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Dozens of gas explosions in and around Andover, Massachusetts; evacuations underway

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Dozens of gas explosions in and around Andover, Massachusetts; evacuations underway

 

CNN / YouTube Suspected gas explosions reported in Massachusetts...
CNN / YouTube

All residents of Andover, North Andover and Lawrence, Massachusetts who either smell gas or who are customers of Columbia Gas are being asked to immediately evacuate due to what appears to be an overpressurized gas line.

According to WCVB reporter Nichole Berlie, there are currently at least fifty active house fires in the three cities. An initial WCVB report can be found here.

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Trump’s aides have tried to tell him things look bad for November, but he’s not hearing it

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Trump’s aides have tried to tell him things look bad for November, but he’s not hearing it

 

Fox News / YouTube Exclusive Interview President Trump on Fox...
Fox News / YouTube

Republicans have been looking at some very gloom-and-doom polling for November, and trying to get Donald Trump to wrap his little mind around it. Here’s hoping it’s accurate:

The polling presented to White House officials, which was commissioned by the Republican National Committee, showed that Trump’s loyal supporters make up about one-quarter of the electorate. Another quarter is comprised of Republicans who like Trump’s policies but not the president himself and do not appear motivated to back GOP candidates. And roughly half of expected midterm voters are Democrats who are energized by their opposition to the president.

But while Trump has been told that the “red wave” he’s publicly predicted is unlikely to materialize, he prefers to listen to things other than polling presentations from aides:

Aides say Trump’s sober briefings from GOP officials are sometimes offset by the frequent conversations he has with a cadre of outside advisers who paint a sunnier picture of the electoral landscape and remind the president of his upset victory in 2016.

“A cadre of outside advisers” is a very polite way to say “boot-lickers and ass-kissers and sycophants.”

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Amber Guyger may have committed murder, but she shouldn’t lose her job over it

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Amber Guyger may have committed murder, but she shouldn’t lose her job over it

 

Fox Business / YouTube Trump to hold major rally for...
Fox Business / YouTube

Rep. Beto O’Rourke supports firing killer Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, and Sen. Ted Cruz sees a political opportunity. “I wish Beto O’Rourke and Democrats weren’t so quick to always blame the police officer,” Cruz said in an interview immediately after having described Botham Jean as having “found himself murdered” and having allowed for the possibility that Guyger actions were possibly “a horrifying and horrific misunderstanding” but that possibly “it may be something else.”

“That’s why we have a legal justice system to actually learn what the facts are and learn what happened,” Cruz said. That’s why “I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”

Here’s the thing, Ted. Amber Guyger may or may not have intentionally murdered Botham Jean, but she definitely killed him while he was peaceably in his own apartment. Seeing her actions in the most favorable light, she went to the wrong apartment, failed to notice that she was not in her own apartment, and killed a man, then changed her story a couple times. Even if you think she does not deserve prison time over this—a big if, but go with me here—even if Amber Guyger does not belong in prison, there is some distance between prison and continued employment on the police force. There are intermediate positions between “she should be convicted of murder” and “she should continue on the public payroll carrying a gun to enforce laws and make arrests.” One of those positions is “perhaps this is not someone we can trust to protect public safety and enforce laws, even while the legal justice system sorts out what crimes she may have committed.”

There are basic competence issues here! Police officers have to be able to show up at the addresses they’re called to—wouldn’t a police officer who can’t tell when she’s in her own apartment be a liability when being called in a hurry to an unknown address where a crime was being committed? Even if you think Guyger would have been behaving reasonably for immediately killing an intruder in her own apartment, she wasn’t in her apartment, and we’re to believe—the sympathetic understanding of the situation is that—she couldn’t recognize that basic fact. Who cannot understand the idea that a person can be disqualified from holding a specific job for something short of criminal behavior?

But Ted Cruz knows what’s important: what white Republicans want to hear. And so “It may well be that two lives were destroyed that night.”

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Kavanaugh Wanted Voyeuristic Details About Bill Clinton’s Affair, See Here

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Kavanaugh Wanted Voyeuristic Details About Bill Clinton’s Affair, See Here

 

Wochit News / YouTube Senator Feinstein Urges FBI Probe Into...
Wochit News / YouTube

Alright, look, it is very hard to simply wave away Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Whenever there is such a stark power imbalance in a tryst, it is almost inherently abusive. How does an intern say “no” to the president of the United States? On the other hand, Lewinsky was 23 years old, which is quite different than a teen that is 18 or 19 (still legal, but far more abusive), and she seemed at least able to calculate the pro’s and cons, then willingly participated – and never testified differently. Still, if a president is going to have an affair, and near all do (Obama, thank you for being the exception), it is far better to get together with a grown woman nearer the president’s age.

Having said all that, Kavanaugh’s memo to Kenneth Starr on how far to push the questioning of Bill Clinton is at least as equally foul, especially given that – for whatever problems Clinton’s affair had – Kavanaugh’s behavior cannot be excused at any age. Kavanaugh’s memo has just been released in its entirety, and it certainly holds nothing back, even having a voyeuristic element that makes one want to turn away. After all, the point is the inappropriate relationship, not the mechanics of the inappropriate relationship. But, the man who forced himself on a 15 year old girl sure wanted to know what went on between Clinton and a young woman.

If Monica Lewinsky says you inserted a cigar into her vagina while in the oval office, would she be lying?

If Monica Lewinsky says that in the Oval Office you inserted your fingers into her vagina and stimulated her to orgasm, would she be lying?

If Monica Lewinsky said you ejaculated into her mouth on two occasions in the Oval Office, would she be lying?

****

Okay, that is far too much for me, and the rest are at the link, should you want to learn more specifics. I am trying to figure out why a simple question like “If Monica Lewinsky says you and she engaged in sexual acts short of intercourse in the Oval Office, would she be lying?” would not accomplish the needed answer.

Notice my question covers absolutely everything they needed to elicit in the deposition, that he had an affair with Lewinsky, a 23 year old intern. No, Kavanaugh wanted the details, one is left to wonder why Kavanaugh needed such a specific description. Actually, I don’t wonder at all. It is meant to “dig” at Clinton, let him know the detail told to Starr, and perhaps that Kavanaugh might have been slightly “interested” in the details, maybe even a little jealous.

It is with the benefit of horrific hindsight that we know that the man so “offended” by Clinton “disgracing” the Oval Office is now credibly accused of a nightmarish attempted rape of the type that would scar a woman for decades. The victim in Kavanaugh’s attack was 15 at the time. Age differences between 15 year olds and 17 year olds matter greatly through adolescence, with similar power imbalances. When I hear about a 17 year old “boy” holding a girl down, covering her mouth, attempting to get her clothes off, laughing maniacally, while playing music loud to drown out her protests, well, this father of an 11 year old girl would never forgive such behavior, no parent would.

I don’t care that he was a minor at the time. Perhaps it would be different if he was 11, a mere child himself. But, no, 17 years old is way way way more than enough to know that the behavior is rape of the worst type, violent, and given that all rape is unacceptable, this pushes it so far over a line, it disgraces him personally far more than anything Bill Clinton did.

My god,  the reasons this man must have his confirmation pulled are really starting to pile up into a disgusting mess. There is the sudden payment of $200K in credit card debt, the daily emails from Kozinski …on and on.

One would have to work to find a politician or judge with the problems in his background. With each revelation, revolting to decent people everywhere, it becomes more difficult for even Republicans to push his confirmation ahead quickly.

I still think he gets on. But I’m not 99% anymore. I just know to a 99% degree how I would react around any 17 year old who might assault my daughter.

***MiciakZoom


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