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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


Prosecutors ‘Dramatically’ Expand Investigation Of Jeffrey Epstein

Federal investigators have been able to “dramatically expand” their investigation into financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as prosecutors bring sex trafficking charges against him, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said in court on Monday.

The government revealed the expansion of the case at the day’s bail hearing. In searching the defendant’s house, investigators found an old passport with his picture and a fake name that listed Saudi Arabia as the location of his residence, the prosecutor said.

The judge was surprised at this revelation, NBC News reported, asking the attorney, “Say again?”

“The passport was issued in the name of a foreign country, it was issued in the 1980s, it is expired, it shows a picture of Jeffrey Epstein, and another name,” said Rossmiller.

Diamonds were also reportedly found along with the passport in a safe.

Rossmiller argued that Epstein is an “extraordinary flight risk.” The financier’s lawyers are arguing for his release and have proposed a set of conditions, including turning over his legitimate passport, that would allow him to remain in his own house pending trial. Epstein has been in jail since he was arrested on July 6.

To consider Epstein’s bail application, the government said it would like to better understand his finances.

“How much money does he have? Where is it?” asked Rossmiller. “How much of it is in diamonds or art?”

While Epstein has been reported to be a billionaire, recent reports have cast doubt on the size and origins of his wealth.

Investigators have been able to expand their probe, Rossmiller said, because “many individuals identifying themselves as victims and witnesses” have now come forward.

Annie Farmer and Courtney Wild both testified that Epstein victimized them and that he should remain in jail. Farmer was 16 at the time of the incident, saying he was “inappropriate” with her. Wild said she was 14 when Epstein sexually assaulted her.

Epstein’s lawyers argued he should be released because they said he has not re-offended since 2005, when the accusations of sex trafficking date from. However, the prosecution has suggested that Epstein has recently engaged in potential witness tampering, and the judge was skeptical about the defense’s claim that Epstein hasn’t committed any offenses since his prior prosecution. His lawyers contested the allegation that their client has tampered with witnesses, saying only that he “paid” a friend and an employee.



#EndorseThis: Colbert Has A Slightly Used Alibi For Alleged Rapist Trump

You may have heard that President Trump again stands accused of brutal misconduct toward women. Writing for New York magazine, author and journalist E. Jean Carroll recalled how Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in 1996 — and became the 22nd woman to charge him with sexual assault.

“Trump is really repeating his 2016 strategy,” noted Stephen Colbert archly.

In his usual self-pitying style, Trump compared himself to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of assault and confirmed to the Supreme Court anyway. Which inspired Colbert to concoct his perfect alibi.

It’s yet another appalling episode in the life of our 45th president.

Click and grimace.

Danziger: Reasonable Doubt

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at

Anonymous Attacks And Revenge Porn: How Far Is Too Far For #MeToo?

Some years ago, a married woman of my acquaintance confided that a locally famous physician kept squeezing her thigh under the table at a dinner party. Actually, the fellow was famous for that too. Removing his hand hadn’t worked. She’d thought about stabbing him with a fork, but hadn’t wanted to make a scene.

However, my friend also didn’t appear to feel diminished, ashamed or “objectified,” as people say. Apart from taking her assigned seat at the table, she’d done nothing to encourage him. He’d made his move; she’d ignored it. Her tone was one of bemused contempt verging upon pity.

If the survival of the human race depended upon her sleeping with Dr. Feelgood, she made clear, we would go extinct.

“What a total dork,” she said. “I just feel terrible for his wife.”

wondered if such awkward passes ever got him anywhere—doubtful—and whether his wife was as oblivious as she appeared. Also whether he acted that way at the hospital—pestering nurses, lab techs, interns, etc. If so, how long could he get away with it?

Apparently not forever. Not long afterward, Dr. Feelgood’s career took an unexpected U-turn, and then ended somewhat prematurely. People speculated, but there was nothing in the newspaper. Anyway, he wasn’t seen as a villain so much as a fool. Good riddance.

If the foregoing sounds as dated as a Jane Austen novel, blame my advanced age. Sexual mores have mutated so much during my lifetime that it wouldn’t shock me to see a return to the pre-birth control attitudes of the 1950s—with pornography, of course.

Also with role reversal: shaming wanton men instead of slutty women appears to be the newest participation sport among the literati.

(Historical note: in olden times, porn was considered degrading and shameful. A politician credibly reported to have paid hush money to a porn “star” would have had to emigrate to some Third World sh**hole.)

Like everything else, this is all Bill Clinton’s fault, although ever the sentimentalist, he preferred amateur talent.

Anyway, for a while there—basically post-birth control, pre-AIDS—things got rather out of hand. Going on the road with a professional sports team was like joining the circus. I once got mistaken for a member of the Montreal Expos in a hotel elevator in by a very polite woman who apologized and put her breasts back inside her blouse when I explained that I was a writer, not a relief pitcher. The same kinds of women’s magazines that now publish angry manifestos by rival feminist cliques then published memoirs by famous rock groupies.

But I digress. In the wake of the Weinstein-O’Reilly-Halperin-Lauer-Rose unmaskings—utterly indefensible every one—the going thing in New York journalistic circles appears to be bitter disputes about whether it’s even possible to go too far in denouncing the male of the species. Also in Paris, I’m glad to say, if only because it lets me quote the French version of #MeToo. It’s #BalanceTonPorc, which translates roughly “expose your pig.”

Led by the legendary actress Catherine Deneuve, French thinkers have formed warring camps alternately denouncing and declaring solidarity with each other in the traditional way.

Denueve signed a manifesto opposing “the new puritanism,” declaring that “the liberty to seduce…[is] essential.” She has since added that she “fraternally salute[s] all women victims of odious acts” who mistakenly thought her a rape apologist. What would the world do without French intellectuals?

Here in America, it appears that many of the daffier campus sex crusaders of recent years have since graduated and taken the fight to another level.

Item: the anonymous creator of an online spreadsheet titled “Sh***ty Media Men,” purportedly exposing the sins of male journalists who’d allegedly mistreated women, freaked flat out when she (erroneously) feared that her identity was about to be revealed in Harper’s Magazine. A great hullaballoo broke out during which twenty-something Moira Donegan, a former New Republic staffer, outed herself. As near as I could tell, hardly anybody thought that unsourced, intimate denunciations of men by name—essentially a middle school “slam book” updated to the Internet age—were a problem.

Item: an online feminist journal called Babe published a pseudonymous, first-person account of a drunken one-night-stand gone bad with comedian Aziz Ansari. In The Atlantic, Caitlyn Flanagan correctly characterized the thing as “3,000 words of revenge porn. The clinical detail in which the story is told is intended not to validate her account as much as it is to hurt and humiliate Ansari.” Again, anonymously.

In this instance, a synonym for cowardly.

How long, do you suppose, before some aggrieved young Ivy League graduate is lugging a mattress around at the New York Times?

Then came Oprah Winfrey’s star turn at the Golden Globes, cheered on by scores of Hollywood actresses expressing their vast moral indignation in black gowns cut dramatically to the navel.

#BalanceTonPorc, indeed..