Mistaken Gun Buy, Weinstein Investigators

Mass Murder: The Air Force admits that it failed to enter the court martial conviction of the Texas shooter into a national database, thereby failing to block him from buying the assault rifle he used to kill 26 people and wound 20.

Devin Kelley, 26, was convicted of domestic abuse in 2012, including cracking the skull of his infant stepson, and given a bad conduct discharge. An Air Force statement said, “Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction.” But only if his name was in the database.

Kelley was divorced from his first wife and remarried. He was estranged from his current wife. Police say the shooting may have resulted from a domestic dispute. A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said “We know that he had made threatening texts and we can’t go into detail into that domestic situation that is continuing to be vetted and thoroughly investigated.”

The pro-gun politicians are deflecting, as they always do after mass shootings. President Trump said, “This isn’t a guns situation. Mental health is the problem here.” To anyone’s knowledge, Kelley had not been diagnosed with a mental illness, although it looks like he was troubled.

The NY Times points out that the top 20 recipients of National Rifle Association money in the Senate and House, if they’ve said anything at all, have said only that they are praying for the victims. Eight members of one family were killed: an older couple, their son and daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, the residents of  Sutherland Springs

“want to work together for love to overcome evil, and you do that by working with God.”

What if God favors gun control?.

The Weinstein Couch: Ronan Farrow reports for The New Yorker that a year ago movie mogul Harvey Weinstein hired the high powered investigative firms Kroll and Black Cube to suppress women accusing him of sexual assault and reporters looking into it.

He writes, “The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies ‘target,’ or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focused on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally.”

The Sand Box: Saudi Arabia says Iran committed an act of war by providing Yemen with the missile fired at the Saudi capital. Saudi foreign minister Adel Jubair told CNN, “Iran cannot lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns and expect us not to take steps.”

Iran denies involvement, but the Saudi declaration raises the specter of direct military confrontation between the two countries.

On the political front, President Trump posted admiring tweets on Saudi Arabia’s political housecleaning. The country’s business equivalent of Warren Buffet and about a dozen princes were arrested on charges of corruption that coincides with the consolidation of political and military power under Crown Prince Salman.

It’s the kind of government Trump admires. He said, “I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing….Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!”

But it’s banana republic government, if they grew bananas in Saudi Arabia.

DefCon: President Trump travelling in Asia says there’s diplomatic progress with North Korea. “I think they understand we have unparalleled strength,” Trump said of the North, adding that he thought it made sense “for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal.”

The Obit Page: Robert Knight, who sang the everlasting Motown hit “Everlasting Love,” has died at 72. The lyric: “Need you by my side, girl you’ll be my bride/ You’ll never be denied everlasting love”

Nation: Florida State University suspended all its fraternities and sororities after the hazing death of a freshman pledge on Friday.  More than 7,000 FSU students belong to fraternities. — The Trump administration says its ending temporary protected status for about 5,300 Nicaraguans given special status in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch ripped through Central America. They’ll be deportable by January 2019.

Lawn Party: The NY Times reports that the scuffle in which Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul suffered five broken ribs started with a landscaping dispute with his neighbor, a retired doctor. According to the Times, Paul had just gotten off his riding lawn mower, wearing noise-reducing ear muffs, when Rene Bouche tackled him from behind.

They live in a gated community with rules. The Times says, “The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations.” He’s a Libertarian, right down to his pumpkins.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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