CHICAGO — More than 8 of every 10 Illinoisans live in a community where brain-damaging lead was found in the tap water of at least one home during the past six years, a new Chicago Tribune analysis found. The alarming results are from a limited number of samples collected under federal regulations by the state’s 1,768 water utilities. Depending on the number of people served by each utility, only a handful or a few dozen homes are occasionally monitored, but when combined the tests provide snapshots of a widespread threat to public health that for decades has been largely ignored. Most exposur...
"Flash mob" thieves targeted big box stores on Black Friday — including a Home Depot in Los Angeles where they threatened employees and customers with sledgehammers that had been stolen from the store.
"At about 7:45 p.m., eight or nine young men entered Home Depot ... and stole multiple hammers, crowbars, wrenches and other tools before fleeing into waiting vehicles," KTLA Channel 5 reports, adding that the tools were valued at $400 and "could be used for future crimes."
Home Depot employee Luis Romo told KTTV Channel 11: "We tried to stop them. We closed the front entrance, and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them."
Video from the incident (below) appears to show the suspects threatening a customer with sledgehammers after bumping into him on their way out of the store.
Meanwhile, at least 30 people entered a Best Buy store in Burnsville, Minnesota, on Friday and stole electronics. Another Best Buy store nearby was also burglarized by a group of 10-12 people, CNN reported.
Reuters noted that the incidents are part of a "a surging U.S. crime trend in which groups of thieves swarm a store, ransack the shelves and flee."
CNN host Jim Acosta on Saturday took aim at Colorado Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and other members of the "freak show caucus" — including GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
"You might be feeling all filled up after Thanksgiving, but unfortunately we got an extra helping of turkey from Colorado Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who proudly displayed her ignorance and bigotry in comments about Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar," Acosta said.
He went on to run down some of Boebert's long history of similarly inflammatory remarks.
"Boebert appears to believe that trolling, overt racism and the glorification of political violence all come with the job here in Washington. Now, where would she get that idea?" Acosta said, before playing a clip of former president Donald Trump. "Welcome to the Trump Republican Party freak show caucus, congresswoman. ... The freak show caucus knows the party's current leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, is not going to stand in their way."
Acosta noted that Rep. Greene wants to award Kyle Rittenhouse the Congressional Medal of Freedom, and that Boebert and others have been arguing over who will get to hire the Kenosha shooter as an intern. This week Boebert challenged Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who uses a wheelchair, to a "sprint" to determine who gets to hire Rittenhouse.
"I know what you're saying, she's not the brightest bulb on the Captiol Christmas tree," Acosta said. "Also, an internship? Really? It sounds like (Rittenhouse is) on his way to a speakership. Would Kevin McCarthy object to that? I have my doubts."
"As we're all gathering with family and friends for the holidays, ask yourselves, is this who we are?" he added. "Bigoted, hateful, violent? I don't think so. Sadly I'd say we are complacent and enabling more than anything else. Too many of us are standing on the sidelines sticking our head in the sand and biting our tongues in hopes that the freak show will eventually go away. Sounds like appeasement. How did that work out over the last four years — or the last century for that matter?"
Jim Acosta on Lauren Boebert www.youtube.com
Even if Trump adviser Steve Bannon is convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to jail, he won't be forced to testify before the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.
However, there is another strategy the committee could use to ultimately compel Bannon's testimony, according to former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance.
Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday, Vance first commented on Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who reacted in a TV interview this week to the committee's decision to subpoena Roger Stone and Alex Jones. "I can tell you that I'm not aware of anybody in the White House that had conversations with either one of those individuals," said Meadows, who is himself defying a subpoena from the committee.
Vance responded to Meadows' comments by saying she "expects to hear that audio tape actually played back against Meadows if the government is forced to compel or prosecute him to obtain his testimony."
"He sure makes a good case for himself as a witness, saying that some people didn't have conversations, and of course implying that other people did," Vance said.
But Vance added that "the real story" is the number of witnesses who are speaking with the committee without subpoenas — as well as the documents that congressional investigators have already obtained.
"We see that reflected in some of these new subpoenas which contain information that's clearly coming from witnesses," Vance said. "They're being very, very definitive — for instance, with some of the members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, when they explain why they're seeking their testimony, and also with some of the folks who are organizers of the Jan. 6 event."
"They're looking at organizers, they're looking at organizations, and they clearly have a trajectory where they're trying to obtain the information they need," she added. "Whether they'll be able to go back and get people like Bannon to testify is still an open question. Even if Bannon is convicted, that's no guarantee that he will ever testify. But the committee will then have an opportunity to engage in civil contempt proceedings that could find him back in prison and holding his own keys to his jail cell based on when he chooses to testify or not."
MSNBC on Capitol riot probe www.youtube.com