Scandal

So Much For That Scandal


How much do you want to bet that there will be a "scandalous" revelation about the Clinton Foundation in the weeks ahead?
One of the nation's largest charity watchdog groups has removed the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation from its watch list that is supposed to alert donors to potential issues of interest when they are making philanthropic decisions.
The foundation was placed on the watch list in April after a slew of news stories about foreign governments and donors giving to the foundation who were also lobbying the Obama administration while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
The Clinton Foundation responded to the label with a lengthy memo in May.
"There has been no indication, accusation or evidence in any of these stories of any wrongdoing," the memo read. "Our supporters donate to the Clinton Foundation because they want to see lives improved; they want better opportunity across the globe; and they want to see communities, businesses and governments working together to address problems that, when working together, we have the solutions and resources to fix."
The way it works is, someone makes a barely-sourced accusation against the Clintons, and, under the Clinton Rules, every minor malfeasance that emerges in the fevered imagination of someone who won't put their name on anything becomes a huge scandal that normally wouldn't affect a Republican with similar issues. Everything is blown sky-high and out of proportion so that, eventually, we get to read about the vindication the Clintons when the information is dumped on a major holiday or on a late Friday afternoon.

Federal Control Over Ferguson is Needed


Do you know what is wrong with this picture?

The State of Missouri has far too many crazy Republican lawmakers and judges. The Federal bench as well--too many wingnuts and kooks.

We should be well on our way to Federal control of the police and the courts in Ferguson, Missouri. Instead, we're dancing around the problem, which is this--the power structure is corrupt as hell and needs to be dismantled. Someone needs to protect the citizens of Ferguson from their own police force and their own racist, bigoted municipal government.

And how sad is it that you can say that and discover there really are no plausible or coherent arguments to the contrary?

Nobody Goes to Jail These Days


 Someone wake up Dinesh D'Souza before he sleeps through his stories:
David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama, says he’s proud of the fact “there hasn’t been a major scandal” during the administration’s six years in office.
Axelrod was responding to a question from the audience about the so-called Washington revolving door between lobbyists and the White House during a discussion of his recent book at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
Somewhere, a man's head just exploded in a spasm of outrage and you can hear the indignant persecution complex of D'Souza begin anew:
Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza avoided prison on Tuesday when a U.S. judge sentenced him to serve eight months in a community confinement center after he pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law.
D'Souza, 53, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan to live in a center, which would allow him to leave during non-residential hours for employment, for the first eight months of a five-year probationary period.
Berman also ordered D'Souza to perform one day of community service a week during probation, undergo weekly therapy and pay a $30,000 fine.
D'Souza, a frequent critic of U.S. President Barack Obama, admitted in May to illegally reimbursing two "straw donors" who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the early 1980s.
So, just to recap--none of the Obama appointees have gone to jail, only a handful have done anything wrong, and one of the most prominent critics of the Obama Administration can't even get sent to jail in this modern era of elitist backscratching and corruption. A few people have resigned, but, big deal, right? Nobody's being dumped in a Federal Prison anywhere.

What does that tell you about where this country is headed right now? Nobody will ever go to jail for anything ever again.

Time to Get the Blood Out of the Stone


Do you really think Lance Armstrong is going to pay back the money?
A Texas arbitration panel gave a $10 million judgment for SCA Promotions in its suit against disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong for bonuses it paid for his Tour de France championships.
"We are very pleased with this result," SCA president and founder Bob Hamman said in a statement, per Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today. "It is hard to describe how much harm Lance Armstrong's web of lies caused SCA but this is a good first start towards repairing that damage."

The arbitration panel, which voted 2-1 in SCA's favor, will now turn its ruling over to a judge, who must give a final approval. SCA asked the panel to do so out of fear Armstrong would refuse to pay it the $10 million.
Armstrong can default on these judgments and no one would care. How bad can the public image of a man stripped of seven Tour de France victories get before people notice he's a sleaze?

Money is easy to hide. He can divest himself of property and fortune and tell the government to go pound sand. Token payments and tales of hard luck go a long way. He can live out his life free from accountability, albeit with limited potential to earn money and absolutely no dignity whatsoever.

I'm thinking he doesn't care. This is America. A wealthy man can do whatever he wants and reinvent himself when public furor subsides. Armstrong is little more than an afterthought now.

Supplements Made From Nothing


Health supplements are made out of nothing?

And they don't benefit the health and well being of anyone?

What the hell?

You would think that, in a just society, the outright quackery and for-profit bullshit of supplement companies--Herbalife, I am staring right at you, you sons of bitches--would lead to regulation and common sense rules protecting consumers.

Guess again.

We need real reform for consumer protection in this country, and as long as we're stuck in the politics of stupid, we'll never get it. We have grown men leading state governments and men who hold elected office who are unafraid to tell us their expert opinions on how vaccines are dangerous, but we can't get anything done about snake oil salesmen who prey on consumers and sell them garbage.

The Republicans Are Out of Ideas and Scared of Facts


Hilarious shit.

This is worthy of the Onion:
The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a doctored version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.
In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.

At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

You couldn't make this up if you wanted to. Real life is now the best parody of all.

An Ethics-Free Congress



You can tell the Republicans are in charge because ethics no longer matter. Michael Grimm was re-elected with a felony indictment hanging over his head and, thanks to a safely Gerrymandered district, he won his race going away.

And yes, there is a precedent here. William Jefferson was a corrupt Congressman from Louisiana who stuffed the money in his freezer and told everyone to go pound sand when they politely asked him to resign from Congress. You can read about that here and then do a comparison and contrast with how the GOP leadership has basically thrown their hands in the air over a convicted felon like Grimm. Reading that old story was like stepping into a time machine.

Ethics in Congress? Really? And people actually cared about that stuff? Wow.


Alec Baldwin is Suffering From Pilates Rage


Alec Baldwin sure has lost a lot of weight, hasn't he? Well, if there's one lesson to be learned from this incident with the paparazzi, it is this: pilates rage is real.

I don't have a lot of science to back any of this up, but that has never held me back. I'm crawling through Season 5 of 30 Rock on DVD, and the episodes that aren't damaged by the rough handling of the library patrons show a Baldwin brother emeritus on the doughy side. And, let's face it--we're all a little on the doughy side.

Sometime last whenever because who the hell knows, Baldwin started to do pilates, which is an exercise regimen that builds the core muscles in your gut by working them relentlessly.

Baldwin himself has Tweeted that pilates has saved his life.


Well, I should say, it has "saved" him but it is not a specific enough Tweet to indicate his life, his marriage, his way of getting around in the world, or if it did, in fact, save him from having to go to a more expensive gym.

It is my considered opinion that these workouts turn a person into a clenched ball of rage.

You cannot discount the fact that the common ulcer tends to cause severe abdominal pain, and ulcers are caused by going around with clenched gut muscles and eating things that are full of acid. Stress contributes to ulcers, and sit-ups and holding a 30-centimeter inflated rubber ball between the legs in an upright position while screaming in pain can cause stress. Having to roll forward on a mat while someone in better shape than you howls in distress after expelling everything in their colon through a lycra garment in your general vicinity also causes stress. It is a logical fallacy, perhaps, but it does contain more logic than fallacy to conclude that pilates adds to stress in the period before the person doing pilates actually begins to see an improvement in their physical appearance.

In Baldwin's case, he is noticeably thinner, his hair is looking better, and he has a much more attractive mate these days. He probably has money and notoriety in amounts that are more pleasant to contemplate. But he stands to lose it all by punching photographers. He stands to end up in jail now because his bottled jar of screeching inner rage popped out like a sideboob full of intrigue at the wrong formal dinner party.

The only salvation he has is the pilates rage defense. He must claim that the endorphins and adrenaline running through his system have been sent into spasms of overdrive because of the intense pilates workouts that he has been thinking about doing over the course of the last few weeks. He must begin to lay the groundwork for the common law defense of "pilates rage."

"Road rage" came into vogue years ago, and has served as a useless legal defense precisely because no one could tie it to diet, weight, or exercise. A smart lawyer could succeed in setting a new precedence here if he or she could tie road rage to a parcel of junk science and get a useless judge to rule favorably. If "pilates rage" can be found to be real, and there's no common sense reason why is should, then celebrities might find it useful whenever they get caught on film turning out somebody's lights on a public street in front of, ahem, a courthouse.

Anyone with a law degree should be able to understand where I'm coming from.

Cover Your Shame


I don't have the heart to show you the shot that everyone is mad about. I thought about it, but there was just too much Kardashian butt crack for that to work for me.

I will say this--whoever put her in these clothes should have warned her that she would look bad. A celebrity image industry run by Kim Kardashian that makes this kind of a mistake is one that is going off the rails.

This is the state of modern celebrity. No one believes that Kanye is really with her because he loves her. And no one believes that Kim Kardashian can wear see-through grey without underwear without realizing what she's showing to the world. Everything is fake, everything is a fraud, and I don't need to see that level of detail any time of the day.

Until We Meet Again


So much for the comeback of America's hypocrite:
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his wife are ending their two-decade marriage. 
Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, issued a statement late Tuesday announcing the split. 
"We regret that our marital relationship has come to an end," the statement reads. 
The couple then said they will not address the subject further.
The subject won't come up again until Eliot Spitzer decides that he deserves the power being denied to him and that he should run for political office. He is addicted to the power and respectability that negates his inability to control his libido. They love this stuff in New York until they feel that someone is just not worth the time or effort. Spitzer doesn't strike the kind of fear that he used to. Without that juice, he's just another washed up old man who keeps trying to wear a hole in his pants.

Now You've Done It


This is not good.

Women everywhere are now going to start using drugs every day because of this allegation, and that's just plain wrong.

I have a hard time trying to gin up enough interest in this case because, one, it involves super rich people being intrinsically self-obsessed with themselves and because the allegation comes from one of the great douchebags of the modern era.

If Nigella Lawson really did that many drugs, why is she still alive and how does she look like she does?

Congressman Drugs Does Not Know Why He Should be Ashamed


Trey Radel doesn't have what politicians used to have. He has no shame. He isn't embarrassed enough by his conviction for buying cocaine to step down from his job as a Congressman. That's what is missing in this equation.

There used to be a much stronger party apparatus as well. By now, someone would have explained to him and his chief of staff that his resignation announcement would be delivered on a Friday afternoon and that he was to disappear. Not anymore. Everyone shrugs and no one cares. A Congressman on drugs? Who gives a damn anymore?

Sadly, I Have a Gift For Pushing Buttons


Michael Brutsch has attempted to give a self-serving interview, and it really speaks to how detached from reality people can get while in an online environment.

Brutsch is an adult; he refuses to "own" his own skills as a troll on the Internet. He's trying to look downcast, thoughtful, and sad because the ramifications of what he has done are costing him his livelihood and a great deal of dignity. He uses the phrase, "Sadly, I have a gift for pushing buttons" as a way of explaining himself. So, in the conflation of talent and ability and an extreme disregard for other human beings that he brings up, there's a requirement that other people should join you lamenting how great you are at making others miserable? I don't think so.

The problem with his apology is that he immediately went to the pathetic excuse that Reddit "encouraged" this sort of behavior. This is no different than being part of a mob on the street, tipping over cop cars and setting buildings on fire. It is not an excuse for anti-social behavior and it is not an excuse for the "creepshots" and the distribution of photos of underaged females.

Truly, he is a character who needs no sympathy
.

A Jackass in His Private Life


I don't know if it is useful to compare Mel Gibson with Kanye West, but it does make my life easier to do so.

Both have suffered numerous professional setbacks because of their behavior (although, to be fair, there's no comparison between Kanye and noted woman beater Chris Brown) and both have demonstrated that they have self-control issues.

Kanye has been called a jackass by the President of the United States. Gibson has been called far worse. But this is where the public and private personas come into contrast, and they couldn't be more stark. Privately, Kanye is, reputedly, a very caring and generous person. If you believe what Aziz Ansari says, Kanye is a decent human being who cares about others.

I would never believe Joe Eszterhas about anyone or anything, however. He is what you would call an impeachable source. But if he has tapes of Gibson ranting and raving about Jewish people, I would say that this is a very good example of how Gibson can present a public face that is apologetic and conciliatory while maintaining a private persona that is equal parts jackass and maniac.

Do you know who might have painted the most accurate picture of all? South Park.

What Does a Guy Have to Do to Get Kicked Out of the Navy These Days?

I think that there's a need to begin reducing the size of the military, and this is one way that they are going to go about it.

After 1991, and the so-called "peace dividend" that allowed the Department of Defense to reduce the size of the military, there was a "zero defect" mentality that took over. With fewer and fewer slots available, anyone with any kind of defect was gotten rid of.

Wars create defects in people, however. Is it really a good thing to get rid of a lot of people who, despite their so-called "defects" have a great deal of practical experience actually fighting wars? Do we really want to go back to those "zero defect" days?

Good Luck With Your Cease and Desist Order Mr. Peterson


Did it occur to Drew Peterson that the people behind Rob Lowe's new project might have the right to do what they're doing?
Drew Peterson is out to stop Rob Lowe's next role.
As we previously reported, the "Parks and Recreation" actor's set to star as the ex-cop accused of killing his third wife and suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife in an upcoming Lifetime television movie.
Not so fast says Peterson, whose lawyers have filed a cease and desist letter, In Session confirmed.
The letter takes issue with the Lifetime Movie Network film tentatively titled, "Ladykiller: The Drew Peterson Story," which it notes is "written by screenwriter Teena Booth, based on a so-called 'true story' 'non-fiction' book, 'Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson' (the 'book'), authored by Joseph G. Hosey, a former reporter with the Chicago area’s Herald News."
The communication goes on to state that the book the movie would reportedly be based on  "is a biased and malicious portrayal, far from a 'non-fiction,' 'true story,'" and  is "a deliberate and calculated assemblage of falsehoods constituting a character assassination."
I think "creative license" comes into play here. The people producing this film clearly own the rights to produce a film based on what's in the book. If Peterson is in the process of suing whoever produced and published the book, okay then. Proceeding with a dramatization might be problematic.

Unfortunately, Mr. Peterson is not in a position to make the case that he is going to be the victim of character assassination if this movie gets produced. I think that the producers are well-versed in what they can and can't get away with and I think that they will, ultimately, deliver a movie to Lifetime that Mr. Peterson simply won't like. Whether he can do anything about it is for the lawyers to figure out.

Here's the lame Leno joke (or whoever). It will be something along the lines of

"Drew Peterson has sent a cease and desist order to the people making Rob Lowe's new movie about him. Peterson claims--did you hear about this?--that having Rob Lowe portray him in the movie is "character assassination." Yeah. Now, if they had gotten Andy Dick to play Peterson, okay, but Rob Lowe? Come on!"
Of course, no one will laugh.

A Moment of Human Dignity for Sam Mazzola



I suppose there are jokes here, but, really, there's just a lot of sadness:

An exotic-animal owner who made headlines last summer when one of his bears mauled a woman to death has died after apparently choking on a sex toy, authorities said.
Sam Mazzola, 49, was found dead in his Columbia Station home on Sunday, face down on a water bed. He was bound to the bed with handcuffs, chains and padlocks, Lorain County Chief Deputy Coroner Dr. Frank Miller told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mazzola had a sex toy in his throat, which apparently obstructed his breathing, Miller said. He was also wearing a leather mask with the eyes and mouth zipped shut and a two-piece metal sphere covering his head, the coroner told The Morning Journal.
Here's how this should have been handled. First of all, the people who responded to the scene where Mazzola died--they all know what happened. The family, then, also knows what happened. So, is there really any need for the coroner to release this report in the manner as reported?

No. There isn't. Because the man is dead. His death should mean something more than the embarrassing details of how he was found. The public does not have a need to know how the man died. The public has no more right to know how he died than they do how anyone else in Cleveland has died.

Do you really think Mazzola is the first person to die of autoerotic asphyxiation or from a rough sex game gone wrong? It happens all over the world and it's nothing new. But what is new is that there is this insatiable need to be able to laugh at what happens to people. The Internet now exists almost solely for:
  • boobs
  • Spam
  • LOL!
Take those three things away, and you're left with crappy blogs, self-aggradizement, and the Huffington Post

I suppose there is an argument as to whether or not Mazzola was a public figure because of the notoriety of the fact that an animal that he owned, a black bear, mauled a young woman to death. Her death should mean something as well, and she should be remembered as someone who had a terrible encounter with an animal. Do we really need to cheapen her death with jokes about the death of Sam Mazzola? Or should we look at the tragedy and say, no, I'm not going to go down that road and get my Lulz from all of this?

The answer lies somewhere in the grey area where a coroner calls in the next of kin--and this goes for the poor young lady who died at the hands of the bear and for Mazzola--and says, "yes, this is how your loved one died. Here's what's going in the report. I am sorry for your loss." And then we move on and let people have their moment of human dignity.