The morning update

Flynn charged with “lying to the FBI” Sputnik
Beware: This account comes from a Russian propaganda site, but includes some interesting comments from Putin.
Flynn to plead guilty to lying to FBI Vice News
Charging document in PDF
Big question: Who will keep Trump off Twitter this morning? 

>> “Whatever miserable tax bill emerges from Congress today will distract the country from focusing on the enormous significance of Flynn’s guilty plea — but it won’t undermine what that guilty plea in fact reveals about where the pending investigators are surely heading.”
— Laurence Tribe on Twitter
>> “Given Flynn’s much more serious legal vulnerability, he must really be cooperating meaningfully with Mueller to be charged ‘only’ with lying to the FBI. The president and the Trump royal family are now one step away. “

— Evan McMullin on Twitter
>> “Flynn charged only with low-level 1001 count may have to do (in part) with pardons– if Trump pardons him (or Flynn fails to follow through on the deal) there are lots of charges to come back with.”
— Mark Osler on Twitter.

Timeline: how the Russia probe closed in on Flynn Axios

Flynn’s probably going to rue this day.

Docs decide to “honor the tattoo” that said: “DO NOT RESUSCITATE”

emergEmergency medicine doctors in Florida struggled to figure out how to respectfully care for an unconscious 70-year-old man with a chest tattoo that read “Do Not Resuscitate” followed by what appeared to be his signature. In a case report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors recounted: “This patient’s tattooed DNR request produced more confusion than clarity, given concerns about its legality and likely unfounded beliefs that tattoos might represent permanent reminders of regretted decisions made while the person was intoxicated.” Ethics consultants sided with honoring the tattoo. “They suggested that it was most reasonable to infer that the tattoo expressed an authentic preference.”

More heads will roll at NBC? NY Post
Based on multiple anonymous sources…
“Everybody at NBC knew about Matt Lauer’s sexually inappropriate behavior — and knew not to talk about it,” a current “Today” show staffer said. “Women did complain about his behavior, and there were a lot of closed-door meetings before it was all brushed under the carpet.”
Another source said, “Some women did report it and were scared at the repercussions it would have on their careers. They complained, and nothing was done.”
It wasn’t just the behind-the-scenes brass who were aware of Lauer’s alleged misdeeds, either, sources said.
At least some of Lauer’s “Today” co-hosts were putting on a show when they acted gobsmacked on-air Wednesday morning at reports of his sexually inappropriate behavior, sources said. “Matt’s sexual conquests were general office fodder,” a staffer said. “There was constant innuendo in the office about which woman had just had sex with Matt and which one would be next.”

Hunter charged with felony after shooting woman he mistook for deer.
“Today, Mr. Jadlowski is being held accountable for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he fired a shot in the dark, causing this terrible tragedy.”

Facebook, Smartphones “an existential threat” to humans, ex-Googler says
The Independent
Companies like Facebook are “steering” our thoughts through smartphones, according to Tristan Harris, who spent three years working as a Google design ethicist, before leaving in 2016.
“We’ve hijacked what 100 million teenagers view as the currency of friendship,” he said.
“The … technology steering two billion people’s thoughts is enormous, such that even when you’re not looking at your phone, it’s implementing or creating the kind of thoughts you’re thinking about now,” he added.
“The challenge is that … these companies’ goals are fundamentally misaligned with our goals, and the goals of democracy. And that is why it’s an existential threat.”

Teenagers’ brains can tell what’s important New Scientist
One of those studies that’s interesting, but … 

Guy trying History Channel stunt charged with setting a downtown afire
Albany Times Union
COHOES NY — A fire stoked by 20 to 30 mph winds destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen  downtown buildings and was traced to a man who was trying to forge a blade over a burning barrel, according to authorities.
Thursday’s inferno destroyed three structures, damaged 18 other buildings and displaced at least 20 people. A firefighter was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries, but remarkably no other injuries were reported.
John A. Gomes, 51, of Cohoes was charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson, accused of starting a barrel fire in his backyard. The mayor said Gomes was trying to bend metal in an apparent attempt to mimic the History Channel television series “Forged in Fire” about bladesmithing.

Lyft gains from Uber scandals. Revenues triple TechCrunch/Yahoo

Homeless immigrant acquitted in infamous San Francisco slaying SF Gate
zarate_t800> A homeless man whose undocumented immigration status intensified a national debate over the ethics of sanctuary laws was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges Thursday in the shooting of Kate Steinle as she strolled with her father on Pier 14 to take in a view of San Francisco Bay.
> The San Francisco Superior Court jury also found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of assault with a firearm, apparently seeing credence in defense attorneys’ argument that the shot that ricocheted off the concrete ground was an accident, with the gun discharging after the defendant stumbled upon it on the waterfront on July 1, 2015.
> The panel convicted Garcia Zarate, 45, of a single lesser charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Rapper DMX pleads guilty in tax evasion, faces prison Courthouse News Service

No cheap beer if brewing giant can help it Courthouse News Service
The European Commission said Thursday that beer giant AB InBev has abused its market dominance by refusing to sell its Jupiler and Leffe brands to Belgian customers more cheaply due to increased competition there.
In a statement of objections, the commission said it believes AB InBev has been thwarting Belgian retailers’ efforts to import Jupiler and Leffe from the Netherlands and France, where both brands – the most popular beers in Belgium – are cheaper.

White House giving Tillerson the boot Reuters
> Next at State Dep’t, the guy, what’s his name, who ran the CIA for a few weeks.
> CIA to be “led” for the next few weeks by Sen. Tom “Waterboarding is legal” Cotton. 

Conyers stressed out, goes to hospital Reuters
Nurses beware!

Why it’s okay to have sex with children
By Tully Borland, The Federalist
Here is one thing we know and should admit from the start: in his early thirties, Roy Moore had a penchant for dating teenagers. Apparently, this was not an uncommon occurrence during this time. In fact, this practice has a long history and is not without some merit if one wants to raise a large family.
To have a large family, the wife must start having kids when she is young. The husband needs to be well-established and able to support the family, in which case he will typically need to marry when older.
— Tully Borland is associate professor of philosophy at Ouachita Baptist University. 

EXTRA! From RealNews:
Borland’s dopey essay gets a D-minus. Read the markup.

“We’ve reached the point where conservatives will tolerate their underage daughters being molested by GOP politicians as long as they receive a promise of an anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice.”
>>> Pe Resists on Twitter
“Something tells me that if you were writing about a Muslim grooming underage girls, you’d be singing a very different tune.”
>>> LC Smith, commenting on The Federalist.

Not science and not news, but widely reported
Smartphone addiction creates imbalance in brain …

Based on study of 19, yes 19! people.

Satellites show no progress in global warming for 23 years The Daily Caller
University of Alabama-Huntsville climate scientists John Christy and Richard McNider found that by removing the climate effects of volcanic eruptions early on in the satellite temperature record it showed virtually no change in the rate of warming since the early 1990s.
“We indicated 23 years ago — in our 1994 Nature article — that climate models had the atmosphere’s sensitivity to CO2 much too high,” Christy said in a statement. “This recent paper bolsters that conclusion.”

Get ready for concealed guns across America Bloomberg
> The House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday voted 19-11 for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would amend the federal criminal code to allow the concealed transport of handguns across state lines, so long as both states allow it. States will not be able to impose their individual requirements for a concealed carry license on armed travelers from other states.
> One opposition group says the law “would effectively turn the weakest state’s laws into nationwide laws” because conceal carry laws vary state by state. For example, convicted stalkers are banned from concealed carry in some states, but not all, and the age for concealed carry also varies. In the event the bill passes, a Georgia permit, a state that allows abusive partners to carry hidden firearms, would become effective in New York, a state that currently doesn’t recognize any other state’s conceal carry permits.

Wind power surpasses coal as energy source in Texas Houston Chronicle
When a 155-megawatt wind farm in West Texas began commercial operation this month, it pushed the state’s wind power capacity to more than 20,000 megawatts, surpassing 19,800 megawatts of capacity from coal-fired power plants, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees 90 percent of the state’s grid. One megawatt is enough to power 200 homes on a hot Texas day.

US special forces involved in death of 10 Somali civilians? The Daily Beast
THE U.S.-LED OPERATION on Aug. 25 would result in the death of 10 civilians, including at least one child … hundreds of people in the nearby town Afgoye flooded the city’s streets demanding justice for those killed, and survivors on the farm refused to bury their dead until the Somali government recanted its allegations that they were members Al Shabaab, and offered an apology.

Tax bill in Congress portends big changes to American life NY Times
“When you put all these pieces together, what you’re left with is we are squandering a giant sum of money,” said Edward D. Kleinbard, a former chief of staff at the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation who teaches law at the University of Southern California. “It’s not aimed at growth. It is not aimed at the middle class. It is at every turn carefully engineered to deliver a kiss to the donor class.”
>> … The meat of the package is a permanent lowering of the corporate tax rate, to 20 percent from 35 percent. “We’ve been bleeding corporate headquarters and production for a long time,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and now president of the American Action Forum, a nonprofit that promotes smaller government.
>> …“In our boardroom, the number-one thing we’re talking about is not taxes,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, chief executive of Yelp, the online review platform. “Having a strong middle class out there spending money is what’s most important for our business.”
>> … The tax cut package, for instance, could trigger rules mandating cuts to Medicare, the government health care program for seniors, the Congressional Budget Office warned. Some 13 million people could lose health care via the elimination of a key plank of Obamacare. Insurance premiums are also expected to rise by 10 percent.
“This tax bill is a grand deception,” said Arnold Hiatt, the former chief executive of Stride Rite, which makes children’s shoes. “It hurts the most vulnerable, and hurts health care and education, which are essential for a healthy economy.”
>> … The House or Senate bill includes provisions ending the deductibility of tuition waivers for graduate students, repealing the deduction for interest paid on student loans and taxing university endowments. The endowment tax, in particular, threatens the ability of low-income students to pursue college and graduate studies, said Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Former “Hobby Lobby” attorney argues for seat on 5th Circuit
Courthouse News Service
The lawyer who led Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the federal health care law’s birth control mandate promised senators on Wednesday his past work for clients will not prevent him from being impartial if he is confirmed to a seat on the Fifth Circuit.

“Yeti” sightings were actually bears Eureka Alert
“Our findings strongly suggest that the biological underpinnings of the Yeti legend can be found in local bears, and our study demonstrates that genetics should be able to unravel other, similar mysteries,” says lead scientist Charlotte Lindqvist.

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