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Kellyanne Conway is a 51-year-old American political pundit, serving as a counselor to President Donald Trump. The 5’6” stall pollster has a slim figure. She has been married to litigator George T. Conway III since 2001. KellyAnne Judd’s Boyfriend. KellyAnne Judd is single. She is not dating anyone currently. KellyAnne had at least 3 relationship in the past. KellyAnne Judd has not been previously engaged. Her parents divorced. She has a sister named Kalan and a half-sister who is 18 years younger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised in Texas. Kellyanne and George Conway have been married since April 2001, have four kids together, and have risen to prominence on the national political stage in recent years. Kellyanne Conway’s husband George T. Conway III. Kellyanne Conway’s husband is George T. Conway III. The couple started dating in some time ago. Kellyanne is a Aquarius. Aquarians are extroverted, friendly, and great listeners and friendship is the key component of a romantic relationship with an Aquarian. Relationships. Kellyanne Conway has been in a relationship with Fred Dalton Thompson.. About. Kellyanne Conway is a 53 year old American Pundit. Born Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzpatrick on 20th January, 1967 in Camden, New Jersey, USA, she is famous for Campaign Manager for Donald Trump (2016). Kellyanne Conway’s outspoken 15-year-old daughter took to Twitter on Sunday night to reveal that she was “officially pushing for emancipation” from her parents as she denounced her mother’s job as being “all about money and fame” and blamed it for ruining her life. Kellyanne Conway's Daughter Hates Donald Trump Too! I just spent 20 minutes browsing through all the videos of @ShortFakeBlonde on TikTok! Claudia Conway is the daughter of #KellyanneConway ...
Rivals III from a first time viewer.(Part 11: Jesus, I didn't think my hate for Johnny could go any higher)
2020.09.15 00:52 Sanity0004Rivals III from a first time viewer.(Part 11: Jesus, I didn't think my hate for Johnny could go any higher)
I'll be honest. I'm not exactly looking forward to Rivals. What I would call Rivalry's, or worthy of calling a rivalry, have been either pretty tame or pretty rare. The season's have been on a pretty downward spin with the casting being low caliber and not much competition when it comes to actual challenges. Anyways, this is my eleventh go-around, if you want to check out my thoughts on other seasons check out my submissions. As I get close to caught up with CBS All Access I'm thinking more and more about a finale type post to follow the seasons of a whole bunch of rankings and thoughts on the show overall as I was going through it. If you have any ideas for random rankings you'd like to see that I might not have thought of, just let me know in the comments. EP 1: Wes and Bananas this time around? Fucking Vince... It's weird they're listing "championships" with the confessionals? Bananas has 5? Johnny Reilly is back again? Didn’t Exes prove that he was worthless and got lucky with his first season? I'm actually surprised Nany has only been on five seasons. It feels like more. They brought Christina back after one episode? What? just because she hooked up with someone immediately? Sarah's back? I honestly thought she was done the way she was talking on Exes. Johnny saying someone else is playing dirty is hilarious. Only because it was against him. Well this Ashley chick looks like a fucking wreck. I'm fine with seeing Kellyanne again. Jenna again! They really see more out of her than I do. Kinda surprised to see Avery and Jessica back. Those are two people I didn't expect to see again. Fucking Dario, guess we know Vince's rival. Thomas, Cory, and Leroy. Ok, I'm honestly not hating this cast so far. Thom now changes the story to making out. Fitting with the narrative Cara was pushing lmao I'm not hating the rookies either. This cast has potential. Nicole, Jamie and Vince walked in. I changed my mind. Well we needed some fodder I guess. I can't wait to see Vince prove he's the worst. I'm so goddamn tired of Johnny's speeches. I'm not liking how many people of Johnny's inner circle there are this season. Camila, Nany, Vince, Leroy, Johnny, Jenna, who knows how many other ties he made in the off season or how the rivals of those people will feel. I feel like Johnny would be the quenticiential pregamer. Any time anyone even has the potential of getting on the show I feel like he's probably chatting them up and trying to get friendly with them before the show even starts. Jenna's butt has returned to the screen after being absent for a season. Nicole's cartoon makeup has returned. These AYTO people are dumb lmao, trying to talk strategy right by the pool in front of everyone haha These fucks have no chance. I don't know what this AYTO show is but they need to stop looking to it for casting. You don't jump, you don't get on the season. Make it the rule! Is Sarah's rival Johnny? Are they doing a guy/girl rivals? "Mexico's an island right?" I remember why Jenna is here. Was honestly anticipating Wes and Johnny being forced to work together. I'd be fine with opposite sex rivals if they did something similar to Bloodlines of the two teams structure. Think there was a lot of potential there that got screwed by so many early exits that forced alliances so quickly. The lengths they go to fill these 'rivalries' is hilarious. "He disrespected your little sister...one night...the first day of the previous season." Say any negative word about someone in a confessional one time. Producers: "Such rivalry!" The first time Wes gets a female partner that isn't terrible? Better than Mandi and Casey at least. Cory and Ashley seems like a trainwreck waiting to happen. I kinda like this Briana chick. Johnny is really stuck on the red hair and freckles Jessica is cute as hell, but her mouth is sooooooo damn big. Leroy tries to calm down Simone for a single second and then walks away like "nevermind" hilarious. Fucking Tony Ashley gets turned on by people fighting. "Smashley" Ok Cory is pretty funny. This season is actually off to a pretty good start. Like the top tiny section of this house looks like it's the same size as the first Fresh Meat house all together lol These houses just get bigger and bigger. Least it's not a bunch of bunk beds this season. They only have like 4 different color jerseys this season? Couldn't try for more disparity? Oh Nicole's makeup....oh oh oh. Girl... Jessica's fall was scary as hell, Nicole fell like 5 inches. I have a feeling this challenge isn't regulated by height like Survivor does. Nany didn't even have to let go of the side rail to grab the first skull, and here Simone is struggling to even get the first lmao Vince overcoming his challenge terrible-ness on the first challenge? This will just completely inflate his ego. Sarah being Johnny's best partner? I feel like Camila and Sarah would be a pretty good comparison. I think Camila is underrated. Johnny just throwing it because Vince won and he gets a chance to let Sarah fall. Sounds just like Johnny. Camila is a badass, I just think her partner is going to end up sucking. I'm predicting Johnny/Jessica being first Eliminated. No matter who their contender is. Johnny showed on Exes he was bad. Man, we're getting to the point where even premieres don't have a full challenge and elimination in them without getting a to be continued?! EP 2: Episode starts with “Champ is here” yeah definitely doing wonder for Vinces ego Sounds like Leroy has a bruised tailbone I really don’t want to see Johnny R again. Please go. You suck, a Bananas puppet and you got second by almost pure luck. “Super twisty!” What a tease! /s I actually like Leroy but would like him more if he wasn’t dumb and best buds with Bananas Everyone keeps trying to talk about this skydiving haha shut up “The little sex cops” ok I’m a Jenna fan Tony not taking any advice at all and not taking it slow at all. Tony, still a mess confirmed. At least Jess is calling things off before anything happens unlike Cara. Leroy No! That’s a bummer. Silver lining is it hurts Johnny's numbers. Oh shit. Two pairs going in? So much for telling that rookie couple they were safe haha Oh stuck with their word. Good for them. Would have been a second easy pick. Inner rookie drama is least interesting drama Cory is so damn horny for this girl. All these times Johnny is seeing Jessica go home. Know what he’s not seeing? Johnny, doing anything other than a final. Bananas losing Leroy and Johnny in the first go would be a dream come true lol Darn! Jess carried Johnny to a win. “I understand the nuances now.” Dude you’re going first after like 3 days here you learned nothing. EP 3: Replacements? Hmmm Please send in Abram and Cara! Haha Smashley looks smashed and trashed. Good god. Watching Camila of all people trying to rationalize with a crazy drunk is giving me life right now haha Smashley about to hulk smash haha “piss in your pants bitch!” I’m kinda liking Cory a lot so far this season. Hahahahaha she goes to Jamie afterwards and asks HIM why HE is pissed?!? Hahaha “You don’t want people to talk about you, don’t give them something to talk about” Simone, girl, preach! It’s going to be nobody again isn’t it? TJ turning around and looking like he’s trying to find them just seems like peak bad TJ acting. More rookies? That was a let down. I would have rather had no one. Oh the elim winner picks order. Interesting change that I’m ok with. This challenge reminds me so much of the older school style of challenges. I’m all for that. “I’ve been practicing with Jamie all week.” I puked in my mouth a bit. Wes looks tired instantly. He coming in a bit out of shape? Why is she moaning? Hahahaha Maybe the funniest challenge. Oh never mind Wes is being smart. What the hell kinda quesadilla is spicy? Simones asshole feels like a spicy quesadilla... I don’t like the game getting more twisty! Every time I get just a tiny glimpse of Christina I either think Casey or Melinda is on the season. She’s like a weird amalgamation of the two. Johnny trashing Wes and Simone defending him lol “I carried her ass to the end” you were gone like fifth what are you talking about? Lmao “I would have never done that.” I would have had Leroy or Jenna/Jay do it for me. So I can still claim I was loyal. Wes looking at the camera and saying “this happens all the time” after Simone walks away mad is fucking hilarious. This Tony dude is always getting in arguments with girls. There is something with him. Always. All this fighting because he asked what season of a show she was from lol EP 4: This season going fast. I’m enjoying the hell out of this season so far. I haven’t said it yet but I’m kind of shocked Jamie is back. That dude was literally invisible last season. Every time he appeared on screen I was confused for like 3 minutes pricing together who he was. Simone going home with a torn butthole is a new one. “How is a butthole going to send me home?!” Nicole is so much cuter without all the makeup. Quit it chick! They really went all out in this house party. Dang. Here comes Camilinater! Camila, you could just approach it calmly and say no that didn’t happen and then try to see who said it. But to flip out right away just comes off as defensive. “I’m going home” this is not the Camila I know. Now she’s crying? You’re really taking on the Robin vibes as of late. Kellyanne, you can’t keep saying be quiet and trying to be quiet and not seeming suspicious. It’s on its way to getting resolved and Nicole calls Camila crazy lol good people skills I’m glad these rookies don’t seem to awful this season. Haha I love how these rookie AYTO players are having a meeting talking about allegiances and Wes is just quietly in the middle of them barely even being shown on camera lol Arguing about which show is better haha “You’re on a dating show! Shut the fuck up!” Lol This new freckle chick is coming in wanting to get under everyone’s skin. If only she was good at challenges she’d be my new favorite cast member. Since when do they have security?!?! I think Camila just wants to kiss the freckle girl. Lol Quittin bitch! I was liking Brianna. Jennas cousins namesake didn’t not chew bugs and end up finishing the final for you to quit on another girl named Brianna the following season because you had a case of the sads. How dare you! So many people standing there look like they want to punch the dude lol I feel like Brianna could be back. I feel like Johnny and Wes are working together this season on the sly. They’re always close together during the comps talking and when Reilly got to decide order he put Wes in the second group. Oh oh oh Ashley got caught on a rope or something. Wow that’s definitely a production fuck up. Ouch. At least Dario isn’t talking as much shit this season. How are you gonna end on a cliffhanger on Camilas normal looking fall when Smashley looked like she was about to lose a damn arm?! EP 5: Tony sucks. I feel bad for Camila lol Amanda the new mouth of the house? Talks shit and falls right away. God I hate everyone names Johnny. Please be reilly/Jessica please please please. Yes!!! Please get eliminated now. Smashley it’s probably not a good idea to tell your partner you want to throw in his number one ally lol Camila flipping out from someone playing the he said she said game and then turning around and playing the he said she said game lol I feel like this is being said to possibly sway smashley/Cory to not vote any vets in elim but the editing isn’t doing it justice. “You know why you ripped your ass?! Cause you’re a weak ass!!” Line of the season. “Just go back to....hell bitch” phew that was close. Held my breath for a second. I don’t know how the sliding glass doors on this show don’t break. They get slammed every season constantly. EP 6: “Who? Her?” No, Cory, Camila is drunkenly yelling at you two about someone else… “Literally never have I wanted someone and NOT gotten with that person.” What a weird creepy ass thing to say Devin… Damn Smashley, Yeah Simone was so in the wrong saying Jamie shouldn’t trust her lol Not really a mini final, but this challenge of completing tasks and climbing repeated walls sounds great. Brains or balls, way to start. Did Vince seriously just smash the brain and basically smush it against his face barely actually getting any in his mouth? Everyone puking, Jamie just calmly chewing. I swear Vince just basically cheated that eating part. He literally smashed it up and had like half of it plastered to his hand and just shows his empty mouth and walks on. With the size of that rope you really think the lasso choice wouldn’t be that hard. Camila with tries on her head and on each arm. Never let it be understated that Camila is kind of a beast. They took the wrong mattress haha Jeez, Wes and Nany seem so far behind. Now someone loses their token? Lol I love this challenge. Eat cake, or go naked….wow “This is not a good day to be a ginger.” I’m so tired of hearing Johnny whine about this shit. Literally two seasons of Johnny fucking over friends, but please, lets whine about the one time you got screwed over by a friend two seasons ago. Devin comes up like “You need me to bend over too?” Wants to throw in Wes. We just ignoring the long history of being outside friends with Nany? Not even going to talk about who Wes’ partner is? Just putting in Wes, that’s all that’s said lol of course. Fucking over friends at the end to get money, jesus christ that’s wrong! Fucking over a friend simply because their partner is a nemesis? Easy peasy. I feel like MTV and the editors are literally helping Johnny just shy away from his faults or issues. That Nany is never referenced or even talked about? For all the time Wes was the hot head, he always seems to be the first on the scene of trying to break fights up or stop them from happening. You get a pass, you get a pass. Everyone gets a pass! Oh shit, Tony and Camila. Camila, you didn’t do it on purpose, but it was clearly asked multiple times did anyone grab one that wasn’t theirs. You had the chance to bring it up. You remember it so clearly suddenly? Surprised Johnny even spoke the name Nany. Isn’t that a friend Johnny? Camila still bitching. You had multiple times to bring up that you picked it up and you didn’t. “Emotional abuse.” hahaha Wait...Camila and Tony are Wes’ number one alliance? Pulling an audible and leaving it up to the skulls to determine safety? Every skull pull has had the three white skulls pulled first. EP 7: Oh Tony, you’re going down a bad road. Step away slowly. Devin, drunk and blowing his game? Lol Kellyanne coming in with a stinger “Shouldn’t you be home?” If precedence means anything, Cory will get a pass. Producers actually breaking up an argument seems weird lol A fight? Yeah, obviously. But producers telling Devin to stop antagonizing Cory and people, seems weird. Angry drunkenness everywhere. Nany seems out of it, and they get a single one lol Yeah, Smashley seems like someone that would drive a car through a house. Nate and Christina seemed to grab red and yellow by basically just falling on the poles. That….can’t be a valid run lmao Kellyanne and Jamie just basically walked off the platform I wanted to know what the tiebreaker would have been. Camila handled the social situation by basically coming out and saying “All teams matter” lmao “Yes I took your token, but what happened to us was unfair too!” Not gonna lie, I’m liking Nelson and freckle chick. Coming straight down to eat and saying don’t fuck around, throw in the vets! Camila is seriously trash at even attempting to accept any kind of blame lmao They throw in the only two people going to them and saying not to be stupid? You idiots throw in other damn rookies? You idiots. Freckle girl talking truth. These people will slit your throat the next week. TJ asked if anyone took the token and they didn’t say a peep. Finally the black skull is actually pulled. Ice baths make a return! You couldn’t put it in a freezer? Challenge going bitch mode confirmed. Jamie and Kellyanne as a collective may actually be dumber than Jenna. Jenna has actually completely disappeared from the last couple episodes. I spoke too soon about Jenna disappearing. Random confessional basically calling Jamie/Kellyanne dumb. “My weiner hurts.” “You call it a weiner?” These wood blocks are going to need to be used to make boxes or something. THe rookies seem completely unfazed by the water. Kellyanne and Jamie win by copying. Bummer. I kind of liked freckle chick who I can never remember her name. Nelson seemed kind of invisible. EP 8: Lot more partying this season than the last couple I feel. I don’t know what it is, but Cory and Cheyanne seem so boring. THey keep seeming to build it up, but it’s repetitive and just kinda goes nowhere? Tony really just seems to have problems with females in general. That’s basically all he gets in arguments with, and always has issues with. He gets drunk and then rants and raves about women. I think I hate Vince more than Johnny lol At least Johnny is interesting for the game. Johnny going to get Tony to shut Camila up. What in the fuck kind of psychological fucking warfare is this?! That’s literally just trash. You’re the dude who has a long fucking history with the chick, and you go grab the guy who has fought with her all season and tells her to shut her up. Now Tony is literally in Camila’s face and pinning her to the wall? I’m sure Johnny will catch nothing for this… Johnny just conveniently invisible when shit blows up. Oh shit.. Producers asking if he remembers being woken up? They’re acknowledging that he was PLACED in that situation? His warning wasn’t acknowledged when Cory went at Devin? Seems sus… I seriously can’t understate how shitty Johnny was in this situation. He literally just used oil to, in his words, “put out a fire” and basically put a long time friend in a really shitty situation and then just disappears while shit hits the fan. Damn, Smashley still has big as scars under her arms from the ropes in that challenge. “One can argue, I’m a little responsible” Fuck off Johnny, you knew full fucking well what you were doing. I would fully believe Tony has some domestic violence calls in his history or future. I love the spur of the moment things like this. Keep them on their toes. I am all for this challenge. Basically just endurance and will. They’ve all but eliminated these types of challenges in Big Brother and Survivor purely for time and scheduling. “A thousand dollars, that means a thousand cheeseburgers, I need that money!” They’re going to ask questions about their interruptions, I just know it and I absolutely love it. “I think it’s only been an hour and I’m already going crazy” (Ten minutes later) I’m assuming this was some kind of editing mess up and they actually meant only ten minutes have elapsed and it’s making fun of Jenna thinking it’s been an hour. Because otherwise the ten minutes later was pointless and nothing happened afterward. Smashley of all people queueing in on picking up the details? Kind of surprising. We don’t get enough of Wes’ sense of humor. Hope it’s not crucial that you know that number was definitely NOT on the gas tank lol Vince, you weird creepy fuck. I’m just going to take this opportunity of being on a box with a girl to need to hang on her and touch her as much as possible. Christina like 5 hours in thinking about paying attention just now… I hate Bananas, but I can’t help but have respect for a guy that instantly evokes David Bowie in Labyrinth when a guy comes out doing some fushigi shit with a glass ball. OK Johnny doing TJ impressions is great. I feel like Jenna is going to come in and Rainman this shit lmao Awww you end just as it gets to the actual puzzle? Damn you. EP 9: Dario a dumbass? Shocker Actually surprised by Sarah and Bananas winning, the way it was edited made it seem like Sarah was paying attention to the wrong details. Jeesh, it comes down to Wes/Nany and Nicole/Dario. Why are they just sitting there doing nothing?! Bananas saying they want Nicole/Dario to lose so they can vote in Wes makes no real sense. If they vote them in they have a chance to pull white skulls and not even go into the elim. Wouldn’t you want a better chance of them going home? Oh yay, Johnny gets to take his cousin on a trip. I seriously can’t take the daily check ins with Sarah and Johnny repairing their bullshit. Sarah being gaslighted in to thinking she “stole” a win from Johnny, and now wants to “pay him back” is fucking depressing. It’s like her working with Kenny in Fresh Meat 2, after she got bullied endlessly in Ruins, all over again. Of any boat trip to be on, this would be my absolute last choice. Jamie and Kellyanne whining about not being selected lmao Kellyanne talking fucking facts! Amen!!! “Johnny will never throw a guy friend under the bus, but he will throw any girl friends name out. But if a girl friend backstabs him, like Sarah did, they become rivals.” AMEN sister. Wes, you’re talking to a brick wall of people who either suck, or just had a chance of putting Johnny in and put their own alliance members in instead. Why is Devin randomly called “Gronk” at one point? Why did the cast on Free Agents have the real nice Challenge Jerseys, but they still just went back to plain t-shirts after that? Was thinking they moved on to nice “uniforms” Should have had some distance between the two yellers. This is pure insanity TJ looks like he’s facepalming in the background this entire elim lol Wes had an easy time as soon as Jamie wasn’t just holding him the whole time. Hey look, Johnny talking about winning with grace. Literally the dude that hoots and hollers every single time he wins. I swear I would hate this guy near as much if he just didn’t have confessionals. He’s such a two faced hypocrite as soon as he talks in confessionals. His confessionals do him a disservice. Johnny talking to Vince about someone else playing on borrowed time is amazingly oblivious. EP 10: Oh god Johnny talking about a final being a real final when you go against strong teams. Fuck off Johnny. “Guys! I miss Sarah!” Ok, Johnny can be funny Cory talking about timing lol what in the hell are you trying to talk about Cory? Lol You’re so bad at the politics I think I’ve actually seen this challenge of digging up partners but it was at the very beginning of a season. I keep waiting to see it, but I don’t think it’s this one. Wes putting Cory back in this comp shows that he smartly knows he’s probably not reliable. Nate literally saying his strategy is wanting to be a layup for Bananas and coming in third place lmao These fuckers are depressing. Wes was on a roll, but he’s absolutely blown this Wes bobbing up and down in excitement after Nicole/Dario win lol Half of Christinas answers were really fucking dumb lol Nate’s strategy of wanting to be a layup to Bananas is the worst fucking joke though lmao Nicole, I feel like you could have phrased this a tiny bit better than talking about Cory making deals with Wes. Dario then talks to Wes about wanting to throw in Cory. Nicole, you dumbass. Dario and Nicole are not fucking good at this game lol jesus christ Nicole is just blindly sitting by and watching Nany get fucked right now lol Dario’s game plan: Let’s call over Johnny and Sarah and present our asshole for them and hope they feel gracious later on. Jesus, people Nicole and Dario may seriously be dumber than Vince/Jenna Nicole...what point of view? Seriously. One guy had a conversation with another guy weeks ago so suddenly everything is null and void? Lmao what are these people talking about? Cory is the one that’s wanting to play both sides, but somehow Wes/Nany and Devin/Cheyanne are the bad guys? This really just comes to me as Dario being afraid of going against Bananas and Vince and just trying to do anything to rationalize it. EP 11: Devin looks like a robot when he does his 3 clap thing. Like his hand is at an exact right angle and stiff as can be. Oh yeah, midevil torture, lets go! I have way more faith in Smashley holding on to a bar than Christina. Smashley being a complete disappointment, damn Cory again, is fake muscle. Is Cory the second coming of Ty? Complete exhaustion with the least amount of effort. Cory and Smashley an utter disappointment. That was depressing to watch. I knew Cory has like a quarter tank of gas, but Smashley was impressing most of the season. The downside of Nany and Wes right now is literally that they’re not trying to sit Nicole/Dario down and talk rationally to them. The way they continue to come off is emotional and spastic just because they got screwed over, but I feel it’d go over a lot better if they just talked about what actually took place and how it was nothing. Vince...is just terrible. News alert: Vince is terrible at challenges, remember he THREW all those challenges on Bloodlines, he definitely didn’t suck. Trust his cousin, Johnny. Johnny benefiting greatly from Sarah, he barely even has to jump getting on or off the bag. Johnny having to rely on these shitty rookies not sucking is my favorite thing ever. I hate how many of these dumbasses say “Fustrated” Not really dominant TJ, they got one extra flag? Wait, wait. How are these people EVER pulling out the black skull. I feel like this was the first time actually seeing a good glimpse of all the skulls and the other skulls have triangles cut out of the skulls and the black one has semi-circles. I knew there had to be a difference with how often it’s come down to the last draw, but this seems so dumb. I feel like this is just going to be another season where Wes or Johnny goes right before the final and the one remaining is the clear winner in the final. I love that this elim started with Nate and christina talking about being great in pressure, but what does them in is Nates patience and getting frustrated. I’m fine being back in the days of Wes vs everyone. Wes is more entertaining in this seat than Johnny is. Every season, without fail. “Where is it at?” EP 12: Wait, I thought they broke up? Oh jesus. Zach ghosts Jenna while she’s on The Challenge? Woooooow Zach, you were already a misogynist douchebag, but damn dude. Oh god, Devin wanting to pull a Jordan lmao Ugh, I hate seeing a challenge and instantly know that Johnny and Sarah have an advantage. “It’s like having a giant condom on you” You could have literally hindered Johnny/Sarah by like 5 minutes and I still would have bet on them over everyone in that challenge from the start. I hope to see a repeat of Dario being absolutely terrible in an elim. Jesus christ, do we literally have to hear about Johnny possibly not being over Sarah playing the game, every god damn episode? He is literally just piling on over and over again on Sarah. It’s gross. I like how Johnny passes it off as carrying Vince AND Jenna knowing damn well it’s all Vince bringing that pair down. Vince is the new Dunbar or Tyrie. Devin being 4 for 4 on the skulls. Nany, just think of Nicole's eyebrows and imagine yourself beating something off of her face. I hope we don’t get a repeat of the last time Wes was in something physical and confrontational. I miss roid rage Wes. Jesus Wes, that was terrible. This and the Hall Brawl elim versus Leroy is an absolute horrible back to back showing by Wes. That blows. That had nothing to do with Nany not pushing Nicole. Wes you blew a big lead and were slow as shit in the crawl. Welp, Johnny and Sarah have handedly won the season. Wes was probably the only one that would win a challenge to even put him in and none of these guys are going to beat them in a final. Jenna looking confused: “We’re getting ready for the final right now?” Jenna, you are a treasure. Johnny knowing it bothers her, and continually using it is definitely Johnny harkening back to his Kenny/Evan days. This should bother Sarah more than anything, because she saw those tactics in their prime. At this point I just want to hear a single person on this cast saying “frustrating” the right way. Sarah just sitting around eating while her two main ally’s continue to dole out what she has dealt with from the same people in the past is really hard to take. Especially when it includes picking on the only black girl by calling her a stereotypical name that they know bothers her. Making someone want to leave, from the same person whos cousin earlier almost fought someone for calling him a bitch, and he passed it off as bitch gaming to get him out of the house. I can not take the Johnny hypocrisy. EP 13: Sarah DEFENDING it. Ugggggh Jenna and Sarah just trying to stay quiet and let the two guys be trash. Glad you could get your friend back Sarah Jenna and Sarah just passing off Devin being mad because he’s going to go home is some serious groupthink mentality in these games. Where you can tell Johnny has just repeated it enough times that they just accept that to just nullify any right Devin/Cheyanne have to being angry. I’m suddenly back to the Ruins days where the people at the end just disgust me and I hate the second to last episode because it’s just everyone ganging up on one person or team. Vince is a scumbag, fuck everything. Johnny starting the morning saying this is nothing and everyone deals with it. FUCK out of here. This one sequence is really just bringing this whole season crashing and burning down for me. You can see the instant disgust on Johnny knowing his whole game comes down to drawing random straws lmao Hahaha, please be Johnny vs Vince. Please please please please Jenna being 3 for 3 for finals. Wow No trivia this season, I just realized Wow, these are literally the easiest of these style of riddles “These young players keep testing me.” Really Johnny? You kind of coasted to this point.You consistently have the best partner any time you come in to a partners game. That they’re struggling on Top Secret is crazy. These are literally some of the most basic ones of these idiom riddles that I’ve seen. At least the best team isn’t getting knocked out right before the finale. I would have been fine with Dario or Vince going right here. I fucking hate Vince. Hopefully this final is better than last seasons lackluster affair. Don’t feel too bad about being here by luck Devin. Johnny’s been back 2 seasons on pure luck. Vince is here purely by association. Them talking shit about Jenna being a hinderence in the final is hilarious, since she wasn’t the one to quit on her first, and she led her second one all the way to the point of something her and her tiny cousin couldn’t really do. I don’t even mean the food either. They struggled because the rowing and they had tiny ass arms. I would not be surprised if Sarah and Johnny were the only people to complete the final. A twist wholly set up for Johnny to fuck over Sarah. Sarah is literally staring down Johnny because you know she is expecting it. Johnny not even looking at Sarah and only saying history could repeat itself, just shows me that he’s thinking the exact same thing. If anything I hope Jenna fucks over Vince. Of course, Johnny just avoids even talking about it. He won’t just say yes. Haha Johnny is a shit bag. EP 14: Johnny : “If anyone has to worry, it’d be me. You’ve done it in the past.” Says the guy that’s literally fucked over every girl he’s aligned with. Hey, a Survivor style puzzle lol The slat puzzle I honestly would have pulled an audible as the judge and allowed Johnny’s finish of the puzzle being upside down. It was together in the right order. It was just upside down. It’s still completed. Johnny and Sarah’s confessionals sound like they’re trying to convince each other that they’re not planning on taking the money lol I don’t know why it just hit me, but Devin reminds me so much of Big Head from Silicon Valley “Could you go to sleep?” “Probably” Jenna’s brain default setting is literally off, she’s good. Johnny is the king of projection. Let’s look at Cheyanne and say she’s only doing it for the points, knowing damn well you just talked about the 2 points being pivotal lol “I feel like I can trust him. Yeah, I can trust him!” Famous last words Sarah I wonder how much TJ hates having to sit there while these people puke? 20 minute penalty seems nuts. Wasn’t one of the most recent finals have like a 3 minute penalty? Lmao Vince’s sucking finally coming to the surface! I love it! Watching Sarah cough all over the place is hard to watch in current times To compare working as a team and then taking all the money for yourself, to putting a different team in an elimination right before the final is a bit of a stretch Johnny. Yeah, Johnny’s not a piece of shit at all lol Yes Sarah, he just manipulated you the entire time. Don’t sit here and let him compare this to what you did. Fuck that. I’m glad to be vindicated in my Johnny hate. EP 15(Reunion): I hope everyone at this finale laughs at Sarah for ever thinking this wouldn’t happen. You had the history right before your eyes all season. You had two past partners and friends that had nothing to do with him on this very season. Hahaha Johnny trying to pass this off as anything like Sarah putting his team in to elimination is hilarious. Oh here we go with Johnny’s usual argument. “How many finals have you been to?” You’ve literally had one of the top 2 or 3 partners every season dude. I’m with Sarah, get the fuck out of there. Fuck this gaslighting prick. Comparing him fucking over his partner taking any chance she had at money and comparing that to putting two people in to an elimination is just a sick joke. The only thing that makes them remotely similar is they both involved Johnny. Hey Johnny going for reinforcement from guys he worked with. Whoa what is new? I’m really getting to the point of hating these reunions and how no one says shit in defense of anyone. It’s like everyone is so afraid of Johnny they won’t say shit. I would have honestly not doubted that Bananas knew about that twist the whole entire season. How is Devin literally the only sane person on this stage? You can’t call shit on Devin, when Johnny’s repeated total strategy is never going to an elim. You can’t then be mad at a team avoiding it constantly. Someone else who did the same thing literally became your biggest ally. I never want to see Vince again. Quit trying to talk up Vince, we saw all of last season and this season. Vince sucks. Jenna carried that partnership. This final and reunion back to back has given me a migraine. Ewww, Vince and Camila. Eww The weird denial following this is weird. Were they in there doing coke? There’s something definitely sketchy there, if they didn’t fuck. Ok, I’m for this host. She ain’t backing down and letting Camila run it. Even when Johnny is randomly asking people on the street he can't help but frame the question in his favor and it still doesn't come out like he wanted lmao Overall Thoughts: Honestly, this season was great, but was almost hard to watch with the last couple episodes leading in to the final. The severe lack of competition makes the whole seasons basically rely on one or two main occurrences or eliminations and suddenly the rest of the season falls in line. As soon as Wes was gone, the season was decided. Not necessarily that Wes would win the final, but Wes was likely the only other person that would win over Banana's and Sarah and actually put Johnny in or beat Johnny in an elimination. I hate Johnny and I think I hate Vince even more because he talks just as much shit, but has done literally nothing. I'm still waiting for a single redeeming quality for Johnny to pop it's head out. Where were all the people throughout these posts that would not understand where the Johnny hate was coming from? It has literally only gotten worse! That being said. I think Sarah basically played herself. It was Kenny all over again when he bullied her incessantly on The Ruins and then they went in to Fresh Meat 2 and basically the first words out of Sarah's mouth was that Kenny was her number one. To ever think you had anything to earn back from Johnny or to ever think he would suddenly have your back again is 100% on you. I still think Johnny did a supremely fucked up thing and him trying to compare it to what Sarah did was disgusting. It would have been 10 times better if he just walked out and said "Yeah, I did it. Fuck off" but the fact that he tries to validate it and he has to have people agree with him and be ok with it is what pisses me off. Either be the fucking bad guy or own up to the fact that you're a piece of shit you can't just do all these shitty things and act like you're above it all and you're only doing what you have to do. You're gross. You're a hypocrite and you're the fucking king of gaslighting, and I thought that before this fucking season. There was not a single fucking episode that went by that you couldn't bring up time and time again how you think you still weren't over what Sarah did. You kept building it up and up like it was the worst betrayal in the history because you just had to hold that over Sarah's head. You're a sick fucking dude. I am seriously on the edge of my seat just waiting for a single redeeming aspect of him to appear to understand even the slightest of fans.
2020.09.11 17:14 Sanity0004First time viewing The Challenge as a Big Brother/Survivor fan, Part 10(Battle of the Bloodlines)
So my run through of the seasons continues, this time with Battle of the Bloodlines. I put a TL:DR or overall thoughts down at the bottom if you don't want to go through each episode. Check my posting history if you want to check out the past seasons I've been through so far. Thanks for reading these, they're fun to make and make going through the seasons more enjoyable. EP 1: I thought Camila was short, but she seems a head taller than her sister. Damn Not surprised Jenna is back. I feel like if they were going for a season of bloodlines they could have tried for more vets or big names from the challenge to at least use it as an excuse to get some people back. It seems like they went the easiest route possible and got half of the previous season and some rookies and a whole bunch of pointless add ons. I'm really worried I'm not going to like how this show changes moving forward... lol Fucking Johnny and his god damn speeches Oh, I didn't even recognize Kellyanne. Damn, the son is coming up and they're still just drinking and hanging out "Expect the most maniacal twists" after literally the first thing resembling a twist ever happens Why were we robbed of Cohutta and Kellyanne, or even Nany on Exes 2, rather than fucking Bananas Caught a weird angle on Christina and really thought they snuck Casey on the season for a second. I really never understand the people that come on here and literally think they can openly cheat. Like God damn, how do you have anyone trust you if you think you can get away with it on a show let alone real life? Guy who is cheating says they didn't hook up, girl who doesn't care says they did lol Coming in and throwing out shit like "typical woman move" is definitely the way to come in as rookies lol He literally has nothing to say Angry drunk casting strikes again Imagine coming in this game with a family member as a teammate and going out for fighting with the same family member lmao Wait...is this the house from Seasons? Or another season? I recognize those stairs that Sam got pushed down right beside of! He didn't hit you Shane, but I'm preeeetty sure you hit him a few times. THEY get the clear? Pffft production is so damn wishy washy So you thought Jenna being worthless was so entertaining you thought it a great idea to bring her just as useless cousin on with her. Great. Rules must be stopping them from collecting water from the moat that has collected around the hill lol Just fall over and go "Oops, I must have picked up a little extra." Leroy even mad at his damn sibling! God damn, Johnny is murdering this. Oh no people may be trying to come for Johnny? Unfair! lol I seriously can't take the cartoon drawing on Nicole that she calls makeup. Seems weird to have male and female days when there is multiple teams with both male or both female. If it's a female day do the all guy teams not even try because it doesn't matter? I'm confused? This seems dumb. Having the rookie make a speech about putting someone up because they're a rookie? lol seems smart Vince starting shit lol EP 2: I'm only just starting episode 2 and I think I hate this season. This may be my least favorite cast from the jump. Uhhhh, did Cara just give a Hand Job to some RUTO random, WHILE SHE'S DATING ABRAM?!?! What in the shit Cara?!?! Cara just plummeted in my mind. Eeeesh Every time I see Jenna and Brianna I suddenly get struck with a wave disgruntlement. I hate this cast. Starting off early with the eating challenges. I'm ok with this. Interesting that they chose to do this role/position aspect randomly. Doesn't usually seem like their thing. It'd be weird to have the snake cuddling around with you, but I honestly can't see being all that freaked out about it. The bugs definitely has the worst end of the bargain. How are they possibly going to determine the worse out of this lmao first to give up? Eh, some people didn't do near as bad as I thought. Kellyanne seemed to struggle going in but looked to blow it away. Jenna and Brianna continue to prove their worthlessness. Again, don't understand the discrepency between the girl/guy days. Could the girls literally have just not tried because they assumed it was a guy's day? This seems so dumb. Wow, Kelleyanne looked like she killed it. Shocked she was at the bottom of guy teams. With the way Cara was orchestrating the helping of Cohutta last episode I'm assuming Johnny is going in against Cohutta? Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up. Oh, I guess she's just going to Cohutta and seeing who they want. Ugh, I hate this fuckin' cast. These twins just seem like all talk. Notice they get all snappy with Cara, but even though it was Cohutta that called them out they don't go to him at all? Awe, Cara has Diem on her arm. Nany just blowing up Cara's spot. So I'm assuming Cara was thinking there was no cameras in the bus and then suddenly Johnny has a gopro and suddenly Thomas needs to go? God damn. Nany's sister looks like a damn cartoon character with her makeup. I feel like Aneesa is trying to get Jenna/Brianna to quit lol "She's not even cute!" Again, why. Why the fuck was Jenna brought back and why the fuck did they think her trainwreck cousin was worth bringing on with her? I agree with Cohutta, these people are insanely crazy. Fucking hell. I feel like Cohutta is doing terribely with this Elim. He's not even trying for the ball. Once he tackles him he just wraps him up and sits there. Wait wait wait wait. Someone just talked about wanting to quit and only staying for their cousin and you're going to switch up teams to where she has no motivation to stay? What?! EP 3: Ok, so they're doing Survivor style swaps. Teams of two now swapping to two big teams. I'm ok with this. As much as I hate Johnny, Cara is smart to grab Johnny first. Cara's cousin is looking at this much smarter. It's more about saddling your team with the worse people than it is about picking the best. Cara's team is getting fucked right now with these picks lmao Candice, Brianna, AND Aneesa's family member. That team is fucked. Was Johnny not trying to help with the picks at all? I can't imagine he'd be quiet. I'm loving the recycling of challenges from the last couple seasons. I was about to ask why Cara looked like the least secure person to jump but then I remembered she has a height fear. Did they literally get Candice to walk off the challenge and directly in to a confessional? lol They wanted to get the shot with the blood. I like this voting mechanic. That's gonna be rough. Nany just randomly voting Aneesa just to be a bitch lol Camila don't fuck around with her politics. You wanna throw out her name you better Nany, you didn't vote for Larissa, but you also threw away your vote instead of voting for Jenna. I feel like you took some notes from Johnny. Also, I again bring up the fact that Nany and Johnny were kissing Jenna's ass at the last reunion. These fuckin' throwaway votes lol Aneesa and Nany are playing bitchy. Not voting against Camila doesn't do shit if you could have voted for the next closest person. Ok, at least the team came around to their senses. I don't know what they were thinking. The way it was being determined I thought maybe they were done with the representing aspect in the elim, but calling Camila and Briana up makes me wonder if it will be Camila vs Jenna. Jenna wins one elimination and wants to be cocky lmao Hope this Tony dude is ok, but I'm perfectly fine with Shane/Tony going. Bye. EP 4: Shocked by Candice and Leroy. The big toe stops you from competing?! I would think it'd be more out of fear of the lip busting open again and getting worse. Guess I was wrong about the representation aspect in the Elims. Makes it a lot easier to get rid of strong players with just voting in their weaker partner. I really wish they didn't make so many elims dependant on body weight and size. Bye Camila. You got screwed. I would have actually liked seeing Camila vs Jenna in the same elim. "We're going to be here to the final." "Yup, probably." Good enthusiasm Brianna lmao Oh no, Johnny lost two of his numbers in one night. :c Eeeeeeesh, Every time I see this Cara/Thomas shit I just cringe super fucking hard. Jesus. So many damn people cheating on this show. God damn! I love when people are completely opposite what they show from their confessionals lmao Cory, all over Aneesa, gets told by his partner to shape up. Gets in confessional "She's showing me she's more childish then I thought. I'm gonna put an end to that." -Jennifer Lawrence ok.gif Nany and Johnny are definitely the cheifs of hooking up and not really letting it effect their games lol Damn, another pair gone. Oh shit. Oh SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT Huge fucking eye emoji. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Abram, coming in to this house right now is fucking hilarious. Cara, just straight awkward.... Oh fuck hahaha This season JUST GOT INTERSTING! Oh god the awkwardness. I love it! Johnny and Nany fucking loving it! Abram doesn't look like he's in the best of shape though... Cara shockingly doesn't look happy or excited. AND Trivia? Best episode ever?! I feel like they've asked this 60/60/60 angle questions multiple times now. I wonder if it's a trivia staple. I also don't think anyone's gotten it right. God, I hate so much of this cast. But hey Abram is here and I am so ready for this drama. 5 sides on a stop sign? What?! Fake face girl of all people winning it for the red team? Shocked. Damn, I thought trivia was going long but that's the end of the episode? EP 5: What a weird place to pick up on an episode. It's like the old half hour episode days. "I wouldn't lose a day of sleep if Banana's fell off a cliff." I knew I liked Abram. What....just happened? Did Abram's brother volunteer to go in to Elim? Like...why? The crazy gene is strong with this family. Cara STILL hanging around with Thomas. What is in this chick's head?! Kellyanne... "I don't want to talk to that bitch(aneesa) either." Cory going downhill fast. You think Aneesa is dumb enough to fall for this obvious politicking kiss ass? You dumb rookies. Aneesa, don't be stupid. I'd usually be all for newbies coming in and fucking shit up, but most of these rookies are just annoying as hell. "You're showing your true colors." Cory, you literally only even talked to Aneesa to get a vote. Who's true colors were seen? "Nobodies afraid ladies." These twins are nothing but mouth. I don't even know who this Anthony guy is... lol Mitch looks like he's about to cry when this Anthony guy votes for him. It sucks that so many people went home so quicky because I feel like the format didn't get to play out as well as it could have. They're basically forced now to vote for alliances rather than trying to weaken or strengthen teams. Which I think is the best part of the teams/pair aspect of this system. Johnny is a douchebag, but Dario and Raphy are really not ones to talk lol TJ just smiling and nodding watching it all. I love TJ lmao Throwing off his mic. Isn't that like a big no no? I remember everyone jumping in and trying to help Jasmine when she almost did that. Like they didn't care before that, but as soon as she went for her mic everyone jumped on her to stop her. Them being mad at Aneesa is fucking hilarious. You guys basically dogged her and only talked to her for her vote. Ya'll are idiots. They're saying the vote was in Aneesas hands, but are they going on the assumption that Mike would have voted for himself? Because even with Aneesa's vote the decision was off by 2? "Did they ask you if you saw them come out of the bathroom?" God damn Cara. What the shit. This isn't even like the Paula situation, where Yes Paula was shit for what she did, but Ty was pressing that shit constantly and it was weeks of it. Cara was hooking up with this dude like a week in. God damn chick. I remember thinking early on that Kellyanne seemed more mature and stable than a lot of people on the cast, from seasons like The Island or Ruins, but I feel like she's just gotten more childish and insecure as seasons go on? Aneesa's acting just as stupid in this episode, but Kellyanne just seems kind of like the desperate girl trying to get attention from all the popular guys or something. It's a weird energy. Jenna not considering things racist? Color me shocked. "2020's in hindsight." That's definitely not the saying, but god do I wish Kellyanne. I can't express how hilarious it would be for the twins to lose this lmao Using only his arms lol, what a dumbass Oh fuck. His damn foot slips! He fucking had it! Hahahahaha the bitch twins gave up and tried to wine about the yellow hitting the line lmao What idiots. All mouth, and then they're mouths get them the loss. Wow Aneesa, wise the fuck up. Cory just wants your vote at this point. EP 6: Oh shit, A Dirty little secret. Ominous episode title!!!!! Johnny at yoga is pretty funny, not gonna lie I love Abram's hate for Johnny. He calls it true! "False friendships, selling people up river, just false to your face." So true! Love the Johnny hate Abram, but you're definitely letting emotion effect the game my dude. People can't stop talking about Cara/Thom. lol How is she not walking around this house with an ulser with worry of who's going to say something. I would love nothign more than the guys get to a challenge and TJ just saying "First thing first, Cara we have to address something." I would love nothing more than for TJ just to put the drama out there RIGHT before a challenge. Its challenges like this that really shows the benefit of vets and experience. Kellyanne offering to go in? Saves time I guess. Johnny, I understand not wasting the time in fighting for Nany in deliberations, but to vote for her is just stupid and pointless. You're not gaining any face with people already gunning for you by voting for someone who everyone knows you're aligned with. You're doing yourself a diservice voting for Nany. You're just being stupid. Like Nany says, throwing his vote away would just back up what he's said for years. He's so loyal isn't he?! I had genuinely no idea who Anthony was lol "No matter what I do is the wrong thing." Well yeah, when you do shit that makes no sense but is some weird veiled attempt at supporting your team or garnering favor. You're a dumbass and just as much talk as Raphy and Dario Who the hell is Cara talking to? Who is Jamie?!? It's been two seasons of Nany crying over Johnny, yes she still has feelings for him. He didn't want to make his girlfriend mad hahahahahahaha Johnny's been the one to talk up in the reunions how people hide from cameras to fuck and all this shit. Not voting for a friend is the most hilarious copout that is so empty. Fuuuuuck, 50 times?! This is a better test of endurance. Damn. I think Nany has this one easily. Oh god, AND Kellyanne has some kind of chest cold? Good luck chick. Kellyanne actually won. I'm shocked. The comp having a bell on each side actually made it easier than I thought. I was thinking it was only on one end. I'm happy to have Nany's sister out of the house lol Hahaha I love Johnny basically saying "come at me" with this Cara secret. Let this alliance see if it can stick shit out. You have a crazy guy on your house just waiting to blow up lol It's dirty, but I love it. EP 7: Cara continuing to just call it flirtation is great. Wait wait wait. Is Johnny really just having his Cousin go out there and blow it up? You giant pussy! Johnny wanting to keep his hands clean and leaving it up to someone with no fucking sense of even how to talk. Cara, you suck ass. Cara just trying to pass it off as trying to get further in the game is really a shit way to handle this lol What a way to try and pass your shitty behavior off as "gameplay" "I did say that, Johnny." "It's cool Abe!" Johnny not in power is so much better than Johnny in power. Abram is straight chaos and I love it. It has saved this season. Aneesa how the hell long have you done these. What weak shit. Cara needing stuff to be easier for her is hilariously sad. Abram is insane, and I fucking love it. I feel like Abram came in with the entire mindset of wanting Cara to win. Him and his partner wanting to go in to elim as soon as they got there, him wanting to get Johnny out and not wanting Cara to team with him. I think his whole mindset was to go in and just help Cara. Of all the things to NOT have Abram himself being in the elim?! Destroying shit! That would have been hilarious to see. Fucking "Home wrecker" Wooooooooooow This elim is fucking awesome. Abram causes himself to get a bloody nose lmao Can we just talk about Abram barking like a dog and quietly in the back ground Jenna and Briana are spinning in circles? What?! Stephen literally can't even get through the tiniest table hahaha This is not even close. This is so damn sad. Motivational crazy Abram is my favorite Abram Oh Cara, come on. You're just now going to talk all about this breaking up shit and saying Abram there is harder for you in the game. Just be real, you're upset your new cuddle buddy left and you're upset Abram came in to make it awkward for you on tv. That being said though, why were you even still with him? lol dude is crazy. But you don't cheat on the dude! EP 8: Throwing it for Kellyanne? Johnny wouldn't even talk during deliberation for Nany lmao At least everyone is clearly talking about how shitty Johnny is with his game. He's dirty, but he talks like he's a damn saint lol I am continually shocked everytime this Jamie dude shows up on the screen lmao Wait wait wait wait. CT and Diem's sister are joining the game? I'm about to fucking cry! It seems stupid late in the game to impliment a new team, but it's CT! I don't care! No colored shirts, probably just an audible on the specific challenge. I'm going to cry! "Do it for D!" I love CT! Faith seems more interesting and has more screen presence in like one confessional than half this bloodlines cast lol I'm pretty sure they just gave Aneesa the "Complete" but she looked like she fell a whole square before the yellow line... Johnny "helping" lol This is my issue with Johnny. He can't just do shit in the open. He talks so much shit about Wes throwing shit, but he had a reason to and he owned it. You couldn't even talk during deliberations to help Nany and pass it off as saving face with a team, then not wanting to upset your girlfriend. But here you are throwing a competition and sabotaging other players to help a different girl. You're fake as hell and you just hide from it so plainly. It's disgusting. I never remember who this Jamie guy is but at least he's calling Kellyanne rightfully out. Hahahah Johnny's face when they get announced the winner. I love it. Kellyanne fucked up talking shit lol There's only 3 people that can go in and only one is going to be safe. There's no real reason to be angry at this point. Jenna and Brianna getting screwed by Johnny too haha Only now realizing it. Johnny promises everyone everything and just watches as they all go out one by one. Vince out of nowhere with "I have to go by performance today" haha yeah that sounds like Johnny, not owning up to the reason behind their choices. Had an alliance from the jump with Aneesa/Jenna/Nany and basically two of those are getting screwed over and Kellyanne is moved up the pecking order over everyone because of Anthony lmao You people are so damn dumb. Kellyanne literally can't even defend Anthony hahaha Oh here we go, Johnny voting against his alliance people to "save face" haha I'm happy to see everything is finally coming to head for Johnny. Just wish these people weren't so stupid to believe it in the first place. CT and Faith!!!!! Kellyanne came back on the show because of Diem passing? That's actually really sweet. Not sure how true it actually is but I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and find it really touching. Kellyanne comes off more authentic than Cara does with her writing Diem on her arm and saying Diem for a trivia answer. Vince wanting to start shit with CT? lol Dumbass "I heard me and you would have been competition in the past." "In the past you would have already been knocked out." I love CT Please tell me Jenna and Brianna are finally gone. What in the holy hell is Kellyanne doing? lol She blows a huge lead by trying to flip the blocks and worry about their sizes? Jenna just comes in and throws them all up like it's nothing. Anyone falling for Johnny and his bullshit has no one to blame but themselves. Kellyanne and Anthony just watched Johnny fuck over Nany, why did you think you'd be any different? EP 9: Of course Johnny wouldn't like Abram. He's too honest and not willing to believe his bullshit. "Creepy uncle Vince" This show has a weird track record with Vince's This is a cool scary challenge lol Brianna didn't even try. Jesus. Oh my god these people. Four in a row not trying! What in the hell?! You can't go under fucking water?! Did I miss the description of the task? Were people throwing it to have the fastest swimmers do it? Abe getting in the box and cracking up. Abram is insane and amazing tv. Everyone joking about Abram taking the chance to kill Johnny is reallllllly weird? Some of these comps, I wonder if TJ hates that he even has to be there for them lol They're under water the whole time and TJ just announces when they're out. I'm surprised he's not sitting in a chair under shade having to be reminded to blow the horn. If you told me at the drawing of teams that Red team would not lose a challenge I would seriously not believe you. Vince saying he's not worried about it when he's been letting the team down constantly lol Of course he isn't. Yes! Get rid of Johnny before it goes back to pairs! Johnny running off to shore up his easy votes like easy. Doesn't give a shit about them, throws them in, but oh wait I can get their vote! "I just hope you're not just sweet talking me." Jenna, you're a dumbass. He's only talking to you when it comes down to your vote lol Good thing it's Brianna with the vote and not you. She seems to buy less of Johnny's shit. It's funny how Johnny doesn't play the "rookie" card and "earning stripes" when the rookie and person who's been terrible is tied to his fate. Fucking Brianna and Jenna. Ya'll are so dumb. You are going to instantly get screwed right after this. Call em out Abram! Call em out! I have a feeling Mike is just going to throw this for Cara. Like I said, Abram just seems like he's had the mentality of helping Cara along since he's gotten here. I get CT again, he was already there....but why Zach? Is it just to show off that he cut his hair off? Comparing Zach and CT is laughable. Could you imagine if Johnny was in the pit and was taken out by CT again?! CT looked like he came in to kill someone in Cutthroat. He looks a lot more relaxed coming in here. Hahaha Jamie looks like a child in this competition. His head just constantly being pulled against the wall. Jamie, no matter how often being told, just refuses to use his legs. "I think I'm nicer than CT" Oh Zach... that's funny. You have two full seasons of screaming at your female team members. I'm with Aneesa. Hearing "Cuz" and "cousin" this often is just weird. Of all the eliminations to bring in ringers for, this is kind of a boring one. There was basically the only real risk left for Cara. I would say they're chalked in for the final at this point if not the win. EP 10: (With absolutely zero people paying attention) Vince: "Stupid bar tricks." and tries to blow a ping pong ball in the air, for no apparent reason or directed at anyone? What even is this dude? Yes, a mini final! I hope this is a new trend of having a mini final every season. This basically is a final with only 3 teams having any kind of chance at this lmao Aneesa and Jenna and their pairs have jack shit of a chance. Brianna carrying this weight that looks bigger and heavier than she is! Lmao "There's rocks on the ground!" Jenna... You say some of the funniest shit unintentionally. I really wouldn't call struggling with the first leg "gassing out" it's more like they're suddenly struck with the struggle and just need to adjust and get on track. It's not like they're to the point of not being able to walk. They just aren't used to climbing an incline with a bag of weight on their backs. I'm actually shocked by Cory and Mitch being so far behind everyone. Ok, I spoke too soon. Vince legit looks gassed lmao The two teams I didn't think even had a chance are leading hahahha If I was in some kind of pool or betting for this show Cory would have me so pissed. He is being pathetic for how much you would just be looking at him and thinking he'd be better. This monkey bar checkpoint would be terrible if you can't do it on first try. If you can't do it the first time, why would you be able to do it a second or third time? Weird spot to have a girl/guy differential in the comp. Cara just fucking booking past Bananas lol The puzzle going to be the equalizer? Aneesa going from first to last? It's a credit to editing that they somehow turned 15 minutes of Aneesa and Rianna struggling on the monkey bars in to like two whole segments. Last to first? Holy shit! Wow The challenge was actually surprising as hell in just about every way. Wow "It's going to be a hard decision to make." What? How?! Johnny just doing anything to keep himself out of Elim lol "Jamie sucks, he'd be easy to beat." Definitely not Vince, who's been terrible throughout the season. Not at all! Good god, if Bananas and Vince scraped by again I would have flipped my shit. "Knock these egos down." Vince, I didn't expect you to be so self aware...oh you weren't talking about yourself. Nevermind, carry on. Johnny saying "If I go in and beat Cara, this could be considered one of my best wins I've every had." rings to me like Bananas trying to excuse a coming loss after the fact. Like he loses this elim and then wants to preemptively talk about the competition of Cara as being some huge win knowing damn well he loses. Fucking Johnny, I hate you if this happens. This is such a fucking Johnny move to belittle his loss like it was a big competitor. If you lose it will one hundred percent be because Vince is godawful at everything. STOP SAYING COUSIN!!!! It sounds like Johnny is thinking this is a color related puzzle, but I think it's more about the pattern of the lines. I don't think they have it. Johnny is gone! The Challenge is starting to get that Survivor problem where some big competitor leaves just short of the final and they started to put in the fire making challenge. Stuff like CT leaving before Free Agents, Johnny/Nany in Exes 2. There's an aspect of lesser competition getting to the end simply because the two big competitors face off leading to the end. Cara vs Johnny in the final would be more interesting than Jenna being in another damn final, or Aneesa and her partner having no chance. EP 11: Location change! This seems like a standard at this point... Oh we checked off someone having to ask where it is. Even for Berlin. Aneesa talking about getting this far and then failing, and then immediately sabotaging and tearing down her cousin. They walk in to this hotel and it looks like it'd be the location of an older Real World season lol the weird furniture and colors everywhere. Aneesa seems completely uninterested in even trying to care about her family member she brought in to this lol Aneesa's like I'm just here for the money, and Rianna actually seemed to want to get to know her family member and have a good time. All Aneesa talks about in these confessionals is needing Rianna in the game and to get her head in to it. Rianna's just talking about Aneesa being standoffish and rude. Maybe one of those things would kind of help the other? Like, give Rianna a reason to care to help you win money, or want to work harder for you. You might as well be Zach screaming at the girl. Another cool competition. This season's cast has been lackluster, but the challenges have been on point. Aneesa just seems so angry and bitter at this point. Cory/Mitch blowing it away. Aneesa sees her final fall away before her eyes. Oh god. Cara says "Fustrated"... "Then go to another country!" Aneesa says as if she has a choice... Wait wait...it's come full circle. Now Aneesa is yelling at someone else to figure out who they are and who they wanna be. I've heard that argument thrown at Aneesa way too much. Is..Is Aneesa talking about Cara right in front of her, like she's not there and not even a human? lol Aneesa, are you getting to Robin and Katie levels at this point? My brunette crazy drunk crush squad is closed up, sorry. I definitely think there is a quality of fakeness to Cara, but Aneesa, I think you're a bit off the mark with her accent and how she approaches the game. Bar Wrestle back, if there was anything Cara could come up short on. I love that they try to act like an elbow or knee during the bar wrestle is dirty, but continue to keep bar wrestle in the game because of this exact aspect of it. Saying Jamie won against CT is definitely stretching it lol Jenna two for two in finals? Underrated great competitor? lol yeah right. EP 12: Jenna being the one to talk shit about being in a final... What reality is this? Franz! A tailor? City Final!!!! A part of me would actually love Jenna and Brianna winning this lol Oh yeah predictions: Cara/Jamie > Cory/Mitch > Jenna/Brianna Cory and Mitch having to sit on only the second lap lol Only the guys seem to have issues with this. Maybe 120 is a little much compared to the girls' 60? "Janky carnival games" Oh Cara come on. Literally crying from just fake beer? Cara, you have rookies talking shit about your whining! THIS is how you handle drinking liquid? Jenna and Brianna are just killing this. At this point I purely think Aneesa lost her mind with Cara because of how much she had to hear "Cus" and "Cousin". Jenna and Brianna blowing it away, just waiting for them to blow it away just in time to hear it's only day 1. Part 1 ughhh. I miss marathon one day style finals. I don't care if it makes the final less suspenseful, or if one team blows it out of the water. I'd rather see people have to fight to not give up entirely. Oh, is it still one day, just two parts? EP 13: I hope they have to swim in these suits. You can just not eat them and get a 5 minute pinulty? Is that enough time? Oh no Cara's worst enemy! Liquid! Good god, Jamie seems like he's about to fill up that damn bucket. Oh I see, it seems you have to eat everything, there is just a time limit for how long you have to get them done. Jenna, also with no gag reflex. Zach seems to have a type. TJ, amazing actor. This city final has been a complete disappointment. Just a random 2 mile jog around a track to end it. Did they just run out of ideas for finals? These number puzzles and tangrams are again just like fire making in survivor. If you come in to these games not practicing these puzzles and learning basic strategies for them, then what are you even doing here? They come up just about every single season. Especially with the likelihood of people coming back multiple times. There's players of Survivor that will practice every single TYPE of puzzle they use and they have a much lower chance of ever even coming back let alone seeing the puzzle again. This show you're likely to come back on and likely to see these puzzle types. Do your damn homework! I came around on Jenna/Brianna a lot. Happy to see them finish it. Cara winning just seems tainted lol Like, I wasn't necessarily rooting for her so much as rooting against Johnny and then against the rookies and Jenna. Reunion: I hate when any show or episode starts with random teasers for the episode. Just get to it. Vince starting the episode looking like an idiot. Nicole looks less like a cartoon character. At least Jenna is looking at all the elim's positively. Saying she had to make up for the previous season and never going in. Bananas kissing ass of Jenna again, she must be coming back again... Rianna looking good on this reunion. She looks a lot different than she was on the show. Zach has a way of just cutting people off... geesh. Seems like a child that doesn't know how to handle a break up and just cuts, runs and hides. Cara already crying, and they haven't even gotten to her yet. Ugh...watching Abram's face while watching this. Ugh this is hard to watch. Cara sit there and try to be mad or cry. You made your bed. Abram about to cry. Quit giving the fucking out that she did this because she was caught up in wanting to win. Fuck that noise. At least she owns up and goes straight to Abram and says something. Abram's tattoos just get worse and worse. What the fuck is she trying to talk about with this being seven seasons about Abram and wanting the season. Way to take a fucking nose dive after starting off great. This is just gross. Cara started off great, but damn it took a dive. It just sounds a lot like fucking up and trying to find a lot of reasons to excuse it. Didn't Thom himself say there was a handjob? lmao Cara, now you're just lying. I hate Johnny, but I'm with him. Fuck this trying to bring up other peoples shit. Just be honest. Quit giving her the fucking out that this has any fucking thing to do with the game. Cara, wow. "Let me count my money. Who sent you home?" Well, that is definitely the way to address it lol I loathe Johnny, but I agree with him when he says Cara saw she had an added number to her alliance and that was a huge factor of not telling him. She evne said it herself that she knew how he would react. She didn't want him to get DQ'd or possibly get Thom DQ'd. That's why she was upset when Abram wanted her to vote Thom in elim. At that point I do think she was just thinking about numbers and was trying to not talk about it. I don't think her getting with Thom had anything to do with thinking about the game, I hate that that is even suggested, but it definitely changed how she handled her decisions. Can we literally not even talk about the fact that Johnny wasn't even willing to TRY to talk his team out of voting in Nany, but he was willing to throw an entire challenge to save Anthony/Kellyanne. Seriously not going to talk about that? It was a game vote, what were you gaining? Everyone knew you were in an alliance with her and no one would care? You gained nothing, quit trying to squirm your way out of it. Literally holding a trailer hostage to get a hashtag trending lmao I feel like these reunions completely ignore the more pressing or interesting questions to just go for the direct and simple questions that might spark the most drama. Like not bringing up that Johnny tried to throw a challenge for Kellyanne and didn't mind not saying her name, but wouldn't even speak in defense of Nany at fucking all. At least we're bringing up how god awful Vince was. Jesus. I'll just say it, Vince is more of a hindrance to the team than Big Easy. "He purposely threw half of those." Fuuuuuuck out of here Johnny lmao Good god, don't curse us with that Johnny, I never want to see Vince again. Cory is probably the only person from this season I could bet we see again. Maybe Jamie, but I doubt it. Johnny, who has won finals with two other partners "This is the best partner I've ever had" haha this dude will literally say anything. Why torture me at this point with hearing "cousin" more. Why?! Overall thoughts: I ended up coming around on this season quite a bit. The first two episodes I had absolutely zero investment. It brought in the worst parts of the previous season and then added half the cast being pointless or throwaways. The season ended up coming around, I think, due to the editing and the building of stories and drama. There wasn't a ton, but what was there was put together pretty well. Not only just the Cara and Abram situation, but also the individual elims, even though I never cared about any of these people, actually had interest and swings. I think the biggest disappointment of the season was the final. I was actually coming along and enjoying the season finally, you give me a "city" final and then it's so boring and bland and has almost nothing to do with the city other than kayaking down a river in the middle of the city and one part being in an abandoned subway. This final was an absolute bummer. It could have had the most interesting and athletic players in it and it would have still been a stail boring ass final. It's sad that the last couple seasons the mini final that they have within the season has been a better race or show of endurance than the actual finals have been. I miss the long marathon exhaustion inducing finals. These finals are getting really lame. Fuck the winners coming down to times on the combined parts. Make the shit a race. Between the casting as of late, the group of players to continuously return, and the final going more and more down hill I'm really worried my interest and trust in the show is waning. I really hope it isn't so. I know I've heard some good about some seasons coming up, but I just don't see some issues being all that addressed.
2020.08.20 16:24 Sanity0004Watching The Challenge for the first time ever as a Big Brother/Survivor fan. Part 3: Fresh Meat 2
Ok, with the first couple episodes I thought I was actually going to be going back to covering multiple seasons in a single post, but after the first couple episodes were kind of mediocre the season completely caught flames and skyrocketed ahead in probably the most notes I have for a season and possibly my favorite season too this point. Episode by episode reaction or breakdown and at the end I'll throw up a TL:DR of my overall thoughts of the season and I think I'm going to do a ranking of the seasons to this point at the end. Sorry it's stupid long. I'm insanely long winded and never shut up. This is well over half the post limit so this may be a little too long. Let me know what you think. People seem to like them and I love just ranting about reality shows. Part 1 Part 2 Ep 1: Glad to see this season type again. Not feeling too hot about the set of newbies, but love the general set up of the season. Noor seems interesting and good but that's all that's really jumping out at me from the jump. Good god, Kenny, please put the damn necklace away. I wonder who the person who couldn't make it in the country was? I'm sure it's known. Ok, without a doubt this is the best Challenge House they've had to this point. That place looks nuts. Glad to see Ev again. Oh god, Sarah. No!!!!!!! You were the chosen one! You had so much hope and potential!!!! What the hell are you thinking working with Kenny?!?! You know damn well he just softened up to you now knowing you are one of the better girls competing and now you aren't automatically against him. He's still a douchey asshole. Stop it! Dammit! Yeah, I feel like most of this cast is duds. I know it's the first ep and all, but they seem to be more there for the party. One girl is literally choosing between hooking up with Wes or Kenny... I love that Kenny and Wes are working together but clearly have no desire to take it very far. LOVE the changes they've made to the exile. Weight being fairly distributed, and making the puzzles mandatory are great changes. Also got rid of the pointless flags that were only designed to be forgotten. Super sad to see Darrell go so fast. Smart move to get rid of him. Just sad to see him go so fast after he last got DQ'd for fighting Brad. Ep 2: Man, Landin is so good at these challenges. Wes didn't take long to go for the first move. Landon joining an alliance? I didn't know he was against them, but yeah it totally makes sense. He did seem more like a guy to play it straight and base everything on performance. Oh no, now Kenny is going to feel what it feels like to have numbers be used against you and having no control over who does and doesn't go in at all times. Oh nooooooo. Oh my, this is exactly what I wanted after the last few seasons. Give me a house divided! This is 100% what this show needs at all times! More strategy and more alliances! I'm actually glad Kenny comes back. I want there to be better back and forths throughout the season and I think he will be good for that. Ep 3 Paula is just nuts. I think she's playing somewhat of a character when she asks questions like "Are you single?" to determine her pick, but she is also insanely jealous of any guy she deems attached to her giving more attention to another girl. First it was Dunbar, which how it was edited literally made me think Dunbar and Paula were dating, but apparently paula was talking about Dunbar having a different girlfriend? I'm loving this house divided dynamic. I know I've already said that, but damn it's what this show needs. Having two big teams defined like rookies/vets isn't really the same because the vets are never caring about the rookies anyways. They're only ever concerned about getting who they want out of their own. There needs to be clearly divided alliances whole heartedly playing against each other strategically. Jenn also really seems to get attached to her partners in these games. I noticed before almost anyone she partners with she starts calling them by all these pet names. Kenny thinking Wes was dumb for trying to just throw his partner on his back to complete this swinging competition lol He clearly didn't think he'd actually do it. He probably looked at his partner and looked at all the other girls finishing it and realized it was his only chance of possible finishing it. His very first swing was a tarzan like swing that was hopeless lol I'm actually happy for a Kenny win this challenge. I would love nothing more than for these alliances to go back and forth the whole game. Kenny instantly thinking Paula will get voted in. It's awesome to hear that thinking. Am I crazy to think this Ev/Luke talk about Exile is all show to get voted in on purpose? Why would you talk that openly about not wanting to do it behind the guy making the decision lmao Apparently not show, Luke is just really fucking dumb apparently. "It's a scary day when Kenny starts making intelligent decisions." lmao I love it. I love Paula seeming to have all this confidence. I literally have no faith in the world that Paula even has a slight chance in this exile. I genuinely don't understand the whole controversy of Wes possibly being upset by Kenny turning the one girl down. Must be an alpha male thing or something, but there's so damn much interpersonal relationships and hookups in this show I seriously can't even begin to see how it's upsetting when some chick just goes from one dude to the next. Do you really expect this relationship to go anywhere? Even then, why does it matter? So weird to me. Don't get eliminated Jenn, Noor is literally the only person from this cast I feel is actually a hit. Jenn is in the Wes alliance secretly? Fuuuuuuuuuucking love it! Love this reveal! lmao Mandi trying to demand Wes getting her in line is almost just as hilarious. Paula is actually in this way more than I thought she'd be. I mean she seems to not be struggling at least, who knows how fast. At least by the editing. The way this race type is edited it could literally be anyone in the lead at any time. I'm literally shocked by Paula being that close. She really seemed to be in it. Ep 4 I think Kenny is a douche, but I kind of agree with him when he says if they really like each other then it shouldn't matter that Theresa liked Kenny day 1 and Kenny turned her down. He's still a dumbass and a douche for bringing it up at all, but it's Wes's fault it bothers him. I seriously want to see a sober edition of The Challenge lmao Alcohol gets involved and these people really just can't get out of their own way. "We're in the lead on a well oiled machine! We have 10 votes! Go the fuck to bed!!!" Wes, I kind of love you. I hated you just a few short seasons ago lol I feel bad for rookies in this game. You have to earn your stripes, do what we say when it comes to decisions, but also deal with our shit when we're drunk and angry and know your fucking role! It's like a damn frat house on steroids and everyone has to go through a whole losing game of hazing. I can not express how much I love the strategizing this season! Ev scheming with Ryan to manipulate the choices out of Kenny when he's the one that won is just chefs kiss Ha, I love that Evelyn's words from the first Fresh Meat where she said "I'm controlling this game" the same episode she was eliminated. Now she's saying it in Fresh Meat 2 when she's actually making the decision. Branden seems cool, hope he gets another chance. Think he got screwed being saddled with Kaitelyn. "Here's the deal..." Commercial Break Why do I feel like TJ's about to pull some twist out of his ass? Awww Branden fucked it up for em' That sucks lol Uh oh...Landon and CJ about to jump ships? I feel like this is a set up of a team change up!! Ep 5: I feel like there is some context lost to this Danny/Wes situation of talking about Danny going in to the next Exile. On one hand I understand the reasons for wanting to cut the guy, but at the same time, the way it's talked about and the way it's conveyed comes off as really dumb. I hate Kenny's confessionals, only because I have to stair at that dumb necklace of his. It looks like it's straight from 2004 that he bought at a tourist trap surf shop and has just refused to ever take it off. Danny honestly seems like the least effective guy this season, and in a season of fresh meat that seems crazy. Damn, Kenny and Laurel are completely killing these challenges. Wes and Ev are absolute gamebots, and I love it. Is Wes turning in to my favorite player?! The difference between him and JEK? He doesn't try to hide it. He doesn't sit there and talk about it being a team decision or just how everyone is deciding. He doesn't flip around "rules" that the teams decide just to flip them around when they can be used against him. He doesn't shy away from being the bad guy at all. That makes it more entertaining! I'm confused on where Danny and Sandy fell behind? Seemed crazy. Ep 6: "I go to the end with my friends. They're throwing all theirs under the bus" Ok Kenny, lets ask Paula and Johanna about that one? Or any of the women from Ruins lol The same season Ev threw a comp so her friend could stay and she went on to the last challenge. I'm starting to think these people don't actually watch their own show. A fucking HOUR??!?! An hour of pushing a log against a person! hahaha Wow Wow, that was a complete thwomp. Them getting blown away just makes Ev and them look even more dumb lol Kenny...volunteering to go in to exile?!?! Wow, this all must be going to Kenny's head lol He's not playing scared. Ok, Wes and Ev are just going too far at this point. They're the ones playing scared at this point. This is dumb. I hope they're just screwing Kenny over. If they legit just go and make an alliance with Kenny just to keep themselves out of the exile and throw their two alliance members under the bus It will be real damn shitty. Especially since they still control the vote. I just don't get the over reach here. I hope they're just screwing Kenny over to then change the votes around, but who knows. Wooooooow, just what the fuck..... What?! I literally don't understand this. I would not be shocked if Wes and Ev are the next couple people gone. I think they've screwed their chances of making it to the end. They overplayed, plain and simple. Kenny is 100% right and I'm shocked he has to sit there and explain it. He just showed the whole house they will screw over even their closest alliance members. After having JUST done that with Danny. They're completely screwed and Kenny knows they were absolutely dumb to even offer this deal in the first place. At a certain point you just have to accept you may not always have the control. But doing everything you can to at least appear like you have control, while screwing over your alliance was easily the dumbest move to make. I'm shocked at how dumb this was. I can see them thinking they have Jenn and Ryan in their pocket secretly, but how can they just freely jump ship when you're completely throwing your team under the bus for the sole purpose of wanting to have the say. Wow, the scene from Kenny saying he sticks with his friends has so much context now. Still don't think it's true lol Just manipulation of a different kind. These two idiots failing to do this first puzzle is absolutely hilarious. They never even a single time remove the two small triangles from the tail of the fish. I'm almost certain that that is a key factor in them making absolutely zero progress. This is hilariously stupid lol Hey what do you know, they finish it after AN HOUR AND A HALF! because they finally remove the small triangles. They let them complete it hahahaha TJ's smile seeing them finishing LMAO Ep 7: "He spared me last time and put you guys(Landon) in instead, but I'm not stupid." He SPARED YOU?! What?! This is how you are trying to spin you working a deal to throw your alliance under the bus to their damn face? You're turning into JEK 2.0 all of a sudden. You were off to such a good start! Laurel seems like a great addition to this show, but her attitude makes me think she won't be back much. She seems good though. She just acts like she's above it. "The numbers I had have dwindled down." That's what happens when you throw your damn numbers under the bus two exiles in a row. God, now there is Wes and Kellyanne drama? Dammit Wes. You're going downhill fast this season my man. "Landon won't tell us anything about his decision." Guys, you fucked him over. Live with it. Instantly going off on more allys that should now not trust you at all. Wes saying "Evelyn and Pete only care about themselves and Kenny right now." Buddy, you're only doing this scrambling when you and Ev are feeling scared!!!!! Ahhhh man, you started out the season sooo damn high on my list. What happened?!?! You done goofed. You goofed! Hmmmm if only someone could have seen this coming... You screw people over, then expect people who were barely on your side in the first place to suddenly be on your side putting themselves in the line of fire. YOU.DONE.GOOFED. Hey Maybe Laurel and Ev can be on the same sides in the future? Man, you're sitting here chatting with each other and realizing how you lead a path of destruction. Then you turned on your own numbers to save yourselves. Maaayyyyyyybe you'll reflect on that and realize down the road. Wes not being able to just skip the puzzles and take the teammates bag is definitely going to be his downfall. Wes is the one lagging behind?! What in the hell? I love this. I want Mandi too yell "Dammit you god damn bitch!" at Wes so bad lol Please let it happen! Damn, Wes lost his first damn exile and slowed down his partner. What the hell? lol All my eggs are in everyone but Kenny. Dear god don't let Kenny win again. Wes is only 24? Holy shit. Has he been on MTV every damn day of his life past the age of 18? lol Ugh, Kenny gets to talk shit now. Yay... Ep 8:* I feel like this whole episode can be an essay on how important timing is in these games, and also how not to let anger take over for intelligent game moves. Landon, I completely understand being angry your alliance screwed you over. I agree 100%. But you can't just throw your chances out of anger. You can't throw away all of your bargaining and position potential and turn around and try to bargain on the order of the competition. As much as you were, understandably, mad with Wes and Ev, you have to realize at that point you were stuck with your decision and screwing yourself even more and making your chances harder just weren't worth it. You wasted your small time of power on making your standing in the game worse because you just couldn't look past a shitty week. A better decision would have even been to throw Kenny/Laurel in and then use your vote to throw Wes/Ev in. At least then you weren't 100% guaranteed to lose an ally and you could at least pass it off as showing you were done with them you just couldn't throw them both in at the same time. You could have turned around and played both sides at that point. You got to slap your side on the wrist, and gone to the other side and said you couldn't put them both in, but you also didn't put two from their side in. They still could go and you'd still have a harder time to the end, but the chances are a little better and your bargaining position is a little better. You could have at least talked on a more even playing field with Ryan or Jenn. I just assumed Landon would return to his straight shooter style of play after his move, but immediately going back to try and barter and deal just makes the decision even worse. Not that it'd put you in any better of a spot, but at least then it'd be a bit understandable. I don't know how you thought you could bargain after this lol Ev goes and TJ talks shit and I love it. "I've never seen a 4 year old on this show before." I feel like there wasn't too much to say this episode simply because I was thinking constantly about how bad of a decision Landon had made and how it was made even more obvious when he's trying to talk with others and throw out offers. Can we just say how I absolutely called Ev and Wes being next to go immediately after their bullshit with Landon and CJ? You idiots. Ep 9: I'm sorry, but I can't accept this "Teamwork, hurrah!" version of Kenny. I don't find it genuine at all. The only reason he is working with these people is because it's mostly all he has, but he also knows he can beat them in a final challenge. If this was a team bank or team competition he would be doing anything he could to cut these people. It's real easy to talk teamwork when it just helps you further along with people you know you can beat. If you were in Wes's place with his alliance members you'd be working to cut them down just like Wes did. (Not cosigning what Wes did, still think it was dumb) I like this challenge obstacle course, but the way they portray it after the first or second team makes it kind of boring. Having to show all the sections as they go through it and basically come down to only showing the mud pit with the other players trying to slow them down just kind of felt boring afterward. I hate that they don't give all the times of the teams. I honestly want to know who came in first and second and what their times were. 2 seconds being the deciding factor on this huge obstacle course is just nuts. That's trully insane. Well, it's the battle for fourth place. I am kind of leaning toward Jenn/Noor being the ones to make it back at this point. Ryan and Theresa are pretty weak and I don't see Theresa having all that much fight in her. But at the same time it's brought up Noor's asthma issues a few times for it to not have any effect yet. Also Jenn seems a little broken by getting in by just 2 seconds. Ep 10: They really shouldn't start these episodes with the elimination. It literally starts the final episode of the season being pretty boring. Don't try to pretend it matters which of these two returns. Neither of them have a chance plain and simple. Also it's in the dark and is mostly close up shots of the contestants faces as they look like they're staring off in to space. It's just a dumb decision. The amount of people that refer to their partners as "babe" or "baby" is really bothering. Hey Jenn and Noor win. Wooo, now you have to go run a bunch all over again and lose horribly. Welcome to fourth place, literally no different than last. Ok prediction time only having seen what the challenge is and seeing the teams: 1st: Kenny/Laurel 2nd: Jillian/Pete (they've shown pretty great indurance, and I think Landon's partner will struggle with the start with the canew and then lag behind becouse of it) 3rd: Landon/Partner(Kristi? I never remember her name) I think they could have stronger possiblity in this race, but the canew start bodes poorly for them and going up the mountain is where Landon's partner struggled the most. Just Landon, I think he beats Kenny/Laurel or at least comes neck and neck. I just think this is a worst case scenario for his partner who has surprised me, but this time around she's going up against some of the best. Even though I think Jillian is a poor competitor she's shown endurance for sure. 4th: Jenn/Noor (I honestly think there is very little chance they come in any place but 4th. They tired, Noor's been having asthma issues. Jenn is pretty slow on her own. I just don't see them getting anything but 4th) The kanoo trek seemed a lot easier than I thought it'd be. I immediately want to ammend my predictions lol Cue two minute helicopter montage. Jenn and Noor pushing their bikes immediately lol At least one prediction was pretty spot on. Outside of the Landon prediction I feel pretty spot on with the order of the other 3. Landon is just a wildcard at this point. He now seems like a lock for 1 or 2. Landon literallly pushing the bikes and pulling Carley. Immediately after my prediction change. Damn, moving these logs and THEN carrying a weighted bag to the next check mark? Damn! Kenny with tones of Fresh Meat 1 Wes. Someone says this weighted bag is 80 pounds, but I don't believe it. At one point Kenny passes it off to Laurel for the first time and it doesn't phase her at all. She's going to pick up 3/4ths of her body weight and not be effected? People look more effected when they throw on the weighted backs for exile. I wonder if they do Big Brother and Survivor style physicals and tests before these seasons. I know they test Fresh Meat, but with how many people have come in with injuries and illnesses and stuff I'm wondering if the test people before coming in. I'm just curious how doable they know these challenges are or not. I would think it would be required but the stuff that's gotten through seems crazy. I'm shocked. I am highly impressed by Carley. She did insanely well during the exiles, and never gave up. Really damn impressed. So yeah, seems like my predictions were pretty good except I just severely underestimated Carley. Happy to see Landon win. Hope to see Noor and Laurel again playing their own game and not being the rookies. If you would have asked me my first impression of Carley at the beginning of the season I would have said she was like another Shauvon. Not near as worthless or as Jersey Shore-ish, but she seemed to have just about the same kind of attitude and look about her. Jillian....just about as blah as can be. I would have never imagined seeing her again without Frank. She had a pretty blah partner as well. Who's only element of note from the show is hooking up with Jenn. Reunion: First live reunion show impressions! Had to hunt this shit down. I wanted more of this cast! Ugh, I can't take the Kenny ego. Wes does a poor job of talking right off the bat though. Ok, I feel like Kenny is overdoing trying to play up a character. "I'd beat your ass right now." blah blah blah What is with this Kenny doesn't screw people over narrative? Do they seriously just not take women into consideration?! These people fuck over the women season after season. Danny seems so pissy, but he was so clearly not in the game those last few days. He seemed completely out of it. I seriously can't take this Kenny dick sucking! He would never throw his best friend under the bus?! God Damn you! God damn it. He and Johnny were literally trying to get people on the island to take their alliance members keys over their own! They were throwing challenges constantly to drop girls. Fuck this Kenny shit. Fuck it. Jillian, ugh, why are you even here? Jenn looking hot at this reunion. The Jenn/Mandi fight went on for 4 hours?! Jenn could have been ejected? Kinda shocked. Show Danny's fight night and then wonder why your alliance was ok throwing you in exile... Sorry Laurel, just because it's a fact doesn't mean it isn't talking shit lol Also saying "you didn't pull your weight" isn't a fact. Jillian shut the hell up! "Only the freshman hate Laurel. It's just jealousy!" Lmao, shush chick Ugh Ev, shut up. Oh yeah, she's definitely not cocky, she blames everyone but herself. Yes I know women get shit on constantly by their partners and she shouldn't get too much shit for being the only girl that easily outclasses a lot of the guys and talking shit to her partner, but it still doesn't make up for the fact that she acts like a child. Everyone is dealing with their own difficulties when it comes to their partners. It's how she fucking reacts or handles it that makes the difference. Wes just quitting is disappointing. He couldn't skip the puzzles and he was screwed. Unless the hook ups effect the game in some way I just don't really care about them. Jenn "visits you at school"? What is this age gap? Oh the Laurel laugh. I keep hearing about these Dailies, I'm shocked there isn't some kind of extensive archive of all these things. Landon barely gets any time in this reunion, but he is hilarious every time he speaks. Give him more time! TL:DR Probably easily my favorite season up to this point. I think this show gets broken when there isn't fair divisions in teams or political power in some way. The Gauntlet 3, the rookies never had a chance, ever. The game set up made it beneficial for teams to start throwing challenges or they probably would have never won. Probably a fuck up on production in many ways. Ruins was broken because no one was even close to the politicing power of JEK. They got numbers and never slipped from having complete control. These seasons were still entertaining, but they were fundamentally broken as far as competition goes because there never was any equal footing. This season gives me that in spades. Two apposing forces, heading two apposing alliances, one pretty ahead in competition prowess but the other pretty ahead in politicing. This all just made for an amazing season. I feel like if half the fresh cast wasn't mostly duds and a few of the returnees weren't so weak or blah I think this could have easily looked like one of the best seasons ever. Clearly I don't know what is to come later, but could you just imagine this game going the same kind of way and progress with a fully packed cast from head to toe? I love the winners, completely underestimated Carley. I thought Landon screwed himself when he put Ev vs Wes in right away after being screwed over, but he was good enough to keep himself in there. My ranking of the seasons to this point: 1: Fresh Meat 2 2: Duel 2 3: The Ruins 4: Gauntlet 3 5: Fresh Meat 1 6: The Duel 1 7: The Island I think the biggest factor in my rankings is hour long episodes and dedication to strategy being shown. The Island was just bad all around. Duel and Fresh Meat had good casts but it was so clear there was so much strategy being left out of the 20 min episodes. Gauntlet 3 is on the bottom of the fresher era of shows because it was just so completely onesided, the cast was bloated, and the comp designs and editing of this season just seemed all over the place. Maybe growing pains for the first hour long episodes or something but that season is pretty weak beside the killer vets cast. Sorry this is all so god damn long winded. Let me know whatever you guys think below. Even if you want to completely shit on my takes. I love discussing this stuff and replying to comments and seeing everyone's thoughts is more than half the fun. Thanks for reading!
2020.08.06 11:02 primeerrorThe Island reunion is...yikes...
This reunion is such a hot mess. That poor host had no control over any of them, especially the guys, and it was kind of a hilariously sad trainwreck.
They opened with a montage of Evelyn standing up for herself all season, then immediately called her out on selling out for the win. I laughed so hard at the immediate change of tone. That host should've known to butter her up at least a little bit before saying that.
Johnny trying to hide behind "editing" as to why he looked like such a misogynistic asshole instead of just admitting he could possibly be an asshole, only for it to be revealed that his edit might have actually been light compared to how he actually was.
Johnny refusing to admit that he and Kenny fucked Paula over, and then refusing to apologize when she's literally in tears.
Johnny and Kenny trying to make Derrick take some of the villain heat when they talk about his involvement in the alliance, and then everybody else being like "no one gives a shit about your alliance, at least Derrick didn't act like a dick to win" 😂
The guys talking over the women any time they're asked a question.
Every single woman being like "Yeah I hate Johnny, but at least he's upfront. Kenny is just as bad, but fake af." I mean, we been knew Kenny was trash, but wow...
Kellyanne standing up and waving her hands in Kenny's face every two seconds trying to fight him, lmao.
"Robin, did being so dirty and gross make you feel less sexy?" Uhhh, wtf kinda question is that, and why was it specifically directed at Robin? It could've been a general question since most of them hooked up. Even Robin looked slightly put off by that question.
Kenny: "I am sort of a pervert"....this did not age well.
Johnny outing Kellyanne and Wes's relationship after she clearly stated she didn't want to publicize who she was dating, and laughing about it.
Everyone randomly thinking Kellyanne was dating Wes to get back at Johanna...when Johanna supposedly didn't give a shit, and Kellyanne didn't want the relationship to be public in the first place??? Make that make sense.
Evelyn: "I'm taking a very long break from challenges." Did anyone believe this for a second? I've never seen the Ruins, but I had a feeling she was lying and went and checked whether she was on it, and lo and behold 😂 (EDIT: Just realized the season after this is actually The Duel 2, so she was kinda telling the truth.)
Johanna: "Kenny and I are just friends." Kellyanne: "Yeah, I know. I fuck my friends all the time, I get it." I SCREAMED. This quote is everything.
So this post kinda devolved halfway through, sorry. I guess it needed to be a hot mess too, to reflect the reunion.
2020.08.04 00:17 maggieee716Watch out for sexists in disguise.
I was 22, he was 38. I was initially drawn to my ex-boyfriend, because he was a progressive like me. I had somewhat “radical” views on most issues, and it was nice to find someone I could talk about them with. I assumed these leftist views also extended to women’s rights issues, but I soon found out that his selfishness prevented him from being an ally to women. A couple months into our relationship, I noticed that 95 percent of the people he followed on instagram were college girls who often posted sexualized pictures of themselves. On their pictures, he would comment things like, “sexy,” “great legs,” “you guys should make porn/kiss,” “nice tits,” etc, which most girls ignored, some liked, and others expressed discomfort. I told him I thought it was pathetic, asked him to stop, and he said he would and he did for a time. Months later, however, still mad at him for not unfollowing them, I looked again and found out he was doing the same shit. Even after that, when I asked him to stop again, he would constantly favorite sexualized pictures of women on twitter, he wouldn’t let me see his phone because of the number of pictures of women, etc. When I talked to him about feminist issues that were important to me, like objectification of women in social media, prostitution, porn, and the fetishization of teenagers, he would always disagree or change the subject. I eventually discovered and was disturbed by the conversations he was having with his other leftist friends in their 30s and 40s, some with wife and young daughters, who were very involved in leftist organizations, protests, etc. He talked about how cool it was that Harrison in his 40’s cheated on his wife with 19 year old Carrie Fisher and called people “puritans” for thinking that grown men dating teenagers was problematic. They would share normal, non sexualized pictures of women and discuss how attractive they were. He sent his friend a tiktok made by Kellyanne Conway’s 15 year old daughter in which they called her hot, and discussed how “she looks like she’s down to party,” and how “she is probably a little freak.” I also found past posts from his Flikr account, where he wrote sexual comments on a high school volleyball team’s pictures which included him talking about how hot one high school girl’s camel toe was. One time, I was with him when I found out a girl from my high school had died, and as I was looking up her facebook, he asked me to show him her picture and asked “was she hot?” I really lost it when he, who has made a big deal about Trump’s misogyny, defended himself by saying that all men did it, and that it was natural. These experiences exemplified how my arguments with him about feminist issues were warped by his own selfish obsession with sexualized women. Anytime I would try to express an idea, he would be too afraid of self reflection to actually engage. While this is only about my experience with a few leftist men, I also see it in the media. There have been multiple socialists, dubbed “Bernie bros” by the media, who fight for socialism but do not care about women’s issues at all, and some of them have gotten in trouble for sexually harassing women, while being passionate advocates for other minorities and socialism. TLDR: There are many men in progressive movements whose passion for or ideas on women’s rights issues are warped by their lust. These are bad boyfriends!
2020.07.22 10:00 UnpersuasiveQuiche1What changes do you think they’d make to the show if it were airing today?
Curious what you guys think would be different if the show were airing today. For instance, some changes I’d assume would happen:
I love this show and can’t imagine it without any of the OG characters, but there’s no way they’d let the cast be so white these days. Even when someone left and had the opportunity to be replaced, they were often replaced with another white person (like Will coming after Sam). There were so many blonde women (Donna, C.J., Ainsley, Kate Harper, Annabeth...), meanwhile I can’t name a single Latina, East Asian, or South Asian woman on the show for more than an episode.
My hunch is that a sassy blonde Republican would be less endearing now than Ainsley was then given the current political climate (given the more visible blonde republicans serving the president, e.g., Kellyanne Conway and Kayleigh McEnany). Also, no way in hell a cabinet of democrats would hire a republican, imho that gap is now way wider than it was in 2000.
On the subject of Ainsley, I imagine all the jokes about her being hot would not pass the current PC climate
Same with some of the jokes made at the expense of other cultures like an episode where Josh made a comment about how the Chinese and not needing bras.
Curious whether depictions of the interactions between the US and other countries would be pretty different these days. Would love to hear thoughts from someone more well-versed in politics now versus then.
Before I get all the downvotes, just wanna make it clear that I’m super into this show and mean no criticism. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. But I think just like when watching any other show from decades ago (god, I’m old) you have to remember that jokes were written when times were different (just like some of the jokes on Friends would seem homophobic or fatphobic now). And there are definitely some scenes or dynamics from West Wing that feel dated. Alternatively, to its credit there are also a lot of things that have surprisingly not changed that much between then and now... Anyways, what else do you think would change?
expect Kaycee, don't expect Bear (but still up in the air)
the cast starts quarantining on Aug 24
.. PinkRose has done the thing - the early S36 spec thread is up. All credit to her + Gamer over on Vevmo. As I have for the past couple seasons, I will update this megathread whenever we get new info / rumours / ☕ Let's have some fun y'all! ..
Location: somewhere cold 🥶 Format: unknown, but probably individual or large team (because of COVID) Departure date: September - will likely change, as it has several times before
(no one is 100% confirmed until they are in front of TJ. People can get dropped, decline and/or become alternates) Women
Analyse Talavera (BB21)
Morgan Lolar (Temptation Island)
LOLO JONES (Champs vs Pros, Celebrity Big Brother 2, dual-sport Olympian)
Olivia "Liv" Jawando (Shipwrecked UK)
aka "up in the air" as PinkRose says it 🥰 (need more confirmation to put in either category) Women
Jenn Lee (TAR)
JP (from War of the Worlds 1, Natalie's partner)
Billy Reilich (EotB3)
Jon Moody (Southern Charm)
(but things can change) Women
Bayleigh - on BB22
Latoya (from Dirty 30)
DJ Mel Reeves
Morgan Willett - declined
Kathryn "Kat" Dunn (BB21)
Kyra Green (Love Island US) - declined
Da'Vonne - on BB22
Julia Carter (Survivor EoE) - declined
Esther F*cking Falana
Britni (from Final Reckoning)
Kenya Scott (AYTO7)
Diandra "Didi" Delgado (AYTO6)
Christie Murphy (BB21)
Nick Maccarone (BB21)
Tommy Bracco (BB21)
Yamen Sanders (Love Island) - declined
Jozea Rosé 🍷
Cole Medders (Survivor HHH)
Hints about Debuts
lots of rookies that have been contacted but more info will come closer to departure - Pink is keeping it close to her chest for now, so low effort spoiler accounts on IG don't copy and take credit for it
Pink "has [her] eye on 3 girls rookies that can be possibilities and they are blah to [her]. The guys look more athletic."
a UK woman
a US Survivor woman (not guaranteed)
a Black man
the majority are minorities
most are not from Big Brother
potential rookies come from at least five shows that haven’t been represented on The Challenge yet
1) Love Island US, with Kyra Green and Yamen Sanders
2) Temptation Island, with Morgan Lolar
3) Celebrity Big Brother (?) with Lolo Jones
one person contacted is from a country that hasn't been represented on the show yet
don't expect someone from Ex on the Beach or Double Shot at Love
one debut Pink is confident in looks a lot like Kayleigh, in body type, style and vibe I get from her. they don't look alike in the face.
.. [note from Nova] people / possible Prospects that were contacted for previous seasons - doesn't mean they were called for this one: Women
Michele Fitzgerald (Survivor Kaoh Rong & Winners at War) - cut last-minute from WotW1. she's under contract for CBS for 2 years though so "don't hold your breath."
Haleigh Broucher (BB20) - contacted for WotW2 and TM
Kayla Fitzgerald (The Amazing Race) - alternate for TM
Bria Hamilton (AYTO7) - asked for TM but she declined
Jenna from ATYO8 contacted for TM but not cast
Amber from ATYO8 contacted for TM but not cast
Diandra Delgado (AYTO6 & EotB2) - alternate for FR and WotW1 - didn't get a call
Kenya Scott (AYTO7 & EotB3) - cut last-minute from WotW1 - she's no
Alex Ow (BB19) - contacted for WotW1
Michaela Bradshaw (Survivor MvGX & GC) - contacted for WotW1, Lurker said she's been contacted since then
Billy Reilich (EotB3) - initially cast for TM but dropped - added to up in the air
Brett Robinson (BB20) - contacted for WotW2 and TM
Sam Bird (EotB4) - contacted for TM
Rykard Jenkins (Love Island) - contacted for TM
Malcolm Drummer (AYTO5 & EotB2) - alternate for FR
Corey Brooks (BB18 & EotB2) - contacted for WotW1
Chad Johnson (Bachelorette & EotB2) - contacted for WotW1 but now he is fully off his rocker so I don't expect him either
Zach Rance (BB16) - cast for WotW1 then made an alternate then dropped
Caleb Reynolds (Big Brother and 2 seasons of Survivor) - contacted for WotW1 I believe
2020.06.23 05:17 steroid_pc_principalAn extractive summary of Bolton's new book
CHAPTER 1 THE LONG MARCH TO A WEST WING CORNER OFFICE I knew senior Trump campaign officials like Steve Bannon, Dave Bossie, and Kellyanne Conway from prior associations, and had spoken to them about joining a Trump Administration should one happen. Among these possibilities (and others like Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman), were there common, consistent attributes and accomplishments Trump sought? Obviously not, and observers should have asked: What is the real principle governing Trump’s personnel-selection process? Why not have Giuliani as Attorney General, a job he was made for? Romney as White House Chief of Staff, bringing his undeniable strategic planning and management skills? And Gingrich, with decades of creative theorizing, as White House domestic policy czar? Was Trump looking only for people from “central casting”? Much was made of his purported dislike of my moustache. ” Who knew Trump read so much history? Giuliani was later extremely gracious to me, saying after he withdrew from the Secretary of State melee, “John would probably be my choice. I arrived at Trump Tower the next day for my interview and waited in the Trump Organization lobby with a State Attorney General and a US Senator also waiting. I thought Trump listened carefully; he didn’t make or receive any phone calls, and we weren’t interrupted until Ivanka Trump came in to discuss family business, or perhaps try to get Trump vaguely back on schedule. I was describing why State needed a cultural revolution to be an effective instrument of policy when Trump asked, “Now, we’re discussing Secretary of State here, but would you consider the Deputy job?” I said I would not, explaining that State could not be run successfully from that level. ” Trump then said, “Not now, but at the right time and for the right position, I’m going to ask you to come into this Administration, and you’re going to agree, right?” I laughed, as did Trump and McMaster (although I felt somewhat uncomfortable on his behalf), and answered, “Sure,” figuring I had again dodged the bullet I had feared. ” Life at the White House developed its own rhythm, with Trump firing FBI Director James Comey later in May (at Kushner’s suggestion, according to Bannon), then meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (whom I had known for over twenty-five years at that point) and allegedly being less than cautious in discussing classified material, calling Comey a “nutjob,” according to the unbiased New York Times. ) I thought the Trump call had accomplished four things: (1) having the speech announce that the Iran deal was under continuous review and subject to US withdrawal at any time; (2) raising the connection between Iran and North Korea; (3) making it clear the Revolutionary Guard should be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization; and (4) getting a renewed commitment that I could see him without other approvals. Trump said to me, just as Kelly entered, “Did I ask for this meeting or did you?” I said I had, and he responded, “I thought I had, but I’m glad you came in because I wanted to see you. CHAPTER 2 CRY “HAVOC!” AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR Minutes later, he tweeted again: If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history! These were clear, forceful statements, but Trump tweeted before consulting his national security team. While briefing Trump for a later call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, I stressed that we had the right formula: (1) a proposed three-way attack option with France and Britain, not just a unilateral US strike as in 2017; (2) a comprehensive approach, using political and economic as well as military means, combined with effective messaging to explain what we were doing and why; and (3) a sustained—not just a one-shot—effort. Trump wanted to withdraw most US troops from Syria and persuade Arab states to deploy more of their own forces there, as well as pay for the remaining US presence. With a full NSC meeting (the proper term only when the President chairs the meeting) coming that afternoon, I also told Trump we were essentially being sandbagged by Mattis on the range of target options. The Pentagon’s proposed response to Syria’s chemical-weapons attack was far weaker than it should have been, largely because Mattis had stacked the options presented to Trump in ways that left little real choice. Instead of three choices (light, medium, and heavy), Mattis and Dunford (who didn’t seem to be doing anything Mattis didn’t want, but who also didn’t seem very happy about the whole thing) presented five options. Had Trump insisted on one of the “riskier options,” several more days would have passed, and we were already close to one full week since Syria’s attack. Moreover, Mattis said without qualification that causing Russian casualties would mean we would be at war with Russia, notwithstanding our efforts to avoid such casualties and the Dunford-Gerasimov conversation. It was clear to me, however, that without something from the Arab nations, Trump would almost certainly withdraw the few remaining US forces in Syria, and sooner rather than later. Trump said he was thinking of tweeting that he had planned to attack but had called it off because there were no good targets anymore, although he would keep his “finger on the trigger. Trump then launched into possible Russian actions in retaliation for a Syria strike, such as sinking a US Navy vessel, which Mattis assured him was very unlikely, despite the presence of several Russian warships in the Eastern Mediterranean. CHAPTER 3 AMERICA BREAKS FREE Moreover, the US had just imposed substantial sanctions on Russia on April 6, as required by the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,”2 which Trump detested because Russia was its target. After a difficult, sometimes testy, back-and-forth about the inevitable criticism from the High-Minded a withdrawal decision would cause, Pompeo said he would have State think more thoroughly about what would follow from our exit, something they had adamantly resisted doing thus far. ” Kelly had also told me that, in the course of the Pompeo negotiations, Paul said I was “the worst fucking decision” Trump had made. Looking at me, Trump said China was strictly enforcing sanctions against North Korea because they feared a trade war with us, which was only partially correct: In my view, China was not strictly enforcing sanctions. With the press cleared from the Oval, Trump and Macron spoke alone for much longer than expected, the bulk of which consisted, as Trump told me later, of his explaining to Macron that we were exiting the Iran deal. ”8 (Macron told Trump in a subsequent call that he was eager to rush to find a new deal, which didn’t produce any resonance from Trump. Briefing Netanyahu on his Iran thinking, Trump said that the whole deal was based on lies, Iran had played the United States for fools, and that Israel should feel free to flay the deal publicly, which of course Netanyahu was already busily doing. Trump said he would be making a statement on Iran shortly and asked, in an almost childlike way, if Xi wanted to know what he would say. Macron called and asked what Trump planned to say on Iran, but Trump wanted to be sure Macron would be circumspect. Trump mused that at some point he should meet with Iranian President Rouhani, flattering Macron as the best of the Europeans, and that he should tell Rouhani Trump was right. He said Russia, China, and North Korea were bigger threats, although his reasons were vague, and I was pleased to see Pompeo and Mnuchin both push back, given that Iran was one of the top four threats identified in the National Security Strategy Trump had approved before my arrival. CHAPTER 4 THE SINGAPORE SLING A few minutes after Trump made those remarks, the Vice President gave me a high five and said, “He’s got your back!” Trump himself said, “You’re clear, I fixed it!” There were also significant developments on the hostage front, where we were getting increasing indications that North Korea would release three US prisoners if Pompeo personally flew to the North to receive them and return them to America. Meanwhile, Trump was busy tweeting there was no division on his team: Unlike what the Failing and Corrupt New York Times would like people to believe, there is ZERO disagreement within the Trump Administration as to how to deal with North Korea… and if there was, it wouldn’t matter. Pompeo then told me Trump wanted to bring Kim Yong Chol to meet in the Oval Office, which Trump thought was “genius. I could tell from both Pence and Ayers that they were somewhat in shock, and Ayers said Trump wanted “to keep the meeting small”; it would just be Trump, Pompeo, and the interpreter on the US side, and Kim and his interpreter on theirs. Trump and Pompeo emerged from the Oval with Kim Yong Chol and walked him to the driveway where his cars were waiting, and then Trump spoke to the press on his way back to the Oval. Kelly said to me while Trump did a meet-and-greet with the Singapore US embassy staff, “The psychology here is that Trump wants to walk out in order to preempt Kim Jong Un. Trump complained that Kim Jong Un had been meeting with China and Russia to put us at a disadvantage, but he said Singapore would “be a success no matter what,” saying, “We just need to put on more sanctions, including on China for opening up the border. Trump was happy there would be no more war games and said he was glad he had been “overruled” in his previous efforts to cancel them because otherwise, he “wouldn’t have had something to give away!” Trump also said Kim Jong Un “has a vicious streak in him,” and that he could be “mercurial,” remembering an irritated look Kim Jong Un shot at one of his officials during the talks. When I showed Trump Kim Jong Un’s letter and explained our recommendation, however, Trump said immediately, “I should meet with Kim Jong Un. Despite plans for another Pompeo trip to North Korea, at the end of August, just before he was due to depart for Pyongyang, the North Koreans warned that Pompeo would not see Kim Jong Un on this trip, and shouldn’t even bother coming unless he was bringing completely new proposals, including the end-of-war declaration. CHAPTER 5 A TALE OF THREE CITIES—SUMMITS IN BRUSSELS, LONDON, AND HELSINKI Coming a month after June’s Singapore encounter with Kim Jong Un were three back-to-back July summits: a long-scheduled NATO meeting in Brussels with our partners in America’s most important alliance; Trump and Theresa May in London, a “special relationship” bilateral; and Trump and Putin in Helsinki, neutral ground to meet with our once and current adversary Russia. On Syria, Putin asked, regarding our desire to see Iranian forces withdraw, who would accomplish that? This was one of those moments where Putin pointed at me and said I should tell Trump directly that the Russians didn’t need Iranians in Syria, and that there was no advantage for Russia in having them there. As we met in the Oval beforehand, Trump said he would tell Stoltenberg the US was going to lower its “contribution” to NATO to Germany’s level and ask him to inform the other members before the July 11–12 summit. Trump conceded that Stoltenberg regularly gave him credit for his efforts to increase NATO spending by the European allies, but argued that the only reason expenditures had increased was because the allies thought Trump would otherwise withdraw the United States from NATO. A few minutes later, Merkel came over to speak with Trump at his seat, suggesting that Stoltenberg convene an informal “roundtable” where everyone would have a chance to react to what Trump had said. How could we defend ourselves from the Russians, Trump wondered, if the allies wouldn’t pay for it? Trump said he liked Hungary and Italy, but it wasn’t fair to the United States that they weren’t paying their allocated share. She stressed to Trump that, in Helsinki, he should go into the meeting from a position of strength, and Trump agreed, claiming that Putin asked for the meeting (the opposite of the truth), and assured her he would not give anything away. In fact, the US interpreter told Fiona Hill and Joe Wang later that Putin had talked for 90 percent of the time (excluding translation); she also said Trump had told her not to take any notes, so she could only debrief us from her unaided memory. Trump also said Putin didn’t seem to care much one way or the other about our leaving the Iran nuclear deal, although he did say Russia would stay in. Trump asked Putin to describe the one-on-one, and Putin said Trump had first raised the election-interference issue, and then said he hoped we could provide a common explanation of the matter (whatever that meant). A US reporter asked Putin why Americans should believe his denials of interference in our 2016 election, and Putin answered, “Where do you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America, and I do defend the interests of the Russian Federation… Can you name a single fact that would definitively prove the collusion? This is utter nonsense. CHAPTER 6 THWARTING RUSSIA I wanted to launch US withdrawal from the treaty (which would be an important signal to China, among others), or possibly even mutual withdrawal, before my next meeting with Patrushev, in Moscow, in late October. ” None of us believed there was moral equivalence, and notwithstanding Mattis’s point, mutual withdrawal would give Trump something he could announce as a “success” with Russia, perhaps thereby reducing the pressure to make real concessions in other areas. On October 17, before my meeting with Patrushev in Moscow the following week, I briefed Trump on where things stood, including all the interagency work we had done, our preliminary diplomacy with NATO allies and others, and our likely schedule for withdrawal, kicked off on December 4 by Pompeo’s giving Russia notice to resume compliance or else. I explained that once we announced our intention to withdraw, the Russians would likely do the same, accusing us of violating the treaty, which was untrue but which could involve us in a series of recriminatory statements between Moscow and Washington. Instead, I suggested, why didn’t I ask Patrushev that the two countries withdraw mutually; this approach could spare us a lot of grief and allow us to announce an agreement with Russia on something of importance. I then called Pompeo, who said it was “horrific” Trump could make an announcement as significant as withdrawing from the INF just in response to a reporter’s question, a rare occasion of Pompeo’s being explicitly critical of something Trump did. We discussed our respective positions on the INF at length, but what really interested Putin was “What comes next?,” meaning what were we contemplating regarding deployment in Europe? Having made the point earlier that Russia and America were effectively the only two countries bound by the INF, I replied that I thought Putin had said at our last meeting that Russia understood the strategic implications of that fact, meaning China’s large and growing ballistic and hypersonic glide missile capabilities. Why go through the agony of renegotiating New START, adding, for example, reductions or limitations on tactical nuclear weapons, which were of major importance to the US given the large number of such weapons Russia had?5 In response to Putin’s questions, I said we had no intention of withdrawing from New START, but we were also essentially certain not to allow it simply to be extended for five years as Russia was asking (along with almost all Senate Democrats). ” I then pressed him to announce simultaneously the suspension of our treaty obligations because of Russia’s material breach, a concept separate from withdrawal, which would allow us to begin “violating” the treaty even as the 180-day clock was ticking, and Trump agreed. Trump said he didn’t want to look weak to Russia, and Merkel promised she would back us if we gave her sixty days. The Trump Administration had imposed substantial new economic sanctions on Russian citizens and entities in 2017, related to the Crimea annexation, adding to what Obama had done, as well as extending other sanctions; closed the Russian consulates in San Francisco and Seattle; expelled more than sixty Russian intelligence agents (operating in the US as “diplomats”) after Moscow’s attack on the Skripals;20 imposed sanctions for violating the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, also required by the attack on the Skripals; sanctioned Russia’s Internet Research Agency, an arm of Russia’s cyber-offense machinery; and penalized over three dozen Russian officials for violations of US Syria-related sanctions. CHAPTER 7 TRUMP HEADS FOR THE DOOR IN SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN, AND CAN’T FIND IT What Trump wanted, however, was very limited: when would Brunson be released to return to America, which he thought Erdogan had pledged? Erdogan said only that the Turkish judicial process was continuing, and Brunson was no longer imprisoned, but under house arrest in Izmir, Turkey. Trump allowed the negotiations to continue, but his instinct on Erdogan proved correct: only economic and political pressure would get Brunson released, and here at least Trump had no problem applying it despite Mnuchin’s happy talk. Trump said he was ready to leave Syria if Turkey wanted to handle the rest of ISIS; Turkey could do the rest and we would just get out. Trump said he would ask me (I was listening in to the call, as was customary) to immediately work on a plan for US withdrawal, with Turkey taking over the fight against ISIS. Over the weekend, Trump decided he wanted another call with Erdogan to make two points: first, don’t attack any US troops in Syria, and second, be sure to attack ISIS and not Kurds, both points being correct, but it was a little late to fill them in after his earlier call with Erdogan and the subsequent publicity. 17 So after greetings and opening remarks, Trump said that, first, he wanted Erdogan to get rid of ISIS, and that we would provide assistance if Turkey need it. ” Trump said he had told Erdogan not to attack US forces in Syria, and LaCamera and Caine were explaining what they were currently doing against ISIS when Trump asked, “Can you knock the shit out of them on the way out?” They both responded, “Yes, sir,” and Trump said, “That is my order; take it out from here. The US would continue to provide air cover and search-and-rescue capabilities for the international force, which Dunford and I believed would also allow us to keep control of the airspace over northeastern Syria. Did Mattis in particular want a flat-out Trump decision to withdraw, so Mattis could then resign on a matter of principle? Or was this an institutional Pentagon effort to have Trump be squarely responsible, not US failings during the course of the war, and especially not the collapse of the beloved counterinsurgency strategy that had failed in both Afghanistan and Iraq? Pompeo agreed with me that the briefing should have been held later in November, but we couldn’t stop it. ” Then Trump raised the first combat use of the MOAB (“Massive Ordnance Air Blast”), “without your knowledge,” said Trump to Mattis,30 complaining for the umpteenth time that the MOAB had not had its intended effect. 32 At my regular breakfast with Mattis and Pompeo, this one on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I suggested we seek to answer three questions: Would the Afghan government collapse after we left, and, if so, how fast? How fast and in what ways would ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups react to withdrawal? And how fast could the various terrorist groups mount attacks on the United States? We scheduled another Oval Office meeting for Monday, and Mattis had barely begun before Trump was all over him. CHAPTER 8 CHAOS AS A WAY OF LIFE Kelly said that by mid to late July he thought he had gotten Trump off the idea of taking away people’s clearances, but Trump returned to it because his favorite media sources kept pounding away on it. Kelly opened the weekly White House staff meeting on August 27 by saying, “I’m in a bad place today,” because of ongoing disagreements with Trump over whether to fly US government flags at half-mast and who would attend which services. “What about Bolton?” Trump asked, “Could he take it over?” Kushner said he doubted I would be interested, but Trump replied, “John’s great. Can you ask him if he’d do it?” Kushner said whomever Trump selected would be in a fight with Kelly, and Trump replied, “John’s not afraid of fights. We needed to find a way out of this train wreck before Trump blamed us for the collapse of his border policy! According to Kushner, however, this latest encounter with Nielsen convinced Trump I should have control of the issue. “How else are we going to stop the caravans?” “Kirstjen Nielsen is working on this,” said Kelly, still loudly, and Trump shot back, “None of you other geniuses have been able to stop the caravans,” at which point Kelly stomped out of the Oval, Trump waving his hand dismissively at Kelly’s back as he left. (In a December conversation with Trump as he decided on Kelly’s successor, Trump acknowledged that this exchange with Kelly was the “shouting match” about which the press had spilled so many electrons. ” Personnel management issues, also critical to policy development, portended a series of dramatic changes following the November 2018 congressional elections. ” One story I was sure the media hadn’t heard from Mattis was one told by Trump on May 25, as Marine One flew back to the White House from Annapolis after Trump’s graduation speech to the Naval Academy. In an October 2019 interview, in the midst of the Ukraine impeachment crisis, Kelly said he had told Trump, “Whatever you do—and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place—I said whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth—don’t do that. ”7 Trump flatly denied Kelly had made such a statement: “John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that. CHAPTER 9 VENEZUELA LIBRE Under the vacancy clause of Hugo Chavez’s own Constitution, Guaidó said he would become Interim President on January 23, which was the anniversary of the 1958 military coup that overthrew the Marcos Perez Jimenez dictatorship, and oust Maduro to prepare new elections. ” I walked Trump back off the ledge, explaining that the military was still in its barracks, which was very significant, and that senior military figures had been talking to the Opposition for two days about what would be in it for them if they came over to the Opposition or retired. Trump then assured Guaidó he’d pull off Maduro’s overthrow, and offered as an aside that he was sure Guaidó would remember in the future what had happened, which was Trump’s way of referring to his interest in Venezuela’s oil fields. A drumbeat of diplomatic recognitions of Guaidó was picking up and we hoped it would demonstrate even to Maduro loyalists that his days were numbered, and also provide insurance against arrest for Guaidó and other Opposition leaders. 30 There were also hopes that key military officials would not follow orders to close the borders, but that, even if they did, Maduro would be placed in the impossible position of denying humanitarian supplies to his impoverished citizens. Trump asked the Colombians if he should have talked to Maduro six months earlier, and Duque said unequivocally it would have been a big victory for Maduro, implying it would be an even bigger mistake to talk to him now. It could swing from one extreme to another: things could go well, with the border effectively opened, which would be a direct challenge to Maduro’s authority, or there could be violence and bloodshed at the crossing points, potentially with Guaidó arrested or worse. Such actions would likely get little public attention but would be powerful messages to regime officials that we were prepared to ease their paths either out of Venezuela entirely or into the arms of the Opposition as co-conspirators rather than prisoners. 52 If Venezuela’s top court, packed by Maduro cronies and hacks, and led by one of his nominally strongest supporters, delegitimized Maduro’s sham legislature, it would dramatically undercut Maduro across the board in Venezuela. 55 Talks with several senior Venezuelan military leaders, including Defense Minister Padrino, were becoming increasingly operational: not about whether Maduro would be ousted but about how it would happen. I understood the tentative sequence was that the supreme court would declare the Constituent Assembly illegal; Maduro would then resign; the military would recognize Guaidó as Interim President; the National Assembly would be recognized as Venezuela’s only legitimate legislature; and the supreme court would remain in place. CHAPTER 10 THUNDER OUT OF CHINA By the time I joined the White House, trade discussions of all sorts with China had been under way for some time. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done! When had we started to worry about jobs in China? On Monday, I heard Navarro was trying to get a miscellaneous group of people into the Oval to tell Trump what a bad idea backtracking on ZTE was. ” That didn’t necessarily mean the United States Trade Representative would resume its traditional role as primary negotiator, because Trump also lashed out at Lighthizer: “You haven’t made one deal yet!” What did process matter anyway when Trump tweeted on his own, as he did on May 14: ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from U. On the other hand, Trump came increasingly to view China as trying to influence the 2018 congressional elections against Republicans, and more important (to him), as working for his defeat in 2020. Toward the end of the trade issue, Trump proposed that for the remaining $350 billion of trade imbalances (by Trump’s arithmetic), the US would not impose tariffs, but he again returned to importuning Xi and China to buy as many American farm products as they could. ” Lighthizer for some reason worried that our trade war with China was hurting Europe, which only added fuel to the fire, provoking the familiar Trump refrain, “The EU is worse than China, only smaller,” as he decided to impose the next round of tariffs on Beijing, via Twitter, of course: Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States—this never happened, and many Americans continue to die! Trade talks are continuing, and… …during the talks the U. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%… …We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one! This was a huge decision, causing great angst in Trump’s economic team, which was pretty much where things stood when I resigned on September 10. Former Vice President Dan Quayle told me as far back as October 2018, after a trip to Hong Kong, that China had become increasingly aggressive, kidnapping from Hong Kong businessmen who had somehow crossed Beijing, many of whom were simply never heard from again. ” On August 13, after our discussion on F-16 sales to Taiwan (see below), Trump tweeted again: I know President Xi of China very well. Trump was particularly dyspeptic about Taiwan, having listened to Wall Street financiers who had gotten rich off mainland China investments. CHAPTER 11 CHECKING INTO THE HANOI HILTON, THEN CHECKING OUT, AND THE PANMUNJOM PLAYTIME Nonetheless, he saw no real Trump commitments, and at the end, Trump said he couldn’t lift sanctions until North Korea denuclearized, or he would look like a fool, which was true, and it was good Trump still remembered it. ” After Hanoi, we learned from press sources such as South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo that Kim Yong Chol had endured forced labor, although he was later rehabilitated; that Kim Hyok Chol, Biegun’s counterpart, had been executed, along with several others; that, in penance, Kim Jong Un’s sister had receded from public view for a time; and that Shin Hye Yong, Kim’s interpreter, was in a political prison camp for making an interpretation mistake. Trump pressed again, wondering what would happen if we had to fight North Korea, and whether South Korea would accept Japanese participation. Unfortunately, North Korea continued testing missiles, not the ICBMs Kim had promised Trump he would not test, but short- and medium-range missiles that threatened much of South Korea and Japan. As Moon rambled on about Kim Jong Un’s dissatisfaction with the joint US–South Korea military exercises, Trump observed that Moon seemed to have lost his relationship with Kim, who was now not traveling to South Korea as once envisaged. 14 Trump answered by saying that he would surprise Moon by giving his complete blessing to releasing the aid through the UN agencies, and asked Moon to let North Korea know that he had suggested it to him. , Abe and Trump had a joint press conference, with Trump saying again he was not worried by North Korea’s missile launches and Abe saying publicly, with Trump standing beside him, that he believed they had violated Security Council resolutions. The press just loved the split, but more important, it showed to North Korea that despite the efforts under way all day to show the solidarity of the US-Japan alliance, it was clear Abe and Trump had different views on North Korea. Trump said that in his bilateral meeting, he would stress the aid that the South was providing, and would tell Moon everything that happened between him and Kim. Moreover, high on Trump’s priority list for a successful North Korea nuclear deal was his insistence that Japan and South Korea pay a big part of the economic costs; Trump wasn’t giving the North any “foreign aid,” only the prospect of large, profitable private investment. Taking advantage of US election-year politics, will he try to entice Trump into a bad deal, the kind of approach that led Trump’s predecessors into major mistakes? Or will he conclude that no deal with Trump is possible and that he would be better served waiting to see whether a pliant Democrat with even less foreign-policy experience than Trump emerges as President? Whatever the answer, North Korea’s trajectory toward being a fully capable nuclear-weapons state will continue. CHAPTER 12 TRUMP LOSES HIS WAY, AND THEN HIS NERVE Pompeo briefed Trump on his recent visit to Iraq, which inevitably kick-started Trump into enumerating the Bush 43 Administration’s errors: “Worst President we ever had,” said Trump. ) After the Lincoln reverie, Trump moved to a short-form version of the soliloquy on John Kerry and the Logan Act: “The Iranians aren’t talking only because of John Kerry,” he mused, but Shanahan, seeing how successful Haspel had been by just ignoring Trump and interrupting, resumed talking about more boring things like risk, cost, and timing regarding the various options we might consider, including the use of force. They said publicly they knew Trump wanted to talk but was being frustrated by advisors like me, or that Trump wanted peace but his advisors wanted war. Although Trump hadn’t told me at the time, he had asked Abe to get involved between Iran and the US, and Abe had taken the request seriously. Would we be ready to alleviate the sanctions? And what would we want from Iran? Reducing its military activities in Syria and Yemen? After explaining again the effects on Iran of America’s reimposition of sanctions, Trump went after Kerry for violating the Logan Act and convincing Iran not to negotiate. government that Iran is responsible for today’s attacks in the Gulf of Oman…” On Friday morning, Abe gave Trump a personal readout of his trip, saying that he had seen no willingness from either Rouhani or Khamenei to have a dialogue with the United States as long as the economic sanctions remained in place. ” There were three significant aspects about the decision just reached: (1) we were hitting functioning military targets, as explained above, not merely symbolic ones; (2) we were hitting inside Iran, crossing an Iranian red line, and were certainly going to test their repeated assertions that such an attack would be met by a full-scale response; and (3) we were hitting targets likely entailing casualties, which question we had confronted, Trump having heard that the attacks he had ordered meant dead Iranians (and, possibly, dead Russians). Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD I suppose I really thought, “If he wants to put something out that foolish, who am I to object?” I believed Trump would own it so totally after those tweets that perhaps people would understand how idiosyncratic the whole thing had been. As for the two remaining sites, Dunford said they assessed that it would be fifty people per site “max” and tried to explain to Trump why, in the middle of the night Iran time, the numbers at the site were likely to be far smaller. After a Trump discourse on Kerry and the Logan Act, Macron asked directly what Trump would be willing to give up, thereby precisely demonstrating his mentality to make concessions to Iran without getting anything in return. Although Trump first ducked, they did discuss before the call ended the idea of a significant reduction in the oil and financial sanctions against Iran for a brief period, and Trump seemed to be clearly leaning in that direction. CHAPTER 13 FROM THE AFGHANISTAN COUNTERTERRORISM MISSION TO THE CAMP DAVID NEAR MISS Curiously, Pompeo had John Sullivan attend in his stead; perhaps he didn’t want to reveal what the actual state of play in diplomacy with the Taliban was before the Trump briefing, which would be consistent with his practice of sharing as little about the negotiations as he could. Within thirty minutes of the breakfast, I called Trump and said it was his decision whether to let Khalilzad and the State Department act with complete independence in the negotiations, but I thought it was dangerous for what Trump said he wanted. Specifically, while his instructions from Trump (or Pompeo, whomever) at that time were to get US forces to zero, he also had instructions from Trump to support counterterrorism capabilities consistent with what had been previously briefed to Trump in the Tank, essentially without an end date. Completely predictably, Trump asked, “Who pays them?” Esper, new to this movie script, promptly responded, “We do,” thereby launching Trump into the riff about how Mattis always said, “These soldiers are fighting bravely for their country,” until Trump asked who paid for them, and found out the total cost (including equipment and other supplies) was about $6. Pompeo tried to keep the whole thing between himself, Khalilzad, and Trump (although, as the meeting started, Trump said it had been a long time since he had seen Khalilzad). Why, I asked, given that we all knew the political risks on this deal were from most Republicans, let alone Democrats, didn’t Pompeo want allies? If he wanted all the credit for it, I could understand that, but there would be precious little “credit” when the agreement collapsed, which even Pompeo told me he thought was inevitable. We could repeat the phrase “conditions based” all we wanted, but in reality, this agreement would be regarded as pulling up stakes and getting out (which Trump probably would have preferred, even though none of the rest of us did), with all the attendant chaos that would likely follow. As to whether the military could live without the “protection” of a deal, Pompeo said he thought the US commander would prefer a deal but could live with it either way. “Hey, John,” Trump said to the screen in the Sit Room, “what do you think?” My instinct was that this meeting could stop the pending deal dead in its tracks while the Taliban and the Afghan government wrestled with its implications, or at least delay it for a significant-enough period because of the time it would take for the Afghan parties to figure out their positions. Pence asked, “Would you meet with Ghani first?” “Only if Ghani knows I’m also going to sit down with the Taliban later,” said Trump. Pompeo and I spoke after he was back at the State Department to see if his understanding was the same as mine, that not only the Taliban but also the Ghani meeting was canceled, and he agreed that’s what he’d heard Trump say. CHAPTER 14 THE END OF THE IDYLL Pompeo wanted a conference call with her and me to get everyone on the same page, but before the call could be arranged, Trump called Pompeo to say Haley’s talking points were fine and that he didn’t want to be hammered in the press for being too soft. Trump said he thought it would be terrible to meet with Putin in these circumstances, and that the press would only talk about the Ukraine issue. Trump called again to say he would do the bilateral if Putin would announce, when it ended, that he was releasing the ships and crews, thus in effect giving Trump credit for springing them. I said I would speak to Trump and see whether there would still be a bilateral meeting. The Russians didn’t put anything about the meeting in their press, and Trump related to me the next morning he had essentially told Putin he didn’t see how the two of them could meet at any length until the Kerch Strait incident was resolved and the ships and crews returned to Ukraine, which didn’t seem likely for some time. I briefed Trump in advance of the call that Zelensky might invite him to his inauguration (the date for which had not yet been officially set), and Trump said he would send Pence instead. ” Zelensky did invite Trump to his inaugural, and Trump responded he would “look at the date” and said, “We’ll get you a great representative for the United States on the great day. ” Zelensky then invited Trump to Ukraine, noting both would be in Warsaw on September 1 for the eightieth anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland, launching World War II, suggesting Trump could then come to Kiev, which Trump politely discouraged. With time drawing short, I suggested to Pompeo and Esper that I again see how Trump was leaning, and the three of us then coordinate our schedules to talk to Trump together, with which they agreed. ” Pence also pressed Trump to meet Zelensky at the UN General Assembly and said that “just between us girls,” he thought Trump was looking for a news peg to make what we hoped was the right decision. In light of the subsequent controversy, I should note that on Tuesday, Kupperman told me that Dan Walsh, one of Mulvaney’s deputies, had called him late Monday, returning with Trump on Air Force One from a North Carolina political rally Trump had departed for right after speaking with me.
2020.06.05 03:00 autotldrTrump’s Approval Slips Where He Can’t Afford to Lose It: Among Evangelicals
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 85%. (I'm a bot)
Speaking on his newscast, "The 700 Club," the televangelist whose relationship with Mr. Trump dates to the 1990s said, "You just don't do that, Mr. President," and added, "We're one race. And we need to love each other." Numerous polls have shown that like most other Americans, religious Americans increasingly disapprove of how the president is doing his job - a shift that would imperil Mr. Trump's re-election if he is not able to reverse it. As people whose cultural and political priorities have been extremely well served by the Trump administration, many religious conservatives long ago resigned themselves to his flaws - as a president, a husband and a professed Christian. "Some of President Trump's critics seem more upset about him holding a Bible at a church than they were about the vandals who nearly burned it to the ground," Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said in a statement. Turning their back on Mr. Trump now would likely spell defeat for the president in November, which would mean the end of a streak of legal and policy victories that conservatives have not experienced since the Reagan administration. Noticeably absent during the president's visit were two of the most visible religious conservatives serving in the Trump administration: Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian, and Kellyanne Conway, a Catholic who has acted as the president's bridge to the world of activist social conservative women.
Cover Art Teaser: In the last chapter after the Battle of Vertingen, Edana and Frances recognized their love for one another. This chapter, Edana has to show some tougher love in order to make a mage out of Frances. Story Summary: After years of beatings and neglect from her parents, 13-year old Frances was summoned with her entire class to the fantastical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the "Demon King." If she succeeds, she might have the home she never had. But if she can't overcome the trauma and self-loathing inflicted on her by her abusive parents, Frances will die, and be summoned back to the home she escaped, on the day that she left. [The Beginning] [<=Chapter 26] [Chapter Index and Blurb] [Chapter 28=>] [Current Map of Durannon] A month after the 4th Battle of Vertingen... Frances walked into Salpheron’s training area, wondering why her mentor had asked her to meet her there. It wasn’t that she didn’t go to the training area of the White Order’s Headquarters, but when Edana had made that request, there had been an eagerness to her eyes that had simultaneously excited Frances and frightened her. Salpheron’s training yard looked a little like a combination of a modern gun range and obstacle course. There were wooden targets set up for mages to practice spells, and a truly harrowing-looking obstacle course complete with water traps, wooden logs that would knock you off of gangways onto safety nets, At the corner of the yard, near a rest area that amounted to an outdoor canteen manned by several servants. Edana stood underneath an awning, scribbling something onto a blackboard already filled with a table with dates. Frances quietly approached, and read the title of the blackboard. It said, “Frances’s Training Plan.” Immediately, Frances realized why her Master had called her here. Edana turned around and jumped slightly as her eyes fell on her student. “Oh! Frances! I didn’t even hear you. Perhaps we don’t need to devote too much time to stealth.” “Sorry, Master Edana,” Frances’s eyes narrowed as she read off the table. “I was um…” “Ah, yes, your training plan. The thing is, you’ve proven your abilities to me and many others. The problem is that I sense you’ll be asked to go on missions more frequently from now on. So I’ve devised this training regimen that I’d like us to work on.” Reaching towards a nearby table, Edana picked up a journal and handed it to Frances. “This is going to be a stressful time, Frances, and so I’d like you to start writing in a journal your thoughts… feelings, any frustrations you have, as well as your successes. It’ll help.” Frances nodded and took the journal. “What are we starting with then, Master?” she asked. Edana grinned. “For starters…” Frances’s lungs ached, and her legs had long since gone somewhat numb. She’d been marching across the moors of Salpheron with a loaded pack for what seemed like hours. Sweat soaked her clothes, chilling her skin thanks to the cold of the moors. Edana meanwhile rode beside her on a pony. She was positively cheerful and for once, Frances wished she could somehow disappear that cheeky smile. “Are you going to give up?” Edana asked. “No!” Frances gasped, surprising herself. “Good! Because this is going to be a regular thing, and we have lessons on Alavaria history and culture after that,” Edana said. Trembling, Frances bit back a grown and forced herself onward. Dear Journal, I hate running. I don’t know how I could hate doing something so much, but Edana has been taking me on runs every morning before breakfast. I feel like I want to throw up, but I have to do it. Why? Because I am beginning to realize this war’s urgency. After the run, and before daily magic and singing practice, Master Kellyanne or Edana teach me about the war, the three human kingdoms: Erisdale, Lapanteria and Roranoak, along with Alavaria’s culture, and a history of the war. Journal, did you know that while the humans worship the wedded gods Amura and Rathron, the monsters—the Alavari or Fae-kin— worship only one god called Galena? Apparently worship of this one god, in its many species-specific incarnations, unites the monsters. It was fascinating to find out and certainly explains why all the Alavari are unified under one king. And when united, the Alavari are almost unstoppable. The last time the Alavarians went to war against the humans three hundred years ago, all the human city-states were wiped out. The summoned heroes barely clawed back a victory, and even then it was a ceasefire and a return to pre-war borders so that both sides could rebuild their shattered lands, which became the current human and fae kingdoms. From what Edana has told me, the current stalemate can only go on for so long, and soon, the war’s momentum will shift. I don’t want to go home. I have to help defeat the Demon King before the war turns against us. After three weeks of gruelling runs and so much information on Alavarian culture and species that Frances for once did not want to read a book, it was on to what Edana had said would be the most intricate part of their training, war magic. “A mage in battle doesn’t simply throw spells out. They need to cast the right spell for the right situation, and they need to do so faster than their enemies,” said Edana, pacing across the training field. She suddenly turned to her student, who sat on the ground attentively. “Frances, in a battle, is it more important to be fast at casting a spell, or making sure a spell is powerful?” Frances took a moment to think, remembering the brief fight she was in at Vertingen and how useful her lightning spell had been, but also recalling that it took quite a bit of time to cast. “I’m… not sure, Master. Isn’t it important that there is a balance?” Edana smiled. “Close, but not quite. The answer is that it depends on the situation. Say you’re against one opponent who isn’t a mage and is closing on you. You should throw your opponent away as quickly as you can. But say you encountered a large group of enemies, then you need a different spell. Similarly, if you were up against a couple of ogres, you would need more powerful spells. It all depends on the situation.” Edana pointed to the firing range they were standing at and at the many targets that right then lay flat against the ground. “Winning a battle or fight is mostly about how quickly and accurately you can appraise a situation and react. This is why I’ve brought you here. You need to hit the targets as fast as possible as they come up. Be warned, the larger the targets are, the more powerful a spell you would need. Any questions?” Frances thought for a moment and raised her hand. At Edana’s nod, she asked, “Master, what if I’m up against a mage, or shaman? The orcs and centaurs have shamans, as do the ogres and trolls and wouldn’t they send them out to face us Otherworlders?” “Good question. I’ll get to training you how to fight a magical opponent later, but for now, we want to train your instincts.” Edana held out a hand, which Frances took to stand up. “Come along, we have targets to hit, and this is only the first part of your war mage training.” Contrary to endurance running, Frances quite enjoyed target practice, but Edana’s warning was prophetic, it was merely the first part of war mage training. The second was in Frances’s eyes, far more terrifying, and why she was shaking as she hid in a battered wooden hut. Outside was a blasted field of broken ground, littered with scorch marks, and patrolled by several wooden pockmarked and scarred golems carrying blunted practice spears. A thunderous boom sent her ears ringing, and her feet scrambling as she charged out of the hut and raced across broken ground. Hundreds of blunted and cloth-tipped arrow shafts scythed towards her and she had to scream out a spell. The arrows were swept aside, but more kept coming and Frances gasped as she narrowly dodged them. But she ran right towards an animated wooden golem, who swung its spear. She practically tumbled into the spear shaft and stars exploded as she fell to the ground. “Frances? Frances!” she heard through a distant void. Frances murmured something as her helmet was pulled off her head. She felt her master’s warm hand was on her head and her magic spread through her body. Frances felt her vision suddenly refocus and she saw her mentor kneeling beside her a worried look on her face. “Maybe we should make this easier.” “Again,” Frances croaked. She tried to sit up, but her head screamed in protest the moment she tried. Edana shushed her and gently helped her up. “We’ll be running through this life-fire exercise plenty more times. You need your rest,” Edana said, handing Frances a water skin. Dear Journal, Is it odd for me to say I like war magic training? I mean… it is tough, it can be painful, but it is really exciting. It’s scary to have to run through the obstacle course with Edana casting magic at me, and the firing range training is tiring. I’ve failed… many times… but I still find it fun. I mean… it is weird, but war-mage training feels like a giant, ever-shifting puzzle I am trying to solve. I think it’s also because of Edana being very safe. She made sure to cast shield spells on me so even if I do get hit by one of her spells, it doesn’t hurt. I think she’s holding back too. She always has snacks on hand to replenish my magic hen I’m tired, and she gives really good advice on what to do. I’m really lucky to be apprenticed to Edana… she is pushing me to do better, but she cares so much for me at the same time. Thanks to her, I… I know I can do better, be better. A week later... To train Frances in wilderness survival, Edana had asked one of her friends, a certain Baroness Igraine of Leipmont to help and they had all travelled to the barony of Leipmont, a thickly forested valley south of the Erisdalian-Alavarian border. This would put a pause in Frances’s war magic training, but Edana had explained to her student that Igraine was often quite busy with organizing patrols in Leipmont, which bordered the Kingdom of Alavaria. She’d only managed to find time for the moment. At a mere five foot six, Igraine was a brown-haired woman slightly shorter than Edana, who stood at about five foot eleven. She was also far more slender, and now that Frances thought about it, unlike Edana, her skinned was tanned in the same shade as most Erisdalians—Dale folk—locals she often saw at the markets or outside. Oddly enough, while she wore clothing mostly suited for outdoors with a dappled brown-green cloak draped on her shoulders, Frances smelt what she thought had to be some high-class flowery perfume on the woman. “So this is your student?” Igraine said with disdain. Her dark brown eyes glaring at Frances. Try as she might, Frances couldn’t raise her head to meet Igraine’s eyes and so she kept her head down. “Igraine.” There was a heat to Edana’s voice that made Frances start and finally look up to her mentor, who was fixing Igraine with a burning glare. Igraine glanced at Edana and sighed. “Fine, but you have to know, Frances, that the next month of wilderness training is not going to be easy. Edana and I have put together a very tough regimen that none of your fellow Otherworlders have done very well on. Do you still want to do this?” Frances swallowed, but after a moment’s thought, she nodded. “Yes.” Besides, she’d survived worse. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Remember, if you'd like to keep track of new chapters, comment under the Writing Bot comment with "HelpMeButler " or use the Discord Invite Link here: https://discord.gg/VssYxpB and type ?rank A Fractured Song in the #welcome-and-roles channel. Author's Note: So replying to my question on "What kind of clothes would fit Frances for a formal occasion?" This is what I think based on my thoughts and readers comments: Frances has a fairly athletic body type (rectangle shape) so if I went by modern styles, a Halter style dress would work best, but that didn't exist in Early Modern times. Now, Frances doesn't have any opinion on what would look good on her, but if say I was her stylist, I'd combine an Early Modern/Tudor (say 15th-17th century) dress types along with what I am planning to build about Erisdalian culture. Erisdalian culture tends to like practical loose dresses with tights so women are warm (it's cold where they are), can move, but are pretty. So here's the full description, assuming a formal gala/ball:On her head: Frances would do up her hair slightly to give herself more curls. All mages of Frances's White Order also wear an ivory mage's coronet. Dress: Ideally, Frances would have a coral-silk dress (to match her olive-brown skin tone) that combines renaissance and modern styles. So ideally, I'd like Frances to have a halter-necked dress that shows some of her shoulders and back. Sleeves will still be long and ruffled at where they hang onto the shoulders and at the cuffs. The waist will billow outward slightly and will be long with embroidered hem and patterns on the dress proper. Accessories: Frances would also wear a decorative belt, lower on her waist than usual, with her wand in its holster as it's a status symbol. So, what do you think? Fits her or not?
2020.04.16 16:14 RaniPuspitaFive Facts About Lock Choker Chain That Will Blow Your Mind Lock Choker Chain
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Bernie Sanders is leading New Hampshire polls heading into tomorrow’s primary, the results of which we may know before we finally learn who won the Iowa caucuses last year week.
In the latest 7 News/ Emerson College poll, Sanders tops the field with 30 percent of support, Pete Buttigieg is next with 20 percent, and Amy Klobuchar, who once again clobbered Buttigieg in Friday’s debate, is in third with 13 percent. Joe Biden is down in the hinterlands of fifth place, after carefully setting expectations low at the debate: “I’ll probably take a hit here.” Sanders won New Hampshire with record numbers in 2016, and as senators from neighboring states, he and Elizabeth Warren are both counting on strong performances. As was the case in Iowa, there’s still a lot of uncertainty: The Emerson poll found 34 percent of respondents might still change their mind, while a new CNN poll had that number at 50 percent.
On Sunday night, the Iowa Democratic Party released preliminary full results, indicating that Buttigieg had won the caucuses by two state delegate equivalents over Sanders. While the party addressed reporting errors in those results, it couldn’t fix errors on the caucus worksheets themselves. The Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns have each requested a partial recanvass.
A New York Times analysis reveals that the Iowa mess went way beyond a malfunctioning app, and amounted to “a total system breakdown.” Party officials failed to address reported problems with the app or communicate with volunteers, many of whom were inadequately trained, and no one knew what to do when the reporting procedure started falling apart. DNC Chairman Tom Perez has pointed the finger at IDP Chairman Tom Price, while some Democrats have called on Perez to resign.
It’s exactly the wrong moment for the party to turn on itself.
Remember when President Trump got impeached for trying to cheat in the election? That’s still happening. Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed today that the Justice Department has been receiving information from Rudy Giuliani about his adventures in Ukraine, meaning he’s set up an official channel for collecting whatever fake dirt Giuliani has assembled to smear Trump’s political rivals. And since Barr has granted himself veto power over investigations of presidential campaigns, he has all the tools he needs to allow Trump to ignore election law while manufacturing investigations of Trump’s opponent and other enemies.
Not to sound alarmist, but Trump is very alarmingly purging the executive branch of people he considers disloyal to him personally. With his Friday Night Massacre of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Vindman’s twin brother, and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Trump sent a clear message that there’s no place in the administration for anyone who speaks up about unethical behavior they witness. Kellyanne Conway has hinted there may be more purges to come.
In defending their acquittal of Trump, some Republican senators pretended to hope that impeachment alone would place a check on Trump’s behavior. Trump demonstrated the opposite faster than Iowa could release its caucus results. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will be facing off against a corrupt machine, and will need a united party behind them →
Look No Further Than The Crooked Media
Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It are hitting the road! What better way to get fired up about the election? (Other than reading newsletters quietly on your own, obviously.) Check out their tour dates and get your tickets →
Under The Radar
QAnon conspiracy theorists have increasingly seeped into the offline world. QAnon emerged in 2017 on 4Chan, when the anonymous user “Q Clearance Patriot,” claiming to be a high-ranking government official, started posting a wild, elaborate, dangerous conspiracy narrative. The conspiracy quickly attracted thousands of cult-like followers, who have unfortunately crawled out of the internet and into the mainstream. Several candidates for public office have promoted or expressed interest in QAnon, and its fans have been arrested in at least seven incidents, including a murder in New York. A city council member in San Juan Capistrano, CA, quoted a Q post in her 2018 farewell speech. Last year the New York Times found that about 23,000 of Trump’s Twitter followers had QAnon references in their profiles, and supporters with QAnon paraphernalia are increasingly visible at his rallies.
A gunman killed 29 people in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, on Saturday, in the deadliest mass shooting in Thailand’s history. Authorities say the shooter, Sgt. Jakkrapanth Thomma, was enraged over a real estate dispute. After shooting a woman involved in the dispute and two others present, the soldier stole a military vehicle and an arsenal of weapons, and proceeded to open fire at a shopping center, holding several people hostage during a final standoff. The gunman posted videos and updates to his Facebook page periodically during the shooting.
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Is That Hope I Feel?
The Food and Drug Administration now allows research animals to be adopted. Federal animal testing: obviously not ideal, but still often necessary, and it can now have a happier ending. Under a new FDA policy, healthy animals whose studies have completed can retire, instead of being euthanized. The policy change is largely the result of an animal welfare initiative backed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
2020.02.10 06:41 MandyMTVu/MtvChallenge Fantasy Tournament: Redemption House - Day One (Round Three)
It’s the third round of the MtvChallenge redemption house, losers! This round will last two days only, and is a way of separating the above average from the mediocre. In other words, all teams entering this round have losers’ bracket experience, so hopefully all teams have been hardened to the point of competing with reckless abandon. While the official Fantasy League™ teams don’t know the misery of suffering, the teams here have the stench of defeat trailing them everywhere they go. How exciting! Join us as losers continue to battle head-to-head to fight for redemption, coming back from embarrassing losses, terrifying finals, and (supposed) voter insanity. While you won’t enter back into the Winner’s Bracket, you may just find yourself the Ruler of Redemption. Before we get to the voting, let’s recap last night’s fantasy draft match-ups, written by the stunningly gorgeous, extremely hilarious, scarily intelligent, and totally humble u/MandyMTV. Real World Bracket
u/PapaJon123’s team of Joss Mooney, Heather Cooke, Hurricane Nia, and Ty “Emily’s Bitch” Ruff win this round. This was surprising, given that Turbo is not only an incredible physical specimen, but he’s also a movie star, and that would come in handy in any Challenge final. Also, as Bananas once noted, Nany is a goddamn molotov cocktail thrown in the house and she’s gonna light that place on fire. But, I guess our voters believe that a Joss, Mr. Bromance Extraordinaire, is better than a man who can’t put all of his eggs in one basket, will throw a cup in your face if you decide to make your little fucking stupid ass jokes, Jordan, thinks vagina is the most powerful thing ever created, and whose father is a pastor. Okay, sure. I also see that our friends here at u/MTVChallenge believe a hurricane is better than a grenade. I’ll buy that. Nia will beat your fucking ass, scrubs. But y’all really think that Heather Cooke is better than Nicole Ramos? Nicole works at a strip club, but no - she doesn’t dance. She’s a bartender. She’ll vote her sister into elimination because she’s a sarcastic asshole, and she doesn’t kiss prison guards - that’s your man, Ashley, not hers. You think her lashes and makeup will slow her down? Her eyelashes won’t blow away. She’s got that good glue. Worst of all, y’all scrambled-eggs-for-brains voters think that little bitch boy Ty would do better than a Challenge champion. Okay. I see how it is. Eat a bag of dicks, voters. Let Nicole eat her Cheetos and be happy. Thank you. [But, for real, congratulations, u/PapaJob123! Your combination of girls is absolutely fire - Nia and Cooke? That’s terrifying. How you got both of those girls, I will never know, but I am super jealous.] Road Rules Bracket
u/MattyRobsDW wins over u/survivorfan123456 and there is only one reason this happens: Chet Cannon was just not meant to be on a team titled ‘The Dirtiest Players of All Time.’ That man straight up quit The Challenge because he was worried about a cut on his face. That man ain’t a dirty player, y’all. He’s a tool. It seems like even KellyAnne’s multiple [racist] personalities couldn’t save this team. KellyAnne tries to breathe through this final, but she starts to get worried because it hurts. It really hurts. It’s just nasty stuff blocking her airway. [Hint: it’s Chet’s hairspray. Save the turtles!] Luckily, she looks good without makeup and with wet hair, so fuck Anessa. Sidenote: KellyAnne did not fuck Dunbar. It’s unfortunate that he’s crazy, but they never had intercourse in any way. She fucks who she wants to fuck, okay? And that is that on that, my friends. Congratulations, u/MattyRobsDW! I will save my roast of your players for another round. Now, let’s get to voting. Today is a DOUBLE DAY, so we will have TWO matchups from each bracket! Real World Bracket Match 1.0:u/stayoutofthe-forest, u/dereleek07’s “Team Dutch Australians” vs. u/mthompson22599’s “I’m Sorry I Picked Both Tonya and Kenny” Final: Rivals II Teams [u/stayoutofthe-forest, u/dereleek07] "Team Dutch Australians"
Jamie Chung- Inferno 2: Throughout the season, Jamie was able to prove herself over and over again. In a final where there was multiple facets with swimming, biking, running, and a mental challenge she was able to hold her own with some of the greatest challengers in the history of the show. She showed an ability to be an excellent team player amongst big personalities (which will probably come in handy on this team) and won’t let her ego get in the way of the goal of winning a final. You know what you’re getting from her and will do everything in her power to not be the weak link on the team.
Laurel Stuckey- Free Agents: Laurel is without a doubt one of the most dominating, well rounded competitors we’ve seen on this show. This season in particular was easily her best overall performance from start to finish. At this point in her Challenge career, she has reached the final in every season she's been on and has an 8-0 elimination record. In a final that had stages in both individual and team format, Laurel was a clear favourite and would have won by an even greater margin if not for being the unlucky girl paired with Zach during his infamous dying moment on the mountains. In any finals format, this version of Laurel is going to be a physical and mental asset and will be just the leader this team needs.
Leroy Garrett- War of the Worlds II: Leroy has come so close to Challenge glory many times, and this may be his chance to finally get a win in some form. War of the Worlds 2 Leroy showed off his best assets and how well a team final suits him. Leroy is strong, has endless gas in the tank, is an amazing team player with so much heart, and constantly works to improve his weak points. His swimming has never been better than it is now (he avoided being purged on a swimming challenge and has held his own on other water related challenges), and he has shown improvement in his puzzle skills by completing his math puzzle ahead of Ashley in the most recent final. With a team like this who is willing to put it all aside for the win, there's no doubt Leroy can truly thrive in whatever challenge is thrown at him.
Luke Wolfe- Cutthroat: Luke is a bit of a wildcard, but he can't be underestimated with his 3-1 elimination record (against the likes of Wes, Paula, and Big Easy) and his easygoing attitude. In Cutthroat, Luke proved himself throughout the whole season- he was always a solid player on his team who never did the worst in a daily challenge, worked well with everyone, and always wanted what was best for the team. In a final where 40% of his team was taken out for medical reasons, Luke kept pushing forward, even through team leader Abram being taken out. A solid player who never quits, always turns out a quality performance, and works well with big personalities is exactly what this team needs. Luke is the glue that holds a team together.
Kenny: 8 Seasons, 7 Finals, 3 Wins, 4 Second Place finishes Elimination Record: 5-1 Daily Wins: 35 Money Won: $235,970
Kenny is often put into many people's Top Ten lists and his stats back it up. On Fresh Meat II, he picked future Challenge Legend, Laurel Stucky, and the two of them dominated the season. They were seen as the favorite of the season and performed strongly throughout. The two probably would have won the whole thing, but they had to go against challenge beast, Landon, and no one could have believed that he could literally push Carley up the mountain to victory. During this season, Kenny and Laurel were in an alliance war with Wes and his alliance, but at the end of the day, Kenny came out victorious. They won five dailies including the last daily which guaranteed them a spot in the final. They won one exile elimination, against a very strong team in Sarah and Vinny. Despite a second place finish, Kenny had a very strong showing that proved why he is a challenge legend.
Tonya: 8 Seasons, 2 Finals, 1 Win, 1 Second Place finishes Elimination Record: 3-2 Daily Wins: 26 Money Won: $50,000
Tonya is a very polarizing character on the challenge. She has come on the show with varying levels of competition strengths. Without a doubt, Inferno 3 was her strongest showing. Tonya was placed on the very strong Bad-Ass team, and worked hard proving she belonged in the final challenge. She won the life-shield once and was never nominated for elimination. Once known for holding her team back, Tonya worked hard to show not only her teammates, but herself that she has what it takes to win a challenge. Tonya was in the right mindset and in the best shape of her life during the Inferno 3.
Dustin: 4 Seasons, 1 Final, 0 Wins, 1 Second Place finishes Elimination Record: 2-2 Daily Wins: 2 Money Won: $25,000
Dustin's first season isn't one to be talked about, as he was medically DQ'd with his partner Heather. His season on Battle of the Seasons however, is arguably his best season. He was a part of Team Las Vegas, with Nany from his original real world season and both Alton and Trishelle from the OG Vegas season. While this team seems fairly strong, Alton was not in the right headspace during his elimination with Nany and therefore left Dustin and Trishelle by themselves to run the final. Despite being the only team in the final with two people, Dustin and Trishelle were able to pull out a second place finish. Team Las Vegas won two dailies. Dustin was able to win two eliminations, one with Nany and one with Trishelle, proving that he was able to work under pressure and with multiple different teammates.
Katie: 9 Seasons, 2 Final, 1 Wins, 1 Second Place finishes Elimination Record: 4-6 Daily Wins: 35 Money Won: $41,071
Katie was one the first elimination queens because of her season on the Inferno. Veronica's enemy number one led Katie to constantly being nominated for elimination, and each time she went in with the intent to win. She was nominated 4 times, and went in twice. Her two elimination wins were long marathons that tested her patience and endurance. She proved to her team that she was in it to win it and won the final elimination, securing her spot in the final. She won her only win with the Road Rules team and proclaimed herself as the "Inferno Queen"
Rivals II Final Description - thanks to the wonderful u/mthompson22599 for the details! Just like the first Rivals Season, the format was three male/male teams and three female/female teams. It was split into two parts, Dream Island and Nightmare Island.
To begin, the teams swam one mile in the middle of the ocean to Dream Island, where they were met with three geometric puzzles. The teams had one hour to put together their puzzles, retrieve a key to their kayaks, and paddle out to meet T.J. on a yacht. Only the top two teams of each gender would move on, with third place being purged out.
The second part of the final, Nightmare Island, began with the remaining four teams swimming to the island, where they were instructed they would need to earn idols at five different checkpoints. After completing each checkpoint, teams must signal their completion of the checkpoint by pulling a pin on a smoke grenade.
The first checkpoint had the teams removing 14 of the 15 pegs from a triangular board by jumping the spikes over one and another until only one remained. They could not move on until only one peg remained on the board.
The second checkpoint, "What's Mine is Yours," had the teams cutting through a chain-link fence, then solving a math puzzle using the Pythagorean theorem. Once they figured out the answer, they would have to cut the corresponding rope. If wrong, teams would have to cut all five ropes before moving on.
The third checkpoint, "Food Test" had teams eating and drinking a variety of disgusting foods in numerical order, with the last jar holding the key needed to get the idol.
At the fourth checkpoint, "Body Issues" teams had to move 20 body bags from one side of the course to another. After moving all the bags, teams were instructed to dig into the ground to retrieve the fourth idol.
At the final checkpoint, "Tunnel Vision", the teams needed to dig a tunnel to underneath a cage with bamboo poles, with the last idol being inside the cage. Once the team had all five idols, they were able to retrieve the golden elephant and make their way to a canoe, in which they would have to row their way towards the yacht in the middle of the ocean where they would meet T.J. and their grand prize.
Other than strong competitors our teams biggest strength is that there is a clear alpha leader (Ev), and the other three are team players that will follow a strong competitor.
EVELYN SMITH WON A SIMILAR FINAL, on Rivals 1! Not only did she win this final, but she did it with Paula. They beat Laurel and Cara Maria who would easily win anything you threw at them today. We know this wasn’t because Paula is a powerhouse, it was literally ALL on Ev. I don’t need to say much more because Ev is iconic, she won 3 seasons, and any true Challenge fan knows her résumé. Game, set, match bitch.
Cohutta may not have a win yet, and he may be on the smaller side of the men, but he is brilliant. He makes the challenges work for him. During this season, Free Agents, he showed incredible agility being one of three people to make it across the rolling log during the first challenge. In the second daily he was partnered with Laurel, and of course they won, but neither could’ve done it without the other. On the third challenge he lead a team of Nany, Latoya and Preston across the bar crawl (sliding two bars under a wall suspended above water) when teams that had Jordan, CT, and Cara couldn’t even make it across! Free Agents was Cohutta’s best run and he finished in 6th place. This season showed us that Cohutta can work on a team with ANYONE and perform above average.
Ashley Kelsey kickboxes. She solves puzzles. She stands up for Sam (well, halfheartedly, but she did at one point stand up for Sam, at least once, in her own way). She dated Dario, and we don't judge her for that. She won her first season. She lost her second season to Cara, but didn't she look cute while doing it?
Ace Amerson invented the trash can punch. He hooked up with Tonya. He was on Team Good Guys on Inferno 3, because he is a good guy. In real life, he rides a lot of 4-wheelers and has a cute dog. He'll listen to Evelyn's orders. He'll be a supportive teammate and friend to all, except Derrick.
Our team is a lean, mean machine - heavy on the lean. We run. We think critically (well, Evelyn does). We fight (well, Evelyn does). We get shit done... well, you get the point.
Joss is a physical specimen. from lifting, running, swimming Joss can do it all. After Final Reckoning, Joss had a 2-1 record in elimination with his only loss being to an elimination king Derrick K. Also to note, the elimination he competed in was straight brutal. Joss also completed the Vendettas opening competition in first place.
Cooke: Though Cooke only competed in one season she finished second and gave many fans wanting more from her. Cooke carried Cara through most of the season as well as the final. If it wasn't for the beast Emily she could have won it for the girls. Also she was a collegiate soccer player so the athleticism on her is no joke. The only daily she won was also a puzzle/memorization so her puzzle skills are on par if not above average.
Nia Moore: Hurricane Nia what can I say, she has one trait I love for finals heart. Heart can push individuals to potential themselves never thought of. Nia showed when she was eliminated by Cara in Free Agents. When she came back for Exes2 she proved herself winning eliminations against Nany/Bananas and Wes/Theresa. Nia will be able to lean on Joss and Cooke pushing her with positive attitude to push her body to the limit.
To start, teams canoe across a large lake to a checkpoint where teams complete a tangram puzzle. Once they are done, a helicopter takes them to the next checkpoint, halfway up a mountain.
Checkpoint 2 is a sudoku like puzzle- no numbers can repeat in any row, column, or coloured line. Once the puzzle is done or time is elapsed, take a pair of mountain bikes (they are tied together) and start up the mountain.
Checkpoint 3 requires teams to move 25 heavy, coloured logs and arrange them in a pattern that matches the sign at the start of the checkpoint. Once done, teams ditch the bikes, grab a heavy 80lb bag (only 1 for each pair) and start back up the hill
Checkpoint 4 is one final sudoku like puzzle in which teams arrange a 4x4 grid of numbers so every row and column is equal to 34. Once done, teams grab a helmet and ice axe and climb the very steep last stretch of mountain to the finish line.
Mark Long (Duel II): Mark came in after taking a hiatus from the challenge and performed well. He came in third place in the final after Evan and Brad. However, it should be noted he was not that far behind until the guys had to wait for the girls. Mark also performed well in the dailies. At the end of the day, Mark is a leader and a champion.
Eric Nies (Battle of the Sexes II): Eric outperformed many other guys in this season where they dominated the competition. He also went into 6 of the inner circles and won every challenge he was put in. He was also never eliminated by the inner circle, proving his strengths. He went on to win the final. Eric is a great team player and can communicate well.
Jillian Zoboroski (Gauntlet III): On an underperforming rookie team, Jillian stood out for her resilience on this season. She went into 3 gauntlets and came back from each (although it should be noted her opponents weren't that strong). She was willing to step up into a leadership role when needed. She also went on to win this final because of a mishap on the veteran's side.
Julie Stoffer Inferno I: Julie performed well being on a Real World team that was being decimated by the Road Rules team. She was a strong voice in a team full of hotheads.
Abe (Inferno 3) - all around great player with no glaring flaw. His best attribute is without a doubt his leadership, he knows the right way to motivate his teammates, whether it be by being supportive like he did with Cara on Cutthroat or by constantly shouting to his brother to the point of rupturing a nasal vein on Bloodlines, either way he'll get the best out of everyone on the team. Chose Inferno 3 because it was probably his physical peak... And obviously he's crazy so that helps, I guess.
Diem (Exes) - best Diem season by far, she only lost because CT gassed out on the glacier. Picked her because she was great on the puzzles, had an insane amount of cardio and will power on that final, and because she was a really positive and a good teammate.
Rogan (WotW2) - well let's state the obvious and say he's an asshole, BUUUUTTT he also proved to be a great finals competitor, carried his load was great on the eating portion and showed great cardio as well. And also my team was lacking a powerhouse and he fit the role.
Melissa (Vendettas) - picked her because she's feisty, doesn't quit, had decent cardio and for a reality show team I needed at least someone to bring the entertainment. So DJ Mel Reeves was the obvious choice
TL/DR: Abe - leadership, Diem - puzzles, Rogan - strength, Melissa - entertainment, they complement each other.
Teams start this final challenge at the first checkpoint, which is “Bizarre Buffet.” Each player must completely eat a series of five foods- beetles, fried frog legs, stinky Thai fruit, red chilies, and crickets & grasshoppers. They then collect a Thai artifact and advance to the second checkpoint...
“Junction,” basically the starting point for the other 4 tasks. Teams must run down 4 paths, in any order, and complete the task at the end of each path to collect an artifact. They then bring the artifacts back to the Junction.
Path 1- players must army crawl through a mud pit and collect their artifact before coming back through the pit.
Path 2- jigsaw puzzle (note: I can’t find any more info on this I'm sorry)
Path 3- walking a balance beam obstacle course made of bamboo poles to the artifact and back. If one person falls off the beams, everyone must restart.
Path 4- number puzzle- number blocks must be placed in order 1-10. Blocks can be stacked on top of each other in order to move, but cannot be stacked more than 2 blocks high (note: I think this is was the goal of the puzzle. I can’t find this final for the life of me so I can’t double check!!!). If the puzzle is not completed in 30 mins, everyone must carry a heavy number block back to the Junction.
Once teams have all 5 artifacts at the Junction, they race to the finish line and use a final artifact to claim their prize.
Winner’s Logic [u/Switchstop] “Mr. Beautiful and the Drowners”
Self proclaimed ""Mr. Beautiful"", Kenny Santucci has planted himself as one of the all time greats of Challenge history. With 3 wins (technically 4 including The Gauntlet 3) and 7 finals under his belt, there is only 1 season that he did not make it to a final. That season, The Duel, had one of the most challenging and star-studded casts in Challenge history. Kenny has won a total of 35 dailies across 8 seasons, won 5 out of 6 eliminations, and amassed a total of $235,970. One of the greatest puzzlers of all time, the unending endurance through multiple finals and strengths all across the board shows that this man has what it takes. Also literally carried the GOAT Wes through Rivals.
Leroy is a bit of surprising pick I'm sure. Looking at his overall stats, out of 11 appearances, he's only made the final 4 times, and has 0 wins. The unfortunate truth is that Leroy has the absolute worst luck when it comes to partners. On the plus side, this is coming after the PRIME Leroy that I chose. In Battle of the Exes 2, Leroy was in peak performance mode. They may have only won 1 daily, but after going into eliminations 4 times, he and Nia got the job done. Going against some of the greats, they took down Johnny Reilly and Avery, Wes and Theresa, and Bananas and Nany. Then after being paired with Theresa, they finished off Bananas and Nany AGAIN to stop them from making the final. As one of the only players to ever compete and win 4 eliminations in a single season, Leroy can hold it down as much as anyone.
While my two previous competitors should be household names, we'll flip the switch by introducing a fresh face with only 2 seasons under her belt. Natalie ""Ninja"" Duran is a small yet feisty ball of competition. During War of the Worlds 1, Natalie managed to pull off 4 daily wins, an elimination win, and managed to be the only female left standing by the end of the final. She bested the strong Mattie, the durable Georgia, and the all time great Cara Maria during the final 2 day ""Death Path"" which is regarded as the hardest final in challenge history. Whether it's strength, endurance, puzzling, or running a ropes course, she's shown she's more than capable to provide what it takes to make this team compete.
The oft-forgot Sam McGin completes the team. Sam has made only 1 appearance on The Challenge, during Battle of the Seasons II. During this season, her and her San Diego co -competitors managed to slide their way into a final, and an eventual win. Winning 4 dailies, and pulling off 2 elimination wins, Sam definitely held her own. The unfortunate side of things is how poorly she was treated on this season. Throughout the entire season, Sam was berated and belittled by Zach and Frank every chance they got. Everyone knows that there is no use in putting people down when running a competition, so I have no doubt that this team here will have nothing but support for Sam. Give her what she needs to run these finals and make another run. One of the forgotten "One and Done" competitors of The Challenge decides to give this one more go.
Theo Campbell: With a strong second place finish his rookie season in a grueling WOTW 1 final, Theo Campbell is nothing short of what we want to see when it comes to athleticism on The Challenge. This is the man to lead my team through the final as long as he’s got the right teammates to utilize.
Georgia Harrison: Has always worked well with Theo and Bear, so chemistry needs to be taken into account imo. Has proven in the past two seasons she is one of the toughest contestants on the show. Made a final in WOTW 1 her rookie season. Won 3-4 eliminations.
Bear: Wild card. Has proven to be a tough competitor in elimination. Does work well with Theo and Georgia. If he spends less time focused on women he might make it farther in the game. But this scenario already puts him in the final and I believe he would perform well, especially with the partners I have chosen for him.
Morgan Willett: Have wanted to see more of her, we don’t have much to go on but I think that with these players she would def thrive in the final.
The Inferno Final Description - thank you to u/RohAnTheMaker for the excellent description!
Straightforward foot race with 7 stops along the way representing the 7 deadly sins.
All team members are tied by handcuffs to start and each must finish each checkpoint before proceeding. Once finished with all 7, they race to the finish line. Below are the checkpoints:
Lust - Each member must go under a limbo on the beach
Wrath - Team knocks down pinatas looking for a key to remove the handcuffs
Gluttony - Each member must eat 10 taquitos
Envy - A balance obstacle course where the team is bringing large blocks of fake money from one side to another
Greed - One at a time, each team member must climb across a cargo net from one side to another. Only 1 person from each team can go at a time
Pride - Each team needs to solve a crossword puzzle with answers corresponding to their earlier daily challenges
Sloth - Team members must carry another team member on their back or shoulders across the finish line
Which of these teams deserves to move on in our quest to discover The Challenge Fantasy Draft’s Biggest Loser? You decide. VOTE HERE! Voting ends at 10 PM EST Monday, February 10.
2020.02.07 16:40 ND_PCThe r/MtvChallenge Fantasy Tournament: Redemption House - Day 15 (Round Two)
It’s the LAST MATCH of the second round of the MtvChallenge redemption house, losers! This is where the stakes get even higher for the official Fantasy League™ and for us as well. While in our first round, all teams had records of 0-1 (pffft, scrubs), this is the round where teams must have actually mustered a win in order to compete. All teams in this round are 1-1, so congrats to everyone for being perfectly mediocre at what we do. How exciting! Join us as losers continue to battle head-to-head to fight for redemption, coming back from embarrassing losses, terrifying finals, and (supposed) voter insanity. While you won’t enter back into the Winner’s Bracket, you may just find yourself the Ruler of Redemption. Before we get to the voting, let’s recap last night’s fantasy draft match-ups. Real World Bracket
Sorry, folks, but it looks like bitches couldn’t get stuff done this round, as u/honestkodaline and u/priorsloth take out u/NovaRogue’s team of powerhouses, badass women and vaguely creepy men with awkward-as-hell haircuts. I’ll be honest - I’d vote against this team solely because MTV’s favorite replacement is on here. This man makes me nauseous and I can’t put my finger on why. I mean, MJ and Cara Maria are the only people to have ever been used as replacements twice on The Challenge, likely because people like them oh so much. Both are some of the most likable, multi-dimensional players this game has ever seen. Plus, they always seem to know exactly how to style their hair. [I’m really stuck on this hair thing, it seems.] I’d also like to remind the people at home that MJ is a pimp who gets all the girls - even over Landon, who just wants a nice one. Just ONE NICE GIRL, okay?!? Damn it, MJ. Now Landon’s gotta go break glass in the hot tub. How could you? We all know how this final would end. MJ would be sopping wet, over Ibis, and they’d actually have a kid on the way. Rachel would be losing her mind over MJ: “The game is ugly, the inner circle is ugly, MJ is ugly, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.” Ruthie would be a hot fucking mess. And Jamie would be - Jaime? I don’t know. Moving on. Koda and Sloth’s team, on the other hand, was made for this final. They have Evelyn Smith, Harvard Law graduate, physical specimen, and alliance fucker - who also manages to say goodbyes more dramatic than Rose saying goodbye to Jack at the end of Titanic. It’s not wack. They have one member of the Wonder Twins who thinks there are 21 continents (she graduated from fifth grade and then went straight on The Real World, okay, Zach?), Cohutta Grindstaff, who knows how to manhandle wet bananas, and Ace Amerson, who has a thing against hairy, uncircumsized French guys. What could go wrong? So, we bid farewell to u/NovaRogue’s “Bitches Get Stuff Done.” At least we will still have their hilarious commentary and witty banter to look forward to in both Redemption House and Winner’s Bracket posts! To everyone else - fuck you, and fuck your alliance. Go dry off. - u/MandyMTV Road Rules Bracket
Nobody is drowning on our watch! The self-proclaimed “Luckiest team in the tournament” survives another round untouched by the big blue sea, or literally any other body of water. Honestly, I figured this matchup would be a tossup, and it wasn’t. Why not, you might ask? Truth be told, I haven’t the slightest idea. For some reason, people must look at Sam McGin and think, “Wow, that girl could find a key under a cowpie faster than a Cara can list all of her future intercourse locations in the Challenge house.” Or maybe they think Ninja would do well in a ghost town under the cover of darkness? I even read through the comments with reasoning from yesterday’s matchups and they all seemed valid, regardless of which team they were voting for, so to me, this is a baffling conundrum. Perhaps what it comes down to is this: three miles isn’t all that far to start out with, but Kenny, Leroy, Ninja, and yes, even Sam, would finish as a team faster than Landon, Svetlana, Jamie Chung, and Knight. Especially Knight. And, even if it was close, Sam’s key-finding ability that I completely just made up would vault the Drowners way ahead of their opponents, and the memory game would present no problem for Mr. Beautiful or his teammate Ninja. While the other team certainly was formidable (I think I voted for them. Tbh I forget who I voted for almost everyday), Mr. Beautiful and the Drowners live to see another match. Congrats to u/Switchstop! And, better luck next time, u/willtwerkf0rfood. I guess I’ll have to write more entertaining character descriptions for you next time, or you can write your own ;) - u/ND_PC Now, let’s get to voting on today’s matchups! Real World Bracket Match:u/PapaJon123 vs. u/goddamnsundayscaries Final: Battle of the Seasons (2012) Teams [u/PapaJon123]
Joss is a physical specimen. from lifting, running, swimming Joss can do it all. After Final Reckoning, Joss had a 2-1 record in elimination with his only loss being to an elimination king Derrick K. Also to note, the elimination he competed in was straight brutal. Joss also completed the Vendettas opening competition in first place.
Cooke: Though Cooke only competed in one season she finished second and gave many fans wanting more from her. Cooke carried Cara through most of the season as well as the final. If it wasn't for the beast Emily she could have won it for the girls. Also she was a collegiate soccer player so the athleticism on her is no joke. The only daily she won was also a puzzle/memorization so her puzzle skills are on par if not above average.
Nia Moore: Hurricane Nia what can I say, she has one trait I love for finals heart. Heart can push individuals to potential themselves never thought of. Nia showed when she was eliminated by Cara in Free Agents. When she came back for Exes2 she proved herself winning eliminations against Nany/Bananas and Wes/Theresa. Nia will be able to lean on Joss and Cooke pushing her with positive attitude to push her body to the limit.
Turabi “Turbo” Camikran started his Challenge career as a literally misunderstood Turkish warrior. He bonded quickly with Nany over god knows what, and was able to become the champion of the season with the hardest final ever, as a rookie. As far as I know, all the fans loved him. But everything changed when the fire nation attacked he was exposed as a temperamental nuisance the following season. Luckily, u/goddamnsundayscaries chose the version of Turbo who had not yet revealed himself to be a doggie-paddling hothead with a gait complex. Instead, he was an honor-obsessed competition machine who celebrated with Street Fighter moves after he won literally anything.
Nany Gonzalez has had multiple iterations on the show, and yes, I’m talking about her various cosmetic updates. At once a sympathetic heroine and a boisterous heel, she has been known to ruffle some feathers among the fans and on the show. This version of Nany happened before her cousin was ever on the show and before she freaked out versus Nia on Battle of the Exes II. Instead, she took home a second-place female finish behind only Laurel. Lucky for us, we still got some crazy Nany moments in Free Agents, like when she was defending Camila and wound up cursing her out, and we can do this shit all fucking day.
Marlon Williams once dated Jemmye, and once did this alongside his RW: Portland housemate Jordan. Before the Challenge, he played linebacker at Texas Tech. That’s… basically all you need to know about Marlon. He’s a strong dude with fine endurance, and will probably excel at this particular final because it’s mostly a combination of those two things (plus puzzles, though, so watch out).
Dear god, Nicole Ramos is on this team too? Nany’s aforementioned cousin works at a strip club, but she doesn’t dance! She has nothing to say to anybody, especially the girls who suck the farts out of each other’s asses. Let her eat her cheetos and be happy. And then what? Then what? Then what? What are you gonna do? Get the fuck out of her face. But really, her $299 mink eyelashes have that good glue, she once fought Britni for a barrel during a daily and lost the fight, and her birthday wish for Cara is that she stops aligning herself with Camila because Camila sucks and everyone hates her.
Battle of the Seasons Final Description - A big thank you to u/harsh-femme for providing this description!
The first phase of the final challenge begins with players from each team parachuting from a plane to ground level on the Namibian desert. Each team then sprints through the desert to their first checkpoint…
"Mind Field," in which each team has a 20-minute time limit to align nine numbers on a 3x3 grid to where each number equals 15 in each direction. After a team has correctly aligned the numbers, they can push a red button, which will detonate the designated "mine field" and enable a team to hop aboard a helicopter, which will take them over the mountains to the next checkpoint…
"Rung Out." Players from each team must swing a ring roped to a hook toward a pole until one player successfully hooks the ring to the pole. If a player misses, he/she has to take a drink of warm camel milk.
The next checkpoint is "Get Tired," in which each team must use multiple poles and ropes in order to carry a series of tires through the desert — for the four-player teams, it is eight tires; for the only two-player team, it is four tires.
A helicopter takes each team to the last checkpoint of the first phase, "Camel Nap," in which all but one player from each team must stand within a small designated rectangle in the sand, and supervise a camel overnight in a tent, while one team member gets to sleep by a nearby campfire.
A team is assessed a one-minute penalty to begin the second phase of the final challenge if one team member steps out of the rectangle for any reason while supervising the camel. The first team to arrive the "Camel Nap" checkpoint earns a 10-minute
headstart, the second-place team earns a five-minute headstart, while the third-place team does not earn a headstart.
After racing through numerous sand dunes, the first checkpoint of the second phase is "Hallucination Station," in which each team must locate words from a large chart from a distance of 15 feet in order to match an answer key needed to unlock wooden crates that each team will use at…
the "Sand Shift" checkpoint, in which each team must use the crates to transfer sand into their designated containers several feet away. Once the containers have been filled with sand, the final section is a race to the top of a sand dune, with a flag at the end.
Theo Campbell: With a strong second place finish his rookie season in a grueling WOTW 1 final, Theo Campbell is nothing short of what we want to see when it comes to athleticism on The Challenge. This is the man to lead my team through the final as long as he’s got the right teammates to utilize.
Georgia Harrison: Has always worked well with Theo and Bear, so chemistry needs to be taken into account imo. Has proven in the past two seasons she is one of the toughest contestants on the show. Made a final in WOTW 1 her rookie season. Won 3-4 eliminations.
Bear: Wild card. Has proven to be a tough competitor in elimination. Does work well with Theo and Georgia. If he spends less time focused on women he might make it farther in the game. But this scenario already puts him in the final and I believe he would perform well, especially with the partners I have chosen for him.
Morgan Willett: Have wanted to see more of her, we don’t have much to go on but I think that with these players she would def thrive in the final.
In ‘The Island,’ the ‘Sailing to Victory’ finale was quite simple: build a boat, sail to an island with your team, and unlock a treasure chest to win the ultimate prize.
Set-Up: Players were divided into teams. Each team had their own partially-finished boat. In addition, each competitor had a key given to them because of wins in daily competitions. Competitors were allowed to spend much of the night before the official final commenced to complete as much of their boat as possible. The final begins with players being given the final pieces of their boat as well as directions to The Island.
Obstacles: 1. Boat Building: Players had to complete their unfinished boats using pieces given to them the morning of the final. When players finished building their boats (or had their boats as complete as they deemed necessary) they were then eligible to begin their sail to the finish. 2. Navigation: Once in the water, players navigated high waves and tricky currants, attempting to set sail to the island containing the prize money. 3. Unlock the Prize: Upon reaching shore, players had to put their previously won keys into the corresponding locks to unlock the prize money.
Which of these teams deserves to move on in our quest to discover The Challenge Fantasy Draft’s Biggest Loser? You decide. VOTE HERE! Voting ends at 10 PM EST on Friday, February 7.
2020.01.23 15:34 honestkodaliner/MtvChallenge Fantasy Tournament - Day Fourteen
Welcome to the MtvChallenge Fantasy Tournament! For the past month, 64 users on our sub have been drafting teams of four to compete in hypothetical final challenges. Now that the draft is complete, it's time to decide who drafted the best team! This tournament will consist of two single-elimination brackets, The Real World and Road Rules. Once each bracket has a winner, the two winners will face off for the ultimate title. Before we get to today's vote, here are the results from day thirteen: REAL WORLD BRACKET - u/mthompson22599 "I'm Sorry I Picked Both Tonya and Kenny" vs. u/probzhyperbole; S9: Battle of the Sexes II I'm Sorry I Picked Both Tonya and Kenny - 86 probzhyperbole - 47 u/mthompson22599 may have drafted both Tonya and Kenny, but at least they didn't draft Adam and Cory, who are obviously incapable of... * checks notes * doing the limbo? (This final was little more than a string of carnival games, with the finale of a card memory game. What exactly did we think Kenny and co. could do that Sarah Rice can't do better?) ROAD RULES BRACKET - u/willtwerkf0rfood vs. u/wakemeupp; S8: The Inferno willtwerkf0rfood - 67 wakemeupp - 66 Well, this is officially the closest race we've had! u/willtwerkf0rfood pulls this out by the skin of their teeth - probably because voters were imagining Landon twerking. And I don't blame you - that is a lovely thing to imagine. Can we talk about what a non-final this was, as well? We are so blessed that this show is actually competitive now. Imagine if modern finals were like this. "And now, Paulie and Jordan will race in a taco-eating contest. Whoever can eat the most in three minutes will earn one million dollars. Ready. Set. Go!" Well, that's the end of the road for u/probzhyperbole and u/wakemeupp - EXCEPT IT'S NOT. The loser's bracket has begun! The voting works the same as this tournament, so essentially the only change is that now you have the opportunity to lose TWICE - and almost everyone will. Oh, happy days! Here's today's Redemption House round! Get over there and vote! Now let's get to today's vote! REAL WORLD BRACKET - u/BCastle18 “Team Weston is the Beston” vs. u/greghulks "Team Bob Marley-Hefner"; S22: Battle of the Exes Team Weston is the Beston: Landon Lueck (Fresh Meat 2), Adam Kuhn (Battle of the Exes 2), Sylvia Elsrode (Final Reckoning), Natalie Negrotti (Final Reckoning) (Yes, you read that right - Team Weston is the Beston does not actually feature Weston.) Team Bob Marley-Hefner: Hunter Barfield (Final Reckoning), Ashley Cain (War of the Worlds I), Ashley “Millionaire” Mitchell (Invasion of the Champions), Jenn Grijalva (Cutthroat) What the final entailed: Final location: Langjokull Glacier, Iceland; Final challenge: Viking Quest Objective: Race through a series of checkpoints to complete tasks and earn seven Viking Artifacts. Once you have all the artifacts, you’ll race up the Langjokull Glacier. First team to the top wins. Checkpoint One: Dog Sledding - Race a dogsled for one mile to checkpoint two. You will then run one mile. Keep in mind, it’s already gotten dark and it is currently 16 degrees Checkpoint Two: River Plunge - Jump into freezing water and touch the buoy in the river. Once you’re back on land, your time will be stopped. Times from Checkpoints One and Two will be combined, and the fastest time gets the best sleeping arrangements: Heaters, air mattresses, blankets, and more. The slowest team gets only yoga mats and sleeping bags. In the morning, the checkpoints begin again. Today, you’ll be racing another twelve miles. Checkpoint Three: Feast For a Viking - Eat the head of a deer, squares of soured shark, and drink a horn of sheep’s blood. Once the food has been consumed, you can continue on to Checkpoint Four. Checkpoint Four: Ice Key - Here, you must break through a block of ice to retrieve a key to unlock snowshoes. Then you’ll strap on the snowshoes and run to the next checkpoint. (There doesn’t appear to be any professionals on-hand to teach you how to attach these lovely pairs of footwear, so if you’re like CT, you’ll struggle through this and completely blow your lead while your partner looks on in frustration. Oh, city boys.) Checkpoint Five: Poled Out - This puzzle consists of 13 logs, arranged to make 6 complete boundaries, each containing a boulder. Using 12 of the logs, find a way to make six even shapes, then run for a mile to the next checkpoint. Checkpoint Six: What an Ice Hole - Using ice picks, dig your way through a snow tunnel. Once you’ve broken through to the other side, you’ll run a mile to the next checkpoint. (Unrelated to this final, but here is an actual quote from Bananas while Camila tries to break through the snow: “We always say, ‘Let the boys do it,’ when you always insist that the girls try. And this is why. Get out of the way.”) Checkpoint Seven: Sliced Up - Arrange a tower of blocks to match the puzzle guide. Once complete, run another mile to the next checkpoint. Checkpoint Eight: Using your seven artifacts, solve a puzzle by arranging the artifacts into a sundial. Once the puzzle is complete, you race up the glacier (or, if you’re CT, you crawl up while wishing for imminent death). First to the top wins! Why you should vote for Team Weston is the Beston: Landon in the night elimination against Luke and Ev literally dragged a almost unconscious Carley to a win and in the finals carried Carley up a mountain to get the win over 3 teams that on paper seemed stronger one of which included two top 10 challengers of all time in Kenny and Laurel with the weakest partner. Also did all of this while being respectful and supportive of his partner throughout showing he is very much a great team player. Only one team was in the main house all season on FR, it was Sylvia and Joss. They won the final endurance purge and won it rather comfortably. Showed that she can keep her composure in their elimination against John/Tony and many even believe that Sylvia and Joss were the rightful winners of FR, they also only lost by 40 seconds even while getting hit with two grenades. Why you should vote for Team Bob Marley-Hefner: Hunter (Final Reckoning) - In my opinion an underrated competitor with plenty of strength and drive. One weakness for him is his social/political game which should hopefully be minimised by the time he reaches a final and another is his lack of puzzle skills. However, among a team of people who are good at puzzles this should also be minimised - specifically teamed with Ashley whose skills balance his well and as long as there isn't a challenge around slut-shaming your teammates he'll be okay. Ashley M. (Invasion) - Brings different skills to the group with a proven talent for puzzles as well as having decent swimming and endurance capabilities. While she'll go on to have further success, Invasion Ashley has the advantage of getting along better with Hunter and has shown that once she makes it to a final she is highly motivated to get the win and the money. Jenn (Cutthroat) - A solid and experienced competitor with multiple elimination wins behind her to prove she's not all social game. With a (hopefully semi-decent) team around her this should hopefully translate to a good finals showing. Ashley C. (Wotw) - Smashed the first challenge (combining speed and a puzzle) on War of the Worlds against a strong field, beating all the other prospects and most of the veterans. Physically strong but also kept up in the endurance challenges. It took a blindfolded challenge to get him eliminated so has plenty of untapped potential. ROAD RULES BRACKET: u/appropriatelywhelmed vs. u/zacped; S21: Rivals appropriatelywhelmed: Dustin Zito (Battle of the Seasons II), Cohutta Grindstaff (The Ruins), Heather Cooke (Rivals II), Veronica Portillo (The Inferno) zacped: Paulie Calafiore (War of the Worlds I), Marlon Williams (Rivals II), Ashley Mitchell (Invasion of the Champions), Carley Johnson (Fresh Meat II) What the final entailed: The final was split into two days, for the first time in challenge history. The finale began with each team being dragged under water by a boat for 200 yards. When they let go of the rope, they would then need to swim to their kayaks and then row three miles down a river to the first checkpoint. At the first checkpoint, "Pet Rock," they would need carry a heavy rock and chain until told otherwise. The next checkpoint was "Memories", which was a campsite that the teams needed to memorize every single detail. When they felt confident in remembering the site, teams could continue on with their pet rock. The next checkpoint was "Pile Up", in which they needed to shovel mounds of dirt into a wheelbarrow and transfer it to a specified dump zone further away. They could not move on until the entirety of their dirt was transferred. The next checkpoint was "Re-creation Campsite" where the teams would recreate the campsite they had previously memorized. Once the campsite was correctly ted, teams could move on. If not, they had to run back to the original campsite to memorize the site again. Finally, teams reached the "Final Feast" checkpoint. They had to finish every plate they were offered before they could move on. Instead of the normal bugs and gross food the Challenge typically offered, this time teams had to eat a delicious feast that seemed to never end. Once finished, teams hiked up to a mountain and arrived at the "Sleep or Stand" checkpoint. Here one member had to stand and balance on a rock, while their teammate was able to sleep in a tent. If the teammate fell off the rock, they had to wake their partner and switch. This lasted all night until T.J. came in the morning. The second part of a challenge was a hike up a mountain. Teams started based off their arrival at the "Sleep or Stand" checkpoint with the first team receiving a two minute head start. Each team received an avalanche beacon programmed to the keys needed to unlock the trophy at the finish line. Once teams found their keys, they could race to the finish line to meet with T.J. and their prize. (Thanks to u/mthompson22599 for this summary!) Why you should vote for appropriatelywhelmed: Neither team here submitted player summaries, so all words are my own. (Though you'd probably have been able to tell that without my prompting.) Well, Dustin Zito might have gone full Donald Trump, but he was still the best character on Battle of the Seasons 2 - and by the best, I mean he was the only one I didn't actively hate. He was a supportive friend to Nany. He said iconic things to Frank and Trishelle. He absolutely lost his goddamn mind when Trishelle couldn't dive ten feet underwater. Vote for Dustin. Cohutta is Cohutta. Look at him. He is a man of the mountains. He is maybe the most wholesome cast member in the history of ever. He dated both KellyAnne and Nany. He beat the mighty Preston Roberson-Charles in an elimination. VOTE FOR COHUTTA. If you don't know why you should vote for Cooke, leave now and don't come back. Okay, that was aggressive. I didn't mean it. Guys, Cooke MIGHT be the best one-and-done competitor of all-time. She is now a professional soccer player in the Philippines. She won 3 eliminations. She peed into a pool of water that she would have fallen into, had she lost. But she knew she wouldn't lose. Because she's Heather Cooke. Also, can we talk about how shady her ONE line of "Career" section on Wikipedia is?
Cooke joined Swedish third-tier club Landsbro IF in April 2014, and captained the side to a last-place finish in the 2014 season.
If someone doesn't put respect on Cooke's name SOON, I am going to motherfucking RIOT. Vote for Cooke. Veronica drinks a lot of wine. She broke her finger once, I think. She basically invented the Challenge Bad Bitch. She created her own T-shirt line. She led her team to victory on Inferno. Vote for Veronica. Why you should vote for zacped: Paulie is big. Paulie is strong. Right now, he has a terrible haircut, but that is beside the point. He once lost two Redemption rounds to Da'Vonne and Jozea, but that is also beside the point. He is good at puzzles. He is good at gaslighting his girlfriends. I don't think I'm capable of staying on-point here. Vote for Paulie. Marlon is another one-and-done standout. He hooked up with Derek. (Marlon has come so far from his closeted days - these days, he thrives with men and women alike on the current season of Ex on the Beach.) He's not a great swimmer, and yes, he single-handedly lost his final for his single-handed partner. There was no redemption there. Marlon is the reason he and Jordan lost. Vote for Marlon. Ashley "Millionaire" Mitchell is a motherfucking two-time champion and stealer of hearts and money. She doesn't stand for slut-shaming, unless she's the one doing it. She flips from alliance to alliance every season. She beat a crew of champions on Invasion that included Laurel, Cara, Camila, and the most feared competitor of all, Ashley Kelsey. (Don't forget that she also triumphed over the majestic likes of Anika Rashaun and LaToya Jackson.) Vote for Ashley. Much like Michael Jordan in 1996, Carley Johnson pushed off (Landon) to earn her championship. I don't have much else to say about that, because now that I've brought up the Bulls'hit victory over the Utah Jazz I can't think about anything else. Vote for Carley. So which of these teams deserves to move ahead? You decide! VOTE HERE. Voting will close at 10pm EST, 1/23. Get to it!
2019.12.31 22:11 dottiemommyDiscussion Thread: r/Politics Year In Review 2019
As 2019 heads into 2020, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and some of the biggest stories on our subreddit, past discussion threads, and AMAs. Please use this thread to discuss your favorite stories, moments, and whatever else from the past year of politics, and have a safe and happy New Year!
2019.12.30 14:57 rusticgorillaLost in the Sauce: Dec 22 - 28
Edit Mon Jan 6: I worked all weekend, the edition of Lost in the Sauce that follows this one below from last week is going to be a little late - sorry about that! I hope to post it later today (Monday) or tomorrow morning at the latest. Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater. (the previous edition can be found here if you are super behind) Two important things: FIRST, the headings will guide you through this piece. The Main Course covers the “big” stories and The Sides covers the “smaller” stories. SECOND, I took a break from the audio TLDR this week. My apologies, been super busy. It will return for next week’s edition. Finally:
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Let’s dig in!
Ukraine aid: The truth
The New York Times published an in-depth look at what happened during the roughly three months that the aid to Ukraine was withheld, revealing new information that highlights how much evidence the administration has hidden (and is still hiding) from congressional investigators. The piece also underscores that Trump was involved in every decision every step of the way. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Russell T. Vought, the acting head of the Office of Management and Budget, Robert Blair, the senior adviser to Mulvaney, and Mark Paoletta, the budget office's top lawyer, were the key figures in executing Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. All three refused to comply with House impeachment investigation.
“I’m just trying to tie up some loose ends,” Mr. Mulvaney wrote. “Did we ever find out about the money for Ukraine and whether we can hold it back?” It was June 27, more than a week after Mr. Trump had first asked about putting a hold on security aid to Ukraine, an embattled American ally, and Mr. Mulvaney needed an answer. The aide, Robert B. Blair, replied that it would be possible, but not pretty. “Expect Congress to become unhinged” if the White House tried to countermand spending passed by the House and Senate, he wrote in a previously undisclosed email. And, he wrote, it might further fuel the narrative that Mr. Trump was pro-Russia.
Not everyone was onboard:
Pentagon officials, in the dark about the reason for the holdup, grew increasingly frustrated. Ms. McCusker, the powerful Pentagon budget official, notified the budget office that either $61 million of the money would have to be spent by Monday, Aug. 12 or it would be lost. The budget office saw her threat as a ploy to force release of the aid. At the White House, which had been looped into the dispute by the budget office, there was a growing consensus that officials could find a legal rationale for continuing the hold, but with the Monday deadline looming, it was a “POTUS-level decision,” one official said.
Among those who disagreed with Trump:
In late August, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser at the time, for a previously undisclosed Oval Office meeting with the president where they tried but failed to convince him that releasing the aid was in interests of the United States. ...“This is in America’s interest,” Mr. Bolton argued, according to one official briefed on the gathering. “This defense relationship, we have gotten some really good benefits from it,” Mr. Esper added, noting that most of the money was being spent on military equipment made in the United States. Mr. Trump responded that he did not believe Mr. Zelensky’s promises of reform. He emphasized his view that corruption remained endemic and repeated his position that European nations needed to do more for European defense. “Ukraine is a corrupt country,” the president said. “We are pissing away our money.”
This article is very detailed and important to read to understand the events surrounding the hold on the aid. Message me if you are stuck behind the paywall but would like to read it anyway. Here are some non-paywalled summaries: Business Insider, HuffPost.
Promotion for stonewalling
Last week, President Trump gave a big promotion to Mulvaney aide Robert Blair, just weeks after Blair refused to cooperate with a House subpoena for his testimony in the impeachment inquiry. As the above NYT piece describes, Blair played a key role in withholding the aid to Ukraine despite the pushback from top officials and legal risks. Blair is now the special representative for international telecommunications policy and “will support the Administration’s 5G efforts led by the Assistant to the President for Economy Policy, Larry Kudlow.” In addition, Blair “will continue to serve as Assistant to the President and the Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff.”
Trump’s July 25
Heidi Przybyla of NBC News noted an interesting detail from Trump’s Twitter feed on July 25, 2019 - the day that he spoke to Ukrainian President Zelensky on the phone. That morning, roughly an hour before the phone call, Trump was reading a Fox News poll (or saw the poll on TV) that showed Biden with a “commanding lead” for the Democratic nomination. The poll also included a hypothetical match-up between Biden and Trump in which Biden was favored by 10 percentage points. Although circumstantial, this evidence provides insight into Trump’s frame of mind at the time of the July 25 phone call. He had just read a poll showing that he’d lose against Biden; he viewed Biden as a threat to his re-election. It was with this mindset that Trump pressured Zelensky to announce an investigation into Biden, effectively smearing his potential 2020 opponent.
The impact on Ukraine
NBC News reports that the delay in aid to Ukraine has worried top Ukrainian officials and has “exposed the cracks in the West’s response to an emboldened Russia, inflicted permanent damage on Ukraine and heightened the risk of Moscow extending its influence in the country.”
U.S. support, in particular, is seen as essential in keeping what is widely seen as a bully in the East at bay. “Just the presence of the American army on the territory of Ukraine, in my opinion, already scares the enemy — even without any other aid,” said Ukraine Ground Forces Sgt. Maj. Yevhen Mokhtan, who works in this multinational training facility in western Ukraine.
Volodymyr Yermolenko, a professor who runs Ukraine World, an English-language media project aimed at combating disinformation and fake news: “The question about military aid to Ukraine is not about Ukraine; it’s about values. It’s about shifting Western liberal democracy eastward.”
Putin and Trump call
As has become routine, Americans learned from the Kremlin on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with our president by phone earlier in the day. 24 hours later and the White House still has not acknowledged the call or provided a readout of what was discussed. The Kremlin released a readout immediately after the call, saying the two leaders discussed counter-terrorism efforts and "matters of mutual interest.”
"Vladimir Putin thanked Donald Trump for the information shared via the special services that helped prevent terrorist acts in Russia," the Kremlin-provided statement said. "Several matters of mutual interest were discussed. An agreement was made to continue bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism."
Reminder: This is a little out of date, but as of Oct. 4, 2019, Trump had privately spoken to Putin at least 16 times since his inauguration. The actual content of these conversations is often disputed and not recorded in any way. Two government watchdog organizations filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for allowing Trump to seize notes from a meeting he had with Putin in 2017.
Trump outs the whistleblower
In an unprecedented step last week, the President of the United States put the alleged (and unsubstantiated) name of a federally-protected whistleblower out into the public. First, on Thursday, Trump retweeted a tweet sent by his re-election campaign (menacingly-named Trump “War Room”) containing an article that names the purported whistleblower. Then on Friday, in a late-night Twitter binge, Trump retweeted a post from a suspicious account with the name of the alleged whistleblower in the text of the tweet. In other words, Trump put the name of (who he believes is) the whistleblower on his official Twitter account, his main method of communication. According to CNN, Twitter confirmed it “has suspended some of the pro-Trump accounts that Trump had promoted Friday night.” CNN also reported that the tweet containing the whistleblower’s name was removed from Trump’s account, but for many people (myself included), it is still visible on Trump’s Twitter page. I will not link to it because I do not believe in assisting Trump’s effort to out the whistleblower, even if Trump’s identification is not accurate.
Congressional leaders are still stuck in a stalemate regarding the next steps in impeachment, as the Democrats call for a fair trial with witnesses and the Republicans lean towards a quick Senate trial with a predetermined result.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to all senators last Monday arguing that not only is witness testimony essential for a Senate trial - so is “the need for the Senate to review documentary evidence.” In addition to the four witnesses (John Bolton, OMB official Michael Duffey, and Mick Mulvaney and his senior adviser Robert Blair) previously proposed, Schumer lists a range of documents from the White House, State Department, and Office of Management and Budget. The letter specifically notes the recent - partially redacted - FOIA revelation that the aid to Ukraine was frozen just 91 minutes after Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky.
There simply is no good reason why evidence that is directly relevant to the conduct at issue in the Articles of Impeachment should be withheld from the Senate and the American people. Relevant documentary evidence currently in the possession of the Administration will augment the existing evidentiary record and will allow Senators to reach judgments informed by all of the available facts. To oppose the admission of this evidence would be to turn a willfully blind eye to the facts, and would clearly be at odds with the obligation of Senators to 'do impartial justice' according to the oath we will all take in the impeachment trial.
Further reading: Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal argues in The Washington Post that the FOIA email in which Duffey orders a hold on Ukraine aid is an important example of why witness testimony is necessary: “So it wasn’t enough for Duffey to order Defense Department officials to withhold the weapons from Ukraine. He needed to order them to withhold the legally required alert to Congress. And that’s just what he did… If there’s any doubt about what the email meant, Duffey could clear it up by testifying. But he has dodged all attempts to do so.”
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told a local news station that she was “disturbed” to hear McConnell describe “total coordination” with the White House in planning and carrying out the Senate’s impeachment trial. However, Murkowski has given no other indication that she intends to break with McConnell’s approach.
A couple of weeks ago, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham invited Rudy Giuliani to testify before the panel about his recent trip to Ukraine. “Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Graham said in an interview on “Face the Nation.” However, it now seems that Graham is having second thoughts due to the realization that Giuliani may be trying to spread Russian propaganda: “My advice to Giuliani would be to share what he got from Ukraine with the IC [intelligence community] to make sure it’s not Russia propaganda. I’m very suspicious of what the Russians are up to all over the world.”
During Giuliani’s trip to Ukraine, he met with numerous pro-Russia individuals, including one - Andriy Derkach - who attended a KGB school in Moscow. Derkach has been identified as a source (but not the only source) of the discredited claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, not Russia.
Daily Beast: “I wouldn’t trust Rudy to represent me in a parking dispute so I’d say avoid,” one senior GOP Senate aide said when asked about any plans for a Ukraine briefing.
Typically, in the Senate impeachment trial, the President’s White House lawyers make up the “defense” lawyers. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that Trump’s team may include House Republicans:
The president has indicated that Mr. Cipollone would lead his legal defense team but is considering adding others with the television experience he values. Under consideration are Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal lawyers, and Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and TV commentator, officials said. The White House is also considering adding some of the president’s staunchest defenders on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to the Senate trial team, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
Legal analyst Ross Garber notes that the impeachment managers (House Democrats that “try” the case) and Senate Democrats would likely object to such an arrangement:
Curious that members of the Legislative Branch would formally represent the Executive, esp in a House v POTUS proceeding. I’d expect an objection from managers/Senate Dems. (Informal advice is one thing, but acting as the President’s - or Presidency’s - lawyers is different.)
Impeachment, Round Two?
In a court filing last week, House Judiciary Committee attorneys argued that they urgently require Mueller’s grand jury materials and Don McGahn’s testimony for their continuing impeachment investigation: “The Committee’s investigations did not cease with the House’s recent impeachment vote.” House lawyers added that if the court rules quickly, the materials and testimony would be presented in the Senate’s trial.
If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment. [page 12]
The two cases will be heard by three-judge panels of the D.C. Appeals Court on Jan. 3; the McGahn panel is made up of Judges Karen LeCraft Henderson, Thomas B. Griffith, and Judith W. Rogers; the Mueller case will be heard by Judges Griffith, Rogers, and Neomi Rao.
Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman used the recent court filings to argue that Trump could be impeached for a second time: “Don’t dismiss it as an absurd idea just yet. Not only might it happen, but it also might be absolutely necessary.” Waldman believes that between the possibility of discovering currently-unknown misdeeds Trump already committed and the possibility that Trump commits future crimes, a second impeachment “might be all but inevitable.” However, former SDNY prosecutor Elie Honig threw cold water on the idea that the Mueller materials and/or McGahn’s testimony could lead to another impeachment push:
”Legally, yes, there’s nothing preventing the House from returning more Articles of Impeachment or impeaching again. But let’s operate in the real world: there’s just no way. No way it works politically, no way the public embraces it, no way Pelosi permits it.”
In yet another freewheeling interview (over daytime Bloody Mary drinks), Giuliani told New York Magazine that if the Southern District of New York Attorney’s office is investigating him, “they’re idiots” and “assholes.”
“If they think I committed a crime, they’re out of their minds,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years. I know how not to commit crimes. And if they think I’ve lost my integrity, maybe they’ve lost theirs in their insanity over hating Trump with some of the things they did that I never would’ve tolerated when I was U.S. Attorney.”
Giuliani suggested the SDNY prosecutors are jealous of him.
“It’s a terrible thing to say because it will get the Southern District all upset, but I know why they’re all upset,” Giuliani said. “Because they’ve never done anything like me since me. They haven’t done an eight years like I did since I left being U.S. Attorney. Nothing close.”
Giuliani also addressed the allegations against his client, President Trump, and in the process admitted that it would be in character for Trump to withhold military aid dedicated to Ukraine:
He didn’t think it was such a big deal once he read about it [the freeze on aid], he said, because it was “typical Trump; he withholds aid till the last minute until he makes them beg for it.”
And, finally, to top off the interview, Giuliani claimed that former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is “controlled” by George Soros. Then the former NYC mayor launched into an extended anti-semitic diatribe:
“He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents.” I told him he sounded crazy, but he insisted he wasn’t. “Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” he said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DA’s in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”
Further reading: “Rudy Giuliani's anti-Soros tirade exposes three uncomfortable truths.” CNN. 12/24/19. And “Rudy Giuliani Doubles Down On Anti-Semitic Attacks Against George Soros.” HuffPost. 12/24/19.
New CyberCom approach
Military cyber officials are developing information warfare tactics that could be deployed against senior Russian officials and oligarchs if Moscow tries to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections through hacking election systems or sowing widespread discord, according to current and former U.S. officials. One option being explored by U.S. Cyber Command would target senior leadership and Russian elites, though probably not President Vladimir Putin, which would be considered too provocative, said the current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. The idea would be to show that the target’s sensitive personal data could be hit if the interference did not stop, though officials declined to be more specific. ...The intelligence community last month issued a classified update — a “national intelligence estimate” — asserting that Russia’s main goal in the 2020 campaign continues to be to sow discord. “It’s always been about exacerbating fault lines in our society,” one senior U.S. official said. (The Washington Post or non-paywalled option)
The streaming service Spotify announced last week that “pause” political advertising in early 2020 because it does not have the resources to properly police the content of such ads. “At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” a representative of the company said. Reminder: Twitter has banned all ads from political candidates, officials, and political parties on its platform. Google has limited advertisers’ ability to micro-target users based on political affiliation. Meanwhile, Facebook has taken the opposite approach, allowing political ads on its platform without any fact-checking. According to the Wall Street Journal (non-paywall, millionaire Facebook board member Peter Thiel was a driving force behind the decision not to crack down on political ads, despite some directors and executives arguing for limitations or a complete ban. Thiel is a supporter of Donald Trump; Thiel and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attended an “undisclosed dinner” hosted by Trump at the White House in October.
A major donor to Trump’s campaign, Thiel is also the chairman of Palantir, a private data technology company that has become one of the largest recipients of government defense contracts with the United States government since Trump took office. (NBC News)
State wins and setbacks
A win for voter rights in North Carolina:
Republican attempts to require photo identification to vote in North Carolina are being thwarted again by judges hearing arguments that the mandate is tainted by bias that would deter black and Latino residents. A federal court announced that next week U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs will formally block a photo ID requirement scheduled to begin in 2020. Unless the upcoming preliminary injunction is successfully appealed, the requirement will be halted until a lawsuit filed by the state NAACP and others is resolved. (NBC News)
And a setback for voter rights in Georgia:
Georgia doesn’t have to put almost 100,000 voters back on its rolls, a federal judge ruled Friday. The US district judge Steve C Jones ruled that a voting rights advocacy group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams is improperly asking him to interpret state law. Jones also said the group hasn’t proved that people who have been removed had their constitutional rights violated. However, Jones also ordered Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to do more to warn people that they had been removed. The judge is especially singling out a south-west Georgia state House district where a 28 January special election is scheduled. Voters there who have been removed have only until Monday to re-register. (The Guardian)
Further reading: “The Decade When Republicans Stole the States: How the North Carolina GOP's anti-democratic chicanery became the national party's playbook for electoral theft,” The New Republic.
Andrew McCabe, the ousted deputy director of the FBI, says the Trump administration is withholding evidence related to his lawsuit. McCabe sued the FBI and the Department of Justice after he was fired in March 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions just two days before he was set to retire. McCabe's attorney, Murad Hussain, filed a declaration on Tuesday claiming that several agencies and 30 individuals — including current FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General William Barr and Mr. Trump — have yet to hand over any materials requested as part of his lawsuit against his former employer. (CBS News)
In a court filing last week, the Justice Department hinted that it may seek a harsher sentence for Michael Flynn, who has shifted legal strategy and taken an openly hostile approach to the DOJ. Flynn’s sentencing is set for Jan. 28.
Exodus of immigration judges:
Over the past year, in the heat of a border migration crisis, 45 judges have left, moved into new roles in the immigration court system -- which is run by the Justice Department -- or passed away, according to the department. That's nearly double the number who departed their posts in fiscal years 2018 and 2017, when 24 and 21 judges left, respectively, according to data provided by the judges union. The reasons why individual judges have moved on from their posts on the bench vary, but in interviews with judges who left in recent months, one theme ties them all together: frustration over a mounting number of policy changes that, they argue, chipped away at their authority...Their departures come as the Justice Department faces a backlog that exceeds 1 million cases. (CNN)
Border wall: I’m not going to excerpt this because it’s hard to separate one piece from the whole. It is a very important article and I hope everyone will take the time to read it: “Southern border wall is destroying natural habitats,” The Hill.
US Contractors supported Taliban
Nearly 400 people who were either wounded while serving in the U.S. military in Afghanistan or are family members of service members who died in the conflict sued a group of companies on Friday they say helped fund attacks against Americans by making protection payments to the Taliban. “Defendants supported the Taliban for a simple reason: Defendants were all large Western companies with lucrative businesses in post-9/11 Afghanistan, and they all paid the Taliban to refrain from attacking their business interests,” the 288-page complaint filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Friday states. “Those protection payments aided and abetted terrorism by directly funding an al-Qaeda-backed Taliban insurgency that killed and injured thousands of Americans.” ...”In addition to MTN [South African telecom firm], the complaint names the London-headquartered G4S Holdings International and its subsidiaries, the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida company Centerra Group, the Bethesda, Maryland company DAI Global, the Lenoir City, Tennessee firm Janus Global Operations, Overland Park, Kansas’ Black & Veatch Special Projects and the Canadian company Louis Berger Group and its subsidiaries and affiliates. (Courthouse News)
Trump’s Christmas party
Trump held a Studio 54-themed Christmas Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, attended by Rudy Giuliani, Alan Dershowitz, and recently-pardoned war criminal Edward Gallagher. Parties like these cost the American taxpayers money, as more Secret Service agents are required to provide security for a large bash. Not to mention the money spent at Mar-a-Lago by White House staff and administration officials to attend. Who else was at the party? None other than close friend of Vladimir Putin - and captain of the Washington Capitals - Alex Ovechkin and his wife, Nastya Ovechkina.
GEO Group and Trump
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) sent a letter to the GEO group last week expressing “serious concerns about possible corruption” raised by the private prison company’s spending at Trump’s D.C. hotel. The Senator and Representative request additional information from the company about the “ten to twenty” times GEO execs stayed at Trump’s hotel.
A senior executive of the GEO Group—the nation’s largest private prison and immigrant detention company—who lobbied the Trump administration for a multimillion-dollar cash infusion has also been staying in the luxurious Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., billing an unknown sum to his corporate expense account, according to previously unreported records unearthed by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), a non-profit watchdog. The admission by David J. Venturella, GEO’s senior vice president of business development, came in a June 2019 deposition in an ongoing federal court case…Venturella testified that he had charged Trump hotel bills to his GEO credit card on at least 10 occasions. ...GEO became an avid fan of then-candidate Donald Trump after President Barack Obama’s Justice Department promised to stop approving new federal private prison contracts days after a report determined that private prisons were not necessarily cheaper than government-run ones, causing the company’s stock to plummet 40 percent. What followed was an outpouring of cash from GEO: hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to pro-Trump political groups and to his inauguration; and over $4 million in Washington lobbying, much of it directed at the Trump administration. For its part, the administration reversed Obama’s policy and has dramatically boosted GEO’s immigrant detention revenue. (Project On Government Oversight)
Not only did the report include phone records indicating calls between Nunes and numbers associated with Giuliani and Parnas (Nunes claims the Parnas calls actually came from a number associated with Parnas’ wife and that he spoke with “someone,” he does not recall who), it also indicated deep ties between Nunes’ office and the White House. At least three former Nunes staffers currently work in the White House. A onetime National Security Council staffer in the Trump White House, meanwhile, currently works for Nunes. The names of all of these officials have surfaced in recent months in connection with the Ukraine scandal, and three of them were mentioned in the intelligence committee report.
Government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit demanding the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an agency tasked with enforcing the Hatch Act, take more disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act.
The law explicitly states that should OSC determine disciplinary actions should be taken against an employee, it must immediately prepare and present a written complaint to MSPB. The lawsuit would compel OSC to comply with its duty to begin enforcement proceedings with MSPB against Conway. CREW filed multiple complaints against Conway, as she blatantly used her official government Twitter account and her press appearances to advocate for and against candidates for office. Conway is one of eleven Trump administration officials who have been cited for Hatch Act violations following CREW complaints.
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