Saturday, May 26, 2018

Prospects of U.S.-North Korea summit brighten after Trump's tweet

Thomson Reuters      JOORI ROH AND ROBERTA RAMPTON    May 26th 2018 
SEOUL/WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - Prospects that the United States and North Korea would hold a summit brightened after U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Friday Washington was having "productive talks" with Pyongyang about reinstating the June 12 meeting in Singapore.

Politico magazine reported that an advance team of 30 White House and State Department officials was preparing to leave for Singapore later this weekend.

Reuters reported earlier this week the team was scheduled to discuss the agenda and logistics for the summit with North Korean officials. The delegation was to include White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Trump said in a Twitter post late on Friday: "We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date."

Trump had earlier indicated the summit could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks.

"It was a very nice statement they put out," Trump told reporters at the White House. "We'll see what happens - it could even be the 12th."

"We're talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it," he said.

The comments on the summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un came just a day after Trump canceled the meeting, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility."

South Korea's presidential spokesman said in response: "It's fortunate that hope is still alive for U.S.-North Korea dialog. We are continuing to watch developments carefully."
THREATS, INSULTS :
After years of tension over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, Kim and Trump agreed this month to hold what would be the first meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader. The plan followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over North Korea's development of missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Trump scrapped the meeting in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials demanding unilateral disarmament. Trump cited North Korean hostility in canceling the summit.

In Pyongyang, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea's criticisms had been a reaction to American rhetoric and that current antagonism showed "the urgent necessity" for the summit.

He said North Korea regretted Trump's decision to cancel and remained open to resolving issues "regardless of ways, at any time."

Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea had appreciated Trump having made the bold decision to work toward a summit.

"We even inwardly hoped that what is called 'Trump formula' would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue," he said.

North Korea also went ahead with a plan to destroy its only known nuclear site on Thursday, the most concrete action yet since pledging to cease all nuclear and long-range missile tests last month.

Dozens of international journalists left North Korea on Saturday after observing the demolition of the underground tunnels in Punggye-ri, where all of the North's six nuclear tests were conducted including its latest and largest in September.
DIPLOMATS AT WORK :

Trump's latest about-face sent officials scrambling in Washington. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters diplomats were "still at work" and said Trump had just sent a note out on the summit, which could be back on "if our diplomats can pull it off."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Katina Adams declined to give details of any diplomatic contacts but said: "As the president said in his letter to Chairman Kim, dialog between the two is the only dialog that matters. If North Korea is serious, then we look forward to hearing from them at the highest levels."

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters Trump did not want a meeting that was "just a political stunt."

"He wants to get something that's a long-lasting and an actual real solution. And if they are ready to do that then ... we're certainly ready to have those conversations," she said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton in WASHINGTON and Joori Roh in SEOUL, Additional reporting by Soyoung Kim in SEOUL, Doina Chiacu, Idrees Ali, David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick in WASHINGTON Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan Editing by Paul Tait and Joseph Radford)

Let's hear it from Witchy :
rtRUMP is such a drama queen - tweeting like some 12 yr old little girl.

Maybe t RUMP cancelled the meeting after Kim Jong Un demanded that Trump release his tax returns!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Are you sure Trump didn’t sneak in?” #RoyalWedding

 Are you sure Trump didn’t sneak in?” #RoyalWedding 
If  Trump show his face  sic the corgis on him .

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Witchy, I think Jim caught Pence's creepiness perfectly

More of Jim's art below Pence
 
 
 I loved the Psycho quote...I remember it from the end of the movie

 
The Joker or Cheeto Man
 
 
 
Kim and Putin
This one is quite good
 
 
 
I think this one is Giuliani
 
Well Jim, Rembrandt you ain't, but each of your pictures is worth a thousand words.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

John Travolta sure isn't greased lightning on Cannes dance floor

By Ron Dicker   May 15 , 2018
John Travolta sure isn't greased lightning on CannesSure, he’s stayin’ alive with 50 Cent rapping, but one outlet called his moves “classic dad bopping.”
By Ron Dicker Combine dance experience from “Saturday Night Fever,” “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction” ― and you get John Travolta getting down at the Cannes Film Festival.

Check out the actor busting a move on the French Riviera Tuesday as rapper 50 Cent performed “Just A Lil Bit” at a party.

People magazine called Travolta’s dancing “classic dad bopping.” You be the judge:


Travolta was at the festival for the premiere of his film “Gotti” in which he plays mobster John Gotti. A review by The Hollywood Reporter calling the movie “pretty terrible” might just take the spring out of his step.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Jim Carrey Taunts 'Psycho' Mike Pence With Biting New Portrait

 Lee Moran   May 12 , 2018
Vice President Mike Pence is the subject of Jim Carrey’s latest scathing political portrait.

The actor-turned-artist depicted Pence staring intensely at a fly on the back of his hand in the picture — captioned “Psycho Mike-O” — that he posted on Twitter Friday
Carrey also included a modified quote from horror movie “Psycho” on the painting: “I hope they are watching… they’ll see. They’ll see and they’ll know, and they’ll say, ‘why, Mike Pence wouldn’t even harm a fly…’”

Earlier this week, Carrey portrayed President Donald Trump as Batman’s arch-rival, the Joker:
This article originally appeared on                 HuffPost

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Trump's 'new deal for blacks' was dealt from the bottom of the deck

BY JESSE JACKSON                     May 8, 2018
African-American unemployment has reached its lowest levels ever. President Donald Trump boasts about this on the stump, naturally claiming credit for a recovery that began after his predecessor, Barack Obama, saved an economy that was in free fall. Trump says he’s delivering on his promised “new deal for blacks.” Don’t fall for the hype.

A low topline unemployment rate is a good thing. Tight labor markets force employers to compete for workers. More African Americans who are too often the last hired find jobs. Those who have lousy jobs are more confident about looking for better ones. Even harsh employers like Wal-Mart find it necessary to lift wages to attract and keep decent workers. Wages should start going up.

But we haven’t seen much of that in this economy. That’s because while the topline rate is down, it doesn’t count millions who have given up looking for work and have dropped out of the work force. Only if the economy continues to grow and unemployment continues to decline are we likely to see wages starting to improve.

The big problem, however, is that most of the jobs are simply lousy. Virtually all of the new jobs aren’t secure — they are part-time, short-term contract jobs, with variable hours, few benefits and low wages. Not surprisingly, African Americans are more likely to be caught in these kinds of jobs than whites are.

Like most Americans, African Americans find that the costs of what they need are rising faster than their wages are. Paychecks don’t buy what their paychecks used to buy. Health care costs are exploding. College debt is now higher than credit card debt and auto debt. Housing costs are at or near record highs, both for those who want to buy a home and those who want to rent.

As bad as this is for everyone, it is worse for African-Americans. Black unemployment rates remain nearly twice as high as white unemployment rates. Black households make less income and have dramatically less wealth than white households. This is true at all levels of education and in every region. According to a report from the Asset Funders Network, the median wealth of single African-American women is a stunning $200. It is $300 for single African-American men. It is $15,640 for single white women and $28,900 for single white men.

There is less poverty now than there was 50 years ago. African-Americans have started to close the education gap — in graduating from high school, getting a college or advanced degree. Yet in 1968, the median black household only earned 63 percent what a median white household earned. In 2016, the gap was worse, with blacks earning only 61 percent of what a typical white household earned.

Much of this is due to discrimination. Study after study shows that job seekers with a “white sounding name” are more likely to be called back than those with a “black sounding name.” Some of it is due to the failure of the minimum wage to keep pace with productivity or inflation. Some of it comes from the decline in labor unions, with wages stagnating across the board.

Trump boasts about the unemployment rate. He promised in the campaign a “new deal for blacks.” He claims that cracking down on illegal immigrants has helped lift black wages by reducing competition for low-skilled jobs.

The reality is that Trump’s policies are perversely designed to make things harder for African Americans. His administration is rolling back enforcement of civil rights laws across the government. It is cutting back on enforcement against wage theft and payday lenders. It is reversing Obama’s order to provide millions more with overtime pay.

Trump boasts that he has dismantled Obamacare. The result is millions more losing coverage or unable to afford the prices that are rising in part as a result of Trump’s attacks.

The administration plans to reduce funds for Pell grants and college loans. Its tax cuts will go overwhelmingly to the already rich, while it calls for reducing the resulting deficits by slashing spending on Medicaid and Medicare, on food stamps and education. Low-wage white workers will be the most numerous victims, but African-Americans and Latinos will be hit disproportionately.

A good economy with full employment can help solve many problems. But Trump’s “new deal for blacks” is a bad deal from the bottom of the deck. We know what to do to reduce poverty and entrenched discrimination. It isn’t a mystery. It is simply a matter of will — and of power.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Rudy Giuliani's revelation that Trump 'reimbursed' Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payment just made the DOJ's case against both men 'a whole lot stronger'

Business Insider        SONAM SHETH          May 3rd 2018 
The revelation Wednesday night that President Donald Trump "reimbursed" his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election could significantly strengthen the criminal case against both men, campaign finance experts say.
Cohen is already under scrutiny for the payment, which legal experts say could be a violation of the federal limit on individual political contributions.
Meanwhile, if Cohen paid Daniels to help Trump's chances in the election, and if Trump knew about it, he could face criminal exposure for failing to properly disclose the payment and his reimbursement to Cohen.

President Donald Trump's personal defense lawyer threw a wrench into his client's argument by admitting on national television that Trump was aware of, and reimbursed, his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment Cohen made to the adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford shortly before the 2016 US election.

Clifford, who is known as Stormy Daniels, alleged earlier this year that she had an affair with Trump in the mid-2000s, while he was married to First Lady Melania Trump. She is now suing Cohen in a California civil case to get out of a nondisclosure agreement she signed in October 2016, claiming that the document is null and void because Trump never signed it.

Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor who is now representing Trump in the Russia investigation, told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday night that Trump "reimbursed" Cohen for the payment to Clifford "over a period of several months."

He added that the payments were "perfectly legal."

Campaign finance experts and former federal prosecutors disagree.

Giuliani's statement "puts Trump on the hook for criminal violation of campaign finance laws," wrote Paul Seamus Ryan, the vice president of litigation and policy for Common Cause. "Violation is only criminal if [it was] knowing and willful. Trump reimbursement=Trump knowledge," Ryan said.

The legal risk Trump faces differs based on his motive behind the payment. If Cohen made the payment in order to help Trump hide the affair from his wife, it would not open him up to criminal exposure.

If, however, Cohen made the payment, with Trump's knowledge, to hide Trump's affair from the electorate leading up to the November 2016 election, it would count as an in-kind political contribution. The federal limit on such contributions is $2,700.

Trump, in turn, could face legal jeopardy for failing to properly disclose the donation and its reimbursement as per campaign finance regulations, according to election-law expert Rick Hasen.

Ryan added that Trump could be in additional violation of a federal criminal statute that prohibits making materially false statements to the federal government.

"Giuliani just made the DOJ's case against Trump and Cohen a whole lot stronger," he said.

But experts also pointed out that it will be important to establish whether Cohen was reimbursed by Trump personally or by the campaign.

"If Trump himself paid Cohen back, he could make the argument that he was doing it to hide the affair from Melania," said Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ.

He added: "That wouldn't constitute a political contribution and it gives Trump some cover, because the fact that he's had affairs is hardly a revelation and it's certainly not criminal."

Giuliani clarified his comments to The New York Times later Wednesday night, describing the payment arrangement between Trump and Cohen:

"Some time after the campaign is over, they set up a reimbursement, $35,000 a month, out of his personal family account," Giuliani told The Times, adding that, overall, Cohen had been paid as much as $470,000 from Trump through that arrangement, which included reimbursement for "incidental expenses" incurred on behalf of Trump.

When news of the Daniels payment first surfaced, Cohen said he borrowed against his home-equity line and "transferred" the funds "internally to my LLC account in the same bank."

"People are mistaking this for a thing about the campaign," he told Vanity Fair earlier this year. "What I did defensively for my personal client, and my friend, is what attorneys do for their high-profile clients. I would have done it in 2006. I would have done it in 2011. I truly care about him and the family — more than just as an employee and an attorney."

Trump maintained that he had no knowledge of the payment and was not involved. When asked by reporters on Air Force One last month where Cohen had gotten the money, Trump replied: "I don't know."

He later said during an interview on "Fox & Friends" that Cohen "represented me" with respect to the Daniels case.

Following Giuliani's revelation Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported that Giuliani had made the disclosure with Trump's full advance knowledge and approval.


Both Trump and Cohen are currently under criminal investigation. Cohen is being investigated by the Manhattan US attorney's office for possible campaign finance violations, bank fraud, and wire fraud. Trump, meanwhile, is being investigated by the special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice. Mueller is also looking into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the 2016 race in his favor.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Trump-connected data firm Cambridge Analytica shuts down all operations in the wake of Facebook scandal

Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie told House Democrats last week that the firm was set up as a "full-service propaganda machine" for the Trump campaign. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
 By CHRIS SOMMERFELD       May 2 ,2018
Cambridge Analytica, the beleaguered Trump-connected consulting firm at the center of a Facebook data scandal, shut down all its operations Wednesday, according to company executives.

SCL Group, the British data firm's parent company, announced the news in a press release lamenting a barrage of damning media coverage that has "driven away virtually all of the Company's customers and suppliers."

"While this decision was extremely painful for Cambridge Analytica's leaders, they recognize that it is all the more difficult for the Company's dedicated employees who learned today that they likely would be losing their jobs," SCL Group said.

A New York-based staffer told the Daily News he and his colleagues were ordered to immediately return their keycards and other company belongings.

Cambridge Analytica brass said it arrived at the decision because efforts to overhaul the firm's image in light of the Facebook scandal proved ineffective.

The embattled consulting firm continues to face backlash over mining data on 87 million Facebook users that it used to sway American voters while working for President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Cambridge Analytica worked for President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Cambridge Analytica used the data to create complex algorithms meant to influence voters while doing analytics and other election-related outreach for the Trump campaign.

Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie told House Democrats last week that the firm was set up as a "full-service propaganda machine" for the Trump campaign, creating and promoting factually dubious information to spread discontent among American voters.

SCL Group maintained Wednesday that Cambridge Analytica employees acted "ethically and lawfully" while working for the Trump campaign.

Facebook has apologized in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, conceding it should have done more to prevent the data firm from obtaining and using personal data on millions of users.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Face the truth about lynchings to move our country forward

BY JESSE JACKSON          May 1, 2018
If we don’t know the whereas, the therefore doesn’t make sense. Witness the ovens in Auschwitz and Treblinka, and then you can understand the creation of Israel.

Last week, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Ala., demanding a reckoning with one of this nation’s most repressed atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a campaign of racist terror that lasted for decades.

Lynching is an act of violence that, to this day, is not a federal crime. Visit the memorial in Montgomery, where Jefferson Davis reigned as the architect of slavery, succession and sedition, where Dr. King preached, and you’ll understand the therefore, from the civil rights movement of Dr. King to the current calls for equal justice, police reform and an end to mass incarceration.

The museum, set on a six- acre site overlooking the Alabama State Capitol, has a haunting majesty. The open- air museum features 800 steel monuments, suspended from a high ceiling, one for each county where a lynching occurred. Each is engraved with the name of the county and the names of the victims, some 4,400 in total.

Lynching was domestic racial terrorism. It wasn’t accidental or incidental. The terrorism grew after the Civil War in fierce reaction to the Reconstruction that gave the freed slaves the right to vote and to own property. Terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan weren’t outliers; they enlisted some of the white gentry to terrorize blacks into subservience.

Lynchings varied, but many were public affairs, announced in the newspapers, gathering large crowds to watch the mutilation of often innocent victims, while the local authorities turned their heads. Their gruesome nature was purposeful, designed to instill fear, and thus help perpetuate white supremacy. The lynchings spread even as the memorials honoring Confederate generals and leaders proliferated to reinforce the point.

Bryan Stevenson, the extraordinary director of the Equal Justice Initiative that gave birth to this project, is clear on his intent. “I’m not interested in talking about America’s history because I want to punish America,” he said, “I want to liberate America.

“This shadow cannot be lifted until we shine the light of truth on the destructive violence that shaped our nation, traumatized people of color and compromised our commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice.”

Everyone wants to celebrate the resurrection, but you can’t embrace the resurrection unless you acknowledge the crucifixion. As Stevenson puts it, we all want reconciliation, but “truth and reconciliation” are sequential. “You can’t get to reconciliation until you first get to truth.”

The lynchings accelerated in the 1880s, peaked in the early 1900s and continued until the beginning of World War II. They helped enforce segregation and Jim Crow laws with blood and fear, an apartheid system that lasted until the Civil Rights Movement freed the South in the 1960s.

This isn’t ancient history. To this day, African- Americans live with entrenched inequalities: greater poverty, greater unemployment and lower life spans. African-American men are more likely to be stopped by police, more likely to be searched if stopped, more likely to be jailed if detained, more likely to be shot by police.

“Black and brown people are still presumed dangerous and guilty,” says Stevenson. “There are these terrible disparities in quality of life for people of color, and you begin asking questions about why these things persist, and I think it inevitably leads to wanting to talk more concretely about history.”

Near the memorial is the Legacy Museum, located in a warehouse that once was part of Montgomery’s slave trade. That museum documents with artifacts and narrative the transition from slavery to segregation to voter suppression and mass incarceration. Stevenson’s hope is that the truth can help foster greater reconciliation. At the memorial, each county marker has a duplicate, with every county invited to use to create its own memorial.

A first step would be to finally make lynching a federal crime. More than 200 attempts were made to pass an anti- lynching law in Congress that would allow federal prosecution of perpetrators and hold local officials accountable if they did not act to protect the victims. With Southern senators armed with the filibuster, the Congress never acted. Finally, in 2005, a Senate resolution was passed that expressed regret for the failure. Yet to this day, lynching is still not a federal offense.

Similarly, Congress and the administration could proceed with bipartisan efforts to end mass incarceration and to reform discriminatory police practices. Real progress was beginning— with the cooperation of both parties— during the Obama years. Now, the Trump administration, with a Justice Department led by former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, has begun to reverse these vital reforms.

The reckoning that began with the Civil Rights Movement has continued; the memorial is a testament to that. People of good will want the healing to continue. The vibrancy and prosperity of the New South requires that the healing continue. But to heal wounds, you have to take the shrapnel out first. To move to reconciliation, you must start with the truth.

Bryan Stevenson has courageously built a memorial that helps us do just that.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Comedian Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault in retrial

Thomson Reuters          DAVID DEKOK          Apr 26th 2018 
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby was convicted on Thursday of drugging and molesting a onetime friend in 2004, marking the first such conviction of a celebrity since the #MeToo movement that has brought down rich and powerful men for their treatment of women.

Cosby, 80, best known as the lovable father from the 1980s TV hit "The Cosby Show," faces up to 10 years in prison for each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, 45, following a three-week trial at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Cosby looked down with a sad expression when the Pennsylvania jury's verdict was read. Lily Bernard, one of his many accusers, began sobbing. Constand sat stone-faced.

Judge Steven O'Neill ruled that Cosby could remain out of jail on $1 million bail pending sentencing at a later date, and he left the courthouse.

District Attorney Kevin Steele had asked the judge to have Cosby taken into custody immediately, saying he was a flight risk in part because he owned a plane.

"He doesn't have a plane, you asshole!" Cosby responded, breaking the decorum he had shown throughout the trial

Outside the courtroom, two other Cosby accusers were seen hugging, crying and clapping.

"It's a victory not just for the 62 of us who have come forward but for all survivors of sexual assault, female and male," Bernard told reporters, using a high estimate of the number of Cosby's accusers. "I feel like my faith in humanity is restored."

The unanimous decision by the seven-man, five-woman jury came less than a year after a different jury deadlocked last June in his first trial on the same charges, prompting the Judge Steven O'Neill to declare a mistrial. Prosecutors decided to retry him.

Soon after the first trial, a series of women leveled sexual assault and harassment accusations against men in media, entertainment and politics, giving rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that encouraged women go public with personal stories of abuse, in some cases after years of silence.

The conviction marks the downfall of a man once celebrated as "America's Dad" but whose reputation was ruined after some 50 women accused him of similar offenses going back decades.

Only one of those cases was recent enough to be eligible for prosecution, that of Constand, a former administrator for the women's basketball team at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater. Like many of Cosby's other accusers, she said she was drugged and violated while unable to defend herself.

Bill Cosby hurls profanity at prosecutor after guilty verdict

Cosby has said any sexual encounters were consensual, and his lawyers portrayed Constand as a "pathological liar" who falsely depicted their romantic relationship as an attack. Five other women also testified to similar treatment from Cosby, whose lawyers argued that the women were fabricating stories in search of wealth and fame.

Prosecutors countered that the real scam artist was Cosby, who hid behind his kindly TV persona to win the trust of women he then drugged and sexually assaulted.

The jury sided with Constand, who testified that she went to Cosby's house to discuss a potential career change when he gave her three blue pills he said would relax her.

She said the pills made her feel woozy, and that Cosby walked her to a sofa and laid her down.

"The next thing I recall, I was kind of jolted awake," Constand said from the witness stand. "My vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully. I felt my breasts being touched. He put my hand on his penis and masturbated himself with my hand. I was not able to do a thing."

The prosecution case was bolstered by the five additional accusers who were allowed to testify. In the first trial, O'Neill allowed only one accuser besides Constand to take the witness stand.

The judge also allowed the second jury to hear another piece of evidence stricken from the first trial, that Cosby agreed to pay Constand $3.38 million to settle a civil lawsuit after prosecutors in 2005 initially declined to bring criminal charges. The settlement barred Constand from discussing publicly either the lawsuit or the underlying allegations.

The defense team portrayed the settlement as evidence of a scheme by Constand to falsely accuse a celebrity of sexual assault to reap millions of dollars.

The prosecution pointed to that same $3.38 million as evidence of Cosby's need to silence Constand about the attack.

In a victory for the defense, the judge allowed the testimony of Margo Jackson, who said Constand once told her "it would be easy" to fabricate an accusation of sexual assault against a celebrity to make money.
(Reporting by David DeKok; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)

Lets hear from Witchy :
Its too bad ,  he was so looked up to.  What  I don't get is, he, and many other 'high profile' people, could get all the women they wanted.  why would they compromise their positions?
That applies to the women who were willing participants.  Cosby's need to drug and violate women for his sexual pleasure was deviant behavior.
What is really strange....with all his money, clout, connections he could have BOUGHT beautiful women to satisfy his needs. Pay them and forget them and they  him. He went out and risked everything and now he pays the piper.

Don't you think he should've been taken directly from the courthouse right to prison....he should be in prison & NOT out on a possible bail.....$1M is nothing for him to pay....it's a drop in the bucket with all the $$ he has.....glad they found him guilty but let's hope it stays that way....ridiculous this had to be a retrial when Cosby himself admitted long ago he DID give them drugs & had sex with these women while they were unconscious...what more evidence do you need after his admission......
Nuff said  ...HeHe

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Trump gives peace a chance in deciding to meet with North Korea's leader

BY JESSE JACKSON             April 25, 2018
President Donald Trump’s decision to meet with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un opens new possibilities.

Trump’s critics suggest Trump has given Kim a major concession – the recognition that would come from a first meeting with a U.S. president – in exchange for nothing.  But talking is far preferable to issuing threats and insults; exchanging proposals for peace far better than exchanging bombs in war.

This diplomatic initiative began when South Korea invited the North to take part in the winter Olympics. This week, Kim and the South Korean president will meet in an inter-Korean summit.  They already announced the installation of the first-ever hotline between the two leaders. There are even beginning discussions, pushed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, toward a treaty to finally bring the Korean War (which ended in an armistice agreement in 1953) to a formal close.

Kim has also made unilateral gestures – what diplomats call “trust-building measures”— toward the U.S. He’s announced that North Korea would no longer insist on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula as part of any settlement. (The U.S. considers the troop presence not negotiable). He’s announced the end to all nuclear and missile testing, and pledged to close the country’s nuclear test site “to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests.”

He pledged that North Korea would never “use nuclear weapons nor transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear technology under any circumstances unless there are nuclear threat and nuclear provocation against the DPRK.”

In a tweet, Trump hailed this as “very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress!”

Some suggest that this opening is simply a ruse. The harsh economic sanctions enforced on North Korea by the United Nations are starting to hurt. China has cooperated, reducing its trade with North Korea dramatically (about 90 percent of North Korean trade goes through China). Kim, they argue, is maneuvering in order to reduce the pressure, hoping to get food and other aid.

Economic sanctions may be a factor pushing Kim to negotiate. But we should understand that harsh economic sanctions have limits. Neither China nor the international community will enforce starvation on the North Korean people simply because of the folly of their dictator. Trump is right to seize on the possibility of negotiation.

If the Trump-Kim summit does take place, the discussions will be immensely difficult. Kim considers himself the head of a nuclear power, with a tested arsenal, sitting down to negotiate as a peer with the United States. North Korea could end testing because, he stated, they have successfully achieved their goals.

Trump, on the other hand, acts as if Kim has already agreed to surrender and unilaterally give up his nuclear arsenal in exchange for lifting sanctions and better relations with the U.S.

The problem here is trust. American hawks see the Korean nuclear arsenal as an existential threat that must be eliminated. Deterrence is not sufficient. Korean officials will have good reason to doubt U.S. promises. Iran has adhered to the nuclear weapons deal it made with the U.S. and its allies, but now Trump says he plans to tear it up.

The danger of a failed summit is that Trump’s “war cabinet” – the hawks like national security adviser John Bolton – would use a failure to goad Trump into confrontation, even war against North Korea. Lowering expectations publicly, while remaining open to new possibilities privately, is the best course, but one Trump seems simply unable to follow.

Surely it is time to give peace a chance. The summit this week between Kim and South Korean President Moon will set the stage. A later meeting between Trump and Kim could help lower tensions, even if it doesn’t produce a dramatic resolution.

War on the Korean peninsula would be catastrophic. Finding a way out peacefully is surely worth both time and effort. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

U.S. strike against Syria is one more step toward a lawless presidency

BY JESSE JACKSON         April 17, 2018
“Mission accomplished,” announced President Donald Trump after the United States, France and England unleashed more than 100 missiles on Syria in reaction to the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people.

What the mission accomplished, however, should alarm us all. It will do nothing to end the suffering of the Syrian people, as the fighting continues in a brutal civil war now in its seventh year. It will do nothing to weaken the grip of Bashar al-Assad who, backed by Russia and Iran, has consolidated his hold on much of Syria.

The major casualties of the raid are international law and the Constitution of the United States, for this act openly violated both.

The UN Charter — the charter that the United States played a major role in drafting after World War II — prohibits the unprovoked attack of one country on another, except in self-defense, or with the sanction of the United Nations itself. Punitive attacks are outlawed for the very reason that they are an excuse that the strong use to wage war on the weak. Syria poses no threat to the U.S. or its allies.

The U.S. and its allies attacked even as an independent group — the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — was on its way to Syria to investigate the site and possibly provide independent assessment as to whether a chemical attack occurred and, if so, by whom. The attack took place without even that assessment.

Over the last 25 years, after the U.S. became the sole global power with the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been efforts to develop the right to protect, essentially giving authority for attacking a regime to stop genocidal attacks on its people. But the right to protect can be enforced only with UN sanction. Otherwise it simply becomes an excuse for the strong to use when deciding to attack the weak.

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the right to declare war. Congress has provided no authority to wage war on Syria.

The result is that the president now openly asserts the right to attack any country on his own hook, without the authority of the United Nations or the sanction of Congress. A president above the law is a violation of the founding principles of this Republic.

Some justify the act because the missile strikes are aimed to enforce the treaty that bans the use of chemical weapons, which Syria has signed. The use of chemical weapons is an outrage that should trigger international action. Russia and China have stopped the UN from acting. So, it is argued, the U.S. and its allies must act to punish the alleged violation of the global ban. This attack, it is argued, “draws a line.”

The problem with acting alone, however, is clear. The powerful will act only to punish opponents who are weak. The U.S. will not attack allies like Saudi Arabia for waging what increasingly appears to be a genocidal war in Yemen. It will not attack adversaries like China or Russia who are nuclear powers.

It attacks Syria only because Syria is an adversary and is weak and cannot defend itself.

This is hardly the way to enforce justice or legal order.

If the world will not join in enforcing the ban on chemical weapons, the ban will be undermined. We would be better off rousing global outrage at the Syrians for using chemical weapons and at the Russians and Chinese for blocking international action, than taking the law into our own hands.

Violation of international law and the Constitution can be dismissed as legalistic concerns. Syria has committed an outrage. The United States and its allies have punished them. But legal authority is what separates legitimate use of force from criminality. Respect for the law is what separates the civilized from the jungle.

This strike will make the president look “tough.” It will likely boost his approval ratings. But it is one more step toward a lawless and unaccountable executive that threatens the very basis of our democracy.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

At Bill Cosby trial, drug experts offer conflicting opinions

Updated: APRIL 19, 2018
Bill Cosby gestures as he arrives for his sexual assault trial, Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
by Laura McCrystal & Jeremy Roebuck - Staff Writers
The prosecution’s expert said Andrea Constand could have felt weak and woozy, with blurred vision and a dry mouth, as quickly as 10 to 15 minutes after taking pills that Bill Cosby gave her.
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But a different expert called by Cosby’s defense team said she couldn’t have felt those symptoms so quickly or severely from the Benadryl that Cosby said he gave her.

The conflicting testimony Thursday came from two toxicologists, one called by each side in Cosby’s sex assault retrial. It will be left to the jurors — who could get the case early next week — to determine which expert to believe, if either.

The full day of expert testimony came after jurors heard from six women, including Constand, who said Cosby drugged them before sexually assaulting them. The jury has also heard Cosby’s own statements admitting that decades ago he obtained Quaaludes to give to women before sex.

But what drug he gave Constand on the night of the alleged assault in 2004 and how it impacted her is a central question at his trial.

Timothy Rohrig, a forensic toxicologist who testified for the prosecution, was the final witness called by prosecutors in their bid to prove that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Constand in 2004.

“All the symptoms she described, the timing of the onset of the symptoms she described, is consistent with the ingestion” of Benadryl, said Rohrig, who also testified at Cosby’s first trial last June.

Alcohol, Rohrig said, would intensify the effects of Benadryl.

Harry Milman, the toxicologist called by Cosby’s lawyers, testified that Benadryl is one of the safest over-the-counter allergy medications and would not have produced those severe effects.

“If it caused unconsciousness or an inability to move your arms or legs, then it wouldn’t be an over-the-counter drug,” Milman said. “And the symptoms that she described are very severe symptoms, and they all appeared at once.”

Milman said that because Constand said she took only some sips of wine on the night of the alleged assault, it could not have caused her symptoms.

Cosby sat quietly, appearing to focus on the technical testimony as lawyers on each side tried to discredit the other’s expert.

Assistant District Attorney M. Stewart Ryan suggested that Milman had no experience in drug-facilitated sexual assault cases, and was not board-certified.

“And you don’t hold any sort of license?” Ryan asked him.

“I hold a driver’s license,” Milman responded, drawing laughter from the courtroom.

Cosby lawyer Kathleen Bliss, meanwhile, suggested that Rohrig’s testimony about Benadryl and Constand’s symptoms might be incorrect because the drug cannot cause paralysis or inability to speak.

Cosby told police and testified in a deposition for the civil lawsuit Constand filed against him that he gave her 1½ Benadryl pills that night.

Prosecutors insist that Cosby may have given her something other than Benadryl, because he previously refused to disclose the medication to Constand and her mother. Jurors also heard Cosby’s deposition testimony that he had obtained Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to seduce, as well as testimony from five other women who said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them in the 1980s.

The experts also testified about Quaaludes, and their testimony on the effects of that drug differed as well. Rohrig said they made people act intoxicated while Milman said they could not make someone black out immediately, as some of Cosby’s accusers described from the witness stand last week. All five of the other women who testified said they took pills or drinks given to them by Cosby. Only one, Janice Baker-Kinney, said she took Quaaludes.

Also Thursday, Cosby’s lawyers sought Judge Steven T. O’Neill’s permission to read decade-old testimony into the record from Sheri Williams, one of Constand’s closest friends from her time in Philadelphia, whom they had hoped to call as a witness in their case.

Williams’ name came up frequently during Cosby’s first trial as prosecutors combed through months of Constand’s phone records from the time of her alleged assault, showing frequent contact between the women.

Cosby’s legal team has barely mentioned Williams in the retrial. However, in a court filing late Thursday, they said they had been unable to serve her with a subpoena and asked the judge to permit them to read portions of her deposition from Constand’s 2005 civil suit against Cosby into the record instead. O’Neill said he would hear arguments about the issue Friday morning.

Defense lawyers are expected to call three witnesses to testify Friday, and at least one more on Monday. O’Neill told jurors that they could begin deliberating early next week.

Keep up with every development in Bill Cosby’s case with our day-by-day recaps, timeline, and explainer on everything you need to know about the case and its major players.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

TRUE STORY


Why on earth would the Republicans vote NAY??
 

Bill Cosby's retrial, 3 women say Bill Cosby drugged, assaulted them

 NBC News      MEREDITH MANDELL AND ADAM REISS AND KARIN ROBERTS

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Three women took the stand Wednesday at Bill Cosby's retrial on charges of sexual assault. They portrayed him, in strikingly similar details, as a sexual predator who used pills and alcohol as a pathway to incapacitate and molest them.

The mood in the courtroom was tense and filled with tearful sobs as the three women testified, with occasional impassioned outbursts, over nearly eight hours.

"Dr. Huxtable, what are you doing to me?" was the thought that one woman, Chelan Lasha, said went through her head as Cosby groped her breasts and rubbed against her leg. He had invited her to his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton, then given her amaretto and a blue pill, she said, telling her it was an antihistamine. He took her into the bedroom and assaulted her while she was unable to move, she said. She was 17.

Cosby is not criminally charged in the alleged incidents involving Lasha or two other women who testified Wednesday.

Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault involving Andrea Constand, who alleges that he drugged and molested her in his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Cosby has repeatedly denied all the allegations against him. In the criminal case, Cosby has said the sexual encounter was consensual.

 The three women who testified Wednesday in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas were referring to incidents that occurred more than 30 years ago. They are among the five prosecution witnesses who are expected to testify in the criminal case, including the prosecution's main witness, Constand.

A second woman, Janice Baker-Kinney, testified that she went to Cosby's home in Reno, Nevada, with a friend expecting a pizza party. When they arrived, Cosby was there alone, she said. He offered her two Quaaludes and a beer, she said. She said in court that she woke up the next morning naked and felt fluid between her legs.

The defense aggressively questioned Baker-Kinney about her delay in coming forward.

"You never thought of it as rape? For 30 years?" defense attorney Thomas Mesereau asked Baker-Kinney.

"I blamed myself," she replied. "I thought it was my fault for 30 years."

The defense twice asked Judge Steven O'Neill to declare a mistrial after the witnesses uttered accusations against Cosby instead of answering the questions they had been asked. The judge denied the motions.

Cosby paid Constand nearly $3.4 million in a 2006 civil settlement, it was revealed in the prosecution's opening statements this week.

Lasha acknowledged, under questioning, that she had a criminal record for making false statements. And defense attorneys tried to paint the women as eager for money and fame.

The third woman who testified, Heidi Thomas, alleged that Cosby lured her to a Reno home with promises to help her musical career, then drugged and sexually assaulted her.

In her cross-examination, defense attorney Kathleen Bliss questioned Thomas about her links to a website that offers speaking engagements and her numerous TV appearances related to her claims of sexual assault.

"You've been getting a lot of attention, haven't you?" Bliss asked.

The three women cannot take their cases to court because the statute of limitations has passed. Last month O'Neill, the judge,ruled that they could testify, as an exception to Pennsylvania's rules of evidence, to allow prosecutors to establish that their accounts proved a "common plan, scheme or design" in the assault that Cosby is charged with.

Cosby's first trial last year ended in a mistrial after a jury deliberated for 52 hours and failed to reach a verdict.

Outside the courthouse, a spokeswoman for Cosby, Ebony Benson, described the case against him as "prosecution by distraction."


"When you don't have a case you will fill the time with something else," she said. "The media must not misdirect or divert attention away from the case they are here to try.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Former Cosby Show actress launches topless protest at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial

Former Cosby Show actress launches topless protest at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial as she charges at disgraced actor with the word 'rapist' and names of his alleged victims written on her body
A protester who was not wearing a shirt and had the names of Bill Cosby's alleged victims written on her body launched herself at the actor on Monday
She also had the phrase 'Women's Lives Matter,' 'Cosby Rapist' and 'semen' written across her body
Cosby, 80, laughed at the woman as she jumped over the barricade and ran into his path on Monday 
The woman, who has been identified as Nicolle Rochelle of Little Neck, New Jersey, was detained by sheriff's deputies and is now in custody 
Rochelle, 38, appeared in four episodes of The Cosby Show as a child, playing a friend of Rudy Huxtable
By CHRIS SPARGO FOR DAILYMAIL.COM    UPDATED: 18:34 EDT, 9 April 2018
Bill Cosby was accosted by a topless woman while arriving in court on Monday morning.

The woman, who has been identified as Nicolle Rochelle of Little Neck, New Jersey, jumped over a barricade and ran at the disgraced actor while he was making his way from his car into the courthouse.

Rochelle, 38, appeared on The Cosby Show as a child, appearing in four episodes of the popular sitcom as Danielle, a friend of Rudy Huxtable (played by Keshia Knight Pulliam).

Pulliam had been by Cosby's side for the first day of his trial the last time he appeared in court, but was not present for the opening statements of his retrial on Monday. 

Rochelle had the words 'Women's Lives Matter' written across her body and was quickly stopped by sheriff's deputies, who put her in handcuffs and took her into custody.

Topless protester runs past Bill Cosby as he returns to court
Say my name: A protester who was not wearing a shirt (above) and had the names of Bill Cosby's alleged victims written on her body launched herself at the actor on Monday
Fun and games: Cosby, 80, laughed (above) at the woman as she jumped over the barricade and ran into his path on Monday

Making a statement: The woman also had the phrase 'Women's Lives Matter,' 'Cosby Rapist' and 'semen' written across her body


In he goes: The trial started off on Monday with Cosby's defense hoping to get one juror dismissed after they allegedly told a potential member of the jury they had already formed an opinion on the case
Cosby's team asks for more security after topless protester

The woman also had the words 'Cosby rapist' and 'semen' written on her body, as well as the names of a number of Cosby's alleged victims. 

Cosby could be seen laughing as the woman ran out in his path.

He walked into court with his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, who was also by his side during last year's trial. 

Wyatt could be seen reprimanding one of the sheriff's deputies after the woman made her way over the partition.

In that same image the woman is seen pinned down on the ground while Cosby walks by unfazed by the commotion. 

Cosby is switching things up for this trial, with the disgraced actor assembling a new defense team of seven lawyers - four of whom are women.

Two of those women, Becky James and Kathleen Bliss, were added to the team as soon as pre-trial motions and meetings began last year, while the other two were very late additions.

Court records show that Cosby's team submitted two motions for admission on Saturday, March 24 at around 9pm to request that Jaya Gupta and Rachael Robinson be added to his legal line-up.

That move came in the wake of Judge Steven O'Neill ruling that five women who have accused Cosby of rape could testify at trial in addition to the plaintiff, Andrea Constand.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Former Cosby Show actress protests topless at retrial
Big break: Rochelle, 38, appeared in four episodes of The Cosby Show as a child, playing a friend of Rudy Huxtable (Rochelle on far left)
The legal team will be headed up this time by Tom Mesereau, who has defended A-list celebrities including Michael Jackson.

He replaces Brian McMonagle, who stepped down after the first trial ended in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial, a ruling that most legal experts agreed was the best possible outcome Cosby could hope for in the case.

There are no lawyers on Cosby's current team who were part of his defense during the first trial.

Bliss is a former federal prosecutor who served in Nevada for over two decades while James is a partner at the Los Angeles-based firm of Greenberg Gross.

That is the same firm where Gupta and Robinson are employed as associates.

'Prior to law school, Ms. Gupta received a master’s degree in Medieval English Studies at the University of Oxford,' reads Gupta's bio on the law firm's website.

'She received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.'

That bio also makes it clear why she was selected for the team, stating: 'Her experience includes representing individuals and entities in class actions, and in civil and criminal government investigations brought pursuant to the False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.'

Robinson also fills a niche in the defense team, having 'begun her legal career as an associate working with Partner Becky S. James at James & Associates, focusing primarily on appeals and white collar criminal defense' according to her bio. 
These new lawyers will be up against the returning prosecutor in the case, Kevin Steele.

He has also made some changes however, thanks to Judge Steven O'Neill ruling that the prosecution could call five accusers to the stand at trial.

That is a big increase from the first trial, where there were just two women who took the stand - plaintiff Andrea Constand and Kelly Johnson.

Constand will be taking the stand once again, and this time be joined by Janice Baker-Kinney, Janice Dickinson, Chelan lasha, Lisa-Lotte Lublin and Heidi Thomas.

Prosecutors had been hoping to have 13 women testify alongside Constand to speak to a pattern of behavior exhibited by the defendant.

Cosby, 80, has been accused of drugging and raping over 40 women.

Jury selection will begin on Monday in the case and be followed by opening statements a few days later.

This trial will likely take much longer than the first, which was over in two weeks.


Cosby is switching things up for this trial, with the disgraced actor assembling a new defense team of seven lawyers - four of whom are women.

Two of those women, Becky James and Kathleen Bliss, were added to the team as soon as pre-trial motions and meetings began last year, while the other two were very late additions.

Court records show that Cosby's team submitted two motions for admission on Saturday, March 24 at around 9pm to request that Jaya Gupta and Rachael Robinson be added to his legal line-up.

That move came in the wake of Judge Steven O'Neill ruling that five women who have accused Cosby of rape could testify at trial in addition to the plaintiff, Andrea Constand.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The legal team will be headed up this time by Tom Mesereau, who has defended A-list celebrities including Michael Jackson.

He replaces Brian McMonagle, who stepped down after the first trial ended in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial, a ruling that most legal experts agreed was the best possible outcome Cosby could hope for in the case.

There are no lawyers on Cosby's current team who were part of his defense during the first trial.

Bliss is a former federal prosecutor who served in Nevada for over two decades while James is a partner at the Los Angeles-based firm of Greenberg Gross.

That is the same firm where Gupta and Robinson are employed as associates.

'Prior to law school, Ms. Gupta received a master’s degree in Medieval English Studies at the University of Oxford,' reads Gupta's bio on the law firm's website.

'She received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.'

That bio also makes it clear why she was selected for the team, stating: 'Her experience includes representing individuals and entities in class actions, and in civil and criminal government investigations brought pursuant to the False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.'

Robinson also fills a niche in the defense team, having 'begun her legal career as an associate working with Partner Becky S. James at James & Associates, focusing primarily on appeals and white collar criminal defense' according to her bio. 


These new lawyers will be up against the returning prosecutor in the case, Kevin Steele.He has also made some changes however, thanks to Judge Steven O'Neill ruling that the prosecution could call five accusers to the stand at trial.

That is a big increase from the first trial, where there were just two women who took the stand - plaintiff Andrea Constand and Kelly Johnson.

Constand will be taking the stand once again, and this time be joined by Janice Baker-Kinney, Janice Dickinson, Chelan lasha, Lisa-Lotte Lublin and Heidi Thomas.

Prosecutors had been hoping to have 13 women testify alongside Constand to speak to a pattern of behavior exhibited by the defendant.

Cosby, 80, has been accused of drugging and raping over 40 women.

Jury selection will begin on Monday in the case and be followed by opening statements a few days later.

This trial will likely take much longer than the first, which was over in two weeks.

The defense had initially attempted to argue that the start of the case should be pushed back because of the addition of those five prosecution witnesses earlier this month.

Judge O'Neill denied that request