Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Tucker Carlson Alluded To A 20-Year-Old False Charge, But "Forgot" To Mention He Was Named In A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Last July; Carlson Was "Pissed Off" After Gaetz Appeared To Implicate Him In Possible Sex Trafficking Crimes

Last night, Florida representative Matt Gaetz (Q-Sedition) scampered into the welcoming arms of the Fox network to dissemble about the just-reported federal investigation into whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws. Gaetz maintained the report was some sort of extortion plot, though if Gaetz is as squeaky clean as he says, if he's innocent of all statutory rape and sex trafficking charges, over what exactly is he claiming he's being extorted?

Gaetz presumably went to Fox for a softball interview in which he could lie and deflect with abandon. I have no doubt he lied and deflected, but much of the interview careened wildly off the rails. At one point, Gaetz told Carlson: "I'm not the only person on screen right now who has been falsely accused of a terrible sex act. You were accused of something you did not do."

Carlson replied: "You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago, and of course it was not true. I had never met the person."

Gaetz may not have been thinking of that false claim. It seems more likely that he was referring to a July 2020 lawsuit brought by two women alleging sexual misconduct against four Fox employees, including Carlson, Sean Hannity, Howard Kurtz, and Ed Henry.

The suit alleges Henry (the network's former chief national correspondent) manipulated and groomed an associate producer at Fox to be his "sex slave". He allegedly sexually assaulted her at work and raped her in a hotel. Fox fired Henry shortly after the suit became public.

A second woman, a regular guest on Hannity's show, alleges that in March 2018, Hannity sexually harassed her in front of the entire studio crew. In December 2018, Carlson made suggestive comments "probing to see whether [she] was interested in a sexual relationship".

Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Alies was forced to resign in 2016 after 23 women accused him of sexual harassment.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Gaetz On Fox: Recites Carefully-Worded Denial To Sex Trafficking Allegation And Points Out Tucker Was Also Accused Of A Sex Crime; Gaetz Also Volunteers Additional, Unreported Allegations Of His Illegal Activity And Outs His Father As Wearing A Wire For The FBI

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2017: Matt Gaetz Was The Only "No" Vote On Anti-Human Trafficking Bill (418-1).
2021: Gaetz Is Under Investigation For Statutory Rape And Violating Federal Sex Trafficking Laws (He Also Has Ties To Florida Politician Accused Of Human Trafficking). (This Morning's Rumours Of Gaetz Considering Retirement From Congress Suddenly Make More Sense.)

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Apropos of nothing: In 2013, Gaetz, then 38 years old, "adopted" a 12-year-old Cuban boy named Nestor, who was supposedly the younger brother of one of Gaetz's ex-girlfriends. There are no adoption papers that support Gaetz's claim and I see reports stating Nestor's father never gave his son up for adoption. . . . It seems somewhat suspicious.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Trump Reduced To Crashing Wedding Receptions And Whining Incoherently: "We Have To And The Tough Is . . . In The Most Humanitarian Way Because That's What It Is."

Banned forever by Twitter, Donald Trump is now reduced to crashing wedding receptions held in his personal coronavirus petri dish in Florida and incoherently whining about how badly he's been treated.

He included a "Sir Story", a "I/they call them . . ." reference, he repeated his lie (twice) about getting 75 million votes, he warned that not doing things his way would (yet again) mean the destruction of the country, and he threw in several variations of "the worst anybody's ever seen".

The only thing he forgot was to mention some big, tough men who came up to him with tears in their eyes to thank him for being their president. Oh, and he failed to mention "big dumps". . . . Maybe he's saving that material for the next wedding.

From a transcript at The Daily Beast:

Y'know, I just got, I turned off the news, I get all these flash reports, and they're telling me about the border, they're telling me about China, they're telling me about Iran—how're we doing with Iran, howdya like that? Boy, they were ready to make a deal, they woulda done anything, they woulda done anything, and this guy goes and drops the sanctions and then he says, "We'd love to negotiate now," [and Iran says], "We're not dealing with the United States at all," oh, well, they don't want to deal with us. And China, the same thing, they never treated us that way, right?

You saw what happened a few days ago, was terrible, and uh, the border is not good, the border is the worst anybody's ever seen it, and what you see now, multiply it times 10, Jim—he's the only one I know who would handle the border tougher than me. We have to, and the tough is... in the most humanitarian way, because that's what it is. What's happening to the kids, they're living in squalor, they are living like nobody has ever seen anybody, there's never been anything like what's, and you're gonna have hundreds, and you have it now, they have the airplane photos, the shocks, and they call 'em shocks, and these things are showing thousands and thousands of people coming up from South America and it's gonna be, it's just uh, look, it's a disaster. It's a humanitarian disaster from their standpoint, and it's gonna destroy the country, and frankly, the country can't afford it because you're talking about massive, just incredibly massive amounts. Our school systems, our hospital systems, everything.

So it's a rough thing, and I just say, "Do you miss me yet?: We did get 75 million votes, nobody's ever gotten that. They said, "Get 66 million votes, sir, and the election's over." We got 75 million and they said... but you know, you saw what happened, 10:30 in the evening, all of a sudden I said, "That's a strange thing, why are they closing up certain places, right?" Now, a lot of things happening right now, I just wanted to say, it's an honor to be here, it's an honor to have you at Mar-a-Lago, you are a great and beautiful couple.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Ted Cruz Is A Human Meme With A Public Humiliation Fetish


In four years, Trump built no more than 40 miles of new border wall (and perhaps fewer than 10 miles). 40 miles is 2% of the US-Mexico border, which is 1,954 miles long. Nothing more than a US-taxpayer-funded $15 billion scam.

The original idea for the wall wasn't even an idea. It was a "mnemonic device" dreamed up by Roger Stone and Sam Nunberg to make sure the Orange Idiot remembered to talk about illegal immigration while campaigning. But then Trump took the words seriously.


Breaking News: Trump Tells The Truth!

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Dominion Files $1.6 Billion Lawsuit Against Fox, Which On Friday Is Offering A Starkly Different Version Of Reality From What It Presented On Thursday

Dominion Voting Systems
January 8, 2021: Files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against former Trump attorney Sidney Powell.

January 25, 2021: Files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

February 15, 2021: Files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against MyPillow and its CEO Mike Lindell.

March 26, 2021: Files $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News Corporation.
A Statement From Fox:
Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism . . .
Dominion CEO John Poulos:
The disinformation campaign waged against our company has caused us severe damage and undermined trust in American democratic institutions. These lies also have threatened the personal safety of our employees and customers.
Justin Nelson, Susman Godfrey LLP (attorneys for Dominion):
This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership.
Stephen Shackelford, Susman Godfrey LLP:
The buck stops with Fox on this. Fox chose to put this on all of its many platforms. They rebroadcast, republished it on social media and other places.
Eric Coomer, security director at Dominion (who went into hiding after receiving death threats), has also filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump's re-election campaign, Newsmax, One America News Network, Giuliani, Powell, Michelle Malkin (conservative columnist), Gateway Pundit (website), and Joseph Oltmann (conservative businessman).

Also: Smartmatic USA, another voting machine company, has filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox Corporation, Fox News Network, Lou Dobbs (former Fox News host), Maria Bartiromo (Fox News host), Jeanine Pirro (Fox News host), Giuliani, and Powell.

Don't All TV News Hosts Use Teleprompters?

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Suicide By Hammer

Good luck trying to buy a hammer from Black & Decker's website.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Contain The Kraken! Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell, Facing A $1.3-Billion Defamation Lawsuit, Tells The Court She's A Fraud, A Con Artist, And A Liar - As An Excuse! She Also (Inadvertently, I Assume) Proved Dominion Should Win Its Case!

Sidney Powell, the former lawyer for Donald Trump, was one of the loudest voices pushing "The Big Lie" about Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election. She insisted over and over and over again, in numerous press conferences and more than 50 appearances on Fox, that Trump had been cheated out of a landslide victory. 

Powell's explanations of the alleged fraud machinations included the involvement of a South American leader who died five years before he was apparently plotting against Trump and were as deranged as they were comedic. Indeed, Powell's conspiracy theories were so off the rails that the Trump campaign lied and tried to claim she did not work for them. Even Rudy "Four Seasons" Giuliani thought she was a little too loopy. And because Powell repeatedly name-checked Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine company rightly included her in its $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit.

Powell is no doubt scared — and she should be. She is also panicking. She is now arguing that Dominion's lawsuit should be dismissed because what she said about the election over the course of several weeks was total bullshit and "no reasonable person [sh]ould conclude" that what she said "were truly statements of fact". . . . Seriously. That's her defense

I may not be a lawyer, but I can state with a fair amount of authority that "I knew what I said was a lie and everyone listening should have known it was a lie, too" will not cut it against a defamation lawsuit. Powell may well have known she was taking nonsense, but she also knew Trump's supporters believed every word. And that's why she kept saying it. Those press conferences may have looked like the performances of an absurdist comedy troupe, but that was not their intent.

To win its defamation case, Dominion has to prove that (a) the statements made about it were false and (b) the people making those statements knew they were false when they said them. Powell has just proven Dominion's case with one simple statement -- which she apparently hopes will get the lawsuit dismissed!

Aaron Rupar, Vox:

During an infamous November 19 news conference, for instance, she asserted that there was a "globalist" conspiracy to take down Trump — improbably involving the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez — and asserted that "in the middle of the night, after they've supposedly stopped counting, and that's when the Dominion operators went in and injected votes and changed the whole system."

There was just one problem for Powell: She was never able to produce a shred of evidence for her claims.

Powell is employing the same defense Fox News used to defend Tucker Carlson against a defamation suit filed by former model Karen McDougal. Fox's lawyers argued that no "reasonable viewer" could possibly take anything that Carlson says seriously. (Put aside for a moment the crazy idea that Carlson has any "reasonable" viewers.)

Fox argued that "given Mr. Carlson's reputation", he "cannot be understood to have been stating facts". Viewers of his show should know, by its "general tenor", that "he is not 'stating actual facts' about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in 'exaggeration' and 'non-literal commentary'".

Those claims are amusing, but the judge agreed, ruling that "any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism' about [Carlson's] statements".

Politicus USA quotes this part of Powell's filing:

Determining whether a statement is protected involves a two-step inquiry: Is the statement one which can be proved true or false? And would reasonable people conclude that the statement is one of fact, in light of its phrasing, context, and the circumstances surrounding its publication. Keohane, 882 P.2d at 1299.

This inquiry is determined as a matter of law. Bucher v. Roberts, 595 P.2d 235, 241 (Colo. 1979) ("Whether a particular statement constitutes fact or opinion is a question of law."). Analyzed under these factors, and even assuming, arguendo, that each of the statements alleged in the Complaint could be proved true or false, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.

Powell is saying that any reasonable person should have known that she was going on television and lying as part of a coup attempt to overturn the election. Since her lies should have been reasonably known to be BS, she should have no legal liability for smearing Dominion.

That's not how any of this works.

Powell has lied her way into a very tight corner.

Jacqueline Thomsen, National Law Journal, March 23, 2021:
In the Eastern District of Michigan, Powell is facing motions for sanctions over a lawsuit she filed seeking to overturn the election results. Separately, Powell is fighting a federal defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems in Washington, D.C., over statements she made alleging the voting company played a role in causing Trump's election loss.

On Monday, Powell's legal team claimed her comments about Dominion are protected because it was political speech and made in furtherance of her "Kraken" lawsuits challenging the election results. All of those lawsuits were thrown out of federal court. . . .

"Ethics rules permit a lawyer to take inconsistent legal positions in different courts at different times on behalf of different clients. But that's not what we have here," Renee Knake Jefferson, a law professor with the University of Houston, said in an email. 

"Powell's defense in the defamation lawsuit undermines her defense in the disciplinary proceeding," Jefferson said.

Stephen Gillers, a law professor with New York University who studies legal ethics, concurred. "Powell is in a bind," he said in an email. "If she claims that her statements, though false, could not reasonably be believed and therefore not defamatory, she will risk discipline if she said the same things to a court. There is no 'political hyperbole' defense to lying to the court." . . .

It's not just Powell who's facing a Dominion defamation suit: Fellow Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was also sued by the voting company last month. He has not yet responded to the complaint in court. He is also being sued by the voting systems maker Smartmatic in New York.

Giuliani backed the election fraud claims publicly and said he was leading the Trump campaign's legal strategy in the suits . . .

MAGA responses to the news that Sidney Powell wants the $1.3 billion Dominion defamation lawsuit against her dropped because no reasonable person would believe her statements were factual.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

With The Really Dangerous American Fascist "The Problem Is Never How Best To Present The Truth To The Public, But How Best To Use The News To Deceive The Public"

US Vice President Henry Wallace (1944):
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. . . .

The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. . . .

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be superpatriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Mar-A-Lago Partially Closed After Multiple Staff Members Test Positive For COVID
(But Don't Worry — Banquet & Event Services Are Still Available)

NBC News

Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, has been partially closed after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

That's according to several people, including one familiar with club operations, who said Mar-a-Lago had "partially closed" a section of the club and quarantined some of its workers "out of an abundance of caution." The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation by name.

An email sent to members said that service had been temporarily suspended in the club's dining room and at its beach club because some staff members had recently tested positive. It said the club had undertaken "all appropriate response measures, including sanitizing affected areas," and that banquet and event services remain open.

Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 last fall . . .

Mar-a-Lago was the site of his first known exposure more than a year ago. . . .

The Trump White House was hit with several subsequent outbreaks after it flouted virus precautions by resisting mask-wearing and continuing to hold large events. . . .

In January, Palm Beach County issued a warning to Mar-a-Lago's management after a New Year's Eve party that violated an ordinance requiring employees and guests to wear masks. . . . The club was told future violations would result in fines of $15,000.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Trump Has Been A Russian Asset For Decades, Most Likely Since 1987.
That Fact Has Been Confirmed By Both US Intelligence Agencies & A Former KGB Spy.

Yuri Shvets, a former KGB spy, revealed to author Craig Unger that former president Donald Trump has been working with Russian intelligence officials for decades. Indeed, Trump's identity as a Russian asset has been confirmed by the US intelligence community and in an investigative report led by members of Trump's own party, a report which was compiled, written, and edited during Trump's administration.

Shvets's interview forms part of Unger's recently-published book American Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery. It's Unger's second book investigating Trump's numerous ties to Russia, following House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia (2018), which revealed the names of 59 Russians as long-term business associates of Trump.

(A redacted copy of Robert Mueller's "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election", released to the public in April 2019, documented 272 contacts evidencing clearly-identified collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia-linked operatives.)

So how was the KGB able to lure Trump in and get him (knowingly or otherwise) to do their bidding for three decades? Shvets says it was easy. They flattered him.
In terms of his personality, the guy is not a complicated cookie. His most important characteristics being low intellect coupled with hyperinflated vanity. This makes him a dream for an experienced recruiter.
Donald Trump was a tool in a long-running Russian campaign to weaken the United States. That's been documented in Republican-led investigative reports, and now it has been updated with new evidence, thanks to the U.S. Intelligence Community's assessment of the 2020 election. The report, drafted by the CIA, the FBI, and several other agencies, was released in unclassified form on Tuesday, but it was presented in classified form on Jan. 7. In other words, it was compiled, written, and edited during Trump's administration. It destroys his lies about the election, and it exposes him as a Russian asset.
Shvets said the KGB cultivated Trump as an American leader (now we know exactly whom to blame) and persuaded him to run full-page advertisements in major American newspapers pushing KGB talking points in the late 1980s. The Soviet Union's Active Measures Directorate said having "three major American newspapers publish KGB soundbites" was "one of the most successful KGB operations" in history.

Russia worked behind the scenes in both 2016 and 2020 to get Trump into the White House. Indeed, Russia, Trump, and the entire GQP have long had the same goals.
The high-level connections between Trump and Putin are many:

New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait, who speculated several years ago that Trump may have become a Russian asset as far back as 1987, now believes that even if it could be proven beyond all doubt that Trump has been a Russian tool for the past 34+ years, the fallout would not have been very substantial:
There is an allure to the mysterious that gives certain unknown facts outsize meaning. Uncovering the secret identity of "Deep Throat" was considered one of journalism's greatest prizes, until Associate FBI Director Mark Felt admitted it was him, after which hardly anybody cared. If Jimmy Hoffa's body had turned up shortly after his disappearance, its location would have been forgotten almost immediately, rather than becoming the subject of decades-long speculation and probing.

The nature and origins of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia probably falls into this category. The full story will probably never be known for certain. Robert Mueller was thought to be pursuing it, but steered clear of the counterintelligence investigation to focus more narrowly on criminal violations; the Senate Intelligence Committee produced tantalizing evidence of 2016 campaign collusion, but did not have access to Trump's inner circle. In theory, the Trump lieutenants who clammed up, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, or their Russian contacts, like Manafort partner Konstantin Kilimnik, could eventually furnish some kind of deathbed confession, but even that would be rendered inconclusive by its source's fundamental lack of credibility.

If something like the most sinister plausible story turned out to be true, how much would it matter? Probably not that much. Don't get me wrong: Russia having secret channels of leverage over an American president isn't good. I have merely come to think that even if we could have confirmed the worst, to the point that even Trump's supporters could no longer deny it, it wouldn't have changed very much. Trump wouldn't have been forced to resign, and his Republican supporters would not have had to repudiate him. The controversy would have simply receded into the vast landscape of partisan talking points — one more thing liberals mock Trump over, and conservatives complain about the media for covering instead of Nancy Pelosi's freezer or antifa or the latest campus outrage.

One reason I think that is because a great deal of incriminating information was confirmed and very little in fact changed as a result. In 2018, Buzzfeed reported, and the next year Robert Mueller confirmed, explosive details of a Russian kompromat operation. During the campaign, Russia had been dangling a Moscow building deal that stood to give hundreds of millions of dollars in profit to Trump, at no risk. Not only did he stand to gain this windfall, but he was lying in public at the time about his dealings with Russia, which gave Vladimir Putin additional leverage over him. (Russia could expose Trump's lies at any time if he did something to displease Moscow.)

Mueller even testified that this arrangement gave Russia blackmail leverage over Trump. But by the time these facts had passed from the realm of the mysterious to the confirmed, they had become uninteresting.
Which is mind-boggling to me, as it likely is for a lot of people who are old enough to remember when the mainstream perception of the Soviet Union was as the #1 enemy of the United States. No other country was even close. It is surreal to watch the hordes of American right-wing yahoos pledge their lives (literally, during the pandemic) to a guy who is a Russian puppet, and who could not hide that fact particularly well at times, publicly taking Putin's side over his own intelligence agencies on several occasions and never mentioning to Putin (over nearly two years) the Russian leader paying cash bounties to terrorists for specifically killing US soldiers (who Trump also trashed as "suckers" and "losers", so perhaps his complete disregard for their lives is not all that surprising).

The majority of American people cannot be angry at this treasonous state of affairs unless the mainstream media instructs them to be angry. And, sadly, the media has not bothered to make much fuss over this. What should be a major earthquake barely registers on the media's newscape. Of course, American presidents supporting America's alleged enemies is nothing new (and neither is the media's refusal to report that news).
Besides Trump, there are numerous other Republicans who appear to be Russian assets, including: Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence), Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (former president pro tempore of the United States Senate), California Representative Devin Nunes (former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee), North Carolina Senator Richard Burr (former Chair of Senate Intelligence Committee), Florida Senator Marco Rubio (Vice Chair of Senate Intelligence Committee), and Rudy Giuliani (who at one time was not insane and incoherent, though he was never not a piece of shit). And many others.