FINALLY, An Incredible Father’s Day Gift for Veteran David Brayton

We’ve covered California veteran David Brayton’s lung transplant journey for over a year now, as he first fought for and received approval from the Veterans Administration to have the surgery performed locally, then fought an initial denial from UCLA (after months of waiting), and then through the agony of waiting for a lung.

At 6 a.m. Saturday morning David received a call from UCLA that a lung was available – the fifth such call he’d received. The first time he received such a call, he and his wife, Courtney, excitedly rushed to UCLA and prepped for surgery only to find that it was a “dry lung.” It’s rare that donor lungs end up being unusable, but it happened three more times.

Saturday’s call ended up being the lucky one! Courtney went on Facebook Live to share the good news with friends, family, and supporters that David was in surgery and they were absolutely certain the donor lung was good. She later updated everyone:

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ‘’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Dr Kwon just came to talk to us. David is out of surgery!! It went well!!! He will be in ICU by 10 they think. He could…

Posted by Courtney Brayton on Saturday, June 16, 2018

As of Sunday morning David’s doctors said he is doing well. He is still under sedation until a bronchoscopy is performed later in the day. Courtney and David are asking for everyone’s continued prayers as he recovers from surgery.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ‘’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Good morning everyone. Thank you for the messages. I haven't read them all but will. David's mom and I are with David…

Posted by Courtney Brayton on Sunday, June 17, 2018

It’s a happy Father’s Day for the Braytons, indeed!


Please follow me on Twitter @jenvanlaar, and on Facebook.

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BREAKING: Trump, Kim Jong-Un Sign Document Committing to ‘Denuclearization’ of Peninsula

UPDATED 11:55 PM Pacific:

President Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un held a ceremony in Singapore to sign “what Trump called a ‘pretty comprehensive’ and important document after hours of talks, both behind closed doors and in public.

The details of the document have not yet been released, but copies of the document are to be handed out to reporters and Trump said he’ll be holding a press conference around 4 a.m. Eastern time.

This story will be updated as more details become available.

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Sacramento Liberals Force Cancellation of ICE Contract, Harm Detainees

One of the complaints progressives have about immigration enforcement is that detainees can be held for a long period of time and away from their families or friends who might want to visit them, and makes it more difficult for attorneys to properly represent them.

ICE currently contracts with county and city jails across the country to house detainees who are awaiting deportation proceedings, which is a win-win. The local government receives funding to defray the cost of running the jail, and ICE doesn’t have to build its own facilities. That detainees can then be housed near their “home” is a bonus.

Apparently Sacramento County officials don’t think it’s such a good thing. Since 2013 they’ve received $6 million a year from ICE to house detainees at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, but county supervisors voted 3-2 this week to cancel the contract. The center currently houses 82 detainees, “most of whom have a previous criminal history,” but one Sacramento lawyer pushed for the county to cancel the contract after seeing a 2015 report detailing “inhumane” treatment of detainees.

Obviously no one wants any prisoner, citizen or not, to be tortured or treated inhumanely. But, come on, look at the standard in California prisons or any prisons nationwide compared to the rest of the world. Yes, abuses happen, but in general nobody here is treated inhumanely.

Supervisor Phil Serna, who voted to cancel the contract, said, “Our budgets are reflective of our values.”

Because of those values, detainees will be moved FURTHER from their families, and Sacramento will lose $6 million in funding for its jail. About the funding, Supervisor Sue Frost said:

“We’ll have to look into our discretionary funds and into our other programs to see what we have to cut to figure out how we’re going to pay for that.”

Hmmm, betcha Serna and his two allies didn’t think about that part.

On the plus side, there are now more beds available for non-detainees.

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Parents of CA Congressional Candidate Terrorized by Scam Kidnappers

The day after California GOP congressional candidate Justin Fareed secured a spot on the ballot in November’s general election for the 24th District, his parents received a scary phone call.

The person on the other end of the line told the Fareeds they were part of the “Mexican Mafia” and had kidnapped their daughter. Mrs. Fareed could hear a young woman screaming in the background and assumed it was her daughter.

They were terrified. Justin Fareed told local TV station KEYT:

“Often times that creates a sense that adversely affects one’s judgment. It makes them jump to conclusions. My mom heard on the other end of the phone what she thought was my sister and it turned out to be a complete con. My sister is just fine,” said Fareed.

Santa Barbara County Sheriffs said no kidnappings have taken place, but the scammers do their homework in an effort to seem legitimate.

Residents who have answered these types of calls report the caller has spoken about their loved one by name. The callers often claim to be members of a drug cartel but in some instances, may represent themselves as corrupt law enforcement. They usually have specific instructions for the victim to ensure the safe return of their family member which typically involves a ransom payment.

Law enforcement officers responded to the Fareed home to investigate and reassure the family. According to Sheriff’s Office, if you receive a call like this they suggest you:

  • Hang up the phone.
  • Immediately contact family members.
  • Notify law enforcement.

But if you suspect the call might be legitimate, they suggest you call the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency immediately.

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Finally, a Weapons Ban That Failed in California!

Would you believe a proposed weapons ban failed in the California legislature? And no, it’s not April Fool’s Day.

After Elon Musk’s off-the-cuff remark last December promising to sell “Boring Company” flamethrowers if he sold 50,000 “Boring Company” hats, enterprising Rep. Miguel Santiago (I think of “A Few Good Men” every time I hear his name, which is often since he apparently hates civil rights) decided it was up to him to save the day and ban flamethrowers!


Flamethrowers that “emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of more than 10 feet” are already regulated through the State Fire Marshal, but Santiago’s AB 1949 would have created a lower tier of flame thrower, Tier II, which are:

“[D]esigned or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of at least 2 feet, but not exceeding 10 feet, or any stationary, nonstationary, or transportable device designed or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable gas a distance of at least 10 feet.”

Initially Santiago wanted Tier II flame throwers deemed “illegal to sell, use, or possess without a permit issued by the State Fire Marshal,” but in the final version they would have been illegal to sell in the state without a warning label.

As if you don’t already know that using a flamethrower could be a dangerous proposition. (Just ask Zoolander.)

The folks at Firearms Policy Coalition pointed out the ridiculousness of Santiago’s rush to legislation.

AB 1949 is little more than an Internet “flame war” turned into a cheap public relations stunt – with a Legislative Counsel-assigned RN number – on the taxpayer’s dime and at the cost of significant legislative resources, we would add.

Given this, we must ask: What’s next? Would the Legislature propose a ban on large containers of dihydrogen monoxide because someone on Facebook suggests one could die from consuming too much of it?

Unfortunately, in this busy election cycle the bill stalled, then died at the end of the day Friday, a victim of Sacramento’s notorious “suspense” file. The lucky 20,000 people who shelled out $500 for a flamethrower should receive them – or even attend a “pick-up party” Musk is hosting – in about a week.

It turns out that flamethrowers might have a side benefit Santiago hadn’t thought of. A piece at Nerdist describes a new phenomenon known as “Flame weeding.”

“Flame weeding is what we like to call a ‘slow kill.’ Essentially, you are destroying cell structure in the plant leaf. The weed will no longer put energy toward growth (photosynthesis) taking the kill though the root system. YES, flame weeding will kill the roots too! Even on big weeds (over 6″), you will see a stunting effect and even a kill within a few days, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.”

Got that? You “strap a propane tank to the back of a tractor” with specialized equipment and off you go. Farming has never sounded so fun.

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“Alexa” Update: Even More Reasons to be Alarmist

Last week I shared the story of a Portland couple whose private conversation, held in their own living room, was recorded and sent to one of the husband’s telephone contacts by their Alexa device. I said that scenario was Reason 7,483 Why I’ll Never Allow Alexa in My Home. (Clearly I was exaggerating a bit about the number of reasons.)

Shortly after I finished writing the piece Amazon released a statement to CNBC with their explanation of what happened (I corrected their punctuation before adding it here. Misplaced commas and periods outside of quotation marks drive me nuts):

Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like “Alexa.” Then the subsequent conversation was heard as a “send message” request. At which point Alexa said out loud, “To whom?” At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, “[contact name], right?” Alexa then interpreted background conversation as, “Right.” As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.

Even if the string of events is unlikely, it’s still very disturbing.

My original article generated a number of comments, and I was surprised by how many thought my view was slightly (or very) alarmist. After I investigated the issue, I realized I might not be alarmist enough! In addition to my “No Alexa” policy, I have tape over the camera on my laptop(s), keep the microphone disabled, and have “location” and “microphone” turned off on most of the apps on my smartphone.

Even so, I didn’t realize everything apps can do when they’re given permission to access your phone’s mic and camera. they have the ability to:

  • Access both the front and the back camera.
  • Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
  • Take pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
  • Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
  • Livestream the camera on to the internet.
  • Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person.
  • Upload random frames of the video stream to your web service and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.

In addition to the “tape over the laptop camera” method, here are a few ways to protect yourself:

A good first step to counteracting these issues is study what permissions an app asks for. Does an app like LinkedIn really require camera access? Does an app like Twitter really require microphone access? Before you download an app, check out the reviews and search for any negative information about it to prevent yourself future harm.

Always make sure to cover your webcam with tape, and plug out your microphones when you’re done using them. You never know who’s watching, or what’s happening in the background on your device. It’s only paranoia until it’s too late.

Some say, “Well, why are you so worried about it? If you’re not doing anything wrong, why should you care?”

I honestly can’t believe any conservative would make such a statement, but I’ll answer. The first one is because I’m a freedom-loving, red-blooded American and I want to have control over what information I give to whom. It’s none of their business. Beyond that, there is no way of knowing what thoughts or beliefs will be politically correct at a given time and no way of knowing who accesses information once it’s out of my control, so am going to do everything I can to protect my privacy. In addition, there are a lot of crazy people out there. The work that I do puts me in the spotlight, and my opinions sometimes tick people off. I don’t want those crazy people to have information they can use to harm me or my loved ones.

Back to that device I love to hate, the smartphone. (No, really. I went on a long vacation earlier this year and was pretty much smartphone/internet free for three weeks. I thought I might die from deprivation, but it was glorious. I can’t wait to do it again.) Before you mindlessly grant microphone access to a game app, figuring there must be some innocent reason it’s needed, consider this, from a December 2017 New York Times article:

Hundreds of Android apps have been found snooping on their users with the built-in microphones on smartphones. Specifically, these apps are listening for TV show broadcasts, commercials, and even movies you watch in the theater, amassing information on what kind of things you like to watch. The third-party software, from a company called Alphonso, has been embedded in many Android apps available for free on the Play Store. Some of the apps are also available on the iPhone, and their App Store entries claim to use the same technology and snooping habits.

Through a deal with Shazam (an app that detects what song a user is listening to), Alphonso utilizes their technology to “sample small bits of audio,” like a TV show you’re watching, before searching a database to identify the show or movie. The app developer can then sell the data its compiled to advertisers, who now know if you binge-watch The Walking Dead or Hallmark movies.

According to How To Geek, Alphonso maintains that its software only records audio coming from electronic devices and not your conversations. But, as in the Alexa incident that prompted my initial article, how do we know the software didn’t confuse a voice? Could that explain why,for example, people who mention to their spouse that they’d like to try a certain new restaurant – and have that conversation in their own home, not on the phone and not on text – suddenly receive advertisements from that restaurant when they’re online?

The bottom line is that in this connected society it’s naive to think that anything we say or do online – or even in our own home – cannot be monitored. The only way to fully avoid it is to live completely off the grid. Barring that, we can make it as difficult as possible to be monitored – and that’s exactly what I plan to keep doing. #NeverAlexa!

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Reason 7,483 Why I’ll Never Allow Alexa in My Home

Since the time Alexa was released I have been adamantly opposed to having it or any similar device in my home. They’re not eavesdropping, sure. Any time I shared that fear I was looked at as if I was a wacky conspiracy theorist. Now there’s a story illustrating precisely why my adamant opposition was justified and why it won’t change.

A young Portland couple whose home was outfitted with a full complement of Alexa devices received a phone call from one of the husband’s employees (who lives in Seattle) that changed their view on the intrusive technology. After an unsatisfactory resolution from Amazon, Danielle shared her story with local news station KIRO.

Every room in their home was connected to Alexa, from which the couple controlled the home’s lights, heat, and security system. Danielle told the news station:

“‘My husband and I would randomly joke and say, I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying.’

“But…two weeks ago their love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. ‘The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now,’ she said. ‘You’re being hacked.’


“That person was one of her husband’s employees, calling from Seattle.

“‘We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,’ she said. ‘At first, my husband was, like, ‘no you didn’t!’ And she said ,’You sat there talking about hardwood floors.’ And we said, ‘oh gosh, you really did hear us.’

“The employee, 176 miles away, received the recording out of the blue.”

That could have been extremely awkward, depending on what activities the couple were undertaking at the time.

After unplugging the devices, Danielle called Amazon to find out what the heck was going on.

“‘They said, ‘our engineers went through your logs, and they saw exactly what you told us, they saw exactly what you said happened, and we’re sorry.’ He apologized like 15 times in a matter of 30 minutes and he said we really appreciate you bringing this to our attention, this is something we need to fix!”

According to Danielle, the engineer said the device guessed at what they were saying and sent the audio file. Amazon didn’t confirm that, but told KIRO:

“Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.”

Danielle asked for a refund on all of their Alexa products, but Amazon would rather just “de-provision”her devices. She doesn’t want them anywhere near her and is still fighting for a full refund.

I wonder why?

Are there hundreds or thousands or millions of Alexa devices out there either capable of the same thing or already doing the same thing, unbeknownst to their owners? That isn’t out of the realm of possibility and, if Amazon knows about it, they’re probably keeping an extremely tight lid on it while they scramble to find an acceptable fix.

People across the political spectrum vigorously fight for their privacy in the face of laws like the Patriot Act, yet willingly invite a device they know is listening to every word (how else does it know when to turn on?) into their home, sometimes into each room of their home. How gullible are we?

I would advise against anyone having this technology in their home. I’m even thinking of asking each person whose home I visit if they use Alexa or similar devices. There’s no way I will have conversations in such an environment.

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LAPD Chief Beck’s Curious Defense to Trump’s Sanctuary Criticism

Although his department has defended the “rights” of illegal aliens with far more vigor than the civil rights of actual United States citizens and legal residents for decades, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck took great umbrage at President Trump’s recent allegation that the Sanctuary State law led to his department refusing to honor a detainer for an illegal alien who was then arrested for murder.

During a White House roundtable on Sanctuary State policies, Trump said:

“In January, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested an illegal immigrant from Mexico for drug possession. Instead of honoring the ICE detainer, they set him free. Just a few weeks later, he was arrested again, this time for murder. So they arrested him, they had him, they let him go. Tom, you’ve seen this. They let him go, and he killed somebody.”

The media had a field day fact-checking his statements. wrote:

“That’s not how it happened.

“The murder occurred last summer — before federal immigration officials say they issued a detainer request — so it did not happen after police released him, as Trump implied.”

Chief Beck couldn’t let that stain on the integrity of his department stand. (Remember, this is the guy who, before SB 54 was even drafted, instituted a secret internal policy that made it more difficult for LAPD officers to arrest a known felon illegal alien than an “ordinary US citizen.) The LA Times reports:

“In fact, Beck told the city’s civilian Police Commission, the murder occurred last summer, before the man was arrested in January on suspicion of a minor narcotics violation.

“There was no such request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Beck said.

“‘Not that we would have honored it, anyway, because we believe those requests are illegal,’ the police chief said.

“Beck said the murder occurred in the Van Nuys area and may have been related to the narcotics trade and the Blythe Street gang. He identified the man as Juan Ramirez.”

In other words, Beck says, don’t believe what that bullying orange man says. Pfft, ICE didn’t request a detainer on this illegal alien, known gang member, and probable drug dealer – but if they did, we wouldn’t have honored it anyway because we don’t believe in federal laws.

An ICE spokeswoman gave the Times a different timeline. According to that agency, Ramirez was arrested on November 27, 2o17 and January 7, 2018, and both times a detainer was issued. The Sanctuary State laws did not go into effect until January 1, 2018, but, as previously mentioned, LAPD operated under Beck’s directive long before that.

“Statements that ICE failed to file detainers for each of Mr. Ramirez’ arrests are incorrect,” said [ICE] spokeswoman, Sarah Rodriguez. “ICE has placed three detainers on Mr. Ramirez in the last six months, all of which were not honored, leaving Mr. Ramirez free to reoffend in an escalating fashion rather than be placed in immigration court proceedings and removed from the United States.”

Ramirez was arrested on February 26, 2018 on the murder charge. The date of offense is August 27, 2017, so yes, Beck is correct that if detainers were issued (and ignored) in those cases, it wouldn’t have prevented the murder.  But hey, had he been arrested before that and had ICE issued a detainer, we would have let him go on his merry way!

And, reading Trump’s statement again, it is correct.

The city’s Police Commissioner, Cynthia McClain-Hill, agrees with Beck’s idiotic “It didn’t happen that way, but we wouldn’t have honored detainers anyway” defense.

“I appreciate the chief being so emphatic in defending the actions of the department in not cooperating with ICE, in compliance with the values of the city, the mayor and the commission.”

The LA Times didn’t investigate whether Ramirez had been arrested previously, and a search of news records didn’t turn up any concurrent stories. (If it was a drug murder in Van Nuys, it wouldn’t have made the LA Times, sadly.)

But why is there such a hubbub about this one case and whether or not Trump got it right? There weren’t published fact checks regarding Trump’s comments about Marilyn Pharis, another California victim of illegal alien crime. Jury selection started in the trial of her murderers around the time the roundtable was held, but major media outlets didn’t utter a word about her case. Of Pharis, Trump said:

“We all remember the tragic case of Marilyn Pharis, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been arrested six times prior to breaking into Marilyn’s home, raping her and savagely beating her to death with a hammer.”

Pharis, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran, worked a civilian job at Vandenburg Air Force Base and lived in Santa Maria, California. She awoke one morning in July 2015 to find a man on top of her, sexually assaulting her, while his accomplice stood watch. Her assailant, Victor Ramirez Martinez, had been arrested just two weeks before for possession of methamphetamines. ICE was contacted, but declined to pick him up – but remember, this was in 2015, under the Obama administration’s rules.

She told the 911 dispatcher that she had been strangled and lost consciousness three times. Despite that, former Police Chief Ralph Martin said:

“…Marilyn would not give up. She fought back with all the strength that she could possibly muster, even while receiving repeated blows with the hammer. The suspects left her for dead, but somehow, with her eye sockets shattered from the beating she suffered, including a broken neck bone, she called 911.

“I am not remiss to say that from Washington D.C. to Sacramento, there is a blood trail into the bedroom of Marilyn Pharis.”

Once she arrived at the hospital, she told medical workers she had bitten the assailant “and and I have his hair or tissue in my mouth.”

It’s no secret that the media would rather focus on misstatements by the President about a drug dealer/gang banger/illegal alien murderer than the torture and anguish being visited upon ordinary Americans by criminal illegal aliens.

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CA’s Anti-Gun Nuts Snuck a Steaming Pile of No Due Process Through the Assembly

Asm. Phil Ting couldn’t get it done in 2016, but he took political advantage of a tragedy to run a massive expansion of California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order law through the Assembly on Monday.

GVRO’s have received a lot of (unwarranted) love from Republicans and conservatives this year who are sick of being labeled murderers by the Shannon Watts/Alyssa Milano crowd. California has had a GVRO law on the books for years, but nothing ever goes far enough for these people.

In 2016 Ting sponsored AB-2607, which would have expanded the categories of who could apply for a GVRO to include any employer, co-worker, school employee, and any “mental health worker” who had seen or worked with a person in the prior six months. This year’s version simply deletes mental health workers from the list (because mental health professionals were hugely opposed to and helped defeat AB-2607) and recycles the same pile of steaming turd.

We all want to make sure our children can attend schools where they’re focused on learning and not making sure they’re not the target of a school shooter. But let’s take good, hard look at what the unintended consequences – beside glaring due process issues – of this bill could be.

Any of your co-workers could initiate a secret court hearing – which you would have no notice of – in which your fundamental rights could be stripped. That ups the ante for inter-office squabbles quite a bit, don’t you think?

If you’re a college student on a sprawling campus, any “school employee” could petition a judge to strip you of your right to self-defense. Guess what? Residential advisors in dormitories are school employees. Other students who work in the library or the campus cafeteria are school employees. If you subscribe to what one of them terms “hateful” political thought, they could convince a judge that you are too unstable to own a firearm.

Also, as I said about this bill back in 2016, on school campuses and in workplaces, such legislation could have a chilling effect. If a professor knows their student has a firearm, and the student then talks about having a difficult time after a breakup or failed exam, will that professor feel obligated to seek a GVRO against the student?

AB-2888 doesn’t set out any evidentiary standard for taking away a person’s rights. It simply says the judge must find a “substantial likelihood” that the person poses a danger to themselves or others in the “near future,” and that less restrictive measures have either been tried and found ineffective or “are inadequate or inappropriate for the circumstances.”

In order to assuage civil rights concerns the bill’s authors claim that language would prevent abuses, but they’re not kidding anyone. This is the same state whose Attorney General claims their sanctuary laws are not in conflict with federal law and whose elected officials believe people who hold differing political beliefs are “dangerous.” (Looking at you, Ted Lieu, Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris… well, damn, the list goes on and on.) We all know that “inappropriate for the circumstances” can be interpreted a number of ways, none of which end well for conservatives.

The most disgusting portion of Monday’s hearing was Asm. Ting’s co-opting of Friday’s school shooting in Texas.

“I really do ask that we don’t just send thoughts and prayers, but that we send some action to students, to families who really are scratching their heads and asking what we can do to stem the violence in our schools.”

Ting also made a completely idiotic and false argument about the Parkland shooting.

[Ting commented that] if school officials, family members or police could have requested a restraining order against the Parkland shooter, who had demonstrated violent warning signs, he might not have been able to legally possess a firearm.

Asm. Ting, family members and police COULD HAVE requested a restraining order against the Parkland shooter! Yes, he demonstrated violent warning signs, which were IGNORED by school officials and the police on over 40 occasions. What would your bill have changed about the cowardice of the Broward County Schools and the Broward County Sheriff’s Department?

Regarding the Texas shooting, though, a bill like AB-2888 wouldn’t have done a damn thing to prevent what happened there, as Asm. Melissa Melendez said.

“That young man, not only did he take weapons that were not his own, that were not registered to him, he was not even old enough to have them. I just think it’s inappropriate to use that scenario as a reason for this bill.”

Democrat supporters called it “a logical expansion of the restraining order program” and Ting “conceded that his draconian bill won’t actually prevent gun violence and said AB 2888 is ‘just a piece of the puzzle.’ He said it could take 20 or 30 more bills to secure the kind of change Democrats want.”

The bill would have passed the Assembly even without Republican votes, but two squishy Republicans supported it as well. It now heads to the Senate, where it will likely pass. The only hope to kill it lies with Gov. Jerry Brown, who vetoed Ting’s 2016 version of this same horrific piece of legislation.

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BREAKING: Harvey Weinstein Facing Arrest in NYC, Expected to Surrender Friday

Maybe, just maybe, Harvey Weinstein is finally having to face the music after decades of assaulting women.

Sure, he already is ruined professionally. That’s the same type of suffering he visited upon the women who resisted his “advances.” He hasn’t had to feel the terror that grips someone who is physically helpless or whose freedom is restricted. Yet.

As a result of an ongoing investigation by the Manhattan DA’s office and the NYPD, Weinstein is facing charges of sexual misconduct arising from an incident in 2004 where he allegedly forced Lucia Evans to perform oral sex on him. Sources told both the New York Daily News and the New York Times that Weinstein will be arrested Friday, and will turn himself in.

According to the Daily News, a special grand jury was convened “weeks ago” and has also been presented with evidence of financial fraud, but it’s unclear whether Weinstein will be charged with any financial crimes at this time.

On Wednesday the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that Weinstein could also be facing federal charges relating to financial misconduct and… stalking.

The federal investigation started late last year when prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan began to examine whether Mr. Weinstein had committed fraud when he arranged for two auction items — a sitting with a famous fashion photographer and a package of tickets to a Hollywood awards event and party — to be offered together at an AIDS charity fund-raiser in France in May 2015. There was one condition to the deal, said people with knowledge of the matter: $600,000 of the proceeds had to go to a theater staging a Broadway musical that Mr. Weinstein was producing.

According to the people familiar with the case, that investigation, which is being handled by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit of the Manhattan federal prosecutors’ office, quickly expanded to include the possibility that Mr. Weinstein broke federal stalking laws in his dealings with women who have accused him of sexual assault. Those laws forbid crossing state lines to kill, injure, harass or intimidate victims.

Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, confirmed to the Times that he met with federal prosecutors regarding their inquiry in “an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding.” He maintains that Weinstein never participated in nonconsensual sexual conduct. Brafman has not yet commented publicly on Weinstein’s planned surrender to the NYPD.

Local authorities in Los Angeles and London are also investigating potential criminal charges against Weinstein for alleged sexual assaults committed in those jurisdictions.

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