Posted: February 21, 2018 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, American Gun Fetish, double-speak, Gun Control, mass shooting, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, the GOP, U.S. Politics, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons
For your consideration today:
On the gun control fight….
Who is Dana Loesch? The NRA’s defender after the Florida shooting | US news | The Guardian
But as students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida last week continue to speak out publicly against the NRA’s “blood money,” the gun-rights group has announced that it will send spokeswoman Dana Loesch to participate in Wednesday’s CNN town hall conversation with Parkland shooting survivors.
The move comes as the NRA appears to be attempting to dial down attention to the speech that longtime leader Wayne LaPierre is scheduled to give at CPAC later this week. Instead it is putting Loesch in the spotlight.
Florida school shooting: Survivors confront lawmakers, other students march in solidarity – CNN
Just one week after surviving a massacre that killed 17 people, grieving students confronted Florida lawmakers Wednesday to demand a ban on assault weapons.
As they took up their fight in Tallahassee, students from Palm Beach to Washington walked out in solidarity — disgusted by yet another school massacre with no change in gun laws.
Here are the latest developments:
Go to the link to read the latest…
Here is something of interest, it is the National Rifle Association – Member Discount List this links to the state of Georgia…however, if you go to the page you can search for your own state’s discount list. Funny…one of the lawyers I used to work for is on the Georgia list. He used to tell me all the time, he was a “Christian” first. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.
Security Clearance: 02/18/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
American: 02/16/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
Politicizing Parkland: 02/20/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis
Business As Usual: 02/21/2018 Cartoon by Paul Fell
Watching The Door: 02/20/2018 Cartoon by Paul Fell
Hand Puppets: 02/19/2018 Cartoon by Paul Fell
School of Glock: 02/21/2018 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen
02/20/2018 Cartoon by Joel Pett
You may remember this cartoon from last week…
02/20/2018 Cartoon by MStreeter
This is an open thread.
Posted: February 14, 2018 Filed under: morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Republican politics, the GOP, War on Women, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons, Women's Rights
A card tRump could never send…
Happy Valentine’s Day!
When you got friends…who needs lawyers? Wait, or is that vice versa…
Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Says He Paid Stormy Daniels Out of His Own Pocket – The New York Times
Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.
In the most detailed explanation of the 2016 payment made to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, Mr. Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, said he was not reimbursed for the payment.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
He declined to answer several follow-up questions, including whether Mr. Trump had been aware that he made the payment, what the motivation was or whether he had made similar payments to other people over the years.
Mr. Cohen has previously said that Mr. Trump has denied an affair with Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels.
Cohen’s statement about what he called “a private transaction” was the first time that he has acknowledged a role in the payment, which was first reported in January by The Wall Street Journal.
Gee, hell of a guy.
tRump has great lawyers, huh? Remember this?
Trump’s lawyer claims responsibility for president’s problematic tweet – NBC News
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer took responsibility Sunday for a tweet that Trump sent the previous day, in which the president said for the first time that he knew his former security adviser, Michael Flynn, had lied to the FBI before he fired Flynn in February.
The tweet caused an uproar in Washington because it implied Trump knew Flynn had committed a felony — lying to the FBI — when he told then-FBI director James Comey to go easy on Flynn the day after the firing.
Interfering in the FBI’s investigation could be construed as obstructing justice, potentially creating legal jeopardy for Trump. Within a few hours, Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, stepped in to say that he wrote the tweet, not the president.
Dowd told NBC News that he drafted the tweet and then sent it to White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino to publish. When asked for the original email he sent to Scavino, Dowd said he dictated it orally.
Cartoons to the rescue:
Jasper and the First Amendment: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Angelo Lopez
Valentine to Hope: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath
Rob Porter: 02/12/2018 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath
02/13/2018 Cartoon by Lisa Benson
Nick Anderson cartoon: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Nick Anderson
02/13/2018 Cartoon by Kevin Siers
02/09/2018 Cartoon by Kevin Siers
Doug Jones rains on Gop parade: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe
02/09/2018 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe
Trump Bone Spur Salute: 02/08/2018 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe
The Flu: 02/11/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis
Deficits: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis
02/09/2018 Cartoon by Nick Anderson
Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Clay Bennett
02/13/2018 Cartoon by Joe Heller
02/10/2018 Cartoon by Joe Heller
Media Magnet: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Eric J Garcia
I think the best thing about that cartoon is the dead squirrel on top of tRump’s head.
02/13/2018 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies
02/12/2018 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies
One Korea: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
Gerrymandered State: 02/12/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
Deficit Apocalypse: 02/11/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
Visitors: 02/13/2018 Cartoon by Paul Fell
Parade: 02/09/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
This next cartoon is from 1941:
And I will end it with that magnificent cartoon from Luckovich…
This is an open thread.
Posted: February 11, 2018 Filed under: morning reads, open thread
Let’s call the whole thing off! New Orleans, you’re still like family — flawed, yes, but oh so fun, even after 300 years
y mother called our city New AW-yunz. I say New OR-lens, although New AW-lens or New Or-lee-uns sometimes slides out of my mouth.
A local professor told me New Or-LEENS is the favored pronunciation in a few neighborhoods, but most of us say that only when singing “You know what it means to miss New Or-LEENS” or referring to Or-LEENS Parish. Or when commenting on our fellow New Or-LEEN-ians.
However it’s pronounced, it’s my home. It has its issues as any family does, but there’s nowhere on Earth I’d rather live.
If we don’t know how to pronounce our city’s name, it should be no surprise that although 2018’s calendar is filled with events commemorating the 300th anniversary of New Orleans’ founding, no one is sure of the exact date in 1718.
Okay, it is a travel piece…but it has some interesting nuggets to relay.
New Orleans has a history of influxes from population pools, said Campanella, a Brooklyn native.
“Sicilians were new once, and now we embrace their muffalettas and red gravy,” he said.
Before them were the Irish and the English and the French and Germans as well as the Spanish. Native Americans were in the area before Europeans arrived.
Slaves were brought here in 1719, the year after the city was founded; part of New Orleans’ shameful past is as a center of slave auctions.
Transplants especially preach the idea that New Orleans is unique among cities, Campanella said. That’s partly why in the 1960s people began referring to those hot squares of fried dough at Café du Monde as beignets — because they were different.
And in the 1970s preservationists and real estate agents began calling Orleans Parish neighborhoods faubourgs, a French word for suburbs.
Mardi Gras is a single day, two days from now. The season is Carnival, with a capital C, and lasts from the 12th night after Christmas (Jan. 6) through Mardi Gras, which is 40 days before Easter. Mardi Gras is the last bash before Lent begins the next day, which is Ash Wednesday.
Carnival parades start two weekends before Mardi Gras.
Most New Orleanians are fluent in Carnival speak. For example, a cousin told me, “I’m riding Chaos, fourth float, second position, neutral ground side.”
Translation? He’s a member of a men’s krewe, a private club called Chaos, sponsoring a parade and/or ball, and will be the second masked or costumed person on the fourth float, left side if you’re walking in the same direction as it rolls (another word) through the street. If he were on the right, he would say he’s on the sidewalk side.
New Orleanians call all street medians neutral grounds. (It’s a long story.) Streetcars run on the neutral ground of St. Charles Avenue, which is part of the traditional route of Carnival parades. We always refer to the left side of the float as the neutral ground side even on streets where there is no neutral ground.
Neutral grounds? Going from a phrase such as neutral grounds to the display of tRump’s party hacks today on the morning shows is a sad comment on the situation today.
White House Aides Try and Fail to Fix Trump’s Rob Porter Problem – Mother Jones
White House aides hit the Sunday news circuit to try to fix President Trump’s latest public relations nightmare: His defense of former staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned this week amid allegations that he abused his two ex-wives. Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly have been accused of failing to take the allegations of violence seriously and of protecting an abuser; on Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
Aides’ attempts to explain the defensive response from Trump and Kelly only raised more questions. In an interview Sunday, Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said that Trump’s handling of the accusations against Porter has been shaped by the fact that the president himself has faced allegations of assault from more than a dozen women.
“I think the president is shaped by a lot of false accusations against him in the past,” Short said on NBC’s Meet the Press. Short described Trump as “saddened,” “disturbed,” and “disappointed” by the Porter situation, and he said that the president believes Porter’s resignation was the right move. But Short did not respond to directly to the question of whether Trump believes Porter is innocent.
White House advisor Kellyanne Conway also mentioned Trump’s accusers Sunday in response to the question of whether Trump believes Porter is innocent. “The president believes, as he said the other day, you have to consider all sides,” Conway told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “He has said this in the past about incidents that relate to him as well.” Conway stressed that Porter “is no longer the staff secretary.”
Conway also responded to a Saturday tweet by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that said, “If [Trump] wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow.” Conway suggested that media attention counts as due process: “Those accusers have had their day on your network and elsewhere for a long time. They were trotted out again late last year.”
Meanwhile, budget director Mick Mulvaney attempted to defend the handling of the Porter situation and Trump’s Saturday tweet, but the explanations were not very flattering to the White House. He said on Fox News Sunday that Trump and Kelly had a “very human reaction” to the allegations against Porter. Mulvaney is reportedlya likely candidate to become the next chief of staff if Kelly leaves the White House, but Mulvaney said Sunday that the rumors are “much ado about nothing.”
Mulvaney also defended the president’s Saturday tweet by suggesting it was a reference to casino magnate and former RNC Finance Chair Steve Wynn, who faces accusations of sexually harassing employees in his casinos for decades. Wynn, who stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts this week due to these allegations, is hardly a sympathetic figure.
This is the explanation for the tweets the article discusses above:
Trump believes the men – POLITICO
For President Donald Trump, the allegations that his now-former staff secretary was a serial domestic abuser are another #HimToo moment.
Never mind the FBI background check that found the allegations and restraining order credible enough to delay Rob Porter’s security clearance, or the close-up photos of the black eye Porter’s ex-wife says he gave her on vacation in Italy.
To the president, sitting in the Oval Office on Friday, the victim here seems to be Porter.
“It was very sad when we heard about it and certainly he’s also very sad now,” Trump told reporters. “He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent so you have to talk to him about that.”
Trump made no mention of the women. No denunciation of domestic abuse to line up with Vice President Mike Pence, who initially told reporters he’d catch up with the Porter drama when he gets back to Washington from his trip to the Winter Games in South Korea, only to later clarify in an interview with NBC News: “There’s no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse.”
On Saturday, the president tweeted: “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
Trump has been down this road before—many times— starting with two dozen women who’ve alleged he sexual harassed or assaulted them. His ex-wife Ivana Trump claimed once in a deposition that he raped her, in a rage over bad hair plugs. She later said she didn’t mean “rape” literally.
Gillibrand offers Trump ‘due process’ hearings on sexual assault allegations against him – ThinkProgress
Following the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter over multiple accusations of domestic abuse, President Trump tweeted Saturday that he’s concerned people’s lives are being “shattered and destroyed” by “a mere allegation” without “due process.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) responded by offering Trump his own “due process” in the form of hearings about the many sexual allegations against him, prompting a retort from White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway that those women “have had their day.”
On Sunday morning, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney clarified on Fox News Sunday that it’s not clear Trump’s tweet referred to Porter, and could have been a reference to Steve Wynn, the former Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Two weeks ago, Wynn resigned over accusations he assaulted and harassed dozens of women. The RNC has said it’s planning to keepthe $200,000 Wynn donated to Republicans last year, insisting that he should be “allowed due process.” Despite the similar stories, Wynn has not really been in the news the last two weeks and wasn’t even mentioned on Fox & Friends Saturday morning — but Porter was.
Regardless of whom Trump was referring to, Gillibrand decided to offer him exactly what he was asking for: due process in the form of congressional hearings on the many sexual assault allegations against him.
“I don’t need a lecture from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else who protected and defended and harbored a sitting president who had sexual relations in the Oval Office and was impeached for lying. I don’t need a lecture from her or anybody else.”
Conway is referring to President Clinton, who was impeached in 1999 and served in office until 2001. Gillibrand didn’t take office until 2007, so it’s unclear how exactly she could have been protecting Clinton at the time. It’s true that Gillibrand is close to the Clintons and that they have campaigned for her. She said last November that in hindsight, however, she believes Clinton should have resigned over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
If anything, Conway’s retort shines light on the fact that the accusations against Clinton were actually investigated. Apparently she thinks that “due process” for Trump is simply the fact that his accusers have had airtime on television.
A few other links on that:
Conway unwittingly makes point about White House: ‘Why would someone like me and other women work there?’
Jeanine Pirro: Obama is to blame for Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal – Salon.com
It is always Obama’s fault.
I guess this next abuser in tRumps midst will be also a product of an Obama presidency:
Trump campaign co-chair gets 20 years for sexual abuse and trafficking teens
Tea Party leader and former Trump campaign chair Tim Nolan has pleaded guilty and received 20 years in prison for human trafficking, reports Cincinnati.com.
According to the report, Nolan, 71, a former judge, used drugs and threats of arrest to force women and girls under the age of 18 into sex acts.
Pleading guilty to 21 of the counts filed against him — for crimes committed dating back to 2004 — Nolan accepted a plea deal where he will serve 20 years in prison and pay a $100,000 fine, becoming eligible for parole in four years, his attorney stated.
Some of the incidents occurred in the summer of 2016 while Judge Nolan was serving as the chair of the Donald Trump campaign in Campbell County, KY.
This revelation comes after another one of tRump’s White House Staff resigns due to abuse accusations:
Second White House official departs amid abuse allegations, which he denies – The Washington Post
A White House speechwriter resigned Friday after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their turbulent 2½ -year marriage — allegations that he vehemently denied, saying she was the one who victimized him.
The abrupt departure of David Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked under senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, came as The Washington Post was reporting on a story about abuse claims by his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett. Corbett told The Post that she described his behavior to the FBI last fall as the bureau was conducting a background check of Sorensen.
White House officials said they learned of the accusations by Sorensen’s wife Thursday night, before The Post contacted the White House for comment.
“We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today,” spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement Friday evening.
In a text message to The Post, Sorensen said he stepped down because he “didn’t want the White House to have to deal with this distraction.”
White House Speechwriter Resigns Amid Abuse Accusations – The New York Times
That NYT link there pretty much gives the tRump side of things…typical abuse apologist.
This Axios article is giving a inside look into the background of Porter and Kelly:
Scoop: Rob Porter telling different story than John Kelly – Axios
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter is telling associates that some senior White House officials strongly encouraged him to “stay and fight,” and claims he “never misrepresented anything” to Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Why it matters: This White House has a culture problem, starting at the top. The natural instinct is to defend/deny and show scant, if any, concern for the women alleging misconduct and harm. And when the going gets tough internally, the other natural instinct is to blame everyone but yourself.
Read it at the link…
Just a couple more articles before we end it: Woody Allen’s films move many people. It’s time to ask why | Cara Marsh Sheffler | Opinion | The Guardian
t is, hands-down, my favorite Onion headline of 2018: “Aspiring Actor Dreams Of One Day Publicly Voicing Regret For Working With Woody Allen.”
AO Scott, the New York Times film critic, voiced his own regret last week, joining Greta Gerwig, Colin Firth and a host of others. His contribution is notable because what is a film critic, if not the consumer who is first among equals? We all get to watch the movie and say what we want about it, but Scott gets to do so in the New York Times.
In “My Woody Allen Problem,” Scott muses over the outsized – and troubling – role Allen played shaping his own sensibilities. As Scott puts it, “Reassessment is part of the ordinary work of culture, and in an extraordinary time, the work is especially vital and especially challenging.”
Reassessment? It staggers the imagination: do we need to reassess 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway as a plausible love interest for a 44-year-old Woody Allen in Manhattan? Scott writes, “There is a powerful and understandable urge … to expunge the perpetrators, to turn away from their work and scrub it from the canon.”
While Scott goes on to say it’s never that easy, I believe we are reassessing the wrong thing. Scott, the critic, has taken it upon himself to examine his complicity in Allen’s enduring popularity; we, the audience, need to do the same.
And here is the crux of the matter:
Biography shouldn’t serve as a convenient excuse to let ourselves off the hook. It seems the more loudly we denounce a biography, the easier it is to drown out the voice in our heads that dares to ask, “So, why did you love his movies?”
I was raised by a Jew who loved Wagner. As such, my father never papered over the fact that Wagner was a rotten bigot. The larger lesson was this: sometimes terrible people make great art.
John Lennon wrote Imagine. He also beat women. Bernini made marble come to life. He also had his muse’s actual face slashed with a razor. However, Woody Allen is inconveniently alive. What’s more, he has tackled some of the crimes he stands accused of committing in his most famous movies.
If Woody Allen the man is too much intertwined with his art, it’s his own damn fault: he’s an auteur after all. That means Allen’s poor treatment of women didn’t just play out in a tabloid divorce, but also in dozens of movies many of us adored, paid to see, and that the Library of Congress deemed “culturally significant” and added to National Film Registry.
We cannot simply cross these movies off that list and wash our hands of the matter. We shouldn’t sit around saying, “Gee, wasn’t New York cool in the 70s,” and forget about that era’s sexism and sexualization of children. We lose a critical piece of our cultural knowledge – and our ability to recognize who we were so we can actually change – when we expurgate anything tricky or objectionable from the record.
Cara Marsh Sheffler argues that we should not rid ourselves of the previous work of Allen…that even though now he is no longer producing great film…meaning he is putting out crap, don’t forget the art he did produce.
The Time’s Up movement and the #MeToo moment need to reckon with what kinds of movies get funding going forward and move the needle toward progress for women. Also, to be sure, Allen is past his prime. However, his contributions are admired and are in the canon. And, I think, they ought to stay there for the same reason I don’t think the Met should trash all its Balthus: culture is messy because it reflects a messy world.
My hope going forward is that we can both allow ourselves to be moved by art while being forthright about where it came from. I’m all for being straightforward about biographical ugliness, but censoring museum collections or film catalogues in hindsight can erode our cultural heritage to a delusional extent.
We can have higher standards for men specifically and society in general while not telling ourselves all artists have to be good for their art to be useful or resonant. It’s far more important to ask why something can move us when such a terrible person created it – rather than just scrapping the whole thing with a glib hashtag.
We need to ask the harder questions if we are going to be honest with ourselves. The answers will be less flattering, but more worthwhile. Those answers will help us better understand our shared culture – and only then can we improve it and make it more genuinely, not just cosmetically, inclusive.
I will probably get flack for this…but I agree with Sheffler. There are a few Woody Allen films that I cannot deny, two of them being, Radio Days and Bullets Over Broadway…which I have to admit are in my top favorite list of movies. I find myself unable to renounce those films.
I guess I could say, some would call it hypocrisy…the shit Allen has put out for the last couple of decades are deserving of the disgust and shameful hashtags…and aside from his repulsive abusive past, they are indeed films that shouldn’t be seen by anyone.
All that being said…here is one last story for you, and yes it also centers around abusive men: Kentucky murder spree leaves 5 dead, including suspect
Five people, including a suspect, are dead after a string of killings Saturday in northeast Kentucky, authorities said.
Deputies in Johnson County, Ky., found two bodies in a home, then in the search for the suspect, Joseph Nickell, two additional people were found dead. Deputies say Nickell committed suicide.
“This has been a horrific murder spree,” said Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price. “There are no words to describe the heartbreak in seeing four lives taken due to the actions of one man. I have worked in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen.”
He says “horrific murder spree” …I say victims of domestic abuse, Kentucky man shoots dead 4 before killing himself | Daily Mail Online
Nickell, who is a self-identified conservative christian, lost his sister in 2017 to addiction. He has been arrested several times in the past and charged with public intoxication, domestic violence and assault, and fleeing or evading police, official arrest records show.
You say tomato, I say tomahtoe…you say New AW-lens, I say New Or-lee-uns…tRump says “falsely accused,” we say abusers… #metoo says obliterate, I say…”but isn’t it art?” Fucking hell. Let’s call the whole thing off.
You say either and I say eyether
You say neither and I say nyther;
Either, eyether, neither, nyther
Let’s call the whole thing off!
You like potato and I like potatoe
You like tomato and I like tomahtoe;
Potato, potatoe, tomato, tomahtoe!
Let’s call the whole thing off!
The artwork for the post above is by Mayumi Oda, who is considered the ‘Matisse of Japan’…please go to her website to learn more about her and to see more of her work. About Mayumi Oda | Mayumi Oda
This is an open thread.
Posted: February 4, 2018 Filed under: Donald Trump, Greece, History, immigration, Migrant and Refugee Crisis in Europe and Mediterranean, morning reads, open thread, racism, Refugees, right wing hate grouups, Russian Trump Investigation, the GOP, U.S. Politics, white nationalists | Tags: Amtrak crash, Carter Page, Russia Doomsday Machine, South Carolina Train Wreck, Status 6
Yesterday evening Time Magazine broke a news story about Carter Page. Carter Page Touted Russia Contacts in 2013 Letter | Time
Apparently Page had written a book on his “academic” views of Russia, and in trying to get the book published…actually bragged about being a spy. However, in the last paragraph of the article, the editor who has remained anonymous summed up his opinion of Carter in very much the same way that most people view Carter:
“I just came to see him as a kook”
Yeah, I think that we all can agree about that…
From the link above:
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.
The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.
As anyone reading or watching the goings on with Page, it doesn’t take much to see how bumbling a fool he was…maybe that was the main attraction for the Russians? (That is my own question to ponder, as you know Putin wants to create chaos.)
As this excerpt from the book COLLUSION by Luke Harding in Politico describes…the two Russian spies who recruited Page described him as an “idiot”:
Why Carter Page Was Worth Watching – POLITICO Magazine
As FBI wiretaps showed, the techniques for meeting with Buryakov were distinctly old-school. Typically, Sporyshev would ring Buryakov and tell him he had to give him “something”—a ticket, a book, a hat, an umbrella. The two would meet outdoors. This sometimes happened outside Buryakov’s bank office on Third Avenue—an inconspicuous brown tower with a 1960s abstract sculpture at street level opposite the foyer. They would exchange documents.
Sporyshev’s biggest headache was finding Americans willing to become intelligence sources for Russia. This was tough. He had approached two young women working in financial consultancy who had recently graduated from a New York university. Sporyshev told Podobnyy he was skeptical anything would come of it. Or, as he put it in chauvinist terms: “In order to be close you need to either fuck them or use other levers to execute my requests.”
The Russian spies, however, had one promising lead. This was a guy—an energy consultant based in New York City. Unlike the women, he was eager to help. And, it appeared, keen to make money in Moscow. There was a drawback: The source—whom the FBI called “Male-1”—was something of a dimwit.
The FBI intercepts record:
PODOBNYY: [Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practise the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on [the Russian state energy company] Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious he wants to earn loads of money.
SPORYSHEV: Without a doubt.
On a little more about Page:
In a blog post for Global Policy, an online journal, he wrote that Putin wasn’t to blame for the 2014 Ukraine conflict. The White House’s superior “smack-down” approach had “started the crisis in the first place,” he wrote.
Page’s rampant pro-Moscow views were at odds with the US State Department under Clinton and with almost all American scholars of Russia. After all, it was Putin who had smuggled tanks across the border into eastern Ukraine. Not that Page’s opinions counted for much. Global Policy had a small circulation. It was edited out of Durham University in the north of England.
His relationship with the journal fizzled out when he wrote an opinion piece lavishly praising a pro-Russian candidate ahead of the U.S. presidential election—Trump.
And then something odd happened.
In March 2016 candidate Trump met with the Washington Post’s editorial board. At this point it seemed likely that Trump would clinch the Republican nomination. Foreign affairs came up. Who were the candidate’s foreign policy advisers? Trump read five names. The second was “Carter Page, PhD.” Given Trump’s obvious lack of experience of world affairs, this was a pivotal job.
One former Eurasia Group colleague said he was stunned when he discovered Page had mysteriously become one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers. “I nearly dropped my coffee,” he told me. The colleague added: “We had wanted people who could engage in critical analysis of what’s going on. This is a guy who has no critical insight into the situation. He wasn’t a smart person.”
Read more at the link…some insight as to what Page spoke of while he was in Russia, and how
Page’s loyalty to the SVR was breathtaking. Podobnyy wasn’t an “imagined bogeyman” but a career operative working against the interests of the United States. And, moreover, one who had bad-mouthed Page behind his back, calling him “a bit of an idiot”.
Whatever Page’s motives were for helping Russian intelligence—greed, naivety, stupidity—his actions surely justified the FBI’s interest in him. There was a simple way of avoiding U.S. surveillance and a FISA court warrant. It could be summed up like this: Don’t hang out with Russian spies.
All this talk of Russia, it may be a good time to watch Stanley Kubrick’s classic, Dr. Strangelove….
Buried In Trump’s Nuclear Report: A Russian Doomsday Weapon : Parallels : NPR
The Trump administration released a report on the state of America’s nuclear weaponry on Friday. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles.
But buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.”
“The radius of total or near-total destruction is the size of a pretty large metropolitan area, actually,” says Edward Geist, a Russia specialist at the Rand Corp. who has spent time looking at the weapon. “It’s difficult to imagine in normal terms.”
If it sounds somewhat familiar…the Status-6 has made an appearance before…
Status-6 made its first public appearance in 2015, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting with his generals in the city of Sochi.
Russia state television reported on the visit. The camera shows Putin seated at a long table. Then it cuts to a shot over one of the general’s shoulders. He is looking at what appears to be a drawing of a new nuclear weapon called the Oceanic Multipurpose System Status-6.
Here is the main point:
Status-6 would launch from beneath a Russian submarine. It would shoot at a depth too deep to be intercepted and travel for thousands of miles. Upon reaching its target along the U.S. coastline, it would detonate, swallowing up whatever city happened to be nearby.
“The only possible U.S. targets are large port cities,” says Mark Schneider, a senior analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy, wrote in an e-mail. “The detonation of Status-6 in any of them would essentially wipe out their population into the far suburbs.”
“The detonation would cause a very large amount of radioactive fallout,” adds Pavel Podvig, an arms control expert who runs a blog called Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Podvig believes the weapon could potentially bathe the entire Northeast Corridor in radioactive soot.
Status-6 would probably be used as a “third-strike” weapon of last resort. If Russia fell under attack from the U.S. and couldn’t retaliate with its missiles, it might trigger Status-6: a doomsday machine. Or at least a doomsday-ish machine.
Did you all see the tweet from Paul Ryan before he deleted it yesterday?
Via Reuters: House Speaker Ryan deletes tweet praising $1.50 pay increase
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan deleted a tweet on Saturday cheering a $1.50 increase to a Pennsylvania school secretary’s weekly pay because of a $1.5 trillion tax cut after it drew criticism that he was out of touch with ordinary Americans.
Ha, no shit!
The Trump administration and Republicans have cast the massive tax cuts, which came into effect in January as creating jobs and boosting economic growth. But critics have argued that they benefited the rich and would blow up the national debt.
Some social media users accused Ryan of being out of touch, with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom posting on Twitter that “Guess someone told Paul Ryan you shouldn’t go around praising yourself for giving a working person an extra $1.50 a week — because he deleted this tweet.”
Paul Ryan Removes Tweet Bragging About GOP Tax Bill After Widespread Mockery | Mediaite
On Saturday, Ryan tweeted a link to an Associated Press story with a summary that said, “A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”
Immediately after Ryan tweeted the story, many left-of-center critics pounced on the speaker for praising the minuscule raise — given that annual Costco membership are only $60 — while many corporate higher-ups have gained a much more substantial amount from the GOP tax bill. The Wisconsin Republican was then pressured to delete the tweet.
Specifically, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed Ryan for the tweet. “Paul Ryan deleted his embarrassing tweet of a blatant admission because he and Republicans don’t want you to know the truth: the #GOPTaxScam is a gift to corporate America and the top 1% at your expense.
He also doesn’t want you to know he got $500.000.00 from the Koch family,” tweeted Pelosi.
There was a horrible racist attack in Italy: At least 6 people injured by far-right shooter in Italy – Axios
It comes as more ultra-right only white political parties become more popular in Europe.
Can Europe’s new xenophobes reshape the continent? | World news | The Guardian
Tensions high in Athens ahead of nationalist rally | Greece News | Al Jazeera
And for the last of today’s post, updates on the latest train wreck:
CBS News is reporting that the Amtrak train was on the wrong tracks….
Amtrak train crash today in South Carolina leaves 2 dead, 116 injured – live updates – CBS News
At least two people were killed and 116 others injured when a train traveling from New York to Miami struck a freight train Sunday morning, authorities said. The crash left thousands of gallons of oil spilled at the scene near Columbia, South Carolina.
The collision occurred in Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Lexington County spokesperson Harrison Cahill said. He said the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.
The two people killed were later identified as Amtrak personnel, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a news conference Sunday. McMaster said the CSX freight train was on the right loading side track “where it was supposed to be” before the collision and the Amtrak train was “on the wrong side.” He did not elaborate.
There were approximately 148 people aboard the train, including 139 passengers and 8 personnel.
Amtrak Train Collision in South Carolina Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 – The New York Times
The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.
The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”
“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.
In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.
It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.
More updates on the train crash in the comments below…this is an open thread.
Posted: January 30, 2018 Filed under: Civil Rights, Human Rights, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, racism, SOTU, the GOP, Trump, U.S. Politics, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons | Tags: "Ethnic Affinity", African-American, Asian-American, Congressional Black Caucus, discriminatory advertising, exclude by race, Facebook, Facebook advertisers, Facebook advertising, Fair Housing Act, Fair Housing Act of 1968, Hispanic, multicultural affinity, ProPublica, target marketing, The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Anyone know exactly what “multicultural affinity” means?
In advertising terms it is:
used to descibe the quality of people who are interested in and likely to respond well to multicultural content. referring to their affinity to the cultures they are interested in. based on affinity, not ethnicity.
According to my Facebook categories, I have African-American multicultural affinities.
They also say I’m “very liberal” …I wonder what gives them that idea?
The reason I came about this discovery was an article about Facebook ads targeting your political affiliation:
How to Change Facebook Ads Privacy Settings Targeting Your Politics – Thrillist
Unless you’ve managed to avoid your Facebook feed for the last year and half, no doubt you’ve learned a whole lot more about your friends’ and family’s political views than you ever cared to. And even if you’ve personally made a conscious effort to stay neutral or discreet about your leanings in the midst of the madness, the reality is that Facebook has a pretty good idea of your political preferences anyway.
That’s because included amongst the hordes of data Zuckerberg and Co. are constantly collecting about you in order to better serve up ads is an inference about how liberal, moderate, or conservative you might be. Here’s how to find out what you’ve been categorized as, and how to change it.
What I find interesting…is that on that political front, facebook does not have any sample ads for my “very liberal” political leanings:
But what is really funny….is that they have samples of ads for my African-American “multicultural affinity”:
Hmmmm, credit problems and burner phones? Okay….
But what is interesting is that Facebook has me “categorized” as a US soccer kind of person…not one who has an American Football affinity:
Damn, no sample ads for that either….but keep that tidbit of info handy because we will come back to it shortly.
Why does all this shit matter you may say?
New Facebook Multicultural Affinity Targeting: More Granular Segmenting Options for Brands – PerformicsPerformics
(Date on this link is from 12/2015)
The 2010 U.S. Census reported that Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans make up one-third of the U.S. population, and that number is growing rapidly. Reaching and personalizing to these audiences is an essential part of any brand’s marketing strategy. As such, Facebook recognized a need for more multicultural targeting across Facebook and Instagram.
According to Facebook, Multicultural Affinity is “the quality of people who are interested in and likely to respond well to multicultural content.” This new targeting solution enables advertisers to more effectively reach and engage people of varying traditions, beliefs, aesthetics, languages and musical tastes. The targeting is based on affinity, not ethnicity. Affinity can be described as “a relationship, like a marriage, as a natural liking, and as a similarity of characteristics.” This means that ads can be targeted to people with multicultural interests.
Three audiences have been broken out in Multicultural Affinity: Hispanic, African American and Asian American affinities:
You can go to the link to read about the three audiences, the point to this should be highlighted here, cough…cough:
This targeting is very concentrated and it may not be the best solution for every advertiser or every campaign. To drive the best results, this targeting should only be used with a specific goal to reach a specific audience. Conduct a test to see how Multicultural Affinity targeting performs against existing targeting to determine its effectiveness.
However when you look more into the real reason for the breakdown, you can see what the real target is used for:
Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race — ProPublica
Oh, look at the date on this, Oct. 28th, 2016
Facebook’s system allows advertisers to exclude black, Hispanic, and other “ethnic affinities” from seeing ads.
Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers.
That’s basically what Facebook is doing nowadays.
The ubiquitous social network not only allows advertisers to target users by their interests or background, it also gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls “Ethnic Affinities.” Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment.
You can see the actual name of this feature was called “Ethnic Affinity”:
The ad we purchased was targeted to Facebook members who were house hunting and excluded anyone with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people. (Here’s the ad itself.)
When we showed Facebook’s racial exclusion options to a prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman, he gasped and said, “This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find.”
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 makes it illegal “to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits the “printing or publication of notices or advertisements indicating prohibited preference, limitation, specification or discrimination” in employment recruitment.
Facebook’s business model is based on allowing advertisers to target specific groups — or, apparently to exclude specific groups — using huge reams of personal data the company has collected about its users. Facebook’s microtargeting is particularly helpful for advertisers looking to reach niche audiences, such as swing-state voters concerned about climate change. ProPublica recently offered a tool allowing users to see how Facebook is categorizing them. We found nearly 50,000 unique categories in which Facebook places its users.
Oh boy…go and read the whole thing, and then see the follow-up here:
Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude… — ProPublica
Yeah, the date here is Nov. 21st, 2017
After ProPublica revealed last year that Facebook advertisers could target housing ads to whites only, the company announced it had built a system to spot and reject discriminatory ads. We retested and found major omissions.
In February, Facebook said it would step up enforcementof its prohibition against discrimination in advertising for housing, employment or credit.
But our tests showed a significant lapse in the company’s monitoring of the rental market.
Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americans, mothers of high school kids,people interested in wheelchair ramps, Jews, expats from Argentina and Spanish speakers.
All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Every single ad was approved within minutes.
The only ad that took longer than three minutes to be approved by Facebook sought to exclude potential renters “interested in Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam.” It was approved after 22 minutes.
Under its own policies, Facebook should have flagged these ads, and prevented the posting of some of them. Its failure to do so revives questions about whether the company is in compliance with federal fair housing rules, as well as about its ability and commitment to police discriminatory advertising on the world’s largest social network.
Damn…that is surprising…ain’t it? (Snark is heavily insinuated here.)
Based on Facebook’s announcement, the ads purchased by ProPublica that were aimed at racial categories should have been rejected. The others should have prompted a screen to pop up asking for self-certification. We never encountered a self-certification screen, and none of our ads were rejected by Facebook.
“This was a failure in our enforcement and we’re disappointed that we fell short of our commitments,” Ami Vora, vice president of product management at Facebook, said in an emailed statement. “The rental housing ads purchased by ProPublica should have but did not trigger the extra review and certifications we put in place due to a technical failure.”
Vora added that Facebook’s anti-discrimination system had “successfully flagged millions of ads” in the credit, employment and housing categories and that Facebook will now begin requiring self-certification for ads in all categories that choose to exclude an audience segment. “Our systems continue to improve but we can do better,” Vora said.
About 37 percent of U.S. households rented in 2016, representing a 50-year high, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. On average, renters earn about half as much as homeowners, and the percentage of families with children that rent rather than buy has increased sharply in the past decade, the study said. Minority renters have long faced pervasive housing discrimination. A 2013 study by HUD found that real estate agents show more units to whites than to African Americans, Asians and Latinos.
Gee…innit that the three categories of multicultural affinity?
Facebook has been under fire for other aspects of its automated ad buying system as well. Two months ago, the company disclosed that it had discovered $100,000 worth of divisive political ads placed by “inauthentic” Russian accounts. And in September, ProPublica reported that Facebook’s ad targeting system allowed buyers to reach people who identified themselves as “Jew haters” and other anti-Semitic categories. Facebook pledged to remove the offending categories and to hire thousands more employees to enforce its ad policies.
“We’re adding additional layers of review where people use potentially sensitive categories for targeting,” Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch said during Senate testimony earlier this month.
After Stretch’s public statement, we wondered whether the ability to buy discriminatory housing ads had really been addressed. So we set out to buy an advertisement with the exact same targeting parameters as the ad we bought last year. The ad promoted a fictional apartment for rent and was targeted at people living in New York, ages 18–65, who were house hunting and likely to move. We asked Facebook not to show the ad to people categorized under the “multicultural affinity” of Hispanic, African American or Asian American.
(ProPublica generally forbids impersonation in news gathering. We felt in this instance that the public interest in Facebook’s ad system justified the brief posting of a fake ad for non-existent housing. We deleted each ad as soon as it was approved.)
The only changes from last year that we could identify in Facebook’s ad buying system was that the category called “Ethnic Affinity” had been renamed “Multicultural Affinity” and was no longer part of “Demographics.” It is now designated as part of “Behaviors.”
Go…yeah, go and see the actual screenshots of the ad placements. Remember that thing I mentioned up top about the soccer affinity?
Then we decided to test whether we could purchase housing ads that discriminated against other protected categories of people under the Fair Housing Act.
We placed ads that sought to exclude members of as many of the protected categories as we could find in Facebook’s self-service advertising portal. In addition to those mentioned above, we bought ads that were blocked from being shown to “soccer moms,” people interested in American sign language, gay menand Christians.
Just read the rest of the thread at the link, but wait there is more:
According to ProPublica, Facebook to Temporarily Block Advertisers From Excluding… — ProPublica
Uh…the date on this is Nov. 29th, 2017
The social network’s actions come after a ProPublica investigation revealed that Facebook failed to keep its promise to reject discriminatory housing ads.
Facebook said it would temporarily stop advertisers from being able to exclude viewers by race while it studies the use of its ad targeting system.
“Until we can better ensure that our tools will not be used inappropriately, we are disabling the option that permits advertisers to exclude multicultural affinity segments from the audience for their ads,” Facebook Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus.
ProPublica disclosed last week that Facebook was still allowing advertisers to buy housing ads that excluded audiences by race, despite its promises earlier this year to reject such ads. ProPublica also found that Facebook was not asking housing advertisers that blocked other sensitive audience categories — by religion, gender, or disability — to “self-certify” that their ads were compliant with anti-discrimination laws.
In her letter, Sandberg said the company will examine how advertisers are using its exclusion tool — “focusing particularly on potentially sensitive segments” such as ads that exclude LGBTQ communities or people with disabilities. “During this review, no advertisers will be able to create ads that exclude multicultural affinity groups,” Facebook Vice President Rob Goldman said in an emailed statement.
Goldman said the results of the audit would be shared with “groups focused on discrimination in ads,” and that Facebook would work with them to identify further improvements and publish the steps it will take.
Here are a few other articles on the matter:
Facebook disabling “multicultural affinity” group advertising tool – Axios
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a letter today to Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond that it is disabling a tool that allows advertisers to exclude “multicultural affinity” segments from their audiences. She also declared that Facebook is “determined to do better” on multicultural marketing.
Why it matters: Rep. Robin Kelly said in a press release earlier this month that Facebook’s “Ethnic Affinity” advertising option makes Facebook “complicit in promoting restrictive housing practices.” Sandberg said in her letter that Facebook would strengthen policies to prohibit discriminatory advertising, and that until Facebook can “better ensure that our tools will not be used inappropriately,” the tool is being disabled.
Facebook suspends ability to target ads by excluding racial groups | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Sandberg said in the letter that advertisers who use Facebook’s targeting options to include certain races for ads about housing, employment or credit will have to certify to Facebook that they are complying with Facebook’s anti-discrimination policy and with applicable law.
Sandberg defended race- and culture-based marketing in general, saying it was a common and legitimate practice in the ad industry to try to reach specific communities.
I take it, those ads for burner phones and credit problems are legitimate practices…reaching a specific community…the multicultural African-American affinity community.
Alright…now for the fucking funnies!
By the way…if Mueller is fired…protest marches are already planned. To find the closest one in your area, text Mueller to Resistbot at 50409…the location of the nearest immediate protest march will appear with all pertinent information.
And now the cartoons:
And that’s all folks!
This is an open thread…
Posted: January 28, 2018 Filed under: American Gun Fetish, Breaking News, Crime, cyber security, Domestic terrorism, Free Speech, Gun Control, morning reads, open thread, racism, right wing hate grouups, Russian Trump Investigation, the GOP, Trump | Tags: Holocaust survivors, Pennsylvania Shooting
What a sunny way to start a Sunday post….a sun on skis. So, the images of today’s thread are from artist Celestino Piatti. You can see a bunch of his work here and read more about the artist here, Celestino Piatti – Swiss Graphic Design Foundation.
Why don’t we start of with a few tweets:
This tweet from @eaglewoman4 seems like a brilliant idea…if it could work:
Read some of the comments. Some claim that there could be precedent for this exact protection, as some tribes afforded protection to citizens during WW2 who faced being placed in internment camps. (I looked online and could not find any information on this…but it was not a very thorough search.) Still, it does seem like an idea to flesh out.
Meanwhile, it appears John Lewis isn’t the only one boycotting the SOTU:
I don’t think we will get anything together unless we go back to using paper ballots:
Over here tRump has been overly suggesting prison for his former opponent Hillary Clinton, in Russia…tRump’s puppet master has done just that:
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrested during protests – CNN
“I’ve been detained. This doesn’t matter. Come to Tverskaya (Street). You are not going there for me, it’s for you and your future,” Navalny tweeted after his arrest.
Within minutes of arriving at Pushkinskaya Square, where hundreds of protesters had gathered, Navalny was wrestled into a patrol van by police, in dramatic footage posted on Youtube.
Moscow Police said Navalny was taken to a police station for arraignment and to be charged for illegally organizing a protest. If found guilty, he faces 30 days in detention and a fine.
How long before we get the jealous tweet from the orange dictator?
Tweets from Navalny:
Translation: The detention of one person loses any sense if there are many of us. Someone come and replace me
This weekend marks another Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,
There is a key word here…which I think you may miss without knowing it.
It begins with the letter M.
I will leave with this latest breaking news:
Pennsylvania shooting rampage leaves 5 dead
Five people were killed and another was wounded Sunday in a shooting rampage in a small town 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Police said four people died at the scene and one died after being rushed to a hospital. The shootings took place at a car wash in Melcroft at about 3 a.m. ET. The facts were still being sorted out, but it was possible the shooter was among the victims, police said.
“There is no threat to the community, no imminent danger,” police said in a statement to USA TODAY. The identity of the victims, three men and two women, were not immediately available, police said.
Pennsylvania Shooting Rampage Live Updates: Deadly Attack at Small Town Car Wash
11:10 a.m. – A source at the scene told a KDKA reporter that the suspected shooter used a semi-automatic rifle. Police have not confirmed the weapon that was used.
This is an open thread.