Donald Trump has now purged several top-tier civilian officials at the Pentagon and replaced them with a handful of bootlicking loyalists. None of Trump’s new minions are up to the jobs they now hold and these abrupt personnel changes are as destabilizing to the Pentagon as they should be deeply concerning to the country. Here are the Cliff’s Notes on the personnel changes. Newly installedActing Defense Secretary: Christopher Miller, a combat veteran turned right-wing talkerChief of Staff: Kash Patel, a former Devin Nunes staffer who was part of the White House National Security Counsel (NSC) and worked to discredit the Russia investigationActing Undersecretary of Policy: Retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, whose appointment to DOD was yanked earlier this year after he was exposed as a racist Obama-hating conspiracy theoristUndersecretary of Defense for Intelligence: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a Michael Flynn ally and former NSC staffer who allegedly supplied Rep. Nunes with information that Trump’s communications were incidentally swept up by U.S. intelligence agencies conducting foreign surveillanceGeneral Counsel, National Security Agency: Michael Ellis, also a former Nunes and NSC staffer (he allegedly joined Cohen-Watnick in supplying intel to Nunes and later moved Trump’s Ukraine call to the super secret server) who will now hold one of the most powerful legal positions in the U.S. Intelligence Community- Advertisement – Resigned/Forced outDefense Secretary: Mark EsperUndersecretary of Defense for Intelligence: Joseph KernanActing Undersecretary of Policy: James AndersonIt’s unclear what Trump intends to do with his newly installed team of reality-adjacent loyalists and disinformation specialists, but nothing good can come of it. One theory—and again, it’s a theory—is that some sort of cover up is underway. Nunes coupled with abuse/mishandling of intelligence and intimate knowledge of what happened at the NSC throughout Trump’s tenure are central to so many of these players. And whatever happened with Trump, Russia, Flynn, and Nunes, the other chief intelligence agencies (CIA/FBI) likely know far more than what has been publicly disclosed. Something simply doesn’t feel right about all of those Nunes/NSC insiders being deployed to powerful positions at the last second.Another possibility that seems equally as far-fetched and yet not out of the realm for the era is that Trump is trying to orchestrate a coup of some sort. Retired four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey told MSNBC Wednesday he had every confidence that the military leadership would never go along with any unconstitutional orders they were given, but he also said that Trump’s intentions are very worrisome. – Advertisement – “If I was a CIA officer trying to understand what was going on in a third-world country, and I saw this pattern of behavior, I would say, the strongman is trying to take over the government and defy an election,” McCaffrey said. “And I think they’re playing with that idea inside the White House.”This is all pure conjecture, but Trump’s erratic moves at these uncertain times warrant the type of conjecture that under usual circumstances would serve no purpose. In this case, we all need to keep a watchful eye on Trump’s next moves, as we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg.As McCaffrey said, “I have been shot at a lot and nearly killed a bunch of times. I’m not an alarmist. I stay cool under pressure. Mark me down as alarmed.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has named a 25-man squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Sudan and Lesotho.Dominic Adiyiah returns to the Black Stars as Appiah includes four home-based players for the two away matches.Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Ashgold), Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals), Stephen Adams (Aduana)Full-backs: Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Samuel Inkoom (Bastia, France), Kissi Boateng (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Baba Rahman (Greuther Furth)Central Defenders: John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Awal Mohammed (Maritzburg United, South Africa), Rashid Sumaila (Kotoko)Defensive midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Evian, France), Edwin Gyimah (SuperSport, South Africa) Isaac Coffie (Chievo Verona, Italy) Right midfielders: Albert Adomah (Bristol City), Solomon Asante (TP Mazembe, DR Congo)Left midfielders: Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy) Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, Spain), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal)Offensive midfielder: Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy)Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Dominic Adiyiah (Arsenal Kiev, Ukraine), Richard Boakye Yiadom (Sassuolo, Italy), Mahatma Otoo (Hearts of Oak)
Photos: Lakers defeat Trail Blazers in Game 4 of first-round playoff series Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If there was anything personal about torching his former team Bradley kept it to himself, although there were tells. He drew a technical in the first five minutes after scoring and then, um, expressing himself. And then former teammate Lou Williams drew a T later in the first for barking back at him.“I had more want as far as trying to win the game because they beat us twice already,” Bradley said. “But for me, I come into every game with the same mindset … I was just being aggressive, taking what’s available. Those guys (the stars) make the game easier for us. We have a mindset: It can be anybody’s night on any given night, and tonight it was just my night to get more shots.” The idea of “night,” of course, is relative for a game that started at 12:30. The Lakers don’t seem bothered by early starts. The Clippers, in contrast, haven’t played well in previous afternoon games this season, most necessitated by Staples scheduling.“I called my owner (Steve Ballmer) and I told him, you know what you should do? You should build an arena,” coach Doc Rivers said. “And you know what he’s doing, he’s building an arena.”But until that arena is finally built, they’ll have to figure it out, because the suspicion is they’ll be scheduled for weekend afternoons in the playoffs for the benefit of ABC.But we digress.Whether it’s Bradley or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Alex Caruso or Rajon Rondo, the threat of the 3-pointer keeps Lakers opponents honest against James and Davis (who, of course, can drop some of those bombs themselves).“Now I’m confident to know where I’m getting my shots from,” Bradley said. “I have the confidence to make those shots. It comes from all the extra work we’ve been putting in to make sure we’re able to make those shots for LeBron and AD.”It is another example of the depth Rob Pelinka has created and actually continues to create, giving Vogel a roster with any number of combinations to complement the two stars.Related Articles “He did everything,” LeBron James said. “We know what we’re going to get from him defensively, but what he gave us offensively tonight was gigantic. Every time they made a run or we needed a shot to make (he delivered).”Bradley is capable of this, if seldom thrust into this sort of limelight. He scored 21 against the Warriors last month, and his career high is 33 points for the Grizzlies against San Antonio last February.“He’s been hot the last five or six weeks or so,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “And we always want our guys to be catch-and-shoot aggressive on the perimeter. We know Anthony (Davis) and LeBron are going to get double-teamed, and when the ball swings there’s no hesitation.“I thought our team collectively for the second game in a row (was) a little bit hesitant at the three-point line in the first half, but he really got going and was a huge part of the win.”In the third quarter, when the Lakers outscored the Clippers 36-28 to turn this game, Bradley was 4 for 6 from the field, all three-pointers. Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant And the subplot of this L.A. rivalry is an arms race that extended beyond last month’s trading deadline, creating the sense that Pelinka and Clippers’ decision-makers Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger are warily eyeing the other team with each successive move.The Clippers acquired Marcus Morris at the Feb. 6 deadline and added guard Reggie Jackson later in February. The Lakers countered by adding the other Morris, Markieff (and while the twins shared the court Sunday, they never actually guarded each other for more than a few fleeting seconds).Friday, the Lakers added a reinforcement at shooting guard in Waiters, who had been bought out by Miami. And the Clippers are expected in the coming days to add veteran big man Joakim Noah, who last played last season with Memphis.“You know at some point in some playoff series in one game, one of them (acquisitions) or two of them are going to make a difference,” Rivers said. “If you can add guys that can tick off a win for you in the playoffs it pays dividends. I think that’ll happen for us and probably for them.”Players, coaches and executives on both sides know it: The path to a championship is almost certainly going to go through the other L.A. team. Sunday was just a firstname.lastname@example.org@Jim_Alexander on Twitter For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory LOS ANGELES — For parts of two seasons Avery Bradley played on the other side of this rivalry. He became a Clipper at the 2018 trade deadline, coming from Detroit, and was swapped to Memphis at the 2019 deadline.Now he dresses at the other end of the Staples Center hallway. Sunday, in the latest matchup between teams that seem destined to meet in the Western Conference finals, Bradley made it hurt on behalf of the Lakers: 24 points, 6 of 12 from three-point territory, two steals and a plus-13 in his 32:48 on the floor in the Lakers’ 112-103 victory over the Clippers.It is only March, of course, as players and coaches on both sides have reminded us. The two previous Clipper victories, Sunday’s game and the next installment on April 9 will mean next to nothing in the event of a best-of-seven showdown in May.Still, Sunday had to be delicious for Bradley, who came into Sunday averaging 8.3 points in 47 games (and 8.0 over his last five) and was missed during an early-season injury mainly for his tenacity at the other end of the floor, as a two-time NBA All-Defensive selection.
MLB has suspended Rangers third baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera four games for his behavior after his ejection from Thursday’s win against the Indians.According to MLB.com, Cabrera plans to appeal. He has also been fined an undisclosed sum. Asdrúbal Cabrera threw his batting gloves at an umpire and got a much longer suspension than Manny Machado.Did @MLBUA’s angry statement work?➡️ https://t.co/DTIBiWAkQs pic.twitter.com/SehonuHdLw— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) June 21, 2019In a statement, Joe Torre, chief baseball officer for MLB, cited Cabrera’s suspension for “throwing equipment from the dugout at Major League Umpire Bill Miller.”The punishment handed to Cabrera seems rather harsh given that Padres star Manny Machado was only suspended one game earlier this week for a confrontation with an umpire in which Machado threw his bat. Cabrera also allegedly bumped the umpire in his incident. MLB trade rumors: Yankees’ Brian Cashman would do ‘whatever it takes’ to land Max Scherzer Cabrera was ejected by home plate umpire Bill Miller in the sixth inning. After taking a borderline inside pitch for strike three, Cabrera went to the dugout. After reviewing a replay of the pitch, Cabrera yelled at Miller “Let’s f—ing go, that’s inside pitch!”After Miller issued a warning, Cabrera threw his batting gloves in Miller’s direction, earning the ejection. Related News That suspension drew a sharply worded statement from the MLB Umpires Association calling for MLB to step up discipline for players involved in disputes with umpires. MLB responded with a statement later that day saying in part, “We do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players …”The 33-year-old Cabrera is slashing .242/.322/.428 with 11 home runs in 67 games in his first season with the Rangers.