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Wednesday :: August 16, 2017

National Revile at Donald Trump

Donald Trump keeps imploding. Here's the transcript and video of his latest debacle. How bad was it?

“You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest – because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit,” Trump helpfully explained to the astonished press corps at Trump Tower. “The other group didn’t have a permit. So I only tell you this: there are two sides to a story.”

From Richard Wolffe at the Guardian:

Sadly for Trump, there is only one side to the political reaction to his comments: sheer disgust. As an apologist for racist protestors – even though they obtained a precious permit – Trump has magically created a sense of spine in his own Republican party.

I agree about the disgust, but I do not think Republicans have that kind of spine. I wish they did.

Trump's response to Charlottesville is utterly predictable. Since he has such a limited playbook, his reaction to the negative publicity is also likely to be predictable. Which member of his team will he turn on and blame for the negative reaction? I suspect it will be the one who encouraged him to walk down this thorny path. Steve Bannon comes to mind. [More...]

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Tuesday :: August 15, 2017

Switzerland Hotel in the Doghouse After Posting Anti-Semitic Notice

A hotel in Switzerland is in the news, but not for a good reason. The Paradies Arosa, an Alpine establishment in Arosa, a city outside Davos, posted this notice a few days ago:

The text of the sign shown in the photo was written in broken English and read: “To our Jewish guests, women, men and children, Please take a shower before you go swimming and although after swimming. If you break the rules, I’m forced to cloes the swimming pool for you.”

The hotel removed the sign but defended it and said it was not anti-semitic.

Ruth Thomann, the manager of the hotel, confirmed the signs had now been removed. She insisted that many Jews visit the hotel, particularly at this time of year, and they are very welcome.

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New Yorkers Protests as Trump Visits Trump Tower

Donald Trump returned to Trump Tower yesterday. He was met by throngs of protesters and Bronx cheers.

Trump Protesters are a very very diverse group. Not so much Trump supporters (from one of his campaign rallies):

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Monday :: August 14, 2017

Monday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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Jury Finds Former DJ Mueller Assaulted Taylor Swift

Update: It's a home run for Taylor Swift. The Jury found former DJ David Mueller intentionally assaulted Swift and that her mother and music director did not interfere with his contract. He was ordered to pay Swift $1.00. Swift's statement:
"I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration, my attorneys Doug Baldridge, Danielle Foley, Jay Schaudies and Katie Wright for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year long trial process," Swift said in a statement.

"I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."

[MORE...]

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Saturday :: August 12, 2017

Taylor Swift Victorious in Groping Trial, Her Mom and Bell Not Yet

Bump and Update: Taylor Swift emerged victorious yesterday when the Judge in her trial issued his order on the Rule 50 motion described below.

I received this email from Clerk of Court who sent it to everyone on the approved media list:

When the case goes to the jury on Monday; it will go forward on the tortious interference with contract claims against defendants Andrea Swift and Frank Bell; any damages for the plaintiff will be limited to plaintiff's 2-year employment contract; and the defendant's counterclaims will go forward. In other words, none of the claims against defendant, Taylor Swift, survived the defendant's Rule 50 motion.
[More...]

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Friday :: August 11, 2017

Friday Open Thread

What's next for Taylor Swift after the trial? I hope it's Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. According to Billboard today, she's at the top of his list.

What TV is everyone watching this weekend? I have four episodes of Senor de Los Cielos to catch up on.

Other than that, I'm going to ride my Peloton and read a lot of wiretap transcripts. I'm ignoring Trump again, for now, until his next disasterous move.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Guam Issues Safety Guidelines for Nuclear Attack

Via Reuters: Guam has issued safety guidelines to follow in case of a nuclear attack:

Guam posted emergency guidelines on Friday to help residents prepare for any potential nuclear attack after a threat from North Korea to fire missiles in the vicinity of the U.S. Pacific territory.

The main safety advice seems to be:

Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you," it said. "Take cover behind anything that might offer protection."

"Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material," read the guidelines of what to do if caught outside.

Until I read that Donald Trump and his entire family have taken a sudden trip across the globe, I'm not worried. I don't think he cares a whit about putting Americans in danger -- so long as his children and and extended family is safe.

Is anyone surprised that he's only had a desk in the oval office for 7 1/2 months and he's already got his tiny finger on the button, itching to push it?

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Wednesday :: August 09, 2017

Wednesday Open Thread

Update: Date corrected to show Wednesday, not Friday.

I have motions due today, so no blogging until this evening. Our last open thread is full, so here's a new one, all topics welcome.

Jerry Garcia died 22 years ago. #Be kind to someone to day. (h/t ChuckO in Taylor Swift Thread).

[More....]

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Tuesday :: August 08, 2017

El Chapo's New Legal Team

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has hired private counsel to represent him on the Indictment in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

I think the federal defenders representing him until now have done an outstanding job. But I also think the private lawyers he hired are excellent. Who are they?

Jeffrey Lichtman, Marc Fernich (both in New York), Eduardo Balarezo (Washington, DC) and William Purpura (Baltimore).

While the media mentions in passing Balarezo was involved in the recent case of Alfredo Beltran-Leyva (sentenced to life a few months ago), I think his addition is significant. [More...]

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Taylor Swift "Groping Trial" Underway

Is this photo "damning proof" fired Denver DJ David Mueller groped Taylor Swift, or does it capture an awkward point when David Mueller scrambled to get into a photo with Taylor Swift and his girlfriend at the last minute?

That question will occupy 9 days of federal court time in Denver this month. Jury selection began yesterday, was completed today, and lawyers made their opening arguments to the 8 jurors selected. Who made the jury? [More...]

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Friday :: August 04, 2017

DEA Wants to Cut Production of Painkillers

The DEA wants to replace your doctor.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Friday proposed a 20 percent reduction in the manufacture of certain commonly prescribed opioid painkillers as well as other controlled substances for next year.

Just say no.

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Friday Open Thread

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been too busy with work to read the news. I hope to catch up this weekend.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: August 02, 2017

Donald Trump's Russia Signing Statement

Here is Donald Trump's signing statement on the Russia Sanctions bill. The meat:

....Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.

....I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.

He is such an embarrassment to America.

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Tuesday :: August 01, 2017

DHS to "Waive Laws" for Border Wall at San Diego

The Department of Homeland Security issued a press release today stating it is "waiving" the law to start building sections of Donald Trump's "border wall" in San Diego.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international border near San Diego. The waiver will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

... The [San Diego]sector remains an area of high illegal entry for which there is an immediate need to improve current infrastructure and construct additional border barriers and roads. To begin to meet the need for additional border infrastructure in this area, DHS will implement various border infrastructure projects. These projects will focus on an approximately 15-mile segment of the border within the San Diego Sector that starts at the Pacific Ocean and extends eastward, to approximately one mile east of what is known as Border Monument 251.

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