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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 23, 2021

Alec Baldwin Didn't Know Prop Gun Was Loaded With Live Rounds: Sheriff


Alec Baldwin Didn’t Know Prop Gun Was Loaded With Live Rounds: Sheriff
Blake Montgomery
Published Oct. 22, 2021 10:09PM ET

Alec Baldwin had no idea the prop gun he fired on Thursday was loaded with live rounds, according to a search warrant filed Friday. Baldwin shot and killed the director of photography for his film Rust, Halyna Hutchins, in what he later called a “tragic accident.” The search warrant states that an assistant director handed Baldwin the gun and informed the actor the prop was safe to use. In reality, the firearm held live bullets, though the assistant director also did not know, police wrote in the affidavit. Who loaded the live round into the gun has not been disclosed. The New York Post reported that the prop master in charge of the gun was a non-union worker brought in to fill the position of a prop master who had walked off the set.
October 22, 2021

Alec Baldwin's Movie Set Was Plagued by Gun Misfires Before Halyna Hutchins' Tragic Death

Alec Baldwin’s Movie Set Was Plagued by Gun Misfires Before Halyna Hutchins’ Tragic Death
There were at least two prior incidents of a gun being misfired on the set of the film ‘Rust’ before cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in a shooting accident on set.
Cheyenne Roundtree
Entertainment Reporter
Updated Oct. 22, 2021 7:10PM ET / Published Oct. 22, 2021 6:59PM ET


The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Baldwin, who was both an actor and producer on the film, fired the prop gun that reportedly had a live round among the blanks. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin said in a statement on Friday morning. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.”

But according to a knowledgeable production source, Hutchins’ death was avoidable, as they told The Daily Beast that within the past week there had been at least two previous incidents of firearms being misfired on set. The Los Angeles Times reported there was an additional misfiring the previous week.

“They had two negligent discharges on the same set, on the same day and still had jobs,” the source told The Daily Beast, clarifying same-day misfirings occurred on Saturday. “They had struck out twice and were given a third opportunity.”

The source points to producers trying to cut costs on the low-budget film as being a direct cause for the accident. Already, six hours before the tragic incident, seven International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union camera crew workers had walked off set in protest of the abysmal conditions.


October 22, 2021

Criticism of Democrats' negotiations misses a bigger issue: Republicans' absence from governing


Opinion: Criticism of Democrats’ negotiations misses a bigger issue: Republicans’ absence from governing
Opinion by Eugene Robinson
Yesterday at 3:34 p.m. EDT

Nobody said life was fair, but this is ridiculous: Democrats are getting pilloried for struggling to do big and important things, while Republicans are being given a free pass for behaving like a horde of vandals.

This isn’t the way our government is supposed to work. Yes, the Democratic Party controls the White House and has the slimmest of majorities in the Senate and the House. But that doesn’t absolve Republicans from the duty to try to do what’s best for the country. It doesn’t give any of our elected representatives the right to simply ignore the work they were elected to do — and the GOP should be called out for putting political gamesmanship ahead of the nation’s well-being.

Wednesday’s vote by GOP senators to block debate — not passage, mind you, but mere debate — of watered-down legislation to guarantee basic voting rights is just the latest example. Securing universal access to the ballot box used to be a bipartisan cause. In blocking the bill, Republicans are “hurting their own constituents,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted Thursday. But apparently that doesn’t matter.


So Democrats are having the kinds of arguments among themselves that used to take place between the two parties — what new programs to start, how long those programs should last, how much to spend, how to pay for it all. Instead of participating in these important debates, Republicans are threatening to trigger a financial cataclysm by refusing to raise the federal debt ceiling. They have already tried this supremely irresponsible maneuver once, and they threaten to do it again in December.

And watch: When Democrats eventually do pass the spending packages and Biden signs them into law, Republicans will be quick to take credit for all the measures that are popular with the folks back home.

I am not happy that Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are blocking initiatives I believe are needed. But at least they are engaged in the process. The much bigger problem is that one of our two major parties — the GOP — is doing nothing but throwing rocks and bottles from the sidelines.
October 22, 2021

Should Aging Government Leaders Have to Pass Cognitive Tests to Serve?

Should Aging Government Leaders Have to Pass Cognitive Tests to Serve?
By Charlotte Alter
October 21, 2021 2:13 PM EDT

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy finally said something few dare to say aloud: some of the people who run American government may be too old for the job.

“At some point, and statistically it’s in the 80s, you begin a more rapid decline,” Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, told Axios on HBO. “So anybody who’s in a position of responsibility who may potentially be on that slope, that is of concern, and I’m saying this as a doctor.”

They say wisdom comes with age. Yet so few of the nation’s leaders seem to have the wisdom to know when it’s time to call it a day.


“Would it be reasonable to have, for Supreme Court Justices, members of Congress and leadership positions in the executive branch, an annual sort of evaluation in which they would have to establish, ‘Yes, I’m doing okay?'” Cassidy continued, noting he had heard of Senators who were “senile” at the end of their terms. “I think that’s actually a reasonable plan.”

Some 30 states have age-based drivers’ license renewal requirements, including many that require seniors over 70 to take extra tests or apply in person to keep them. That standard that would apply to nearly 30% of the U.S. Senate. Except you don’t have to prove your mental acuity to continue driving the country.


October 20, 2021

Trump's Family Business Is Under Yet Another Criminal Investigation

Trump’s Family Business Is Under Yet Another Criminal Investigation
If you can’t keep up with all the criminal probes facing the ex-president and his businesses, you’re not alone.
By Bess Levin
October 20, 2021

When we last checked in on Donald Trump’s legal situation, the former president of the United States was facing numerous lawsuits—two of which judges had ordered him to be deposed under oath for—and was a subject of three different criminal investigations being conducted in Georgia, D.C., and New York. As that check-in was less than a week ago, one might have assumed that nothing had changed in the succeeding six days, or that if it had, that it was some incremental movement on one of the cases we were already aware of and not, like, an entirely new criminal investigation. But, surprise! It turns out when you’re one of the most corrupt individuals to walk the face of the Earth, fresh criminal probes pop up on the regular.

The New York Times reports that the Trump Organization, already under indictment by the office of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., is now facing a separate criminal investigation being conducted by the district attorney’s office in Westchester County, New York, which has subpoenaed records from the Trump National Golf Club located there and from the town of Ossining, which sets property taxes for the course. While the full breadth of the investigation is not clear at this time, the Times reports that it appears that district attorney Mimi Rocah is focused in part on whether Trump’s family business misled local officials about the property’s value with the express purpose of lowering its tax bill.

Per the Times:

The value of the property determines the amount of taxes the club must pay to local authorities: The higher the value, the bigger the tax bill. But after the town of Ossining estimates the value, the club can challenge the assessment—and that is what it has done. Every year since 2015, the Trump club has appealed its tax bill in court, prompting an outcry in the Ossining area, where hundreds of demonstrators marched in 2017, chanting, “Pay your share.”

In seeking to cut the tax bill—sometimes by as much as 90%—the club has argued that the property was worth much less than Ossining officials had determined, a common strategy among many country clubs, not just Mr. Trump’s. In one year, the Trump club put the property’s value at about $1.4 million, while the town assessed it at roughly $15 million. Ms. Rocah’s prosecutors could be comparing the figures the club submitted to Ossining with other statements Mr. Trump has made about the property’s value. For example, he declared in federal disclosure forms when he was president that the club was worth more than $50 million.

Rocah has not accused anyone at the company of any wrongdoing, according to the Times, and in a statement, the Trump Organization insisted that any suggestion it acted inappropriately was “completely false and incredibly irresponsible.”

Of course, for those of you keeping up at home, the notion that a company run by Donald Trump would claim the value of a property was less than one tenth of what local officials said it was actually worth should come as…no surprise whatsoever. In February 2019, Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress that in his experience, Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.” In July, the Manhattan D.A. charged the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, with numerous crimes, including multiple counts of tax fraud and falsifying records, alleging that the company failed to pay taxes on fringe benefits like apartments, cars, and private school tuition. (Both Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty.) Meanwhile, New York attorney general Letitia James is reportedly investigating Seven Springs, a Trump-owned property located in Westchester County, and the question of whether or not the company “gave an accurate valuation for the property when it served as the basis for about $21.1 million in tax deductions for donating a conservation easement for the 2015 tax year.”


October 20, 2021

Eric Boehlert: When Washington Post lost its mind cheering Colin Powell's case for war


When Washington Post lost its mind cheering Colin Powell’s case for war
Bush Lapdogs
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


In one of the more famous pundit lines from the run-up to the war, the Post’s Mary McGrory quipped that Powell "persuaded me, and I was as tough as France to convince." The extended valentine continued: “Powell took his seat in the United Nations and put his shoulder to the wheel. He was to talk for almost an hour and a half. His voice was strong and unwavering. He made his case without histrionics of any kind, with no verbal embellishments.”

In the end, very little of what Powell said that day at the U.N. was true.

Meanwhile, the Post’s Richard Cohen announced that Powell's testimony "had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.”

War skeptics were fools, conspiracy buffs, and generally unserious people — that was the taunting message from the Post weeks before the U.S. launched arguably its most failed military action in the last century.

The Iraq War and the media's lapdog, obedient performance during the run-up should have demolished all claims of liberal media bias, simply because so many journalists teamed up with the Republican White House to help sponsor the disastrous war. At a time of heightened patriotic fervor, the national press played a central role in helping to sell a war to the public.

And the Washington Post proudly led the imprudent parade.
October 20, 2021

Rudy Giuliani Drains Final Dregs of Dignity With Abraham Lincoln Filter Attack Video


Rudy Giuliani Drains Final Dregs of Dignity With Abraham Lincoln Filter Attack Video
Jamie Ross
News Correspondent
Published Oct. 20, 2021 6:31AM ET
Image @ link~

Rudy Giuliani has managed to find one last scrap of dignity to lose with an inexplicable and borderline incomprehensible attack video featuring himself disguised as Abraham Lincoln using an augmented reality filter. In the video, the former New York City mayor appears with a big superimposed hat and beard, and he, for some reason, meanders in and out of what seems to be his best attempt at a British accent. The video is targeted at Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, whom Republicans have frequently accused of coming up with a controversial scheme in the 1990s—when he worked in the Clinton administration—to allow donors to sleep in Lincoln’s bedroom at the White House. That claim has been debunked by fact-checkers. Nevertheless, Giuliani, playing Lincoln, described McAuliffe as “the man who dishonored our past by selling my bedroom hundreds and hundreds of times to scoundrels.” McAuliffe is yet to dignify the video with a response.

Rudy Giuliani Is Scaring The Crap Out Of People With His Bizarre Video Filter
The Trump sidekick recorded a political attack ad while using an "Abe Lincoln" filter and it was as weird as it sounds.
October 20, 2021

Eric Trump Throws a Sniveling Shit Fit Over Biden Spending Time in Delaware


Eric Trump Throws a Sniveling Shit Fit Over Biden Spending Time in Delaware
The son of Mr. Mar-a-Lago is beside himself over the president spending time away from the White House.
By Bess Levin
October 19, 2021

If there’s one thing we know about Eric Trump, it’s that he‘s not very bright. If there’s another, it’s that he thinks tax fraud is not a big deal. If there’s yet another, it’s that, like the rest of his family, he was born without the gene for self-awareness, which leads to him doing things like going on TV and claiming that nepotism makes him sick. Yes, that Eric Trump! The one whose middle name is Frederick, as in Fred Trump, as in the guy who started the company that led to Donald Trump receiving zillions of dollars over his lifetime, and Eric never working a day of his life at a company that didn’t have his family’s name on the building.

That complete and total lack of self-awareness also leads Eric, son of a man who spent hundreds of days of his presidency at his for-profit properties, to appear on prime-time television and criticize Joe Biden for spending a few nights away from the White House.

During an interview on Fox News on Monday, Trump’s adult son ranted that “when Afghanistan is falling…you have President Biden who is in Delaware not solving that problem.”

Setting aside the fact that a considerable amount of blame for the debacle in Afghanistan can be placed squarely on Eric’s dad‘s shoulders—thanks to his decision to cut a deal with the Taliban that many believe gave the group the upper hand and laid the groundwork for the disastrous exit—it’s incredibly rich to suggest that Biden is shirking his responsibilities by traveling to his home outside Wilmington. For one thing, the president can obviously do his job wherever he is in the world, be it overseas or on Air Force One. For another: Trump literally spent 428 days of his presidency not at the White House but at one of his for-profit properties! For the number whizzes out there, that’s a year and 63 days, or as The Washington Post helpfully put it, one visit every 3.4 days. Most of that time was spent at Mar-a-Lago, though Trump made sure to visit 14 different properties in seven states, the District of Columbia, and three countries, including a money-losing Irish golf club he used a state visit to pimp.

Another thing Eric failed to note in his little rant is that while Biden’s trips to Delaware likely don’t cost taxpayers any more than they’re already paying to protect him in D.C., Trump used his sojourns to line the Trump Organization’s pockets, charging the government for everything from rooms at his resorts to the glasses of water he drank. Perhaps Eric would be more comfortable with Biden visiting Delaware if he was gouging the Secret Service in the process.
October 19, 2021

FBI Agents Also Searching New York City Townhouse (Deripaska)


FBI Agents Also Searching New York City Townhouse
October 19, 2021 at 3:48 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 23 Comments

In addition to the earlier raid of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s home in Washington, D.C., FBI agents in New York City were also searching a townhouse in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood in connection with the same investigation, ABC News reports.

The New York Times confirms the New York City townhouse is also owned by Deripaska.

October 19, 2021

Trump Admin Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain, Congressional Investigators Find

The Trump Administration Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain, Congressional Investigators Find
The Food to Families program, touted by Ivanka Trump, gave tens of millions of dollars to unqualified firms and was also used to promote then-President Trump.
by Bianca Fortis
Oct. 19, 5 a.m. EDT
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

A $6 billion federal program created to provide fresh produce to families affected by the pandemic was mismanaged and used by the Trump administration for political gain, a new congressional report has found.

As a ProPublica investigation revealed last spring and as the new report further details, the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience and often lacked necessary licenses. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which released its report last week, found that former President Donald Trump’s administration did not adequately screen contractor applications or identify red flags in bid proposals.

One company that received a $39 million contract was CRE8AD8 LLC (pronounced “Create a Date”), a wedding and event planning firm. The owner compared the contract to his usual work of “putting tchotchkes in a bag.”

In response to the report, the firm’s CEO said in a statement, “We delivered far more boxes/pounds than many other contractors and as a for-profit company, we’re allowed to make a profit.”



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