Summer Replacement Series: Bob McDonnell Trial

Bob McDonell surreal

For those of you looking for fresh scandal now that benghazi! Benghazi! BENGHAZI!!!1! seems to be in summer reruns, we present for your entertainment the grasping Bob McDonnell’s—and his social climbing wife Maureen—trial for corruption, which begins tomorrow!

The onetime rising Republican star and his wife, Maureen, could be sentenced to decades in prison if convicted of the charges in a 14-count indictment issued by a grand jury 10 days after McDonnell left office in January. They are accused of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the founder of a dietary supplements company, in exchange for helping to promote his products.

Legal experts have said the case is no slam-dunk for the prosecution, however, and exceptionally strident language in court filings point to a no-holds-barred battle that will pit the motives and credibility of the former first couple against Williams, who will testify for the prosecution under immunity. Defense attorneys have suggested the case is politically motivated and argued that prosecutors have stretched the meaning of federal bribery laws to cover routine and long-accepted political courtesies.

A Wingnuttian governor with his hand out? Stay tuned, this should be fun. From what I can guess, Big Mo is really the one to watch, as she would call up Jonnie Williams and ask for him to buy Range Rovers for the kids, wedding parties for the daughters, and high couture for herself.

Atlas Shrugged, Pt. 2

Hey guys, did you know that Atlas Shrugged 2: The Strike was released? Me Neither! And there I was making fun of it last year when they were begging people to donate money to it and asking unpaid labor to work on it. Galt, indeed.

Here’s some reviews (from Rotten Tomatoes):

“Seriously, if this is the best promotion of itself that the free market can manage, it really would benefit from the help of a Ministry of Culture or something.” — Village Voice

“A disaster as a film, Atlas also is laughable in its presentation of Rand’s ideology.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

“The determined, if questionably talented, cast and crew of Ayn Rand devotees continue to hack their way through the lionized author’s obtuse prose.” — OK Magazine

“Rand’s detractors will hate the movie as much as they do her, but her fans will be satisfied …” – Sacramento News and Review

Maybe if they added sparkly vampires to the Director’s cut…?

Anyway, it looks like it was released right before the election in November (perhaps to persuade assholes and libertarians to vote?), and according to the IMDB it is estimated to cost about $10M to make and to date it has earned $3,333,823.

The market has spoken! Please, dear God, no Part 3, which I assume is when The Speech (a 50-page screed by one character) would be spoken.

So Wingnuttia went to the plantation…

…and all I got was this lousy 3-month delay:

“House Republicans are backing away from their threat to plunge the United States into a catastrophic budget default and will instead pursue the somewhat less reckless strategy of passing a three-month increase in the debt limit. According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), the bill will also contain a provision cutting off congressional pay unless both houses meet a particular milestone: “If the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.””

Oh, the pay for play that Iago wants? Probably unconstitutional under the 27th Amendment:

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

So unless my calendar is off, there are no elections in the next three months. Also, too: almost all of Congress (which includes the Senate) are millionaires. None of them will skip a meal if this should pass. It sounds more like a Junkie Limbaugh-style crackpot scheme.

(Think Progress)

You can buy a white van for less than $20,000 (but I’m only guessing)

My father the trial lawyer used to tell us growing up that we should never volunteer information when on the witness stand, so in a way I guess he was a fan of the sin of omission.

I bring this up because Cardinal Dolan uses dad’s second gambit (answer truthfully, but bury the truth in a lot of noise) to obscure that he actually said yes when asked if he paid off pedophile priests:

Dolan, while serving as Milwaukee archbishop in 2003, agreed to pay multiple accused pedophile priests $20,000 in exchange for their agreeing to leave the priesthood, according to documents cited by The New York Times.

Joseph Zwilling, Dolan’s New York Archdiocese spokesman, told The Post last week that there was no “payoff” to pedophile priests — only “charity.”

“The New York Times does not have a reputation for fair and accurate reporting when it comes to this issue,” Dolan said yesterday after Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown. “So, to respond to charges like that — that are groundless and scurrilous — in my book it’s useless and counterproductive.”

But what is especially nice is that these ex-Priests and pedophiles that Cardinal Dolan set loose enter the secular world with ready cash and a clean record.

(NYPost via Attaturk)

This exists

Yes, that is a new brand of bottled tea being promoted by Rush. “Two if by Tea” is not available in any stores, you have to order it from their website.

“And there I am in all of my glory on every bottle, on the shrink wrap covering every six pack as Rush Revere. The liberals are coming, folks.”

“You know why it’s not in stores?” the radio host asked. “Because that wouldn’t be fair. We couldn’t get it in every store.”

The product can be purchased on the Two if by Tea website at a price of about $24 for a case of 12 bottles.

“It’s only sold and 12 packs and there’s no returns. We’re not idiots,” Limbaugh said. “You’re not going to want to return this. You’re going to want to chug it. You’re going to regret you didn’t order more after you taste it. And you’re going to keep the bottles. We spared no expense. The labels are works of art. The shrink wraps are works of art. You’re going to take this shrink wrap off with great care to save it.”

You can also file a complaint with the ASPCA on behalf of the poor horse.

(Crooks & Liars Video Café)

Arizonastan Update

que-pasta-newtie

Hey guys, remember when Arizonastan started racial profiling and asking everyone on the street for their papers? Me neither!

But it seems that their tough-guy deputy dawg media whore Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a bit of a problem on his hands, according to The Arizona Republic:

Three Maricopa County sheriff’s employees, including a deputy in the human-smuggling unit, were arrested Tuesday by authorities who say they were involved in a drug- and human-trafficking ring and used Sheriff’s Office intelligence to guide smugglers through the Valley.

Oh, but it gets better:

Investigators from a multijurisdiction drug task force also arrested two sheriff’s detention officers, Sylvia Najera, 25, and Marcella Hernandez, 28. They are accused of laundering money and moving drugs for a Valley-based drug-trafficking organization with ties to Mexico.

Arpaio said Hernandez is eight months’ pregnant with the child of another suspect arrested Tuesday, Francisco “Lorenzo” Arce-Torres, who is described in court records as a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel and the leader of the Phoenix-based drug-trafficking organization at the heart of the probe.

Them’s fighting words!

I consider bloggers to be journalists, but worry that some don’t subscribe to the same ethical standards (such as disclosure of conflicts of interest) as most traditional journalists.

–Larry Magid, columnist and media personality

Even on my worst day, I think I’m more ethical than Judith Miller.

Weepy the Orange Weeps More

Hahahaha! Now I know why Weepy wanted the US Taxpayer to pick up the tab for BP’s environmental disaster: he bought about $50,000 of BP stock, which –HAHAAAAAHAHAHAHA! — he bought right before the rig blew up real good. Which means he no longer owns $50,000 of BP stock.

House Republican Leader John Boehner bought between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in BP, the company responsible for the spill that has spurred an environmental disaster. Boehner, of West Chester, purchased the stock on Dec. 10, four months before the April 20 explosion that set off the spill.

According to Boehner’s office, the congressman sold his BP stock on May 18. It wasn’t immediately clear how much money Boehner lost in the transaction.

Notorious Plane Crasher Aided by Infamous Plane Builders

Grandpa Walnuts, perhaps the only member of the old-boys club known as the US Senate with five plane crashes under his belt, is getting some serious cheddar from the people who build the planes he loved to crash. In his prime, Walnuts probably earned these corporations hundreds of millions of dollars just replacing the planes he flew into the water, that maverick!

But now that he is not running for president, Grandpa can go back to taking money from the corporations he sort of oversees as the the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a long-standing GOP tradition. You know, to say thank you to Walnuts for all the good times, sort of like a lifetime achievement award for crashing planes and boosting the stock price kinda thing.

Lockheed Martin’s political action committee has donated $2,500 to McCain, who has also won contributions from BAE Systems ($1,000); Northrop Grumman ($5,000); General Dynamics ($10,000); Raytheon ($4,000); SAIC ($1,000); United Technologies Corp. ($5,000); Textron ($2,000); Honeywell ($5,000); and EADS North America ($5,000).

(The Hill)