Monday


Lame duck craps out the same old GOP con game
RealClearPolitics (Commentary)
Big news over the Thanksgiving holiday was that the House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed James Comey and Loretta Lynch about the 2016 campaign-related probes into Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and, presumably, Russians.
Great news for conservatives, right? But everyone knew right away that the timing was suspicious. The House will turn Democratic after the first of the year, and the chairmanship will be turned over from Republican Bob Goodlatte to Democrat Jerry Nadler. We’ve watched Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein avoid a congressional subpoena for months now, so there is no reason to expect former FBI Director Comey and former Attorney General Lynch will show up for a GOP grilling in the next month. But even if they do, does anyone expect to get the real story after waiting for more than two years?
Of course not. We all remember the fake Benghazi investigation run by the oh-so-disappointing Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., with the fake blessing of the House leadership. Big talk. No action. It’s all a con game by Republican swamp dwellers who want to convince voters they are getting something done while making sure there is no chance of upsetting the apple cart. This gambit smells like the rotten work of phony conservative Paul Ryan, who is ending his term as House speaker with virtually no accomplishments for the Republican agenda.


Dude pleads guilty, planned to assassinate Trump with forklift
The Hill
… public defender said that he was “suffering a serious psychiatric crisis”
—-> Did he mean Trump? The would-be assassin? Or both?


Judge says $850,000 promise scrawled on a napkin must be honored
Newser


Extreme Court snubs environmental challenge to so-called Border Wall
Reuters
The justices’ declined to hear the groups’ appeal of a ruling by a federal judge in California rejecting their claims that the administration had pursued border wall projects without complying with applicable environmental laws. The groups are the Center for Biological Diversity, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Defenders of Wildlife.
Their lawsuits said construction operations would harm plants, rare wildlife habitats, threatened coastal birds like the snowy plover and California gnatcatcher, and other species such as fairy shrimp and the Quino checkerspot butterfly.


Chinese scientist who claims he created world’s first gene-edited babies is missing amid rumours of arrest
The Daily Mail


Who’s Reading That News Story?
Startup Will Help Marketers Find Out
Wall Street Journal
A startup is pitching the cash-strapped news industry on a new revenue stream: selling readership information about articles that mention brands.
The company, Memo, aims to capitalize on advertisers’ growing demand for data by creating a marketplace where they can buy audience metrics for editorial coverage—measures such as page views, scroll depth and engaged reading time. Publishers closely track page views and related information, but don’t typically share it.
The company plans to launch in January.

—–> Except that there ARE sites, such as RealNews, that do not track their readers.


Retailers Are Testing Facebook-Style Shopper Profiles to Battle  Amazon
Bloomberg
Aware that one bad experience can turn a shopper against them forever, retailers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve service and keep customers loyal.
Some are testing new “Customer 360” software from Salesforce.com Inc. and upstart rival Freshworks Inc. that lets them build a Facebook-style profile of each shopper, the better to understand what they want and how to keep them happy and clicking “pay.” Chatbots are increasingly ubiquitous and getting better at holding a meaningful conversation with customers. And behind the scenes retailers are training customer-support people to act more like traditional salespeople with the expertise once available only at top brick-and-mortar establishments.
“Retailers have realized consumers hyper-adopt and hyper-abandon brands like never before,” says Brendan Witcher, a Forrester analyst who researches e-commerce and technology trends. “The products don’t really matter anymore. What does matter is the experience—and service is a key part of that.”


Goldman skeptical about US-China trade truce
Zero Hedge
— Failure risk: 80%.


Robot Janitors Are Coming to Mop Floors at a Walmart Near You
Bloomberg

The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup.


Havana collapsing building by building
USA Today

In Havana, some of the same architectural gems that draw tens of thousands of American tourists crash to the ground every year. Causes range from weather and neglect to faulty renovations and theft of structural beams.
Carlos Guerrero, 45, said he and his family live “like scared dogs” in a crumbling building along Merced Street.
Neighbors tell them, “Get out of there! It’s going to collapse!”
“It makes you feel like going and living under a bridge,” said Guerrero, who vows to grab a machete and seek revenge on housing officials if anything happens to his wife and three children.


Anchorage earthquake was a big one,
but it could have been much worse.
Why L.A. should take warning
L.A. Times


THE WEEKEND’S DUMBEST DOG & PONY SHOWS
U.S., China agree on trade war ceasefire
Reuters
dog-pony-juggleSupposed 90-day halt in NEW tariffs means very little in complex negotiations. PR value high, makes both Xi and Trump seem reasonable. Actual effect: Impossible to tell, maybe none, except to bolster financial markets.

Also:
Politico: Trump threatens to withdraw from NAFTA
Yep, right after he makes Mexico pay for that wall.

CNN: China agrees to make fentanyl a controlled substance
And putting out that press release cost China $1.59 … And Little Rocket Man dropped his nuclear program … and … 


SAVE-A-CLICK CLICKED ON THIS BAIT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
* Why Michelle Obama didn’t run for President (she didn’t want to)
* Police shut sex doll try-before-you-buy brothel (in Hong Kong)
* Kid Rock fired from Nashville Xmas parade (Kid who?)
* Mexico’s president promises to screw the rich (Yeah, right)
* Proof of Alien Visitors (nah, it’s a rotten Champion spark plug)
—> All bullshit courtesy of the Drudge Report


He’s built an empire,
with jailed migrant children as bricks

NY Times (link goes to RealNews copy of this story)
—- The founder of Southwest Key made millions from housing migrant children. His nonprofit has stockpiled taxpayer dollars and possibly engaged in self-dealing with top executives.
home for boys


Anchorage Daily News:

Opinion: Engineers, scientists saved lives in Alaska quake

Aftershocks, frayed nerves, massive cleanup
— Many residents lost sleep to aftershocks. By afternoon, winds kicked up, howling outside newly boarded windows. The Glenn Highway was damaged in multiple places, the Seward Highway was under threat of landslides, the water was not yet officially declared safe to drink and the reports of serious damage to roads, bridges, homes and businesses kept coming. Even so, people in Alaska’s largest city swept up, replaced broken housewares, helped neighbors and tried to calm nerves.


Subscribe to your next car? The options are expanding
CNBC

Automakers, dealers and start-ups now offer car subscriptions as an alternative to the traditional financing model, which increasingly involves going into significant debt. The services typically charge a flat monthly fee that bundles together all the disparate expenses of car ownership, including insurance and maintenance.

“There’s a reason consumers are gravitating toward these services — what’s out there right now isn’t very good,” said Gary Hallgren, president of Arity, a technology start-up founded by Allstate.


More than 5,500 women came to Illinois to have an abortion last year
amid growing restrictions in the wing-nut states of the Midwest
Chicago Tribune


Manhattan DA went to bat for pervert billionaire Epstein
NY Post

The Manhattan DA’s office once went to bat for billionaire pervert Jeffrey Epstein, after botching a review of his sex crimes and swallowing his lawyers’ claim that “there are no real victims here,” records obtained by the Post show.

Assistant DA Jennifer Gaffney, then-deputy chief of Cyrus Vance Jr.’s sex-crimes unit, in January 2011 asked a Manhattan judge to downgrade Epstein’s status in the New York sex-offender registry from the most-dangerous Level 3 to least-restrictive Level 1.

The judge was stunned.

“I have never seen the prosecutor’s office do anything like this,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ruth Pickholz told Gaffney.


Dumb-ass DC clerk insists on seeing New Mexico man’s passport
Newsweek

A man was forced to prove that New Mexico is a state in the United States when he was applying for a marriage license in Washington, D.C., earlier in November.

Gavin Clarkson and his fiancée were applying for a marriage license at the District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau on November 20 when he was told that his New Mexico driver’s license could not be used as proof of his identity. The clerk asked Clarkson to instead provide an international passport to get his marriage license.


NJ Dems imitate GOP in scumbag gerrymandering move
Philly.com


Woman took pity, then took fatal knife wound
Baltimore Sun

52-year-old Harford County woman died early Saturday morning after being stabbed in the chest, according to Baltimore police.

Police say Jacquelyn Smith and her family were driving through the 1000 block of Valley St. in the Johnston Square neighborhood at 12:27 a.m. when they saw a young woman carrying what appeared to be a baby and holding a cardboard sign that said “Please Help me feed my Baby.” Smith, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, rolled down the window to give her money.

A man then approached the car to thank the family — before he reached into the car and tried to grab the woman’s wallet. After a struggle, police said, the man took out a knife and stabbed Smith.

The man and the woman who carried the sign fled. Smith was taken to an area hospital, where she died.


Avenatti as a serious pol? Eh, maybe not
Politico
— “As a friend, I’m concerned about him. When I call him to say ‘hey, how you doing?’ It’s pretty obvious he’s going through a pretty rough time now,” said David Betras, a Democratic county chairman in Youngstown, Ohio, and one of Avenatti’s earliest political backers. “I’m more worried about these pending charges. Domestic abuse? That’s pretty bad for a run for president.”

Yellow vest protesters roar through Paris, 100 hurt, 250 arrested
The Guardian
——> Hmm. The American Revolution followed the French Revolution … America’s 1960s protests followed similar ones in France …  These riots are apparently about the inequities between rich and poor … hmm.

paris riot burning car


Hundreds of GM workers gathered to pray for their jobs
Daily Mail

gm workers

Hundreds of General Motors workers and their families have gathered in Ohio for an emotional prayer vigil over the closure of their plant and the loss of 15,000 jobs across the company. The solemn prayer vigil took place outside the General Motors plant in Lordstown on Thursday.

Lordstown stopped GM plant closure once, and will try again now
NY Post

$82 MILLION GIFT WASN’T ENOUGH
It’s not like Ohio wasn’t trying to keep the plant open. Over the years, the state had given GM millions in tax credits, job training grants and other incentives, including an $82 million tax package in 2008 that was among the largest in state history.
Cincinnati Enquirer


Dems vow push for $15 minimum wage when they control House
Washington Examiner

Grand jury: Dallas cop who shot man in his own home must face murder charge
Snopes
 — A white former Dallas police officer was indicted on a murder charge Friday, nearly three months after she fatally shot an unarmed black neighbor whose apartment she said she entered by mistake, believing it to be her own.

In foreshadowing, driver accused in ramming deaths shared videos of similar acts
CNN
— The man on trial for killing Heather Heyer at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year shared two images on Instagram that showed a car hitting protesters months before he did exactly that, according to court documents.
— The images were released on Day Two of the trial of James Alex Fields Jr., who is accused of driving his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters during the August 2017 Unite the Right Rally, killing Heyer and injuring several others.

Road rage death: ‘I tricked her … then cut her in half’
Missouri woman charged with murder during rush-hour traffic
Mercury News/AP

California Republicans see what happens when more voters vote, and they don’t like it one bit
LA Times
– California Republicans, drummed out of office by the carload in the recent election, have exited whining.
— They’ve figured out why they got thumped so badly, and it’s simple: California, that dastardly state, allowed voters to vote. The result was that seven Republican House seats turned Democratic, including all four in Orange County, transforming that once reliably GOP stronghold into a blue streak.
— “I just think it’s weird,” outgoing House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said of California’s system of allowing every vote to be counted, even if it’s filed with local election officials days after election day. “California defies logic to me.”
>>> Evidence of fraud mounts in uncertified North Carolina race won by Republican
Salon

El Paso to drink treated sewage water due to climate change drought
CNN

Powerful Quakes Buckle Alaska Roads, Trigger Tsunami Warning
Anchorage Daily News
— A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck Alaska near Anchorage early Friday morning, damaging roads and buildings, knocking out power and sending people fleeing from buildings and to safety beneath door jambs.
— The epicenter was just north of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. It violently shook the most populous region of the state as people were settling in to work and school.
— The tsunami warning for Southcentral Alaska including Kenai, Kodiak and the shores of Cook Inlet was canceled around 10 a.m.
— There were several aftershocks, including a sharp jolt felt widely in Anchorage around 10:26 a.m.
— There were several reports of serious damage. The Glenn Highway was closed north of Eagle River because of damage and an onramp at the interchange of International Airport Road and Minnesota Boulevard collapsed.alaska quake


Why Aren’t Millennials Spending?
They’re don’t have the money!
NPR
…. Millennials, which the study defined as those born between 1981 and 1997, with ages ranging from 21 to 37, “paid a price” for coming of age during the Great Recession. They had to face historically weak labor demand and unusually tight credit conditions.
…. Their consumption habits are similar to their parents’ and grandparents’ — millennials just have less money to spend.

These machines vend goats for poor families
AFP
— Buy a goat to donate to a poor family…from a vending machine?
— It’s now possible in New York, London and Manila, thanks to an action spearheaded by the Mormon Church and charitable organizations like UNICEF.
goat.png


Driving 5 mph over speed limit in Indiana?
Cops can seize your car.
Reason
— Civil asset forfeiture is such a farce that it took Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer only about 100 words to twist Indiana’s solicitor general into admitting that his state could have the power to seize cars over something as insubstantial as driving 5 miles-per-hour over the speed limit.

Iranian hacking hit hospitals, other targets in 43 U.S. states
McClatchy
Two Iranian hackers charged Wednesday in a federal indictment were accused of attacking the computer networks of hospitals and other targets in 43 states, a broad criminal extortion campaign that walloped a heart hospital in Kansas and disrupted one of the nation’s largest diagnostic blood testing companies in North Carolina.
— Federal prosecutors said the three-year cybercrime spree caused tens of millions of dollars in damage from coast to coast. It marked the first U.S. indictment against foreign hackers engaged in a for-profit ransomware and extortion scheme.

California scrambles to find schools for 32,000 burned-out kids
The Guardian

Ukraine bans entry to Russian men ‘to prevent armies forming’
The Guardian
….
The measure prohibits travel for hundreds of thousands of people and escalates a crisis between the two countries that was sparked on Sunday when Russian border guards opened fire on and captured three Ukrainian vessels and 24 crew.

Yep, the mainstream media is helping spread viral lies
The Conversation
Memes need not be humorous or factual to be functional. All they need to do is attract attention online, which often translates into mainstream media coverage. That makes memes potent tools for distributing disinformation. Moreover, the online and mainstream platforms that amplify memes’ circulation can weaponize false claims and encourage conspiracy theorists – sometimes toward violence.

The walls start closing in
Washington Post (via Houston Chronicle to avoid paywall)
— New evidence from two separate fronts of special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation casts fresh doubts on Trump’s version of key events involving Russia, signaling potential political and legal peril for the president. Investigators have now publicly cast Trump as a central figure of their probe into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.
— Together, the documents show investigators have evidence that Trump was in close contact with his lieutenants as they made outreach to both Russia and WikiLeaks – and that they tried to conceal the extent of their activities.
>>> Federal Employees Warned Not to Discuss Trump ‘Resistance’ at Work
NY Times

Discovery re-writes story of humanity
Gizmodo
— The discovery of 2.4-million-year-old stone tools and butchered bones at a site in Algeria suggests our distant hominin relatives spread into the northern regions of Africa far earlier than archaeologists assumed. The find adds credence to the newly emerging suggestion that ancient hominins lived—and evolved—outside a supposed Garden of Eden in East Africa.

On the way to your TV: ads targeted by your internet use
Fast Company
— Nielsen is expanding a pilot program that can replace cable TV advertising with targeted ads from the internet. After announcing a partnership with CBS in May, Nielsen now says it’s working with A&E and with MediaTek, whose chips power more than 50% of smart TVs.

So, Facebook now admits Sheryl Sandberg sent the hounds after Soros
BuzzFeed
…. she did in fact request research on Soros following comments he made at the World Economic Forum in January. During a speech, the billionaire said that Facebook and Google were a “menace” to the world and that the “internet monopolies” did not have the will or inclination to protect society.

Inmates sue, say porn ban violates Bill of Rights
Des Moines Register

500 million possibly exposed by Marriott data breach
CNBC

In the mood for total bullshit? See any media for “coverage” of the G-20
(Hint: All real deals will be made in secret.)
Or, if you’re in the mood for total fluff, see the current USA TODAY:

[]– Airline raising drink prices by $1
[]– 49ers football player trash talking
[]– SNL is not too interesting anymore
[]– Melania’s red xmas trees
[]– 5 best Amazon deals right now

noads-line

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