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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 25,663

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

Trump Allies In Disarray As Democrats Push Impeachment

Trump Allies In Disarray As Democrats Push Impeachment
The president’s allies fanned out across the Sunday talk shows with myriad responses.

Laurie Kellman


WASHINGTON (AP) — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday that he expects the whistleblower at the heart of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump to testify “very soon.”


As Democrats and the director of national intelligence worked out key arrangements, Trump’s allies erupted in a surge of second-guessing and conspiracy theorizing across the Sunday talk shows, suggesting the White House strategy is unclear against the stiffest challenge to his presidency. One former adviser urged Trump to confront the crisis at hand and get past his fury over the probe of Russian election interference.

“I honestly believe this president has not gotten his pound of flesh yet from past grievances on the 2016 investigation,” said Tom Bossert, Trump’s former homeland security adviser. “If he continues to focus on that white whale,” Bossert added, “it’s going to bring him down.”

The Ukraine investigation produced what the Russian probe did not: formal House impeachment proceedings based on the president’s own words and actions.

The White House last week released a rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as well as the whistleblower’s complaint alleging the U.S. president pressured his counterpart to investigate the family of Joe Biden, the former vice president who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump’s reelection next year.


Trump’s allies fanned out across the Sunday talk shows with myriad responses.

Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser, called the whole inquiry a “partisan hit job” orchestrated by “a deep state operative” who is also “a saboteur.”

“The president of the United States is the whistleblower,” Miller said.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, promoted a debunked conspiracy theory, insisting that Ukraine had spread disinformation during the 2016 election.

Bossert advised that Trump drop that defense.

“I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again,” said Bossert, who also was an adviser to President George W. Bush. “That conspiracy theory has got to go, they have to stop with that, it cannot continue to be repeated.”



Giuliani will 'absolutely' face criminal charges for Ukraine meddling: Ex-SDNY prosecutor

Giuliani will ‘absolutely’ face criminal charges for Ukraine meddling: Ex-SDNY prosecutor

Published 4 mins ago

on September 29, 2019

By Tom Boggioni

Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, a former SDNY prosecutor who served with Rudy Giuliani when he was a U.S. Attorney said there was no doubt in his mind that the former New York City mayor will face criminal charges over his dealings with officials in Ukraine.


“It’s been a long time coming, the levels of disappointment with Rudy,” Flannery began. “When I first knew him, I thought he was the kind of fellow we would find on the Supreme Court in his Bobby Kennedy days before he went to Washington. Now I see a guy who should be arrested for impersonating a criminal defense attorney.”


“Absolutely, ” Flannery shot back without missing a beat. “We have a combination of bribery, we have the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at risk here because we’re paying a favor, withholding funds and expecting a condition precedent that favors the president favorably before the funds are given, and we also have efforts to conceal the very document we had in this conversation by people in the White House.”

“We have the State Department involved, we have the Justice Department involved,” he continued. “This is a major scandal and hopefully by Halloween, we’ll figure out how to identify the articles of impeachment that correspond to this misconduct.”

Watch below:

Trump Blurs Lines Between Personal Lawyer, Attorney General


Trump Blurs Lines Between Personal Lawyer, Attorney General
Donald Trump sometimes seems to see little distinction between personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and AG William Barr.
Michael Balsamo


Trump repeatedly told Ukraine’s president in a telephone call that Barr and Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani could help investigate Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript of that summertime conversation. Justice Department officials insist Barr was unaware of Trump’s comments at the time of the July 25 call.

When Barr did learn of that call a few weeks later, he was “surprised and angry” to discover he had been lumped in with Giuliani, a person familiar with Barr’s thinking told The Associated Press. This person was not authorized to speak about the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, often appears in rambling television interviews as a vocal defender of the president. Giuliani represents Trump’s personal interests and holds no position in the U.S. government, raising questions about why he would be conducting outreach to Ukrainian officials.

Barr is the nation’s top law enforcement officer and leads a Cabinet department that traditionally has a modicum of independence from the White House.

Yet to Trump, there often appears to be little difference between the two lawyers.


“I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it,” Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to the memo of the call that was released by the White House this past week.

Since becoming attorney general in February, Barr has been one of Trump’s staunchest defenders. He framed special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in favorable terms for the president in a news conference this year, even though Mueller said he did not exonerate Trump.

Kathleen Clark, a legal ethics professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, said Trump is treating the country’s attorney general as if he’s just another personal lawyer.

“I think it represents a larger problem with President Trump,” she said. “To him, it appears Giuliani and Barr both have the same job.”


Barr has not spoken with Trump about investigating Biden or Biden’s son Hunter, and Trump has not asked Barr to contact Ukranian officials about the matter, the department said. Barr has also not spoken with Giuliani about anything related to Ukraine, officials have said.

Trump has sought, without evidence, to implicate the Bidens in the kind of corruption that has long plagued Ukraine. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the same time then-Vice President Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic dealings with Ukraine. Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden. There is no evidence that Hunter Biden was ever under investigation in Ukraine.

The Justice Department was first made aware of Trump’s call when a CIA lawyer mentioned the complaint from the unidentified CIA officer on Aug. 14, said a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke anonymously. Some Justice Department lawyers learned about the accusations after the whistleblower filed a complaint with the intelligence community’s internal watchdog.

The watchdog later raised concerns that Trump may have violated campaign finance law. The Justice Department said there was no crime and closed the matter.

Why The Times Published Details of the Whistle-Blower's Identity

Why The Times Published Details of the Whistle-Blower’s Identity


Our executive editor, Dean Baquet, addresses readers’ concerns about the decision to publish information on a person who is central to the Trump impeachment inquiry.

By The New York Times

Sept. 26, 2019
Updated 7:34 p.m. ET

On Thursday, The Times published exclusive details about the identity of the whistle-blower whose claims led Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump this week. (The article reported that the whistle-blower is a C.I.A. officer who was previously detailed to work at the White House and had expertise on Ukraine.)

Many readers, including some who work in national security and intelligence, have criticized The Times’s decision to publish the details, saying it potentially put the person’s life in danger and may have a chilling effect on would-be whistle-blowers.


The president and some of his supporters have attacked the credibility of the whistle-blower, who has presented information that has touched off a landmark impeachment proceeding. The president himself has called the whistle-blower’s account a “political hack job.”

We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible.

We welcome your thoughts in the comments. We’ll be reading them.

It works for me. Part of whistle blowing almost in all instances requires signing your name to it in a forthright manner. This information needs to come out. It would seem to me that identifying the whistle blower at least to some degree would have a "moderating" effect on someone determined to cause the whistle blower to disappear or shut up.

Just saying.
Very very little more at the link.

Anyone in Trinidad?

Want to go get a beer?

GOP State Senator Runs Ad Saying She's 'Not Afraid To Shoot' Gun Control Groups Down

GOP State Senator Runs Ad Saying She’s ‘Not Afraid To Shoot’ Gun Control Groups Down

Amanda Chase is facing backlash over the ad, which she said was a mistake.

By Amy Russo


The initial ad run by state Sen. Amanda Chase, who represents Chesterfield County, read, “I’m not afraid to shoot down gun groups.

In a statement Friday, Chase called the “ludicrous unauthorized” message a mistake, releasing an edited ad that reads, “I’m not afraid to shoot down any attacks by anti-gun groups, because gun rights are women’s rights.”


“Gun violence prevention advocates and constituents deserve an apology not excuses,” Pohl wrote.

Chase’s first ad has also sparked backlash from the state’s Democratic party, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor David Hogg, who called out the senator online.

On the same day that @GiffordsCourage endorsed over 40 Virginia Democrats, @AmandaChaseVA released an ad saying she would “shoot down” gun violence prevention groups

Inciting violence like this is beyond dangerous. She needs to delete the adhttps://t.co/x1wEne2zy1
— Virginia Democrats (@vademocrats) September 20, 2019

If you’re as disgusted by this as I am, then support our Democratic nominee @pohlforvirginia. She’s been named a “Gun Sense Candidate” by @MomsDemand and she’ll be a voice and a vote for commonsense gun safety measures. Contribute now! https://t.co/vdgFSAC27k https://t.co/8IzTU5PtCF
— Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA) September 21, 2019

🚨 VA state senator #AmandaChase just threatened to shoot and kill children that support gun control 🚨

If you threaten to shoot children that simply don’t want to die you shouldn’t be able to own a gun— let alone be an elected official.

Call Sen Chases office
804-698-7511 pic.twitter.com/g88lAhJJ6O
— David Hogg text VOTE to 954-954 (@davidhogg111) September 21, 2019

The name of the digital agency purportedly involved has not yet been released, though Chase said one of its representatives “admitted fault.” She has vowed to reveal the name of the company if it does not publicly apologize by noon on Monday.

When is a dress code discrimination?

When is a dress code discrimination? Rules at Baltimore’s Choptank restaurant cause outcry

By Christina Tkacik
Baltimore Sun |
Sep 18, 2019 | 7:40 PM


After photos of the Choptank's dress code circulated online, critics quickly accused the restaurant of discrimination.

Posted by a brick wall outside the Choptank restaurant, newly installed in the former south shed of Fells Point’s Broadway Market, a plaque stated a list of prohibitions. Among them: excessively baggy clothing, sunglasses after dark and bandannas. “Management may enforce these policies within its discretion,” said a note at the bottom.

As a photo of the sign circulated on social media, a Twitterstorm brewed; critics accused the highly anticipated restaurant of racial discrimination, touching off a controversy that led the restaurant group to revise the dress code.

Representatives of owner Atlas Restaurant Group attested that it opposed discrimination, and they decried “false accusations” of racism. In a statement, Atlas founder Alex Smith called it “unfortunate” that “a brand new, beautifully-restored landmark in the Fells Point neighborhood, which has created more than a 100 badly-needed jobs for the community, is under scrutiny.”

The core of the criticism was that the prohibited styles are popular with some in the African-American community, and that the Choptank — opening Thursday — was telegraphing who management didn’t want coming.

"It sounds very questionable,” Marvin “Doc” Cheatham said of the dress code at Choptank; he’s a longtime civil rights leader in Baltimore and president of the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association. Work boots, banned at the restaurant, are popular footwear within black and Latin communities, he said: “I own three pairs of Timberlands.”

Some critics took particular exception to the warning about management’s “discretion,” saying that could be an entryway to overt discrimination, violating citizens’ legal rights.

That line was among a handful removed from the Choptank’s revised dress code, which Atlas provided to The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday. Formerly titled “Strictly Prohibited,” the list is now called “House Rules” and no longer prohibits baggy clothing, shorts below the knee or sunglasses after dark. It notes an exception to its ban on brimless headwear ⁠— religious garments are allowed ⁠— but most of the original rules are intact.


But the Choptank’s location — in a city-owned former public market — could make it subject to close scrutiny.

“Given that the restaurant is in a property owned by the people of Baltimore, the standards for inclusivity and diversity must be high," the Rev. Kobi Little, president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, wrote in an email to The Sun. The Fells Point property is leased through the Baltimore Public Markets Corp.
[Most read] Baltimore composer Christopher Rouse, 70, dies »

“While we can’t say with certainty what the intent was in the posting of the sign, how the Atlas Group responds to the community’s reaction will tell us all that we need to know," Little wrote.


From Watkins’ perspective, the dress codes across Atlas properties are designed to exclude black people from entering. He points to the ban on “designer sneakers” at the Bygone. “C’mon, dog,” he said. "It’s kind of clear.”


“It is racist," said Charisse Nichols, who is the general manager at Harbor East’s Bar Vasquez and is African American. "Can you point out to me what white friends you have that dress that way?”


“If someone comes into your restaurant, what they’re wearing should literally be the last thing you’re concerned about," Nichols she said. "It’s Baltimore.”

To Nichols, the Choptank case presses on a deeper bruise within Baltimore’s culture, and a historic sense among many black people that they are not welcome in certain places. “And that, to me, is the saddest part of all," she said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ian Duncan contributed to this article.

How to Thwart Facial Recognition

How to Thwart Facial Recognition

By Malia Wollan

July 30, 2019


“Why not give the camera what it wants, which is a face?” says Leonardo Selvaggio, an interdisciplinary artist. Just don’t give it your face. To enable people to obfuscate facial-recognition software programs, Selvaggio, who is 34 and white, made available 3-D, photo-realistic prosthetic masks of his own face to anyone who wants one. He tested the masks by asking people connected to him on Facebook to upload pictures of themselves in the prosthetic: It didn’t matter if they were skinny women or barrel-chested men; short or tall; black, brown, Asian or white — the social network’s facial-recognition software recognized them as Selvaggio. “There’s nothing more invisible to surveillance and security technology than a white man,” he says.

Selvaggio thought up the project, which he calls URME Surveillance, when he was living in Chicago, where law-enforcement officials have access to more than 30,000 interlinked video cameras across the city. He wanted to start conversations about surveillance and what technology does with our identity. He knew that researchers have found that facial-recognition software exhibits racial biases. The programs are often best at identifying white and male faces, because they have been trained on data sets that include disproportionate numbers of them, and particularly bad at identifying black faces. In law-enforcement contexts, these errors can potentially implicate people in crimes they didn’t commit.

Selvaggio sees two routes to elude facial-recognition programs. The first is to disappear: go offline and off the grid. Selvaggio prefers the second option, which is to flood the system with weird, incongruous data. Wear someone else’s likeness or lend out your own. (Before donning a prosthetic mask, check to see whether your city or state has anti-mask laws, which may make wearing one illegal.) Even without a mask, though, you can confuse some facial-recognition programs by obscuring parts of your face with makeup, costuming, hairdos and infrared light. Artificial-intelligence programs look for elliptical, symmetrical faces, so obscure an eye, cover the bridge of your nose, wear something that makes your head look unheadlike. “They have all of our information,” Selvaggio says. “So then let’s make more information that isn’t even true, and then let’s make more information on top of that.”

The Most Notorious Weapon Ever Produced?

The Most Notorious Weapon Ever Produced?

There are no simple answers for fixing the F-35 program, as tempting as it is to look for a single root cause for its problems.


By Valerie Insinna

Published Aug. 23, 2019
Updated Aug. 24, 2019

What is there left to say about the F-35 joint strike fighter? It’s the most expensive program in the Pentagon’s history and potentially its most ambitious, and it’s arguably the most notorious weapon ever produced. This week for At War, I wrote about its troubled history and the challenges the Defense Department is still facing.

As an air-warfare reporter, I’ve covered the minutiae of the F-35 program and the aircraft’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, for the past five years. When people ask whether it’s as big a disaster as they’ve heard, it’s hard to know what to say. I can’t help respecting the ambition of an effort that has tried to solve so many problems and has overcome technical and bureaucratic hurdles that would have killed another program, resulting in a plane that pilots seem to love and say is desperately needed. At the same time, it’s frustrating to watch the continued struggles knowing that American taxpayers will sink more than $1 trillion into an effort that has been poorly managed and resulted in so much waste.

Some officials in the Pentagon feel the same. This year, the Pentagon’s inspector general investigated Patrick Shanahan, then the acting defense secretary, over accusations of favoritism toward Boeing, Shanahan’s previous employer. One accusation derived from a Politico report in which a former senior Defense Department official said Shanahan had called the F-35 “[expletive] up” and suggested that Boeing would have done a better job running the program.

When the inspector general interviewed Shanahan about his comments, he said the capabilities of the F-35 were “awesome” but acknowledged that he criticized the program over having “insufficient spare parts in the inventory, the cost per flight-hour not decreasing fast enough and the logistics support system not having the functionality that the war fighters need to sustain the aircraft.” Military leaders from the F-35 program office, the Navy and the Air Force have publicly made similar complaints. In the end, the inspector general concluded that Shanahan had not crossed any lines.


Russia detains two North Korean vessels after one opens fire: reports

Russia detains two North Korean vessels after one opens fire: reports

2 Min Read


MOSCOW (Reuters) -


A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying.
Related Coverage

Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.

“Both vessels have been detained,” local media cited the FSB as saying, adding later that more than 80 North Koreans had been detained.


The detained vessels are being taken to Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka, Interfax news agency quoted FSB as saying.

Moscow in July accused North Korea of illegally detaining one of its fishing vessels. Pyongyang said the crew had been detained for violating the rules of entry into North Korea.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Tom Balmforth
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