Hot Pockets Heiress Guilty in College Admissions Cheating Scandal

February 27, 2020

Hot Pockets Heiress Guilty in College Admissions Cheating Scandal

Michelle Janavs, heiress to the Hot Pockets microwave snack fortune, has been sentenced to 2 minutes on High in a 1880 watt oven five months in federal prison after pleading guilty to helping her daughters cheat the college application process. Ms. Janavs admitted to paying $100,000 to have to have someone cheat on her daughters’ ACT exams. She also agreed to pay a USC athletic official $200,000 to have one daughter recruited to the college as a beach volleyball athlete when her only qualification was owning a swimsuit. On the bright side, some low-security federal prisons have volleyball courts, so maybe Ms. Janavs will be able to coach her daughter after she’s done her time.

Michelle Janavs must also pay a $250,000 fine, was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, and faces two years of supervised release after she’s freed from prison.

More:

“Hot Pocket Heir Michelle Janavs Was Sentenced To 5 Months In Prison In The College Admissions Scandal,” Ellie Hall, BuzzFeed News

“A Trojan horse: USC was the most frequent target in alleged admissions scheme,”
Moriah Balingit, Susan Svrluga, and Nick Anderson, Washington Post

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Larry Kudlow Leads Trump Administration Coronavirus Fight

February 26, 2020

Larry Kudlow Leads Trump Administration Coronavirus Fight

The Trump Administration’s rapid response to the Coronavirus threat was led by National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who announced on Tuesday that the COVID-19 epidemic has been “contained” in the United States. “We have contained this, I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight,” he diagnosed on CNBC. Mr. Kudlow’s concern, like that of his master, Donald Trump, was with one major disease symptom, a severe decline in the Dow Jones Index.

Larry Kudlow, while not a physician, is as qualified to advise on the disease epidemic as he is to be National Economic Council Director. He isn’t an economist either, and his financial prognoses are consistently wrong. In the case of the COVID-19 epidemic, epidemiologists at the CDC warn that its spread in the US is imminent. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,”said National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Nancy Messonnier.

More:

“Kudlow claims coronavirus has been contained: ‘It’s pretty close to air-tight,'” Justin Wise, The Hill

“Kudlow Mischaracterized WHO Director While Comforting Investors About Coronavirus,” Matt Shuham, TalkingPointsMemo

“Americans should prepare for coronavirus crisis in U.S., CDC says,” Erika Edwards, NBC News

“Trump reportedly furious about stock market plunging on coronavirus fears,” Pippa Stevens, MSN

“Trump’s no stranger to misinformation. But with the coronavirus, experts say that’s dangerous.” Megan Thielking, STAT

Related:

“Covid-19 Will Mark the End of Affluence Politics,” Matt Stoller, Wired

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Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!

February 26, 2020

Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!

Rightwing lobbyist, Supreme spouse, and Tea Party cultist Ginni Thomas is making a list, checking it twice, and ridding the Trump White House of spies, snakes and traitors, those professional civil servants more devoted to the Constitution than personal loyalty to Donald Trump. That sounds better to conspiracy nuts when they call the Civil Service the “Deep State.”

Since 2013 Ginni Thomas has been part of the ad hoc Groundswell group, a rightwing cabal opposed to GOP centrists as much as liberal Democrats. In January she and other Tea Party survivors met with President Trump in the White House with a belated Christmas gift, their Naughty/Nice List. The Goundswell goons called for the firing of qualified federal government professionals and the hiring of Trump toadies, hard right wingnuts, Fox News talking heads, and other incompetents in their stead.

After getting her fringe-group friends into high White House places, Ms. Thomas plans to defend the Trump-archy in the 2020 election through her own MAGA-supporting PAC.

More:

“Trump’s ‘Deep State’ hit list,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

“Among Those Pressing Trump to Weed Out Disloyalty: Clarence Thomas’s Wife,” Maggie Haberman, New York Times

“Clarence Thomas’ Wife Is Helping Trump Purge ‘Snakes’ From the White House — and Replace Them With Fox News Regulars,” Travis Gettys, The New Civil Rights Movement

“Ginni Thomas’ White House Meeting Was Just Another Grift,” Mark Joseph Stern, Salon

Updates:

“Trump acknowledges lists of disloyal government officials to oust,” Jacob Knutson, Axios

“Trump Claims Purging Officials Who Are ‘Disloyal’ To Him Is Good For America,” Cristina Cabrera, TalkingPointsMemo

“Baby-faced assassin: the 29-year old at the heart of Trump’s ‘deep state’ purge,” Tom McCarthy, The Guardian (also “A new senior leader at the White House personnel office: A college senior,” Daniel Lippman and Meridith McGraw, Politico).

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Trump Health Care: Sick People Rely on Crowdfunding

February 25, 2020

Trump Health Care: Sick People Rely on Crowdfunding

“An estimated 50 million Americans—or 20% of all adults in the country—have donated to a crowdfunding campaign to help cover somebody’s medical expenses, according to a survey from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.”

“Websites like JustGiving, Fundly, and GoFundMe have risen to prominence in recent years as Americans struggle to pay for rising healthcare costs. Medical fundraisers have become so popular on GoFundMe—over 250,000 medical campaigns are run each year—that the website now publishes guides on how to fundraise for insulin or gender confirmation surgery.

The survey has prompted renewed calls for Medicare for All this week. Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders reiterated his support for the policy on Twitter. ‘Enough is enough,’ he tweeted. ‘No one should have to beg for money to get the health care they need in the richest country on Earth.’”

More:

“Millions of Americans Rely on Crowdfunding for Medical Expenses,” Emma Coleman, Route Fifty.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump Boosts His Business Interests In India

February 24, 2020

Trump Boosts His Business Interests In India
President Donald Trump, real estate promoter and U.S. President, is visiting the land of the Trump Organization’s largest foreign business interests, India. Fellow authoritarian ruler Prime Minister Narendra Modi will show Mr. Trump what a real mass rally looks like, and probably explain how to deprive Muslim residents of their citizenship. There will also be some arms deals and trade talks. President Trump will be returning to the U.S. in 48 hours since there are no Trump golf courses in India for him to cheat play on this weekend.

Update:

President Trump, First Lady Melania, White House Lifestyle Consultant Ivanka, and Secretary of Everything Jared all visited India’s most famous Muslim tomb, freshly cleaned for their enjoyment and photo-ops. PM Modi’s advisors scared off the neighborhood monkeys. Mr. Trump, a longtime admirer of India’s Islamic Mughal heritage, named his money-laundering  twice-bankrupt Atlantic City casino the Trump Taj Mahal.

More:

“India is home to the most Trump ventures outside North America. Here’s what you need to know.” Niha Masih and Joanna Slater, Washington Post

“Trump visits a big foreign market — for the U.S. and for Trump Org,” Anita Kumar, Politico

Updates:

“Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi as Trump visits India,” Rebecca Falconer, Axios

“New Delhi Streets Turn Into Battleground During Trump’s Visit,” Jeffrey Gettleman, Suhasini Raj and Sameer Yasir, New York Times

“13 killed in violent clashes in Delhi amid Trump’s visit,” Debarshi Dasgupta, Straits Times

“In India, Trump hails no trade deal as a win,” Anita Kumar, Politico

“What Exactly Is Ivanka Trump Doing in India?” Michelle Ruiz, Vogue

“‘Up to India’: Trump evades questions about Muslim-excluding citizenship law,” Anita Kumar, Politico

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Remember Me

February 23, 2020

“Remember Me,” written by Otis Redding, recorded by him in 1965, and released postumously in 1992.

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Don’t Stop

February 23, 2020

“Don’t Stop,” written by Christine McVie, interpreted by Postmodern Jukebox, 2017. Maiya Sykes (vocal), Scott Bradlee (piano, arranger), Mike Roch a (trumpet), Ian Vo (clarinet), Lasim Richards (trombone), Jonathan Richards (bass), and an unknown tenor banjo player.

Postmodern Jukebox website

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Loosen Up

February 23, 2020

“Loosen Up,” by Cassia, recorded in 2018.

Cassia website

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Hooked on a Feeling

February 23, 2020

“Hooked on a Feeling,” written by Mark James, interpreted by Pomplamoose. Nataly Dawn (lead vocals), Nahneen Kula (backing vocals), Jack Conte (keyboards), Brian Green (guitar), Nick Campbell (bass), Julian Allen (drums), Ben Rose (percussion, keyboards).

The song was originally recorded in 1968 by B.J. Thomas (with a great electric sitar part by Reggie Young).

Pomplamoose website

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What Do You Know About Jesus?

February 23, 2020

“What Do You Know About Jesus?” recorded by Brother Joe May and Sister Wynona Carr, 1950. Ms. Carr is credited as the author. The Swan Silvertones recorded a version within a year or so.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.