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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
December 1, 2018

California Republicans see what happens when more voters vote, and they don't like it one bit

California Republicans, drummed out of office by the carload in the recent election, have exited whining.

They’ve figured out why they got thumped so badly, and it’s simple: California, that dastardly state, allowed voters to vote. The result was that seven Republican House seats turned Democratic, including all four in Orange County, transforming that once reliably GOP stronghold into a blue streak.

“I just think it’s weird,” outgoing House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said of California’s system of allowing every vote to be counted, even if it’s filed with local election officials days after election day. “California defies logic to me.”

Ryan wasn’t alone in implying, if not stating outright, that something illegal happened in California. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) issued a fund-raising appeal immediately after the election, accusing Democrats of “trying to steal this Republican seat.”


November 30, 2018

Former head of veterans charity co-founded by the elder Duncan Hunter convicted of federal crimes

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

The longtime president of a veterans charity co-founded by former Rep. Duncan L. Hunter was convicted Thursday by a federal jury in Washington, D.C., of spending money meant for the charity on jewelry, shopping and other personal expenses.

Patricia Driscoll, 40, of Maryland, was found guilty of two counts each of wire fraud and tax evasion, and one count of first-degree fraud, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu. She is scheduled to be sentenced in March and faces decades in prison.

Driscoll’s defense attorney decried the verdict, insisting his client broke no laws.

“The jury did not get it right — Patricia Driscoll is innocent,” attorney Brian W. Stolarz said in a statement. “We are very disappointed by the verdict and the government’s misconduct in this case. We will appeal. This is not the final chapter to this story.”

Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/sd-me-driscoll-verdict-20181129-story.html

November 26, 2018

Mueller Offers Cyber Monday Plea Deals

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Robert Mueller’s announcement that he would be offering Cyber Monday plea deals touched off hysteria among disgraced Trump associates desperate for the chance to score a drastically reduced sentence.

Moments after the office of the special counsel went live with its Cyber Monday Web site, Sing4Bob.com, thousands of Trump cronies flooded it with traffic, causing the site to briefly crash. Harland Dorrinson, the member of Mueller’s team who masterminded the Cyber Monday sale, said that the special counsel was offering a limited number of “prison doorbusters,” with sentences up to seventy-five per cent off.

“I’m not surprised that people are going crazy for these bargains,” Dorrinson said. “Otherwise, you could go to trial and face one of those Obama judges.” He said that Mueller’s Cyber Monday sale was benefitting from a piece of fortuitous timing, since it was being held on the same day that the former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was scheduled to report to prison for a two-week sentence.

“Everyone who goes on the site is looking for a Papadopoulos special,” he said. “Those were all gone in the first five minutes.”


November 25, 2018

Thanksgiving blessing

November 19, 2018

Zinke blames 'environmental radicals' for deadly California fires

Source: The Hill

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blamed “environmental radicals” for the California wildfires that have killed at least 77 people, saying they stop forest management practices that could have prevented the fires.

Days after touring the damage of the Camp Fire, the deadliest in California’s history, Zinke went on Breitbart News Sunday and declared “it’s not the time for finger-pointing” on the causes of the fires.

But minutes later, he put the blame squarely on environmentalists, contending that they stood in the way of clearing brush, doing prescribed burns and other actions.

“I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years. And you know what? This is on them,” Zinke said.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/417489-zinke-blames-environmental-radicals-for-deadly-california-fires

November 19, 2018

GOP: Retired admiral who Trump attacked is 'hardly a non-political figure'

Source: The Hill

The Republican National Committee used Twitter on Monday to defend President Trump's ongoing criticism of retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, tweeting that the former Navy SEAL is "hardly a non-political figure."

The tweet accusing McRaven of partisan leanings earned pushback, including from a progressive veteran's group.

"Worth noting after recent comments: Retired Adm. William McRaven was reportedly on Hillary Clinton’s short list for Vice President in 2016," the GOP account tweeted. "He’s been critical of President @realDonaldTrump— even dating back to the 2016 campaign. He’s hardly a non-political figure."

McRaven was on a long list of possible vice presidential nominees that Clinton’s campaign chairman sent in an email. The email was hacked by Russia and released by WikiLeaks, CBS News reported at the time. McRaven was also on a list of staff suggestions for Trump's national security adviser, according to The Washington Post.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/417472-official-rnc-twitter-account-retired-admiral-who-trump-attacked-is-hardly-a

The evidence is quite clear: the Republican Party is the Party of Traitors.
November 19, 2018

Nissan to oust Ghosn after arrest for alleged financial misconduct

Source: Reuters

Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested on Monday for alleged financial misconduct and will be fired from the board this week, a dramatic fall for a leader hailed for rescuing the Japanese carmaker from close to bankruptcy.

Ghosn is also chairman and chief executive of Nissan's French partner Renault and his departure will raise questions about the future of the alliance.

Nissan said an internal investigation, triggered by a tip-off from a whistleblower, had revealed that Ghosn engaged in wrongdoing including personal use of company money and under-reporting for years how much he was earning.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said too much power had been concentrated on Ghosn, one of the best known figures in the global car industry and a rare foreign executive who enjoyed corporate superstar status in Japan for reviving the ailing Japanese brand.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/nissans-carlos-ghosn-arrested-japan-084553922.html

This is rather surprising news. Ghosn was credited with reviving Nissan over the past decade.
November 18, 2018

Targeted Advertising Is Ruining the Internet and Breaking the World

In his testimony to the US Senate last spring, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that his company doesn’t sell user data, as if to reassure policymakers and the public. But the reality—that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media companies sell access to our attention—is just as concerning. Actual user information may not change hands, but the advertising business model drives company decision making in ways that are ultimately toxic to society. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it in her 2017 TED talk, “we’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads.”

Social media companies are advertising companies. This has never been a secret, of course. Google pioneered the targeted advertising business model in the late 90s, and Sheryl Sandberg brought the practice to Facebook in 2008 when she joined the company as chief operating officer. The cash was flowing in, and companies around Silicon Valley and beyond adopted the same basic strategy: first, grow the user base as quickly as possible without worrying about revenue; second, collect as much data as possible about the users; third, monetize that information by performing big data analytics in order to show users advertising that is narrowly tailored to their demographics and revealed interests; fourth, profit.

For a while this seemed like a win-win: people around the world could watch cat videos, see pictures of each others' babies in Halloween costumes, connect with family, friends, and colleagues around the globe, and more. In return, companies would show them ads that were actually relevant to them. Contextual advertising had supported the print and broadcast media for decades, so this was the logical next step. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, as it turns out. From today's vantage point, the Arab Spring stands out as an iconic cautionary tale of techno-utopianism gone wrong. Sure, would-be revolutionaries, reformers, and human rights defenders were among the first to master the power of what we used to call "Web 2.0," but authorities caught on quickly and used the new tools to crack down on threats to their grasp on power. Similarly, the 2008 Obama campaign was the first to harness online advertising to reach the right voters with the right message with near-surgical precision, but 10 years later the same techniques are propelling right-wing authoritarians to power in the US, the Philippines, and Brazil, and being used to fan the flames of xenophobia, racial hatred, and even genocide around the world—perhaps most devastatingly in Myanmar. How on Earth did we get here?


November 15, 2018

Roy Clark, Country Music Hall of Fame member, dies at 85

Source: The Tennessean

According to his publicist, Country Music Hall of Fame member and versatile entertainer Roy Clark died Thursday at his Tulsa, Oklahoma home due to complications from pneumonia. He was 85 years old.

A fleet-fingered instrumentalist best known for his 24 years as a "Hee Haw" co-host, the affable Clark was one of country music's most beloved ambassadors.

He brought heart and humor to audiences around the world, guest-hosted "The Tonight Show," worked with greats like Hank Williams and blues artist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and inspired countless pickers, including a young Brad Paisley, with his instructional guitar books.

"He's honest," said fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Harold Bradley when Clark was inducted in 2009. "Whether he's playing guitar or singing, he's honest. Whatever he does, he sparkles."

Read more: https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/11/15/roy-clark-dead-85/1978910002/

Another exceptional talent gone.

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