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Current Events

Who Owns the House of Kavanaugh

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Let’s take a little time today to talk about the House of Kavanaugh—specifically, the hefty mortgage on said house.

In 2006, Brett & Ashley Kavanaugh bought a house for $1.22m. Kavanaugh was confirmed as a federal appeals judge the same year — earning a salary of $175,000 at the time. He has supplemented his income by teaching law courses, which brings in $27,000 a year.

They put $245k down, a number that does not appear on his financial disclosures of 2005, which show a net worth of $91k.

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That’s a mighty big down payment and an absolutely bonkers mortgage given the income level. The mortgage payments ($4600/mo.) alone were more than what Brett Kavanaugh took home in 2006 after taxes.

Even in the mid-2000s, at height of RE bubble, why would any bank approve such a terrible loan? And why would Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh agree to it?

Within a year of buying the house, the family was drowning in credit card debt. By the end of 2006, Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh owed five financial institutions, combined, a total of one million dollars.

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How in the world did the Kavanaugh family manage to navigate such a financial mess without going broke?

Given:

  1. A huge and sudden infusion of money needed to buy his house
  2. The insane ebbs and flows of his finances
  3. The story about purchasing baseball tickets for “old friends” and accruing $60-200k of debt in doing so
  4. His propensity for lying
  5. His clear comfort with political dark money

There is clearly more to this story. If a sitting Supreme Court Justice is beholden to unknown creditors, we need to know.  Who owns Kavanaugh?

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Current Events Video

Brett Kavanaugh lied to the Senate. Many times.

Outstanding investigative journalism and personal accounts from people who knew him show that Brett Kavanaugh lied again and again at his Senate confirmation hearing. How can a serial liar possibly be confirmed into the role of a Supreme Court justice?

Kavanaugh lied repeatedly about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that she was sexually assaulted by him at age 15.

Kavanaugh repeatedly lied that her account had been “refuted” by witnesses.

He lied about his behavior in high school and college.

He lied many times about policies he worked on during the presidency of George W. Bush.

“Kavanaugh is such a brazen liar that many of his false claims have been entirely refuted by reporting,” Media Matters for America says in this comprehensive list of his lies under oath before the United States Senate.

Here are some of Kavanaugh’s lies:

Kavanaugh repeatedly claimed Ford’s accusation has been “refuted” by others who she said attended the party — even though the other attendees have said no such thing. Kavanaugh seized on the word “refuted” when responding to Ford’s report, claiming in five instancesthat the three people who Ford says were at the party when Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her had “refuted” her account. That’s an obvious misrepresentation of what those people have said. They have actually all said that they don’t recall the party in question — a major difference from saying something didn’t happen. And Ford’s friend Leland Keyser has said that although she doesn’t remember the party in question, she believes Ford is telling the truth.

Kavanaugh said he “did not travel in the same social circles” as Ford, but he did. During prepared remarks, Kavanaugh said that Ford “and I did not travel in the same social circles. It is possible that we met at some point at some events, although I do not recall that.” But Ford testified that she went out with one of Kavanaugh’s friends, whose name appears 13 times in Kavanaugh’s calendar.

Kavanaugh attempted to fabricate an alibi by suggesting he did not drink on weekdays and was out of town almost every weekend night of the summer of 1982. Kavanaugh claimed that the incident Ford described “presumably happened on a weekend” and suggested that he and his friends didn’t drink during the week because of their jobs while adding he was “out of town almost every weekend night before football training camp started in late August.” In doing so, Kavanaugh attempted to falsely imply that he did not attend the type of get-together that Ford described. Kavanaugh’s lie is readily apparent in the calendars he provided the committee and a contradictory statement he made acknowledging “the calendars show a few weekday gatherings at friends’ houses after a workout or just to meet up and have some beers.” In particular, great attention has focused on his July 1 calendar entry — a Thursday — that showed he was having “[brew]skis” with some of the people Ford said were at the party.

Kavanaugh said he had no connection to Yale University prior to attending undergrad and law school there, but he was a legacy admittee. While denying that he was a heavy drinker in college who drank to the point of blacking out, Kavanagh said, “I got into Yale Law School — that’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there; I got in there by busting my tail at college.” In fact, Kavanaugh’s grandfather Everett Edward Kavanaugh attended Yale, making Kavanaugh a legacy student.

Kavanaugh denied every blacking out from drinking and downplayed his alcohol consumption as a young man, but numerous Yale classmates say he was a belligerent drunk. Kavanaugh became angered under questioning from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) after she asked him if he ever blacked out from excessive drinking. In response, Kavanaugh pressed Klobuchar if she had ever blacked out and claimed that he doesn’t have a drinking problem. The New York Times reported that “nearly a dozen” of Kavanaugh’s classmates “said they recalled his indulging in heavy drinking, with some characterizing it as outside the norms of college life.” His freshman roommate James Roche said Kavanaugh was “frequently unusually drunk” and would become “belligerent and mean,” while classmate Charles “Chad” Ludington said Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.” Classmate Elizabeth Swisher calledKavanaugh’s claim he never blacked out “a lie” based on her observation of his behavior at the time. Classmate Lynne Brookes told CNN that she and her former classmates were texting each other during the hearing that Kavanaugh was lying about his college drinking habits.

Read more here.

A fitting legacy for President Trump, is there a rule of law in the US?

 

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Current Events Explainer Video

Kavanaugh is One Sick Dude

Last week, the allegation that Brett Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted a girl at a party in high school threatened to derail Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. That was bad, yet Republicans (namely Mitch McConnel pushed on)

Now, as Kavanaugh’s accuser prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, two more women have come forward, one to say that Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face at a party at Yale in the 1980s, the other alleging some very serious and disgusting misconduct by Kavanaugh and Mark Judge as high schoolers:

Julie Swetnick

On Wednesday lawyer Michael Avenatti released the sworn deposition of Julie Swetnick, who details a string of serious allegations against Kavanaugh and friend Mark Judge at house parties in 1980 and 1981:

Here’s the full deposition, via Avenatti:

Swetnick’s allegations aren’t made lightly:

Swetnick’s allegations sure do sound a lot like the recollections of Mark Judge’s college girlfriend:

Rasor recalled that Judge had told her ashamedly of an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with a drunk woman. Rasor said that Judge seemed to regard it as fully consensual. She said that Judge did not name others involved in the incident, and she has no knowledge that Kavanaugh participated. But Rasor was disturbed by the story and noted that it undercut Judge’s protestations about the sexual innocence of Georgetown Prep. (Barbara Van Gelder, an attorney for Judge, said that he “categorically denies” the account related by Rasor. Van Gelder said that Judge had no further comment.)

[The New Yorker]

Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, was the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of assault. She sent a confidential letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in early July. She told her story publicly in the Washington Post on September 16.

Ford previously described the attack in a couple’s therapy session with her husband in 2012 and in an individual therapy session the following year.

Ford says that sometime in the early 1980s Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house party in Montgomery County, Maryland while his friend Mark Judge looked on:

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

[The Washington Post]

Deborah Ramirez

On Sunday, the New Yorker published an account of sexual misconduct from a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, who was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale.

Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby…

A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process… She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,'” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”

[The New Yorker]

In a statement to the New Yorker, Kavanaugh said, “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen… This is a smear, plain and simple.” Two of the male classmates whom Ramirez accuses of egging Kavanaugh on at the party said they didn’t remember such an incident occurring. Six other classmates who describe themselves as “the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale” also released a statement denying the incident, writing, “We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it — and we did not.”

Two of the classmates who signed the statement supporting Kavanaugh’s account soon after asked the New Yorker to remove their names.

Bart O’Kavanaugh

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The accusations come from high school, so what was Kavanaugh up to at that time. The Georgetown Prep ‘83 Yearbook offers some clues. Let’s focus on the Senior Class entries of Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh (whose entry is pictured above). For Mark Judge’s entry, go to this twitter feed and scroll down about 2/3 of the way.

When you do, you’ll find the following:

Kavanaugh:

Judge— Have You Boofed Yet?

Judge:

Bart, have you boofed yet?

The joke? They were asking each other if either had had anal sex yet.

Clearly, Bart, is Brett Kavanaugh, in Judge’s post-rehab memoir, Wasted: Tales of a Gen-X Drunk, “Bart O’Kavanaugh.” A lot of wink, wink, nod, nod stuff going on here.

Here’s how “Bart O’Kavanaugh” was described in that memoir:

In “Wasted,” Judge also describes an exchange with a young woman at a party when talk arose of a friend who puked in a car:
“Do you know Bart O’Kavanaugh?”
“Yeah. He’s around here somewhere.”
“I heard he puked in someone’s car the other night.”
“Yeah. He passed out on his way back from a party.”
Yup, Brett Kavanaugh is a degenerate drunk who gang rapes people. Honestly, pretty much par the course for Republicans these days. Now, watch this and laugh. Or cry:

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Current Events Recommended Reading

Constitutional Convention: The GOP’s Long Game Should Scare the Shit Out of You

There is an enormous threat to our democracy that most people have never heard about. That threat is a constitutional convention called by the states.

The last time such a thing happened was in 1787 and it was a total fucking mess. But there is a renewed effort spearheaded by the GOP and its funders (Kochs) underway, an effort that should keep you up at night.

Conservatives are pushing to call an Article V convention to add amendments to the Constitution. They need the approval of 34 state legislatures to compel Congress to call such a gathering. Right now, they have 28 states on board.

“I think we’re three or four years away,” said former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn speaking at the annual convention for American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) – a powerful rightwing organization that links corporate lobbyists with state lawmakers.

Conservatives have been talking about this for some time, completely off the radar of most on the left. The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republica book by talk radio host and lawyer Mark Levin, published in 2013 lays out many of the right’s wishes. In it, Levin lays out and makes a case for eleven Constitutional amendments which he believes would “restore” the Constitution’s chief components: federalism, republicanism, and limited government. That’s right, “Constitutional Conservatives” want to re-write the Constitution.

Here’s what Levin proposed:

  1. Impose Congressional term limits
  2. Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, returning the election of Senators to state legislatures
  3. Impose term limits for Supreme Court Justices and restrict judicial review
  4. Require a balanced budget and limit federal spending and taxation
  5. Define a deadline to file taxes (one day before the next federal election)
  6. Subject federal departments and bureaucratic regulations to periodic reauthorization and review
  7. Create a more specific definition of the Commerce Clause
  8. Limit eminent domain powers
  9. Allow states to more easily amend the Constitution by bypassing Congress
  10. Create a process where two-thirds of the states can nullify federal laws
  11. Require photo ID to vote and limit early voting

The book debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in all three categories for which it qualified. It’s sold millions of copies and barely a peep has been made about it in left-leaning media.

It’s a scary list, ironically almost entirely devoted to removing liberty from U.S. citizens. It’s what Conservatives are pushing for and it’s worth the read to be informed on what the opposition is up to.

Also worth a read, Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. It’s a fantastic look at the right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and as discussed here, there plan to permanently alter the Constitution itself.

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Current Events Explainer

Devin Nunes Dramatically Changed his Positions on Russia in the First Half of 2016. Why?

Want to blow your mind? Go read Devin Nunes’ 2014 position on Russia, you’ll be shocked at what he wrote. Here’s his policy plan for dealing with “the bear out there”:

1. Give more help to nations that are threatened by Russia. President Obama is supporting a stronger NATO presence in the Baltics and throughout Central and Eastern Europe, but he is doing close to nothing to help besieged Ukraine. These NATO efforts need to be accelerated, and the alliance should begin supplying Ukrainians with lethal weaponry to help fight off Russian encroachments. We should also isolate Russia diplomatically in every conceivable forum and confront Russia over its violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

2. Encourage the EU to free itself from its debilitating dependence on Russian energy, including, among other measures, by easing our own self-defeating restrictions on cultivating domestic energy sources, with the goal of becoming an energy supplier to Europe. Keep in mind that around half of Russia’s state budget revenues derive from the sale of fossil fuels.

3. Resurrect the Central European missile defense shield scrapped by the Obama administration amid Russian objections.

4. Launch a sustained public communications campaign to ensure Russian speakers receive factual accounts of international events. Voice of America’s Russia service has a paltry $13 million budget, which is no match for the Kremlin’s estimated $300 million budget for RT alone. Voice of America and Radio Free Europe’s Cold War operations provide an effective blueprint for this sort of programming, which should include satellite, radio, and on-line dimensions. In light of the Putin regime’s campaign to control on-line news outlets, our effort should include a comprehensive strategy to promote Internet freedom.

He calls out Russian disinformation and says the US and NATO should be “supplying Ukrainians with lethal weaponry to help fight off Russian encroachments.” Step forward to the the 2016 GOP convention, however, and the only change Trump made to the GOP platform was to weaken US aide to Ukraine. The only change. That should’ve set Nunes off right? After-all, his position on Russia was 100% counter to the Trump change.

In late 2015 New Yorker (A House Divided – How a radical group of Republicans pushed Congress to the right) published a long story about how some Republicans were resisting the takeover by the crazy right wing, in it Nunes was portrayed as one resisting the crazies. There were several stories on the issue; Devin Nunes Explains Why He’s Less Conservative Than He Used to Be & A telling — and disturbing — anecdote about conservative media from a House Republican to name a couple.

From the New Yorker article:

Nunes, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence, told me that the biggest change he’s seen since he arrived in Congress, in 2002, is the rise of online media outlets and for-profit groups that spread what he views as bad, sometimes false information, which House members then feel obliged to address. The change has transformed Nunes from one of the most conservative members of Congress to one of the biggest critics of the Freedom Caucus and its tactics.

more:

Nunes told me that Ryan needed to figure out how to counter the rising populist forces in the Party. “It’s the difference between a democracy and a democratic republic,” he said. “We are a democratic republic, and yet populist rhetoric, speaking in platitudes, can lead to bad things happening when it’s just pure, unfettered kind of mob-style movements that are out there. And that’s what we’re kind of facing now.”

What in the holy hell happened in the first half of 2016 that resulted in Devin Nunes completely changing his positions on Russia?

Some thoughts:

Nunes has personal/family connections to the Portuguese Island of Lajes, which was very dependent on the US military base there for their economy during the Cold War.

The base, being a submarine hunting operation, fell out of use over the past 20 years as the Cold War came to a slow end. Nunes tried unsuccessfully to pass funding bills and get projects allocated to the island to help boost their economy:

For decades, the most concrete bond between the United States and the Azores was an American military installation on Terceira Island called Lajes Field. During the Cold War, American P-3 planes used Lajes to chase Soviet submarines all over the Atlantic; it also served as a fueling station for cargo planes and fighter jets en route from the United States to military installations in Europe and the Middle East. But the end of the Cold War and technological advances brought an end to Lajes’s strategic importance. The United States no longer needed to worry as much about maritime supremacy in the Atlantic. Cargo planes and fighter jets had sufficient flying ranges that they no longer needed to make as many stops to refuel. Lajes was a natural target for cutbacks, and in 2012, the Air Force announced that it planned to scale back its presence there, ultimately reducing its head count to around 165 from 650.

Even before he was Intelligence Committee chairman, Nunes tried to fight the cuts. He proposed locating an Air Force drone base at Lajes that could be used to target Islamic militants in Northern Africa. He introduced a bill to move the military’s Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany, back to the continental United States — with the provision that Lajes be made Africom’s forward operating base. He suggested making Lajes a training facility for F-16 pilots. None of the ideas were deemed practical.

More controversial, according to two former government officials, Nunes tried to use his junior perch on the Intelligence Committee to install a National Security Agency listening post at Lajes.

….

Once he became chairman, Nunes unveiled a new proposal for Lajes: making it the home of the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex (JIAC), which included a huge new “intelligence fusion center” for the United States and its NATO allies. But the Pentagon was already planning to build the JIAC at the Croughton Royal Air Force base near London.

In 2011-12, Russian sub activity increased in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, possibly after someone leaked info to them about NATO tactics and defenses.

In June of 2013, the government of Portugal named Nunes a Grand Officer of the National Order of Prince Henry the Navigator.

Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, the same President of Portugal who gave the award to Devin Nunes, is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And in the same year that Portugal gave Nunes the award, a Portuguese spy began giving NATO secrets to the Russian government.

Putting that altogether, it would make perfect sense that Nunes, along with some pro-Russian Portuguese, leaked this information in attempt to use the increased Russian sub activity to justify re-opening the base as a sub hunting base.

Flynn & Nunes Parallels

I’d like to point out some parallels between Nunes and Flynn here, seeing as they’ve been friends for a long while.

Flynn argued heavily for the arming of Ukraine during Obama’s presidency, and also warned Obama that Ukraine was in danger from Russia. When Ukraine was invaded he was frustrated and angry, and felt as if Obama had ignored him regarding the danger from Russia.

Flynn, fired from his post at the DIA in 2014, for a chaotic and dangerous management style, then went on a global tour making money speaking out against the Obama administration.

Then in 2016 Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn due to his contacts with Russian cutouts.

So we see a similar swing in both Nunes and Flynn, following a similar timeline. Somewhere between 2014 and Trumps transition team, Flynn started hugging the Russian bear.

Also of note/things to really start to twist this story.

Putin really doesn’t want Turkey to join NATO, and in intelligence circles it’s known that Turkey has a very high percentage of Russian species in its government and embassies. Remember that story about Flynn kidnapping the Turkish National off of US soil for Erdogan?

 

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Current Events Recommended Reading

Connecting Some Dots on Trump Revoking Brennan’s Clearance

By now you should know that Trump has revoked John Brennan’s security clearance, an unprecedented move. Brennan claims Trump made the decision because he worked with Russians and is getting desperate. Then Trump himself essentially admitted that he revoked Brennan’s clearance to obstruct justice.

Through it all there are some very interesting connections to be made. Check out this tweet from July 24th:

That’s Artem Klyushin a Russian Oligarch and here is more about him. And here’s that tweet translated:

Ex-CIA directors John Brennan and Michael Hayden, ex-FBI director James Komi and his deputy Andrew McCabe, ex-director of the National Intelligence Service James Clapper, ex-national security adviser Susan Rice say goodbye to access to classified materials.

The date of the order to revoke Brennan’s security clearance given by Trump yesterday was July 26. The original suggestion of it was on July 23.

A little more on Artem Klyushin. His wife which he is separated from is Yulia Alferova. She started promoting Trump to run for president in 2015. She met him when he was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

Seth Abramson has been doing some great work following stories linking Artem Klyushin and Yulia Alferova to Trump. The contact began before he started his campaign, seemingly in order to get kompromat on him.

Emin Agalarov, Aras Agalarov, Yulya Alferova and her then-husband Artem Klyushin: these four people, with Konstantin Rykov in support, lured Trump to Moscow to ink a Trump Tower Moscow deal, get kompromat on him via Rykov’s Dosug prostitutes, and link him up with Vladimir Putin.

And here…

A tweet from Russian Artem Klyushin, around the time his pal Rykov—pictured here—said it was time to “start helping Trump.” There are now credible allegations that Kluyshin and Rykov master-minded the 2013 Russian-prostitute kompromat scheme at the Ritz Moscow (November 9, 2013).

Then today, this:

“That’s how we make history”

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Current Events

A Little Mayonnaise with my White Supremacist Sentiments Please

There was a particularly pathetic opinion piece published this weekend. Written by Sandy Hingston in Philadelphia Magazine the trash was titled: “How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise.”

One, what an annoying headline. If it starts with “How Millennials Killed,” you can be sure it’s trash unless of course it someday ends with something like Nazis, the KKK, White Supremacy, or the GOP. Framing these generational differences as if generations exist in defined blocks and as if those blocks act together with intention and spite to reject tradition is stupid.

So, is mayo dying? Not really, sales being down 6.7% over the last five years doesn’t quite equate to the sky falling. That doesn’t stop our author though, after all she wouldn’t be a proud conservative without proudly dismissing factual evidence for some good old fashioned anecdote:

Mom’s extraordinary potato salad — fragrant with dill, spiced by celery seed — went untouched on the picnic table. So did her macaroni salad, and her chicken salad, and her deviled eggs. … When I carted home a good three pounds of painstakingly prepared Waldorf salad — all that peeling and coring and slicing! — I was forced to face facts: The family’s tastes had changed.

Ya. Her sides aren’t killing it at the potluck anymore! Shame millennial! Shame!

So people aren’t eating mayo salad suspensions anymore, surely we can’t extrapolate that into anything too weird. Wait a second, it must be this darn PC culture we’re all forced to live in.

My son Jake, who’s 25, eats mayo. He’s a practical young man who works in computers and adores macaroni salad. He’s a good son. I also have a daughter. She was a women’s and gender studies major in college. Naturally, she loathes mayonnaise.

Naturally.

If only we could return to the days when all children uniformly loved salads made of 95% mayo and no one studied stupid things like gender.

Mayonnaise isn’t bland; it’s artfully blended. It’s an evocation of the era I grew up in, of the homogeneity of that old, dead American dream.

So a dog whistle then. Called it. “Homogeneity?” For some reason I don’t think we’re talking about mayonnaise anymore. Perhaps we are talking about another kind of homogeneity, one that’s the same color as mayo?

Oh shit, she goes there. The fake news media controlled by the SJW leftist millennial fringe killed mayonnaise. It was a hit orchestrated by BuzzFeed which featured two articles about why mayo is bad. It’s nothing less than discrimination against a group that that has suffered more than any other since the beginning of time: white baby boomers:

I thought young people today were supposed to be all about inclusion — about kindness and compassion and making other people feel welcome. So how about you include a little mayo in your picnic fare?

Mayo isn’t dying you wretched old white supremacist. That Wall Street Journal story I linked earlier on the decline of mayo, it also points out that mayo is still America’s favorite condiment. Beating ketchup by a good 200 million pounds a year.

One final quote:

This attitude comes to you from young people who willingly slurp down eight kazillion kinds of yogurt, not to mention raw fish and pork belly and, yo, detergent pods, so don’t talk to me about mayonnaise

Oh, fuck off Sandy.

You can’t even read an article about something as harmless as mayo these days without it including a dog whistle to racists.

If I wanted spicy mayo, I’d reach for some of this.

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Current Events

Trump Threatens To ‘Suspend’ Protesting NFL Players ‘Without Pay’

Here we go again with more of that NFL distraction, the Manafort trial must really be ruffling feathers.

I’m going to go ahead and guess that Trump doesn’t realize that NFL players are not government employees that he can personally fire or reprimand. Nor, would I imagine that Trump knows he just violated the First Amendment.

18 U.S. Code § 227 – Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch

**(a)Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity—(1)**takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act, or**(2)**influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another,shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

**(b)In this section, the term “covered government person” means—(1)**a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress;**(2)**an employee of either House of Congress; or**(3)**the President, Vice President, an employee of the United StatesPostal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, or any other executive branch employee (as such term is defined under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code).

What Trump is doing is illegal. The protests are a partisan issue, only Republicans are taking issue. Suspension/termination/etc… are employment decisions, and the NFL is a private entity.

Issuing a statement is an official act. In the past, he has threatened to change tax law regarding NFL teams unless they changed their employment practices, which is undeniably a threat to take an official act.

Add it to the pile…

It’s continually amazing to me just how many laws this administration can break in plain view and in public record and how there are no consequences.

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Current Events

Robert Mueller requests Trump-related portion of Manafort’s trial be kept secret because it revealed ‘substantive’ evidence

While the FoxNews crowd celebrates Manafort trial Judge TS Elilis’ taunts toward the Mueller team, ignoring the fact that he today apologized, those of us in the land of reality got an interesting tidbit today. From CNN:

In a filing Thursday, Mueller’s team said it wanted to keep a discussion between trial attorneys and Judge T.S. Ellis regarding a question to Gates secret because the transcript of the conversation would “reveal details of the ongoing investigation.”

….
Defense attorney Kevin Downing had asked Gates, “Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?”

Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question before Gates could answer.

….

“Disclosing the identified transcript portions would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing investigation … In addition, sealing will minimize any risk of prejudice from the disclosure of new information relating to that ongoing investigation,” the special counsel’s team wrote in a court filing Thursday. “The government’s concerns would continue until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur.”

That request was just granted.

https://twitter.com/SpicyFiles/status/1027714355075395584

Well, isn’t that all juicy. It’s reminding me an interview on Pod Save America a few weeks back with a journalist saying that the information she provided, which could be traced directly back to President Trump, will be a huge surprise to the public when it comes out, and is unrelated to Russia/the other collusion stories we have been hearing.

There is a LOT of information out there relevant to the case that we don’t know about yet.

Journalist reveals she provided source’s identity to the FBI:

But Wheeler, the publisher of the Empty Wheel blog, wrote that she felt compelled to talk to authorities about an individual she was convinced “played a significant role in the Russian election attack on the US.” Wheeler has not publicly named her source, but she told CNN in a Monday phone interview that the person “definitely did not want me to go to the FBI” and cautioned her in a text message against doing so.

“On its face, I broke one of the cardinal rules of journalism,” Wheeler told The Washington Post in a story published Sunday, “but what he was doing should cause a source to lose protection.”

more:

Her blog post centers on a text message she says she got from the source on Nov. 9, 2016 — about 14 hours after the polls closed — predicting that Michael Flynn, who would be Trump’s appointee for national security adviser, would be meeting with “Team Al-Assad” within 48 hours. Russia has been perhaps the Assad regime’s staunchest ally.

As she noted: “The substance of the text — that the Trump team started focusing on Syria right after the election — has been corroborated and tied to their discussions with Russia at least twice since then.”

Wheeler won’t say when she went to the FBI other than that it was in 2017. In December 2017, Flynn flipped, pleading guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about his contact with the Russian government during the presidential transition; Trump had fired him in February.

In addition to the knowledge of her source’s inside information, Wheeler said, she had reason to believe that the source was involved with efforts to compromise her website and other communications. And perhaps most important, that he was involved in cyberattacks — past and future — that had done and could do real harm to innocent people.

This party is just getting started.

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Current Events

Rand Paul says he delivered Trump letter to Putin

We still have essentially no details regarding Trump’s summit with Putin, which should be a scandal in and of itself, but here’s something new to wonder about. Senator Rand Paul says he delivered a letter on behalf of President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in person.

Congratulation Senator, now your a mailman traitor!

Time for a little trip back to March of 2017 when Senator McCain said Rand Paul is I quote, “working for Vladimir Putin.

“I was honored to deliver a letter from President Donald J. Trump to President Vladimir Putin’s administration,” Paul said, “The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges.”

So why a letter? Trump has the answer on that:

“It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old fashioned way because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” Trump responded when asked about the importance of cybersecurity, according to pool reporters.

Trump, 12/31/16

Clearly, Trump didn’t want the State Department or the Intelligence Community to know what was in the letter.

But, I’m sure that letter was about “countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges.” The same way the Trump Tower meeting was about “Adopting Russian Children“.

That should, if our legal system was working in any way, make Paul an accessory to violating the presidential records act. I won’t hold my breath.

Between this and that sketchy as hell July 4th trip, things certainly seem to be getting worse. Just how many republicans are wrapped up in this mess?

Hot take on the issue:

“Many folks think that Rand Paul can’t be beat, they’re worried he might be too well-liked. I don’t buy that. Just ask his neighbor. He can be beaten.”

— Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes (D)