As the NFL copes with a ratings slump and ESPN slashes $80 million in salaries after losing 15,000 subscribers a day in October, another major issue facing the league continued to play out in week 15 – terrible attendance.
While many blame the kneeing epidemic of unpatriotic players refusing to stand for the National Anthem – which started in the summer 2016 pre-season by former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, others point to a boring season, cord cutters and broke millennials staying home.
Either way, it’s ugly. Since most NFL attendance figures are based on “tickets distributed” as opposed to actual turnstile count, and most NFL ticket sales are to season-ticket holders, it’s nearly impossible to tell how many people are simply choosing not to attend games for which they’ve already bought tickets. Except, pictures don’t lie…
MetLife Stadium was a ghost town at the end of the first quarter, and “1/2 full” as the Philadelphia Eagles and NY Giants headed into the 4th quarter:
Nearly two decades ago, MSNBC paid a settlement to a staffer after she accused Hardball host Chris Matthews of sexual harassment, reports the Daily Caller. Matthews received a formal reprimand at the time.
Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.
The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.
The MSNBC spokesman said that they thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and that Matthews received a formal reprimand. Based on people who were involved in matter, the network concluded that the comments were inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions.
Matthews, who has has hosted Hardball since 1997, oogled Melania Trump in a hot-mic moment during the election. He’s the latest in a growing list of influential media figures to be accused of sexual misconduct, and the third high-profile case for NBC.
In late November, NBC fired Today host Matt Lauer, who was the highest paid personality in TV news at the time – after the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” Several other women followed suit, telling Variety that NBC ignored several complaints to executives. Lauer was found to have kept a bunch of sex toys in his office, and reportedly had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside. Creepy.
The network also cut ties with veteran political journalist and “Game Change” author Mark Halperin, who was accused groping, sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment by a dozen women he worked with during his time with ABC news. “We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” MSNBC said in a statement to CNN, which broke the story, adding “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”
Last but not least for the network, NBC fired Senior VP Matt Zimmerman for failing to report relationships he had with women who worked for him.
Other men in media accused of sexual harassment or worse include; Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose and NYT political reporter Glenn Thrush.
The Daily Caller’sLuke Rosiak says that within 72 hours, “The House Is Going To Be Rocked” with a new bombshell which he says “will see the resignation of more than a dozen House members over harassment and secret settlements, and soon.”
Rosiak, who has earned a large following as one of the leading journalists cataloging the Awan brothers scandal, does not typically engage in hyperbole – so when he posted the following tweets, people took notice:
Congress' human resources scandal is just getting started. I anticipate we will see the resignation of more than a dozen House members over harassment and secret settlements, and soon.
Rosiak’s last “Tick Tock” on December 4th telling people to “Stay tuned for news of another secret House settlement, related to an allegation of sexual assault” was followed up with a revelation about a settlement brokered by Rep. Gregory Meels in 2006 over allegations that he fired a staffer in retaliation for a claim she made against a campaign contributor.
Andrea Payne, then a congressional aide in Meeks’ Queens office, filed a complaint with the Office of Compliance, and Meeks fired her weeks later. He admitted that the cause of her termination did not have to do with the quality of Payne’s work.
“This is an action to recover for damages sustained by plaintiff when Representative Meeks violated her Constitutional rights by retaliating against her, and ultimately terminating her employment, because of her sexual assault lawsuit,” Payne’s attorneys wrote.
The attorney for disgraced Rep. John Conyers’ hinted that there are “a lot” of potential claims out there, he wrote prior to Conyers’ resignation:
“If people were required to resign over allegations, a lot of people would be out of work in this country including many members of the House, Senate and even the president.”
The former Secretary of State was spotted wearing a black surgical boot during a Vancouver stop along her book tour, two months after she says she took a tumble down some stairs in high heels while holding a cup of coffee.
Clinton ambled onto the stage in some sort of black outfit to promote her book What Happened – which details why her election loss is everyone’s fault but hers, when onlookers were confronted with the orthopedic device she’s worn since October.
While recounting her harrowing incident, Clinton said ‘I was running down the stairs in heels with a cup of coffee in hand, I was talking over my shoulder and my heel caught and I fell backwards. ‘I tried to get up and it really hurt. I’ve broken my toe.”
Toe fractures generally take four to six weeks to heal:
“If your toe is crooked after the injury, the bone may be out of place… …It can take 4 to 6 weeks for complete healing,” according to medlineplus.gov.
Yet, two months later to the day Clinton definitely fell and broke her toe, her foot still seems to be bothering her. It’s possible that if the toe required surgery to reset, it could have extended the healing process.
Clinton’s toe is the latest in a long line of health issues. While her physician Lisa Bardack said Clinton was “fit as a fiddle” during the 2016 election, however her spastic head bobbing, required assistance up stairs, mysterious (epi)’pen’ shadow doctor, special glasses, and fainting spell on September 11th, 2016 before being hoisted into a van like a side of beef suggest otherwise.
And what was that weird metal thing that fell down Hillary’s pant leg while she was passing out?
Whatever’s going on with Hillary’s toe, requiring a boot to Position her foot as she travels around the Globe to keep her recovery Tracking along is absolutely sad!
Shares of Israeli generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical ($TEVA) spiked over 18% in early morning trade on news that they are eliminating 25% of global workforce, suspending their dividend, and warned of “downward pressure on the top line.” The stock is currently up around 13%.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will relocate or shut down most of its manufacturing operations in Israel, according to a document reviewed by Calcalist and people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. The company’s plans in Israel are part of the wider global restructuring strategy announced by the company late November. The company intends to implement the plan in the next few months, in the hope of presenting significant cost cuts in its earnings report for the first quarter of 2018, according to the document.
Following a late-night board meeting, the company has decided to let go over half of its Israeli workforce, cutting 3,300 jobs out of 6,430 in the country. The company intends to do away with most of its domestic manufacturing activities, shutting and selling entire sites, and drastically reducing the size of operations in remaining sites.
The move, according to the WSJ, is meant to significantly cut costs so they can pay down debt.
The world’s largest seller of generic drugs has been under intense pressure from other drugmakers for their blockbuster multiple-sclerosis drug, leading to competitive price declines and sagging sales. The company’s restructuring will take two years and aims to cut $3 billion in costs by the end of 2019, according to the Thursday announcement.
CEO Kåre Schultz, who has been in the role since November 1, said that there is no other option in a memo to employees:
“Making workforce reductions of this magnitude is difficult,” Mr. Schultz wrote in a memo to employees.
“However, there is no alternative to these drastic steps in the current situation.”
A photoshopped image of new Teva CEO Kåre Schultz has been making the rounds of Mr. Schultz is dressed as a “White Walker,” an undead ice creature from HBO’s popular fantasy series Game of Thrones, with the caption “Winter is coming.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley fired off a letter late Wednesday to the DOJ, asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to explain several disturbing revelations contained within anti-Trump text messages sent between FBI investigators Peter Strzok and his FBI-Attorney mistress Lisa Page – both of whom were central to the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia probe, and both of whom were removed from Robert Mueller’s Special counsel when their text messages came to light. Rosenstein appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to answer questions about Strzok, Page and Mueller’s investigation.
Rosenstein stood by Robert Mueller’s investigation, telling lawmakers dismayed at a trove of damning text messages that he is “not aware of any impropriety” on the Special Counsel (which is stacked with anti-Trump Democrats, who have reportedly also sent anti-Trump messages), saying “I think it’s important that when we talk about political affiliation… The issue of bias is something different,” adding “We recognize we have employees with political opinions. And it’s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions. And so, I believe that Director Mueller understands that and he is running that office appropriately.”
Grassley raised serious concerns in his letter to the DOJ addressed to Rosenstein, as just two of over 10,000 (!?) text messages referred to an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency, and a special phone they used “when we talk about hillary because it can’t be traced.”
Grassley’s letter reads:
“Yesterday, the Justice Department released a subset of text messages requested by the Committee. The limited release of 375 text messages between Mr. Peter Strzok and Ms. Lisa Page indicate a highly politicized FBI environment during both the Clinton and Russia investigations. For example, one text message from Ms. Page proclaims to Mr. Strzok, “God(,) Trump is a loathsome human.
Some of these texts appear to go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency. Mr. Strzok writes the following to Ms. Page:
I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…
Presumably, “Andy” refers to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. So whatever was being discussed extended beyond just Page and Stzrok at least to Mr. McCabe, who was involved in supervising both investigations.
Another text from Ms. Page to Mr. Strzok on April 2, 2016, says the following:
So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about hillary because it can’t be traced, you were just venting bc you feel bad that you’re gone so much but it can’t be helped right now.
That text message occurred during Mr. Strzok’s involvement in the Clinton investigation and days before he interviewed Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills on April 5, 2016 and April 9, 2016, respectively. Thus, the mention of “hillary” may refer to Secretary Clinton and therefore could indicate that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page engaged in other communications about an ongoing investigation on a different phone in an effort to prevent it from being traced.”
Grassley then asks the following questions of the DOJ:
On what date did you become aware of the text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page and on what date were they each removed from the Special Counsel’s office?
Are there any other records relating to the conversation in Andrew McCabe’s office shortly before the text described above on August 15, 2016? [the “insurance policy” text] If so please produce them to the Committee.
Please provide all records relating to Andrew McCabe’s communications with Peter Stzrok or Lisa Page between August 7, 2016 and August 23, 2016.
What steps have you taken to determine whether Mr. Strzok, Mr. Page, and Mr. McCabe should face disciplinary action for their conduct?
My understanding is that the Inspector General’s current investigation is limited to the handling of the Clinton email matter only. What steps have you taken to determine whether steps taken during the campaign to escalate the Russia investigation might have been a result of the political animus evidenced by these text messages rather than on the merits?
Has the Department identified the referenced “that phone” Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page used to discuss Secretary Clinton? What steps has the Department taken to review the records on this other phone that allegedly “can’t be traced.” If none, please explain why
Grassley also tweeted “FBI owes answers abt “insurance policy” against Trump victory,” adding “…why would senior FBI leaders use secret phones that “cant be traced” to talk Hillary?”
FBI owes answers abt "insurance policy" against Trump victory…& if nothing to hide, why would senior FBI leaders use secret phones that "cant be traced" to talk Hillary? DOJ needs to give JudicComm full transparency/cooperation 2 restore public trust. FBI CANT BE POLITICAL
Grassley grilled Senate Democrats last week for their unwillingness to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration, stating that the Democrats on the committee he oversees “only want to talk about [President] Trump.”
There are two major controversies plaguing the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI right now. On the one hand the Trump Russia investigation, and then on the other hand the handling of the Clinton investigation. Any congressional oversight related to either one of these topics is not credible without also examining the other. Both cases were active during last year’s campaign. Both cases have been linked to the firing of the FBI Director.
These questions go to the heart of the integrity of our federal law enforcement and justice system.
With Chuck Grassley on the warpath in the Senate, and the House Intel Committee chasing down FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, one has to wonder how long the FBI and DOJ are going to be able to maintain this farce before shutting it down – especially if in fact other members of Mueller’s team also sent anti-Trump messages as journalist Sara Carter has claimed.
Actress Salma Hayek has penned a chilling essay in the New York Timesclaiming Harvey Weinstein threatened to kill her in a terrifying “attack of fury.”
…with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.
I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no.” The absurdity of his demands went from getting a furious call in the middle of the night asking me to fire my agent for a fight he was having with him about a different movie with a different client to physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of “Frida,” so I could hang out at his private party with him and some women I thought were models but I was told later were high-priced prostitutes.
The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
Hayek, 51, details the repeated advances she says Weinstein made while working with him on the film Frida, in which she played Mexican artist Frida Kahlo:
No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with.
No to me taking a shower with him.
No to letting him watch me take a shower.
No to letting him give me a massage.
No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.
No to letting him give me oral sex.
No to my getting naked with another woman.
No, no, no, no, no …
Weinstein allegedly threatened to shut down the filming of Frida unless Hayek filmed a nude sex scene with another actress.
“I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse,” she wrote of her emotional turmoil at filming a scene she thought unnecessary, adding “As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.”
Mr. Weinstein’s spokeswoman, Holly Baird, has disputed Hayek’s account, saying in a statement: “Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming.”
Hayek joins a list of 84 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault, including Rose McGowen, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Daryl Hannah. Weinstein has denied any criminal behavior, suggesting in a statement through an attorney “it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct.”
Because blocking a doorway to force a woman watch you masturbate into a soup pot is simply impolitic.
2017 has been a year of retarded gains. Not only has the S&P 500 returned over 20% YTD in what was predicted to be a dismal Trump-inspired rout by idiots wearing ill-fitting Jos. A. Bank attire, billions have been raised out of thin air in ICOs of various cryptocurrencies – over $4 billion in fact, according to data from Autonomous Research, LLP.
The SEC’s Jay Clayton reiterated Monday that cryptocurrency sales should be regulated by the agency, adding that investors should be on high alert for promotors who claim to offer crazy returns, along with ICOs that don’t comply with securities regulations.
Hours after several of Donald Trump’s accusers assembled for a Monday press conference to call on congress to launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against the President, Bill O’Reilly appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio show to discuss what he claims is the existence of a tape showing a woman being offered $200,000 to accuse Donald Trump of ‘untoward behavior.’
O’Reilly told Beck that his lawyer listened to the tape and that there are at least three crimes contained on it:
O’Reilly: There is a tape, Beck, an audio tape of an anti-Trump person offering $200,000 to a woman to accuse Donald Trump of untoward behavior.
Beck: Is this tape going to be released?
O’Reilly: I may have to go to the US Attorney myself. I don’t wanna have to do that and inject myself into the story, but I had my lawyer listen to the tape. He’s listened to it. There are at least three crimes on the tape. So as a citizen, I may have to do this.
Beck: I will tell you Bill, the first thing that you say – well I’m trying to get it, I’m trying to get it so it can be released. You weren’t talking about getting it for YOU to release it, but it had to be out there. And I think the first time I said to you, I mean, if they don’t – you’ve gotta bring it to the US Attorney.
O’Reilly: Again, it’s in the hands of someone who knows the seriousness of the situation.
Beck: What is their hesitancy?
O’Reilly: You know, I can’t really get into that at this point. But I can tell you that Donald Trump knows about the tape. And I’m, for the life of me, sitting here going “Why on earth are you allowing a movement to try to smear you when you have a powerful – and I mean it’s powerful – piece of evidence that shows that this is an industry. That there are false charges and money changing hands.” It’s so frustrating but I wanted your listeners to know it, it’s there, it’s amazing, and it will change the whole discussion if it ever gets out.
O’Reilly first divulged the existence of the tape six weeks ago in a largely unnoticed interview with Newsmax:
O’Reilly told Newsmax on Monday that investigators working for him had uncovered an audio recording of “an anti-Trump attorney” offering an unidentified woman $200,000 to file sexual harassment charges against then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.
“It exists,” O’Reilly said. “We have urged the person who has the tape to hand it over to the U.S. attorney, because my investigative team believes there are three separate crimes on the audio tape.”
O’Reilly tells Newsmax his attorneys have listened to the tape. O’Reilly stated he is not in possession of the recording, but the conversation is believed to have taken place before last year’s presidential election.
“It’s related to my situation,” O’Reilly insists, “and when the tape emerges, you will see why. I can’t say any more than that, but it is related to my situation.“
With the ‘Russiagate’ witch hunt fizzling out amid revelations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is stacked with several anti-Trump team investigators, O’Reilly warns that there’s going to be a huge push to rehash sexual misconduct allegations against the President. While several of these claims have been debunked or refuted, and Trump even threatening to sue the NYT at one point, it will come as a surprise to exactly nobody if and when ‘Russiagate’ shifts into ‘Gropegate’ in 2018.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that the United States is preparet to negotiate with North Korea without preconditions – aside from one; no more nuclear or missile tests for an undetermined “quiet period.”
“Let’s just meet. We can talk about the weather if you want,” Tillerson told an audience at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about.”
USG Jeffrey Feltman calls his visit to #NorthKorea the first in-depth political exchange of views between the UN and Pyongyang in almost 8 years. He says the officials he met, including the FM & vice-FM, agreed this ''was only a beginning'' pic.twitter.com/7rtWKo6YrJ
In response, North Korea signaled back on Tuesday evening, stating:
N.Korea agrees “it is important to avoid war. “
We have left the door open for negotiations.
N.Korea did not offer any type of commitment to talks.
Tillerson said earlier in the day that the Trump administration is pleased with the “progress” made in imposing “extreme” sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang, which includes heightened UN sanctions along with pressure from China. Tillerson said that more than 22 countries have recalled diplomats from North Korea.
The timing of Tillerson’s potential overture is interesting – not only does it come two weeks after a missile launch that experts confirmed could reach much of the North American continent, but at a time when South Korea is feverishly preparing to host the upcoming Winter Olympic games in February 2018.
Especially worrisome is that Pyongyang’s recent November 28th ICBM launch was reported to have flown for 50 minutes on a very high trajectory reaching 4,500 km above the earth (more than ten times higher than the orbit of Nasa’s International Space Station) before coming down nearly 1,000 km from the launch site off the west coast of Japan. The test prompted the US Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, to reiterate that Kim Jong Un’s provocative actions constitute “the biggest threat to humankind right now.”
In response to North Korea’s nuclear overtures, the US decided to whip its dick out and conduct military exercises with allies in the region such as Japan. While Russia cautioned the US to be careful and exhibit restraint with the exercises, South Korea was the loudest voice requesting the United States tone down the drills.
This comes amidst talk of what’s being called a “freeze-for-freeze” deal in which the North would agree to halt all missile launches and nuclear tests and in return the US would suspend all military exercises in the area. This is something both Moscow and Beijing are currently pushing hard for, and Tillerson’s remarks before the Atlantic Council today could signal that the White House is seriously considering the plan.
At minimum, Tillerson’s comments leave the door open to a diplomatic solution – and North Korea’s response was highly encouraging. No word on whether or not special agent Dennis Rodman was involved.