Thursday :: June 04, 2020

Thursday Open Thread

I hope everyone here is staying safe and healthy, and still wearing a mask in public.

It's time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: June 03, 2020

Floyd: Charges Expanded, Obama to Speak

MN Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that three additional police officers present at the scene of George Floyd's death who witnessed Derek Chauvin's attack on Floyd have been charged with aiding and abetting Chavin. Chauvin's charges were upgraded to second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

These are state, not federal charges. The officers are Thomas Lane, Alexander Keung and Tou Thau. Lane is already in custody, police are in the process of arresting the other two.

Obama is speaking now. You can watch here. He says the events of the last few weeks have given us a chance for change. He's excited about all the young people coming out. He feels optimistic -- like this country is going to get better. [More...]

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Tuesday :: June 02, 2020

Joe Biden Starts His Comeback Tour

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, has resumed his campaign appearances. Today he made a speech in Philadelphia on the crisis facing America and Donald Trump's unacceptable and inadequate response.

“Donald Trump has turned this country into a battlefield riven by old resentments and fresh fears,” Mr. Biden said, speaking against a backdrop of American flags at Philadelphia’s City Hall. “Is this who we want to be? Is this what we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren? Fear, anger, finger pointing, rather than the pursuit of happiness? Incompetence and anxiety, self-absorption, selfishness?”

The country, Mr. Biden said, is “crying out for leadership.”

Indeed we are. But the country is also crying out for an end to police brutality, for equal justice and for the implementation of change now (not in January, 2021 or during the next four years of the next president's administration) that provides persons of color and the impovrished with equal economic opportunities.

I have my doubts that the man who spent 30 years in Congress passing some of the most draconian and oppressive criminal justice legislation of the century, which to this day results in arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement against minorities, is the right one to lead us out of the cess-pool Donald Trump has dumped us in.

I think Democrats need an angel to step in. Joe Biden's legislative record on crime alone warrants him giving serious consideration to withdrawing from the race. Why should we have to choose between bad and worst?

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Saturday :: May 30, 2020

Ozarks Pool Party-Goer Contracts COVID-19

A party-goer who attended the shameful display of indifference to the lives of others at the now infamous pool party in the Ozarks on Memorial Day weekend has now tested positive for the coronavirus, possibly infecting as many as 250 people.

If anyone comes down with Covid-19 that can be traced to the party-goer, or worse, the person who he infected dies, can he be charged with a crime under Missouri law? How about federal law?

Missouri now has its largest COVID numbers since the pandemic began. Will Missourians hold Republican Gov. Mike Parson accountable for (in my opinion) irresonsibly opening the state up too early?

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Curfews Coming

The City and County of Denver has just announced a curfew for tonight. Appearing on my cell phone:

I don't mind the curfew as much as I do the end of social distancing in Denver. (From today at the state capitol).

The past two days most of the protesters, even in the afternoon, wore masks. On Friday afternoon, at least when they approached the corner of my house, many seemed to stay more than 6 feet apart. [More...]

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Thursday :: May 28, 2020

George Floyd: Protests, Violence and Official Inaction

Bump and Update: Protesters have set a Minneapolis police precinct on fire. The police are no longer there. There are no sirens and no one coming to put out the fire. Their philosophy seems to be we are outmanned, we're heading out and they're on their own. There are thousands of people in the streets.

The sad thing is that attention is being drawn from such a legitimate protest. People will focus on the violence of the protesters rather than the actions of the police that precipitated them. [More..]

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Thursday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread, here it is, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: May 26, 2020

Simon, Archie and the Innocence Project

Archie Williams served 37 years for a rape and stabbing he didn't commit. Thanks to the persistence and hard work of Innocence Project Litigation Director Vanessa Plotkin, the Louisiana Innocence Project, and Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck , Archie was freed from prison in 2019 when fingerprint evidence in an FBI database proved him innocent and identified the real perpetrator -- a serial rapist, now long deceased. What took so long? For years, Louisiana's state laws provided barriers to inmates' requests to access untested evidence for innocence claims, and many other procedural hurdles. The I.P. began working on Archie's case in 1996.

In the video above, watch Archie fulfill his dream of singing on the big stage, during a recent episode of "America's Got Talent". The audience response and response of the judges, including Simon Cowell, is wonderful to watch.

After learning about Archie and the Innocence Project, Barry confirmed that Simon has signed on to be an Ambassador for the project. [More...]

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Monday :: May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Open Thread

This is a day to honor those who served in the military and made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.

In light of the 97,000 plus Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the last 90 days, I don't see any reason it can't also be a day to remember them. The New York Times clearly feels the same way -- here is the front page of their Sunday edition.

I also agree with the New York Times that it's an appropriate time to say "thank you" to the more than 144 million Americans who followed their state's stay at home orders for weeks on end, donned (and are still wearing) masks and who are still practicing "social distancing".

This is love of country at its best, generous and communal. And it’s all the more important to keep that spirit alive as we enter the warmer months and are tempted to forget all that we have learned in this dark and deadly spring. .


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Friday :: May 22, 2020

Lori Loughlin and Husband to Plead Guilty Friday

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli will plead guilty today in federal court in Boston via video-conference to conspiracy charges in the college cheating scandal "Varsity Blues" case.

Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.

As part of the plea, Loughlin has agreed to serve a two month sentence of incarceration and Giannulli has agreed to a five month sentence.

Loughlin's plea agreement is here and Giannulli's is here. [More...]

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Monday :: May 18, 2020

Trump Claims He's Taking Hydroxychloroquine

Donald Trump said today he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure to ward off COVID-19.

First question: Is he telling the truth? If not, he's putting people in danger by encouraging use of a drug that has not been proven to be effective in treating COVID-19, let alone preventing it. And Second question: If he is telling the truth, why would he take this drug given his advanced age and it's unproven benefit to coronavirus patients.

Trump is 72, and has elevated cholesterol for which he takes rosuvastatin(Crestor). It is risky to take both of them because irreversible nerve damage can occur. [More...]

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Dumb and Dumber

If there is anyone that is viewed globally as a dumba** as much as Donald Trump, it can only be his adult children.

If you are interested in what his under-accommplished sons Donald Jr. and Eric said this week that has put them in the news, here it is.

Let the eye-rolling begin.

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Thursday :: May 14, 2020

Thursday Open Thread

My half-written posts yesterday are about (1) [former Zambada-Garcia sicario] "El Chino Antrax" going missing while on supervised release in San Diego, (2) Paul Manafort's release, Michael Cohen's non-release (as of now), and the complex procedure and arbitrary decisions of BOP on medically challenged inmates' request for compassionate release and reduction of sentence to a term of home detention, and the disagreement among the federal district courts when reviewing BOP denials, on everything from jurisdiction and exhaustion of remedies to interpreting the statute and AG Memoranda and (3) the 50 BOP press releases each announcing the death of the an inmate who died of complications from COVID-19 while serving their sentence. All had prior medical conditions which put them at greater risk of serious injury or death from COVID-19.

I could have written three briefs in the time I've spent on these three posts, but they aren't finished. So in the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: May 12, 2020

The Inanity of It All

I'm tired of repeating what Donald Trump says. It's so pointless. I don't think he believes any of it, it's all for effect, just a re-election campaign ploy and a futile attempt to change how the history books characterize his abysmal reign of terror in the White House. His modus operandi is so transparent by now. Every lie he tells is carefully planned to distract us from the critical issues facing the country, in a desperate attempt to hide his personal failure as a leader and a human being. While he doesn't believe his own lies, he does harbor the futile belief that we won't find out till long after he's gone that he was the most inept person ever to occupy a desk in the oval office.

Latest case in point: His attempt to blame his administration's failures on Barack Obama. Anyone with a television set knows that 80,0000 Americans have now died from Covid-19. Yesterday alone, 985 deaths were recorded. So today Trump pretends the subject of the day is Barack Obama. And the senseless mediaactually reports on this.

One word in the dictionary (and its antonyms) is all you need to tell Donald Trump from Barack Obama and realize there is absolutely no reason to even discuss, let alone debate Trump's claim: Inanity [More...]

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Monday :: May 04, 2020

Monday Night Open Thread

Everybody knows the boat is leaking
Everybody knows the captain lied
Everybody's got this broken feeling
like their father or their dog just died

I'm sorry for my absence last week. I just got tired of thinking about coronavirus. It seems pretty clear it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Also, I am not interested in the allegations against Joe Biden. Until there are investigations into the multiple allegations involving force or unwanted touching against Donald Trump, it's not right to investigate Joe Biden. His denial should be worth as much as Donald Trump's denial. If a denial is all it took for Trump to continue with his election campaign in 2016, it should be good enough for Biden now. He denied it, let's move on.

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