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Pity the poor oligarchs! Won't someone please think of the Russian billionaires so cruelly impoverished by the spiteful caprice of the Trump administration's attack dogs in the Treasury Department? However will Oleg Deripaska even afford to maintain all his yachts and houses and jets when the American government cuts him off so brutishly from the international financial system? Thus he has been forced to sue Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin for arbitrarily adding him to the sanctions list and forcing him to meager subsistence on canned caviar and lobster foraged from a suburban Moscow dumpster.

Or something.

Deripaska's lawsuit, filed Friday in DC, is a masterpiece of melodrama and pathos. Really, Tolstoy would blush.


The effect of these unlawful actions has been the wholesale devastation of Deripaska's wealth, reputation, and economic livelihood. As a direct result of Defendants' actions, Deripaska has been ousted from the international business community, as banks and businesses refuse to transact or deal with him or his businesses out of fear of their own potential exposure to U.S. sanctions for doing so. Further, Deripaska—whose net worth has fallen more than $7.5 billion, or approximately 81%, since the time of the designations—has been irrevocably forced out of his controlling interests in his largest businesses some of which—including En+—he founded and developed over 30 years. He has also witnessed his remaining businesses—which together employ more than 200,000 people and 1.5 million contractors—edge to the brink of collapse, as banks refuse to extend them loans, and counterparties terminate their relationships with them.

You may remember Oleg Deripaska, the aluminum magnate who paid Paul Manafort $10 million per year to "benefit the Putin Government." During the 2016 campaign, Manafort offered private briefings to pay off money owed to the oligarch. There's no evidence that the briefings ever took place, but shortly after Manafort passed internal Trump polling data to his GRU-linked buddy Konstantin Kilimnik, the Russian troll farms started amplifying the Trump campaign's message in the very same upper midwest states Trump needed to win, by sheer coincidence. Deripaska was connected to former escort Nastya Rybka, who claimed to have video of him discussing a plan to ratfuck the American election and is currently in fear for her life after being released from a Thai prison. He's been linked to Russian organized crime and accused of ordering the murder of a banker in 1995. In short, happy oligarchs are all the same; every unhappy oligarch is unhappy in his own way. But in either event, NO1CURR, because HAHAHAHA FUCK YOU, OLEG!

Before the election, Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya -- currently under indictment for lying to a federal court -- offered the Trump campaign sexxxy dirts on Hillary Clinton in exchange for sanctions relief. During the presidential transition, Michael Flynn promised sanctions relief to the Russian ambassador, then lied about it to the FBI. For the past four years, the Russians have been doing everything possible to manipulate the US government so Vladimir Putin and his cronies could get out from under the sanctions imposed for the invasion of Ukraine, murder of Sergei Magnitsky, and ratfucking the American election. From the beginning, this has always, always, always been about the sanctions. And it's STILL about the sanctions.

Oleg Deripaska's lawsuit is also about sanctions. And discovery! Because, like his fellow oligarch Yevgeny "Troll Farm" Prigozhin, Deripaska is only too delighted to use American rules of evidence and presumption of innocence as a crow bar to pry loose information from the US government.

Because Trump is not-so-secretly in luuuurve with Vladimir Putin, his administration had to be dragged kicking and screaming into imposing sanctions on Russia by a veto-proof majority. The State Department did a lackluster job of compiling a list of individuals to sanction, simply recycling the Forbes list of Russian oligarchs, typos and all. Which Deripaska's very good lawyer Erich Ferrari is characterizing as an arbitrary determination -- and he ain't wrong! That doesn't mean that Deripaska should be exempt from sanctions. It just means the Treasury Department should do its goddamn job! Although Deripaska citing Putin's favorite sanctions-hating former congressman Dana Rohrabacher in support of that argument is a nice touch:

Members of Congress have also previously noted that "[we] can't just say because someone has a lot of money, that they are an oligarch, which then says they are evil in some way." Corruption: Danger to Democracy in Europe and Eurasia: Hearing Before the H.R. Subcomm. on Eur., Eurasia, and Emerging Threats of the H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs, 114th Cong. 37 (2016) (statement of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman, H.R. Subcomm. on Eur., Eurasia, and Emerging Threats of the H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs).

Secretary Mnuchin has been hustling to get Deripaska's aluminum companies, En+ and RUSAL, off the sanctions list by allowing them to shuffle the paperwork to decrease Deripaska's ownership stake to below 50 percent -- while making him hundreds of millions of dollars richer. And for his troubles, Mnuchin finds himself sued by Deripaska, who is demanding that Treasury hand over the classified basis for its sanctions designation and/or take Deripaska off the list. Womp womp!

In addition to economic harms, poor Oleg has been subject to terrible bullying by his own Russian compatriots since he was forced to wear the Scarlet S. Why are you trying to help the Russian government, Secretary Mnuchin?

The designations have also benefited Russia's Communist Party, which holds the second highest number of seats in the Russian Parliament and whose leader has publicly attacked Deripaska and organized rallies against him because of his divestment and relinquishment of control in the companies that were recently delisted by OFAC. Specifically, Gennady Zyuganov, has called for a criminal investigation of Deripaska for allegedly giving the companies "to the Anglo Saxons to control" and for acting against the strategic policy and national security of Russia.

As proof of the harm, Deripaska cites his own lawsuit suing Zyuganov for slander. Which is highly probative evidence, we are sure. And Deripaska argues that he can't possibly go through the administrative process to contest the sanctions designation at Treasury, since everyone in the Deep State is BIASSSS against him:

The current political climate makes it unlikely that Deripaska can receive a fair hearing through Defendant OFAC's [Office of Foreign Asset Control] administrative reconsideration process. Defendants have shown overt bias against Deripaska by providing misleading guidance on the ability of his companies to be removed from U.S. sanctions lists and by promising to aggressively pursue sanctions against him. Members of Congress—potential stakeholders in any future delisting—have also exhibited their own animus towards Deripaska by expressly referring to him as an "enemy" and a "criminal," absent any evidence and without consequence to their political standing.

So Deripaska is suing the Treasury, and he would like them to hand over all their papers, please. Reuters reports that the case is unlikely to make much headway:

Doug Jacobson, a trade lawyer in Washington, said that while the court may agree to order OFAC to hand over some records it would likely defer to the agency on the sanctions themselves.

"He's asking the judge to basically look at the executive order and make determination independent of OFAC and I think that's a very big ask," Jacobson said.

Michael Dobson, a former senior official at OFAC who worked on Russia sanctions before leaving the agency in late 2018, called Deripaska's lawsuit an "annoyance claim" that was unlikely to get traction given the broad deference given to OFAC by the courts.

But if you get to throw a little sand in the gears and possibly kick up a few internal government documents, it's well worth it. Because sometimes the real pee tape is the nuisance lawsuits you force the government to defend giving you a platform to attack democracy along the way.

[Deripaska Complaint / Reuters]

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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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