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    Report: Russian Olympic Doping Program Was Comically Impressive

    For all the very real problems with sports’ war on drugs and the self-serving PED scolds, I can only read this latest report about Russia’s state-run doping efforts at the Sochi Olympic Games with something resembling awe. According to a whistleblower, officials, including those from Russia’s intelligence agency, cooked up a drug cocktail to dope dozens of athletes, then surreptitiously swapped out their urine samples in the dead of night, before they could be tested.

    The whistleblower, Grigory Rodchenkov, would know: He was the director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory.

    The New York Times story is nuts: it describes how every night during the Olympics, he and colleagues would sneak into the lab where the samples were held, find the ones that were sure to test positive, and hand them off to a spook who somehow possessed clean urine samples, presumably collected before the Olympics.

    Dr. Rodchenkov said that each night, a sports ministry official would send him a list of athletes whose samples needed to be swapped. To match the individual athletes to their anonymous samples — which are coded with a seven-digit number — Dr. Rodchenkov said that athletes snapped pictures of their sample forms, including the code, and texted them to the ministry, offering forbidden insight into whose urine was whose.

    After receiving a signal that “the urines were ready,” he changed from his lab coat into a Russian national team sweatshirt and left his fourth-floor office, typically after midnight. He checked that the coast was clear and made his way to Room 124, officially a storage space that he and his team had converted into a shadow laboratory.

    There, he said, with the room’s single window blacked out with tape, the switch would be made.

    A colleague stationed next door in the sample collection room would retrieve the correct bottles and pass them into the storage room through a circular hole cut through the wall near the floor, Dr. Rodchenkov said. During the day, he said, the hole was concealed by a small imitation-wood cabinet.

    The sealed B bottles were handed over to the man Dr. Rodchenkov believed was a Russian intelligence officer, who would take them to an adjacent building. Within hours, Dr. Rodchenkov said, the bottles were returned to the storage room, their caps unlocked.

    Rodchenkov says about 100 urine samples were switched over the course of the Games, at least 15 of Russia’s 33 medal-winners among them. Not a single one was ever caught.

    Russia handily won the medal count for the 2014 Olympics, meeting a goal set by President Vladimir Putin before the Games.

    Rodchenkov fled Russia after a WADA investigation implicated him in even wider state-sponsored doping efforts, and says he fears for his safety: two of his former colleagues recently died under unclear circumstances, within weeks of each other.

    The Times report comes on the heels of a 60 Minutes interview with two other whistleblowers, a married couple: He a low-level employee at Russia’s anti-doping agency, she an elite runner. It didn’t take long when they first met for her to tell him how things actually worked.

    Fifteen minutes into their first date, he got a dose of reality.

    Vitaly Stepanov: “She says, ‘I’m doping. All my teammates are doping as well.’”

    Armen Keteyian: “And what do you think?”

    Vitaly Stepanov: “I had suspicion but I was hoping that I’m here to fix something. She says that’s not what RUSADA does. RUSADA helps Russian athletes to win medals. RUSADA does testing, but fake testing.”

    Your takeaway from these reports is probably, and should be, that Russia is by all accounts the spiritual successor to those classic East German dope factories, which even we drug-loving pinkos think went too far: not for any dreamy conception of pure competition or the Olympic ideal, but because the athletes involved had no choice but to take part in regimens that affected their quality of life.

    But there’s another takeaway. Russia allegedly doped with a scheme as simple as walking into the anti-doping lab and pouring out the “sealed” urine samples, and never got caught. Tell me again why we should believe that any anti-doping efforts should be trusted to be effective?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/13/spo...


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    T. Boone Pickens Embraces the Void
    Image: Getty

    T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oil man, is 87 years old. T. Boone Pickens announced this week that he is supporting Donald Trump for president. Death looms in front of us all.

    Why does T. Boone Pickens support Donald Trump for president? Besides the fact that he is morally repugnant—don’t let the environmentalist stuff fool you, he funded those Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ads and supports Trump’s Muslim ban plan—there is the fact that he is 87 years old, and likely to die soon. If supporting Trump for president turns out to be a catastrophic mistake, T. Boone Pickens might not be around to see it. From the Wall Street Journal:

    Mr. Pickens acknowledged that Mr. Trump is not without his flaws. “I’ll tell you, Donald always overestimates how successful he is,” he said.

    “No shit,” Mr. Zell responded.

    And should a Trump presidency not work out, Mr. Pickens said he isn’t overly concerned.

    “I’m ready to take a chance on it,” the 87-year-old said. “And just in case it’s a mistake, [I’ll] be gone.”

    Our small, sad lives are bracketed by darkness on either side. Our Earthly foibles are cosmic sitcom jokes for an audience of no one. Piped-in laughter rattles into the emptiness of space and immediately dies, unheard and unnoticed. Chaos and entropy reign forever. Donald J. Trump for president.

    h/t Mother Jones


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    Everybody Still Hates Ted Cruz
    Gif: Me

    Fortunately for his wife, Ted Cruz is back on Capitol Hill. And unfortunately for absolutely every other member of Congress—Ted Cruz is back on Capitol Hill.

    How do we know that his colleagues are living in a hell from which they had briefly, mercifully been freed? Because they’re telling Ted to his face.

    McCain “jokes” in the same way Prometheus “joked” about the light pain in his side as a giant eagle tore his liver to shreds.


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    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More

    An amplified HDTV antenna, Pyrex dishes, and a clever USB battery pack lead off Thursday’s best deals.

    Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter.

    Top Deals

    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    AmazonBasics 50 Mile Amplified HDTV Antenna, $32

    If you’ve tried an unamplified HDTV antenna like the Mohu Leaf, but can’t quite pull in every channel you want, this AmazonBasics leaf-style model includes a USB-powered amp that should add a few miles of range. All you have to do is plug it into your TV’s USB port or the included USB wall charger.

    http://lifehacker.com/how-to-choose-...

    Today’s $32 deal is the antenna’s first discount from its regular $40, and for comparison’s sake, the similar Mohu Leaf 50 sells for over twice as much.

    http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-U...



    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Pyrex 8-Piece Glass Storage Set, $15

    No kitchen is complete without a substantial Pyrex aresenal, and this 4-container set (it’s technically 8-pieces, but that includes lids) is down to under $15 on Amazon right now. If you aren’t familiar, these magical vessels are super strong, and also freezer, oven, and even microwave safe.

    http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-8-Piece-...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    KMASHI 10,000mAh Battery Pack, $9 with code PZLR7JHO

    We’ve seen this deal several times before, but it’s still the cheapest you’ll ever see a 10,000mAh USB battery pack.

    http://bestsellers.kinja.com/bestsellers-km...

    http://www.amazon.com/KMASHI-10000mA...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    RAVPower 9000mAh Lightning Battery Pack, $32 with code 555LY3IJ

    Well this is just brilliant. This 9,000mAh external USB charger has a built-in Lighting cable to charge your iPhone, and also a set of folding AC prongs so you can plug it directly into a wall outlet for charging.

    Of course, there’s also an additional USB port to charge a second phone as well, but if you don’t need that, it’s possible to use this charger without carrying any extra cords at all. You’re paying a bit of a premium for that convenience, but I think it’s worth it.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q2B5KY2?...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Refurb Sony MDR-XB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones, $80

    It’s 2016, and your headphones shouldn’t need wires anymore. Luckily, you can score a refurb of Sony’s excellent extra bass over-ears for $80, or almost half off the usual price for a new pair. We briefly saw these for $98 new on Black Friday, so this really is a fantastic price.


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones + $30 VUDU Credit + 3 Months Rhapsody, $99 with code PLATINUMSOUND

    If you still haven’t picked up Audio-Technica’s coveted ATH-M50x headphones, BuyDig will sell you a pair for $99 today (also in white), complete with a $30 VUDU credit and three months of Rhapsody with promo code PLATINUMSOUND. Even without the toss-ins, that’s one of the best deals we’ve ever seen.

    http://co-op.kinja.com/the-best-headp...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Finish 90-Count Powerball Dishwasher Tablets, $10 after 25% coupon

    If you use Finish Powerball tablets in your dishwasher, Amazon’s taking 25% off a pack of 90 today when you clip the coupon and use Subscribe & Save. Remember, you can always cancel the subscription after your first delivery.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Extra $4 off Lärabar Subscriptions

    Lärabars are great for starting your day or fueling up on the go, and Amazon’s taking an extra $4 off when you buy a 16-pack today. Just pick your favorite flavor, order it through Subscribe & Save, and you’ll see the discount at checkout.


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Anker Surge Protector, $25

    Anker makes surge protectors now, and naturally, they come packed with PowerIQ USB charging ports for your mobile devices as well. This model features six AC outlets, four USBs, and an 18 month warranty backed by the same company that makes your favorite battery packs, Bluetooth headphones, and more.

    http://co-op.kinja.com/your-favorite-...

    http://co-op.kinja.com/ankers-soundbu...

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018G00CZS?...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Samsung Curved Blu-ray Player, $40

    Blu-ray has mostly been swept aside for streaming services, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a player handy just in case. This $40 Samsung is cheaper than ever, and includes YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon streaming apps as an added bonus.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TKOSUFY/...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Nitecore i2 Charger, $9

    If you take your Eneloop collection with you, and need a travel-friendly charger, this Nitecore i2 is marked down to just $9 today on Amazon. It’s the little brother of one of your favorite chargers, and it can accommodate 18650, AA, and AAA batteries. It’ll even detect whether they’re Li-ion, Ni-MH, or Ni-Cd, and change its behavior appropriately.

    http://co-op.kinja.com/five-best-batt...

    http://co-op.kinja.com/the-best-recha...

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0096U26QQ/...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    TEC.BEAN EX5000 White, $51 with code QV64G6MG

    When you can get a 1080p action cam with a waterproof housing, two batteries, Wi-Fi, and a built-in LCD screen for just $51, it’s not hard to understand why GoPro’s in financial trouble. If you’re on the fence, there are a ton of sample videos on YouTube you can check out. Spoiler alert: It takes really solid video.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017VXPHLK?...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Delta Leland Kitchen Faucet Gold Box

    Today only, Amazon’s Gold Box features discounts on a handful of Delta Leland kitchen faucets in three different finishes. While these lack touch-free sensors, the faucet head does detach to reveal a hose, and it even reattaches magnetically for easy storage. Just note that like all Gold Box deals, these prices are only available today, or until they run dry.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Belkin Cabinet Tablet Mount, $20

    Update: Sold out

    It’s my deeply held belief that it’s worth owning a tablet simply to use as a kitchen TV, and this Belkin cabinet mount can hold a 7-10" screen at an ideal viewing angle while you chop your onions. And yes, it’s easily removable when you aren’t using it.


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    RFID-Blocking Leather Wallet, $8 with code 7Q85BDC8

    Wallet styles are obviously a matter of taste, but if you’re a front pocket fan, this RFID-blocking leather wallet is a steal at $8. That gets you three card slots (each of which can hold at least two cards), an ID window, and a currency pouch for when you have no choice but to carry cash. The card slots are tight, so you’ll only be able to carry 3-5, but if you’re a minimalist, that shouldn’t bother you too much.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C2K54LA/...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Asics Men’s Challenger 10 Tennis Shoes, $37

    If you happen to be in the market for tennis shoes, you can pick up a pair of Asics Men’s Gel Challenger 10s in three different colors for just $37 today. These shoes usually go for $60-$70 around the web, but several sizes are already selling out, so grab yours before they’re gone.

    Update: The women’s version is on sale as well!


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Aukey Bluetooth Car Kit, $20 with code VE5IYZO6

    We’ve seen a lot of deals on Bluetooth car receivers, but I don’t think any of them have looked as nice as this model from Aukey. It even lets you pair two phones at once, and comes with a three-port USB charger to keep all of your devices charged as well. Just note that your car will need an AUX jack for this to work.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Hand...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale

    Rebecca Minkoff just kicked off an online sample sale, with savings of up to 70% on hundreds of bags, shoes, jewelry, and more. Use the sidebar tools to sort through the deluge, and let us know what you found in the comments.


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Lemon Press, $5 with code 2PJJ7CIK

    When life gives you lemons, you squeeze every drop of juice you can out of them, because lemons don’t grow on trees aren’t free.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XEDS430?...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    81-Count Tide Pods, $14 with $5 coupon and Subscribe & Save

    Tide Pods are the easiest way to do laundry, and you can get an 81-count tub for just $14 today on Amazon. You’ll need to clip the $5 coupon, and order via Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program, but you can always cancel that subscription once you receive your first delivery.

    http://www.amazon.com/Tide-Spring-La...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Extra 30% off Pampers

    For a limited time, Amazon’s taking a whopping 30% off select Pampers diapers, plus an additional 20% off for Prime members when you use Subscribe & Save. Just click the variety you want, clip the 30% coupon on the page, and you’ll see the discount reflected at checkout. Even if you don’t have any kids of your own, this deal is worth sharing with your friends who do.


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    AmazonBasics Sheet Sets, $31-$54

    Weird but true: Amazon makes bed sheets! They’re sateen, they’re 400 thread count, and they’re cheaper than ever in all sizes and colors today. I wonder if Bezos uses them?

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q7OE3VA/...


    Doom comes out in a couple of days, and you can save $15 if you preorder your copy through Green Man Gaming with promo code DOOM25. In addition to the deal and the ability to preload, you’ll also get a free copy of Doom 3 BFG Edition.

    http://kotaku.com/new-doom-combi...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    PS4 Uncharted Bundle + Uncharted 4, $350

    If you don’t own a PS4, and haven’t played any of the Uncharted games yet, you can get the console and all four games for $350 today. The Uncharted Bundle, which includes the three remastered PS3 Uncharted titles, has always sold for the same price, but this deal gets you the brand new Uncharted 4 for free.


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    GlowBowl, $17

    You probably looked at that image up there and laughed. But let me tell you, there’s nothing funny about using the bathroom in the middle of the night and having to turn on an overhead light to see where you’re going. Because as soon as you hit that switch, you know you’re not getting back to sleep for another hour.

    GlowBowl fits on just about any toilet, is motion activated, and can even output seven different colors of light. Most importantly though, it won’t wreak havoc on your circadian rhythms.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018Z0TE3K?...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Uniqlo AIRism Sale: Men | Women

    Uniqlo’s AIRism line is one of your favorite undershirts, but the technology extends to underwear, outerwear t-shirts, camis, bra tops, and more, and it’s all on sale today starting under $10 for men and women. Unfortunately, it’s not a free shipping day at Uniqlo, but every order ships for a flat $5, which isn’t so bad.

    http://co-op.kinja.com/most-popular-m...

    http://gear.kinja.com/keep-cool-and-...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Aukey Dash Cam, $57 with code JYLE5AH9

    We’ve seen our fair share of $50-$70 dash cams, but this new model from Aukey is unique in offering 1080p/60 recording (most in this price range are limited to 30FPS), and the ability to connect its power directly to your car’s fusebox. It also comes with a standard power cable that plugs into your cigarette lighter, but the ability to wire it directly will result in a much cleaner look.

    http://www.amazon.com/Rotatable-Cove...

    Don’t forget a microSD card!

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Class-...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    Crest 3D Whitestrips, $37 after $7 coupon

    Let’s say you’ve already upgraded to a good toothbrush; what’s the next step for cleaner teeth? Judging by the user reviews, this 20-count box of Crest 3D Whitestrips is a great place to start. As an added bonus, you’ll even get a pair of express one-hour treatments, for when a whiter smile just can’t wait.

    Note: Be sure to clip the $7 coupon on the product page.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...


    Today's Best Deals: Free Channels, Pyrex Dishes, Bluetooth Headphones, and More
    20% off Vega

    Vega plant-based supplements are some of the best things you can put in your body, and Amazon’s taking an extra 20% off their protein powders, bars, and more today.

    http://gear.kinja.com/vega-a-better-...

    The 20% coupon is valid on dozens of different Vega items, and will stack with any existing discounts you see on the product pages. Just add your selections to your cart, and you’ll see the final price at checkout.

    Vega has a great calorie-to-protein ratio, but the best thing about their shakes is that they aren’t just about protein. Vega’s shakes typically contain six grams of fiber, 3 servings of vegetables, and good amounts of Omega-3, probiotics, vitamins, and illusive potassium. It’s like a protein shake, a multivitamin, and a bunch of bonuses all in one convenient package. [20% off Vega Protein Products]

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  • 05/12/16--15:11: An Apology to Our Readers
  • An Apology to Our Readers
    Ashley messing everything up for the next generation.

    It has come to the attention of the editors of Gawker.com that during today’s Facebook Live simulation of the presidential election, senior writer Ashley Feinberg manipulated results to make it appear that paint representing Hillary Clinton dried faster than paint representing Donald Trump.

    Feinberg’s demonstration involved conducting periodic “touch tests” to determine the dryness of two sets of oversized paint swatches, one red and one blue. In an emotional gathering this afternoon, Feinberg admitted to the Gawker.com newsroom that she deliberately chose to test an area that she thought would be dry for the final “touch test,” in which she declared Clinton to be the winner.

    An Apology to Our Readers

    When confronted by editors’ questions, Feinberg expressed little remorse, stating, “In my defense, the paint was pretty dry. It just wasn’t entirely dry.”

    An Apology to Our Readers

    As journalists, we claim no ability to predict the future. Nor do we claim an intention to. But we do ask you to trust us to report the news. Today, we betrayed that trust. There is no greater public editor than our collective integrity as political reporters; there is no algorithm like the human heart. We promise to do better, and so does Ashley. Not just because you trust us, but because you trust this great experiment we call democracy.

    What makes Gawker the greatest blog in the world? It’s not. But it could be.

    [Disclosure: Facebook has launched a program that pays publishers, including the New York Times and Buzzfeed, to produce videos for its Facebook Live tool. Gawker Media, Gawker’s parent company, recently joined that program.]


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    Dennis Hastert Will Not Appeal His 15-Month Prison Sentence
    Photo: AP

    Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted on one count of violating banking laws related to hush-money he was paying to a man he sexually abused while working as a high school wrestling coach, will not appeal his sentence, his attorney told the AP this afternoon:

    Asked whether his 74-year-old client would appeal his conviction or sentence — or any other aspect of the case — attorney Thomas Green responded in an email to The Associated Press: “No.” The deadline to file an appeal is the end of this week.

    At his April 27 sentencing, Hastert admitted to being a serial abuser, saying that he “mistreated some of my athletes that I coached.” Hastert is known to have molested at least four boys at Yorkville High in Yorkville, Ill., one of which was the brother of a man who would go on to be one of Hastert’s political protegés. Hastert asked that ex-protegé, one-time state Rep. Tom Cross, to submit a letter urging leniency but Cross declined.

    Hastert was not charged with sex crimes because the statute of limitations had expired, but Judge Thomas M. Durkin cited Hastert’s serial abusing as a factor when handing him 15 months on the financial charges, a sentence that was more than double the federal guideline for that crime.


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    Nephew of Disgraced State Senate Leader Arrested for Grabbing Reporter and Throwing Her Phone
    Still: NBC 13 Albany/New York Daily News

    The nephew of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was arrested this afternoon after grabbing the wrist of New York Daily News reporter Victoria Bekiempis and tossing her phone into the street. Bekiempis was covering the criminal sentencing of the elder Skelos, who was convicted of federal corruption charges along with his son in December.

    Video shot by NBC 13 and published by the Daily News shows Basil Skelos, the nephew, exiting Manhattan Federal Court through a crowded and aggressive press scrum this afternoon. About halfway through the clip, he can be seen grabbing and throwing Bekiempis’s phone as she attempts to ask another man questions.

    After the incident, Bekiempis and other reporters tweeted that Skelos would be charged with third-degree assault.

    Dean Skelos, who was convicted of bribery, extortion, and conspiracy, was sentenced to five years in prison. His nephew is due in court for the assault June 27.


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    Donald Trump Snubs Vaping Congressman

    A long time ago / We used to be friends / But I haven’t thought of you / Lately at all

    Back when few others would, vaping Congressman Duncan Hunter was ready to ride, perhaps even die, for Donald Trump. But now that senior Republicans are lining up to swear fealty, Hunter says he and other early endorsers have been given the gold shoulder.

    http://gawker.com/donald-trump-n...

    Describing the proud vaper as “a top Trump ally,” Politico reports that Hunter “slammed” Trump on Thursday for refusing several requests to meet with congressional supporters during his visit to Capitol Hill.

    “I think it would have been good of him” to meet with “the first endorsers,” Hunter said, as well as those who’ve gotten on board more recently, Hunter said. “There is no reason not to have as many people on your side as you can … and he missed a real opportunity here.”

    “If they endorse him, then go back to their districts to say they’ve met him and he’s not crazy, it goes a long way,” said Hunter.

    Of course, for many people, “crazy” describes much of Donald Trump’s appeal. Either way, it’s sad to watch such a promising bromance go up in vaporized e-juice.


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    Federal Judge Rules Some Affordable Care Act Spending Unconstitutional

    On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration had been unconstitutionally spending money to fund the Affordable Care Act.

    The particular issue at play, reports the Associated Press, is the $175 billion used to reimburse health insurers, money which had not been specifically appropriated from Congress.

    From the AP:

    The House argues that Congress never specifically appropriated that money and has denied an administration request for it. It says the administration is spending the money anyway, exceeding its constitutional authority. The administration has said it can spend the money automatically because the law authorizes it.

    House Republicans launched the lawsuit in 2014 over Democrats’ objections. The House had already voted dozens of times to repeal all or parts of the law Republicans call “Obamacare.”

    In her ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer, a George W. Bush appointee, quoted the Constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

    “Paying out Sec. 1402 reimbursements without an appropriation thus violates the Constitution,” she wrote, according to the L.A. Times. “Congress is the only sources for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one.”

    Collyer ordered reimbursements to stop, but will allow for them to continue until the administration has appealed the ruling.


    Image via AP.


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    Donald Trump’s friend and “irreplaceable” former butler Anthony Senecal spoke to NBC News on Thursday, apparently hoping to clarify he’s even more of a paranoid bigot than his unhinged Facebook rants make him seem.

    http://gawker.com/donald-trumps-...

    In a segment that aired on All in With Chris Hayes, Senecal repeated his belief that President Obama should be hanged “from the white mosque,” this time adding that it should be televised and Hillary Clinton should be hanged as well.

    Even more disturbingly, Senecal called for the cities of Milwaukee and Detroit to be designated “nuclear bomb sites” because they have become “totally disgraced by Muslims.”

    “We need to bomb them out,” said Senecal. “I could care less they’re in the U.S. I don’t want them in the U.S. They don’t belong here. They belong in the sand dunes they came from.”

    Earlier that day, the Trump campaign denounced the remarks of Senecal, who worked as Trump’s butler for 17 years before becoming the “the unofficial historian” at his Palm Beach estate.

    “Tony Senecal has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for years, but nevertheless we totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him about the president,” said a Trump spokesperson.

    In March, Senecal told The New York Times that he tried to retire from his position in 2009, but Trump told him, “Tony, to retire is to expire” and “I’ll see you next season.”


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    Report: Obama to Warn Every School District in America Not to Violate Trans Bathroom Rights
    Photo: Getty

    The Obama administration plans to send a “sweeping decree” on Friday instructing every school district in the country to let trans students use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, The New York Times reports.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/13/us/...

    “A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” reads the directive signed by the Justice Department and the Department of Education, according to the Times.

    The letter will not have the force of law, but carries the implicit threat of litigation or withheld federal funds if schools violate trans students’ rights. From the Times:

    A school’s obligation under federal law “to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns,” the letter states. “As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

    As soon as a child’s parent or legal guardian asserts a gender identity for the student that “differs from previous representations or records,” the letter says, the child is to be treated accordingly — without any requirement for a medical diagnosis or birth certificate to be produced. It says that schools may — but are not required to — provide other restroom and locker room options to students who seek “additional privacy” for whatever reason.

    This week, the Justice Department and North Carolina filed opposing lawsuits over the state’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill, which the Obama administration says violates the Civil Rights Act’s Title IX provision.

    http://gawker.com/watch-attorney...

    On Thursday, the White House announced it would not withhold federal funds from North Carolina until the court battle was over.


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    Facebook Admits Its Trending Section Includes Topics Not Actually Trending on Facebook [Update: Zuck Speaks]
    Image: AP

    This story was originally published at 6:35 p.m. EST. It has been updated to add Mark Zuckerberg’s comments.

    Facebook’s Trending news section includes topics that aren’t actually trending on Facebook, according to a statement from the company today.

    The admission came after The Guardian published a trove of documents, including a copy of Facebook’s “Trending Review Guidelines” used to train workers—known internally as “news curators”—who run the platform’s trending section. As Gizmodo previously reported, Facebook’s trending section is run largely like a newsroom and curators can “inject” and “blacklist” topics.

    Facebook’s vice president of global operations Justin Osofsky today said topics that can be included in the trending module are first surfaced by an algorithm that “identifies topics that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook.”

    But that algorithm “also uses an external RSS website crawler to identify breaking events,” Osofsky’s statement continued.

    Osofsky’s statement appeared to contradict a statement released by Facebook’s vice president of search Tom Stocky on Tuesday in response to Gizmodo’s reporting. In that statement, Stocky said the trending module was “designed to showcase the current conversation happening on Facebook.” Stocky also said that “we do not insert stories artificially into trending topics.” Stocky’s statement does not acknowledge the use of an RSS feed to pipe in topics not generating organic buzz on Facebook.

    The trending review guidelines released today refer to both “organic” and “external” topics that are surfaced via algorithm for inclusion in the trending module. Organic topics indicate a subject being “mentioned on Facebook significantly more than its normal level of buzz,” while external topics “are detected by crawling RSS feeds of headlines from top news sites.”

    “They used external topics all the way until I stopped working there,” said one former curator, who left Facebook in mid-2015 and describes Stocky’s statement from earlier this week as “bullshit.”

    “The idea behind external topics was to push more hard news into people’s feeds,” the same individual said. “It was a form of injection into the back-end algorithm list of trending topics.”

    Until recently, the workings of Facebook’s trending module have been largely opaque. In a 2015 story by Recode, the trending module is portrayed as one governed almost entirely by algorithm. The company’s own website still describes the module in the following way:

    Trending shows you topics that have recently become popular on Facebook. The topics you see are based on a number of factors including engagement, timeliness, Pages you’ve liked and your location.

    Facebook also released a list of 1,000 publications which comprised the RSS feeds as of today.

    Osofsky said the company “will continue to investigate the allegations” by a Gizmodo source who said that conservative news was routinely prevented from reaching the trending section.

    “We have found no evidence to date that Trending Topics was successfully manipulated, but will continue the review of all our practices,” he said.

    Update 9:21 p.m. : Mark Zuckerberg addressed the controversy tonight:

    I want to share some thoughts on the discussion about Trending Topics.

    Facebook stands for giving everyone a voice. We believe the world is better when people from different backgrounds and with different ideas all have the power to share their thoughts and experiences. That’s what makes social media unique. We are one global community where anyone can share anything — from a loving photo of a mother and her baby to intellectual analysis of political events.

    To serve our diverse community, we are committed to building a platform for all ideas. Trending Topics is designed to surface the most newsworthy and popular conversations on Facebook. We have rigorous guidelines that do not permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or the suppression of political perspectives.

    This week, there was a report suggesting that Facebook contractors working on Trending Topics suppressed stories with conservative viewpoints. We take this report very seriously and are conducting a full investigation to ensure our teams upheld the integrity of this product.

    We have found no evidence that this report is true. If we find anything against our principles, you have my commitment that we will take additional steps to address it.

    In the coming weeks, I’ll also be inviting leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum to talk with me about this and share their points of view. I want to have a direct conversation about what Facebook stands for and how we can be sure our platform stays as open as possible.

    The reason I care so much about this is that it gets to the core of everything Facebook is and everything I want it to be. Every tool we build is designed to give more people a voice and bring our global community together. For as long as I’m leading this company this will always be our mission.


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  • 05/13/16--04:13: 179 Days and a Wake Up
  • 179 Days and a Wake Up
    Why? Photo: AP

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    "Racist McShootFace" Drives Auction Price of George Zimmerman's Gun Past $65 Million Before Being Suspended
    Photo: AP

    Yesterday, after George Zimmerman’s initial attempt to auction off the weapon he used to kill Trayvon Martin was foiled, a second auction site took up the cause. That auction has since been disrupted by the user “Racist McShootFace,” who placed a series of bids pushing the price up past $65 million.

    "Racist McShootFace" Drives Auction Price of George Zimmerman's Gun Past $65 Million Before Being Suspended
    Via Google cache

    That account has since been suspended, and bidding has returned to normal. The most recent seemingly legitimate bid was placed by the user “Brez Morrell,” for $485,000.

    "Racist McShootFace" Drives Auction Price of George Zimmerman's Gun Past $65 Million Before Being Suspended

    In the description of the weapon on UnitedGunGroup.com, Zimmerman wrote, “Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.”

    But the Smithsonian denies any interest. “The Smithsonian has never expressed an interest in collecting this firearm and has no intention of collecting or displaying this firearm,” spokesman John Gibbons told the Associated Press.

    “This is a piece of American History,” Zimmerman wrote.


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    Donald Trump Accuses Jeff Bezos of Using Washington Post to Skirt Antitrust Laws
    Photo: AP

    Donald Trump has accused Jeff Bezos of using the Washington Post, which he owns, to sway politicians into making corporate tax policy decisions favorable to Amazon.com, which he founded. “He’s using the Washington Post, which is peanuts, he’s using that for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday.

    “Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from the Washington Post asking ridiculous questions,” Trump said. “He thinks I’ll go after him for antitrust,” he continued. “Because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much, Amazon is controlling so much of what they are doing.”

    According to the Associated Press, Marty Baron, the Post’s executive editor, said in a statement that he’s “received no instructions from Jeff Bezos” directing campaign coverage.

    On Wednesday, associate editor Bob Woodward told the National Association of Realtors convention in Washington that Bezos urged the paper to run as many stories as possible on both Trump and all the other candidates.

    “We have 20 people working on Trump, we’re going to do a book, we’re doing articles about every phase of his life,” he said. That includes Trump’s business dealings.

    “The New York real estate world is more complex than the CIA,” Woodward added.


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    Listen to Donald Trump Catfish a Reporter
    Photo: AP

    Donald Trump has admitted under oath (but now denies) that he spent decades commenting on himself in the press under the guise of a Trump spokesperson named John. But until this week, the uninitiated could only imagine how ridiculous it must have sounded. Now, thanks to the Washington Post, there’s audio of one of those interviews.

    The tape was recorded by People reporter Sue Carswell in 1991, not long after Trump’s divorce from his first wife, Ivana, was made official. According to the Washington Post, Carswell had been assigned to write an article about the divorce, his relationship with then-girlfriend Marla Maples, and a host of other celebrities Trump was rumored to be dating at the time.

    “Within five minutes” of calling to request comment, Carswell received a call from Trump pretending to be a very well-informed man working as Trump’s publicist—something Trump apparently did often, despite his presumably demanding schedule.

    (Journalists have long described receiving calls from men with Trump’s voice claiming to be publicists intermittently named John Miller and John Baron, which also happens to be the name of Trump’s youngest son. Trump also admitted in a 1990 court case that “he and one of his executives have used the name John Baron in some of their business dealings.”)

    On the tape recording released this week, Trump tells Carswell he’s a Trump employee named John Miller.

    Donald Trump: How are you.

    Sue Carswell: Good, how are you. What’s your name again?

    Donald Trump: John Miller

    Sue Carswell: And you work with Donald Trump?

    Donald Trump: Yes, that’s correct.

    Later, he tells Carswell, “I’m sort of new here... I’m sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it.”

    “I basically worked for different firms, I worked for a couple of different firms, and I’m somebody that he knows, and I think somebody that he trusts and likes,” Trump, as Miller, explains. “So I’m going to do this a little part time and then go on with my life too.”

    Over the course of the fourteen-minute interview, Trump—in character—boasts about declining sexual advances from his ex-wife Ivana, his then-girlfriend Marla Maples, Madonna, Carla Bruni, and other “actresses and people you write about.”

    “He’s somebody that has a lot of options. And frankly, he gets called by everybody. He gets called by everybody in the book, in terms of women,” Trump says. “[Madonna] called and wanted to go out with him, that I can tell you.”

    But the most incredible exchange was yet to come, when Trump claimed Carla Bruni—the Italian model who would go on to marry former French president Nicholas Sarkozy—had left Mick Jagger for him. Emphasis ours:

    Donald Trump: I heard Carla—I mean, I’ll give you the—this is getting to be a little different from what I normally discuss. This is, I think, an interesting point. Carla is a very beautiful girl from Italy, whose father is one of the wealthiest men in Europe.

    Sue Carswell: Who is her—what’s the name of her father?

    Donald Trump: Well, her father’s name is—her name is Carla Bruni Tedeschi.

    Sue Carswell: How do you spell that?

    Donald Trump: I don’t know. Tedeschi. She doesn’t use the last name because it’s too complicated. But anyway, her father is one of the wealthiest men in Europe.

    Carla is extraordinarily beautiful and didn’t want to be a model, except that every time she’d go to a show to look, people like Ralph Lauren and various people would say, “Carla, you have to be in the show, et cetera, et cetera.” So she does all of the top shows, and she’s always very busy and very successful, et cetera, et cetera.

    She was having a big thing with Mick Jagger. Did you hear about this?

    Sue Carswell: Well, I’ve just been reading about it.

    Donald Trump: What happened is, she was going with Eric Clapton.

    Sue Carswell: Mick Jagger, who was married at that point?

    Donald Trump: Mick Jagger, as of three months ago, she was having a big thing. But she just doesn’t want to be in the limelight. What she—and she was having a very big thing with Mick Jagger, and then what happened, she was going with Eric Clapton. And Eric Clapton introduced her to Mick Jagger. And then Mick Jagger started calling her, and she ended up going with Mick Jagger. And then she dropped Mick Jagger for Donald. And that’s where it is right now.

    And again, he’s not making any commitments to Carla either, just so you understand.

    Sue Carswell: What kinds of things have they done? I mean, do they go out?

    Donald Trump: Well, they just get along very good, and she’s very pretty and all of that stuff. But you know, he doesn’t have any idea who she is, right? When he meets the right woman, it’s going to be a great relationship and it’s going to be a very, you know, because he believes strongly in the marriage concept.

    Trump was forced to address the recording this morning during a phone interview with the Today Show. Despite admitting in a 1990 court case that he’d used the alias, he insisted Friday that the voice on the phone wasn’t his.

    “I don’t know anything about it. You’re telling me about it for the first time and it doesn’t sound like my voice at all,” Trump said. “I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and then you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams—doesn’t sound like me.”

    Then he explicitly denied it: “It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this? Twenty-five years ago?”

    John Miller could not be reached for comment.


    Here’s a full transcript of the tape:

    Donald Trump: How are you.

    Sue Carswell: Good, how are you. What’s your name again?

    Donald Trump: John Miller

    Sue Carswell: And you work with Donald Trump?

    Donald Trump: Yes, that’s correct.

    Sue Carswell: John Miller. Can you sort of uh, I guess we’re going to try and put a story together and we have a deadline of today, because our magazine closed, well, basically yesterday, but we’ll probably get something together today. But it’s been on the cover of the New York Post.

    Donald Trump: Yeah, I saw that.

    Sue Carswell: What kind of comment is coming from, you know, your agency or from Donald?

    Donald Trump: Well it’s just that he really decided that he wasn’t you know, he didn’t want to make any commitment. He didn’t want to make a commitment. He really thought it was too soon. He’s coming out of a uh, you know, a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially. As you saw, he got his licenses five to nothing the other day, and totally unanimous. And he’s really been working hard and doing well. And probably, as you know there’s a real estate depression in the United States, and he’s probably doing as well as anybody there is. And frankly, he wants to keep it that way. And he just thought it was too soon to make any commitment to anybody.

    Sue Carswell: So what is going to happen. Is she being asked to leave or is she going to be allowed to stay?

    Donald Trump: Well she—he treats everybody well and you don’t know him, but he’s a—

    Donald Trump: No, I have met him.

    John Miller: Have you met him? He’s a good guy and he’s not going to hurt anybody. The one article said he was going to throw her out of the apartment, it’s total nonsense. He’s going to always treat her well, as he treated his wife well. I mean, he paid his wife a great deal of money. He did it in a very bad period of time, and ultimately that was settled. There are those that say that that was even put that way, I don’t know if you heard that, but that Trump became poor until he got his divorce. And then all of the sudden he’s been doing very well. And I guess you probably heard that too. But he treated his wife well, and he treated—and he will treat Marla well. He’s somebody that has a lot of options. And frankly, he gets called by everybody. He gets called by everybody in the book, in terms of women.

    Sue Carswell: Like who?

    Donald Trump: Well, he gets called by a lot of people.

    Sue Carswell: What about—I mean, this Carla Bruni. How important is she right now?

    Donald Trump: I think it’s somebody that—you know, she’s beautiful. I saw her once quickly, and she’s beautiful and all. But I think that he’s got a whole open field, really. And a lot of the people that you write about, and you people do a great job, by the way, but a lot of the people that you write about really are—I mean, they call. They just call. Actresses, people that you write about, just call to see if they can go out with him and things.

    Sue Carswell: He can’t say like, did Madonna ever really call?

    Donald Trump: He was so set up with that. You know, Madonna called, and what happened. I mean, I don’t know if you want to listen to this.

    Sue Carswell: No, I do.

    Donald Trump: Do you? Do you have a second?

    Sue Carswell: Yeah, obviously.

    Donald Trump: What happened is it was a benefit at the Plaza Hotel, which he owned, for Vreeland. Diane Vreeland. And, oh, no. For Martha Graham. And it was, you know, a ball benefit for Martha, actually just before she passed away. And Madonna was there, and she came in a beautiful evening gown and combat boots. She was wearing combat boots. And Trump was asked to go over and meet her. He was there just for a little while to say hello and to make a speech, to make it like an introductory speech. Madonna was in the room, and so somebody from Madonna’s entourage—because she comes in with an entourage with dancers and everything else—and somebody from Madonna’s entourage came over and said, “Would you go over and say hello to Madonna?” And so he went over and said hello to Madonna, and he gave his autograph to the dancers. She said, “These are fans and all this, will you give them the autograph?” So he said, “Best wishes,” or something. And then all of the sudden—that was the end—and then he said goodbye to her, and that was literally the end. He’s got zero interest in Madonna, it was literally the end. And the next day in the newspapers they had a story that he wanted to go out with her and everything else. Besides that, she was sitting there with her boyfriend. I think his name was Ward or something.

    Sue Carswell: Yeah, Tony Ward.

    Donald Trump: And she was sitting there right with her boyfriend. So, I mean, it wouldn’t be appropriate. Then the next day, there was a story that Trump went to Rex and Madonna was supposedly at Rex, and that was another total nonsense story. So, somehow there was a thing. And then she called recently about this fight and wanted to go out. You know, she’s got this PR machine that I guess you people play to very well, but it’s, it really was nonsense. So, anyway.

    Sue Carswell: I don’t we ever reported that about Madonna and Donald.

    Donald Trump: Well, she called and wanted to go out with him, that I can tell you. And one of the other people that you’re writing about—by the way, I’m sort of new here. And I’m—

    Sue Carswell: What is your position there?

    Donald Trump: Well, I’m sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it. And frankly, I mean, I could tell you off the record. Until I get to know you, and talk a little bit off the record, I can tell you that he didn’t care if he got bad PR until he got his divorce finished. So when he got a lot of bad financial stuff, he liked it because, you know, it was good, because he could get a divorce finished. Once his divorce is finished, if you noticed since then, he’s doing well financially, and he’s doing well in every other way. The licensing was five to nothing. And people are saying how come all of the sudden he’s doing so well? And then I guess Newsday about two weeks ago did a story on that. So I’ve sort of been put in here to handle, because I’ve never seen anybody get so many calls from the press.

    Sue Carswell: Where did you come from?

    Donald Trump: I basically worked for different firms, I worked for a couple of different firms, and I’m somebody that he knows, and I think somebody that he trusts and likes, so I’m going to do this a little part time and then go on with my life too.

    Sue Carswell: He is trying to—I mean, is Marla trying to reconcile all this, or is this—

    Donald Trump: Marla wants to be back with him, and he wants to be with her, but he just, he just feels it’s too soon.

    Sue Carswell: What about the ring?

    Donald Trump: Well, it was never an engagement ring, because that was my first question. It was never an engagement ring. It was a ring—I mean, he wouldn’t buy the engagement ring. Actually, he bought the ring at the Taj Mahal at Tiffany’s. The only place that Tiffany’s has that’s in a hotel is because of his relationship with Tiffany being the neighbor next door to Trump Tower, and Tiffany decided to open up a store at the Taj Mahal. And this was a way of giving Tiffany some business in addition to getting Ivana—getting Marla—something that would be nice. So he did that, and as I told him and other people told him, when you want to buy a present, don’t make it a ring the next time. But it was a little confusing.

    Sue Carswell: Make it a chain.

    Donald Trump: Make it anything. Anything but a ring, I guess.

    Sue Carswell: Do you think there’s any fear that Marla will spill everything at all, or?

    Donald Trump: It doesn’t matter to him. He truly doesn’t care. I’ve never seen somebody that’s so immune, that he gets immune to—you know, some people would say he got bad press three or four months ago. Now he’s starting to get good press where, I mean, I don’t know what you call this but this is a big press. But I’ve never seen somebody so immune to—he actually thrived on the bad press initially. And once the divorce was over, he said, “We have to change this,” and it’s very interesting. Frankly, if he got good press during the divorce, he’d be in court right now. Because she settled because she thought that she better believe the press and she settled. And now he’s doing great, and now she would like not to settle. Ivana, when she didn’t settle, she felt she made a huge mistake and she’s now having a huge fight with her lawyer, Michael Kennedy, over why they made the settlement. And it’s over. He sort of laughs at everything.

    Sue Carswell: How did Donald feel about Ivana’s appearance on Barbara Walters?

    Donald Trump: Well, he—he—it was a total violation of the—I mean, I could tell you—

    Sue Carswell: Yeah, but then that was uh—I mean, did the judge, Phylis what’s her name—

    Donald Trump: Gangel-Jacob, yeah, but that’s going to be—the judge felt that when Donald got Ivana to sign that agreement, that Donald got Ivana to void her rights. And that the judge was wrong, because there’s so much caselaw on that. And what happened is the judge said—by the way, she can take that clause out. She just said she’s not going to hold Ivana in contempt. In other words, if somebody, if she violates, then she’s not going to put Ivana in jail for violating. Okay? So she didn’t void that clause. Now Donald’s got a decision as to whether or not he wants to pay her any more money, because by violating that clause, he in theory doesn’t have to pay her any more money.

    Sue Carswell: Being the good guy that he’s trying to be, I mean..

    Donald Trump: I think he—I’m not sure what he’s going to do. Again, you could say that she shouldn’t have done that either. I mean, you sign an agreement, you go through months and months, so she couldn’t say she didn’t know this one. And what he did was smart, because he got not only Ivana to sign the agreement, but he got Ivana’s lawyers to sign the agreement. That she’d do it, that she speaks English perfectly, that everything in the agreement is known and studied and everything else. So in theory, I think he could probably, you know, I think that could have cost her many millions of dollars. I don’t know that he’s going to enforce it or not.

    Sue Carswell: What about this whole thing that was brought up int he news whether Marla wouldn’t sign any sort of prenuptial? Did that have anything to do with the ending of the relationship?

    Donald Trump: No, nothing.

    Sue Carswell: Was that true? I mean, was he trying to get her to sign anything?

    Donald Trump: Well I can tell you this, just off the record, there’s no way he gets married without a prenuptial agreement. You understand that. It was painful but worked in the Ivana case. Because, you know, while it was challenged, it still ended up being upheld and worked. And frankly, she got not exactly one penny, she didn’t get one penny more than what the agreement called for. You know. So that’s that. And she spent a lot of money on lawyers and a lot of money on everything and that was the year of the circus, but they do stand up. I can tell you there was never any talk of marriage from Donald’s point of view. I can also say that Marla would have liked to get married, obviously, but it was just something he didn’t want to do. It’s just too soon. And he, you know, hopefully he’ll maintain a good relationship with Marla. But it’s just too soon.

    Sue Carswell: What about this Ivana thing? It says in the Newsday Trump also told friends that when he and Ivana met last week, she indicated that she would be interested in a reconciliation?

    Donald Trump: Ivana wants to get back with Donald, but she—

    Sue Carswell: After saying on Barbara Walters that she never would?

    Donald Trump: Well what’s she going to say? She’s going to say, when he’s with somebody else and had other people lined up, is she going to say “Yes, I want to get back, I want to get back”? You know, she’s a pretty savvy woman, and she’s not going to say—I mean, he’s living with Marla and he’s got three other girlfriends and she’s not going to say, “I really want to get back,” you know. She wants to get back. She’s told it to a lot of her friends, and she’s told it to him, but it’s so highly unlikely. That’s off the record. He left. I mean, it was his choice to leave, and he left.

    Sue Carswell: He left for Marla.

    Donald Trump: No, he didn’t leave. No. See that’s the biggest misconception of this whole thing. The second question I asked about after the ring was—the biggest misconception is he left. He didn’t leave for Marla. He really left for himself. He didn’t leave for Marla. He was going to leave anyway. Marla was there, but he was going to leave anyway whether there was a Marla or not. He was going to leave anyway. So now he has somebody else named Carla who is beautiful and I guess you have something on her. I don’t know if you do or not.

    Sue Carswell: No, they won’t talk about her. He didn’t say anything about her. I mean, she’s a daughter of who?

    Donald Trump: Well, she’s a very successful model, et cetera, et cetera. But again, he didn’t leave Marla for her. He just wants, he does things for himself. He leaves himself, he does things for himself. When he makes the decision, that will be a very lucky woman. But he’s not going to do that until he makes the decision. You know, when he makes the decision, he’s very capable of a total commitment, when he makes the decision. But he felt it’s too soon. Off the record, he probably felt Marla wasn’t the right one, or whatever, but he just felt that it was too soon.

    Sue Carswell: How did he meet Carla?

    Donald Trump: At the Plaza Hotel, she was doing a Carolina Herrera fashion show.

    Sue Carswell: Was Ivana there, do you think? Does she go to fashion shows?

    Donald Trump: Well, she goes to them, but less so since, you know, since—

    Sue Carswell: When did he meet Carla there?

    Donald Trump: Probably a few months ago.

    Sue Carswell: Have they been able to see each other with Marla?

    Donald Trump: Well not really. And again, I heard Carla—I mean, I’ll give you the—this is getting to be a little different from what I normally discuss. This is, I think, an interesting point. Carla is a very beautiful girl from Italy, whose father is one of the wealthiest men in Europe.

    Sue Carswell: Who is her—what’s the name of her father?

    Donald Trump: Well, her father’s name is—her name is Carla Bruni Tedeschi.

    Sue Carswell: How do you spell that?

    Donald Trump: I don’t know. Tedeschi. She doesn’t use the last name because it’s too complicated. But anyway, her father is one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Carla is extraordinarily beautiful and didn’t want to be a model, except that every time she’d go to a show to look, people like Ralph Lauren and various people would say, “Carla, you have to be in the show, et cetera, et cetera.” So she does all of the top shows, and she’s always very busy and very successful, et cetera, et cetera. She was having a big thing with Mick Jagger. Did you hear about this?

    Sue Carswell: Well, I’ve just been reading about it.

    Donald Trump: What happened is, she was going with Eric Clapton.

    Sue Carswell: Mick Jagger who was married at that point?

    Donald Trump: Mick Jagger, as of three months ago, she was having a big thing. But she just doesn’t want to be in the limelight. What she—and she was having a very big thing with Mick Jagger, and then what happened, she was going with Eric Clapton. And Eric Clapton introduced her to Mick Jagger. And then Mick Jagger started calling her, and she ended up going with Mick Jagger. And then she dropped Mick Jagger for Donald. And that’s where it is right now. And again, he’s not making any commitments to Carla either, just so you understand.

    Sue Carswell: What kinds of things have they done? I mean, do they go out?

    Donald Trump: Well, they just get along very good, and she’s very pretty and all of that stuff. But you know, he doesn’t have any idea who she is, right? When he meets the right woman, it’s going to be a great relationship and it’s going to be a very, you know, because he believes strongly in the marriage concept. In all fairness, he was married for 12 years. And he was happily married for 12—for many of those years, I guess. And he believes in it, especially in this society today, I can tell you. But he believes in it.

    Sue Carswell: Where is he living now? I mean, is he—

    Donald Trump: He lives in Trump Tower. He has the apartment at the top of Trump Tower.

    Sue Carswell: Okay, and Ivana also has an apartment at Trump Tower?

    Donald Trump: She has an apartment at Trump Tower, but the court order is she has to leave within a period of less than a year.

    Sue Carswell: Right. Okay. Listen, can I—

    [The tape cuts off. Carswell tells the Washington Post Trump also described rebuffing advances from Kim Basinger before the interview ended.]


    0 0

    Last night on her television program, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly presided over a discussion on the right’s current paranoid fixation that the Washington Post has 20 reporters digging into Donald Trump’s life for a planned book on the presumed Republican nominee.

    This fact was announced by the Washington Post in a press release early last month, but conservatives seized on it as some sort of vast media conspiracy after the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday that Bob Woodward told a crowd at the National Association of Realtors convention (?) about the paper’s plan to highly scrutinize a presidential candidate.

    Anyway, Megyn Kelly’s segment on this dumb story is entirely nonsense, but you knew that already. What’s slightly more interesting is that the discussion metastasizes into a rumination on the media’s breathless coverage of Trump in general. Kelly, who has been a bit player in the Trump saga, starts to go on a warpath. Via The Politico:

    “The countdown on MSNBC, they had a countdown clock,” she said, referring to the network’s clock ticking down to the Trump/Ryan confab.

    She continued:

    “Look, look CNN with a shot of Trump’s plane,” Kelly remarked, as footage from CNN appeared on screen. “Wolf Blitzer was walking us through the plane’s progress on the tarmac.”

    And then:

    “You would have thought it was the second coming,” Kelly said, poking fun at MSNBC’s “Breaking News” chyron that read “Breaking News: Trump Gives Thumbs Up Heading Into Meeting”

    But lest you think Kelly was just diverting the conversation to shit on her rivals, she stopped to remind the viewer that her network sucks, too:

    “I do want to say, it wasn’t just the other networks. We also had an eight-box up at some point,” she said. “ And in MSNBC’s defense, there was a day here at Fox News when was I was a cub reporter in the D.C. Bureau when I saw the following: Fox News Alert: The White House Christmas Tree Has Arrived at the White House. None of us has perfectly clean hands.”

    The lesson, straight from the horse’s mouth: Cable news is almost entirely useless and you should do something else with your time.


    0 0

    Donald Trump Distances Himself from Racist Longtime Family Friend Who Wants Obama Dead

    We’ve entered the White Supremacy Mad Libs portion of the election, which means you should expect sentences like “Donald Trump just disavowed his longtime butler because he said Obama should be hanged.”

    http://gawker.com/donald-trumps-...

    The “disavowal” comes after yesterday’s report that Anthony “Tony” Senecal, who looks like what you would draw if your Pictionary clue were “evil white man,” has a history of writing racist and violent things about the president on Facebook. This matters because Tony Senecal is also a longtime friend of Donald’s—in a recent profile, the New York Times wrote that “over the decades, he has grown close to the Trump family.” That closeness could be nearing an end: “Tony Senecal has not worked at Mar-aLago for years, but nevertheless we totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him regarding the President,” a Trump campaign spokesperson tells ABC.

    At odds with this statement is not only the Times report on Senecal’s status with the Trump family, but also Trump’s long history of associating with deeply shitty people.


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