Sunday, December 24, 2017

Silencing Meryl Streep




Recent attacks on Meryl Streep do not come from activists who actually care about the #MeToo movement or about how women are being treated in the arts and entertainment field. This attack was financed by wealthy conservatives in Hollywood:

Two of the three behind the "She Knew" posters claim they are financed by unnamed wealthy conservatives who pay them $5,000-$20,000 per "mission."

In a booth on the Westside of Los Angeles sit a trio of conservative provocateurs plotting their next "street art" prank on a liberal celebrity destined to be thrust into the limelight for reasons beyond their control. The restaurant has become a watering hole for conservatives who work in Hollywood and don’t usually share their political opinions with their liberal colleagues for fear of retribution.

Friends of Abe, the private group of Hollywood conservatives, used to meet at the same place. The three artists, in fact were often spotted at FOA gatherings, where actors like Tom Selleck, Gary Sinise, Robert Duvall, Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton generously hobnobbed with others in the entertainment industry who lacked their fame and fortune.

One of the street artists usually works independent of the others, but recently they’ve banded together to focus their efforts on Harvey Weinstein and all those who, they claim, allegedly enabled his predatory behavior for decades. Their aim is to call out Hollywood for its “hypocrisy,” they say. Two of them have careers in the industry to protect so they remain anonymous, and their anonymity is fodder for detractors who take to social media to call them out for cowardice and slander.

One justifies his secrecy by noting he’d surely be fired for his very public artwork — which sometimes amounts to attacks on actors, movies and TV shows he is associated with through his full-time job. Another is a freelancer in the industry who used to design interactive media for Steven Spielberg.

This is not a grass roots attack from the left. It's a smear campaign from people who should be exposed. And while I would agree that Streep probably knew something about how Harvey Weinstein treated women, I think it's also true that she might have been insulated from that because of the very nature of what he was doing to people. He had Miramax employees who were working to keep this out of the media. He had millions of dollars at his disposal. And he targeted people who could be smeared or driven from the industry. 

Notice the pattern here? And, yes, this comes to mind almost immediately, doesn't it? 






Credible voices on the left are being marginalized and silenced. Is this designed to make sure that Streep doesn't say anything next Spring when the Oscars rolls around? What's the difference between what they're doing to her and what members of Congress are doing to high-ranking officials at the FBI?

I'm not the only one who thinks this is being put out there to divide people:






 

Streep has been a mainstream film actress of the highest caliber for forty years. Weinstein was just manipulative enough to keep his secrets from her. So, while I think it's possible she knew, I also think it's possible that she didn't know and I don't need a bunch of conservative Hollywood jackasses who are afraid their names might be known to tell me that.

If they're so sure, they should put their names on their attack. 
















Sunday, December 17, 2017

Who Was This Guy on Frasier?




It may be a personality defect of mine or completely unfair, but I fucking hate Frasier and I thought he was the worst thing about Cheers every time I saw it. I hated his fucking show and I still can't believe it was on for eleven seasons.

The guy on the end is Dan Butler, who was on the show from 1993 to 2004. I have no memory of him being on Frasier because I never watched Frasier. Isn't that weird?

Anyway, my gripe against Netflix is--quit with this crap. I don't want to see Frasier. How do I block this from showing up in my recommendations and how can I let everyone know how annoyed I am?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jar Jar Binks is More Popular Than Trump

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes:


You know what else is more popular than Trump? Herpes, Charlie Manson, and being run over by a golf cart.















Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What Idiot Hurt Blake Lively?




Panic attack time:

Blake Lively has been injured on the set of new film The Rhythm Section, with production temporarily suspended.

Gossip Girl star Lively appears in the movie alongside Jude Law and Daniel Mays. Directed by The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Reed Morano and produced by Bond filmmakers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the film is expected for release in February 2019.

A spokesperson for the film confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Lively “sustained an injury to her hand while filming an action sequence” and that “filming has been temporarily suspended” as a result.
















Monday, December 4, 2017

Women Do Not Have a Reason to Lie About Sexual Harassment




In this tense exchange between John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman, one thing leaps out at you:

When Oliver quoted from an account Hoffman’s accuser wrote, the actor asked Oliver, incredulous, “Do you believe this stuff you’re reading?” Oliver said he did “because she would have no reason to lie.”

I have to come down on Oliver's side here. 

How does a woman who is not in the public eye make money by accusing a famous person of sexual harassment or sexual assault? They can sue, obviously, but the burden of proof is very high and a settlement is likely only when there's a good chance the famous person will lose in a jury trial (which would be rare enough anyway).

So, why not believe someone when they tell a story like this and stop questioning their motive right off the bat? Why does it have to be about greed? Is there some mythical country where women are making millions by falsely accusing men of sexual harassment? The women who took millions from Fox News had proof that frightened a very expensive cabal of lawyers into shelling out huge settlements precisely because they couldn't get away with calling the women liars because they had evidence that would hold up in court.

If that doesn't exist, why do the women have to be left out in the cold? Why not investigate it and see if it makes sense? Why not use healthy skepticism to reach a conclusion? I think we can give men the benefit of the doubt while believing women at the same time. When you have a preponderance of women bringing in story after story of perverted behavior, does it mean they are piling on or releasing their fear of speaking out?

The default answer for many, many years has been to put the burden on the accuser and give the accused the benefit of the doubt. We are moving to a more equalized situation where yes, you can believe women. We can believe what they are saying. We can reach a conclusion that corrects the historical record.

Oliver does get at the problem. We still don't believe women unless they're holding incontrovertible proof which doesn't always exist, but we should. Period. End of story.
















Monday, November 27, 2017

Susan Sarandon Cannot Admit She Was Wrong




At some point, the delusions kick in and a person doubles down on their beliefs, no matter how wrong they are about something:

A year after the presidential election that put Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Susan Sarandon said she is still harangued by the left for not supporting Hillary Clinton, whom she continues to call “very, very dangerous.”

Sarandon told The Guardian that although she hasn’t “exactly” said that Clinton is more dangerous in the long-run than Trump, she does believe that the former Secretary of State would have the country at war if she had won the election.

“I did think she was very, very dangerous,” Sarandon said. “We would still be fracking, we would be at war [if she was president]. It wouldn’t be much smoother.”

Sarandon will probably keep getting acting jobs, but this notion that she is some sort of "hero" to the left is over and done with. There is a fringe out there, and they will never vote for a Democrat, no matter what. Stop catering to them. They're crazy. They're never going to do the right thing and they're never going to admit they were wrong about something.
















Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Harvey Weinstein Could Face Canadian Justice




Why do I suspect that a whole host of countries are going to try and extradite Harvey Weinstein?

A Toronto actress and model is launching a $4-million lawsuit against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, claiming he sexually assaulted her twice in 2000 when she was in her 20s and starring in her first small movie role.

“Weinstein is a serial sexual predator who, by the time of the assaults on (Jane) Doe, had well-developed methods for targeting young actresses and luring them into situations that he considered optimal for sexually harassing and assaulting them,” her lawsuit alleges. 

According to her proposed statement of claim, the woman, identified only as Jane Doe,  said the famous movie mogul introduced himself on the Toronto set of his Miramax film when she was on her third and final day of filming and told her she looked like a famous actress.

That actress is among the 60 women who have since accused the movie producer of misconduct, including sexual assault and rape.

The day after meeting Weinstein, the Toronto woman said his assistant, Barbara Schneeweiss, called to tell her the famous producer had been impressed by her talent after watching the film’s “dailies” and wanted to have a breakfast meeting at the Sutton Place Hotel “to discuss her career and  potential opportunities with Miramax.”

I hope she wins, and I hope she collects, but the line to sue Weinstein is pretty long. Maybe it would be a good idea to bring criminal charges and protect the public at large?















Saturday, October 28, 2017

Crazy Roger Stone Was Putting on a Show Until This Happened




Twitter decided enough is enough...






The only thing "fake" here is the idea that Stone is not in control of things. He is. This is what he thinks people should see from him. It's all an act, all a show, and none of it is sincere. He's pathetic, of course, but it's that special kind of pathetic that is only found in people who know they could have done something with their lives and chose not to.

Instead, he is a 'bit player' in a game where he feels he should have been dealing all the cards.

Monday, July 31, 2017

These People Are Running The United States of America




If you had to explain to someone why Corey Lewandowski, Omarosa Manigault, Anthony Scaramucci, and Sebastian Gorka were even allowed to serve in the American government, ride on Air Force One, and appear anywhere on behalf of this country as part of their regular day jobs, you just might lose your mind.

















 

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Exactly Eight Years Ago Today




This is your daily reminder that the insanity on display with Trump is nothing we haven't seen already. Eight years ago, well over forty percent of the American people were ready to vote for Sarah Palin to be president.















Monday, July 17, 2017

Great Move, NBC




We all know what NBC thought they were going to get with Megyn Kelly. They thought they were going to get big ratings, a huge chunk of her audience at Fox, and the kind of instant credibility that would make smartasses like me think twice about pointing out that they weren't paying her for her, ahem, journalistic abilities.

Turns out, this hasn't happened:

NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly fell to its lowest ratings yet on Sunday, bringing in 3.1 million total viewers and matching its low rating of 0.4 among adults ages 18-49. Both figures represent the lowest Kelly’s figures have fallen since her show’s debut in early June.

Now, can Kelly turn it around? I guess, but who cares? NBC is getting what it deserves. She'd be doing great if she was on MSNBC, which is probably where she'll land, and soon.















Saturday, July 15, 2017

Not Pretty Enough




This doesn't sound very nice, does it?

Earlier this week, it was announced that Quentin Tarantino’s next film will center on the Manson Family murders, specifically the killing of Hollywood beauty Sharon Tate.

Speculations about potential casting choices began swirling online almost immediately, with outlets reporting that Tarantino had met with Margot Robbie for the role of Tate, noting that Jennifer Lawrence was also rumored to be involved with the project. 

It remains unclear as to whether both Robbie and Lawrence are actually being considered for Tate (or any role, for that matter). If it does come down to those two stars, Tate’s sister Debra has a strong opinion about who she’d choose. 

“They’re both extremely accomplished actresses but I would have to say, my pick would be Margot. Simply because her physical beauty and the way she even carries herself is similar to that of Sharon,” Debra recently told TMZ. 

But she didn’t stop there. 

“I don’t think as much about Jennifer Lawrence,” she continued. “Not that I have anything against her. But she just, I don’t know, she’s not pretty enough to play Sharon. That’s a horrible thing to say, but I have my standards.” 

She added, “Physical beauty wouldn’t be so important, but Sharon’s six years of her public life were all based on that incredibly beautiful natural perfect look, in soul heart and spirit. Thats what I’m looking to try to capture.” 

I think this is a very superficial examination of what this part might need. Lawrence and Robbie could do this and it would work. But, really, why would you want to go around saying things like that about someone's appearance? If you really cared about the project, you'd look at the experience and the artistry of the person, not their appearance. 















Monday, July 10, 2017

Milana Vayntrub is Squirrel Girl




I have no idea what this means because I thought Anna Kendrick was going to be Squirrel Girl:

Milana Vayntrub ('This Is Us') and Derek Theler ('Baby Daddy') lead the ensemble cast of the straight-to-series Freeform comedy.

Three months after being picked up straight to series by Freeform, Marvel's New Warriors has found its cast.

Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us) has landed the breakout role of Squirrel Girl, while Baby Daddy grad Derek Theler will stay in business with Freeform after landing the role of Mister Immortal in Marvel's first live-action scripted comedy.

The duo lead the ensemble cast in the 10-episode series about six young people learning to cope with their abilities in a world where bad guys can be as terrifying as bad dates. Joining Vayntrub and Theler are Jeremy Tardy as Night Thrasher, Calum Worthy as Speedball, Matthew Moy as Microbe and Kate Comer as Debrii.

Sounds like something I would go see.















Sunday, July 9, 2017

Eight Years Ago, This Was Enough to Make Wingnuts Freak Out

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="468.0"] Malia Obama, July, 2009 Malia Obama, July, 2009 [/caption]


In case you wanted some perspective on what passes for controversy, consider this.

In 2009, Malia Obama wore a t-shirt with a Peace symbol on it to the G20 summit. Wingnuts freaked out and hurled racial abuse at her. But that was standard practice back then. 

In 2017, Ivanka Trump took her father's place at the table with world leaders. Wingnuts didn't say boo.

Yeah, I don't get it either.















Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Bunch of Dicks Who Tell Fart Jokes




I would say that this is completely the opposite of what he meant:

Blink 182‘s Mark Hoppus has spoken out about the shifting perception of the band, arguing that after over 20 years together they’ve proven that they’re ‘not just a bunch of idiots telling fart and dick jokes’.

The singer and bassist was speaking to NME at Rock Werchter 2017 just before the band kicked off their UK tour in support of their acclaimed and chart-topping comeback album ‘California‘ – their seventh album in their 25 years as a band. However, Hoppus argues that much has changed in how the world views them over the years.

When did that "proof" arrive? I must have missed it. No one should ever go to the media and say "hey, we're not a joke." Having to say that means that, yes, you are a joke.















Friday, July 7, 2017

This is Why I Have No Idea What's Going On




Why can't this just be a movie about a kid from England who gets to be Spider Man?

When the untitled Avengers 4 rolls around in May of 2019, it will serve as a giant capstone to everything Marvel Studios have built in Phase Three - but they're wasting no time at all moving into Phase Four. The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to arrive in theaters just two months after the team-up movie, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently explained why that's happening:

The Infinity War movie and untitled Avengers are, yes, just by their nature, very big and are going to have a lot of universe-shattering events happen. How to process that, how to fathom that, how to come back to earth after that... of course you want Peter Parker to lead you through that.

In promotion of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Kevin Feige sat down with Fandango in the last few weeks to chat about the hero's future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and executive/producer explained the strategy behind releasing Spider-Man 2 as the immediate follow-up to Avengers 4. It's been previously confirmed that the spidey sequel would pick up mere minutes after the end of the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed comic book movie, but now we know that it's because Marvel plans to help bring fans back to Earth (potentially literally) with a more grounded, small-scale story.

What's funny about this is that situation almost makes it seem like the franchise jumped the gun a bit with the title of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The title certainly makes a fair amount of sense both because A) the film features a homecoming dance, and B) because it's Spider-Man's "homecoming" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe - but given the set up for the sequel, it would have been a very appropriate for Spider-Man 2 to get that particular subtitle:

When the untitled Avengers 4 rolls around in May of 2019, it will serve as a giant capstone to everything Marvel Studios have built in Phase Three - but they're wasting no time at all moving into Phase Four. The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to arrive in theaters just two months after the team-up movie, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently explained why that's happening: The Infinity War movie and untitled Avengers are, yes, just by their nature, very big and are going to have a lot of universe-shattering events happen. How to process that, how to fathom that, how to come back to earth after that... of course you want Peter Parker to lead you through that. In promotion of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Kevin Feige sat down with Fandango in the last few weeks to chat about the hero's future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and executive/producer explained the strategy behind releasing Spider-Man 2 as the immediate follow-up to Avengers 4. It's been previously confirmed that the spidey sequel would pick up mere minutes after the end of the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed comic book movie, but now we know that it's because Marvel plans to help bring fans back to Earth (potentially literally) with a more grounded, small-scale story. What's funny about this is that situation almost makes it seem like the franchise jumped the gun a bit with the title of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The title certainly makes a fair amount of sense both because A) the film features a homecoming dance, and B) because it's Spider-Man's "homecoming" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe - but given the set up for the sequel, it would have been a very appropriate for Spider-Man 2 to get that particular subtitle:

I've read all of that three times. What the hell is going on?

This is why I watch Bojack Horseman















Friday, June 30, 2017

Healthcare, How Does it Work?




Everything Trump says or does can be boiled down to a single concept:






If Insane Clown Posse were president right now, we wouldn't be having this discussion because at least those idiots know what they don't know.













Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Nutty Lady Says Nutty Things




Well, kids. That about does it for Louise Mensch. Her "anti-Trump" persona was every bit as interchangeable as her "anti-Hillary" persona and now people are finally starting to realize that she has no credibility whatsoever when it comes to anti-Trump activities, the actions of the Intelligence Community with regards to the various Trump investigations that are going on, and she has no pull with the Marshal of the Supreme Court.

Today she "doxxed" a user on Twitter and today she continued her bizarre, unhinged ranting. Numerous people on the left and right political spectrum have fallen for a chameleon-like persona that changes with the shifting winds. If you are following her for entertainment purposes, that's on you. If you want serious analysis of what's going on, you're barking up the wrong tree.













Sarah Palin Files Lawsuit Against Newspaper She Doesn't Read




I don't think Sarah Palin has much of a case here:

Sarah Palin has sued The New York Times for defamation.

The former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate filed a lawsuit against the Times on Tuesday alleging that a recent editorial falsely portrayed her as responsible for inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords. 

"Today, Sarah Palin took a stand against The New York Times Company by filing a lawsuit which seeks to hold The Times accountable for stating that Governor Palin is part of a 'sickeningly familiar pattern' of politically motivated violence and that she incited the horrific 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords," lawyers for Palin said in a statement. 

Palin is seeking more than $75,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit. 

The Times editorial, published in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise earlier this month, accused Palin of "political incitement" ahead of the 2011 Giffords shooting, the lawsuit says. The editorial wrongly claimed an ad from Palin's political action committee put "Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs," according to the lawsuit. 

The Times issued a correction a day later, noting that "no such link was established" between Palin's ad and the shooting, and that the ad in question "depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs." 

Still, the Times said that the error did not "undercut or weaken the argument of the piece."

Why not sue for a couple of million dollars? Why low-ball the Times at $75K? Can't Sarah do anything right? I mean, it's not like creating graphics with "surveyor's marks" is cheap.

UPDATE: Someone wrote to tell me that's not actually a picture of Sarah Palin. The hell you say!

Given that Miss Palin now has a lawyer out there suing people, I am not going to use her actual likeness unless it furthers the plot in a meaningful way.













Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Real Nazis Are Mad That Everyone Likes to Kill Nazis




Cool story, bro:

Welcome to 2017, when you can track the steady, civilization-sinking-into-the-mud decline of American politics by the number of people angrily shouting, “Hey, what gives?!” about a video game where you take back America from actual, genocidal Nazis. That’s the reaction that’s met the trailer for Bethesda’s latest shooter, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus today, with YouTube comments and 4chan posts filling up with people protesting the game for its “anti-white” politics, which involve such offenses as suggesting that the KKK and Nazis might have gotten along—given their shared mutual interests—and having a black character call the hero “white boy.”

Because this is the internet—a melting pot of ideas, irony, and creative expression that now seems increasingly like a mistake—the comments on the trailer have now descended into a mix of “Hey, get a look at these comments,” people calling each other snowflakes, and actual vitriol and right-wing memes. A number of people have logged on to suggest, for instance, that the Nazi-controlled America—full of happy, cheering white people and absolutely no minorities—shown in the trailer seems like a pretty nice place to live, while others are angry that Nazi-slaughtering protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz teams up with communists in his efforts to start a new American revolution. Many are decrying the game’s designers for “politicizing” Nazi murder or trying to push a particular political viewpoint, an argument that falls a little flat when applied to a series that once asked players to bust out of a literal Nazi labor camp in a robotic golem powered by Jewish science magic.

In the age of Trump, creating and marketing a video game that lets you run around in America and kill Nazis is just the marketplace talking to the consumer. In the words of the immortal Jello Biafra, Nazi Punks Fuck Off.













Monday, June 12, 2017

The Wedding Crasher




Not only does the president have time to golf, he has time to crash weddings. Someone needs the help this guy find a hobby or something. When people ask you if you're tired of winning, this is what they mean.













Look at the Famous Celebrity Leaking Information to the Press




In case you were wondering where all the leaks were coming from, it's Kellyanne!

If Donald Trump truly wants to stop the leaks coming from inside his White House, he might need to crack down on his counselor.

Kellyanne Conway has been caught at a glitzy Washington DC party allegedly dishing the dirt on her fellow Team Trump colleagues.

The 50-year-old was outed on a dedicated Twitter account,@KellyanneLeaks, in real time as she went after Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, legislative affairs director Marc Short, and others during a party on Thursday night.

'Kellyanne was at an embassy party last night, leaking sensitive Priebus and Trump White House conversations to @washingtonpost reporters,' the first tweet read.

Aren't we well past the point where maintaining Conway as a source is played out? Everyone in Washington D.C. knows that Conway and Steve Bannon are the ones leaking information to the press. Can't we just put an end to this nonsense?













Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I Love These Guys




This is the best thing on the Internet today, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

DPRK News Service is a parody account, and here's a little backstory for you:

DPRK News is run by two American guys: Patrick, a lawyer, and Derrick, a data analyst. They also run the “Popehat” account, which tweets from the perspective of, well, the pope’s hat.

We talked to them about their North Korean account. They’ve asked us to withhold their last names — they don’t want the North Koreans to be able to find them — so we’re calling them Patrick Popehat and Derrick Popehat.

Washington Post: Your DPRK News tweets are so spot-on that you've tricked a lot of people and some serious news organizations, too. What's the most surprising spoof tweet people have fallen for?

Patrick Popehat: Without a doubt, the first. On the first day of the account's existence, when Kim Jong Il, the father of North Korea's present leader, was still in power, Cyprus detained a North Korean ship caught smuggling cigarettes. I tweeted that the DPRK was threatening Cyprus with war over the ship. How the People's Navy would reach Cyprus was another question. In any case, that tweet was flagged by the Web-based arm of a Norwegian television network, and turned into a news story about the coming war. I shut down the account for a year (after boasting about the prank at my blog) after that tweet.

Derrick Popehat: Depends what you mean by "fallen." It's difficult to determine if someone is retweeting something because he/she thinks its "real," amusing or both. In this case, I would define "fallen" as "a major media outlet reported as fact." I figured after this, there wouldn't be any more. A simple Google search for the Twitter handle would not only reveal that article but several others covering the same material. So, waking up one morning and finding out this happened nearly nine months later was a little disconcerting.

At this point, Patrick and I haven't really been trying to "spoof" news outlets, so it was surprising that one made it in. That was the last major hit, I think. My favorite "spoof" moment was when Patrick killed a tweet I wrote about the Korea National Insurance Company, for being unrealistic. It actually exists, mostly as [an alleged]  front for reinsurance fraud.

WP: What's the best tweet you've written? Your favorite tweet?

PP: Boasts about Kim Jong Un and his omnipotence are always fun, and not too far from what North Korea's news services actually report. This is the most popular tweet we've written:

 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Roger Stone is the First Rat to Jump Ship




The ship is going down, so celebrity ratfucker Roger Stone is trying to be the first one into the water. This sort of thing would have been unthinkable a few months ago, especially since old Roger thought they were all going to get away with whatever they were doing. Here we see him identifying co-conspirator number one--aka Jared Kushner. What sort of illegal activities have these people been up to? If someone were to look at this arms deal with the Saudis, what would they find? Would they find the usual bribes and favors and whatever else that goes with these things?

Who knows? But, I can guarantee you one thing--if Stone can flip on Kushner, he might end up staying out of jail for a while. I agree with the idea that all of them--all of the Trump people and Trump himself--will probably die in jail. I just don't know how all of this is going to unfold.

More importantly, this image is going to be burned into the conservative history of the Trump regime. When Trump bent down and curtsied to the king, he made it known that he was only here to ram cash into his pants and walk away unsullied. The Roger Stones of the world are left holding the bag every single time.

That's how it works for people who believe in Donald Trump. He walks off with your money, you get to explain to the cops why you're holding a gun, an empty bag with a dollar sign on it, and a bank teller's severed head.













Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Fake News Story Was Discredited in Record Time




This story hit the wires yesterday, and when it showed up in my Facebook feed, I quickly identified it as a piece of fake news. I got into a back and forth with some low-level trolls, and was able to move on without even writing about the incident.

Well, what do you know?

Last July, a Democratic National Committee staffer named Seth Rich was shot to death in what police called a botched robbery attempt in Washington. No suspect yet has been found. Throughout the summer, showing the same kind of discretion it once extended to the family of Vince Foster, the wingnuttosphere was alive with speculation that the Clinton Death Squad once again was abroad in the land.

Which brings us to Monday's story, which appeared almost simultaneously with the Washington Post story about the president* and his relaxed attitude toward top-secret classified information. From Fox 5 DC:

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that. Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich's murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation. "The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming," said Wheeler. "They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both."

So the evidence for this blockbuster is on a computer that Wheeler never has seen and that he "believes" is locked away either by the FBI or the local cops in Washington. Oh, OK.

And Charlie Pierce goes on to correctly identify Rod Wheeler as a "source" when, in fact, he's a low-grade lunatic operating somewhere between Infowars and the fevered imagination of whoever used to book Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox. This is easily discredited bullshit, and if I can do it, you can do it, too.

This is the original story, which, of course, has been updated with a paragraph at the end that basically calls into question every reason why it was written in the first place:

POSTED:MAY 15 2017 10:41PM EDT

UPDATED:MAY 16 2017 02:21PM EDT

WASHINGTON - It has been almost a year since Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in the nation's capital. There have been no solid answers about why he was killed until now.

Rich was shot and killed last July in Northwest D.C and police have suggested the killing in the District's Bloomingdale neighborhood was a botched robbery. However, online conspiracy theories have tied the murder to Rich's work at the DNC.

Just two months shy of the one-year anniversary of Rich's death, FOX 5 has learned there is new information that could prove these theorists right.

Family's private investigator: There is evidence Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks prior to death

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Wheeler's services were offered to the family and paid for by a third party, according to a statement issued by the Rich family Tuesday which also includes that "the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family." 

Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that.

Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation.

"The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” said Wheeler. “They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”

When we asked Wheeler if his sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, he said, “Absolutely. Yeah. That's confirmed."

Wheeler also told us, "I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor's office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out [Tuesday].

Wheeler told FOX 5 that he will provide us with a full report with the new details.

FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick spoke with D.C. Police on Tuesday and was told that Wheeler’s assertion that a source inside the department told him that detectives were instructed to stand down regarding the Rich case was false.

The family sent Alnwick a statement on Tuesday with the following statement:

"As we've seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press. Even if tomorrow, an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered and we've seen that those interested in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so. We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth's murderers. The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family." 

Look for this story to disappear at some point. That's why I'm archiving it here, in its entirety. Yesterday's troll tried to trade on Wheeler's status as a police detective. Fuck that shit. Wheeler just got caught in the kind of hyperbolic lie familiar to anyone who sits before a camera on Fox News. The gravy train is running off the rails so why not pretend to be a private investigator who knows something that will embarrass Democrats? This scam is going to be run again and again in the days and weeks ahead because the Trump Regime is flying apart. I expect we'll see a great deal of this because, hell, it works, doesn't it? It fools people. It reinforces their need to latch onto something phony and make it confirm their biases. It doesn't matter that it's ridiculous--all the better! It plays well on your buddy's paranoid feed, doesn't it?

These fuckers never give up. It took less than 24 hours to slap down a cynical attempt by the right wing media to deflect attention away from the dumpster fire that is the Trump Regime and create a new "right wing myth" about the Clintons, this one involving a young man shot down in the prime of life.

Seth Rich's death is a tragedy, and it should not be used by anyone to advance a political agenda. He should be allowed to rest in peace and every effort should be made to offer some measure of comfort and sympathy to his family. I can assure you, I write of this not to make something worse, but to highlight the actions of evil people and their agenda.

The fantastic Caroline O. breaks this down even further. She is really masterful at exposing bullshit.

UPDATE:






 

 













Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trump Trolls Rosie O'Donnell




Given everything that has gone wrong for the President over the last 48 hours, you'd think he would be trying to change the narrative, find a solution to the mess he's created for himself, and reach out to his allies so that he can unify his message to the American people.

Nope. 

Trump spent the afternoon using Twitter to goad Rosie O'Donnell into a Twitter war.






 

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution is a beautiful thing, but it has to be studied and put into action. Trump needs to be medically examined by physicians at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center immediately. 













Saturday, May 6, 2017

Would You Tell This Woman to Lose Weight?




More proof that the world is dumb:

Miss Iceland has quit an international beauty pageant after she was allegedly told to lose weight.

Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir said staff from the popular contest, Miss Grand International, told her to eat less ahead of the final. 

    In a "goodbye" letter posted on Instagram Monday, she wrote: "I am a very strong woman, but sometimes my strength isn't enough.

    "Your staff told me that I had to lose weight for the finals because I have too much fat on me and also too big shoulders."

    It might be a good idea to point out that the man in question wasn't Trump because that was the first reaction I had to this story--what did Trump say about a woman now? But, no. It was some other ridiculous asshole.

    Oh, and as if this needs to be said--don't ever tell anyone they need to lose weight. It's none of your damned business. Period. End of story.













    Monday, May 1, 2017

    House of Cards Can't Top America's New Reality




    The good folks who write the show House of Cards are running into the same problem that the people writing Veep have confronted this season--the current reality faced by the American people is far worse than anything they can come up with.

    In this new trailer, Spacey’s President Underwood prepares for his election campaign with a sinister message. “The American people don’t know what’s best for them. I do. I know exactly what they need,” he tells wife Claire, played by Robin Wright.

    “They’re like little children, Claire. We have to hold their sticky fingers and wipe their filthy mouths. Teach them right from wrong. Tell what to think and how to feel and what to want. They even need help writing their wildest dreams. Crafting their worst fears. Lucky for them, they have me. They have you.”

    Spacey’s character finishes the monologue by saying: “Underwood, 2016. 2020. 2024. 2028. 2032. 2036. One nation, Underwood,”

    What do you do when you have a country actually being ruled by a dictator? You turn your show into a story about a guy who wants to declare himself a dictator and rule the country for the next twenty years. I wish them well, and I know that Kevin Spacey is good in everything he does, but, wow. Look at where we are as a country. We're fictionalizing things that still can't top what's real.













    Sunday, April 30, 2017

    You Will Love America Or Else




    This tweet implies a few things that should be addressed.

    1. This is what fascism looks like--blind obedience to the state, beginning with the inculcation of children.

    2. America's children don't already love their country? When did this become an issue? Trump believes that if he talks about how awful he thinks America was when Obama was president, people will nod and agree with him. What a bunch of bullshit.

    3. The flag is a symbol of the country, but it is not sacrosanct. The reason why America is great is because you can ignore the flag, burn the flag, and do stupid things with it and no one will throw you in jail or destroy you.

    4. Why is President Trump holding a rally in Harrisburg, Virginia? His presidency is a failure.

    5. Clearly, a lot of white people in Pennsylvania are starved for entertainment. About a half an hour away from Harrisburg is Hershey Park. Take your kids there and enjoy yourselves. Good God, you took your kid to see Donald Trump? I hope you went to Hershey Park before this rally. I really miss Hershey Park and that's the only thing that matters--having a good time with the kids is what life is supposed to be about. Not this political crap. Good gravy, people. If you have a theme park or something fun nearby, take your kids out and have a blast. 













    Sunday, April 16, 2017

    The Fate of the Furious




    This movie could have been a bomb, but so what?

    The eighth instillment of the 'Fast' franchise has already pulled in $432.2 million internationally. 

    With only hours left in the weekend, ‘The Fate Of The Furious’ is on track to shatter the opening-weekend box office record set by ‘The Force Awakens’ in 2015.

    As predicted by pundits, the eighth edition of the film series performed hugely in the worldwide box office in its opening weekend. In North America alone it earned $100.2 million – though, as Comic Book Resources note, this was actually lower than expected.

    However, the movie went above-and-beyond for fans internationally pulling in $432.2 million which leaves the film at a projected total of $532.5 million.

    If you're going to evaluate these films as if they were serious, thought-provoking treatments on family, international car theft, and mayhem, you could sit and dismantle them one by one. The entire series spans the careers of everyone involved. I'm not going to write a serious review. No spoilers here. I'm just going to give my reaction.

    One, the whole thing is lacking in the Paul Walker department. Even CGI Paul Walker would have been welcome. Something. Anything. It's really sad, and Scott Eastwood is no Paul Walker.

    Two, everything is implausible, but that's okay.

    Three, Charlize Theron is a terrific villain. Hollywood should probably notice this.

    Four, you can see why Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel don't get along. They are two alphas in a world full of wisecracking betas. This film looked like it took forever to shoot. If anyone or anything were to delay filming on such a complicated movie, I would get pissed, too.

    Five, the real star of all of this should be Michelle Rodriguez, and she should get her own franchise. She's a tremendous star and is allowed to be tough and resilient and powerful in these films, but just not enough.

    All in all, it was worth it and I was not disappointed. I did not arrive with huge expectations. They spent every penny of their budget well, and used more stunt persons than actual actors, it looked like.













    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    More Clinton Derangement Syndrome Ahead




    You can just imagine the headline--House Republicans Schedule Hearings to Determine Whether or Not Clinton Nephew Really Deserves a Modeling Career.

    There's a new, six-foot-tall reason you'll be seeing the name "Clinton" in the news again.

    Tyler Clinton, the 22-year-old nephew of Bill and Hillary Clinton, has just landed a modeling contract with IMG, home to supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, as well as Amber Valleta, Ashley Graham and Taylor Hill. Tyler's dad, Roger, is Bill's younger half-brother and an actor with credits in Spy Hard and The Rugrats Movie.

    I would be willing to bet you that Jason Chaffetz is already planning to spend $12 million dollars to find out whether or not Tyler Clinton has cheek implants. So, if you're in the fake news business, this is what's called a gimme. As in, gimme fifty pieces just like this. Woo hoo.













    The Sad Story of Melanie Brown




    You don't need to be famous to suffer the effects of domestic abuse:

    The first public warning sign came in December 2014, when Mel B was absent from a taping of the reality-competition series X Factor. Viewers at home were told that the pop star had fallen ill, but eyebrows were raised when the former Spice Girls singer appeared on the program the following evening with bruises on her arms and cheek. Mel B’s mother, Andrea, took to Twitter to insinuate that her daughter’s then-husband, Stephen Belafonte, was behind the bruising.






    “On average It takes 30 beatings 4 a woman to leave abusive man how sad more should b done 4 these victims!!” she tweeted. Belafonte denied hitting his wife; Mel B remained silent at the time, only to tell the tabloids two months later: “No, my husband didn’t hit me. No, I didn’t get held hostage. Me and my husband are madly in love.” 

    She won’t be silent anymore.

    According to TMZ, Mel B filed a restraining order against Belafonte on Monday, alleging a vicious cycle of physical and emotional abuse. The singer, 41, claims in her declaration that her ex—a middling movie producer, and no relation to Harry—would regularly “beat me down to let me know he was in charge.” In July 2012, Mel B alleges that, on the eve of taping an X Factorsegment with the pop superstar Usher, Belafonte became green with jealousy, and punched her in the mouth. Two months later, she says that he not only punched her in the face again following her London Olympics performance, but also dragged her across the carpet, causing rug burns. Mel B shares that she tried to leave her husband time and again since they were married in 2007, but says he “threatened me with violence and threatened to destroy my life in every possible way… destroy my career and take my kids away from me.”

    Horrible. I hope she gets the help she needs. Now is a good time to remind ourselves that the current state of politics in this country has further marginalized women. We need to focus on resources for people who aren't famous and who are suffering from abuse.













    Thursday, March 30, 2017

    A Deplorable by Any Other Name




    Oh, look. The puke who used his money to spread filth about Hillary Clinton is now out of a gig:

    According to a report in Upload VR, Palmer Luckey, the co-founder of Oculus and the Rift creator, is leaving the company which he sold to Facebook three years ago. This will allegedly be Luckey’s last week with the company. “Palmer will be dearly missed," a statement from Facebook read. "Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.” The Daily Beast has reached out to Facebook to confirm this information. 

    Last September, The Daily Beast revealed that Luckey had been involved in funding a pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, a self-described “social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit." It was intended for the purposes of shitposting about Hillary Clinton and circulating offensive memes about her. Luckey got involved in the project after meeting Milo Yiannopoulos. Shortly after the story, Luckey essentially disappeared and skipped the Oculus Connect (OC3) developer conference. He has kept a low profile over the past few months with no posts to his Twitter or Facebook accounts since September. 

    In this country, he gets to keep his money and go on about his business. In Russia, he would have been imprisoned for being mentally ill and corrupt months ago. That's how it works now. You can be wealthy, powerful, and do whatever you want without any consequences until the people you're working for decide that you're too much of a liability to keep around.

    I love the part about how he amscrayed from social media, though. If you have such popular ideas, why not share them with the rest of us? Are you afraid that the marketplace of ideas is going to reject you?

    Too late for that now.













    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    The World Continues to Not Make Sense




    What the ever-loving hell is going on with this country?

    What’s a misconception that people have about you?
    [Another long pause.] They think I’m a party animal, which … I am a party animal. I mean, that might be one thing. But I am a party animal. But on the other hand, I haven’t … I’m now extremely moderate and … I actually stopped smoking pot almost a year ago.

    Mazel tov. That’s not easy. I’m also in the process of trying to quit.
    Oh, really?

    Yeah, I had a problem with it.
    Why? Just too much?

    It messes with my head and makes me less productive.
    Yeah, that was a little bit of my issue. Just 30 solid years of just partying too fucking hard.

    What do you do to keep from relapsing?
    Well, like, last night, someone had — not just good herb but sativa; really good sativa. There’s a joint, and beautifully rolled. I like a beautifully rolled … and I just was like, I mean, I’ve gone this long. It would be weird to just be like, “Okay, let me have a hit off that,” and then suddenly go back to smoking too much, which is … I don’t have a problem at all with smoking. I think it’s great. I think it’s a great drug, in terms of … Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria. Or the … what do you call it?

    The effect?
    Right. The effect of it is euphoria. But when you’re doing it all the time, it just becomes … Well, you know. I feel like it was keeping me from being emotionally available. I really don’t want this interview to turn into a whole thing about that.

    Well, congratulations. It’s not easy.
    I still drink. But I try to be moderate with the drinking, too.

    Woody, good luck to you man. An entire nation of people trying to escape from their own nightmares is looking up to you tonight.













    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Dumbassery Masquerading as Intelligent Commentary




    I followed a link from Lawyers, Guns and Money to a site billing itself as trying to reignite the fires of dumbassery from long dead embers found in a burial chamber where something-something once lived, and I discovered this article and burst out laughing.

    By any chance, do you remember what Roger Pielke, Sr. is famous for? Anyone? Why, he's the father of Roger Pielke Jr., the guy who lasted five minutes out there as a "climate science skeptic."

    Now that they* have shut down his original blog, Roger Pielke, Jr., is desperately trying to remain relevant in the blogosphere. Pielke’s preferred strategy — as it has always been — is to utterly misrepresent what people say and then attack that misrepresentation in the hopes of garnering media attention. Baselessly smearing the professional reputation of hundreds of leading U.S. scientists means nothing whatsoever to him — if it gets him press coverage (see details here).

    These days, the main “media” paying attention to Pielke, Jr. (as with Pielke, Sr.) are the global warming deniers (see “Uber-denier Inhofe gives big wet Valentine’s kiss to Pielke “” go figure!”). So it’s no surprise that Pielke Jr.’s latest distortion was immediately picked up by Swift Boat smearer Marc Morano, much as the main person pushing Pielke Sr.’s climate disinformation is anti-science blogger Anthony Watts (see “Like father, like son: Roger Pielke Sr. also doesn’t understand the science of global warming “” or just chooses to willfully misrepresent it”) What is (a little) surprising is that Pielke would utterly misrepresent something I wrote when everyone can plainly see what he is doing.

    Yes, the dumbassery abounds.

    The problem with trying to peddle bullshit in the Trump era is that there are so many more outlets who got there first, and there are so many more who kissed ass and received access to the White House press room. There is, literally, a plethora of whiny, fact-free conservative blogs out there who missed the boat and are now having to run pieces by the father of the guy who got laughed off of 538.com.

    Oh, and who tried to help him out?

    Wikileaks.

    A University of Colorado professor who's been criticized for his writings about climate change has been caught up in  WikiLeaks' dump of emails involving John Podesta, campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton.

    Roger Pielke Jr., who has been a faculty member on the Boulder campus since 2001, was the  subject of a July 2014 email about  an essay he wrote on climate change for the website FiveThirtyEight.

    Pielke writes a  regular column about sports governance for the Daily Camera.

    The email was sent by Judd Legum, the editor of  ThinkProgress, a site that's part of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, which was founded by Podesta in 2003.

    In his email to billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Legum described how he believed Climate Progress, the environmental arm of ThinkProgress, got Pielke to stop writing about climate change for FiveThirtyEight.

    "I think it's fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538," Legum wrote.

    Peak wingnut? Nah, we're miles away from peak wingnut.

     













    Saturday, March 4, 2017

    Russia is After Sarah Jessica Parker




    It's all good, innocent fun:

    Actress Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't have to feel left out of the foreign policy social scene anymore -- the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak would be happy to meet with Parker, too.

    The invitation came Friday, from the Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in response to Parker's Instagram post on Thursday. The "Sex And The City" star channeled her character Carrie Bradshaw to joke about the controversy surrounding the meetings between Kislyak and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well as the subsequent revelations that more Trump administration advisers have met with the Russian ambassador. 

    Parker's Instagram post features a scene from the HBO series showing Bradshaw typing on a laptop with a caption, resembling the television script, that reads: 

      "I couldn't help but wonder... has the Russian ambassador been meeting with everybody except me?"

      I am an expert on sawhorses, and the one on which Miss Parker has positioned herself is very sturdy and would be excellent for a flooring project or even stacking hardwood materials. Think of a dark oak floorboard, perhaps five or six inches wide with a pronounced groove to it. That is the limit of my knowledge on such things. I don't know what the Russians want with her, but it has to be related to her knowledge of America's television industry.

      Unlike the Trump people, if Parker were to meet with the Russians, I am certain that she would report her meeting to the authorities and provide the FBI with as much information as they would require. I doubt very much that she would lie about any bags of money handed to her by Russian agents.













      Friday, February 24, 2017

      They're Coming For Your Weed




      Just when you thought the whole thing was settled, the Trump Regime throws a monkey wrench into the gears just for the laughs.

      But while Republicans generally support local control and the rights of states to pass their own laws, not all states' rights are created equal in the eyes of the new White House. Case in point: state marijuana laws.

      In the White House briefing room Thursday, press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters federal law enforcement authorities would be taking a new view of state laws that have legalized recreational marijuana in recent years.

      Never mind that the whole thing regarding "states rights" was settled decades ago--they're telegraphing their next move.

      Do you live in a state where you can use marijuana for medical purposes or recreationally? Do you live in a state where it has been decriminalized? Good for you. The Trump people are going to undo all of that and destroy all of the progress we've made. This is because they still think marijuana is a "gateway" drug and that it's still 1983:

      "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people," Spicer said. "There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and drugs of that nature."

      The Obama administration had fought states on the bathroom issue, but let states experiment with marijuana legalization even though federal law supersedes state law under the supremacy clause of the Constitution.

      The real criminals are the people who created the opioid crisis in the first place. That would be the drug companies, their marketing people, and the doctors who get kickbacks for prescribing millions of painkillers to people who don't need them. We're not going after those criminals. We're going after the little people because it's much, much easier to fill up a for-profit prison that way. See how it's all a big scam? Cops will get to seize your property and receive military gear. The prisons will fill up with marijuana users. The drug companies will get off scot-free. Profits for them, and not for thee.

      We're entering a new phase of American history: the Drug War II. And if you know someone who drives to get their medical marijuana in a vehicle with a Trump bumpersticker, give them a pat on the back.













      Wednesday, February 22, 2017

      She's the One









      I adore Aubrey Plaza and I always have:

      If you are standing right now, I suggest you sit down, because we’re going to begin with some truly shocking news: Aubrey Plaza is not a 50-year-old man.

      Truthfully, this should be clear to anyone who has followed Plaza on her rise to stardom over the years—the seven seasons portraying the human embodiment of an eye-roll, April Ludgate, on NBC’s Parks & Recreation, her quieter standout roles in indies like Safety Not Guaranteed and Ned Rifle, or more recent big-screen endeavors like Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. Certainly, it’s clear to me, sitting across from the actress at a Los Feliz noodle bar, a month before she’s set to co-star in Legion, FX’s Marvel-universe mind-bender from Fargo creator Noah Hawley.

      Really, she's the best of her generation. Someone needs to give her a really, really good role and watch what she does with it.