Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

A Pardon for Jack Johnson

May 25, 2018

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson, convicted in a unjust federal trial in 1913, was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump on Thursday. Mr. Johnson, the first African American boxing champion, was a victim of racism, and there has been a long campaign to right this historical wrong, complicated by Johnson’s history of adultery and domestic violence.

But remedying racial injustice doesn’t seem to be be why Mr. Trump pardoned Jack Johnson. He did it because celebrity pal Sylvester Stallone asked him to, and because Mr. Johnson was “a truly legendary boxing champion, legendary athlete, and a person that, when people got to know him, they really liked him,” said the president. A flamboyant, womanizing, larger-than-life celebrity? Donald Trump can certainly relate the that.

And of course if Donald Trump can pardon a dead man, surely there’s hope for Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn ….

More:

“Trump’s pardon of Jack Johnson is not insignificant. But caring about racial injustice in 2018 would be more meaningful.” Eugene Scott, Washington Post

 

Video: Celebrity Jack Johnson conducts an unidentified jazz band, 1929. Alternate takes here.

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Trump Wants Better ‘TV Lawyers’

May 15, 2018

Trump Wants Better 'TV Lawyers'

Celebrity Apprentice star and U.S. President Donald Trump wants to mount a more powerful legal defense, according to the Washington Post:

“The president vents to associates about the FBI raids on his personal attorney Michael Cohen — as often as ’20 times a day,’ in the estimation of one confidant — and they frequently listen in silence, knowing little they say will soothe him. Trump gripes that he needs better ‘TV lawyers’ to defend him on cable news and is impatient to halt the ‘witch hunt’ that he says undermines his legitimacy as president.”

So, ‘TV Lawyers.’ But who? Rudy Giuliani is no Perry Mason, and Ben Matlock won’t leave Atlanta for DC.

More:

“Trump expresses need for better ‘TV lawyers’ to combat Mueller probe: report,” Joe Concha, The Hill

“It’s Probably Killing Trump That Stormy Daniels’ Attorney Is Attractive And Great On TV,” Michelangelo Signorile, Huffington Post

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Reality TV Prez Names Reality TV Quack to Fitness Panel

May 8, 2018

Reality TV Prez Names Reality TV Quack to Fitness Panel
Donald J. Trump, TV personality and “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” has nominated TV celebrity, Dr. Oz (Mehmet Cengiz Öz, MD) to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. A 2014 study determined that half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice was baseless or wrong.

Other Trump acquaintances and Council nominees include: former New York Yankee reliever and failed restaurateur Mariano Rivera; former New Jersey Generals football player Herschel Walker;  Trump endorser and LPGA pro golfer Natalie GulbisTrump-endorsing NFL Patriots coach Bill BelichickBrenda L. Becker of the Boston Scientific medical device corporation; Trump-campaigning former MLB outfielder and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Johnny Damon; “Incredible Hulk” and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lou Ferrigno; “anti-aging medicine” promoter and “Sports Hall of Fame” founder Dr. Bob GoldmanBannon– and Weinstein-linked producer Trevor Drinkwater, whose failed company made classical music recordings for babiesTrump-supporting ex-congresswoman, private equity shill and former ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth; Palm Beach denizen and SlimFast CEO Chris Tisi, Matt Hesse, whose “nutritional supplement” firm is best-known for Ab Cuts snake oil; hunter and 2013 Ms. Wheelchair USA Ashlee Lundvall2016 GOP Delegate and health club owner Samuel James Worthington, Jr.; and “hockey & gymnastics mom” Linda Yaccarino of NBC Universal, who sold ads for Celebrity Apprentice.

Truly, with a Fitness Council like that, America is destined to be a nation whose “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”

More:

“Trump Picks TV Snake Oil Salesman Dr. Oz, of All People, to Serve on Health Council,” Tom McKay, Gizmodo

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A Trump Supporter Walks Into a Bar ….

May 3, 2018

A Trump Supporter Walks Into a Bar ....

Accountant Greg Piatek said he was kicked out of The Happiest Hour, a bar in Greenwich Village, for wearing a Trump “Make America Great Again” hat, and he sued the bar for damages. The plaintif’s lawyer, Paul Liggieri, claimed the bar violated Mr. Piatek’s right of religious freedom, because the “Make America Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief.” He later admitted that his client’s faith was a “creed of one.”

Mr. Piatek wasn’t ejected for his headgear, said bar owner Jon Neidich, but for being an A-hole to the help:

“What’s gotten lost in this story is that the guest wasn’t kicked out because he was wearing a Trump hat- he was asked to leave after being verbally abusive to our staff, which is something we don’t tolerate regardless of who you are.”

Judge David Cohen decided that liking Trump is not a religion, and that bars may continue to refuse service to annoying louts.

Elie Mystal points out this is a case where Trump supporters are, once again, “trying to act like victims just because people stand up to their bigoted world views.”

“These are the very people who do think that you can discriminate against minorities when it comes to housing, or voting, or immigration. They think they’re being clever by ‘turning it around’ on people by claiming the same protections accorded to disadvantaged groups, when what they are really doing is mocking the struggles of others like it’s all some kind of game.”

— “Judge Rules You CAN Kick People Out Of A Bar For Supporting Trump: Please Proceed Accordingly,” Elie Mystal, Above the Law

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

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Michael Cohen Goes to Court Today

April 16, 2018

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of Donald Trump, will be in U.S. District Court in New York this afternoon, trying to exclude thousands of documents seized by the FBI from the federal case against him. Mr. Cohen has been charged by Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami, not (as in the SNL skit above) Robert Mueller. Since Mr. Cohen has only one client, Donald Trump, the case against Michael Cohen is more of a present threat to Mr. Trump than the Mueller investigation. And since Michael Cohen serves Donald Trump in the capacity of bagman and fixer, not as a lawyer, attorney-client privilege does not apply. In any case, a lawyer abetting a client in criminal acts cannot hide behind privilege.

More:

“Trump advisers see Cohen probe as greater threat to Trump than Mueller: report,” Max Greenwood, The Hill

“What Exactly Was Michael Cohen Doing for Donald Trump?” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Trump Wants to Review Seized Michael Cohen Materials Before Federal Prosecutors,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency,” Adam Davidson, The New Yorker

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One Liar Pardons Another

April 13, 2018

President Donald Trump, who makes six nonfactual statements a day, has pardoned convicted perjurer I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr.  “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” said Mr. Trump, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.” Evidently, golf clubhouse chatter is now a major force in our legal system.

The real message in this presidential act: Lie to Mueller for me and get out of jail free.

Keep track of Trump falsehoods here.

More:

“Trump grants pardon to former Bush official; some say he is using the law as a political tool,” Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“Trump Pardoned Libby to Protect Himself From Mueller,” Marcy Wheeler, New York Times

Related:

“Donald Trump says it’s okay for him to lie since ‘people agree with me.’” Graham Vyse, The New Republic

“Trump is perfecting the art of the Big Lie,” Max Boot, Washington Post

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Trump Opposed NYC Fire Sprinkler Regulations

April 10, 2018

Trump Opposed NYC Fire Sprinkler Regulations

A fire at New York’s Trump Tower killed a resident and injured six firemen last Saturday evening. The victim of the fatal 4-alarm blaze, art dealer Todd Brassner, had lived in his 50th-floor apartment since 1996. Donald Trump’s triplex residence is on floors 66 to 68 — it’s really not so lofty, since the numbering skips floors 6 through 13.

In a tweet, President Trump praised the responding firefighters and bragged about his “well-built building.” Maybe, but it’s a building without sprinklers on residential floorsMr. Trump fought  proposed regulations which would have mandated them in residential units built before 1999. We do not know if the Trump penthouse was retrofitted with sprinklers when it was later remodeled.

More:

“Trump once fought legislation requiring sprinklers in NYC buildings,” Nicole Hensley, NY Daily News

“Trump bragged that his tower withstood a fire — but has been silent about the man who died in it,” Amy B Wang, Washington Post

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Trump: ‘Scott Pruitt Is Doing a Great Job!’

April 9, 2018

Capitol Hill celebrity Scott Pruitt, spoofed by Friends of the Earth. The tear-off phone number is that of the EPA Public Affairs Office.

In the face of mounting criticism for extravagant personal spending of public dollars and ethical lapses, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt seems to be fighting for his job, but President Trump thinks he’s doing a great job of rolling back environmental regulations:

But it’s actually Scott Pruitt’s PR office that’s doing all the work. In reality, the process of rolling back regulations is as lengthy and difficult as establishing them. You can’t do it by press release.

More:

“The Myth of Scott Pruitt’s EPA Rollback,” Michael Grunwald, Politico

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Photo (“$50 a Night on Capitol Hill”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Read about the posters here.

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Cambridge Analytica Got Data on 87 Million Facebook Users

April 5, 2018

Cambridge Analytica Got Data on 87 Million Facebook Users

Remember learning that Trump campaign data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica grabbed personal information from 50 million Facebook users? Fake News! it was 87 million.

But that’s nothing. Facebook now admits it let all kinds of skeevy cyber customers (it calls them “malicious actors”) scrape personal data from 2 billion people. Yes, that’s most Facebook users. Oops.

Looks like Mark Zuckerberg will have some ‘splainin’ to do when he testifies before Congress next Tuesday. Fun Fact: Three of his congressional questioners own FB stock.

Shut-the-Barn-Door-After Department: There are Plans to Restrict Data Access on Facebook.

More:

“Mark Zuckerberg knows he screwed up,” Kurt Wagner, ReCode

“Facebook says it should have audited Cambridge Analytica,” Associated Press

“Facebook’s dizzying spin on ‘the Cambridge Analytica thing,’” Callum Borchers, Washington Post

“Facebook suspends Canadian firm linked to Cambridge Analytica,” Kia Kokalitcheva, David McCabe, Axios

“As Facebook confronts data misuse, foreign governments might force real change,” Nick Noack, Washington Post

Related:

“This is how Zuckerberg’s Facebook will likely get regulated,” Chase Purdy, Quartz

“It’s about to get harder to trick people with political ads on Facebook,” Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz

“Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Says Data-Sharing Tool Complied With FTC,” Sarah Frier, Bloomberg

“AP sources: EPA chief spent millions on security and travel,” Michael Biesecker, Associated Press

“Private Messages Aren’t Exactly Private at Facebook,” Shira Ovide, Bloomberg Gadfly

“Facebook retracted Zuckerberg’s messages from recipients’ inboxes,” Josh Constine, Techcrunch

“Facebook may need group therapy to fix its engineering culture,” Janet Guyon, Quartz

“Can We Be Saved From Facebook?” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

“Don’t Fix Facebook. Replace It.” Tim Wu, New York Times

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Trump Champions Abstinence-Only Sex Education

April 4, 2018

Fundamentalist sex educators favor so-called “Abstinence-Only” strategy, teaching teens to “just say no” to sex, which works as well as you might expect — not at all. Nevertheless, due to pressure from the Christian Right, for nearly 30 years the federal government pumped over $2 billion into this losing battle with adolescent hormones before facing reality.

It’s back! Fundamentalists helped elect Adulterer-In-Chief Donald Trump, so “Abstinence-Only” Sex Ed is Great Again.

More:

“Abstinence-only education making a comeback under Trump,” Jessie Hellmann, The Hill

“Donald Trump’s Embrace of Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Is an Absurd Twist on a Failed Policy,” Jordan Smith, The Intercept

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