Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Attorney for Joel Greenberg promises 'must see television' when asked if plea deal impacts Matt Gaetz

: With 60 full pages of damning testimony about the involvement of others in this grotesque business, Joel Greenberg just might bring down a whole constellation of scumbag Florida pols. 

Greenberg lawyer discusses Matt Gaetz and his client’s plea deal with prosecutors (Occupy Democrats link): The attorney for Joel Greenberg, the Republican Seminole County, Florida tax collector whose now-admitted sexual antics with minors has cast suspicion on the involvement of Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL), held a press conference this morning after his client accepted a plea bargain deal from federal prosecutors for the multiple criminal charges lodged against him.

With the acceptance of a plea deal, Greenberg is now expected to fully cooperate with prosecutors and implicate others, suspected to include other powerful political figures in the Sunshine State along with his close pal, Rep. Gaetz.

Fritz Scheller, the Greenberg lawyer who raised eyebrows with his comment last month when negotiations for the plea agreement were in full swing that “I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” was slightly more circumspect in his words at today’s press conference after the court appearance to accept the plea bargain.

When asked about his client’s cooperation with investigators and how it may affect the right-wing congressman, Scheller deferred comment to Gaetz’s own attorneys.

“Last time we talked I had a certain agenda, which I accomplished,” Scheller told reporters. apparently referring to the successful agreement for Greenberg. “This time I will leave that up to Matt Gaetz’s attorneys to answer.”

The attorney did vow that his client would “honor” the agreement he made and fully cooperate with federal investigators. Scheller also predicted that a sentencing hearing will take place this summer, implying that actions related to the information Greenberg supplies to prosecutors will be taken before that time.

The attorney insists that his client is “feeling a sense of remorse” for his past actions which include his admitted introduction of a minor to other adult men who subsequently engaged in sex acts with the minor in Greenberg’s presence in exchange for cash and gifts. As far as Congressman Gaetz goes, he has yet to admit to the allegations much less express remorse for his behavior.

For his part, Fritz Scheller wasn’t very helpful to the reporters trying to determine whether an indictment of Rep. Gaetz is imminent.

Asked about his contacts with lawyers for other elected officials beyond Greenberg, Scheller would only admit to having had conversations without specifying who he had been speaking with. When asked specifically whether his client has information that could “hurt and elected official,” he answered only “I guess this is must see television. You’ll just have to wait and see.”

Mod: You can link to the Pete Reinwald tweet here.


Monday, May 17, 2021

Photo emerges of Republican barricading doors during 1/6 Capitol attack after he compared rioters to ‘tourists’

: Apparently Georgia Republican Congress Clown Andrew Clyde has a very strong aversion to tourists.

Photo emerges of Republican barricading chamber doors during US Capitol attack after he compared rioters to ‘tourists’ (The Independent link): A photo has emerged of Andrew Clyde, the Republican congressman who claimed “there was no insurrection” and compared US Capitol rioters to “tourists,” barricading the House chamber during the attack. 

“The Rep. Clyde news reminded me of this,” Roll Call photographer Tom Williams tweeted this week, and included a picture of the Georgia congressman in a group of eight men pushing a piece of furniture against doors to the chamber.

Speaking on Wednesday to the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Clyde downplayed the actions of the pro-Trump mob who stormed the Capitol on 6 January as a normal tourist visit. "I can tell you the House floor was never breached and it was not an insurrection,” Mr Clyde told the committee. The violent attack left five dead including one police officer.

Mr Clyde
’s remarks were lambasted by lawmakers and law enforcement experts. Fred Wellman, the executive director of the Lincoln Project and a former commanding officer of US forces in Iraq, wrote: “How craven is Rep. Clyde to say there was no insurrection?" 

"He helped barricade the doors from the ‘tourists.’ They know lying to the MAGA mob equals money. That’s all that matters.”

Also issuing a retort, House speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to death threats against her and former vice president Mike Pence, during a press conference on Wednesday.

“Well, I don't know a normal day around here where people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States or shoot the Speaker in the forehead,” said Ms Pelosi, as CBS reported. “I don’t consider that normal."

Mod: Apparently this knucklehead owns a gunshop. More on Lyin' Clyde at the link.

Cop Nearly Killed By Trump Mob Rips GOP For ‘Peddling Bullshit’ On U.S. Capitol Riot (Huffington Post link): A D.C. police officer who was captured by the Jan. 6 mob at the U.S. Capitol and nearly beaten to death is calling out Republican lawmakers who are openly denying the violence that happened that day. Officer Michael Fanone told CNN’s Don Lemon

“I’m not interested in getting into political squabbles. I’m not a politician. I’m not an elected official. I don’t expect anybody to give two shits about my opinions. But I will say this: Those are lies. And peddling that bullshit is an assault on every officer that fought to defend the Capitol. It’s disgraceful.” - Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mar-a-Madman: Republican Arizona election official says Trump “unhinged”

: Is the Madman of Mar-a-Lago the biggest sore loser of them all?

Republican Arizona election official says Trump “unhinged” (The Herald link): The Republican who now leads the Arizona county elections department targeted by a GOP audit of the 2020 election results is slamming former President Donald Trump and others in his party for their continued falsehoods about how the election was run.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer on Saturday called a Trump statement accusing the county of deleting an elections database “unhinged” and called on other Republicans to stop the unfounded accusations.

“We can’t indulge these insane lies any longer. As a party. As a state. As a country,” Richer tweeted. Richer became recorder in January, after defeating the Democratic incumbent.

The former president's statement came as Republican Senate President Karen Fann has demanded the Republican-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors come to the Senate to answer questions raised by the private auditors she has hired. The Senate took possession of 2.1 million ballots and election equipment last month for what was supposed to be a three-week hand recount of the presidential race won by Democratic President Joe Biden.

Instead, the auditors have moved as a snail's pace and had to shut down Thursday after counting about 500,000 ballots. They plan to resume counting in a week, after high school graduation ceremonies planned for the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, which they rented for the recount.

Trump's statement said, in part, that “the entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED! This is illegal and the Arizona State Senate, who is leading the Forensic Audit, is up in arms.”

Richer and the board say that statement is just plain wrong. In recent days, both he and the board have begun aggressively pushing back at what they see as continuing falsehoods from Republicans who question Trump's loss.

“Enough with the defamation. Enough with the unfounded allegations,” Richer tweeted Thursday. “I came to this office to competently, fairly, and lawfully administer the duties of the office. Not to be accused by my own party of shredding ballots and deleting files for an election I didn’t run. Enough.”

Mod: More at the link.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Daily Beast: Matt Gaetz wrote off cocaine/prostitute hotel stay as campaign expense with donors paying the tab

Mod: If you're keeping track Megan Zalonka is the one pictured on Gaetz's left. So maybe you can tell me what an "Amateur Instagram" model is?

Rep. Matt Gaetz Snorted Cocaine With Escort Who Had ‘No Show’ Gov’t Job (Daily Beast link): When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses.

The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast.

On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. 

One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine.

While The Daily Beast could not confirm that Gaetz and Zalonka had sex that night, two sources said the pair had an ongoing financial relationship in exchange for sex. "She was just one of the many pieces of arm candy he had,” said one source familiar with the encounters between Gaetz and Zalonka.

The congressman—who has declared that he “never paid for sex”—wrote off the stay at the hotel as a campaign expense, with his donors picking up the tab.

The U.S. Secret Service, which initiated the Greenberg investigation over allegations that Greenberg used county resources to mine Bitcoin, would not comment on the ongoing probe

Mod: More of Matt Gaetz making America great again at the link.


Q-Fraud: Marjorie Taylor Greene caught illegally claiming a ‘big tax break’ in Georgia

Mod: It looks like Mad Margie can now add 'tax cheat' to her rapidly growing resume' of shame.

BUSTED: Marjorie Taylor Greene caught illegally claiming a ‘big tax break’ in Georgia (Raw Story link): Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

"A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one," WSB-TV reported Friday.

"But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties," the network reported. WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican's office.

"In a statement, Greene's office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a 'pathetic smear' when he asked them about the homestead exemptions," the network reported. "Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents."

Deleted video shows Marjorie Taylor Greene berating AOC through office mailbox slot
(BoingBoing link): Archived by CNN's Andrew Kaczynski, video shot by congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (before her election to the House of Representatives) shows her in full QAnon mode, berating Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez through her office mail slot: "You are bringing God's judgment on our country!"

is flanked throughout by creepy, grinning MAGA-hatted cronies. One whispers through the door: "you can't stay in there for- ever. Can you come out and play?"

Greene yesterday made the news for harassing Ocasio-Cortez outside the House chamber, behavior that earned an earnest rebuke from House leader Nancy Pelosi and a quip from Ocasio-Cortez: "these are the kind of people I threw out of bars"


Friday, May 14, 2021

Rudy Giuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein (Weinstein got 23 years)

Mod: RIP means 'Rest In Peace.' DIP means 'Died In Prison.'

Giuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein (The Hill link): Ex-Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in the case related to the FBI raid of his apartment last month has hired two lawyers who worked on disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein’s defense team. 

According to Wednesday court filings, attorneys Arthur Aidala and Barry Kamins notified the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that they were appearing on behalf of Giuliani

The two New York-based attorneys previously helped defend Weinstein before he was convicted in February 2020 of rape and sexual assault. 

Weinstein, who is currently serving a more than two-decade sentence in prison, has appealed his case, arguing that his jury was not impartial. 

Aidala and Kamins now appear to be working on behalf of Giuliani, who is the subject of a federal probe into the former New York City mayor’s dealings with Ukrainian oligarchs while working for former President Trump

, which first reported the latest additions to Giuliani’s defense team, noted that Aidala frequently spoke to the media on behalf of Weinstein while defending him and after the 2020 verdict told NPR, “Nobody on Weinstein’s defense team is happy that Harvey Weinstein is not sleeping in his own bed.”  

Kamins, a retired New York State Supreme Court justice, previously served as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, Forbes reported. John M. Levanthal, another attorney from the New York-based law firm Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, also appeared in court Wednesday on behalf of Giuliani


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Trump Has a Mar-a-Melt-Down Over GOP Group That’s Hinting at Creating a 3rd Party

Mod: Maybe Donny can find a way to become the third place popular vote winner in 2024

Trump Has a Mar-a-Melt-Down Over GOP Group That’s Hinting at Creating a 3rd Party (PoliticusUSA link): Donald Trump remains popular with Republican voters. The man was able to capture 75 million votes in 2020. Of course, he failed to hold the White House, Senate or House during his four years in office.

While Trump was able to capture the lion’s share of non-educated white male voters, he had trouble nearly everywhere else. Suburban woman revolted against the GOP as did a number of prominent former Republican lawmakers.

Miles Taylor, who worked in the Trump White House, was one of those Republicans. And Taylor recently announced that he would be starting a coalition of anti-Trump Republicans.

Trump, of course, could not let this threat go unanswered. He released a statement that read in part, “A guy named Miles Taylor, who I have no idea who he is, don’t remember ever meeting him or having a conversation with, gets more publicity pretending he was in the inner circle of our Administration when he was definitely not. Some people refer to him as ‘absolutely nothing.'”

The former President continued, “Now he’s putting together a group of RINOs and Losers who are coming out to protest President Trump despite our creating the greatest economy ever, getting us out of endless wars, rebuilding our Great Military, reducing taxes and regulations by historic levels, creating Space Force, appointing almost 300 Judges, and much, much more!

Trump is trying as hard as he can to maintain control over the GOP. The problem for him is that many Republicans don’t like him and he desperately needs their support. This new coalition will just make it harder for him to stay in command. 

Influential Republicans threaten to form new party
(The Hill link): Dozens of Republicans are planning to call for reforms amid escalating divisions within their party and are threatening to form a separate group if GOP members do not break away from former President Trump

The more than 100 former Republican officials are expected to release their demands in a letter on Thursday titled "A Call For American Renewal," according to plans shared with Reuters and later reported by NBC News. The letter states that Republicans must "either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative,” according to NBC News.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Canceled Liz Cheney vs. Trump's Traitors: There just isn't enough popcorn in the world

: This was written by Earl G., one of the major dudes at Democratic Underground. Out of all the articles I've read on the topic today, this one comes closest to where I'm at now. 

There isn't enough popcorn in the world (Democratic Underground link): Liz Cheney told the truth about the election, and for that she has now been kicked out of Republican leadership. She was kicked out by Kevin McCarthy, who said the exact same thing she did about the insurrection, before he spinelessly changed his tune after being summoned to Mar-a-lago by Dear Leader

Thanks to McCarthy's weakness, two things have happened: 

1) The "mainstream" Republican Party, which had a chance to extricate itself from Trump's black hole of failure post-election, has firmly and definitively thrown itself over the event horizon. The "mainstream" Republican Party has chosen to become the party of lawlessness and anti-democracy; the party that believes no election they lose can possibly be legitimate. They are the party of un-American values, and have firmly positioned themselves alongside the likes of dictators like Putin, Erdogan, and Xi

2) A breakaway faction of anti-Trumpists are threatening to start a third party. If this threat pans out, the GOP is in dire straits. They are already having trouble holding onto their angst-driven base (hence their need to glue themselves to Trump) and splitting their vote between two factions is a surefire loser. 

Meanwhile, Democrats are in a historically good position to capitalize on this. Joe Biden's policies are very, very popular, and the Dems are proposing solid, sensible, and yes -- progressive -- legislation that a majority of Americans can get behind. Meanwhile the Republicans are stuck in la-la land, catering to their Fox-addled base with stories about things like Mr. Potato Head getting "canceled" and other childish nonsense. 

We have a golden political opportunity here, so let's grab it! Do we really need any more handwringing about how Liz Cheney is ACTUALLY an awful person so let's not get too carried away praising her? We already know that! And it doesn't matter! What matters is that the GOP is slowly but surely ripping itself in two, at the very moment that Democrats are more united than ever. 

So when you're out there on the Internets, posting on your Facebooks and your Twitters, please don't hesitate to drive that wedge, and drive it hard. 

We've been waiting for years to see something like this, and it looks like it's finally happening. Pass the popcorn! 


Trump Jr.'s ex-wife started dating Secret Service agent soon after filing for divorce

Mod: I think it has always been obvious that Donald Jr. is a bit of a numbnuts.

Trump Jr.'s ex-wife started dating Secret Service agent soon after filing for divorce (Raw Story link): A new book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig claims that there were concerns within the United States Secret Service about members of the Trump family dating agents.

The Guardian
, which has obtained a copy of the new book, reports that Leonnig details how Vanessa Trump, the ex-wife of Donald Trump Jr., started dating an agent who had been assigned to guard her family soon after she filed for divorce with the former president's eldest son.

Although Secret Service agents are forbidden from dating the people they're guarding, the agency raised no red flags about Vanessa Trump's relationship with the agent because he was no longer being assigned to protect her after her divorce.

Trump Jr.'s ex-wife isn't the only member of the Trump family who raised eyebrows when it came to her dealings with Secret Service agents either, as Leonnig reports that there were suspicions within the agency about Trump daughter Tiffany Trump potentially forming a relationship with an agent.

Specifically, Leonnig claims that Tiffany Trump broke up with her boyfriend and then "began spending an unusual amount of time alone with a Secret Service agent on her detail," which caused leaders within the agency to become "concerned at how close Tiffany appeared to be getting to the tall, dark and handsome agent." 


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner's campaign drawing 'anemic' support as GOP's Newsom recall swirls down the drain

Mod: The extremist fanatics who stuck us with a $400 million dollar bill for their failed recall need to be forced to pay for it. No more fake GOP vanity elections.

Caitlyn Jenner's campaign drawing 'anemic' support as GOP's Newsom recall swirls down the drain (Raw Story link): The California GOP's campaign to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is swirling down the drain and a new poll shows that Republican hopeful Caitlyn Jenner is drawing "anemic" support so far.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll gives Newsom an approval rating of 52 percent, which bodes ill for efforts to oust him from office later this year.

What's more, the poll found that just 36 percent of Californians would vote to recall Newsom, while 49 percent said they were opposed to the recall.

While none of the Republicans running for governor drew overwhelming support in the UC Berkeley poll, reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner fared particularly poorly.

"The survey's results were especially bleak for retired Olympic gold medalist Jenner, as just 6% of Californians who took part in the survey said they would vote to have her replace Newsom — a vast majority of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated or independent voters said they would not be inclined to support her candidacy," the LA Times reports.

has made a series of self-inflicted wounds during her brief campaign, most notably when she said she heard a fellow rich person complain about the presence of so many homeless people while the two were talking at Jenner's private plane hangar.


While an Insane GOP Cancels Liz Cheney - Joe Biden Soars to a 63 Percent Approval Rating AP Poll Finds

: Is a 63% approval rating some kind of a record? While the buffoonish Republicans try to cancel dissidents as if Trump is the new StalinJoe Biden soars to new heights.
Biden Has 63 Percent Approval Rating AP Poll Finds
(The New York Times link): 
President Biden enjoys widespread job approval, as Americans’ optimism about the future continues to climb, according to a poll released Monday by The Associated Press and NORC. Sixty-three percent of Americans said they approved of the work Biden was doing as president, while just 36 percent disapproved. That spread of 27 percentage points represents the widest approval margin in an A.P./NORC poll since Mr. Biden took office.
: If young Republicans want to raise taxes on the oligarchs that own the GOP so they can get something besides the McJobs their party offers, they should quit the party. Those fossils don't give a damn about them.

Republicans In Disarray After Poll Finds Young GOPers Want To Raise Taxes To Create Jobs (PoliticusUSA link): A new poll found that 71% of Republicans under age 45 want to raise taxes if it means creating jobs. According to a new YouGov Poll (link). Three in five (62%) Americans support spending money on programs that could create jobs and improve the economy, even if taxes increase. About two in five (38%) would prefer to keep spending and taxes low.

There is a large difference in the opinions of Republicans and Democrats on this question. More than a third of Republicans overall (39%) say they are willing to support increased spending, even at the risk of higher taxes. But there is an age gap among Republicans. Seven in ten Republicans under the age of 45 (71%) would spend more, even at the risk of higher taxes, compared to 29% of older Republicans. Younger Republicans make up less than a third of all those who identify as Republicans.

Not only do 62% of those polled want taxes to increase if it will create jobs, but 39% of all Republicans are willing to raise taxes to create jobs. The number of younger Republicans who would swap out a tax increase for more jobs should be sounding alarm bells for the Republican Party.

The Republican Party is in shambles. The party is coming apart on the core ideology that used to bind Republicans together.

There is a longer-term message that Democrats might be able to appeal to some of those younger Republican voters because their views on taxes and jobs are much closer to President Biden than they are to Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell.

As older Republicans continue to be sucked in the orbit of the former president, it is clear that the core of the Republican Party is shrinking. The Party of Trump is old, shrinking, and potentially shedding voters at an alarming rate. The GOP is following their failed former president straight off of the cliff into irrelevance.