From Fox News: The politically charged 2018 American Music Awards produced dismal viewership, setting an all-time low rating for the annual special.
According to Variety, Tuesday night’s “American Music Awards” on ABC earned a disappointing 1.8 rating among the key demo of adults age 18-49 with 6.5 million total viewers, according to the Hollywood trade publication. The total was down 25 percent compared to its 2.4 demo rating in 2017.
The show – which aired on a Tuesday as opposed to the typical Sunday — dropped approximately 29 percent in total viewers after drawing 9.2 million last year, the outlet reports.
During the low-rated show, Taylor Swift – who recently broke her longtime political silence by slamming Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn — urged fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
“This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people,” the 28-year-old popstar said while accepting the Artist of the Year award, Swift’s third win of the night. She continued: “And you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Get out and vote. I love you guys.”
Comedian Billy Eichner called the upcoming midterms “the biggest election of our lifetime” and urged viewers to vote.
“Please grab your friends. Tell them to vote. If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it, don’t let anyone tell you your vote won’t count,” Eichner said.
On Sunday, Swift took to social media to declare her support for a pair of Democrats — Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and Rep. Jim Cooper.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” she told her 112 million Instagram followers. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.”
Swift opened the American Music Awards with a performance and took home the coveted Artist of the Year award. Other big winners included Camila Cabello, Post Malone, Migos, Young Thug, Cardi B, Rihanna, Khalid, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars, Kane Brown and the late XXXTentacion.
Apparently not all of Chiraq’s illegal guns come from Indiana.
From MyFoxChicago: Most of the roughly 400 guns that were stolen from a United Parcel Service facility in Tennessee have been recovered in the Chicago area, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Authorities seized about 365 Ruger .22-caliber and .380-caliber firearms after police officers responded to a call about suspicious activity in the southern Chicago suburb of Midlothian on Sunday afternoon – about 12 hours after the guns were taken from a UPS facility in Memphis, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent said in court documents.
ATF had said the guns being shipped from a Ruger factory in North Carolina were taken by two men in a U-Haul truck. ATF spokesman Michael Knight said the truck was recovered along with the guns.
Court documents said officers found the truck at a store parking lot in Midlothian and questioned 24-year-old Roland Jackson of Chicago and 18-year-old Taveyan Turnbo before they both ran away.
Turnbo was arrested hours later and faces federal charges of possessing stolen firearms. He was scheduled for an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. Court documents said he denied taking part in the theft at the UPS facility.
Jackson faces federal charges of being a convicted felon illegally possessing firearms. The ATF said he remained at large Tuesday.
The estimate of 400 stolen firearms makes it one of the largest single gun thefts the ATF has investigated, Knight said.
Turnbo told investigators he and Jackson had sold at least three of the guns for a total of $400, according to court documents.
UPS said it is cooperating with law enforcement.
ATF had asked the public to send social media posts, photos or any other information related to the theft. A $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
If you have any information on Jackson’s whereabouts, call 1-800-ATF-GUNS.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
Taxpayer relief shot provided for this criminal.
And a good example of why one chooses to have firearms in strategic locations throughout their home.
From Fox17: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Metro Police have identified the alleged robber shot by a homeowner during a home invasion in Hermitage on Wednesday night. Terry Adams, Jr., 27, of Ashland City, Tenn., died overnight. Adams is a convicted felon out of Cheatham County and Nashville.
Police say the 43-year-old homeowner was away from his Richard Lee Circle residence when two “strange men” entered through a back door and struck his wife. The homeowner arrived to find the back door open and walked into the kitchen where he was struck on the head with a “blunt object,” causing a skull fracture. The man was ordered to open his gun safe and the robbers took three long guns and a pistol. During this time, the wife fled to a neighbors house and the two suspects left with the guns.
Police said the homeowner, unsure of where his wife went, gota pistol out of another room and headed outside where he again met the robbers. During an altercation, police said the homeowner fired at the suspects, fatally striking Adams.
The second robber dropped the guns and fled. He remains on the run. The homeowner is currently being treated in the hospital.
Police said the same Hermitage home was burglarized on Feb, 6 and a flat screen TV was taken. Adams is a suspect in that case. Adams has been convicted of attempted burglary in Nashville and has several convictions ranging from car theft, to felony theft to aggravated assault in Cheatham County. He also plead guilty last November to two misdemeanors stemming from a felony meth possession for resale and gun charges.
At the time of Wednesday’s home invasion, Adams was wanted on two probation violations.
McGraw previously performed at a Sandy Hook benefit, which caused some controversy. He’s staying put on his push for gun control.
Can’t we just start with enforcing current gun laws?
From The Mercury News: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill might have just alienated themselves from the majority of country music’s conservative fan base. In a wide-ranging interview with Billboard, the husband and wife country superstars opened up about their support for gun control.
“Look, I’m a bird hunter — I love to wing-shoot,” McGraw said. “However, there is some common sense that’s necessary when it comes to gun control. “They want to make it about the Second Amendment every time it’s brought up. It’s not about the Second Amendment.”
Billboard conducted the interview less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 and injuring nearly 500 people in attendance at the Las Vegas country music festival. The country music community has since been criticized for its tepid response.
On Wednesday, the Country Music Association Awards did briefly honor the Las Vegas victims. Host Carrie Underwood sang “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” as pictures of the 58 victims were displayed.
But there was little acknowledgment of the tragedy beyond that. In fact, CMA organizers originally banned journalists from asking about Las Vegas and guns, but a public backlash forced them to reverse course.
Hill and McGraw were in attendance at the Nashville award show, and performed “The Rest of Our Life.”
“In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there,” said Hill in the Billboard interview. “The doctors that (treated) the wounded, they saw wounds like you’d see in war. That’s not right. Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country.”
Shannon Watts hardest hit.
From Fox News: Laws allowing concealed guns on college campuses took effect Saturday in several states, including Georgia and Kansas. In Tennessee, concealed guns may now be carried in a broader range of public buildings and bus stations. And in Iowa, permit holders are now able to carry concealed guns in the Capitol.
Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association Institute of Legislative Action, described 2017 as another “successful year for gun rights.” The new laws continue a pattern of the expansion of gun rights in GOP-controlled states.
The firearms policies are among scores of laws that took effect Saturday, along with the start of the new fiscal year in many states. Some of those laws continue a recent trend of states taking the initiative to fix aging roads and address the drug overdose epidemic. The gun laws reflect divided public preferences, highlighted by a recent Pew survey that found people nearly evenly split on whether gun control or gun rights were more important.
In Kansas, college students expressed mixed feelings about the new law. “A couple of my friends decided that they were going to go somewhere else, because it kind of freaked them out,” Elena Mendoza, who will start school at Johnson County Community College in the fall, was quoted as telling the Kansas City Star. “Most of us were like, if someone has access to a weapon, they can use it either way.”
Chris Gray, a Johnson County Community College spokesman, said that some students are concerned about the impact of the law. “Generally speaking, people do feel very safe and always have here on campus,” Gray told the Star. “There is that fear of the unknown. What is going to happen?” Gray said.
Johnson County Community College student Nick Serum, 20, believes the law will make the campus more secure. “Does it make me feel safer? I’d say yes,” Serum said to the Star.
Cale Ostby, 27, a Wichita State University student, said that many people in Kansas have concealed guns, and that the concept is nothing new. “It’s insane that I can carry everywhere else except school,” Ostby said.
A voter-approved gun-control initiative prohibiting people from possessing ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets was to go into effect Saturday in California. But it was blocked by a federal judge, who said it would have made criminals out of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who own the magazines. A similar law passed by the Democratic-dominated Legislature also is subject to the preliminary injunction.
For decades, the National Rifle Association pushed for state laws allowing people to carry concealed guns with permits. Having succeeded nationwide, gun-rights advocates now are gradually expanding where those weapons can be taken. Yet even some of the new laws contain exceptions. Georgia’s law allows people with concealed handgun permits to take their weapons into classrooms but not dormitories, and college sports fans can pack weapons while tailgating but not inside stadiums.
A Tennessee law allowing guns in many local public buildings, bus stations and parks can be voided if authorities instead opt to install metal detectors staffed by security guards. Concealed guns are now allowed at college campuses in Kansas as a result of a 2013 law that applies to public buildings lacking heightened security such as metal detectors and guards. A four-year exemption for universities expired Saturday. But in a setback for the NRA, a law that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is allowing to take effect without his signature will make permanent a similar exemption for public hospitals and mental health centers.
In Iowa, the new law allowing permit holders to carry concealed guns in the Capital prompted the state Supreme Court to ban weapons in all courthouses statewide.
Gun rights advocates lauded the laws expanding the circumstances in which people may carry an arm.
Advocates for greater gun regulations also are pleased with the results. On Thursday, Democratic-led Hawaii became the third state to enact a law requiring notification to law enforcement when people prohibited from owning guns try to obtain them anyway.
“This was an excellent year for killing bad gun-lobby bills,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The bills that the gun lobby did get through, in many cases, we helped to water those down.”
Read the rest of the story here.
Way to punish the athletes and guarantee diminishing alumni donations. Brilliant move California…
From SF Gate: California’s newly expanded ban on state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people could trip up intercollegiate athletic teams in the coming years — not only by restricting where they may play, but how they tap new recruits. As of Thursday, state employees — including those at the University of California and California State University — are banned from traveling on the public dime to eight states. The shunned states often appear on college teams’ travel schedules. They are: Alabama, Texas, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and South Dakota. “In terms of recruiting, under current California law our coaches would be restricted from using state funds to travel to affected states,” says a statement issued Friday by the Cal Athletics Department.
On Friday, a day after state Attorney General Xavier Becerra expanded the list from four to eight states, his office told The Chronicle it had received a request for a legal opinion on whether the ban applies to “athletic team staffs” at UC and CSU. His office did not respond when asked who had made the request.
Each of the states in the ban has enacted a discriminatory law since June 26, 2015, according to Becerra, such as preventing adoptions and foster care by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people (South Dakota and Alabama) or allowing school clubs to restrict membership on that basis (Kentucky). In Texas, a law that passed June 15 prohibits the state from “taking adverse action” against religious caregivers, which critics say gives them too much power over the welfare of LGBT children.
California’s travel ban took effect in January and specifically includes the two university systems. But it also exempts them from the ban to fulfill any athletic contracts they entered into with schools in the affected states before Jan. 1. That helps many major college athletic teams — for now — because they set their travel schedules with other schools sometimes years in advance. But the exemption does not apply to collegiate postseason contests, where teams that do well could find they are headed for one of the states in question. Eight sports are scheduled to have their top-tier NCAA regionals or championships in states affected by the travel ban within a year: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. The most notable is the men’s Final Four basketball championship, to be held in San Antonio.
The others are men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s indoor track. Championships for lower-tier schools, including many in the CSU system, also are scheduled for some of the states included in the ban.
When California’s ban took effect in January, the Cal athletic department issued a statement saying: “Our intent is to support our student-athletes in their right to participate in NCAA postseason competition should they be assigned to a restricted state.” But it’s not clear how they could do that, short of raising private donations to support not only travel costs, but also salaries for coaches and staff, and potentially insurance.
Meanwhile, Cal had been in preliminary talks for a men’s basketball series with the University of Kansas in January, when the travel ban that included Kansas took effect. “Cal got back to us and told us the state ban would prevent it,” said Jim Marchiony, a spokesman for KU athletics.
On Friday, Cal issued a new statement affirming its support of “equity, diversity and inclusion,” adding: “We have an obligation and firm commitment to remain compliant with California law.” The statement also said Cal will fulfill any contracts it signed with affected states before January.
Cal’s baseball team is signed on to play in the Frisco College Baseball Classic in March in Texas. The contract for the event, which features Texas A&M, Baylor and Louisiana Tech, was signed two years ago, former Bears head coach David Esquer said.
At California State University, several campuses have major sports teams, including Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Fresno State and San Jose State.
The news that Texas is now included in the travel ban has made some sports fans nervous at San Jose State, and Lawrence Fan, spokesman for campus athletics, has been fielding questions — mostly about whether the San Jose Spartans will be able to play its scheduled football game at the University of Texas in September. Fan tells them not to worry. The contract was signed in September.
Nevertheless, CSU is taking a close look at the expanded travel ban and will consult with the attorney general if needed, said Toni Molle, spokeswoman for systemwide Chancellor Timothy White. However, she said, “The CSU fully intends to comply with the law, and we will not be using any state funds to pay for travel expenses to any of the banned states.”
Ricardo Vazquez, a spokesman for UC, agreed. But he said, “There have been instances where UC sports teams or researchers attending conferences have used nonstate funds to travel to the states on the list.”
Vazquez did not reply when asked for examples.
At UCLA, spokeswoman Liza David said the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics receives no state funding, but said that UCLA is “committed to promoting and protecting equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Considering that Timberlake supports Hillary, he may not be the brightest bulb. We should at least be grateful that he’s not offering blowjobs to anyone voting for Hillary.
From Daily Mail: Tennessee officials are investigating Justin Timberlake after the singer took a selfie in a voting booth.
In a photo posted to his Instagram account on Monday, the 35-year-old celebrity stands in front of a ballot machine and makes a scrunched up face. The caption reads: ‘Hey! You! Yeah, YOU! I just flew from LA to Memphis to #rockthevote !!! No excuses, my good people! There could be early voting in your town too. If not, November 8th! Choose to have a voice! If you don’t, then we can’t HEAR YOU! Get out and VOTE! #excerciseyourrighttovote.’ Taking a photo or recording audio in a voting booth is a crime in Tennessee, with a penalty of up to 30 days in prison and a $50 fine.
After the picture was posted on Monday, a representative from the Shelby County, Tennessee District Attorney’s office told TMZ that Timberlake’s actions are ‘under review’. The Tennessee law banning ballot selfies was passed last year and so far no one has been prosecuted for violating it. An official for the election board where Justin voted told TMZ that the hitmaker should be lauded for calling on his more than 31million followers to vote.
Timberlake and his wife Jessica Biel hosted a $33,400-a-ticket fundraiser for Hillary Clinton last spring.
Laws nationwide are mixed on whether voters are allowed to take pictures of themselves in the act or of their ballots – ‘ballot selfies’. Federal judges have struck down bans on selfies in New Hampshire and Indiana, and rules have been changed in places like California and Rhode Island, but in many states it’s still a violation that carries potential fines or jail terms. There are laws against sharing any photo of your ballot in 18 states, while six other states bar photography in polling places but do allow photos of mail-in ballots.
Critics say such regulations have not kept up with technology and are confusing for voters and election workers. Some states that ban ballot selfies or have moved to block them cite concerns the photos could harm the integrity of the voting process by encouraging vote-buying or coercion, though some acknowledge there’s no evidence to support those fears.
From Fox News: As Tennessee lawmakers raised cigarette taxes to 62 cents per pack in 2007, one veteran representative wanted even more, saying it “should have been a dollar.”
Prosecutors say that was part of Rep. Joe Armstrong’s elaborate scheme not to raise revenue or curb smoking rates but to line his own pockets. He’s accused of failing to pay taxes on money he made — more than $300,000 — by buying tax stamps at the old rate and selling them at the higher one. Armstrong’s attorneys said at his federal trial Tuesday that he isn’t corrupt, but simply a victim of his accountant’s poor advice. The indictment against Armstrong alleges he devised a scheme beginning in 2006 to profit from the cigarette tax hike planned by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a fellow Democrat. Armstrong was by Bredesen’s side when he toured east Tennessee to promote the 42-cent increase as a way to raise education funding and said at the time it should have been as much as $1 per pack.
According to the charges, the longtime legislator from Knoxville borrowed $250,000 to buy tax stamps through a wholesaler at the old 20-cent rate and then sold them at a profit after lawmakers more than tripled the tax in 2007.
His attorney, Gregory Isaacs, argued in court that there was nothing illegal about Armstrong making money off the purchase of the cheaper tax stamps. In fact, Isaacs said, he had every intention of paying taxes on the profits. Isaacs blamed Armstrong’s accountant for failing to turn over money he gave him to the Internal Revenue Service.
“Joe did what a lot of Tennesseans did,” Isaacs told the jury. “They’re going to try to get him convicted for listening to his longtime accountant.” Prosecutors argue that political considerations drove Armstrong, who was then the chairman of the House Health Committee, to conceal his role and withhold the taxes. “He couldn’t be seen to be getting money from Big Tobacco,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dale said. “Show Mr. Armstrong that he’s not above the law,” Dale urged the jury.
Isaacs responded that the government’s case hinges on the testimony of Charles Stivers, the accountant who filed the lawmaker’s tax returns. Isaacs said Armstrong had paid Stivers the money to cover the taxes, but that the accountant had pocketed that amount instead of paying the IRS. According to Stivers’ plea agreement, the return on the purchase of $250,000 worth of tax stamps was $750,000, and he agreed to a 15 percent cut for funneling the proceeds through his bank. That 15 percent cut would have covered Armstrong’s tax burden, Isaacs said.
The longtime legislator wasn’t alone in taking advantage of the lag between when the tax hike passed and when it took effect. State officials saw a $9 million surge in tax stamp sales during that four-month period.
Earlier Tuesday, prosecutors succeeded in excluding the lone African-American potential juror from the trial over what they called “race-neutral reasons.” District Judge Thomas W. Phillips agreed with prosecutor Charles Atchley’s argument that the 68-year-old retired caregiver had been “disengaged” during jury selection and that she would have had difficulty following a complex tax case. “I have to have good jurors on this case,” Atchley told the judge. Isaacs had argued that his client, who is black, deserved to be tried by a jury of his peers and there was no legitimate reason to exclude the juror.
Armstrong became Knox County’s youngest commissioner in 1982, and was first elected to the state House in 1988. A former president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, he is tied with two other lawmakers as the longest-serving members in the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.
Prosecutors said they expect to wrap up their portion of the trial by Thursday, which is also when Tennessee holds its primary election. Armstrong faces no Democratic opponent, but his political future hinges on the outcome of the trial.
DEC 20TH 2012 Doomsday Calendar, My Arse. Chuck Norris Looked at it…it Stopped. AUG 5TH 2012 You’ll never win the gold medal in fencing if you bring a knife to a Chuck Norris fight. DEC 13TH 2012 In space, no one can hear you scream, unless Chuck Norris makes you scream. OCT 14TH 2012 One small step for man, one giant push from Chuck Norris FEB 18TH 2013 No meteors hit us this year – but Chuck Norris hit a few of them.
~Steve~ H/T Seth
Florida A Florida senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he pushed it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.
“Amazing,” he thought as he flew down I-95, pushing the pedal even more. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a Florida State Trooper, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, “What am I doing? I’m too old for this!” and pulled over to await the trooper’s arrival. Pulling in behind him, the trooper got out of his vehicle and walked up to the Corvette. He looked at his watch, then said, “Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a new reason for speeding – a reason I’ve never before heard – I’ll let you go..” The old gentleman paused then said, “Three years ago, my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.”
“Have a good day, Sir,” replied the trooper. Georgia The owner of a golf course in Georgia was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, “Y’all graduated from theUniversity of Georgia and I need some help. If I wuz to give yew $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?” The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, “Everthang but my earrings.” Louisiana A senior citizen in Louisiana was overheard saying, “When the end of the world comes, I hope to be in Louisiana .” When asked why, he replied, “I’d rather be in Louisiana ‘cause everythang happens in Louisiana 20 years later than in the rest of the world.” Mississippi The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, “Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!” Bubba replied, “Did y’all see who it was?” The young man answered, “I couldn’t tell, but I got the license number.” North Carolina A man in North Carolina had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it. Then he got back in the car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by, and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was. The man replied, “I got a flat tahr.” The passerby asked, “But what’s with the flowers?” The man responded, “When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back. I never did understand it neither.” Tennessee A Tennessee State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-65. The trooper asked, “Got any ID?” The driver replied, “Bout whut?” Texas The Sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his pick-up into the ditch. The Sheriff asked, “Why are you dumping garbage in the ditch? Don’t you see that sign right over your head.”
“Yep,” he replied. “That’s why I’m dumpin’ it here, ‘cause it says: ‘Fine For Dumping Garbage.’” Y’all kin say whut y’all want ‘about the South, but y’all never heard o’ nobody retirin’ an’ movin’ North.
~Steve~ H/T Wild Bill Alaska