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Monday :: July 25, 2016

Bernie Sanders Speaks: "No One is More Disappointed Than I Am"

Bernie comes through at the end:

"Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding President and I am proud to stand with her tonight. Thank you very much."

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Original Post

Entering to Simon and Garfunkle's "America," Bernie Sanders takes the podium. He looks rested and tan. He looks happy, his young supporters in the audience do not.

Bernie touts Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama. He thanks the hundreds of thousands of volunteers in his campaign and his 2 1/2 million campaign supporters. He thanks the 13 million Americans who "voted for the political revolution", which gave him the "1,846 pledged delegates here tonight." He looks forward to their votes at the roll call tomorrow night. (Is he still asking his supporters to vote for him?)[More...]

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Monday Night at the DNC

Update: Michelle Obama looks terrific, that blue is a great color for her and her dress really showcases her super-toned arms.

"I trust Hillary to lead this country because I've seen her devotion to children, not just her own, who she has raised to perfection...Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless work to make a difference in their lives."

"When she didn't win the nomination 8 years ago, she didn't get angry or disillusioned. Hillary didn't pack up and go home."

"Hillary doesn't buckle under pressure." She never takes the easy way out. She doesn't give up.

Really great speech. Bill Clinton, in the audience, was ecstatic. So was the crowd. [More...]

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DNC Opens in Philadelphia

It's Day One of the DNC. Among the prominent speakers tonight are Michelle Obama,Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will not open the convention (she resigned this weekend.) The opening, at 4pm, will be done by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

The online streaming coverage seems messy, with intrusive comment feeds, live pundit commentary and multiple video frames. The You Tube channel for the DNC is here. [More....]

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Sunday :: July 24, 2016

El Proceso Scores Interview with Rafael Caro Quintero

The DEA and Mexico (at the request of the U.S.) have been trying to find Rafael Caro-Quintero since 2013, when Mexico released him from prison after serving 28 years of a 40 year sentence, following a court decision later reversed.

I doubt they had a clue where he is. And I wonder if they haven't just used an old trick on him: Accuse him of something he hasn't done so he surfaces to make a denial. If so, it worked, because El Proceso will broadcast an interview with Caro Quintero from an undisclosed location today -- his first since his 2013 release from prison. [More...]

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Saturday :: July 23, 2016

Saturday Night News and Open Thread

Here's an interesting article about abusive conditions at a Honduras factory where Donald Trump shirts are manufactured.

Employees at a textile factory that made Trump shirts report dangerous, abusive conditions — harsh even for Honduras.

Politico takes a look behind the vetting process that resulted in the selection of Tim Kaine for Hillary's veep.

Hillary and Kaine made their first appearance today. In the short video clip of their appearance, he doesn't seem boring at all. I kind of like him. But then I could care less about his (or Bernie Sanders') positions on trade or Wall Street -- I'm more concerned with how faith-oriented he is. I don't like religion in politics. Hopefully he'll keep his religious views to himself. With Hillary beaming throughout the appearance like she just won the lottery, I'm revising my opinion that she wasn't thrilled with this choice. Clearly, she is. I'm sure she knows what she's doing, so Clinton-Kaine it is -- I'm on board.[More...]

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Friday :: July 22, 2016

Hillary Picks Tim Kaine as Running Mate

Hillary Clinton has picked Tim Kaine as her running mate. What a dull, uninspiring, lackluster choice. He seems as exciting as Mike Pence. But, it really didn't matter who she picked. No one will honestly claim they have decided to vote for Trump because she picked Kaine instead of someone else.

Still, it's disappointing Hillary went the so called safe route instead of adding a refreshing newcomer or a minority to the ticket. I wonder if she would have chosen Kaine if Trump hadn't chosen Pence. If not, then her choice is reactive and responsive. I'd rather she grabbed the initiative and made bold choices.

Since Trump will have made himself unacceptable to everyone but the most angry, marginalized and under-informed voters, and his own children, I'm still confident she'll win in November. But I'm not buying she's "thrilled" to make this announcement.

Update: Nate Silver at 538 analyzes Kaine's likely effect on Hillary's chances in November. He says he'll help a little, but not much.

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Munich: Lone Shooter, Native German, Killed Himself

Update: Not ISIS, not any terror group. 18 year old David Ali Sonboly was just another loony teenage wolf acting on his own. He was obsessed with shooting rampages. He had undergone psychiatric treatment. He was depressed. He had been bullied at school. He lived with his family. His parents are Shiite Muslims (the enemy of ISIS which is Sunni) who migrated to Germany. He was a child of migrants, not a migrant hater. His target was kids. He didn't use a long rifle but a handgun, which had been stolen, not acquired lawfully.

So this had no connection to ISIS or Islam and was not motivated by right wing racism or Germany's migrant policy. The media sure got this one wrong.

Bump and Update: Munich police held a press conference on the shootings. There was one shooter and he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Police say he acted alone. He has been identified him as an 18 year old native born German of Iranian descent. He had been in Munich for at least 2 years and was not known to law enforcement. Police say they doubt he was not affiliated with any terrorist group. [More...]

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WaPo Editorial: Trump "Uniquely Unqualfied" to be President

The Washington Post published this incredibly harsh editorial today trashing Donald Trump.

The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions.

... A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.

[More...]

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Estate of George Harrison Complains About RNC Unauthorized Use of Music

Via the Associated Press:

[George] Harrison's family tweeted Friday that the use of the song "Here Comes the Sun" during the introduction of candidate Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka was not authorized, and was "offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate."

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Hillary to Name VP Choice Today

The AP reports Hillary Clinton has signaled she will announce her running mate today.

In a tweet Friday morning, her campaign urged supporters to text the campaign to get first word. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine had emerged as the leading contender, according to Democrats familiar with Clinton's search.

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Thursday :: July 21, 2016

Trump's Dark and Stormy Speech

Bump and Update: Call the plagiarism cops -- I think Dick Wolf wrote Donald Trump's speech. Funniest lines so far: "How great are the police? How great is Cleveland?" and "I am your law and order candidate."

The AP fact-checks Trump's speech.

He's dreaming if he thinks Bernie Sanders' supporters will vote for him in droves. There aren't that many angry, marginalized, bigoted police-lovers among those eligible to vote.

Ivanka looked great and gave a true Daddy's girl speech. Since it was all about Trump, there's no reason to think it was a copy cat speech. Melania looked miserable as she spoke. Young Baron couldn't stop fidgeting. Ivanka didn't endorse a single one of his political views. (She said she's an Independent.) She made a lot of claims about Trump's business prowess and his laudable treatment of mothers in the workplace. (That sounds more like her issue than his)[More...]

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DNC Announces Additional Speakers

Hillary Clinton is doing a good job of keeping people guessing as to her Vice Presidential choice.

The DNC today announced this list of additional speakers for the Convention. The previously released list of headliner speakers for the convention is here (and includes Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Obama and Biden and DREAMer Astrid Silva. Today's announcement says more speakers will be named in the coming days. [More...]

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Thursday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Reading Too Much Into ISIS Losses, Too Little Into Turkey

There's a tendency by many to assume because ISIS is losing ground in Syria and Iraq, and its number of fighters has declined, that ISIS is a problem that will soon self-destruct.

Respected researcher and analyst Scott Atran (whose insightful articles I've quoted before) has a new article in the New York Review of Books, ISIS: The Durability of Chaos, which focuses on what to expect after these recent ISIS losses. I highly recommend reading it.

Another still relevant article co-written by Atran: Paris: The War ISIS Wants [More...]

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Trump: The Art of Laziness

Incirlik Air Base in Turkey houses NATO's largest storage of nuclear weapons.

According to Hans M. Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, underground vaults at Incirlik hold about fifty B-61 hydrogen bombs—more than twenty-five per cent of the nuclear weapons in the nato stockpile. The nuclear yield of the B-61 can be adjusted to suit a particular mission. The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima had an explosive force equivalent to about fifteen kilotons of TNT. In comparison, the “dial-a-yield” of the B-61 bombs at Incirlik can be adjusted from 0.3 kilotons to as many as a hundred and seventy kilotons.

In the face of current world problems, the prospect of a Trump presidency becomes almost a nightmare scenario. The New York Times has published the transcript of its interview with Trump on Turkey and NATO. Matt Yglesias at Vox explains why he's so dangerous, starting with his laziness. [More...]

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