BRUNCH EDITION — CHOOSE YOUR NEWS: Hillary up 11 in NBC/WSJ and up 4 in ABC/WAPO — SUNDAY BEST: Newt, Pence — DAN PFEIFFER wedding — B’DAYS: Bob Weir and Jim Courtovich

Driving the Day ANOTHER MORNING TWEETSTORM by @realDonaldTrump -- at 7:14 a.m.: “Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me.Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!” ... at 7:36 a.m.: “Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” ... at 8:31 a.m.: “Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!” -- “Fears mount on Trump’s ‘rigged election’ rhetoric: Top Republicans are coming under pressure to defend the legitimacy of the electoral system,” by Isaac Dovere: Continued Below GOOD SUNDAY MORNING. It feels like fall this morning in D.C. It’s in the 60s and the sun is out. And there are 23 DAYS until Election Day. **SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: CHOOSE YOUR NEWS -- WAPO/ABC POLL -- “Clinton holds four-point lead in aftermath of Trump tape,” by WaPo’s Scott Clement and Dan Balz: “The poll was conducted during one of the most tumultuous periods of Trump’s candidacy, after the release of a video in which he spoke about taking sexual advantage of women and during a time when numerous women have accused him of sexual misconduct. “Nearly 7 in 10 respondents believe Trump probably made unwanted sexual advances, and a majority say his apology for boasts about forcing himself on women on a hot-mic videotape was insincere. Nonetheless, the controversy appeared to have had only a minimal impact on his overall support. Overall, Clinton leads Trump by 47-43 percent among likely voters, a slight edge given the survey’s four-percentage-point error margin. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has the support of 5 percent, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein is at 2 percent. Among Continue Reading

Chuck: Trust is a four-letter word

Carin Baer : NBC Ya’ll put some clothes on! “Chuck Versus the Sandworm” By AUSTIN GROGIN When I was in the 9th grade, my math teacher held a contest to see who could solve a math problem faster: a computer or a student. The harder the problem, the more the calculator won. However, when the simple problems came around, the student earned bragging rights. You may ask, “Hey Austin, what does this have to do with Chuck? Does he solve some sort of problem this week using the common sense and street smarts most super spies lack?” Well dear reader, so knowledgeable of the ways of television, read on and find out. The episode opens with a college-aged kid running through a labyrinth of underground tunnels carrying what looks like a laptop, obviously escaping. He is cornered by a federal agent, but a quick tap on the keyboard and the alarm system to the facility is activated. Utilizing this distraction, the kid knocks out the agent and escaped to the roof, onto an outlook overlooking the beautiful Pacific. Back in the happy world of Buy More, it is Night of the Livid Customers (this pun sponsored by Halloween), with no sales people to be found. It turns out, they are all in the back of the store, placing bets on whether or not Morgan will eat the food out of the Staff Lounge fridge, where “food comes to die.” Soon however, Chuck is called into Big Mike’s office. Apparently, part of being “Buy More Brass” is keeping sales people on their best behavior. Tomorrow, Big Mike informs Chuck, a rep from Corporate will be in town to interview Harry Tang and Chuck for the Manager positions, and it is up to Chuck to keep his employees (ESPECIALLY Morgan) in line to beat Tang. Chuck Skin Moment #1– At this moment, Captain Awesome comes out modeling his Adam (as in ADAM) costume, leaf and all. This reminds Ellie to warn Chuck about wearing his old standby seaworm costume (it’s actually a two-person sandworm Continue Reading

Letters to the Editor, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018

The real storyA recent news story in the Daily News expressed concern that the "real estate industry" had "pumped"  more than $15,000 into the race for the Naples City Council.That got me to thinking about the "pumping" going on in the country over the past years.I cannot hazard a guess as Io how much money is invested in newspapers and national television, both cable and broadcast, but it is an enormous amount of money and "investment." For example, Comcast, only one player, spent $6.5 billion for 51 percent of NBC.The left-leaning media, according to polling data, devotes 95 percent of their news stories to haranguing President Donald Trump and an equal amount telling us how the previous president was so wonderful.One need go no farther than the Daily News' Saturday editions. Columnist Ann McFeatters spends all of her time bashing Trump and her salary is paid by the Tribune News Service. She has not written one article since Trump came on the scene other than to criticize the president.Now here is a story worth the time of USA TODAY. The media has "pumped billions into ...." That is the real story, not the measly $15,000 spent by the "real estate industry" on a local election. Joe Kiernan, Estero Trump no internationalistI look forward to letter-writer R. Michael Hoy's self-proposed lecture series on President Donald Trump's second year in office. Where I come from, his "ability to make difficult decisions with relative ease" would be phrased differently: "he makes knee-jerk decisions without knowing the relevant facts."And to label Trump an "internationalist" means that Webster got the definition of that word bass-ackwards. According to Webster, an "internationalist" is someone who is "an advocate of internationalism (cooperation between countries for their mutual benefit)" and "an expert in international law and relations."Trump is clearly neither. Barry J McCall, Bonita Springs Paper’s Continue Reading

Letter: The media? Trump is the quintessential bully

Re: the Jan. 11 letter to the editor "Liberal media bullies the Trumps." “Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!” 10 Aug 2015, tweet from @realDonaldTrump The letter writer says adults should be examples for our young children. I fully agree with this idea but the man and family he is defending are themselves “bullies”. Our President has spent a great deal of his time in office publicly insulting anyone and everyone. He has made so many demeaning and insulting statements that I am sure most people have forgotten the one I opened with. Is this petty and divisive squabbling the kind of behavior we want our children to aspire to? I think not. We expect better behavior from everyday people and we should get better from our President. In his own words Trump’s behavior is truly weird and reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly function brain. Eric Ballam West side Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star. Continue Reading

SHAMEFUL ABUSE OF 9-11 FOOTAGE. He’s paid $300,000, but keeps 30,000 pix 9-11

A budding filmmaker that FEMA found in the yellow pages used his taxpayer-funded video of the smoldering World Trade Center ruins in a documentary featuring topless women chatting about their breasts, a Daily News investigation has found. Provided with unique access in an NYPD helicopter, Gregg Brown was flown by cops over the restricted air space of Ground Zero daily for eight months beginning on Sept. 15, 2001, capturing countless hours of grim video while snapping 30,000 photographs. Red-faced officials at the city Department of Design & Construction, which oversaw the cleanup of Ground Zero, concede that the stunning, gut-wrenching material was supposed to belong to the people who paid for it - the citizens of New York and the nation. But Brown, who was ultimately paid up to $302,000 in federal 9/11 disaster recovery funds, refused to sign a prepared agreement ceding "title and ownership" to the city. With the legal paperwork unsigned in late 2001, Brown was inexplicably allowed to keep shooting - and keep collecting big paychecks. Finally, on May 10, 2002, Brown's access to the police chopper was revoked. Just 20 days later, he copyrighted all 30,000 photos for himself. One of the pictures - dated March 12, 2002 - carries the caption: "A victim is discovered at the base of the south tower. " Records indicate that the remains of 15 victims were discovered that day, 13 of them were firefighters. On Aug. 30, 2002, one of Brown's attorneys sent the city a letter warning that none of the photos could be used without Brown's "prior written approval," according to documents obtained by The News. Just four days later, Brown registered "Ground Zero aerial video" with the U. S. Copyright Office in Washington. He then included part of the footage in a wacky documentary, "Words," surrounding scenes of Trade Center death and destruction with interviews of topless women talking about society's obsession with breasts and a group of New Yorkers Continue Reading


FAMILIES OF two dozen 9/11 victims will soon be able to hear their lost loved ones' haunting cries for help on never-released tapes of 911 calls made from the burning twin towers. One woman fainted when she learned that her husband's voice has been archived on a 911 call for the last 4 1/2 years. "She opened the letter in an elevator and got dizzy," said family advocate Bill Doyle, 59, whose son Joseph was killed in the attacks. "She was in total shock. She never expected this." The woman, who declined to speak to the media, was not even aware that her husband had called 911 before perishing, said Doyle, whose son was not recorded on the tapes. The city informed 24 families of the tapes in a letter mailed Friday, it was revealed yesterday. Relatives can send for a CD copy of their loved one's call - and then opt to keep the recording private or make it available to the public. But under the terms of a court order from last May, edited versions of the tapes that remove victims' voices and leave only 911 operator transmissions will be released to the public as soon as this week. City officials said they have tapes of 130 emergency calls originating from the doomed towers - but only 28 callers have been positively identified. Of those, 27 were killed and one survived. The survivor and the families of three of the callers who died have not yet been located by the city. The tapes contain the only emergency calls traced to people known to have been inside the towers, city officials said, and follow the release of 900 minutes of FDNY radio transmissions made public in August. "These families deserve the chance to hear the tapes," said Firefighter Jimmy McCaffrey, 46, who knows firsthand how powerful such recordings can be. McCaffrey lost his brother-in-law, Fire Chief Orio Palmer, in the horrific collapse of the south tower and was able to hear Palmer's "brave" voice in the FDNY recordings released in August. "It was emotional sitting with my wife Continue Reading


IN A RAMBLING, 18-PAGE letter, President Bush's new Iranian pen pal asks how a follower of Jesus Christ can back Israel, lectures his U. S. counterpart on human rights, and warns that "evildoers will meet divine retribution. " But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes only the barest of references to his country's nuclear ambitions, which have set Iran on a collision course with the U. S. And Ahmadinejad's decision to dispense with most diplomatic niceties - in the first letter sent by an Iranian head of state to an American President in 27 years - left longtime Iran watchers shaking their heads yesterday. "He's a very odd man," said David Phillips of the Elie Wiesel Foundation. "I think this letter provides a little window into his character. " Experts believe Ahmadinejad's letter is intended to stall the U. S. drive for a UN Security Council vote aimed at stopping Iran from developing an Islamic nuclear weapon. "The President of the United States is not the intended audience of this letter," said Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations. "The audience is Russia, China and anyone who might be convinced that Iran is really trying to solve this. " On the plus side, the irate Iranian calls Saddam Hussein "a murderous dictator," denounces the Sept. 11 attacks as "a horrendous incident" and ends his Jesus references with "Peace Be Upon Him. " But Ahmadinejad suggests the U. S. is hiding the truth about 9/11 and that the Holocaust never happened, and asks, "Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? " Ahmadinejad did not return an e-mail for comment. [email protected] com. GRAPHIC. WORDS FROM POISON PEN. Excerpts from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush:. "Of course, Saddam Hussein was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, Continue Reading

Whitey Bulger has words of wisdom for teens from his prison cell: ‘If you want to make crime pay, go to law school’

Whitey Bulger is finding the pen mightier than the sword. The 85-year-old former Boston mob boss had words of wisdom for a group of Massachusetts teen girls, who wrote him a letter as part of a school project on leadership and legacy. “We didn’t choose a president or a leader in that sort of way. We chose someone who was a leader of organized crime,” student Brittany Tainsh told WBZ-TV. “We chose someone that we weren’t trying to glorify in any way at all.” Bulger, who is serving two life sentences after his 2013 racketeering conviction tying him to 11 murders and other gangland crimes in the 1970s and '80s, is rotting away in a Florida prison and appears to have some regrets about his life outside of the law. “My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame and sufferings on my parents and siblings and will end soon,” Bulger wrote to the students from Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, Mass. “Advice is a cheap commodity. Some seek it from me about crime. I only know one thing for sure: If you want to make crime pay, go to law school.” The students wrote Bulger on a whim, and were stunned to get a reply from the one-time leader of the Winter Hill Gang. “It was definitely shocking to see a letter from basically a serial killer in your mailbox, but it was definitely interesting,” Michaela Arguin told WBZ. “I was excited to be able to see his input.” The Irish-American mobster’s exploits will be portrayed on the silver screen in the biopic “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp as the convicted felon. Bulger spent 15 years as an FBI informant, all while running his gang and committing, or ordering, several murders. Bulger vanished in 1994 after learning he was to be indicted and spent 16 years on the run before federal agents tracked him to a hovel in southern Continue Reading

DOOMED MINERS WORTH LETTERS. Gasping for breath, they bid loved ones farewell

GASPING FOR AIR and running out of hope, the doomed West Virginia coal miners wrote farewell notes from the dark abyss to their loved ones. The revelation yesterday was small solace for relatives who were suddenly plunged into mourning after a "tragic miscommunication" that 12 of the 13 miners had been rescued sparked a short-lived celebration. Much-criticized mine honcho Ben Hatfield apologized for breaking their hearts and urged relatives who had stood vigil at the Sago Baptist Church to "celebrate the one miracle that was delivered. " He was referring to sole survivor Randal McCloy, who was in critical condition with a collapsed lung and dehydration after being trapped for more than 42 hours. "We sincerely regret the manner in which the events unfolded this morning," said a visibly shaken Hatfield. "In the process of being cautious, we allowed the jubilation to go on longer than it should have. " Hatfield said the miners' notes were discovered when rescue crews, drawn by McCloy's moans, found them more than 3,000 feet from the Sago Mine entrance. "They'll go to the families," he said, when asked about their contents. While the tiny coal town of Tallmansville, W. Va., braced for a series of funerals, autopsies on the dead were underway to determine what killed them. During the rescue attempt, searchers found lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the mine. The bodies of the miners were taken to a makeshift morgue across the street from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon. The relatives were taken to a chapel on campus for a service. And then one by one, each family was escorted out to identify the bodies. "It was just everyone in fellowship together," said Vicki Sharp, 47, whose brother-in-law Alva Bennett died in the mine. One of the nation's worst coal-mining catastrophes began at 6 a. m. Monday when a massive explosion - possibly caused by a lightning strike - trapped the men 260 feet below the earth's surface. So began a race Continue Reading

Beyoncé, Solange honored by mom Tina Knowles with Mother’s Day open letter

Beyoncé and Solange received a Mother’s Day surprise from their devoted mom. In an open letter published in Time, Tina Knowles celebrated her famous daughters along with Beyoncé’s ex-Destiny Child’s bandmate Kelly Rowland and her niece Angela Beyince. “I gave birth to two of you, but I have four incredible daughters,” Knowles wrote. "Writing this brought to mind all the ways you guys have been such a blessing to me," she added. In particular, Knowles thanked them for making her feel "loved and supported" after her divorce from Beyoncé and Solange’s father, Matthew, in 2011. “I remember slumber parties after my divorce, when we watched old movies and ate a lot of ice cream,” she wrote. “The roles were reversed, and it was ME who needed nurturing.” The 61-year-old matriarch also gave each daughter an individual shoutout, starting with her eldest. “Beyoncé, I wish people could see how you are when you’re not in front of the camera or on the stage,” her mother wrote. “How compassionate and kind you are to people, how you look them right in the eye when you speak to them. “Yes, you are a huge star, but you have somehow managed to stay grounded and humble in the wake of all your success.” Knowles praised Solange as her “rebel warrior,” and told her how proud she was that “you truly are your own incredible, unapologetic person. “As tough as you are, you will drop everything to take care of someone you love.” Knowles singled out Rowland, who moved in with the Knowles family at age 11, as “the sweetest, most kind person I had ever met and ... still are.” She also lauded Beyince as “our own family fixer” and likened her to “Scandal” character Olivia Pope. Knowles concluded her letter by sharing her Continue Reading