Obama (Belatedly) Takes Action Against Russian Hackers

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, Election 2016, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Moments ago, the Obama administration struck back at Russia, imposing sanctions against its intelligence apparatus and expelling 35 diplomats in retaliation for the alleged orchestration of hacking attacks designed to interfere in the presidential election. The sweeping actions outlined by the White House three weeks before the new administration takes office include: Shutting down two compounds, one in in Maryland … Read More

RIP Everybody — How 2016 Became A Year Of Dying Dangerously

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

Pat Harrington died on January 6, 2016.  He played Dwayne Schneider, the nosy superintendent in the 1970s sitcom “One Day At A Time”.  I remember reading about his death.  I may have even blogged about it.  But it wasn’t altogether startling.  I had barely given the actor any thought since that series was cancelled.  And he was 86.  So, it … Read More

Possible Terrorist Attack In Berlin

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Foreign Affairs, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

In a day that has already seen a diplomatic assassination, it looks like we might have a terrorist attack on our hands. A truck ran into a Christmas market an hour or so ago in a major public square in Berlin. There are reports of several dead, 50 injured. The incident happened in Breitscheidplatz in western Berlin. Because of the similarity between … Read More

NC Legislature Still At It

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Local Interest, Republicans, Voter SuppressionLeave a Comment

Despite protests, widespread criticism and a threat by the governor-elect to challenge in court any moves that he believes would unconstitutionally limit his power, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature is pushing through reforms that would severely limit the incoming Democratic governor’s power. It’s insane.  One such measure, which passed the House, was that the GOP and the Democratic Party would alternate the … Read More

It’s Not A “Conflict Of Interest” If You Change The Definition of “Conflict Of Interest”

Ken AshfordTrump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Greg Sargent caught Sean Spicer explaining why Trump’s blatant conflicts of interest aren’t unethical: “You tell everyone, here’s what’s going on, here’s the process, here are the people that are playing a role, that’s being transparent. Conflicts of interest arise when you’re not — when you’re sneaky about it, when you’re shady about it, when you’re not transparent about it.” … Read More

Republicans Will Like Anything As Long As It Helps Republicans

Ken AshfordRepublicans, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This graph says it all: Republican opinion on Putin seems to have moved not because Trump is pro-Russia or because there’s suddenly an opportunity for better relations with Moscow. It moved because Russia interfered in the election to the Democrats’ detriment, whether that was the core motive or not. That’s the point we’ve reached in partisan polarization, apparently. Want better … Read More

The Brazen NCGOP Power Grab

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Local Interest, RepublicansLeave a Comment

The lame-duck North Carolina legislature’s is engaging in a last-minute effort to weaken the office of the governor before Democrat Roy Cooper. Here’s one thing they are doing. Back in 2013, this same legislature dramatically increased the number of what are technically called “exempt positions” under the governor, giving newly elected Republican Gov. Pat McCrory significant new patronage power. The … Read More

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Climate Change Scientist?

Ken AshfordEnergy and Conservation, Environment & Global Warming & Energy, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Now we’re into the naming names phase.  The Washington Post reports: Global warming — “it’s a hoax.” Donald Trump has said that more than once. So it’s understandable that the request by the president-elect’s transition team for the names of individual Energy Department employees and contractors who worked on the issue makes them worry that the trick could be on … Read More

More Fake News Believers Getting Violent

Ken AshfordCrime, Fake NewsLeave a Comment

This is getting out of hand: A Tampa woman is accused of making death threats to the parent of a first grader who died in the Sandy Hook massacre. Investigators say 57-year-old Lucy Richards is among those who believe the 2012 shooting, that killed 20 children and 6 adults, was all a hoax. Her disbelief is so strong, investigators say … Read More

Trump’s EPA Pick Is A “Fuck You” To Environmentalists (And The Planet)

Ken AshfordEnvironment & Global Warming & Energy, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Today Trump announced his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Would it surprise you to learn that he’s a far right climate change denier in the pocket of the fossil fuel industries? Scott Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during … Read More

Walter Scott Follow-Up

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Crime, Racial HomicidesLeave a Comment

It has been a year and a half since Walter Scott’s death.  I wrote about it here… but basically, he was running from a cop and was shot IN THE BACK As HE WAS RUNNING AWAY.  The video makes this crystal clear: There’s even indication that the cop planted evidence on/near the body.  Yes,. look at the video. So what … Read More

The Power Of Fake News

Ken AshfordFake News, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This morning, Trump got on Twitter (you know this doesn’t end good, right?) and tweeted this: Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016 P.S. (although it really is another story unto itself) Trump sent … Read More