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We are shocked, shocked to learn that Neil Bush was involved in scammy campaign financing in the 2016 election, oh golly. The Federal Election Commission hit "Right to Rise," the super-PAC that fluffed his brother Jeb's campaign, with a record-setting fine after Neil solicited donations from Chinese nationals Neil was in business with. Mother Jones has the deets on the illegal campaign donation:


Neil Bush, who has extensive business dealings in China, solicited the $1.3 million contribution from American Pacific International Capital (APIC), an international investment holding company where Neil is a board member. Although the contribution to Jeb's super-PAC came from the American arm of APIC, the company's owners are Chinese, and Neil Bush initially solicited the money from two Chinese nationals -- Gordon Tang, the chair of APIC, and Huaidan Chen, a board member. The FEC has fined APIC $550,000 and Right to Rise $390,000.

The total fine, $940,000, is the biggest campaign fine in a single case since the Supremes opened the way to unlimited corporate spending on super-PACs in the Citizens United case. Haha, remember when Barack Obama said at the 2010 State of the Union that decision would "open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limits in our elections," and Samuel Alito angrily shook his head and muttered "not true"? Clearly, Obama owes an apology to Alito: In this case, a foreign company did direct an assload of money at a US campaign, but it got caught this time, so there's no problem!

The donation was the subject of a complaint from those meddling good-government watchdogs at the Campaign Legal Center. The CLC's Brendan Fischer said APIC's

"illegal $1.3 million [donation] is a direct result of Citizens United," Fischer says, since before that 2010 Supreme Court decision, companies could not donate unlimited amounts of money to super-PACs.

It certainly comes as one great big surprise that Neil Bush somehow got caught up in a grifty illegal campaign donation scheme, since he's led such an otherwise blameless life. Wonkette's Ken Layne wrote one of the all-time best summaries of the shady exploits of the often-overlooked Fredo of the Bush boys in 2006, and we're still amazed that "Neil Bush" has somehow never been as notorious a name as "Billy Carter" or "Roger Clinton." Not only did Neil run a crooked savings and loan where he "shuffled millions of dollars to his own oil-exploration front company in Texas while approving hundreds of millions in 'loans' to the S&L;'s other executives," he also managed to walk away from it all without getting prosecuted. Certainly couldn't have anything to do with his daddy being VP at the time of the scandal. That would be an awfully cynical view.

Neil followed up with a whole string of big business deals that traded on the family name (and Poppy Bush's time as US ambassador in China), but just as often failed. And we'd somehow managed to forget the Asian sex tourism that came to light during his 2003 divorce. Well heck, you should NEVER forget the Asian sex tourism! Which apparently happened without Neil even knowing he was a sex tourist, of course:

He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and had sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.

"Mr. Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," Brown said.

"It was very unusual," Bush said.

We suppose Bush might have tried to argue something similar happened with donations to his brother's US super-PAC, from his Chinese business partners, except that, as MoJo details, Bush actually made the ask in an email. He may have thought he was following the very careful steps that would make a donation from the US subsidiary of a Chinese company legal, but hey, it's Neil Bush, so his conversations with Tang -- in Singapore -- and emails to Huaidan Chen actually documented that the donations were in fact illegally solicited from foreigns. (An American in the US division of APIC was also included in the email solicitation, but that didn't make it legal.)

Which gets to the bigger picture here: Since Citizens United opened the door to unlimited corporate spending on elections, the FEC's punishment of this one instance of foreign money in the 2016 campaign -- helpfully documented by Neil Bush's emails -- may be a fluke:

"Corporations being able to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections opens the door to foreign influence," Fischer says. "If the actors were a little more sophisticated, they could have avoided an FEC investigation. There's every indication that this is the tip of the iceberg, that foreign money is coming into our elections through nonprofits and corporations, but without any detection."

Got that, would-be campaign scammers? Don't be Neil Bush: Hide your tracks better. Just say the foreign money knocked on your door, walked right in, and had its way with you without you even knowing what was happening, leaving you pleasantly surprised.

The solution to all this is really quite obvious: Since it's really hard to document where exactly campaign money comes from, the Supremes will just have to allow EVERYTHING. It's the American way.

[Mother Jones / Reuters (via CNN)

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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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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