Patterico's Pontifications

2/8/2019

A Few News Items

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:39 am



[guest post by Dana]

Just going to leave these right here.

1) Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker before the House Judiciary Committee said he did not interfer in the Russia inquiry:

The hearing quickly turned contentious as the committee chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler, pressed Mr. Whitaker for details about when he had been briefed about the special counsel investigation and the acting attorney general refused to answer.

But under pressure from the chairman, Mr. Whitaker made news: He testified that he had not talked to Mr. Trump or senior White House officials about information: “I do not believe that I have briefed third-party individuals outside of the Department of Justice. I’ve received the briefings myself, and I’m usually the endpoint at that information.”

Mr. Whitaker ultimately declared that though he had been briefed, he had followed “the special counsel’s regulations to a T.”

2) Gov. Northam of Virginia staying put?:

A close associate of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) says he doesn’t expect the governor to resign over the emergence of a racist photo in a past yearbook and his disclosure that he had once worn blackface.

Republican state Sen. Richard Stuart, a close friend of the governor who has talked with Northam told Politico that Northam “knows what he has to do” to remain in office.

“He’s not leaving,” said Stuart. “He understands he has to stand up and face this. He knows what he has to do. He’s staying.”

3) Gov. Northam cuts deal with Republicans. Anything to stay in office, eh?:

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican lawmakers said Friday they’ve agreed on a tax deal that will return nearly $1 billion to Virginians.

The agreement, reached unusually early in Virginia’s often contentious budget-writing process, would:

Give taxpayers a credit of $110 for individuals — $220 for couples filing jointly — to be distributed in October, the month before this year’s state elections in which all 100 House and 40 state Senate seats are up for a vote.

Increase the state standard deduction from $3,000 to $4,500 for individuals and from $6,000 to $9,000 for couples, to take effect with next year’s tax filings.

Retain the current deduction on state and local taxes, instead of adopting the $10,000 cap in last year’s federal tax changes.

Those changes, mainly a doubling of the federal standard deduction, would generate a roughly $1.1 billion flood of money this year and next into state coffers without any changes in Virginia law.

Jim Geraghty suggests this is why Northam went for the deal:

Why did Northam agree to the deal? Watching almost every member of his party in the state call for his resignation may have made him less motivated to fight for their priorities – particularly when his former allies take a less-adamant stance regarding scandals involving the lieutenant governor and state attorney general. Northam is reportedly toying with the idea of leaving the Democratic Party and governing as an independent. For Virginia Republicans, Northam may be transforming into the best of both worlds for them – a governor so damaged, he feels pressure to sign their priorities into law, but who is also simultaneously an albatross to Democrats.

4) Jeff Bezos fights back [excerpts]:

Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

[…]

From: Howard, Dylan [dhoward@amilink.com] (Chief Content Officer, AMI)
Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 3:33 PM
To: Martin Singer (litigation counsel for Mr. de Becker)
Subject:. Jeff Bezos & Ms. Lauren Sanchez Photos

CONFIDENTIAL & NOT FOR DISTRIBIUTION

[I]n the interests of expediating this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer’s initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.

In addition to the “below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick’” — The Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include: (very intimate photos of both Bezos and his girlfriend )

It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail — and quickly.

[…]

In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they’ll publish the photos, and quickly. And there’s an associated threat: They’ll keep the photos on hand and publish them in the future if we ever deviate from that lie.

AMI promises to “promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims” made by Bezos”. And now federal prosecutors are reportedly involved and investigating how the National Enquirer handled the story.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

84 Responses to “A Few News Items”

  1. I figured that the endgame for Northam-Gosnell — absent resignation — would be either going full blow left-wing social justice warrior and doubling-down on abortion, race, immigration, and every other progressive obsession under the sun, or else being a completely neutered politician who had to cut deals with the opposition to save his hide. Looks like it’s the latter path he has taken, probably because Democrats very foolishly closed off the first path through their grandstanding opposition.

    But I hope the GOP legislators keep him at a distance, even if he does leave the Democrat Party and govern as an independent. I don’t see any upside in suddenly becoming consistent allies of that jerkwad of a man.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. This is the publication that looked away from John Edwards that covered vanessa Tyson with a pillow, and spiked the lewinski story.

    Narciso (c859dd)

  3. I made a joke the other day that based upon all of this yearbook-dredging we are probably only 5-7 years away from the moment when the first elected federal or state politician has to explain why he or she is in a homemade porn video uploaded to the Internet, but with the Bezos news I am now guessing that timeframe has been cut in half.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  4. Not only a d*ck but balls too.

    On a brief reading I say bravo Bezos (but just for the response, not the lol dumb behavior).

    harkin (75c725)

  5. Other interestung news: Venezuela, Brexit, the shutdown avoidance negotiations (I think Pelosi has hit on a good strategy), State of the Union fact checking, and many stories that got less attention.

    L-serine (or possibly – my thought – a combination of other nutrients) may be a prevention or even cure for neurodegenrative diseases.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  6. Re: Bezos:

    There is a lot of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the National Enquirer (and Roger Stone) during the 2016 election, (just think of the supposed picture of Ted Cruz’s father with Oswald) but probably not on this.

    What AMI asked Jeff Bezos to say – that he didn’t know of any political motive for the National Enquirer pursuing him, was nothing but the truth (at this stage of Bezos’ investigation) but that’s not to say the National Enquirer didn’t have political motives of some sort.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  7. Did anybody really need to ask Matthew Whitaker?

    As for the question of whether the Mueller report can be released, everyone knows that it probably would not be legal for any Attorney General to release much of it, but Congress can subpoena it and release it, and or any grand jury testimony.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  8. There was an also an expose of qatari influence all around the capital, and their proxies in ankara.

    We are a sin cursed world, and someone as irresponsible as Bezos should get his comeuppance but he has the protection of the deep state.

    Narciso (c859dd)

  9. Re: Virginbia succession to teh Governorship:

    Someone called up the Rush Limbaugh show yesterday and ssid there was a way for all 3 top officials to resign and yet have the Governor still be a Democrat.

    For this to happen, he indicated, the Attorney General, Mark Herring, would ahve to resign before both of the other two officials did. (he actually said the Governor, ignoring the complication of the Lt Gov) Then the still-Democratic Governor could appoint a new Attorney General, and then resign himself.

    But this may not be coirrect, or be only partially correct.

    I read in a newspaper today that when the state legislature is in session, it appoints the new Attorney General.

    But maybe it isn’t in session for long. I also read that Virginia has a two-year budget and must get it done by February 23. Is that because the session expires then? And then the Governor does get to apppoint a new Attorney General?

    Anyway, they can’t trust each other enough to do such a maneuever, nor is there much foi a reason that all of them would want to.

    It seems like, if I understand things right, the Virginia General Assembly is now temporarily meeting in what is called the Pocahontas Building because of construction.

    They are celebrating this year as the 400th annniversary of democracy. 1619 is more usually known to schoolchildren as the year slavery started in the British colonies. President Trump mentioned neither of them in his stgate of the Union address, but said that June would be 75th anniversary of D-Day (and he also said it was “nearly” 75 years since the liberation of Dachau, when it is, in reality, still less than 74 years) and he also said this year was the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  10. “someone as irresponsible as Bezos should get his comeuppance but he has the protection of the deep state.”

    – narciso

    What would that comeuppance look like, in your ideal world?

    And what protection has “the Deep State” offered Bezos when contrasted with the lack of protections from the Actual State?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  11. …And loyalists of the National Enquirer President will continue to shout “Fake News!” without the slightest sense of irony.

    JRH (fe281f)

  12. I don’t think Donald Trump has ever referred to the National Enquirer as publishing “Fake News.”

    But he has said that about the Washington Post:

    https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/981881669593559040?lang=en

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s “chief lobbyist,” has another (of many) phony headlines, “Trump Defiant As China Adds Trade Penalties.” WRONG! Should read, “Trump Defiant as U.S. Adds Trade Penalties, Will End Barriers And Massive I.P. Theft.” Typically bad reporting!

    6:10 AM – 5 Apr 2018

    I don’t think Donald Trump sicced the National Enquirer on the Jeff Bezos. It could be some people, for their own reasons,are trying to make him think Bezos is his key enemy.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  13. I supposed Northam’s staying is good for the Dems. Because if he goes, Fairfax the groper and the next Dem in black face would have to go too. So Northam is holding the line for the other two miscreants.

    The GOP should get Northam to sponsor a repeal of the law allowing felons to vote. They are in a good position!

    Patricia (3363ec)

  14. well weiner went to jail, and schindler lost his naval war college post, and frankly went insane,

    https://saraacarter.com/schiff-recruiting-former-white-house-officials-to-investigate-trump/

    yes the second official’s firm tried to verify the dossier and failed,

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. I don’t understand why anyone would send photos like this, and act surprised when they get out–most teenagers in high school are educated on that issue; and now Bezos thinks it’s a conspiracy by
    Trump and the Saudis? Maybe the Russians were responsible and trying to get traction for the next election?

    Rochf (877dba)

  16. #17 is further proof of Bezos’ Lauren Graham fetish.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  17. The final link (on federal prosecutors checking into AMI) doesn’t work, so here’s one. This won’t turn out well for Pecker & Co. It walks and quacks like blackmail.

    Paul Montagu (e66a74)

  18. So The National Enquirer is going to dig’n’do an expose on The National Enquirer?

    Right.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  19. Like the Washington post covered up lewinski Edward and Columbus short overhere.

    Narciso (d76f90)

  20. Anybody who doesn’t know that the National Enquirer is the scumbucketest of scumbuckets is a Millenial.

    I had many reasons to admire Bezos but now I have one to like him. I hope he Gawkers them but much will depend on the judge and the jurisdiction. It wasn’t Peter Thiel’s multi-million dollar lawyers who won the Hulk Hogan case — it was a pro-plaintiff judge in a state which required an exorbitant appeal bond.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. The post have been an appendage of the company and most recently qatari intelligence and Turkish MIT (the folks that provides the passport to the manbij bomber)

    Narciso (d76f90)

  22. And since AOC’s Green Deal is a news item, even Captain Planet is skeptical.

    In a statement released Friday, famed environmental hero Captain Planet and his Planeteers attempted to distance themselves from the radical, far-left Green New Deal proposal, criticizing the sweeping legislative mandate as “unrealistic” and “implausible.”
    Five cartoon teenagers gathered in front of the Capitol Building, pulled out their rings, and shouted, “Earth! Fire! Wind! Water!” and the best power of all, “Heart!” in order to summon the captain to make his official statement on the Green New Deal.
    “Frankly, this proposal just isn’t realistic at all,” said the imaginary cartoon hero. “It would probably be a lot more plausible if the Dems would just try to summon me using the magic rings of five diverse teenagers. That would definitely be a lot more achievable than eliminating cows, cars, and airplanes by next week.”
    “We believe the Democrats need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more realistic,” said the animated environmentalist superhero before flying off to battle the notorious Doctor Blight.

    Paul Montagu (e66a74)

  23. When Alexandria says the world is going to end in twelve years, is she by any chance looking at a Mayan calendar?

    nk (dbc370)

  24. 23… what sort of aging, steroid abusing, evil genius behind a surveillance network sends dick pics?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. Gosh, we’re gonna miss this guy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP6qeBPl_HA

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  26. a wannabe bond villain, he even looks like Luthor’s younger brother,

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. JRH (fe281f) — 2/8/2019 @ 12:36 pm

    Irony is dead.

    felipe (023cc9)

  28. Bezos vs. Pecker

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  29. 20… sounds like there’s a good chance it could be characterized as negotiations.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. they were too unsubtle, remember they published the huntress’s emails, and invited teams of busybodies to prospect through, so did the times, they published everything Assange could get their hands on, until it came to red queen’s dirty laundry, then ragnarok, they covered Fairfax with a pillow and Kavanaugh in soil,

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. …sounds like there’s a good chance it could be characterized as negotiations.
    That’s how AMI lawyers want to spin it. Turley makes a fair case that it’s a violation of 18 U.S.C. §873.

    Paul Montagu (e66a74)

  32. 33… great points, narciso. Bezos and his WP can go to Hell.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. btw isn’t the guzman loera trial, turning out to be a dumpster fire,

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. It pays to advertise.

    nk (dbc370)

  35. Carlos Danger was unavailable for comment.

    Dave (1bb933)

  36. New York values.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. “I think men, generally more than women, feel a connection to their genitalia and want the person they are interested in sexually to share that interest,” said Stern. ”

    Where’s my dick hat? That’s discrimination!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. Good morning… Hang with this one, it gets better and better and the ending is absolutely highlarious!

    These guys are UCI students, best and the brightest… https://youtu.be/mLyOj_QD4a4

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. These guys are UCI students, best and the brightest…

    I am sick of you trying to game the website rules against personal attacks by slandering me through my profession or place of work.

    Dave (1bb933)

  40. Brie Larson is hard to look at cause her face is no good

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  41. This could stink as badly as green lantern.

    Narciso (9f438c)

  42. 45… huh? How would I know that?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. That is a funny video and those young men are hilarious.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. she has a badly aging pug-face

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  45. So you have evidence that they are UCI students?

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. Hearsay is all… as told to me by the young SoCal man who passed it along. So… I’m told they are UCI students. And that video is still hilarious. 😂

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  47. So you work at UCI… good for you, nice campus!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  48. So you work at UCI…

    You have been well aware of that for a long time.

    Dave (1bb933)

  49. I have not. Is it something you mentioned here? If you did, I don’t recall seeing it. You’ve mentioned you teach physics.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  50. You’re not fooling anyone.

    Dave (1bb933)

  51. UCI’s such a target-rich environment it would make no sense to use an innocuous video game stream to throw shade on the UCI

    it’s a terrible place, viciously unamerican and fascist

    hopefully the stem stuff’s a relative oasis there like it is in many but not all other places

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  52. Answer the question. And stop being weird. Please.

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  53. Dave (1bb933) — 2/10/2019 @ 9:08 am

    Dave, you are taking things much too seriously if you feel so victimized. Until your comment, I had no idea anyone would take offense to such a funny gameplay video. It was typical of my own trials with gameplayers online over whom I had no control. My solution, to retain my sanity, was to control myself by letting thing go. I heartily recommend the same for you.

    felipe (023cc9)

  54. Anyway, the leader of that party erred in going after “leroy” who ran into the laws of death. I would have told everyone “that right there, is a dead man.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  55. Mr. Scott Eric went to UCI and he was a lovely person (good louisiana boy) i wonder what he’d think about what became of the place

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  56. Until your comment, I had no idea anyone would take offense to such a funny gameplay video.

    I take no offense at the video (which was staged).

    Dave (1bb933)

  57. Heh, felipe… when you hear his name and see the ensuing mayhem, that is funny stuff!!!

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  58. Stick softener may be required…

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  59. Dave (1bb933) — 2/10/2019 @ 10:08 am
    I stand corrected, sir.

    I do not believe the video was staged, in the sense that the group wanted to deceive the viewer, On the contrary, it is common thing for members of a group to plan and capture a fight that they hope will enable them to showcase their skills. This video was no doubt uploaded by that one member of their group who wanted to highlight the dysfunction of his clan – the others may have scrapped their own videos.

    felipe (023cc9)

  60. The people who uploaded and appear in the video have admitted it was staged.

    Dave (1bb933)

  61. A classic example of “I meant to do that.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  62. 70… I’ve successfully avoided the “grassy knoll” conspiracy-mongering and I’m still laughing at the video…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  63. Laughter is the best medicine. Happy Sunday Dave, Colonel. Peace be with you both.

    felipe (023cc9)

  64. Here’s another funny one… ***TRIGGER NSFW WARNING!!!***… forwarded by the same individual… https://youtu.be/gC55OSXubKk

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  65. And with you…

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  66. South African rescuers said Friday that they had been forced to halt an operation to rescue about 20 people trapped in a disused mine, blaming disruption from workers who had not been paid. Six people died after trespassing into the Gloria coal mine near the town of Middelburg in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, police told AFP, updating the earlier death toll of five.

    The group went underground between Sunday and Wednesday to allegedly steal copper cables in the mine, which had been closed for several months.

    “We have been prevented from continuing with the recovery operations by a disgruntled group of people who have not been paid their salaries,” Mike Elliot, who represents the administrators of the mine, told local media.

    “They refuse to allow us to continue with the recovery operations and that includes repairing the power to the mine, restoring the power to the fans so that we can put fresh air underground.” He said some locals had attempted their own rescue operations.

    a truly remarkable country

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  67. If I were a fiercely independent strong woman of color, I’d be righteously outraged that Justin Fairfax is being thrown to the #MeToo dogs (female) so a racist can remain governor of the capital of the Confederacy.

    nk (dbc370)

  68. A racist baby-killer.

    nk (dbc370)

  69. A baby-killing racist.

    nk (dbc370)

  70. The main thing AMI wanted Bezos to agree is not to sue them, but the only way he could violate the agreement would be to say the investigaton was politicvally motivated. It may not have been.

    Or rather it may have been the absence of any political reason NOT to run the story that was crucial and also maybe, in order to encourage their 7-year souirce to provide the pictures and text messages after he had informed them about them, they may (falsely) told Lauren Sanchez’s brother, (if he was the source) that Trump or some supporters wanted this out.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  71. 81, Would a military engagement by Italy be sought by the Guiado faction, and how would that play in now-increasingly nationalist/isolationist Italy…UPDATE I think the answer is at the bottom of this article:
    http://www.adnkronos.com/aki-en/security/2019/02/11/salvini-backs-snap-venezuelan-elections-call-guiado_Okmcc8QmF75IKWpcAA8NmO.html

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  72. Yes we are plumbing new levels of crazy:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/alimhaider/status/1094788421153898496

    Narciso (2980ef)

  73. A guy named Sanchez peddling dirty pictures of his sister. Okay, then.

    nk (dbc370)

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