Monday, January 25, 2021

Apollo C.E.O. to Step Down After Firm Finds More Payments to Jeffrey Epstein

From The Nrw York

An inquiry’s finding that Leon Black, the billionaire boss of Apollo Global Management, paid the convicted sex offender $158 million touched off an attempt to remove him.

Credit...Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The founders of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, engaged in a brief power struggle this weekend over control of the firm, a rift that opened up after an inquiry revealed that one founder — Apollo’s chief executive and chairman, Leon Black — had paid more than $150 million to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

On Monday, Mr. Black announced his plan to step down as chief executive this year. “I have advised the Apollo board that I will retire as C.E.O. on or before my 70th birthday in July and remain as chairman,” he said in a statement.

The review — ordered by the firm’s board at Mr. Black’s behest in October, after The New York Times detailed at least $75 million in payments — found that Mr. Black had paid Mr. Epstein $158 million in a five-year period ending in 2017. He had also lent Mr. Epstein more than $30 million, only $10 million of which was paid back, the report found.

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CDC director says federal government does not know how much Covid vaccine the U.S. has

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who has been selected to serve as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.
Susan Walsh | AP

WASHINGTON – The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Sunday that the federal government does not know how much coronavirus vaccine the nation has, a complication that adds to the already herculean task before the Biden administration.

“I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have, and if I can’t tell it to you then I can’t tell it to the governors and I can’t tell it to the state health officials,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told “Fox News Sunday.”

“If they don’t know how much vaccine they’re getting not just this week but next week and the week after they can’t plan. They can’t figure out how many sites to roll out, they can’t figure out how many vaccinators that they need, and they can’t figure out how many appointments to make for the public,” Walensky said.

In a dig at the Trump administration, Walensky said the lack of knowledge of vaccine supply is indicative of “the challenges we’ve been left with.”

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Congresswoman Lauren Boebert introduces bills to resist Biden's executive orders on Paris agreement, WHO, and mask mandate

 'Sadly, this is what we've come to expect from hypocritical Democrats'

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert is taking on three of President Joe Biden's flurry of executive orders that he signed within days of being sworn in.

The freshman lawmaker introduced her first bill in Congress. In fact, she introduced her first three bills in Congress, and they all target Biden's executive orders.

In one of Biden's first actions in office, he rejoined the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Boebert's bill would prevent the United States from spending any money on the Paris Agreement until the treaty is ratified by the Senate.

"Joe Biden took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. If he wants to keep it, he must transmit the job-killing Paris Agreement to the U.S. Senate for ratification," Boebert said in a statement. "Unilaterally entering the Paris Agreement was wrong in 2016 and it's wrong now. Responsible energy production supports more than 230,000 Colorado jobs. The Paris Agreement puts these jobs at risk and will increase energy costs."

Biden signed an executive order reversing former President Donald Trump's decision to leave the World Health Organization. Rep. Boebert's bill would "prohibit the availability of United States contributions to the World Health Organization until Congress receives a full report on China and the COVID–19 pandemic."

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‘I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been’ — JoJo Siwa opens up about being part of LGBTQ community

 Siwa, 17, opened up in an Instagram livestream over the weekend about being “just so happy” after she received an outpouring of support for two posts she made earlier last week that seemed to indicate she had come out. 

Preview Of Biden's Executive Orders For Next Week

From ZeroHedge:

Tyler Durden's Photo
SUNDAY, JAN 24, 2021 - 18:20

Next week President Biden will continue his blitz of executive actions after signing 17 such directives in his first week covering a range of issues - much of which were aimed at undoing various Trump initiatives ranging from immigration to climate policy.

Via The Economist

...whether he knows what he's signing or not for 'his' agenda.

For his second week in office, Biden plans on signing another flurry of executive actions, going further on climate and immigration, while also focusing on health care and other issues. Each day will have a theme, according to The Hill.

Monday will be 'Buy American' day, during which Biden will sign an executive order directing agencies to strengthen requirements that goods and services are purchased from American businesses and workers. Biden pledged on the campaign trail to make a $400 billion investment during his first term towards purchasing products made by American workers, as well as tighten loopholes and waivers allowing federal agencies to buy products made overseas.

As The Hill notes, former President Trump signed a 'buy-American-and-hire-American' executive order during his first few months in office, aimed at restricting the flow of certain visa-holders, while boosting domestic wages.

Tuesday is 'Equity' day, which will include a 'broad range of executive orders' related to racial equity.

The president is likely to establish a policing commission and reinstate Obama-era rules on the transfer of military-style equipment to local law enforcement. He is also expected to sign an executive order directing the Department of Justice to improve prison conditions and begin to eliminate the use of private prisons.

Other executive actions lined up for Tuesday include a memorandum directing agencies to strengthen engagement with Native American tribes, a memo ordering the Department of Housing and Urban Development to promote equality in housing, and an order disavowing discrimination against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. -The Hill

Other Tuesday actions which have yet to be finalized may involve immigration, and reversing a ban on transgender troops serving on active duty.

Wednesday will be 'Climate' day, where Biden will announce plans for a US-hosted summit to be held on Earth Day, and likely sign an executive order to "combat climate change domestically and elevates climate change as a national security priority," as well as reestablish the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The move comes after last week's executive action to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, while revoking a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Thursday is 'Health Care' day - during which Biden will likely rescind the so-called Mexico City policy which bans the use of US funds for foreign orgs which endorse or provide abortions.

The policy, described as a “global gag rule” by reproductive health advocates, was first instated by then-President Reagan, and has been repeatedly rescinded by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republican presidents in the years since.

Biden will also order a review of the Trump administration’s controversial changes to the Title X family planning program, which required family planning providers participating in the program to stop providing or promoting abortions to remain eligible for funding. 

The president is also slated to sign an executive order aimed at strengthening Medicaid and initiating an open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. -The Hill

And finally, Friday will be 'Immigration' day - on which Biden will expand some of the immigration-related actions he took on his first day in office. According to The Hill, one of the orders will likely be related to regional migration and border processing, and will rescind Trump-era policies surrounding the asylum program. It will also reportedly contain strategies to address the root causes of Central American migration to the United States. 

Biden will also sign an order establishing a task force to reunify migrant families separated during the Trump administrationBiden himself faced criticism during the Democratic primaries for the Obama administration's deportation policies, but the Trump administration implemented an official zero tolerance policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant families.

The president will also sign an order directing an immediate review of the public charge rule "and other actions to remove barriers and restore trust in the legal immigration system, including improving the naturalization process."

A fourth order, establishing principles to guide the implementation of the Refugee Admission Program, is tentatively on the schedule for Friday but could be scrapped or changed, according to the memo. -The Hill

And there you have it. We can't help but wonder if the press will be herded out of the room if they dare ask Biden to discuss the sweeping changes he's making?

Biden voters reconsider Biden

From Vox Popoli:

 A woman learns, with horror, that she voted for the man whose policies are going to have a negative impact on her family's lifestyle, as her husband works in the oil industry.

Jeremy just called and yelled at me. He said that everyone on the job site are freaking out thinking they are going to lose their jobs. He's blaming me for voting for Biden. You know I hated the way Trump acted. Is it true that Jeremy could lose his job?

Ok, first I'm sorry Jeremy is likely losing his job. I'm going to be honest with you though, YOU voted for this. I didn't and neither did Jeremy, but we will be suffering.... I always knew people would regret voting for Biden, I didn't think it would be Day 1. Biden probably won't hurt your feelings as much as Trump, but he will take you husband's job.

In fairness, Biden didn't actually win the election, so she's not genuinely culpable for the loss of her husband's job. But it is a salient lesson. Fake elections have consequences.


NYC out of control: 12 people beat man, strip him naked, steal everything in broad daylight on major intersection

To say “crime is rampant” in New York City is like saying “water is wet.” The rapid rise of anarchy flooding the once-proud streets of the Big Apple has belied its recent status as the “safest big city in the world.” It is no longer safe. Not by a long shot.

The latest incident of senseless and unopposed violence came as a dozen people hunted and beat down a 26-year-old male. They then stripped him nude, including his underwear, and stole everything he had. What makes this particular crime more concerning than most is that it happened in broad daylight at a busy Chinatown intersection in Manhattan and nobody in the area seemed to pay much attention.

The video is tough to watch as bystanders carried on with their days, intentionally ignoring the crime committed before them. This is Bill de Blasio’s New York City. This is Andrew Cuomo’s New York City. This the Democrats’ New York City. According to WCBS:

Video shows a group of people surrounding the man, with some of them kicking him and jumping on him as he lies on the ground. The group cut the victim with a sharp object multiple times, leaving him with lacerations to his head, torso and hands, police said.

They also stole his phone, pants, underwear and shoes, according to police. The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition. Police said the attackers fled the scene in multiple vehicles.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Many notable people like Andrew Yang are rushing to pick up the mantle left in the wake of Bill de Blasio’s abysmal turn as mayor. Why? Because New York City is so bad today, it can’t get any worse for the next mayor.


Open Blog - Monday

I wish it wasn't Monday.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Biden Inherits the Mess of a Lying Madman

Police SUV plows through crowd of troublemakers in Tacoma in sickening VIDEO

A person lies on the ground after a police officer drove a vehicle into a crowd in Tacoma, Washington, US January 23, 2021 © CORY LE via REUTERS

 A police SUV was filmed plowing through a crowd of people blocking its way and apparently running over at least one person in Tacoma, Washington.

The incident happened on Saturday night, reportedly after a police patrol responded to reports of cars blocking an intersection and doing doughnuts. The footage shows the SUV surrounded by people banging on the windows and apparently blocking its path. The vehicle backs up a bit before revving its engine and speeding through the crowd.


Another video shot from a different angle shows the moments before the incident, including a car doing doughnuts.

Tacoma police said the incident occurred at the intersection of Ninth South and Pacific, where around 100 people gathered to entertain themselves. One person was taken to a local hospital after being run over by the police vehicle. His injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.

According to local media, a group of angry protesters gathered at the site after the incident.


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Chinese-Canadian alleged drug kingpin, accused of running one of the world's biggest methamphetamine cartels, is arrested in Amsterdam

Methamphetamine pills confiscated from court cases on display in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 26, 2020.

(CNN)A Chinese-born alleged drug kingpin accused of presiding over a multi-billion dollar narcotics operation has been arrested by Dutch authorities.

Canadian national Tse Chi Lop was detained at Amsterdam's Schipol International Airport on Friday, according to Australian Federal Police (AFP), which has taken the lead in a sprawling international investigation. Before his arrest, Tse was one of the world's most-wanted fugitives.
Authorities allege that Tse, 57, is the leader of the Sam Gor Syndicate, arguably the biggest drug-trafficking operation in Asia's history. Experts say he is in the same league as notorious drug lords El Chapo and Pablo Escobar.
"The importance of Tse's arrest can not be underestimated. It's big and (has) been a long time coming," said Jeremy Douglas, the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

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California Refuses To Disclose COVID-19 Data Used To Drive Lockdowns

From ZeroHedge:

Tyler Durden's Photo
SATURDAY, JAN 23, 2021 - 18:45

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) promised months ago that the state's COVID-19 policy decisions would be driven by transparent data that would be shared with the public.

Now, his administration is refusing to disclose key information used to determine when lockdown orders are implemented or rescinded - and has denied a public records request filed with the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency on May 28 by the Center for American Liberty (CAL) seeking both the data and science behind the state's lockdown decisions, according to Fox News.

State health officials now say they rely on a 'very complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public,' AP reports.

In short, California says you're too stupid to understand their rationale for mandating thousands of businesses into financial ruin through what appear to be arbitrary and unscientific decisions. To wit, at least two California judges have struck down the state's draconian mandates over lack of scientific evidence to support lockdowns and restaurant restrictions.

Not only that, according to SFGATE, there's growing speculation that California's ban on outdoor dining may have contributed to the state's COVID-19 surgeNot the best of optics as as a GOP effort to recall Newsom continues to gain momentum.

According to CAL executive director Mark Trammel, the Golden State won't answer why, for example, they won't answer why indoor religious services are strictly forbidden while other venues where people gather are just fine.

"If it’s safe enough to go to a marijuana dispensary or Macy’s or Costco that same standard should apply to parishioners in our congregation they should be able to sep in pews and wear a mask," Trammel told Fox News in a recent interview.

Dr. Lee Riley, chairman of UC Berkeley's School of Public Health infectious disease division thinks the state's lack of transparency is troubling.

"There is more uncertainty created by NOT releasing the data that only the state has access to," he told the Associated Press in an email.

More via AP:

Newsom, a Democrat, imposed the nation’s first statewide shutdown in March. His administration developed reopening plans that included benchmarks for virus data such as per capita infection rates that counties needed to meet to relax restrictions.

It released data models state officials use to project whether infections, hospitalizations and deaths are likely to rise or fall.

As cases surged after Thanksgiving, Newsom tore up his playbook. Rather than a county-by-county approach, he created five regions and established a single measurement — ICU capacity — as the determination for whether a region was placed under a stay-at-home order.

In short order, four regions — about 98% of the state’s population — were under the restrictions after their capacity fell below the 15% thresholdA map updated daily tracks each region’s capacity.

At the start of last week, no regions appeared likely to have the stay-at-home order lifted soon because their capacity was well below 15%But within a day, the state announced it was lifting the order for the 13-county Greater Sacramento area.

Suddenly, outdoor dining and worship services were OK again, hair and nail salons and other businesses could reopen, and retailers were allowed more shoppers inside.

Local officials and businesses were caught off guard. State officials did not describe their reasoning other than to say it was based on a projection for ICU capacity.

State health officials relied on a complex formula to project that while the Sacramento region’s intensive care capacity was below 10%, it would climb above 15% within four weeks. On Friday, it was 9%, roughly the same as when the order was lifted.

What happened to the 15%? What was that all about?” asked Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist and infectious-diseases control expert at University of California, San Francisco. “I was surprised. I assume they know something I don’t know.

Trying to explain the quagmire, CA Health and Human Services Agency spokeswoman Kate Folmar said (with a straight face?) that officials are committed to transparency - and that projected ICU capacity is based on several variables - including available beds and staffing that can change regularly.

"These fluid, on-the-ground conditions cannot be boiled down to a single data point — and to do so would mislead and create greater uncertainty for Californians," she said.

According to First Amendment Coalition Executive Director David Snyder, the state's lack of disclosure is disturbing. 

"The state is wielding extraordinary power these days — power to close businesses, to directly impact people’s livelihoods and even lives — and so it owes it to Californians to disclose how and why it makes those decisions," he said, adding that secrecy "is exactly the wrong approach here and will only breed further mistrust, confusion and contempt for the crucial role of government in bringing us out of this crisis."


Amazon Demands In-Person Union Vote After Arguing Mail-In Ballots 'Raise Risk Of Fraud'

From ZeroHedge:

Tyler Durden's Photo
SATURDAY, JAN 23, 2021 - 19:00

Surprise! Mail-in ballots raise the risk of fraud - according to Amazon.

In a Thursday filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Seattle-based online retail giant formally requested that a group of Alabama warehouse trying to form a union be required to vote in person, rather than by mail, according to Bloomberg. The company also requested a postponement of the vote so the NLRB can reconsider its earlier ruling which gives workers the next two months to vote by mail.

A group of workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse filed paperwork in November for an election to decide whether to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a rare step for workers at a company whose U.S. workforce isn’t unionized. The NLRB, which oversees union votes, earlier this month said the vote would be conducted by mail, citing standards set up during the pandemic to keep workers and staffers safe. -Bloomberg

Amazon objected to the NLRB's decision - saying they had 'unfairly dismissed the company's argument' that its facility is safer than the surrounding Jefferson County, which hit a 20% COVID-19 positive test rate earlier this month. The company argues that in-person voting would have "fully minimized any risk of transmission," and that the NLRB's decision on mail-in votes was "based on speculation and conjecture, and without ever balancing the purported risk of virus spread against the public policy that ‘strongly favors’ allowing employees to vote in person."

The world’s largest online retailer said that a mail election raised the risk of fraud and the coercion of workers. It also said the process would depress turnout, arguing that as many as 29% of its more than 5,800 employees eligible to vote wouldn’t do so or would return incorrectly completed ballots. -Bloomberg

 The solution, according to Amazon? Hold the election in a heated tent in the facility's parking lot in conjunction with software designed to ensure social distancing. The NLRB says conditions are too dangerous for in-person voting, and that acquiescing to Amazon's demands might give workers the impression that government employees conducting the vote might be receiving inappropriate benefits from the company.

"The most important factors in my decision are the safety of all election participants and the enfranchisement of all voters," wrote the NLRB's acting regional director in the Board's decision, adding "Both of these factors weigh in favor of a mail ballot election."


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Baraboo woman charged with threats to a law enforcement officer after 3rd OWI arrest in town of Clearfield

Baraboo woman allegedly went on a vulgarity-filled rant while threatening a law enforcement officer after being arrested for her third operating while intoxicated offense when she was found sleeping drunk behind the wheel of her vehicle in the town of Clearfield.

Bridgett McDonald, 32, of Baraboo is charged with felony threat to a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, third offense. If convicted of the felony charge she faces up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

.     .     .     .     .

Morris transported McDonald to the Juneau County Jail. During the transport McDonald repeated threats, vulgarities and insults aimed at Morris.

McDonald stated that her car was not going anywhere and she would get it back in the morning. She said of Morris “I guarantee you still ugly, and I guarantee your momma still hates you.” She said, using vulgar language, that she does not come to Mauston because of “imbredded (expletive)” and “Yo’ momma (expletive) yo’ brother, that’s what the problem is.”

McDonald said she understood Morris because “You (people) have must got no life outside this sorry-ass, goofy-ass (expletive) outside goofy-ass (expletive) woods type of (expletive) you live in. You live in the woods like you (expletive) bears or something. Goofy (expletive).”

Discussing the towing of her car, McDonald asked Morris if it gave her “brownie points” and said “Wait ‘till I see you in the streets. Wait ‘til I see your (expletive) ass in the restaurant, ho. I swear to God, I’m gonna stomp the (expletive) out you stupid ass… you’re lucky I don’t come out in this woods.”

McDonald stated she did not care Morris is a police officer, saying “You ain’t a police officer every day. Remember that when I see you in the streets,” and “You ain’t gonna be able to charge me with beating a police officer.” Following several other expletives and threats she said “You gonna get shot in the (expletive) forehead, (expletive).”

McDonald made several further references to “beating” Morris “in the streets,” and again commented about her relatives and inbreeding. Once arriving at the jail McDonald continued to threaten Morris in front of other officers.

McDonald refused to submit to an evidentiary blood test. A warrant was issued and a blood draw performed.

McDonald is scheduled for a plea hearing Feb. 17 at the Juneau County Justice Center.



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