Afternoon Briefing: Donald Trump Double-Dog Dares Rep. Wilson to Repeat Her Statement

You know when there’s also an afternoon briefing that it’s been a bug-sh*t day in politics. And it has. The latest? Look at this asshole deny he said what he said:

I mean, the body language alone shows how much the man is lying. Crossed arms, defensive posture. Also, «that Congresswoman» is Frederica Wilson, and «that woman,» «the wife» he spoke to is Myeshia Johnson, but of course he doesn’t know that because he couldn’t be bothered to learn the name of the soldier who died before calling Myeshia Johnson. His name is La David T. Johnson — he had the name of his wife and children tattooed on his chest.

And guess what? La David’s mom, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, was also present during the call, and she confirms Representative Wilson’s account. «President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband.»

Anyway, Trump dared Congresswoman Wilson to repeat her statement, and then he’d come out with proof that she is lying. She repeated the statement.

We await the proof, Donny. Or are you going to go with your fellow sexual assaulter, Bill O’Reilly:

— Meanwhile, how is that bi-partisan agreement the Senate came up with and Donald Trump seemed to support to fund the CSRs for Obamacare going? Oh, Trump is backpedaling?

Color us shocked. But hey! If the Senate and the House pass it, I’m sure he’ll sign it, right? I mean, Trump claimed credit as the architect of the damn bill just yesterday, so …

What’s that, Paul Ryan? «The speaker does not see anything that changes his view that the Senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare.» Oh, good. So, the Speaker of the House is against the bill, which is almost but not quite a death blow. Cool, cool. I look forward to a 20 percent hike in all of our premiums in 2018.

— Maybe we can offset those premium hikes with the tax cuts we’re getting, right?

Must be really good if the middle class is going to be the recipient of the biggest tax break in the history of the country. Oh what’s that again, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin?

«So when you’re cutting taxes across the board, it’s very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the middle class,» he concluded. «The math, given how much you are collecting, is just hard to do.»

Really? Because here’s a thought, and I’m just spitballing here: Maybe instead of «across the board» tax cuts, you just narrowly tailor it to 90 PERCENT OF AMERICA and leave, say, the richest 10 percent out of it. Maybe apply that money to, say, healthcare! Or roads! Or job training for all those out-of-work coal miners.

I know. It’s too crazy to work!

— In case you’ve forgotten, since the thing that’s most likely to end Trump’s presidency has fallen down on the list of priorities, but the investigation into Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians is still ongoing. Sessions met with the Senate Intelligence Committee today, and he seems pleasant.

I don’t think Senator Franken and Attorney General care for each other, you guys.

— Finally, here’s a voice mail «someone» left with Forbes Magazine, and by «someone,» I mean, «John Barron,» and by «John Barron,» I mean «Donald Trump.»


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Ivanka Trump Claims To Have Had A “Punk Phase”

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I don’t trust anybody named Trump as far as I can throw them. Ivanka Trump, perhaps the most easily tossed Trump, is no exception. So when Ivanka says she went through a “punk phase”, I’ve got to go see my ophthalmologist for severe spraining of the eyeballs. Ivanka wrote a chapter in her mom Ivana Trump‘s book Raising Trump, and because she’s a bad liar, she revealed that she used to shoplift tampons with GG Allin back in the day. Or close to it!

According to the New York Daily News:

“My wardrobe consisted of ripped corduroy jeans and flannel shirts,” Ivanka wrote in a chapter of Ivana Trump’s “Raising Trump,” which was released on Oct. 10. “One day after school, I dyed my hair blue. Mom wasn’t a fan of this decision. She took one look at me and immediately went out to the nearest drugstore to buy a $ 10 box of Nice’ n Easy. That night she forced me to dye my hair back to blond.”

Oh, Ivanka. If you’re gonna lie about being into something, you’ve GOT to do your homework. You are describing mall grunge, sweetheart. If you asked Ivanka who her favorite author was she’d say something like Philip Roth. Then you’d ask her which book of his is her favorite and she’d say, “Oh, I don’t know, I just love them all so much.” But in reality she only reads Cosmo and has had Atlas Shrugged open to page 2 on her bedside table for a decade. At most, Ivaka had one pair of very expensive ripped jeans and a single flannel from L.L. Bean she stole from Donny Jr.’s Fall Hunting Outfits closet.

I also call foul on that hair dye story. Ivanka ramped up the incredulity factor by adding:

“The color she picked out was actually three shades lighter than my natural color … and I have never looked back!”

Girl, please stop lying. Do you know what a fucking mess that would make? Blue hair dye, even if it’s just Manic Panic (which I’m sure it was, if it happened at all) is a mess. No way Ivana let that go down in one of the Trump bathrooms. I’m really supposed to believe that Ivana walked her daughter to Walgreens and had the skill and patience to turn her jacked-up blue hair into a professional bleach job with a $ 10 box of Nice ‘n Easy? Pssssssh. Ivana called down to the salon and said, “I ham zending her down now, she hass been very naughty. Her daddy must never know.

Ivanka also swears that she was devastated when Kurt Cobain died. She claims she cried uncontrollably for 24 hours before her mom finally had enough and made her come down for dinner. Now this I totally believe. THIS rings true. Ivanka absolutely seems the type. What an incredible opportunity for unhinged histrionics by feigning grief in order to gain sympathy, attention and cool points for appearing so affected!

Pic: Instagram

Dlisted

Morning Briefing: Donald Trump Serves Himself Up On a Spit

Good morning. We’re going to talk about a phone call that President Trump made to the widow of a fallen soldier today, because that’s where we are in America in 2017. We do not understand the circumstances surrounding the soldier’s death. It took 48 hours to recover the man’s body, and 12 days for Donald Trump to acknowledge his existence, and only then did he do so after he was called out by the press.

The man’s name, by the way, is Sgt. La David Johnson. He was a father. He was a husband. Right now, we should be mourning his death. We should be allowing his 24-year-old widow the time to grieve. (If there’s one positive to come out of this stupid controversy, it’s that a GoFundMe to support Myeshia’s children has raised $ 250,000 already).

But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about whether or not President Obama made phone calls to fallen soldiers (he did). We’re talking about how President Obama handled the death of General John Kelly’s son, and we’re talking about a phone call that Donald Trump made to Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, a phone call where he said that Johnson «knew what he was signing up for.» Oh, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, the president also couldn’t remember Johnson’s name when he made the call.

It should be a pretty open and shut case here: Noted sociopath Donald Trump shows off his insensitivity once again. For the 789th time during his Presidency, Trump illustrates that he does not know how to speak like a human being. He has no empathy.

There should be not political debate surrounding the death of a soldier. But this morning, cable news and social media is engaged in a he said/she said debate. Rep. Frederica Wilson was with Myeshia when the phone call was made. Representative Wilson says Myeshia was in tears after the conversation because of what Trump said.

Trump, on the other hand, says LIES!

Rational people would see this tweet and think, «OK. How many times has Donald Trump lied over the last two years? How many times has he disrespected the military? There’s the Gold Star family. There’s John McCain. There’s the way he politicized the Boy Scouts and the CIA, and how he’s hidden behind his generals, and how he once falsely said he had «proof» before re: Obama tapping his phone lines. Etc. Etc. Etc. So, everyone is like, «Fuck you, Trump. You lying piece of shit!» Right? Right?

Meanwhile, Donald Trump himself has made the death of a soldier a political issue, which basically gave the green light to the media to impeach his credibility. You put yourself on the stand, Trump, and that's happens. From the Associated Press:

But The Associated Press found relatives of two soldiers who died overseas during Trump's presidency who said they never received a call or a letter from him, as well as relatives of a third who did not get a call. And proof is plentiful that Barack Obama and George W. Bush -- saddled with far more combat casualties than the roughly two dozen so far under Trump, took painstaking steps to write, call or meet bereaved military families.

So, once again, Trump has started a battle that he cannot win. He has brought more shame upon himself, and to the office of the Presidency, and he knows it, which is why he is accusing the Congresswoman of lying, and otherwise trying to divert our attention again:

Don't take the bait, media. Where it concerns the death of soldiers, there wasn't even a fire here until Donald Trump served himself up on spit. The least you could now is roast him.

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Trump Finally Called the Widow of a Fallen Soldier … And, Oh God, He Shouldn’t Have

Two senators reached a bipartisan agreement to fund the subsidies that Trump cut off last week. It’s a two-year patch, but I’ll take any small victory. (NYT)

A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked Trump’s third attempt at a travel ban. (WaPo)

Sean Spicer was interviewed yesterday by Robert Mueller’s team. So all in all, I think it’s been not a super great day for Trump. (Axios)

It took 12 days before Donald Trump mustered the effort to call the widow of one of the special forces members who died in Niger, and seemingly, he did so only after political pressure was placed on him to do so. And what did he say? «He knew what he signed up for,» he told the grieving, pregnant widow of the soldier, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson. «Yes, he said it,» Wilson said. «It’s so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it.» (WPLG)

Happy National Pasta Day! I’ll be celebrating properly this Saturday, until then I’ll just keep reading Fancy Pasta Bitch.

Over the weekend Steven shared this link in the Overlord group and we all agreed it was a fascinating (and highly disturbing) read. It’s in six parts, but trust me, it’s well worth your time. (LA Times)

Molly Ringwald wrote a piece for The New Yorker and I think you should read this too. (The New Yorker)

Linda Rosenthal, a Representative from Manhattan, introduced a bill to withhold tax credits to companies that ignore sexual-harassment complaints. (The Cut)

Did you know that there is an eighth continent named Zealandia? And that you can kind of, sort of explore it? (Atlas Obscura)

How do you feel about me sharing recipes? Every single one of these looks and sounds delicious. (The New Potato)

Trump hasn’t lost his job (yet) but apparently he did lose $ 600 million. Poor dear. (Town & Country)

I would be completely supportive of Lena Headey going full Cersei Lannister on Weinstein. (Vulture)

Anyone want to take bets that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are already engaged? (Celebitchy)

This story that Russian trolls were instructed to watch House of Cards and learn about American politics is bananas. (Dlisted)

You want to see these photos of Julia Child. (Bon Appetit)

If you need to have surgery, consider finding a female doctor. (IFLScience)

Blake Lively looks like she is channeling Chloë Sevigny in American Psycho. (GFY)

I wasn’t aware that you could use Google Street View for the International Space Station. br(notreally)b (Popular Mechanics)

Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, and Mark Ruffalo hanging out at the Sydney harbor is the trio I never knew I needed. (Lainey Gossip)

Sophia had put off reading Edward Abbey’s classic, Desert Solitaire, until she was on her way to her own Southwestern adventure. She enjoyed Abbey’s writing, though some of his attitudes are less comfortable now. The absence of women (other than one uncomplimentary aside) prompted Sophia to find out more about Abbey as a person. That was a mistake. Does knowing too much about an author’s life impact how much you appreciate their books? (Cannonball Read 9)

Picture of the day:

#metoo (Hi-res linked in profile for anybody who wishes to repost)

A post shared by Victoria Siemer (@witchoria) on

Ursula lives in Chicago and likes potatoes very much. You can follow her here.

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Are We Better or Worse Off with President Trump Versus President Pence?

Yesterday the New Yorker published a fascinating, scathing and horrifying examination of Vice President Mike Pence. In a world where President Donald Trump has been increasingly unstable—something that is morbidly impressive given where he started out—and has shocked even his own followers with the depths of his depravity—granted, to his followers, said depravity includes not building a wall and speaking to Democrats—there has been a rising, relatively off-handed support for Mike Pence. The idea, largely from a place of exhaustion, outrage and exhausted outrage, is seemingly clear-cut: after this, anyone would be an improvement.

As absolutely apocalyptic as Donald Trump is as president, this New Yorker article posits one chilling truth: Mike Pence would actually be worse.

Pence has a few things working in his favor: his boss is almost a lock to get himself impeached, he is the only person in the White House who can’t be fired, and he’s possibly the only person outside of Trump’s own family that Trump hasn’t publicly castigated. He’s also deep in the pockets of deeply conservative billionaires. The Koch brothers are no fans of Trump, but they adore Pence. Whereas Trump’s beliefs change with the wind, Pence holds firm to his—and his most steadfast beliefs would be devastating to the nation. One Republican congressional staffer describes him as «as far right as you could go without falling off the earth.» He thinks global warming is a «myth.» He’s made a name for himself by opposing Bush’s efforts to expand Medicaid and threatening to shut down the government if they didn’t defund Planned Parenthood. His «pro-life» stances are shocking in their cruelty.

He backed «personhood» legislation that would ban it under all circumstances, including rape and incest, unless a woman’s life was at stake. He sponsored an unsuccessful amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would have made it legal for government-funded hospitals to turn away a dying woman who needed an abortion. (Later, as governor of Indiana, he signed a bill barring women from aborting a physically abnormal fetus; the bill also required fetal burial or cremation, including after a miscarriage. A federal judge recently found the law unconstitutional.)

His history on race is no better. He was one of the governors to ban Syrian refugees from his state. During his tenure he refused to pardon Keith Cooper, a black man who was found innocent of committing armed robbery through DNA evidence and retracted victim statements. After being asked by the Indiana Parole Board to pardon Cooper, Pence «dragged out the process for years.»

«It was all about Pence’s political career,» Cooper said. «As a Christian, he’s a hypocrite. He wouldn’t see me or speak with me. God doesn’t turn his back on the truth, but Pence just walked away from the truth. I couldn’t move forward in life. I was stuck in a dead-end job.» Cooper, who was operating a forklift at the time, now cares for his grandchildren. He has become friendly with the robbery victims who mistakenly identified him in a police lineup; they supported his bid for a pardon. «I forgive them,» he said. «They stood up for me.» He went on, «I forgive the prosecutor. He wrote a letter. And the parole board? They saw that justice happened. But I don’t forgive Mike Pence, and never will. He talks all this God stuff, but he’s biased. He hates Muslims, he hates gay people, and he hates minorities. He didn’t want to be the first white man in Indiana to pardon an innocent black man.»

A spokesman for Pence, who declined to be quoted, said Pence believed that Cooper needed to go back to court and face a retrial, instead of seeking a pardon.

What’s getting the most notice from this article is a «joke» made by Donald Trump. As a joke, it’s disgusting; as a possible truth, it’s terrifying.

A staff member from Trump’s campaign recalls him mocking Pence’s religiosity. He said that, when people met with Trump after stopping by Pence’s office, Trump would ask them, «Did Mike make you pray?» Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality. During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade. The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. «You see?» Trump asked Pence. «You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.» When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, «Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!»

Pence has since the early days of his political career sought to ensure LGBTQ people are denied rights under the auspices of «religious freedom.»

Are we better or worse off with President Trump versus President Pence? It’s a question that if thought about too long can be used as a very effective ipecac. But it’s a question we all need to face and soon.

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How Would-Be Trump Supporters Tarnished These Eight 2017 Movies

I had a lot of questions while watching Marshall: Why was Chadwick Boseman, playing Thurgood Marshall, splitting time in his own movie with Josh Gad? Why did the screenwriters alter the facts of The State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell and the personalities of its real-life characters in such fundamental ways—to give Gad, of Olaf and Gaston fame, more screentime in a film that is, let me reiterate again, supposed to be about Boseman’s legendary Marshall? And Kate Hudson … well, Kate Hudson’s character Eleanor Strubing, an upper-crust white woman accusing a working-class black man of rape, would have definitely been a Trump voter in 2016, right?

It’s not that much of a stretch to imagine that Eleanor, with her expensive outfits, simpering delivery, and utter willingness to ruin another person’s life for her own ends, would of course continue her myopic, selfish racism decades into the future to jump on the Trump train. We all know by now that more than 50% of white woman in America who voted did so for Trump. We know that the pussy-grabbing, wall-building, Muslim-banning, and Hispanic-people-are-rapists arguments didn’t repel them, but ultimately appealed to these women, and to millions more.

In the months since Trump’s inauguration, every so often I find myself gazing at a stranger and wondering, «Did that person vote for Trump?» And because Marshall isn’t really the movie the groundbreaking Supreme Court justice deserved, my focus while watching it veered off into deciding that yes, of course, Eleanor would have been a Trump voter. It’s a question that keeps coming up for me this year in a variety of different movies, from animated family films to prestige art-house flicks. Here are some of this year’s movie characters who distracted and enraged me most, dragging down these films with their hypothetical Trump-supporting presence.

THAT DAMN BABY IN THE BOSS BABY

Alec Baldwin is collecting awards for stopping by Saturday Night Live every week, repeating every unbelievably stupid thing Trump says and tweets, and making us all laugh in despair, and his turn in The Boss Baby isn’t really that different. As a baby version of a relentless capitalist who only believes in profit, advancing up the corporate ladder, and cutting down anyone who stands in his way, Baldwin’s character is at first cute and then increasingly unsettling. Eventually he grows a conscience and gives up the suit-and-tie life to be a real boy, but not before he’s already wreaked havoc. Would a baby power-hungry version of Trump vote for an old man power-hungry version of Trump? Is that even a question?

THE «HERO» IN GOOD TIME

Good Time - Robert Pattinson.jpg On the one hand, I don’t really think Robert Pattinson’s character in Good Time, Connie Nikas, WOULD vote. He seems too detached from the concept of «citizenship» for that. But on the other hand, he is a guy who pretends to be black to rob a bank; emotionally manipulates a woman and takes sexual advantage of a barely legal teenager; and frames a black security guard for a crime he committed. With so many immoral, self-serving, racially influenced choices made, one after another, how could he NOT vote for Trump? It’s the next step in a logical pattern.

EVERY EVIL WHITE GUY WHO WORKED AT TRANSIGEN IN LOGAN

Logan was the most low-key socially inclusive movie of 2017 so far, and it still kind of blows my mind that this franchise comic book movie was basically about Wolverine transporting a Spanish-speaking illegal immigrant across the ravaged United States to reach the safety and sanctuary of Canada. What else could be more in-tune with the social justice aspect of the X-Men? What else could be more apt for our current times?! And framed in that way, then of course every single person in power (all evil white guys, as I recall) at Transigen, the company who was using poor Mexican women to birth X-men clones, would have voted for Trump. There is no reality in which Trump would have ever protected mutant rights. Please! He probably would have opened up Transigen factories in the U.S. just to «bring back jobs to coal country» or whatever.

GARGAMEL IN THE SMURFS REBOOT NO ONE ASKED FOR

Readers, Smurfs: The Lost Village made more money at the box office than Blade Runner 2049 has made so far. HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE? This reboot once more told the exact same story about the Smurfs, with Smurfette again questioning her identity and with Gargamel again scheming to use Smurfette to destroy the Smurfs. An unhinged dude who abuses women and who wants to destroy his blue enemies—what else even needs to be said to underline how much Gargamel would vote for Trump?

CHARLIZE WITH DREADLOCKS IN F8: FATE OF THE FURIOUS

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Does it feel like The Fast and the Furious bubble has popped? Yes, F8 was a commercial success. But the production was riddled with rumors about how much Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel hated each other, the absence of Paul Walker significantly affected the film’s narrative, and there’s been weird social media drama in the past few months with Tyrese and Johnson. And really, what was the point of Charlize Theron’s Cipher villain? She wanted to obtain the world’s nuclear arsenal … to bully them into international cooperation? She wanted more bombs … to avert violence? None of that logic makes sense, and her character didn’t even die at the end, so we’ll inevitably get more of this gobblygook with F9. Cipher was a villain whose entire plan was to create anarchy to create peace, and that sounds so much like Steve Bannon that I’m just gonna go ahead and peg her as a Trump voter and move on.

THE STORM KING, PR-HUNGRY WARLORD, IN MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE

Amid all the relentlessly cute, intensely pastel optimism of My Little Pony: The Movie, there is only one character who truly and aggressively pushes against that hopefulness: the Storm King, a warlord primarily obsessed with his own image. He forces minions to sell crappy, mass-produced merchandise with his face on them. He lies to female characters to steal their power and influence. He has a bombastic spokesperson who spins and fabricates to get his message across to those he wants to subjugate. And he has no problem with betraying his own followers when they stop approving of everything he does. For the Storm King, all PR is good PR, and it’s completely believable that he would see a kindred spirit in our 45th president.

TOM CRUISE, RUNNING AND DOING LITTLE ELSE, IN THE MUMMY

The Mummy - Tom Cruise.jpg A defense contractor who double crosses women and foreign nationals he thinks are beneath him as a white American man, who can barely speak Arabic, and who looks ludicrous in a keffiyeh, and yet has made his entire career pillaging treasures from the Middle East even though he only has a vague idea of which country he is actually in when he’s doing it. He’s essentially Hobby Lobby in human form. Of course this guy voted for Trump.

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Donald Trump Told a Really F**ked Up Lie About President Obama Today

In the grand scheme of things, this is not healthcare, it’s not tax reform, it’s not an assault on the rights of women, POC, or the LBGTQ community, but it still matters. It still matters when the President lies, and it still matters when he tries to make his predecessor look like the lazy, unfeeling, unsympathetic jackass that Donald Trump is himself.

To wit: President Trump has made no public mention of four special-forces soldiers killed in Niger 12 days ago. That matters. He was finally called on it today during a press conference, and here’s the answer he gave:

Listen: That’s a really shitty thing to say. It’s also a lie, and an appalling one, at that:

Trump was called on that lie in real time at the press conference, and sort of backtracked.

And then he lied again, and said that generals told him that lie.

That’s a fucked-up lie. It’s double fucked-up that he would lay the blame for that lie on his own military leaders.

What the hell is wrong with this man?

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Larry Flynt Is Offering A $10 Million Reward For Information That Will Get Trump Impeached

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If you weren’t sure yet if we have devolved into some bizarro version of the wild wild west then perhaps Larry Flynt’s full page wanted poster calling for the head of Donald Trump will convince you otherwise. According to The Washington Post, Larry Flynt has taken out a full page ad in their Sunday Edition offering a $ 10 million dollar reward “for information leading to the impeachment and removal from office of Donald J. Trump”. Watch out, Donny! Larry Flynt is indeed your huckleberry.

According to TWP:

Flynt, best known as the publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler, outlined numerous reasons he felt President Trump needed to be removed from office, charging him with everything from “compromising domestic and foreign policy with his massive conflicts-of-interest global business empire” to “telling hundreds of bald-faced lies” to “gross nepotism and appointment of unqualified persons to high office.”

In the ad, Larry states that he’s looking for a “smoking gun”; any information that might prove an impeachable offense. Larry has included an 1-800 number that will be staffed “weekdays, between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT, for the next two weeks” as well as an email address. I hope that whoever is hired to answer that phone is fluent in authentic frontier gibberish, because they are going to have to talk to a million loony toons in tin foil hats and pet logs for the duration. The ad includes a disclaimer that in order to get your reward, any materials have to have been obtained legally and must be given over for publication in Hustler. The actual amount and terms of payment are contingent on “actual publication of said materials by Hustler”. So don’t expect a pay off for your theories about seeing Trump’s true lizard face when his human skin mask slipped that time you were on shrooms and watching c-span. That mistake was your own. Larry needs receipts.

This isn’t Larry’s first go at the vigilante justice rodeo. He’s offered rewards for dirt on politicians twice in the past. According to TWP:

In 2007, he offered $ 1 million, also through a full-page ad in The Post, seeking evidence from anyone who had had an illicit sexual encounter with a member of Congress or other government official. He had done the same in 1998, and the information that emerged reportedly influenced the resignation of Republican Congressman Bob Livingston, who was in line to be speaker of the House.

Larry’s plan might actually yield some real nuggets if he and his Hustler crew can sift through all the fools gold that’s sure to come their way. $ 10 million dollars is a lot of money, perhaps enough to encourage somebody to break an NDA or gag order. But I’m not holding my breath. We all know there is some truly damning dirt out there on Trump, but if it hasn’t already come out, $ 10 million and having to give Hustler the exclusive might not get the job done. Still, I respect Larry’s chutzpah. Larry says he expects to get some information in the next few days and that he will release anything “legitimate” right away. So hold onto your hats, folks! We’re about to find out that Trump salsa is made in China!

Dlisted

Ivana Trump Thinks Melania Trump Needs To “Get Over It”

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The least surprising thing about the Trump presidency is that his current wife Melania Trump (aka the First Lady) and his ex-wife Ivana Trump have both come down with cat-scratch fever and are battling it out in the press and on TV. In the Trump era, nothing is considered inappropriate, undignified, or “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE FIRST LADY, WHY WOULD YOU TAKE EVEN A MOMENT TO ADDRESS THIS CHICK’S TAUNTS. PUERTO RICO IS STILL A DISASTER AREA. DID YOU STOP BULLYING, YET? IT’S ALL ABOUT PRIORITIES, CAPTAIN HURRICANE STILETTOS!

Ivana is selling a book about raising her and Donald’s awful children, and her marketing ploy of dragging the First Lady worked. Because the First Lady responded. So Ivana went on Wendy Williams to respond to Melania’s response.

E! reports that Ivana took a moment to clarify what she said on GMA about being the real “First Lady.” She also solidified her future appointment as the US Sass General by suggesting Melania “get over it.

“I tell you, I’m technically ‘First Lady Trump,’” Ivana, who is promoting her new book Raising Trump, told Wendy Williams. “I was first wife. I don’t know what is Melania’s problem. She just have to get over it. She is First Lady of America but I’m First Lady Trump, excuse me, and have three grownup kids.”

I know what is Melania’s problem. It’s that she was obviously absent a burning desire to be First Lady of the United States. She just wanted to get out of Slovenia and find a rich dude. Being able to afford even more expensive pussy bow blouses is nice, but everyone wants her to be this stand-up chick helping to guide an entire nation. “Jebeš to!,” she had told her asshole husband to no avail.

Speaking of not wanting the First Lady gig:

When asked about Melania’s rep’s clapback, Ivana said, “I have no idea why she did it, ’cause I never said I’m ‘First Lady of America.’ Better her than me, frankly, you know.”

How much do you wish her ex had felt that way about the presidency? Watch Ivana offer Melania some advice below.

Pic: YouTube

Dlisted

NYFF Review: ‘The Venerable W.’ The Tale Of An Evil Buddhist Monk Shows Parallels To Trump

«They live in our land.
They use our resources.
They have all the rights they want.
You think they’d be happy, right?»

It’s a speech that could be pulled from President* Donald Trump’s spite-spitting responses to the NFL players kneeling, or the Black Lives Matter protests, or even the survivors scraping by hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. But this is a speech from Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk who has become the face of violent anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar. This confounding figure is the focus of filmmaker Barbet Schroeder’s latest, The Venerable W., which plays as part of the New York Film Festival‘s Spotlight on Documentary.

The Venerable W. is the final installment of Schroeder’s «Trilogy of Evil,» which includes his 1974 documentary General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait, which centered on the notorious military dictator of Uganda, and 2007’s Terror’s Advocate, which followed Jacques Vergès, a lawyer infamous for defending Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. But here’s the embarrassing bit where I admit I’m mostly familiar with Schroeder’s more Hollywood-friendly fare, like the thrillers Single White Female, Desperate Measures and Murder By Numbers. Suffice to say, even the warning that this would be about an «evil» Buddhist monk did not prepare me for what The Venerable W. had in store. It’s beyond jarring to see a Buddhist monk—typically thought to be a peaceful group—smiling over the carnage he’s caused. And that’s just the beginning.

In a series of interviews, Wirathu speaks calmly about the threat he believes Muslims pose to Myanmar (A.K.A. Burma). Statistics show Muslims are the minority, making up only 4 percent of the nation’s population. But the Islamophobic Wirathu frankly dismisses facts, comparing these people to ravenous catfish and horny rabbits who will overtake the land, choking out the Buddhist faith and «true» Burmese culture. He blithely denounces them as not really his countrymen, and repeatedly and blithely employs a slur against the Muslims that the doc explains is comparable to the n-word. Wirathu preaches to his followers how they must «protect their religion,» and applies political pressure to instill their agenda into the government. As his detractors warn of the «fake news» Wirathu plants to demonize the Muslims and make himself seem all the grander, my stomach churned and churned.

Myanmar is on fire, literally and metaphorically. Wirathu has ignited a holy war that incites his followers to burn down the homes of Muslims, chasing many Burmese people—of both groups—out of flaming villages and into internment camps. It’s a civil war enacted by people who don’t recognize it as such, because the Buddhists following this menacing monk don’t believe the Muslims are their countrymen, but terrorist invaders whose mosques as «military bases» to plan jihads. The rhetoric is so sickening and familiar. As Wirathu rails about how Muslims wish to reproduce like rabbits to wipe out the Buddhists, he sounds like any alt-right loon tweeting about the «white genocide» conspiracy.

The Venerable W. gives Wirathu plenty of time to preach and boast, and just enough rope to hang himself. His brash lies are immediately shot down by statistics and infographics. His chilling calm is offset by devastating footage of villages razed, and human bodies ablaze, some still twitching with life. His attempts at self-aggrandizement are repeatedly undercut by journalists and other monks, who speak openly about his limitations, hypocrisy and crimes. Schroeder shows both how this monk is dangerous, and also a grotesque fool. But the latter hardly matters when Wirathu still manages to sell books, peddle propoganda, and convince so many of his black-and-white fantasy, where Muslims are the great danger, and he is a hero to the preservation of their race and faith.

The Venerable W. is thorough and thoroughly gutting. Incredibly, Schroeder delivers a comprehensive look at a brewing civil war many Americans may have no awareness of, and yet can relate to on a disturbingly deep level. To say it’s a hard watch is an understatement. Regardless, it’s docs like this that refuse to let propagandist and tyrants dominate the conversation, and thus become essential viewing.

Pajiba

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