The no bullshit, top 10 news sources

  1. Washington Post
    Barr’s spy talk emboldens Trump’s allies ahead of Mueller report’s release

  2. The Guardian, US edition
    Buttigieg v Pence: Indiana politicians put faith on the election front line

  3.  NPR
    The Wait Is Almost Over For The (Almost) Full Mueller Report To Be Released

  4. Reddit News
    Madagascar measles epidemic kills more than 1,200 people, over 115,000 cases reported

  5. BBC
    Ilhan Omar: The 9/11 row embroiling the US congresswoman

  6. The Conversation
    Does a year in space make you older or younger?

  7. Courthouse News Service
    House Democrats Step Up Demand for Trump’s Taxes

  8. Pew Research
    Little Public Support for Reductions in Federal Spending

  9. Politico
    How Mayor Pete started to look presidential

  10. Reason
    The Biggest Victims of Progressives’ Plastic Straw Laws Are the Workers They Normally Champion



Leggings protest breaks out after Notre Dame mom’s puritanical plea

Leggings rebel Dani Green

While attending Mass at the University of Notre Dame last fall, Maryann White saw something that horrified her: leggings. A group of young women, all clad in clingy Spandex and short tops, were sitting directly in front of her and her family.

“I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn’t help but see their behinds,” the self-described Catholic mother of four sons wrote in a letter to the editor that was published by the Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, on Monday. “My sons know better than to ogle a woman’s body — certainly when I’m around (and hopefully, also when I’m not). They didn’t stare, and they didn’t comment afterwards. But you couldn’t help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them.”

By way of responding to her complaints, more than 1,000 students at the private Catholic University in South Bend, Ind., indicated that they planned to wear leggings to class this week.  “The Legging Protest,” was organized by Kaitlyn Wong, a senior who wrote, in parody of White’s letter, “I’m just a Catholic woman who feels the need for one specific type of pant that provides utmost comfort: leggings.” She asked people of all genders to express their solidarity by wearing their favorite pair of leggings that day. Again, more than 1,000 people expressed interest.

“Unfortunately,” one participant wrote, “I could not find Maryann on [Facebook] to invite her and her four sons to ogle us on Wednesday.”

After stunning act of forgiveness, victim of prank dies

ruvoloVictoria Ruvolo, who in a stunning act of kindness publicly forgave a teenager after he tossed a 20-pound turkey through her windshield in 2004, shattering every bone in the Lake Ronkonkoma woman’s face, died Monday. She was 59.

Her nephew, Anthony Ruvolo, confirmed his aunt’s death Wednesday and said the cause was unknown. Ruvolo’s death was also announced on her website and professional Facebook page.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of our beloved Vickie,” stated the message on her website, “Forgive someone today.”

Ruvolo’s case captured the imagination of people around the world, first, because of its shocking nature, and later for her mercy on display when she begged prosecutors to spare Ryan Cushing, the teenager who tossed the turkey, from a potential 25-year prison sentence.

Ruvolo hugged Cushing in court during his second-degree assault guilty plea in 2005 and said, “Just do something good with your life.”

“I’d ask myself, ‘What good is it going to do to throw him in jail for 25 years?’ ” she said in a 2011 Newsday interview. “Then I realized why it had happened to me. It happened to me so that I could save someone else’s life — Ryan’s.”

She turned her tragedy into a career of compassion. Through motivational speaking and her book, “No Room for Vengeance: In Justice and Healing,” Ruvolo urged victims to forgive their assailants.

Pacific Standard

After two crashes, Malaysian Airlines needed government support and still barely survives …

… the connection between Concorde and its single catastrophe never went away: As passenger numbers plummeted, the two airlines that flew Concorde, Air France and British Airways, gave up supersonic flight. The last Concorde was grounded in 2003.

Today, to avoid the same fate as the Concorde, Boeing will need to find a way to prevent its name from becoming synonymous with calamity in the minds of potential passengers. (The battle may prove even more difficult for the aerospace company than Malaysia Airlines or Concorde: Though investigations are ongoing, it seems possible that Boeing might bear some fault in the crashes.)

This woman’s genetic mutation shields her from pain and anxiety
Popular Science

On top of not needing any pain medication for severe arthritis in her hand, nor for the surgery, she has a fairly long history of health problems with no associated pain. Just a year before this operation, she required a hip replacement due to the severe degradation of that joint. The two days after that operation she took a couple grams of paracetamol (though only because she was encouraged to take it) and didn’t require any further pain meds.

With some further questioning, she also told the researchers that she often smelled her flesh searing before she realized she was getting burned, and that she could eat Scotch bonnet chili peppers with zero discomfort—they just give her a “pleasant glow” in the mouth. She’d needed stitches for a severe laceration, fractured her left wrist, and gotten dental procedures all without feeling any pain. She also doesn’t seem to experience much anxiety or fear. During a recent car accident, she reported not panicking at all.

Why Pedestrian Deaths Are At A 30-Year High

“Looking at the various metrics available, the ones that pop out to me are distraction related to smartphone use and the market share increase in SUVs.”

Since 2013, the number of consumers buying light trucks has far outpaced those buying cars. “There’s no question that pedestrians hit by SUVs are more likely to die than those hit by a car,” he said. SUVs are bigger, heavier and deadlier for pedestrians.

Compounding that problem are smartphones. Both walkers and drivers use cell data 4,000 percent more than they did in 2008, which means they aren’t watching the roads. Retting said he would like to see autonomous pedestrian sensor technology added to more vehicles. The technology does exist but isn’t widespread, and it won’t be in most cars anytime soon since most vehicles on the road today are at least 10 years old.


SPRINGFIELD, MA — Fourteen Springfield police officers were charged Wednesday in connection with the beating of four people outside a city bar and subsequent coverup, prosecutors said. The assault happened outside Nathan Bill’s Bar & Restaurant on April 8, 2015, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey. After an argument at the bar, six of the officers and the bar’s owner assaulted the four victims outside the establishment, Healey said. Some of the victims were left with “permanent” injuries, Healey said in a statement. After the attack, a group of officers engaged in a “long-standing” coverup, Healey claimed. One of the officers charged in the coverup is a former Springfield police officer.

Klobachar trots out $1 trillion plan for infrastructure

—-> So far the scrum for the nomination has been mostly personal attacks. Here is an actual policy proposal. 

In addition to improving roads and bridges, Klobuchar pledged to modernize airports, seaports and modern waterways, noting that “allowing these assets to fall into disrepair hurts our economy.” The campaign also pledged work to update and expand public transportation, particularly in low-income, majority-minority communities, while also committing to reliable access to safe and clean water.

To pay for it, Klobuchar floated raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent, rolling back one of the central pieces of the Republican Party’s tax law passed in December 2017.

‘Bye, Jayme,’ man who kidnapped girl and murdered her parents says as he leaves court

“Bye Jayme?” This sicko broke into her home, and blew her father away with a shotgun. When Jayme and her mom retreated screaming into the bathroom, he shot her mom to death even as the two clung together. And now he says: “Bye, Jayme?”

How the move to legalize pot in NJ fell apart
NY Times

Some lawmakers were unsure about how to tax marijuana sales. Others feared legalization would flood the state’s congested streets and highways with impaired drivers. Some would not be deterred from believing that marijuana was a dangerous menace to public health.

A disagreement existed among lawmakers about how far to go regarding the social justice component in the legalization bill: Fissures grew over whether it was necessary to expunge criminal records for marijuana-related offenses for those found with as much as five pounds of the drug.

… some of the loudest opposition came from powerful African-American lawmakers. Ronald L. Rice, a Democratic senator from Newark, argued that legalization would lead to “marijuana bodegas,” which would further push the drug into poor urban communities.

(NYT makes no mention of corporate lobbying pressure … surely there was some…)

In most of America, average worker can’t afford a home
CBS News

Even with rising wages and falling mortgage rates, Americans can’t afford a home in more than 70 percent of the country. Out of 473 U.S. counties analyzed in a report, 335 listed median home prices more than what average wage earners could afford, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions. Among them are the counties that include Los Angeles and San Diego in California, as well as Miami-Dade County in Florida and Maricopa County in Arizona.

Chicago is getting a terrifying new architectural thrill ride
Fast Company

Aon_Center_(Chicago),_north_faceWithin the next three years, tourists in Chicago will have the chance to go on one crazy ride: A glass platform will launch thrill seekers 82 stories into the air, at speeds of 16.6 feet per second. This isn’t an amusement park attraction, though. It’s a glass elevator that will be installed on the exterior of one of the city’s many notable towers, the Aon Center.

Facebook charged with racial discrimination in targeted housing ads

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook on Thursday with violating the Fair Housing Act, alleging that the company’s targeted advertising discriminated on the basis of race and color.

HUD said Facebook also restricted who could see housing- related ads based on national origin, religion, familial status, sex and disability.

The social media giant said last week it would create a new advertising portal for ads linked to housing and employment that would limit targeting options for advertisers

USA Today’s warped idea of a news story:

Their headline: ‘Big Bang Theory’ star Johnny Galecki trolls ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant who botched his name

— So now it’s news when a celebrity’s publicity agent makes a desperate bid for attention because … his client’s name wasn’t pronounced correctly on a game show?


Rape, stalking not Big Tech’s problem, court rules
Courthouse News Service


The case of the New Yorker whose nightmarish experience on Grindr sparked national headlines and federal litigation will disappear with neither a trace nor a precedent.

An attorney for Matthew Herrick, whose ex-boyfriend used the hook-up app to send about 1,100 suitors Herrick’s way, had choice words Wednesday after the Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of their case.

“They’re allowing Big Tech to knowingly profit from stalking, rape and murder, when Big Tech companies are the only ones who can stop it,” attorney Tor Ekeland said in a phone interview.

California agrees to sweeping changes to protect sea life
Courthouse News Service

The state of California will roll out a sweeping set of changes to protect endangered whales and sea turtles from the dangers of crabbing gear entanglement under a settlement announced Tuesday.

To resolve a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the state has agreed to shorten this year’s crabbing season, limit crabbing in whale hot spots in future years, incentivize the use of rope-less crab gear, invest in technology that predicts the movements of endangered marine life and fast-track new regulations, among other measures.

The changes will put to rest claims that the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife was violating the Endangered Species Act by permitting crab traps, fishing lines, buoys and other gear that can trap and kill endangered humpback whales, blue whales and leatherback sea turtles.

Trump’s pick for Federal Reserve is tax deadbeat

Stephen Moore, whom President Donald Trump said he’ll nominate for a seat on the Federal Reserve, owes more than $75,000 in taxes and other penalties, according to the U.S. government.

A federal tax lien filed in the circuit court for Montgomery County, Maryland, where Moore owns a house, says that the government won a judgment against Moore for $75,328.80. The January 2018 filing said it was for unpaid taxes from the 2014 tax year and could accrue additional penalties and other costs.

Russia responds to Mueller report:
Moscow wins, Putin is stronger than Trump and US is a ‘pain in the ass’
The Conversation

Kremlin pundits may be claiming Trump’s victory as Russia’s victory. But that doesn’t mean they are showing him the same sympathy they did two years ago, when the investigation into the president and his election committee began.

Today, most Russian media outlets are holding up the Mueller story as just another example of American dysfunction. Trump is cast as a symptom of larger problems, rather than as the man who might solve them.

Monday, Russian Sen. Aleksei Pushkov tweeted that the Mueller investigation was “a humiliation for the USA and its political elites.” A typical comment posted in response read: “The whole country is full of idiots.”

——> Thank God for those guardians of our nation, the Supreme justices
Court: This is America. Man can use Hovercraft to hunt moose.
The Independent

A man who was banned from using his hovercraft while hunting moose in Alaska by the US National Parks Service  has had the decision overturned in the Supreme Court, allowing him to continue.

John Sturgeon of Anchorage had hunted the animals for 40 years along the Nation River,
but in 2007, park rangers told him it was illegal to use his hovercraft there.

In 2011 he took legal action against the NPS over the issue and had sued and lost in lower court rulings. But on Tuesday justices unanimously rejected the agency’s argument the river was “public land” and that the agency’s water rights interest gave it rule-making authority.

GOP legislator prays to Jesus for forgiveness before state’s first Muslim woman swears in

Stephanie Borowicz loves her some Jesus.

State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz was on the ninth “Jesus” of her opening prayer in the Pennsylvania statehouse when other lawmakers started to look uncomfortable.

Speaker Mike Turzai, a fellow Republican, glanced up — but Borowicz carried on, delivering a 100-second ceremonial invocation that some of her colleagues decried as an offensive, divisive and Islamophobic display shortly before the legislature swore in its first Muslim woman.

“God forgive us — Jesus — we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us,” Borowicz said, followed by a quote from the Bible’s second book of Chronicles that implores God’s followers to “turn from their wicked ways.” Then she praised President Trump for his unequivocal support of Israel.

Baltimore mayor “too sick” to answer pointed questions about book deal
Baltimore Sun

The U/Maryland medical system paid her for 100,000 copies of her self-published “Healthy Holly” books, in five orders of 20,000 books at $5 each, from 2011 to 2018.

Michigan cops fumbled chance to stop pervert Nassar in 2004

A Michigan police investigator who looked into allegations that Larry Nassar sexually molested girls and young women in 2004 admits that he was fooled by the now-convicted sports doctor and didn’t pursue the case.

“I believed his lies,” said Meridian Township, Mich., Detective Andrew McCready.

Nassar told Detective McCready that he was treating Brianne Randall-Gay’s scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine and that he was required to touch her lower back and upper leg region. In his summary of that interview, McCready says that Nassar gave him a Power Point presentation explaining the medical procedure. The 26-page printed presentation was written by Nassar.

Gas stop by spring breakers turns into fight for their lives
Miami Herald (w/video)

An armed robber thought he had easy late-night prey at an Oakland Park gas station Sunday. Instead he and his getaway driver found four Indiana natives who weren’t about to give up cash or take any nonsense.

They did take the robber’s gun, however, during a 40-second struggle at the Mobil gas station, 901 W. Oakland Park Blvd. And Alex Wisbey and Aric Wisbey and their cousins, Aric Tanoos and Jacob Tanoos, lived to finish out their vacation.

They also took down “079 MLZ,” the license plate of the black Hyundai. That and surveillance video led Fort Lauderdale police to Kevin Campbell, 33. He’s charged with armed robbery, giving a false identification to law enforcement and resisting arrest without violence. His bond is $10,100.

Rich idiots land helicopter in middle of Calif. poppy bloom

Oxy maker, and Sackler family, agree to pay Oklahoma $270 million

Pilots in Lion Air 737 Max crash tried to recover by hitting a switch again and again, unaware there were 3 other steps they needed to take
Business Insider

The pilots of Lion Air’s Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed last year reportedly hit an rebalancing switch repeatedly in an effort to save the plane, unaware that they needed to take three further steps.

Sources investigating the crash told The New York Times that the pilots flying the Boeing plane pressed a switch meant to rebalance a destabilization caused by a piece of software called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which investigators believe was forcing the plane into a dive.

—–> It’s a really tiresome cycle. Wing nut legislators write draconian abortion laws to appease the “Christians.” The legislators are well aware that the courts will probably strike the laws down. Don’t we have anything better to do in this country?

North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional, a federal judge rules

Under the ruling — which will take effect in 60 days, pending an appeal from the state or revised legislation — women will be able to seek abortions at any point before a doctor determines the fetus is “viable” and could be able to survive outside the womb.

Found: A stolen Picasso

Arthur Brand said the painting had circulated in the criminal underworld of the Dutch capital.
“It was used as some kind of money as payment for drug and arm deals,” he said.

The Hague (AFP) – A Dutch art detective dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Art World” has struck again, finding a Picasso painting worth 25 million euros stolen from a Saudi sheikh’s yacht on the French Riviera in 1999.

Arthur Brand said he had handed back the 1938 masterpiece entitled “Portrait of Dora Maar”, also known as “Buste de Femme (Dora Maar)” to an insurance company earlier this month.

The discovery of the rare portrait of Maar, one of Pablo Picasso’s most influential mistresses, is the culmination of a four-year investigation into the burglary on the luxury yacht Coral Island, as she lay anchored in Antibes.

Robert Kraft seeks Jury Trial In Happy Ending Case
CBS Boston

—>Billionaires need justice too.

Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages
Huffington Post

The vast majority of the people who propose and make changes to Wikipedia are volunteers. A few people, however, have figured out how to manipulate Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral system to turn a profit.

That’s Ed Sussman’s business. And in just the past few years, companies including Axios, NBC, Nextdoor and Facebook’s PR firm have all paid him to manipulate public perception using a tool most people would never think to check.

EU nations get two years to implement news Internet copyright rules

The law will require anyone sharing copyrighted content to obtain permission from rights owners, even if the content is just an animated GIF on Twitter. To protect their platforms from legal trouble, sites such as Facebook and Wikipedia will now be forced to implement “upload filters” to ensure that user-generated content doesn’t violate copyright.

Expensive to implement, vulnerable to bugs, and prone to inadvertently censoring lawful content, such filters have been slammed by critics as an existential threat to free expression on the internet.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

“I wonder if I shoulda bought that gun” chapter 99,965
Cops say Arby’s manager killed man who spit on her
Oklahoma News4

TULSA, Okla. – A fast food restaurant manager in Tulsa was arrested after she allegedly shot and killed a man who threatened her and spit on her, police say.

Around 6:30 p.m. Monday, police arrested 25-year-old Deionna Young in the shooting death of 25-year-old Desean Tallent.

Police say Young and Tallent allegedly got into an altercation at an Arby’s, where Young was reportedly the manager, about an hour before the shooting. Tallent allegedly threatened Young and spit on her.

Mom sues Weather Channel over “Storm Chasers” fatal wreck
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The mother of a National Weather Service storm spotter killed in a 2017 traffic wreck has filed a $125 million lawsuit against The Weather Channel, which employed storm chasers involved in the fatal collision.

Karen Di Piazza filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal district court in Lubbock, Texas. Her son, Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, was killed on March 28, 2017, in a two-vehicle crash on County Road 419 just west of Spur and southeast of Lubbock.

The lawsuit alleges The Weather Channel’s on-air personalities Kelley Williamson and Randall Yarnall ran stop signs and traffic lights and violated other traffic laws to obtain video for their show, “Storm Wranglers.” Officials at The Weather Channel were aware of their dangerous and reckless driving habits, according to the lawsuit.

Newspapers to Apple News: Drop dead

Many newspaper publishers — after suffering for a decade from job losses, shrinking ad dollars and circulation declines — are so far shunning Apple’s new “Netflix for news” subscription.

For $10 a month, Apple News Plus offers articles from more than 300 magazines, but only three newspapers. Despite a potential audience of millions of iPhone users, newspaper publishers may be wise to be skeptical.

“Is this the thing that’s going to save media? The answer is ‘no.’ It’s not one thing,” said Jim Brady, who built a local-news business, Spirited Media, and now consults with media companies.

Chicago Tribune: Smollett deal “indefensible”

State’s Attorney Foxx, you recused yourself, but your office dropped the case. You owe Chicagoans answers. Starting with: When did you first learn of this indefensible deal? Why was it cut in secret? Why doesn’t Jussie Smollett have to own what he was accused of doing? Because like it or not, Ms. Foxx, you own this.

Chicago Police Union Wants Federal Investigation Into Kim Foxx’s Handling of Case After She Exchanged Texts With Smollett’s Relatives
The Gateway Pundit


House fails to override Trump veto on so-called emergency


President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border survived a critical vote in the House on Tuesday, as Democrats failed to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to override his veto.

The vote was 248 to 181, well short of the 288 that would have been required. The vote effectively ends — for now — legislative attempts to strike down Trump’s national emergency declaration. Now the fight over his attempt to circumvent Congress to get more money for his border wall will shift to the courts.

“President Trump can’t take taxpayer dollars to build his wall without Congress’s permission,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former congressman who has filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s declaration, said following the vote. “The 20 states standing with us in court are ready to fight long and hard to stop his fabricated emergency in its tracks.”

US Dep’t of Justice seeks to destroy Obamacare

… in the new filing, signed by three Justice Department attorneys, the administration said that a decision of U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor should be affirmed and the entirety of the ACA should be invalidated.

… If the Justice Department’s position prevails, it would potentially eliminate health care for millions of people and cause disruption across the U.S. health-care system — from removing no-charge preventive services for older Americans on Medicare to voiding the expansion of Medicaid in most states. A court victory would fulfill Republican promises to undo a prized domestic accomplishment of the previous administration but leave no substitute in place.

Charges dropped against “Empire” actor
ABC News

In a statement, Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said, “Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement. 

Chicago mayor blasts prosecutors for dropping Smollett hoax charge
Yahoo News

“Ok, I have no idea what to believe anymore. I think maybe the Feds need to get involved because obviously the Chicago PD can’t do anything right. Either he’s guilty or not and regardless of that, we all need the truth.”
— “Sarah” on Twitter

“He’s always been innocent. Period. I never trusted the corrupt Chicago PD nor the media. He’s black so remember that.”
— “King Malek” on Twitter

“Somebody got paid off in this Jussie case loll do you know how rare it is to have your record expunged, the case sealed, and charges dropped? That almost never happens lol somebody in Chicago PD must’ve fucked up big time. Whole story reeks lol”
“Dee” on Twitter

Yale rescinds admission of a student whose family paid $1.2 million to get her in

May Loses Control of Brexit Process as Parliament Takes Over

The U.K. Parliament seized control of the Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May and will now seek to decide how Britain exits the European Union.

In a vote late Monday, the House of Commons split 329 to 302 to schedule votes on a series of alternative strategies, potentially including a second referendum, keeping the U.K. in the bloc’s customs union, leaving without a deal and even canceling Brexit altogether.

NJ lawmakers chicken out on pot vote

Liquor lobby at work?

Why Increased Pot Use in Colorado Is Sending More People to the Hospital

Solar farm? Fine, but not in my back yard

The largest solar farm east of the Rocky Mountains could soon be built in Virginia and, depending on whom you ask, it would be either a dangerous eyesore that will destroy the area’s rural character or a win-win, boosting the local economy and the environment. The solar panels would be spread across 10 square miles — 1.8 million panels soaking up the sun’s rays.

The project is planned for Spotsylvania County, about 60 miles south of Washington, D.C. Amid the county’s Civil War battlefields, farms and timberland, a fight is raging over the future of energy in Virginia, and in the Eastern U.S.

The heart of the solar resistance is in a gated community called Fawn Lake, built around a golf course and man-made lake.

“I mean we live at a resort, essentially,” says Dave Walsh, one of the many Fawn Lake residents organizing against the planned solar farm. One corner of the massive project would butt up against the back of the gated community. Walsh says he supports solar, in theory, but not here.

Father Of Sandy Hook Shooting Victim Dies By Apparent Suicide

The father of a Newtown, Conn., girl who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has died in an apparent suicide. Newtown Police say 49-year-old Jeremy Richman was found dead early Monday morning, not far from his office.

In 2012, Richman’s 6-year-old daughter, Avielle, was among the 26 children and educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

This Nutt thinks he’s found a safer “booze” —
all the pleasure, and none of the damage
The Guardian

Scientist David Nutt memorably said alcohol is more dangerous than crack. Now, he is trying to invent a healthy synthetic alternative, and the race is on to get it to market.


“I’m not against alcohol. I like it, but it would be nice to have an alternative.”

Unions Make Case Against Wisconsin Lame-Duck Laws
Courthouse News Service

Matthew Wessler, an attorney with Washington, D.C. based firm Gupta Wessler appearing on behalf of the unions, opened by stating that the plaintiffs’ challenge seeks “to restore the fundamental balance of power” that has stood in Wisconsin for 150 years.

Wessler derided the Legislature’s lame-duck attempt to “change the basic rules of how democracy works in Wisconsin” by using an all-night extraordinary session, after working in unseen committees, to pass legislation giving the executive branch’s authority to enforce state laws to the legislative branch.

Avenatti bails out after fraud charge

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles with U.S. President Donald Trump, was charged on Monday with what prosecutors said was an attempt to “shake down” Nike Inc for over $20 million.

Avenatti, who was also hit with separate embezzlement and fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, was arrested in New York.

A federal magistrate judge ordered Avenatti released on $300,000 bond during a hearing in U.S. District Court in New York. A subdued Avenatti, appeared in the courtroom wearing a dark gray suit, sitting with federal public defenders.

“When due process occurs I will be fully exonerated and justice will prevail,” Avenatti said outside the court following the hearing.

Prosecutors said Avenatti and another lawyer, who was not named in court papers, met with Nike’s attorneys on March 19 and told them they had a client, a former amateur coach, who had evidence Nike employees had bribed top high school players to play for Nike-sponsored college teams.

The other lawyer, an unnamed co-conspirator, was identified by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, as high-profile Los Angeles attorney and CNN contributor Mark Geragos.

Life in the slow lane for 13 million Chinese on gov’t shit list
South China Morning Post

David Kong was feeling crumpled after a recent business trip to Chongqing, which took more than 30 hours on a hard sleeper known locally in China as the “green-skin train” for its distinctive dark olive hue. The same journey would have taken just three hours by air, or about 12 hours by high speed train, but Kong could not take either as he was a “deadbeat”.

As one of 13 million officially designated “discredited individuals”, or laolai in Chinese, on a public database maintained by China’s Supreme Court, 47-year-old Kong is banned from spending on “luxuries”, whose definition includes air travel and fast trains.

For this class of people, who earned the label mostly for shirking their debts, daily life is a series of inflicted indignities – some big, some small – from not being able to rent a place to stay in their own name to being shunned by relatives and business associates. In some places, the telecommunication companies apply a special ringtone to the phone numbers of laolai as a warning.

Men ditch suits, and retailers try to adapt
Wall Street Journal

Jos. A. Bank, a chain known for selling suits to the corporate masses, began airing a television commercial earlier this month that features men in sport coats, khakis and jeans.

With fewer men buying suits, retailers of tailored clothing are trying to adapt to a world in which it is no longer unthinkable to wear Lululemon pants to the office.

“We want to send the message that we can help with more than just suits,” said Mary Beth Blake, Jos. A. Bank’s brand president.

McDonald’s invests in “personalized menu” company

The world’s biggest restaurant chain is spending more than $300 million on Dynamic Yield Ltd., according to a person familiar with the matter. With the new technology, McDonald’s restaurants can vary their electronic menu boards’ display of items, depending on factors such as the weather — more coffee on cold days and McFlurries on hot days, for example — and the time of day or regional preferences. The menus will also suggest add-on items to customers.


Muller summary as redacted by Barr:

“███████ Trump ████ ███ █ best █ █████ ██ President ██ ███. █ever ██ ██████. Trump did ████ ███ █ ████ ███ ██ not ████ ███ commit ███ ██ ████ a █ ██ crime ███.”

— humor by Travis Allen on Twitter

A Texas scientist was called ‘foolish’ for arguing the immune system could fight cancer. Then he won the Nobel Prize.

James_P._Allison_(2015)AUSTIN — It was Christmas Eve 1994, and James P. Allison was testing his theory that T cells, a type of white blood cell that fights viral and bacterial infections, could help the immune system fight cancer. That week, he was covering for a postdoc aide on a European trip, who’d injected cancerous mice with an antibody to activate T cells to go after tumors. The results were stunning: All of those given the antibody became cancer-free, while the mice not provided with the antibody saw their tumors grow until they eventually died.

Allison ran back the experiment. But this time, the cancer didn’t respond. Allison grew frustrated. “I was being told, ‘You’re just foolish, this is never gonna work,’ ” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “That was one that really pissed me off.”


A team of Midwestern climate scientists has released a new report with grim predictions about the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes region. The report foresees a growing trend of wetter winters and springs, with increases in heavy rain events leading to flooding, particularly in urban areas with hard surfaces that cannot absorb the excess water. Rural areas will likely see more erosion, and unpredictable cycles of heat and rainfall could undermine agriculture. (PHYS.ORG)

Bound for Dusseldorf, British flight lands in uh … Edinburgh instead
(Only 744 miles off course.)

Florida man charged with sexual battery on underage girl he allegedly lured after claiming to be ‘Instagram famous’
Fox News

richard-brown-ocp.jpgA man was charged with sexual battery after he allegedly hired a driver to transport an underage girl from Texas to his family’s home in Florida before holding her captive for three days, police said.

Richard Brown, 25, allegedly convinced the young girl he was “Instagram famous” and could provide for her. The two met on the social-media site and chatted for several months before Brown convinced her to visit him at his parents’ home in Apopka, Fla., near Orlando, according to an affidavit. He then allegedly paid over $800 for the car taking her from San Antonio to Apopka.

When she got there, however, she realized that he was not who she believed he was — but he responded by claiming she “owed him for bringing her out here,” investigators said. She allegedly was sexually battered several times while the suspect took drugs including cocaine over the course of three days, the affidavit stated.

Stolen car recovery hobbyist promises court he’ll quit chasing suspects
Anchorage Daily News

An Anchorage man whose hobby is finding stolen vehicles has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. Floyd Hall, 54 is part of a vehicle recovery group that calls itself the “A Team,” and relies on public tips from social media. In August 2017, Hall got into a high-speed chase involving a stolen truck and faced one count of reckless driving.

They don’t need no stinkin’ Supreme Court
Voters take action on partisan gerrymandering as High Court prepares for another fumble

DETROIT — Disappointed with the election results but not ready to give up on politics, Katie Fahey sent out the modern equivalent of a message in a bottle on Nov. 10, 2016.

“I’d like to take on gerrymandering in Michigan,” she typed in a Facebook post. “If you’re interested in doing this as well, please let me know.” She added a smiley face emoji and left for work.

It turned out that hundreds of people were interested.

They grew to more than 425,000 people who signed a ballot petition to amend the state constitution.

They grew to more than 2.5 million people who on Election Day 2018 took away the power of politicians to draw districts that helped themselves and their political parties, and put it in the hands of a commission of ordinary citizens.

“Voters Not Politicians” made Michigan one of five states in 2018 — Ohio, Colorado, Missouri and Utah the others — where voters reined in partisan gerrymandering.

It is an issue that has vexed the Supreme Court, and it returns to the justices this week in cases from North Carolina and Maryland. The court has never found that a state’s redistricting plan was so skewed by politics that it violated the constitutional rights of voters, and again last term it passed up the opportunity.

Referendums in 2018 showed that voters are tired of waiting.

“This is another instance, like Citizens United, where the court is wildly out of step with public opinion,” said Josh Silver, co-founder of a nonprofit group called RepresentUs.

Cloud of Cancer-Causing Chemical Hangs Over the Houston Channel

Oil byproducts from a damaged storage facility contaminated the Houston Ship Channel and created a cloud of cancer-causing benzene over the waterway, the latest mutation of one of the worst Gulf Coast chemical disasters in more than a decade.

The U.S. Coast Guard is forbidding vessel traffic on a stretch of the key industrial shipping route after a wall collapse and fire at Intercontinental Terminals Co.’s already-damaged chemical storage complex on Friday. A mix of toxic gasoline ingredients, firefighting foam and dirty water flowed from the site into the channel, and a benzene plume above the water poses a threat to ship crews, said Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt.

Streisand‘s PR firm “profoundly sorry” for her pervy excuse for Michael Jackson
Vanity Fair

Second Parkland shooting survivor kills himself, police confirm
Miami Herald

After a second Parkland shooting survivor died by suicide in a week’s span, Florida’s emergency chief is calling for the state Legislature to dispatch more mental health resources for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community.

On Saturday night, a Parkland sophomore took his own life, according to Coral Springs police. A week before, a former student whose best friend died in last year’s massacre took her life.


No provable collusion or obstruction of justice, they say

Attorney General William Barr has released his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Here’s everything you need to know about the four-page letter:

  • No collusion: Mueller did not find Donald Trump’s campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Barr wrote.
  • But Mueller did not exonerate Trump: Mueller did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute obstruction of justice, Barr wrote, but he did not exonerate the President.
    Evidence lacking for obstruction of justice: Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the determination that the evidence was “not sufficient” to support a prosecution of the President for obstruction of justice.
  • No new indictments: Mueller’s team has no plans to issue any new indictments.

What Trump said: The President went beyond the conclusions of Barr’s letter and said the findings exonerated him. “This was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody’s going to be looking at the other side,” Trump said.

Squawks from The Hill:

“A sanitized summary from Trump’s handpicked bodyguard is not acceptable,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.). “Barr has his finger on the scale to protect Trump. The full report should be released immediately.”

Cancel Brexit petition gathers 5 million signatures, and keeps going

Because of the sheer volume of traffic to the site and people fighting to add their names, the site went down at least twice — drawing comparisons online to the “failing” British government.

An astonishing drop in crimes committed by California youths
SF Chronicle

graphic-arrest-ratesA Chronicle review of federal and state statistics over the past three decades revealed startling declines in the number of crimes committed by people 18 and under even as the population grew. In California, homicides of juveniles dropped 83 percent — from 382 in 1995 to 63 in 2017, the latest state data show. Youth arrests for violent felonies in the state dropped 68 percent — from 22,601 in 1994 to 7,291 in 2017.

The Chronicle also found that California has responded slowly at best to the decline in youth crime. Many counties have yet to cut back significantly on the resources directed at juvenile halls and camps, though they are no longer needed at the level they once were.

Barbara Steisand: Michael Jackson was famous, so it’s okay if he fucked children
NY Daily News

The Most Contested Apartment Building in America

One San Francisco man has spent five years fighting city hall and neighborhood activists just to get permission to develop his own land.

No businesses or tenants were located on his property, meaning no one would be displaced by its redevelopment. The site was already zoned for housing and was close to a major commuter rail stop, big pluses in a highly regulated, transit-obsessed city. Best of all, the new building would bring 75 additional apartment units to a city suffering from a severe housing shortage and some of the highest rents in the country.

Income inequality “off the charts”
Yahoo Finance

Patriots owner apologizes for not getting hand job
NY Post

“I have extraordinary respect for women…”

“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.”

But he denies he paid for sex.

Wisconsin governor dumps 82 hacks sneaked into jobs by Scumbag Walker
The Hill

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Friday removed 82 appointments made by his predecessor, Gov. Scott Walker during last year’s lame-duck legislative session.

I know we don’t really live in a democracy but ….
Poll confirms most Americans want stricter gun laws

… a wide gulf between Democrats and Republicans on banning specific types of guns. Overall, 6 in 10 Americans support a ban on AR-15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons. Roughly 8 in 10 Democrats, but just about 4 in 10 Republicans, support that policy.

Boeing’s problems with 737 Max go WAY beyond software

By now, you may well have heard of MCAS, software that automatically pitches 737 Maxes downward to avoid stalling in mid-air. It exists only because Boeing wanted to upgrade its 737 without changing it fundamentally—so it added new engines that made the aircraft more likely to stall, rather than starting from scratch. In the emerging picture of the two accidents, the software only failed because the mechanical sensor it depended on also malfunctioned.

But all that pales next to what will likely be the highlight of investigations into the incident: the training and user experience of the people in the cockpits. Pilots did not have sufficient training to understand how MCAS worked, and two vital safety features—a display showing what the sensor detected, and a light warning if other sensors disagreed—were optional extras (paywall).

Minimizing training and cockpit changes was an economic decision: The upgraded plane would be more attractive to potential purchasers if they did not have to spend expensive hours retraining their pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration determined Boeing’s training and safety plans were fine. Now, investigators want to know why. The answers could be costly for Boeing, and for America’s reputation as a leader in the safe deployment of aviation technology.

Software is easy to blame, because for many people computer science is a mystery. But these crashes emerged from an experience we’re all familiar with: the pressure to deliver on a tight timetable, the temptation to cut corners, and the hope that in a big, complex world, one little kludge won’t mess up the whole program.

Yeah just keep posting your shit online …
Now insurance companies are watching

For example, posting while driving could label you as a distracted driver and impact your policy renewal. By sharing your family’s vacation online, insurers could claim you put your home at risk to burglars. Even snapping a selfie with your new dog without disclosing the pet could affect your home insurance,

Hundreds evacuated from Viking cruise ship in fierce storm …


Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said the Viking Sky’s evacuation was a slow and dangerous process, as passengers needed to be hoisted one-by-one from the cruise ship to the five available helicopters.

“I was afraid. I’ve never experienced anything so scary,” Janet Jacob, among the first group of passengers evacuated to the nearby town of Molde, told NRK.

Video and photos from people on the ship showed it heaving, with chairs and other furniture dangerously rolling from side to side. Passengers were suited up in orange life vests but the waves broke some ship windows and cold water flowed over the feet of some passengers.

Half of young Americans have no romantic partner
WaPost / SF Gate

Just over half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 – 51 percent of them – said they do not have a steady romantic partner, according to data from the General Social Survey released this week.

There are several other trends that go along with the increase in young single Americans. Women are having fewer children, and they’re having them later in life. The median age of first marriage is increasing. And according to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center, among those who have never married but are open to it, most say a major reason is because they haven’t found the right person.

As Layoffs Arrive, Disney and Fox Staff Voice Frustrations
Hollywood Reporter

“Today I hate everybody,” says one nervous employee who worries for his job. “I hate Disney for buying Fox, I hate Fox for selling, I hate the politicians for allowing it to happen.”

—-> US Gov’t, sold out to the corporations, has abdicated its duty to prevent monopolies.

Too Much Video Streaming To Choose From? It’s Only Going To Get Worse

But the costs can add up. Brandon Smith, his wife and their two children have accounts with Netflix and Hulu. They also pay for Amazon Prime, cable and broadband at a cost of nearly $340 a month. ….. For TELEVISION!

Cry Me a River
NY Times: Medicare for All Would Abolish Private Insurance. ‘There’s No Precedent in American History’

… doing away with an entire industry would also be profoundly disruptive. The private health insurance business employs at least a half a million people, covers about 250 million Americans, and generates roughly a trillion dollars in revenues. Its companies’ stocks are a staple of the mutual funds that make up millions of Americans’ retirement savings.

Such a change would shake the entire health care system, which makes up a fifth of the United States economy, as hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and pharmaceutical companies would have to adapt to a new set of rules. Most Americans would have a new insurer — the federal government — and many would find the health insurancestocks in their retirement portfolios much less valuable.

Simply talk of Medicare for all makes investors jittery. Shares of the large publicly held insurance companies, including Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth, fell when Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, introduced her bill in late February, but have largely rebounded.
“We’re talking about changing flows of money on just a huge scale,” said Paul Starr, a sociology professor at Princeton University and author of “The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry.”

While the bills would give relief to insurance industry workers, they would provide no such compensation for investors. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry and many other health care industries vociferously oppose these plans and plan to spend heavily in fighting them.

Many supporters of this approach see elimination of private insurance as a key feature, not a bug, meant to improve the program’s efficiency and equity by streamlining the health care system and weakening profit motives. With a single insurer covering every patient, hospitals and doctors could spend less time and money complying with differing policies, negotiating contracts, and filing forms to get paid.

“It’s worth it,” said Adam Gaffney, the president of Physicians for a National Health Program, which supports single-payer health care and helped design Ms. Jayapal’s bill. “Because we are not going to get to true universal health care without the greater efficiency of a single-payer system.”

Yeah yeah but, the Kaiser Family foundation estimates that medical bills bankrupt about 1 million Americans every year, so ….  we can assume that none of those folks were NYT reporters.

Muslims forced to eat pork, sing the national anthem in China province

—-> If you ever wonder why America’s decline is important to the world, it’s because China is the heir apparent.

Muslims imprisoned in China’s “re-education camps” are forced to eat pork and banned from praying or growing beards, according to a former inmate.

Omir Bekali said the treatment of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang province was designed to strip them of their religious beliefs.

Called “students”, by the authorities, Mr Bekali said that prisoners were forced to line up facing a wall and sing the Chinese national anthem for half an hour every morning.

San Antonio, pissed over gay politics, bans Chick Fil A from airport

Local cows unhappy.

‘I made $3.75 an hour’: Lyft and Uber drivers push to unionize for better pay

<The Guardian> For over a year Rob Mead has worked as an Uber driver in Reno, Nevada, to supplement his income as a public sector worker. Now he’s wondering if it is worth it. “After gas, added monthly rideshare insurance, wear-and-tear, constant oil changes and taxes that $300 for 30 hours of work I thought I made in a week actually averages down to about $90 after expenses,” said Mead.

“A few weeks ago I drove four passengers in a one-hour period. I looked at my profits and I made only $12 It was snowing, traffic was crazy and I basically risked my life to make that $12. After expenses I made $3.75 that entire hour.”

White cop found “not guilty” in black teen’s death …
gunshots fired into his attorney’s home

<The Pitt News> Michael Rosfeld, the former police officer Pat Thomassey defended, was found not guilty Friday evening for the homicide of black teenager Antwon Rose in June 2018. Protests in front of the Allegheny County Courthouse  followed the verdict.

>>>>>>> For anyone who actually followed the whole case, this verdict was expected. I’m in Pittsburgh, and despite some vocal supporters of Antwon Rose, I think most impartial people understand why it was always going to be a not guilty verdict.

A few quick facts:

  • Rose and his friend had just done a drive-by shooting. Rose wasn’t the shooter, but he had a gun and was absolutely in the car. The victims of the drive-by fired back several times, so the car was covered with bullet holes and the rear window was destroyed.

  • The defendant cop (Rosfeld) and another officer responded to the shooting scene. Rosfeld then went to look for the car based on a witness description.

  • He identified the car about 1.3 miles away just 13 minutes later. He tried to pull it over. After fleeing at first, the driver stopped.

  • Driver gets out and is handcuffed. As this happens, the two passengers get out of the other side of the car.

  • Rosfeld saw this, and before they took off running, claims one of them made a motion with his hand and he thought he saw a gun. He fired 3 times.

  • The case came down to a cell phone video of the shooting that was about 200 feet away, and several witnesses. No one exactly disputed the cop’s version of events, but no one saw everything from his angle either.

  • The prosecution’s case was noticeably lacking. At times, it felt like they were almost helping the defense with their questions of their own witnesses, and also putting witnesses on that seemed to hurt their case. It didn’t help, for example, to learn that Rose had gunshot residue on his hands or that police found a gun under his seat.

  • The defense put on 2 witnesses: Rosfeld and a use of force expert. Both pretty much said what I’ve already said.— Landmanpgh commenting on Reddit

With Brexit plans adrift, protesters jam London to demand that ‘the people’ decide


The struggle over Brexit spilled onto the streets of London on Saturday in a major protest to demand that the question be put back to the people with a fresh vote that would include the option of staying in the European Union.

Organizers say that the “Put It to the People” march could be one of the biggest Britain has ever seen. The rally comes as an online petition calling for Brexit to be canceled surged past 4 million signatures.

Demonstrators from the Scottish Highlands and the Cornish coast were descending on the British capital on Saturday morning, spilling out of buses and subway stations with placards that read “Brexit, it’s getting silly now” and “Democracy is Knowing What You Voted For.”

How a flight attendant from Texas ended up in an ICE detention center for six weeks


Selene Saavedra Roman was nervous about going to work.

She’s been a “dreamer” since 2012, when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program first started. Born in Peru, she has lived in the United States for 25 years, since she was 3. But her immigration status has been in the back of her mind.

Which is why, when she got a job as a flight attendant, she decided to work for a regional company, Mesa Airlines, that wouldn’t ask her to travel around the world. And it’s why she told the company she was a DACA recipient and didn’t want to fly internationally.

Yet, in February, Mesa scheduled her to fly to Mexico, Saavedra Roman’s attorney said. And when she told them her concerns, the company assured her that she wouldn’t have trouble reentering the United States.

But on Feb. 12, customs officials detained Saavedra Roman shortly after she landed in Houston on her return flight. She would remain in custody for another six weeks. She was released Friday evening, but advocates are pointing to her case as an example of how the Trump administration’s attempts to end DACA — and the tug-of-war with the courts that followed — have confused recipients, their families, government agencies and private employers, muddling an already complex web of immigration policies.


500 cities, counties, tribes sue Oxy maker

<The Guardian> A  group made up of more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes across the United States has filed a massive lawsuit accusing members of the Sackler family, who own the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, of helping to create “the worst drug crisis in American history”.

Commander: Dumb idea to put Marines on border

<Stars & Stripes> The commandant of the Marines has warned the Pentagon that deployments to the southwest border and funding transfers under the draft-dodging  president’s emergency declaration have posed “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.”

Public sees America in general decline

pew<Pew Research> When Americans peer 30 years into the future, they see a country in decline economically, politically and on the world stage. While a narrow majority of the public (56%) say they are at least somewhat optimistic about America’s future, hope gives way to doubt when the focus turns to specific issues.

These grim predictions mirror, in part, the public’s sour mood about the current stateof the country. The share of Americans who are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country – seven-in-ten in January of 2019 – is higher now than at any time in the past year.

EU gives Brits two weeks: Deal or no deal

<Bloomberg> At a summit in Brussels on Thursday, the leaders told May that if U.K. lawmakers don’t endorse her Brexit deal next week, she’ll have until April 12 to decide whether to leave without an agreement or request a much longer extension. The decision removes the immediate possibility of a no-deal Brexit in seven days’ time.

Your pet on pot, or even CBD: Not a good thing, a vet toxicologist explains

<The Conversation>

Wisconsin judge blocks GOP lame duck bullshit

(Wisconsin Public Radio)

A judge has struck down the laws Wisconsin Republicans passed in December’s lame-duck session of the Legislature, restoring powers to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, if only temporarily.

Dane County Judge Richard Niess ruled Thursday that all of the laws and appointments passed by legislators were unlawful because they met in what’s known as an “extraordinary session,” which isn’t explicitly allowed under the state constitution.

“There can be no justification for enforcement of the unconstitutional legislative actions emanating from the December 2018 ‘Extraordinary Session’ that is consistent with the rule of law,” Niess wrote.

Today’s dumbest “news” headline:
Should you take your Powerball ticket jackpot as a lump sum or annual payments?

Do the editors of this rag not understand that the odds of any reader actually needing this “information” are well over 100-million to 1? Do they not understand that the Powerball winner will be able to afford professional tax advice? And while we’re on the subject of dumb lottery advice …


Weeping ‘MAGAbomber’ Brought Low in Guilty Plea

When he mailed out 16 pipe bombs to the perceived political, financial and media elite late last year, Cesar Sayoc delivered what many interpreted as a howl of anger from the underbelly of “MAGA” America.

But on Thursday afternoon, even amplified by a microphone, Sayoc’s raspy voice could barely be heard as he confessed in federal court to 65 crimes that could put him away for life.

As they arrested Sayoc in October, authorities found images of prominent Democrats in crosshairs splayed across the suspect’s white van covered with President Donald Trump’s slogans, a vehicle that appeared to double as the 57-year-old’s home.

US citizen, 9, detained at border over “inconsistent info”

Girl was crossing the border on her way to school when …


Distraction politics
EPA Boss Calls Unsafe Water Bigger Issue Than Climate Change

Downplaying the threat of climate change, so-called EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler claimed in a political stunt Wednesday that the nation’s focus should be on potable water. Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist. Many news organizations reported this as if it were a serious story ….

Lawyers for Patriots owner try to stop release of spa videos showing him getting … “paid acts” at  massage parlor. 

Police said Kraft twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Video footage showed him receiving “paid acts” in a room at the spa and surveillance video shows him being driven to the spa.

Petition to cancel Brexit blows past 1 million signatures,crashes Parliament’s website

“The rate of signing is the highest the site has ever had to deal with,” the House of Commons petitions committee said on Twitter. “Between 80,000 and 100,000 people have been simultaneously viewing the petition,” it said, “nearly 2,000 signatures are being completed every minute.”

N. Zealand bans military-style weapons

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that all weapons considered military-style semi-automatic guns and all assault rifles would be banned in the country. The new law would take full effect by April 11.

Livestreamed massacre means it’s time to shut down Facebook Live
The Conversation

It shouldn’t be difficult for the party of Lincoln to purge itself of civil war agitators

Over the weekend, Iowa Rep. Steve King (last seen losing his committee assignments over white nationalist-friendly comments) shared a meme joking that the right would win the next civil war because his supporters are stockpiling ammunition while the other side obsesses about gender and bathrooms.

Kentucky Governor exposed his 9 kids to chickenpox, says vaccine not for everyone

— Louisville Courier Journal

Matt-Belvin-Caricature-1024x576In a move experts say is medically unsound — and can be dangerous — Gov. Matt Bevin said in a radio interview Tuesday that he deliberately exposed all nine of his children to chickenpox so they would catch the disease and become immune.

“Every single one of my kids had the chickenpox,” Bevin said in an interview with WKCT, a Bowling Green talk radio station. “They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine.”

Here’s the guy Kentucky voted for:

Matt Bevin’s for: Legal cockfighting, low wages, guns, guns, guns, “Christianity,” charter schools, “states rights,” Bible classes in public schools.

Matt Bevin’s against: Same sex marriage, medical coverage in general (unless an insurance company profits from it,) abortion rights, labor unions, inheritance taxes, pensions, vaccinations, taxes on our beloved corporations, video games and TV shows depicting zombies.

In the 2016 presidential campaign, he called for “bloodshed” if needed to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House, and suggested that his own children might end up shedding some of that blood.

Source: Wikipedia

“I don’t know why I shot him”
CBS News
Witness describes white cop’s panic after he killed unarmed black teen.

He said he saw officer Michael Rosfeld fire three shots just as Rose turned and fled. Leach said he “couldn’t believe his eyes.” After the shooting, he was standing by Rose’s body, watching Rosfeld on the sidewalk nearby saying repeatedly, “I don’t know why I shot him. I don’t know why I fired.”

There were audible gasps in the courtroom during the testimony.

Road rage leads to gun battle, dead police officer
Neighbors told to hunker down at home in big Texas chem fire
CBS News

Nothing like a big lungful of benzine. Company changes its tune after first saying no danger.

Captain of doomed Ethiopian flight had no simulator training on 737 Max
Fox News

The captain of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 never received updated training on a Boeing 737 Max 8 simulator, even though the airline had the technology available since January, according to a report.

Ethiopia Airlines was ahead of its competitors in implementing the simulator to train would-be pilots of the new plane, according to reports. Yared Getachew, co-pilot of Flight 302, had taken a course on another simulator as recently as October, but not one specifically designated for the Max 8, the New York Times reported, citing someone familiar with Ethiopian Airlines.

FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX
Seattle Times

Mother admit’s plotting daughter’s death
“I wanted her to go away”

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The mother of a girl who was raped, murdered and dismembered testified Wednesday that she helped plot the attack and carry it out, telling her daughter before her death that “I can’t help you anymore.”

Appearing to smirk at times, Sara Packer calmly recounted how she watched her boyfriend sexually assault her daughter, 14-year-old Grace Packer, then strangle her in a hot attic outside Philadelphia. She said Grace looked at her as she was being choked to death, and Sara Packer took her hand and told her it was “OK to go.”

“Grace had become, for lack of a better word, a non-entity,” Sara Packer said in a monotone. “She just didn’t exist anymore. I wanted her to go away.”

Google hit with another EU antitrust fine: The grand total now comes to €8.2B
Fast Company
Oklahoma Sheriff And Deputies Resign Over ‘Dangerous’ Jail
Two beg court to keep their names out of Epstein pervert case

Two mystery litigants citing privacy concerns are making a last-ditch bid to keep secret some details in a lawsuit stemming from wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s history of paying underage girls for sex.

Just prior to a court-imposed deadline Tuesday, two anonymous individuals surfaced to object to the unsealing of a key lower-court ruling in the case, as well as various submissions by the parties.

US judge halts hundreds of drilling projects in groundbreaking climate change ruling
The Guardian

In the first significant check on the Trump administration’s “energy-first” agenda, a US judge has temporarily halted hundreds of drilling projects for failing to take climate change into account.

Drilling had been stalled on more than 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming after it was ruled the Trump administration violated environmental laws by failing to consider greenhouse gas emissions. The federal judge has ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages US public lands and issues leases to the energy industry, to redo its analysis.

The decision stems from an environmental lawsuit. WildEarth Guardians, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Western Environmental Law Center sued the BLM in 2016 for failing to calculate and limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from future oil and gas projects.

Ain’t that cozy
Former DEA official now working for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma

Dems plan to register 1 million in Florida in hopes of flipping state


With nothing better to do, Texas cops seize a load of CBD oil
NBC Local

Amy Wazwaz, who owns the stores with her husband, said police seized more than $50,000 worth of CBD products.

“They took everything that was remotely related to CBD,” Wazwaz said, adding that she would have allowed the police to test anything in her stores, if they’d simply asked.

San Francisco To Pay $13.1 Million To Man Framed By Police For Murder

In April of last year, a jury in Oakland found that two police officers on the case, Maureen D’Amico and Michael Johnson, deliberately fabricated evidence and failed to disclose exculpatory material.

Alex Reisman, one of the lawyers for Jaml Trulove, told the Associated Press that Trulove “endured a lot,” spending years in maximum security prisons in Southern California, hundreds of miles away from his family.

Police arrested Trulove for the 2007 murder of his friend Seu Kuka, who was shot in a public housing project in San Francisco. Trulove was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.

Italian politician, a leading anti-vaxxer
goes to hospital with chicken pox
The Daily Mail

Massimiliano Fedriga is the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy.  Argued against decree which made vaccination mandatory for schoolchildren.

Most produce in US has pesticides even after being washed
The Guardian

About 70% of fresh produce sold in the US has pesticide residues on it even after it is washed, according to a health advocacy group.

According to the Environmental Working Group’s annual analysis of US Department of Agriculture data, strawberries, spinach and kale are among the most pesticide-heavy produce, while avocados, sweetcorn and pineapples had the lowest level of residues.

More than 92% of kale tested contained two or more pesticide residues, according to the analysis, and a single sample of conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 different pesticides.

Petition: Trip Advisor is “covering up sexual assault” 

Anxiety overtaking an awful lot of young people
Voice of America

Margaret Pisacano, 19, focuses on where she is in the moment to deal with anxiety.

Nineteen-year-old college student Margaret Pisacano can usually feel a panic attack coming on; her thoughts start to spiral, her breathing speeds up, and her heart races.

“It’s as if a tornado and a tsunami of emotions just like overcame your body and you couldn’t control anything,” Pisacano says. “It was like almost a total loss of control over any feeling or thinking in your body.”

The Arizona native, who attends college in Florida, was first diagnosed with general anxiety disorder in middle school. She is among millions of stressed-out members of Generation Z — the group of young people born roughly between 1995 and 2015, who are currently between 4 and 24 years old.

A report released Thursday by the American Psychological Association finds the rate of adolescents reporting symptoms of major depression increased 52 percent between 2005 and 2017 — from 8.7 percent to 13.2 percent — among youth from the ages of 12 and 17.

The increase was even higher — 63 percent from 2009 to 2017 — among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Millions watched her kids on YouTube.
Off-screen, she was beating and starving them, police say.

hackneyThey cast spells and engage in Nerf wars. They go on a “cookie capture mission,” suspending themselves over a granite countertop in a handsome suburban kitchen to swipe their sister’s baked goods.

The siblings who appear in the blithe family comedy series “Fantastic Adventures,” which has garnered nearly 800,000 subscribers and hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, exude wonderment and youthful joie de vivre.

When the camera wasn’t rolling, however, police say the seven adopted children were being starved and sequestered for days in a closet with a bare tile floor. Its color evoked a green room, almost like a staging area for their performances. They were being pepper-sprayed and beaten with belts, brushes and hangers. They were forced to take ice baths. They were required to stand with their arms raised above their heads from dawn until midnight. On more than one occasion, at least one of the boys bled when the tip of his penis was pinched.

The perpetrator of this catalogue of abuse, according to a statement of probable cause prepared last week, was their adoptive mother, Machelle Hackney, 48, who goes by her maiden name Hobson and runs the “Fantastic Adventures” channel, which has more than 250 million views. The channel started in 2012 and features 10- to 15-minute videos of the children engaging in various make-believe scenarios, involving everything from zombies to spiders to s’mores. Several new videos appear each month. At the end of the segments, the children face the camera and ask viewers to like and subscribe.

Hackney was arrested on Friday at her home in Maricopa, Ariz., along with her two biological sons.

High potency pot ‘strongly linked’ to psychosis
Medical Express

High potency cannabis, especially when used daily, is “strongly linked” to the risk of developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and paranoia, scientists said Wednesday. In Amsterdam and London—where high-THC marijuana has long been the rule rather than the exception—50 and 30 percent of new psychosis cases, respectively, were associated with potent forms of the drug.

The findings, reported The Lancet, bolster a growing body of research connecting pot to a range of mental health disorders.

With piecemeal legalisation and decriminalisation, consumption in North America and Europe has increased markedly over the last two decades, even as levels of the drug’s mind-bending molecule, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have risen four- or five-fold.

Jury: Roundup caused man’s cancer …
Penalty phase, and many more lawsuits, to come
S.F. Chronicle

A jury in the first federal court trial of thousands of lawsuits by cancer victims against the manufacturer of the world’s most widely used herbicide found Tuesday that Monsanto’s Roundup was a likely cause of a Sonoma County man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The six jurors deliberated for nearly four days after a two-week trial in San Francisco before agreeing unanimously that Edwin Hardeman, 70, had proven the herbicide was probably a “substantial factor” in causing the cancer with which he was diagnosed in 2015. Hardemen said he’d sprayed Roundup on his property for decades.

A pilot who hitched a ride on a Lion Air 737 saved that plane.
The next day, the same Boeing jet crashed
Mercury News/Bloomberg

… a new clue in the mystery of how some 737 Max pilots faced with the malfunction have been able to avert disaster while the others lost control of their planes
<Reuters>Cockpit voice recorder of doomed Lion Air jet depicts pilots’ frantic search for fix

The pilots of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX scoured a handbook as they struggled to understand why the jet was lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.

For the next nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a stall and pushed the nose down in response, the report showed. A stall is when the airflow over a plane’s wings is too weak to generate lift and keep it flying.

The captain fought to climb, but the computer, still incorrectly sensing a stall, continued to push the nose down using the plane’s trim system. Normally, trim adjusts an aircraft’s control surfaces to ensure it flies straight and level.

“They didn’t seem to know the trim was moving down,” the third source said. “They thought only about airspeed and altitude. That was the only thing they talked about.”

How Did the F.A.A. Allow the Boeing 737 Max to Fly?
The New Yorker

How can a manufacturer of something as complex and potentially dangerous as a passenger jet be allowed to play such a large role in deciding whether its product is safe? It turns out that the F.A.A., with congressional approval, has “over the years delegated increasing authority to Boeing to take on more of the work of certifying the safety of its own airplanes,” the Seattle Times said. In the case of the 737 Max, which is a longer and more fuel-efficient version of previous 737s, Boeing was particularly eager to get the plane into service quickly, so it could compete with Airbus’s new A320neo.

Lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are aiming at Realtors and their 6% fee
Market Watch

The suit was filed in Chicago on behalf of anyone who sold a home through one of 20 of the largest listing services in the country over the past five years. It charges that the mighty Washington-based lobby National Association of Realtors, as well as the four largest national real estate brokerages, and the Multiple Listing Services they use, have conspired to require anyone selling a home to pay the commission of the broker representing their buyer “at an inflated amount,” in violation of federal antitrust law.

Outfielder Mike Trout to get biggest payday in sports history

$430 million over 12 years.

More households subscribe to streaming than cable/sat TV
L.A. Times

The survey found that the average consumer subscribes to three streaming services and that binge-watching continues to be a popular activity, with 91% of U.S. millennials saying they have watched three or more episodes of a show in a single sitting.

But many consumers experience frustration with streaming services’ content, with 47% saying they need multiple subscriptions to watch everything they want and 57% saying shows that they enjoy have disappeared from streaming services.

And speaking of streaming services…
Hundreds of hotel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed

About 1,600 people have been secretly filmed in hotel rooms in South Korea, with the footage live-streamed online for paying customers to watch, police said Wednesday.
Two men have been arrested and another pair investigated in connection with the scandal, which involved 42 rooms in 30 accommodations in 10 cities around the country. Police said there was no indication the businesses were complicit in the scheme.



Legal weed for N.J. takes a huge step forward … expect final votes next week.

——> This is a big deal because NJ is easily accessible to huge populations in NY, PA and CT. It’s hard to imagine those states holding on to pot prohibition while watching NJ suck up all that tax revenue. Theory: If NJ goes, its border states go too, bringing legal pot to an area with 40 million people. 

‘It’s over’: Miami Beach tries to outrace climate change’s rising seas
Yahoo News


MIAMI BEACH — Harold Wanless sits on a bench in Maurice Gibb Memorial Park beside a new concrete sea wall, the sound of hammers and drills emanating from Belle Isle across a cloudy, turquoise inlet of Biscayne Bay. Knowing what he does about how fast the water surrounding these porous barrier islands is rising, Wanless, director of the University of Miami’s geological sciences department and a leading expert on sea level rise, marvels at the level of denial the latest building boom requires.

“Just using the U.S. government projections, we could be at 11 to over 13 feet [of sea level rise] by the end of century,” Wanless, 77, says. “There’s only 3 percent of Miami-Dade County that’s greater than 12 feet above sea level.”

Netflix’s Bright Future Looks A Lot Like Television’s Dim Past

In 2018, 14 of Neflix’s top 20 shows, and all 10 of its top 10 shows, were broadcast-network reruns. Friends, which received its first Emmy nomination while Bill Clinton was president, is number one. None of this means that Netflix isn’t really the future. It’s just more proof that such a future would suck.

Some Humans Can Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field, Experiment Suggests

The ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field—a trait known as magnetoreception—is well documented among many animals, but researchers have struggled to show that humans are also capable of the feat. Until now.

New experimental evidence published today in the science journal eNeuro suggests the human brain is capable of responding to the Earth’s magnetic field, though at an unconscious level. It’s not clear if our apparent ability to sense the magnetic field is in any way useful, as it’s likely a vestigial trait left over from our more primitive past. Giving the new finding, however, researchers should investigate further to determine if magnetoreception is somehow contributing to our behavior or abilities, such as spatial orientation.

Trump got $2bn in loans from Deutsche Bank despite being ‘deemed untouchable’ by other institutions
The Independent

…  With the bulk of the loan repayment due in November 2008, his lawyers claimed the financial crisis was an act of God that meant he was not liable. The bank and Mr Trump sued each other, but the dispute was later settled out of court.

Pediatrician gets at least 79 years for assaulting patients
AP/Tarentum Valley News Dispatch

Authorities had a chance to stop Johnnie Barto in 2000, when he appeared before the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine on administrative charges that he molested two young girls in the 1990s. But regulators threw out the case and allowed him to keep practicing medicine, saying the allegations were “incongruous to his reputation.”

Barto was a beloved pediatrician in Johnstown — and an elected school board member — with hundreds of supporters who flatly disbelieved he was a pedophile. Such was the community’s support that ribbons were distributed and worn at a high school football game as he fought the allegations in the 1990s.

Delaware House passes bill to give state’s Electoral College votes to popular vote winner
The Hill

Genealogy testing led Alabama police to arrest in 1999 cold case

Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker, who said he always believed the case could be solved, said the Golden State killer arrest inspired them to try something similar. “Let’s try that,’ Walker recalled.

Police on Friday arrested Coley McCraney, 45, of Dothan, Alabama after the genetic genealogy steered them in his direction.

Moore said the Alabama crime scene sample was analyzed and uploaded to GEDMatch, a public genetic database repository where over a million people have uploaded profiles from at-home ancestry kits.

“We are looking for second, third, fourth cousins and then we reverse engineer the family tree based on the people who are sharing DNA with that crime scene sample,” Moore said.

A large fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals terminal will likely burn for another two days, authorities said Monday, noting that air quality around the facility was testing within normal (for Houston?) guidelines. The company said the fire spread to seven storage tanks holding components of gasoline and also used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner.

Putin Signs ‘Fake News,’ ‘Internet Insults’ Bills Into Law
Moscow Times

Online news outlets and users that spread “fake news” will face fines of up to 1.5 million rubles ($22,900) for repeat offenses.

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

Dude who shot himself in penis faces gun charge
The Smoking Gun 

The Indiana man who accidentally shot himself in the penis and scrotum has been charged with carrying a handgun without a license.

Snowflake Congressman sues Twitter, and some of its users
Fox News

California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users on Monday, accusing the social media site of “shadow-banning conservatives” to secretly hide their posts, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints, an “ignoring” lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior

Devins Nunes’ Cow, an account with 45,000 65,000 followers

cowThere’s a cow on Twitter. But it isn’t just any cow – it claims to belong to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

“Hanging out on the dairy in Iowa looking for the lil’ treasonous cowpoke,” reads the bio of the account “Devin Nunes’ cow,” which, as of early Tuesday, had nearly 45,000 followers (RealNews found it had grown to 65,000 as of 8:30 Eastern time Tuesday.)

The opinionated bovine appears to not be the biggest fan of its owner. “Devin’s boots are full of manure,” it once tweeted. “He’s udder-ly worthless and it’s pasture time to mooove him to prison.”

<> Who’s paying to file this lawsuit? (Bill Nichols on Twitter)

Cop admits she was screwing supervisor
as her child died in hot car
CBS News

A former Mississippi Gulf Coast police officer told a judge Monday that she had sex with her supervisor and then fell asleep while her 3-year-old daughter was dying inside an overheated patrol car. Cassie Barker pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter in a plea bargain after being indicted on a second-degree murder charge.

Warren: Trash Electoral College
The Hill


Farmers markets are killing each other

“There are way too many markets. The markets have started cannibalizing both customers and farmers …”

Hollywood Employs More Workers Than Mining and Farming

  •  Report shows entertainment industry’s spread beyond California
  •  Film, TV have $10.3 billion trade surplus with rest of world

Meteor blast over Bering Sea was 10 times size of Hiroshima
The Guardian

A meteor explosion over the Bering Sea late last year unleashed 10 times as much energy as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, scientists have revealed.

The fireball tore across the sky off Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula on 18 December and released energy equivalent to 173 kilotons of TNT. It was the largest air blast since another meteor hurtled into the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, in Russia’s south-west, six years ago, and the second largest in the past 30 years.

Unlike the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was captured on CCTV, mobile phones and car dashboard cameras, the December arrival from outer space went largely unnoticed at the time because it exploded in such a remote location.

‘I have to perform to save my life’:
Medical bills kept rock legend Dick Dale touring till the end



Tributes have begun popping up online, with many celebrating his distinctive sound. But the musician’s life story was also a constant struggle against health problems — and to pay medical bills. After his first cancer diagnosis in 1965, Dale continued to battle the disease. Up until the end of his life, Dale was explicit that he toured to fund his treatment.

“I can’t stop touring because I will die. Physically and literally, I will die,” he told the Pittsburgh City Paper in 2015. “Sure, I’d love to stay home and build ships in a bottle and spend time with my wife in Hawaii, but I have to perform to save my life.”

Selling Used Panties Online Is a Thing …
And Harder Than You Might Think

China admits nearly 13,000 ‘terrorists’ have been arrested in Xinjiang

China on Monday defended its controversial security crackdown in the fractious far west region of Xinjiang, saying nearly 13,000 “terrorists” have been arrested there since 2014.

Beijing has come under international criticism over its policies in the region, where as many as one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are being held in internment camps, according to human rights groups.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, hit back again with a white paper saying that the government “is relentless in striking hard, in accordance with the law, at any conduct advocating terrorism and extremism”.

The document states that Xinjiang has long been part of Chinese territory but that “terrorist and extremist forces” have fomented separatist activities by “falsifying” the region’s history.

Facebook finds 40% of Americans live in “news deserts”

—-> So, the company that helped suck up all the world’s news advertising is now complaining because local news outlets can’t afford to feed them news. 

It Wasn’t Just Khashoggi:
A Saudi Prince’s Brutal Drive to Crush Dissent

NY Times

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman created a secret team that spied on, kidnapped and tortured Saudi citizens a year before Jamal Khashoggi was killed.

Members of the team that killed Mr. Khashoggi, a dissident journalist, were involved in at least a dozen operations since 2017, according to officials.

—-> And the Prince of Darkness is welcome to visit the White House any time. 

Today’s conflicting medical advice:
Remember that aspirin you were supposed to take every day.
Uhm. Forget it.
USA Today

—–> And by the way remember when eggs were bad for you, then they were good for you, and now they’re bad for you again? Uhm….

Researcher: Quit giving mega-killers the “celebrity treatment” they crave

Adam Lankford, a criminologist at the University of Alabama, who has studied the influence of media coverage on shooters, said it’s vitally important to avoid focusing excessive attention on gunmen.

“A lot of these shooters want to be treated like celebrities. They want to be famous. So the key is to not give them that treatment,” he said.
Social media creates a spectacle society that makes it easier for terrorists to achieve notoriety

The use of social media technology and livestreaming marks the attack as different from many other terrorist incidents. It is a form of violent “performance crime”. That is, the video streaming is a central component of the violence itself, it’s not somehow incidental to the crime, or a disgusting trophy for the perpetrator to re-watch later.

In the past, terrorism functioned according to what has been called the “theatre of terror”, which required the media to report on the spectacle of violence created by the group. Nowadays, it’s much easier for someone to both create the spectacle of horrific violence and distribute it widely by themselves.

In an era of social media, which is driven in large part by spectacle, we all have a role to play in ensuring that terrorists aren’t rewarded for their crimes with our clicks.

Police issue ‘virtual kidnap’ alerts to California schools
Sacramento Bee

Laguna Beach police say victims received phone calls claiming their daughters had been abducted and would be harmed unless money was wired to a Mexican bank account. Police say there were no abductions in either case.

Tourist hordes turned away during “Poppy Apocalypse” 
Times of San Diego

California’s Lake Elsinore on Sunday closed flower-filled Walker Canyon to visitors and shuttles. “Residents have been screaming at the people directing traffic. Estimated 50,000 visitors. Twice as many as last weekend. People lined up since 5:30 am. It’s insane.”

Why New Zealand can do what the U.S. hasn’t been able to: Change gun laws in the face of tragedy
WaPost analysis

New Zealand’s gun lobby mainly represents a core of rural supporters, whereas more than 86 percent of New Zealanders now live in urban areas and form a largely liberal majority. In the United States, the ratio of citizens living in urban areas is slightly lower. More importantly the U.S. system of representation and the way congressional districts are drawn increase the significance of rural Republican voters disproportionately. That helps explain why the NRA can pressure politicians into following its demands, even though NRA supporters account for only a fraction of all U.S. voters.

In contrast, New Zealand’s election system is designed in a way that the number of lawmakers a party has in Parliament is aligned with its share among all votes cast. The mixed member proportional voting system — which is also in place in countries such as Germany — is supposed to prevent small interest groups from being able to gain disproportionate influence over lawmakers.

Feds seize 1 million lbs. of pork smuggled from China to N.J. amid swine fever outbreak

“Agriculture specialists made a critical interception of these prohibited animal products, and stopped them from entering the U.S. before they could potentially cause grave damage,” said Troy Miller, director of Customs and Border Protection Field Operations in New York/Newark.

—–> Can someone please explain why we need meat from China?

Maybe the message from France is:
It’s all over for capitalism


France is sounding an alarm for the world’s advanced economies: capitalism is tearing them apart.

President Emmanuel Macron and his Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire are using France’s presidency of the Group of Seven to argue that the system fuels inequality, destroys the planet and is ineffective at delivering goals in the public interest. The country has already experienced some of the fallout firsthand in the Yellow Vest movement that erupted late last year.

They’re pushing a reinvention that includes minimum global taxes and higher levies on tech giants like Amazon and Facebook. There are echoes of that in the self-proclaimed democratic socialists in the U.S. and firebrand Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who last week said “capitalism is irredeemable.”

Week ender

Deciding whether to have kids has never been more complex.
Enter parenthood-indecision therapists.

ann davidman
Ann Davidman: The more abrupt change she’s noticed, she says, is the psychological state of the clients who seek her out: “Anxiety is huge now,” she says. “That’s increased tremendously in just the last couple of years.”

They arrive anxious for an answer. Or maybe, finally, a sense of peace. They arrive because they haven’t been able to resolve the biggest question of their lives: Do I want to be a parent? And so they come to the California therapy practice of Ann Davidman — by plane, by car, by phone — in the hope that the self-titled “motherhood clarity mentor” might deliver an epiphany.

Next comes a simple instruction: Write down every fear, every loaded question, every disapproving comment and every panic-inducing headline that has coalesced into a stranglehold of indecision.

Will my mom be disappointed if I don’t give her a grandchild?

What kind of world will my kid grow up in?

Will I regret it if I don’t have a baby?

Will I regret it if I do have a baby?

Panic at SXSW as street shooting erupts
Deadline Hollywood

Google making huge bet on “cloud gaming”

Colorado governor signs national popular vote bill into law
The Hill

Gun Nut Nation
Two dead, boy, 11, blamed as shooter
<> A 6-year-old boy died after finding a loaded gun in a home, police say
Bradenton Herald

Jackass introduced bill requiring Missouri youngsters to own assault rifles … now says it “wasn’t meant to pass.”

Weeks after being “promoted” at Klan-loving Alabama newspaper, black editor steps down

—–> Long story short: Owner’s a flaming racist. After notorious editorial, tried to take the heat off himself by promoting a black clerk to editor.

elicia dexterAn African-American woman who was named publisher and editor of the Alabama newspaper that recently urged the Ku Klux Klan to “night ride again” has stepped down, citing what she said was continuous and damaging interference by the paper’s owner.

Elecia R. Dexter, who took over the troubled Democrat-Reporter of Linden last month, told CNN Saturday that she left the weekly newspaper Monday because she could no longer work with owner and former editor and publisher Goodloe Sutton. He penned a staggering editorial with the headline “The Klan Needs to Ride Again” in the February 14 edition.

Dexter said she resigned “so that her integrity and well-being can be maintained.”
Attempts to reach Sutton for comment were unsuccessful.

South Florida priest jailed, accused of drugging and raping a parishioner
Miami Herald

Jean Claude Jean-Philippe
Father Jean Claude Jean-Philippe … according to a police report, the woman is a parishioner at the church, and Jean-Philippe had even officiated her wedding. In October, the 64-year-old priest invited her to his home on the church grounds, offering her tea. She passed out and, according to the police report, woke up naked in his bed two hours later.

Porn, privacy issues, and the UK “age block”
The Guardian

The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults. Websites which fail to comply risk substantial fines or having their websites banned by all British internet service providers.

Doomed airliner’s speed was “way too fast”

That was no mob hit, cops say, that was a personal beef
NY Post

The mafia didn’t kill Gambino boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali — a twentysomething Staten Island hothead with a personal beef did, police and sources said Saturday.

Anthony Comello, 24, a non-mobster who works odd construction jobs, was in custody in a New Jersey jail and expected to face murder charges in connection to the killing of Cali, 53, who was blasted at least 10 times outside his Todt Hill mansion on Wednesday, police said at a news conference at NYPD headquarters.

“Everything is on the table at this point,” said Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea. “The investigation continues.”

Comello will be extradited to Staten Island in the next few days to face murder charges, Shea said.

Shea said police recovered the blue pickup truck that witnesses said slammed into Cali’s parked car, luring him outside to his demise.

Cali didn’t think Comello was worthy of associating with a woman in his family, the sources added.

Italy probes mystery death of Berlusconi sex trial witness
France 24

Italy is investigating the mysterious death of a former model and witness at Silvio Berlusconi’s sex trial, with a newspaper suggesting she may have been poisoned with a radioactive substance. Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said an investigation had been opened following the death on March 1 of Moroccan-born Imane Fadil. The 33-year-old had been brought to the hospital on January 29 with unexplained stomach pains. Fadil testified at the trial of the former Italian premier and media mogul on charges of having sex with an underage prostitute at one of his notoriously hedonistic bunga-bunga parties.

Smiling mosque massacre shooter makes a white supremacist sign as he is charged with 49 murders in New Zealand … and man arrives at court ‘armed with knife to stab the accused’
The Daily Mail

NJ’s biggest city to test universal basic income
Fox Local

Getting a paycheck for doing nothing could be in the future for residents of New Jersey’s largest city.  Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the city is going to study a pilot program to provide a universal basic income, or basically guaranteeing income for all residents whether they have a job.

Shake Shack is trying a four-day workweek
Market Watch

Because it’s a good idea to let lunatics carry guns
Woman shoots boy 11, and mom on playground
Baltimore Sun

nichole georgePolice said the attack took place just before 6 p.m. near Round Road and Seagull Avenue. The boy was shot in his hand and head. His mother, 34, was shot in the upper body. Both were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

“We have to pray for our young scholar,” Cherry Hill Elementary Principal Tracey Garrett said.

She said the victim is a fifth-grade student at the school, which was closed Friday for conferences. She described the boy as a quiet student who does not cause trouble. Garrett said she and other staff members tried to visit him at the hospital but could not because he was still in critical condition.

Weed delivery and pot lounges could be a reality
as N.J. cannabis bill heads for a vote

Amazon Virginia HQ faces first test
as local pols decide whether
to give away $51 million in taxpayer dollars





Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick
The Atlantic
–> Doctors’ bills play a role in 60 percent of personal-bankruptcy filings.

Arkansas Legislature Effectively Votes To Abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture
…. joins three other states in requiring police secure a conviction before they can seize a person’s property.

Cozy Capitalism
FAA’s close ties to Boeing questioned after 2 deadly crashes

Piece Found at Boeing 737 Crash Site Shows Jet Was Set to Dive

Greta Thunberg, climate change, the Nobel Peace Prize, and marching children

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who jump started the climate strike movement, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Thunberg is helping to organize a massive global school strike today that is expected to involve at least 1,659 towns or cities in 105 countries.

49 killed in coordinated terrorist shootings at 2 mosques in New Zealand; suspects in custody
Yahoo News

At least 49 people were killed in a shooting attack on the southern island of New Zealand on Friday when a gunman opened fire inside two mosques.

The shootings in Christchurch, categorized as a terrorist attack, included 41 deaths at one mosque, according to authorities. Christchurch Hospital also confirmed it was treating 48 people for gunshot wounds, ranging from minor to critical. One person died at the hospital.
<> Gunman live-streamed it (

<> Manifesto claims NZ mosque attacks were revenge (The Australian)

… a “regular white man from a regular family” who decided to “take a stand to ensure a future for my people”.
A 73-page manifesto posted to the Twitter site of Brenton Tarrant today takes aim at mass immigration of “non-Europeans to “our lands”, and “WHITE GENOCIDE”.

“To take revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history,” Tarrant writes.

“To take revenge for the enslavement of millions of Europeans taken from their lands by the Islamic slavers.

“To take revenge for the thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks throughout European lands.

“To directly reduce immigration rates to European lands by intimidating and physically removing the invaders themselves.”



Harvard scientists uncover DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration
Yahoo News

Humans may one day have the ability to regrow limbs after scientists at Harvard University uncovered the DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

Some animals can achieve extraordinary feats of repair, such as salamanders which grow back legs, or geckos which can shed their tails to escape predators and then form new ones in just two months. Planarian worms, jellyfish, and sea anemones go even further, actually regenerating their entire bodies after being cut in half.

Now scientists have discovered that that in worms, a section of non-coding or ‘junk’ DNA controls the activation of a ‘master control gene’ called early growth response (EGR) which acts like a power switch, turning regeneration on or off.

“We were able to decrease the activity of this gene and we found that if you don’t have EGR, nothing happens,” said Dr Mansi Srivastava, Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.

Since 1990s, heart attacks have become less deadly, frequent for Americans
Eureka Alert

Why Texas Is Nearing Battleground Status (It’s Not Just About Beto)
NY Times
> Hispanics represent the (elusive) upside for Democrats, but it’s a shift in white voters that is making the biggest difference.

The dream of a “Blue Texas” has captured the imagination of Democrats for nearly a decade, and Beto O’Rourke has come closer than anyone to making a statewide victory a reality.

His strengths as a candidate in his narrow loss in a 2018 Senate race against Ted Cruz — by 2.6 percentage points — led his supporters to push him to run for president, and he obliged them Thursday morning.

But his performance may have demonstrated something else: Texas is on the doorstep of emerging as a battleground state, and any number of Democrats might stand a chance to compete there in 2020 for the presidency or the Senate.

His relatively close loss is promising for the party because he did not take full advantage of the longer-term trends that might put it over the top sooner than later. His strength came almost exclusively from white voters, not from the growing Hispanic population in the state.


Mueller, in U.S. court filing, says multiple probes continue

Israel says it struck 100 targets in Gaza after two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv

The Israeli military said that it struck more than 100 targets in Gaza overnight Friday after two rockets were fired toward Tel Aviv, escalating tension less than a month before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces reelection.


Facebook, Instagram outages send surfers to Pornhub for “tentacle porn”


<>Tentacle and Monster porn, an explainer, should you need one


NY mayor seeks $10 billion for lower Manhattan flood barrier
NY Post

“Time is not on our side. This country has wasted too many years pretending it had the luxury of debating climate change. The national emergency is already here. We have to meet it head-on.”



“There seems to be a growing consensus that birth order does not influence personality in a way that can be measured in adulthood.”


Trump, in bonkers interview, admits border policy hurts people


“WHAT EMERGENCY?” Senate pisses on Trump’s wall
The Hill

The Senate voted on Thursday to nix President Trump’s national emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall, setting up the first veto battle with his White House.

Senators voted 59-41 to pass the resolution of disapproval blocking Trump’s declaration. Underscoring the broad base of concern over Trump’s actions within the Republican caucus, 12 GOP senators broke rank and voted with all the Democrats.

The measure passed the House last month, 245-182.

Dazed and confused, Parliament votes for foot-dragging Brexit

… but any delay has to be agreed by the 27 other EU member states.


A: Possibly true and important

Court rules gun maker Remington can be sued over Newtown shooting

A divided Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled gun maker Remington can be sued over how it marketed the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Justices issued a 4-3 ruling that reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit and overturned a lower court ruling that the lawsuit was prohibited by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from liability in most cases when their products are used in crimes.

The plaintiffs include a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the massacre. They argue the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza is too dangerous for the public and Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people.

Too late to stop radical warming in Arctic, study says

Rising temperatures in the Arctic are on an unsteerable course, even if drastic measures to curb climate change are undertaken, a United Nations report has found.

The new environmental report projects that winter temperatures in the Arctic will increase 3 to 5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, and a subsequent 5 to 9 degrees Celsius by 2080, changes that are “locked in,” even if nations collectively meet Paris Agreement goals.

The report was released at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday, and adds to other recent, dire predictions for the Arctic—one of the places on Earth where global warming will trigger catastrophic outcomes due to the snowballing effects of melting permafrost.

US official reveals Atlantic drilling plan
while hailing Trump’s ability to distract public

The Guardian

Balash-5x7A top US official told a group of fossil fuel industry leaders that the Trump administration will soon issue a proposal making large portions of the Atlantic available for oil and gas development, and said that it is easier to work on such priorities because Donald Trump is skilled at sowing “absolutely thrilling” distractions, according to records of a meeting obtained by the Guardian.A

Joe Balash, the assistant secretary for land and minerals management, was speaking to companies in the oil exploration business at a meeting of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, or IAGC, last month.

“One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration,” said Balash,“is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people.”

For young Brits, fear and loathing of Brexit
The New Yorker

For a number of reasons, Brexit has been an invidious political process. But one of the most unsettling has been the mismatch between the generations that voted for Britain’s departure and the generations that will have to bear the consequences. Around seventy per cent of those under the age of twenty-four voted Remain, while sixty per cent of those older than sixty-five voted Leave. “It’s really, really scary to watch politicians who are trying to implement something which the vast majority of us don’t want and have never wanted.”

EU on no-deal Brexit motion: ‘like Titanic voting for iceberg to move’
The Guardian

“We take note of the votes in the House of Commons this evening,” the spokesman said. “There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal – you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the prime minister, and the EU is ready to sign it.”
<> MPs to vote on second Brexit referendum
The Guardian

Students File Class Action Over College Admissions Bribery Case
Courthouse News Service

Two Stanford students said in the lawsuit that qualified students paid college admission fees without realizing that “unqualified students were slipping in through the back door of the admissions process by committing fraud, bribery, cheating, and dishonesty.”

The lawsuit names Stanford University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Yale University and Georgetown University as defendants.

B: Probably true

Venezuela: Motorcycle gangs become Maduro’s enforcers 

CARACAS, Venezuela — The neighbors were fed up. For days, they’d had no electricity or running water because of a massive national blackout. So one morning this week, they piled logs and garbage into a makeshift barricade in their middle-class Caracas neighborhood and started yelling slogans against the government.

Then came the motorcycles.

There were at least 20 of them, their motors buzzing, driven by men with scarves over their faces, according to interviews with 10 witnesses. The demonstrators scattered. But as people in surrounding buildings started hurling bottles at the bikers, the men raised their weapons — pistols and rifles — and opened fire.

No one was injured. But the neighbors were terrified.

“Now we can’t even protest, because they’ll shoot at us,” said Delia Arellano, 72, one of the demonstrators.

Inactive Ingredients in Drugs May Be Less Inactive Than You Think
Live Science

US whitewashes Kashoggi murder, fails to mention the Prince who done it
CBS News

Anchor Beer Workers Win First Union at a U.S. Craft Brewery

Employees at the 123-year-old San Francisco brewer won a March 13 election to form a unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The workers’ win takes on extra significance given the beer’s iconic reputation in the Bay Area.

Miami surgeon fired after posting pix of patients’ genitals on Instagram

A Miami surgeon known for his gender reassignment work with trans patients has lost his job after it was discovered that he’d been posting offensive, explicit images of his patients’ body parts to a secret Instagram account without their consent.

According to The Trans Advocate’s Noah Adams, Dr. Christopher Salgado of the University of Miami Health System had been operating the since-deleted Instagram account, @sexsurgeon, since at least as far back as October of last year. There, he would post pictures of surgically removed genitals, pairing them offensive captions intended to be humorous.

C: True, but maybe meaningless

House votes 420-0 for Mueller report to be made public

(Original Post report said vote was 420-1. This has been since corrected.)
But the resolution by itself cannot force attorney general William P. Barr to publish more of the report than he intends to — and that is why even some of the Republicans supporting it complained that the measure was a waste of time.

Facebook’s Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation
NY Times

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters. Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.

The companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with the world’s dominant social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in The New York Times, let the companies see users’ friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years.

D: Spin and Opinion

College cheating scandal shows why elite colleges should use a lottery to admit students
Natasha Warikoo, Harvard assoc. prof. of education
In The Conversation

The lottery I envision would involve applicants who meet a certain academic threshold and help universities admit students in a more equitable way. An admissions lottery would accomplish two important goals:

1. Acknowledge the advantage for the wealthy.

2. Save time and money.

E: Entertaiment

As population falls, Russia seeking migrants from “donor countries”
Moscow Times

Big changes as MLB hopes to pick up pace of baseball games
USA Today

  1. — Pitchers will be required to face a minimum of three batters in a game beginning in 2020.
  2. — There will be a single July 31 trade deadline.
  3. — Mound visits will be reduced from six to five.
  4. — There will be an All-Star election day where fans can determine the starting players in the All-Star Game with 24-hour voting.
  5. — Commercial breaks will be shortened by 20 seconds to 2 minutes.
  6. — Position players will be prohibited from pitching in games that don’t go into extra innings, unless a team is ahead or behind by at least eight runs.
  7.  — Committees will be appointed by the Commissioner’s office and the union to formally discuss the game’s economic concerns. They will study ways to make the free-agent market more active. They will discuss eliminating the incentive for teams from purposely losing to gain top draft picks.
  8. — Beginning in 2020, all teams will have a 28-man roster in September, after having a 26-man roster the first five months of the season.


Gambino Don plugged outside his tasteless Staten Island home
The Ultimate NY Daily News story


Top 30 cities to live in? NOT ONE in US
Market Watch

Global consulting firm Mercer has released its quality-of-living rankings, and, for a 10th year in a row, Vienna took the No. 1 spot. It was followed by Zurich, with Auckland, Munich and Vancouver tying for third place.

The company ranks hundreds of global cities based on a number of factors, including recreation, housing, economy, public services and transport, political and social environment, education, medical and health considerations, and the natural environment.

Top 20 all in Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia … almost all US cities fall in rankings.

F: False Claim

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposed daylight saving time because “the extra hour of sunlight drastically speeds up climate change.”
False, says Snopes


Rising Sea Levels Are Bigger Threat to California Than Wildfires
US News

RESEARCHERS SAY THE combination of sea level rise and storms in California has the potential to displace more than half a million people and cost $150 billion by the end of the century, according to a study published Wednesday.
Though sea level rise is a gradual process (with a 2-meter rise expected by 2100), scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey explained that, when combined with storms, erosion and other consequences of climate change, the coastal impacts are greatly accelerated.
According to the study, published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, 600,000 people and more than $150 billion in property could be impacted if a 100-year storm (a storm with a 1 percent chance of occuring) were to hit the state. This is seven times the exposed population and property cost when considering sea level rise alone, the researchers note.


Native American tribe donates $184,000 to cover funeral costs of people who died in Alabama tornadoes
ABC News

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris reached out to the tribe for financial aid in the aftermath of the tornadoes. Beauregard, a small town within Lee County, was torn apart by two tornadoes on March 3.

Initially, the tribe had agreed to donate $50,000, but Harris said it wasn’t enough, Harris told ABC News.

“[The tribe] said, ‘Tell us what it would take to cover all of it,’” Harris told ABC News. “I told them [$184,000] and they said, ‘Fine.'”

Number of older renters spikes in US cities
Voice of America

Carmen Perry decided to rent rather than buy immediately after she divorced her husband and sold the family home. The 67-year-old realtor sees definite advantages to living in a space owned by someone else.

Perry is not alone among older Americans who are opting out of buying. The number of renters over the age of 60 jumped 43 percent in large American cities between 2000 and 2017, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data.

‘Like a ghost town’: how short-term rentals dim New Orleans’ legacy
The Guardian

New Orleans’ Treme is regarded as the nation’s oldest AfricanAmerican neighborhood, but some of its residents, like Darryl Durham, now say that legacy is fading quickly.In recent years, short-term rentals with companies such as Airbnb proliferated and now operate on about 45% of the Historic Faubourg Treme District’s parcels. Resulting rent rises and property taxes stemming from that have forced out many black families and residents, said Durham, a musician who has lived there since 2006.

Now Treme moves in an unnatural rhythm. For about half of each week, the number of tourists drops and many blocks are “like a ghost town”, Durham said. Each Thursday, the tourists return, filling hundreds of units. Suddenly, Treme is alive with groups of drunk, mostly white college-aged kids, Durham said. There are loud parties, overflowing garbage cans and countless other issues “grating” on remaining residents, he added.

Treme isn’t an isolated case. Short-term rentals are so concentrated in Bywater, Marigny and other neighborhoods around the French Quarter that some residents and longtime homeowners are finding investors have effectively converted their blocks into hotels.

The number of Airbnbs citywide spiked from 1,905 to 6,508 between 2015 and December 2018, according to the watchdog website Inside Airbnb. Of that figure, 85% are owned by investors, some of whom live as far away as San Francisco or New York City.


Judge adds 3.5 years to Manafort sentence …
… new charges filed in NY
AP/Stars & Stripes

Manafort, 69, who arrived in court in a wheelchair, (ah, yes) said he was the primary caregiver of his wife and wanted the chance for them to resume their life together.

“She needs me and I need her. I ask you to think of this and our need for each other as you deliberate,” Manafort said. “This case has taken everything from me already — my properties, my cash, my life insurance, my trust accounts for my children and my grandchildren, and more.”

Trump to Chief of Staff: ‘Get Rid of My Kids’ Who Didn’t ‘Play the Game,’ Book Claims — as WH Dismisses ‘Fiction’

“Get rid of my kids; get them back to New York,” Trump told John Kelly, then his newly installed chief of staff, according to Vicky Ward’s Kushner Inc. Ward’s book will be published next week and, she writes, is based on some 220 interviews — most of them anonymous. (Hmm.)

Ward writes that Trump felt his kids “didn’t know how to play the game,” referring to what he saw as inept attempts at public relations, inevitably resulting in negative headlines.

and more importantly from the WH via NPR:

The Trump administration is seeking to close nearly two dozen U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices around the world in a move it estimates would save millions per year. But critics argue the closures will further slow refugee processing, family reunification petitions and military citizenship applications.

Trump’s Lower-Court Judges Are Dismantling Roe v. Wade One Ruling at a Time

That is precisely what the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did on Tuesday, permitting Ohio to defund Planned Parenthood by proclaiming that there is no “Fourteenth Amendment right to perform abortions.” The court’s threadbare reasoning ignores controlling Supreme Court precedent and disregards the impact of Ohio’s crusade against abortion providers on women. But that doesn’t matter to the majority, which includes all four President Donald Trump appointees who participated in the case.

NASA: First person on Mars “likely” to be female

… though it’s not yet clear why he thinks that … fewer than a third of NASA’s active astronauts are female…. possible it’s a meaningless bit of PR flummery and a warm-and-fuzzy PC signal.

Calif. gov: No more executions …
… defies voters …
… 737 inmates on death row
Sacto Bee

His action comes three years after California voters rejected an initiative to end the death penalty, instead passing a measure to speed up executions.

Thanks, FBI … but admission to elite colleges
has been “rigged” for a long time
The Guardian

But here’s the thing: the whole system is “rigged” in favor of more affluent parents. It is true that the conversion of wealth into a desirable college seat was especially egregious in this case – to the extent that it was actually illegal. But there are countless ways that students are robbed of a “fair shot” if they are not lucky enough to be born to well-resourced, well-connected parents.
<> The real college admissions scandal is what’s legal
If we are going to continue to publicly fund higher education, taxpayers might rightly ask whether institutions that receive federal dollars should be permitted to privilege the wealthy, the donor class, the athletes (both faux and actual), and certain racial groups (resulting in abject discrimination against Asians) over applicants who might actually be interested in checking a book out of the library.

May goes down in flames in 2nd Brexit vote
Politico Europe

Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil

Pilots complaints on Boeing Max uncovered
Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities, with one captain calling the flight manual “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient” several months before Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people, an investigation by the Dallas Morning News found.

The Morning News found at least five complaints about the Boeing model in a federal database where pilots can voluntarily report about aviation incidents without fear of repercussions.

The disclosures found by the Morning News reference problems with an autopilot system during takeoff and nose-down situations while trying to gain altitude during flights of Boeing 737 Max 8s.
>>> Canada bans the Max in its airspace (The Hill)

Meet Tengai, the job interview robot who won’t judge you

The goal is to offer candidates job interviews that are free from any of the unconscious biases that managers and recruiters can often bring to the hiring process, while still making the experience “seem human”.

Tuesday …

250 scientists sign UN warning: wireless earbuds increase cancer risk
The Daily Mail

L.A., Philly lead list of most-aggressive drivers
USA Today

Saudi plane turns around after mother forgets baby at airport
The Guardian

‘May God be with us. Can we come back?’ says pilot.

Selfie-taker who was attacked by jaguar apologizes for breaking the rules

“We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar. She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals fault when barriers are crossed,” zoo officials said.

Feds uncover large-scale college entrance exam cheating plot
NBC News

The scheme involved students who attended or were seeking to attend Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, and other top colleges … ffocused on getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams, according to the indictment.

Trump’s 2020 budget: The top 10 takeaways

  1. Big deficits
  2. No accounting for a recession
  3. More for military, veterans
  4. 10% cuts to many agencies
  5. Wall
  6. $500 billion cut to Medicare
  7. Parental leave? Not much
  8. Make states pay more
  9. Many higher fees
  10. More student loan scams

<> Big cuts to farm subsidies proposed

Desperate Venezuelans swarm sewage drains in search of water

“I’ve never even seen this before. It’s horrible, horrible,” said Lilibeth Tejedor, preparing to carry the container on a small hand cart back to her home in the neighborhood of San Agustin.

“Look at the 50 percent who are on the web, and it’s not so pretty for them. They are all stepping back suddenly horrified after the Trump and Brexit elections realizing that this web thing that they thought was so cool has actually not necessarily been serving humanity very well.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

Murdoch’s News Corp calls for Google breakup
— It may not have occurred to the old pirate that, under the same logic, News Corp, too, should be broken up.

Residents of picturesque Paris street
plead for gate to keep out the Instagram hordes
The Independent


Why non-conformists end up looking alike
Big Think

“… this study may have important implications in understanding synchronization of nerve cells, investment strategies in finance, or emergent dynamics in social science.”

<> New trend to limit cellphone addiction: carry a minimalist phone
Wall Street Journal

Smartphone-fatigued consumers are renegotiating their relationships with their devices. A growing contingent is embracing a new crop of minimalist phones, priced around $300 to $350, to wean themselves off premium models that keep them constantly connected.

Cecilia D’Urso uses a 4.6-inch-long phone from Swiss devicemaker Punkt, which has a small, dark screen that allows only basic phone calls and texts. The 22-year-old art student in Turin, Italy, started using it after feeling stressed out by social media and chat notifications on her Huawei smartphone.

Brooklyn doctor, responsible for “prescribing” millions of opioids, to get 5-year prison term
NY Daily News

A Brooklyn doctor who flooded the city with millions of illegal Oxycodone prescriptions pleaded guilty to 16 felony charges Monday.

Lazar Feygin, 72, sold the Oxycodone scrips from medical offices in Clinton Hill and Kensington, and also took part in schemes to defraud Medicaid and Medicare, officials said.

He encouraged his staff at Parkville Medical Health and LF Medical Services NY to perform unnecessary tests on people seeking the pills, and then bill Medicaid or Medicare or their insurance companies, said prosecutors.

The clinics illicitly prescribed 3.7 million Oxycodone pills from 2012 to 2017, said a news release from Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. The prescriptions grossed the clinics $16 million in Medicare and Medicaid money, Brennan said.

A Russian “banker” is now London’s wealthiest man
Moscow Times

russkiebanker.jpgMikhail Fridman’s net worth of $15 billion knocked billionaire “investor” Len Blavatnik from the top of the list, Forbes reported Tuesday. Fridman is one of 55 billionaire Londoners, who have a combined net worth of $226 billion.

Forbes Russia named Fridman its businessman of the year in 2017. That year, Buzzfeed published the infamous Trump Dossier, accusing the oligarch of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections on President Vladimir Putin’s orders.

Fridman co-founded the Luxembourg-based LetterOne “investment fund” and Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s biggest “commercial banks.”

Texas woman, 33, dies after rock thrown from overpass crashes windshield
Fox News

keila-flores-fb.jpgA Texas woman died Saturday after someone reportedly threw a large rock from a railroad overpass, hitting the car’s windshield and crushing her while her boyfriend and children sat helplessly inside the vehicle.

Keila Ruby Flores, 33, was in the car with her boyfriend, Christopher Rodriguez, and her three children when the rock came crashing through the car’s windshield about 8:40 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 35, KWTX reported. Flores was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time.

Italy bans unvaccinated children from school

New app lists “safe” places for Trump’s MAGA snowflakes
The Hill

A new app launched this month to help conservatives find “safe” restaurants and other businesses where they won’t be harassed for supporting President Trump.

The 63red Safe app, described as “Yelp for conservatives,” was created in response to reports of Trump administration officials and Trump supporters being asked to leave restaurants.



Proposed US budget is a “debt bomb”

Trump’s budget relies on “accounting gimmicks” long popular with both parties, such as using overly rosy economic projections to make an end-run around budget caps that his fellow Republicans once championed. The proposed budget would run trillion-dollar deficits in each of the next four years, and would take 15 years to balance—even with the optimistic assumptions about future economic growth—five years longer than the Trump administration’s first budget promised.

The budget proposal released Monday also puts to bed the question of whether Trump can keep his campaign promiseto eliminate the national debt in eight years.

Indeed, under the projections included in the budget plan, the country would run a deficit of $631 billion in 2025 (which would be Trump’s eighth budget, if he remains in office that long)—hardly smaller than the $666 billion deficit in the final fiscal year of  Obama’s time in office.

Federal court move could make Epstein documents public,
revealing the extent of international sex slave trade
Miami Herald

Most of the documents, including court orders and motions, were filed under seal or heavily redacted, similar to other cases in New York and Florida involving Epstein, a wealthy, politically connected money manager.

Gap, Tesla and Victoria’s Secret among 5,000 store closings already in 2019

Venezuela hospitals in blackout panic

A group of doctors on Sunday held a mass to pray for the sick, and later walked to the J.M. de los Rios hospital to seek more details about the situation there.

The doors were locked even though they arrived during visiting hours. Women shouted from the windows that they needed help and that there was no food, but police at the entrance blocked their way, according to a Reuters witness.

Woman gets attacked by bull in New Jersey, screams that it’s going to ‘kill her’

Sparta NJ police report that Wendy McDermott began screaming that the animal was going to kill her and needed to be shot. Officer Arlene Lippencott then distracted the bull while McDermott got into the patrol car. Other units and Sparta EMS arrived on the scene where the bull was put down by two officers, after it attempted to charge a patrol vehicle.

Milwaukee chosen as 2020 Democratic National Convention site
ABC News

Toyota seeks patent for anti-theft device — tear gas!

26 women rescued at Seattle massage parlors in human trafficking bust
CBS News

11 businesses raided, 6 people arrested.

China database lists ‘breedready’ status of 1.8 million women
The Guardian

NY’s Hudson Yards building to offer highest viewing deck in the Americas


Gee, some Arizona ranchers just now realized Trump’s a fraud
L.A. Times
They weren’t paying attention when Trump admitted his “university” was a scam? 


When Donald Trump was elected president, rancher John Ladd said smuggling traffic on his ranch immediately dipped, and he slept soundly for the first time in years.

Ladd, 63, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, had voted for Trump and his promise to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it. But the wall hasn’t been constructed, the respite didn’t last, and Ladd, along with other vocal southern Arizona ranchers, has lost faith in the Border Patrol’s barrier plans.

Students find it’s shockingly easy to identify strangers via Google

“It’s really quite easy,” Klonick says. “Which is part of … the scary, kind of, learning tool about this exercise.”

One student found the name of a man on a plane after hearing him arrange his pickup from the airport. Another pinned down the identity of a stranger on a train by putting together the name of the college on his shirt with a first name overheard in conversation.

People getting whacked out on dangerous “catnip cocktail”

Cops in North Jersey responding to calls about doped-out people doing outrageous things.

According to its ingredients list, Catnip Cocktail doesn’t actually contain any catnip. It does, however, contain caffeine and “1-4 BDO” — short for 1,4-butanediol. The compound is listed as a Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substance under New Jersey’s administrative code, but is not illegal at the federal level.

In a 2009 report, the National Drug Intelligence Center warned that 1,4-butanediol metabolizes into the “date rape” drug GHB after it’s ingested, and is often marketed as “fish tank cleaner,” “ink stain remover” or “nail enamel remover.” It’s unclear who manufactures Catnip Cocktail, and a request for comment sent through the website where it’s listed for sale wasn’t immediately returned.

Missouri cops search room of dying cancer patient for marijuana

Nathan Sousley said it all apparently began when a hospital security guard entered his room and told him he smelled marijuana. “He said I smelled marijuana coming from you room. I was like, it’s not me. I didn’t have any marijuana, so leave me alone because I’m trying to sleep,” Sousley told a local Fox affiliate.

Chicago cop shot while breaking down door of pot suspect
Fox News

——> Maybe it’s time to stop refer madness once and for all?

2 paragliders die after mid-air collision in San Diego
Orange County Register

Dude invades Taco Bell kitchen, Makes Own “Mexican Pizza”
The Smoking Gun

Guy’s beef? Not enough meat. Never mind the whole issue of what is a Mexican pizza. Cops reviewing surveillance video … seeking man with indigestion?

Workers finally have a little more power to demand better wage

Workers are receiving the fattest wage increases since the Great Recession as employers struggle to find enough people to fill their ranks and employees have more leverage to demand higher pay and jump to better jobs.

Wages grew 3.4 percent in the past year, the government reported Friday, the fastest pace in nearly a decade and well above inflation, suggesting that employers are hustling to lure and retain workers. Many are slashing requirements for jobs and are hiring workers quickly to prevent them from being scooped up by competitors, a far cry from the days when job seekers felt lucky to even get a callback.

Kansas Doctor Sentenced To Life In Prison For Patient’s Opioid Death

A federal investigation into Henson’s practice was launched in 2014 after a pharmacist expressed concern that he was overprescribing controlled medications. The investigation determined that drugs were offered to patients for $300 cash, with few questions asked.

After Ethiopian Air Crash, 737 Max May Face Global Grounding

Yes, there is at least some water on the moon
SciTech Daily

Goddard manages the LRO mission for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Funding for the research came from LRO, and the team received additional support from a NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) cooperative agreement.

NASA is leading a sustainable return to the Moon with commercial and international partners to expand human presence in space and bring back new knowledge and opportunities.

Harris poll: About 70% of young people want universal health care and tuition-free college

Town By Town, Local Journalism Is Dying In Plain Sight
AP/Talking Points Memo
>>>>>>> Enter the age of robo-stories

Iconic Chrysler building will sell at huge loss

Venezuela’s Guaido calls for massive protest as blackout drags on

Activity at 2nd North Korean missile site could mean preparing for a launch 
Daily Mail

Even in defeat, ISIS fighters plod on

Pix of the Week:

Joan Stiltner, 6, of Chicago, holds a ball for White Sox left fielder Joel Booker to autograph before the team’s spring training baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Glendale, Ariz. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)


Pennsylvania school bus driver tells students to “go fuck yourselves”
and then abandons them and her vehicle
The Independent

A school bus driver who told students to “go f*** yourselves” before abandoning them along with her vehicle has been charged with 26 counts of endangering children and one of drink driving.

Lori Ann Mankos was driving so erratically before she pulled over into a service station that many youngsters were screaming to be let off.

Footage filmed by the teenage pupils, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, suggests at least one student was close to tears. “Call the school, this is not even funny, pull over” she can be heard shouting.

“There was a right-hand turn and when she took it, she was going far too fast – she ended up being halfway into the opposing lane of traffic,” youngster Mason Persiani told local news channel WFMZ News. “That was probably the scariest point of the ride, and at the point my heart was racing.”

The teenager added: “She told us ‘Go f*** yourselves’. And then flipped us off, you know, stuck her hand in the air and flipped us off.”

A Florida “Massage Parlor” Owner Has Been Selling Chinese Execs Access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago
Mother Jones


On a page displaying a photo of Mar-a-Lago, Cindy “Happy Ending” Yang’s company says its “activities for clients” have included providing them “the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures.”

The company boasts it has “arranged taking photos with the President” and suggests it can set up a “White House and Capitol Hill Dinner.The overall message conveyed by the GY US Investments website seems clear: hire Cindy Yang’s company and she can get you close to Trump and his government—at Mar-a-Lago and in Washington. If the posted photos are authentic, she has been able to get Chinese clients at least into the Trump circle for a quick pic. They are a sign that this Chinese immigrant and Trump donor has used her contacts to go from massaging clients to massaging influence.

The Mar-a-Lago and Chinese “business executives” story isn’t simply about crony capitalism or foreign businesses buying access. Given that there’s zero chance these Chinese businesses aren’t enmeshed with China’s intelligence services, it’s a national security problem.
— William Kristol

US says OK to Franken-Salmon 

U.S. regulators on Friday gave the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal, but the company behind it may face legal challenges before the fish can be sold domestically.

The Food and Drug Administration said it lifted an alert that had prevented AquaBounty from importing its salmon eggs to its Indiana facility, where they would be grown before being sold as food. The agency noted the salmon has already undergone safety reviews, and that it lifted its alert because the fish would be subject to a new regulation that will require companies to disclose when a food is bioengineered.

Judge Says Government May Have To Reunite More Migrant Families Separated At Border

Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Counts in Attack Hoax Case

“I would still expect a period of probation, a psychological evaluation and restitution to cover costs of the investigation, I would still be surprised if he goes to prison.”

Americans will soon need “permit” for Europe travel

‘I can’t believe I did this’
Jayme Closs kidnapper writes letter from jail
NBC News

Jake Patterson is jailed while awaiting trial in Barron County on charges of kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents. In the letter, he says he plans to plead guilty and says he doesn’t want her family to worry about a trial.

He writes that he never returned to Barron after the kidnapping, and that he only followed the news of Jayme’s disappearance through news updates on his phone. When asked when he realized he was capable of doing something like this, he replied, “This was mostly on impulse. I don’t think like a serial killer.”

City raters revise list for housing affordability
— Here are their top places to live

We asked 1,000 millennials across the country in an exclusive survey.

Their #1 answer, by a landslide? Affordability.

So, for the first time ever, we instituted a cap on median home value. This year, no city on the Top 100 Best Places to Live list has a median home value above $250,000.

——-> Top of the list? Boise, Raleigh, Madison, Iowa City, Rochester MN … biggest city in the top 10 is Pittsburgh… But really, it’s pretty arbitrary to exclude cities soley on the basis of median housing price.


Trump Just Gave US More Power to Kill in Secret
The Atlantic

He reversed an Obama-era order requiring the annual publication of drone strikes undertaken by the United States.

The legislative branch has all but abdicated its war powers, and lawmakers on both sides have let successive presidents preside over secret kill lists. Without the reporting order in place, there is no way for the public to know what the Trump administration is up to, theoretically in its name.

Trump inauguration underwritten by sneaky foreigners
The Guardian

Creators of firms that donated revealed by Guardian as Indian financier, lobbyist with links to Taiwan and Israeli real estate developer

Mark Zuckerberg’s Plans to Capitalize on Facebook’s Failures
The New Yorker

“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuckerberg tells us. “This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”

“Facebook is changing. From now on, sharing is private. War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.”

Elizabeth Warren pushes to break up big tech companies like Amazon and Facebook

—–> Generally, we’re not paying attention to the mud slinging that’s already started in anticipation of the 2020 madness. However, sometimes a candidate actually proposes policy … 

In a blog post, the Democratic candidate from Massachusetts wrote that she wants to make “big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition.” Those overhauls would include “breaking up” Amazon, Facebook and Google — companies that have come under scrutiny for both their protection of user data and consolidation of services such as e-commerce and digital advertising.

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren wrote. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”

States with stricter gun control have fewer mass shootings
The Hill

—–> Guns don’t kill … oh wait. Wrong slogan.

Costco is raising its minimum wage to $15 as the war for talent rages on
<BUT> Job creation takes big fall  (CNBC)

Unvaccinated Oregon Boy Diagnosed with Tetanus, State’s 1st Child Case in 30 Years
Live Science
<Gizmodo> It took 6 months and nearly $1 million to save his life 

Trust Fund Squirrels That Inherit Food Hoards Succeed at Life, Study Finds

squirrel.jpegSquirrels, like humans, can be trust fund kids, benefitting from caches of spruce cones left behind by older generations, according to new research.

These privileged individuals are more successful in life, having the “time and energy” to bear more offspring—roughly 50 percent more than squirrels who didn’t receive a nutty inheritance.

Another for-profit college closes, as money disappears
Atlanta Journal Constitution

Federal officials say the situation has become so severe that some faculty members at one Argosy school in Phoenix were called out of their classrooms while teaching and told they were fired, documents show.

Trump cheered Kraft’s team to Super Bowl victory with founder of spa where he was busted
Miami Herald

—–> Will there be a happy ending?


Philadelphia Is First U.S. City to Ban Cashless Stores
Wall Street Journal
Lawmakers move to maintain access to marketplace for lower-income consumers; Amazon and other businesses express concern about limits on innovation

Venezuela blackout: Government accuses opposition of ‘sabotage’ as country plunged into darkness by major electricity outage
The Independent