Elite “Justice”

Vox has a good piece rounding up the special treatment that Epstein received from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.  In addition to arguing that Epstein shouldn’t have to register and go through the same checks as every other sex offender (an argument that astonished the judge, and that the DA lost), Epstein was never prosecuted for not reporting in, even after complaints from the NYPD officer assigned to Epstein’s case.  This is part of a pattern:

Mistake or not, [DA] Vance’s office has faced questions over its prosecutorial decisions before in cases involved the powerful and well-connected. In fact, Vance’s office was under investigation last year by the state of New York for his decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein on allegations of sexual misconduct (despite recordings of Weinstein admitting to groping a woman) before that inquiry was paused. And in 2012, Vance dropped an investigation into Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. for allegedly misleading condo buyersreportedly after receiving a visit from Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz.

I’m sure if Epstein weren’t a rich white dude, he’d be in jail for missing his check-in an astonishing 34 times (since he never checked in at all).  But, in Cy Vance’s office, again and again, there’s a different standard for the rich.






173 replies
  1. 1

    I thought this was going to be the nth thread about Justice Democrats.

  2. 2
    Sloane Peterson's knee therapist says:

    Ah… Ah… Ahhh affluenza! Gesundheit.

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    Vance is up for reelection in 2021. He’s already got a challenger: Alvin Bragg [YouTube link]. I don’t know anything about NYC politics, but it from a thousand-plus miles away, it sure looks like the incumbent needs to go.

  4. 4
    Barbara says:

    I suggest you read the judge’s opinion on Acosta’s conduct in assisting Epstein from having to face the consequences of his monstrous behavior. Opinion

    Share it widely so that everyone understands how the system enabled a serial child rapist.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    I’m sure if Epstein weren’t a rich white dude, he’d be in jail for missing his check-in an astonishing 34 times

    He would never have had an opportunity to skip the first check-in.

  6. 6

    @Betty Cracker: Its seem pretty dirty doesn’t it. Orange One is not the only one that got away from the long hand of justice. So much for the rule of law.

  7. 7
    Wapiti says:

    I was going to guess that Vance was a product of the Ivies. Checked his bio and yup, went to Yale for his undergrad.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    VANCE GOTTA GO.
    PERIOD

  9. 9
    germy says:

    I’m sure if Epstein weren’t a rich white dude…

    So Epstein is white? I honestly don’t know. He was certainly treated white.

    I’ve seen Jewish people here and on other blogs say they’re definitely NOT considered white in the United States.

  10. 10
    Brachiator says:

    Manhattan’s district attorney, Cyrus Vance, said later that the request to lower Epstein’s sex offender status was a mistake, saying in a briefing that summer, “In reaching that conclusion, the People apparently relied on a combination of a mistaken interpretation of the governing legal standards and certain secondhand information about the Florida case.”

    Wow. That’s some bland bullshit possibly covering up a nasty little backroom deal.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    @Brachiator: They’re better at making excuses than they are at their jobs.

  12. 12
    the Conster says:

    I’ve said from the first day of this nightmare that at the bottom of the Trump sewer was child sex trafficking – I mean, Pizzagate was always the tell. The only reason why these powerful men get away with it is because they’re all either in on it, or they’re being threatened with some other kind of kompromat. Look at what they tried to do to Bezos, the richest person on earth.

    If anyone saw the documentary The Keepers, it shows how the system works and hasn’t changed since the 50s and 60s – powerful men from powerful institutions like the church, law enforcement, finance and business – hold each other above the law because they’re child sex abusers. Epstein was clearly the #1 guy for an international trafficking ring. No one earns money like that without being part of a massive conspiracy.

  13. 13
    germy says:

    SDNY says they learned today that Epstein had in a locked safe a foreign passport issued in the 1980s, expired, with a photo that appears to be Epstein and a name that is not his. It also gives his place of residence as Saudi Arabia.— erica orden (@eorden) July 15, 2019

  14. 14
    the Conster says:

    What words put one on moderation these days? Is it mentioning s3x trafficking when talking about s3x trafficking?

  15. 15
    germy says:

    Epstein had a passport with his place of residence listed as Saudi Arabia. Makes it more likely he’ll be detained as a flight risk. https://t.co/SejucilRIf— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) July 15, 2019

  16. 16
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah, last time he only had a write-in opponent. Hope this guy can mount a decent campaign. Vance will have huge dollars behind him.

    @Barbara: Thanks

  17. 17
    the Conster says:

    I’ve said from the first day of this nightmare that at the bottom of the Trump sewer was child sex trafficking – I mean, Pizzagate was always the tell. The only reason why these powerful men get away with it is because they’re all either in on it, or they’re being threatened with some other kind of kompromat. Look at what they tried to do to Bezos, the richest person on earth.

    If anyone saw the documentary The Keepers, it shows how the system works and hasn’t changed since the 50s and 60s – powerful men from powerful institutions like the church, law enforcement, finance and business – hold each other above the law because they’re child sex abusers. Epstein was clearly the #1 guy for an international trafficking ring. No one earns money like that without being part of a massive conspiracy.

    [double comment because the browser keeps wiping out my email address]

  18. 18

    One the morning thread, Gin and Tonic posted a link to a twitter thread that live blogging the hearing. I just got back from the gym and started reading it. It boggles my mind.

  19. 19
    Ben Cisco says:

    @the Conster: Every accusation is a confession. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I have questions!

  21. 21
    TomatoQueen says:

    I wonder whether Cyrus Vance, Jr. is still in office because voters thought they were voting for his father.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Vance. He does not seem to share any of his father’s virtues, or anyone else’s for that matter. Long past time for him to go.

  22. 22
    JohnPM says:

    I guess Law & Order is fiction after all…

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    FLIGHT RISK 😠😠 😠

    🚨 “We became aware today” of a passport issued by a foreign country, in the 1980s, expired currently, with Epstein’s picture but not his name, Rossmiller says.

    — Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) July 15, 2019

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    @the Conster:

    I’ve said from the first day of this nightmare that at the bottom of the Trump sewer was child sex trafficking – I mean, Pizzagate was always the tell. The only reason why these powerful men get away with it is because they’re all either in on it, or they’re being threatened with some other kind of kompromat. Look at what they tried to do to Bezos, the richest person on earth.

    TRUTH

  25. 25
    Barbara says:

    @the Conster: In an article I read yesterday in the NY Post, an Italian model describes how she was auditioning for work with Victoria’s Secret and directed to go to a specific house to talk to a guy who was influential in the hiring process, i.e., Jeffrey Epstein, and when she met with him she noticed a massage table in his office and he proceeded to take off all of his clothes and an assistant handed her a vibrator and told her to get to work. She threw it in the direction of his head and fled. She bumped into a lady with short dark hair (that would be Maxwell) who told her she wasn’t allowed to leave and didn’t she know who this was and he had important friends, like Bill Clinton. So whether they participated or even knew about the sex crimes they used the names of powerful people to keep people like her silent. This woman was so traumatized she returned to Italy. She was 21 at the time.

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    @Brachiator: They’re better at making excuses than they are at their jobs.

    Ain’t that the truth

  27. 27
    the Conster says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Yup. I read somewhere that Q Anon exists for that exact purpose – to provide the squid ink for his base of morons when the news of the Trump syndicate’s crimes break. A church in Boston was just vandalized by one of those hopeless idiots.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    David D’Ag (@jackjonesbabe) Tweeted:
    The very same people who said over and over that Hillary was no better than trump now expect the entire democratic party to pledge blind allegiance to unproven, inexperienced freshman house members. https://twitter.com/jackjonesbabe/status/1150776114752696321?s=17

  29. 29
    germy says:

    Katie Couric and George Steph are good friends with Mr. Epstein, apparently. Have they made any statements?

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: I still have questions!

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    FYI: The judge in the Epstein case is also a licensed clinical social worker.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    since he never checked in at all

    I haven’t heard whether this would be a basis for voiding the nonprosecution agreement, which I believe is Epstein’s main defense.

  33. 33
    jackmac says:

    Dem candidates need need to talk about many issues, but one of the top ones — maybe THE top one — is a pledge to restore the rule of law, strict enforcement of rules and regulations and willingness to pursue wrongdoing no matter the size of anyone’s net worth.

  34. 34
    Chyron HR says:

    @germy:

    They’re better at making excuses than they are at their jobs

    I mean, to be fair, same.

  35. 35
    Van Buren says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I am of the opinion that the internet can work its magic and make the Vance name pretty toxic.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @germy: ‘White’ is an almost meaningless term, used by those in power to maintain power using divide and conquer tactics to control the underclass. Basically it boils down to ‘does the person’s skin color scare you at 20 paces’, and/or will they be reliable dupes for us? Two examples support this.

    It does seem odd to me that many of the supposed Whites now and recently marching for the neo-Nazi cause are from groups that were not considered White by the Nazis themselves. They were not wiped out because their groups were further down on the list of those destined for slave and death camps than the Jews, and the Nazis lost before they were doomed to their fates according the the Nazis long term plans.

    Hispanics from Mexico, Central and South America were exempted from the first immigration quotas in the 1920s. Later they were sporadically on and off quotas, but when they were under quotas, they were seldom enforced. Up until the Great Depression the US had de facto open borders to the South. Why? Well, one reason was that Hispanics were considered a better class of person, more likely to assimilate, better workers, more compatible with US culture than ‘suspect’ and dangerous immigrants like Jews, Poles, Italians, and other Southern and Eastern Europeans. But now, for purely vicious partisan political purposes, the powers that be have turned that all around. And then going back further, the dangerous Irish.

    And as Josh Marshall has pointed out, vicious anti-Semites in power have historically made exceptions for who will be deemed Jewish, to suit their purposes.

  37. 37
    Ben Cisco says:

    @germy: Sounds like a great opportunity to start cleaning up the media cesspool. All their kowtowing for access has contributed to a great deal of harm. Time for the bill to come due.

  38. 38
    Barbara says:

    @germy: Well, Stephanopoulos said on the record that he should not have attended a dinner (I think around 2011), and it is the only time he had ever met Epstein. Katie Couric has been mum. But there are others who are much bigger and more frequent defenders, especially those who have received donations for research and pet causes. They seem to be having difficulty absorbing that their willingness to defend Epstein makes them enablers of a sexual predator.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    @Barbara:

    In an article I read yesterday in the NY Post, an Italian model describes how she was auditioning for work with Victoria’s Secret and directed to go to a specific house to talk to a guy who was influential in the hiring process, i.e., Jeffrey Epstein

    Aside from this entire incident being disgusting, I wonder how people got to intercept women looking for legitimate modeling assignments and re-direct them towards Epstein. Ugh.

  41. 41
    Barbara says:

    @Brachiator: VS is owned by L Brands, which is the company that Wexner was the CEO of. Clearly, he had a deal to send models in Epstein’s direction and he did so through whatever agency or employees he used to retain models. It did not extend to women like Jill Goodacre, the ones who do the notorious VS show that is sometimes broadcast on tv. It was for the catalog and website models, who are paid a lot less and trying to work their way up.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: You hire someone and then send them to be hired by the modeling agency or you hire someone who is already working at the modeling agency and you pay them to divert women to you. Basic human intelligence operation often used in corporate espionage, as well as legitimate intelligence work.

  43. 43
    Wapiti says:

    @germy: Wha…?

    So all of the conspiracy theories of white girls being sold to swarthy Middle Easterners might have a basis in fact, just like Pizzagate?

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    Ponzi Scheme Victims Say Epstein Swindled Them

    Very Interesting. There were a couple of posts here earlier citing some suggestions that Epstein was not as rich as he claimed, and not a legitimate investment advisor.

  45. 45
    Humdog says:

    So, why did Cuomo stop the probe into Vance? Maybe they both need to be dumped in the trash?

    Where has LAO been? The cute pic of her Maggie in the calendar started me wondering, but she may have insights into the Cuomo/Vance matter as well.

  46. 46
    tokyokie says:

    @germy:

    They’re better at making excuses than they are at their jobs.

    Except they consider making excuses to be their job.

  47. 47
    J R in WV says:

    @germy:

    So Epstein is white? I honestly don’t know. He was certainly treated white.

    I’ve seen Jewish people here and on other blogs say they’re definitely NOT considered white in the United States.

    Very true. My aunt Bea probably didn’t feel wholly accepted as white, she was a Jewish socialist. But Jeff Epstein is RICH rich Jewish, and contributes to all the hot fund-raisers around his social set. See the difference? Riches make a big difference.

  48. 48
    Redshift says:

    But, in Cy Vance’s office, again and again, there’s a different standard for the rich.

    Yep. My suspicion in this case with both Vance and Acosta is that Epstein also made clear that if he went down, things would get very unpleasant for a lot of their rich friends and supporters, and it would end their careers.

  49. 49
    ThresherK says:

    @germy: The whole “Is Epstein white” question sorta depends on “Next to who?”, doesn’t it.

    Sorta how George Zimmerman is Latino next to white people, but is “upgraded” to white if compared to Trayvon Martin.

    (I don’t know if I’m kidding anymore.)

  50. 50
    Ben Cisco says:

    @ThresherK: You’re not wrong though.

  51. 51
    Barbara says:

    @Redshift: Actually, I think Acosta was worried about his future job prospects. Apparently those loomed large in his efforts to hang on as Secretary of Labor.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    Trumpsters moving on the next stage in their illegal and unconstitutional plan to cement their power in red states. Court challenges are mentioned in the article to stopit, and I hope they are successful.

    Feds Producing Data For States To Do Anti-Immigrant Redistricting Overhaul
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/citizenship-data-states-redistricting-bureau-directed-data

    And I can’t help but note that the complete fraudulence of the racial claims of the fascists attempting to hijack our country is patent in the story:

    ” Equalizing districts based on CVAP, [Citizenship Voting Age Population} rather than people, would be an electoral boon for Republicans, as the late GOP gerrymandering consultant Thomas Hofeller studied in 2015.

    It “would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites,” while reducing the number of seats that Latino-heavy areas — which lean Democrat — would receive, Hofeller found in the secret study, prepared for a GOP donor. ”

    This guy Hofeller, who understood the data, understood very well that Hispanic is not a racial category. Hispanics can be of any race. In South American there are large populations of Asian and Black Hispanics. The whole ‘White’ versus ‘Non-White’, and ‘Hispanics are a dangerous foreign influence’ is a con and the vicious loons in charge of the scam know damn well it’s a scam.

    And it will be a hilarious and disgusting, and dangerous, spectacle watching unscrupulous flunky judges installed in our judicial system, in the cause of the original meaning and plain text of the Constitution, turn the word ‘person’ into ‘citizen’.

    Edit: and I have to wonder what dirty tricks the concept of CVAP will make possible. Wonder how soon elderly people who want to vote to keep their Social Security and Medicare will find themselves effectively disenfanchised, whether they are deemed White or not.

  53. 53
    Mandalay says:

    @Barbara: From page 6 of your link:

    …the line prosecutor wrote to defense counsel about a meeting outside the U.S. Attorney’s Office: “Maybe we can set a time to meet. If you want to meet ‘off campus’ somewhere, that is fine.

    …On September 17, 2007, the line prosecutor wrote to defense counsel Jay Lefkowitz: “Please send [a document] to my home e-mail address – [redacted] and give me a call on my cell[redacted] so I can be ready for some discussions tomorrow.” (DE 407 at ¶ 29.)

    IANAL but that looks like the prosecutor is making a real effort to keep stuff off the record.

  54. 54
    Redshift says:

    @Barbara: Yeah. Preet Bharara was talking about how one of the most suspicious things Acosta did was to meet alone with Epstein’s lawyers, without any staff or line prosecutors, outside the office. If anyone below the US Attorney did that, it would be a firing offense because it damages then integrity of the entire office. I can’t see him taking that risk to his career just because Epstein was rich.

  55. 55
    Karen says:

    If Vance makes sweetheart deals for Epstein then what will stop him from doing it to Trump?

  56. 56
    patrick II says:

    I remember Cy Vance’s dad Cyrus Vance Sr, who served as SOS in the Carter administration, as being a man of principle. And then I think about Mitt Romney’s dad George, and Andrew Cuomo’s dad Mario. What happened to these sons?

  57. 57
    Redshift says:

    @Redshift: (A firing offense in SDNY, that is; as the link above shows, in Acosta’s office, the fish rotted from the head.)

  58. 58
    jl says:

    @patrick II: Inherited meritocracy does funny things to people.

  59. 59
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @patrick II: Reversion to the mean.

  60. 60
    Barbara says:

    @Redshift: Yes, I know people have focused on meeting outside the office, and that was suspicious, but mostly it was suspicious because it clearly appears to have been done so that Acosta’s own staff wouldn’t know what was going on. Even when they come to your office (for convenience or space issues), government attorneys almost never meet with you alone. They would cancel a meeting if they couldn’t arrange to bring someone with them, especially if they are discussing a plea or an offer of settlement.

  61. 61
    germy says:

    Inherited meritocracy

    Jumbo shrimp

    Compassionate conservatism

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    @Ben Cisco:
    That access is of course used against them. They get access for control. And that’s OK with them because without the access their job is infinitely more difficult, and sometimes impossible. It’s a hook that the knowledgeable use for their own gain. Positive press keeps them in the positive spotlight. And makes them more powerful among their marks. Epstein did this well. drumpf doesn’t do anything well. But they both played the same game. Hell, drumpf may not even have know he was playing. But the scam is to build a character and play it to the limit. Or to be the character and never break because it’s really you. I see Epstein and drumpf as two sides of the same coin, competent and drumpf. It’s not a good coin in the least mind you. But how different are these two to the guy who owes 7 billion in taxes? Maybe different laws broken, different pains to different people, but the concept is the same, a scam to get money and power and sex. Oldest story ever written. Someone wins and usually lots of someones lose.

  63. 63
    patrick II says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Mean in which sense?

  64. 64
    plato says:

    rwnj’s colluding with russia, quelle surprise

    Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups.

    Three people were arrested, two of them near Forli airport. Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized, in the raids.

    The raids were part of an investigation into Italian far-right help for Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, local media said.

    The missile was one of those used by the Qatari army, Italian police said.

    Italian media named those arrested as Fabio Del Bergiolo, 50, an Italian ex-customs officer and far-right Forza Nuova party activist; Alessandro Monti, 42, a Swiss national; and Fabio Bernardi, 51, also Italian.

    The missile appears to be a French-made Matra Super 530 F.

    “During the operation, an air-to-air missile in perfect working order and used by the Qatari army was seized,” police said in a statement.

    On 3 July a court in Genoa jailed three men who were found guilty of fighting alongside the Russian-backed separatists who control a large swathe of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    @jl:

    And it will be a hilarious and disgusting, and dangerous, spectacle watching unscrupulous flunky judges installed in our judicial system, in the cause of the original meaning and plain text of the Constitution, turn the word ‘person’ into ‘citizen’

    Original intent and all..
    that sticky thing of the 3/5 compromise……counting ‘persons’, but not citizens.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @jl:

    This guy Hofeller, who understood the data, understood very well that Hispanic is not a racial category. Hispanics can be of any race. In South American there are large populations of Asian and Black Hispanics. The whole ‘White’ versus ‘Non-White’, and ‘Hispanics are a dangerous foreign influence’ is a con and the vicious loons in charge of the scam know damn well it’s a scam.

    Dead man do tell tales.

  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @ThresherK:
    @Ben Cisco:
    Ben is right. You aren’t wrong. There is a hierarchy in hate like in everything else. It’s degrees and that degree can be subtle or not but it is there. And if you are the in color it’s easy to make those distinctions without even knowing, because it’s so common. Once your guard is up though it’s easy to see. But of corse you have to want to see it.

  68. 68
    germy says:

    Clayton Morris, a former co-host of the Fox News morning program "Fox & Friends," has fled the country amid allegations of fraud from dozens of investors in the Indianapolis area https://t.co/EX5e8zWRRo— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) July 15, 2019

  69. 69
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @patrick II:

    New York society and money happened to them.

    Anyway, I’ve just had a suspicion confirmed – about 7 weeks ago, I was fiddling with a raccoon hole in the eaves. A raccoon family had gotten into the walls, and I rigged a sort of springy thing that would let them out but probably would restrict them from coming back in. The next morning, the Contessa heard some scratching and got to feeling bad about the babies. She told me she wanted them out, but not to starve to death, and wasn’t sure they were big enough to leave. “Open the hole for now”she said.

    It had rained that night, and I set the ladder in the same spot as before. As I’m reaching for my jerry-rigged spring door and started fiddling with it, one side sank and the ladder started going. I managed to do a controlled descent for six feet, but had to leap clear the final four, and came down on my left ankle.

    I thought it was just a bad sprain. Got an X-ray a week later when the Contessa bagged me into it, nada. When the swelling persisted, I had a Doppler run before our flights to Greece (checking for clots), and was clear. I hobbled all over Santorini, Naxos and Athens, and she then bagged me to go to ortho, who sent me to get an immediate second Doppler and MRI for swelling.

    This time, they zeroed in – Achilles’ tear. He wants to operate immediately. I guess I get to wear the boot and ride the scooter.

  70. 70
    Another Scott says:

    @Mandalay: Keep reading. It gets worse.

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  71. 71
    germy says:

    Epstein victim Courtney Wild, standing less than four feet from the accused sex trafficker told the judge: “He is a scary person to be walking the streets.”— julie k. brown (@jkbjournalist) July 15, 2019

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @patrick II:

    What happened to these sons?

    Their dads were successful but the sons probably never actually saw the dad work, they saw the success but not the how. My dad was successful, but I was there with him, watching, learning, being taught on occasion, being put in decision positions and sinking or swimming. I learned the how. In those that you mention that apprenticeship would be almost impossible to do, so they ended up with the name (and money) but not the how. And the how is the important part. Of course one has to at least have basic skills to grasp the how. One still has to have the ability to learn. drumpf knows everything, he doesn’t have to learn anything, so he didn’t.

  73. 73
    germy says:

    Just Posted: How to Live Off Rental Income – Episode 495 https://t.co/xgZkXF8DzL— Clayton Morris (@ClaytonMorris) July 15, 2019

    step 1: defraud your investors— Me (@emerszi) July 15, 2019

  74. 74
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Brachiator: so they couldn’t pick up a phone and get the first hand information? You know, like a normal person would?

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump administration moves to restrict access to U.S. asylum system

    The new rule would require asylum seekers to request refuge in countries they reach before they get to the United States.

    Here we go again. He already tried this, was told it was illegal and now he’s back at it. Apparently hoping for new judges to make a different decision.

    JFC and its only Monday.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    BWA HA HA HA HA H AH AHA H AH

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    Asked whether Trump’s comments were racist, Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, defended Trump, telling reporters he had been responding to “very specific” comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia, and was not making a “universal statement.”

    But Trump didn’t make that distinction in his tweets. He cited “Congresswomen” — an almost-certain reference to a group of women known as “the squad” that includes Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

    “I don’t think that the president’s intent any way is racist,” said Short, repeatedly pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary.

    They suck at making excuses.

  78. 78
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Ruckus: Sad but true.

  79. 79
    BroD says:

    @rikyrah:
    They’re not that good at excuses–see the attempt quoted by Brachiator @ 10.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the president who golfed with Trump over the weekend, advised the president to “aim higher” during an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” even as he accused the members in question of being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.”

    “Don’t get personal. Don’t take the bait,” said Graham. He said Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues “are American citizens” who were “duly elected,” while adding: “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country.”

    Every accusation is a confession.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    @TenguPhule:

    “Don’t get personal. Don’t take the bait,” said Graham. He said Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues “are American citizens” who were “duly elected,” while adding: “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country.”

    HOW did Israel get into this?

  82. 82
    Sloane Peterson's knee therapist says:

    @patrick II:

    I remember Cy Vance’s dad Cyrus Vance Sr, who served as SOS in the Carter administration, as being a man of principle. And then I think about Mitt Romney’s dad George, and Andrew Cuomo’s dad Mario. What happened to these sons?

    Maybe there’s hope for Donnie, Jr. after all?

  83. 83
    germy says:

    @rikyrah: Because of Omar’s mild comment about U.S. lawmakers and Israel.

    People like Graham are still burning mad about that one.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: @rikyrah: The President, who conflates Judaism with Israel accused them in tweets this morning, and just a few minutes ago in a live press gaggle of being anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Basically this is racism in defense of Judaism equated with Israel is no vice.

  85. 85
    C Stars says:

    Twitter just lit up about a press conference happening now. I can’t actually put eyes on the guy without having a severe anxiety reaction, but it sounds like he’s even wackier and more hideously unhinged than usual. Anyone watching? Wanna provide some second-hand commentary?

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    @BroD:
    Doesn’t have to work forever, just long enough. Now of course you may be 100% right, it is an obvious problem, with the wrong solution. But if you aren’t trying to fix it, just hide it, it often works.

  87. 87
    germy says:

    @C Stars:

    Trump, asked if he has concerns that he's using the language of white supremacists and many view his tweets as racist, says: "It doesn't concern me because many people agree with me." pic.twitter.com/C0ranRv6vg— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 15, 2019

    Don’t click on the link, because you’ll see him talking and gesticulating.

  88. 88
    Cameron says:

    @TenguPhule: Elaine Chao? Madam Turtle?

  89. 89
    matt says:

    Our country is so corrupt.

  90. 90
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Just sent a small donation to Jaime Harrison because Graham has apparently lost his mind. Other reasons too, of course, but the demented babbling pushed the button.

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @C Stars:
    Helped a buddy install his new TV the other day, when we turned it on it went to faux news first off with shit for brains center stage on a big screen. I thought I was going to seize up. Managed to change the channel before blood started to shoot out the top of my head. Yeah, I don’t watch or listen to him either. I don’t even want to hear him apologize, I might listen if he was asking to be sent to jail for the rest of his life but other than that……

  92. 92
    Kent says:

    Listened to an interview with Dersh this morning on NPR.

    Un-fucking-believable. The interviewer pressed him on his relationship with Epstein and cited repeated examples of Dersh flying alone and in company on Epstein’s private jet as well as Dersh flying down to Florida with his family on Epstein’s private jet and spending a week at his Palm Beach compound (Dersh says it was for his daughter’s soccer tourney…heh).

    Then Dersh had the nerve to say….”We weren’t actually friends. It was just an academic relationship due to the Harvard connection”

    Yeah. I have taught at the university level. And no, people don’t fly you on their private jets down to their Palm Beach compounds for a week. That is not a thing that actually ever happens in real academia.

    These fuckers all need to be burned out of our national conversation.

  93. 93
    germy says:

    @Kent:

    Listened to an interview with Dersh this morning on NPR.

    So he still thinks he can talk his way out of this.

  94. 94
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Basically this is racism in defense of Judaism equated with Israel is no vice.

    Well at least the ADL is calling Trump on that:

    Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, said Mr. Trump’s use of Israel in his comments hurts the Jewish community.

    “He doesn’t speak for any of us,” Mr. Greenblatt wrote in a Twitter post on Monday. “We call on ALL leaders across the political spectrum to condemn these racist, xenophobic tweets & using Jews as a shield.”

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @plato: Request for the armorer, in triplicate, submitted 72 hour prior to movement.
    Munition requested:
    1 Rocket, no launcher.
    Explanation:
    We have to move light, we’ll throw it at the enemy.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:

    gesticulating

    Watching that is as bad as listening to him. He’s so sure of himself and every time he sticks it in the meat grinder. And no one wants to watch that.

  97. 97
    Barbara says:

    @Kent: I do think Alan Dershowitz is going to find his income as a guest on tv shows will be declining in the next year. It doesn’t seem like much of a punishment, although I bet he will see it as cruel and unusual. For him to say that he never saw underage girls at Epstein’s mansion in Florida takes a special kind of gall. But he has to say it. Once he lets on he knew there were young girls everything in his world risks falling apart or being taken away, even Harvard.

  98. 98
    Mandalay says:

    @Kent:

    These fuckers all need to be burned out of our national conversation.

    You could have stopped that sentence half way through and it still would have worked.

  99. 99
    Brachiator says:

    @matt:

    Our country is so corrupt.

    Don’t worry. Trump is promising to make it more corrupt.

    It’s hard not to be ghoulish about this. Trump isn’t flirting with racism. He is tongue kissing it, right in front of everyone.

  100. 100
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Any connection to Steve Bannon?

  101. 101
    C Stars says:

    @Ruckus: Yeah, I’ve never been a “Trigger Warning” type of person but with him I just…cannot. As the kids say.

    I hate the automatic Fox News thing. It’s ALWAYS ON. Hotels, airports, everything. Which is so weird because as popular as it is, I know a minority of Americans actually believe that BS. Earlier in the year we happened to be in a rental car in North Carolina and every single station was tuned to Fox, or a right wing/fundie “christian”/country music station, pre-programmed 20-channels deep. So I spent about 15 minutes changing them all to local public radio stations, MSNBC, stations operating out of NYC, etc. It was such a small action and it made me feel so happy.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kent: Look up what happened to Dersh’s first wife.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: No, he thinks that he can fly to Israel and claim citizenship under the Law of Return and avoid extradition before they arrest him if things get that far.

  104. 104
    Bill Arnold says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Meanwhile, Trump (&team) appears to have successfully memory-holed his saying out loud, to an audience, that US Jews in the Republican Jewish Coalition have dual loyalty:
    Trump tells US Jews that Netanyahu is ‘your prime minister’ (7 April 2019)

    US President Donald Trump told a group of American Jews that Benjamin Netanyahu was “your prime minister” Saturday, appearing to conflate Jews and Israelis.
    “I stood with your prime minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Trump told a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas Saturday, referring to Netanyahu, who is the prime minister of Israel.
    He also said Democrats “very well could leave Israel out there all by yourselves.”
    While many US Jews are generally supportive of Israel, they have consistently rejected accusations of dual loyalty toward the Jewish state, typically seen as an anti-Semitic canard.

    That’s some serious gaslighting in combination with projection-as-a-tactic.

    I like Adam’s formulation @83, QFT:

    Basically this is racism in defense of Judaism equated with Israel is no vice.

  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cameron:

    Elaine Chao? Madam Turtle?

    Yep.

  106. 106
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    Editing is busted, by “That’s” I mean DJT’s current tweet stream.

  107. 107
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    That’s some serious gaslighting in combination with projection-as-a-tactic.

    Our media is very very stupid. And forgetful.

  108. 108
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    1 Rocket, no launcher.
    Explanation:
    We have to move light, we’ll throw it at the enemy.

    They can be jury rigged into a bomb, so I wouldn’t make light of it.

  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    @matt:
    The country isn’t corrupt. A lot of people in it are, but the country isn’t. We still have mostly reasonable laws. But humans are corrupt and always will be, we have too many points of interference between us. We have differing ideals, or no ideals, we have differing needs and expectations. Some of those expectations are corrupt, usually the ones the corrupt people have. But the country isn’t corrupt. It is on the whole a good place, it’s for sure worth saving from the corrupt people, worth making it better, making it harder for corrupt people to steal every thing from. Look at the pictures on this very blog, from Friday’s marches from all around the country, regular people coming together to fight corruption and hate. It’s not a bad country, it just has a bunch of bad people living in it. And that’s just humanity. It’s not a bad country, we can gather together and protest it. We don’t have to run from it, it’s worth fixing. Not everyone on the planet can say that.

  110. 110
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Israel doesn’t extradite?

  111. 111
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mandalay:
    Guillotines not good enough for you? Would a giant egg slicer be sufficient? :-)

  112. 112
    germy says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Our media is very very stupid. And forgetful.

    They are paid well to be both.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    Now Trump calls Pelosi racist as row over his tweets about Squad roars on
    Alternative headline: fierce, unpleasant debate continues at bottom of barrel.

    Per White House Pool reporters, Donald Trump said it was racist of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to suggest last week that he wants to “make American white again.”

    Then he referred to comments that member of Congress Ilhan Omar (D-MN) made that he said were about al Qaeda.

    Oh dear. Omar has previously seen a spike in death threats when the president attacks her.

    The White House exterior had been packed with supporters, who applauded the president’s comments at the Made in America presentation. Moments earlier, Trump signed an executive order that he said will make “Buy America” product requirements “stronger”.

    They require 95 % of a product be made in country, for steel and aluminum to be considered made in America, and 75% for other products to qualify. Currently the requirement is 50%.

    Then he continued on his warpath with the progressives, when he said “these are people” – he means AOC, Omar and their left-wing allies – “who hate our country”.

    “I’m not happy with them,” he added.

    Live report of Trump’s Shitfest.

  114. 114

    Just gonna put this here, maybe write a post later.

    Anyone remember “Lolita”? It came out, or became available in the US, when I was not much older than Lolita. A lot of “dirty books” were becoming available then, including Henry Miller’s opus. Might be hard for younger folks to think about a time when there was a lot nobody said in public.

    “Lolita” was hailed as part of the opening up of literature to serious discussions of sexuality.

    I was of an age when it was edgy to dip into those books. I read Miller, was unimpressed. But I couldn’t read past the first several pages of “Lolita.” I couldn’t believe that that was okay in any way. I was only a few years older than she was.

    “Lolita” was felt to be great art, and it was by the highly respected Vladimir Nabokov.

    They’ve been doing this forever.

  115. 115
    patrick II says:

    @Barbara:

    Not just the serial rapist, but unnamed others will not be prosecuted — ever. How is that even legal? How does it give the young women an opportunity for justice against not just Epstein, but others who were involved in a pedophile ring. How could anyone go after them if they did not know they existed? Acosta should go away nearly as long as Epstein.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    He’s gone a lot farther than tongue. His pants are around his ankles and he’s smiling.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I have no idea. I know the pro-Russian trolls are dragging all the reporting on this trying to claim that these are pro-Ukrainian forces using doctored imagery, etc.

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    After months of delay, Donald Trump is expected to nominate a successor to Jim Mattis as secretary of defense on Monday.
    It will be Mark Esper, who has been serving as acting secretary of defense since June, when Patrick Shanahan abruptly quit after serving as the acting secretary for six months. Mattis resigned last December.
    The leadership vacuum at the Pentagon has raised questions in Congress at a time of heightened tensions with Iran, the Associated Press reports.
    Once Esper’s nomination is received by the Senate, Esper would step aside pending confirmation. His confirmation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
    In Esper’s absence, the civilian head of the Navy, Richard Spencer, would be acting defense secretary. That arrangement would last only a few days, if Esper is confirmed quickly by the Senate as expected.

    Fuck Schumer for letting him get in so easily.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: I did a post on that at the time.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

  121. 121
    germy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I haven’t seen it, but apparently there was a documentary about the Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman. I don’t know if there was any mention of his activities with underage females, but somehow I doubt it.

    He’s another example of “hiding in plain sight.”

  122. 122
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Its all fun and games until the IED blows up in someone’s face. //

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Remember Crazy Eddie? The guy who used to sell electronics in NY in the 1980s? Where’d he run too to escape prosecution? Israel. Why, because he claimed Right of Return.

    My personal opinion is that this is also Jared and Ivanka’s escape plan too.

    Finally, Dersh has long been considered to be, at least, an unofficial Israeli asset, but an Israeli asset nonetheless. That’s where he’s running and that’s who will protect him if he has to run.

  124. 124
    Mike in NC says:

    Somebody I know on Facebook posted a photo of Lindsey Graham tagging along with Pence at the border. He was looking over a group of detainees in an odd manner, as if trying to pick out a potential cabana boy.

  125. 125
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Yeah, good pieces, I’m just more than a bit irritated that no press (that I’ve seen so far) on DJT’s current accusations mentions that RJC statement.

  126. 126

    @Cheryl Rofer: My classics book club at the Library read Lolita a couple of years ago. I did not participate because I couldn’t get beyond a few pages.

  127. 127
    Barbara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’ve read Lolita twice. It’s hard going, for sure. Humbert Humbert, the protagonist, is never presented as a hero. Somebody with a conscience rescues Lolita from Humbert, but not from the consequences of having been abused. A book published a few years ago, “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara, is vastly different in style but when I read it I couldn’t help thinking about it as a counterpoint to Lolita, because it was told through the child’s perspective. She also wrote People in the Trees, which is a fictional account of the story of D. Carleton Gajdusek, a serial child rapist who just happened to be a Nobel prize winning scientist.

  128. 128
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    My personal opinion is that this is also Jared and Ivanka’s escape plan too.
    Finally, Dersh has long been considered to be, at least, an unofficial Israeli asset, but an Israeli asset nonetheless. That’s where he’s running and that’s who will protect him if he has to run.

    Are there any other countries that the US is very friendly with that do not extradite to the US?
    (I know, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_extradition_treaties, but it’s a lot of reading.)

  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    Serious political types still sort of dismiss theories of Trump consolidating power through blackmail and threats as too fantastic to consider, even though we’ve now seen proof of it with Trump associates Cohen, Pecker, Epstein and probably some I’m forgetting about.

    — Schooley (@Rschooley) July 15, 2019

    Don’t forget, the Preacher, the Poolboy, his wife, and pictures

  130. 130
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I remember Crazy Eddie; I couldn’t escape his commercials. I was vaguely aware he ended up in some criminality, but forgot the details. So all along he was crazy like a fox…

  131. 131
    Barbara says:

    @patrick II: Yes, indeed, it reads like the settlement of a civil lawsuit. It truly shocks the conscience. The least Acosta could have done was make that deal as narrow as possible, given the generosity of foregoing an indictment that could have resulted in a life in prison. Acosta either didn’t know what he was doing or was considering his own interests.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: There were only four viable options for a proper Secretary of Defense nomination:
    1) Esper or Spencer as the only surviving Senate confirmed Service secretaries. Basically a promotion.
    2) LTG (ret) Keane. Very conservative, but also reported of being an informal external advisor to Secretary Clinton when she was running State.
    3) Senator Cotton
    4) Secretary Pompeo.

    Options 3 and 4 are unacceptable. Pompeo at State is bad enough. Either he or Cotton as SecDef would be catastrophically dangerous. LTG Keane would be okay. He knows and understands the DOD and the Services. Esper and Spence are really the best that could be hoped for at this point.

  133. 133
    germy says:

    @Mike in NC: [Ed McMahon voice]: “Hey oh!”

  134. 134
    Barbara says:

    @Bill Arnold: Switzerland doesn’t extradite for most of the offenses for which people flee to Switzerland, that is, financial crimes. That’s how Marc Rich was able to escape U.S. jurisdiction. A lot of countries, including Canada, will not extradite to the U.S. if a person faces the death penalty or other judicial processes that are deemed to be unfair in the country where they ended up.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m very aware.

  136. 136
    opiejeanne says:

    @C Stars: Trump is Mad Lord Snapcase.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Drinking from the firehose effect. Too much noise to focus on the actual signal or signals.

  138. 138
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Every accusation is a confession. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    Well, there’s this. One could seriously argue that the US authoritarian right is socialist, but “communist” would be a stretch. Unless they have an alt definition of communism which applies to them, which is possible and would save the Law of Republican Projection.
    Graham declines to condemn racist Trump tweets and calls Democratic congresswomen ‘a bunch of communists’ (Devan Cole, Mon July 15, 2019)

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: As someone who has no plan to escape extradition back to the US, I do not keep a memorized list.

  140. 140
    Tom Q says:

    Getting in on this a bit late, but, for those wondering why NYers elected such a seemingly corrupt guy as Vance:

    1) He ran originally as the progressive alternative to a woman who was pushing for stuff like more death penalty prosecutions. And of course Vance’s father was highly regarded.

    2) By the time the Javanka/Weinstein stuff emerged in 2017, Vance had already won the renomination primary. The only recourse voters had was to check the write-in option with a specific name. I did this (thanks to a friend who had info on the guy running), but this opponent had no money and extremely limited time (a few weeks, at most), which made it an impossible task.

    3) I never saw any specific media reports about how many write-in votes were cast, but I caught a murmured “maybe as many as 50,000” from a local TV station. Far from enough to do the job, but indicative of how vulnerable he might be with a legitimate campaign not hobbled from the start.

    4) I think the Epstein thing on top of this should do him in. Manhattan, as we know, is anti-Trump ground zero, and Vance is looking more and more like someone who can be lashed to Trump associates.

  141. 141
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Schumer should still make McConnell work for it. Not making it easy for him.

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Now Trump calls Pelosi racist as row over his tweets about Squad roars on
    Alternative headline: fierce, unpleasant debate continues at bottom of barrel.

    Some radio talk show host was furiously trying to turn this into “both sides are at fault.” I had to turn the radio off, just too much bullshit.

    I suspect that this is, for now, the official right wing talking point to try to soft pedal a defense of Trump.

    Per White House Pool reporters, Donald Trump said it was racist of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to suggest last week that he wants to “make American white again.”

    Trump can’t be racist. He’s too busy being racist.

  143. 143
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Here’s his obit from The Times of Israel. The Israelis did, eventually, extradite him back to the US for trial.
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/eddie-antar-one-time-crazy-eddie-and-fraudster-dead-at-68/

    Eddie Antar, one-time ‘Crazy Eddie’ and fraudster, dead at 68
    After the electronics retail magnate’s empire collapsed in fraud allegations, he briefly fled to Israel in 1990 with some $50m
    By AP
    12 September 2016, 2:54 am

    OCEAN TOWNSHIP, New Jersey — The man who turned the Crazy Eddie electronics stores into a retail giant before it collapsed amid federal fraud charges has died. Eddie Antar was 68.

    The Bloomfield-Cooper funeral home in Ocean Township, New Jersey, confirmed Sunday that Antar, who was Jewish, died Saturday. A cause of death wasn’t disclosed.

    The Crazy Eddie chain was known for its ads featuring a maniacal pitchman who touted “Our prices are insane!”

    Antar opened his first store in Brooklyn in 1971, and the chain eventually grew into 43 stores. But in 1987, federal prosecutors began proceedings against him for suspected fraud on a massive scale.

    He fled to Israel in 1990 after being indicted on securities fraud and insider trading charges, settling in Yavne. Some $50 million of funds that prosecutors suspected were embezzled from his company were laundered through Israeli and Panamanian banks before he left the US.

    Antar was extradited to the United States in 1993 and was convicted on racketeering and stock fraud charges. That was overturned in 1995.

    He eventually pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in 1997 and served two years in prison.

    Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

  144. 144
    Humdog says:

    My 7th grade English teacher assigned, just to me, Lolita and Brave New World. I found them very disturbing, but dutifully read them through. I did wonder why he wanted to meet me at lunch in the wood shop room to talk about the books, until I realized there were no windows at person level in wood shop. He chased me around the room until I found my way to the door.
    Lolita, particularly, in its somewhat sympathetic viewpoint toward Humbert’s Desires, can be used to prepare someone for abuse.

  145. 145
    Captain C says:

    @germy: It’s easier to pass when you’re a billionaire with blackmail material in your safe.

  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Graham declines to condemn racist Trump tweets and calls Democratic congresswomen ‘a bunch of communists’ (Devan Cole, Mon July 15, 2019)

    Wasn’t Putin a communist? Isn’t Kim still a communist? Doesn’t Trump talk about the beautiful love letters he and Kim exchange? Doesn’t this make Trump a commie lover?

  147. 147
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I don’t disagree.

  148. 148
    jl says:

    @rikyrah: The history of ‘persons’ is ugly. But in representative democracy, apportionment and representation needs to be in terms of persons not citizens. So, I’m not going to slam the concept of it based on the ugly origins of the idea.

    And, important to remember that we have forgotten our history. US citizenship was not an ironclad gold standard for participation in the political system at state and local levels for most of our history. Many states explicitly allowed people who did not have US citizenship to vote in local and state elections. Establishing minimum residency requirement was more important. IIRC, Alabama was the last state to require US citizenship to vote in state and local elections. The idea of allowing people who were not citizens to vote was wiped out during the Great Depression, but the root cause was more about economic reasons: too many people not enough jobs, so we had to find an excuse to get rid of people ad try to keep people out.

    We can’t have open borders now because of the risk of terrorism and more powerful techniques for espionage ,and I guess since rise of Trumpsters, big money and cyber foreign government influence in elections. But most of US history was built on open borders, with a much more relaxed attitude towards citizenship criteria for participation in US political life.

    The BS about losing the country’s identity, danger to our way of life, what the Founders intended, is a scam BS a damned lie. Full stop, Period. End of Story.

  149. 149
    Cameron says:

    @germy: Was he the one who married his son’s girlfriend? And leave us not forget the intergenerational, intrafamilial hijinx some years back at that institute of conservative decorum, Hillsdale College.

  150. 150
    Martin says:

    @Ruckus: I think your argument is getting steadily weaker given court upholding of gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. We’re shockingly close to a point where you can overtly bribe the President and USSC is saying ‘no problem’ given that Congress’s options for oversight are unclear and becoming more restricted, and Trump controls the DOJ. So far the WH has gotten away with ‘absolute immunity’. Congress doesn’t know how to enforce subpoena because there’s no DOJ independence.

    The institutions that protect the US from corruption are pretty busted, and each test is currently more likely to remove protections than to uphold them. Additionally, a democracy that is structured for minority rule through gerrymandering, census manipulation, etc. is inherently corrupt as a democracy.

  151. 151
    Barbara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s not like Israel wants to be saddled with the worst of our worst, but its laws were drafted through a very different lens. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/2014/02/24/35055de4-9d74-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html?_=ddid-5-1563215100&utm_term=.aeeaed5fdcb4

  152. 152
    PJ says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I thought Lolita was overrated (the prose is noxiously flowery), but it’s a serious work of moral fiction. Humbert Humbert, the narrator (and pedophile), sees himself as a sensitive aesthete who is genuinely concerned with Lolita’s welfare, but the reader sees that he is deluded, close-minded, controlling, narcissistic, vicious, cruel, and ultimately murderous. If he has a saving grace, it’s that, by the end of the book, he realizes that he is a monster.

  153. 153
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The “maniacal pitchman”, BTW, wasn’t Antar himself, but an actor and former radio DJ.

  154. 154
    rikyrah says:

    @Wapiti:

    @germy: Wha…?

    So all of the conspiracy theories of white girls being sold to swarthy Middle Easterners might have a basis in fact, just like Pizzagate?

    the movie Taken….now, considered a documentary

  155. 155
    Kent says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Wasn’t just Lolita.

    Back in the 80s there were a shitload of voyeristic borderline child porn movies using underage actresses like Brooke Shields as a 12 year old child hooker in Pretty Baby and Blue Lagoon, Jodi Foster in Taxi, also as a 12 year old hooker, Mariel Hemmingway in Manhattan, Nastassja Kinski in Tess (by Roman Polanski no less) and so forth.

    Older men have always been creeps about younger girls and have had no shame about it pretty much forever.

  156. 156
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    But most of US history was built on open borders, with a much more relaxed attitude towards citizenship criteria for participation in US political life.

    The US seemed bigger and emptier. We still have lots of room, but perceptions have changed immensely.

    The BS about losing the country’s identity, danger to our way of life, what the Founders intended, is a scam BS a damned lie. Full stop, Period. End of Story.

    Totally agree with you on this point.

  157. 157
    PJ says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This reminded me of the Samuel Sheinbein/Freddie Tello case (where a Jewish teenager and his friend murdered and chopped up another friend, and he then fled to Israel, where the Israeli Supreme Court blocked extradition), but according to Wikipedia you also have to be considered an Israeli “resident” now to avoid extradition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Sheinbein I have a feeling some exception would be made for Dershowitz and the Kushners.

  158. 158
    germy says:

    @Kent: And The Blue Lagoon was based on a novel from 1908. There was a Broadway play based on it in the 1920s. (I only know this because I read a collection of Robert Benchley theater criticism essays.)

    The ’20s Broadway play was probably racier than the 1980 movie. (Benchley mentions the lack of costumes.)

  159. 159
    Brachiator says:

    @Kent:

    Back in the 80s …

    Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of Lolita is a great film (and yes, problematic for many viewers). Taxi Driver was released in 1976. Manhattan and Tess were both released in 1979. I’m not too sure what you would do about Hardy’s 1891 novel, the source of Tess. Life and literature can be complicated.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    Trump can’t be racist. He’s too busy being racist.

    Its banana pants, now their official defense is that only offenses against white people are racist. You can’t make this shit up.

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    Wasn’t Putin a communist? Isn’t Kim still a communist?

    FOX News has rehabilitated them into socialists. I wish this was a joke.

  162. 162
    Barbara says:

    @PJ: I posted a link about this too. A lot of Israelis were just as disgusted about that case as people in the U.S. were. Sheinbein was a psychopath. His father was disbarred for helping him escape. If Epstein has actually been working for the Israeli government then I don’t know what would happen, but I can’t believe many Israelis would welcome him to their country with open arms.

  163. 163
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barbara: I’m quite aware.

  164. 164
    Kent says:

    @Brachiator: Well, OK, 70s and 80s. Point is, older men have been doing this voyeristic borderline pedophile stuff in film and literature since pretty much forever.

    I teach HS students and this stuff just creeps me out. I can’t even imagine trying to have a relationship with a teen. What would you even talk about? The latest tiktok vine?

  165. 165
    tokyokie says:

    @PJ: I think your optimism is based on Israel not having a corrupt, kleptocratic government, and as long as Netanyahu is prime minister, that definitely is not the case.

  166. 166
    NY Robbin says:

    @germy:

    Well, NPR (Nice Polite Republicans) is doing its best to help him . . .

  167. 167
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kent:

    The latest tiktok vine?

    Man, I’m so old, I still think Tiktok is the mechanical man in the “Wizard of Oz” books. So what a “tiktok vine” would be, boggles me completely.

  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    @Kent:

    Well, OK, 70s and 80s. Point is, older men have been doing this voyeristic borderline pedophile stuff in film and literature since pretty much forever.

    Marguerite Dura’s, “The Lover.” And also “Story of O.”

    I note your concerns, but transgressive literature is not solely the domain of older men.

  169. 169
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Wasn’t Putin a communist? Isn’t Kim still a communist?

    FOX News has rehabilitated them into socialists. I wish this was a joke.

    Wow. And yet these same dopes will say that Wilmer is dangerous because he is a socialist. Fox News and their fellow travelers are masters of this shit. They will lie, distort the facts, contradict themselves in order to protect Republicans and right wing conservatives.

  170. 170
    laura says:

    @patrick II: Sheesh patrick II, There. Never. Was. A. Plan. For. Justice. For. Girls.
    Do you not understand misogyny?
    Women aren’t people.
    Girls aren’t people.
    They are things to be used and disgarded.

  171. 171
    Barbara says:

    @Kent: I think it creeps most people out, however, at least with Lolita, I do feel that Nabokov had a lot of insight into how men are able to rationalize preying on young girls. One of the most dishonest aspects of the movie made of the book is that the actress (Sue Lyon) who played Lolita was definitely older than the 12 year old child in the book.

    Found this:

    When she was 14 years old, she was cast in the role of Dolores “Lolita” Haze in Stanley Kubrick’s film Lolita (1962). She was chosen for the role partly because the film makers had to alter the age of the character to an older adolescent rather than the 12-year-old child Lolita in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita novel. Though Kubrick’s film altered the story so as not to be in violation of the Hollywood Production Code, it was still one of the most controversial films of the day.

  172. 172
    Shana says:

    @Sloane Peterson’s knee therapist: What’s that saying? “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

  173. 173
    soga98 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    If Meyer Lansky could do it…

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