WaterCooler Saturday, 7/23/2016 – Open Thread – Balloons, Rs for Hillary, and Zombies

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Big Boy Donnie Trump Loves Balloons. Don’t You Donnie?

In case of confusion, the adult is on the right. Reuters photo.

Republicans for Hillary

A growing tally of high-profile Republicans have resolved voting for Hillary Clinton is the only statistically probable channel available to prevent camp Trump from mucking up America.

Staying home, voting 3rd Party or a write-in candidate, these options fell off the table once Trump picked up the nomination, they argue.

Sample roster:

Richard Armitage, Foreign Policy Official for Reagan, H.W and W., 13th Deputy Secretary of State.

“[Trump] doesn’t appear to be to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues. So I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”  – Politico

Trump’s comments in a New York Times interview “would seem to put him on the same page with Mr. Putin,” Richard Armitage, who was deputy secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview with Reuters.

Doug Elmets, Former Reagan Spokesman.

“I could live with four years of Hillary Clinton before I could ever live with one day of Donald Trump as president.”  – Interview with CNN

“Listening to Trump’s speech confirms that I made the right decision to support Hillary Clinton…”  – Doug Elmets, Twitter

Peter Mansoor, Former Army Colonel, Executive Officer to General Petraeus.

“He’d (Trump) be a loose cannon who would shoot from the hip. He would endanger America’s status in the world, he would dismay our allies and empower our adversaries,” Mansoor said in an interview with The Hill. “Other than that it’d be a great idea to have him as president.”

“It will be the first Democratic presidential candidate I’ve voted for in my adult life.” – Washington Post


Lamentations Across the Political Spectrum

  • GOP, RIP?, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post

Nonetheless, Republicans who are not in the least progressive have reason to mourn what is likely to come to pass this week: the transformation of the Party of Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower into the Party of Trump.

Some are bravely resisting this outcome to the end — and good luck to them. A fair number of leading Republicans have stated flatly that they will never vote for Trump. Their devotion to principle and integrity will be remembered.

Make no mistake, the GOP as we know it is over. It will not survive Trump’s nomination and his almost certain defeat in November.

The Future Does Not Belong to Trump

Republican leaders and principled conservatives now have a duty to break from the GOP, or at least this version of the GOP, and form a new party—or a new movement within the party, to take it back and transform it.

Everyone who proved they were more interested in power than principle should be exiled.

And so they have gathered tonight to mourn the “unnatural and premature passing of the Grand Old Party,” as described in the Facebook invite. Cause of death: the nomination of Donald J. Trump.

But if Trump is detached from the country, and uninterested in anything but himself, he’s also detached from his party. Trump is not really changing his party as much as dissolving it.

This is less a party than a personality cult. Law and order is a strange theme for a candidate who radiates conflict and disorder. Some rich children are careless that way; they break things and other people have to clean up the mess.


I’m sorry. I gave you not one Zombie in this WaterCooler. But after the past weeks life-sucking (and life sucking) convention, we can relate to Zombies, yes? Vaguely mobile wretched creatures, searching for brains?…God knows a Zombie could starve in this newfangled GOP/Trump Party!

Fear not, RedStaters! You’ll find brains aplenty here at RedState’s only Daily Open Thread. Enjoy!

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The Largest Medicare Scam in U.S. History Was Just Discovered In Miami

An excellent example of government corruption just popped up in Miami, and in a billion dollar way.

According to the Miami Herald, Philip Esformes ran one of the largest chains of healthcare centers in the Miami-Dade area, with some 30 locations. Reports say that Esformes is alleged to have defrauded medicaire by continuously performing completely unnecessary procedures.

Philip Esformes, 47, charged with two other defendants, is accused of exploiting his network of about 20 Miami-Dade skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities to fleece the taxpayer-funded Medicare by filing false claims for services that were not necessary or in some instances not provided over the past 14 years.

According to the Justice Department, Esformes is also guilty of pocketing kickbacks that would bring the beneficiaries to other healthcare providers.

While Esformes billed for $1 billion dollars for performing all these “services,” Medicare has only paid out $500 Million since 2009.

“This is the largest single criminal healthcare fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice,” the criminal division’s assistant attorney general, Leslie R. Caldwell, said Friday during a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami.

“The magnitude of alleged false claims in this scheme is staggering and outrageous, even by South Florida healthcare fraud standards,” said U.S. attorney Wifredo Ferrer. “This case illustrates once again that Medicare fraud has infected every aspect of the healthcare system.”

Esformes is said to have personally made $78 million off the years long scam, including $10.4 million in 2012 alone.

Due to the enormity of the charges and crimes, Esformes is actually facing life in prison, and therefor have requested that he be held until the trial, which will happen on August 1st. According to authorities, Esformes has already demonstrated that he would attempt to run.

Esformes’s defense attorney’s believe they smell a rat.

On Friday, Esformes’ defense attorneys, Marissel Descalzo and Michael Pasano, issued a statement declaring he committed no wrongdoing.

“Mr. Esformes is a respected and well-regarded businessman. He is devoted to his family and his religion,” the statement said. “The government allegations appear to come from people who were caught breaking the law and are now hoping to gain reduced sentences. Mr Esformes adamantly denies these allegations and will fight hard to clear his name.”

This may be hard to prove, seeing as how the pool of crimes Esformes had his toe dipped into is one big deep end. This includes attempting to help two physicians involved in fraud with him flee the country, a plot which ultimately failed.
Seeing how easy it is to defraud the system, is it any wonder that people are so against government controlled healthcare?

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John Kerry Says Fighting Refrigerants Is as ‘Important’ as Fighting ISIS

Over the past several months, air conditioners have gotten a bit of a bad rap. First, The Washington Post published an article about Europeans ridiculing “America’s love affair with air-conditioning.”

And then on Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry took it one step further.

Kerry was speaking at a summit in Austria regarding the Montreal Protocol — an international agreement pertaining to substances that deplete the ozone layer — and he compared the war on refrigerants with…the war against ISIS:

“But the truth is our goal for these talks – amending the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs – is one of the single most important unitary steps that we could possibly take at this moment to stave off the worst impacts of climate change and to protect the future for people in every single corner of the globe.

Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations – defense ministers and foreign ministers – as we were working together on the challenge of Daesh, ISIL, and terrorism. It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we – you – are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

Americans got wind of his comments and reacted quickly:

Kerry also spoke to a group including NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) officials and industry leaders about the pressing issue of climate change while he was in Austria.

He isn’t currently slated to speak at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The post John Kerry Says Fighting Refrigerants Is as ‘Important’ as Fighting ISIS appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

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When Man Tosses a Suspicious Device Into Their Car, 2 Officers Make an Agonizingly Brave Decision

Dozens of NYPD officers found themselves in an unusual six-hour standoff after a suicidal man tossed a hoax bomb into a squad car last week.

Hector Meneses, a 52-year-old man from Queens, was caught on video throwing what appeared to be a crudely-made contraption into a police car parked in Times Square around 11:30 p.m Wednesday night:

Inside the patrol car that Meneses targeted were two NYPD cops, Officer Peter Cybulski and Sgt. Hameed Armani, both of whom reportedly feared the worst as the object landed in their vehicle.

Cybulski told reporters at a press conference on Friday:

“We both looked at each other and we knew exactly what the other was thinking without even having to say it.

[It was] a very crowded area, multiple children around, multiple families around. We’re not going to let this take out someone else with us, multiple casualties.”

Added Armani:

“I was nervous. [Cybulski] looked at me and said ‘Boss, what are we doing?’ I said ‘we’re driving, alright.’

Halfway through we said our prayers to each other and I was like, alright, if it happens it happens. I’m not going to stop here.”

They quickly moved the vehicle out of Times Square, so they could remove the device onto the sidewalk and away from pedestrians. It turned out to be nothing more than a red candle and white t-shirt wrapped in tin foil with two solar garden lights:

Once they were given the all-clear around 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning, Cybulski and Armani exited the vehicle, and the bomb squad took over.

The two men have since been hailed by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton as “heroes of New York City”:

Around that same time, however, detectives canvassing the Columbus Circle area of Manhattan spotted Meneses’s 2008 Chrysler Aspen.

Dozens of officers, including SWAT team members, were brought in to deal with Meneses, resulting in what quickly became a six-hour standoff between law enforcement and the 52-year-old Queens resident:

It was during this time that police noticed Meneses was wearing a “hunting or fishing” vest, as well as a red plastic helmet.

As a result, they used a bomb robot to check for additional devices — sensing what might have been a pressure cooker bomb in the trunk. A search of the car after he was taken into custody, however, found that it was only a pot with a cap and wires, as well as 19 LED lights.

After several hours, cops were finally able to take down Meneses with pepper spray, taking him into custody on a stretcher. He is reportedly suicidal and was taken to a psychiatric facility for treatment following his arrest.

According to CBS New York, Meneses faces several charges including reckless endangerment, falsely reporting an incident, placing a false bomb, menacing and making a terrorist threat.

The post When Man Tosses a Suspicious Device Into Their Car, 2 Officers Make an Agonizingly Brave Decision appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

Source: Independent Journal Review

Wait… WHAT? RNC Address by Chairman Priebus is the Most Reality Impaired Thing You’ll See All Day (Video)

Are you high??

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus looks and sounds completely unconvinced of his own words in this Republican address video released on Friday.

Priebus pushes the lie that the Republican party came out of this past week’s historically corrupt and rancorous GOP convention as a unified entity.

Meanwhile, the GOP nominee, a dull-witted, spray tanned, Biff Tannen rip-off has hit the ground running – at other Republicans.

Yeah. Unity.

At some point, I’m going to assume Priebus and the rest of the pall bearers for the GOP will try and get their nominee to actually say a word or two about his opponent, Hillary Clinton. With only a bit more than 3 months before the general election, and Trump’s devotion to acting on his enemies list, rather than actually trying to win an election, however, I’d say any attempts to make this seem like an actual election and not a set-up to get Hillary Clinton in office, will fail.

For three and a half minutes, you can hear Priebus speak as if he’s on an alternate plane; one where there is no media, no Twitter or any sort of outlet by which Trump can be observed and judged, and as far as anybody knows, the GOP has an actual, legitimate candidate.

Watch for yourself, and see if you come away the same as I have: with a mixed sense of pity and loathing for this weasel-y little man.

The post Wait… WHAT? RNC Address by Chairman Priebus is the Most Reality Impaired Thing You’ll See All Day (Video) appeared first on RedState.

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‘Blistering’ Letter from Philly Police Has Clinton Camp on Defense Over DNC Speaker Lineup

With the Republican National Convention just wrapping up and the Democratic National Convention set to begin in a few days, the 2016 general election is in full swing.

And while the RNC’s speaker list focused heavily on Donald Trump’s family and Benghazi, the DNC speaker list is raising some eyebrows regarding who has been included — and who hasn’t.

In addition to the big-name Democrats who will be taking the stage in Philadelphia, several African-American women — dubbed “Mothers of the Movement” — will speak. Included among them are Lezley McSpadden and Gwen Carr, the mothers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

The problem, according to John McNesby (President of the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police), is that the DNC is allowing a platform to the victims of police violence without giving the same voice to the families of recently fallen police officers.

He sent a blistering letter to the DNC, naming Hillary Clinton as equally guilty:

The letter reads:

“President John McNesby and the membership of Philadelphia Lodge 5 FOP are shocked and saddened by the planned choice of speakers at the DNC in Philadelphia.

The Fraternal Order of Police is insulted, and will not soon forget, that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are excluding the widows, and other family members of Police Officers killed in the line of duty who were victims of explicit, and not implied racism, and ‘being on duty in blue.’

It is sad that to win an election Mrs. Clinton must pander to the interests of people who do not know all the facts, while the men and women they seek to destroy are outside protecting the political institutions of this country. Mrs. Clinton you should be ashamed of yourself if that is possible.”

After receiving the letter, a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign said that an updated speaker list would be including Charles Ramsey, a former Philadelphia Police Commissioner, and Joe Sweeney, a former NYPD officer who served on 9/11.

The spokesperson explained:

“As Hillary Clinton has said, we need to support heroic police officers who put their lives on the line every day as well as listen to the voices of mothers who have lost their children.

We look forward to highlighting the courageous efforts of law enforcement with speakers at our convention, including from Pennsylvania, and praising their work to keep our communities safe.”

But Roosevelt Poplar, Vice President of Lodge 5 FOP, told NBC Philadelphia that he’s waiting to see what actually happens once the convention starts: “We don’t know at this point until we see exactly what happens because the agendas change on a daily basis.”

The post ‘Blistering’ Letter from Philly Police Has Clinton Camp on Defense Over DNC Speaker Lineup appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

Source: Independent Journal Review

Woman Warns Others of Her ‘Excruciating’ Lesson After Sitting on Pennies She Left in Her Hot Car

With summer in full swing, many regions of the U.S. are seeing temperatures in excess of 100° F.

While the serious dangers of leaving a child or pet inside of a hot car — even for a few minutes — have been well-documented, it turns out that even the most common objects can become dangerous when left in a hot car.

As KWTV reports, one Oklahoma woman recently learned this lesson in a very painful way and is now hoping her experience will help others avoid the same agony.

Like many of us, 48-year-old Melissa Sechrist keeps spare change in her car, where it often rattles around in her cup holder.

What Sechrist didn’t realize on July 13th, however, was that a few of these pennies had fallen into the driver’s seat itself — only to sit there baking in that day’s 104° heat.

It wasn’t until the unsuspecting woman climbed into her car that her bare leg came in contact with those coins, something she described as:

“Excruciating pain. It was just horrible pain I’ve never felt before in my life.”

Looking at the burns the pennies left on her leg, it certainly doesn’t seem like an exaggeration:

Image Credit: Screenshot/KWTV

Image Credit: Screenshot/KWTV

Though she tried to ice her wounds for days, the unabating pain eventually forced her to the hospital. There, doctors would inform her that she’d suffered third-degree burns, the most severe category that’s reportedly “capable of melting skin, damaging nerves, and even potentially hurting the underlying muscle.”

According to experts, it’s all a result of the sunlight coming in through a car’s window — essentially turning the vehicle into a greenhouse.

Because of this, it doesn’t even have to be that hot outside to create dangerous conditions inside a car. On a 70° day, for example, a vehicle’s interior can reportedly reach up to 115°.

For Sechrist, she hopes that something good will come out of her painful experience. She offers a warning that she hopes will protect others:

“Everybody needs to watch for coins on their seats because it does burn.

I would hate to see a child with these kind of burns on their legs.”

For those of us lucky enough to have avoided such an experience, it’s certainly advice worth heeding.

The post Woman Warns Others of Her ‘Excruciating’ Lesson After Sitting on Pennies She Left in Her Hot Car appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

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When Liberals Hit Below the Belt Over Kirstie Alley’s GOP Support — She Has Quite the ‘Funny’ Reply

Kirstie Alley made waves when she came out in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The endorsement made her a rarity — a Hollywood actress backing a Republican candidate who’d come under serious scrutiny by her famous peers.

Image Credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Image Credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Alley went on record saying:

“Donald Trump, whether you like him or you don’t like him, is waking this country up.”

Now, the 65-year-old is stirring things up on social media with her thoughts on the GOP convention and Millennials.

Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Alley tweeted about Ivanka Trump in a message that’s since been taken down:

“You are doing a Great job @IvankaTrump !!! You do the millenniums proud!”

And had this rousing response to Trump’s big convention speech:

She also had some strong words for Senator Ted Cruz after his apparent snub of Trump:

But many have personally attacked Alley over her exuberance for the businessman’s candidacy:

They only gave the actress a reason to talk tolerance and fairness:

Whether you agree with Alley’s politics or not, she isn’t the only one heaping praise on Trump’s convention speech. Many pundits have asserted that the GOP nominee “hit the mark” this past Thursday night.

The post When Liberals Hit Below the Belt Over Kirstie Alley’s GOP Support — She Has Quite the ‘Funny’ Reply appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

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BREAKING: Suicide Bombers In Afghanistan Attack Protestors

There are reports coming in of a suicide bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan with 50 people killed or wounded.


According to BBC:

Police are reportedly ferrying injured to hospital after the blast in Deh Mazang square.

Thousands from the Hazara minority had been marching to demand changes to the route of a planned power line.

They are angry that the planned route bypasses areas with large Hazara populations.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear, although Tolo news cited unconfirmed reports that a suicide bomber had carried out the blast.

A large part of the city centre had been sealed off for the protest march.

The demonstrators had waved banners and chanted “death to discrimination”, angry that the 500kV power transmission line from Turkmenistan to Kabul would not pass through Bamyan and Wardak provinces, which have large Hazara populations.

This story is developing and will be updated as new information becomes available.


UPDATE: The death toll has risen to 61, while 207 are wounded according to the Afghan public health ministry.

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Interview with a Cop: Shootings, Public Image, & How Hard It Was to Put the Uniform on After Dallas

With the recent rash of highly publicized officer-involved shootings — and the ambush scenarios that killed 8 police officers in ten days (five in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge) — tensions between police and the public have escalated considerably.

After the three officers lost their lives in Baton Rouge, actor Mike Rowe posted a tribute to one of the fallen — and San Diego Police Officer Shannon Ott commented on his post:

“It’s ok to murder me in cold blood because I wear a uniform and drive a marked police unit? We need to change the way the public responds to the police.”

Independent Journal Review spoke to Ott, a 10-year veteran of the police force, about officer-involved shootings, the media, and the things she wishes people realized when interacting with the police.

She began by addressing her fallen brothers in Dallas and Baton Rouge:

“Putting on my uniform this last week was the most difficult thing I have done in the ten years of my career. I took off my mourning band this morning, only to put it back on hours later when three other officers were murdered.

I’ve worked some pretty tough streets, arrested some pretty bad dudes, and I can’t say I’ve been more afraid for my own safety than I am now. Ever.”

And she said it was mainly due to a faulty public perception of recent officer-involved shootings:

“A majority of the public (and even our own President) have somehow passed judgment without jury or trial on two nationally covered police-involved shootings. And the officers will likely be cleared of all wrong doing somewhere down the road.”

Ott said that she doesn’t believe that all police officers are perfect:

“Just as in every profession, there are bad apples. We have approximately 1,700 sworn officers on our department. When one gets arrested, it’s front page news: ‘San Diego Police Department allows this or that because look at what one of their own did,’ the headlines read.

We are people, you know. We make mistakes. But if you look at the ratio of good cops to bad, and compare that to any other profession, I think we’re doing an outstanding job of keeping out of trouble.”

Image Credit: Shannon Ott/Independent Journal Review

Image Credit: Shannon Ott/Independent Journal Review

But she worries about the implications when the media seems to want police officers to be the bad guys:

“But, perception is reality. The news prints what sells. And ‘cops are doing a fine job of not being in trouble!’ doesn’t sell or get people to watch your news channel.

The media, especially lately (I can’t remember feeling this way in the last 10 years) is completely contributing to this damage. It’s more sensational to say ‘cops are murdering black people’ than ‘perhaps these shootings are justified, let’s wait and look at the evidence.’”

And because of flawed perceptions, the public begins to demand revenge or even vigilante justice instead of due process:

“Last time I checked, civilians want a judge and jury to convict them of guilt (or innocence) instead of just jumping to a guilty verdict, right? Why don’t cops deserve that same due process? Why is it acceptable for the media to jump to a guilty verdict 10 minutes after a shooting has occurred — based on video posted on the internet that only captures the aftermath of an incident?

It seems only fair to extend to [police] the same courtesy when it comes to incidents such as these. Then, when the truth comes out months, if not years later (as it did in the Ferguson case) that the cop was exonerated of ALL wrong doing, it’s page 9 of the Thursday paper.

But all everyone remembers is ‘white cop killed black kid for no reason, oh and his hands were in the air.’ Which, if you educated yourself on the actual facts of the case, you would know, was not true. Perception is reality.”

Image Credit: Shannon Ott/Independent Journal Review

Image Credit: Shannon Ott/Independent Journal Review

But Ott, who originally joined the police force in 2006 because she “likes to solve problems,” says there are solutions:

“I’ve taken so much ‘sensitivity training’ at the public’s request, but how about education for the public on how to interact with the police?

But that’s not what people want to hear. They want someone to point a finger at, and it’s not at themselves. Instead of looking at what the officer did wrong, how about what the suspect did wrong? Why did the officer use force?

Trust me, we don’t want to physically fight with people, shoot people, or use force. We get hurt. Our uniforms and gear get all torn up. It’s not worth it.

Compliance would certainly go a long way.

Shooting at the police, the very people who serve and protect you (who they don’t even know) even though you hate them is not the answer.”

Despite the current strained nature of police/civilian relations, Ott says she has no intention of hanging up her uniform: “I don’t always have the satisfaction of knowing the extent of my positive influence on other’s lives, but that won’t stop me from trying.”

The post Interview with a Cop: Shootings, Public Image, & How Hard It Was to Put the Uniform on After Dallas appeared first on Independent Journal Review.

Source: Independent Journal Review