EPA Chief Cuts $900K of Gym Memberships

20 Jun 2017

2017/06/20 – EPA scraps $1 million in gym memberships for employees – Washington Examiner

The Environmental Protection Agency is scrapping the agency’s nearly $1 million in gym memberships as an abuse of taxpayer funds.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt vowed to get rid of the gym memberships after the newspaper reported earlier this year that the agency had paid $15,000 per year for employees in Las Vegas to upgrade to premium fitness memberships at 24 Hour Fitness. This was done even though the employees already had complimentary gym memberships at the University of Nevada’s campus in Las Vegas.

This is the common sense stuff that got Trump elected.

Drones Used To Supply Quick EMT Services

14 Jun 2017

2017-06-14 – Emergency drones rush life-saving help to simulated cardiac arrest cases – Ars Technica

Reenacting 18 real-life emergency calls of cardiac arrest to emergency medical services in Norrtälje, Sweden, researchers dispatched a drone carrying an automated external defibrillator (AED) from the local fire station. The drone reached the site of the emergency in around five minutes—about 16 minutes faster than emergency medical responders—researchers report Tuesday in JAMA.

Good stuff…

House Majority Whip Scalise (R-LA) Shot

14 Jun 2017

So far – 5 people have been confirmed as shot by the assailant, among them House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La). The gunman has been has shot and is in custody according to Alexandria Police. There are some reports that claim he has died – that is unconfirmed.

The gunman has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois. He has now died.

2017/06/14 – Belleville suspect in congressional shooting belongs to anti-GOP groups – Belleville News Democrat

The shooter was James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, who belonged to a number of anti-Republican groups, including one called “Terminate the Republican Party.”

Hodgkinson has a varied arrest record in St. Clair County, for offenses such as failing to obtain electrical permits, damaging a motor vehicle, resisting a peace officer, eluding police, criminal damage to property, driving under the influence and assorted traffic offenses.


2017/06/14 – Baseball shooting: Who is James T Hodgkinson, the gunman who opened fire on congressional team practice? – UK Telegraph

2017/06/14 – Acquaintance describes campaigning for Bernie Sanders with shooting suspect – Washington Post

2017/06/14 – Virginia shooting: House majority whip shot at congressional baseball practice – Guardian Live Updates

Congressman Mo Brooks is giving a remarkable eyewitness interview on CNN.

Of the shooter he said:

I don’t know if he was killed but I tell you I don’t have any kind thoughts about the shooter so let’s leave it at that.

He appeared to be a white male. But bear in mind I saw him for just a second or two, a fraction of a second.

If I had to guess, middle aged … he wasn’t skinny, but he did not appear to be obese either.


Describing the situation, Brooks said:

You’re pretty helpless. It’s not a good situation to be in. I don’t know what took our security detail as long as it took them to start exchanging fire … It seemed like a long time but it might have been seconds … They exhibited tremendous bravery.

I got a glimpse of the shooter which meant he also could see me if he looked in my direction. At that point I ran around home plate.

There were probably 10, 20, 30 shots fired while two or three of us were seeking cover.

At least five people were hit with bullets.

2017/06/14 – Congressman Shot in Mass Shooting at Baseball Practice for GOP House Members in Virginia – People

2017/06/14 – Alexandria shooting: Republican congressman and aide among those shot by Virginia gunman at charity baseball practice – The Independent

2017/06/14 – Shots Fired at Congressional Baseball Practice – Voice of America News

There are reports of gunfire at a Virginia baseball field near Washington where members of Congress were practicing. As many as 50 shots were fired.


2017/06/14 – GOP whip Steve Scalise and at least 4 others shot during early morning baseball practice – Raw Story

Brooks said he got a look at the gunman and described him as a white male who was “a bit on the chubby side.”

Sen. Rand Paul, who was also at the practice, told MSNBC that he heard between 50 to 60 shots fired by the gunman. He said he believed the shooter was using an AR-15-style rifle.

2017/06/14 – House Whip Scalise, security detail shot at baseball practice; suspect in custody – Washington Times

Rep. Ron DeSantis, who left the practice just prior to the shooting, said a man at the scene asked him if those on the field were Republicans or Democrats.

“As I was getting into the car with one of my colleagues, Jeff Duncan, there was a guy who walked up to us and asked if it was Republicans or Democrats out there. And it was just a little odd and then he kind of walked toward the area where all this happened,” the Florida Republican said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

Trump Looking At Big Cuts in Government Energy Renewables

12 Jun 2017

2017/06/08 – Trump’s renewable energy cuts alarm former officials – CNN Money

Trump wants to gut a key division of the Department of Energy designed to accelerate the development of clean energy like solar and wind power. The administration’s 2018 budget would slash funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by a stunning 71.9%.

Budget documents published by the DOE argue that the spending cuts to the renewables office will focus resources on early-stage research & development. The DOE added that it also “reflects an increased reliance on the private sector to fund later-stage research, development and commercialization of energy technologies.”

Manchester Terror Suspects Released

12 Jun 2017

2017/06/12 – Cops release all Manchester concert bombing suspects – CBS News

All the suspects arrested over last month’s Manchester concert bombing have been released without charge, British police said Sunday, acknowledging that detectives were still not sure whether the attacker had accomplices.

Greater Manchester Police said Sunday that all 22 people arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses had been released without charge.

Suspects arrested under terrorism laws can be held for up to 14 days before they must be charged or released.

Ex-Gitmo Inmate Arrested in France As Part of Recruiting Network

12 Jun 2017

2017/05/30 – Ex-Guantanamo Bay inmate is arrested after being linked to an ISIS recruiting network eight years after he was released from the controversial prison – UK Daily Mail

A former Guantanamo Bay inmate is among six people from an alleged ISIS recruiting network who were detained on Tuesday.

Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar was one of the six suspects arrested in Bordeaux as part of the crackdown, a French judicial source said.

Lahmar was freed from the US detention center in Cuba in 2009 after France agreed to accept him, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed.

The 48-year-old was one of six Algerians detained in Bosnia in 2001 on suspicion of plotting to bomb the US embassy in Sarajevo.

Puerto Rico Votes in Favor of Statehood

12 Jun 2017

2017/06/11 – Puerto Rico votes in favor of statehood – The Hill

Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly in favor of statehood on Sunday in a referendum that begins the steps toward sending representatives to Washington, D.C.