News of the day: Kim Kardashian gets special treatment from Trump; preacher who wanted a new jet takes down his importuning video

Grania sent me this tweet with the note, “Reality is officially worse than satire now.”

Yes, that’s the Donald with the world’s biggest Media Strumpet, talking about policy.  In reality, Kardashian wasn’t in the Oval Office to talk about prison reform and sentencing, but to try to get a pardon for one Alice Marie Johnson, a 63 year old great grandmother who has spent 21 years in prison after conviction for a cocaine trafficking operation and a sentence of life in prison without parole. It was Johnson’s first offense, and she’s reportedly been a model prisoner. I’d say she’s no longer a danger to society, and my guess is that 21 years in the pen for a first offense has served its value as a deterrent.

I don’t know all the details of this case, but kudos to Kardashian for trying to use her undeserved fame to get a pardon for Johnson. What stinks about the case, though—and this is not Kardashian’s fault—is that she is able to get a personal audience with the President to plead her case. How many prisoners who have been unjustly sentenced don’t have advocates like her to help them get justice? It doesn’t hurt, of course, that The Donald, like John F. Kennedy, has an eye for the ladies. The difference is that Marilyn Monroe never discussed government policy (at least publicly) with JFK.  Well, good luck to Ms. Johnson, but I wish the system of justice were more equitable.

In other news, I reported yesterday that New Orleans preacher Jesse Duplantis had asked his flock to ante up $54 million dollars to buy him a fancy new jet (his fourth) so he could preach the gospel around the world with only a single stop for refueling. After all, he said, if Jesus were preaching now, he wouldn’t be sitting on his ass trotting slowly from town to town; he’d be flying in a spiffy Falcon 7X.

This was reported on the NBC News last night, and I was startled to see them use a bit from the YouTube video showing Duplantis wheedling people for donations. Although the anchorperson, Kate Snow, made no remarks about it, it was clear that the point of the story was that this was a ridiculously stupid waste of money being raised by a venal Christian evangelist. When I was a child, this never would have made the evening news, and to me it’s a sign that at least the more extreme versions of Christianity can be mocked, if only implicitly, on national television.

What’s equally interesting is that Duplantis has taken down the video; when you go to the site, you see this:

Copyright claim? I thought Duplantis wanted this video disseminated as widely as possible. Nope, it was taken down out of sheer embarassment.



  1. Grania Spingies
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Surely Donald is the world’s biggest Media Strumpet?

  2. Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    After all, he said, if Jesus were preaching now, he wouldn’t be sitting on his ass trotting slowly from town to town; he’d be flying in a spiffy Falcon 7X

    He’s talking about a man that the Bible says washed the feet of his close followers. I seriously do not think that the Jesus depicted in the Bible (yes, a fiction, but Duplantis doesn’t think so) would have a private jet.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately there are thousands in prison around the U.S. for exactly the same thing as her grandmother. Life in prison. Just the way Sessions likes it.

    • eric
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed. If I had one bit of advice for Ms. Kardashian, it would be “please, make sure nobody tells Trump or Sessions that Johnson is black.”

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Donald J. Trump, interested in improving the prisons.


    Prison … Trump….

    There’s some connection here I almost see…. gee, what could be the explanation…..

    • Posted June 9, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      There was a joke about our former dictator: he allegedly inspected food in the largest prison and the university cafeteria and ordered prisoners’ food to be improved. His closest advisor wondered why not the cafeteria food as well, and the dictator replied, “You and I will never again be university students.”

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Why would we expect anything else from the nation’s first Reality Show Presidency? Trump’s never gotten past being a network tv star; everything’s about viewership ratings, guest stars (Kim! Kanye! Omarosa!) and teasers for the upcoming episode (“we’ll see what happens”).

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    … Kardashian for trying to use her undeserved fame …

    Whoa, undeserved? You think that badonkadonk just magically grew itself?

    • Posted May 31, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      “badonkadonk”. The bestest word that ever was and to see it on the intertubes first thing in the morning…all is well in the world.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The difference is that Marilyn Monroe never discussed government policy (at least publicly) with JFK.

    Yeah, sure, that we know of. They probably saved the discussions of monetary policy and Cold-War-era revanchism for pillow talk.

  8. Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I read somewhere that while it was Alice Marie Johnson’s first offense, she ran a $50M “large cocaine distribution ring in Tennessee”. It isn’t a cocaine use bust that people might assume. That said, I am not sure what a proper sentence should be. In general, I’m for prison reform and decriminalizing drug use.

    • Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Last night on the news they said it was a large ring connected to a South American or Mexican cartel, so it wasn’t just selling a bit of cocaine. Still, a mandatory life sentence without parole seems harsh for that.

      • Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Perhaps so. It will be interesting to see if Trump pardons her since his rhetoric and Attorney General are moving in the opposite direction.

        In related news:

        Trump tweets he will give full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        The federal Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) statute imposes a mandatory life sentence for “super kingpins” in drug cases. (Regular old garden-variety kingpins can get life, but it’s not mandatory). I’ve got a guy doing life without parole — a living-death sentence, as it’s oxymoronically known — for smuggling pot (a whole lotta pot, freighters-full on numerous occasions, but still).

  9. Thanny
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    She’s married to Kanye West. I’m reasonably certain that’s why she gets access, given the todo about West supporting Trump, not anything to do with Trump’s “eye for the ladies”.

  10. Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place and commented:
    The message here is that females with large behinds get a personal audience with this president.

    • Doug
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I was going to say “Here’s a picture of Kim Kardashian with the big ass” but decided that that would be juvenile, so I won’t.

  11. Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I see trump has expanded his interests from fake boobs to fake butts.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      A regular polymath, that guy is.

    • XCellKen
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of butts, tell all of my friends at the Pit that I said hello

  12. MP
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Call me old-fashioned, but does anyone finds it odd that a 63 year old woman is a great grandmother? Nobody in the lineage bothered to wait until 25?

    • Neil Wolfe
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Have you been to Tennessee?

    • darrelle
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Hmmm. My personal experience has been different from yours. My guess would be that the age of 1st child birth was younger on average in past generations. For example my mother had her 1st child at 17 or 18 and had all three by 22. That seemed to be not unusual in my experience for women of her generation.

      Yes, a quick search bears that out. According to the graphs in this document, Trends in first childbirth, the median age of 1st child birth took a long dip down starting around 1935, reaching a low around 1955 and then rising pretty steadily from there. Most recently, the twenty-teens, the age of 1st child birth has risen to historic highs according to the CDC.

    • Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      These days? Maybe.

      There are old Inuit stories of grandmothers, and they are in context usually women in their 40s. So, add another generation …

    • XCellKen
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I know a woman that was a great grandmother at the ancient age of, wait for it…FORTY FIVE !!!

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        I have an aunt who died at 50, already a great-grandmother by 48, but you have her well beaten!

  13. bric
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Trump’s meetings for the rest of the week

    • darrelle
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      There ain’t no way Fraggle Rock would ever invite Trump! And the Cookie Monster?!?!? The slightest implication that he would ever have anything to do with Trump is scandalously slanderous!!11!!1

    • darrelle
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I mean, come on. Tell me that the guy who says things like this, Cookie Monster on Philosophy and the ‘Perfect Cookie’, would give Trump the time of day?

      “Food & Wine: How do you come up with such profound thoughts? What’s your process?

      Cookie Monster: Me glad you asked. Process simple! Wake up. Eat cookie. Ponder life. Ponder cookie. Eat cookie. Drum fingers on table. Sharpen pencil, straighten pad. Eat pencil. Eat pad. Eat cookie. What question again? This answer making me hungry.

      FW: Do you think there is such a thing as a perfect cookie? Why or why not?

      CM: No such thing as perfect cookie. Me EAT perfect cookie, therefore it not exist long.

    • XCellKen
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      No meetings about gun control with Ted Nugent ?

  14. Adam M.
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    “… due to a copyright claim by a third party.”

    “Copyright claim? … Nope, it was taken down out of sheer embarassment.”

    While it’s possible he filed a fake DMCA request against himself to get YouTube to take down his video, I think it’s more likely that a third party actually did assert copyright over his video and get YouTube to take it down. It’s a common tactic, used by Twitter mobs and others, to get people’s videos removed. Unless you’ve got a famous channel, YouTube usually complies without verification, and while it’s technically a crime to file a false DMCA request, in practice you’d have to jump through a lot of hoops to prosecute, and since YouTube doesn’t actually verify the identity of the claimant the trail is almost invariably a dead end, making it an easy and safe way to silence your opponents.

  15. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not Jesus would have a jet is irrelevant, unless he’s pushing the delusion one step further and claiming to be Jesus.

    The more I hear about this, the more I’m convinced my supposition from yesterday is correct. He wants to be able to fly non-stop to NZ when Armageddon comes. It’s a common plan amongst the super-wealthy whether they’re religiously deluded, extreme preppers, or just frightened by what Trump might do next.

    • Posted June 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      What makes them think that NZ will survive the end of the world?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        I don’t. I just know that the wealthiest preppers are buying land in NZ.

  16. Posted May 31, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    In my meanderings around the internet recently, I ended up on a prepper site which raised the issue of which member of your family to eat first, and on through the family. Makes me glad I live alone. Can use the tactic from Candide (don’t like fat, but if starving…)

    • Posted June 1, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I was told (by an Inuk) that the Inuit actually do have (variable but still) traditions on the “eating order”.

  17. Posted May 31, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    The NY Post headline and various comments (‘Kim Thing Un’) had me laughing – I could not help myself. After all, Kim is the one who always put it out there!

    • nicky
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Kim Thong Un

  18. Tom Besson
    Posted June 1, 2018 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    A panel on New Zealand national radio discussed the televangelist’s appeal for funds to purchase the plane today. I know they aren’t supposed to make snarky remarks about others on the air, but one of the panel members said at the end of the piece, “It looks like the Americans have a high tolerance for insanity. Witness the recent elections there.” The whole world is watching.

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