Not Licensed by the NFL Professional Football Craft Projects (Fourth Edition)

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Of course, I couldn’t welcome the football season without doing another annual post on NFL crafts. Indeed, the NFL may not be keen on you making your own gear if you intend to sell it. Well, unless you buy some craft supplies with your favorite team’s logo on it, which may cost you a shitload of money. However, you can do quite fine if you just use craft supplies in  your team’s colors as well. Nonetheless, once you make your NFL craft creation, you can sell it on Etsy. You can put it up in your home during the season or even wear it on game day if possible. If you don’t believe me, you can see what they have on Pinterest, Etsy, or Google Images. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another treasury of NFL craft projects. Enjoy.

 

  1. With this glass, you can raise a toast to football.

Has a football top, a field goal stem, and a field bottom. And yes, it’s painted for decoration.

2. A Jacksonville Jaguars wreath must have ribbons.

Indeed, the Jaguars aren’t among the Best NFL teams. Yet, the ribbon decorations add a nice touch.

3. Cover your New Orleans bed with this Saints quilt.

It’s mostly a patchwork with wide range of patterns. Though doesn’t New Orleans mostly enjoy warm weather?

4. Grace your front door with this Miami Dolphins yarn wreath.

Consists of orange and white felt rosettes on the bottom. Even has a felt Dolphins logo, too.

5. Support your Denver Broncos with this wooden panel.

Has “Broncos” in raised wooden letters. But the logo is painted.

6. Adorn yourself for the big game with these Patriots earrings.

I don’t think I can wear these since they’re long. And they contain the Patriots logo.

7. Light up your football home with this Dallas Cowboys block light.

This one has festive Cowboys ribbons. And the Dallas star is simple to replicate.

8. Keep yourself warm with this crocheted Patriots hat.

It’s mostly shaped like a football with pom poms on top. Also has braided strings attached.

9. Do you want to build a Packers snowman?

Has a felt Packer hat and a green scarf. Like how it carries a little branch with a star.

10. Your little Dallas Cowboy would love this crocheted cheerleading outfit.

Consists of a cowboy hat and a skirt. Nonetheless, I don’t think the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders set a good example.

11. Look snazzy at the tailgate party in this fancy Pittsburgh Steeler apron.

You can even trim it with black and gold zebra stripes. Includes gold ribbon.

12. Set down your drinks on these Seattle Seahawks crocheted coasters.

For some reason, they seem shaped like bottles though. Not sure why.

13. Make sure to stop at Atlanta Falcons Avenue.

Okay, this is a decomesh wreath. Yet, it has a felt Falcons sign.

14. Show your love for the New York Giants on a plate.

Well, license plate letters anyway. But make sure they’re on a wooden panel.

15. A Redskins grapevine wreath gets in the fall spirit.

To be fair, it doesn’t have the Redskins logo on it. Though the name is offensive just the same.

16. Bring in the Kansas City spirit with this felt Chiefs wreath.

This one includes a bow and the Kansas City arrowhead logo. And it should do nicely on your front door.

17. With this tree slice, show the pride of Ravens Nation.

Though it’s best not to let them know that they’re the original Cleveland Browns. Seriously, that’s how they got their start.

18. Step out in style in these Seattle Seahawks heels.

Decorated with glitter, ribbons, and a blue bow. Also, doesn’t seem suited for the stadium.

19. Make sure to touch your hair with this Tampa Bay Buccaneers bow.

Haven’t had a lot of Tampa Bay Buccaneers stuff on my NFL posts this year. Not sure why.

20. Care for a Green Bay Packers flower?

This is part of a headband. Yet, the Packers logo brings out the team spirit.

21. Step in the shower in these Baltimore Ravens flip flops.

However, understand that flip flops don’t have a long shelf life. As far as I can tell from my experience.

22. Nothing is so festive like a New England Patriots bauble wreath.

Though fragile, none of them are deflated. Unlike the Patriots’ footballs some years back.

23. Keep your things safe in this stylish Steeler handbag.

Goes well with the Steeler apron I previously showed. And yes, it has a gold bow to match.

24. A Saints wreath should always be a festive one.

You can tell since it has a football at the center. Yet, it seems more like a Mardi Gras decoration.

25. Need a pair of Colt hooks.

If you live in Indianapolis, I guess. Includes horseshoe hooks with stars on them.

26. How about an Oakland Raider in all sequins?

Well, he’s not all made out of sequins. Just the helmet. Though the sword is made of beads.

27. Show your team’s support with this Tennessee Titans charm bracelet.

Comprises of beads in team colors along with the Titans’ logo and football charm. Goes well with a team jersey.

28. Show your Indianapolis pride with this Colts grapevine wreath.

IT’s mostly blue with a decomesh ribbon. But the large “COLTS” letters says it all.

29. Keep yourself warm at the Mile High City with this Denver Broncos quilt.

Has the Broncos logo at the center. And this guy is proud to show it.

30. Snuggle during the game with this New England Patriots doll.

Is that a voodoo doll? And if so, can I stick pins in it? Well, it’s not like the Patriots are known for playing fair.

31. On cold days, it helps to wear a crotched Seahawks beanie.

Includes a flower sewn on by a button. And you can wear it at the game.

32. Feel free to leave your things in this Colts jar.

Not sure what this used for. But I bet it makes a handy decoration.

33. You’ll always be prepared with this Steelers diaper bag.

It’s an ideal gift for any new Steeler dad. Bet it includes a Steelers binky or two.

34. Keep the Packers spirit by hanging this wreath.

Mostly consists of ripped felt strips. And it’s touched by the logo and ribbons.

35. If you’re hooked on the Steelers, try this panel.

It’s a panel with hooks for coats an’at. And yes, it’s a must have for Steeler fanatics.

36. Your cups will always be snug with these crocheted Seahawks cozies.

You can use them to put on your Starbucks cup if they get your name wrong. Each also has a logo and team name.

37. Catch the sun with this Pittsburgh Steeler suncatcher.

Depicts the Pittsburgh Steeler logo in white. And here it’s hanging in front of the window in black and gold glory.

38. Step out to the game in these New York Giants flats.

They’re even covered in glitter for extra shimmer. They’re also easier on the feet than heels.

39. Don’t like wreaths? How about a Bengals B?

This one has a B in tiger stripes and a football on top. Perfect for anyone in Cincinnati.

40. Celebrate the football season with this San Francisco 49ers decomesh wreath.

Includes a 49ers flag. Yet, the S and F really stand out here.

41. You can keep your head warm with these crotched San Diego Chargers hats.

One has a pom pom top. The other has a flower. Each have a lightning bolt.

42. Bring on the black and gold with this Pittsburgh Steelers wreath.

This one has an intricate pattern around the wreath. Still, you have to love the bow and logo.

43. On cold days, cuddle up with this Indianapolis Colts blanket.

This one is in a Colts pattern in felt. Not sure what’s underneath.

44. You’ll be charged up in this apron.

Since it’s an apron for the San Diego Chargers. Yes, I know they moved to Los Angeles.

45. This Philadelphia Eagles bottle light will shine quite bright.

Contains the Eagles logo. Yet, please don’t bring it to the Super Bowl party if they win.

46. Any Indianapolis Colts fan would love to hang this panel.

Well, this one seems like you’d find it at the NFL store. Yet, it’s within a blue frame.

47. Salute your Dallas Cowboys with these bottles.

The two side ones have zigzag stripes. While the center one contains the Dallas Cowboys star.

48. Perhaps a Seahawks diaper bag might interest you.

Well, this is a different diaper bag variation. Comes with many pockets on the outside.

49. This baby pillow and blanket will do nicely in a Seahawks nursery.

But please don’t put the pillow in the crib until they’re at the toddler stage. Nonetheless, the bright green seems rather soft.

50. No Houston Texan fan can do without a wreath like this.

It’s decomesh with wooden logo of the Texans. Great for any front door in Houston.

51. Greet your guests with this Washington Redskins wreath.

Includes a football and bear. And yes, everything but the flowers has the Redskins logo.

52. Bet this rock belongs to the New Orleans Saints.

Has fleur de lis and the words “Saints” painted on a rock. And it’s propped on a metal frame.

53. Know who dat with this New Orleans Saints wreath.

You can see the fleur de lis on the decomesh. Also includes football.

54. Any little Miami Dolphins fan would love this crotched cap.

Still, I don’t see the need for a cap like this in Miami. But it’s kind of cute.

55. For the big game, wear a Colts headband for luck.

This one has a large Colts horseshoe on it. Perfect for the big game.

56. You’d fall in love with this Pittsburgh Steelers snow family.

Well, it’s A Christmas ornament. But you have to love their black and gold scarves and ear muffs.

57. Hope you can sleep tight with this New England Patriots dream catcher.

However, if you want a life like Tom Brady, then dream on. Because that won’t happen.

58. Show your Dallas pride with this Cowboys palette.

Has the Dallas star on top. A must have for Cowboys fans.

59. Any Seahawk fan would love to have this garden stand in their garden.

Has the Seahawk logo with a border of blue shades. Love the wire work though.

60. This Redskins wreath can hit a fan right in the heart.

Even has roses on it. Kind of quaint for a wreath dedicated to a team with a racial slur name.

61. Show up to the big game in this Broncos dress.

Though it seems rather short. Has orange and white straps.

62. Dress your mile high bed with this Broncos quilt.

Mostly consists of orange and blue squares. And each square has a Broncos logo.

63. With this Steelers quilt, you’ll never freeze during the game.

Has the Steeler logo in the center. While it’s surrounded by squares of black and gold.

64. You can always bundle up in this Seahawks scarf.

Consists of blue, white, and green zigzags. Perfect for the cold Seattle weather.

65. A tulle wreath is all you need in Steelers country.

It’s mostly black with the logo in tulle. The flag is on top to match.

66. In the Seattle cold, put on this Seahawks hat and scarf.

Both hat and scarf feature the Seahawk Logo. And are both trimmed in lime green.

67. Perhaps a painted Patriot suncatcher may suit you.

Includes the Patriot logo over a star. And they’re encased with an oval frame.

68. Kick back and relax in this Seattle Seahawks lawn chair.

This one has bright green arms and a seahawk eye back. And yes, it’s quite colorful.

69. Cover yourself at the game with this Pittsburgh Steeler blanket.

Well, this one isn’t as well done as some of the quilt. But they tried their best.

70. This Seahawks blanket is perfect for any game.

It’s blue with green stripes, too. Even has a football pattern to match.

71. Show Baltimore pride with this Ravens shell pennant.

Well, this is kind of ingenious. Though it has the Baltimore Raven logo on it.

72. In Wisconsin, you must lounge in this Packers chair.

This one has the G on the back. Perfect for a Cheesehead’s porch.

73. A Patriots fan would adore this license plate panel.

This one has the team spelled on a plate. And the Patriots logo on the side.

74. In Pittsburgh, get lit with this sophisticated bottle light.

Even comes with grapes. Wonder if I should get something like this for my dad.

75. You can’t resist this Dallas Cowboy snowman.

Not exactly sure what this is made of. Still, do they have snowmen in Texas. Because I don’t think it snows there.

76. Anyone in Arizona would want this Cardinal palette.

Yes, that cardinal certainly looks fierce. Though it looks a bit odd made out of planks.

77. You’d find this glass has a Minnesota Viking on it.

Not sure if you’d want to drink out of it. Also, real Vikings didn’t wear horns on their helmets.

78. Best you can hang this Packers wreath on your door.

It’s made out of decomesh. And it has a Packers logo in the center.

79. Show your pride for Steeler Nation with this wreath of flags.

It’s a decomesh with flags in a clockwise position. Has Steelers logo in the center.

80. This Bud Light wreath will make any Dallas Cowboy fan say, “Dilly, Dilly.”

Well, at least it matches the stars. Though they wish all their rivals will end up in the pit of misery.

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The Interesting Life of NFL Merchandise (Fourth Edition)

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In American sports, the NFL is among the most powerful and richest organizations since football is the country’s most popular sport. And while the NFL makes tons of money with promotions and ticket sales, they earn a shitload from merchandise. As the NFL season comes at the end of August, you will see plenty of it at any local store. Though they’ll most likely sell crap with your local team’s logo on it. Nonetheless, from how I’ve done NFL merchandise posts during the last three years, you can see how the NFL is willing to sell just about anything. Of course, the NFL has been well known for its cash-grab schemes since their gear usually has a high markup. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another treasure trove of crazy NFL crap. Enjoy.

 

  1. Know any time of day with this Dallas Cowboys light up clock.

Now you can tell what time it is after the game and make your home look like a shady club at the same time. Still, this is kind of ridiculous.

2. Lean back in this New York Giants seat.

Wonder if it’s for a car since it sure looks like it. Wouldn’t be surprised.

3. Perhaps you’d like a large Miami Dolphins coffee table.

Still, I don’t think I’d want a large sports logo coffee table in my living room. Kind of tacky for my taste.

4. Light your game room with this overhead Green Bay Packers light.

This is in an awning and is more suited for a bar room. Particularly above a pool table.

5. Show your Steeler pride with this black and gold ring.

Look, I know Pittsburgh is Steelers country. But how nuts do you have to be to get this?

6. Care for a Carolina Panthers can bag?

Since it’s shaped like a can. Guess this is some sort of cooler. Not sure what to think of it.

7. Put your head back on this New England Patriots head seat cover.

This is for a car. Still, I’m not sure why anyone would bother for to buy something like this.

8. Fire up for the game with this Dallas Cowboys drum grill.

Well, at least this seems kind of quaint. But it must cost a fortune.

9. Nothing makes a Seahawks game like baking Seahawks cookies.

Since these are Seahawks cookie cutters. And yes, they’re detachable with details.

10. Back the boys in this Dallas Cowboy dress.

Of course, I’m sure any Dallas girl would want this dress. Even has a large star on it.

11. In Miami, slip into this long Dolphins dress.

At least it doesn’t have sleeves. But the orange stripe on an aqua blue skirt says it all.

12. Look snappy in this Green Bay Packers cheese top hat.

Well, they have other kinds of cheese hats, too. This one is for the rich snobs who go to the opera afterwards.

13. Keep your pool table in ship’s shape with this Oakland Raiders cover.

Not a fan of pool tables. Even less of a fan on covers. Besides, I’m sure anyone who owns a pool table could find a cheaper cover.

14. Go for a drive in this fancy Green Bay Packers car.

Even comes with white wall tires. Still, is very expensive as hell and not worth the money.

15. Enjoy the game in this cheesy cowboy hat.

Indeed, they have cowboy hats, too. Then again, Wisconsin has a lot of cows. But they’re dairy cows. Not beef cattle you round up to put on a train to a Chicago slaughterhouse.

16. Snuggle with your American Girl doll in her Green Bay Packers pajamas.

Really? American Girl Packers PJs? This is insane!

17. Keep yourself warm during the winter in this Miami Dolphins onesie?

I don’t think Miami even gets cold. So why does this onesie exist?

18. Lace yourself tight in this Denver Broncos corset.

Yes, it’s another Denver Broncos corset. And yes, it contains ribbon laces.

19. This Christmas, grace your tree with this shiny Buffalo Bills nutcracker ornament.

The soldier even has a helmet on. And yes, it’s pretty terrifying.

20. You can’t celebrate Christmas without a Cleveland Browns shoe ornament.

I don’t get this. How do football and high heels go together? And what does it have to do with Christmas?

21. Apparently, Santa likes watching the Packers and checkers.

Santa even has a Packers sweater. Even his elf is dressed in Packers gear.

22. When Santa is in Minnesota, he decks Vikings gear.

And he’s even dressed in purple to match. Wait a minute, that can’t be right.

23. In Jacksonville, it helps to have Jaguars chair ornament on your Christmas tree.

Even has its own cup holder. Still, why would anyone buy this? It’s ridiculous.

24. Keep your black and gold M&Ms in this Steelers dispenser.

How do you get black and gold M&Ms? Because I have no idea.

25. Now your dog can be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.

Yes, this is a Dallas Cowboys cheerleading outfit for dogs. You can see how ridiculous and stupid this is.

26. Serve your tailgate grub in this Seattle Seahawks kickasserole dish.

I’m sure the decals add more to the price tag. You can get a cheaper plain one at Wal Mart.

27. Carry your things in this elegant New Orleans Saints shoe purse.

And one with a high heel at that. Not sure why any woman would want to carry it around with her.

28. Find the time of day with this Dallas Cowboys gem encrusted watch.

I’m sure this is way overpriced. Seriously, why would anyone buy this crap?

29. Don’t like the Patriots? Get this deflated football hat.

Don’t need to put much air in it. And you can wear it when the Patriots are in your neck of the woods.

30. Kick back and relax in this Oakland Raiders easy chair.

This one doesn’t have a foot rest or ottoman. But it sure looks comfy.

31. Hope you can settle in this leather Miami Dolphins.

Even comes with a fancy foot rest. So you can prop up your tired feet.

32. Be the king of your castle in this Packers cheese crown.

Don’t worry. It’s not made out of cheese. Yet, you have to wonder how many kinds of cheese hats the Packers have.

33. Keep your food fresh in this Dallas Cowboys wheeled cooler.

Sure you want to keep your food fresh. But please, a plain one will do just as fine.

34. Speaking of Dallas Cowboys, perhaps you might want a stepping stone for your garden.

Not sure why anyone would want this. It’s just garden decor which doesn’t have much of a purpose.

35. Enjoy the game with this Cincinnati Bengals bowl.

Is this a trash can? Because the shape would explain a lot.

36. Men, spice up your night in this Seattle Seahawks thong.

That’s just a piece of cloth with ribbons on it. I guess guys wear it to cover their junk.

37. You can’t bake without this New Orleans Saints cake pan.

Or you can just make a helmet cake and put a fleur de lis on it. Since that would be cheaper than buying this.

38. If you’re Jewish, wear your team on your yarmulke.

This one is from the Indianapolis Colts. Wouldn’t be surprised if they had other NFL gear for other faiths. Like a plush Vishnu doll wearing a Jets jersey.

39. Start out your day with a cup of Steelers gourmet roast.

Indeed, I don’t know why I don’t see this in a store. But it won’t give you a lot of yards rushing.

40. Keep your teeth nice and clean with this Green Bay Packers toothbrush.

I get it why they sell these toothbrushes. Still, it’s probably overpriced just the same.

41. You can fix anything with some Green Bay Packers duck tape.

Yet, it’s yellow with the Packers logo on it. So be careful when you apply it.

42. Top your Christmas tree with this Steeler angel.

Well, she’s in a Steelers gown. Luckily, she sits with golden wings.

43. Store your drinks in this Carolina Panthers cooler.

Sure this cooler may be used to keep drinks chilled. But the logo just adds more to the price tag.

44. Be ready for game day wearing these NFL onesie suits.

Unlike the previous ones I showed, these have hoods. And yes, they will make you look like an idiot.

45. If you like Barry Sanders, you might like this signed urinal.

Barry Sanders was a player for the Detroit Lions. But I’d sure like to know how he managed to sign it.

46. Look snazzy in this Green Bay Packers suit.

Comprises of yellow pants with a Packers jacket and tie. And yes, it’s as tacky as hell.

47. Cheer your team wearing this cheesy baseball cap.

Well, if you’re a Packers fan anyway. And yes, it’s probably made out of yellow foam.

48. Bet you’d want to pack something in this Packers pipe.

Seems like it’s for those plants your weird neighbor grows in his basement. Also the design is kind of trippy, man.

49. Keep your dog warm in this New England Patriots hoodie.

Yes, this is a dog hoodie. Seriously, dogs already have something to keep them warm and safe from the elements. It’s called fur.

50. Shine and sparkle with this football ring.

Consists of footballs encrusted with jewels. Yes, they’re fake but nonetheless flashy.

51. NFL belts will always hold you up.

The one on the left is from the Chicago Bears. The one on the right is from the San Francisco 49ers.

52. Men will look sensational in these button down NFL shirts.

These are just casual collared shirts with NFL logos on it. Yet, they come in different colors and patterns.

53. Keep your money safe in this Cincinnati Bengals wallet.

Well, this isn’t too bad. But it’s probably way more expensive than a regular one.

54. Keep your business cards in this Rams holder.

I’m more used to calling them the Saint Louis Rams. Yet, they’ve moved to LA. So I’ll just call them the Rams.

55. Make your home ready for game day with this Pittsburgh Steelers scoreboard alarm clock.

When you wake up, it bursts into a variation of the “Pennsylvania Polka.” Also, will alert you if Bengals fans are near.

56. Honor our servicemen with this Seattle Seahawks military hoodie.

Let’s face it, the NFL’s salute for America’s military is just a corporate cash grab. Seriously, they have the military pay them for shows of patriotism.

57. Sit back and relax in your Oakland Raiders bathrobe.

Indeed, it’s sleek and fuzzy. But it probably costs much more than one you can buy at Gabe’s for half the price.

58. Grace your home with this Cleveland Browns totem sculpture.

Yes, they make these. Might be appropriate for the Seahawks. Not sure for the Browns.

59. Putter up with these Cleveland Browns golf balls and tees.

Yes, more golf stuff. Yet, these are in green, brown, and white with the Browns logo.

60. Put your pizza in the oven with this Cleveland Browns pizza board.

You’re supposed to put a pizza on it. Other than that, I don’t see much purpose to it.

61. Hold up your pants with these Bengals suspenders.

I’m sure regular suspenders will do the job just as well. And for half the price.

62. This Bengals runner mat is just the ticket.

Since it resembles a ticket to a Bengals game. Not sure which is more expensive.

63. Take your things on the go with this rolling Bengals duffel bag.

Kind of give a new meaning to “carry-on” luggage. Wonder if there’s a plain one that’s cheaper.

64. Take your drink in style with this jeweled Bengals mug.

I’m not sure why this even exists. Because the jewels just makes it seem more ridiculous.

65. Make dinner time a first down with this Cincinnati Bengals knife set.

All of these are orange with stripes on it. Hope they’re not made out of plastic.

66. Looks like this Bengals fan groom is put on the old ball and chain.

This is a wedding cake topper with the old ball and chain. But it includes a Bengals helmet.

67. Spend countless hours assembling this Cleveland Browns puzzle.

Comprises of 500 pieces. Though I’d rather assemble a jigsaw puzzle from a different team.

68. Support your New England Patriots in this tie-dye T-shirt.

Not sure if tie dye goes well with football. Doesn’t seem to make sense.

69. Support your Cleveland Browns wherever you go with this wheeled suitcase.

It’s just a wheeled suitcase with a Browns logo on it. Hope it’s not for an away game.

70. This Cleveland Browns robot is a true champ.

Then again, being a Browns robot, I beg to differ. Since the Browns aren’t known for winning games.

71. You can go anywhere with this Cleveland Browns carry-on backpack.

So you can take it on a hike or on the airport floor. Though you’ll have better luck getting a cheaper model.

72. Seems like this zombie is a Rams fan.

It’s a Halloween garden decoration. And it mostly consists of a zombie hand holding the Rams logo.

73. With this Bengals purse, you can go anywhere.

You can wear it a couple different ways. Like on your shoulder or on your wrist.

74. Serve your tailgate grub on this Bengals platter.

It’s even shaped like a football for good measure. Will mostly have crackers, cheese, and lunch meat.

75. Pour yourself a glass a Hu-Dey Bengal beer.

Apparently, there’s a Bengal beer around. Not something you’d want at Heinz Field though.

76. Be the team chef in your kitchen with this Baltimore Ravens apron and hat.

I’m sure any fan would be wearing it at the grill. Though I’m not sure if the chef’s hat is necessary.

77. After a long golf match, cool off with this Cleveland Browns golf towel.

Not sure why anyone would use a golf towel. I mean it’s not the game that gives off a sweat save for walking between courses.

78. Make your house a home with some Baltimore Ravens carpet tiles.

Now I love the color purple. But I wouldn’t want a checked carpet with Ravens logo on it though.

79. Refresh your thirst with this Baltimore Ravens water bottle.

It’s a metal bottle with a Ravens label on it. Though I don’t think it contains water when they lose.

80. Be a pool hustler with this Baltimore Ravens cue stick.

Though I think regular cue sticks will work just as well. And be much cheaper.

NFL Fans Dressed and Ready for Game Day (Fourth Edition)

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Since NFL pre-season has started up again, it’s time for my August NFL posts which I do every year. While August may seem like a slow month since there’s no holidays, it’s actually one of my busier months with NFL and school looming along with the Renaissance Festival. Given that the NFL has gained a lot of notoriety with the anthem protests, CTE, pinkwashing, domestic violence and sexual assault handling, and so much more. And yet, people still watch the games and buy all the crap they sell. After all, it’s a great American tradition that people can’t get enough of since they love to cheer for the teams. Yet, I’m not interested in the play since it bores me despite that I played clarinet in marching band for 8 years. However, I do take great fascination with how some fans go all out at the game to support their team. I mean you have to see some of the most ridiculous costumes on them that make any Comic Con geek seem normal. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you another treasure trove of crazy NFL fan costumes. Enjoy.

 

  1. Green men always support the Green Bay Packers.

Well, they’ve painted their faces green and their facial hair yellow. Though I do like the fringe on the left guy’s jacket.

2. Unfortunately, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Cleveland Browns fan.

Of course, he’s sad since his team doesn’t usually win. Because they’re the Cleveland Browns.

3. Someone’s hair is all charged up.

Actually, I’m not sure if it’s his hair or a hat. While the woman he’s with has a mask.

4. Like Buffalo Bills? Say hello to the Buffalo Bunnies!

The Buffalo Bills are another team that doesn’t win games. Yet, I would pay to see these guys any day.

5. You can always see a man in orange from a mile away.

Then again, he’s a Denver Broncos fan who’d get lost in sea of that color. Still, like his hat.

6. This Texan never leaves home without a sombrero and luchador mask.

Well, he’s a Houston Texans fan. But you couldn’t even guess who he is.

7. Sombreros should always come with a face mask.

However, since they’re Oakland Raiders fans, this is quite tame. Since Raiders fans are among some the most flamboyant.

8. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, there’s at least something Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton can agree on.

Those are just paper cutouts of them used by Arizona Cardinals fans. Nonetheless, this is hilarious.

9. Apparently, the Raiders madness starts young.

This kid is in skull makeup with spikes on his arms. His costume will get more ridiculous as he gets older.

10. These guys support their team without their shirts.

They even have Bills logo painted on their chest. And wear blue buffalo hats. Okay, bison hats.

11. Is that a hat of Big Ben on his head?

Must’ve been for a game in London. The NFL seems to hold one there once every year.

12. These Eagles fans always know how to spread their wings.

They’re even dressed like Eagles. At least with the hats and feathered sleeves.

13. Guess this Santa’s helper is a Browns’ fan.

Still, you have to admire his team loyalty given the Browns’ track record. Yet the costume is ridiculous.

14. Batman is in the stands with his bandito friend.

These are Buffalo Bills fans as you see. Yet, I think Batman would be more of a Giants and Jets fan. Since Gotham is New York City.

15. Hope you can bear it with this Seahawks fan.

Lo and behold, he’s wearing a bear hat with Skittles on its mouth. Not sure about the significance.

16. These Redskins fans have something to toot about at their game.

Yes, they seem like normal fans in their jerseys. Except that one of them has a giant red football covering a sousaphone.

17. In Pittsburgh, Steeler fandom always starts in the delivery room.

Magee Women’s Hospital has a tradition with covering newborns with Terrible Towels. Though it won’t be long till this little one watches a Steeler game for the first time.

18. A striped beard is always a must for a Bengals fan.

Though you have to admire his effort. Yet, this is quite outlandish if you ask me.

19. This Raiders fan has her share of skulls on her chains.

Her hat even has swords on top. But yes, the outfit is kind of disturbing if you’re not familiar with Raiders fans.

20. “Wanna see my chains?”

And I see he’s with his daughter for the tailgate party. So don’t mind the silver skull mask and mohawk.

21. Guess this is a Chargers white out game.

Yet, these guys seem to take “white out” a bit too far. But at least their hard hats match.

22. For his Bills, this man bares all.

Wonder if he’s in the Polar Bear Club. Cause everyone else around him is wearing a coat and he’s not even wearing a shirt.

23. These superheroes are super fans of the New York Giants.

They even wear blue hair to match their outfits. And yes, they’re super powered up for the game.

24. This Dallas Cowboy fan doesn’t think well of the refs on Thanksgiving.

Though I really like the turkey hat. Actually kind of amusing if you ask me.

25. This Detroit Lions fan is ready for a turkey anytime.

Wonder if he’s wearing that hat for a Thanksgiving game. Then again, wonder why he’d be at the stadium on Thanksgiving.

26. This Atlanta Falcons showgirl always comes in full feathers.

She even wears a red wig and jeweled body suit. But she always tries to get an audience from the stands.

27. Didn’t know that Rumpelstiltskin was a Denver Broncos fan.

Well, his pointy ears seem like a dead giveaway here. Though his beard is much shorter than I thought it would be.

28. Seems like this Raiders fan is doing a voodoo dance of some sort.

Yeah, she may look pretty scary. But I’m sure she won’t harm anyone, Just a very big Raiders fan.

29. This Bills fans is all blue in the horns.

Though his team barely wins given the Bills’ track record. Still, at least it’s not as outlandish as some of the other costumes on this post.

30. These red Texans always back the defense.

They even wear horns on their red cowboy hats. Yet, they intend to support their team.

31. This skeleton face Browns’ fan will haunt your dreams.

If the Browns don’t win, he’ll sure to make the players’ lives a nightmare. Unfortunately, this happens quite often during the season.

32. This Stormtrooper supports his New England Patriots all the way.

Here he is in front of a flag in the background. But always finds time to serve his Galactic Empire.

33. This man wears his support for the Broncos on his hair.

Basically has “Go Broncos” on his mohawk. I know it’s batshit crazy. But it’s a free country.

34. Man, those are really large pendants.

Wonder if those Texan logos make their necks sore. But so far, they don’t seem to mind.

35. This bony skeleton man’s head is spiked for the Raiders.

Raiders fans can have a lot of costumes suited better for Halloween. Yet, I have to admit, he’s certainly intimidating.

36. Seems like I’ve found a real Kansas City Chief.

Well, fire chief anyway. Still, I don’t think he’ll be handy if there’s a fire in the stadium.

37. Speaking of firemen, I don’t think this Raider has much interest to extinguish the flames.

Mostly since he’s wearing skulls and spikes. Also, he sports some villainous makeup and a goatee.

38. In Chicago, the bear eats the cheese.

Though I don’t think cheeses bleed. Yet, I understand the Bears and Packers are intense rivals.

39. Seems like Darth Maul has a message for the New Orleans Saints.

Still, I don’t know what he means by that. Since I live in Western PA and don’t pay attention to sports.

40. These Rams fans plead their team to return.

They’re even wearing horned hats. And yes, the Rams came back to Los Angeles.

41. And so shall it sit on the helmet evermore.

You can guess this is a Ravens fan. Not sure how he gets through the doorway.

42. This Ravens fan is always up for the fun.

Here he wears a jester hat with his Mardi Gras beads. Not sure about the makeup but at least he keeps it from being blackface.

43. This Bills fan is bummed in a blue buffalo headdress.

What do you expect, the Bills aren’t a winning team in the NFL. Still, the headdress seems straight out of Dr. Seuss.

44. These Texans fans just want to stay incognito.

Since they all have paper bags on their heads for some reason. Yet, I really don’t know anyone on these fan posts anyway.

45. While some Buffalo Bills fans have horns, these guys wear wings.

Well, Buffalo wing hats as you see. Nonetheless, this is pretty clever.

46. Seems like green hair is all the rage in Seattle.

He wears a mohawk and goatee. She has a pair of green braids.

47. All hail the mighty Cheese King!

Okay, he’s just a wildly dressed Green Bay Packers fans. Yet, I’m sure he’s going to Comic Con afterwards.

48. This Raiders fan has a skull face you won’t forget.

Wonder if it’s for Day of the Dead. Then again, any Raiders game seems like a Day of the Dead celebration.

49. Apparently, a coconut bra and grass skirt is all you need for a Steelers game.

Either she doesn’t live in Pittsburgh or she’s at a pre-season game. Cause it’s not suited for increment weather.

50. You shouldn’t underestimate this Texans fan’s chains.

He even has a boa for extra touch for some reason. Still, what’s with the large pendant with eyes?

51. This Tennessee Titans fan comes with titan heroics.

Here he is wearing a luchador mask and standing like a superhero. Though he’s only here to support his team.

52. Seems like this king has an epic proclamation.

Okay, he’s just a Dallas Cowboys fan. And no, they aren’t America’s team and never will be!

53. This Baltimore Ravens fan is fired up for the game.

He’s even wearing a fireman’s hat. Yet, this getup seems tame compared to the others.

54. You can’t be a Seahawks fan without a boa and cowboy hat.

Though she also decorates her hat with pins and Mardi Gras beads. Also, paints her face.

55. Seems like Philadelphia has gone to the dogs.

Well, he’s wearing a dog mask. But I hear he’s a good boy.

56. These Oaktown Pirates look for a hearty good time.

Compared to the other Raider fans, this is tame. And yet, they hang out in a bar.

57. I guess these are real San Francisco 49ers.

Well, the team was named after these miners during the Gold Rush. Yet, many of them didn’t really find much gold.

58. Seems like everything’s frozen over in Green Bay.

Actually, that’s just his outfit. But indeed, he appears covered in ice.

59. Bird Lady always dresses in her best for the Atlanta Falcons.

And she wears red with boas for good measure. She even wears a red wig.

60. Apparently, the jet matches the jersey.

Yet, this New York Jets fan doesn’t seem to have a good time. Yet, the jet hat is kind of hilarious.

61. This white dog always likes to party.

Yes, that’s another dog head fan for the Philadelphia Eagles. Yet, this one seems to resemble a poodle.

62. Don’t leave home without your Seahawks feather headdress.

Sure the feathers may be fake. But they’re nonetheless ridiculous as can be.

63. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Amazing Soltar.

Okay, I’m not sure who this guy is. But I know he’s an Eagles fan and his outfit is ridiculous.

64. This rooster roots for the Seattle Seahawks.

Then again, seahawks are known to eat fish. Still, chickens usually aren’t blue and green.

65. Seems like Beetlejuice has a wife.

Okay, he actually doesn’t. This couple is just wearing the same costume to support the Raiders.

66. A true Seahawks fan wears a green mohawk and beard.

And yes, his hairstyle is quite amazing. He also painted his face blue, too.

67. This Giants fan brings all his own plates.

Well, license plates, anyway. And yes, they go down to outside the stands.

68. Of course, the Buffalo Bills fans can match in the outlandish hair department.

Here they sit on the stands with their large logo pendants and buffalo hats. Even wear feather boas to match.

69. There’s more than one kind of cheese hat.

There are cheese fire and police hats as well as a crowns. One even has a belt. Also like the beards.

70. Got a Carolina Panther on your hat?

He even wears blue and black makeup. But the panther is plush by the way.

71. A man’s beard should be in his NFL team colors.

And I see this guy is a Redskins fan. Yet, at least he wears a bandana to match. Oh, wait, that’s his real hair.

72. Apparently, Darth Vader is on the Arizona Cardinals side of the Force.

He even has his helmet painted in Cardinals colors. Don’t insult his costume or he’ll force choke you.

73. A Miami Dolphins fans should always wear a fin.

He even has a fin shield to protect himself. Still, he kind of looks pretty silly.

74. This Raiders woman is rather transparent.

And she doesn’t have much to show for it other than a Raiders logo on her boobs. But at least she’s wearing a jacket.

75. These guys would go all out for their Detroit Lions.

They’re in lion suits and have rubber chickens with them. Still, Lions aren’t known for their track record.

76. Before a Buffalo Bills game, this man gets his poncho on.

He even wears a sombrero with a luchador mask. Yes, these Buffalo Bills fans seem kind of crazy.

77. This Bengals fan comes all out in stripes.

This guy has large Bengal cowboy hat with stripes. And yes, he looks really ridiculous.

78. This Kansas City Chef would like to serve some Chiefs burgers.

Bet you he’s a tailgate party chef. So I guess he’ll have arrow head burgers.

79. “Why so serious?”

Seems like the Joker is a New Orleans Saints fan. Not surprising since he could fit right in at a Mardi Gras parade.

80. Apparently, Wendell wasn’t happy with his Chiefs.

Yeah, I don’t get with the red pigtails. Guess it goes well with the outfit.

81. This old super 49ers fan loves taking to his banjo.

Not sure if superhero outfits and banjos go together. Then again, whatever works.

82. Didn’t know that Optimis Prime was an Indianapolis Colts fan.

Seems to have Colts stuff all over his room and himself. Well, Transformers can be sports fans, too.

83. With Raiders fans, it’s all in the family.

They’re just wearing the logos. And yes, the baby’s wearing one, too.

84. It always helps to have a snazzy hat.

He’s a limo driver by the way and supports his Denver Broncos. But the hat must’ve cost a fortune.

85. Hat Man always turns out for his team.

The top hat’s crocheted for his Denver Broncos. He also has an orange and blue jacket to match.

86. Even the horses get into supporting the Seattle Seahawks.

Guess someone must have had too much time on their hands. Still, you have to give them an A for effort.

87. This little Raider boy has already got 2 skulls.

Yes, this is another young Raider fan. And he sure looks quite fierce.

88. You can barely see these Denver Broncos fans.

They’re just dressed as a couple of mounds. Wonder how they go to the bathroom in those outfits.

89. This Seahawks fan always looks dashing as a charro.

Well, he certainly looks snazzy. With a jacket and he’d look just like one of the Three Amigos.

90. Is that Elvis with Jimi Hendrix?

Actually, they’re just a couple of New Orleans Saints Fans. But they’ll get an audience once they’ve left the building.

91. The Keith Raider Crusaders strikes for the Oakland Raiders.

Fortunately, he’ll be on his way to the Renaissance Festival after the game. That or a dragon to slay.

92. This pirate lass stumps for her Atlanta Falcons.

She even has a hat and some boas and ribbons to decorate. And here she puts a foot on one of the Saints.

93. These Pilgrims have come to see their Detroit Lions.

Funny, you’d think they’d be Patriot fans since they lived in New England. Then again, the Lions usually play on Thanksgiving anyway.

94. This Minnesota Viking fan doesn’t mind a pink boa once in awhile.

Yes, he kind of seems like a juggalo. But he’s certainly fabulous.

95. A father always has to show his daughter how to love her Viking team.

Dad wears a Viking helmet with a yarn beard. The girl has long yellow braids.

96. Did that Patriots fan just lose his head?

Must be some kind of Halloween costume. Then again, it’s kind of creepy.

97. Nothing can stop these Redskins superfans.

Unless it means changing the Redskins name to appease Native Americans. Still, I think a name change is extremely necessary.

98. The Grinch is all pumped up for the Tennessee Titans.

Bet this is for Christmas. And yes, the Grinch will eventually make out with everything afterwards.

99. Mr. Beardo isn’t afraid to show it all.

And it seems like he’s a New York Giants fan. Also, may have too much time on his hands.

100. Seems like the Dark Knight of Gotham goes for New Orleans this time.

Well, at least the team colors go with his outfit. Yet, wait until he finds the Joker in the stadium.

The Legal Woes of Paul Manafort

On Tuesday, July 31, 2018, the first trial of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation commenced as former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort faces a litany of charges relating to financial crimes and money laundering in Virginia. The financial crimes in question are quite spectacular and could result in sending Manafort to prison for the rest of his life. Yet, it’s merely a sideshow to Mueller’s larger investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

Paul Manafort’s trial is about an enormous amount of money he made during his years working Ukraine’s government and political leaders as well as the hefty loans he received from US banks. Mueller has alleged a years-long scheme of astonishing scope. According to him, Manafort first laundered $30 million from a web of undeclared offshore accounts into the US without paying taxes on it. After the Ukranian money stopped rolling in, he defrauded several US banks to get $20 million in loans. Manafort has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

However, many others think it’s really about Mueller trying to put pressure on Manafort so he’ll flip on Donald Trump and provide information about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Though the special counsel hasn’t confirmed such strategy, he has admitted to investigating Manafort regarding collusion and that his past work for a pro-Russian Ukranian political faction and other Russian ties seems obviously relevant.

In his political career, Manafort is somewhat of a legend within Republican circles who rose to fame with his work for Ford’s 1976 and Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaigns. After Reagan’s victory, Manafort decided to cash in by starting a lobbying, consulting, and PR firm alongside campaign colleague Roger Stone. The firm became infamous for representing controversial authoritarian regimes or opposition leaders abroad who served as proxies for the Reagan administration’s anticommunist foreign policy. With his media mastery, Manafort helped sanitize crooks like Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and his shoe hoarding wife, Imelda, despite the number of people killed during their regime. Along with Angola’s Jonas Savimbi, Congo’s Mobutu Sese Seko, and Kenya’s Daniel Arap Moi, these thuggish dictators should never have been respectable figures in Washington. But Manafort reinvented them as allies in the cause of democracy and successfully lobbied for them to receive arms and aid from the US government. Yet, he’d also occasionally jump back into US politics such as manage the 1996 Republican National Convention.

As communism fell, the former Soviet Union became the scene of one of the biggest historic swindles. In Russia, the KGB steered billions of dollars into offshore bank accounts during the USSR’s dying days. These funds became the basis for some of the fortunes of the characters now appearing in the Russiagate scandal. During this time, it’s said that now Russian President Vladimir Putin amassed wealth totaling more than $40 billion. Russians who invested in Donald Trump over the years had many motives. Yet, the nature of kleptocracy suggests they were likely attempting to relocate their money to a place where it would both disappear from public view and have protections coming with the American rule of law.

By around 2004, Paul Manafort pursued bigger payoffs abroad through advising fantastically rich oligarchs in the former Soviet Union on how to master tumultuous democratic politics. He advised Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. But eventually his efforts focused on Ukraine, landing a lucrative contract to advise its pro-Russian Party of Regions and its leader Viktor Yanukovych. When Manafort got the gig, the political party was unpopular and in opposition. Yet, over the next few years, he’d orchestrate the party’s return to power and Yanukovych’s 2010 election as president. Once Yanukovych was in office, Manafort became enormously influential in the regime. According to the Atlantic, Manafort had “walk-in” privileges and billed “outrageous amounts,” while advising on domestic politics and lobbying in the US. During these years, Mueller claims that Manafort earned over $60 million. But in 2014, it all fell apart when demonstrators forced Yanukovych out of power and he fled to Russia. Meanwhile, Manafort and Deripaska had a falling-out with the latter suing the former over cheating him of millions. Nonetheless, during Manafort’s years in Ukraine, the country hemorrhage more than $118 billion in illicit financial flows. This theft came at the expense of its development as a market economy, sucked funds away from public investment, as well as eroded faith in democracy and Western institutions.

In 2015, Paul Manafort saw another opportunity in Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. As an outsider candidate, Trump needed someone with expertise on party and convention rules who could lock down delegates for him. Since two longtime Manafort associates had Trump’s ear like Roger Stone and wealthy real estate investor Tom Barrack had pitched him for the job. After Trump hired Manafort in March 2016, his primary job was primarily leading a delegate-wrangling operation. But his portfolio gradually expanded until he was running the campaign. After then chairman Corey Lewandowski was drummed out for assaulting a Breitbart reporter in May, Manafort was officially named campaign chair and chief strategist. He then ran the effort through the last few primaries and the Republican National Convention for free. However, by mid-August, Trump had sunk in the polls while Manafort was dogged by damaging news reports questioning the legality of his Ukranian payments. So Trump forced him out and brought Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon to take over. As 2017 progressed with the Mueller’s Russia investigation, Manafort came under increased scrutiny resulting in his October indictment with new charges added this year.

Though Mueller originally indicted Paul Manafort in Washington, he wasn’t ready to bring the tax and bank fraud charges against him. This was either due to bureaucratic holdup or due to his team still assembling evidence there. But by February 2018, Mueller was ready to file them. But the catch was that the law required some of the counts charged in Alexandria, Virginia where Manafort actually lives. Unless Manafort specifically gave Mueller permission to charge him in DC, which wasn’t going to happen. This posed an interesting dilemma for him. On one hand, it’s easier and less expensive to just prepare for one trial than 2. Also, 2 separate trials give the prosecution 2 separate opportunities, before 2 different judges and different juries to convict him. This makes it a lucky break to get him off the hook entirely less likely to happen. On the other hand, Washington DC’s population is far more liberal and nonwhite than that of Virginia’s Eastern District. Manafort likely thought he had a better acquittal chance in the latter venue. Moreover, the specific charges that would be brought against him in Virginia likely played into his thinking. Compared to the DC charges, there are more of them and are generally viewed tougher to beat as well as mean a longer prison sentence. However, Manafort’s team hoped the Washington trial would be first since the charges were filed much earlier. But Virginia is known as a “rocket docket” for its speed in bringing cases to trial.

Paul Manafort’s trial in Virginia is about his money, particularly how he made it as he faces 18 counts. It’s expected to last 2-3 weeks. The government’s evidence exhibit list and witness list are both public, giving us a fairly good idea of the prosecution’s plans. Mueller’s team is presenting an assortment of financial documents, emails, photos, and other evidence to record Manafort’s spending from offshore accounts and alleged false bank loan submissions. As for witnesses, Mueller’s team is expected to potentially call up to 35 people to testify. Since this is a money case, they’re generally not big names. More likely, the witnesses are mostly accountants, financial institution employees, and little-known employees at Manafort’s firm.

However, there are 2 exceptions. First there’s iTad Devine, a Democratic consultant most famous for advising Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. But before that, he worked alongside Manafort in Ukraine. But the government’s star witness is Rick Gates, Manafort’s right-hand man who worked with him in Ukraine and the Trump campaign. In October 2017, Gates was charged alongside his boss in Mueller’s probe, but struck a plea deal in February 2018. Since he was Manafort’s closest business associate during this period, his testimony about what his boss said or thought could be important. On Monday, August 6, 2018, Gates took the stand against his old boss. Gates testified that he and Paul Manafort knowingly committed several crimes. At his boss’ direction, Gates didn’t report 15 foreign financial they controlled to the US government, even though they knew it was illegal. He also testified that Manafort directed him to send millions in foreign cash as phony “loans” to his US companies in order to avoid paying taxes on them. But even more damning, Gates admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from those accounts without Manafort’s knowledge, which the defense team has signaled they’d seize upon in an attempt to discredit him.

Beyond publicly claiming his innocence and hiring some expensive lawyers who’d take him, Paul Manafort’s defense strategy is basically trying to pin as many allegations against him as they can on Rick Gates instead. In fact, defense lawyer Thomas Zehnle has focused much of his opening statement attacking Gates, claiming that Manafort had merely, “placed his trust in the wrong person,” accusing Gates of embezzling, and calling Gates the “foundation of the special counsel’s case.” Obviously, this is a longshot strategy since Mueller’s team has already called 30 other witnesses and has plenty of documentary evidence to make the case that Manafort knew what he was doing. So they’re not just relying on Gates’ word alone. Nonetheless, given the sheer volume of evidence, going after Gates is the defense’s best bet. Should Gates come off as credible to the jury, Manafort is sunk. But should the defense’s attack on Gates succeed in planting doubt in jurors about the prosecution as a whole, that could be Manafort’s best chance of avoiding a guilty verdict.

The first set of charges, which Mueller refers to as “the tax scheme,” relate to Manafort’s flush years when the Ukranian money poured into his coffers by the tens of millions in US dollars. According to Mueller, Manafort set up a complex web of offshore shell companies before spending $30 million of that cash in the US between 2008 and 2014. About $12 million of that offshore money was spent on personal items for Manafort and his family spread across over 200 transactions. This includes about $5.4 million to a home improvement company in the Hamptons, $1.3 million tied to a Virginia antique rug store, $849,000 or so to a New York men’s clothing store, $819,000 on landscaping, and several payments for several Range Rovers and a Mercedes Benz. Another $6.4 million in offshore cash was wired for 3 real estate payments: $1.5 for a New York City condo, $3 million for a Brooklyn brownstone, and $1.9 million for a Virginia house. On top of that, Manafort allegedly sent another $13 million as “loans” to US companies he controlled. Yet, the government call these “shams” designed to fraudulently reduce his taxable income. According to Mueller, all this violated the law in 2 ways:

  • False income tax returns (5 counts): Manafort didn’t report any of this money on his income tax returns or taxes paid on it. He also lied on those tax returns that he had no authority over any financial accounts in foreign countries. He faces one count for each tax year from 2010-2014.
  • Failure to report foreign bank or financial assets (4 counts): Manafort also didn’t report any of his foreign accounts to the Treasury Department by filing a legally required disclosure called a FBAR form. He faces one count for each year from 2011-2014.

Then there’s the second set of charges which Mueller refers to as “the financial institution scheme.” According to him, after Yanukovych was deposed and the Ukranian money dried up, Paul Manafort was desperate for cash and made a series of fraudulent to banks in an effort to get hefty mortgage loans or “to have the benefits of liquid income without paying taxes on it.” All the charges here are either bank fraud (4 counts) or bank fraud conspiracy (5 counts) relating to several different loans from 2015-2017, which are:

  • To get $3.4 million on a New York City condo, Manafort falsely told a lender that the property was a second home when it was a rental. But he failed to disclose previous mortgage debt, and falsely claimed it was forgiven after the lender discovered that debt.
  • Searching for another loan, Manafort submitted a doctored profit and loss form to a different potential lender overstating his consultant firm’s income by more than $4 million.
  • To get a $5.5 million loan on a Brooklyn brownstone, Manafort didn’t disclose that he already had a loan on that property and got an associate to submit a form overstating his firm’s income by $2 million.
  • To get loans of $9.5 million and $6.5 million on 2 properties, Manafort again submitted doctored profit and loss forms overstating his family’s income by millions. He also falsely claimed he had $300,000 debt on his American Express card only because he lent it to his former aide Rick Gates.

Though sprawling as it seems, Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial is just the start of his legal woes since Mueller has also indicted him on a set of 7 charges in Washington DC for a trial scheduled in September. Generally, this DC trial will focus more on Manafort’s actual work in Ukraine, rather than his money. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) statements. Additionally, in June, Mueller brought 2 new charges related to attempted witness tampering. According to the special counsel, Manafort and a Russian associate contacted witnesses and urged them to give a false story. After these new charges, DC Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent Manafort to jail to await trial, arguing he’d “abuse the trust” placed in him by the court system.

While the many, many charges against Paul Manafort are egregious, they have nothing to do with Russia interfering in the 2016 presidential election. But he has been a central figure in the Mueller probe’s aspect for the very obvious reasons he spent years working for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine and was in debt to a Russian oligarch. Then there are 2 curious incidents during the Trump campaign Manafort was tied to. First, in June 2016, he attended Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer and other Russia-tied figures. Though attendees claimed that despite the meeting was set up with the promise on Hillary Clinton dirt, nothing of consequence happened.
Second and more importantly, there’s a set of suspicious contacts Manafort had with 2 Russian nationals. One was the aforementioned Russian oligarch he’s indebted to, Oleg Deripaska. The other is his former employee from Ukraine Konstantin Kilimnik, who Mueller says has ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik was also indicted in June alongside Manafort for alleged witness tampering but it’s unlikely he’ll face trial in Russia.

Anyway, during the 2016 campaign, Manafort and Kilimnik exchanged a series of cryptic emails about Deripaska and apparently, money. In April 2016, Manafort asked, “How do we use to get whole. Has OVD operation seen?” Kilimnik wrote that July, “He will be most likely looking for ways to reach out to you pretty soon.” Manafort answered, “If he needs private briefings we can accommodate.” At the end of the month, Kilmnik wrote that he had met with, “the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar” and that “I have several important messages from him to you.” Investigators believe that “black caviar” refers to money. We’re not yet sure what was going on here. It could be where Trump-Russia collusion occurred. Yet, it’s just as likely that Manafort was going rogue trying to get paid since he was desperate for cash at the time. Nonetheless, while Mueller continues investigating Manafort for collusion-related crimes, no charges have yet resulted from that part and its current status remains unclear.

Publicly, more of Robert Mueller’s activity has been focused on Paul Manafort than on any single person involved in the Russia investigation despite that none of the 25 charges against him so far have anything to do with election interference. The most common proposed explanation is that Mueller believes Manafort has important information for the collusion probe. And that he’s brought so many other charges against him as pressure in hopes he’ll “flip” and spill what he knows. Given how the special counsel charged Rick Gates with past Ukraine-related crimes and withdrew nearly all counts as soon as he agreed to cooperate, it seems very likely. Though it’s also possible that Mueller is sending Manafort to prison for what he sees as repeated violations and doesn’t really care whether he flips or not.

Still, if Mueller is trying to get Paul Manafort to flip, it hasn‘t worked. As of now, he faces 25 charges that could easily put him in jail for the rest of his life and the evidence of many if not most of these counts appear quite strong. But Manafort has pleaded not guilty to everything and has given no public indication he’s considered flipping. Why? Perhaps he has nothing to flip with. Either Manafort wasn’t involved in the collusion or has nothing on Donald Trump or anyone else Mueller cares about. But it’s more likely that Manafort is just holding out hope that he can beat the charges. A darker possibility is that, given an apparent series of Russian-linked assassinations in the West, Manafort fears violent reprisals against himself or his family should he give information implicating Russians. However, given that Gates worked alongside him for Russia-connected clients and still flipped, the idea doesn’t hold water. Unless Gates is an insanely brave man. But criminal associates usually flip to avoid something whether it be a long prison sentence or worse. And that Gates most likely flipped since he’s much younger on Manfort and has young children.

Nonetheless, the most likely reason that Manafort keeps mum is that he’s holding out for a Donald Trump presidential pardon. After all, last year, The New York Times reported that Trump’s then-lawyer John Dowd discussed a possible presidential pardon with Manafort’s lawyer. Rudy Giuliani has recently floated the idea as well. Yet even a pardon may not be a get-out-of-jail-free card. There’s a host of complications involved ranging from potential state charges against him which Trump can’t pardon away to the prospect that Manafort would no longer be able to avoid testimony by pleading the Fifth on certain matters. Besides, given to what befell Michael Cohen, Trump is unlikely to pardon anyone unless the outcome is beneficial to him. Say what you want about Joe Arpaio and the Hammonds, but their pardons at least appeal to the Republican base. Given that Manafort is somewhat a legendary figure among Republicans, holding out for a pardon might work in his favor. However, the fact he’s gained notoriety as a man who worked for pro-Russian oligarchs and dictators for cash to buy an ostrich coat, we shouldn’t bet on it.

The Lunchtime World of Lunch Boxes

Itzy-Ritzy-Bento.jpg

Whether for school or work, there are some people who may buy lunch at the cafeteria or a nearby restaurant. While others prefer to pack their own due to the food being bad, cost efficiency, convenience, or that a lunch place isn’t around. In any case, most packers will bring a lunch in some sort of bag. Sure you may have those who use containers or brown paper bags. Yet other packers prefer to have bag they can reuse and keep their lunch fresh till their break while some might want a bag that will make a personal statement. Well, that’s where lunch boxes come in. Growing up in the 1990s, I had lunchboxes with Barbie and Lisa Frank in elementary school. Yet, when I was older, I used a lunch cooler and then a lunch bag with 2 compartments that you could easily wash. Nevertheless, when I go on Google, I often see some unusual lunch box styles and ones with images that make me scratch my head. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of crazy lunch boxes the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

 

  1. Perhaps you might want to knit your own lunch box.

Though I don’t think it would keep your lunch well insulated from the elements. Let’s just say wool doesn’t do well in the rain.

2. I guess you might use this for your last lunch.

Since it depicts Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Not sure if that belongs on lunch box but whatever.

3.  I’m sure you wouldn’t plug your guitar in this amplifier.

Though I wonder if this lunch box comes with a guitar of similar size. Probably not.

4. “Time for lunch, Jesse.”

Yes, I know this is designed like a school lunch box. But it’s not one for schoolchildren at all.

5. If you need containers, this lunch box has you covered.

Still, 3 containers is a bit much for me. Then again, some people might have a lot of leftovers.

6. This Exorcist lunch box comes in handy whenever the demon of hunger possesses you.

I don’t doubt that The Exorcist was popular in the 1970s. But the demon puking scene makes you want to lose your lunch. Also, it’s not appropriate for school age children.

7. If you’re a great lover of meat, this Meat Parade lunchbox is for you.

It’s from a humor website, by the way. But singing sausage and bacon bits might bring looks of confusion among peers.

8. This lunch box is perfect for Taco Tuesdays.

It’s a taco truck lunch box. But alas, it won’t always have tacos on Tuesdays.

9. This lunch box is packed with ammo.

Though this is an ammo box meant for food, not bullets. Still, it seems durable to withstand the elements.

10. If you remember Lidsville, you’d probably wish you had this lunch box.

Lidsville was a terrifying children’s show in the 1970. It’s about a guy who’s trapped in a land of giant hats with a craving for human flesh, apparently.

11. Keep your lunch well insulated with this artifact tote.

It’s basically a more expensive cloth variant of the bag lunch. And it comes with a leather strap fastener.

12. No Cryptid fan should go without a Bigfoot lunch box.

Again, this one is from a humor site. Though this lunch box might make other people wonder if you’re looking for a creature that most likely doesn’t exist.

13. Keep your food away from zombies with this lunch box.

Though it wouldn’t be just a lunch box during the zombie apocalypse. Since you got to make food last as much as possible.

14. This lunch cooler comes solar powered with speakers.

I’m sure having a lunch box like this will make people wonder how you got the money for it. Since it comes with speakers for God’s sake.

15. No crazy cat lady should leave home without a lunch box like this.

Includes a cat with a cone. It’s also another one of those humor lunch boxes. Still, it’s funny.

16. Make your Taco Tuesdays awesome with this Deadpool lunch box.

Okay, he likes chimichangas. Still, this is a pretty awesome metal truck box.

17. If you like firefighters, you’d like this Emergency! lunch box.

This was another old show in the 1970s. Yet as Just Collecting states, “It’s also the only box we can find that clearly has a dead body on the front. Hey kids, enjoy your lunch, and don’t forget the dangers of smoke inhalation!”

18. Sometimes you just need to stack a couple of containers.

Well, this lunch box includes stackable containers, a spork, and a strap. And I’m sure you won’t be embarrassed to carry it around.

19. Sometimes your lunch containers have to look fancy.

These are fastened together by a metal frame. But at least it’s easy to clean.

20. Any kid who’s grown up in the 1970s would love to have this Bugaloos lunch box.

Yet, they’re all in bug costumes and conducted by an angry purple firefly. Clearly someone must’ve been high to come up with this design.

21. Who the hell wouldn’t want a lunch box of H.R. Pufnstuf.

Apparently, it was a show involving terrifying muppets for some reason. Those ents seem particularly the stuff of nightmares.

22. Hope you have an “eye’ for this lunch box.

Yes, it’s an eyeball lunch box, which is kind of disgusting. But at least it includes an eye chart.

23. Everyone in your family will fight over this Game of Thrones lunch box.

If a kid should bring a lunch box like that, I’m sure the teachers would have plenty of questions to ask. Since Game of Thrones is not a show for kids.

24. This Land of the Giants lunch box will induce nightmares among friends.

Guess this is another show from the 1970s. Still, the guy in glasses holding the people up is especially creepy.

25. Make lunchtime an adventure to the exciting world of metrics.

From Westword: “What it says: ‘I don’t get nearly enough math in class, so I enjoy looking at the same conversion-facts all through my lunch hour, too. It’s also fun to count the number of punches I get each day, multiply that by the number of Indian burns, titty twisters, and swirlies I receive, and then tabulate just exactly how much my life sucks on the metric scale.'”

26. Everyone should have a hangry kit nearby.

Because when some people get hungry, they get angry. Look what you see in Snickers commercials when Marcia Brady turns into Danny Trejo.

27. A would-be nurse should always carry a lunch box like this.

From Westword: “What it says: ‘I’m either very into entering the medical profession someday, or I really like playing doctor. Want to meet me behind the gym after school to find out which?'”

28. Nothing makes a great lunchbox than one depicting a bunch of people about to be devoured by a giant cat.

Okay, that’s kind of terrifying. Seriously the large white housecat’s giving me nightmares.

29. Anyone from the 1960s may fondly remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.

From Westword: “What it says: ‘Hey, here’s a show my parents watch that I don’t understand! Because I’m six.'”

30. A friendly shark lunch bag is one you can really sink your teeth into.

For there is no way this teeth baring friendly fish wants to eat you. Though I wouldn’t bet on it.

31. A bicentennial lunch box really brings in the spirit of 1776.

Still, it may find newfound popularity among Hamilton fans. Despite featuring George Washington instead of Alexander Hamilton.

32. I’m sure hipsters might crave for a lunch box like this.

Yes, it’s a guitar case lunch box. And indeed, it has plenty of stickers for decoration.

33. You can keep your food within this Polaroid camera.

Unfortunately, you can’t take any pictures with it. But you can’t have everything.

34. I wouldn’t touch this lunch box if I were you.

Okay, it doesn’t have any organs for transplant. But that doesn’t mean you should check.

35. Feed your brain with these book bento boxes.

Put these on a shelf and nobody would ever guess it’s your lunch. Unless they try to open it.

36. If you loved Legos as a kid, you’ll love this lunch box.

Includes many brick containers inside. And yes, it resembles a giant brick on the exterior.

37. Keep your food inside this red gummy bear.

Even comes with its own ice pack. So you can keep your food chilled throughout the day.

38. Now you can take your lunch and communicate with dead people with this Ouija board lunch box.

But don’t be surprised if any ghosts show up during your lunch time. Since they can be a pesky inconvenience.

39. A Mr. Merlin lunch box is the stuff of magic.

From Just Collecting: “Mr, Merlin ran for one season, and featured a kid being taught wizardry by Merlin the Magician disguised as a car mechanic in San Francisco. The artists over at King Seeley captured the magic and mystery of the show by featuring an old man in a baseball cap and a teenage boy that looks like Joannie Cunningham from Happy Days. They also released it after the show was cancelled. You were better off praying your Empire Strikes Back box could survive another year.”

40. Kids would’ve loved to have a lunch box of Gentle Ben.

Really, gentle? The boy almost seems like he’s going to end up like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant at some point.

41. Perhaps you want a sandwich box.

And yes, it’s shaped and designed like an actual sandwich. Though you can’t eat it.

42. Feel free to eat from this VW microbus.

It’s the standard model for a hippie van. Still, at least it’s portable enough to carry around.

43. In this lunch box, your meal will be read to eat anytime.

Actually, it’s more a decorative statement than anything. But it gets straight to the point.

44. Eat among the happy little trees with this Bob Ross lunch box.

After all, Bob Ross still retains his popularity since his death from cancer in the 1990s. Still, this kind of amusing.

45. Store your lunch in this vintage TV.

Sure you can’t watch anything on it. Unless you use your imagination.

46. Keep your fish sandwich chill in this bass cooler bag.

It may look like the big one that got away. But it’s a lunch bag for your catch of the day.

47. Nobody could resist a lunch bag depicting a cat on bacon.

And yes, it’s traveling through space. To be honest, many of these bags can be quite weird.

48. Keep your food on the go with this boom box lunch box.

I’m sure you can’t blast any music on it. But it nonetheless matches the metal quite nicely.

49. This watermelon lunch box is worth a slice.

Comes with a strap you can sling on your shoulder. But seems more fit for the summer.

50. Bet your lunch box doesn’t have space cats like these.

You have to wonder why they’d put cats in a nebula. Since it doesn’t make much sense to me.

51. Nobody can resist this party panda lunch bag.

This depicts a drunk panda with a Santa hat. Sure it’s not child friendly, but you can’t help but love it.

52. Behold, guinea pigs in sunglasses on pizzas from outer space.

I know this image makes no sense. And yeah, it might make people suggest you’re high on something.

53. A Rambo lunch box can be especially badass.

From Westword: “What it says: ‘Nothing is over! Nothing! Well, except maybe that point in my childhood where it’s still appropriate for me to still be carrying a lunchbox.'”

54. Bet you’ve never seen a giraffe speed demon in space.

I know this makes no sense. But it’s kind of hilarious if you see it.

55. Perhaps you might like a donut lunch box.

It even has icing and sprinkles. Includes a zipper so you can keep your food in it.

56. If you need something for hunger pains, this lunch box has you covered.

Yes, this is a medicine style lunch box. Still, it’s kind of clever if you ask me.

57. Having a cat like this on a lunch bag makes others green with envy.

This one has a cat waving an American flag and lightsaber on top of a fire snorting unicorn. Yes, I know it’s ridiculous and over the top, but it’s hilarious.

58. You’d almost think this T-Rex is jumping out at you.

Don’t worry, it’s just photoshop. That T-Rex won’t eat your sandwich though it sure seems like it.

59. Wonder what you’d pack in this NASA bag.

Depends on where you go. However, if it’s space, you can’t include alcohol or baked goods.

60. There’s nothing cooler than having your lunch in a dino case.

Has a strap to its mouth to keep it closed. And yes, you can put food in it.

61. If you love spam, you’d adore this lunch box.

Though to be fair, you should stay away from spam. Because it’s a processed meat that’s not very good for you.

62. May the odds be ever in your favor with this Hunger Games lunch box.

Are you kidding? The Hunger Games revolves around people struggling in poverty as some teenagers are forced to fight to the death, for God’s sake.

63. Any good Catholic girl should love this Flying Nun lunch box.

From Just Collecting: “Because kids love nuns, right? There is no way any kid in 1968 asked for a lunchbox based on a failing Sally Field religious sitcom. If you were given this lunchbox as a child, your parents were deliberately trying to send you a message. That message was ‘We hate you, and we’re sending you to a convent boarding school.'”

64. This TV lunch box comes with color bars.

These bars were on pre-digital color TVs. And they normally meant the station was off the air.

65. You can’t talk about 1970s by ignoring this disco lunch box.

From Just Collecting: “Disco was originally an underground music scene, born in black and Latino urban gay nightclubs across the U.S and fueled by a heady mix of cocaine and casual sex – the perfect subject for a child’s lunch box.”

66. Who could ever resist this wags n’ whiskers lunch box?

From Westword: “What it says: ‘This dog is obviously being abused, and this kitty is silently pleading you to help, help for the love of god. But you can’t, because it’s my lunchbox.'”

67. Those who remember Hee Haw may enjoy this lunch box.

From Just Collecting: “These giant, leering, middle-aged hillbilly faces were just made to be put on a children’s lunchbox. If you were at school in 1970, having a Hee-Haw lunch box really made a statement. And that statement was: ‘In about 40 year’s time, I’m going to really hate the President.'”

68. This lunch box may contain biohazardous contents.

Indeed, it warns of weird shit happening in there. So open it if you dare.

69. We all eat in a yellow submarine…

Yes, this is a yellow submarine Beatles lunch box. And it’s shaped as such.

70. Any kid in the west would love this McDonald’s lunch box from cactus country.

From Just Collecting: “We’re fairly certain this lunchbox was the inspiration for the Stephen King novel ‘It’. If there was an award for “Creepiest image of a clown most likely to come to life, reach out and try to claw your face off” then this lunchbox would be the world champion. Also, any kids who owned this box were reminded every day that their packed lunches sucked compared to a McDonalds.”

71. Perhaps a Jonathan Livingston Seagull lunch box might suit you.

From Just Collecting: “In 1973 there were two things every kid in America loved – existentialism and sea birds. So Aladdin were on to a winner with their 1973 lunchbox based on the metaphysical novella ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’, which had just been turned into a film with a soundtrack by children’s favorite Neil Diamond. A follow-up lunchbox based on ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ was sadly cancelled, when it was discovered the company’s creative team had all suffered nervous breakdowns.”

72. Nothing is abominable like this yeti lunch box.

And it atop 2 mountain peaks. Yes, it’s weird but kind of funny.

73. Apparently, some kids might like a clown lunch box.

Okay, these are from Stephen King’s IT depicting Pennywise the Clown. Not something you’d want on a kid’s lunch box.

74. Seems like an image of Fluffy has appeared on toast.

Yes, it’s ridiculous. But I couldn’t avoid this cat in the bread box. I don’t why I find lunch boxes designed like this.

75. Got to catch lunch in this poke ball.

To be fair, it’s from a show involving animals fighting each other. But at least you can store your snacks here.

76. Stack your lunch into this little bread slice.

And it seems this bread slice is happy to oblige. She even wears a pink bow.

77. Nothing makes a lunch box like skull flowers.

Well, a colorful skull flowers. Yeah, I know it’s kind of ridiculous if you ask me.

78. There’s nothing cooler than a taco cat lunch bag.

Yes, it has a cat in a taco. I’m sure it will launch a thousand memes.

79. Apparently, it was the beauty that killed the beast.

Yes, it’s sloth climbing the skyscraper a la King Kong. After all, I posted a similar image for a shower curtain post.

80. Seems like someone has some rainbow shit on their lunch box.

Apparently, the smiling poo emoji is quite popular. And this one is amongst the rainbow.

81. If you want a state of the art picnic lunch, this tote might suit you.

Comes with a napkin and flatware with 3 sections. And only at $30 for some reason.

82. Take a break from the gym with this Nike lunch box.

Because your lunch bag should look no different from your gym bag. Except it’s smaller.

83. Care for a can of chocolate pudding?

This is from The Walking Dead. It’s a zombie show I don’t even watch. So don’t ask me about it.

84. If you like video games, try this Nintendo Gameboy lunch box.

Too bad you can’t play Mario on it. But at least you can keep a sandwich inside.

85. You can always have a nice day with this smiley face lunch box.

Comes with a strap for your shoulder. Still, best put the sandwiches in the bag.

86. Don’t forget to kiss the cook, Pinkman.

Of course, Walter White doesn’t really cook food. His specialty is crystal blue meth.

87. On this lunch bag, you’ll find a dead man on canvas.

Since there’s a coffin surrounding the guy. For he is only a silhouette.

88. A Bob Ross lunch box should have happy little trees.

Yes, it’s another Bob Ross lunch box. But at least this one actually has his famous trees from his Joy of Painting.

89. It’s all elemental in this periodic lunch.

I’m sure it’s for anyone with a hankering for chemistry. And yes, the elements spell what lunch is made of.

90. This R2-D2 lunch bag is at your service.

Because the Rebel Alliance would never have a chance without this ornery little droid. Seriously, he basically saves everyone’s ass.

91. Store your shrooms in this toadstool lunch box.

Great for anyone who doesn’t see the term fungus as an insult. Still, it’s kind of cute.

92. You’ll go back in time with this lunch box.

This from Dr. Who, by the way. Still, hope it doesn’t have any food inside from the past.

93. I’m sure this lunch box is nun too holy.

Yes, it’s another novelty lunch box. I’m sure anyone who went to Catholic school will find it funny.

94. If there’s something strange in the neighborhood, this lunch box will come in handy.

It’s inspired from one of those ghost traps from Ghostbusters. And no, I’m afraid of no ghost.

95. There’s no glorious lunch bag like one with Batman on a unicorn.

He’s even riding on alongside dolphins. Nonetheless, this is just so unlike Batman that it’s hilarious.

96. Sometimes it helps when you can fold out your lunch box.

You’d almost think this was a tray meal. Wouldn’t mind having one of those.

97. You don’t have to guess what’s in this lunch box.

Because it has the contents written on the outside. Yet, each item has a price.

98. Anyone into dark literature will adore this Edgar Allan Poe lunch box.

Though when you’re weak and weary, this will sate you evermore. Also may give you nightmares.

99. This pink monster lunch box is a scream.

Still, it’s kind of silly since it has scary blue eyes and yellow teeth. Yet not exactly in my taste.

100. Even a minion can get hungry sometimes.

This minion lunchbox has containers stacked on each other. Kind of charming in its own way.

Lordy, There Are Tapes

On Thursday, July 26, 2018, federal authorities seized more than 100 tape recordings made by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, including the bombshell tape CNN published 2 days earlier appearing to feature Donald Trump discussing a payoff to former Playboy model Karen MacDougal. Yet, while Trump only makes a cameo in some of the fragments, the tape released is only one featuring a substantive conversation between the two men. Though a number of tapes reportedly capture conversations Cohen had with journalists asking about his former boss. While others may have included talk sometimes touching on Trump and his unethical business practices.

In the tape released on CNN, Donald Trump and Michael Cohen can be heard discussing a payment to Karen MacDougal, who received $150,000 in exchange for selling her story about her Trump affair to the National Inquirer. The American Media, Inc. publication bought her tale specifically to keep her quiet. Yet, this recording confirms that Trump knew about Cohen’s involvement in the MacDougal payoff. Nevertheless, Cohen’s MacDougal tape release seemed to suggest that his once steadfast allegiance to Trump had truly begun to waver.

According to Cohen’s attorney and longtime Clinton ally, Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen would occasionally secretly record conversations with clients in lieu of taking notes. As he told the Washington Post, “Michael Cohen had the habit of using his phone to record conversations instead of taking notes. He never intended to make use of the recordings and certainly didn’t intend to be deceptive.” Still, these revelations around this new tape trove are only the latest developments hinting that Trump’s self-described “fix-it guy” might’ve been considering to flip.

On Friday, July 27, 2018, Michael Cohen has become willing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Donald Trump had advance knowledge of the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which Russians offered campaign aides Hillary Clinton dirt. In case you don’t know, on June 9,2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer and 4 others with Russian ties. An email to Trump Jr. Setting up the meeting claimed the Russian government had incriminating information on Clinton to offer. Yet, though all parties present nothing of significance came out of it, it has played a major role in Mueller’s investigation whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 campaign. According to CNN, “Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.” While Cohen didn’t have a tape recording on him at the time nor evidence to corroborate this claim, his revelation comes as a surprise to no one.

Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask Donald Trump when he learned about the Trump Tower meeting. He’s also investigated the false statement claiming adoptions, Trump helped his son draft last July in response to the meeting’s early reports. But while there’s been a lot of talk about Michael Cohen potentially flipping on Trump, there’s not yet word of him in talks with prosecutors about a plea deal. If Cohen eventually turns on his former client, this investigation might not be the only one where he’ll face questions.

So why would make the longstanding loyal Michael Cohen decide to flip? Mostly because while Donald Trump may expect unwavering loyalty from his subordinates, he usually doesn’t return the favor the associate in trouble starts becoming a liability. Cohen is no different since he’s currently under federal criminal investigation on his business dealings and payments he made covering up Trump’s alleged extramarital affairs. And there’s an open question around whether some of these payoffs were campaign finance violations since they were made in during the 2016 presidential campaign. As the pressure grew on him in recent months following a government office raid, Cohen reportedly felt Trump abandoned him with much of his recent reaction apparently fueled by a sense of betrayal. A Cohen associate characterized Trump’s treatment of his former attorney as akin to “leaving him out in the wilderness.”

Adding to Michael Cohen’s troubles, federal investigators from New York’s Southern District have subpoenaed Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg to testify in front of a grand jury since he was named-dropped in the September 2016 tape as well as linked to the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. In the latter, he set up a $35,000 retainer for Cohen from Trump’s personal trust as a repayment to the $130,000 hush money Cohen arranged for Daniels. Though it’s unclear if Weisselberg knew of the retainer’s purpose as a reimbursement for Daniels’ payoff. However, his mention hints at the possibility that the Trump Organization was directly involved in discussions to reimburse National Inquirer publisher AMI for MacDougal’s hush money payment. Weisselberg’s subpoena is a huge deal since he’s worked for the Trump Organization for decades as well as Trump’s father Fred in the 1970s. Since Trump became president, Weisselberg has co-managed the Trump Organization with his boss’ elder sons and is crucial to the business. He’s also listed as treasurer of the Trump Foundation, which the New York Attorney General’s Office sued for violating state and federal laws as well as did Trump’s personal tax returns for at least some years. So if there’s anything shady in Trump or his company’s finances, Weisselberg would know about it. As TrumpNation author Timothy L. O’Brien wrote in Bloomberg:

“Weisselberg isn’t a bit player in Trumplandia and his emergence on the Cohen-Trump recording — as someone possibly facilitating a scheme apparently meant to disguise a payoff — should worry the president. Weisselberg has detailed information about the Trump Organization’s operations, business deals and finances. If he winds up in investigators’ crosshairs for secreting payoffs, he could potentially provide much more damaging information to prosecutors than Cohen ever could about the president’s dealmaking.”

A former Trump Organization employee told NBC’s Katy Tur that “Alan [sic] knows where all financial bodies are buried within the Trump organization. He knows Trump’s net worth. He knows any and every expenditure out of Trump Org was approved by Alan [sic].” While Cohen might flip, he’s not the only one to know about Donald Trump’s financial secrets, particularly his Russian ties and his tax returns. After all, O’Brien writes that Weisselberg, “knows more about the Trump Organization’s history and finances than nearly anyone.” And if he admits to anything, it’ll be only a matter of time that he’ll be in hot water as Trump leaves him to the dogs.

But whether Michael Cohen flips or not, Donald Trump has slammed his taping of their discussion as “inconceivable” as if he framed his longtime amoral stooge as a villain and seeking to cast doubt on any negative ramifications this conversation might have for him. “Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things?” he tweeted. Trump attorney and sycophant Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged the tape’s existence but denied that his client did anything wrong. “Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” he told The New York Times. Then in a moment of idiocy, he added that Trump even passed for using a check to ensure proper documentation if any payment should transpire. Still, given that Cohen is facing serious legal jeopardy with charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, and potential campaign violations and Trump is unlikely to help him, we may one day see the fixer flip indeed.

Nonetheless, Michael Cohen’s tapes of Donald Trump and testimony about the Trump Tower meeting puts Trump’s duplicity on full display. Or at least confirm many people’s suspicions. Prosecutors may love tapes but so do juries that will eventually convict. Thus, even if the tapes don’t prove anything, the evidence is damning.

The School Lunch World of Bento

Beautyfrizz-Bento-Box-Lunch-Recipes

In many of the food posts I’ve done over the years, I always seem to include a few bento lunches here and there. In Japan, a bento is a single-portion take out or home-cooked meal. Traditional bento may hold rice or noodles, fish or meat, and cooked vegetable in a box. In addition, they’ve been around since the Kamakura period during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, these bento boxes can range from disposable mass-produced to hand-crafted lacquerware. And they’re available everywhere in Japan from convenience stores, railway stations, and department stores. Nonetheless, it’s common for Japanese mothers to make these bentos for their husbands and children that some may prepare the ingredients the night before then pack everything for the morning. Yet, some of these meals can be elaborately arranged into a style called kyaraben, which are typically decorated to resemble from anime, manga, or video games. Another picture style is oekakiben that’s decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items like flowers or plants. And they even have contests for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements. Recently, bento boxes have captured the western imagination since I’ve seen plenty of them on Pinterest boards and Google Images, especially if it pertains to school lunches for parents. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of elaborately decorated bento lunches.

  1. Give your little raptor a lunch he’ll remember for 65 million years.

Consists of a spotted egg in a nest along with 2 dinosaur sandwiches. One of which has spines.

2. Perhaps you’d like your cars hard-boiled.

They’re also attached with hotdog slice windows for wheels. Also, have cherry tomatoes on top.

3. A lunchtime mermaid should have ramen hair.

She even has a shrimp tail. But she’s not made out of chicken of the sea.

4. There’s something fruity about this monkey bento.

Well, it mostly consists of monkey sandwich. And those small corn cobs are used as bananas.

5. This bento lunch will satisfy any sleepy bear.

As you can see the bear is made out of rice. Though I’m not quite sure about the blankets.

6. Nobody could resist this rice puppy.

Yes, it’s a little dog made out of rice. And I’m sure some kids will find it good enough to eat.

7. Anyone would be pleased with smiling sushi rolls.

While they may be made out of blue rice, they nonetheless brighten your day. Wonder if they’re made to resemble mountains.

8. A big cat sandwich can satisfy any monstrous appetite.

Even has whiskers along with pepper nose and ears. So adorable.

9. A bento like this can be straight out of the Hundred Acre Wood.

He even has a bee for honey. Yet, nobody could resist Winnie the Pooh’s sweet face.

10. These rice kitties will surely melt your heart.

These rice kitties come in so many colors and patterns. But they’re each cute in their own way.

11. There’s something fishy about these legs.

Well, the legs are made out of fish. While peppers comprise of the skirt and high heels.

12. Among the noodles, the mice get the cheese.

Each of these are made out of hardboiled eggs and hotdog slices. And yes, the cheese is full of holes.

13. With this lunch, your kid will moo until the cows come home.

Wonder if the girls are supposed to be milkmaids. Still, kids will enjoy either the cow sandwich or pizza.

14. Hope you can put your tip on this school lunch.

This back to school lunch comes with a great big pencil sandwich. Yet, the cheese is on top in this case.

15. You’ll find this froggy lunch quite hopping.

Yes, this is a lunch filled with frogs. And yes, the grapes and sandwich have frog eyes.

16. These plastic animals are happy to get on board the sandwich choo-choo train.

And yes, the train’s wheels are decorated with carrot slices. Though you can’t eat the animals.

17. Care to rub this cat’s belly?

Well, the cat is mostly made out of rice and tofu. Yet, I’m sure it took a hell of a time to make.

18. A Snow White lunch is fit for any Disney princess.

Though I wouldn’t eat the apple if I were you. Since its skull makes it seem especially poisonous.

19. These 3 little piggies seem quite eager to feast.

These pigs are made out of rice balls. Yet, they appear sniffing around for, well, anything.

20. There’s nothing more pleasing than a unicorn lunch.

This unicorn is over a background of red cabbage. But it nonetheless stands out.

21. Three little bears come out of their dens.

I’m sure they’re made out of hard-boiled eggs sticking out of rice. But they’re quite adorable.

22. Seems like pandas prefer a warm stew.

Sure the pandas are sushi rolls. But you have to like how they’re munching on the stew. So cute.

23. A nautical lunch is perfect for your little sailor’s voyage.

Consists of a ship sandwich to keep your kid in ship shape. And yes, fruit make up the seas.

24. No little girl could resist this sweet sandwich.

This has a girl made out of cheese in a pink dress. Includes a couple of flowers.

25. No kid could ever go without a bento lunch with Shaun the Sheep.

Shaun the Sheep is a kid’s show in Britain by Aardman. Nonetheless, the Nick Park sheep are quite distinctive.

26. This bento lunch is happy to greet you.

After all, the Japanese tend to be suckers for cuteness. Even in their food for some reason.

27. To celebrate Shark Week, your little shark will love this bento lunch.

Includes a lifesaver and blue dip with a shark in it. Also, don’t forget Goldfish crackers and Sea Snax.

28. The Force is strong in these bento lunches.

Includes Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. And yes, they’re all on sandwiches.

29. Behold, the Pusheenosaurus.

It’s a combination between a dinosaur and a cat. Includes eggs and bones.

30. Nobody could resist a panda lunch.

Well, the panda is mostly made out of rice. But it doesn’t hesitate to show a smile.

31. Any kid would be nuts to skip this lunch.

Yes, this lunch is covered with squirrels. Even in the orange slices.

32. At times, a bento can be turned into a work of art.

I don’t see this as a kid’s lunch. Seems more like the work of a repressed art major.

33. Anyone would moo over these rice cows.

These cows seem quite peaceful in the pasture. Though they can also easily put you in the emergency room.

34. You’ll find a treasure map on top of this sandwich.

Yet, keep in mind that real pirates never had treasure maps. Mostly because they’d usually spend whatever gold they find like sailors. Since they know they wouldn’t last very long.

35. Best not bother the sleeping fox.

Or is that a dog? At any rate it’s quite adorable to look at.

36. A sandwich like this is out of this world.

Since it’s a rocket sandwich. And its in several layers for lift off.

37. Little Nintendo fans would adore this Mario bento lunch.

Though it doesn’t seem to have many mushrooms for some reason. Then again, safe mushrooms are hard to identify.

38. What’s that frog looking at?

This frog sandwich is made from green tortilla. And it even has a pasta noodle for a tongue.

39. A penguin bento lunch can always make you smile.

Each of these penguins has cute little plastic hats. Nonetheless, these little penguin rice balls will melt your heart.

40. Anyone would fall in love with this lovely water lily lunch.

The flower is made out of Japanese leaves. Includes a Japanese flag on a stick.

41. Your prehistoric pal would love this triceratops sandwich.

And the horns are made out of cheese. While the egg is a bit cracked.

42. Treat your Star Lord to this Guardians of the Galaxy bento lunch.

Includes a Star Lord sandwich, a cupcake, and a bar of Awesome Music. And yes, any kid would love this.

43. This little dog wants to greet you.

Got to love the paws on the edge and ears. So cute you can’t help but love it.

44. You’d find a lot of cheesy faces on this bento.

The faces are made out of cheese. Each of them also come with little attributes like hair and bows.

45. For peaceful picnics give this flowery lunch a try.

Mostly consists of a flower garden path. I’m sure this was made by someone with too much time on their hands.

46. Seems like someone doesn’t want to get eaten.

Too bad they were made for just that. Now who’ll be next for the chopsticks, I don’t know.

47. A budding Dred Pirate Roberts should always have a lunch like this.

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You stole my lunch box, prepare to die.

48. This cat and mouse bento is a mid-day delight.

It has a cat sandwich and a cheesy mouse. Nonetheless, the cat seems happy.

49. Perhaps your little fish might want an under the sea lunch.

Consists of a fruity squid and an octopus sandwich. Don’t forget the goldfish crackers.

50. Any kid would go all buggy over this lunch.

I bet these mostly consist of ladybugs. And they both have cheesy spots.

51. No bento post should be complete without an appearance by Hello Kitty.

This one has her in a dress with hearts. And yes, it’s adorable.

52. You’d want to take a bite out of this rice panda.

This one even has bamboo in the background. Or a vegetable resembling bamboo at least.

53. Once in a while every little robot needs to refuel.

And what do you know, it has a robot sandwich. Yet, this one wears a bow.

54. Want your mouse hard-boiled?

This mouse even has a hotdog flag. Includes a chick and apple cherry tomatoes.

55. Like Angry Birds? Try this lunch.

Well, it doesn’t seem like a big lunch. But I think boys would find it a delight.

56. A lunch like this is perfect for a kid’s first day of school.

Includes applesauce and a math problem sandwich. The cheese has a 4 on it, too.

57. There’s nothing to resist about this koala bento.

Well, it’s a koala made out of rice and veggies. But it’s nonetheless. cute. Also, is that other small rice ball supposed to be a lion?

58. This lunch will sustain your little Ewok in a galaxy far, far, away.

Even includes Chewbacca and Imperial fighters. Yet, the rice seems a bit on the Dark Side.

59. Treat your kid to this lunch when they make the grade.

Of course, this is for preschool graduation. Since you don’t want to give this to an 18 or 22 year old.

60. An owl lunch like this is quite a hoot.

Includes an owl sandwich and hard-boiled eggs. Still, you can’t help but love it.

61. Care for a ramen ocean dish?

Includes a fish sandwich and fruit stars. And yes, the ramen is dyed.

62. You’d swear this bento came all the way from Paris.

The sky and background is made out of rice. But the Eiffel Tower is made of cheese.

63. Care for a couple of fish sandwiches?

Includes rice water, carrot sand, and green seaweed. Nonetheless, seems easy to make.

64. Perhaps you might treat yourself to a lovely maiden.

I’m sure this bento is another artistic piece. Since it doesn’t seem like it’s made for a kid’s school lunch.

65. This guy seems like he’s floating in rice.

After all, he’s in a boat rowing with an asparagus stick. All in a Mickey Mouse bento box.

66. For the solar eclipse, treat your kid to this bento lunch.

Okay, the solar eclipse was last year. Includes a darkened sun and cheese glasses.

67. Don’t send your kid to class without this notebook bento.

Has a notebook sandwich and a cheesy pencil. Wonder what the eraser is though.

68. Perhaps you might want to try some goldfish sushi.

Actually, the fish just cover the rice balls. But they nonetheless give the meal character.

69. Let your little sheriff satisfy his appetite with this Woody lunch.

Yet, this is for Toy Story 3. You know the one when Andy goes to college that makes people cry.

70. Nobody could resist these flowery dogs.

Well, these dogs have flowers on them in a garden. So cute.

71. Perhaps you might want a penguin dish.

The penguin here is mostly made of rice with pepper beak and feet. So cute.

72. Sometimes it helps to bring in a little sunshine.

The sun consists of orange slices and cheese. While there are 2 moon sandwiches.

73. A minion in the garden always brings smiles.

Well, this minion is made out of rice. And it’s surrounded by colorful mushrooms.

74. This bento has an egg sunny side up.

And lo, and behold, it’s a sun. In addition, it’s on rice in a star-shaped box.

75. Care for a cupcake?

Actually it’s a cupcake sandwich with a cherry on top. And yes, it has sprinkles.

76. Seems like some little bear wants to say hello.

This one has a bear greeting from a house of cheese. So cute.

77. With this bento, the eagle has landed.

This lunch depicts the moon landing. One small step for man, indeed.

78. You’ll get a wave out of this lunch.

This is from a famous Japanese painting. And yes, that place can get terrible tsunamis.

79. Every kid should have a cupcake sandwich on their special day.

The sandwich is covered with cheese. Also has sprinkles.

80. If you like Calvin and Hobbes, then this bento is for you.

Well, Calvin and Hobbes was a comic strip from the early 1990s. Yet, it’s nonetheless a classic.

81. Nobody can resist a Pikachu in rice.

And here’s Pikachu with a flower. Fittingly, they made the Pokemon the mascot for the Japanese soccer team.

82. All what these animals need are hats.

I’m sure the hats are made from paper and aren’t edible. And they have all kinds of cute animals on here.

83. Seems like this bento has gone to the dogs.

Yes, they’re made out of rice. But they seem happy. Includes bone.

84. This bento will come in handy in an emergency.

It’s an ambulance bento with the vehicle made of rice. Though it won’t help much with First Aid.

85. An American burger is always a happy burger.

Even has little cheese hands. Not sure what to think of this.

86. Every lunch lion should have a ramen mane.

Well, it’s a lion sandwich. But the mane is all noodles.

87. This bear loves to soak up in a soup.

Indeed, people do find a hot tub relaxing. Yet, this guy soaks up in autumn from what I can tell by the leaves.

88. Xbox fans will adore this bento lunch.

Though you can’t play with the controls. Since they’re made out of rice.

89. Perhaps your kid might want a lunch like this for a rainy day.

Includes a rainbow pasta and a cucumber umbrella. Also don’t forget the goldfish crackers.

90. If you like Sony, you might want to do with a Play Station lunch.

The controller mostly comprises of rice wrapped with seaweed. And no, you can’t play a game with it.

91. A bento like this would inspire envy on Endor.

The Ewok is made out of rice. And yes, it’s adorable.

92. This Peanuts bento will melt your heart.

It has Snoopy and his doghouse in the center. And yes, you’ll find some of the Peanuts kids there.

93. A unicorn sandwich offers a magical lunch.

This one even ahs a rainbow behind it. And it’s made out of veggies.

94. With LEGO, your lunch will just be bricks.

Well, the veggies are carved into Legos. But that doesn’t mean you can play with them.

95. This bento is a feast for little minions.

Well, this one is full of minions. And yes, many will find them adorable.

96. This pig family feels at home in their sty.

Well, these 3 pigs always seem quite happy near the mushrooms. One of them even winks.

97. Even Pac-Man seems hungry for ghosts these days.

Except that Pac Man doesn’t eat ghosts. Since ghosts usually go after him.

98. It’s always a small world with fans.

Bet this is for the World Cup given the international presence. Still, these are cute.

99. The Force is strong with this little pony.

This is a cross between Star Wars and My Little Pony. And yes, one of them wields a lightsaber.

100. Every brave princess should have this Merida bento lunch.

She has hair made out of orange noodles. Even has her brothers as cute bear cubs, too.