We’re less than a week away from the Electoral College casting votes that almost certainly will cement Donald Trump as the President-elect of the US but it seems so odd that everyone will continue ignoring the potential issues of conflicts of interest and Russia’s hands in the Trump campaign, victory and now White House. The extra layer of review by the Electoral College is needed here but it’s not looking like any review will be done.
Anyway, it’s Wednesday which means that we’re here for the links. Let’s kick off with Anna Kendrick.
President-elect Trump doesn’t seem to worry about conflicts of interest but his and his family’s business interests are ripe for conflicts with foreign powers. (Newsweek)
The Canadian Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation has given the government the thumbs-up to legalize pot. It comes with scads of recommendations about regulation but we’re getting close now. (Bloomberg)
People suspected it during the campaign but the CIA has concluded that the Russians interfered in the US Presidential Election to aid Donald Trump. (Washington Post)
In what can only be considered the best news we’ll have until this time next week, there is only one more week until the votes are counted and the US might have a new leader. Of course, there might be a few legal challenges from either side depending on the outcome. And for all Trump talks about World War III if Hilary wins, there’s the real possibility of Civil War II if she wins. At least the US and Russia will get along if Trump wins.
While FBI Director Comey was willing to disclose an investigation into Hilary Clinton’s emails via Anthony Weiner’s sexting, he’s not as quick to disclose the FBI’s investigation into the Republican candidate. For example, the FBI is investigating Trump’s former campaign manager. (NBC News)
Meanwhile, the FBI was made aware that Putin and the Kremlin were cultivating Trump and he seems to be playing into their hands. (Mother Jones)
The Times is digging into Donald Trumps taxes again and found how he was able to not pay taxes and loans from his casinos in the 1990. It turns out that it may not have been in the most kosher manner possible. (New York Times)
Republicans are abandoning ship over Donald Trump’s sexist comments. It took many of them this long to come to grips with the fact that he doesn’t represent them. It makes me wonder if there is a baseline of racism, xenophobia and misogyny that’s tolerable but at least bragging about sexual assault is a place where the line is drawn. How about being a Russian sympathizer?
Anyway, it’s Wednesday which means that we’re doing the links. Since Trump is a WWE Hall of Famer, let’s kick off with WWE stars Brie and Nikki Bella.
Donald Trump claimed to know nothing about Russia but he’s sure doing a good job of reading Russian propaganda at rallies. (Newsweek)
A US Intelligence official says that Donald Trump is fully aware of Russia’s hack of the Democrats and their intentions to influence the election. So why would he deny it? (NBC News)
The question has been asked about whether WikiLeaks is acting intentionally or unintentionally working for Russian interests. Now, Julian Assange has become a key part of the Trump campaign strategy. (Bloomberg)
I’m pretty sure that I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Following the news can get really boring and depressing sometimes. It’s Clinton’s a liar. Trump’s a racist. Both are in scandals over their charitable organizations. All I want is for November to arrive so we can have this damn election over and done.
Anyway, it’s Sunday which means that we have to do the links. Let’s kick things off with Liz Hurley and her Instagram.
The first campaign event featuring both candidates (albeit separately) happened last Wednesday. Both sides felt that host Matt Lauer was unfair to their candidate and soft on the other. However, both sides agreed that Lauer was terrible at his job and should stick to morning show puff pieces. Even his own network agrees. (CNN)
A lot of people are talking about Hilary Clinton’s email server but where did she learn this trick from? George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell. Let’s see people try to make “but it’s different” stick. (Wall Street Journal)
Meanwhile, there’s a scandal brewing over political donations and how they may have impacted investigations into Trump University. You hear about emails but not this. Liberal media, indeed. (Share Blue)
It figures that the good political stories were posted immediately following the Sunday links being posted. A secret ledger being discovered in the Ukraine by an anti-corruption team is certainly big news and even bigger when it might impact the office of the President of the United States.
Anyway, it’s Wednesday which means that it’s time for the links. Since we missed her Olympic appearance, here is Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke.
Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau found a secret ledger showing $12.7 million in payments from then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party to now Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. Manafort was a paid consultant for Yanukovych’s own Presidential campaign. (New York Times)
Coincidentally, Trump had advocated for a stronger US stance against Russia until recently softening his tone. Many people are saying this and the previous link are connected. (Politico)
And at the same time as that report came out, Ivanka Trump, daughter of the Republican Presidential nominee and one of his closest advisers, was on vacation with Vladimir Putin’s reported girlfriend. (Galore Magazine)
All the luck at Mercedes seems to go one way. It either goes all to Lewis Hamilton or, as it has lately, Nico Rosberg. With two engine failures in qualifying and a water pressure failure that looks to have rendered another useless, it looks like luck isn’t on Lewis’s side. Nico, on the other hand, has a nearly two-race points lead after winning the first four races of the season including the Russian Grand Prix.
Moving up from its traditional (as traditional as something can get over two years) late season spot on the schedule, the fourth round of the Formula One World Championship in Russia. Lewis Hamilton has won both races at the Sochi Autodrom but hasn’t won this season. If there was ever a place to turn his season around, it would be here and now. Do I think he has a chance? This weekend’s Formula One Power Rankings hold the answer.
For the first time in 100 years, Russia held a Grand Prix motor race and for the first time, it was Formula One racing in Russia. And while the Bond film might be called From Russia With Love, there is no love lost between the two chief protagonists in the 2014 F1 World Drivers’ Championship. The fierce rivalry between the two led to a spectacular first corner confrontation that was the race’s only memorable moment as Lewis Hamilton held his nerve and picked up the win in Russia.
Though most of the Formula One fraternity is still focused on the events last weekend in Japan, the 2014 Formula One World Championship rolls on as the tour makes its first appearance in Russia. I’d imagine that if we weren’t talking about Jules Bianchi’s accident and rules changes that should be made, we’d probably be talking about the politics of racing in Russia but it’s probably for the best that we don’t talk about that now. Let’s look at the power rankings for the first Russian Grand Prix in 100 years.
Sunday’s link-off was mostly about current events in Canada. Today, it’s the latest developments in Ukraine. You’d think that someone would try to be very apologetic about accidentally shooting down a civilian airplane but I guess that’s not how it works in Russia. It’s starting to look like things in Ukraine might once again get worse before it gets better.
First, let’s start this post with Samantha Hoopes.
The more Putin tightens his grip on Ukraine, it seems that more money is slipping through his fingers. Russian billionaires are worried about making money in an increasingly isolated Russia. (Bloomberg)
In other economic news, if the American economy is to grow, business have to start spending rather than saving. Apparently lowering taxes isn’t encouraging them to do so. (The Upshot)
The FCC wants to open up broadband to be available as a public-owned utility for municipalities to run themselves. It would be a great way to get around net neutrality by offering competition so no ISPs could hose customers. The Republicans are opposed to it, obviously. (Vox)