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Wednesday, 24th April 2019
Facebook Expects to Be Fined Up to $5 Billion by F.T.C. Over Privacy Issues
by Mike Isaac and Cecilia Kang

(SAN FRANCISCO) — Facebook said on Wednesday that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations.

The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies.

The social network disclosed the amount in its quarterly financial results, saying it estimated a one-time charge of $3 billion to $5 billion in connection with an “ongoing inquiry” by the F.T.C. Facebook added that “the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.”

Facebook has been in negotiations with the regulator for months over a financial penalty for claims that the company violated a 2011 privacy consent decree.

That year, the social network promised a series of measures to protect its users’ privacy after an investigation found that its handling of data had harmed consumers.

The F.T.C. opened a new investigation last year after Facebook came under fire again.

This time, the company was accused of not protecting its users’ data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that was building voter profiles for the Trump campaign.

Facebook also suffered a  data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.

Levying a sizable fine on Facebook would go against the reputation of the United States of not restraining the power of big tech companies.

For years, American regulators have faced criticism that they allowed Silicon Valley firms to grow unchecked, even as their European counterparts aggressively brought actions against tech companies — including fining Google a record $5.1 billion last year for abusing its power in the mobile phone market.

For the Trump administration, penalizing Facebook would be a defining action.

Although President Trump has rolled back scores of business regulations, he and others in Washington — including Democrats — have coalesced around calling for greater scrutiny and enforcement of tech companies.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and presidential candidate, has called for the breakup of Amazon, Google and Facebook.

And Mr. Trump has sounded alarms over the dominance of the firms and their control over speech and the distribution of information.

It would also be a milestone for the F.T.C., whose biggest fine for a tech company was $22 million against Google in 2012 for misrepresenting how it used some online tracking tools.

The agency, which is charged with overseeing deceptive and unfair business practices, is riding a wave of anti-tech sentiment as questions about how tech companies have contributed to misinformation, election meddling and data

Facebook must be held accountable — not just by fines — but also far reaching reforms in management, privacy practices and culture,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, added in a tweet.

The F.T.C. declined to comment.

Officials at the agency have not reached a final decision on Facebook, said two people with knowledge of the situation, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

In recent weeks, the agency’s chairman, Joseph Simons, sent strict orders to all commission offices and staff in the consumer protection, enforcement and privacy bureaus to not discuss the Facebook case, two people said.

But Facebook’s estimate of a fine signaled that a settlement with the F.T.C. was near.

The Securities and Exchange Commission typically requires that a company notify investors of any significant financial hits.

For Facebook, a $5 billion fine would amount to a fraction of its $56 billion in annual revenue.

Any resolution would also alleviate some of the regulatory pressure that has been intensifying against the company over the past two and a half years.

“This would be a joke of a fine — a two-weeks-of-revenue, parking-ticket-level penalty for destroying democracy,” said Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, a think tank that is a vocal critic of the power of tech companies.

More meaningful to Facebook would be any regulatory mandates that curbed its ability to share data with business partners or required it to take more measures to inform consumers when and how it collected data.

“Those will have the most lasting impact on consumers’ privacy,” said Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technology officer for the trade commission.

Even as the negotiations continue, Facebook’s business remains robust.

The company said Wednesday that its revenue increased 26 percent in the first quarter to $15 billion from a year earlier.

Net income dropped 51 percent from a year ago to $2.4 billion because of the expected one-time charge related to the F.T.C. investigation.

The company has more than $40 billion in cash reserves.

New users continue flocking to Facebook.

More than 2.7 billion people use one of the company’s so-called family of apps — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — each month.

The company said about 1.56 billion people use Facebook every day, up 8 percent from a year ago.

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, said he planned to start shifting people toward private conversations and away from public broadcasting on social media, which is likely to help the company manage issues of toxic content and misinformation.

On Wednesday in a conference call, Mr. Zuckerberg repeated that vision.

“People want a platform that is as strong on privacy as possible,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

He added that “we just don’t know” how the change would affect the company’s business.

Mr. Zuckerberg also said he welcomed regulations, an idea that he has increasingly been vocal about this year.

“I think it’s necessary,” he said.

“Getting these issues right is more important than our interests. And I believe that regulation will help establish trust when people know that the right systems of governance and accountability are in place.”

Wednesday, 24th April 2019
Bill Cosby attacks his trial judge – again – in new effort to get out of jail on appeal
by Maria Puente

Convicted sexual predator Bill Cosby, raging from his Pennsylvania prison cell, is attacking his trial judge – again – in his latest effort to get out on bail while his case is being appealed.

Cosby's team of appellate lawyers said Wednesday they will file an application seeking Cosby's release immediately while he awaits his appeal of his conviction in April 2018 on three sexual-assault charges.

Cosby, who has been demanding he be released on bail since he was sentenced to three to 10 years in September, once again cited similar grounds, including his age (81), his health (he's legally blind), his lack of a prior criminal record and the unlikelihood of his being a danger to the community.

Once again, he attacked his trial judge, Steven O'Neill, as biased against him due to a convoluted alleged conflict of interest that Cosby has bitterly complained about since O'Neill presided over his first trial in 2017.
Now his lawyers have added a new complaint:

O'Neill has not yet officially explained his reasons for sentencing Cosby, as required in Pennsylvania, thus delaying the appellate court's review of his conviction and sentence.
And for good measure, Cosby released to USA TODAY a public statement through his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, in which he accused O'Neill of "racial hatred."

"We’re asking that this scandalous judge be removed immediately, and Mr. Cosby be granted bail throughout the appeals process, because the judge’s racial hatred towards Mr. Cosby, clouds his better judgement to be a good steward of the bench," the statement said.

His lawyers, Brian Perry and Kristen Weisenberger of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said in their brief that Cosby has raised "meritorious issues" in his appeal.

"This court should grant Mr. Cosby bail in light of his age, health, and high chances of success on appeal," the motion said.

"Furthermore, bail is appropriate where the trail court has refused to timely issue his (sentencing opinion), prejudicing Mr. Cosby's right to a reasonably timely appeal."

Stacey Witalec, a spokeswoman for the court administrator's office in Montgomery County, where Cosby was convicted of a 2004 sex assault in his nearby home, said she is looking into whether O'Neill has filed a brief yet on his sentencing decision or when one is expected.

The county's district attorney, Kevin Steele, who prosecuted Cosby in two trials, doesn't comment on such motions since prosecutors don't decide on sentences.

That left the field open to Cosby and Wyatt who told USA TODAY he is the only person outside family who can visit Cosby regularly in SCI Phoenix, a maximum security prison in Collegeville, about 20 miles from Philadelphia.

Judging from his latest statement, Cosby is still raging at his fate and at his judge.

All of his previous motions and demands to be released from prison have failed.

He continues to push a discredited theory that O'Neill should not have been in charge of his case due to an ancient political rivalry with an important Cosby defense witness at both his trials.
"(O’Neill) continues to show his disgust and prejudice towards Mr. Cosby," the Cosby statement said.

"...His refusal to write an opinion reveals that he’s complicit in the corruption against me, and that he’s an accessory to the incestuous behavior that resides in Montgomery County."
Cosby said O'Neill's "dishonorable conduct" is designed to "destroy Any Black Man and/or Colored Man In America. I’m just so happy, because this guy is proving my innocence."

After his first trial resulted in a hung jury, Cosby was convicted in 2018 of drugging and molesting his friend and Temple University protegee, Andrea Constand, during a 2004 encounter at his Montgomery County home.

Since October 2014, some five dozen women have accused Cosby of drugging and/or molesting them in encounters dating back to the mid-1960s and in multiple states, but the Constand allegation was the only criminal case brought against him.

Steele charged Cosby in December 2015, just before the state's statute of limitations was due to run out and after he was elected county district attorney following a campaign in which Cosby was an issue.

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Vox Populi / Re: Obama Declares Obamacare Victory
« on: Today at 09:32:36 am »

Former VEEP Joe Biden is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election with a video shot in his hometown of Scranton, followed by a rally in either Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Charlottesville, Virginia... soon.

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Senator Bernie Sanders (Jimmy Fallon) tries to appeal to younger voters in the 2020 presidential race by rapping to the tune of Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Old Town Road" remix.

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« on: Today at 09:03:57 am »
Wednesday, 24th April 2019
Leader of illegal armed militia group attacked in jail

by Julio-Cesar Chavez

(SUNLAND PARK, N.M.) - The leader of an armed militia group that spent the past two months detaining migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has been hospitalized after he was attacked in the prison where he was awaiting trial on federal firearms charges, his attorney said.
Larry Hopkins, 69, was in hospital with broken ribs after being attacked on Tuesday at the Dona Ana County Detention Center in Las Cruces, in southern New Mexico, attorney Kelly O'Connell said.

A spokeswoman for the Dona Ana County center could not be reached for immediate comment early on Wednesday.

The FBI on Saturday arrested Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots group, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition dating back to a 2017 investigation.

His UCP group on Tuesday abandoned the camp in the New Mexico desert where they had spent two months detaining thousands of illegal migrants.

The departure came after state officials and civil liberties groups accused them of violating migrants' rights and the owner of the property where they were camped ordered them out.

O'Connell said he had spoken with Hopkins by phone.

"This guy is very high profile. So, if he gets put into jail and is immediately attacked after his first hearing just a few days after being put in there, can Dona Ana County correctional protect high profile defendants?" O'Connell asked
O'Connell said he would ask officials about their plans to ensure his client's safety at his next scheduled court hearing on April 29 2019 in Albuquerque.
He said he did not know what had provoked the attack.

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« on: Today at 07:53:04 am »
"I knew there was something about him making me feel uneasy... and here it is."
Tuesday, 23rd April 2019
Judge rules South Bend's tape case involving Buttigieg can continue
by Dan Merica

A judge in Indiana ruled Monday that the so-called South Bend tapes case -- which has received newfound scrutiny amid Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential run -- can continue to trial, ensuring that the issue will drag on at the same time that the Indiana Democrat runs for president.

The highly contested and litigated controversy hinges on the contents of five tapes of recorded phone conversations inside the South Bend police department and allegations that the tapes contain racist comments made by a group of officers about former Police Chief Darryl Boykins, who is black.

According to court documents, copies of the recordings were made at Boykins' request.

In 2012, Buttigieg, then months into his first term as mayor, asked Boykins to resign over the tapes matter as federal and state authorities investigated allegations that Boykins threatened subordinates (those investigations have since ended without charges).

After initially agreeing to step down, Boykins -- who was the city's first ever African American police chief -- rescinded his resignation and vowed to fight it.

The ensuing fight has continued throughout Buttigieg's time as mayor.

He has received criticism over his handling of the matter, which included the demotion of Boykins and the firing of another police department employee.

The city faced lawsuits over those actions, resulting in settlements to Boykins and others.

Those settlements, the city said, did not indicate an admission of wrongdoing on its part.

Now, the legal battle continues over the release of the tapes themselves.

St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge Steven Hostetler decided on Monday that the South Bend Common Council's legal attempts to obtain the tapes from the city have merit and a trial is needed.

He also ruled that some recordings didn't violate state law and were not prohibited, meaning those recordings could soon be released to the city council.

Few have heard the recordings, but that may change as the case moves forward.

According to a federal court decision laying out the facts of the case, the tapes case dates back to 2011, when, because of crashes in the South Bend Police Department's telephone recording system, Police Department Communications Director Karen DePaepe listened to some recordings to determine whether data loss had occurred.

While listening to some of the calls, DePaepe heard comments from Brian Young, the captain of the department's investigative division, that "she found to be inappropriate," according to the 2015 federal court decision.

The court document also indicates that Young's line was recorded without his knowledge because the officer who previously had his phone number had asked for the line to be logged.

DePaepe then told Boykins about the recordings and, according to the court, the police chief "decided to continue the recording practice to gather more information before making a decision on what to do."

Seven months later, according to court documents, Young found out his line was being recorded and asked for the recording to stop; nothing was done at that time.

Two months later, Boykins asked DePaepe to "give him relevant recordings of Young's line to keep them as evidence," according to the court.

The communications official then "made five audio cassette tapes for eight recordings that occurred between February 4, 2011, and July 15, 2011."

On Monday, Hostetler ruled that recordings made prior to DePaepe's discovery were not covered by the Indiana Wiretap Act and thus were not prohibited. That ruling means those tapes may be released to the city council.

However, one outstanding issue -- the exact date DePaepe discovered the recordings -- could determine which tapes are released.

The recordings made after DePaepe's discovery -- and the tapes made by her at Boykins' request -- "present a more complicated question," leading the judge to issue a partial judgment that notes that no person gave "express consent" -- written or verbal consent -- to be recorded.

Still in question is whether the officers had granted "implied consent" -- consent determined through actions or conduct -- to be recorded, Hostetler wrote.

Another outstanding issue, Hostetler wrote, is whether the recordings violate the Federal Wiretap Act.

The judge set a pre-trial conference for the matter on May 1. No trial date was set.

At a CNN town hall on Monday, Buttigieg said he has not heard the contents of the tapes, but he does want to know what is on them as long as listening to them does not violate federal and state wiretap laws.

"The reason I don't know (what is on the recordings) is these tape recordings were made in a way that violated the Federal Wiretap Act.

That is a federal law that controls when you can and can't record people," Buttigieg said.

"That's a law punishable by a term in prison and so I'm not going to violate it, even though I want to know what's on those tapes like everybody else does."

In 2012, Buttigieg, then months into his first term as mayor, asked Boykins to resign over the tapes matter as federal and state authorities investigated allegations that Boykins threatened subordinates(those investigations have since ended without charges).

After initially agreeing to step down, Boykins -- who was the city's first ever African American police chief -- rescinded his resignation and vowed to fight it.

That fight -- along with subsequent settlements and lawsuits to get the tapes released publicly -- has dragged on for seven years.

The tapes case has cost the city of South Bend upward of $2 million, local media reported, including nearly $1 million in settlements with Boykins, DePaepe and the officers involved.

The case also raised questions -- namely among African American leaders in South Bend at the time, but more recently from progressive activists -- about whether the mayor will struggle with African American voters, a key demographic in the Democratic primary.

Buttigieg, asked by CNN about the case earlier this month, said he learned a series of lessons from the controversy.

He said he had focused on making sure South Bend was complying with federal law -- but noted that wasn't what many people in South Bend were passionate about.

"For a lot of people, this wasn't about the nuances of the Wiretap Act," he said.

"This was about whether they could trust their police department."

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« on: Today at 02:40:08 am »
Tuesday, 23rd April 2019
Ex-CEO charged in New York, becomes 1st drug executive indicted in opioid crisis
by WABC News

(NEW YORK CITY) -  One of the nation's largest distributors of opioids has entered into a non-prosecution consent decree with the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, which accused the company, Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC), of failing to properly report thousands of suspicious orders of oxycodone, fentanyl and other controlled substances.

At the same time, the company's former chief executive, Lawrence Doud, has been placed under arrest by federal drug agents.

Doud is the first pharmaceutical executive associated with the nation's opioid crisis to face a criminal charge of diverting drugs for an illegitimate purpose.

The indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges Doud ordered subordinates to ignore red flags about certain pharmacy customers to maximize company revenues and his own pay, which more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 as the company's sales of drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl skyrocketed.

RDC agreed to a deferred criminal prosecution agreement, admitted to a detailed statement of facts, and consented to three years of independent compliance monitoring by an expert who will report regularly to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Additionally, RDC will pay a $20 million fine to the federal government over a five-year period.

If RDC complies with the terms of the agreement, it will not be prosecuted for its conduct during the relevant period.

"We made mistakes, and RDC understands that these mistakes, directed by former management, have serious consequences," RDC spokesperson Jeff Eller said.

"We accept responsibility for those mistakes. We can do better, we are doing better, and we will do better."

In the nation's opioid epidemic, RDC is a middleman that buys controlled substances from manufacturers and sells them to individual pharmacies.

As one of the nation's 10 largest drug distributors, it delivers to more than 1,300 pharmacies.

Along the way, federal prosecutors said it ignored certain pharmacies that were placing suspicious orders.

"RDC was well aware that many of its largest pharmacy customers exhibited red flags associated with the diversion of controlled substances, but failed to report these customers or their orders to the DEA as required," court records said.

RDC was among the drug distributors named last month in a civil lawsuit by the New York Attorney General's office, which alleged fraud, willful misconduct, and gross negligence.

Between 2010 and 2018, the company sold more than 143 million oxycodone pills to customers in New York alone, the attorney general's lawsuit said.

The DEA has been investigating for years whether RDC failed to comply with pharmaceutical reporting laws.

The company has previously paid to resolve claims it failed to properly report the theft of opioids.

According to court records, from 2012 to 2016, RDC filled more than 1.5 million orders for controlled substances from its pharmacy customers but reported just four suspicious orders to the DEA.

In reality, federal prosecutors said, there were at least 2,000 suspicious orders in those four years.

"During this period, RDC shipped large quantities of opioids to pharmacies that RDC knew exhibited dispensing patterns that suggested the pharmacies were dispensing controlled substances for illegitimate medical purposes," court records said.

"They did not report suspicious orders or pharmacy customers to the DEA because they did not want to risk losing revenue from these customers."

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« on: Today at 02:22:32 am »
Wednesday, 4th April 2019
2 idiots put on bulletproof vest, then shot each other
by ABC News

Deputies arrested two Rogers men accused of putting on bulletproof vests and shooting each other.

Charles Eugene Ferris, age 50, was on his back deck drinking with his neighbor, Christopher Hicks, age 36, on Sunday, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Ferris was wearing a bulletproof vest and told Hicks to shoot him with the vest on.

Hicks shot Ferris in the chest one time with a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, according to the report.

The bullet hit him the top left corner of the chest, and the vest stopped the bullet.

The shot still hurt Ferris and left him with a red mark on the chest.

Ferris then took the vest off, and Hicks put it on.

Charles Ferris was "pissed" about getting shot and how much it hurt, so he "unloaded the clip into Christopher's back," according to the report.

None of the rounds penetrated the vest, but Christopher Hicks suffered bruises.

Ferris went to Mercy Hospital, which notified law enforcement.

Ferris initially told deputies a story about being paid $200 to protect an "asset" and that he was shot guarding the "asset" from a man wearing a white suit near at the Wan Winkle trailhead.

Ferris later told deputies about drinking with Hicks and how they shot each other with bulletproof vests on after deputies spoke with Ferris' wife.

Both Charles Ferris and Christopher Hicks were arrested on suspicion of Aggravated Assault.

They were given a court date of May 13, 2019 at 8 a.m.

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« on: Today at 02:14:00 am »
Friday, 19th April 2019
Trial set for Indiana white woman charged in 3 students' bus stop deaths

by WLWT (NBC affiliate)

A judge has set a trial date for a northern Indiana woman accused of striking and killing three children with a pickup truck as they crossed a highway to board a school bus.

Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs tells WSBT-TV the October 5th 2019 trial date for Alyssa Shepherd of Rochester was set during a closed pretrial hearing.

Shepherd has pleaded not guilty to three counts of reckless homicide, criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus when an arm signal device is extended.

The October 2018 collision killed 6-year-old twin brothers, Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl.

Shepherd has told authorities she didn't realize she was approaching a stopped school bus, despite the activated stop arm and flashing lights.

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Hudlin TV / Re: Star Trek: Discovery
« on: Yesterday at 08:10:53 pm »
Personally trek ever!  That season finally!

Gettin' better, eh? :)

Can't watch the video Emperorjones posted because I haven't seen any of season 2 of Star Trek: Disco; the host of the segment warns viewers of spoilers of the season finale if you haven't seen any episode of season 2.  :-\

« on: Yesterday at 04:03:31 am »
Monday, 22nd April 2019
White Woman In Coachella Was Arrested After She Was Seen On Camera Tossing 7 Puppies In A Dumpster
by Tanya Chen

A 54-year-old woman suspected of tossing seven puppies into a trash can in Coachella, California, was arrested Monday after authorities linked her to disturbing security footage of the act, authorities said.

Deborah Sue Culwell was identified as the woman seen in the security camera footage that was released Friday.

In the video, a woman driving a white Jeep is caught quickly chucking a bag with the puppies inside trash can.

Officials at the Riverside County Animal Services worked with the local sheriff's department to identify and take the woman into custody Monday.

She was arrested at 5:30 p.m. at her home in Coachella, a spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animals Services said.

In a second video released Monday by Riverside County Animal Services, Culwell can be seen being handcuffed just outside the door of her home.

"Debbie, why did you do that?" someone can be heard asking her in the video. Culwell does not appear to respond.

"Where they your puppies?"

On Friday, the center received a call from an employee of a local auto parts store that a man had discovered a trash bag in on of their dumpsters that contained seven newborn puppies.

Animal services officials estimated the terrier mix puppies were about three days old.

An officer was then able to obtain surveillance footage from the store that showed a woman driving up to their trash site with a bag.

A man in the area whom described as a transient was rummaging through the dumpsters when he came across the bag of puppies and brought them into the auto parts store.

John Welsh, a spokesman for animal services, told BuzzFeed News that because the puppies were dumped in a sealed plastic bag, had they not been discovered as soon they had, they would not have survived.

Temperatures in Coachella that day were in the mid-90s, he added.

"That’s a window of 15 minutes — had he not called us, those dogs are dead," Welsh said.

"That guy is a hero in our mind."

The puppies have since been transported to a local rescue group, where they're being bottle-fed.

"There is no excuse for dumping puppies, especially in today’s age, when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners," Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer said in a news release.

"This was a shameful act."

Officials said they were planning to pursue a felony charge of animal cruelty against the woman.

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« on: Yesterday at 03:09:11 am »
Friday, 17th November 2017
Anti-LGBT politician resigns after being 'caught having sex with man in his office'
by Maya Oppenheim

An Ohio lawmaker who routinely touted his Christian faith and anti-LGBT views has resigned after being caught having sex with a man in his office.

Wes Goodman, who is the Republican state legislator for Ohio, is married to a woman who is assistant director of an annual anti-abortion rally known as March for Life.

The right-wing legislator, who pushed “family values”, was reportedly witnessed having sex with a man inside his office who was not employed by the legislator.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the observer told Ohio House Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe what had happened on Tuesday afternoon. Mr Dittoe responded by telling House Speaker Republican Cliff Rosenberger who in turn met with Mr Goodman.

The 33-year-old, who has been branded the “conscience of the conservative movement”, resigned for “inappropriate conduct” shortly after the meeting took place.

Mr Goodman, whose Twitter biography describes him as “Christian. American. Conservative. Republican. Husband to @Beth1027”, has regularly claimed "natural marriage" occurs between a man and a woman.

"Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio's proud history and the key to Ohio's future greatness,” reads his campaign website which has now been taken offline.

“The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting."

Mr Goodman was elected to represent the 87th District, in north-central Ohio, just last year.

Prior to that, he worked as an aide to US Representative Jim Jordan, a highly conservative, anti-LGBT Republican.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, named Mr Jordan in their Hall of Shame in 2014 for attempting to block marriage equality in the District of Columbia.

Mr Goodman, whose Twitter is now private and whose Facebook page has been taken offline, expressed his commitment to so-called family values in a statement back in 2013.

“Faith, family, service, stewardship, strong education, and investment in our local communities are what Ohioans value. My wife Bethany and I value those same things and are ready to get to work to serve you," he said.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, named Mr Jordan in their Hall of Shame in 2014 for attempting to block marriage equality in the District of Columbia.

Mr Goodman, whose Twitter is now private and whose Facebook page has been taken offline, expressed his commitment to so-called family values in a statement back in 2013.

“Faith, family, service, stewardship, strong education, and investment in our local communities are what Ohioans value. My wife Bethany and I value those same things and are ready to get to work to serve you," he said.

“I was alerted to details yesterday afternoon regarding his involvement in inappropriate behaviour related to his state office,” Mr Rosenberger said in a statement.

“I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations. It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”

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« on: Yesterday at 02:35:14 am »
Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Hey DJ, Don't Play That Song

by Katie Dowd

Australian media are reporting a man charged in the attempted kidnapping of a boy in San Francisco is a "prominent Perth DJ and community radio presenter."

Roscoe Bradley Holyoake, 34, was arrested Friday after police say he grabbed a 2-year-old boy from his mother's arms near Market and 17th streets.

Bystanders said he ran half a block with the boy until Good Samaritans tracked him down.

One witness told KTVU that after Holyoake drew a crowd, he allegedly "gave the boy back to the mom and then he turned and smiled at us and took off running down the street."

Roscoe Bradley Holyoake, 34, was arrested on April 12, 2019 after San Francisco police say he attempted to kidnap a 2-year-old boy.

Holyoake was detained by witnesses until police arrived on the scene.

A view of the corner of Market and 17th St in the Castro neighborhood.

A kidnapping occurred there Friday after a man allegedly tried to take a 2-year-old child from his mother, police said.

According to the Australia Broadcasting Company, Holyoake goes by the name DJ Roski professionally and is a "well-known DJ" in the local scene.

Perth community radio station RTRFM confirmed to ABC he occasionally worked as their presenter on the All Things Queer program.

He was also a resident DJ at Perth's Connections Nightclub, and formerly served on the board of Pride Western Australia.

San Francisco police are holding Holyoake on kidnapping and child endangerment charges; his bail was set at $500,000.

The boy suffered non-life threatening injuries, police said, and the family refused medical treatment.

The San Francisco Sheriff's Department inmate locater indicates Holyoake is due in court Tuesday afternoon.

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Monday, 22nd April 2019
Democrats Must Move Fearlessly Toward Impeachment
by Eugene Robinson

The constitutional case for impeaching President Trump was best made two decades ago by one of his most servile enablers, Lindsey Graham, now the senior senator from South Carolina:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body [the Senate] determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role … because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

The political case for moving deliberately but fearlessly toward impeachment is even clearer:

If timorous Democrats do not seize and define this moment, Trump surely will.

What just happened is that special counsel Robert Mueller delivered a searing indictment of a president who has no idea what “honor” and “integrity” even mean — a president who lies almost pathologically, who orders subordinates to lie, who has no respect for the rule of law, who welcomed Russian meddling in the 2016 election, who clumsily tried to orchestrate a cover-up, who tried his best to impede a lawful Justice Department investigation and failed only to the extent that aides ignored his outrageous and improper orders.

What Trump claims just happened is a "witch hunt."

Anyone who thinks there is a chance that Trump will lick his wounds and move on has not been paying attention.

Having escaped criminal charges — because he is a sitting president — Trump will go on the offensive.

With the help of Attorney General William Barr, whose title really should be Minister of Spin, the president will push to investigate the investigators and sell the bogus counternarrative of an attempted "coup" by politically motivated elements of the "deep state."

Here is the important thing:

Trump will mount this attack no matter what Democrats do.

And strictly as a matter of practical politics, the best defense against Trump has to be a powerful offense.

I fail to see the benefit for Democrats, heading into the 2020 election, of being seen as such fraidy-cats that they shirk their constitutional duty.

Mueller's portrait of this president and his administration is devastating.

According to Lindsey Graham's "honor and integrity" standard — which he laid out in January 1999, when he was one of the House prosecutors in Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate — beginning the process of impeaching Trump is not a close call.

It is also important for Democrats to keep their eyes on the prize.

The election is the one guaranteed opportunity to throw Trump and his band of grifters out of the White House, and the big anti-Trump majority that was on display in last year's midterm must be maintained and, one hopes, expanded.

But that task will largely fall to the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever that turns out to be.

Presidential contenders should be free to position themselves however they see fit on the impeachment question.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has chosen to single herself out by leading the charge.

Others may choose to demur and focus instead on the kitchen-table issues, such as health care, that polls show voters care about.

But most Democratic members of Congress (believe it or not) are not running for president.

Their focus has to be on their constitutional duty — and nowhere in the Constitution does it say "never mind about presidential obstruction of justice or abuse of power if there's an election next year."

I have no intention of letting congressional Republicans off the hook.

They have constitutional responsibilities as well, though it's clear they will not fulfill them.

Imagine, for a moment, if the tables were turned — if a GOP majority were running the House and a Democratic president did half of what Trump did.

Do you think Republicans would hesitate for a New York minute?

Articles of impeachment would have been drawn up long ago and stern-faced senators, including Graham, would already be sitting in judgment.

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans made a political error by impeaching Clinton.

But they did win the presidency in 2000 and go on to dominate Congress for most of George W. Bush's tenure.

If impeachment was a mistake, it wasn't a very costly one.

Does it "play into Trump's hands" to speak of impeachment?

I think it plays into the president's hands to disappoint the Democratic base and come across as weak and frightened.

Voters who saw the need to hold Trump accountable decided to give Democrats some power — and now expect them to use it.

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