Monday :: February 22, 2021

500k Corona Deaths in U.S.: Open Thread

The United States has now endured 28 million cases of COVID-19 and 500,000 covid-related deaths. And it sure is not over.

I got my second Moderna shot on Saturday. I was a little trepidatious because I had read the second shot carries a more powerful punch. But I felt nothing. Not yesterday afternoon, not last night, not today or tonight.

Maybe I don't have any immune cells to fight off the enemy? Maybe I have lazy immune cells? Maybe it means nothing at all?

Do I feel safer having received my two doses of vaxx? Not really. I'm still staying home almost exclusively, double masking when I go out, and reminding every person I see with a mask that has slid under his nostrils to please put it back up. Yet, masks are no guarantee, they are just better than not wearing masks. But they sure beat the alternative: getting sick and with covid and even though you have no prior risky conditions, for some unknown reason you become a long hauler. [More...]

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Thursday :: February 18, 2021

Ted Cruz Flies Back from Cancun After Being Outed by Media

Senator Ted Cruz, not realizing the crassness of his flying to Cancun for a few days of R&R while his constituents in Texas freeze their as*s off with no heat and power, has a moment of Joni Mitchell clarity:

Turn this crazy bird around I shouldn't have got on this flight tonight

Talk about poor optics. And now his story is he was just flying his family down to tuck them in, he was always going to fly right back to Texas. Sorry, no sale.

Here he is on the plane going to Cancun. A few hours ago he was waitlisted for an upgrade on today on the return flight.

Shorter version on Twitter: #TedFled.

Here's a more spirited version of the song by Nazareth. [More...]

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Saturday :: February 13, 2021

Senate Vote Falls Short for Conviction on Impeachment

Donald Trump, who holds the record for the number of times an occupant of a desk in the oval office has been impeached in the House of Representatives, avoided conviction in the Senate today.

All 50 Democrats and seven Republicans voted “guilty,” falling 10 votes short of the two-thirds necessary for conviction.

Maybe now the media will finally stop its coverage of all things Trump. They have been reduced to an insignificant pebble in an otherwise mountain of smooth grains of sand.

Congress can can turn its attention to things that matter, like providing economic relief to the residents of this country and tackling the coronavirus and its mutations. [More...]

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Friday :: February 12, 2021

Friday Open Thread

Trump's lawyers are presenting a First Amendment defense. I think arguing that he didn't understand what he was saying, which we all know was too often the case, would be a more credible argument. Or that there was a vast right wing conpsiracy of white supremacists who planned this for months and used him as a patsy, dressing themselves up in Trump and maga gear pretending to be his supporters but he has no idea who the h*ll they were. Shorter version: He was duped into supporting bad guys he thought were good guys.

Trump will be acquitted by spineless Republicans.

I don't think he's planning on running in 2024, I think he's trying to reserve the field for Ivanka or even worse, Don. Jr.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: February 09, 2021

Donald Trump Goes on Trial in Senate

It's hard to believe it was 22 years ago that I attended the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Today it is private citizen Donald Trump who is on trial in the U.S. Senate for his conduct on January 6,2021 when rioters stormed the U.S. capitol. C-Span is covering it live.

They are now arguing over whether the Senate has the power to impeach someone who no longer occupies a desk in the oval office. Four hours has been alloted for these arguments. From the New York Times:

In a fast-paced and cinematic case, the House managers will argue before the Senate that Mr. Trump is guilty of inciting a deadly mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The prosecution plans to show videos captured by the mob, Mr. Trump’s unvarnished words and criminal pleas from rioters who said they acted at the former president’s behest. House managers are aiming for a conviction and to bar Mr. Trump from holding office again.

Democrats plan to both conduct the trial and work on passing federal coronavirus relief. The trial should be over this week.

Here is the Reply Brief filed today by the House Managers who are prosecuting the trial against Trump. Here are the procedural rules for the Clinton impeachment trial.

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Monday :: February 08, 2021

Tampa Superspreader

Watching the photos and news reports of people celebrating in Tampa after the Superbowl is simply sickening on so many levels.

Obviously, sports is not my field. I wouldn't bother to waste my time writing about it except I happened to see news photos of the [mostly young] maskless fools in Tampa packed next to each other like sardines, yelling and hooting in each other's faces as they celebrated in public after the game.

Shorter version: You just can't fix stupid -- or selfish. COVID takes a holiday for no one, not rock stars, athletes or fans.


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Monday Open Thread: If Impeachment Won't Work

My view: Skip the impeachment trial and go right to federal and state charges that are distinct enough to pass the Blockburger test so there is no double jeopardy defense.

If you lost a loved one due to corona virus, sue Trump (like the parents of the young trader who committed suicide are suing RobinHood. But for his intentional malfeasance, we would not have had many deaths from coronavirus.

Get a federal or state seizure warrant to freeze or seize all the money in Jared's pass-through company American Made Media Company through which more than a billion in contributions came and went (See the FEC filing).

Charge him with RICO alleging an "enterprise in fact" with
his family which extends the statute of limitations for predicate acts of racketeering to 10 years.

Re-read Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland: "No, No, said the Queen. First the punishment, then the verdict."


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Tuesday :: February 02, 2021

Tuesday Night TV and Open Thread

I've been meaning to write about Discovery+ which launched its streaming app in January. If you are an HGTV fan, it's got everything you want --almost. And for $5 more a month, it's commericial free.

My favorite show is House Hunters International. I watch every episode that has to do with Asia and South or Central America, i.e., Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Malaysia. I'm not too interested in Australia, Europe or Honduras, but if you are, there are episodes galore.

There are so many episodes, Discovery + gave the show its own channel. But therein lies the problem. So far, there's no index of episodes. It just streams 24/7 and you can't pick the episodes you want to watch. Maybe I'm just not tuning in right, but I've used my Roku, Apple TV and FireTV and none of them have a season/episode guide for you to choose from. Every other HGTV show does, so they need to fix this problem quick. (Or tell us how to find the episode guide). [More...]

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The Prince and the Pauper: Separated at Birth?

For those of you following the most excellent adventures of Gamestop and Robinhood, does anyone else think these two look like they were separated at birth?

On the left: Vlad Tenev, CEO and Co-founder of Robinhood. On the right: Keith Gill, the self-described "normal guy" who reportedly drove the GameStop stock frenzy by posting on a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets.

Take away the tuxedo and the gypsy headband, making one look rich and the other look like a marginalized protester of something or other, I think these two look like they were separated at birth. The eye shape, the bump on the bridge of the nose, the thin upper lip and fuller bottom lip, the mustache and random spots of growth despite looking recently shaven, the chin, and the bob in the Adam's apple. Gill's eyebrows are a little fuller, but the arch is pretty much the same. Hair color, check. Hair length: check. [More...]

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Sunday :: January 24, 2021

Site-Wide Comments Problem [Fixed Now]

Update [2021-1-26 0:29:44 by hillct]: Service was restored early Tuesday evening. Please feel free to use this thread to confirm proper comment operations, and send an email to the site administration if you continue to encounter difficulty.

[Original Post] Apparently, we have a glitch in our software that has been preventing comments since I posted an article on Joe Biden and his Peloton. I've gotten emails from some of you saying you can't post a comment, and I tried and I can't either. Colin, our webmaster, has been working on this for the past several hours and says it is a very unusual error. Unfortunately, it won't be fixed until tomorrow (Monday). So please stay tuned, and be patient and I apologize for the inconvenience.

I have put up an open thread at Talkleft's Wordpress site available here so you can all have a place to comment. If you haven't already, please register there with the same user name you use here so we all know who you are.

I have deleted the Biden Peloton thread in case the coding in it is what caused the problem.

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Wednesday :: January 20, 2021

Changing of the Guard

America, we survived. Today is a day for celebration.

I thought Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez were both terrific. How nice to see normal people like the Obamas and Clintons on center stage instead of toxic outliers.

There will be plenty of time to disagree with the policies of the new Administration for not going far enough, but for today, I'm happy to have my country back. We made it through the worst four years of history.

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Trump Grants 143 Pardons/Clemency Requests

The White House last night released the list of Donald Trump's final 73 pardons and 70 grants of clemency.

As expected, Steve Bannon got his pardon.

Stephen K. Bannon President Trump granted a full pardon to Stephen Bannon. Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project. Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.
That is simply a joke of an explanation. Trump might as well have said: "There's nothing good to say about him, he doesn't deserve it but I'm doing it anyway. I'd rather have him owe me so he's on my team instead of the other team when the subpoenas start flying". Unfortunately, Bannon is likely a snake who will bite him in the as* at the first opportunity. [More...]

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Monday :: January 18, 2021

100 Pardons Coming

Only two short days remain until all traces of Donald Trump and his family and entourage will be gone from the White House. What is his game plan for the end of the most mocked and despised administration in history?

Most major news outlets are predicting 100 pardons.

We all expect it to include Rudy Giuliani and Trump's children -- unless Jared and Ivanka are arrogant enough to reject the idea because they are convinced they are not in jeopardy and don't need one.

I expect to see Steve Bannon on the list. If it later turns out that the funding for luring ultra right-wingers to D.C. disguised as Donald Trump supporters to attack the capitol was provided by Bannon, Trump will look like an even bigger as* for pardoning him.

I also think there will be a lot of pardoning of uber-rich folks, or relatives of uber-rich folks. Trump will want to hit them up for money when he's ready to make his comeback.

I don't think Trump is selling pardons, but those close to him sure seem suspect, according to the New York Times.

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Wednesday :: January 13, 2021

Donald Trump Impeached for Second Time

Donald Trump has been impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives. The vote was 232 to 197. 10 Republicans voted with the unanimous Democrats.

There will be a Senate trial after Joe Biden takes office. No timeline is set.

So long as he exits the White House and takes his children and son-in-law and top current and former aides with him, I don't care what label America ultimately tags him with.

Questions: Will he spend the next week issuing pardons to himself and his family and Rudy Giuliani? Will the Trump Organization face a slump in revenues? Will every hotel he's licensed his name to change its name and stop paying licensing fees? Will Deutsche Bank call his loans early or refuse to extend them?

Where will Ivanka and Jared go now that it's pretty obvious she won't be taking Marco Rubio's seat from him anytime soon? Will they be sorry they plopped $31 million down on a plot of land on a tiny island in Miami? Will Melania and her parents and Barron go back to New York? Will Donald move to Dubai? [More...]

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House Votes on Impeachment of "World's Most Dangerous Man"

"Donald Trump is a virus. It's time to remove him from his host." Unknown female Rep.

"Donald Trump is the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office". Rep. Joaquin Castro

Unhinged: Rep. Matt Gaetz

Donald Trump will be impeached by the House today. What will the Senate do? More importantly, what will Mike Pence do if Trump resigns in the next week? I believe he will pardon Donald Trump. Will they make a deal that Trump (who will likely be banned from holding public office in the future by the new Democratic-led Senate)will support a Pence-Ivanka ticket?

I do not care whether Trump finishes his term. I care that Mike Pence not take the helm in the next week because he will eradicate all of the bad karma the Trump family now has hanging over their heads. Pence is the only one who can dissipate it. I hope Congress does not let him.

Colorado's Rep. Diana DeGette is a national treasure. You can tell she used to be a criminal defense lawyer. Gun-toting bar owner/Trump hanger-on Lauren Boebert can't even read her lines without stumbling over them. I don't think her voice wasn't shaking with anger but stage fright. She will never be taken seriously by Democrats.

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