Monday, February 19, 2018

Family That Took In Florida Shooter Speaks To GMA


Kimberly and James Snead of Coral Springs, Florida, took in Nikolas Cruz,  the 19-year-old who killed 17 people at a Florida high school last week, after his adoptive mother passed away in November.

The Sneads told Good Morning America this morning in their first interview since the shooting tragedy they saw no signs of possible violence from Cruz.

Via HuffPost:
“I still can’t process it because this isn’t the person we knew,” Kimberly Snead continued. “Not at all.”

“Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” James Snead said on “Good Morning America.” “We had rules and he followed every rule to the T. ... He was very polite. He seemed normal.”

“As far as the animal killings, he never did anything like that at our house,” he said. “We have animals and he loved our animals. Our animals loved him.”

Cruz was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He is being held without bail. Kimberly Snead described being overcome with emotion when she first saw Cruz at the police station after the shooting.

“I really wanted to strangle him more than anything,” she said. “I tried to reserve myself. I said, ‘Really, Nik? Really?’ I yelled at him. He mumbled something, but I didn’t hear him. He said he was sorry. ... I was just furious and heartbroken.”

“I can’t imagine the pain [the victims’ families] must be feeling,” she said. “Nothing that we can say is going to be any kind of help. We’re very sorry that they had this experience and it never should have happened.”

Watch the interview below.

Meme Of The Day

FDR after attack on Pearl Harbor: "I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take use to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory." Bush after 911: "I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice." Trump after Russian attacked our elections: "No collusions!!!"
(via Twitter)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Gus Kenworthy: "I'm Holding My Head High" Living Life Authentically Out & Proud


Out US Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy told fans today he is "holding his head high" knowing he gave his all in the slopestyle ski finals yesterday in PyeongChang thanks to living his life out, proud and authentically.

Via Instagram:

This photo sums up yesterday for me. I failed to land my run in the final and didn't end up on the podium but, for me, the Olympics aren't solely about the medals.

Being here now, out and proud and living my life authentically, I'm walking away more fulfilled without a medal than I did at the last Games with one.

Of course I would've loved to have landed my run and been on the podium but it just wasn't my day. After years of preparation, countless hours of training and numerous injuries it's all over in a flash.

At every contest there are three winners and a field of non-winners. This is the Olympics though and nobody here loses. Everybody gave it their best effort, fought hard, endured and made their country, their family, their friends and their fans proud. I'm holding my head high knowing that I gave it my all.

I'm proud of what I did here and all those I was representing in the process and I'm very happy for @oysteinbraten, @nickgaper and @abmskier for walking away with medals. I may have worked tirelessly to get here but so did they and I'm proud of them for putting it down when it counts.

Kenworthy easily qualified for the finals of the slopestyle event yesterday out of a field of 30, but competing with a broken thumb and massive hemotoma on his right hip was too much to ignore during the finals.

Still an Olympic inspiration for millions :)

This photo sums up yesterday for me. I failed to land my run in the final and didn't end up on the podium but, for me, the Olympics aren't solely about the medals. Being here now, out and proud and living my life authentically, I'm walking away more fulfilled without a medal than I did at the last Games with one. Of course I would've loved to have landed my run and been on the podium but it just wasn't my day. After years of preparation, countless hours of training and numerous injuries it's all over in a flash. At every contest there are three winners and a field of non-winners. This is the Olympics though and nobody here loses. Everybody gave it their best effort, fought hard, endured and made their country, their family, their friends and their fans proud. I'm holding my head high knowing that I gave it my all. I'm proud of what I did here and all those I was representing in the process and I'm very happy for @oysteinbraten, @nickgaper and @abmskier for walking away with medals. I may have worked tirelessly to get here but so did they and I'm proud of them for putting it down when it counts.
A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Adam Rippon Hits Pause On Joining NBC Sports For Now

Adam Rippon will join NBC Sports as commentator/personality for the remainder of the 2018 Winter Olympics

UPDATE: USA Today columnist Christine Brennan reports that Adam rethought the decision to work for NBC Sports for now as it would have meant relinquishing his Olympic standing, credentials and more.

After agreeing to an offer to work for NBC, Adam Rippon @Adaripp decided overnight that he would rather remain as an Olympian, source telling me. Didn’t want to
relinquish his official Olympic standing, give up credential, move out of Team USA housing and miss closing ceremony.







***************************************

Not only did U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon score a bronze medal for his contribution to the team skating event, but "America's sweetheart" has also booked a gig working for NBC Sports for the remainder of the Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Rippon has emerged as one of PyeongChang’s breakout stars for both his skating and his personality.

Already a bronze medalist in the team figure skating event, the 28-year-old said that even after his 10th place finish in the men’s individual event, he still feels like a winner.

"I think I've shown the world that I'm a fierce competitor," he said. "But I think I've shown them that I'm also a fierce human being."

When asked in December what it's like to be a gay athlete, the Pennsylvanian answered, “It’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work but usually done with better eyebrows.”

My favorite Rippon-ism: "You know, I'm not like a gay icon, or America's gay sweetheart. I'm just America's sweetheart and I'm just an icon."

Rippon is one of Team USA’s first two openly gay athletes, along with slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy.

Rick Gates, Former Trump Aide, Will Plead Guilty To Fraud And Testify Against Paul Manafort


Former Trump aide Rick Gates has agreed to plead guilty to fraud-related charges and will testify against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort according to The LA Times:

The change of heart by Trump's former deputy campaign manager, Richard W. Gates III, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort's, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

"Rick Gates is going to change his plea to guilty,'' said a person with direct knowledge of the new developments, adding that the revised plea will be presented in federal court in Washington "within the next few days.''

Mueller is heading the prosecutions of Gates and Manafort as part of the wide-ranging investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump or his aides committed crimes before, during or since the campaign.

The imminent change of Gates' plea follows negotiations over the last several weeks between Green and two of Mueller's prosecutors – senior assistant special counsels Andrew Weissmann and Greg D. Andres.

According to a person familiar with those talks, Gates, a longtime political consultant, can expect "a substantial reduction in his sentence'' if he fully cooperates with the investigation. He said that Gates is apt to serve about 18 months in prison.





Out Olympic Speed Skater Brittany Bowe Notches 3rd Top Five Finish In PyeongChang


Out U.S. Olympic speed skater Brittany Bowe finished fifth in the women’s 500-meter with a time of 37.53 seconds - just two-tenths of a point off the podium.

Today's results follow her 5th place finish in the 1500 meter race and a 4th place in the 1000 meter race.

“Other than being two-tenths off the podium, I’m really, really happy with that race,” speaking to NBC after the race. “I can’t think of anything I could have executed better, to be honest with you.”

“Obviously, I’m disappointed coming out medal-less so far,” she added. “We still have the team pursuit. I really want a medal for everybody that’s helped me along the way, my whole life and especially this past year and a half getting me back to that start line. It would mean the world to me.”

The women's team event will take place over Monday and Wednesday this week.

But even if that doesn't work out, Bowe says she's not finished her Olympic journey yet as she plans on being at the 2022 games in four years.

“I definitely plan on going another four years,” she said. “I can’t be done here, that’s for sure.”

The Kremlin/Jill Stein Connection


According to the recently released indictments by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, we know now Putin helped Jill Stein in an effort to siphon votes from Hillary Clinton.

Stein voters were targeted by the 13 Russian agents named in the indictment.

What was the Jill Stein/Putin effect on the 2016 election?

Looking at the three swing states that handed Trump the election (above), we know he won by a combined total of 79,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin & Pennsylvania.

Check out how those Stein votes align with Trump's margin of victory in those three states.

#ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm

Trump Twitter Rant: Sunday Edition

Donald Trump
Donald Trump's "Executive Time" was spent this morning on a lengthy Twitter tirade wherein the Trumpster bounced from one lie to another.

In one tweet he blamed President Obama for doing "nothing" about the Russian meddling in our 2016 election. That would be the "meddling" Trump has not - until recently - even acknowledged happened.

In truth, Obama did react to the intelligence reports about election disruption: he addressed Putin; he invoked sanctions against Russians in the U.S. at the time, and he told Congressional leaders about the threat in later Summer 2016. It was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who refused to let the American people know about what was happening at the time.

Also, Congress passed new sanctions on Russia by huge margins last fall - the Senate vote was 98-2 - and Trump has not enforced those sanctions to date.

The Donald took time in two tweets to mock Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for being a "leakin' monster of no control."

Schiff calmly slapped back during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” when he was asked whether he felt the indictments this week by Mueller proved Trump campaign officials had not colluded with Russia. “No, of course not,” Schiff answered. “But this is a president who claims vindication anytime someone sneezes.”

Trump also begged to be complimented on his campaign skills asking, "Wasn't I a great candidate?"

And he seemed to close out the Twitter rant by acknowledging Russia is laughing at the U.S. thanks to the discord sown by the 13 indicted Russian actors this week.

But, in true Trump fashion, he diverted by pretending that Senate, House and FBI investigations are the problem, not the Russians.

#Wrong #Sad

At the end it all, the phrase that keeps popping up in my head - "The guilty dog barks the loudest."