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Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
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Seth Abramson: If only we could find a link between Trump and Jacob Wohl

Seth Abramson

If we all work REALLY hard over the next few months, we'll be able to find SOME connection between Jacob Wohl, who appears, if the current NBC and Atlantic reporting is accurate, to have been part of a criminal plot to frame Robert Mueller, and Donald Tr—

—oh, we have a picture?

2/ Anyway, as I was saying, I think there has to be SOME conn—

—oh, there's a Bloomberg article in which Trump "heralds" the "support" Jacob Wohl has given him? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-17/meet-trump-s-latest-market-whisperer-19-year-old-jacob-wohl

3/ Yeah, but it's not like Trump RETWE—



4/ The good news is that Jacob Wohl is unlikely to turn on Trump and tell the FBI everything he knows about the criminal plot to frame Robert Mueller, given that Wohl is a much older guy and—

{puts finger to earpiece}

—he's TWENTY YEARS OLD? And has his whole life ahead of him?

5/ Sorry, I shouldn't make light of how stupid these criminals are.

But if I can quote myself from a 2017 WASHINGTON POST article: "This was very unsophisticated, and the people involved were largely moronic....The people involved were stupid...and that’s how [they] got caught.”

6/ I always laugh when right-wing radio hosts say, "The Left says Trump's a criminal mastermind, then they say he's an idiot! Which is it?" I've *always* been consistent: Trump is an idiot with the instincts of a criminal, and he avoids capture because smart people cover for him.


Original Twitter thread:


Chaser: The replies to all the Wohl clans' tweets today have been pretty hilarious, but this one made me guffaw:


Jacob Wohl


The MSM has launched a coordinated smear campaign against me, claiming that I offered money to a woman to make accusations against Mueller? Their claims are BASELESS!

Who is this "woman"?

Max Sparber

I wouldn't worry. I'm sure interfering with a federal investigation is not a crime.


Max Sparber

I have just been informed it is a crime.


Max Sparber

Really? That serious?


Max Sparber

On my lawyers advice I will not be interacting with you anymore.

Bomb disposal (cartoon)

[Scottish] Tory MSP: Rape clause is 'fair' as it means poor have fewer kids

THE welfare spokeswoman for the Scottish Tories has been denounced after saying benefit curbs and a related 'rape clause' are fair because they stop the poor having as many children as people in work.

Michelle Ballantyne, a mother-of-six, was lambasted after defending the two-child limit on tax credits in a Holyrood debate on poverty and inequality.


The two-child limit denies some benefit to mothers with more than two children unless they declare one was the result of rape.


The exchange in question, sparked by a question from Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell, can be seen on Twitter (and SNP MSP Tom Arthur's response doesn't just "denounce" Ballantyne's words, it rips her a whole new 'un):


Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984

Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne's shocking contribution to the debate on austerity, poverty & inequality regarding the two-child limit, and the belter of a response from SNP MSP Tom Arthur.

(H/T: @gdog2010_john)

For those who can't view the clip, here's Aileen Campbell's reaction

and here's what Tom Arthur said (quite heatedly towards the end):

I thank the member for her intervention. The issue comes down to the fundamental point and crux of the debate—that there are two views of what this Parliament is for.

There is the view of the Labour Party, which is that it is a buffer. Alex Cole-Hamilton spoke about the Parliament having to mop up the consequences of Tory welfare reforms. That is a view and a philosophy that the Labour Party is entitled to, but it is not the view that I have. I do not want this to be the Parliament that mitigates; I want this to be the Parliament with all the powers, including powers over employment law, so that we can make sure that there is a real living wage and under 25s are not being paid the poverty national minimum wage. I want to have the full range of powers so that we can truly transform Scotland. I want the full powers so that we do not live in a country where colleagues of Michelle Ballantyne get to dictate social security policy.

I have to say that the speech from Michelle Ballantyne was one of the most disgraceful speeches that I have ever heard in my two and a half years in this Parliament—six minutes of pompous Victorian moralising that would have been better suited to the pages of a Dickens novel.

She suggests that poverty should be a barrier to a family and that people who are poor are not entitled to any more than two children—what an absolutely disgraceful position. She should be utterly, utterly ashamed of herself.

The best is yet to come - from later in the Herald article:

[Ballantyne] admitted she had claimed child benefit for each of her six children, but said she had been on an income of less than £25,000 and made sacrifices to have a large family.

Ballantyne later admitted that she didn't just claim Child Benefit, but also Tax Credits:


Paul Hutcheon @paulhutcheon

Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne has confirmed claiming tax credits and child benefit

She owns a textile mill in the Scottish Borders (whose workers' wages are no doubt also subsidized by Tax Credits), has long been a local councillor (with the additional income that brings from the public purse), and only became an MSP last year because another Tory resigned, so Ballantyne was elevated to the Scottish Parliament from her 13th place on the Tories' Regional List (after the revolution, the D'Hondt PR system really has to go ...). As an MSP, she's also eligible for free childcare.

Ballantyne didn't quite go so far as Tory MP Ben Bradley in a 2012 blog post for which he later apologized - Tory MP Ben Bradley said benefit claimants should be sterilised - but that's likely because she doesn't do joined-up thinking rather than out of any sense of humanity.

Three fracking protesters jailed by judge with family links to oil and gas firm FREED

Three anti-fracking activists jailed for a protest at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site in Lancashire have been freed by the Court of Appeal.

Soil scientist Simon Blevins, 26, from Sheffield, teacher Richard Roberts, 36 of London, and piano restorer Rich Loizou, 32, from Devon, had their jail terms quashed and replaced with conditional discharges.

The trio, known as the “Fracking Three”, are believed to be the first environmental activists to be imprisoned for public nuisance since 1932.

They had been jailed by Judge Robert Altham - who the Mirror revealed has family links to the oil and gas industry.


The activists have been released after six weeks in prison. Sadly, Robert Altham is still at large.

Altham's Wikipedia page here (includes the snippet that his ancestor, Sir James Altham, served as a judge during the Pendle witch trials in the 17th century): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Altham

Here's The Guardian's coverage of Altham's undeclared conflict of interest:

Fracking protesters walk free after court quashes 'excessive' sentences


Questions over the original trial judge’s family links to the oil and gas industry were also raised in court on Wednesday. Judge Robert Altham’s father and sister run JC Altham and Sons, a company believed to be part of the supply chain for energy giant Centrica, which has invested tens of millions of pounds in fracking.

The judicial conduct investigations office later confirmed it had “received a complaint regarding HHJ Robert Altham, which will be considered in accordance with the judicial conduct (judicial and other office holders) rules 2014”.


It also emerged in the hearing that Altham had refused the defendants an opportunity to bring a defence of necessity in their original trial.

“The judge explicitly stated pre-trial he would not hear any evidence about fracking,” Brimelow said, explaining that such a restriction prevented her clients from bringing arguments relating to their rights to protest and free speech.


Altham's sister, Jane Watson, was one of the signatories of an open letter released by a body calling itself the "North West Energy Task Force" in 2016 titled "Lancashire business leaders to local council: 'Give shale a chance.'": https://web.archive.org/web/20160616073508/http://www.nwenergy.org.uk:80/lancashire_business_leaders_to_local_council_give_shale_a_chance

The North West Energy Task Force is funded by Centrica and Cuadrilla.

Even before this appeal verdict, Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden last week tabled three parliamentary written questions about Altham's conduct and whether it breached the judicial code.
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