Weekender

No provable collusion or obstruction of justice, they say
CNN

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
WaPost

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
Reason

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
AP

… 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
Quartz

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
CBS-NY

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 …
AP

cruise-ship-ht-04-jpo-190323_hpEmbed_3x2_992

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

<WaPost>

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

<WaPost>

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.

flightatt

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 …

lotto


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 …

julia+galxia+passport+photo

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
AP
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
NPR
Two beg court to keep their names out of Epstein pervert case
Politico

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
Politico

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