That's the sound of a thousand lawyers banging their heads on the wall.
Rudy Giuliani has A PLAN. Were you thinking that he just goes on television every Sunday and shouts whatever random incriminating shit pops into his bad brain at the time? Nope! If you compare the transcripts from his Fox and ABC hits from yeserday, you'll see that Rudy gave exactly the same interview, in the exact same order, twice -- once to George Stephanopoulos, and once to Chris Wallace. He's actually doing this on purpose!
Yeah, it's a really BAD PLAN. But, sure, fine, let's play along. Tell us, Rudy, what were the five talking points you were dispatched to barf out on national teevee on Sunday morning? Inquiring minds want to know!
1. Michael Cohen Tells Lies
Rudy Giuliani has news for you, America, and it is that Michael Cohen, the guy who just pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, is a bad lawyer who tells lies and tapes his clients, unlike Donald Trump, who is known for his sincerity and scrupulous honesty.
Here's the president's lawyer on Fox:
The president is telling the truth, yes. This man is lying.
Now, is that a big surprise to you that Michael Cohen is lying? The man got up in front of the judge and said I was a fiercely loyal to Donald Trump. Nonsense he was fiercely loyal to him, he taped him, lied to him, revealed the tape and did something a lawyer I've never heard ever did -- tape record his own client.
And here he is on ABC:
Well, the president said that's false. And [Cohen] said it was false under oath. He said it was false in his tape recorded conversation with Chris Cuomo. He said it was false on five other tape recorded conversations. He said on those tape recorded conversations that he did it on his own to start and then he brought it to the president and then the president reimbursed him.
Clear as a bell under oath, must have said it 10 times.
OK, now he says the opposite. You're going to tell me which is the truth? I think I know what the truth is. But unless you're god, this man you will never know what the truth is. He lies to fit the situation he's in.
See, Michael Cohen is a liar, so ipso facto res ipsa loquitur anything he taped is obviously UNTRUE. (It makes sense if you eat a pile of paint chips and take a huge bong rip first.) So that recording of Trump planning the payment to AMI for Karen McDougal's story just proves that he only discussed it once, and then immediately forgot about it.
Quick, read all the updates on this story before we get more dumb criminal updates!
"The people have got to know whether or not their president is a murderer. Well, I'm not a murderer. I've earned everything I've got and never once committed armed robbery." -- Donald Trump, tomorrow. PROBABLY.
We've now reached the stage of the Trump administration where the president's defenders are cold calling reporters to tell them to quit making such a big deal, because HELLO, THERE'S NO DEAD BODY. (Yet.)
"Nobody got killed, nobody got robbed… This was not a big crime," Giuliani told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. He added, sardonically, "I think in two weeks they'll start with parking tickets that haven't been paid."
This is also the stage where there is a new OMG, breaking! every ninety minutes. So let's type fast to run down the latest on Trump's backroom fuckery with The National Enquirer before this tabloid stuff metastasizes any further.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump met personally with David Pecker, CEO of the Enquirer's parent company American Media, Inc. (AMI) in August 2015. Would Donny's old pal David like to become an unofficial member of Team Trump? HE WOULD.
What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.
Well, there goes Trump's defense that he was just racing to buy up those stories to protect poor, delicate Melania -- ten full years after rawdogging a pornstar while she was home recovering from childbirth. Would that be the same meeting described in AMI's corporate immunity deal published five minutes after Cohen got flayed in open court by SDNY prosecutors?
Let's cut to the chase, shall we? The word of the day is INTENT. Did Donald Trump intend to break the law with all his sexxxxy lady payoffs, and did he intend those payoffs to influence the 2016 presidential election? Both of these are required elements of a conspiracy to violate campaign finance law. The rest is commentary.
That's why That Lunatic is out there screaming PRIVATE TRANSACTION -- because he wants to pretend he paid off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to protect poor Melania, not in an effort to influence the 2016 election.
It's why Rudy is arglebargling about John Edwards, who was acquitted of campaign finance violations because he used donated money to hide his affair from his wife, not from the electorate -- or so the jury believed.
And it's why Trump is desperately tweeting ADVICE OF COUNSEL and LAWYER, in hopes that he can fob off liability onto Michael Cohen for deliberately exceeding the $2,700 donation limit.
This is all utter bullshit, of course. For one thing, efforts at concealment, like say lying about the payments for two straight years, are strong evidence that Trump knew the scheme was illegal.
The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.
Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.
Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."
Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.
In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.
"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"
Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."
Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:
"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."
In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"
In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.
As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.
Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.
The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.
Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!
Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.
This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.
How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.
Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!
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It's a good news, bad news kind of day. On the one hand, Michael Cohen will spend three years in federal prison for doing allllll the crimes, after which the New York attorney general will doubtless want to have a word with him. On the other hand, he's finally great God Almighty free at last from that "personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired." (He said that. Today. In court.) So all in all it's a win for Cooley Law School's most famous alum!
Judge William Pauley got the ball rolling at Cohen's sentencing hearing in New York by laying out the charges and the 51- to 63-month sentencing guidelines. Then Cohen's lawyer Guy Petrillo stood up to 'splain how his client is a Boy Scout who gives to charity, helps little old ladies across the street, and always leaves the seat down. Sure, he did lie to Congress. And yes, there were one or 1,200 little tax and bank loan boo-boos. But eventually he turned his life around and helped the special counsel with the biggest investigation since Watergate! Plus, unlike Paul Manafort, Cohen did almost NO COLLUSION with Donald Trump during the investigation. So maybe we just call it even, Your Honor?
(Spoiler alert: We cannot.)
R. Kelly Definitely DID NOT Call In Fake Death Threats To Film Screening About R. Kelly's Sex Crimes. NOPE.
Perish the thought.
Remember that time the Lying Devil cancelled R. Kelly, but he was too late, because we had already cancelled him a million times? Now he's cancelled a KABILLION times. We don't know when his predatory fuckery against women and young girls began, all we know is that it better have fucking ended, or we might just lose our cool. Is it time for "Lorena Bobbitt's Dick Cutting Academy and Finishing School for Young Ladies" to start a scholarship program, not that Wonkette would ever support such a thing? Or can we just have Mr. Kelly behind bars where he belongs for a while?
Sure, Mr. 12 Play isn't suspected of being the culprit behind the evacuation of the screening of a Lifetime docu-series entitled Surviving R. Kelly, but it's obvious that the threats were made by someone supportive of him. The toxic culture he surrounds himself with bleeds into everything he comes in contact with, like a cloying stench that lingers in the air and refuses to dissipate.
This one claims it will sue any liberals who try to sign up.
Though Donald Trump promised his followers they'd win so much they'd be tired of winning, one thing that has plagued them since he first stepped on the national stage is their abject failure on the dating scene. As it turns out, for the rest of the population, being a person who thinks it's super swell to tear-gas children is kind of a bonerkiller.
There's been a slew of articles about how super hard it is for Trumpists to get anyone to date them -- and my personal favorite, an essay in The Federalist about how women were to blame for Trump because of their refusal to bone down with conservative men. Cassandra Fairbanks got banned from OKCupid for sending pro-Trump/anti-Clinton messages to people like a weirdo; Christopher "Crying Nazi" was also banned from OKCupid for ... being an actual Nazi; and Jack Posobiec, who is married, got banned from Bumble. Bumble has also banned people for fat-shaming women on their app, and has banned pictures of guns in profile photos.
It's been hard out there for these jerks, and, in response, a number of dating sites have popped up over the past two years aiming to help them out.
There was Trump Singles. There was the dating site for Trump lovers that made a convicted child molester the face of their brand. There was Donald Daters, which exposed all of its users' data the very week it launched.
You can't unsee any of this.
Donald Trump's adult sons are being gross on the internet. We know, we know, it's still morning and you haven't even had your 12 cups of coffee or your daily brain bleach, but those two fuckers are acting out and we feel the need to share it with you so you can be as skeeved out as we are.
First of all, let's talk about the probably soon-to-be-indicted Donald Trump Jr., who (if we're guessing) only did all that Trump Tower treason because he desperately craves Daddy's approval and attention, because he has deep wounds stemming from how his father never really loved him in a normal human way, which led him to become the Town Drunk in college, stumbling around and passing out and pissing all over himself so much he became known as Diaper Don. And ALLEGEDLY, according to a former classmate of Junior's, his dad would come pick him up from college to take him to baseball games and would start off Father/Son Time by slapping Junior across the face in front of all his classmates, because he wasn't wearing a suit. What we're saying is, it's not a healthy relationship.
And, you know, whatever, fine, if your dad is Donald Trump and you love him despite the fact that he has no redeeming qualities and has done nothing but scar you for life since birth, you do you. But do you have to put this perversion on the internet?
Real science, plus dick jokes.
In one of the more intriguing bits of science we've seen lately, a couple of New York University researchers have done a brief study exploring whether Donald Trump's calculated expressions of machismo just might have attracted a lot of male voters who may actually be less than fully confident in their masculinity. Basically, the study looks at Google search trends for terms that might indicate worries about masculinity, and correlates that with areas of the country that went to Trump in 2016. Whatever larger studies may be generated from this seminal project, the researcher should prepare to get some very angry hate
male mail from the Internet Flying Monkey Brigade, since Trump supporters are VERY MANLY, FUCK YOU, SHUT UP.
Douthat knows his brand. We'll give him that.
IN A WORLD where people have orgasms and experience sexual pleasure in varying ways based on what they, personally, are into, there is one man, one New York Times columnist, who has always bravely stood up to say "no, you're doing it wrong."
And that man is Ross Douthat.
In his latest column, wherein he continues to publish his bad opinions for reasons not understood by anyone, Douthat explores a new theory he pulled out of his ass about how conservatives losing the porn wars has led to people not having sex and only masturbating to online pornography, and that even though he likes it when people don't have sex, this means online pornography is basically the drug "soma" from Brave New World. Or something.
Even he seems to realize that this may be a little too "on-brand" for him.
Sarasota School district apologizes for 'inappropriate' anti-rape video depicting same-sex couples making out.
Do you recall the very first time you saw two people kissing? Was it before you were a high school senior? Did you, perhaps, even kiss someone yourself before then?
WELL! A Sarasota school district has apologized for showing a group of high school seniors a very "inappropriate" video that was meant to teach them about consent, but which -- scandalously enough -- depicted a bunch of k-i-s-s-i-n-g.
Trump and David Pecker knew EXACTLY what they were doing. LOCK THEM UP!
There are lies, damn lies, and there's EVERY LYIN' SUMBITCH IN DONALD TRUMP'S ORBIT! The Wall Street Journal just dropped a huge connect-the-dots piece on the secret plan in Trumpland to use the National Enquirer's checkbook to bury stories of all the ladies Trump bumped his orange uglies against. And, with apologies to Popehat and Bing Crosby, it's beginning to look a lot like RICO!
It all started back in 2015, when serial philanderer Donald Trump decided he'd goose his brand by running for president. Being a dirty old perv, he knew there were endless women with stories about him that might give the church ladies heartburn. (Or not.) Luckily, he had a friend at the National Enquirer who'd been disappearing stories about him since the '90s.
Should employers be allowed to tell you what to do with your compensation?
Once again, the Trump administration is coming after birth control. Specifically, they are looking to issue rules that would roll back the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires that most employers provide insurance that covers it, which would leave god knows how many women across the country without access. The administration had previously attempted to eliminate this mandate last year, but said attempt was blocked by two federal judges on the grounds that doing so would cause "serious and irreparable harm."
But now they're trying again, because forcing people to have unwanted children just seems like a really fantastic time to them, I guess. If these rules manage to get passed, and if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as it is expected to, the Right will soon be closer than ever to the future filled with barefoot and pregnant women making them sandwiches that they have always dreamed of. For the rest of us, it will be a pretty shitty time.
Piers Morgan has issues, y'all.
We interrupt #HorseFaceGate and #BoneSawGate to make sure you saw the very most important news on the internet this week, and it is weird wingnut British idiot Piers Morgan getting his knickers in a twist because Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz made a baby and Daniel Craig plays James Bond and Piers Morgan thinks James Bond is real and it really bothers Piers Morgan when James Bond (who is not real) carries a baby in one o' them Baby Bjorn things instead of HOISTING HIS BABY AT ALL TIMES WITH HIS MANLY ARMS, because if James Bond (who is not real) isn't manly enough to HOIST HIS BABY AT ALL TIMES WITH HIS DELICIOUS SPY SEXXX ARMS then Piers Morgan thinks he is being #emasculated.
Piers Morgan is weird.
Voter registration deadlines, Saudi spin, and a lot ofTrump fuckery. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
For people who lie so often, how can they be so bad at it?
How can people who lie all the time be so, so bad at it? In the orgy of grift that is Trumpland, the entire cast of characters spews bullshit 24/7, and yet they remain lousy liars. It's like we're stranded for all eternity in America's living room listening to a toddler practicing Für Elise!
This morning, the Wall Street Journal uncovered a whole new pile of Trump lies about the Stormy Daniels payoff. Which is simultaneously HO HUM and WTF ARE YOU PEOPLE EVEN DOING? So let's count down the top five stupid lies, if only because Michael Cohen is unlikely to be the only person going to jail over this nonsense. And a very good morning to you, Barbara Underwood!
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