“Trump, who first revealed the news earlier Thursday in a post on his Truth Social platform, faces seven counts, according to his lawyer and another source. The charges include false statements, conspiracy to obstruct and a charge related to the Espionage Act, sources said.”

Data published by the Pew Research Center in 2019 highlighted how federal prosecutors have a 99.6% conviction rate. This is true because federal prosecutors almost never file charges unless they have the accused dead to rights. That seems to be the case here as well. Given that the former President almost certainly did everything he is accused of, given that there is a mountain of testimony and physical evidence, and given that his own words have exacerbated his problems, his lawyers have a real challenge. What’s the defense? Most federal defendants plead out, but Trump is not one to negotiate a plea deal, so his lawyers will need to concoct some strategy as yet unforeseen.

Since a legal defense has not yet emerged, the Trump loyalists will undoubtedly try to muster a full-throated political defense. Don’t look for any of them to suggest Trump is innocent. They know what he did, and they know it was illegal. Instead, they will be screaming about the fact that the charges are politically motivated, and they will be creating a false equivalency to the Pence and Biden documents. Those red herrings will convince many in the general public that Trump is somehow being treated unfairly, but will not help him obtain a “not guilty” verdict. Even if it were true that the investigation was politically motivated, that argument is irrelevant in court, where the issues are (1) “which crimes is he accused of?” and (2) “did he actually commit them?”

The list includes Stephen Colbert, Brad Raffensberger, Letitia James, Morning Joe and Seth Meyers.

Raffensberger and James, in particular, are not involved in foreign policy. To my knowledge, neither of them has made any public statements about Russia, but they are among Trump’s bugbears. Perhaps the most obscure private citizen on the list is the Capitol Police officer who killed one of the January 6th rioters. (Although this man has no connection to Russia in any way, he is the subject of lunatic conspiracy theories among the Trumpies, and has also been singled out by Putin in the past.)

The list is confusingly inconsistent.

  • One of the most baffling omissions is Jimmy Fallon, given that Kimmel, Meyers and Colbert are banned. If Fallon’s writers ever return to work, they should have a lot of fun with this. Conan O’Brien is not on the list either, and he’s just ballsy enough to go to Russia for a comedy special.
  • In another example of inconsistency, the list does not include others perceived by Trump as enemies, like Alvin Bragg.

The list of 500 new names means that there are now 1,344 Americans covered by Russian sanctions. I was kind of heartbroken to see that I did not make the cut.

I think you probably know which one. Surprisingly, Jimmy Carter was never indicted over those two drifters he killed.

Interesting sidebar:

In the article “Republican rivals, leaders rally around Donald Trump after indictment,” not one single Trump defender suggested he was innocent! All of the defenses are deflections, basically consisting of “Sure he’s a crook, but he’s OUR crook, and those mean old Democrats are just using his guilt as a political weapon.”

True dat, but phrases like this don’t help: “legitimate resort fees.” There is no such thing.

It is not fare to lump these fees in with airline add-ons, because airline add-ons are actually for something, and if you don’t use that something, there’s no fee. You don’t pay baggage fees, for example, if you have no baggage.

Resort fees are not an add-on, but simply part of the room rate that they want to hide from you for one reason or another. You can’t avoid them they way you can avoid baggage fees. The hotels pretty much created the concept to hide the true cost of the room, and then turned it into a complete scam to get the top search results on places like Priceline and Booking.com.

Here’s the most radical scam I have seen personally:

I searched for a hotel room in a southern town, and I set the options for ranking from cheapest to most expensive. Normally I would choose the cheapest one that has a high score for customer satisfaction with a large number of votes. Miraculously, one of the highest-rated was only $39.95 a night. I figured that’s because it was off-season and they don’t want empty rooms.

I figured wrong.

They just listed that rate to get the top position in the search. When I went to pay, I found that my bill would be more than $200 per night. There’s forty bucks for the room, about twenty bucks for local taxes, and 150 bucks for resort fees.

I ended up staying down the road at a place that was honest about its prices. That place listed a base price twice as high as the scammers, but I ended up paying about half as much – and it’s actually a much nicer place.

By the way, I think they are probably hurting local governments as well as cheating their customers. Many localities place a sales tax on hotels. If the hotel charges me $190 for the room in an area with a 10% tax on hotels, I presume they have to collect $19 tax. If they charge me $40 plus a $150 resort fee, I’m guessing that they only collect $4. (But that’s just me guessing. Coming up with dodges like that used to be a part of my job, so I’m always suspicious.)

My girlfriend has zero tolerance for resort fees and goes full Karen on the poor clerks and assistant managers, insisting that the hotel reveal precisely what the fees are for, then says “OK, we don’t want any of that, so just charge us the base rate.” We have actually run into one honest business that agreed to that, but mostly they just offer some mealy-mouthed crap about how “it doesn’t work that way,” whereupon she forces them to admit out loud that it’s not really a “fee” of any kind, but just part of the base rate.

I don’t have the patience or inclination for such confrontational tactics, but she reminds me that by doing it in front of all the other customers, she’s educating the public to the scam. (I always point out that they would gladly trade that education for checking in ten minutes faster, which they would do if the person ahead of them was not complaining.)


If you are out there and influence the policies of some company like Priceline, I would very much like you to sort by true cost instead of the posted rate. That’s easy to do. Your software already makes that calculation when we click on “choose,” so there is no excuse for your failure to offer that sorting option. The way it is now, I have to click on each individual hotel to get that number, then write it down with my low-tech BIC pen, then repeat as many times as I can until I get weary of the process.

That’s a bad headline by ABC news. I know it says POLL there, but it should simply read “record numbers of people SAY they are worse off.”

And after stating the facts, the second paragraph should ask WHY people feel that way, which is, after all, the real story.

Most other news organizations got the headline right.

Biden is correct about the numbers. More than 1/3 of the American electorate consists of white people with no college degree.

There is a very good reason why Donald Trump famously said:

They voted 67-32 in favor of Trump in 2020.

That means that a Democrat must either (a) cut into that group or (b) win 60% of the remaining votes. Neither is easy to accomplish. Biden won with (b) in 2020, but has chosen to focus on (a).

No problem. All he needs is a time machine back to 1960, when the unions could bring in lots of blue-collar white voters for the Democrats. At the moment Biden has devised no strategy to counter the culture-war stuff with blue-collar voters. He thinks money is the answer, but those voters are not responding.

The weirdest thing about the current state of American elections is that candidates who would appeal to both sides (except their fringes) can’t win the primaries. Chris Sununu would probably defeat Biden in a landslide, but he ain’t makin’ it through the wackjobbery in those GOP primaries.

Oh, cripe, I just dread a Biden-Trump rematch.

I’m not even sure Montreal exists. I’m thinking that Quebec is pulling off some kind of tax dodge.

Le Nouveau Duluth has 85 reviews, all of them giving five stars. “In the features, they do everything: they deliver, they do takeout, reservations, outdoor seating, buffet, private dinings, private parking, they have a full bar, wine and beer, waterfront, live music, jazz bar, it’s a drive-through, they’re on the beach, they have a playground.”

Le Nouveau Duluth does not exist. The ease with which it rose to the top of a travel advice site is a clear example of how easy it is to create buzz with no substance behind it”

Here is the story of the comedian behind the prank.

Mr. Skin reported the following:

  • In Fair Play, Phoebe Dynevor shows her breasts as she gets out of the shower in one scene.
  • Skye P. Marshall shows her breasts when she stands against a wall in a shower scene in To Live and Die and Live.
  • In the movie Mamacruz, Kiti Manver shows her left breast as she slips a nightgown on.
  • Emily Willis shows her T&A in the B&W film Divinity, and Karrueche Tran has a sex scene in the same film.
  • “Marin Ireland shows her buns and a bit of boobage in Birth/Rebirth.”
  • Amandla Stenberg bares her breasts in My Animal.
  • Mia Goth did a full frontal scene in Infinity Pool. At least two other women did full-frontal nudity as well as some men. There was also a drugged-out orgy scene filled with special effects. The theatrical release will not be the same as the one screened at Sundance. The film had to be cut to get an R rating, and I don’t know the exact details of the cuts.