Friday, December 15, 2017

Those texts messages between the two FBI agents were not authorized for release by the DOJ, and in fact may have been the fault of Rep. Devin Nunes.

Courtesy of NBC News:  

The Department of Justice released 90 pages of text messages late Tuesday night, many harshly critical of candidate Donald Trump, that were exchanged between an FBI lawyer and an agent who was later assigned to Robert Mueller's special counsel team. 

e-mails were exchanged between Peter Strzok, one of the top FBI agents assigned to the Mueller investigation, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer. The two were romantically involved. 

When Mueller learned of the e-mails last summer, he removed Strzok from the team.

One message sent by Page to Strzok on March 4, 2016, reads, "God trump is a loathsome human," according to a transcript obtained by NBC News.

Later that year, in August, shortly after Trump secured the Republican nomination, Page sent Strzok an article on Trump's fumbling to understand Russia's annexation of Crimea, adding: "Jesus. You should read this. And Trump should go f himself." 

Strzok responded that he liked the article "And F Trump." 

Strzok told Page on July 14, "It's clear he's capturing all the white, poor voters who the mainstream Republicans abandoned in all but name in the quest for the almighty $$$$." 

In other messages, the couple shared pro-Clinton views. Strzok told Page in March, "God Hillary should win 100,000,000-0." 

Strzok then praised Clinton's nomination in July: "Congrats on a woman nominated for President in a major party! About damn time!"

So that was the story a few days ago.

Now keep in mind that these are not emails sent back and forth on the FBI's official accounts, these  are private  texts between two people in a relationship.

Also keep in mind when Mueller learned of them he had this agent removed immediately.

But if you think that is going to placate the Right Wing, well then you have simply not been watching enough Fox News.

Courtesy of Politico: 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley demanded answers Thursday about when top Department of Justice officials became aware of anti-Donald Trump text messages sent in 2015 and 2016 by top FBI officials, including one senior agent involved in the investigation of any Trump campaign connections to Russia. 

"The limited release of 375 text messages between Mr. Peter Strzok and Ms. Lisa Page indicate a highly politicized FBI environment during both the Clinton and Russia investigations," Grassley wrote in a letter to deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead a criminal probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Right on cue.

Now Democrats have been wondering why we are seeing these texts in the first place, as they are private and should probably have remained an internal FBI matter.

Courtesy of Politico: 

Democrats pressed the Justice Department on Thursday to explain why it released salacious, anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged between two FBI employees who are still under investigation for their work on the Russia special counsel investigation.

As it turns out the DOJ was not really behind the early  release of the texts. At least not officially:

The Department of Justice acknowledged in a statement on Thursday night that copies of private text messages exchanged between two former special-counsel investigators were disclosed to certain members of the media before they were given to Congress, even though those disclosures "were not authorized." 

Sarah Isgur Flores, a DOJ spokeswoman, told Politico that the text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were given to key members of the House Judiciary Committee the night before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's public testimony on Wednesday. 

The DOJ's Public Affairs division shared the same messages with a group of reporters after they were shared with the lawmakers, Flores said. But some members of the media "had already received copies." 

"As we understand now, some members of the media had already received copies of the texts before that — but those disclosures were not authorized by the department," she said.

So why did these private texts even get released in the first place?

Courtesy of Business Insider: 

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Friday said the Justice Department was "forced" to release private text messages exchanged between former special counsel investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page because House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes "was about to subpoena them." 

During an interview, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo had asked Gaetz, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee who has introduced a resolution to remove special counsel Robert Mueller from his post, what he knows about the ongoing investigation that has led him to believe it has been tainted. 

"What do you know that Rod Rosenstein does not?" Cuomo asked, referring to the deputy attorney general. 

"Well, Chris, all the American people can see the text messages that were forced to be released 'cause Devin Nunes was about to subpoena them," Gaetz said.

Nunes, and a number of the House Republicans, have been desperately searching for a way to derail Robert Mueller and his investigation,  and they are willing even to subpoena private texts between a man and his girlfriend to do it. 

Is it a smoking gun.

No, especially since this Strzok guy also made nasty remarks about Bernie Sanders and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

But the Republicans don't necessarily need a smoking gun,  they just need enough to create doubt in the minds of some Americans so that Mueller can be canned and they will believe it was completely  justified.

And they are already starting to put those wheels in motion.

Apparently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may soon be on his way out as well.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed focused this week on rebooting his image as a beleaguered Cabinet member on the outs with his boss and his own employees — holding a rare town hall with employees, promising foreign trips into 2018 and saying he is “learning” to enjoy his job. 

But then he went off script by offering another invitation for diplomatic talks with nuclear-armed North Korea, putting him at odds once again with President Trump and senior White House officials, who are increasingly exasperated with the secretary of state and say he cannot remain in his job for the long term. 

The episode highlights the deep distrust between the White House and Tillerson and suggests how difficult it will be for the relationship to continue. While Trump and Tillerson have clashed on several policy issues — including negotiating with North Korea, the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and planning to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem — much of the distance between them seems personal and probably irreversible, White House officials said. 

Tillerson, one White House official said, “had not learned his lesson from the last time,” when Trump publicly rebuked his top diplomat on Twitter over the wisdom of talking to North Korea. 

A senior U.S. official said foreign diplomats and leaders often ask if Tillerson is speaking for the administration and when he will depart. Another White House aide said White House officials, diplomats and other Cabinet secretaries largely deem the former ExxonMobil chief executive “irrelevant.”

Inside the White House, this person said, there are fairly regular conversations about who will replace Tillerson even as he remains in the job. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, for example, may no longer be the leading choice because it means he would not brief Trump every day, and the president likes him in that role, the official said. 

“I think our allies know at this point he’s not really speaking for the administration,” this Trump official said — a particularly sharp slap given that Tillerson has sought to be a buffer and interpreter for allies angry or bewildered by some of Trump’s actions.

Tillerson "had not learned his lesson."

Yeah, how dare this guy to continue trying to do his job.

At some point it seems possible that Trump will have replaced every single original member of his administration and White House staff. 

However he should keep in mind that rearranging the deck chairs did not keep the Titanic from sinking to an icy grave.

Donald Trump's FBI schizophrenia.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

President Trump on Friday tore into the FBI just hours before speaking at the agency’s training academy. 

“It’s a shame what's happened with the FBI. But we’re going to rebuild the FBI; it’ll be bigger and better than ever,” Trump told reporters. 

The president doubled down on his criticism of the nation’s top law enforcement agency before leaving the White House for the FBI’s campus in Quantico, Va., where he spoke to law enforcement leaders graduating from a training program. 

Trump said revelations about the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and text messages from a top agent that were critical of him were “really, really disgraceful.” 

“You have a lot of very angry people who are seeing it,” the president said. "It's a very sad thing to watch, I will tell you that."

By the way when Donald Trump says that "a lot of people are very angry" those people are really just the voices in his head.

They are also the same "people" who were finding "amazing" things about Barack Obama's birth certificate in Hawaii.

Now those statements above were straight from the orange tinted anus mouth of Trump in the morning, but later in the day he was singing a different tune.

Courtesy of Time Magazine: 

President Trump praised FBI agents as “great, great people” and “heroes for all of us” at a graduation less than an hour after criticizing the agency to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. 

In a speech to the FBI National Academy’s graduating class, Trump argued that America should do more to protect and respect law enforcement officials, even calling for the death penalty for people who harm them. 

“Deliver a message to your fellow officers — the President of the United States has your back 100 percent,” he said.

I try not to watch Trump in real time, and tend to wait until later and watch journalists reporting on what he said.

However this morning I actually watched both of these exchanges as they were happening, and during that speech to the  FBI graduates by jaw just went slack.

It quite literally made me doubt what I had heard earlier today.

The man is either completely schizophrenic, or the comments to the reporters on the White House lawn are his actual opinions, and the shit he spewed in front of the graduates are words written for him by his speech writers to make him seem presidential, that he just reads off robotically like an episode of the Apprentice.

You decide.

The Donald Trump/Vladimir Putin bromance continues with late night phone calls and public mash notes to each other.

Courtesy of Sky News:  

Vladimir Putin has revealed he and Donald Trump are on first name terms, as the Russian President spoke to the media during his four-hour, end-of-year news conference. 

"This is how relations should be between people like us," Mr Putin said to reporters at the marathon annual event. 

He praised Mr Trump's "accomplishments", saying: "I'm not the one to evaluate the (US) President's work. That needs to be done by the voters, the American people. 

"(But) we are objectively seeing that there have been some major accomplishments, even in the short time he has been working. 

"Look at how the markets have grown. This speaks to investors' trust in the American economy."

Putin also claimed that allegations that Russia tampered in the 2016 election are made up by the US media.  (Perhaps forgetting that a number of Russian media outlets have confirmed that as well.)

Courtesy of Yahoo News

"All of this has been invented, made up by people who are in opposition to President Trump with a view to shedding a negative light on what President Trump is doing " Putin said, translated from Russian, and going on to call it "nonsense."

Personally I'm just amazed he restrained himself from calling it "fake news," because you know he wanted to.

For his part as soon as he learned that his boyfriend and complimented him, Donald Trump gave him a ring.

Courtesy of USA Today: 

Russian President Vladimir Putin had some kind words for President Trump's handling of the U.S. economy on Thursday — so Trump called Putin to personally thank him. 

The two sides sent out only bare-bones summaries of the afternoon phone call, but the White House version of the call noted that Trump "thanked President Putin for acknowledging America’s strong economic performance" earlier in the day. 

In his annual freewheeling press conference Thursday, Putin remarked on the booming U.S. stock market — a regular Trump talking point — and said it was a sign that investors "trust in what President Trump has been doing in this field."

Jesus, get a room already. 

I heard a host on MSNBC today saying that Trump's consistent affection for Putin is "one of the greatest mysteries facing us right now." And that it "made no sense."

I beg to differ.

If somebody gifted you with the most powerful political office on the planet, wouldn't you be making goo goo eyes at them as well?

Majority of Americans believe that Donald Trump should resign over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Courtesy of Public Policy Polling:

PPP’s newest national poll finds that a majority of voters think Donald Trump should resign from the Presidency because of the allegations of sexual harassment against him. 53% think Trump should step down to just 42% who think he should remain in office. 53% of voters believe the women who have accused Trump of harassment, to 31% who think they aren’t telling the truth.

The pressure is building from all sides and it does not seen viable at this point that Trump will serve out his entire four years.

Personally I do not care how Trump is removed from office, whether it be due to the Mueller investigation, or due to these allegations of sexual harassment and assault, just so long as he is removed from office.

Former British Prime Minister says that Trump's attack on the media, and use of term "fake news," is dangerous.

Courtesy of Politico:

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron called out Donald Trump’s attacks on the media, saying his use of term “fake news” was “dangerous.” 

Giving Transparency International UK’s annual lecture in London on Wednesday evening, Cameron said attacks on journalists were “bad news for the fight against corruption.” 

He then turned his attention to the U.S. president, saying: “When Donald Trump uses the term ‘fake news’ to describe CNN and the BBC, that is not just a questionable political tactic. It’s actually dangerous.”

“Of course broadcasters make mistakes and it’s right they correct them,” Cameron said. “But what is being attempted here goes far beyond that. It’s an attempt to question the whole legitimacy of organizations that have an important role in our democracy. 

“Let me put it like this. President Trump: ‘Fake news’ is not broadcasters criticizing you, it’s Russian bots and trolls targeting your democracy … pumping out untrue stories day after day, night after night.”

This is how the world sees the current Commander-in-Chief, as a thin skinned buffoon.

And they are correct to do so.

PepsiCo reserves one hundred of Tesla's new electric semi trucks. The future is here.

Courtesy of Reuters:  

PepsiCo Inc has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc’s new electric Semi trucks, the largest-known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday. 

Tesla has been trying to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks. 

Early orders reflect uncertainty over how the market for electric commercial vehicles will develop. About 260,000 heavy-duty Class-8 trucks are produced in North America annually, according to FTR, an industry economics research firm. 

PepsiCo’s 100 trucks add to orders by more than a dozen companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc, and foodservice distribution company Sysco Corp. Reservations to date are at 267 Tesla trucks, according to a Reuters tally. 

PepsiCo intends to deploy Tesla Semis for shipments of snack foods and beverages between manufacturing and distribution facilities and direct to retailers within the 500-mile (800-km) range promised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.

I know I must drive some of you crazy with my fixation on new technologies and the move to renewable energies, but what can I say, the future is indeed exciting.

Alternative energy sources, autonomous vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, the next decade or so is going to be amazing.

Now if only our humanity can catch up with our technologies.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Roger Stone is currently writing book under the assumption that Trump will soon be removed from office.

Courtesy of Vanity Fair:  

One Trump ally is making plans to commercialize Trump’s downfall. Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone told me he is working on a book titled The Unmaking of the President as part of a multi-book deal with Skyhorse Publishing. (Last fall, Skyhorse published Stone’s campaign account, The Making of the President 2016.) “I’ve been writing it as we go along,” he told me. 

Stone said he got the idea to write a book chronicling Trump’s removal from office after watching how the White House responded to the Robert Mueller investigation. “It’s painfully obvious Mueller will bring charges,” Stone said. “The theory is Mueller will indict him on some process-related matter” such as obstruction of justice. “The only people who don’t seem to know it are Ty Cobb, [John] Dowd, and the president.” 

Stone also believes Trump could be removed from office because he has surrounded himself with disloyal Cabinet members and other top officials. “Nikki Haley stuck a knife in his back,” Stone said, referring to her comments about Trump’s accusers. According to Stone’s back-of-the-napkin tally, only two Cabinet members would vote against invoking the 25th Amendment, the provision by which the president can be deemed unable to serve (Congress would have to vote by a two-thirds majority to remove him permanently). 

Stone made it clear he’s not writing the book because he wants to, he’s just planning ahead. “I hope it’s a book I don’t have to publish,” he said, expressing dismay at Trump’s political prospects. “I just don’t think Trump is being told the truth about how bad things are.”

Typically Trump supporters argue that all of the investigations are "fake news" and that Trump is going to be the most successful president in history.

But if one that has been with him since the 80's is now writing a book about the premature end of his presidency, it would appear that the writing is definitely on the wall, and even loyal Trump supporters can read it for themselves.

Blake "Ducky PJ's" Farenthold will not seek reelection amid accusations of sexual harassment.

Courtesy of the New York Times:

Representative Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican who settled a lurid sexual harassment claim with his former communications director for $84,000 and faced accusations from other aides that he ran a hostile workplace, announced Thursday that he will not run for re-election, saying the allegations have become “a political distraction.” 

He is the fourth lawmaker in two weeks to announce his eventual departure from Congress amid the swirl of sexual allegations and the sixth this year. 

In a nearly five-minute long video posted on his campaign’s Facebook page, Mr. Farenthold denied the sexual harassment allegations from his former communications director, Lauren Greene. But he admitted, with unusual candor, that he had run an “unprofessional” workplace and that his own temper sometimes got out of hand, describing himself as “profoundly sorry” for his conduct. 

“I’d never served in public office before. I had no idea how to run a congressional office, and as a result I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional,” Mr. Farenthold said. 

“It accommodated destructive gossip, offhand comments, off-color jokes,” he went on, adding, “and I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outburst and too often a failure to treat people with the respect that they deserved. That was wrong.”

Gee ya think?

By the way that "I'd never served in public office before" excuse is extremely weak.

Farenthold was first elected in 2010, when he was about 49 years old.

He was a fucking adult! He was not some frat boy who suddenly got to play Congressman for a day.

By 49 years old you should know not to talk about your female employee's boobs, get shit faced on the job, and act like an out of control asshole to your staff.

As it turns out Farenthold may have been given a little shove by Speaker of the House, and Eddie Munster lookalike, Paul Ryan.

Courtesy of CNN: 

Rep. Blake Farenthold, who's under fire for accusations of sexual harassment, is not planning to run for re-election, a Republican source familiar with situation told CNN on Thursday. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke with Farenthold, a Texas Republican, twice late Wednesday. Rep. Steve Stivers, who chairs the House campaign arm, also met with Farenthold. 

"Look, I had a couple of conversations with Blake Farenthold," Ryan said at his weekly news conference. "I think he's making the right decision to retire. There are new stories that are disconcerting. Unacceptable behavior has been alleged in those stories. And I think he's made the right decision that he's leaving Congress. And that reflects on the conversations we've had."

This is now becoming a thing with Ryan who also recently had to give the boot to Trent Franks, who was trying to get at least one of his female staff members to let him plant his demon seed in their womb.

This new role has Ryan talking about leaving Congress as well:  

House Speaker Paul Ryan has had soul searching conversations about his future with friends, some of his close friends tell CNN. 

Those people close to Ryan told CNN they believe it is possible that he could leave Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, if he can achieve his goal of passing GOP backed overhaul of the US tax system. Some say his departure could possibly happen even sooner. Some friends indicate that Ryan may be suffering from a bout of "Trump-haustion," but others believe there is serious contemplation of leaving Congress in 2018.

Ryan is now denying the accuracy of this reporting, but that is what they all say right before they resign.

So we will see.

The Washington Post dives deep to explore Donald Trump's overwhelming desire to be Vladimir Putin's buddy and his skepticism concerning American intelligence.

The following is courtesy of WaPo.

Trump angrily resisted having to admit that the Russians hacked the DNC:

But as aides persisted, Trump became agitated. He railed that the intelligence couldn’t be trusted and scoffed at the suggestion that his candidacy had been propelled by forces other than his own strategy, message and charisma.

Told that members of his incoming Cabinet had already publicly backed the intelligence report on Russia, Trump shot back, “So what?” Admitting that the Kremlin had hacked Democratic Party emails, he said, was a “trap.” 

As Trump addressed journalists on Jan. 11 in the lobby of Trump Tower, he came as close as he ever would to grudging acceptance. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” he said, adding that “we also get hacked by other countries and other people.” 

As hedged as those words were, Trump regretted them almost immediately. “It’s not me,” he said to aides afterward. “It wasn’t right.”

This has left America essentially defenseless against further Russian cyber attacks:  

Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. 

The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president — and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality — have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat. The repercussions radiate across the government. 

Rather than search for ways to deter Kremlin attacks or safeguard U.S. elections, Trump has waged his own campaign to discredit the case that Russia poses any threat and he has resisted or attempted to roll back efforts to hold Moscow to account.

In fact rather than look for ways to protect America and punish Russia for their interference, the Trump Administration has worked to  roll back some of the sanctions put in place by the Obama Administration and to resist the implementation of newer ones.

Trump also seems almost desperate to form an alliance with Putin and the Kremlin:  

Trump’s stance on the election is part of a broader entanglement with Moscow that has defined the first year of his presidency. He continues to pursue an elusive bond with Putin, which he sees as critical to dealing with North Korea, Iran and other issues. “Having Russia in a friendly posture,” he said last month, “is an asset to the world and an asset to our country.” 

His position has alienated close American allies and often undercut members of his Cabinet — all against the backdrop of a criminal probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Overall the Kremlin is pleased with the results of their interference:   

Moscow has not achieved some its most narrow and immediate goals. The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has not been recognized. Sanctions imposed for Russian intervention in Ukraine remain in place. Additional penalties have been mandated by Congress. And a wave of diplomatic retaliation has cost Russia access to additional diplomatic facilities, including its San Francisco consulate. 

But overall, U.S. officials said, the Kremlin believes it got a staggering return on an operation that by some estimates cost less than $500,000 to execute and was organized around two main objectives — destabilizing U.S. democracy and preventing Hillary Clinton, who is despised by Putin, from reaching the White House. 

The bottom line for Putin, said one U.S. official briefed on the stream of post-election intelligence, is that the operation was “more than worth the effort.”

“Putin has to believe this was the most successful intelligence operation in the history of Russian or Soviet intelligence,” said Andrew Weiss, a former adviser on Russia in the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations who is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “It has driven the American political system into a crisis that will last years.”

Well gee, isn't that great?

When it came time to sign the new Russian sanctions bill that the Congress overwhelmingly approved, Trump almost could not bring himself to do it:

In the final days before passage, Trump watched MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program and stewed as hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski declared that the bill would be a slap in the face to the president. “He was raging,” one adviser said. 

“He was raging mad.” 

After final passage, Trump was “apoplectic,” the adviser recalled. It took four days for aides to persuade him to sign the bill, arguing that if he vetoed it and Congress overturned that veto, his standing would be permanently weakened. 

“Hey, here are the votes,” aides told the president, according to a second Trump adviser. “If you veto it, they’ll override you and then you’re f---ed and you look like you’re weak.” 

Trump signed but made his displeasure known. His signing statement asserted that the measure included “clearly unconstitutional provisions.” Trump had routinely made a show of bill signings, but in this case no media was allowed to attend.

After the sanctions bill passed into law the Russian Prime Minister taunted Trump on Facebook, and called him "impotent," which of course only further angered Trump.

There is a lot more to the article, and I urge you to read it.

Once you finish I am sure you will agree with me that we desperately need to find a way to remove this asshole from office as soon as possible.

One of the guys behind "pizza-gate" tries to accuse Senator Chuck Schumer of sexual misconduct using a forged document.

Wait, what did they day I did?
Courtesy of he Daily Beast:  

A forged document accusing the top Democrat in the Senate of sexual harassment copied language verbatim from a real sexual-harassment complaint filed against Rep. John Conyers. 

On Tuesday afternoon, right-wing social media personalities Charles Johnson and Mike Cernovich boasted of obtaining a document that would put a senator out of a job. 

“Michael Cernovich & I are going to end the career of a U.S. Senator,” Johnson posted on Facebook on Monday. 

The senator was Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York, Axios first reported. 

But the document was fake. A copy of the document, obtained by The Daily Beast, purports to be draft lawsuit complaint against Schumer by a former staffer. It accuses him of sexual harassment. Schumer’s office told The Daily Beast the document and her signature are forgeries. Schumer’s office said the senator was not in Washington, D.C. or the United States during several dates in the document when he is said to have harassed the staffer. 

“The document is a forged document and every allegation is false,” Schumer spokesperson Matt House told The Daily Beast. “We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken. We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same.” 

The former staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the document was a forgery.

This Mike Cernovich guy is the same asshole who claimed that coded messages in John Podesta's hacked emails showed that Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats were involved in a child sex ring in a DC pizza joint.

Currently Cernovich is trying to save face by claiming that he was duped by whoever was shopping this around, but the forgery should have been fairly obvious to anybody who was utilizing critical thinking skills.
Look we need to listen to women reporting on sexual harassment, even if the person being accused is one of our guys, or even a personal hero.

However we also have to maintain a certain amount of healthy skepticism because this #MeToo movement is a powerful tool, and clearly folks with a partisan agenda can use it to attack and even defeat those who they perceive as enemies of their cause.

And by the way this goes for both sides.

Even if we REALLY want to believe that somebody we dislike did something terrible, we still need to pay attention to the evidence and let THAT dictate their guilt or innocence.

Kentucky state representative commits suicide after denying allegations that he sexually molested a 17 year old girl.

Courtesy of WDRB: 

Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson, who was under investigation for alleged sexual molestation, died of a "probable suicide," the Bullitt County coroner said Wednesday night. 

Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Johnson drove onto the bridge over the Salt River on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington, parked on the north side of it and shot himself in front of his car. His body was found on the bank of the river, just past the bridge. 

Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Johnson posted the following message on his Facebook page: 

"The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 16 years is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. IT Has Won This Life . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT !"

The coroner said police were alerted after someone saw that Facebook post by Johnson. Officers then pinged Johnson's phone and found his body.

Johnson was found dead of a bullet wound, and it appears that his Facebook post is a suicide note, so I do not think that the word "probable" is especially necessary in this case. 

Johnson, who called himself the "Pope," was known to post racist images of President Obama and his family on Facebook, and he originally addressed these allegations by denying them and then busting out a Christmas carol.

The Kremlin perceives Donald Trump's tweets as official statements.

Dmitry Peskov
Courtesy of Reuters:  

Tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump are viewed in Moscow as his official position and read by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday it was not his place to comment on Trump’s actions, but added: ”In any case, everything which is published from his authorised Twitter account is perceived by Moscow as his official statement. 

“Naturally, it is reported to Putin along with other information about official statements by politicians,” Peskov said, adding that Putin was not a Twitter user himself.

I would bet big money that other foreign governments also perceive these tweets as official statements, because they KNOW that they are the actual words coming from the man currently occupying the Oval Office.

Which means that tweets like this are considered by many to be the official position of the president of the United States.
Just imagine how our adversaries will use that to target American media outlets or dismiss their reporting altogether. 

Anchorage broke another record. A really bad one.

Courtesy of the ADN: 

The death of a man whose body was found in Butte is now being investigated as a homicide in Anchorage, Alaska State Troopers said Monday. That would bring the city to a record number of homicides in a calendar year. 

The body of Anchorage man Weston Gladney, 36, was found in the Jim Creek recreation area of Butte, in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, on Dec. 2. 

"Investigation by troopers has determined that the homicide occurred in Anchorage," Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said. "At this time there is no additional information available for release in regards to this ongoing investigation."

Gladney's killing was the 35th homicide in Anchorage in 2017, police said – a new record. In 2016, there were a total of 34 homicides in the city, which also set a record.

Of course these statistics may seem minor when compared to big cities, but keep in mind that Anchorage has less than 300,000 people living there.

And yet Forbes Magazine once ranked us the tenth most dangerous city.

It should come as some comfort that most of those murdered knew their killers, or were involved in criminal activity.

In other words every day citizens of the city should feel relatively safe. (Or as safe as you can feel when every other asshole is probably carrying a gun.)