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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 10:58 AM
Number of posts: 18,139

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Trump wishes Flynn good luck ahead of former aide's sentencing

Source: The Hill

President Trump in an early morning tweet on Tuesday wished Michael Flynn good luck ahead of his first national security adviser's sentencing for lying to the FBI.

"Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn," the president said. "Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!"

Flynn, who will appear in D.C. federal court before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan later Tuesday, is not expected to be sentenced to significant prison time.

Special counsel Robert Mueller recommended a lenient sentence, citing Flynn's "substantial assistance" in ongoing investigations, and has not asked for any jail time for him.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/421816-trump-wishes-flynn-good-luck-ahead-of-former-aides-sentencing


Whoa... Kelly Slater (surfer) nails it!


Mick Mulvaney in October 2016: Trump would be disqualified from office in an 'ordinary universe'

Source: CNN

(CNN)Incoming White House acting-chief of staff Mick Mulvaney once said Donald Trump's past words and actions would disqualify him from becoming president in an "ordinary universe."

Mulvaney made the comments in a previously unreported October 2016 radio interview in which he also said Trump is not a role model and has said "atrocious things." On October 7, 2016, a week before Mulvaney made the comments, the Access Hollywood tape of Trump making lewd comments about women, including bragging about grabbing them by the genitals, was made public.

"My guess is worse stuff is going to come out in the last 30 days," Mulvaney said on October 13, 2016 on the Jonathan and Kelly Show, a South Carolina-based radio show. "They've got more videotapes. Everything the guy's ever said is on a videotape or an audio tape. There is going to be some atrocious things that are gonna come out. That's not going to make Hillary Clinton a good candidate for president."

"Should either of these people be, be a role model for my 16-year-old triplets? No," Mulvaney said. "In an ordinary universe, would both of these people's past activities disqualify them for serving for office? Yes. But that's not the world we live in today. The world we live in today, it's either him or her and for me that's still an easy choice."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/17/politics/kfile-mick-mulvaney-october-2016-interview/index.html


I voted for Trump. Now his wall may destroy my butterfly paradise.

The Republican party is abandoning the conservative principles I treasured.

Right now, in Mission, Tex., we don’t worry about immigrants who crossed the border illegally or drug smugglers. We worry about having to defend our private property from seizure by the federal government.

I work at the National Butterfly Center — which is along the U.S.-Mexico border — documenting wildlife and leading educational tours. Many of our visitors are young students from the Rio Grande Valley. When they first arrive, some of the children are scared of everything, from the snakes to the pill bugs. Here, we can show them animals that roam free and teach them not to be afraid. We talk about how we planted native vines, shrubs and trees to attract some 240 species of butterflies, as well as dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. The bugs brought the birds — including some you can’t see anywhere else in America, like Green Jays and Chachalacas — and from there, the bobcats and coyotes. We want to teach kids what it takes to create a home for all kinds of animals.

President Trump’s new border wall — which he has threatened to shut down the government to fund — will teach them what it takes to destroy it.

The first section, funded by Congress in 2018 for construction starting early next year, will cut right through our 100-acre refuge, sealing off 70 acres bordering the banks of the Rio Grande. The plan that we’ve seen calls for 18 feet of concrete and 18 feet of steel bollards, with a 150-foot paved enforcement zone for cameras, sensors, lighting and Border Patrol traffic. On the south side of the barrier, flooding will worsen. On the north side, animals (including threatened species like the Texas tortoise and the Texas horned lizard) will be cut off from ranging beyond the wall for feeding and breeding. Flood lighting will disrupt the usual patterns of nocturnal species. We dread the destruction that will come when the bulldozers arrive, which could be as early as February. That loud, heavy machinery will cause irreparable damage to the habitat we’ve worked so hard to restore.


Chickens freezing to death and boiled alive: failings in US slaughterhouses exposed

An investigation finds hundreds of shocking welfare incidents, fuelling concerns about standards in a post-Brexit trade deal

Chickens slowly freezing to death, being boiled alive, drowned or suffocating under piles of other birds are among hundreds of shocking welfare incidents recorded at US slaughterhouses, according to previously unpublished reports.

Among them are “inexcusable” violations, say campaigners, who ask if the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) current system, where inspectors issue reports when they see violations, really works. One inspector, who asked to remain anonymous, questioned the impact of those reports.

An investigation by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism looked at hundreds of inspection logs from the USDA detailing incidents in poultry plants across the country. In recent years, inspectors recorded numerous incidents where:

chickens suffocated to death beneath other chickens when they piled up on a conveyor belt that had stopped due to a mechanical failure.

chickens drowned after entering the scalding tank while conscious.

machines failed or there were incidents of staff being inadequately trained.

thousands of birds died of heat stress after travelling or being left waiting in trucks in temperatures above 90 degrees F, or alternatively, freezing to death in extremely low temperatures.


Saudis balk at U.S. Senate's "disrespect" over Khashoggi killing

Source: CBS/AP

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia issued an unusually strong rebuke of the U.S. Senate on Monday, rejecting a bipartisan resolution that put the blame for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi squarely on the Saudi crown prince and describing it as interference in the kingdom's affairs.

It's the latest sign of how the relationship between the royal court and Congress has deteriorated, more than two months after Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. The assassins have been linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

U.S. Senators last Thursday passed the measure that blamed the prince for Khashoggi's killing and called on Riyadh to "ensure appropriate accountability." Senators also passed a separate measure calling for the end of U.S. aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

In a lengthy statement early Monday, Saudi Arabia said the Senate's resolution "contained blatant interferences" in the kingdom's internal affairs and undermines its regional and international role. The resolution was based on "unsubstantiated claims and allegations," the statement said.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saudi-arabia-us-senate-jamal-khashoggi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-disrespect/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=61213411

Good lawd, check out this tweet from Sen. Hatch:

Not a cellphone in sight. Just people living in the moment.

The responses are humorous/on point!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Newest Collar Was Sent to Her By a Fan

We spoke with Susan Hyman, the lawyer who gifted the statement necklace.


But Town & Country has learned that there is actually another, sweeter meaning behind Ginsburg's choice of the metallic collar: it was a gift from a fan who views the Justice as a mentor and role model.

Lawyer (and fellow ACLU alum) Susan Hyman was inspired to send Justice Ginsberg the piece after seeing the recent documentary, RBG. The Los Angeles-based Hyman had paid homage to Ginsburg's trademark look for the screening of the movie, wearing a piece of jewelry from Stella and Dot, the brand she works for part-time. "I wore the necklace in tribute to RBG because it reminded me of some of the 'dissent collars' she has worn," Hyman explained.

After the credits began to roll, she felt inspired to take her tribute one step further; she decided to send Ginsburg the limited-edition Silver Pegasus necklace "in appreciation for her pioneering life’s work to advance women’s equality. I wrote that I hoped she would wear it with pride and joy."

The necklace, Hyman says, "reminds me of something a warrior princess like Wonder Woman would wear as armor into battle. It projects strength, confidence, and fearlessness."

Hyman didn't expect a response ("I really sent it in a leap of faith," she said), but Ginsburg didn't leave her hanging. Hyman soon received "a lovely hand written note from RBG on her official stationery. She warmly offered 'a thousand thanks' and expressed delight at her 'surprise package.' She described the necklace as 'exquisite' and promised to wear it on or off the bench."


"Our dragon holiday display got fan mail!"

Our dragon holiday display got fan mail! (And apparently the "true meaning of Christmas" involves judgmental bullshit?)

An update to yesterday's tweet re the letter I received from an anonymous, judgy-mcjudgyface neighbor who disapproved of my dragon display and asked me to consider removing them: I have added more dragons.


(*edit: this is not me)

Trump's Interior Chief to Step Down as Pressure Mounts From Ethics Inquiries

Source: Bloomberg

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has notified the White House that he intends to step down amid federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Zinke’s decision, expected to be announced on Wednesday, comes as Democrats, who’ve vowed to grill the him over his conduct, are about to take control of the House of Representatives, raising the prospect of heightened oversight -- and a crush of legal bills from defending himself. Concern about all the scrutiny and legal costs on the horizon were factors in Zinke’s decision to quit, said the people, who asked not to be identified to discuss it.

The impending departure also emerges as President Donald Trump grapples with other changes to his Cabinet that underscore the challenges of filling vacancies in a tumultuous administration. On Friday, the president announced that budget director Mick Mulvaney would take over as chief of staff, replacing John Kelly, whose ouster on Dec. 8 touched off a roller-coaster search to fill the key White House post.

Trump’s been aware of Zinke’s plans for several days, and a search for a replacement is under way, the people said.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-15/trump-s-interior-chief-said-to-step-down-amid-ethics-inquiries

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