Patterico's Pontifications


Officials: Jeffrey Epstein’s Prison Guards Were Asleep, Falsified Records

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The news just broke:

The two guards who were in the jail unit where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours, then falsified records to cover up their mistake, a law enforcement official and a prison official said on Tuesday.

Those disclosures came as the two guards were placed on administrative leave and the warden of the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, was temporarily reassigned, pending the outcome of the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s death, the Justice Department announced.

The two correctional officers in the special housing unit where Mr. Epstein was held — 9 South — falsely recorded in a log that they had checked on the financier, who was facing sex trafficking charges, every 30 minutes, as was required, the officials said. Such false entries in an official log could constitute a federal crime.

In fact, the guards had been asleep for some or all of the three hours, the officials said.


The warden, Lamine N’Diaye, will be transferred to a Bureau of Prison office in Philadelphia while the F.B.I. and the Justice Department’s inspector general conduct inquiries. The Justice Department said in a statement that it might take additional punitive actions.

According to officials, the guards had not looked in on Epstein for three hours before he was found dead. Note: one of the two guards was a former correctional officer whose current position did not involve overseeing prisoners. Also, both of the guards were working overtime because of a staff shortage.

There will be an “after-action team” visiting the prison tomorrow to investigate whether all protocols were followed by staff before Epstein died.

I also wanted to mention that Buzzfeed News has reported that news of Jeffrey Epstein’s death was posted on 4Chan before any public announcement was made:

Almost 40 minutes before ABC News first reported Epstein’s death on Twitter, someone posted still-unverified details on 4chan, the anonymous message board popular with far-right trolls and white nationalists.

“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” read the post, which was published at 8:16 a.m. alongside an image of Pepe, the green frog that has become a mascot for right-wing internet trolls.

That message was posted 38 minutes before the first tweet about Epstein’s death from Aaron Katersky, an ABC News reporter, at 8:54 a.m. Five minutes later, the main ABC News account tweeted an article about Epstein’s death.

After publishing the post, other 4chan users egged on the author. When they expressed doubt, the original poster added more information to the discussion thread, including a detailed breakdown of the procedures allegedly used to resuscitate Epstein, which suggest the poster may have been a first responder, medical worker, or otherwise privy to details about efforts to resuscitate the disgraced financier.

The New York Fire Department has determined that the information did not come from the Fired Department. The president of the union for EMT workers Local 2507 in New York said that it “looks like a 3rd party info.” Also, there have been no comments from teh medical examiner’s office, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and New York Presbyterian Hospital.


Dr. Keith Wesley, an emergency medicine physician who has authored several EMS textbooks and articles, viewed the 4chan post at BuzzFeed News’ request and said it lays out standard procedures for paramedics.

“This sounds like standard American Heart Association guidelines, which most EMS agencies use,” Wesley said.

Part of the post refers to “telemetry advised bicarb.” According to Wesley, this could mean the first responders were also speaking with the hospital as they were trying to resuscitate their patient.

Screenshot / 4chan
“Telemetry implies the paramedics were in contact with a medical control hospital who then gave orders to give Sodium Bicarbonate, bicarb which is designed to reverse the acid buildup in the blood from prolonged cardiac arrest,” Wesley said in an email.

“If one of the medics posted this separately that’s a breach of protocol,” he added. “If there was identifying information on the patient, that is a violation of Federal HIPPA law.”

You can view the 4Chan posts at the link.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


CNN’s Chris Cuomo Comes Undone: “Fredo” Is N-word for Italians

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Sometimes real life is so outrageous that it is beyond parody. For a prime example of this, consider the temper tantrum CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s threw yesterday when a man referred to him as “Fredo”. Cuomo shouted at him that “Fredo” is the N-word for Italians. On exactly which planet, he didn’t say:

“Punk-ass bitches from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo, I’m an anchor on CNN,” the newsman says in the video that spread quickly on social media.

Cuomo says that Fredo is an insult for Italians, much like how the N-word is for African Americans.

“I’ll f–king throw you down these stairs like a f–king punk. … You’re gonna call me Fredo, take a f–king swing,” railed Cuomo in the clip, purportedly filmed Sunday on Shelter Island. “I’ll f–king wreck your s–t.” He dropped more than 20 F-bombs ion the rant.

CNN is supporting Cuomo, in spite of his outburst:

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said in a statement on Twitter. “We completely support him.”

Team Trump says that “Fredo” is not an ethnic slur:

“The default response from media or Democrats to any criticism is to label it racist or a ‘slur,’ ” said Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump campaign. ”The term ‘Fredo’ is commonplace, used without pause by Cuomo himself and by guests on his own show.”

Here is Chris Cuomo referring to himself as “Fredo” during a radio interview:

Cuomo was interviewed by Curtis Sliwa on his AM 970 radio show in January 2010 about whether his brother Andrew might seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
Sliwa said he dubbed the Cuomo family “la Cuomo Nostra.”

“There is a group of people — politicos — who always hint they might run, but not necessarily plunge all the way, and they are members of la Cuomo.”

“Who am I, then, Fredo?” Cuomo asked in response.

“Yes, exactly,” Sliwa said. “So you better be careful that your brother Andrew doesn’t kiss you on both cheeks and then all of a sudden they take you out on the middle of the lake and where’s Chris?”

“He kisses me plenty because he’s a great big brother,” Cuomo said.

And of course, Trump couldn’t refrain from pouncing as well because he loves any opportunity to chew up anyone associated with CNN:

“I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible,” Trump told reporters Tuesday, dismissing a question on whether the word was racially insensitive. “His language was horrible. He looked like a total, out-of-control animal. He lost it.”

The president added: “Frankly, I don’t think anybody should defend him because he spews lies every night.”

Duly noted, Mr. President: Don’t defend those who spew lies… [Ed. My god, my eyes just rolled so hard at this, I’m looking out the back side of my noggin now!]

Anyway, we all know that when Trump doesn’t use a modicum of self-restraint or discipline, and starts spouting off, he invariably ends up giving the opposition a lot to work with. Well Cuomo did the same thing with his outburst when he unwittingly provided the Trump 2020 campaign with a clever marketing idea:

President Trump’s 2020 campaign wasted no time Tuesday in selling “Fredo Unhinged” T-shirts to piggyback on the controversy over CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s unhinged viral video rant.

For $34, Trump supporters can get a T-shirt with unflattering screen grabs of the host from the video where he rages against a man who called the anchor “Fredo.”

“CNN’s Chris Cuomo is Fredo!” the Trump campaign shop says of the “limited edition” T-shirt that went live at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.

“The truth hurts. He totally lost it. Help us annoy Chris Cuomo and buy your ‘Fredo Unhinged Tee’ now!”


Cuomo spoke about the altercation with the man today:

Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.

P.S. I’m reading that a number of public figures on the Right are defending Cuomo and don’t think he should be fired for his outburst. Whether he’s fired or not is up to CNN, but I won’t defend or excuse his behavior because, at the end of the day, he could have just turned around and walked away without threatening the man. But he chose not to do that.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Hong Kong Protests Escalate

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:39 pm

[Headline and tweets from DRJ]

Six hours ago, @Real Donald Trump tweeted this:

Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!

12:17 PM · Aug 13, 2019

Then he retweeted this tweet showing a military convoy in Hong Kong:

Disturbing video taken in #Shenzhen just across the boarder with #HongKong. Something extraordinarily bad is about happen. #China #HongKongProtests #Democracy #SaveHongKong

Around the same time, the BBC reports riot police arrived in Hong Kong as Hong Kong protests cripple airport for second day:

Hong Kong International Airport saw chaotic scenes on a second consecutive day of massive anti-government protests that have paralysed one of Asia’s key transport hubs.

Squads of riot police arrived shortly before midnight after thousands of demonstrators again flooded the terminal buildings during the day.

Flight departures were brought to a standstill amid scuffles.

At least three men were mobbed inside the airport by protesters. They were said to be holding identity cards showing they were police officers from mainland China. Hong Kong police have admitted deploying officers disguised as anti-government protesters during the unrest in the city.

Previously, Trump has praised the Chinese for stopping protests with strength.


Trump delays Chinese Tariffs

Filed under: Economics,International — DRJ @ 10:06 am

[Headline from DRJ]

Donald Trump CAVES on tariffs on Chinese goods putting them off for MONTHS after ‘very good call’ with Beijing so they do not send cost of Christmas shopping soaring amid fears they will end his economic boom:

The Trump Administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15.

Trump’s trade office says that certain products ‘will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent’ due to health, safety or national security concerns. Some of the products it listed were cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, computer monitors, footwear and clothing. USTR said it will post a list of items that are being excluded on its website.

It announced the postponement shortly after the the stock market opened, and the Dow jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the news.

Donald Trump has not commented directly but hinted in a tweet that the action was intended to get China to move forward with large agricultural orders.

Did Trump’s negotiating strategy work or did he cave because of farmers and Christmas?


Russian Nuclear Accident

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:00 am

[Link from DRJ]

Russia’s nuclear-powered doomsday missile, explained:

A doomsday weapon promoted by Russian president Vladimir Putin lost some of its sheen after seven people were killed during a test accident last week. The incident represents the most serious release of radiation since the 2011 Fukushima incident and underscores the dangers of world powers seeking to expand their nuclear arsenals.

Wait, what’s a nuclear-powered missile?

One popular way militaries deliver explosives is with a cruise missile, which you can think of as a jet engine with a bomb on the front. The jet engine flies the bomb to its target, often at very high speed and low altitude to help avoid air defenses. These can only carry so much fuel, limiting their range. If the jet engine on a missile was instead driven by a nuclear reactor, a missile would theoretically be able to fly almost indefinitely, with unlimited range. A missile like this could fly for days or weeks to sneak up on its targets, from the other side of the world if necessary.

However, designing one of these is hard work. The US tried during the Cold War. But the effort, known as “Project Pluto,” couldn’t find a safe place to test the flying nuclear reactor, which sprayed radioactive material out its back. And the US never figured out how to build an engine that didn’t spew contaminants.

More at the link.

I know many readers and commenters understand the science and issues, and they may find this article too simple. Please feel free to add more information in the comments but I needed something basic to understand this incident.


Back to School

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 7:44 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

It’S back to school time in Texas. El Paso schools face extra challenges after the recent shooting:

On Monday, nearly 60,000 public school students in El Paso, Texas, will start the school year amid an air of mourning, fear and resilience.

The first day of school in El Paso’s largest district comes more than a week aftera mass shooting at a local Walmart left 22 people dead. According to a police affidavit, the suspect charged in the attack later said he had intentionally targeted “Mexicans.”

“It’s not at all, in any way, a typical start of school,” says Juan Cabrera, the superintendent of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD). “This is not going to be easy. This is going to be difficult and we are really taking this very seriously.”

According to Cabrera, the school district has been contacting families affected by the shooting in order to connect them to support services. No EPISD students were killed, but Cabrera says El Paso is a close-knit community and some students have family members who were directly involved, or know people who were at the Walmart during the attack.

There are ways to help teachers in our schools including Donors Choose and Help A Teacher (also on Facebook). And, as always, drive carefully.


Snarky Comments are required on this Post

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:49 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Amazon’s Face Recognition Falsely Matched 28 Members of Congress With Mugshots:

Amazon’s face surveillance technology is the target of growing opposition nationwide, and today, there are 28 more causes for concern. In a test the ACLU recently conducted of the facial recognition tool, called “Rekognition,” the software incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress, identifying them as other people who have been arrested for a crime. 

The members of Congress who were falsely matched with the mugshot database we used in the test include Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and legislators of all ages, from all across the country.

And at the LA Times — Facial recognition software mistook 1 in 5 California lawmakers for criminals, says ACLU:

Facial recognition software mistook 1 in 5 California lawmakers for criminals, says ACLU. In a recent test, facial recognition software incorrectly matched 26 California legislators with mug shots of people who had been arrested. California is considering banning such software from being used with police body cameras.


Placido Domingo accused of ‘inappropriate sexually tinged behavior’

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 6:33 am

[Headline from DRJ]

Another celebrity targeted by the #METOO movement?

Women: Opera’s Domingo abused power to sexually harass them

For decades, Placido Domingo, one of the most celebrated and powerful men in opera, has tried to pressure women into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and then sometimes punishing the women professionally when they refused his advances, numerous accusers told The Associated Press.

Regarded as one of the greatest opera singers of all time, Domingo also is a prolific conductor and the director of the Los Angeles Opera. The multiple Grammy winner is an immensely respected figure in his rarefied world, described by colleagues as a man of prodigious charm and energy who works tirelessly to promote his art form.

At 78, Domingo still attracts sellout crowds around the globe and continues adding to the 150 roles he has sung in 4,000-plus performances, more than any opera singer in history. But his accusers and others in the industry say there is a troubling side to Domingo — one they say has long been an open secret in the opera world.


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