Sunday :: October 04, 2015

Hillary Mocks Trump on SNL

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Saturday :: October 03, 2015

Saturday College Football Open Thread

I'm flooding the zone this week. the picks:

Mississippi State+5 @ Texas A&m, Mississippi -7 @ Florida, Arkansas +7 @ Tennessee, Arizona State @ UCLA -12, Washington State +18 @ California, Hawaii +26 @ Boise State, San Jose State +21 @ Auburn, East Carolina -5 @ SMU, Notre Dame @ Clemson Pick (3 units), Boston College +7 @ Duke, Ohio State -23 @ Indiana, Alabama PICK (4 units) @ Georgia, Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan +3,
Louisville @ North Carolina State -3, Houston -6 @ Tulsa, Central Florida PICK @ Tulane, Pittsburgh +4 @ Virginia Tech, Minnesota @ Northwestern -4, Kansas +19 @ Iowa State, Texas +15 @ TCU, Iowa +6 @ Wisconsin, Purdue +22 @ Michigan State,
Michigan -14 @ Maryland, West Virginia +7 @ Oklahoma, South Carolina +3 @ Missouri.

Go Gators!

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Friday :: October 02, 2015

Friday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Mexico's Latest Extraditions

I think the most suspect of Mexico's extradition decisions yesterday is that of Jose Antonio Reynoso-Gonzalez. (Here is Mexico's announcement and here is DOJ's announcement.)

Today Mexico insisted yesterday's extraditions were part of a new streamlined policy and unrelated to the recent escape of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Really? We are supposed to believe it is just happenstance that Jose Antonio Reynoso-Gonzalez, a codefendant of El Chapo in the 1995 San Diego case involving the Otay Mesa tunnel and cocaine smuggled in chili pepper cans was one of the 13 persons extradited? This is the same case for which the U.S. recently sought El Chapo's extradition. [More...]

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Thursday :: October 01, 2015

Thursday Open Thread

I'm in court all day. Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: September 30, 2015

GOP Admits eGhazi Political Witchhunt

The McCarthy there is Kevin McCarthy, the likely next GOP speaker of the House, touting the GOP "accomplishments" in the House.

So the Benghazi committee and all its leaks to Michael Schmidt of the New York Times has one purpose -- to damage Hilary Clinton. Your tax dollars at work.

McCarthy's words:

Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Fox News’s “Hannity” on Tuesday. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would’ve known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”

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Tuesday :: September 29, 2015

The Sexism Is Back: NYT's Bruni Calls Hillary "Calculating" and "Controlling"

In a typical Frank Bruni piece on political theater, as opposed to, you know actual issues, Bruni let's his sexist flag fly.

It starts with belittling her interacto with Lena Dunham as a "pajama party." Would he have used tha phrase if it involved 2 men. Never.

But it gets worse:

How can her response to charges that she’s too packaged and calculating be this packaged and calculated?

You can read the thought in his mind - why won't the calculating bitch stop being a calculating bitch? And get this one:

She’s impressively controlled. She’s distressingly controlling.

Yes, the controlling bitch is what he is saying.


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Monday :: September 28, 2015

Syria: Assad, Not ISIS or AQ, Is the Problem

Charles Lister's article today on our epic misreading of the problem in Syria is getting tons of praise from analysts on Twitter. Shorter version: The U.S. is walking into an abyss on Syria. Some quotes:

[T]he US and its European partners remain dangerously disconnected from Syria's realities. The threat posed by IS has become a convenient obsession, while the more complex dynamics in the rest of the country appear all but ignored and misunderstood.

... IS remains a potent force in Syria and must be countered, but it will not be marching on Damascus anytime soon, contrary to some uninformed fear mongering. Al-Qaeda also poses a pressing and more long-term threat, perhaps more so than has been acknowledged. But at the end of the day, the root cause of the entire Syrian crisis is Assad and his regime.

Our efforts in Syria to date: "To label the mission a catastrophic failure would be a generous assessment." [More...]

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U.S. Trained Rebel Defector Gave Equipment to al Nusra

First, the U.S. admitted equipment it provided to the Syrian Rebels it was training ended up with al Nusra, the Al Qaida affiliated group. But it denied knowing or training the person who gave it to them.

The Daily Beast says Centcom then admitted a little more:

The Pentagon, responding to reports in The Daily Beast that a specific U.S.-trained commander had defected along with most of his unit to a group affiliated with al Qaeda, will now concede that an unnamed commander who actually had been rejected by the U.S. as a possible trainee for the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State had somehow acquired access to U.S. equipment that he then handed over to al Qaeda affiliates.

But it gets worse. [More...]

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Sunday :: September 27, 2015

Sunday Night Open Thread

The sequel to Shantaram is finally coming. Gregory David Robert's Mountain Shadow, will be available Oct. 13. You can read the first five chapters here.

Shantaram introduced millions of readers to a cast of unforgettable characters in the hidden heart of Bombay through Lin, an Australian fugitive, working as a passport forger for a branch of the Bombay mafia. In The Mountain Shadow, the long awaited sequel, Lin must find his way in a Bombay run by a different generation of mafia dons, playing by a different set of rules.

On TV tonight: Blood and Oil (with Don Johnson) and Quantico, The Great Food Truck Race, and on Unimas, Nino Santo, which is a very strange drama that pits young doctors against a religious cult figure in the jungle, where the doctors end up questioning whether science is more powerful than faith. It's based on the real legend of Niño Fidencio, a 1920's faith healer who never made it to sainthood, but is considered one by many anyway. It just started last week, and only airs on Sunday nights. It has subtitles.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump to Unveil New Tax Plan, Falls in Poll

Donald Trump will unveil a new tax plan tomorrow. Tonight he is on 60 Minutes. (no link due to autoplay video.) And in a new NBC-WSJ poll, he's fallen to only one point above Ben Carson.

Are his days numbered? Bill Clinton doesn't think so.

I'm surprised he's lasted this long, but I still don't believe he'll end up as the nominee.

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Pope Francis Vists Inmates

Pope Francis has concluded his visit to the U.S. It was a big success. Today, among other stops, he visited a jail in Philadelphia and met with inmates.

Pope Francis also rebuked society for not doing enough to rehabilitate prisoners. “It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities,” the pope said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “It is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society.”

...Visiting the imprisoned is a traditional good work in the Catholic Church, one of the seven corporal works of mercy.

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Report on DEA Misconduct

USA Today reviews the results of recent investigations into how DEA has handled the misconduct of its agents and finds the treatment too lenient for serious instances of misconduct.

Here are the 52 pages of logs from 2010 to 2015 showing the punishment meted out for agent misconduct.

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French Airstrikes Against Islamic State in Syria

France has announced its first independent airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. The airstrikes hit an ISIS training camp in Deir Ezzor. French analysts are not impressed.

[A]nalysts say that by sending fighter jets to Syria, France is mainly seeking to ease domestic political pressure, and remain relevant abroad in the latest scramble for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

"To say that we will prevent terrorist attacks in France thanks to air strikes in Syria is, and I am weighing my words, absolute bullsh*t," said Eric Denece, the director of the French intelligence think-tank CF2R.

Deir Ezzor is one of the places where ISIS established camps for children. No word yet on fatalities.

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Saturday :: September 26, 2015

Saturday College Football Open Thread

Was about even last week- a little under .500 and breakeven for the year. This week's picks:

UCLA @ Arizona +4 (3 units), Missouri @ Kentucky -2 (3 units), Mississippi State +3 (3 units) @ Auburn, Texas A&m -7 (3 units) @ Arkansas, San Diego State +16 (3 units) @ Penn State, Virginia Tech @ East Carolina +10, Western Michigan @ Ohio State -32 (3 units), Massachusetts +30 @ Notre Dame, @ Florida, Ohio +11 @ Minnesota, Maryland @ West Virginia -17 (4 units), Northern Illinois @ Boston College -4 (3 units), Indiana @ Wake Forest +3, Bowling Green -3 @ Purdue, Navy -6 @ Connecticut, Georgia Tech -7 (3 units) @ Duke, Southern Mississippi +22 @ Nebraska, LSU -24 (5 units) @ Syracuse, Central Michigan +28 @ Michigan State, Kansas +15 @ Rutgers, Central Florida +15 @ South Carolina, BYU +7 (3 units) @ Michigan.

Go Gators!

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