We’ll File This Under Family Values

This is stunning:

That Scaramucci’s marriage was in trouble was hardly a secret. Long before Ball filed for divorce on July 6, Scaramucci was open with friends and associates about what he believed to be the sorry state of their union and how they were struggling through regular counseling sessions.

He just hated that his relationship was being discussed in public. A follow-up report from the Post said that Scaramucci didn’t attend the birth of their son last week. Instead, he sent Ball a short congratulatory text.

Scaramucci said this is an unfair characterization of events. He told me that Ball’s due date was Aug. 9, so when he boarded Air Force One to West Virginia last Monday to attend the president’s address at the National Scout Jamboree, he didn’t think he’d be in danger of missing the birth. As soon as she texted him that she was going into labor, he said, he looked into chartering a plane from West Virginia but discovered that there was a wide no fly-zone around Air Force One. He explained that he decided to wait to fly back to Washington with the president, then travel to New York from there.

What the fuck is wrong with these people?



More From Arizona…

Update: I swear that when I started writing this DougJ’s post was not in the queue.  Anyway…we’re all grownups here (Schpeake Fer Yerself!–ed) so I’m guessing we can read one piece and then another.  Or not. Enjoy!

__________________

Joe Arpaio is now on his way to being an old lag, and if that conclusion is decades late, it still behoves us to get our schadenfreude on:

The longest-serving lawman of the state’s most populous county, where he became a national figure known for immigration raids and sweeps aimed at rounding up illegal migrants, was found guilty Monday of contempt of court. He faces up to six months in jail.

Arpaio’s crime, you’ll probably recall, was to keep on doing what he’d been doing after a federal judge told him to stop:

Arpaio had conducted the sweeps under the federal 287 G Program, which enables some local law-enforcement offices to act as quasi-immigration agents. In 2009, the federal government rescinded this power, but Arpaio refused to stop. In 2012, Arizona U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow, ordered an injunction against Arpaio’s office aimed at ending the sweeps, but still, Arpaio refused.

I fortunately don’t have any personal experience here, but I have it on good authority that judges really, really don’t like it when you ignore them.

Arpaio tried two lines of defense:

During the criminal trial, which consisted of a five-day trial in June and July, Arpaio’s attorney’s argued that Snow’s order was unclear and that though the sheriff had made mistakes, they weren’t willful violations of the order. He also argued that Arpaio delegated much of of the enforcement responsibilities to his subordinates, and that he should not be held responsible for their actions.

Again, I don’t think telling a judge that they f**ked up in their legal writing is a terribly persuasive strategy, and as for the “my employees suck, I don’t” argument, I’m reminded once again that the Party of Personal Responsibility™ is a f**king crock.  Hence, the man’s a convict.

It is, alas, apparently unlikely that white supremacist poster child Arpaio will actually go to jail for his crime.

But whatever his sentence, this outcome makes me smile.

 

Here’s Loki, the Trickster God, in the glass I’ll raise when the clock hits 0-whiskey-00 this evening.

Image:  Egon Schiele, The Door is Open, 1912.



Tonight’s News Dump

Trump’s legal team is looking for ways to discredit Mueller’s investigation. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post released stories with that theme. The WaPo story has more juicy detail:

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,” a close adviser said.

Just checking to make sure of all the legal ramifications in the same way Trump has been so careful throughout his career.

The lawyers are also looking for conflicts of interest. From Trump’s interview with the New York Times yesterday, I think he doesn’t understand what conflict of interest is. He seems to think that it means conflicts with HIS interests. Perhaps his lawyers understand the term.



Tonight’s News Dumps

Manafort Was in Debt to Pro-Russia Interests, Cyprus Records Show

Financial records filed last year in the secretive tax haven of Cyprus, where Paul J. Manafort kept bank accounts during his years working in Ukraine and investing with a Russian oligarch, indicate that he had been in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016.

The money appears to have been owed by shell companies connected to Mr. Manafort’s business activities in Ukraine when he worked as a consultant to the pro-Russia Party of Regions. The Cyprus documents obtained by The New York Times include audited financial statements for the companies, which were part of a complex web of more than a dozen entities that transferred millions of dollars among them in the form of loans, payments and fees.

Big Interview with Trump at NYT

Caution: autoplay audio of Trump whining.

“Sessions should have never recused himself and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” he said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Mr. Trump acknowledged that it was “interesting” that adoptions came up [in his unreported conversation with Putin] since his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that was the topic of a meeting he had with several Russians with ties to the Kremlin during last year’s campaign.

To be honest, I don’t see a lot of new news here beyond Manafort’s debt. If someone wants to unscramble the front companies and other fictional entities that Manafort uses to mask…something…, have at it!

 



Thieves in the Temple

Because everyone in the Trump administration is a garbage human being, it’s no surprise that Jay Sekulow is even worse than I previously thought, and I previously thought he was a fucking human petri dish:

More than 15,000 Americans were losing their jobs each day in June 2009, as the US struggled to climb out of a painful recession following its worst financial crisis in decades.

But Jay Sekulow, who is now an attorney to Donald Trump, had a private jet to finance. His law firm was expecting a $3m payday. And six-figure contracts for members of his family needed to be taken care of.

Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.

Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift”.

“I can certainly understand how that would make it difficult for you to share a gift like that right now,” they told retirees who said they were on fixed incomes and had “no extra money” – before asking if they could spare “even $20 within the next three weeks”.

In addition to using tens of millions of dollars in donations to pay Sekulow, his wife, his sons, his brother, his sister-in-law, his niece and nephew and their firms, Case has also been used to provide a series of unusual loans and property deals to the Sekulow family.

I hate these people:

He founded Case in 1988 to build on a successful appearance at the US supreme court on behalf of the group Jews For Jesus, after an earlier career as a real estate attorney ended in bankruptcy and legal disputes. Sekulow has gone on to use Case as a platform for legal action to defend Christians against perceived encroachments on their rights.

Case raises tens of millions of dollars a year, much of it in small amounts from Christians who receive direct appeals for money over the telephone or in the mail. The telemarketing contracts obtained by the Guardian show how fundraisers were instructed by Sekulow to deliver bleak warnings about topics including abortion, Sharia law and Barack Obama.

“It’s time to let the president know that his vision of America is obscured and represents a dangerous threat to the Judea-Christian [sic] values that have been the cornerstone of our republic,” one script from 2015 said.

If there is a hell I hope these people rot in it.



See Ya In Court, Jackass

Or probably not, as this will quickly get thrown out:

A Republican coal baron is suing John Oliver, HBO, Time Warner, and the writers for Oliver’s show over the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight.

The suit, filed on June 21 in the circuit court of Marshall County, West Virginia, holds that Oliver and his team “executed a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies” by airing an episode that ripped into him. Murray runs the country’s largest privately owned coal company, Murray Energy Corporation.

“They did this to a man who needs a lung transplant, a man who does not expect to live to see the end of this case,” reads the complaint, which also lists Murray’s companies as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit isn’t a surprise to Oliver. In fact, the British comic said on the episode of his show that aired on June 18 that he expected it, noting that Murray has sued several other media outlets in the past (including, in May, the New York Times). In the episode, Oliver criticized Murray’s business practices, saying he doesn’t do enough to protect his miners’ safety. Oliver also noted that his team contacted Murray’s company before the episode aired, and that the company sent a cease-and-desist letter––the first time that had ever happened to his show.

In the interest of full disclosure so Mr. Murray will not sue me and because I am a big fan of the Streisand effect, here is the entire Last Week Tonight piece:

Screw Murray.








Super Rich White Lady Not Upset She Helped Elect Trump

Fuck Jill Stein:

Stein is not losing any sleep over what might have been—in her telling, Clinton wouldn’t have been much better. “There are differences between Clinton and Trump, no doubt, but they’re not different enough to save your life, to save your job, to save the planet,” she says. “We deserve more than two lethal choices.”

I say again, fuck Jill Stein.