It’s surely the dream of every red-blooded American kid to grow up and be sued by a porn star.
Remember a million years ago, when right-wing moralists assailed President Barack Obama for diminishing the dignity of the office by putting a foot against his desk and wearing a tan suit? Good times, good times.
We can’t begin to imagine what they would’ve said if Obama had been sued by a sex worker who got paid off to keep her lips zipped on the eve of his election. We can’t begin to imagine … oh what the heck, let’s just quote from the lawsuit filed recently against President Donald Trump:
“Mr. Trump, with the assistance of his attorney, Mr. Cohen, aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the presidential election.”
Thank you, Stormy Daniels! For awhile, I had reluctantly decided to write about chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, who quit his job while Trump was bragging about how everyone wants to work for him. But in the end, Stormy rode to the rescue. Because I know you’d rather read about a sex cover-up than a policy tiff about tariffs.
Nothing reveals Trump’s unparalleled sleaze more than the ever-burgeoning Stormy story. She wants a court to void the Oct. 28, 2016, hush agreement — the one where Trump is listed by an alias, “David Dennison” — because even though she signed it, and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen signed it, Trump himself did not sign it. The signature line above the notification “DD” was left blank.
In other words, Trump is such a loser than he can’t even follow through on muzzling an extramarital mistress.
The other fun fact, of course, is that Cohen paid off Stormy before the election with $130,000 of his own money, and has since reportedly complained to friends that Trump never bothered to reimburse him. Which means that hotel contractors aren’t the only people Trump stiffs.
What’s not fun, however, is the very real possibility that the cover-up maneuver may well have violated federal election law. That’s hardly shocking, given the fact that Team Trump is infested with confessed and credibly accused criminals (thank you, Robert Mueller).
The date of the hush agreement (11 days before the election) and the subsequent payoff to Stormy suggest that Cohen made an “in kind” campaign contribution in an amount that far exceeds what’s legally permitted. A campaign contribution is defined as “anything of value given, loaned or advanced to influence a federal election.” Plus, Cohen’s cover-up donation was made through a Delaware-based LLC set up for that express purpose.The law says that an individual can donate no more than $5,400, and it must be funneled through a political action committee, where it’s publicly recorded. Plus, an “in kind” contribution is defined in law as “an expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or consult with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign.”
So, the obvious question: Did Trump — excuse me, “David Dennison” — know about the hush agreement? Who among us actually believes he didn’t know what his own loyal lawyer was doing?
But the Trump slag heap is so high that it’s hard to focus on even the stinkiest refuse. A few congressmen have asked the FBI to investigate whether the Stormy payoff broke federal law, but the FBI appears to have its hands full trying to assist Mueller while fending off Trump’s relentless attacks on law enforcement’s independence.
Oh, how we pine for the days when Obama’s tan suit was deemed the height of disrespect for the presidency. Because one tiny provision in Stormy’s hush agreement caught my eye. It’s the subsection where she was compelled to “completely divest herself” of all communications accrued during her months-long affair with Trump, including any and all “still images.”
No, Stormy, no. Please spare us.
Gallery: Inside Melania Trump’s Extreme Forced Plastic Surgery
Melania Trump has opted for some major cosmetic procedures to stay looking young for the President (especially because Donald Trump reportedly had a scalp reduction to correct balding, and maintains his complexion with heavy-handed spray tans).
There have been so many, despite denials, that it’s often questioned whether FLOTUS is actually Melania Trump, or perhaps a new model that Trump had imported. However, most insiders have claimed that Melania was forced to have these extreme treatments, so much that she looks nothing like the original.
Trump Blames Dead McCain for Healthcare Failures
In a Thursday interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Trump attacked late Senator John McCain (R-AZ). He said McCain “did the nation a tremendous disservice” when he voted against a GOP bill that would repeal and replace ObamaCare in 2017.
“He did the Republican Party a tremendous disservice and he did the nation a tremendous disservice, tremendous, and it’s unfortunate,” Trump said, according to The Hill.
“He went thumbs-down at the very last moment and I thought it was a disgraceful thing to do and very, very bad for our country and bad for health care,” Trump continued. “It was done and then John McCain, at the very last moment, late in the evening, went thumbs-down and everybody said, ‘What was that?'”
Trump also criticized McCain for being connected to a dossier of claims about Trump and Russia. Trump also complained about not being thanked for giving McCain the “kind of funeral that he wanted” after the senator died of brain cancer in August 2018.
“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don’t care about this, I didn’t get a thank you. That’s OK,” Trump said.
Trump Wants to Take Away Disability Benefits from Happy Veterans
The Social Security Administration once again is floating an extremely ableist proposal: using social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, to monitor people with disabilities who receive disability benefits from the government including the 1.3 million veterans.
It’s not uncommon for veterans to have both Social Security and veterans disability claims going on at the same time.
Alternatively, some veterans receive veterans disability benefits before applying for Social Security disability.
A “service-connected” disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
The agency is arguing this is necessary to fight fraud, ensuring that people who “aren’t really disabled” won’t be able to collect benefits. For the disability community, the implications of this proposal are significant — and very scary. If they seem too happy on social media, or show their live is getting better in any way, shape of form, they might lose their benefits.
The government provides many forms of disability benefits. But most people think of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income when they hear “disability.”
Social Security Disability Insurance is paid to people who worked at some point during their lives. It’s linked to their earnings, with people generally making less than $1,200 in benefits every month.
Social Security disability does not compensate disability claimants based on a partial loss of employability. You are either totally disabled or not disabled under Social Security’s definition of disability.
The SSA hasn’t yet offered specifics on how it might use social media in evaluating disability claims.
But writing for Forbes, Imani Barbarin, who has cerebral palsy and is an advocate for the disabled community, observed that the policy could backfire by mistakenly rejecting people from the program. She noted that such a proposal demonstrates a “fundamental misunderstanding” of disability and how a social media post made by a disabled person could easily be misconstrued.
“Disabled people don’t all function in the same way, and disability is not a set of stereotypes like taking selfies staring longingly at the world. They live lives while managing their energy for the activities they can handle and trying to make those they cannot more accessible,” Barbarin wrote. “Additionally, studies have shown that a majority of social media users show only the good in their lives, not the hardships or difficulties.”