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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,805

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L.A. Mansion with a TV Wall, a Car Showroom and a Half Basketball Court Sells for $44 Million

Jeffrey Feinberg, a hedge-fund executive and a longtime basketball fan, has purchased a roughly $44 million newly built Los Angeles estate packed with sports-oriented amenities, according to the home’s developer, Ramtin Ray Nosrati.

Located in Brentwood, the sprawling contemporary property sits on over 1.2 acres and was completed in the spring. It has a string of sports features including a basketball half-court, a “fun den” with a television wall for watching games, a gym, a sports-simulator room, indoor and outdoor pools, a three-hole putting green and a spa, according to the listing.

Featured throughout the home are pictures of basketball stars like LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant, listing pictures show. The name “Kobe” and “24,” Mr. Bryant’s jersey number, are imprinted on the basketball court’s floor. Before the sale, Mr. Nosrati hosted a party at the property with guests like Magic Johnson.

...

The house originally came with a feature that Mr. Nosrati, the developer, is particularly known for: cannabis. In this case, the property had a rooftop garden with several cannabis plants. Mr. Feinberg said, and the developer confirmed, that he had sent an email to Mr. Nosrati prior to closing stipulating that the cannabis plants be replaced with carrots and cucumbers before the deal was finalized.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/l-a-mansion-with-a-tv-wall-a-car-showroom-and-a-pot-garden-sells-for-45-million-11622827894

I've never tried smoking a carrot or a cucumber before.

After democracy dies

Maybe we’ll be haunted by the fact that we had a chance to save it — and did not.

So what will you do after democracy dies?

Who will we be after democracy dies?

After democracy dies, will we remember the country we had? Will we remember all that we lost? How will we explain what we allowed to happen?

Will we be ashamed after democracy dies?

https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2021/06/06/after-democracy-dies-column/

USA Today resists FBI subpoena seeking data of those who read story about agents' killing

Source: Washington Post

The FBI earlier this year tried to obtain records associated with people who accessed an article on USA Today’s website about the killing of two FBI agents as they tried to search a Florida apartment — sparking a legal fight and once again fueling concerns that federal law enforcement is not following its own guidelines when seeking news outlets’ data.

The bureau’s request to Gannett, which owns USA Today, came in late April but spilled into public view only recently after the company resisted it in court.

FBI agents sent the company a subpoena asking for records, including IP addresses and mobile identification information, of those who accessed a Feb. 2 article about the shooting during a 35-minute window that same day.

The subpoena said the demand related to a criminal investigation and asked USA Today not to disclose its existence “indefinitely.” It was unclear, though, precisely what the FBI was investigating or how electronic records pointing to those who accessed the story might advance that inquiry. The subpoena, which did not seem to seek readers’ names, was previously reported by Politico.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/usa-today-fbi-subpoena/2021/06/04/4741213a-c550-11eb-8c18-fd53a628b992_story.html



Seems like a pretty fucking audacious subpoena request to me.

Congress Takes Field Trip To Goldman Sachs To Learn How Laws Get Made



NEW YORK—Listening enraptured as the most powerful people in the world discussed their process, the United States Congress took a field trip to Goldman Sachs headquarters Thursday to learn about how laws get made.

“I’ve always wondered how the government decides who is allowed to do what, so it’s really cool to hear how the people in charge make those decisions,” said Illinois representative Cheri Bustos, who stood in line with fellow members of Congress as they received a guided tour of the hallowed Goldman Sachs board room.

“I thought it would be boring, but all the stuff about weighing the impact on their bottom line versus the effects of potentially hurting their government tax handouts was really interesting. Plus, the building is so beautiful and modern. It makes me think that I should try and be an investment banker so I can help make these decisions one day.”

At press time, the members of the field trip were treated to complimentary gift bags that included watches, vouchers for first-class flights, and $100,000 campaign donations.

https://www.theonion.com/congress-takes-field-trip-to-goldman-sachs-to-learn-how-1846994562

GOP Worried Blind Worship Of Trump Overriding Traditional Values Like Blind Worship Of Reagan

WASHINGTON—Unsettled by the direction in which their party appeared to be headed, a small group of Republicans expressed concern Monday that blind worship of former President Donald Trump had begun to erode more traditional GOP values, such as the blind worship of former President Ronald Reagan.

“It’s deeply troubling to me that the Republican Party has devolved into little more than a cult of personality fixated on someone other than Ronald Reagan,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who observed that the lionization of a man who over the past four years made life worse for millions of Americans was a dangerous distraction from the lionization of a man who did the same thing but in the 1980s.

“It’s disconcerting, with Trump, to see a charismatic entertainer hailed as the ultimate Republican despite a very troubling legacy. That’s supposed to be Reagan’s role. When it comes to the unquestioning acceptance of a man who demonized minorities and made rich people richer at the expense of working families, we must always direct our abject fealty toward the 40th president, not the 45th.”

Later in the day, after meeting with GOP congressional leaders and receiving numerous calls from top donors, Kinzinger acknowledged Trump was indeed one of the greatest leaders our country had ever had.

https://www.theonion.com/republicans-worried-blind-worship-of-trump-overriding-t-1846957120

Rep. Matt Gaetz Snorted Cocaine With Escort Who Had 'No Show' Gov't Job

Source: Daily Beast

When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses.

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

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

On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/rep-matt-gaetz-snorted-cocaine-with-megan-zalonka-escort-who-had-no-show-govt-job

Hog With Paintbrush Commissioned For Trump Presidential Portrait



https://politics.theonion.com/hog-with-paintbrush-commissioned-for-trump-presidential-1846287517

Republican Acquittal of Trump Is a Defining Moment for Party

Even off-line and off camera at his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, and offering only a feeble impeachment defense through his legal team in Washington, Donald J. Trump remains a dominant force in right-wing politics.

During the first trial of Donald J. Trump, some 13 months ago, the former president commanded near-total fealty from his party. His conservative defenders were ardent and numerous, and Republican votes to convict him — for pressuring Ukraine to help him smear Joseph R. Biden Jr. — were virtually nonexistent.

In his second trial, Mr. Trump, no longer president, received less ferocious Republican support. His apologists were sparser in number and seemed to lack in enthusiasm. Far fewer conservatives defended the substance of his actions, instead dwelling on technical complaints while skirting the issue of his guilt on the charge of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

And this time, seven Republican senators voted with 50 Democrats to convict Mr. Trump — the most bipartisan repudiation ever delivered in an impeachment process.

Yet the great majority of Republicans refused to find Mr. Trump guilty on Saturday, leaving the chamber well short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict him.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/13/us/politics/trump-impeachment-republicans.html

Lindsey Graham Hisses Directions At Attorneys Messing Up Speech They Spent Hours Rehearsing



WASHINGTON—Appearing to lose patience as the defense presented its arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was repeatedly overheard hissing directions at lawyers as they messed up the speeches he spent hours rehearsing with them the night before.

“Come on now, big smile, project your voice like we practiced—no, no, no, what are you doing?” Graham said through his teeth as David Schoen, Michael T. van der Veen, and other members of Trump’s legal team continued to botch the written defense he had coached them through late last night and into the early morning.

“The timing, the tone, the gestures we worked on? Did you assholes remember none of it? It’s ‘The former president’s rhetoric is protected under the First Amendment,’ and then you do the long, pregnant pause for dramatic effect. Now sell it, you fucking halfwits!”

Sources reported that as defense arguments concluded, a visibly tense Graham jumped up from his chair, applauded wildly, and stared daggers into his Republican colleagues until they, too, stood and joined his ovation.

https://politics.theonion.com/lindsey-graham-hisses-directions-at-attorneys-messing-u-1846259768

Trump's Stupid Defense Is Another Attack--This Time on America's Intelligence

Every argument Trump’s lawyers mounted was ludicrous, and any honest person knows it. Unfortunately, it’s Republican senators who’ll be doing the deciding.

Lacking any compelling defense of Donald Trump, his lawyers engaged in all sorts of trickery and misdirection and whataboutism on Friday. It’s hard to blame them. They were dealt a bad hand. Trump is obviously guilty. So instead of pounding the facts or pounding the law, they—as the old legal maxim goes—pounded the table.

It started when Trump attorney David Schoen made a somewhat startling accusation: “We have reason to believe the House managers manipulated evidence and selectively edited footage,” he asserted. One such example cited was from Rep. Eric Swalwell’s presentation where he referenced a tweet from a Trump supporter named Jennifer Lynn Lawrence. On Wednesday, Swalwell presented her comments as if she were saying that she was bringing the cavalry. In actuality, though, Lawrence tweeted that she was “bringing the Calvary.”

The obvious conclusion from Swalwell (and everybody, really) was that Lawrence simply doesn’t know the difference between “cavalry” and “Calvary,” but, in a blog post, Lawrence called out Swalwell, arguing that she actually meant “Bringing the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (AKA the salvation of everyone) back to Washington DC…” This line of argumentation was picked up by the defense on Friday: “The tweeter promised to bring the ‘Calvary,’” Schoen said. “A public display of Christ’s crucifixion, a central symbol of her Christian faith with her. A symbol of faith, love, and peace.”

Based on the context, it appears more likely that Lawrence simply used the wrong word. Regardless, the fact that Trump's defense began by making an issue out of this sideshow, instead of, you know, proving that he did not incite an insurrection, tells you all you need to know about the amount of evidence at the defense’s disposal.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-stupid-defense-is-another-attackthis-time-on-americas-intelligence
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