McDonnell Guilty

From the WaPo live blog:

Robert McDonnell has been found guilty of 11 corruption counts. He has been found not guilty of falsifying loan documents.

Maureen McDonnell has been found guilty of 8 corruption counts as well as obstruction of justice. She has also been found not guilty of falsifying loan documents.

The McDonnell family is sobbing in the courtroom.

Updates as they happen.

Never has a blog tag been more appropriate, and it has been here for years.

*** Update ***

Count by count verdict

Here’s the verdict, count by count, in the Robert and Maureen McDonnell corruption trial:

Count 1: Conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 2: Honest services wire fraud: $15,000 wedding check

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 3: Honest services wire fraud: MoBo $50,000

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 4: Honest services wire fraud: MoBo $20,000

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 5: Conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 6: Obtaining property under color of official right: $50,000 in 2011 to MGM

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 7: Obtaining property under color of official right: $15,000 wedding check

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 8: Obtaining property under color of official right: $2,380 Kinloch 5/29/2011

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 9: Obtaining property under color of official right: $1,424 Kinloch 1/7/2012

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 10: Obtaining property under color of official right: $50,000 MoBo

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 11: Obtaining property under color of official right: $20,000 MoBo

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 12: False statement to Townebank on 10/03/2012

Maureen G. McDonnell: N/A

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 13: False statement to PenFed on 02/01/2013

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Not guilty

Count 14: Obstruction of an official proceeding

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: N/A

As Lanny Frattare would say: “and there was no doubt about it.”

*** Update ***

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who took over the office previously held by Robert F. McDonnell (R) in January, released a statement a short time after the verdict was announced.

“I am deeply saddened by the events of the trial that ended in today’s verdict, and the impact it has had on our Commonwealth’s reputation for honesty and clean government,” McAuliffe said. “Dorothy and I will continue to pray for the McDonnell family and for everyone who was affected by this trial.”

It was just a press release, because even Terry knows it would be inappropriate to be caught on camera chugging champagne and grinning from ear to ear.

216 replies
  1. 1
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Rachel Maddow will be in heaven. She’s been breathless with glee at how ridiculous she finds the McDs’ behavior and defense.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    On the same day Joan Rivers exits the planet.

    Other than some morning rain, perfect day so far.

  3. 3
    jl says:

    @BGinCHI: Just saw news headline that Joan Rivers died. I think sad day in that respect. We may have a disagreement, but not sure.

  4. 4
    Fred says:

    But…But , he’s a Republican. IOKIYARepu-ub-blican.

  5. 5
    Botsplainer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    On the same day Joan Rivers exits the planet.

    Other than some morning rain, perfect day so far.

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks like that about “hilarious” Joan.

    Cole – “I’m getting physically aroused”.

    Jesus, Cole, you just gave me shrivel dick. I’m gonna need a crane and a case of blue pills to get a lift again.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I guess Bob isn’t getting laid tonight.

  7. 7
    Abo gato says:

    AWESOME!

  8. 8
    Jay C says:

    @BGinCHI: \

    Yeah, bummer:Joan Rivers died today. Now we won’t be able to “talk”. Ever.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    @jl: I always hated that woman.

  10. 10
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Fuckin asshole deserves everything they throw at him.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    Actually, I thought “grossly negligent and reckless” fits for the McDonnell’s bad acts too.

    Rumor has it a McDonnell kid might have called the anonymous tip into state investigators, that the governor’s chef was stealing food from the kitchen. Don’t know if rumor has credence or not.

  12. 12
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Totally bigfooted by the news of Joan Rivers’ death. I had to dig down in my Google news feed to find this.

    You know that it would be the exact opposite situation if a Dem governor got nailed for the same thing.

    ETA: very glad a lot of my fellow Juicers feel the same was I do about Rivers. She was just awful.

  13. 13
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Wonder how long it will take for some bullshit centrist like the WaPo’s Ruth Marcus to condemn this decision as “the criminalizing of politics” or some such.

  14. 14
    Hal says:

    I said in another thread that I thought the only way a jury would find them not guilty is if they thought what the McDonnell’s did was not corruption, since it was pretty obvious they accepted all of those gifts. I wonder if any of the jury members were offended by the “my crazy wife and her spending! Am I right fellas?!” defense.

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:

    We moved out of Virginia before that asshole was elected, but couldn’t help but follow all the stories regarding the bullshit McDonnell, Cuccinelli, and the rest of the state GOP idiots were up to.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    ooohhhhh! Nice update. Thanks. Sometimes there is justice.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’m getting physically aroused.

    Ha! I”m feeling not a little schadenfreuden-y. That response to Obama’s first SOTU, where he staged it in a the legislative chamber, surrounded himself with uniforms, was sickening. Good riddance. I just saw a Bloomberg reporter on MSNBC refer to Governor Transvaginal Probe as a “moderate”

    And now Touré is trying to out do Tweety and O’Donnell for the embarrassing starfuck ever on the network, gushing about Joan Rivers. Since he’s talking about a dead woman… I’ll leave that alone.

  18. 18
    BGinCHI says:

    I hope someone on some editorial page will use the word “corruption” and then make it clear to the other Beltway hacks that such a concept is happening all around them. The GOP is selling the government. Maybe worth some investigating?

    The NJ papers are doing it, so how hard can it be?

  19. 19
    SatanicPanic says:

    @BGinCHI: Did you see that documentary on her? I couldn’t tell if it was trying to humanize her or not. Either way she seemed like a real jerk.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He is living with a disgraced priest.

    hmm.. read raven’s comment first..

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He means “moderately corrupt for a GOP governor.” High bar.

    What percentage of Joan Rivers at her death was originally part of Joan Rivers?

  22. 22
    jl says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Some comfy VSP sribblers will do it. I hope whoever decides to go first will include an edifying comparison with, I dunno, say, arresting a political candidate for legally distributing flyers because the cops are pissed for some reason or other. Or maybe having some fat punk rent-a-cop arrest and then assault (completely of the the effing blue for no apparent reason other than maybe trying to destroy her recording) a woman recording a GA gubernator’s public talk, among many others recording it, because some local Boss Hogg is pissed at her.

  23. 23
    GxB says:

    Wasn’t he offered a plea bargain for some slap on the wrist in the beginning?

    Huh, an old, rich, well-connected, white, GOP dink (redundantly redundant here a few times over) finally gets his – and she hers.

    Hate to get all optimistic here, but maybe, just maybe the times they are a chagin’.

  24. 24
    bemused says:

    I never bought Bob’s innocent act but who did? He and his wife seemingly thinking they could grift like hogs and there would be never be any type of accountability was the height of arrogance. I don’t know much about Virginia but is there a culture of VA governors, other top officials getting away with similar acts that make them think it was no big deal?

  25. 25
    Botsplainer says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I guess Bob isn’t getting laid tonight.

    I haven’t looked, but that would depend. Did the government move for presentence confinement? Is Father O’Reilly still putting him up at the rectory?

    It could still happen for him.

  26. 26
    hells littlest angel says:

    Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

    Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty …

    Gee, ordinarily I don’t like rhyming poetry …

  27. 27
    Keith G says:

    The family McDonnell has been the textbook example of the Religo-Conservative Grifter. I hope that they now become the example of the terrible consequences in store for those who use their public office as an ATM.

    I grew up with Joan Rivers (figuratively). Her guest host slots for Johnny Carson were genius television. To get a sense of the real person behind and beyond the act, listen to her conversation with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist Podcast.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: I was just making a lame joke about his “throw the little lady under the bus” defense.

  29. 29
    John Cole +0 says:

    @GxB: He was offered one year and no charges for his wife.

  30. 30
    Chyron HR says:

    Oh, no. That’s just too, too, TOO bad. :(

  31. 31
    Tim F. says:

    May it be the first of many.

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    Speaking of good news from the courts, Indiana and Wisconsin just got their gay-marriage bans tossed out by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “The discrimination against same-sex couples is irrational, and therefore unconstitutional even if the discrimination is not subjected to heightened scrutiny, which is why we can largely elide the more complex analysis found in more closely balanced equal-protection cases,” Judge Richard Posner wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.

  33. 33

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Well, not by his wife.

  34. 34
    Jean says:

    @GxB: Yes, Bob was offered a plea to one felony charge with no jail time, and he turned it down. Must have thought he could beat all. HA. Oh, and no charges for his wife. Bet she’s thinking about that one now.

  35. 35
    Patrick says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I just saw a Bloomberg reporter on MSNBC refer to Governor Transvaginal Probe as a “moderate”

    It is truly scary that somebody in the MSM is referring to his opinions on abortion as moderate. As Barney Frank so eloquently stated “on which planet…

  36. 36
    aimai says:

    @jl: I’m sad. She was a gutsy performer in her day and she fought to stay relevant and in the public eye long after most women have accepted that the public is going to kick them to the curb.

  37. 37
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @GxB:

    Huh, an old, rich, well-connected, white, GOP dink (redundantly redundant here a few times over) finally gets his

    He wasn’t rich enough to avoid having to be corrupt for actual cash, instead of favors for allies. The schadenfreude us plentiful.

    I also thought Joan Rivers was a nasty old hag. She had a good long run and didn’t struggle with a long decline physically, so in my view she got off (very) easy.

  38. 38
    Randy Khan says:

    Unless something happens on appeal, the decision to turn down the plea agreement will go down as one of the great legal miscalculations of the century. His political career was over already, but that decision will cost him and his wife – so much for chivalry, although I guess the defense they used proved that chivalry was not in play here – potentially years in jail.

  39. 39
    Hal says:

    Doh!

    Instead, months later, authorities proposed that then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell plead guilty to one felony fraud charge that had nothing to do with corruption in office and his wife would avoid charges altogether. The governor rejected the offer, the people with knowledge of the conversations said.

    Oops. Didn’t see the comments above.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    @Patrick: It is practically a law that tall, conventional looking white guys in suits are never called “immoderate” or out of the mainstream. To the media “moderation” is all about presentation: no facial hair? well groomed? wears a suit and tie? talk gude? Heloooo Mr. Moderation.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Your “lame joke” made me laugh out loud. Looks like the throw your wife under the bus defense isn’t popular with jurors, even in red/purple states.

  42. 42
    Haydnseek says:

    @Mike in NC: From Virginia to North Carolina? A lateral move, at best.

  43. 43
    WaterGirl says:

    @Tim F.: Amen.

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @Randy Khan: Xin Loi!

  45. 45
    MsInformed says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Well, he is staying at the parish rectory, so he has that going for him.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    The “moderate” Bob McDonnell characterization drives me crazy. A lot of Virginians had buyer’s remorse, although they should not have bought his “I’m Bob for Jobs” persona in the first place.

    He attended Pat Robertson’s law school and wrote a paleolithic thesis on women and families.

    The signs were there, if you were looking.

    Another tragedy of his election: he defeated Creigh Deeds (OK, handily). I suspect Deeds’ late son, Austin, would have gotten the mental health care he needed had his father been head of state government. Deeds would have seen that all Virginians got a fairer shake there.

    Virginia would have Medicaid expansion, too.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    For MSM, I think moderate means “Republican not breathing through his/her mouth and scaring me.”

  48. 48
    hilts says:

    John,

    Fuck Bob McDonnell and his wife.

    Joan Rivers is dead

    http://www.eonline.com/news/57.....fe-support

    John, what’s your favorite Joan Rivers joke?

  49. 49
    john b says:

    the negative crap about Rivers the day of her death seems pretty shitty. but she could dish it out and take it, so I guess she probably wouldn’t mind. The documentary about her a few years ago gave a peek into what goes into her career. Mostly she seemed very dedicated to her work and to her family. How much can you hate on someone like that?

  50. 50
    mai naem mobile says:

    Wondering what . Mornin’ Ho’s going to say tomorrow. He was one of those ” the prosecution is a criminilization of governating.”
    Also too, Mcdonell’s got to be pretty happy about Joan Rivers dying on the same day totally taking the spotlight from his news.

  51. 51
    mai naem mobile says:

    Wondering what . Mornin’ Ho’s going to say tomorrow. He was one of those ” the prosecution is a criminilization of governating.”
    Also too, Mcdonell’s got to be pretty happy about Joan Rivers dying on the same day totally taking the spotlight from his news.

  52. 52
    raven says:

    Hahaha, the MSNBC talking heads are all grim and serious about this douche bag getting the thumbs down! “Gut wrenching sobs”!!

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    Sentencing set for January.

    I wonder if Governor Bob is in any way a suicide risk? The crying in court worries me.

    This is not a man with good judgment.

  54. 54

    Oops!

    Wonder how long it will take for some bullshit centrist like the WaPo’s Ruth Marcus to condemn this decision as “the criminalizing of politics” or some such.

    Yeah. How is it that the actual “criminalization of politics”–namely, the selling of the office of the governor of Virginia–is never seen as “criminalizing” politics? Oh, but I make myself chuckle here by asking that. If a Democrat had been caught doing the same thing, they wouldn’t weep and wail at the “criminalization” of polics.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    @mai naem mobile: What the fuck does he care about the “spotlight”? His ass is going to the joint.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I just commented to Elizabelle (earlier thread, and assuming the McDonnells are Palin-Lite) ” I guess that makes McDonnell the Next Dude…”

  58. 58
    Seanly says:

    I never found Joan Rivers all that funny, but my condolences to her family. I lost a 15-yr old cousin ten years ago and it still haunts my aunt, uncle & her surviving sibling. It’s on my mind right now because they’re putting on an art exhibit in her honor at their UU church. Also, my wife is right now getting her blood stem cells for hopefully curing her leukemia.

    Hope they throw the book at the McDonnell grifters.

  59. 59
    Jamey says:

    @BGinCHI: In accordance with the wishes of her survivors and plastic surgeons, Joan Rivers’s remains will be recycled.

  60. 60
    bemused says:

    @aimai:

    I think of her as the first female shock jock. I can’t think of any other female comic that dared to go where Joan went when she emerged with her anything goes act.

  61. 61
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    To get a sense of the real person behind and beyond the act, listen to her conversation with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist Podcast.

    No thanks. Her recent public statement on Palestinians tells me all I want to know about Joan Rivers as a real person: “You’re dead, you deserve to be dead. Don’t you dare make me feel bad about that”.

    Well now you’re dead, Joan Rivers. I’m not gloating, but I’m not feeling bad about it either.

  62. 62
    shortstop says:

    This day started with tears and fretting (long story). But this has given a big lift to my very soul.

  63. 63
    mai naem mobile says:

    Bob Mcdonnell always came across as a used car salesman/Jim Bakker type grifter peeacher,

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    “The politicization of crime.”

    Better: “The criminalization of crime.”

  65. 65
    boatboy_srq says:

    @John Cole +0: That doesn’t seem like a particularly fair exchange…

  66. 66
    japa21 says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): All you have to do is look at the RW’s reaction to Blago’s conviction. Specially since they tried so hard to bring Obama into the whole thing.

    Not that Blago was pure, because he deserved the conviction, though for some reason I have a feeling Mcdonell’s sentencing will be less harsh.

    It is interesting that any even investigation of a Republican is attacked by the right while most of the time, the left will say that if a Dem did something wrong he/she deserves to be punished.

  67. 67
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “It was just a press release, because even Terry knows it would be inappropriate to be caught on camera chugging champagne and grinning from ear to ear.”

    Between this sentence and John’s tweet about being aroused, this is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while. I’ll chug champagne (even though I don’t drink alcohol) once Misses and Mister McDonnell are in jail where they belong.

    Sorry to hear about Joan Rivers’ passing though. May she RIP.

  68. 68
    Redshift says:

    @bemused: Not on anything like this scale, at least not in my lifetime. I suspect they convinced themselves they could get away with it because very little is specifically prohibited in state law. There’s this whole thing called “The Virginia Way,” (which I had never heard of before this trial, despite having lived in VA my whole life), which basically seems to be that we don’t need ethics laws because we presume that all of our officials are high-minded public servants.

    It does make you wonder what people got away with in the days when the relationship between state government and the media, and between state and federal government, was a lot cozier. It’s not like corruption was just invented this century.

  69. 69
    danielx says:

    That’s an image I could have done without.

    Cole’s heavy breathing, that is, not the McDonnells in hysterics.

  70. 70
    raven says:

    McDonnell on the way out of the courtroom “All I can say is that I trust in the lawd”!!!! Hahahahahahaha

  71. 71
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: Yes, but luckily he won’t be in the type of prison where he will be forced to accept it.

  72. 72
    GxB says:

    @John Cole +0: @Jean:

    Well, bonus then. I’m sure he takes some satisfaction that the missus is getting sent up the river too – with the whole “sparrows over a fire on a curtain rod etc, etc” mentality.

  73. 73
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mandalay: She tried to walk back that statement and to apologize.

    http://www.laughspin.com/2014/.....ed-to-die/

  74. 74
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @raven: You are too mean!!! lol

  75. 75
    TR says:

    So who’s next? Perry? Christie? Walker?

    So many indictments pending on the GOP side, and yet conservatives will still bleat about “corrupt Chicago style politics” even though Daley’s been dead for decades.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek: Don’t look to me to be disappointed that he’s going to the federal pen for federal crimes. It’ better than the state but it’s still the joynt.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    Like her or don’t, but Joan Rivers was a pioneer who opened doors for women comedians (especially stand-ups). People who break through barriers are frequently assholes — it’s what got them through the barrier in the first place.

  78. 78
    TR says:

    Joan Rivers was a trailblazing feminist in a field dominated by men. RIP.

  79. 79
    Mr. Twister says:

    @raven: Amen.

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    This reminds me of an old Molly Ivins 4th of July column where she ended every paragraph listing the things she loved about this country with “And “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap* got fired!” Every blog post could end with “and/but (depending on the news) Tranvaginal Bob is going to jail!”

    *one of the original corporate raider CEOs who became the darling of the WSJ/CNBC set by increasing profits through massive firings and plant closings

  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    @aimai: Exactly. He was pleasant and not a fire-breather, and pretends to care about people who aren’t rich, so he must be “moderate,” right?

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    @raven:

    McDonnell on the way out of the courtroom “All I can say is that I trust in the lawd”!!!! Hahahahahahaha

    I’m sure in his own mind he’s still absolutely certain he hasn’t broken any commandments.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus (mobile) says:

    Test again. Posts from my phone have been disappearing.

  84. 84
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: Yep…..there is no penthouse in the Graybar Hotel.

  85. 85
    Bob says:

    “..because even Terry knows it would be inappropriate to be caught on camera [playing with his boner.]”

  86. 86
    shortstop says:

    Let’s take a moment to raise a glass (mine is Limonata) while we think about Bob McDonnell and women. Bob and vagina-Americans have a long, fraught history, of course. First there was Bob’s master’s thesis in which he sermonized about the evils of women working outside the home and bowed down to the sanctity and immutability of traditional marriage. Then there was his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and his big bear hug for requiring parental consent and ensuring that grown women be forced to listen to his party’s version of “informed consent.” We hardly need remind anyone of the forced vaginal probe incident. Am I forgetting anything else major? Virginians?

    And now we have him throwing his traditional, non-working, multiple child-bearing woman under the bus (clearly with her agreement, however grudgingly it may have been given) to save his closet-case ass. Only it didn’t. Few moments have been sweeter in the memory of American dames. I wave my pasty-decorated XX chromosomes in Bob’s general direction.

  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    After throwing his wife under the bus, this is surely McDonnell’s ultimate humiliation:

    Mr. McDonnell broke down in tears, covering his face with his hands, as the verdict was read. Mrs. McDonnell maintained a serious expression and appeared to fight tears.

    Apart from all the other abuse being justifiably hurled at him, the man is a total wimp.

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @Redshift:

    I vaguely recall a commandment about coveting. And maybe lying …

  89. 89
    Botsplainer says:

    Here’s my gripe about Rivers –

    Sarah Silverman can do biting mean, but she picks on assholes. Don Rickles did asshole, but was playing a character, and the humor was actually in how much of an asshole his character was.

    Rivers picked on people who weren’t being assholes to anybody else. She made fun of them on the basis of their appearance when they hadn’t done a goddamn thing to her or anybody else. She wasn’t clever or witty – she was just an asshole regarding subjective issues of style.

    That’s why I can’t stand her or her little band of sycophants who clapped and giggled like particularly retarded chimpanzees as she lobbed another insult at someone who wasn’t sitting there, ready to tell her to shut her fucking plastic breath hole.

    Fuck her.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Test

  91. 91
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: haha.. I was making a lame joke about his bedroom partner tonight.

  92. 92
    bemused says:

    @Redshift:

    I think what Keith G said at #27, the McDonnell’s being textbook Religio-Conservative Grifters has a lot to do with their hubris too.

  93. 93
    shortstop says:

    Wow, let’s see if I can get this through moderation with a little punctuation moderation…

    Let’s take a moment to raise a glass (mine is Limonata) while we think about Bob McDonnell and women. Bob and vag.ina-Americans have a long, fraught history, of course. First there was Bob’s master’s thesis in which he sermonized about the evils of women working outside the home and bowed down to the sanctity and immutability of traditional marriage. Then there was his opposition to abortion even in cases of ra.pe and inc.est, and his big bear hug for requiring parental consent and ensuring that grown women be forced to listen to his party’s version of “informed consent.” We hardly need remind anyone of the forced vag.inal probe incident. Am I forgetting anything else major? Virginians?

    And now we have him throwing his traditional, non-working, multiple child-bearing woman under the bus (clearly with her agreement, however grudgingly it may have been given) to save his closet-case ass. Only it didn’t. Few moments have been sweeter in the memory of American dames. I wave my pasty-decorated double X chromosomes in Bob’s general direction.

  94. 94
    Botsplainer says:

    @Bob:

    “..because even Terry knows it would be inappropriate to be caught on camera [playing with his boner.]“

    Its the little joys that keep bringing me back here.

  95. 95
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I wonder if Governor Bob is in any way a suicide risk? The crying in court worries me.

    @Elizabelle: Me too. Just to be safe, he should get the Chelsea Manning treatment and be held nude, in a padded isolation cell, until sentencing.

    This is not a man with good judgment.

    The courts agree.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Don Rickles did asshole, but was playing a character, and the humor was actually in how much of an asshole his character was.

    I hate to break it to you, but Rivers was also playing a character. Surprise!

    Rivers picked on people who weren’t being assholes to anybody else. She made fun of them on the basis of their appearance when they hadn’t done a goddamn thing to her or anybody else. She wasn’t clever or witty – she was just an asshole regarding subjective issues of style.

    Rickles picked on people who were sitting in his own audience. How does that make his character less of an asshole than the character Rivers created?

  97. 97
    Sherparick says:

    Well, all the Village was tut-tuting about how this prosecution was a nothing burger that never should have been brought and most predictions were for a “Not Guilty.” Faux news will have a sad:-( (If they mention it at all since it will be around the clock Benghazi!! EPA IRS! ISIL is coming across the Rio Grande!! Because Obama is a wimp, except when he is a tyrant! and he Sucks!!!)

  98. 98
    Suzanne says:

    I know schadenfreude is wrong, but it feels so right. GOD.

    Between this and the cannoli I just got to eat, this afternoon is golden.

    Maybe next Thursday, it can be Chris Christie’s turn.

  99. 99
    jl says:

    The GOPers and reactionaries are all crooks or crazy now. Two items from today’s TPM blog:

    Maine Gov. LePage On The Border: Look At How China ‘Built A Wall’

    Armed Border Militia Mistakenly Confronts Group Of Bat Conservationists
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....ts-arizona

    The movement needs to be institutionalized, in whatever institution is appropriate. After due process, of course. The McDonell verdict is a good start.

  100. 100
    Elizabelle says:

    Headline on the Virginia Pilot website (Hampton Roads, Norfolk, etc.):

    McDonnells found guilty in Corruption Trial.
    Former governor cries as verdict is read for himself, wife

    That will go over well with his former military constituents.

    (And he is former military — Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserves. Plus has a law degree from Pat Robertson’s law school and an MBA from Boston University.)

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Problems with the mobile site?

  103. 103
    Haydnseek says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you for this. I’m an old fart who used to watch her on the Ed Sullivan Show, and loved her. She was an absolute groundbreaker. All stand-up comics, not just women, should mourn her passing. She opened the door. Other female comics have walked through it, and I have no doubt that they will give her the credit that she so richly deserves.

  104. 104
    Mandalay says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    She tried to walk back that statement and to apologize.

    She absolutely did not apologize. She compounded her error by trying to blame the media for her vile comments by falsely claiming that her comments were taken out of context. From your link:

    I am both saddened and disappointed that my statement about the tragedy of civilian casualties was totally taken out of context….I am tired of bearing the brunt of attacks by people who want to sell newspapers or gain ratings by creating a scandal about me that is non-existent.

    I find her refusal to apologize for her remarks even worse than her initial display of bile.

    How the fuck can anyone be directly quoted saying “You’re dead, you deserve to be dead. Don’t you dare make me feel bad about that” on film, and then then try to blame the media? Her original remarks were angry and dripping with sarcasm. She is a hatemonger.

  105. 105
    aimai says:

    @Botsplainer: That was very late in life. She had a long and tough career and she broke ground for women comics. How many people should be judged only by their last few years? Aside from anything else she was probably literally the first woman of her age to be permitted to stay in the public eye. Her and Barbara Walters. I salute them for that. Before these women you got bounced from Hollywood and public view as soon as your tits began sagging. Good for her for finding a market niche and exploiting it. Its not like Hollywood wouldn’t have employed someone else to do the work if she had never existed.

  106. 106
    Trollhattan says:

    @Suzanne:
    Can we bag a Christie-Scott Walker two-fer? Does Bieber love us that much?

  107. 107
    Shakezula says:

    @Mandalay: A-fricking-men. Maybe I’m being hopelessly old fashioned but while it is always nice to see a Republicrook get his, the minute he blamed his wife (later amended to her staff) I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless he went down hard in big, billowy, flames.

    And this fucking shithead pushed ridiculous voter ID requirements to prevent voter fraud while waving a transvaginal probe and letting his psychofuck witchsmeller AG run all over the place looking for gay people and scientists to persecute.

  108. 108
    Elizabelle says:

    Looking over Transvaginal Bob’s education and background, per Wiki:

    he was in the medical supplies business before he went to Televangelist Pat’s law school.

    Maybe he liked the idea of Virginia business having the buy all that ultrasound equipment?

    McDonnell attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on an ROTC scholarship, graduating with a B.B.A. in management in 1976. Immediately following graduation, he served as a medical supply officer in the United States Army for four years. His military posts were medical clinics in Germany from 1976 to 1979, and in Newport News, Virginia, from 1979 to 1981. In addition, he took night classes and received an M.B.A. from Boston University in 1980. After leaving active duty in 1981, McDonnell worked for the American Hospital Supply Corporation, primarily in the custom products regional division.

    And how doubly odd, to be in the medical supplies field, and try to deny your uninsured constituents access to medical care.

    Plus, he worked in the Defense Department’s medical clinics. The military is pretty much socialism in action, but not called that.

  109. 109
    gf120581 says:

    So I guess the “My wife is fucking crazy” defense is not viable, huh?

    Amazing how quickly he’s fallen. Three years ago this guy was a top Veep pick. At one point he was practically begging Mitt to pick him. Now look at him.

    And the curse of the SOTU response continues. Who was the last Republican chosen for that dishonor who didn’t suffer a subsequent career setback…or suffered a setback during the speech (yes, Jindel and Rubio, I’m looking at you).

  110. 110
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I hate to break it to you, but Rivers was also playing a character.

    I never took what she was doing as anything but her.

    Rickles portrayed pathetic, even when insulting his audience. I took his as one which was pretty damned subversive.

  111. 111
    clone12 says:

    I’m not a Christian so someone will have to help on this, is “we will pray for X” more or less of a back-handed passive-aggressive slapdown than “bless his/her heart” when applied to an adversary?

  112. 112
    shortstop says:

    @Suzanne:

    I know schadenfreude is wrong

    Stop right there, sister. Somebody’s been feeding you a large spoonful of malarkey.

  113. 113
    Hungry Joe says:

    My schaden, it is SO freuded.

  114. 114
    bemused says:

    @raven:

    I hate these people who use God as an excuse to do whatever their amoral little souls want to.

  115. 115
    Redshift says:

    Interesting minor point on “reasonable doubt”:

    Count 12: False statement to Townebank on 10/03/2012

    Maureen G. McDonnell: N/A

    Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

    Count 13: False statement to PenFed on 02/01/2013

    Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

    Robert F. McDonnell: Not guilty

    After looking up info about the two counts, for the Townebank loan application, he didn’t include the “loans”. For the PenFed credit union application, they didn’t include them, but then submitted an amendment after Maureen was questioned by state investigators. The credit union official testified that such updates weren’t unusual in general.

    Nice work by the jury, I think. Even though it’s pretty obvious that the second application was as fraudulent as the first until somebody started looking over their shoulders, they technically changed it to be legal through steps that could equally have been done by someone without a corrupt motivation.

  116. 116
    raven says:

    @bemused: And I hate motherfuckers that are intolerant!

  117. 117
    gf120581 says:

    @Sherparick: Fox News will henceforth forget the name McConnell from here on out.

    If he does show up on the network, he’ll have a (D) after his name.

  118. 118
    raven says:

    @gf120581: Not as long as there is a race in Kentucky they won’t.

  119. 119
    Cervantes says:

    @shortstop: Limonata is good. I’m having a seltzer on the rocks. Cheers.

    (Champagne may be appropriate in January when he is sentenced. We shall see.)

  120. 120
    patrick II says:

    While I was in the military service posted out in the middle of nowhere, Joan Rivers came to entertain the troops. She put on a good show, but what really struck me was how nice she was to the troops before and after her gig. The show was outdoors, and so, while she was getting her hair and makeup done outside a bunch of us stood in a circle around her. Others in the show were pretty irritated, but she talked and joked with us and was just very nice. So I always had a soft spot for her after that. In her later years her humor became more harsh and less funny, but back when we were both younger she was as funny and quick as anyone around. R.I.P. Joanie.

  121. 121
    Botsplainer says:

    @aimai:

    How many people should be judged only by their last few years?

    I dunno – how about Betty White, who is completely awesome? She manages to do comedy without being an asshole to people who aren’t assholes.

  122. 122
    Suzanne says:

    @Trollhattan: Maybe if we make extra-large gifts of Alfredo to the FSM….

  123. 123
    Trollhattan says:

    @clone12: Suspect in this case it’s a fill-in for, “Bless his heart” which is a uniquely Southern way of cursing someone while offering a smile and impeccable manners.

  124. 124
    SatanicPanic says:

    @aimai: I don’t know, I find little of value in her later years. I don’t know if I can say having her in the public eye was worth it just because she was pioneering. I mean, Betty White’s managed to do it somehow without being an asshole.

  125. 125
    raven says:

    @patrick II: I saw Bob Hope in the Nam and the asshole had a TV tower that blocked the view of hundreds of troops. You never forget that kind of stuff, good or bad.

  126. 126
  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I never took what she was doing as anything but her.

    Welcome to the world of entertainment, where comedians are actually actors playing the role of “themselves.”

    Also, Transformers don’t exist and you can’t fire two guns at once and expect to hit a damn thing. You’re welcome.

  128. 128
    raven says:

    How about a Joan Rivers thread so we can talk about McDonnell.

  129. 129
    Redshift says:

    @Shakezula:

    Maybe I’m being hopelessly old fashioned but while it is always nice to see a Republicrook get his, the minute he blamed his wife (later amended to her staff) I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless he went down hard in big, billowy, flames.

    See, I didn’t react to it quite that way because it was obvious from the beginning that it was a joint strategy designed to let both of them skate. “I can’t be guilty of corruption because it was all my wife’s doing, and she can’t be guilty of corruption because she’s not a public official.”

    The fact that they were willing to publicly paint each other as awful people on a personal level to beat the rap for their obvious venality and corruption just adds to his appalling record as a public official.

  130. 130
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Atrios suggested that McDonnell should have waited till his term was over to cash in, ka-ching ka-ching, but I dunno. The weirdness of the Virginia governorship — odd-year election, no re-election, limited opportunities to make the transition to the Senate (Mark Warner’s leading Ed Gillespie by 20 points) — perhaps makes it more likely that someone who doesn’t see a political future is likely to open up the office to the highest bidder.

  131. 131
    piratedan says:

    TY ex-Governor McDonnell for setting both an example and a precedent to all GOP governors in this great land of ours. Let us hope that your peers in Gov. Perry, Christie, Walker et al join you in this reaffirmation in the US justice system.

  132. 132
    LAC says:

    @Suzanne: that would be sweet.

    The Mcdonnells’ guilty verdict and Cuban food/girl talk tonight – as ice cube said, today was a good day.

  133. 133
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Trollhattan: You forgot Repub Govenor Rick “Good Hair” Perry, who is facing a trial as well.

  134. 134
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Trollhattan: You forgot Repub Govenor Rick “Good Hair” Perry, who is facing a trial as well.

  135. 135
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: You have to admit though, it’s one thing to make fun of someone who pays to see the person making fun of them vs making fun of someone someone who is just minding their own business at an awards show

  136. 136
    JPL says:

    @patrick II: That’s a nice story.

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I dunno – how about Betty White, who is completely awesome? She manages to do comedy without being an asshole to people who aren’t assholes.

    Betty White is not a stand-up comedian. Compare apples to apples.

    And I’m still trying to figure out why Rivers is an asshole for making fun of celebrities while Rickles is a comic genius for making fun of ordinary people who paid money to see him.

  138. 138

    @Mnemosyne:

    People who break through barriers are frequently assholes — it’s what got them through the barrier in the first place.

    Amen. Larry Kramer, what a prick, but without him we’d have lost an entire generation of young gay men.

    I could go on if I had the time, but…exactly.

  139. 139

    LMAO McDonnell’s wife pitched Antibloc to Ann Rmoney to cure her MS.

  140. 140
    shortstop says:

    @Redshift: Yes to all that — it was clearly a joint strategy executed with an unsubtlety that would make the most heavy-handed courtroom thespian blush — but as I remarked above, it was especially gross considering his record with women in general.

    Also, if I remember correctly, he was given the option of keeping Maureen out of it if he pleaded guilty to one felony count. He wouldn’t do it. The arrogance, overconfidence and sense of entitlement…well, that’s what this trial’s all been about, hasn’t it?

    Loving every moment of this. Don’t anyone believe it when the Village starts moaning, “There are no winners here.”

  141. 141
    MaryRC says:

    @BGinCHI: Yeah, not a fan here either.

  142. 142
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Because some people liked her and some didn’t. Seems pretty fucking boring to me either way.

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    You have to admit though, it’s one thing to make fun of someone who pays to see the person making fun of them vs making fun of someone someone who is just minding their own business at an awards show.

    Sorry, but nobody is just minding their own business at an awards show. They’re there for publicity and to make themselves look good. Nobody is forced to walk down the red carpet.

    Given the massive fawning that awards show coverage spawns, I’m not surprised that people liked to have Rivers deflate some of the pretension that surrounds them. It wasn’t my cup of tea (I prefer to make my own snarky remarks), but I can see why some people liked it.

  144. 144
    JCT says:

    Looks like transvaginal ultrasound Bob got wanded. So sad – couldn’t happen to a bigger asshole.

    And while I was never a major fan of Rivers’ “humor” – she was deeply involved in philanthropy and charity work. Well known in both LA and NYC for being very giving and very, very quiet about it. In particular, her work for God’s Love we Deliver in Brooklyn was really spectacular- a wonderful organization. So yeah, I guess “ding dong the witch is dead” works for some, these charities will miss her.

  145. 145
    hueyplong says:

    The back and forth on Joan Rivers is cutting into the Schadenfreudelicious goodness of this happy news about the grifters being scheduled for later instruction on how long they’ll be plying their grifting trade for much lower stakes in federal institutions.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    Her episode of “Louie” a few years ago was really good (though, as with all episodes of that show, more than a little melancholy).

  147. 147
    bemused says:

    So any bets if Bob and Maureen kiss and make up someday? After all, when you put your trust in the Lord, anything is possible.

  148. 148
    Mandalay says:

    @aimai:

    Before these women you got bounced from Hollywood and public view as soon as your tits began sagging.

    I have never seen her naked, but I am certain that nobody on earth was less likely to have sagging tits than Joan Rivers.

  149. 149
    Trollhattan says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Trying so very hard to not appear greedy, but what the hey? How about bundling the three of them, held to a pallet with strapping tape, like you’d get at Costco. “Member exclusive: three-pack of felonious governors.”

  150. 150
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: So just showing there to pick up an award means it’s OK for people to say mean things about you? What if you don’t like it? Too bad? Attending these things is part of their job. I just don’t think that’s very nice. I mean, just cause they’re famous doesn’t mean they’re not human.

  151. 151
    Tommy says:

    @JCT: I wasn’t always a fan of her humor but she always seemed to me to do her own thing and not care if I didn’t like her humor. How do you not like that?

  152. 152
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    From wiki, FWIW, on Rickles. It was all act:

    It is well known that Rickles has nothing against the people he insults during his routines, and that it’s all just part of the act. Although sarcastically nicknamed “Mr. Warmth” due to his offensive and insensitive stage personality, most know him to be quite genial and pleasant. In addition, many also say that being insulted by him is like “wearing a badge of honor”. Rickles addressed his comedic style and whether he ever feared it might become too offensive in an interview with Jay Leno:

    “You know, every night when I go out on stage, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m not going to offend!”

    When appearing on talk shows, Rickles would notoriously berate and badger the hosts, especially Johnny Carson and David Letterman (two close friends of his), whenever they would accidentally fumble their words or repeat what he had just said. On Carson’s show, he would also provide snarky remarks to Ed McMahon, Carson’s sidekick, about his many marriages, alcohol consumption and fathering children in his old age. He would also call out members of the audience, camera crew, and the on-stage band, particularly Letterman’s keyboardist Paul Schaffer. Despite his on-stage antics, Rickles would often follow up his wisecracks with an endearing and genuine comment about whomever was the butt of his joke (remarking how he and Carson or McMahon were very close in real life), only to usually launch into another insult to further propel the joke.

    Plus, you gotta love a guy who considers Bob Newhart his best friend.

  153. 153
    shortstop says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Have you seen the Mitt documentary? In just about every scene in which she appears, Ann has this expression of barely concealed rage over the lack of deference being paid to Mitt by that brown president and the American electorate. (Talk about entitlement…this woman may be the worst we’ve seen.) When I heard about Maureen McDonnell shilling Anatabloc for AR’s MS, I cracked up picturing AR’s prune face of thinly disguised fury.

  154. 154
    Betty Cracker says:

    Over at the National Review, commenters are lamenting the fact that Eric Holder scored a white GOP governor’s scalp. Tee-fucking-hee.

    @patrick II: Nice story.

  155. 155
    shortstop says:

    @Trollhattan: Like everything else at Costco, it’s just a little bit more than you need or have storage for around the house.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    It’s a sucky part of the job to have to stand there and smile weakly as a comedian makes fun of you but, yes, it’s part of the job.

    I think celebrities should be left strictly alone in their off-hours, but when they appear at a self-promotion event like the Oscars or the Emmys, then they have to put up with the interviewers.

  157. 157
    Botsplainer says:

    @shortstop:

    Like everything else at Costco, it’s just a little bit more than you need or have storage for around the house.

    my wife used to groan every time I came home from Costco. “How much did you spend this time?”, she’d ask accusingly, as I unloaded five pound boxes of strawberries and bags of avocados.

  158. 158

    @shortstop: Haven’t seen it but I can picture the face. I’m a bad person but the thought of that face makes me smile. Outstanding.

  159. 159
    Redshift says:

    @bemused:

    So any bets if Bob and Maureen kiss and make up someday?

    Since the entire “we’re barely speaking” thing was a transparent fraud for purposes of the trial, I doubt they’ll bother to continue it. One of my favorite bits of that act was his testimony that “our marriage is so bad we’re not even living together ever since, uh, this trial started.”

  160. 160
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Botsplainer: If you like Newhart, Marc Maron interviewed him a few weeks ago, and he told the story about the first time Mrs Newhart saw Rickles perform. It’s pretty well known, but longish, so I won’t spoil it for anybody who wants to look it up.

    @shortstop: I hope The Lady Ann wakes up screaming when she remembers Donald Trump giving her a birthday kiss after Stuart Stevens decided they needed the Birther-in-Chief after all.

  161. 161
    PaulW says:

    BP getting nailed in court… McDonnells getting nailed it court… DAMMIT I WANT DICK CHENEY CHARGED ON TORTURE CHARGES RIGHT NOW.

  162. 162
    Elizabelle says:

    @shortstop:

    Don’t anyone believe it when the Village starts moaning, “There are no winners here.”

    Weirdly enough, the chef whose alleged stealing from the governor’s mansion kicked this whole investigation off, said something like that a few days ago.

    Although, personally, I think Virginians won if their public servants get schooled that corruption is corruption, whether the state’s ethics rules are up to the job or not.

    As the executive chef at the governor’s mansion, [Todd] Schneider was a daily presence in the lives of Robert and Maureen McDonnell for nearly two years, until he was fired in March 2012, accused of stealing food from the mansion.

    In response, he turned over documents to the Virginia State Police and the FBI that showed that a wealthy businessman had paid for the catering at the wedding of one of the McDonnells’ daughters.

    … “In the long run, no one won in this,” Schneider said. “Everybody’s lives were ruined, mine included.”

    He didn’t buy the McDonnell defense strategy, either:

    … If Schneider had testified, he said he would have told jurors that from his perspective, he believed the McDonnells were deeply in love and faced no relationship troubles more serious than any couple married for more than three decades.

    … “You could just feel it. You know when you feel something in the air?” Schneider said of the couple’s affection for one another. “Even when the spotlight was off, you would see them being cuddly and in love.”

    Schneider recalled an incident in the fall of 2011, not long after McDonnell’s e-mail to his wife. Schneider and the first lady were drinking wine at the mansion one evening after work, “just goofing off, being silly with each other” when the phones in the historic home began to ring. Schneider said he eventually picked up, to hear the governor cheerfully inquiring “where’s my wife?”

    “They kept tabs on each other,” he said. “They were a married couple.”

    Maybe they’ll get conjugal visits wherever they do time. Unless Bob is romancing his rectory host (and former college roommate; I guess at Notre Dame).

  163. 163
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Do you remember when Mel Gibson made Passion of the Christ and there were a bunch of Jewish people complaining that it or him was anti-semitic? They were brushed off and laughed at, (and maybe some of them were histrionic enough to deserve it) and then Melly boy got drunk and in front of God and everybody went on a rant about the Jews.

    I don’t know if something like that was the case with Joan Rivers, but it very well could’ve been. Just saying.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Mr. Warmth is actually a great documentary. Rickles’ secret of life? He was smart enough to marry a woman who doesn’t find him funny at all.

    But as at least a couple of people have said in this thread, Rivers behind the scenes wasn’t like her public persona any more than Rickles behind the scenes is like his public persona. And yet some people are willing to grant Rickles some depth while insisting that Rivers the person must have been exactly like her persona just because they find that persona to be so grating.

  165. 165
    bemused says:

    @Redshift:

    Con artists who use God as their beard.

  166. 166
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, I don’t know. It seems like Joan was engaged in the classic conservative IGMFY. She made it as a comedian so it was OK to shit on other people for the crime of openly liking themselves or at least appearing to. I don’t know. I understand maybe that she was important as a pioneer, but other than that, I can’t really see anything about her act that wasn’t shitty and mean.

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @A Humble Lurker:

    I’m pretty sure that Joan Rivers (nee Molinsky) would never have gone off on an anti-Semitic rant. :-)

    She did go off on rants against people or groups that she thought were anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. I wish I could say that I was surprised that someone her age and from her background would be so knee-jerk pro-Israel, but I’m not. She also had a very combative persona and would sometimes back herself into a corner for the sake of the fight, which would get her in trouble.

  168. 168
    shortstop says:

    @Redshift:

    One of my favorite bits of that act was his testimony that “our marriage is so bad we’re not even living together ever since, uh, this trial started.”

    And on the way into court today, he revealed that, magically, “[He and Maureen] have never been stronger!” That must have been some high-test “traditional marriage” counseling they got from Father Park-n-Blow.

  169. 169
    Soonergrunt says:

    Cleared it from the Pending queue.

  170. 170
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: Also, I’m not comfortable telling people, no matter how famous “if you don’t like being insulted at work, then get another job” Sounds like something a Republican would say.

  171. 171
    feebog says:

    Roger Ailes has to be pretty pleased that Joan Rivers passed away today. Faux Noose will be all about the passing of JR and the scary boogymen of ISIS/ISIL tonight. Bob Who?

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    YMMV, of course. But keep in mind that no one has to walk the red carpet, and no one has to stop and talk to a particular interviewer if they don’t want to. If you are ever one of the spectators at an awards show, you’ll see how many people bypass the carpet altogether to go straight into the auditorium, and it’s not just the below-the-line people. I think you’re taking Rivers’s schtick a lot more seriously than most of her victims did.

  173. 173
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I just think, there are people who get into the shock-jock scene because they have that kind of sense of humor, and other people get into because they realize they can say the horrible things they think and feel and get celebrated instead of ostracized for it. And others still know what they’re saying is awful, but cynically use it to grift people who don’t think it’s awful. I don’t know which of those three Joan Rivers was, and I never will know, so I’m not gonna guess one way or the other.

    But I will say I think the idea that we have to hang on to somebody when they did good for our team even if they say horrible things or are a horrible person kind of sucks. Pitching a no-hitter is great, and congratulations for accomplishing it, but if you’re beating your wife or running dog fights or spouting racial, sexist, or homophobic slurs or saying people deserve to be dead, just fuck you. You’re not worth it.

  174. 174
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I hadn’t paid much attention to Rivers since she seemed to morph more into reality-TV personality than comedian, one aspect of which was she was always trying to make her daughter into a celebrity. But there are far worse examples of this kind of nepotism

    NBC is bringing in Luke Russert, son of the late beloved “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert, as a regular panelist on the Sunday morning show in a bid to turn around its catastrophic ratings slide, Page Six has exclusively learned.
    Also joining new moderator Chuck Todd’s team will be former Republican congressman and “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough[.]

    We’re doomed.

  175. 175
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    One more bleg for #ACT4MENTALHEALTH. It’s not too late to contact legislators.

    The spectacle of a captured grifter sobbing at being found out is unseemly, and slightly disturbing. May Transvaginal Bob enjoy club fed.

  176. 176
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not just her red carpet though. She was making jokes about how Adele is fat in a Late Show interview. That’s just mean.

  177. 177
    shortstop says:

    Lordy! In all the excitement over BP and the Felons McDonnell, I missed that the 7th Circuit today ruled that the WI and IN bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. First unanimous federal appellate court ruling!

  178. 178
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That kid is dumber than dirt. It embarrasses me to hear him speak.

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @A Humble Lurker:

    I think you can recognize that someone was a pioneer who opened a lot of doors for other performers without having to like that person’s act or agree with what s/he says. Insult comedy is not everyone’s cup of tea and, frankly, I don’t like it myself.

    But it does seem weird to me that Don Rickles is celebrated for insulting people while Joan Rivers is ripped apart for it.

  180. 180
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Elizabelle: YES. Virginia owes Mr. Deeds and his family an apology for being taken in by that fraud and his family. The nation is just fortunate it has come out before the grifters went to a larger stage.

  181. 181
    MrSnrub says:

    @Keith G: I loved that podcast.

  182. 182
    Mandalay says:

    @A Humble Lurker:

    Pitching a no-hitter is great, and congratulations for accomplishing it, but if you’re beating your wife or running dog fights or spouting racial, sexist, or homophobic slurs or saying people deserve to be dead, just fuck you. You’re not worth it.

    This. Eventually all the bad stuff stops being isolated examples of misspeaking, or edgy humor, or being misunderstood, or being taken out of context. At some point that bad stuff finally unmasks the ugly nature of that person you used to like and respect.

    I found myself following exactly the progression you describe with Bill Maher.

  183. 183
    Nicole says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But it does seem weird to me that Don Rickles is celebrated for insulting people while Joan Rivers is ripped apart for it.

    Well, Joan had a vagina. (Which she discussed at length when she finally was allowed back on the Tonight Show, earlier this year)

    I don’t think even screaming liberals fully realize the extent to which our patriarchal culture shapes our views. Mean women are regarded differently than mean men (even when it’s an act).

    She gave a good interview in 2012, talking about being a woman in comedy in the 1960s:
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.c.....son-398088

    Joan Rivers punched herself in her standup as much as she punched red carpet celebrities in her reality show years. For me, she was like Rodney Dangerfield. Not someone I thought of as particularly funny, and yet, at least once, during the routine, they would get me and I’d be howling. I do have great admiration for comics like Rivers who manage that style that sounds like they are just stumbling their way through to the punchline, when in fact it’s all been timed and practiced to within an inch of its life. Tommy Smothers was another one who was genius at it.

  184. 184
    Bokonon says:

    @Redshift: The media’s continual emphasis on visuals — and their treatment of appearances and how things LOOK and SEEM for the camera as being the same thing as reality — just goes to shows the near-total domination of television.

    McDonnell wasn’t no stinking moderate as governor – not unless you compare him to a destructive right-wing troll like Jim Gilmore. Moderation was just his protective camouflage while he pursued an aggressive right-wing agenda – under the radar, instead of in everyone’s face (the way that Gilmore liked to do when he was Virginia’s governor). McDonnell was slick and practiced at the act, and it worked pretty well at manipulating his nice guy media profile, and getting people to turn off their critical thinking accept unpalatable positions.

    Plus, McDonnell got to play good cop to Ken Cuccinelli’s wild-eyed bad cop during their terms in office.

  185. 185
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mnemosyne: I always thought Rickles was a bit racist. For some reason, every time I’d catch his routine he was picking on a minority person in his audience, which I just never found to be very funny. Never liked him.

    I didn’t find Rivers’ joke about Michelle being a “tranny” and President Obama being gay to be funny at all, but I get that that is her type of humor and that she pretty much poked fun at everyone, including herself.

  186. 186
    patrick II says:

    @Nicole:

    As I commented earlier, I had a soft spot for Joanie and some of her self deprecating jokes were hilarious. I remember when a hollywood star, as part of a campaign to help children who were wetting their beds and embarrassed by it, came out as an early bed-wetter himself to encourage them and their parents not to be embarrassed to seek help if necessary.

    Not long after I saw Joanie comment on this and say that people should commend him for his courage for coming out. In fact, she had herself dated a man who had been a bed-wetter.

    Of course he was standing on the bureau at the time.

    Anyhow, I liked Joanie.

  187. 187
    Arclite says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Well, not by his wife.

    I was going to say, he’s staying with a priest, isn’t he? >:D

  188. 188
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t understand the hating on Rivers either, especially when explicitly compared to Rickles or shock jocks like Howard Stern. I didn’t like some of Rivers attack comedy either. But she was willing to attack herself in her comedic persona much more often and openly than I have ever seen Rickles or Stern.

    She was also more open about her personal views, and as often as she backed herself into a corner and got combative, she would try to honestly explain her (sometimes confused) reasons for taking views she did.

    (Edit compare her to Dangerfield, who in real life was such a personality wreck he never went out of character in regular appearances, ever.

    So, maybe she was not my favorite comedian ever. But she was funny and I admired her, even though I did not care for some of her schtick.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Nicole:

    Joan Rivers punched herself in her standup as much as she punched red carpet celebrities in her reality show years.

    Yep. She wasn’t putting herself above celebrities when she made insulting jokes about them — she was dragging them down to her level. That’s why I found it weird that SatanicPanic was seeing it as Rivers doing an “IGMFY” to trash other celebrities. She was never “A” list, her movies never went anywhere, she never really had a TV show (other than her Carson gig and her “reality” shows). Her closest spiritual descendent is probably Kathy Griffin, who also revels in being on the “D” list and therefore being able to say whatever the hell she wants.

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I should say again that I was Not A Fan of Joan Rivers, because I don’t like insult comics. In recent years, I frequently had a Grandma, you can’t say that about people anymore! reaction to things she would say about GLBT or non-white people. But she did open doors for other women, so I don’t understand why people are reacting as though Pat Robertson died.

  190. 190
    Elizabelle says:

    Paul Krugman dialogue with Elizabeth Warren tonight, allegedly streaming via link found in his blogpost.

    7:30 tonight. For those of us tiring of (although happy with) the McDonnell verdict. GUILTY. (Smile)

    Drinking my undistinguished split of champagne.

  191. 191
    CaseyL says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But she did open doors for other women, so I don’t understand why people are reacting as though Pat Robertson died.

    Because (besides the gender issue), she was an Old. Her comedy and sensibility are from another era. She changed with the times to some extent, but not enough; and her schtick didn’t change, either.

    I never particularly liked her humor, but I recognize that that she spoke to an older audience; and acknowledge her role as pioneer. She was a tough old broad, and good for her.

  192. 192
    elftx says:

    Jeebus laughed

  193. 193
    Violet says:

    Very late to the thread but this news on that wannabe President with his fake ass State of the Union response made my day.

    Joan Rivers was kind of a jerk in her later years but she blazed a trail for women in comedy and there are a bunch of female comics who say they are indebted to her. Her earlier work was funny. RIP Joan.

  194. 194
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think you can recognize that someone was a pioneer who opened a lot of doors for other performers without having to like that person’s act or agree with what s/he says. Insult comedy is not everyone’s cup of tea and, frankly, I don’t like it myself.

    Was what she said about Palestinians or Michelle Obama looking like a tranny a joke? Honestly. I’m not being snarky or rhetorical, because that’s what I don’t get. I can recognize a mean or off-color joke as a joke even if I don’t like it, but I’m not sure what the punchline was on either of those.

    I mean, moral shit aside, from a purely practical stand point, if you break barriers for a group, but then turn into a basket case and make said group look bad, what use are you now? Hell, even Fox News dropped coverage of Bundy like a hot potato once it became clear what his thoughts on ‘the negro’ were.

  195. 195
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    OT — pre-Code festival on TCM starts tomorrow.

  196. 196
    beltane says:

    I never found Joan Rivers or Don Rickles to be particularly funny so there’s that.

  197. 197
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Joan Rivers first came upon the scene and I understand why she was important. Problem is, in her early years, Rivers punched up, but in the twilight of her career, she almost exclusively punched down, and I think that’s what some people are having problems with.

  198. 198
    KS in MA says:

    @Nicole:

    That’s a lovely interview; thanks.

  199. 199
    geg6 says:

    @jl:

    I feel exactly that way.

    As a woman, I’m finding it quite revealing to see so much vitriol sent her way for the act that made her successful. She was never more tough on anyone than she was on herself. And every female (and many male) comics owe her just about everything. She wasn’t always my cup of tea, but I appreciate the trail she blazed.

    But all the pearl clutching over poor celebrity fee fees on the red carpet over how badly the celebrity stylist failed and how ugly the free couture gown and shoes and borrowed-from-Cartier-jewels are is the most ridiculous bunch of crap I’ve ever read on BJ. And I include the stylings of Derf and Unlimited Corporate Cash in that assessment.

  200. 200
    Geoduck says:

    One high point of Rivers’ career that has not been mentioned was her voicing the robot Dot Matrix in Mel Brooks’ movie Spaceballs. “VIRGIN ALERT”!

  201. 201
    jl says:

    @geg6:

    ” And I include the stylings of Derf and Unlimited Corporate Cash in that assessment. ”

    OK the stakes are high.

    And to other commenters, if I can gladly take Robin Williams roasting Dub sometimes pretty tastelessly (though I agreed with the substance) , I think I better be able to take a Michelle Obama tranny joke from Rivers, even if I find it tasteless too.

    I think hypocritical to accept tasteless and transgressive humor when the people you don’t like are getting it, then get all outraged when your friends and heroes get the treatment. If someone goes after Barack Obama, as long as not racist or cheap shot, I’m not going to get all outraged. Though, the guy is so regular and normal compared to spectacles like Bush, Cheney, and in some ways Big Dawg Clinton, kind of hard to do much humor on him.

  202. 202
    Groucho48 says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Tweety just did. He’s very concerned that other governors might be traumatized by this and be forced to examine their own dealings because their political enemies will be out to find dirt on them.

  203. 203
    jl says:

    @Groucho48: Tweety needs some safe and sane meds. I wonder if any viewers write to him, gently suggesting that he get a really good shrink to solve some of his issues. Man, he can be a loon sometimes.

    Exactly what about this case will harm out politics because ‘governors might be traumatized by this and be forced to examine their own dealings’.

    Tweety thinks McDonnell hawking quack medicine to his state health department and pressuring them to buy it because some con man was giving him bribes is a good thing? Or, what, exactly?

  204. 204
    Groucho48 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Rickles was gruff. Rivers was shrill.

  205. 205
    slag says:

    @Mandalay: Wow. What an asshole Joan Rivers turned out to be. I had never heard about that statement, but that combined with the MO “joke” really makes it difficult to sympathize. Ick.

  206. 206
    slag says:

    @jl:

    And to other commenters, if I can gladly take Robin Williams roasting Dub sometimes pretty tastelessly (though I agreed with the substance) , I think I better be able to take a Michelle Obama tranny joke from Rivers, even if I find it tasteless too.

    The difference is that joke didn’t just apply to MO but to women, in general. It’s why the whole ‘Ann Coulter is a man’ nonsense shouldn’t fly either. Sexism is sexism no matter who it’s directly referring to.

  207. 207
    slag says:

    WTF, WP?

  208. 208
    jl says:

    @slag: OK. Anything that might be interpreted as sexist transgressive, or retrogressive, or retrograde humor (often the line is fine), you do not like it. That is OK. What I was trying to say was that Rivers was not more guilty of it than many male comics or other female comics, so not sure why she is being singled out for attacks on that basis on the day she dies.

  209. 209
    Groucho48 says:

    @jl:

    Well, he didn’t go into details, naturally, but quickly went to having a generalized sad about the criminalization of politics.

  210. 210
    MaryRC says:

    @geg6: Rivers’ targets were other women and in particular women whose appearance made them vulnerable to cheap shots.

    Most people here don’t seem to remember or weren’t around when her stand-up career took off. The red-carpet stuff that followed later was stupid but harmless; more power to anyone who can make a living out of it. The reason why I never cared much for Rivers’ shtick is that her stand-up career at its most successful point, that made her famous, was a series of “she’s so fat” jokes directed at Liz Taylor or “she’s so ugly/hairy” jokes directed at Christina Onassis, another favorite punching bag.

    Her jokes weren’t very clever. “Christina Onassis is so hairy that seals club her.” “Mosquitos see Liz Taylor and scream ‘Buffet!'”. What made them seem audacious at the time, I suppose, was that they were directed at celebrities, but they were cheap shots. Someone here compared her to Kathy Griffin, but Kathy punches up — Joan punched down.

  211. 211
    jl says:

    @Groucho48: I hope Tweety didn’t go on a crying jag about how ol’ Tip and the Gipper used to git er done. If he did, I think he is in real trouble.

  212. 212
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:
    @MaryRC:

    Hmmm. That’s an interesting point. I guess I never thought of Joan Rivers as a big enough star that going after other celebrities was punching down for her.

  213. 213
    MaryRC says:

    @Mnemosyne: To me the “punching down” aspect was that her victims were in such a vulnerable place. Taylor had lost her stunning looks (and her career), Onassis never had any (her father openly expressed regret that she looked so much like him) and was preyed upon by a series of gigolos, they both suffered from depression — it was like kicking someone when he’s down. There were plenty of jibes made about their looks but Joan made a career out of it.

  214. 214
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MaryRC:

    Ah, okay. I usually think of “punching down” as attacking someone who is on a lower level socially, but saying that Rivers would kick people while they were down makes more sense.

  215. 215
    Indy says:

    Going back to the McDonnell stuff…

    According to a friend of mine who is a local journalist who has been covering the case, the Judge is a notorious hardass, and if he thinks they’ve been lying to him under oath (the marriage stuff) he could give them up to 30 years. They could die in prison.

    My friend says he wouldn’t be surprised if Maureen killed herself, and that it’s all very sad and depressing, and he kind of feels sorry for them even though they brought it all on themselves.

    He said that Kaine and Warner were very professional, but a style difference with the McDonnells was that in interviews and public appearances, they kept talking about the honor and dignity of the office, and referring back to Jefferson and Patrick Henry and all the other patriots of yore that had held it before. They were in this headspace where the governor was a very, very important man filling gigantic shoes, and did he need a rolex? why of course he needed a rolex, he’s a very important man and it would be weird if he didn’t have a rolex.

    Warner never had this problem, as the line is that he never liked the Govenor’s mansion because it’s too small for him, and his actual mansion is like, three times bigger and has Potomac waterfront.

    Mcaullife is evidently as media shy as any Clintonite could possibly be, and simply doesn’t do interviews where you could talk to him like he was a human being. All questions are submitted via email, and then his staff sends back an audio recording of him reading a prepared, scripted statement.
    It’s gotten to the point that local media has started f#@9ing with him and asking him GOTCHA questions about trivial shit, just to rattle his cage. He had a near panic attack when in Q & A after a press conference, they intensely demanded to know wether or not Bill Clinton had eaten a mozzarella stick in front of Mcaullife, thereby revealing Clinton’s damnable lies about his vegan diet.

  216. 216
    Indy says:

    Going back to the McDonnell stuff…

    According to a friend of mine who is a local journalist who has been covering the case, the Judge is a notorious hardass, and if he thinks they’ve been lying to him under oath (the marriage stuff) he could give them up to 30 years. They could die in prison.

    My friend says he wouldn’t be surprised if Maureen killed herself, and that it’s all very sad and depressing, and he kind of feels sorry for them even though they brought it all on themselves.

    He said that Kaine and Warner were very professional, but a style difference with the McDonnells was that in interviews and public appearances, they kept talking about the honor and dignity of the office, and referring back to Jefferson and Patrick Henry and all the other patriots of yore that had held it before. They were in this headspace where the governor was a very, very important man filling gigantic shoes, and did he need a rolex? why of course he needed a rolex, he’s a very important man and it would be weird if he didn’t have a rolex.

    Warner never had this problem, as the line is that he never liked the Govenor’s mansion because it’s too small for him, and his actual mansion is like, three times bigger and has Potomac waterfront.

    Mcaullife is evidently as media shy as any Clintonite could possibly be, and simply doesn’t do interviews where you could talk to him like he was a human being. All questions are submitted via email, and then his staff sends back an audio recording of him reading a prepared, scripted statement.
    It’s gotten to the point that local media has started f#@9ing with him and asking him GOTCHA questions about trivial shit, just to rattle his cage. He had a near panic attack when in Q & A after a press conference, they intensely demanded to know wether or not Bill Clinton had eaten a mozzarella stick in front of Mcaullife, thereby revealing Clinton’s damnable lies about his vegan diet.

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