Late Night Horrowshow Open Thread: “A man with no fixed address”

Dolt45’s Brain (Bane?) as described by the Washington Post:

In the three years before he became Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency…

He owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver’s license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife.

At the same time, he routinely stayed in Washington and New York as he engineered the expansion of Breitbart News and hosted a live Breitbart radio program. By 2015, Bannon stayed so often at Breitbart’s townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill that he kept a picture of a daughter on a mantle piece, beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln…

The issue of Bannon’s legal residency has been simmering since last summer, shortly after he became chief executive of Trump’s campaign. The Guardian reported in an Aug. 26 story that he was registered to vote at a then-vacant house and speculated that Bannon may have signed an oath that he was a Florida resident to take advantage of the state’s lack of state income taxes. In California, where Bannon had lived and owned property for more than two decades, income tax can exceed 12 percent…

In the digital age, when most Americans leave a clear footprint of their whereabouts, Bannon left a meandering trail filled with ambiguity, contradictions and questions. The Post found that Bannon left a negligible footprint in Florida. He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California.

Bannon’s former wife occupied the premises, according to a landlord and neighbors.

At the same time Bannon said he was living with his ex-wife, she was under investigation for involvement in a plot to smuggle drugs and a cellphone into a Miami jail, a law enforcement document obtained by The Post shows…

The two were married in 2006, when Bannon was 53 and Clohesy was 36. They divorced in California in 2009. She had moved to Florida in 2008, “starting a new life in Miami,” Bannon said in court papers during the divorce. But the two remained in touch, and she worked on three political documentaries he directed in 2011 and 2012…

The $4,900 monthly rent was a big jump for Clohesy, who declared on the lease application that her most recent apartment had cost her $950 a month, documents show. But by his own account, Bannon could afford it.

He stated on the application that he earned $750,000 a year as chairman of Breitbart News Network, a figure that has not been previously reported. He also earned $270,000 as executive chairman of Arc Entertainment, a film distribution company based in Santa Monica, Calif.

In addition, Bannon received about $100,000 in salary that year as part-time chairman of the Government Accountability Institute, a new nonprofit charity in Tallahassee, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Bannon, two Breitbart writers and other conservative activists had launched the organization a year earlier and it produced reports and books that were promoted by Breitbart. Bannon claimed he worked 30 hours a week at GAI, according to IRS filings…

On April 2, 2014, more than a year after Bannon signed the lease on the residence in Coconut Grove, he registered to vote in Florida and listed the Opechee Drive address as his legal home. Bannon did not have to show an ID to register. He provided the last four digits of his Social Security number to verify his identity.

One of the allures of Florida is its zero income tax rate for in-state residents. The Post was unable to determine what state Bannon claimed as his primary residence for the purpose of income tax…

On Feb. 18, 2015, Bannon ended the water and sewer service at Opechee Drive and switched the service to Onaway Drive, less than a half mile away in Coconut Grove, records show. Five days later, Bannon changed his voter registration to Onaway Drive.

The Opechee house was left in disrepair, according to an email between the landlord and Bannon and interviews with the landlord.

Padlocks had been placed on interior doors — or the doors had been removed altogether. A hot tub was destroyed.

“[E]ntire Jacuzzi bathtub seems to have been covered in acid,” the landlord wrote in the February 2015 email to Bannon…



Wonk shade

Dan Diamond brings together the wonderful health nerd traditional of #HealthPolicyValentines and topical commentary on the firing of the NSA for being compromised by the Russians.

I needed this laugh.

Open Thread



Open Thread: Jason Chaffetz, Craven Careerist

And the venal little bastid couldn’t wait to run bragging to his Media Village Idiot buddies, because of course he did.

Chaffetz described an inquisitive, “chit-chatty” president, eager to learn about Postal Service reforms, undoing President Barack Obama’s move to turn Utah’s Bears Ears into a national monument, embassy security and reining in costs associated with the federal workforce. The elephant in the room — Chaffetz’s power to investigate Trump and his administration — never came up, he said. Nor, he added, did his ongoing investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server…

Chaffetz credited Priebus — an ally since the two traveled together during Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign — with arranging the Oval Office sitdown…

Chaffetz said Trump was supportive of him conducting vigorous oversight during their Philadelphia chat.

“He was the one who said proactively, feel free to investigate anything you want. That’s your job, that’s your role,” he said. “He is not going to put a heavy hand in one direction nor the other. We have a job to do and we’re going to do it.”

Sure, investigate the King’s enemies like you were screening for skin cancers. Just never investigate the King, because His Majesty is incapable of error.

Chaffetz says Reince Preibus, of the RNC, put this little confab together. The GOP is happy to let everyone know: IOKIYAR is now official government policy.
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Open Thread: Smogging Up the Hall of Mirrors

Increasingly clear that the Repubs don’t mind their country being run by a hostile foreign power, as long as they get to reap some short-term advantages…


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But the new fashions will be fabulous!…



Friday Morning Open Thread: Holiday Dreams

“Oh, like you’ve never dreamed of going Godzilla on the whole JOYFUL HOLIDAY SPIRITZ schtick.”

Speaking of widespread destruction, the Washington Post gives James Comey an early Xmas gift:

Justice officials laid out a number of arguments against releasing the letter. It violated two long-standing policies. Never publicly discuss an ongoing investigation. And never take an action affecting a candidate for office close to Election Day. Besides, they said, the FBI did not know yet what was in the emails or if they had anything to do with the Clinton case.

Remarkably, the country’s two top law enforcement officials never spoke. As Comey’s boss, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch could have given the FBI director an order to not send the letter. But Lynch and her advisers feared that Comey would not listen. He seemed to feel strongly about updating Congress on his sworn testimony about the Clinton investigation. Instead, they tried to relay their concerns through the Justice official whom the FBI had called.

Their efforts failed. Within 24 hours of the first FBI call, Comey’s letter was out…

Lynch’s meeting in June with Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix led to a crisis in leadership at the department over how to handle the Clinton email investigation. Rather than formally recuse herself, Lynch left ambiguous who would be making final decisions on issues regarding Hillary Clinton.

Into that vacuum stepped Comey, an FBI director who prides himself on having a finely tuned moral compass that allows him to rise above politics. Weeks before the letter, Comey had advised against the Obama administration public statement admonishing Russia for the Democratic Party hacks, arguing it would make the administration appear partisan too close to the election. But to him, the Clinton email investigation was different…

See, it was all the Black lady’s fault — hers, and Bill Clinton’s. Thank GOP god Cthulhu for that ‘finely tuned moral compass’ in Comey’s back pocket!
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What’s on the agenda, apart from prepping for the last winter holiday before Trumpageddon?








There’s Never Just One…

This, via TPM:

A 41-year-old lawyer has accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of groping her in 1999 when she was a young foundation fellow in Washington, D.C., National Law Journal reported Thursday.

The lawyer, Moira Smith, said that Thomas repeatedly touched her rear multiple times as he pleaded for her to sit next to him at a dinner party hosted by the head of her scholarship program. The alleged incident occurred, Smith said, when just the two of them were alone near the table she was setting for the party.

corisca_and_the_satyr_by_artemisia_gentileschi

It’s been clear since her testimony (at least to me) that Anita Hill was a truthful and courageous witness to Clarence Thomas’s craptastitude, and hence his unfitness to be a Supreme Court justice.  There were rumors at the time that there were more women, with more stories.  But they never testified.  So Thomas survived on the “he-said; she-said; who knows?” defense.

But if there’s anything the intervening decades have taught us, it’s that powerful men who use their positions to impose their sexual demands on women don’t stop at just one.  See, of course, Mr. Donald Trump.

And now this.  Thomas is blanket denying, of course:

“This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” Thomas said in a statement to National Law Journal.

That’ll keep him securely in place, until and unless the next woman comes forward, and the next, and the next…

My bet?

Well, there’s never just one.  But keeping Thomas in his seat is so important to so many of the worst people in the country that I would be utterly unsurprised if (a) Moira Smith gets hit by a world of hurt and (b) anyone else who might have knowledge of any misdeeds by Trump receiving that message loud and clear.

We’ll see.

Image: Artemisia Gentileschi, Corisca and the Satyr, betw. 1630 and 1635.



Shameless Hypocrites Open Thread: Ken Starr, Straight from 1992

The very special prosecutor who chased rumors of Bill Clinton’s infidelities all over the national media has a major grievance. Per Liam Daniel Pierce at Vice Sports:

File this under: you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Former Baylor president Ken Starr seems to have forgotten what a real victim is, as, in an interview with the Texas Tribune [Saturday], he said that “a grave injustice” was done to Baylor’s fired football coach Art Briles. Injustice? Starr might be forgetting the sexual assault victims that received absolutely no justice under his and Briles’ tenure.

The Baylor University football team was rightfully embroiled in a scandal earlier this year, after an investigation revealed that the university and its football program repeatedly failed to respond to sexual assault accusations against Baylor’s football players. In at least one incident, the investigation discovered, university administrators even retaliated against a complainant. Starr was forced to resign and Briles was fired—and I guess that’s the injustice he was talking about?…

“I’m going to resist the issue, or the characterization, that there was an endemic problem,” Starr said…