Forty #1 hits had Hal Blaine keeping time on them. More than 35,000 recorded tracks over the years. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is credited as playing on more hit records of the rock era than any other drummer.
Your Ordinary World for 12Mar19 with links to stories about President Trump, Speaker Pelosi & impeachment, reparations debate, religion & conservatism, Jeffrey Epstein, and Rep. Amash to read, share, & discuss.
With one of the most unpredictable presidential campaigns looming on the horizon for 2020, one thing will certainly be different from the 2016 version: the Democratic nominee will set foot in Wisconsin.
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today:
From August 2018 through February 2019, AVENATTI defrauded a client (“Victim-1”) by diverting money owed to Victim-1 to AVENATTI’s control and use. After assisting Victim-1 in securing a book contract, AVENATTI allegedly stole a significant portion of Victim-1’s advance on that contract. He did so by, among other things, sending a fraudulent and unauthorized letter purporting to contain Victim-1’s signature to Victim-1’s literary agent, which instructed the agent to send payments not to Victim-1 but to a bank account controlled by AVENATTI. As alleged, Victim-1 had not signed or authorized the letter, and did not even know of its existence.
Specifically, prior to Victim-1’s literary agent wiring the second of four installment payments due to Victim-1 as part of the book advance, AVENATTI sent a letter to Victim-1’s literary agent purportedly signed by Victim-1 that instructed the literary agent to send all future payments to a client trust account in Victim-1’s name and controlled by AVENATTI. The literary agent then wired $148,750 to the account, which AVENATTI promptly began spending for his own purposes, including on airfare, hotels, car services, restaurants and meal delivery, online retailers, payroll for his law firm and another business he owned, and insurance. When Victim-1 began inquiring of AVENATTI as to why Victim-1 had not received the second installment, AVENATTI lied to Victim-1, telling Victim-1 that he was still attempting to obtain the payment from Victim-1’s publisher. Approximately one month after diverting the payment, AVENATTI used funds recently received from another source to pay $148,750 to Victim-1, so that Victim-1 would not realize that AVENATTI had previously taken and used Victim-1’s money.
Approximately one week later, pursuant to AVENATTI’s earlier fraudulent instructions, the literary agent sent another payment of $148,750 of Victim-1’s book advance to the client account controlled by AVENATTI. AVENATTI promptly began spending the money for his own purposes, including to make payments to individuals with whom AVENATTI had a personal relationship, to make a monthly lease payment on a luxury automobile, and to pay for airfare, dry cleaning, hotels, restaurants and meals, payroll, and insurance costs. Moreover, to conceal his scheme, and despite repeated requests to AVENATTI, as Victim-1’s lawyer, for assistance in obtaining the book payment that Victim-1 believed was missing, AVENATTI led Victim-1 to believe that Victim-1’s publisher was refusing to make the payment to the literary agent, when, as AVENATTI knew, the publisher had made the payment to the literary agent, who had then sent the money to AVENATTI pursuant to AVENATTI’s fraudulent instructions.
Here are my principal conclusions: 1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report. 2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. 3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances. 4. Few members of Congress have read the report.
You can read the whole thread here. In the meantime:
Rep. Justin Amash, a critic of President Trump who entertained a run against him in 2020, became the first Republican congressman to say the president “engaged in impeachable conduct.”
The Michigan lawmaker, often the lone Trump dissenter on his side of the aisle, shared his conclusions in a lengthy Twitter thread after reviewing the full special counsel report.
Amash wrote that after reading the 448-page report, he’d concluded that not only did Robert S. Mueller’s team show Trump attempting to obstruct justice, but that Attorney General William Barr had “deliberately misrepresented” the findings and that few members of Congress had even read it. “Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash wrote.
The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The president often says the report found “no collusion, no obstruction,” though neither is true. Mueller did not establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, which did interfere in the 2016 election. He did not rule on the obstruction of justice question, saying it was something Congress should determine.
Amash, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, declined on Sunday to rule out a possible 2020 presidential run as a Libertarian candidate.
"Well, I would never rule anything out. That's not on my radar right now," he said of a 2020 bid to Tapper. "But I think that it is important that we have someone in there who is presenting a vision for America that is different from what these two parties are presenting."
Amash told Tapper he believes there is a "wild amount of partisan rhetoric on both sides" and that "Congress is totally broken."
"I think that we need to return to basic American principles, talk about what we have in common as a people -- because I believe we have a lot in common as Americans -- and try to move forward together, rather than fighting each other all the time," Amash said.
Question remains, is Justin Amash going to join any Democrat effort to curtail the president, or is he using this as prelude to something else -- such as his own run for the White House? Drama.
Elizabeth Warren Is Rooting for Daenerys Targaryen in ‘Game of Thrones’
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is a Game of Thrones fan, and her favorite character is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Daenerys “Stormborn” Targaryen, who Warren says, “has been my favorite from the first moment she walked through fire.” We learned this in a column Warren wrote for The Cut published Sunday evening.
In the piece, Warren outlines her reasons for her fandom. Daenerys is fair, she fights for the people, and she wants to end slavery. But in talking about Daenerys, Warren can also, subtly, talk about herself. Like the paragraph below, in which she describes the Dragon Queen—or is she describing herself?
“This is a revolutionary idea, in Westeros or anywhere else. A queen who declares that she doesn’t serve the interests of the rich and powerful? A ruler who doesn’t want to control the political system but to break the system as it is known? It’s no wonder that the people she meets in Westeros are skeptical. Skeptical, because they’ve seen another kind of woman on the Iron Throne: the villain we love to hate, Queen Cersei of Casterly Rock.”
(Featured image: Samwell Tarly looks skeptically at Jon Snow. Screenshot from Game of Thrones.)
After a very long courtship, Joe Biden has decided to commit. For the third time, the former senator and VP will run for president.
The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy...everything that has made America -- America --is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020https://t.co/jzaQbyTEz3
This will be Biden's third run for president. His first try came in 1988, ending amid plagiarism revelations. In 2008, Biden failed to gain any traction in the primary, but Obama did choose him as a running mate, bringing international experience from his time leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, something the junior senator from Illinois lacked. Their unlikely pairing ended up building a famous friendship, and the two enjoyed a good rapport and working relationship while in the White House and after, referring to each other as a "brother."
Biden's four-decade tenure in the Senate will also come under a microscope. The Washington Post recently examined his opposition to busing in 1975 as schools were struggling to desegregate and found that he suggested that the government's role in integration should be limited.
He has pushed for legislation to lengthen criminal drug sentences, which overwhelmingly affected minorities and have been revisited lately in new criminal justice reform efforts.
Biden's handling of confirmation hearings in 1991 for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has also come under new scrutiny in the wake of last year's controversial confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault. Thomas was accused by Anita Hill of sexual harassment, and Biden's handling of the process as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman has been criticized because of unanswered attacks against Hill and the fact that witnesses were not called who might have supported her story.
All those concerns amid questions about his conduct toward women — and that Biden would be almost 78 on Election Day 2020 and is a white male in a party with younger, more diverse and more progressive presidential candidates — are challenges for Biden's candidacy, even if many early polls show he is atop the field in large measure because he is so well-known.