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Hometown: California
Member since: Tue Feb 27, 2018, 10:32 PM
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man scoops baby Shark From San Antonio Aquarium for his home aquarium (shark ok)

Suspects confess to swiping shark from San Antonio Aquarium in baby stroller

Two men have admitted to stealing a shark from a Texas aquarium over the weekend and using a baby stroller to smuggle the animal out of the building, officials revealed in an update on the bizarre case.

Leon Valley Police Chief Joe Salvaggio told reporters Monday night that the men confessed to taking the 1.5-foot-long horn shark from the San Antonio Aquarium after officers showed up at one of their homes with a search warrant.

The female shark, known as Helen, was brought back to the aquarium Monday evening and received a hero's welcome from employees. Salvaggio said the animal was in "very good condition."

According to investigators, the men and a woman removed the shark Saturday afternoon from an open tank where visitors can pet the sea life. In a statement, the aquarium said the trio "staked out the pool for more than an hour" before taking the animal.

Salvaggio did not identify the suspects Monday night, but said one of them was a 38-year-old white man who lived in San Antonio.

Investigators said one of the men grabbed the shark by the tail while the other two people involved wrapped it in a wet blanket. The men then put the shark into a bucket and put the bucket into the bottom part of a baby stroller.


Salvaggio said Monday that the mastermind of the theft kept several "marine animals" in his home in what he described as "almost a mock-up" of the aquarium.

"He very much knew what he was doing and kept that animal alive and was able to continue to see that animal thrive, which is pretty shocking to all of us," he said, adding that investigators believe he took the shark to replace one that had recently died.


President Trump's power over politics and the Republican Party is growing

Trump's primary power and contagion

President Trump's power over politics and the Republican Party is growing, with more GOP candidates adopting his tactics and relying on his seal of approval to win.

The big picture: For a party defined for a lifetime by cutting taxes and regulation, numerous GOP candidates are instead choosing to run ads on Trump topics like crime, gangs and illegal immigration.

Entire races — and states — are defined by Trump. In Georgia, Brian Kemp, a Trump clone who rants about fake media, immigrants and crime, crushed the establishment-backed Republican to win the GOP primary. Now, the Peach State will choose between Stacey Abrams, a liberal African American woman, and a conservative white man.
Trump-backed candidates have won nine of the last 10 contested races, including all primary races. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar calls it a “golden touch,” magically turning long-shot hardliners into instant favorites.
The latest example of the Trump effect is in the GOP race for Florida governor:

Only last month, Adam Putnam — "Florida's agriculture commissioner and a genial conservative tabbed for political stardom since he won a state house seat at 22 — was ahead of Representative Ron DeSantis in fund-raising, local endorsements and opinion polls," the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin reports. "But then Mr. Trump bestowed his formal blessing on Mr. DeSantis for the Aug. 28 primary."
Now a Mason-Dixon poll has DeSantis 12 points ahead, a month before the primary.
YouTube of new DeSantis ad, which got a ton of play yesterday.
A source close to the president told me: "Trump loves nothing more than raw, power politics. He knows he's got unprecedented juice with the Republican base, so he's flexing his muscle, and having a blast doing it."

How Trump does it:

His sway often flows from fear: Fear that he will tweet against you and turn you into a soon-t0-be ex-congressman, like he did with Mark Sanford in South Carolina. Or fear his base will retaliate, unprompted.
He has a powerful hold on his supporters' minds. A CBS News Battleground Tracker poll, conducted by YouGov and released Sunday, asked who you trust for accurate information. Among strong Trump supporters, the stunning result: Trump: 91% ... Friends & Family 63% ... Mainstream Media 11%.
He has redefined the social issues that animate the Republican base from religious-rooted moral issues (abortion, gay marriage and "family values" to cultural issues rooted in class and race (immigration, crime and trade).
He plucks candidates from relative obscurity and instantly turns them into household names in their districts or states — with a tweet, a rally or an endorsement. Because of his supporters' fervor, in a state like Alabama, he can quickly change opinions that were formed by voters over years, even decades.


Trump's two-track strategy: The rich get richer, and the poor get distracted

Thanks to a combination of hyperpartisanship, Trump’s willingness to say things that others wouldn’t and a stronger economy, Trump’s tenure as president has been an explicit manifestation of what once was a tricky balance. For years, many Republicans have worked to effect sweeping cuts and benefits for the wealthiest Americans while maintaining a non-wealthy voting base by engaging in robust cultural fights.

Trump has nearly perfected it.

He will argue, of course, that his economic policies have been an unalloyed good for the American worker. He did so in that tweet disparaging the Koch brothers. But his track record doesn’t quite match that rhetoric.


Where the cuts have been effective is where critics suggested they would be. Corporate executives are getting massive payouts from companies that are flush with cash that once would have gone to pay taxes. Half a trillion dollars has been spent by companies to buy back stocks, passing those tax cuts back to shareholders. Those shareholders are heavily concentrated among the richest Americans.

At the same time, Trump’s other economic moves are introducing other uncertainties for lower-wage Americans.
The tariffs imposed by his administration have had the desired effect of destabilizing international trade agreements, but the effect for a lot of U.S. companies is increased costs and, in some cases, layoffs. Unemployment’s steady drop since the recession continues, and, for the first time since the number began being tracked two decades ago, there are more job openings than unemployed Americans. People are finding jobs — just not necessarily great jobs.


Everything becomes a play for the base, keeping it energized to stand with him and, therefore, to keep meeker Republicans in line as they worry about November elections. Meanwhile, with the economy holding steady, even if it’s not improving, the administration can continue to alleviate whatever burdens remain for the richest Americans, among whom are Trump, his friends at Mar-a-Lago and his putative nemeses in the Koch family.

When the tax cuts were proposed, Trump repeatedly insisted the bill would hurt his bottom line. There’s almost no evidence that the cuts hurt him; the evidence suggests the contrary.

But this is part of Trump’s political gambit. He’s a blue-collar guy who lives in a gold-plated penthouse. He is the embodiment of the political pitch he makes: obsessed with cultural issues as the policies he passes benefit his enormous wealth. Neither his wealthy nor his poor supporters seem to care about the inherent tension in that duality — any more than Trump does.


Hero rescuing cat from tree. "shhhhh", "ahhhhh!"


Hero attacked by cat after trying to rescue her from a tree
July 31, 2018
A rescue worker was injured by a cat who attacked him when he tried to carry her down from the top of a 50-foot oak tree. Luckily, the feline was safely brought to the ground, although her rescuer ended up in the hospital when his bite wounds became infected.

Trump Wants To Give the Wealthy Another Tax Cut, With No Vote In Congress

The Trump had administration is considering a plan to cut taxes for investors. The idea would be to index capital gains for inflation, so that rather than tax the entire gain of an asset, an investor would subtract the value of inflation, therefore reducing the taxable income.

This plan stands no chance of passage through Congress, which already absorbed a big political hit by passing a huge, regressive tax cut last year. Some right-wing Senators have introduced a bill to index capital gains for inflation, but the Republican majority isn’t bothering to push it, because it won’t get enough votes. But the beautiful part is that Trump hopes to enact another tax cut, this one even more regressive, without passing any legislation through Congress. “If it can’t get done through a legislation process, we will look at what tools at Treasury we have to do it on our own and we’ll consider that,” says Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Do you remember the years and years of hysterical right-wing denunciations of unilateral executive action by the Obama administration? It’s possible, just possible, that they did not represent a principled belief about the limits of executive statutory interpretation.

The rationale for indexing capital gains taxes to inflation is that it’s unfair for investors to pay tax on income that only represents inflation. That is to say, if you you buy a stock for $1,000, and its value increase to $1,500, under current law, you have to pay tax on the $500 gain when you sell the stock. Under Trump’s proposal, if you suppose inflation during that period totalled 10%, then $100 of the gain would be discounted, and you would only be taxes on a $400 gain.


The benefits of alleviating this very minor form of unfairness would be enjoyed almost exclusively by – you guessed it – the very rich. The highest-earning 1% of taxpayers would get more than 86% of the benefit of indexing capital gains for inflation.

In addition to increasing the national debt, by approximately $100 billion over a decade, and increasing inequality, indexing capital gains would probably do more to detract from economic growth than to encourage it. Capital gains already enjoy favorable treatment from the tax code, and increasing that favoritism would simple exacerbate an already strong incentive for people to find ways to convert their income into capital gains. The most effective and sweeping effort to clean up the tax code, the 1986 Tax Reform Act, eliminated the preference for capital gains. Since then, the preference has gotten wider and wider.

Letter to the Editor: Dump Trump before it's too late for us all

Fellow Americans, you better wake up to the dangerous waters the Trump administration is leading us into.

In less than two years, he has exploded the national debt through a tax reform that mostly benefits the wealthy. Through this action and his emasculating of Obamacare, he has jeopardized the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Through his environmental deregulations, we no longer have the right to clean air and water. Through his denial of and inaction toward climate change, he has condemned our children and grandchildren to the effects of a warming planet.

By his erratic behavior and threats of withdrawal, he has weakened the global alliances that have kept the expansionist policies of Russia and China in check. His Supreme Court nominations and lifelong appointments of judges to lower courts threaten woman’s rights and the LGBTQ community. His crude, rude, lying behavior has demeaned the office of the presidency.

Is all this worth ignoring merely because the stock market continues to go up (a carryover trend from the Obama years)? Before it’s too late, we must dump Trump. His actions threaten our democracy.

Charles Rielly


Santa Monica Police Defend Pulling A Gun On Ving Rhames At His Home

Santa Monica Police Defend Pulling A Gun On Ving Rhames At His Home
The police claimed it was "appropriate."

As we reported on Friday, Ving Rhames was a guest on The Clay Cane Show on SiriusXM Urban View and said he had a gun pulled on him at his own home in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica police have finally spoken out and they are defending their actions.

According to The Blast, the incident happened in July 2016, “They say several neighbors called reporting that an African-American male had broken into the house, and they believe they responded appropriately, which included a supervisor and sergeant on scene.” Responded appropriately? Pulling a 9-mm on a man when he opens the front door?

The Blast also reports the police claimed, “There had been multiple violent home invasions in the area, and police felt the manner of response was ‘appropriate,’ and add that the situation was de-escalated immediately after officers recognized Mr. Rhames.” Yeah, but like Rhames said — what if he wasn’t recognized. The site continued, “The spokesperson also told us the situation with Rhames led to the establishment of a program called ‘Meet Your Neighbors,’ which encourages people to get out and strengthen the bond within their community through events like a ‘coffee date’ or ‘ice cream social.'”

While this is all dandy, how do you not know Ving Rhames lives next door to you?

On Friday, Clay Cane said to Rhames, “I am sure you hear about all the reports of Black men being attacked by police. You are a big star, but how does racism show itself in your life?”

The 59-year-old said cops knocked on his door and “I get up, I’m just in my basketball shorts — literally. I get up, I open the door and there is a red dot pointed at my face from a 9-mm. They say put up your hands, literally. I just walked and opened up the door. … Then they said open the front screen door. They say do it with one hand so then I have to do it with one hand. My hands are up and they have me outside.”

The police claimed Rhames’ neighbor called and said a “large Black man” was breaking into a home.


California fires - CHP officer cradles fawn

The Carr Fire has forced the evacuation of more than 38,000 people and, likewise, many animals have been forced to scramble to escape the flames.

A California Highway Patrol sergeant rescued one fawn that was spotted dangerously close to the blaze Saturday. According to CHP, the little Bambi was "way too close to the fire to allow him to stay until his mom returned."

A photo of the officer, Sgt. Dave Fawson, cradling the baby deer was shared more than 14,000 times on Facebook. Another photo shows the fawn licking an officer's neck.

A local animal rescue organization was contacted to take in the fawn, said CHP on Facebook.


'Eye-popping' payouts for CEOs follow Trump's tax cuts

Some of the biggest winners from President Donald Trump’s new tax law are corporate executives who have reaped gains as their companies buy back a record amount of stock, a practice that rewards shareholders by boosting the value of existing shares.

A POLITICO review of data disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows the executives, who often receive most of their compensation in stock, have been profiting handsomely by selling shares since Trump signed the law on Dec. 22 and slashed corporate tax rates to 21 percent. That trend is likely to increase, as Wall Street analysts expect buyback activity to accelerate in the coming weeks.

“It is going to be a parade of eye-popping numbers,” said Pat McGurn, the head of strategic research and analysis at Institutional Shareholder Services, a shareholder advisory firm.

That could undercut the political messaging value of the tax cuts in the Republican campaign to maintain control of Congress in the midterm elections.

Since the tax cuts were enacted, Oracle Corp. CEO Safra Catz has sold $250 million worth of shares in her company — the largest executive payday this year. Product development head Thomas Kurian sold $85 million. The sales came after the company announced a $12 billion share repurchase.

What's going on with Donald Trump? Psychologist explains the president's lies, reversals

Trump's 'audience control' problem
Trump is not mentally ill, and I doubt that he is even “living in his own reality,” as so many have claimed. He is simply fairly unique in a way that is hard for the public to understand. In a nutshell, Trump is highly vulnerable to what can reasonably be called “sympathetic audience control.”


All normal people are subject to “audience control” to one degree or another. That means simply that they regulate what they say and do based on who’s around them. They are respectful sitting in a church pew, a bit more daring sitting in a classroom, and somewhat wild sitting in the bleachers. Near a police officer, most people are cautious and deferential; near a best friend, people feel comfortable and speak freely.

No principles, just gusts of wind
Sympathetic audience control and a small time window produce most of the odd cognitive glitches we see in our president. Moment to moment, he either sees a foe and shoots, or he sees a friend and is influenced. In that kind of perceptual world, Trump inevitably — and without shame or even awareness — shifts his views frequently, sometimes multiple times a day.

Not only do his views shift, he also has no trouble denying, entirely without guile, in my view, what he said yesterday. All that’s shiny and real to him is what friends or foes are saying inside those small time windows. Everything else is fuzzy, and that’s why he can so easily tell so many lies. From his perspective, lying has no meaning. Only reacting has meaning. Trump reacts.

The small time window and sympathetic audience control also explain why Trump always seems to be creating foreign policy on the fly, why his meetings with world leaders rarely produce tangible results, why he can’t get congressional deals, and why he is almost certainly incapable of negotiating those famous bilateral agreements that were supposed to replace the multinational treaties he has swept aside.

If I’m right, and I’m pretty sure I am, Trump is capable of only a minimal level of analytical or critical thinking. Perhaps more alarming, our president — the putative leader of the free world — doesn’t believe in anything and he rarely, if ever, means anything he says. The impulsive tweets, the conservative court appointments, the unfunded tax cuts, the obsession with a wall, the swipes at immigrants — all are byproducts (dross, if you will) of sympathetic audience control operating in small time windows. There are no principles operating here, just gusts of wind.

And if I’m right, Trump will continue to function this way — blindly, erratically and reactively, without principle or direction — for the rest of his life.

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