[guest post by Dana]
Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.
First news item:
Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike.
The jury’s decision in U.S. District Court in Manhattan came after a three-week trial for the California lawyer, who faces a statutory maximum of 42 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.
CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Friday night that he felt “snookered” after learning that lawyer Michael Avenatti was convicted on charges of trying to extort athletic clothing company Nike for millions of dollars.
“I feel kind of snookered, because I took him seriously,” Toobin told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper during a segment about the conviction.
Toobin described the conviction as “total collapse” of Avenatti’s image, and recounted an instance where he was walking with the lawyer in Midtown, Manhattan and “it was like walking with a major, major celebrity.”
“People came up to him,” he said. “It’s like, you know, ‘Go for it! Go get Trump!’ You know, he had this hashtag #Basta. People remember that… I mean, the craziness of this.”
Second news item:
The Department of Justice is dropping its criminal investigation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe without bringing charges, it announced on Friday.
McCabe’s attorneys received a phone call and a letter from the US Attorney’s Office in DC on Friday announcing the declination.
“We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe, arising from the referral” made by the Inspector General’s office to investigate his behavior, the DC US Attorney’s Office wrote. McCabe’s attorneys released the letter on Friday. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”
…A White House official said President Donald Trump was angered federal prosecutors’ decision not to pursue charges against McCabe.
Third news item:
A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a tractor-trailer.
The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the final resting place of 870 blades whose days making renewable energy have come to end. The severed fragments look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.
Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Europe, which has been dealing with the problem longer, has about 3,800 coming down annually through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF. It’s going to get worse: Most were built more than a decade ago, when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now.
Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed. That’s created an urgent search for alternatives in places that lack wide-open prairies. In the U.S., they go to the handful of landfills that accept them, in Lake Mills, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Casper, where they will be interred in stacks that reach 30 feet under.
Fourth news item:
Fifth news item:
Our project, “1776,” puts less of an emphasis on history and more on the question prophetically raised by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the height of his civil rights revolution: “Where do we go from here?” Mindful of the inevitable criticism that his movement was subversive, King made a special effort to ground his historic 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech in “a dream as old as the American dream” by repeated references to the nation’s founding documents, including Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” He assured friends and foes alike that his civil rights movement had come not to deny the gospel of the American dream, but to fulfill it.
We must disrupt the long-held stereotypes of black people as helpless bystanders in their own history. We have had entrepreneurs, skilled tradesmen, military officers, inventors, organizers, and many others who responded to adversity by marshaling resources, building local enterprises, and creating jobs. We organized and acted to defeat slavery, segregation, and deprivation, and then we persevered to build businesses that included banks, hotels, small factories, and a black-owned railroad.
In addition to the consequences of slavery, these contributions of black Americans should be at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are. Even in bondage, slaves had agency in various amounts, or to varying degrees, and they acted on it in a variety of ways. Those who prefer to focus on our victimization don’t always want to recognize it, but the ways our ancestors exercised agency in bondage formed the foundation of their successes (or failures) after they were freed.
Sixth news item:
As a bisexual young woman who only came out to her family after the Pulse shooting in case I didn’t survive my own Pride festival, I wanted to break down why the recent surge of articles on Pete’s sexuality are detrimental to the mental health + stability of young LGBTQ+ people…When I came out to my friends sophomore year of high school, I had simultaneously never felt more loved and more alone in my life. Loved because I had been “accepted” by people who loved me but alone because of the lack of queer equality in the US…I cannot imagine being a young, impressionable, LGBTQ+ person right now. Coming to terms with your sexuality as a young person is completely terrifying, and that is without the LITERAL constant barrage of news dissecting someone’s presentation as gay…NEWS FLASH: your “hot takes” on how Pete doesn’t fit your type of gay man are not only homophobic, they reinforce to the closeted youth that it may be THAT much harder for them to find acceptance, to find a support system…Imagine being ready to come out and reading an article saying “because Pete didn’t come out until he was 30 he isn’t the “right gay” or “”Pete doesn’t kiss his husband in public he isn’t really gay””…Imagine what that would do to a young person…They won’t have to imagine it, because it’s happening. It’s happening all around us and our community, and even from inside it…To queer people gatekeeping Pete’s sexuality: I hope you feel ashamed of the message you are sending to your most vulnerable members.
Have a great weekend.