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Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
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Maybe he should ask Madame Tussaud's techs to make him an all-weather wig?

Not fake news:

Donald Trump’s Wax Figure Hair Is Actually Made Out of Yak and Squirrel"

Madame Tussauds in London unveiled President-elect Donald Trump’s wax figure Wednesday, the culmination of five months of work, CNN reports. The museum made four replicas of the figure: the original will remain in London while the rest were shipped to New York, Orlando, and Washington, D.C., and will arrive in time for Trump’s inauguration Friday.

According to Mashable, it took 20 artists and about $185,000 to get the figure done. Chief sculptor David Gardner told CNN he was “lucky enough to get some measurements from a sitting we had in 1997 at the Trump towers,” so building his body out wasn’t an issue. In fact, nailing the essence of Trump for his waxwork was easy “because of his character. It was almost as far as doing a caricature and bringing it back.”

It was Trump’s hair that was more problematic for stylists. For those who don’t know, Donald Trump’s hair has been a lacquered yellow-orange helmet molded to his head for as long as he’s been a public figure. Madame Tussauds was forced to call outside consultants (including a stylist from The Apprentice) to help recreate it.

Oh, and: "His hair is a mixture of human hair and yak hair. We use yak hair with people with white hair because human hair is not readily available," hairstylist Kelly Cox said. Also, his eyebrows are made of squirrel hair.


Main surprise to me was that it wasn't moose and squirrel.

Many of these myths began with Boris Johnson - or certainly the momentum behind them:

Johnson, sacked by The Times in 1988 for fabricating a quote, made his mark in Brussels not through fair and balanced reporting, but through extreme euro-scepticism. He seized every chance to mock or denigrate the EU, filing stories that were undoubtedly colourful but also grotesquely exaggerated or completely untrue.

The Telegraph loved it. So did the Tory Right. Johnson later confessed: 'Everything I wrote from Brussels, I found was sort of chucking these rocks over the garden wall and I listened to this amazing crash from the greenhouse next door over in England as everything I wrote from Brussels was having this amazing, explosive effect on the Tory party, and it really gave me this I suppose rather weird sense of power.'

Johnson’s reports also had an amazing, explosive effect on the rest of Fleet Street. They were much more fun than the usual dry and rather complex Brussels fare. News editors on other papers, particularly but not exclusively the tabloids, started pressing their own correspondents to match them. By the time I arrived in Brussels editors only wanted stories about faceless Brussels eurocrats imposing absurd rules on Britain, or scheming Europeans ganging up on us, or British prime ministers fighting plucky rearguard actions against a hostile continent.

Much of Fleet Street seemed unable to view the EU through any other prism. It was the only narrative it was interested in. Stories that did not bash Brussels, stories that acknowledged the EU’s many achievements, stories that recognised that Britain had many natural allies in Europe and often won important arguments, almost invariably ended up on the spike.


Trump at half speed (from Twitter)

Ran across this thread, and apart from being vaguely amusing, it's very telling:


Arlen Parsa voted! @arlenparsa

my favorite way to listen to the president is slowed down to 1/2 speed because it reveals how often times his logic is indistinguishable from that of a drunk person: pic.twitter.com/QiUb4CQdU9

It was followed downthread by this clip:


From the election trail via Twitter:


andrew kaczynski

Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry's office called the bosses of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor for liking a photo on Facebook of a picture of Fortenberry that was vandalized w/googly eyes and the caption "Jeff Fartenberry."


ETA the follow-up:


andrew kaczynski

Fortenberry's chief of staff emailed the school's dean to speak about it.


andrew kaczynski


To be clear, the professor was not involved in the vandalism of the sign. The congressman and his chief of staff are trying to get him in trouble for liking the photo on Facebook. That's it.

Seth Abramson: If only we could find a link between Trump and Jacob Wohl

Seth Abramson

If we all work REALLY hard over the next few months, we'll be able to find SOME connection between Jacob Wohl, who appears, if the current NBC and Atlantic reporting is accurate, to have been part of a criminal plot to frame Robert Mueller, and Donald Tr—

—oh, we have a picture?

2/ Anyway, as I was saying, I think there has to be SOME conn—

—oh, there's a Bloomberg article in which Trump "heralds" the "support" Jacob Wohl has given him? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-17/meet-trump-s-latest-market-whisperer-19-year-old-jacob-wohl

3/ Yeah, but it's not like Trump RETWE—



4/ The good news is that Jacob Wohl is unlikely to turn on Trump and tell the FBI everything he knows about the criminal plot to frame Robert Mueller, given that Wohl is a much older guy and—

{puts finger to earpiece}

—he's TWENTY YEARS OLD? And has his whole life ahead of him?

5/ Sorry, I shouldn't make light of how stupid these criminals are.

But if I can quote myself from a 2017 WASHINGTON POST article: "This was very unsophisticated, and the people involved were largely moronic....The people involved were stupid...and that’s how [they] got caught.”

6/ I always laugh when right-wing radio hosts say, "The Left says Trump's a criminal mastermind, then they say he's an idiot! Which is it?" I've *always* been consistent: Trump is an idiot with the instincts of a criminal, and he avoids capture because smart people cover for him.


Original Twitter thread:


Chaser: The replies to all the Wohl clans' tweets today have been pretty hilarious, but this one made me guffaw:


Jacob Wohl


The MSM has launched a coordinated smear campaign against me, claiming that I offered money to a woman to make accusations against Mueller? Their claims are BASELESS!

Who is this "woman"?

Max Sparber

I wouldn't worry. I'm sure interfering with a federal investigation is not a crime.


Max Sparber

I have just been informed it is a crime.


Max Sparber

Really? That serious?


Max Sparber

On my lawyers advice I will not be interacting with you anymore.

Bomb disposal (cartoon)

[Scottish] Tory MSP: Rape clause is 'fair' as it means poor have fewer kids

THE welfare spokeswoman for the Scottish Tories has been denounced after saying benefit curbs and a related 'rape clause' are fair because they stop the poor having as many children as people in work.

Michelle Ballantyne, a mother-of-six, was lambasted after defending the two-child limit on tax credits in a Holyrood debate on poverty and inequality.


The two-child limit denies some benefit to mothers with more than two children unless they declare one was the result of rape.


The exchange in question, sparked by a question from Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell, can be seen on Twitter (and SNP MSP Tom Arthur's response doesn't just "denounce" Ballantyne's words, it rips her a whole new 'un):


Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984

Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne's shocking contribution to the debate on austerity, poverty & inequality regarding the two-child limit, and the belter of a response from SNP MSP Tom Arthur.

(H/T: @gdog2010_john)

For those who can't view the clip, here's Aileen Campbell's reaction

and here's what Tom Arthur said (quite heatedly towards the end):

I thank the member for her intervention. The issue comes down to the fundamental point and crux of the debate—that there are two views of what this Parliament is for.

There is the view of the Labour Party, which is that it is a buffer. Alex Cole-Hamilton spoke about the Parliament having to mop up the consequences of Tory welfare reforms. That is a view and a philosophy that the Labour Party is entitled to, but it is not the view that I have. I do not want this to be the Parliament that mitigates; I want this to be the Parliament with all the powers, including powers over employment law, so that we can make sure that there is a real living wage and under 25s are not being paid the poverty national minimum wage. I want to have the full range of powers so that we can truly transform Scotland. I want the full powers so that we do not live in a country where colleagues of Michelle Ballantyne get to dictate social security policy.

I have to say that the speech from Michelle Ballantyne was one of the most disgraceful speeches that I have ever heard in my two and a half years in this Parliament—six minutes of pompous Victorian moralising that would have been better suited to the pages of a Dickens novel.

She suggests that poverty should be a barrier to a family and that people who are poor are not entitled to any more than two children—what an absolutely disgraceful position. She should be utterly, utterly ashamed of herself.

The best is yet to come - from later in the Herald article:

[Ballantyne] admitted she had claimed child benefit for each of her six children, but said she had been on an income of less than £25,000 and made sacrifices to have a large family.

Ballantyne later admitted that she didn't just claim Child Benefit, but also Tax Credits:


Paul Hutcheon @paulhutcheon

Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne has confirmed claiming tax credits and child benefit

She owns a textile mill in the Scottish Borders (whose workers' wages are no doubt also subsidized by Tax Credits), has long been a local councillor (with the additional income that brings from the public purse), and only became an MSP last year because another Tory resigned, so Ballantyne was elevated to the Scottish Parliament from her 13th place on the Tories' Regional List (after the revolution, the D'Hondt PR system really has to go ...). As an MSP, she's also eligible for free childcare.

Ballantyne didn't quite go so far as Tory MP Ben Bradley in a 2012 blog post for which he later apologized - Tory MP Ben Bradley said benefit claimants should be sterilised - but that's likely because she doesn't do joined-up thinking rather than out of any sense of humanity.

Three fracking protesters jailed by judge with family links to oil and gas firm FREED

Three anti-fracking activists jailed for a protest at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site in Lancashire have been freed by the Court of Appeal.

Soil scientist Simon Blevins, 26, from Sheffield, teacher Richard Roberts, 36 of London, and piano restorer Rich Loizou, 32, from Devon, had their jail terms quashed and replaced with conditional discharges.

The trio, known as the “Fracking Three”, are believed to be the first environmental activists to be imprisoned for public nuisance since 1932.

They had been jailed by Judge Robert Altham - who the Mirror revealed has family links to the oil and gas industry.


The activists have been released after six weeks in prison. Sadly, Robert Altham is still at large.

Altham's Wikipedia page here (includes the snippet that his ancestor, Sir James Altham, served as a judge during the Pendle witch trials in the 17th century): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Altham

Here's The Guardian's coverage of Altham's undeclared conflict of interest:

Fracking protesters walk free after court quashes 'excessive' sentences


Questions over the original trial judge’s family links to the oil and gas industry were also raised in court on Wednesday. Judge Robert Altham’s father and sister run JC Altham and Sons, a company believed to be part of the supply chain for energy giant Centrica, which has invested tens of millions of pounds in fracking.

The judicial conduct investigations office later confirmed it had “received a complaint regarding HHJ Robert Altham, which will be considered in accordance with the judicial conduct (judicial and other office holders) rules 2014”.


It also emerged in the hearing that Altham had refused the defendants an opportunity to bring a defence of necessity in their original trial.

“The judge explicitly stated pre-trial he would not hear any evidence about fracking,” Brimelow said, explaining that such a restriction prevented her clients from bringing arguments relating to their rights to protest and free speech.


Altham's sister, Jane Watson, was one of the signatories of an open letter released by a body calling itself the "North West Energy Task Force" in 2016 titled "Lancashire business leaders to local council: 'Give shale a chance.'": https://web.archive.org/web/20160616073508/http://www.nwenergy.org.uk:80/lancashire_business_leaders_to_local_council_give_shale_a_chance

The North West Energy Task Force is funded by Centrica and Cuadrilla.

Even before this appeal verdict, Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden last week tabled three parliamentary written questions about Altham's conduct and whether it breached the judicial code.

Maybe, MAYBE, Murkowski's being uncharacteristically principled.

Or maybe it's to do with another case that's causing a rightful stir in Alaska:

Lisa Murkowski's Vote on Brett Kavanaugh Is Looking Tougher Than Ever
A startling incident in her home state brings things into focus—and ramps up the stakes.

There is a boatload of red-hot outrage in the state of Alaska at the moment at the decision by a judge to go easy on a man who was convicted of throttling a woman, and, in the exact wording of the charges, "committing harassment by contact with bodily fluids." From Alaska Public Radio:

Police said the victim in the August 2017 assault reported that the man — later identified as Justin Schneider, now 34 — offered her a ride across town. Instead, Schneider choked her unconscious and — at least according to the original charges — committed harassment by offensive contact with bodily fluids. Anchorage TV station KTVA reported that Schneider was a “free man” Wednesday after Superior Court Judge Corey accepted a plea deal and sentenced Schneider. The state agreed to drop the kidnapping and harassment charges and Schneider was sentenced to time served.

Williams says the night she saw the KTVA report, she discovered online that Corey’s six-year term on the Superior Court was up for a retention vote this November. “And, ultimately, it is the judge who’s responsible because he’s responsible for who walks out of court. And in this case we really think he messed up,” Williams said. Williams says she understands that the judge was sentencing Schneider under the guidelines for the remaining charge in the deal prosecutors struck. And she thinks the laws should be tougher and prosecutors should feel pressure, too. But, Williams says, the judges are the ones voters can directly affect.

So the judge is probably roadkill. But, as my very smart friend said, think about this. In this moment, with her home state embroiled in a huge #MeToo moment, does Senator Lisa Murkowski really want to be the vote that helps Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court? I'm not sure she does.


Giuliani: "Please make it STOP!!1!"

I paraphrase:

Giuliani Says Mueller Must Be ‘Winding Down’

Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller “might be at the end” of his investigation after his prosecutors won a conviction against Paul Manafort on eight counts against him.

Said Giuliani: “He has to be winding down. What else is there? Near the end.”


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