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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 13,571

Journal Archives

How Wanda Austin blazed a trail from public housing to a perch as USC's acting president

In the Bronx, Wanda Pompey occupied two worlds: the tenements and public housing projects where she lived and the white schools her mother pushed her to attend.

Teachers paid scant attention to her and the few other black students. But one day in seventh grade, her math teacher, Mr. Cohen, had the class do a difficult algebra problem.

When he handed back the papers, he said, loud enough for the class to hear, “Hey, you’re good at math, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not.”

His praise inspired her. She doubled down on math, skipped eighth grade and was accepted into the elite Bronx High School of Science.


Broke, a sheriff in Appalachian coal country struggles to provide law and order

Before making a wave of cutbacks across his department, Martin County Sheriff John Kirk delivered a grim warning to residents of this hardscrabble Appalachian community.

“Law enforcement as we have known for the last four years will not exist,” he posted on Facebook last month. “WE ARE BROKE… LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS AND GET YOU A BARKING, BITING DOG. If the Sheriff’s office can’t protect you, WHO WILL?”

In a sense, it was political bluster. When he can, Kirk still patrols this remote former coal mining region on the eastern edge of Kentucky, responding to traffic accidents and break-ins, knocking on the doors of suspected drug dealers, serving papers and transporting prisoners.

But with only one other paid law enforcement officer on staff now to help him monitor a 231-square-mile area day and night, his department is stretched to its limit.


And yet Obama's somehow to blame.

Fitness and health apps may be sharing the most private details about your life

Do you use an app to help you count steps? Or does your company offer an app to monitor your health?

Nearly every facet of our lives can be tracked now, but they can be detrimental to your privacy. Some health apps are reevaluating their relationships with Facebook FB, +1.95% after a Wall Street Journal report revealed they send sensitive personal details to the social media platform without users knowing, underscoring the privacy risks with such apps.

At least four apps the WSJ contacted as part of its reporting cut off transmission of sensitive data to Facebook. “The apps that made the change include Flo Health Inc.’s Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker and Azumio Inc.’s Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor,” it reported.

“It’s common for developers to share information with a wide range of platforms for advertising and analytics,” a Facebook spokeswoman told MarketWatch. “We require the other app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data.”


If Michael Cohen can see the light, so can Trump's lackeys - even you, Jim Jordan

Almost the moment he took his seat before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, dumped out a trove of glittering doubloons. Then, for good measure, he emptied two massive lawn bags of breadcrumbs.

The coins were damning facts about the president. The breadcrumbs were names of other witnesses who could bring the committee more gold.

In short order, we got the inside line on how the gray-green Trump sausage is made. You pretend to be rich when you want a loan, you pretend to be poor when you ask “the tax department for a deduction.” You pretend to be a ladies’ man when you think the mic is off; you pretend to be faithful wife by having your lawyer lie to your wife. You tweet that you’re a paragon of health; you pretend to be frail to sit out Vietnam.

All that pretending takes some virtuoso fixing, where “fixing” is breaking the truth and hot-gluing it into the weird garbage art that Trumpworld uses to justify itself.


I smoked weed with my son. We're closer now.

My son had recently graduated from high school when I knocked on his bedroom door three summers ago, holding a disposable vape pen filled with cannabis oil — a 21st-century joint. “I know what we can do tonight,” I said slyly, revealing the slender, black cylinder. His father was on a business trip, his two sisters at camp in Connecticut.

“Where’d you get that?” he asked eagerly, without a trace of the wariness or disdain that my overtures usually elicited.

I told him about my first excursion to a legal weed store, during a weekend girls’ trip to Seattle — my family now lives in Middlebury, Vt. — with the four women whose support and dark humor helped me survive his childhood. I described the tall glass canisters piled with plump buds, the refrigerated case of chocolate edibles, the sales clerk so stoned he couldn’t articulate which variety would help me sleep and which would make me laugh.

My son became animated and talkative, something I wasn’t used to. We’d been trapped in an ugly cycle of conflict and withdrawal since he was in middle school, our exchanges often either monosyllabic or explosive. Yet there he was, expounding on cannabis strains (sativa energizes you, indica relaxes), the effects of smoking vs. edibles (smoking works faster, the effects of edibles last longer) and how to grow your own. He knew a lot about weed. He’d been smoking since the eighth grade, and it had been the source of many family fights. But not that night.


McCarthy says hush payments aren't impeachable offenses

Source: NBC News

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told ABC's "This Week" that the hush payments President Donald Trump's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen made to two women before the 2016 presidential election "aren't impeachable" offenses.

Cohen pleaded guilty last year to a pair of campaign-finance violations among a longer list of felony charges. Those violations stemmed from hush money payments he made just before the 2016 election to silence two women who allege past affairs with Trump. Federal prosecutors alleged that Trump directed those payments.

This week, during his public testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Cohen provided a pair of checks he said were reimbursements he received in 2017 for the hush payment to one of the women, porn star Stormy Daniels. One check was signed by the president and the other was signed by Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Both were for $35,000.

"Listen, you know what concerns me? If you hire an attorney — if I hire an attorney to make sure I carry out the law, the attorney has a responsibility to tell me what's right and wrong in the process," McCarthy said. "I watched — this is a — if it’s a finance campaign, those are fines. Those aren’t impeachable in the process."

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mccarthy-says-hush-payments-aren-t-impeachable-offenses-n978661

Wanna bet?

141 days after Hurricane Michael, here are the people living in tents

BAY COUNTY — It started with about $2,400 and a choice.

Option one was to use the money to look for a place to rent, as a combination of Hurricane Michael damage and confusion with their landlord about what telephone number to use cost Mystie Gregory, Gary LaPlant and their two year old daughter Neala the mobile home they were renting and nearly everything in it.

Option two was to use the money to buy the set of tools LaPant needed to make some money fixing the abundance of homes the Category 4 storm splintered. The tools, plus a cheap car to get around in and a laptop Gregory could handle the bookkeeping from, would be steady work, in a newly unsteady world.

And so, while LaPlant and Gregory knew they weren’t supposed to use the FEMA rental assistance money for anything other than rent, they went ahead and bought the tools, car, and laptop anyway, disqualifying them from a FEMA trailer later on.


SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule successfully docks with space station in test mission

Source: LA Times

A little more than a day after launch, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station early Sunday morning after autonomously maneuvering itself, marking another major milestone of this test mission.

The capsule did not have humans on board. Instead, it carried 400 pounds of supplies for the space station and a mannequin passenger named Ripley, outfitted with multiple sensors to measure her ride to space.

This was the first time a SpaceX capsule had attempted to attach itself to the station. During the Hawthorne company’s previous 16 resupply missions, its Dragon cargo capsule hovered below the station until it was grabbed by a robotic arm and attached to a port.

This time, the capsule gradually maneuvered itself closer to the station before docking on its own.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-crew-dragon-20190303-story.html

Hawley's CPAC debut: a moment in the spotlight and a subpoena in Missouri lawsuit

Source: Kansas City Star

Sen. Josh Hawley capped a tumultuous week Friday with his debut appearance at the American Conservative Union’s CPAC conference— and receiving a subpoena as he left the stage.

Elad Gross, a Democratic candidate for attorney general who is suing Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office, said on Twitter that the Missouri senator was served moments after he completed his appearance.

“We got him,” Gross said. “After more than two weeks of evading service, Senator Josh Hawley was personally served with the subpoena at CPAC.”

Gross said in an email that a process server confirmed Hawley had been served shortly after he left the stage at the annual conference, an event where rising Republican stars dating back to Ronald Reagan have laid groundwork for presidential campaigns.

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/latest-news/article226980264.html

Roger Stone Continues To Find Ways To Piss Off Judge

Despite being under a court-imposed gag order, Roger Stone apparently has a new book coming out. Awesome! And the judge in his case ain’t happy.

A new order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson asks Stone to explain why this wasn’t brought to her attention previously, and admonishes his lawyer over his previous reassurances to the court.

Here’s a sampling from the (very long and very snarky) minute order:

It is FURTHER ORDERED that defendant shall file an additional submission by March 4, 2019 identifying the specific date of the “imminent general rel[e]ase” of the book referred to on page 2 of the motion and explaining why this matter — which was known to the defendant — was not brought to the Court’s attention in connection with defendant’s February 8, 2019 response [28] concerning the entry of an order under Local Criminal Rule 57.7(b) and (c), or at any point during the February 21, 2019 hearing on the February 19 order to show cause, particularly given counsel’s suggestion that an appropriate order should provide: “[H]e should not be talking about this Court. He should not be talking about the special prosecutor…. There are a lot of reasons why somebody may feel like they should be talking about things like that. But you and I know, as officers of the court,…this is not appropriate. And that, if we’re going to have an order, that’s what I ask the Court to do.” Tr. of Feb. 21, 2019 Hr’g [43] at 41-42; see also id. at 42. (“What I’m saying is if Your Honor is asking me to craft an order, that that is what the order should say: This Court should not be criticized by Mr. Stone. The government should not be impugned by Mr. Stone. The integrity of this case should not be impugned by Mr. Stone….[T]hat is the kind of nature of an order that I would suggest the Court should craft….”). Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/1/19.

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