Late Evening Open Thread: Floriduh! Man Hates Chickens

Where there bombs involved? Of course there were bombs involved!

TCPalm take it away:

FORT PIERCE — A man who crafted a bomb inside a whiskey bottle and blew it up in another man’s backyard was charged with a crime Wednesday, investigators said.

Scott Frederick Wegener, 55, of the 500 block of Wendell Road, was charged with possession or discharge of a destructive device.

An anonymous caller Wednesday warned Wegener had detonated an improvised explosive device and was threatening it again, according to Wegener’s arrest affidavit.

The caller said Wegener, nicknamed “Spider,” was in a dispute with someone over the theft of a BB gun and had offered to pay a friend to crawl under the man’s home to plant an IED.

Investigators from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Pierce Police Department, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, all responded to Wegener’s home Wednesday.

They didn’t find any bomb-making equipment there, only two empty Canadian Mist bottles in a red golf cart.

At a home in the 800 block of South Sixth Street, they found evidence of an explosion in the backyard. The homeowner, Wegener’s friend, said the incident happened Saturday.

“Wegener pulled up to (the) house on the golf cart. They began to hang out. Wegener said he was going to kill the chickens in (the) yard. Wegener went to his golf cart and retrieved a Canadian Mist bottle filled with black powder, sand and a green fuse,” according to the affidavit.

Investigators said Wegener lit the fuse and threw the IED into the backyard, where it exploded.

They recovered a 1-pound bag of explosive black powder, 8 feet of “cannon fuse” and a coffee cup filled with sand, which Wegener had left at the Sixth Street home, the affidavit said.

Wegener was charged by the Sheriff’s Office. He remained late Friday in the Indian River County Jail, with bail set at $30,000.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

Russiagate Racist Open Thread: Such A Joker, That Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III


“Lack of candor”, it’s a term of art… and he’s an artistic little bigot!

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe’s previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that…

Two months ago, Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team, and the federal inquiry related to his candor during his confirmation process has since been shuttered, according to a lawyer representing Sessions.

“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” attorney Chuck Cooper told ABC News on Wednesday…

Always remember, children: It’s not a lie if you actually believe it…

Late Night “Some Politics More Local Than Others” Open Thread: Jared Kushner, Grifter Icarus

Jared and his family are about to have it explained to them why smart slumlords keep a low profile. “Nobody cares” if a sharp operator hustles the schvartzes in some beat-down burb far from the Big Apple. But New Yorkers take their rent control codes seriously — not necessarily sincerely, but seriously — and NYC prosecutors are always looking for a rich, tender would-be wiseguy of whom to make an example. MarketWatch reports:

A New York City Council member and a tenant’s rights group are launching an investigation into the real-estate firm controlled by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, over a report that it regularly falsified building permits.

Politician Ritchie Torres and Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), a tenants’ rights watchdog, made the announcement at a press conference outside Kushner Cos. New York headquarters on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, according to media reports. The news comes a day after the Associated Press reported that Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with New York City, declaring it had no rent-regulated tenants in buildings it owned, when it actually had hundreds.

That allowed the company to move in and conduct extensive construction and renovation that tenants claimed was targeted harassment aimed at driving them out to clear the way for higher-paying renters, said the AP…

In one instance, the Kushner Cos. purchased three buildings in Queens in 2015, in which most of the tenants had some protection that barred developers from evicting them or raising their rents in an effort to turn a quick profit, the AP reported.

But the company ticked a box on construction-permit applications that said the buildings had no rent-regulated tenants, according to an AP review of the documents. Tax records filed a few months after that showed the buildings actually had 94 rent-regulated units. The Kushner Cos., which at the time was headed by Jared Kushner, sold the buildings two years later for $60 million, or nearly 50% more than it had paid.

“It’s bare-faced greed,” said Carr. HRI compiled the work-permit application documents and shared them with AP. “The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment.”…

Filing false documents to the city’s Department of Buildings carries a misdemeanor fine of up to $25,000, but it is regularly flouted. Landlords can receive a demand to file an “amended” form with the correct numbers. HRI found that the Kushner Cos. filed dozens of amended forms for the buildings in the documents, many of them a year or two later…

Even apart from the legal danger, imagine the humilation for Big-Time Global Operator Jared Kushner to be exposed in front of his new downtown “friends” as just another chisler sending thugs to intimidate old ladies out of their homes. If only he’d had the sense to keep a low profile!

Breaking: Another Parcel Bomb Explodes in Austin, Texas


Provided this is the same perpetrator for all the bombings, or at least all the parcel/package bombs, then he (it is most likely a he) is rapidly moving through his escalation cycle.

From CBS Austin:

A new explosion has been reported in South Austin, hours after explosive packages were found at FedEx facilities in Schertz and near the Austin airport — and four other explosions over the past several weeks have left two dead and four others injured.

According to Austin-Travis County EMS, the latest reported incident happened at around 7 p.m. near the intersection of Brodie and West Slaughter Lanes.

The Austin Fire Department is reporting the explosion happened at a Goodwill location.

A man in his 30s was transported to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with potentially serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Reaction from the Austin American Statesman breaking news editor who lives near the most recent bombing:

And it appears this may have been a two for, which is often used to lure law enforcement and emergency services in with the first device and then attack them with the second.

I’m working with Alain to try to embed the live feed from CBS Austin, as soon as I can I’ll update.

If you receive a package that you did not order, that does not appear to have normal delivery markings, that appears to be discolored or misshapen, or that seems suspicious: call the authorities. This type of very public type of serial killing will inspire copycats. Better safe than sorry.

Update at 9:15 PM EDT

Here’s the live feed from KXAN Austin:

Updated at 9:25 PM EDT

We have some good news:

Looks to be a low grade copycat.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

Weather Or Not Open Thread

Tomorrow it’s supposed to hit the East Coast.

Read more

Respite Open Thread: Trump {Hearts} the 80s

That low, dishonest decade. Back when his memory and his dick both worked without so much chemical assistance — or at least that’s how the old man remembers it, now…

This rally is, of course, being touted by the usual Horse Race media hacks as “the start of the 2020 campaign.” Because Donny Dollhands isn’t the only one who prefers cheap nostalgia to real work!

(Spoiler for the Youngs, or anyone else who doesn’t remember that far back: Reagan’s people didn’t care about “the drug problem”, either. It just gave them a handy distraction from things like their Iran-Contra criminality.)

To be fair, telling New Hampsters that all bad things come from Massachusetts is *always* a popular political go-to, because New Hampshire residents secretly resent their parasitic relationship with our Commonwealth…

Read more

Breaking News: Attorney General Sessions Has Fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe

Attorney General Sessions’ statement:

There is no report yet as to whether they have also moved to terminate his pension earned in a 21 year career as an FBI special agent.

From The Washington Post:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday night fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire.

Sessions announced the decision in a statement just before 10 p.m., noting that both the Justice Department Inspector General and the FBI office that handles discipline had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”

He said based on those findings and the recommendation of the department’s senior career official, “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

The move will likely cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, though it is possible he could bring a legal challenge. McCabe has been fighting vigorously to keep his job, and on Thursday, he spent nearly four hours inside the Justice Department pleading his case.

Here’s McCabe’s statement:

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director and a frequent target of President Trump’s scorn, was fired Friday after the Justice Department rejected an appeal that would have let him retire this weekend.

Mr. McCabe promptly declared that his firing, and Mr. Trump’s persistent needling, were intended to undermine the special counsel’s investigation in which he is a potential witness.

Mr. McCabe is accused in a yet-to-be-released internal report of failing to be forthcoming about a conversation he authorized between F.B.I. officials and a journalist.

In an interview, Mr. McCabe was blunt. “The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said, adding, “This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”

Mr. McCabe was among the first at the F.B.I. to scrutinize possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. And he is a potential witness to the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice. Mr. Trump has taunted Mr. McCabe both publicly and privately, and Republican allies have cast him as the center of a “deep state” effort to undermine the Trump presidency.

As a witness, Mr. McCabe would be in a position to corroborate the testimony of the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who kept contemporaneous notes on his conversations with Mr. Trump. Mr. Comey said Mr. Trump prodded him to publicly exonerate the president on the question of Russian collusion and encouraged him to shut down an investigation into his national security adviser.

Mr. McCabe, a 21-year F.B.I. veteran, was eligible for a government pension if he retired on Sunday. The firing jeopardizes that benefit, though it was not immediately clear how much he might lose.

“It’s incredibly unfair to my reputation after a 21-year career,” Mr. McCabe said. He said the president’s public attacks were aimed at several targets. “The real damage is being done to the F.B.I., law enforcement and the special counsel,” he said.

To add insult to injury, someone seems to have leaked this to Fox News.

This was an ugly, unnecessary action. McCabe will sue to get his full pension, which will open Attorney General Sessions and the President up to discovery.

McCabe appears ready to name names and provide receipts:

This is going to get real ugly, real quickly.

We are off the looking glass and through the map.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.