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Wednesday :: November 22, 2017

Donald Trump: An Exhaustive List of You Know What

I think Donald Trump made one of is worst decisions yet yesterday in expressing his support for Roy Moore over a Democrat. Why? Because it was so transparent that he cares more about getting his tax bill passed and scoring a win with Congress (after the total beating he took on health care) than whether or not the Republican who would be sitting in the Senate was a child sex abuser.

The about-face by Ms. Most Unimportant Person in the World confirmed it.

Kellyanne Conway suggested that the White House remains open to Roy Moore's embattled senate candidacy on Monday when she told Fox & friends that "we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through" -- less than a week after Conway said that "no Senate seat is worth more than a child" in the wake of a series of sexual allegations against Moo

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Tuesday :: November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving (End of Year) Site News

It's been days since our last open thread, and my next thread will be next one. It's right around the corner. This one got so long and specific, I am limiting comments to the topic under discussion. For those of you who view Talkeft site as a little community of sane people trying to accomodate themselves to life in an insane world, the news will be expecially pertinent to you.

Ok, here goes. I think I'm about ready to switch TalkLeft to Wordpress. Readers may remember I started the project in 2013, intending for it to be a "premium access" version of TalkLeft. I abandoned that idea pretty quickly, deciding to keep it free instead, and I have been tinkering with the design and other tweeks ever since. Depite WP's thousands of designs and plugins,
most of which I've read or tested out, the truth is, Wordpress is deliberatly made with some features off limits. An uber-coder could change it, but not a mere mortal like me, with only html training and not even css) under my belt. But take a look, I've tweeked it a lot.
And after trying out hundreds of new themes.
I confident that the one I have, which is the same as this one, only bigger and with bigger text, is all the change I need. [More...]

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Monday :: November 20, 2017

NYT Reporter Latest to Fall, Where is the Investigation of Trump?

Glenn Thrush has been suspended from the New York Times and will be entering an in-patient alcohol treatment program, following a Vox expose of his conduct with young female reporters. The report has copies of text messages between Glenn and one of the women.

I'd like to see the reporters focus on the allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against Donald Trump over the years. Trump, like the carnival barker he is at heart, just yells "Clinton" when the topic is raised, knowing it will deflect attention. Clinton is not sitting in the Oval Office or any public office. What he did or didn't do 25 years ago is a public record, was examined in depth at a House and Senate impeachment trial, in the Paula Jones lawsuit and more. Trump (and his Clinton-hating supporters) conveniently fail to mention that Monica Lewinsky, according to her public statements, engaged in a consensual relationship.

Glenn Thrush allegedly made unwanted sexual advances -- several women have made the same allegations against Trump. Thrush's accusers believed he was in a position to help their careers, and therefore his unwanted overtures were sexual harassment. Trump's accusers claim he used his position of power and wealth to make unwanted advances against them. Clinton is different, he used his position of power to engage in a consensual relationship. [More...]

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Thursday :: November 16, 2017

Sen. Al Franken Gets A Groping Allegation of His Own

Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles reporter has issued a statement detailing a pretty disgusting encounter with Al Franken in 2006. Franken was not a Senator at the time. The story ends with a photo of him grabbing her breasts while she's asleep on the military plane home from Afghanistan.

The alleged incident occurred during her 9th ISO Tour to entertain the troops. (Her father was a Vietnam vet and her husband (then her boyfriend) is an Air Force Pilot.

Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.

You can read the rest at the link. [More...]

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Execution Inmate Poked for 30 Minutes, No Usable Veins

Ohio began the process of executing Alva Campbell, a 69-year-old inmate with medical problems yesterday morning. The executioners jabbed him with needles for 30 minutes, in his arm and below his knee, trying to find a usable vein to inject him with the lethal drugs. They couldn't find one. At 9:40 a.m, the reporters were told to leave the room, and the execution was halted.

Gov. John Kasich has rescheduled the state-ordered killing for June, 2019. Why that date? Unknown. [More...]

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Tuesday :: November 14, 2017

Tuesday Night Open Thread

From Tina Brown's memoir: Donald once poured red wine down the back of a gown worn by Vanity Fair journalist Marie Brenner (and told another journalist he had done the same to Leona Helmsley.)

In news worth reading: An investigation by the BBC uncovers a deal to let ISIS members leave Raqqa as it was falling. The Washington Post reports on Russia using video game images on the topic of the U.S. colluding with ISIS. Bellingcat's report is here.

A new report commissioned by Democrats on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee addresses how much land the U.S. could seize under eminent domain to build Trump's border wall. The Trump Administration has not disclosed what this might cost: [More...]

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AG Sessions Testifies, Denies Lying About Russia

Attorney General Jefferson Sessions testified before Congress today about Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. He denied lying to Congress. He just has a bad memory. (Warning: auto-play video, shame on the NY Times.)
I have always told the truth, Mr. Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee, adding that he stood by his previous testimony because I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports.
In October, he claimed to be unaware of anyone in the campaign who had contacts with Russians. He also said, And I dont believe it happened, he said then. [More...]

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Don Jr. in the Soup Again

Via the New Yorker, Donald Trump. Jr. is in the soup again, this time over his contacts with Wikileaks. And according to the New Yorker, Mike Pence has been taken for a ride again, or else he's lying.

I wish Trump Sr. would stay in Asia. Unfortunately, he's returning home to make more of a mess for our country.

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Monday :: November 13, 2017

Monday Open Thread

Bill Gates is investing $50 million in Alzheimer's research. He says men in his family have suffered from the disease.

I switched from iPhone5s to a Samsung Galaxy 8 last month and I'm still struggling to adjust to the differences. One thing that's great is AT&T (and maybe others) are offering Direct TV Now for $10 a month with no contract (including live and local channels) and HBO for life. With one click of your phone, and no Apple TV or other gadget needed, it mirrors to you big TV. Only downside: You can't change the language of the closed captions -- if the show is in Spanish, the captions will be too. Other downside: There's no recorder. Still, I'm not sure it's worth keeping Comcast at $200 a month for internet and TV. But I do miss my iPhone.

I'm not seeing any other news to report on at the moment.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: November 10, 2017

Friday Open Thread: TL (Grand) Baby Karter News

The TL kids have sent out the first photos of their new 9 pound baby girl, born at 3:30 pm yesterday. She even has a cool name -- Karter.

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Tuesday :: November 07, 2017

Election Day Across America: A Day of Firsts

Democrats won from coast to coast yesterday.

In addition to Dems taking both Governor races in New Jersey and Virginia, it was a day of firsts: The first transgender legislator in Virgina.

The first Sikh Mayor in Hoboken, NJ. And Charlote, NC elects its first African-American Mayor.

This does not bode well for Donald Trump. Aside from the election results, which are impossible to disassociate from unhappiness with his occupancy of the oval office, there's this: [More...]

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Tuesday Open Thread: Baby Day

Update 11/8: 3:30 pm: A healthy baby girl has arrived, 8 lbs. 15 ozs! Mom and baby are doing well!

The TL kids are at the hospital this morning where they will will hopefully deliver a healthy baby girl. I'm on pins and needles, so until I get more news, here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

Update 10:45 pm MT: No baby yet, labor continues!

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Saturday :: November 04, 2017

Donna Brazile: Fact, Fiction, Bias or Fantasy?

Donna Brazile has a major fact problem with her bizarre claim Hillary rigged the primaries. It's called evidence. The contract she refers to as support for her claim actually refutes it. Her claim, according to the Washington Post:

Brazile also details how Clinton effectively took control of the DNC in August 2015, before the primaries began, with a joint fundraising agreement between the party and the Clinton campaign. She said the deal gave Clinton control over the DNC’s finances, strategy and staff decisions — disadvantaging other candidates, including Sanders. “This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity,” she writes.

Here's the document, obtained by NBC News. It specifically applies to the general election, not the primaries.

[More...]

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Friday :: November 03, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: November 02, 2017

Senor de Los Cielos 5: The Finale

Note: No one has the time or the interest to read a post this long about a TV show in a foreign language. I've written it more for posterity than for reading enjoyment. Janis Joplin once joked that "Mercedes Benz" was a song with "great social and political import." Joking aside, that's how I feel about well-done narco-dramas, and Senor de los Cielos in particular. Yes, it's a fictionalized account of the life of a real life trafficker, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, and his family and loves, with exaggerated characters and events. But, unlike a Mercedes Benz, there are glimpses of political and social realities in the stories that I think give them a greater meaning. Also, I think many of the actors' performances, which take months to film, and the high production quality, deserve greater attention.

So don't feel like you have to read the whole thing, or any of it. It's enough that someone somewhere, googling for information about the show or its actors, will eventually come across it.

Update (recap and spoiler alert): By now anyone who is interested in Senor de los Cielos 5 has seen the finale or read what happens. It was good, and the best part is, there is going to be a Season 6. Here are 31 photos with captions from Telemundo, showing what happens in the finale. [More...]

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