Monday :: October 21, 2019

Monday Open Thread

Another Monday. Another court afternoon for me. Another open thread for you.

What I'm reading: News from Sinaloa. Was Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar the one who mustered the troops (with help from Mayo Zambada) in Culiacan this weekend to win the release of his half brother Ovidio Guzman Lopez? So far, it seems that way to me. I also don't think the Government cared about the citizenry as much as it did the families of the military who were threatened. How involved was the DEA? The Government said the police and National Guard were going to arrest Ovidio based on an extradition order. Who was doing the surveillance on Ovidio's girlfriend? Mexico or the U.S. I'd bet the latter.

All topics welcome.

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Pete Buttigieg Surges in Latest Iowa Poll

Politico and USA Today have stories on the latest Iowa poll which has Pete Buttigieg now in third place:

A new Iowa survey of the 2020 Democratic presidential contest shows Pete Buttigieg surging in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, locked in a three-way race with frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

The current standings:

  • Biden: 18%
  • Warren 17%
  • Buttigieg 13%


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Trump Insists He Captured ISIS

Donald Trump today insisted he is the one who wiped out ISIS.

“ISIS was all over the place … It was me…who captured them,” Trump told reporters at a cabinet meeting Monday in the White House. “I’m the one who did the capturing. I’m the one who knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.”

ISIS was not captured by Trump. ISIS lost its geographic holdings. It remains a significant insurgent group. It will grow and return.

The New York Times today: Trump's order to withdraw troops from Syria provides a gain to ISIS. [More...]

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Thursday :: October 17, 2019

RIP Elijah Cummings

Representative Elijah Cummings passed away yesterday at the age of 68.

Cummings had been absent from Capitol Hill for about a month as he recovered from an unspecified medical procedure. But he had been beset with a variety of physical ailments for the past few years, and often used a walker or a wheelchair to get around Capitol Hill and his Baltimore-based district. His last roll call vote was on Sept. 11.
No cause of death was announced.

Cummings was the Chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He was first elected in 1996, taking the seat vacated by Rep. Kweisi Mfume when Mfume left to become the President of the NAACP.

I've read a lot of accolades for Cummings today -- I like this one:

“Elijah always fought for the little guy, working across the aisle on health care issues, prescription drugs and the importance of education as a way to open doors for every child, regardless of income.

RIP Elijah Cummings. It was always a pleasure listening to you speak.

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Tuesday :: October 15, 2019

Democrats Debate

The Democratic debate has begun. I tuned in just in time to hear Kamala Harris say for the 100th time, "I'm a prosecutor".

Corey Booker looks really, really tired.

What are your expectations for tonight?

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Saturday :: October 12, 2019

Shepard Smith Leaves Fox News

I have liked Shepard Smith and his reporting since the mid-nineties when I used to appear on Fox News shows he hosted. I always found him "fair and balanced." The last time I saw him was in 2007 at the bar in the Des Moines hotel where the media (from every network) as well as the Clintons and a few bloggers were staying during the primaries. Whenever I channel surf on Sirius in the car, if he's on, I listen to his show. Between the hint of his southern drawl and the stories he chooses to focus on, I'm never disappointed.

Yesterday, he unexpectedly ended his show with the news it would be his last show. He asked to be let of his contract, and after some negotiating (which likely cost him millions), Fox agreed.

Due to a non-compete clause in his contract, we won't be seeing him reporting anywhere else for a while. That's too bad, as I really enjoy listening to him. But hopefully he'll be back as soon as he can.

Good Luck, Shep, in whatever venture you choose next.

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Friday :: October 11, 2019

Rudy's Rendevouz in Vienna

So Rudy told an Atlantic reporter he couldn't meet her because he was flying to Vienna -- this is one day after the indicted Giuliani associates tried to leave the U.S. but got arrested instead. They had one way tickets to Vienna.

Trump of course says he doesn't know the indicted pair. When shown pictures of him with them and Rudy, he says so what? I have pictures of me with everyone. [More...]

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Monday :: October 07, 2019

National Security Official: Spineless Trump Gets Rolled by Turkey

Donald Trump wouldn't know a winning hand if it fell in his lap. He is now alienating members of his own party, the military and the world with his decision to pull troops from Syria as Turkey prepares to invade. Via Newsweek:

Donald Trump got "rolled" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a National Security Council source with direct knowledge of the discussions told Newsweek...

....President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something," the National Security Council source told Newsweek. "The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that's the bottom line."

On the Syrian Kurds:

Turkey has long considered the Kurdish militia in Syria to be a terrorist insurgency, despite the United States providing military and financial aid to the group in its fight against ISIS, the Islamic State militant group. A battle with the vastly superior military of Turkey, a NATO ally, could drive the Kurds into the arms of Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian dictator that Washington wants ousted, and by extension into an alliance with Russia and Iran, two U.S. rivals with forces in Syria.


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Monday Open Thread

It's a beautiful fall day here, but hard to enjoy when our nation is like a rudderless ship flailing about in the ocean with a drunken captain at the helm. Trump may not drink alcohol, but he's drunk with his own vision of power and self-entitlement. I hope he is gone as soon as possible. The only fitting legacy for him is that he not be allowed to finish out his term.

Where are the sane Republicans who competed with him for the 2016 nomination? Can't one of them step up to challenge him in 2020?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump Ordered to Turn Over Tax Returns

A federal judge in New York has ordered Donald Trump to turn over his tax returns to DA Cyrus Vance, rejecting Trump's argument that he is immune from criminal investigations.

The 75 page opinion is here

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Saturday :: October 05, 2019

Bernie and the Fever

First, my best wishes to Bernie Sanders for a full and speedy recovery from his heart attack.

I don't think he will drop out of the race yet. He's got The Fever. He's a man on a mission. His life would lose meaning without his ability to take the stage and like John Reed (Warren Beatty) in Reds, spread his gospel to young voters.

Bernie, in my view, isn't really running for President, He knew that passed him by when Hillary got the nomination in 2016. This time around, he's trying to change the mindset of voters on the issues. He wants to be heard. He knows this will be his legacy -- the pied piper of a movement that won't succeed until way after he's gone, but when it does, he wants to be remembered as someone who was in the forefront, ahead of his time.


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Tuesday :: September 24, 2019

It's Official: Pelosi Announces House Impeachment Inquiry

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced the House will launch an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump for trying to pressure the Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden.

The process is explained here.

Today, impeachment is a longshot that may or may not succeed, but tonight, no one cares. We're just dancing in the streets.

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Monday :: September 23, 2019

Trump's Ukranian Mess

The case for impeaching Donald Trump got an uptick last week when news emerged that Trump tried to get the Ukranian President to investigate Joe Biden as he was considering whether to provide the Ukraine with a military aid package.

CNN reports:

[I]f Trump used his power to try to coerce a foreign leader into influencing US elections, it could precipitate the worst political crisis of a presidency that has been mired in notoriety from its first hours.

It would amount to a situation in which Trump's team, which according to the Mueller report expected to benefit from Russian election meddling in 2016, is now using the power of the presidency to incite collusion ahead of the 2020 election.


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Monday :: September 16, 2019

Monday Open Thread

I really will be back blogging soon. The TL kid and his wife had their second daughter last week -- she is the second TL grandkid. Here is big sister Karter meeting Reece:

And here is newborn Reece just a few hours old:

Last night I watched Netflix's "original series" The Chosen One. It's a remake of a Spanish series I wrote about here in 2015 called, "El Nino Santo" aka "The Holy Child". [More...]

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Thursday :: September 12, 2019

Democrats Debate in Houston

Update: Here is the transcript.

The third Democratic debate will take place tonight in Houston. CNN says this is what to watch for.

CNN pints out the three leading Democratic candidates are over 70 years old? So is Donald Trump.

If the choices are really down to Biden, Sanders and Warren, I'd recommend Elizabeth Warren. I think she does have a chance of beating Trump because he is so offensive to so many women. I think only wealthy Republican women and underinformed rural women will vote for Trump.

I'd be okay with an Elizabeth Warren-Julian Castro ticket. I might even get excited about it.

Who would you like to see with the nomination at this point? Here's a place for your thoughts on tonight's debate and the 2020 election.

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