New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced that William Bratton will again serve as police commissioner.
He replaces Raymond Kelly, who served since 2002.
Good move by de Blasio. Bill is a strong believer in constitutional rights. I attended his swearing-in ceremony in Los Angeles in 2002 -- here's my report.
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We broke a record temperature yesterday -15 degrees at 9 pm. The cold will be here for days. I'll be in court, so here's an open thread, all topics welcome. Stay civil please.
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Here is Kim Dotcom's lawyers' new White paper on why the charges against him are untenable:
The U.S. government’s case against Megaupload is grounded in a theory of criminal secondary copyright infringement. In other words, the prosecution seeks to hold Megaupload and its executives criminally responsible for alleged infringement by the company’s third-party cloud storage users.
The problem with the theory, however, is that secondary copyright infringement is not – nor has it ever been – a crime in the United States. The federal courts lack any power to criminalize secondary copyright infringement; the U.S. Congress alone has such authority, and it has not done so.
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Rafael Caro-Quintero, freed from prison in Mexico after 28 years when a court in Mexico reversed his conviction (a decision later reversed by a reviewing court) has written a letter to Mexican officials urging them to reject the U.S. demand for his extradition. He is charged in federal court in California with the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Kiki Camarena.
Caro-Quintero's lawyers submitted the letter on his behalf. His current whereabouts are reportedly unknown. [More...]
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's legal team will have some restrictions eased for meeting with him and sharing information. Seems like crumbs to me, considering the exhaustive list of SAMS imposed by the Bureau of Prisons. The SAMS are here, and the Government's concessions are here. The defense motion seeking modifications is here.
Thanks to readers who emailed me this morning to let me know the site was down.
This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
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David Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby , has said:
We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. [...] We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. [...] But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one.
Apparently, Green and his family run Hobby Lobby on "Christian principles" only when it is convenient and good for the bottom line. They send their "Christian" money to China and its policy of one child per family and forced abortions:
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Yikes! That was ugly yesterday - lost all my profits for the year on a -26 unit day in CFB. But today will be different! Here's the Amato and Armando Show with our picks:
The picks (Disagreements in BOLD) - (A) Minnesota Vikings -1, (J) Chicago Bears +1, (A) Tennessee Titans +4, (J) Indianapolis Colts -4, (A)Atlanta Falcons +3½, (J) Buffalo Bills -3½, (J) Cleveland Browns -7, (A) Jacksonville Jaguars +7, Arizona Cardinals +3 over Philadelphia Eagles, (A) New Orleans Saints +5, (J) Seattle Seahawks -5, (A) New York Jets -1, (J) Miami Dolphins -1, (A) Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7½, (J) Carolina Panthers -7½ , New England Patriots -9 over Houston Texans, New York Giants -1 over Washington Redskins, (A) Kansas City Chiefs +6, (J) Denver Broncos -6, (J) St Louis Rams +71/2, (A) SF 49ers -71/2, (A) SD Chargers (PICK), (J) Cinncinati Bengals (PICK).
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Rivalry Weekend. The picks (2 units unless otherwise indicated): Arizona +11½ over Arizona State, San Diego State -3 over UNLV, Boise State -37 over New Mexico, UCLA +3½ over USC, Temple +8½ over Memphis, Minnesota +16 over Michigan State, BYU -15 over Nevada, Stanford -15 (3 units) over Notre Dame, Illinois +3½ over Northwestern, Missouri -4½ (3 units) over Texas A&M, Georgia Tech +3½ over Georgia, Iowa State +7½ over West Virginia, Virginia Tech -13 (3 units) over Virginia, Vanderbilt -14 over Wake Forest, Connecticut +3 over Rutgers, Kansas State -17½ over Kansas, Tulsa +4½ over North Texas, Tennessee -4 over Kentucky, Wisconsin -24 over Penn State, Clemson +4½ (3 units) over South Carolina, North Carolina -6 (4 units) over Duke, Alabama -10½ (9 units) over Auburn, Ohio State -16½ (3 units) over Michigan.
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Lost of college pigskin on tap today. My picks: Bowling Green -2 over Buffalo U, Arkansas +24½ over LSU, Nebraska -2 over Iowa, SMU +10 over Houston, Marshall -4 over East Carolina, San Jose State +7½ over Fresno State, Pittsburgh +3 over Miami (Florida, Washington State +17 over Washington, Oregon State +23 over Oregon.
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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did. The hours of planning the dinner, googling recipes and cooking paid off -- every dish tasted just right. Everyone had seconds. And thanks to a TalkLeft reader who sent me two great bottles of Champagne when I moved last month, and another who sent me flowers for Thanksgiving, the atmosphere was lively and the scene pretty.
In the news, Marissa Alexander has been released from prison in Florida, pending retrial.
The ACLU has a new report on the more than 3,000 prisoners in the U.S. serving life without parole for non-violent crimes.
For 3,278 people, it was nonviolent offenses like stealing a $159 jacket or serving as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana. An estimated 65% of them are Black. Many of them were struggling with mental illness, drug dependency or financial desperation when they committed their crimes. None of them will ever come home to their parents and children. And taxpayers are spending billions to keep them behind bars.
From Thanksgiving 2006: I Wish Thanksgiving Was For All of Us. It's disheartening that so little has changed since then.
This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
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I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, for the first time in years. I'm about to start. Is anyone else here cooking? What are you making?
I'm making a cornbread and fruit stuffing, two kinds of mashed potatoes ( regular and sweet), a green bean casserole, gravy, cranberry sauce and salad. In addition, of course, to the turkey.
I also made a giant lasagne last night, and put it in the freezer, just in case the turkey doesn't come out right. I'm much better at cooking one pot meals: sauces, noodle dishes and stews, than one big bird and a lot of side dishes.
I'm also checking out Black Friday deals. Be careful about clicking from Google, there are tons of links with m*lwAre. Who do you think has the best deals on whatever you are looking for?
This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
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A Las Vegas judge has denied O.J. Simpson's bid for a new trial. Lawyers for Simpson argued at a hearing held months ago that his trial counsel was ineffective and had a conflict of interest. From the opinion:
“Mr. Simpson failed to demonstrate that counsel experienced an actual conflict of interest that substantially impacted counsel’s performance at trial. Mr. Simpson also failed to establish that the State withheld exculpatory evidence. Finally, Mr. Simpson failed to establish that appellate and trial counsel were ineffective or that any deficient performance by counsel resulted in prejudice. Given the overwhelming amount of evidence, neither the errors in this case, nor the errors collectively, cause this court to question the validity of Mr. Simpson’s conviction.”
Simpson's current attorney says he will appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, and if he loses, file a habeas action in federal court.
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Busy work day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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