Bad Optics

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - John Cole)

In other news, Buzzfeed News reports that special prosecutor Robert Mueller's team is following the money to the Trump Tower meeting. They're looking at millions in suspicions transactions that occurred in the days immediately before the meeting.

Documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News show that $3.3 million began moving on June 3 between two of the men who orchestrated the meeting: Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate developer close to both Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump, and Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime Agalarov employee once investigated for money laundering. [...]

Although the documents do not directly link the $3.3 million to the meeting, they show that officials at three separate banks raised red flags about the funds. Many of the transfers seemed to have no legitimate purpose, bankers noted.

Meanwhile, NBC News has confirmed earlier reports that Trump's former henchman Michael Cohen is telling Mueller's team everything he knows about Trump. That reportedly includes Trump's financial ties to Russia.

Finally, an extensive review by NPR found that Russia's professional interference trolls at the so-called Internet Research Agency often copied propaganda from the National Rifle Associate (NRA) word-for-word, but they also found that the NRA sometimes copied the Russian trolls word-for-word.

The National Rifle Association, on at least 90 occasions, promoted Twitter content similar to that of the Internet Research Agency, in some cases after the IRA had gone first.

On at least 62 occasions, the Internet Research Agency shared the same content as the National Rifle Association after an original NRA post.

Here are some other stories I didn't get to this week:

Documents obtained from New York's lawsuit against the Trump regime's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census shows that, once again, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross totally lied about reason for adding the question.

Nike has sold out 61 percent more of their products since their ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick began.

French fascist leader Marine Le Pen has been ordered to undergo a psyche evaluation.

The Michigan attorney general's office has launched an investigation of the Catholic church for possible sexual abuse dating back to 1950.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump's former lawyer John Dowd offered to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates.

In both cases, the president’s advisers objected to the lawyer’s actions over concerns it could appear aimed at stopping the two former aides from cooperating with investigators.

John Dowd, who at the time was heading Mr. Trump’s legal team, at the start of the year told associates of the president he wanted to direct money from the legal defense fund set up for White House officials and campaign aides to the lawyers for Messrs. Manafort and Gates, according to people familiar with the matter. The pair had pleaded not guilty to charges of tax, bank and lobbying violations in the fall of 2017.

Minnesota state Rep. Jim Knoblach (R) has abruptly dropped out of his campaign for reelection after his daughter went public with accusations that he's been inappropriately touching her since she was 9 years old.

Astronomers have discovered that the planet Vulcan is real. They found a planet located where it would be in the Star Trek universe.

No one is saying that any pointy-eared aliens live there, but astronomers have discovered an exoplanet orbiting 40 Eridani A, a star known to "Star Trek" fans as the host star of Spock's home planet, Vulcan.

The newfound exoplanet is 16 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Eridanus. It orbits its host star — a sunlike star with the formal designation of HD 26965 — just inside the habitable zone, where water could exist in liquid form and where life as we know it could be possible.

"It came as a total surprise to us," Jian Ge, a professor of astronomy at the University of Florida and co-author of a new paper about the discovery, told NBC News MACH in an email. "We did not have an intention to look for Vulcan orbiting HD 26965."

An internal poll commissioned by the RNC found that Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is actually more popular than Trump is and she would win in a hypothetical election between the two of them. Whoops?

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell says Trump told him Europe should build a border wall across the entire Saharan Desert (3,200 miles), because Trump is a fucking idiot.

Have a good weekend.

  • katanahamon

    I was busy having surgeries and surviving in my work environment while the Marvel Cinematic Universe was heating up. I never had comics as a kid, but when Star Wars first came out I had just started playing French Horn, so naturally I was inspired by John Williams’ soundtrack. I’ve recently upgraded my tv and have been watching all the Marvel movies, I have to say they’re really good. Much better than most.. The soundtracks are great, being recorded at places like Abbey Road by groups such as London Phil, and they’ve been advancing film technology. I especially enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange, and thought that the trippiest sequences in the film come closest to a mushroom trip from anything I’ve seen filmed. Some are critical about these films, but viewed objectively, they are great. I’m enjoying them..and let’s face it, we need an escape and some good entertainment at this point!

    • Draxiar

      My wife, daughter, and I over the last few weeks watch the MCU from beginning with Iron Man all the way up to Infinity War. They are really good, even the ones that didn’t get much acclaim…most notably, Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World. I’m also a fan of the recent DCCU movies too with Wonder Woman being one of the best superhero movies ever made.

      Ultimately, we all have to have our escape from the daily grind and bravo to you for finding that with MCU *salute*

      • katanahamon

        Ultimately it’s what Lucas wanted in the beginning with Star Wars..a “Sunday Serial” type thing. The sheer scope of twenty films, the quality actors, and everyone writing, producing, special effects, it’s pretty mind blowing. Look for the second Infinity War film to smash records…

        • Draxiar

          During the VCR era of American Culture my Dad found a whole slew of serials on tape that he watched in the theaters as a kid. We watched every damn one of them together too. Not only that, he had vinyl records of old radio shows that he would put on a turntable in one of those old timey tube radios and, yes, I sat there and listened to every damn one of them.

          • katanahamon

            There is a certain warmth to the sound of vinyl records..there is a famous (among Horn players) record of Dennis Brain playing the 4 Mozart Horn concertos, with Karajan conducting, it will likely never be topped, and it always sounded better on vinyl. Brain was one of the first players that truly transcended the primitive limitations of the instrument and combined a beautiful sound with amazing technique. Omg..someone posted it, here’s “the red record,”!

          • Draxiar

            Thanks! I’ll certainly give this a listen.

  • Nefercat

    I find the Vulcan idea kind of neat because I think the concept of the ubiquitous Star Trek universe has seeped into the national consciousness to the point of being real on some level which most of us never even think of (for good reason, it’s not real).

    In years to come, we will have an egalitarian society, a Federation, star ships with warp drives, an academy where star ship officers train. And so many planets with new and interesting life forms. That is just the way it is/will be. It’s like history but in the future. We already know so much about it.

    Yes I know that’s stupid. And yes I know that whatever the future brings it won’t be the coming to life of a decades/centuries old tv show.

    That said, I hope the powers that be name the new planet Vulcan. 🙂

    • Aynwrong

      I’m only gonna say this once Nefercat…

      I like the way you think.

      OK I said it. Now let’s move on with our lives.

    • katanahamon

      Look at how many things in Gene Roddenberry’s universe came to pass..the medical scanner, treatments, personal phones, personal videophones, engineering achievements, the list goes on. The best thing about that universe is the optimism that humanity could and would band together for the common good, and reach out across the stars and form relationships to other species, also for the common good. It was my favorite show growing up..I’d race home from grade school to watch it on a little black and white tv..

      • Nefercat

        So true. I remember reading somewhere that some of the inventors and developers of some of our new gadgetry were inspired by what they saw on Star Trek. Why shouldn’t we have tiny handheld phones, etc.? So maybe the best of the Star Trek world will indeed come to pass.

    • Badgerite

      (Eching Voice with Star Trek theme) SPACE FORCE.!!!!!
      Da Da,,,,Da da da …da da .

  • muselet

    Hey, it’s Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas. What’s going to be wrong with that?

    Enjoy your weekend, everyone.


  • Aynwrong

    “French fascist leader Marine Le Pen has been ordered to undergo a psyche evaluation.”


    Fuck earth! I’m heading to Vulcan.