Saturday Morning Open Thread: Call Him Jared

I particularly love the other two dogs, giving Mr. Happy Laps the hairy eyeball — and a wide berth.

Apart from maybe hitting the pool, what’s on the agenda for this summer weekend day?

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Speaking of ludicrous instinctive actions from an organism not bred for critical thinking…

Jared Kushner failed to disclose dozens of financial holdings that he was required to declare when he joined the White House as an adviser to President Trump, his father-in-law, according to a ­revised form released Friday.

A separate document released Friday also showed that Kushner’s wife, presidential daughter Ivanka Trump, had been paid as much as $5 million from her outside businesses over an 84-day span this spring around the time she entered the White House as a senior adviser and pledged to distance herself from her private holdings.

And they both continue to draw large sums from outside interests: The couple has jointly made at least $19 million in income from business ventures and listed more than $80 million in real estate and other revenues since the start of 2016, the documents show…

Ivanka Trump also listed ­receiving $2.4 million in hotel-related revenue from the Trump International Hotel in Washington. She said she earned $787,500 from a publisher’s advance for her book “Women Who Work,” which debuted in May. And she reported $2.5 million in salary and severance from her “continued participation in employer-sponsored 401(k) plan” of Trump Payroll Corp., a side entity that handles Trump Organization wages.

For his part, Kushner earned millions from his family’s real estate over the past year, his filing shows. He pulled in between $1 million and $5 million between January 2016 and March 9 of this year from BFPS Ventures, a holding company valued at between $5 million and $25 million.

An earlier version of Kushner’s disclosure form described BFPS as a company focused on “real estate in New York.” However, public documents revealed, and Kushner’s legal team later confirmed, that it held a wide range of entities, including an Oklahoma oil and gas firm that has been sold…



Gimme some money

I’ve been traveling the past few weeks, but I’m back and I want to keep raising money for the midterm elections.

You can donate here to every Democratic nominee for the House who runs against a Republican incumbent.

Goal Thermometer

You can donate here to the guy running against Paul Ryan (Randy Bryce).

Goal Thermometer








Friday Morning Open Thread: Got Plans for Next Weekend?

Trollin’, trollin’, trollin’…


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As we brace for the predictable Friday News Dump, what’s on the agenda for the day?


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And if we ever get a break from the cascade of healthcare / Russiagate newsbursts, let’s not forgot Kansan Kris Kobach’s openly fraudulent Voter Fraud Commission…



Schadenfreude Read: “Whose side are you on? Separate lawyers defend Trump, aides”

From the AP:

As the government’s Russia investigations heat up, a growing cast of lawyers is signing up to defend President Donald Trump and his associates. But the interests of those lawyers — and their clients — don’t always align, adding a new layer of drama and suspicion in a White House already rife with internal rivalries.

Trump himself has both an outside legal team and a new in-house special counsel, Ty Cobb, for Russia-related matters. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, has a pair of high-powered attorneys working for him. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., recently hired his own lawyer. And former campaign aides who expect to be caught up in the expanding probes are also shopping for representation — and dealing with sticker-shock over the price tags.

The result is a crowded group of high-priced attorneys bent on defending their own clients, even if it means elbowing those clients’ colleagues…

In Trump’s inner circle, a group long split into factions, the potential for fueling other officials’ legal difficulties could be high.
Read more



Friday Morning Open Thread: Pressure Upon Their Most Precious, Sensitive Area

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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Namely C.R.E.A.M.! You thought things were tense between the GOP and Trump before? The Washington Post drops a little zinger in a long story about Trump’s beleagured legal team…

The challenge for President Trump’s attorneys has become, at its core, managing the unmanageable — their client.

He won’t follow instructions. After one meeting in which they urged Trump to steer clear of a certain topic, he sent a tweet about that very theme before they arrived back at their office.

He won’t compartmentalize. With aides, advisers and friends breezing in and out of the Oval Office, it is not uncommon for the president to suddenly turn the conversation to Russia — a subject that perpetually gnaws at him — in a meeting about something else entirely.

And he won’t discipline himself. Trump’s legal team, led by Marc E. Kasowitz of New York, is laboring to underscore the potential risk to the president if he engages without a lawyer in discussions with other people under scrutiny in widening Russia inquiries, including Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser…

Another question is who will pay the legal fees for the president and administration officials involved in the Russia inquiries. Some in Trump’s orbit are pushing the Republican National Committee to bear the costs, said three people with knowledge of the situation, including one who euphemistically described the debate as a “robust discussion.”

Although the RNC does have a legal defense fund, it well predates the Russia investigations and is intended to be used for legal challenges facing the Republican Party, such as a potential election recount.

The RNC has not made a decision, in part because the committee is still researching whether the money could legally be used to help pay legal costs related to Russia. But many within the organization are resisting the effort, thinking it would be more appropriate to create a separate legal defense fund for the case.

RNC officials declined requests for comment. The White House has not said whether Trump, Kushner and other officials are paying their legal bills themselves or whether they are being covered by an outside entity…

Of course, Donald Trump has never voluntarily paid for anything in his life. But now he’s a loose cannon, and it’s becoming ever more obvious that when Putin decided to ratfvck the 2016 elections, he spread a net wide enough to entrap quite a few of the highest profile Repubs now in office. Do Ryan, McConnell, and Priebus bite the bullet and raid the Party’s bank account to keep Lord Smallglove’s flapping mouth a little further along from Mueller’s ears? And even if they do throw good money after bad, will it be enough to at least give them time to coordinate some more believable alibis?

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Apart from waiting for the usual Friday doc dump, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Thursday Evening Open Thread: The Gang That Couldn’t Grift Straight

Forty-odd years of being carefully nursed by right-wing billionairs has really ruined the GOP grifters’ criminal stamina. Sure, Tricky Dick’s CREEPsters and St. Ronnie’s Iran-contra thugs were dumb and impulsive, but they didn’t break down like wet toilet paper at the first sign of exposure!

Apart from always wearing rubber gloves while dealing with Repubs, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
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Russiagate Thread: 400-Pound Guy on A (Beauty Pageant) Bed

With the Trump crime cartel, sooner or later, it always comes back to dirty money. Kudos to the Washington Post, “Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian lawyer during presidential campaign after being promised information helpful to father’s effort”:

In his statement, Trump Jr. said he was approached about the meeting by an acquaintance he knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

He did not name the acquaintance, but in an interview Sunday, Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who is friendly with Trump Jr., told The Washington Post that he had arranged the meeting at the request of a Russian client and had attended it along with Veselnitskaya.

Goldstone has been active with the Miss Universe pageant and works as a manager for Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star whose father is a wealthy Moscow developer who sponsored the pageant in the Russian capital in 2013.

Goldstone would not name the client. He said Veselnitskaya wanted to discuss ways that Trump could be helpful about the Russian government’s adoption issue should he be elected president…

Veselnitskaya’s client roll includes individuals and companies close to the Kremlin. She has for the past several years been a leading advocate around the world to fight Magnitsky Acts, sanctions intended to rebuke Russia for human rights abuses. The acts are named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died under mysterious circumstances in a Moscow prison in 2009 after exposing a corruption scandal…

That evening, a film critical of the Magnitsky sanctions — and the story behind them — showed at the Newseum. On June 15, Veselnitskaya was featured on the Sputnik News website criticizing the sanctions and its leading advocate, William Browder, a financier who left Russia a decade ago amid concerns about corruption, including that exposed by Magnitsky, the lawyer and auditor he had hired.

Browder led the lobbying for the Magnitsky Act’s passage in 2012, a vote that infuriated Putin, leading the Russian leader to retaliate by halting American adoption of Russian children. The adoption issue is frequently used as a talking point by opponents of the Magnitsky Act, Browder said.

It’s all D-list infotainment until some “enemy of the state” dies while in custody…