Notre Dame Will Go On

Ken AshfordDisasters, HistoryLeave a Comment

From singing in the streets to donations of more than $678 million — here’s how the world is reacting to the Notre Dame fire pic.twitter.com/QK5Y3q3zdh — NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 16, 2019 There are few events that can so transfix the world that it seems everyone is watching, but as flames poured out of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, the world … Read More

Breaking: Notre Dame Burning Down

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Disasters, HistoryLeave a Comment

Just happening. Cause unknown, but it may be related to renovations. Idiot chimes in… AFP’s reporting on the fire’s origins doesn’t seem to be making it into English language media (it started in the attic in connection with ongoing renovation work, according to firefighters). Hit that translate button, CNN. https://t.co/nH02Ojoji7 — southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) April 15, 2019 Fire coming through the … Read More

Weekly List 126

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week, Trump’s frustration with migrants coming to the southern border boiled over, as he purged the Department of Homeland Security, and empowered immigrant hardliner Stephen Miller to be in charge of the regime’s immigration policy. As the week ended, 12 of the 30 senior roles at DHS were either vacant or filled with “acting” leaders. Departures of senior officials … Read More

Weekly List 125

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week, two weeks after Mueller had sent his final report to Attorney General William Barr, members of the special counsel anonymously broke their silence, indicating to the Times and the Post that their findings were more troubling than Barr’s letter had indicated. Meanwhile Trump changed his position on public release of the report, as he and his surrogates went into attack mode … Read More

NCGOP Corruption Exposed

Ken AshfordLocal Interest, Political Scandals, RepublicansLeave a Comment

The Republican Party here in North Carolina has a list of horribles that only Trump could admire. Their antics have been covered in depth regarding their blatant racist gerrymandering, their attempts to neuter the Democratic governor, the current election scandal, or and overt racist voter suppression. But now they are getting caught — and not politically, but by the law: Federal prosecutors … Read More

Trump v PR

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Where to begin? Puerto Rico did got 91 billions dollars. Here’s the best possible estimate: Federal Emergency Management Agency: $15 billion obligated ($9.9 billion in outlays) Army Corps of Engineers: $2.5 billion approved ($3 million in outlays) Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (Housing and Urban Development): $20 billion approved, of which $1.5 billion has been obligated Small Business Administration: $1.95 billion for homes/business loans … Read More

Weekly List 124

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week was dominated by news of the Mueller report, which was delivered to Attorney General William Barr last Friday, but has yet to be given to Congress or the American people. On Sunday, AG Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress, which he characterized as a “summary” of the Mueller report, but later in the week, in a second … Read More

Weekly List 123

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week started with maniacal tweeting by Trump: more than 50 tweets over the weekend on a variety of unrelated topics, including multiple retweets of conspiracy theorists. The week’s news was overshadowed by Trump’s daily attacks against deceased Senator John McCain and George Conway, husband of senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. The off-kilter — even by his standards — behavior by Trump seemed … Read More

Who Is Running The Show?

Ken AshfordCrime, DisastersLeave a Comment

NY Times: As the pilots of the doomed Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia fought to control their planes, they lacked two notable safety features in their cockpits. One reason: Boeing charged extra for them. For Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers, the practice of charging to upgrade a standard plane can be lucrative. Top airlines around the world must pay handsomely to … Read More

Weekly List 122

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week in what was perhaps his most authoritarian act to date, Trump issued his first veto after the House and Senate voted to block his emergency declaration. The veto followed Trump’s declaration of a national emergency after Congress refused to fund his wall, which was unprecedented. Taken together, Trump irreverently thumbed his nose at the separations of power. Trump … Read More

Trump Grounds 737 Max… For All The Wrong Reasons

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

There’s a word for how well the Trump White House handled issues surrounding the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and their possible connections to a Lion Air crash in October. Unfortunately, using that word would filter this story from many readers. Concerns about the plane being flown at the time of both crashes—the relatively new Boeing 737 Max 8—caused airlines and … Read More

737 Max 8 Grounded (Mostly)

Ken AshfordDisastersLeave a Comment

Plane crashes involving large passenger jets are such a rarity in the 21st century. Growing up, it seemed to happen once or twice a year. But in the span of six months, two Boeing 737 Max passenger jets have crashed. This past weekend, a crash in Ethiopia’s capital killed all 157 on board. A new Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 … Read More

Weekly List 121

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week a bombshell exposé by Jane Mayer on the ties between Trump and Fox News sparked questions of whether America had its first version of state TV. The piece had broad fallout, and sparked a renewed conversation on the line between journalism and propaganda. This week Democrats ramped up investigations, while Trump hit back and escalated his pace of … Read More

Document Dump: Cohen Sues Trump

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen is suing the Trump Orginization for over $1.9 million in attorneys’ fees for past work done, as well as an additional $1.9 million that he was ordered to pay for crimes committed while working for Trump. Cohen claims Trump Org breached a July 2017 agreement which agreed to cover costs incurred while participating in ongoing … Read More

New Yorker Expose Full Of Mini-Bombs About The Fox News-Trump Relationship

Ken AshfordFake News, Right Wing and Inept Media, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

In a far-reaching New Yorker exposé titled “The Making of the Fox News White House” published today, Jane Mayer dissects the often-incestuous relationship between the Trump White House and Fox News. The arguably biggest revelation is that Fox New passed on the Stormey Daniels story, which it knew before the election. “Diana Falzone, who often covered the entertainment industry, had obtained proof that … Read More