Thursday, August 24, 2017

Russian ambassadors keep dying in mysterious ways

Business Insider        DANIEL BROWN        August  24th 2017 
Russia's ambassador to Sudan was found floating dead in a swimming pool in his Khartoum home on Wednesday.

Mirgayas Shirinskiy, 63, "was found in his residence with evidence of an acute heart attack," Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, told BBC on Thursday. 

While the cause of death is initially being considered natural, since Shirinskiy suffered from high blood pressure, seven Russian ambassadors have died in mysterious ways over the last two years.

Two of them died from heart attacks, and Shirinsky would be the third. 

Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov killed in art gallery shooting

Most notable was former Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, who died of a heart attack in February in New York. The US State Department asked the New York City medical examiner's office to not release his autopsy. 

Roman Skrynikov, the former Russian ambassador to Kazakhstan, also died of an apparent heart attack in December 2016. 

Five other prominent Russians, besides the three ambassadors, have also died of apparent heart attacks in the last 14 years, Buzzfeed News and USA Today previously reported, and Russia is possibly behind dozens of other mysterious deaths outside its borders in that time. 

What's concerning here is that Russia, according to Richard Walton, Scotland Yard's former counter-terror commander, is skilled at "disguising murder" by using biological or chemical agents that leave no trace. 

Like Alexander Perepilichnyy, a former Russian financier who was about to shed light on a $230 million money laundering operation perpretated by the Russian mafia and government officials. 

His 2012 death in Great Britain has initially ruled a heart attack by the police, but an investigator later found trace amounts of Himalayan gelsemium elegans plant in his system, which can cause cardiac arrest.

Still, natural causes could easily be the cause in any number of these cases, given Russia's demographics.

"There are simply a lot of really weird coincidences in this world,” Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, an intelligence expert at the Harvard Kennedy School, told the Washington Post. 

“That said, I think there's a story here that deserves deeper investigation,” Mowatt-Larssen told the Post, adding that while "eliminating a diplomat is rare ... Putin might love the fact that his diplomats are fearful of him — he might find that quite convenient.”

Shirinskiy's death happened just before Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's planned visit to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. 

The Hague has had an international warrant out for Bashir's arrest for years over the genocide in Darfur, and Putin's invitation to the Sudanese president could indicate the Kremlin's attempt to influence the Middle East and Sub-Saharan region.

Report: Mysterious 'WV' wanted Trump campaign-Russia meeting

August  24th 2017 
The congressional investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has turned up a mysterious email.

According to CNN, an email from a top Trump aide makes mention of an unknown person looking to broker a deal between Trump’s campaign officials and Russian President Putin.

We don’t know much about that mysterious figure, in the email that person is only identified as “WV," says a CNN source speculating it could be a reference to a contact in West Virginia.

The top aide passing along the information is now Trump’s deputy chief of staff for policy, Rick Dearborn.

It’s unknown whether an allegedly skeptical Dearborn actually acted on the offer to connect Trump’s campaign with Putin.

Even more intriguing, that email was reportedly sent in June 2016 -- the same month Donald Trump Jr. had that now infamous meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower.

Trump Jr. has defended taking the meeting, saying he was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, which he says never happened.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Republican senator says Trump's Charlottesville response compromises Trump's ability to lead

Business Insider         MAXWELL TANI         August  20th 2017
 Republican Sen. Tim Scott continued to condemn President Donald Trump's defense of some protesters at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last week.
In an interview on CBS' "Face The Nation" on Sunday, Scott explained his argument that Trump's response to Charlottesville "complicates his moral authority" to lead the nation by equating neo-Nazis with counter-protesters.

"It's going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised," Scott said.

He added: "His comments on Tuesday that erased his positive comments on Monday started to compromise that moral authority that we need the president to have for this nation to be the beacon of light to all mankind."

Scott urged Trump to try and forge deeper connections with black communities, saying the president needs to "have a personal connection to the painful history of racism and bigotry of this country."

"It would be fantastic if he sat down with a group of folks who have endured the pain of the '60s, the humiliation of the '50s and the '60s," Scott said.

"This would be an opportunity for him to become better educated and acquainted with the living history of so many folks — from John Lewis to my mother and so many others who have gone through a very painful part of the history of this country — so that when he acts, when he responds, and when he speaks, he's not reading the words that are so positive that he's breathing the very air that brings him to a different conclusion."

The South Carolina senator has repeatedly criticized Trump's Charlottesville response.

Scott said earlier this week that Trump's bungled Charlottesville response could also weaken the GOP legislative drive in congress as Republicans hope to pass major tax reform and infrastructure bills and raise the debt ceiling.

"When there is confusion where there should be clarity, it emboldens those folks on the other side," Scott told Vice News on Thursday. "It does not encourage the team to work as hard as we should on those priorities because there is so much headwind that you can't see straight."

Sen Scott: As we look to the future it’s going to be very difficult for this POTUS to lead if in fact moral authority remains compromise

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Steve Bannon’s exit prompts backlash from core Trump backers

NBC news           BENJY SARLIN      August  19th 2017 
WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon’s exit from the White House drew an immediate backlash from his allies in the party’s populist wing, who fear their agenda is becoming sidelined within the Trump administration.

“I don’t have any longer the expectations that Trump even can keep the rest of his promises," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told NBC News on Friday after the announcement that the chief strategist would be leaving the administration.

The uproar threatens to divide Trump’s supporters during the most difficult stretch of his presidency yet and before a critical legislative push next month in which Congress must raise the debt ceiling, pass a budget, and make headway on tax reform.

Trump has faced withering criticism in recent days, including from members of his own party, over his response to the violence at last weekend's white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his defense of "very fine people" who marched with neo-Nazis there.

Trump thanked Bannon early Saturday in a tweet, saying: "He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton - it was great!"

King, whose hardline immigration stance made him a popular figure at Breitbart News, which Bannon ran before joining Trump's campaign, said the White House was being taken over by “northeasterners” instead of ideological conservatives, which "really hurts the long-term strategy of the Trump administration.”

Breitbart announced late Friday afternoon that Bannon had rejoined the news site as executive chairman.

In an MSNBC appearance on Friday, Pollak said Trump had so far satisfied his base’s concerns, but warned "if he veers away, if he pulls an Arnold Schwarzenegger and tries to reinvent himself as liberal, he will see that support erode very, very quickly."

While Breitbart was a critical early supporter of the president’s political rise, running interviews and favorable articles even before he announced his candidacy, their backing has not been absolute and their coverage has taken a special interest in Trump’s staffing decisions.

When Trump feuded with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a popular figure among immigration restrictionists, the site pushed back with stories declaring that he “embodies the movement” Trump led and that his exit would “endanger the administration.”

More recently, Breitbart portrayed Bannon’s shaky status as part of a war for control of the White House between “economic nationalists,” the web site's favored side, and “globalists” like chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, all of whom featured prominently in the site's coverage.

Breitbart White House reporter Charlie Spiering’s reporting straightforwardly referred to the trio as “Bannon’s enemies in the White House” and the coverage has portrayed Cohn as too close to the financial world (he’s a former Goldman Sachs executive) and McMaster as overly hawkish on Afghanistan and weak on Islamic terror groups.

Trump weighed in on both McMaster and Bannon during the conflict, saying that McMaster was “a good man, very pro-Israel” in a statement earlier this month and telling reporters on Tuesday that Bannon was “a good man” and “not a racist” while hinting at his possible departure.

The anti-McMaster chatter grew loud enough to draw in figures like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who decried a “disgraceful” campaign against him by the “alt right” in a statement this week. "Such smear tactics should not be tolerated and deserve an emphatic response," he said.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page also backed McMaster, drawing corresponding coverage in Breitbart with headlines like “Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Tries to Take Over Trump White House for McMaster, Globalists.”

The tensions only escalated when Bannon called a reporter at the liberal publication The American Prospect and undercut the administration’s tough talk on North Korea’s nuclear program, saying “there’s no military solution” with acceptable losses and that “they got us.”

On the the other end of the political spectrum, Bannon’s ouster could be a small step toward easing tensions with elected Republicans upset over Trump’s Charlottesville response and who had previously expressed concerns about Bannon’s role.

Bannon, who once called Breitbart "the platform for the alt-right," had long been decried by anti-hate groups over his site's coverage, which included a tag for stories on "black crime" and ran op-ed articles by far right European politicians. In the days leading up to his exit, Reps. Pete King, R-N.Y., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., had both explicitly called for his firing.

“Those who relish culture wars & celebrate political polarization have no place leading a country in profound need of healing & unity,” Congressman Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., tweeted in response to the news.

CORRECTION (Aug. 18, 6:31 p.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the title of Joel Pollack at Breitbart News. He is senior editor-at-large, not editor-in-chief.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Roving Reporter :Trump repeats debunked terrorist torture anecdote about Gen. Pershing in apparent response to Barcelona attack

 US News    PAUL D. SHINKMAN      August 17th 2017 
President Donald Trump on Thursday followed a conciliatory tweet to the government of Spain in the wake of an attack in Barcelona with a second post reiterating a widely a roundly  debunked story of how Army Gen. John J. Pershing supposedly quelled an Islamic insurgency while serving in the Philippines in the early 20th century.

"Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!" Trump wrote, shortly after his tweet condemning the terrorist attack in Barcelona and offering the Spanish government "whatever is necessary to help."

STrump's tweet about Pershing appears to advocate unforgiving treatment of terrorists to deter future attacks, and comes as the president faces broad criticism for his public statements equating the activities of neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend with the actions of those protesting against them.

Spanish officials were still investigating Thursday's attack at the time of Trump's tweets and had not released any information publicly about suspects or known perpetrators. The Islamic State group did, hours later, claim responsibility for the attack, though Trump's immediate connection to Islamic extremists – and his promotion of the long-debunked story about Pershing – appears to contradict his remarks from earlier in the week.

"Before I make a statement, I need the facts. So I don't want to rush into a statement," Trump said at a press conference on Tuesday, explaining his delayed response to issue a statement condemning the violence in Charlottesville. "Unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts."

Trump first referenced a story about Pershing during a political rally in February 2016, when he told a crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina, that Pershing "took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs' blood" before using them to shoot 49 Muslim rebels.

Some Muslims believe that eating pork is forbidden and would prevent entrance into heaven, though many interpretations conclude it is not a sin to unknowingly or unwillingly do so.

The Roving Reporter

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fox News host Eboni K. Williams slams Trump for reaping 'benefits of racism'

 The Grio
August 15th 2017      Eboni K. Williams, co-host of The Fox News Specialists, had strong words for the President of the United States in the wake of the violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During her segment, Williams called Donald Trump out for his initial tepid response to the situation in which he condemned anger and hatred on "many sides." Williams said that his failure to immediately call out white supremacy was "cowardly and dangerous."

"I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt," Williams said on the show. "I can no longer do that, Mr. President. No more benefit ― all doubt."

"In a moment where you could have been crystal clear where you stand on the issue of inclusion, standing up against white supremacy and domestic terrorism, you very intentionally chose to be ambiguous and equivocate."

Eboni K. Williams, co-host of The Fox News Specialists, had strong words for the President of the United States in the wake of the violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During her segment, Williams called Donald Trump out for his initial tepid response to the situation in which he condemned anger and hatred on "many sides." Williams said that his failure to immediately call out white supremacy was "cowardly and dangerous."

"I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt," Williams said on the show. "I can no longer do that, Mr. President. No more benefit ― all doubt."

"In a moment where you could have been crystal clear where you stand on the issue of inclusion, standing up against white supremacy and domestic terrorism, you very intentionally chose to be ambiguous and equivocate."

Trump has faced criticism from both sides of the political aisle because of his initially tepid response to the violence in Charlottesville. He eventually did speak out to condemn white supremacists, specifically the KKK and neo-Nazis, but Williams said the gesture was too late, and not nearly enough to make up for his original response.

"President Trump, I do not know your heart, but what I do know for sure is that you've clearly done the math," Williams said. "You've decided that the portion of your base that is absolutely racist is so significant, so valuable that you hesitate ― even in the face of blatant, flagrant hatred ― to risk turning them off and thereby crippling your political stronghold."

"You remember when you said your base would stick with you even if you shot someone on Fifth Avenue? I think you are right. I think they will stick with you through anything. ... They will even stick with you while you calm their fears and deep-seated anger around their perceived depreciation of the intrinsic value of whiteness in this country. Let's be honest: That's what this is all really about," she added.

She added that it was possible Trump was not "personally" a racist but that he was "all too happy to reap the benefits" of the support he has among racists.

She ended her impassioned speech with a "personal plea" to Trump:

"You are uniquely positioned to forcefully call out evil, anti-American domestic terrorists. We certainly cannot change what we fail to acknowledge. I am asking you to address their anger, their misplaced fears. Let them know this is America, land of opportunity, and there is indeed enough to go around."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Merck CEO quits Trump's manufacturing council over Charlottesville — and Trump immediately bashes him

Business Insider         LYDIA RAMSEY           August 14th , 2017
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier is resigning from President Donald Trump's manufacturing council.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal," Frazier said in a statement.

"As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

Frazier is one of the few black CEOs of a major US corporation. He was the only black member of Trump's manufacturing council.

The resignation came after a weekend of violence at a white nationalist and neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which the president did not explicitly condemn the actions of white supremacists.
Trump almost immediately fired back at Frazier, turning the conversation toward .

Merck, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant, is a known for making Gardasil, the vaccine designed to protect against the sexually transmitted infection HPV, as well as the drug credited with helping former President Jimmy Carter get cancer-free.

Frazier had served on the president's American Manufacturing Council along with fellow pharmaceutical CEO Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson.

Lets hear from Witchy .

Every damn day!
Every damn week!
Every damn month!
This President manages to screw something up!
Too bad for our country!

I don't know why ALL of them have not resigned yet.  From all indications,  the sole purpose of that "council"  is to brief the so-called president on what those corporations are doing,  and then the so-called president takes credit for the work that they have been doing,  and tweets about it.  Ford was the last corporation that wised up and called him out on it.  They should all WAKE UP!!!!

Trump cannot be shamed.  He has no morals only greed and power.   sad. weak.   Trump also cannot tolerate any dissent or criticism  much like babies and dictators.  
The so called President, is a very sick ego-maniac.  Mr. Merck shows a lot of class,  Trump too has a lot of class, all low!!

Mr. Frazier is, indeed, a class act, unlike a certain President.  Being CEO of a major pharma company requires numerous balancing act as our laws governing medications both over-the counter and prescription, are complex and the pricing of such is a very mixed bag.  Trump is little more than a national disgrace and would do everyone a huge favor by resigning, today.  Pence might not be much better, but at least he is rational.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Southern Collard Greens --- Nee's Fried Cchicken

 A big pot of classic bacon-flavored, ham hock-essenced collard greens is the perfect thing to serve at your family dinner or summer cookout. It's our favorite at any time! 

3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens 
 12 smoked bacon slices, 
chopped 2 medium-size yellow onions
 chopped 3 garlic cloves
,minced 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons honey  
1 (12- to 16-oz.) smoked ham hock
 Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove and chop collard stems. Chop collard leaves. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and next 2 ingredients; add ham hock. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add collards in batches. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 2 hours or to desired tenderness. Remove meat from ham hock; chop meat, and discard bone. Stir chopped meat into collards. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Nee's  Fried Chicken
You won't ever go back to any fast-food, bucket-style chicken again—ever. This crispy goodness is the real deal and perfect for the summer. 

1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper 
2 cups buttermilk 
Self-rising flour 
Vegetable oil

 1  .Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a shallow dish or zip-top plastic bag, and add buttermilk. Cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours.

2..Remove chicken from buttermilk, discarding buttermilk. Dredge chicken in flour.
Heart healthy

Trump's longtime doctor offers an explanation for what's going on with his hair

Business Insider     DENNIS GREEN
Trump's longtime doctor, Harold N. Bornstein, revealed some surprising facts about the president's health in a series of interviews with The New York Times.

He even shed some light on the president's hair. According to Bornstein, Trump takes a drug for the prevention of hair loss, called finasteride (marketed as Propecia).

"He has all his hair," Bornstein told the Times.

Finasteride was originally prescribed to treat enlarged prostates in men, before it was discovered that a side effect of the drug was an observed reduction of male pattern baldness.

It is now prescribed by dermatologists to treat male pattern baldness, and is one of only four treatments that can be used to combat the condition.

This is only one piece of the puzzle when trying to understand the structure of Trump's hair, however. Hair surgeon Dr. William Yates has said that it's likely Trump's look can be attributed to an early version of hair transplant surgery, or an expensive weave.

According to Bornstein, Trump also takes a medication for rosacea, as well as one for elevated cholesterol and lipids.

The White House did not comment on the information or confirm with The New York Times that Bornstein is still Trump's doctor.

NOW WATCH: Trump's doctor explain what's going on with his hair

Friday, August 4, 2017

Take A Look At Mama June

Mama June is maintaining her 300-pound weight loss.

The 37-year-old reality star showed off her trim bod while posing in a skintight black dress in a photo taken in May, but released on Thursday.

June, who has been keeping a low profile in Hampton, Georgia, since the April finale of Mama June: From Not to Hot, once weighed 460 pounds. She weighed 352 pounds at the start of the WE tv series, and with the help of a personal trainer, nutritionist and several surgeries, slimmed down to a size four. She now weighs about 132 pounds.

ET spoke with June in April, who said that her weight was "in the 160s" -- and that she will "never go back to what I looked like."

"I will do whatever it takes," she added, revealing that she spent "well over $50,000" on surgeries like gastric sleeve and a boob job. "You have to exercise and you have to maintain [this lifestyle]. A lot of people think that when you have surgeries, that it's just -- nothing else has to be done. And that is not the case. It is a live and learn thing."

Halle Berry reveals what Malia Obama was like as a PA, talks those pregnancy rumors:

ET Online      RACHEL MCRADY    
 Aug 4th 2017 
No job is beneath Malia Obama! The daughter of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recently served as a production assistant on Halle Berry's sci-fi show, Extant, and on Thursday night, the 50-year-old actress dished about the experience on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.

"She was fantastic, she was amazing," Berry told host Cohen of Malia. "She was down to do whatever a PA is asked to do, and I had wild respect for her for that."

But though Malia was willing to pull her weight, Berry did admit that others on the set didn't always treat her like a regular PA.

"Everybody couldn't really see her as a PA, although she tried and tried to be one," the Oscar winner admitted. "We just couldn't really see her as one, but to her credit, she tried very hard to be one."

The Kidnap star noted that she fangirled a bit over the 19-year-old, joking, "Can we call your dad or your mom? Yeah I was such a huge fan of her. She was amazing... She is such a smart, beautiful, young woman. Look at who her mother and her father are, so duh! It was amazing."

Berry herself rocked a dress with Michelle Obama's photo on it to the NY premiere of her new action thriller, posting a shot on Instagram of the look.

"In honor of the strongest, most fierce woman there ever was... Repping @MichelleObama to the NY premiere of #KidnapMovie tonight," Berry captioned the pic.

Berry also opened up about her recent pregnancy rumors, when photographers snapped shots of her on the carpet in June, seemingly holding her stomach.

"I was not holding my stomach," she explained to Cohen. "I was on the red carpet, doing my thing, like boom, boom, boom, right?... My arms were down, and I thought, 'I'm going to put my hands back on my hips,' so I go like this, and when I went like that, they went like, 'Ting ting ting ting ting,' [imitating fast camera flashes], and so they got pictures of me going like this."

The mother of two also explained her faux bump, saying, "I had a pretty big lunch, I had a burger and fries and I was a little poofed out... On my body, a burger and fries make a poof. But this is what these tricky MF's do. They put up pictures, and they take a moment and they make it like it's a moment but that was not a moment, it was just in transition."