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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 2,211

Journal Archives

Chinese spy balloons under Trump not discovered until after Biden took office

Source: CNN

The transiting of three suspected Chinese spy balloons over the continental US during the Trump administration was only discovered after President Joe Biden took office, a senior administration official told CNN on Sunday.

The official did not say how or when those incidents were discovered.

The official said that the intelligence community is prepared to offer briefings to key Trump administration officials about the Chinese surveillance program, which the Biden administration believes has been deployed in countries across five continents over the last several years.

After the Biden administration disclosed last week that a suspected Chinese spy balloon was hovering over Montana, the Pentagon said that similar balloon incidents had occurred during the Trump administration. In response, former Trump administration Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN on Friday that he was "surprised" by that statement.

Read more: https://amp-cnn-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/02/05/politics/chinese-spy-balloons-trump-administration/index.html?amp_gsa=1&_js_v=a9&usqp=mq331AQIKAGwASCAAgM%3D#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16756781650241&csi=0&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2023%2F02%2F05%2Fpolitics%2Fchinese-spy-balloons-trump-administration%2Findex.html

Jury finds Elon Musk did not defraud Tesla investors with infamous 'funding secured' claim

Source: NBC News

A jury found Elon Musk not liable for costing investors millions of dollars when he issued a series of tweets saying he had "secured" funding to take the electric car maker private.

The Friday verdict, issued by a nine-person Northern California jury, represents a legal victory for the 51-year-old billionaire, who has seen the value of his Tesla holdings decline some 44% over the past year.

During the trial, Musk personally took the witness stand to defend the tweets, testifying he believed he had a handshake agreement in 2018 with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to convert Tesla, which is a publicly traded company, into a private one. It was the Saudis, he said, who subsequently reneged on the deal.

“I had no ill motive,” Musk said during nearly eight hours of testimony last month. “My intent was to do the right thing for all shareholders.”

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/elon-musk-funding-secured-trial-verdict-rcna68634

Sen. Kennedy stumps Biden judicial nominee with basic questions about Constitution

Source: NBC News

A judicial nominee of President Joe Biden was apparently stumped by Sen. John Kennedy's basic questions about the Constitution during her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, who was nominated to be the U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Washington, couldn't answer when Kennedy, R-La., pressed her about articles of the nation's founding document.

“Tell me what Article V of the Constitution does,” Kennedy asked as he began his round of questioning.

“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” Bjelkengren replied.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/rcna67703

College Board to update AP African American Studies framework rejected by DeSantis, Florida

Source: WFLA

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The College Board, the non-profit organization that designs and manages the Advanced Placement courses in the United States, announced the rejected pilot program of their AP African American Studies course would be updated.

The course was recently rejected from use in the state of Florida, with state officials saying the proposed study course “lacks educational value and historical accuracy.

As submitted, the course is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves large, ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow,” such as Critical Race Theory.

Additional commentary from Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. said the state “proudly” mandates the teaching of African American history, but does “not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”

Read more: https://www.wfla.com/news/education/college-board-to-update-ap-african-american-studies-framework-rejected-by-desantis-florida/

Biden's Nuclear Waste Guru Out of a Job After Alleged Luggage Theft

Source: Daily Beast

A Biden Administration nuclear waste official, Sam Brinton, is out of a job after being accused of stealing airport luggage in two separate incidents.

“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee,” a Department of Energy spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Monday evening. “By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters.”

Brinton, who attracted attention as one of the federal government's first non-binary officials, was first charged with a felony last month for nabbing a woman’s suitcase from the baggage carousel at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in September. They initially denied taking the bag—which was reportedly worth more than $2,500—but later said they had grabbed it by mistake.

Brinton checked the luggage on at least two other flights following the alleged theft, including a Sept. 18 flight back to Washington D.C. and an Oct. 9 trip to Europe, according to The Star Tribune.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/joe-bidens-non-binary-nuclear-waste-guru-sam-brinton-out-of-a-job-after-accused-of-luggage-stealing

Florida COVID data critic Rebekah Jones reaches agreement on felony charge

Source: Tampa Bay Times

FORT LAUDERDALE — A fired Florida health department data manager charged with illegally accessing state computers after she publicly accused officials of wanting to make COVID-19 statistics look less dire has reached an agreement with prosecutors that should result in the case being dropped.

Rebekah Jones, who helped design the state’s coronavirus website, signed an agreement with prosecutors admitting guilt to a charge of illegally accessing the state’s computer system and requiring her to pay $20,000 to cover the investigation’s costs, perform 150 hours of community service and see a mental health counselor monthly. If she completes those requirements, the charge will be dropped within two years. The agreement was filed late last week at Tallahassee’s circuit court.

Jones, who lost a bid for Congress last month, was charged in January 2021 with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices. Investigators say that in late 2020, months after she was fired, Jones illegally accessed a state emergency-alert messaging system known as ReadyOp.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Jones downloaded and saved confidential data and sent a message to 1,750 state employees that urged them to “speak up before another 17,000 people are dead” — the number of Floridians who had died of COVID-19 by that point.

Read more: https://web.archive.org/web/20221212192927/https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2022/12/12/florida-covid-data-critic-rebekah-jones-reaches-agreement-felony-charge/



The moral of today's story is to not believe someone just because they are telling a story which reinforces what you already believe.

Florida GOP donor, DeSantis ally under 'active investigation' weeks before death, authorities say

Source: Politico

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Kent Stermon, a prominent Jacksonville-area Republican donor and friend of Gov. Ron DeSantis found dead in his car Thursday night, was under “active investigation” by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“This investigation remains ongoing at this time and will continue until its completion,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told POLITICO.

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Waters said that because the investigation remains active, there is “limited information available to release at this time.” The Florida Times-Union reported, citing unidentified law enforcement sources, that authorities were examining allegations of sexual misconduct.

Stermon was president of Jacksonville-area defense contractor Total Military Management. Since 2017, he had given $140,000 in state political contributions, of which $50,000 went to a political committee aligned with DeSantis.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/09/kent-stermon-death-investigation-00073317

Energy department official accused of stealing luggage from Las Vegas airport


8 NEWS NOW INVESTIGATORS
Energy department official accused of stealing luggage from Las Vegas airport
by: Vanessa Murphy

Posted: Dec 8, 2022 / 03:35 PM PST

Updated: Dec 8, 2022 / 06:59 PM PST

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An energy department official is accused of stealing luggage from Harry Reid International Airport, the 8 News Now Investigators learned Thursday.

A felony warrant was issued for Sam Brinton, a deputy assistant secretary, sources said. The charge is for grand larceny with a value between $1,200 and $5,000, records showed.

Brinton is a deputy assistant secretary of the office of spent fuel and waste disposition, according to the Office of Nuclear Energy’s website.

Brinton faces charges for a similar incident at the Minneapolis airport. He was on leave after charges were filed in connection with that incident, an energy department spokesman said in November.

https://www.8newsnow.com/investigators/energy-department-official-accused-of-stealing-luggage-from-las-vegas-airport/

Judge Dismisses Ethics Complaints Accusing Aileen Cannon of Bias in Trump Special Master Order

Source: National Law Journal

A federal judge dismissed a handful of ethics complaints that were filed against U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon over her handling of former President Donald Trump’s challenge to the seizure of documents from his Mar-a-Lago home.

The complaints filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit accuse Cannon of political bias in her decision to appoint a special master to review the seized documents, and claim she failed to base her order on sound legal reasoning.

In dismissing the complaints, Chief Judge William Pryor said the allegations lacked sufficient evidence showing that Cannon was out to favor Trump or had a conflict of interest. He also wrote that allegations concerning the merits of a judge’s decision can’t go forward under judicial misconduct rules.

“To the extent complainant’s allegations concern the substance of the subject judge’s official actions, rulings, findings, and orders in the above-described case, the allegations are directly related to the merits of the subject judge’s decisions or procedural rulings,” he wrote in one of the decisions.

Read more: https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2022/12/06/judge-dismisses-ethics-complaints-accusing-aileen-cannon-of-bias-in-trump-special-master-order/?slreturn=20221106155444

Gaetz friend gets 11 years for sex crime, other counts

Source: Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a federal probe into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor and other crimes.

Joel Greenberg, former tax collector for Seminole County, had pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, also including identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official. Prosecutors said he paid at least one girl to have sex with him and other men.

“Nothing justifies my actions. My conduct is so shameful. I feel remorse for what I’ve done,” Greenberg said in court Thursday.

Greenberg’s attorney had asked U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell for leniency, saying that his client had assisted in investigations of 24 people, including eight for sex crimes. Defense attorney Fritz Scheller said that Greenberg’s cooperation has led to four federal indictments, and that he believed additional ones were expected in the coming month.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/crime-arrests-florida-congress-government-and-politics-d657eda08a857f4c0a07d293bb109308
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