Texas judge arrested for 'organized criminal activity' in cattle rustling scheme: report

Special rangers in Texas have reportedly broken up a cattle rustling scheme involving a public official.

"The top seated official in the least populated county in the state of Texas was arrested Friday. Loving County Judge Skeet Jones is accused of livestock theft and organized criminal activity," News West 9 reported. "A special ranger with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association confirmed Judge Jones and three others, including a county employee, are accused of picking up estray cattle and selling them."

Jones was arrested along with Cody Williams, Jonathon Alvarado and Leroy Medlin.

"By law, if an estray (loose) livestock animal roams onto a property, the property owner must report the livestock to the the sheriff. The sheriff's office would then contact the livestock's owner and work toward reunification," the station reported. "Jones and Williams are officially charged for theft of three head of cattle and organized crime. Alvarado is charged for theft of one head of cattle and organized crime. Medlin is charged for organized crime."

Jones is the son of Elgin “Punk” Jones, who was the county sheriff for 28 years.

"For decades, a handful of prominent families in Loving County have feuded bitterly for control of the local government, with the Joneses finally largely coming out ahead. Skeet Jones has served as the judge for more than 15 years. His sister is the county clerk. His cousin’s husband is the county attorney. His nephew is the constable," NBC News reported.

Texas election lawyer Susan Hays says the scheme was "asinine."

“You can’t make this sh*t up,” she told NBC News. “It’s a pain in the ass to round up cattle and take them to market. And then to risk real trouble for it? It’s just asinine to me.”

Roger Stone is going to prison — or he's flipping on Donald Trump: ex-prosecutor

Notorious political dirty trickster Roger Stone will have to choose between prison and his longtime friend, Donald Trump, a former federal prosecutor argued on Saturday.

"It was known as F.O.S. — or Friends of Stone — and while its members shifted over time, they were a motley cast of characters," The New York Times reported Friday. "At least three members of the group chat are now facing charges in connection with the riot at the Capitol in January 2021. They include Owen Shroyer, the right-hand man of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones; Enrique Tarrio, the onetime chairman of the Proud Boys; and Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia."

The group chat was on the encrypted communications app Signal.

At least two members of the group are cooperating with investigators.

"While little is known about what was said on the chat, the membership list of Friends of Stone, provided to The New York Times by one of its participants, offers a kind of road map to Mr. Stone’s associations, showing their scope and nature in the critical period after the 2020 election. During that time, Mr. Stone was involved with a strikingly wide array of people who participated in efforts to challenge the vote count and keep Mr. Trump in the White House," the newspaper reported. "At least one of Mr. Stone’s Oath Keeper bodyguards, Joshua James, has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy charges in the Capitol attack and is cooperating with the government’s inquiry. Kellye SoRelle, a lawyer for the Oath Keepers, was part of the Friends of Stone chat as well and is also said to be cooperating with prosecutors in the riot investigation."

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner suggested that will create a dilemma for Stone while analyzing the case on his "Justice Matters" podcast.

"So this is also a really good development, that people are flipping on Roger Stone, because one day — one day — Roger Stone is either going to prison or he's flipping on Donald Trump," he said.


Giuliani testifies; friends of Stone are flipping; Ginni Thomas insurrects & Loudermilk gets quiet www.youtube.com

Louisiana Republican called out for statement 'rooted in white supremacy'

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was lectured by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for his statements dismissing maternal death by African American women.

“About a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality. So, if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear,” Cassidy told Politico.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) blasted Cassidy in a thread posted to Twitter.

"A third of Louisiana's population is Black. The Senator's statement is rooted in white supremacy," she wrote.

"I’ll paraphrase the Senator’s statement. Sen. Cassidy is saying that his state’s maternal death rate wouldn’t be so high if you didn’t count Black women. He suggests that 'correcting' the data means eliminating Black maternal health outcomes entirely," she explained.

"Due to structural inequities built into our health care system. Black mothers are 3 times as likely to die due to complications from pregnancy than white mothers. In Louisiana, that number jumps to 4," she coninued.

"GOP elected officials like Sen. Cassidy have no desire to dismantle these inequities — it’s easier for them to ignore them. Because dismantling health inequities means acknowledging systemic racism, and it’s against his best interests to do that," she wrote. "It’s no surprise that a member of the party that scores political points by spewing conspiratorial 'great replacement' rhetoric and fomenting moral panics about so-called critical race theory in schools is perfectly comfortable ignoring the plight of Black American mothers."

"A truly 'pro-life' Senator should have a vested interest in ending maternal health disparities. Instead, Sen. Cassidy seems content to let Black mothers die as a result of pregnancies that his party would like to force them to carry," she argued. "To call this hypocrisy unacceptable would be a gross understatement. I am saddened, disgusted, and appalled that a *sitting U.S. Senator* in the year 2022 can make this statement so nonchalantly."

"Black lives matter. Black mothers matter. And I will not stop fighting until ALL of my colleagues — House and Senate, Democratic and Republican — acknowledge that," she concluded.

Piers Morgan tells Trump, Jr. who his dad should fire 'if he wants any chance of winning again'

British television personality Piers Morgan voiced his disappointment in Donald Trump's political team as he feuded with team Trump on Twitter.

When Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich criticized Morgan's ratings, the British broadcaster was surprised Budowich was still employed.

"Taylor, you can’t still be in a job - surely? The world’s worst communications director who masterminded the interview that most annoyed his boss? Donald Trump must be losing his edge - I’d have fired you the moment our promo landed!" he wrote.

After trading barbs, Mogan said he played Budowich, "like a cheap viola."

Longtime Trump aide Boris Epshteyn said Morgan was "a sad has-been?"

"Who are you?" Morgan responded.

"I got a great interview with President Trump, and the fact all you clowns around him threw your toys out of the stroller made it even better. If he wants any chance of winning again, he should fire all of you," he wrote.

He carbon-copied Donald Trump, Jr. on the tweet.

Gender gap shrinks — even after leak of Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade: report

Democrats' advantage among female voters has narrowed from recent campaign cycles, CNN analyst Harry Enten explained on Saturday.

"The polling ahead of the 2022 midterms has been marked by a shrinking of electoral divisions," he wrote. "Perhaps more surprisingly as we head into the heart of the primary season, the same is true when it comes to gender. Even after the leak of a draft US Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, there are signs of a smaller gender gap among voters."

Enten says polling shows Republicans are doing far better than the last midterms.

"Every two years, I have a tradition of writing on a widening gender gap before the election. I did it in 2016, 2018 and 2020. All of those cycles featured wide differences in voting between men and women, though those variations tended to be larger at this point than what actually came to bear," he wrote. "Right now, the divide is considerably smaller than it was in May 2018, which was considered by many to be a second 'Year of the Woman.'"

Averaging six recent polls, Enten found a gender gap of 20 points.

"This margin may seem large (and it's not small), but it was 29 points per the average of these same polls at this point four years ago. (Aggregated CNN polling from late 2019 put the gender gap in a matchup between Biden and former President Donald Trump at an even larger 34 points.) The current smaller divide disproportionately comes because of female voters. While Republicans are doing 4 points better among men than at this point in 2018, they're doing 13 points better among women," he explained.

He noted the average gender gap in polls had not changed since the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

"This could change if Roe is overturned. Still, the gender gap on abortion is significantly smaller than on other issues, so such a scenario would probably affect the voting patterns of men and women similarly," he noted.

Read the full analysis.

Fox News insider warns law enforcement may be needed to stop the network's lies from killing Americans

Law enforcement may have to intervene to stop Fox News from incited racist terrorism as its primetime hosts push white supremacist conspiracy theories, a longtime network insider warned on Saturday.

Carl Cameron spent two decades at the network reporting on politics and earning the nickname "Campaign Carl" for his extensive travel to cover political races. He was interviewed on Saturday by CNN's Jim Acosta.

Acosta played clips of Tucker Carlson pushing the same white supremacist conspiracy theory that the alleged Buffalo massacre gun said motivated in his manifesto.

"Do you think the Murdock family in charge of Fox will ever pull the plug on Tucker?" Acosta asked.

"There's a point when it becomes difficult for an executive to put up with the help," Cameron replied.

"In this particular case, Tucker has been screaming fire in a crowded movie house for years, and that cliche really comes to the matter of what is free speech, and the fact of the matter is, if you disturb starting a riot in a movie theater, cops are going to arrest you and you might end up in jail or you might end up in something worse," he explained.

"That absolutely has to stop, whether it's the antitrust bill to take down and deplatform people who lie and put out falsehoods that cause damage and violent, violent hate, there ought to be something done about it," he replied.

He said Democrats have to take action.

"Democrats have to kick it in. The president has to be more forceful and sooner or later the law enforcement and the U.S. government is going to have to stop the lying because it's causing people's deaths," Cameron said.


Carl Cameron www.youtube.com

Texas cop fired and jailed for tasering her sons — ages 8, 11, and 12: prosecutors

Authorities in Texas say they acted quickly after receiving a report that a law enforcement officer tasered her young sons.

"A former Precinct 4 Deputy Constable remains in Harris County jail Friday evening, facing felony allegations she used a stun gun, commonly known as a Taser, on her three minor children," KTRK reported. "Xochitl Ortiz is no longer a deputy constable. She was fired when she was arrested earlier this week."

The boys are 8, 11, and 12.

"The facts allege that you used a Taser to tase each of your children: one on the hand, one on the buttocks, one on the shoulder. The facts allege the complaining witnesses complained of shock and pain and don't feel safe in your home," a hearing officer said as Ortiz was arraigned.

Ortiz is being held on $450,000 bond.

Constable Mark Herman claims his office quickly took action when notified of the allegations.

"On April 14, 2022 my office received a complaint in reference to these allegations and immediately initiated an investigation. My office, along with investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office worked together, culminating in my office placing ex-deputy Xochitl Ortiz into custody and transferring her to the investigators," Herman said.


Trump, Jr. winds up in felony poaching scandal in Utah after killing a bear baited with pastries: report

Second-generation New York real estate heir Donald Trump, Jr. is caught up in yet another hunting scandal.

Utah hunting guide Wade Lemon is facing five years in prison for baiting a bear that was killed by Trump, Jr. on May 18, 2018, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.

But the New York developer may not have been familiar enough with western hunting to know about the felony poaching.

"Trump Jr. is not named in a recent filing against Lemon, but the DNR confirmed his identity as the person named in the felony complaint as Lemon’s “client” on the hunt. Prosecutors have indicated there was no evidence showing Trump Jr. would have known about the alleged baiting that went on during the hunt," the newspaper reported. "Without naming Trump Jr., Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said the hunter in the case 'was actually a victim and a now a possible witness in a fraudulent scheme to lead the hunter to believe it was actually a legitimate Wild West hunting situation.'"

Trump, Jr. posted pictures of his hunting trip to Instagram.

"On Sept. 3, 2020, The Utah Investigative Journalism Project requested files on closed investigations against Wade Lemon Hunting. The DNR provided files on cases dating back to 2009 except for the case on the 2018 Trump Jr. hunt. DNR had decided to reopen that case and denied the records request, stating the release would interfere with the now 'open' investigation," the newspaper reported. "DNR turned the case over to the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Utah Attorney General Reyes has close ties to Trump, having campaigned for him and even flying to Nevada to investigate the election results after Trump’s defeat at the polls and signed on to a lawsuit claiming 'unlawful election results.' The Attorney General’s Office reinvestigated the case for months, then handed it off to the Davis County Attorney’s Office to screen for filing of charges."

Trump, Jr.'s guided hunting trip resulted in kills of a black bear and mountain lion.

"Charging documents allege Lemon’s outfitters illegally used bait on the bear shot by Trump Jr. According to the document, a witness identified Lemon and his employees during the hunt in May 2018 and was able to identify Lemon over radio traffic, giving instructions to his employees," the newspaper reported. "The illegal bait, 'a pile of grain, oil and pastries' was discovered with a trail camera pointed right on it with 'WLH' (for Wade Lemon Hunting) written on the side and with Lemon’s own telephone number, according to court documents. The charging documents also include evidence from a subordinate confirming Lemon had him place the bait in the location several weeks before the hunt."

The guide Trump, Jr. hired for his hunt has been investigated before.

"Hunting guides who cater to the wealthy elite have a lot at stake in ensuring successful hunts. These companies employ hunters to scout woods, deserts, mountains and plains for the biggest game, to ensure these high-profile clients have the highest chance for a successful hunt. According to DNR, Wade Lemon Hunting has been investigated eight times for allegedly breaking the law to ensure a successful hunt, though he was not charged with a felony until Tuesday," the newspaper explained.

The vast majority of game taken in America is from hunters who do not require a hired guide.

The former president's eldest son has previously had scandals over killing an elephant in Africa, killing an endangered sheep in Mongolia, and killing pregnant prairie dogs in Montana.

'Never seen anything like this': Fatal Michigan tornado wiped out a Hobby Lobby, Jimmy Johns and Quick Lube

Authorities in Michigan are detailing extensive damage from a fatal tornado that struck the town of Gaylord on Friday.

Channel 4 News reports at least one person died and 44 others were injured.

The tornado reportedly first struck a mobile home park and was on the ground for two or three miles.

“I would say it was on the ground for about two hours,” said Gaylord Mayor Sharrad. “It did wipe out a Hobby Lobby, Jimmy Johns, Quick Lube on our west side of town, and then it came into town, and it wiped out a lot of homes.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on the scene and has issued an emergency declaration.

"Officials say the damage is substantial as the people injured have been transported to multiple hospitals after the emergency facility in Gaylord stopped accepting patients due to lack of power as it is running on emergency generators," Channel 4 reported.

The mayor told the station, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life."

Watch the clip below or at this link.

Tornado touches down Friday in Gaylord; Stores damaged, vehicles tossed, injuries reported www.youtube.com

'The Republicans are talking like Nazis': Bill Maher calls out Elise Stefanik and J.D. Vance

The host of "Real Time" on HBO warned his viewers about Republicans talking like Nazis.

He noted that J.D. Vance, who is running for U.S. Senate in Ohio with the support of Donald Trump, had suggested Democrats might be intentionally poisoning MAGA voters with fentanyl.

"Elise Stefanik, she's number three Republican, formally normal person," Maher said.

"Once upon a time," Democratic strategist Donna Brazille interjected.

Maher noted Stefanik had issued a statement calling her critics "pedo-grifters."

"So, like, it's routine to call the Dem — I'm sorry, the Republicans are talking like Nazis," Maher said. "I know we're not supposed to make the Nazi comparison, but when you're pedophiles and when you're scum, when you're the enemies of America, people are trying to replace you, this is Nazi kind of talk," Maher said.

'Loyalty tests': Mark Esper names Trump's 'worst enablers' on 'Real Time' with Bill Maher

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper discussed Donald Trump's worst enablers during on his Friday evening appearance on HBO's "Real Time."

"Who were [Trump's] worst enablers?" Maher asked.

"Well, I talk about it in my book, right? Stephen Miller, Mark Meadows is another one," he said.

"There's people on the [National Security Council] staff. I don't think the National Security Advisor did a great job either," he said.

Robert O'Brien was National Security Advisor when Esper was fired by tweet.

READ: ‘There will be blood’: Elon Musk seeks to hire ‘hardcore streetfighters’ as Tesla stock tanks

"Johnny McEntee, the 29ish head of presidential personnel — with no background in personnel matters — comes in and begins installing his people through all the departments and agencies," he said. "These kind of loyalty tests begin, all this craziness really picks up at this point."

Watch the segment below or at this link.

'Known white supremacist' sought by police after threats against Texas Capitol: report

The Texas Department of Public Safety is searching for a Pennsylvania man who allegedly made terrorism threats.

"Hardy Carroll Lloyd, 44, is a known white supremacist and is wanted by authorities after posting a series of threatening comments online," KHOU reported Friday. "In them, he talks about carrying a firearm onto the grounds of the Texas State Capitol this weekend and challenging any law enforcement officer who tries to take enforcement actions against him, Texas DPS said."

The man reportedly has ties to the Austin area.

"Lloyd is a convicted felon and cannot legally carry a firearm. He is described as being 5 feet and 11 inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds," the station reported. "Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to Lloyd's arrest. Texas DPS said all tips are guaranteed to be anonymous."

Authorities say the man should be considered armed and dangerous and are asking for the public's help in locating the subject.

In 2021, CBS Pittsburgh reported there were fears of violence after Lloyd was released from prison.

Hardy Lloyd Released From Prison, Community Urged to be Vigilant www.youtube.com

Rudy Giuliani deposed for more than 9 hours by Jan. 6 committee report

The former mayor of New York City was finally interviewed by the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's onetime personal attorney and a lead architect of his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, on Friday met with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection," CNN reported Friday evening, citing two sources.

The interview reportedly lasted more than nine hours.

"The Select Committee's investigation has revealed credible evidence that you publicly promoted claims that the 2020 election was stolen and participated in attempts to disrupt or delay the certification of the election results based on your allegations," Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) explained in Giuliani's subpoena in January.

"Between mid-November 2020 and January 6, 2021 (and thereafter), you actively promoted claims of election fraud on behalf of former President Trump and sought to convince state legislators to take steps to overturn the election results," he added.

"According to public reporting, on January 6 and in the days prior, you were in contact with then-President Trump and members of Congress regarding strategies for delaying or overturning the results of the 2020 election," he add.

'Does this look awful?' Legal expert explains the latest Ginni Thomas scandal

Judicial ethical standards provide a clear framework to evaluate the latest bombshell revelations about Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

"Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post. The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud," the newspaper reported Friday.

For analysis, MSNBC's Chris Hayes interviewed Slate editor Dahlia Lithwick, who hosts the podcast Amicus.

Hayes noted "there are people that say Ginni Thomas is her own person what she does is irrelevant. Everything we find out, it just gets harder, and harder to just divide it, even just conceptually or factually, from Justice Clarence Thomas, who sits on the court."

"So, here is the good news, Chris, to the extent that there is good news," Lithwick said.

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"You, know there are federal statutes and there are judicial canons and they don't parse the questions are asking," she explained. "They don't try to figure out who is an independent ethical agent, they don't try to figure out whether spouses or working in tandem with their spouse, they simply state, and this is 28 U.S. Code § 455, any justice, judge, our magistrate judge is required to disqualify in any case where spouses are known to have an interest in the proceeding."

"And so I think the way I would reframe your question gently is 'Does this look awful? If it does, it is awful and he should not be involved in these cases."

Watch the segment below or at this link.

Ginni Thomas www.youtube.com

'Fear-driven alliance': Conservative explains why far-right CPAC 'opportunists' and 'paranoids' are meeting in Hungary

The rise of authoritarianism and fascism growing within the Republican Party was discussed by the opening panel on MSNBC's "The Reidout" on Friday.

Host Joy Reid noted how the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Hungary this year, which is ruled by strongman Viktor Orbán.

"They have elections, of a sort, but also hamper voters' abilities to make informed choices and heavily control the outcome that the elections are essentially a show," she explained. "These are the autocratic dreams of a far-right leader obsessed with solidifying a Christian monoculture and who, in 2014, declared his intention to build an illiberal new state citing China, Russia and Turkey as role models. Flash forward to today where CPAC, the once conservative gathering that is now simply a cesspool of the far-right running amok, is holding its conference in Budapest."

For analysis, Reid interviewed conservative writer Tom Nichols.

Nichols warned "there is a nihilistic, fear-driven alliance here with a group of opportunists, and I want to get back to this issue of about Hungary, the really dangerous thing here is that some of these people believe very deeply in -- in some of this stuff and yet others, and I would say people like [Tucker] Carlson and Matt Schlapp and some of the other people capering about in Budapest, don't believe in any of this and don't believe in anything of this other than the extension of their own personal power and wealth.

"And when you have this coalition of shallow, empty opportunists along with with a group of paranoids, basically, then you have a really dangerous movement because each side has to keep upping the ante to kind of justify why they are doing the things they are doing," he explained.

"A lot of this is an act, but the problem is you then paint yourself into a corner... You have to start actually trying to put forward policies and carry things out that, that make you look as if you believe the things that you're doing. And then after a while, whether it's an act or its opportunism is no longer relevant: You have become the thing you've been prancing about and pretending to be," he explained.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

Tom Nichols www.youtube.com