WTF: August 21, 2020

Campaign Trumpers, Bible Thumpers, Gun Humpers & Steve

Now we can debate the theme of the Democratic National Convention, those soft wusses carrying on about empathy and leadership and (puke) kindness or, leading into Republican convention week, we can talk about the theme that really holds this unholy coalition of the GOP and conservative adjacent together. Corruption. Ripping off rubes and convincing them to vote against their own interests.

Yesterday Steve Bannon was arrested. And now what I am going to tell you about the arrest may strain credulity and assuredly makes Roger Stone insanely jealous after his relatively routine early am arrest — because it is an arrest truly befitting someone who regularly dons a top hat and likes to dress like a Batman villain — but when you make a living grifting, stealing, lying, tricking and treasoning, you don’t really get to dictate the optics.

Bannon was arrested on a $28M yacht in Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut by Postal Inspectors. Yep, don’t tell me that dismantling the post office is acceptable… yesterday they delivered justice. Boom. Postal Inspectors actually exist… and they aren’t part of some secretive, shady, elite police force like the Central Park Rangers, who I am pretty sure do not.

Vox: The post office arrested Steve Bannon. Yes, the post office can arrest people.

It may not have come as a shock that Bannon, often described as a grifter, was allegedly caught up in a scheme to defraud donors to a crowdfunding campaign that promised to construct a wall on the US-Mexico border.

But it was a surprise to some that the USPS, the same agency that President Donald Trump has tried to cripple ahead of an expected surge of mail-in ballots in November, carried out his arrest on a $28 million megayacht called Lady May off the coast of Connecticut Thursday morning:

These aren’t your everyday mail carriers: They are part and parcel of an elite police unit known as the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which has been fighting crime since the mail fraud statute was enacted in 1872. There are about 1,200 such postal inspectors who carry weapons, make arrests, execute federal search warrants, and serve subpoenas. They have even inspired a CBS series, “The Inspectors.”

Vanity Fair: A Gleeful Seth Meyers Celebrates Steve Bannon’s Arrest

“This is the perfect encapsulation of the Trump era,” Meyers said of the allegations. “From beginning to end, the wall was a nonstop scam. Trump scammed his supporters by telling them Mexico would pay for it. Then we ended up paying for it. Then this sweet potato Fabio over here said he’d raise money for it. Then he scammed everyone again by allegedly skimming money from it. It’s a Russian nesting doll of fraud.”

Later, he added, “A crowdsourced fund-raiser to build a fucking wall in the middle of the desert? The only way it could have been a more obvious scam is if they offered free boner pills with every donation. The thing was one rung below those companies that claim to name a star after you.”

You can watch the whole thing here and you should, because he is funny, smart and gives an excellent corruption primer that you can mainline like schadenfreude and share with your Trump loving family. I am thankful for Seth Meyers.

Today I am also thankful for McSweeney’s for cataloging the misdeeds of Trump just to keep it fresh in the event that you forget or that there is just too much to remember it all. And also, it’s almost decorative gourd season, motherfuckers. And I am thankful for that every year.

McSweeney’s: Lest We Forget the Horrors: A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes

To be read before the 2020 Presidential Election.

Early in President Trump’s term, McSweeney’s editors began to catalog the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. We called this list a collection of Trump’s cruelties, collusions, and crimes, and it felt urgent then to track them, to ensure these horrors — happening almost daily — would not be forgotten. This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it’s never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them. This list will be updated between now and the November 2020 Presidential election.

Various writers have compiled this list during the course of the Trump administration. Their work has been guided by invaluable journalistic resources, including WTFJHT, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other sources, to whom we are grateful.

Gratitude, laughter, good news, hope — yikes, starting to feel like the DNC up here in this motherfucker. Hope you have all of that this weekend.


The Sideshow

How many Trump advisers have been criminally charged? Manafort, Stone and Steve Bannon makes 7

Since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, seven former advisers who served at the White House or worked in the campaign have been swept up in criminal prosecutions. Six of the aides were charged as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Six revelations in Senate intel report on 2016 Russian interference

The Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday, totaling nearly 1,000 pages, was the product of more than 200 witness interviews and nearly a million documents. It’s the only bipartisan account of how the Trump campaign embraced Russia’s intelligence operation in 2016 designed to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

The Saga of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Bizarre Relationship With a Miami Beach Pool Boy, Explained

Evangelical Christians love President Trump. They voted for him in 2016 by a staggering margin – 80% to 16% – and a Pew Research poll released in March found that 69% of white evangelicals approve of the job Trump is doing as president.

Jerry Falwell Jr. Put On ‘Indefinite Leave’ From Liberty University After Latest In Long String Of Scandals

Falwell landed in hot water once again this week after posting a photo of himself on a yacht while on vacation with his pants unzipped, midriff hanging out, a drink in hand and his arm around a woman.

New York Attorney General Moves To Dissolve The NRA After Fraud Investigation

The attorney general of New York took action Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.”

Wayne LaPierre is alleged to have used the NRA as a “personal piggy bank.” New York’s AG lays out how.

For nearly three decades, Wayne LaPierre has been the face of the National Rifle Association, burnishing the organization’s influence and power in Washington, taking a defiant stance against gun control advocates in the wake of mass shootings and once famously declaring, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

You like facts, snark & swearing? Sign up.