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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,551

Journal Archives

Nunes Protege Now At White House Sues Politico Over Impeachment Stories

A White House official sued Politico and one of its reporters Monday, claiming its coverage putting him near the center of the impeachment drama was defamatory.

Kash Patel, a former lawyer for the Republicans’ side of the House Intelligence Committee who early this year joined the White House National Security Council, filed the suit in state court in Virginia. Patel claimed Politico undertook a “malicious effort” to “target and destroy the stellar career and reputation of a dedicated attorney.”

On Monday, Patel alleged in the rambling, harshly worded suit that Politico and its reporter, Natasha Bertrand, conspired with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, via “real-time” leaks from the chairman, to knowingly publish false and defamatory information about him.

Breitbart published a draft version of the suit on its website. Online records of the Henrico, Virginia, County Circuit Court show that a suit from Patel against Politico and Bertrand was filed Monday.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nunes-protege-now-at-white-house-sues-politico-over-impeachment-stories

Not surprising that the butthurt protégé of a Republican Congressman who's suing an imaginary internet cow would go after a political reporter for writing critical articles. What a bunch of snowflakes.

The Mustang Mach-E is the exciting shape of the electric future

Ford just unveiled its first EV and it’s stunning. Called the Mustang Mach-E it appears to get a lot of things right. From the branding to little surprises, the Mustang Mach-E looks to be a hit.

“We knew we had to do something different and something exciting and something only Ford could do,” Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America said at a press event prior to the Sunday unveiling. I think she’s right. The Mustang Mach-E is the ideal shape of the mass-produced electric future. Henry Ford would be proud. This is an electric car for the masses.

It starts with branding. I hate it. The car guy in me is sad that a Mustang will soon be available in a four-door version. And electric. And lifted. That’s not a Mustang, I want to say. A Mustang is a sports car. And yet a Mustang is an affordable, reliable vehicle, and that’s exactly why Ford is calling its first EV a Mustang.

Branding is critical for the electric future. Ford is using an established brand that resonates with buyers. Look for this again and again as car companies unveil an electric version of current and past vehicles. An electric Ford F-150 and an electric Jeep Cherokee.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/18/the-mustang-mach-e-is-the-exciting-shape-of-the-electric-future/

Mike Pompeo: Last in His Class at West Point in Integrity

It seems like every story you read about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo always includes the sentence that he graduated “first in his class” from West Point. That is not a small achievement. But it is even more impressive in Pompeo’s case when you consider that he finished No. 1 even though he must have flunked all his courses on ethics and leadership. I guess he was really good in math.

I say that because Pompeo has just violated one of the cardinal rules of American military ethics and command: You look out for your soldiers, you don’t leave your wounded on the battlefield and you certainly don’t stand mute when you know a junior officer is being railroaded by a more senior commander, if not outright shot in her back.

The classes on ethics and leadership at West Point would have taught all of that. I can only assume Pompeo failed or skipped them all when you observe his cowardly, slimy behavior as the leader of the State Department. I would never, ever, ever want to be in a trench with that man. Attention all U.S. diplomats: Watch your own backs, because Pompeo won’t be.

Pompeo knows very well that his ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was an outstanding foreign service officer, whose tour of duty in Kiev had been extended by his own State Department in March 2019 until 2020 — because of the excellence of her work. But, alas, she was suddenly told to get on the next plane out in late April, after President Trump — having marinated himself in conspiracy theories about Ukraine showered on him by Rudy Giuliani and his corrupt Ukrainian allies — demanded she be yanked.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/18/opinion/mike-pompeo.html

How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $0

In the 2017 fiscal year, FedEx owed more than $1.5 billion in taxes. The next year, it owed nothing. What changed was the Trump administration’s tax cut — for which the company had lobbied hard.

The public face of its lobbying effort, which included a tax proposal of its own, was FedEx’s founder and chief executive, Frederick Smith, who repeatedly took to the airwaves to champion the power of tax cuts. “If you make the United States a better place to invest, there is no question in my mind that we would see a renaissance of capital investment,” he said on an August 2017 radio show hosted by Larry Kudlow, who is now chairman of the National Economic Council.

Four months later, President Trump signed into law the $1.5 trillion tax cut that became his signature legislative achievement. FedEx reaped big savings, bringing its effective tax rate from 34 percent in fiscal year 2017 to less than zero in fiscal year 2018, meaning that, overall, the government technically owed it money. But it did not increase investment in new equipment and other assets in the fiscal year that followed, as Mr. Smith said businesses like his would.

Nearly two years after the tax law passed, the windfall to corporations like FedEx is becoming clear. A New York Times analysis of data compiled by Capital IQ shows no statistically meaningful relationship between the size of the tax cut that companies and industries received and the investments they made. If anything, the companies that received the biggest tax cuts increased their capital investment by less, on average, than companies that got smaller cuts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/17/business/how-fedex-cut-its-tax-bill-to-0.html

Roger Stone should be a footnote in history. Instead, his life shows our descent to shamelessness.

In 1978, Democrat Charles “Pug” Ravenel was giving Sen. Strom Thurmond (R), the former segregationist, a tough race for reelection in South Carolina. Ravenel was from a prominent, well-liked local family, but had made the mistake of prepping at Exeter and playing football at Harvard.

How do you tackle him? Well, if you were Roger Stone, you somehow “heard” thirdhand that Ravenel had promised at a private Manhattan fundraiser to be a “third senator from New York.” You get that rumor published in a minor New York rag. Then you and your partner in crime, a young South Carolina hustler named Lee Atwater, take this “news” and spread it from Charleston to Greenville to Myrtle Beach. And then you win the race going away, even as poor ol’ Pug protests that he’d never said any such thing.

Stone proudly told me the Ravenel story years later. As a political reporter, then and now, I talked with Roger a good bit — we all did — and over the decades he inevitably book-ended the conversations the same way. They began, “You didn’t hear this from me,” and ended, “Keep me out of trouble.”

I didn’t admit hearing things from him, but there was nothing I could do, even if I wanted to, to keep him out of trouble.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/roger-stone-embodies-the-political-age-from-nixon-to-trump/2019/11/15/fd2a5006-07f2-11ea-8ac0-0810ed197c7e_story.html

Trump Betrays the Military

His intervention in decisions about war crimes undermines the moral standing of the armed forces.

President Donald Trump on Friday cleared three military service members of war crimes, even after being reportedly advised against doing so by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Mr. Trump interceded on behalf of Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who had been charged with murdering an Afghan man; Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was convicted in connection with posing for a photo with the corpse of a fighter in Iraq; and Army First Lt. Clint Lorance, who, after nine fellow unit members testified against him, had been convicted of murdering two civilians in Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump may believe that intervening pays respect to those who have served in uniform, that it shows he’s “pro-military.” But if this is his view, he’s wrong. In reality, Mr. Trump’s meddling undermines the military’s institutional values, risks endangering American service members, and disrespects the honorable service of the overwhelming majority of veterans.

The military strives to ensure that its members adhere to the laws of war and respect human rights. Service members are trained, for example, to avoid civilian casualties by understanding rules of engagement and following the proper steps for escalation of force. They also learn the appropriate ways to treat detainees, and interrogators are trained to employ only the approved, legal methods.

During my two deployments to Afghanistan, my intelligence work helped lead to the capture of insurgent leaders. Sharing responsibility for their capture and as a recipient of the intelligence produced by their interrogations, I had a sense of moral reassurance in the understanding that my colleagues handled and interrogated the detainees humanely — just as they had been trained.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/opinion/trump-war-crimes-pardons-gallagher.html

Donald Trump, Corruption Fighter?

The impeachment inquiry revealed the absurdity of claims that he wanted to clean up Ukraine.

Republican defenders of Donald Trump have argued that he withheld congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine and a promised White House meeting because he wanted assurances that Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was serious about fighting corruption.

Sworn testimony in the House impeachment inquiry on Friday obliterated that defense, revealing that Mr. Trump was interested in assurances of a very different kind.

David Holmes, an official in the American Embassy in Kiev, testified to lawmakers privately that he had overheard a telephone conversation in which the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, assured the American president that his Ukrainian counterpart “loves your ass” and will do “anything you ask him to,” including to open investigations into the family of Mr. Trump’s leading Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

Mr. Holmes said that he overheard the conversation while sitting at a restaurant in Kiev with Mr. Sondland. Mr. Trump was speaking so loudly, Mr. Holmes said, that the ambassador held the phone away from his ear and Mr. Holmes could hear Mr. Trump demanding to know if Mr. Zelensky had committed to the investigations. Thus, apparently, is diplomacy conducted at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/opinion/trump-impeachment-holmes-yovanovitch.html

Matt Gaetz asks judge to sentence Pensacola drink-thrower to prison

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is asking the federal court to sentence Amanda Kondrat'yev — the woman who threw a drink on the congressman after a Pensacola campaign event in June — to "some time of incarceration," saying that the message needs to be sent to supporters and opponents that violence won't be tolerated.

Kondrat'yev, 35, is scheduled to be sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in August to the charge of assaulting a U.S. congressman. She admitted to throwing a cup full of red liquid at Gaetz as he was leaving the Brew Ha Ha restaurant for an "Open Gaetz" event on June 1.

Kondrat'yev faces up to a year in prison, a $100,000 fine or five years of probation, a fate that a federal judge will decide Monday.

In a victim impact statement provided to the court, a copy of which Gaetz's press secretary provided to the News Journal, Gaetz argues that not sentencing Kondrat'yev to prison will send a message to his supporters that violence will be tolerated.

https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/11/13/matt-gaetz-asks-judge-sentence-drink-thrower-prison-time/4178691002/

Pence Lies Against Bathroom Wall For Hours After Encountering Doorknob That Looks Like Female Breast



WASHINGTON—Rocking back and forth on the tile floor as he averted his eyes from the disgustingly suggestive entryway hardware, Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly against a bathroom wall for hours Thursday following an encounter with a doorknob resembling the female breast.

“Come on, Mikey, snap out of it…stand up, walk over there, just pull the door open, and you’ll be free,” said the vice president, attempting to avoid making physical contact with the enticingly curvaceous door pull by wrapping his fingers in a paper towel, only to have it tear and bring his palm into contact with the offensive contours, which sent him back to the sink to repeatedly wash his hands.

“Remember, it’s not a real woman. It’s just a piece of metal like any other doorknob. Just take a deep breath and don’t throw up.”

At press time, Pence had collapsed when a Secret Service agent opened the door, causing the knob to jiggle suggestively.

https://politics.theonion.com/paralyzed-mike-pence-lies-against-bathroom-wall-for-hou-1839861239

Italian ship attacked by pirates in Mexico, two crew hurt

Source: Reuters

Pirates attacked an Italy-flagged offshore supply vessel in the southern Gulf of Mexico, injuring two crew members, the Mexican Navy said on Tuesday, in the latest outbreak of robbery and piracy to hit oil platforms and infrastructure in the area.

One of the crew members of the boat, "Remas," received a bullet wound, and the other suffered a concussion, and both were transferred to a nearby hospital, the Navy said in a statement.

Owned by Italian offshore contractor Micoperi, the boat is a supply vessel for Mexico's oil industry.

It had a crew of about 35 when the attack occurred off the city of Ciudad del Carmen in the state of Campeche, according to two people familiar with the matter and local media reports.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/italian-ship-attacked-pirates-mexico-234516868.html
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