December 19, 2018

2020: Michael Avenatti vs. Trump

“The only thing I dread more than the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president again is speculation about who else might be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, which, in case you’re wondering, is still two years away.

This is the case in spite of the fact that I have engaged in such speculation myself and am about to do so again. Will Bernie Sanders give it another shot? Will Joe Biden try to recapture some of the Obama-era moderate magic? Or will it be someone like Kamala Harris who could split the difference between the party’s neoliberal and progressive factions?

One more potential name is Michael Avenatti, the tough-talking lawyer who represented the porn star and first-time author Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump. From the beginning, Avenatti has done more than just represent Daniels, on whose behalf he successfully negotiated a release from the non-disclosure agreement that was supposed to have prevented her from discussing her alleged dalliance with the president, establishing himself as a kind of all-around anti-Trump crusader. In June, he leaked video to MSNBC showing the inside of a federal detention facility for immigrant children. More recently he has claimed that he is representing women who have additional allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee. His intervention here is on its face somewhat suspect and his handling of the supposed accusations has not been helpful, least of all to those attempting to make the case against Kavanaugh.”

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."

"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"

"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."

"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."

"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."

"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."

"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."

"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."

"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."

"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."

"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."

"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."