Monday, October 23, 2017

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Saunders just won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for 2017 (an award for the best work of fiction published in the U.K.).

At Amazon, George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Chantel Jeffries in Tight Black Sweater

At Taxi Driver, "Chantel Jeffries No Bra in Tight Black Sweater."

Today's Deals

At Amazon, New Deals. Every Day.

And especially, Save on Thermos Products.

More, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters), Black.

Plus, Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch.

And, Shop Office Supplies.

Still more, Sanford Expo Dry Erase Markers Chisel Tip Vibrant Colors 8 Pack 1931196 Low Odor Ink (1927524).

Plus, Clif Bar Energy Bar, Variety Pack, Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, 2.4-Ounce Bars, 24 Count.

BONUS: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.

Why is the Press Ignoring the Exploding Clinton-Russia-FBI Scandal?

At IBD, "There's One Russia Scandal the Press Doesn't Want You to Know About":

In one of his Thursday evening tweets, President Trump complained once again about the "Fake Media," this time for not covering a fresh scandal involving an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia. Does Trump have a legitimate beef? You be the judge.

By any objective measure, the story that The Hill broke on Tuesday was shocking. According to documents unearthed by the news outlet, in 2009 the FBI had uncovered evidence of a sweeping, illegal Russian scheme to boost Vladimir Putin's atomic energy business, which included bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.

The FBI had also obtained an eyewitness account that Russian nuclear officials "had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit (the Clinton Foundation)."

That's eye-opening in and of itself. But the findings are even more alarming when you understand the context.  While the FBI was learning about these illegal Russian activities, Russia's state-owned nuclear company Rosatom was trying to acquire mining rights to 20% of the uranium in the United States through its purchase of Canadian-based Uranium One.

To do so, however, they needed to get approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. Sitting on that committee were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder. In 2010, the committee unanimously approved the sale of Uranium One to the Russian nuclear company.

In other words, while top Obama administration officials were deciding whether to hand over control of one-fifth of the nation's uranium supplies to Russia, the FBI had piles of evidence that officials at Rosatom were flagrantly violating U.S. laws and possibly compromising national security. The FBI also had evidence that officials had directed millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton's family charity, creating a clear conflict of interest.

But as the Hill notes, none of this information was made public before the Obama administration approved the sale.

Even more intriguing, key people at the FBI at the time of the Uranium One deal are now spearheading the special counsel probe into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the November election.

Needless to say, this raises a lot of important questions. Did the FBI keep the Committee on Foreign Investment in the dark about its findings? If so, why? Did Clinton, or Holder, or anyone else involved in the sale's approval know about this investigation? Why did the FBI wait until after Hillary had stepped down from State before taking action on the case? What role did those donations to Hillary's charity — as well as lucrative speaking fees to Bill — play in all this?
This is the real Russia meddling in American politics, and the Democrats are treasonous accomplices.


How Harvey Weinstein Built Pipeline of Access to the World's Beautiful Women

A guide to the super-predator's methods, at LAT, "How Harvey Weinstein used his fashion business as a pipeline to models":
It was the kind of evening Zoë Brock was accustomed to, an intimate dinner party at an Art Deco hotel on a waterfront avenue in Cannes. The Australian model was ushered to an empty seat at a long table on a lush patio overlooking a swimming pool.

She didn’t recognize the man seated next to her, but would quickly find out he was Harvey Weinstein, a brusque American producer in town for the film festival.

That first encounter of champagne and small talk would end in a much less elegant fashion hours later in a hotel room, where Weinstein stood before Brock naked and solicited a massage. She said she locked herself in a bathroom to escape him.

Still shaken by that night in 1998, Brock believes the events were set in motion by men connected to Weinstein.

"Someone put me there next to him — that was on purpose. I am pretty sure that there are a lot of people that would like to sit next to Harvey Weinstein,” said Brock, 43, who was represented by a Milanese modeling agency at the time. “So why was it me?"

Weinstein, 65, is best known for his pioneering career in the independent film industry, but over the last two decades he has also carved out a significant business in fashion — executive producing the television show "Project Runway," investing in the clothing brand Halston, and backing the high-end womenswear company Marchesa, which was co-founded by his wife, former model Georgina Chapman. The foray generated a profitable TV franchise, lucrative partnerships and cachet among the global jet set.

But that success was only one of the benefits for Weinstein. In interviews with the Los Angeles Times, nearly a dozen people with ties to the industry — including models, casting directors, publicists and executives connected to "Project Runway" — said that he used fashion as a pipeline to women. They said that models, oftentimes young and working overseas far from home, were particularly vulnerable.

In addition to Brock, more than 10 other former or current fashion models — including Cara Delevingne and Angie Everhart — have accused Weinstein of a wide range of sexual misconduct.

In a previously unreported incident, former Brazilian model Juliana De Paula told The Times that Weinstein groped her and forced her to kiss other models that he had taken to his loft in New York a decade ago. When she tried to leave, she said, he chased her through the apartment, naked. She fended him off with a broken glass.

“He looked at me and he started to laugh,” she recalled. “I was shocked. I was completely in disbelief.”

Another model, Samantha Panagrosso, said Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances toward her during the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. When Weinstein began touching her legs under the water at a hotel pool and she rebuffed him, he pointed at another model, she recalled in an interview with The Times. “Look at her, I’m going to have her come to my room for a screen test,” she said Weinstein told her.

When Panagrosso told friends about his continuing advances, she said, they laughed it off: “Sam, don’t be so naïve, you know Harvey can make you a star.”

Since the New York Times and the New Yorker first wrote about Weinstein’s alleged assaults earlier this month, more than 50 women have come forward to describe their experiences, and he has been fired by Weinstein Co., the indie studio he co-founded in 2005 that has released films including “The King’s Speech.”

Six women have accused Weinstein of rape or forcible sex acts, and he is under investigation for sexual assault in Los Angeles, New York and London...
Well, Weinstein's apparently "cured" after one week of "sex-addiction" therapy, so this is all water under the bridge now, right? [Snark.]

More, in any case.

Alexis Ren Behind the Scenes (VIDEO)

Well, I'd like to get behind the scenes with this one, IYKWIMAITYD.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunny and Hot Monday Forecast

It's supposed to be in the high 90s today in Irvine. Amazing weather we're having, although I'm not complaining, heh.

Here's the beautiful Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 3 San Diego:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New Deals Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, Made by Blush Avenue Womens Ladies Oversized Baggy Long Thick Knitted Plain Chunky Top Knit Jumper S-XL.

More, Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker.

And, Peet's Coffee Whole Coffee Bean, Espresso Forte, Dark Roast, 12 Ounce bag.

Here, Halloween Candy.

Especially, MARS Chocolate Favorites Halloween Candy Bars Variety Mix 96.2-Ounce 250-Piece Bag.

More here, Lightspeed Outdoors Kids Fort Pop-Up Play Tent with Tunnel Entrance.

And, Shop Children's Books.

Finally, LG 55-inch Full HD Smart TV 2017 Model (55LJ5500) with with 2x 6ft High Speed HDMI Cable, Transformer Tap USB w/ 6-Outlet, Screen Cleaner for LED TVs & 1 Year Extended Warranty.

BONUS: Cherise Wolas, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby: A Novel.

Lit Crawl L.A. – Where Literature Hits the Streets!

This is really cool. I wish Irvine had a literature crawl.

At LAT, "What to see at Lit Crawl in North Hollywood on Oct. 25."

You can imagine it's mostly wannabe Bohemian lefties, but if you like to read, and you like to read good literature, sometimes you have to go with the flow. Sometimes even left-wing books are fulfilling, which I've been finding out this past few months with my excursions into literary fiction.

My sister lives in Studio City, just a few miles from the epicenter of this event in NoHo. Not sure if I'll go, but I like that this kind of thing is thriving.

Report from Virginia's Governor's Race

From the indubitable Salena Zito, at the New York Post, "The Democrats should be terrified by this governor's race":

WINCHESTER, VA. — The melodic sounds of a street musician’s trumpet echo through every corner of this old Virginia town as locals shop or make their way to lunch. Daren Johnson has been blowing his horn at the pedestrian mall in the shadow of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum for over an hour. He performs for two reasons: “To make some extra cash and to share a little bit of lightness. We are exhausted as a country,” he said, “a direct result of last year’s election.”

Johnson and his wife were tireless volunteers for Hillary Clinton last year. They knocked on doors, they made phone calls, they were invested. When she lost, the couple was devastated. Now, Johnson doesn’t even know who is running for governor.

“I’ve voted every year for the past 46 years, always informed, always enthusiastic, always involved in the process. Now, it’s really hard to care,” Johnson said.

The upcoming gubernatorial election in Virginia is one of only two happening in the country this year, along with New Jersey. The race pits Ralph Northam, the current lieutenant governor and a Democrat, against Ed Gillespie, a former George W. Bush administration official and Republican National Committee chairman.

Northam should have a comfortable lead right now. Terry McAuliffe, the outgoing governor he currently serves under, is popular and generally seen as successful. Plus, Virginians have historically elected governors from the party opposite to a president who’s won the year before. In 2001, Democrat Mark Warner won one year after George W. Bush was elected; in 2009, Republican Bob McDonnell won one year after Barack Obama took the state.

And, of course, there is the Trump factor — Clinton beat the president comfortably here, although almost all of her vote came from the heavily populated, heavily liberal Northern Virginia suburbs with the rest of the state (mostly rural, mostly forgotten) going for Donald Trump with the exception of the state capital and some college towns.

But Northam’s numbers are not up — in fact, the last three public polls show next month’s race within the margin of error. That includes a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, which gives Gillespie the edge over Northam among likely voters by 48 to 47 percent.

Both parties have pulled out all the stops for this race. Ex-president Obama was here for a rally; George W. Bush for a fundraiser. Joe Biden’s stumped here, so has Vice President Mike Pence. So far, Trump has only tweeted about the race: “Ralph Northam, who is running for Governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs & sanctuary cities. Vote Ed Gillespie!”

Gillespie has avoided broadcasting that endorsement on the campaign trail. There are no mentions of it on his website. After Trump claimed there were “some very fine people on both sides” of a neo-Nazi protest in nearby Charlottesville that left one woman dead, Gillespie’s spokesman Dave Abrams said the candidate “did not see any fine people on the side of the white nationalists and neo-Nazis.” But Gillespie has not directly criticized Trump either.

Meanwhile Stephanie Vaughan, the Democratic county chairperson in Winchester, says the party is working hard to clinch victory by appealing to a wider crowd. “We very much try to have a big-tent approach here. We welcome moderate, progressive and conservative Democrats into our party, and we encourage everyone to listen to our message,” she said. “Here our issues are pretty straightforward — transportation, education and health care.”

Behind the counter of her coffee shop, Lanita Byrne said she did not vote for Trump and loved Clinton but is completely undecided on which candidate she wants for governor. “Honestly it comes down to who is best on taxes. I think there should be less burdens and more opportunities for small-business owners,” she said.

Clark Hansbarger, meanwhile, said he saw the Trump win coming from a mile away. “I kept telling all of my liberal friends, and they would just laugh at me. They thought no way,” he said. Hansbarger then chuckles and admits he, too, is a liberal. “But, look, I travel a lot. When Trump spoke about carnage in his inaugural address, I’ve seen exactly what he meant all over the country,” he said.

Johnson begins to play his trumpet again, then stops. “I guess I’ll vote,” he admits. “But honestly I am sick of both parties . . . and I am not voting straight ticket, that is for sure.”

Certainly the Democrats are the ones with the most to lose...

Fox Renewed Bill O'Reilly After Cable Star Paid Out Sexual Harassment Claims in $32 Million Settlement

That's an enormous amount of money. Man, $32 million for settlement. How much was Fox paying the guy, sheesh.


California College Republicans Elect Ariana Rowlands as New Leader

She's a Breitbart conservative at UCI, and a self-identified rabble-rouser, heh.

At the O.C. Register:

Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad


I picked up a copy. I'm excited to read it.

Also at Amazon, Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

ICYMI: Philip Roth, American Pastoral

At Amazon, Philip Roth, American Pastoral (American Trilogy).

Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin Body Paint for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (VIDEO)

Hmm, very athletic!

David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis


At Amazon, David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War, 1848-1861.

Ian Davidson, The French Revolution


At Amazon, Ian Davidson, The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

I'm almost done with Celeste Ng.

And I picked up a copy of Philip Roth's book today, The Plot Against America.

I've got a couple of other books going as well, but I look forward to reading this one, a kind of alternative history.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Forecast

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, at ABC News 10 San Diego: