Perhaps Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton messages to her husband, “some of which contain classified information.” Comey testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss. (Weiner’s laptop was seized after he came under criminal investigation for sex crimes, following a media report about his online relationship with a teenager.)
The New York Post plastered its story on the front page with a photo of an underwear-clad Weiner and the headline: “HARD COPY: Huma sent Weiner classified Hillary emails to print out.” The Daily News went with a similar front-page screamer: “HUMA ERROR: Sent classified emails to sext maniac Weiner.”
The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.
Too f**king little awfully late in the game, but the Grey Lady has come up with another good story on the long-con that is Donald J. Trump. Ross Buettner reports:
…an examination of his tax appeals on several properties, and other documents obtained by The New York Times through Freedom of Information requests, shows that what Mr. Trump has reported on those forms is nowhere near a complete picture of his financial state.
The records demonstrate that large portions of those numbers represent cash coming into his businesses before covering costs like mortgage payments, payroll and maintenance. After expenses, some of his businesses make a small fraction of what he reported on his disclosure forms, or actually lose money.
Donald Trump got his start in life with his dad’s money. The rest of us helped him out by paying his taxes for him for almost two decades. Shafting his subcontractors and partners helped build the kitty. And he still can’t actually make (much) money at his supposed vocation. I loved this bit:
On the financial disclosure forms that Donald J. Trump has pointed to as proof of his tremendous success, no venture looks more gold-plated than his golf resort in Doral, Fla., where he reported revenues of $50 million in 2014. That figure accounted for the biggest share of what he described as his income for the year.
But this summer, a considerably different picture emerged in an austere government hearing room in Miami, where Mr. Trump’s company was challenging the resort’s property tax bill.
Mr. Trump’s lawyer handed the magistrate an income and expense statement showing that the gross revenue had indeed been $50 million. But after paying operating costs, the resort had actually lost $2.4 million.
Donald Trump is a bigot, a thug, the kind of man whom women know all too well.
He’s a braggart, a bully, and the least self-made alleged rich guy short of the Walton kids.
And through it all, he’s crap at the stuff of which he claims to be the world champeen. Would you trust the coffee fund, much less the national budget, to this guy?
But time and again, what the form presented as income did not match what was reported in other documents. Mr. Trump also runs several publicly owned attractions — the carousel and ice rinks in Central Park and a golf course in the Bronx — under agreements with New York City.
Mr. Trump’s disclosure forms reported income from the Wollman and Lasker ice rinks of just under $13 million last year, and $8.6 million the year before. But accounting figures provided by his company to the city show that those figures represent gross receipts…Recent figures were not available, but a 2011 city audit showed that for the previous three years, an average of $25,340 a year for both rinks was left after expenses.
With Logan Airport charging roughly eight bucks a gallon for Jet-A fuel right now, that would pay for barely more than a quarter of a tank of gas for The Donald’s aging jet. He’s a bust-out artist, not a businessman.
Last word to the magistrate who heard Trump cry poor on his misbegotten Doral Golf Course purchase:
“So he spent $104 million to lose two and a half million dollars a year,” Mr. [Leonardo[ Delgado said. “I know how to lose that money without having to spend $104 million. How ’bout you, Murry?”
I’d laugh, except for the non-zero (though still small) chance that this lying sack of ferret fæces could be President-elect next week.
Power brokers who could lead all-out "Stop Trump" push have either held back (Club, Chamber, Xroads) or gone other way (Fox, Rush, Falwell)
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) January 18, 2016
Olivia Nuzzi, at the Daily Beast, “Sarah Palin Backs Donald Trump, Murders Irony”:
… Dressed in a black overcoat and blue tie, the GOP frontrunner walked onstage at Iowa State University and gripped the lectern stamped with his name. “Wow, look at the press out there! They must think that a big event’s gonna happen today,” he said. “Wow! That’s a lot—it’s like the Academy Awards!”…
Trump persists because he defies parody. He, like Palin, is in on the joke that is his public persona. The difference is he’s better at telling it than any lowly scribe or comedian. And he tells it not with a device as obvious as self-deprecation but with subtlety in his every decision, minor or Yuge, in his official capacity as The Frontrunner for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Which is where Palin comes in…
As surreal as Tuesday’s performance felt at times, it was guided by a certain logic. Even Palin, who flailed her sequined arms in the air for the crowd, equal parts pep and menace in her voice, sounded a nuanced battle cry. “You ready for a commander and chief who will do their job and go kick ISIS ass?” she screamed at one point.
But then she explained her plight, and the plight of all Trump true believers.
“Trump’s candidacy: It has exposed not just that tragic ramifications of that betrayal of the transformation of our country, but too, he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it, OK?” she said. “He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system, how the system really works.”…
“Funny, haha—not funny,” she said, seemingly out of nowhere. “But now what they’re doing is whaling on Trump and his Trumpeters, ‘Well, they’re not conservative enough’—Oh my goodness gracious, what the heck would the establishment know about conservatism?”
She said she, Trump, and those like them were “right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our god, and our religions, and our Constitution.”
“Doggone right we’re angry,” she said. “Justifiably so!”…
Palin's PAC fundraising off her Trump endorsement: "In order to get Sarah to political events…we need your help to fundraise for her travel"
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 20, 2016
Ed Kilgore, in NYMag, explains “The Inevitability of Palin’s Endorsement of Trump”:
Notwithstanding the howls of pain and rage from supporters of Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin’s decision to endorse Donald Trump for president makes perfect sense when you think about what she has distinctively represented in the Republican Party. Yes, she’s a “conservative” in the sense of standing for maximum confrontation with Democrats and constantly accusing the party Establishment of acts of betrayal. But no, there’s nothing particularly ideological — or, for that matter, intellectual — about her approach to politics or issues. She represents almost perfectly the passion and resentment of grassroots cultural-issues activists…
… In a very real sense, she was the authentic representative of those local right-to-life activists — disproportionately women — who had staffed countless GOP campaigns and gotten little in return (this was before the 2010 midterm elections began to produce serious anti-choice gains in the states) other than the thinly disguised contempt of Beltway Republicans. And after 2008 she generated a sort of perpetual motion machine in which her fans loved her precisely for the mockery she so reliably inspired…
…[I]n many respects, the Trump campaign is the presidential campaign Palin herself might have aspired to run if she had the money and energy to do so. Her famous disregard for wonky facts and historical context is but a shadow of Trump’s. His facility with the big and effective lie can’t quite match Palin’s, who after all convinced many millions of people in a Facebook post that the Affordable Care Act authorized “death panels.” And both of them, of course, exemplify the demagogue’s zest for flouting standards of respectable discourse and playing the table-turning triumphant victim/conqueror of privileged elites. Read more
The New York Times reports on the next great cost saving measure in the US:
Medicare, the federal program that insures 55 million older and disabled Americans, announced plans on Wednesday to reimburse doctors for conversations with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they became too sick to speak for themselves.
Time to prepare the ice floes for Grandma before global warming forces us to use more expensive methods…
Or this is a simple, minor technocratic fix that enables people to make more fully informed decisions about their lives, their families and their expectations while they are not under pressure of contradictory information and values? Read more
I’ve tried to resist commenting on the Palin’s snowbilly-style drunken fistfight, but Bristol has made me break my vow of silence with this comment:
Bristol went on to berate the media for ignoring a scandal involving the “real Vice President’s kid” — a reference to one of Joe Biden’s sons, who was recently discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve for failing a drug test.
Bristol also said that if Chelsea Clinton had been in her shoes, the media would have “held her up as some feminist hero.”
Bristol is upset because, to hear her tell it, she was either held down on the ground (current version) or dragged across the ground by a man who called her a “cunt” and a “slut” (version she told the cops).
I don’t want to make light of the violence Bristol encountered. But what happened to her is in the context of a brawl, about which her brother said, to the police, that one of the participants in the fight is “a little pussy” and “basically a gay guy, but he’s not” (whatever that means). Also, Track could “beat the shit outta them”, if it was one-on-one. (Lord knows we’ve all been there.) In other words, it may be possible that Track’s big fucking mouth wrote a check that he and his family’s fists couldn’t cash, and everybody got their asses kicked, but that’s just conjecture. Even so, I would like to point out that Bristol’s comparison of herself to Chelsea Clinton is a bit of a reach, not the least because I doubt that Chelsea has ever told a police officer not to take a picture of her face because there’s nothing on it but “beer and makeup”.
Anyway, my point here isn’t to re-litigate the Thrilla In Wasilla, nor even to point and laugh. Rather, I just want to note that the reason “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” was such a failure is because it was a hoity-toity horseshit fairytale that Sarah cobbled together, and people could smell it. If Sarah really wants to cash in, and we all know she does, she could cut the bullshit and dish some real reality TV. Show the beat-down that happens when that numbskull Track gets his drink on and tries to start something in a bar. Give us the backstory of a good old-fashioned, hold-my-gold catfight between Willow, Bristol and some other trashy Wasillians. And make sure there’s at least 5-10 minutes of Sarah yelling at everyone in each episode. That show would run for years, and it pays a lot better than skimming from some grifter PAC.
(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
A cartoon especially for John Cole’s mom.
Speaking of women who tick Cole off (although I’m sure the two have nothing else in common), NYMag has a news update from World Salad Sarah:
And here, we thought today’s award for the most ridiculous Clinton theory would go to Lynne Cheney for suggesting that Vanity Fair would only agree to print Monica Lewinsky’s essay as part of some Clinton-orchestrated plot. In an Extra interview on Tuesday night, Mario Lopez asked Sarah Palin to weigh in on whether becoming a grandmother will make Hillary Clinton more electable in 2016. “I think it will kind of broaden her world view,” Palin replied, rambling for a bit about the national debt. Then, she found the perfect attention- grabbing remark: Perhaps Chelsea’s baby will make Hillary change her views on abortion, though it appears being pregnant herself didn’t do the trick…
Also, if Hillary keeps bogarting all the media attention, Sarah may just have to run for President her own self, so there. But Palin’s really annoyed that Chelsea didn’t surprise her mom with an “oopsie” pregnancy annoucement during the 2008 primaries. Waiting until ya finish fancy advanced college and have a big expensive wedding before gettin’ knocked up — what a snob!
Speaking of GOP candidates who hate ‘snobs’, Paul Constant has a Fox News video of Rick Sanctorum talking up his new ‘economic solution‘ — marriage, the traditional kind, between a man and a woman — with Neil Cavuto:
… Santorum’s major problem as a candidate is that his hate comes shining through at every opportunity. When Republican voters start to cozy up to him, and when he begins to get comfortable, he says terrible things. Santorum’s hate problem is only getting worse as he gets older. He’s trying to be the genteel, friendly candidate here, but hate keeps crawling up his throat. He forces it down. He’s uncomfortable — you can watch his mouth slide around his face as he talks, like he’s got a bad case of acid reflux—and he wants to let it out. But he doesn’t. Not just yet. Soon, though. This is a man who is composed of about 95% hatred. He’ll say something terrible soon. He just can’t help himself…
Because it’s breakfast time, I spared you the actual videos. You can thank me later.
Apart from holding down the bile, what’s on the agenda for the day?
Silly Season must’ve come early this year. Gawker [warning: NSFW gif at top of comments] goes for the scare headline: “Sweet Jesus, Sarah Palin May Be Running for Senate This Year“:
… Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll noted yesterday that a possible Sarah Palin candidacy for senator is getting a boost from Dan Backer, the high-powered Tea Party attorney who just struck a blow for unlimited campaign donations in the Supreme Court’s recent McCutcheon v. FEC ruling…
Kroll points out that the email—which asks readers for an immediate donation to the PAC—could just be a cynical use of Palin’s name to generate funds for other uses. But he adds that Palin did show interest in the seat on Sean Hannity’s show last year, and with the Democrats’ thin Senate majority depending on races like this one, it’s thought her star power could give Republicans a needed win—in Alaska, and in the war to mobilize a nationwide voting base…
Ya think? Sarah Palin is no more running for
President Senate than I am, and for exactly the same reason — neither of us wants to work that hard. I would hope “high-powered Tea Party attorney” Backer offers Sarah a kickback on whatever funds her name helps separate from the rubes, or at least some media face-time, but on the other hand, every public hissy-fit between rightwing grifters is a gift to the Alaskan Democrat: