treating immigrants like shit again.
This week, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump regime to bar immigrants who arrive at the US border from seeking asylum, unless they have sought asylum in another country first. The decision in Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant means the Trump regime can, in essence, bar all people from Central America arriving on foot from seeking asylum in the US, no matter how terrible the conditions they are fleeing. The rule does not allow for any consideration of whether the immigrants would be safe in that third country.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, joined by RBG, reminding us that there is some good left in the world.
Hey, is Lisa Bloom smearing Harvey Weinstein's rape victims a 'zealous defense'? That's a tough one no it isn't.
So Lisa Bloom fucking sucks.
Lisa Bloom, lauded "feminist," "women's rights" attorney, and daughter of Gloria Allred, has spent most of her career representing women and crime victims. But for a little while, she decided to take a break from women who had been victimized to help one of the most prolific rapists of our time: Harvey Weinstein. And she helped Weinstein come up with a plan, not to defend himself in court, but to smear and bribe his victims.
Want some bullcrap about Michael Flynn and his bullcrap TV lawyer Sidney Powell? You have come to the right bullcrap place!
It is so hard to figure out what Michael Flynn is angling for these days. (A pardon.) And it's super hard to suss out exactly what his new batshit Fox News lawyer Sidney Powell is trying to accomplish, as she throws bullshit in the judge's direction about how HE WUZ FRAMED and the government has SECRET DOCUMENTZ that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE WUZ FRAMED. (She wants to throw as much Deep State bullshit at the wall as she possibly can, possibly because she actually believes the stuff, which is scary, but most certainly because she wants to influence public opinion to create space for Flynn to get a pardon, because he was just so unfairly treated.)
Michael Flynn, who spent decades in the military and literal WEEKS as Trump's national security advisor, lied to the FBI. That is what he is being sentenced for. Of course, wrapped up in there is alllllll his literal actual foreign agent work, which he was secretly doing while he was advising Trump's campaign and as national security advisor, and which he had to plead to in order to get his sweetheart cooperation agreement with Robert Mueller's team. All of this has been established. All of this has been admitted to, in court, by a man named Michael Flynn!
So of course the Flynn hearing on Tuesday was totally normal and very legal and very cool, and exactly what you'd expect. Rachel Maddow read from the transcript, like she does. (Thanks, Maddow graphics team, as usual! Wonkette will send you a gift card ... sometime!)
Her name is Ahsha Tribble. Don't say we didn't warn you.
A FEMA official who was in charge of rebuilding Puerto Rico's electrical grid after Hurricane Maria was one of three people arrested Tuesday and charged in a great big bribery scheme. The official, Ahsha Tribble -- yes -- is accused of taking bribes to steer business to Cobra Acquisitions, an Oklahoma-based company that got $1.8 billion to help restore the island's power grid. Also arrested were Cobra's CEO, Donald Keith Ellison, and Jovanda Patterson, a FEMA staffer who quit the agency to take a job with Cobra. To add to the story, Ellison and Tribble appear to have been in a romantic relationship. As of press time, it doesn't appear federal prosecutors plan to introduce as evidence any gross Rule 34 fan art of human-tribble sex.
The three have been charged with 15 counts on a variety of charges, including wire fraud, disaster fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and interplanetary transportation of dangerous animals. Not really, we are just making another "Trouble with Tribbles" joke there.
The New York Times details the hinky arrangements alleged against Tribble and Ellison by US Attorney for Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez:
But is it a RICO????
Oh, noes! Is someone doing the RICO to poor Jerry Falwell Jr.? Quick, call in the FBI, the CIA, the National Guard and the army of handsome pool boys and personal trainers that the Falwells surround themselves with for some reason. The president of Liberty University will not stand for scurrilous accusations that he runs the school like a private fiefdom where self-dealing is rampant. There never was any picture of Jerry's wife Becki in a French maid costume, dammit, and anyone who says otherwise is just jealous of Jerry's Amazing Wondercock that he absolutely never brags about to his colleagues. That's why the FBI is totally going to investigate this "attempted coup" against the laws of God and Jerry. Because in Lynchburg, Virginia, those are one and the same.
The Hill was first to get Falwell on the phone for his announcement that the FBI is ON THE CASE, ready to round up all the conspirators to put them on trial for crimes against God's True Servant. This is an attempt to oust him as Liberty's president, which is, no doubt, top of the FBI's list.
"Our attorneys have determined that this small group of former board members and employees, they're involved in a criminal conspiracy, are working together to steal Liberty property in the form of emails and provided them to reporters," Falwell raged to The Hill.
Then he moved on to the AP, where he derided Politico reporter Brandon Ambrosino as a "little boy" and said, "I'm not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court." Let the record reflect that this is not a denial of any particular detail from Ambrosino's story.
Turncoat we mean Turnberry ain't going away yet.
When Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that the US Air Force members staying at his Scottish golf course had "NOTHING TO DO WITH ME," he wasn't lying. Well, not exactly. It's safe to assume that the president wasn't personally taking phone calls at his Turnberry resort to book rooms for American air crews at his hotel.
But he definitely knew about the arrangement with Prestwick Airport to book rooms at Turnberry, since Trump himself was instrumental in setting it up. The Scotsman's Martyn McLaughlin, who used the Scottish Freedom of Information Act to access emails from the government-owned airport, recalls a press conference in 2014 where Trump promised to bring "hundreds" more planes to the money-losing airport twenty miles away from his money-losing golf course. Then the orange-haired tycoon invited journalists to tour his personal jet with 24-carat gold seatbelt buckles. After first making them put booties on over their shoes, of course.
Oops, he meant to say 'heart'! Allegedly!
Who needs judges when you have the Trump Department of Justice on speed dial? That's basically what the DOJ said to a federal court in DC Friday in Committee on Ways and Means v. Department of Treasury, where House Democrats and the Trump regime are duking it out over Trump's tax returns.
Because of course Donald Trump and Bill Barr's DOJ will totally charge Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with contempt of Congress, if Congress asks! Trump and Barr are just so into following the law and holding other executive branch officials accountable for their wrongdoing! And so far, they have been INCREDIBLY HELPFUL in trying to help Ways and Means get Trump's tax returns!
LOLOLOL JK JK JK JK JK JK!
The Kingpin always gets a taste.
What a wild month this weekend was, huh? On Friday night, Politico's Natasha Bertrand broke the news that the US Air Force has suddenly discovered the tiny, money-losing Prestwick Airport outside Trump's giant, money-losing golf course in Glasgow, Scotland, and decided to start using taxpayer money at both of them. Sure it would be cheaper to buy fuel at one of our own bases in Germany or Spain, as usual, or heck, even at the 100th Air Refueling Wing 350 miles southeast in England at the American base in Mildenhall. But for some reason, the Air Force decided to drastically ramp up visits to Prestwick since Donald Trump took office, rising from 95 stops with 40 overnight stays in 2015 to 259 stops with 220 overnights in the first eight months of 2019 alone. That's a heckuva coincidence!
Prosecutors recommend a whopping month in jail for Huffman's assorted felonies.
The hammers of justice are about to strike Felicity Huffman. On Friday, prosecutors filed sentencing recommendations for Huffman and 10 other less famous but still obnoxiously rich parents who paid big money to cheat their spoiled kids' way into prestigious colleges. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, which are felonies even if they sound boring. Huffman's sentencing is scheduled for next week and it looks like prosecutors plan to throw a thin leaflet at her.
The actress Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty to paying a consultant $15,000 to inflate her elder daughter's SAT score, is facing less potential jail time — prosecutors are now recommending one month of incarceration — than many of the about three dozen parents accused of wrongdoing in the scheme.
It's really not much of a college admissions "scandal" if one of the perpetrators is only facing a month in the joint. That's less a "scandal" than a "snafu." They're recommending sentencing Huffman to The Breakfast Club, and she's still trying to weasel her way out of anything close to actual punishment.
Very fine people on both sides we guess.
Shit is going down in Boston.
Last weekend, some Nazi fuckboys had their "straight pride"parade in Boston. It was an appropriately pathetic affair, where tens of men who can't get laid all came together to blame teh gays, women, and people of color for their failings in life. Far more people showed up to protest the event than actually attend it, including pro-LGBTQ rights protesters and antifa.
There were some clashes between the two groups and local police. The police then arrested and pepper sprayed a whole bunch of people, including people who were just exercising their First Amendment rights. One protester said he was arrested for calling a cop a pig -- which is a perfectly legal expression of free speech.
In the end, 36 people were arrested. Their charges range from disorderly conduct and resisting arrest (charges police like to use when they can't articulate what a person actually did that was illegal) to more serious charges, like assault and battery on a police officer. Local prosecutors moved to dismiss a number of charges, which normally would be uncontroversial and summarily granted. But not today, satans!
A number of people arrested last weekend were arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday and Wednesday. In one courtroom, Judge Richard Sinnott refused to drop charges against seven protesters -- even though prosecutors had requested the dismissals. He then had the protesters' defense lawyer arrested for trying to recite the law in court. In another courtroom, Judge Thomas Horgan told three protesters to "stay out of Boston." Because we live in a fucking police state.
Frivolous suer strikes, unstrikes, strikes some more!
Congressman Cowpoke strikes again, and this time he's coming for your RICO! If only we were joking, but NO! Devin Nunes has dropped his lawsuit against his own constituents for calling him Not A Farmer, and is declaring victory and moving on to suing the rest of the world! We read Devin Nunes's entire dungheap of a pleading in Nunes v. Fusion GPS, and that goddamn idiot really is suing Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and the Campaign for Accountability for murdering him with RICOs to stop him discovering their evil plot against Donald Trump. And he's doing it in Virginia, where none of the defendants reside or do business because, you know, reasons.
As in most of his frivolous lawsuits, Nunes is represented by the most excellent libelslander lawyer Steven Biss, who resides in Charlottesville and on the fine servers at Earthlink. (Yes, really.) He's been suspended from the practice of law a couple times, but don't worry, guys, he's good now.
Biss starts off the complaint in his signature style, with a bunch of rando autobiographical details about the plaintiff, who was born in Tulare, California, is of Portuguese descent, and sat on the board of the College of the Sequoias from 1996 to 2002, where "he was an advocate for distance learning and the expansion of programs available to high school students." So far, so irrelevant.
But then ...
So that's a Nice Time!
The North Carolina GOP really loves them some gerrymandering. Whether it's racial gerrymandering or partisan gerrymandering, they will pretty much do whatever it takes to keep themselves in power, the will of the people be damned. But yesterday's decision in Common Cause v. Lewis thew out their bullshit maps and ordered that the maps be redrawn but fucking now.
Why? Because democracy.
Extreme partisan gerrymandering does not fairly and truthfully ascertain the will of the people. Voters are not freely choosing their representatives. Rather, representatives are choosing their voters. It is not the will of the people that is fairly ascertained through extreme partisan gerrymandering. Rather, it is the will of the map drawers that prevails.
In a massive 357-page decision, a three-judge panel ruled that the GOP has really got to stop ratfucking the people of North Carolina and draw new legislative maps for the 2020 election. A new map is now due in two weeks. And the judges were beautifully, righteously pissed.
Crenshaw's audition for GOP's Next Top Trump continues.
Conservatives like to remind us how great guns are for women -- far better than controlling their own bodies. We confess the only time we ever thought guns were cool was when young SER discovered Emma Peel on "The Avengers." During the fifth season's opening credits, Mrs. Peel used a gun to open a champagne bottle, which is incredibly reckless but very cool. She also literally combed her hair with a gun, which is flat-out crazy but sexy AF.
The Avengers Series 5 Opening Titles and Closing Credits www.youtube.com
Gun advocates promote the myth of guns as the great equalizer for women. They leap on any story about a woman fending off muggers or home invaders with her .45. This is supposed to distract us from the exponentially greater examples of guns maiming and killing women who own guns.
In the aftermath of his state's now biweekly mass shootings, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw shared a story on Twitter about a Houston woman who shot some asshole. Lachelle Hudgins was parked outside her house when two men tried to rob her.
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