SHOCK: Former USA Gymnastics Head Arrested by Fugitive Task Force

Steve Penny, the former head of USA Gymnastics who stepped down amid the horrific revelations about Dr. Larry Nassar, was arrested by a fugitive task force Wednesday while on a vacation with his family. Penny was secretly indicted three weeks ago for felony charges of tampering with evidence related to Nassar’s molestation case.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Penny was arrested in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Wednesday after being secretly indicted on September 28 by a Walker County, Texas, grand jury. NBC News reports:

According to a summary of the indictment released by Walker County prosecutors, Penny ordered the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch, where powerhouse Olympic teams were built and where some athletes say they were molested by Nassar, the longtime team doctor. Nassar was sentenced in February to as long as 125 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls.

The Texas prosecutors said some of the documents were delivered to Penny at USA Gymnastics’ headquarters in Indianapolis and that they remain missing. The indictment says Penny, knowing an investigation was in progress, intentionally destroyed or concealed the materials on or around Nov. 11, 2016.

. . .

Penny’s attorney, Edith Matthai, says her client was given no warning about the impending arrest, which occurred while he was on vacation with his wife and three kids. “If Mr. Penny had any idea he was sought in Texas this would have been appropriately handled through counsel without terrifying his family,” said Matthai in a statement reported by NBC. “Mr. Penny has not and would not have attempted to avoid the service of a summons and he cooperated fully with the (Marshals).” (Read more from “Shock: Former USA Gymnastics Head Arrested by Fugitive Task Force” HERE)

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The CDC Has Identified a Polio-Like Virus in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned about an uptick in the number of cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a disease that the agency described as being polio-like. . .

While the symptoms of this virus has been described as polio-like, it is not polio, which has been eradicated in most of the world. The symptoms are also similar to non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and the West Nile virus.

It is also not clear where the virus came from. The CDC has yet to figure out a common link between all the cases that have been reported, although they did note that several of them seem to have been linked to infections by other viruses, enterovirus D68. However, this was not true in all cases.

There have been 386 confirmed cases of AFM since 2014. In 2015, the CDC identified 22 patients who exhibited symptoms of AFM. In 2016, that number rose to 149. It dipped back down to 33 in 2017, before rising again in 2018. The total reported number for this year is 127, but the CDC has only confirmed 62 of those cases so far. . .

While the CDC is not sure what the cause of AFM is, the agency suggested that the best methods for preventing the spread of this disease included staying “up to date on polio vaccinations,” avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes, and washing hands. (Read more from “The CDC Has Identified a Polio-Like Virus in the U.S.” HERE)

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Melania Trump Visits Mothers, Newborn Victims of Opioid Crisis

First Lady Melania Trump attended a conference at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where she met with mothers and newborn babies who have been affected by the opioid crisis. She toured the Philadelphia hospital’s intensive care unit for newborns and visited with mothers who are in the medical facility’s treatment program, according to VOA News. Jefferson has been treating patients for drug use and overdose for the past 45 years.

Trump spoke to the attendees of the conference and thanked the hospital staff for all they are doing “for this very important issue” and discussed her own “Be Best” campaign in examining the effects the crisis has on children.

“I’m grateful to the medical professionals who have been taking the time to explain their research and their impressive efforts in this field,” she said. “There are few things harder than seeing a newborn suffer and I’m anxious to do all I can to help shine a light on this epidemic.” She also praised the Trump administration for raising awareness of this issue.

Mrs. Trump continued, “As the caretakers of the next generation, it is our responsibility to protect our most valuable and vulnerable: our children.”

The first lady was briefly delayed from attending the event when her plane was forced to return to Andrews Air Force after smoke began to fill the cabin. It was later discovered to be a mechanical problem. (Read more from “Melania Trump Visits Mothers, Newborn Victims of Opioid Crisis” HERE)

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Is Elizabeth Warren Guilty of Cultural Appropriation?

I have taken to these pages in the past to defend practices that progressives pejoratively call “cultural appropriation.” By now we all know the phrase and that it refers to people (mainly white people) using elements of foreign cultures including costumes, music, food, or, frankly, anything without permission. In most cases the outrage over cultural appropriation is silly, but this week Sen. Elizabeth Warren has opened herself to a charge of cultural appropriation that seems a bit more serious. Will the left hold her to account? Or will her politics earn her a pass?

We now know through Warren’s DNA test that she is about 1/1000 Native American (either from North or South America), or roughly as Native American as Chief Wahoo. During her academic career, Warren changed the identification of her race from white to Native American on the basis of family legends about an Indian ancestor.

Warren didn’t wear a headdress for Halloween or don the jersey of a certain subpar NFL team from Washington DC. She claimed to be of Indian descent to the extent that she described it as her racial identity. Whether it was her intent or not, she did so in a way that was quite likely to increase her professional opportunities. She didn’t appropriate some aspect of Indian culture; she appropriated the whole thing.

While most cases of cultural appropriation are criticized for offending actual members of the culture being appropriated, Warren’s might really have created less opportunity for actual Native Americans. Harvard University was pleased enough at having hired its first “Native American” to the faculty of its law school, and made a bit of a big deal about it. Had Warren not claimed such ancestry, might the job have gone to an actual Native American rather than a woman with about as much claim to it as an actor on “F Troop”?

That Warren thinks her DNA test exonerates her is somewhat hard to believe. Does anyone really think that, in identifying one’s race in a professional setting where it may affect hiring, being 1/1,000 of any race qualifies a person for those advantages? The whole point of those advantages, whether one agrees or disagrees with their use, is to help marginalized people overcome systemic disadvantages. Did Warren’s family legend of Indian blood disadvantage her in some way? It’s hard to see how. (Read more from “Is Elizabeth Warren Guilty of Cultural Appropriation?” HERE)

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Dem Sen. Steps in It With New Sexual Assault Ad, Has to Apologize to Women Named Without Permission

The campaign of Sen. Heidi Heikamp, D-N.D., is apologizing to women named without their permission in a political ad about sexual assault and is even admitting to misidentifying one as a survivor.

A story first reported by Rob Port over at details how multiple women came forward to take issue with a recent newspaper ad taken out by the Heitkamp campaign for identifying them as sexual assault survivors without their permission.

Heitkamp’s campaign responded to the complaints with a public apology and an announcement of a retraction.

The ad was in the form of an open letter to Heitkamp’s Republican opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, and was written in response to what Heitkamp called “dismissive comments toward sexual assault survivors.” It included the names of many “survivors,” but several women have said their names were used without their permission.

You can view the full letter here.

You may remember Rob Port from his Bulldog Award from “Michelle Malkin Investigates,” or his previous coverage of Heitkamp’s campaign. (For more from the author of “Dem Sen. Steps in It With New Sexual Assault Ad, Has to Apologize to Women Named Without Permission” please click HERE)

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Uh Oh: Lead Detective in Weinstein Coached Witnesses, Instructed Them To…

According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the lead detective in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault investigation acted inappropriately. The detective not only coached witnesses on what to say but instructed them to delete text messages before handing their phones over to prosecutors, WABC-TV reported. . .

The DA’s office sent Weinstein attorney Benjamin Brafman a letter on Tuesday saying it had been contacted last week by an attorney for “Complainant 2,” who is the complaining witness behind three counts in the case against Weinstein.

According to the letter, the witness told the DA’s office that she had expressed concern about turning over phones to prosecutors because they contained personal information.

Det. Nicholas DiGaudio, prosecutors said, then allegedly told the witness to “delete anything she did not want anyone to see” before turning over the phones. The witness also told prosecutors that the detective said they would conceal the deletions from the DA’s office.

. . .

“The Manhattan DA’s office needs to enter the 21st century. This is the age of technology. People keep loads of personal info on their phones that they prefer remains confidential,” DEA President Michael Palladino said in a statement. “A woman should not have to surrender confidential intimate information that’s immaterial to the case to defend herself against a sexual predator,” he continued. “That’s being victimized twice. Detective DiGaudio was sensitive to that.” (Read more from “Uh Oh: Lead Detective in Weinstein Coached Witnesses, Instructed Them To…” HERE)

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FLASHBACK: Warren Said Her Parents Eloped Because of Racism Against Her Mom’s Native American Ancestry

In a June 29, 2012 interview with NECN’s Jim Braude on the BroadSide television program, Elizabeth Warren stated that her parents had to elope in 1932 because her father’s parents objected to her mother’s Cherokee and Delaware ancestry. Warren stated:

Actually, you have it wrong about what it is I believe. My mom and dad were very much in love with each other and they wanted to get married and my father’s parents said absolutely not. You can’t marry her because she’s part Cherokee and she’s part Delaware. And um, after fighting it as long as they could, my parents went off, they eloped. It was an issue in our family the whole time I grew up about these two families. It was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral. So what I know about my parents is I know that in that little town they grew up in that my father’s parents knew enough about my mother and her family to say I have no doubts.”

With the latest news of the results from Warren’s DNA test, which show that the part of her DNA derived from so-called “Native American” ancestry is between 1/64th and 1/1,024th, and that that ancestry is actually Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian, it might be useful to consider if Warren’s story about the supposed prejudice of her grandparents might be made out of whole cloth.

One determined researcher, Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes, did some background checking, and found some interesting tidbits that led her and her team to suggest that the marriage of Warren’s parents was a typical marriage from the era of the Great Depression, and not an elopement triggered by racial bias. First, the marriage was performed by a prominent minister who later helped found Southern Methodist University, not a justice of the peace.

Another tidbit: Warren’s father only turned 21, the legal age to marry in Oklahoma at the time roughly two months before the wedding, so the idea that the couple fought it “as long as they could” sounds a bit stretched, since once her father turned 21 it was legal for him to marry.

(Read more from “Flashback: Warren Said Her Parents Eloped Because of Racism Against Her Mom’s Native American Ancestry” HERE)

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Police Officer Charged With Raping Woman During Traffic Stop

An unnamed woman has accused Ryan Macklin, a six-year veteran police officer in Maryland, of sexually assaulting her during a late-night traffic stop on Thursday night. After a preliminary investigation, Macklin was charged with rape and a host of other charges.

The unidentified woman appears to be in the country illegally, though this has not been confirmed. Maryland’s Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski repeatedly said that the woman was targeted because she was female, and not because of her “immigration status.”

Macklin, 29, pulled over the woman around 1 a.m. while on duty and in uniform. After apparently entering the woman’s car, Macklin allegedly forced her to perform a sexual act on him.

The alleged victim was seemingly hesitant to come forward, only notifying authorities after friends coaxed her into it several hours after the incident.

The officer was arrested on Monday and charged with first-degree rape, second-degree rape, perverted sexual acts, second-degree assault, and fourth-degree sex offense, according to The Blaze. For now, Macklin has been suspended without pay. (Read more from “Police Officer Charged With Raping Woman During Traffic Stop” HERE)

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This Is What Happened With the Stormy Daniels Lawsuit

A federal judge on Monday dismissed porn star Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Trump, saying the president was well within his First Amendment rights when he took to Twitter to mock her.

Judge S. James Otero said Mr. Trump was using understandable hyperbole when he accused the woman, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, of a “con job” after she released a sketch artist rendering of a man she said threatened her to stay silent about her alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump years ago.

The judge, a Bush appointee, said the back-and-forth was standard politicking from both sides, and he wouldn’t step in to limit the president’s ability to fight back.

“In short, should plaintiff publicly voice her opinions about Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump is entitled to publicly voice non-actionable opinions about plaintiff,” he ruled. “To allow plaintiff to proceed with her defamation action would, in effect, permit plaintiff to make public allegations against the president without giving him the opportunity to respond. Such a holding would violate the First Amendment.” . . .

[Avenatti] also said the judge’s ruling was “limited,” and insisted they’ll pursue Mrs. Clifford’s other lawsuits against Mr. Trump and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who she says paid her $130,000 in hush money to keep her from talking about an alleged sexual encounter from years ago. (Read more from “This Is What Happened With the Stormy Daniels Lawsuit” HERE)

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Clinton Grilled About Husband’s White House Sex Scandal. Her Response Means Everything.

By The Blaze. Hillary Clinton claimed Sunday that her husband’s extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s was not an “abuse of power.”

The former secretary of state also expressed her belief that then-President Bill Clinton was right to not resign after he was impeached for lying and obstructing justice.

“Asbolutely not,” Clinton said when asked on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” whether her husband should have resigned the presidency over his affair and the subsequent scandal. . .

When pressed about whether a sexual relationship between the world’s most powerful leader and an office intern constitutes an imbalance of power, Clinton merely noted that both individuals were adults at the time. . .

“But let me ask you this: where’s the investigation into the current incumbent, against whom numerous allegations have been made and which he dismisses, denies, and ridicules,” Clinton said.

(Read more from “Clinton Grilled About Husband’s White House Sex Scandal. Her Response Means Everything.” HERE)


Hillary Clinton Says Husband’s Affair Was Not an Abuse of Power

By Fox News. Hillary Clinton vehemently denied in an interview Sunday that her husband’s extramarital affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky was an abuse of power and added that former President Bill Clinton was right not to resign amid a scandal that led to his impeachment on perjury and obstruction charges.

“Absolutely not,” the former first lady said during the CBS “Sunday Morning” interview when asked if Bill Clinton should have stepped down.

“It wasn’t an abuse of power?” CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil asked.

Clinton responded: “No. No.”

Hillary Clinton, who went on to be elected to the Senate and served as President Obama’s secretary of state, said the relationship was not an abuse of power because Lewinsky “was an adult.” At the time of the affair, Lewinsky was 22. (Read more from “Hillary Clinton Says Husband’s Affair Was Not an Abuse of Power” HERE)

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