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Manafort’s plea deal is literally “pardon proof”

Manafort’s plea deal is literally “pardon proof”


Washington Post / YouTube Paul Manafort strikes plea deal with...
Washington Post / YouTube

Remember all the fears that Trump could simply pardon Paul Manafort for any federal crimes? Well, rest easy. In what appears to be a stroke of legal genius, Robert Mueller apparently structured the plea deal in a way to take that prospect into account. According to Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano, any attempt to pardon Manafort would not only be political suicide, but would be a waste of effort legally.

Ed Krassenstein mentioned this on Twitter, and I thought it was snark.

But per Raw Story, it isn’t. Napolitano told Shep Smith about a legal quarter-stick of dynamite contained in the lengthy plea agreement Manafort signed—175 pages worth. Manafort not only pleaded guilty to federal charges of bank fraud, money laundering and bribery, but also the aforementioned state charges.

The beauty of it, per Napolitano?

“Why did they do that? To make it pardon proof so if President Trump, which he can do, does pardon him for the federal crimes the state prosecutors in those states already have his guilty plea.” (emphasis mine)

Well, this is an interesting development. We already knew that if Trump were stupid enough to pardon Manafort, New York state prosecutors would file state-level charges before the ink even had time to dry. But guilty pleas to state charges in New Jersey, Virginia and California? Obviously some other prosecutors are taking a long look at the Trump crime family.

Now Mueller’s team has put Manafort on notice that Manafort’s lies have cost him a chance at a reduced sentence—thus exposing him to enough prison time to make him a decrepit old man if he ever gets out of federal prison alive. And apparently the plea agreement is structured so that there is literally nothing Trump can do to save him.

Simply put, Manafort is screwed eighty ways to Sunday.

Mississippi ‘Hanging’ Senate Candidate Has Always Been A Confederate Rebel

Mississippi ‘Hanging’ Senate Candidate Has Always Been A Confederate Rebel


The full story of Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican incumbent in the race for Thad Cochran’s US Senate seat, is coming into focus at last, and it turns out she was always a rebel in the southern sense of that word.

As a child, Hyde-Smith “attended and graduated from a segregation academy that was set up so that white parents could avoid having to send their children to schools with black students,” the Jackson Free Press reports.

The US Supreme Court ordered Mississippi to integrate its public schools in 1969. “It is no coincidence that the academy Hyde-Smith attended opened the very year after the highest court’s ultimatum, as did others around the state,” reporter Ashton Pittman explains.

The day he announced his compliance, [Governor] Williams made it a priority to focus on private schools as an alternative for white students whose parents were not keen on their children sharing classrooms with black children. The Legislature even approved private-school vouchers for white families to offset the costs of sending their kids to whites-only private schools.

“Lawrence County Academy started because people didn’t want their kids going to school with minorities,” Lawrence County NAACP President Wesley Bridges, who also serves on the local public school board, told the Jackson Free Press on Saturday. “That’s been evident.”

“Cindy Hyde-Smith was a product of that school,” he added.

While hot button culture war issues like abortion and marriage equality have become the marquee items in Republican politics, segregation academies were the definitive beginning of the rightward political shift in modern American evangelical religion, forming a key part of the ‘southern strategy.’ ‘Libertarian’ causes, most notably charter schools, also have their origins in resistance to integration.

Hyde-Smith can be seen in a copy of the 1975 Lawrence County Academy yearbook, The Rebel. She can be seen posing with her fellow cheerleaders under a Confederate battle flag.

The choice of mascots and symbols is telling. Virtually absent from southern life until the US Supreme Court began forcing public school systems to integrate, the Confederate battle flag reappeared as a symbol of white southern opposition to that assertion of federal power.

The Jackson Free Press report is consistent with other reports indicating that Hyde-Smith has deep personal and family ties to infamous segregationists as well as people involved in actual lynchings — a disturbing echo of the candidate’s bizarre public comments about her eagerness to attend a “public hanging” (read: lynching).

Other points of congruence include her history of:

  • Pushing state house resolutions to honor the last daughter of a Confederate soldier — a bill written in the language of the Lost Cause myth of the Civil War
  • Accepting donations from a notorious white supremacist and refusing to return them
  • “Joking” about vote suppression at historically black colleges and universities, calling it “a great idea
  • Taking photos with a neoconfederate hate group leader and posing in a Confederate hat at the Jefferson Davis museum

Hyde-Smith eventually sent her own daughter to another segregation academy. Yet as Pittman notes, she seems to have carefully minimized that chapter of her own education history. “[Her] high school has been conspicuously absent from the senator’s official statements, speeches and public biographies,” he writes. “Even her Facebook account suggests her education began with community college.”

Far from exonerating Cindy Hyde-Smith, the discrepancy is further evidence for consciousness of guilt. She knows exactly what she is saying, and to whom her words appeal.

‘Birther King’ Jerome Corsi Rejects Mueller’s Plea Deal, Says He’d Rather Rot In Prison

‘Birther King’ Jerome Corsi Rejects Mueller’s Plea Deal, Says He’d Rather Rot In Prison


So Robert Mueller offered Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi a plea deal for one count of perjury. Corsi said he’d rather rot in prison than take the deal. He’s probably going to get his wish.

Jerome Corsi is an associate of Roger Stone and a conservative operative best known for spreading the birther lie about President Obama. Corsi is known as the “Birther King.” And he is now in talks with special counsel Robert Mueller about a plea deal.

On Monday morning Corsi told MSNBC that Mueller has offered him a plea deal in which he would agree to plead guilty to one count of perjury.

But Corsi later told CNN that he would rather rot in prison than take the deal.

For the last few days Corsi has been complaining to the press that Mueller wanted him to admit to willful lying.

“They want me to say I willfully lied,” Corsi said on Saturday. “I’m not going to agree that I lied. I did not. I will not lie to save my life. I’d rather sit in prison and rot for as long as these thugs want me to.”

Mueller and his team have been questioning Corsi about whether he gave Trump associate Roger Stone advanced warning about Wikileaks’ plans to release John Podesta’s stolen emails in 2016. Stone has denied any contact with Wikileaks. But in a private email to an associate at the time Stone bragged about having dinner with Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

Indictments for Stone and Corsi are expected any day.

Guess whose side the Auschwitz Museum takes.

Guess whose side the Auschwitz Museum takes.


The Sun / YouTube US reopens border after clashes with 1543369488.jpg...
The Sun / YouTube

Reacting to this now infamous picture, Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez tweets:

Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime.

It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany.
It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda.
It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria.
And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America. twitter.com/NBCNews/status…

Senator Lindsay Graham responds:

I recommend she take a tour of the Holocaust Museum in DC.

Might help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana. twitter.com/Ocasio2018/sta…

Among many responses, The Auschwitz Museum:

When we look at Auschwitz we see the end of the process. It’s important to remember that the Holocaust actually did not start from gas chambers. This hatred gradually developed from words, stereotypes& prejudice through legal exclusion, dehumanisation & escalating violence.

Followed by the same tweet in Spanish and Polish.

Trump Just Got Fact-Checked To His Face By A Reporter Over His Lie About Obama’s Policy

Trump Just Got Fact-Checked To His Face By A Reporter Over His Lie About Obama’s Policy


A reporter on Monday challenged Donald Trump outside the White House over his false claim that former President Barack Obama had the same family separation policies, even though it was actually former Attorney General Jeff Sessions who enacted that policy while he was part of the former reality show star’s administration. We need more reporters like this. Every lie should be challenged.

“You said your policy at the border was the same as the Obama administration. It wasn’t,” said CBS News correspondent Paula Reid.

“Obama had a separation policy,” Trump insisted. “We all had the same policy.”

“Sir, it was different — you decided to prosecute everyone at the border,” Reid shot back.


On Sunday, Trump responded to a 60 Minutes segment to claim that previous administrations had the same policy as his administration but the ‘zero tolerance’ policy was enacted by Sessions.

Trump tries to suggest that Obama had some sort of open border policy, then in the next breath, he claims that the former president is actually the one with a harsher immigration policy.

Featured image via screen capture.

9 Celeb-Loved Brands That Do Good and Make You Look Good

9 Celeb-Loved Brands That Do Good and Make You Look Good


Gotham/GC Images

Fashion brands are turning the tide, demonstrating that you don’t have to give up style to do good in the world.

In honor of Giving Tuesday, an e-commerce holiday that encourages fashion and beauty brands to give a portion of their proceeds to charity, we’re celebrating the companies that are doing good, today and every day. These brands have built innovative, alternative business models in order to combat our world’s ills—poverty, gender inequity and bullying, for example—and offer products that allow consumers to look good on the outside and feel good on the inside.

Promoting sustainable and socially conscious practices, celebrities are happy to support these businesses. From necklaces that decrease homelessness to fair trade marketplaces, Hollywood stars are sporting products that give back. For example, purchasing Priyanka Chopra‘s purse today (as seen here) will result in a donation to Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that provides low-income children with diapers, clothing and other necessities.

ESC: Rosario Dawson

Alexi Lubomirski

In fact, celebrities and fashion icons are at the forefront of moving fashion, the third most polluting industry in the world, towards sustainability.

This week, the launch of the CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative Circular Capsule Collection is a prime example. After the CFDA awarded Rosario Dawson and her business partner Abrima Erwiah for their fashion line, Studio One Eighty Nine, which promotes African and African-inspired designs as a socially conscious lifestyle brand, CFDA and Lexus have released a capsule collection and exhibit to showcase that fashion brands that are moving the needle in sustainability. 

Today, we’re honoring fashion brands that are giving back and doing good. Because of them, we can be fashion-forward and do gooders all at the same time. Shop the brands below!

The SF-based accessories brand, which was created to meet the needs of working women, is continuing its quest to service by partnering with non-profit Baby2Baby. Today, twenty-five percent of your purchase will be donated to the non-profit.


This fair trade marketplace with a following that includes Shay Mitchell and Joanna Gaines brings goods from Morocco, Malaysia, Kenya, Ethiopia and more countries to encourage female entrepreneurship all over the world. Today, fifty percent of all sales will be donated to charity.

Today, Reese Witherspoon‘s fashion brand is putting sisterhood first with a limited-edition line that donates one hundred percent of proceeds to Girls Inc., an organization that promotes the development of girls and young women.

This jewelry brand, loved by celebs like Julianne Hough and Nina Dobrev, employs women that are transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles. With its social impact employment model, every purchase you make (on any day) helps to creates jobs.

Lauren Conrad‘s nonprofit, The Little Market, doubles as a fashion-forward store, where you can buy fair trade products from women all over the world.

The British-born fashion designer, responsible for Meghan Markle‘s wedding reception dress, has built a reputation for her sustainable practices, leading the way for other fashion designers. Her brand’s mission states, “Each decision we make is a symbol of our commitment to defining what the future of fashion looks like. From never using leather or fur and pioneering new alternative materials to utilizing cutting edge technologies, pushing towards circularity, protecting ancient and endangered forests and measuring our impact with ground-breaking tools.”

While this brand has a cult following that includes Meghan Markle, Taylor Swift, Lucy Hale and more, it’s a leading brand in terms of sustainability.

“Sustainability is at the core of everything we do—all our garments are made from super sustainable materials, rescued deadstock fabrics and repurposed vintage clothing,” the company states on its website.

This shoe company has altruism in its DNA.In honor of Giving Tuesday, the brand that provides shoes, shelter and aid to people around the world is offering 30 percent off of items.

Today, Madewell is presenting us with a marketplace, in which your purchases benefit others. Partnering with Girls Inc., the Human Rights Campaign and other initiatives, 100 percent of the retail price from your purchase will be donated to charity.


Gerard Butler Fights to Keep His Gold Treasure

Gerard Butler Fights to Keep His Gold Treasure


Why not ring in the New Year with an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller starring cinema’s baddest boy Gerard Butler? Today, we have a first look at The Vanishing, which continues Butler’s hot streak of over-the-top nonsense that goes beyond bad and becomes simply irresistible.

The Vanishing isn’t just some throwaway VOD thriller. No way. Not with Gerard Butler at the forefront, doing what he does best with a grimace and a couple of swinging meathooks he calls fists. The man is quickly becoming the king of so bad it’s good, and he’s usurping Nicolas Cage at his own game. When you throw a bit of quality in the mix, these movies become must-sees. And The Vanishing has must see written all over it.

Gerard Butler (Hunter Killer) and Peter Mullan (Ozark) star in this tense, action-packed thriller based on true events. After three lighthouse keepers arrive for work on a remote Scottish isle, they make a fateful discovery: a wrecked rowboat, with a chest full of gold. As a mysterious boat heads toward the island, the three men make a choice that will change their lives forever, ensnaring them in a web of greed, paranoia, and murder.

The Vanishing could very well be the first movie you see in theaters next year, as it arrives just a few days after the holidays on January 4. It will be playing on the big screen, while simultaneously getting an ON Demand release that same day. Kristoffer Nyholm is directing all the action and thrills, working from a script by none other than Joe Bone and his writing partner Celyn Jones. They make for quite a trio who promise to deliver a tight 106 minute package that has already been rated R. So you can expect a ton of violence and some very salty language. Which should go very nice with the lighthouse setting.

Gerard Butler was once poised to be Hollywood’s next big leading man, buy he decided to go his own way, and has been thrilling audiences and winning fans ever since, with his Olympus Has Fallen trilogy really lighting the torch. Angel Has fallen, the third, though perhaps not the last, installment will arrive later in 2019. He’s also lending his voice to How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World later next year, reprising his role as Stoick. He’s also set to appear in All-Star Weekend, and he’s solidified his second ongoing action franchise with Den of Thieves 2. He was most recently seen in the submarine thriller Hunter Killer, which launched in the last half of 2018.

The Vanishing will kick the year off right for Gerard Butler, who has so much cool stuff to look forward to in the coming months. We have the first trailer for The Vanishing, which comes direct from Lionsgate, along with the first poster which shows off Gerard Butler and Peter Cullan and their doomed lighthouse.

Disney Brings the Epic Fantasy to Life

Disney Brings the Epic Fantasy to Life


Barely a week has based since Disney showed of their live-action adaptation of The Lion King, one of their biggest releases in 2019. Now, they drop another surprise on fans with a first look at Artemis Fowl, another epic blockbuster that will hit screens this summer. And it’s pure Disney gold.

Disney’s Artemis Fowl will arrives in theaters on August 9, 2019, setting the stage to be one of the last great blockbusters to arrive this summer. Kenneth Branagh returns to the director’s chair for this adaptation of the beloved book by Eoin Colfer. The story follows 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.

The film stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonzo Anozie, with Josh Gad, and Judi Dench. Judy Hofflund and Kenneth Branagh are producing with Angus More Gordon and Matthew Jenkins serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Conor McPherson. Artemis Fowl is just one book in a series of beloved young adult books. So if this proves to be a hit, you can expect a full-blown franchise to bloom from this first outing.

This fantastical, spellbinding adventure has Artemis trying to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization, the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan, so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.

Ferdia Shaw makes quite an impression as the title character, with Lara McDonnell (Love, Rosie) starring as Captain Holly Short, a feisty, spirited elf, who is kidnapped by Artemis for a ransom of fairy gold. In the underground fairy world of Haven City, Academy Award-winner Dame Judi Dench (Skyfall) plays Commander Root, the leader of the reconnaissance division of the LEPrecon, the fairy police force, and Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast) plays Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniac dwarf, who attempts to help rescue Holly.

Above ground, Nonso Anozie (Cinderella) plays the Fowl family bodyguard, named Butler, and Tamara Smart (The Worst Witch) plays Butler’s niece Juliet.  Miranda Raison (Murder on the Orient Express) plays Artemis’ mother Angeline. Other members of the cast include Josh McGuire (About Time), Hong Chau (Downsizing), Nikesh Patel (London Has Fallen), Michael  Abubakar (Trust Me), Jake Davies (A Brilliant Young Mind), Rachel Denning (Doctor Who), Matt Jessup (Dread), Simone Kirby (Alice Through the Looking Glass), Sally Messham (Allied) and Adrian Scarborough (Les Misérables).

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the book was adapted for the screen by award-winning playwright Conor McPherson. Branagh brings back several members of his creative team, including Haris Zambarloukos, director of photography; Jim Clay, production designer; Patrick Doyle, composer; and Carol Hemming, hair and makeup designer-all of whom worked on Branagh’s 2017 directorial project, Murder on the Orient Express. The costume designer is Sammy Sheldon Differ (Assassin’s Creed), and the film will be edited by Martin Walsh (Wonder Woman).

You can get your first look at Artemis Fowl in the first trailer delivered by Disney this morning. It arrives along with the first teaser poster for what will surely make the dog days of summer pure gold.

Channing Tatum and His Daughter Made Slime and it Went Exactly as You’d Expect

Channing Tatum and His Daughter Made Slime and it Went Exactly as You’d Expect



He may be Magic Mike, but Channing Tatum doesn’t have any magic tricks when it comes to getting glue off his hands.

Tatum and his 5-year-old daughter Everly spent their Sunday afternoon making homemade slime. Not just any slime—colorful, beaded slime. Yum!

The Smallfoot star documented their day with the slime in a series of videos posted to his Instagram story. In the first video, Everly puts her hands in the bucket of pink slime and lifted her hands out of it with the goo trailing down her fingers. “Ewwwwww,” he said.

“I really need to get this off,” Everly replied.

“We’re never getting this off,” he said sounding defeated.

In a second video, Channing holds the camera over the slime pail, framing the amorphous substance like it’s evidence at a crime scene. “I don’t want to touch it,” he told his daughter.

“I made it less touchy,” she responded, sounding very diplomatic.

By “less touchy,” Everly of course just meant “less sticky” because she “added less glue.”

Channing Tatum, Everly Tatum


At least she has her dad’s best interests at heart!

Later on, the slime clings itself to the 21 Jump Street star’s hands as if it were some crazed fan. Asking how to get the slime off his fingers, Everly told him, “Just pull it off.”

How hard could it be?

Channing also posted a photo of himself channeling his inner Meghan Markle and wearing a tiara. “That’s a Sunday for ya!!!” he captioned it.

Making home scientific experiments with Everly is just one of the many activities they like to do together. E! News caught up with the actor at the Smallfoot premiere in September and he talked about how Everly has already proven she inherited his dance skills.

“We have dance-offs almost every day at some point,” he said.

Channing added, “She’s always had dance moves. She does her own dance moves. I don’t know where she gets them, but she’s been doing them since the day she came out.”

The two of them also enjoy going to shows together, as evidenced by Everly and Channing attending his new girlfriend Jessie J‘s concert in Los Angeles.

It seemed like a close call as to who would win the battle of Channing and Everly versus the slime, but it looks like the Tatums emerged victorious.

John Mayer Ramps Up His Flirty Comments to Halsey Again

John Mayer Ramps Up His Flirty Comments to Halsey Again


Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The case of the flirty Instagram comment has struck again.

On Sunday, Halsey posted a video on Instagram playing some chords on her guitar and looking pensively into the distance. However, the “Bad at Love” singer was having a bit of a rough time. “This Is Your Brain on Writer’s Block: everything I write today sounds like my myspace song in 2008 or a poorly disguised Beatles rip off,” she captioned upload. “Someone send help.”

Well, have no fear because John Mayer‘s flirting is here. A screenshot by the Instagram profile CommentsByCelebs show that the “Free Fallin” singer wrote, “I can be over to break your heart in 20?”

It looks like Halsey’s comments section is his Wonderland.

Halsey and Mayer traded flirty words with each other earlier in November, which led to some conjectures that they could be romantically linked. One day, Halsey posted a screenshot of her talking to Mayer on FaceTime and wrote, “7 am carpool karaoke with John Mayer.”

As innocent as that sounded, he then made a cameo in another set of Instagram comments. The 24-year-old artist later posted a photo that was her ad for YSL lipstick. “It’s saying that my billing address doesn’t match with the one of my credit card? I’ve never had this problem before. Can you text me? Thanks,” he coyly wrote.

She responded, “@johnmayer wrote u a song with the help hotline # in the chorus.”

After the romance rumors started fluttering about, Halsey quickly shut down any romance speculation with a very apt tweet. “I just had a ground breaking idea. What if…we let female artists…have friends…without assuming that they are sleeping together?” she tweeted. “I know I know. It’s like, completely ambitious but like, imagine if we like, tried ?”

In 2017, Halsey told Billboard that she and Mayer were just “platonic mates.” In fact, he’s like a comic muse to her. She explained, “If I think something is funny, I run it by him first, because he’s a comedic genius. He’ll tell me if it’s funny, but he’ll tell me if it’s not. I started answering people on Twitter by their first names. Someone will be like, ‘Halsey f–king sucks,’ and I’ll be like, ‘Stacy, wow, calm down.’ He loved that.”

On Tuesday night, Halsey was seen out with British musician Yungblud (whose real name is Dominic Harrison) in Los Angeles and looking rather infatuated. They may just be friends or they could be more. Either way, it’s clear Halsey is focused on the “I” in “Him & I.”