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The Obama Bomber Jacket Moment happened at a Duke-UNC basketball game.




People Are Extremely Into Barack Obama’s Bomber Jacket With ‘44’ On The Sleeve
The Obama Bomber Moment happened at a Duke-UNC basketball game.

By Jenna Amatulli
The former president and one of America’s many dads Barack Obama wore a black bomber jacket with “44” embroidered on the sleeve Wednesday night, and the internet is extremely amped about it.

The Obama Bomber Moment™, as it will henceforth be called, happened at the basketball game between celebrated rivals Duke and the University of North Carolina.

While it’s immediately obvious that the “44” is a reference to the 44th U.S. president, the jacket’s origin was not. GQ tracked down the bomber and found that it retails for $595 from Rag & Bone.

Marcus Wainwright, the founder and chief brand officer at Rag & Bone, told the publication that the company custom-made the jacket for Obama toward the end of his second term and “wasn’t expecting him to wear it in public.”

However, after Wainwright saw The Obama Bomber Moment™, he told GQ: “Making a jacket for the president, that’s fucking awesome. How else can you put it? When they look good in it, it’s even more gratifying.”

And, truly, Obama looked good. The internet was overjoyed. Mothers were (probably) crying, children were (likely) celebrating.

"at first I thought oh my goodness we're getting $8k back & then I realized it was the wrong color"

Isadora Bielsky's tax bill this year brought her to tears. Last year, her family of four's refund topped $3,600. This year, the Colorado family owed in the thousands.

"I plugged it all in and at first I thought oh my goodness we're getting $8,000 back and then I realized it was the wrong color … so I went back in and checked everything and then I started to cry," Bielsky said.

Many Americans are learning their tax refund is not as much as they expected, or they are receiving a big tax bill. The average refund compared to last year has dropped nearly nine percent, according to the IRS. This is the first tax season since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect.

Owing just over $8,000 was bad enough but Bielsky said it felt even worse because last year, she went on the IRS website to make sure the government withheld enough taxes from her and her husband's paychecks.

"I have a PhD in neuroscience, my husband had an MD. If we can't figure this out, and we can't rely on the IRS and their calculators to give us the right information, what are we supposed to do?" Bielsky said.

William Gale, the co-director of the Tax Policy Center, said many Americans did get a tax cut but unless they made the correct changes to their withholding, the money may have wound up in their paychecks last year in smaller amounts.

"A lot of households live paycheck to paycheck and the refund is the single largest payment they get all year," Gale said. "The IRS had to tell people what to withhold and it's a difficult problem for tax payers, but it's even difficult for tax experts at the IRS."


'That was my idea': How Trump claims credit for nearly everything including the word "caravan"


‘That was my idea’: How Trump claims credit for nearly everything

Forty-eight minutes into his freewheeling 75-minute rally last week, President Trump made a curious claim.

“How about the word ‘caravan?’ ” he said. “ ‘Caravan.’ I think that was one of mine.”

Claiming credit for a word first used in 1588 seems like another example of Trump’s braggadocio, and another indication that his 2020 strategy will revolve around touting real and made-up accomplishments that appeal to his base, as you can see in the video above.

In office, Trump has taken credit for solving crises he himself created and sometimes skirted responsibility when things go wrong. Things the president has claimed credit for include:

The economy (“I get no credit for it”)
Bailing out farmers affected by his trade policies (“That was my idea”)
Health care (“People haven’t given us too much credit”)
Reducing health-care premiums (“I don’t know if Obama is going to get the credit. I think we should get the credit.”)
Repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate (“We got no credit, but that’s okay”)
A “great” White House staff (“They don’t get enough credit”)
Decades-old border barriers (“It has been very effective”)
Legislation (“I’m given no credit in the mainstream media”)
“Foreign” (“I’m getting a lot of credit for what we’re doing foreign”)
“Chemistry with all of the leaders” (“People have given me credit”)
“The Middle East” (“‘Trump gets no credit’”)
“Decimating” the Islamic State (“Everybody gives me credit”)
Stopping an attack in Syria (“Nobody is going to give me credit, but that’s okay”)
His relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (“We’re given no credit for it”)
Moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (“Do I get credit for saving a billion bucks? Not really.”)
Getting NATO countries to pay what they had already been paying (NATO’s secretary general “gave me all of the credit”)
GOP’s retaining the Senate in 2018 (“I won the Senate — meaning we won the Senate altogether — but we get no credit for that.”)
Winning 41 percent of female voters (“Nobody wants to give me credit for that, as you know.”)
Inflating the cost reduction of Air Force planes (“Do they give me credit? No, but that’s okay.”)
Growth in Hispanic-owned businesses (“I’d like to take full credit … I wasn’t the one getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go to work, I know that.”)
An idea for something that was already law (“I said, ‘Oh, so it wasn’t my idea.’ But you know what? I’m the only one that got it passed.”)
Taking a company’s idea to add solar panels to a southern border wall (“Pretty good imagination, right? My idea.”)
A decade-long airline trend (“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation”)
Dismissing CEOs who had already quit his advisory council
Taking former president Ronald Reagan’s slogan (“He didn’t trademark it”)
The success of the 2018 Winter Olympics (“We’ve been given tremendous credit”)
The 2026 World Cup (“I worked hard on this”)
Playing an Elvis Presley song to honor Elvis (“That was my idea”)
Contributing to the crazy ending of the 89th Academy Awards (“I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end”)
The phrase “Merry Christmas” (“Only because of our campaign”)
A word first used in that sense in the 18th century (“One of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake’ ”)
A word first used in the 16th century (“‘Caravan.’ I think that was one of mine.”)
A phrase first used in the 20th century (“Prime the pump … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good”)
Abraham Lincoln’s political party (“People never give us credit for this”)
The president isn’t always eager to claim success, though.

When asked last month about the National Football League’s national anthem controversy, which he has repeatedly wielded as a political cudgel, Trump demurred.

“I don’t want to take credit for that.”

Deadly Houston drug raid probed by FBI; prosecutor to review 1,400 cases of key officer

Deadly Houston drug raid probed by FBI; prosecutor to review 1,400 cases of key officer
"I'm very confident we're going to have criminal charges on one or more of the officers," the police chief has said of the raid that killed two people and wounded several officers.

The Houston-area prosecutor's office said it is reviewing more than 1,400 cases spanning the career of a city narcotics officer at the center of questions swirling around a deadly drug raid last month.

The FBI also said it has opened an independent civil rights investigation into Jan. 28 raid that left a man and a woman who lived at the home dead and several police officers shot and injured. The agency's Houston office said the investigation is "into allegations that a search warrant obtained by Houston police officers was based on false, fabricated information."

Houston officials discovered in the aftermath of the raid that an affidavit for the warrant appears to have included "some material untruths or lies," the city's police chief said last week.

Police documents say the warrant for the Harding Street home was justified by claims that a confidential informant bought heroin there and saw a weapon, and investigators trying to find that informant were provided two names by narcotics Officer Gerald Goines, who was wounded in the raid.

But both informants denied working on that case or buying drugs at that address, and all the informants on a list of those who had worked for Goines denied making a buy for Goines from that residence, and ever buying drugs from the two people killed in the raid, Dennis Tuttle, 59, and Rhogena Nicholas, 58.


Chinese 'Ivory Queen' Sentenced To 15 Years In Jail In Tanzania

A convicted Chinese trafficker known as the "ivory queen" has been sentenced to 15 years in jail by a Tanzanian court.

Yang Fenglan, who has lived in Tanzania on and off for decades and operated a Chinese restaurant, was found guilty of working with two Tanzanian men to smuggle more than 800 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2004, as Reuters reported.

Yang and the men – Salivius Matembo and Manase Philemon – were convicted of "leading an organised criminal gang," according to the wire service. They have denied the accusations.

She was initially arrested in 2015, following what the BBC termed a "high speed car chase" with Tanzanian authorities.

Investigators say Yang "was a key link between poachers in East Africa and buyers in China for more than a decade," the broadcaster reported.

China has been a major driver of demand of ivory, which has been disastrous for Africa's elephants. A recent major census of the African elephant population found that it decreased by nearly a third between 2007 and 2014. China started banning the domestic sale of ivory in 2018 after pressure from environmental groups.


postal worker pepper sprays dog secured behind fence.

The U.S. Postal Service and San Antonio Animal Care Services are both investigating a San Antonio mailman who was allegedly caught on video pepper spraying a dog on his route on Friday, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Will Charles, a paramedic who works in Medina County, filed a complaint Sunday with San Antonio police after his home's surveillance system appeared to show the mailman use pepper spray on his dog, Teddy, who was behind a fence and posed no obvious danger to the postal worker.

"I had to go back and watch it a couple of times," Charles told mySA.com on Monday. "I was upset when I confirmed what I was watching was what I thought it was."


Charles' complaint to police was referred to Animal Care Services Tuesday, and spokesperson Lisa Norwood confirmed they are looking into the report.

"We're glad Teddy is doing better and we're working with both SAPD and the U.S. Postal Service as we move forward on this investigation," Norwood said. "Allegations of this sort are a priority and we take every reported act of animal cruelty seriously. We are the voice for the voiceless and next steps will involve collecting all the facts to determine any potential legal liability."


Editor who wrote Klan editorial has penned countless racist, sexist, xenophobic pieces


The University of Southern Mississippi said in a statement that Mr. Sutton has been removed from the school’s Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame.

“The School of Communication strongly condemns Mr. Sutton’s remarks as they are antithetical to all that we value as scholars of journalism, the media, and human communication,” the statement read. “Our University’s values of social responsibility and citizenship, inclusion and diversity, and integrity and civility are the foundation upon which we have built our School and its programs.”

One needn’t look far back into the paper’s archives to find similarly offensive content.

In a 2013 editorial condemning former State Sen. Hank Sanders and State Rep. Alvin Holmes with the title “Hank, Alvin continue racial hatred,” Sutton wrote that “Slavery was a good lesson for the Jews. They didn’t act right, so God punished them by letting others conquer and enslave them.” He went on, “There are stories which publishing companies won’t print about how the black people were banished into the wilderness of Africa because God hated them. They had no word in their language for love. They did have seven words to describe how to kill an unborn baby. (Reminds us of America today).” Parenthesis retained.

'If I was raped, I would move': Speaker Glen Casada doubles down on support of Rep. David Byrd

'If I was raped, I would move': Speaker Glen Casada doubles down on support of Rep. David Byrd

House Speaker Glen Casada says he will continue to defend a Republican lawmaker accused of sexual assault against multiple former students, recently questioning the credibility of the women who came forward and implying that victims of rape should move.

In a video published by The Tennessee Holler, a newly created liberal media website, former Democratic candidate for Congress Justin Kanew questioned Casada about his support of Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro.

Three women last year accused Byrd of sexually assaulting them in the 1980s when they were teenagers playing on the Wayne County High School girls basketball team, which Byrd coached.

In a story last spring, WSMV included audio from a phone call recorded by one of the women as she talked to Byrd about what happened when she was 15. Byrd said he was sorry, though he does not say specifically for what he is apologizing.


On the topic of the women's credibility, Kanew told Casada that the women had been ostracized in their community as a result of coming forward with allegations against Byrd.

"If it's important, and it is —  it’d be important to me if I was raped, I would move," Casada said. "And hell would have no fury."

Kanew replied that he believed Casada couldn't answer what he would do if he were "raped as a woman in rural Tennessee."


Why America's New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same

Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same
Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.


These buildings are in almost every U.S. city. They range from three to seven stories tall and can stretch for blocks. They’re usually full of rental apartments, but they can also house college dorms, condominiums, hotels, or assisted-living facilities. Close to city centers, they tend toward a blocky, often colorful modernism; out in the suburbs, their architecture is more likely to feature peaked roofs and historical motifs. Their outer walls are covered with fiber cement, metal, stucco, or bricks.

They really are everywhere, I discovered on a cross-country drive last fall, and they’re going up fast. In 2017, 187,000 new housing units were completed in buildings of 50 units or more in the U.S., the most since the Census Bureau started keeping track in 1972. By my informal massaging of the data, well over half of those were in blocky mid-rises.

The number of floors and the presence of a podium varies; the key unifying element, it turns out, is under the skin. They’re almost always made of softwood two-by-fours, or “stick,” in construction parlance, that have been nailed together in frames like those in suburban tract houses.

The method traces to 1830s Chicago, a boomtown with vast forests nearby. Nailing together thin, precut wooden boards into a “balloon frame” allowed for the rapid construction of “a simple cage which the builder can surface within and without with any desired material,” the architect Walker Field wrote in 1943. “It exemplifies those twin conditions that underlie all that is American in our building arts: the chronic shortage of skilled labor, and the almost universal use of wood.” The balloon frame and its variants still dominate single-family homebuilding in the U.S. and Canada. It’s also standard in Australia and New Zealand, and pretty big in Japan, but not in the rest of the world.

In the U.S., stick framing appears to have become the default construction method for apartment complexes as well. The big reason is that it costs much less—I heard estimates from 20 percent to 40 percent less—than building with concrete, steel, or masonry. Those industries have sponsored several studies disputing the gap, but most builders clearly think it exists.

They’re also comfortable with wood. “You can make mistakes and you can cut another piece,” says Michael Feigin, chief construction officer at AvalonBay Communities Inc., the country’s fourth-biggest apartment owner. “With concrete and steel, it’s just a lot more work to fix problems.” If supplies run out, adds Kenneth Bland, a vice president at the trade group American Wood Council, builders “know they can run to the nearest big box and get what they need.”

They can also run to the nearest big-box store to find workers. Stick construction allows builders to use cheaper casual labor rather than often-unionized skilled tradespeople. And it makes life easier for electricians, plumbers, and the like because it leaves open spaces through which wires, pipes, and ducts can run. Still, there’s a reason why stick wasn’t the default for big apartment buildings until recently, and why these buildings are limited in height: Sticks burn.

Japan's leader nominated Trump for Nobel Prize at Washington's urging: Report

Trump... stop embarrassing us


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize — but he did so at the U.S. government’s prompting, according to a Sunday report in Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.

Government sources told Asahi, one of Japan’s oldest and largest national newspapers, that Abe nominated Trump last fall for the peace prize at the “behest of Washington.” The U.S. had “informally” asked Japan to nominate Trump for the accolade following the president’s landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

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