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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,119

Journal Archives

Former Murdoch Exec: Fox News Is Poison For America


Former Murdoch Exec: Fox News Is Poison For America
The Rupert Murdoch I worked for was brilliant, courageous, optimistic, and a gentleman. Which makes his bile-filled network all the more confounding.
Preston Padden
Updated Jul. 05, 2021 1:56AM ET / Published Jul. 05, 2021 1:21AM ET


But, in recent years things have gone badly off the tracks at Fox News. Fox News is no longer is a truthful center-right news network. The channel (especially the leading prime-time opinion programming) has contributed substantially and directly to:

the unnecessary deaths of many Americans by disparaging the wearing of life-saving COVID masks;

divisions in our society by stoking racial animus and fueling the totally false impression that Black Lives Matter and Antifa are engaged in nightly, life-threatening riots across the country;

the unnecessary deaths of many Americans by fueling hesitation and doubt about the efficacy and safety of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines [Fox News provided me examples of pro-mask/vaccine on-air comments, but in my opinion, they were heavily outweighed by the negative comments of the highly rated primetime opinion hosts];

former President Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from him by providing a continuous platform for wild and false claims about the election—claims refuted by more than 60 judges, Republican State election officials, recounts in numerous States and Trump’s own Attorney General; and

the Jan. 6, 2021, violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by continually promoting former President Trump’s “Stop The Steal” rally.

Fox News has caused many millions of Americans—most of them Republicans (as my wife and I were for 50 years)—to believe things that simply are not true. For example, Yahoo News reports that 73 percent of Republicans blame “left-wing protesters” for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Of course, that is ludicrous. All one has to do is look at the pictures or videos of the attack to see that the violent mob was comprised of Trump supporters. Similarly, a poll by SSRS in late April found that two-thirds of Republicans either believe or suspect that the election was stolen from Trump—60 percent saying there is “hard evidence” that the election was stolen. As noted above, this ridiculous notion has been thoroughly refuted. But millions of Americans believe these falsehoods because they have been drilled into their minds, night after night, by Fox News.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 5, 2021, 07:02 AM (68 replies)

The fireworks were spectacular!!!

I hope a lot of you were watching the show on cnn.

Made me happy!
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jul 4, 2021, 08:17 PM (16 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Emotions Experienced While Watching the New York Times Video on the January 6 Ins


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Emotions Experienced While Watching the New York Times Video on the January 6 Insurrection

If you haven't yet, you should absolutely watch the 40-minute video blow-by-blow of the January 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol that was produced by the New York Times. If you're like me, you will go through some things as you watch the consortium of copious cretins and countless cunts attack the center of our democracy to try to stop it in its tracks from certifying the fair and lawful election of Joe Biden. I thought a bunch of shit, like:

1. I remembered when I marched in a peaceful protest at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2008. I ended up with a group of Code Pink activists, and when we left the park where we had gathered and headed into the downtown area, the streets were solidly lined with cops in riot gear. It was goddamn wall of helmets, bulletproof vests, and black batons at the ready, all the cops armed, with snipers on the roofs, staring down at us through their scopes. I tried to interview some of the police, but, you know, they weren't in the mood to be friendly. It was meant to intimidate us and meant to keep us in line, with the idea being that if we stepped out of where we were supposed to be, we'd be met with intense force by some motherfuckers just aching to ruin our days. Yeah, I couldn't help but think about those cops and all the cops that were a constant presence at Occupy Wall Street and at other protests when the Times video showed how essentially a skeleton crew of Capitol police were on duty on a day when fucking truck horns were blowing about how there was going to be premeditated and planned violence against the Capitol itself.

2. I know we say a lot that it's really kind of miraculous that no members of Congress or their staffs were taken hostage or strung up by the cretins and cunts in the crowd that scampered through the building like a pack of starved curs off-leash and looking for blood. But, to me, what was even more miraculous is that the police didn't gun these motherfuckers down by the dozens. And, yeah, yeah, we can say with a fair amount of certainty that if the Capitol had been rampaged through by Black Lives Matter protesters or Muslim activists, the marble would have become a morgue. But that doesn't really cover every single one of those officers. We've seen tons of situations where cops shoot someone walking towards them with a knife, yet the police officers outside the Capitol didn't draw their weapons while being beaten by the crowd with flagpoles and batons, while having their eyes gouged and being sprayed with bear mace. I've read that they knew they were badly outnumbered and feared the crowd getting even more violent, but that doesn't explain the almost entire lack of gunfire. The police were restrained (heroically so, in some cases) while it was pandemonium, and a whole lot of assholes should be grateful that they were.

3. Yeah, okay, you wanna bring up Ashli Babbitt, the one person shot and killed by an officer as she was about to breach the doorway to the Speaker of the House's lobby? You go right ahead, but if I'm being totally honest here, and why the fuck not, fuck Ashli Babbitt. I don't fucking care. Watch the video. She was about to leap through the window where there were cops with their guns drawn, telling her to stop. She didn't. She was on a mission to undo the election, and she had already committed violence and probably wanted to do more, with those around her shattering windows and breaking doors. Fuck her. Fuck her and fuck everyone turning a traitor into a martyr. And you know what else? Fuck the other rioters who died, like the Q-Anon crazy who was crushed to death by other crazies, like the guys who died of a heart attack or stroke. I feel bad for their families, sure, yeah, I guess. But the ones who died? They were adults who made adult decisions that got them fucking killed. I think of them the same way I think of the Confederate soldiers whose rotted bodies pollute our American soil.

4. If I haven't been clear, the rioters were plainly, in their own words, there to invade the House and the Senate and halt the election certification. They were there to fuck shit up (as more than one announced). Some were in organized groups, like the self-fellaters known as the Proud Boys and the twatmites known as the Oath Keepers. Most seemed to be a conglomeration of random shitheels and fucknuts who wanted to get their white rage on. Sure, you could make a case that this was a bunch of military LARPers who got out of control. Except there were real fucking soldiers in there, even some active duty. But not a goddamn one of them didn't understand that what they were doing was breaking the law. They just thought they were the law, that they were righteous, that Donald fucking Trump's mad insistence that it was a "stolen election," which was really just his desperation to stave off prison and bankruptcy, gave them some kind of imprimatur of official status, that their defeated president would pardon them, even. It doesn't matter that they really believed in their cause (although I'm guessing many were just getting off on the violence). It doesn't matter that they were lied to and continue to be lied to. You wanna sit at home and wallow in your ignorance and hatred, fine. You wanna bring that shit out and try to overthrown the government by violence? You fucking get what you deserve: hundreds of people under arrest and being whiny bitches about it.

5. Another thing that comes through is just how disgusting the vast, vast majority of the GOP is in denying their complicity in making January 6 happen and in their concerted effort to scrub the insurrectionist intent of the events of the day. There's flaccid cock Andrew Clyde going from cowering behind armed law enforcement to pronouncing that the rioters were mere "tourists." And the media savages who weren't even there are shown pronouncing that the whole thing is overblown. Watch the events. The rioting fucks have murder in their eyes. Even now, we have the shit-slicked worms that lead the GOP, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, refusing to allow for an independent commission to look into January 6, with McCarthy inhaling Trump's nutsack deeply as he decries any effort to investigate things by Congress. And then there are the slop-sucking piglets of the nutzoid right, like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, who always looks like he's worried he's gonna be caught masturbating to images of dead immigrants on his work computer. Lauren Boebert, who is Marjorie Taylor Greene without the charm, is palling around with one of the extremists who attacked the Capitol because of course she is.

6. No, you right-wing dickheads, we can't get past January 6 until the motherfuckers who caused it are held accountable. If you don't want that, then that means you know who is responsible. And it's not just Trump and Giuliani and Matt Gaetz and Alex Jones and the other raging whores who spoke to the crowds. It's not just the ones openly provoking it. It's people like you who cheered it on and who want it to go away before the jig is up.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jul 3, 2021, 01:39 PM (76 replies)

A Judge Banned This Cop Rioter From Owning Guns. He Secretly Bought 34, FBI Says.

I wonder who bankrolled him and why. That's a lot of fire power.


A Judge Banned This Cop Rioter From Owning Guns. He Secretly Bought 34, FBI Says.
Thomas Robertson disguised some of the gun purchases as payments for “wedding photos,” according to an FBI search warrant affidavit filed Friday.
Justin Rohrlich
Updated Jul. 02, 2021 8:33PM ET / Published Jul. 02, 2021 3:37PM ET

A former cop accused of taking part in the Capitol riot was granted a pre-trial release in the weeks after his arrest, on the condition that he not own any guns.

But in the months since, he has secretly bought at least 34 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition—including armor-penetrating rounds—and tried to disguise some of the payments as being for “wedding photos,” according to an FBI search warrant affidavit filed Friday.

Now prosecutors are asking a judge to revoke Thomas Robertson’s bail, and arrest him for violating his pretrial release conditions for the second time in six months.


It continues: “Defendant Robertson’s extensive and flagrant violations of the terms of his release order, including numerous violations of the federal firearms laws, strongly support revocation of his pretrial release in this case. This conduct, coupled with his calls for future violence, shows that no condition or combination of conditions can adequately protect the public from the defendant, and warrants immediate action by the court through the issuance of an arrest warrant.”

Robertson is due back in court on Aug. 3.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 08:57 PM (50 replies)

Miami Firefighter's 7-Year-Old Daughter Found in Surfside Condo Rubble


Miami Firefighter’s 7-Year-Old Daughter Found in Surfside Condo Rubble
Rachel Olding, Breaking News Editor
Published Jul. 02, 2021 12:11PM ET
Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty

Rescue crews sifting through the rubble of the collapsed Surfside condo made a heartbreaking discovery on Thursday night: the body of a 7-year-old girl, whose father is a City of Miami firefighter. “It goes without saying that every night since last Wednesday has been immensely difficult for everybody... but last night was uniquely different,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a Friday morning briefing. “It was truly different and more difficult for our first responders. These men and women are paying an enormous human toll each and every day.”

The discovery of two bodies overnight, including the girl’s, brought the death toll to 20. The number of missing people dropped from 140 to 128 because detectives realized some people on the list had actually been accounted for, Levine Cava said. The search resumed on Thursday evening after it was halted for a day due to fears that the remaining structure would collapse. However, in yet another setback, a hurricane is on the way, with potential landfall on Sunday.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 12:20 PM (1 replies)

23 Shots Fired Into Home of State Senator


23 Shots Fired Into Home of State Senator
July 2, 2021 at 9:40 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Police are investigating multiple shots being fired into the home of Alabama state Sen. Vivian Figures (D), the Alabama Political Reporter reports.

“Figures was not home at the time of the shooting — around 5 a.m. Thursday — and has not commented on the incident.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 10:43 AM (53 replies)

Eric Boehlert: "Bungled," "flubbed," "chaos" -- the press tries to create summer of Biden controversy


”Bungled,” “flubbed,” “chaos” — the press tries to create summer of Biden controversy
Desperate for drama
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago

It was the kerfuffle that fizzled.

Anxious for some tension to jolt the No Drama Biden era, and missing the nonstop, frantic news cycles of the Trump years, the Beltway media just spent a week in hyperventilation mode. In the end, the story they desperately wanted to push — bipartisan negotiations for the proposed infrastructure bill were unraveling thanks to a Biden “blunder” — went nowhere, and the press once again revealed how it chases over-hyped Democratic White House controversy instead of straight news.

The overheated media excitement for a ho-hum story was the latest proof that the press, five months into Biden’s term, is still struggling to adjust from the Trump era tumult. With clicks and views down this year and more news consumers embracing the return to news cycle ‘normalcy’ under Biden’s steady, non-psychotic hand, reporters, editors, and producers are leaning into any attempt to create headlines and conflict

It also marks the return to process journalism, which Beltway reporters love, as they focus on the theatrics of lawmaking, often at the expense of the substance.


But journalists often strained themselves trying to construct the new narrative. In an effort to paint the picture of mounting “crises,” several pointed to the already-fixed Colonial Pipeline shutdown from the previous week as proof Biden was facing “new” calamities.

This followed a silly March media outburst of gotcha stories: Biden travels during the pandemic! Biden rides an expensive exercise bike! Biden wears a Rolex! Biden hasn't given a press conference! Biden hasn't credited Trump for the vaccine! Biden hasn't "united" the nation!

Not only were the attacks dopey, but they lacked all context. Biden’s predecessor waged war on free and fair elections during his final months in office and inspired a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. Yet the press spent days treating a stray, misdirected Biden sentence regarding infrastructure negotiations as “chaos”?

The press really struggles with the new drama-free White House.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 07:50 AM (21 replies)

This Case Against Trump's Money Man Is a Slam Dunk


This Case Against Trump’s Money Man Is a Slam Dunk
But it comes with a major question: Will it be enough to make Allen Weisselberg flip on his Don?
Peter Zeidenberg
Published Jul. 01, 2021 5:56PM ET


So the real question is not whether Weisselberg and, for that matter, the Trump Organization, is likely to get convicted of tax fraud. Of course that is the likely outcome. The real question is whether Weisselberg is liable to flip and become a cooperating witness against the head of the Trump Organization—a/k/a “the Former Guy,” a/k/a Donald J. Trump. So far Weisselberg has held firm and refused to cooperate, leading to his indictment this morning. But as they say in the world of finance, “past performance is not a guarantee of future results.” In other words, The Former Guy better not exhale just yet.

Cooperating witnesses, like people generally, differ widely. Some cooperators are terrified of being prosecuted and cooperate with the government at the first hint of trouble. But just as common are cooperators who strike a brave and defiant tone initially only to have a change of heart after being indicted and the reality of an expensive trial begins to loom.

Weisselberg will be able to remain free in the short term, out on bail as the case winds along. But assuming Weisselberg has competent counsel, he will be told that his chances at trial are very poor and that he faces the likelihood of conviction and incarceration for at least several years. This is not an inviting prospect for anyone, and particularly for a 73 year-old defendant like Weisselberg who has been enjoying life as a rent-free resident at Trump Tower for the past 15 years. Prudence and commonsense suggests that cooperating against Trump is clearly the most intelligent option. And because these are state and not federal charges, even if Trump were to once again be elected president, he could not pardon Weisselberg for any of this conduct.

But, of course, people frequently do not do the sensible or logical thing. And there are many other factors that are no doubt impacting Weisselberg’s calculations. Chief among those concerns would have to be fear of retaliation from Trump and the MAGA crowd. That is no small matter; anyone who points the finger at Trump is going to be subjected to almost unimaginable levels of abuse, threats and, very possibly, physical violence. The pressure on Weisselberg not to flip will also be immense, and much of it will no doubt be orchestrated by Trump himself.

The other wildcard is whether there are more shoes to drop. The DA’s investigation reportedly has focused on the Trump Organization’s undervaluation of properties in order to evade taxes. These abuses reportedly involved millions of dollars in underreporting. The best witness to this conduct is no doubt Weisselberg himself and it is likely the government is starting small with this straight-forward case against Weisselberg in the hopes that he will cooperate regarding these other strands of the investigation. If he refuses, the government may decide to indict anyway or stick with what they have: straight-forward tax fraud. Not a particularly sexy charge but enough to take down Al Capone and more than enough to deal a devastating blow to the Trump Organization.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 07:03 AM (3 replies)

Oops: The Trump Organization Kept Literal Spreadsheets of Its Crimes


Levin Report
Oops: The Trump Organization Kept Literal Spreadsheets of Its Crimes
Which is something one should probably avoid if one is hoping to avoid prison time.
By Bess Levin
July 1, 2021

In life, a good rule of thumb is to not engage in the sort of behavior that could result in being charged with numerous felonies; in other words, don‘t do crimes. But if you’re going to ignore that rule, and you don’t want to spend years in prison, another piece of advice is to not leave such an obvious paper trail of said crimes that you might as well have stuck a Post-it note on a stack of files that reads, “Hey, everybody, come check out all the laws I’ve been breaking! It’s all right here! Get the handcuffs ready!” Which, based on the indictment unsealed in a Manhattan courtroom today, is basically what the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO did, for more than a decade. Whoops!

Yes, in a turn of events perhaps unsurprising given Donald Trump‘s frequent pronouncements that he‘s “like, really smart,” it appears that not only did the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg engage in so many scams that they were hit with a whopping 15 criminal charges—including conspiracy, grand larceny, and multiple counts of tax fraud and falsifying records—but they were really, really stupid about it. Despite the fact that Weisselberg and the company were very effective at (allegedly) hiding all sorts of income from the Internal Revenue Service—largely through fringe benefits like apartments, cars, and private school tuition the Trump Org paid for that were never declared as income—they apparently never envisioned a scenario in which they would be investigated, hence the decision to keep meticulous records of all the taxes they were allegedly dodging. (In total, Weisselberg was accused of dodging taxes on $1.7 million worth of perks.)

As one delightful section of the indictment reads:

Weisselberg caused the Trump Corporation to issue corporate checks made payable to a Trump Organization employee who cashed the checks and received cash. The cash was given to Weisselberg for his personal use. The Trump Corporation booked this cash as “Holiday Entertainment,” but maintained internal spreadsheets showing the cash to be part of Weisselberg’s employee compensation.

Oops! Great work, dummies! Here’s another fun example:

For certain years, the Trump Organization maintained internal spreadsheets that tracked the amounts it paid for Weisselberg’s rent, utility, and garage expenses. Simultaneously, the Trump Organization reduced the amount of direct compensation that Weisselberg received in the form of checks or direct deposits to account for the indirect compensation that he received in the form of payments of rent, utility bills, and garage expenses. The indirect compensation was not included on Weisselberg’s W-2 forms or otherwise reported to federal, state, or local tax authorities, and no income taxes were withheld by the corporate defendants in connection with the indirect compensation.

Weisselberg, who pleaded not guilty on Thursday alongside the ex-president‘s business, is now facing more than a decade in prison, if convicted on all charges. And while prosecutors are presumably still hoping he’ll flip and testify against Trump, according to former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen, the government will still be able to make its case without him:

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 06:02 AM (12 replies)

David Frum: Trump Is Preparing for the Worst


Trump Is Preparing for the Worst
Watch for early indications that the legal process may end badly for the former president.
By David Frum
July 1, 2021

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
“What brought it on?”
“Friends,” said Mike. “I had a lot of friends.”

— Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises


One of Trump’s skills as a politician is preparing the battlefield in advance. In the case of his first impeachment, he chose to argue outright innocence—“it was a perfect call”—and no matter how mountainous the evidence of wrongdoing, that was the line he maintained to the end.

This time, though, Trump is not claiming that “all taxes were paid” or that “it was a perfect tax return.” He’s readying his supporters for bad revelations about his company’s taxes and directing them to a fallback line that singling him out as a tax scofflaw is politically unfair.

That line of defense may well rally Trump’s supporters. It will not do him much good in court. It’s impossible for tax collectors to scrutinize every return. Selecting high-profile evaders and holding them to account is how tax laws are enforced. And if a former president numbers among those high-profile evaders, that makes the case for targeting him stronger, not weaker. It sends the message that the tax authorities most want to send: Everybody has to pay, especially powerful politicians. In 1974, former President Richard Nixon faced a review of his taxes that ultimately presented him with a bill equal to half his net worth at the time. Members of Congress have faced indictment for tax evasion, as have high-profile state and local officials.

Trump and his team already appear to expect that the law will be against him. They are counting on that fact not to matter very much—not enough to overcome the political hullabaloo they hope to raise in Trump’s defense.

Trump worked all his life on the theory that law can be subordinated to political favors and political pressures. That theory has carried him this far—and it’s pretty far, all things considered. We are now about to see a mighty test, before the country and the world, of whether that theory will carry him the rest of the way home.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 2, 2021, 05:58 AM (43 replies)
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