Wednesday News: Deadly milestone


TEENAGER BECOMES CHARLOTTE'S 100TH HOMICIDE VICTIM: The Charlotte Observer reports Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say 19-year-old Nathaniel Lee Isenhour died at a Charlotte hospital on Tuesday after he was shot near a shopping center on Monday. According to police, someone called 911 to report shots fired. When officers arrived, they found neither a victim nor a shooter. Soon after, staffers at a local hospital notified police of a gunshot wound victim. Police said Isenhour was transferred from Atrium Health University City Hospital to Carolinas Medical Center Atrium Health with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The newspaper says Charlotte last reported 100 homicides in 1993. There have been no arrests in the case thus far.

ALL UNC SCHOOLS NOW HAVE ACCEPTABLE ID CARDS FOR VOTING: As North Carolina prepares for the introduction of a voter ID requirement next year, a new decision means the entire UNC System will have acceptable photo IDs that students and employees can use in lieu of a driver’s license. The State Board of Elections has had multiple rounds of applications for entities to get their IDs approved as an alternate form of voter ID. A few UNC System schools were approved earlier this year, and on Tuesday the elections board announced that the rest have all now been accepted. There are now more than 100 different types of IDs people can show at the polls starting next year to prove their identity. U.S. passports, driver’s licenses, military and veteran IDs, tribal enrollment cards and various state and local government employee IDs will all be acceptable.

UNC-CHAPEL HILL INSTITUTES POLICIES TO COMBAT ANTISEMITISM: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has agreed to expand its anti-bias training and expressly forbid anti-Semitism in campus policies as part of an agreement with the U.S. Education Department following complaints about a March conference featuring a rapper accused of anti-Jewish bias. The university announced the changes Monday after reaching a resolution with the department’s Office for Civil Rights. The deal puts an end to the inquiry without any admission of wrongdoing on the school’s part, and without any official finding from the department on the allegation of illegal discrimination. Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz reiterated that the university will not tolerate any form of harassment, and he encouraged students and faculty to report any problems. Under the agreement, the university must add a statement to its policies saying that anti-Semitic harassment is prohibited and may violate federal law. The school’s current rules prohibit discrimination based on religion or ethnic ancestry but do not specifically address anti-Semitism.

TWO TRUMP OFFICIALS RESIGNED IN PROTEST OVER UKRAINE SHAKEDOWN: Not one but two officials in the Office of Management and Budget resigned as tensions rose over why Ukraine’s military aid was held up. Congress approved the money and the Pentagon signed off on it. It was OMB’s job to administer the aid, and Sandy, a top career official there, testified he didn’t understand why they couldn’t give to Ukraine. They were told the president wanted it paused. The process for giving the money to Ukraine was going smoothly until June 19. That’s when Sandy testifies Trump asked for information about the money, and he says the question came after media reports that the money was going to be spent. Reeker, one of the top diplomats overseeing Europe and Eurasia affairs, testified Sondland said he had a “script” for Ukraine’s president. And that Sondland said he was being directed by the president. That squares with Sondland’s explosive testimony that he told Ukraine it had to announce investigations into Democrats to get an Oval Office meeting, and that he was acting “at the express direction of the President of the United States.”

TRUMP RELEASED UKRAINE AID SHORTLY AFTER BEING TOLD ABOUT WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT: Lawyers from the White House counsel’s office told Mr. Trump in late August about the complaint, explaining that they were trying to determine whether they were legally required to give it to Congress, the people said. The revelation could shed light on Mr. Trump’s thinking at two critical points under scrutiny by impeachment investigators: his decision in early September to release $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine and his denial to a key ambassador around the same time that there was a “quid pro quo” with Kyiv. Mr. Trump used the phrase before it had entered the public lexicon in the Ukraine affair. Mr. Trump faced bipartisan pressure from Congress when he released the aid. But the new timing detail shows that he was also aware at the time that the whistle-blower had accused him of wrongdoing in withholding the aid and in his broader campaign to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to conduct investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election chances. In late August, the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, concluded that the administration needed to send it to Congress. But the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and his deputy John A. Eisenberg disagreed. They decided that the administration could withhold from Congress the whistle-blower’s accusations because they were protected by executive privilege. The lawyers told Mr. Trump they planned to ask the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to determine whether they had to disclose the complaint to lawmakers.



Don't rush the Impeachment vote...

New evidence is coming to light every day, and there's still numerous current and former Trump officials that need to be questioned. And apparently Giuliani's hooligan buddy Lev Parnas is trying to leverage a deal with prosecutors, so that needs to play out.

The stew is not done yet.

Parnas may be a goldmine

ABC has reported that Parnas has turned over audio and video to prosecutors and the House of himself with Guliani and Trump. The only reason he'd have stuff like that would be as insurance, which means it likely has incriminating evidence against both of them. We could have our modern Watergate tapes, with all the impact that those had and then some.


I've never been a big fan of making deals with criminals, who then end up living next door to people who don't know who they are. But in this case, dropping a campaign finance charge to get evidence on Trump and Giuliani is a frickin' no-brainer.