‘Joe Biden and Elaine Chao have to report when someone sends them a $500 campaign donation, or when they make a $5,000 investment in a stock. But when their family members strike lucrative deals with a foreign government or oligarch, the reporting requirements are vague… [L]awmakers set the system up this way for a reason; they will not stop the foreign cash influence game voluntarily. That’s why we need a Washington Corrupt Practices Act, one that clearly shuts down foreign influence and self-enrichment for some of America’s most powerful families on both sides of the aisle.’

Many good things may come out of our current political mess. This is one of them.

Checking in on America’s Highest Profile Anile-Hysterics

Trump, Giuliani, and Dershowitz, our purple-faced mountain majesties… Let’s first check in on Dersh, chatting not long ago with a reporter.

Alan Dershowitz won’t hang up the phone. He’s breathing heavily into the receiver. It’s August 10, the morning Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell. At first Dershowitz wants to go off the record, and I agree. He doesn’t say anything interesting, just the same protestations that he’s made on Twitter and television for years. But when I start asking questions, he begins to berate me. “We’re on the record now,” I tell him. “You don’t get to insult me off the record.” 

So he begins breathing into the phone. He will not hang up. He does not know what to say. 

“If you don’t want to talk, you can hang up,” I say. “But I am not going off the record if you are just going to call me ‘fifth rate.’”

Silence. Breathing. “I won’t have it written that I hung up on a reporter!” He’s shouting. We do this a couple more times. I take notes. He’s livid that I won’t go off the record. He threatens to sue me. Tells me I am a nobody... Dershowitz later [again] threatens to sue me …

********************

Giuliani… Oh, just read this. UD‘s favorite mention is Soros. Soros is behind it all. He is always behind it all.

********************

Purplest of them all? George Soros in league with the Queen of England made him turn over his tax returns.

Yes, he’ll appeal. But we’re getting there.

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One more thing. Because he’s handling so many incoming… challenges, Trubu is behind on his personal insults. In particular, he has not yet caught up to Susan Collins. A week after she said something not nice, he is still working on his obscene alliteration for her. Scathing Online Schoolmarm proposes Cunty Collins.

‘I kinda worry that Trump’s people will try to make use of Rudy’s loathsomeness and try to blame him for everything.’

Don’t worry. No one in the country can pick him out of the crowd.

The Runaway “Bride” Meme

Everyone calls the Isettes “brides” – jihadi brides, ISIS brides, I.S. brides… Sheer sexism, mes petites; a way of cutesying them and why? Everyone knows it’s Always a terrorist; never a bride; everyone gets that it’s like the first page of DeLillo’s cult classic (if you will) Mao II, which describes a mass Moonie wedding in Yankee Stadium: “grouped in twos, eternal boy-girl.”

Anonymous commandeered fuck-couplings (‘Ms Begum said her only role in the caliphate was to “make babies”) don’t really strike UD as very bridey…

Maybe you’re different. Maybe when you think of a filthy tenth century setting in which brainless degenerates deposit sperm after getting themselves sexually excited by watching beheadings you picture a dewy girl in a gown, catching her breath before saying I do… Ms Begum spent her nights fucking men she was directed to fuck and her sweltering days swaddled in black – you can call this way of life many things, but the adjective “bridal” doesn’t pop to mind.

You know why everyone cutesies them. Despite everything, people only want to think of men as criminals. If Marsha Edwards had been Mark Edwards, would he have shared a funeral with the children he shot to death, a pretty photo of him up on stage next to pretty photos of the people he killed?

Marsha gets to be not a murderer. She gets to be Mom.

As the debate over repatriating some of the most dangerous people in the world proceeds, UD hopes that the press will gradually phase out the whole bride thing.

Sarah Chayes reminds us of the Larry Summers presidency of Harvard, featuring people like Andrei Shleifer.

(Also featuring Jeffrey Epstein, but that’s for a different post.)

[Before Hunter Biden’s legal but unethical activity in Ukraine,] there was already a template… for how insiders in a gas-rich kleptocracy could exploit … a [government] crisis using Western “advisers” to facilitate and legitimize their plunder—and how those Westerners could profit handsomely from it. A dozen-plus years earlier, amid the collapse of the U.S.S.R. of which Ukraine was a part, a clutch of oligarchs rifled the crown jewels of a vast nation. We know some of their names, in some cases because of the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office: Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Leonard Blavatnik. That heist also was assisted by U.S. consultants, many of whom had posts at Harvard and at least one of whom was a protégé of future Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

Yes, she’s talking about Professor Andrei Shleifer, whose greed cost Harvard millions, but all is forgiven.

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UD wants very badly to see the end of Trump.

Yet she also thanks Chayes for focusing on a particularly disgusting practice.

Scratch into the bios of many former U.S. officials who were in charge of foreign or security policy in administrations of either party, and you will find “consulting” firms and hedge-fund gigs monetizing their names and connections.

A la recherche du temps…

Purdue.

‘Giuliani divorce heading to trial after he accuses third wife Judith of stealing his remote controls while she bemoans her $500k-a-year allowance.’

There’s a lot to love on both sides of this one.

The Storied Esformes Family Adds Another Chapter to its Amazing History.

Three generations of them grace this land of ours – the grandfather, who established a dirty chain of nursing homes in Chicago; the son, who committed the biggest Medicare fraud in American history; and the grandson, whose admission to U Penn came about because of Esformes money paid to its basketball coach (now convicted of bribery). Read all about it.

Having spent every waking moment of his entire life breaking almost every known law, the son’s contrition in front of the judge today lacked a certain…

The son got twenty years, and might have gotten fewer if he’d been willing to say to the judge, in that contrition thing, exactly what he’d done …

At a critical juncture before he imposed Esformes’ punishment, the judge seemed willing to lower his final sentence by four years if the defendant agreed to elaborate on his “acceptance of responsibility” in his original statement to Scola. The judge said he would only acknowledge Esformes’ acceptance if he specifically admitted he paid bribes and committed other crimes. But … Esformes’ legal team chose not to go that route because it would have precluded their appeal of his trial convictions.

That’s it, babe. An Esformes to the bitter end. Might fuck up his appeal.

“Virtually all women [in ISIS detention camps] wear the niqab, the full-length black veil demanded by ISIS’s rigid interpretation of Islam…”

Is the niqab/burqa, as this New York Times reporter writes, the sort of thing you will wear (and make your female children wear: “A small girl of perhaps 7 or 8 was sitting atop a pile of humanitarian food aid boxes, clad in the black abaya and jilbab of a grown woman, but in miniature…” ) if you are a rigid, strict, fundamentalist, literalist Muslim? Actually, Mehdi Hasan makes a compelling argument that ISIS isn’t Islamic at all, but rather a cultic perversion of the faith. Plenty of others have observed that ISIS people tend to know shit about Islam and present instead as nihilists who like violence. ‘“I’m struggling to reconcile the two things, wanting to look at them as displaced people and human,” said Dareen Khalifa, an International Crisis Group analyst who has visited [a women’s detention] camp; but some of the women are “very ideological, and the atmosphere is very ripe for all sorts of indoctrination…”‘ It’s maybe the best thing about us, qua humans, that we struggle like hell to see fanatics, who unapologetically enslave, rape, and behead, as fellow humans, as sufferers, as (trying our very hardest here) confused and fragile victims…

UD remembers, thirty years ago, sweeping her eyes over images of bloated bodies on a hill in Guyana and feeling (along with a sense of witnessing inassimilable grotesquerie) almost unbearable pity for the suicidal stupidity of the Jonestown fanatics.

But ISIS is homicidal, mass homicidal, which makes the business of pitying (looking at them as displaced people and human) very much more difficult. Even those who haven’t literally killed, let’s say, but only enslaved… It’s like – well, here’s another memory. UD remembers trying hard to feel something human toward Hedda Nussbaum, who watched two children being tortured (one to death) by her partner and did nothing, and who at his trial claimed to have been afraid and herself brutalized, etc. Highly educated, an editor at Random House, a successful Manhattanite, Nussbaum asked us to believe this…

UD finds more worthwhile, in these and associated matters, to pose Ron Padgett’s question: What makes us so mean? Padgett writes a long, amusing poem, inconclusively pondering this. But having read lots of interviews with/memoirs by ISIS and other degenerates, UD is at least willing to conclude this: Sadism – watching it, taking part in it, even being the object of it – is for many people terribly, terribly, exciting.

“We’ll always have India.”

[W]hat began as a populist movement to bring inexpensive, Indian-made morphine to the ill has given rise to a pain management industry that promises countless new customers to American pharmaceutical companies facing a government crackdown and mounting lawsuits back home.

Harvard University’s Highest-Profile Professor Emeritus…

… is already notorious for his … unsavory legal and writing career… and, most recently, for his full-throated defense of female genital mutilation. He spends much of his distinguished-retirement time denying having taken part in an underage sex slave ring — indeed denying having had sex with one or more of said underage sex slaves. And here’s an updated snapshot from a life well-lived:

In 2015, the ABC News team of Amy Robach and Jim Hill secured an interview with [alleged sex slave Virginia] Giuffre. In a sequence of events confirmed by the network, producers paid for Giuffre and her family to fly from Colorado, where they lived, to New York City and put them up at the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South. Robach and her news crew interviewed Giuffre on tape for more than an hour about Epstein and his entourage.

“At the time, in 2015, Epstein was walking around a free man, comparing his criminal behavior to stealing a bagel,” Giuffre writes in an email to NPR. “I really wanted a spotlight shone on him and the others who acted with him and enabled his vile and shameless conduct against young girls and young women.”

“I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer,” she writes. “Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.

The story never aired. And Giuffre has said she was never directly told why.

ABC News would not detail its editorial choices.

One ABC News staffer with knowledge of events says the network received a call from one of Epstein’s top lawyers: Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz. And Giuffre and her lawyers placed great significance on that call.

Dershowitz had been part of the powerhouse legal team that earlier kept Epstein from facing serious federal charges in Florida, which also included former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and renowned Miami defense attorney Roy Black.

Dershowitz tells NPR he intervened after learning ABC was on the brink of broadcasting its interview with Giuffre. He says he believes he spoke with two producers and a lawyer within the same 24-hour period.

“I did not want to see [Giuffre’s] credibility enhanced by ABC,” Dershowitz says.

In a December 2014 court filing in another accuser’s lawsuit, Giuffre had alleged Dershowitz was among the prominent men Epstein had instructed her to have sex with when she was a teenager. In early 2015, Dershowitz had rejected her account out of hand in his own court filings. (The nature of his denials were such that Giuffre sued Dershowitz for defamation earlier this year. Dershowitz has asked the court to dismiss that lawsuit.)

I think we can all understand Dershowitz’s frantic desire to shut Giuffre up. He continues to try intimidation and lawsuits and all and he’s obviously had some success. Wonder for how much longer.

*****************

UPDATE: Mulling over Alan Dershowitz’s life, UD thinks he can continue to make a contribution to Harvard University by appearing… not as a guest lecturer, but as … a kind of exemplar… in Michael Sandel’s famous discussion of Kantian ethics. Students may gaze upon and ask questions of a human being who has, apparently all his life and quite consistently, used people as means rather than ends. If reports are to be believed, he has done this in a myriad of ways for sixty years to achieve the classic payoffs: money, sex, power.

Could Sandel coax him to speak honestly? I think yes. After all, he will die pretty soon (he’s eighty) and he’s basically gotten away with it, so you have to figure he’s proud. It can be done – a life of cruel self-seeking – and this is the moment, if there’s going to be a moment, when he takes a public victory lap.

‘Forget Alan Dershowitz, who has made a long career of defending likely guilty men accused of horrific crimes against women and who now seems so out of touch with reality, he doesn’t see how absurd he looks talking about his “perfect, perfect sex life.”’

It’s tempting to forget him. But a man who successfully defends female genital mutilators, and who calls critics of circumcision Nazis is just asking for it. Here’s hoping he gets it, via his beloved friend Jeffrey Epstein.

At this point, one can only feel for his family.

Why haven’t the Dershowitzes staged an intervention?

**********

At the very least, Dershowitz should “get his ass into the neurologist’s office STAT.”

Epstein Denied Bail.

Coulda knocked me over with an elderly Russian masseuse named Olga.

La Louche Continue

Michelle Goldberg calls it “plutocratic rot,” yet another instance (didn’t we just finish washing the taste of Paul Manafort out of our mouths?) of “a deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties, and the way the very rich can often purchase impunity for even the most loathsome of crimes.” (Cue The Great Gatsby.) Speaking of which, we “can expect the feds to add child-pornography charges” to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking indictment. Great.

As longtime readers know, UD‘s go-to international source of truly madly deeply necrotically fulminating all-male plutocratic putrescence is FIFA, world’s most gangrenous gang; but there’s so much more (can you imagine what underage orgies are like in female-slave-state Saudi Arabia)? “Epstein successfully wielded his nearly incomprehensible money and power to influence the decision at the highest levels,” and the Saudis and the soccer boys are similarly financially incomprehensible.

So now all the bad boys go crying to the wings, Acosta, Dershowitz, Mountbatten-Windsor, Clinton (the title of Christopher Hitchens’ book about Clinton – No One Left to Lie To – turns out to have been premature. Plenty more people to lie to!), etc., etc.

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Keep your mind in hell and do not despair, says St. Silouan, and these are fuckin wise words, okay? OKAY????

… b – b – b – but… how do we live them, UD?

Oh, stop blubbering. It’s different for everyone. I can tell you what works for me, but it might not work for you.

Fifty minutes of brisk aqua jogging per day, immediately followed by v. hot whirlpool and then sauna; obsessively listening to Pavarotti singing A Te, O Cara; careful perusal of The Onion; daily readings from the Gospel of Cioran.

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