Thursday :: March 07, 2024

State of the Union: Will Biden Resonate?

Americans have been dealt a hand with two candidates, neither of whom they particularly think should be President. Nonetheless, barring Trump being criminally tried, convicted and imprisoned before November, which has become more and more unlikely the past few months, Americans will have to choose between them.

So there's a lot riding on Joe Biden's speech tonight. I have not seen the draft, but I suspect like almost everything he does, he will land in the center, disappointing those with firm convictions at either extreme.

He's not going to come out against the death penalty, in favor of removing border walls or cutting back on prisons or cessation of jailing non-violent offenders, or even for federal legalization of marijuana. If he supports lowering pot from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule 3 substance, he is still missing the point. Marijuana should be removed from the controlled substance list entirely. Now that would be progress. [More....]

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Thursday :: February 15, 2024

Trump Plays the Nepo Card Again

I've joked a few times I wouldn't be surprised if Trump were to make Ivanka his running mate -- or appoint Don Jr.'s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle to be Attorney General if he gets re-elected (because she would dismiss the federal indictments against him, relieving him of the need to spend years in court debating whether he has the power to pardon himself).

But I missed the real mark: It's Eric's wife Lara Trump who Donald Trump is promoting for Co-Chair of the Republican Party.

Can no one in this family get where they want to go on their own credentials and experience? Apparently not. Except for Jared Kushner, who finally got it through his thick skull that he is rich enough not to have to step in the dog doo that follows his father-in-law everywhere he goes. In a recent interview, Jared says he won't be involved in a second Trump administration, should there be one.

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Trump's NY Trial to Begin in March, 2024

A New York Judge has rejected Donald Trump's request to delay his trial in the "Hush Money" - Stormy Daniels case.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He denies the charges.

Prosecutors intend to prove that Trump resorted to business fraud as a means of concealing the true nature of the payments so as not to hurt his chances of winning the presidency in 2016.

What a difference a year makes. When this Indictment was announced, it was a big deal. Now, it seems so hum-hum. Trump indicted? What else is new?

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Wednesday :: January 24, 2024

Light a Candle for Melanie and Open Thread

Sad news. Singer and 60's icon Melanie (Safka) has passed away at age 76. She was one of a kind. Her voice was so rich, so unique and powerful. I loved listening to her albums, especially the ones with "Brand New Key" and Beautiful People.

Her children posted the news on Facebook. They ask:

... that tonight (Jan. 24), at 10 p.m. CT, “each of you lights a candle in honor of Melanie. Raise, raise them high, high up again. Illuminate the darkness, and let us all be connected in remembrance of the extraordinary woman who was wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to so very many people.”

R.I.P. Melanie.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: January 19, 2024

Friday Open Thread

Your turn, all topics welcome.
I’ll be back later or over the weekend.

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Tuesday :: January 16, 2024

Iowa: Not Impressed

The media is over-playing the significance of Trump's win among the 15% (110,000) of Iowa's Republicans who showed up to vote in yesterday's Republican caucuses, and in its entrance polls. The last contested Iowa caucus was in 2016, and 187,000 Republicans showed up to vote.

Winning the Republican caucus vote in Iowa does not translate to winning the Republican nomination for President. Caucuses are different than primaries and mean a whole lot less. Just look at the statistics for Iowa Republican caucuses in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Also, the candidate with the most number of delegates is the one who wins a party's nomination, not the one who won the most votes or has the greatest percentage of the vote.

Trump's win is slightly more than a nothing-burger, but not by much. It certainly does not mean he will be the party's nominee.

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Sunday :: December 31, 2023

2024: A Year to Avoid Past Mistakes

For much of the world, this was not a good year.

In welcoming 2024, let's hope it brings peace to the Middle East and the Ukraine. And hope that we finally can put the corona-virus and all its mutations behind us.

And last but not least, can disaffected and marginalized Americans, as well the rest of the Republican party, please shake off their bitterness and discontent long enough to realize that Donald Trump is nothing more than a dulled and failed artifact of the past.

With that, TalkLeft wishes everyone everywhere a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

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Monday :: December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas and Open Thread

Update: Our server was down for most of today and this evening. Thanks to Colin, our webmaster, for restoring it!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

If I had my choice of somewhere else to be this holiday season, I think it would be the Arctic Circle-- Finnish Lapland, maybe, home of Santa Village, to see the reindeer. Or on a cruise from the southernmost tip of Ushaia, Argentina, across the Drake Passage, to Antartica. Or maybe, to Tasmania, the Australian island that sits just below it. When I look at the photos of the ocean there, it seems like it is situated at the absolute edge of the world.

Those are pretty puzzling choices for me, since I hate winter and can't stand being cold. I think its because I want to be somewhere isolated and free from the opinions of under-informed, bitter, angry and marginalized Americans -- and especially from politics. [More..]

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Tuesday :: November 28, 2023

Oscar Pistorius Granted Parole in January

After eleven years of ups and downs in his legal travails for fatally shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, former Paralympian champion Oscar Pistorius will be released on parole on January 5, 2024. The BBC's Top Ten Moments in Oscar's trial is a good summary. If you want to read the play-by-play as it happened, with legal analysis, check out my 40-plus posts covering the case from bail hearings, through trial, sentencings and first appeals. [More...]

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Friday :: November 24, 2023

13 Hamas Captives Released

24 Hamas hostages were released today. They include 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and one Filipino.

The Israeli hostages were all seized at the Nir Oz kibbutz on October 7. They are : Margalit Moses, Adina Moshe, Danielle Aloni and her daughter Emilia, Doron Asher and her daughters Raz and Aviv, Hanna Katzir, Keren Munder and her son Ohad, Ruti Munder, Yaffa Adar, and Hannah Perry.

200 trucks carrying humanitarian aid proceeded through the Rafah, Egypt crossing,where they transferring food, medicine, supplies and fuel to international organizations.

Israel's Prime Minister and the IDF spokespeople today said Israel remains committed not only to the release of all hostages, but to continuing its military battle to destroy Hamas forever when the humanitarian pause ends.

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Israeli Hostage Release Set for 9:00 am ET

4:00 am MT (6 am ET): I've been glued to the news all evening about the Qatari-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas for a four day pause in fighting during which 50 women and child hostages seized by Hamas in Israel on October 7th will be exchanged for 150 women and teenage prisoners held in Israeli jails, and an Israeli promise to allow around 400 trucks of aid, including fuel, to enter Gaza from Egypt.

The terms of the deal have been reported over and over again. I guess once more won't hurt: [More...]

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Monday :: November 20, 2023

R.I.P. Rosalynn Carter and Open Thread

Rosalynn Carter has died at age 96, two days after she entered home hospice.

She and former President Jimmy Carter were married for 77 years. Here is the statement he issued today.

Our condolences to former President Carter and the entire Carter family.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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