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.

Repub-on-Repub Open Thread: Speaking of DISARRAY!!!

This weekend, a few dozen once-prominent GOP foreign policy figures, including some original “never Trumpers,” are gathering at a private Reagan Institute retreat in Beaver Creek, Colo., to promote and preserve the 40th president’s “conservative internationalist” approach to foreign affairs. Yet the White House has shown little willingness to tap into this wellspring of expertise, even as Trump cycles through national security aides and faces a dwindling pool of experienced staffers for a potential second term.

The ostracizing of the group has led some to reconsider their roles in a prominent public movement to stop Trump three years ago.

“I’m not comfortable with letters anymore,” said Patrick Cronin, head of the Asia-Pacific security program at the Hudson Institute, who signed the first letter, which called Trump “fundamentally dishonest” and “utterly unfitted to the office.” In March 2017, Cronin was forced to withdraw from a new position overseeing a Pentagon think tank after Trump allies blasted his appointment by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis…

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Mike Pence, the GOP’s Emergency Backup Monster

There have been rumors that “Idiot-1” wants to replace Pence on the 2020 ticket with his favorite daughter — so maybe sending him down to Texas was an attempt to make him an expendable sacrifice to public outrage. Or maybe sending Moral Monstrosity Mike was a ‘gift’ to that not inconsiderable portion of the GOP base that wants to hurt people. Quite possibly both!

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Open Thread: Trump’s (Anti-) “Social Media (Not-) Summit”

For edutainment purposes / posterity only, since this is one of those social-media sites…

Actually, the invitation list seems to have been curated (as the Youngs say) with a certain level of craft: The real bottomfeeders and genuine crazies didn’t get invited, just those one-foot-in-each-camp opportunists who are too careless for Fox Media and too careful to get banned by the big platforms.

The White House hasn’t released a public list of attendees for the Thursday afternoon event, but a number of pro-Trump personalities have posted invitations on Twitter. They include Ali Alexander, a right-wing operative pushing a smear that Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) isn’t really “an American Black,” a pro-Trump “memesmith” who goes by the screenname “@CarpeDonktum,” and blogger Jim Hoft, whose Gateway Pundit blog frequently promotes hoaxes.

The invitee list also includes more traditional White House visitors, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and representatives from campus conservative group Turning Point USA and conservative YouTube channel PragerU. In an Instagram post, Turning Point executive Benny Johnson promised to use the conference to give Trump “dank meme ideas.”…

Notably, the group so far doesn’t appear to include anyone who has actually been banned from major social platforms, even though those bans have played a significant role in driving accusations on the right that the social giants are biased. Pro-Trump figures like anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Proud Boys men’s group founder Gavin McInnes, for example, don’t appear to have been invited…

Of course, count on Infowars to show up anyway (and not get chased off):

L-R: Ali ‘Kamala’s Not Really Black’ Alexander, James ‘Breitbart’s Bastard Son’ O’Keefe III, TP-USA’s Charlie ‘Diaper Boy’ Kirk, and Gateway Pundit Jim ‘Dumbest Man on the Internet’ Hoft

And one more who couldn’t bear to stay away…

Notes from an actual journalist with the ‘nut graf‘ of the proceedings:

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Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Good Take / Really, Really Bad Take

Surely not even the most hardcore Talibangelicals could defend a serial child trafficker, you would would think.

Not so!, says Erick ‘Studying to Be A Pastor’ Erickson…

Hey, when you look at it right, *anything* can be an opportunity…