[guest post by Dana]
New questions have come to light in the investigation into the Las Vegas massacre. Most recently, why was a cell phone charger in shooter Stephen Paddock’s hotel suite that didn’t match any of his cellphones? Also, while law enforcement states that they are confident there was no one else in the room at the time of the massacre, they haven’t ruled out that there may have been someone who had prior knowledge about what would happen Sunday night. As such, they are questioning whether Paddock had help. Still, the crucial question of motive remains unanswered. Also, here is a good round-up of what is known so far about the Stephen Paddock and the attack. You can find a list of the victims here, as well as short bios of each one. Each one obviously loved and deeply missed by their grieving families.
Also, more hypocrisy from Hollywood in the Harvey Weinstein scandal: Unsurprisingly, the roster of late night comedians remained silent about the bombshell report. Other than a throwaway line from Trevor Noah, the other social gate keepers and self-determined arbiters of morality, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, James Corden, and Stephen Colbert were somehow rendered speechless on the matter. These typically quick-witted snark-masters were apparently unable to come up with anything to say. Not one word. No condemnation of Weinstein’s predatory behavior, no rallying of the troops to work toward changing the sick culture of Hollywood, and no sympathy expressed for the women victimized by Weinstein. Like I said, unsurprising because it’s clear these guys know who butters their bread. Unfortunately, it’s these sorts of cowardly decisions to look the other way that allowed Weinstein to keep on keeping on for three decades. As a reminder, these yahoos were anything but silent when they went full-throttle over the scandals involving Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, as well as when the infamous Access Hollywood tape involving Donald Trump was leaked. Apparently, they have too much at stake to stand up to the the raging bully and sexual harasser that Weinstein has been revealed to be. Women victimized in Hollywood, men enabling it. It’s a sick system, but hey, fame comes at a cost, am I right?!
Finally, President Trump appeared to be teasing the American public, or toying with our enemies with his latest remarks made last night. Following a discussion about North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan and the Islamic State with his top military advisors, the President and military leaders assembled together with their spouses for a photo opportunity. As they posed for pictures, a puzzling exchange took place:
As photographers snapped pictures and recorded video, Trump asked reporters: “You guys know what this represents?”
“Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” he said, answering his own question.
“What’s the storm?” one reporter asked.
“Could be the calm before the storm,” he repeated.
The president continued:
“We have the world’s great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And uh, we’re gonna have a great evening, thank you all for coming.”
“What storm, Mr. President?” NBC News’ Kristen Welker asked again.
“You’ll find out,” Trump replied, before reporters were ushered out of the room.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered this at today’s press briefing:
“As we’ve said many times before…we’re never going to say in advance what the president is going to do,” she said during a press briefing Friday. “You’ll have to wait and see.”
“You can take the president protecting the American people very seriously,” Sanders added. “And if he feels that action is necessary, he’ll take it.”
I don’t know what he meant. I don’t know if it even meant anything. What I suspect is that the President very impulsively pulled something out of the air to draw attention to himself and remind everyone of his authority. Especially as military leaders were in uniform. A form of self-preening before the cameras, if you will. Cleverly using a photo opportunity as an opportunity to do a little self-promoting. After all, he is a showman. But as many commenters have repeatedly reminded me in the past, moments like these are simply ways to keep our enemies guessing and off balance. Who knows.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)