Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How a McDonald's food bag led Tampa police to alleged serial killer

 A McDonald's bag that Howell Donaldson III handed to his colleague at the fast-food restaurant where he worked in Tampa was the key piece of evidence that led police to the alleged serial killer, authorities said today.

A person identified as "Witness 3" approached a police officer at the McDonald's restaurant in Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood Tuesday afternoon to tell them that an employee, Donaldson, gave them a "McDonald's food bag" and said he planned to leave the state, according to a criminal report affidavit filed early today in Florida's Hillsborough County.

Inside the bag was a .40-caliber Glock firearm loaded with SIG brand Smith and Wesson ammunition -- the same weapon used in a string of mysterious slayings over the past six weeks in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood, officials said.

That gun was what investigators needed to identify the alleged killer, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told reporters at a news conference this afternoon.

Donaldson, 24, allegedly purchased the legal firearm six days before the first killing on Oct. 9, authorities said. He picked up the handgun and bought a 20-round box of SIG brand Smith and Wesson ammunition on Oct. 7, according to the affidavit.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives later discovered cartridge casings at all four crime scenes that matched the .40-caliber Glock possessed by the suspect, the affidavit states.

Moreover, call detail records showed that Donaldson's cellphone was geographically associated with a cell tower near the locations of the first three slayings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood within minutes of their taking place, according to the affidavit.

Donaldson, also known as Trai, was arrested at the McDonald's in Ybor City on Tuesday afternoon. He will be charged with four counts of first-degree murder in connection to the killings. He is being held in Hillsoborough County Jail in the meantime and has not yet been assigned an attorney, according to Dugan.

PHOTO: Howell Emanuel Donaldson III is pictured in an arrest photo distributed by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office. Donaldson is facing four counts of premeditated murder for a series killings in Tampa, Florida.Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office
Howell Emanuel Donaldson III is pictured in an arrest photo distributed by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Donaldson is facing four counts of premeditated murder for a series killings in Tampa, Florida.more +
Man arrested in connection with string of murders in Tampa
Chilling video links suspect to Tampa's 4 murders in 6 weeks: Police
The first three victims were killed within 11 days in October. Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was killed Oct. 9, and the body of 32-year-old Monica Hoffa was found Oct. 13, half a mile from where Mitchell was killed. Anthony Naiboa, a 20-year-old man authorities described as having mild autism, was killed Oct. 19 after taking the wrong bus home from work, according to police.

The fourth victim, 60-year-old Robert Felton, was fatally shot from behind in the early hours of Nov. 14.

"To have four homicides on your watch is a tough pill to swallow," Dugan said at this afternoon's press conference. "I will hold onto that the rest of my life."

The Tampa police chief said the individual who turned in the weapon to authorities is a female manager at the McDonald's in Ybor City, where Donaldson is a former employee, and police will eventually release her identify. Dugan said he doesn't believe Donaldson gave his coworker the bag so that he would get caught, but rather thought she would hold onto it for safekeeping without looking inside.

Earlier today, in an interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America," Dugan said he spoke to the suspect briefly after police interviews Tuesday night and that the suspect was "pretty nonresponsive." Donaldson has not admitted to committing the killings but told police he is the owner of the .40-caliber Glock, according to Dugan.

"He wasn't angry. It was a very subdued, strange behavior, in my opinion," Dugan said.

PHOTO: Law enforcement agents investigate a fatal shooting in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 14, 2017. Jones Octavio/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Law enforcement agents investigate a fatal shooting in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 14, 2017.
The investigation is ongoing and there are "so many still unanswered questions," the police chief added. Investigators are unsure of a motive behind the four killings and do not yet know of a connection between Donaldson and the Seminole Heights neighborhood where the slayings took place. Police do not believe there are any other suspects in the case.

Nevertheless, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said residents in the Seminole Heights neighborhood traumatized by the recent killings "can rest comfortably" now that the suspected serial killer has been arrested.

"This was a good night last night, thanks to the work of the Tampa Police Department and all of our partners and Chief Dugan," Buckhorn said in an interview this morning on "GMA."

"The folks in Seminole Heights, we think, can rest comfortably that this individual is in custody, and now the process starts moving forward. But it's a good day in Tampa."

PHOTO: A photo provided by Tampa Police Department on Nov. 28, 2017 of Howell Emanuel Donaldson, who was arrested in connection with a string of murders. The photo is from 2010.Tampa Police Department
A photo provided by Tampa Police Department on Nov. 28, 2017 of Howell Emanuel Donaldson, who was arrested in connection with a string of murders. The photo is from 2010.more +
Donaldson was a graduate of St. John's University in New York City and a Tampa native.

"We can confirm that Howell Donaldson III attended the university beginning in the fall of 2011 and graduated in January 2017," St. John's University spokesman Brian Browne told ABC News. "He was a walk-on student-athlete for the men’s basketball team during the 2011–2012 season but never played in a game."

Donaldson was arrested in Manhattan in 2014 but the case is sealed, the New York City Police Department said.

The Tampa Police Department received more than 5,000 tips related to the string of slayings that left the Seminole Heights neighborhood on edge. The police chief said law enforcement presence in the neighborhood will begin scaling back following Donaldson's arrest.

"You know, it's been 51 days since the first murder, and it's Day One of the healing process to kind of help these families and this community put their lives back together," Dugan told ABC News.

In a statement released late Tuesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott commended the "relentless effort" of Tampa police, who worked through the Thanksgiving weekend on the case.

"As a father and a grandfather, it is unimaginable what the families of these victims are going through," Scott said. "Our thoughts and prayers remain with them, and we will work to ensure that they receive the justice they deserve. In Florida, we have absolutely zero tolerance for this type of evil behavior, and anyone responsible will be held to the fullest extent of the law."

ABC News' Mark Crudele, Aaron Katersky and Rex Sakamoto contributed to this report.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Oscar Pistorius murder sentence increases to 13 years and 5 months

Thomson Reuters      JAMES MACHARIA      Nov.  24th 2017 
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 24 (Reuters) - South Africa's Supreme Court increased Oscar Pistorius' murder sentence on Friday to 13 years and five months after the state argued his original sentence of six years for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was "shockingly lenient."

Rights groups in a country beset by high levels of violent crime against women say Pistorius, a gold medal-winning athlete known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetics, received preferential treatment compared to non-whites and those without his wealth or international celebrity status.

Pistorius was jailed in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 in a case that attracted worldwide interest.

He was not in court for Friday's ruling. The court handed down the minimum 15-year sentence prescribed for murder in South Africa, and subtracted the years Pistorius had already served.

Steenkamp's family, who were not in court for the ruling, welcomed the sentence and said it showed justice could prevail in South Africa.

"This is an emotional thing for them. They just feel that their trust in the justice system has been confirmed this morning," Tania Koen, a family spokeswoman, told Reuters.

Judge Willie Seriti, reading out the court's decision, said: "The sentence imposed ... in respect of murder is set aside and substituted with the following: the respondent is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 13 years and five months."

The athlete was originally convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail. That conviction was increased to murder by the Supreme Court in December 2015 and his sentence was increased to six years by trial judge Thokozile Masipa.

At the time, Masipa ruled that although the Steenkamps had suffered a great loss, Pistorius’ life and career were also in ruins, adding that "a fallen hero can never be at peace."

State prosecutors said they would appeal, arguing there had been no mitigating circumstances to give such a sentence.

At a hearing earlier this month at the appeals court, state prosecutors, led by advocate Andrea Johnson, said the athlete had shown no remorse for firing four shots through a locked bathroom door that hit Steenkamp.

Defense lawyer Barry Roux had told the court at the appeals hearing that Pistorius did not deliberately kill model and law graduate Steenkamp and the appeal should be thrown out.

The family of the athlete, who had the lower part of his legs amputated when he was a baby, were not immediately available to comment. (Reporting by James Macharia; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

David Cassidy, "Partridge Family" star, dead at 67

"Partridge Family" star David Cassidy died Tuesday after suffering liver and kidney failure, his publicist confirmed. He was 67.

"David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long," Jo-Ann Geffen said. "Thank you for the abundance of love and support you have shown him these many years."

Cassidy was admitted to a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. hospital Wednesday, though his condition was not reported until this past Saturday. Geffen told multiple news outlets over the weekend that Cassidy was suffering from multiple organ failure.

Born into a show business family, Cassidy rocketed to stardom on ABC’s "The Partridge Family," a sitcom about a widow (played by Cassidy’s real-life stepmother Shirley Jones) and her five children who form a rock band and tour the country. The cast also featured Susan Dey, later of "L.A. Law" fame, as sibling Laurie Partridge and Danny Bonaduce as sibling Danny Partridge.

As eldest son Keith Partridge, Cassidy became a global heartthrob as the face -- and voice -- of the Partridge Family’s biggest hit, “I Think I Love You." The song spent three weeks on top of the Billboard chart at a time when other hit singles included James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "The Tears of a Clown."

"In two years, David Cassidy has swept hurricane-like into the pre-pubescent lives of millions of American girls," Rolling Stone magazine noted in 1972. "Leaving: six and a half million long-playing albums and singles; 44 television programs; David Cassidy lunch boxes; David Cassidy bubble gum; David Cassidy coloring books and David Cassidy pens; not to mention several millions of teen magazines, wall stickers, love beads, posters and photo albums."

After "The Partridge Family" ended in 1974, Cassidy devoted himself to recording and songwriting, but struggled to match the success of his early-20s, with none of his subsequent albums -- including the awkwardly titled "Didn't You Used To Be?" -- making a significant dent in the U.S. charts.

Cassidy did score a minor hit with "I Write the Songs" before Barry Manilow's chart-topping version and found success overseas with "The Last Kiss," featuring backing vocals from Cassidy admirer George Michael. He made occasional stage and television appearances, including an Emmy-nominated performance on "Police Story."

Meanwhile, "The Partridge Family" remained popular in re-runs and Cassidy, who kept his dark bangs and boyish appearance well into middle age, frequently turned up for reunions and spoke often about his early success.

"So many people come up to me and talk to me about the impact it (the show) had," he told Arsenio Hall in 1990.

Even while "The Partridge Family" was still in primetime, Cassidy worried that he was mistaken for the wholesome character he played. He posed naked for Rolling Stone in 1972, when he confided that he had dropped acid as a teenager and smoked pot in front of the magazine's reporter as he watched an episode of "The Partridge Family" and mocked his own acting. Cassidy maintained an exhausting schedule during the show's run, filming during the week and performing live shows over the weekend, but had plenty of time to indulge himself. In the memoir "Could It Be Forever," he wrote of his prolific sex life and of rejecting Dey's advances because she lacked the "slutty aspect of a female that I always found so attractive."

Late in life, Cassidy struggled with numerous personal problems. He was charged with driving under the influence on three separate occasions between November 2010 and January 2014. After the third incident, he entered rehab and a California judge sentenced him to five years’ probation. Cassidy’s third wife, Sue Shifrin, filed for divorce in February of 2014 after 23 years of marriage.

In February 2015, Cassidy filed for bankruptcy, listing assets and debts of up to $10 million. That September, he was cited for leaving the scene of an accident in Florida.

This past February, Cassidy revealed to PEOPLE Magazine that he was battling dementia after he struggled to remember song lyrics and fell off the stage at a show in California. His mother, Broadway actress Evelyn Ward, died in 2012 after suffering from the same illness.

At the same concert, Cassidy announced he was retiring after 50 years in the entertainment industry, saying the grind of touring combined with arthritis had taken its toll.

Cassidy is survived by two children, musician Beau Cassidy and actress Katie Cassidy, with whom he acknowledged having a distant relationship.

"I wasn't her father. I was her biological father but I didn't raise her," he told PEOPLE earlier this year. "She has a completely different life."

Cassidy himself was estranged from his father, actor Jack Cassidy, and he would long express regret about Jack being mostly absent from his life after David's parents split up when he was 5. David Cassidy stayed with his mother and by the early 1960s had moved to Los Angeles.

Kicked out of high school for truancy, David Cassidy dreamed of becoming an actor and had made appearances on "Bonanza," "Ironside" and other programs before producers at ABC television asked him to audition for "The Partridge Family," unaware that he could sing and intending at first to have him mime songs to someone else's voice. Cassidy, who only learned during tryouts that Jones would play his mother, worried that Keith Partridge would be a "real comedown" from his previous roles.

"I mean, how much could an actor do with a line like, 'Hi, Mom, I'm home from school,' or 'Please pass the milk?"' he wrote in his memoir. "I didn't see how it could do much for me. After all, I wasn't the star of it. Shirley had top billing; I was just one of the kids."

Condolence to the family and friends 
RIP  David              Shadow   &  Witchy

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Jonny

Happy Birthday  on your "SPECIAL' day , I am at your side as always .
  Reaching 16 is a milestone,
A happy point in life.
You've set your personality
And your tolerance for strife.

By now you know right from wrong
And how to influence friends.
It’s time to look down the road
At forks and around the bends.

The road ahead is wonderful,
Some choices will be clear.
Your path depends on bravery
To push aside the fear. 

When you chose this way or that,
Slow choices or if snappy,
Make the choices best for you,
The ones that make you happy. 
Happy Birthday 
Daddy , Mama  , Sha , Jenny , Man 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why Men Like Louis C.K. Use Masturbation to Assault Women

It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since the New York Times published its original piece on Harvey Weinstein, considering how many new reports have surfaced about sexual harassment in Hollywood since then.

The #MeToo campaign took off on social media, forcing many to confront the rampant issue. Plus, countless men and women have come forward to publicly accuse both Weinstein and other powerful men — there are just too many to list here — of sexual harassment. The allegations have ranged from inappropriate, vulgar language to full-on assault.
But as CNN points out, “One form of harassment has become a recurring theme,” especially with the latest stories surrounding comedian Louis C.K. There’s isn’t a word for this act. You might describe it as something like unwanted masturbatory display, or when a powerful man pleasures himself in front of a woman, forcing her to be an observer.

CNN reporters dug deeper, trying to understand the psychology behind the behavior.

They spoke to James Cantor, director of the Toronto Sexuality Centre, who explained, “This is exhibitionism, an extreme form of it.” Of the men who engage in this kind of behavior, Cantor explained, “They rarely escalate. The exhibition, the actual displaying of the genitals, is the goal.”

Still, that doesn’t mean the victims — those forced to watch — are any less traumatized than if there had been physical contact. “The rules have gone out of the window, and [the victim] doesn’t know if this will escalate into violence or rape,” Cantor said.

Unfortunately, Cantor said that it’s hard to know what causes the behavior in men: They can spend years in therapy trying to figure it out. Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, former president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, told CNN that she thinks it comes from a “wish to be looked at and admired.”

Gourguechon also has a theory that the behavior allows for “a kind of strange plausible deniability.” As she explained to CNN, “He could think to himself, ‘Well, I didn’t rape anyone,’ which is true in the broader sense, but it is a twisted defense.”

Indeed, in a statement released this morning by Louis C.K., in which he admits that the accusations against him are true, he writes: “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.”

Whatever the reason behind this behavior, it is — obviously — completely unacceptable. We can only hope that with more of this horrific behavior coming to light, women will feel empowered to always speak up when dealing with harassment and abuse.

What Do YOU Think?

Are you surprised to learn that masturbating in front of someone is a disorder? Do you have any sympathy for Louis C.K. or give him credit for at least admitting what he’s done? Tell us in the comments below.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah A year into Trumpland

Predicting how the world will look at the end of the day is dicey in the era of Donald Trump, but a betting person might feel safe to wager that Wednesday night’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will open on an upbeat note.
Progressives are celebrating significant wins at the local and state level around the country, including Virginia. The headlines are dominated by declarations of how these victories give liberals a reason for hope.

A year ago, the election day telecast of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central felt very different to viewers as well as the people who make it. In a February interview with Salon executive producer Steve Bodow described the feeling as “hallucinatory.” But to hear the show’s head writer Zhubin Parang describe the days, week and months that followed, our experience has morphed into something more akin to being on speed.

“The way we have thought about it recently is that we have had to think of Trump as being a fire hydrant that has busted open on the street,” Parang told Salon in a recent phone conversation. “Initially that was a huge thing and everybody in the street was freaking out and like, ‘Oh my god this fire hydrant is blasting water everywhere.’ But it feels the fire hydrant has been going off two, three years now.”

Year 1 of Trumpland has coincided with the second year of Parang’s tenure leading “The Daily Show” writers room. In that time the series found a way to balance hard-hitting satire with a sense of playfulness. As a Persian man raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Parang feels the impact of executive orders and bans more than many, and certainly in a way most comedy writers — a fraternity dominated by white men of European descent — would not.

“It's especially bad because the way [Trump] talks about Iran and Iranians. As someone who has family over there, he's talking about my aunts and my grandparents and cousins being these supposed terrorists and sponsors of evil,” Parang said. “And it's especially frustrating because the things he says about Iran are actually true about Saudi Arabia. They're violently repressive, they're cruel to women . . . but because they invite him over to sword dance and touch an orb, I guess that's okay.”

At the same time, Parang says he’s careful to separate his personal feelings from writing the show’s material. “We're not looking just to make lengthy rants about why Trump’s foreign policy should seek rapprochement with Iran. I’m trying to articulate Trevor’s voice about particular issues, and so to the extent that I have personal feelings about something, I can't really just express them in anger and frustration, I have to turn that into comedy.”

He added, “I'm very lucky that Trevor also has a very internationalist perspective of the world. Because we share a lot of the same opinions on the inherent goodness of people, and their failure in their leadership to come to peace, instead of this view that Trump has that there are certain people that are just evil and have to be addressed with through force and there can't be any negotiation.”

As grueling as the past year has felt to the average bystander bracing herself from the impact of the Petulant Pumpkin’s next hyperbolic tweet, it’s also been an extraordinary time for Parang to be the head writer for a version of “The Daily Show.”

The series boasts a more diverse group of correspondents than it had in previous years, and their blend of perspectives has led to hilarious and cathartic field pieces, including Ronny Chieng’s takedown of Fox’s Jesse Watters’ racist street report from New York’s Chinatown, Hasan Minhaj’s honest distillation of the experience of being a Muslim in today’s America, and scathing insights into the struggles African Americans face from Roy Wood Jr. and newcomer Dulce Sloan.

During that time Noah also has come into his own largely due to his familiarity with men like Trump. “Trevor has a unique perspective on him because Trevor has seen Donald Trumps before,” Parang said, citing a segment in which Noah pointed out the many similarities Trump shares with African dictators.

“Because Trevor has grown up around countries that have flamboyant showman dictators, who constantly use divisiveness and elite hostility to keep power and be corrupt in power, Trevor is used to living in that world.” Parang explained. “And that didn't quite make sense during the Obama era when the president was the embodiment of American multiculturalism and intelligence.”

When Trump assumed office, Parang added, “it felt like the United States was suddenly regressing to the global mean in the maturity of its democracy. And to have Trevor there to not be constantly shocked was a huge comfort to me, because it felt like, ‘okay, this will be okay.’ I've got this guy every day sitting on the couch with me who can tell me that South Africa went through the exact same thing.”

Not long after Noah took over in 2015 critics and a number of viewers seemed all too ready to write him off.  Now, the channels press department keeps having to recycle releases headlines boasting of the series recording its most-watched month ever. The latest is dated August 31, when the show became the #1 nightly talk show among millennials, surging past “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” among Adults 18-34. Two weeks later, Comedy Central extended Noah’s contract through 2022.

Mind you, he still has a way to go to win back Jon Stewart loyalists who may have migrated to series helmed by “Daily” alumni — namely Noah’s nightly competitor Stephen Colbert on CBS’s the late show, or weekly series such as “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” or “Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver.” Even so, Noah’s rep for skewering Trump has not gone unnoticed.

Parang doesn’t view Bee, Oliver and Colbert as competitors, however. “We love all our sister shows and we're very glad that they're there, Parang said. “The challenges we have as a daily show require a different format than their challenges as a weekly show. And there's a blessing and curse for both of us. On our side,  it is unfortunate that we generally don't have the time to sit down and think through larger pieces. We still do them when we can, but by and large we're not able to do that as often as the weekly shows do.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “we are able to react to a much more wider range of issues, and we are able to be the first ones there to give our comments on the news, to be able to make fun of something. And I think that's something that the weekly shows don't get to do. By the time it comes around to Wednesday or Sunday, the conversations already moved on so fast. The cycle is so fast the conversation's already moved on.”

Asked about his hopes for the next 365 days, Parang laughed before taking a deep breath.
“I'm not one of those people who's okay with bad things happening to the United States if it means that the comedy is good,” he said. “So when I think about where the country is headed, I would rather trade in an easier joke for a government that is responsive to its citizens needs and is active in caring for them.”
Until that time comes he and Noah, and “The Daily Show” writers and correspondents, intend to  continue their mandate be what Parang referred to as “good catharsis.”

We’re going to need all the help we can get to make it through Year 2.

Kevin Spacey: Former TV anchor Heather Unruh says Spacey assaulted her son in 2016

 Erin Jensen,Maria Puente and Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY
Kevin Spacey has been accused by more than a dozen men who say he sexually harassed, groped, assaulted or attempted to rape them in allegations spanning decades since Oct. 29.

The latest developments:

Spacey to be cut entirely from 'All the Money in the World'

In an unprecedented move, beleaguered star Kevin Spacey will be completely cut from his upcoming film, All the Money in the World.

Instead, USA TODAY has confirmed, Christopher Plummer will be brought in to reshoot the role of J. Paul Getty in the story about the infamous 1973 kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III.

According to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it, the decision was director Ridley Scott's and Sony is supporting his decision.

Scott and Sony are still committed to hitting the scheduled release date of Dec. 22. 

Former news anchor says Spacey assaulted her son

Heather Unruh, a former TV news anchor in Boston, said in a press conference Wednesday that the Oscar-winning actor assaulted her son, who was 18 at the time. Holding back tears, Unruh said in July 2016 that Spacey stuck his hand in her son’s pants and on his genitals at a bar in Nantucket, Mass.
Unruh said her son told Spacey he was of legal age to drink, and "Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him." 

She continued, saying Spacey urged her intoxicated son to go to a private after-party to continue drinking, but a concerned bystander asked her son if he was OK. When he relayed that he was not, Unruh said the woman told her son to run and he did.

"Nothing could’ve prepared my son for how that sexual assault would make him feel as a man," she said. "It harmed him and it cannot be undone."

Unruh said her son filed a police report last week and provided evidence to Nantucket police. She says a criminal investigation was opened, though the Nantucket Police Department declined to confirm that to USA TODAY, citing Massachusetts law forbidding it.

Tara Miltimore , assistant district attorney and spokeswoman for the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office, confirmed to USA TODAY that "an individual has provided information to the Nantucket Police regarding an allegation of an indecent assault and battery." She said the state statute of limitations for indecent assault and battery is six years.

Unruh said her son did not report the encounter to police because he was embarrassed and fearful. Now, she said, her son is "committed to doing what he can to stop Kevin Spacey from victimizing anyone else." 

She also had a message for the actor.

"To Kevin Spacey I want to say this: Shame on you for what you did to my son and shame on you for using your apology to Anthony Rapp to come out as a gay man," she said. "That was an appalling attempt to distract attention away from what you really are: a sexual predator. Your actions are criminal." 

Unruh appeared with attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented victims of clergy sexual abuse, at a downtown Boston hotel. Garabedian, who also has represented an accuser of Bill Cosby, was portrayed in the Oscar-winning film, Spotlight, about The Boston Globe's investigation of clergy sexual abuse in the Boston Catholic archdiocese. 

"The civil claim against Kevin Spacey happened in Massachusetts and is well within the civil statute of limitations," Garabedian said. "It is also within the criminal statute of limitations. I am informed that my client did speak to the Nantucket police department and they are conducting an investigation." 

Spacey's reps did not immediately return USA TODAY's request for comment. Spacey issued a statement on Twitter following Rapp's allegations, saying he was "beyond horrified" and insisting he didn't remember the encounter. In the same statement, he came out as gay for the first time in public.

Monday, November 6, 2017

George H. W. Bush on Trump: ‘I don’t like him,’ according to new book

 Geobeats                November  4th 2017 
Former President George H. W. Bush shared during the campaign last year that he doesn’t like Donald Trump. 

According to CNN, the now-93-year-old made these on-the-record comments to historian Mark Updegrove who has released a new book titled, “The Last Republicans,” about him and his son, former President George W. Bush. 

The elder Bush told Updegrove in May 2016, “I don’t like him. I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader.”

Both men cited Trump’s ego and lack of humility as drawbacks to his viability as a leader, and the younger Bush pointed out that when the businessman said, “I am my own adviser,” it showed a lack of understanding about what being president entailed.

As such, Trump failed to win either of their votes, with George H. W. Bush casting his ballot for Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and his son saying he chose, in his words, “none of the above,” reports the New York Times. 

Since he was interviewed for the book by Updegrove, the younger Bush has issued other critical remarks which seem to be aimed at President Trump. 

He gave a speech last month saying, “…we know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.” 
He also decried what he called “nationalism distorted into nativism.”

The White House has released a scathing statement in response to critical remarks by former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush in the new book.

“If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had. And that begins with the Iraq war, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history,” a White House official told CNN. “President Trump remains focused on keeping his promises to the American people by bringing back jobs, promoting an ‘America First’ foreign policy and standing up for the forgotten men and women of our great county.”

Saturday, November 4, 2017

FOREIGN POLICY : U.S. officials fear North Korea will greet Trump with missile test

Meanwhile, people like legislative affairs director Marc Short and Vice President Mike Pence would be trying to convince those same members to get on board with the bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan. “The White House was speaking with many different voices and each person was hearing only what they wanted to hear,” said one senior Republican familiar with the conversations. “If you were in the Freedom Caucus, you were under the impression you could hold out.”

By the time the House finally passed a health care bill in early May, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill had determined that the president’s involvement – and that of the White House more broadly – was more trouble than it was worth. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear to Trump that he was to play no role in ensuring the bill passed the Senate – that he should, in essence, leave it to the professionals.

The failure of the so-called professionals to pass that measure, on July 28, laid bare the ideological crack-up of the Republican party, which had campaigned for seven years on rolling back Obamacare, and underscored the inability of congressional leaders to deliver on their promises.

Throughout the debate on Capitol Hill, it became clear that Republican lawmakers were far less committed to rolling back President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement than they had claimed to be. West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who had voted dozens of times as a House member to repeal Obamacare, explained her hesitation to back the Senate bill, telling reporters that she “didn’t come to D.C. to hurt people.” Trump’s election seemed to have revealed to lawmakers like Capito that their voters, even in deep red states like West Virginia, weren’t as enthusiastic about entitlement cuts as they had once thought.

And though Trump himself had not played a constructive role in securing the passage of the legislation – memorably calling the House bill “mean” and leaning on the Senate to amend it – the failure of congressional Republicans was a vindication for him in one regard. The fecklessness of the country’s political leaders had been one of his central campaign themes, and the demise of the health care bill, by a one-vote margin, threw it into stark relief.

It was something he wasted no time pointing out to the public, blasting McConnell on Twitter repeatedly throughout the month of August. “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!” he tweeted on Aug. 10.

It was another dispute that put the divisions in the party on display – and gave voice to the grievances of the voters who lifted him to office.

“Do you think you’re being properly staffed?”

John Kelly, then Secretary of Homeland Security, posed the blunt question to the president after attending a scattered meeting at the White House, months before he would eventually join the West Wing team.

Trump didn’t respond to him in the moment. But the question lingered in his mind. In June the president revived the conversation – “Remember when you asked me if I was being well-served?” Trump asked him – and told Kelly he needed his help.

The arrival of a four-star Marine general in the White House last July, replacing Priebus, was greeted with high hopes both internally and externally. Many were looking for Trump to make a course correction, and Kelly embodied that change.

“He’s always respected the military structure,” said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “He wanted more order, and he knew someone with Kelly’s background and operations style would be someone who would bring more structure.”

That meant an immediate shedding both of people and of personnel, once Kelly agreed to take the job. The changes came quickly, with Kelly making it clear that the people in the building and in meetings would be there because they were there to serve the country, not themselves, and not even simply the president.

Names were removed from the White House security list, meaning that insiders like former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former deputy campaign manager David Bossie, could no longer come and go as they pleased, without making an appointment.

Aides whom Kelly considered disruptive were pushed out. Chief strategist Steve Bannon left the White House in August. Trump’s longest-serving and closest aide, Keith Schiller, left the administration, in part, associates said, because he clashed with Kelly. With Schiller left the personal cell phone that many longtime Trump allies called to reach the boss. Kushner and Ivanka Trump agreed to report to Kelly, not directly to Trump, and their influence and presence in meetings became more limited.