Can't see this ending well.
At some point in September of last year, Tylee Ryan, 17, and her brother, Joshua Vallow, 7, went missing from their Idaho home.
Their mother, Lori Vallow, did not report them missing. Nor did Chad Daybell, the author of several Mormon doomsday scenario books whom she married in November, and whose wife had just mysteriously died just two weeks before his wedding to Vallow. Rather, the investigation into the children's disappearance began when Vallow's extended family called the police in November and asked for a welfare check after not having been able to speak to 7-year-old Joshua, who has special needs, for several weeks.
The children have been missing ever since. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have left the state and refused to cooperate with police, which is of course a perfectly normal thing for innocent parents of missing children to do.
Does it get weirder from there? You bet it does. Not only were Vallow and Daybell involved with a rather bizarre-seeming Mormon doomsday cult called "Preparing a People," for which they did many podcasts, and very busy getting ready for the end of the world, and not only had Daybell's previous wife died two weeks before Daybell and Vallow got hitched, but Vallow has a trail of bodies of her own. Earlier in 2019, Charles Vallow, her estranged husband, was killed by her brother-in-law ... who died himself a few months later. Also, in 2018, Vallow's previous husband died of a heart attack at a relatively young age. He was cremated and therefore cannot be exhumed to check up on that. Also, there's another guy, Brandon Boudreaux, who was married to Vallow's niece and who says he is pretty sure Vallow tried to kill him in October because of her newfound religious beliefs.
That is a whole lot of dead and nearly dead and missing people in an extremely short period of time.
Guess she didn't see prison time coming.
Psychics aren't the worst people in the world. There are child molesters, genocidal maniacs, certain audibly tan presidents of the United States of America. But psychics are up there. I'm not talking about your friend who talks about crystals and Mercury being retrograde a whole lot and thinks she has certain "abilities," or even about people who charge $100 or whatever to do a tarot reading at a party. I'm talking about the ones whose primary magic power is conning desperate people out of thousands and thousands of dollars.
Like this lady, palm reader Tracey Milanovich of Somerset, Massachusetts, pictured above, who was recently charged with six counts of obtaining property over $250 by trick, larceny over $1200, and intimidation of a witness.
Tracy The Palm Reader, you see, convinced a client that her daughter was possessed by an evil demon that could only be banished if the woman gave her $71,000 and also bought her a bunch of household items like towels and bed sheets.
About as much as they could hope for.
A man with a shotgun opened fire in a church in White Settlement (yes, really), Texas, yesterday, killing two parishioners before two members of the church's armed volunteer security team shot and killed the gunman. Police and state and local officials praised the quick response by the security volunteers for preventing a far worse massacre, and advocates of guns everywhere triumphantly pointed to the incident as proof guns save lives, at least after some lives are already lost.
This is the 9th incident this Hannukah
Last night, around ten o'clock, five people were wounded at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York — an area with a high population of Orthodox Jews — at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg. Four were stabbed and one was injured in the chaos. This incident is the ninth in a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the New York City area this Hannukah.
A witness, Aron Kohn, 65, who said he was in the rabbi's home at the time, recalled that the rabbi was near the Hanukkah candles when the intruder stormed in.
"I was praying for my life," Mr. Kohn said. "He started attacking people right away as soon as he came in the door. We didn't have time to react at all."
"We saw him pull a knife out of a case," Mr. Kohn said. "It was about the size of a broomstick."
Mr. Kohn said that after the attacker fled, he tried to enter a synagogue next door, Congregation Netzach Yisroel, which is led by Rabbi Rottenberg.
The suspect, 38-year-old Grafton Thomas, was apprehended by police around midnight, and will be charged with five counts of attempted murder. So far, there is nothing to connect Thomas to the victims, and it is assumed that this is yet another act of anti-Semitic terrorism.
'He just wants to kill anybody he can.'
Now that Donald Trump has ratified Fox News's assessment of former Navy SEAL chief Eddie Gallagher as a Genuine American Hero by pardoning him (and others) for war crimes, we're getting more information on the accusations that led to Gallagher's court martial in the first place. The New York Times reports today on videotaped testimony from members of Gallagher's SEAL platoon in Iraq, given during interviews with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service after the SEALs reported Gallagher's actions in early 2018. The special operators don't have a lot of nice things to say about their former chief, portraying him as a sociopath who just loved killing people, whether they were combatants or civilians.
Although the platoon members' testimony had previously been reported by the Navy Times and Task and Purpose during Gallagher's trial, the videos have not been seen publicly before now. (The Times has compiled clips from the testimony for its documentary series "The Weekly," showing now on the Hulu streaming service, and to be broadcast on the FX cable network Sunday.) The SEALS, breaking with the usual code of silence that Gallagher must have hoped would protect him, were pretty devastating in their testimony, recorded in a San Diego NCIS office after they'd all returned from Iraq.
Back in June, Task and Purpose reported, "A Navy SEAL sniper testified[...] that he fired warning shots to scare away a civilian noncombatant in Mosul before Chief Eddie Gallagher fired and told them over the radio, 'you guys missed him but I got him.'" The same sniper also said at the trial, "I shot more warning shots to save civilians from Eddie than I ever did at ISIS." The Times reporting gets far, far worse.
'Kill all males' could mean anything.
Last week, a report commissioned by the Washington state House of Representatives detailed the ties between Rep. Matt Shea and the armed "patriot" movement, including his participation in three armed standoffs against federal law enforcement. The report said Shea had helped plan the 2016 Bundy Dildo Militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, saying his participation amounted to engaging in "an act of domestic terrorism against the United States." On Monday, the New York Times published a detailed story on the report and on Shea's vision for how he and his wingnut buddies could seize power in the Pacific Northwest and establish a theocracy, once America finally gets the blessed second Civil War that Barack Obama was so intent on bringing. It's some pretty good journamalism, all in all! Bummer it was graced with one of those indelibly bland New York Times headlines that bends over backward to downplay Shea's rightwing radicalism:
Congratulations to the New York Times for the most dishonest use of "alternative" since Kellyanne Conway! Reminds us of other great headlines:
- Titanic Takes Alternative Route
- Jeffrey Dahmer Pursued Alternative Diet
- Japanese Navy offers Alternative to Hawaii's Sunday Routine
- Jack Ruby Had Visions of an Alternative Justice System
Amazing reading. I'll be in my bunker.
An independent report commissioned by Washington's state House of Representatives finds that Rep. Matt Shea, who likes playing Jesus Warrior with militia types, helped to plan the 2016 Bundy Slob Militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, as well as another, less-publicized armed confrontation between militia goobers and federal agents in Idaho in 2015. Like many crazies in the so-called "Patriot" antigovernment movement, Shea was in part radicalized by traveling to Nevada in 2014 to help Cliven Bundy declare war on federal agents.
In addition to those three armed standoffs, the report says Shea
took part in a group chat in 2017 where he "condoned violence and intimidation" of his political opponents, and offered to conduct background checks on them.
The report also details how, from 2014 to 2019, Shea routinely used online forums to encourage his supporters to harass and intimidate "activists, government officials, Muslims, and others who speak or act in opposition to his personal beliefs and political agenda." As one does.
He seems nice!
The consequences were pretty darn quick, as reported by Crosscut, a nonprofit news consortium that covers the Northwest (it's a pretty cool outfit!). After the report was released yesterday, Washington state's House Republican Caucus suspended Shea, cutting off his access to shared House legislative staff and barring him from all Republican internal meetings and reindeer games. Shea has also been booted from membership on two House committees, as well as from his ranking position on the House Energy and Environment Committee.
As you might expect, Shea took to Facebook to whine he's being WITCH HUNTED!
The poor persecuted dear.
On the other hand, he really loves him some Trump.
On his way out of office earlier this month, former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin pardoned or commuted sentences for 428 prisoners in the state. Among them were a raft of seriously violent crimers, including a murderer whose family happened to have been huge campaign donors to Bevin. He also pardoned a few people convicted of sexually assaulting children, mostly because he decided all on his own that the juries had gotten the decision wrong. In an interview with a talk radio station yesterday, Bevin explained he had no regrets over pardoning a guy convicted of repeatedly raping a 9-year-old girl, because in his expert medical opinion, there was no forensic evidence she'd been raped. Matt Bevin, we must emphasize, is not a doctor.
Just a quick warning: What Bevin said was horrifying, and of necessity, we need to discuss the details of rape in this story. You may decide a story on contaminated pork more tolerable this morning.
OR DID HE? Also Rick Gates is going to jail for 22 weeks of Sundays.
We haven't thought that much about Rick Gates lately, but he's been back there this whole time, cooperating with the feds in multiple investigations like his former boss Paul Manafort did not. Anyway, Gates was sentenced to 22 weeks of Sundays and 23 weeks of Saturdays in prison today, even though he cooperated very goodly.
But anyway, SPEAKING OF PAUL MANAFORT, BREAKING PAUL MANAFORT NEWS.
Huh. Well, we could think all day and not find anything appropriate to say in such a time as this. Don't die, little buddy! You still got lots of secrets to tell, not that you're probably ever going to spill it, lest Putin's boys decide to take a voyage to America to do the Clinton Body Count to you, allegedly.
Back away slowly, there are SPIDERS in his ARMPITS!
Rudy Giuliani definitely wants to plead insanity. That has to be it. Right? He must have realized that he's just absolutely thrown away his previous life as a "very great crime fighter," as Donald Trump calls him, and inadvertently exchanged it for a life as a "very dumbstupid crime doer," and has decided that's the only way he can escape spending the remaining time he has in this life in prison.
We don't know where we left off with Rudy -- can one ever really know where one "leaves off" with Rudy? -- so let's just throw shit at the wall like a crazy person, because that's what Rudy's incessant mouth vomit reminds us of.
It's your Sunday show rundown!
Merry holidays to all of you, Wonkers, let us begin.
Over on CNN's "State of The Union," Jake Tapper began the morning with punchable ophthalmologist and Kentucky's second-most-loathsome senator, Rand Paul. Paul, via satellite from the site of the Bowling Green Massacre, decided to prove a former speechwriter for President Obama correct in his assessment of what this entire impeachment process would be like.
Rand Paul has decided his offensively stupid argument will be that Trump was "combating corruption" when he decided to extort Ukraine for an investigation that would hurt Joe Biden (and the Democratic Party). Tapper, for his part, pointed out the absurdity of this argument by taking Paul down Memory Lane.
TAPPER: But this is a president whose former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, former campaign adviser Roger Stone, former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates, former associate George Papadopoulos, all of them have been convicted of federal crimes. In addition, last year, Trump University settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit. Last month, President Trump admitted misusing his own charitable foundation's money, was ordered to pay $2 million. You really think President Trump is concerned about rooting out corruption?
I love that song! But did these facts deter Paul from making more idiotic arguments? Nope! He tried to trudge on with it to the point Tapper had to do everything in his power not to laugh in his face while pointing out his logic fallacies.
Matt Bevin does some pardons on his way out the door.
After narrowly losing his reelection bid to Democrat Andy Beshear, lameduck Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has gone on a pardoning spree, pardoning 428 prisoners between losing the election and Wednesday, his final day in office. It's not unusual for governors to issue pardons on their way out of office, but those pardons don't typically include quite so many prisoners convicted or homicide or sexual assault. And in at least one case, Bevin pardoned a dude whose family members were big-time Bevin donors, and who even hosted a fundraiser to retire Bevin's campaign debt.
Among those Bevin pardoned, as the Louisville Courier-Journal notes, were "one offender convicted of raping a child, another who hired a hit man to kill his business partner and a third who killed his parents." Also a couple of parents who, in separate cases, killed their babies.
You have to admit, it would have made a hell of a reelection slogan: "Four More Years -- Or I Let The Child Rapist Out."
Spoiler Alert: He can't. That idiot's headed for the clink.
Last week, Lev Parnas petitioned Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York for "modification of the terms of his pre-trial release, to allow him to leave his home daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, provided that he avoids airports, boat docks or train terminals." Prosecutors countered by asking the court to revoke Parnas's bail because he's a liarfuckingliar who "made materially misleading and false statements to Pretrial Services and the Government regarding his assets and income." Which is a really, really stupid thing to do when the government is so far up your ass they probably have a bug in your brain that knows your thoughts before you think them. Luckily no one ever accused Lev Parnas of being too brilliant for his own good!
He LOVES the Republican Party, and doesn't see what he did wrong.
They finally found a voter frauder! Gustavo Araujo Lerma, 64, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento to three years and nine months in federal prison after being found guilty in August of passport fraud, voting by an alien, and aggravated identity theft. Lerma was almost everything the paranoid rightwing rants about in-person voting fraud and illegal immigration are obsessed with: a Mexican national who bought a US citizen's birth certificate and Social Security card in 1992 and has voted illegally in federal elections ever since then. But only once per election, not changing clothes, putting on glasses, and voting again and again. That guy still has yet to be sighted in the wild. Until then, white nationalists will have to chase church buses around on election day, because elderly black people are probably frauding like crazy.
Oh yes, and he's a very loyal Republican who not only voted for Donald Trump, he also donated to the party and got some nice swag, like
letters of thanks from the president, former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and current RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Or their autopens, at least. Stands to reason a fake Trump voter would collect a bunch of fake autographs, no?
When you've lost the Gateway Pundit...
Omar Navarro, the minor (but aren't they all?) Trumpworld celebrity who made a name for himself by running for Congress against Maxine Waters, was arrested in the wee hours Sunday and charged with multiple felonies after he was seen lurking outside the San Francisco apartment building where his former girlfriend lives. Navarro was charged with three felonies (stalking, criminal threats, and attempted extortion) and a misdemeanor charge for violating a protective order against him. Navarro's target, DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, had applied for the five-year protective order earlier this year after months of harassment and death threats -- including some threats that allegedly came from a phone number connected to yet another TrumpWorld hanger-on, Jacob Wohl. Thankfully, that's the last of Wohl you'll hear in this story, so count your blessings, you.
George Zimmerman, Larry Klayman Team Up To Do More Evil Sh*t To Trayvon Martin's Family, DEFINITELY AREN'T RACIST
Shit is fucked up and bullshit.
George Zimmerman, apparently not satisfied with having merely shot Trayvon Martin dead in 2012, is now suing Martin's family and everyone involved in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman, even though the trial ended in Zimmerman's acquittal. But you see, decent people nationwide detest George Zimmerman, and for some crazy reason think he's a racist. Plus he can't seem to hold a job, and his attempts to make a living selling shitty racist art, signing autographs, or auctioning off the not-murder weapon haven't brought in the wealth and acclaim he clearly deserves. Surely some evildoers must be responsible for that. Couldn't be anything George Zimmerman did, because he's a very great guy.
Please disregard the domestic violence.
So that's why he and wingnut lawyer Larry Klayman are suing Trayvon Martin's family and a few thousand other people, demanding $100 million in damages from all those who conspired to defame Zimmerman and manufacture evidence against him and just generally ruin his life. The defendants, the suit claims, "have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other legal rights."
Oh yes, and would you believe that, by sheer coincidence, the lawsuit is based on claims in a book and "documentary" movie with the compelling title The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud That Divided America, released in September. And the lawsuit is being flogged to media outlets by the movie's director, Joel Gilbert, who's described by the Daily Beast as "a fringe filmmaker who traffics in conspiracy theories." You don't say!
A cynic might even suspect Zimmerman, Klayman, and Gilbert know the lawsuit will have every bit as much success as Klayman's other legal efforts, but that it might generate some book sales and movie downloads. But that's a very uncharitable take. Probably the book and movie are simply so full of astounding new evidence proving George Zimmerman is the real victim that Klayman and Zimmerman had no choice but to file the lawsuit, to correct the public record. All Zimmerman wants is his good reputation back. And One Hundred MILLLLLION dollars.
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