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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: 11,952

Journal Archives

Lindsey Buckingham's vocal cords damaged after emergency heart surgery

Lindsey Buckingham underwent emergency open heart surgery late last week, and though he’s on the mend at home, the operation resulted in vocal cord damage.

The former Fleetwood Mac rocker’s wife, Kristen Buckingham, posted the update on Facebook Friday afternoon, capping off a tumultuous year for the musician that included his ouster from the Grammy-winning band.

“Each day he is stronger than the last,” his wife wrote. “While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.”

All touring and shows scheduled will be put on pause as Buckingham “gathers the strength to heal completely,” she added.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-lindsey-buckingham-heart-surgery-vocal-cords-20190208-story.html

'Fly, My Pretties,' Says Jeff Bezos Releasing Swarm Of Amazon Drones To Hunt Down Nude Photos



MEDINA, WA—Standing on the roof of his towering estate as the tiny machines buzzed all around him, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly set loose hundreds of Prime Air drones Friday to hunt down and retrieve the nude photos of him obtained by the National Enquirer.

“Take your army and bring them back to me!” cackled Bezos, who is said to have thrown his arms into the air as the sky darkened and the motorized swarm tore across the land, tearing phones from people’s hands, destroying computers, and clawing out the eyes of anyone who may have seen the intimate “below the belt” images.

“Grant no quarter to those who have gazed upon my hallowed member. Now, fly! Fly!”

At press time, sources confirmed the drones had dumped the nude photos of several hundred thousand Americans on the CEO’s balcony.

https://www.theonion.com/fly-my-pretties-says-jeff-bezos-releasing-swarm-of-1832469973

National Enquirer owner says it 'acted lawfully' toward Amazon's Jeff Bezos

Source: LA Times

National Enquirer owner American Media Inc. pushed back Friday against Amazon.com Inc. chief Jeff Bezos’ accusation that the magazine and its publisher — a confidant of President Trump — had tried to blackmail and extort him.

“American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully,” the company said in a statement.

The National Enquirer published an expose on Bezos’ relationship with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, and Bezos hired investigators to find out if the story was politically motivated. Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has written critical stories of Trump, and Trump counts National Enquirer publisher David Pecker as a close ally.

In a surprising move Thursday, Bezos said the National Enquirer threatened to publish more details and revealing photos if the executive didn’t stop the investigation. His statement online included vivid descriptions of the images.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jeff-bezos-national-enquirer-20190208-story.html

Lights Go Out on Maduro Twice and He Rips an Aide in Public

The lights went out on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as he spoke to a group of reporters and government officials in Caracas.

Then they went out again.

He was busy explaining how the humanitarian aid that the opposition is planning to cross into Venezuela from Colombia is part of a macabre plan cooked up by Washington to intervene in the South American nation.

In the dark, Maduro asked his Electricity Minister Luis Motta Dominguez what was going on.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-08/lights-go-out-twice-on-maduro-s-international-press-conference

The Trump administration says hooray to payday loan debt traps

One of the Obama administration’s signature consumer-protection actions was to write a long-awaited, badly needed set of rules for payday loans that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued in November 2017. So it was hardly surprising Wednesday when the Trump administration, which has devoted so much effort to erasing its predecessor’s accomplishments, came to the rescue of the payday lenders that monetize the desperation of financially strapped Americans.

It’s a reprehensible move. And in laying out its reasons for easing up on payday lenders, the administration signaled its unwillingness to regulate predatory lending in general.

Payday lenders offer relatively small short-term loans to anyone with a paycheck and a bank account, regardless of his or her financial health. It’s precious close to no-questions-asked lending. The catch is the loans have to be repaid in full within two to four weeks, and the fees charged — most commonly $15 per $100 borrowed — are the financial equivalent of a triple-digit annual interest rate. About 15 states have usury laws that block payday lending; the rest cap such loans at $300 (as in California) to $1,000.

These loans are so costly for consumers, no one with access to a Visa card or a home equity line of credit would ever dream of taking one out. That’s why the loans are considered a last-resort form of borrowing for people with few assets or bad credit — in other words, for the financially desperate.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-payday-loan-rules-20190208-story.html

I really like Hakeem Jeffries

"Mr. Whitaker that was a statement not a question."

Can't live with Trump, can't live without him: California Republicans' challenging future

Still smarting from historic losses in the November “blue wave,” Orange County Republicans gathered last month to consider a new leader and direction for the state party.

Though President Trump wasn’t the topic of discussion in the Costa Mesa hotel ballroom where they met, he was likely not far from anyone’s mind.

“All they want to tell us in the Republican establishment is you need to look and sound more like a California Democrat — to be a ‘Republican Light’ — to get elected in California. Is that true?” shouted former Assemblyman Travis Allen, an ardent Trump supporter running for California Republican Party chairman, before a chorus of “No!” filled the room.

As Republicans prepare to elect a new chair later this month to remake their battered California brand, Allen and the restive group of activists backing him present a challenge: How does the party harness grass-roots fervor that has reinvigorated its base but could prove volatile in charting a path forward?

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-california-republicans-activists-20190207-story.html

The California Republican Party is heading for extinction since they refuse to change. Good riddance, I say.

The Mueller investigation has sprouted. Therein lies the jeopardy for Trump.

If the old Watergate expression is “It’s not the crime; it’s the coverup,” then today’s equivalent might be “It’s not the crime; it’s the crime’s offspring.”

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York served a sweeping subpoena on President Trump’s inaugural committee on Monday. Nothing could more clearly illustrate the breadth of the president’s legal exposure and the limits of his nearly two-year strategy to attack and undermine special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — because the special counsel’s work is merely the sturdy root of a veritable Mueller family tree. What began as an FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has sprouted into multiple investigations in multiple jurisdictions examining multiple possible crimes. The case against the president’s personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is the direct line, the first child. The investigation of the inaugural committee, which sprang from the Cohen case, is the grandchild. And on it goes.

The president no longer faces jeopardy from just one federal criminal probe, but at least three, and not just one prosecutor’s office, but the full resources of the entire Justice Department. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump asserted that “ridiculous partisan investigations” threatened the “economic miracle” that was happening on his watch. The threat of the investigations, however you characterize them, is to the president himself.


Prosecutors looking into illegality in one area of the president’s life have discovered evidence of potential crimes in other areas. Mueller’s discovery of wrongdoing by Cohen led to a referral to prosecutors in Manhattan, who secured a guilty plea from Cohen for violating campaign finance laws and alleged in court papers that it was Trump who directed Cohen to break the law. That investigation in turn produced evidence of wrongdoing at the Trump inaugural committee, which has led to an investigation of a Trump donor, a Los Angeles venture capitalist with ties to Qatar.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/02/07/mueller-investigation-has-sprouted-therein-lies-jeopardy-trump/

Bet everything on electric: Inside Volkswagen's radical strategy shift

If Volkswagen realizes its ambition of becoming the global leader in electric cars, it will be thanks to a radical and risky bet born out of the biggest calamity in its history.

The German giant has staked its future, to the tune of 80 billion euros ($91 billion), on being able to profitably mass-produce electric vehicles - a feat no carmaker has come close to achieving.

So far mainstream automakers' electric plans have had one main goal: to protect profits gleaned from high-margin conventional cars by adding enough zero-emission vehicles to their fleet to meet clean-air rules.

Customers have meanwhile largely shunned electric vehicles because they are too expensive, can be inconvenient to charge and lack range.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bet-everything-electric-inside-volkswagens-radical-strategy-shift-070347319--finance.html

Younger than 100? Soon, you might not be able to smoke cigarettes in Hawaii.

Lawmakers in Hawaii have proposed legislation that would begin phasing out cigarettes in the state, banning them altogether within the next several years.

At least, for people younger than 100.

The bipartisan bill, H.B. 1509, aims to raise the legal minimum age to use cigarettes to exclude everyone but centenarians by 2024 to “keep people healthy and alive in the Aloha State,” state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R), one of the sponsors of the bill, said Tuesday afternoon in a phone interview with The Washington Post.

“I know it may be a hard road,” Thielen added, “but you have to take that first, strong step — and that’s what we’re doing.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/02/05/younger-than-soon-you-might-not-be-able-smoke-cigarettes-hawaii/

Shades of the Prohibition era...
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