While former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's testified this morning during the public impeachment hearing, Trump bashed her in a couple of tweets. And when Yovanovitch was later asked by Rep. Adam Schiff how these tweets might affect other "witnesses' willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing," she said "well, it's very intimidating." She then said, "I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating."
In one tweet, Trump says, "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors."
And in the other: "....They call it “serving at the pleasure of the President.” The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O."
Read the rest
A ruling by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Trump's accounting firm to hand over his tax returns to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr today.
From to Business Insider:
The three-judge panel on the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected Trump's argument that he is immune from criminal investigation and prosecution while he is the president.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office subpoenaed eight years of Trump's corporate and personal taxes as part of an investigation into whether the Trump Organization violated New York laws by fabricating business records connected to hush-money payments made to women who said they had affairs with Trump.
Of course this doesn't mean he will – in fact, we all know he won't. He'll instead "appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court" says one of his attorneys, Jay Sekulow.
According to NPR:
Read the rest
"The decision of the Second Circuit will be taken to the Supreme Court. The issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic. The constitutional issues are significant," said Sekulow in a statement.
Vance has sought the records as part of an investigation into whether two women who said they had affairs with Trump were paid for their silence before the 2016 election....
Trump's attorneys claim that as president, he is immune from criminal investigation. A lower court found that argument "repugnant to the nation's fundamental structure and constitutional values."
The appeals court did not rule on the merits of that claim but said that because Vance's office was seeking the records from Trump's accounting firm, and not the president, the question of immunity was not a factor.
Joseph, a 9-year-old boy, is an avid doodler, and was told by his teacher at school to stop doodling. But he didn’t stop. And now, still age 9, he’s a working artist after being asked to doodle a wall at Number 4, a restaurant in Shrewsbury, England.
He got the job when his after-school art teacher had a look at Joseph’s doodle book. The teacher was so impressed he posted one of the pages on Instagram. That’s where the owner of Number 4 noticed and asked Joseph if he wanted a job as an artist.
“When my dad first brought it up, I was really excited, but I thought it was going to be really small, and then when I looked at the wall, it was ginormous.”
Joseph says he wants to be an artist when he grows up, but apparently he’s already hit that goal.
Story and images from YouTube:
Read the rest
Having to listen to Trump's gibberish is one thing – you kind of learn to tune it out. But having to translate his nonsense into another language takes a skillset of great finesse. Take a look at this translator's bewildered expressions yesterday as she tried to put his mad drivel into coherent sentences during a talk between Trump and Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Via Mashable Read the rest
A group that calls themselves The Republicans for the Rule of Law has a new TV ad campaign asking "Congress to stand up for the rule of law" and calls Trump's recent actions regarding Ukraine "unAmerican." They ask viewers to "call your Congressman and tell them to speak out against President Trump and his abusive power."
Here is the ad in a tweet by @BillKristol:
According to HuffPost:
Read the rest
The ads will air in the home states of a dozen Senate Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), as well as in the districts of 15 House Republicans, such as Rep. Bill Flores (Texas) and Rep. Mark Amodei (Nev.).
Republicans for the Rule of Law spokesman Chris Truax said Trump’s decision to seek dirt on his rivals from Ukraine and China was “fundamentally unAmerican.”
“Congressional Republicans must speak out against President Trump’s abuse of power,” Truax said in a statement. “They need to do it publicly. They need to do it clearly. And they need to do it now.”
Finally, Trump tweeted something this morning that I can agree with: "Impeach the Pres." This came at the end of a longer tweet filled with the usual brags and exaggerated claims.
Trump is infamous for splitting tweets in awkward places and chaotically threading his thoughts, so at first it seemed as though there would be more letters on the way. (Impeach the Press, perhaps?) But no. Trump tweeted "Impeach the Pres" and that's it. So it seems that was really just the tweet.
Image: by Gage Skidmore - https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/30566507291/in/photolist-Nz4kGp-NGQzxT-NyTxfp-NDt6Nq-Nz4p8c-NwvYaw-NDDNYm-MJSdQS-NGQDVF-NGEJ2M-MJSn2b-MJSje7-NfaSKN-NDtktb-MJEq7x-NfaTPw-NwkLgb-MJSpNd-NwkTvG-NwkZNw-NfaXx3-NyTQcv-NGF22i-MJSDc7-MJSGth-MJEHo6-Nwm57b-Nwmf3J-NyTS1R-NGFevX-NDtLe3-NGFmvZ-NfbioA-NGFgUz-Nvwird-NFEYzR-NGWyju-MJa9mo-NL3MmR-NF4NWn-NDNd4n-MFMkbp-NDNbHg-MF27TC-NCRx8z-NzCQZm-MEQQVp-Nsw3BS-Nsw1As-NbmxTG, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link Read the rest
Shay Bradley from Ireland died October 8, but at his funeral he came back to life. "Hello? Hello?" he said as his coffin was being lowered. "Let me out, it's fucking dark in here!" He goes on, knocking from within the coffin, and then serenading his friends and family. Apparently, Bradley had always loved pranks, and pulled this last one on the day of his funeral.
According to Mashable:
Bradley's daughter, Andrea Bradley, posted the video to Facebook...Kiernan said that Bradley was concerned about scaring the younger ones, so his grandchildren and his wife were in on the joke. "Everyone else was shocked when [they] first heard it," said Kiernan.
"Everyone else thought it was real and you could hear 'is that Shay is that Shay' but gradually as things went on people [realized] he had prerecorded and everyone (apart from the priest and woman beside him) were in hysterics," Kiernan told Mashable. "It was beautiful to hear his voice and it just made me happy as that was him, so funny and always making others laugh, he’s such a bright character, he would be loving this right now"
How Bradley died and the details in planning the prank weren't disclosed. Read the rest
Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe opened today in West Hollywood, California, and it's the first restaurant in the US that serves weed. Rather than sommeliers, the cafe has "flower hosts" that deliver weed to your table, and charge a $20 corkage, er, "toke-age" fee for people who bring their own pot.
Weed is served along with food, but not in your food. According to Eatery:
Andrea Drummer is Lowell’s veteran cannabis chef, with seven years experience preparing cannabis-infused meals throughout Los Angeles. However, Lowell Farms is restricted by state California law to infuse any of its own food with cannabis.
In an awkward workaround, Lowell Cafe allows the consumption of edibles produced by an outside source, but is prohibited from serving any cannabis-infused food made on the premises. But Drummer created dishes that complement cannabis, similar to pairing wine with food. She prepares a saucy cauliflower banh mi, pulled pork and a crispy chicken sandwich, as well as a chicory salad with endive, guanciale, and Fiji apples. Vegan nachos come topped with cauliflower meat and cashew cheese, while other bites like jerk lamb chops, fries, and sticky tamarind wings are part of a fairly large snack menu. Prices for the dishes range from $9 to $23.
And if you're thirsty, you'll have to order something along the lines of tea or a milkshake -- there is no alcohol on the premises. At the end, you'll get two checks, one for food (which you can pay by cash or credit card) and one for the green stuff (cash only). Read the rest
A truck was traveling across the Nanfang’ao Bridge in Taiwan this morning when the bridge collapsed.
According to Mashable:
A truck can be seen passing over the span as it falls, almost making it to the other side before being dragged down. The tanker caught fire when it landed, according to the New York Times. The driver was injured but survived.
According to reports, five people are still missing after the accident. At least 12 people were injured, including the truck driver, two rescue workers, and several people in fishing boats.
And via The New York Times:
Read the rest
Maintenance consultants responsible for the bridge had in previous years found rusted cables, and several connected points had been hit by vehicles and damaged, according to The Liberty Times.
The consultants had reported the problems several times to the harbor administration, but did not receive a reply, the newspaper reported. The public affairs office of the Su’ao Port branch office of the Taiwan International Ports Corporation declined to comment on the report.
When a woman on a United Airlines flight was finished using the loo, she realized she was trapped. The door wouldn't open, even with the help of flight crew members. So the plane, flying from Washington DC to San Francisco, made an emergency landing in Denver.
According to NBC:
The passenger was safely freed from the bathroom once the aircraft landed. It's not clear how long the customer was trapped.
Well folks it’s never a dull moment on @united , we have to make an “emergency landing” in Denver because a passenger got stuck in the bathroom. You can’t make this up...also the Wi-Fi is crappy and there is no way for me to charge my phone, happy travels. #unitedairlines pic.twitter.com/FHieakiO7Z
— TK (@taylorkkimber) September 26, 2019
A video posted on Twitter shows several people trying to open the jammed door. A spokesperson for the airport said the Denver Fire Department responded to the scene to assist in getting the passenger out.
There's never a dull moment when flying the friendly skies.
Image: GuruLeaks/Twitter Read the rest
California Rep. Devin Nunes said a bizarre thing this morning at a questioning of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire: “Of course, Democrats on this very committee negotiated with people they thought were Ukrainians in order to obtain nude pictures of Trump.”
Apparently, the confused gentleman was referring to an old Russian prank. According to Vice, two Russian comedians pranked House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff last year "claiming to possess naked photos of the president."
Via Vice: "At the time, Schiff directed the pranksters –– who posed as members of the Ukrainian Parliament –– to send their photos to the FBI." Somehow Nunes didn't get the memo.
Image: Aaron Rupar/Twitter Read the rest
An 11-year-old South Carolina boy took his brother's car and drove for three hours — and more than 200 miles — looking for a man he met on Snapchat. He said he wanted to "live with" the stranger, according to police. Fortunately, he got lost and asked a police officer to help him get back home.
According to CNN:
After three hours of driving, the young boy spotted a police officer, pulled up next to his vehicle and said he was lost, according to police. The child drove from the northwest town of Simpsonville to Charleston.
He told the officer early Monday morning he had taken his brother's car to go to Charleston where he wanted to live with "an unknown male he met on Snapchat," police said.
But when he lost GPS signal on his father's tablet, he couldn't recover the man's address, police said, as Snapchat messages disappear or are deleted after they're read.
The child was able to give the officer his name, his father's name and his cell phone. He was reunited with his family later in the day.
So far there isn't any information about the stranger the boy was trying to meet, but police are investigating.
Image by SauerArt/Pixabay Read the rest
Firefighters wanted to put on a good show for a school in Vic, Hungary. They also wanted to demonstrate how they could put out a staged car fire. But their performance doesn't go as planned when their zippy truck takes a turn that's a bit too fast, causing it to tip to one side and then to the other, crashing to the ground.
According to Motor1:
Read the rest
The Vaci Diary Online reported that five firefighters were in the truck. All of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries but were out by the afternoon. There were bystanders nearby the incident but none of them were hurt.
After the crash, a crane arrived at the scene to put the firetruck back on its wheels. The vehicle had to be towed away from the scene. The damage appears to be mostly cosmetic and looks to be repairable without going too long out of service.
Oh shit, Atlas, "one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built" according to DARPA, is now doing a gymnastics routine, and it's really good. Launched in 2013 by BostonDynamics for DARPA, this robot gets more and more human by the year. Both eerie and spectacular.
From BostonDynamics on YouTube:
Atlas uses its whole body -- legs, arms, torso -- to perform a sequence of dynamic maneuvers that form a gymnastic routine. We created the maneuvers using new techniques that streamline the development process. First, an optimization algorithm transforms high-level descriptions of each maneuver into dynamically-feasible reference motions. Then Atlas tracks the motions using a model predictive controller that smoothly blends from one maneuver to the next. Using this approach, we developed the routine significantly faster than previous Atlas routines, with a performance success rate of about 80%. For more information visit us at www.BostonDynamics.com.
Here is Atlas going for a walk on a winter day in 2016:
And Atlas presented to us in 2013:
Read the rest
When a man, Jon Bird, was volunteering for an event in Salt Lake City, he stepped away to have a smoke, and was confronted by an angry restaurant owner armed with a fire extinguisher. They argued about whether it's legal or not to smoke in what looks like a public area far enough away from any restaurant, but their disagreement ends with a puff and a spray.
According to Vice:
Read the rest
Bird was quickly confronted by a man in a striped sweater who carried a fire extinguisher outside with him. The man, later identified as local restaurateur Alex Jamison, told Bird and another man that they couldn't light up that close to his "customer area." The two smokers said that they were 25 feet away from the outdoor seating, in accordance with Utah law, but Jamison disagreed… strongly.
"He came out with energy of hostility, a fire extinguisher in his hands, and said ‘I told you, you can’t be here,’” Bird told the station. “I’m still in shock and awe. I feel dizzy, kind of shaken up that something like this could actually happen.” ...
In a statement, Jamison said that, because he stands up for animal rights, he needs to apologize to Bird. "Well I’ll say that I’m not proud of my behavior, I let myself get egged on and I overreacted. I’m a protective small business owner who has asked hundreds of people not to smoke near our patio in the interest of our customers and our neighbors’ customer," he wrote.
A police officer in Florida arrested a 6-year-old girl for having a tantrum at school.
According to HuffPost, Dennis Turner, a cop with the Orlando Police Department who was charged with aggravated child abuse for injuring his own son in 1998, was for some reason allowed to work at an elementary charter school in Orlando as a school resource officer. When he saw a six-year-old child throwing a tantrum, which included kicking an adult at the school, the officer handcuffed the child, put her in the back of a police car, fingerprinted her, and took a mug shot of her.
And he didn't stop there. He also arrested an 8-year-old boy, for reasons that are unclear.
Read the rest
Turner was working as a school resource officer at the charter school, which serves grades K-5, when he arrested the two students without first obtaining a supervisor’s approval, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said in a statement...
Turner, a veteran of the Orlando Police Department, was charged with aggravated child abuse in 1998 after officials found welts and bruises on his 7-year-old son, The Orlando Sentinel reported. He was suspended at the time pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Turner has a history of performance issues, including a 1996 citation for “substandard performance” after he lost a suspect’s wallet and an excessive force complaint for stunning a man five times with a Taser in 2016, according to the Sentinel.
The arrests prompted outrage among parents and community activists, with many calling for Turner to lose his job.
Not only is this the calmest hummingbird I've ever seen, but the bravest as well. Read the rest