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Trump Adviser to Bail Out Weinstein's Company

Colony Capital, owned by Trump adviser Thomas J. Barrack Jr., has agreed to bail out Harvey Weinstein's company, providing an immediate cash infusion and then buying most if not all of the assets.

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Donna Karan's Unfortunate Comments on Weinstein

Here is the video of the Sunday night red carpet interview of Donna Karan about Harvey Weinstein. Karan says her remarks about Weinstein and women's accountability for how they present themselves were taken out of context.

Twitter is filled with tweets by outraged women saying they will throw out their DKNY and Donna Karan clothes and boycott the brands. And while she may have well just killed the brands with her Weinstein comments, she no longer owns them. She sold them to LVMH in 2001 (yes, that long ago) and stepped down as a designer for the companies in 2015. (Here's a 2015 interview with Karan on why she sold them.) Nor are DKNY or Donna Karan International still owned by LVMH Fashion Group.

In 2016, LVMH sold them to G-III Apparel Group. What is G-III? The American licensing and manufacturing company that holds the license to Ivanka Trump's clothing line. Boycott away. [More...]

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Thursday News and Open Thread

The New York Times has released an extensive report with sexual harassment allegations against media honcho Harvey Weinstein. He has taken a temporary leave.

The New Yorker reports that Donald Jr. and Ivanka were facing a possible Indictment in New York.

ISIS is still claiming responsibility for Las Vegas. No one is listening to them.

I've been reading everything on the Las Vegas shooter, his girlfriend and her family here, in Australia and in the Philippines, ISIS claims about it, and even the Manila casino massacre in June, one of ISIS' few false claims.

There's obviously something missing, nothing adds up, and once I have a theory that makes sense, I'll write about it. One interview I don't see mentioned much is this one in the Guardian by the former partner of Marilou's sister, who spent time in Nevada with the couple. He describes Paddock's views on guns and his algorithms for gambling.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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RIP Tom Petty

September 21, 2017(11 days ago) at the Hollywood Bowl:

Update: 10:20 pm MT: After a day of contradictory reports, Tom Petty's manager confirmed a few minutes ago that he has passed away.

Original Post

I can't believe it. Tom Petty has died after a sudden cardiac arrest.

RIP Tom, and thank you for the decades of fabulous music. You will be missed. [More...]

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"Made in America": Barry Seal is No Biopic

I've been looking forward to the reviews of "Made in America" which opens Friday, starring Tom Cruise as real life cartel pilot Barry Seal. Most reviews says it's fun, typical Cruise, light-hearted and bears little resemblance to the real life events surrounding Seal. The director says they didn't want to do a biopic.

In real life: Barry Seal was gunned down in a parking lot outside the Salvation Army half-way house in Louisiana he'd been ordered to stay at during his probation in a federal case, when a car drove up with two men and shot and killed him. The U.S. insists it was a cartel hit. Others say it was ordered by the CIA. The truth will probably never be known.

The director of the movie is the son of the lawyer who was chief counsel for the Senate in the Iran Contra investigation. In an interview, the director acknowledges that He says he ordered the screenwriter to change a part of the script about Seal, drugs and the CIA, because his father maintained there was no such connection. connection.

There were things in the original script that contradicted my father's work. ... The screenwriter had in the original script some allegations about the CIA's actions that I checked with my father's deputies, and they said my father had actually looked into those allegations and they weren't true. They weren't in my father's reporting anywhere because my father actually found them to be so unsubstantiated that he didn't even want to bring them up to disavow them and give them that kind of credibility. ...I said we have to take it out of the script.

And the screenwriter was arguing back, and I was like, 'This is almost Shakespearean! You're asking me to put something in a movie that goes against my dead father's work.' You're never going to win that fight!

I wonder what the movie would have been like if Ron Howard hadn't bailed. He had initially signed on to the project when it was called "Mena", after the town in Arkansas where Seal flew a lot of drugs.

Here is the story of Barry Seal, according to a Louisiana state appeals court, in a 1991 opinion upholding the murder convictions of three men tried for killing him. [More...]

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Jury Finds Former DJ Mueller Assaulted Taylor Swift

Update: It's a home run for Taylor Swift. The Jury found former DJ David Mueller intentionally assaulted Swift and that her mother and music director did not interfere with his contract. He was ordered to pay Swift $1.00. Swift's statement:
"I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration, my attorneys Doug Baldridge, Danielle Foley, Jay Schaudies and Katie Wright for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year long trial process," Swift said in a statement.

"I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."

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Taylor Swift Victorious in Groping Trial, Her Mom and Bell Not Yet

Bump and Update: Taylor Swift emerged victorious yesterday when the Judge in her trial issued his order on the Rule 50 motion described below.

I received this email from Clerk of Court who sent it to everyone on the approved media list:

When the case goes to the jury on Monday; it will go forward on the tortious interference with contract claims against defendants Andrea Swift and Frank Bell; any damages for the plaintiff will be limited to plaintiff's 2-year employment contract; and the defendant's counterclaims will go forward. In other words, none of the claims against defendant, Taylor Swift, survived the defendant's Rule 50 motion.
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Taylor Swift "Groping Trial" Underway

Is this photo "damning proof" fired Denver DJ David Mueller groped Taylor Swift, or does it capture an awkward point when David Mueller scrambled to get into a photo with Taylor Swift and his girlfriend at the last minute?

That question will occupy 9 days of federal court time in Denver this month. Jury selection began yesterday, was completed today, and lawyers made their opening arguments to the 8 jurors selected. Who made the jury? [More...]

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Media Coverage of Republican Health Care Fail

Most mistakes in one article I've seen yet on the health care vote: NBC News. I suspect it will be gone by morning, so I printed and uploaded it. How did they even release it? It seems like it was written before the vote by someone who was convinced the Republicans would succeed:

Senate Republicans narrowly passed their pared-down amendment of an Obamacare repeal bill at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning, less than three hours after the text of the legislation was released.

Update: I was right. NBC has already replaced the article with this version by the same reporter.

Some better coverage with interesting details:

Reuters on McCain's apparently last minute decision to vote against the bill: [More...]

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As the Worms Squirm: People Mag. Turns on Trump

[Note: Turn off your computer speakers before reading further, there's auto-play video on the links below-- no avoiding them.)

Is the media turning on Donald Trump and his family ? Check out the new issue of People Magazine. The cover is a photo of Donald Trump, Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Jared. (No Eric or Tiffany or Melania.) The Cover reads, "The Trump Family Secrets and Lies." It adds:

Donald Trump taught his children to fight dirty and win, no matter the cost. How the ruthless family culture has shaped Don Jr., his siblings, and the Presidency

The headline to one article on Donald, Jr., reads, "‘Stay Away from Donnie Trump’: Inside Don Jr.’s Drinking, Womanizing and Frat Guy Antics'". It cites and links to a 2004 New York Magazine article in which the author interviewed Trump, Jr. and his college classmates.

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Eagles Reunion Concert

Speaking of music, a reconstituted Eagles performed this weekend in Los Angeles at the Dodgers Stadium. Joining remaining members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt, were Deacon Frey (son of Glenn Frey, photo above) and Vince Gill. Also appearing as a special guest for a song was Bob Seger.

Forbes has a good recap of the concert but I'm not linking due to flashing ads and auto play video --Forbes is one of the worst offenders. [More....]

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Media Rakes Don Jr. Over the Coals

This is Time Magazine's cover this week featuring Donald Trump, Jr. Check out the larger version and the white writing on it.

Here's a funny article from the UK Independent comparing him to "Fredo" Corleone.

Shepard Smith has long been one of the few news anchors/talk show hosts I enjoy watching (and listening to in the car.) This rant against the Trump Camp for its "lies after lies" and his take on Donald Trump, Jr.'s evolving explanations of the Russian meeting is making the rounds. It's one of his best. Media Matters has the transcript.
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Chris Christie at the Beach, Trump Playing Tennis

Chris Christie had a state beach all to himself this weekend. The New Jersey state legislature failed to agree on a budget, causing a government shutdown on Friday. But that didn't stop Christie and relatives from going to the beach, which was closed. A photographer from the New Jersey Ledger snapped the pix.

Christie is beyond tone-deaf.

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Ariana Returns to Manchester

Manchester was packed with people for the One Love Manchester concert this afternoon.

Ariana Grande & Friends: One Love Manchester show today is set to feature Justin Bieber, the Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Katy Perry, Take That, Usher, Robbie Williams and Pharrell Williams.

Some screengrabs below: [More...]

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CNN and Others Cancel Kathy Griffin Contracts

CNN, Unicorn Gold bathroom products and Squatty Potty toilet stools have cancelled their contracts with Kathy Griffin over her Trump photo.

Squatty Potty said:

We have acted swiftly and decisively to demonstrate our commitment to a culture of decency, civility, and tolerance."

It was a disgusting photo. I can't even begin to fathom what was going through her head. Ted Nugent's comment doesn't even compare.

The photos are too close to ISIS' horrific beheadings -- how will the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff feel?

Griffin has issued what appears to be a sincere apology. [More...]

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